July 23rd, 2019


Looking for stories

Our current theory is that what we need to get rid of the mental block that prevents us from wanting to do any work ever again is to relax and also recharge. We're not sure how to do that last part anymore, so the best we got is trial and error. We've already marathoned Miraculous five times, so much as we adore the show, we think it's not the only answer. (But we did start watching it again.)

We're thinking maybe what we need is some light brain exercise, and reading fiction sounds appealing, so that's what we're trying out now. So we purchased the new Harry Potter eBooks...which were not so much like reading fiction as they were like reading translation notes about Harry Potter. And by that I mean that it was someone who did not originally write Harry Potter, who had done research on certain things that show up in Harry Potter, and written notes (or essays, or chapters, or whatever these would really be called) about possible origins and such things. Seriously, they felt a lot like our translation notes, except not as charming. (I know, I know, we're so modest, she said sarcastically.)

After we read the first one, we were like, well that had some interesting information, but it was kind of annoying. So we were in A Mood after that. We're still planning to read the others, but we don't think it's a good idea to read them all at once.

So that's not really what we're looking for as far as restoring our ability to enjoy life (by which I really just mean work, because I really am enjoying hanging out in our room binge-watching Miraculous), and we decided to look into other things to read. I had already posted a message in our family group text asking for book recommendations, and we got one from Steve...which I only sort of paid attention to, because the message was actually a feeble attempt at getting our most estranged sister to speak up, since she reads a lot and is sure to have some great recommendations. But she hasn't said anything, so I've largely put that thread out of my mind. I did check it again, though, and the recommendation was the Five Kingdoms series by...Brandon Mull, I think?

And now it has been mentally filed away, but! there is another YA series that has caught our attention for our usual silly reason, which is that a favorite voice actor is involved! It turns out the voice of Adrien/Cat Noir does the French audiobook for the Percy Jackson series. Celeste was really big into the Percy Jackson series when it was ongoing, but we never read it because we were like, "What's the big idea, giving Athena a daughter? Does the term virgin goddess mean nothing to you people?" Celeste tried to explain it, but we were having none of it, partly because the goddess's daughter's name is Annabeth, which is not only Hebraic, but is just a name we don't really like the sound of. So first, the guy (the author, I mean) tries to give Athena children, and then he gives her a name that has us going, "Really?" (Not necessarily an indication of quality of writing. It's a stylistic choice.)

But now Cat Noir reads the French audiobook of it, so our interest in it is much higher. And in fact, the French audiobook is available on American iBooks (not the French book book, though, oddly enough). We listened to a sample of it, and we were like, "Yup, that's Adrien. And boy is he articulate." Still couldn't understand a word of it, though. (That's not true. He said, "Je suis Percy Jackson." We caught that much. And a couple of other words and phrases here and there.) ...So we're really not sure how to proceed with it. We know that listening to things in another language is very helpful in learning that language, but it might be more helpful if we could read along. Should we see about importing the French version in print? Or should we just get the English iBook, read that first, and then play the audiobook while we're...I don't know, doing crafts or something? Like making Pokemon pompoms... Yes...

We haven't decided yet, but in the meantime, there's a strong chance we'll get the Hogwarts Library Collection on eBooks, because while they still might be less story and more textbook sort of books, they'll probably be closer to the original Harry Potter vibe, and besides, I really do want to read them.

In the meantime, our Miraculous marathon was interrupted by Netflix showing us promotional art for Trollhunters. The reason we let this be an interruption is that we saw it was a Netflix original, and we know that when Netflix does an original show, they provide a lot of different languages at once, and they tend to use the same people. So we watched the first episode just so we could see the credits for the French version at the end. And sure enough, the voice of Adrien plays the sidekick! ...So then we went back and watched clips in French. We may have a bit of a problem.

As for the show itself, the first episode got all my buttons (the main character showed that he cared about other people, he wanted more out of life than just high school...), so it was off to a good start. But the second episode seemed to drag a little, being the, "I just got these new powers but I have no idea how to use them and I'm not sure I really want them" episode. At least Toby pointed out to James that James had said he wanted more out of life and now he was getting it. So the characters are all pretty great, but the visuals are a little on the stunning side. (Seriously, though, the animation is pretty great.) And it did not escape us that James's last name is the English version of Lancelot's last name. (The French version even translated it back.)

So we kind of have a lot going on and nothing going on at the same time. But I'm sure we'll figure it out.

Today I'm thankful for getting to check out a pretty cool new animated series, getting to check out the new Harry Potter ebooks, knowing that we can get Adrien Agreste reading the Percy Jackson series (or the first book, anyway), Page hanging out with us for most of our lazy day, and having access to so much entertainment in so many different languages.