Archive for July, 2012

31/07/2012

Family Stuff.

I like to think that the title says it all. Yes there’s some rather bothersome family stuff happening so I’ve had no time to write a post for today, and I’m spending today travelling across the country. Anyway back with a regular post on Thursday. See you then.

 

 

 

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28/07/2012

A miserable girls thoughts on – not messing up your recovery.

Yesterday I felt better. Really I did. The world was spinning much more slowly, I wasn’t alternating constantly between far too hot, and way too cold. Hell I had even returned to my normal healthy pallor, by which I of course mean I was pale as death, with slightly dark circles under my eyes. This being a vast improvement on the feverish rosy cheeks I’d suffered through the previous 10 days. Seriously, who could take a gothgirl with rosy cheeks seriously?

So I went out for a couple of hours. I needed to see the doctor about a prescription, and with the Force of Nature staying on Sunday night I decided we needed a couple of new kiddies movies (and the new Andromeda Strain, but she won’t be left watch that.). Of course by 1pm I was far too cold, had a splitting headache, and was shaking so much I could barely stand. That was when I realised the following things.

When you’re recovering from a viral infection, which has decided that your sinus is it’s Club Med (that’s still a thing right?), it’s a bad idea to forget to carry tissue. No-one needed to see what happened when I sneezed on my way back to the car.

A bacon double cheeseburger, with half a serving of fries (the Force of Nature was with us…) for breakfast at 12pm, after you took no medications, is probably contraindicated at the best of times. But when you’re still playing host to a visiting group of viral dignitaries…hmmmm. It was delicious though.

However the first sign that you should probably have had that extra day in bed though is when you grab hold of a random persons chest to stop yourself falling over in HMV. She was very nice about it though, even if she was a little taken aback.

For some reason, when I’m walking as fast as I can to get back in to the car, with a handful of gloop, THAT’S when a rather cute lil emogirl will decide to walk up, and randomly ask me out. Unfortunately, I genuinely do have shoes older than her.

And finally…

When you finally get home, nothing is quite as good a friend to you as that wonderful pairing of a hot water bottle, and a fistful of Solphadeine. One warms you up, and makes a wonderful soothing pillow for your fever, and headache riddled head. The other means you get to giggle at the fairies, while slaughtering fucked up creatures from the netherworld of other people’s nightmares. Or maybe that’s just me.

Going to be a good girl now and go back to bed for a few hours. Gotta take it easy today, or at least until my boyfriend arrives.

 

 

 

26/07/2012

The best cure for low blood pressure. Two badly behaved dogs!

I’ve always had low blood pressure. In my childhood I would often just pass out when I stood up too quickly. I’m always cold, just ask my Mistress. All I have to do to fill her with terror is move my feet towards her. I am a low blood pressured, cold-blooded creature. What ever the reverse of the Human Torch is (no not Iceman, although that would mean I get to have Rogue…) that’s what I am.

Well, the past 10 days or so I have had one horrific dose of something or other. To say that I have leaked from every orifice would not only be disgustingly gloopy, but also exceedingly accurate. Needless to say that dizziness which accompanied that afore-mentioned gloopyness has not been helped by my inherent low blood pressure.

Today I woke up to the sound of ripping coming, I thought, from the bus stop outside of my bedroom window. I stood up, and realised “Hey I don’t feel quite as much like I’m about to die! Huzzah! Partial recovery!”

Then I moved a few feet, the world spun, I sat down, and remembered the “partial” part. So I decided one more day of lazing wouldn’t hurt. One more day of The Big Bang Theory. One more day of drinking fake Red Bull, and eating pasta. Downstairs I go, and wander into the kitchen.

Our kitchen has a patio door, which goes out on to a decking area. This is where the two pups spend a lot of their days. Lazing in the sun. Barking at the world. And as it turns out, causing immeasurable chaos.

So I’m standing there popping my hernia medication in to my mouth, when I realise that Winter is whimpering. I turn my head. My eyes are greeted by the sight of a previously white Beagle, and a previously white Bichon Frikkin’ Frisé staring in at me visibly shaking. The reason for that shaking?

Imagine that yesterday your two dogs had torn apart two bags of plasterers sand, and scattered it from here to…where ever plasterers holiday. Imagine that they had done the same to a bag of cement. Now imagine your heroine, in a dalmatian print onesy, having to clean that mess up in 5 minute bursts interspersed with 15 minutes of wanting to die. Imagine your dogs remember this…

Imagine that Beagle now has pitch black paws, that Bichon Frikkin’ Frisé (I’m going to start a campaign to make the “Frikkin'” an official part of the breed name.) is now black from the top of his head, to the gas coming from his arsehole. Black, because they decided that today was the right day to cover the deck with coal dust from the bag of slack that has sat unmolested in the corner for the past THREE MONTHS!

Well my low blood pressure has been cured.

24/07/2012

A miserable girls thoughts on – the flu.

Yeah I have the flu. I’ve had it since Friday, it’s now 8am on Tuesday, and I still feel like hammered shit. So in the interests of spreading the misery I thought I’d share a few random thoughts which have flitted through my mind with the subtlety of a drunken elephant over the past few days. Enjoy.

10. Why is it that when you blow your nose you’re instantly drawn to look at what just came out? I mean really what do we expect to see staring back at us?

 9. Why do people think that chicken soup is good when you’re sick? I don’t ever want chicken soup. No strike that, I don’t ever want soup. When I have the flu what I want is a caring slavegirl, with a concerned expression on her face, getting me hot drinks, and finding episodes of The Big Bang Theory on telly for my amusement.

 8. No I don’t want fucking oranges either. That’s called locking the barn door, AFTER the horse has bolted.

7. When the room is spinning really quickly around your head, why doesn’t it make a “whooshing” noise? Or that “diddley-diddley-diddley” noise from scene changes in the Adam West Batman series? It kind of seems like it should.

6. Why is it that no-one wants to kiss you when blow snot-bubbles every time you breathe out? (Never mind I think I answered that for myself.)

5. How in the hell can you be so cold that not even a duvet, electric blanket, and hot water bottle can’t warm you up, but still sweat so much that the sheets try to peel off the bed with you as you get up?

4. How come while my sinuses are blocked with runny, sticky, gloopy stuff, as soon as I blow my nose my nostrils are as dry as a camel’s arsehole? So dry that they crack, and bleed a little. And is this what it’s like after you do coke? ‘Cause if so, why the hell does anyone want to?

3. It’s not funny when you blow your nose straight through the tissue, and onto your hands. It really isn’t.

2. It’s also not funny when you sneeze, and your body responds by letting just a little wee leak out. It’s even less funny when that wee is joined by a loud, foul-smelling fart. And infinitely less funny when they’re both joined by a little squirt of diarrhea. So, why does my body sometimes insist on sneezing from every orifice at once?

1. Why can’t I stay awake for more than twenty minutes at a time? Why do I keep falling asle…..plugh.

21/07/2012

Sick again, this is the pits.

After two weeks of feeling at least a little better than usual my body has finally fallen over again, this time with a resounding crash. End result is that where I had intended to finish a post for today yesterday, I actually ended up sleeping most of the day, and did precisely no work.

So yup, that means no real post today. Enjoy your weekend folks, and catch you all on Tuesday.

 

 

 

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19/07/2012

A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great With Money – Christmas Planning. (Part 1)

So with only 158 days ’til Christmas it felt like time to talk about getting ready for that most expensive of holidays. And at this moment several of you are staring at the screen in utter disbelief. Right, reread the title of this post, it’s okay I’ll wait. *hums*

See? “Poor Girls Guide…” if it still doesn’t make sense that I’m about to speak about Christmas in July then you need to read the first article in this series. Don’t worry we’ll still be here when you get back.

Right, does it make sense now? Good.

The fact is that Christmas is coming. And no matter what you do, if you have anyone at all you care about in your life then it’s going to cost a significant amount of money. It’s going to cost a hell of a lot more if there are children in your life. So assuming, like a lot of people right now, you’re living on a pretty tight shoestring it’s time to start planning ahead. You’ll thank yourself for doing so later.

So here are my top five tips for a less financially stressful Christmas.

 1: Make a Nice List. Right now you know with a high degree of certainty who you’ll need present’s for. Sure it’s possible one or two extra people will pop up between now, and then, but in truth you mostly know who you’re buying for already. So make a list of those people, order them in importance, and make a little note of ideas for their presents.

 2: The Summer sales are a great time to gather presents. It’s not just clothing stores that have sales at the end of the Summer. So do electronics stores, music stores, book stores, they all do. And better still they don’t all have their end of season sales at precisely the same time, so sales season can go on for almost a month. So if you buy just one present each week you’ll be able to get good quality at knock down prices.

 3: Remember that many businesses still have a lay-away system for larger purchases, and that 10 Euro a week is a lot more manageable than say 200 in one chunk. So if you have to spend large amounts of money on one or two purchases discuss this option with the retailer rather than adding to your debts.

 4: If the person you’re buying for has the right sort of attitude keep an eye out for something extraordinary in your local thrift shops. Some of my favourite gifts ever were found for me in local thrift shops by my Partner in Crime. Not just clothing either, these shops often have exercise equipment, DVD’s, books, CD’s, jewellery, even furniture donated to them.

 5: It’s not just about planning for presents try to also put a little money aside for your Christmas food shop as well. This can be a small amount, even 2 Euro a week will add up by the time Christmas week rolls around. And speaking from experience, even an extra 20 quid can make a huge difference for that particular shopping trip.

Christmas will always be expensive no matter what you do, but with some careful planning, and a sharp eye for a bargain you can at least spread out the cost. And let’s face it anything that makes Christmas easier is a bloody blessing.

17/07/2012

Internet Trolls, I think I want my mommy!

Last weekend I took a short trip home to my mom. It was badly needed as I hadn’t seen her in almost two months, and while I’m no mommy’s girl I do still need some time with her now and then. Time in my mom’s is useful though, and not just for time with her.

When I stay with my mom I usually sleep alone, even when I’m down there with my Partner in Crime. Nothing to do with my mom being a prude, really 34 years of being my mother has definitely cured her of any prudishness long ago. No, I sleep alone because her spare theoretically “double” bed is more like a very large single, and its mattress bruises me (which is weird since it’s an extraordinarily good mattress, but there ya go.). So instead I sleep in the same bed I slept in when I was 15.

Now when I sleep alone I tend not to sleep very well the first night, and when I don’t sleep well I get sort of thoughtful. And usually those thoughts lead in one of two directions, either I get super creative, plotting out whole chapters of whatever book I’m working on at the time in my head, or I get super self-assessing.

Last Friday night I ended up both.

Over the course of the night I figured out huge swathes of missing storylines from the novel I’m currently working on. A very good thing as I had been very worried that while the core story was pretty good, the secondary plots were kind of weak. It’s a big relief to have much more solid ideas.

However over the course of the night I also got thinking about my own life, not just the lives, and deaths of imaginary people. And more to the point about my worries at the moment. There aren’t many…

Will I ever have a slavegirl again?

Will “insert person’s name who I love” be okay?

Should I kick “insert name”‘s ass for being a selfish prick?

How do I modify a really crap airsoft springer rifle so that it’s going to make other airsofters claim I’m cheating?

Why do I keep putting off my video blog?

So, would you like to guess which one pulled me up short? Yup, that’s right the last one. I’ve wanted to add a video component to this blog for a long time. I think it’s important to do so, because there are so many topics which I would like to speak about that need to be spoken about, not merely written about. The difference is important, some topics are too complex, too emotionally loaded, or simply too personal to truly convey what I want to say purely through written words. They need the sound of an impassioned/annoyed/pissed to high hell voice, they need body language, they need facial expressions. And to be honest they sometimes need a huge amount of swearwords beeped out to really bring across what I want to say.

So why have I been putting it off? After all I have a really amazing webcam now. I know how I want to make them. What program I intend to use to edit them. The format, I even have a few scripted. I know what I want to use as a background, and no my bedroom won’t be the background, I’ve no intention of letting strangers see where I sleep thank you…Yeah that’s the problem do you see? Strangers.

Even in real life I’m hardly a shy retiring wallflower. Frankly if I’m any type of flower it’s something like a Triffid you know, moves around quite quickly, is can be poisonous and is definitely carnivorous.

But I am also a transgirl. One who is less than totally confident about her voice, even if I am completely confident in my appearance (at least for this). This matters because, well have you ever actually read the comments by men on YouTube when a woman posts a blog type video?

Do I really want to end up seeing comments where some guy tells me in excruciatingly precise language where he wants to stick what in my body?

Or the comments about how because I don’t have a cervix I’m just a guy, but hey he’ll fuck me anyway cos I’m a very pretty guy? Gee thanks buddy.

Or of course those who just spend their time in my comment section explaining why I’m wrong. Because I have tits in case you wondered, because no-one with breasts are ever right about anything according to these particular men.

We won’t even get into the people who think that a relevant comment on any topic is “You’re hot wanna go on a date with me?”

My conclusion is that I’m holding off because I haven’t figured out how I’m going to cope with this yet. Not what will I do about it? They’re trolls, aside from not feeding them there’s not a whole lot you can do, not if you actually want to interact with your audience. No I really do mean how will I cope emotionally? Or probably more accurately, can I cope with it?

Sure my health has been an issue, who wants to be seen by the world when they feel like total crap? But figuring out a coping mechanism for internet trolls is definitely the core problem.

I know that in the end I’ll do what I always seem to do with these sort of situations. Make a positive out of a negative. I know I will get a video blog up sooner rather than later. But to expose myself to the world in the way I want to…that’s a scary thought…*pulls blanky up* I want my mommy!

14/07/2012

Discovery Channel, From Hell’s Heart I stab at Thee!

My favourite semi-factual television program is coming back, yup Mythbusters will be back on the air…soon (Semi-factual because it is after all to the scientific method, what Enda Kenny is to political backbones.). Do you know how I know? Discovery Channel aired an advertisement showing the whole gang doing what they do best, making things with duct tape, and blowing random stuff up.

This is great news. It means that when Gold Rush, my second favourite DiscoveryChannel show, has finished its run I can look forward to many hours of the divine Kari Byron, weird (sorta, if you squint real hard) scientific experiments, and big booms.

Do I need another reason to watch?

So if my favourite semi-factual show is coming back for another season, why do I want to stab at the Discovery Channel? Allow me to explain. I was sitting on my delicious recliner couch last night, taking immense satisfaction in Gold Rush’s Dakota Fred receiving a massive karmic enema when it cut to an ad-break. Then there before me appeared a vision in Composition 4, a new season of Mythbusters!

Oh Joy!

Oh Rapture!

Oh Goddesses is Kari Byron a Feckin’ Ride or What?!

What the hell do you mean “Coming Soon”? What date are they back? You frikkin’ assholes!

That is why I want to maroon Discovery at the heart of a dead world, leave them buried alive…buried alive. *coughs* Okay, I’m done with the Star Trek 2 references now. Very little drives me more nuts than this sort of promotional gimmick. The programming controllers in Discovery channel not only know the date, but the exact minute when Mythbusters will return to our screens. So do those who made that promo video. So does the damn voice over artist.

But do they say something like “Mythbusters, returning Octoday, the 34th of the month of the Horned Rat.”? No, despite the fact that would at least be helpful, we would know with certainty that not only are they all nuts over there, but that the read way too many comic-fantasy novels. Instead we get this “Coming Soon” bullshit.

FX did it with the second season of Falling Skies as well, oh and every season of NCIS I’ve seen, oh and season 2 of The Walking Dead. Sky did it with Sinbad, Terra Nova, and…look every channel does this now. And it really pisses me off. It doesn’t build suspense, we know the show is coming back. It doesn’t make us more excited, let’s face it with sequel seasons you already either love or hate the show anyway.

Finally, we do know, that you know, that we know, that you know to the second when the damn show is airing, so why don’t you cut the crap, and JUST TELL US THE FUCKING DATE!

I think I should go cuddle my moms new puppy now. So um yeah, Yay new Mythbusters!

P.S. Don’t tell Kari, but I still have such a thing for Scottie Chapman…

Someone still misses you…*sobs*

12/07/2012

When Games Came on Cassette.

While writing Tuesdays post on the joys of being an old-school gamer I remembered what should probably have made number one on that list. But instead I decided to write about it on it’s own, so it would not have to share the limelight with its lesser brothers.

You see there was a time my younger readers, and those of you who pushed the Q-Tip just a little to far inside thus wiping the memory from your brain, when music came on these long strips of magnetic tape. Those strips were encased in plastic, and revelled in the title “Cassette”. Well, the thing is that computer games came on them too, and didn’t we just love to hate them. Let me set the scene…

It’s 8pm on a cold, dark, wet Winters Friday night. School is over for the week, your homework is done sort of anyway, and it’s time to play. You’re hopped up on sour cola bottles, and really bad cheap cola, so sitting still is now a thing of the distant past, and your favourite game is in your computers tape deck. Can you hear it screeching, and wailing? Can you hear those weird clicks? Yes, the ones that bring to mind the words, Eldritch Horror.

Finally the sounds stop, and you wait for the load screen to clear. Your mouth is dry, will the Gaming Gods deny you this day? Or will you be transported to a gaming Nirvana where different coloured blocks fire different coloured blocks at other different coloured blocks…

FUCK! It mis-loaded, ten minutes of precious gaming time wasted. Turn the tape over, or if your game saves (assuming the game did in fact have saves) rewind it, and try again.

That’s what it was like once upon a time. You’d sit for ten minutes in absolute silence, trying to twitch as little as possible, despite what the E-numbers in your sweets were doing to your nervous system. This, so as not to anger the Gaming Gods, in the hope that they would actually let the damned thing load. And everyone I knew had their own ritual of appeasement for those cruel Gods, sitting silently wasn’t enough. Oh no, you had to turn clockwise three times, while chanting the lyrics to a specific Queen song backwards, and make sure to sacrifice a virgin as you pressed the play button on the player.

Then you didn’t move, you didn’t speak, if you coughed you winced, if you farted you knew, just knew that load attempt had been destroyed. Worse still if your mom came thundering into the room you may as well just burn the cassette, and buy a new untainted one.

But worse still was loading up a game for the very first time, you had no idea if you were about to play another Jet Set Willy, or another Impossible Mission (yes I’m reviewing that particular game soon, pray to Athena for me, that my suffering is short). Youngsters today think they know what a bad game is, just because it ends if you get hit by twenty bullets. Oh no youngster, a bad game was a game where you lost if you got hit by ONE bullet, ONCE! No saves, no extra lives, no continues. And what’s more that one bullet hit you in the first ten seconds on the first screen.

I know fear, I once played Impossible Mission. (Image via AtariAge.com)

Of course you probably only got to play those ten lousy seconds of lousy game experience after you had to run the entire cassette through the player TEN GODDESS DAMNED TIMES!

Yes the Gaming Gods were truly cruel. And in no way what-so-ever, just.

10/07/2012

The Ten Most Awesome Things About – Being an Old-School Gamer

I’m something of a PC gamer. I think that I’ve probably made that abundantly clear over the past 18-ish months,

So there I was, alone, facing down a Rift.

EVE Online, my first impressions.

The Joy of Minecraft.

and really those articles are just for starters.

I adore computer games, I have since the very first time I ever sat patiently, and expectantly through 10 minutes of screeching as a school owned Amstrad 464 loaded up a tape, finally letting me play Chuckie Egg. That you see is how long I’ve been a gamer. I started when a state of the art console came with the word “Atari” on it’s wood-effect encasement.

How gaming used to look.

So with all of those years of digital delight behind me, (Digital delight is kind of like Angel Delight, but with less artificial flavourings.) the time has come to share my ten favourite things about being an old-school gamer. Enjoy.

10: Games consoles genuinely used to come in a wood-effect casing. And what’s weird is that they kind of looked awesome because of it. Guess I’m just showing my age here, but I wish the Xbox came with a wood-effect option.

 9: Those same consoles used to come with things called joysticks. No direction pads, just a phallic shaped controller with one fire button, and it was fantastic, no learning hundreds of button press combinations, just so you could walk across the room. Just move the stick, and shoot pixels at other pixels. Classic.

See? Wood effect, and just one fire button! (Image via wikipedia.org)

 8: Multiplayer meant having friends over. This will shock some readers but, there was a time before wi-fi connections, before the internet, before online gaming. In this age playing a video game with more than one person meant you had to have more than one person physically in the room with you. They would sit there, with their own joystick in their hands, and you would both proceed to have this thing we used to call, fun. Yes kids, fun by making blocky pixels shoot blocky pixels are other blocky pixels.

 7: 25 million versions of Pong! Or at least it felt that way.

 6: The satisfaction when after five minutes of frantic blowing on the connectors, and repeated insertions into the console you finally got your cartridge to run. This may also have been good practice for dealing with the crushing disappointment of those first few sexual experiences…

 5: Bubble Bobble. Encasing enemies in bubbles, and then bursting them both with what amounted to headbutts. This was video game violence for my generation, and you know what? Our parents worried about the effect it would have on us too.

4: Joysticks were usable on more than one manufacturers console, or computer. This one addles a lot of younger people but there was a time when a Sega joystick or joypad worked for the Sega Megadrive (Genesis in the States), the Atari 2600, and both the Amstrad 464, AND the 6128. This would never happen these days, but back then it meant that the cash strapped gamer kid always had a ready source for a replacement controller.

3: Elite. I’ve already written in detail about this game, but it’s impossible to overstate the effect it had on my gaming generation, and me personally. It gave many of us our first taste of what gaming would become in the future, with it’s (for the time) great graphics, fascinating game play, well thought out controls, balanced combat, moments of utter frustration, moments of heart pumping victory, and Blue Danube playing over the start screen.

To this very day Blue Danube is my favourite piece of classical music thanks to the start screen of Elite. And it was due to just how good that music sounded, combined with the beautiful wire-framed graphic of my own ship spinning, and swooping in front of me that I was finally irrevocably addicted to video games.

 2: The day of the great upgrade. After playing an Atari 2600, or a truly primitive computer (that your first mobile phone  could out process by a few million times) for years, the day came when you upgraded. For my brother, and I it was a Nintendo Entertainment System. And it was a shock, 4 buttons on the controller start, select, A, and B. It was so much better than the Atari, or Amstrad. But it was still simple, gameplay still ruled, incredibly detailed, realistic graphics, and physics engines still lay in the distant future. And cartridges sometimes still needed a good blow to make them work. (I still maintain this was good experience for later human relationships.)

 1: My memories of the early home gaming industries attempts to bring the arcade into the home, I feel, gives me something which anyone who missed it lacks. Perspective. I have listened to 12 year old kids bitching about how bad “Murder-slash 3,000” is because the blood isn’t realistic. I’ve heard teens complain about how they hate a certain game because you can’t “Kill the people walking on the side walk.”

Leaving aside the…concerns those complaints raise about the sanity of younger gamers, (I mean after all who cares about the pedestrians as long as you can shoot the cops, (I kid, I kid)) these are what makes a game bad these days?

And then I remember that these kids never experienced games where the controls were so slow, and clunky that the character changed direction a full two seconds after you pushed the joystick, and a full second after they’d lost half their health-bar. Assuming they had a health-bar, and not just two extra lives with no continues.

They never experienced a game screen that was a mess of different shades of green, where you spent most of your first ten times playing just trying to figure out which of the weird shades of green was you.

They never bought a brand new, still sealed in the case game, that came with NO manual. And kiddies, there was no internet either to help your figure out what the hell was going on.

They never had genuine fun playing a birthday game that was so hard you were still trying to beat it when your next birthday came around. Because that was what meant quality, a game that was hard as hell, but still playable, where you knew you could probably beat it, if you just tried hard enough.

This Christmas my Partner in Crime has promised me a new console, my first in ten years, an Xbox 360. With it I’ll play first person shooters, and who knows what else with friends who aren’t even in the same country, much less the same room. And yeah we’ll have fun. I’ll have fun, but I think I’ll probably enjoy modern console gaming all the more because I remember a time when often the only way to get your game running was to give it a good blow before you just stuck it in.

I don’t know if I want to live on this planet anymore…(Image via Dam-age.com)

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