Paula is a fangirl

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Once upon a time – about a decade ago, and dear god that makes me feel old – I was absolutely crazymad on fanlistings. I joined as many as I was able to, I ran them for all the things I loved that no-one else had startd one for. I swear at one point I was running like 50odd of the bloody things, all by hand cos php and I did not get on.

And then recently, I’ve discovered that they are still a thing and my little fangirl heart is exploding with glee. I’m all excited and ready to go joinjoinjoin!

If you’re staring at me blankly right now, wondering what the ever-living fuck I’m talking about…

A fanlisting is simply an online listing of fans of a subject, such as a TV show, actor, or musician, that is created by an individual and open for fans from around the world to join. There are no costs, and the only requirements to join a fanlisting are your name and country. Fanlistings do not have to be large sites (although some are) – they are just a place where you can have your name listed along with other fans of the same subject. TheFanlistings.org is the original (but not only) web directory for fanlistings, dedicated to uniting fans across the globe.

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Vanitas vanitatum… et omnia vanitas

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vanitas1080 This is my favourite painting in the whole world. And it’s what inspired the name of my blog. It’s title is Still Life: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life by the dutch painter Harmen Steenwyck, C1640. Vanitas’ in general are my favourite style of art but there’s something about this one that just grabbed me from the very first time I saw it.

The term Vanitas is from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes (1:2): ‘Vanitas vanitatum… et omnia vanitas’, translated ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity’. The books symbolise human knowledge, the musical instruments (a recorder, part of a shawm, a lute) the pleasures of the senses. The Japanese sword and the shell, both collectors’ rarities, symbolise wealth. The chronometer and expiring lamp allude to the transience and frailty of human life. All are dominated by the skull, the symbol of death.

When I was casting around for a site name when I realised I wanted to get back into blogging the painting came to me almost instantaneously, because what really is more vain than a personal site. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not using vain as a derogatory term. This site is about me – about the books I love, the music I love, the tv/movies I love, the gigs/cons I go to… it’s about the things that make me me. It’s a modern-day Vanitas.

Tell me something I DIDN’T already know!

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The company I work for sent me to see a private healthcare Orthopod for my knee yesterday. After taking the most detailed clinical history EVER followed by some poking and prodding he determined that my knee is extremely1 swollen and tender, that there’s significant damage to the joint and the soft tissue, and I have limited mobility in it.
Well, no shit Sherlock!

Then in the afternoon, because one painful medical appointment a day just isn’t enough, I went to see a headshrinker. We talked a bit about random crap – who I am, what I do, he asked about my tattoos – we went through a longer-than-I’ve-used-before depression check-list. He didn’t just make me ring the numbers though, he mad e me discuss each one.
He determined that I have severe depression, extremely severe anxiety and chronic stress. OK so the stress is a new one on me but again I say, no really?

I was feeling shaky and irritable for a lot of yesterday afternoon/evening, over-reacting to stupid shit and generally annoying myself a heartbeat later when I realised how stupid I was being.
And the my emotions skyrocketed to the heavens with the annoucement of Ben Browder for Gatecon in November (SQUEEE!)

As a result today is what I tend to call ‘A Bad Day’ – all the anxiety, even more crankiness, shakiness, nausea and tears. Fun, no?
So I called work, crawled back into bed and spent a few hours playing silly time management and hidden object games on my tablet. It’s amazing how much better I felt when I resurfaced for food. I’m guessing it’s to do with giving your brain something else to consciously focus on combined with the sense of accomplishment when you complete a task.

This afternoon I’m mostly planning on stayed curled up with my blankie and watching some NCIS. Maybe some more poking at layouts because nope, still not happy with this one *frowns*

1 personally I’d have said ‘fairly’ swollen rather extremely. Extreme is when the seams of my size-too-big pants is fit to burst…

Take II

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So much for returning the blogging world – and the world in general. My mental state apparently decided that no, we weren’t quite ready for that just yet.

About 6 weeks ago, I hit a bad patch with the depression. I am, however, proud of myself for recognising it for what it was and being able to seek help. I used the services of The Samaritans for someone to talk to and went to my doctor. My meds have been increased and I’m stabilising again. I’m starting to do stuff. I went to a Comic Con last weekend, and I went to a gig yesterday. I’m reaching out to friends I pushed away and I’m had that realisation that all things considered, life is pretty damn good.

This afternoon I went ‘oh… I started that website again didn’t I?’ and found myself back here at my wordpress dashboard.
I changed the layout. Still not 100% sure on this one but I like it.
I updated the ‘about me’ page
I created the templates for the pages I want to add.
And here I am, watching The Messengers and writing a wee blog post.

Not a very exciting update, I know, but I figured hey, a small first step for my second chance is better than none at all!

Paula strikes back

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away I used to blog regularly. I had my own domain, I ran fanlistings, I updated almost daily.  Then, a horrible no good very bad thing called Depression happened to me. And I lost interest in pretty much everything. I stopped blogging. I stopped interacting with people online. Everything fell into ruins around me.

Now, I would love to sit here and say I’m cured, everything is coming up roses but… it really isn’t. I still struggle with my mental health – and am very candid about it. What I can say is that I miss blogging and all the *handwavey* things that go with it. So I’m fighting back.

This is step one.

mondaymorningselfieHi! My name’s Paula and I look something a little like this. The first thing you should know about me is that I’m a Slasher. And a geek. And damn proud of both.

Fandom and my friends are the most important things in my life. I work to live, not live to work. I live for gigs, for doing the things that make me happy. Happiness is the one of the most important things any person can have.

I am a Payables Officer for a faith-based international aid charity who are putting me through my accounting qualifications. This is equal parts incredibly awesome and utterly terrifying. I’m not necessarily sure I want to be an accountant but I’m not going to turn down the opportunity.
And yes, I talk about work. About the people I work with, rant about them and the suppliers and the stupid things people do, frustrations I have with the system. I talk about the languages I hear, interesting nuggets about the religion and the culture, my experience working within a culture that’s so different to mine. Because honestly, I find it all fascinating. I mentioned being a geek, yes? LOL

What else is important for you to know?
I’m gay. I’m kinky. I have 7 tattoos and 6 piercings. I have arthritis in my hips and knees and walk on crutches – I’m supposed to use them all the time but only really use them when I’m struggling/if I know I’m going to be doing a lot of standing or walking. I fucking hate my sticks. I suffer from depression.
Actually, I talk about my mental health issues a lot. I’m very candid about my struggles with depression, with self-harm, with binge-eating and purging.

I love, amongst other things, slash fanfiction, music, gigs, reading, pizza, chocolate, tattoos, piercings, tarot, angels, faeries, the internet, my friends, cooking, travelling, history (especially War Of The Roses/Tudors/Stuarts), watching far too many tv shows but especially Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, Saving Hope and The Librarians, listening to all the music, with special love for Raintown, Gary Quin and 80s rock music, bad movies, horror, science-fiction… it’s a fairly endless list that changes like all the time haha

My journal is NOT friends only I openly blog about… pretty much any/everything… my friends, my family, my job, the woman who loves me, the woman I love, my Dominant, my sex life, dreams, wishes, fantasies… i post fanfiction and fangirling and rambling and poetry and articles and essays and memes and lots of pictures… like i said, it’s a little bit of everything rolled into one. Just like me, really!

so yeah, that’s me! *waves*