Odd weekend

Apr. 2nd, 2017 07:24 pm
lonemagpie: Jaffar (deep thought)
Odd, how normally it’s dates you remember, but sometimes it’s days instead, and then sometimes one of those gets connected to the other unexpectedly, and throws you, so you get thrown off-plan not on the one you usually expect.


Quite aside from connecting an actual date to an event I usually associate with Easter, Yesterday’s ITDOV put a thought in my head that I know is bollocks and my brain trying to fuck me up by needling, but which I could really do without. Anybody got some Retcon or a Blue Rose, or… I dunno, a mallet…?

(Let me put it this way, yesterday I was looking at Brexit stories to feel *less* down…)

Broken

Feb. 28th, 2017 10:56 pm
lonemagpie: like it says (fuck it)
Separate from the events of the convention, the weekend was interesting test of the state of my health. Not having control what's in the stuff I eat, coupled with a buggering up of routine, and random rather than programmed amounts of activity and stresses meant my blood sugar was all over the place (not into dangerous levels, but inconvenient) - so I must watch out for that any time I'm away having meals in hotels for multiple days.

I also at one point was looking for a particular person, was pointed to where he was, and, because of the colour of his jacket in a dark room with flashing coloured lights, walked straight past him because I literally couldn't see him in that colour/shade environment of a disco. Which means I think, even with the eyesight improvement, next time they ask if I want to register as partially sighted I might actually agree to do it.

I also know a lot of people who have mobility issues and lack of spoons, and was somewhat shocked, to see by direct interaction and comparison, that by Sunday evening I was as bad (with my left foot, whose heel I busted 30 years ago, as well as the blood thing). Cos I'm usually fairly... Able. I mean, I run around fencing and fighting in medieval armour, for fuck's sake...

So, I have to admit, though the panels and talks and stuff I did at the convention were great fun, health-wise that was a pretty disatrous weekend.
lonemagpie: Jaffar (deep thought)
The thing that gets me about the end of A Christmas Carol, and makes me think there ought to be a sequel that covers it, is the thing about Scrooge then keeping the spirit of Christmas - of kindness and helping and stuff - all year round, now that he feels Christmassy.

See, let me explain. If you're doing all these things and getting the Christmassy vibe from the fact that doing good things does actually make you feel good, then what actually happens when the calendar hits the Christmas season?

I'll tell you what happens - it feels like something is missing, cos you know what it should feel like, but most likely it''s actually going to work out to be a day which you don't get that good feeling, cos everything's shut and you're at home....

I mean, The most Christmassy I've felt this year was at times like the aftermath of pulling that random woman from the canal, or some things that happened at times like Yule Ball.. Which means by the time we reach this weekend - and especially when one is self-employed working from home - it feels like just a day when I'm sitting at home... It feels, basically, *less* Christmassy than other times of year. If this makes any sense at all.

They need to do a sequel that covers that. And that sounds less arsey, cos I know that probably comes over as some weird comic book bollocks that Peter Parker would have a problem with.

I dunno, I should do a novel or a script themed around it. Very odd.
lonemagpie: Jaffar (deep thought)
1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?

Had laser/eye surgery. Had a flu vaccination. Heard Alestorm.

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

As I say every year, I don't make them. The way you live your life is for life, not just New Year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not that I recall.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Bel, the cat I've known the longest, at the age of 17 and a half, in January. Great start to the year, right there.

5. What countries did you visit?

None. Unless you count Wales.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

The usual- Contracts for paid-up-front work. Stress-free periods of time. No surgeries. (Fat chance of this – there's one next month that I already know about.) Doing some proper fencing, choreography, and self defence workshops.

7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 24th, me and the boatman pulling a woman from the canal into a water taxi in Leeds. I've been in the right place at the right time to save nine lives over the years, but this one was from water, which for various reasons in my past makes it particularly meaningful to me.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

See the answer above- pulling a woman from the canal.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not attending any convention or teaching any fencing/choreography/self defence workshops... I dunno, really – I'm sure there are too many to choose from.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Eyesight went south in late January, bottoming out around late April/early May, but has largely recovered, to the state it was in around the end of 2015. And of course there have surgeries of one kind or another every few weeks - averages out to at least one a month, though more in the first half of the year than the second, and I managed to have December off from any.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I dunno. Really – can't think of anything specific. Something really cheap in a charity shop, probably.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Lots of people, as always... Lesley, Anne, Lynette, Cedar, Becky and Tony, Tlanti and Tyrone. Grouse. The various eye surgeons...

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Brexiters and Trumpeters.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills and arrears and Lesley's SCA adventures.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Nothing much. At least nothing much that actually happened.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?

Alive by Meatloaf.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? I dunno. The same. Neither?
ii. thinner or fatter? The same.
iii. richer or poorer? The same.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Work that paid, of course. Fencing/choreography/self dence workshops teaching and coaching, as I already said. Orgies and bisexual depravity? Political assassination? Bank robbery?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Having machines shoved down my throat and needles stuck in my eyeballs.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Same as last year- sitting at home, hoping the Dr Who special isn't shit.

21. How will you be spending New Year's?

Same as last year- sitting at home, hoping Sherlock isn't shit.

22. Did you fall in love in 2016?

Not specifically, but I fall in love with Lesley over again all the time. I think I mentioned that in previous years' answers as well.

23. How many one-night stands?

None. Ish.

24. What was your favorite TV program(s)?

Game Of Thrones, Westworld, Ripper Street, Murdoch Mysteries, The Flash, Gotham, etc.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Various politicians I'd never heard of last year. Otherwise just the same people.

26. What was the best book you read?

Probably Stephen King's “Revival” though the end was a bit of a letdown.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Alestorm

28. What did you want and get?

Improvement in health and eyesight? I think.

29. What did you want and not get?

Good paid contracts, the workshops I like to do, an Xbox One, a tidy house....

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I think Rogue One is the only movie I saw at the cinema this year, so...

31. What did you do on your birthday?

It's next week. Don't remember what I did last year.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I've mentioned the swordy martial arts teaching thing in this already, right? Or if we go with the other meaning of “satisfying” then I've made a crack about orgies and depravity...

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Clothed. Occasionally with armour.

34. What kept you sane?

Who said I kept sane? You should feel the inside of my head.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I dunno, I tend to fancy people that I actually know, based on personality, and the purely visual fancying tends to be when I'm watching movies or TV that could be decades old, so who knows what they even look like now, let alone what they're actually like?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The EU referendum.

37. Who did you miss?

The same people as always, and also Bel.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Cedar the Barefoot Bard, and also not forgetting some other SCA types such as Kirk Poore and Master Ulrik von Matanuska. But Cedar was the one who kept us singing, and was in our pageant!


39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:

Probably none of the ones I should.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

We'll roll the old chariot along, and we'll all hang on behind.
lonemagpie: Jaffar (deep thought)
David A McIntee
3 hrs ·

So... tournaments and competition fighting.

Not my thing, traditionally. I'm not interested in playing for ranks or titles because to me the martial arts are about self-improvement. Can I get more kills on you today than I did last time I fought you? That kind of thing. It's not, for me, a sport, or about winning. That's why I'm in it for the sparring. (Well, and coaching and stuff that I do.) However...

I was talking to Mike Prendergast on Saturday night, who, understanding all of this, and understanding why I haven't fought competition for, er, nearly 20 years, recommended that I do enter tournaments. He said that what I get out of it is something that I would get better out of tournaments, because everyone (self included) is doing their best there, not playing per se, which means my sense of how well I'm doing will be more accurate feedback than from normal and relaxed sparring. And, thinking about this, he's totally right, of course. Sometimes I've found in sparring (be it SCA, HEMA, or traditional martial arts like Taekwondo) that you sometimes find both yourself and your opponent laughing too much to do it properly. And that's fun, and I love it, cos this is a hobby, but it does affect the feedback.

He also reassured me that the judging and suchlike has changed a lot in the past 20 years (Look, I'm 47, I started before the name HEMA really existed!) And some stuff that happened back then was the main reason I stopped fighting competition, so... Even the SCA tournament I went in at Yule, after getting out of the hospital, has reassured me on that ... issue.

So I guess I'm saying that, while I still have no aim to win tournaments, nor acquire prizes, I will go back to entering tounaments, to test myself. For the most part we were talking HEMA here, but it will be a while for the reason that I need to get up to speed, train myself back out of SCA style, and fund new gear (cos anything I have left from back in the day no longer fits – I'm a lot slimmer now than then.), but, yeah. I'm not looking to win, because let's face it, my aim is internal, and I'm 47 now (and competition fighting is a youngster's game), but I will fight tournament again.

In the meantime, I guess I'll do more SCA fencing tournaments, for the same reason: Testing myself when we're being more serious. So, I have Master Cernac to thank or blame.

As for SCA Heavy... Watching Lesley do Coronet, I'm thinking every fighter should fight Coronet at least once. More importantly... How can I put this? Over the past year almost everything I give a shit about has been been being taken away from me, and after that bleeding to death thing, I just... I just can't think of a more appropirate “fuck you” and finger-flip to the Reaper, or whatever powers that be which have tried to get me so many times lately. That which does not kill me makes me very pissed off with it. So, yeah, I will do that, as and when appropriate, depending on getting authed and feeling confident that I have what it takes to do so. Which will not be until at least November 2017, whatever happens, because I'd also need to get some bits of armour sorted, and even if I was miraculously up for it in February, I have other commitments next February. But yes, I will get authed, get good, and fight Coronet sometime after Autumn 2017, if nobody minds...

No, I won't be taking up Taekwondo competitive fighting though! Everybody will think I'm an idiot about to be slaughtered everywhere anyway, so one has to draw a line somewhere....
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Ah, OK, I finally managed to actually miss a hosptial appoinment (one to chat and decide whether I need to stay on insulin, reduce it, switch to pills, or rely on diet and exercise) due to unexpected life getting in the way... But at the time I should have been getting on the bus for Harrogate from Leeds (where I'd been at the Armouries), I was actually, along with the boatman, pulling a young woman out of he Leeds canal and into the boat that I was a passenger in. And then, obviously, giving her my coat and looking after her while having to wait for cops and ambulance to arrive.

So now I just hope Harrogate's diabetic clinic are understanding and don't bounce me back to the GP or make me wait three months or anything.

Oh, well, I guess I missed it for the best of reasons, I was where I was needed to be, rather than where I needed be... And now I need a drink cos I'm a little bit "eep" about the women in water connection.
lonemagpie: gojira patronus (gojira)
Monitoring how my eyes are going, I fee; they somewhat bottomed out about three or four weeks ago, in terms of cobwebbing and interference with resolving text. The cobwebbing has reduced by around 60% from its worst since starting the tablets, and my reading-vision (if that's the right term) is better this week than it was a week to two weeks ago, though still worse than it was a month ago, (I'm comparing against the same book every few days, so I know I'm not being led astray by different types or fonts). So, that's somewhat reassuring, and I'm hoping the various treatments will continue to recover things.
lonemagpie: robot maria (robot maria)
Back from hospital and doped to the eyeballs. They did decide to install a few more upgrades, so I, based on last time, will doubtless be woozy for the rest of the weekend. Throat and gullet don't feel quite as raw as last time, so I guess theyve worked on a different bit of it.

On the upside, the gap till next time, they said, will be a whole six weeks - the longest gap yet.

If I'm being assimilated/Cyber-converted by stealth, I at least want to be Cyberleader and have the black handlebars.

For extra fun, my blood sugar before the op was down to 4.3, but at least that meant I got a couple of biscuits out of them afterwards...

Um, yeah, holding my head up to type is wearing after about five minutes. I wish I could get some of the sedative for home use - it'd be handy when Lesley snores. Guess I'll try to veg out to a DVD, but the chance of crashing to bed like last time is reasonably high.

What a romantic Valentine's weekend.
lonemagpie: gojira patronus (gojira)
So, the diabetes is Type 2, and apparently a relatively recent development. They reckon that - well, they reckon everything about this is unusual, and I was able to confirm that there's a history of "unusual" in the family, not a history of diabetes. Anyway, yeah, they reckon that I'd been pre-diabetic, in danger of it, for years, but not actually diabetic yet because I'd (quite coincidentally in a general attempt to stay fit and healthy) been controlling it. Until this year, when there was a lot of stress (which raises blood sugars), illness ((which raises blood sugars), injury (which raises blood sugars), allergic crap (which... you get the idea) and a course of steroids for that (which *really* raise blood sugars). And then in order to get toe most recent couple of books done, I'd trashed all that controle, skipped meals all over the place, fuelled on cola and cornflakes, and basically... Well, Boom.

However, this means that it too has sort of been caught early - so it and the liver both decided to launch all-out attacks before they were ready and established, which is always a losing move.

Anyway, so they looked at my glucose test record, and declared I've got it under "rock steady" control (the most common number I see is 7.4, down from 9ish last month), and asked if I wanted to a) try switching to tablets, but that the tablets are more for overweight pateints which I'm not, and that they probably actually wouldn't necessarily be right for me. (Unusual, remember). Or, b) stop taking the insulin and see what happens - well, no, cos I don't want any repeats of the bleeding to death on the operating table thing - or c) my preference, dial down the insulin dosage and see what happens. To be on the safe side, they're booking an appointment for the New Year so that the consultant can decide what to do next. Until then I'm to continue with the insulin since I don't want to "see what happens", and if the glucose numbers drop to the 5s and 4s give them a bell to get a lower dosage determined.

They also said I could just do glucoe tests on alternate days if i want, but I actually like seeing an objective run of how the system's functioning, so I'm happy to continue.

FWIW, apparently one particular blood test gives them the sugar reading for three months. When I went in, it was 58, which was just above the diagnostic band for diabetes. Today it was 47, which is *below* the diagnostic score for diabetes. Since there's no actual cure for it, I'm assuming either, a) the insulin is keeping it down, but can probably do with the dosage being reduced, b) it's some kind of false reading since by November 3rd none of the blood in my veins was actually mine, so I dunno if the continuity really works - but they probably thought of that, or c) the new regeneration cycle is working a little too well...!
lonemagpie: Bogie! (bogie)
Reaching that point in the year where Lesley - among others - starts to ask about what sort of thing I fancy for Xmas. And I... don't really know. Well, in material terms I'd say an XBox One, but we're skint so there's no point. And, as often over the past few years, what I want is more... meta than mere material goods.

I want... to converse happily with a friend I can't converse with (and Wayward Pine for). To hang out with another who's too far away and have a good time. To be a fencing Marshal. Muscle tone and stamina back. To take pleasure in giving pleasure - I don't mean in a sexual way, well, not only (I am that kind of lover,after all) - but it's what I get out writing, to make people forget their troubles for a few hours while reading what I've written.

And you can't buy those in a shop, or get them delivered by Santa...
lonemagpie: b7 finale (b7)
While wandering the charity shops on Saturday, I noticed they all have the full Xmas stuff up, and the town's Xmas lights are up. Normally this bugs the shit out of me, especially when it's before Children In Need, Bonfire Night, and Halloween - but then I realised I'd already missed Halloween and Bonfire Night in the hospital, and Children in Need is this week... So, what the fuck.

I do like the idea of the Xmas stuff being a ceremonial to they year. I'd reached my "this year is fucked and the sooner it's gone and we get a new one the better" limit in about August, and it's just got worse since then, so... yeah, I'm totally done with 2015.

Last night Lesley was saying "but what about the good memories of it?"" Well, no... What have I got good-memory-wise? I was happy after Redemption, with a happy reunion, but that didn't last, so it's tied to gloom. I loved the three-kill combo with the katana in the fencing Castle Battle at Raglan this year, but that's then tied to hospitalisation with anaphylactic shock... Which really just leaves me with the hotel visit to check out the Royal Victoria in Sheffield (Redemption's new home), where the food was amazing and, well, Tyrone Cartwright and everyone was good company... and that was just one night out, really, out of the whole fucking year.

And I have another surgery or two to go as an outpatient in the coming weeks, urgh.

So, yeah, somebody take 2015 out and shoot it in the back of the head. Then dismember it and and burn the pieces.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (jaffar)
When you're terrified for your friend, a thousand miles too far to stand guard or help, and looking for a picture that matches how you feel, and don't see anything that fits... Grr.
lonemagpie: Vastra and Jenny (vastra)
Well, at the end of the week, two FNGs join the Cat Collective's mouse police unit with us, under El Presidente Bel and Captain General Cleo... Here they are. Four-month old brother and sister litter mates.








Actually we're thinking the ginger boy is Lorenzo (il Magnfico) and the girl is Caterina (Sforza) - which also pays tribute to the late Her Mogjesty Katiya, who I often referred to as Katerina Kanonenkugel... So they'll both have renaissance names.

If the female had been the ginger one, then they'd have been either Mulder and Scully or Amy and Rory, obviously.
lonemagpie: McGoohan as Number 6 (6)
Odd. True, it’s not that much of a difference – I have a small set of turn-on triggers (and large set of turn-off triggers) for guys, and a far larger set of turn-ons for women – but it’s there. It’s rare that it makes itself known to me, but it’s there.

When I was a teenager I hated showering at school because the sensation of water running over me turned me on, and I didn’t want any other boys thinking I was turned on by them. And I know it’s the shower sensation, because the same effect happened at home on my own. (Look, *everything* gives teenage boys boners. Literally everyfuckingthing.) But at the time I didn’t really notice or think that the one turn-on might be overriding any reaction I might actually have to anyone else, without realising it.

Over the 90s I did have one or two friends who I wouldn’t have turned down. And just last week I ran into one guy who hit all the turn-on triggers and, amazingly, *none* of the turn-offs, and had the biggest “dear god I want to eat him alive and fuck him silly” reaction I’ve had in literally 20 years. But, you know, happily married and faithful.

Functionally and effectively straight, but still, I don’t think I can really get away with calling myself “straight” when it’s not, well, exclusively so, however slight the exclusion. Hetero-romantic, yes, but what-sexual?

I dunno that I’d want to call myself Bi, though, because I know that, politically, that leaves out a variety of gender identities, and there’s arguments about transphobia and stuff. And I don’t know that I’d want to identify as Pan, cos there’s arguments about biphobia there…I dunno that really I should call myself anything other than “straight but not 100% exclusively”. It’s at least 80%, but less than 100%.

Then again, as I’ve often said, I think that there aren’t as few sexual or gender identities or sexualities as people think. Not two, not half a dozen, not fifty like Facebook now allows – I think there are about seven billion.

I.e. “your sexuality/identity” is exactly that: *your* sexuality/identity.
Or in this case, mine. And I don’t know I’m really into labels.

Oh well, enough rambling.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (jaffar)
At Eastercon I may have accidentally outed myself as less than the 100% straight that everybody thinks.

(Actually everybody seems to think of me as *more* than 100% straight…)

If I haven’t then I probably shouldn’t have said this…

As for a con report - I liveblogged it on Facebook and Tumblr so I wouldn't have to do one... Lesley has done hers here: http://sweetheartwhale.livejournal.com/69153.html
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (jaffar)
A week until Christmas… Bloody hell. I’m somewhat surprised that nobody’s actually asked me “what do you want for Xmas” yet. Partly cos people who know me know what sort of thing I like, I suppose, but usually it’s the sort of thing people would say in general conversation. Odd that no-one has.

Odd, and, I’d have said at some points, a bit of a relief. I’d have had no idea what to say – I don’t care that much about material stuff (Amazon long since replaced Santa), and the two things that would have most immediately sprung to mind are… impossible.
There was a point – until a few days ago, really – where I’d have said what I really wanted for Xmas would have to involve either time travel, which is impossible, or memory erasure, which is probably slightly less impossible, but hard to come by in the mundane world.

See, after this year, I’ve been a bit down, as you may have noticed, and would have wanted something that could have changed that by magic… I’d have bitterly wished for the ability to go back into the year and try to be there for Eris all of Easter weekend, get Seven to a vet in the spring, be there to stop Lesley getting messed up by that fight at her workplace, get my key and go into my mother-in-law’s house on the morning she had stroke, not in the evening…
If I couldn’t have that – which obviously I can’t – I’d want my memory edited. Vulcan mind meld, blue rose, drugs and ECT, MIB flashy pen thing, whatever… I’d rather not have remembered being so happy at talking Eris down on Good Friday, or having four cats before our Whitby holiday in May, or having let down so many people I care about, up to and including Lesley, who might have not been so ill if I had kept better track of when her prescriptions need renewing, and stuff like that.

What it is is that I’ve failed and let down so many this year… I used to be good at doing good. I used to be able to help and heal and cheer and all that, and somehow this year it all went wrong – and that’s what I get depressed about when I get depressed. Which isn’t today, believe me, I’m coming to the good bit.
I get depressed at not being good enough for those of you I care about out there. Oh, sometimes I get triggered by grief at old things (yes, I still get triggered about things from, like, 20 years ago), but mostly it’s guilt- I turn against myself for not being good enough at looking after those I care about. Friends, lovers, family, those kinds of people.

Lesley compares me to the War Doctor – John Hurt in the Dr Who anniversary special – who was “the Doctor on the day” or year “when it wasn’t possible to get it right.” But who tried and did what he could and bore the guilt… yeah, sounds familiar.

I said earlier that I’m not bothered about material things at Xmas so much – it’s more about the end of the year, end of this season of the show, as it were – so what is it that I want?
Oh, I want healing, I want to feel less guilty, and I want to have the pain eased from wounds that can’t heal. How? By being the one who’s good at healing and cheering and all that stuff. By being better at being me than I was this year… But how does that relate to what I want for Xmas?

Because I realised what it is that I want- I want my friends and family and all those people I care about to… be happy. If for even a moment I can make any of you smile and feel better. *I* want *you* to get what you want, for Xmas.

That’s my Xmas.

That’s what I want for Christmas.

I want those of you who are anxious to feel calm, those of you who feel unwell to feel better, everyone to get the treats they fancy… I want my friends and family – and, what the hell, this is the world-wide-web, everybody I don’t actively dislike – to have pleasure, and safety, and calm, and… To enjoy themselves, to feel refreshed.
Whether they’re celebrating a Christian holy day, a pagan festival, the passing of the darkest day of the year, the return of their favourite TV shows, the chance to get a few days off work, relaxing, partying, whatever!

Friends, family, loved ones… I want you to smile. I want you to feel good. I want you to forget your troubles. I want you to feel that way for even a moment over the festive season – longer is better, but even a moment is better than nothing.
I mean, I’m not going all “Peace on Earth and goodwill to all” on you, because I know that’s way beyond me, but I want those who know me, or read this, to get at least a moment’s respite from whatever gets them down.
I want them – you – to be merry and happy, and I want to have helped make it so. (Sorry, just watched the Patrick Stewart Christmas Carol, and my subconscious is throwing Picard up)

So nobody need ask what I want for Christmas; it’s all there: Those I care I about having good times and good vibes is what I want. Have those, and that’s a fantastic gift for me.
And I’m serious about this. I’ve a lot of letting people down to make up for by trying to lift others.

I may edit this later to ad some specific shout-outs, who knows.

I may even think of some pics and links and stuff to offer over the festive fortnight. Keep an eye out…

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