sareini: "Little one, I would like to see anyone - prophet, king or god - persuade 1000 cats to do anything at the same time." (1000 cats)
Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.

Firstly, and probably most importantly, Callie will be going to the vets for her yearly vaccinations. Even though both she and Lily are 100% indoor cats (aside from the .5% when she pokes her nose past the front door for a fleeting second) it's important to get the vaccinations because (a) you can never be too careful; and (b) because Lily is on long-term steroids now she can't get her vaccinations, so Callie needs to step up to provide the herd (clowder?) immunity. Callie is significantly easier to get into the carrier than Lily, what with being small enough still to be picked up and held with one arm and her not psychically knowing when it's time to get into the carrier like Lily can somehow sense. Once that part is done it's relatively easy and so routine that even I and my anxiety can't come up with anything to panic about.

Then, later on in the day I will be joining several friends and friends of friends in the headstart for Secret World Legends, the new f2p version of Funcom's The Secret World. It's a new game, so new characters for everyone... and that's been causing me some deep thought and anxiety over the last few days.

You see, I've had a small pool of characters that I play/write about for a very, very long time now - some of them have been around for nearly 30 years at this point. And so with maybe one or two exceptions, I don't like to create new characters; not when I've got these perfectly good characters that I can tweak to that purpose! Over the years I've become aware that these characters are also facets of myself in one way or another - Talia (who over the decades has also been known as Tiffany, Kimberley, Abigail and Rebecca) is how I wish I was; while James is the part of me that identifies as male and (poor thing) gets saddled with my mental illnesses and anxieties (and angst). There's a couple of others, but these are the two that have been with me the longest. When I write, they're the characters who'll turn up in just about everything, carefully shaped to fit the situation. And over the years they've helped me through a lot of things as well - they're not real, of course, but working out what they'd do or say to me in situations when I've had no-one else around to turn to has probably saved my life on at least one occasion.

So it's difficult for me to just create new characters, because to make the cut as a character they really have to have something that makes me attached to them, otherwise I lose interest very quickly. And I feel awkward about this, because in my past I've had people tell me how wrong this is or mock me for it, to the point where now I expect it from people automatically. Even explaining this here is making me feel weird because I never actually talk about this stuff.

On a related note I should probably get back on with the character backgrounds I've been working on for the versions of them in my current original universe brainworm...

*sigh*

May. 31st, 2017 03:58 pm
sareini: (hiding)
Anxiety levels are through the roof again today.

Lily has been sick twice (so far) today, out of nowhere. She did get into my dinner last night which was a Three Cheese Pasta Melt, so maybe the fatty greasy food upset her stomach a little. Or maybe the dosage of her meds needs adjusting. Either way I have to wait till tomorrow to see how she is before deciding whether to take her to the vets' again, so in the meantime my body works itself into a state of high anxiety. She's up on the desk with me right now and she was playing with Callie a little earlier, but I still can't stop myself from panicking. I thought we had finally gotten a hold on things (again) but it seems that every time I dare to think that things go wrong again instead.

Meanwhile, it took me all of two days to decide to reactivate my main character in EVE and apply to rejoin Karmafleet. Got back in with no problems, but due to my general streak of luck with regards to tech, I didn't get access to the forums and Mumble comms back till last night. So now I have Mumble on, and I'm sitting in the comms... but I can't bring myself to speak. I don't know anyone in comms, and so whenever I try to say something my voice just dries up with terror and I can't do it. And it doesn't help that my headset mic is several inches from my mouth and can't be moved because it's set in molded plastic, so I have to fiddle with volume settings to even try to be heard.

So yeah. Not enjoying today.

Ugh.

May. 23rd, 2017 10:05 pm
sareini: "Do not fuck with Cthulhu" (Cthulhu)
I woke up this morning at 5am with bile in my mouth and literally coming out of my nose. Damn acid reflux. I've not suffered that in months, and certainly never that bad. And of course, after I'd dealt with it I wasn't feeling too well and so I stayed in bed for the rest of the morning.

So really the day started as it meant to go on, what with news of shitgibbons blowing up children at concerts, Sir Roger Moore dying at 89, the local ATM having a "moment" and telling me my bank had cancelled my card (it hadn't), and meeting someone I hadn't seen from before Nick died and having to give them the news. So I decided to retreat from the world again and started playing EVE Online again, now that there's a free option.

EVE Online appeals to me for the strangest reasons - I like the repetitive tasks like mining and exploration/scanning. They soothe me. Plus I can do things like knitting and crochet and watching movies while playing. Last time I played was just before Nick died though, and while I have a character who's very well kitted out for those things, I haven't decided if I'm coming back properly and if I want to spend money to play yet (I think some of her stuff requires a paid account). Plus I'm not quite ready to reconnect with my old corp just yet. So I created a new character to play around with. Her name?

Incontinentia Buttox.

I can't wait till the CSR who messages every new player within two days of them starting gets to me and sees that name. Hopefully they get the reference. If not I'll have to name a ship "Welese Woderick".
sareini: (tired)
Aaaannnnd I'm back. I didn't take my laptop in the end, because I couldn't fit it in my messenger bag and I couldn't find the charger.

The journey to Merseyside wasn't that bad - there was the part where we had to stop in Crewe, of course - the most depressing train station in existence, where if the architecture doesn't get you the prices will, at £1.99 for a single bottle of Ribena - but I've grown somewhat immune to that over the years and I brought my own water. No, the only problem came when I reached Liverpool, where there was a rail replacement service due to them completely refitting the Wirral Line. So I get off the train, and go ask the nearest staff member where the replacement bus service is picking up. "Oh, just down there," he points, in the general direction of outside. "You'll see a man in a yellow tabard."

Did I fuck.

After wandering around for 20 minutes and not seeing a single yellow tabard (or tabard of any other colour) I admitted defeat and changed my plans. Thankfully I spent years going to and from Liverpool on the buses, so I at least knew my way around to the bus stops that would get me under the river anyway, so I headed there and called my brother to pick me up at a different bus stop than we had planned. Gods only know what would have happened if I hadn't known my way around; I'd probably still be making laps of the station, weakly calling out for aid.

It amused me that, while the basics of Liverpool Lime Street and the bus station hadn't changed much in 20 years, the immediate surrounding area had. I walked past a 5 Guys Burger and Fries joint there, right next to a Nando's and a casino... yet all three were no more than 150 meters from a Poundstretcher. Pretty sure you wouldn't see that anywhere but Liverpool. And they've got sightseeing buses now - the topless kind you usually see in London. My brother pointed out that Liverpool's a major tourist destination now (yet you can only buy London souvenirs in the station shop), so I guess that growing up in the area has just made me unaware of the tourist potential. I just spent my time looking around and going, "Aww, they closed that shop? But I loved that place!"

At my brother's I got to meet his Rottweiler, Rogue. Rogue is about 15 months old and my brother's had him a little over a month. He's a good dog, most of the time... except when he sees other dogs, which he wants to play with, or cyclists, which he wants to chase, and then he shoots off like a rocket and won't come when he's called. They're working on training him out of it. He also likes to lick feet, and desperately wants to be friends with my niece's cat. Said cat is less keen on the idea.

Sammy is the cat, and my niece has had him for a little over a year. A friend of hers found him as a small kitten wandering the streets and took him in, but then asked Rachael to foster him as she already had cat food (for her hedgehog, which died this week). She did so, then fell in love with him and decided to keep him. He's a champion mouser and herds and protects the rabbits in the garden, but so far he's not at all happy with the big dog in his house, and has scratched poor Rogue's nose several times.

Cat standing on sofa with tail in air

Rottweiler sitting on rug

On the Saturday evening Rachael's boyfriend came round and we had a Eurovision mini-party, with cold pizza slices, cheese-and-pineapple/pickled onion sticks, pigs in blankets and traffic light jellies. Eurovision was... interesting this year, what with dancing gorillas, Epic Sax Man, rap and yodeling and a band apparently fronted by that masked guy from Watch Dogs 2. As for Portugal winning... well, I missed the start of the entry because my catsitter called, and when I came back in I thought the singer was female at first and had to be corrected. The song made little to no impression on me, but apparently the rest of Europe liked it so there you go. Personally I would have voted for Hungary or Croatia. Oh, and "Celebrate Diversity!" screams the event that was bursting at the seams with young white men. Well done. /sarcastic clap

We also played Risk: Godstorm, which is a version where you're an ancient civilisation with the associated gods, and your goal is to take over as much of the known world with your gods; help. So a lot like regular Risk, but with far more complicated rules involving faith and miracles and godsbattles. I got put in charge of reading and keeping track of the rules, which might have seemed a good idea, but... I'd had two bottles of raspberry cider by that point, and I'm on medication which shouldn't really be mixed with alcohol. So I was maybe a little drunk at this point, and so it was a rather... confused game at best. But fun.

(Rachael's boyfriend won, and created Party Valhalla, where defeated warriors who defended well got given a Beer Hat.)

And now I'm back home. Lily was waiting for me in the window, and has not left my side since I came back. Callie needed to check I was who I appeared to be, ran around for a bit, then got bored and wandered off. I had a good weekend, but I'm glad to be home. Also tired.
sareini: richard goes fwoom! (lfg)
After about 25 hours now of Dragon Age: Inquisition, I have an Inquisitorial Decree: Fuck Bears. Seriously, fuck them and their stupid aggro radius and infinite chasing AI, even if you disengaged before a single shot was fired. And their ability to spawn on top of you in the middle of a fight. Seriously, I think my Inquisition now has a bear bounty. Best part was when I was trying to do a quest where you had to walk three times round a statue to resurrect someone's dead grandmother or something, and all I managed to summon was bears - and once a pack of wardogs when I tried going the other direction. Apparently grandmother was a bear in disguise. Who knew?

In other news, I've recruited the final member of my party - the Hogwarts Sorting Hat as worn by a teenage boy - and finally got to the kissing stage with Dorian. Woo! Now I can go kiss him in the library whenever I want, I believe, while I wait for the trigger for the next part of the relationship to start. Which might not be for a while now, as I think I'm going to have to spend most of the next couple of days doing the last-minute sprint on my niece's cardigan before Saturday. Time to catch up on some TV shows.

***

On the Lily front, her illness continues to perplex me. On a whim on Monday, I gave her the very last steroid tablet left after we stopped them last week. She was sick that night, but not last night, and the last two nights she's been playing with Callie and with her shoe (Lily has a strange affection for one of my formal dress shoes). Does this mean that she needs to go back on the steroids as well, or was the few days' vomiting just a blip or getting the last of the stuff out of her system? I guess tonight will be a deciding night for it - if she's sick again I'll be calling the vets tomorrow; if not then I will cross my fingers and leave it till next week. Part of the problem is the stress and logistics of taking her to the vet - not only do I have to get her in the box and do all that, but I have to try to get myself in a suitable mindset for leaving the house on short notice, without triggering an anxiety attack.

But at least there are no bears, I guess.
sareini: Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental (Reality)
One of the goals I set myself when I decided to start journaling again was to write more fiction, be it fanfic or original, and actually be brave enough to post some of it. Kind of a silly thing to have anxiety about seeing as I self-published several short erotic fiction stories a few years ago and made money off them, but anxiety and mental illness is like that, isn't it? In the distant past, writing also helped a lot with my depression - back when I was 18-19, a friend and I co-wrote (half of) a bizarre epic called Love In The Jaws Of Cthulhu, which did me a lot of good as I was on antidepressants that weren't doing me any good at that time and so I could pour out my angst on the pages. (Today the only thing of all that that I'm still proud of is probably the title.) So, mindful of this goal, this week I started writing down character notes and worldbuilding stuff for a potential originalfic universe I've wanted to get down on paper for a while.

Of course, I also started playing Dragon Age: Inquisition this week as well. And after a day or so of that, new little muses started jumping up and down as well, clamouring to be heard. Gradually, they got louder and louder, and more and more difficult to ignore. So I guess I'm now writing a totally different universe - supernatural fantasy world, set in a Renaissance-esque period and following the younger members of one of the ruling families of that world, and their friends, confidents and lovers. There's going to be mages, vampires, ghosts and more. And a poly het relationship, a lesbian relationship and (eventually) a male gay relationship, because apparently I like to cover all my bases.

What I've also done, which is pretty brave of me considering my anxiety levels when it comes to interacting sometimes, is join some prompt and bingo communities, for both the prompts and the impetus to actually write, finish and post stuff. In another post I'm going to put the prompt lists and bingo cards for reference and so I can fill them in as I finish things, but I've also got to try to limit myself from not just picking every list, table or card that vaguely appeals to me because I just can't decide what I want to do.

I may also employ a couple of friends to periodically poke me about how the writing is going, because the best the cats do is sit on the writing pads I use or try to eat the pen.
sareini: jack and ianto with the plants... naked :) (torchwood)
After two years, I've finally started playing Dragon Age: Inquisition again.

I got DA:I back in October 2015, for my birthday, after I'd watched a friend playing it and decided I wanted a go (especially after he showed me Dorian and told me he was a gay romance option). Unfortunately, I only played it for about two weeks - I think I'd barely gotten to the halfway point - before Nick died, and after that I didn't feel like playing it, and certainly not cultivating a relationship with the most dashing mage this side of anywhere. And this went on for some time. Occasionally I'd think to myself, "I should get into DA:I again," but never actually do anything about it, as I was either too stressed, depressed, distracted or all of the above to actually sit down and play such a huge game.

But this week I finally decided to get back into it, so I started a new game (because it's been so long that I needed to go through the tutorials and stuff again), and so far I've got around 14 hours of play put into it while still not being at what I think is the big halfway battle (I'm deliberately putting it off to raise my companions' approval ratings and have as many conversations with Dorian as possible to get the relationship started). And it's pretty much as fun as I remember it.

Of course, I do have the usual problems that I have when I'm gaming anything more complicated than LoL, the first among those being my complete lack of direction. I like to think my party companions, when we're out questing, must turn to each other and say things like, "You know, our Inquisitor is great and everything, but... why's he trying to climb a waterfall?"

"Eh, he'll stop in a minute."

"But it's the second time in five minutes!"

"Yeah, but he means well, right? He's just got so much Inquisitorial stuff going round his head that he... gets a bit lost sometimes."

I have no sense of direction in video games. Following maps, platforming, finding hidden passages... I blunder around zones either opening the map every 10 seconds to try to work out what direction I'm facing or to see if I'm any closer to whatever waypoint I've hopefully marked as being reachable in this decade. I've fallen into inescapable crevasses twice already (personally, I'm surprised it's only been twice), and blundered into way too many fights that I really shouldn't have because I was too busy looking for a landmark to notice all the red dots on the radar.

I was trying to explain the game to my brother the other night as well, and it went a little something like this: "So you're a video game protagonist who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and fell into hell, then came out of it with a thing on your hand that can open and close the hellgates, and that makes you able to form the Inquisition, only it's a good one, not like the Spanish Inquisition... except you can walk into people's houses and root through their belongings for anything you like the look of, so it's a bit like that Inquisition... Anyway, you also get a whole load of companions for your adventuring party, and they include Joan of Arc, Ianto Jones with pointy ears, a dwarf, Grizzly Adams, a minotaur, an anarchist elf, the black Emma Frost and Devlin Waugh."

Somehow, this has made my brother interested in playing the game himself. If his laptop can handle it.
sareini: ('everything is true')
I've been tired all weekend and I'm not really sure why. Either I've been sleeping badly and not noticing (I'm one of those people who sometimes dreams of not being able to fall asleep, thus completely confusing the fuck out of my already addled brain and leaving me exhausted in the morning), or Friday's cinema trip was more emotionally draining than I realised (it was a pretty busy screening for 1pm on a Friday). Either way I've spent a fair amount of time in bed, doing very little and/or dozing.

***

One thing I did do yesterday was watch a horror movie called The Dark Tapes, a found-footage anthology movie that felt to me like it was trying to fill the void left by the V/H/S series. Apparently it's been winning awards on the festival circuit and getting good reviews in lots of places... which makes me feel slightly guilty that I really didn't like it.

Probably some spoilers here )


***

Despite knowing better, I continue to play League of Legends on weekends. At this point I think I deserve every bad game I get just because I won't follow my own advice and not play. There is little more frustrating than going 4/0/1 in your lane making sure your lane opponent can do very little but lament his choices in life, then have your team come mid and feed him kill after kill so that he ends up carrying his team to victory.

***

I am vaguely toying with the idea of some Loki: Agent of Asgard fic stuff. It's kind of nibbling at me right now. We shall see.
sareini: default (Discworld - Thunder rolled)
So, there's a new MMO out called Champions Online. It's a superhero MMO, and so of course everyone who plays or has ever been interested in City of Heroes is all a-buzz with talk and opinions about it. Well, this weekend there was a completely open beta for anyone who wanted to give it a try just before it went live, so Nick and I downloaded it (well, let's be exact - it got downloaded onto Nick's machine because my computer currently doesn't have the graphics to run anything much above Minesweeper) and we spent most of Sunday giving it a test-run.

Cut so that the majority of you uninterested in my MMOing can be unassailed by the wall-o-text... )

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