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Tuesday, when our belly-dancing class went for Glühwein and cookies afterwards, I talked to one of the other women and we kind of agreed on how Christmas means less and less every year and how and we've both started to understand the people who just leave over the holidays, and wished we could do that, too.

Since I'm the perpetually single daughter I'm the one who has to uphold the illusion of family Christmas so that it's not just my parents and the tree (real tree with real candles, which apparently is some sort of artistic statement these days?), and then turn up the next day, or the day after, and do it all over again with the whole family. I'm so tired of it. It means nothing, I feel nothing, I just wish it would all disappear. This year I even managed to find a gift my father really liked, which is a bit of a miracle in and of itself, but that didn't mean anything either. And I used to enjoy giving gifts... One of my self-created Christmas traditions is that I give my parents a couple of ornaments for the tree each year, and this year I noticed that mine are sort of starting to take over, but in the end I don't even know why I do it, or care. I guess my sister will get them eventually, because it's not as if I'm ever going to put up a tree for myself.

Is it work that so completely ruined Christmas for me, or is it just getting older and more jaded? Kalt und immer kälter... But it's hard to maintain any illusions when you see every day how it's all about money and people buying random stuff they wouldn't buy otherwise and that probably will end up unread on some bookshelf, but if they don't it's the end of economy as we know it. It's insane. Completely, utterly, crazy.

I'm so tired of it all. Of myself, too. I never wanted to become this person.

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whine, whine, issues, &tc., pleaseignoreme )

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I mostly just want to crawl into bed and sleep until I'm un-depressed. But, woe, belly-dancing class tonight, which I'd skip if the hagallah with shimmy wouldn't be constantly getting worse instead of improving, and horse (not my week, but Ch. has managed to get ill again) & niece tomorrow. I'm tired of these constant ups and downs where it's bouncy energetic (well, comparatively speaking) I-love-life one day and I-want-to-die-&-it's-all-pointless-anyway the next. By now I know it's not going to last forever, it's most likely going to be better again tomorrow or in a few days, but it's so damn exhausting, because on some level I always wonder what's real -- either, both? It's hard to accept that this is apparently something I have to live with and keep struggling with.

Half watched (Brian, because I'm always drawn to the emotionally fucked-up characters, Justin, because they have great chemistry and it's one of the more interesting relationships on tv, Lindsey, because she's beautiful, and Melanie, Emmett), half fast-forwarded (Michael, whom I simply can't stand although I can't decide if it's the actor or the character that rubs me the wrong way; Ted, because I know where his arc is going over the next 4 seasons and it's just too painful, although the actor has the prettiest eyes) QaF S1, which R. lent me.

Reread Mary Renault's The Charioteer over the last week; I first read this along with most of her novels some 15 or more years ago (my well-read and slightly yellowed, but still in a better condition than the Alexander trilogy, which I dragged around Turkey (possibly twice), copy says 1990) and it's still a fantastic, if extremely sad novel, and I was surprised to remember almost everything down to exact words and phrases even though I haven't opened it in years, although it also kind of struck me that someone like Ralph who's at once extremely controlling and self-sufficient and has such high standards and so little patience with weakness that one would constantly be afraid of slipping up and falling from the pedestal would be someone almost impossible to live with.

I've been an embarrassingly lazy reader (or rather non-reader) recently what with TW and all that; I've finally begun Golo Mann's Wallenstein which I picked up a while ago and seems interesting so far with a very readable style, but the length is a bit intimidating; also the first of the TW novels which I bought because I'm a sad junkie, but can't really get into... What I'd really like is another of Sorokin's novels, but the slightly older stuff seems to be out of print and is rather expensive on amazon marketplace or abebooks.


And I've finally rewatched the TW finale and typed up some thoughts, but it's a bit depressing because once the shock value is gone this may actually be one of my least favourite episodes of the season, and not because of the deaths. The whole story with Jack and his brother is somehow over-dramatic and lacking in substance at once, and not really satisfactory.

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That sleep-attack-after-coming-home-and-fixing-myself-something-to-eat-and reading-maybe-ten-pages thing? Is apparently becoming a habit. Then got up, blearily, and watched DW The Voyage Of The Damned, which was maybe not perfect, but better IMO than the reviews on amazon suggested, with some lovely touching moments.

Went to see The Lion in Winter (play, not movie version) yesterday with some people from work because M.'s in Berlin and I got her ticket. I hesitate to compare it to the movie version because I haven't seen that in probably ten years or more, so maybe wouldn't like it as much now as I remember liking it, but it has left a strong impression and this version seemed a bit... bland in comparison; lifeless. They tried to superficially modernise it a bit by transferring it into a contemporary world of finance, making it all about shares, holdings and CEOs, which IMO just didn't have such an impact and sounded a bit forced at times. I'm perfectly aware that these days there's probably more power in finance/economy than in actual politics, but it somehow failed to convey the brutal power struggle and dysfunctional family politics adequately. Frankly, I've seen that done with more conviction on Smallville. If one was already spoiled for familiar with the plot, this version simply added nothing new or exciting, but generally lacked passion and failed to touch, and the applause was appropriately polite, even and very brief.



Also got & read John Barrowman's autobiography this week, which was better than I thought it'd be. Oops, sorry. Did I just type that? But while I fangirl as much as the next fangirl, I've stopped buying celebrity biographies a while ago and honestly didn't have too high expectations about the autobiography of someone only just turned 40, dictated into an iPod in between a very busy work schedule. But it has a very personal voice and they (I've no idea if it was John, Carole, or both of them) found an interesting structure, jumping back and forth a bit, going on tangents, etc., so it was never boring; chatty, full of anecdotes (some of which one has heard in interviews over the years, but a lot that were new at least to me, too) and often quite funny, although maybe I should say at this point that JB's sense of humour doesn't really converge with mine, which is very typically Viennese: dark, macabre and morbid. And while it's not the most profound thing ever written, it's not shallow: sincerely emotional, and serious and passionate when dealing with subjects that demand seriousness and passion. And John's energy and enthusiasm are infective even in print.

Oh, and look at the preface: To be honest, here's what I really hope - that by arranging the book in this way, you'll feel as if you and I are lounging in our pyjamas on the couch in my Cardiff living room, sharing a bottle of champagne or a pot of tea, with music on in the background, having a blether and laugh about my life so far.

*g* How's that for seducing your readers?


On a personal note, what really struck me reading this is that of all the authors, artists, musicians, etc. that I've fangirled have made more than a passing impression on my life, JB is by a long, long, - long: *cough* ex-NIN-fan *cough* - way the most positive, most balanced and apparently genuinely happiest person.

cut for getting a bit personal )


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Paradoxically (and despite the soundtrack) I'm actually feeling a bit better now.

Hm.


Also, slightly embarrassed.


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Second day of Christmas baking. I've come home exhausted and vowing never to touch another Christmas cookie again before, but this year for the first time I never really enjoyed it to begin with; just another... duty, almost, something to be done; except - what (whom) for, exactly? Or why? Because I've been doing it for the last 30 or so years of my life?

(Also, don't try the cookie thing with a 13 months old kid around. I love my niece, but, gah. It's impossible to get any work done with anything approaching efficiency.)

I usually love finding & giving gifts, but this year I wish I could (not that my job lets me) just forget about the whole Christmas thing altogether. I haven't bought anything for anyone so far, I don't know when I will, and really don't particularly want to. I wish I had the money and time to take a few weeks off & a plane to some sunny, warm beach somewhere where Christmas isn't celebrated. Or heard of, if that is at all possible.

I'm so tired of it all. Mostly I'm tired of all the repetition and sameness in my life.

The therapist always tells me to focus on what's positive in my life, myself. Now that's something that's hard to find/see at the best of times, and something I can't really seem to influence either (the perception, that is; either I see/feel it, or I don't), but it increasingly seems a wasted effort, because when I'm not putting up a facade for other people, but being honest with myself instead there isn't anything. I'm 35, and what I'm doing is sitting at my computer listening to NIN & writing a livejournal entry which is 2/3 whinebithchmylifesucks and 1/3 fanishness. Before that I was watching an episode of Smallville. Before that, baking Christmas cookies for no other reason that because I've always done it. Tomorrow I'll return to the same crappy job I've been whining about for years. My four years younger sister has a boyfriend, a child and a dissertation that's more or less finished. How is that life not a failure? How is that worth anything? Because it isn't.


Eh.


Also, while we're talking about immaturity & pointless life time wasting?

Don't do this to me, Smallville. I finally dug out the S5 box set I bought ages ago & never watched, because Christmas-stress induced brain-deadness seemed like a good state of mind to approach this. And, predictably, crap. And not improved by James Marsters. [Insert redundant rant about this show's wasted potential.] Until the Christmas episode, which, just, guh. Heartbreak. I might have sniffed a bit. Oh, Lex. Episodes like this leave me semi-convinced that someone does actually know what they're doing, because the characterisation was absolutely stringent for once instead of all over the place as usual. I've been randomly scribbling down thoughts during the earlier episodes and it seemed pretty obvious that Lex is looking for power because the one thing he's afraid of (and not entirely unjustified, growing up in this family), is to be powerless and at someone's mercy. So it's actually nice to hear that the show's creators and I are on the same page here, because most of the time I suspect the characterisation I see in my head exists only there. I don't think I've ever seen Michael Rosenbaum in anything else, so I really have no idea how good an actor he is when he's not on SV, but there he's very good indeed. Or can be, if they actually give him enough screen-time and development do something with his character...
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1) I seem to have turned into a very lazy lj-er, & 2) how is time passing so very fast? I still remember rather vividly writing about being happy at having daylight again when I leave work, and now it's already almost dark when I bike home. Gah. Stop!


Spanish continues [Different VHS, different teacher who explains things much better and more clearly, although I had a bit of a shock in the first lesson when everyone was recounting their holidays in indefinido, which, OMG panic! we hadn't learned last semester, but that wasn't too difficult to catch up with, and I'm getting along fine otherwise, so I'm staying. Plus, it's on Monday, and there's at least a chance I'll still be slightly less dead then during the Christmas season than later in the week.], as does belly-dancing (still moving a bit too fast for my taste mostly because my brain needs more time to process and put togehter the parts of the choreographies we're doing, and on top of that almost everyone in the class has much more experience than I have, but perhaps I'm simply masochistic, or perhaps it's that however frustrated I get, I'm still pleasantly surprised that I'm able to do this at all (Me! Dance!), but I'm continuing for the moment.).


Two birthday cakes were made, and what is it with all the autumn birthdays in my family. *sigh*


I've been watching B5, only a few epiodes left of S3 now, but I'm not really feeling the love, somehow. Nostalgic fondness, yes, and there are moments when it grips me, but something's missing...



And when I have the time and energy I've been out photographing, once with H. (flickr guy), and last Saturday there was a meeting of the Vienna flickr group, which turned out to be really nice, especially considering that I almost hadn't gone, because OMG people I don't know! Scary! Stress! Do not want! Why is it so very hard for me to maintain enough of a mental balance to keep up at least a minimal social life (minimal on my standards, not the rest of the world's)?



Work is getting increasingly hectic and if I'm exhausted already, how will I cope with Christmas?


And speaking of which, I had one of my recurrent I-can't-stand-this-job-for-another-minute crisis a couple of weeks ago... )


And speaking of depressed... )

Feeling better now, although I was already dithering on the brink of Sunday-afternoon-depression again today. (Of course it doesn't help that tomorrow morning I'm having the orthodontist appointment from hell, first having my teeth cleaned and then getting the braces adjusted, which by itself is enough to leave me in a state of nervous breakdown most of the time...)
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What's the point of having a day off (an entire day too, for once, and all to myself, since Ch. and I have arranged the horse schedule so that I only have to go every other week), when you've just got your period and feel crampy, tired and generally disgusting? I went to the zoo in the morning (listlessly), mostly to get the annual season ticket as long as the voucher was still valid, and had planned to go photographing in the late afternoon, but watched three episodes of B5 (which I've decided to re-watch, yes, all five seasons, yes, I've all kinds of never-watched dvds lying around at home, and and no, i'm not sure there's a point to it, but since it's been years I've forgotten enough to see it with an at least partly fresh eye...) instead, because I just couldn't face the idea going out again.



[livejournal.com profile] soavezefiretto writes about what she'd do if this were the last day of her life, which got me thinking, too... (And depressed, oh, yes.)

Make a will [you'd get a first pick on the dvds, cds, and books, just so you know... ], maybe write messages for a couple of people, but probably not. What they know, they already know, and it doesn't seem fair to drop any kind of emotional bomb on someone when they can't respond properly any longer.

Then I'd get to some beach, Greece, Turkey, doesn't matter, somewhere that's reachable within a day with some time to spare. Granted, it'd mean spending much of my last day on an airport and plane - although I'd also get to see the clouds from above one more time, which is one of the great things about flying, IMO -, but I think it'd be worth it, sitting on some beach, looking out at the sea and listen to the waves, maybe watching the sun set. Maybe take a book I love, something familiar, (at the moment it'd be something by Thomas Mann, I think), read a few pages. Have a glass of wine, maybe.

I don't think I'd want anyone with me, because that'd lead to all kinds of tears & drama (although I'm toying with the thought of bringing a mobile phone, just in case I want to hear someone's voice, after all), and in the end you're alone anyway.



For me the surprise in thinking about this was (even though today was a rather crappy day where I've already asked myself why I keep going on, etc.), the sadness, and the regret. There have been years where I'd probably have welcomed dying (at least in theory and my imagination; reality might/would still have been somewhat different, I guess), now... it depresses the fuck out of me, because after all I don't want this to be over yet, and at the moment (I want to blame the hormones, but am not sure I can) all I can see is regrets, missed opportunities, thirty-five years of nothing and failure. (Funny. Because when I started to come out of that long phase of depression I thought that was enough, having survived, living, and and I wasn't regretting anything, because all this made me who I am, was who I am. Right. Riiiight.) And what I'd regret most is the general lack of love, and perhaps I can blame the hormones for all this disgusting sentimentality after all. God.


And I guess this should make me reflect on how to re-structure my life, make it more meaningful, start dating, etc., but I suspect I'll just go back to watching another couple of B5 episodes. Literally and metaphorically.
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I actually do like autumn, just like spring; more maybe. And the prospect of winter definitely makes me appreciate warm days and being able to go out in short sleeves and feel the sun on my skin...







I'm not pleased with myself and my life at the moment, though. Part of what I loved so much about my time in Spain was that for once, somehow, I managed to live in the moment and be happy and calm with it, whereas now it's again... always wanting to do something else than what I'm doing - or not doing, as the case may be - or thinking I should do something else, write a livejournal entry, watch a dvd, read a book, and there never seems to be enough time, and in the end it paralyses me and I end up wasting time on the internet in absolutely pointless, unproductive ways. My mind always lagging behind or running forward, always full of wishes, dreams, vague plans or regrets and self-recriminations, never in the right-here, right-now. And another day almost over, full of nothing. And then I keep thinking, I'm never going to make it on my own, not beyond a very basic, minimal level of existence; that I'd need someone to drag me to places, to give me the necessary kicks in the ass, to inspire me, and the thought feels somewhere between utterly pathetic and quite scary. And don't all the self-help books tell you that you have to be able to live with yourself at first? The reluctance to write increases, words feel more and more repetitive and wrong.



On the plus side of things, I'm really (and surprisingly) pleased with some of the photos from this weekend, in that they're actually better than I'd thought they'd be, which is a novelty, because usually it's the other way round - I love the process of taking them and then mostly am ambivalent about the results at best. Maybe I'm finally starting to get the hang of the new camera...

And something that H. (flickr guy) said made me think that there's a part of me that comes out in my photos that even I don't see in myself otherwise, much less - I assume - anyone else. It's hard to reconcile my image of myself with the person who sees the world like that.

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*sigh* I tried to put nailpolish on my toenails, but immediately realised that the last thing my feet needed was anything drawing attention to them. Now I've got ugly violet stains there that I can't get entirely rid off. I obviously suck at all things female.


Pessoa's Buch der Unruhe is one of the books I took along but didn't read, but '[...] meine Autobiographie ohne Fakten, meine Geschichte ohne Leben' - I'm somewhat tempted to make that the title of my journal if it weren't too depressing; it's so fitting.


The possibility of reincarnation scares me.


. o O o .



Vacation so far has been a bit of a failure. )


. o O o .


Yesterday, four hour drive home from a cool Salzburg morning to sultry 30+ degree Vienna, dentist appointment (thankfully uneventful), laundry, crashed in front of the tv, tried to catch up with the internet.


Today, IKEA with my sister and niece, and if I ever needed confirmation that I'd not be suited to be a mother... Not that I don't love my niece, because I do, but I don't think I'd be able to deal with a child 24/7.



And now it's 22:30, I haven't packed anything, and I must leave before 8.00 tomorrow. Somehow I'd thought it was later.

*panics*

*rushes off*

*comes back to edit*

*rushes off again*


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Meh. I'm counting down the days until I can finally get out of here, which I'll do as early as possible Saturday morning. I'm becoming slightly desperate for a break, time to really relax, although at the same time I feel a bit guilty for needing that, since my life is hardly stressful to begin with. But somehow, probably due to me being lazy and inefficient, which I seem to be incapable of changing, there's never enough time for what I want to do. Exhaustion. And there's this lingering sense of sadness recently... not exactly depression, because that to me was the antithesis of emotion, and actually being able to feel sad an improvement, but like I might burst into tears at the slightest provocation, which I don't do, obviously, but it's vaguely irritating. I'm starting to really resent my body's chemistry.

The flat needs cleaning, too, before I leave, and I'm doing it in tiny baby steps, picking up something here, putting a book away there, procrastinating on the internet...


I'll do nothing but sleep and read for the first few days, I swear.
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Perhaps it's the remainder of Saturday with the prospect of Sunday (always so much more pleasant than Sundays themselves), but I'm feeling moderately relaxed for the first time this week. Did some actual, if minimal, cooking after coming home from work, frying chicken to go with the salad, and some belly-dancing practice, and will probably watch the remaining S1 Dr. Who episodes & relax & enjoy not feeling as anxious and depressed as most of last week. (Had another of those ridiculous embarrassing anxiety dreams where I am late to work; I wish my subconsciousness would at least chose to angst over more serious issues. Gah.)

... )

Since TM is a kind of comfort food reading when I'm in these kinds of moods, I reread both Tod In Venedig and Tonio Kröger this week, neither of which I remembered particularly well - and don't remember enjoying as much - and it's fascinating reading those two back to back with the ideas about art and the artist, the balance and relationship of art and life expressed in both. Interesting to compare the melancholy, but accepting, almost conciliatory ending of TK (is there even another example where TM doesn't kill off his artist-protagonist?) with the bleakness of TiV, the warmth of the one with the coldness of the other. Another thing I hadn't remembered is how dark TiV is, and I don't mean in a stylish, decadent sense, but in a cruel and relentless one. Even with a subject that allows little else, there's something almost self-torturing in lending auto-biographic traits to von Aschenbach and then taking him through this kind of experience and humiliation. What makes it more depressing and almost eerie is TM at thirty-eight writing out this fate for his something of a decade older protagonist...


After that tried TM's Die vertauschten Köpfe (couldn't get into it), Edgar Hilsenrath's Der Nazi & der Friseur (lying on my bed half-read since months) or Bulgakow's short stories (finished one, but was discouraged when the next one started with references to characters from Russian literature half of whom I didn't know).

So I picked W.A.Hoffman's Brethren - Raised by Wolves (the novel that so irritated me starting off with the three instances of eye-rolling in as many pages) up again, and while it does improve - no more eyes were being rolled until page 130something, although 'emerald orbs' make an appearance -, having read about 140 pages and skimmed through the rest I'm still far from enthusiastic.

... )

Also continued watching Dr. Who and really love it, although the seasons are sadly short and I've seen the Captain Jack episodes before. It's not the show to make me think deep thinky thoughts, but it's charming, got a lovely balance between gut-wrenching emotional and funny, drama and humour, enjoyable characters, and that's more than I've found in a show (Torchwood aside) for a while. And it's always nice to see the lovely John Barrowman in better than pixelated YouTube quality. :)

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I rarely have nightmares (that I remember); what I usually have are anxiety dreams and the kind of dreams that, when snatches of them come back to me under the shower I realise should have been nightmares, but never really felt frightening at the time. Tonight I actually managed to scream myself awake, or at least I dreamt I was screaming when I woke up. It's hard to articulate or convey what was so frightening, perhaps the part that it was so normal and realistic? As far as I remember, which is very little except the waking up part, I was at home, sleeping, and a woman was bending over me. I can't remember if she even did anything that was particularly threatening or looked that way. After that I slept with the light on, badly, and woke up before the alarm went off, despite having only gone to sleep at 2 am. Made it through work surprisingly well, but was yawning and unfocused during Spanish class, and having missed the lesson before the Easter holidays due to nin-nostalgia and doing all the catching-up on Wednesday, when I'd had three weeks for it didn't help either.

::smacks lazy self::


Lots of strange, very vivid dreams lately.


Also, three months to make it out of the post-Christmas winter depression. Three months. That's a quarter of a year feeling less than myself; more, if you add December where I generally don't have the time to feel much of anything, except exhausted. Starting to see the therapist (and I still kind of resent even typing this, avoiding the phrase 'my therapist' like the plague; hate how it makes me feel damaged and needy and dependent, even when a more rational part of my brain argues it should not. It's a step towards getting a grip on my life and if anything I should feel proud to have taken it. And, god. Now I'm starting to sound like a self-help book.) probably helped things along, too, not to mention spring and sunshine... But yes, definitely feeling better, more balanced and positive, even more open and communicative recently.


Something I realised during/after the last therapy hour is that I can ride out my emotional ups and downs - or, going back a few years, could really, really wallow in the downs, having effectively lost sight of anything else; insofar the riding out and knowing that things will eventually change is already an improvement - but I can't do things X or Y 'to cheer myself up'. [Consumerism? All the stuff (not that much, because I've learned that lesson a while back) that I've never worn, never used, never watched, never looked at again are the things I bought when I was feeling unhappy or unbalanced.] There has to be a spark already somewhere within me, at least a slight need to make me want to do something, plan something, listen to music, read a book, watch a dvd, go out. Look at the world in a certain way. Without that, it always leads to even more frustration - I can force myself to go through with things out of a sense of duty/obligation (as in, you can't sit at home all the time), but it doesn't result in happiness or enjoyment. And I can't consciously create that spark. The only thing I can think of is trying to create a personality, a more positive environment where that spark is more likely to appear/burn a little brighter?


It's a strange thing to realise, because I used to think of myself as a very rational person.
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Still alive, more or less. Work is like it always is at this time of the year (stressful, aggravating and generating a deep loathing for Christmas); lots of Christmas cookies got made, despite the baby. Barely any presents were bought so far. ::despairs:: And Christmas/New Year depression seems to have hit early; still not in a good place, mentally, but at least feeling better than last week... This wasn't a good year - at least the latter half wasn't - and I'm kind of glad it'll be over soon.





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I'm very much in need of a holiday; or, slightly rephrased and rather more to the point, I really do hope the upcoming holiday will fix whatever is wrong with my state of mind. Because over the last few days, week, it's rapidly turned into one of these self-loathing periods. Withdrawal, depression, lethargy.

I have stupid, veiled sort-of arguments with M.-at-work about things I don't feel strongly about, if at all, merely to argue & be contrary, as an outlet for some deeper frustration, with her, with work, or with my life, probably all of that. Mostly I resent her for simply being there, because I'd rather be alone and not have to talk to anyone.

It's petty, ugly, and I'm turning into someone I never wanted to be, or rather, never wanted to become again, and I don't know how to stop it, only hoping it will stop again, eventually. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

The problem is that I can only feel that my life is worth something, and once I don't, I can't argue it, even to convince myself. Considered objectively/rationally, I've failed abysmally in just about every respect. And strike the 'just about'. Sometimes I feel (felt) what I have is enough, that I can make it work, but just now it's not, all the bits and pieces I desperately cling to, covering a vast emptiness. Is it the lack of the whole love/sex/relationship thing that causes this feeling of hollowness, or that I'm incapable of feeling strongly about/committing to anything?

I'm so disgusted with myself, at one point last weekend my finger hovered over the delete journal button for quite a long time, but (of course) in the end I didn't do it, mainly because (further proof of my patheticness, if needed) I felt I'd have nothing else to show for the last three years of my life, and paranoidly thinking that perhaps the undelete function would mess up and not work for me... and if you already know you're going to undelete, it's pointless drama and fishing for sympathy to delete in the first place.






[At least last week I slowly stopped feeling so absolutely drained & dead physically, managed a morning run on Friday & was in Melk and Göttweig yesterday, more in an effort to actually get out of doors and do something, anything, than genuine enthusiasm, but, well. Also, my left shoulder hurts, from too much driving with the window down, I presume. ::whine::

I watch too much tv, not even dvds, but stupid tv shows, anything to keep my mind vaguely occupied & distracted, read a bit (in fact spent € 50 at the half-price bookstore on holiday reading material), but as always not as much as my conscience tells me I ought to.

Also, I'm drinking mugs & mug of not even all that disgusting tea for my stomach, which has improved at least to the point where I feel well enough to start craving chocolate or some kind of comfort food, but unfortunately everything that would even remotely qualify as such is on the Don't Eat list, and in the end I want to get well more than I want chocolate. I also weigh a few kilos less than I have in quite some time, but can't bring myself to care much.]
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It's one of these spells when I don't much feel like writing -- lj-entries specifically. Maybe it's laziness. But somehow, this time it feels as if the reason for the lack of motivation to update is that I might actually have become a little calmer and more secure in myself, no longer afraid that my life, or any 'progress' (mentally, emotionally) made will immediately become insubstantial and slip away from me, unless I record every tiniest step.


I never really realised (and probably wouldn't have cared, because not caring was a good thing) to what an extent I did it, but I think I must have shut myself down so completely at one point that it takes time and effort to expand again, to open up to emotions, positive emotions, especially considering that I've never been the most open person in any respect. It's almost like I'm very slowly learning to feel a wider spectrum of emotions again, to feel more fully, to see a world I've been blind to (made myself blind to, haven't dared look at) for a very long time. Learn that I can be a person, not just some object or puppet, more or less helplessly flung around, only reacting, but never acting; that I can have influence over my own life, that if I chose to I can determine how I see the world, and how I see myself in relation to it, positive or negative. And maybe enjoying looking at art as intensely as I do at the moment is a step upward, forward, and perhaps I should complain less, when there are good things in my life, but instead realise that changes, if they are to be true changes, and not just rebellions where you're flying blindly from one thing and often end up in a very similar place only decked out somewhat differently, take time.


And then I look at my pictures which are always ... Not exactly cold, not exactly lifeless, not exactly sterile, but very close to either; almost empty of life, the static, quiet moments, incongruously picked in places often bustling with people, and wonder what they say about me.




Watched Serenity earlier this evening, and is it just me or are all the characters ever so slightly off compared to their Firefly counterparts? It isn't so much noticeable with the 'minor' characters, except that they seem somehow less, less interesting, less well-rounded, less lovable. If I only knew movie!Zoe, Wash, Kaylee, Jayne, Simon and Inara, these people would not particularly interest me and I certainly wouldn't have fallen in love like I did. Super!Buffy River I can accept if I must, but Mal ... It's not as if he isn't messed up in the series, but in the movie there's an even harder edge to his character, occasionally bordering on the faintly unpleasant. Now, there's very little JW hasn't been able to convince me of, given enough time and build-up, but the jump is a little too sudden, like moving from the AtS S1 to the end of S3, cutting out all the intermediate character development. Generally speaking, the humour is lacking, and a certain warmth that balanced the brutality and general gruesomeness of the Firefly-verse. Instead we have redemptive heroism and Mal exchanging platitudes about how love keeps the ship flying with River ... In my opinion JW tells his stories better when he has more time at his disposal and can focus on the character's development rather than the plot's -- he isn't a bad story-teller by a long way, but they are certainly his greatest strength and (again, IMO) more often than not the driving force behind his plot developments and twists.


::sigh:: So much for not updating. Also, ::adds picture, because she can::



solitary_summer: (irina cowgirl)

Picked up Howard's End, which for one reason or the other I hadn't read in so long that I'd forgotten most of the plot (strangely I do remember Forster's other novels much more clearly); I've also re-read some of his short stories recently and it struck me how much... now I wonder, did he influence me? Or did his writing simply strike a chord with seventeen, eighteen year old me? In either case he's perhaps the author who is closest to my world-view, something at the core of my personality. Looking back from almost twice that age, I rather do think he must have influenced me on some deep-down level, even if I wasn't consciously aware of it.

And reading The Other Boat made me sad that he should have found himself caught up in this paralysing dilemma between what he wanted to write and what he could publish; sad for all the stories that might have been told, but never were.


Throne of Jade also arrived yesterday; I'm alternating between books at the moment, fickle person that I am.

.:.:.:.


I'm feeling balanced again for a change, strangely quiet and pleasantly relaxed. Had a good morning run yesterday, despite the fact that I barely made it out of bed & was convinced I'd collapse after one length through the park; I'm still not into this whole mystique of running -- I do it, sometimes I enjoy it a lot, sometimes less, I like to feel that my body is up to the challenge, but I don't think I've had any of that endorphin rushes or whatever it is the fitness enthusiasts talk about -- but despite the long break this year it seems easier to just fall into the motion and let my body take over. And it was beautiful, still very brisk, everything luscious green and fresh, an abundance of colours in the botanical garden, scent of all kinds of blossoming bushes, fainter scent of the chestnut trees in the cold moist morning air, silvery dew on the lawns.

Then there was work, with more than the usual share of batshit insane customers, and a boring evening at Ch.'s, but biking home there it was again, the quite chilly night air full of scents...


[Also, note to half-blind, procrastinating self, get a prescription for new glasses at the next eye-doctor appointment. I've pushed this off again and again because of the cost (yes, yes I admit it, I'm vain, I want pretty glasses that are not a centimeter thick...) and the fact that since I wear contacts most of the time anyway, I don't really need them (much), but I had a brief scare yesterday when my left eye was slightly irritated after an eyelash had got in there in the morning and I already thought I'd only see Madrid in something of a blur... Eh. ::sigh::]

.:.:.:.


There's something fundamentally wrong with the concept of trying to get into a CD. I'm not a musical person by a long, long way, and was even less of one a few years ago, but even so I never found either The Fragile or Lateralus inaccessible and found it strange when people claimed that. Sure, the appreciation changed over the weeks, months and years, but I was fascinated from the beginning.

With 10 000 days I find myself in the same predicament as with With Teeth a year ago. Looked forward to it, but in the end can't quite make myself like it, can't connect, don't care enough to make an effort and don't quite see why there should be an effort involved at all. There's beauty, certainly, especially in the first part, but the sense of over-familiarity lingers. Then there's the block from The Pot to Rosetta Stoned (is this supposed to be a clever title? dear god) which doesn't really do anything for me.

It's a little disappointing in a way, because while I wouldn't have called myself a tool fan, and never have been interested in whatever mysticism/ideology they (pretend to) shroud themselves in, when I saw them live, years ago, not expecting much, barely knowing one CD, I did feel there was something, for lack of a better word, spiritual, something intensely powerful, about the music. A positive energy, something transcending the mere rock concert frame. So I tended to ignore what (perhaps unfairly) strikes me as a quite enormous air of pretentiousness surrounding the band and their fans, and just enjoy the music, but, oh well. Then again there is plenty I'd strip away from Ænima, the supposed masterpiece, so perhaps I never understood anything at all. I like Lateralus because it is by far the most focused album, focused on the music without all kinds of (to me) distracting, pseudo-clever nonsense.



Now the RHCP's Stadium Arcadium? That's a CD that makes me happy, and not one I have to try to get into.
solitary_summer: (Default)

I whine and complain too much, am too focused on what I dislike. And I'd really like to claim that I'm trying to change that, to be more open, positive and interested, but I'm not sure it'd be justified.

I'm still the person who will read the first paragraph or first two sentences of a book, and discard it unless I'm immediately fascinated.

There surely must have been something to like about Farscape except Teh Pretty, if only I'd looked harder? And Friday evening can't have been all that bad?


I'm irritable and cranky and dissatisfied with myself right now; yesterday when my father talked to my sister about her diss, for a moment there I really felt like crying out of pure jealousy; I thought I was over that. And Friday I kept thinking that I didn't want to be this boring person sitting around in a boring restaurant listening to other people's boring conversations, I wanted excitement and challenge and intellectually stimulating discussions, and, god, I'm not sure what I wanted, but certainly more than that.

I do know this isn't a reasonable, mature frame of mind; just ignore me. I guess it's spring finally approaching that makes me so restless.


Gah. Probably a good thing that I have to go shower and wash my hair now, because I'll meet with R. and we're going to see Brokeback Mountain.


::wanders off::

solitary_summer: (Default)

Gah. It's one of these days when you feel entirely useless, a waste of time, space & air, and every word you write is one too many.


Too much Leerlauf in this life, blank spaces; too little substance.

solitary_summer: (princess (© clive barker))

Retrospection.

I've been reading through some of the first entries I made on deadjournal, almost four years ago, and, all in all, these years haven't been entirely wasted. I've come... perhaps not such a long way on objective standards, but a lot further than I'd ever believed possible then.


I'd really like to thank everyone who's been along for the journey so far. For your inspiration and support, for letting me into your lives, for just being there and listening. Thank you.

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