marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
The life updates I've posted so far this year have all been pretty shit. As is often the case when I've had enough positive energy I've been too busy trying to get things done to take or make the time to update here about day-to-day stuff. Facebook really has claimed that space in my life; although even there it is mostly a stream of articles and links about what I have read today online that I consider important, and jottings from gaming sessions.

There are still many things I could be attending to instead of posting, but someone worth writing about has come into my life and her presence and support is helping me get back on track. Yes, I have fallen into a relationship with a lovely lady of about my own age, based in Wellington but that's not an insurmountable issue in this age of electronic long-distance communication and affordable plane travel. We have just spent the better part of a fortnight in the same city (a trip arranged pre-relationship around other circumstances) and I was surprised at the feeling of loss as she walked out to the plane home; I am very cautious about letting myself feel too deeply too fast for anyone but apparently she managed to sneak something past my guard ;)

Positive impacts on my life and ability to do stuff include
- talking on the phone in the evenings winding down my brain for sleep
- wake-up calls and encouragement to get out of bed in the morning
- the "companionship" segment in my life filled in enough that life rolls a little more like a wheel and a little less like a triangle
- various topics and triggers of angst not having anything to get a grip on any more
- an overall improved feeling of wellbeing

Some of these will also be due to the season and increased daylight hours; and of course I'm not miraculously un-depressed. My sleep quality is still pretty rubbishy and quantity required still high. Anxiety about my performance at work has actually jumped even as I have found more reason to be there and work better.

But. Enough mental cycles have freed up that I am looking towards and thinking about the future with an energy that I have not had for a long time.

Happy days.

In other news
- my Monday gaming group has wrapped up for the moment; work and other commitments taking some of us away from the table.
- my Sunday game continues to progress although again real life means making some adjustments there.
- I've managed to slightly dent the reading pile.
- Friday just past was the 13th and I hosted another Gothic Vampire party (last year the opportunity was missed). There were fewer people than I had expected; but most seemed to be having a good time
- LBTC Gytha continues to be herself
- One of the Hall rabbits (domestics "released" into the grounds by someone at New Years) crossed the road and got itself picked up and taken to the vet by a neighbour; so we now know they are not microchipped and may be one step closer to rehoming them.
- We might just about be on top of the spring growth at the Hall this year; working bees have managed to be almost-monthly although it is still rare that anyone other than the Rovers and myself show up.
- I have had some issues with the number of requests for Hall time we've been getting from people who seem to think we're open 24/7 at the drop of an email.
- I've kind of given up on managing it myself and started paying someone to deal with some of the gardening and such.
marsden_online: (Default)
Reading back over my LJ and FB it looks like I started the year in much the same place emotionally as I am right now, there were quite a lot of individual good days in the company of friends but also some pretty bad patches - May, July, October through now ... I may have made some progress on identifying some of the puzzle pieces ...

My regular Sunday and Monday games were regular high points, other gaming was mixed. Recorded some good games; know I didn't bother griping about many not-so-good ones.

My muse turned on a few times, mostly in February and March but there are a few other substantial opinion posts througout the year.

I'm confident that I made a positive difference in the lives of a number of people over the year; less confident that I didn't impact negatively on anyone.

Politically the world seemed to continue to go to shit, both in NZ and overseas.

Notable events:

February: substantial aftershock just a few days short of the 5th anniversary of the 2011 quake brought everything flooding back for a lot of people.

April: Family reunion in the high country, returned to find an acquaintance had passed to cancer.

June: Buckets of Dice (mixed)
: combined having to get the drains replaced due earthquake damage with getting some substantial garden alterations done above ground, a very expensive month which nevertheless crossed two major projects off the list.

August: Hosted the KAOS 48 Hour Party despite being plagued myself during the weekend.

September: started a new drug/supplement, which didn't seem to help. Discontinued at the end of the 3-month course (wasn't subsidised)

November: SAGA's 48 hour charity event
: "Kaikoura" earthquakes (ongoing)

This year I didn't spend anything on my family for Xmas and instead focused on friends and other acquaintances whom I knew needed some nice things in their lives.

Had the family lunch not been at my relatively close parents I would not have attended that for the first time ever; this was something I was doing for myself as I did not feel up to the effectively full day of travel otherwise would have entailed. I did then end up appearing (and eating) at 3 different socials among friends in Christchurch and was quite exhausted by the end of the day but overall it felt lower-key.

I do appear to have completely exhausted myself physically* (gardening/housework) and mostly exhausted myself emotionally so I am hoping for a good KAOS New Years party tomorrow night to pick me up. Historically this is against the odds.

* My stamina seems to have plummeted over the year. I went to the Dr concerned a few weeks ago and he sent me off for a raft of blood tests, which I haven't heard back from yet.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
This long weekend I spent at a family reunion. Sparked by the current owners of the High Country station my (paternal) grandparents and parents built up having constructed quite a cosy wee lodge looking up the river as part of their tourist operation, it at some point became a thing that the three kids (my aunt, father and uncle) and as many of their families as could make it should all get together up there for a couple of nights. There were in the end only a few missing from the assembled tribe although some were only able to stay the first night.
family things )
Will link scenic photo gallery here when it is done.
Scenic photo gallery
Across the river
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
The vague blog-silence has not, this time been because things have been going well. Rather it is because mornings have pretty much been ceded to the depression. Although my mood is generally OK I am now consistently spending 10-11 hours a night/morning in bed, generally only finding the impetus to emerge about 10am (consistently, which is something). This has resulted in a massive reduction in the amount of time I have available to do anything, with
- work getting all the weekday afternoons (and sometimes as far as evenings when I have no other commitments),
- gaming three evenings plus prep time (you will have noticed that the logs are on hiatus ...),
- the Hall a few hours even on a quiet week (and we haven't had one of those for a wee while, even though our number of sensors as been further reduced the incidence of alarms is up /and/ there are a steady stream of photography requests)
- the essentials of living, keeping up with the world and social events squeezed in around the edges.

A fairly substantial head cold last week during which I worked from home*, when I could brain to, certainly has not help. I'm still shaking off / coughing up the dregs.
* made my minimum hours without burning my last half-day of sick leave; through the joy of statutory holidays.
Despite this I have managed to make small progress on a couple of ongoing "projects" and not take on any new ones (that come to mind) although there is one which is definitely noted down for later exploration.

Against that, positive things which my FB wall tells me have happened over the past month:
... Not a lot really. It's mostly a stream of links; many about what could be fixed in the world; some about more positive happenings.

Some definite wins in gaming especially in the Sunday game where the PCs accidentally released "Duke Vlad of Dracul" (completely mummified fellow with an interesting dental condition) from centuries imprisonment in a sealed catacombs. (Players' expressions totally worth it.)

Less of a win my first-in-all-my-years-gaming in-campaign attempt to kill another PC (but he deserved it).

Going to be an uncle again, youngest sister and her husband.

Contact from ECan after a submission I made, soliciting another one on a different plan. Nice to feel wrote something worthwhile.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Ref this OotS comic . Also disclaimer for wee-small-hours rambling.
personal blah )
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Looking back on 2013 as per usual I wrote more in my journal when sad and was too busy getting on with life when I wasn't, however FB did get updated regularly regardless of mood. FB is however rather more ephemeral, especially with the amount of links I push through, so it will be good to have some more things recorded here.

Overall 2013 was
- the year I started anti-depressants
- the year I stopped being self-employed
- a pretty good year even if it didn't feel like it so much in the throes of NYE party blues

Overall 2013 involved
- a lot of photos
- a lot of time / events at the Hall
- a lot of board gaming
- weekly ups and downs

monthly )
Goals for the coming year .. it's 2am in the morning. I'll write that post later.
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
Was till feeling kind of detached from everything as I headed out to my parents' this morning; and from there we all went up to youngest sister & b-i-l's farm for lunch, the first time in a long time it hasn't been held at my parents. Other side of that family was there too, and other-(grand)parents were frankly more excited about 8-month-old-niece's presents than she was, especially the rocking horse. (It is a fine rocking horse.)

My own loot pile was unremarkable, various consumables some of which I'll need to pass on, a cheque from the parentals. But special mention here of the gluten-free Xmas cake I received from L earlier in the week, and the haul from work at the end of last week.
Aside, copied/pasted from FB
Last day at work arrived to
- a cheese and bacon bagel and a bottle of wine
- and urgent site modification
- a toy glider from the receptionist/accounts girl
- "something representing how we see you" from the office manager - a small sad looking elephant-man figure and a not-so-small Batman action figure.
... /unless you can be batman. Always be Batman./

+ a box of mini-chocolate-bars from the company next door ..

The morning was wonderfully sunny, then over lunch the weather changed to heavy, saturating rain, just what was needed to perk up the paddocks and hopefully encourage the winter feed to strike (start growing). The best Xmas present sister+ (and all their neighbours) could have hoped for as it was getting worryingly dry up there.

Lunch was BBQ steak, sausages and bacon with a variety of salads and new potatoes, and pav + trifle + fruit salad + brandy snaps + ice cream for dessert. I came away with 2-3 meals worth of leftovers.

Left about 4, got my parents to stop for a few minutes in Harwaden for a flying hi-bye to [ profile] saucy_chef back to Chch about 7 and to a quieter than usual Waifs and Strays where I topped up on a plate of various salads and spent an hour chatting primarily to [ profile] slothphil, [ profile] littlel and [ profile] jomas_45.

And now I think it is time for bed.
marsden_online: (Default)
It was a maudlin christmas this year. I went to bed about 8pm on Xmas eve in a bleak mood and despite sleeping OK rose about 12 hours later in no better frame of mind, busying myself with gardening and cleaning until it was time to head out to the family. Much of the day I found myself on the verge of tears.

on consideration )

I came nowhere near breaking even on presents but I didn't expect to. I could afford to be somewhat generous this year. I even managed to come up with something thoughtful for my parents.

Mostly this year it's been foodstuffs - and mostly home-baked biscuits - starting with a visit from a cookie ninja on Christmas-eve-eve and so on until waifs and strays. Youngest sister varied the trend with a gift-pack containing crackers, condiments and fudge. I shall be consuming slowly - this time of year always leads to overdoing the gluten.

Much of the afternoon was spent scanning photos from and old album and various material from a couple of family reunions, I now know significantly more about some of my family 3-4 generations back. Mind, that's starting from not very much at all.

There was an #AH alarm while I was on the way back into town - still 30 minutes out but someone was available to respond and whoever it was was gone anyway.

There weren't as many stragglers at Waifs and Strays as usual when I arrived, but it was pleasant to see people and wind down there.

Today I dropped in on two boardgaming sessions and between them managed two games of Seven Wonders (last, 1st equal with Leaders expansion) and Tongiaki (middle of the pack) which I enjoyed. I am still feeling quite exhausted but no rest for the responsible - tomorrow is a barbeque which I seem to be left organising.
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
It's been an odd sort of a week for me. I've been waking early, getting stuff done first-thing or going into the office, spending quite a bit of time at work (average 5+ hours a day billable), getting more stuff done in the evening. Almost like a fully functioning person.

I think it's the sunshine. Anytime the weather has turned grey over the past few weeks my energy and spoons have plummeted. Which is a valuable reminder of how close to the edge I still am. But the money looks good and desk/computer are back in the office-room (which I'm going to have to rename as not only am I no longer working from here I'm not bringing the big bookcase back in either so "library" is also no longer appropriate); I have a 3rd screen on the computer and as a non-Civ distraction have Diablo II working after a fashion. Various other longstanding minor tasks have been dealt with and I am slowly working on the annual housekeeping (cleaning out cupboards etc).

Obviously haven't moved my journalling yet - I want to complete the Kiera's Thoughts series here before doing the big import and while I did get one knocked out this week there are still at least 2 to go. I may not get one doe over the weekend - all the time at work has aggravated my wrists and I ought to take a break from typing.

I have just finished scrubbing the kitchen floor (which isn't kind on the wrists either) and have the contents of a hallway wardrobe piled about (there was an old spill of some description in the bottom which also needed scrubbing). Later today my parents will be in with a load of firewood and will likely take away some rubbish.

Still a bit groggy after a disagreement with dinner last night and 11:30pm + 4am alarms at the Hall last night. But aware that things are looking bright and want to remember how it feels.
marsden_online: (Default)
A few hours later parentals leave with a truckload of hedge and other garden rubbish.
During the intervening time I have probably acquired a sunburn.

Yay parentals.

* firewood is quite damp but has several months to dry out.

Update: followed by a series of #AH false alarms which I really did not have the spoons for. Silver lining: managed to work in a couple of other errands. Going to try (again) for a nap.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
While having lunch on a not-braining day. Not braining day is probably due to a) stressful week b) lack of weekend c) ingesting two much gluten repeatedly over the past 3+ days. Not braining days are less inconvenient when I'm not supposed to be working. At least am at home as still haven't heard back about car and it's not really a day for cycling.

Thursday )

Friday )

Saturday )

Sunday )

Monday (today) )
marsden_online: (dragon)
Expectations. Often I exceed them - especially work-related stuff. Sometimes I'm oblivious to them - especially relationship-oriented stuff. Almost invariably the fact that I do not meet them leads to at best surprise, at least confusion and at worst anger.
long ramble needs to be got out of brain )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
So much has happened this week especially in the past few days.. I need to write it down while much of it is still fresh even though my brain is shying away from the task.
First let it be noted that I did a full (for me) week of work - so fitting in four hours a day on average. I also had parental units visit multiple times during the week. #AH alarm times are to the nearest half hour, take from 30-90 minutes to resolve and this usually results in a justified late rising the next day although it is worth noting I haven't had so many un-justified late risings recently.

Monday )

Tuesday )

Wednesday )

Thursday )

Friday )

Saturday at Antonio Hall (long) )

Sunday (today) )
marsden_online: (Default)
Loot list: Handmade chocolates delivered Xmas Eve (Thanks J), an uber-fluffy woolen underlay (impressed that my parents managed to find such a thing in super-king, not sure it's exactly what I wanted but come winter will try it), a package of homegrown beef, several non-winning instant kiwis.
uncling )
Headed back to town before evening dessert (same as midday dessert) and got to Waifs & Strays just in time for 2nd dessert. Which pretty much topped me off for the day, I managed to avoid overeating for a change. Spent a pleasant couple of hours there.

Spent Xmas Eve day and until after midnight playing Civ. This is only worth mentioning because the game didn't follow the usual pattern - normally a series of wars results in my controlling most of the planet by the time I get to building a spaceship. This time none of my neighbours attacked me until after launch, instead devoting most of their attention through the game to some guy down the other end of the map. Until that point I didn't fire a shot except against some pirates.

What this meant was I had significantly fewer cities than usual but they were mostly maxed out (minimal production diverted to units) and it didn't actually take any longer to build the spaceship. The perception of time may have been because fewer cities and fewer units meant turns were going by faster.

Today is nominally designated for pottering around the house cleaning things, but I'm awfully tempted to start up another game.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Managed to get out of bed at a half-respectable time, got to where I wanted to be at end of work Friday, invoiced 4 digits, had a nap, socialised at [ profile] uaekiwi's drinkies and as it started plenty early was home about midnight.

Thanks to those who have been concerned/supportive :) I'll get over it, I always do.

Since I don't have to catch up work today I'm making another run at digitising my late Grandma's photo collection. It's a bit of a long-term project but it's important to capture not only the photos but the bits of information about where/who/what with them.

I'd actually rather not be at the computer today, but it's not a good one to be outside. The dishes need doing, and maybe I'll turn the heater on in the lounge and watch a movie or some Highlander later, we'll see.

What I'm -avoiding- doing is replying to an email from my cousin, who wants me to quote on building him a website that will make money [sigh]
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
That's 3 ... somethings right? And an earthquake. No need for any more?
I'm exhausted. Almost beyond caring. I attended the improptu not-quite-a-party after getting back to Chch last night but left shortly after the second wave of people arrived because my tolerance for drunken fools had been exhausted by the youngling I was seated next to at the wedding, and I was on the verge of saying some things which would not have gone down well.
Then I only slept in hour-long snatches, between trips to the toilet. Which given I drank very little yesterday at all means I'm now physically dehydrated as well as run-down. Heavy clothes, a hot drink, hot breakfast and sitting on a heater are failing to impart warmth. I may have to resort to a hot shower, although under the current circumstances I don;t really need one and I'd rather conserve the water.
The wedding was nice, despite the cold and wet and the shadow of the weeks funeral which hung over proceedings at several points. The bride still rode in on a horse, the speeches were kept to a minimum, the main course was excellent (but the dessert course failed to live up, making me wish I had gone back for seconds of the first like many at my table), and since the groom had his foot in a moonboot the bride sang the first dance. I was able to get back to Chch at a reasonable time and in one piece despite nasty driving conditions. (Although as noted above that didn't really work out).

There were of course the inevitable questions about whether I had a girlfriend and when my wedding would be (I got some of those after the funeral as well) - my brother and I are the only two left unmarried. These always leave me bleak.

I suppose technically you could count eldest sister as unmarried again. [/black humour]
marsden_online: (Sisters)
snip )
marsden_online: (Sisters)
I've just learnt that my Uncle was killed in a car accident Tuesday night. This was unrelated to the quake (up Blenheim way)

My aunt survived, no major injuries apparently, but was trapped until the car was found about 3pm yesterday.

My parents are, well, I don't know. Pretty fragile right now.

It's all starting to get on top of me as well.
marsden_online: (elf)
I am G.'s brother in law. Beyond that we didn't have a lot in common.

Over then next little while I'm sure there are going to be a lot of good things said about him. I think it's important to highlight the things most people aren't going to be saying as well.

So let's talk about the depression, let's talk about the booze, let's talk about any of the inner demons we know he battled with, lets talk about any of the demons -we- battle with. Let us not sweep things under the carpet because it might worry our families, or "bring shame to" our families, or because we don't want to face our -own- weaknesses or take responsibility for our own actions.

G. was father to two beautiful kids, let us make sure they grow up knowing, and his swag of nephews grow up knowing, and anyone else who finds themselves in the dark places really -knows- that there is always. a. better. option. Let us make sure that everyone here who finds themselves in the dark places feels they can ask for help, and let's make sure that -we- learn. how to have those conversations.

I'm sorry G., I didn't know how to reach out to you, and now it's too late.

It remains to be seen whether I ever get the opportunity and the courage to say it in the right context, which will quite frankly require blowing social nicety all to hell. But I'm not filtering it here.
marsden_online: (Default)
Paid phone/internet, insurance, physio*, contribution to cousin+h2b's honeymoon fund.
Made dentist and optometrist appointments for later in the week.

* there is apparently a lot less tension in my arm this week, given the workout she gave it last week I'm not really surprised. It certainly hasn't been giving me any trouble, just the odd tweak, enough to remind me to be careful.

Rang EQC to report more quake damage, despite the radio ads saying it would be added to an existing claim apparently my existing claim is now "being processed" or some such (which is actually a good sign I think) so I had to start a new one, dated from Boxing Day.

Yesterday ditched afternoon plans to go to lunch with parents + youngest sis/bil. Was good to spend some family time and hear some news of interest about farming/station happenings.

Still managed to get a bunch of archiving and even a little computer room tidying done.

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