Geeking by in March to May 2021
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Time to catch you all up on what’s been happening for the past few months! It’s my Geeking by in March to May 2021 update featuring an update on my health, geeky habits, blog posts and much more.

Geeking By in March to May 2021

As I reached the end of my blog hiatus at the end of February I was still feeling quite bogged down by my to-do list. I’d gotten a bunch of stuff done but not nearly as much as I wanted. The biggest item on the list was continuing to haunt me and that dragged at my mental health all the way through March. I felt slightly better as April came around because I’d gotten the rest of the list done at last, and I’d managed to finally put some work into that one big project. It was getting done bit by bit, and although it was taking longer than I liked the finishing line was actually viewable at last. I had everything planned to kick it’s ass the final week of April, my grand plan to have it done and dusted… then disaster struck, as they say.

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations

The worst PMT symptoms you can imagine in the space of a week and a half. My pain levels didn’t double, they quadrupled, and the migraine had me in bed for two days and lingered several more afterwards. I’ve been on the depo injection for about nine months now and so this was the third time this had happened. What seems to be happening is that when I’m due to have a new injection, when the last one is wearing off, my PMT is really bad. That doesn’t mean I don’t get any PMT symptoms any of the other months; I can still get the odd migraine and pain flare-up other months, but that period right before I’m due a new injection is agony. So this time my nurse and I are hoping to arrange my appointment before I reach that point because I’m in so much pain I also keep missing the appointment I make.

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - My Sleep Pattern

As April came to a close I was feeling a lot better in several ways. I mentioned in my last monthly update that I’d been struggling a lot and part of that had been due to my sleep pattern being a mess. It had been a mess for a very long time, and Revenge Bedtime Procrastination was the reason. You might have seen that mentioned on , it’s been making the rounds. I heard about it last year when Will Wheaton blogged about it and I did my own research. It’s actually a real sleep problem and can be related to psychological trauma. It happens to people who, for whatever reason, have no control over their life try to claim back that time at night. I was literally doing just that. I wasn’t getting things done during the day for various reasons and so I was staying up until 4 am, sometimes later, getting things done. I was gradually getting later and later and then sleeping in the next day even later.

I was also avoiding going to sleep because the period right before bed when I finally stopped moving was plagued with thoughts, anxiety, memories and every single negative thing you can imagine. I was falling apart and I did fall apart rather spectacularly at the end of February/start of March. As a result, I ended up sitting down with Chris and working out a bedtime routine to get my sleep pattern sorted and it was hard work at first. But I’ve now been sticking to it for several months and it worked. I’m not going to say any more because I want to devote a full blog post to it.

That was just step one. Step two was going to my weekly therapy meetings more than once a month. I’d been struggling even more because of my sleep problems and I knew I was getting a lot from the ones I did attend. It wasn’t easy and to start with it was more like once a fortnight, but eventually, I built it up to every week and that is when I started to see real improvements. My moods improved, I felt better about myself in general and I started putting myself out there instead of shutting myself away. There were two events in one week for the organisation that runs the therapy meetings and I went to both. One was bingo over zoom with all the therapy groups, not just mine. I had an absolute blast and we do it every month now. It’s great. We do have actual prizes but honestly, it’s more for the company and the fun for me. If I do ever win that’ll just be an added bonus. The other was more of a challenge for me and I’m really glad I felt confident enough to do it and get involved. It was a discussion group about the services and was as much about helping each other as it was giving feedback and sharing ideas. The organisation is very much about peer support and creating services based on what people want and need. It was a fantastic experience and so inspiring.

I hit a rough patch in May and I was worried that everything had just been a smokescreen, that really nothing had changed. I hung on, got support from my therapy group and from my friends, and I got through it. I handled something that happened in a dignified and professional way and didn’t let a bad anxiety day when I got my second vaccine throw me into a never-ending spiral. While I had some excellent support along the way, I did those things. Me. A while ago I wouldn’t have even had the confidence to say that out loud. I still have a way to go but I finally feel like I am making progress in the right direction.

Geeking By in March to May 2021

Here are my posts from the last three months:

March

April

May

Each of these months has a post that means something important to me personally. For March it was the Steam Demos, a sign that I was able to play other games and break out of the game anxiety I’d been experiencing for years. In April I finally found the words to describe how difficult the pandemic had been for me as a disabled person with multiple chronic illnesses. And May the large project that has literally been haunting me for years was finally completed; the transcription of my first audio interview – my Interview with author Adrian Tchaikovsky.

May also brought about the end of Seriously Geeky Sundays and while I was sad to see it go, it was the right time to do so. It’s time to move on to new things.

Right now a lot of those new things are book-related because authors and publishers don’t require you to have 15 thousand followers (and I wish I was being even slightly dramatic with that number…) to let you help that promote their books. They don’t expect you to do the work of four separate careers for free. They just want you to read a book and write your thoughts down. Since I have always done that anyway it was easy for me to start doing it a tad more professionally. This is basically me saying I’m not becoming a book blog; I’m just having a lot of lovely book-related opportunities come my way and I’d be a fool not to accept them.

Geeking By in March to May 2021

I didn’t quite get to take part in Maybe in March because of my health, but I did play something other than World of Warcraft. I went back to Bioshock Infinite at last and started from scratch. I’m glad I did, not that I had much choice in the matter (I lost my save data in a PC wipe years ago) because I’m seeing it with fresh new eyes. Bioshock Infinite was one of the first non-Dragon Age games I played and since I first played it 7 years ago I’ve played a lot of other games since then. I’ve also developed as a player, and I’m wondering just how much I missed the first time around. I most definitely had no clue about the Steam achievements so I’ve been doing those this time.

I enjoyed it the first time around, and this time I’m enjoying it even more.

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - Bioshock Infinite

I have been playing World of Warcraft as well, although instead of trying to play two characters and attempt to level a third I gave up. I decided to set myself a Shadowlands Anima Challenge to see how much could I make in a week just focusing on that one task. The answer was a pretty decent amount and so for the last few months that is all I’ve been doing. If you’re thinking that sounds boring or at least problematic then you’re right and if you’ve seen my recent post then you know my issues with WoW came to a head recently. Nothing else really to say!

What I've been watching this month

I’ve not watched that much TV over the last few months because there haven’t been any new TV releases in the UK until June. I delved into my to watch list a bit but most of the shows haven’t been catch my attention right now. It’s a case of the grass is greener on the other side and I’m well aware of it! 😀 I want what I can’t have. Here’s what I have been watching:

  • Preacher Seasons 1-3 (I’m in the middle of season 3)
  • Private Eyes Season 4
  • Shadow and Bone Season 1 (I have the final episode left)
  • Coroner Season 3
  • Hudson & Rex Season 3
  • Mare of Easttown Season 1 (Still watching)
  • Magnum P.I  Season 3
  • NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12
  • NCIS Season 18
Geeking by in March to May 2021 - Charlie's Angels

Movie wise I was actually surprisingly busy, for me anyway. Mainly because when I subscribe for the movies package I like to make sure I actually use it. I should be using it more and I’m planning to, but this is a good start!

Blithe Spirit

This cheesy remake of an old classic film (which I’ve never seen) is one of those films that has some excellent cheesy on point moments and some that were awful. It has a fantastic British cast along with Isla Fisher and Leslie Mann (both on top form), and it was really funny at times, but it’s not going to win any awards. It’s good for wiling away a few hours on a rainy day. Anything with Dame Judi Dench in is always worth a watch.

Charlie’s Angels

I absolutely loved it. It was absolutely brilliant to see Kristen Stewart be able to play a role that was as quirky as she seems to be. I felt like I was actually watching the real her, or at least getting a glimpse of her, for once. I don’t mind her as an actor, but she was on fire in this film. Naomi Scott’s character was adorable, and I loved her in Aladdin as well. She’s definitely someone I’m keeping my eye on. Speaking of which… newcomer Ella Balinska completely stole the show for me. I kept looking over her IMDB because I’m sure I’ve seen her somewhere before AND she is just so damn talented I was sure she had to have been in something else before now. Absolutely amazing actor and she was great as her character in this. All three ladies really fit well together and reminded me of the original TV show much more than the 00’s movies and the TV reboot a few years ago. Nothing against either but these three just have the .

It got a lot of flack for being a “feminist movie”, but is it really? It could be viewed that way if you consider a movie that openly challenges the way that some men treat women to be feminist. In the opening scene, Kristen Stewart’s character makes a point; men don’t see women as a threat for a whole 7 seconds longer than it takes them to see men as one. That’s the vibe that continues throughout this movie, it’s challenging how women are perceived. It’s not about women being better than men or men being evil, despite what so many male reviewers say. If the point of this movie was for every man to be evil then there wouldn’t have been any good male characters at all. The female characters are flawed just as much as the men and openly talk about those flaws throughout the movie. That was the HUGE difference between male and female characters in this film; the women were used to being seen as flawed, they expected it and so they knew their flaws (and even ones they didn’t really have) whereas the men didn’t believe they had any. A bit like real life really…

And the end scenes were absolute perfection.

Insurgent and Allegiant

I was going through my to-read list and decluttering it a bit and came across this book series. Several years ago I made peace with the fact that I am never going to read certain books; I’m happy to just watch the adaptations. I just do not have the time to read every book and that’s fine. I’m so glad I decided not to read these (and please don’t tell me the books are better…) because I was correct in assuming that they are not my type of book. Let’s just say there was a lot of facepalming and eye-rolling. Maybe when I was a teen I would have enjoyed them (or fell for their tripe) but they were published over a decade too late for that 😛

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

I was extremely happy to find a bunch of DC animated movies on NOWTV movies! They’re not quite the ones I was looking for, but hey, they’re better than nothing. They’re the newer ones whereas I wanted to start with the older ones.

So far I’ve watched:

I’ve enjoyed the plots a lot because they’ve been based on the era of DC comics I’ve actually read so it’s been great seeing them put into action, so to speak. Some of the voice acting though… urgh. The later ones seem to have gotten into a better pattern with the voice actions but : The Flashpoint Paradox was abysmal, it was so bad that it was painful to listen to. I watched Batman: The Animated Series as a kid so I’m used to Kevin Conroy as Batman. I really want to watch that series and those movies again, but I’m having a hard time finding them on a streaming service.

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - Tolkien

Tolkien

I’ve made my dislike of Lord of the Rings fairly well known by now, but I hope I’ve also made my admiration for Tolkien’s writing and worldbuilding known too. Just because I don’t like his writing style doesn’t mean I don’t recognise how bloody good he is at what he does. It’s the same for Sir Terry Pratchett; Discworld is not for me, but holy moly can he write and create.

So when I first heard about this film I knew I had to check it out. I was too curious not to, and yes, I realise it’s a film and thus not 100% accurate (I was researching facts as I watched it). It was extremely interesting from an academic perspective to learn where he started from, and I also had not realised that he had thought in the War. That puts a whole new perspective on his work, for me, and also a lot of respective too. I have family who fought in the Second World War and some of them didn’t come back. I know how that affected my nan, so I can’t imagine the huge amount of survivor’s guilt Tolkien carried with him. Yet instead of allowing it to drag him into melancholy, he created these incredible worlds that have given people so much joy and inspiration.

He wasn’t perfect, and his works certainly were not, but that is to be admired.

The Martian

I was going to be attended a virtual event with Andy Weir as a guest and I didn’t have time to read The Martian so I did the second-best thing; I watched it. I just needed to have an idea of what happened in the book so I could keep up with the interview and the movie did that. Honestly, I was not a fan of it. I found most of the movie to be extremely dull and I think the majority of the public were blown away by the science. As an academic who literally had an assignment to research a random scientific topic and then summarise it, I’m not dazzled by big science names or jargon. I just go look it up myself. Science is fascinating and can do amazing things, but if your mind is already open to the application of them then it’s really not that amazing. It’s not science fiction, it’s just real science. It kind of annoys me that Weir is essentially making money off the general public’s of science.

Birds of Prey

I don’t think I can put into words how much I adored this film. It was everything I wanted in a Birds of Prey movie and more. The soundtrack was amazing too. Like Charlie’s Angels, it got heavy criticism from, you guessed it, mostly male reviewers, and one comment I saw in particular really annoyed me:

All Women = good, all men = bad

Really?! The main character is A PSYCHOPATHIC KILLER. /facepalm

You can literally list every single female character with faults, even Renee, the cop. Similar to Charlie’s Angels the female characters know their faults, they know what they are and while they all hold themselves accountable they’re used to having labels put on them. The male characters don’t care, and Black Mask is played not just as a supervillain by Ewan McGregor but as an emotionally manipulative abuser of women. The other male villain, Victor Zsasz, is a well known DC villain who targets women. The villains were purposefully chosen for the film without a doubt, but they’re still villains and thus the bad guys.

Also, the hair tie scene is probably one of the most iconic movie moments ever. Women around the world rejoiced (and quite literally) when they saw that scene and I was one of them. Every guy who has ever lived with a woman with long or thick hair probably also went “yup…” because they know how often we go through hair ties.

Geeking By in March to May 2021

I fell behind with my mini-book reviews over the last few months to this time I’m just going to list what I’ve read and link the reviews I’ve completed. I tried to catch up last month and that’s what ended up delaying this whole monthly update for another month.

March

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - The Iron Raven by Julie Kagwa

April

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

May

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Vine Witch (Vine Witch, #1) by Luanne G Smith
  • The Tyrant’s Tomb (The , #4) by Rick Riordan
  • The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5) by Rick Riordan
  • Destined (House of Night, #9) by PC Cast
  • Malice by Heather Walter
  • The Squirrel on the Train (The Iron Druid Chronicles #8.4) by Kevin Hearne
  • The Purloined Poodle (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #8.3) by Kevin Hearne
  • Besieged (The Iron Druid Chronicles) by Kevin Hearne
  • The Grimoire of the Lamb (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #0.4) by Kevin Hearne
  • The Wolf Mile (The Pantheon #1) by C.F. Barrington
  • The Queen’s Poisoner (Kingfountain, #1) by Jeff Wheeler
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
  • Spells, Salt, & Steel – Season One (Spells, Salt, & Steel #1-4) by Gail Z. Martin
  • Night Moves (New Templar / Spells, Salt, & Steel Book 5) by Gail Z. Martin
  • Monster Mash (Spells, Salt, & Steel Book 5) by Gail Z. Martin
  • Wayward (The Forbidden Heirs, #1) by Becca N. Drake
What I've been doing this month

The UK was still in lockdown for this period and during it, I got my first vaccine as did my partner. We’ve been handling the lockdown and pandemic pretty well apart from ongoing issues with a certain grocery delivery service that shall not be named. I’ve gradually been building more connections virtually, reaching out to publishers and other online communities. The more time I spend with my online therapy group the more I’m connecting with them as well and several opportunities have spun off from that too. I’ll be talking more about those over the next few months 🙂

That sounds like they’re super secretive, they’re not! I just like to keep each month’s events in that month’s update especially when I’m really behind and writing about three months ago in the middle of the next month /facepalm The one I can talk about (because it happened in these months) is the bingo afternoons which have been awesome and so surprisingly rejuvenating. I was terrified of hanging out with a larger group, especially with people who I knew were going to be much older than me, but they’ve just embraced me as my group did. It’s so lovely and no one is competitive, it’s just good fun and that need mutual need for companionship with people who understand.

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - Del Rey Virtual Showcase

In April I went to my first publishing event held by Del Rey. I’ve never been to a publishing event, or a showcase so I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know if the interviews were held by an interviewer or if we got to ask them. I made a point of dressing up with make-up so I looked professional, and it was actually nice to have something to dress up for too. I haven’t had any reason to get glammed up in a long while. I’ve been working on my skincare and it gave me a chance to see the difference with make-up and also try a few new products.

The event was great and I really enjoyed it even if I was nervous as hell! I made a great connection with Del Rey and got some wonderful review copies from them. You can read all about the event and the books they showcased here.

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - My Skincare Routine

As I just mentioned I have been working on my skincare in the last few months and doing my best to stick to a routine. Some days I don’t and some days I only do morning or night, but overall there is a really obvious change in my skin because of what I have been doing. I’m proud of it enough to actually show you all.

Here is what my skin looked like when I started:

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - My Skincare Routine: Before
My skin before I started my skincare routine.

And here is me with and without make-up several months later.

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - My Skincare Routine Results
My skin after a few months of sticking to my new skincare routine. Left, no make-up. Right, with make-up. No filters have been applied to either photo.

My skin is clear 90% of the time now and it’s amazing. I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made 🙂 If you’re curious about what products I’m using and what changes I made to get to this stage then keep an eye out for a post with full details in the next month or so.

Geeking by in March to May 2021 - It's time to catch up again as I tell you how I've been Geeking By in March to May 2021. Things started out slow and then picked up by the end of May!
Monthly Update: Over to You

Thanks for joining me for another monthly catch up. I keep saying I’m going back to a month to month update rather than these giant two to three-month ones which keep threatening to grown into quarterly updates and I mean it. I refuse to let it get to that stage and so while I was working on this one I actually started work on June’s update. You’ll get that in a fortnight, I promise 🙂

I’m getting organised bit by bit and it’s a nice feeling.

How have the last few months been for you?

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Image Credits: Difficult roads image is from Unsplash, Cat sleeping image is from Unsplash, Skincare image is from Rawpixel.

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