Changing of the Guard


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handwritten for your amusement.

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more of my spider scrawl

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Stepping off the edge.


I’m sure a lot of you will have heard me ramble on about this before, but I want to start my own business. For a long time it’s what I’ve wanted to do. When I was younger I looked up to , my wonderful, hardworking and dedicated mother. She took a huge risk and picked up a failing business (a Newsagent in a small, seaside village), dusted it off and turned it into her livelihood for several years. The shop has been closed for a while now, the recession biting at the heels of a stumbling business, already trying to deal with other problems, such as competition and people.

Now, I don’t want to follow directly in her footsteps. I don’t want to become the proprietor of a newsagent or sweetshop in a village. I want to run my own successful internet cafe. It would be more than just an internet cafe – it would specialize in LAN gaming and online gaming. Ideally there’d be the opportunity for me to run Friday Night Magic there, too. But I don’t want a small, dark, grotty basement. I want a shop where non-gamers would also feel comfortable coming and browsing the internet with a cup of coffee for an hour.

My idea came from visiting Swansea one day when I was in 6th form and missing a train home. I needed something to do for two hours to kill time before the next train home, and so I went into Crossfire. They have 56 computers there, 15 for web browsing and 41 for gaming. They are all networked together and they all have super-fast broadband.

I want to spread this wonderful idea. I want to bring it to Lancaster. I can almost see it – casual internet cafe/coffee shop in the day, hardcore gaming lair in the night.

There is already somewhere in Lancaster that offers this service, but I’ll give anyone who can name the place and the location 50 points. They operate in a small, slightly underground and very unappealing premises. I went there last year so I could play WoW alongside someone (damn campus rooms having only one internet connection) and they told me that their computers weren’t equipped to deal with WoW and their internet connection couldn’t deal with it either. Competition, of a sorts, but I’m convinced I could do it better.

The main hurdle I have is money. Of course it is – so many people would do so much if money wasn’t a worry. Premises, utilities, equipment – it’s all expensive. Also, technical knowledge – I don’t know the first thing about computer networks. The thing is, this idea has been plaguing me for four years now. I can’t make it go away. I can hide it in a cupboard for a while, but eventually it’ll find the handle on the inside and be out there again, nagging and niggling at me. So much so, in fact, that I’ve bought a ‘Start your own business’ book, and am writing this LJ post for people to comment on my idea.

I want, maybe more than anything, to be in Lancaster with the people that I care about and love. I’m having doubts about university – I’ve already made two goes at it, why should the third be any more successful? I want to do something that interests me, that makes me feel like I’m giving a service to satisfied customers. I want to get to know my regular customers and I want to be in control of something Big. Something Important (to me at least).

At the moment, just musings and ideas, but ones that won’t go and sit on the shelf like obedient ideas – ones that really want playing with and exploring and testing. Stay tuned to hear more in the future.

Downtrodden.


I’ve gone back to struggling. Every time I get into the getaway vehicle, the depression will throw out a stinger trap and stop me in my tracks. Get out of the car, go back to the lot and find a new vehicle.

I thought I was doing well recently, but it seems like I’ve just gotten better at fooling myself. Everything seems to be a short term solution. I’ve started work, as most of you know. I’m a kitchen bitch at Weatherspoons. They have me doing nine hour shifts on a regular basis. It’s very hard work because it requires you to be standing for the entire time. You also need to have hands of fireproofness in order to get up the speed and efficiency that the longer serving staff can manage. I feel useless most of the time, and I just want to quite. I don’t like the job. I’m terrified to quit though, since my friends enjoy going to that Weatherspoons quite a lot, so I’d miss out on a lot of social events because I’d not be able to show my face there. I know that if I quit, I’d be disappointing a lot of people too, people with faith in me, people who believe I can do it. I need the faith of these people.

The job is really exhausting me though, in a way I never thought it would. I leave work after each shift feeling useless and pathetic. I’m not sleeping well again, and whenever I eventually do get to sleep, it’s usually with tears on my face.

Usually, I love Darkside (not so much the music but the people and the atmosphere) but this weekend, after going to the effort of borrowing money off people to pay my entry price, I really didn’t have a good time at all. I felt self conscious about what I was wearing, dancing was wearing me out, and I was very claustrophobic. I usually love dancing, whether the dancefloor is jam-packed, or if I’m the only one on it, but being surrounded by so many moving bodies really made me feel…panicked, nauseous and afraid. I spent some time sitting at the back, sobbing into [info]theglaivemaster . I’m not coping with anything very well at the moment, and I just want to get back to normal, happy, stubborn Alice, who takes everything into her stride. I thought for a while that it would happen sometime soon, but apparently not – this ‘healing process’ seems to be taking a lot longer than I expected.

Another reason I can’t quit the job – I need the money. I need it to live. Going back to Wales and living at home isn’t something I’d cope with. I need to be near my friends and my doctor. I’m on the waiting list for CBT, but I don’t know how much longer I can wait. I’ve been feeling pretty disconnected from my family recently too, not having heard from home very much in quite a while.

All I want to do at the moment is hang out with Sam and Simon and play games and chat shit about nothing. I don’t want any responsibilities, I don’t want any stress. I just want to get better, and nothing feels like its getting me there, nothing feels like it’s helping. I want to be able to curl up at night and go to sleep easily, not to lay there convincing myself that there is something worth waking up for in the morning, because that is getting increasingly difficult.

Anyone who’s interested, next week I’m working Tuesday 12 – 9pm, Thursday 6am – 12, Friday 11 – 8pm, and Saturday 4 – 11pm. This means I will be missing both the LURPS meetings and the social :(.  I don’t know how many of those shifts I’ll get through. Doctors appointment on Tuesday, hopefully he’ll have some words of wisdom for me. (Hopefully those words won’t be ‘man up’)

At least the house isn’t constantly cold through at the moment. Though it’s unpleasant lately, since I’ve been too apathetic to do any tidying for a while so my room’s a shithole.

Also, my rats are vicious little bastards and Peter just bit me on the nose 😦

First of many…?


I have had something recently that I’ve not had for a very long time. I had a Good Weekend. Not all of it was good, some of it was in fact awful, but for the most part, it was Good. The Prozac has been making me feel woozy but the side effects are much less severe than with the citalopram.

Friday night saw Sam run a one-shot of All Flesh Must Be Eaten. He decided to do this at about half eight, so there was zombie related hilarity with Sam, Simon, Dan and Stu until about 2.30am. It wasn’t a great role-playing experience for me, I couldn’t get into character at all, but the OOC banter was fantastic.

Saturday was of course the LURPS Hog Roast. Brilliant stuff, delicious food and great company. I had some bad times there though, mostly because I made a joke in bad taste and managed to convince myself that it had made everyone who heard it hate me, so I wandered off and spent an hour sitting around on the floor on my own before anyone came to find me. But I did get to smear Jelly on Connor’s face, which was funny.

Saturday night was Rock It To The Lune, which was awesome. I’ve not been out dancing in such a long time that I’d forgotten how good it feels, especially in the company of people who don’t care that I look like I’m having a seizure on the dance floor. I danced and sung and had a brilliant time. I even won the raffle (kinda). Then Simon, Stu, John and I went on to Hustle, where we stayed for about eight minutes before coming back to my place to play Magic: The Gathering.

Today, I was supposed to be playing in the game Mr. Slee is running over Easter. However, I had a massive panic this morning that my current state of fail would ruin the game for all the other players and spoil all of the GM’s hard work. So, I bailed out and went to learn how to play Go in the Sun, which was great.

After Go, I hung out with Adam for a bit, played some MtG and lost some chess. Not known Adam for very long but had a great time, it’s nice to find more people who are easy to hang out with. After that, Justin hosted a MtG cube draft, which was fun. Justin, Simon, Stu, Girly Mike, Adam and myself played and it was ace fun.

And that brings us to now. I’m doing my utmost to keep happy, which is why I’ve written about the weekend, to remind myself of how good it was. It feels like I’m having a come-down, which I suppose in a way I am. But hopefully I’ll be ok.

Seems that recently something’s been happening to me that hasn’t happened since November 2008. I think I’m getting a crush on someone. It’s a very weird thing and I’m not sure what to do with it. Leave it alone for now, I think, and poke it more when I feel brave.

Anyway, I think I’m going to eat some chocolate raisins and play Civilization 4. And no, I won’t tell you who it is.

Killing in the Name


So, usually I don’t make random posts when nothing much has been happening in my life. Usually I leave it until I actually have something worth saying. But I’m going to take a slight detour away from that to tell you all how shit I’m feeling.

Meeting with Philosophy Guy went ok today – he told me I’d be able to come back next year and start again again with philosophy. He did, however, make me feel quite incapable and very small. The meeting was only about ten minutes, and I came out with the result that I wanted but it really made me feel just awful.

Am I being totally crazy at trying the university thing again? Am I better off just quitting and finding something in the real world, or going on the dole, or something other than university? I’m really doubtful of my own capabilities here. Will I ever get a degree? Or am I doomed to make fuck-up after fuck-up until the uni says ‘No more of this, get out’?

I just feel so truly awful. Some days I’ll be fine, feeling like the medicine is working and that everything will be back to normal in no time at all, and then other days I just feel totally hopeless and like nothing will ever get any better. It feels like a big, physical ball of lead in my chest weighing me down and really making every step, every word and every movement so much harder than it should be.

All that is coupled with the fact that I’m coming down with a terrible cold – I can’t stop coughing and keep having a headache. So I’m feeling all useless because of that, too. The cold weather doesn’t help at all either, just means I want to hide in my bedroom without leaving the little circle where my heater reaches, let alone going onto campus to see my friends and hang out. When I have to force myself to go to the bathroom or the kitchen, going out seems impossible.

I’ve been so low recently that I haven’t done any role-playing in a really long time. I can’t change my mood enough from feeling shit to being in the mindset of a character who isn’t going through what I’m going through – it feels too all-consuming.

That’s kinda how I feel – consumed.

Maybe my earlier determination was wrong – like this, I don’t feel like I can make anyone proud.

Edit
As if karma of some kind has decided that today hasn’t been crap enough, I just walked into the kitchen to find that the message I left asking that people did their washing up so that the sink wasn’t full of stuff has been scribbled with the words ‘Piss off’ and ‘2nded’

Is it so wrong that I want to be happy, life? Why must you endevour to make this not so?

Argh :(


It’s been a while since I last posted so I thought I’d post now.

ARGH!!

There you are.

Not much else to say really, just feeling pretty damn low. Didn’t think I’d ever be the kind of person who had to go to their tutors and beg for a coursework extenstion, but thats what it’s come to, and I love Biology – I really want to do the work but I’ve never had less motivation to get out of bed of a morning than I do these days.

I just wonder if I’ve got what it takes to get through this.

PS. Thanks for the awesome Yellow Sign event, any refs who might be reading this 🙂

Fuck it.



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I wrote up a very long, very angst-ridden depressive post about all the crap I’m feeling at the moment, all the anger I’m feeling towards myself, and my parents, my workload, general complaints and moaning and being really upset.

But then I decided that, hey, if anyone cares to read about my problems they’d care enough to ask IRL when they next see me, so I’ll not write a post about all of that stuff.

I’m going to post a nice list of things which have the very real potential to make me happy. Maybe not right now, but as soon as I start to feel better, these will be the things which are most likely to make me smile.

 

My family – this is generally true (though not always), especially my brother Lewis whom I get along with brilliantly well. My Mum and I have always been fairly close too which is nice.

 

My friends – both old and new. Seriously, these people have shaped me into the person that I am today. The newer ones (especially ones I’ve made since the beginning of this year) in Lancaster, I really don’t know where I’d be without them since my break-up with Matt almost a month ago now. A couple of people especially have done their best to pick up the broken pieces of Alice Rees and reassemble them into a person, and to them a special mention (they know who they are). I’m having a hard time of it at the moment and these people are the only thing I can see that are worth going on for.

 

Music – my constant companion. Some songs have lyrics that I can identify with very strongly or which seem very profound, and some just appeal to me aurally in a great way.

 

Escapism –

1.   Role playing – At the moment, I have five characters that I breathe life into on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Jessica Redgrave (ViP), Levex (D&D), Tylmarande (Exalted), Raltia (Dark Heresy) and Gardina (Far Shores). They allow me to escape from my nitty-gritty world of comedy and tragedy and step into their shoes for a few hours at a time and see what their lives are like, what they’re going through and how they’re feeling so I can forget those things about myself.

2.   Reading – a fantastic way to get entirely lost in a new world. You don’t control these people, their paths are predetermined by the authors pen strokes (or key-presses these days). That’s part of the safety net. The characters might get into some sticky situations, but you know that there is nothing you can do to save them, nothing you say, do or think can have any impact on their outcomes. And that’s a very nice thing to feel sometimes – completely blameless. The benefit of reading over watching films is of course the freedom to decide yourself what the characters, their world, their voices, et cetera, are all like.

 

 

Moonlight, Candlelight, Sunlight – light from natural sources is so much calmer and prettier than that of a light from a lamp or a light bulb. I know some people would quibble as to whether candlelight is natural or artificial, but I’m inclined to say that fire is a natural phenomenon.

 

Gigs – an extension of my love of music. The atmosphere at a live music event is intoxicating and once you’ve experienced it, you just want more. The same applies for clubs and club-nights, like Darkside of the Lune and Rock-it to the Lune (once a month at the Phoenix Club). The atmosphere at both of these events is fantastic, and feeling the music thrum in your chest is one of the best feelings – makes you want to dance all night.

 

Long walks and talks – I’ve always enjoyed the company of others far more than I enjoy my own company. Going for a long walk with someone you care about and have a lot to talk about with can be one of the most enjoyable experiences. Being alone with another person can really help me to offload – I’ve been told I need to learn to talk about my issues more, and having the full attention of someone else really helps with that.

 

Thunder storms – you know the kind; the wind is howling, the rain is torrential and loud enough to drown out quiet noises in the house, there are thunder claps and the sky is frequently lit up with lightning. It all depends on how I’m feeling, but sometimes walking in one of them can be just what you need (as they say, when you walk in the rain, no-one can see you cry). It’s very soul cleansing and when you get home and warm up you feel like a small person with small problems compared to the heavens opening up and emptying their contents onto the world below. Sometimes everyone needs to feel small. Other times, it can be the best feeling to be sat inside with a roaring fire (I’m reminiscing back to when we had one) in front of you, a mug of hot chocolate, and good company to talk with or an enthralling book to lose yourself in.

 

Being comfortable – I’m a firm believer that people do their best work when they’re at ease. This is why I kick off my shoes in lectures, or wear my scruffy pyjama style clothes to revise in when I’m in the house. It’s harder to think and concentrate when you’re constantly distracted by a tight tie or an uncomfortable shirt.

 

Sex – There is a lot to be said about sex and all its many connotations. I know that there are people out there who think that girls can only enjoy sex if they are sluts who sleep around. This is, of course, very untrue. There are two kinds of pleasure that can be gained from having sex. Physical pleasure is the obvious one – the feeling, the thrill you get from flirting with someone, the tingle you get as you sense the sexual tension building up between you, then the incredible release of endorphins gained from the physical act of sex is one of the best feelings a person can experience, and of course the after-glow, laying there all hot and sweaty and physically exhausted with your senses on fire. Then of course there is the emotional pleasure you can get from having sex with someone you love and are committed to, someone you trust so implicitly and explicitly that there really is a true feeling of oneness when you make love. The feeling of looking into someone’s eyes as you are as close as two people can get is incredible. Then once again there’s the after-glow, laying in each other’s arms and whispering to each other and enjoying the closeness of the most intimate act of love.

 

There are, of course, a whole bunch more things that I could write about, but my hands are so cold from typing that I have to stop now. I hope this is a nice change from my usual torrents of angst.

Friends.


As I’m sure most of you know, I recently went through a break up with my boyfriend of 9 months (not that long, I know, but it was a very intense, serious relationship) and have been struggling somewhat with getting back on my feet after it.
Luckily for me though, last year I met Felix G Williams, and through him I found LURPS. I’ve only been a member for about a month now, but I already feel like a part of the group, which is such a special feeling. I have relied on two particular people quite a lot since Matt and I split up (IdleMuse and theglaivemaster) and to them I owe a lot. Staying up til all hours of the night with me so that I was tired enough to fall right to sleep when I got home, going on really long walks with me, and generally being there. I owe them a lot.
Then there are the rest of LURPS who have distracted me with their madness and awesomeness and fun.
And my houemates, who I would be so lonely (and hungry – roast chicken today, thanks guys) without – it’s nice to get home and find someone to talk to.

I might actually add to this in a bit, for now though I’m off to Wargames & Cardgames with IdleMuse & Felix.