jenepel: (AD: Meg & Sam headphones)
At some point here I'll stop naming entries after Panic! and MCR lyrics, I promise. :)

So, I've spent part of the last week and a half learning to do podfic, which is awesome! I had tons of help/suggestions/feedback from [livejournal.com profile] podklb, so huge props to her. I've been wanting to give it a try for ages, but I wasn't quite sure how to get started. So when she posted about a multifandom project in her journal, I jumped right in.

The project was for [livejournal.com profile] halfamoon (a fourteen day challenge celebrating female characters in fandom) and we were using fics from The Awesome Ladies Ficathon. It's comment fic, so all the podfics are pretty short. The anthology contains 73 stories, from 41 fandoms, performed by 19 readers.

I ended up reading six fics: 2 Gilmore Girls (1 Literati, 1 about Lane!), 2 Gossip Girl (1 Blair/Serena, 1 about Nelly Yuki), 1 Daria and 1 Parenthood (about the Amber/Haddie cousin relationship). I love all the fics I read, and I can immediately think of people on my flist who will like various ones of them, so go check them out!

You can download the podfic (in various forms) here!! What are you waiting for?

I am definitely keen to do more podfic, but I'm not quite sure where to start. Do any of you ever listen to it? What fandoms? I listen to quite a bit, it's great for commuting, which is why I was so interested in the first place. I know there are various communities for podfic of different fandoms, but I need to do more research. At this point, I can't even think how you start to pick out a story to do, with all the fanfic that exists in the world! Any of you have any stories you have written/read and are just dying to hear in podfic form?

Okay, I just saw [livejournal.com profile] shiningartifact's post about the very same thing, and she's given the individual download links for her stories. I've got some time on my hands (ha!) so why not?

If you want to just download my individual stories, links & info under here. )
jenepel: (HP: Tax Time Ravenclaw)
Today I have on bright pink tights, which makes me happy. [livejournal.com profile] basilm gave them to me randomly the other day. She knows of my love for the bright tight colours on Gossip Girl, and they definitely made me squee! I did trade out my bright red coat for my black one this morning, because although Blair could probably pull that colour combination off, I doubt that I could. Also speaking of Rach, I'm trying very hard to resist the open bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos in my handbag that belongs to her - she made me hide it and then I accidently brought it to work. It's calling to me.

(must not eat her Cheetos...she bought me pink tights...must not eat her Cheetos...she bought me pink tights!)

It's been a busy last couple of days, mostly just because it's finally really properly picked up at work, and the cases are now coming in fast. We've also had tons of client meets this week, as well as a bunch of potential new client phonecalls. My boss is on holiday next week, so we're trying to get through as many as possible before he leaves. I have a feeling it will be crazy here in his absense.

I'm kind of up to my ears in taxes at the moment, because I'm also trying to expand my freelancing. When I was home this weekend (more on that later) I met with a few people to go over tax paperwork. I've been doing a few of my mom's teacher friends freelance for the past few years (and some of my friends who live in various places too) and I think last year I did about ten people, plus my parents and my brother. I don't really have a proper price list, I've just been telling people to give me whatever they want, but I think I need to work on that. I also bought some professional tax software this year (I've been doing them by hand and then using IRS PDFs) since they're getting more complicated and I hope to expand.

So yeah, if you know of any Americans in the UK who need (reasonably simple) tax returns done, send them my way! I only say simple because I don't want to be dealing with things like S-corps and stock options. Rental props, foreign income, tax credits, and all the rest of it are fine. The thing is, I really think this is a niche - all the London companies (like the one I currently work for) start around £500 + VAT. (And in my boss' own words, those are "not the big moneymakers" so that gives you more of an idea of the market.) For a simple return, especially one with just a 1040 and a 2555, that's ridiculous! Things like foreign tax credits aren't that hard if you know what you're doing, but most of the free online filing programs don't support them. There is no H&R block over here, so those low/medium income people need a tax outlet. (This is a common soapbox of mine - apologies.) So I could do it for those lower prices, now I just have to figure out how to spread the word! I really need a website and a new email or something to do this right. Hmmmm.

But I guess I should stop dreaming and get back to my actual job! I have like two other entries brewing, including one with bday pictures, but those will have to wait.
jenepel: (GoGi: S & B tiger)
After the VS stuff got posted last night (in record time, no problems, yay we rock!) I sat up and watched The Office (too cute) and then Gossip Girl. And as I lay in bed trying to go to sleep, I was seething with reactions. So I feel the need to give a character by character assignment of blame.

Cut for Gossip Girl 2x17 spoilers. )

Lastly, I've got to say how much I adore how they consistently dress everyone in such bright colours. My favourite thing is always the tights, but I also love the jewel tone coat colours. I mean look at Blair's minions in this cap:

Look at the pretty colours! Covet! )

So evidently we don't get another episode until MARCH. I might not survive. I am so in love with this show right now, even though the last few episodes have been disappointing, they're still better than anything else I am watching. YES SERIOUSLY THEY ARE.
jenepel: (Random: cup of tea)
I've just caved and made another cup of tea to get me through my last hour and a half (or so) of work. Also, I have broken out the chocolate bisquits. Big guns! I am in an unaccountably bad mood that I just can't seem to shake. It's been going on (and off) for a week now, and it's getting ridiculous. Today in particular it might have something to do wtih the snow and having to be at work. Being the child of two teachers, snow equals snow day to me, when often even the adults don't have to go in. So working when we have all this snow outside does not sit well with me. (Of course when I lived in Japan and we got however many feet per day I just had to get used to it. But it just seems wrong somehow.)

Anyway, I went to my parents' in Norfolk this weekend, in an attempt to chill out (turned out more literal than I meant it) and remove the blues that didn't totally work. I mean it was nice, but now I'm back here and I feel about the same as I did. So that's frustrating. I did manage a day off work becuase of it though, since I got stuck there! The snow hit there before it hit London, so I missed the last train Sunday night due to poor planning and more snow in the forest than anticipated. I planned to come in Monday morning but then the REAL snowing began, and (as we are unused to such conditions) the transport networks shut down. The trains from the southeast of England to London were CANCELED in the AM. Like, wtf? Anyway, I finally braved it (after time on the phone and on the much abused national rail website) and got the adjusted train times sorted and left the house around 7. It took me over 4 hours to get back to my house in London. It's a journey that usually takes 2 at the most. Also I had Nimbus with me, as it was the weekend that I decided to try out his new duffel-bag-like carrier case (which is great btw). He's actually an awesome traveler, he mostly just sleeps and kind of mews at people inquisatively from time to time, but STILL. Either way, at least it got me a day off that I wouldn't have gotten if I was in London, since the Northern line was one of the few that was actually running. On the other hand, I wasted a day of holiday on it, so make of that what you will.

On the subject of holiday, I just found out today that the one trip we actually have sorta kinda planned (but which I didn't yet mention to my boss) which is Serbia for Exit in July, intersects with a planned holiday of his. So that's a problem yet to be solved. Erg.

In TV news I randomly dipped back into Friday Night Lights this weekend since the rest of season one was sitting on my ipod. For reasons unknown (considering how long it's been there unwatched) I flew through the last five episodes and now can't wait to watch more. I'm so fickle with catching up with shows. Perhaps I needed some gritty realism after all the Buffy and Angel we've been watching? COncerning the (considerably) less gritty, I'm excited to go home and get this week's Gossip Girl. At the moment I just can't get enough of it. Also, can I just take a minute to (once again) praise Jacob's fabulous Gossip Girl recaps on TWOP? They make me love the show on a higher level. I don't read very many TWOP recaps anymore (I used to be so addicted) unless I want an answer to a specific question or I miss a part. But really, those GoGi ones are not to be missed.

This is apropos of nothing, but what's with all the Aretha hat icons and graphics? I'm missing something here, humour-wise, because instead of making me laugh they are just really really starting to piss me off. They make no sense! It was just a hat! Why are people so strange?

I will leave you with this article about why we should give Heroes another (ANOTHER) chance. It's worth it just for this quote:
"Worst come to worst, Heroes' failure could affect NBC's parent company GE, and that could cause your toaster to rise up in rebellion against you. Yes, failing to support Heroes could directly lead to the Cylon civil war. It's happened before, after all."
HA!
jenepel: (GG: [quote] so expositional)
Lazy person post!

The BAD: My holiday is over. I was back at work as of yesterday, so it’s life as normal.
The GOOD: My bed is comfy and it’s nice to have clean clothes on!
The BAD: I still have to book flights for the Costa Rica trip. I'm trying to figure out where in the US I'm going to stop through. New Jersey? Atlanta? Chicago? Washington DC? Texas? All are right now up for debate. I guess it partly depends on price. Or hey, anyone up for a virtual season people meetup? :)
The GOOD: I picked up my MacBookPro from the Apple Store and it’s all fixed and shiny. They replaced the logic board and the screen itself, which is very exciting. The receipt said it would have been almost £1000 so thank goodness for applecare!
The BAD: Work is in disarray because the second round of renovations (new bathroom, new stairs, torn out walls) have begun upstairs. It’s noisy and annoying.
The GOOD: My boss is off to Spain for a week as of today! So I had about two days of him, which was just about perfect, and now I get another break.
The BAD: While he’s gone I have to let the workmen in, which means getting here at 830 and leaving the house at 730. UGH. (I know that’s not early for some people – shut up!)
The GOOD: I get to leave early since I’m getting in early.
The BAD: I am trying to catch up on stuff (I mean non-work stuff) but I’m so far behind! I did google reader and the virtual season dragonfly stuff (look! New design - ) but haven’t even made it through a portion of my flist. I’m on skip=300 right now!
The GOOD: I’m going home this weekend. I haven’t seen my parents in ages it seems. They left for the US two months ago. Also Kathleen! She keeps writing mean things on my facebook wall…
The BAD:??
The GOOD: I’m going to see Mamma Mia tonight finally! My parents saw it in the States (not really knowing anything about it) and they both loved it. My dad waxed lyrical to me on the phone, which was really cute.
The BAD:??
The GOOD: I have been rewatching Gossip Girl season one and I’m totally excited for the new season! It is one of the first shows to come back, and it’s only about two weeks away right now, so that’s awesome.

Hmmm, I ran out of bad things there at the end, which can only be positive. Let me leave you with the conversation I had with my local friendly library when I tried to check out (well put my name on the waiting list for) Breaking Dawn:

ME: Hi. I was wondering if you had any copies of Breaking Dawn?
LIBRARIAN: …?
ME: (feeling stupid and suddenly blanking on the name) You know, the new book by….um….(finally getting it) Stephanie Meyers?
LIBRARIAN: …? (long pause) Oh, you mean those teenage books?
ME: (slightly embarrassed) Yes. I figured you might have a waiting list I could put my name on.
LIBRARIAN: (looking at catalogue) The list is pretty long. (gives me a card) You have to fill this out. Which one was it again?
ME: Breaking Dawn
LIBRARIAN: I don’t see it – what number is that?
ME: It’s the 4th one.
LIBRARIAN: Oh. Well, we don’t even have that in the catalogue yet, but one copy is ordered. You’ll probably be waiting a while. There are a lot of people much younger than you who are waiting to read it.
ME: (getting more embarrassed) Oh that’s fine. I just…didn’t want to spend money on it.
LIBRARIAN: (emphatically) No! I should think not. (pausing) You know, they are teenage books.
ME: (totally embarrassed by now, handing over card) Um, yeah, I know. Okay thanks. (shuffling out)

Geez! I mean was all that necessary? I never said they were great literature, but I kinda do want to know what happens! Is there a law that says you can’t read stuff that’s not in your age range? And one copy! Oh Finchley. I wonder if I’ll have to wait like a year?!
jenepel: (Buffy: Willow "bored now")
I'm still at work, and very annoyed. I got her at 8AM this morning, so I should have been able to leave early, however I’m still here, waiting for Virgin Media. We closed the flat account, so they were supposed to pick up our router and TV box today between 8 and 12. Well I called around 2 since they hadn’t come and the guy was all “oh, they have until 6 to come by” which totally isn’t true because they had given me the option of 8-12 or 12-6. But whatever. So here I am, still waiting. But it’s 20 to 6, so I kinda think they aren’t coming. And I’m supposed to meet people in the city at 6:30 for dinner – SO not happening. And now what happens? I call Virgin once it hits 6 and they give me a different day they can come by? What a complete and total pain. And how nice of my flatmates to be helping me deal with all this crap. Anyways, I’m totally bored and need to kill some more time so I think I'll bore you all in turn with the contents of my week.

And this is the way of it... )

Not too much else. On the TV front I finally got around to downloading the end of the season of Gossip Girl. I forgot how fabulous that show is! And I’m totally addicted to Jacob’s TWoP recaps of it too. He takes this show that so many people just look at as a guilty pleasure, and makes it into this thesis like examination of social attitudes and manages to find something important in every single choice the producers/directors/writers/actors have made. Now THAT is the way to watch television!
jenepel: (Thinking Rory)
So, here’s my official (LONG) pilot run-down for the new TV season.  I’ve finally (I think) gotten around to seeing all the pilots that I was even remotely interested in (except Private Practice – more on that later) so that I can decide what I’m going to watch this year.  (Hee, I’m a little late, I know – but who can tell from all the way over here?)  Since all I have left from last season are Heroes and HIMYM, I figured I needed some new shows.  Plus, now I have wireless broadband and a fast new computer, so I'm much more able to (ahem) acquire them quickly.  So here they are, in order of preference.  I’ve been writing this for like two weeks now, so it’s a bit long!  And if you’re thinking “doesn’t she watch any British TV?", of course I do!  It’s just that our TV seasons aren’t so regimented like the US ones are.  There isn’t this crazy pilot season where everything starts at once and you have an immediate choice between tons of shows.  It’s much more organic; I watch whatever is going at the time, and it’s not such a mad scramble.  Although it doesn’t help that my flatmates’ taste (other than GA) mostly run to stupid reality TV like Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares (actually any cooking show), Fear Factor, Coronation Street and the E! Channel.  After a while, these drive me crazy, and send me running to my computer.  I mean we could at least be watching all the great documentaries they have on the BBC or dramas like Silent Witness.  The only reality show I’ll watch is ANTM, which I have a strange fascination for.  Oh, and Girls of the Playboy Mansion.  It’s true; I’m totally addicted to it.  I don’t know how it happened, but I love that show.  I don’t know when it’s on, but if I see it, I’ll watch it,  I feel like I need to go into a rehab programme or something to break me of the habit!


This TV season aside, there are some other shows that I do kind of want to catch up with if I ever get the time.  Mostly notably, I’ve decided to try Friday Night Lights, which I was adamant about not watching because, hello, American football.  But people keep saying it’s so good, so I’m gonna try a few.  Also, 30 Rock, which I saw the first ep and was totally annoyed by, I’m going to do another swing at.  Also (perhaps) Mad Men, which I think slipped under my radar, and the OC which I missed a whole bunch of.  And then there's American Dreams.  Also, I'm just over halfway through Everwood S3 so I need to think about getting S4 ready.


So I just have one final thing to say, on the subject of the most important show of my TV season, Heroes.  I still haven't seen this week's episode.  And hello!  Kristen Bell!  I'm dying to see it.  I actually got a fairly fast DL and it was there last night but I didn't have time as I way out way late and fell asleep.  So I come home today all excited, only to be greeted with this message: "this file can only be watched on dom player - please go do www to download it."  WTF????  I mean seriously.  Number one when I checked the website out they don't even have a Mac version, number two when I looked around a little more it seems the general consensus is that it's spyware anyway.  What a load of crap - I waste time DLing something only to be met with that?  This is the second time I have had to DL Heroes twice because people online are evil and post crappy versions that don't work.  And I'm doing it so soon that often there aren't comments up.  I'm gonna have to start DLing two (just of this show) at once just so I have a backup!  Basically, my DLing Heroes is cursed.  I had better get to see it tomorrow.  Oh to be in the US and also own a Tivo.

Lord, I think that’s enough TV talk for one day.  You would think it was all that was going on in my life.  In other news, we finally have heat.  It's freaking freezing here, and only getting colder by the day (ok, it's only about 10-12 degrees C, which is ?50's F I think; I tend to exaggerate).  Anyway, it feels particularly cold because our heat hasn't been working.  We finally called the landlord today and he told us how to work it - turns out we are morons who didn't know there was a thermostat separate from the main controls and timer.  (Come on!  It's in another room.)  But on the bright side, now I don't have to start out in a fleece when I go to bed.  Yay.

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December 2011

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