Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I am awake tonight because of something that happened to me on social media earlier today. I've been stewing about it and the cats are rambunctious so I'll use my blog to let off steam and comment on the whole social media scene.

As intro, I am a die hard fan of the book series known as Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and the TV series that has been made from these books. The books defy neat genre pigeon-holing, being historical fiction, romance, adventure, time travel and probably some other genres as well. They concern a nurse who has just lived through WWII and is on a second honeymoon with her husband in Scotland when she mysteriously is transported 200 years into the past. There she is semi-reluctantly taken in by the clan MacKenzie to save her from the less than welcoming English army. Over the course of the series she learns about their way of life, some of the social and political undercurrents on the eve of the Jacobite uprising, and happens to be forced into marriage with a Highland warrior to save her own skin. She turns out to fall in love with said warrior and has, at this point, mostly accepted that she's stuck in the 1740's.

I knew nothing about the books until I stumbled on the TV series on cable and got totally sucked in. I then found out that there were legions of fans of the books and I became one of them. This is where social media rears its ugly head. I don't participate in anything but Facebook, and that's mostly to keep up with family and friends. I don't tweet or any other form of sharing my every thought. But there are about 17 FB (Facebook) feeds of articles forwarding stuff from the
"legitimate" press, PR stuff from the creators of the series, articles written by bloggers who spend a lot more time and effort than I do, and just plain opinion pieces. Any of these can set off a flurry of comment and counter comment debating hair-styles, the actors and their portrayals, etc. I have never done anything more than comment on a comment. Today I got what I felt was brutally slapped down for making a comment that was no different from what else that was being said. Nobody will know because the admin of a group can do anything without telling anyone and it's bad form to complain about it.

A slight side step. Outland has sex in it. Pretty full on graphic, just short of full- frontal nudity, equal-opportunity sex. There has been lots of press about how honest and female centered the sex is, that it is not gratuitous, there is no teasing, flirting, seduction, behind closed doors, fade to black sex, just consensual, married, and while graphic, also tasteful and passionate sex. Sometimes I do wonder about the sex lives of women who post on FB that they get their knickers in a knot over the sex shown between the two married lead characters. "Oh, I was blushing so much!" "I couldn't watch this with my husband/mother/daughter" Somebody posted a great long essay about what she didn't like about the latest episode (for which, by the way we have been waiting for 6 MONTHS and I'm so glad it's here I can't complain about anything) and she ended this long nit-pick with "so I'm probably a hypocritical prude! Fire away!" and the comments began. I essentially said, "Yes, you are and I saw nothing offensive in the episode." For saying that, my post was deleted by the admins, supposedly for calling her a name (a prude, which she had already called herself). Being a widow, I have only fond memories of passionate can't-keep-your-hands-off-each-other sex but I swear some of these women always got undressed in the bathroom and the sexual revolution missed them completely. Going into a public forum and essentially saying that is asking for comments, but I don't get to make them!

I now see why teenaged girls get their tender egoes bashed bloody by social media and if I were a parent, I would try to keep my offspring away from the whole cess pit. I have made a promise to myself never to get dragged into one of these name calling fests again and I will cut back my FB usage severely. I will read more. I will watch Poldark, another historical drama, coming to a TV near you.

BTW, if you like hearing my random thoughts on thing, please let me know because otherwise I'm dangling in silence here until I get my dander up anout something. Chime in or make your own comment. If you want a knitting or spinning update I can so that as well.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I know I promised to continue my blog last year and I didn't. No excuses but laziness and depression. Ok, I'm coming out with it and laying it all on the table. I have fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, which I have never hidden but have not been up front about up until now. Along with those diagnoses goes irritable bowel (frequent pain in my lower intestinal area, sometime associated with diarrhoea and sometimes triggered by specific foods or just by stress), bruxism (chronic grinding on my teeth, leading to dental problems, and headaches), insomnia (treated with super heavy duty sleeping pills that don't always work like tonight) , muscle pains that are sometimes unrelated to physical activity, and many other minor ailments. I also have a congenital eye condition that causes warpage of my cornea and the treatment of that is extremely complicated and the remedies give me irritated eyes and headaches. I had a nasty bout of staph a few years ago which left me with a permanently disabled right knee to add to the mix. This post is to get all the stuff I've danced around out in the open.

I used to be a morning person who got out of bed at 5 AM to go out walking for physical training. Now I can barely drag myself up at 10 AM, usually because I didn't get to sleep before 2AM. Plus fibro results in "nonrefreshing sleep" meaning you wake up feeling worse than you went to bed. You ache, you're stiff, you're fuzzy headed and you just want to go back sleep, which I do now that I'm retired. I feel energised about 2PM. I'm planning trip to the U.S. in May with my best friend and ex husband, JD. He understands where I am coming from through long conversations and a multi-year cohabitation. He also knows that sometimes just knowing there's another person there is all the support I need. He need do nothing more than let me sleep when I need to, and drive me around. We share a lot of the same interests and past.

Depression is either a symptom of or side effect of fibro. It bothers me off and on. Some days I wake up in a deep funk. Some days it creeps up on me. It may last a day or a month. There are some coping mechanisms that sometimes work. Other times I retreat to my bedroom and cuddle my cats, who love me regardless of mood. The new addition, a Burmese kitten named Max is a source of cheap entertainment and is very affectionate.

I post this to let my friends know why I don't keep up my blog, why I don't always go out when I probably should. Why I hide under a rock a lot. Life isn't fun a lot of the time. If it gets really unbearable I will take things into my own hands. I would never do that without leaving the house in perfect shape, and without making arrangements for my darling cats, who I love more than any humans. I made a commitment to life by getting a kitten and I intend to provide him with a loving environment as long as I am able.

Please know that if that day comes sometime in the next 20 years and I decide I have had enough, that it's nobody's fault. I have no family to concern myself with.  I have lots of friends but they are largely scattered over the northern hemisphere and I only see them when I force myself on them. When I can no longer travel, there will be less and less to keep me here. If anyone would like to adopt two Burmese cats, speak up.

I will keep going as long as I find the slightest reason to get up in the morning. But don't condemn me when I give in to the unrelenting pain and dark skies. In the meantime, I garden, spin, knit, read, go to the movies, watch TV drama, cook, and love traveling to the States or anywhere else. As long as I can manage airports I won't stop