Angelic Paranoia

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December Talking Meme – Chalet School
Thursday 29th January 2015 5:30 pm

Chalet School was my most requested topic. And had the questions that required the most thought, so I left it till last, so I could think about it. Which meant that I started thinking about it when I started writing this.

Despite reading some boarding school stories as a child and loving them, I never came across the Chalet School. I didn't discover it at all until a few years ago when I decided to re-read some children's books I'd liked as a child. Someone mentioned Chalet School (probably [info]hhertzof). I went into one of the charity shops in town that had a room full of books and found an omnibus of the first two for 25p.

I then ended up reading the rest of the series from a combination of cheap paperbacks I bought, paperbacks and hardbacks borrowed from [info]selenay (who rudely moved to Canada when I still had one to go - I had to go out there in order to read it) and transcriptions. I've since read some of the ones written by other people and published by Girls Gone By.

It is infinitely crossover-able. Any female character who could have been around during the second half of the 20th century could have been a pupil there or taught there. Male characters are more tricky because they didn't have many male teachers and most of the men in the series were doctors at the San.


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December Talking Meme – Choir
Tuesday 20th January 2015 6:00 pm

[info]tanaqui asked about choir. The one I go to started around ten years ago, I think. I found out about it because my landlady went, but at the time I had fencing on a Thursday evening. Time passed and I found myself with some free time, discovered they were still going and so I went along.

You don't have to have an audition to join. You don't even have to be able to read music. Although those that can't sing soprano, on the basis that they tend to have the tune. I sing alto, because I can't sing very high. But I can read music. There's certainly an expectation that the altos know what they're doing, which is not always true! There are men in the choir too, but fewer and it feels like a lot more of them know what they're doing.

We tend to sing songs that most people know. So we've done songs from some musicals like My Fair Lady, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. And popular songs from the likes of ABBA, The Beach Boys and The Carpenters. And other well-known things. Hallelujah is well-liked in the choir because it's fun to sing, although the altos are the only section who never get a part of the tune. Sometimes singing songs you know is hard because when you're not singing the tune, you have to not sing the bit you know. Whereas if you didn't know it to start with, you end up feeling like your part is the tune.

It tends to meet during term time. So at the end of term at the start of December there's a less of a concert and more of an opportunity to watch us practise. I've never actually made it to one because that's when work gets busiest. We have a long Christmas break and a long summer break and a concert in March. Two years ago we sung at the local folk festival, and are going to again this summer, I think. Concerts are hard, but easier when you've practised a lot.

I like singing, although it feels harder than it used to be. When I was in primary school I was in the ordinary school choir. And also in the one you had to audition for, which was small. I don't remember being able to sing the right notes at the right times being so hard then! In secondary school I was briefly in the choir. All I remember from it was the bloke who took it trying to make us laugh when we were singing at a concert.

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December Talking Meme: my username
Saturday 10th January 2015 10:07 pm

[info]aralias asked me to talk about my username.

It is Paranoidangel - all one world and no capital letter on A (I have seen other people use both these variations). In some places it's already taken so I have to put a 42 on the end, but where I can I have paranoidangel. Mostly people tend to use PA for short, although sometimes it's Para - that seems to be less recent, though.

It started at uni when we played Quake on a Friday night - and by night I mean that literally because we didn't start until the bar closed and we finished around 6am Saturday morning. People tended to use some sort of pseudonym on it. Since the internet was still quite new at that point the only one I really had was my login, which I still use now as my secret identity.

But at the time the first thing that popped into my mind was "paranoid android" (ie Marvin from Hitchhikers). But the game wouldn't let me have that many characters, so I just went with Paranoid.

About a year later I was setting up an account on Freeserve, who at the time provided dial up internet. I had to come up with an email address that was, word2 had to be unique, but word1 could be anything. I was happy with word1 being my first name, but I disliked the idea of word2 being my last name. So I went for paranoid, but it was already taken.

This was the time that Buffy was on and in the moment of having to think something up in a hurry, I decided that angel would be the best word to tack onto the end of it.

When I needed a pseudonym on the internet, paranoidangel sounded like a good choice.

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December Talking Meme: Favourite Tolkien character
Monday 29th December 2014 3:13 pm

Finally getting back to these! [info]lindahoyland asked for my favourite Tolkien character.

The trouble is, my favourite depends a bit on what I've last read or seen, and when we're talking.

I really like Sam. He was my favourite for a while. He's loyal, and he's brave without being the brave one, if that makes sense. It's more of a background bravery. He went with Frodo, even though he wasn't so keen on the idea of adventure. He carries the ring for a bit, and then willingly gives it up - that's a pretty exclusive club of people who do that. He's an all round good egg, dependable and also the person you want by your side when throwing the One Ring into a volcano.

And then there's Aragorn. But I'm less interested in his destiny and being a King and a Ranger and marrying Arwen than I am in him growing up among Elves. It's more Estel that's my favourite than Aragorn, really. Once he's Aragorn he's far more a bog-standard hero type. Albeit one with a very pretty sword (I am anyone's for a pretty sword).

And then, of course, there's Elrond (seeing him in The Hobbit yesterday wielding a pretty sword helped with that). But Elrond is someone who loses nearly everyone he's ever loved and carries on anyway.

If I absolutely had to pick one character to be my favourite it would be Elrond and Estel. They're both interesting separately, but far more interesting together.

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December talking meme: Bunnies
Sunday 7th December 2014 6:09 pm

[info]just_ann_now asked about bunnies. Since bunnies are best illustrated, I took all of the cuddly bunnies in my house and took a photo of them:


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December Talking Meme
Wednesday 19th November 2014 8:36 pm

This looked like fun last year and all sorts of people are doing it again this year, so I'll join in.

So give me a topic* and I'll try** and waffle about it sometime in December***.

*can be as broad or specific if you like - if I can't do it I'll say and if someone else has asked for something similar on another site I'll tell you

**if not December, I will get to it sometime

***probably excluding the first week of December when it's likely to be busy

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