Archive for the My So-Called Life Category

I’m Dreaming of a Rather Disturbing Christmas

Posted in Holidays, Mental stuff, My So-Called Life, My Thoughts on X Thing with tags , , , , , , , on 27/12/2009 by phyrbyrd

Well, I should stop apologising for it being a while, since I only post when I feel I have something to say and I haven’t had anything particularly pertinent to say for the past month – I’ve just been busy. Even clam-examiners will know why – it is the season to be… well, at least not publicly miserable, anyway.

I am spending the holidays with three different sets of family this year, and so my present list has been quite large. I am currently writing this on Boxing Day evening from an air bed in the house of one of Mum-Ra’s twin sisters (1). I have had a good Christmas – there are family circumstances that put a darkener on the whole thing, but on the whole it’s been pretty good. Dark Twin has two daughters, and I don’t often see my cousins – we live at opposite ends of the country so it’s good to catch up. Tomorrow the Boil and I are going to visit other relatives, and Mum-Ra will stay to help deal with the family circumstances for a few more days.

But I’m not posting about Christmas, particularly, although I hope yours went well. What I’m actually posting about is dreams. You see, last night, I had a really disturbing dream. Not a nightmare, in that I wasn’t actually scared by it. I seldom get nightmares anymore in that sense – I just don’t scare easily. I was, however, very rattled when I woke, because although I’m told that nobody knows where dreams come from (2) I tend to believe that they’re composed entirely of the dreamer’s experience – that is, you can’t dream what you’ve never seen or at least heard of. This dream, therefore, was one which I was shocked to find in my own head.

I’m not going to tell you exactly what I dreamed. I’ll tell you the one before it – I was sitting in a bar drinking orange juice which was paid for by the man beside me who was drawing banknotes, and these notes were accepted as totally legal tender by the barman. After I’d drunk a massive amount of juice, the skin started to peel away from my hands, leaving bloody gashes in which the blood clotted up and hung in lumps. This dream was by far the less disturbing of the two – the later dream was perverse, illegal and not politically correct on many levels. There is nobody I could describe it to for fear that they, too, would be shocked at me for dreaming it and for the emotions that I felt while I was dreaming it – because, of course, the feelings were part of the dream, and it didn’t occur to me to be nauseated until after I woke up.

And yet. Why be horrified at Hypothetical Woman because she dreamed a dream? It’s not her fault. It isn’t her fault that her dream-self felt nothing but childlike wonder as she watched what would normally be illegal in several countries. She isn’t a lucid dreamer. She just dreams the dream, and then she wakes up and wishes she could scrub out the inside of her head.

I have encountered this misaimed prudery before, too – once I was in my art class and someone mentioned that they’d heard that ‘frottage’ was some kind of sexual act (3), so I explained it and everyone was mildly shocked – so was I, but mostly at the thought that they’d thought I was a nice girl. This was the same class that had seen me present this as an exhibition piece the year before. But really, why be shocked? I’d heard about it. It didn’t mean I was into it and even if I was, what business was it of theirs?

The original aim of this post is beginning to escape me – I believe it was something along the lines of, I’ve had some quite disturbing dreams, and people should be more open-minded. Happy New Year.

  1. Henceforth known as Light Twin and Dark Twin, since they are non-identical twins and one is darker than the other. Both married officers in the british navy, but since I’ve only met Light Twin’s husband once, I’m going to call Dark Twin’s husband Navy Guy.
  2. I would give a reference for this comment but it’s late and all I can find online at the moment is a load of guff about dream meanings and spirituality. I’ll fix this later if anyone gives a damn.
  3. ‘Frottage’ means ‘rubbing’ in French – in a sexual sense it can mean anything from masturbation to rubbing one’s genitals together. I, personally, think she already knew, but I picked it up from Y!Gallery.

The Thought Box

Posted in craft, Craft Post, My So-Called Life, My Thoughts on X Thing, Politics, Thought Box with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 10/11/2009 by phyrbyrd

Another ‘it’s been a while’ post – apologies, it has been a while. There are a couple of reasons for this – one is that my life has been rather hectic lately, the other is that I’ve honestly been trying to get together a good coherent post but really my thoughts are too fragmented at the moment to do so – this happens to me a lot, so I’m just going to give you the fragmented thoughts in the hope that you find those interesting.

First of all, I had two of my wisdom teeth out a few days ago. The operation itself was a snap – they put me under, and afterwards I came round with a minimum amount of wooziness, was chatty and chirpy within a couple of hours and after a night’s observation,* was sent home. However, now the right side of my face is all swollen, eating a meal is a chore and sleeping is increasingly broken, and after being informed that this isn’t actually all that normal, I’m going to the dentist to check that I don’t have an abcess. IT NEVER ENDS.

I had no idea people normally get sent home with antibiotics after a wisdom-tooth-ectomy or whatever they call it, but I’m not surprised I didn’t. The hospital I went to had to phone out to check whether the stitches would dissolve, and couldn’t tell me how to clean my teeth post-operation. I’m not saying they were incompetent – I’m saying they were hideously underfunded. The nurses were lovely, sweet and friendly,** but the beds had very, very minimal bedding and what blankets there were were mostly fraying. The NHS is one of the most underfunded things this country has; it’s also one of the most precious things we have. It should at least be able to afford a whole blanket for every hospital bed.

And across the pond, America is on its way to getting government health care. This is a good thing. I can’t understand why a lot of Americans seem to think it’s a bad thing – I guess the freedom to go bankrupt because you fell ill is a basic human right? So Obama’s having to fight every step of the way to get this through. And one of the things that’s happened is that the Stupak Amendment has passed. Basically, if you’re an American woman, and you’re not rich, abortion is now illegal. This is hideous, and I can only hope on behalf of my American friends that Obama fixes it quickly.

Obama, of course, can’t fix everything – that’s been one of his big problems, lately. Everyone expected that he would fix everything, clean up the mess Dubya left behind – but he is, after all, only human, and America has a senate, not a monarchy. Obama cannot just say ‘do this’ and have it be done – there is a hell of a lot of due process first. There is a lot he has not yet delivered, but at the end of his first year, I actually think he’s done pretty well, considering. Apart from the Stupak thing.

On a different note, I spent a while today with my stepfather, hereafter known as the Mad Scientist, and his best friend the Hardened Cynic. I was at the Mad Scientist’s house, where I spend a lot of time, and it’s a nice, relaxing place to be – Mad Scientist is free with tea, coffee and conversation, and so a lot of people come and go. At one point Mad Scientist’s brother, Crazy Artist, turned up, and, as is his wont, started to rant. Now, the people around this house generally have at least one pet theory or another, they’re usually very intelligent people*** and I have reason to respect a lot of them, if not to take them seriously all the time. Most of them have known me at least since I was in high school and so it’s taken a little while to pluck up enough confidence in my own intelligence and research skills to be able to offer my own input. And normally it is taken on board and given as much airtime as anyone’s – except by Crazy Artist.

Crazy Artist is a ranter. He talks down to me, will not let me finish and assumes I know nothing. Apparently he does this to everyone and I take it too personally – maybe I do, but talking to him always ends in me seething. I have been told that Hardened Cynic is also a ranter who talks down to people as though they were ten – but Hardened Cynic offers me respect. He allows me to finish my sentences. More than that, Hardened Cynic is one of my dearest friends – he was one of the people who was there every day when I was seriously ill, he has seen me at my lowest. He offers me criticism that I can take gladly, because it feels honest, and he also tells me when I do well. Crazy Artist has an art degree, and I don’t show him my work anymore because his attitude is always, ‘Meh, it’s OK – and this is what’s wrong with it.’

I will do my very best not to rise to Crazy Artist’s bait next time – even Mad Scientist is saying maybe I should slap him.

Anyway, I leave you with, at the bottom of the post, one of the things I’m most proud of – a clothespin doll I made in 2007. This one was actually the second stop on a process that started with me wondering how elaborate I could make a peg doll – the first one was made in 2006, and I shall show her to you another day. This one was made a year later to check how far my skills had evolved. I think I might make one of these every now and again just as a periodic skill check.

* – Due to my epilepsy and possible effects post-general anaesthetic, they wanted to keep me in for a night under observation.

** – When I was in for three weeks in 2006 with pneumonia, I passed the time mostly by complaining – I consider NHS nurses to be absolute saints.

*** – Although occasionally inclined to tinfoil-hattery.

Autumn Angel - November 2007

Autumn Angel - November 2007

The First Craft Post

Posted in Craft Post, My So-Called Life, My Thoughts on X Thing with tags , on 06/10/2009 by phyrbyrd

Ah, the first ever craft post, and all my craft equipment is in boxes being transported to the new Tower of Solitude! I did actually consider making a seperate blog for my craft posts, but… we’ll see. If I make enough of them to sustain a blog, then maybe.

I really wanted to get down and make something for the new place – it needs some stuff, especially some things to make the bathroom halfway presentable,* but as you know, I have none of my equipment here with me. So to satisfy my itching craft fingers and establish how the pictures work on this thing I’m going to show you some projects past and in progress instead. Lucky you.

Meet Safi. Well, the felt version, anyway.

Meet Safi. Well, the felt version, anyway.

This boy – yes, he is a boy, and he has a little felt weener to prove it, although that picture’s not going up just yet – is Safi Kashtihaz, he’s a character in Genesis Era, which is an RP which has been taking up rather a lot of my time. You likely won’t get a full explanation here – that really would need its own blog and I’m not convinced that anyone other than me and Pocketfox, the other player, would read it. Anyway, Safi here is Pocketfox’s character, he’s my first ever wired plushie – at least, he has a minimal pipe-cleaner skeleton enabling me to pose him a bit – he’s waiting for a second outfit to be made for him, and when all is finished, he will be one of a pair.

Continue reading

Moving House, Can’t Think

Posted in My So-Called Life with tags , , on 04/10/2009 by phyrbyrd

As you can see, there has been no Hypothetical Woman post for the past few days. This is likely to continue for a few days longer as I am moving house (along with half the rest of humanity, it seems). This is taking up all my available time and effort, everything aches and I just about have the energy to get into bed and check my e-mail – certainly none to think about anything on a serious level. The Blog will be back as soon as I am settled in my new Fortress of Chaos or whatever the hell I decide to name it, whereupon I will very likely start talking about what it’s like to be living alone for the first time.

Or not. We’ll see.

Till then, allons-y!

Dr. X. Ample and the Fucking Script

Posted in My So-Called Life, Showbiz with tags , , on 25/09/2009 by phyrbyrd

Please excuse the couple of days’ gap in posting here* – I am flying and falling, tumbling in turmoil, but not bouncing into Graceland. No, my life decided to LEVEL UP RITE NAO DAMMIT and, due to a rather unexpected decision by my landlord, I am moving out on my own for the first time ever. I’m on top of things for now, but things like blogs take a bit of a back seat to things like rent deposits and benefits forms.

Anyway, that’s not what I’m talking about today. If you read the title and are not a clam-examiner, you have likely worked out what this is all about. This. Or, if you prefer the Seussian version, this. In case you’re not clear, Josh Olsen doesn’t want to read your fucking script.

Tenured Radical is pretty offended by this. She says that since Olsen is rich and has connections in the film industry, it is his duty to help talented young screenwriters get their break. She points out the incredibly true fact that it’s almost impossible to get into Hollywood – or publishing, or big theatre, or the fashion industry, or any other creative job – if you don’t know someone who’s already there. You have to be a friend of a friend.

I know this. Hell, I know this – my brother, the Boil, just finished a film degree. He spends hours storyboarding films, dedicated to the execution and the planning. We have a family friend working at the BBC, but that’s not going to get him in cinemas. All that’s going to get him is maybe the fact that she knows somebody who can help him, and so it goes. In the art world, it’s hard not to be resentful of some of the artists already there, especially when you don’t see the point, and they’re being paid vast sums while you can’t give your work away.**

So, yes, talented amatuers need help. Oh, so desperately do they need help. And who better to help them than those at the top?

I agree with what I just said. I also disagree with the main content of Tenured Radical’s post because of the slightly controversial belief that, yes, rich people and people who are successful in their field are humans too. For the record, I don’t like the phrase, ‘Dr. X. Ample is human too,’ or the variants, ‘Misc. Mook is a person as well’ and ‘Person Ecks has feelings too’. It is a begging phrase. It asks me, not to bring the subject to the same level of consideration as everyone else, but in some way *higher*. It begs pity, even where none is necessarily needed.

I do not use it in that sense. When I say that Josh Olsen is human, I am not asking you to pity him. He is successful, he has everything he needs and he seems*** happy. He doesn’t need pity. However, does need sleep and rest, time to eat, time to spend with his family and friends, time to do his own work. Is Tenured Radical seriously suggesting that he do his job and spend every second remaining in the day reading amatuer scripts and writing reviews? He must get hundreds of these things! And even if he only gets a few a week now, if word got out that Josh Olsen would read your screenplay for you, he’d get thousands of the damn things. And up till now I’ve been talking about ‘talented amatuers’ but the vast majority of amatuers are DIRE. Think about it. Would you like to spend five hours every day reading and reviewing every single fanfiction on, thoughtfully, professionally and with a view that the author really, *really* wanted your *honest* opinion and thought *such* a lot of you, but honestly, if you told them how bad their work really was, would never forgive you? Because that’s what it amounts to.

Josh Olsen is not morally obligated to read anybody’s script. He is not contractually obligated to anyone who simply hands him a script and asks him to read it. The fact that he is successful does not make him evil.**** There is no debt of success to be paid to those who haven’t made it yet. The people giving him scripts act as though he owes it to them to read it. Almost all the time, he owes them nothing, not his time, not his opinion, nothing. It is his choice whether to read the damn thing and nobody has any right to flounce about whether or not he does so.


* – Goodness, I’m apologising for a posting gap of three days. Bet that won’t last…

** – My personal target of bafflement is currently Tracey Emin. Somehow I can’t help but think that the real art is getting the art world to accept this. But if anyone else can see beauty or intelligence in her work, I will not tell you that you’re a moron or lack taste, partly because of the Eye of the Beholder clause, and partly because I hate it when people say that kind of thing to me.

*** – Although, not actually being psychic, I wouldn’t say for sure.

**** – There will definitely be a post on alignments eventually. It’s one of my great controversial rants.

Why I Hate Public Transport

Posted in My So-Called Life with tags , , , on 21/09/2009 by phyrbyrd

Not a Hypothetical Woman post for this one, or a particularly political one – this one is personal.

See, this weekend I went from The Grim North to the Capital to the wedding of an old and dear friend, one who I’ve known since I was about eleven years old, when she was in college and crashing on our sofa for a while*. She’s come a long way since then – she’s a high-flying corporate lawyer (still very nice, though) and married another very nice corporate lawyer from Munich on Saturday.

Mum-Ra and I got up at half past six in the morning, drove to Big Northern City #1 and caught the train all the way down to London.** That went alright, despite the fact that we’d got on the wrong train – an hour earlier than we’d meant to, and the conductor said he would allow our tickets ‘this once’.*** But we got there alright, after much running around the London underground, and the wedding was lovely. Beautiful church, the Bride looked gorgeous, like a porcelain Royal Worcester cake topper.

The reception was amazing too – I made friends with many of the Groom’s family who all seemed disproportionately impressed when I tried out my terrible high-school German on them, and the only real low point was the speech made by the Bride’s Father, who seemed to think it was appropriate to make jokes about taking people out and shooting them in a room full of Germans.

Anyway, Mum-Ra and I had to leave early, as in before dessert, so as to catch our train home. We sat in a traffic jam in a taxi for twnty minutes, hared through the underground, and missed our train by about four minutes. After some standing around and asking what we were going to do, we eventually stayed the night with one of the bridesmaids and got lifts home, seperately, with other guests.

But I hate public transport. It costs too much and you are at the mercy of the system. You can’t relax and you must always watch the clock, in case you miss your bus, train or tram. You can’t leave your stuff in the car – Mum-Ra and I were lugging an unelegant two bags each around all day – and you can’t leave the party when you want. You have to share your space with drunk people, double-wide strollers, mocking teenagers and people like I was on Saturday, who have been running around for hours and haven’t had a chance to have a wash. Sometimes you don’t get to sit down, sometimes you don’t even get to hold on to anything, sometimes people are crushed tight against you.

I have epilepsy and they don’t let me drive so I don’t know what I’d do without public transport but that doesn’t mean I’ve got to like it. And I hate it when people say, ‘Oh, you can go to the Random Event, there’s a bus that goes there!’ First, I’ve never been on that bus route and I don’t know when to get off, second, I don’t want to stand around waiting for a bus for ages, third, whether or not I want to get on the damn bus is not anyone else’s business. Some people seem to get insulted by my reluctance to go everywhere by bus. Reverend Dad, for instance, doesn’t understand that the bus journey to come see him is two seperate busses, with a change in the most obnoxious town you’ve ever seen,**** and always fills up with soccer fans and idiot kids.

I hate public transport, and I can’t get away from it. Are we clear on this?

* – Her sister and a number of her friends did the same thing – we had a very comfortable sofa, almost constantly occupied by people we came to call, as a group, the Sofa-Dwellers.

** – As you can see, I’m trying not to explicitly name people or places connected to me – there’s two Big Northern Cities but we only have one capital.

*** – The snack shop attendant announced that, ‘There is a snack shop halfway down carriage C and there will be a first class service served in… first class. The snack shop will open shortly and hot and cold drinks and snacks will be available if you… pay.’ Clearly not a morning person.

**** – Also known as my birthplace, but we’ll call it Scumtown.