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If anyone is interested...

Sir Integra Wingate Hellsing
I have decided to restart my old character journal, but this time use it as a writing blog. I don't know how often I'll post or how interesting I'll be, but I'll do my best to update at least once a week about how writing/ rewriting and things is going, and most likely I'll talk about the RPG that I'm putting together and things like that. it'll just be somewhere I can splurge about all sorts of writing things.

You don't have to read it, and unless something really important comes up, I'm probably not going to mention it again on here, so yeah. However, if you *ARE* interested, go check out thesandwish and read the first post and (if you really want) the drabbles from the last 100 drabbles of summer challenge

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Robert Reads some more Tamora Pierce

brain-hands
Title: Lioness Rampant (book 4 of 'The Song of the Lioness' Quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I'm both Yay! and Awww!! because I have finished the series and now I have to hunt down the next quartet and work out when I'm buying them before I can read the next ones.
I've been really enjoying reading this series again and it's nice to be reminded of something that I enjoyed when I was younger and not be disappointed by them. It's always horrible to go back to something, even if it's only been a few years, and realise that actually there are these huge flaws, or things in it that aren't flaws, but now trigger things that they didn't used to because you hadn't experienced them back then.
So this being the last book and everything there's always the chance that there's going to be some deaths and sometimes who lives and who dies, and how its handled, those things can make or break a book, and I thought that this one handled it really well. How things were tied up at the end was good as well, with all the characters doing the things that they should be doing, and working towards them, and certain relationships being confirmed so that we know that they're together rather than leaving us going "BUT WHAT ABOUT PERSON1 AND PERSON2?! DID THEY EVER GET TOGETHER?!" which I feel only works in exceptional circumstances.
I will admit that although I knew it was coming, I wasn't quite ready for Faithful. Apparently I'm not even ready to write that. Heh. *wipes eyes*

Anyway, I'm going back to my Kim Harrison books for the moment and it's really interesting going to those after Tamora Pierce because it's two different age groups that they're aimed at and the Kim Harrison books are MUCH longer. So I've spent quite a while today reading and I still haven't finished the book whereas I read the first of this quartet in full in... less that that time I think. The second book was finished in a similar amount of time too. (minus the falling asleep while reading!)

Robert reads (again) and watches Xmen

Akabane-Ginji Obsession
yeah, I went to see Xmen: Days of Future Past last night. I didn't do another post when I got home because it was a lot later than I expected, and I REALLY enjoyed it! ^_^ So much fun, though seriously, a lot more graphic than I was expecting! Warn me about these things, people! Come on!

Anyway, despite surprise graphic-ness, I really, really enjoyed it and I loved how clever it was. I like films that can be fun and clever. I will admit that I spent some of the later part of the film trying not to whimper!

Title: The Woman Who Rides Like A Man (book 3 of the 'Song of the Lioness' quartet)
Author: Tamera Pierce
Opinion: So much love for these books!!! Though I do have to take a moment to just comment on the *cover* of this one. These covers are not the same as the ones from the books that lycoris let me borrow all those years ago, this one has... Alanna in the middle and then two young men on either side and just slightly behind her. I am still not completely sure who these men are meant to be. Normally I would say Jon and George, but that wouldn't be right for this book. They could be the Head Man and the Shaman, or the Head Man and the Voice or... just two random guys... It's a very strange cover, not least because it's the ONLY ONE of the four books which features anyone other than Alanna (well, anyone human anyway)
Ok, my review of the book- I do really enjoy this book because we're getting to see more of the world, and I like fantasy where we've got to know one place, but then we get to see a bit more of the world around as well. And here we see a tribe that's very different and there's stuff about a different culture and different life style and all sorts of things. I love that the girls decide to keep their face veils, by the way. One of my favourite bits of just... not-plot actually! It's not made into a big deal- Alanna mentions it, the Head Man responds, and that's it. End of discussion- but I feel it's really good, and important in a way. It pleases me.
I didn't mention this last time, and I really should have, but the way the books set each other up is brilliant, even if sometimes they end rather... abruptly sometimes. I mean, the first book ends just after the Black City, they don't even get back to where they were staying, we don't get to see the reactions, it just ends with them still out in the desert. We learn a bit about people's reactions once they returned later on (can't remember if it's mentioned in book 2, but I know it's mentioned in book 3 because it's a major reason why some of the tribe will accept her).
And yet there are so many things already set up for book 2- like Duke Roger. And then that book sets up things for book 3 and so on. And this whole series sets up everything for the Protector of the Small of course. I can't remember exactly how much what happens in this series affects the Wild Magic quartet though... Looking forward to that one!

Anyway, I've just got the last book to go and I think I remember most of what happens. Unless I manage to read quickly assume the next review will be up tomorrow at some point :)


And further to that, I have decreed that today is a rest day which shall be spent with music and reading. See, every day for almost a full fortnight now I have given myself a short list of things to do (averaging about 6 things a day). These things are all typing stuff up from paper, making maps, proofreading, backing up, etc. Basically me sorting out my RP game, my current rewrite and proofreading for someone else. Every day I have been doing these jobs, sometimes managing to do everything, other times maybe only missing out one or two.

On days where I've been out all day (last Saturday), or the majority of the day (yesterday) I have either tried to do a few jobs before going out, or made up for what I've missed by doing a little extra the next day, and you know what? I've been keeping up.

however, tonight I have decided that I deserve a rest because I have been so good about this. So I've not even done a jewellery post (partly because it's got to the point where I've still not taken photos of the newer things and the photos I do have aren't great quality and it's starting to really annoy me that I haven't taken the new photos yet. I'll get there, but it involves setting up a space and dealing with lighting and all sorts of things. Taking a photo of a piece of jewellery takes a HELL of a lot more effort than people realise if you want it to look good!

Anyway, yes, rest night. *nods* I feel that it is deserved and I'm going to enjoy it. And read :)

Robert Reads

Stupid
I was going to do these a while ago, but then I got distracted and stuff, but then after yesterday I felt that doing a little book review would help me to relax :)

Title: Alanna: The First Adventure (book 1 of the 'Song of the Lioness' quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I decided that I NEEDED to buy this book so that I can reread it whenever I want. I first borrowed this series off lycoris long ago and I really enjoyed it and rereading it I've remembered how much I love it, though I was horrified at myself for forgetting about a totally wonderful character who is just awesome in every way.
I love reading about this awesome girl and the things that she does, and while it does have flaws, some of which I missed when I read them originally because it was a younger me reading and stuff, they are engaging and I care about what's going on and who these people are and even about the side characters and everything and everyone!
I then promptly ordered the rest of the series as soon as my wages went in on Monday, and they arrived yesterday ^_^

Title: Kalmari (book 1 of the 'SandWish' series)
Author: H. Stilwell
Opinion: Well, obviously the author is a genius and should be given all sorts of awards and stuff!
So I was debating on whether I was going to do this one for obvious reasons, but part of the reason I am doing this is for me to see what I'm reading and how many books I'm getting through and maybe trying to read a few more as well. And to keep track of where I am with various series as well.
Alright, so... putting aside the typos and things that were missed either by myself or annoyingly added by whatever program it is that converts computer documents (it really does happen! So annoying!), I do honestly enjoy rereading this book. I mean, I've read it over and over so many times that I should really be sick of it, and there are chapters where I'm more or less skimming, but it is still something that I want to read, even if I skip parts of it sometimes.
Though it is interesting to read this and then reading some of the chapters of book five and seeing just how much some of them have actually grown over the series, which I sometimes forget when I'm just reading through. Even between books 1 and 2 there is a certain growth in maturity for some of the characters.
I do think that there is still room for improvement in terms of the writing and stuff, but there almost always is.

Title: In the Hands of the Goddess (book 2 of the 'Song of the Lioness' quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: So, the moment that the books arrived I started reading book 2, but then I forced myself to do my various writing jobs first, but once I had finished them, I was reading again and stayed up way too late trying to finish the book.
I fell asleep reading and then finished it this morning before work.
That's how much I enjoy these books, and I love watching the progressing of the characters and how close they all are and the reactions of them all as they learn about Alanna. I actually also quite like the timing of the books with book one covering the page years, book two covering squire and then her first adventures as a knight in book 3. I have a vague idea for a series of books that I want to write at some point and I kind of want to do them in a similar fashion, but I'm not sure that it would work in the same way really. But we'll see. I have like... five or six other books that I want to write before I even think about that one!
Anyway, this book, yes, I really, really enjoyed it! ^_^
I've very almost finished the third book, so I'll probably end up doing a second post when I get back from my cinema trip tonight!

Anyway, I hope that wasn't too annoying a few reviews. Look forward to my reviews of the rest of the Lioness books!!


Oh, two other things:
1. Would anyone object to me restarting Prompt Me Monday and Fiction Friday, maybe in a few months? I need some more writing excuses rather than just the planning and editing that I'm doing at the moment.

2. Would anyone be interested if I started a writing LJ blog? I would mostly just be writing about writing (and sometimes writing about writing about writing!) and the joys and frustrations to be found within. I'm sort of tempted, but I'm not sure how interesting/annoying people find those things, so I thought I'd ask

working with family is hard

WTF!
So let me tell you about my woes.

I quite like my job, but sometimes it is very difficult working with Aunty V. She is the one that doesn't read books, only magazines, so we're already starting out at a bit of an uneven balance because, as we know, my life is all about reading books and writing books. That's kind of my *thing* really.

The thing that you have to know about Aunty V is that she has absolutely NO tact and if she thinks it, she's probably say it, so this one time when I was talking about staying over at lycoris and trying to explain how long we'd been friends she suddenly interrupts me with "Is she fat?" I mean, anyone who has MET lycoris ... yeah, I didn't quite know how to reply to that at first. My brain was like "Why the hell would you ask that? Why would you even need to KNOW that?!"

Oh, and this time mum was trying to explain how a friend of hers has difficulty with trains (because she's disabled and sometimes the gap between the train and the platform is a little too big for her) and Aunty V's first question was still "Is it because she's too fat?" I mean seriously, she has a thing about this. And yes, Aunty V IS fat! (most of the women in our family are actually *sighs for genetics*)

This is a woman who phoned my mum more or less to ask if I was "still gay" and then a couple of weeks later says in front of me how "gay stuff" is disgusting and that it shouldn't be allowed. This was because of a gay kiss that was shown on a soap before the watershed. I forget which. She also told us (me and L) that she and my Uncle A had been to Portugal once and ended up in a "gay place" (her words, not mine) and there were gay people kissing. In public. In a Gay Place.

OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!!

Apparently that shouldn't be allowed either.

Anyway, let's fast forward to today. (By the way, I am neither locking nor lj-cutting any of this because I have passed the point of caring if anyone sees this. I was Pissed Off!! And Upset!

I think I have mentioned before that I have a slight issue with being compared to my brothers, and by compared I mean having to sit and listen to a long list of all the wonderful things about them (good looking, clever, "doing so well", "working so hard", sweet, lovely, etc, etc, etc) while I get "You write/ read a lot don't you?"

Well this happens a lot around Aunty V, especially about my younger brother, Peter. He is three years younger than me and is arrogant as all hell because he has CONSTANTLY been told by various people (not mum and dad, no fear there!) how sweet he is and how lovely and how cute. He now pretty much believes that he is loved by all and he doesn't hide this. He is an arrogant fucker and we all know it. It drives me and mum crazy sometimes. He's also kind of... he over reacts at times and doesn't hold back when he should. I'll ruffle his (non-existent) hair and he'll try to slap me, almost always aiming for the face. Now, this is meant playfully, not as an actual slap, but he doesn't always pull his punches and so sometimes he does hurt, and other times he'll get my glasses, which all glasses wearing folk know can really hurt!

Aunty V loves him though, thinks he's lovely and sweet and clever and wonderful and possibly a fucking God, I'm not sure.

Every 1st of the month I send a pinch-punch message to a group of friends and family, including Peter, and almost every single time I manage to get him first because he loses track of the dates and has no idea that it's the first of the month until he gets my text. Today he sent back a very rude message including the word "sonofabitch" So naturally I sent him back a text saying that it was very cruel thing to say about mum. Anyway, my phone keeps bleeping as messages come through and L asks who I'm talking to and explain that it's my brother, who's being very mean and she suggests telling him to bugger off

V: What? She can't do that! Is that your Peter?
Me: Yeah *already sending the text telling him to Bugger off* He's being rude to me, so I'm being rude back
V: You can't do that. Peter's lovely.
Me: *sighs and prepares to hear another long list of Pete's virtues*
V: He's your mum's favourite, isn't he?
Me: ... *uncomfortable shrug* ehh
V: He's your mum's favourite. She's always telling me how lovely he is
Me: yeah, just tell me that my brother is my mum's favourite, Thanks

I MEAN SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCKING SHIT?! YOU HAVE NO FUCKING RIGHT TO TELL ME WHO MY MUM'S FAVOURITE CHILD IS BECAUSE YOU DON'T EVEN FUCKING KNOW YOU FUCKING STUPID PIECE OF SHIT!!!

MUM HAS SPENT NEARLY THIRTY YEARS OF MY LIFE NEVER PLAYING FAVOURITES AND I'LL BE FUCKING DEAD BEFORE SHE FUCKING STARTS! WHENEVER WE TRY TO TRICK HER INTO SAYING WHO HER FAVOURITE IS SHE'S ALWAYS BEEN CAREFUL TO SAY THAT WE'RE ALL HER FAVOURITES FOR DIFFERENT FUCKING REASONS! DAN IS HER FAVOURITE ELDEST BABY, PETER'S HER FAVOURITE YOUNGEST BABY AND I'M THE ONLY FUCKING GIRL!

Due to sudden caps lock and lots of swearing, let's just assume that all of this happened in my head, not out loud (well, ok, a bit out loud, but only once I was alone) and I was really, really fucking pissed off. I know he's her favourite, and always will be because she sees this snapshot of him whenever she's over and she doesn't have to see what an arrogant lazy careless shit he can be, but she can NOT! say that he is my mum's.

Oh, and I did tell my mum about this (Peter's been out so it was the perfect time really) and she was horrified that she would say that to me. She has never said that Peter was her favourite, and certainly never to Aunty V.

Oh yeah, one more thing, my mum using the word "lovely" to describe any of? Often that's kind of mocking, not an actual endearment. It's always affectionate, but she has often called us lovely when she's being slightly sarcastic. When asked what it was like to have me living back at home again, her words were "She's lovely, but mad." Lovely is not actually mum saying that someone is a fucking favourite!

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PC?

Ken pissed
Early on last week (this week?) I was talking to someone about my writing habits and they said, "You should write a book"
Me: What do you mean should? I have written a book. It's online. You can buy it!

So, quite naturally, they asked if they could see it and I said that I would try to remember to bring it in and show them. I finally managed it on Thursday. Of course a few people wanted to see it and so I let them, because I'm never going to say no to someone wanting to see my book.

On the front there are small pictures, which I drew myself, of each of the seven main characters.

Back when I first started writing that particular book I decided that I would never give away where or when it was set (though both you can have a pretty good guess at due to things said), and I would also not said what colour skin any of them had. Originally this was so that if someone wanted to imagine that one of them was black or Asian they could and there wouldn't be anything in the text that would outright contradict this. However, as I got to know these characters better and I started reading through the descriptions of them more closely, I realised that two of them were definitely not white.

One of them has a Nigerian mother (which I think might be mentioned in the first book and is definitely mentioned in books 4 and 5) and a German father, though I never actually said what colour skin he has. And when I started drawing the head-shots of them all, I realised that he was black.

The other, it says in the book, was born in Africa and at one point she remarks that her mother resembles an African fertility goddess. And so, for her picture, I went through my how to draw books and concentrated on getting her features just right.

And so I took great offence to one woman looking at the front of the book and saying "And just to be correct you've got two coloured people."
"No," I said "They're black because they're black; it's not to be correct."

If I have a non-white character in a book that I'm writing it's not because I'm trying to make sure that there are black characters, it's because when I have pictured these characters in my mind, and read the descriptions of their eyes and hair, and when I imagine how their voices sound in my head, I have realised that this character is black, or brown, or Asian, or mixed race. But I might also realise that they're Spanish, Russian, German, French, Irish, Scottish, Welsh or indeed from ANY other country around this world or any of the ones that I have created.

It's surprised me how much this has annoyed me. I try so hard to write believable characters in a believable world and so it does piss me off for someone to then say that I have just put a character in for correctness or to be "proper". Wrrrr

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Robert Reads (and watches)

sleep
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo

Been a while, huh? Despite that I only actually have 3 books to share with you because I have mostly been reading books which are in big bloody hardback form (3-in-1 books sometimes suck) and so it's more difficult to carry them around and therefore have only been reading them at night when I'm TIRED and I end up falling asleep while reading.

Title: Wise Man's Fear (2nd volume of the Kingkiller Chronicle)
Author: Patrick Rothfuss (I like his surname ^_^)
Opinion: I read the first book (Name of the Wind) a few years back and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. It was well written and had interesting characters, and unlike a lot of fantasy novels, this one wasn't about fighting and wars and things like that, actually a lot of it was about music.
Because it's been so long since I had read the first one, it took me a while to remember who everyone was and some of the words and terms that Rothfuss has created for this series. Even so, this second book continued in a similar vein to the first, though there was a little more fighting, but I felt that it was more interesting than a lot of books in the same genre, because here was a main character who was not a fighter and he was having to learn how to be one just to make sure that he didn't end up very, very dead. And so watching him trying to learn and not always being very good at it, and sometimes still deciding *not* to fight because he knows that he will lose.
I also really enjoy all the little hints that are so easily missed if you're not looking for them (which I was, and I probably still missed some)
But I really want to know what's going on with Bast. I love him and I want to know more about him, exactly what he is, why he's there and what he's doing, and more specifically, why he did what he did in the last chapter of this book.
I'm really looking forward to finding the third volume!

Title: Equal Rites
Author: Terry Pratchett
Opinion: As you know I was not looking forward to re-reading EQ because it's not really one of my favourite books in the Discworld series. In fact it's my least favourite. I wish that it wasn't, but I find it really difficult to get into.
This is the first of the Witches books and it shows. Granny Weatherwax, while showing a lot of the traits that we've come to know and... uh... tolerate (^_~), she is not quite the same witch that she is later on. I think part of this is because she is not with Nanny Ogg and Magrat. Granny is not really a character who should be without her little entourage. In later witches books she comes across as a really interesting character that I really enjoy reading about because the other two balance her out (as a good coven should), but in this one she doesn't have that balance because Esk just can't do it.
Saying all that, if this were a stand alone book in the Discworld series and not containing a character who appears many times again later, it is actually a good book and there are some very funny and great lines and thanks to reading a site which pulls out many of the jokes, references and clever little uses of language, I did actually get a number of jokes that I hadn't done before, and was able to enjoy it more than I had before, but it still remains very low on the list, and, sadly, will probably remain there.

Title: Mort
Author: Terry Pratchett
Opinion: Although this is the first Death book, it's the third time that Death has shown up as a character, and here we see what we will later see with Granny. Pratchett is brilliant at developing his characters. He turned Death from a bit player that turned up a few times in Colour of Magic and Light Fantastic into a main character who is funny and entertaining and I want to keep reading about. I love the Death books, which really end with Soul Music, as from that point they are really Susan books rather than Death himself, though he does always show up.
And of course the events of Mort set up what happens in Soul Music (one of my most read Discworld books!)
Next in the series is Sourcery, which I have re-read fairly recently and... this is one where I'm not quite sure where to place it. It's somewhere below the half-way mark for me, but I'm not sure that it's right at the bottom with Equal Rites. We'll see.

As well as reading, I have also been Watching! I went to the cinema on Sunday and thanks to having an Unlimited card for cineworld, I can see any film for free, and any 3D film for £1-something for the first... however many/long and then, after that, for free as well. I also get money off food :)

So I decided that I would see... (what the fuck did I see...?) Oh Yeah! on THURSDAY me and mum went to see A Million Ways To Die in the West, and then on SUNDAY I saw How to Train Your Dragons 2 and Maleficent.

A Million Ways to Die in the West
If you want to see a film that is very funny with a lot of childish fart jokes as well as sex jokes and death jokes mixed with LOADS of anachronisms then this film is great. It is brilliantly funny, has some absolutely hilarious moments, including some where you're thinking "I know I shouldn't really be laughing at this, but I can't help it!!" and a main cast which I actually recognised the names of the vast majority.
However, if you want a film that has any sort of feminist message at all... yeah... just... no, this is not the one for you.

How to Train Your Dragons 2
So, throughout watching the first one me and Diana were pointing out all the ways in which Toothless was basically just the dragon version of Suki, and it's true. I mean, the dragon's movements were actually based on those of a cat and that is an actual fact, not just Han being a crazy cat lady. Sadly this did mean that I did have a bit of a sniffle near the beginning of the film where Toothless did do something exactly the way Suki would. I don't think loud enough for any of the kids in the cinema to notice, or even any of the adults.
I enjoyed it so much and I loved the way that they've expanded the world for the Vikings of Berk, because now they ride dragons they can go so much further than they could before and so it makes sense now that so much more would happen. I love how they've aged up the kids, and the changes that they've made to the island. And the new characters are brilliant as well.
SpoilersCollapse )

Maleficent
Ok, so I am a huge sucker for fairy tales, always have been, and I have to admit that I do rather love the recent bash of retellings such as 'Wicked' (not strictly a fairy story, but similar), and the Ugly Sister's tale for Cinderella, and I believe that there is a Narnia one as well, though I may have made that up. You give me a retelling of a fairy story, and I will eat it up!
It has been a very, very, very long time since I saw the Disney animated film of Sleeping Beauty, but even with only vague memories of the film I could see the nods to the original and the times where 'Maleficent' mirrored it.
I think it's one of the most visually stunning films that I've seen in a very long time- the scenery and the costume and the sets were all perfect and I really, really enjoyed just *seeing* everything. The amount of creatures they were able to create and make them all unique as well, was wonderful.
What they did with the character of Maleficent and how she became that way and the reasons that she did the things that she I thought was perfect and made complete sense for her to become the villain of the piece.
Spoilers- Quite BIG spoilers, for Frozen as well as this!!Collapse )

I'm hopefully going to be seeing a few more films this month because I want to make sure this Unlimited card pays for itself, and so I'm going to see X-men, and I'll probably see Belle, and maaaaaybe Godzilla and probably Grace of Monaco- that looks really good. Oh, and The Tempest (with Colin Morgan ^_^)

Friends and Blake 7 and other nice things

thousand miles
For these last few weeks I have been rather busy, which isn't really like me. And it's not been working busy, but *social* busy which is REALLY not like me!!

So I broke the laptop and had to do everything on paper or my phone and that was poo, but it did mean that I got some things done. Not last Saturday but the Saturday before I was in Liverpool with my new RP group- Really Rad Roleplayers. We're playing a system called Mutants and Masterminds and we only use the d20 (a twenty sided dice) and it was our first session. It was great fun :)

Then last Friday I went to visit Diana, saw My boys and a couple of friends who live nearby. We had lovely chatting and we starting making some characters for the D&D game that I'm planning. I then stayed over with Diana and so on Sunday I had a lovely breakfast with her before going back into Liverpool itself again in order to meet up with my crafting/ creative/ writing group, had a lovely time with them and then went back to Diana's and had a bit more time with my boys and finally went home. It was a lovely fun day :)

And finally this weekend. I WENT TO SEE lycoris ! YAY!!

WOOPADOOPADOO!!!!!

We watched Blakes 7, which I have never seen before. I saw a clip online, but nothing else yet. And now I have watched a few episodes and it was lovely and there was Blake and there was Avon and Jenna and Cally and Vila and Gan and it was lovely! ^_^

I had lots and lots of fun and we talked a lot for a long time, mostly about Blake, but also about fandom and other things and it was fun and lovely and yay! ^_^ Lovely! And I had missed my Lycoris so much. Lovely Lycoris. Thank you :)

Oh, and we decorated cakes. mostly we were very rude. I drew a cock and a pair of tits and... oh yeah, I drew a poop. HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEEEEEE

me and menfolk

WTF!
For a long time I have wondered about my relationships and feelings with and for men. When I first started realising that I was having crushes on girls, what confused me most was that I still sometimes had feelings for boys, and so I assumed, naturally, that I was bisexual.

After a while and after a lot of thinking about things, I realised that it wasn't quite the case. I could sometimes look at a guy and know that he was attractive and admit that there was a slight spark of attraction, but I wouldn't actually want to have sex with them, and whenever I imagined a happy, safe, healthy and content future for myself, it was always with another woman.

But I was still a little confused, because my feelings about certain menfolk didn't really make sense. I *didn't* want to have sex with them, but certain men, like Eoin Macken, for example, their voices cause my stomach to do all sorts of strange things, and the lovely smiles of other people, Like Tom Hopper make it go flip-flop.

I look at these amazing people, these amazing men, and I want to meet them, I want to tell them how amazing they are, I want to have photos taken with them, I want to spend time with them, I want to do awesome things with them...

Are you getting the picture? I want to be friends with these people. But I knew that already. I've admitted that in a short story I wrote a few years back. These famous people that I admire so much, I really do want to be noticed by them and liked by them.

But... but it wasn't just that, I could tell, there was still something else, something that I had missed.

Over the last couple of days I have been thinking about this again and I have finally worked out what it is, and I'm not sure that I like my conclusion.

I want these people, these men, to like me. I want them to admire me. I want them to be attracted to me. Basically, I want them to fancy me.

Now, if we take into account how long I spent being told that I was ugly, stupid and all other manner of things, it does make sense that I would want these attractive men that I admire to feel that way towards me, but it still feels very uncomfortable and rather wrong. I want these people to fancy me, though not actually admit it because then I would have to turn them down and that's always uncomfortable, unpleasant and difficult

So yes, this is what I have worked out today- I do not want to have sex with any of these people, but I want them to want me. And that feels wrong.

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Update from the Xbox

Sir Integra Wingate Hellsing
i broke the laptop a little last Friday and my phone still doesnt get on with LJ so updating is impossible. I would have done an update about this on hanonjewellery but mums laptop and I had an argument and LJ blocked the IP address for an hour, so Ityping this via an onscreen keyboard and the xbox (hense the lack of formatting and various typing errors). Hopefully the next post I do will have apostrophies and paragraphs!

Fairy Tales

Stupid
The theme for Liverpool Pride this year is Fairy Stories. I was very happy about this because I can think of a thousand things that I could dress as, ranging from a t-shirt saying "I am the happy ending" to full on fairy with wings and glitter!

I love fairy tales and the way that there are so many variations of the same story and then how things have changed over the years as it's been updated, made less racist in some cases, and less gory in most! I read a lot of fairy stories, many of them by Hans Christian Anderson (because so much love for that guy!), and then I have ones collected and edited by the Brothers Grimm.

Fairy tales all came from an oral tradition- they were passed on by word of mouth and the same stories would be told over and over to children as they grew up, and then they would tell them to their children, and so on. These stories would have changed a lot over the years as people forgot parts, updated others and, when they moved from dialect to dialect or even language to language, they would have been translated and re-translated and certain things would have been lost in translation.

Things will also have been changed as the stories moved from place to place so that the context would make sense. In Rapunzel her mother craved radishes while she was pregnant, but in other versions of the tale, it's another food that was craved because radish wasn't something that was known.

This is why you can read a collection of stories and realise that half of them are just variations on the other half.

Change also came about as the world began to see childhood as something that should be protected and children were no longer treated as small adults. Traditional fairy stories were often quite dark and often gruesome. In Cinderella the ugly sisters cut pieces of their feet off in order to fit them into the glass slipper and it was only because of the blood pooling into the shoe that they were discovered. In Sleeping Beauty the prince basically rapes her while she's asleep. And there are many more tales where people have things cut off or are killed in nasty ways, or horrible things happen to them. In fact the well know "and they all lived happily ever after" appears far less than you might expect in traditional stories.
Mostly these gruesome things are now no longer in our stories.

Some people blame Disney for this, but honestly it was happening before Disney started telling their versions.

Fairy stories also had morals. Sometimes as simple as "be nice to strangers", but not always. Red Riding Hood is actually a story warning about sexual predators and in some versions the wolf asks red riding hood to undress and get into the bed with him.

There are many themes in fairy stories, but there are some that reappear time and time again.

1. Things are not what they appear- the beast is a handsome prince, the ugly old crone is a beautiful enchantress, the serving girl is a princess, the princess is a serving girl, the famous Duke is a poor boy with only a pet cat, the old cat is intelligent and able to talk.
2. Kindness is everything- and more importantly, kindness while expecting nothing in return is rewarded. So many times someone will feed an old beggar woman or rescue a fish from a net, and will be rewarded either with a gift, or with a favour later on, often saving their lives
3. Beauty/ Vanity- so in many stories there is a bit of a thing where beauty= good and ugly= bad, which is why so often the ugly crone/beggar turns out to be someone beautiful and good because that's not what the reader's expect. But then there are characters like the evil queen in Snow White. She was beautiful, but she was vain. Vanity is seen as being the greater sin and there are some tales where an ugly character is kind and generous and is made beautiful by the end.
4. The power of Three- 3 is the magic number when it comes to fairy stories. Most things seem to happen in threes, both good and bad. In some versions of Cinderella she goes to the ball on three occasions, each time wearing a more stunning dress than the time before. People are often given three gifts from other people, there are often three brothers and the youngest prevails where the elder two failed or didn't try at all, three wishes, three choices, and a lot of the time, three chances or tests.
5. Foolishness- Most of the time a foolish character ends up ruining their own chances by being foolish. One of my favourite daft stories is this boy who keeps getting a present from his love and does the wrong thing with it. So he's given a flower and he eats it. His mum tells him he should have put it in water. The girlfriend gives him a new suit, so he puts it in water. His mum tells him he should have put it on the line. etc, etc. However, there are a few stories where a foolish character is rewarded because they manage to do everything, literally, by dumb luck!
6. Laziness- more so than foolishness, laziness is seen as being a bad thing. Characters who are lazy are often portrayed as also being cruel, thoughtless and unpleasant. Not evil, but not exactly good. Most of these characters end up punished in some way, some more so than others.
7. Promises- there is quite a lot about keeping your promises and characters who don't are either punished or have to go through unpleasant situations until they finally fulfil their promise. The princess in the Frog Prince is a very good example of this.
8. True Love's Kiss- I'm putting this one in because actually, like "happily ever after" it doesn't appear as often as one would think in the traditional stories. The frog prince is transformed by being thrown against the wall, the little mermaid kills herself, Sleeping beauty is woken by one of her children sucking the splinter out of her finger, Snow White is woken when her coffin is dropped and the piece of apple is dislodged, and Rapunzel's prince is blinded by thorns and her tears heals his eyes. That is pretty much the closest I could get to something nice!

There are many, many more, but these are the ones that I could think of, and as you can probably see, a lot of these still turn up in stories that we tell today, books that we read, and in the shows and films that we watch. Fairy stories have been rewritten and made into new stories, new films, and some of them are excellent. I watched a film called Sydney White some time ago now and it's a BRILLIANT retelling of Snow White. It uses bits and pieces from the original stories (even including Rose Red who is normally forgotten about completely), from the updated versions, and even from the Disney version. The whole thing is set in modern day and the more that I think about it, the more things I find to love about it as a retelling of a fairy story, as a film set in an American college (with sororities and fraternities and all that) and as just a film in its own right.

Without the fairy stories from the past I don't think that we would have even half of the stories (written, told or viewed) that we have today.

fucking throat

black
Ok, I know I don't post very often these days, except to complain about hair dye and people refusing free cake, so I'm not going to pretend that anyone was wondering why I hadn't been on for a while.

However, I am going to tell you why and there are two reasons, though one of them took me a while to realise
1. I have been very ill these last few days. This started last... Tuesday I think, when I thought I had breathed in some factory dust and started coughing rather hard. This cough lasted into the next day, and the next, and etc, etc, etc. The cough also got worse. It ranges from "that irritating cough that you can still feel at the back of your throat no matter how you try to get it out" all the way up to "Oh god I think I'm going to be sick".

My throat is completely wrecked. I keep losing my voice, and I've now had two days off work. I took Monday off to recover from a weekend spent in bed, went back into work yesterday... ended up coughing so much in the evening once I was home that I ended up crying myself to sleep and basically not actually getting a lot of that anyway.

My appetite has mostly been non-existent. It sometimes comes back to only make me regret eating after any meal I actually get down. Hell, on Sunday I left food on my plate. I wasn't full, but I just couldn't eat anymore.

On Friday and Saturday I alternated between hot and cold a lot, I've had a headache all the time, partly from all the coughing, my eyes hurt and I'm just in pain. It doesn't help that I have a wisdom tooth trying to come through which means that my mouth is a little tender anyway.

2. I have been mildly depressed.

I didn't realise that I was depressed because it wasn't showing up in the usual ways, but it turns out that I was. I was apathetic about even things I like and I was lethargic almost all the time. Really that should have clued me in, but I thought that I was just feeling tired from work and stuff. I then realised that this has been going on for a month. I had all these things that I *wanted* to do, not needed to do or had to do but actually wanted to do, but I hadn't done any of them because I just didn't feel like it. I wasn't reading so much, though I was still writing (not really while I've been ill though), and little things have been getting me worked up.

I haven't been posting on the Hans On Jewellery account for... nearly three weeks, and before then I was just doing random posts about stuff. Part of that was because I need to take new pictures, but part of it has been because I can't be arsed. And that's been brought on because no one gives a shit.

I post things, maybe one person (the same one person normally) might say something, which makes me feel great of course, but it would be nice if it was more than one and if there was maybe more than one person that I could rely on for that. I put things on twitter or facebook and... again, I might have one person who replies, or shares, or retweets. Now, with twitter and facebook I do get more than one person sharing and liking things, but I can generally predict who each time- 1. Diana, who I lived with. 2. Sally (who likes or shares pretty much everything I put on Facebook ever regardless of what it is!) 3. my mum if it's something about craft fairs or something I've made that she *really* likes.

Occasionally I will get a few other people doing stuff too, but most of the time it's those three.

I haven't been saying anything about this because it makes me sound really, really childish and needy. Even writing it down sounds so stupid.

I missed out on a craft fair recently because I was too wrapped up in my own lethargy and apathy to do what I needed to do, and it's only because there would have been repercussions with missing this other one that's coming up that I managed to get myself motivated enough to do anything about it.

Please don't think that because I've said this that you should all start saying things about the jewellery or whatever- I am terrible at commenting on other people's journals and so I really have no right to say anything about anyone else not doing it.
*

Though, you know, I sometimes find it really hard to separate my feelings of depression from my feelings of anxiety, frustration and anger. I am more likely to hurt myself because I'm angry or frustrated than when I'm depressed, because these days depression for me has just become... it's like a blank. I feel down, I feel like I don't want much to do with the world, but I'm not... upset. I'm just empty. Where with anger, frustration and anxiety there are definite feelings there, and reactions.

When I'm worrying about stuff I get all stressed out and I do sometimes snap at people for things that really they probably don't deserve. When I'm angry or frustrated, unless someone pushes me past a certain point, everything is kept inside. I'm not good at expressing anger, and so I end up taking it out on myself. Not the best idea, but at least I don't hurt someone who doesn't deserve it.

I got frustrated recently because my dad told me that he had been on twitter and he said that I swear too much. I said that I wasn't going to stop swearing on twitter and it was the one place where I don't censor myself. I do censor myself on occasion on LJ, not because I think that someone would take offence, because the people that I know read my journal aren't generally people who are going to be offended by my swearing, but I censor certain thoughts and things because I'm worried how they might sound. I worry that in writing it down like this I will do it wrong.

I censor myself the most on FB because that's where I have family, and where I used to have people from Woodlands, including some of the kids so that we could let them know when things were going on. I left FB for a while partially because I couldn't deal with not being able to celebrate in the fact that I was in the most wonderful and healthy relationship that I had ever been in! I'm censoring myself on FB at the moment because there are so many times when I don't mention how much I miss Jay.

I do not censor myself on twitter. Oh, there are times where I will type something, then delete it because I realise that while I know what I mean, no one else will. I swear, I come out with random thoughts, I admit things that I don't admit elsewhere, I post pictures that I won't put on other websites (sometimes because on other websites I'm not comfortable with my face being there for all to see), I say what I think.

After the call from dad I actually didn't post anything on twitter for a bit because I ended up putting up a huge metal censor block in my head and suddenly I couldn't say anything. I didn't mean to, but I did it. In fact, over the last... I don't know how long, most of my tweets are actually linked from tumblr. (censoring myself on tumblr would be pointless as I don't really put anything of my own up)

Anyway. yeah... depression. Illness. Tiredness. Frustration.

I dyed my hair today

learning to fly
I finally got around to redying my hair (it took me long enough). Mum had bought me this dye a month or two ago (possibly three months actually), and I hadn't got around to it mostly out of laziness. But today I finally did it. As usual I took a before and after photo, but the light was really shitty so you can't really see the colour on the after picture so I won't bother posting it.

The dye mum bought was in the LIVE colour range, which I've had mixed experiences with in the past. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it is shit, there is no in between. This is the closest I've had to an in between really because I'm happy with the final colour, but not so happy about a lot of other things.

So...
Dear Schwarzkopf, especially those people involved in the making of the LIVE hair colour products.

Firstly I would like to say that I would really appreciate if you would foot the bill for the cleaning I'm going to have to do to my bathroom and clothes after using your product.

On first glance I thought that the LIVE colour shake it up hair dye was an interesting and fun idea. I liked the idea of it and I liked, in theory, the ease with which to apply the colour and make my hair all pretty. As usual I wore old clothes which I don't mind getting covered in hair dye, and worked with my head over the sink.

And here is where we start with all of the things that went wrong.
1. the gloves- exactly how big do you think the hands of the people using your products are? I find it nearly impossible to get the gloves that you provide on without putting a finger through them, making them rather obsolete really. They are FAR too small around the opening, and the fingers are always far too short. I have, on occasion, been very tempted to steal latex gloves from work when I know that I'm going to have to dye my hair using the gloves from your packaging.

2. packets- I appreciate that you need to make sure that your sachets of colouring are sealed and secure, but every single other company that I've used other than yourselves have made their sachets tearable open, rather than yours which have to be cut. Not everyone keeps scissors in their bathroom. I was lucky in that I had just finished cutting my finger nails and my nail scissors were still in there, but still, not really great.

3. shaking the dye- You didn't really think this part through, did you? The foam was so thick after a few shakes that I couldn't actually manage the 40 that it said on the box. The majority of the colour powder ended up at the bottom, not particularly mixed in with the rest.

4. applying the dye- It says on the packet that I should apply the foam "like shampoo". This is HIGHLY inaccurate. First off, when I apply shampoo to my hair, it is normally wet whereas this was an apply to dry hair dye. That's a small nitpick really, my main issue is actually my second point, which is that I don't really know of any shampoos that are foam. This was like applying hair mouse maybe, not shampoo. It didn't rub in like shampoo, it wasn't liquidy like shampoo, it was simply thick. So thick in fact that I was able to get it to sit on top of my head. Shampoo does not do that. Also, because it was so thick, it was impossible to get to smaller, thinner areas of hair, like around my forehead, ears and neck, without getting dye all over my skin. Everywhere.

5. dripping- your packaging also says that this dye doesn't drip. That WAS accurate, but for the wrong reason. No, it doesn't drip, instead great big blobs of it fall off your hands and head to land on the floor, my feet, shoulders, neck, chest, and in the sink. I also discovered later that smaller blobs had landed on a hand towel beside the sink, and quite a bit was on the shower curtain.

6. clothing- the t-shirt that I normally wear for dying my hair is an old one and it bares the stains of many previous dye jobs in various colours. I love this t-shirt greatly and I enjoy using it when I'm dying my hair. I had to change out of this shirt and rinse it out in the shower because of the sheer amount of foam that had fallen onto it. Every time I moved I was getting more dye on my arms from the large patches on my shirt.

7. skin- I normally prepare my hairline with a trick that I learned long ago, which is to apply vasaline or hand cream and then wipe it off when the dying is done. The excess colour goes with it and all is fine. The amount of colour I had now on my face, back, arms, ears and hands, I don't think any little trick would have helped. I ended up scrubbing my face with soap and an exofoliating flannel. this would have hurt even if I wasn't attempting to remove the apparent war paint I was now sporting

8. rinsing- the sheer amount of grit, which I'm assuming is what was left of the colour powder, that came out of my hair while rinsing made me very worried about what exactly I had just put on my head! Also, once I was done rising with my head over the bath, I realised I was going to have to scrub my face again because now I had streaks of colour running down it.

9. conditioner- just a small issue with this one; please make your instructions consistent. In one corner you put the universal symbol for "cut here", however, on the opposite corner was a 'Tear here' slit. As I say, a small issue, but still irritating.

So yes, I am actually very happy with the colour that I've ended up with ON MY HAIR at least, and it's very vibrant and I think people in work are going to comment tomorrow (whether favourably or not I've yet to decide), however, I would NOT buy this product again, nor would I recommend it to a friend, unless that friend had kind of pissed me off recently.

Thank you.
Bob Frog with the Red Hair

In unrelated news, I have had a cough for a day and a half :(

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AAAAAAALL about The Workzors!

WTF!
So, there is this... thing happening at work at the moment. Battle lines are being drawn and I am trying to be Belgium in the middle of it all (is it Belgium? I can't remember. Bah.)

Anyway!

I alluded to this very briefly on both twitter and Facebook recently because certain things have happened which have left me going "WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!" I shan't go into all of them right now because that would take way too long to write and I really just want to tell you about the stuff that's been going on THIS WEEK. Or more specifically, these last couple of days, and especially today.

First off, I am not locking this post, because it's so fucking ridiculous that if someone does somehow stumble across this (and it's not likely because not many of them use the internet and those that do wouldn't be looking me up!!) I want them to SEE how fucking ridiculous it is!
Secondly I SWEAR I am not making a single word of this up! I could not MAKE this shit up!
And thirdly, there will be swearing, mostly because I am so fucking fed up of this fucking ridiculous shit!

Ok, so I have mentioned before that I tend to be working on an upper level in the factory. I am up there a hell of a lot and so I tend to know what jobs are going on up there. There tends to be anything from just me to four or five people up there. On Monday and Tuesday there were four of us. There were two jobs going on Tuesday and we worked VERY hard on both of them.

At one point the newer of the two foremen (which is the one that a lot of people dislike for various reasons) complimented us on our work and was saying how surprised and impressed he was by how much we had done. He then said that he would get us cake on Thursday (market day in Frodsham)

One of the women up there (we shall call her P) was not happy when he was talking to us. He had upset her on Monday (unintentionally) and hadn't forgiven him. After he had gone back downstairs she said to me and my Aunty (henceforth knows as V) that she had no patience for him. Now, I didn't say this out loud because I am not one for rocking the boat, but he had just given us a compliment and had offered to buy us cake, a **GOOD** thing, but ow, she was behaving as though he had said something horrible. I didn't understand but I kept my mouth shut.

On Wednesday was started with three, finished over half of one order, and managed to get a lot done on the other. The offer of cake was now made official. I was happily thinking "YAY CAKE!!" while other people were saying "we don't want no cake from him" (only not quite in those exact words)

And finally Thursday, today. We finished the first order, got more done on the other and generally were amazing. Money was handed over to V and she was asked to buy enough cake for everyone who wanted it. She started asking people if they wanted cake, and most said no. And do you want to know why? Because they were cakes from him.

That's right, twenty to thirty people, all adults, most much older than me, refused the offer of free cake because they were from this man. He was rewarding us for hard work and they wanted to throw it in his face.

Anyway, V bought some cakes and put them in the kitchen. When afternoon break came around I happily got a lemon slice from one of the boxes because OM NOM NOM!! LEMONY CAKE! nom. One person made a comment about me being the foreman's favourite, which made me very uncomfortable. I don't like it when that sort of comment is made, even if it's a joke. I have no problem with the guy and I do what I'm asked because it's my fucking job, but I wouldn't say that I'm his favourite. And once people start thinking about bosses and supervisors having favourite among the staff, well then things can get very uncomfortable.

Just before we were leaving V told me that some of the cakes had been eaten, and that some of the people that refused to eat them were now thinking that some of those who had originally declined cake had eaten some and were therefore no longer standing with them.

They're boycotting fucking cake given as a reward and getting worked up because *GASP* someone might have eaten the fucking cake!

IT'S FUCKING CAKE!!!!!

Have I made this clear enough yet? These adults are acting worse than fucking children!!!

FUCKING CAKE!!!!!

(by the way, the lemon slice was gorgeous. Lovely cake ^_^)

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Robert Reads

error- want cake
Title: For a Few Demons More (Part of the Hollows/ Rachel Morgan series)
Author: Kim Harrison
Opinion: This is the book which I could remember the best and more or less remember every major plot line EXCEPT ONE!!! A really sodding important one as it turns out. It's so weird that I forgot that one, but this is what happens when I have read all of the later volumes and there going "This character is rather lovely now, wow, back then he was a bit of a dick... wait a minute... WAIT A MINUTE!! Fuck... he wasn't just a bit of a dick... he was a total and utter dick. WHAT THE FUCK?! How did I forget that?! How the HELL did I forget that and HOW IN HELLS NAME DO WE GET FROM THIS POINT TO WHERE HE'S AT IN THE LATER VOLUMES?! I DO NOT COMPREHEND!!!"
But yes, anyway, I love this volume, and I believe that it was on finishing this book at somewhere around 11pm I then got on my bike, rode into York (it was while I was at university) and bought the next volume from Borders (back when it existed *sniffles*) because I Needed to know what happened next.
That's how much I loved this book when I first read it, and reading it again I can completely stand by my decision.

There is going to be a bit of a gap before my next Robert Reads entry because I have a library book that I really want to get through, except that it's very big and so not really a "put in your bag and read on the way to and from work" book. But because I really want to read this I'm not doing any other reading because the moment I start another book, because it'll be easier to carry, I'll concentrate on that instead. it's just the way I am sadly.

However, I shall do my next post when I have finished that book and then I'll get on with the Terry Pratchett reading (that's taking a while for a similar reason- I only have Equal Rites as part of a hardback trilogy and so, again, is more difficult to take on the bus and train and stuff)

Of meditation and depression

black
I went to church yesterday for the Open Table LGBT service in the evening. I was going to go to the morning one as well but I managed to sleep right through until 10 despite setting my alarm (I found out that the alarm had actually been changed (which is annoyingly easy to do) so in a way it's good that I found out yesterday rather than finding out tomorrow when I need to get up for work!)

As pat of the service we were led on a guided meditation.

And I have learnt that I can't do this while dealing with depression.

BACK STORY!!!!
A few years back Diana got sent this magic course which she'd ordered. There was a large workbook to go through, two smaller advanced workbooks and a multi-disc DVD. However, due to an error on their end they sent her two copies but only took payment for one. Because it was their fault they told her to keep both copies and so she gave one of them to me. Originally we were doing the course together but due to various reason we only got part way through the first disc.

Last year I decided to start doing it again, mostly because I was bored and I wanted to learn more about that side of things. This time I got a lot further, mostly because I was unemployed at the time and so had all the time in the world to watch this DVD and go through the workbook.

Part of the course involved a guided meditation to find and build an internal sacred space, basically so that you had a sort of mental safe space and somewhere that could be carried around with you if you wanted to do magic on the go. Or at least be in tune with the Gods/ Goddess/ Spirits/ whatever you chose to follow. I found out that in my internal sacred space I wore a robe of white and had long, long hair down my back. My space was in a garden or meadow and it was summer and it was lovely. Blue skies and everything. It was actually really peaceful in there.

Returning to yesterday!
We were told to relax and then start to picture the moment that Mary went to the cave, found Jesus' body gone, the angels sitting there, and then seeing Jesus. I watched this fine, sort of watching my inner-self watching them. An odd sort of feeling really.

We were then told to picture ourselves in a garden and consider what was there, what we could hear and see and feel, what season it was, whether there were flowers and all of these other things. I went straight to my sacred space, only now there were even more flowers than before, I was stood in the middle of hundreds of flowers, I could feel the petals and see the colours and it was beautiful. I didn't want to move for fear of crushing them so instead I sat in the midst of the flowers and just touched each of them gently.

But then the darkness started coming.

We had these long periods of silence between each part of the meditation, which is good and what I want really as too much guidance breaks the peace, and during this one I noticed that there was a... it was both a darkness in the garden, but also it was like there was physically less light on my left side. I knew this wasn't possible because we were indoors and all of the lights were above us, not to the sides, and none of them had gone out. The darkness spread across the garden and across my eyes. My inner-self was trying to fight it, trying to push back against the darkness like it was a wall. But it wouldn't stop. I fought for quite a while at the very edge of my vision, but then the darkness just covered everything.

I could still feel the flowers, but I could see nothing, and it was terrifying.

The person leading us through out meditation then encouraged us to think of a loss in our lives, any kind, and to think over the events of that again. Various things rushed through my head, but I had to break myself out of the meditation. I couldn't think of a dark time in my life when I was already in the dark. I was crying and having a little trouble with breathing normally. I was shaking. Enough so that people noticed. Everyone else was then led to think of Jesus coming up to them and talking to them, reassuring them, but I still couldn't go back to that internal space.

I managed to get through the rest of the service, though while we were sharing the peace (we go around everyone and either hug or shake hands and say "peace be with you" or words to that effect. It's nice) a few people asked if I was ok. And each time I said "no"

One person asked me a bit more about it afterwards and I was trying to explain, though I'm not sure she quite understood, though she is going to send me some stuff from Inclusion Matters (who did my first batch of counselling sessions a couple of years back, if you remember that). I am going to see what I can do about getting some help, because I couldn't deal with that. When I went to bed last night I briefly tried to visit my garden again, but it was still dark and I didn't want to stay there, so I left quickly.

I know this might not make sense to some of you reading this, and that's fine, I don't expect it to, but I made a promise to myself that I would try to be more honest about my depression and anxieties (well, less so about those actually) and self harm.

Though, I would like to point out something that I realised recently. Of the people that I know and am friends with, the majority have suffered from, or are currently suffering with, some form of depression, and the majority of them seem to have self-harmed in the past, or still do so now. The statistics for depression is something like 1 in 10 isn't it? It's interesting that I should make friends with so many people who are those 1/10. I just find it very interesting, and as I've met some of you (most of you?) through other people, it's interesting that this is something that the majority of us share.

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stuff about work again

error- want cake
So, would you like what I do the majority of the time that I am at work?
I do two things (simultaneously); one mental and one physical.

Mental
I am almost always planning stories, lj posts, tumblr posts, tweets and other things like that. Sometimes I'm even planning texts. Today, for example, I was planning how to reply to certain people I was texting if they happened to say certain things. Because a lot of the job doesn't really need any sort of higher brain functions, once I get into a routine with what I'm doing, I just let my mind go wandering and as long as I've got enough of my attention on the job to not crush my hands or something it's fine.
I have planned out some of my best scenes so far while doing some incredibly repetitive job.

Physical
I play Pick Up Sticks
I am not fucking kidding, I play Pick Up Sticks like a fucking Champion!!!!

You see, a lot of the jobs that I do involve picking up pieces of metal out of a tub or tin, putting them into a machine, and then putting them into another tin, bag or box, depending on what happens to them next. When these piece of metal are either flat or round bars then quite often I will end up trying to pick them up one by one without disturbing the rest of ones in the tin.

So there are a number of reasons that I end up playing Pick Up Sticks at work, some which will make more sense to you than others I think;
1. remember those locking bars that I talked about way back when I first started working there and I was describing the work that I did using pictures drawn in MS Paint? Well when the final stage has been done, they look kind of like this (side view):
Those bits going up are basically sharp spikes. The edges of the bar itself are also often sharp and if I don't wear my gloves while working on them I end up with thin shallow cuts all over my fingers and hands. I am normally working on the final stage (adding downward spikes) and trying to pick up a bar of spikes with a number of other bars with spikes possibly on top of it can end up with pain in various places regardless of whether I'm wearing the gloves or not.

2. some of the machines which run automatically are really quite slow and it's really just a case of waiting until they're finished a cycle so I can collect the pieces of metal and do whatever needs to be done to them so they can be boxed up.
In this case it is literally as a way of slowing me down because if I am playing pick up sticks I am going a lot slower than I would be if I were just picking them up in their piles of 25 (or whatever) and putting them in the box. So far no one's noticed what I'm doing, though I'm sure a few of them are wondering why it looks like I'm counting the bars, which I don't need to do!

3. my kind of obsessive personality. I actually LIKE trying to pick them up one by one, even when I don't need to, and trying to do it while not moving any of the others makes it a rather fun game to distract myself with.

4. sometimes my job is really fucking boring!!!!

But as a point, I am now getting really rather good at Pick up sticks (at least at work), but I'm starting to wonder if maybe this is going to end up being a detriment when I play ACTUAL pick up sticks. After all, the things that I am playing with are metal, and they're a lot larger than what most people would be playing this game with, and they're heavier, mostly because of the whole metal thing! They're also shaped rather differently:
So yeah, I am kind of thinking that maybe I'm going to get to a point where I'm not able to play normal pick up sticks because I'll be expecting it to be that much harder!!!

To finish up, let's have a Robert Reads!
Title: A Fistful of Charms- Kim Harrison (4th in the series)
Author: Kim Harrison
Opinion: Re-reading this book has made me very suddenly aware that the reason that so many references in the later books make little sense to me because they were in this book and I had forgotten almost EVERYTHING!!! I mean I was vaguely aware of the most important parts, but almost everything that was actually referred back to, like most of the stuff with Nick, Brett, anything with Ivy and almost everything to do with Jenks, all of that just completely went out of my mind.
Now don't get me wrong, I really enjoy this book, and I loved the re-read because the fact that I couldn't remember any of it, it was like reading it for the first time again. But for one reason or another, it just wasn't as memorable for me. Which is a real shame actually because there are some brilliant moments and, as I said, so much gets referred back to in the later books.
Part of it might be that at this point I was pretty much devouring the books, and especially the next few I bought and read one after the other as quickly as I could and there are going to be things that I forgot. This will have been one of the ones that I maybe read a little bit too quickly.

I should retract a statement that I made in my last review of the Kim Harrison books and that was that I could list all the major plot points thanks to things that happened in the previous book. Sadly I was wrong because, as I've said, I had pretty much forgotten this book in every single way. Because of this I have to assume that it is actually the next book and the one after that I'm able to pretty much spoil completely!

Robert Reads

Sir Integra Wingate Hellsing
I finished this earlier in the week and the kept putting off doing a post because I'm lazy (true story)

Title: Light Fantastic
Author: Terry Pratchett (whose name I have to check every single time in order to spell it right!)
Opinion: I feel that even between CoM and LF the writing has improved and characters are starting to be the way that we would normally recognise them. Death playing cards with War, Famine and Pestilence is possibly one of my favourite scenes in the book, and yet I had completely forgot about it until I read it this time!
I love that Pratchett decided to make the Luggage a reoccurring character because over the Discworld series it has become such a recognisable symbol of what the Discworld is all about really.
So yes, it's an improvement on the first book and gives us a lot of important knowledge about wizards, about the Disc and about Rincewind that we will come back to again and again

Robert Reads

forgotten
I actually finished this book a few days ago, but then... then I forgot to put it up because it kind of happened during my internet silence (near silence anyway)

Title: The Colour of Magic
Author: Terry Pratchett
Opinion: Despite how long I've owned the Discworld books (especially this one) and how often I reread many of them, I rarely reread THIS one. This isn't because I don't like it or enjoy it, because I do. At first I thought it was because it was a Rincewind book and I do tend to read those less than the Night Watch, Death or even Witches books, but on reading it again this time I've realised that that isn't the reason either. It's because on reading it, especially not long after reading some of Pratchett's most recent Discworld book, it becomes very apparent very quickly that this is a first book and some of the things that characters do or say, and even the narration itself, isn't quite the norm.
I'm glad that I have reread it this time, though I'm now aware that rereading Equal Rites, possibly my least favourite of the entire series, is going to be difficult. I did reread it last year when I was trying to read all of the Night Watch, Death and Witches in order (skipping over all the others), and I kind of want to skip it this time, but the point was that I was reading them all again this year, in order, no skipping.
Colour of Magic introduces us to a world and it does it well; we meet people, we visit places and we experience strange things along with Twoflower and Rincewind. It's fantasy with everything that we expect from fantasy- magic, imps, dryads, heroes, dragons, sword fights, trolls- with odd little things thrown in- space suits, economics, insurance.

I'm most of the way through Light Fantastic now so hopefully I'll have that up soon (if I don't get too distracted by my latest library book!

15th Mar, 2014

black
Those of you who only see me on livejournal probably haven't noticed, but those who also follow the Hans on Jewellery journal will have noticed that I've not been updating on there recently. You may have also noticed that I've not really been doing anything on facebook and very little on Twitter.

In fact the only reason I've actually been saying anything on Twitter is literally so I have a marker to say where I read up to before closing the window. On Tumblr I'm still liking and reblogging things (I think it's easiest to appear to be my "normal" self on there because I don't actually have to put any effort into it.

On Monday I had to make the horrible decision to put one of the cats down.

The necessary recap:
When living in Netherley me and Diana adopted a stray and named him Purrcy. The vet guessed that he was around 10 years old and our neighbour told us that he had been stray for about five years.
Mike (Diana's boyfriend at the time) bought her a cat that she named Bran. He was kind of a bugger but very beautiful.
And then, a year or so after, Diana bought me a beautiful black kitten which I called Suki (The Japanese word).

When I moved to Runcorn I took all three cats with me as Diana didn't know where she was going to be living. She didn't even really *have* a place she was moving to by the time we were going. By Christmas Bran was able to go back to his mummy, which made him very happy. Purrcy and Suki stayed with me and we were all very happy.

But Purrcy was now old, fourteen or fifteen in fact while Suki was only two or three. Purrcy was slowing down, spending most of his day curled up in one corner of my bed. He was also having quite a lot of trouble NOT pooing on my floor. Then one day I came home from work, went into my room and found that Purrcy had been sick many, many times all over the floor (and, I later found, once on my bed). There was also blood in his wee. He was taken to the vet last week on Friday and a number of tests were done. He has a heart murmur (which the vet isn't too worried about), possible thyroid problems and a blockage in the urine... tract, or whatever it's called. Anyway, he was given antibiotics and we were told to bring him back on Tuesday to see if he needed more treatment.

Since then he perked up a lot, though I started doing my thing where, if he didn't move for a while, I watched him until I was sure that he was breathing or one of his ears or paws twitched. Or he opened his eyes and glared at me as if to say "Stop that, you're freaking me out"

On Saturday night both cats were doing well. Sunday morning mum let them both out. Since coming to Runcorn we managed to get Suki and Bran used to the outside world. Bran tended to just stay in the garden, and even then not for very long. Purrcy went straight back to his wandering habits as he's used to going out all the time, and Suki took to it surprisingly well, though I suppose I had encouraged her in Netherley to go into the garden with me and not be worried about the outside.

it was late when I suddenly realised that I hadn't seen Suki all day. Literally I hadn't seen her since the night before as mum had let her out before I woke up. I went to the back door and called her name.

Straight away I heard a sound that... well it didn't exactly sound like a cat, but it definitely sounded like an animal. I called her name again, the sound started again. I left the garden, went through the house and out the front door. I walked around to the back of the house, behind the back fence. Our house backs onto a small road. Cars can only go down in single file and there are points along it so that if two cars meet they can pass each other. There are back fences from other houses on the other side of the road, while on our side there are bushes between the fence and the road. I found Suki behind one row of these, right behind our back fence, yowling for me to come and find her.

I picked her up and she was absolutely silent and still.

When Suki had her first ever bath (after she fell into stagnant water in a blocked drain) she was silent then and it was only at the end that she started making a noise. I worked out that basically she was terrified and didn't know what was going on and so she was silent. This was the same. I took her inside, put her on the table and she didn't sit or stand, she lay down. I tried to stand her up, but she wouldn't. I took her into my room with some food in her bowl, put her on the bed and again she wouldn't sit, just lay down. I made sure that the bowl was close to her and I sat at the computer, explaining to Lycoris what had happened.

After a little while she started shifting a little on the bed, not much, but enough to show that she was starting to feel a little more safe. I decided that it was time to check for injuries.

Now she meowed at me a little when I gently touched her paws and tail. I found dried blood around the base of her tail and around her bottom. I told mum and we used a piece of wet cotton wool to clean it with. The second piece revealed more fresh blood. Mum would take Suki to the vet in the morning. I also found a scrape on the heel of her right back paw.

In all the time that she had been on the bed she'd still barely moved and I didn't try to move her when I got into bed, just tried to keep my feet as far away from her as possible. She woke me up twice meowing, whether because I touched her or she tired to move, I don't know.

Monday I had work and mum was taking Suki to the vet. Luckily mum had a day off work other than one meeting in the afternoon, so she knew that she had plenty of time to do what was needed. I went to work with tears in my eyes and ready to cry at a moment's notice. I mentioned it to aunty Val, who I tend to work with a lot and so I knew she would ask why I was so quiet. I didn't really want to tell anyone else. Talking about it made me cry. At 10 we had morning break. at 10:10 the foreman came and told me that my mum was in reception and wanted to talk to me.

I knew.

I went to meet her and we sat in the car. I was already crying. She told me what the vet had told her:
Suki had a broken hip. That might be fixable with six weeks cage rest, but it would probably never be perfect and she would always have a limp. She also probably had a ruptured bladder, which was a much bigger concern. They would have to do a scan to see if it was a ruptured bladder, then do an operation, which has its risks, then there's after care and she might always be incontinent, if the operation was successful, of which there was no guarantee. The scan and operation were also very expensive. Very, very expensive.
I was going to have to make a choice.

I asked my boss for the rest of the day off, explaining as briefly as I could, and he said yes. I went with mum, crying half the time, trying to take my mind of it the other half. We got to the vet and he explained what mum had told me, but in more detail and also said that scan and operation would be between £800 - £1,000. We couldn't afford that. Even me and mum together couldn't afford that. We asked to see Suki so I could say goodbye. He took us in and there she was, lying on her side and on a drip. Her eyes were open and she purred as soon as I touched her. She was happy to see me, pleased that I was there, and because she couldn't feel any pain thank to the drip she could tell me that with her purrs.

I stroked her and stroked her, telling her that I was sorry and that it was never meant to happen. I told her that she would always be the best cat and my baby.

The vet asked if I wanted to be there and I said I did. I stayed and I stroked her head, feeling her purr as he injected her via the drip.

Their eyes don't close. The last image I have of her is her lying on the table, her eyes open.

The next day I was back in work. I started crying whenever this image came into my head. Whenever I remembered her purring when she knew I was there. Whenever I thought about how I had spent a year preparing myself for the day that I would haver to say goodbye to Purrcy. I wasn't prepared for Suki.

Now I'm doing ok. I still cry. I cry when I remember sitting in the car and talking to mum. When I think about those last images. Even when I think about her as a kitten, or as an older cat, because now she's not here to do those things again. But it's getting better. I'm not crying whenever I see a black cat, though I do feel a great sadness.

Mum has said that she doesn't mind me getting a new cat, but I'm not ready yet. Really not ready yet. I can't even work out if I could deal with having another black cat because I would always compare them to Suki.

She was my perfect cat. The cat that I had always wanted, ever since I was very little. I hate that she's gone.