I've not written on this blog for over a week and a half - until now. This is for several reasons.
Firstly, as I implied in my long "serious" post below, I have been finding it increasingly more difficult to find things to write about - call it "writer's block" if you will.
My second reason is that it has not been practical to write anything recently as I am currently away from home and can only get very limited access to a computer and thereby the world wide web.
But fear ye not. Just because I've been quiet doens't mean that I'm shrivelling up somewhere, malnourished and malcontent. I've actauly been rather busy doing things; these "things" sometimes take it out of me and I end up feeling exhaustion, but I figured it's better to have a go and get out and do stuff, rather than wallow in self-pity and nothingness.
So, the Tuesday when I left you all, I travelled to Colchester with Annie and we went to see the comedian Jeremy hardy, who was very funny if you like your humour of a left-wing political nature. And he's dead right about Kylie too.
Last weekend saw me taking it easy on Saturday, and on Sunday going to Camden to meet some people from the Damned message board, before going to the Camden Palace to see The Damned themselves, as they were headlining "Gotham 4" - a gothic festival of sorts. Unfortunately we caught the act before The Damned. What crap! The singer was one of these gutteral-voiced types and the guitarist seemed to spend more time tuning his guitar than actually playing, whilst the synths and sequencers drowned everything else out.
Thank Dog we had The Damned to look forward too! They played a superb set, leaning heavily on their more gothically-flavoured songs. Dave, Monty and Patricia were resplendent in gothic garb, whilst Pinch wore his usual rock'n'roll boy outfit and Captain sported a digital t-shirt with the LED message "Lend us a fiver" scrolling across his chest.
They played a mighty encore of five songs... "I wanna go home!" Captain whined, whilst Dave seemed happy to continue playing all night. At the end of a chaotic "Looking At You" Pinch kicked the drum kit over so putting an end to the proceedings.
I couldn't hang about to meet the band or say "bye" to any of the Damned message boarders as it was 10 minutes to midnight and my last train was scheduled to leave Paddington at twenty past. Luckily I flagged down a taxi which was being driven by someone who had just himself come out of the gig, and he managed to get me to Paddington with 10 minutes to spare (which meant I was able to grab a bite to eat and a drink before catching my train).
I got home at 2 in the morning and went straight to bed. Unfortunately I only had a maximum of 5 hours sleep for I had to go into work for a final day before taking a break for a couple of weeks.
Tuesday morning I caught a series of trains (having to change at Bristol and Swansea) to Carmarthen where my parents met me, and I have been staying with them ever since taking things easy.
Wednesday was my Dad's birthday - his 65th - and in the evening my parents had some friends over, mucho food, etc etc. I gave my Dad a video of Jacques Tati's movie "Mon Oncle", which we all enjoyed on Thursday night.
My grandmother, who is recovering from recent surgery, has been staying at my parents, and I am glad to report that she is getting much better. I saw that she was on a rather nasty anti-depressant and told my mother that she should have a word with the doctor about those, and he said for my grandmother to stop taking them. Since she stopped she seems to have perked up no end. Just shows how evil some of these drugs are.
Today's Saturday and I don't have a lot to report really. Read The Guardian, and in the Weekend magazine section was an article about heterosexual crossdressers which painted a very bleak picture of that whole scene. I must confess that although parts of the article annoyed me, other parts I found myself agreeing with. I still don't know if "Gina" will return. At the moment I have to say, it seems unlikely.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 6:19 pm
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Thanks for all your comments in response to the previous post. They are appreciated. You are a wonderful bunch of people.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:44 pm
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
This is a very lengthy blog entry, but please, I would like all my friends to read it:
I broke one of my self imposed rules the other day (Friday) on this blog when I let the cat out of the bag and admitted that I am currently taking Seroxat. I had always had this rule that I would never post anything that was too close for comfort, too personal on this website. Which is why I keep very quiet about things such as relationships, for example. Those of you who can read between the lines might have worked out a few things for yourselves, and that's fair enough, but there's some things I prefer not to shout about from the rooftops.
One of the problems with writing a blog is that it is all too easy to treat it as a diary, and begin to write all your innermost thoughts and confessions. Sometimes I find myself slipping into diary-mode and have to restrain myself by reminding myself that I'm giving out too much information. Most people's diaries are secret affairs which they write for their own eyes only. A blog, on the other hand, is on the World Wide Web and accessible by virtually anyone.
I've written quite a lot this year about being ill, and have probably bored the pants off some of you and perhaps lost one or two regular readers for being uninteresting. I don't think I ever wrote about why I was ill though, did I? I just said things have been bad and now I'm on medication. Again, most of you were probably able to read between the lines and have worked out the situation. I wasn't spelling it out because I was being overly cautious about revealing too much personal information.
However, I now feel that it might be beneficial to me to be a little more open. I'm not going to go into the whys and wherefores, suffice it to say that at the beginning of February I had a pretty major nervous breakdown, from which I am still recovering. I was a complete nervous mess - I would keep breaking down in tears, and felt constantly absolutely wretched. I lost all track of time, couldn't tell you which day of the week it was, or appreciate the passage of time - days - weeks and so on. I was shaking and stumbling around like Ozzy Osbourne.
My doctor put me on the antidepressant Seroxat. This has the side effects of making me constantly very tired and often experiencing headaches. I was aware of some of the other side effects of Seroxat, although it wasn't until viewing the Panorama programme on BBC1 last Sunday night that I realised quite how awful some of those side effects could be.
I want to assure everyone that I have not been experiencing any thoughts of wanting to harm myself or to inflict violence on others. Karen, who I share the house with, got quite worried and started asking me if I was going to kill her in her sleep. I don't think I'm experiencing any mood swings. Possibly those people who did become violent, or self-harm, should never have been prescribed the drug in the first place. Or possibly they were using it in the wrong dosage, or ignoring the fact that they should avoid alcohol and caffeine.
I feel that for me, the drug is working. I hate to think what I'd be like without it right now, although that thought brings up the whole worrisome fact that it is addictive and the potential problems that may arise when reducing the dose for weaning myself off it. My doctor wants me to contine with Seroxat for another three months, before I can start reducing the dosage. I could end up being on this thing for a whole year at this rate.
As I already said, side effects I have experienced include headaches and constant tiredness. I also have been suffering from nightmares, forgetfulness, the shakes (every now and again) and occasional panic attacks. I have only recently (i.e. last week) returned to working a full day at work. Previously I was leaving early each day so as to avoid the rush hour on the trains and any panic attacks that these might induce.
Apathy was another thing that I experienced. For about the first month or so, for instance, I had no interest in music, and you guys know how much I love music. I couldn't even think of listening to a CD for about a month. Since then though, I have got back into music again and into playing the guitar in particular. I think the guitar is very therapeutic for me, and that's why to some people I might seem to have become obsessive about it in recent months.
There is one major area in which I feel I have changed since being on Seroxat. This might seem really weird, but I really cannot handle the tranny thing any more. That's right, I cannot be "Gina". Most transgendered people will tell you that you have no choice about being transgendered. You either are or you aren't. It's not something you can turn on and off like a switch. But, right now I really can't deal with the whole trans thing, and have no desire to be feminine right now.
I have even considered killing off "Gina Snowdoll" altogether, but that seems a bit harsh. I might regret doing so later, and want to bring "her" back. So, I've not deleted any websites, domain or user names. I've still been using the name - here and on various forums which I belong to - mainly because that's the name people know me by. (This might answer the question posed by the person who emailed me asking why I don't talk about transgendered issues any more).
Not only that, but I've been finding writing the blog itself to be an almighty chore. Partly, I think, because there's an expectation for me to be "in character" and for me at the moment that character of "Gina" is gone and I have little interest in writing about transgendered issues whilst "she" is not there.
Does this all make sense? I'm hoping it will explain a few things to you out there who regularly tune in to this blog, and I also hope it might explain my mood and frame of mind to those of you who have been able to read between the lines. It should also explain the blanks - the instances when I let several days go by without writing anything on the blog. It's really difficult for me right now.
I really don't know if I am changed forever, or if I am changed whilst I am taking Seroxat. I hope that I will be back to the same person that I was before I started the drug - without the depression of course - but then again I'm reminded of the simple expression "everything changes", so I can make no promises.
I just hope those of you I've communicated with and spoken to and met will want to continue being friends, no matter who I am.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:41 am
Monday, May 12, 2003
On Sunday (because I couldn't get myself into gear early enough on Saturday morning) I went to Wembley for the London Guitar Show. I've written some more about it on the Guitar Blog so as not to bore all you non-musos.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:30 pm
One of those weird coincidences
I was listening to the fab "new" album from Wreckless Eric this morning ("Almost a Jubilee - 25 years at the BBC (with gaps)") and was pondering about the meaning of his song "The Brain Thieves".
Then, just now, I found this story on the BBC News website. Disturbing stuff.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:40 pm
Think I'll be going to this at the weekend.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:58 pm
The Lone Gunmen
I was really looking forward to last night's episode of The Lone Gunmen on the Sci Fi Channel. But damn and blast, it wasn't on. It looks like last week's cliffhanger episode was in fact the last. And what's more, the show was cancelled after just one season, so the story will never be finished. How bloody annoying.
If you've not seen the series, it's a spin-off from The X Files and features Byers, Langley and Frohike - the three nerdy guys who are into hacking, covert investigations, etc, etc. It's actually a lot funnier that The X Files ever was (and to be fair, The X Files didn't try to be funny) and for me, I found it a whole lot more entertaining. And now they've taken it away from me. Bah!
Another thing that pissed me off about this was that in the final series of The X Files, there was an X Files / Lone Gunmen crossover story in which they killed off the characters of Byers, Langley and Frohike. How dare they! Actually, I never understood why The X Files had to finish when both Dana Scullery and Fox Mumbler bowed out. They could have continued admirably with John Doggart and Monica Reyes. What do these TV show makers know?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:37 am
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
More catching up... May 2-4: The weekend and Wales
Friday night I caught a train, changed at Swindon then found Annie in carriage C and we travelled together to Carmarthen. My parents came and picked us up and took us back to the house, and I think we chatted awhile and watched a video of that night's installment of "Have I Got News For You", then we all went to bed.
The next day we all went to my Sister's house by the sea, met the sprogs, etc. The kids were very excitiable and were jumping all over me (so no change there then). We had a little walk down by the beach, but the weather was appalling (rain, wind, etc) so we had to cut it short. Meanwhile the kids were playing football on the beach with their Dad.
Afterwards we all had a somewhat hectic game of Cluedo. After about an hour of everyone having gotten totally confused, someone dared look in the envelope in the middle of the board only to discover that it contained cards for the scene of the murder, a murder weapon, and ... another murder weapon. And no guilty party. No wonder we'd all been getting so confused. We all laughed it off, thinking it was hysterical, but my niece got quite upset about it (as it was her who selected the cards). Whoops!
Saturday night was spent back at my parents where we had a huge meal and then watched "One Hour Photo" on video, which Annie and I had both already seen, but it's a good film so we didn't mind watching it again. I sure get my money's worth from these videotapes!
Sunday we had to make the return journey home (Annie needed to get home for the Bank Holiday Monday, as she had a lot of work to catch up on), but first of all we called in on my sick grandmother. I was quite shocked at how frail she looked. It quite saddened me for a while and put a dampener on my spirits.
The train journey home was long and boring, made even worse after Cardiff by some boring git with a loud voice talking absolute bollocks to a girl he'd just met and who wasn't listening to him anyway. "Oh, I'm a DJ... blah blah blah got it on white label ... blah blah blah," etc. I think he told her three times where he lived, and then when she got a word in edgeways she asked him where he lived. Obviously she hadn't been taking a thing in that he'd been saying, and just asked him out of politeness. I wish she hadn't been so accommodating to him because everyone else in the carriage was wishing he'd shut the hell up.
I escaped this aural torture at Swindon where I had to change trains for Didcot, although poor Annie remained on that train back to London.
On Monday, I did very little really, just took it easy at home. (And why not?)
And since then I've been back at work, and I think that's me more or less uptodate now. Phew!
Catching up... May 1-2: Brighton and back home again
Thursday morning I awoke late-ish and tried calling dear ol' TinTin on the mobile. Only each time I tried I got an engaged tone. It was a glorious day in Brighton, quite bright and sunny really (could that be why it's called Brighton?) so I nipped out onto the balcony of the flat to admire the view for a couple of minutes and took a couple of photos which alas don't really do the view any justice as you lose the whole panoramic effect.
Having tried TinTin on the phone a few more times I came to the conclusion that she must be logged onto the internet and anyway, time was dragging on, and the opportunity to meet up with her before catching my train was most probably lost anyway.
So, I left a note for Captain and Louisa saying goodye and thanks for having me (they were both still in bed) and I made my way to the station where I grabbed a hot chocolate and a danish before catching the train to Gatwick. At Gatwick I luckily had an immediate connection for Reading, and then at Reading again I was able to change trains immediately for Didcot. By late afternoon I was home and tired out from all the day's travels.
On Friday morning I had to go into work as I had to do a report for my boss that he urgently needed that afternoon. What a pain. I didn't intend haging around very long (I had a half day booked anyway), but then there were various website problems that needed urgent fixing and I ended up in a bit of a tizzy trying to get everything done in time.
In the end I was able to make it home soon after midday, then I had to repack my things again for the weekend.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:23 pm
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Well, I really don't know where to begin. I've been away from the ol' Blog for seemingly such a long time. Let's think...
Wednesday, April 30, 2003: Brighton, Worthing, Teasing LuLu and The Damned
Wednesday I took the train to Brighton. I made my way straight round to Louisa's flat, and arrived there to find that Captain was there too. I gave him a bottle of Jim Beam that I'd got for his birthday, and we sat and watched MTV for a little while. Then we all had to get a move on, so Cap drove us to Worthing, and then we legged it to the Pavillion because they were late arriving for the soundcheck. Cap joined the others for a soundcheck and I chatted to Louisa a bit. Some great big prat of a promoter came over and borrowed a pen from me and promptly pocketed it. Git.
Then a goth band did their soundcheck, and the other Teasing LuLu girls arrived and after a while they did their soundcheck too.
To be honest it's no great shakes getting into gigs to witness the soundcheck, because largely they are quite boring. Lots of sitting about waiting, etc. I mean, we arrived there at 5:30 and the gig wasn't due to begin until 8:00.
The Teasing LuLu set was really good - they had never before played on such a big stage, but they certainly didn't seem intimidated by it; they seemed very comfortable and the inter-song banter was flowing easily. They are stars in the making, I tell you!
I was also glad to see that lots of the people from the Damned message board watched the LuLu girls, which was brilliant. I had posted a message asking people to tear themselves away from the bar and come watch the show and am glad to report that those I spoke to (Limit Club Dickie, Nigel Horror Taxi, Womble...) all seemed to really enjoy the girls' set.
Also, a professional photographer was there with an enormous fuck-off digital camera, and he was getting lots of really superb pictures of the girls, some of which we are going to be allowed to use for the website. I was chatting to him quite a bit about bands and so forth, and after the girls' set we both went to the (very crowded) bar and caught up with the Teasing LuLu entourage for celebratory drinks for a well-played gig. We stayed in the bar for the goth band's set so I can't really comment on them other than to report that it was a bunch of guys in their late 30s wearing long black leather coats. Ho hum!
Louisa and I and some of the Damned message boarders positioned ourselves at the front of the stage for The Damned's set, although after a few songs Louisa moved away as there was a fair bit of violent moshing going on just behind us. The Damned played brilliantly - lots of the old favourite songs once again, plus one or two surprises such as the encore of "History of the World, Part 1". But there was something wrong. The atmosphere of the gig was not quite right. Behind the front row there was a big gap in the audience, then a lot of people in the middle and the rear of the hall.
The problem was a small crowd of yobs - the aforementioned violent moshers. Things turned very ugly indeed following "Smash It Up" with fighting breaking out, and Dave Vanian halted the gig and tried to break up the violence. "You don't push women" he kept saying. Patricia also looked livid and took the microphone and told the yobs to "fuck off, we don't want you at our gigs."
I went backstage afterwards and found a very downheartened Captain. He had wanted to create a good impression as his kids Fred and Daisy had come along to watch the gig. The yobs had spoiled the whole evening for everyone. After lengthy discussions and post mortems of what went wrong, everyone started to drift off and Cap drove us and Monty and his girlfriend back to Brighton. Back in the flat Louisa rustled up a very tasty veggie pasta, and we watched a little of the "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here" thing on ITV2.
Then I had a bit of a chat with Cap as he showed me some of his photos on the computer and burned a few of them onto a CD for me. He also included an MPG of Teasing LuLu which I've been trying to copy to their website. Without success. (Grrrr...)
By this time it was about 1:30 in the morning, Louisa had already gone to bed and I was feeling knackered so I bade Cap goodnight and went off to the sofa (very comfortable) to get some long overdue kip.
Sorry, no time to post, as I'm off to Wales for the weekend very shortly and need to finish packing. When I get back I'll write about Brighton, The Damned in Worthing the other night, and Wales (of course). Oh, and Tamsin - if you're looking in - I've got some photos for you!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:31 pm