Angelic Paranoia

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 21st February 2018 8:55 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
I got all of the Daisy Dalrymple ebooks the library had, in case I liked them. I did so I've so I've just finished Death at Wentwater Court, The Winter Garden Mystery and The Bloody Tower. The series is set in the 1920s (but written in the modern day) and Daisy has a tendency to fall over dead bodies and be instrumental in solving the murder. Alec is a Scotland Yard DCI who is actually being paid to solve the murder. And fancies Daisy. The third book was number 16 in the series, so all of a sudden they're married with twin babies. Although nothing much changes. That one was set in the Tower of London, which I really need to get round to going to. The second one was set near Chester and I was in/coming back from Chester while I read it. Daisy spent a day in the city and talked about walking the wall and what she'd seen and I can tell you it's accurate, because I'd just done the same thing!

What I'm Currently Reading
Gone West, which is book 20 in the series. No one's died yet, but we've met all the suspects, so the murder must be soon. Since Daisy's gone to stay with an old school friend I don't know how the narrative will get Alex there.

What I'm Reading Next
The county does have nearly all of the remaining Daisy Dalrymple books, although annoyingly none of them my local library, so I will have to pay £1 for each of them. But I think I might be Daisy Dalrympled out by the end of this book. So I'll be going back to Little Men, which I was getting through slowly at a chapter a night.


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Chester and cold
Sunday 18th February 2018 2:42 pm

I went to Chester last weekend, came home and then got a cold. Work has been busy before and since, hence the lack of posting.

I wouldn't have chosen to go up north in the middle of winter, but I went for a wedding and since it involved four trains, I stayed for a bit longer. I ended up doing most of Chester in a day, which involved being out in the sun, wind, rain, hail and snow (not all at once). It was nice when it was sunny and the wind wasn't blowing. But not otherwise. It was pretty though.

A combination of lots of walking, going up four flights of stairs to my room, swimming 500m every evening (there was an 18m pool in the hotel), wearing my warm winter boots rather than walking shoes meant I ended up with shin splints. Which I've never had before, but I was glad I wasn't staying longer because I couldn't manage any more walking. But my feet were warm.

I got back, woke up the next morning with a cold. I can't just have a cold, it also sets off my asthma and dizziness, so it saps all my energy and I can't breathe. At least it waited until I got back.

I am getting some holidays in while I don't have a hamster, so I'm off to Edinburgh in the spring and another holiday in a few weeks. Usually I plan where to go and then take the time off. This time I've found a weekend I can have off and am yet to decide where to go.

In the meantime I am enjoying the Winter Olympics. A lot of the sports I just need to see a bit and then I've seen it all (except for people falling over). And a lot of them involve so much movement and camera movement that I got too dizzy if I watch too much. None of which counts for the curling. Which this morning included an excellent view of the Norwegian team's trousers.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – February
Thursday 1st February 2018 7:15 pm

This month I'm going to listen to a podfic. I've never tried one because I hate being read to. I tried an audio book once and it drove me mad how slow it was and how much faster it would be to just read the book. But then I liked Jamie reading Belinda Blinked in My Dad Wrote a Porno. But I know podfic is a thing and I'm going to try listening to one.

Does anyone have any recommendations in fandoms I might know? Or know where I can find podfic recs?


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars January wrap-up
Wednesday 31st January 2018 6:28 pm

This month I've been listening to the My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast. The premise is that a bloke called Jamie has a dad who wrote under the name Rocky Flintstone, a book called Belinda Blinked. Each week he reads a chapter, with comments from his friends, James and Alice.

And I've listened to the whole book in a month.

The book itself is self-published and you can buy it on Amazon. But it's awful. The way Alice described it is the way I feel about listening to it: between episodes I was keen to get to the next one, but as soon as I start I wonder why I'm putting myself through it.

The sex is written by someone you'd assume had never even seen a naked woman, let alone had sex with one, if it wasn't for the fact he has a son and therefore disproves that. It's definitely someone who doesn't understand anatomy at all. Quite apart from the sex, the dialogue is awful, the punctuation is awful and the plot is non-existent (so by definition is the only part that isn't awful).

If I was reading this book myself I probably would have made it to the end of the first chapter because I couldn't believe what I've reading. But there's no way I'd have made it further than that. It's the comments from Alice and James (and Jamie) that really make it fun to listen to. They point out the particularly awful bits in a way that's funny.

The best thing is that there are two more books worth of podcasts for this, so it'll keep me going for a while. I'm giving it 10/10.


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What I’m writing and what I’m not
Sunday 28th January 2018 7:40 pm

I am still working on the 20,000 word Last Leg fic. It is going to take forever (it's already taken forever). I sort of just want to be done with the thing. I finished a round of edits on Friday, so yesterday I went to read through it all, because I keep changing minor plot points. I got three paragraphs in and couldn't take it any more. Perhaps leaving it alone for a while would help.

Because it's so long I wanted to write something shorter. So I started something shorter: it's currently 4500 words. And I my next round of edits is the word choice and adding description one. On the plus side, at least it's shorter than 20,000 words and is fulfilling my goal of writing longer things.

This is the reason I haven't signed up for any ficathons. In 2016 I had writer's block for a long time, Yuletide broke it, I got exchange-happy and then ended up with exchange burn-out. There were exchanges I quite fancied last year but am still not doing this year because I want to finish these things first. But since last year I quite enjoyed picking up pinch hits if there was anything I liked, I might do that, depending on how everything else is going.

I am thinking that since last year I did Het Swap and the year before I did Femslash Exchange, I should do the Gen Fic exchange and a slash one, to complete the set. The tricky part of that is that the only slash one I have seen is for rare pairings and I either like pairings that are really popular or so tiny I'll be unmatchable. So we'll see with that.

Last year I thought there was no way I could do Fandom5k because writing 5000 words is a lot and writing 5000 words for someone else to a deadline would be really hard. But then I wrote a 5000 word fic for Yuletide last year, and the year before I wrote a 4000 word fic. So I think it might be do-able and I'd quite like the challenge. Assuming I can get the 20,000 word thing done by then.


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Dancing
Sunday 21st January 2018 12:29 pm

There was a point last autumn when I was attempting to go out three week nights in a row: for choir, ballet and morris. Which is hard enough anyway, but harder when I had to spend time with Missy when I got in, making them very late nights (and she really wasn't happy about me being out so much). I spent the rest of the week and the weekend recovering. To make it harder, trying to do the steps at morris is hard enough as it is, without having aching legs from ballet.

Something had to go and I hoped something would make the decision for me. And something did: the point to book for ballet this term was when Missy died and I was not feeling like making any decisions.

So I am currently not doing ballet. It's not the first time I stopped. After an autumn where I bought a house, had labyrinthitis and was busy at work, I then needed some time to relax in the winter, so took a term off.

I hate to stop because it feels like I keep taking things up and then dropping them. The trouble is that there are so many things I want to do and only so much time to do them. I can't remember when I started ballet, but it was before 2011. So I've been doing it a long time. I originally started to help me with my balance. And then in summer I found I have better balance than normal people who don't have a balance problem. So I think it's safe to say it's worked.


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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 17th January 2018 8:09 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
Little Women. I discovered that actually Little Women + Good Wives should be one book. But in this country it was split into two. I don't know why, but I can see the logic, given that the last paragraph of Little Women is:

So grouped, the curtain falls on Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Whether it ever rises again depends upon the reception given to the first act of the domestic drama, entitled "LITTLE WOMEN".

Which is a paragraph that feels very book-ending.

I like Little Women best out of all four books in the series. It always seems such a shame they have to grow up (well, except Beth). I think the mini-series captured it pretty well in a book and a half. Although the part I remembered the best (no idea why) wasn't in the series: it was Beth sitting on a medicine chest informing Jo about scarlet fever, but it was fine because she'd taken some medicine.

What I'm Currently Reading
Good Wives. I wasn't going to, because I Beth's death is just so hard, but reading Little Women reminded me of all the bits in the first book and then I wanted to read the second to see how similar it was too.

One of the reasons I probably like Little Women and Good Wives is that my books are red - they're little red hardbacks. And I say my books, but they used to be Mum's - I can tell because she wrote her name and class in the front of Good Wives.

What I'm Reading Next
Little Men, very probably. I don't remember it at all really, except for being disappointed it's not as good as Little Women.


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Commenting on fic
Sunday 14th January 2018 8:03 pm

Last year, as part of Fandom Snowflake (I think) I said I would comment on every fic I read and liked. I did. And now that I've made myself feel like kudosing is lazy, I'm going to continue doing it

It has changed my fic reading habits, though. I do have a tendency not to get round to reading things for a while because I know that if I like it, I'm going to need to comment. So if I don't have the energy for commenting right then, I don't read it.

Initially some of my comments were just "I like this" or something along those lines. But after a while I told myself I have to think of something in particular I like. But how much I comment is less to do with how much I like the fic and more to do with how much time I have and how much I've read.

I always said that kudosing (for me) was like saying "I like this but I don't have anything in particular to say". Except that there have been occasions when I've read something, thought it was all right, but not much more than that. In those instances I might have kudosed it. Now I don't allow myself to use the kudos button. And having discovered that it does mean that in some instances, I now can't use it at all because although the authors might not know how I mean it, I do. And I just don't feel like I can damn them with faint praise.

So continuing commenting it is then.

In unrelated news, the person who wrote the crossposter I'm using suddenly re-appeared after not having done anything to it for years, and updated it to work with Dreamwidth's https. So if you're reading this on Dreamwidth it should be back to normal paragraph gaps again.


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2017: the year of babies
Sunday 7th January 2018 7:48 pm

It feels like everyone had babies in 2017. Although in reality it's only three and only if you count the beginning of this year as 2017. Which isn't that much of a surprise in some ways, because I went to a lot of weddings a few years ago (where four counts as a lot). But it's had a terrible effect on my social life.

When I went to the tennis or to see comedians, I used to go with my sister. Which was fine until the end of 2016 when we saw Adam Hills. And then she very selfishly had a baby this year (who I plan to use to go to things that would be odd to go to without a child when he's old enough, but that's not going to be for a few years yet). Between that and other babies and illness (and weather) I haven't been to any tennis, the only time I went to the theatre was to Harry Potter, which I booked in mid-2016, and the only comedian I saw was Ellie Taylor, when the local theatre emailed that week to say she was on. Amusingly, her set was all about how she was in her 30s and everyone was having babies...

But this year is going to be different. I've decided that if I want to go to something I will just book it and go. Then it doesn't matter what anyone else is doing. So I am already going to see Lucy Porter and Dara O'Briain in the spring.


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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 3rd January 2018 8:24 pm

Trying to get back into the swing of Reading Wednesdays.

What I Just Finished Reading
The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard by David A Goodman. I enjoyed the Kirk one that I read last year, so I was excited to read this. And it was good - it was interesting to read about him growing up and his time on the Stargazer. That took up a lot of the book, which was fine because I was enjoying it. But then his time on the Enterprise felt a bit rushed in comparison to the Kirk autobiography. And the ending didn't match up with the books at all. Which I suppose is fine, the books can all exist in parallel universes, but I was disappointed it was different.

What I'm Currently Reading
The Book of the Year by No Such Thing As A Fish. They'd been plugging this book on their podcasts for a while and posting extracts on Twitter, so I was starting to succumb and thinking about buying it. And then a friend bought it for me, which solved all those problems. It's all the little stories of the year, sorted alphabetically. The fact that sticks in my mind at the moment, is that an atmospheric phenomenon was discovered, the public got to name it, so they called it 'Steve'.

What I'm Reading Next
Probably Little Women, because I've been watching the adaptation that was on over Christmas and it's making me want to go back and revisit it, and read all the bits they missed out.


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2017 fic roundup
Tuesday 2nd January 2018 7:46 pm

Summary: This seems to be the year of writing in new fandoms.

Read more...


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Yuletide 2017
Monday 1st January 2018 5:25 pm

Yuletide happened and I got two fics and a game. Which I am so excited about, but waited to talk about until I could say what I wrote, for reasons which will become obvious. Read more...


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End of year fandom meme
Friday 29th December 2017 3:06 pm

1. Your main fandom of the year?
In terms of fic writing and reading it's probably been Doctor Who. I don't tend to talk about it much because I find it's best enjoyed without thinking about it much.

2. Your favourite film watched this year?
I watched two films this year, Rogue One and Kinsgman. So my favourite is therefore the one I liked: Kingsman.

3. Your favourite book read this year?
Looking back, I really didn't write a lot of Reading Wednesday books this year, so I can't remember most of what I read. It's probably a tie between Carry On by Rainbow Rowell and Knowing the Score: My Family and Our Tennis Story by Judy Murray.

4. Your favourite TV show of the year?
Red Dwarf XII. Which is just as well because when I did this meme last year I put it down as my biggest fan anticipation.

5. Your favourite online fandom community of the year?
The only ones I use are LJ and DW, so those.

6. Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
Carry On, given the speed I got through the book. Although there's so much fic there I don't know where to start (so I haven't yet, but will when there's less Christmas exchange reading to do).

7. Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
Star Trek: Discovery. It got better when there weren't Klingons on it, but I can't stand Michael and it turns out she's the main character (I thought we were well rid of her after the first two episodes).

8. Your TV boyfriend of the year?
Probably Jonnie Peacock.

9. Your TV girlfriend of the year?
Diana Rigg, for her performance in Victoria.

10. Your biggest squee moment of the year?
Diana Rigg in Victoria. I either hadn't known she was in it or had forgotten, so I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got round to watching the latest series this month.

11. The most missed of your old fandoms?
Exactly the same answer as last year: Stargate Atlantis, caused by reading SGA Secret Santa fics (particularly the Shep/McKay ones).

12. The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
Given the rate I keep acquiring them, I don't need any more.

13. Your biggest fan anticipations for the New Year?
I'm excited about the Winter Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, despite the time difference. And hoping Jo Konta does better this year (overall, not just at Wimbledon). I can't think of any answers that are non-sport ones!


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars December wrap-up and 2017 and January
Thursday 28th December 2017 2:51 pm

I thought I'd get all this in one post, rather than do three separate ones.

This month I watched The Night Manager. I saw three-quarters of an episode and had to stop there because I was too tired to finish it that night. I came back to watch the rest the next day and my main thought was "do I have to?". Which tells you what I thought about it... I did finish the episode and then decided it meant I didn't have to watch any more. So I didn't.

I can see why people would look like - it's all about intrigue and who's up to what and if they're going to get their comeuppance. However, I didn't think much of Tom Hiddleston and really hated his character (the eponymous night manager). And looking at the blurbs for the rest of the episode, and given what had happened in the first, I suspect he was not going to get what I felt should be coming to him, and so I was going to be disappointed.

At least not watching the rest of the episodes has saved me five hours of my life. So I'll give it 3/10.

In summary this year I have done the following:
January: Instagram 6/10 (but given how much I've liked it since then, I'd increase it to 8/10 if I was scoring it again)
February: The Martain by Andy Weir 8/10 (I still need to watch the film)
March: Aldi 5/10
April: Rock Choir 8/10
May: Rogue One 2/10
June: Divide (Ed Sheeran) 7/10
July: Re-learning French using apps 7/10 (I should really get back into this, so I can be ready for Paris 2024)
August: Yoga 2/10
September: Morris dancing 10/10
October: Netflix 5/10
November: Avocado 3/10
December The Night Manager 3/10

I am going to carry on doing this next year. This year I purposely did things that were different. Next year I'm not going to make it quite so hard and just make it whatever I feel like. Having said that, in January I'm going to do something different: listen to "My Dad Wrote A Porno". Partly because as a result of needing background noise when Missy died, I got through my podcast backlog. So now I have time to add another for when I run out of current ones. I have heard of it and heard bits of it and it sounds like fun.


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Christmas
Saturday 23rd December 2017 4:35 pm

I hate Christmas. I hated it more when I was a child because I got two weeks off from school and the only difference between Christmas Day and every other day was that everything was closed, everyone else was too busy eating turkey and arguing with their family, and there was nothing on TV. These days it's different because Christmas means two bank holidays. And I like that that they mean not having to see anyone. There's still nothing open, but these days it's when all the TV is on.

I was starting to think I was in a minority about this because there are other people at work who aren't Christian and still do Christmas. And on The Last Leg they went all Christmassy on 1st December, and it turned out both their guests were Jewish. But both of them did something Christmassy or at least didn't hate it.

And then Captain Awkward had a question about Christmas and a lot of people in the comments saying how they hated it too.

It's not the actual day I hate any more, it's the lead up to it. It's not being able to go into a shop without having to listen to Christmas music that I've heard a hundred times already. Or listen to the radio without the same problem. And people who ask what I'm eating for Christmas dinner. They might as well ask what I'm eating for dinner a week next Tuesday for all the sense that makes. Or worse, ask if I'm ready for Christmas. I don't know what that means. (I'm always ready for Christmas to be over).

I don't mind people asking what I'm doing for Christmas, because it's the same as asking what I'm doing for any bank holiday or weekend. Although I keep my answers vague because they're not actually interested in the specifics.

And there are some Christmassy things I do like. Like mince pies and Christmas pudding (as long as there's no brandy butter - that stuff is disgusting). And Christmas trees (I especially like that you can get them in colours other than green), and tinsel. I have no interest in baubles, they're not as pretty as tinsel. Or fairy lights that flash. I like the white lights on people's houses that hang down. And the really OTT people you can laugh at on the way past.

So there are good things about Christmas, I just wish it wasn't so in your face, with an assumption that everyone does Christmas. (Besides, passover is much better, which is why it's the only Jewish festival I still do every year, even when it's not at Easter)

For me, this is an appropriately timed post: since yesterday was the last working day before Christmas, therefore yesterday was Christmas Eve and today was Christmas Day.


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Busy fortnight
Sunday 17th December 2017 5:27 pm

The week before last was really busy at work. My evenings felt long because most of the things I do in the evening had finished for the year, and I didn't have to play with Missy. So I got a lot of TV watching done.

This week work is quieter, but I've either been woken up really early or not been able to get to sleep or woke up early for no reason, or some combination of the above, so I've been really tired. And watched a load more TV.

I'm hoping next week will be better...


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars November wrap-up and December
Saturday 2nd December 2017 7:24 pm

I'm putting both of these in one post, as they're pretty short (and late).

In November I ate avocado. I'm very glad I chose something that was quick to do and I got it done towards the beginning of the month. I had a teaspon-full, in case I didn't like it. Close up, I wasn't convinced about the colour or the look of the texture - it didn't really look natural. But the taste wasn't at all what I was expecting. I was expecting it to taste strong, but in fact it didn't taste of anything. I wasn't keen on the feel of the texture either, but thought maybe I could get used to it.

And then the aftertaste hit. I thought about writing this post at the time and perhaps I should have done because all I can remember is that it was strong and awful. I ate something else to take the aftertaste away and it didn't work. So I concluded that a teaspoon of avocado was all I needed to eat and I really don't get the appeal.

I'll give it a 3 out of 10, because parts of it weren't too bad.

In December I'm going to watch The Night Manager. It was on TV ages ago and all I know about it is that it's good and it has Tom Hiddleston in it (because anywhere his name is mentioned it has The Night Manager in brackets after it). I did go to watch it after it was on, but all the episodes except for the first were on iPlayer and I got the impression this was something best watched in order.


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What I’ve been up to
Friday 1st December 2017 7:37 pm

I am doing better. Although my lounge still looks big and empty with the spaces where Missy's cage and toys were. And my evenings seem so long now they've not interrupted.

I decided I didn't need to do anything unless I had to. So possibly the most productive thing I've done is to watch all of season 3 of Dark Matter, which I'd had sitting around for months. Handily, I'd done all my Christmas shopping and sent my Yuletide fic off to beta.

I also listened to a lot of podcasts at work and while I was doing things around the house. I seemed to be permanently 10 episodes behind on Confessions, but now not only am I caught up but I'm working my way through episodes of The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry from before I started listening. Although the one about itching made me itch all the way through...

I went to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Wednesday. It was well-timed really, as I wouldn't have really been up for it the week before, and before Missy died I was worrying about leaving her all evening (as I didn't get home until midnight). I was excited about it when I booked it a year and a half ago, and I bought the book. And then I found the book disappointing. However, seeing the play is a lot better than reading the script. I thought the kid who played Scorpius was particularly good at getting the laughs, and the actor who played Ron looked most like the film actor (although I was quite a long way away from the stage).

What was also good about going was that there were quite a few people there on their own or not sitting with the people they'd come with (due to the difficulty of getting tickets) and I learnt all about returns. So if anyone wants to go it's well worth rocking up on the day because chances are you'll get a ticket.

The part of the programme I read first was the actors and what they'd been in in case I recognised any. I was literally reading the TV and film bit and not taking any notice of the actor's names when I noticed one had been in An Adventure in Space and Time. It turned out that Jamie Glover was Harry Potter. It did distract me a bit, thinking about how good an Ian Chesterton he'd be on audio. I eventually concluded he'd probably be quite good. Given that I've already bought the First Doctor audio Big Finish are doing with The Adventure in Space and Time cast, that's just as well.

And in the chorus scenes I was distracted trying to spot Ged Simmons (DI Cullen) in The Bill. I think I did, but then I also noticed he'd been in Outnumbered, and I don't remember him in that at all.

And I wasn't the only person there with a scarf from the first two films (before they changed the uniform). But all the staff had the new uniform ties and scarves.


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Missy
Sunday 26th November 2017 2:30 pm

I was thinking that I haven't posted about (and photos of) Missy for a while.
Missy on a cushion
Read more...


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Alternative Christmas carol lyrics
Saturday 11th November 2017 4:00 pm

At choir this week we started doing some Christmas carols for our informal end of term concert. One of them is We Three Kings. I'm not sure if I ever knew what the real lyrics are, but I can remember the alternative lyrics from primary school:

We three kings of Orient are
One in taxi, one in a car
One on a scooter
Blowing his hooter
Smoking a big cigar.

Well, I say I remembered them, but in reality I couldn't remember the last line and it was doing my head in. The internet brought up loads of options, but this is the one I remember.

I do remember the alternative lyrics to Jingle Bells*:

Jingle bells
Batman smells
Robin flew away
Uncle Billy lost his willy
On the motorway

(Hilarious when you're eleven)

Anyone else have any alternative lyrics for carols?

*I kept typing jungle bells, which would be a whole different song...


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