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November 29th, 2003


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04:24 am - Reading (as in stories, not as in Festival)
Am I a grotesquely unusual freak in finding pear skin far more pleasant than apple skin? I'm not bothered enough to set up a poll, just curious. If a biologist can comment on the science, even better still.

The "get out and see people in a social context without games or databases as distraction" series of events which has recently seen me in mixed company on (very slightly) more Friday nights than not, also known as the unofficial University of Teesside Fan Society, held its Slash Night tonight, as a possible prelude to a mooted Slash Season. Now a sizeable minority of you (including, I suggest, everyone not familiar with the term) will have your eyes glaze over at this point and skip onto the next post, but a small majority is likely to prick their ears up at news of this and investigate within - and this is quite as it should be.

Half a dozen attendees, FFFMMM, met at the university for spirited discussion over the fine and suitable (lie) background accompaniment that is MTV Hits. As quickly as we could, we decamped to a house with a DVD player, a VCR and an Internet-connected PC, with sundry discussions of strange Harry Potter fandom pairings along the way. I can think of at least two people who would be amused to hear we pondered the concept of the Dominatrix!Percy fic; suggested subs were not only the inevitable Oliver Wood but also the rather more imaginitive Sirius Black and the frankly insane (but we'd still like to see it) Lucius Malfoy.

There was also mention of an Internet campaign to get Billy Connolly cast as Mad-Eye Moody for Goblet of Fire. Those who see Billy as being a bit too "CONSTANT VIGILANCE... ah, do ye bloody think so?" might prefer the alternate suggestion of Bill Bailey. Frankly both of them have the look to play the role with no more graphical assistance being required other than the titular mad eye.

There were a couple of videos shown: episodes supposedly hand-selected for slashiness of Xena: Warrior Princess (the musical episode, which rather suffered from using commercial pop songs and from at least one principle with a range of one note) and of anime series El Hazard. Both episodes generated the comment "Actually, that's not as slashy as I remember it being and in fact most of the other episodes are rather slashier than that", so a slight miss. I particularly enjoyed El Hazard; I had been infected by the catchiness of one of its pieces of ending music (Boys Be Free - Japanese lyrics, dubbed English lyrics, no attempt to be more than a spirit translation) about six or seven years ago at university, so it was a real joy to finally learn the context.

There were also readings of short slash stories out loud, mostly as lurid and deliberately objectionable as possible. We started with a piece about a hermaphroditic Severus Snape, featuring a very neat turn of phrase, and a strange piece of Wood/Astin LotRPS (as requested, in a "bad romance" accent). There were at least a couple of other works along the way before ending up with one of the recs from hp_pervs - which is probably all you need to know about it - and a truly terribly written piece about a fairy who gets caught in a spider web and molested by two spiders. The last of these was the easiest to read, but principally because there was lamentable repetition of a very small number of phrases which rapidly lost any eroticism that they might once have had. Suffice to say I think the phrase "oral action spider" has only comic value, and even that under a very limited set of circumstances. (Can I hear you Googling from here?)

I do rather enjoy reading pieces aloud. It strikes me that this is not something which seems currently to happen a great deal in the Harry Potter fandom, which probably implies there is no great demand for it rather than anything else. Nevertheless, I would be happy to take recs which could be read within the five-minute span of a LJ PhonePost, so probably about a 500-750 word limit, or longer pieces if someone's willing to put up the bandwidth for the audio files. Hit me with whatever you like; I've seen the hp_pervs stuff and lived, so colour me sturdy. It's probably easier to have fun overreading badfic than it is to try to give a serious delivery of a heartfelt piece, but I take all challenges. (Minus the likes of the million-word Psychic Serpent series, which would take many days.)

I don't claim to be a great reader, but I'd like to think that I'm already a competent one and I'd like to improve through practice and constructive criticism as feedback. While I do try to vary things in terms of tone, pitch, volume and speed, I suspect I am overdoing it at the moment as a rookie mistake and would probably benefit from greater evenness rather than greater emphasis. (Plus lots of practice, naturally.) I don't do accents at all well, so I try not to do them at all. Nevertheless, the fact that I am British and male gives me some sort of homefield advantage in such matters, though I'd like to hear some of my fellow t00bs giving readings as well.

So what can I read for you?

It is Fan Society convenor fruufoo's Fancy Dress Birthday Party tomorrow, as a prelude to her birthday on Sunday. Still not really keen on highly alcoholic parties, let alone any thought of getting alcoholic at them myself, but at least this one will largely be filled with weirdos who are weird in a nice way, so a definite step in the right direction by way of party-related training wheels.
Current Mood: loudly literary
Current Music: "We're back in love / Although I know it's crazy / (etc.)"

(49 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:mhw
Date:November 28th, 2003 09:31 pm (UTC)
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On the difference between pear and apple skins: could you explain a little about what you mean by 'pleasant' in this context?

On reading aloud: I think that since most of us get our fic in textual form, we're probably unused to the delights of having it read to us. Perhaps the best way forward is to try it at a T00bage, and see if people enjoy doing it?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 30th, 2003 12:38 pm (UTC)
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I assume apples and pears of similar cleanliness, with the additional factor that different varieties of apples and pears may well have radically different skins and I can't remember which varieties of said stairs I have had in my lifetime.

On the difference between pear and apple skins: could you explain a little about what you mean by 'pleasant' in this context?

The closest I can get is that the taste of pear skin is definitely a little more to my preference compared to that of apple skin, and the texture of pear skin is considerably more to my preference compared to that of apple skin. Does that help?

On reading aloud: I think that since most of us get our fic in textual form, we're probably unused to the delights of having it read to us. Perhaps the best way forward is to try it at a T00bage, and see if people enjoy doing it?

It seems to be getting reasonable feedback at the fan society meetings as discussed; not quite the same as a t00bage, but different only in cultural background rather than in spirit.
[User Picture]
From:strangefrontier
Date:November 28th, 2003 09:43 pm (UTC)
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There was also mention of an Internet campaign to get Billy Connolly cast as Mad-Eye Moody for Goblet of Fire

How odd - I remember having a conversation with my best friend about how great it would be if Billy Connolly played Mad-Eye. I didn't suspect other people would share this opinion...

As for fic-reading, I think that was done for a while in the Armchair chat, but fell out of fashion again. I love hearing stories read, especially in that proper English accent (Stephen Fry audiobooks are great, and if Patrick Stewart's never voiced an audiobook, he definitely should). As for fanfiction, perhaps due to the length limitations of phoneposts, you could read drabbles? I have a small hoard of HP drabbles, but, um, they're mine, so no one would particularly want to hear them.

And yes, pear skin is preferable to apple skin.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 30th, 2003 12:52 pm (UTC)
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How odd - I remember having a conversation with my best friend about how great it would be if Billy Connolly played Mad-Eye.

Do ye bloody think so? 554 people (at press time) do.

Drabbles good. malachan's recent phone post which I clocked at 182 wpm was very slightly quicker than I would like, with slightly fewer gaps, but I reckon you could get a 750-word drabble in a five-minute PhonePost without any difficulty whatsoever and probably more with only slightly noticeable speedup towards the end.

Cyg's accent is definitely more proper than mine. :-) I reckon he has an excellent Slytherin accent whereas the years are making mine increasingly Hufflepuff. What might constitute a good Gryffindor accent, though? That's rather harder to say.
[User Picture]
From:xnera
Date:November 28th, 2003 09:49 pm (UTC)
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I can think of at least two people who would be amused to hear we pondered the concept of the Dominatrix!Percy fic; suggested subs were not only the inevitable Oliver Wood but also the rather more imaginitive Sirius Black and the frankly insane (but we'd still like to see it) Lucius Malfoy.

*coughs*

and a truly terribly written piece about a fairy who gets caught in a spider web and molested by two spiders.

There's a Native American myth that has that as a theme. I remember being rather shocked and amused when I first read it. Though not as amused as when I read Coyote Eats His Own Ass. *snerks*

(Minus the likes of the million-word Psychic Serpent series, which would take many days.)

Ooo... I have to reread the Psychic Serpent series. I've fallen behind, and it's been a while since I've read fanfic anyway (minus Nocturne Alley, which I am totally addicted to).
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 29th, 2003 10:29 am (UTC)

Garage aluminium banana

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*whistles appreciatively* Good rec, good rec! Many thanks for sharing. I would only add that it's 34,000 words long, so not one to be dashed off at a whim, or one to be read out loud in less than a matter of hours.

I too have fallen out of the fanfic practice, but I might possibly fall back in. Ahem.
From:dinahrae
Date:November 28th, 2003 10:47 pm (UTC)
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get Billy Connolly cast as Mad-Eye Moody for Goblet of Fire Gah. My inner Billy Connolly fangirl will never be able to get that image out of my head now. Perfect suggestion and I never thought of it!

Also, re: Xena - they didn't show the second musical episode, did they? Because the first one isn't really poppy and does have a decidedly musical feel to it. Imo. (2nd one also not very subtexty - though I want to add that they cut out a duet between Xena and Gabrielle, set to "We can work it out", so I guess there once was more subtext in the script)

As for reading fic aloud, what do you think of "Harry Potter and the tupperware party"? I cannot find a link that lets me access it, so that's a bit of a problem, but I will investigate. (Actually I am just curious whether you will be able to read through the thing straight-faced - I had my problems with it *g*)

/uses Boogart!Snape icon in honour of fancy dress party
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 30th, 2003 01:11 pm (UTC)
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Two musical episodes of Xena? News to me. It was The One With The Lyre - a quick Google suggests "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire" for the episode title.

HPatTP: link here, but you'll need username and password from here to get there. No problems with the content, though the German part is likely to slow me down a little. Please could you supply me with a Rammstein .mp3 - or, alternatively, a phonepost in which you yourself pronounce the lyrics in question for guidance? It's also a little on the long side; at 2,100 words, it's likely to take about 15 minutes to read, so three phoneposts in a row. That works!

Note to self: contact author for permission. Would you happen to know if she's on LiveJournal, please?

AMENDMENT TO CHALLENGE: I only take challenges that are, y'know, not too challenging. While there's room within the fandom for German tongue-twister songfic, there may not be room for it within my mouth. ericklendl, Wadde Hadde Dudde Da is most emphatically not challenge-legal HP fanfic.
[User Picture]
From:ringbark
Date:November 29th, 2003 03:23 am (UTC)

Nashi pears

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What about nashi pears?
A nashi pear looks like an apple but tastes like a pear.
Its skin is somewhere between the two, a bit like a rough apple skin with small nobbly bits.
A site local to you defines them here:
http://www.waitrose.com/food_drink/recipes/glossary/foodglossary/Nashipear.asp
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 30th, 2003 01:14 pm (UTC)

Re: Nashi pears

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Hadn't encountered those, but they do sound interesting. Waitrose isn't a chain local to this part of the country, so I may need to source another supplier.

While staying at zorac's house for a week in 1999, I once had a pack of six little "apple bananas" - tiny bananas about two inches along with a very faint sort of apple taste, in addition to the usual banana flavour. I didn't think fruit could be sinewous until I tried them; not recommended.
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From:mark356
Date:November 29th, 2003 02:00 pm (UTC)
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No, you're not; apple skin is tougher than pear skin.

I recommend The Cauldron's Lament, by thieving_gypsy, for reading aloud. Honestly, everyone should read something by Mieko! (Sorry that this is on ffn; she hasn't uploaded it to Riddikulus yet.) Neville's cauldron indulges in a breif, adorable rant about Neville. My recording of it is some three minutes, and the only problem you might have with it are the suspension points.

[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 30th, 2003 04:25 pm (UTC)
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No, you're not; apple skin is tougher than pear skin.

Also rather more likely to get stuck between your teeth, I find.

Nice recommendation and thanks for pointing me to the author. Seems like an excellent way to start.

Hadn't heard "..." referred to as a "suspension point" before, but it's as good a name as any. My database analysis teacher referred to "..." as an "ellipse" the other day, which stuck in my craw like the aforementioned apple skin. The plural of both "ellipse" and "ellipsis" may be "ellipses", but that doesn't make them the same word.
Ellipsum - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: Ellipsum - (Anonymous) - Expand
[User Picture]
From:chresimos
Date:November 29th, 2003 11:45 pm (UTC)
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Apple skin tastes better than pear skin! Although the fact that I don't like pears may have something to do with this.

I'm not sure why the reading aloud doesn't happen so much. I don't know that it's very common in general - I don't read things aloud too often, since the words are always better accented and delivered in my head anyway. The last thing I really had an urge to read out loud were the HP books themselves, it would be so much fun. Although I have read chapters of Dickens, and once I read a hundred pages of Dune in an attempt to show the coolness to a rather uninterested spectator(it failed).

I don't know what you should read, but I'd like to hear it if you do. *envies British accent*
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 30th, 2003 04:33 pm (UTC)
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Interesting speculation. I would guess that part of the reason is because reading aloud is slow, or that many people read silently considerably faster than they read aloud. I read aloud at under 200 wpm and silently at something like 600-1000 wpm, which is reasonably swift, but not especially fast; the fastest speed at which readers can generally still keep reasonable retention of what they're looking at at about 2,000 wpm or so and the single fastest figure I've heard claimed that I personally believe is close to 4,000 wpm.

I'm not sure that my comprehension reading aloud at 150wpm is any better than it is reading silently at 800 wpm, but you've got me curious as to whether it is now, especially as I'm not particularly proud of it in the first place.
[User Picture]
From:meggitymeg
Date:December 1st, 2003 09:17 pm (UTC)
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hi there...i keep seeing you around, mostly in comments on malachan's LJ, and invariably i wind up clicking over to read your journal, so i'm finally going to stop doing it the hard way and just friend you. hope you don't mind. :)

also, i vote for pear skin.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:December 1st, 2003 10:19 pm (UTC)

I'm likin' your icon

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hope you don't mind.

Not in the least; I hope you enjoy it! Anyone with a happy-looking yellow duck as default usericon is absolutely fine in my book :-)
[User Picture]
From:spykitten
Date:December 4th, 2003 10:22 am (UTC)
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I highly recommend that you search out an "Asian pear". It is a delectable sort of cross between and apple and a pear, and has skin that is superior to either the apple or the pear. Not as tough as an apple, not as mushy as a pear. Delicious!

P.S. I'm making you my friend because I am delighted to see use of the term "jiggery-pokery" (you can imagine how rarely we get that term in the States). You mentioned on your profile that you enjoy introductions, so I figured I would say hello.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:December 6th, 2003 12:59 pm (UTC)

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You mentioned on your profile that you enjoy introductions, so I figured I would say hello.

Thank you very much indeed - and hello right back to you!

I appreciate the "Asian pear" recommendation and am minded to try one out should ever I get the opportunity. However, a quick Google for "asian pear" uk reveals, well... it must be some sort of sexual slang of which I was not previously aware. (Curious to know what for, now, but not curious enough to want to go and look!) However, there was a link to a recipe which says The carbohydrate-rich rice includes sweet Asian pears. You will find Asian pears in many supermarkets as well as in Chinese food shops. They look like large apples and have a crisp texture. The middle sentence of those three looks worryingly local to me; I fear they may be rather more common in southern supermarkets than they will be up here. However, we do have at least one Chinese food shop, so I may yet investigate.

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