fingertrouble: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Coffee and fresh sweat of a man I like ;-)
fingertrouble: HercuUUuuULllEEss (Farnese hercules)
Hmm, the weird thing about being over 40 is being in this odd hinterland, being sexually dropped for 'fresh fruit' - amount of bears and older bearded/hairy guys who are only looking for 18-20's aged guys is depressing (given what bears was originally about), and I probably didn't know how unique I was back then...I liked older guys AND wasn't expected to get paid. No wonder they loved me, saved them so much money for rent :-P

Just had the 'just be friends' line via someone who seemed interested but apparently now is only attracted to guys in their 20's, I wished he'd made that clear...

The irony will be is by the time I might be considered eligible again - e.g. 50-60+ 'daddy' type with grey/white beard (already getting close with the latter) and maybe attractive to the late 20's-30's group*, I suspect I might have just given up bothering. :-(

* Unlike these chicken hawk bears, I don't go for that 'student' age group, even though a few have expressed interest out and about I'm always suspecting they might just want my wallet! Nor do I pretend I am younger, or go to the gym, or cut my beard - all things that would 'improve' my chances, but I see no reason to change myself just to shag someone that shallow...what's the saying? My right hand is a better lover? :-P
fingertrouble: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I have intervened when it's been 2 against one, or an obvious unfair fight. Usually just shouting and making them aware that others are watching solves it, because they are drunk or caught in the moment.
fingertrouble: every nun needs a synthi (holy synth)

New mix from me (the podcast might have ended but I reserve the right to do the odd mix - or not). This is very much what the podcast wasn't - I hate the words ‘downtempo’ or ‘chilled’ *shudder* but at some point I stripped all the uptempo tunes out of this mix, I wanted something deeper, something heavier, something that says ‘blank slate’ and new start – hence the name and the image. Something arising like a phoenix from the ruins of the Radio Clash podcast, and something I’d never do before – a mix on the nature of existence, mortality, alienation – the naked state of the world in 2015 without the shiny disco lights obscuring the truth.

That's the blurb and there's a bigger rant about audience vs art on the blog - the short version is one of the reasons I fell out of love with the podcast was feeling like I had to play certain tunes, keep my 'chin' up, play uptempo stuff, play mashups, please Schrödinger's crowd a little, or face question, pushback, ignorance etc. Now that's gone I can just do what I damn please, and that was the idea.

It's a good point though - may seem churlish (to them) but the audience isn't a passive thing, it affects the artist by just being there...the audience usually thinks it doesn't, but this is why I battled early on with Radio Clash with requests, critique, comments. My response was always 'do your own podcast!' rather than try and change mine into what YOU think it should be. DIY, punk ethos, start your own. Interesting how people get so angry when you refuse to do their work for them...or project that I'm being bitchy or a twat when I do. I suspect this is what a lot of divas get, that whole projected as bitch thing, because they have an idea of what they are doing, and don't want to change. Challenging that is hard, and eventually I got tired of this mindset, as much as in my head as anywhere but no less real. So I stopped the podcast before it became work - because working to other people's perceptions, expectations and framework IS indeed work.

Have to shout out to Soundhog and [ profile] greatbearmd for inspiring this mix - I wouldn't know about Mel Croucher or Troyka otherwise.

Download (125Mb, 1:37)

  • Arvo Pärt – Tabula rasa: II. Silentium. Senza moto

  • Mel Croucher – I Am Machine (feat. Jon Pertwee, Donna Bailey & Ian Dury)

  • Nona Hendryx – Design For Living

  • A Guy Called Gerald – Emotions electric

  • Gary Le Strange – All I Ever Do (Is Sit in My Room)

  • Labelle – Are You Lonely?

  • DJ Rozroz – la ritournelle de Marvin

  • Mort Garson – Prologue

  • bittersoundfoundation – second sight

  • Mort Garson – I’ve Been Over The Rainbow

  • Broadcast – You Can Fall

  • Dionne Warwick – You’re Gonna Need Me

  • Stereolab – You Used to Call Me Sadness

  • AFx – 15 sekonda

  • Troyka – Early Morning

  • Boards of Canada – Reach For The Dead

  • Low – Just Make It Stop

  • Mel Croucher – Old Age (feat. Jon Pertwee)

  • Super Furry Animals – Download

  • Arvo Pärt – Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten

  • Material featuring Whitney Houston – Memories

  • Arvo Pärt – My heart’s in the highlands

  • Mogwai – Helicon 1

  • Mel Croucher – Replay (feat. Ian Dury & Jon Pertwee)

  • Motherlode – When I Die

  • Labelle – I Believe That I’ve Finally Made It Home

* No prizes if you can tell me where that quote is from ;-)
fingertrouble: (Tim Sideways)
I geeked out and ordered one of the new Raspberry Pi 2 computers. All of £27 with postage!

Planning to make it a NAS/media server and iPlayer download so I don't have to leave my laptop running or worry about VPN being switched to certain locations to get downloads as I do now...apparently Microsoft are going to make a free version of Win10 for it, but I will be running Raspian or Ubuntu most likely - a new version called Ubuntu Snappy Core is also supported.

Nice thing about the Raspberry is it's made in Bridgend in Wales, it's British, and given the shortages before, they made sure that 10,000 units were available at launch, and many more being made. Picking up a second hand LCD monitor tomorrow, which I need for other video devices generally and will replace my old CRT monitor which uses up FAR too much space...having a DVI-D capable monitor even an old one will help greatly in these HDMI/digital days (Although getting video from the Amiga might still be fun without a TV).

Unlike the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator, which I ordered the drum machine one over a week ago, and now have been told it will be April before I get it. Britain 1, Sweden 0.
fingertrouble: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Game of Thrones, to catch up before series 4. Never really liked it, then Hapthor joined *cough* yeah I am that shallow sometimes...and actually loved it so I watched series 1-3 pretty much back to back.
fingertrouble: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I think it was something like 30-32 hours. Just to see what it's like.

Around 24 hours you get a second wind after feeling really dog tired, but you start sort-of hallucinating about the 28 hour mark, your eyes start to defocus/focus constantly and you feel really ill...
fingertrouble: every nun needs a synthi (holy synth)
I feel guilty that I haven't posted about the new year...mostly because it feels like new year, same shit. Customer service nightmares, banks and supermarkets who take your money and then treat you like shit, and a new year which is mostly a let down / raining. Yeah.

Xmas was quiet - I made Xmas Day Dinner for John, the first time so stress was high... and made the Best Risotto EVAH! as a starter which pleased me no end, because I was really worried about that...had a minor meltdown when I saw the nearly 2 inch Cote De Boeuf massive steak John had brought - I had planned everything to a T, but not checked that...luckily my Hairy Bikers Grill (no, not a fan, they just were on special and are rather good actually) managed to just fit it...with roast potatoes which were cheaty Waitrose ones (Waitrose...grr...The Forbidden Supermarket now, long story involving my chip & PIN card not working and them treating me like I was penniless vagabond - and finally it turned out to be THEIR machine, not my card. I had to do the walk of shame sans groceries. Dumb.) but I also learned how to make real ones. It's all about the fat!

Talking about fat I was glad to get to normal eating habits, because over Xmas we ate very well, then went out with Kirk and had a meal (this year seemed to be Hampstead Xmas, always meeting my flat, everyone LOVES my flat and my area, except me, I get bored of it and want to go far, far away. Preferably Bermuda, Australia, South Africa, anywhere warm and preferably without dumb people talking about politics or queer issues. Or inane chatter.)

I saw my Dad and Christine after Xmas for New Year's Day, again more rich food, and plenty of nice wine...stayed over and watched the birds fight it out in their garden, Robins, great tits, and the odd clueless looking blackbird who seemed disgruntled it couldn't fit into the birdhouse or feeder. We went for a walk along the old A3, next to the old old A3 at Hindhead, the Devil's Punchbowl. Not been there since they closed the road and were just about to open the tunnel, so it was strange to walk along the reclaimed hill and think of all those times I wizzed past there in my Dad's car - or even the odd fraught and unsuccessful driving lesson (which reminds me, Santander seems to think it's the United States here since to take money out without a cash card needs two forms of identity - a passport and a driving license, and that's all they accept. Cos everyone drives, right? More dumb).

As you might have guessed this year has been sorting out long-left financial stuff - even down to sorting out my home insurance which has gone from reasonable ten years ago to rip-off level - at current prices. Loads of odd questions - how the fuck should I know what the roof is made of? It's only contents insurance and I'm not on the top floor! Difference between other places and the UK, someone who has never made a claim and been insured for something like ten years - I phone up my current one and ask how I can reduce my premiums, I take off a few things and am told 'Computer Says No' about reducing the level of cover...I am overinsured since stuff has devalued, broken or been sold. I bet in other countries like the States they would value the loyalty and have a 'deal' or sweetener to stay...not in the UK, you get a harrumph and a like it or lump it attitude. But the 'broken machine' thing is the story of my life atm, so many of other people's systems don't work, and then they force the customer to jump through hoops. Bet you anything when I phone to cancel my old insurance tomorrow after sorting out a new quote (which I sort of have already, roof question allowing) they then try and 'keep' me when it's too late. If at all, the telecoms and mobile people are the same, they don't care until I've left, oddly. Maybe places like EE Broadband should try and keep customers, rather than do damage limitation when you've cancelled (and lie to you about charges, as well!).

Went to the sauna for the first time in years, to the Waterloo Pleasuredrome (I did go to Chariots Waterloo for the first time ever, but it was shit, and the people were milling around doing nothing and looking down their noses, I left and went to Pleasuredrome for the first time in about 10-15 years). I had a nice time but the nicest thing was the jacuzzi. If you don't have a bath you really treasure the moments of being immersed in water...good for the skin, too.

Went to a few great exhibitions recently - the one just closed this weekend on William Morris was beardy and facinating...his life-long batchelor friend Philip Webb raised eyebrows, since victorian times that was very unusual was at the National Portrait Gallery - some good photos, socialist history and his design was amazing, of course already knew a bit about him, but not seen his Chaucer in the flesh. Surprised they put Edward Carpenter, Anne Besant, Marx's daughter, Bernard Leach and Sylvia Pankhurst in the exhibition - a little tenuous of the curators trying to stretch Morris's News From Nowhere where he predicted a new socialist utopia in 1952 - of course they stretched it to Festival of Britain (1951). Boos to Eric Gill being there, though. No mention of his crimes.

I also saw the MIRRORCITY exhibition, also just before it closed...I wish I'd seen it earlier...mostly for two works, I became an instant fan of Ursula Mayer's videos, it's queer thing maybe, they just spoke to me (and having JD Samson in one doesn't hurt - not so into the Ayn Rand inspired one, but Medea with JD was very good) and the twisted narrative of Lindsay Seers at the start...she had a real story to tell with schizophrenia, dancing, her Dad's past and Leni Riefenstahl on Heligoland. Not sure how much of it was true, but it didn't matter since the connections it made were interesting, like a double screen documentary in a gothic cathedral like space, projected onto spheres. And I liked Tim Etchell's posters where he took and remixed headlines for comic and tragic effect.

But the rest, bar Susan Hiller who I love but sadly hers was the last and by then I was burnt, really demonstrated one of the problems of modern video art, and art in general. It's good I came to it fairly blind and didn't read the bumf at the site. "MIRRORCITY explores the effect the digital revolution has had on our experiences....The exhibition considers questions specific to our time such as: ‘How can we navigate the space between the digital and the physical?’ and ‘What is the effect of advanced technologies on our lives?'" - very little of that, and surprising how traditional most of the work was if that was the brief.

But I left singing/chanting "I Don't Give A Fuck About Your Story" - uncharitable but true, since a lot of the younger (20? 30's?) artists were doing really involved video pieces of them talking to camera, or others....but they didn't have anything to say, nor experience to impart. There was a lot of that disconnect, of obviously rich or at least well-supported young artists trying to say something and completely failing. And certainly lack of any new media that wasn't around say, 20-30 years ago. This digital revolution seems to involve drawing maps of charts, having one-headphone installations while nailing all the other old ones to the wall, making odd noises like Kurt Schwitters never happened, running a Berlin record label and being an artist on the side with forgettable closeup images, recreating a strange spooky space like the inside of a boiler room which you need to queue up for, and recreating your studio with hanging things in the gallery (which was at least fun in a child hides in the wardrobe way, you had to thread your way through the work). But a lot of painting, a lot of text work (oh how 20's that is, to work with text pieces - I did! It's clever but usually forgettable) mixed media sculpture in a sort of 'oh we have to have sculpture' 60's fashion and photography with completely blank punctum/perspective, nothing happening there.

It mostly didn't say anything - which is one of the problems with video installation and modern art (this is what I majored in btw) - the blank narrative of 'nothing happens' is boring, but so is 'personal story that I'll relate to you' - it's like someone telling you their dreams. You don't actually care. If you work contains a narrative, make it an interesting one...or go find one that is. Creating the artistic version of 'Time passes...' in an adventure game isn't deep, it's dumb, usually. A lack of ideas...because like when someone creates a memorable pop song and it's EVERYWHERE, an artist with ideas that people can latch onto is rare but also successful.

Enough ranting on the state of modern art, I hope you all are well, and find 2015 more interesting than I have so far...changes are afoot which means this year is probably going to be rocky and less than fun, but who knows? I hope yours is better.
fingertrouble: (top hat James wedding)

Merry Christmas from Radio Clash, and how better to celebrate with the third instalment of Bah Humbug, the strange, wrong, silly and anti-Christmas music compilation?

Again it’s 80 minutes so can fit on a CD but this time in a long mix format this time (partly because I didn’t want to be shouted at by a few people wanting to flog their Xmess goods) but downloadable as a present to all those who stuck by Radio Clash Podcast all those years! In fact long-time listeners will recognise some of these tracks, it’s kind of a ‘best of’ mix of what I’ve collected and played over the last 3 years since BH2.

And I’ve listened to a LOT of Xmas compilations over the years, and I think BH are the best (if I say so myself) a mix of ‘hip’ obscure and the better known, from death metal to punk to industrial to mashup to cutup to EDM to hiphop and comedy. Certainly I know Bah Humbug 1 + 2 get the yearly Kirk nod-of-approval, so I hope this one is good enough to join his yearly present wrapping playlist…

This one is distilled/inspired/partly stolen from these people, amongst many others:

Oh and this is not safe for Santa, small children, reindeer, elves, let alone work - or anyone at Christmas for that matter.

Download over at Radio Clash.

You can still download the first Bah Humbug, and Bah Humbug 2 and various Christmas shit here.
fingertrouble: (Default)
Where are your 40 thieves? ;-))
fingertrouble: (Default)
Sad to hear that (belatedly but I check in here only once a week, and don't always get to read all the posts).

And divorce sucks...I know that personally (although only as the child, a I many scars still).
fingertrouble: (top hat James wedding)

Not massive news to report, apart from the 10th birthday of Radio Clash / Ending of the podcast. All told it's sad but something I planned a LONG time ago, podcasting never was the revolution I wanted it to be - sold out and destroyed by BBC, NPR and iTunes - and the listenership was still there but decreasing. Got some nice responses though, very humbling.

We did a 'wake' meal, myself, John and Kirk - hence the pictures...OK doing photographs while drunk is a BAD idea, you don't know how much work picking up the wrong sign was in Photoshop (luckily still had them, and I work fast).


Other news it was Black Friday / Cyber Monday here, which is a strange incursion of Americanism like Halloween has become (what's with drunken 20-30 year olds dressing up and having parties around Halloween - it's FOR KIDS, and I don't remember ever doing that, or even those parties being there more than 5-6 years ago...certainly the Trick or Treat and dressing up was frowned on as a kid as being too American).

Anyway, I didn't do the scary rugby scrum for crap TVs near me - which made the International Press, no less - which I just googled to find that the crap Polaroid and Blaupunkt TVs they thought were 'bargains' they can't even flog online (Daily Mail link which I usually don't post, but too good not to). This confirms what I thought about the whole thing, really from my research.

I wanted a few things - mostly an external hard drive because I'm running out of space, and some replacement warm lined trousers, but unlike the 'amazing' (?) US deals, lots of Googling and searching on Friday, Sunday and Monday failed to find anything that great. In fact many of the same deals were showing on Monday night, or actually weren't cheaper than other places, or actually MORE than eBay/other sites. Especially on Amazon many of the same 'deals' weren't shifting, as with other places...I get the feeling that BF/CM was a bust this year. (Apart from Tesco and Asda flogging crap TVs).

In the end I bought a 4TB Touro drive from a site nothing to with 'Black Friday' or 'Cyber Monday', and ditto on the trousers. So much for 'capitalism' and sales, as usual, it's complete crap, and they're just trying to shift the same old a normal price and pretend it's special.

Oh and joy of landlord - well his oiks - put up scaffolding at 8am this morning without saying anything, outside my window...clanking away. Apparently they are replacing windows on the top floor, nothing mentioned to me, no notice at all. So Xmas - which will be spent here and yours truly is going to cook for the first time ever (!!!) will probably spent looking out on a view of scaffolding, and maybe workmen. This is not the porn scenario you want either, namely they are never that cute. Although they MIGHT get an eyefull since they can now look through the gaps in my curtains...and I'm not going to start wearing clothes in bed just because some idiots are playing monkey climbing games.

So I spent some of the morning trying to secure the windows more (either to stop them coming in, as I didn't know if the next question was about access, to which the answer would be 'come back in 2015 mate' - or because now there's scaffolding it makes the place less secure). There are sash bolts but you could still open the window a little which on the first floor was never a problem, til now. What does work is an improvised set of bungie cords from the windows to the radiator...that should make it hard to open the windows. Place is wired anyway ;-)

But it did fuel a rather err, *heated* exchange with the landlord, well his 'staff'. Needless to say people who have been reading this blog for a while will have heard it all, but basically he never gives any legal notice (legal tenancy it's a month) at all, or at very short notice, I then get rude messages from his staff expecting me to just comply...and they get all shirty when I question it, or point out the lack of notice. This one I was told I was rude, which is funny since the same email said that she didn't think that scaffolding 3 weeks before Xmas - and probably over Xmas since I doubt they'd do the job by then - would ruin Christmas, well I can't think of anything more Xmassy than scaffolding and workmen looking into your windows.../not. I did suggest tinsel, a few lights, ;-)

Those kind of churlish passive-aggressive 'Well *I* don't think so' /Janis-The-Noo-Joisey-Secretary-Voice are par for the course, and they call me rude for being a bit sarcastic and calling this crap?

This means I have to have the curtains closed, because Satan's Little Helpers report back (not paranoia, been told off for having an untidy flat before now - yes really!) and generally I don't like blokes I don't know looking at my privates of a morning, well not ones I haven't invited inside! This does not help my S.A.D. - need MORE light not less. *sigh* More Xmess stress...

I did have a rather interesting dream/idea for a short film, about unwanted scaffolding & works awakening a man who then goes mad due to constant unreasonable and constant noise...then pushes the workman off, and is then hung on guessed it, scaffold. Would make a rather dark animation...I was storyboarding it in my head as they clanked and shouted outside. Artistic revenge!


Oct. 5th, 2014 07:20 pm
fingertrouble: (pub step)
Every time I see that LJ front page with 'Promote your post with 100 tokens' I think: this aint no rollercoaster ride. What is this, the dodgems? Or some 80's arcade at the seaside where you had to change your money into tokens?

Actually the latter would be very cool.
fingertrouble: (pub step)
Interesting weekend, I spent it going to a Radical Faerie Ball, which was a lot of fun and my first...met a lot of cool people, John from Reading invited me along. There was drumming, dressing up, auctions and artwork, and rituals, which for a cynic like me was eye-opening and difficult to disable the sceptical part of my mind. I was surprised how actually untactile I've become, if you asked me I'd say I was touchy-feely, but that's with people I know. I don't mind being touched, just I tend not to reciprocate unless I know someone, or am attracted. This openness - not just physically but generally - I think I need to work on.

Meditation does work though, interesting how calmer I've been feeling, despite a trying week (grrs go out to: Passport Office, new electric Grills that break after 11 days, and a certain domain host screwing up a transfer that has now reached Nominet Complaint level).

I've been recently trying to get out of my comfort zone, what with Glastonbury on my own, this, and going to events on my own. The Faerie Ball was in Vauxhall, I was going to go home but said sod it and went to Duckie - they're all in Sitges but Unskinny Bop stood in for Reader's Wifes and Amy Lame, with the Chalkwell Ladies Drum and Bass Massive. It was really good, the second time I've gone on my own and followed through my maxim 'I Just Came To Dance' - yes cute men were there, but as always in sheep-like packs, herd instinct and scared of the strange man dancing alone in the kilt.

Yes, I wore my kilt to the ball and Duckie, the Westwood naked cowboys tshirt (yes [ profile] holy13nation it gets used on special queer occasions ;-) and my 1860's silk brocade waistcoat and my tweed kilt jacket as it was a bit cold.

I wasn't going to go to the March the next day, but felt I should even with only 4-5 hours sleep. It was the People's Climate Change march and the Queer Bloc (Faeries) were there too:

John (Reading John) left, and Miqhael.


There were 10,0000+ on the March - must've been quite a few since when we got to the end, apparently the march was still back at Temple from Whitehall, and we weren't at the front. We stayed near the music van, dancing for climate change!

There was a serious side, but the sun was out and it was a lovely, if slightly cold later, day. It's amazing that recent polls have shown that climate change is way down the stack of things people think are a threat - 7th? 8th? with inevitably the scare-tactic of terrorism coming out top. As was restated many times - it's not if it's when, and if things don't change it will get much worse. I still can't get over the fact that not only people still argue about climate change even existing (?) that Polar Bears in their natural habitat might be extinct in my life, along with many other species we now take for granted.

After listening to Emma Thompson (who was very good) we had a picnic in the park, and most ended up in a love pile. I called it Human Jenga...

Burghers of Calais Say No To Fossil Fuels!

More pics of the March.
fingertrouble: (top hat James wedding)

I was a lot more comfortable being vulnerable and open
When I was younger and it wasn’t clear if I was or wasn’t joking
But so much is broken, just like fuck it, the fix is in
If i can’t hide in plain sight anymore I’ll just stay hidden
It’s been a minute since I left this domicile
No need to change my outfit, I rock it like it’s going out of style
It’s not in style? Ain’t no one here to tell me otherwise
It gets more difficult to stay inside during the summertime
But most of the time it’s just like any other time
Avoid personal interaction and human touch, shut the blinds
It’s been a while since I left this bachelor pad
I need to go to the market soon cause the food is going bad
The food is bad. I found it’s difficult to just cook for one
With healthy recipes, well, depending on what book they’re from
If you want to eat healthy you gotta dirty some dishes
The frozen dinners quickly ready to serve and it’s so delicious
It’s not delicious, it’s disgusting, but it satiates the hunger with a quickness
And hey, at least it’s something, at least it’s something
At most it’s nothing, fuck’s wrong with me? I don’t know, I’m just adjusting...

My 20’s were a roar, my 30’s were a blur
My 40’s, I’m not so sure, but I’mma make ‘em purr

I recognise myself in this video and song so much, it's not true.
fingertrouble: every nun needs a synthi (holy synth)

And he said
"London, can you wait
For all the things I need to say
How long can you wait?".

Not many songs I know every single word to, without any reference - and can pretty much sing, but this is one. Olympian was a really important album, not just coming out (two of the songs 'Sleep Well Tonight' and 'Left Handed' became personal anthems, especially the latter which was a cryptic gay rights anthem), but when I started working and partying in London, and then moved there in 1999 this song resonated even more. 'London Can You Wait' and 'In The City' seemed to echo that newly arrived starry eyed thing, but also the down side along with Pulp's Different Class. Oddly the other two albums that soundtracked that era were Amateur OST and the recently released Pavement last album.
fingertrouble: photography (behind camera)

Should have posted this ages ago, here are my pics of Glastonbury 2014:

No real shocks here. It's got ever Glasto trope in one set! Oh I didn't get a crowdsurfer one. Almost every one then.

These aren't bad for my little LX5 anyway, although it struggled in low light, given the absolute deluge (the storm that closed Glasto for 45 minutes - complete shutdown on all stages, no power - is pictured 5th below, untweaked, it looked THAT scary) glutinous mud I was glad I didn't take the big camera.

More piccies! )
fingertrouble: HercuUUuuULllEEss (Farnese hercules)
I need to watch it, but I thought this response to a friend's post about that era, I think it needs repeating here:

Also reading about the plot of The Normal Heart I'm struck by this: it's easy to dismiss those people as irresponsible, sluts 'who brought it on themselves' - hindsight is a terrible drug.

After being suppressed and forced into hidden bars and attacked by police, I can see why people went overboard with the sexuality and partying when they finally won the battles to do so, and it was hard won. So I can see how when this new disease arrived they just thought it was a ploy from the moral majority, trying to put them all back in their box, hidden away in shuttered bars and away from sight. I can see how that was a political thing, an important thing.

We now know it wasn't that, and it was actually sexually transmitted and the frequent partners helped that...but they didn't know that, and were suspicious of people telling them how to live, to stop having sex, without proof. And that was long coming...and by then a lot of people were infected.

Also that distrust of the status quo had it's uses in the Act UP! and other fights for recognition and help...not letting the medical community off the hook, or the governments.

It's easy to slut shame those people, but I see them as those people before me fighting for the right to love, shag, party, and indeed marry - they created that foundation. It's sad that a lot nowadays is formed around conforming, assimilating. I think we can learn a lot from those we lost about how we should react to the mainstream, and what political strategies we should use.

Because to the mainstream we're never going to be 100% accepted, to be totally respectable, and nor should we want to be - that would make us them.
fingertrouble: HercuUUuuULllEEss (Farnese hercules)
Dunno why Firefox 29 Mac is such a problem for Livejournal, but still doesn't post/comment properly.

This is another reason why I'm not commenting as much as usual, and certainly it's not encouraging either posting or commenting when I have to switch from my usual browser to Safari JUST to do that. Hmm.

(I could do that Safe Mode thing, but those things have a tendency to nuke the plugins or settings...always the solution with Firefox issues, but like any Apple support/Pure Radio/etc resetting then reprogramming all your settings back in is a real's probably LJ's fault anyways, all other sites are fine.)
fingertrouble: HercuUUuuULllEEss (Farnese hercules)
I haven't really detailed much of the whole stomach thing, life-changing as it is.

Last August I suddenly started to get stomach cramps when I ate, and felt bloated and not hungry if I did for upto 12-16 hours, explosive diarrhea - this is why the walks suddenly stopped, being curled up in a ball in bed (or sometimes needing a toilet immediately) was not conducive to walking 5-10 miles from the nearest anything.

After changing my diet many times and failing (More fibre? feel worse. No milk? No change. Less shit food? Worse. Ironically the shit food is the less problematic, chips, processed meat etc).

So spoke to my doctor before Xmas, she mentioned FODMAP diet, and IBS and all the rest. Had the tests and apparently no for Coeliac disease, Crohns and Bowel Cancer, so it was the vague IBS diagnosis. Doctor kept pushing those peppermint tablets on me, which actually do work, but I was taking them like smarties. Minty-fresh breath and more worryingly minty-fresh shit, but expensive and still didn't solve the problem. It was better, but not great - still the odd attack, this was a few months ago.

I'd avoided pasta as that was one of the triggers along with pizza and ciabatta, and already gone lactose-free to rule that out (Almond milk is really nice, and has the benefit it actually doesn't go off as quickly as cow's milk, so that's stayed) and tried reducing and eliminating all FODMAP foods (basically stuff that ferments in your stomach, this includes beans I don't eat anyway, but also wheats, grains, mushrooms which I eat loads of being one of a couple of vegetables I eat, and chocolate) for a while. Didn't seem to make a difference. So ate the pasta and WHAM instant bout. This is when I started to think it was wheat/gluten based, I'd suspected it given some of the triggers (but others are tomato - me neither - and oats - which I switched to as part of granola, even gluten free granola makes me feel bad, but not the same way) - then my Dad called and said he thought he was wheat intolerant, he was having similar problems for the last three years mostly unknown to me. It's genetic btw.

So I think it's wheat or gluten - but like all detective stories it doesn't end that, it's not all the picture. Took me a long while to take wheat out of my diet completely and when I did I was surprised how I didn't feel shit after eating bread or anything with wheat, I'd gotten so used to 3-4 hours later feeling slightly crap than not having that, the absence of feeling crap (since stomach feeling bad has been a constant thing) was more surprising than it being bad. But had some gluten-free (which is the same as wheat-free usually) meals and felt really bad after them - could be mushrooms, could be tomato - most likely the former given both those meals were supposedly wheat/gluten-free but had those. We'll see.

But what annoys me, and I went on a sort of rant on Facebook about - is the reaction from people. Turns out the scientist bloke who fingered gluten a few years back has now found it isn't gluten at all (remember this is ONE study! Out of...not many), and all the people who think it's a fad and love to point fingers have come out the woodwork.

I actually don't give a fuck what it is, tbh. It could be fluffy space aliens or Wheat That's Heard Too Many Bad Songs for all I care, I just want it to stop...but the whole 'it's a fad' or 'it's stress' or 'it's in your head' rings alarms. Because I'm also asthmatic and have eczema, the former since I was 8 and the latter for the last 4-5 years - that was misdiagnosed, as these things tend to be. As might have been a wheat/allergy sensitivity, since all of those are also apparently symptoms of wheat sensitivity/intolerance.

Thing is, because it's not a sexy (read: has big grants or possible products to flog) part of medicine all these areas have few studies into them. A few about children with asthma, less about eczema and stomach stuff outside of Crohns, Coeliac and Cancer is a big area marked 'we don't know'. The studies about this are fairly new, and they only now are starting to realise about the 'gut brain' and the fact that it's a more complex nervous/bacterial system than they thought.

But until they find out WTF it is, some will treat you like you're a hypochondriac, that it's in your head, that it's a fad, that you're mad, bad or sad basically. This is the nature of the medical - and even worse wannabe Internet Medical - community. Don't understand it? Patient is making it up. I've got this a lot from the doctor, but I know my mind, well aware of stress levels and triggers, I've had to be as an asthmatic. And no, you can't unthink an attack...I've tried many times. You can lessen it, you can meditate yourself into calmer breathing, but the trigger/cause is still there. Dust, pollen, damp...but there are those who think it's all just cos you're stressed. Nope, it isn't.

Thing is I know there is a lot of bullshit attached to gluten-free stuff, the artisanal products, the woo. Some odd people are eating gluten free not because it gives them a hard time, but for dieting or fashion reasons - which I find weird cos GF food is not only hella-expensive, hard to find, it's also usually much less nice than the wheat alternative and NOT better for you unless you have Coeliac/Wheat/Gluten issues. It's a frankenfood, reading the ingredients is like a massive dictionary of food technology.

But it annoys me I have to fight through all these people who Know Better (but Know Nothing in fact - I wish they did, I'm happy for suggestions, but these people love to point to sole medical reports as if they have a medical degree, but they don't have anything except 'You're a bunch of losers' - umm, thanks for that important addition to the Future of Mankind). It reminds me of the people who think muscle spasms are just stress (nope, calcium/Vit D deficiency) and that eczema/asthma people can just change it through feeling happier. Umm, no. If it was that easy, and known, then people would happily take those 'cures'.

But it's easier to stigmatise people than listen to them, and easier to point and laugh than actually diagnose and research. And sadly too much of the former, and not enough of the latter. I'm not going to go off and start going all homeopathic (hence why I resisted the peppermint oil for a long time) but all clear that there is also Medical Woo - stuff We Don't Understand so will Mock. I won't be surprised if they find that some of the crap, additives, pesticides etc. in wheat is causing immune reaction triggers in people. Even the wheat version of a prion, maybe...but I doubt I'll get a sorry when they do.

In one way the diet people are correct, it is a fast way to lose weight, people keep telling me I've lost weight, people I know well/see often. I call it the Wheat Intolerance diet, otherwise known as Curl Up In A Ball diet. It's the only way darlings! :-/

May 2017

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