Thanks for the distraction

A full day of horror films does wonders. My mood is better, I feel lighter and less stressed, and I wasn’t antsy all day. Double whammy: after an all day Alien run, T and I watched 2 new horror films I’d recorded from tv.

Had cause to thank my bro yesterday yet again. The shower room sink has been plugged up and not draining properly for quite some time. T tried to unblock it with several things and finally resorted to removing the U bend and checking it manually. No big surprise: the problem was a huge nest of my hair in the U bend. But I had one of those forgotten memories hit me when he told me he’d just removed a huge knot of my hair from the pipes. Suddenly I became downcast and quiet. I realised I expected to be chewed out just for having the type of hair I have. And then it all fell into place: I was yelled at simply for having the hair I have by my MOTHER, naturally. Same thing happened when I was young: my hair is super thick and super strong, and even tho I don’t purposefully let a bunch of it go down the drain, it eventually does and NOTHING ON EARTH can break it. I remember sitting on the couch, getting yelled at by C. For having long hair, which was her decision, not mine. It was the same excuse she used to pull my hair and hurt me every damned day: You don’t take care of your hair! This is your own fault! No. It never was my fault. All of that hit me in an eyeblink (much quicker than writing it down takes) and I was thanking T for not blaming me. I told him C used to do that with me. He kind of half laughed and half snorted. That’s stupid, he said. Stupid. Oh, thank you T. You just cut thru the childhood shit of C so cleanly!

Went online and ordered Crime and Punishment. It should be arriving today. And I managed to push my way thru the rest of James and the Giant Peach in Dutch so my reading time every night is open. Can’t wait. Paid a few euro more for an academic copy that also includes notes and commentary from the translator. I’ll probably skip all that first time thru. I just want to read it. Immerse myself in that musical lilt of the time and region. Academic notes will be left for the second read thru. I’m perfectly capable of forming my own opinion on a piece of work without someone else telling me what they thought was important.

NL news: Infection rates are so high reporting can’t keep up. Haven’t seen a hard number for days now, but last report was over 10,000 infections in a day. The PM is warning of harder lock down measures, but they won’t look at that before next week. The gov’t feels the effects of the partial lock down aren’t yet evident. Hm. Don’t know I agree with them on that one. This is my concern: Many people won’t isolate themselves. If you figure every single infected case exposed at least 4 people to the virus, that means 50,000 people shouldn’t be on the streets. But I’m guessing at least half of them won’t adhere to that, which means 25,000 are running around and spreading it. It’s not rocket science to figure this shit out. It’s simple human nature. And those numbers are based only on ONE day, not the cumulative total. Actual numbers are much higher. … The police are beginning a crack down on fireworks. NL is largely banning fireworks this year. Rotterdam has a zero tolerance policy. Plus, the pandemic means even the city sponsored shows are being cancelled. So many people are trying to back up fireworks early. I’m ambivalent on it. I enjoy fireworks but understand they are extremely upsetting to wildlife and some people who suffer from PTSD. On the whole, I have to come down on the side of banning them – despite how much I’ll miss them. Just like I have to come down on the side of harsher lock down measures despite how much those measures may disrupt normal life.

You know, for a self professed hermit who doesn’t really give a fuck for most people, I do a hell of a lot for others whom I don’t even know. Or care about.

Back to my Alien run today. *happy and fulfilled sigh* That story just keeps getting better the more I watch it. Even WITH Cameron almost ruining the series. And tonight I get to begin a classic I’ve been dying to read for a long time.

Just a big THANK YOU. To the Universe, the Goddess, T, the weather, Sigourney Weaver, the entertainment industry, my tv, the plants, everyone and everything. Even the idiots running around spreading the virus; on some level, I AM enjoying the tragic comedy of the world at this moment.

Thanks for the distraction.

Do what you gotta do

My disquiet is growing.

Half boredom, half disbelieving shock. I’ve had it with watching Japanese monster movies. MST uses SO many of them. And then T put on yet another Japanese monster movie last night, one we have that wasn’t run thru the MST joke machine. Ugh. I had to BEG T to let me watch something other than movies we’ve seen dozens of times. Meanwhile, the news continues to offer me shock after shock. Sorry. I can’t get over the lies and bullshit the US leader spews. Even after 4 years! I don’t think anyone should ever really get over it. US democracy is at stake, and it’s going in the wrong direction.

NL news: J&J is resuming vaccine trials. Their ‘mystery illness’ patient connected to the trial suffered a stroke. Got all of that in one go; hadn’t heard their patient had a stroke before this. Lovely. Really makes one leery of vaccines. Hospitalisations are up and faster than expected. Cops are still breaking up illegal parties, and there’s still plenty of non-cooperation on rules. I headed downstairs for some tobacco yesterday and when I came back, one of the flats on our level had all 3 residents out in the hallway, smoking. They did not social distance and I couldn’t social distance because of the situation. In fact, I had to walk thru their exhaled smoke to get to my flat. Assholes.

I’ve had it with former coronavirus deniers who then got really sick and now say they were wrong. Fuck you! You should never have had ANY help. Just die. You caused it, your stupidity put yourself and others at risk, your actions put pressure on hospitals and medical personnel. DIE. I hear these effing stories every damned day. Fuckers. It’s no good saying ‘I’m sorry’ after killing people or doing wrong. You did it; take responsibility. These people should be arrested for manslaughter or reckless behaviour at the very least. And I sure as hell HOPE you suffer from the illness FOREVER. You deserve it. And that’s coming from someone who’s health has never been good. Trust me, I know how much it sucks to have poor health in general. And I’m wishing it on YOU.

Yeah, I’m cranky. I know. Been wanting to get our for fresh air, but every time I start it begins to piss rain.

Still not feeling 100%. Just watching it. Having loads of too cold yet I’m sweating times, but testing negative for a fever. Drinking plenty of water and eating simple meals to try and get my bowels back to where they were. Had ringing in my right ear for most of last night. It just wouldn’t stop. Extremely irritating. Oh, yeah. Let’s add a high pitched ring in the ears of the woman who hears everything all the time. I swear, sometimes my super hearing is real curse rather than a blessing.

Going to order in my copy of Crime and Punishment today. I’ve found English paperback versions at Bol.com for less than ten euro. Hoorah! I know I’m a month early for my b-day, but it will probably take me a month to read it. Plus, boredom. I need something new.

Today: rain and wind outside. Same old, same old. TV sucks ’cause it’s Sunday. I’ve gotta find something to keep me occupied. Man, I hate saying that every day.

Yes. The Hermit of Hermits has had it with social distancing, lock down, and no new entertainment. I’m crawling out of my skin.

I think I need an injection of high octane action packed horror. That’s my own personal vaccine against boredom. Lucky for me, I have the entire Alien quadrilogy, the prequels and the AVP run. Even tho I’ve seen it, it fits the bill better than any other film run I have. And… When the fight against the invisible seems too much, it’s nice to imagine a real, physical foe to fight.

Never thought I’d say it, but what the world really needs right now is an alien invasion. Or visit. But an invasion would be better. Too much has been turned into ‘them’, some invisible foe we cannot name, point at, or fight physically. Keep that up, and we – or I, at least – tend to feel helpless. Better to have a physical enemy. Even if we lose. Not that any alien would come down to the planet while a pandemic goes on. Too smart for that; if they really want the planet, it’s better to let humans just die out. We’re real good at that.

Oh, Sunday. Why did they ever invent you? Sundays always suck. Most everything is closed down even if your country isn’t. Loads of people in churches moaning about this or that. I think disquiet is just in the air on Sundays.

…Goddess, I’m bored. But I’m afraid to ask for anything different, because in 2020 thus far, anything different is just worse.

Moan, moan, moan. Put in some films and watch the chest bursting scenes. Enjoy the deaths and action. A part of me feels wrong for relying on such violence for distraction.

But, do what you gotta do.

Everything else sucks

News, news, news…and it’s all depressing.

NL update: after reaching first 8000 and then 9000 new coronavirus cases in a day, NL topped 10,000 infections today. The PM is now beginning to sound like a harder lock down is coming – and soon. Hospitals are filling up quickly, and we’ve sent some patients over to Germany (whether they were native Germans or not, I don’t know). Schipol released info that 60,000 jobs were at risk. Schipol isn’t just an airport, it’s a shopping mall, complete with numerous places to buy anything you forgot. With airlines running at around 40% capacity, the jobs just can’t be maintained. And the hospitality sector is crying. They’re hurting already. Now, it might be even worse.

Had a message from my aunt in Denver, CO. Two messages, actually. The first blew my mind: last night, over 60,000 acres of woodland burned every hour. The evacuation centers in several small towns are being evacuated. Many residents only had 20 minutes notice to get out of the house or risk becoming charcoal. They’re hoping for snow this weekend to help stop the fire spread.

60,000 acres an hour? Geez! Will anything be left?

Noticed the moon last night. Even tho we reportedly had excellent air quality, the moon appeared low, swollen and totally red last night. It looked like an overripe tomato slice hanging in the sky.

I’ve been watching comedy. Actually, I’m getting a bit bored by being amused. Is that weird or what? Ho, hum, another joke. Ha, ha. Cheating a bit with my YouTube vids. Not actually seeking out the paranormal, just the strange and unexplained – which often crosses paths with the paranormal. So I’m getting a bit of what I want, tho not as much as I crave.

… … I am so frigging tired of hearing from Americans or the English how effing important their country is, and how everyone in the world is hanging on the US elections or Brexit because it’s all so very important to everyone, no matter where you live. Good Goddess! The Dutch, at least, are quiet. They don’t expect the world to notice them; they know they’re too small and uneventful to make the news on a regular basis and that’s just fine with them. But the arrogance from some people! Holy Hell! The world does NOT revolve on you and your problems. Just get over yourselves.

More tummy trouble today. Ugh. When will this stop? Is it just stress, as T seems to think? Certainly, having to watch the news for hours in the morning is NOT doing me good. Give me anything else.

Well, I taped a fantastic sounding film the other night: Mongolian Death Worm. Doesn’t that sound terrible? I can’t wait. Haven’t seen it, so all the jokes will be fresh. Yes, I said jokes. How can you make a film called Mongolian Death Worm and NOT have jokes? Even if you’re dead serious, it’s funny. Just the name is funny. And it’s all new to me. Looking forward to it.

But honestly, that’s ALL I have to look forward to. A bad horror film I can riff on while watching.

Everything else sucks.

Err on the side of caution

T is totally convinced the flat is active again, pointing to my physical problems and blaming me – or at least holding me responsible – for it. He claims my watching ghost vids stirs the house up.

Update on ghost activity: T says he saw the fat guy in the WC again. I woke up the other night and there was a strange red glow in my bedroom. It could have been a truck backing up to the supermarket’s loading area, but I didn’t hear an engine. Yesterday I headed downtown for some smoke. I’m very used to my eye problem; the right pupil doesn’t react the same as the left and I often run around with a creepy, lop-sided look with one pupil larger than the other. However, when I got out of the metro yesterday, it was my left eye that went nuts. I can only describe it as double vision. My brain couldn’t put two such different images together. My usual squinting and shading of my eyes (even tho it was quite cloudy) was for my left eye, not my right. T is convinced this is due to some sort of attachment. Once again, I heard how I cannot watch these vids in the house. Het is verboden.

Personal update: My RA aches and pains continue, there one day and gone the next. Most often I’m having problems under my right shoulder blade. There’s a muscle that seems to wrap around my chest and it’s often unbelievably sore. Also having problems with pain in my rib cage; I’ve noted that before with my RA. Hurts like hell. Noticed my bad fingernail last night. Actually, I took a good look at it with my reading glasses and finally just saw it. It does NOT look good. The cuticle is all pulled back (unlike my other nails, that have far too much cuticle skin all over) and I think the psoriasis is now affecting the root of the nail. I’m gonna have to schedule another appointment for it. Might have to take the nail off (gross!). Pleased to say my evening hits of half forgotten angst have stopped. Once I realised the problem and talked to T about it, it stopped.

My November osteoporosis test is moved to a week earlier. I wonder if they’re trying to finish up that stuff before the next anticipated coronavirus wave. Whatever in this case; it works for me.

NL news: third day in a row with over 8000 new infections. More masks are being worn in the streets, but still a good percentage who aren’t doing it if they judge themselves to be far enough away from others. I consider that a mistake; every time I’ve gone out, people don’t social distance and pass by close enough to reach out and touch. Yesterday I was almost pushed into a building because once I started moving over for others, it just kept happening. Really effing annoying.

Entertainment and distractions remain on the lighter side. And this time, I mean it. Oh, there’s plenty of horror being shown on tv for Halloween, but I’m NOT watching my YouTube ghost vids or anything else. MSTs and comedies only. Even erased – without watching – a couple of taped ghost shows I had.

I don’t know if T is correct or not.

But, err on the side of caution.

Can I call this progress?

Ben-Hur…The story of the first historical transgender. Having ‘been her’, Ben decided to hide in plain sight, taking his name from his own unique perspective.

I’ve been watching too many MSTs. Too many, that is, to stay serious.

Two competing ideas for video. One is to make the schlockiest horror ever, purposefully bad to make everyone laugh. The other comes after watching Panic Button on tv. NOT a great horror film in and of itself, but it did make me wonder what a kidnapper would do with a high functioning sociopath. Someone who doesn’t give a fuck about others. I keep seeing a scene of someone getting a hand cut off, and the observing kidnapped person just reacting with a ‘Oh! She’ll never get the blood out of that outfit. And it was her favourite!’

I guess that means I’m beyond my anger. Finally. Enough, at least, to start making jokes again.

NL news: We topped 8100 new infections yesterday; another record. The King called off his holiday in Greece due to public outcry. Honestly, I didn’t even know he and his family were off on holiday. I wouldn’t have protested it; I’m too busy worrying about the foreign holiday makers here that I’m coming into contact with. And, fair enough: The entire royal family came back immediately. I’ll give the family credit for listening to their people even if their first reaction was to ignore the coronavirus measures.

Personal notes: My entire system is off right now. My bowels and tummy feel like I’ve got diarrhea going but little to nothing comes out. Loads of gas. That, at least, I can laugh at. No fever. A few sneezes, but not enough to call a pattern or a problem. Not sure what’s up. T thinks something is fucking with me on a body level. Whatever the cause, I’m on top of it. If it continues, I’ll schedule in a covid test, just to be sure.

T still thinks I’ll be able to get a job at some future point. I’m… not really sure how I feel about that. A part of me would like to earn money and feel useful. Another part of me would resent the intrusion on my hermit lifestyle. For the most part, I enjoy not being around people. I’ve never felt a great need to socialise. Most of that drive was in my late teens to early 20s, and it had nothing to do with being social. It had to do with alcohol and drugs. The socialisation was just a by product of that. Hm. Well, maybe when I seek out employment I should state that emphatically. NOT the drugs and alcohol, but the working alone thing. Do you enjoy contact with the public? No. Truly: no. …Here, as everywhere, the job market is shifting. I won’t even bother before a vaccine comes out; my two cents is that the world will do the back and forth with lock down until a vaccine is administered to the majority of people. That will be at least a year’s time, maybe more. I’ll just have to wait and see what’s available then.

Re-reading James and the Giant Peach – in Dutch. Taking my time with the difficult sentences, modifying them from third person into first person or past tense into future and vice versa. Still having trouble with the ‘self’ references in Dutch. In third person, it reads something like James keek zich om heen (James looked around him). And every time I read a question, ie, Keek je je om heen?, I have to flip it around to: Je keek je om heen. The double ‘je je‘ is confusing to me. The story itself is a bit on the easy side for me, but that’s not a bad thing. Continually challenging myself and making Dutch difficult is a bad choice. I need to enjoy reading in Dutch. That means reading easier material at times.

Besides, I enjoy it. But I also enjoy reading The Secret Garden or Anne of Green Gables, too. If it’s a good book, it’s a good book. Suggested age makes no difference to me. And I know I must get to the point where I’ve memorised some of these longer sentences. That’s what I remember doing in English: reading and re-reading until I remembered the sentence exactly. Then I could use the words and idioms properly, even if it was just through mimicking. Fake it ’til you make it, right?

…Speaking of memories… I’ve had some weird flash backs lately. Things just hitting me out of the blue. And the memories come back to me filled with the same emotional charge that they first had. I’ve had to taste the memory of my mother killing my dreams, saying good-bye to my beloved Sable, arguments, bad situations, hateful situations… There are times I sit in my chair at night just sad because I’m hit so hard by it. I…hesitate to call it depression, tho I guess that’s what it is. It feels more like an acceptance. Like I’m at a place where I can revisit those times and deal with the pain. I don’t welcome the disjointed feeling of it. Truth is, I don’t welcome it at all. Even if it’s some sort of healing. When it hits, my heart contracts. I feel it all over again: the sharp pain, the hopelessness, the sorrow. My meds make it possible to compartmentalise all of it. I breathe deeply and tell myself that’s the past, it’s not the present. Then I refocus on tv or my bro or anything else. So… it doesn’t last long. Still. There are memories half hidden that have returned to me full force, and it’s one hell of a punch in the gut when that happens.

Perhaps that has something to do with my physical discomfort. Those huge adrenaline dumps into my system at night while I watch tv. Hm. Better mention it to T.

… … I guess I’m starting to come out of it?? Making jokes, acknowledging all that’s really going on with me, which I have a definite tendency NOT to do…

Can I call this progress?

So I’m told

Why, oh why, do I get hyper and think (around 9 pm every damned night) that tomorrow I’ll get up and do this, this, and that? Because inevitably by noon the next day I’m barely showing signs of life, much less ready to tackle cleaning the WC or hoovering. Maybe I should just say fuck it and get going at 9 pm if that’s what my body/mind thinks it wants to do.

*sigh* I don’t know. Run the risk of creating a real manic episode or just feel disappointed in myself every fucking day because I do nothing of what I planned the night before?

NL news: The West Nile virus popped up in Utrecht. Apparently it’s the first recorded instance of it originating in NL. This is strange. I thought West Nile virus was a still water in warm weather thing. While we may have sitting water, it’s not been warm for at least a week. The timing sounds off. But, one more thing to effing worry about, I guess. NL, like many places around the globe, is noting an increase in extreme right wing groups. Unlike in the US, our groups may be violent but they’re not patrolling our streets with full combat gear and automatic rifles. Coronavirus numbers still are increasing and everyone is talking about hospitals being too full, or caregivers being burnt out. Guess we’re at that wait point; seeing if this partial lock down helps at all. I know the government is praying it will. The last thing they seem to want is total lock down. They keep side stepping it, if you ask me.

Had a couple of blocks fall into place in my brain today. Actually a bit of movement on a story line I’ve been thinking about for 5 or more years. I’m not gonna push it; it would just be nice to get something down in future.

My great Dentist Anxiety Scale has had yet another positive experience. I went in for a check-up with the dentist and it lasted for all of 2 minutes. My mouth looks healthy. Too soon to do x rays on the surgery; that will be in 6 months. Feels good, tho. Much better than before the last surgery. Yea!

I’ve been thorny lately. Just…prone to belligerent statements. Can’t let anything go without comment. T’s been taking it with good enough humour, but I know I need to pull back. That won’t last forever. Plus, I really don’t want to be such a curmudgeonly human. Not easy, tho. Everything just rubs me the wrong way. News, films, most media… I’ve just had it. With everything.

Probably too much sugar. There’s been plenty in the house. Tho I’ve got a real problem with fobbing it off on what I’ve eaten. What, I can’t take any responsibility for what comes out of my mouth? Maybe the sugar is making me cranky, but it’s my choice to bite out comments or not. So… Don’t squelch on it. I been bad lately.

Hats off to Matt and Trey on the new South Park epidemic special. Too, too funny! It’s given me some good belly laughs. And that’s been needed.

In fact, belly laughing is the only exercise my belly has had. It’s just growing larger and larger, a big bulk that’s frankly getting in my bloody way. Guess I’ll have to change things again and take care of that.

Yeah. Like I haven’t had that thought a thousand times already over the last six months!

I know Dr T would say I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I’ve kept up on reading Dutch and done a semi-decent job keeping the flat clean. I’ve worked hard on personal hygiene and daily tasks to combat both my messy look and my depression. I’ve controlled my environment, watching both what I enjoy AND what’s distracting for me while simultaneously keeping informed. Dr T would say I’m doing more than most people in my position. …Why is that always so hollow? I hear it a lot, from teachers to doctors to people on the effing street. It doesn’t help to know I can be superwoman, if I so choose. It’s very draining and would probably kill me, but I am capable of it. Manic work schedule, always on. And people who’ve seen me in that mode think I’m at my best. Happiest, most active. NOT easiest to talk to. I almost wrote that, but that’s a lie. I’m far easier to talk to when I’m calm.

I just have to accept that manic me is unsustainable. And I’m not really there. A part of me still feels another BIG manic episode is possible in my life. Hate to say this, but that part of me also feels it would be my swan song. I’m older and can’t take the kind of push I go thru to make that happen. But that’s also the part of me that feels burning out is better than fading away. And at least I’d leave something behind. Some new piece of work.

… I guess that’s my suicide ideation coming into play. My I don’t give a fuck what happens to me as long as I get this out feeling. Not very sustainable. Or healthy. Or normal.

So I’m told.

Honing the true Zen of Distractions

New restrictions from NL’s new ‘lock down’ measures, complete with a hundred or more exceptions. Face masks are ‘strongly recommended’ when in public, whether indoors or outdoors, but it doesn’t seem like that will be enforced, so as the Americans say, it’s par for the course. Biggest hit is to various hospitality venues, which must be closed by 8 pm. That includes bars, cafes, restaurants, and coffeshops. That will be enforced, and retailers that defy it will face stiff fines. Numbers are highest ever. That’s true just about every day. First we topped 6000 infections a day, now 7000 and still climbing.

My plans remain the same: hermit this whole thing out as much as possible. Find myself nonplussed over stories about people who experience lock down depression. That’s what I’m calling it, anyway. These poor saps who go on camera (dressed well, no bags under their eyes, and with make-up on) who ‘bravely’ confront the ‘depression and isolation’ they feel during their country’s lock down. Can you hear the world’s smallest violin? It’s playing for you. Why not speak to someone who really struggles with depression?

The answer, naturally, is misdirection. It’s purposeful right now. Here’s this emergency, let’s worry about that for today. Yesterday it was that emergency, but we don’t need to talk about that anymore. And tomorrow, it’ll be something else. If the media focused on any one thing for more than 10 minutes at a time, it wouldn’t work. But by continually feeding serious faced experts speaking about the fires or the virus or democracy or climate change and then quickly moving on, people’s anxiety remains high yet mostly unfocused. Oh, they can list a whole bunch of things that worry them, and I’ve named just a few. But the truth is these people are being indoctrinated into fear, an American standby. I grew up during the Cold War era, and let me tell you, fear mongering was THE soup de jour, every day and in every way.

Seeing more and more disaster and horror films shown on tv. That’s another clue of misdirection. Think about having to face this fear or that disaster. Don’t think about our current disasters. TV shows no epidemic films (of which there are many), nor films about fires or hurricanes. I’m seeing earthquake films and undersea stuff (sharks and creepy crawlies from the deep ocean). Big monsters and spine chilling ghosts. Misdirection.

I mean… I can’t be the only person to have noticed the slew of dancing/singing films, reminiscent of the glut of 30s big productions done – purposefully – to distract the public from the economic depression. Right? You noticed that, correct? Please tell me I’m not the only person on this planet who’s truly awake.

Must admit, I get panicky on that point. Sometimes the only person I can talk to about it is T, but that isn’t always a good thing. His view is often worse than mine, and it only makes me feel even more depressed. But if I talk with Dt T about it, he dismisses much of what I say and that’s just as bad in a different way. I often wonder if I suffer from a Cassandra complex. That disjointed future view that sadly comes into being far too often to ignore.

In acknowledgment of it being a psycho-active reality, I’m doing what I can to combat those negative thoughts. Keeping entertainment light – and yes, I view disaster and horror as light entertainment, mostly because I riff it in my head at the very least. Limiting news input. Controlling light elements in the house. Controlling what I can, which I guess is key to a good hermit experience. This is my domain; I eat well, I laugh every day, I enjoy my games.

And I do it all; honing the true Zen of Distractions.

The lie goes on, and on, and on

The world these days is a dick lit fantasy. Made by men, for men. In particular, white men. Aged 25-45. Or older. Men are allowed to be older and still are considered sexy and powerful. At the worst, they’re called ‘rugged’.

Now, I totally contest the various definitions of dick lit out on the internet. Dick lit isn’t about transgenderism and it isn’t about pornography in its written form. Dick lit is about men. ALL about men. Women are confined to the following roles: hookers, strippers, maidens in distress, unmarried love interests, daughters, and wives – probably in that order. Wives are by far the least interesting female stereotype in dick lit; after all, you’ve got her and you’ve had her. Far more interesting is the unmarried love interest, usually combined with the maiden in distress issue. Save the girl (it’s always a girl, never a woman, by the way) and for the final scene, kiss her. Main roles are held by men. ALL men. Women will be seen in the background getting coffee or inputting data on a computer screen. A few cuts on women will be included in the dialogue, something along the line of how women are bad drivers or how women can’t handle a gun properly. At about 3/4 of the way thru the story, the female’s dialogue devolves into a series of ‘Oh!’, ‘Help!’, ‘Erg!’, and most often, the male lead’s name (in other words, the maiden in distress dialogue). Men save the day, one man is the only one who can save the entire world, men run everything. These dick lit themes usually include guns, violence, and very typically, American propaganda. The US is great and right in all it does and it’s up to the hero to save all of America.

Yeah. I was forced to watch Jack Ryan last night. Clancy is definitely a dick lit writer. Gods, it was so effing boring! And I LIKE looking at Chris Pine, too.

NL news: all bad. Numbers continue to climb without pause. Our gov’t is looking at total lock down as a desperate last measure and trying everything else before we go to that. The J&J vaccine problem is right here, in Leiden. The info here is still saying ‘mysterious illness’; I can’t tell you anything more than that. 60,000 have taken that trial vaccine. I’m sure J&J is worried about their exposure on that. The hospitality industry is really crying; hospitality makes up the vast majority of income here in NL. Still running into tourists downtown, so I just don’t get it. Either we stop tourists completely or we let them all in. This current ‘no one gets in except for these three thousand exceptions’ obviously isn’t working. And, I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: The real problem isn’t the Dutch, it’s the immigrants. Now, don’t get your dander up. I’m not anti-immigrant. All I’m saying is that their background and education is completely different than the Dutch, and in this case, it’s to our detriment. They tend to not follow the rules, they don’t wear masks, they don’t social distance. And they are, at least in my first hand experience, becoming more and more belligerent as time goes on. They are the first to say there is no pandemic and they are the first to get into other people’s faces (…okay, MY face) over masks or anything else to do with the current situation.

But, I’ve also long said that immigration is tough. Most of the immigrants NL sees are from war torn areas. The system can’t handle it, but I believe all these people need counselling. Maybe even medication. They all suffer from PTSD in some form or other. And re-educating on cultural issues, like being quiet after 11 pm, takes a lot of time. You can’t just tell them once. You have to hammer it home – sadly, like what I did with 817. They’re finally quiet. Either they put up sound proofing, or they just stopped screaming at each other all night long. But I’ll point out it took multiple visits from the police telling them that it was against the law to cause such noise after 11 pm before they finally got that message.

Obviously, not all immigrants fall into that category. There’s a healthy percentage who readily and happily adopt the culture of their new home. And they integrate well, bringing all that’s good from their experiences and making their new home stronger because of it.

It’s a problem. A serious problem. And living in a neighbourhood with a large percentage of immigrants, I see and hear those problems every day. Many times I’m angry. There is a part of me that grieves over it, and I try to reach for that part rather than my anger. I think some of the problem people could really be helped by counselling or medication. It would take time and effort, tho. And I don’t know that the Dutch system is up to it.

… Truth is, I’d still rather be here than in the US.

It’s taken a long time to learn. Or unlearn, as the case may be. The US is THE source for all dick lit and dick films. Everywhere else is better. Anywhere else is better. All I heard, all I was raised on, was a lie. And I hate so deep and so far into me for all that bullshit that it feels impossible to let it go.

Because the lie goes on, and on, and on.

I’d rather sleep through it

There’s no news like coronavirus news, so right to it. NL has begun shipping excess patients to Germany for care. Numbers continue to skyrocket. An entire surgery team became infected at one hospital. Many hospitals are closing to non-emergency care. Again. The automated message on the metro has changed to say ‘masks are mandatory while on the metro and are urgently advised at the stations’. I had the unpleasant experience of riding said metro yesterday when I ran for smoke. It began raining, and the majority of people popping on the metro due to the rain weren’t wearing masks. Apparently RET is only patrolling the most busy areas; that never includes the sticks were I live. Increased reports of violence, in particular knives carried on public transport. And there was an anti-mask demonstration in Den Haag that resulted in 80 arrests.

Another testament to how much things have changed: I received a notice that I needed to schedule in a 6 month check up with my dentist. A year ago, I could have counted on a 4-6 week delay. Now? I’m scheduled in for next week.

Uncle D sent me a message regarding 45’s Supreme Court nominee that included a link to an article saying she was a member of a Catholic sect that wanted to subjugate women. I replied with a reference to Gilead. D actually asked for clarification; sadly, he was unaware of The Handmaid’s Tale. So I clued him in on it with a warning that it’s extremely difficult to either read or watch. I hope he follows up on it. Too often something like Atwood’s work is written off these days as ‘chick lit’. I hate that term. It just continues to emphasize how little men even try to understand women. I’ve said it before: as a woman, I’ve had to read male characters and see male dominated films and shows all my effing life. If you can’t watch a tiny bit of reversal roles, you’re nothing but a limp ball sack.

Finally, a break in the rain. It won’t last long, and it’s not much of a break. More wind and rain forecast all weekend. Considering the alternatives around the planet, I’m happy enough to see earnest rain on my window most days. We need it.

…Been trying to be better on taking care of myself. Brush my teeth more often, make my bed, change my underwear regularly. Doing okay, I guess. It doesn’t help me feel any better. I just resent all the effing time I spend on maintenance. I’d rather be doing just about anything.

Almost done reading Eon. That means I have to go back to Dutch. That’s my agreement with myself: read one book in Dutch, then a favorite in English. Back and forth. *sigh* I just read the English books so quickly in comparison with the Dutch!

Speaking of books, I’ve decided what I really, really want for my birthday this year. Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky (however you want to spell it). If I can get it cheap – and it’s gotta be in English ’cause my Dutch isn’t THAT good – I may also pick up some Nietzsche, because that’s another author that’s been on my read list for forever.

Other distractions, like good entertainment, have become more important than ever. I can’t take more than 20 minutes of news. It’s too unbelievable. Was it this unreal just before WWII? I wonder. Has it ever been this unbelievable?

You know, if the world is gonna implode, I’d rather sleep through it.

Ha! That’s true for so much these days.

Hanging on the wall

What day is it today? It’s dull, windy and wet grey outside, the same as it has been for days or weeks on end. Been lost in my games; yesterday, I won over 24 hours of free life. Woke up this morning with 5 hours still left; had to play, naturally.

Right. So.

NL news: Plug in ‘the highest rate of infection since…’ and you’ve got it. Numbers are shooting up thru the roof. Hospitals report shortages of remdesivir and have to share what they have. Some hospitals are already closing down except for emergency care. No more room. And people are pissed off because some patients have been moved to other hospitals to try to ease the load. Headed down to the supermarket yesterday. Probably 80-90% of the people were wearing masks. About time. Only took our numbers soaring above all other records to get them to do it. But at least we’re doing better than the US.

…Nope. It’s right there, and I’m still not gonna touch it.

Checked all my November appointments. Naturally, Dr T picked the same day as my RA appointment. I’ve a four hour difference, tho, so that’s okay. Plus, I figure both appointments will end up being over the phone. Was a bit perturbed to find I had to set a reminder to set an online appointment. They’ll only take online appointments 2 weeks in advance. I want to limit my exposure to 1 day at the hospital, and I already have an appointment for an osteoporosis test. So I gotta wait. Yeesh.

Do not understand the hypocrisy of the US. You make America’s Funniest Home Videos, which gets repackaged as Laughing at Home Videos here in NL. So…most of you seem to be okay filming some idiot doing something obviously incorrectly and then laughing when it all falls apart. But… It’s NOT okay to laugh at 45 for getting coronavirus? That’s fucked up. Same bloody thing: We all saw it. He was an idiot, doing idiot things. And now it’s time to laugh at him.

Shit. I said I wasn’t gonna touch that, and I went and put my foot right in it.

Our building has a new ventilation system. Had to send an email to the landlord; our kitchen vent has a continuous, high pitched whistle coming from it. Loud, too. Ugh. Just what I want: an annoying noise all day long.

Re-reading Eon by Greg Bear. I always get more from that book, each time I read it. But this time, his portrayal of the Russians really stands out like a sore thumb. He’s no Tolstoy, that’s for sure. His American bred prejudice is blatant. It’s so…wrong. I’m having difficulty getting over it.

But then, I seem to be hyper sensitive to too many things these days. It’s like I’ve had so much shit shoved in my face for so long I just can’t take it anymore. None of it. Every sexual bias, bullshit racist side comment drives me up the wall.

And I really don’t like hanging on the wall.