Archive for March, 2013

25/03/2013

This is a fucking brilliant idea…

don't buy transphobia

Don’t Buy Transphobia is a campaign for anyone who thinks ‘enough is enough’ about the way the transgender community are treated by the national press.
For many people that point came last week with the sad death of Lucy Meadows, a primary school teacher in Accrington, who was hounded by the local and national press.
Their interest in her was soley for being transgendered. Admittedly she was a teacher doing something not all teachers do, she was transitioning but her school were supportive and mostly she was just getting on with her life. It’s not really national news is it?

But the national press thought it was.

They thought it was such important news that they hounded her, opinion formers like Richard Littlejohn at the Mail poured vitriol on her life, and the press pack sat outside her house and hassled parents for comment… but only negative comment. They weren’t…

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20/03/2013

Okay I’m burning out.

For most of the past month I’ve been struggling with the worst migraine cluster I’ve had since my teens. As I write this I’m sitting here squinting at the screen through a fog of pain caused by my 17th migraine in 24 days. Even so I’ve mostly managed to keep on top of my blog, my web-comic, and my second novel. Well I can’t anymore. I just can’t.

I’m taking a break. I have to give myself a chance to get over this cluster, and stressing every single day over the work I didn’t get done yesterday simply is not helping. So for the next while I won’t be writing, and any drawing I do will be a huge bonus, not a requirement.

So my blog is going on hiatus until the 9th of April.

My web-comic will probably be updated in that time, but probably not weekly.

I have to apologize for this to my regular readers, but the choice is very nearly between taking a short break now, or keeping going and ending up in a situation where I never want to write, draw or otherwise be creative again. And I so wish that last statement was an exaggeration. Anyway folks, be good, have fun, and I’ll catch you all again when I don’t have a hateful lil git somewhere in my skull stabbing my brain with his pickaxe.

20/03/2013

This piece covers several points I’ve never been able to find the words to express properly. Please read.

Clare Flourish

 Tuck your penis, as if it was not there

How to tuck your penis, to achieve a feminine profile, so you can wear swimming costumes like the one pictured.

Julie Bindel insulted a trans woman: I was volunteering at a service near a street prostitution area where the women had an appalling history of child sexual abuse and who were being abused on the streets, and a male to female transgender person pre-op, came in, beard stubble, very short skirt, sat with her legs very widely splayed and obviously had male genitals and proceeded to behave aggressively to the other women, and there was nothing the manager of the service could do to tell her to leave because she legally has the right to be in that space as a woman…their rights are viewed as more important than the women.

You can avoid this problem.

When I dressed female…

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12/03/2013

I came to a big decision last week.

Most of the people reading this will have seen my very short-lived video blog. A few things have killed it off after only 3 parts.

First I became too ill, for a period of three months, to either sit in front of a camera or to want to be seen by the world when I felt like I was dying.

Second my old PC finally gave up the ghost, succumbing to a full-scale motherboard failure. My PC was eventually replaced by a nice shiny new Dell 17″ desktop replacement laptop. Though admittedly weighing in at almost 4 kilos calling it a laptop might be, stretching things a little.

Finally when I did receive my new laptop, and set about recording a new video blog I ran in to some horrible technical problems. Not least the fact that my audio was completely out of synch with my video. That wouldn’t be much of a problem except that I have ZERO video editing knowledge, and in fact had used Windows Movie Maker to record, and produce my first three videos, none of which had actually involved much in the way of editing. End result, Amanda tearing her hair out after a full day of trying, and failing to synch them both up.

Well last week I was having a chat with a really lovely girl I know from the U.S., and she gave me some damned good advice. And that advice was as follows…

SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!

And do you know what? She had a pretty good point. Up until this week I have been doing the following, every, single, day. (Barring Sunday, and any day I have an appointment anywhere. So probably it’s more like 95% of every, single, day.)

* 1 hour of ukulele/mandolin practice. Scales, followed by working on one piece for at least 30 minutes.
* 1 hour of writing exercises. Time spent learning new words/trying to learn grammar/punctuation, (with minimal success I have to admit) as well as writing, and rewriting the same piece over and over as many times as I can, each time with different sentences/words/structure, while always keeping the content and message the same.
* 1 hour drawing practice. Which is literally what it sounds like.
* 2 hours working on a novel. This can be writing, researching, or taking down notes.
* 1 hour on one of my pet projects Lately this has been learning about airsofting, but in the past it’s included learning to build PC’s, building things, stuff like that. But it had included video blogging. And finally.
* 1 hour of research every evening. Actually this usually runs to about 2 hours. But that’s because I really enjoy finding out about new things, and expanding what I already know, all so I have a vast wealth of random information to use in whatever project I’m concentrating on.

I think you’ll agree that for a girl who has a really debilitating chronic illness, that’s kind of a lot of stuff to take on. And don’t get me wrong I love doing almost all of it. I enjoy working. I enjoy making, creating, writing, learning. To me it’s actually just as much fun as kicking ludicrous amounts of ass in Skyrim. But lately I’ve come to realise that it’s just too much for me to handle. Not least because those “* 1 hour”‘s usually overrun. I start out intending to do one hour of sketching, then look at the time and realise, “Oh shit! It’s been 3 hours!” It’s taken together, all too much.

So I listened to that girl, and then out of curiosity I went back to watched my own video blogs. Something I had never done before. And they’re, okay. Actually the transphobia one is pretty good. But they’re not what I had intended my video blog to be. And worse, they’re less than I know I’m capable of. So I’m stopping recording new video’s for the time being. I’m also putting my music practice to one side, and letting go of my writing exercises for a while. The former because It’s really just a hobby for me, not something that drives me. The latter because I honestly don’t believe I’m reaping much, if any, benefit from them any more.

That’s 2 hours each “working” day freed up, right away.

So for now there’ll be this blog, my webcomic and the work needed to bring that to where I feel it should be, the novel I’m currently trying to get written, and the extra time is going to go in getting ready to relaunch my video-blog at some stage in the future.

I know precisely what I want it to be, and while I know it won’t be exactly that instantly, it can, and should be much better than it currently is. It just needs work, and I have a lot to learn in order to be able to do that work. You know, minor things like basic video editing, lighting techniques, basic camera work. And I need to sort out equipment for it also, I need to make as much of it as I can, and source the rest for as little money as possible. I’m determined that when I go back to it, it will be what I truly want it to be, not the milky, watered down version it’s been to date.

So rest assured, my video blog will return in the future. It will be better than it was. It will probably be considerably different to what it used to be. But most of all it will be something I can be proud of.

But for now I hope that you’ll keep reading my blog, my webcomic, and some day maybe even my novels. (Goddesses and a publisher willing.)

09/03/2013

The thing I hate most about my life.

Is not that I’m transgendered. I’m cool with that. No, actually I’m very, very happy with that. It’s a big part of not just what, but who I am.

It’s not that my sexuality seems to have shifted a little. I may not be overly fond of the fact that I’m what I think of as a 5% bisexual. But I don’t hate it, I just don’t hugely like it either. After all your sexuality isn’t something to love or hate, it just is.

It’s not even the way that I am always sick, hard as that may be to believe. And believe me when I say that always being sick is a very hard road to travel. Never being able to plan more than a couple of days ahead, simply because it’s impossible to predict what your body will be capable of in a few days time. Not being able to do the things you love, because they hurt too much. It does suck. But after so many years like this being ill has become rather like my sexuality. Just something that is.

I don’t hate that I’m kinky, or poly. More love is usually better (barring the occasional psycho second partner, or that rare person who simply is incompatible with your other partner), and how can finding ever more interesting ways of expressing that love be a bad thing?

Nope, the thing I hate most about my life is the, for me, immeasurable hurt that my existence in her life has caused my partner. Well more precisely the hurt my existence has allowed other people to cause her.

I adore my Partner in Crime. I simply could not wish for a better partner. She’s loving, caring, intelligent, sexy, beautiful, and unlike me can actually cook. And after almost 9 years in each others lives I would be hard-pressed to come up with much of anything about her that I don’t love. She’s given me 9 years of mostly happiness. And I like to think that mostly that’s what I’ve brought her also. But my nature, which is so often an issue for people on the street, has also from time to time proven to be an insurmountable issue for members of her family, and I suspect for people who are now former friends.

So I hate that my existence means that she has lost inclusion by parts of her family. I hate that I’m the reason for her losing out on those relationships. I hate that my loving her has led to her missing important family events.

I come from a rather small family myself (excluding various adopted family members who rather dramatically increase the numbers). Just myself, my mom, and my brother. But I know how much it would hurt me to be excluded from anything that might happen in the years to come. So I can at least begin to imagine how this has hurt my Partner. And all I can do to make up for that hurt is to love her as much as I possibly can, while I try my hardest to deserve being in her life.

Anyway this post is really just about me getting this off of my chest. Its been bothering me a lot lately, and better to vent than to let it build up until I finally explode leveling a large part of Dublin County.

08/03/2013

Acidgirl Page 6

That time of the week again. Hope you all enjoy.

Acidgirl Page 6

05/03/2013

A Poor Girls Guide to keeping warm, when it’s frikkin’ cold outside (and maybe inside too). Part 2.

Last week I covered some of the things I’ve learned over the past decade, and a bit, of frugal living where it comes to staying warm. Staying warm when you’re on a tight budget is tough, sometimes almost impossible, but where there’s a will, and some prior planning, there is a way.

We left out topic last time with the importance of warm feet. But what else is there to cover? Well last week was all about keeping warm, and some of this week will be too. But all too often I found myself just having to cope with being cold, and that’s a totally different kettle of fish, so…

1. Get enough sleep.

When I was always cold, I was always tempted to climb into bed in the afternoon to hide from everything. The problem with this was that I then slept very badly at night, and felt constantly tired. This then had a knock on effect on my sense of well-being (such as I ever experience). If you feel tired/generally crap you will almost certainly feel even colder, which may make you want to hide under a duvet even more during the day, and thus a vicious circle is born. I can not put this strongly enough, don’t let this happen. The difference a solid nights sleep can make to your sense of well-being even when your cold is difficult to overstate. Of course this does mean you need to sleep well at night.

2. Love your electric blanket.

Nothing is worse than lying in your bed, buried under a duvet, and shivering. No, actually one thing is worse, having feet so cold that they hurt while your shiver in bed. For around five years of my twenties that was my Winter night-time experience. I would go to bed hot water bottle in hand, so tired my eyes just would not stay open. Get into my comfy, snuggley bed, and spend hours almost in tears from the pain in my feet. Move the hot water bottle to my feet and the rest of my body would get cold, and I’d start to shake.

I wish I’d known then just how big a difference an electric blanket would have made to my life. They can be expensive to buy, 100 euro’sish for a good double one, but they’re cheap as chips to run, and the difference getting into a piping hot bed will make to your nights sleep is simply impossible to state. And a rested body, is much better able to cope with the cold.

3. Never waste heat.

By this I mean, if you just cooked dinner in the oven, leave the oven door open as it cools so that heat gets a chance to warm you. Tumble drier just stopped? Leave it open so the extra heat can warm that room even a tiny fraction. Simples.

4. If you’re cold, wear a hat.

Back when I was a lot younger I was a hillwalker, and one of the many things I learned during that time was that if I was cold, wear a hat. The idea that you lose 20% of your heat through your head is a myth which came about because of a badly worded statement, but that said you will benefit hugely from insulating your head. Hats can be bought very cheaply, and on even the coldest day if you can make your head warm, you’re going to feel pretty much immediately better about everything. which leads me to…

5. Being cold makes you angry.

It really does. It’s makes you pissed as all Hell. You will be snappy, crabby, grouchy, and you will take it out on whoever is near you. And never forget that while the emotions are being caused by your bodies reaction to the cold, those emotions are still very real, and so are the repercussions. I strongly suggest having a small stash of chocolate, red wine, basically whatever your nearest and dearest likes the most to use as a peace offering if you blow up for no reason.

How does that fit into the thrifty lifestyle?

It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a divorce.

6. Buy fuel over the Summer.

A lot of what I’ve written so far works on the assumption that you have no workable heating source. But many people have just one room they can keep warm, often, in Ireland at least, the living room and with an open fire. This is perfectly viable, and can be run if not cheaply, at least economically. I speak as someone in this precise situation, and as such I have to admit that I am guilty of a cardinal sin here. I tend to stop buying fuel for the fire over the Summer, and this is a big mistake. Buy less fuel, yes. But do keep buying a little each week, build up a stockpile of logs, briquettes, and coal for the Winter. Have a backlog that means if we’re unlucky enough to have a snowy Winter again, you can afford to keep the one room toasty. A little expense spread over a lot of time, is much more affordable than a lot of expense that hits you from nowhere.

7. Have a coping mechanism in place for when you get down.

Being cold is depressing, monumentally so in fact. Very little can bring you crashing down in the same way. I couldn’t begin to tell you haw many days I spent in floods of tears, so depressed I couldn’t even get out of bed. All caused by living with cold. And I LIKE the cold! For someone who doesn’t it’s nothing short of torture. So it’s essential to have someway of bringing your mood back up when it crashes in that way. My own at the time was an old Playstation 1 and SoulBlade. A game that would always bring me back up no matter how bad I felt. For other people it might be music, a book, a movie. But whatever it is to cope with being cold find it, and use it.

8. Exercise.

This should be a no-brainer, but anyway. When you live somewhere cold exercise is even more important. It will make you feel warm, it will help your body to set itself up to cope with the cold better. You will make your body more efficient, you’ll use your food better. You’ll sleep better, and the endorphin rush from exercising will all help you to cope better.

Oh, and you’ll live longer.

9. Finally. If you can, move.

Unfortunately there’s not really much you can do to lessen the financial hit of moving home. But if you’re that cold. If your life is a story of moving from warm spot to warm spot, through a freezing apartment/house, and if you can. Then get out of there. Leave. Being that cold for that long will cause long term problems, and most of them will be psychological. I, for example, start to get panicky when the fire starts to burn low. I used to be friends with someone who having lived in a similar situation was unable to sleep without two duvets (spelling?) on the bed, even if it wasn’t cold. She just had to have the security of knowing it was under her, and that she could nip underneath it if she needed.

Sometimes you can’t move. Finances, work, just life in general will get in the way. But you can always plan, and prepare to move. You can start looking around for a place to live, price accommodation in the area. Organise your possessions. Because if you’re that cold, I would be stunned if you didn’t want to move, and you never know when a windfall will allow you to escape to somewhere warmer. And when you do…well it’ll never be cheap, but I have a few hints for moving home on a budget. Watch out for that in the future.

In the meantime, stay warm, stay safe, Winter is almost over, and have a watch/listen to this and cheer yourself up.

A poor girls guide to being great with money.

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

A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great With Money – Christmas Planning. (Part 2)

A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great With Money – Grocery Shopping.

A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great With Money – Clothes Shopping Part 1: General Tips.

A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great with Money – Clothes Shopping Part 2: The High Street.

A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great with Money – Clothes Shopping Part 3: Thrift Shops.

A Poor Girls Guide to keeping warm, when it’s frikkin’ cold outside – Part 1

02/03/2013

Happy Birthday to me!

So the past week I’ve gone from one migraine to another, end result being that my concentration was simply not good enough to get much of anything done. This ended with my having to do a very quickly drawn filler art for my webcomic.

Filler Art – Migraine Ninja

But combined with my birthday being on Monday, and my shared birthday party being today means not really any blog for today either. So…yeah. Have a nice weekend and I’ll be back on Tuesday with Part 2 of the…

Poor Girls Guide to Staying Warm.

Oh and I’ll leave you with my idea of a birthday song. Enjoy.

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