Cat-sitting for Meng at her place
Went on Lesbians Afoot group walk and had a nice pub lunch
Ordered itsu (Japanese takeaway) for dinner
Marathoning downloaded Xena on my laptop and being SUPER emotional about everything
Episodes I have cried whilst watching (so far):
-The Greater Good (when Xena "dies" and Gabrielle holds it together in front of everyone else and quietly kisses Xena goodbye but then in a later scene lets out her pain and rage against a tree)
- Callisto (when Xena and Callisto are racing on horseback at Wainamu lake and roll down the sanddunes and I remembered being there with Julia)
-Is There a Doctor in the House (when Gabrielle "dies" and Xena absolutely refuses to accept it and keeps fighting to resuscitate her and everyone else is like "she's dead, let it go bruh" but Xena keeps trying anyway because she will never give up on Gabrielle)
-Orphan of War (when Solan breaks his arm and Xena splints it for him and then holds him like she never got to do when he was a baby AND the final scene where Xena has to say goodbye to Solan a second time and she can't tell him the truth and the look on her face as she's walking away is PURE HEARTBREAK)
UGH I love this show so much. Why does it have to be all over? I want it to be 1999 again. I think I'm being extra emotional because of Leonard Nimoy dying yesterday. The first thing I thought about after I processed the initial shock is "what will I do when it's a Xena actor who dies?" and I can't even bear to think about it. CANNOT.
Also I'm PMSing so that could be why I'm so freaking emotional. But I think it's also that I've finally come down from the Xena convention high and now there's this intense loneliness and barrenness. Last week I was surrounded by people who just got this part of me. This crazy, obsessed, fangirly part of me that most people write off as a strange quirk or teenage obsession. But it's more than that and always have been more than that. The Xena fandom helped me grow up: to me, it's family, friendship, lovers, childhood hopes and futures dreams all rolled into one. And at Xena Con, I met people for whom it was the same. That kind of belonging is so rare for me and I don't know if I'll ever find it again.
It's really happening, guys. I'm going to my first and last ever Xena con. Last because, well, it's the last official one they're ever doing. It'll be the 20th anniversary. Holy shit man, I can't believe it's been that long.
I managed to get the special group rate at $145 per night which is still pretty expensive but do-able. I guess I'd better start looking for cheap flights from the UK next.
Does anyone on my flist wanna meet up with me there? I know it's a long shot but it would be really fun. I'm also gonna go to Xena Prom which is the annual after party that my friend Penny organises. So whaddya say? My room is twin share so you could even split the accommodation costs...
I'm really excited about this. Like, in a very nervous kind of way. It's been a childhood dream forever to attend a Xena con, ya know? I'm a little worried that it's going to be the biggest let down and then childhood dream will be all blown up to smithereens. And part of me is also worried that it's going to be the awesomest thing ever and that'll be sad too since this is the last one and there can be no repeats. But the worst thing would be if it were to be just okay in this middling way in which everything is okay at the moment; I don't think I could stand that. Man, I need to stop being so neurotic about this. It's still month away.
XENA CON, GUYS. IT'S HAPPENING.
Wow, this month has been intense.
The highlights of this month included:
- Going to NZ and meeting Lucy Lawless (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- VCAA exam marking
- Turning 27
I haven't yet really written much about NZ on here and I don't think I'll have time to go into heaps of detail. But here's an album of pictures for those interested. For those who want the short version: I decided to take a day off work and go to NZ for a long weekend to see Michael Hurst's Chicago. It is, perhaps, the only trip I've ever had in which everything has gone 100% right and there was absolutely zero disappointment or disaster in anything that happened. The longer version is as follows:
Our first destination after touching down in Auckland at approximately 5:30 am on Saturday morning was a long drive to Hobbiton. It was pretty awesome as a first stop because it's just like phraawwrr LOTR scenery! The food at the cafe was great too. My only gripe was that Hobbiton itself was a little too packed and touristy at times. It would have been amazing if there were fewer people and we could just take our time wander about, but there was always a rushed feel to it.
The Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland was our second stop. It wasn't as fangirl!excitement as Hobbiton but probably better value overall because the views were stunning and, by the time we went in the afternoon, there were very few other people there. So we got to walk the trails at our own pace and just enjoy the beautiful New Zealand landscape. I was lucky because Robin did all the driving so I didn't even have to worry too much about finding these places. I'd planned out our stops beforehand, printed out a bunch of maps, brought along my GPS which has maps of NZ as well as Australia, and left it to Robin to get us to our destination.
We stayed overnight at Rotorua, ate dinner at a gorgeous cafe/restaurant called Capers Epicurean where the waitresses had rainbow flags pinned on their apron things and were incredibly friendly. The next morning, we did the Rotorua Canopy Tour which, for me, topped both Hobbiton and Wai-o-Tapu. Zip lining across the top of hundred year old trees and all that. It was the most expensive out of the three activities though. I think what pushed it from a great experience to an amazing experience was the friendliness of the guides. At that point, Robin and I basically decided that Kiwis are just plain nicer than Australians.
After the Canopy Tour, we stopped by a Wendy's for a mandarin orange salad which I had fond memories of from the last time I was in NZ, but it wasn't quite the same. Then we drove back to Auckland, checked into our hotel, and got ready to see Chicago.
I can't even begin to describe how amazing Chicago was. First of all, the venue was incredible. It was quite a small stage with four sides to it. We were seated right in the middle of the front row on one side. So I basically got to see all the action (including Lucy Lawless action!) from about 1 metre away. There was one part of the show where Lucy (who was playing Velma) was swinging around a red whip and it almost hit me. Oh man, it would have been kind awesome if it HAD hit me. But anyway. During the interval I asked one of the seat-pointer-outers (ushers?) if I could take a picture of the stage, and she was like "sorry, nope". And I figured maybe she misunderstood me and though I wanted a pic of the actual performance when I just wanted a picture of the empty stage, so I asked another guy, and he was like "Sorry nope, no pictures at all. But if you want a picture with the performers, they'll head out to the bar after the show" and I was like O.O *HEAD EXPLODES KABOOM* Because up until that point, I hadn't even entertained the thought that there would be even a minuscule chance that I could meet Lucy. Robin had said a couple of times on the drive there that our quest was to get me to meet Lucy, but I was like NO. WE ARE NOT MEETING LUCY. DON'T EVEN TRY TO GET MY HOPES UP. So yeah. That's when everything changed.
After the show, I grabbed Robin and bolted for the bar and then asked the bar wench there really intensely EXCUSEME,
Actually, I typed up the conversation for Ruth when I messaged her all about this right after the event, so I'm just gonna paste that conversation here:
( Conversation with LL under the cut )
I'm sure there were other bits that I've forgotten because toomanyfeels, but that was the gist of it. Basically, my overall impression of the meeting confirmed my suspicions that Lucy is the nicest person ever who is just amazing and wonderful to her fans. I really appreciate that she took the time to actually have a conversation with me. It never felt for a moment, while I was talking to her, that she felt bothered or bored or wanting to go do something else.
I still sometimes feel all weird thinking "wow, I've actually met her". It was so indescribably strange to meet her and to watch her perform live, because it all seemed so familiar. Because I've watched so many hours of Xena. Seen so many images and screensavers and wallpapers and icons of Xena. Read and written fanfiction describing how she looks, detailing all her idiosyncratic mannerisms and body language. Since I was 8 or 9, the image of a blue-eyed, brass-clad warrior woman has been engraved in my mind. And that night, I met the woman who holds her likeness. It was utterly, utterly surreal. I walked out of that bar feeling like anything in the world was possible.
Monday was also pretty amazing for reasons I won't go into here, but we ended up spending the last few hours of the trip in Auckland Museum (coincidentally fitting since it was the 11th of November). And then it was an uneventful flight back home and back to work.
Last Friday I turned 27. This year, my birthday happened to fall on Ancient Civilisations Day which was awesome because I always love dressing up for that day. My co-worker, Andrew, stitched me up by unexpectedly asking the entire Year 7 cohort to sing me Happy Birthday. So I had about 150 Ancient Romans, Egyptians, Greeks, a couple of medieval footmen in the wrong era, and a lone conquistador all singing happy birthday to me. I don't think I'll ever get another birthday experience quite like that. To make it even better, my class performed brilliantly when we went out onto the oval to do the military drills and formations. The Principal, the Head of both Middle and Senior Schools, the head of Humanities and a whole bunch of other people were there to witness my class completely own all the others in terms of cohesion, discipline and celerity. Good job, kids.
Here's a picture:
I also had heaps of compliments for my costume, which I enjoyed. It was a pretty great day.
Yesterday I had an impromptu gathering of a couple of friends who came over to watch some Xena and play Hobbit Scrabble. But we ended up only peripherally watching Xena and instead played Munchkin (a new card game Rianna bought me) instead. Miriam baked me a cake which I am going to go eat more of now.
Oh, and I also watched Thor 2 yesterday after wandering around Chadstone with Rianna picking up free things (Nando's, Boost, Baskins and Robbins ice cream) because it was my birthday and people give you free things. I really loved Thor 2, and I can fully understand why all of Tumblr basically loves Loki.
So that's been November this year. Much more hectic than previous Novembers. I think I like it that way.
This is just a quick post to say that
I MET LUCY LAWLESS OH YEAHHH
( Pic here )
I will post all the details later once I get some sleep. I basically got back home at midnight last night, got to bed at 1am and got up 5 hours later for a rather hectic day at work.
It's been a day full of secret smiles though.
Once this current exam busy period is over (in late November), I am going to indulge myself in rewatching ALL the Xena episodes again. Who wants to join me?
Yesterday I watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with Rianna. There were parts that I loved and parts that I was a bit "meh" about. I have complicated feelings about it. But mostly, it made me very, very nostalgic about the Lord of the Rings movies. The night before, I finished reading the books for the first time. It's terrible that it's taken me this long to get through them (I started them in 2010 after reading The Silmarillion) but I got stuck for a good while on the first third of Book 1. I'm very glad I read them before watching The Hobbit because I think it made me appreciate the movie more. For example, the scene with Galadriel and Gandalf in Rivendell, and the light behind them was this soft pink golden dawn - I wondered how much that was because it looked pretty, or whether someone had actually wanted to portray Galadriel as being of the morning ("And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning"). Probably the latter, I guess. But I might not have noticed, if I hadn't just read The Return of the King with its night-imagery descriptions of Arwen.
Anyway, here's a cute thing that happened: there was an ad before the movie for New Zealand which had me all squeeing because it mentioned NZ as being the land of "warrior princesses" and I was like OMG XENA REFERENCE. Hah. Rianna rolled her eyes, of course.
Today I'm sitting around drinking tea and waiting for the Lord of the Rings: Online to finish downloading on Steam. Reading the books has made me all fangirly enough about LOTR that I will risk my soul on another MMO. I don't think there's any danger of becoming unhealthily addicted though - those days are behind me, and it's unlikely I'll get super into it without my guildies. Still, are there any out there on my Flist who is interested in playing with me? It's free-to-play so you wouldn't have to pay anything. I will probably be joining the server Elendilmir because it's apparently the unofficial Oceanic server.
I'm feeling nostalgic today for a whole host of reason. Facebook informs me (via the official Star Trek page's status updates) that Star Trek Voyager premiered today sixteen years ago. Sixteen years. Wow. I got into the fandom later than that, obviously, but it still boggles the mind how long ago it all began. And Xena. The final Xena con was today. I'm sad to have missed it. According to xena_and_gabby's status update, Lucy and Renee kissed? People who were there, please oblige me with pics. Immediately. :-P
Work started again today. The beginning of the school year is an interesting time. I always dread going back, but there's a wild energy to it once I'm there. I feel pretty lucky to have a job that I care about, actually.
I've adjusted to the jetlag pretty well this time, coming back. The trick is to set your watch to destination time as soon as you get on the plane, and refuse to think in terms of where you just left. Eat your dinner like it's breakfast, and stay up all night watching movies. Then try to sleep in the middle of what used to be the afternoon, fail, watch more movies. Arrive back home in the morning, then stay up all day until the sun goes down before you finally let yourself rest. It works.
Now I have an hour to spend on whatever I like before I need to sleep. Time feels like such a luxury right now.
I was less pleased to learn just how much the Study Design is changing next year though. The whole Year 12 course and much of the Year 11 course will need to be rejigged. New assessment tasks, new schedules, new work sheets, new lesson plans. *sigh* So much more work. Do. Not. Want. >.<
At least the content changes are good. I was excited to hear that they (VCAA) want us to teach more theories and big picture stuff, like linguistic relativism and linguistic determinism, and cultural context, and the link between language and identity, and endangered languages. I already do most of these things unofficially anyway, so it's nice to see it affirmed in the official documents.
One of the main reasons I like teaching English Language is because I get a chance to change kids' attitudes to language. I guess you could call me a language activist. I want students to see that language is identity, and that we perform our identity through language. That we express our culture through language. That language influences our thoughts. I want them to feel sad when a language dies. I want them to feel outraged when Indian kids get assaulted on public transport for speaking their mother tongue too loudly. I think the new Study Design not only gives teachers scope to explore all of that, but also encourages us to do so. The linguist in me rejoices; the overworked teacher in me groans and protests weakly at the hours and hours of work that will go into implementing the new Study Design.
In other exciting though completely unrelated news... The Hub Productions is doing a Xena event in Melbourne on the 12th of November! Confirmed guests so far include: Hudson Leick (and more to be announced). I'm going. I'm so going. Who wants to come?
Hah, Xena is back on Australian TV! Channel 7's digital channel 'MATE' is showing Seasion 1 episodes at 3am and 3pm EVERYDAY. Lol, there must be a Xena fan in charge over at Channel 7 somewhere. And apparently this is the first time that Xena has been repeated on free to air TV since Channel 10 finished playing the final season at 4am on Saturday mornings back in 2002. The mind, it boggles.
I'm going to have to catch one of those 3pm sessions on a Saturday to relive those good old "Superhero Saturdays". Who's with me??
Today I watched a random episode of Xena (Hooves and Harlots) with dangerosa and ceilyn_rm over Skype, and it was awesome. I will seriously never stop loving that show. Watching Xena is like... going to your favorite bar and ordering your favorite drink with your favorite people. It's familiar, comforting, makes you feel unexplicably happy, and gives you a bit of a buzz. That is, if I drank. Which I don't. Xena is my alcohol.
On WoW, I've been playing my little Level 27 warlock with thrace_. I've decided that playing a spellcaster just isn't as satisfying as a melee class. Sometimes, all I wanna do is whack the mob, but I can't. There isn't even the satisfying FWOOSH of a mage's fireball. Dots just... aren't the same. I respecced to Destruction today and I think I'll feel better once I get some AOE happening. But still. After four years of playing a warrior, sometimes I just want to charge in and beat the crap out of whatever it is. And playing a warlock is hard. With a hunter it's just like /pewpewpew, afk. With a warrior it's /charge, /autostrike and/or /bladestorm, afk. With a lock? Oh man - should I immolate, or should I just skip to searing pain? Should I drain soul? Or should I drain life? OH GOD WHAT DO I DO? And by the time you figure it out, the damn mob is dead. That said, I'm looking forward to some more PvP action with thrace_. Our warlock/pally combo is going to be OP x 1000000.
Here's the link:
It's back to swords and sandals for Lucy Lawless
x-posted to xenites
Power Rangers opening theme, Xena-style:
GO GO POWER RANGERS.
There's also the Captain Planet/Xena opening theme: here.
But the BEST ONE OF ALL, which totally did my head in when I watched it because it was like "omgwtf universes COLLIDING" was: Xena opening credits - BUFFY STYLE!
1) Comment to this and I will give you 3 people.
2) Post this meme with your answers.
3) Provide pictures and the names of 3 people.
4) Label which you would marry, shag, and throw off a cliff.
quew gave me these three names:
Alice from Resident Evil
(I love how they're all fictional, lol)
( Okay, let's see... )
In other news, uni starts again tomorrow. The Easter holidays are never long enough. *sigh* I'm kind of looking forward to not having enough time for prolonged emoness. I'm not looking forward to having to get up before noon again, being constantly stressed and exhausted, and generally gaming/internet/chat deprived.
This week I caught up with some friends, old and new, which was really nice. I welcome to my LJ zatapoiki and shetan83. :)
I also started coding a Xena Text Adventure Game earlier in the week. I don't know when I'll finish it because the busy suddenly caught up with me and I don't know when it'll let go again. I suck at finishing things, too. Still... it's in the works.
Things I didn't have time to do this holidays:
- Get around to renewing my WoW account :( :( :(
- Watch any of the Star Trek I borrowed
- Reread TBSOL
- Talk to certain other friends
- Play my new games, Bully and Zoo Tycoon 2 (much)
Time. I don't haz it. *sigh*
Anyway, while answering some list mail today, I put together a little game...
( The Xena Drinking Game! )
( Then )
and 10 Winters Later...
( Now )
Also, it's Lucy Lawless' birthday today. She's turning FORTY. O.O It's pretty sad, but every year I remember her birthday like clockwork and I go "OMG, Lucy Lawless is turning _______ this year!" I'll probably still be making posts like this when she turns 70. Lol.
[Edit: Okay, so I'm the n00b... ya'll should be able to see the pic now. Sorry. :P]
[Edit 2: Pebblin made me laugh with this, regarding Lucy Lawless in pic #2:
Pebblin18 (4:59:09 PM): *snort*
Pebblin18 (4:59:19 PM): She looks like a parent in one of those youth sessions in this pic.
Pebblin18 (4:59:27 PM): And she doesn't like what she's hearing about her kid.
What should I do?