Friday, December 30, 2011

And with that...the end...

Funny New Year's Ecard: Join us in closing out the latest worst year ever.

Day 30: Last movie you watched

I had thought this list would stand out as not being run of the mill and mediocre but as it is it does seem as though the impression made is that I am a shallow film type of person.  It depends on the mood, and whether or not I remembered the right film for the right reason.

Anyway, as the last day of the year that started so well but dipped then crashed in the latter part ticks ever closer the last movie I watched is going to be split in two as I recently watched a dvd with the Hobbits but also went to the increasingly bankruptingly expensive cinema.  (It's a word if I say it is!)

So to the cinema for the latest piece of fluffy fun, because I really, really do need it.


Yes it was silly but one of our cats is suspiciously close in looks to Puss and I've had a crush on Antonio Banderas since seeing Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down at a very impressionable age!  Plus the Hobbits have enjoyed all the Shrek films (but not to the point of wanting the dvds, hmmn...)

And our latest offering from Lovefilm (which is a hit and miss at the best of times and may be cut during the new year cull) was the brilliant Super 8.  The Hobbits also saw E.T. for the first time this week and one of the first things Youngest said was "this is like Super 8."  What can I say, if you are of a certain vintage, grew up on Speilberg films, always wanted to have adventures that seemed to only happen in America and like that little creature feature uncertainty of whether or not you should be scared then this is a definite.

(I also got Captain America and X Men: First Class which I also enjoyed but this I watched twice before sending them back!)


And with that, we're done.  With the list and the year.  Tomorrow I intend to stay indoors hiding from the last day to ensure nothing else is going to happen!  The start of 2012 is not shaping up well at all so helmets and protective gear on...the monster is about to be unleashed.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

10 Years

It seems like such a long time but it feels as quick as the blink of an eye in reality.


My boys hit the double figures today, no more single digit birthdays for them.  Neither are particularly impressed by this fact, indeed Eldest Hobbit asked about when he would hit triple digits and if it would one day be possible for people to live into four digit birthdays.


Our usual day out in lieu of a birthday party has been scuppered by illness (not just mine for once.)  So tomorrow will do, still going to make them snowflake brownie cake and get them Domino pizza for dinner.


There has been so much that has happened but I have to say that I like very much how they are turning out.  Neither follow the herd, maybe Eldest could do with more confidence but they have sensible heads (*always* ask questions about everything!) and fantastic imaginations.  I have every hope that their future is going to be very good indeed.





Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Elephant Juice

The Royal Institute Lecture always fascinates the Hobbits into loving science and this year, despite a boring sounding theme of "the brain" is no different.  It might not have the ooh and ahh of space, the universe and all that lies within but wonderful stuff it is indeed!

Magic and science have never been so hand in hand as in the room that mucks around with your perspective.

(If you don't know what I'm on about, go on to the BBC website and look it up on iPlayer - learn something fantastic.)

((Elephant juice, when spoken, makes the same mouth shape as saying I love you.  Go on, try it.)


Oh my oh my oh my ONE MORE TO GO!

The finishing post is finally in sight - just in time to end the year!


Day 29: First movie you ever remember watching.


My dad took me to see Bambi when I was about two years old.  Unfortunately I remember nothing of it but this is the first film I ever remember seeing, to the fact that we spent ages waiting in the cinema itself as the time was wrong or something.  I got a box of Smarties, a box 'mind, not a tube - woohoo!  I loved the feel and atmosphere of the place, it seemed giant, cavernous - the ABC cinema, Sauchiehall Street Glasgow I don't think is even there now which is a shame.  

As mother didn't like going to the cinema my visits were either with my dad, neighbours or friends (when I was a teen our thing was Saturdays in Glasgow, an afternoon at the cinema and home in time for dinner!  Living the life!)

I also remember getting the book of the film and being really annoyed the girl wasn't in it much - why didn't girls get to join in adventures like the boys did.  (After being too young to see Star Wars I did get to see the darker Empire Strikes Back and Princess Leia became who I wanted to be, plus she got Han Solo but didn't need rescued as such or simper about the place in order to do so!)

The Water Babies is an okay film, an okay book and I wish I had a more impressive film as the second to last one!   (Maybe I should learn to lie and make up that it was The Railway Children or something!)



I Just Don't Know How To Do It

With a great sense of determination I desperately want to change things and not just as the New Year approaches, the time when good intentions lead to wishful thinking.


Today Evil X was back on the scene having suddenly remembered about his eldest two children as per the post before last he decided he wanted to see them before their birthday.  I agree, as I do where they are concerned, as despite the fact that four and a half years of simmering has led to pure despising of everything he is there is some part of me that still feels my boys need to see him.  If only to re-establish what he is like, it is important that they have their own thoughts on feelings about their absent parent.


I have a suspicion that Madam is pregnant again, only a year after sprouting out the last one - and he confirms she was, but suffered a miscarriage.  I don't believe this as so many lies have passed his lips it is hard to tell what the truth is as I am sure not only would I not recognise it coming from him but it would be a foreign concept for him to try and not spin a fib of some sort.


Here is the problem.  It has been four and a half years and I still stew in my own anger.  I should be, as once I was, at the stage where I don't care.  Fair enough they really do deserve some kind of comeuppance but why do I feel like that?  In the past, pre-Evil X, I was of the opinion that if someone wanted to do me harm or someone wanted to be excessively cruel to me then begone with them.  


Okay perhaps I was a little overzealous in some cases as I was exceptionally bad at keeping in touch, being of the idea that if I were important to them then "they'd" keep in touch.  Nah, doesn't really work like that so oopsie!


But I managed to cut away a whole side of my family, my mother's side, the poisonous ones with their silly gossip and nasty attitude.  I was able to do that with little or no conflict (this is making it sound like I blame others but I have little time for people who lie and that is the very core of it all.)  Plus as I was never a big drinker (and don't partake at all now really - last time was a mojito on holiday in October which was yuck and before that a beer at the Christmas party last year which was also yuck) I did not fit in with the little clique they had going.  Once the Aunt we were close to had died, followed a couple of years later by Gran then there was no reason to keep in touch.  Especially when they accused my mother of theft...astonishingly horrific so goodbye and good riddance to that nest of vipers.


Crikey but I'm waffling on something chronic these days aren't I?


Anyway, I don't get why I am still angry at him.  I have my boys and yes I would have liked another baby but not by him.  What I wanted in my other half he didn't fulfil, not in any shape or form.  I couldn't live with someone so neurotic and nit-picky and someone who had lied about...well...every last thing.  I wasn't what he needed either, especially as I enjoyed family life and he didn't want to work.


So I'm rid of that, so why do I get like this?  Apart from the obvious problems tied out last time  I like it being me and the boys.  Yes, to have someone to share my life with, to share our little thing with would be utterly lovely but we can exist without.  And as I have nothing to give someone other than me (and I'm not pretty, rich, MILF material I have no selling points at all really) I have accepted that this is it.


How do I get back to the girl who banished people from her life once they'd crossed her?  It was much healthier, much happier.  I need it.  I need to get back there and until I do, until I no longer think of him and her without grimacing, then I won't heal inside.


Surely there will be a book with an answer or do I whisper a wish on Hogmanay and hope for the best?



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I'll slip this card under the door

I can't leave it with a post like the last one.  I'm not that pathetic, oh wait, look at the theme for this one, yes I am.


Day 28: Movie with your favorite hero


Ta da!  


I'm reading about the definition of hero in literature just now and what exactly that encompasses and to be honest perhaps it is a personal thing.  There are many adaptations that could then be used for this purpose.  I could go modern with Lisbeth Salander or classic with Jane Eyre (or even Elizabeth Bennett?)  Or using pop culture I could go controversial with Hit Girl or childhood hero with Princess Leia or cult with River Tam (although my favourite character was the mechanically minded Kaylee). 


Instead I'm going to go back a bit, sorry another French film here (I've only ever spent a day in the country as well but I do like their films!)


I saw this when I was young enough to be impressionable.  I like the protagonist's attitude and the fact that nearly every American action film has stolen the look of the film (there was the inevitable remake *sigh*).  So as hero(ine)s come then she is most surely my favourite. 



Embarrassing fact:  I deliberately had my hair cut in this style hoping some of her uber-coolness would rub off.  It didn't.

Note: internet *still* not working properly so I can't check this clip out though I would very much like to!

If you have elderly parents...

...and think the best solution is to have them move in with you or to all live together then take my advice, unless your parent is of the kind who enjoys their independence and relishes life - don't.


(Here is the post where I come over all selfish and spoilt when in reality I'm not, I've just reached the end point where I have no more energy for this.  For real.  No energy, not one bit.)


So when Dad died I did everything, took over all the arrangements.  Straight away mother began hinting heavily that moving in with us would mean she "wouldn't be lonely" even though we are many miles from any friends or family (although her family don't really speak to her which is a whole other saga.)  I would phone only for the phone to ring out at all times of the day meaning I had to constantly contact neighbours and on one occasion the police to check she wasn't lying in a heap somewhere.


I got her house sold, cleared and things put in storage until we got something bigger than the 2-bed house we were then living in.  Make no mistake, at this time I was thinking this was resolving many problems as I no longer had a 40 mile round-trip to deal with her increasing demands on me.  I then bought a house, got us all moved and the mortgage, well I could probably have gone on a day trip to Mordor with less hassle.


All the time I'm working, trying to keep my boys in a safe, stable home despite the interruptions now and again from the father feeling guilty over ignoring his first sons.  We moved into this house and although it isn't fabulous (the person who lived here before last was a DIYer, a DIYer of the Frank Spencer type it would seem.)  I made my list of things to do and began to try and settle everyone in.


Mother became awkward, her catchphrase "can't be bothered" met with a desire to stay in bed all day and a lack of want to do anything at all.  It became apparent that she was not ideal in her role as babysitter while I was at work (which had sold the idea to me.)  I cut back my hours which mean I began to be undermined at work and credit taken by others for things I had happily done.


Cut to summer, the tiredness I'd been feeling was at the stage where I felt as though the plug had been pulled from me.  Strange to describe it really, it isn't like a proper tiredness, or even the fatigue you get after not getting a proper sleep in a while.  It just feels...flat.  No longer in working condition, brain like wool, limbs unable to do even stupidly simple things.  It is according to the Doc what happens when your body decides you are not an "infinite resource".  My cortisol and thyroid levels are "imbalance".  There is no cure other than time.  Jeez, time is not on my side.


One month later and while out in the garden mother has a turn, not waking up when I try to revive her.  Ambulance => hospital => now.


Today she was transferred to a local hospice.  She is ready to come home they say after filling the house with things to make her life easier but ours a little harder (the thing in the bath...really?  The rest of us will have fun jumping over that.)  I say, it is a week before Christmas, the chaos is about to erupt.  My sons turn 10 the week after, we will not be here for her whether there is a care package in place or not.


Not once was discharge discussed with us.  I had made my point several times that I was ill and wouldn't be able to cope during the holidays with everything going on.  If I pace it right I can make it through (although I am still suffering from Sunday as is the case when I over exert myself by doing things I once took for bloody granted.)


So I guess I'm the stick in the mud.  The awkward one not letting her home when they say so, the awkward one for having asked several times to have at least a week to prepare.  The social worker is constantly harassing me for a date when she can come home.  I am able to organise only a few things at a time and can't see why they couldn't wait until the end of the holidays in January when I'll be able to devote time to getting her settled back home.  Sometimes I wish I could wave a magic wand and be able to have her place in a care home without us then having to lose the house (I had it put entirely in her name as I didn't want anyone thinking I was conning the money from Dad's house out of her - stupid, stupid, stupid!  That was my inheritance too!)


This is a pity party for one.  A few days until Christmas.  Guilty father has sent a whole bunch of stuff for his sons, still doesn't pay maintenance right enough and still owes from the debts he skipped out on which I had to pay back but hey-ho.  Youngest is about to burst from excitement, eldest is more reserved and will be until faced with the pressies.  They've already decided on where they want to go on their birthday and I'm already preparing so I can last the day.


So far 40 seems as bad as 39 does.  I used to be an optimist.  I don't know how to get back there but for my sons' sake I must.  This is my life and I have to deal with it but how lovely it would be to have help and a winning lottery ticket.  I win Bad Daughter Award along with Crap Mum, Disposable Wife and all those other ones I've collected on the way.


(I also am about to be "illness terminated" from my job as they are inflexible in changing my shift to one I can actually do once I am better.  I hate this, I don't look ill - well on really bad days I do, people actually stare I look like Palpatine after his battle with Mace Windu, the rest of the time make up helps.  I have a plan over what I need to do to try and work from home, working freelance, but until I can get my head to think in a straight line then that is not happening.  I did dream a solution to a problem in one of my stories last night though so that's good.  Every cloud...)


Here, look at this instead....



Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goodbye Thirties... Hello Forties

I have now entered the age of being an area in the North Sea.  Wouldn't that be something?  I would look forward to then reaching my Viking and Cromarty ages, actually that would be better than reality.  I live in a society where women over forty are...over.


So today (or rather officially in one hour thirty five minutes - I'm writing this at 21:05) I pass the fortieth year marker of being on this planet.


Whoop-doop-de-do.


I have not finished yet.  I have not done as many things as I wished and I most certainly am not living the life I thought I would have had at this stage.  I still have much to accomplish.  Also there is a bigger celebration to be had with my boys reaching double figures in eleven days.


Don't mistake me, to have spent the evening surrounded by a loved one, friends and good company would have been wonderful but life hasn't worked out that way.  Instead it is, as always, just me, my boys and the dog - cats don't celebrate birthdays, or at least human ones.  I have to be content with this and the path I've ended up on as sometimes it happens and there isn't much you can do but walk onwards.


This is panic weekend when people suddenly realise that Christmas is next week and they haven't bought a thing.  Haha.  Spending the day in Edinburgh, the Winter Wonderland, I took my first step in changing things by going on the ferris wheel.


It's 35m high, the little seating circles aren't strapped in, they wobble, especially when you are stuck at the top floating in the breeze.  The views were amazing and, by holding on tight, closing eyes at the particularly worrying bits and saying "I am safe" as many times as need be to become a mantra, it is doable for anyone with not so much a fear of heights as a respect for safety.


I don't have photos as, typically, the camera battery was dead as dead can be.  So I've recycled one from a few years back, same wheel, same height but in the daytime you can see forever.  Well, at least to the Forth on both sides!



Like this ^ but daytime!  Plus everything on the lower part is rearranged and the big bungee thing was down there....oh you get the idea!  Look at the ferris wheel, I am ridiculously proud of myself!

On the way home we decided on Chinese food for din-dins and on the calendar they gave me it said for us Piggies (Year of the Pig - read the description, I'm happy to be a pig!) that next year will be a good one.  Result!

Day 27: Movie with your favourite villain

Ah jeez, there are so many as villains always get the best lines.  Usually they have more to them than the weedy hero.  There are so many children's films that could get this (anyone else have nightmares about the Childcatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?) 

But this guy, well, he's a flippin' Nazi.  You can't get worse than that.  Oh but you can because, you see, he relishes his job and sees it as being a job - despite the results he gets.  The actor practically eats the screen time so each time you see him you are not sure what he will do next and neither does anyone else.

As a villain he is the perfect epitome of bad, and doesn't even realise it.



First time I've heard of an Oscar going to someone and thinking "yup, well deserved."  Bingo!  Now go watch the film and see if you can watch the first ten minutes or so without getting a little sense of panic over what is about to happen.

Hans Landa - Inglourious Basterds


Col. Hans Landa: Now if one were to determine what attribute the German people share with a beast, it would be the cunning and the predatory instinct of a hawk. But if one were to determine what attributes the Jews share with a beast, it would be that of the rat. If a rat were to walk in here right now as I'm talking, would you treat it to a saucer of your delicious milk?
Perrier LaPadite: Probably not.
Col. Hans Landa: I didn't think so. You don't like them. You don't really know why you don't like them. All you know is you find them repulsive. Consequently, a German soldier conducts a search of a house suspected of hiding Jews. Where does the hawk look? He looks in the barn, he looks in the attic, he looks in the cellar, he looks everywhere *he* would hide, but there's so many places it would never occur to a hawk to hide. However, the reason the F├╝hrer's brought me off my Alps in Austria and placed me in French cow country today is because it does occur to me. Because I'm aware what tremendous feats human beings are capable of once they abandon dignity. 






Sunday, December 11, 2011

Enough Already With The Technology!

For this past year access to the internet in the Two If By Sea household has been, at best, fleeting.  The 30 Day movies thing has taken around four months to complete due to the dongle sucking up any and all download in a greedy, money-hungry manner.


So now I have to wait...again...to see what is causing the issue. 


You know, I don't live in a big, posh fancy house but there are plenty of people in this old town who do and I would have thought that all those lovely, lush customers would hold some sway in getting the exchange updated and the internet brought up to - oh at least 2007 standards.


Here I am, one week left of my thirties, *not* looking forward to the forties *at all* and I'd be as well returning to the typewriter and sending messages by carrier pigeon.


Since we moved we've had communication problems initially caused by the previous owner being a bit of a mare (thanks for telling us that the woman living next to us is an absolute nut - could really make it all legal but haven't the energy.)  The internet has never worked correctly and to be honest the person who did the wiring in the house was obviously a DIYer with absolutely no talent.  No kidding if I see one more half-hearted attempt at doing anything I'll scream - i.e. not one skirting board is finished properly, the workmanship is shoddy to say the least.  It does feel like I bought a big old lemon but now we're stuck with it for the moment and as many people are being made homeless for a while I am thankful for that.


Wish I was the optimistic, naive, altruistic kiddo I used to be before a rotten marriage and life wore me down to this grumpy version!  She's still there somewhere, perhaps life will begin again at 40?  See, a little glimmer...


I can't check the following video properly without spending more than I'd wish to on access (times being hard in the old bank balance as always.)


Day 26 - Movie you're most embarrassed to say you like


Well now, I have a front like Blackpool after parenting for nearly 10 years now.  You try and keep your dignified air when your child is going for the brat of the month award in the supermarket (no, they don't grow out of it.)


As has been seen by the previous entries I love a whole mix of movies from the frothy to the deeply moving.  This movie I'd say I'm embarrassed to admitting to watching as most of it is utter, unbelievable cack.


There are stories within though that are truly heart-rending.  These stories do not involve Hugh Grant or Keira Knightley.


Watch this film and see Emma Thomson wrench the heart of any woman watching as she realises the gorgeous present her husband has bought was not intended for her.  Grimace at the loneliness of Laura Linney as she struggles to have a life beyond her family commitments.


The other stories range from "meh" (Colin Firth) to "oh for crap sake!" (Hugh).  I could really have done with concentrating on Emma and Laura's character stories and the rest...


If embarrassment is fast forwarding through most of a film then I give you...Love Actually....