Angelic Paranoia

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Wizards vs Aliens
Wednesday 31st October 2012 8:08 pm

I watched the first episode (ie part 1 and part 2) of Wizards vs Aliens last night. It was obvious from the start that it was being done by the same people as The Sarah Jane Adventures because it looked the same. And it was almost an episode of SJA, just with magic instead of a sonic lipstick.

Overall I liked it. It was interesting how the magic works there and what's going on with the aliens. I'm not convinced they can spin the story over however many episodes it is, but we'll see.

I spent the whole time trying to work out where I recognised Michael (Tom's dad) from and I had convinced myself I had imagined it until I googled it and discovered he was Eddie Santini in The Bill. He's just gone grey since then and it makes him look different. Thanks to my googling I am also prepared for next week's episode, which will feature Jenny from Teachers, who was also in Doctor Who and Hustle.

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Tuesday 30th October 2012 8:37 pm

I've been meaning to post about Rotary for a few weeks, but since this week is half term and I am in every evening I have no excuse any more.

I joined Rotaract when I first moved up here with my first job and didn't know anyone. I ended up staying in it for ten years. In that time I managed to hold every club position, be on the district exec and be part of the team that held the national conference. All the friends I have in the local area are from Rotaract. It was through Rotaract that I heard about Habitat for Humanity and went to Romania (when (if) I'm well enough I want to go on another trip, but that's going to be a long time in the future yet).

It was all great, but after ten years we'd reached the point where there were three of us in our club, we were all over the age limit, we'd all been in for years and done everything and needed a break. What we all wanted to do was leave and have the club carry on, but we didn't manage to find anyone else who wanted to join, so we closed it.

During this time we told any Rotarians who asked (ie most of the ones we spoke to) that we were having the customary year off. And that year off was strange at first, but I definitely needed it. Rotaract can suck up your free time if you let it. And it always had a tendency to be worse when work was busiest. But then I started to miss it.

We had two local clubs, one met at lunchtime, so was never an option to join, the other met in the evenings, but they were all old men, a description that does not describe me in the slightest. Not to mention the problem that they also had recruitment problems and saw us as a way to take over all their roles so they could sit back for a bit...

And then the lunchtime club closed. And decided to reform as an evening club based in the next town - the next town being the one I live in - but covering a wider area. One of the other Rotaractors had ended up involved, I went to one meeting and now, by the end of November I'm going to end up a Rotarian...

Part of the reason why I wasn't sure about joining Rotary is that I'd end up doing the website. On the second meeting I mentioned what I do for a living, someone mentioned websites and now I'm going to be doing the website...

I'll stop there, but the same way I talked about Rotaract a lot for the time I was in it, I'll end up talking about Rotary a lot. Because it'll end up sucking up my time, I know it will because I know what it's like and I know what I'm like.

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This week
Sunday 28th October 2012 12:43 pm

After my nice, relaxing four day weekend I then had a four day week where I did enough hours for five days. So, busy in other words. I managed to go out to Rotary on Tuesday and choir on Thursday, but worked instead of going to ballet on Wednesday. Which particularly annoyed me because not only did I have to miss ballet, I also have to pay regardless of whether I go or not. So I paid £6 for the privilege of working in the evening.

Yesterday I finally got rid of the 25 bags in my garage by taking them to the tip. It took me three trips and each trip was twelve minutes each way, which meant I spent an hour and a quarter driving. There's a big roundabout on the way and the exit I had to take was one I'd never been down before. After two goes on the way there I eventually worked out which lane I needed to be in for the third go. I never worked it out for the way back. I always ended up in the wrong lane, which on one occasion meant having to go back another route (which took exactly the same amount of time).

Afterwards my car was full of leaves, so I had to hoover it. I could have parked my car outside my back gate, but my neighbours had come back and parked there. So I had to run an extension cable behind their car. Of course they decided to go out while I was using it, so I had to unplug the hoover and move everything so they didn't run over my cable.

On the plus side I have recovered from all this - a year ago I'd have been too tired and dizzy to go anywhere yesterday and if I had I certainly wouldn't have the energy to do anything today. Although I predict I'll be tired tomorrow as my body clock is struggling with GMT and weekends, so I woke up at 6.30am GMT and if I watch Downton Abbey tonight I'll have to stay up until what'll feel like 11pm.

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Long weekend
Monday 22nd October 2012 9:12 pm

I've had a very productive long weekend. It turns out the key to it is not having to work. Pity all weekends can't be long weekends.

But I have started and finished my [info]dw-femslash fic, signed up for Yuletide, posted here and learnt how to crochet Granny Squares (here's the one I made this evening, all on my own). Somehow I seemed to have more time in the day. It helped that I didn't have to cook and I didn't get distracted by things in the house I need to do.

Next week is half term, so ballet and choir stop for the week, which means that I have nothing on in a single evening. And nothing much happening at the weekends. So theoretically I should be able to catch up on my viewing and get through my to do list.

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Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Brinkmanship
Sunday 21st October 2012 6:00 pm

At uni I read quite a lot of Star Trek books (mostly Next Gen, I think, and some original series - there weren't any others at the time). They have varying levels of crapness, frankly. But they were all free, so I read them. Since then I have, unsurprisingly, not bought any, apart from the ones that Una McCormack has written.

I bought Brinkmanship despite the title telling me that it was part of a series of books about which I know nothing. I could tell that it was set in the future when I looked at the back and mentioned Captain Ezri Dax. I thought about looking up the details of what's happened since the end of DS9, but decided that if the book's written well enough I should be able to follow it.

And I did. If they took the 'Typhon Pact' part of it off the book it would work perfectly well as a stand-alone. To the point where I'm not sure I can be bothered to look up details from the rest of the series. I was perfectly happy with this one as a self-contained thing.

The only characters in this that I recognise from TNG and DS9 are Picard, Crusher and Ezri (and Garak, but he only appears in one scene). Ezri I struggled to remember very well. Picard and Crusher are now married with a two year old son. I know they had some shippiness going on in the programme, but I still found that hard to get my head round.

I was more interested in the characters I didn't know (they might be from elsewhere, I don't know). Especially Neta Efheny, who the story starts with. And Ilka, the (female) Ferengi diplomat. I'd probably have enjoyed it just as much without Ezri, Picard or Crusher in. Once I got into it, I would have been quite happy sticking with Efheny and not bothering with any other characters - she was definitely my favourite and the whole Tzenkethi culture was interesting.

In summary: I liked it (although that's not a surprise because I've liked Una's other Star Trek & Doctor Who books) and it's perfectly possible to read it without having read any other Star Trek book at all ever.

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Saturday 20th October 2012 12:37 pm

Yesterday I got to play with an iPad, Office 2013 and Windows 8. All of which are varying degrees of frustrating/awful.

The iPad was frustrating because it doesn't have a keyboard and I keep wanting to do things with a keyboard. And then its scrolling makes me dizzy (when it actually scrolls and doesn't think you've clicked on something instead or just completely ignores you). I really need to page down, not scroll, but even the keyboard doesn't have a page down key (or home or end or delete - I don't know how you can survive without those). Ultimately I just got bored with it - there are only so many games of Fruit Ninja you can play, even if it is Fruit Ninja HD. It doesn't help that it's harder to use lying down than my netbook is. Siri was amusingly useless. He didn't know most things, couldn't understand most of what I said and told me it wasn't raining when it was.

I didn't think that Office 2013 could possibly be that bad, given that it's like 2010, which is what we use at work and I've got used to. It isn't in the sense that they haven't touched the functional parts much. But they have made it all white, which just makes everything hard to see, and the menu headings are all in capitals. Which looks even worse when you hide the ribbon. And they've made it harder to open documents that you haven't opened recently, and there's no facility to pin recently opened folders, which I use all the time in Excel.

Windows 8 is fine if you use the desktop - it looks just like Windows 7, with one important part missing. Then there's an app-opening version, which is probably alright if you're using a tablet, but not so much if you're at work. The important missing part is the start menu - there isn't one. If you want to open a program that isn't on the taskbar or desktop, then tough. To be fair, there might have been a way of doing it, but I can't remember. But it also means that the shut down function is well hidden. I spent about fifteen minutes clicking everything until Dad gave me two hints (he'd looked it up) and even then I had to click on things that made no sense and I couldn't work out how to do it with the mouse. It's just as well Windows 8 is the every other release that you skip.

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Dear Yuletide Writer
Friday 19th October 2012 10:14 am

Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you for writing a story for me. The optional details are optional. I've just tried to give you some ideas of what I might like to see, but if none of them are your thing feel free to disregard them. I've requested my favourite characters in each fandom, so I will be happy with anything featuring them. Feel free to use any other characters you'd like - there are none that I dislike in any of these fandoms.

What I like:
- Stories that explore the relationships between characters
- Stories that explore characters
- Scenes/fic that is like it could be (part of) an episode

What I dislike:
- Sex scenes, so nothing over PG-13 please
- British people using Americanisms and American people using Briticisms
- Relationships other than those in canon (and the exceptions noted in my optional details) - but you can never go wrong with gen

I know there are two Doctor Who-related fandoms on this list. Don't think that I'd like one of those more than the other two - I want each of these requests equally. Same goes for the amount I've written for the optional details - writing more doesn't mean that I want it more.

Below are my prompts (beware, my Make It or Break It prompt includes season 3 spoilers): Read more...

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This past week
Sunday 14th October 2012 12:03 pm

I don't seem to have time to do anything at the moment. Although it hasn't been helped by Friday. I was planning to get some stuff done Friday evening, but then I went to the pub for lunch with work and spent the evening not throwing up. I thought steak burger and chips would be quite safe and maybe test how much wheat/gluten I could have, since I know I can tolerate some. Given the crispiness of the chips, I suspect they were covered in it, hence why I felt ill.

I'm still tired from that, and yesterday I went to Wimbledon for a tour (and took 32 photos). It turned out to be a terrible day to go because engineering works on the tube meant we had to go a longer way round to get there. Fortunately we got to London with plenty of time to spare (even though the train was late).

When we left we thought we'd go the other way, but then it turned out we'd have to change more times, so we ended up going a very long way back to the station. I originally thought I'd be home by 6.30pm, in time for dinner, and actually got home at 8.15pm. And we didn't quite finish doing the museum, so we'll have to go back and finish it when we're next at Wimbledon.

The tour was good though. I am just looking forward to half term and finally having some free time! Maybe I'll be able to catch up on some TV...

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Tuesday 9th October 2012 9:17 pm

I'm sure there's probably some sort of meaning behind it, but I keep dreaming about going back to uni. By keep I mean it's been about three times - the only other thing I've dreamt a lot is that I've forgotten to feed my rabbit and that was in the years after he died.

But in my dreams there's always something odd. It generally involves walking around campus (although it's nowhere I've ever been in real life) and getting lost. Last night I wandered into somewhere nonsensical and had to pay a fine to get out.

And also, something tends to be wrong with where I'm living. There was one time where I struggled to find it and discovered it was this picturesque block of flats. But the flat itself was tiny - and by tiny I mean I could get my head through the door but that was about it. And inside there was only one room. And yet my best friend (who had somehow wandered into this dream) couldn't see anything wrong with that.

Last night I was shown to what would be my new room by the person who currently lived there. It was in a block called 'Blake' and it was like living on campus. And yet at the same time it was on campus. The room was really nice and had fantastic shelving. But it was on the sixth floor, there were no lifts and the room didn't include a mattress (the stairwell was really narrow too). I was a bit worried about this, but it was too late and it was already going to be my room, and no, I couldn't have one on the ground, first or second floor.

What really bugged me was waking up this morning because I hadn't found out where the bathroom was. There were only two rooms on the sixth floor and one on the floor above, yet that wasn't because there was a sloping ceiling or anything like that. So I couldn't help feeling that maybe the two of us on the sixth floor shared a bathroom with just us, but I'll never know now.

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Busy week
Sunday 7th October 2012 5:52 pm

I have been busy this week. Monday I felt great and stayed up until 11pm. Then Tuesday I went out to Rotary, post about that to follow, but I couldn't sleep for all the things I was thinking about. Wednesday it all went horribly wrong at work, so then I was worrying about that. Thursday I stayed up late after choir to watch Red Dwarf X. Friday I was too tired to do anything.

Yesterday I spent four hours in the afternoon cutting things in the garden. It is now done, although I could cut ivy forever and never finish, I think. But I have at least thinned it out and chopped the long bits that were making their way across the ground. I now have 25 big bags of garden waste to take to the recycling centre when I have the energy.

I was going to write a post about Red Dwarf, but it's not a programme that needs (or wants) analysis. Did I like it: yes, did I laugh: yes. Job done. It was better than Back to Earth and felt like series III. Which considering only Doug Naylor wrote it, is pretty good, because he's just not that funny on his own. Hopefully the rest of the series will be more of the same.

I also signed up for the [info]dw_femslash ficathon. I tend to like gen when it comes to Doctor Who, but it at least is a fandom with plenty of women in it to choose from and it'll be a different writing challenge. And will hopefully get me writing - I stopped for the summer of sport and haven't started again yet, despite having the time to.

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