sareini: (tired)
9. A song that makes you happy
Not much explanation here )

10. A song that makes you sad
A little more explanation here )

The past couple of days have been annoying because I've been suffering from thunderstorm headaches a lot. My thunderstorm headaches often are like mini-migraines; focusing on the area above and behind my right eye so I get vision problems along with the pain. My usual treatment for them is to go lie down and take a nap till they hopefully go away rather than take painkillers, but things aren't helped when the promised thunderstorms never actually arrive and the pressure stays low and the weather stays humid, and my head stays painful.

But I managed to drag myself out of the house this evening and went to Tesco's to do some food shopping. I even treated myself with some coconut chunks (which I'll have to keep from Lily as she likes the taste of coconut) and a few other things. I also got a Robinsons "Refresh'D" Raspberry and Apple drink but I was not impressed. I don't know if it's just me, but every time I've tried something of Robinsons it's just tasted like flavoured liquid plastic to me, which is kind of ironic really.
sareini: "Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says, 'Bugger'." from Blackadder (Bugger)
At the weekend I went out and bought a frame for Ross's birthday present, as it was very nearly done and I'm doing my best to be organised here. When I got it home, however, and placed the nearly finished Aida over the frame, I found that the picture was ever-so-slightly too big for the frame. How can this be? I measured it and everything! I was frustrated and resigned myself to having to go back into town this week to exchange the frame for a slightly bigger one and do some re-framing magic to try to hide the fact that the new frame would be too big on the y axis.

Then I looked at the cross stitch a little more closely. One had, I realised, was a tiny bit larger than the others. The danger of doing stuff like cross stitch while you're also watching a werewolf movie series for reviewing purposes and being dyscalculaic means that you run the risk of miscounting the number of stitches in a row sometimes without noticing. Which is what I'd done. The picture was too wide for the frame by two squares - exactly the number of extra squares I had accidentally added.

Thankfully, this has happened on the figure I was working on most recently and hadn't yet finished, because if it had been on any of the other figures I'd have probably given up and cried a fair bit. So I put it to one side for a couple of days and today I'm going to set about the task of unpicking till the point where I made the mistake and then redoing it properly.

The Howling franchise: messing up my cross stitch as well as being a dodgy series.
sareini: ('everything is true')
8. A song about drugs or alcohol

This song literally popped into my head the moment I read today's prompt. I've never taken any recreational drugs (with my mental illnesses I figured it was just inviting trouble), but this song seems to pretty much fill me on anything I might have missed.


sareini: (loki)
My brother came down to visit and we went to see Spiderman: Homecoming.

Non-spoiler thoughts: Very good film. Funny in all the right places, with a good-action-to-real life ratio. Michael Keaton is really good as the Vulture - far better, I think, than some of the previous over-the-top villains we've had in previous Spider-Man films.

Spider-Spoilers! )


Last night I also watched up to the end of episode 4 of season One of Preacher, which I'd been meaning to do for some time but I'm easily distracted. I decided to make a go of catching up on everything because I'd been talking with my brother about it on the phone last night, and how much it was different to the graphic novels. Well, I'd already known some of the differences, but I hadn't known how far they went...

Spoilers for the first four episodes of season One of Preacher )


So yeah. I'm going to keep watching Preacher, despite my complaints, because apparently Season Two starts following the books more, and what I've seen so far of the Saint of Killers, Fiore and Leblanc, and Herr Starr (all 30 seconds of him) give me hope that there's still good stuff in there waiting to come out. But I just do not get the reasons for such massive changes to backstories, especially when the changes actually feel weaker, plotwise.
sareini: Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental (Reality)
7. A song to drive to

Another difficult one, as I don't drive and most likely never will (the anxiety would be way too much to cope with and I'd be a danger on the roads with it). But years and years ago I was at least attempting to learn to drive, and I had *ideas* of what I would do when I was rich and could buy anything I wanted. One thing in particular that I wanted was a Porsche Boxster, and I used to imagine myself driving around to this song. So I guess this is the closest answer I can give :)




sareini: "Yes, bugger all that. Let's curse somebody." - Discworld (Curse)
6. A song that makes you want to dance

This one's actually a difficult one, because the majority of songs I listen to make me want to dance in one way or another. I took dancing lessons (ballet, tap, modern and ballroom) as a child and while I was ill-proportioned and possessed of two left feet a lot of the time, I still enjoyed it. I'd put on mix tapes or compilation tapes and just "dance" around the room for hours (to be fair, a lot of it was running, bouncing or just throwing myself enthusiastically about, but I think I get points for effort). Even now I still get the urge to just bounce around the room when listening to music.

So in the end I went for this song, because it feels pretty much like an essence of feeling like you want to dance and just getting up and doing so.


sareini: "I'm sorry, I'm having a bad century" quote from Neil Gaiman's Sandman (Bad Century)
With The Howling: Reborn I have finished the July Howling Franchise Marathon and can now go back to slacking off and watching films I actually want to watch (until November when Shark Week 2 comes around). To be fair, Reborn was a marked improvement over some of the previous sequels (admittedly that wasn't exactly hard) and it got me thinking about a werewolf apocalypse. World War Werewolves, if you will. Hmmm...

In other news, the text telling me my prescription was ready came through, so I took myself into town for that and my monthly crochet magazine. The whole trip wouldn't have been too bad despite the heat and the Saturday shopping crowds, but the pharmacist decided to spring one of those Medicine Checks" on me, which involves being locked in a small room with the pharmacist while she goes through all your meds and asks if you're okay on them and are they working, etc. I already had one of these two months ago so I wasn't too happy to begin with, but I did my best to put on my best smile and went along with it.

...until she asked me if I was "happy" now I was on the antidepressants. Now I've been on these drugs for well over a decade at this point; tried weaning off them with the doctor's permission several times, but each time I'd get to below 150mg and everything would go to hell. And since Nick died it's been more of a case of them just keeping me going from day-to-day, never mind making me "happy". I consider it a good day if I get myself out of bed sometimes. So I tell her that, and she immediately feels the need to inform me of all the extra ways I can work to "fix" my depression.

I know she meant well. I really do. But in the 18 years I've been diagnosed with depression, I've heard of, read up on and tried many things as well as the medication to try to help my condition. And I've come up with several things that I know help, through trial and error, and I do them whenever possible. I don't go out very often because the outside world scares me and makes me anxious enough to be physically sick sometimes, so going on a half-hour walk every day probably isn't going to help, and it's probably not the first time I've had this suggested to me either. The pharmacist then went on to tell me that she feels anxious too, as she's originally from Spain and she has to come to work every day in a strange country, so it's okay! Don't feel so anxious! And all I can think is, "Oh great. Now I feel bad that I have uncontrollable anxiety and panic attacks because this woman's come to a whole other country with a whole other language to work and she worries about what other people think of her."

I told her she was really nice, caring about me like that and wanting to help me, and I'd definitely try to do what she suggested. Then I slunk away feeling like pond scum. But I really wish people wouldn't tell the mentally ill to exercise to"cure" them. We don't tell people with physical illnesses to "walk it off" (well, we do for some of them, but that's not the point here).

On the other hand, while walking to the bus stop to get into town I met this handsome fellow, who was sunning himself on the pavement when I saw him. He came running up to me meowing happily and gave me a good sniff, but then decided he didn't want a fuss and so just sat watching me and meowing. Maybe it was because I smelled of GIRLCAT. He was perfectly happy to have his picture taken though.


Headache

Jul. 7th, 2017 05:01 pm
sareini: (hiding)
I think Howling VII: New Moon Rising broke my brain. That's about the only reason I can come up with as to why I developed a headache after watching and reviewing it.

Well, it could also be a thunderstorm headache, but that doesn't bring across quite how bad Howling VII is, so let me hyperbolise for a bit.

30 Days of Music Meme - Day 4! )
sareini: Bub from Day of the Dead (bub!)
It's been a quiet couple of days, which I have spent primarily watching Howling V: The Rebirth (in which the Kool-Aid Man may be a werewolf) and Howling VI: The Freaks (werewolf vs vampire, tonight, in Hell in a Cell!); I've also been continuing work on Ross's birthday present and playing EVE Online.. Actually, I quite enjoyed Howling VI; it's a fun b-movie romp.

I need to stop trying to multitask when I'm off exploring in EVE though. I've lost two ships this week through overconfidence and switching between so many chat channels that I forget to scan for hostiles near me. Granted, it's more the annoyance factor than anything else - I already have a spare Stratios ready to be fitted to get back out there - but I do also feel like an absolute dimwit when I get caught just because I've been dumb enough to not hit dscan every 20 seconds and be ready to cloak up.


30 Days of Music meme - Day 3: A song that reminds you of summer )

30 Days of Music meme - Day 5: A song that needs to be played LOUD )
sareini: Image of the Bursar from the Discworld universe (Bursar)
2. A song you like with a number in the title

Read more... )

Ehhhhh...

Jul. 4th, 2017 08:12 pm
sareini: "I'm sorry, I'm having a bad century" quote from Neil Gaiman's Sandman (Bad Century)
Howling IV: The Original Nightmare - I have seen a lot of bad horror movies over the years, but this has to be in the bottom 10.

One of the reasons my depression is so strong right now, I think, is because I'm once again waiting for my social worker to contact me. The original plan was that she was on holiday for a week at the beginning on June, and then she'd call me when she got back. After I didn't get that call I rang the mental health centre asking about her... and found that she's on sick leave again. I've now called once a week for three weeks and she's still on sick leave (and was on sick leave for a couple of weeks before her holiday as well) so I'm now quite concerned about her. Is she in an iron lung? To have to take this much sick leave in such a short amount of time suggests something quite serious... but while I worry about her health, I'm also left with no-one to contact when things are bad for me.

There's an out-of-hours line that I've used a couple of times in emergencies, but there's only so much that can be done on that line, and at some point the conversation always rolls around to, "Well, you can sort things out when your social worker calls..." I've been waiting for referrals for several things since March or April now that my social worker was supposed to do, and which apparently no-one else can do in the meantime. One of these referrals is over whether or not my medication doses need to be adjusted because the anti-anxiety meds don't seem to be doing their work at the current dosage any more. Another is a check-up on my general mental condition, to make sure I'm not in need of any extra help. These and others are just left hanging in limbo right now, and it's all building to a point where my mind starts to tell me that they're just lying to me and don't want to help me any more; that if they really wanted to help me someone would have come out or phoned or written a letter by now explaining the situation.

I ended up spending the afternoon in bed today to avoid doing anything rash that would only make myself feel worse afterwards, and while the immediate urge has passed I'm still feeling pretty much abandoned and ignored by the service that's supposed to be helping me. Bleh.
sareini: "Things need not have happened to be true." - Dream of the Endless (Dreams)
Howling II, wherein Sir Christopher Lee looks like he's coming up with ways to kill his co-stars and make it look like an accident.

Howling III. Were-marsupials. Dressed as nuns. There's an image that may never leave you.

My mood has been up and down the past couple of days, with an unfortunate emphasis on the "down". I'm trying to combat that by keeping my mind as busy as possible so I can try to keep my thoughts away from the things that make me worse, make me panic and worry for no reason at all. So on the plus side, Ross's cross stitch present is getting a lot of work done on it right now.

I also figured I'd try one of those 30-day music memes, not least because I'm curious as to what my all-over-the-place musical tastes will do to the answers. so without further ado...

1. A song you like with a colour in the title )

30 Days...

Jul. 1st, 2017 06:23 pm
sareini: "Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says, 'Bugger'." from Blackadder (Bugger)
So it turns out that I don't know that old children's rhyme nearly as well as I should. Woke up this morning all ready for a relaxing, low-effort day, turned on the computer, went on the internet... Hey, why is everyone talking about it being July? It's June 31-Oh. Right. 30 days have September, April, June and November. Better get on with stuff then.

Still, I think a turnaround time of 3 hours isn't bad at all for watching, writing and publishing a movie review, especially when one cat is trying to catch a moth around the desk and the other wants to sprawl across your desk and headbutt the monitor with happiness. So The Howling is in the bag and the marathon is started. Seeing Robert Picardo with hair was strange though. I mean, I've seen him in other stuff like The 'Burbs where he has hair, but the image of him in my head now is always going to be the Star Trek: Voyager Doctor.

In other news, RIP Barry Norman. I think he was the very first film critic I ever watched or read, before I was even old enough to properly entertain the notion of being a film reviewer/critic myself, but even then I remember being quite fascinated and enthralled by him and the Film '[year] show (when I was allowed to watch it, because it was on at about 10:30 at night). He knew his stuff.
sareini: The truth shall make thee fret - Discworld (The Truth)
1) What's the weather like where you are today?

2) How does this type of weather make you feel?

3) What's your favourite time of year (thinking about the weather)?

4) Is there any weather that just makes you want to hide away indoors?

5) If you were moving somewhere purely for the climate, where would it be - what's your perfect year-round weather scenario?


1 - It's... grey. Lots of cloud, but it's white/pale grey so not really overcast. AccuWeather tells me it's 16 degrees C, with no rain. So basically your regular English summer day :P

2 - Comfortable, really. I do not do well in hot weather, being of larger frame and pale skin, but of course it's no fun when it's freezing and pouring down with rain either. This is nicely in my weather comfort zone.

3 - Autumn. It's getting cold but not too cold, and it's often windy. I like wind (not stuff like hurricanes or tornadoes, of course, although I did get to walk to school in the Great British Hurricane of 1987, because my mother believed every word Michael Fish said).

4 - Extreme heat. Like I said, I don't do well in the heat, so when it gets too hot (and I'm talking about when it gets to 25 degrees C and above, because I'm British and we're just not used to temperatures like that) I tend to try to go into a reverse-hibernation.

5 - South-East Ireland. Yes, half my family comes from there and I spent a good portion of my childhood there so I might be biased, but the weather there is much the same as it is here, with the exception that when it's warm it's more comfortable because it's on the coast. Other than that, just anywhere where there aren't any extremes of weather. I'm pretty easy-going on this subject otherwise.

(From here.)
sareini: A Procrastinator's work is never done! (Procrastination)
I figured I needed to make a list and plan out which of the many, many projects I'm currently working on need to be done first and in what order.

Knitting/Crochet/Cross Stitch:

- Ross's birthday is on July 12, so of course his cross stitch project is the most urgent to be finished, although that won't be too difficult.
- Next up is my niece's cardigan and my brother's cross stitch birthday present, which will both need to be done by mid-August when (theoretically) I'll next be visiting.
- Everything else (Horror Movie Villain cross stitch, cardigans and scarves and other things for me) is for me and can therefore be worked on whenever.

Movie Reviews:

- July is time for my twice-yearly Franchise Marathon, and this time around I've picked the Howling franchise to work my way through, because I've been neglecting werewolves for a good while now (mainly because very few werewolf films have ever truly grabbed me). So starting July 1 I've got the eight movies in the series to go through, which also means sourcing them (and two of them have already proven to be remarkably difficult to find, even with all the resources I have at hand), watching them ahead of time and writing the reviews. As long as I can keep at least a day ahead of the current film, I'll be fine.
- I've also got a couple of other movies heavily noted and ready to be written up, but they won't be needed till after the 8th, so no rush there.
- I really need to watch some more movies from my Huge Pile O' DVDs/Blu-Rays before they become sentient and start eating the house.

Writing:

- I need to write more stuff. That's all. Worldbuilding, character stuff, fanfic, whatever.
- I might want to stop grabbing bingo prompt cards... but nah.
sareini: (creative)
It is finished!



(Click to make it bigger and please ignore the mess that is the storage room; it has the best light for taking photos of stuff like this.)

Well, technically. It still needs all the ends sewn/woven in and the pattern says I should soak block and pin it for it to be 100% completion, but sod that right now. I've finished knitting it and that's the bit that counts, right?

the Scheepjes Secret Garden yarn was interesting to work with. Kind of slubby but not very, and very soft and smooth to work with for the most part. Had a tendency to pick up stray cat and human hairs easily though, probably because of the polyester content. As I said before, the cotton/silk/polyester blend translates to, "This will be a bugger to clean". I did like the colourways though, and it's a shame that the yarn is rather expensive (£4.39 or thereabouts for 50g, which was only 90m), which means that this yarn is really more of an accessory yarn unless you're rolling in cash.

Next on the plate now is finishing my niece's cardigan, then my own. Onward!
sareini: The Mountains of Madness have many little plateaus of sanity - Discworld (Mountains of Madness)
I was lying in bed this morning, being poked by one cat while the other attacked my foot every time it moved too close, and I was thinking (a dangerous action, I know). It actually started off quite depressingly, with me feeling rather sad about what I was doing with my life - or rather, the severe lack of anything being done. I'm acutely aware that my days consist mostly of cats, computer gaming, and if I'm lucky some crafting and maybe some writing. It's an impressive day indeed when I manage to leave the house to go somewhere other than the local shop 50 meters from my house. Generally, I was feeling like I was really not accomplishing very much and was probably a rather boring and sad person.

And then I thought to myself (as Callie gnawed on my ankle and Lily kneaded into my unprotected, soft and fleshy armpit - part of cat ownership is never needing to pay for accupuncture), that while it might not seem like much, compared to this time last year I'm actually doing pretty good. Back then, it was a good day if I even made it out of bed for a reason that wasn't "Feed self and/or cats" or "Use bathroom". All I did was lie in bed and watch movies, YouTube and daytime TV. I never talked to anyone aside from my brother, didn't even try to socialise with people and my productivity of any kind was almost non-existent. So if you compare me from a year ago with the me of now, I'm doing miles better - even if I don't feel like it in the slightest (depression having that way of distorting your perceptions so that you think you've always felt this bad, and always will, and nothing has ever changed, no matter what you rational mind tries to say in response. Even writing all this down feels wrong, because - as I said - I don't feel like I'm doing any better).

I still need to try to get into a proper writing schedule, and be less terrified of the idea of putting stuff out there that other people could potentially read, and I need to get better at finishing things, but small steps. Small steps.
sareini: Image of the Bursar from the Discworld universe (Bursar)
Callie coughed up her first hairball this morning. She was quite disturbed by it - it's the first time she's ever ejected anything from her mouth that way (other than the time I found her swallowing 6 inches of yarn like a sword swallower or really extreme snake charmer) and she cowered a bit until I reassured her that it was okay. Frankly I'm surprised it's taken a whole year for her to have a hairball, considering how she grooms sometimes. Also, she helpfully did so on a piece of cardboard so it was easy to clean up (ie. I didn't have to touch it).

As for the planned weekend of playing Secret World Legends... Well, we got set up on Friday, eventually, ending up as an all-Templar group wandering around a New England town beset by zombies, giant lobster people and baby Cthulhus among other interesting landmarks. I ended up playing a version of Talia who's gone Sword/Elementalism, which basically means I have a katana and can set people on fire. I also swear a lot, so I'm having a lot of fun bringing out some of my more... interesting phrases, such as "Jesus fucking Christ on a gas-powered novelty unicycle!" and "Hay, LobsterFace! your mother sleeps with seagulls!" - the latter being used as a taunt for the afore-mentioned giant lobster people.

We were all set to play on Saturday and Sunday too... but play didn't get very far on Saturday before the chat server started hyperventilating and crashing all over the place, meaning there was no way to communicate in the team. I'd like to note at this point that, when the original Secret World game launched in 2013, the chat server had the exact same problem, leaving me to conclude that in four years they never had the idea to actually fix or upgrade the chat servers. So the game announced there was going to be a couple of hours downtime to fix this and some other problems on Sunday.

On Sunday, two hours became three. Then five. Then eight. Which was about the point we all went, "You know what, we'd be better trying this again tomorrow." Eventually this morning, the devs posted about the "extended downtime", explaining that there had been a bug allowing people to duplicate money and so that needed to be fixed pronto before people started dupin rares and the game would be gone to the Americans (that's some vintage CoX humour for you there). There was also a brief mention of the chat/community server being fixed as well... but when I was creating an alt and getting him through the tutorial, I saw the community server crash again. Ah well, at least it reconnected this time. We'll just have to see what the evening holds...
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)
Stepping out of my comfort zone a bit and doing this today:

sareini: "Things I am not allowed to do at Hogwarts, No.61" (Cats and Dragons)
Callie weighs a very solid 3.42 kg. Ideally she should be closer to 3kg, but it's not a big problem as I've just switched up their feeding pattern from one big portion once a day to smaller and more frequent portions which should help with that. She's also got a mystery issue of dry coat and skin and dandruff/bald patches which we originally thought was flea allergy-related but as she's not had fleas for months obviously isn't the case. So she's got a supplement of oil stuff (evening primrose, salmon, omega 3 et al) to go in her food every day for a while. Lily will probably end up getting some too with the way they swap bowls, but it might well do her some good as well all things considered. Other than that, Callie is perfectly healthy and was very good at the vet, although I suspect a lot of that was do do with being slightly overawed and in shock from being outside of her comfort zone (ie. the house).

We also got to see a cat on a leash at the vets, although he had to go back into his carrier when a German Shepherd puppy came in. Apparently he was a Bengal cross so he'd been pretty easy to leash-train. When Callie was small I bought a kitten harness in the hopes of training her in the same way, but she just attacked it and tried to eat it whenever I brought it out.

The rest of the day was uneventful. Right now I'm just downloading Secret World Legends in preparations for the headstart in an hour or two and drinking milk. It's a rocking Friday night.

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