Thursday, 31 March 2005

Xanga Post: Thursday, March 31, 2005

Stayed up late with Jay last night watching Boogeyman. Very scary. Well, I watched it (from behind a pillow) and Jay drew pictures for the convention this weekend. As usual, they're brilliant and he thinks they're crap. No confidence when it comes to his work.

Everyone at work today certainly got a show.

I was looking at pictures of ghosts online while making calls today. Not such a great idea, I've realised. I was on the phone with this one guy and looking at a picture at the same time. It's one of those pictures where you stare at it until you see something... You know the one?

Well, I was staring at it and telling the customer what he needed to do and WHAM! Freaky woman flying straight at the screen. I threw myself back away from the screen and screamed, "Fucking hell!" My customer didn't appreciate it. I had to apologise over and over while trying not to die laughing. It terrified me so much my hands were shaking.

Jay's gonna love this when I tell him about it...

Tuesday, 29 March 2005

Xanga Post: Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I love Jay.  I know, I know, I'm grossing a bunch of you out but I don't care. Every now and then he comes out with something so sweet and it totally floors me. And it's like, it's so sweet that I just can't find the words to respond. And all I can do is smile...

Ahem.

Nice long weekend. Jay drove me around on Saturday to put up fliers for the writer's group. He even promised to go to the first meeting for me. It'll be nice to have him there for support. I'm sort of terrified. (Especially of no one showing up.)

On Sunday Jay and I bummed around and played Muppet Racers. Yes, we are that sad.   Plus, chocolate eggs. Bonus.

Jay dropped me off in Newport on his way to work on Monday so I could put up fliers around the book stores. (He does a lot for me, huh?) Of course, it turned out that none of the book stores were open but there you go. Lol. Luckily, Sue took a bunch of fliers to town with her today for me. I did manage to pick up a cd for Jay and a birthday pressie (which will now be hidden for a month+). Lol.

So...Little Ghetto Bitch. Yup. That's how this story starts. I was sitting on a bench in town, munching away on a quarter pounder and feeding my French fries (I refuse to use the phrase "freedom fries" y'all can go to whatever hell you believe in.) to the pigeons. It was nice. Tranquil. I had a nice horde of birds sitting around at my feet waiting for the rest of my lunch when Little Ghetto Bitch struts over with two of her trailer park mates and kicks the hell out of the birds. Here is the conversation that followed:

Me: Oui.

LGB: (sticking her nose up in the air) Oui yourself.

Me: That was a really bitchy thing to do.

LGB: So what? They're flying rodents, they carry disease.

Me: They're living creatures, just like me and you.

LGB: I wouldn't count on it.

Me: (standing) Right, honey. We'll talk again when you grow up.

LGB: Why don't you fuck off back to America?

Me: (walking away so I didn't punch her in the face) Oh grow up, you little bitch.

And what did Jay say when I told him about it? "They were about thirteen/fourteen? They probably thought they were picking a fight with someone their own age." Lol. Great.

Sunday, 27 March 2005

Xanga Post: Sunday, March 27, 2005

So Jay says he'll be home by seven and conveniently forgets to tell me that the clocks change....So he gets home at eight instead and I have no idea. Hmm. I'm sure there's a good reason to beat him in there somewhere.

Anywho, big car boot sale this morning. Well, car boot sale/market. Pretty good. I got four books (Bridget Jones's Diary, The Last Vampire, Witch, and The Email Joke Book.)... Slowly rebuilding my library. Yay! Also, picked up bits and pieces for Jay but missed out on the things I really wanted to get for him. Sucko. Got a nifty denim jacket for two quid. Sweet.

Nearly died on the way home. A few horses got free from the gypsy camp and were running riot in the road so we swung around to help hunt them down. I jumped out of the car and ran after one of the horses...Until I realised that if I actually caught it, it would probably kill me. I'm smart like that. So, I ran back to the car. Luckily, I made so much noise that the bloody thing ran back the way it was suppose to. Result. (Meanwhile, my throat closed up and it got hard to breathe.)

Yay for Two Easter eggs. Doesn't beat a good old fashioned Easter basket but it's nice. Plus, I can break my diet for it. Wahoo. Too much food...Had turkey instead of ham, like you do here.

Still trying to get rid of fun and interesting rash (not in any gross places so don't even think it)... You help out in the garden, you get a rash. Doesn't sound like a fair trade to me. Well, I guess this proves it. I'm allergic to nature.

The new Doctor absolutely rocks. It was fun and fast paced and I can't wait to see next week. C.E. wasn't exactly Tom Baker but he didn't pretty well. And lol to the killer wheelie bin. (If you're American, you have no idea what I'm talking about at this stage.)

Convention next weekend. Plus, my first Writer's Group meeting the Monday after. Wish me all sorts of luck.

Wednesday, 23 March 2005

Xanga Post: Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Cleaning the garden/porch in the rain? How much fun is that? The answer, none at all really. But, we did it. And it's really looking better. Then, we find out that we can have an extra week to clear everything so we didn't really need to work out in the rain at all. Bugger.

I'm gettig McDonald's for dinner though. I think it's bribery to continue helping...It certainly works.

Have I mentioned that Amanda rocks? I asked for Lipsmackers, I got half the factory. This is me not complaining.  Sweet. Also, Cap'n Crunch and Girl Scout Cookies. Bonus.

Bunny Ears. That's me today. Also explains why I can't get the song, "Here comes Peter Cottontail" out of my head. Very tall bunny ears, actually. I keep bumping my head.

And, a bit of good news: I'm finally starting a writer's group. The first meeting is Monday, April 4th, 6-8 pm at the Crosskeys Hotel. So, if you're reading this and you're in the Newport/Cardiff area and you're a writer, get your butt there!

Monday, 21 March 2005

Xanga Post: Monday, March 21, 2005

You know, at any other time, eating nothing but popsicles would rock. Not quite the case now.

I have a bad ulcer on my cheek and can barely eat or speak. Not so great with the call centre job. Ouch. I've eaten more popsicles in one weekend than I have all year. I'm also very drugged up on painkillers and Anbesol. (Which stings twice as badly to use as the ulcer does.)

I spent twenty minutes on the phone trying to get in to see a doctor but with no luck. What's the point of public health care if they don't provide any care?

Wales won the Grand Slam this weekend. This means nothing to most of you reading this but in the rugby world, that's pretty huge. And poor ickle Jay had to work during the game.

I worked harder on Saturday than I did all week. Sue and I cleared out most of the garden. Lots of hoeing and bagging. (That sounds so wrong) I did make a nice little fire pit though so there will be roasted marshmallows aplenty in the coming days.

And, least I forget, a very Happy Ostara to all.

Friday, 18 March 2005

Xanga Post: Friday, March 18, 2005

I find it funny that, after the pajama episode yesterday, one of the girls across the hall wore a shirt today that says, "Nothing to wear." Lol.

I wrote a piece about writer's block for Verbose the other day. Dee, in a gentle way, suggested that I plagiarized it. Why? Because it was TOO GOOD. Lol!

Well, I'm hardly going to feel insulted about that, am I? It's not, of course. Plagiarised, that is. (I'd hate to think that it took me two days to rip something off! Lol.)

It's going to be a busy weekend for us at Castle Vanian. We have a lot of overgrowth and such to clear away and only three days with a skip. Damn neighbours.

Breaking the Block:
How to Overcome Writer's Block

Writer's Block.
Two words that strike fear into the heart of all writers. Each of us, at one time or another, has come face-to-face with the dreaded Writer's Block. We have sat, staring, pen poised hesitantly over a blank sheet of paper and thought, 'I can't write.' 
Well, my fellow writers, I'm here to tell you a very important secret. Listen closely; you don't want to miss this. A little bit closer... Good. Here it is:

WRITER'S BLOCK IS NOT REAL.

Block: A solid piece of a hard substance.

What part of this definition actually applies to Writer's Block? It's not solid. It's not hard. It's not even substantial. Therefore, Writer's Block is not real.

That's right. Writer's Block is NOT standing before you in full Gandalf gear, white Staff of Obstacles raised in the air, shouting "You shall not pass!"

Writer's block is nothing more than an excuse. And a bad one at that. Imagine if you will, and this won't be hard for some of you, that you were a teacher. 
If a student walked up to you and said, "I couldn't do my essay on the American Revolution. I had writer's block," would you accept their excuse? Hardly. Why, then, do you accept the very same excuse from yourself?
Let me say it again: Writer's Block is nothing more than a bad excuse. You are the only thing stopping you from writing. But why?

There are two reasons that we use the fabled writer's block excuse, on opposite ends of the spectrum:

1. Laziness. I know, I know. None of us like to think of ourselves as lazy but we are. It's so much easier to just say, "I can't do it, I have writer's block!" than working through a lull. Instead of actually just getting on with it, we waste our time complaining about how we can't write.

2. Overwork. There IS such a thing as trying too hard. Staring your manuscript down is not going to help make it perfect. If you feel as though you've made it as far as you possibly can in one day, you probably have. You're not blocked, you're exhausted. Taking a break is not the same as giving up.

Whether you just don't feel like writing or your fingers already feel ready to bleed, you don't have to give into excuses. There are plenty of ways to get back into the swing of things.

Ten Ways to Break the Block:

1. Write. I know that at least a few of you are thinking, 'smart ass.' Or worse. Trust me, it works. If you're straining your brain, desperately trying to think of something to write, just stop. Thinking that is. Get a clean sheet of paper and a pen (or pencil, or chalk, or lipstick, or whatever you prefer) and just write. It doesn't matter what about or how bad it is. Write the first word that comes to mind. Then the next. And the next. It doesn't matter if they're totally unrelated. Just keep writing. In the end, you may find yourself with a sheet of complete nonsense. On the other hand, you may find a hundred different ideas to write about from that nonsense.
2. Keep a diary/journal. It's not just for teenage girls, you know. Take fifteen minutes each day to record your life, your daily activities. It may not seem like much but, if you do it everyday, you will never again be able to say, "I couldn't write today, I had writer's block." (And if you ever have the audacity to actually WRITE those words then you deserve a lump of coal for Christmas.)

3. Read a book. I've heard all my life that readers are the best writers and it's true. Just look at me. (That's a joke, if you missed it.) Every book that you read opens you up to a new style of writing, new words, new ideas, etc. When I'm stuck, I pull out one of my favourite books and remind myself why I was inspired to write in the first place. Just one word of warning: plagiarism. Don't do it.

4. Get the hell out. Don't sit at your computer, staring out the window at a beautiful spring day thinking, 'Goddess, I'd love to be out there right now.' Get out there! Go take a walk in the park, go have a picnic, go fishing, swimming, biking, running... anything. Make memories that you can come home and write about.

5. Join a writer's group. There are groups out there designed to support the struggling writer. Get involved. Join your local Writer's Group. Meet other local writers. It can't hurt to have other like-minded people to bounce ideas off.

6. Stop obsessing. Don't freak out over every small punctuation mistake and incorrect use of a pronoun. Just write. Stop tearing your writing to (proverbial, hopefully) shreds. We're usually our worst critics and, usually, it's unfounded. Just write your heart out and let other people worry about the little things. They're called editors and that's what they get paid for.

7. Put down the pen, pick up the mouse. Change the way that you write. If you find yourself staring hopelessly at a computer screen, get away from it. Try writing long hand instead. Alternatively, if you write everything out, try typing instead. Sometimes you just need to break up the monotony.

8. Write somewhere new. Go to a coffee shop. Camp out in your backyard. Rent a little cottage on the lake. Just... move it. And by ''it'', I mean you. Write anywhere and everywhere. I get some of my best ideas while I'm walking; when I'm out and about. Of course, when I get the urge, I usually whip it out right then and there and start writing. (And by ''it'', I mean my notepad, which I carry everywhere.)

9. Try a prompt. There's an endless supply of writing prompts out there, you just have to use them. Prompts are great because it means you don’t have to think of something to write, you just have to obey. Sometimes, a few lines you've scribble in response to a prompt can become something bigger.

10. Know you can. Take the word "can't" out of your vocabulary. It isn't that you can't, it's simply that you aren't. Just because you're not writing at this exact moment doesn't mean that you can't write at all. Start telling yourself that you can write and see what a difference it can make.
Why are you still here? There's no excuse! Get writing!
© Wondra Vanian 2005

Thursday, 17 March 2005

Xanga Post: Thursday, March 17, 2005

The first thing I heard when I walked into the office this morning: "Is that a dressing gown?"

Yes. Yes it is.

Lol. I couldn't find any pants this morning so I thought, what the heck? I'll wear my pajamas. Sue looked frightened. "But people will laugh at you." she said. Then I asked her if she thought I cared whether or not people laugh at me. That's when she gave up. And I wore my pajamas. Too bad I couldn't find slippers.

Friday, 11 March 2005

Xanga Post: Friday, March 11, 2005

I'm thinking that I don't like our neighbours very much.

One of them, (we've narrowed it down to three) has called the council on us. Apparently, our overgrown garden is causing rats. Funny, I've never seen a rat anywhere near our house. A mouse once, yeah, but so what?

What makes me really mad is that whoever it was didn't just come over and say, "Listen, mate...Mind doing something about that jungle of yours? I'm worried about something attacking me." If they had done that, I'd totally understand. Now I'm just annoyed.

We have 14 days to clear it up before we get fined. Can you believe that? To make things more interesting... We ALL work at least five (if not six) days a week. And, it's barely spring so it's not really the best time to be doing it. Sue's got bad arthritis in her knees and Jay/I are SO not outdoors people. Not cool.

I've been forbidden from speaking to our neighbours until Sue has a word with them. I think she thinks I might insult them....

On another note, and this won't come as any great surprise to those who know me best, I'm afraid of heights. I only mention this because I FORGET that I'm afraid of heights until I'm actually TOO HIGH.

Case in point: I went for my daily walk at lunch today. Thinking that I'd like to have a change of scenary, I decided to walk across the overpass. I was doing okay until a lorry drove underneath me and startled me into looking down. WAAAAAAH! It was everything I could do to keep my tuna fish sandwich down in my stomach where it belonged! Then, I had to turn around and walk BACK. Watching my feet - watching ONLY my feet - trying NOT to freak out until I landed on solid ground.

I think I'll stick with my normal route from now on!

Thursday, 10 March 2005

Xanga Post: Thursday, March 10, 2005

They've drained the canal by our house and torn up the footpath. That hasn't made any of us very happy, especially since it's about spawning time for the frogs.

And if that wasn't bad enough... last night, it could've killed our dogs. The dogs, being the big dumb mutts that they are, love to jump in and splash around in the canal. Not a good idea when there's nothing in the canal but mud. We've been pretty good about policing them until then... they just managed to get ahead of us and *splash*.

We called them, thinking that they would just get out and run back. And maybe they could have just climbed back up... If the council hadn't cut down a bunch of trees a few months back and left them on the bank. The dogs couldn't find their way back up and were stuck, sinking, in the thick mud.

They were whining and crying and we couldn't get to them from our side of the canal. So, Jay ran down the lane and around to the canal and I ran up to grab Sue, in case we needed help pulling the dogs up. I called her and ran down to meet Jay, my asthmatic chest exploding all the way.

By the time I made it to the canal opposite our house, Jay had managed to coax the dogs back up onto the footpath and was giving them a good natured bollocking. Sooty had been stuck on the bank closest our house and was just hanging on. Sweep had been running up and down the muddy canal, trying to figure out which way was home. Jay called Sweep and he ran straight over. Sooty was afraid to go back in the mud, apparently. Sweep ran back and forth to him several times before Sooty followed him back to Jay.

Phew. At least that was over.

We walked back up the canal, around the corner and back down our lane. Sue was standing in the middle of the lane with a bucket of water. "They're not going in my house muddy!" she said. So... after their frightening episode, the dogs got heavily doused with cold water.

Jay and I just went up and collapsed on the couch. Between the cats and dogs (not to mention lizards), these animals will make me go gray before my time!

Wednesday, 9 March 2005

Xanga Post: Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I have the biggest, most destructive ass in the world! I hopped up on the counter at work to get a look at my tattoo so I could apply some "tattoo goo",  like ya do, and it broke! Not a loud, crashing break, just a creaking, "she canna take any more" kind of break. Not good.

52 days until Collectormania. I'm on a serious diet now. Lol.

Have I mentioned that I'm NOT a cat person?

Soooo not a cat person. But, I do have a kind heart. (shut up) That's why I let Luna sleep with me the last couple of weeks. Not unusual with cat owners, I like to think. Plus, I was feeling sorry for her since we had her neutered. But, it's no more Mrs. Nice Girl now...

The bloody cat had fleas. I now have flea bites on my legs. Do you think this makes Wondra happy? Nay nay. I want to sit and scratch my legs all day. I'm thinking of playing a fun new game after work. It's called the 100 metres kitty toss...

A great big hug goes out to Katie and Lindsay who have had a bit of bad luck. Hope things get better for you soon!

Monday, 7 March 2005

Xanga Post: Monday, March 07, 2005

Quote of the day:

"George W. Bush has turned the White House into the Home of the Whopper, telling one lie after another, all in pursuit of getting his dirty little war." ~Michael Moore~

Jay came home at 7:30am from Egg's on Sunday morning. Plus, he spent a lot of money on zombie posters. Boy, I was fighting mad! (Listening to Alanis all night might not have helped that.) But then he walked in and smiled and I totally forgot to be angry. I did give him a beating, though, which helped. (I also learned that 5:30am is an awesome time to walk the dogs. Lol.)

I had two months worth of birth control just vanish. Sue swears that she hasn't touched it and I didn't move it so we're at a loss. I doubt Jay would've bothered with it and if the dogs ate it, well, that would just be funny as hell. Unfortunately, it means that I had to go the the surgery this morning and try to get replacements off them. That was easy enough...

Only there was an old woman in front of me who insisted on giving the receptionist her entire life story. Eventually, I was told to pick up my pills in the afternoon and Sue and I finally got to go to work. (Oh, yay.) Never mind me being fifteen minutes late. And that was all before my work day even started!

Friday, 4 March 2005

The Great Neopian Tattoo Adventure

Jay promised to take me to get a tattoo as a Valentine's Day present. Between Jay being available and me getting time off, we didn't get in until yesterday.

We made our way into Newport and walked (ten minutes) to the tattoo parlour. I was more worried at that point about needing to pee than the tattoo itself but that didn't last long. The tattooist wouldn't let Jay come in with us so that was a major bummer. (I borrowed a digital camera for work so he could take pictures of me being in extreme pain.) I wanted to hold his hand!

I was pretty brave until I actually sat in the chair and the guy started tuning up the needle. That's when I freaked out. I thought I was going to chicken out. But, I bit my lip and went ahead with it. He stuck the pattern to my back and let me look in the mirror to see what it would look like. My response was Awwww. Lol.

Well, I sat back down in the Chair of Doom and he started the tattoo. It wasn't very bad... at first.

At first it was a bit like having a high powered vibrator strapped to my shoulder. But, the longer it went on, the more it hurt. Jay said that it was the opposite way with his tattoos but I always had to be difficult. It didn't help that the big tattooist was whistling along (operatically) to pop music and straddling me. That guy enjoys his job way too much!

Anyway, I was good for about fifteen minutes and then I had to ask for a break because I was afraid I'd either throw up or pass out. Or both. I even started to retch into a bin but dignity won out in the end and I didn't throw up. Phew. (Jay was laughing silently in the other room.)

After another ten minutes, I had to have another break because I was feeling sick again. Luckily, there was only about five minutes to go after that.

I turned out great! It's so adorable! I'm so glad I did it and it barely hurts at all now. (It's not even scabbing yet.) But, I don't think I'll ever get another one! Lol.


Jay and I spent a few hours wandering around (and laughing at me) after that. We picked up a mother's day present for his mum, a Nitendo 64 remote to go with the system due to arrive any day and some other random stuff. We grabbed a McDonald's on the way home and finished the afternoon off with Weakest Link and a nap. Bliss.

Wednesday, 2 March 2005

Xanga Post: Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Monday night was utterly hellish.

Jay and I went down to walk the dogs and on our way back up the path, I noticed Midnight, our black kitten laying behind Sue's car. I called him and he didn't answer so I went over and stroked him. Then panicked. His fur was all hard and he didn't move. Jay and I bundled him up and rushed up to the house to call the vet.

After waking the vet up and dragging him to Newport in the middle of the night, we hopped in the car and rushed down to the clinic, thinking that the cat had been run over. We had to wait around for about ten minutes in the cold for the vet to show up but when he did we went straight into the surgery room and laid Midnight on the table. The doc unwrapped him and told us that our kitten wasn't a kitten. We were so upset (especially me) that we didn't actually LOOK at the cat.

The cat, not Midnight, turned out to be a very old female cat with kidney failure. Jay and Sure were so relieved. I was too, mind, but I was also devistated. The cat had fairly new stitches which meant that somebody loved it and it had to die (there was nothing the vet could do) without its family. I was in bits the rest of the night. Luckily, Midnight was chilling on the back of the sofa when we got home and merely acted annoyed at being woken  up.