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Christmas mail

Wow, so much has changed since my last update. I've lost a lot, and gained a better understanding of some things (and more appreciation for what I do still have) and my life has definitely not gone the way I thought it would. Anyway, all of that is a story for another day. I really do need to lay out what's been happening, to explain my absence to those of you whom I've neglected while RL got tumultuous. <3

But for now: Christmas mail exchange!

Let me know if you would like a Christmas card from me, and if you would like to send me a Christmas card, please say so in a comment and I'll PM you my address. Several of you have sent me Christmas cards before, so if you still have my old Singapore address, it's the same as it was before. <3

Happy Holidays!

By the way: I've just (finally) seen the Netflix show Stranger Things! And it is absolutely amazing and I love it and cannot wait for the next season!

Crossposted from Dreamwidth: http://sivaroobini.dreamwidth.org/88555.html.

Narnia fic - Chess Piece.

While looking through my folders, I found this. I have a very vague memory of staying up late one night two years ago, half-asleep but wanting to write something about Susan, but I don't actually remember writing this. Still, a quick Google search didn't reveal this story as already existing, so I'm going to assume I did write it and forgot about it. XD It's about Susan's reactions to finding the chess piece by the well at the beginning of Prince Caspian.

Chess Piece (because I fail at titles)

Disclaimer: Narnia belongs to CS Lewis, and all dialogue between the Pevensies is lifted from Prince Caspian.

There's a minor bit of internalised sexism at one point, when Susan thinks that as a queen she was selfish for not giving birth to an heir. That does not reflect my views in any way.



AO3 link here.


Crossposted from Dreamwidth: http://sivaroobini.dreamwidth.org/88218.html.

The Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May

Truth! Justice! Freedom! Reasonably priced love! And a hardboiled egg.

This is the first Glorious Twenty-Fifth after Sir Terry Pratchett's passing, and I think it's a much more solemn occasion for Discworld fans around the globe than in former years. I mean, it's always been half-solemn for fans as far as I know, with the remembrance of those who died in the revolution (and it's Memorial Day this year), but it's also a happy celebration combined with Towel Day and Geek Pride Day and stuff. But this year, I think many of us are wearing the lilac in solidarity with one another in memory of Sir Terry Pratchett as well as our beloved book characters. At least, that's how I felt with some large Discworld groups on Facebook; we shared our loss and grief, and we all wore the lilac not only to mark the 25th as the anniversary of the revolution in the book, but as a mark of remembrance for Sir Terry.

I certainly felt a lot sadder. My copy of Good Omens is signed by Neil Gaiman, and one of my life goals was to get it signed by Sir Terry Pratchett as well. I remember staring at that signed page, realising that this would never happen, and shedding tears some time after I first heard the news. I want to read more about the Watch, and about Granny and Nanny, but there will be no more stories (unless Rhianna is taking over?). And then I went on Tumblr; damn those onion-cutting ninjas.

I couldn't find any lilac here in Perth, but the rosemary in our garden has little purple flowers, so my partner and I made do with those and wore sprigs of those to uni/work today. Rosemary for remembrance.

This was breakfast today.

How do they rise up, rise up, rise up?


Crossposted from Dreamwidth: http://sivaroobini.dreamwidth.org/87918.html.

Christmas mail

Quite a few of you are on my Christmas card list. I bought most of my gifts and cards fairly early while in Perth, and then I ended up packing in a hurry because uni was so stressful, and yesterday I thought I'd better write all my cards and pack the gifts and mail them out so they'd arrive in time.

I searched all my luggage frantically, but there was no sign of the cards, though I had made sure to pack the gifts. I'd left them in Perth. :|

I got Mark to search the black hole that is my desk until he found the cards, and he is mailing them to me, but they'll only arrive next Friday. I'll try to write them all and pack the gifts and send them off as soon as possible, but they might still arrive after Christmas for some of you. So this is just an announcement that my Christmas cards might be late this year. Sorry, guys! :(

Crossposted from Dreamwidth: http://sivaroobini.dreamwidth.org/87750.html.

Bad timing

So, I've been seeing a counsellor at UWA. UWA's Student Services offers free counselling, which is great, but since I go home for the holidays, I'm not going to have access to that when I'll likely need it most. But I had been doing great for the past few weeks and Sue, my counsellor, has been teaching me techniques to avoid or deal with panic attacks and anxiety, so we were pretty hopeful about my ability to cope over the next few months. Yesterday was my last session for the year.

  And earlier tonight I got an e-mail that nearly sent me into a stress- and anxiety-induced panic attack, which I've been doing my best to stave off. That's mostly related to uni and grades and assignments, so right now I'm trying not to think about it.

 Plus, several of my friends are dealing with depression or just generally very shitty situations, so I usually spend most of the day talking to them or just being a comforting, sympathetic listening ear. Though I'm planning to send eidolon_bird a small package in the mail soon that should hopefully brighten up her day, so keep an eye on your mailbox, Bird! <3

And then I was on Facebook, happily looking forward to responding to comments and then reading fanfic. I have quite a few of my teachers on FB, and one of my primary school teachers had posted an old photo she'd found of one of her classes on an outing. I didn't think it was my class at first, since at a first, casual glance I hadn't seen myself in it and didn't recognise anyone else, so I Liked it and moved on. Anyway, it just popped up on my Newsfeed again and I saw the names of several of my old classmates in the comments. It was my Primary Three class! 3AA, 2001. It had been taken on our outing to Jurong Bird Park, and everyone was excitedly tagging themselves and each other and catching up in the comments. (Also, the first comment, presumably after I'd Liked it, was addressed to me, from my teacher, asking if that had been my class.)

So I looked closely at the photo and did recognise many of my classmates, but there was still no sign of me, even though I remembered being present at the outing. It was a very casual, informal group photo, and there is the barest sign of a girl right at the back and in a corner, behind someone else, and I suspect that may have been me. (Assuming I wasn't crying in the toilets or just behind a tree somewhere at being either left out or bullied, that is. <__< )

I started to type a comment, "Haha, yes, Mrs Chua, I was in this class. :) Unfortunately I think that's me at the corner in the back, hidden behind someone else," and then I hesitated. Because many of the earlier comments were from my classmates, the same people who ostracised and bullied and mocked me and started making school hell for me when I was nine. There was always the chance that they had matured and wouldn't respond to my comment with derision, but back in 2009, one of my classmates from Primary Five (2003, different class, with different classmates) had posted a class photo and tagged all of us, and eventually I had joined in the comment thread, and then many of the guys started the old mocking and deriding. I'd completely forgotten about that, but this had reminded me. I was afraid to reply to my teacher (whom I was fond of) for fear of my old classmates' reaction and the real chance that most of them hadn't grown up.

I mean, it's not the gripping fear from back when I was actually being bullied or anything, just an awareness that, hey, there is a very strong chance that this will happen, and then it will make you feel shitty. Don't do it. Don't expose yourself to them.

And on top of the vague fear and sadness, there's also frustration at myself because I had thought that I'd gotten over all the bullying and was coping a lot better with not letting fear of people's reactions control me. Apparently not. Or maybe it's just a bad night. In any case, it's also logical self-preservation, I hope?

Anyway. Cider, Tim Tams, and fanfiction! I can deal with problems tomorrow.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth: http://sivaroobini.dreamwidth.org/87387.html.



One of my SCA friends added me on LJ, and from his LJ I've been adding a couple of other SCA friends as well.

I would like to state that I've had my LJ since I was 13 and there is a lot of stuff from my horrible teenage years - one day I will get around to changing that horrible username - so please don't laugh too much. :P 

Crossposted from Dreamwidth: http://sivaroobini.dreamwidth.org/87136.html.


To the Sea, to the Sea!

I hadn't actually been to the beach since arriving in Perth at the beginning of 2012, even though it's famed for its beaches. Dad, Mum and I did stop at one and we took photos and went to the ice-cream shops on the boardwalk, but we never actually went down to the sandy beach proper, so that doesn't count. So my housemates/good friends, Mark and Hilary, and I had decided that at some point this week we'd all go to the beach and have dinner and watch the sunset or something

On Saturday, we went to the seaside/hippie area of Fremantle (more friends were supposed to join us for lunch as a sort of farewell do for Hilary, who is going to London for two years in a few days, but they all said at the last minute - ie when we were already at Freo - that they couldn't make it, and they all came to our house in the evening instead, so it was just the three of us in the afternoon) and had some excellent food, and we were lying on the grass and basking in the warm sun and napping and then we remembered that the beach was only a short walk away, and decided to visit it briefly before going Geocaching.

It was beautiful. I regretted not visiting it earlier, and I also regretted not wearing beach-appropriate clothing instead of jeans and socks and shoes. XD I would have liked to dig my toes into the sand, it was very soft and fine and clean. The wind was also very strong, completely ruining my formerly tame hair, but it was so worth it.

Soon we began to walk towards the closest Geocaching site in search of the hidden 'treasure' there, but I was hesitant to leave the beach so soon and was lagging behind, staring at the sea. Hilary must have turned around to see why I was lagging and she went, "WAIT, STOP, KEEP LOOKING THERE, GIVE ME YOUR PHONE." And she took this lovely picture, which I'm absurdly fond of.

When I was standing there, the first two lines of the song Legolas sings in The Return of the King, upon first beholding the sea (or did he just hear seagulls?) came to mind.

To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying,
The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying.
West, west away, the round sun is falling.
Grey ship, grey ship, do you hear them calling,
The voices of my people that have gone before me?
I will leave, I will leave the woods that bore me;
For our days are ending and our years failing.
I will pass the wide waters lonely sailing.
Long are the waves on the Last Shore falling,
Sweet are the voices in the Lost Isle calling,
In Eressëa, in Elvenhome that no man can discover,
Where the leaves fall not: land of my people for ever

I was trying to find the rest of the song since I could only really remember the first two lines, and came across this absolutely lovely version. She's also done a lot of the other songs that Tolkien wrote; my favourite is the song of Durin.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth: http://sivaroobini.dreamwidth.org/86831.html.

Mary-Sue generator

I was playing around with this Mary-Sue generator and the results were hilarious. Basically, you input things like the names of your Mary-Sue, her love interest, another male, colours, numbers, various place names and races, weapons, female body parts, types of clothing etc, and then it generates this astounding piece of literature. XD


Sparklypoo sighed heavily as she threw her velvet cloak to the floor. Feisty anger flashed in her fuchsia eyes...Collapse )



Crossposted from Dreamwidth: http://sivaroobini.dreamwidth.org/86753.html.

New experiences

Today I broke up with my boyfriend.

I was fine for most of the day, only shedding a couple of tears once or twice, and then I got home and my housemates hugged me and brought out this huge stack of chocolate and then I started crying. Partly because I'd been doing my best to keep myself together all day while at uni and in front of other people and had to let go at some point, and partly because, relationship drama aside, I was extremely touched by their gestures.

I do think I learnt something, though. He was the first person I'd ever dated. Back before I came to Perth, whenever I tried to envison my ideal partner (assuming it wasn't one of my bad days where I felt ugly and horrible and didn't think anyone would ever want me), I felt it was important that they share at least some of my interests. Tolkien, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Gaiman, Pratchett, sci fi/fantasy in general, ancient and medieval history/archaeology, fanfic, roleplay, costuming etc. So few people in Singapore did. Obviously, I also figured that they'd have to actually like me, which I thought would be rare. And then I came to Perth and made many geeky friends and joined the SCA and realised that actually, there were a lot of nerds and geeks around me who shared my interests. And SCA was now one of them. And there was the uni sci fi/fantasy club and the Queer Department and the Perth Discworld fan club... being surrounded by geeks was awesome, and by that point I wasn't thinking too hard about romance or particularly looking, aside from vague halfhearted fantasies about Richard Armitage lookalikes. XD

Sometimes I wonder if the reason I said yes (albeit warily) when he first expressed interest was that I was surprised by someone showing genuine interest in me. And as time wore on, I was won over by the fact that he shared my interests and would tell me fun little things about medieval culture that I hadn't known, that made me see a Tolkien scene in a new light, and stuff like that. I did have genuine affection for him.

Anyway. The thing I learnt is that you can meet and date someone who's nearly perfect for you in a lot of ways, who has gorgeous eyes and shares your passions for a lot of things (Tolkien, HP, Discworld, ancient and medieval history and languages and archaeology, Egypt, SCA, swordfighting, steampunk LARP, costuming, random trivia) and introduces you to new things that you fall in love with (Stargate; I'd seen and loved the original movie, but he introduced me to the TV series, which I was aware of but had never watched until now) and shares your ideals and values (honour, chivalry, knowledge, feminism), who cares deeply for you with almost frightening intensity, who makes you feel ridiculously happy... and things can still not work out, even if you think that logically they ought to. At least we're still friends.

I had to end things, but I also kind of hate myself for it.

On a very vaguely related note, I'm getting professional help for stress and anxiety issues. \o/

Crossposted from Dreamwidth: http://sivaroobini.dreamwidth.org/86461.html.


Middle-Earth-related ramblings

Since sometime last year, I've been very into the Hobbit fandom. I mean, I've always loved Tolkien, and when I first read LotR in early 2005 (I read The Hobbit back in 2003) I read a lot of fanfics, but I hadn't read any Tolkien fics in years. I watched the Hobbit movies and loved them but didn't really get into the fandom. That changed last year when someone sent me a link to a Thorin/Bilbo fanfic and I fell in love with the pairing. Since then I've been avidly reading lots of fanfic on AO3 and the Kink Meme and following some fans on Tumblr and generally going crazy (and denying the deaths in the canon ending - LALALA EVERYONE LIVES HAPPILY EVER AFTER).

In general, I love it. The quality of fanfic in this fandom, or at least for this pairing, tends to be pretty high overall, and there have been some fabulous AUs and continuations out there. There are also masterpieces like the Coats & Customs series, which basically fixes everything that ever vaguely bugged me about Tolkien and epic fantasy in general - not enough female characters, no queer characters, no characters of colour, unsatisfactory resolution for the orcs, the Elves fading - and this series, and these two fics broke my damn heart. There are also a lot of fantastic and very creative AUs with impressive worldbuilding. Basically I could rec fics until the cows come home, or you could just check out my Bookmarks page if you're interested.

However, there are a couple of things I've noticed in fics that I just have to rant about. (These are mostly due to the fact that I am a history nerd and overthink details like trade and farming resources and the history of fashion in Middle-Earth and I feel the need to ramble about them, and not actually criticisms.)

Why hobbits do not eat chocolate and wear one-piece dresses...Collapse )

That said, despite my rants, I generally read and enjoy the fic anyway, and most Hobbit fanfic is fantastic. <3 And the fandom is lovely. I love how everyone is in collective denial of the ending and writes fics about the Durins surviving the Battle of Five Armies and persuading Bilbo to stay in Erebor, and after the last movie comes out this year and reduces me to a sobbing mess in the cinema, I will definitely be in need of fix-it fic. XD

Crossposted from Dreamwidth: http://sivaroobini.dreamwidth.org/86159.html.

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