paranoidangel: PA (PA)

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).

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

This month I listened to Ed Sheeran's album, Divide. In fact, I listened to it last week when it was too hot to do anything else.

I liked that it had different styles on it. I was put off by the first one being rap, because I don't like rap - I like music to have a tune. But then there were two rap songs, there were a couple of slower ones, and generally a variety. Which was unexpected - a lot of artists have songs that all sound the same.

Otherwise, though, it was nothing special. I knew one of the songs and quite liked that. But there was nothing exciting in it - nothing that really grabbed me as having particularly interesting lyrics or a really nice tune. It was just blah and non-offensive.

I suppose being middle-of-the-road is why he's popular. But otherwise I wouldn't mind either way if I listened to him again or didn't. It's like most of the music I listen to on the radio - it's not something I love or something I hate, it's just there and it's all right, but nothing special.

I'd give it a 7/10.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

Since this month is looking a bit busy, I thought I'd do something that wouldn't take too much time. So I decided to listen to a (music) album. Which is something that's been done on the radio/TV series. But also, I tend to listen to random songs that I hear on the radio and don't always find out who they're by. I loved Pandora, because it gave me new things to listen to, but then they made it US-only. I've listened to very few whole albums.

Which gave me a vast list to choose from. So I picked the current top album, which is apparently Divide by Ed Sheeran. Which I'm interested to listen to, so that works out well.

I have heard an Ed Sheeran song once and I quite liked it. Other than that, all I know about him is that he's really popular, not a cricketer and looks like Ron Weasley. So it'll be interesting to hear an album of his.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

In May I was watching Rogue One. Since I saw it this afternoon I thought I might as well talk about it.

In summary, I found it dull and give it 2/10. The 2 is mainly for the last two minutes. More detail about what I thought, with spoilers are below:

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

This month I'm going to watch a film. There are a few I have on my list to watch, but given the title of the original radio series I am borrowing, it seems fitting to watch Rogue One.

I didn't see it at the cinema because my main interest in Star Wars is lightsabers, lego and Ewan McGregor, and it didn't look like this film would include any of those things. So I saw Fantastic Beasts on Rogue One opening weekend instead.

But, watching from home means I don't have to sit through the whole thing at once (or even the whole thing if I don't want to) and I can crochet or cross stitch while watching it.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

This month I went to Rock Choir. It was fun, but it was different to the choir I'd more used to.

Rock Choir say that they don't ask you to read music, which I was fearing meant that they would only give you words and no music. Turned out I was right. At choir, whenever we've had words and no music it's made it so hard to learn anything.

Although having music doesn't necessarily make it easier to sing - I can tell you what the note's called and I can play it, but not sing it. However, at Rock Choir, because no one is expected to know it, it's all learnt by repetition - a lot of repetition. Which did mean that we sung far fewer songs: we learnt most of one and sung through one they'd previously done. Which did make it a bit samey.

It is all pop songs, which is a change from choir, where we never do anything that recent. So it was nice to sing something a bit different.

The most different thing were the parts. In choir women sing soprano or alto, men sing tenor or bass. In Rock Choir there are three parts, which are called soprano, alto and bass, but are really just top, middle and bottom because anyone can sing any part. Which was just as well because at my local one there weren't any men.

Once you join you get to download your part - as an mp3 - you never get the music. But that does at least mean you can practise in the car or wherever, you don't also need to be able to play it (which got tricky for things with seven flats).

I am definitely not going back this term because it will mean going out three nights a week (in a row) all term and I will keel over. I may go back at some later date, but it depends on a whole load of other things. I am glad I tried it, because now I actually know what it's like, since all that anyone was prepared to tell me was that it was fun and/or expensive, which is not that helpful.

Overall I give it 8/10, those two off are mainly because of the (necessary) repetitiveness.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

This month I'm going to go to Rock Choir.

I've been a member of a local community choir for a few years (I've completely lost track of how many), but it's recently shut down. For now I'm going to enjoy having an extra evening in, and hopefully therefore have the energy to get some more swimming in. And do all those million other things that always seem to need doing.

All sorts of people are very keen to tell me how terrible Rock Choir is, and I have a whole load of other things I could do on that evening, so I am very unlikely to join. However, you can go once for free. So I am going to go on their first rehearsal back after Easter, and then I can see for myself what it's like. Because I'm curious what other adult choirs are like.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

In March I went to Aldi. It ended up being towards the end of the month, as that's when I had the most time, but I knew that when I set it.

I purposely went on my way to somewhere else, so I could justify seeing what the car park is like. The minute you turn off the main road, half of this side of the road is a cycle lane. Except that the road is narrow and only fits two cars (one in either direction). So who thought putting a cycle lane that couldn't possibly ever by a cycle lane is a good idea, I don't know.

Whenever I go anywhere I generally park as far away as possible so I can drive straight through two spaces and therefore don't have to reverse. The car park was tiny and didn't have any spaces you could drive straight through. Which came as a bit of a shock.

The actual shop smelt of something I couldn't put my finger on - it wasn't food. Which might be something to do with half the shop selling non-food items. Which would be fine, except that it's only a small shop. It's also the third supermarket of four in this town (and it's not a big town) and most of the rest of the shops are cheap ones. Some of the non-food things were strange (paint, children's shoes, backpacks, car things) so I'm not quite sure what market they're trying to capture here. I didn't see anything you couldn't get elsewhere.

What with food only in half the shop there were only a few half-aisles of it. The only one I found at all interesting was the chocolate aisle, where I found some ridiculously dark chocolate for my sister (she likes it dark) and some (dairy free) minty thins for me and Mum. Otherwise there were a few things I could probably get cheaper than elsewhere, but the amount it would cost me to drive there would negate the cost saving. There was no free from section, so I definitely couldn't do my normal grocery shop in there.

It was interesting that they had a shelf at the back where you could go and finish packing, which I thought was a good idea. But the tills were odd - they were designed for trolleys and meant there was no where for the checkout person to put stuff after they scanned it. There might have been basket only tills, but it was busy and I just went to the shortest queue.

I also have big problems with where they built it - I'm pretty sure it's not helping the traffic problems when I'm trying to get home after work. So I am feeling justified in never needing to go there again.

As an experience I give it 5 out of 10 - it was interesting, but not one I need to repeat.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

This month for I've Never Seen Star Wars I'm going to Aldi. I've never been to an Aldi or Lidl, because I've never lived near one. Until recently (where recently is a couple of years ago now...) when an Aldi opened up nearby. We're already fully stocked with a range of supermarkets and cheap shops, so I wasn't exactly desperate for another one. And it's in a really annoying place that's made the traffic jams worse.

But having never been, but learnt a bit about what sort of things they sell, I'm intrigued to know what's it like. I know the search on their website is crap because I looked for chocolate spread and it returned over 100 items, most of which had nothing to do with either chocolate or spread.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

This month I was reading The Martian by Andy Weir. And by this month I mean I started it on the train on Friday and finished it on Saturday. Which is partly because it was a long train journey, so I got a lot read and partly because I liked it.

If there is anyone left in the world who hasn't read it or seen the film, it's about a man (Mark Watney) who is left behind on a mission to Mars. It starts off with his log entries about what happened and what he does in order to stay alive.

I struggled with it a little at first because through the log entries it really felt as if I was all alone, despite being on a train full of people. And then just as it's looking like it's going to be one thing, other problems get thrown in, so rescuing him/him getting rescued is never quite sure. Until the book ended, I wasn't sure whether he was going to be rescued or he'd die (and I am not going to spoil it here).

It did feel a bit convenient that he was a botanist and engineer and consequently had all the skills needed to survive. But I can forgive that because if he hadn't had those skills he'd have died early on and it would be a much shorter, less interesting, book.

There were a few things that never really came up: how he dealt with being on his own, and how he and the rest of the crew dealt with all the radiation from being in space for so long. The second one was just never mentioned, despite a lot of detail about how supplies got to Mars and how they had some Mars gravity on the spaceship. The first one was vaguely mentioned, but only vaguely because the only stuff we got from Mark Watney's point of view were his log entries and he didn't really discuss it.

I'd quite like a companion book that went more into the emotional side of everything, than the practical side.

But aside from that, I liked it. I'll give it 8/10 - that 2 off is because of those bits above that weren't mentioned and because I think it ended too early (I understand why it ended where it did, but I still wanted some of the aftermath).

I'd like to see the film, mainly because I want to know how they dramatised it, but I will save watching that until I've forgotten the book a bit. Otherwise I'll just get annoyed with changes and bored with what's the same.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

This post is a bit later than intended due to being dead of work.

This month I'm going to read The Martian by Andy Weir. I first heard about this book on an unrelated forum where someone was asking for SF book suggestions. Amazon had the read inside bit on this, so I read it, thought it sounded good and intended to read it sometime.

And then the film came out.

I have trouble reading anything or watching anything that everyone is into. I am so bad with it that after I'd read A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and it felt like everyone had read it, I wished I hadn't. Even though I'd liked it. And intend to read the sequel (once it's out in paperback).

So with The Martian it felt like everyone had seen the film, so I lost all desire to read the book. Or see the film. So I am using I've Never Seen Star Wars to actually read it, given that I wanted to once. It's handily available as an ebook from my library, so I will be reading it later this month when I have a long train journey.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

This is not about the films, it's about trying one new thing a month. In January I tried Instagram.

When I set up my account I had to find people to follow. It suggested some and when anyone on Twitter posted anything from Instagram or mentioned they'd just got an Instagram, I followed them. I think whether it's interesting to depends a lot on who you follow. On Twitter I follow a lot of comedians who make jokes and tell you when they're on telly or on tour. On Instagram they're not as interesting or as funny. It's fine, but I'm not really missing anything by not following them.

I got lucky because two weeks of my trial included the Australian Open and the Tennis Podcast posted lots of related things that I found interesting. I briefly followed the Australian Open and then had to unfollow them after a day because it was a lot of random photos of players in the night. And it's not like on Twitter where I can have a column just for that sort of thing and therefore either read it or mark it as read depending on time.

It took me a little while to work out that the new posts were the ones above the suggestions of people to follow. But I found the website easier to use than the app because it showed you the whole of the comment related to the photo or video.

I posted 11 photos or videos overall. Although I started with it set to private, mainly because my Twitter is, it seemed silly when I'm just posting the same Missy photos that I post in public to Flickr. So you can see all the things I posted at https://www.instagram.com/paranoidangel42.

I wanted to try out all the things, so I posted photos and videos and a set of photos and I used the filters. The filters are not easy to use because their names are completely random. They might as well have just numbered them, for all the good the names are. You can add additional filters, but since there's no way to tell what they do that's not very useful. Initially I thought they were pretty useless, but I did use one to brighten up my snow photo, taken on a bit of a dark morning. And looking at the one of Missy I put a filter on, it does really bring out the colour of the floor.

I liked the odd thing (probably as many posts as I've liked on Twitter, and I've been on Twitter for years). I wanted to comment on something, but couldn't find anything where I had something worth saying.

I tried using IFTTT to cross post my Instagram posts to Twitter - just doing it from Instagram posts a link to Instagram, so you have to go to Instagram anyway, which is a bit pointless. But I couldn't get it to work, I don't know why. Admittedly, I couldn't quite be bothered spending a lot of time on it. I feel like I should post more Missy photos to Twitter and I could do that via Instagram if IFTTT cross-posted to it. Except that posting photos to Twitter is the same amount of work.

So overall, I don't know. This is why I put off writing this post for a day because I just don't know if I like it. I've still been looking at it today. And I did get excited about the QI Elves getting Instagram because the two things they posted were Quite Interesting. So how much I'll post to it I don't know, but I'll continue to read it from time to time, and maybe put some more effort into working out who I really want to follow.

Since people on the series had to give everything a mark out of ten, I'm going to say 6/10.

Tomorrow (ish) I'll post about what I'm going to try in February.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

I have seen Star Wars, this is the title of a radio series (and one TV series). The idea is that they get celebrities to try something they've never tried but lots of people have. So it can be a book, a TV series, a film, an album or an experience. So the experiences I can remember are: camping, drinking coffee, baking a cake, buying jeans, playing a video game.

If it's an experience then they film/record them doing it. For whatever it is they report back afterwards how much they enjoyed it (or didn't).

I've decided that this year I'm going to try one new thing a month. This month is going to be instagram. I'm paranoidangel42 on it, if anyone is interested in following me/looking at it. I have set it to private, so if you're not following me you can't see them.

Mirrored from my blog.

July 2017

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