dbskyler: (Bill smile)
I'm still working on my French, and while it's definitely improved, I still have a very long ways to go. As a lark, I thought I would try to translate one of my old drabbles into French. "How hard could it be?" I thought. But wow, it was so hard! I wore out Google Translate checking translations and back-translations, and I think the result might possibly make sense, but I'm not sure. Anyway, if any of you speak French and want to check it out, it's here:


I have also been seeking out French videos to watch / listen to, and I came across this slightly terrifying one:


I kind of wish I had a video of my face as I slowly managed the translation and figured out what it's about.
dbskyler: (DT and Lis)
It all started when a friend of mine happened to mention the language-learning site Duolingo (www.duolingo.com). I was immediately drawn to how addictive it was, how fun it was, and how free it was. Ironically, I first wanted to improve my Spanish, as that is the foreign language I had been using (trying to use) the most. But I also took French in high school, and soon I couldn't resist using Duolingo to find out how much French I remembered. I quickly discovered that I had lost a lot of it -- in fact, Duolingo's test took me right back to the beginning, "Basics 1" -- but I also discovered that it started to come back to me, and the more I progressed through Duolingo's lessons, the more lessons I was able to test out of. I am now two lessons away from completing all of Duolingo's French lessons, and I am at least as good at French as when I took it in high school, and possibly even better.

Besides Duolingo, I have been able to practice my French with lots of other free resources on the internet. In fact, it's amazing how many resources are out there if you go and look. Here are my favorites so far:

-- Watching episodes of a French anime series, "Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir" (The Adventures of Ladybug and Black Cat). I have [personal profile] primsong to thank for this; she recommended this show and it is both charming and addictive to watch. I watch in French with English subtitles, although I sometimes watch without the subtitles just to gauge how good I am at picking up the French without the translation. (Not too good yet, but improving.) The episodes can be found on youtube.

-- A site that has you watch French music videos and fill in pieces of the lyrics. Sometimes there are technological hiccups (asking for the word before the video played the word; not allowing you to type in apostrophes while requiring apostrophes for the correct answer), but it's so much fun, I have to list it here. Also, the site has introduced me to the French musical group "Carrousel," and I now love their music, especially the song "Le Manque De Place." Here's the site: http://www.bonjourdefrance.com/karaoke-fle/index.php/fr

-- Reading fanfic in French on AO3. So far, I have read several French Doctor Who fanfics and a few Marvelous Ladybug fanfics (i.e., Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir). I have also managed to comment on the fics in French, although you'll have to ask the authors how comprehensible I was. Anyway, it's another great way to strengthen my reading comprehension with material that I'm actually interested in reading.

John Hurt

Jan. 27th, 2017 08:17 pm
dbskyler: (tardis)
Just heard that John Hurt has passed away. I hadn't realized how important his portrayal of the Doctor was to me until just now. He was absolutely brilliant in that role.


Jul. 10th, 2016 09:38 pm
dbskyler: (Four and Sarah)
Pokemongo is huge here. Everyone seems to be playing it. Went for a walk, and the world was full of people staring down at their phones.

Meanwhile, I can't get the game yet because the server keeps crashing.

I am bereft of pokemon.

I am okay with that.

For now.

(Where is the game that lets me collect Doctor Who characters? I would go crazy for that one.)
dbskyler: (Four and Sarah)
Since I have a lot of British flisters, I just wanted to check in and see how everyone is feeling about the Brexit vote. Are you happy? Sad? Scared? Excited?
dbskyler: (tardis)
Don't worry, I'm not suicidal. But, I did just come back from a memorial for a friend who committed suicide. And so I've been thinking about him, and about the mental state that leads to committing suicide, and I feel I have to write about it.

My friend planned his suicide. He left messages -- lots of different messages, for lots of different people -- and one of the things he said in his messages was that he knew his suicide would cause pain, and that the people he loved, and the people whom he knew loved him, had kept him alive, and that if it weren't for that connection, he would have committed suicide long ago. But now it was too much, now he wanted to end his suffering, and while he knew help was available, he was deliberately choosing not to seek it out.

I didn't know this friend very well. In truth, I am probably stretching things by using the word "friend"; he was more of an acquaintance, and a mutual friend of other friends, and I had had no idea that he even struggled with depression, let alone to this extent. That was one of the things he said in his suicide notes, too -- that he had become good at mimicking happiness because he didn't want to inject his unhappiness into interactions with others.

And I think about the times when I've been depressed in my life, and I realize I've done the same. There have been times when I was severely, deeply depressed, and no one knew. When you're in that state, reaching out is the very last thing you want to do, and even if you know intellectually that it might help you, your emotions tell you that it won't -- that it will only cause unhappiness to others, and stress to yourself at a time when you absolutely cannot bear one more iota of emotional pain -- and so you curl in, and instead you just endure. If you're lucky, then, like in my case, the depression eventually lifts, and you come out again. And you don't talk about it, at least not in any real, deep sense. You don't talk about it because it's uncomfortable to talk about, and worrying to friends and family, and even stigmatizing. But mostly you don't talk about it because there isn't really anything to talk about. There's no story to tell. There's just a feeling, something that encompassed you for a time and then went away -- or, as in the case of my friend, didn't go away, until he couldn't bear it any longer and made it go away using the only method he believed would work.

And so, in memory of my friend, I just want to say -- reach out. If you're depressed, and have nothing to say, then just say that you're feeling depressed, and have nothing else to say. If you're not depressed, reach out to the people around you. Check in with them, and find out how things are going -- try to find out how things are really going, moving beyond the shallow shorthand of "everything's fine." Try to reach beyond the mimicry.

Try to create a world where help is not only available to those who seek it, but already there to those who lack the capacity to seek it. Reach out, one person at a time.
dbskyler: (Four and Sarah Pyramids of Mars)
I'm going out of town for the weekend, and I may not have internet access, so before I leave, I'd like to wish everyone on my flist a very happy new year!

I'll post my Yuletide story to my journal when I get back, although if anyone wants to know which one it was before that, they can of course just go to my AO3 page after the 1st. If anyone wants to guess, I only wrote one story, and it was once again in a fandom that will surprise precisely no one.
dbskyler: (Sarah from Hand of Fear)
Hello flist! Question for you -- what are your thoughts on the upcoming Scottish referendum on independence? Just curious.

I'm especially interested in hearing from those of you in the UK, but others are welcome to chime in if you like.
dbskyler: (up to eleven)
I just found out today that Karen Gillan is in Guardians of the Galaxy. I am SO out of the pop culture loop! I'm sure everyone else has known about this for months. Anyway, I'm glad I found out now, because I've been meaning to go see that movie, and if I'd just been sitting innocently in the movie theater and been unexpectedly confronted with Karen Gillan, I would have probably made all sorts of inappropriate noises.

In other news, I have re-read one of my old WIPS, and I've actually gotten myself excited about the story again. This is big news. You see, for ages I had tried forcing myself to work on it, and I never seemed to get anywhere. So I gave up and put it aside. But now, as I was re-reading the fic, instead of experiencing "oh god, this thing again," I wanted to keep reading. And when I got to where I had left off, I wanted to read more! Except of course there is no more. So I am now attempting to channel those feelings of wanting to read more into wanting to write more. And, I think I might be succeeding. I even have new ideas for how to end it, which is good because I wasn't ever that enthusiastic about my original idea for the ending (which might just have had something to do with why I never did manage to finish it). Anyway, I'm feeling the motivation again, although before I really start writing I'm going to have to do some episode re-watching -- specifically "Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane" and "Turn Left."

In other news, my kitchen has been overrun with fruit flies. It is so bad, I can't even cook in there right now -- flies land in whatever I have cooking on the stove. Yuck. I have cleaned everything I can, and taken out all the food-related trash, and poured clorox down the drain as I suspect they are breeding in the drain. And I have a fruit fly trap, which has successfully caught quite a few of them, although there are still tons more. Not sure what else I can do except wait for the current batch to die out and keep everything food-related out of their reach so they have nothing to eat or breed on. Which is kind of hard to do in a kitchen. I think I might be eating out for the next few days.
dbskyler: (Sarah from Hand of Fear)
I've been reading the #yesallwomen Twitter hashtag and it's been simultaneously empowering and depressing.

One of the depressing things is that I would like to join in, but I don't feel comfortable doing so. Well, I also don't have a Twitter account, but I've spent a day now thinking about posting something to Facebook, and I just can't bring myself to do it. I don't want to face the responses I am likely to get. Which, ironically, underscores just how important this hashtag discussion is.

Anyway, if I were more courageous, here's what I would post there:

Because I have been sexually groped, without my consent, in public, by men who thought it was a funny joke. Multiple times. #yesallwomen

What responses do I not want to read? "Maybe they did mean it as a joke. Don't take it so seriously." "What do you mean by 'sexually groped'? Are you sure your boundaries aren't unreasonable?" "If it happened to you multiple times, you must've done something to provoke it."

And the really sad thing is, I am certain that almost every woman reading this has had the same thing happen to her, at one point or other in her life. Which is what men just don't understand. THIS IS NOT AN ABERRATION. THIS KIND OF THING HAPPENS TO ALL WOMEN. ALL THE TIME.
dbskyler: (no on prop 8)
June 28, 2013, from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals:

The stay in the above matter is dissolved effective immediately.

Same-sex marriage is once again officially legal in California!

(Although the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the appeal to uphold Prop 8, no same-sex marriages could take place in California until the official stay was lifted. Originally, experts were saying it would take weeks for that to happen. Instead, it took two days.)

I am so, so very happy to retire this icon!!!!!
dbskyler: (no on prop 8)
So today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Prop 8, the law that bans same-sex marriage in California. We won't hear the Court's decision for awhile -- somewhere or other I heard "June" mentioned -- but hopefully we are near the moment when Prop 8 will get overturned. And tomorrow, the Supreme Court hears arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which currently enshrines federal discrimination against gays and lesbians who are legally married in their states. Hopefully that will get tossed, too.

In the meantime, a lot of people are hanging out on the Supreme Court steps with posters. Of all the pictures I've seen, this is my favorite:

 photo enhanced-buzz-30033-1364326260-32_zpsdf74779b.jpg
dbskyler: (eleven smile)
I'm about to head out of town for New Year's, so I will probably be AFK for a few days.

I hope you all have a marvelous weekend, and Happy New Year!
dbskyler: (eleven smile)
In honor of the fact that today it is BOTH Christmas and Hanukkah (which, FYI, is very unusual), I bring you a video of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert singing about their respective winter holidays:

Happy holidays, everyone!
dbskyler: (DT and LS)
Just a couple of random things:

-- I now have 71 "plays" for my fanvid on Youtube! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeS1Cqj6ucI) And believe it or not, not all those plays were me. :D Youtube also provides interesting statistics. Apparently my fanvid is most popular among males aged 13-17. (I'm guessing that's just among people who are logged in, though.) It's also most popular in the US, the UK, and Portugal. Hello there, you Portuguese Doctor/Sarah fan, whoever you are! *waves*

-- Calufrax is looking for more reccers, and I encourage everyone to sign up! It's nice to spread the fic-love around, and give some recognition to your favorite fics. All you have to do is join [community profile] calufrax (membership is open) and then sign up here.

-- David Tennant has a slightly disturbing story about someone who accosted him in a gym shower (!) in order to get an autograph. The way he tells the story is hysterical, though. Go here to see it (start at 10:55): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-rVzs-5Hos

-- The above clip also has a really funny "say the next line from 'Much Ado About Nothing'" competition between David and Catherine. That's right at the beginning, so just hit "play." (Guess who wins?)

-- On a more serious note, [personal profile] honorh has an amazing (and extremely well-written) in-person account of what it was like to go through the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. She was right in the thick of it -- the tsunami washed away her apartment minutes after she got out: http://blog.oregonlive.com/my-hillsboro/2011/04/personal_account_of_tsunami_and_aftermath_in_japan.html

I've already donated to Japan relief, but I'm going to see if I can donate again. I think it's going to be awhile before they recover from this.

-- Speaking of donating, the Just Giving site collecting donations for Cancer Research UK in memory of Elisabeth Sladen is now well over 5,000 pounds. I would like to donate, but it costs me money to donate in British pounds. Anyone know if I can donate in U.S. dollars? Or should I donate to the American Cancer Society in her name instead?
dbskyler: (Time Lord)
I am offering fanfic for the help_Japan auction at LiveJournal. My thread is HERE.

Now to see if anyone bids on me . . .
dbskyler: (tardis)
Hope everyone reading this is safe tonight, and if anyone has friends or family in Japan, hope they are safe as well.

There's a fandom auction for Japan relief just starting up at [community profile] help_japan. I'll be honest -- after getting burned in the [community profile] help_haiti auction, I am unlikely to bid on anything from anyone who is not on my flist. But I'd still like to help, so I am spreading the word. I am also considering putting out an offer for fanfic. If I do, I'll announce it here on my LJ and provide a link.

In other news, LJ is still messing around with my notifications. Tonight, Sunday night, I received notifications for comments that were left in reply to me last WEDNESDAY. On the other hand, I did NOT receive notification of a comment that was left in reply to me tonight. (Good thing I checked the comm!) Apparently the LJ notifications system has found a TARDIS and is currently in the past. I might actually forgive them if they give the TARDIS to me in apology.
dbskyler: (fezzes are cool)
I'm struggling with RL a little bit right now, so I am turning to more fun things to think about. And what could be more fun to think about than my upcoming trip to London to see David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing?

I'm thinking that I'll spend around two weeks in the UK total. Obviously a few days of that will be London. This may also be the trip where I finally make it to Penzance! And yes, I freely admit that 95% of my desire to go to Penzance is the G&S operetta, but I've heard that Cornwall is nice to visit, too. Besides, on my last trip I took a photo of the "Ealing" sign when we passed through the station on the train, and the person I was traveling with asked me what I was photographing, and I had to lie and say I saw something out the window. But of course, it was really about documenting that I had been through Ealing, setting of Sarah Jane Adventures! Maybe I should try for South Croydon this time? ; )

So, flist! I'm in the market for suggestions. Where else should I go? What should I do? What should I not miss? I will be there in early July, in case that makes a difference for your suggestions.
dbskyler: (Golden Gate)
I'm wearing purple today to support LGBTQ youth and adults, and to end anti-LGBTQ bullying.

Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better."

We need to stop putting up with it. We need to end hatred and intolerance of people based on their sexual orientation. We need to end the institutionalized discrimination against homosexuality in our laws and our society. Do what you can. Every little bit helps.

Dan Savage wanted a place where people could tell bullied LGBTQ teens that life will get better for them. There are now hundreds of videos at http://www.itgetsbetterproject.com where people have told their stories and given their personal messages of hope.

Here's my favorite. It's from Chris Crocker, a gay video blogger who became a target of ridicule after he posted a video asking people to leave Britney Spears alone. The amount of hatred directed at him is sickening -- a taste is in the video -- but Chris has used it to deliver a powerful message: there's nothing wrong with him; the disturbed people are the ones who hate.

dbskyler: (Four and Sarah looking)
I don't usually get political on LJ, but I just happened across the most incredible comment to a news article about the new Arizona immigration law and I need to publicly poke at it.

poking ahead )


dbskyler: (Default)

October 2017



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