A Long Expected Post

Soooo *guilty smile* I totally forgot about the May 2015 Beautiful People. That is to say, I planned on doing it, and had a character picked out and then didn't. I don't know why. I don't remember why. It's not important. 
Anyway, I am now doing it. Very late. 
This time, I am going to do a terribly odd little side character. I never properly explain anything that goes on in the Pendant here, because it changes so much. And no one ever really understands who the various characters are, unless they are the major main characters. So now, I shall further confuse things, but chatting a little bit about....  Yafeu. Who is actually a side character in a side story of the Pendant. Gloriously obscure isn't he? I love him.  

Do they get nightmares? If so, why or what of? Yes. Because everyone has nightmares of some sort. Why and what of? Its not entirely clear why. Some people say you get nightmares if you eat certain foods before going to bed. Most people would agree that creepy or disconcerting stuff, whether in real life or in a book or movie, can give you nightmares. Mental illness. PTSD. Normal life. What of? Well, that is also difficult to answer. He is old, he's had a lot. They aren't special because dreams usually aren't. He hasn't had any recurring nightmares since he was little. 
What is their biggest guilty pleasure/secret shame? Oh goodness. Yafeu is a terribly ordinary sort of person. He's rather like a hobbit in some ways. He values simple comforts. A good meal being chief among them. He loves boats and fish and water, which is why he works as a sailor aboard the Falcon. He doesn't really like something that he feels guilty about or ashamed of. He likes pretty women, and is distinctly partial to them, but that's not really a secret.
Are they easily persuaded or do they need more proof? He is a pretty easy-going guy, but he is also very stubborn. He's not terribly skeptical, but he's had a long time to choose where he stands, and I rather think that if you presented him with excellent proof that he was wrong, he would going on believing what he wanted anyway. On things he hasn't already decided on, he is pretty open minded. Definitely not an opinionated chap. 

Do they suffer from any phobias? Does it affect their life in a big way? Ooh, phobias. Yafeu is rather afraid of dogs. He loves cats. Adores cats. It doesn't really affect his life though. He isn't on land much, and there are no dogs on the Falcon. He isn't so scared of them that he won't go near them. But he avoids them when at all possible.
What do they consider their “Achilles heel”? Yafeu has never considered it.
How do they handle a crisis? Very calmly. He kind of just meanders about and does what he thinks will help, but doesn't engage in all the hullabaloo. He is a very sympathetic old soul, and likes to help, but prefers to just lean back and give advice and not actually get mixed up in anything.
Do they have a temper? Not really. If someone is annoying him, he just walks away.
What are their core values and/or religious beliefs? Religious beliefs, gods of egypt. Not out of any great faith, but because it 'seems a pretty good thing to believe'. He's not wishy washy about it though. He wouldn't change the moment something else sounded better. He has decided to stick with his beliefs, so he does. Core values: honest; sleep; a good days work; patience; and kindness.
What things do they value most in life? His cat, Moswen (white). The Falcon. People who ride on the Falcon and talk to him.  His niece of sorts, who is actually just the daughter of a friend of his sister's, but who he considers to be his niece. Whenever the captain of the Falcon decides he wants a vacation, which can occur twice a month or twice a decade depending on his whims, Yafeu goes to stay with his sister in Abydos.
What is one major event that helped shape who they are? Nothing major has ever made its way to Yafeu. Probably the most life changing day in his life was when he first signed on with the Falcon all those years ago. And he never left. Most of the Falcon's crew have been there forever as well. Its basically one big family of lovable crazies, plus a few strapping young lads to actually do most of the work. Said young lads usually only stay for a year or so before they are replaced. 

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The Martian: Review

   I finally watched The Martian. 
   Actually, I watched in on January 30th, and then forgot that I was going to post about it. It has been out long enough that I shall not be particularly careful about spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet, beware.
   I did read the book first, since I am a firm believer in such things. Books, as originals, should never be read with cinematic images clouding one’s mind. To begin with, the book was quite good. The writing was nothing special, but the plot, while simple, was quite interesting. The main thing that endeared me to the book was how much work was obviously put into it. The depth of research and careful plotting out of scientific data was quite amazing. 
   The writer, I think, was more interested in the possibilities he suggested and the way problems were solved, than with the story itself. Getting Mark Watney home was a framework to support what the author was really interested in: the science of the thing.

   I am also favorably inclined towards books that are not at all friendly to movies. And long dialogues about math and science, in journalistic form, are decidedly not friendly to film-makers.

   Mark Watney is a fairly shallow character. Flippant and witty, sarcastic and profane. The one respect in which I preferred the movie (a rare thing for me) was the depth that Matt Damon added to the character. When he realizes in the book that he is actually going home, he remains witty and sarcastic. In the movie, he bursts into tears. I rather liked that. It seemed like a more authentic reaction to realizing that you weren’t going to die alone on a desolate planet; that you were going to see your friends and family again. 
I think it's safe to say Matt Damon has an ugly cry, but its much more realistic that way. It's hard to feel sympathetic towards people who look better when they are crying.

   Other than that though, the movie was a movie, and therefore left a lot unexplained, and added ridiculousness for cinematic effect.

   The book did jokingly mention that Watney could poke a hole in his suit and fly around like Iron Man, but in the movie, they actually did it, and it was terrible. It is very difficult to show math being done in a film and explain various scientific theories and how they would work, and therefore just watching the movie will leave you very confused as to how he did half the stuff, but all in all, I think it did a pretty good job.

   I must warn that the book is quite profane, whereas the movie is not. But one must consider that clean mouthed men trapped alone on mars facing certain death, would be laughed at and regarded much like a cartoon character spouting “#%@#!#&” at the world. It is one of the few realistic ways to convey certain emotions in print, whereas in a movie you can see someone’s face, and it’s not quite as necessary.

   I recommend the movie, the book was better, you should possess yourself of both to get the full experience of the actual story, and Matt Damon’s acting.

   But never forget, this is just Jason Bourne’s latest disguise.
He's so young!

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POST #102

Many times have a seen a young blog post their 100th post with many a celebratory hurrah. Unfortunately for me, both #100 and #101 went by without my realizing it. But 102 is more deserving of a hurrah than any 100 ever was, for it exceeds that other paltry number by 2. And actually, when you celebrate #100 with your 100th post, you have actually only posted 99 real posts, because 100 was wasted talking about 100. 
And due to the unfortunate existence of animals known as dalmatians, 101 is not a number which one can celebrate freely and in complete disconnect from the obnoxious animals. 
And therefore, good people, 102 is the perfect number on which to celebrate. But due to the ugliness of the number, I shall only be able to give it a single hurrah. 
I will have a proper celebration for my 222nd post. A beautiful number. .Very...symmetrical...Very.
Couldn't resist. Alright, moving on to less pressing matters. 

Readers! I have but two things to say to you at the moment. 
1) Do you exist?
2) Don't answer that. 

There is much worrying that goes on in the blogging world, about whether or not people actually read one's blog. Probably not. And also, I have discovered that basically the only people who read blogs, are other bloggers. Exciting revelation that. The only tip I can give for securing readers, and one which I have found to be extremely beneficial to my own blogging exploits, is post at least once a decade. 

Every now and then, I think to myself "does anyone read this blog?" And then, for a brief moment in the very odd substance that is time, I consider trying to make a blog that more people would want to read. And then of course I forget about readers and their interests, and go post some large pile of blither that is distinctly lacking in pictures. I have noticed that wordy blogs tend to be less popular than blogs with tutorials, recipes, and pictures with tiny little captions underneath, etc. 
The world seems to approve of one paragraph updates, but I was always under the impression that that was what social media was for, and a blog was a place where much longer things were to be released upon society. 
Another thing that seems to make blogs attractive, is events, parties, and things in which other specimens of humanity can participate. Also self promotion, oddly enough. If only I said things like: 
"Follow me here! Buy my book there! Do this and do that, and do it all for me!!!!!" 
I'm sure I should be much more popular in the blogging world. Probably not. 

One can only surmise that to the general population of this planet, clicking on someone's face is the equivalent of a hug. I do not understand it, but I never really have understood it. 
You see, even now I am rambling along happily, completely careless of how far this is from "a popular post". 
My blog is merely a place where I dump information that I no longer wish to keep in my head, but which I do not particularly want to go through all the trouble of saying out loud. 
And so to you, my neat little columns and rows of 0s and 1s that are somehow dimly connected to a human being in some odd corner of the world and which I refer to as "readers", I say this: if the bizarre contents of this blog actually amuse you, then rest assured that it shall continue to be gloriously strange and random, at least once a decade. 

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Hacks for those Lengthy Locks

Emergency Supplies – Stock your purse, backpack, coat pockets, car, and anything else you might be carrying in public, with Hair Elastics and Bobby Pins. You, and anyone else with hair, will be grateful for the constant availability of these most useful creations.

Braiding, with a Twist
– Everyone knows that sleeping on a French braid will help keep your hair shiny, and add some shape, but you can do better than that. Each time you wrap a strand of hair into the braid, twist it a couple of times. When you wake up, not only will your hair be shinier and wavy, it will have a little curl to it. This also makes for a tighter braid, which will not come out as easily during the night. This also makes for an effective, no heat curling method if done while the hair is wet. This will dry quite fast, due to the wringing out of water that occurs with the twisting, and looks nice enough that you can actually wear it put and about, unlike pin curls and odd shaped buns.

I Woke up Like This
– If you have researched anything about hair-care, you probably already know that daily washing is bad, as it dries out the hair. But you might still be in the habit of washing your hair directly prior to some event or evening out. No longer. Due to the effects of shampoo, no matter how much conditioner you use, hair is prone to be rather dry and dull looking right after its been washed. The next day, however, natural oils have had time to add a lovely shine. So, to escape last minute washing, blow drying, and curling, just wash your hair the night before (or earlier in the day, whatever works) and try to keep it braided right up until it’s time to get dressed.

Country Bumpkins – If you live out in the country, or even in some cities, you may have hard water. This just means that there are various minerals in the water. While this is completely harmless, and works just fine for anything and everything that one does with water, it will, over time, cause a buildup of said mysterious minerals (I am not entirely sure as to their exact nature) in your hair. This merely causes your hair to lose some of its natural glow. No more than once a month, give your hair a lemon rinse. Fill a quart jar with cold water, and add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh is always better, but bottled works just fine) and pour it over wet hair prior to shampooing. Doing this too frequently may damage your hair, so monthly at most.

My Hair Just Does That
– One of the problems with longer hair (maybe shorter, but I wouldn’t know), is that when you wear it down it tends to get all over the place, and not look terribly nice at all. This is unfortunate, since having your hair down is one of the greater feelings in life. Salt-water sprays to the rescue. You can buy these, or you can just make salt water at about 1 ½ tsp. sea salt to 1 C. water. Leave in conditioners (also home-makeable) will work as well, but the salt water adds an interesting texture, even regular water will work, but the results won’t last as long. Use the liquid of your choice to mist hair lightly (very lightly) and then spray your fingers more liberally. Run your fingers through your hair to separate and lift individual locks. If you want to add a little curl, twist each portion of hair around a damp finger and hold for a few seconds.

Messy Buns? – For those of us with plenty of length and very little volume, the effortless old ‘messy bun’ is virtually impossible. But sock buns are not. If you have always like that weird, soft round thing at the store that promises frabjous buns, but are far too cheap to buy it, just find a sock (or a pair of socks) that are not important. Thick fuzzys and wool are not good for this sort of thing. Generally, a thinner sock is a better. Cut off toes and roll the sock into a doughnut like object. Bend your head over and secure the hair fairly tightly with an elastic. Then place the sock around the ends, far enough down that all the hair is inside, wrap the ends of the ponytail around it, and start rolling it towards your head. You may have to push the hair around a little to get it go all around the sock. Once it reaches your head, stand up and use an elastic or bobby pins to secure it. Leave it in its glorious perfection, or muss it up and pull bits of hair out to achieve a messier, more careless look. This doesn’t take long, but it does take time. The true effortlessness of the messy bun is, sadly, never to be yours. However, if all you really want to do is get your hair out of your way, pull it back into a ponytail, but the last time you wrap the elastic around, only pull through half of your hair. This will make it tighter, and also shorten the hair enough that it will be much less likely to slip over your shoulder.

No, This Was Not Coughed Up by a Cat
– For the frizzy of hair: Whenever executing those weird hairdos you found on Pinterest, brush out tangles as often as you can spare a hand, and twist strands of hair whenever possible, as this helps contain the strays.
Dryer sheets, used to help clothes from getting all charged up with static electricity, will also help to tame your rebellious crown. Foil, which can be crumpled into balls and used in the dryer in place of dryer sheets, can also replace the aforementioned items in the calming of hair.
But as much as you have come to hate static electricity, never forget that you can hold balloons with your hair. It’s almost worth it.

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Bookshelf Tour Tag: this may take a while

I have been tagged. Of all the odd little things. By Awdur at The Pen of Awdur. This is a bookshelf tour tag. And I have accumulated quite a few books, so strap in.

The rules are:
  • Once you are tagged, copy and paste the image above into your new post.
  • Show readers your book shelf and explain what books are on there.  Pictures are always fun!
  • Tag as many other people as you want and copy-paste these instructions onto your post so they know exactly what to do.
  • Make sure to leave a link to your post on the site you were tagged.

To begin. 
These are my currently full bookshelves, the empty one you see on the right is my newest acquisition, and is yet to be filled.
I cataloged my books, and not including stuff that I skipped over, or that was in other places, or had been loaned out or was on its way from Amazon, it was a little more than five pages in list form. So I shall not give you a full account here. Should you like to see a roughly complete list, click HERE.

As you can see, there are some sentimental items in the shelves as well as books. Photographs on top, and stuffed animals and, curiously, two large rocks on the bottom. 
The books are organized alphabetically by author last name, and here I shall point out a few of my dearest friends. Accompanied by some terrible photos. 

To start, I have some delightful things by Louisa May Alcott. 
Including by not limited to, Little Women, Little Men, Eight Cousins, and Rose in Bloom. My own particular favorites. Next up are the Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander. Then Hans Christian Anderson's Complete Fairytales. 
After that are Jane Austen's four best works, in one volume:  Sense and Sensibility,  Pride and Prejudice, Emma,  Persuasion. Then Northanger Abbey by the same. 
At the end of the line, as you can see, is a very nice edition of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. 

Next is a bunch of Agatha Christie, and then The Darkness and the Dawn by Thomas Costain. I quite love that book. Followed by Dante's Divine Comedy (currently reading the last book in the trilogy). 

The highlight of the next shelf is my hardcover edition of CS Lewis's The Space Trilogy. And today I received word that Amazon had shipped my Chronicles of Narnia box set, so that shall be slipping in there soon. Also Till We Have Faces which is AMAZING. 

On the bottom shelf of my first bookshelf, I have The Lost Princess and At the Back of the North Wind by MacDonald. Also the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury
Skip a few books, Eloise Jarvis McGraw's superb Mara: Daughter of the Nile, one of my favorite books. And Moorchild, also by McGraw. And then of course the Anne of Green Gables series, and the Emily of New Moon series, by LM Montgomery. 
I'm going to skip a BUNCH of books, and move straight to Tolkien. First of all, by Rosemary Sutcliff: The Sword and the Circle, The Road to Camlann, Outcast, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Shining Company

And now, for the Tolkien section. Some of these are basically by Christopher Tolkien, but he still attributes them to his father. The Book of Lost Tales 1, The Book of Lost Tales 2, The Lays of Beleriand, The Shaping of Middle-Earth, The Lost Road and Other Writings, The Treason of Isengard, Unfinished Tales, The Children of Hurin.
And then the Lord of the Rings proper. The Lord of the Rings, ugly version for writing in and carrying about the place. There is also a copy of Silmarillion out of shelf because I am currently reading it. The Return of the King, also ugly, used chiefly for mucking about in the appendices. The Return of the King, hardcover, illustrated by Alan Lee, very nice. The Hobbit, hardcover, illustrated by Alan Lee, technically belongs to my family as a whole. The Hobbit, collectors edition including slipcase. Illustrated by JRR Tolkien. Very definitely belongs to me and only me. And, what is probably my most prized possession in life, the 50th Anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings. Black leather bound, slipcase. Very soft. Gold edged pages. Built in ribbon bookmark. Fold out maps front and back cover. 

And I now tag
Grace at This Graceless Heart
Victoria Grace Howell at Stori Tori's Blog
Sky at Further Up and Further In

And a list of others of which I'M especially fond. (very very not complete.)
Charity in Truth: Pope Benedict XVI
The Secret Garden: Burnett
Orthodoxy: Chesterton
Manalive: Chesterton 
Easy to Kill: Agatha Christie 
Death Comes as the End: Christie 
The Floating Admiral: Christie; Chesterton; Sayers and more
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: Christie 
Murder In Three Acts: Christie 
The Mysterious Affair at Styles: Christie 
The ABC Murders: Christie 
Dumb Witness: Christie 
The Black Rose: Thomas Costain
A Tale of Two Cities: Dickens
The Brothers Karamazov: Fydor Dostoevsy
Snow Whit & Rose Red: Regina Doman
Black as Night: Doman
Waking Rose: Doman
The White Company, Sir Nigel: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
The Red Keep: Allen French
The Princess Bride: William Goldman
Complete Fairytales: Brothers Grimm
The Goose Girl: Shannon Hale
Princess Academy: Hale
The Unfinished Clue: Georgette Heyer
No Wind of Blame: Heyer
Envious Casca: Heyer
The Odyssey: Homer
The Iliad: Homer
The Jungle Book: Kipling
A Wrinkle in Time: Madeleine L’Engle
Fern-seed and Elephants: CS Lewis
Murder in the Vatican: Ann Lewis
The Lost Princess: MacDonald 
The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury: Betty MacDonald 
At the Back of the North Wind: MacDonald
Mara: Daughter of the Nile: Eloise Jarvis McGraw
The Moorchild: McGraw
Jane of Lantern Hill: LM Montgomery 
Shadow Hawk: Norton
The Scarlet Pimpernel: Orczy
Cry, The Beloved Country: Alan Paton
Freckles: Gene Stratton Porter 
A Girl of the Limberlost: Porter
Etiquette: Emily Post
The Story of Sir Launcelot and his Companions: Howard Pyle
The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur: Pyle
The Story of the Champions of the Round Table: Pyle
The Story of King Arthur and his Knights: Pyle
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood: Pyle
Otto of the Silver Hand: Pyle
The Ides of April: Mary Ray
Beyond the Desert Gate: Ray
Jane Austens Guide to Good Manners: Ross
The Complete Lord Peter Mysteries: Dorothy Sayers
The Complete Stories: Dorothy Sayers
The Good Master: Seredy
The Singing Tree: Seredy
The Intellectual Life: Sertillanges
The Complete Plays: William Shakespeare 
A bunch of individual books of things by: William Shakespeare 
Four Complete Novels: Robert Louis Stevenson
Andries: Stockum
Dracula: Bram Stoker
The Letzenstein Chronicles: Meriol Trevor
The Thief: Turner 
The Queen of Attolia: Tuner
The King of Attolia: Turner 
A Conspiracy of Kings: Turner
The Kristen Lavransdatter trilogy: Sigrid Undset
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: Jules Verne
Little House on the Prairie books: Wilder
A Bunch of stuff by: PG Wodehouse
A collection of: HG Wells
A bunch of Calvin and Hobbes: Waterson 

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BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, February. Valentines Day Edition

 Well, I haven't done this in...forever. I am quite terrible at keeping up with anything computer related. Including writing. Especially writing. 
Basically, I keep up with email, and that is it. Just think what would happen if I joined social medias. Nothing. Because I would never check them. 
And when I used to say that, people would reply "oh no, you will love it. Its actually addictive."
So I joined Pinterest. And I haven't been on Pinterest for at least three months. It is most certainly NOT worth being addictive. Its actually very mundane. 
Moving on.
I was terribly undecided as to whether I should do Ukani/Reni or Sefkh/Senet. If I hadn't just eaten a dinner, causing me to be full and sleepy,  I should probably do both. As it is, I shamelessly made 'eeny-meeny-miney-moe' do the work for me. The result: Sefkh and Senet. Which is unfortunate as I do not have a particularly strong grip on them yet. Reniseb and Ukani have years of notes and one and a half drafts under their belts, as well as modern alter egos for more difficult questions. Sefkh and Senet have vague, half awake, romantic musings. Here goes. 
  1. How did they first meet? Um.He creepily stared at her from a tree for several days, and then climbed through her window thinking she was gone, but in the end finding out that she was not. Senet, being the odd thing that she was, forgot to scream and offered him food instead, correctly assuming that this is the best way to secure a man's goodwill. (But really, if strange men come through your window, you should probably scream and run away.)
  2. What were their first impressions of each other? Sefkh's first impression was that he had spotted a goddess roaming around in a room of a house he was planning to burgle. I would say what his further impressions were as he learned more, but the question said first, so first it will stay. 
  3. How long have they been a couple? Define "couple"? This is very odd term. They have been in love since the moment they first sprung from my head. (Athena!). Their own story has its own progression and it takes them time to fall in love, and I guess at that point they become a couple? At this very moment, they are both dead, since they lived thousands of years ago. 
  4. How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other? Here is the thing about the "would they die for each other" questions. They are actually rather silly, as any decent human being would probably die for basically anyone, even a complete stranger. If you see a dog attacking a kid, it doesn't really matter that you could get hurt saving the child, you do it. Basic human instinct kind of. I would probably die for just about anyone I see walking on a street if it was necessary. For me, its either blindly trying to stop something bad from happening if I can (who doesn't want to do that?) or selfishness. Because I would rather die saving a life, than live knowing that I could have prevented a death. So yes, they would die for each other, and also that weird guy who lives next door who they have never met. They would never have gotten together if they disagreed on something so strongly that it could drive them apart. They might be driven apart a little by stress, but they would realize this and try to fix it. To answer this question further, I would have to spoil things.
  5. List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!) Oh I have no idea. Food quirks? Senet has a weird obsession with unripe fruit, but I don't think Sefkh ever learns of that. Sefkh is a thief and a fugitive, does that count as a quirk? Oh, I know. Sefkh's weird nervous tick. Its rather hard to describe, but I can assure you it is real because it is my own nervous tick. Circling his thumb and pointer finger around each other. This question is impossible. 
  6. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship? Oh yes! Her entire family. Mostly her father. I should love to share all the depressing details, but I wish to keep dear Sefkh and Senet wrapped in shadows. Which makes my decision to answer questions about them a bad one, but hey, it wasn't MY decision. Blame eeny-meeny-miney-moe. 
  7. What would be an ideal date? Finally being able to spend time together without worrying about someone finding them and attempting to murder Sefkh. That would be just lovely. 
  8. What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly? They are both rather dreamy, but Senet is dreamy to the point of sometimes getting lost in other worlds. Definitely they are both hopeless romantics (but not really hopelessly it would seem ). Lovers of stories, although neither can read or write. No one meshes perfectly. But they don't fight a lot. They kind of don't really FIGHT at all, because they never get a chance. 
  9. What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple? I cannot answer this without spoiling everything. I am sorry. 
  10. Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years? At what point in the story for them do I answer this? The beginning? The end? The middle????? At the beginning, they have never met. At the end, well I can't tell you about the end. I'm sure they would love to overcome all of the difficulties and raise a large family and grow old and die together. At a given point, that is what they see for themselves, so I will leave it at that. 

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