Scattered Black and Whites

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a lot about my first year at College.

Nice legs, shame about the face.

There are pictures, of course: that’s one of them, a self-made costume that I remember being particularly proud of (Christmas Tree Fairy, before you ask ^^) I can recall watching ‘Moonlighting’ on a battered black and white TV owned by my roomate, falling off a barstool after too many cheap Pimms in a Student Bar promotion. Everything else though, not so much memory really remains. I lost a lot of it, I now know deliberately. I was arrogant and stupid and really not a good person to know back then. I don’t remember how I felt at the time either, but there were moments that I think, actually, I did the right thing.

It was also the point in my life that I can look back on now and grasp were the first days I realised something wasn’t right in my mind, but it took me a very long time to even grasp this was something I could deal with, or that it was actually a problem. In amongst those pictures and moments there was a point, probably the later part of that first year, when someone decided they knew what was wrong with my life, and tried to help me change.

They attempted to convert me to religion.

I attended a Church of England College: not because of God, but because of the course I wanted. I can remember a few details about the girl who latched onto me, because that was what it was: persistent, unending and slowing soul-destroying. The girl with sandy blonde hair, the round face and the glasses. Her politeness and friendliness, a counterpoint to my unhappiness, inability to make friends, the issues I’d have sometimes getting cross and introverted. All of this was because I could not accept God into my life.

One day, the persistent pushing came to a head: she followed me to my room, and wouldn’t leave. I got angry at her and she used it all against me: accept God into my heart and I’d feel better, everything would change, and my hatred would leave me. I got progressively more irritated: I didn’t want God, and she needed to leave. With no phone to use to call anyone, alone and now actually frightened, something altered inside me, and I found myself with a choice. How did I get her to leave without attacking her physically and making myself in my mind no better than she was by simply refusing to believe that I believed that God was a metaphor. Nobody could help you with your problems. The only person who you could rely on was yourself.

In desperation I started hitting my head against the wooden window frame, over and over, screaming at her that God wasn’t my problem but she was. She didn’t try and stop me: when presented with my anger she froze. Her God didn’t help her deal with the reaction, her assertions that she cared when in reality she was like everybody else.

When I eventually drew blood, she panicked and ran.

The following morning I couldn’t see and fell over as I got out of bed. My room-mate saw the gash to my head and took me to the Doctor, who called an ambulance. When they asked me what had happened, I lied because I was afraid of what might transpire if I told the truth. One session in A&E later I was back in my room, diagnosed with a concussion.

The round faced girl with the glasses never spoke to me again.

Happier times.

There is a ridge on the front of my head, close to the hairline, the mark worn into my skull self-inflicted, so I didn’t turn and attack her that day. It was easier to hurt myself than try and get her to understand. Her desire to do what she thought was right was a passion I’d never encountered in anyone before… yet at the crucial moment, she was as frightened as I was. If she’d have the strength to stop me, to actually show she could help, then maybe things would have been different. What I do remember, with a clarity that now surprises me, is that I challenged her to explain how a God would allow people to hurt themselves if his love was so encompassing. If he cared about everyone, he’d save those who needed him most.

==
Let me be very clear: if God is important to you, I will ALWAYS respect this. All I ask of people is the decency and understanding that they do the same regarding ethics and ideas that matter to me. Except, as I discover, this doesn’t happen with everybody. In fact, sometimes, people decide that the easiest thing to do in difficult situations is just to run away. This happened to me yesterday, and although unrelated I find myself wondering what has to change in some people’s minds to understand that the World is bigger than themselves.
Maybe some people never do, that’s the problem, and I should really stop worrying about the things I can do nothing about. On reflection, this is probably a good idea.
Personally, I’m glad I finally found my own way to be comfortable with what I really am.

You Wear It Well

So today, I went through a systematic cull of all the wastrel junk in my Social Media accounts: no, just because I mentioned Ryan Reynolds a week ago doesn’t mean I want pictures of him, puny robot follower. Then there’s the author using Twitter to sell their book who bought the first 5000 followers as a shrewd marketing ploy… and so it goes on, the endless list of people who are simply here to make the quick buck. I get that, its okay. Then I notice the Unfollowers, and I spend a moment working out why they all left. I know why she departed: I swore too much, talked FAR too much and I bought a realism into her timeline she’s too scared to admit exists on her own. Then he went because after hitting a a magic number of followers you want the one game I talk about clogging up his feed…

Do I overthink all this shit? HELL OF COURSE I DO. That’s the point of Social Media.

Because everybody has to flounce sometime…

Social Media’s many different things to a wealth of disparate social groups. Depending on your age, profession, place in the World and love of (insert name of actor/music combo/sports team here) it has a myriad of uses, or potential abuses. For me, it’s my Muse. It is an incredible tool for crowd-sourcing ideas. It allows you to gain a unique insight into how people work and think when they’re communicating in a restrictive format (which is especially true with Twitter.) However, what is becoming increasingly apparent is that some people can’t cope with the notion of reality in their feeds, and by that I mean the realisation that because this is SOCIAL media, that involves inevitably reacting with the rest of humanity. You know when Facebook asks you if you know people before you friend them? There’s a reason.

That means that however great you might think my blog posts are, when you have to sit and listen to me on a daily basis, one of two things is likely to happen.

a) You realise that the post you read wasn’t a mistake. I really am this tetchy, grumpy, passionate, opinionated, insane and ultimately FEMALE. All of this is not a problem to you, and you decide to stay. 

b) You realise that the post you read wasn’t a mistake. I really am this tetchy, grumpy, passionate, opinionated, insane and ultimately FEMALE. All of this becomes a massive issue when I say summat the rubs you up the wrong way and makes you think ‘screw this I’m not listening any more’ and you decide to leave.

JUST DON’T ^^

And there it is, more or less. There was the lass who left over what was to her an utterly thoughtless comment but on reflection was spot on the money. Then there were the number of misunderstandings that were cleared up but were in the end convenient excuses for departure. Oh yeah, and at least one guy who got upset when I wouldn’t be told how to think… some might think it’s dangerous to remember all of this, but actually I see it as a long-term path to enlightenment. There are those who grasp the future, and others that choose to remove reality from the equation and pretend that the rest of the World doesn’t actually exist. As it happens, this is entirely understandable, and there are those who will suggest that sometimes, you don’t want everything, all at once, because that exposure has the potential to be detrimental over time. In fact, many people will tell you that actually, making better decisions is based on understanding your references.

It could be utter bollocks, that’s going to depend on the individual. The key is embracing what works for you. For me, this is the best its ever been. Yeah, even the upsetting shit is better than it was because what I’ve learnt via all of this in the last few years is how to more accurately express what I am, and that’s by embracing both reality and unhappiness. Yes, you can pretend all the bad stuff doesn’t exist, but ultimately that’s a lie, and lying to yourself is never going to end well. The trick is finding the balance, and only recently have I grasped that actually, it does go both ways. I don’t need to keep people who perennially wind me up in my feed, and I won’t suffer from being any less than I am if I choose to stop listening. Does this mean I have become the thing I hate? I’m not sure. Everyone has limits, and tolerances, and knows when it is time to stop. The measure of your ability to be a good person? Listening and learning, I think.

CAT IN TIE 😀

In the end, it’s just a bunch of words on a screen.

Except, for some of us, it forms a personal journey to redemption.

Feeling Good

There is much excitement in the house, for tomorrow is Elbow at Hammersmith Day. I’ve managed to not see this band for far too long, and tomorrow this will change in a deliberately intimate gig that is already making me vibrate silently with excitement. Considering the shit weekend I’ve just had, the next five days is already looking rather awesome. I’d been ready for a fight this morning over the washing machine but instead I have an assessor coming on Wednesday and the promise of a new machine. The week’s traumas have all sorted themselves out almost mechanically and to top it all, I now have two days next week booked and planned for getting my health looked at, securing some new spectacles and finishing off my Podcast gubbins once and for all.

It is almost as if this hard work is finally paying dividends.

If you’re a regular reader of the Other Blog, you’ll also notice I’ve gone up to two posts a day. Some of them will be new but others will be reposts of notable stuff from ‘times past’ because with over 2000 articles in the back catalogue, I’d now be seriously stupid not to occasionally repeat myself. What it does mean is that parts of the gaming site will get revamped and updated, and posts like today’s ‘How to Start Blogging’ will be repackaged from time to time to remain current with changing trends. it’s not like this isn’t done on the Internet anyway by the entire rest of the population to begin with. I’m also going to get in the habit of writing two posts a week here and scheduling them if necessary. You can expect regular content therefore as follows:

  • Monday: FICTION DAY 😀
  • Wednesday: General Discussion Topic FTW.
  • Sunday: Week in Review.
This is part of my long-term commitment to Getting Shit Done. 

On that front, there is a piece of Fiction ready for upload, so let’s get to it 😀

Start

My Kitchen, yesterday ^^

My house currently resembles a low budget Disaster movie. All I need now is for Morgan Freeman to turn up and tell me this is all a test and I’ll utterly believe him. Needless to say I’ll be having a few choice words with Bosch Customer Service in the morning. I have a script prepared, and it is EPIC. YES I AM READY.

In the meantime, my patience for many things has reached it’s limit.

STOP! Cuppa time 😀

I’m now behind enough on my Podcast Project to be annoyed, and I’ll do my utmost to get two episodes done this week. There is too much noise and not enough work getting done and I need to fix this, and so I am going to selectively stop listening. Please feel free to take this personally, as I am absolutely sure some people will. I will refer you to the last post, and I’ll be here trying to get myself back organised.

Oh, AND THERE WILL BE FICTION TOMORROW.

The Visitors

Ignore the video, take the song 😀


We’re already into February, and I realise I need a Social Media Policy.
I’ve picked up quite a few people via that there Twitter thing in January, and they fall into two distinct categories. There are those people I assume read The Other Blog and turn up with an actual, genuine interest in what I’m doing… and then there’s everybody else. This includes people wanting to build their follower numbers by following me and the rest of Twitter to see who bites and sticks them back on their list. There’s the You Tubers and Twitchers desperate for followers that they’ll promise you just about ANYTHING to get you added to their total. Except I see through all you ‘personalities’ who are fuelled by algorithms. I will seek you out and remove you. I look for real people curating Feeds, and they are surprisingly easy to find. If I think *at any point* you’re employing Robots to do your dirty work, away you will go.
That means, Rule 1 of the New Policy is simple:  Make me WANT to Follow you.

Often I will follow people for apparently no discernible reason. This is because I did some homework, and the person has given me enough of an online paper trail to justify my initial investigation work as being worthwhile. So, if you follow me and I like the look of what I see, then I’ll open the door for communication, however if nothing comes from this I will walk away quietly (normally when nobody is looking.) I keep quite a tight rein on the stuff that goes in and out of my Feed, mostly because I actively use the format as a writing tool. This has surprised a few people in the past, and I’m now a lot more careful as to what I use in terms of direct interaction with others (via Tweets or quotes.) So, if you have a conversation with me over the medium, and then the same subject turns up in a Blog Post, don’t be surprised, mkay?
Which leads onto Rule 2: My Feed, My Rules.

Says it all.
Wil has it covered, mostly. If you’re gonna turn up and start throwing shade knowing you’ll piss me off, out you go. If you think it’s cool to try and get a rise out of me on summat controversial, you’re having your ass handed to you on the way out to boot. I know how hard and cruel the Internet is, I see it every bloody day, and frankly if you think you’ll get anything out of me to fuel your fire, you are very much mistaken. On the flip side, I’m getting used to offending people with my style. There are clearly those who would like to think reality isn’t their issue and when I wade into situations throwing Real World chaos everywhere, they just get nervous and run away. That’s cool too, I get that. This is both sides of the same coin, after all. I personally don’t see the point most days in pretending that Reality happens to other people. This IS the Future, girls and boys. Like it or loathe it, you will very soon be hard pressed to even pretend to ignore it.

That then finally brings us to Rule 3: I’m not here for the Numbers.

A SEXY CURVE


I’m not here for exponential growth. I may occasionally joke when I hit a 100, or comment on a 1000, but only because I am continually amazed that I watched ever person come in and leave. I don’t ‘do’ this Social Network the ‘right’ way, that much becomes more apparent every day I write. I don’t have a deal with this, and actually as time goes on it becomes progressively easier for me to get a handle on bigger pictures I simply couldn’t grasp before I started dealing with data the way I now do. Twitter is an educational tool, a learning curve all of it’s own, and a peculiar marker for early 21st Century Life. Most importantly for me, it means the people who I really care and love are closer, even if they live thousands of miles away. That apology this morning via DM? MADE MY DAY, it did.

If you want to come play this game with me, there’s only three rules to remember. Any more, and I’d get confused.

Push It

Clearly NOT Rocket Science. At all.

Mankind has done some wonderful things in the last 40 years. The Selfie Stick is not one of them. Although some will argue they serve an important purpose, the rest of us are already predicting the imminent downfall of Society as We Know It as a result of their popularity. If all I have to do is mention the damn things on Twitter to automatically get followed by a robotic sales representative, frankly, everybody’s in trouble.

YEAH RIGHT.

The thing is, actually, these sticks could have another use that maybe the traditional photographic industry’s overlooked. I sense if we let the Adult Entertainment People at these things, the Selfie Stick could take on a whole different life, and the phrase itself could grasp a new, entirely 21st Century double entendre. What if ‘giving yourself a Selfie’ meant using an entirely different part of your anatomy as the means to trigger your own personal money shot?

WORK IT OUT ^^

Now, you’re already shaking your head, believing I’m massively overthinking AND oversharing this, right? I wish. You see, people have already had these ideas, and are selling them. You’re just not reading about them. Let me fix that for you: the people who make the Fleshlight, the male ‘sex toy’ that relies on penetration for your male satisfaction, already has an attachment for an iPad. As the Verge article so elegantly puts it, the idea is to ‘attach the Fleshlight to the iPad and play a sexually arousing video on its screen. A person can then pleasure themselves with the iPad while watching the video in landscape mode, all for the price of $24.95′ Our Selfie Stick idea would take auto-stimulation and the Vine/Instagram/Flickr trend to a new level of financial exploitability. Of course, I suspect that Apple might get the hump if someone tried to patent the name of this as the iCum, but hey it could yet be worth the hassle just for the Court appearance you’d have to make to demonstrate the device in action.

You’ll need a thicker shaft for the grip, I reckon, and I’d start doing those Kegels to make sure you can activate the shutter at the crucial moment. Then, all we need is someone to start a website so you can sell your snaps for a quick profit after the deed is done (www.selfiemoneyshots.xxx) will do: and remember folks, this is the sexytimes exercise you can do all on your own.

Trust me, stranger things have happened to your nether regions in the course of History.

YES THAT’S HOW IT HAPPENED.