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Eh. I've just been watching Jonathan Livingston Seagull which my aunt fell in love with last year and tries to foist on everyone since, and in view of our recently re-established relationship I tried to be diplomatic and said I'd watch it, but the whole thing is creepy in a way I can't quite put my finger on. Or maybe my mind is too literal for the movie to work for me even as a metaphor. It's a bloody seagull. I don't see the point of blaming seagulls for leading their seagull lives instead of trying out new flying techniques. And I don't see how it makes them worthless, as opposed to super-annoying arrogant special Jonathan. And I'm not even touching the Jesus analogy.


I just don't like those capital-m-Messages that hit you over the head with all their capital-m-Meaningfulness. I need things to be a bit fucked up, I need a dash of existentialism, good vs. evil, the meaning of life and all that. I need complication, not ready-made solutions.

And speaking of which, the therapist is surprisingly (surprising to me, because I constantly expect to be told, in a politely phrased therapisty way, to get a life, rather than that I should work with that if it helps me) understanding about my tv show obsessions, except then she suggested that I should think about what I could learn for myself from the relationships I was fascinated with. Then I thought about Jack and Ianto in Cyberwoman and every messed-up couple I ever shipped (not counting Sheridan and Delenn, who are the sane exception) and couldn't stop laughing for a minute. And then of course had to explain what Torchwood was about, and the whole Jack/Ianto thing, and, god, I was so embarrassed. ::facepalm::


I think I'll finish my tea now and then get off the internet & to bed and maybe finally finish Sorokin's Bro, to avoid getting accidentally spoiled for the TW finale before I can download it tomorrow.


And to make this post a little less pointlessly rambling...

::adds some music::

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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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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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[There's some kind of mental block that keeps me from writing, I swear. I keep the update window open, even type a few words here, half a sentence there, I want to write, I believe I should write, but I end up clicking around aimlessly, refreshing my flist, refreshing YouTube in order to check whether a certain kind soul has uploaded another episode of Oz yet (*), looking for decent Torchwood (**) fic... And. Just. Can't. Write. Blockade, avoiding, and I'm not quite sure what exactly it is I am avoiding. My life, most likely.]


personal & boring )


On a lighter note, you know you've watched too many tv shows with fantasy and/or supernatural elements when your first thought on hearing (in the context of an entirely different, more or less reality based show; Oz ) that a woman murdered her daughter because she believed she was possessed by the devil is not 'She is clearly insane and ought to be in a mental institution and not on death row'(***), but that you actually give the idea half a semi-conscious thought until someone else on tv says just that, and you catch yourself and mentally go oops...



(*) Oh dear. And here I'd thought I'd shipped fucked-up couples before. And just when I was mentally complaining that it turned a little soap-opera-esque in S4, they come up with an episode like Cuts Like A Knife, which had me literally gasping and holding my breath for the last ten minutes or so, because. Oh. My. God.


(**) Full fangirl mode. ::sigh:: Scoured the internet & now have a pretty Gwen wallpaper on my desktop and lots of others in my screen-saver folder, which I will happily stare at changing for minutes, oh yes. I can't even pin-point why this show struck such a chord with me - it's not all that original; too Buffy/Angel-esque at times (But hey, if you're going to ste-- be inspired, than at least by the best, and at least they did the 'let's betray our leader in a crisis under the influence of an evil power impersonating dead loved ones and trying to destroy the world' thing after only twelve episodes where relationships, despite some trust building, are still rather brittle and untested, and not after 140 only to give Buffy and Spike that final bonding moment (****)), but it's so charming, I really liked the characters, and I guess everyone already knew I was going to order the dvds anyway, right. ::sigh::


(***) Not that anyone should be, IMO, regardless of the state of their mental health, in case this doesn't go without saying.


(****) Footnote of footnote, JW can convince me of almost anything, but this is one of the two instances where I really feel he is jerking some characters around too hard only to achieve a certain effect/story-line for others. (The other instance would be Gunn, Fred and Cordelia so immediately and wholly turning on Wesley in AtS S3, in order to set off his angsty S3/4 arc and his relationship with Lilah.) And not telling James Marsters that Spike was supposed to get a soul rather than get rid of the chip, that wasn't all that brilliant, either, while we're at it.
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I'm doing something wrong with my life. A lot of somethings (obviously), and hopefully some of that will change, because I'm going to see a therapist recommended by my aunt on Wednesday (::deep breath:: There, I said it; more later.), but this specific something where I always think I have too little time for myself, the things I want to do, and when I have a week off, I somehow manage to absolutely squander it, doing near to nothing except stare at the computer screen for much too long, clicking around from link to link.

Although watching all 13 episodes of Torchwood online wasn't the worst waste of time, because I actually enjoyed it a lot, more than I've enjoyed any tv show for quite a while. So perhaps it's not the best show ever, and not all that original, and perhaps I'd have liked the characterisation to move a little slower/more nuanced in some cases, more exploration in the way a 22 episode season allows (like - and I'm aware they were probably going for let's just do it rather than make an issue out of it and talk it to death and the effect of the kiss in the finale, but still - how Jack and Ianto went from 'Execute her, or I'll execute you both' and 'You're the biggest monster of all' to sleeping together in five easy steps the space of four episodes), but it's got often strikingly effective images, plus a pterodactyl, humour, big drama, plenty of utter heartbreak moments, hard moral decisions, and most importantly it works for me on emotional level, and when a show manages to do that, I can easily ignore or forget details I might have been tempted to become nit-picky about otherwise; Indeed I liked the more quiet, emotion driven episodes better than e.g. the gory X-Filesque Countricide. The characters are all interestingly flawed and human, and I absolutely fell in love with all of them. Yes, Owen can be an ass. Often is. But he still makes for an interesting character (Ghost Machine), and Out of Time was heart-breaking.

Speaking of which (episode-wise), I like it when a show manages to surprise me, and Jack ultimately agreeing with John's decision to commit suicide in Out of Time, rather than talking him out of it, sitting in the car with him, holding his hand, comforting him... that was unexpected, especially given the premise that the show has pretty much established that there is nothing after death, or at least nothing pleasant.


In conclusion, ::squee!::


I'm not (not! really, really not!) going to spend this amount of money on dvds for a series I've already watched, in quite good quality, too, except for that one episode. Focus, woman. Think digital camera. But I'm sorely tempted.



::sigh::

I should have been studying Spanish instead of typing this - at a half-dead snail's pace, I might add; I haven't opened the book since last Thursday. Practice belly dancing, read & be inspired by a book, anything. I'm kind of tired getting enthusiastic about fictional people and their emotional dramas, however much another part of me loves it. Where's this elusive 'life' I tell myself I should be getting, but don't even know how to reach for? It's past 1 am again, I should be getting some sleep, especially since I've somehow (the orange? but I have to start eating normal again some time...) managed to upset my stomach again during the last couple of days, and god, is this ever getting annoying... Anyway. No sleeping until 11 like last week.

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