Posted by jukkahoo
Lately, I've been mostly ill. Confoundedly, I realise that this is actually the very first flu I've had in a long time. Over a year. I may have had a slight case of "nuhakuume" at some point, but no real illness. I wasn't even ill when I had my chemo, which in a hindsight can be seen as a very good thing indeed.
These past few days have been the most troublesome. The pleghm seems to like it inside of me and sees apparently no reason to come out via my nostrils. Thus creating a rather disturbing sense of clogged nose without drainage. And the blasted cough is hard-hitting and at times really annoying, but at the same time strangely subdued, like it is behind some unknown kerberos, unable to squeeze past the beast. Lying dormant there, waiting for the right moment to pop up and start it's merry rebelling.
This almost happened last Wednesday ie. yesterday, when I was giving a lecture/show-and-tell on fantasy literature, with Sini Neuvonen. I started with trying to define what fantasy really is (to a three scores of bewildered librarians) and before I really managed to mangle thru fantasy and SF, I realised that I was no longer able to speak properly. My throat was dry, I had trouble breathing and my body was trying to cough, but was unable to do so. I did lost my train of thought too, which was the really embarrassing point, but I was really, really unable to continue.
I took a wee brake, drank several cups of water (as well as popping some Strepsils and Silomat pills to my mouth) and continued with the show, trying to breath steadily, focus on the speaking - and eventually it went a lot better afterwards. We had a short break and I saw Leena who was participating and forgot to mention that Sari is in America and would most probably enjoy an email from her/anyone (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!!!). I drank a cup of hot chocolate and took another one with me to the auditorium, and the rest of the piece went very well, though I must say I was a bit dissappointed with the amount of questions we were asked. I know we're Finnish, but last time we did the same thing, the Espoo librarians had dozens of Q's to ask. Most of them even intelligent. Like the ones we had yesterday, too.
I'm happy with the over-all show, even if the beginning had the makings of a disaster, but luckily there were two of us. It was a basic explanation of what fantasy is, where it comes from and what it has to do with Libraries (the main point, really) and librarians. And they payed us money. Which is nice.
I had this other thing to say too.
Where are all the good SF-films nowadays? I have had a LOT of time to spend, while Sari has been in US and I've been ill. The local Filmtown may not be a perfect specimen of DVD-rentals at their very best, but still. There's precious little good SF available, not to mention made. This was also pointed out couple of weeks back, when we were out with Alastair Reynolds and (I guess it was Toni) pointed out, that not a single Great SF-film (and it's Science Fiction here) has been made since the 20th century. Or can you name one? Toni later raised a flick called Cypher out as the one that's a great one, but most of us hadn't seen it. It's directed by Vincenzo Natali who also made the original Cube.
Talking about SF-films, I saw a Japanese film called Returner, which was OK'ish. It had nice visuals, decent cgi and pretty people posing, but ultimately I have seen too many "mankind is going to be destroyd by the evil aliens/robots/younameit, unless this one guy/girl manages to return back in time and save the world, while the baddies are trying get rich by being way too stoooooopid" -plotted movies. It looked good and the way over the top bad guy was fun too. The thing I had in my to mention, was the translation. Our DVD tried to made me watch it in English. I changed the setting back to original Japanese, but due to some incredibly clumsy fingering on my part, I managed to shut my machine at one point. And again our DVD tried to offer me the English version.
And here's the fine point. The scene when I fumbled was one where the evil dude was rebelling against his evil Chinese boss-man, who was both speaking Chinese as well as commanding the evil gun-crazy weird sicko of a main baddie to speak the lingo too. This I know from reading the Finnish subtitles. None of which would've made any sense if I'd been watching the English dubbing. Since they were all speaking English and the Chinese fellow didn't order the other guy to speak Chinese. Which was still "said" with subtitles. Pleasant to see that the translation was really made from Japanese.
Next weekend will be Turkey Festival weekend at our place. Plenty of Turkish films and bheer, chili and late sleeping.