*sigh*

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:55 pm
sareini: (hiding)
It has been one of those days.

It started off with a dream I had. I had acquired a new cat, and for some reason I was taking the cat somewhere by car and my mother was driving. We were on a dual carriageway, going at about 60mph, and the driver's side window was open. Somehow, the cat - that wasn't in a carrier or on a leash or anything - managed to climb out of the window, walked across the car roof and then leapt off into the road - and oncoming traffic.

The impossibility of the dream wasn't the problem. The events of the dream upset me so much that I woke up in a state of high anxiety, and the day went downhill from there.

(I actually woke up to Lily nuzzling my knee, because she has the ability to tell when I'm sleepwalking/sleeptalking/having something that could become a night terror and wakes me up from them without traumatising me further. Which is a nice way to wake up, at least.)

So after I woke up I was anxious and distressed, which ended up combining into depression that I couldn't shake no matter what I tried. So eventually, feeling tearful and desperate and generally miserable enough that I was contemplating bad things, I did what I've been told to do in the past when I'm like this and called the mental health centre and asked to speak to the Duty Professional.

When I got to speak to him, it was a guy who had run an Anxiety and Depression group I took part in at the beginning of the year, which at least meant he knew me... but unfortunately he was also not exactly full of practical and helpful advice and energy. I explained how I was feeling and what I had tried to do, how it was making me feel worse, and his main piece of advice was to "do things that I liked doing". Which is something I had thought of myself, to be honest. He also didn't even know if I was on a waiting list for CBT or any other sort of psychological therapy, because of course with my care co-ordinator still being off sick (and now it's looking like she's not coming back at all) no-one knows what's going on with me at all. Which is another reason I'm feeling depressed and abandoned by just about everyone. So he said he'd look into that for me, and that was about it.

So I went into town and bought yarn and donuts. Which did at least help my mood a little.

But it rained on and off the whole time and I got caught in a couple of downpours, and then when it came time to get the bus home... the bus couldn't go the full route because there'd been a major accident on the road leading to my stop, so the bus couldn't get there. So I ended up with an extra 15 minute walk (in the rain) to get home. But I did see a rainbow and the walk was mostly downhill rather than the uphill struggle it would have been if I'd gotten a different bus.

Since then I've been watching Twitch.tv, making a start on a cardigan with the new yarn (here) - the yarn is a lovely colour and was quite cheap when I saw it in the shop, but now that I'm using it I'm discovering that it's a bit fiddly to work front and back post crochet stitches with. Hopefully this is something that will clear up as I get used to it - and eating donuts. If I had my way I'd not leave the house tomorrow, but I've got to go to the PDSA to pick up Lily's prescription, so I'll just have to try to be efficient with it.

Cold

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:45 pm
sareini: Image of the Bursar from the Discworld universe (Bursar)
I had to put the heating on today. In early September. That's just not right. Personally I could have gone a few more weeks without it, but Lily made her displeasure known to me this morning by climbing onto me and refusing to move, leeching my body heat. Such a prima donna; it's only one degree below 10 C. But I don't want her to be unhappy or uncomfortable, especially considering her health, so the heating goes on, at least at night, for now.

Bloody climate change.

I've been trying to catch up on my sleep and energy levels these past few days, which means I still haven't gone to see The Dark Tower as I had vaguely planned for this week. Instead, I've been playing quite a fair bit of XCOM 2 (even though I've not finished the first one yet). Still just as bad at base management and multi-tasking, but the ability to customise my soldiers and kit them out in full Mad Max gear more than makes up for it. Which is why my troops now include Imperator Furiosa, Max Rocketansky, Natasha Romanov and Jason Voorhees (he came wearing a hockey mask and became a Ranger, and one-shots people with a throwing axe. What other name could I have given him?). As for the game, I'm getting through it by degrees and a surprisingly low amount of save-scumming (saved for moments such as when a Viper gets a lucky crit and one-shots someone, for example).

Also today, while I was out getting the cat food so Lily and Callie don't eat me in my sleep, I ended up wandering into PC World and buying a microphone in the next step towards making those videos I keep theorycrafting. It seems to be a pretty good mic - USB, has a stand, volume and mute controls, supposedly noise-cancelling from certain angles, and a good deal cheaper than the other "pro" microphones in the store, which were all around £120, while this one was only £35. So now I have one less reason to keep putting this thing off, because even £35 is not to be sneezed at. I'll try to test it out this weekend.

IT

Sep. 9th, 2017 12:49 pm
sareini: "It's been lovely, but I have to scream now" (Scream)
I saw the new IT at the cinema yesterday, which makes it three times in a week (5 days) that I've been out and interacting with people in public. No wonder I'm exhausted today. Also in this same week I've justified the monthly fee for my Unlimited card at the cinema, and there's still more films out this month that I want to see.

(It's always this way in late summer. Barely anything of interest for most of July and August, and then suddenly the distributors just throw a whole load of films that they didn't want to risk in blockbuster season or Halloween season out there and leave people scrambling to see them. Although IT doesn't really count for that.)

Spoilers, many spoilers... )


I'm also astonished that the filmmakers felt the need to tell people that that scene from the book (and if you've read the book, you'll know exactly what scene that is) wasn't going to be in the movie. I can't imagine anyone actually expecting that to be in the film, much less being upset over it. But apparently it was something that required mentioning. People are strange.
sareini: "chocolate: the other major food group!" (Chocolate)
Had my dentist's appointment this morning, even though none of my teeth have even twinged since I made the appointment, of course. Didn't have to sit it the waiting room for too long, thankfully, as the longer I wait in medical waiting rooms the greater the urge to just run out screaming becomes for me. Dentist looked at my broken tooth from all angles, then took an x-ray of it (and I nearly choked on the x-ray plate that had to be inserted into my mouth because, despite being told, my tongue wouldn't relax and things got rather crowded in there. Then I had to wait for the results of the x-ray, all the while thinking that, if we were at the stage of taking x-rays, then something was going to have to be done to my tooth.

Nope. Despite all outward appearances, my broken tooth is actually perfectly healthy. Yes, both I and the dentist were slightly shocked by this. But no work needs to be done; just keep up the Corsodyl and the teethbrushing.

I swear, even if nothing else gets accepted after I die, I think I should donate my teeth to a dentistry school for scientific research.

So after that, I went to lunch... and my tooth started hurting again. But since it's been x-rayed and such, I can now put it down to my teeth suddenly deciding, after 37 years, that they want to be sensitive now. Which is fine by me, I bought Sensodyne toothpaste.

After that, I went to see Annabelle: Creation at the cinema, mainly because my brother's been prodding me to see it for weeks now. I admit, I wasn't expecting great things from it, so to say it was better than I had expected it to be might not be the most glowing of praise, but there it is. 12 years after their daughter dies, a couple take in six orphan girls and a nun after their orphanage closes. They're allowed to go anywhere in the house, except the dead daughter's room. But something in the room has other ideas, and soon the girls are being terrorised by an evil spirit, particularly the one girl with polio who can't run away.

I was all prepared to yell at the film for inventing a new and completely different backstory for the evil doll that had no connection to the first film (I haven't actually seen the first film, but I watched the CinemaSins episode on it), but the film did throw in an epilogue that actually managed to connect the two films without working itself into a plot knot. So there's that, at least. And yes, the film was a jumpscare-palooza, emphasised by obvious camera framing and orchestra stings that sounded like someone was tasing the strings section while kicking the woodwind section down a spiral staircase, but I suppose as jumpscares go they weren't too bad. Oh, and there was a brief shot of Sister Skullface of the Church of the Eternal Waking Nightmare, just to remind us that the next film will be all about her. I'd give it 3 out of 5.
sareini: Five Exclamation Marks, the sure sign of an unstable mind (Five Exclamation Marks)
My brother came down today and we went to see The Limehouse Golem at the cinema. It's a period piece, set in 1880 where a detective (played by Bill Nighy) is investigating a series of gruesome murders committed by someone calling themselves the "Limehouse Golem", and finds that his case is intertwined with the case of a music hall actress, Lizzie Cree (played by Olivia Cooke, who really does do helpless waif well) who is on trial for allegedly poisoning her husband.

It's a horror/Victorian serial killer movie that - thank Eris - does things better than From Hell could ever hope to. It also reminded me somewhat of The Prestige - partly because of the setting and partly because of the music hall/performance aspect of the story. Also like The Prestige, I figured it all out a little over halfway through the film and was right in all but two of my guesses on how the film would end (my brother still can't quite believe I realised the twist in The Prestige, but that's what years of film and creative writing study gets you - the ability to use narrative theory to ruin movie twists...). It's still a very good film though, because the twist was good rather than something nailed on to the end of the film to make the audience gasp a bit.

There's also a good amount of LGBTQ themes running through the film. Bill Nighy's detective had his career torpedoed by rumours that he was homosexual, and while it's never stated outright or hinted either way you get the idea that the rumours might have been true. There's also at least one other gay male character, as well as cross-dressing (I was also reminded of Tipping the Velvet there), and I don't know if we were supposed to wonder if Lizzie Cree was a lesbian or not, but it certainly crossed my mind. Definitely a film I'd recommend.

Edit: I should mention that there are scenes of gore and references and moments of child abuse and rape in the film, for those who are sensitive to such topics.

Unfortunately for me, my toothache returned. Well, it never really went away, but for most of last week it was more or less faint background noise, so to speak. Then today, while eating brunch before the film, it returned with a vengeance, and now I can say that I finally understand the phrase "throbbing like a sore tooth". I spent most of the afternoon holding mouthfuls of cold water in my mouth to try to soothe the pain, then taking painkillers and hoping for the best (It was good for a couple of hours, but the throbbing is coming back now.) So I've made an appointment with the dentist for Wednesday. Here's hoping that this either won't need very much treatment, or that said treatment will be easier than I'm dreading (between my severe needle phobia and a medical phobia, you could say I'm a little stressed out about it). But if it's this bad I need to get it looked at, and I can't just use it as an excuse to shift to a rice pudding and yogurt diet.

Gaming

Sep. 3rd, 2017 07:05 pm
sareini: "chocolate: the other major food group!" (Chocolate)
Since I moved to the "big" computer and desk (I'm trying to get out of the habit of calling it "Nick's" now) I've been playing computer games more. Or, to be more exact, I've been playing more than just League of Legends. This past week I've lost a lot of time which could have been spent doing more productive things like crafting, writing or petting cats (Lily is especially insistent on how I should spend my waking hours) playing Path of Exile and XCOM: Enemy Within.

Path of Exile is your basic RPG single-player game. Your character has been exiled to an island overflowing with bad shit, and you go from waking up on the beach in rags to killing every threat and then some to you, other people, the economy and anything else you might think of. You pick a class and then you get to pick whatever spells and abilities you use through slotting gems into your gear (I can't exactly call it armour). I picked a Witch as my class, because I prefer ranged to anything (and I liked the class in general) and then went for abilities that summoned zombies and skeletons, and rained fire from the sky onto enemies. I think my playstyle is quite efficient - send zombies in first, add skeletons if it's a boss or there are a lot of enemies, then drop fireballs on them from above. Repeat until they're all dead and I'm not. I'm currently level 40, and my tactics have gotten me through most things easily - except for this bastard "Trial of Ascension" that, if I can complete it, will allow me to further specialise my character. Except the boss fight to "ascend" has me running round a room in circles trying not to die, and the flaw in my build is that it generally requires I stand still to raise my undead horde and drop fire on everyone. I'm working on it.

XCOM is the new version of the 90s RTS computer game (well okay, it's a few years old now) that I played in my teens and was absolutely bastard hard. Really, it was so difficult, even on Easy difficulty, with terrible aim from your troops, a terrible movement mechanic that meant you had to constantly calculate how many units you had left so you could maybe have enough left to take a shot at an alien (so you could just part his hair as the shot flew above his bald head), a difficult base management game, and so on. The new version has managed to greatly improve on many of these things - you still get to miss so many shots that you'll feel like crying, but at least you're clear on when you can Overwatch and when you can't without a calculator - and with far better graphics to boot. The plot is: aliens are invading; you're the commander of a group that are formed to stop them. Easy difficulty is... actually not that bad now, although I take great amusement in there being a "Classic" difficulty level that's one level below "Impossible".

I'm trying to finish the game so that I can start playing the sequel that came out last year, and then the DLC that's out now that everyone and their cat is playing and enjoying. With the rate I'm playing, that might happen before Christmas.

The Mist

Aug. 31st, 2017 12:07 pm
sareini: Bruce Campbell as Elvis from Bubba Ho-Tep (Bubba Ho-Tep)
Last night I watched the first two episodes of The Mist TV series that's now up on Netflix.

Now, before I begin I need to explain that The Mist is one of my all-time favourite Stephen King stories. I first read it when I was 14, and it hooked me so much that I was waking up at 6am in the morning to read it before school, and even then I was getting so distracted by it that I kept nearly missing my bus. I loved every part of it. Second year Film Studies at University, I took a Scriptwriting class for which the final assignment was to adapt a scene from a book into a screenplay, and so I chose the scene where the "Flat Earth Society" leave the safety of the store from The Mist. I had a very specific idea for just about everything for the scene, and the theoretical entire movie - one of which was the idea of the film being shot in black-and-white which occasional flashes of colour - the red of blood, Mrs. Carmody's yellow pantsuit and so on. Years later, when Frank Darabont made his adaptation of the novella, I was delighted to hear that he had had a similar idea and had made a black-and-white version as well.

I was far less impressed with the film's ending, which I still think is one of the most mean-spirited and misjudged endings in cinematic history, but everything up to that point was great. So basically what I'm saying is that I'm possibly a bit biased and picky about this particular story.

With that being said... (spoilers) )


So after two episodes I'm at least interested enough to keep watching, almost overloaded as it is with shitty characters, because I want to see where it's going with the creatures in the Mist and how they're going to continue with the basic plot while still carving their own path, so to speak.

***

In other news, I'm sot sleeping at all well right now, and it's starting to make me feel unwell on top of everything else. I may have to start taking afternoon naps to try to catch up at this rate.

Spider

Aug. 30th, 2017 01:57 pm
sareini: richard goes fwoom! (lfg)
There is a spider in my bath.

It's one of those giant house spiders, or as they're usually known around me, "Holy fuck look at the size of that thing keep it the fuck away from me". It's about 2 inches in diameter (including legs) and I can clearly see its mandibles (they have little ball-thing on the ends). Apparently this is the time of year that the male spiders usually enter houses looking for females, and this one has ended up in my bath, where it's been for three days now.

Normally I'd be trying to come up with ways to get it the hell out of my bathroom and indeed the house in general... but since the other week when Callie caught and devoured a Daddy Long-Legs, I've found myself feeling a little sorry for it. Whenever I go to the bathroom, Callie inevitably follows me, because cat, and she usually perches on the rim of the bath or hops in to see if there's anything to bat around (sometimes we play Bath Hockey). And I've realised that I don't want Callie to eat this poor love-lorn spider, at least not unless it leaps onto me while I'm having a wee.

So I've put a book into the bath so the spider can hide under it. Which it does during the day, only emerging at night. I was hoping it would have figured out that the bath isn't the place to meet lady spiders by now, but it's showing no signs of wanting to move on for the moment. If it stays much longer, I might end up naming it. Which would then be even more awkward if Callie found it and ate it.

Edit: I named the spider Barney.

About an hour ago Callie noticed him in the bath and dived in. I rescued him with an old ice cream tub and a letter and let him go outside, where he'll hopefully find a girlfriend. Although he put up a hell of a fight, making Callie back off twice (possibly normal, or maybe he was rearing up to try to startle Callie away? I wasn't watching too closely at the time as I was looking for something to put him in.)

Toothache

Aug. 27th, 2017 10:36 pm
sareini: (unwell)
My weekend plans (which were mainly just watching mostly bad horror movies) got rather derailed yesterday when I woke up with toothache. This is something of a big deal for me because I don't get toothache. Ever. Never had a filling, anything like that. Had to have five teeth out when I was 12, but that was the usual "mouth too crowded" thing that most kids have at some point. I don't even have wisdom teeth (well, I do, but they'll never erupt or even try to erupt because there's simply no room for them). My teeth and jaw are misaligned as hell, to the point where I can literally only chew on one side of my mouth, but damn if they're not industrial strength. So getting a toothache is a bit of a big deal here.

What made it worse was that it appeared to be centred on my broken tooth. When I was 17, I got smacked in the mouth and one of my teeth got partially broken. True to form, I didn't notice for some time, and it never actually hurt, so I never actually bothered with it. (A trip to the dentist last year confirmed that there's not actually anything to worry about with it either.) I also had a headache, and some Googling brought up such suggestions as tooth infections and abscesses. I got worried. I talked to Ross about it, and he suggested trying to minimise things with some Corsodyl mouthwash and toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and to make an appointment with a dentist if it still hurt on Tuesday (damn Bank Holiday). So I went out and tried to work out which out of "Fresh", "Cool" and "Ice" was most likely to be like spearmint in mouthwash terms.

Then I talked to my brother about it, and he suggested another possibility to me. Wonky yet indestructible teeth is something of a family trait, you see, and he thought the toothache might have been because I got a piece of food stuck between the broken tooth and my gum - which had actually happened on Friday night. See, when food gets stuck between teeth and gums, the gums' response is to become inflamed and swell up to try to force the food out. Now, I'd gotten the food (a bit of onion, if you wanted to know) out on Friday, but that didn't stop the inflammation. And sure enough, that's what it was. Today the area's still ached a bit whenever I've been chewing something (because of course it's on the side that I chew on) but no other problems. Panic over.

And now I have mouthwash to swish around in my mouth every night to discover all the places I bit the inside of my mouth during the day.
sareini: (ringu)
FrightFest started in London yesterday and, as usual, I'm not there. FrightFest is a huge horror film festival that happens every year over the August Bank Holiday, and I've wanted to go to it for so many years now. Unfortunately things like cost, timing and my inability to even think about doing things like that by myself without combusting with panic and anxiety have all gotten in the way, so this year (actually just yesterday) I decided to hold my own mini-FrightFest, with movies chosen myself and with chocolate and pizza and cats.

Of course, me picking what movies to watch is never going to end too well.

1 - Armed Response. A collaboration between WWE Films and Wesley Snipes' film company. A team of soldiers head to a mysterious facility where some sort of quantum computer setup interrogates people and can tell if they're lying and read their minds through tasting sweat, biometrics and other fringe science things that were never fully explained. The team running this facility are all dead through mysterious means, and it's up to Wesley Snipes' team (including WWE wrestler Seth Rollins, who's half a head taller and about twice as wide as Snipes, and he's not even one of the bigger guys on the roster) to find out what happened. Of course, one or more of the team have done A Bad Thing in the past, and somehow the facility or ghosts or something (again, this is never made clear) know and are punishing them for it. Not recommended.

2 - The Monster Project. A small group of indie filmmakers decide to make a documentary about "real" monsters. They put out an ad on Craigslist asking for monsters, and somehow only get three responses, all of them genuine. (This is where my suspension of disbelief fell flat - where were all the otherkin, at the very least?) So they go to an old, creepy abandoned house to interview a skinwalker, a vampire and a woman possessed by a demon, duing a lunar eclipse. Of course, everything goes pear-shaped and the crew are trapped in the house with the monsters, and the recovering drug addict PA has to fight to save them. A found footage film, which means of course lots of shaky cam and night vision (and to think, once upon a time I liked found footage movies). Had a semi-interesting twist at the end and was at least more recommendable than Armed Response, but not by much.

3 - Demonic - I'm actually only halfway through this one but I can already see where it's going. A crew of paranormal investigators go to an abandoned house in Louisiana where a woman went crazy and killed a bunch of people then hanged herself 25 years previously. One of the people in the group is the son of the sole survivor of the murders. The film flits between events in the house and the police investigation after the inevitable finding of the dead bodies of the crew, where the sole survivor is the son of the first survivor. We've just gotten to a bit where the guy has revealed that his missing girlfriend is pregnant, and suddenly I'm pretty sure I know how the rest of the plot will go. I'll report back tomorrow as to whether or not I'm right. Also stars Frank Grillo, aka the Purge Punisher.

***

In other news, Lily is making me share the chair with her. And by "share" I mean she has 80% of the seat.
sareini: (doctor)
I've not been feeling too well these past couple of days. I think it's all down to exhaustion after the weekend, but I wouldn't put it past anything to have caught something while in all the various crowds I was in on Saturday and Sunday. My depression and panic attacks have been making themselves known as well, and today I've suffered from repeated audio hallucinations of my phone ringing when it wasn't. Thankfully those were more annoying than anything else - hearing the phantom tones of Dare to be Stupid every now and then was just strange.

So I started work on Christmas presents today. I'm making Rachael a Hufflepuff scarf (yellow with spaced-out black stripes) and I'm also working on a Lizard shawl for my friend Kerry (although I might well keep this one and make her something else as it's a shawl I've wanted to make for myself for a while as well). I've been switching between them all day because I've not really wanted or been able to focus on one thing for very long. This is also why I've been watching random things on YouTube for most of the day as well. Somehow I've finished up on old episodes of Crimewatch UK.

A couple of random things I forgot to put in the last post about my weekend:

- I tried halloumi for the first time while visiting my niece! Over the past year or so Rachael has been suffering from severe emetophobia that's developed into OCD and a borderline eating disorder, because she's become so afraid of eating anything that might make her ill that she struggles to eat anything. She's lost a lot of weight because of it. She's working through it, though, and one of the foods she can eat is grilled or pan-fried halloumi. So she cooked us both some on Saturday night, and damn, that stuff is good. I'm going to have to get some for myself next time I manage to venture out to the supermarket.

- On the Sunday before I got the train back home the two of us went into Liverpool. Rachael wanted to get some beard moisturiser from Lush for her boyfriend, and I just wanted to see Liverpool shopping centre because I'd not been there since... last century, actually. It's changed a lot. So many of the shops I knew and frequented from my teenage years are long gone - Miss Selfridges, C&A, the huge Waterstones (although apparently that's just moved location) - and it now seems like every fifth shop is a coffee shop or Burger King. It was disorienting, to say the least. Also, the Lush store was nice, but the staff were really really over-eager to help. In my local store, you go in, they greet you and then pretty much leave you to your browsing. In the Liverpool store, we had three staff members come up to us to see if we needed anything within five minutes. And it was a crowded shop already, so I didn't really enjoy the complete lack of personal space. Also, the beard moisturiser was bloody expensive.
sareini: "Things I am not allowed to do at Hogwarts, No.61" (Cats and Dragons)
I got back from seeing my niece and spending too much on yarn on Sunday evening, but I was absolutely exhausted until this afternoon. The train journey back shouldn't have been too bad, but both trains were packed to nearly standing-room only and the sheer amount of people pushed me to my limits. I then got a very talkative taxi driver heading to Ross' place (because I started off the weekend by forgetting my keys, so Ross grabbed them for me so I could pick them up from him when I got back) so I had to stop off at his house for a bit to calm down. Got to meet some of the rattie commune though, and discovered that boy rats grow very big indeed. Most of them were pretty chilled with me and I got to pet them, but Neville the rat got freaked out when he smelled me because by that time I had the scent of four cats on me. Sorry Neville.

So, how was my weekend?

Cats! )

Of course, the other big reason I was visiting this weekend was for the Popup Wool Show. I went last year and got some good yarns, so of course I wanted to go again this year. Plus it's the closest thing I get to a summer holiday. I was quite proud of myself this year - despite having that credit card and all the yarn tempting me at very turn, I managed to stay within my budget.

Pictures of yarn! )

As well as my keys, I also managed to forget to take my niece's cardigan up with me, but I did remember my brother's birthday present, the Rock A-Z cross stitch. Rachael helped me frame it, since my skills are a little lacking in that area.

Cross stitch! )

For the most part my brain didn't short-circuit too much while I was up there. There was the crowds on the trains back to Stoke, of course, and the additional problem that the Virgin Trains' Pendulino train always makes me motion sick, so I step off it in a cold sweat and looking like a wax dummy. The Popup Wool Show was more crowded this year than it was last year, which was somewhat upsetting, but I was with my niece and so I was able to get through it with the only outward symptom being a bad case of aphasia (Every fifth word became "thingy.") Ross sent me regular updates about the cats being fine which also helped (Lily is making me mildly worried by repeatedly climbing into the cat carrier but I'm sure there's nothing actually wrong and it's just me seeing things where there's nothing again). I am however avoiding actual face-to-face or physical contact with other people for the rest of the week now as I recover my strength though.
sareini: The Mountains of Madness have many little plateaus of sanity - Discworld (Mountains of Madness)
Tomorrow I'm heading up to spend the weekend with my niece (my brother having managed to plan a week in Wales at the same time so he and the dog won't be there), where we will be going to the Popup Wool Show. I did this last year and everything was fine; we had a great time, I spent far too much on yarn, and my neighbours checked in on the cats. This year Ross is doing the catsitting, which is even better as Lily loves Ross (she sits on his lap, which she won't even do for me), and even though Callie still mostly flees from the sight of him, she does that for everyone and last time she actually came out and sniffed him, and so everything should be fine.

So of course yesterday I had two massive panic attacks over leaving Lily which left me physically sick and nearly fainting, and all because Lily meowed at me once, which to my broken brain apparently translated into, "Lily is going to die this weekend". I'm at least calmer today because I've managed to cram some sense into myself, but I've still got a headache from making myself so worked up yesterday.

I hate the utter randomness that my panic attacks follow, because I can't do anything to counter or prepare for them. Ideas and intrusive thoughts just enter my head out of nowhere and make themselves at home, and the next thing I know I'm lying in bed thinking that the floor is going to collapse under me, or that someone is preparing to break into the house right this very moment - or that the cats will drop dead if I leave the house for more than an hour. And with the current state of my local authority's mental health services, the chances of me getting any sort of treatment (CBT or otherwise) before 2018 at the earliest are slim to none. So I mainly have to figure out coping methods on my own.

One method (technically two) is to distract myself with knitting or crochet. Right now I have a 10-stitch blanket on hand for random panic attacks (I'm making it with a ball of Sirdar Colorwheel because I think the long colour changes of the yarn will work well with the pattern, and it feels really soft), and last night I finally found with a pattern for a skein of yarn I got at last year's Popup Wool Show that's 55% Bluefaced Leicester Superwash and 45% silk - Persephone. I'm probably going to take this one with me this weekend as the pattern is incredibly easy to memorise (and the ball is smaller than the Colorwheel).

Huh

Aug. 15th, 2017 07:03 pm
sareini: Image of the Bursar from the Discworld universe (Bursar)
If I ever needed any proof that the UK economy is in bad shape right now, it came with this morning's mail.

Some extremely optimistic person at Barclaycard decided I was a good candidate for a credit card. With a £1200 limit.

Yeah, I know. I'm bewildered too. Most days I can barely be trusted with bus fare.

I applied out of boredom last week, when they sent me a letter telling me that as I have a bank account with Barclays, I was of course pre-approved for one of their Platinum cards. Yeah, right, I thought, but as I said I was bored and so I did the online application anyway. And now here we are.

I'm being responsible though. Much as I would like to race out of the house and buy a PS4 and a copy of Bloodborne, I'm restricting my use of the card to emergency purchases only, or purchases that I could afford in a few days' time but need at that very moment. And I've got to pay it off every month without fail, or as close as.

...okay, I did buy a mouse mat with it today, but that was just to make sure it had activated properly and it cost £4.
sareini: (loki)
Lovefilm by Post DVD rental service to close.

This rather sucks. Yes, things are very different from when Lovefilm started a decade or so ago and there are a ton of streaming services now for people to choose from... but Lovefilm's selection was huge, and even with Shudder, Amazon Prime and Netflix combined I wouldn't have anything near the selection of films that Lovefilm had (we're not mentioning Kodi here because of the legal grey area). And I'm not the only one to point out the vast difference in available titles either. Maybe Amazon will listen and be able to make more titles available for streaming, so people won't have to resort to... other sources for films.

***

In other news I've started on season 2 of Legends of Tomorrow and after two episodes I'm still happily hooked - thus breaking the season 2 curse I've been labouring under lately. Nick would have been all but peeing himself with glee, of course, as we've now got the Justice Society of America which Nick was a total fanboy for. Any questions I might have had about them (such as which was Obsidian and which was Dr Mid-Nite, because they had such similar powersets that I got a bit confused) would have been answered in great detail rather than my having to go to Wikipedia to look things up. The rest of the Legends are still awesome as well - I still miss Captain Cold, but because it's near-impossible to avoid spoilers sometimes I'm aware that isn't a lasting condition - and I love that Sara Lance gets to be a bisexual with an active sex life with both men and women. There's not nearly enough of that in movies and TV.

Oops.

Aug. 12th, 2017 09:09 pm
sareini: "Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says, 'Bugger'." from Blackadder (Bugger)
So the audio connector "thing" in my computer just fell out. Well, in, to be exact - the part of the internals that was the USB and headphone jack plugs (which had already been having problems for a while now, not connecting microphones or anything) just fell into the tower base of my computer, leaving me with a perfectly intact outer case but no way of plugging headphones or anything into it. No audio, no music, no sound. And for me, no way of fixing it myself because I have a track record with technology that can be politely called the "Luddite's Touch" and which is the reason Ross won't let me touch any of his tech whatsoever (I once checked my email on his computer and 15 minutes later the hard drive caught fire. This is not hyperbole.)

So I am left with two options.

1 - Try to get it fixed myself somehow. Highly unlikely to happen.

2 - Get a USB extension cable, plug it into the back, and hope that works. Might work, but then again my headphones also require a jack to be plugged in so it might not.

There is also Option 3 (because there's always an Option 3). Move to Nick's computer. But that involves a lot of rearranging of the front room which won't be easy.

In the meantime, I guess I'm watching stuff on the tablet or in the front room (where I have to sit on the floor because the sofa, even when it's not covered in junk, has no padding and eats people alive).

Still, 21 months before something broke that I would have required Nick to fix isn't that bad of a record. And at least I have at least two other techies that can be reached online to offer assistance (and possibly mild disbelief that only the weird stuff happens to me).
sareini: "Normal People worry me!" (Normal People)
1) What is the most outrageous style you've ever rocked?

- In my teens, I'd sometimes wear a bodystocking/leotard, tartan hot pants, fishnet tights, ankle boots and a black gauze blouse that tied at the front. I thought it made me look older and more dangerous.

2) As a teen, were you an emo, goth, punk, grunger, or prep?

- I was... probably somewhere between goth and grunger, as that was when my lack of interest in what I was wearing began. I wasn't very good at buying my own clothes even then, so I'd either wear old stuff that in retrospect was hilariously terrible, or simple dark clothes, baggy t-shirts and the like.

3) Have you ever had a crazy hairstyle/colour?

- I've had very short hair a few times. I have it right now, in fact! I've dyed my hair a fair few times as well - purples, reds, blues... probably the strangest was when I bleached my hair and then put in what turned out to be a pale blue-green which was only visible in streaks.

4) Do you think we ever really grow out of our teen selves?

- I haven't.

5) Is there any fashion style you wish you could wear but maybe don't have the confidence?

- Again, I've never gotten the hang of fashion. Maybe full-on goth, but even then I suspect part of the attraction for me is the monocolour.

Bigfoot!

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:35 pm
sareini: (UFO)
Wandering shamen "mistaken" for Bigfoot in North Carolina

This is quite probably the best news story I'll read all month. Bonus points go to the group of people earnestly saying, "No, the Bigfoot we saw was a long-haired one and had a totally different face..." Because I'm sure you saw it well enough to be able to pick it out from a lineup.
sareini: "I knew the two of you would get along like a house on fire (screams, flames, people running for safety...) - Discworld (House on Fire)
Sometimes I go onto Ravelry to idly browse the patterns. This is never a good idea, because I am (a) easily distracted; and (b) easily distracted. I try to limit myself to just adding projects to my favourites list in the hopes that I can one day do some of them, but that just leaves me with huge lists of things I want to do when I can barely focus on finishing what's already on my needles and/or hooks at the moment.

Case in point: two years ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I decided to knit a hat for her. She had an "all clear" scan this week. The hat is still not finished (although I picked it up again today and might get it finished tonight...) so I guess it's now more of a "Congratulations on beating cancer!" hat than anything else. That's still good, I guess. But that's just an example of how spotty my ability to keep a focus on one task for a protracted period of time. It's why portions of doing my brother's birthday present and niece's cardigan have been so hard, because my mind just won't stay fixed to them.

I wonder sometimes if this is the depression or something else gone askew in my mind. I remember being able to focus on things to completion in the past... but that was a long time ago. It's probably something I should bring up next time I see someone at the Greenfields Centre (who, incidentally, finally called me back on Tuesday! Huzzah!), although whether there's anything that can be done about it I don't know.

***

In other news (and see how I flit from topic to topic!) I'm wondering why so many shows I like seem to shoot themselves in the foot when they hit Season 2. Preacher (although to be fair I was having problems with that in Season One; it's just that 2 sealed the deal for me); the new Doctor Who (I much preferred Christopher Eccleston's Doctor); American Horror Story (which made the mistake of putting too many plotlines into one story, so we had aliens, a serial killer, Nazi experiments, demonis possession and an abusive mental asylum all at once) and now The Strain for the latest example, where the supposed protagonist who I was already having problems with becomes even more unpleasant and starts drinking heavily (and yet is still supposed to be the hero and a responsible father, people!) and most of the rest of the cast seem to have taken a beating with the Stupid Stick as well. Thank Eris Fet is still mostly awesome or I'd be giving up on this show as well.
sareini: "chocolate: the other major food group!" (Chocolate)
I appear to have picked up another (couple of) colour list(s)...

Golden Globe )


Rust )

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