Geeking by in June 2020
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Hi everyone! Time to catch you all up on June 2020! I used my month to lay down some ground rules for myself and started to put some things into practice to help make life a bit easier and healthier.

Geeking By in June 2020

My moods were steadier in June, and that was probably helped by the fact that I started doing mindfulness meditation every day. It wasn’t easy to get back into it and I kept a 14-day diary which I’ll be posting once I’ve finished editing it. In general, June was a month of making decisions and personal changes, some of which were easy and some I wish I really didn’t have to make. I hate having to admit when a friendship has reached its end, for example. But it’s far easier for both parties to just step away from it quietly instead of having a massive bust-up trying to talk it out when there’s really nothing to say because two people have just ended up growing apart.

Before the pandemic started I was coming to the end of both of my therapy sessions. I was seeing a normal therapist and then one that specialised in domestic violence for my PTSD. The latter has not gotten back to me, and while I could get in touch with them I’ve chosen not to. The service was already really busy before the pandemic and now I suspect it is overrun. I don’t mind falling through the cracks since I literally had one more session planned with my therapist. 

I’ve had two telephone appoints with my other therapist, and June saw me finish my therapy with her. I could have chosen to keep going but I knew that it was out of fear rather than an actual need for the sessions. It was fear of not having the support there which was unrealistic because I still have it even if I don’t have a weekly/monthly appointment any more. I’m signed up for groups that the organisation runs which is a mix between group therapy and a social group. It’s for people like me who aren’t comfortable going out and socialising yet and need a safe place to do it. As I’m signed up for those I’m still in their system which means I can call up for support any time I need it, whereas if I’d left the organisation completely it would be much harder to get support again.

The groups are taking part over Zoom right now and they have an introductory group that meets together first before joining the larger group. That should be starting in the next month or so. I’m also signed up for Tai-Chi, although depending on when they intend to start that back up again I may need to decline. Even if they have safety precautions and things in place I can’t take the risk. Thankfully the organisation is extremely understanding when it comes to health and safety. They were the first therapy organisation to ever ask me what they would need to know regarding my health conditions if I was ill or an emergency took place which I really appreciated. No one has ever thought to ask before.

Mindfulness Meditation

In physical news, my migraine meds have been working! I was even able to listen to music for the first time in years without getting a migrine which was amazing. My doctor has now put the new dose up permanently as she was satisified that they were working without any adverse reactions. Unfortunately there still seems no way to stop hormone induced migraines and this months PMT was a mega one. Two weeks of absolute hell. A week of chronic pain flare ups and followed by a week of migraines. I really hope it was just a bad month and not a sign of things to come from swapping to the depo injection.

Geeking By in June 2020

After finishing my Star Wars challenged I was eager to write about something else, and I’ve also been meaning to get around to completing some blog tags. I decided to start a fun game called the Blog Tag Game which would run during June and July where I ask my readers to vote for which tags they want me to complete. It’s been great fun so far and the voting has led to some hilarious results.

If you’ve not seen the vote thread on twitter it’s over here. We’re currently on poll #6!

In June I completed the following Tags:

Other posts in June included a reflective piece on my 30 day challenge; 10 things I learned from my 30 day challenge, and July’s Seriously Geeky Sundays questions.

Seriously Geeky Sundays saw me talking about Warriors, Captains, Father Figures and Technology.

I’ve started utilising several techniques to help me organise posts and my writing better. It helped with this one until a massive health flare-up at the start of July washed away all my good work. Hopefully next month my plans will show some fruition!

Geeking By in June 2020

We continued playing Final Fantasy XIV in June and then towards the end took a break to head back to Terraria. Terraria is a game that we’ve played for years on and off. We get to hard mode and then usually the intense resource up keep usually gets to us and we stop playing.

Terraria
We went back to Terraria in June.

The most recent update for Terraria introduces a new mode called Journey Mode which makes this part 100% easier. You can learn resources and then duplicate them rather than having to farm them constantly. For casual players like us it makes the game much more enjoyable. There’s still a challenge to it and we still had to do some farming so it’s not a complete faceroll. The new modes simply let players play the game as they want to play it. We’re working towards completing the game so look out for July’s update to see how we got on!

What I've been watching this month

I really didn’t watch much at all during June which means I’m now behind in a lot of shows. I caught up with some DC Legends of Tomorrow episodes and we watched Spider-Man: Far From Home. I’m still reeling from those mid and after credits scenes!

Geeking By in June 2020

You’ll be glad to know that there’s no epic reading section in this month’s update 😛

Let’s start with comics again. In a word; Saga. I’d heard about it before and had it recommended to me several times, so while I was waiting for my usual comics to get back on schedule I decided it was time to try it out. I was hooked immediately. It is an amazing science fiction romp through space with some of the most beautiful artwork I’ve ever seen. However, I will warn you it currently ends with a MASSIVE cliffhanger. That was 2 years ago and the writer and artist were only taking a ‘one-year’ break. It’s now week 2 years and then there’s the pandemic as well. There’s still no word on when they’re going to pick it back up. So if you hate cliffhangers this is one to avoid despite being one of the best comics you will ever read.

DC Digital Firsts: Flash The Fastest Man Alive
Barry Allen aka the Flash and Iris West in Flash: Fastest Man Alive #1

While the normal DC Comics have been on a break, DC introduced several new series under the banner ‘DC Digitals First‘. By the sounds of it, the expansion of DC Digitals was already planned, however, the timing at the end of April in the middle of the pandemic was also perfect timing. The idea of Dc Digitals is to provide content faster by releasing it straight to digital.

From what I’ve seen over the last few months it also seems to be a way to give creators a way to experiment with DC heroes without it being tied to the current main storylines. There are loads of little random stories which have been random and brilliant but the sort that would never make the cut for the main titles. Likewise, the artists have changed things up with some of the minor characters appearances. For example, in Flash: Fastest Man Alive Iris West is resembles her Arrowverse counterpart played by Candance Patton and in Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace Etta Candy is a plus-sized blonde woman like Lucy Davies in the DCU version. I’m sure there are some fans complaining somewhere about these changes somewhere. Me? I’m loving the stories and really recommend checking them out if you haven’t already.

Speaking of Wonder Woman. I apparently missed Wonder Woman: A Celebration of 75 Years when it came out the first time. I’m not a big fan of ones like this where they just bundle a selection of comics from the time period together. It meant that I skipped a huge chunk of this one because I can’t stand the golden and silver age of comics; I hate the art style and the Wonder Woman comics, in particular, are filled to the brim with misogyny.

In comparison, the Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular was absolutely brilliant! Instead of throwing together a bunch of old stories, it’s 100 pages of new Green Lantern adventures. It’s the perfect mix of heartwarming hilarity, adventure, comedy and hard-hitting moments that you’ve come to expect from the Lanterns. It’s very much a team affair with no one stealing the show just because they’ve been around the longest – unlike the Robin one I talked about last month.

The other comic I wanted to mention is Superman Smashes the Klan. This was especially poignant considering the loss of life due to racism at the end of May and the Black Lives Matter protests throughout June. Based on an old radio drama it tells the story of the Lees, a Chinese family who have moved to Metropolis and are targeted by the KKK. It’s set in the 1940s during a time when Superman’s powers and story are different and his story as an alien immigrant is told parallel to the Lees.

While the comic itself is excellent, what I found more interesting was the information included at the end of each issue. For the writer, Gene Luen Yang the Lees story is very close to his heart; his parents went through the same thing. He includes their stories, a full history of the KKK (which as a Brit I had no knowledge of at all) and how Superman, an immigrant himself, was created by two young Jewish men to be a symbol of hope for immigrants in the fight against racism. It is a compelling read, and I urge you to read both the comic and the after material for yourselves.

There were more books read this month with three being read in one week at one point. I finally managed to get hold of Star Wars Aftermath #2: Life Debt and #3 Empire’s End. I’ve been very vocal about my dislike for the first novel of this series even likening the writing to that of really bad fanfic and I stand by that statement. While my ME plays havoc with my memory I still never forget stories, yet the first book (Aftermath) is a total blank to me. I don’t remember it at all and thankfully that didn’t hinder me reading the second book.

Despite Wendig sticking to his weird present tense writing style the rest of the writing was much better. The characters were fully developed, the storyline engaging and I was drawn completely in. I finished it as quickly as I used to finish Star Wars novels, which was a feeling I’ve sorely missed and moved onto the third book. The final book of the trilogy was good although personally, I didn’t find it as compelling as the second. I was emotionally invested in the characters by the time I was done which I was glad about because as I’ve mentioned previously I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Wedge Antilles with someone other than Iella Wessiri. Thankfully their relationship was extremely sweet and really different to that of Iella and Wedge.

I really loved the chance to get to know Snap Wexley as a kid, and the other characters in Nora’s crew. I hope we’ll get to see them again someday.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardungo
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

The other book I read was Wonder Woman: Warbringer which has been on my TBR for a long time. I finally got around to reading it and I have mixed feelings about it. The book was really good, however, it’s not the first item from DC’s YA range that I’ve read and I’m not a fan of the changes they keep making to characters origin stories. I gave up reading Black Canary: Ignite because her origin story was butchered to pieces. In Wonder Woman: Warbringer Diana leaves Themyscira as a teenager which is completely different to her origin story.

There are multiple universes out there and these could be read as stories of alternate earths, however, they’re not promoted as such. They’re being marketed for teenagers when comics have been for teenagers for decades. Why do we suddenly need to change the stories for teenagers? In particular, why are we suddenly changing them for teen girls? That is what is bugging me the most. I’ve previously read Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale which was for a YA audience and managed to keep with her overall origin story (it was also superbly written although heartbreakingly beautiful). It’s quite possible to market for young adults without making changes so it makes me wonder if it’s the authors fulfilling some lifelong dream of writing their heroes (if so, it really makes me think less of them), or whether DC is purposely acting as though teenage girls need their comics watered down and tailored specifically to them.

What I've been doing this month

I talked last month about changes around the house and this month we made some bigger ones. We got a new bed and mattress which we knew we needed because our old bed was damaged. We didn’t quite realise how badly damaged it was until we dismantled the old one – one of the bars had snapped! No wonder I’d been having so much pain while sleeping, that part of the mattress was not being supported at all.

We chose our new bed with comfort, support and storage in mind, and while it was costly it was something we knew would be a massive investment for our health. We got a bigger one so we had more room to spread out and add pillows in for support without bashing into each other, and we also got a memory foam mattress. It’s also one of those with storage underneath because we used the space under our old bed for storage and our lovely little furry monsters kept fighting under it. The problem was that we couldn’t get in there to stop them when things got a bit too rough. It’s a massive space and as it’s designed for storage, not just a ‘throw things under there’ space, we can organise it better thus giving us even more space. That means that our spare room, which is at last empty (!!!), isn’t filled with as much stuff either.

The other latest addition to our household is Goofy, our eufy Roomba. Yes, we named the Roomba. It doesn’t really feel like a machine and it felt weird calling it a Roomba, it’s a word that just doesn’t roll off the tongue for me. So after it bumped into things a few times Goofy the eufy was born. I didn’t want one. Chris has been trying to convince me for months because I’ve been physically struggling with chores for a while now especially hoovering. I was worried about the cats attacking it, but I guess I also didn’t want to admit that it was another physical thing I couldn’t do. In the end, I had to admit that he was right and that getting one would allow me to concentrate on the things I could do. Plus the one he wanted to get was on sale for a price that was far too good to miss.

The cats were alarmed at first, but they didn’t attack Goofy and have settled down. George is still not relaxed around it, whereas Milo ignores it completely and goes to sleep. It has made a big difference to my life and our carpets also look much better because Goofy is able to clean them better than I’m physically able to.

The sudden drop in my pinterest statistics
This is apparently what the “natural ebb and flows” of Pinterest look like.

As I mentioned last month I was having massive issues with Pinterest. They have finally been sorted out; my stats have risen back to normal levels and my monthly views are back too 200k + and continue to rise steadily. I had to deal with some mansplaining from the customer service representative who tried to fob me off with a lame excuse about how it was just due to the “natural ebb and flows” of Pinterest. He then proceeded to tell me how to use Pinterest, hence the mansplain.

Apparently the natural ebb and flow line are what they’re going with because someone else I know got the same crap, minus the patronising explanation. When I politely called the representative out on how ludicrous it was to claim that the sudden massive drop (see the graph above) was just normal Pinterest fluctuations I suddenly got more information. He had escalated my ticket to their engineering team to check it wasn’t marked for anything and that whatever had happened was just due to “normal algorithmic changes”. In other words; something happened with their algorithm and they’re not admitting it. I’m just happy things are back to normal because I know other bloggers who aren’t so lucky 🙁

More information has appeared since then and Pinterest bloggers have reported that the new algorithm Pinterest has rolled out relies heavily on daily pinning. I’m still not convinced that is what caused my issues because as soon as I noticed them I started pinning every day again and it made no difference until the engineering team got involved. If the problem with my account was due to the new algorithm kicking in then surely my stats would have changed as I pinned new content? It’s more likely that their new algorithm had some bugs in it when it first went live.

Making changes to my Pinterest boards
I’m actively working to ensure that my style and gift guides are always inclusive.

While trying to figure out how I could be better a blogger for BLM and transgender communities after everything that has happened in May and June I realised that I’d been unintentionally systematically racist. I hate even saying it, but it’s the truth. My Birthstone Pinterest boards were whitewashed, especially when it came to the hairstyles section. I’d put the systematic racist glasses on and not even realised it. People of colour dye their hair too, and they need to be represented in my Birthstone Series. I’ve since worked to rectify these issues in the hairstyle, nail art and makeup sub-boards, and will continue to do so from now on.

I’ve also made it my aim to source from as many POC and LGBTQ+ owned stores as possible for all the gift and style guides on Just Geeking By. I was already sourcing from stores owned by chronically ill/disabled store owners as these are stores that I commonly come across within my blogging community.  I’m very grateful to everyone who has made lists of stores because it’s been a massive help with this undertaking.

Finally, if anyone feels that there is any other way that I can improve in any way regarding diversity please let me know. If I have used the wrong language here, or in any other post or on social media, please let me know. Please be aware that I do have a neurological condition which makes communication and finding words difficult. That’s not an excuse it’s just a fact of my life. You can read more about ME here.

Monthly Update: Over to You

Yep, it’s the middle of the next month again. I’m steadily ironing out the kinks and getting myself organised, but unfortunately, I can’t plan for health flare-ups. I considered holding off and doing a double month and chose not to. I really don’t want to fall back into that habit. I’d rather be late again and have a post each month.

How was June 2020 for you? Did you read, watch or play anything you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments <3

Geeking By in June 2020: Chatting about therapy, books, comics, Terraria changes, mindfulness & more as I catch you guys up on what I was up to June 2020.

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Image Credits: Meditatin gnome image is from Unsplash, Aftermath Trilogy image is from Wookiepedia.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m glad to hear the Aftermath series got better! I also want to move forward with the series, but i wasn’t too impressed with Aftermath.

    1. Author

      I felt the exact same way after I read it, and in fact, I didn’t touch any of the other new Star Wars novels either. Aftermath was completely disheartening for me. It ended up taking me ages to get my hands on them anyway. It was partly my own fault for not realising one of my libraries has an online method for requesting books. Now that I know about it I’m using it as soon as a my limit is up each time.

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