webcowgirl: (reading is fun-damental)
Favorite book aged 13 3/4 ... I think it was probably either "Wizard of Earthsea" or "5he Girl Who Owned a City," a sort of post_plague "Lord of the Flies" but with a positive outcome. I must have read it every month for a while.
webcowgirl: (Theater)
I know I am just a very sad sack but I'm excited that my review of the ballet The Blue God caused my site to experience the second highest number of hits ever: 511 yesterday! I completely savaged it as, well, it was bad, and in a sloppy rather than a camp way. It was also a letdown as it was supposed to be a recreation of the Ballets Russes performance but the only thing it really had was the set and costume - not even the music. Bah. It was a raging let down. On a positive note, this makes yesterday's blog hits second only to the day I gave Carlos Acosta a dressing down (811) that beat all the majors to the press; the third day is still Tuesday, May 25, 2010, when I had 493 hits.

I also had a very enthused review of the Little Angel Theater's The Tempest, which wasn't so much "The Tempest as performed by puppets" but "The Tempest with the two magical creatures performed as puppets and the rest done by top-class Royal Shakespeare Company actors." It was just fantastic. But no one is really reading that one, so I'm telling you again here, it's great and at only £12 a real steal.

Yesterday after work (already forgotten) I went to Pilates with Alison up north, which was great fun, then headed down south the Vauxhall tavern to meet J and [livejournal.com profile] lovelybug for some drawing at the Dr Sketchy event. Our models were both stunningly gorgeous; one looked like Anna Mae Wong, the other like she'd stepped out of a Paul Gaugin painting. It was a really good evening and hard to believe it constituted "hump day" since it all seemed to be going up."
webcowgirl: (reading is fun-damental)
2. Your earliest memory of reading or being read to

I don't have any memories of being read to. I mean, J read Half Magic to me, but that was as an adult and I don't think it counts.

But, I guess ... it does! There. My only memory of being read to. Well, actually, when I was really sick W read a very silly history book of England to me (1066 and All That) so it's not my only memory, but those two are all I have. To be honest, I can't remember not being able to read, but since the question didn't say "as a child" (though I think it was implied), this is what you get.

I mean, I guess I can say I remember my teacher reading Where the Red Fern Grows</>I> to my class when I was in 4th grade but I don't think that counts either because it was a group and not a private reading.
webcowgirl: (Twit/ter)
Waking up. Supposedly. Left my list. Have released minions early from Vauxhall took it all too seriously

This weekend it :- Oops, ! Words learned at the evening: fermata martedi.

Heh, I'll start my drinking buddy? Just wrong. Why'm I want to mention: we get my budget.

ESTEE LAUDER BEJEWELLED CHIPMUNK POWDER COMPACT. Just told a refund of packing a picnic right now.

YAY my list. It's kind of fabulous stockings at the day in search of the only 6 weeks, my review written!

Boat on my budget. Chef at work but I'd be mine. Have rewarded myself to see friends!

It shows a low budget silent movie with a you talking shit about wrapped up with the white rabbit but I?


Or not.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Odd that I spent hours yesterday reading through my posts circa 2003 and suddenly realized that getting that period of my life documented in a way I trusted was actually really important to me. Sometimes, though, I think what I ought to do is turn it all into a graphic novel.
webcowgirl: (Reading)
Right. The first question is hard:

1. A fictional character you identify with and why.

Um. I keep thinking it's going to be Madame Bovary or the lead character of the Awakening, but I just don't really feel like I'm the kind of person to passively sleepwalk through a tragic life that I've never tried to change. The problem with trying to choose a character from a book that I relate to is I don't know how my story ends. Am I a comic heroine, a tragic heroine, or a side character in some other story? I'm not sassy enough to be Becky Sharp and not ... Jane Eyre.

Wait. I remember. I identify with Janie from Their Eyes Were Watching God. She felt like there was more to life than what she had, and she stuck her neck out to try to make a life that meant something to her, that felt real. She was passionate and impulsive but also suffered and struggled - but despite all this, she could still see how life could be amazing. And at the end, when she was broke and broken, she didn't regret a thing.

The rest of the questions. )
webcowgirl: (Barbaro)
Wow. I've spent rather a lot of today going through my entries from 2003. I started because I was trying to figure out how I dealt with my last lay off (back in May 2003), but I've been reading through the whole series of entries with horrified fascination realizing that not only is this all going to end with me getting a job that I really loved, but that all of the support I'm getting during this period of time from my four girlfriends (C, R, M, and I) is about to evaporate at the end of the summer, leading to the state of extreme distress that plunged me so deep into depression that only the magic wonder of J, P, L & L here in the UK was able to pull me back out. And I'm still damaged from those girls turning their backs on me. And it's 2011. Wow.

I've been in a pretty good mood still from this last weekend but somehow I'm thinking I'd better stop reading this stuff so I can stay in a good state. But really, these postcards from another life are amazing for me to read now. Wish I'd known [livejournal.com profile] varina8 and [livejournal.com profile] ms_vermilion back then, things could have gone a lot differently. Not a one of the people I wrote about over the three months of reading I did is talking to me now.
webcowgirl: (reading is fun-damental)
I have been somewhat discouraged by the latest meme people have been doing, which I feel has questions that encourage gossip and stirring drama. This is of course not what we want to do online - we want to share information about ourselves. At least, that's what I'd like: and opportunity to learn about my friends and have them expand the horizons of my life. I'd like to encourage people to join in this book meme that [livejournal.com profile] robot_mel is doing. I am not going to be able to answer the questions due to brain fail for some things, but I'll do my best. Here's the meme so you can steal it. I will try to answer the questions myself starting this afternoon.

1. A fictional character you identify with and why The rest of the questions. )
webcowgirl: (Theater)
The recording of the "As Yet Unnamed London Theater Podcast" made Sunday is available for your listening pleasure. If you don't care for theater, this will probably be deadly dull. On the other hand, Phil from the West End Whingers and Ian of Oughttobeclowns are actually my friends so for me it's just like sitting in a pub talking shit only trying to be better about taking turns.
webcowgirl: (Tiger monkey)
So I asked my therapist where we were going today. I said I'd told him everything I really thought there was to say about me, about what made me me, and that I was trying to figure out what maladaptive behaviors I might have, but looking at the book I couldn't find any. I certainly didn't find myself attracted to abusive partners or trying to make my partners abusive so I could "recatch those childhood highs;" similarly I didn't think I sought out partners who were cold so I could relive my childhood rejection from my parents.

He said he thought I might have a bit of a problem with the abandonment thing, but I went over my situation as it stands, and it's not some kind of "oh this really stable relationship here, I just keep fantasizing it's on the verge of collapse" kind of thing, and he seemed to agree that, while I certainly feared and greatly wished to avoid abandonment, it wasn't really something where we were looking at maladaptive behaviors.

He said I also seemed to show a certain amount of emotional flatness, which I find funny in a way - I think I really enjoy my ups and don't surpress my emotions at all.

He then said that, as near as he could tell, I didn't seem to be doing things that would drive people away. I said I thought being depressed drove people away, because they just doing like to deal with it or hear about it. He agreed, then said, "Are you depressed? Because if you are you've been hiding it really well." And I said, "Well, you know, I always come here after Pilates, and I'm always in a good mood afterwards!" But I added that I feel like I've been feeling better and more stable the last four months, no due in part to more stability externally/emotionally (J not being mad at me anymore, mostly, and, you know, things being more settled with my best friend). I'd been having a hard time getting out of bed to go to work in the morning, but that seems to be as much about there being nothing to do at work as anything else.

He then said he felt like I mostly dealt with him as a rational adult who is working on adaptive coping strategies and trying to work to make a better life and self, but that he doesn't see much of the "child" me. And I said, well, it's there, but I am not usually in that headspace between 9 and 10 PM on Mondays; I'm in a "let's look at this and see what we can do to make it better" mode. I partially came here because I wanted friends I could be real with; and I have them; and I can be myself, in all of the highs and lows and ups and downs and rational and "Oooh, look, a giant chocolate bunny!" as the mood takes me, and they're okay with it. Well, some of them are, and the ones that aren't have slowly been dropping away.

And, well, I'm going back next week, and I suspect I'll go a few times in May, but mostly it feels like after tonight there's not much more for schema therapy to do for me. And the happiness program has been fairly well successful and I'm looking forward to going back to having a few more nights for Pilates and a little more cash in pocket.
webcowgirl: (flower)
This was such a great weekend that I'm hoping I can make it my "Groundhog day" and just do it over and over, or preserve it in amber so I can enjoy it at my leisure.

Friday was Pinter's Moonlight at the Donmar Warehouse with [livejournal.com profile] dreamsewingmiko. Not only did I get a really engaging, intelligent play, but I got four hours with someone who's company I really enjoy. Lots of girlie bonding time and catching up and discussing plans for the future, like the Jerez flamenco festival and that trip to Patagonia I'm dreaming of (after seeing the article in the New York Times). On top of it we had Mexican food at Lupita and then gelato at Scoop, and the weather was amazing.

Boat on banks of River Stour, Fen Bridge in the background (n... on TwitpicAmazing weather was the theme for the weekend as [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy and [livejournal.com profile] wechsler and I went to Colchester (awesome ruined monastery!) to canoe on the River Stour with Nomad Sea Kayaking. Not only did we get a lovely paddle on the river (with flowers blooming everywhere!), we saw some gorgeous country, literally right out of (or in) Constable paintings, and we had so much fun afterwards we went and took a walk down the banks of the same river, from the Dedham boat house to the Fen Bridge to the town of Dedham. It was a gorgeous little wool town that looked like a movie set. Then it was taxi to Colchester, nap to London, taco making and Alhambra. Really, it was such a nice, nice day and evening.

Sunday was London time, starting with the recording of the "As Yet Unnamed London Theater Podcast" that I'm getting involved in. It was nice talking shop about shows with people that I mostly know, and much easier (if less social) than meeting up in a pub. Then it was off to the Southbank for the London Chocolate Festival with [livejournal.com profile] exedore. We had a nice visit with each other and wound up sitting around in the sun doing nothing at the Victoria Embankment besides admiring the tulips and talking BS - we both had time to kill before seeing our next people of the day. I tried (once he left) to squeeze in the "British Art in the Age of the Comet" at the Hayward, but either it wasn't very exciting or the sun was just too awesome for the gallery to compete.

Beautiful wisteria covered house in Dedham #fb on TwitpicAt any rate, next stop was Euston to pick up Lisa Crispin, a very nice lady I met at a testing conference last year. I took her and her husband to the Wellcome Collection to see the Dirt exhibit, which was a nice collection of narrative, medical specimens, literature, and some nice fresh art (includingn a piece by Bruce Nauman). I thought it was fairly thought provoking but am afraid I had to rush through the last room due to running out of time! Then we headed over to Angel to see the puppet theater version of the Tempest they're doing in conjuntion with the Royal Shakespeare Company. People, do not be mistaken: this is not a puppet show, it's a cut down version of the Tempest with world class actors that just happens to have puppet versions of Ariel and Caliban (most appropriate ways of depicting them, I think). Tickets are only £12 and it's a STEAL at the price, I tell you, a STEAL. Buy yourself some tickets while they're still available and go go go. I think it's probably suitable for 8 and above (it's about 90 minutes long, no interval) - I haven't had time to write my review up yet but I was embarassed by how little I paid.

I forgot to mention: we ran into a pirate while we were canoe... on TwitpicAnd then it was home and a nice long chat with my new roomie and dishes and laundry and MAN I was tired. What a great weekend it was though! I had fun, I was happy, all my self doubt and self loathing were nowhere to be seen ... Where is the amber that it's hidden in? All I have is a few photographs ... but at least I can share them with you. Just imagine our terror as this pirate-captained boat bore down on us as we headed upstream ... yes, the weekend was just that fun.
webcowgirl: (Tiger monkey)
I am writing this for the benefit of other people who are considering schema therapy, for those who are curious about schema therapy, or for anyone who's been abused as a child and wants to know that they are not alone and also not to blame. It's hard stuff. You're warned.

We started this week by reviewing a questionnaire I'd filled out (and having a brief recap of my week, which I think went well - I said though that I wanted counseling to focus on fixing the foundation and not patching holes and didn't want to talk about the week much). The section we looked at asked a bunch of questions about how you deal with your emotions, say "I feel numb," "I feel like I don't know where my life is going," "I hide from my feelings by drinking/taking drugs/watching TV." I said I had had some dissociative episodes in the last 6 years (starting on my first trip to Lyme Regis), but 1) mostly I didn't feel like I hid from my feelings, I did things to make myself happy that I considered adaptive, not maladaptive 2) when I did things (i.e. November and December) to stop thinking about my feelings, it was because there simply wasn't anything I could do about what was upsetting me and I thought it would be better to try to focus on some happy-making things and give myself a break from the brooding 3) I exercised to try to make myself feel better but I didn't think it was hiding. So ... I'm not sure where we got with this.

This got him to wondering if I'd had dissociative episodes when I was growing up. He asked how I'd dealt with negative emotions growing up and I said ... I really just couldn't remember any more. I knew I was sad and lonely a lot of the time but I don't remember trying to "deal" with it. I remembered I liked to read a lot, as I do now, but I didn't feel like that was really escaping, it was just what I did all the time. I also watched TV with my family. I just couldn't remember very much any more. This led to The bad stuff. I have been abused in the past. Don't read this if you don't want to hear about it. I've avoided the goriest details. )

I told him what made me sad is that after this I seemed to be contaminated. No one, my real dad, my mom, anyone in my family, would try to touch or hold or hug me anymore. So I was starved for physical affection. Read more... )

Anyway, so when it comes to "have I picked up some maladaptive behaviors along the way," well, yeah, I'm willing to cop to maybe having picked some up (though I still don't know what they are), but you know what, I've tried really hard to deal with what life has dealt me and still be a person I can be proud of. And I told him at the beginning of the session I didn't want to talk about how my "anger" drove away people, because I feel like I've only really lost my temper maybe three times in the last ten years, so it's a bit of a non-starter. There are other issues for me to look at more urgently.

Then I walked home along Tooting Common and thought WOO is it cold and thought about the gorgeous Chinese food dinner [livejournal.com profile] wechsler and I had at San Xia Ren Jia on Goodge Street tonight and how deliciously sore I felt from Pilates and that, people, was my Monday.
webcowgirl: (Teabag)
Last week I really loaded up for shows, in part, I guess, because I'd been out of town for several weekends in March. I thought I'd get all the reviews done this weekend, but it didn't happen; I stayed up late last night and just got to Wednesday (Umbrellas of Cherbourg, very good but sadly closing in May). The most exciting evening was probably the One to One Festival at the Battersea Arts Center, which once again featured nudity in close quarter, head fuckery, and bonus phobia triggering. Kinda like some parties I've been to.

Anyway, after all that business and not enough sleep, I had a tea party to hostess on Saturday, which I think was a raging success; saw [livejournal.com profile] elbie and bonus new child Z; had probably 15 people here in total and yet we did not run out of cake. In fact, I still have some cake sitting around and I may still be feeling a bit like I had too much to eat on Saturday. I am guessing various body parts are being replaced with butter, like fossilization but on a quicker time scale. I ended the evening playing cards with [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy, [livejournal.com profile] solacey_aderyn, A, and [livejournal.com profile] laurenclose. Great Dalmuti, Zombie Fluxx, and Chrononauts - a pretty good evening, really, with bonus late night drinking with L and then with my new roommate.

Sunday I went to Lewes with [livejournal.com profile] wildbadger. It's a cool town, with a castle and a torn down priory, but it also has the most amazing garden at Southover Grange which was completely full of tulips and decorated with bits of architectural salvage from the priory, totally where I would want to get married if, you know, I was doing that kind of thing these days. It was a cool day trip despite the replacement rail service (boo), which I managed to get naps on both ways (yay) but was then aggravating on the return because it missed the train I was hoping to catch by 5 minutes. Still, I got home in time to do a (gasp!) podcast - the As Yet Unnamed London Theater Podcast (it'll be up here in a day or two). I felt so 21st century, like Judy Jetson, kind of an interesting transition after spending my day in the leftovers of the 11th and 15th.Me and tulips, Southover Grange, Lewes. Really a lovely day w... on Twitpic

By the way, in addition to being temporary home to Thomas Paine, the retirement place of Anne of Cleves, and having a 15th Century bookshop, Lewes is also where a battle took place that basically gave England the right to have a house of commons in addition to a king. That, I think, is an awesome bit of history, and the guy who fought for that is right up there with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington in my book. And, you know, Thomas Paine.

Still here

Apr. 1st, 2011 11:13 pm
webcowgirl: (Default)
I have had little luck in getting anyone I know to add my account and there doesn't seem to be much going on. I suspect I ought to import my journal here lest I inadvertently lose 8 years of my life to the great bit bucket in the sky.
webcowgirl: (Theater)
Man, I almost did six shows in six days, and then I got rescued when a sold out show I had scheduled for Thursday got a bad review in the Metro. Monteverdi's Ulysses, we shall have to wait for another occasion; I shall use this time to do Pilates and chill out instead.

Meanwhile it's been chockablock the past week with two work offsites and shows Sunday (Band Wagon at Sadler's Wells) through Wednesday (the only other review I've got up is for Rocket to the Moon. I'm having a hard time keeping up with reviews due to work and, er, shows, so maybe they'll get done ... on Sunday. Advice: see the One on One festival at the Battersea Arts Center, it's AWESOME.
webcowgirl: (Tiger monkey)
We started yesterday by talking about a dream I had the night before. I was in a house with [livejournal.com profile] miss_bordeaux and her husband; it was sinking into water but simultaneously disintegrating. They were panicking but didn't want me to leave the house. It had left me disturbed when I woke up but I realized later it was a really easy metaphor and not at all about the Japanese tsunami.

He asked me about the feelings I had during the dream (fear and frustration). We then talked a bit about my weekend and how I felt about it; he focused on my desire for acceptance. Then he got on some side track about whether or not I was willing to hear negative things said about myself, and I said I was wanting to hear what he though was useful, not things I already know about myself (like that I am trying to build a family out of whatever I can find given that I don't feel like I have one). I felt like I had to spend rather a lot of time explaining that what he said hadn't annoyed me because he'd hurt my feelings but rather because it was something I'd known about myself for years. Why am I having to reassure him? I told him it was okay if he needed to tell me something about myself that hurt my feelings as I was sure he'd be as nice about it as possible, and I am very thin skinned so it's just likely to happen.

Then he went back to something I'd said before, that I have a very bad temper. He said he thought it would be good to talk about where that anger comes from and when I react to people so negatively that it drives them away. The thing is, it happens so rarely that I didn't really have any good examples to give him. He was trying to convince me that my anger comes from a situation of hurt feelings; whereas I really feel it is about being angry. When I'm only moderately angry, it usually blows away after about ten minutes if I can just talk about it and be heard, and there are no residual feelings of hurt underneath it.

I found today frustrating. Why am I having to reassure him he can talk to me about hard stuff? How much of my time is going to be spent listening to things I already know about myself? To what extent are we going to be going on wild goose chases about things he things are problems because I told him so but which actually have almost no bearing on my life or my relationship with other people? I am beginning to think I may be wasting my time.
webcowgirl: (ActionFigure)
This weekend I ...
Saw a play (Eight Women) at the Southwark Playhouse
Hosted someone at my house
Went to a graduation ceremony in Cambridge
Ate dinner and played games with [livejournal.com profile] wechsler and his parents
Went to a town called Waterbeach (near Cambridge) to see Alan Shipp's "National Hyacinth Collection" (apparently most of the people in Waterbeach are called Shipp!)
Returned to London in time to see Band Wagon at Sadlers' Wells with [livejournal.com profile] booklectic
Wrote my review for Eight Women
Went to [livejournal.com profile] lovelybug's for dinner

Seriously, I did all of that between 6PM Friday and 11PM today. Work is going to feel like a vacation after this.
webcowgirl: (London Biker)
Today I went to a graduation ceremony in Cambridge. Now, we can all accept that maybe people will dress differently here than they do in America for graduation - more strange colors and more fur, plus much better built mortarboard hats (without tassles). But did you expect that they would doff them (the hats) to each other? And would you have thought the ceremony would mostly be conducted in Latin, and would consist of the various graduates coming up and kneeling before the dean of the college (or something like that) while he holds their praying hands and, essentially, welcomes them into the fellowship of scholars (in Latin)? I did not. It was very peculiar. Groups of four would come up and a woman (in a hat) would say something like, "I hereby affirm these people are suitably ready to be given the title of Master of the Arts," then she would let go of their hands and they would be be individually called up to get their blessing. I kind of thought that after the woman introduced the groups of four scholars to the seated, robed, dean-type fellow, that when she let go of their hands they would all bust out with lighting bolts and magic wands and we'd have some Griffindor versus Slytherin action, but it didn't happen. However, when it was all done, [livejournal.com profile] wechsler and I did go to Auntie's Tea Room and had some scones, which were very yummy.
webcowgirl: (Default)
I was feeling fussy because I hadn't seen enough shows lately to have anything much to write about for my blog - only one entry last week though I saw a second show (it was bad). And my stats are suffering: they've been averaging around 200 a day lately, really poor. But I'm catching up a bit this week, with Peter Brook's Magic Flute last night and a triple bill at the Royal Ballet tonight (which I may or may not write up), plus Eight Women at Southwark Playhouse on Friday. And as a reward for my one post, my stats went up to over three hundred today. Really, the writing is a cruel taskmaster; if only I were making money off of it or creating something I considered to be of lasting value the time I spend on it might make some sense rather than seeming like a strange obsession.

Work is going well. I had an all-day training session with my staff today, and when it wrapped I had a meeting with my boss to go over the week. He told me his boss had expressed her take that my team was incredibly effective and the "unsung heroes" of our group; he said he told her it was really all due to me and not him. I have to admit, that unexpected praise made my head swell up. In fact, when I got back to my desk I sat and looked at suits on Ebay for a while, thinking maybe this manager lark thing is going to stick. After all of the struggle and strife I've had with my various jobs over the years, to be somewhere where I'm praised more than once in a blue moon is actually a bit hard for me to process.

The rest of my life continues to be rather a minefield. I'm faced with a bunch of cold hard facts making it kind of clear what I ought to be doing with myself but I'm not being disciplined enough to take the hand I've been dealt and (if I'm getting the metaphor right) fold. I'm sure it's just weakness on my part, and that I'll be kicking myself later for not taking strong action earlier rather than later; I frankly have little idea which monkey is driving the tiger right now. And I don't know where the tiger is going.

Is there a final thing to say on this post? Oh yes, my weekend in Inverness with [livejournal.com profile] noirem and her fella has resulted in some of the most porcelain like complexion I've experienced in ages. Something about the whole thing, whether it was the weather or the food or the incredible spoiling (so much wine!) or hanging around people for four straight days (I was never alone and let's just be clear, that's how I like it) really worked for me. She's coming down tomorrow and I'm really regretting I won't be able to spoil her as much, but still; Scotland appears to be good for my skin.
webcowgirl: (Tiger monkey)
We started by checking in on the question of emotional impact. Am I aware of the impact what I say and do has on others? Am I aware of the impact it has on my counselor? I told him I tried to talk to him honestly but not think about how he feels about what I say to him, as I expect him to want some personal space where he can think and feel what he wants. He again asked me if I felt I could trust him. I'm not sure why he's been asking that so much ...

We talked about me taking care of other people and being concerned about their feelings, but maybe not having people who are similarly "mothering" me. (I am definitely feeling the lack of a best friend in my life, someone who just "gets" me and who has an infinite capacity to hang out with me and enjoy my company.) He said I need to spend some more time getting to know the "little cowgirl" (if you know my name) and figuring out what her emotional needs are. He said I have managed to be very successful in the adult arenas but I may be leaving my "child needs" behind.

I said I didn't see what the point was of getting clearer about what I think I "need" when I'm not going to get it.

We also discussed figuring out if I had maladaptive behaviors.

Anyway, I was pretty tired then and I'm tired now. I'm not sure what to say about the counseling in general tonight. I guess we laid out a plan for what we're doing for the next couple of months.


webcowgirl: (Default)

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