laura_seabrook: (tired)
Couldn't sleep much last night.

 

I tried watching some shows like Adam Ruins Everything and some docco about "how AI will change everyone's job", And then I channel surfed and came across RAGE playing Johnny Cash's cover of HURT, and just "lost it", and howled and cried and sobbed for almost a couple of hours. I felt so weak and lone and vulnerable after the last month and a bit.

 

No Theo any more. With a very thin support network realised just how much I'd relied on my pets for comfort and affection. Mystery was right next to me while I was howling - but a cat's not the same as a dog - no friendly wagging tail, no madly enthusiastic greeting when I get home, no faithful pooch sleeping on the bed at night. And that's gap I feel so bad.

No Ang anymore. Back in 1996 when I did my "geographical" to Sydney and stayed in a halfway house that almost drove me suicidal, the people who managed that place suggested I go for a visit to Newcastle for a week. I did, and stayed with Andrea, who preferred being called "Ang" (pronounced Anj). I liked Newcastle because it reminded me of Albany, where I'd lived when I first moved away from home. And when I made the decision to move there permanently I stayed with her for a few months until I moved to Carrington. Even after I moved to Barnsley I kept in contact with her, at least while I still had a car. I would drop in and chat with her, but after a while when I knocked on the front door there was never any reply. There was a good chance that she was out or down the back in the garden, but I didn't know that at the time.

I was upset to hear of her death via social media, but I was able to make the service for her and later the wake. Apart from a deliberate "outing" of me at the service, it was perhaps the best service I've every been to, recounting Ang's life in a way that really made you feel that she'd lived to the full. Two things stick in my mind. After Ang had a heart bypass I visited her in hospital and she told me that the doctor had told her that she had at least another 15 years of life. But I can't remember when that was. Was it in 2002? If so the Doctor was accurate. But the other thing was a discussion about the Tao and Zen. Ang wasn't "religious", but she studied whatever, a LOT. And it was about a Zen master, who hearing that he had a painful and terminal disease, choose not to end his life earlier, but to sit with it, and observe its effects until the end. At the wake I learned that Ang had been diagnosed with Leukemia in 2010. From 2010 to 2017 is a long time to battle a cancer. But from others at the wake I realised that she hadn't just "sat with it", but engaged with her community, friends and family in the best way possible.

And since Theo's death, and more so after Ang's funeral, I've been having pains in my chest. And I've been doing this, that, and the other to keep myself busy. I hd pains, and was struggling with breath. I have asthma but this seemed worse than usual. I've been told that there's a flu going around that affects your breathing and gives you aches all over. Maybe it was only that. But the chest pains got worse. I have a history of epilepsy and an anxiety  disorder which gives me panic attacks, and depression. And I've had "panics" before where a set of symptoms pointed to one thing but which were actually another (like bad posture + overweight = chest pains) so I put going to the doctor off, and off again. Last Friday morning I was having trouble breathing. Possibly the asthma and the weather combined, maybe not. So I turned up to the clinic and they put me in the nurses room and gave me an ECG, and then referrals for a blood test, a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE)and a stress test. I got the blood test done Friday, and booked the others for Monday and Tuesday respectively.

Come Monday I had the TTE and that was fine, and did a little shopping including four 60 ltr containers, and went home. But it was a cold and windy day and hat kept blowing off and so I put it in my bad and just walked from the bus stop to home with the sun in my eyes. And walked straight into a pothole, falling over and hurting my knees and scraping my palms on the blue metal road. It was painful and I lay for a few moment. I was unable to get up and crying with the pain. And there was no one about, no one in the street anywhere. Most places had their junk outside for council collection. A four wheel drive went by checking those out and just ignored me.  After a couple of attempts I was able to get up and drag my stuff home. Next doors was out, so I sat down for a bit, and then went back to the clinic at Glendale and had the scrapes dressed.

Next day (yesterday) I went in for the stress test. I felt exhausted and disd a bit of shopping for extra band-aids and alcohol gel on the way. And I had an injection of tracer in my right hand for the first 11 minute heart scan. This was really painful by the end because your arms are up and crossed over your head, so that the scanning machine can move around your chest by degrees. And at the end of that I needed help to move my arms and get me off the machine. I needed to come back for the same thing with the stress test before it, in a few hours. I ate an orange and was able to catch a bus into Adamstown when I had a satay beef lunch special, and then caught the bus back. I was already exhausted and just sat watching the TV until called. And then I went into the room with the treadmill, was hooked up to an EKG and had another tracer injection. Only the nurse couldn't find my veins even after several goes, had squeezed my hand into a fist over the scraped part (ouch), and supervisor misgendered me and finally they found one in my left inner elbow and then put a bandage over that.

And then I was on the treadmill with a 10% incline and even at the lowest setting I was struggling and after three minutes on that I could barely breath. And that bit was over. And I was in tears by the end of of it. In fact I'd been in tears at the start of it. Then it was back into the scanning machine for 9 minutes with the crossed arm position and all I could think of was "don't panic, don't panic, don't panic" and I didn't but I was crying and needed to be lifted off at the end of it. And all day I'd had a headache which had started out as as like a small spot at the back of my head and graduated to an iron band around my head, and I hadn't been allowed to have tea or coffe or aspirin for 24 hours before the test and I was desperate for something. The nurse got me a coffe and a biscuit and I sat there for a while and then caught a bus to 9 ways and then a 267 which went from Newcastle all the way home, bought some fish and pumkin scallops for dinner and walked in the middle of my street back home, where I collapsed in fron of the TV after feeding the cats. And then I went to bed and woke up at 2:30am.

And then, in the middle of the night, after watch Hurt, I had my panic attack. I was just feeling old and decrepid and not coping, and all it seemed like was that I'd started that long walk down a dark corridor to oblivion, feeling vulnerable and exposed all the way, with no point and no hope and entropy winning in the end. Years ago when I started my "transition" in the public service I'd been forced to use the disable toilets three stories away from where I worked. Then one day I was sick and went to that and found boxes being stored in it and slipped and fell and lacked the strength initially to get up. And when I feared I might have to wait until the cleaners came before I got out, I realised that I was in an environment that didn't support me. And I had that feeling again after the pothole spill. And I don't know what to do about it, can't see the options that will change things for me here, rather than just sustain a minimum.

And I know I have to sit with this, until I do.

laura_seabrook: (Default)

As I was going through my pet photos I found this one of Theo from 2013. It was a hot January and he'd just been groomed.

At least i was able to spend the day with him, comforting him as a I could, before he died. When Theo came here 5 years ago his relationship with Bobs was at first problematic, but he found his way into my heart very quickly. Lisa told me that she thought he was 8 years old back then, so that means he was 13 years this year.

He bullied Mystery the cat but really they were friends. He barked at everything that was there, and a lot that wasn't. Even today, panting on the outside front sofa, he still tried to bark at passing dogs! He enjoyed his walks when he was well.

This will be the first time that I'll be without a dog since November 1997. Theo is the fourth pet to have died in the last three years. I might one day get another dog, but think I need to wait and allow myself to grieve first. I am missing him terribly.


laura_seabrook: (Default)

My lovely little boy dog passed on last Sunday. I shall miss him terribly. He had a series of heart attacks starting late Saturday night. Sunday morning he hadn't improved. Almost everything was shut and I had no way of getting him to a vets even if it was open. Then a friend of Facebook arranged to have her sister give me a lift to a vets in Mt Hutton, which was open. The lift I got to go to Mt. Hutton was too late, so we went to the Vet Hospital in West Wallsend instead (which my next door neighbor, who only just got home, told me about).

But we were too late anyway - Theo died in my arms on the way to the vet. This photo was taken earlier Sunday in the backyard. I shall miss my little bundle of joy greatly.

laura_seabrook: (Default)
I came across...  Livejournal's Russian owners announce new anti-LGBT policy, fandom stages mass exodus...so I think I will be closing my LiveJournal account, finally.  I'm still at Dreamwidth at [personal profile] laura_seabrook , if anyone one wants to follow me here. Only post once in a while now, as most posts go to Google+.
laura_seabrook: (Default)

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is on the 20th November, as always. It's way too late here to do a call-out for the Webcomic Project, but I will say that I've moved the archive from ComicDish to ComicFury.

(the new logo for the ComicFury version)
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The ComicDish version is still there, until February when ComicDish disappears forever. But all of it has been copied over to ComicFury, and I'm glad I made this move. The archives can now be searched!

If you are still interested in doing something for the project (which is advertising TDOR by use of webcomic/art/prose/video, go to the Contributing page. Just remember, "...you don't have to be a transgender person to participate, just appreciating or understanding the tragedy of the lives lost that are memorialized by the event is enough".

And if you spot a online comic / artwork / video / poetry or prose that's relevant to this, you can always post a link in a comment to this post.

laura_seabrook: (Default)
Well, I went and saw Doctor Strange, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Not exactly the comic book version, but pretty close in many ways. I loved: the cloak of levitation (best character in the film); the astral traveling and fighting (always happening in the comics); references to The Living Tribunal and other characters and objects found in the comics; the mirror dimension (just glad I didn't see this in 3D); and wushu/magic in general. The only thing that really grated on me was Cumberbatch's fake American accent. They could have made him a British Doctor practicing in New York, and it wouldn't have changed the story much.

image

The mirror dimension, while visually inspired by Inception is clearly also inspired by Mirrors (2008). Either way it's a good idea and not only explains why no one sees all these magical battles take place, but has its roots (as does the Dark Dimension) in classic Steve Ditko artwork. Things were always in strange alignments with pathways -of-no-visible-support going every which way, like (spoiled for BIGNESS)...

image

No Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, yet, but the ending is clearly setting things up for two films.

I found the casting interesting. Benedict Cumberbatch of course gained fame by playing Sherlock homes and I have to wonder if the address of the New York sanctum - 177A Bleecker Street - is a sly reference to 221b Baker St? When his character makes a major mistake and admits to it, I felt like shouting "No Shit Sherlock?!" Tilda Swinton plays the Ancient One, which might seem a major departure from the comics, but she played a near immortal Orlando in the film of the same name, so I think it's good casting. Wong is actually played by an actor whose surname is Wong! I know Chiwetel Ejiofor mainly from the film Serenity where he plays the Operative of the central alliance, who is also an assassin, and who totally (at least until the end of the film) believed in the morality of his cause. His character in this film, Mordo was one of Strange's main antagonists in the early comics, and I can see lots of the Operative reflected in this version of Mordo.

A good film for me, and far better than Civil War.
_______________________
laura_seabrook: (Default)
image

I've started drawing again, after my seizure last month. This is using some "SAI brushes" (from Miss Chroma) in Clip Studio Paint.

It's a start.
laura_seabrook: (Default)
Well, I just lost all my spoons for the rest of the day.

Yesterday I had a tooth filled. The dentist was cheerful and sang music hall ditties while he drilled and filled one of my teeth (two more next Friday). The the rest of the day i wasn't quite there, traveling on buses in a haphazard and looking out the bus window. I still managed to buy a loaf of bread and a 30m LAN cable, but bugger all else.

Anyway, this morning, after dreams of being suffocated, my chest heart like a steel band is around it, and I have no energy for anything. This is not much different from what I've been feeling after the seizure last month. Sigh. I worry that I'm not going to draw, or create, ever again, because I just won't be focused or energetic enough to do so.

Maybe I just need to slack off for a while.
laura_seabrook: (Default)
This may be meaningless to you if you have no idea who Jack T. Chick was. But with a Fortean and SubGenius interest in the weird and comics, it's hard to escape the bizarre tracts that Chick published. To Chick, God was this faceless giant, who sat like a statue of Abraham Lincoln on a throne, and delivered severe judgements on those who didn't the limited idea of Christianity that Chick had. That would get the offenders burnt in the fiery lake (or worse). The thing about Chick (apart from just how bad his tracts were) was the degree to which they were parodied.


RELEVANT LINKS

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Jack T. Chick (Wikipedia)

RIP Jack Chick, father of the Satanic Panic

Chick Cartoon Tracts (Official Page)

Track Dissections (Straight commentary o n the tracts)


THE PARODIES

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Jack Chick tracts and their parodies

Welcome to the Jack Chick Parody Wing

Chick Tract Satire

The Slack Archives: Haw Haw Haw!

Health

Oct. 4th, 2016 10:02 am
laura_seabrook: (Default)
Feeling a LOT better today.
laura_seabrook: (Default)
The dream:
 
Henry is just out of high school and is looking for a job. Every one he applies for is taken by someone else. Finally he gets a job as an "office boy" in a build three or four stories tall. The bottom floor has a reception area and the accountant's office, who own the building. The next floor has an advertising firm and the floor above that is (mostly) vacant. The floor after that, well no one's sure if there is one.

Henry fits in well. He runs errands for both the accountants and the advertising firm, and the women in the typing pool all joke with him. The second floor is a little odd because it seems cramped but spacious at the same time. Then a new company comes in to rent the 3rd floor. They're an Importing/Exporting firm but Henry never sees anything delivered to them so it must just be the office, with a warehouse somewhere else.

One day Henry is asked to go upstairs and by mistake goes to the 4th floor, which is there today. The lift doors open and he's greeted Liz from the typing pool. She asks him what he's doing there and and he says he made a mistake. She gives him a name tag with "Henry" on it, and tells him to follow her. The 4th floor seems to go on forever and everything is immensely bright. He can't see any windows and there seems to be a whole farm there and then they get to the "ocean". Another woman from the typing pool is there and greets them. The ocean is like a great pool that he can't see the end of, and in the strong light seems light grey.

In the distance Henry sees a figure. It's back-lit and he can only see the outline but it looks like a thin man with snakes for legs, and is gliding on the water. He points to this and Liz says "That's Davobah, the lord of this domain. Francine and I love him." Henry says back "Oh, OK!" Then Liz takes him back to the lift and he gets to the 3rd floor. Today it looks a bit different and all the furniture is gone and tall weeds are there instead.

One of the businessmen comes in, wearing a name tag of "Fredericks", and asks what he's doing. Henry apologizes and says he went to the 4th floor by mistake. The man looks at him and at the name tag that Henry's still wearing with a menacing expression, saying "So now you know how we export/import. Very well". Henry's a bit lost by this remark and carries on with his work. Later in the day when he has to deliver a telex to them and is just about to knock on the door he overhears their conversation. A voice says" This Henry's seen too much, we have to eliminate him" and Fredericks replies "Leave that to me. I'll take him on a tour of the interchange tomorrow and feed him to Davobah. I'll set up the sacrifice based on his name tag tonight." Henry quietly walks away and goes back downstairs.

In the morning Henry comes in very early, telling the doorman that he has to do overtime to fix up a mistake he made the day before. He immediately goes to the 3rd floor. No one's about at all, and he discovers a cork board with a dozen name tags pinned on it. He finds the one for Fredericks and carefully peels the name sticker from his own and from Fredericks, and swaps them around. Finally he takes Frederick's name tag with him, though now it has his name on.

Later Henry is summoned up to the 3rd floor and Fredericks says that as he already knows about "the back yard" that he's going to give Henry a proper tour, so that he can run errands there. Henry nods and off they go to the 4th floor. Liz isn't around this time and they go to the ocean. Henry sees the figure again and asks what t is. Fredericks says that it's 'DAVOBAH, demon of the endless sea', and that he's harmless. Davobah comes closer and closer and Fredericks tells Henry not to worry. Then Fredericks has a look of horrified surprise ad Davobah attacks and eats him. The demon then turns to Henry and says "HE WAS WELL OVERDUE FOR THAT - THIS BASTARD HAS CAUSED ME AND MINE TO SUFFER. THANK YOU HENRY". Henry tells Davobah that he's welcome and makes his excuses, and then goes to a pub and gets drunk. The next morning Henry comes into work and the entire building is burnt down. No one seems to know if anyone survived.

Twenty years pass by and Henry is now working as a "repo man" for a firm that specializes in repossessing electronic appliances. He and a work mate are called out to the the state housing flats where they have to repossess a 100" flat screen TV. They arrive at the flats and walk up the driveway. Henry sees a woman outside the flat they have to call at and recognizes her as Liz from the typing pool. He sees her knock on the door and a tall man comes out.

Henry turns to his colleague and tells him "I've got this one Jack, I know these people". Jack waits at the end of the driveway while Henry goes forward. As he gets closer the image of the man becomes wavy and there's a suggestion of snakes where his legs should be. Henry stops and says "No worries Dave - I've got this one!" He then turns around and says to Jack "I thought so, it's a mix up. They made the last three payments. I'll square this up at the office". And then Jack and Henry drive away...
 
laura_seabrook: (Default)
For the last two hours I've been struggling with the story manager of Clip Studio Paint. Have been feeling dizzy and tired, but what the fuck..




Two dreams

Oct. 1st, 2016 08:20 am
laura_seabrook: (Default)

Dream #1:

The students of two universities have a friendly rivalry where they play pranks on each other. One supports Star Trek and the other Supports Star Wars.. A biology student of the one that supports Star Wars has developed a multi-platform-luminescent virus. They secretly pass it into the food at the other university, and soon many of the students there are starting to look translucent and have a faint green glow around them, like a "Force Ghost".

Then the scene changes and that student - who's been expelled - is wandering down a bush fire break. They are wearing clothes like old Ben Kenobi and throwing blobs or something from a tube. Every plant the globs hits starts glowing an intense green! AS ranger is sent to investigate but it seems that the ex student is invisible to them.

Later the student reaches the end of the fire break, and it becomes a gravel track on a large estate. At the other end of the gravel track is a mansion, where the big boss is throwing a party. He looks out and sees buses on either side of the track shining green and is puzzled. He can see briefly, flashes of the student on the gravel track.

Dream #2

The town seems more like a slum, with buildings constructed with sheets of old metal, ruined vehicles, mud brick and branches from the local foliage. And yet it's colourful and vibrant. people are trading and celebrating and performing rituals, and any number of species are there from other planets. The miners from the local radium mines come into town to get drunk. Despite that, there is a sense of being trapped. No one leaves the village because they are also in debt to Mguhlla, who owns the mine and the land the town is built on.

The town is in a valley surrounded by low hills and that is surrounded by a dry arid wasteland that extends for more than a week's travel in every direction. Truck come into the village with supplies but they are automated and owned by Mguhlla. Sometime someone tries to escape, but Mguhlla calls in troops from the First Order who capture the escapee and make an example of them. Mguhlla sends to output of the mine to a First order base on a nearby planet, so they are keen that he succeeds.

Po wasn't born there, and she resents living there, but her parents disappeared when she was young, and old Gdonga the Kellimte looks after her. She scavenges in town and around the mine and everyone knows her. And she wants to escape. The need rises in her every day. She sees CamiCah who lives in the pod house when things get too bad and per talks her down from her plans.

Today she found Quilnee drunk in a gutter who tells her that his brother died in the mines. She takes him to CamiCah who gives him mud coffee to sober up and listens to his sorrow. As Quilnee becomes more and more sober his faces seem to light up. And when CamiCah asks him about that Quilnee tells per that CamiCah that per's house is actually on old hover coach!

Quilnee goes outside and looks all around the pod house and pulls some old metal away. Underneath is a name, "Aleante". He comes racing back in and says "It's a desert coach, of the last models ever made!" Po and CamiCah look confused and astounded. Quilnee asks Po to bring his brother's wife and their child and hurry! She does and as she returns with Holnoo and the baby Holna (it's tenticles waving in the sunlight) she sees that the pod house has grown in size and is HOVERING above the ground!

Holnoo and the baby Holna go inside and Po goes around to the other side. There is a strange flowing silvery harness growing out the side of the house, and Quilnee is sitting in a dip in the middle of the harness. "Want to ride lookout?" he asks Po and he quickly agrees, the excitement rising in her. She jumps on behind him and stands up, braced by strands of silver that envelope her legs.

The Aleante moves backwards and crashes into a shanty house, then forwards to a dead-end alley. Po see Quilnee concentrating, his extra long ears standing up at attention rather than their usual droopy position. Then he looks at her and says "I used to to drive one o' these, but it's been a while!" with a big grin. From her position Po sees Mguhlla making his way through the village towards them, with First Order troops in toe. "QUICK!" she says, "We have to go!" He looks up at her, cracks a grin and the Aleante moves off, slow at first and then picking up speed. Po can hear a couple of screams into the pod, and also a giggle from Holna. There are sounds of shots behind them but the troops miss their mark, and Aleante and its passengers speed off into the wasteland....
laura_seabrook: (Default)

This week's THE STAR horoscope for me read

Memories are invoked by the places you find yourself in  during Thursday Morning, as well as by the companionship you keep. Strong feelings are aroused.

OK, tomorrow morning (Thursday)  I'm going with Joanne to the Great Hall at  the University of Newcastle for my Graduation ceremony. Strong feelings indeed!

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