floatingleaf: (snowflakes)
It's been mind-numbingly cold for most of the week. I have zero energy, very little motivation for anything and no exciting news to share. So here's my own version of the year-end meme that's been making the rounds. I skipped some questions that seemed pointless, annoying or simply didn't apply.

2014 in review )
floatingleaf: (Rossetti closeup)
So I did go shopping yesterday, but entirely failed to find any suitable winter boots or clothing. Instead, I bought a pretty summer blouse (it was ON CLEARANCE, for TWELVE BUCKS, it was BLUE and had a lovely frilly design - need I say more?... LOL), a new lunch box, a towel (in a nice geometric pattern of blue, green & gray), a pair of socks and a can of tea. THIS can of tea:

carry on

Bad picture taken with my "dumbphone" (as my friends call it) - because while my iPod Touch takes better pictures, I cannot then email them to myself, since I don't have WiFi.:( Anyway - how could I have resisted that? I hardly need more tea, I am running out of shelf space to house all the tea I already possess... but when I saw this nifty blue box (it is indeed royal blue, you have to take my word for it - no flash on the dumbphone camera, LOL), I had an immediate case of grabby hands, and so it was added to my already impressive tin collection.:P

Then I watched my latest Netflix DVD, Agora, which turned out to be another biopic about a scientist.:) Something I actually wasn't expecting, because the blurb on the DVD envelope entirely neglected to mention the fact that any of the characters were historical figures. I was expecting an entertaining period drama/romance - which would have been perfectly fine - but what I got instead was a truly stunning depiction of the turbulent events that shook the fabled city of Alexandria around 400 A.D. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (Rossetti flaming hair)
Found this on Tumblr. How to determine if one is an empath. Not all of it applies to me, but a hell of a lot does. I have bolded each sentence that evoked a feeling of recognition. I have never thought of myself as an empath, btw... just as a wimp unfit to deal with life, for the most part.;) So here's another way of looking at it. Food for thought, at any rate.

There is nothing wrong with you, you do not have an emotional disorder. )
floatingleaf: (bauble)
Once again, I am faced with the mystery of a 5-day weekend that passes by more quickly than a regular 2-day weekend. I've been off work since Wednesday, so of course I expected to be able to catch up on a ton of stuff... but somehow it's Sunday night already, and it feels like I've done very little. Of course, spending two days out of said five at my parents' house doing absolutely nothing certainly didn't help...

Read more... )
floatingleaf: (music)
OK... here goes another Muse video. This one is actually fan-made, and it won a competition launched by the band. Pure genius. I couldn't resist sharing.



This is how the world works, and it needs to end. That is all.
floatingleaf: (vig rox)
Well, since this has become somewhat of a tradition...

new one

125135_600

viggo_argentina

Yes, this man is now 56 years old. Miracles happen. ;D
floatingleaf: (bookish leaf)
I was incredibly productive yesterday. I cleaned the place, threw out some junk, dyed my hair AND went to see a movie. But then, by the time I got back home, it was really late and I was dead tired, and the weather was awful, and my sinuses started acting up again... so today I barely managed to get up early enough to drag myself to the 3 p.m. matinee I already had the ticket for. And I nearly fell asleep on the bus on the way there, too. Still feeling deflated, btw. So I am taking a break tomorrow. Letting myself act disgustingly lazy if that's what I feel like. I do have to get groceries, though, since Friday and Saturday I'll be too busy again... *sigh*

The movies were good, in case you're wondering. Each in its own way. I just don't feel like talking about them. Movie reviews are time-consuming, and I am too exhausted to brain properly. I should be catching up on my correspondence instead...

Incidentally, I just finished reading Royal Assassin - the second volume of Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy. OMG what a captivating story. For the final few chapters, I couldn't put it down. But now I have a strange little dilemma due to the new and "improved" way Barnes & Noble sells its eBooks. I can no longer transfer the EPUB files from my PC to my Nook through the USB cable, like I used to do. I can read the next volume, which I have just purchased, on my PC - or on any other "connected device". But the problem is that my Nook is NOT connected. I don't have wireless - either at home, or at work (where I mostly used to read the Nook during my lunch breaks). So the only way I can keep reading stuff on the Nook (or my iPod Touch, for that matter) is if I go to a place that has free WiFi. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (rain)
So, I should probably attempt some sort of progress report on my strange little cinematic "staycation"... but my mind is all over the place. As usual, the more I have to say, the more I struggle to make a journal entry. *sigh* Maybe I should give up entirely on trying to describe my life, and just LIVE it instead?...

We did see that old Polish movie with Adriana on Saturday. We both had a blast. And today I watched the latest film by Ferzan Ozpetek. Which wasn't as good as I expected. I mean, it was very good, but my expectations when it comes to Ozpetek are ridiculously high, based on his previous works of pure genius... and so I am a little disappointed. Still, it was nice to "meet" him in person.;)

Somehow, I thought I was going to get SOOO much done this week... but I can see already that I overestimated my organizational skills. I can be productive at home if I am not planning on going out; but when I know I have to leave at a certain time, I tend to get anxious about starting a project I might not be able to finish. I have always found it hard to estimate correctly how long something might take me; it seems to depend on so many factors outside my control. So I absolutely hate giving myself "deadlines"... but I also hate leaving things unfinished. This results in simply abandoning certain tasks... or in being late for appointments... or in having to suddenly dash about in terrible anxiety, because I don't WANT to be late, but have no fucking clue how the time got to be what it is.:/ (and if I REALLY don't want to be late, I sometimes end up being way too early... which is also frustrating) Anyway... my idea of a good, relaxing vacation shouldn't probably include having to get halfway across town (via public transit, no less) by a specific hour every day. But I only do this once a year, and so I tend to forget how exhausting it is... until the next time. *sigh*
floatingleaf: (fiery autumn)
Note to self (and anyone else who might happen to find this information useful): THE best cold/flu remedy on the market is called Oscillococcinum. A homeopathic medicine from Boiron (the same company who makes Cyclease - my favorite anti-PMS pills). As recommended by my chiropractor. About two doses are enough to get rid of a mild cold. No side effects, no icky aftertaste, no hassle. Don't bother with any of those fancy-schmancy pharmaceuticals advertised all over the place. Just pop these for a day, drink some nice, hot herbal tea, get a good night's sleep and you're done.:)

In other news, my Tumblr addiction seems to have returned with a vengeance. I added a bunch of nature/pagan blogs to my dash, along with one or two containing artistic black'n'white photography and/or tastefully done female nudes... I am tempted to add even more, but I still want to be able to keep up with them - so it's a dilemma.:) I still don't post much myself - though I do try to reblog a few favorites once or twice a week. But I think I have developed a concept of what I want my Tumblr to focus on - and it seems to be primarily contemplation of beauty. Soothing and/or arresting images that inspire reflection. So I am very careful and picky about what I reblog. Anyway... scrolling through my dashboard seems to be a perfect pastime on weeknights, when I often lack the mental energy to do much else...

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/somnambulisticdecay
floatingleaf: (beige sunset)
Looks like Two Faces of January isn't playing yet this weekend, since we couldn't find showtimes for it anywhere. Which is just as well, considering I feel pretty crappy due to some sort of seasonal affliction. Nothing serious, I think - just the usual clogged sinuses, headache and fatigue. Last night I pretty much crashed around 9 p.m.... and all I managed to accomplish today was take a bath and go out for groceries. EXHAUSTING. I foresee early bedtime again...

I am off on Monday to see my chiropractor, because I missed the appointment last weekend (the bus didn't show up! again!), and would otherwise have to wait another three weeks (UNTHINKABLE). So maybe she can do some magic acupuncture trick to strengthen my immune system... and at any rate, I have an extra day to just lay around and take it easy and hopefully recover from this stupid cold (or whatever it is).

And now I am going to get horizontal and lose myself in a book. Or fall asleep... whichever happens first, LOL. *collapses*
floatingleaf: (Rossetti flaming hair)
So, I've been going through some of my old LJ posts... which is something I do every once in a while. And I found some undeniable proof that I did at one point "lead someone on" by neglecting to clarify my lack of interest in pursuing the kind of relationship they clearly wanted. Why did I do that? Because I cared about the person, and didn't want to hurt their feelings. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (Rossetti with harp)
You know how YouTube would "suggest" similar videos to the ones you're watching? Even if they're not really similar? In this case, there was one feature in common: the song was in French.:) I clicked on the pretty girl out of pure, shallow curiosity... and boom. Her voice pierced my insides with inconsolable longing.;) She sounds almost too angelic, too perfect, to the point where it borders on the saccharine... almost. But not quite. Or it doesn't quite cross that line for me, at any rate. You're welcome to judge for yourselves:



Wikipedia says she's a French singer, born in Paris, but of Algerian, Indian, Cambodian AND Egyptian descent. Ooookay. Sounds pretty uncommon - which is right up my alley. I just downloaded the full album (which appears to be her first one) from Soundike.com for $1.20. And it's all enchanting. They classify her as "Oriental pop" or "R&B", which sort of fits in places - but for the most part, I would say she's a French version of Enya.:) Which, from me, is a compliment.

Don't mind me, btw. I frequently self-medicate with music. I seem to be going through a French phase at the moment. It may or may not be coincidental. And just because I gush over something like a giddy schoolgirl, I am not automatically happy - but I am coping, and that is good enough for now.
floatingleaf: (music)
I wasn't planning on another post this weekend. But I must have spent hours today stalking this Stromae guy all over YouTube... and I absolutely HAVE to share this video. It's got to be one of my favorite songs of all time. Like, on my personal Top 40... or something. The amount of raw emotion this guy puts into his voice gives me the shakes. And there are English lyrics provided... which adds a whole another layer of awesome. <333



Of course, it's a heartwrenching song about a breakup. I have always had a soft spot for those. Or at least since my mid-twenties. Can't think of why..... *massive snort*
floatingleaf: (bridge)
So, I spent most of yesterday with the two friends mentioned in one of my recent posts, playing tourists in our own city. First we went to the Art Institute of Chicago, for the Magritte exhibition. I hadn't been to the Art Institute since 2006, so I took my time revisiting the permanent exhibits as well. There is a ton of interesting stuff to see in that place. We were there for a good few hours... Then we had late lunch/early dinner at the famous Exchequer Restaurant, which is nearby. After that, we strolled towards Lake Michigan and settled ourselves on the waterfront to wait for the 4th of July fireworks display. Which wasn't as grand as we expected, but still... I had never actually been to the official Navy Pier 4th of July fireworks, so there goes one item to check off the list of obligatory things to do in Chicago.;) After the show we all needed to use the loo, and there were no public restrooms nearby... so we went to the Miller Pub (another famous Chicago landmark) for desserts. I had an obscenely giant piece of tiramisu (which both my friends were happy to help me conquer, LOL) - and Agnes had a shot of cinnamon-flavored whiskey, which we also shared (it went perfectly well with the cake, I might add). By the time I got home, it was well past midnight...

I do hope we are going to get together more often in the near future. It feels good to hang out with people who pretty much take you as you are, with no veiled judgments or unrealistic expectations. Yes, we are all middle-aged women with various silly quirks and a lot of baggage. We are far from perfect and we know it - but we respect one another. No ego trips, power games or high drama acts in sight. What you see is what you get, from each of us. I always appreciated that, I think... but now I appreciate it more. For reasons, as some people like to say. *wry smirk*

Oh, and my friend Adriana introduced me to this awesome singer/songwriter/performer from Belgium - Stromae. He sounds like a modern, gender-fluid version of Jacques Brel. Simply delectable:

floatingleaf: (louis)
Again, I am in one of those strange moods where I feel like I have a lot to say, but can't seem to decide WHAT I actually want to say, or how to phrase it, or why even bother in the first place. *sigh*

There was this silly joke I heard eons ago, about an argumentative guy who used to say: "Well, I have an opinion, but I don't agree with it". That's exactly what my brain is doing right now. And it's driving me crazy.

I am trying to sort out my feelings about fandom. I still lurk at VC_Media... but I don't honestly know if I do it out of real interest/curiosity, or simply out of habit. It doesn't exactly HURT to see everyone having fun without me... though it isn't pleasant either. It's just sort of... blah. Whatever. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (beautiful one)
I got my period the other day. About two-and-a-half weeks after the last one. Which is a new record, I think. Of course, I have a pretty good idea what threw my cycle out of whack. Emotional distress is one of typical big factors, after all. Every once in a while, even when my brain thinks I'm perfectly OK, my body seems to believe otherwise - but this time they were clearly in agreement.:/

Well... at least it's mild. No horrible cramps or debilitating headache. No heavy bleeding, either. Just the usual grumpiness and fatigue. But I'm pretty sure the only reason it's so mild is because it's "out of schedule"...

I do realize I have barely commented on anyone else's posts in the past few weeks. And I no longer have the usual excuse of being busy with fandom and Skype... but, paradoxically, the very lack of said excuse has made me extremely reluctant to engage in any sort of human interaction. Read more... )

Anyway... what I was trying to say (before I got derailed by my incurable tendency towards pointless navel-gazing, AGAIN) was that I will eventually get back to my previous routine of LJ-interactions. And for those few people who have been supportive - please rest assured that I do read your posts, and that your presence here is a comfort to me, even if I don't always make the effort to say so. You know who you are.:)

Btw, I am still in a sort of split-personality state about the VC fandom. A part of me will always enjoy reading fanfic and fantasizing about the characters... but another part of me feels too heartsick to ever go back to "hanging out" with other fans as though nothing ever changed. Because, to me, EVERYTHING changed. Read more... )

Again, I was going somewhere with this, and that was to say that I am trying to "branch out" into other fandoms, where I can meet new people and interact without "baggage". The problem is, most popular fandoms these days seem to be TV-related... and I don't watch TV. Perhaps I should start to - pick a good show that is available on Netflix (I don't have regular TV or cable service - can totally do without paying the bill), then find the online "hangouts" of its fans?... Any recommendations?... Game of Thrones?... I do tend to prefer fantasy/period stuff to modern stuff - so that is why I thought of that. But then again, I read on some feminist blog that most female characters in GoT either get raped or threatened with rape at some point - and that just made me gag. So I really don't know...

Btw, I wonder if there are any active online communities where people discuss good movies - as in, real cinematic art from all over the planet (anywhere BUT Hollywood, basically... LOL). I haven't been able to find any on either LJ or Dreamwidth - but perhaps there are other places I am unaware of?... Good cinema is like a whole another fandom for me - one that can never be fully explored, because it keeps expanding in all directions. I am dying to discuss films with people - but often just finding someone who has heard of, let alone seen, some of my favorites appears to be too much of a challenge. It's all about the big Dream Factory of cookie-cutter crap these days...

Well... that will be it for the moment. Any advice welcome as to how I can find new human connections, in order to distract myself from my inevitable failures at... human connections. Right. That made sense, obviously. *sigh*
floatingleaf: (nymph)
Strangely enough, after I made the previous angsty post, my mood improved quite a bit. Or maybe that was due to the phone conversation I had with a friend of mine (the only local friend I keep in touch with more or less regularly these days). It was a good conversation - very therapeutic (she happens to be a psychologist, which probably helped as well). We also talked about another mutual friend, who had been in a long-distance relationship that started online a while ago. The last time we spoke about her, she was on cloud nine about this guy, ready to have his children (this from someone who used to identify as a lesbian - I met her through a gay dating site, for God's sake - and never even thought of having kids before). But recently she went to visit him, and everything fell apart. I don't know the details - but I do know the three of us need to have a good lengthy face-to-face chat sometime soon. Hopefully it'll happen during the upcoming holiday weekend...

I am trying something new here, btw - drafting this post at work, since the office has been awfully quiet lately, with my boss on vacation and no urgent stuff to do. I never log into LJ during work hours - but I figured out I can use email draft to save whatever I manage to write, and then just copy/paste it into the LJ update box when I get home. Which definitely saves a lot of time. So I MAY be posting more in the near future...

As for the long overdue "real life" update that I've been meaning to make... it's rather mundane, but also strangely symbolic in the context of recent events (me? cryptic? whatever gave you THAT idea?... LOL) )
floatingleaf: (despair)
I'm back. It's been an intense trip, for several reasons, and I'm sort of having a hard time figuring out what to say about it. I could just focus on the positives - but that wouldn't feel entirely honest, and this journal has always been THE place where I could be honest about pretty much anything. I don't want that to change. But I don't want to sound negative either - that would be unfair, and also dishonest, in a way. And I don't want to sound ridiculously cryptic - because if I'm gonna do that, I might just as well not post at all.

Maybe I need some time to sort through all those conflicting emotions before I even attempt a recap. Or maybe it's enough to say that online compatibility isn't quite the same thing as "real life" compatibility, and some friendships function better without crossing that line. Or perhaps the ease of online interactions has the unfortunate side effect of raising the bar impossibly high when it comes to our expectations of RL encounters. Even when we think we're being realistic.

See, that sounded negative. But I can't make a happy post just now. I probably can't even make a fair, objective one, because I am engaging a considerable effort of will in order to keep my mood from a massive downward plunge. I am sure the crisis will pass eventually, like others did before it. But I need time to adjust to these new perceptions, and I think I'd rather stay quiet on here for a bit than put the precarious emotional balance in peril by wallowing in it. Time will tell if I am overreacting again, I suppose...
floatingleaf: (akasha)
Did I mention summer?... Well... it lasted about two days this time. For most of this week, it's been quite cold again - it even SNOWED a tiny bit yesterday. No, I am not kidding. Just a handful of flakes, really - but dear Lord. In mid-May. O_O Fortunately, the building management had turned the heating back on before the temperature dropped too much. It's been on every night/morning since then... including today. This afternoon was warmer, though... so we will see what happens next...

I have a hard time focusing at work - it is as though my brain has gone on vacation already, and keeps obsessively running through the "to do" list (or pondering what to pack - will it be warm enough for summer clothes?... will it rain?... which of my sandals are the most comfortable for walking?... etc.etc.etc.). Last night I spontaneously decided to dye my hair - well, I've been meaning to do it for a while, but lacked motivation... until I realized we will be taking pictures, and I do want to look halfway decent on at least some of them, and a nice hair-color might help.:) So I did it, and it turned out rather pretty, if I say so myself. Bright, but not too vivid for my pasty complexion.;) The shade is called "copper blonde"; I have to remember this, because I usually assume that anything saying "blonde" isn't going to come out right on me... and so I get something darker, which then turns out way too intense/purplish for my skin. My natural hair color is a rather pale greyish brown at this point - so I can pull off lighter shades than I used to. Blondish reds come out almost golden...

Anyway - I stayed up too late fiddling with the hair, then woke up too early and couldn't sleep anymore.:/ Too much excitement, I suppose. I sooo need a break from the tedious everyday routine - but, unfortunately, my body/mind has the annoying habit of translating almost any breaks in routine into anxiety. I'm like a cat who freaks out because someone moved its favorite pillow; even if I am the one who decided to move said pillow, and so there's really no conceivable reason to complain about it. *sigh* My brain understands that, but apparently my body doesn't. Well, at least I got my acupuncture this morning, so my upper back isn't made of concrete... yet. *mirthless smirk*

The VC fan community over on Dreamwidth is still exploding - so many comments, so little time.:) And my most popular fic on AO3 - The Mirror - has 365 hits as of right now (!!!). I had never really entertained the concept of HUNDREDS of people reading my porny little snippets - so it is a bit of an "OMG I'm famous!!!" moment.;) LJ doesn't give you the number of hits, so I never really knew how many people read my stuff (beyond those few who took the time to comment). I'm still sort of struggling to wrap my head around that...;D

That is pretty much all the news I can focus on at the moment. Might still check in here before the trip - but then again, I might not. So please keep your fingers crossed for my sanity just in case...:P
floatingleaf: (window)
I called in sick today. My period is relatively mild this time, all things considered - but still, I felt very sluggish in the morning and couldn't quite make myself get up... plus, there isn't much of anything going on at work right now, so I have zero guilt about taking a day to chill out.:P

And, since I have been neglecting LJ of late, I'm going to use the extra time to start another meme.:) Another 30-day meme, actually. It's a bit different from the one I finished recently. Some questions are similar - so I will skip those. Anyway... here's the full list of topics (stolen, this time, from [livejournal.com profile] goddessofchaos):

ANOTHER 30-day meme, for God's sake! )
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