Portuguese Mountain of Pain e…

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I’m finally done with ‘A espada da gruta’ and the Lemony Snicket book set at the carnival and now it’s time to level up. And I don’t mean going somewhere and asking new people the same few questions I asked the last people I met and the ones before that and…

The Lemony Snicket book was tough.

It took a few weeks and a lot of dictionary work but I got through it, and now it’s time for three other books at the same time.

Ate mais e obrigado pelos peixes [So long and thanks for all the fish]

Matadouro Cinco [Slaughterhouse Five]

Another Lemony Snicket book, the one at the school

I started with ‘Ate mais’ but struggled a bit as the writing is a lot more complicated than I remember the English version being. I should’ve known. There’s so much slang and random weirdness and huge run-on sentences in the story that reading it in Portuguese is borderline impossible.

The only saving grace is the fact that English and Portuguese have a lot of crossover vocab – without those I’d be lost. If I were reading the Chinese translation of this book, I’d be deep in Children of Tama territory, much worse.

As I was plodding through ‘Ate mais’, the Vonnegut book arrived in the post, a book I also believed, based on my reading of it 10 years before, to be quite prosaic in terms of writing style.

Wrong. Continue reading

Lem Face [Poem]

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In their cores they plotted

better than Asaji

 

Premise 17:

Moon-invoking leads to executive producer

Factory made

Journey to the nice side of Tehran

Don’t meet Henry

 

Fonda identified children in Rome

Shook hands with mothergram

Forgot Manx

Didn’t waver.

 

Dogs in the dog café

Were not magnetic at all

 

Additional meaning can be found beneath the diplomat, well-oiled, certified, pirate mad

continue your illustrious career

 

drenched in school

pick-me-up

Continue reading

Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E06 – Seek, Locate, Destroy

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EXT: POWER PLANT SOMEWHERE IN SURREY

Blake wanders around dirt patches and random industrial edifices like a kid [me] waiting for his dad to stop fucking around with that fibreglass mould inside the hangar.

A robot on wheels appears and fails to spot Blake due to only using its face to do the checking.

Blake comes out of hiding and tells Vila to teleport down and open the gate.

 

INT: LIBERATOR TELEPORT ROOM

Vila contractually complains a bit, grabs his toolkit and stands on the pad.

‘Tell Blake to be careful,’ says Jenna.

‘What about me?’

‘And tell him Callie and I have come up with some targets for our next mission…’

‘Am I not important?’

‘And tell him we understand why he ignored us this time, and why he went down to the planet while we stayed here and why he insisted on meeting in the sauna last night and why he had to sit between Callie and I and why Avon was on his lap and…’

‘I was stretching, actually,’ corrects Avon. ‘Near his lap, not on.’

‘Can’t you tell him all this yourself, over the comm?’ asks Vila.

‘He won’t listen to me,’ answers Jenna with a frown.

Vila says ‘ah’ and looks at Avon, who nods and beams him down.

‘Do you think it worked?’

‘Your pursuit of more screen time? As long as they don’t introduce a sociopathic, power-hungry yet slinky female villain twenty minutes into this ep, sure. It worked tremendously.’

Jenna sighs. ‘I should’ve stayed on Earth and become a lobbyist.’ Continue reading

Whatever happened to Mirasta Yale?

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I was watching the TNG episode ‘First Contact’ for the seventeenth time yesterday and after replaying the final scene a few times, I felt curious enough to check on the progress of Malkorian Scientist Mirasta Yale in the Trek verse.

First port of call was Memory alpha, which is basically the Trek bible [far as I know].

Her name was listed in the episode profile, but it wasn’t hyperlinked to anything, and there were no references at the bottom to other work she was in.

Strange.

After looking around a bit, I found another Trek site which seemed to have a database of all the Trek novels and shows. Again, it had references to her, but it also didn’t mention what happened to her after the episode.

Then I checked the forums, where people just speculated as to what she ended up doing. No one knew for sure though. I think one guy said that there was a reference to a Malkorian Scientist in one of the novels and assumed that was her as she was the only Malkorian off her planet. Another said that she married the blue alien from Ten Forward as she looked impressed when she walked in and saw him…

It’s possible, but she also seemed impressed by Data. And it’s not clear if she really believed in marriage, or close family relationships, as she left her planet without hesitation. Now I think about it, how did the Chancellor explain her sudden disappearance? A job for Krola perhaps?

Back to post-episode stuff: what did happen to her?

Or:

What reasonably could’ve happened to her? Continue reading

Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E05 – The Web

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The whole crew takes a deep breath, even Zen, and…

 

INT: CARGO BAY/SHUTTLE BAY/ROOM USED IN ‘TIME SQUAD’

Callie fiddles around with a panel.

We zoom in and see that she’s placed a bomb in there.

Possible motivations?

Possession. Character depth. Sneak reading of season 2 scripts showing erosion of the Callie character.

Callie turns around and does a sneaky face.

Possession.

 

INT: LIBERATOR CORRIDOR

A cameraman [or woman] dollies up to Vila, who asks if his outfit looks futuristic.

No answer.

‘Callie, you okay?’

Callie gets a close up of her face and is told to act like she doesn’t know what a Vila is. She does it. Then knocks Vila out.

INT: BRIDGE

Jenna tells Blake to wake up and get to the Bridge. Or he’s already on the bridge, sleeping on the couch, I can’t remember, I only watched this once and didn’t have the willpower to go back and check.

‘What is it, Jenna?’

‘We’re getting a signal from a nearby star system.’

‘Aggressive or…’

‘It’s asking us to come.’

‘Any reason?’ Continue reading

Portuguese Brain Melt

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I don’t know why I’ve been sucked into another language when I already had plans to study Urdu, Farsi, Manx, Slovene, Croatian and Bajoran, but there’s something about Portuguese that I can’t let lie.

I can’t let it lie so much that I bought a Lemony Snicket book in Portuguese, plus an Angie Sage book, plus ‘So long and Thanks for all the fish’.

Already I can get through Portuguese text quicker than I can with a Cantonese book. I’m on page 79 of the Lemony Snicket book after 2-3 weeks of reading 1 hour a day.

Technically, that’s quite slow, very slow…but I’m a beginner. And I’m also the kind of reader who wants to understand every word so I’ll spend a lot of time with the dictionary.

Do other people do that?

I’m not sure.

Obviously I forget most of the words, and I can’t speak much at all, but I like the process of it.

Been watching a lot of polyglot vids on YouTube recently and have realised that about 62% of them are full of shit. Not completely full of shit, but they seriously exaggerate their levels. E.g. they will say they can understand a movie, or they will say they can understand almost every word except for a few, knowing that they will never be tested on this. Continue reading

Lost in Beijing

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Managed to clock up my fourth city in China last week. A family trip to Beijing, land of alleged blanket pollution.

It was grey for about two days, not sure if that was pollution I was sucking in or just general mist, could’ve been mist as April is a month of infamous changeable weather, but after that the sky turned blue and I could see that Beijing was surrounded by mountains.

The trip itself?

As with all my family trips, or trips with my in-laws, I was able to understand about 20% of what they were chatting about. Actually, I would say it was closer to 40% this time as I’ve been working on my listening skills and my vocab is broader…

Yet

Both my parents in law must have noticed this improvement and, in order to keep me in the pit of language-learning despair, made their vocab more obtuse and their pronunciation more slurred. I don’t know how he does it, but my father in law especially always manages to come up with a synonym for a word I know instead of using the actual word I know.

E.g. we went to the site that the foreigners burnt down over a hundred years ago [not my ancestors, they were all working in factories far as I know] and I asked my father in law what was in this place. Straight away he used the word ‘Wai zee’, which to me meant ‘place’ or ‘location’…therefore I thought he was pointing at the map saying, ‘here is a location and here is a location over here…that’s also a location.’ Very vague stuff, so I kept on asking him, ‘what is at that location? Anything?’ and he would again answer with ‘wai zee.’ Continue reading