alee_grrl: (sleep)
I have stuff that needs doing, but it can wait til a bit later in the week. Right now I think I'm just going to continue vegging out and resting. Not sure when I last watched so much tv (or the internet equivalent). :) Am all caught up on current seasons of Sleepy Hollow, and Agents of SHIELD. Or at least as caught up as one can be without having a cable provider account. I am still kind of mad about the fact that I have to have a cable provider to access the most recent episode of a broadcast television series. Although once I go back to work I'll end up a week or two behind anyway. So it'll all come out in the wash. :)

Also caught up on Forever a new crime procedural with a supernatural twist (guy who cannot die) which I got hooked on while staying with my Dad. Not sure what I might watch today. Got a ton of things in both my Netflix and Amazon Prime queues, so there is no shortage of things to watch.

Also, Hawkeye: L.A. woman, aka Kate Bishop and Lucky the dog have adventures in L.A., was phenomenal. The only problem was that I finished it and wanted Vol. 4 of the series immediately. I haven't been so tempted to resubscribe to an ongoing monthly comic series in years. I may have to play with reading digital comics on the iPad I inherited, because I will not start collecting paper copies again. They are way to much of a pain to store.

Tomorrow I shall have to think about starting in on my errands, including going over to get blood drawn as it's been a while since I had my thyroid, iron levels, and other metabolic work-ups done. Don't really want to even think about blood draws today, so distractions and rest it is.

In cool news, I will be speaking on a student panel on Asexuality (via video chat) at Vermont Law School for Asexual Awareness Week. That will be at 6:30 tomorrow evening, so hopefully I will have found some spoons by then. :)

Zaho: Divisés

Oct. 27th, 2014 04:31 pm[personal profile] princesse_incongrue
princesse_incongrue: David Tennant with his arms around Billie Piper, holding her protectively (hugging rose and ten)

Original video here.

Ils sont venus par milliers les apôtres
Nous ont montés les uns contre les autres
Ils sont venus sans même frapper à la porte, nan nan
Pourtant chez eux c'est nous, nous qu'on déporte

Ils nous ont divisés pour reigner
Ma chérie a saigné
Ils nous ont divisés pour reigner
Ma chérie a saigné

Couleur ébène, blanc, ivoir ou peau matte
Les deux yeux qui t'aident à voir sont malades
Y a t-il un coeur derrière ces automates, non non
J'ai fuis, je survis parmi les nomades

Ils nous ont divisés pour reigner
Ma chérie a saigné
Ils nous ont divisés pour reigner
Ma chérie a saigné

Papa, maman ma liberté est morte
Enterrée sous des lois et bien des codes
Moi qui n'ai jamais tirer sur une corde
A moins de mieux serrer mon coeur au votre

Ils nous ont divisés pour reigner
Ma chérie a saigné
Ils nous ont divisés pour reigner
Ma chérie a saigné

J'ai rêvé que j'avais sauté par dessus les baricades
Que je pouvais voler par dessus les blessures
D'un monde qui ne faisait pas son âge
Et j'ai pleuré
Et j'avais beau crier, personne ne m'entendait

Ils nous ont divisés pour reigner
Ma chérie a saigné
Ils nous ont divisés pour reigner
Ma chérie a saigné

Never never never be afraid of who you are
Never never never be afraid of who you are
Never never never be afraid of who you are
Don't be afraid of who you are
The apostles came by the thousand
Set us against each other
They came in without even knocking, no no
Yet where they come from, we're the ones being deported

They divided us to rule
My darling bled
They divided us to rule
My darling bled

Ebony-colored, white, ivory or tan
The eyes you use to see are diseased
Do these robots even have a heart, no no
I fled, I survive amongst the nomads

They divided us to rule
My darling bled
They divided us to rule
My darling bled

Dad, mom, my freedom has died
Buried beneath laws and rules
I was someone who never dared to push my luck
Unless I was pushing my heart closer to yours

They divided us to rule
My darling bled
They divided us to rule
My darling bled

I dreamed I leapt over the barricade
That I could fly above the wounds
Of a world that didn't look its age
And I wept
No matter how much I screamed, no one heard

They divided us to rule
My darling bled
They divided us to rule
My darling bled

Never never never be afraid of who you are
Never never never be afraid of who you are
Never never never be afraid of who you are
Don't be afraid of who you are


Safely home

Oct. 26th, 2014 05:03 pm[personal profile] alee_grrl
alee_grrl: 9th Doctor and Rose walking towards the TARDIS.  Text reads: home is where the TARDIS is... (Tardis Home)
Was able to get up and on the road at a decent hour this morning, and made good time on the road, which means that I was able to make it home. It was nice to visit my heart family and see Vermont in fall. I missed peak leaf season, but it was still gorgeous. I will try remember to load the handful of pictures that I took to the net sometime this week. :) All and all I am glad to be home though.

The remainder of my to do list for the day is pretty simple: dump clothes in laundry basket, shower, and veg out with books and/or Netflix. I have three new graphic novels to enjoy: Hawkeye: L.A. Woman, Captain Marvel Volume 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More, and She-Hulk Volume 1: Law and Disorder. And my copy of the Ms. Marvel graphic novel should be arriving this week as well. So that is happy making.
alee_grrl: Picture of a variety of spoons, text reads "never enough spoons" (never enough spoons)
Sometimes you do not realize how badly you've looted your spoon drawer until you run out of all the spoons. This is essentially what has happened to me and why I have not been online or posting much. In the past few months I have (understandably) used up all of my emotional and social spoons and most if not all of my physical spoons. I'm much better at recognizing my physical limits than my social and emotional limits, which can be problematic, though I've gotten better at recognizing all of those limits over the years.

When I think about it I also realize that the last few months involved me needing to be very social. And while I had some downtime where I could just be myself and recoup some spoons, it wasn't a whole lot. So my generation of spoons did not match in any way, shape, or form my use of spoons. This means that now I am foggy, exhausted, and really not much in the mood to be social. I keep informing my brain weasels that this is all very normal for a grieving individual, and not an indication that I am doing something wrong health wise or that something is flaring up.

I am enjoying my trip to Vermont and my heart family is filled with other introverts, which means that we can all sit around and do our own thing and not feel like we have to entertain each other. So that has been nice. I did manage to pull up enough spoons to stop by my former law school and see some of my friends there, which was nice despite being a bit tiring.

I saw my Lyme doctor. CW: health and medical discussion )

Now I'm going to go run some errands and then start rounding things up so that I can leave out in the morning.

Another stop on the spiral

Oct. 21st, 2014 08:16 pm[personal profile] kafj
kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
Depression is being rubbish at the moment. It’s a combination of lack of daylight, fatigue, and running up against a succession of brick walls.

Yesterday I rode my bike into town. I went to a café and bought myself a jacket potato with prawn mayonnaise, a piece of lemon and chocolate shortbread, and a cup of coffee.

It was difficult. I walked past several other places on the way there, passed them by because they were too expensive. Or I would have to find somewhere to sit. Or I would have to talk to people. And I don’t belong here. Cambridge pushes all my not for the likes of us buttons if I’m not careful, and that goes all the way down to places where you can eat things. Possibly ‘eating out’ is a not for the likes of us.

Had I been with someone else, I could have – probably would have – kept walking until I was so hungry and tired that I would have just folded up and let the other person drag me into the nearest fast food outlet and feed me chips. But I was alone, and I had to do the dragging myself.

And I managed it, and I ate something reasonably nutritious, something that was tasty and not just the cheapest thing on the menu, and I got to sit down somewhere warm, and read a little bit, and begin writing this post in my head.

Once I can start writing I know I’m on the way out of it. Once I can get some words around the thing it stops being an overwhelming mass of lead jelly, and I can begin to see past it.

I forget what it’s like, being in the place where buying lunch is a massive achievement. Reminding myself that I’m allowed to spend a tenner on lunch is an achievement. Knowing that I will feel better once I’ve eaten, and acting upon the knowledge, is an achievement. After lunch I bought some trousers, and that was an achievement, too. I even tried them on in the shop. I get better and better at dealing with this, but it never becomes less horrible.

It does ridiculous things to my logic and to my self-esteem. I jump to conclusions – stupid conclusions. On Saturday I met somebody I knew just as the TUC march was about to set off. She said, ‘Keep in touch, and we’ll go for a pint.’ Half an hour after the end of the march I was convinced that the reason that she hadn’t replied to my text was that she’d (uncharacteristically and unprecedentedly) changed her mind and was hoping I’d get the hint – rather than the far more likely, and true, explanation: my texts hadn’t got through to her.

I am having to approach all sorts of social situations with logic and relentless self-questioning. Quite apart from the whole rigmarole of buying a jacket potato (it is highly unlikely that a perfectly ordinary café will be reluctant to sell me a jacket potato, but you try telling my brain that) I am having problems with questions like, should I go to this thing or that? Do people want me there? What constitutes an invitation? And is it even a good idea for me to go?

I am looking for the spaces in between depression, the chances to stop and remember that it isn’t the truth. There are cracks in it. I keep writing. I keep thinking. I bought a daylight lamp. I have given myself permission to not work on anything I think I should be working on. And a practice that I have found phenomenally useful is the #100happydays meme. I am on day 17 of my second round, and it really does help. It makes me look out for things that are good. It makes me notice things that are good. It is an expression of trust that tomorrow there will be something worth getting up for, however tiny it might be. Tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that – well. It’s a long way until day 100. It’ll take me into the new year.

And, to my delight and surprise, my friends are enjoying my doing it. I’d thought my daily happy post would be neutral at best and probably mildly irritating. Two or three people, however, have said to me that they look out for it, that it cheers them up too, that they were happy when I started it up again. I am more touched by this than I can say, that I can share joy with this little discipline that is getting me through the winter one day at a time.
kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
Actually, I picked the right week. And I haven’t quit drinking, not really.

Two months ago (it feels like longer!) I took a week’s annual leave, went to stay with my mother, and on the first night I came down with a stinking cold. It was miserable. The runny, bleeding, nose, the sore throat (exacerbated by being in a smoking household) and occasional difficulty breathing – all that was miserable, but I’d been to the pub that evening and had a couple of pints, and the headache and wakefulness made it the worst night in a long time. I lay awake, and I knew that I could have made it very slightly better by not drinking when I knew I had a bug waiting to pounce. And so I decided not to.

I had been feeling for a while that this was coming – it’s been one of the things that came out of The Artist’s Way for me – and, while I didn’t really know why this, why now, and I did not feel at all ready to have done it, doing it hasn’t been as difficult as I expected. Having once decided that I’d already had my last casual pint, I have been able to leave it there. Thank goodness. I am not sure how I'd have coped if I'd found it difficult.

But then I have always been a social drinker. For most of my adult life I’ve avoided drinking alone (the major exception having been last winter, which was a season out of time, really). I’ve drunk in company, mostly as an inhibition-loosener – to get me talking, mask my shyness – or as a shared ritual: ‘We survived this tedious event together: let us drink to celebrate!’ Since stopping, I have often quoted Airplane! (see title of post) to myself during the sort of day that would usually end in a glass of wine, but that has been enough to allow me to see the funny side, and work around the stress. There was never going to be a right week. I wasn’t ready, but I never am.

My work life and my social life revolve around groups and activities that are traditionally associated with moderate to high alcohol consumption – the trade union movement, choral music, the Church of England – and I have no desire to withdraw from any of those. In all the scenes of my life, I would change only the one detail – the contents of the glass in my hand. And I would like the other characters in the scene not to have noticed the change.

I find that I am much the same person sober as I am drunk. It’s the company that changes my behaviour, not the alcohol. Now that I have sorted out at least the top layer of my social awkwardness, I can plunge straight into the conversation. I take my cue from others and expand to ‘raucous’ and ‘slightly hysterical’ as the evening progresses. Also I tipped over a chair and a glass last night, and I have a significant stutter and a tendency to pontificate. Shall we just say that I do not stand out as the sober one? The main difference (so far) seems to be that I am less likely to start crying over people, and that’s helpful. I’d rather do that alone.

I have been paying attention to the associations, and how and why the habit grew in different ways in different settings. There is a difference between a splash of Cointreau in my coffee while I try to write, and my stepmother-in-law greeting me with ‘White wine?’ as I haul a case through their front door; between a mojito with the book club and an experimental pint at the pub because I like the name or the label.

Thursday night felt like a major milestone: a night at the pub with current and former work colleagues, people I know and like a lot – a night that a few months ago would have meant a succession of pints of beer. There was a similar night at the end of that first week, but I was still getting over the cold then, and not yet sure enough of myself to explain it as any more than ‘being doped up to the eyeballs on paracetamol’. Thursday night was my first night with this particular group as a non-drinker. Thursday night I had cola, then lime-and-soda, then lemonade, and it was fine. The warm, gossipy atmosphere, the setting-the-world-to-rights, the how-is-this-person-and-how-is-that-person, the good news shared and congratulated – they were all still there. I rolled home late and stinking of cigarette smoke, same as every time. It was great.

I have not encountered as much hostility as I feared I might. Mostly, people have raised their eyebrows and let it go. They have not seemed to experience my not drinking as a hint that I think they should do likewise. (Which is fortunate, because I don’t! People who look down their noses at other people because of what those people choose to ingest are my least favourite sort of people and I would hate it if I were thought to be one of them.) They accept that this is something that is working for me at this particular moment. There have been a couple of tricky moments, but it hasn’t been anything like as bad as I expected.

I continue to drink for ritual or ceremonial purposes. In practice, that means Communion, toasts, and beer-with-the-current-project (though it’s been ages since I did that, and I should really go and do it again). I also ignore the alcohol content of food. I’m still not really sure why I’m doing this, but eradicating all traces of alcohol from my diet isn’t the reason.

There are a few things that I still haven’t worked out. Firstly, what to drink instead. I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, and I am going to get fed up with fizzy drinks very quickly. (Suggestions welcome!) Secondly, how to tell people. Mostly I just don’t, and answer the ‘what are you drinking?’ questions as and when they come up. Thirdly, there is a certain part of my persona that is built around drinking pints of real ale, and how this is not something that is not necessarily expected of someone of my age and gender, and I’m not quite sure how to replace that. I suspect that something equally outrageous will turn up. I’m happy waiting for that.
princesse_incongrue: Mikelangelo Loconte singing into a microphone in front of a red background (mikele rocking)
 original video posted here

[Disclaimer: when Solal starts naming members of the band and the team, I just transcribed what the names sounded like to me.  I couldn't find a list of the names of the members of the Vodka People online anywhere, so this is my effort.]

Hello everyone and welcome to "Backstage Toulouse FM", the show that brings you behind the scenes of the biggest concerts.  We're all familiar with "Mozart l'opéra rock", a show that was very successful in France and even in other countries thanks to its hit songs like "Tatoue-moi", "L'assasmyphonie", "Vivre à en crever" among others.  Since then, Mozart l'opéra rock has made a big comeback in a different form: a concert.  The biggest songs from the show have been reorchestrated in a symphonic version, with more than sixty musicians onstage, and performed, of course, by the original Troupe.  Today I'll take you behind the scenes for this show, behind the scenes of "Mozart l'opéra rock, le concert" at the Zénith of Toulouse.
(Rehearsals - 4pm - Toulouse)
I was a fan of Florent right away. He's the reason I loved the musical, but then there were also the sets, the tone, I loved everything about the show, I don't know.
You know that tonight it's different, it's not the show-
It's with an orchestra.
With an orchestra, yeah, and are you still as excited?
Yes, I love concerts, I'm a huge fan of concerts.
It's totally different, they've had time to- they seem like they've gotten more confident with themselves, with their voices, and I think it's even more interesting to see them like this than in the context of the musical.
This concert was born almost two years ago.  They began in eastern countries.  Then they were in Tunisia, but there were so many fans who were dying to see them in concert here, so we couldn't deprive them of the pleasure because we were really enjoying it too.  Onstage there are more than sixty musicians: we have the choir, we have the symphonic orchestra.  It's this marriage that lets the performers be freer onstage.  You can tell they're completely liberated and each one can express themselves without begin restrained by the context of the show.
Can you tell me what you're doing right now?
I'm gearing up, because we're going to rehearse.  We're testing the sound now, because everyone always tests the sound.  Always.  Yeah.  So we're going onstage, we're going to test the songs, because the orchestra needs to rehearse, to think about the rythm, because that aspect of it is difficult, being a musician.  But it's great.
Yeah, we just came back from Montpellier, and now we're doing Toulouse.  In Montpellier we were a little more rock-n-roll, so we know in Toulouse we're going to do the same thing.  We're got to really cut loose, yeah.
So you know there are thousands of locals out there waiting for you.  What are they going to see at the concert tonight?
They're going to see the skeleton, the source of Mozart l'opéra rock, which was the songs written by wonderful composers, which we really believe in, and which were really successful.  That's why the album sales did so well, it went to diamond.  That's what we'll do.  Even during the show we were aware of that.
So we're going to talk about some images, since we're doing this interview I'm going to show you- we're going to look at some photos, and you tell me how they make you feel.
Okay.  On a tablet, okay.  Oh!  Okay, Grand Rex.  This photo, it was very, very, very- it was a magnificent moment.  For the first time, we got to see our film that the Korean shot-
In 3D, right?
In 3D. It was James Cameron's team, who make all the films like Avatar, the Matrix, all the movies like-
And how does that feel, to see yourself in 3D on the big screen?
It's incredible.
I'd like to talk about the Troupe.  It's been, what, more than five years that you've known each other?  Has it become a family?
Well yeah!  Plus, here we were with Merwan and Yamin, who we don't get to see in the concert.  But we saw Marwou-
I just tried to say- Yamin and- Mermin!  We met up with Yamin who came to see us at the PDS... well, yeah, these are my brothers and sisters.
Ah, that's our audience!  Well I don't know if it's our audience, but it's the audience.
It's the audience. Fans, just in general.  What do-
The audience is divided into two categories.  There is the audience that carries us, and the audience that we carry.  The audience that we carry was more common at the beginning.  You have to get them used to it, get used to be loud, to all the shouting.  But there is also the audience that cares about you, too.  That means, that as soon as you get onstage, you don't have to do anything else.  You're just carried on their energy.
What's the craziest gift you've gotten from a fan, from a young fan?  You have a really strong link with them.
The craziest gift?
Yeah, the craziest.  Something astonishing.
They've given me incredible things.  They gave me a star.
In the sky?  They bought a star?
Yeah, they named a star Mikelangelo Loconte. Yeah.  With a-
How did you receive that? Personally?
It's strange-
That's an extraordinary gift.
Plus I think it's a part of the place where Sagittarius is, and Orion.  They didn't just pick a random star.
"The Future: Next Exit".  This is a nice photo.
What does that make you think?
It gives me hope.  Because I can be a pretty somber person sometimes, with a dark side, that's why they chose me for Salieri, but I'm profoundly optimistic deep down.  I'm profoundly humanist.  I do believe in- in the people I meet.  It's all the people I've met that-
Do you have doubts?  Since it's such a difficult line of work?
Always, always.  I saw a quote from someone, I don't remember who, that said "Emotionally, artists experience more in one year than most people do in their whole lives" and it's true.  We really do, it's a rollercoaster, and sometimes it's great but to create a song-
It's extreme.
It's two extremes, both extremes.  I'm a little like that, too, which is why it works for me, but no, every day we have doubts.  When you're doing something like this, like Mozart, it's different.  Because it's in progress, you go onstage, it's-
The songs are already there.
Yeah, the songs are already there.  We have doubts, we don't know if it will work, that's why we do all this promo work, that's why we go out and say "Come on, this will be great, you've got to come see it!"  But when you write, when you create, as a creator, you go through periods of a lot of doubt, and the pressure can really test your limits.
Mélissa, during hair and makeup when you're getting ready for this show, do you feel the pressure?
It's more relaxing, actually.  It depends.
And what do you think about?
Nothing! I make sure I look good enough to go onstage!
Okay, my makeup is a little extreme because the show is going to start soon.  You've got to look pretty, so I made myself pretty..  I'll show you around a little.  So here are the musicians' dressing room, they're called the Vodka People.  Here's Thierry, the conductor.  François Delphin, a superb guitarist.  Mathieu Raboté, we only take the best!  You've got Bryce Bérion who's just behind you there.  The keyboardist.  You've got Laurent Cauclaire, who just lost fifteen kilos.  Here's Maho, who wasn't here a minute ago.
Is it hard to work with Solal, Mikelangelo, Florent Mothe?
It's tough.  Especially this character next to me-
Who is it?
This character is my friend Solal.
He's great, as you can see there's a pretty terrible ambiance in here.  Here we have our dear producer, Boris Orloff, who's made this incredible experience possible and shared it with us.  I was telling you earlier-
Why Mozart l'opéra rock?  Why did you choose this show?
Because it's good.
It was really all because of me being in it.  If it wasn't for me, none of this would have been possible.
Boris, yes, he's crazy, because in these days you have to be crazy to take a chance like this.  We've been extraordinarily lucky.  I was telling you earlier, really, I thank you every day for giving us this opportunity.  Truly.
Here we have the Ukrainian musicians who are here, mixed in with some of the members of the chorus, and the concertist- the- what? The musicians, violin, oboe, everything that makes up a philharmonic- or symphonic orchestra.  Woodwinds, strings, brass, et cetera, percussion, and you have the singers, who are said to have the best bass, or low voices in the classical repertory.  They're known for that.  Ukranians and Russians are known for that, so we were really lucky.  It's like Mikele said, every night we have to sing louder and louder to be able to compete with these marvelous voices, and to do them justice.  It's an honor to perform with them, truly.
Here you have what's called catering, and it's very important, because to sing well, you have to eat well.  And to eat well, we have a menu that- well we call it catering, but actually it's the cafeteria for all of the musicians, the stagehands, the singers, and I've gotta say, we eat extremely well, we're really well taken care of, and this is the team responsible.  They're manning the ovens now.  All of this team here, they're just- they're just- we're in Toulouse, and, and these guys, they're called Etc Etc, and they're the best catering in all of France.  You can send me a check later, no worries.  There you can see Mikele, who's having dinner, over there.  With Florent Mothe.  Yes, and our sound engineer.  This is where it's happening, right here.
Everything's great, and we're really happy to be in Toulouse.
As you can see, it's not just the Vodka People who've gotten into the vodka.
Apparently they've made us [?], it's a specialty-
We don't know what it is, but we'll find out soon, during the show.
I have to let you go, because I have to go- well, I'm already in makeup, but- oh, here's Yohann, who's going to do my hair.  He's going to make me even more beautiful than I already am.  Out of respect for the audience who was kind enough to come see us tonight.
And the audience in Toulouse really turned out for Mozart l'opéra rock le concert.  The Troupe is on tour now throughout France.  This has been "Backstage", we'll see each other soon!  Ciao!


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