May. 7th, 2005

ealgylden: (Sepia Joan (megl42))
Not even a slightly productive day, but a good one nonetheless. I lolled around all morning watching Miracles, then went out to poke around in the garden and enjoy the weather. It's been such a chilly, wet spring so far that everything's a few weeks behind, but the rhubarb is finally coming up, and of course there's mint all over everything. Long, long ago, we planted some spearmint, and then less long ago some apple mint, in what we thought were manageable amounts, and every year since then we've gotten mint swarming all over everything like kudzu. Mint's one of those plants you need a whip and a chair to control. Good thing it's so useful. So hopefully the weather will hold long enough to get in there and till. Darn garden won't get planted until July, at this rate.

That was my non-productive morning. My non-productive afternoon involved more lolling, this time to read Sappho. I'm looking for text for a Xena icon, and somehow Sappho seemed appropriate. Heh. It's been ages since I've read her, and this translation, Anne Carson's If Not, Winter, is new to me, so it was an afternoon well-lolled. I don't read a word of Greek (it's a good day when I can recognize half the alphabet), so there's none of that occasional "that's not how I'd translate it" twitching that I sometimes hit with, say, Latin or OE (not to say I'd be right, of course, but try telling my brain that). And Carson's translation is really beautiful. I don't know how much is the translation and how much is the original, but some of the fragments sound to me like medieval Chinese poetry. Bits like, "Eros shook my/ mind like a mountain wind falling on oak trees." Lovely. Anyway, I found a few phrases that might work, but the problem then becomes, as pretty as they are in English, they look prettier in Greek. sigh. And to be honest, I'm not even sure if the icon needs text at all. It has possibilities, but it's so pretty as-is. Wanna see? The base is from [ profile] nixxie_:

Ecstatic Xena

Without going back to check ('cause I'm lazy and it's late), it looks like a shot from "Fallen Angel," an episode about which I've always been conflicted. I don't much like the Eli/monotheism arc, though I like Eli himself. I found the whole angels/ demons/ Heaven/ Hell/ Michael/ Lucifer/ Apostle Eve/ pure-and-redeemed Callisto mess irritating more often than I found it satisfying (especially P-and-R Callisto, but that's a rant for another night). Still, corny flying effects aside, "Fallen Angel" looks gorgeous, and it has some very good elements. The concepts bug me, yeah, but a lot of stuff, like the Xena/Gabrielle scenes (particularly their shell-shocked reactions at the end), Joxer wanting to take them home to bury with Xena's family, Eli in torment, and especially the costumes, worked really well for me. I love the costumes. All those beautiful Greek Orthodox angels? Oooh. Right out of a mosaic.

Anyway, yeah, the icon text issue is a puzzler. Darn icons. How you torment me, and I can't even create you! *shakes fist at sky*

And it doesn't really fit this base, but as far as icon text goes, I may have squeaked aloud when I saw that Carson had translated Fragment 190 as "manyskilled" (yay, a kenning! Heh). How perfect! "I have many skills," is probably my favorite recurring line on the show. A more appropriate base and that fragment, translated or not, would be a very keen icon indeed. Er, that's not a hint, honest. Just sharing my enthusiasm. *g*

Speaking of enthusiasm, the first, superior season of Joan of Arcadia comes out on DVD this Tuesday. Yay! But alas, my "yay!" must be tempered- on a micro-level because I have to wait until June for my copy (birthday present. Awesome birthday present, though, so yay!), and on a macro-level because, apparently, there have been some changes made for the release. Why am I not surprised? There are indeed music changes. Argh. This was my biggest fear for the set, honestly, because so often the music is integral to the episodes and to their meanings and subtexts. I'm dreading hearing what they've done. I'm really glad I haven't gotten rid of my taped copies, not-great quality though they might be. Also, apparently the theme and credits are only attached to the first episode of each disc, which is strange and annoying (and cheaper, I suppose, but still!). Widescreen, commentaries and deleted scenes are very snazzy, but the music thing... It's going to be a stressful few weeks until I hear the damage done, I think. Anyway, here's a positive review of the set with details on the extras.

On a totally different note... I forget what blog I nicked this from (alas), but I loved this cartoon take on the whole ridiculous evolution vs. creationism rigmarole: "Science vs. Norse Mythology." I mean really, why should Christian fundies have all the fun? I particularly like this bit of the artist's statement: "I would like to issue an official apology to any believers in the Norse faith. I certainly have no wish to get on the wrong side of any Vikings, who historically have not expressed their grievances through letters-to-the-editor. As my friend John Patton pointed out to me, it's a little foolhardy of me to insult the religion of a seafaring warrior people when I live right on the water." Hee! Oh, and that reminds me- at long last, the D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths is coming back into print this summer. Finally! Huzzah! It's been unavailable for ages, and for a while there, used copies were running into the $100-200 range. I've only read it once, long ago, before our local library's copy Vanished Mysteriously (dum dum dum), but I vaguely remember loving the illustrations so much that the "and then there was Ragnarok and everybody died and then somehow the Norse people reappeared only now they were Christians and they were really much happier that way" ending didn't bother me (much). But Little Sister and I were raised on a much-beloved copy of the Book of Greek Myths, and in many, many cases my mental images of the various gods and heroes are still the D'Aulaires' version. Man, we loved that book. Wasn't as good as Dad's bedtime stories about the Blue Boat People, a mishmash of the adventures of Odysseus, Theseus, Jason and company, and whatever other hero-types felt like coming along, but it was close.

Let's see, did I have any other links lying in wait around here? Um... you've seen the Legend of Zorro trailer, right? I'm really looking forward to this (still, yet, even with all the delays). And naturally it opens the week before Serenity. I need to move back someplace where the nearest theater isn't an hour away. But not tonight. Heh.


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