Huzzah, I am once again employed. At least until the end of the Christmas season, with the possibility to be kept on afterwards, possibly. It's just retail work at the local Argos but it feels good to be back on the job-having wagon, like maybe I'll actually make this whole being a grown-up thing stick this time round.
In other news, my LJ paid account expired and I... completely failed to notice for quite a while. I'm not going to renew it because I just don't use this site as much as I used to. It's become painfully evident that if I want to remain active in fandom I'll have to get to grips with Tumblr, Pinterest and/or AO3 since that's where most of the action is these days... and without fandom to keep me here, my posts are pretty much just infrequent updates about my life which I frankly don't need a paid account for.
Haven't podficced in a while even though there's a few fics lingering on my to-do list. I know I really should get to it but when EA announced The Sims 4 is due for release next year I kinda fell back into playing The Sims 3 which has pretty much killed all my free time xD
I've been meeting up with Chris and Sarah fairly regularly over the past month or so. We mostly go for lunch/coffee and end up lost in conversation for a couple of hours but it's a lot of fun. Since we're all interested in creative writing, Sarah recommended a fun little challenge from a writing magazine she subscribes to where you roll dice to determine characters, plots, objects, etc. so last time we met up we rolled for each other and the plan is to write a short story with the prompts before we next meet up.
Still been attending the sci-fi/fantasy book club, last time Chris attended as well so we mostly sat in one corner and got caught up in conversation with a few other people.
It was Yasmin's 21st a few days ago and since her birthday and Kayleigh's are so close together they organised a party for last night. I ended up being the only person who Yasmin invited that actually went, everyone else calling up to say they couldn't make it. I tried my best but I'm not the most outgoing individual so I got the feeling she was a bit bored for parts of the evening, still once we got to the Green Man and had a game of darts going I think she brightened up.
In other news, I bought the Battlestar Galactica Board Game and have been having fun playing it with my family. There's a lot going on in the rules so we're all still getting used to how to play but everyone's got a good grasp of the "making wild accusations that other players are Cylons" part down XD. Of the three games we've played I've been a human once, a Cylon twice and I've only won the most recent game where I was the sole Cylon, though in my other Cylon game I got to bomb Colonial One which I'm kinda proud of :P
When group therapy ended we all exchanged contact info, so I've been keeping in touch with the rest of the group. Mostly through texts and e-mail but the other week I went into Thame to meet up with Sarah and Chris. We had lunch in a cafe Sarah recommended and ended up taking close to two hours, just caught up in conversation, then we went and browsed in a bookshop for a while before catching the bus. It was honestly the most fun I've had in a social situation in years.
I finished watching Season 2 of Stargate SG1. I'm still enjoying it, the plot keeps going forward and the introduction of the Tok'ra and Asgard means my irritation with the seriously hands-off aliens of Season 1 was lessened (Only lessened mind, I still find this "You still fight, oh how juvenile" thing extremely irritating).
As much as I'm enjoying Stargate, with 10 seasons plus 5 of Atlantis to get through I decided to take a break and watch something else before starting Season 3. I ended up picking Battlestar Galactica, as part of my continuing effort to watch/try all the significant Sci-Fi/Fantasy shows I missed growing up. I ended up pretty much mainlining it, a 3-hour miniseries and 73 episodes and I just could not stop watching.
In some ways I think it could be seen as a precursor to LOST, with such a large cast and their interactions providing a main reason to watch. But while LOST put Jack and Kate front and center, making me seriously consider skipping the episodes from their POV, BSG does a better job of throwing the spotlight around. Sure, there's still an obvious divide between primary and secondary characters but the secondary characters are all developed well-enough for the parts they play... The parts they play frequently being ten shades of horrible messy death. Seriously, why did the writers feel the need to kill off/unmask as a cylon all the characters I loved? I can't even really hate them for it either because the deaths are all (with one or two exceptions) well-scripted, in-character and emotionally impactful.
The show definitely went a bit wobbly when the writer's strike hit and they had to cut Season 4 into two but that's a pretty common fate for shows airing back then. It recovers for the most part, the darker tone feeling at place in the glass-half-empty universe the show constructed and a lot of the characters' actions leading up to the finale making sense, but I can understand why the ending is generally disliked.
The show's inspired me though, I've got the urge to write fanfic for the first time in a while. I'm mostly just taking notes at the moment, trying to get the whole story straight in my head before I set to work but I'm hoping I can do this because I've missed writing.
In other fandom news, I'm still riding the podfic railroad. I signed up to participate in pod-together and I've got permission to record a few other fics, so I've got plenty to work on :3
Text Hanna and Yasmin to ask if they wanted to head to the cinema. No reply from Hanna, Yasmin text back but she's had a motorcycle crash and so can't go out for a week.
So I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness on my own. I've learned my lesson from getting over-hyped, and ultimately disappointed, by The Avengers so I did my best to go into this one blind, I even did my best to avoid the trailers. I have to say it helped the overall viewing experience because I thoroughly enjoyed this film.
No spoilers, just a hearty recommendation to go see it if you have the time/money.
Podfic is done, just giving it a final beta-listen to see if it needs any final tweaks, then I'll be able to upload it... This is where I hit a snag.
Since my PC crashed all my cookies vanished, so the sites I used to stay logged into no longer remember me and I can't remember my username/password for my RapidShare account. I can't ask the site to send a password recovery e-mail because Microsoft are being unreasonably dickish about letting me reactivate my hotmail account. Why isn't there an option for me to talk to a fucking person so I can explain: "No, nobody's trying to hack my account. My PC crashed and that's why I'm now logging in from a different one!"
So, I'm asking for your help, my dear f-list. If I've sent an e-mail to you from my hotmail account recently, or ever, could you message me with the subject line I used and your e-mail address so I can throw that info into the mix of my next recovery attempt in the hopes that Microsoft will believe I am actually me.
I have the 80K podfic fully recorded and I've just finished splicing out all the mistakes. Now I just have to beta-listen to roughly seven hours of podfic and re-record any lines that I'm not happy with. I may finish with a few days of amplificathon left, if so there's another shorter fic I may be able to get done before the final deadline.
So Fran had a complete hard drive meltdown and everything on my main and back-up drives was totally lost. The only good news is that my external back-up drive survived so it wasn't a total loss. Still: all my PC games and save files, half a year's worth of my iTunes library and the extensive list of TV shows/Movies I wanted to check out are kaput.
Dad tried to salvage the data but it isn't looking good for my main drive, though he's waiting til he has some free time to take a crack at the 80GB back-up drive. Oh, he's also kinda busy at the moment since he got a new job, haven't posted about that yet. Still a caretaker job but at a combined infant/junior school, we figure that younger, less obnoxious kids should make his job a lot less stressful.
Took a few days to recollect the songs I could remember from the chunk of my library that went missing and of course the playcounts are fucked to hell, meaning I'm having to check through most of my podfics and be like "Did I listen to this one yet?"
Speaking of podfic, I've been taking part in amplificathon. The hard drive failure has put me too far behind the curve to stand a chance of winning, so I'm mostly focused on finishing up the last few fics I have permission to record before the end of the month. I'm working on an 80K fic at the moment, only 6 chapters left to record plus all the editing.
Oh, just to top everything off, Google are on one of their "We must control every aspect of your online world" kicks again. I tried reinstalling Live Messenger and it referred me on to Skype. Now, I have no problem with Skype only once I installed it and tried to access my hotmail account it shunted me over to Outlook. After a few days of Outlook sending me to an error screen when I tried to log-in, it finally gave me the option to regain access to my hotmail account and asked me for a shitload of information to verify that I am the account owner. This would be fine except I've been using that e-mail account since I was 15, how the fuck am I supposed to remember the answer to a security question from over six years ago? I don't even remember if I bothered putting a security question on my account or not.
I filled in whatever I could and I guess they finally decided to accept it. Apparently they'll check the information I gave and decide whether I'm really me sometime in the next 24 hours. If not, I'll just have to get a new e-mail account and reset my contact address on every site that I visit... Which given Google's nefarious plans that started all this bullshit in the first place, I'm sure will just be a barrel of laughs ¬__¬
Doctor Who's back and I'm kinda 'meh' about it so far. It's not bad, the show's certainly been worse, but it doesn't give me fuzzies either. I'm holding out hope that they're building to something with Clara, they're certainly dropping all kinds of hints that she's Important but when I compare it to Amy and the 'Crack in the Bedroom' plot, it just doesn't measure up.
ETA: Just checked my backlog and wow, it's been over a month since I last updated.
Okay, other big news is that Hanna moved back from Essex. While I offered my sympathies that her relationship didn't work out, I was honestly glad to have her back. She, Yasmin and I met up for a day on the town a couple of weeks ago. It was the closest we've been to the old days in a long time, mostly just wandering round town, window shopping, with only a brief stop off at The Bell for lunch.
Met up for another cinema-trip with Yasmin, since she has Orange Wednesday codes for 2-for-1 cinema tickets. We missed Wreck-It-Ralph again, so we settled on Oz The Great and Powerful.
I'm not a huge fan of Wizard of Oz. I remember watching it as a kid but not really loving it, though I am a fan of Wicked. So I guess going in I wasn't psyched but I wasn't afraid the movie would ruin my childhood or anything, so I was pretty chill.
( My thoughts (Vaguely spoilery, though no details)Collapse )
Also: Yasmin and I may have spent most of the movie quietly dubbing in what spells the witches were casting from the D&D/Harry Potter spell sets :P
Met Yasmin on Wednesday and we had dinner at The Bell, bumped into Emily while we were there and had a bit of a catch-up with her. Then we went to see Les Miserables at the cinema. Yasmin said she'd never seen a production of Les Mis since she assumed it was all in French.
It was okay, not great but watchable. I think Tom Hooper really missed the point of a cinematic production of a musical because the staging was flat as shit. Having a character stay within a confined area is a limitation of the stage production that was faithfully reproduced for the screen by having the camera sit static on the actor's face while they sing their heart out and it just killed most of the big songs: Lovely Ladies lost all it's camp and dark humour, One Day More was so busy pinballing through the cast that the scale was completely lost; the only staging I really enjoyed was Do You Hear The People Sing? which built slowly into a powerful performance... and then blew it all by following up with a weak-ass barricade. The barricade is the centerpoint of Act 2 in the musical and the movie version looked so... inconsequential, I wasn't getting a rebellion vibe from it at all.
I think Yasmin mostly enjoyed herself, though I kept seeing a little light pop up throughout the second half as she was checking the time on her phone. Lordy, this film was long!
I'm really into RuPaul's Drag Race at the moment. I've never watched Top Model or Project Runway but I get the feeling that RPDR is kinda parodying them, a bit tongue-in-cheek with how seriously the proceedings are taken. My biggest complaint so far was Dan Savage being brought on as a guest judge, with all the transphobic bullshit he's come out with in the past and his very passive attitude to gay rights; what the hell is he doing on a drag show? After paying tribute to the sheer guts of those participating in the Stonewall Riots during the Pride Week episode, after stating it clearly how much every LGBTQ person owes to the founding members of our civil rights movement; why the hell would you bring on a piece-of-shit like Dan Savage, whose main message to LGBTQ youth is "Don't rock the boat and someday maybe you'll be lucky enough to be treated as an equal by the almighty cishets who run the world"? Isn't that the polar opposite of where the gay rights movement started out, do you really think those men and women marched and fought so someday a lily-livered, privileged guy like Dan Savage could decide "Well, this is 'good enough'."?
Ugh, I just wanted to reach through the screen and bitchslap him!