rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( May. 12th, 2006 10:55 am)
I have written a bit of fanfic that I cannot post till I get online access on my own laptop, which will probably be in June. This will give you all two weeks to catch up on Naruto, so you can read my story because it's great.

It is hard enough writing on this Roman keyboard so I will not attempt a link, but scans are available at Naruto Chuushin. Warning: this is a series which gets better and better as it goes on. I do not think the first volume, in particular, is very good, although it does set up the premise. I suggest scans because the manga goes twenty volumes past what is currently available in English.

I am in a very expensibe Roman laundromat- net cafe, so perhaps others can squee in a non-spoilery manner over Naruto in the comments, to encourage the unconverted?

Cut not for spoilers per se, but for the premise of my story, which could be considered to contain incredibly vague spoilers for non-plot elements.

Read more... )
But seriously, folks...

While I was on my way to the Forum, I stepped close to an alcove to avoid a passerby on a scooter, and brushed against a statue... in clothes... odd... I glanced up, saw an iron statue of a saint or something in an enveloping iron garment and on a pedestal, and it blinked. That was not the funny part. The funny part,to everyone else in eyeshot, was me leaping backward like a hare, then scuttling away at top speed. I saw another one, this one moving around more, near the Coliseum, along with a very realistic... um... not a mummy with bandages, the gold thing... a sarcophagus? The other iron statue was moving around and gesturing in a creepy manner. I am sure it was intended to be charming, but living statues seem to me like mimes-- not my favorite part of a street scene.

You cannot walk two blocks in Rome without coming across some reamrkable bit f ancient architecture, a crumbling wall or a pyramid or obelisk, encorporated into the rest of the very modern city. I can see why Rome has such a reputation for pickpockets-- all the gobsmacked tourists gawping at, say, the Coliseum must present irresistanle targets. I have not been pickpocketed, by the way and knock on wood, although the taxi driver who took me to the Madrid airport sped off without giving me my change. Luckily I had given him thirty rather than the fifty I almost presented with the thought of getting it changed.

I have not yet had any truluy delicious food in Rome, due to my tendency to suddenly become starved and exhausted and in desperate need of food while near some huge tourist attraction. I did have some excellent plum gelato with flecks of fresh plum, though.
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
( May. 12th, 2006 09:18 pm)
My, I am in a spammy mood! Perhaps I am wishing for human contact in a language I speak. I was so delighted when I went to a Japanese restaurant in Madrid with Sara and Lawrence, because I had been bummed about my Spanish being so horrible and I hoped for a chance to speak a foreign language I can actually kind of speak. Except the waitress we got was Korean and didn't even know the Japanese word for plum. (So comment away!)

Today I read C. J. Cherryh's Gate of Ivrel, an earlyish work, I suspect, in the drenchingly romatic style of Leigh Brackett or early George R R Martin, but in Cherryh's spare-formal prose style (she has others) and with her usual tendency to never let her heroes get a decent night's sleep or a bite of satisfying food.

Vanye is a... hmm, sort of a ronin, though the culture on his backward planet is not Japanese-ish.. he's an outlaw warrior who must swear himself to some lord for a year of duty. He's still unsworn when a deer he shoots staggers between the shimmering air of a magic cursed gate, and a tall pale woman rides out: Morgaine, last seen a hundred years ago and not aged a day, nor remembered fondly. The gates are the destructive remnants of an ancient dead civilization who used them to travel in space and time, she is on a mission to walk from world to world, closing each gate behind her lest they destroy the universe, until the end of time, or her death, or the last gate closes behind her.

She is cold and harsh and the last survivor of her mission party; he is brave, in the sense that he has fear and does the right thing anyway, and more gentle than is healthy; he can't understand exactly what she's doing and why, and he's going to follow her anyway, no matter what. I think Oyce would especially like this.

Victor Appleton: Tome Swift: The Astral Fortess. Pulp sf I enjoyed as a kid wand was delighted to find used. It's fun. You're all too old to read it. Here's a sample:

Benjamin Franklin Walking Eagle, Tom's co-pilot and best friend, was already checking the stratling information Aristotle had described by running it through the Exedra's main computer. Ben's face bore the same intense look of concentration that his Indian ancestors had worn while stalking buffalo so many generations before.

Lindsey Davis, Silver Pigs. Mystery set in ancient Rome, in the wisecracking private eye style, about an 'informer'-- aka private eye-- Marcus Didius Falco. This works surprisingly well. The voice is great, the details seem authentic, and the relationships between the characters are wonderful.

Donna Leon, Blood from a Stone. Murder mystery set in contemporary Venice, starring a police commissioner. Very well-written and atmospheric, but suffers from an overdose of noir corruption and angst, so that the protagonist does not solve the mystery himself, but has the solution handed to him by a powerful figure in the know, and then can't do anything with the information. Also, the mystery concerns Senegalese immigrants, and everyone keeps bemoaning that they know nothing about them, but no one ever so much as gets online to google some basic info on their country of origin.
rachelmanija: (Default)
( May. 12th, 2006 10:20 pm)
The expensive Roman laundry internet cafe-laundromat which told me to return at 10:00 to pick up my laundry had not even begun drying it when I retuned at that time. Nor have they begun drying it now, as they only have three dryers that are working. They have given me free internet in the meantime, and are insisting that it will be done by 10:30 though that cannot possibly happen, given that the load contains three pairs of jeans. This is reminding me very much of India.

ETA: Especially given that other customers seem unsatisfied as well-- apparently the computers are also failing to perform.

I forgot to mention that one of the reasons it took me so long to reach the Forums, which are mostly closed for restoration, was that I came across a street fair selling cut-rate designer clothing, kitchenware, leather belts, imitation designer handbags, and fruit. My shirt which I splattered suckling pig fat on was destroyed, alas, and also I mostly brought long-sleeved shirts and both Madrid and Rome were quite hot, with a brilliant white light like shines in the desert. So I bought a khaki ruffly thing with elaborate ties in front. I have tied them in a climber's figure-eight knot, which pleases me immensely as it's been so long since I climbed that I thought I'd forgotten how to make one.

Women in Rome seem exceedingly stylish. Perhaps this is why no men have whistled at me yet, as people warned me would happen-- why spare a whistle for a frumpy tourist with pig grease on her shirt when there are beautiful and polished-looking Roman women all around you? Rome makes me want to dress stylishly, although even had I the inclination and the money, I would still not have the fashion sense. I did go into several stores to fondle the leather jackets, none of which I could afford even if I wanted to schlep them around. One pink jacket was the softest suede I have ever lovingly molested (the shop girls were giving me the evil eye.) I think I will search out the flea market-- maybe I will find one used.
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