Angelic Paranoia

Paranoidangel's Website

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars July wrap-up
Monday 31st July 2017 9:41 pm

This month I've been using Duolingo, Memrise and Lingvist to re-learn French.

I'm level 9 in Memrise French 1. I'm level 5 in Lingvist, where I know 418 words. Between the three of them those are the only useful stats I can find.

Duolingo is probably the one people know best, on the basis that I've seen various people talk about it and not the others. It gamifies the whole thing, which some people love and I can't stand. This is partly because it's been a big thing at work for ages and partly because I perversely want to not do what it wants me to. So it'll get all excited that I have a 6 day streak, I'll purposely break it. And I really dislike that if you get too many things wrong you can't do any more.

I dislike that it has so many screens and button presses in comparison to the others. When you've got an answer right the other two carry on to the next one, this one requires you to press to say that you want to carry on. Although it also doesn't let you go back. It does tell you in advance what you're going to learn and allow you to test out of it.

When I started it it would teach me some words, then do some things to help me learn them. Then it would teach me some words and test me on some others. Now it just goes straight to the testing. Which just seems bizarre to me.

I also take exception to it giving me a picture of a pair of trousers and telling me the French for trousers is pantalons, which I already knew, and then telling me that an alternative translation is pants. Er, no it's not. And one I had today where the English translation was "Letters, which ones" and I got it wrong because I translated it into proper English.

It also has a thing where you can speak the answer on certain screens. Which is fine an good, and as it says you need to learn to speak French. However, there are two problems with this:
1. It's asking me to speak English
2. It doesn't understand what I say in English

Memrise is the one I hated at the start. It was teaching me really basic stuff I already knew (like please and thank you) and I couldn't understand how it was all structured. I still find the structure a bit unintuitive, but I like that each session it starts with a review of the previous one before introducing new words. And I like that it has different ways of reminding me of the new words before I'm asked to type them.

The biggest problem with it is that I find some of it simple and then keep getting it wrong because I don't read it all carefully enough. So tonight, for example, it was teaching me fish (poisson) which I already knew, but it thinks I don't know it at all because I kept selecting poison as the French for fish.

So far it has just been words, not sentences (I'm sorry is the closest it's come). It's possible it's coming - I did start with French 1 after all, but I do feel a bit like I'm not learning anything useful.

Lingvist is the most restricted, but it acknowledges that it's only there to teach words and that it only has a few (European) languages. But I love the stats it gives you. It tells you how many screens you've done that session, how many you got right, how many new words you learnt. For every word you've seen it tells you how many times you saw it. When you learn a verb it gives you the verb tables.

It's much better than the other two at learning what I knew. If I keep getting something wrong it will show it to me more often, if I get it right, then it doesn't bother.

None of them are ever going to be as good as learning in a classroom with a teacher. In my first year of learning French, when I was 11, I knew a lot of parts of the body because we used to play Simon Says. Although after that year parts of the body never really came up and I forgot most of them.

I don't really know if I'm getting anywhere with any of them, but I have only been doing it for a month, which comes to about 9 hours in total (3 in each app). Which is nothing really, considering I last did French over 15 years ago.

Having said that, I have enjoyed it, in varying amounts and I will carry on, although not necessarily with all three apps. So I'm going to give it 7/10 for the experience.


Categories: I've Never Seen Star Wars : | | Comments are off for this post | Link

Sport and writing
Friday 28th July 2017 8:12 pm

It took me a little while to get used to the change from athletics from swimming, but now I'm loving the swimming. I still record it, partly because it starts before I finish work, but also because I'm not that interested in all the chat. Mostly I just like the swimming. And they repeat bits that they showed earlier/the previous day and I don't need to see it that many times. It's just a shame there's only two days of it left. Then I have to get used to athletics again, at the end of next week.

I had forgotten the Winter Olympics and the Commonwealth Games are both next year. Annoyingly, both on the other side of the world, although it does at least give me the evenings to catch up on the curling and other sports. The Winter Olympics is in February, Paralympics in March and Commonwealth Games in April. And then in May the tennis on TV season starts and before I know it it'll be summer and I won't have had time to watch any non-sports on TV for months.

It did occur to me that this year I haven't been to any live sports whatsoever. I haven't even been to the theatre or to see comedians. I thought about going to the last Saturday of Wimbledon, but the weather was crap. So that was probably a good decision, although there were spaces on court 3, where the wheelchair men's doubles was played. I thought about going to the Para-athletics last Saturday, but the weather forecast was for rain and I've done sitting watching sport in the rain and cold before and it's not fun. And as it happened I had to clean the house anyway. But London is bidding to have the World Para-athletics championships back in two years, so I can go then. And the Commonwealth Games is bound to come back to this country sooner or later.

I did manage to squeeze some fic writing in. After a Twitter conversation about ships with the Thirteenth Doctor, I wrote a Thirteen/Missy (very short) fic:
The Love of an Enemy (334 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: Thirteenth Doctor/Missy
Summary: Missy needs a friend. Spoilers for The Doctor Falls.

And last week's Last Leg made me want to write more Josh/Jonnie, so I did:
Bromance, Showmance (594 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: The Last Leg RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: Josh Widdicombe/Jonnie Peacock
Summary: Jonnie confronts Josh about his bromances.

This is going to be one of my Yuletide fandoms this year (again). But when I posted this the Josh/Jonnie relationship tag didn't come up. So I found one of my Yuletide fics and discovered that's because there were only three fics with that relationship and I wrote all of them for Yuletide last year.


Categories: Fan fic, Sport : , , | | Comments are off for this post | Link

What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 26th July 2017 9:13 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
Millions Like Us: Women's Lives During the Second World War by Virginia Nicholson. Finally! I kept reading it on and off so it's taken me ages to get through it. It's quite long and it's hard going reading about the awful things some of these women dealt with.

Even after the war things were quite hard. Some women were happy to go back to being housewives... except that rationing got worse and they spent their time queueing for food when there wasn't enough for everyone in the queue. Other women had opportunities opened to them, but then got married and had a baby and then found they were trapped in their lives as mothers. Two of them used to spent their days drinking whisky round one of them's houses while their children played!

What I'm Currently Reading
The Mill Girls by Tracy Johnson. I found this in The Works for £2 and decided to read it next on the basis that it was short. It's a collection of four stories of women who worked in the cotton mills in Lancashire. I've read three of them so far and although they're quite similar in that their families were poor and the women went out to work at 14, they have different attitudes to the mills. Although it's interesting that what they had in common is that when they enjoyed it, it was because they were working with other women their age that they had things in common with.

What I'm Reading Next
I don't know. It depends on what I fancy reading after I finish this book.


Categories: Books : | | Comments are off for this post | Link

Too much sport on TV
Sunday 23rd July 2017 5:21 pm

I've been very watching sport. And some other things, but mostly the sport. Wimbledon fortnight is like Christmas to tennis fans. Only better than Christmas because it lasts two weeks and the shops aren't closed.

Jo Konta was great. What gets me is less how good she is and more how calm she has become. 5 Live played a clip of her and Clare Balding where they were talking about her muffin making like it's tennis. Which was funny. I correctly predicted the men's single's finalists and therefore beat my sister at Fantasy Wimbledon.

Although the men's and ladies singles finals were more one-sided than expected, the doubles were good, as were the wheelchair doubles. Due to rain the men's wheelchair doubles were on at the same time as the ladies singles. So I had the singles on the TV with no sound, 5 Live on the radio, who were covering the singles and were two shots ahead of the TV, and had the wheelchair doubles on the computer with the sound turned down low.

And then Wimbledon was over. It was so hard going to work on Monday without being able to listen to the 5 Live commentary team chat about tennis while I work. The Para-Athletics World Championships helped, though. I have been enjoying that, although I record it all and start it late because athletics involves a lot of chat and a lot of re-running races, not to mention the adverts, and I can get three hours of it into one hour.

Today is the last day of it, but that's ok because the World Swimming Championships starts today. In fact it just started 15 minutes ago, but I am also recording that. After that there's a whole three days with no sport on (that I'm interested in) before the World Athletics Championships start. And I thought this summer would be quiet without the Olympics and Paralympics...

In other, non-sporting news, I got a new sofa last week! It's blue, making it the most colourful thing in my mainly brown/magnolia lounge. It's too tall for Missy to get at, but she thinks there is a way in, she just has to find it. Which means that every evening she climbs up me to get on it, runs about, digs a bit, chews a bit* and eventually slides off it without realising how high up she is, so I have to catch her.
*Yeah, it's not going to look new for long with Missy about

I also got new windows this week. The old ones had gaps between the window and the frame, so the new ones should keep the house warmer in the winter. But the old ones were wooden and it was windy and as a result there was wood dust everywhere. I had to clean the toilet before I could go the toilet. So I've spent most of this weekend cleaning. What with all the wood dust about I've had to hoover everything and wash everything. I ache, my knee hurts and I'm looking forward to going back to work for the rest. But it is so good to have everything so much cleaner than usual.


Categories: Life, Sport : , , | | Comments are off for this post | Link

Never Seen Star Wars and Not Prime Time
Saturday 15th July 2017 11:44 am

For the past nearly-two weeks my life has been all about the tennis. And I could write loads about it here, but I won't, because I have a couple of other things to write about, and because most people probably don't want to know quite that much detail. But I am writing this while watching the wheelchair men's doubles final.

I've Never Seen Star Wars
Last week I worked out what I was doing for July, since I could fit it around the tennis, I just hadn't got around to posting it, for tennis reasons. I am re-learning French, using Duolingo and other apps. I did five years of it at school and I was generally not that great, I was in the bottom set (of two) for GCSE and then somehow I came out with an A and wanted to do more of it. So I did French for Scientists at uni, which was two hours a week for 25 weeks.

I know an awful lot of people use/have used Duolingo, but I also have Memrise and Lingvist on my iPod, that have been sitting there doing nothing. So I am using all three and at the end of the month I will report back.

Not Prime Time
I'm glad I didn't sign up for this, as it went live earlier this week and authors have been revealed and I haven't fitted in reading any of it in between. But I did write for it:
Leading Lady (1621 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: Beverly Crusher/William Riker
Characters: Beverly Crusher, William Riker, Deanna Troi
Additional Tags: Acting, Theatre, Kissing
Summary: Beverly is having regrets about playing the leading role opposite Will.

When browsing through the requests I came across the Riker/Crusher one and I didn't care much for it. But I read the prompt because I was curious and resistate made a great case for them deserving friends with benefits. So much so that I really wanted to write it. I was going to write it for a treat, but wasn't sure how to make me do it - but then it came up as a pinch hit right after assignments going out and I snapped it up. I really enjoyed writing these two so much that I want to write them again (along with all the other things I want to write, and Unconventional Courtship that I need to write after Wimbledon and the Para-athletics are over).


Categories: Fan fic, I've Never Seen Star Wars : , | | Comments are off for this post | Link

Fic what I wrote (DW spoilers)
Sunday 2nd July 2017 3:17 pm

(I haven't posted a Never Seen Star Wars post for July yet because everything stops for Wimbledon. I'll post one in a fortnight.)

I wrote some fic! I started a Librarians fic a while ago because I realised that I wanted to write more Flynn and Cassandra friendship. And because I have post-ep fics for two other season 3 episodes, I clearly needed another one. And then last night's Doctor Who prompted me to write a fic related to it.

There are spoilers for The Librarians 308 And the Eternal Question, and last night's Doctor who below. Read more...


Categories: Fan fic, TV : , , | | Comments are off for this post | Link

PA Site created by Paranoidangel
Powered by WordPress