Time For a May Update!

So it’s time for an update, it’s been a couple of weeks and I currently have a D on my foot, which means I’m stuck.

Send help and chocolate!

But, seriously, spring is … erm … springing. We have blossom and my windows are open/the Sonos are on half-pelt. Life’s okay.

My foot is going to sleep. Crap.

But, yeah, I survived London and Easter. S’all good. My mood has been relatively stable which is nice, though my anxiety remains through the roof. Not so good but it’s a work in progress. Shall we do this through the medium of bullet points, just for brevity?

 Okay then:

  • London was awesome. I really enjoyed it. I’m still paying it off but it was worth it.
  • Hidden Figures is even more awesome in the cinema. Bonus for having an actual American with me who can explain the whole political mess around it and the Space Race. Also, it makes me want to go back to my Space Race on an alien planet novella.
  • I am writing. My current focus is still on the Atridia books, specifically on a short story I’m calling “Bindings, Seen and Not” about a neutral gender bookbinder living in a city under state-sanctioned non-binary gender oppression.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale was amazing … and severely triggering. I want to watch the rest of it (I think there are like ten episodes). I’m not sure I’ll be able to though, it’s horrifically foretelling but incredibly relevant. I know a lot of people are noping out purely because of anxiety issues with the content.
  • In election news, I’m noping out. Due to a bureaucratic cock-up relating to the Great Name Change, I’ve been kicked off the electoral roll and won’t be back on it time for the local election. I’m very angry about this but also glad I caught it as I do want to vote in the general election next month. I just don’t want to have to listen to the election kerfuffle until then. Aside: I know it’s a cock-up because they have ZERO records of me under Old Name either and I’ve lived here for a decade and voted, both in person and postal. They also have no problems sending me Council Tax bills in my new name. It’s a work in progress but I don’t expect it to be resolved in time to vote locally (I have re-registered to vote and intend to give someone at Electoral a serious talking to about the legalities of this, I’m registered as a head of household and am not dependent of anyone else so there’s no reason for me to have been removed).
  • There’s no ETA on the guide dog front either. Sigh. The cats are picking up the slack though. Bramble and Gismo hugs are also helping.
  • I got an update on Uni’s progress and she’s doing so well. She’s happy and has a beach. That’s all I can ask for.
  • My mood has been yoyoing but nothing too hard-core though I managed to really trigger myself last weekend. It was unpleasant. Oh and I’ve been obsessing again, mainly on buying things, Field Notes and food. Oh and Midori, of course. But I’m starting to argue out reasons why I should wait (example: my phone is due an upgrade but, instead, I’m going to go sim-only for a few months/til the end of the year as it’s cheaper).
  • Money-wise, I sat down and worked out my income and did a spreadsheet. I’ve worked out a rough, date by date, payment plan and should be debt free just after my birthday. I even budgeted in a new Limitless card and my rent. 2018 should start out with a nice, clean, slate. If I can restrain myself and focus on the Big Picture.
  • At some point, I’m going to write that book on bipolar or, at least, how to manage things like money while dealing with the mood swings.
  • I’ve decided to teach myself bookbinding (I started learning it a couple of years ago), thanks to the help of YouTube. Actually, I’ve been a lot more crafty of late; mostly laminating stuff and experimenting with little things like making postcard-sized pictures for my fridge (mostly of upcoming movie posters and inspirational quotes) or laminating stuff for friends. I am now the proud owner of an awl, a craft knife, cutting map, guillotine and haven’t yet done myself any serious damage. Go me. My task for this week is to learn to saddle stitch and learn how to bind my own notebooks for my wallet (there’s more variety in terms of paper and cover colour). Plus it keeps my brain quiet which is the biggest thing.

  • I cancelled my gym membership. The pressure of attendance (I’m not an evening person, especially not when I ‘have’ to do something I don’t want to do) and my continuing plantar fasciitis had been driving me nuts. Said PF was getting better, then I went to London. Sigh. On the upside, I’m not missing the place and much prefer walking around Eaton Park with my guide dog owner friends and their hounds.
  • I’m eating better food. Simple meals which are easy to cook and fast (or involve the minimum amount of prep). This week it’s garlic and bacon pasta with chorizo and lots of herbs. Healthy and tasty.
  • My faux Midori wallet is working beautifully, as is the free diary I got from JP Books (though it runs out in September and I kinda want a dated one. Dates are hard.). I’ve been playing with the inserts and now have a zipper pouch, a kraft folder and a notebook inside each other on the first string and my diary and expenses ledger held together with a band on the second. It works perfectly. Oh, I added a Neo Queen Serenity tiara charm onto the string and it sits beautifully on my yen coin.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is freaking awesome. End of. I didn’t look at my watch once AND I’m going back tomorrow.
  • I’m looking forward to so much TV and so many movies. I have tickets to Alien: Covenant and Wonder Woman already. I’m actually going to the cinema physically and ordering in bulb because the Odeon site only lets me book two performances ahead online (in person I can book loads). It’s annoying and cramping my social life.
  • Doctor Who is actually kinda good this season.
  • American Gods starts tomorrow. YAY!!!!
  • I’m managed to keep on top of household stuff, though I’m yet to put my washing away. Small steps, Asha, small steps.
  • I’m back in therapy and it’s helping. Reddit is helping more in terms of a support group which is just odd but so welcome. Ditto my very closest chosen family.
  • Ramen is still awesome.
  • I finally got my hands on a Lindt 1kg Gold Bunny in the post-Easter sales and I don’t regret it. Not for one second. 😀
  • We are Groot, people!
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Limitless: Yeah, Odeon Were Serious

limitless

For the Day of Which We Do Not Speak (aka my birthday), I got a Limitless Card. Odeon introduced the scheme earlier this year and I’ve always loved movies. There was a period where I didn’t go in cinemas due to an anxiety trigger relating to a specific person and how they treated Uni (Guide Dogs do not, for some reason, include ‘how to take dogs into the cinema’ as part of advanced training). But, thanks to various friends over the years, as well as Bramble and Gismo, Uni got to the point where she just saw the place as a chance for a two hour nap.

I officially registered for the card just so I could see Doctor Strange on the day of release (28/10/16) and the rules say I can see any 2D movie, regardless of day and time, for free at any Odeon in the country (excluding the inner London ones). I can go into the Gallery as it costs extra and, frankly, most of those movies are too late for me to get home. Since signing up for the card I’ve seen

  • Doctor Strange (x2 with at least another viewing coming. Iron Man reskinned but OMG the graphics and the Inceptionness!)
  • Storks (Amazon pastiche that completely ignores sex. Also animated.)
  • Inferno (I wouldn’t have paid to see it, frankly. But I know BFF did and it wasn’t that bad.)
  • Nocturnal Animals (Freaky and weird but also compelling and will appeal to authors on a narrative bent. Should have been an 18)
  • Arrival (x2. Gorgeous.)
  • Next week I’ll be seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at least twice.

Oh and that’s not even going into the long list of films which are coming out in December: Moana. Rogue One. Passengers. Next year has Assassin’s Creed, Rings, Ghost in the Shell, at least three Marvel movies and some DC ones … you get the point.

I paid upfront and, assuming I pay £9.75 for a movie this means I need to see 22 movies to cover the cost. Assuming the cost is higher, for newer films (£12.95): it’s 15 movies. Assuming I go with someone else and use my CEA card to get them in, well I’ve basically justified the card now. In less than two weeks.

The weird part is I find it calming. I can book for myself via the app, on the way to the cinema. I can book for me plus someone else on the website. I can sit in the Costa AT the cinema and book tickets. It’s remarkably freeing, especially when you add in my obvious autistic traits of liking dark large spaces that are quiet and my love of repetition. If I’m with another friend, we’ll use Audio Description and sit up the back at the cinema but, usually on a second screening, I like to sit in the disabled seats right at the front (with bonus bag and dog room). I like to feel like I’m in the movie and being so close, it means I can compensate for my crap vision. I can actually see what’s going on.

The best part is, being chronically ill and disabled actually plays in my favour, I can see movies when I want to. In cinemas with perhaps five other people. I can see what I want when I want, especially on Saturdays when it’s possible to get in early and watch several movies. I miss doing that and it wasn’t something I could afford. Also I’m seeing movies that, if I was paying, I’d never normally consider which is introducing me to some really interesting movies.

There is a line through and that is Trolls. And the Smurfs.

In this case though, it’s not about the money (though the monthly DD option was a nice addition). It’s about the freedom and frankly the timing was perfect: what else am I going to do during a long, cold winter without a dog? I don’t have to worry about anyone but me and I need to be selfish in some ways, it’s part of the interim phrase before New Dog coms along, especially with the name change and whatnot. Plus it’s a gift I can share as I have a bunch of friends who love movies as much as I do and, while I do prefer the watch at home with a pause button option, nothing beats the big screen.

The best thing it’s nice to have gift I can use and (hell) abuse. Most people work, I don’t and the cinema is an hour away with a bus which deposits me a few minutes away. Bonus points go to Morrisions being just around the corner for on the way home shopping and a choice of places to eat. Riverside is also the ‘quieter’ part of Norwich, at least on every day when Norwich isn’t playing at home.

Yes, I think, I chose wisely.

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