Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Get to know me questions

I'm bored and found this on tumblr so thought I'd do it here.  Cross channel memes, yeah.

1. If someone wanted to really understand you, what would they read, watch, and listen to?
Read - the Discworld books, particularly the witch and watch ones.  Supergirl: Many Happy Returns.  Elizabeth McCracken's An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination.  Alternatively, they could read this blog and New readers...start here!.
Watch - the Buffy telly show.  Listen to - 90s britpop, metal and punk albums, with a dash of Shampoo, 5ive and Steps.

2. Have you ever found a writer who thinks just like you?  if so, who?
No, but some of Terry Pratchett's creations make total utter sense to me - Granny Weatherwax and Vimes in particular.

3. List your fandoms and one character from each that you identify with.
Discworld - Granny Weatherwax
DC comics - Linda Danvers Supergirl
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Tara

4. Do you like your name?  is there another name you think would fit you better?
I like my online name, I think it suits me just right.

5. Do you think of yourself as a human being or a human doing? do you identify yourself by the things you do?
Wanky question.  Human being.  I identify myself by the things I am.

6. Are you religious/spiritual?
Not any more.

7. Do you care about your ethnicity?
I'm white.  No I don't care about it, I don;t need to care about it, I live in the UK and being white affords me the privilege to not have to care about it.

8.   What musical artists have you felt most connected to over your lifetime? 
Manic Street Preachers and the Wildhearts.

9. Are you artist?
I can do some origami and some crafty stuff.  I can put together costumes, following tutorials, but I don't think that makes me an artist.

10. Do you have a creed?
No

11. Describe your ideal day.

12. Dog person or cat person?
Kitties all the way.

13. inside or outdoors?
Both.  The home comforts of indoors with the freedom to go outdoors whenever I like.

14. Are you a musician?
Hell no.

15.  Five most influential books over your lifetime.
The Discworld series.  All 30 plus of them.

16. If  you’d grown up in a different environment, do you think you’d have turned out the same?
Nope.

17. Would you say your tumblr is a fair representation of the “real you”?
Nope, my tumblr is just comic stuff that makes me happy.  My blog isn't all me either, it's what I choose to write about and put on here, but that's not all I am.

18. What's your patronus?
I found this definition of a patronus: The Patronus Charm is difficult, and many witches and wizards are unable to produce a full, corporeal Patronus, a guardian which generally takes the shape of the animal with whom they share the deepest affinity.
I have no idea what my patronus would be.  Something that likes pretty things but doesn't really exist, I guess.

19. Which Harry Potter house would you be in? or are you a muggle?
Hufflepuff - values hard work, patience, loyalty and fair play.

20. Would you rather be in Middle Earth, Narnia, Hogwarts, or somewhere else?
Of the list, Narnia.  Elsewhere, the Discworld.  I would like a world with narrativium.

21. Do you love easily?
No.

22. List the top five things you spend the most time doing, in order.
Checking for movements.
Thinking about my babies.
Thinking about my partner.
Thinking about my next set of appointments.
Thinking about my physical state.

23. How often would you want to see your family every year?
Discounting my partner and kids, I can happily see family just every few months, with a bit of contact over phone, email or skype between that.

24.  Have you ever felt like you had a “mind-meld” with someone?
Don't be ridiculous.

25. Could you live as a hermit?
With adequate maternity care, yes.  So perhaps I mean no.

26.  How would you describe your gender/sexuality?
Gender - female, but had my life gone a different way I can see how I would have become more masculine identified, but never male identified.
Sexuality - bisexual.

27. Do you feel like your outside appearance is a fair representation of the “real you”?
Well, I'm very visibly pregnant now so I look like a mother, so yeah, I guess?

28. On a scale from 1 to 10, how hard is it for someone to get under your skin?
Very, very easily.  I'm a moody bastard.

29. Three songs that you connect with right now.
I am not connecting with any songs right now.

30. Pick one of your favourite quotes.
"...And that's what your holy men discuss, is it?" [asked Granny Weatherwax.]"Not usually. There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment on the nature of sin. for example." [answered Mightily Oats.]"And what do they think? Against it, are they?""It's not as simple as that. It's not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray.""Nope.""Pardon?""There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people like things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.""It's a lot more complicated than that--""No. It ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts.""Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes--""But they starts with thinking about people as things..."--from Carpe Jugulum, by Terry Pratchett.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pregnancy after stillbirth: 33 week scan and a bit after

My 33 week scan went OK.  The baby is growing and blood flow etc is fine.  I agreed to being prescribed antidepressants after the birth as I think it's a good precaution.  They'll take a couple of weeks to kick in, so won't save me from the baby blues that I have been told kick in 3 or 4 days after birth, but they should stop me from giving up after that.  I have requested paroxetine as that seems safest for the baby, if I can breastfeed.  I'm planning to try to breastfeed, but if I can't I won't beat myself up about it (hopefully).  I'll get a carton of formula in just in case.  At least I know I can express colustrum so the baby will be alright for the first few days.

The day after the scan (at 34 weeks exactly) I decided I needed more checks, to keep my anxiety down.  So I booked CTG traces for that day, and more for the following week, with the end result that I have medical appointments (community midwife, growth scan, CTGs) booked for pretty much every day between that 34 week point and when I'm booked in for induction.

My mistake was in not making appointments for the weekend directly after the 34+0 point, because I spent that weekend super anxious.  Saturdays and Sundays have bad associations for me.  So now I'm going in on the remaining two weekend between now and induction, and conveniently enough CTGs on the weekend are done on the ward where I'll be induced.

I ended up having an emergency check at Delivery Suite (it's still vile visiting there) because the baby was moving far too much - increased movements are as concerning as decreased movements.  But at least when they are moving you know they are still alive.  Anyway, the check was a ctg trace and in total I was in there for 2.5 hours, which is pretty quick.

I'm now 35 + 1 and I went to the hospital today and it was pretty horrible walking into a new hospital setting, to a bay to be checked over.  I've never stayed in a hospital bay, but my partner did have a couple week stay a few years ago as he was hit by a car, and it wasn't a pleasant time.   The midwife who did the trace did tell me that for people in our situation they try to put us in a private room, which would be preferable.  However the private rooms may be being used by families in more dire need than us.  We'll see.

Physically, the baby is dropping and jeez I can feel it.  Actually I think the drop started a few weeks ago, I remember a day when I felt really heavy,  Since then I've been getting more groin pain, lower back aches and shoulder blade aches, and it's more difficult to get my legs and hips comfortable at night.  I have woken up with pins and needles in the arm I've been lying on, and it can take a couple of hours for them to stop.  My knee is playing up again.  There's a muscle on the side where it gets swollen and is painful to bend.  I think my foot arches have fallen even more as my feet ache in a new way when I walk.  When I leave the house in the morning, to go 10 minutes to the bus stop, my calves are awfully tight and I can't walk at any speed, it's pathetic.  However I'm not getting cramps at night, thankfully.  This hot weather is a shit because my feet heat up ridiculously, but at least they aren't that swollen. I guess that's all the water I drink and the sandals I'm wearing.

I've finished work now, and that's really helped with the physical stuff and my anxiety.

I can see the baby wriggling away under my belly, it's reassuring.  Even the thumps in the groin and the shifts onto my bladder are reassuring.  I got to show a friend the movements in my belly the other day, and she got to feel the baby too.  I'm glad I could show her.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Let's write up some comics

This week I bought and read this lot:


Black Canary 1
Much more interesting than I thought it would be from the preview.  It doesn't really feel like my Dinah though, but I guess I'm looking for a Dinah in her 30s ready to settle down with Ollie (who to be fair would never be a rock star).  So this version not feeling like her isn't a criticism.  It is a good comic.  The only thing that pulled me out of it was that I don't buy her wearing her Canary outfit  on stage.  If they'd given her shorts or a skirt it would work much better.

Harley/Peej 1
This was a lot more fun than I expected.  I've been underwhelmed by Harley's main series but this was far better.  The two of them work well together. Unfortunately the cover is not Amanda Conner's finest hour.  The inks are rather heavy and it just doesn't flow very well.

Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman 11
Another bad cover,  Yeeuch.  Badly composed, badly pencilled, badly inked and badly coloured.  Inside is Jamal Igle's pencils which are much better but the inks are a bit too heavy handed.  The colours are OK.  Overall, this lacks the finesse of the Gates/Igle Supergirl work, but that's not Igle's fault.  In the issue Di goes to Africa to try to get two sides of a warring nation to reconcile.  It sounds a bit white saviour-ish doesn't it.  I don't think it comes across that way but I'm willing to listen to other opinions.

Princeless book 4 issue 1
The story is good but I hate the art.  The composition of the panels is good, the actions (and interaction) of the characters are good, but the style of faces, the inks and the colours are horrible.  It won't stop me buying this series, but if you do pick it up please be aware that this art is not indicative of the rest of the series' art!  And on the plus side, we do have killer squirrels:

Battleworld: Thors 1
I think I bought this for horse Thor.  It's OK.  I suspect it's more for Marvel aficionados than me.  It seems like a bit of an industry vanity project, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Battleworld: Runaways 1
The only actual Runaway in this is Molly Hayes.  The rest are mutants, Cloak and Dagger and some other randoms who I expect regular Marvel readers will know.  They are all attending a school to train them as Doom lackeys, or some such.  I tell you what, I do like the premise for Battleworld.  It works far better than Convergence, at least for these two titles.  This was a fun enough comic.  It also queered up Jubilee and Pixie, which was good to see:
Are they gay in the regular 616 universe?

Ms Marvel: Crushed (trade)
This is volume 3 of the current Ms Marvel run.  I really liked it, it's a good young adult comic about teenage crushes and the pitfalls that come with it, with added superpowers.  The only thing I didn't like was the thinly veiled lesson about consent.  It just seemed a bit too obvious to me, but maybe that's because I've been seeing this sort of stuff discussed for years and given where I am at the moment, I really could do with not having these conversations.  Quite frankly, I don't care.  That sounds awful doesn't it.  But I don't.  I'm concentrating on my pregnancy and everything else that requires energy, or passion can piss off.  So, I'm wondering who the teenage audience this is aimed at would take this lesson. If they don't find it too much, then I guess it's a good thing.

Batman: The Ring, The Arrow and The Bat
I've been meaning to get this for about 2 years.  Despite the name, it's a Green Arrow trade, not a Batman book.  The first story is Hal and Ollie meeting for the first time.  Hal is working for the government and doesn't realise he's being used, and Ollie is out for a good vigilante time, until he realises the wrongs being done, and then he gets all angry about it.  It's quite a quick change.  Hal and Ollie argue but end up friends.  Art is by Greg Land, before his porn tracing days.  If you like these two, and you like these trades, then you'll like this story.

The second story is Green Arrow and Batman meeting and working together for the first time.  There is lots of snark and one liners.  The villains in the story are stereotypical/generic Asian bad guys, which makes me wince, and plot development is a bit obvious, but apart from that, it's good fun.

I've also been watching Arrow season 1, and while I'm kinda enjoying it, it's a bit bloody miserable isn't it?  Oliver Queen enjoys life, but Ollie in Arrow doesn't.  Granted, he has just come back from the island and is traumatised, but by all accounts he doesn't get any happier over the seasons.  Le sigh.  I like the flashbacks to the island the best.  He looks and acts more like 'my' Ollie there.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Commissions by Princeless artists

I promised I'd put something up about this weeks ago, so here goes:

Ted Brandt and Rosy Higgins, the artists of the most recent Princeless volume, The Pirate Princess, (and who I interviewed here), are doing commissions.

They came up with this rather excellent way of showing their rates:

I've not seen a graphic quite like that before, and I think it's ace.  Consider asking them for a commission why don't you?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

An alphabet of favourite words

I've been thinking about my favourite words and decided to come up with an alphabet of them.  These are words that I enjoy the sound of and enjoy forming with my mouth, not words that mean something.  My list will probably change from week to week so this is today's ideas.  Here we go:

Ambulatory
Bees
Clunge
Debris
Effie, Emberella
Feegle
Gezellig
Horatio
Imbibe, Intrepid
Jovial
Keel
Lung
Maelstrom
Nebulous
Oratory
Pickle
Quiver
Replete
Sunflower, Susurration
Trousers
Umberella
Vichyssoise
Waggle
Xenon
Yucca
Zlotys

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ten characters from literature

My old podcast mate, @feemcbee for you twitterers, put up a tumblr post listing ten characters from literature she's in love with.  So I decided to do the same.  I came up with six and then got stumped:

Superman
Black Canary
Green Arrow
Susan Sto Helit
Young Granny Weatherwax
Wonder Woman

I don't know who else I'd put on there.  Granny and Green Arrow are there because I like cocky bastards. Canary, Susan and Wondy I'm in awe of.  And Supes is, well he's Supes.  Who isn't a little in love in with him?  My first thought on seeing this list, was yeesh, I'm so gay.  Except I'm obviously not and then a little while later I thought ooh this could be seen as bi erasure by the self and then I started snoring because conversations like that bore me senseless nowadays.

Fee and I decided that comics totally count as literature.

Who would be on your list?