Friday 5 for 26th November

Friday 5 for November 26: Holiday Music

  1. What’s your favorite holiday album?
    Either my two-disc set of Handel’s Messiah, or any album of carols. Puts me properly in the festive mood.
  2. What song’s lyrics, title, or theme best expresses the positive aspects of your general mood at this time of year?
    “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day”. It just makes me feel Christmassy.
  3. What song’s lyrics, title, or theme best expresses the not-so-positive aspects of your general mood at this time of year?
    Hmm, I don’t know.
  4. What’s your favorite song about a non-December holiday?
    More a season than a holiday, though I associate it with May Day: Summer is a Cumin In
  5. What holiday song makes you want to cover your ears and flee?
    Any cheesy Christmas song that I hear over and over and over… there used to be several, but now that I don’t work in a shop and have to hear them on loop all day long, I’m more tolerant of them all ;-)

Things and Stuff

Today has been a day of variety, which has been nice!  I started out by going up to the Christmas fair for Mum’s church – I got there quite late on, so I helped clear up and carry the remaining stuff back up to the church.  I got a few nice cards and nick knacks for gifts, so that was a worthwhile trip.  Then I walked with Mum back to her house for a drink and then a lift home.

On the way up to Mum’s place, I stopped off and did a geocache that was en route.  It took me a bit longer than I’d planned due to me being disorganised with my stuff, but it was still a speedy one.  Not a micro one this time, but a still small one.  So not big enough to put the travelling monkey into, yet.  Poor monkey!  I’ll move him on soon, by hook or by crook!

After visiting at Mum’s for a while, we came back here and had dinner – stir fry followed by cupcakes!  Then Mum went home and I’ve been knitting and watching Strictly Come Dancing.  I’m still working on the Travelling Woman, but hopefully I’ll be done soon.  Maybe tonight?  Maybe tomorrow.

And then I’ve been playing with – I’ve put a widget linking to my account there in the sidebar, and I think it’s possible to play some tracks directly from here?  I’m not sure, I’m still figuring it out.  That’s not what I’m using it for, anyway.  Mostly I’m listening to the songs my friends have playlisted.  Is that even a word?  Probably not, but I know what I mean, and I’m sure you do too.  Anyway, I thought I’d put the widget up here because in the first place I can, and also because I’m trying to get all my web stuff better linked together.  Integrate my web presence.  Oh how pretentious. ;-)

24: Pass the matchsticks

Oh dear, it’s getting on for 2am, and I’m starting to flag just a little.  I spose that’s the trouble with this time-zone: half way through the ‘thon is tired time already.  I’ve had a walk around the flat, which has helped, and grabbed a KitKat.  Maybe that wasn’t a brilliant idea… I should probably have had a banana.  Oh well, I can always go back for one in a bit.

I didn’t do the Kareoke challenge that the Blogathon people set, because my upstairs and downstairs neighbours are trying to sleep, and I don’t see any point in doing it if you can’t do it with conviction and gusto!  Heather did it though – you should go and have a listen on her LJ.

21: Happy Sunday!

OK, welcome to Sunday!  Ten hours down, fourteen to go.  Since I’m feeling all virtuous after having made a monster long post about a bipolar topic, and having done housework, I’m going to go and answer some more comments and hopefully find time to visit some other blogs and comment there.
PS – this song is made of awesome!

Listening to: Bat For Lashes – Trophy
via FoxyTunes

Friday 5 for March 6: On This Date

I know I said the bloggy resolutions were for the ‘new’ version of the site, but there’s no time like the present and all that. I need to try and start getting into good habits asap… and also, there might be a bit of radio silence soon when I get to the point where I need to move the blog entries over.

So here we go – even though it’s a few days late, the Friday 5 for March 6th:

1. On March 6, 1869, Dmitri Mendeleev presented the first Periodic Table of the Elements to the Russian Chemical Society. What memories do you have of your high-school chemistry course?
My most vivid memory would be of Mr G injuring himself during a demo, yelping “Shit!”, then changing it to “Er, ship! I saw a ship sailing past. The window. In the air….” It ended up as a bit of a running joke that year, if I remember right. I also remember moles. Mooooooooole!

2. On March 6, 1899, the Bayer company registered aspirin as a trademark. When did you last take medication for pain?
Last week. I think it was the weather – I had a headache that just wouldn’t leave, so I was taking some ‘Extra Power Pain Reliever’ tablets, which are the same as Anadin Extra, only the generic version from Sainsbury’s.

3. On March 6, 1853, Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La Traviata premiered in Venice. How do you feel about opera?
As a general rule, I love opera. Of course there are some that I like more that others, and some that I’m not really keen on. Like any other music, it varies. But generally, I love listening to it, I love attending performances where possible, and I love singing it. La Traviata is actually one of my favourites, and I was lucky enough to see the production at the Royal Opera House when I was at uni, with Sir Georg Solti conducting, and Angela Gheorghiu debuting as Violetta. Completely fabulous.

4. On March 6, 1947, American film director Rob Reiner (Meathead!) was born. Which of these Reiner-directed films have you seen, and what do you think of them?
To make it quick, I shall cross out the ones I haven’t seen, and make brief comments by the ones I have:

  • The Bucket List (2007)
  • Rumor Has It… (2005)
  • Alex & Emma (2003)
  • The Story of Us (1999) – ummm… I’m sure I’ve seen this, but I can’t remember what I thought of it!
  • Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)
  • The American President (1995) – liked this one, though it’s been a while since I’ve seen it.
  • North (1994)
  • A Few Good Men (1992) – eh.
  • Misery (1990) – good… but not half as creepy-scary as the book.
  • When Harry Met Sally… (1989) – I remember I wasn’t sure about this for the first half of the film, but it grew on me and I really liked it by the end.
  • The Princess Bride (1987) – ♥♥♥♥♥!!!!!
  • Stand by Me (1986) – kind of makes me go “awwww”.
  • The Sure Thing (1985)
  • This Is Spinal Tap (1984) – is made of awesome!

5. On March 6, 1972, American basketball-player Shaquille O’Neal was born. How do you feel about basketball?
I have no feelings about it, particularly. I spose I enjoy it as a tv spectator sport more than some others, but I’m not really into sports in general. I did quite enjoy netball at school and I think we played a bit of basketball in senior school too, but that’s as near as I’ve really got. I have more of a grasp of the rules that I do of baseball, American football, or even proper football, mind you!

Let’s see how I’m doing…

I’m still not ready for Christmas, quite, but I am slowly crossing things off the list:

  • Write and send out cards of both types.
  • Knit like there’s no tomorrow (I’m not doing many knitted presents this year, but there are a couple I want to get done).
  • Put up tree and decorate. (In progress!)
  • Wrap presents.
  • Write christmas card list (e-cards and tangible ones)
  • Buy cards and stamps (tomorrow).
  • Work out budget for presents (tomorrow when Mum comes over).
  • Go present shopping – both online (asap) and IRL (w/ Mum tomorrow, prob also later this week). (Presents all DONE DONE DONE! HA!!)

I went to the HRC Christmas Party today… or the end bit of it, at least. I got waylaid by my neighbour, and although I did need to speak to him myself, I didn’t mean to end up talking for so long! Still, I got there in time to nab three chocolate fingers, listen to the band’s second set, and then go up and have a sing with them for the last few songs. Which was fun! I didn’t have time to think about it and freak out, which I think helped. And in a weird way, since I’d had a bit of a wobble when I first got there because it was a large, strange place filled with people (oh noes!), being crammed on stage felt like a much more familiar and safe environment! I know, I’m just odd.

The elephant sneezed and fell on his knees, but what became of the monkey monkey monkey monkey…

I’m listening to / watching the Last Night of the Proms at the mo. Ah, Last Night, I luff you! One of these days I’ll actually go in person. I’ve actually been a completely rubbish Prommer this year and not been to a single one. I was just too broke to get up to London. Next year! I’m determined. I’ve enjoyed listening on the radio and catching the odd one on telly, but it’s not the same as being in the Hall yourself. I’ve loved the Albert Hall since I first sung there when I was 10. There’s just no atmosphere like it for me. It’s my all time favourite concert hall in the world, no contest. Even the Sydney Opera House, fabulous as it is, just doesn’t have the same emotional attachments I guess. So yes. Go the Proms!

*break while I sing along to Jerusalem*

But what I was originally going to post about was my Monkey socks. I finished them! I like them lots. They’re all comfy too. I’m gradually getting faster at the knitting of socks – I spose it’s more that I’m picking the sock up to knit it more often rather than physically knitting them faster.

Did I mention that the foot was way faster than the leg? I think I did. I ended up with quite a lot of yarn left over – maybe even a third of a ball. Anyway, here they are:

Wearing my Monkeys (larger version in the photo album)

Continue reading “The elephant sneezed and fell on his knees, but what became of the monkey monkey monkey monkey…”

Anti-spam upgrades

I’ve been having loads of problems with comment spam, so I’ve been upgrading to the latest few versions as they come out, and I’ve also installed the MT-Blacklist and NoFollow plugins. I’ve set the blog to mostly dynamic publishing, too, which should (a) reduce the load on the server, and (b) solve the rebuilding problems I’d been having. Hoorah!
Back in the ‘real world’, I’ve just started one of my OU courses for this year, and will be starting the other at the weekend. No, I’m not completely insane (only partially) for doing more than one course at once: the music course is a 30-pointer*, and the web design course is a 12-week 10-pointer, which will be followed by two more of the same starting in May then October. Which will give me the standard 60 points for the year, all going well :-) They all count towards my degree as well as the web courses being part of the Web Apps Development Cert.
It’s also occurred to me… I didn’t actually mention on here that I’ve moved, did I? Which is a bit remiss of me, since it was a fairly big move: in September of last year I came back down here to Hastings, the old home town. And it’s very nice to be back, too. :-)
Anyway, that’s about it for now. I should be posting much more often from now on, though, now I’ve got the study-journal thing set up, and this year’s courses have started again.
* 120 points is the equivalent of one year’s full time university study.

TMA anxiety

So, I’ve been getting a bit worried, since I haven’t had my final TMA (08) for A214 back. And, it was the big non-substitutable, worth-24%-of-the-coursework, you’ve-gotta-have-this-one-or-you-fail assignment. It’s been a month since the final exam, and nearly 2 months since I sent it in, and no sign of it getting back to me, or showing up on my course record online. Urk!!
Yesterday, I rang the OU. They reckon they haven’t had it. Oh dear oh dear. So I tried calling my tutor, but she was out. Left a message. This morning: phew! She’d left a message for me saying that she certainly has had it, marked it, and sent it off, and she’s horrified that they seem to have lost it. She did say she thought there was a problem with my Student ID number (I’d written the wrong one on the cover form), so I guess that might be where the problem happened. Maybe they’re sitting on it somewhere in Milton Keynes? Still, she’s going to call me back again this evening with my mark, and she can send them a copy of the mark sheet, so yay! I would have liked to see her comments on the paper itself, but maybe it will get back to me in the end. Right now, I just want my mark sorted in time for the final result! Eeep *g*.

Exam nerves!

I’ve got my exam for A214 tomorrow morning. Um. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!! Also, I have a cold. Lovely. Still, hopefully I’ll be feeling a bit more with it tomorrow. And if I’m not? Well, hopefully I’ll still do well enough to pass, even if I don’t get a brilliant mark. I just need to do well enough, really, so that I can get the diploma at the end of next year. That’ll be just fine :-)
And now, it’s back to the last minute revision! I’m not trying to madly cram, but I am skimming over what I hope is the most useful and relevant stuff. Wish me luck!…….

Just back from Summer School

Just back from my OU Summer School – had the most excellent time! So this is a shout out to my fellow A214-ers, just in case any of them happen to wander this way. :-) See, I made it home without falling asleep once!
I really am going to make this into a study journal. Even though I’m 3/4 of the way through this year’s course already. *cough* I just have to finish the redesign of this site, move the files to the new location and transfer the domain over…. oh, and change this blog over to Moveable Type. I’ll get around to it. Honest.