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20 February 2012 @ 02:27 pm
Stuff  
I haven't updated my journal in so long, largely because the latter half of 2011 saw me falling victim to a horrible bout of workaholicism. It was initially 'necessary' to deal with some financial problems, but it wasn't easy to turn around the tidal wave of work once it was started. Freelance life has its traps as well as its perks. I also had some absolutely *horrible* projects to work on so life was a bit of nightmare for a while. There wasn't any time for any sort of social/relaxation life, let alone fannish life. I'm starting to recover from that now.

Despite that, there have been a couple of very significant personal changes in my life. The first is that after ten + years, I'm coming off anti-depressants. There is obviously a lot more to say about this (and I have occasionally wanted to post about it), but overall I'm very pleased with how things have gone so far, especially considering the work stress I was under simultaneously. It's by no means over yet (Effexor is such a bitch of a drug withdrawal-wise, even titrating down gradually), but I've halved my dosage (just!) over the last three-four months.

Related to this, I've started meditation and qigong practice regularly. This is absolutely changing my life, and is a huge part of what makes me feel 'safe' enough to take this big step re. the meds. For a long long time, I thought I would be a lifer on drugs. I should make it clear: the reasons I didn't want there were because of the side-effects. If I can't or couldn't recover without drugs then I wouldn't be contemplating this, but basically qigong/meditation is giving me tools that I can use with which to handle the physical/emotional/spiritual aspects of depression. There are days when I still fear it won't be possible to be drug-free, but overall I feel more optimistic than ever before.

There's a hell of a lot of emotional processing to do with all this though! I am grateful for having amazing friends and support around me.

Vividcon... I rolled over my membership, so I can, in theory, attend this year (I'm registered) but financially it's going to be a streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch. I'm not ruling anything out yet though. It's cool to see everyone getting hyped for it anyway. :) And since I got over my Club Vivid anxiety last year (memo to self: always to just do it anyway, YOU ALWAYS FORGET, DUMBFACE!), I have signed up again for this year and am having a blast with my idea. I'm not completely convinced I'll actually have a vid by the due date but the journey is fun so far. :)

This is the very very short version!
Vampire Diaries: bored now
Community ditto
The Good Wife: still love it, absolutely adore the acting and some of the writing, but think it's been patchy in terms of structure and overall plot this season
Nikita: really enjoyed the first half of the season and the Nikita and Alex character work, but Percy bores me
Dexter: Still watching (crankily, as I think the writing is horrible and I hate Dexter) due to my EPIC AND EVERLASTING affection for Deb. I'll be watching til the last hideously frustrating moment... Jennnifer Carpenter is just so mesmerising.
Downton Abbey: Loved the first season, adore Mary, but thought the second season was crap - really really hated the melodrama. The tight, intimate character work of season 1 was completely undermined.
Once Upon The Time: I got sucked into watching this thanks to [profile] m_a_r_i_k_s flipping out about 1.7 (see her vid: Tell Me What the Rain Knows) and now I can't get back out! I foolishly told her I liked Emma best and it became a running joke that I love her and somehow this had the effect of making me fall hopelessly for Emma, and now I am stuck watching this shitty show every week. :((( I hate Rumpel and Regina and all the rest, Mary Margaret and Charming drive me mad, and I really only like Emma, Henry (and Graham), and yet ... (here's hoping I can break the hold at some point as I really don't think the signs are there that the writing will pick up, though I wish it would)

I think that's all... oh, I mainlined Veronica Mars at some stage, fell for Logan (predictably) and found Veronica a very fun character to love-hate.

In my attempt to dredge up something of interest fannishly for people, I shall relate this little story...

So I am on Skype with [profile] m_a_r_i_k_s one day and suddenly I hear this strange scrabbling, flapping noise in the background. I jump up to see what it is, as does my slow-on-the-uptake pup. Pup and I stare in disbelief as we realise a pigeon is trapped in the kitchen, battering itself against the window. Pup immediately goes into a frenzy of barking, as I return to Skype to explain this bizarre turn of events.

Bop: OMG!! There is a PIGEON in my kitchen!!!
m_a_r_i_k_s: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA PIGEON AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAAHA!!!! PIGEON!!!!
Bop: *dawning realisation* SHUT UP, IT'S NOT FUNNY!

The next ten minutes or so are spent with me chasing a pigeon round the kitchen flapping a teatowel frantically, as m_a_r_i_k_s sits back and enjoys this free entertainment. I finally get the thing to scoot out the door, I retrieve the dog from the laundry, where I had banished him, and I flop back down on the sofa to resume our conversation.

Just as my heartbeat is returning to normal and I am managing to join in at least *some* of the BSG joking, I hear a noise that makes me think I'm in some kind of Groundhog Day scenario: Yup, PIGEON MARK #2. TWO PIGEONS!!

Bop: Wait .... ::horrified face:: ... I think there is ANOTHER ONE!
m_a_r_i_k_s: ::completely loses it::
Bop: ...
m_a_r_i_k_s: ::pulls herself together enough to offer some backseat-pigeon-wrangling:: I really think you should get a broom this time!

Apparently the first pigeon was not sufficiently reminiscent of BSG: Pigeon #2 was trapped in my bathroom, which has a skylight and a very high ceiling, and so the scuffling around did indeed bear uncanny resemblance to a certain much-hated scene. There was also a lot more swearing the second time. And once I finally got it out, the damn bird just flopped tiredly on the back decking and I had to go outside and flap some more at it.

Bop: OMG, JUST FUCKING LEAVE ALREADY!!!!!!
m_a_r_i_k_s: ::still lol-ing::

The weirdest thing is that both pigeons must have been in the house for some time because I hadn't opened any doors or windows for hours. Somehow they got in and stayed quiet until those *particular* moments. Who knew pigeons had such finely tuned timing?

I should add that ever since this incident my dog will regularly trot into the bathroom optimistically looking for pigeons. His little dog mind now thinks: PIGEONS--CAN EMANATE AT ANY TIME FROM BATHROOM! I've tried explaining to him that they're just bad metaphors, but he isn't having any of it. ;)

This entry was originally posted at http://bop-radar.dreamwidth.org/241151.html. comment count unavailable comments Comment here or there, as you will.
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: calmcalm
 
 
 
rhoboatrhoboat on February 20th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)
*hugs*

Would love to meet you in person at Vividcon, but I can understand if you're not able to go.

I confess I have a bit of a bird phobia. That scene in BSG freaked me out, and I can't really read through your whole experience. I once ran and locked myself in the bathroom and screamed/sobbed until someone else got rid of the bird I encountered in the exhaust pipe above the stove. *shudders*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: bsg kara eeek!bop_radar on February 20th, 2012 05:45 am (UTC)
Eeek, yes, I can understand such a phobia. I'm not fond of them in close proximity to me--I prefer a respectful distance, and I find pigeons particularly distasteful. :/ sorry for the eeky story!

It would be so cool to meet you finally! I saw you were going to be rooming with talitha78 for Escapade! That's so fun! She's so fab! Hope you guys have a great time!
anarchicq: Parintachin -Poison Elvesanarchicq on February 20th, 2012 05:16 am (UTC)
Wow, you're the first person I've heard say they don't like Rumple!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Sally Sparrow coffeebop_radar on February 20th, 2012 05:46 am (UTC)
Yeah, as always I don't follow the fannish centrepath. ;) I can't stand him--he's like nails on a chalkboard to me.
par avionpar_avion on February 20th, 2012 05:35 am (UTC)
The pigeon story made me laugh.

PIGEONS--CAN EMANATE AT ANY TIME FROM BATHROOM!

Aww, poor puppy. Hope springs eternal!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee lolbop_radar on February 20th, 2012 05:47 am (UTC)
:) Yeah, he was particularly excited the next day. He was checking there hourly. I still find it funny that TWO birds managed to get into our house without him noticing. Some guard dog!
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on February 20th, 2012 06:03 am (UTC)
Why am I not at all surprised that you like the heroic characters on OUaT, I like the villains (I'm not actually rooting for Regina or Rumple but they FASCINATE me, especially after the recent Beauty and the Beast episode), and both of us are completely bored by the central romance? :-)

Nice to hear from you!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: FNL Tyra lolzbop_radar on February 20th, 2012 06:40 am (UTC)
Hee, that's so funny! Yeah, I was crawling the walls in that Beauty and the Beast episode: NEEDS MOAR EMMA!!! :p
But yeah, the central romance is such a yawn, isn't it?? Charmless really should have stayed in a coma! I liked the gender reverse on the fairytale initially but once he woke up it was all downhill. ;)

So what's your take on Regina and Rumple? Do you want them to team together? Or you want them to tear each other down, or what? I guess liking both means you'll be happy with many outcomes...!?

Yeah, good to be actually communicating! I have late-onset lurkerness. ;p
(no subject) - norwich36 on February 20th, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on February 20th, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norwich36 on February 21st, 2012 06:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on February 21st, 2012 08:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norwich36 on February 21st, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on February 23rd, 2012 12:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
eriatarkayamakasi on February 20th, 2012 08:14 am (UTC)
funnily enough, i am now obsessed with community and TVD! seems i joined the bandwagon late :P

also coincidentally, my mother has just come off her bipolar meds after 25+ years on them. i can sort of relate to how you are feeling (although obviously it is not me experiencing this directly, but as someone quite close to it).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on February 20th, 2012 08:46 am (UTC)
Oh that's cool! I thoroughly enjoyed both shows for ages.

Wow, that's HUGE for your mum! Congratulations to her! It's a big step. And it's really hard because I have to monitor my emotional state but there's a fine line between 'normal' level ups and downs and depression/anxiety-related ups and downs. And the hard thing of what to do when something seems like a relapse. :( I hope it wasn't too rough a journey for your mum.
(no subject) - yamakasi on February 20th, 2012 08:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on February 20th, 2012 09:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yamakasi on February 20th, 2012 09:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
amnisiasamnisias on February 20th, 2012 10:58 am (UTC)
Wow, what an achievement to decrease medication at a time of so much stress and work pressure! Hope you're proud of yourself, even if it goes slowly. I totally agree with you that yoga, meditation or mindfulness practice are a very powerful way to manage milder symptoms of depression and anxiety, or to support medication, or just to keep yourself centered and slow down the pace of life for a moment and reflect.

I was wondering what you're going to do about VVC. I think I need to decide fairly soon, because the flights just get more and more expensive. And frack, they already are quite steep. Honestly, what's more offputting to me is actually the flight and the jet lag. Going to the US for 5 days is just a big drag. Anyways, at the moment I'm leaning to going, because I would like to (re)connect to some people. I really enjoy LJ so much more if I actually KNOW the people I'm reading about.

I'm still enjoying TVD, I like the OTTness of it all, and the ridiculous plots and the fluff and the drama. Caroline has really grown on me, she's a spunky little minx now. Also I have further proof that I only like my vampires when they're bad, because I start to find Stefan more intriguing than Damon.But I'm not going to write any meta about the show ever, and can totally see why you might have lost interest. At least we got a TVD vid out of you before it happened :).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TVD Annabop_radar on February 20th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you, thank you!! I am definitely trying to remain very happy/proud about the (slow) progress. It's a challenge as I am an impatient little thing! ;)

Yeah, I seriously can't stress enough how useful mindfulness or yoga or anything like that is in handling stress and emotional fluctuations. I've always found yoga useful but realise now that sometimes in the past it just wasn't enough for me personally--it took the edge of but I needed to go deeper. So I think also persisting with trying to find what's right for you is so useful. I do need exercise regularly too or I just get too caught up in my head. I constantly forget this though! ;)

Yeah, flights are hideously expensive... it's a real long shot for me, I think, Basically I'd have to have some sort of big windfall for it to happen. And since I'm directly responsible for how much I earn, it may come down to how much I want to kill myself working to get there (which right now is: NOT A LOT!). I'd love it to happen for the reason you say though--it makes connecting online so much more meaningful.

Caroline is great! I really do still enjoy her very much. :) But yeah, I think when the Damon/Stefan dynamic shifted in season 3, I just kind of had fatigue about it... it's been hard to emotionally connect to the show even though the plotting remains tight. It was fun while it lasted though!
Clari Clyde: Icon: Daisyclari_clyde on February 20th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
Yay, reduced meds. {hugs}

I thought about taking a qigong class but so far I’ve felt my insomnia hasn’t been bad enough for me to seriously give it a go. That said, maybe I should at least look into meditation. Did you take classes for these or just study them on your own?

Veronica Mars: Ditto you on loving and hating her at the same time. It sometimes boggles me how someone so moral could be so unethical, how someone so rooted in justice still have such a jaded view of people.

Nikita: Hopefully, now that Percy is out of containment, he’ll be more interesting. Are you completely caught up? Though, I will say, I am completely loving the women of this show.

Pigeons: O_O I will never complain about crows on my roof again. I’ve been noticing that birds seem less scared of humans than I remember them being when I was a child and this just proves it. Keep an eye on your window or train your dog to; it might be a more productive use of his energy than looking for the in your bathroom. Sorry to LOL but it is funny. ;-)

Lastly, I hope you can make it to VVC. I’ll be rooting for you to. {hugs}
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on February 21st, 2012 02:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, I took classes. There's a group here runs weekend workshops and I started with one of those. For me it was the best way to learn--I always fall into the trap of reading things but not actually DOing them and that allowed me to experience some benefits from it, which motivated me to continue on my own. I just went to a second weekend workshop and there are now some classes nearer me that I go to.

It sometimes boggles me how someone so moral could be so unethical, how someone so rooted in justice still have such a jaded view of people.
Yeah, it was fascinating! And felt very real. I was glad the writers felt comfortable making her so ambiguous and letting the viewer wrestle with some of these contradictions in her.

I've not seen the last two eps of Nikita--have them downloaded now--can't wait!

Yeah, seriously, those pigeons were very calm! I actually like a lot of the birds in the neighbourhood but pigeons always seem smelly and nasty to me! I love the rainbow lorrikeets though--there are so many of them in our street this summer as the eucalypts are flowering and though they are very noisy, it's a joy to watch them!

Good to hear from you! Hope you're keeping well!
darluludarlulu on February 21st, 2012 02:26 am (UTC)
Hi there! I went off Effexor years ago and I remember it being an excruciating process, so *big hugs*

I've been trying to use meditation and breathing exercises to manage my anxiety recently, so I'm thinking I might have to look into this whole qigong business.


K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on February 21st, 2012 03:39 am (UTC)
Oh, god, you've been through it too? Yeah, it's horrible! I get really impatient but if I try to rush it, I get totally crippled physically, and even slowly it's like being mildly sick constantly for months, with some days worse than others. Thanks for the sympathy!

I can't recommend qigong highly enough--it's amaaaazing! Finding a good teacher or school is important, of course, and that's helped a lot for me, as I'm really new to meditation. But it just really helps me settle into my body and not be so much in my head (very good for anxiety!). It's very calming. There are many different schools and kinds of qigong, but what I appreciate about mine is they're very practical about encouraging you to find which exercises work best for you and integrating little practices into daily life as much as possible (such as reminding yourself to breathe deeply from your belly while driving, or taking a moment to centre yourself after getting off the phone, etc).

Have you found meditation helping you so far? My biggest challenge (which I think is common for beginners?) is not to get despondent when my mind is buzzing and I can't calm it down--just to watch the thoughts and not get attached to them.
(no subject) - darlulu on February 21st, 2012 10:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on February 23rd, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - darlulu on February 23rd, 2012 01:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on February 25th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
brokenmnemonic: BSG - Kara/Lee - Deletedbrokenmnemonic on February 21st, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
Haunted by pigeons? You have trees full of lorrikeets outside your house, and yet it's pigeons that haunt your bathroom? It must be a message. While you were chasing the pigeons out, did you happen to notice if one of them seemed very intense and buttoned-down, while the other seemed to have serious commitment issues?

It sounds like you're doing really well with reducing your meds. Dropping by half sounds like a huge success to me, even if you never went any further - but dropping by half makes me think you'll go the whole way :)

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee/pigeonbop_radar on February 23rd, 2012 12:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's a message alright. ::mutters under her breath unhappily:: :p