Angelic Paranoia

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Why I’ve not been posting
Sunday 23rd December 2018 5:00 pm

I have all sorts of things I've been wanting to post about, but haven't had the time or the energy. Work always gets busy around November/December, but this year it started right on 1st November. It usually gets so quiet the week before Christmas that I have plenty of time to write Yuletide treats. So far it's only calmed down to normal busy levels. We are all tired and ill.

And I've had trouble with my car, which has not been helping. Despite the bus service around here having improved massively, it's merely gone from completely useless to pretty useless.

As a result all I've really been doing is reading and catching up on TV. I shouldn't need to work on Wednesday, so hopefully I'll manage a reading Wednesday post because I've been reading some interesting books.

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Stuff and nonsense
Sunday 17th September 2017 3:19 pm

September seems to be shit month at work at the moment. It's just all been going down at once and involving everything going wrong, leaving late and working at weekends. Yesterday I worked from 9am to 3pm with just a short break for lunch and draping the washing.

I did then use Facetime for the first time yesterday. It turns out to be a bit crap and Skype is better.

Missy is definitely an old lady (she's two next month): she's like herself, only more so. Also, when hamsters get old they drink more and therefore wee more (hamster wee smells, but the poo doesn't). This is definitely currently true of Missy. The worst thing is her tendency to wee where her food store is, so I keep throwing away wet food.

Missy on the sofa

She did turn actually use her brain the other day. A couple of weeks ago when I was cleaning her out, she pouched her food store and left it in her secret food store under my desk drawers that she doesn't think I know about. After I threw away some wet food and she didn't have much left, she went and fetched some from under my desk and put it in her cage.

Aside from attempting (and failing) to keep up with the week's TV and podcasts, I've also been writing. I'm not doing any other ficathons this year aside from Yuletide, so I've been trying to keep writing, because it's hard to start again, once you stop. Also, I had an idea for a long (for me) fic. I currently have 4500 first draft words, some ideas for the next few scenes and only a vague idea of how it's going to end. I am enjoying writing it, so I almost don't care if I actually finish it.

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Five Things
Sunday 8th January 2017 5:27 pm

1. I finally got round to seeing which Gen Prompt Bingo squares my Yuletide fics might fit on. And I now have four lines with three squares filled. You think it would be easy to get a line from there...

2. Looking through the Chocolate Box requests I found a person who has loads of the same fandoms (and likes the same relationships) as me. I sort of hope I get matched to them, but also sort of not because how will I decide which to write? Chocolate Box is a min 300 word exchange based on relationships - but unlike Public Call it splits them into gen and ship. If anyone wants to write treats the requests are at

3. After [info]lost_spook mentioned it, I have now watched all four episodes of Timeless that are on Channel 4's catchup. I like it so far but it feels a bit formulaic. So, for example, my favourite character is Wyatt (despite hating his name) because he's a good looking hero who's been hurt emotionally. Which makes me feel like I'm being emotionally manipulated into liking him because of this past hurt. I want to dislike it because of this, but I don't.

4. I have so many Big Finish audios to listen to at the moment. November and December were months with a lot of good releases. I saved The Avengers (Steed & Peel vol 2) for Christmas and I loved it. I like how silly they make it. I know they were based on old comics and they've done them all now, but I am hoping they'll do some more anyway.

I'm onto Counter Measures now which I love. At least now they've back to doing individual stories again. I only got into these audios because they brought the first one out as I was writing a story where Ian and Barbara land just after they left, rather than in 1965, and get caught up in the events of Remembrance of the Daleks. I'm glad I did - they might be my favourite Big Finish audios.

I also have the latest UNIT box set, which will be tough straight after Counter Measures. Much as I love Kate, I love Rachel more. Plus I don't care that much about the other UNIT characters (even Oswald - I don't like her nearly as much as the rest of fandom does).

5. So far all the Fandom Snowflake things have been repeats from previous years, so I haven't been that excited about doing it yet. I may change my mind, but going back to work last week was just so hard (but it got easier to wake up before dawn as the week went on). I usually go back to work on the first working day of the year because no one wants to work. And this year we spent most of the day chatting and talking about how unmotivated we are were. By day 2 anyone who's had an extra day off gets no sympathy.

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Sunday 24th April 2016 8:20 pm

One day I will update more often. This week has been crazy. Our department of six at work was pretty much reduced down to me for some of the time. By the time I went food shopping on Thursday I was going round there like an old lady because I was too tired to think. Hopefully things will calm down after the bank holiday weekend.

Missy is good for stress, though. You can't think about work (or anything else) while playing with her. Mainly because she has no fear and I have to be ready to catch her. In the past three evenings she's fallen off me/the table four times. I have caught her every time. She's never at all worried about this - and even when she ends up on the (hard) floor she just thinks it's somewhere interesting to explore - but fortunately she is easily lured away by food.

I need work to calm down so I can attempt to get back to writing. Apart from the things I've had half-written on my hard drive for a while, I also have my [info]dw_guestfest to finish before next year's fest. I signed up for [info]unconventionalcourtship to write a Sarah/Harry fic, as I found a great prompt after last year's fest. But I had to do research as it felt like so long since I've written them! And then I'm currently contemplating my sign up for [info]not-primetime. I really want to do it, I just can't narrow down when I want to write and receive.

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Fic and work and drilling
Saturday 11th April 2015 9:32 pm

My posting date for [info]dw_guestfest was today, so I managed to finish my story yesterday. I probably could have finished it sooner if I hadn't spent so much time putting off adding description. I declared it finished partly because I was sick of reading it. And I'd run out of description-adding ability. It features Kate Stewart and Counter-Measures - it's the first story on AO3 with Ian Gilmore and the second with Rachel and Allison (I wrote the other one). Here it is on AO3: Time Team. (Posting it really wasn't helped by LJ logging me out every time I tried to preview it)

I was thinking I'd get it more finished this week, but they suddenly started making people redundant at work. My job is fine, but we now have fewer people in the department, so we're busy and lacking in motivation. It didn't help my motivation for getting anything done until last night when I could put work to the back of my mind for a bit.

But today I did some drilling! I tried it a couple of months ago for putting a front door curtain up, but didn't achieve much other than drilling through the masking tape. This time I was putting up a towel rail, which was easier because I could stand on the floor, but harder because you really had to get it the holes in the right place and couldn't draw through anything. But the instructions were great - they even told me what size drill bit to use.

I tried the first hole, didn't get anywhere, changed a few settings (the drill has so many settings) and finally managed to do more than make a dent in the wall. It looks so easy when other people do it, but in reality the drill is heavy and you have to push hard and I ended up with an aching wrist, even though I was holding the drill with both hands. I thought I'd do the other hole anyway, to get it out of the way. And I discovered (partly) why the old towel rail had not been terribly secure - half the wall is hollow. One minute I was drilling hard, the next there was no resistance.

So I'm not sure how long/well this one will stay up. It's also not quite straight, due to me not drilling the whole straight. But had I drilled the hole straight they'd have been slightly too far apart. So it's pretty much cobbled together, but considering it's the first drilling I've ever done, it's not bad. I can certainly live with it.

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A few things
Tuesday 9th September 2014 8:20 pm

Work is really crazy at the moment - 9 hours days are normal (and that's 9 hours of full on working hard too). It really takes it out of you - I nearly cried at 5.15 (we finish at 5.30) when I thought someone was telling me they'd changed something on a project that meant doing a lot of work. It turned out to be not a lot of work when I calmed down a bit and understood what they were telling me.

I got my hair cut at the weekend because it was getting long and annoying me (this is how I know when it needs cutting), but it ended up shorter than I really wanted. Which is fine because it means I don't have to go back for a while, but doesn't look that good, so I've been taking to wearing it up at the moment. So it's just as well that it's warm. It looked fine in the hairdressers, but of course it was damp then, so less curly.

I have been writing Lynda Day at the Chalet School in bits and pieces, generally 200-300 at a time and I've managed to accrue 1600, which is over a tenth of the way there, based on the minimum word count for Small Fandoms Big Bang. I am liking Written? Kitten, partly because I get a kitten for doing writing and partly because it has a fairly small box for writing in, so I'm not faced with a lot of blank screen. Although it is annoyingly buggy and by the time I think I've written more than 100 words I have to refresh it in order to get a kitten when I get to the next 100. So far in the story I have Lynda, Julie, Sarah, Kenny, Daphne Bettany and Geoff Maynard.

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I never could get the hang of Thursdays
Thursday 26th June 2014 8:45 pm

Today has really been one of those days. This morning, I got as far as getting in the car before realising that I'd left the bags I need to take with me to the supermarket in the lounge. My garage is not next to the house, so it's quite a way to go back to the house to get them.

Then this week at work I had a few things to do, nicely spaced out. Except the time when I received them kept getting delayed - the time they need to be launched doesn't, of course. So I got to do it all this morning. One of them I was supposed to tell someone I'd done and only remembered an hour later. One of them I'd got done and out of the way and then the client made a change at 4.30pm. And then I left late because someone was having a problem with something that needed sorting right then. We eventually found the problem was that a piece of script had decided that 12=4 for no explicable reason.

Just as I left the office it started raining. Once I left the car park, it stopped. It started again when I got home and went to put the bins out. At which point I found a dead blackbird between the bins. So I had to deal with his blackbird in the rain while having a panic attack (because I am necrophobic). I couldn't just leave it there because it was too sheltered to be found by cats or Red Kites. I wasn't prepared to dig it a grave in solid soil in the rain, so I dumped it in the compost bin, where the ants can play with it.

And then of course when I wanted to sit down and watch tennis between cooking dinner and when eating dinner it was raining at Wimbledon. I haven't had much Wimbledon during the day at work because they stop early for the football and spend most of the day discussing the football. I know far more about Suarez's ban than I ever needed to know.

On the plus side, at least the rain was early enough for Wimbledon to put the roof on, so I got to watch some evening Federer action.

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I am not my job
Monday 12th May 2014 12:32 pm

I've seen a couple of people post about this recently (ish). So clearly what I should do is say all the same things.

A lot of the time when you meet someone new, they ask what you do. By that they mean what job you do. I have two problems with this:

1. I am not identified by my job, a workaholic or concerned about a career. I go to work because I have to. I am looking forward to retiring so I can have more time to do the things I want to do, even though this won't be for another forty years, what with the government constantly raising the age you get your state pension.

2. I don't know how to describe my job. I could give my job title - Senior Project Manager - except that it's vague and misleading. I do work on projects, but the extent of my managing is that I do what I'm told in the time that I'm given (sometimes regardless of whether either of these things are reasonable).

I could say that I work for a market research agency, but then people think that I stand on the streets with a clipboard - most people don't know any other aspects of market research (I don't blame them for that).

I sometimes say that I program online surveys, but that tends to lead to discussions of those annoying surveys that pop up on websites asking you about the website. Not only am I not responsible for any of those, they're not really that similar to what I do.

Often I just say computer programmer, because I do some programming and people know what that means. Or think they do.

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Saturday 12th April 2014 4:57 pm

For the past week, until about the middle of last week, work was really quiet. I was getting some non-project work in and other people were scratching about for things to do. And then suddenly all our clients decided to launch projects before Easter, so now we're really busy and I'm hoping I won't be spending too much of my Easter weekend working.

That heartbleed bug meaning everyone needs to change all their passwords. I only just changed mine a month ago, so I'm really not looking forward to spending my Easter weekend changing them all again.

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Wind and work
Wednesday 25th December 2013 3:50 pm

Monday night's wind didn't do much for my back fence. Although I opened the curtains and watered the plants without noticing. It was only when I went to leave for work that I noticed the view out the back was a bit different to normal. Fortunately, it's my neighbour's fence, so I don't have to worry about it.

Despite it being quiet at work I managed to spend all of Tuesday morning working. Then it quietened down. But although in theory I have three bank holidays and three days when the office is closed (including today) I still need to do some work.

Today I woke up annoyingly early, drove in the rain with sunglasses on (it was bright and sunny when I left) and am now copying the files on my netbook so I can change to a different Linux distro.

I have read a grand total of one fic in Yuletide: mine (excitingly, I have another waiting for me in Yuletide Madness). It's R for Richard and is in The Ten Stupidest Things I've Heard Since Richard III's Remains Were Identified (Blog Post). I asked for something completely ridiculous (as far as I can remember anyway - sign ups were ages ago) and what I got was really utterly ridiculous and I love it.

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Work, work, dream about work, wake up thinking about work, work, work
Sunday 8th December 2013 11:35 am

This week I have:

  • worked
  • gone to Rotary meeting
  • watched Wizards vs Aliens
  • Ate lots of sugary food
  • Dreamed about work
  • Woke up early thinking about work

And that's it. November is our busiest time at work, but this year it managed to be busy during working hours - until this week. I went in early, worked through lunch, left late, then came home and worked. And then didn't have the energy to do anything else.

On the plus side, the rest of the month looks a lot quieter - Monday might be busy, but not outside of working hours. And then after that I'll be trying to fill my time. And working through my list of things I need to do that aren't urgent that therefore have been on the to do list for a month.

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The good and the bad
Sunday 15th September 2013 9:18 pm

After working Friday evening last week (which I was expecting) I ended up working Friday evening this week (which I wasn't). Friday was just one of those days of everything going wrong, which I should have realised was going to happen when I woke up at 6am (when it was still dark) and couldn't get back to sleep.

Fortunately the rest of the weekend improved. And the temperature in the house got so cold that two jumpers and fingerless gloves were not cutting it and I turned the heating on. So I am less miserable for being cold and the boiler wasn't as loud and annoying as I had convinced myself it was.

I have spent quite a bit of today playing with the matching for [lj-comm]dw_remix[/lj-comm]. I am probably over-thinking it - I certainly could have done it much quicker and simpler if I hadn't been trying to make it as fair as possible. Although with remixing sometimes having more stories to choose from is not as good as it first sounds. At some point I will stop endlessly tinkering with it and declare it as good as it's going to get.

On the other hand, I have finished the first draft of An Unearthly Child at the Chalet School! Once it's finished (which will hopefully be by 22nd November) it'll probably be getting on for 10,000 words. I just have a load of things I need to look up in various CS books. I did re-read them, but that was last year and it's only in writing this that I've realised how much I've forgotten...

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Where did the week go?
Sunday 18th August 2013 8:12 pm

This week was the last week I have where I didn't have anything on any evening. So I ended up either working late or working in the evenings for three of the evenings. So I feel a bit like I haven't had any evenings at all.

I was dynamic this weekend, though. Well, mostly today when I went out to the tip this morning. And found that it's probably not a good idea to leave garden waste in the garage under a pile of other garden waste for three months because it starts turning to compost... I'd much rather it did that at the tip. Having taken five journeys to the tip in total I have now been in the right lane round the roundabout once. Because I followed a car I thought was probably going the same way I was. I'm not sure I can reproduce it. There must be a point where I resist spiralling out, I'm just not sure where it is.

The other productive thing I did this weekend is to finish off CSSing my Dreamwidth layout. Well, I say finish, every time I see it I spot something else I've missed/haven't thought of, but it's pretty much there. I then went back to my LJ layout to make it match the DW layout that I'd been making to match my LJ layout, which was design to sort of match my website layout. So now they all look similar, but different enough that I know which site I'm on.

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Wednesday 31st July 2013 8:22 pm

Some of the things I've been doing since I last posted:

- Working. There was one day last week that I spent the whole morning working on one script. Well, I say one, but it had 414,000 characters and our software only allowed 32,000 characters per script. It was splitting it up that took the time. I was a bit worn out after all that

- Trying to find an alternative for TweetDeck when it suddenly stopped working. On Windows I found I really like Janetter, which works on every platform except Linux. After an entire evening and an entire morning spent trying different programs, I eventually discovered that the best one is TweetDeck - and that's only vaguely usable. That's because in Chrome it uses Chrome's notifications which has two of them pop up for a few seconds and then vanish before you can read one. In Firefox notifications don't work at all. I can't download the Windows version because it seems to think that 4 bytes/second is an acceptable speed and I'm not sure if it works in Linux anyway. And of course there's nothing to tell you what you've read/is unread because who would want to know that sort of essential information anyway?

- On Sunday I went to the Olympic stadium for the Anniversary Games. (There are photos, of course). Our seats were amazingly not in the rain, but two rows in front of us were! We were in the sun at the end, but fortunately it wasn't out for too long. It was a great experience and we had a good view of the long jump. It was interesting to see them warm up - they put a little marker by the side of the runway and had a run up without really jumping. Then the bloke sitting by the take-off point put his finger on the board where they jumped from, so then they went and moved their marker, so then they knew where to start. They still seemed to get a lot of fouls, or so it seemed. It was interesting that the women with one leg all jumped off the blade, which suggests it has an advantage.

- Today I was only in two days, so they ended up being two days of hard work to get everything in. But tomorrow I am off on the annual windmill trip.

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Busy week
Sunday 9th June 2013 8:04 pm

This week's been a crazy week - it felt like November in terms of the amount of work I did and how brain dead it made me. I had three things on in the evenings this week and had training two days. I still had to do some work around the training, so I ended up working 10 hour days on those days and 8-9 on the others, so I ended up doing 6 days worth of hours in 5 days. And dreaming about working on two nights, so I felt like I hadn't had any rest at all.

The highlight of my week was discovering some hayfever pills that don't have lactose in. And spending Friday evening watching one of the men's semi-finals at Roland Garros and Saturday morning watching the other. It's about all I've been good for this weekend. Although I hate the camera men on it - they're obsessed with panning over the crowd and spiralling and making me dizzy. I'm not that interested in the crowd or the stadium, showing me the players will do nicely.

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An updatey thing
Friday 3rd May 2013 8:30 pm

It's been quite nice not to have to update for the past two days when I haven't had much time to.

Earlier in the week I posted about this being a busy week work-wise. And then it wasn't. It was in fact quiet. Partly because the thing I thought was going to take half a day only took half an hour and partly because I thought everything was going to turn up at once on Wednesday, and not only did it not, but I got a head start on most of it on Tuesday.

And then there were the local elections. I couldn't decide who to vote for, so I left it until I was in the booth with a short, stubby pencil with my ballot paper to decide which box to put an x in. Then I spent the morning watching the results come in and discovered I made the right choice - there was just under 100 votes between the one I voted for and the Conservative. It was nice to feel like my vote counted because in the general election not even AR would have made a difference.

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Monday 29th April 2013 8:54 pm

I am terrible under pressure. It took me a while to work it out - I was always convinced I was fine under pressure until I realised that I could go from fine to feeling like I'd been hit by a truck in the space of two hours at work.

I think about everything that needs doing, how much time there is to do it in, how long it's likely to take, how it's all going to come at once, try to do it all at once and in advance and end up tired, dizzy, stressed and hating everyone. And anxiety is one of the things that can make dizziness worse. Especially anxiety about being anxious about being dizzy...

But I am trying to be better. I am trying to be more relaxed about things. I don't exactly have the most important job in the world. If something doesn't get done no one's going to die and the world is not going to end. I'm pretty good at separating work and home, most of the time, so all the destressing things I do at home make no difference at 4.30pm when there's a 5pm deadline and it's all going wrong.

The way things are looking this week I might be putting it into practise - it being a bank holiday weekend means that everything needs launching before the weekend. So then it'll end up being a nice weekend* and no one does surveys on a sunny bank holiday weekend and it'll all be for nothing...

*It's my birthday this weekend, therefore I have ordered the weather.

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No time, too much work
Monday 18th March 2013 9:06 pm

I was going to get some things done tonight - like writing for example. Instead I left work really late, had to go to Sainsburys because I needed food for dinner and petrol, had dinner, cooked some potatoes for Wednesday and Thursday night's dinner (I won't have time on Wednesday or Thursday) wondered if the fog in my head and my headache was likely to improve enough for me to do anything, decided it wouldn't and wrote this entry.

I want to say I'm so tired I want to cry, but it's not that I'm tired, just today has been so intense and so long that I've just exhausted my brain, which in turn has exhausted the rest of me.

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The longest week
Wednesday 19th December 2012 7:59 pm

This week has been so long and it's still only Monday. Yesterday I was convinced it was Wednesday all day, until I got home and then thought it was Thursday. This morning I woke up convinced it was Saturday, then spent the day thinking it was Thursday or Friday.

I've taken Monday off work and Friday is our Christmas party, so tomorrow is effectively the last day of work before Christmas. Except that I have a project in China and they don't have Christmas...

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Not quite so ill
Sunday 18th November 2012 9:43 pm

I haven't posted for a while about the lurgy I had. After nearly two weeks it's nearly gone. My voice is back, my throat's nearly better and my asthma is getting better.

Plus I worked out that there's only five more weeks until Christmas, which means that there's only four more weeks of being busy possible and it should calm down a bit after two. And I only have another three five day weeks left anyway...

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