Wednesday, November 27, 2013

excuse me while I go burn my bra

The holidays are upon on us, and you know what that means!

And endless stream of mothereffing gift baskets and boxes of junk food.

This is officially the first of the season, it arrived today. So you can fully appreciate its size, here's a pic of the box with my hand in it:

That there, my friends, is a 20-minute decision-making process every time you want a piece of chocolate.

Nasimiyu posted a link to this article a few days ago, and even though I knew I shouldn't because it would just make me angry, I started browsing through the rest of that website. Everything they post is in a similar vein, with them hiding behind "oh we didn't mean it, it's satire, we're just being funny" whenever people get pissed off.

(I apologize in advance for the swearing.)

Now I am probably not what anyone would call a Feminist, mostly because I am too lazy to properly care. I believe in equality between the sexes, but I also do acknowledge that ladies are very different from gentlemen.

....not that anyone on is a gentleman, but that's besides the point...

......also it really REALLY pisses me off that they have called their site "Return of Kings," because that makes me think of The Return of the King, and NO FRACKING WAY IN HELL should any of the douchebags responsible for that website EVER try to have anything in common with Aragorn. Because they don't. So from this point on, I shall re-name them Remaining Men Together.

....ok getting back to these idiots over at remaining men together dot com....

Women are different than men. Biologically speaking, we are hard-wired to play the mother/nurturer while the lads do the hunting/protecting thing. Does that mean that all women should become Susie-homemakers? Hell no. That's the beauty of the society we live in. While it is far from perfect, most of us do have a choice in what we want to do with our lives.

And then you get cretins like these people.

Let's take a closer look at this massive work of bullshit.

click to embiggen if the writing is too small

Or the list of things women shouldn't be allowed to do.

Or this article about how we all secretly love "pretend" rape.

Or this one, a How-To guide for guys who want to turn themselves and their friends into walking talking septic tanks of venereal disease. 

I believe in freedom of speech, and what better place to exercise that than the internet? But I do not believe in this level of stupidity. There is nothing wrong with being a man, and enjoying your manliness to the fullest. (Please do, because I also very much enjoy manliness.) But the standards these idiots are supporting make the lives of women in the Old Testament look like a fucking picnic. With pony rides and prizes.

uughhh I can't even talk about this anymore.

Let's look at my cats instead.

Harley and Ivy are not amused.

Friday, November 22, 2013

that was just the house settling

Idk how normal families act around each other, but growing up in my family, it was the norm for us to constantly attempt to frighten each other to death. Hiding in closets and under beds, setting booby traps, leaving horrific things under bedcovers, lurking around every corner, surprise blitz attacks--anything we could think of to terrorize each other, no matter how immoral or impractical, we did it.

(Just an FYI to anyone who is in this competition now, or whose children seem to be getting into this behaviour pattern: there are only two possible outcomes for everyone involved--they turn into either hyper-vigilant neurotic nervous wrecks, or they become stone cold sociopaths.)

The attacks do not begin until it is fair to start attacking. As in, it is not fair to try and give an infant or toddler a heart attack, although Lil Bro#1 bent the rules with this quite a bit with his frequent attempts on Lil Bro#2's life, and his inappropriate level of glee at seeing Lil Bro #2 suffering.

Lil Bro#2, Big Sis#2, and myself have honed our abilities to the point where they have just become part of our personalities. We constantly freak people out without meaning to. Basically we have gotten so awesome at stealth, we no longer have to try.

This little game makes life way more entertaining, and just because you're "grown up," that does not mean that the game needs to stop. If anything, it should get better as you get older because everyone playing gets better at their particular skills, until you and your siblings are all old enough that heart attacks resulting from fright become a real possibility, and then you keep going until only one of you is left alive.

So here's some lessons for anyone who wants to start terrorizing their family.

This one is the most important, and takes the longest to master. You need to develop extreme patience--as in, the patience required to remain in one space (possibly a dark and/or confined one) for extended periods of time (Lil Bro#1 holds the record for that, with approximately 90 minutes spent in a trunk) without making any noise whatsoever, and without fidgeting. 

You'll need to get your timing right as well, so your skills of observation should also be developed. That extra 45-60 minutes spent in the cabinet might make the difference between a pretty good fright

and an epic achievement.

Learn your enemy's habits, such as your little sister's ritual of checking the closet and under the bed before she goes to sleep.

And do some mini-attacks when their guard is down, such as when they are exiting the bathroom.

In the end, you could end up as fantastic as Big Sis#2 and myself, with your family constantly accusing you of having the power of teleportation, because no human should be that quiet when entering a room and walking right up beside you.

You need a certain sort of creative cunning to be able to consistently pull this off without your victim developing the habit of checking every corner of every room with a metal detector in one hand and a machete in the other.

I shall use examples of past booby-trappings:

1. The Television.
For a while, when Lil Sis would piss me off, I would sneak into her room when she wasn't home, turn up the volume on her TV to maximum, on a channel with nothing but static, and then turn the TV back off and leave the remote exactly where it had been before I entered the room.

Lil Sis rarely watched the TV in her room. She watched stuff on her laptop instead, in bed.

We both had the exact same televisions in our rooms.

Which meant my remote worked for her TV, and it worked through the wall.

You can see where this is going.

I repeated this booby trap an absurd number of times, always changing it slightly.

...or on the rare occasions she was watching the TV, messing with the volume and/or channels, or just turning it off over and over again.

I still do this to her car, when she blocks me in and won't get off her lazy arse to move it. I move it, and leave the radio on the heavy metal station with the volume loud enough to shatter your eardrums.

2. Radios and cassette tapes.
Sadly this one has pretty much died because of technological advances that erased the use of cassettes. But myself and my cousins enjoyed it to its fullest potential.

Any of ye 80's babies ever play with one of these?

This was hands down the greatest toy ever released in the history of toys. (Or it's at least up there in the top five.)

A fairly simple device - it came with a tape and it had a microphone, so you could record pretty much anything, and you could also speed up or slow down the tape when recording or playing it back, which meant you could alter your voice (or anything else you recorded).

Whoever thought it was a good idea to mass produce this thing for children had a twisted sense of humour, because EVERYONE I know who had one of these used it to torture other people.

Like M, who stole all of his stepdad's Bruce Springsteen tapes, fast forwarded to like halfway through each tape, recorded himself making loud and ridiculous noises, rewound the tapes to their still unchanged beginnings, and then replaced all those tapes back in the car where he found them.

Or my cousins, who recorded thirty minutes of total silence, and then recorded sounds of a door creaking, turned the volume way down on the Talkboy, and then left it playing under one of the beds in their sisters' room right before we all went to bed.

oh yeah and then there was like 5 more minutes of silence before a final very quiet creak, and a blood curdling scream.

I'm not gonna lie. This scared the living daylights out of the three of us sleeping in the room at the time.

3. My Size Barbie.

My friends and I picked up one of these at the end of someone's driveway my junior year in high school. (Don't ask.) She has since disappeared, most likely because of how she ended up on this list.

One day, a couple years ago, Cousin F. and I thought it would be super funny if we propped Beef (that was her name. also don't ask.) up against the door of Lil Sis's closet. Inside the closet, so that Beef would fall on Lil Sis when she opened the door.

This produced hilarious results. So we had to keep going.

For the ensuing two years, Beef popped up to terrorize Lil Sis whenever she least expected it.

even after Lil Sis wasn't scared anymore, I still kept doing it.

...until one day I realized that Beef had disappeared. I asked Lil Sis what happened to her, and at first she couldn't remember.

Then she took me into our bathroom and opened the closet. Lil Sis had apparently left Beef propped up in there beside the laundry basket in an attempt to scare me.

Beef was in the closet beside the laundry basket for over a year and I didn't even notice.

Since then, I think Mum threw Beef away, because she was sick of Lil Sis's screams in the middle of the night.

This one is fairly straightforward.

For some reason, if it's not me attacking Lil Sis, it's someone else attacking me. Big Sis#2 believes that this is because even the best attempts at stealth-terror have not managed to so much as make me flinch for the last ten years....

Friday, November 8, 2013

when the going gets weird.....

The leader of my writing group sent out her monthly newsletter with this fun little writing exercise/survey in it. Since I am AWFUL at coming up with book titles, I kind of enjoyed this. (The questions all come from a book by Will Dunne, The Dramatic Writer's Companion, which I've been told is very good.)

......I did not, however, come up with a better title for the book in question. "apocalypse thingy" it remains. 

What do you other writers think? Do you have title troubles as well? Do this with me!!

What would your title be if it . . .

1. Summed up your whole story in a single word? (examples: Proof, Cats, Hairspray) Apocalypse

  2. Used so many words we could barely remember them all? (example: Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad) ...I couldn't think of an answer for this one

  3. Asked a question? (example: What Price is Glory?What Do We Do Now?

  4. Issued an order, warning, or advice? (example: Play It Again, Sam; Don't Drink The WaterUse Your Common Sense

  5. Named your main character? (example: Hamlet, Tiny AliceBrick

  6. Described your main character? (example: The Lord of the Rings, The Miracle Worker)  School's Biggest Nerd Becomes Fearless(Not Really) Leader in the Midst of the End of the World

  7. Issued a statement from the main character? (example: I Married a WerewolfThis sucks.

  8. Named your two most important characters? (example: Romeo & Juliet...couldn't answer this either because there really aren't two "most important" characters...

  9. Described a set of characters? (example: The Odd Couple, Angels in AmericaThe Only People Left on Earth are Children, a Convicted Killer, and a Battered Housewife/Redneck. (<--this one has potential I think)

10. Highlighted the setting? (example: Our Town, Little Shop of HorrorsAnywhere Safe in Upstate New York

11. Highlighted the date or era? (Twelfth Night, Year of Living DangerouslyArmageddon 2012

12. Focused on something physical? (Schindler's List, The Diary of Anne FrankWe Might Need More Guns

13. Highlighted a certain feeling or mood? (WickedDoomed
14. Combined two elements usually not matched? (example: Arsenic and Old Lace, Cries and Whispers) ...couldn't come up with an answer for that

15. Suggested a lesson? (How the West Was Won) How to Survive Puberty with No Parents, No Electricity, No Running Water, and Oh Yeah Nuclear Fallout is Pretty Much Everywhere So Get Your Arses into the Forest Like Now. (<-- this is also a potential winner)

16. Were a metaphor? (The Silence of the Lambs, A Doll's House, The Lion in Winter) yeah I'm no good with coming up with those kinds of artsy metaphors

17. Summed up the main event? (Waiting for Godot, Death of a SalesmanFinding a Safe Place When There Really Aren't Any

18. Identified the subject of the story? (A Beautiful MindThe End of The World Sort Of

19. Identified the genre or category of your story? (Pulp Fiction) Middle Grade Apocalyptic Fiction (btw this genre did not exist until I just invented it)

20. Made a literary allusion? (Of Mice and Men, Brave New World, Gaudy Night)  ummm... there's a bunch of Old Testament allusions in the book but I feel like any title I come up with relating to that will just sound trite..... other news, I am still a starving writer. But I get paid today, so hopefully I will be somewhat less starving. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

You better take care of me Lord; if you don't, you're gonna have me on your hands.

Random(ish) ED/recovery update....?

I've been doing pretty well with the whole eating disorder recovery thing. I finally reached a point where I eat what I want when I want, don't over-exercise (or exercise at all, to be honest.......), and occasionally spend a Saturday eating a feckton of junk food with my friend C and don't feel bad about it afterwards. 

One day we're going to have a reality show, and it will be glorious. 

I haven't weighed myself since November, 2011. I haven't taken laxatives or ephedrine or any other starve/purge aids since about the same time. I don't feel a crushing sense of horror and doom every time I look in the mirror. 

And the biggest victory BY FAR: I do not spend every single waking moment thinking about calories and how many I've had and how many I'm allowed to have and how many I might have later and how I'm fat fat fat; and I have to say it really feels amazing to have my brain back.

[Yes, there is a "but" coming.]

I knew moving out of Mumsy's house would be a major adjustment, particularly in the area of budgeting my expenses. And I suck at that. But I've gone over the numbers repeatedly (in Excel, because I totally suck at math and Excel does the math for me) and based on what I make at my job, I can afford to pay all my monthly expenses (rent, electricity, car insurance, loan, petrol, cat food, getting my hair bleached, Netflix), with roughly $200.00 a week leftover for extra things. 

But because of all the bloody issues with the license/insurance/etc (among a couple other things, like my bank and Experian stealing my money) on top of all the expenses involved in the actual move, a massive dent has been put into my bank account. I cannot afford ANYTHING but the basics.

The main essentials, on a day-to-day basis, are cat food, petrol, and my food. Unfortunately, over the last month or so, they have been prioritized in that order.

I need petrol to get to work (it's an hour each way, so even with a car that is awesome on petrol, that's still quite a bit of money every week). The cats need to eat, and I love them like they're my babies. I absolutely will not underfeed them. 

And so the money left over for me to buy food for myself is not very much money at all. 

This both frightened me and didn't frighten me, at first. I can deal with this, I thought. Because of the eating disorder, I know I can keep going (physically) on much much less food than a normal person. I can eat just enough to stay conscious, keep the cats fed, and keep my car fueled until I can get back on my feet, money-wise. Also I'm not exercising anymore (I cancelled the gym membership entirely), so it's not like I'm overexerting myself. This will be totally fine.

It started out fine. I wan't thinking about weight loss--that never even crossed my mind. I mean yeah, I figured I'd probably lose some weight, but I didn't really care one way or the other. 

Until about a week and a half ago, when I was watching TV in bed (and probably frightening my neighbours because Tim Hawkins is seriously frigging HYSTERICAL), and I happened to notice how much my hipbones stick out when I'm laying down. 

I couldn't resist the curiosity--I got up and did something I have not done in over a year. 

I ran my hand down my back/side to check my ribs. 

But then I stopped and said NO IT'S EVIL, DON'T TOUCH IT and tried to put it out of my head.

Between then and now, two friends and Lil Sis made comments that I have lost weight. And a little dust-mote-sized demon crawled into my brain and laughed gleefully at this information. 

Cutting down on my groceries suddenly got easier. 

And then Monday I was texting back and forth with Stepmom and she said how great I looked in my David Bowie inspired outfit for 70's day at church on Sunday
me and the Bros, are we a f**king gorgeous family or what
I was complaining how I hate wearing pants (seriously I think every single person in church that day was like HOLY CRAP, ARE THOSE PANTS!?!??) because I still have some issues as far as hiding things like my thunder thighs

and then Stepmom goes, "oh don't worry you look great curvy, and you'll get a chance to slim down once you start going to the gym again."


In fairness, Stepmom is the skinniest person I know and I'm pretty sure she's one of those women who thinks that barely eating anything ever and working out 10+ times a week is totally healthy, so her perception of "curvy" may be slightly off.

This has been a giant mess of brain feckery: am I losing a lot of weight? Then how freaking fat was I before I moved?? How fat am I now?!?!?

As I said in the beginning, I was doing pretty well with recovery, but not perfect. My biggest remaining issue is probably the mirror. 

I have NO IDEA what I look like. I look in the mirror, and most of the time I still see a whale, so I mostly avoid full-length mirrors.

.....and literally at the end of the day today, one of our clients walked in and said, "JESUS CHRIST you got so skinny!!!" with a semi-concerned look on her face.



I don't know what to do. I am definitely not anywhere near as crazy/disordered as before, and I am thankfully NOT slipping back into that awful depressive state that took over my life for the last year, but I DO know that this could be a problem. I don't want two years of working towards recovery to be for nothing. I CANNOT GO BACK DOWN THAT ROAD.

Advice? Thoughts? I fired my shrink because I'm poor, so I'll accept any thoughts or suggestions y'all got.