teylaminh: (Buffy - sanity)
So, episode 2, "The Founder's Mutation". Not quite so many thoughts this time around...

As before, may contain spoilers, but not quite so much flail... )

In other, non-fandom news: I am considering going on leave of absence from choir again from September. At the moment, I am having to manage my attendance at rehearsals and my concert-performing around my energy levels at any given time. I won't be doing the next one on 7th March, which thankfully means I don't have to attend the next few weeks of rehearsals.

For the most part, this is because it's Mahler's 8th Symphony (known as the Symphony of 1000 Voices) and I frigging hate Mahler. The work is for three choirs, soloists and orchestra, and the score is sparse to say the least purely due to the size of it (we are Choir 1, the university choir is Choir 2, plus a children's choir), so leads are not clear (in some cases the orchestral score is non-existent) and I am really struggling to wrap my head around most of it. Basically I kind of gave up.

Also, I have a colleague's 40th birthday party literally the day before, and the rehearsal starts at 10.30am on Sunday morning, which will mean 12 hours spent within the overpriced confines of Symphony Hall. I do not have the energy for all that.

I probably should send apologies for the concert, but our membership secretary has changed twice September. The first one had to go on leave of absence but was grateful I'd taken the time to explain my health issues and why I had to opt out of a couple of concerts; the latest one didn't respond to my email about sending apologies for a recent rehearsal and the "away day" (which was initially the same day as the flights out to Bulgaria, though as it transpired I had a migraine anyway), so part of me is petulantly refusing to email her again and making her work it out for herself. :P

Doubtless soon I will get an email saying I haven't hit 75% attendance. :P

The concerts after that should be more up my street: a bit of Finzi, Karl Jenkins and Harold Darke (plus a day trip to Banbury Cathedral to do a recording), so hopefully I can do those, health and energy permitting.

The other thing is that the choir have been invited to two very exciting "touring" events which are so beyond my financial means it's laughable. The first is a trip to New York to sing a new work by Karl Jenkins at Carnegie Hall, at around £1200 per person. The other is a trip to Vienna which comes in at about half that. Admittedly, my mental health has been a bit fragile lately, but nonetheless both of these missed opportunities have filled me with despair, particularly when it's a drop in the ocean for other, longstanding choir members (most of whom are comfortably retired; one woman was boasting once about how she'd never had to work a day in her life because hubby paid for everything.)

So, yeah. I think leave of absence might be the best thing until I can sort out my health issues and be in a better frame of mind to consider whether or not I should remain at all. I don't want to just quit in a fit of pique, but I really do need to look at my other options, whether that's another choir or going the other way entirely into "am-op" or whatever (if I can find a company that rehearses vaguely not in the arse-end of nowhere). I need singing in my life, and I don't think CBC can fill that void for me any more, but it would be really hard going into anything smaller and less experienced. I really appreciate the opportunities the choir is given, but it often feels like the majority of members have become desensitised / blasé about it, because CBC is just that well-reknowned...

Anyway. Let's just add this to the list of Ridic Stressful Things still to recover from, shall we? :P
teylaminh: (Default)
Okay, so here's an update on the past month or so...

Brief Holiday to Brighton )

So, that was Brighton. There are some pictures on Facebook here.

Whilst I was away, I didn't drink very much - about two bottles of cider and half a bottle of wine. I'd fought off a kidney infection shortly before going so I thought I'd be okay, but that transpired not to be the case as within a couple of weeks it had come back again. You may recall at the end of my last big update I mentioned my last GP appointment before then, when I'd asked for a referral to the hospital and the locum refused...

Here's what happened next... )

I am firmly of the belief that my body / brain knows best about when I need time off work; after a fortnight off I was still shattered, so quite obviously needed more downtime. A month and a half is pushing it though! Also, I am still knackered, but that's down to not sleeping rather than anything else; getting back into a routine will be good. I've sworn that once I'm finally clear of this nonsense I will get back on track with healthy eating and exercise, as this ongoing bout of ill health has scuppered my gym attendance and swimming.

And finally... choir. )

So, there we go. You'd think, with being off work for so long, I'd have something to show for myself; all I've managed to achieve is completing Tomb Raider on PS3, playing through Enslaved, and making a start on watching The Nanny on YouTube. I did manage to finish my POTO fic, though, so that's something. :)
teylaminh: (Random - Oblivion wheels)
Just realised I haven't updated since August, and that was a Jonathan Creek post. (Rewatch is still on hiatus; hopefully back on track in the new year at some point!)

I'll do the traditional Year in Review meme tomorrow but for now, here's a month-by-month account (from what my shoddy short-term memory can provide) of what's happened since then...

September )

October )

November )

December )

So there we go - four months in fast-forward.

I'm thankfully on leave tomorrow, and we're going to Lloyd's for bad movies. Paul's birthday on Wednesday, so I need to get curry any outstanding ingredients before then - I'm planning on doing filo-wrapped Brie for starter, and lamb curry for main, as I've not yet had chance to use the new pestle-and-mortar my mum got me for my birthday (it's a huge Jasper Conran granite one and very sexy). Back at work Thursday and Friday and then a week off, thank goodness.

Work wise I'm quiet today - hence the entry - because all I have is eight sets of outstanding minutes awaiting signature from one particular Chair who never.signs.anything - she has minutes in her draft folder from October (we're supposed to send them out within 20 working days!). No meetings for me this week either as there's only three in the diary. Next week apparently it's insane so obviously I picked the wrong (or right?) time to be off. ;)

Okay, I think that's quite long enough. New Year Meme tomorrow, as well as trying to finish the already belated Christmas JC fic I promised Denise, which ground to a standstill in mid-December when my brain decided to give me voracious unrelated plot bunnies. I just need one final push to finish it.

Over and out!
teylaminh: (Google - work (2))
Right. It's been a while since I updated. I would do a holiday write-up, but I can't show you the pictures yet because Paul complained they always ended up on my Facebook and wanted to put them on his, but has yet to actually do so. (Actually, they're not even on the hard-drive yet.) At some point I might also post them to Flickr, but in any event, I'll link them here so people can see.

A few work bits )

In other news: Paul and I are going to see The Killers on 1st November. :D Their new album is frelling awesome, so I'm quite excited about that. A week after that I'm seeing Evanescence with my mum, so I need to try and lose some weight (again) in order to fit into any of my goth stuff. We'll see how successful that is.

Two more weeks of work to get through before I'm on leave again, as I have the week of my birthday off, at the end of which I'm going to Alton Towers with Vicky. :)

So, there are things to look forward to even if work is still crap.

I'm in Ambivalent About Choir Mode again, as usual in September. The recording of our Christmas CD was last weekend, and even though I was fully committed to it at the start, I didn't go to the recording sessions because they ate an entire weekend. They asked us to commit to two Saturdays, and it turned out to be all day Saturday and half of Sunday. Erm, what? I simply couldn't be arsed in the end, which is a shame because I was looking forward to it. Meh. I hate the first season, it's always insanely busy and eating all my free time. At the moment I need to weigh up whether I have too many other things going on my life (gym, swimming, having time to myself) to commit to it fully, so... yeah. We'll see.

Anyway, that'll do for an update. I haven't forgotten about the Fandom for February meme, incidentally, even though it's now so long overdue as to be extinct. I really do want to finish it, especially in light of my latest brain-eating 'ship of Mac/Caroline from Green Wing. I am bloody determined to finish it. Eventually. :P

Over and out.

PS: New work icon!
teylaminh: (NBC - tower light)
So, on Friday night I went to see Dark Shadows at Giant Screen with Paul and my mum. It was very enjoyable indeed, thank you. :)

Incredibly spoilerific thoughts under here )

Hm, that ended up a bit more philosophical than I expected...

In other news: on Saturday we had our "Classical meets Romantic" concert. Frankly, I was quite glad when it was over with. I don't especially like singing in Town Hall anyway (the changing facilities are a pain, and the choir stalls are cramped), and everything felt a bit under-prepared because we were focusing so much energy on Equinox back in March. I'm pretty sure there were sections of the Beethoven I hadn't seen before during rehearsal. I personally didn't feel it went that well, but I was also really tired on Saturday anyway (post-squee comedown from Friday night).

There's too much going on at Symphony Hall this month that I want to see: Karl Jenkins on the 27th and Dracula (the Legosi one) with a live orchestra score on the 29th. It also transpires Katie Melua is touring and appearing there on 12th October; I did a search for tickets last night and there are only the back few rows of the Grand Tier left - or you can get them through touts for upwards of £85 (they retail at £32.50!) I wish I knew about this stuff sooner. :( I think Vicky's bought me the new album for Christmas anyway, so I won't have heard it by October in any event, but it's still irritating.

I also need to find money from somewhere to book Phantom for the UK tour - it hits Birmingham in March 2013 and tickets go on sale next Monday (ten months in advance). I am utterly skint and they cost as much as going to London. It's been 15 years since the last tour (I saw it in Birmingham in August 1998) so I want to see it on that basis, as it was something of a rite of passage and the start of an up-and-down love affair with the fandom when I was 16, but it's so expensive and I'm worried that by the time I have enough money to afford it, there'll only be rubbish seats left. :(

Ho hum.

Some good stuff )

Okay, that's long enough I think. ;)
teylaminh: (Google - Home (2))
Those three days were productive and lazy, in equal measure.

We have a tenant inspection on Wednesday. They're supposed to be every three months but this is only our second, as the first time the bloke didn't turn up, and then it took them another month to sort it out. Anyway, seeing as last time they were shocked and appalled that there were boxes in the spare room (OH NOES!) we decided to try and sort out the office if nothing else.

Weekend )

Last choir rehearsal tonight pre-concert on Saturday, which has inconveniently timed itself with the opening weekend of Dark Shadows, but that doesn't matter because we're going to see it on Friday night at the Giant Screen (formerly IMAX). :) I feel entirely unprepared for this concert, which is stupid considering I only missed one week of rehearsal, but we'll see how it goes on the day. We're doing Mozart's Regina Coeli, which is pretty, Bach's Mass in D (I think), which is horrendous, and Schumann's Requiem, which is okay. We're singing in annoying "Germanic" Latin again as a result. I have my re-audition in a few weeks so we'll see how that goes.

In other news, the gym and salad-eating is slowly working. I am nearly able to get back into my skinny jeans, which if they were stretchy would actually fit me now. I can't quite get back into the rest of my jeans yet, but it's definitely progress. I don't think I'll be quite at the stage I want to be by September, but the fat is moving around at the moment and I think I'm gaining better shape if nothing else, so we need to get back on track with twice-weekly gym attendance and actually start going swimming like we're supposed to, as we still haven't managed it. By the time we get to the weekend we're too bloody tired, but the past couple of weeks have been a bit up-and-down anyway as Paul's had a cold. I went on my own on Thursday out of sheer determination, and anticipate I will not manage to go at all during my week off. :P MOAR SALAD is now the way forward. (I have been experiencing the alien sensation of craving fruit lately, as my lunch has been comprising either sandwiches or a salad, with a yogurt, an apple, a clementine and a box of grapes for afterwards.)
teylaminh: (Farscape - Stark - hidden talents)
It's quiet today, so here's an update of my weekend...

Saturday )

Sunday )

Okay, I think this entry is more than long enough. Thankfully this weekend will be a quiet one. I had a migraine yesterday at work so left a half-three, then we both had a nap at about five o'clock. I'm getting much too old for all this. :P
teylaminh: (Derren Brown - blank)
Right, since the transcription nonsense the other week, I've been trying to keep my head down, and other than a few minor irritations (the same old story of people not reading / paying attention to the emails I send for informative purposes) things haven't been too bad. On the Monday after the event, I emailed Senior with my observations of what occurred in respect of the transcription, including Demoted's refusal to undertake the work and my worry that it might be perceived that I was 'avoiding' the work in Winscribe, and she responded in fairly reasonable terms that indeed, it is not my place to sort out Demoted when she's being difficult, and thanking me for trying to sort things out in her absence.

Boring work stuff - not moaning! )

So last week was rather uneventful other than the above, though nonetheless I only managed to spend one evening actually at home. Monday we went to the pub with Lloyd and Denise, Tuesday (obviously) I had choir, Wednesday was Noel's birthday so we went to Paul's mum's, Thursday GLORIOUS NOTHING (read: catching up with household chores like laundry) and Friday we went back to the flat for Lisa's birthday and enjoyed a very tasty curry. Graham (the new tenant) popped down to join us and it we got to know him a bit better; it transpires he's a complete lightweight when it comes to booze.

It just took me about ten minutes to remember what we did on Friday; this month is so insane that my short-term memory is frelled. I did, however, enjoy my quiet weekend, as this week is also going to be insanely busy. On Saturday we finally went through the freezer and filled out the whiteboard, realising the insane amount of food we had bought but not eaten. If we are actually organised we won't have to go shopping for at least another month. (Ah, it's so scintellating being a grown-up, innit?)

So, this week:-

Monday (yesterday) was meant to be a gym day but neither of us really fancied it, so instead we went to Bella Italia. Oops.

Tuesday (today) - last rehearsal before Equinox.

Wednesday - going to Spring Hill Tesco to pick up chicken livers and various other ingredients in advance of Mother's Day

Thursday - spare shopping day in case Tesco have no chicken livers, also getting cards/gifts.

Friday - leaving work at half-three to get home and bake cake.

Saturday - rehearsal at 11.00am, concert at 7.30pm, out of house all day, Paul going out to get meat and Guinness for main course and whatever else is left to buy.

Sunday - up early to make pate and whatever else needs making, tidy and clean lower floor of house, rest for a bit, family arriving at 6.00pm, eat, drink, sleep.

The week after that is mostly uneventful except for seeing Oliver! on Wednesday. :)

On Sunday we went out for a pub lunch at the Kings Head, walking to Bearwood and trying out the Abbey for a quick drink. Seemed okay on the Sunday but I wouldn't want to go there of a Friday evening.

Roll on April and our week off; even if we can't book anywhere to go it will be nice not to be at work. :P

Oh, and talking of which, we've finally booked our holiday for September. 11 nights in Corfu. :) I've booked off an extra two days (18th and 19th September) in addition to the two weeks I already had as we arrive back at 6.30am on the 16th and I'll need more than a day to recover. :P

Okay, that's more than long enough. Over and out.
teylaminh: (Trapdoor - Moany Boni)
More moaning. Choir, this time. Other than to say I'm getting fed up of people picking and choosing which work they want to type as it's happened on no less than six separate occasions this week. The urge to kill is rising. Choir moaning under here. )

Blah blah moan moan.

Interestingly, in the midst of relating the Transcription Fail to Paul on Friday night, he asked me what I thought my nickname might be amongst my colleagues, if they were to adopt the same approach as me. At this juncture, I suspect it would be Moody. :P
teylaminh: (Christine - I can't escape)
I've been scribbling a bit more down of the "Whisper" epilogue, not through any conscious effort but merely because it came to me. I do want to finish it, so any extra words are a bonus, but I haven't been actively clamouring for any inspiration.

Cut because nobody cares and because I'm basically hashing stuff out... )

Er, yes. Muses are not a force to be reckoned with, apparently.

In other news...

Two Messiah concerts down now, Christmas Treats on Sunday and then a busy week in the run-up to the Big Day. I'm not particularly looking forward to working the three days between Christmas and New Year, but at least I have the first week in January off to recover...

As for Messiah, apparently our Symphony Hall performance on Friday night was one of our best ever (after the concert, Adrian was apparently beseiged by members of the CBSO singing our praises), apart from us being Classic FM's "Messiah of choice" for the festive season. It even seemed better in Town Hall this year, perhaps because we're now getting more used to the acoustics. I used to prefer the SH performance because the hall is so much bigger, but we can hear a lot better in TH and it all sounded much sharper. (The only trouble with doing Messiah at SH is that we have to sit on the platform rather than in the choir stalls, which perhaps accounts for the fact that we can't hear the orchestra or each other properly...)

Annoyingly, right before the final movement of Part One ("His yoke is easy"), a tickly and painful cough worked its way into my throat. It's not only the highest movement in the entire piece (the only one to go to a top B), it's also full of fiddly semi-quavers, which were impossible to sing through and in fact only made matters worse. Miming is really frelling weird, I have now discovered; I then spent the entire interval coughing and drinking water in an attempt to clear it. Thankfully the second half was okay. :P

Yesterday I went to the carol service at Birmingham Cathedral with some other work people (Sian, who organised it, Kemi, Natasha, Dave and Jerome), which was quite a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Sian read about it in the weekly news bulletin email and then asked around if anyone wanted to join her (I think she didn't want to go on her own) - as it transpired there was someone there from almost every tier of Legal Services from Chief Solicitor to WPO, which was accidental but fortuitous. ;)

Last night Paul and I put another big dent in our Christmas shopping – only a few more bits to get now. I did the post office run this lunchtime; the inland packages should reach their destination on time, but I'm not so sure about Katie's... I might be lucky. :) It would be remiss of me not to get her Christmas present to her on time considering she sent hers early this year. (Alas, I am not that organised.)

Now, the run up looks something like this:-

Sunday (18th) - Christmas concert at Town Hall;
Monday (19th) - Paul at Broken Amp;
Tuesday (20th) - Carmina Burara rehearsal;
Wednesday (21st) - my team lunch, Paul at another gig;
Thursday (22nd) - Christmas food shop;
Friday (23rd) - family over at either ours or Paul's mum's;
Saturday (24th) - pick up goose from butcher, relax a bit, go to pub;
Sunday (25th) - DEATH. Er, I mean, Christmas. :P And it's my turn to make dinner.

Good God, that's a lot of dates. ;)

I hate December.

Work is periodically up and down lately, though where we used to get peaks and troughs on a monthly basis, they are now literally over the course of a day: we go from having nothing to having six urgents in a row.

I intended to post this entry last night (it wouldn’t post at work, though I’m not sure if that’s because of the DDOS attacks or work’s internet being poo, or perhaps a combination of both), as well as work on the epilogue some more, but shopping, wrapping and showing wiped me out.

Also it seems Paul might have ‘flu – actual ‘flu, not man ‘flu. He was shivering last night and couldn’t get warm. His forehead felt normally warm (i.e. not burning up) but yeah, obviously he’s not at work today. As long as I don’t catch it – I forgot to get a ‘flu-jab this year and I have a concert on Sunday!!

Over and out, and Merry Christmas if I don't manage to update before then.
teylaminh: (JC - Jonathan - eww)
Just a quick update to say that I am still breathing (just), but have been AWOL thanks to going off sick from work for a fortnight with gastric flu or something similar... Essentially, I was already feeling horribly run down on the Friday (28th October) and then thanks to a dodgy takeaway managed to give myself food poisoning, which saw an opening in my already knackered immune system and pounced. I actually only anticipated being off for a week, but it came back for a second round over the weekend.

To top that off, once I'd finally recovered from the gastro-enteritis, on Thursday (10th November), I slipped on a wet patch of floor whilst doing the washing up and fell flat on my arse, horribly winding myself and catching my arm on the cupboard door on the way down. I now have a lovely bruise and a very sore tailbone (I've had to bring a cushion into work as my chair is rubbish at the best of times)...

On the plus side, thanks to not eating anything / not keeping anything down for more than five minutes, I have managed to lose about half a stone. :P Unfortunately, I have also lost two Christmas shopping weeks in which I would ordinarily have bought wrapping paper, cards, tags, etc., and gym attendance is on hold until the new year because I'm insanely busy from now until January.

Also, in order to actually afford Christmas this year (the trip to Paris ate all our savings and most of my spare cash, and my salary increase back-payment got mostly eaten by tax/NI/pension), I have had to get a loan from the bank. The APR wasn't too bad in the end (and cheaper than they offered Paul), but the plan now is to use most of it to pay off the credit card and save the rest. We will both be paying it off, and in any case the repayments are less than the minimum payments on the credit card since they jacked the APR on that from 11.9% to 19.9%! Anyway, we can now use the credit card to pay for Christmas (presents/food) and have a bit more spare cash, and my account will be out of the red again at least.

I very much like online banking - none of that hassle of actually talking to someone and the loan was sorted in five minutes.

Oh, in other news, on Saturday we had the traditional fireworks-for-Paul's-mum's-birthday at our house because our garden is mahoosive, except we didn't manage to build a bonfire. We got a huge box of fireworks (by the skin of our teeth as the bloke at the shop was actually closing up on Saturday) for £40 and there are still some left for New Year's Eve. :D Paul was going to smash up the garden table on the patio that we thought was broken, except it turns out not to be broken at all, just requiring some bolts to assemble it. That will now save us some money as we only have to buy chairs for the summer... Paul also discovered a trampoline behind the shed!! If it's still in good condition then I'm totally using it. :D

Fireworks were quite fun; David got very excited about it and volunteered to light nearly all of them. Jade and Louis decided to buy a bottle of Cactus Jack's apple sour stuff (after three shots it tastes disgusting), and Patrick got to light his first firework with his uncle Paul. At one point David and Louis became Dangerous Dickenson and his Fearless Assistant, which was quite amusing. Less amusing were the failing rockets and the catherine wheel which decided to fall off the shed and chase us, but it's become a tradition to have some life-threatening danger...

I haven't been at choir for two weeks (and had to miss the 90th birthday concert thanks to sickenss) and because we're now doing entirely new stuff it feels like I've been off for months. Weird. Anyway, time to get organised and into Christmas mode now.
teylaminh: (Buffy - sanity)
I've had a bit of an entry going around my brain all weekend and have not quite gotten around to formulating it into anything concrete. To be honest, though, I don't think I'll bother, as I don't think articulating it in an artistic fashion will really help. I'm having a fandom-related emotional crisis at the moment wherein my supposed writing abilities are in question, and am in a bit of a quandary. I'm hoping some of the reaction can be attributed to PMT - which is what I explained my bad mood away as this weekend - becase I am getting occasional twinges of "wimmins", but it might just as easily be another bloody UTI from all the coffee I have to drink to function as a human being first thing in the morning.

Less coherent version here. )

Meh.

In other news, my choir is dumb. Our next concert is shaping up to be an epic failure in terms of attendance. It's supposed to celebrate our 90th birthday, so in their infinite wisdom the concert planning group decided (a) to schedule it for 5th November - Bonfire Night - when people will have much better things to be doing involving, y'know, fireworks, and (b) to perform two pieces nobody has heard of. And then they wonder why nobody's buying any tickets. Like the Bach Mass, we are required to attend a certain amount of rehearsals in order to do the concert, and thanks to missing a few this season I'm on the borderline again.

This season is insane, as usual. We have no less than six concerts before January (I'm doing five of them), like Christmas isn't busy enough already. Once again I'm finding the constant pressure to attend and sell tickets to things people don't want to see to be tiring, and once again I'm considering leaving - the changes they keep making "for the better" seem only to make everything more pressured. One of those pre-January concerts is Carmina Burana with the Royal Philharmonic and that's literally the only thing - aside from the Christmas stuff - keeping me there at present, but at this rate I don't think I'm going to have the energy for it, especially as I'm working on 30th December when we're doing said concert. Messiah mid-week is exhausting enough before Christmas.

I'm pretty sure hobbies are not supposed to be this bloody irritating.
teylaminh: (Random - Oblivion wheels)
Right, latest house-hunting update.

Back to the Drawing Board... )

On the plus side, the concert on Saturday evening was an absolute triumph. The BSSO's rendition of The Pines of Rome was amazing; for the final movement they'd positioned the trumpets behind the choir and when it built to a crescendo it was like being cocooned in a bubble of deafening sound. I've never experienced anything like it before. (I'd also never heard the piece before so the whole thing was a pleasant surprise.)

Carmina Burana was great fun to do; the last two movements are exhilerating. I like to think that God / the Raptors were so enamoured and distracted by our lung-busting rendition of "O Fortuna" that they forgot to end the world. :D Although if that prediction had been correct then I can't think of a better way to go, screeching about the unfairness and unpredictability of life.

Cut for nostalgia )

We went to the gym last night and had a go on everything, including the scary-looking and painful stepper machines. Our programme cards advised 10 minutes; I managed three and Paul managed one before his knee locked again. We had a very productive hour and then ruined it by having fried chicken. I need to get back on track with calorie-counting again because at the moment I'm eating junk food post-gym and basically maintaining a level of fatness, which isn't how it's supposed to work. I think I've actually put more bloody weight on, and all the sit-ups in the world aren't going to help if we keep going to the chippy afterwards.

On the plus side, everything feels like it's working, though at the moment I am in less pain after a regular session than with the personal trainer, so perhaps I need more discipline. :P

I think that'll do for today...
teylaminh: (Cabaret - Maybe This Time)
Bit of an update, as it's quiet today...

Includes: gym membership, house-hunting, mental health and wimmins - you have been warned. )

Okaaay, I do believe that's everything.

Whilst I'm outside of the LJ-cut I'll mention that my choir is doing Carmina Burana this Saturday at Symphony Hall (along with The Pines of Rome) at 7.30pm, if anyone is interested. I think tickets are about £16 or so. Paul is booking tickets shortly so let me know...

Also: YAY PIRATES 4!!! Hopefully seeing it at IMAX very soon so I shall review ASAP. (Why, hello, 60-ft-3D-Pirate!Depp... *drools)

Over and out.
teylaminh: (MH - take my hand - D/Y)
Okay. So I went to choir last night. Thus far I've missed two rehearsals out of five; one of those was week two, the open rehearsal, and the other was week four, because I was shattered. Last week the membership secretary sent a global email to those who had missed two out of four rehearsals to say that a minimum attendance was necessary to do the concert and to encourage us to come back so as not to miss out on an exciting event.

This got a bit long. Hopefully I'll stop talking about this soon, but I need to get it out of my system... )

TL;DR - I'm probably not giving up on the Bach after all.

The concert's in Worcester Cathedral in April if anyone wants to come; I might give my Worcester-based university friend a heads-up, to see if she wants to come, or meet up either afterwards or beforehand for lunch, assuming she's not busy. I haven't seen her in years and we've only recently found each other again on Facebook.

I just about managed to get my first Fandom for February post up yesterday before midnight, so let's see if I can keep the momentum going. I have the first five days already in place on my hand-written list, as well as the majority of others, with just a few gaps. I have moved a couple of the ships around several times and there are some 'favourite' ships which I am having trouble placing... but we'll see how it goes.

Anyway, that's enough of that. My new external hard-drive (1TB) arrived yesterday so I shall spend this evening moving music and pictures onto that in order to free up hard-drive space, and then Vista can eat as much as it likes. :P
teylaminh: (Spuffy - numb)
Mrrg. Slept on sofa last night as Paul was snoring. Annoyingly enough, it wasn't even that loud, just badly-timed. Whenever I was about to nod off, he would start snoring again. Eventually I got bored of poking him and went to sleep in the lounge, which I think was around 1.00am. When my alarm went off this morning at 7.00 (after I'd already woken up a couple of times in the night) I gave myself an extra hour in bed. At 7.30 (second alarm) I went back to the actual bed. I think the mattress on the bed/sofa is on the way out, to be honest. It used to be really comfy but not so much now...

On the plus side, last night I was terribly organised and made sandwiches for work. I bought myself one of those cool bags to put my lunch in, as the fridges are work are always full of milk or people's groceries (and have a tendency to be thieved from). So for lunch today I have tuna sandwiches (on brown bread, with light mayonnaise), a yogurt and a smoothie. I do like smoothies, but they make my kitchen look like a murder scene. I'm not entirely sure how the smoothie will have held out, actually; I tend to use frozen fruit because (a) it's cheaper, (b) it doesn't go off when I forget to eat it and (c) it gives a lovely Slush Puppy type texture. I usually drink them straight away and this one will have been sat (admittedly in the fridge) for a few hours, so I'll probably have to shake it...

I think I forgot to mention, on Saturday we tried out the new slow cooker for the first time, making "Chicken with Chorizo and Beans", which was lovely. With preparation (pre-frying stuff) it took about six hours. There is loads of spinach left over so I'm going to find a sag aloo recipe this week. I have a book of 1000 Indian recipes and sag aloo is not in there (but chicken tikka masala is!!) Unfortunately Pret have stopped doing their delicious sag aloo soup.

If I'm rambling, it's because I'm so tired. I've had some coffee but it started to make me feel sick so I stopped drinking it, and now I'm filling myself full of water in an effort to rehydrate my brain. I brought my choir stuff with me today but I think I might give it a miss; when I'm over-tired the weekly struggle to keep up just upsets and infuriates me, and I'm not in the mood for that today.

Meh. I think I'll post this before it gets even longer. Most pointless entry ever? Yes, I do believe it is.
teylaminh: (MH - little boy lost)
I know that writing off a year before it's properly begun is generally a bad idea. But seriously, 2011, you need to start bucking your ideas up already.

Eni, when you said you wanted me to update more often, I'm fairly sure you didn't want daily rants. :P

Choir Rant )

It's especially annoying because there are a couple of old choir-type friends on Facebook who I'd like to invite to the open rehearsal next week, but I've already moaned about this in a status update and that would look a bit weird, to have complained about it in one breath and recommended it in another. Besides which, anyone who does turn up to the open rehearsal next week is not guaranteed to remain in their chosen part if they do pass their audition!

I am also annoyed that my 'cheaper option' for my latest glasses prescription actually isn't cheaper. SpecSavers are now charging a £39 "reglazing" fee (i.e. putting new lenses in old frames) on top of the cost of the lenses. Which makes their reduction on said lenses completely bloody pointless, as it still cost me £79 to do one pair. By the time I've done the second pair next month it'll have cost me just under £160 to reglaze my perfectly functional frames, which means it would have been cheaper to actually buy new frames. Said reglazing cost also doesn't guarantee against damage caused to the frames during the process, for which the customer is liable. I imagine this is to cover any frames brought in from other providers, but both my frames are the "Osiris" range, which are only sold at SpecSavers. Plus, you know, the glazers are presumably trained in their chosen profession, so WTF are they doing wrong if they manage to damage your frames?

Odd year syndrome, indeed. Maybe I should stop making plans now, before they get crushed by a boulder.
teylaminh: (Random - Garbo)
Well, less kitchen sink and more bathtub, though the kitchen sink is an unfortunate side effect.

You may remember I posted a couple of weeks ago about our bathroom / overflowing basin disaster, as a result of the bath being blocked.

The bath is still blocked. Since that incident we've tried two different types of Mr Muscle - the gel and the foamer.

In which I am losing the will to live... )

Oh yes. On Saturday we had our second concert of this season (I missed the Verdi thanks to the sprained foot, though apparently it didn't go that well anyway), the Bernstein/Parry/Faure/Durufle one. We had a low audience turn-out (as usual) but those that attended seemed to think it went well. I think the Bernstein Chichester Psalms went the best out of all of it, but probably only because we've rehearsed it to death. The Faure (Cantique du Jean Racine) was pretty, and the Parry was... well, patriotic. Durufle's Requiem is a lot nicer than I remember; in fact I could only recall having sung it with Derby Choral Union but had forgotten it all completely.

Choir stuff )

I think I'll post this otherwise it'll never end... I shall put in an early BAH HUMBUG just to get it out of the way. :P
teylaminh: (Photo - Sunset orange)
I haven't actually remembered a full dream in a while (I started to write up the last one I remembered, but as I had no internet access at work it didn't get finished / posted) and for the most part lately my dreams have been fragmented, rather than the epic narratives I'm used to. I also still haven't gotten around to re-typing the dream I lost to work's power cut, though I have the written draft knocking about somewhere at home and can remember it still quite vividly...

Anyway, I can remember snippets of the various dreams I had last night / this morning between alarms, so here they are...

Dream Snippets )

No idea what any of it means, but the images were vivid enough to write down, so that's better than nothing. I've been having scrappy little dreams like this for about two months, off and on. Hopefully I can get back to non-linear, illogical and impossible-to-describe sagas soon. :)

In other news...

We had a concert on Saturday, for the MacMillan / Fauré. Seven Last Words from the Cross turned out to be a lot better than I think we were anticipating; the ending especially is really eerie. After that, however, the Requiem was a bit of a come down, though the fear was that if we'd done things the other way around (i.e. Fauré first and MacMillan after the interval), people would come for the Fauré and then bugger off. :P

We are now rehearsing for the vast amount of things to do for next season. On Tuesday we made a start on Parry's Best Pair of Nylons Blest Pair of Sirens, which is full of TRUMPETS and HORNS and is PATRIOTIC. *salutes* We also had a go at Bernstein's Chicester Pslams, which we are singing in Hebrew. I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] commoncomitatus* will be amused to hear that. :P So far it's actually not as bloody difficult as the Italian was back when we did Aida, though I'm going to approach it in the same way of just Learning The Words instead of trying to read it...

We are also doing Fauré's Cantique de Jean Racine, Verdi's Requiem and also Durufle's Requiem (which I know I did with Derby Choral Union, but damned if I can remember a single note of it. I even went to find it on Spotify and it didn't ring any bells...) I'm not sure if we're doing all of those in the same concert, but it's a lot of work to get in nonetheless.

A few busy weekends coming up: going to Alex's this Saturday at some point, then next Saturday is Birmingham Pride parade followed by a wedding reception. And then it will be barbecue season, I imagine...

Anyway, that's enough of an update for now. I already tweeted and Facebook'd about Paul getting the job he applied for, so for the moment we're just waiting until his first paycheque (which won't be until 28th June, I think) and for all the formalities to be cleared, and then hopefully things will start getting better. FINALLY.

Seriously, 2010. You took your bloody time.

On a final note - it's absolutely gorgeous weather today. But no hotter, mmmkay?

*And if you're still wanting to come to a concert, Eni, I can't think of a better one than this... unless you've had enough Hebrew to last a lifetime already, in which case you can smack me upside the head...
teylaminh: (Chicago - cell block tango)
It's been a while since I updated. I've not been feeling very updatey, really. Here's what I've been doing lately.

Watching Stuff )

This week at work has been much more bearable than last week, not least because we have heating / a working lift / electrics, and there's been plenty of work to do. I'm trying to make up some hours because I need to take 1.5 flex days before the end of January and currently have 0.14 of an hour. Don't think I'll manage it somehow. (I need to take 1.5 days because Legal's 8-week flex allowance is three days total rather than two, and if you take two days in one four-week period you must take one in the other, ditto for 1.5 - I took 1.5 flex days before Christmas, so am rather stuck.)

Singing Stuff )

Aaand finally... Money Stuff )

Anyway, that'll do. I think I've not been updating because it would be mostly doom and gloom. I'll come back when things are looking up. So... probably in about five years. Bye.
teylaminh: (Photo - Atget mouth door)
I've barely had time to think this weekend...

On Saturday it was the concert. It did feel like we'd spent so much time rehearsing Sea Drift that Sea Symphony barely got a look in, which was also exacerbated by most people in the choir having already sung it once or twice before. Not so good for us young 'uns who've never seen it before. I think there was one bit during rehearsal on Saturday I'd never actually seen before in my life; thankfully, Vaughan Williams is fairly easy to sight-read, and there are several repeated themes within the piece...

The concert itself seemed to go okay. Only bad thing was that Paul couldn't attend because our bedroom ceiling was leaking. Presumably the leak from last year (which is now fixed) found a new way through. He didn't want to leave it because it was right next to the smoke detector (or possibly even coming through the smoke detector), which is hard-wired. He phoned the landlord but obviously, nothing has yet been done about it...

That wouldn't have been so annoying if I hadn't traipsed all the way to Symphony Hall on Friday to get him a ticket, and it was £21 we could have saved. Bah.

On Sunday I met up with Vicky (from Uni) because she was in Birmingham and wanted to give me my Christmas present. Paul came with me so we could go to the cinema afterwards, thus I spent almost the entire time we were out paranoid that the flat would catch fire (from a potential spark from the smoke detector - how's that for irony?) or the roof cave in.

Vicky and I had a bit of a natter in the Squeg (I needed breakfast) before she and her mum and nan went off to the German Market, and Paul and I made our way slowly to the cinema. We played on the ItBox in the Squeg first, then went into Cyber Candy to check it out (bought some terrifyingly sugary Jolly Ranchers, a rather disappointing fake Kinder Egg, and some strawberry Pocky! They sell American cereals, too, like Count Chockula and Froot Loops, but they're like £6.70 a box...) Then we had some food in the Windsor, and made our way up to the cinema.

Very little actually showing at any reasonable time, obviously. 9 appears to have finished (great...), and everything else was on at stupid times. The Fourth Kind was only on at 11.30pm (er, okay) and I don't think Saw VI was on the list, so the only remaining option was Up in 3D, whcih wasn't on until 4.00pm (we got there at 3.00). So we went down to the Figure of Eight to kill some time.

Film Review )

In other news, Paul has agreed to go on the big wheel with me this year (preferably at night so he will hopefully freak out less, though it's unlikely, and so I can take some photographs of Birmingham by night), though he tried to make a deal that he would only do so if I would see Paranormal Activity at the cinema. Thing is, I DO want to see the film, just NOT AT THE CINEMA. The sensory overload will absolutely kill me, and I won't sleep for about two days. I was bad enough after The Blair Witch Project and The Descent. The only horror films I make an exception for are the Saw series and anything foreign with limited release, out of principle. Otherwise, it's a no-no on horror films in surround sound. :P

After the cinema we had another drink in the Briar Rose before heading home, finally getting back just before 8.00. I watched the EastEnders omnibus and the end of I'm a Celebrity..., we had some dinner, and went to bed.

So, rather a busy weekend. And yet more busy weekends up until Christmas, so don't ask me to go anywhere. :P

Heh.

Oct. 14th, 2009 12:51 pm
teylaminh: (Google - Work)
Here's a bit more work humour for you, even though I know it's not funny outside of the office. I like to record these things for posterity... (Er, not verbatim because I can't quite remember it...)

Cut because it's mostly for my own benefit. )

Anyway, even though it was somewhat inane, it brightened up my morning.

I was so tired this morning that I bought a croissant from Pret and then forgot about it until 10.20... (I got into work at 9.00). Not quite so nice after being zapped in the microwave for 45 seconds, unfortunately. I was hungry when I bought it, but was then concerned with drinking my coffee (mmmm, liquid sanity) and forgot it was there. Oh, well.

For some reason I couldn't get to sleep last night. We went to bed around 11.00 and Paul nodded off almost straight away, but it took me a couple of hours to nod off, despite being really tired beforehand. I had various bits of songs going around my head, which didn't help, starting with Sea Drift (the horrendously difficult thing we're doing for the November concert; even Adrian said that if he ever met Delius in a bar he'd hit him upside the head... :P) and then I think it was the Killers. Can't remember. Annoying, though.

Work moaning )

*ahem* Sorry, just had to get that off my chest...

In other news, I've been trying to get a plain, black, v-neck t-shirt for work. I did have one, but it has gone AWOL in the flat, presumably to the same place as the big nail clippers and the metal tape measure. I swear we have Gremlins, or perhaps a particularly mischievous poltergeist... it's getting a bit silly now. (Having said that, I did find my bicarbonate of soda*, at the back of the cupboard behind the six-tonne bag of pasta...) Anyway, do you think I can find a black t-shirt? No, of course not. I've tried Primark, New Look, Peacocks and Store 21 (in Kings Heath) to no avail... next course of action is Matalan, but I don't really want to traipse that far just for a t-shirt - and I know full well that as soon as I buy one, the one I lost will miraculously reappear...

My new embroidery frame arrived this morning, so I'll put my ongoing / on-hiatus project onto that, as I transferred the Christmas decorations to the old one on Monday. Will post a photograph of the first completed one soon... I did realise last night, however, that I've measured my fabric partitions wrong and divided it into eight segments, and there are 10 decorations. Bugger. Thankfully, some of them are narrow, so I might be able to rectify it...

I'm sure I had another thing to post about, but I've forgotten it... probably for the best, as this is quite long enough already.

Over and out.


* Here's a handy tip from the ever-resourceful Kim and Aggie, which works wonders. If you have a blocked drain, pour down half a cup of bicarb, half a cup of salt, and half a cup of white vinegar. This part is quite fun for the chemical reaction, though the fumes are a bit rank (unless you like vinegar...) Leave it five minutes and then pour through with boiling water. I didn't think this would work but it's actually unblocked our bath (as much as it's possible to do) and it's draining at a reasonable pace now. So, forget Mr Muscle, go for the all-natural solution. :) I wish I'd known this when our kitchen sink was blocked rather than attempting to kill myself with chlorine gas...
teylaminh: (Photo - Sunset orange)
Yup, nothing much happened this weekend... However, as there's already nothing to do here (10.50am) I shall ramble about it anyway.

Cut for length. )

Oh yes, we had to put the heating on by Saturday afternoon, and I've left it on since. It's officially winter. I was trying to hold out as long as possible, but I've been cold since about mid-August.

There might be a hen-night-type deal this Friday for my mum but we're not sure yet, as several people are on holiday, so it'll depend on availability. I've booked the day off anyway, initially because I didn't want to run out of energy by 10.00pm, but even if it doesn't happen the day off would be much appreciated.

At some point this week I need to watch Order of the Phoenix and give it back to Gemma at work - on Thursday I ended up embroiled in a rambling conversation which started off about comedy and moved somehow onto Harry Potter, so Gemma lent me the DVD. I had planned to watch it this weekend but didn't find time / forgot, and I don't want to hold onto it for too long...

Choir restarts tomorrow - hopefully I won't be too knackered to enjoy it. Just before the break I missed the final two rehearsals because I was on leave (bad, I know) and because I wasn't feeling any love whatsoever for the two pieces we were rehearsing... I know when things come together it will sound brilliant (I hated the Verdi when we did the opera concert, then ended up liking it immensely once we got the hang of the Italian), but I wasn't in the mood for stumbling over things. I probably should have practiced it over the break, but time has run away with me as usual... I'm muchly looking forward to doing Faure's Requiem in April (finally, something I know!!) and of course there's Christmas to look forward to, despite the sheer amount of hard work in November.

Ah well, at least it'll stop me doing nothing.

Right, that killed an hour or so (with some typing in the middle), so I'll post it and find something else to do.
teylaminh: (Derren Brown - satanic)
Saturday = FAIL )

Sunday was sedate by comparison. The usual. EastEnders and embroidery. We also investigated the new bargain shop at the end of our road, which isn't as bad as anticipated - lots of good deals on all sorts of things, including sweets, so we've been ridiculously unhealthy all weekend. Meh.

Today I had my follow-up appointment at the hospital and everything is fine so I've been discharged. Trying to get to work through Bristol Road traffic wasn't so much fun (probably should have gotten the train, really) and I finally got in at 10.15 or thereabouts. We have been ridiculously understaffed all day (so what else is new - where the bloody hell is everyone?!) and helping out the other side AGAIN. Noor, who normally stays late on Mondays, had to go at 3.30, and I went at 4.00. Fuck it, I've had enough of being the only one willing to stay late, quite frankly. Sandra and Joy were both in anyway, they can do some work for a change.

Cleaning the bathroom on my return home has clearly not mellowed me, sorry. :P

*goes away*
teylaminh: (Google - Work)
Well, today wasn't as bad as anticipated. I wasn't insanely tired - not even any requirement for coffee this morning. Let's see how long that lasts.

I had a pleasant surprise on my desk when I arrived, in the form of this ).

I had 233 e-mails (whittled down to 43 of any remote importance), which was a lot less than I was anticipating... Have been recounting the Tale of the Foot all morning.

On Friday night, we went out to the Lutley Oak pub for my grandmother's birthday. Despite them not arriving until about an hour after the allotted time, and the food taking ages to turn up, it was very nice indeed. I ended up having a steak with stilton and peppercorn sauce, which was lovely. Seeing as we didn't get back to my mum's until just before 10.00pm, Paul and I ended up staying over for the night, getting up earlyish the next morning to be driven back home. We all stopped off at Moseley village to visit the farmers' market, where we bought two interesting Derbyshire cheeses (garlic and herb, and real ale and mustard - the latter is very interesting...) and some wild boar sausages, after trying some on the stall for breakfast. There was a lot more I wanted to buy and there was a hog roast which looked mouth-wateringly delicious, so we'll definitely be going back next time...

Got back and my mum and David had a look at Lisa's paintings (with the possibilty of commissioning one when the lounge is decorated!), and David gave her some advice on where to get framing materials to make her own canvasses. After that it was a rehearsal for me, and then the concert of the evening, though I managed to get through the majority of Coraline in the break between the two. Concert went okay, though the turn-out was a bit poor...

Yesterday I did more embroidery (scan later, probably), and put up our new shower curtain )

As for work today, it's been mostly painless. The backlog is now cleared and that's about it, really. Still half-considering going for the secretarial position (secondment until September, when Marie is back off sick leave, as Gaynor is covering in her absence and thus the post of David's Secretary is up for grabs...), purely because I think Sandra is also considering it and the thought fills me with vague terror... and the rest of our team, too, I would imagine.

The AD wants to know by Friday, so I'll give it a ponder. The extra money would be very much appreciated. Apparently David thinks I could do the job (at least according to Gaynor...) but I'm also their fastest typist and don't want to leave them in the lurch with another Rubbish Temp. We have one Rubbish Temp already, and one of the fee earners in that team already avoids her like the plague. :P

So... watch this space, I suppose.

I think that's about it. I shall post some more photographs on Flickr momentarily.
teylaminh: (Farscape - Stark - hidden talents)
Scan 4-5/? )

Double-checked this morning where Saturday's concert is, and luckily it's at the Town Hall, not Worcester as I had envisaged. My logic was therefore correct and we are doing the Elgar in Worcester, as is right and proper. I need to revise the music this week.

There are still tickets left for Saturday if anyone fancies it: 7.30pm, Birmingham Town Hall, Rossini's Petite Messe Sollenelle.

Hmm...

Feb. 11th, 2009 01:14 pm
teylaminh: (Farscape - Stark - hidden talents)
We did our ICC background music thing last night. (If I didn't mention this, or if you've forgotten, the choir were requested to sing at the Voice09 conference last night, providing background music in the form of 12 madrigals and then doing a performance of Zadok the Priest, for which we were paid about £3000. Obviously, the members don't see any of this money, but it should soften the blow of rubbish ticket sales.)

Not that good, really. )

I was going to get the number 1 bus home, but none of their timetables seem to be consistent with each other. I'm sure the one in Moseley says it keeps running until about 11.00pm, but the ones of Broad Street say it stops running at 6.00pm. I did intend to check online beforehand (I figure that's probably the most up-to-date information) but forgot. Tell me, what IS the point of a bus service that stops running at 6.00pm? The 258 is the same. Utterly rubbish. Anyway, I ended up having to walk all the way across town and didn't get back until 9.00pm as it was, even though we were only rehearsing until 8.00.

Ah, well. Now we can concentrate on the Elgar and Rossini pieces instead. What we did last night didn't seem TOO hard, but time will tell... At the moment it's just a relief to be able to sing again after having to sit it out for two weeks.

In other news, the rest of February is looking to be quite busy...

14th - Valentine's Day. Unfortunately it's on a Saturday, so I imagine most places will be rammed, but we've booked a table (just about) at La Fibule in Moseley, which is apparently Moroccan. Our initial plan was Ponte di Legno (Italian place on Woodbridge Road) but they weren't answering their phone, and Byzantium (Tapas restaurant in Kings Heath) were fully booked. Our seating at La Fibule isn't until 9.30pm, but at least it's booked.

21st - David's birthday. We're going to my mum's on the 20th to stay overnight and they'll cook us a meal.

W/C 23rd - using up my annual leave, though I still have to us up a half-day somewhere.

27th - going down to London in readiness for...

28th - seeing Sunset Boulevard with Eni for her birthday. YAY! I've read one review, which had no complaints about the performances, just that the set seemed very minimalist... I shan't pass judgement until I've seen it, but the minimalist set worked brilliantly for Sweeney Todd when we saw that... I don't know if it'll work with something like SB because it's very extravagant, but having said that, the UK tour only had 2-3 sets anyway, even if the staircase was elaborate. It should be interesting, at the very least. And, well, it's Sunset Boulevard in the West End so that's quite good enough for me. (David Willetts is playing Max, also, so that should be cool. :D)

And then I think March is chock-full of birthdays. And April is our anniversary, and a week of leave for me. :D

I think that's enough for one entry, especially as I have an X-Post to do. :)
teylaminh: (Christmas - snow)
Far from having an horrendous journey home, I left at 3.30 and was home an hour later, which included the trip to Sainsbury's (whereupon I was queueing behind a woman buying nothing but Weight Watchers instant meals. Terrifying. I know they have their points system, but wow, REAL FOOD would be better.) BCC went into total Panic Mode and sent the message around that employees could leave at 2.30, and our office distributed a 'snow chain' type plan in the event that Birmingham was cancelled because of snow.

Schools are closed today. There was talk throughout the office yesterday of not being able to make it into work because a further five inches were predicted to fall overnight. Complete and total madness. Considering this is the third year in a row where we've been struck down with heavy snowfall, you'd think they might take that as a hint to BE PREPARED for once.

The funniest thing is that it didn't snow in the night at all, and the worst thing to deal with today is the fact that the snow will melt in the sun and then freeze overnight.

I'm quite childishly amused by the country's reaction.

Britain: OMGWTF we have six inches of snooooow! We can't run the traaaains! What do we dooooo? *runs around like a headless chicken*
Mainland Europe: Get a grip, you big wusses. *gets train to work in blizzard*

Seriously, though. It's looking like every winter is going to be like this for the forseeable future, at least until we stop killing the planet (and even then probably afterwards) so it would surely be in everyone's interests to actually invest money into sorting this problem out. Snow-ploughs. Better bloody trains. The 21st century has been here for eight years now; time to catch up.

Aaaanyway. I had quite a pleasant evening, all told. I did the washing up when I got back (not that pleasant, though I do find something quite theapeutic about things being CLEAN) and there was a (presumably teenage) boy staring out of the back window of the house opposite. I don't know if he was watching me or the snow. Paul waved at him later but he ignored us. ;)

Just before the sun went down I dragged Paul outside for a snowball fight and to take some photographs, and Lisa helped us build a snowman. I was going to go to the park to take photos, but I spotted from the bus that Highbury was full of schoolkids having snowball fights, and figured KH park would be as bad. Bloody kids ruining my fun. :P

There are pictures of our snowy garden and the snowman (or snowdeer, as he turned out to be) on Facebook, here...

After that we walked to the chippy to get food (it had stopped snowing by then) and then I had a shower. After which I was absolutely frozen so went to bed (at 8.00pm) to attempt to warm up and watch some more X-Files. I shall do a separate post later because I want to extol the virtues of "Triangle", which is second on my list of Best Episodes Ever, after "Post Modern Prometheus"...

So, quite pleasant. Second (and last) rehearsal of the madrigals tonight, and also Zadok the Priest (woo!). Thank goodness my voice came back. I was starting to feel quite despondent.

Anyway, I'll sign this one off and make a start on my X-Post after / during lunch...

Edit: New tag added, as apparently it warrants it.

New Boots!

Jan. 21st, 2009 06:11 pm
teylaminh: (Photo - Sunset tree)
I actually managed to find some half-decent longish boots to fit my stupid legs and my stupid feet at the same time!

Under here... )

In other news, my throat is killing me today, which I presume is as a result of attempting to sing last night at choir. There is still snot at the back of my throat, too, which is making swallowing annoying. I've bought some Oraldene from Superdrug to gargle with and hopefully that'll clear it up.

It has to clear by 10th February. We're singing at a conference at the ICC (providing background music for the first half and then doing Zadok for the second) and I'd rather not have to miss it, as they've split us into two halves to do madrigals...
teylaminh: (Christmas - berries)
Now feeling MUCH better, thankfully, though still backed up full of goop. The cough has subsided from the weekend, too. I managed to do the concert yesterday with no coughing fits or singing issues. All in all it was a very enjoyable concert (aside from baking in Town Hall's choir stalls) and went a little way to restoring my Christmas spirit, which had been waning on Saturday thanks to losing an entire week of productivity to illness.

As a result, however, I need to make a mad dash to the Post Office this afternoon instead. I have one package to send within the UK and one international card and all the others have stamps on. [livejournal.com profile] thefleshfailure, I apologise in advance if your present doesn't get to you before Thursday... I've missed the 'last recommended posting day' to get it there, alas, and given the size I don't want to know how much it would cost by special delivery... Stupid cold scuppering my plans...

I also need to wrap the bloody thing before I can even go down to the Post Office, as Paul finished wrapping my stuff yesterday and used up the remainder of the paper, so I had to buy some more this morning.

I have some more ramblings about X-Files to write which are a few episodes overdue, but they can go in a separate post. There might be an icon or two making an appearance soon... :)

Three days until Christmas and there's still lots to do: no rest for the wicked disorganised.

Tonight: Asda chrimbo food shop, after I've been to the Post Office.

Tomorrow: Paul's mum's to hand over presents. We were meant to go to Asda on Tuesday but it had to be rearranged.

Wednesday is Christmas Eve. I'm working in the morning and then going for drinks in the Briar... although possibly home first. I was meant to make a cake or similar for our team lunch but I literally have no time to do it so they'll have to make do with something bought instead. Maybe some mini houmous and something to dip in them... :D Hoooooumous...

Oh, and despite best efforts, things seem to have been absolutely rubbish at work whilst I've been gone. The work piled up and nobody wanted to help. The principal for our team (Dave) has now gotten involved where Sandra is concerned, though, so that's a step in the right direction (she took a tape at lunchtime and wasn't seen again until gone 4.00). Apparently one of the Seniors in Central Team has also asked that their typists not do work for any other teams, which is rather missing the point... and obviously because the work was piling up, people were putting urgents in, which made it pile up even more. Apparently Noor stayed until 6.10 on Friday afternoon to get through the pile. I always seem to pick the exact wrong times to go off sick...

Right, that's more than enough. I'll post some Christmassy pictures when the full quotient of presents are under the tree and we've tidied up everywhere - don't ask me WHEN, but it'll be done - and might even take some on Christmas Day for once.

*cries*

Dec. 17th, 2008 11:32 am
teylaminh: (JC - Jonathan - eww)
Holy mother of Moly I am so sick of this. D=

The cold has moved into my sinuses today, as anticipated. My head feels all cotton-wool-ified, which would probably be okay except for the total exhaustion. The reason for my exhaustion? Cut for TMI )

My ears feel bunged up. :( Which is making audio-typing very interesting. My brain-to-mouth connection is also quite slow. I know what I want to say, but can't quite actually say it. Fun.

This had damn well better clear up to a reasonable degree by Sunday. I don't think we're singing anything particularly vicious so hopefully even if I have a cough my voice will hold out. Rather now than at Christmas, also. I'm leaving early today, long lunch be damned. I need a frelling nap...

Edit, 15.25: Well, our Christmas meal was quite nice, but my insides apparently disagree with my tastebuds. OW OW OW. Thank anything for flexi-time and being able to leave at 3.30, though I think I can hold out til four... There's just so much work here today it's untrue, and I feel bad enough for going home early yesterday... Oh, and as an interesting off-shoot of the bad stomach and subsequently holding myself tensely in an attempt to stop the pain, my back is twinging again. *sigh* It never rains, it pours. Or in my case, throws great fuck-off hailstones at me.
teylaminh: (Christmas - bauble)
That was a pleasant, if slightly exhausting, weekend...

Starting with Friday night, and our first Messiah concert. Compared to the Beethoven it's positively relaxing. :P Paul came home about half an hour after me, drunker than promised (four drinks my big fat arse...) and without his phone, lost at some point in the process of going home. DRINKING IS BAD, MMKAY?

Saturday )

Anyway, at least now the tree is up and that's one element of stress dealt with.

Sunday was the direct opposite. Somehow over the course of Saturday night I drank three glasses of wine, so woke up feeling awful not only with a headache, but random aches and pains from all the hard work the day before. I watched a few episodes of X-Files in bed and then went back to sleep until 1.45. We completely forgot to ring people as promised, so that'll have to be done today.

Sunday night we ordered pasta from Pizza Hut / Pasta Hut (quite nice) which we ate in separate rooms because Paul was playing poker, and then he buggered off out for a drink with Alex (who is temporarily back from Gran Canaria) even though he's seeing him tomorrow, despite saying we would watch something together at 9.00. Thanks. :P

Anyway, work is okay today - plenty to do, so I won't get to leave early, but at least I'm not bored. Things are going to be quite frantic from now on.
teylaminh: (STVOY - Mary Sues)
I'm sure I've done this before, but I responded to Katie's on her Facebook and said I'l put it on LJ, so here it is...

Leave a comment and I will do one of the following:-

1. I'll respond with something random about you.
2. I'll tell you which song or movie you remind me of.
3. I'll pick a flavor of jello to wrestle you in.
4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.
5. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. I'll ask you something I've always wondered about you.
8. I'll tell you my favorite thing about you.
9. I'll tell you my least favorite thing about you.
10. If you play, you MUST post this on your LJ.

(You can ask for a specific item or more than one if you want, I'm not fussy. And you don't have to repost.)

G'wan.

Just booked the tickets for Paul and his mum for the Christmas concert - there was literally ONE left at £15 and only three scattered seats left in the £10 range, so they've ended up being £19. Annoying. Also the only cheap seats left for both Messiah concerts are up in the gods and the last time I put him there Paul freaked out, so he won't be going this year. :P Where the bloody hell are all these concert-going people when we need the bloody ticket sales, huh? You'd think opera highlights would be eminently popular, but apparently not... You suck, Birmingham.
teylaminh: (Christmas - berries)
That seems to have been the theme of the weekend.

Bristol was cold, too )

Sunday was thankfully a whole lot of nothing. I've finally finished season 3 of X-Files ([livejournal.com profile] sweeterthing is right about "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" - it's utterly brilliant, though I have no idea what the resolution of the case was meant to be...) and will make a start on season 4 tonight. Yay, shippiness. I can remember this season being the one when I was well and truly buried in the obsession and the shipping, so certain episodes stick out in my memory from it: "Unruhe", "The Field Where I Died", "Paper Hearts" and, of course, the inimitable "Small Potatoes" - I remember reading up on spoilers for that one in the early days of my uncle having dial-up and being VERY excited by the plot synopsis. Ah, those innocent days when I didn't fear spoilers. :D

Paul kicked my arse at Scrabble horribly in the evening (literally, he ended up over 150 points ahead of me within two moves) and that made me a bit disinclined to make an effort afterwards. I woke up at 4.00am and couldn't get back to sleep for another hour, so was absolutely exhausted this morning. Meh. Coffee seems to have helped marginally. I think it's definitely time to break out the winter coats, though...

Right. Now is when it starts to get busy. Here is an at-a-glance look at my December...

Wednesday 3rd - shopping day (and a lie in, hurrah)

Friday 5th - first Messiah concert (must book Paul's ticket for this one).

Saturday 6th - Jen and Dave coming over for dinner. Also tree is going up in the afternoon, because I want to get it over with.

Tuesday 9th - second Messiah concert (I might not do this one because it was knackering last time...)

Saturday 13th - possibly meeting [livejournal.com profile] jackiesjottings in Birmingham after she's investigated the German Market. (I'm going to take her to interesting shops in Moseley and Kings Heath...)

Sunday 21st - Christmas concert (yay!)

Wednesday 24th - I'm at work until 1.00pm (or possibly later as we're meant to be having a buffet at work) and then need to cram in seeing people at the pub, I presume, and seeing family on the evening.

29th to 31st - at work

1st January - Paul's birthday.

2nd to 9th January - off work. Hurrah.

Somewhere in between all of that I need to wrap presents and get stuff in the post, as well as write cards. But yeah, I hate this particular choir season because it's insanely busy. (And having TWO Missa Solemnis concerts didn't really help, either.) Tonight I have to book Paul and his mum's tickets for the Christmas concert before it sells out.

BUSY. I would like the television to stop telling me how few days there are left until Christmas, plz.

Bugger.

Nov. 26th, 2008 01:35 pm
teylaminh: (Farscape - John&Aeryn - happiness)
Bloody typical.

As soon as I've weaned myself off the Mamma Mia soundtrack for a bit, Tesco are milking the DVD release for all they're worth by playing it on a constant loop. And when I happen to go in there for lunch, they're playing the only song in the entire thing which makes me cry like a baby.

Talking of which, we are doing one particular piece in the carol concert which yesterday night made a lady in the row in front of me start crying. It's one of the most beautiful, haunting pieces I've ever heard, with a simple tune at the start which twists around accidentals and dischords in the middle, all sung a capella. (It's Taverner's The Lamb, and the highlight of this year's concert, it would seem. We don't appear to be doing anything interestingly audience-participation-y, though. :( Oh well.)

Last year, O Little Town of Bethlehem caused a lump in my throat at the morning rehearsal. If I survive the concert emotionally intact this year it'll be a bloody miracle...
teylaminh: (Edward - butterfly)
Quite busy this weekend. I was out most of Saturday due to rehearsal and concert, and then Paul went to a house party after the concert and didn't return until 5.00am...

The concert went okay, I think. The audience turn out wasn't quite as bad as expected, and apart from the tenor soloist coming in early a couple of times (we had to rehearse that bit about four times and it still didn't work) it actually sounded okay. Have to do it all again in two weeks' time in Bristol, but at least now the rehearsals are going to be Messiah and Christmas-focussed, which is always a joy. Now if the German Market would just bugger off I might be able to enjoy Christmas for once. (I've booked off 3rd December as my now-traditional Shopping Day, and this year I'm going to take the shopping trolley with me...)

As for the rest of Saturday: I walked back to the city centre with Paul and one of his friends, Sonja, as they were going off to Mara's birthday party together, and we parted ways at Pij. I was utterly soaked by the time I got home. On getting back I put washing to dry upstairs (this was at about 10.30) and then slobbed about online for a bit without really achieving anything except a Deep and Meaningful email conversation with Eni. I went to bed around 2.00am after another episode of X-Files (now at the end of season 2), until I couldn't keep my eyes open. These days I'm not very good at sleeping alone (I don't count Lisa being in as being not alone), especially in a creaky old house with neighbours who don't seem to sleep, so it's best if I just tire myself out before I attempt to sleep.

Anyway, as a result, I woke up purely by chance at 5.00am needing to cough, only to have Paul go "Hello?" at me in the dark, which was vaguely terrifying...

The other bizarre thing was another bloke called Paul who rang up wanting to speak to Lisa and ended up with me answering the phone. This occurred at 12.30am (yes, that's after midnight) so I was probably not exactly completely awake, and as a result when he introduced himself I thought it was someone at Mara's party taking the piss, having stolen my Paul's phone. Other Paul attempted to prove he was who he said he was with some nonsensical (to me, anyway) anecdote, and then it transpired I was not Lisa. I had no idea if she was in, but nevertheless, even if she was, I imagine she would be in bed at 12.30am anyway. After that I shut the living room door so as not to hear the phone (meh...) and ended up making myself some pasta at around the same time because I was hungry. It was a bit of a strange night, all told.

On Sunday, of course, we slept in. Went out to Sainsbury's to get breakfast stuff and then watched telly for a bit until going over to Paul's mum's for the Firework Extravaganza which didn't happen last week. We arrived first and tried to get the bonfire started, which lasted for a while but burnt the wood a little too quickly and kept going out, unfortunately. Still got some interesting picture of it, nonetheless. Darren and Andrea and kids arrived at about 6.00pm and we set off a few fireworks, though it all ended a bit suddenly due to some Familial Angst on their side. In any case, Paul and I stayed and the remaining four of us set off what was left of the fireworks. This involved a lot of ducking and covering because the damn things kept dropping to earth practically on top of our heads: either the wooden stalks of the rockets or the orange plastic tops, which promptly hit the roof and shattered everywhere. Oh, and then there was the rocket which failed to take off, rose three inches in the air and then landed in the garden before exploding, which was... well, perhaps 'exciting' is the wrong word, but by that point everyone was a bit drunk and found it vaguely hilarious in an almost-losing-an-eye way...

We ended the night watching the start of I'm A Celebrity... before heading home and going straight to bed. I'll upload the photographs later, though most of them aren't very good. I think I need to go to a professional firework display one of these days to test out the firework function better, as my timing was basically crap. Pretty fire photos, though...

Thankfully, it's a quiet one next weekend, though it's going to get considerably busier as Christmas approaches. I'll just be glad when the second Beethoven concert is out of the way. I mean, it sounded frelling amazing, but my word, it's tiring to sing. We get to sit down for a bit after the "Credo" section, but that section is about 15 minutes long, mostly in the upper range of the voice and incredibly fast... absolutely mad. Beethoven was a sadist, clearly.

Oh, and I forgot to mention Adrian's amusing comment to inspire the tenors:

"When you're singing this, imagine Beethoven going ' I vill write zis part for ze tenors and keeeel zem!'..."

Dunno if it worked, but just about summed up the piece in general, really. :D

As ever, I didn't intend this to be so long... can't be bothered to cut, though, sorry. :P
teylaminh: (Google - Home)
So, here's the latest affliction to hit our accursed house - due to the torrential rain over the weekend (and even before then) there is stagnant water in the basement which is stinking out the bottom floor. Unfortunately, it's Lisa's flat which is most affected, so she's attacking it with Oust and air fresheners. Apparently this is affecting a lot of properties in the area, so it's not just us... Trevor is being his typical bumbling self about it, though he did in fact clean out the drains yesterday and has opened a 'door' somewhere so the basement can air-dry, as there's no point doing anything until that's done.

This is when Paul's housing experience comes in very handy; and the fact that Trevor has given up ringing me and has Paul now as the first contact means that he's more than capable of dealing with it, whereas I would have been completely lost. Lisa is understandably quite aggravated, especially as at first it seemed as though Trevor was going to try and blame us for it. Whilst I was out on Tuesday Paul checked and cleared the drains (and the water level didn't change in the slightest), just as a matter of course; although quite when Trevor expects us to have gotten out there lately to clear them is anyone's guess, given the downpours all weekend.

Ah, the perils of cheap rent..

Oh, also, Trevor rang a couple of weeks ago to ask us to check in the other half of the attic (where the panel is screwed on) to see if we had an insulation, and if not he would contribute towards the cost of the gas company coming out to fit some. My hope is that they might take one look at the open part of the attic and decree it to need re-plastering, but I think that might be grasping at straws. There's not much point insulating in there anyway, really, as the window is open all the time as it is... Not particularly energy-efficient, but no worse than a power-guzzling drier would be...

I'm rather worried about what we might find in the closed bit of the attic, though. Will we release the evil spirits ensconced in the roof? My theory is there's a body up there. ;) It wouldn't smell if it was a skeleton, right?

Nothing much else to report. Concert on Saturday and pretty much busy weekends until Christmas, when it starts all over again with constant birthdays... It seems there's just been no respite this year from forced sociability... And on that note, if you invite me out a week before Christmas, I will probably launch a grenade in your general direction. Just so you know.
teylaminh: (Photo - leaves)
Most people on here know that I'm not exactly the most... politically minded person out there; I mean, I'm glad to live in a Lib Dem constituency these days rather than BNP (and come on, who wouldn't?), but other than that my political stance is that until some of these bloody politicians deliver on their promises, I'm going to consider them all lying bastards. (And I would vote for Lib Dem but honestly, they need to buck their ideas up and stop coming across as the slightly eccentric aunt who visits at Christmas, gives you another set of hankies and is only invited out of familial duty.) Despite that, the outpouring of love and affection for Obama this morning is absolutely amazing. Just... no more Bush. I'm just sad it couldn't happen sooner.

America, you did good.

I never thought I'd be saying that, either. :P America is usually not known for its well-placed decision-making, after all...

I shall now stop talking about politics because it's not something I enjoy discussing, purely because I will openly admit to knowing very little about it and it's therefore pointless. My family has never been particularly political and it's never hit my radar for that reason...

Woo, Obama!

/politics

Last night at choir, Adrian described our singing and lack of diction as a "musical hoodie", which was quite amusing. I also had my session of vocal coaching thigummy with Julian, which would have gone better if not for my cough. At least it didn't stop me singing. A shame I couldn't do the rehearsal in Gloucester, as apparently it's made everything come together a lot better, but hopefully the 'dress' rehearsal on the day will also help... We also started on Messiah last night, which is always good fun to sing. :)

I'm sure I had more to say, but it fell out of my brain...
teylaminh: (Christmas - snow)
I slept on the sofa last night. Admittedly it's a sofa which was originally my bed, so it was quite comfortable, but nonetheless, that is where I slept. The reason for this was because Paul has the lurgy (again! Or possibly the same lurgy as a month ago, we're not sure...) and I'd already spent an hour and a half trying to get to sleep against his horrendously loud snoring. Obviously, it's not like he could help it, but it was either sleep on the sofa or suffocate him with a pillow...

At one point I could still bloody well hear him through the wall.

Anyway, despite not getting to sleep until gone 1.00am and waking up at least three times in the night (one of which was due to Paul also waking up and finding me not there, and then coming to find me) I am surprisingly not tired today. I've always said, though, that I cope much better with lack-of-sleep tired than I do mental-exhaustion tired, because at least there's a valid reason for it. There's nothing more annoying than getting enough sleep but still being too knackered to do anything; it's usually the case that a lack of sleep results in uber-productivity in order to stay away - or at least hyperactivity.

I even got up at 7.00 and had a shower this morning as I didn't have time last night, what with choir, ordering food and watching Dead Set - which, by the way, you should ALL be watching, if you're not already - and left the house 10 minutes early just in case the mild smattering of snowfall made the traffic crazy. Thank goodness for half term, though; the buses and roads were empty... But GOOD LORD, it's cold out there.

Speaking of choir, two things to mention: firstly, I am no longer doing the rehearsal on Saturday because there's too much party prep for one person to do, and it also saves us having to rush to get the DVDs on Friday night, as we can get them on Saturday instead. If the attendees want to turn up slightly earlier, they can do, but only by about an hour or so, please. ;) Secondly, my decision to possibly leave after Christmas may well have been a bit rash, and was the culmination of feeling despondent and knackered as a result of said rehearsal being annoying. As I have effectively eradicated that problem, I will probably stay after all. The fact is, when I'm not tired I do enjoy it, and everyone seems to be quite excited about the prospect doing of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius in the summer, so I'm most intrigued as to why...

We were a bit thin on the ground last night, presumably because of the weather - as ever, the slightest bit of snow and Birmingham grinds to a halt. I'm quite glad, actually, that I was going home so late, as waiting for a bus at 5.30 would have been a completely fruitless endeavour...

I think today is going to be quiet. We should definitely be allowed skeleton staff at half term - although I suppose those with Small Children would still get preference. Bah.
teylaminh: (Cabaret - Maybe This Time)
Thanks for the poll answers, those who voted. I was feeling somewhat despondent yesterday due to being tired and not knowing what I wanted, and I've finally come to a decision. Ironically, it's the decision I'd already made.

I'm going to stay at choir until Christmas, and then probably leave. If only because I've been rehearsing for the November concert for ages and it would be a waste of effort to quit now, and because I really do enjoy the Christmas singing. I will probably only do one of the Messiah concerts, though, as I seem to recall one of those was mid-week and hence knackering...

Still a little irked by the 1st November rehearsal being inconveniently timed to clash with my Hallowe'en party, but with any luck I can get a lift there and back and cut out on journey times. It's not the end of the world, just annoying.

Paul is right, though - I probably do need to joint something smaller and/or more local, if possible. I keep toying with the idea of am-op (Crossed Keys is based in Acocks Green) if I ever find enough confidence to do it, and I do enjoy the actual singing, just not the having to stay late at work or the constant travelling to the back end of nowhere, or the constant hassling people for tickets (and the stress of having to get them). I don't know if I'll join something else straight away, but I think I need a bit of a break nonetheless.

In other news, we have shiny new PCs at work today. :) The screen resolution is massive, though; so much space! (And they haven't disabled the majority of useful functions, either, so I can actually change my screen-saver at last.)

Of course, I just had to go through and add buttons to my Word toolbar and re-create my macros, but never mind...

And I have a Thai chicken & rice soup for lunch. YUMS.
teylaminh: (MH - little boy lost)
I keep finding myself grinding my teeth today. I'm literally having to consciously stop myself from doing it, because my teeth are starting to hurt... I can't figure out what's triggering it, but I have a fairly good idea.

I''m considering giving up choir. Initially, I was going to hold out until Christmas and see how I felt after the break; then, because of the upcoming concert being generally annoying and time-consuming, I was going to simply ask not to do that concert. Except I don't particularly think not doing the concert will solve anything.

I'm just not enjoying it, basically. There was a point at the end of the last season when I started to feel like I was, but now I'm dreading it... and that can't be good, can it?

Poll beneath the cut. I'm about 75% decided on leaving, but there's a niggling doubt that if I do, it'll be yet another thing I've failed to maintain, and having to explain myself is going to be awful. "I am crap", about sums it up, though there is the issue that I can't commit to something I'm too bloody tired to enjoy. Anyway...

[Poll #1282601]

Thanking you.
teylaminh: (Random - Garbo)
So, I'm not at choir. I've been bloody knackered all day and just want to go to sleep, and the thought of not getting back until 9.00pm just filled me with dread. I got home at 6.00pm and lay down but sleep would not come, as the aforementioned story-narrative-thing ("Three Strikes and Out") was going through my head demanding attention. I want to write it, but I don't know if I want to share it... or, well, I DO want to share it, I just don't think I should, if that makes sense. It will contain a lot of things I really want to articulate, but I think it might upset people.

That is to presume, of course, that anyone would read it in order to be upset by it.

So instead of trying to sleep I got up and did something instead. As a result, [livejournal.com profile] jackiesjottings, your parcel is now ready to go and I'll take it to the Post Office tomorrow. Completely forgot to package it up last night.

I've been starving all day.

I'm feeling a little ambivalent about the whole choir thing, to be honest. As much as I want to do the Christmas concert, I find myself not enjoying the experience as much as I always used to. Instead I dread Tuesdays because they are long, and by the time I get to rehearsal I'm tired and cranky. Choir used to be something I would make time for, and these days I feel more like it's just taking up that time. After two years, I still don't talk to anyone there above greetings and occasional chats, and even though I didn't join with the intention of creating a new social circle (I have enough of those already, thank you), I do sometimes wonder if that would have made it easier or more enjoyable. Part of the reason I enjoyed choir so much at school - apart from the music making and the actual activity of singing - was because my friends were there as well.

I always feel ambivalent about it at this time of year because it takes me a while to get into the flow of it again after the summer break. I really enjoyed the Mahler and the opera concerts last year, just as I enjoyed the performance at Tewkesbury Abbey the year before that, but I'm usually not so ambivalent as to consider not bothering at all. I'm getting bloody sick of being tired lately, for no apparent reason, no matter how much sleep I get, and I hate it especially when that tiredness is so pervading as to interfere with things I should be enjoying. Except I don't think I do enjoy things really, any more.

There was a point earlier this year when I thought things were getting better... but lately I've just been trying not to fall into a slump. My writing keeps drying up for increasingly longer periods of time; this time it's not because I can't do it, it's just because I'm too exhausted to try. The ideas come rushing at full pelt lately (I had another novel idea on the bus this morning, once again thanks to the Metro) but I end up in this position of "Eh, what's the point" and never bother to take them further.

I should write "Three Strikes..." and get it over with. I think some of this stuff needs to come out of my brain.

I'll stick at choir until Christmas and then see how I feel.
teylaminh: (Random - Theory of Relativitea)
Or I need to make entries which are about one thing instead of many. :P

Cut cutty cut cut... )

Was that rambly enough for you?

PS: To any that may be interested, there's another open rehearsal for the choir in a couple of weeks. I'll scan the flyer tonight and post it...

Nowt...

Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:23 pm
teylaminh: (Cabaret - Mein Herr)
This entry is of no consequence except to say that choir restarts tonight and thankfully, I am neither knackered nor stroppy, which makes a change. :) I will probably be horrendously tired by the end of rehearsal, and my not-quite-a-cough has decided to return for no apparent reason, which should make actually attempting to sing quite interesting.

This entry is merely a to-do list for myself so I don't forget these things:

  • Book concert ticket for Keith.
  • Arrange who wants tickets in immediate family/friends and book those too.
  • Photoshop Vicky's flower-tattoo design.
  • Redo LJ layout.
  • DON'T FORGET TO GO TO CABARET ON THURSDAY NIGHT. (I probably won't, but you know.)

That'll do pig.

We just had our BEST meeting, which was actually fairly productive, and - like all of our other team meetings - tinged with a hint of silliness. It's one of those "you-don't-have-to-be-mad-to-work-here..." situations. I have managed to get myself lumbered with the responsibility of being our fund-raising / charity monitor because I suggested we should do more charity work. Am considering turning Talk Like A Pirate Day into a possible charity venture (though possibly only with dressing like a pirate) to raise money for a suitable cause, e.g. Shelter or Save the Children... we'll see. I'll probably chicken out at the last minute.

Right. 40 minutes to kill before I can leave. Best post this and get on with some work, really...
teylaminh: (Photo - Sunset orange)
Just five new ones to share. I made the latter four a few months back and forgot about them...

... ... ... ...


The first is mostly to be used on my food diary posts (which are not visible to the general public / friends as they are mostly for my own benefit) because I needed an icon for them. I may periodically use it on other random food-related posts as I don't have a foody icon anyway.

The other four, obviously, are icons I made from the various programme scans from Derren Brown's show back in March. I was going to put text on the first one but couldn't decide what to go for. I was going to have "good witch" but I think any text would detract from the cat-got-the-cream expression and ruin it. Besides, the other two are still quite apt. The last one is basically just a scan of the programme cover, and will probably end up as a default if I ever get around to layouting the other, bigger scans...

So, there we go. A rather boring entry of no consequence.

Beethoven's Missa Solemnis is really frelling hard work, although there are some very pretty bits of harmony in there. Beginning to see why Adrian gave us an extra four weeks to rehearse it; the concert's not until November... It's also ridiculously high, an awful lot of the time, and really horrible for the men. I know you were deaf, Mr Beethoven, but that's no excuse to bully the tenors. :P

Paul is out at some gig or another and will probably wake me up later. I should probably try and get an early night, even though it'll doubtless get interrupted...
teylaminh: (Farscape - Stark - hidden talents)
That actually went surprisingly well...

For once, aside from the markers in the front row, the seating arrangements were a free-for-all within the sections, so I wasn't stuck at the back. As for the performance itself, the majority seemed to go very well indeed. Someone felt the end of the Carmen was a bit lack-lustre but personally I thought the first act went brilliantly. I did miss one entrance in the Gerschwin, that I can remember, but it was the last note anyway so hopefully nobody noticed...

The two female soloists were both brilliant, the baritone less so although his voice was okay. (Our other bloke couldn't do it, but at least we didn't have to copy insane adlibbing in "It Ain't Necessarily So", as that would undoubtedly have ended up messy...)

Afterwards we went to a pub to try and get a drink with Jade in tow... which obviously didn't work as she's 4-foot-nothing and barely even looks her age (16), let alone 18... Paul and I wandered back there after seeing off Jade and his mum and went home ourselves via the chippy.

Chippies in Kings Heath are annoying. The best (and closest to us) is Oceanna. They close at 10.30, even at weekends. Considering they're right opposite the Hare and Hounds pub, I'm surprised they don't stay open later as they'd do an awful lot of business from the local drunkards.

Further down the road are Hi Tide (chips are okay, haven't tried anything else) and King Kebab, which everyone raves about but the only decent thing there is the chicken kebab meat. The reason its so popular is it's open late and opposite the Goose (horrible pub). Hi Tide and King Kebab are directly opposite each other and both stay open until silly o'clock in the morning.

A new chippy has now opened up our end of the High Street (Deeno's), which we were going to try on Saturday. Unfortunately, they have also not figured out (despite being a few yards up from the local Wetherspoon's) that they need to stay open later than 11.00pm. So: chippies in Kings Heath are annoying.

We ended up walking all the way up to King Kebab and it wasn't even that nice, in the end. They charge half the price of Oceanna for a reason, clearly...

Aaanyway, that was about it for Saturday. On Sunday we played seven games of Scrabble, went out to buy the majority of ingredients for our roast chicken dinner, and I watched 'Stenders. With the chicken, we tried to marinate it in some honey-and-mustard salad dressing (the theory being it was oil based) which succeeded in browning the skin but only infused the chicken vaguely with flavour. Still, I'll try it again with skinned chicken next time... We also had some roast baby button mushrooms and mmmm... lovely.

This morning I am cleaning the washing machine with a dose of white vinegar and lemon juice, as it's starting to smell again...

It's bloody freezing in here. Stupid weather. They had the heating ON whilst we had that brief heatwave last week and it's off this morning as a result and subsquently chilly. My fingers hurt. :(

In other news, I've just signed up for Lloyds TSB's "Save the Change" scheme, where every debit card purchase is rounded up to the nearest pound and the difference put into a savings account, since I use my debit card frequently and copiously. My plan is also to then round up the money in the savings account to the next £10 at the end of each month so it's easier to see at a glance how much is in there...

(My plan for credit card repayage is to take whatever they ask me to pay, round up to the nearest £10 and double it...)

I have also booked a week off from 16 to 20 June, although I fear this may immediately result in the weather conspiring against me. Who knows, maybe I'll put curtains up or redecorate or something. ;)
teylaminh: (Photo - Atget mouth door)
Only one more rehearsal until the choir concert (excluding the one on the day) and it seems to be finally coming together... I've had random bits of Verdi and Borodin in my head all week. Despite initially hating the Italian, I now can't decide whether I prefer that to the Russian or not; both pieces have equally pretty bits of tunes, and thanks to my random phonetic spellings (and being drilled in it the other week) I seem to have learnt the majority of the Verdi already. The Borodin, not so much. It's a little repetitive but at least the tune is easy.

The Bizet and Gerschwin stuff is better because it's in English, and luckily the sopranos don't have any complicated harmonies to remember in the latter... I'm a little worried about our ladies-only piece, "The Card Song" (from Carmen) because it's still a mess, but experience dictates that on the day everything will be fine...

We started rehearsing the Beethoven mass last night, too, which is so far, so pretty. Everyone else seems to be dreading it, though, which doesn't bode well... ;)

Lovely weather today again. I had a temporary panic earlier when I thought my Driclor had failed, but it seems to be okay now as opening the windows has cooled the room down nicely.

At lunchtime I am going on a hunt for some new tights. My black ones are on their last legs (ho ho) and I have no flesh-tone ones, either. I need some of those hold-everything-in tights but can never seem to find any... might try Dotty P's.

And with that fascinating insight into my life, I shall sign this one off...
teylaminh: (Random - Trees)
Dear Channel 4,

please to be showing the rest of season 2 of Ugly Betty now? You've been leaving us hanging for months.

If you do not comply with my request, I shall be forced to throw a major hissy fit and launch a grenade through your window. If this does not persuade you, be prepared for me to go up there and kick yo' asses.

Yours in unending frustration,

[livejournal.com profile] teylaminh

liek, srsly - this is getting beyond a joke. I don't frelling care about Dirty Sexy Money or whatever the hell it's called. Placating me with a new series of Derren Brown's Trick of Treat is not going to work, either, and don't think distracting me with Peep Show will make me forget that you promised the rest of this season in January AND April respectively.

I don't have much energy for fandom these days, so holding out on me with the one I actually manage to latch onto is UNFAIR and CRUEL.

I WANT MY DETTYNESS, DAMN YOU!

*breathe* Spoilers on [livejournal.com profile] daniel_betty are not good for me, clearly. It's turning into the kind of fandom I need to watch on my own, in a hermetically sealed room, so I don't disturb other people... ;) But seriously, some of the stuff that's coming? SO GOOD.

*beats Channel 4 to death with blunt objects*

It turned into a bit of a TV rant )

Enough about that. It's only telly, after all. :P




In other news, the opera stuff for choir is coming together quite nicely, although I hope I don't end up sitting next to either of people in the concert who I do in rehearsal. On one side is off-pitch vibrato woman, and on the other is too-loud-occasionally-wrong person and they're both really annoying...

Thankfully, the Italian is now coming together, and the Russian - whilst not as straightforward as originally thought - is starting to sound okay as well. The others are in English and/or American, so not as bad, although I wouldn't have minded singing Carmen in French... the translations are always a bit twee. I mean, the blokes have to sing this at one point:

Carmen
We've been waiting for no-one but you
Carmen
You're so lovely, be nice to us, do!


Not very masculine. ;) It would be nice to work through the Porgy & Bess stuff in order, though, as we've rehearsed it in a random order and I have no idea how it's meant to sound in context.

Sooo... yeah. I should get on with this letter of instruction, really... and I really need some sort of telly-related icon...
teylaminh: (JC - Jonathan - eww)
Starting with Friday. Having left work, I got to Moor Street to discover the police had blocked off the bus stop lane due to an accident. So I walked down to Digbeth Cold Storage to wait for the 50 there, only for the information thing to tell me there wasn't another one for 18 minutes. Ordinarily I would have just waited, but I didn't know if the buses were actually getting that far into town, and also we had to be in Solihull for 7.30 to see Drew's play, so I was in a bit of a rush.

So then I walked all through the market to get the 35. Luckily it didn't take long to get there, even though it was completely rammed and full of obnoxious school children. Yes, all these people coming up the stairs need to sit down. MOVE YOUR SELFISH ASS.

Also luckily, as it was still fairly early, the 35 didn't get stuck in traffic in Moseley. I picked up my prescription on the way home (wonder of wonders, they actually got it right this time) and dropped it in Boots, before heading back home.

Paul got back shortly after me and we checked bus times for getting to Solihull. Just as well we left with plenty of time to spare, as I'd forgotten quite how long the walk down Kineton Green Road was. Anyway, the play itself (Ghost Writer, about the ghost of a playwright's wife coming back to haunt him to help solve her murder) was very good. We ordered a curry on getting in, as it was too late to go to the pub.

Saturday, luckily, was quite sedate other than to get some bits of shopping (still managed to forget eggs, bread and juice, naturally). I watched the week's EastEnders on Replay as I'd miss it on Sunday, and made a lasagne in the evening for tea, which was quite nice.

Sunday involved our second Mahler performace in the Town Hall, which seemed to go a lot better than last week at Tewkesbury. It was easier to see the conductor, we weren't drowned out by the orchestra, and we weren't bloody frozen, either. (Quite the opposite, in fact, and despite having a much bigger changing room in the form of the lower bar, it was horrendously stuffy in there.) The ending is amazing and my heart was pounding afterwards.

We went for drinks after the concert with Derek and Denise, which was quite pleasant, although didn't get home until midnight. I seem to be reliving the reheated lasagne this morning but hopefully my earlier injection of fibre (a Pret 'love bar', full of oats and nuts and, er, toffee) will sort that out. I really need some cranberry juice...

Hopefully whatever has died in my stomach will pass on peacefully by the end of the day...

I'm on my own at work this week and so far, no work. There's a surprise.

And finally, my perfume has arrived! Despite the ebay seller saying there was no cost for P&P, I have to pay an £11.95 customs charge to collect it... meh. At least it's turned up. I was beginning to wonder where it had got to...

I suppose I'd better go and look for some work...

Nowt.

Apr. 14th, 2008 10:44 am
teylaminh: (Google - Work)
Can't remember when my last update was. This week hasn't been very eventful, really... In fact, it's been quite the opposite at work.

From Wednesday onwards I have been suffering with a cold, although the cold part only lasted a couple of days. By Friday night it had turned into a cough and by Saturday a bigger cough.

Which was nice, considering I was singing in Tewkesbury... I had a bit of a coughing fit in the Abbey during rehearsal and then another one in the concert later, although that snuck up on me during the orchestral movements and the lady next to me gave me a sweet, which seemed to help... The Abbey was also bloody freezing, as was the refectory room where we were getting changed. Just as well it was a tight squeeze on the tiered seating, really...

The performance seemed to go well... Tewkesbury is a marvellous place to sing but also very difficult; the conductor was miles away and also the acoustics make it quite difficult to keep time with the orchestra. There were more performers than audience, also...

I think I spotted a girl from work (who was also at KEVIHS, incidentally) in the orchestra. She recognised me at Ama's leaving do and her face was vaguely familiar; with a violin in her hand it suddenly became clear. ;)

Saturday night I went to bed early (well, 11.30...) and slept right through the night (although apparently with a momentary lapse when Paul came to bed and woke me up enough to remember to turn the electric blanket off). Naturally, I woke up on Sunday morning with a splitting headache at about 8.00am, laid awake for an hour until my alarm went off, took some painkillers, and went back to sleep for another three hours. Then spent the rest of the day feeling decidedly monged.

We went to the Kings Arms for Sunday dinner then decided against their roast when we got there (which was just as well, as apparently they'd run out), and watched The Cable Guy from On Demand as it was the only thing we could both agree on.

There is an away day for the fee earners today (again!) so obviously, there's no work to do. I almost pulled a sicky (being of the opinion that if I'm going to be paid for doing bugger all, I might as well be at home) but as I'm off on Wednesday anyway I decided against it. It's just not worth the hassle of a NOC if I'm off.

The trouble with the Council's stupid sickness policy is the majority of people will come into work when they're contagious to avoid getting a 'sickness period' added to their record and inevitably avoid a NOC, the upshot of which is they give whatever they've got to everyone else. Hence, "Council flu" epidemics, which I'm sure is what I've had and what Paul has now got. Also, if someone is going to abuse the system, they're going to be clever enough to get around it. You can go off sick for a week without a doctor's note; a clever person will use that loophole to get an extra three weeks of leave.

And also, if you are genuinely sick, you feel guilty about it. Or, well, I do, at any rate.

They're meant to be changing the system at some point but nobody knows how or when. As ever, the Council keeps everyone informed throughout. *eye roll*

Anyway, run out of work already. Very glad I can leave early today, even though my flex is taking a beating...

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