Apr. 9th, 2012 12:52 pm
gamiila: (yay!)
It's been 9 years since I put up my very first, and very tentative, LJ-post. At the time, I had no conception of how much this journal would come to mean to me in the years following: more than simply allowing me to keep a(n infrequent) record of my all too mundane life, it has allowed me to encounter people, knowledge and ideas I never would have encountered otherwise, and consequently has helped me broaden my horizons.

Now it's Easter and I've had quite a busy few days in terms of church attendance, starting with a long evening Mass on Holy (or Maundy) Thursday, followed by an equally long one including Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday, after which I even stayed for the prayer vigil until midnight; Easter Vigil Mass including four Confirmations on Saturday night, and the festive Easter Mass including two christenings on Easter Sunday. I was actually quite relieved to find there was no Mass scheduled for today.

What with all of the to-ing and fro-ing, I haven't had much of a chance to spend any meaningful time online, and so I missed my chance to wish [livejournal.com profile] enigmaticblues a happy birthday on the day, for which I'm heartily sorry. Obviously, I wish her a very happy belated one today, and hope that this belated happy birthday will last the entire year until the next one, when I hope to present her with my birthday wishes in time.

Meanwhile, I was saddened by the news (received a couple of weeks after the fact) of the death of Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Church last month. I met him in Leiden a few times, when I was a student of early-Christian utilitarian architecture and he, accompanied by some of his fellow priests, visited our University to look at some ancient manuscripts. He struck me then as a warm and friendly shepherd of his flock, as well as quite a jovial man in his dealings with us students.
gamiila: (=:()
Well, it would seem I spoke too soon...all of a sudden, my own journal seems to have changed to the new comments lay-out: no drop-down menu for Userpics, and no subject headers. Yet this is a paid account, which I thought was going to be exempt from the changes (which it was until this afternoon)?

ETA: Panic over! After fiddling with my customisations, things have finally returned to normal. Turns out it was a glitch, flipping the default viewing options on a whole host of accounts.
gamiila: (a good read)
I agree that the changes to LJ that have upset half my flist, i.e. the disappearance of the subject line and the Userpics drop-down menu on Comments, have not made things easier for communities or individual users with basic, S1 style accounts. As a paid, S2 style user, I'm not directly affected; but I do think it's shameful how LJ has gone about implementing these changes and has so far failed to respond to the uproar it's created. But my biggest bug bear is the sudden increase in the amount of spam I seem to be receiving lately, all of it Russian, requiring me to go back to entries posted as far back as 2004 and delete these 'comments' from my journal. It wouldn't be so bad if, in the process of cleaning up, I could stop reading these old entries and losing valuable time that I would do better to spend job hunting.

Not that I'll have time to devote myself to that endeavour today, either; as I've arranged to meet a friend in town later on, and go see L'Artiste/The Artist at the art house cinema. I expect this will be the last new release I'll watch in the cinema this year, bringing my total up to 7 (after The King's Speech, Sonny Boy, Black Butterflies, Beginners, Jane Eyre, and Puss in Boots), which considering most years I don't get to see more than 1 or 2 is quite a lot for me. OTOH, it's been a very bad year for gigs, as I've only been to 1 (Mark Knopfler & Bob Dylan), in October.

And I'm behind my pace on my reading this year, too, or so Shelfari informs me every time I log in. Whereas last year, I read over 50 books; in 2011, I didn't manage more than 46.

My year in books )

Again, history and historical fiction made up the bulk of my reading. I can't help it, it's my favourite genre. Sometimes, it works, and works brilliantly (Bernard Cornwell, Glyn Iliffe), and sometimes, it doesn't (Stephanie Dray, Douglas Jackson). A few bargain basement books have been outright disappointments, while others have been real finds; and as for the classics...well, re: Lady Chatterley's Lover, I can't see what all the fuss was about; it's one of the most boring books I've ever had the misfortune to read. Three: Stalking Richard and Judy, Mini Shopaholic, and Good Omens, have been laugh-out-loud; but only one, Egyptian Dawn, has been put-away-in-disgust. The blurb was misleading, stating it dealt with the problem of dating the earliest dynasties (a genuine egyptological subject I have a particular interest in)...in reality, it was another crackpot theorist trying to persuade his readers to believe in Atlanteans and possibly, aliens, as the progenitors of the ancient Egyptian race. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are willing to credit that our ancestors were cretins who couldn't count to ten, let alone work out how to build a pyramid; and then write a book about it.
gamiila: (yay!)
For once I have not forgotten what day it is: it's my LJ-versary! My 8th, I think.

Lots of things have been blogged about in those 8 years, though none of any real importance, but I have enjoyed recording some of my thoughts and writing up some of what's been going on in my life in the past 1,666 entries, and I hope to continue doing it for the next couple of years at least.

LJ's just a service, though: what keeps me coming back is you, my flist, those who have been here with me from the beginning as well as those who came after my interest in BtVS had waned. I hope you all have a brilliant weekend, as you deserve it!
gamiila: (meanwhile in the distance)
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Back in the beginning of April 2003, [livejournal.com profile] tiashome , who let her own (permanent) account lapse a year and a half later, sent me an invitation code; and after giving the matter some thought for a couple of days, I started my journal on April 9th...which means that as of next month, I will have been here 8 years.

In that time, I have lost two of my best friends in RL, a close cousin and, most recently, my father, all of whose deaths have affected me deeply; I've taken redundancy from one job and been unfairly dismissed from another; and I've been enchanted by the musical talents of Common Rotation and David Berkeley which has impelled me to follow them on tour in the US, the UK and France. As for LJ itself, I think it's fair to say that it has broadened my horizons, and I'll be forever grateful to it for having brought me in touch with some of the most wonderful people around the globe, who in many cases have become personal, RL friends as well.

My journal is public, as I feel I have nothing to hide; but lately, having suffered a spate of spam messages from empty accounts apparently set up to promote their internet porn pages, I wonder if I shouldn't go Friends Only and be done with it. Although that would cut off those of my friends who, for one reason or another, haven't set up their own journal yet...or would it?
gamiila: (tea for me)
Slight panic this morning when I woke up to find my LJ account had been reverted back to Basic overnight, because I'd forgotten to update my credit card details in time. I overcompensated in putting it right and now I've got 201 user pics that I don't suppose I will ever even fill.

cut for whining )

Finally, to add to my woes, the other day when I went to have my hair cut, I was surprised to see how flecked with grey it had suddenly become.


Sep. 23rd, 2010 11:38 am
gamiila: (bonnet)
I've just had cause to look back at some of my earlier entries, and I noticed something: in importing my LJ to DW, the comments haven't all stayed with their proper entries! I can't see a way to fix this, and even if there were I can't see that it would be feasible considering my LJ is 7,5 years old, so I've decided it doesn't really matter -- but it does make for some fun reading ;-)
gamiila: (nothing ever happens to me)
I didn't think it necessary to join in the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Facebook and Twitter Connect-issue over on [profile] theljstaff's update page yesterday, as over 7,000 users had already done so by the time I followed the link there. Instead, I was unclear about another announcement in the same post, and asked for clarification. Imagine my surprise this morning, to find my inbox overflowing with abusive messages from fellow LJ-users, none of whom are on my flist thank Heavens, of which this one, in all its passive-aggressiveness, was the kindest:

"That's the problem you have with this post?

Do you have a pet unicorn? Are there double rainbows every day? I think I want to live wherever you are because it's clearly a shinier happier place."

People are strange. They trawl through 8,000+ comments to find one that doesn't mention the thing they're up in arms about, and feel justified in heaping abuse on the author, or holding them up to ridicule? I suppose it's true: you learn something new every day.


Sep. 2nd, 2010 08:02 pm
gamiila: (Default)
I fail to see how the new feature of cross-posting comments to Twitter and Facebook add value to LiveJournal, and I won't be making use of it. I wonder if it's a sign though, that LJ is worried for its future; and if it is, does that mean I should be? Should I get a DreamWidth-account, just to be on the safe side?
gamiila: (Default)
So, here we are, in the Year of the Golden Tiger. And as I happen to be a Tiger, a Fire Tiger, I thought I'd check online what's in store for me. A bit of everything, it seems: I'll meet someone and move in with them before the year is out/I'll not meet someone and stay where I am; I'll be financially secure all year/I'll be poor as a church rat if I'm not careful; I'll get promoted at work/I'll just muddle along same as always; my health will be good/it will be so-so. All depending on whether I'm a weak or a strong Fire Tiger, and although I've no clear idea which is me, this new year's started off pretty well with a bear hug received from [livejournal.com profile] anonypooh.

Still having a few problems with my computers. For instance, whenever I open my laptop it wants me to burn a recovery cd, and tells me I need 4 disks to do it. It spends 2 hours writing to the first disk I feed it, then spits out all the others saying they're not writable. Since this has happened to two newly-bought boxes of cd-s, I'm starting to think it might just be messing with me.

Another problem I've yet to solve is that although it will allow me to receive mail, it won't let me send it, saying it needs authentication from the SMTP-server...I'm really starting to regret having bought the damn thing.

At last!

Nov. 23rd, 2008 10:00 am
gamiila: (Default)
Due to the fact that I was unaware that running the latest Windows upgrade on a pc that has an AVG virus checker on it, and turning the pc off afterwards, would result in the inability of the computer to load, and would send it into an endless loop of boot screen-Windows logo-black screen-boot screen, I have been without Internet access for nigh on two weeks. Thankfully, one of my more computer-savvy friends agreed to come and help me sort it out, but even so, it took him the entire afternoon to get it all back up and running smoothly again.

At work, I'm still waiting for my own account to be created; I'm currently working on someone else's but have no access to Internet or e-mail. I'm hoping I'll get my own account some time this week, but even then I won't be online as much as I was before, because the protocols for e-mail and Internet use at my current employer's are much stricter than they were at hp.

I'm entering into my fourth week there now, and I'm still learning the ropes. Eventually, the plan is -or seems to be- that I'll be a fully-fledged risk assessor within a year or two, but for now I'm charged with menial office tasks like making sure everyone else's got plenty of tea and coffee to last them through their working day. When I'm not doing that, I'm reading the manual and familiarising myself with the specialist software and systems in use in the financial world. It's so boring I've come close to giving up...but then I received my first paycheck and changed my mind. Besides, I can't imagine it'll be like this for very much longer...wish IT would get their skates on and get me my account!

I'm getting on quite well with my immediate supervisor, who's Polish and a complete workaholic, strict but fair. She expects her team to give 110%, but -unlike Jobsworth- gives twice as much again herself; and she's passionate about improving working conditions and protecting worker's rights (for which she cites her Communist upbringing as an underlying motivation), to which end she's heavily involved in the negotiations with Crédit Agricole, the French financial service provider that has taken us over and with which we will merge in January. If, when that happens, our current (favourable) secondary terms of employment will be preserved, it will be in large measure thanks to her effort.

It looks like things have changed here in my absence. My Profile Page has taken on a new look that I don't think is much of an improvement, and when I go through my flist I see a lot of lj-cuts warning me that that the contents I'm about to view may not be appropriate to a minor -- then when I persevere, I can't find any reason for the warning to have been slapped on the entry at all. Can anyone tell me what that's all about?

Oh Leila!

Apr. 18th, 2008 02:41 pm
gamiila: (Default)
How wonderful to see Leila up and about again, moving about the place like a listing galleon it's true, but seemingly growing in confidence and agility every hour. I couldn't have dared hope for such an outcome when I found her on the kitchen floor on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately though, now that one problem appears to have been overcome, another has presented itself: Leila, being the highly strung cat that she is, has responded to the stress of the last few days by developing the unrelated (to the ataxia, I mean) condition of urge bladder again. So now she's back on bladder relaxants, and hating me for administering them.

After five years, I've finally found a use for the Private (Just Me)-setting LJ offers: lyrics! When we were in our teens, my sister and I came across Mum's painstakingly transcribed and beautifully embellished songbooks of the 50s, and were inspired to do the same for the songs of the artists of our day that we liked. Monique gave up on the effort pretty quickly as I recall, but I kept it going for years. When I swapped my pen for a typewriter, I did my best to type up all my handwritten transcriptions; but when the typewriter gave way to a computer, I couldn't be bothered to go to all that trouble again. Then the other day, while clearing out the junk room (I had to keep myself busy in the times that Leila was asleep), I came across those hundreds of typed up pages again. And I suddenly thought, why don't I transpose them to my LJ? That way, they'll never get mouldy and I'll know where to look if I ever need to find the words to a song so old I only half-remember them. Although now that I've done a few, I must say it does look weird to see these lyrics that have no bearing on my life whatsoever in among my normal posts when I log in, and I'm not sure whether it was such a good idea to begin with. There's plenty of lyrics sites on the Web; I may just decide to rely on those in future, and throw my own collection away. After all, I didn't miss it all those years I forgot I had it.
gamiila: (Default)
And once again, I've missed my LJ-anniversary! That's four times in a row that's happened...but the dates on my User Info page do not lie: my first entry into this journal dates from exactly five years and a week ago today.

Little did I know, when I put that tentative first post up, that five years later I would still be updating my journal regularly, finding things to write about in the minutiae of my daily life, which I would have thought would bore most people -and myself- to tears. Instead, I've found that writing in my LJ has helped me focus on the many positives in my life and made me appreciate it all the more. I have so much to be thankful for, not the least of which: my flist. You have all come to mean so much to me, as over the years you've been here for me with practical help, comfort and advice, have shared the LULZ and tales of your lives' experiences, and have proved just a great bunch of people to hang out with in cyberspace..and in real life too, when we've had the good fortune and opportunity to meet. So I'd like to invite you all to give yourselves a pat on the back from me, because without you here, I wouldn't have made it to this, my 1,267-th entry.
gamiila: (Default)
Last night, I went to a performance of Nabucco by the National Opera Company of Tatarstan in Amsterdam. Allan had gotten us a pair of tickets as a spur of the moment kind of thing: he saw the billboard, realised he'd never in all his 42 years gone to the opera and despite the fact that he never listens to anything other than R&B, decided he really wanted to broaden his horizons, imbibe a bit of culture, and go. Of course, he didn't want to go alone and that's how I got to go as well.

We had quite an enjoyable evening; although at almost two-and-a-half hours Nabucco does take its time, there's enough going on to keep your attention on the stage. I have no idea who the soloists were or how highly they rate in the world of opera, but we liked hearing them, and so must the rest of the audience have done as it gave them a standing ovation at the end of the performance. The orchestra, the singers, the sets -- it was all good and I'm glad I went.

Going to the opera wasn't all that Allan and I did yesterday, though. Earlier that afternoon, we walked into a travel agent's and booked ourselves that trip to New York we've been talking about for months. We leave Oct 23rd, so we've got ample time to decide what we want to do once we get there.

Incidentally, this is my 1,250th journal entry. It's taken me almost 5 years to reach this number...and who could have thunk I ever would all those years ago? Not I! I've chosen to mark the occasion by changing my moodtheme from Doctor Who to The Gene Genie, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] radiogaga80.
gamiila: (Default)
During the last week, I've seen a lot of posts on the Boldthrough 07-debacle on my flist, with many saying they're seriously considering leaving LJ, and setting up accounts at other blogsites just in case.

Me, I'd already set up back-up accounts for myself at both GreatestJournal (at the time of the Infamous Breastfeed Icon Issue) and InsaneJournal (during Strikethrough 07), where my username is the same as it is here, and to which links can be found in my Links List to the right of this entry. However, I must warn you that neither of these boltholes gets updated very much.

Because however bad 6A's communication skills and customer service, which they say is really all this latest ruckus is about, may get, it is as nothing to the enjoyment I get out of my LJ, and I for one will continue to support the site by remaining here as a Paid Member.

And while we're on the subject of elsewheres to be: [livejournal.com profile] hesadevil's shown me the way to a nifty Internet bookshelf on which you can proudly display, debate and discuss ALL your books, however many you may have or wish to show, AT NO COST AT ALL! That's right, it's an absolutely free service!

It's taken me about 4 days to put my books up on their virtual shelf...those that it would recognise from its US\UK database, and that are still in print, that is. My Dutch, French, and German novels will have to remain unlisted for the most part, as will the really specialist works on art, architecture, and archaeology, which I think is a shame, but can't be helped.
gamiila: (Default)
I've been fiddling around with my layout again. The one that looked like it might do late last night, this morning proves completely user-unfriendly, and shan't survive the rest of the day. However, during all my messing about with colours and fonts and backgrounds, I have found out that LJ apparently has a memory for previous layouts; as soon as I select '3-column layout' as default style, it reverts back to my somewhat mournful-looking Ninth Doctor theme and header, complete with custom colour scheme! If all else fails, I could go back to that...but the whole point in me discarding it earlier this month was that I felt it was no longer appropriate -- I haven't really been involved with any particular fandom this year. I do miss it sometimes, the excitement of finding a new fic or fanvid, the looking forward to personal appearances and meeting up with other fans, the sheer indulgence of spending money on it...

Speaking of which, did you know Robin of Sherwood will finally be released on DVD in the US on March 13th, 2007? Just thought I'd mention it.

Of course, looking back on it now, 2006 hasn't been totally devoid of fannish activity on my part: in March and June I saw Depeche Mode on their Playing the Angel Tour (and bought a bag I never use from their official merchandise stand); and in October I followed Common Rotation on their mini-tour of the UK again. All in the company of my very best LJ-friends, too -- what more could anyone wish for?

2006 has also been the Year of the mp3-Player for me: from the moment I acquired it in May till the moment it went and died on me 2 weeks ago, it's not only been my favourite toy, but the one thing that helped keep me sane and keep my spirits up when the daily commute would otherwise have worn me down to nothing. I sent it off to Creative last Friday and they've promised to send me a replacement within the next 10 days, so hopefully I won't have to go back to work with nothing but my book to keep me company on the trains and busses on the way there and back again.

Actually, probably as a direct result of having my Zen with me every day, I haven't read as much as I did before. A mere 27 books have been stored in my bookcase and in my brain this year (or 26, as there was one I found totally unreadable among them):

2006 booklist )
gamiila: (Default)
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testing this new functionality (with Japan - Don't Rain On My Parade)...

And it looks like I've set everything up okay - go, me!

I've just joined YouTube. Well, it was about time, wasn't it - hordes of my friends have gone before me and don't seem to have suffered any adverse effects...although perhaps their inherent anti-social behaviour has been enhanced somewhat by their spending even more time than usual in front of their computers.

I don't know exactly what I'll be doing at YouTube just yet: I'm not a video-maker so it's not as if I need the platform to express myself creatively. The 2 hours since I joined have been spent scouring the site for some favourite music vids and saving them to My Favourites (hence the Japan), but whether I will have a use for the service after today is in the lap of the gods at the moment.


I've been feeling a bit down lately. I couldn't really say why...it's probably just the winter blues, but I haven't felt like writing in this journal much, and now that I am here, I don't know that I have anything to write about! I do know that I suddenly had enough of my bright orange background and 3-column layout and wanted something simpler; but I'm not sure that the simpler layout I decided on yesterday will be here for keeps. It's a bit stark perhaps, and it doesn't seem to want to change to the colours I want despite my having custom navigation bar colours enabled in Presentation...

And to take my mind off that particular problem, I've snagged and filled out this meme from [livejournal.com profile] onecheekyhobbit:

Favourite Things Meme )
gamiila: (Default)
If there's one thing I've learnt from yesterday's outage, it is that a day without LJ tends to go from bad to worse very quickly. I was so off my game that, going out to take my mind off the fact that I couldn't log on and had to find some other way to amuse myself, I first bought a book that on returning home I found to already own a copy of (it had just been re-published under a new title); and then a new set of rather expensive in-ear headphones that are both an improvement and a disappointment at the same time -- the sound quality is better, and they don't chafe as much as the headphones that came with the device do, but the flipping leads are the wrong way round, with the shorter lead on the left earpiece and the longer one on the right. Since I wear my bag, and therefore my mp3 player, slung over the right shoulder, this requires me to wear the right earpiece in the left ear and the left in the right, and they don't really fit that way. I've tried switching my bag to the other shoulder, but it just doesn't feel right. Why they can't put a warning on the packaging that the leads are non-adjustable and that the left earpiece is on the shorter one and therefore completely useless to people who habitually carry their player on the right hand side, is beyond me. Also, Amazon delivered what I thought was going to be Erich Maria Remarque's novel Im Westen Nichts Neues, which my dad had asked me to get for him, but which on closer inspection turned out to be Erich Maria Remarque - Im Westen Nichts Neues. Kommentare, Diskussionsaspekte und Anregungen für produktionsorientiertes Lesen - in other words, not what he asked for. And speaking of Amazon, I found out that their One Click Buying-option really does mean that...when all I wanted was to have a quick look-see as to what my order would total at, then abort.

On the plus side though, while I was out, total strangers kept coming up to compliment me on the cut and fit of my new coat, which made me feel good and strut like a peacock all day long. ;-)
gamiila: (Default)
LJTalk. I won't be using it.


Oct. 8th, 2006 06:57 am
gamiila: (Default)
Bloody airport Internet access -- won't let you do anything. Won't let you logon to the board, won't let you do anything here except tell you that it's weight phrase access denied because LJ is deemed an inappropriate site...I want my pound back!!!


gamiila: (Default)

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