pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I should get around to fixing my bike stand. I'm used to reaching back with one foot and flipping it back up before going around a corner, but today I got my shoelace caught on it attempting this move. Cleverly I got it unhooked while still riding in a straight line, but next time might not be so lucky.

Rugby starts tonight (sorry to add to the oversaturation) and I intended to ignore it as far as possible -- not a fan of rugby for many reasons including these -- but ended up watching live coverage of the opening ceremony and mostly enjoying it. I loved seeing all those beautifully carved waka paddling into the harbour in Auckland, and the singing and dancing and that projection on the stage adding to the spectacle. It's great that the whole world is watching this -- I quite like the celebration of various countries and people coming to visit New Zealand, and the display of flags hanging on the lamp-posts in town is fun. I just wish it could be a celebration of something other than sports.

Oh, and that haka group was amazing, with the women armed with patu and stamping and shouting! I wonder if the warrior women are there for modern sensibilities, equality and stuff, or if they're actually traditional and I've never seen them before because the idea horrified European colonial types and women doing anything but melodious singing and poi used to be suppressed.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
My sister lent me a stack of Georgette Heyer novels to read and I'm working through them with a surprising amount of enjoyment. Recently [livejournal.com profile] jekesta talked about how having low expectations of media portrayals of women makes watching films a bit more enjoyable, because of the chance of being pleasantly surprised. These books were published between 1926 and 1940 and are set a couple of hundred years earlier, so I wasn't expecting much... but some of the characters are actually somewhat cool. The heroines are always getting kidnapped and rescued again, and end up redeeming the man (who isn't always old enough to be her father) by warming his cynical heart and becoming the first person he's ever cared about apart from himself. But they do say what they think and take actions which are important to the plot from time to time... and I enjoy reading about them. I've almost given up on trying to find new books to read or giving a new author a go because there have been so many disappointments, so many stories I can't be bothered finishing because I don't care what happens to any of the stupid people in them. Genuinely likeable characters are a wonderful thing to have in a story and more authors should try them out.

My partner is currently reading a book a friend lent him and it was so exciting he had to tell me about it: "There's a canister of antimatter hidden under the Vatican and they have to find it before the battery goes flat and it explodes!" And he's only a third of the way into the book. What's the climax going to be? How is the author going to top that? I'm not going to find out because I'm not going to read it. Blowing up the Pope just isn't enough to hold my interest; I need something in a story that makes me want to find out what happens next and care about how the situation is solved. Good writing and good characters do that for me; an escalating series of meaningless explosions doesn't.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Switched on National Radio in the car just before and heard the tail end of a speech by Helen Clark - all I heard was that she is proud of not having sent New Zealanders to invade Iraq - and then a retaliatory speech by John Key in which he called her "hysterical". He wasn't saying he found her speech so amusing that it had him in hysterics, he was calling the Prime Minister herself hysterical. Interesting in that five minutes before that I'd been reading a story in which suffragists were being put down for showing an interest in politics by the use of the same word. Things haven't changed much in a hundred years.

Mr Key ended his next sentence with the word "period". I don't know whether he just has wombs on the brain and can't stop talking about them, or if his keenness to ingratiate himself with the USA causes him to adopt their punctuation terminology.

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