Saturday, November 04, 2006

My very own weekend

I have enjoyed a day at home, in my slippers :)
The first such weekend in over a month. No packing suitcases and catching trains, dressing up or spending money!

You may remember my weekends have gone like this:

1) Saw old school chum Haruko for the first time in 17 years
2) Spent intensive time with my mother
3) Went to a wedding in Surrey
4) and then the Halloween party

I like my slippers.

Laundry is overdue; there is more housework to do tomorrow. And I have been calling everyone I can to catch up with them.


I also watched Star Trek, after which nothing good has been on all day. I know it is said Star Trek was rubbish after the original, but still. It's good quality sci-fi and I watch it just to see them get into and out of scrapes, and to hear about all their weird infallible technologies.

They can beam in and out of nearly any situation - how convenient!
They can scan for anything on any ship or planet:
"Scanning for life forms, sir. Nothing significant found, but there is a mouse on board and it's got a flea."

I've also been indulging myself with a few episodes of Poirot and interviews with David Suchet about his iconic role. What a lovely, kind man he is.


Next week is hectic at work, so earlier mornings are in order and there may be one or two more temps called in to help, but we do thankfully still stop at 6. I really hope it doesn't tell on me again. I had finally struck a balance that ensured I still worked an 8+ hour day while not having any odd episodes like I was earlier, you may remember.

I don't know why arriving a quarter of an hour later than usual made a difference, but it did and my energy levels were much higher than they had been.


Yesterday I popped in at Fopp on Tottenham Court Road. It is such an amazing place. Most of the CDs and books cost between 3 and 8 pounds!

I went for Vangelis and maybe Enigma, but ended up coming out with 5 books and an Enigma trilogy and a Beethoven double CD set of late piano sonatas. However, I didn't want to spend a tenner on Polyphonic Spree when I can just download it.

The Enigma CD box is really cool. The CDs are held in a trifold that fits into a thin case. There is an eye on the front and a cutout of what looks like an ancient zodiacal star map that you can turn and it shows through holes in the case.

The books I bought are:
Two by Wilkie Collins: The Law and the Lady and Armadale
The Histories
by Herodotus
On Wine and Hashish by Baudelaire
The Complete Fairytales by George MacDonald.

I am so many books behind now that I have stopped counting. I am currently reading Billy Budd by Herman Melville, have yet to get to Philip Pullman's Ruby in the Smoke, George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, and the countless other volumes I have acquired in the past year. I nearly got the Tale of Genji, yes! I had been talking about it this week as I haven't read it since I was in school, but I couldn't decide between the abridged and unabridged.


I am also finally looking seriously at laptops now, as I have been getting the Blue Screen of Death more frequently and it has been shutting itself off a lot more too. No amount of diagnostics and repair...
I wavered in the direction of Toshiba like my first was, but looking at the new HPs, oh my! I have enjoyed an HP for the past 3 years. I know which one I want too:

HP Pavilion dv9022ea

What do you think?


Jia Li said...

get a Mac, they Rock!

Anonymous said...

I heard the IBMs and Sony Vaios are really good. The IBMs function better than most laptops, if not all. I don't like Macs, b/c I'm so accustomed to PCs (Macs frustrate me so much haha), but they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

pete said...

Down and Out in Paris and London should proved to be a great read! I have to say I have a Pavilion dv1000, it's quite a small model 14" widescreen, and I love it, it's lighweight, having the slightly smaller screen means it fits my bag easier, and it's been really reliable. I'll be staying with HP when I get a new one.

merserene said...

Love the sleek look of the HP, but that's an expensive laptop! Stay away from Dells (as you know), though I do really like my IBM ThinkPad (second laptop).

Whoever said Star Trek is rubbish after the original?! Most fans I know cite ST: The Next Generation or ST: Deep Space Nine as favorites. I'm a big fan of TNG. How can one not love a bald Frenchman who drinks "tea, Earl Grey, hot"?! ;D

Prerona said...

nice weekend! i ACTUALLY did NOTHING! :)

Jia Li said...

I worked, nights. Yeah! And I have been up 20 hours, just could not sleep

AmitL said...

Hi,Olivia,nice post.Heh heh at the first para ending(I like my slippers)..I deduce that u enjoyed the 'slipper' weekend more than the previous four.Star Trek was my fav,too,the original one,and,even I used to watch it just to see them wriggling out of tough situations in places where they had 'boldly gone where no man had gone before'.But,the latter editions with the new caste, were not soo exciting.
Being a workaholic manyatimes,I get what u mean when u say u're glad to stop at 6.Same here.At this new job,I do my best to stop at 530.(Will be writing a post on this,soon).Lastly,nice shopping..books and CDs...Honestly speaking,how many books have u purchased,and not read due to lack of time?(Just asking,coz I have a no. of such books.heh heh):)

The Moody Minstrel said...

I can vouch for Sony Vaio, as both my home desktop and work laptop are Vaios. Their machines tend to be rather expensive, and they're loaded with proprietary software (gingerbread to be dumped), but they seem to be both reliable and well equipped. I will admit that Sony's almost unshakable reputation has been shaken recently, mainly by the recent battery scandal, but the Japanese are saying that their quality in general seems to be slacking off. On the other hand, Toshiba's reputation has been improving, and I really like the Dynabook I gave my wife for our anniversary. HP also seems to be enjoying a lot of praise, though I don't know much about them.

Dell is a bargain-brand model. End of story.

IBM laptops are great, but the desktop models can tend to be iffy. I have an ancient ThinkPad (we're talking 486DX4/100 with Windows 3.1!) that I still use as a MIDI editor and controller in my home studio, and it works just fine. On the other hand, my (cr)Aptiva desktop box worked fine for a few years and then suddenly self-destructed (and IBM's "technical support" advice was: "Buy a new one." So I bought a Vaio).

I've used Fujitsu laptops and generally had very good luck with them (but people say their desktop models can suck). I also use lots of NEC computers at work, and I'm not impressed.

On the other hand, I'm quite impressed with the Mac G5 we have in our music office. OS X is actually a version of Linux, so file-sharing with PCs (i.e. creating a document on the Mac and then using it on a PC, and vice versa) is much easier than before. Now that Apple is using Intel processors, Macs running Windows (instead of Windows simulators) may soon be a reality.

Who said post-TOS Star Trek was rubbish? Admittedly, that moron who was chief executive producer after Roddenberry died more or less wrecked the franchise (and then bolted, leaving the ruins to someone else), but TNG was really good (because Roddenberry still had most of the say in it), DS9 was great except the 1st and latter half of the 7th seasons (because Berman didn't really want to touch it until he suddenly got proprietary at the end...and made it all really PC), and Voyager had some sparkling moments (again, till Berman started shoving his nose into it more). "Enterprise" could and should have been excellent, but Berman, inc. turned it into a joke.

I'd rather not even talk about the last four Star Trek movies. "First Contact" was good, in my opinion. But the other three ranged from "well, maybe" to "give me a &$%#* break..."

Proprietary executives that are far too into themselves...Lucas and Berman.

Well...I seem to have rambled a bit...

Computers were the talk du jour,
Coming forth with a focus so pure
Recommending the ones we find sure,
Digressing into Star Trek
Friends oft call a darn wreck.
Picarditis does not have a cure!

Rebecca said...

Whoa, what is Fopps? Where?

Enjoy The Histories, one of my old regulars. I'm trying to think of a commentary... if it comes to me I'll let you know.

tooners said...

Macs are really good. We have one and I love it.

The books sound fun... I love Enigma! I don't think we have this set that you're talking about... not sure though... the cover sounds familiar though.

What is Billy Budd about? Down and Out in Paris and London sounds interesting.

Alfanan said...

Nice laptop...decent price too! We have a Pavilion here at work that we use for presentations (an older model). I personally prefer Macs, and I think since you’re into art, you should seriously look into getting one. I do pretty much everything on my MBP (music, digital photography, play and make movies). If you don’t go for the mac, then don’t settle for anything less than a Vaio. It’s the only laptop that surely won't let you down. I had a Vaio throughout my entire college years, and never did I have any probs with it.

Enigma Trilogy? Does it include any tracks that were not available on the regular albums? If so, me will run out to buy it ☺ I love Enigma album's designs. Michael Cretu is very creative indeed, not only with his music, but also with the way he presents his albums. I’ve tried adopting the same styles for my albums, but I’m not very good in drawing, even when I try using photoshop and stuff.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you're relaxin' Liv! Me too! Had my wisdom teeth pulled this Thursday and spent my weekend in my sleep trousers and house shoes, baking break and taking happy pills! YAY!

I'm in the market for a new computer, too. I'm thinking I'll probably get a MacBook Pro. THey're so nice, and Macs are way ahead of any PC tecnologically. And the support I hear, along with the warranty, is fantastic! Besides that, they look so neat! I think that once I get this bonus, I'll get one!

Can't wait!

ML said...

Isn't it nice to be able to put your feet up and just relax? Yeah! Glad you had a chance to do that.
I'm not sure on the laptop. I'm sure other computer gurus would be able to give you sound advice.

Anonymous said...


Laptops are simple. Buy an IBM with someone else's money (or your own if you are rich) and a Toshiba for a lower cost alternative.

Dell are cheap as chips and that's because they are very heavy and rubbish. I have had tons of laptops and I managed to blow up two dells, but I have had an IBM for four years that's tickety boo.

Ok ,so it's Lenovo now, but let's stick with the IBM name.

HP kit is a decent mid range choice, not as sexy as the black titanium on the top end IBMs...

If you are feeling flush and like 30 year old operating systems wrapped up with a nice UI then buy an apple. But unless you are into high end applications (music and image editing) there's no real advantage for the typical user to spending pots of cash on apple kit.

I can get you a discount if you like - corporate pricing for most suppliers...

Olivia said...

JL - pretty machines, but I'm not comfortable with the OS.


Memoria - oh! Just what I said to Jia Li!
I notice you don't mention Dell, haha! And I know why!


Pete - well, if you have an HP that ought to be a good indication! Not just of style, but technicality too, right?


Mers - Is it expensive? I hope you're not converting the pounds into dollars...I actually think it is mid-range.

Now, isn't it funny that they chose a Scotsman to portray a Frenchman...oh I know why, coz an Englishman refused to do it.


Prerona - more power to us, then!


Amit - well, you can have too many weekends away, just as you can have too many quiet weekends. I just needed to rest.
I am about 20 books behind. And lately I've been forgetting to travel with a book...


Minstrel - I like the feel of Macs, but I think they are too "precious". I used them at college, but since then I find them too fiddly to navigate. I guess I am just so used to Windows. Plus, I am looking forward to trying out the new Vista when it is released.

Thanks for the overview. I thought Sony were overpriced becuase they were cool and pretty and not sturdy.

In essence, I want a desktop replacement.

I dohn't know who denounced Star Trek, but it was probably purists. I heard the commentary once on a documentary about the series, and it stuck with me.

Picarditis, hehe!


Rebecca - Fopp is where Purves & Purves used to be, so not far from Habitat/Heals on Tottenham Court Road.

When I get round to The Histories, I will let you know, probably when I have grandchildren.

Hey I saw Elizabeth from Course B today at the Olympia fair, she is no longer at Bridgeman, she is at Mallett Fine Arts!!!


Tooners, you may have them separately, basically their first 3 albums:

The Cross of Changes
The roi est mort, vive le roi!

Billy Budd starts slowly, it has taken Melville 4 chapters to describe Billy's impressment, his looks and personality, and his shipmates. I'm on the chapter that describes the captain of his new ship.


But Alfanan, I don't create art or music on it, I just have lots of media - music and photos that I play with.

Jia Li, for instance, has a Mac because she is studying graphic design.

No, like I said to Tooners, the trilogy is just their first 3 albums in one set.

Why can't Tooners design your covers???


Luna - welcome back! How are you MRS E??? I will pop over asap.

How long is a Mac warranty?


ML - relaxation, of which I got fed up for the past year when I was unemployed, I now welcome. Hello to an old friend, isn't it?


Hello Anonychap!
Someone else's money...hey could you by any chance *flutters eyelashes with hands NOT on hips*

Thanks for the reviews. I agree on the Apple.
I am aware that HP is mid-range, and for a laptop that I keep for 3-4 years, I think that is the sensible thing to go for. Indeed I'd love to go for all the bells and whistles and the titanium casings, but what's the point, really.

I've been meaning to ask you what types you can get hold of, really I have. I've also been meaning to email you for a week, so I guess it's time I got on the ball and did that!

Christopher said...

Dearest Lady O-

You seem to really enjoy ethreal music...have you ever heard of a Scottish band called COCTEAU TWINS? Elizabeth Fraser has probably one of the most beautiful and underappreciated voices in music. A lot of the time you cannot understand what she is saying lyrically (she felt people placed too much emphasis on lyrics, so she encouraged people to get lost in her voice and come up with their own) though she is speaking english, so once in awhile you can decipher what she is saying...I thought I would encourage these three CD's to give you a flavour of their music:
Four Calender Cafe
Milk and Kisses

I think you might enjoy them. If you like Enigma, this is a bit more in depth but such a joy...

Bookwise if you like humourous essays, check out David Sedaris' "Me Talk Pretty One Day" His sister is american comidienne (and she is a nutty genius) Amy Sedaris...
hope you had a good halloween...
Kissyfur aka The Lost Boy

Anonymous said...

Um, i didnt suggest a Dell, b/c the laptops I mentioned were the ones Peter told me were the best. I currently have a Dell, and I don't have any complaints. I guess I didn't get the memo on that one. So, what is wrong with Dells? darn, and I just bought this one a few months ago. At least it is eye-catching with its UT cover! haha

Anonymous said...

okay, i read what everyone else wrote. I am still pleased with my Dell so far.

Olivia at Work said...

Hey Christopher, nice to see you here again.

Thanks for the recommendation, yes I have heard of the Cocteau Twins and will try to sample some of their music. You are right, I am drawn to ethereal music :)

You are also spot on with Enigma. Hearing clips of their music on ads or whatever is great, but I must admit, although generally enjoying the CDs, they were not as impressive as I had found them in the 90s. So something deeper may be in order.


Memoria - you got a UT cover on your Dell, well 'scuse me Miss Fancypants!

Oh, and shoot me now because I am so used to not using MSN or Yahoo that I have now forgotten that I have them :(

Olivia at Work said...

Oh my lovely readers, I have a new post for you tonight, so keep an eye out...