It may get hairy…

Archive for the ‘My victorious vices’ Category

I am not responsible for your newsfeed

I’ve recently had a ‘Facebook purge.’ This is not something I’m particularly good at, for two reasons. Firstly, I don’t like upsetting people, despite having a temper and occasionally going on an offensive rampage; I really don’t like the idea that what I say or do, could hurt someone. Secondly, I like to keep in touch with people from my past and I love Facebook for that specific reason.

Most would think my purge was due to the Parisian crisis and the ‘anti-refugee’ nonsense that is spreading through most of our newsfeeds. In truth, I was hurt a few days prior by someone, whom I had considered a friend. She posted a rather nasty and hurtful article about parents ‘arrogantly’ posting photos of their children.*

Now, I’m no fool. I don’t expect everyone to enjoy the constant stream of baby photos, to like every one of them or even to give to give them a second glance. What I do expect, however, is for my ‘friends’ to show a modicum of respect and intelligence.

Who the fuck are you to insist that I stop posting photos of my son, on my Facebook profile, because you don’t want children? Well, whoop for you. My posts in no way suggest that you should jump on the breeding bandwagon. In fact, by the sounds of it, you probably shouldn’t. I post stuff about my child, on my newsfeed, for my enjoyment, not yours.

Facebook has these fancy features, called ‘hiding,’ ‘unfollowing,’ ‘blocking’ and ‘unfriending.’ It may be hard for you to understand, but:

I am not responsible for your newsfeed and I do not expect you to be responsible for mine.

I have often been annoyed by people’s incessant posts of their children (21 photos showing a child holding a dead bird) or photos of their pets’ poop and so I have simply unfollowed them. Facebook has made it really simple for me to decide what appears on my newsfeed and so I choose to use these features – why is it so hard for you to do the same?

If you don’t like something that I post then hide it, unfollow me, block me or unfriend me. Frankly, I don’t care either way. It’s been a long time since those actions offended me. I understand that you’re not keen on your newsfeed being filled with photos of children, but understand that, whilst I have other aspects of life that interest me and I don’t define my personality by motherhood, nothing is more important to me than my son. My partner and my child are my everything and I love posting about them.

I post for other reasons – I have family and friends in South Africa that love to see photos of my son’s development and I love to have these memories pop up on my feed a year later – but mostly, I post because I want to.

*For my hypocrite and irony seekers out there (and there are many), I am aware that this too is a nasty and hurtful article.

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All about Kindle Publishing

To sum it up: it’s a ball-ache.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I can publish my own work and submit the many innocent readers out there to my waffling, but God, it takes a long time.

Firstly, it’s easier to write for Kindle than to edit your existing work for Kindle Publishing. Take everything that is pretty and stands out in your book…and delete it. In the perfect world, you should have almost no formatting, except Heading 1s, a ToC (Table of Contents) and indents in all your paragraphs… oh, and page breaks before each chapter.

Then, if you’ve mistakenly pasted all your pictures into your document, instead of inserting them (we all do it at some point), go back and redo everything.

Then, once you’ve jumped through those hoops (they seem small, but they’re not when you have 50+ pages of graphics), you have to navigate through Kindle’s incomprehensible ‘Help’ section or Forums (they’re slightly easier).

Forewarning: Pre-empt yourself for the most boring 2o minutes of your life before watching the ‘how to publish’ video. They take you through everything at the pace of a snail. It’s painful, especially when they’re talking about the formatting in Word. It takes a good 5 seconds to click on the ‘Format’ tab.

Once you manage to figure out how to save it in the right format, bung all your pics and web-page into a zipped folder and finally, actually get it published, you have to figure out how the bloody hell this thing works.

It’s not made for Saffas, nor anyone outside of the US. I made my second book $2.70 and on Amazon.com, it came up at $3.70 after tax and delivery, so I decided to lower the price to $2.00…now it’s bloody $4.00 on Amazon.com! I gave up at that point, which is why it’s slightly overpriced (although, it’s currently on a free promotion). The promotions section, surprisingly isn’t on the pricing page, but rather in the section where you can delete your book accidentally. It all, in general, is mind-boggling.

However, that said, many other blogs helped me find my way and once all the hoops have successfully been jumped through, there’ll be a silly, self-satisfying triumph grin on your face.

So, without further adieu, because you’ve already been smothered with posts and tweets about it and definitely need one more reminder, here are my two books.

then it was gone
facebook and twitter for over 60

I apparently write like H. P. Lovecraft.

I know I’m posting a lot lately, but I came across a pretty cool (and probably entirely incorrect) site/tool, that you should try out, just for fun.

Simply put in your text and find out who you write like.

I’m concerned that my political blog says that I write like H.P. Lovecraft, but my blog on weight implies I write like Cory Doctorow. Overall, I write like a science fiction author. Even though I read no science-fiction, perhaps I should try my hand at writing some.

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software.Analyze your writing!


I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

 

My needle-mark riddled corpse

My blog is becoming slightly higgledy-piggledy – lurching from politics, to literature, to ramblings and dieting. After writing the political post a few days ago, quite a few of my friends and family have suggested that I concentrate on political pieces alone. I considered this, but then realised that would entail me reading the news more.

So, this is what you have – my personal back and forth, my apologies…this is a long ‘un.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, knowing that I’m bound to get some criticism, I had some hesitation, but after struggling to find personal blogs that could help me along my ‘medicinal’ path, I knew I had to post, at least to help others in my position.

Firstly, I’m not advocating anything other than diet and exercise to those trying to lose weight. Had I not tried everything and had I merely used a ‘quick-fix,’ I wouldn’t be writing this.

Long story not so short: Returning from the UK in March 2011, I decided I had to lose a few kgs, only 4 and so hopped onto one of what would constitute part of many fad diets. From that time until around November 2011, I tried everything from the Atkins diet to the Soup & Yoghurt diet (yes, it is only these two things for two weeks). Mention cutting out carbs and I may punch you in the face, I barely remembered what a carb was. Everyone had a ‘secret’ that had worked for them – I tried them all. I’m sure somewhere, under some rock, in some Persian garden, there’s a diet I didn’t try, but they’re few and far between. I still picked up. So I went the logical route, exercise and healthy eating. I followed a normal, healthy diet. A lifestyle. I ran three times a week, I did yoga twice a week and callenetics three times a week (it’s like aerobics on steroids). I still gained. I continued gaining, but slowly and only in December did I start to realise I had a problem.

In the beginning it was just an inkling…an idea that something just wasn’t right with my body. I do fully believe that we know when something’s off in our bodies. I once forced a doctor to do an operation to find out if I had Endometriosis, with him insisting I didn’t…only, sadly, to prove him wrong. At the bottom of it, we’re animals and basically instinctual, when we bother to listen to ourselves. Come April, I was getting very concerned with my weight, but was still trying.

And then, between April and May alone, I picked up 10kgs, while dieting.

Those of you who read this blog will know that I tried a dietician, who made me eat more than I could imagine, I tried diets recommended by the doctors, I took appetite suppressants even when eating only 300 calories a day. I then followed a friend’s diet, which recommended under 1000 calories a day, combined with either a 70 minute brisk walk or run. I couldn’t manage even 600 calories, so I ate 500 calories a day and I ran. Every single day. I started to lose, but only a bit, but then I picked it all up again, in one single day. It was then that I knew I was pretty much doomed.

I’ve been through some pretty rough patches in my life, but the fact that so few people believed me (the amount of people who looked at me with blatant skepticism when I said I was running 6km a night, or said ‘if you just eat healthily with moderate exercise, you’ll lose’), that one doctor said I must just get used to being this way as I’m no longer an adolescent and the fact that my body seemed to be conspiring against me, took me into a bonafide depression, that lasted a long time.

I would wake up in the morning and want to cut the fat from my bones. I felt sick, physically and violently sick, then I looked at myself in the mirror. My ‘fat’ clothes were cutting into my skin and my ‘thin’ clothes hidden so far into the closet, they could be in Narnia (where the thin people reign). I felt like I was walking around in a fat suit. I was uncomfortable when I sat, when I walked and even when I lay down. I’m not going to lie, I considered suicide a number of times. I wouldn’t do it, mainly because we’ve had a suicide in the family many moons ago and over two decades later you can still see the effects. I couldn’t do that to them, but it did come close. I can’t count the number of times I cried in my many different doctors’ office. My Google search results had nothing but diet tips and even eating disorder forums (which I got kicked out of, because even though I was only eating 300 calories, I wasn’t losing weight and when asked for help, apparently I was advocating anorexia, not desperately seeking someone to talk to).

I’ve had my thyroid checked three times, I kept hoping they’d find something wrong with me. At least it would explain it and I could tell people ‘I’m not just fat.’ So, I took what I swore was my final visit to yet another different doctor. I have only one kidney and suddenly thought, ‘perhaps something’s wrong with this kidney now and that’s why I’m picking up weight.’ This doc is the only one in town with an ultrasound. Expecting to be scanned and ignored, like always, I was shocked when he sat me down, called the path lab and asked about my previous blood results. He took more blood and then…listened more. He actually wanted to know about my weight gain, he believed me. He was slightly shocked when I rattled off the types of drugs that didn’t work, the different diets I’d tried and a lot of indepth research into weight gain. He believed me when I told him I was running every night and when I told him my diet. He then gave me a sliver of hope (I know it sounds stupid and corny, but there it is), he told me that even if my blood tests were ‘clean’ of problems, there was a drug he’d put two prior patients on, that had really worked: Victoza.

Cut to the chase, after my ramblings, I’m now on it. I’ve been on it for nearly a month now. Victoza is generally for Type 2 Diabetics, but can be used as  a last resort for major weight loss. According to my BMI I had over 15kg to lose. I was sitting at 74kgs and I’m 5’2″.

It costs…a lot. R1000 pm ($115). I just have to stay on it until I hit my goal weight and then I go off it again. I have researched this like no other. I must have read over 2000 reviews (no hyperbole), only one person didn’t lose on this drug that I read of and she was a self-admitted chocolate addict, who was shoving her face full of chocolate on a daily basis. Three people gained after stopping the drug, and only because they went back to their original habits, which were high in carbs and no exercise. Some people lost as much as 9kg in a month.

As mentioned, it’s nearly a month for me. I inject myself daily in the thigh and have gotten quite used to the routine. The nausea and exhaustion in the first two weeks weren’t fun and again when I upped my dose, but after that, there’s no difference. It works two fold, as an appetite suppressant (which I don’t need) and as somehow increasing your metabolism (which I do).

For those wanting to know more about Victoza: I noticed my appetite came back after the second/third week. I don’t have a problem with this, though. I also noticed a significant difference regarding how much water I drink. With one kidney, I’m only allowed 3lt a day, and I stick to that. If I don’t, I don’t lose. My weight plummeted on the first day (I lost 2.2kg that day alone) and then continued, slowing down, until about the end of the second week, when I stopped losing. I have to say, I panicked a lot. I stopped keeping my diary, woke up in the night fearing that I’ll be the only person that doesn’t lose. Because of this, I stopped drinking as much water and stopped losing. I still find exercise more difficult than before, but it’s getting easier. Anyway, I have once again started losing, thank goodness, so just be prepared for waves and don’t stress.

I know a lot of people won’t agree with what I’ve done, but it’s not your choice. I hated life and now I don’t. Now I see some corny light at the end of the tunnel (be it a train or not). I made a decision that has allowed me to finally feel good about myself, to buy interesting jewelry, because I’m no longer afraid of people looking at me, to occasionally have a beer in public, without fearing that everyone will think ‘oh, and she says she’s been trying to lose weight” and to wake up in the morning feeling okay about myself.

I started Victoza on the 28th of September, it’s now the 25th of October. I have lost exactly 5kg, along with losing 6.5cm around my thighs, 6.5cm around my waist and 2cm around my arms.

I may suddenly die from unknown side-effects, but hey, at least my needle-mark riddled corpse will look pretty.

 

 

Review on UR by Stephen King – Low men in yellow coats

URUR by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Firstly – Loads of spoilers, do NOT read this if you haven’t read UR yet.

It’s been so long since a book has totally twisted my sense of reality and reading UR on my mobile has taken me back to times of reading The Dark Half and ‘Salem’s Lot…. not to mention The Talisman & Black House or so many others that loosely and surprisingly mention The Tower.

What an incredible story. The plot is good, nothing really to write home about, but it grabs you and pulls you in like no other. Low men in yellow coats make it worth the short read (it should have been so much longer) and, while you may not like the characters, you do become them.

I found myself mimicking The Walking Dead; roaming my house, phone gripped in one hand, bumping into things as I tried to make it to the bathroom without stopping reading. Much like Wesley, I too couldn’t put my ‘Kindle’ down.

A silly little book that has made my Ka-tet senses tingle.

Long days and pleasant nights 😉

View all my reviews

Looking for the audio book? Click here.

PS. This is the worst: When you finish a really good King and haven’t another to tide you over! I have In the Tall Grass and A Face in the Crowd still to read, but I have a feeling nothing will match this buzz. Excuse my total lack of academia and eloquence, I’m way to high on King at the moment.

Short teensy review on King’s Mile 81

Mile 81Mile 81 by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Right, seeing as I’m sharing this on my blog, I thought I’d best do a full(ish) review.

Spoiler Alert for those who need it:

King’s depth of characters and understanding of human nature and people always astounds me. I love how he understands children and remembers what it’s like to be a child. His books are often a portal to forgotten memories of my childhood. He brings us back with simple things, such as the misspelling of ‘swastika’ in Mile 81 (“Notzi swat-sticker”), much like mentioning that as a child, he thought that a ‘bitch’ was an ‘extremely tall woman’ in On Writing.

Along these lines, I have one negative with the story: I can’t imagine a 6 year old thinking the world ‘asshole,’ even if she didn’t say it. It seemed out of character, but perhaps that’s my rose-tinted view of children. Apart from that, he was dead on his description of the characters.

It was short, so there’s not much to say. Although, the obvious similarities to Christine aside, it’s a unique short story for him. It’s definitely not his best (not on par with something like ‘The Raft’), but it’s thoroughly enjoyable.

I picked it up, assuming that I wouldn’t be able to finish anything that wasn’t in normal paperback/hardcover format, and ended up being disappointed that it had finished so quickly.

All in all, worth a read and a whole $15.00 🙂 Now I move on to UR.

Want to get the book? Click here.

My favourite bookstore

Right, before I start, I have to tell you honestly that I am an affiliate, so a very, veryyyyyy small portion of anything you buy through here will come to me, but from an equally honest angle, I love this site…a lot.

I first came across the Book Depository site in the UK,when someone pointed out the fact that you can watch people buy books all around the world…live. It’s pretty cool. Go onto the homepage and click the ‘watch people shop’ link. Perhaps you think it’s dorky, I think it’s awesome.

I won’t waste your time, but this is what’s cool about the site:

  1. The prices almost always better than other sites and if they’re not…work it out with delivery costs, as Book Depo has free delivery.
  2. As aforementioned, they have free worldwide delivery, which came into great use when I moved back to South Africa.
  3. You can get loads of books for under R50. I often top up my sales with little Calvin & Hobbes collections and the like.
  4. Sometimes you have to wait a little for delivery in SA (7-10 working days, I think), but it’s worth it, as they always arrive pristine.

I only buy my books through Book Depository…or the second hand book dealer at my local market, which is why I felt comfortable becoming an affiliate.  Anyhoo, here’s the site, visit it. It’s worth it (regardless of the fact that it makes me money, well…kind of).
Oh, and there’s an AWESOME brain teasing/thinking competition. Click the link below and then go to the competitions section (I’d link directly, but my HTML is playing havoc and it’s too early on a Monday morning).

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