ultranos: girl in gekkougan uniform with monsterous shadow (casting shadows)
1) I still need to finish Avatar: the Last Airbender, because, really, 6 months as a break is getting ridiculous. (Yes, [personal profile] abyssinia, I promise I will finish it soon.) That hasn't stopped me from either looking for fic or from writing it. And I realized I have a slight problem.

Maybe it's distance, or maybe I'm reading too far into it and misinterpreting, but I've studied a bit of Chinese and Japanese history (much more Japanese, I admit freely), and I, you know, very much see things in A:tLA where I go "hey! That's [foo] Dynasty!" Or "That's [bar] Period!" And maybe it's wrong of me to and think that if I want to figure out the socio-economic intricacies of the various nations, I go and read up on the relevant periods of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean history. Because that's what I'm doing.

And so I've discovered that it drives me absolutely up the wall when I keep seeing Western interpretations of social hierarchies and historical/cultural artifacts and practices that have no logical reason to exist in the Avatar-verse. I'm starting to wonder if something's wrong with me.

(The things currently making me howl are the number of fics containing foot-binding, which makes no bloody sense for numerous reasons, and the portrayal of the Bei Fong family as nobility or "high-born", despite being merchants. As far as I know, merchants were kind of at the bottom of the polite social society until the 1600s at least in both China and Japan.

This knowledge is making me slowly want to gnaw my own arms off as I keep reading fics that run contrary to history. Somebody save me.)

2) My collection of books by Japanese authors keeps growing. I'm currently reading Housuke Noriji's Usurper of the Sun, which is full of science and a neat, brilliant female scientist protagonist. In a hard-SF book! With the fate of the world in the balance! Oh, and ALIENS. But not yet.

It's making be grin a lot.

3) I need to remember how to play Dominion and Settlers of Catan really well, because my current mad plan involves taking both home with me and attempting to get my family hopelessly addicted. My mom seems receptive to the idea.

4) Maybe someday, I will be able to go a week without calling my mother 4 times a week. :/ Then again, yesterday, she told me "thank you", because she totally knows what I'm doing.

5) I hate migraines. Especially low-grade migraines that don't completely debilitate me so that I feel guilty if I try to take it easy and generally feel like I'm slacking. Why yes, I've had 4 of these in the last 2 weeks. My current drug regime isn't really working, and only the "oh god, make it go away" pills seem to work.
ultranos: kino standing, staring ahead (contemplative)
Title: Upon a Distant Shore
Author: [personal profile] ultranos
Fandom: Haibane Renmei / Avatar: the Last Airbender crossover. Yes.
Rating: G
Word Count: 2031
Spoilers: Mostly Haibane Renmei, actually. Only s1 A:tLA spoilers.
Notes: None to minimal knowledge of Haibane Renmei required, actually. Thanks to [personal profile] holdouttrout for the beta. And feeding the plotbunny.
Summary: Kana dreams of water.

Upon a Distant Shore )
ultranos: ibuki maya sitting at laptop in shorts and a t-shirt, eating a cookie, with prompt \\ "Rocks fall; everybody dies." (this would be much simpler)
Because it's 1am and I'm not asleep yet.

I'm going to try something here. This is a list of all WiPs I'm theoretically working on. I'm in such a weird headspace right now that I need a push to finish them. So. Here are summaries from what are technically active. As teasers, yes, but as also maybe I'll be motivated if someone kicks me into writing it.

If nothing else, hey, at least I know what I'm theoretically working on.

ETA: Aby reminded me I'm missing one.

I graduate from college, and turn into a demotivated slacker. Who knew? )
ultranos: kino standing, staring ahead (contemplative)
The one drawback to using Avatar: the Last Airbender to save my sanity from the Thesis Boss is that it gets unparalleled access to my brain during this time. And due to the fact that I am watching it in 20 minute chunks when my brain needs to do something else, it's taking a bit of time to get through it.

It should be clear by now that what I'm trying to say is that, oh god, I have stories in my head. And they want to get out. And I really cannot afford to spend the time looking up methods of execution in Han and Qing China and pre-Tokugawa Japan.

(I'm writing a thesis; you expect my brain to be a happy place?)
ultranos: XKCD: stand back, i'm going to try science (science warning)
"Sandbender" is a real (jargon) term that's been in use far before the start of the Avatar series. It refers to a person involved in silicon lithography and the physical design of integrated circuits. Unsurprisingly, the term originated at IBM.

That, my friends, is awesome. I am literally learning how to be a sandbender!

Somedays, I actually do love my life.
ultranos: kino and hermes on a coffee break (i need a coffee break)
One thing I belatedly realized about Avatar's world is that, despite it being phenomenally Asian-inspired, you know what I have yet to see, midway through s2?

A damn katana.

There are hook swords and dao and jian and tessen. And since the last one on that list is very much Japanese, it proves that they're not just using classical Chinese weaponry. (Which is why the Fire Nation keeps reminding me of Tokugawa Japan mixed with Han China. I'm probably wrong with those time periods too.)

If someone was carrying a katana, I didn't get a good look at the curvature to identify it. I'm just impressed that someone decided to use other swords and weapons. Although I do not expect anyone in this series to wield a nodachi...

Er, I'm a bit of a weapons geek. And now I'm wondering all about the metalworking trade and technology of the 'verse, since with benders, you could either have really, really awesome smithing techniques (crazy sword-folding and Damascus steel-level material) or crappier ones due to more emphasis on bending.

Mm...Damascus steel dao. *drools*
ultranos: ashley from Trace Memory (white-haired girl) sleeping (sleepy)
In a hilarious coincidence, a significant section of my social circle in meatspace apparently suddenly decided to also start watching Avatar: the Last Airbender. So I'm apparently not entirely late to the party, but somehow still playing catch-up.

It's kinda fun being able to bounce reactions off each other. And have other people going "my god, this is remarkably Asian".

Thoughts while watching up through s01e17 [partial list]: )
ultranos: Actual MIT hack of roadsign. "MASS AVE BRIDGE CLOSED / SUNDAY 04/22/07 6AM-3PM / TO APPEASE GODZILLA" (have you appeased godzilla today?)
Watching Avatar: The Last Airbender is making me want to attempt to read all of Romance of the Three Kingdoms again. Which really doesn't follow, but I stopped long ago trying to figure out how my brain works. Well, unless my brain is somehow matching the Fire Nation with the Kingdom of Wei, lead by Cao Cao, which makes no sense.

I tried to read the whole thing once before getting bogged down near the end of Book 1 of 4. It's dense and I lost track of characters. I want another go at it, but possibly during term is a less-than-ideal plan. (What does it say about me if I'll gladly attempt to read classical Chinese literature or Japanese battle strategies [hello, Book of the Five Rings], but won't touch English literature like Jane Eyre, even though the latter probably requires less brain-breaking and struggle?)

Although this does beg the question of who would be Sima Yi and Zhuge Liang. I love badass tacticians and strategists!

Speaking of strategies, someone tell me that using the Thirty-Six Stratagems as prompts is a Bad Idea? Please? (Worse Idea: ficathon based on the idea of using the Thirty-Six Stratagems. But I bet people could come up with some clever interpretations.)

You can totally tell I'm supposed to be writing a technical paper right now, can't you? I swear to god my brain overdoses on the crack when it's under pressure.


ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)

Memoranda from the Usual Suspects

Media List:

Currently Watching:
-- Supergirl(hiatus)
--Pitch (hiatus)

Currently Playing:
--[null] (PS3)
--[null] (PS2)
--Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
--[null] (PSP)
--[null] (XBox360)
--Endless Legend (PC)
--Fallout: New Vegas (PC)

Currently Reading:


-The Rook, Daniel O'Malley
-Fortune's Rising, Sara King

-Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy, David Daley


"So she's good cop, he's bad cop, you're morally-questionable cop, and I'm set-things-on-fire cop."

"Sounds about right."


"WARNING: When attempting to be clever, make sure you not actually just being stupid."


"Did you remember to sacrifice the goat before burning the ISO to the DVD-R?"

"Crap! Um, I've got a charred piece of meat here."

"That's called a steak. That's dinner. What about the sacrifices?"


"I escape through quantum-tunneling. What do I need to roll for that?"


"Why is it called a 'Monkeylord'?"

"Because it looks like a spider."


"I have a moral objection to this problem. It implies microwaving a steak."


"Did you eat the crazy cookies this morning?"


"The GPU goes 4 by 4, hurrah, hurrah."

April 2017

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