gemsybobsy: (Default)
2020-08-11 02:33 am
Entry tags:

We're all stories in the end.



Just make it a good one, eh?
gemsybobsy: (devy)
2016-06-13 10:41 pm
Entry tags:

fans

I've been in a musical bubble of love again lately; who knows why... perhaps because I'm exhausted having not had a holiday since Finland last year, maybe because I keep thinking about that holiday last year and the great people I was with, I saw John Grant live last week and it was amazing, perhaps because summer, festivally vibes, maybe because I have money again and I want to spend some on a few cool adventures... but mostly I think because I've been planning and booking time off for another wedding of friends I met online, and I've been getting soppy lately over all the real great friends I have met through music, even though we don't talk as much anymore... busy grownup lives... and various other things that have done away with the art of really connective internet chat I think... anyhoo. Reading back through my LJ I found this comment:

"Oh mate I said the other day that I often feel like the black sheep of the world, and it was meant as a lol but it's kinda true. YES, I AM THAT EMO. But we all have this one thing in common, this damn music, and it's all that matters, to me anyway. Sharing love of something that important with people you might not otherwise have even spoken to... it's so weird, and really amazing."
__________________

AND it made me think about fans, enthusiasm and this stuff we fill our lives with that not everyone understands... but you know there are people who do... (this post has been brewing for a few days haha so it could be tl;dr)

There's a fangirl in me and I've tried to suppress her. I wouldn't be at the stage door waiting for pics and hugs because I always felt a bit stalkery or something, and of course being depressed and anxious as balls most of my life lead to feelings of 'god no way am I inflicting myself on them', etc... I'd be at a gig and I could have *~*~*feels*~*~*~ washing over me, I wouldn't be ashamed to show them how I felt by jumping around, singing and yelling, anything really lol... I'd completely fall for bands and buy a CD... but I'd still avoid talking to the band after, and if I had to 'meet' them I'd just be like, 'Great set dude, loved it.' And that's it. Even if inside I'm going, 'OH MY GOD THOUGH that fucking BIT right THERE where you had that RIFF and then that line about the whatevers man that was AMAZING I had shivers mate please come back soon shit that was awesome...' No - we're supposed to keep it cool. Especially if you're a fanGIRL, I think. Probably because there's this stupid-ass idea that women only like music if they fancy the musicians. Also I think part of it also is like, for me, I had the feelings and I embraced them during the music, but that's finished now and the musician is separate and I don't want to conflate the two rn, especially if the musician turns out to be a wanker.

So yeah anyway in 2011 I had an expensive year - moved into a house on my own, got a credit card, bought a new car, went on loliday to Spain for my 30th birthday... and I flew to America to see Soundgarden who were one of the last ones on my bucket list (at the time, lol)... and then that summer I saw my favourite band play my favourite album in its entirety and it was incredible, and I thought - surely that's it, I CAN'T beat that, I've reached peak-fangirl, I've done it. I'm done, I have debts now ffs and my own massive expensive house to pay for... besides gigs are expensive these days so I don't think I can do it anymore...

AND ALSO, Dreams Divide was happening. We were still amazed at the attention we were getting but it did bring a feeling of like, 'it's OUR turn now, lol...' We had so many gigs in those first few years that I didn't miss going to see other artists. I'd stopped buying albums, and for a while I even stopped listening to music pretty much completely - I'd got Spotify but just had it for playlists & driving music, whatever. I was vaguely interested in my faves' releases, but I lost the excitement for it unless we were playing ourselves, or watching bands who we were sharing a stage with (and I always watch everyone and am enthusiastic and supportive as heck with them all because we were all in the same boat after all, and there's so much dang talent. ARGH) So I started to get into the habit of telling them how much great they are... AND I started buying music and going to a few gigs, And I got excited about music again. And I think my creativity is coming back (but I'm not holding my breath lmao)

But basically, my point is - FANS ARE GREAT. Especially OUR fans. Believe it or not, for a small-scene band like us, there've been a lot of people who've come up to us after our gigs just to tell us how much they love our work, I've had people going 'OMG' at me... there've been people who've partied with us, drawn pictures of us, given us presents and travelled to see us. Some are musicians themselves - a circle of fandom :D I think fans are cool as fuck, all of them. There is nothing uncool about enthusiasm for other humans and their talents, there's nothing wrong with discussing everything about your faves to the Nth degree, and there's nothing wrong with meeting and hugging and crying on people and telling them what a difference they've made to your life. The world needs more open feelings, more enthusiasm, less shame. <3 And less amazing musicians playing to empty rooms - I need to go out and be a fangirl more often!
gemsybobsy: (floyd)
2016-02-03 06:26 pm

Grrr.

I keep yelling about this stuff in snippets on Facebook but it feels pointless. It doesn't get me anywhere. But nothing's getting me anywhere anyway, I'm really just existing at the moment. I'm not living. I'm just working and stressing. For nothing. I spent the whole of January with butterflies in my stomach, and feel on the brink of tears AT ALL TIMES. I thought maybe typing it all out properly would sort it out in my head/get it all out...

I'm so sick of working as hard as I do and getting nowhere. No savings, not enough holiday, no sick pay... the only blip of calm I feel is when the rent has gone out of my account after two weeks of begging people to put the money in there, but then of course, hey, the account's back to £0, and next week the tax will go out, and so begins another month of scraping enough £s in just to make it through each direct debit in turn.

I'm angry that I have to pay out so many living expenses to live alone, yet wouldn't save any money even if I moved into a shared house. If I got a 'proper job' I'd have to get a degree first otherwise I can't afford to keep living alone. And I don't get any help from the government at all, not even tax credits are available to me anymore because I earn 'too much'. I'm constantly struggling and can't commit to anything - gigs are rare unless I'm playing them, holidays cause me real fear, I couldn't even buy myself anything with my Christmas money, just in case, and now that's been swallowed up.

I'm sick of seeing other dog walkers/petsitting people doing so much better than me when I was the first and nobody wanted to know back then. I see these new businesses popping up, shiny vans, loads of dogs, all accredited trainers, have a team of walkers, have paddocks and premises. When I told people in 2006 what I was offering I was repeatedly laughed at. 'Why would I get a dog and pay someone else to walk it?!' And I know I'm not entitled to success on a plate, but I never sat around and expected it to happen for me. I started this working my arse off for people who promised they'd pay for me to do training courses and who didn't do that, and they still took half my money, so I had to start doing the cleaning to make ends meet, and ten years later - the ends still don't fucking meet.

The stress makes me overeat, which makes me gain weight, and I get acid reflux/silent reflux (DIAGNOSED BY A CONSULTANT with a laryngoscope, TWICE, in 2008 and again in 2013) as a result. This is affecting my voice when speaking, and more annoyingly - seeing as I am that bird off of that synthpop band - when singing. I KNOW IT'S AS A RESULT OF WEIGHT GAIN, because in 2008 and in 2013, when a camera went down my effing nose and looked at my vocal folds and saw irritation from acid, I was the size I am now. When I was 30lbs lighter than this, when we started the band and recorded our first album, I didn't have the voice problem. My voice feels tight, tense, it's easily fatigued and I have to really work to control my pitching and avoid squeaking, and I can barely make it through a gig without it almost giving up completely and aching, hurting and feeling sore as hell. I find it really hard to even talk every single day. I'll be having a conversation and my voice will just go. I'll have to clear my throat to get a sound out. And 'ahemming' all the time makes it WORSE. I can never be arsed to explain all this so I just say, 'My voice still sucks because of the reflux.' Then everyone goes, 'But your voice is really good.' That's not what I meeean. I explain. They say, 'You're not fat though.' ARGH I know I might look okay or whatever but that's not the point. My extra weight makes my reflux worse, simple fact. They give me that look as if I'm talking bollocks. So I get wound up with that as well. I'M NOT THICK. I am talking complete sense. I didn't get this from Dr Google. So I feel the pressure to lose the weight, to prove it. So I feel stressed. So I overeat. And then I stress because I'm still not losing the weight. So I overeat. I'M SO SICK OF MYSELF.

And on top of all of that, all music now stresses me out. I can never get computers/recording equipment to work. EVER. I have written two songs, EVER. Neither of them are even half-finished. The very idea of sitting down and creating anything fills me with actual dread. So I don't bother. Might as well sell it all. And then spend the proceeds on sodding gas and electric. Every evening and weekend flies past in a blur of eating, refreshing Facebook, feeling like I'm missing out of everything cool that ever happens, and crying.

And then there's the fact that my dog won't hang out with me at home anymore, because the fridge, which is now unplugged, made a stupid cracking noise occasionally, and because he can only hear it when it's quiet, he thinks the noise happens BECAUSE I sit on the sofa or lie in bed. So he skulks downstairs unless I make him stay in here. And if I do he stares anxiously at me until I get annoyed and tell him to bugger off. And then I cry because I MISS MY CUDDLY DOODLE DOG. :'(

I know last time I felt this messed up, I changed my life and it was scary and awesome. But this time I have no idea what I want. I just feel trapped in this bumbling existence. Bit of money comes in, instantly gone. Cupboard full of groceries, instantly binged on. Bit of energy, instantly gone. I feel a tiny bit of positivity and it's instantly covered in a ton of negativity.

We're going on tour in a couple of weeks. WITH FADERHEAD. Like, it's a dream to be asked to do something like that. But all I can focus on is how exhausted I feel, how broke I am, how out of shape I am going to look on stage, and how my voice is NOT going to cope. I was supposed to be on top form for this. FFS. I feel so angry at myself. I can't look forward to anything, I feel like I can't go out and socialise because I always feel anxious or miserable. When I do see people I feel like I can't talk about any of this anymore because I feel like they're sick of hearing about it, nobody can suggest anything to me, and I want to keep this image that I'm in control, I got my life sorted, etc, etc... I think that's why I turn to food so often; it's something that gives me a little bit of luxury and relaxation in a world of stress, and it's letting that craving take control of me, instead of me having to control ALL THE THINGS all the time. Argh.

I spent the whole of the last decade sorting out my life, getting it how I wanted it. But it's not good enough. Spent the whole of last year sorting out my brain, and getting over depression and stress, but it's all right outside the door and I'm back wading through it, with concrete boots, just not wanting to get up and even bother.

I think this is why I don't write journal entries anymore. I'll just be saying the same stuff again and again.
gemsybobsy: (devy)
2015-11-16 06:26 pm

Our Territory

Live music isn't just 'a nice night out' or a bit of entertainment for some of us. For us, it's a way of life. My whole adult life has revolved around music, and my beloved favourite bands. My best memories are all tied up in music; I grew up loving music and longing to see bands and, when finally my mum let me go to my first ever gig in 1997, I've chased that feeling again and again. Soaking up every note in a state of almost-hypnosis by bands and people like Devin Townsend, Tool, Earthtone9, Deftones. Waiting all day without a single sip of water just to be at the barrier for my favourite bands at festivals. Years of horsey dancing, air guitar and group hugs with Musers, tears rolling down my face listening to Tori Amos singing Hey Jupiter to a room full of people who didn't dare drop a pin, sobbing my heart out MOAR in front of Depeche Mode, welcoming a new Millennium, for crying out loud, with the Manics, shaking my ass and laughing it off at the same time with Eagles of Death Metal, who are one of those bands who do gigs where there is such an electric atmosphere the word 'gig' doesn't do it justice - when you've experienced the absolute PARTY of one of their gigs, or a show by Gogol Bordello, Skindred, Faith No More, Death From Above 1979, Rage Against The Machine, System of a Down, Frank Turner, Scissor Sisters, Amanda Palmer, Moral Low Ground :D, or Franz Ferdinand... you'll never forget it. I repeat: for some of us, watching bands isn't just fun or 'something to do tonight', it's what our lives are actually FOR.

Everybody who dies in these terrorist attacks is worth crying for. They are all human-shaped people just doing living and that, and they die in ways which nobody deserves and I feel sad for people all over the world when I hear about these evil attacks. I'll never forget the first time I accidentally watched an autoplaying video where these ISIS pricks were shooting their own Muslim brothers in Syria. They lined them up on the floor and shot them all. Syria's far away, but I felt sick and sad for THOSE people, not because I thought, 'OMG they're going to come over here.' Normally if I'm out doing living and that and I hear news of one of these attacks, I do shut it out and carry on with my life, but I make a mental note to read about it when I get home, and I'll see if I can do anything to help (I usually can't, so I don't write massive blocks of words about it like this). It is really shit that the English speaking media doesn't cover everything, and it is really shit that we don't all put up flags on Facebook when stuff happens far away.

When I heard about Paris on Friday I was performing with my own band, for an amazing cause. I was shocked, we all said 'OMG' to each other and I instantly filed it to read about later, for now, let's get another beer! But then I heard people were killed at a gig of one of my fave live bands. I cried, got on my phone and made a Facebook post, and then I got on with it because I refused to let these dicks mess with what we were doing for Beat:Cancer. But the reason I cried has nothing to do with the closeness of the event and it's nothing to do with religion or colours of skin. It's because those people had gone to the Bataclan not to 'see a band', but to shut the world out, to get away from their phones (well, most of them), to escape stress, advertising and the media, and to let the noise from the rest of their lives fade away to make way for the music and soak up energy in a space well away from people who don't get it... and there are plenty of those people, from their local area, their own society, who will never understand why music is so important to them. Listening to the stories of the survivors is telling - so many of them thought the attack was part of the show, because they were so immersed in it. When you are a live music fan leaving a gig, it takes ages for the outside world to register again. For me this is close to home in a way I never expected - it's because they were killed at a gig. I don't feel proud of my nationality, religion, sexuality, or anything else I happen to be by chance. I wouldn't fight for my country because I don't feel I have the right to claim anything on this planet as mine. I don't feel Us vs Them about anything, as I think everyone's worth the same as everyone else. But when it comes to gigs, that is something music fans build for ourselves and for each other, because that's what we're alive for. Music culture is something I AM proud to be part of and would fight for, because that shit is OUR territory. back the FUCK off.
gemsybobsy: (barrowmaaan)
2015-11-04 08:56 pm

I don't have a weight problem, I have a binge monster.

I've always been active. By that I don't mean, 'I might walk to the pub every now and then', I mean I am an actual blue-arsed fly. As a kid I played netball tournaments for my junior school team, and I was either doing 5 types of dance or swimming & lifesaving depending on the night of the week. I'm asthmatic so I always hated cross-country running and other outdoor winter things like hockey (that was also the reason I quit netball after junior school), but I loved trampolining, gym and I was ace at high jump. I was awesome at basketball, too, if I do say so myself, until that time I somehow ended up shooting at the wrong hoop - in front of all the boys, too! On top of that I did a paper-round every morning, either on my bike or walking, I made my own way to school every day and on a typical Saturday or Sunday I'd be hanging out in the parks with my friends, walking/cycling around Hythe or we'd go off walking neighbours' dogs in the New Forest for hours.
Read more... )

So yeah, this is why I've lost weight - trapping the monster. I haven't 'changed my lifestyle' or 'become more active' or 'turned fat into muscle' or any of those weight loss clichés people always say. I've just stopped the monster from telling me to eat Tesco's on Toast every night. I HAVE started running and that's given me more incentive to fuel my body properly, but the weight loss itself is nowt to do with the running - I'm only on the 6th week of c25k, burning only about 100 cals per session! But we're not worrying about numbers ;)

Now I think there needs to be more help out there for people stuck with a monster like mine. I know there are helplines and charities like b-eat, but when I go to my doctor and tell her, 'I can't stop eating, I eat until I feel like I'm going to throw up every single night', her answer shouldn't be, 'But as long as you don't actually throw up it's not really going to cause you too many problems.' Binge eating and sugar addiction like mine should be treated like cases of substance abuse, which means referral to therapy and counselling would be the best solution. I'm lucky I could work through my food issues by reading a lot of books, but a lot of people don't have the ability or motivation to do it like I did.
gemsybobsy: (walkies)
2015-09-28 10:10 am

Hiyargh!

I keep saying to myself, 'Update your frickin' diary because when you're 68 you'll be like "I wonder what you were doing on Maytember 68th 2015," and you will never, ever remember ever again.' Looking through my recent (!) entries, they were all Facebook posts, so I don't know if I really see the point. But I'm trying. I miss this space where I could whinge and go over small details without the judgement that seems to be prevalent on Facebook. Haha.

I've got that old problem of what to put where, though. Like, I used to have a band website, and then a few silly little 'about me' websites, where I'd write any old bollocks; as I felt the need to share my 'any old bollocks' with the world, way before I knew about LJ, and it was before social media was a Thing. Other than my own sites I had Yahoo! groups but they were very specific, on-topic sorts of places. Then I had the Muse forum's off-topic section. Then I had Deadjournal/Livejournal. Then MySpace, then Facebook. Now I just have Facebook and Twitter - if I tweet, it shares to Facebook so people who are friends with me on both platforms get my gubbins twice, but it doesn't do vice versa, so I just use Facebook for everything and Twitter gets forgotten... meanwhile this place is completely abandoned. I do worry that Facebook will one day go the way of MySpace and be forgotten about, and all my memories will go with it.

SO HERE I AM BACK AGAIN WITH NUFFINK TO SAY because anything vaguely interesting gets put out there in little snippets on Facebook, haha.

So, stuff from my bad-ass life. SO MUCH STUFF needs to be covered! Still got all the band gigs/tour memories to write about. Probably about 6 years of adventures. Trips to America, Germany, Scotland and Finland. I will hopefully get around to it! I've been back living in Southampton for two years now, I have a little flat above a washing machine shop. It's very cute. I can't even remember if I've written about that. Blimey. Still got my Didz. Still Mutts & Mops. Lots of new friends. Lots of my old friends' lives have changed a lot. Been through therapy and seem to be at the top of the depression hill, which is lovely considering I've suffered with it for the best part of 20 years. I think a lot of the solution to that came with getting older and working a lot on self-acceptance. I might go into it in more detail too... Yet another thing on the LJ to-do list!

I think I'll leave it there for now... I feel like this has contributed nothing to the story of my life. :D

Oh, because I already told Facebook this (see, this is the trouble!) - I got up and watched the lunar eclipse last night, which was nice. Got up at 2:30 and then 3:30 to see it in two different stages. The bugger had nearly moved right round to the windowless side of my flat though so I had to lean out of the window! It was quite beaut, all dark and goth. I wish I'd set up the telescope.
gemsybobsy: (walkies)
2014-06-30 07:18 pm

BOOM

I am privileged to be part of a really great 'scene' in which, while I've heard talk of such diva behaviour and much drama, I have experienced no such bollocks first-hand. However, I feel the need to post about something about courtesy and sexism in the music industry. I have complained of it for years, just to mates, and while I've got a Facebook and the opportunity of free speech, I thought I'd write it all down. The train of thought started this weekend when I was drinking with some great, lovely, fun, gracious, courteous people in a pub in Islington; we were doing the whole, 'after you, no after you' thing when going through a small entrance thingy, and I can't remember what I said but I indicated my dislike of the idea of 'ladies first'... There was then some banter about 'smashing the patriarchy'; exaggerating for comic effect of course, all in good spirits. Any well-brought-up child will know that we should hold doors open for each other and help when somebody is struggling with something heavy - these things are basic, common courtesy and nothing to do with gender, and very welcome. Anyone female-shaped who legit has a go at a male-shaped person, in the name of feminism, for holding a door open, is a twat. Unless they say something like 'ladies first', in which case feel free, like me, to debate the use of the term 'lady'.

HOWEVER, there are many things I have experienced as a female-shaped artist in the music industry that are not courteous, not gentlemanly, and downright rude - and no amount of heavy lifting and door opening can make this right. Some have occurred during my time as a musician on the lovely 'goff' (industrial/EBM/synthpop) scene, but not many - mostly these incidents have happened when I've been in rock bands on the pub circuit. Feel free to share, disagree, whatever you like - I'm hoping to open a few eyes and minds with this, not make people uncomfortable and like they're 'walking through a minefield', which is something that always gets said when someone questions 'etiquette'. Of course, everybody is different and there's no set rules and I'm not speaking for all female-shapes. But this is a list of the experiences that I feel have happened because there is a lot of assumption due to how I present as female, and some notes on how I feel about them.

- Many times when I've been sitting at a soundcheck, sometimes sitting among gear or setting up, guys have come in and greeted all other band members, and completely blanked me. I may have my hair tied back, glasses on, no make-up, etc. Later on, when I'm done up in my stage clobber, people have apologised for not talking to me because they hadn't known who I was earlier. I get the feeling it's because it's assumed I am a wife/girlfriend, a fan who's blagged her way in early, or a member of venue staff. In either case - it's pretty appalling that I get blanked, musician or not. If I'm not a musician I'm going to be there to assist or support you, so I deserve the same welcome you give your bros in bands!

- On that assumption, I've had people ask me how I got in, I've had people ask me for a beer, I've had people ask me who I'm driving for. 'Whose girlfriend are you, then?' is never a polite question in ANY walk of life - I'm a person, not a relationship status. If you don't know who I am just ask me which band I'm with; it's pretty damn easy.

- I've been refused entry to backstage areas and dressing rooms, even on presentation of my 'artist' wristband. They tugged it to check I hadn't nicked it.

- I was told to mind my language when I swore (mildly) at my laptop at a soundcheck.

- Sound engineers ask male bandmates how I want my vocals to sound. I'm standing right there.

- Please never tell a female-shaped musician that she's a 'great gimmick', that she is something other than the 'brains of the operation', and for god's sake 'you're more than a pretty face' is never - in any context - a compliment.

- Was given free entry to a show so long as I helped the band ship out afterwards. Awesome. Myself and three guys stood waiting for instructions. Tour manager says, 'I thought you said you'd bring four people.' I'm standing right there.

- Was denied a show because 'there's already a female-fronted band on the bill'.

- Been told quite a few times actually, 'This is boring production/music/guitar/artwork talk, sorry about this.' You do realise I stand behind the laptop and synths in an electronic band, right? What in the entire OMNIVERSE makes you think I would find any talk of electronic production 'boring'?! Oh right! Perceived vagina.

So yeah, that about sums it up. Then there's just the whole 'oops, ladies present' vibe that sometimes pops up when bands are hanging out before shows - unless you were born in 1930, it's redundant. You can be yourself. I want to be here, I'm playing music with you, I'm buying rounds of beer. I'm one of you. Don't assume that this female-shaped body has delicate ears. Hell I don't even identify as female, but I'd have a tough time asking people not to assume that.

In summary: Assume less.

Oh, while I'm asking for things - please be aware when you're in a shared dressing room with 4 other bands, and STOP HOGGING THE MIRROR. Ta!

(Hey this comes quite nicely after Dave's 'don't marginalize people's causes' post. Dreams Divide - social justice warriors!)
gemsybobsy: (walkies)
2014-05-18 05:43 pm

Holidays with your Dog - Day 1 - July 2013

In July 2013, after a weekend of cider and playing a set with the band in Electrowerkz in London (more on that when I eventually get round to writing up my Dreams Divide adventures), I set aside a week off to begin an experiment which I hope will continue, at least once a year, for the foreseeable. I might make a book, actually, if enough interesting stuff happens to us on these adventures. The One Rule of the experiment:

1. Go on holiday with your dog, and do not leave your dog out of any adventures. Of course, this means you can only go to dog friendly establishments.

You will need yourself, a dog, a sense of adventure and a car full of STUFF.

Read more... )
gemsybobsy: (spaced)
2014-05-14 10:17 pm

Beauty and that

Right from my early school years I knew what I was good at - I could make people laugh, I could listen when people were upset, I could sort out arguments, I could organise games, make up dances... I had lots of friends. We were always told 'if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all.' We were always encouraged to be the best people we could be, and appearance was never, ever an issue, beyond making sure we were clean and tidy. I discovered I had an artificial eye when I was probably about five-ish, when my sister and I were making tunnels with our hands to look through, and I realised when I did it on one side I couldn't see down the tunnel. But it still didn't really become an issue, I only had that and a bit of eczema to deal with, and other than the various questions I got asked from other children and eye hospital check-ups, I didn't really think about it.

As I got older, the other kids stopped asking innocent questions about it and started taking the piss instead. I learned that an artificial eye was a bad thing for a person to have in society. Mrs Twit had one, and she was loathsome. My eye became an affliction; something that was ugly. My Achilles' heel. After my childhood of having loads of mates, winner of Musician of the Year, being the best at handwriting and having all those ballet and swimming certificates - I started to feel inadequate. My circle of friends got smaller as everyone branched out, I was always the single one when everyone else had partners, and I gradually got more shy as I felt more and more inadequate - I eventually came to accept that I was ugly. 'Plain' at best. I tried not to let it stop me from enjoying my life, but it did get in the way. I let it stop me doing dancing and acting, which I loved, because nobody would want to act face-to-face on stage with a cross-eyed person. It buggered up my job interviews and my confidence because I couldn't do eye contact. It just ended up driving me a bit mad.

My family and friends would try to comfort me when I was upset about it by saying, 'There's nothing wrong with your eyes.' They'd try to gloss over the fact - there's nothing wrong, you're NOT cross-eyed, you're being silly, don't let it upset you. But it is a fact that I am flawed. My eye was broken! I'm reminded of that fact with every nasty comment, I can see it myself every time I look at a photo or a video of my face, or if I get the wrong angle in the mirror. School friends would always say they couldn't tell I had a fake eye or that they always forgot about it, until we'd all fall out as kids do, then they'd always get some nasty comment in about the eye. When I got older I had arguments with friends about this glossing-over malarkey, because it began to annoy me - 'You're not ugly, stop worrying about your eye.' 'WHY DO YOU ALWAYS SAY THAT WHEN YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE!' I'd stomp off and not speak to anyone, always in a turmoil about this stupid bloody tiny poxy flaw.

It's only recently that I've realised that what I really wanted was for someone to say, 'Yes, your eye is wonky, but so what? That doesn't mean you're ugly. We all have flaws and we're all beautiful.' And I did get that response, from some, but I can't remember if I appreciated it at the time. It was always, 'Don't mention the eye. Don't upset her.' If I dared joke about the eye I'd get sympathetic looks. Or 'don't be silly' or 'don't put yourself down.' I even had people tell me they thought I was beautiful despite the eye. Lol, thanks. I'll remember to keep it hidden under the carpet/my fringe. But I've also had people say absolutely lovely things about it; that it's awesome, cute, endearing, and the best of all - that I only need one 'window' to see my soul - which was such a wonderful thing it always makes me cry when I think about it.

This clip is what inspired this entry today. "The meanest thing you can say to a fat girl is 'you're not fat'. It sucks to be a fat girl. Can people just let me say it?" CAN PEOPLE JUST LET ME SAY IT? - just sums up my whole experience. Argh, it's hard to put into words. It's like, we project our own standards of beauty, and what is normal, onto people who feel inadequate. Or, we believe people probably feel inadequate if they don't fit our own standards. See also Conchita off of Eurovision (what a great song). The bog-standard haters of cross-dressing and the related assortment of homophobic comments, I can kind of understand. But I keep hearing comments from people, who 'don't mind' transvestites, who are questioning the beard. 'It just doesn't look right, she should shave.' One comment in particular I saw just briefly looking at that page - how Conchita is trying to 'force the vast majority of people into thinking that a woman wearing a beard is just normal and just as beautiful. It looks very ugly and non-feminine.' I.e., if you want to appear as a woman, you have to at least fit... the breed standard?! Are people concerned for her? Who do they want her to change for?!

I'm always discussing with people whether I look better with short hair or long hair, because I'm always thinking about chopping it all off, and have been told it looks better long because it's 'more feminine'. Also apparently I look nicer in a dress because it's 'more feminine'. From which I can only draw the conclusion that 'more masculine' means 'more ugly'. I've had people tell me and my friends that we need to be less masculine so as to be more attractive. Don't drink pints, wear 'nice shoes', wear a 'flattering' dress. If I mention I don't suit pastel colours or floral patterns, don't fancy really short hair again because it emphasizes my big facial features and jawline, and don't want to wear spaghetti straps because of my broad shoulders, I'm 'putting myself down'. I am constantly being told I'm putting myself down if I have (or assert preference for) anything about me that is anything other than pure femininity. As this similar ramble showed back in the day, if I say I'm gender-neutral/androgynous I'm calling myself ugly and need to be told I'm being silly and am clearly a lady (because it's assumed that's what all [perceived] females want to hear!) Because, somehow, not adhering to what I should adhere to (perfectly-groomed, flawless-as-poss, straight, feminine-appearing/acting female of my age and race) would mean I would be making myself appear ugly. Which leads me to ask - appear ugly to whom? To the perfectly-groomed, flawless-as-poss, straight, masculine-appearing/acting (BEARDS) males of my age and race - because that is by whom society is led, or because that is whom society assumes I should be sexually attracted to/by...? Who knows. It's very much a 'tell them what I think they want to hear' kind of thing. If a friend mentions she feels fat, you automatically give them 'no you don't, you look great' as a response. I (hereby) wouldn't like to hear that, but I would probably still assume that's what my friend wants to hear. As if 'fat' and 'great' can never be synonymous. Are 'wonky eye' and 'ugly' synonymous? I wouldn't like to hear that either. But, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

I want to grow a beard ffs.
gemsybobsy: (walkies)
2014-04-18 04:12 pm

Bowel beef continued.

High fibre, high carb diet. I love it. This is why I've failed at weight control over the years - I've been trying to portion control tiny amounts of high fat/protein + *soluble* fibre foods because I thought I had to limit *insoluble* fibre. I naturally have a sweet tooth and LOVE carb-heavy foods, and when I can eat things like:

- Whole grains/corn
- Legumes
- Apples and pears
- Other fresh and dried fruits

I am able to control my weight because my body is getting what it craves. BUT because my tummy always hurts, and all the usual IBS advice (including the low-FODMAP diet) tells you that those are the foods you need to limit/avoid, I have found it difficult to stay satisfied (and slim). For years I've been having protein, fats and vegetables low in soluble fibre. So I'd get into a cycle of eating lots of protein and leaves and berries for a day (thinking the leaves and berries should do for fibre) and then giving into my cravings for grains and eating thousands of white, refined bakery products (as white > wholegrain for IBS of course, so it was fine!) I put these typical days as examples into MyFitnessPal and a typical 'healthy day' I was getting only 12-14g fibre most of which was soluble. On a 'Bakery Diet' day I was having far less. So, to be TMI about it - I was adding to the bulk of the stuff in there with the soluble fibre, but the lack of insoluble fibre was making things move too slowly and therefore not letting anything out. Hence the 4 extra inches of belly.

So over the past three weeks I've been gradually reintroducing insoluble fibre, with resultage. I'm still having pains, maybe due to fat (will try quitting chocolate after Easter!) or an intolerance - I still suspect that my gut hates high levels of fructose and have therefore been bombarding it with ripe bananas + strained yoghurt to try and sort out my Good Bacteria. I haven't tried lactose yet. I will carry on doing this for another month or so, in case the bloating is just adjusting to higher amounts of fibrey things and will settle down (normally I'd have quit by now and gone back to the Bakery Diet!). If it's still going on I'll have to try eliminating things again. Sigh. In the meantime I've got my gastroenterologist appointment on 21st May which is why I'm writing all this.

Summary: still don't know the cause of the pain/bloating, but at least for now the things are moving through more quickly. Yay. And I've lost 5lbs already!
gemsybobsy: (walkies)
2014-03-12 09:58 am
Entry tags:

Layballs

Something I've been trying to put into words for some time now:

Whenever I've described my unusual sexual orientation, all I ever get in response is 'you shouldn't label yourself'. Which, not wishing to sound snippy, is easy for them to say. It's also easy for me to not bleat on about my 'labels', and I don't, generally, until I receive one too many assumptions about who I am. Which is always based on what society expects (heterosexuality) from someone who looks like me (female). Especially when these assumptions come from exactly the people who would consider themselves these forward-thinking non-labelling people - well, it makes me glad I have quick, descriptive terms that I can use to say everything I want to say. I WILL label myself, thank you. Words aren't scary. Labels are just words. Labels are for cardboard boxes full of things of a specific type. But the labels aren't tattoos and boxes aren't locked-and-buried time capsules; being in a box with a label does not mean you forever have to restrict parts of yourself so you will always 'deserve' to stay there. Nothing's permanent. The whole point in the ease of a label is that they are easily ripped off and replaced, with the changeability of the human personality.

Love from Gemsy, Divider of Dreams, Mopper of Mutts, human, brachydachtyly-type D, female-shaped (non-gender), aromantic asexual, dog lover, dysthymic, sufferer of irritable body syndrome, massive goff
gemsybobsy: (choccy)
2014-02-23 12:28 am

oh hai diary

Decided I should start posting my rants in here again instead of inflicting it on my Facebook friends list. Somehow I feel like I have to write better here, though. Make it like a blog/article, instead of a rant, which works better on Facebook? Haha, I bet this doesn't last. I've been snoozing all evening because of migraine, and now I'm all inspired to write about what's been going on with my health and that.

After 3 months of rigorous diary keeping and investigation, I think I have got to the bottom of my belly problems. Fruit and vegetables. I was always eating loads, and all sorts of different ones, and whether it was the sugars, free fructose, too much fibre... I dunno. But now, I'm basically just eating green leafy veg and blueberries, and it's been great. I'm thinking maybe my bowel can't deal with a lot of different types of sugar at once. I'm still also avoiding having too much lactose at once, as well as things like mushrooms and avocados and sweeteners (polyols) and wheat (fructans). Basically, it's the low-FODMAP diet, but with little of the fruits and vegetables that the low-FODMAP diet says are 'safe'. Before, when I tried low-FODMAP, I incorporated as many of the safe ones that I possibly could. So it didn't work. I'd have salads with cucumber, peppers and tomatoes, curries with loads of carrot, broccoli and all sorts, all at once; as many vegetables on the 'safe' list as I could because I thought I had to, to get all the vitamins.

But. Now I am going to have to limit all of the things I have been eating instead, because they're contributing to this chronic migraine aura and vague headache that I've got going on, and that is DOING MY HEAD IN. I've been munching on nuts, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, Nutella, vinegar dressings, caffeine, tinned fish, pre-cooked chicken (I have the basics Sainsbury's brand which I will need to check for nitrites, sulphites and tyramines) and... condiments... and yoghurt (not been eating much of that but I did buy some last week because I haven't been getting many animal products of late and now IDK WHETHER TO EAT IT OR NOT ARGH).

FFS. So now, I'm left with... green veg, blueberries, potatoes, rice, oats, spelt flakes (which seem to be great for me)... eggs and fresh meat...and for my sweeties, I'm going to have to just have, like, popcorn and white chocolate. Which = binge territory. I liked snacking on nuts and dried fruits and dark chocolate chips because they didn't lead to bingery. I guess I could make pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup. Or I could not have anything sweet ever again and die miserable but at least I would shift some of the flab off my ample butt.

Also I am having therapy for my failbrain, and it is rubbish so far.
gemsybobsy: (amy)
2014-01-01 06:12 pm
Entry tags:

2013!

What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Bought ghee, helped rescue Jaeger from the river (and got a letter published in the Journal), supported Black Light Burns (Wes Borland's band), saw a Bowie tribute dude, saw the Bowie museum exhibition in London,

Was 2013 a good year for you?
Ummm... yeah it was okay! No 2011, but I don't think any year will beat that year.

Read more... )
And of course, my tedious gig list is here, as always, or on LastFM.
And GoodReads.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
gemsybobsy: (bhuman)
2013-12-31 11:56 am

Okay maybe one more then I've got my end-of-year summary to do

"So glad I put dinner in the slow cooker today. Aaaaaaaaaaargh my life. I seem to say 'I'm having a bit of a nightmare day today' every single day. 'Having a crazy week' every week. Then I say to myself, 'Oh it'll be easier when I've moved to Southampton/got my car back/got less evening dogsitting/less dogs/less extra cleaning...' aaaaaaaand it never gets easier and i dunno what to dooooooooooOOOO"

"Even Didz doesn't wanna get up today. He is still upside down"
Read more... )
"Right that is it, all the Christmas cards I'm going to have time to do have been posted/sent out... so if you don't get one before Christmas Day, it's not because I don't love ya. This is your message:
"Dear you, Merry Christmas! Lots of love from gemgems and didz *kiss* *pawprint*""
gemsybobsy: (floyd)
2013-12-31 01:25 am

Last one I promise.

MOVED TO SOUTHAMPTON
DIDZ IS HERE


"Hi Southampton. Anna is a bad-ass! Keep thinking about beautiful Salisbury house sitting all beautiful and empty and cold and dark and alone. Loads of tears today and now"

"love dat southampton city accent
'ummagord, ee's lark a BEAR! uh-thaaay Noofunliiiinds?'"

"Just sed bye to the puppy doogs and am now at the newfie doogs house for the weekend yay noofoondloonds"

"just mopped myself into the lounge and my phone's in the car, how annoying"

"Woo week of shite is over! Woo discharged from the voice lady's clinic! Verdict: its reflux so stop being a fat knacker. She said 'your laughter has such a great tone. I bet your voice is lovely.' Which was nice. Then she gave me the number of the singing coach who does The Voice on telly or summink"

"The voice thingy on the nexus 4 is bloody marvelous I'm using it now lal lol lol it even understand lol lol lol lol lal lal lala lau haha benson get off me no no no you don't climb you naughty boy"

"what I need is two weeks of no cleaning wotsoever so I can establish whether the burning pain in my hips and lower back are just cleaning pains and not arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteonecrosis, cancer of the bone or aliens gestating in my pelvis"

"bailey and sidney
and their new puppy who is ADORABLE
the clumber spaniel called rupert i posted a pic of, i keep forgetting his name tho so it's just 'puppy'
or 'benedict clumberbatch'"

"puppy is killing a runner bean"

"PREPARING OVEN FRIES (i.e. laying them on a tray)
OUT OF NOWHERE, CAT LANDS ON OVEN FRIES"

"And I'm heading into go outdoors for my yearly winter splurge. After this I really MUST STOP SHOPPING. Moving to cheaper gaff was meant to be to pay for tax, not shoes and trees"

"Tell me that I'm didz
take me to the didz
spin my body didz
Heard it all bedidz
what have I bedidz
who are didz"



WATCH THE VIDEO WATCH THE VIDEO WATCH THE VIDEO IT IS ~*~*~*~*~*MY BAND~*~*~*~*~*~*~* SO WHEN I SHARE IT AGAIN WHEN THE EXCITEMENT DIES DOWN A LITTLE BIT IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS TIME AND SOMEONE SAYS,
***OH, IS THIS YOUR BAND GEM***
LET ME PRE-EMPT THAT NOW BY SAYING YES IT'S MYYYYYYYY BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND SO WATCH IT WATCH IT NOW RIGHT NOW
OH SHIT I LOVE HOW IT SAYS 'CRAP' IN THE URL I AM LOLLING SO HARD
gemsybobsy: (devy)
2013-12-31 12:52 am

Sorry yeah there's more

"Dog on bed dog on floor dog on chair dog on bed dog on floor SIT STAY DOG"

"I'm very nearly on holiday!! all paid work is done, my house is CLEAN, my laundry is DONE. just need to do SOMETHING with the heap of crap on my dining table. Jebus balls, how on earth did I ever think I could live in a studio flat i do not know. But yeah. HOLIDAY. Got Earthling on full blast (to drown out annoying dog over the lane who YAPS AT EVERY NOISE I MAKE FFS) and am going to put on some makeups and fresh clobes and HIT THE TOWN. and THEN, I will be on holiday. OH YISSSSSSSS"

"right, didz and me are going on holiday bye"
(NOTE: I actually had a week's holiday in July. I will maybe do a separate post about this)
Read more... )
"Travel time from to last dog drop off -> new flat = 1 minute.
Travel time from last dog drop off -> current house = hour and a half ARHGSKDHIUGHA SFCA
Actually going to get really ratty with it now because I know I'm moving, hahaha"
gemsybobsy: (study in pink)
2013-12-31 12:17 am

Moar from 2013

(NOTE: Facebook culture makes it look like I'm less better at writing things and grammar and that. I'm still quite clever though okay? I'm amazed I can still HTML)

"This week is tiles & grouting week at Mutts & Mops! So if you'd like sparkling tiles & bright white grout, tough balls - I can't fit you in"

"lovely day was lovely and productive and apparently I come 'highly recommended' and 'at least 3 or 4 people have said you're the best dog walker round here'"



"Didz is eating his birthday bone. This time last year I was assisting in the birth of the puppies that were the result of his last birthday bone"

"the beard is in my house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He's a twat though, for four reasons.
1. Schnauzers PACE if they're somewhere new and can't figure out the best place to lie so they can see all the doors (watchdogs, who'd 'ave 'em)
2. THE NOISE, OH THE NOISE. SHUT UP FLOYD. Those beards are too vocal.
3. The water. The drinking, and the beard drippings. Kitchen needs wet floor sign.
4. STUBBORN. 'No I'm not really up for getting in the car, haha, look at you getting pissed off, I'm just gonna stand in the road and dance around, lalala, hahaha up yours everyone, this beard do what he wants.'

"So many muse t-shirts on the tube. Can't stop lolling. WE HAVE ARRIVED AT PANIC STATION! — with Gemsy Davison."

"Well, my new library book appears to be about dogging. I picked it up after a quick glance told me it was set in modern England and it appeared to be a kind of shady, criminal-world kind of story. The tale is set up in the first chapter, with the guy describing his 'alternative lifestyle'... guy is then setting out to meet Gary and Sheena in the 'kennel' with his kit bag full of... "Oh," I think, "I wonder why he needs condoms?" I didn't even notice the fact that the book has a picture of a lady removing her bra as seen through a car window... had only vaguely registered that the book is called 'Isle of Dogs'... Conclusion: I am so very asexual."

"If there's one thing I know how to do well in my life, it's how to live successfully with packs of dogs:
- Always keep something going - music, a fan, the telly... so there's constant sound. If you sit in silence, a single external noise will set one of them off (most likely the SCHNAUZER) and you'll have a barkfest on your hands (hence the constant stream of Bowie videos shared on the pack manager's Facebook profile over the past week);
- When (not if) you find yourself in the midst of a barkfest, stay calm, breathe evenly, say 'thank you dogs, you are all just so fantastic at barking, well done' and usher them all back to where they were lying down. If this fails, shout 'FOR GOD SAKE SHADDUP, NOBODY CARES! and throw plates at them;
- If there's dissension in the ranks about who gets to sit next to you on the sofa, nobody's allowed. Boot them all off and stretch out, yo;
- Don't even bother with showing them attention unless you've got one on his own at a distance from all the others, unless you want more chaos;
- Air freshener."

"Berlin ist geil. — at Alexanderplatz am Fernsehturm, Berlin"
"SEXY ROBOTS


"welp. today was first day back to the day job and i am borked and fed up and waaah and tummy achey because it turns out dreams divide are collectively best powered by berlinese beer and ice cream.
can you believe, right, that the main reason I wanted to go to berlin all my life (well, since i was 16ish and going around wearing long black coats and reading books about "proper" music anyway) was pretty much because
- "i want to go to berlin because iggy pop and david bowie". i have now been to berlin eleventyseven times and still haven't made my rock pilgrimage to Hansa studios and drank from the goblet of rock at 'the hall by the wall'. next time damnit.
other reasons tho:
- "i want to go to berlin because night clubbin, real night clubbin" which i have done plenty of
- "i want to go to berlin because deutsch ist geil" which it is even though i still suck at it. mein Hund ist ein Mittelschnauzer and er hat ein Schnauzer
- "i want to go to berlin because ZOO" which we sort of visited this time but i was sad because no moar Knut
- "i want to go to berlin because everyone everywhere in germany loves depeche mode so no surprise coldplay/sc*uting for g*rls in any public space" which is true
also beer.
i miss germany"

"A continuation of the weirdness that is my life - customer texts and says there's some chocolate on the table for me. I gets there expecting IDK a bar of dairy milk or something, it's a huge box of posh gourmet chocolates all done up in posh wrapping paper and a gigantic bow. Next to them a note saying, 'Wondered if you'd get any use out of these hair straighteners? If not pass them on to a friend!' They're fackin' GHDs, yo."

"Housesitting always remind me of so many things I'd forgotten existed. Dishwashers! Sky TV! Branston pickle with cold chicken! Dairylea triangles! Pringles! Nice fancy yoghurts! This time is awesome 'cause it's Mum's house so I can eat it all."

"oops Dreams Divide broke da amp at the The Winchester Gate"
gemsybobsy: (barrowmaaan)
2013-12-30 11:51 pm

2013 - the year I only posted on LJ ten times.

"I told a dog to 'shut his bone-hole' today. Still laughing. I'm so hilarious"

"I love driving in the snow I love doggies I love dosh I love dancing I love dusting I love dreams divide I love my LIFE!"

"Darn collie now trying to take over my pillow! Heard this sleepy 'nfff' sound of a nose in my ear, then whacked in the head by a cheesy paw"

"Didz is so ripped. He is proof that everyone needs to eat bones and run really fast in huge circles to stay fit."

"Well, good gig, but my voice died in the first song just fml forever, srsly I can't drive or fit into my stage clothes or even bloomin sing. Haha still buzzing tho, hell yeah. I just lol and carry on tbh cuz I can cuz we are dreams divide damnit"

"only on the muse board does a thread called 'positive thoughts' turn into a discussion about dead animals"

"okay so this morning I woke up and saw a coin on the floor and I was thinking, 'ooh there's a coin, I need a coin' and then couldn't remember what I needed one for, then I remembered - I needed one to undo the screws in the air conditioning unit that would help me escape the meat locker that the cannibals locked me in in the walking dead game."

"You know those random words you buy in all the homeware departments of shops and tesco's and that? They're made of wood or metal and say things like LOVE and HOME and BATH, for some lame reason. Well I would like some of those. Dad can you make me some out of your driftwood please? xxx but I would like them to say things like TWAT and NOOB."

"THINGS I never thought I'd be thinking to myself in 2013: "I must remember to pick up a copy of David Bowie's new album"
gemsybobsy: (walkies)
2013-12-29 01:01 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

OH GOD my poor journal, I have muchly forsaken you.

Full of really really shit Twitter things. :( I didn't even realise. I'm so sorry friends who follow this tripe. One of my 2014 things is to come back to LJ. GOTTA BE DONE.

LOVE YOU
YAY CIDER
YAY DOGS
YAY
woo