Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflections and Resolutions

I often try and avoid making New Year Resolutions. They never last and often I end up feeling worse for not having stuck with them. Last year, I resolved simply to be a better mother, and a better pseudo-wife. Which of course is the worst sort of resolution - one without any clear definition, meaning you can always feel as though you should have done more and never quite have the satisfaction of reaching a goal.

I suspect many people (and certainly the two people whose opinions most count in these matters) would argue that I've always been a good mother and a good pseudo-wife and so I don't really need to get "better", but I always feel there is room for improvement. And I guess lately, at least, I've been doing pretty well at both of these, as well as the cutting down on snacking, and getting more exercise thing. So for 2009 I'm going to be brave and set out a more definite plan, with some hopefully very achievable goals:


  1. Keep up the jogging. It's fallen by the wayside slightly over the school holidays, but I should get back into the habit of going out 2-3 mornings a week for half an hour or so. Both the exercise and the fresh air will do me good, and it should put me in the right frame of mind to settle down to work afterwards.

  2. Keep up the Wii Fit. My goal of a BMI < 25 is within sight - Christmas festivites notwithstanding. If I manage to get daily muscle and yoga workouts I should do a better job of slimming down this waist, and maybe even fitting into those jeans again.

  3. De-clutter the house. I really mean it this time. Ok, we're still putting off making a final Big Decision about whether to ever have another child, and a lot of the "junk" lying around isn't mine so I can't unilaterally decide to throw it out (or I suppose I can, but I'd feel bad doing so), but there is still a lot of things I do have say over and thanks to Christmas having been bought mostly online, I have lots of cardboard boxes for storage purposes. Bit by bit, I will do this, and hopefully this time it will stay tidier.

  4. Finish my thesis. I have a deadline, after all.

  5. Spend time with my son. Play with him, talk to him, encourage him to do his reading and help with household chores - anything and everything except make him feel like I don't want him to bother me. I've been trying, but I need to try harder. I don't want most of our conversations to be arguments and while he's going through a very stubborn patch and obviously still needs to learn to do as he is told, I need to give a little too and try and be less selfish about my time.

  6. Spend time with my SO. Just the two of us. We have friends and family who are willing to babysit, we need to start asking them more instead of feeling guilty about it. Mummy and Daddy need alone time too. If we can get out for one evening a month or so, that'd be great.

  7. Write. Not just my thesis obviously. Maybe short stories, maybe plot for game, emails to people I rarely speak to, even just this blog...I don't think I've ever actually mentioned any mathematics on here despite the description, so obviously that should change. If I can find something interesting to say and spend a short amount of time once or twice a week to write it down - book reviews, comments on news, a bit of maths or whatever bogus-philosophical puzzle that has been occupying my mind - anything. I just need to write. It's good practice, and I need to break out of my fear of doing things badly, which means I have to just go ahead and do things. And writing is a fairly safe one.



So that's it. If you follow this blog maybe you'll be able to keep track of how well I do (especially on the last one) and maybe poke me occasionally to remind me. And no doubt this time next year I'll come back and go, "huh, I did pretty rubbish at all that didn't I?" But I've got a whole year...

Here's to 2009. Hope it's a good one for all of you.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas

It was quite nice I suppose. Was feeling a bit disillusioned (part of that whole "being growed-up" thing I suspect) before and then on Christmas Eve had a slight moment of worry when Daddy discovered the Terror had asked Santa for a farm and was thus understandably expecting him to bring him a farm in the morning. He was only slightly disappointed on emptying his stocking and realising there didn't seem to be one. His actual present, a Ben 10 Deluxe Omnitrix, soon made him forget, and he's barely taken it off his wrist since.

Christmas lunch was at Nana's and much present opening later we spent the day playing a pirate card game with the Terror which may well be this year's greatest find (thanks to Christine, I think). Watched Nana's present - Wall-E - and the Doctor Who special. All in all a nice, mostly quiet, day.

Today has been spent trying to convince the Terror to do something other than play Sonic. We got him to the park and had to take turns being the dragon for his knight to attack. Been reading Transmet and remembering why I love Warren Ellis quite so much. Otherwise been feeling a little...lost I guess. Christmas is often anti-climactic I guess, but I don't feel deflated exactly, just...yeah, lost sums it up best. At a loose end. Drifting slowly away on the breeze, to continue the balloon metaphor. Probably just failing to cope with the break from routine. And failing to think of anything more to write....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fun with Hospitals

Some days just don't go according to plan.

Yesterday, the Terror went to the dentist for his last filling. It was bigger than the previous ones, so they gave him some local anaesthetic. The dental hygienist doing it had to stop him from chomping on his cheek a few times and warned us to look out for him doing that - apparently lots of children do because it feels funny when it's numb. He was brilliant as ever with the actual procedure, and we warned him lots against biting himself as it would really really hurt when the anaesthetic wore off.

Of course, within minutes of getting him home, he'd bitten himself and drawn blood. I spent the remainder of the day stopping him from prodding it any more, and Calpol and cuddles were necessary when it inevitably started to hurt.

This morning, his bottom lip and inside of cheek were slightly swollen and there appeared to be lots of scar tissue forming. We concluded he'd been chewing on it overnight, but as he didn't appear to be in pain and we couldn't think of any way of cleaning the wound, we took him to school. Within an hour, Daddy got a phone call saying he's complained about his mouth and it seemed to be worse and oozing pus so he ran off to collect him. I caught up with them just after they'd left the GP's surgery not having been able to get an appointment before tomorrow, and we went home, got the car and drove to the Walk-in Centre.

And waited for about an hour and a half. We got pretty fed up of reading books to him. He played a bit, and had some of his packed lunch but started to get very restless and wanting to go home. The nurse practitioner who saw us was audibly shocked by how large and yucky the wound was, and suspecting an abscess, contacted the hospital who agreed to admit him straight away. So off we trundled to York District Hospital, Ward 17. The Terror complained a little, but we explained that the doctors needed to clean his mouth and give him medicine to make it better, and once we got there he settled down, chatted with the friendly nurse, and got us yet more books to read to him. Eventually he was assigned a bed and let loose in the play area. He pretty much didn't stop from then on, and unfortunately always required at least one of us to be playing with him.

When the consultant finally managed to see him, he was impressed by how well and cheerful he seemed. And, rather anticlimactically, he decided nothing really needed to be done. It doesn't actually appear to be infected, just swollen. So he prescribed us antibiotics. Which we had to wait for.

The Terror was rather happy to spend the afternoon playing with all the different toys, and we were admittedly relieved it turned out to be nothing serious after all. But it was a whole day spent, mostly sitting around, when Daddy at least had work that he ought to have been doing. On the plus side, the Terror did end up getting his tea at the hospital. On the downside, he missed his Christmas party at school.

And now he's taking time to settle, when we are both shattered, and I still have to make a start on marking. At least I have a glass of nice wine to help me along...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Help

Someone? Please?

I'm fresh out of ideas. All I know is I probably shouldn't pour a whisky and spend the afternoon crying in bed. I probably should do more marking.

I just don't think I'm strong enough.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happiness is Overrated

At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

Yes, last week was stressful. Yes, it's cold and wet outside. But things got done, mum is doing fine and I've managed to get out for a bit today and am on track with marking. I've got cheese on toast (with Lea and Perrins) for lunch, a giant cookie for afterwards and a glass of Merlot. Listening to music, got The Moonstone to read (and I'd forgotten just how good it is). Life is good, nothing to worry about.

So why do I still feel like curling up into a ball and crying?

I hate this illness. I don't know what else I can do but keep on doing all the right things and hope it works.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

Or How This Is The Week Of Stress It Is.

Daddy has been very busy at work, a phrase that means nothing to the Terror when he wants to go visit him or wonders why he isn't home yet. So while this means work-stress for Daddy and long days in the office, I've had to cope with a tired and grumpy child on my own for longer than usual, leading to a tired and grumpy Mummy too. Especially as it's "that time of the month" which may or may not be the reason for my general low mood and crying fits. Other thing have been stressing me out, but somehow or other I finally got to the doctor and got more I Feel Fantastic pills, and have got some card and glitter-glue for the Terror's costume for his school Christmas play. I think I'll wait for someone with some artistic ability to draw and help cut out a snowflake then I can hunt for an old white t-shirt to sew it to. If I try it myself it'll just look awful.

Other problems I've decided are other peoples problems and thus will not bother worrying about. Things seemed to have settled down anyway between friends, money issues can be sorted out in the new year if necessary. And some things are just beyond my ability to do anything about.

My mother has breast cancer. Again. We have a family history and she recovered well after the first diagnosis a few years ago but only opted for a partial mastectomy at the time. After discovering she is carrying the BRCA2 gene, she was considering further prophylactic surgery, but in the meantime another tumour was found in the other breast. The good news is that it is a second separate occurrence of the disease, rather than the original having spread, and rationally speaking her prospects are good. But of course I worry. Not least because I can do little to help in practical terms and find it hard to tell her how much I love and admire her. She's borne her sufferings quietly, with no fuss and great dignity. She's gone into hospital today for the operation. I'm trying not to worry too much.

One consequence of this that does require action on my part is that I now know I have a 50-50 chance of having the BRCA2 gene myself. After putting it off for too long, I finally told my GP and asked to be referred to a geneticist. I still don't know if I want to be tested, but that's why they offer counseling. Now younger women at high risk are offered MRI scans which means earlier screening is a possibility instead of waiting (as mammography is largely ineffectual in under-40s). And of course I may not have the gene, which would vastly decrease my chances of getting breast cancer while not totally ruling it out. So it's certainly to be considered, and I'm glad to have finally done something about it.

Now I just have to pluck up the courage for a smear test. And remember to get my repeat prescription before I run out...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jogging FAIL

I've got into the habit of going for a jog 2-3 times a week, which is good. Combined with half an hour or so of Wii Fit every day and trying not to snack too much (yay for antidepressants suppressing my appetite) this will hopefully do me some good, and allow me to fit back into half my clothes (the other half will hopefully not be too big).

Unfortunately, I've also got into the habit of starting to jog, going so far and then dropping down to a walk to catch my breath. And then continuing to walk, mind on other things until I realise I ought to start jogging again. And then I only manage a little bit more, so turn around and head for home, intending to jog most of the way. And my mind is still wandering and before I know it I've walked most of the way home.

So really, I've got into the habit of going for a walk 2-3 times a week, which while better than nothing is not quite what I intended.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Anxious

(Warning - long and rambly)

I seem to be a bundle of nerves today and I don't really know why. I guess I'm worried about something.

It could be any number of things. The Terror's misbehaviour has been increasing lately and I'm at a loss as to what else I can do to calm him down and make him listen to us. Daddy is therefore more stressed, and has some work worries about possible relocation as well as the usual traumatic process that is research. We're both on new meds, and overdue a doctor appointment to check up on our progress. I suppose it could be the drugs that are making me nervous - they certainly seem to have killed my appetite and I'm not sleeping as well, but I was oversleeping to start with. I have money worries - one of which admittedly is having too much money and the fear that I'm spending it when I know I'll have to pay it back. We screwed up a declaration of income for the Tax Credit Office and who knows what the outcome of that will be. I haven't heard from the computer shop re my laptop which leads me to suspect I wrote my phone number down wrong (I suppose they already think I'm an idiot, going in shouldn't be too embarrassing). I didn't do any work last week and now I've got a load of marking to do I can't quite face (partly because I'm so jittery).

There's the always present feeling that I'm not doing a good enough job bringing the Terror up, and the fear I'll forget something important for school. There's the guilt about having a wonderful man who's madly in love with me and yet that doesn't stop me feeling that I'm in love with someone else who isn't the slightly bit interested (and I know it won't last, but can't seem to cope all the same). There's other guilt as well, about the selfish things I've done in the past because I couldn't deal with my emotions sensibly and people got hurt. And the guilt about not staying in touch with friends, or talking to my family as much as I should. My mum has cancer again and while I rationalize that the prognosis is good and she will cope fantastically as she always does, it's still a bit too scary for me to fully accept. Mum's very sick and there's nothing I can do except try and be there for her. Other people have problems too, that I wish I could help with somehow but never can. I'm not sure why I think I can sort out other people's lives when I can barely manage my own, but I can't stop myself interfering and trying to fix things, probably because I feel at least partially responsible.

I don't seem to enjoy doing stuff as much as I used to, and whether that's the depression or the drugs or just a phase I don't know, but it makes doing anything difficult as I can't even use a reward as motivation. And yet somehow I have to keep going, struggling on and getting by as best I can. Trying my best to make other people happy, which at least makes me feel a bit better, and at least there's one person I can make happy just by being around. Well, two, I suppose. The Terror's moods never last that long really.

I'm a bit calmer now. Guess it does help to write it all out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

More drunken ramblings

Going to the pub with people is good. Going out to the pub and getting drunk is probably less good but if it takes your mind of Crush of the Week and you end up in a rambling comparison of the merits of different Doctors it can't be that bad. Especially if you remember to bring the marking home. And your pseudo-husband doesn't seem to mind so much that you went out and got drunk while he had a five-year-old to look after.

Coming home drunk from the pub and getting straight on teh intarwebs because pseudo-husband is tired and sleepy and you feel need to check Facebook and see hassle friends via GMail Chat because you're drunk and a bit lonely is probably less good.

Trying to search for info about BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations and the associated risk of breast/ovarian cancer while drunk and lonely is definitely not a good thing.

And blogging about it all so everyone will know in the morning when you're sober and less needy and lonely is probably the worst possible thing that you can do.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Drunken ramblings

I suppose for authenticity I should have kept the typos in the title. But I'm not quite that drunk. I'm drunk enough for fluidity of talking/typing, drunk enough not to care what shit spills out and drunk enough not to care if the punctuation and grammar is a bit off. Drunk enough not to care if it doesn't quite say what I mean. Not so drunk I don't realise that my thoughts are largely futile and alcohol-induced (and the depression, that always plays a big role).

Good evening (Bender's Game is awesome btw) finished with me rambling self-pityingly about my unemployability, while good friends of course tried their best to reassure me. I know what they say is at least partly true, and that they don't mean to belittle my difficulties. I still feel maybe they don't quite grasp how hard I find some things, but at the same time I accept my own view of my abilities is marred by the depression and general negativity that has haunted me all my life. Pessimistic bastard that I am. ("marred me all my life" - how fucking melodramatic. Ah well, I'm pissed. I talk in clich├ęs at the best of times.) And I am willing to take it on trust that things will work out in the end. It's the only way I can approach life, to be honest, even though it goes against my better, cynical, nature.

Depression's a bitch. It makes you see only the bad, remember only the failures and predict only worse things in times to come. Even being aware of this filter isn't enough to disregard it entirely, especially with such long-running problems as mine - you know from past experiences that you've failed to do things, ergo you cannot do them. But as anyone with a smattering of economical awareness will know, past performance may not be indicative of future results. So there is hope. However slim. But there is hope. And even acknowledging that means I'm not as ill as I have been, and thus things have improved.

I guess this is an apology of sorts, for ending things on such a downer, as well as a demonstration (as much to myself as anything) that I can actually write, possibly even coherently, if only I stop the internal censor from getting in the way and trying to make things perfect. Now if only I could find a way to shut that censor up without having to drink two large glasses of wine first....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Deja Vu

I've been here before.

I don't mean "here" physically (although of course I have, as it's my bedroom) or virtually (although of course i have, as this is my blog), nor do I mean it in some creepy past life sense. No, I mean mentally - I have been in this state of mind before.

So naturally I know it will pass. Maybe I'll just pick myself up and move on, or my beloved will make me laugh and everything will seem better. Maybe my son will be extra cute. Maybe a friend will offer me hugs (real or virtual) and I'll remember it's just not worth beating myself up about. Whatever happens, I'll feel better soon and try and get on with life as best I can.

Of course, I also know this will happen again. All my good intentions will slip and I'll spiral back down into a vicious circle of sloth and self-loathing. I'll not do any work and then worry about not doing any work. I'll let the housework build again to the point where I start getting stressed about it. I'll sit and mope over some guy who's better off without me anyway instead of reveling in the love I have (and boy what a love that is). I'll become so convinced that I'm a terrible mother that it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy as I become incapable of looking after my son because I am too wrapped-up in my own misery.

I think this is what I find so depressing about it - no matter how hard I try I always fail to snap out of it for good. And I know this belief that my behaviour is inevitable is one of the biggest barriers to changing it once and for all. And I don't want my life to be like this, not least because the two people I love the most are the ones who suffer the most. But I can't find it in myself to believe there is anything anyone can do to help.

This afternoon I'm seeing a doctor again after too long. I daren't hope that good things will come of it. But it seems the only thing to do.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend + Birthday!

The Terror was packed off to Grandma and Granddad's for the weekend, where he apparently had a good time but can't tell us anything about it. Other family was also staying, so he got lots of clothes and toys and mostly behaved himself.

Warning: the following paragraphs contain larp-froth

His Daddy and I were off larping on the North Yorkshire Moors. It was my first small event, and as I'd bought kit and got a new occupational skill at the Gathering, I was fully expecting to die. I didn't, and more miraculously, hardly anyone else did either. With monsters throwing off Mass Diseases left right and centre we burnt through our healing pretty fast and several of us ran out of power half way through Saturday afternoon. Rhiann certainly didn't like having to tell people she couldn't do anything when they brought people with Fatals to her. Then spent rest of day and night wandering around physician-ing and feeling pretty useless - doubly so after being hit and brought back to a Debilitated state which meant I could pretty much nothing. Sunday big battle was also fairly lethal,still can't believe everyone made it out alive.

Overall I think I enjoyed myself. Still had the beginning of event blues where I feel useless, nervous, left out etc, and didn't do as much healing as I should have done, but obviously it was sufficient and no-one complained (to my face anyway). Only the one anxiety/panic attack which I quickly got under control - strangely not at the most terrifying moments while actually under attack, but during a bit of a lull while I was trying to heal Seraphim and lost count while people were shouting and I realised I was running out of power. I screwed up several times and really ought to revise the healing/damage rules before going to events, maybe I'd feel more confident then but never mind.

And I got to drink Kopparberg perry and Moniack mead - what more could a girl want?

Today was a bit of a mad dash as it's the Terror's fifth birthday. 5! Can't quite believe it, but he's at school and everything so I suppose it must be true. He had a small present to open this morning and take to school - a WALL-E plushie which came home with the head pulled off, hopefully Daddy can fix it....I spent the day tidying, baking a cake and setting up his main present: "Dungeon of Doom" from the ELC, which they apparently no longer sell so we got it just in time. It's from the same range the Tower of Doom but smaller and cheaper. He was impressed at least. The cake wasn't a huge success and as we went out for tea with Nana, we were too full to try any this evening anyway. Now the excitement's over, I'm left wondering where we're going to fit the bike he got from Nana, whether we're actually going to get round to organising some sort of party for him and his friends, and what to do now. Other than go to bed, which seems to be the best bet, despite it not being even nine yet.

Tomorrow it's back to trying to fit in both work and housework with not feeling too depressed. Ah well.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It Was Six Years Ago Today

(Stop me if you've heard this one.)

It was a Thursday. First week of term, so nothing for me to do but wallow in self pity. I'd seen my ex earlier, and we'd had a good chat about summer and the next year and his hopes of finding a girlfriend at a Wine Soc social. Felt pretty good to still be friends and realise we weren't going to do anything daft like get back together - even when he kissed me goodbye on the lips it felt more like closure than the start of anything. But I was still hung up on other crushes and other hurts. As the afternoon ticked by I got lonely and desperate to see a particular someone again and went to the maths department (now in shiny new surroundings in Goodricke). I sat on the seating in the corridor, hoping pathetically that he'd walk by or I could catch him on his way out of coffee.

I can't even remember if I did see him.

I started crying. The intense, aching, agony of wanting even the briefest of contacts with someone you know you can't have has always been more than I can cope handle. These days I hide or seek out hugs. But back then I was a passive-aggressive, emotionally blackmailing drama queen, and couldn't bear the thought of people not knowing how badly I hurt. So I sat in public and cried. Then curled up into a ball, lay there and sobbed my heart out. Hoping, of course, that someone would stop and help.

Someone did.

I was vaguely aware of someone stopping and sitting on the floor next to me. I didn't know who it was, but I knew who it wasn't so I had no intention of paying them any attention. I just stayed still, face hidden, hoping they'd go away. I must have stopped crying at some point. And waited for them to give up and go away so I could slump off back to my room. Or even just say something, so I could brush them off and leave. I didn't quite have the courage to just up and go. Or maybe I was still hoping they'd get someone else. I can't remember. Anyway, I hid.

Eventually, I heard movement as the person shifted their weight slightly and I cautiously looked up. I recognised him as one of the new postgrads.

"Don't worry," he said. "I'm not going anywhere." More true than either of us could have imagined at the time.

I started to mumble apologies, which he told me were unnecessary, and wipe the tears away and brush my hair back from my face. I may have tried to suggest that I'd better go, but his easy going empathy disarmed me somewhat - I wasn't used to people not asking what the matter was. Then he suggested coffee and that was it. No way I was going to turn down coffee.

We sat, we chatted. Then we went for a walk. Then he suggested he cook tea. We had what can really only be described as a "student meal" - bacon in a plum sauce with noodles. Made all the more problematic by the fact he only had one set of cutlery - I got to have the knife and fork and had to cut up his bacon for him so he could eat it with a spoon. We ate, drank wine, listened to music (and he introduced me to Weird Al, thus leading to possibly the geekiest "our song" ever - The Saga Begins), talked and laughed. Laughed so much. We were in hysterics for most of the evening - nerves probably, but he still makes me laugh so I can't stop. And there was kissing and even some fondling, and he walked me home at the end of night.

And I couldn't wait to see him again.

***************************

Postscript: Five years ago today we were stood in our new house with the baby due at the end of the month. We were about to go out (for lunch, I think) with my parents when my mum spotted the cards on the mantelpiece.
"Oh, what's the occasion?"
"It's our anniversary," we explained. "We met one year ago today."
"One year?" She sounded surprised. "Is that all?"
Just about everyone had said it at some point during that year - it seems like we've known each other a lot longer. And I think that's what made me so sure we were right for each other - it seemed so natural, even to other people, to the point where it felt it had always been this way. And it always will.

It's unimaginable any other way.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ok, crying done

That didn't last as long as usual. Maybe I'm getting better at picking myself up and carrying on.

Maybe I should stop blogging when I'm depressed...

Feeling sorry for myself

So far today I've spent most of the morning trying to write a post about love/lust/friendship/crushes and failing miserably, while also failing to write anything on my thesis and reading far too much of a new (to me) webcomic. This afternoon has mostly been spent cyberstalking friends on Facebook and their blogs. I still haven't finished the washing up. And I've got less than an hour before I have to go collect The Terror and no doubt then I'll fail to think of something for him to do so he'll end up playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii while I carry on being all moody. And I know what I should do - something - but I can't quite bring myself to because I get panicky when I think about trying my thesis again or doing yet more housework and I can't even settle down to read a book....

I think I'll just go curl up into a ball and cry.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

And this is why I love my SO


Adele: hugs
Why does my brain hate me? Stoopid brain. :(
Paul: ? Wassup, gorgeous girl?
10:43 AM Adele: Stupid crush. Crush bad.
Paul: Who you crushing on? hugs
Adele: [name removed]
Paul: I can see that. He's great.
Adele: ....
10:44 AM You'renot helping!
:p
Paul: :D Sorry. Ummm... His penmanship is atrocious, and he dresses in the manner of a male prostitute?
Adele: :D
I love you!


In other news, I'm taking a break from attempting to clean the bathroom. It's...a bit cleaner. Next I'll try to get the floor a bit less grubby. Then I've got the washing up to do, and that's today's housework done!

Then I might have to do yesterday's....

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

blah

Nothing I want to do, nothing I want to read, nothing I want to write. Internet being annoyingly slow, not that there's much I want to read/do online anyway. Terror is in bed, Daddy has T to talk to about EVE 'n' stuff. It's only five past eight and I might as well go to bed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

[Repost from Facebook]

Stolen from a friend's lj.

Years roleplaying: 5 1/2
Least favourite character?: Karen was a bit dull, but she was my first. Of current characters probably Rhiann for the same reason. :(
Male or female characters?: Half and half so far.
Oldest character played: Bob. We've been playing that game for over four years now...
Newest character?: Tai Jin Qi in Paul's WotG game. He's a cook.

Which character of yours would be most likely to...
Jump off a bridge?: Bob, for any number of reasons.
Get drunk and pass out?: Bob does this regularly.
Kill somebody in a very unorthodox way?: Tai might spatula someone to death I guess, but he prefers not to kill.
Be far too hyper for their own good?: Not sure. Maybe Tai.
Get lost and refuse to ask for directions?: Bob. Paranoid bastard.
Get lung cancer?: Um, Tai? From cooking smoke, if he doesn't actually smoke himself which I'm not sure.
Star in a horror movie? Bob /is/ in a horror movie isn't he?
Star in a whore movie?: ....Tai?
Star in a video game?: Tai!
Make the world a better place?: That's what Rhiann's trying to do. Tai might do a better job though.
Have a torrid gay love affair?: Er...Bob. The last woman he slept with turned out to be a cyborg which traumatised him slightly.

Relate each word to a character of yours:
Love: Rhiann (her son if nothing else)
Hate: Bob (far too much)
Money: Tai actually has Wealth.
Seduction: None really. Although Rhiann would love it. ;)
Lies: Tai - although he's rather twist words than outright lie.
Tragedy: Oh...Bob.
Manipulation: Tai - that's what he does!
Violence: Bob
Politics: Tai
Fire: Bob (metaphorically) and Tai (literal)
Ice: Ditto. :)


Would you ever...
Play a prostitute?: Yup.
Play a musician?: Yes.
Play a pilot?: Why not? Apart from Paul telling me I'm doing it wrong. :D
Play a politician?: Not really my thing.
Create a character for the sole purpose of smut?: Sure.

Things that are bugging me


  • I cannot find my passport. This may be because the house is so untidy I can't find anything or it may be because I've lost it.
  • My laptop worked a couple of times over the last few days, but has gone back to switching off after a minute or so last night and this morning. This sucks.
  • I haven't written anything on my thesis for nearly two weeks.
  • I haven't cleaned the kitchen or bathroom floor for....far too long.
  • No babysitter = mo drinks at the department tonight. Unless I go and leave Daddy with the Terror. I think I'd rather it the other way round.
  • Forgot to go to bank to cancel/alter standing orders. Need to do that at some point, and probably ought to cancel a couple of magazine subscriptions. And tell the council Daddy is a full-time student again. Or I'm going to run out of money fast.
  • Haven't spoken to R in some time, and I keep promising her (and my parents) we'll visit sometime soon but have no idea when that might be.
  • Stupid crush. Different stupid crush, but even stupider. Hope I get over this one quickly too.
  • Never seem to have time/energy to go for run any more.
  • Never seem to have time/energy for anything any more...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happiest Days

This school lark is taking some getting used to. Yes, the Terror has finally started at Lord Deramore's which necessitates all of us getting up earlier and getting ready quickly. While this means he's more tired in the evenings and goes to bed early, it also means we're more tired and go to bed earlier. This may have an adverse effect on our gaming - we'll have to wait and see. Tea is also being a problem as he wants to eat shortly after getting in, whereas Daddy doesn't get home until nearly six o'clock. As he's having school dinners, I can get away with doing a snack type tea for him at least. The two of us may move to having our main meal at lunchtime too.

In other news, work still sucks, but the first issue of Deadpool didn't! I miss Fabian Nicieza's writing though. I really do. Not quite enough to buy Trinity though...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Gathering

So I spent the weekend in a field near Derby. It was pretty good, not least because the Terror was packed off to Nana's and I got to stay up, drink, go to battles and things like that, instead of running around trying to keep him entertained. Again I spent the first couple of days not doing as much as I wanted - although I managed some gate duty and a bit of healing. Then Sunday - lots of healing. Lots and lots. Thanks to People's Day I was also High Alchemist, but thankfully didn't have to do anything. Then failed to go monstering with the rest, meaning I was the only healer in camp when we got attacked. By our own players. I never again want to be told I'm too important to risk being hit and be ordered into a tent. It's scary.

Missed the ritual I really wanted to watch, but got to see a couple of others which were cool. Got Advanced Healing which is useful. Had panic attack in queue to get new character card after buying that, which was less good, but person in queue next to me was fantastic and took it to the front for me and said he'd bring it out to me so I could escape the claustrophobia-inducing tent. Of course, then the laminator jammed....I got it in the end and got back in camp just in time for the end of the muster where I got pointed out and given a round of applause for the aforementioned attack wherein I apparently acquitted myself well. So I was kind of glad for the delay, or I might have died of embarrassment while Karen was explaining what had happened. It's even been mentioned on our group website (you'll have to work out my character name, I'm not that generous). I feel I'm never going to live this down...

So all in all, fun. The Terror also had a fun and action-packed weekend, including a visit to a farm and a ride on a pony, so I felt less bad about leaving him behind. Still haven't managed to get back into a working mood though. And the starting school panic will surely set in before long....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Playing with Flock

Flock is based on Firefox, but meant to put social networking and all that jazz at the forefront of the user's web experience. Or something.

It's kind of cool. Still not sure I prefer it to good ol' Firefox with all my usual extensions. But it's not bad. Not bad at all.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Hey, I know who this guy is, too..."

I'd forgotten how much I love Ben Grimm. Fantastic Four:True Story #1 is finally out and is was just as good as I'd expect, frankly. Cornell is fast becoming my favourite comic writer. I might have to update my "Joss Whedon Is My Master Now" t-shirt.[1]

Locke and Key #6 was also awesome and a satisfying end to this first run. Happy to see there's going to be more later in the year - I've gotten too attached to Bode especially. And the "ghost door" is an idea I am so going to steal for a game sometime. Whether I manage to run that Betrayal at House on the Hill RPG or not, I'm sure I can slip it in somewhere.

Ok, more serious stuff. I've been....bleugh. Actually more meh. Seriously meh. Failing to write more than a paragraph on my intro, even after an enthusing meeting with my supervisor; failing to write anything for some time actually. Spending too much time getting caught up in other people's agruments on an internet forum is one thing, spending time getting angry and actively offended is another. I guess it's insecurity - I don't have a good enough opinion of myself to be sure I'm not in the wrong so I can;t just shrug and say "X is nuts" because X might actually have a very good point and I might be being oversensitive to how they're phrasing it. It would help if Y didn't fall into the trap of arguing back in a similar tone though. Sometimes people just make me sick and I wish I could stop myself from reading the follow-ups when I know it's not going to end well. But...it's escapism and a way to avoid work.

The Terror's been driving me to tears lately too - constant whinging and grumpiness. It's probably the heat, or maybe he's not sleeping well for some other reason, or maybe he's keying off my own low mood. Whatever it is it's wearing me out pretty fast. And I suppose if I don't cheer up soon, Daddy is going to drag me back to the doctor, which I've been successfully avoiding for a while now. I just want to get on with my life, while not thinking about it too much.



[1] I don't have one. I was talking metaphorically.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

<Insert Funny Title Here>

Dr Horrible was great. Lovely downbeat ending. There are too few supervillain tragi-musicals.

The Terror went to the cinema for the first time yesterday. He behaved, although was a bit scared of the dark and bits of the film and sat on Daddy's knee most of the time. We went to see WALL·E which was just as brilliant, funny and sad as we'd expect from a Pixar film. I was nearly in tears at the end and I just don't cry at films usually.

So that's two things to get on DVD when they come out. We just splurged on a couple of games for the Wii - Mario Kart, as the Terror has been obsessed with playing it at a friends' house, and LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga because, well, it's LEGO. And Star Wars. And now that has become the Terror's latest obsession and we have to put up with "Can I play Luke Skywalkers?" And he hasn't even seen the films. Guess that's something else we have to get....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Random snippets

"Tom you be the dragon, mummy be the princess. And I'm Batman."




Had a school dinner today for first time in x years. The Terror had his first ever and was mostly well behaved but didn't eat most of it of course. He was just happy to be at school and got to play with old nursery friends again. I foresee a summer of hearing "When am I going to school?"




"I climbed up that tree didn't I?"
"Did you? When was that?"
"When I was being chased by a crocodile."
"When were you chased by a crocodile?"
"When I was ten."
"..."
"But I'm four now, aren't I? And when I'm seven I can go to school for a long long time!"




Act 1 of Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is pure awesome.




I'm sure I had more to say....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Write something every day

Well it would be better if it was on my thesis, or even a story or something, anything, less self-indulgent than a blog post. But I've got to start somewhere. And who knows, maybe someone will read this....

Been rubbish few days. Rain hasn't helped. Occasionally my son being awesome and funny has, and making time to do the squelchy with my pseudo-husband looses all those feel-good endorphins which of course helps. Having someone as annoyingly logical as said SO around to combat those negative thoughts is also useful. But I still feel rubbish. Even after writing a whole sentence (which will have to be edited as it, frankly, sucks) on actual work. No really, it happens. I have the file open every day and I look at it and try desperately to concentrate on what needs to be said about "birdtrackery" and R-matrices and all that. And then I go and continue to read through the archives of Paul Cornell's blog and play Scrabulous on Facebook and stuff. At least that way I cry less. At least to start with. Then half five comes and I realise I've wasted another day....

The Terror had his visit to school this week - he had great fun and managed the trip to the toilets ok, spoke politely to the teacher, and screamed when we had to drag him away. I don't know if it's really registered with him it's different from nursery, but the emphasis to start with is very much on learning through play so maybe it won't be so different. He can't wait to start. Next week he goes back to try a school dinner. That'll be....interesting.

Also had a trip to the dentist this week. Not good news. Nothing like being told your preschooler needs fillings to ruin your day. Especially when you were busy being so proud of him for sitting quietly and letting her peer in his mouth. Stepped up our dental hygiene routine - twice a day now and Mummy or Daddy has to do it for him as well to make sure. Means I'm being better about cleaning my teeth too. Even bought some floss. No, I'm not sure who this person is either....

Just reread this Christmas story by some bloke - had forgotten I'd read it before but - ho boy. What is it with that man and trying to make his readers/viewers cry? And yet....nothing. Despite my son being four now, and this sort of thing usually gets to me. Maybe because I'm all cried out this week. Or maybe because it has a happy ending. I've had to stop reading the news because too often terrible things happen to young children and it just breaks my heart.

This is going nowhere really isn't it? Ought to go back to work. Maybe a trip to the shop for milk and chocolate. The rain is only a slightly torrential. And then maybe I'll get some work done.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Work, schmerk

So working on the assumption that writing something is better than writing nothing I've....still failed all afternoon to actually write a single thing re birdtrackery and lie algebras. So I'll write this instead.

So lots of fans were disappointed with Journey's End - well, what were they expecting? RTD was never going to kill a companion, although death would have been a blessing compared to what he did to Donna, science and, for that matter, common sense, have always played second fiddle to plot and spectacle in Doctor Who and come on! With an asset like David Tennant you just don't kill him off like that. He doesn't want to leave - not yet - and I doubt we'll see a new doctor until he does. Which might be many years away. The Rose thing - a bit sad actually but I can see why the Doctor did what he did. Although maybe I just have a hard time feeling sorry for someone who gets offered a doctor-clone and complains about it!

Rest of weekend was mostly just wet. Although we did watch Bender's Big Score which just made me realised how much I miss Futurama. And I doubt wishing I had those dvds will result in them appearing through the post like Coupling did. Even internet pixies have limited funds. Besides, still working my way through season two. ("I am the Snake of Truth and I will not be denied!") But yeah, we went to Whitby and got rained on. Stayed in Sunday playing Mario Kart which J brought round but the Terror still wanted to go to J's house. I don't understand that kid sometimes.

Still feeling tired all the time, and teary, and depressed and just wishing everything would collapse into a black hole so I didn't have to deal with it all. Bah. Tried to motivate myself to take up writing again, but even trying to make a Doctor Who comic failed so I doubt I'll ever get any use out of celtx which I downloaded yesterday. And now it's time to go home and try and be Mummy again and try harder tomorrow. I'm obviously just not trying hard enough yet.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hmmm..

Last post didn't really live up to it's title did it? That was partly because I was constantly interrupted by the Terror wanting help with his games and then I cut it short because it was lunch time. So let me ramble some more.

First of all, I'd better admit that I'm well aware that my own assessment of myself may be coloured by a depressive illness and the negative filters associated with it. I agree with my SO and my GP and not with the psychiatrist who apparently is the expert that I do in fact seem to suffer from clinical depression and some form of social anxiety which may be the root of it. I know that this means I'm likely to forget positive memories and concentrate solely on the bad stuff and I'm in the habit of not trusting my own critical facilities on many issues, not least of all "me". Having said that, while it's easy to recognise a thought or statement issuing from within me as possibly unduly biased, it's a lot harder to replace it with something more balanced. Not least because I'm the only one with inside knowledge to what goes on in my brain and thus have a slightly different perspective on my actions to everyone else.

So...what is it I really wanted to say about "ennui and the death of ambitions"? There's these lines from the Del Amitri song "When You Were Young" which keep preying on my mind: "Look into the mirror/Do you recognise someone?/Is it who you always hoped you would become/When you were young?" I guess we all fantasize about how things are going to turn out - what we're going to be when we grow up, etc - but I've spent so much time doing so it was really only a few years ago I realised I was always looking to the future and not paying attention to now. This is my life, it's not going to start at some point, it's happening right now and...I've missed a chunk of it. And despite not even being thirty yet I can't help but feel I've missed the best part, I've done nothing so far and it's too late. It doesn't help when you start seeing people younger than you achieving wonderful things. And yes, a large part of my unhappiness is this bitter envy I feel towards many, many talented and creative people. I used to want to be a writer but I've pretty much given up writing because I'm too lazy to stick at it and even when I do manage to hack out something it's always mediocre at best and I'm so disillusioned I just don't see the point in trying harder. A similar thing is happening with my academic work.

Of course, a lot of this laziness dates back to school when I didn't really need to try very hard at all. When you're clever and everyone tells you so you just assume you don't need to work, and often you don't. It comes easily, why try harder? If you complain that you're bored, your mistakes and faults are pointed out or you end up lumped with even more boring work, so you just learn to drift by, getting top grades with only as much effort as you feel like putting in. So when things got harder (around GCSE time) the doubts set in and you begin to think you're not so smart after all. And because everyone expects you to do well, it really doesn't mean much when you do. Or worse, you don't do as well as expected. You should have worked harder. Same thing right the way through university as well - sure everyone said they were proud and pleased that I got a First, but if I hadn't they would have been disappointed as everyone (me included) knew I was capable of it. So here I am struggling to write-up, determined to keep going only because if I give up now I'll have wasted a lot of people's time, money and effort. I have no faith in myself anymore. I know I'm lazy and bursts of writing like this are only possible occasionally and only when I let myself write instead of trying to communicate exact ideas - not any use for a thesis. But other people, more optimistic people, people in a better position to judge maybe, believe I can do it. And maybe I will. But you know what? Even if I do manage it, even if I do hack out a hundred pages or so that somehow pass muster, even if I do actually turn up for my viva and manage to say something - yeah, sure I'll be happy, I'll celebrate and I'll be a tiny bit proud. But it won't last long. I'll still feel as though I don't deserve it. Because I'm not as good as I want to be. Because I didn't work as hard as I should have. And because I was expected to be able to do it. The very best I've ever managed to do is live up to people's (including my own) expectations of me. Mostly though I fail to even do that. Talk about running to stand still.

In other areas of my life I ought to be happier. I have a wonderful, loving man who wants to marry me and an adorable healthy son. But I don't feel like a good mother, despite everyone telling me I'm doing fine. I don't like playing with my son, I'm too selfish to be a parent really. (You can't deny I'm self-obsessed, given the length of this post!) And while I spent much of my life pining after the wrong man and believing I'd be happier in a relationship with someone I love, I discovered the obsessive crushes didn't stop once I'd settled down. And that led me to almost ruin the best relationship I've ever had, and I badly hurt the person I profess to love. So I have a hard time believing I'm a nice person, despite what other people might think, and can't help but feel they'd both be better off without me. As that isn't a realistic option, I keep having to pull myself back together and try and become the person they deserve. But, frankly, I don't want to. I fail to get out of bed in the mornings because I don't want to have to go through the motions of yet another day pretending to be someone I'm not. I try and suppress all thoughts about what I want to do precisely because they don't involve my family and my family has to come first. I had ambitions but they were unrealistic and now I can't afford to think about the future too much because even the present is causing me problems and I can't imagine it getting better.

I think I've rambled enough. Time to get on and do some work. Which I don't want to do anymore, but I have to, because I have nothing else to do.

While writing this I listened to: Hangnail - Nickelback, Reject - Green Day, We're Not Going To Take It - Donots Welcome Table - Dan Zanes with The Blind Boys of Alabama, Lucy - The Divine Comedy, Seven Days - Sting, Black Night - Deep Purple, Catch the Sun - Doves, Be My Downfall - Del Amitri, Come Together - Robin Williams feat. Bobby McFerrin, Whisper - Evanescence, Don't Pay the Ferryman - Chris de Burgh, Eyes of a Child - Michael McDonald

On ennui and the death of ambitions

It's been a mixed few days.

First, the good: my supervisor wasn't as disappointed as I feared and we've set a reasonably achievable goal. He still has faith in me which is gratifying and might be enough to get me through this. Tonight should hopefully be our second WotG session after last week collapsed due to two players not making it. Got bit worried that it wouldn't happen yesterday but hopefully that's been patched up and we might have to start with only one player down. Or she could turn up, you never know your luck....Also,SFX used my summary of Pushing Daisies in their Speak Your Brains feature: "A cross between a fairy tale for grown-ups and an ice-cream sundae covered in caramel sauce!" Which goes to show maybe I shouldn't be so shy to post on the forums after all.

Second, the awesome: OMG! I'll be devastated if that truly does turn out to be the end of the Tenth Doctor, but I doubt RTD has the guts to dispatch him in such a fashion. There's the slight issue of knowing David has filmed scenes for the Christmas special....that could all be an elaborate con, or more likely a flashback or a two-doctor story (!!). To be honest, I don't care as long as next episode is good. I don't even mind a reset button a la Last of the Time Lords provided it's done well enough.

Lastly, the bad. Well the title says it all really. Last couple of days it's been a struggle just to get out of bed, let alone play, do housework or write thesis. And sitting in the coffee room earlier just reminded me how out of place I feel here. I've invested so much of my identity and dreams of the future in an academic career that having finally accepted it's not going to happen I'm left...empty. While other people rush to tell me I'm clever and capable I know deep down inside I'm not - not good enough anyway. I barely understand my own work, struggle to string sentences together when writing a silly blog post let alone a paper and have failed utterly to give a decent talk in my four and half years as a PhD student. I've not done too well on the teaching side of things either, and there are few enough jobs for people more talented than me. I'll count myself lucky to get anything once I've finished writing up - I doubt I'm employable at all. Even working as a cleaner for fifteen hours a week nearly killed me as I took to drinking vodka first thing in the morning to get me through it. It's frankly too depressing to think about. But every now and then it creeps up on me and sends me into a spiral of despair. So far, the only way I've found of getting me out of it is either a) cry until I feel sick then slowly pick myself up, or b) watch Coupling.

"I've got the key to the gates of paradise... but I've got too many legs!" Genius.

While writing this I listened to: Hey Dude - Kula Shaker, Children of the Revolution - T. Rex, Sittin' on My Sofa - The Kinks, Not the Girl You Think You Are - Crowded House, Yes - McAlmont & Butler, By My Side - Chris de Burgh

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"I want you all to know, I mean this breast satirically."

Coupling DVDs should be available on the NHS. Managed to cheer me up last night. Must get round to getting more than just the first series though....

Last few days have been tough. Not helped by Daddy having missed some happy pills while larping and going back on them on Monday - side effects seem to have hit him harder than usual. And the email from my supervisor asking how writing up is going - I just feel like curling up into a ball and crying. Chapters? WTF does he think I've been doing for the last few months? Working?

Was going to ramble about gaming, Doctor Who and stuff but now I really don't feel like it. Don;t know what I'm going to do. Don't want to be a burden on daddy and the terror but can't seem to look after them properly either.

While writing this I listened to: Lovely Rita - The Beatles, Confusion - The Zutons, Into Temptation - Crowded House

Friday, June 20, 2008

In which I comment on that which I have read

Yesterday:
Comics day. Nothing much to say about 200AD or Angel. X-Factor was good if slightly downbeat. Still missing Layla Miller - Jamie-imagination-Layla just isn't the same. Also got the long-awaited Astonishing X-men vol 4: Unstoppable and Gaiman's take on Eternals. Both were quite amazingly good. That bastard Whedon can always make me cry. And dear lord but I'd forgotten how good Gaiman's comics could be.

This morning:
News from New Scientist. Apparently "organic" pigs raised outdoors and not given antibiotics are exposed to more pathogens than those raised indoors and routinely fed antibiotics. Go figure! We did invent soap for a reason after all. Of course, overuse of antibiotics leads to resistant bacteria and therefore is a definite risk to human health, whereas I'm fairly sure Salmonella poisoning can be avoided by good hygiene and adequate cooking. And happier, healthier animals are better from an ethical standpoint. But I'm not sure why anyone would think "better for pigs" would equal "better for people eating them". Which is why I'm always a bit dubious about some of organic farming proponents claims.
Speaking of dubious claims, two authors have offered £10,000 to anyone who can prove homeopathy works, in proper clinical trials of course. "We certainly have nothing to prove," said one spokeman. Couldn't agree more.
And finally, what all the geek guys have known for years: bad boys get the girls. Personally, I rarely fall for the classic "bad boy" and never did see why women fall over James Bond, say. Guess that's why I'm engaged to a geek and all-round nice man.

On the way into work:
Yes, I know the path isn't wide enough to fit in the "S" but seeing
CYCLIST
SLOW
DOWN
on the ground always gives me pause for thought. How does the cyclist know the message is meant for him/her and not all the others?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Molto bene!

Wow....Midnight was a bit good wasn't it? Moffat level of goodness in fact. And people say RTD can't write, huh? Best episode of the series so far - I foresee a Hugo nomination in the future.

Ok, rest of weekend. Well, Daddy was off "in Derby fighting monsters" so various friends helped out in keeping the Terror and me occupied. There were some tantrums of course, but mostly I was good. He missed his Daddy terribly and picked out his own card and present for Father's Day. We survived. Next weekend is Moot 2, so we have to do it all over again - only without T who will also be going for his first taste of larping. All this of course is just making me look forward even more to the Gathering in August. Can. Not. Wait.

Before then though we have to continue trying to get the Terror ready for school (manage toilet on own, get used to cutting up own food, get dressed on own, get up in time etc) and we're about to start a Weapons of the Gods game - with Daddy GMing not me! So less stress for me, more for him. We've just finished making our characters - in an unusual move we only have one fighter...and two cooks. Should be interesting....

Mostly of course, I am writing this in order to avoid work. And the consequential depression. Sooner or later I suppose I'll have to have another go. Or I could take up writing short stories again....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How not to respond to a vaguely positive review

In the latest issue of SFX, the woefully underpaid Dave Golder wrote some short reviews of Doctor Who podcasts, one of which was the Dr Who Bathroom Reader.

Someone was not impressed.

I think my favourite bit was how he edited Dave's post to extract the demanded apology and then accepted it. That was good.

To further entertain us, Mr drwhobathroomreader posted this announcement before going on to start a thread apparently about feminism although it's hard to tell now as he edited his original post and repeatedly demanded the thead be closed.

To top it all off he (sorry, his "legal team") invited SFX editor Dave Bradley to take part in his podcast, not by emailing him and arranging a suitable time for both of them of course, but by posting again on the forum. Suprisingly, he hasn't requested this thread be closed yet...

Monday, April 14, 2008

"...and so am I."

I think I might give all my posts titles with the latest DW quote stuck in my head. The Fires of Pompeii was pretty damn good and we finally got to see it today. But first, Edinburgh....

Traveling there was about as pleasant as it could be with a hyper-active four-year-old in tow. Guest house was very pleasant and I left the boys there while I dashed off through the rain to the first session of the meeting which was actually entertaining. No, don't laugh. I abandoned the ICFTists to meet the family for dinner and after a few failed attempts at finding a pub that would allow the Terror in (cursed licensing laws!) we went to Bella Italia. Home from home...

Saturday was a mixed day - dashed off to talks after breakfast and got more and more depressed as the morning went on. Felt like a fraud. Well, I doubt I'll ever be able to stand up in front of thirty people and give an audible talk - let alone an intelligible one. Apart from anything else, I barely understand my own work, let alone know how to explain it to other people. Probably why the thesis is taking its time appearing. But I slowly picked up afterwards, meeting the boys for lunch and a tour of the Camera Obscura and the highlights of Edinburgh Castle - Mons Meg and the Honours mostly. Then we had a very pleasant meal at Deacon Brodie's where Daddy tried haggis and loved it and the deserts were divine. The Terror had cheesy pasta for the second day running, but never mind - he was on holiday. To top the day off, I managed to get the Terror in bed in time for me to watch the first episode of Pushing Daisies. I'll have to see if I can retune our TV to actually receive ITV on more than an intermittent basis. Although the news that they're apparently dropping one episode purely because they only have an eight week slot does nothing to improve the channel in my estimation. *HEADDESK*

Sunday was nice too. We dragged the Terror up Arthur's Seat, although he did a suprising amount of walking/clambering himself. Then we went and bought my birthday present and a kilt for Daddy and eventually made our way home. The train was less crowded than on Friday, so the Terror could have his own seat and he went to bed far too late for someone of his age.

Today we watched Doctor Who. And I think that's where we came in....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Curse you Paul Cornell!

For making me spend more money - but the whole premise would make me intrigued and excited anyway (I love that type of stuff) despite not being a big FF fan. Bah. And I might have to buy the Primeval Season Two boxset just for his episode...although I suppose I ought to be sensible and buy Heroes instead. That would be a better investment, I guess.

In other news, we're off to Edinburgh for I have a conference to attend (don't worry, I'm not doing anything stupid like giving a talk) and I didn't feel comfortable going on my own. Besides, Daddy and the Terror have never been to Scotland before - how can someone reach the ripe old age of 29 and not have been to Scotland? It's not like it's far far away - and so a family holiday seemed in order.

So I suppose I ought to be getting ready to go rather than geeking out....

Monday, April 7, 2008

"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

Introduced the Terror to the joys that is Monty Python and the Holy Grail - bit too much swearing maybe, but he hasn't picked up that yet. Just played at being "knights of Camelot" all weekend. And we now have to watch it at every available opportunity - well shucks.

Still going "Squee!" over Doctor Who returning. Episode on Saturday was good fun - the Adipose were cute and Donna had changed believably and David was as gorgeous as ever and the miming bit was genius and laugh-out-loud fun! So today has been catching up on other stuff - forums I usually try and avoid, podcast of interview with DT, Doctor Who Confidential and of course the episode itself again with commentary thanks to iPLayer.

Other than that - trying to struggle on with being Mummy when I really don't want to. And not letting it show too much or Daddy starts getting down and stressed and I can't cope with that.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Weekend

Um...not been too bad I guess. Managed to get computer working again (new power supply), played a few games of Wings of War which is so much fun we might have to get a copy, and despite a slight crisis with the car door (couldn't shut it until the RAC man came out, then what we'd tried before worked first time of course) things went pretty well.

Or possibly I just don't remember the bad bits.

Anyway, last night I finally gave up trying to get the "universal" remote I bought to work with the DVD player and played Morrowind instead. And today we've bought another cheap-ass DVD player and the remote works fine. We also have a spare DVD player, just in case. Yesterday we also received our BeBox and so we should have broadband from tomorrow - woot!

Had lunch with G'dad and P in town then went for walk around walls - the Terror and Daddy were so shattered they slept for nearly two hours after we got home. So the little one missed nursery, but then we don't see his granddad much so I suppose that's ok.

Think that's all the news.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

White Easter

But I failed to take pictures. Ah well.

Not a bad weekend really, despite the length. Terror played far too much Zelda. Daddy and I were both driven to distraction by his demands. But we survived. And had a snowball fight in Spring, which can't be bad.

Played Magic for the first time in ages last night. Daddy's been working on his decks for Elder Dragon Highlander and I had a go with the Sliver one which is mostly just sick, but struggled against the dragons (fueled by Scion of the Ur-Dragon) and Kaervek. But it was still fun.

Also wrote up a new vampire origin myth for World of Darkness, with the view to introducing a new playable splat - people with sunlight in their blood. Essentially anti-vampires, or Solar Exalted for WoD. Maybe I'll get round to typing it up and posting it here (or RPG.net).

So not too bad really. See, I can do this positive-thinking lark sometimes.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I must remember not to read the news.

Especially when the headline looks likely to upset me.

But I never learn.


On brighter news, um....it rained today. I bought some comics and Easter eggs. I think that's it. This blogging lark really doesn't suit me. I never know what to say.....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

YARRR!!!!!!!

So we have a pirate President. Well I voted for him - I've known him a few years now and think he'll do a fantastic job. As for not meaning it to go this far....serves himself right for playing along with a friend's joke. :)

In other news, I'm still nowhere near a thesis, Daddy is nearing the end of his employment with nothing else lined up (bar marking exam that he set, later next term), and our mental healths have been suffering somewhat from both these, as well as a very talkative Terror. Still, having friends round tonight for RoboRally, which will help.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Blogging is good for you?

Well this article certainly seems to think so, although actually reading the study gives a slightly less rosy picture - yes blogging is a pretty good coping strategy but bloggers tend to be more in need of extra social support than non-bloggers. At least, that's my understanding after a very quick read-through.

Still, I keep meaning to keep a journal to try and map my moods so I suppose I ought to at least try and keep this up. Have been in a funny mood lately, mostly worried about my SO's mental health as the stress and worry gets to him. Soon to be out of work when term ends and uncertain about the future especially after the lack of help we got from the CMHT. He's vented some of his frustration at them in a letter - hopefully something will come of that or I might have to write as well and possibly make a formal complaint. I'm not sure what the best thing to do is - I've never been let down by the NHS quite like this. Possibly I should go whine at a more sympathetic GP than the last one I spoke to.

Still having difficulty getting myself to work - it's just too easy to procrastinate and not get stressed - but must try harder or I'll never get a PhD and then what will I do? Have also resolved that I really must work on getting to the stage where I can actually hold down a job - will be necessary from a financial point of view at some point. Otherwise, trying not to think about the future too much and concentrating on the here and now, otherwise I'll end up depressed and self-harming again as well.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

"Today, my friend, your diary entry will read: took a prozzie hostage and was shot by three armed bastards."

I <3 Gene Hunt.


Not much been happening that I can talk about - ND-able stuff has been taking up my time. Not having internet access at home sucks. Having more marking to do sucks. Not being able to concentrate for long enough to finish a webcomic more than three panels long in one go sucks. Life just generally is sucky. And not in a good way.

But Ashes to Ashes is fun, although not fantastic. And Gene Hunt is as sexy as ever, but with a hurt/worn down aspect to him that just makes you want to take him in your arms and make everything ok. Plus - he mooned in last night's episode! I can die happy now - I've seen Philip Glenister's naked bum.

I think that really is about all the news I have as well. Finished reading From Hell, which was good. My better half bought us Coomplete Adventurer and Complete Arcane as Valentine's Day gifts to each other. :D We both seem to be sleeping badly. Um....yeah. That's it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

[censored]

This week we've been mostly busy with stuff I can't talk about. NDAs are wonderful like that.

Otherwise....not too bad, depression wise, although the GP was a bit reluctant to over-rule the psychiatrist and give me more drugs so I'm weaning myself off 'em and seeing how I cope without. Visited the Terror's future school, which is terrific and any doubts we might have had about it not being our first choice have been dispelled. They have a wonderful staff-student ratio with a full-time TA for each class as well as a teacher and the children all looked happy and engaged. Their policy of water freely available in the classroom makes wonderful sense and contrasts delightfully with my (long ago now) experience at school where wanting a drink was a nuisance to be discouraged. Avoiding dehydration makes children work better - who'd have thunk?

We've been without internet access at home for a week or so now thanks to dismal mismanagement by TalkTalk who tried to "upgrade" us to a package which included free broadband provision despite being told we weren't interested. The pathetic response to emails sent to them doesn't do much to make us change our mind and I'm tempted to start looking for a new telephone provider.

So back to looking at things I can't mention and getting ready for our first playtest session tomorrow. Woot!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Been ill last few days. Monday was ok - even got up on time and just about coped all day. Then cough/cold/flu struck and I've been down ever since. Daddy been good at looking after the Terror who has suffered a bit, but still has more energy than the two of us together (oh to be four again!).

Today was....stressful and involved much tears. This afternoon we had our followup appointment with the CPN which basically amounted to a whole lot of nothing. They gave a lot of good sound advice - try and set small manageable goals, plan how to use my time in advance, try expanding my horizons - but it's nothing I haven't heard and tried before. It appears they have no more help they can offer us - which led to me breaking down then and there and then recovering and deciding there was little more to be said. It seems it's just the two of us again. The fact that I/we were barely coping seems to have been totally overlooked. I've worked through some anger this afternoon and I feel Daddy will be practicing some letter writing, but we've resolved to just keep trying (and use their suggestions of course, it's not their fault it's failed in the past. Obviously I haven't been trying hard enough.) and I'll have a good whinge at my GP when I go to sort out the medication angle as they had nothing to say about that at all.

I'm trying not to take it out on the CPN and COT - they were just doing their job after all. The psychiatrist I have a fairly low opinion of after our interview anyway and if I ever do get referred again I'll be sure to avoid her. Thankfully our GPs are a bit more sympathetic. I'm also trying not to blame myself for not coming across "ill" enough - I was trying to be honest and I really would have thought the sheer difficulty I had talking to them would be an indicator of real problems but it appears they were more concerned about the Terror (which I can understand - but if I go nuts and kill myself, what'll happen to him then?).

Just....keep on trying. And hope things improve. I wasn't expecting a magic pill but I was hoping for a bit more help (for my beloved partner too - it's hell on him having to look after me when I'm at my worst). I'll know better next time.

"It's interesting to me how you always expect the worst."
"You see, that way, I'm never disappointed. You know, sometimes I'm nicely surprised."
-- Gil Grissom and Catherine Willows (To Halve and to Hold)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

"A pacifist with a big scary hammer general"

I think Ultimate Thor is my new second favourite superhero. Sorry Jamie.

It's a been another week of not much happening. Work failed to happen. At all. I'm a bit pissed off at myself for that one. Mornings also failed to happen on more than one occasion, like this morning. And now the Terror is off at a friend's birthday party I suppose I'd better get on and do the housework, make myself useful.

It had some highlights -we went out on Friday night which was nice. Read The Ultimates, which was awesome. I might actually have to give some other Millar stuff a chance, although I still think the man himself is a dickhead. (Which appears to be a consciously cultivated image, making it even more baffling and dickish. Whatever. Some people juggle geese, etc.) Hitch is now my favouritest and bestest artist ever, and the commentary in the back only made me love the man more. Played some Portal - by myself that is, not just taking over for the Terror to help him get past a bit. Died a few tiems do to my inability to jump and the bloody live fire room. Gave up on Testchamber 18.

Also last night we watched V for Vendetta which was really quite good and, I thought, a damned decent adaptation. Not that I'm a very critical viewer (or reader for that matter).

So to sum up, Ultimate Thor rocks and I'm still alive. Although I'm not doing Science....

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Drugs Definitely Do Not Work

Ok, so I wasn't exactly convinced by citalopram to start with and the higher dose was making me lose sleep, but it's becoming excruciatingly apparent that the lower dose is intolerable. Two to three fits of crying a day, attention span less than that of a four-year-old child and periodic loss of interest in everything - sex, chocolate, even sex and chocolate included - all adds up to added stress and Not Much Fun ™ for everyone.

On the plus side - spent a lot of money on comics/graphic novels at Travelling Man last Saturday and also picked up the second Nextwave trade this week so have been in comic heaven. When I've been able to concentrate enough to read. (Yes folks, I have difficulty concentrating on comics books. Work is out of the question.)

I also spent too much time this week agonising over that playtest application and avoiding real work by installing Gutsy Gibbon on my laptop. I even spent some time playing with my son. And other times playing with his dad. So it hasn't been a bad week, it just feels like that at the moment because I'm just coming away from a "down" point. Another joy of depression - selective memory.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Is it Friday already?

It's been both a long and a short week. Weird. Saw family on Sunday and the Terror got the last of his Christmas presents - including a pirate ship and castle playset from my parents that is now dominating his bedroom and is the current favourite must-play game.

Saw in the New Year quietly with just the two of us and Jools Holland. Managed to stay up to half past twelve anyway.

Mood picked up around Wednesday after some very teary cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat days. Still getting very bored very quickly. The internet appears to be broken - it doesn't entertain me anymore. But then nothing else does so I end up playing Wii Sports or reading. Or checking Facebook every two minutes.

Terror started back at nursery yesterday and Daddy started back at preparing for his lecture course this term. I started back at the calculation I left off before Christmas although I really need to get dug in to smoe PStricks so I can start TeXing up my results so far if I really want to have a chance at finishing this year. I can now think about finishing my thesis without panicking (probably because I haven't actually got to the hard bit - writing) but as soon as I start thinking about what to do after that....might have to go add some vodka to this fruit juice I'm drinking or I'll never get to sleep now.

Also started wondering about applying to playtest Cubicle 7's Doctor Who RPG. I think most of my current gaming group would be interested in a short stab at it. And just when I've started looking forward to wrapping up my mage campaign and playing for a while instead of GMing....