School

May. 22nd, 2013 06:25 pm
deathpixie: (cunning plan)
Results so far:

Legal Computer Applications - 100%

Introduction to the Legal System - 98%

Communication/Writing - 100%

Module 4 is Legal Research/Writing, and since I handed in my assignment on time, I'm pretty sure I'll get another 100% or so. Which means I'm on track for the Dean's List.

/bragging
deathpixie: (afraid of love)
Like a lot of my friends, I'm a fan of a webcomic/blog called Hyperbole and a Half by a woman called Allie Brosh. She's been pretty quiet for a while now (about a year and a half, in fact) and today she posted the reason why in this post.

You ever have a moment when you read something and realise it's like reading the inside of your brain? Allie's experience with depression - and especially her suicidal feelings - were scarily close to mine. It hurts, reading it, but it also helps, since here is someone who is able to explain what I've never been able to.

I still feel guilty about being depressed. Because I know what a burden I was to my friends and I know how frustrating it was for them to watch me sink deeper and deeper into hopelessness. I know, because I've been in the reverse position myself, with my ex. You'd think it would have helped when it was my turn, but it really didn't, and now I'm reluctant to talk about the depression with most but a very few people. I feel like I've leeched all the understanding and compassion I deserve, when people were trying to fill the great black hole of nothing that was the depression at its worst:

And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something — it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing. You can't fill it up. You can't cover it. It's just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem.

I'm sorry I couldn't respond to help, that I couldn't talk out what was bothering me and feel better. I did talk stuff out - over and over - but all it did was make me feel worse because isn't talking meant to make you feel better, and all it did for me was highlight just how depressed and hopeless I was. And eventually, I got to the place Allie describes frighteningly well:

...I somehow managed to convince myself that everything was still under my control right up until I noticed myself wishing that nothing loved me so I wouldn't feel obligated to keep existing... there I was, casually wishing that I could stop existing in the same way you'd want to leave an empty room or mute an unbearably repetitive noise.

I never wanted to kill myself. I just wanted to be dead. I wanted to stop. Everything. I pushed everyone away so I could tell myself it would be all right to kill myself, because no-one cared any way. And ironically, it was the fact my parents were visiting that made me not do it. I didn't want to spoil their first trip overseas together.

Yeah. Depressed brains totally make no sense.

It took [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com] basically threatening to hate me forever if I did something stupid that got me to the doctor and the meds which, frankly, saved my life. They lifted the blanket long enough for some light to creep back in, and gave me perspective again.

These days, I'm mostly doing better. I have bad times, usually when I'm having PMS and it feels like everything is likely to make me feel like crap and that I can't do anything right. I have moments where I just wish I could stay in bed with the blankets pulled over my head and disappear forever - at the same time all I want is for someone to notice I'm not doing so well and take care of me and let me cuddle with them on the sofa. I have little to no interest in sex for about three years now. I over-compensate sometimes, trying to be the life of the group, to somehow make up for the fact I was such an enormous downer. That usually results in being an arse. *sighs* I have trouble getting enthusiastic for the things that used to excite me, much like Allie's metaphor of a child outgrowing their toys: school is the first thing in three years I've been excited about for an extended time, and I'm clinging to that while I have it. Things are getting better, step by step.

Normally I'd hide this behind a filter, mostly so I don't bore people. Not this time, tho'. Perhaps I'm just looking for attention. Who knows.
deathpixie: (Emily)
I have another talk, this one without powerpoint and with a strict 3-4 minute time limit and with the requirement I do research/cite sources. So something a little less light-hearted and more social education-y, I think. Or at least something serious I can get animated about. Any way, I need a topic asap for the talk on Monday and I'm stuck. Those who know me and what I'm into, any suggestions?
deathpixie: (defying gravity)
Apologies for the multiple posting in various social network platforms, but I have people scattered all over the place. At least I'm going to the trouble of actually writing three different things? ;)

Any way, we started our third module - Communications in Law - tonight, which meant we finally got our results for Module 1 - Legal Computer Programs. That's the one where we did the Word and Powerpoint stuff, and the one where I did the talk on Deadly Australians for the Powerpoint evaluation. Any way, I got 100% for that module, even with the over-long Powerpoint talk.

So good start with the Dean's List aspirations. I'm feeling rather chuffed with myself, I have to admit. :)

RIP

Apr. 22nd, 2013 10:21 am
deathpixie: (don't mess with red)
Divinyls Singer Chrissie Amphlett has died.

The linked article is a very good one from the ABC news site.

I remember seeing the Divinyls for the first time on Countdown and being wowed by Chrissie's energy and passion, even as a 12 year old. And contrary to what the news sites might tell you, they had several hits other than "I Touch Myself". This one's one of my favourites:

Argh.

Apr. 16th, 2013 06:21 pm
deathpixie: (so very tired)
Oh for the love of gods, please stop running, nose, it's been going on for three weeks and I'm running out of bodily fluid for you to dribble...

Yeah, still got a runny nose from the cold/flu/whatever of a couple of weeks ago. The rest of me is fine, except I'm tired of wiping my nose. And my nose is tired of being wiped, too - it's red raw and I think I'm brewing the third or fourth coldsore since it began. :(

Otherwise, I'm good. School's good, work's busy and spring is slowly creeping in.
deathpixie: (defying gravity)
So we're into the second week of April and spring is playing peek-a-boo with us in a big day. Some days have been lovely - sunny, warm (for values of 'warm' - I'm at the point where I consider 10-12 C 'warm'), and that particular earthy smell that tells you spring is coming. Then we get pouring rain, single-digit temperatures and everything goes into hiding again. Best of all, we still have one more winter storm to go - tomorrow's forecast is for freezing rain and ice pellets and a top of zero Celsius. My evening class teacher is considering cancelling tomorrow night for safe travelling's sake.

School is going well. I don't have the exact marks for my first module (Legal Computer Applications - basically Word and Powerpoint), but I'm fairly sure it's close to 100%. The only thing that might have knocked me back was going over my alloted time for my talk (by about double - curse you, Australia, for being full of things that are trying to kill us!), but I did show off appropriate Powerpoint skills, so, fingers crossed. The next module is "Introduction to Legal Studies", which is a look at what law is and how we got it. Fairly basic stuff, with a quiz, an assignment and an exam, whee! The work's pretty easy so far, although I'm noticing the hours this week - partly due to the fact that I'm still sick with the thing I caught before Easter. Hopefully I can shake it off soon so I can get some energy back!

Work is mostly okay, apart from a lovely bit of news yesterday. Because the government is cutting back public service workers (the OPESU) to the tune of 900-odd in Ontario, the various ministries are currently "surplussing" people. Which means you get told your job no longer exists and you have a couple of weeks to work out what you want to do before the official lay-off notice comes. We're losing J., the executive assistant to our director - the whole thing came totally out of the blue. And because her position is now 'surplus' to the Ministry, her work will be redistributed - technically to the director's other assistant in his other Ministry (he wears two hats), but considering a lot of it is specfic to what we do (various reports and such), I have a feeling it will end up bouncing back on us despite assurances.

This whole surplussing thing is discomforting. I mean, I'm pretty sure I'm safe - I've been there for almost 7 years now, I'm fairly indispensible, my lawyers would cause a riot if I was let go and we've already established my 'back-up' can't do the job when I'm on vacation, let alone take it over full-time. But it's just nerve-wracking any way. And this isn't the only round of lay-offs, either - it's just the first blood-letting.

Blargh.

Any way, things are generally okay. Just having a long, tired day so I'm a tad meh. But I really am enjoying school, so much. It's great to be learning again, and I'm already chummy with my desk mate, a woman around the same age who currently works as a probation officer.

Bother.

Mar. 28th, 2013 11:17 am
deathpixie: (so very tired)
So, after a winter of only one bout of the 'flu, I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat, stuff nose and the feeling someone had poured ground glass into my joints. And you know you're getting sick when symptoms pop up in your dreams. So yeah, looks like I'm coming down with a dose of the spring snuffles. Still, timing isn't so bad - I only need to get through today and I have three days to get over the worst of it, no work on Monday and classes Monday evening.

And yes, I'll tell you all about school once I'm through the first week. It's a wee bit tiring. Awesome, but tiring.

Homework

Mar. 27th, 2013 10:31 pm
deathpixie: (drop bear)
So, I have to do a 5 minute Powerpoint presentation for school on Thursday and I need the help of my non-Aussie friends. Common perceptions/impressions/myths you have or have heard about Australia and Australians - GO!
deathpixie: (Emily)
For want of actual content, have a meme. ;) Grabbed from someone's Tumblr post.

Cut for a big-ass list. )
deathpixie: (go where the road leads you)
Interesting thoughts on asking for things by writer C.E. Murphy. Warning for Amanda Palmer. ;)

For me, asking is always fraught with peril. Because I tend to take "no" as a value judgement of myself - people don't want to help with whatever because they don't like me. And sometimes (perhaps not as often as it feels like), I do ask and am answered with silence, or promises to do something that turn up empty, and I feel like I've put people in a position where they don't want to have to say "no", even though they really wanted to. So yeah, asking is incredibly hard for me.

And yet... for the really important things, the things that matter, I've had more "yes" responses that have been followed through. Something to remind Captain Paranoia of, next time I have to ask for something.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] mizkit at The worst they can say is no.

I have no idea when my mother first told me, “You can ask. The worst they can say is no,” but it was certainly long enough ago that it’s become an irrevocable part of my attitude toward life: Always let the other guy say no.


You would be *amazed* how much you can achieve by asking.


Which brings me immediately into Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk:



Watch it if you haven’t already, because it’s fairly inspiring, albeit in a “very few people are that brave” way. Amanda Palmer is a master at self-promotion and personal connections, and I’d love to have a tenth of her skill (debate: is it *possible* for a writer to build an audience the way Amanda’s done? Well, I guess so, I mean, giving it away worked for Scalzi and Cory Doctorow, though not quite in the get-out-and-meet-people way that AFP has done…), but for me one of the huge takeaways of her talk is a subtext of always let the other guy say no.


Amanda takes that to an art level (rather literally). She talks a lot about trust in her talk, and I think that’s part of letting the other guy say no. Maybe not even so much trusting *them*, but trusting yourself to ask, and to be able to deliver the goods if the answer is yes.


Because don’t get me wrong: asking is scary. It can be a real ego thing. If you ask and are denied, wow, does that mean they don’t love you? That they’re not interested? That you’re a FAILURE? That you will NEVER SUCCEED on the terms you hope to? Or if you ask and you don’t succeed BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS, does that mean you’re a failure, etc, etc etc?


Really, most of the time? No, it doesn’t mean that at all. Most of the time it means you’ve asked the wrong question of the wrong person or at the wrong time. Case in point: my own Kickstarter had about 500 backers. I have access to, say, 3000 or so distinct individual readers. I asked all those people to throw into the hat, and about a sixth of them responded. I just went and checked: Amanda Palmer’s got 800K followers on Twitter right now. 25K of them supported *her* Kickstarter. That’s a hell of a lot less than a sixth of them. For the rest, my takeaway is that it was the wrong time, the wrong project, the wrong request. One or many of those. (Know why I supported her Kickstarter? Because the video for it was worth five dollars to me. It was charming, delightful, sweet, and wonderful. I haven’t listened to the album. I probably won’t. But in the end, the manner of asking pleased me so greatly that I was happy to help out a little.)


Publishing works this way too. You query, you revise, you ask again and again. You get a lot of rejections. But if you don’t keep asking, you’ll never get to the one person who’s going to say yes, and so you just have to keep letting the other guy say no.


Life works this way. I really believe that. I don’t know if AFP thinks it in so many words, but I’m guessing it’s part of how she works, too. She is hoping–trusting–that if she asks, people will say yes. That they will find a way to respond positively.


An anecdote: when I was in high school, a friend and I wanted to cut class for some reason, and went to ask the teacher if we could do so. On the way, my friend remembered that we had a substitute that day, and said we were never going to be let out of class. “Oh,” I said airily, “that substitute likes me. She’ll let us out.”


My friend stopped dead and snarled, “Jesus, Catie, you think everybody likes you.”


Nigh unto a quarter century later and I’m still bemused by that. Well. Yes. As a rule, I do think everybody likes me, or that they *will* like me if they get to know me, because why wouldn’t they? *I* like me, after all, and I have to live with me all the time, so surely if you have a shorter window of exposure in which I can potentially annoy you, you’ll probably like me too. I mean, I’m aware there are people who *don’t* like me, and that’s all right too, but by and large? Yes. I assume people will and do like me. I expect the best of asking.


If you expect the world to be a positive place, it is far more likely to be a positive place. So go ahead and ask. The worst they can say is no.


(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

deathpixie: (Simon's Cat)
So, here I am in Sydney Airport. The predicted temperature is 39 C. Back in Toronto, they're being buried in snow.

This should prove interesting. Especially since I didn't pack my boots. Hmm.

Great holiday, btw. Caught up with the family, spoiled my nieces rotten and had a great send-off BBQ last night. Love you lot so much.

Success!

Jan. 29th, 2013 07:15 pm
deathpixie: (you can't take the sky from me)
I have arrived at my parent's new place in Wodonga, I have successfully bribed my nieces with belated Christmas and birthday gifts, and, most of all, I have gotten online with my own laptop! The password took some finding, but finally got there. Yay for me.

The weather is glorious today. Not too hot, wonderfully sunny, and I'm sitting out on the patio with a cup of tea by my side and a protein shakey thing in my belly. Today is a quiet day - I've been on the go since I got here and my voice is starting to fail. Sydney with the Aussie crew was fantastic, and mum and dad are more than okay, they're doing so much better in the new place, it's great to see.

Also, trampolines are a hell of a workout when you haven't used one for 20 years. My back is rather cranky today. But at least Zoe has a new game to play on it. :)
deathpixie: (rambling girl)
Heading to the airport shortly for a 2 week visit with the family in Aussie-land. I'll see you all in a bit. :)
deathpixie: (you can't take the sky from me)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] x_advertising at X-Project: An X-Men Movieverse RPG on Livejournal
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deathpixie: (rambling girl)
I looked at the calendar today and realised in exactly one week, I board a plane to go back to Australia for two weeks' visit.

That really snuck up on me. I have Things I need to do. Like get a hair cut.
deathpixie: (never give in)
I want to be able to do this, this year. No more being worried about what might happen or if I might get hurt. Time to be brave and to find joy.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] officialgaiman at My New Year's Wish...
posted by Neil




It's a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world. 

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we're faking them. 

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it's joy we're looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation. 

So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.


...

Fifteen minutes ago I was terrified, having just written this, and about to walk up onto the stage to perform the Fireball XL5 theme song with Amanda and the Grand Theft Orchestra. And I thought "You just wrote a New Year's wish. Listen to yourself. Put it into practice." I went out bravely. I sang in front of a thousand or so people with joy. 

And you know, it was wonderful.

(for a collection of the previous New Year's Wishes: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2011/12/my-new-year-wish.html)




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deathpixie: (you can't take the sky from me)
Talking with Benway last night, we got the news that Elena Zavotto had passed away in February 2012. It was suddenly, at home - reading the comments, it appears to have been connected to fainting spells she'd been having.

I thought I'd let people know. We'd lost contact over the past year or so, but I remember always enjoying our talks at Dexcon, and the exchanging of karate nerdiness as we both trained in the same style.

RIP, Elena.
deathpixie: (calvin and hobbes)
And it's news of the good sort, even. :)

As some of you might have noticed, a few weeks ago I mentioned I was scoping out potential night classes to get my paralegal qualification. Well, I found one that suited me and on Tuesday I signed up. Do, as of March next year, I'll be a student again!

The school is in the Eaton Centre, which is about 10 minutes away from work, and the classes run Monday to Thursday, 6:00 - 11:00 p.m. So yeah, I'll be a bit more scarce than I usually am, and certainly a bit more distracted, but it's all in a good cause. :) The course runs for a year, with two breaks, one in the summer and one next winter, and after that, I take the Law Society exam and qualify as a shiny new mini-lawyer. :)

I'm outrageously excited about all this. It's really the first big proactive, positive thing I've done since I made the decision to move to Canada, and I feel so good about it. It's me finally doing something constructive for my career, which has always taken a back seat to everything else, and I'm confident that I'll do well. And of course, none of this would be possible without [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com] helping me out with a loan, which means I don't have the usual financial anxiety which usually squashes my mood when I make a big, expensive decision (like travelling). I'll never be able to thank her enough. <3

And an added perk is that since I'll technically be a full time student, I get the student discounts on metro passes and such. So the money I'm saving can go towards paying off my debt. :) And I'll be going out into the world more and meeting new people, which is something I've been needing to do for a while, but needed a framework within which to do it. School is perfect. :)

I'm so chuffed about all of this. And wildly excited. I never thought, with the depression and the meds, that I'd actually feel this good about something again, which is why the extended squeeing I've been doing. (Sorry!)

It's so great to have something to look forward to again!

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