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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Little Miss Scatty Psychologist's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, January 12th, 2013
10:29 pm
Thea's Stash
This is a sticky post for the reference of the family and others who wish to buy Thea gifts in the future.  Everyone else please ignore.

Thea already has pretty much everything she could want until she's three years old but if you wish to check, the following is a moreorlessdefinitive list of her assetsCollapse )

Please note that at although we have now moved house, we're actually not much better off for storage furniture (at some point the 'spare' wardrobes will need emptying of suitcases and old baby clothes, so Thea and any siblings can use them; no idea where all that will go next!).  We would be very grateful if this were born in mind when selecting gifts.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
9:12 am
All (Westerosi) women are whores, and other HBO myths...
Well, halfway through series 1 of Game of Thrones, I have enjoyed a few episodes' relief from the Maximum Breasts issue in the first episode and was gripped by the show.  It really is an excellent adaptation, keeping the important plot elements but also giving insights into characters that either aren't there in the books (I actually like Cersei Lannister and no longer want her to die in horrible ways!) or don't get revealed until later (Jaime in particular).

But episode 5 yet again showed the probably-unwitting misogyny of the show's directors/writers/producers/whoever.  I'm sure if you asked them they'd say of course women aren't just sex objects, of course they're interesting in their own right, and aren't constantly wanting a good pounding.  And yet, why is there only one female character between 15 and 50 who we haven't seen at least semi-undressed?  Correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I can tell every single named female character has had breasts on show and/or been shown being penetrated except Catelyn Stark and her young daughters.  Last night we saw a completely unnecessary conversation happening mid/post-coitus (Theon and the prostitute; much like the Viserys and the prostitute/slave conversation the previous episode), a moment of very-extended lactation which revealed far more boob than necessary (although yes, that is in the books as I recall), and the fact that prostitutes are just such lascivious, men-tempting whores even a nice northern lad gets his head turned by one posturing at him.  Plus yet more prostitutes generally hanging around.

On top of the drip-drip in episodes 2-4, it basically sends a strong message about how the makers view women and it's a really unpleasant message at that.  Add to that that almost all these scenes are pretty degrading to the woman - we've even had a character in the show flag that up explicitly "are you a slave/horse Khaleesi?" - full body on show, man often tastefully obscured/semi dressed.  There's only been one positive portrayal of a woman in sex, with Dany taking charge of Drogo.

Of course, last night we also learned that gay men are a bit like that too, just desperate to have a penis inside them somehow (again, why did that covnersation have to end in on-screen sex acts? we already had enough information to know they're lovers). But if you're a straight male then there's a lot of overlap between gay men and women when it comes to sex partners.

Most alarming of all was that J didn't seem to notice any of this and when I pointed it out, he wasn't bothered.  Not that he's a bad man, more that it's a worrying example of how even good men, who respect their wives and their female friends, are still unable to see what's right in front of them.

I will keep watching, but if it doesn't improve again I'll think hard about buying season 2.

Current Mood: frustrated
Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
3:03 pm
Pride and Prejudice
I'm reading P&P properly for the first time right now and have to confess ... it's a bit rubbish isn't it?

I mean badly written. She jumps between different character's perspectives all the time, she 'tells' rather than 'shows' what they're feeling and thinking. So far Darcy is prosy, Bingley is really silly, Caroline is rather psychotic and Lizzie is ... well oddly superficial.

I hadn't bothered reading the book after watching the fabulous BBC adaptation when my mother kept saying "This is right out of the book." Since she and everyone else I knew raved about how faithful an adaptation it was, and it was such a great bit of storytelling, reading the book seemed superfluous and I only read the first and last chapters to get some extra detail.

I'm baffled because Austen is a great writer; Mansfield Park, PErsuasion and Emma are all quite brilliant. But none of the characters in P&P seem particularly real or sympathetic. I'm sure it's saying something when I actually prefer Emma (the heroine no one was supposed to like) over Lizzie! And the writing just isn't nearly as good.

It's like this was written by a teenager and the others by a woman in her thirties; which I know is touching on the thruth but I never imagined it would be so obvious. Or am I missing something?
Friday, December 31st, 2010
9:02 pm
The year that was.
1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Parturition (also known as labour).

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
None to keep, and none made at the moment.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Well besides myself, my sister-in-law had her second baby, and three old and four new friends all had babies too.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
James' Grandad

5. What countries did you visit?
Poland for a conference, then tried and failed to get to Italy (bloody volcano) but other than that just bummed aorund the UK.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Some money to study the Miskitu before they all get westernised, and some more sleep would be shiny.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
26th of August, not going to forget that in a hurry!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Thing is, (almost) anyone can have a baby just with a bit of unsafe sex; on the other hand, I don't think just anyone could get 7 papers submitted and write two grant proposals in the same year. But then I'm not nearly as proud of that as I am of just having the good fortune to win the genetic lottery with Thea.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Didn't get the miskitu grant despite it being the best thing I ever wrote.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I've had a cold for the last ten days.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The memory foam mattress topper which kept my hip bones from getting too painful for months after everyone else's!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
James for talking me through a mostly unmedicated labour and then spending half the night up with a baby who refused to sleep horizontally.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The British public for not seizing the opportunity, Journalists, for subsequently failing to cope with nuance and compromise, and my local MP for lying on her campaign leaflets and getting away with it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
We knocked a chunk off our mortgage in order to switch to an offset account.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Politics, work and babies, in chronological order.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Always a Woman

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Same I think.

ii. thinner or fatter?
Much fatter, but apparently women in my family don't lose baby weight until after lactation stops. *sigh*

iii. richer or poorer?
Same - decrease in expenses now we're cohabiting balances out my temporary loss of income.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Dinner parties, while I could! And also - skin-to-skin coy bonding in Thea's first week.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stressing about things I couldn't control.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With JAmes, Thea and my parents at home. Quiet but very nice.

21. Favourite item of clothing?
My wedding dress which I managed to wear once more before my waist dissappeared at a fancy Valentine's Dinner

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Oh yes, I cannot be denied that it is like a new romance in many ways.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favourite TV program?
The Pillars of the Earth, and Big Bang Theory. Hard to choose as they are the televisual embodiments of my personal obsession, and all my friends, respectively!

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
As befure, I try not to hate people; it's not a helpful emotion. Certain swathes of the media, politics and finance make me purse my lips very firmly though, even more so than last year.

26. What was the best book you read?
Kushiel's Chosen. V gripping, if you can skim over the S&M..

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The latest Cara Dillon album, and her fantastic performanes.

28. What did you want and not get?
My Miskitu grant.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
I watched 'Brokeback Mountain' for the first time this year and was pretty blown away.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 31 although in my head I'm still 30. We had a tea party at home with lots of mocktails.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

32. What kept you sane?
James at the hardest points, and my friends when he got the flack.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Jake Gyllenhaal - gay coyboy or Persian prince, he's pretty damn scrummy,

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election

35. Who did you miss?
As always, everyone I care about and don't see much anymore, but mostly Phil, Kat and the nieces who I haven't seen since May and I usually see them once every few months.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
It would be too cheesy to answer that!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Just like my own physiology, babies don't always do what the books say.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Yet again, "It's been a hard day's night"!
(James says: "And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while." Which is also very true.)
Monday, November 22nd, 2010
10:30 am
Music Monday

J and I went to see Cara Dillon play in June, and to my delight Thea jumped and wriggled through half the concert - indicating an early good taste in folk music!

She's been very difficult in the mornings recently, getting tired earlier than previously and being very bad tempered before eventually finally falling asleep.

Today I pressed play on Hill of Thieves before starting walking around the room with her.  She was calm almost instantly and we only got to the third track before she was completely fast asleep.

So fill to me the parting glass, good night and joy be with you all.

Current Mood: relieved
Friday, July 16th, 2010
9:36 am

Had to chortle at this article discussing TwilightI have to agree.  I could tolerate it a lot better if it weren't so popular that I fear teenage girls may not be getting access to the much better YA fantasy out there.  The way bookshops are orienting around it alarming, even if it does mean that the Nightworld series came back into print (not that they're spectacular either...)

Although I find it hilarious that people think the no-sex message is all about Mormon/Christian moralising.  Perhaps there's an element of that, but come on people - the heroine spends three books desperately wanting to be a vampire - a bloodsucking, killing machine.  Who'll live forever and never die and go to Heaven.  Seriously? That's what a "wholesome Christian message" is?  O-kay...
Monday, July 5th, 2010
11:13 am
Delicious domesticity

Saturday morning we attended our 4th NCT antenatal class during the course of which we tried all kinds of baby slings/wraps/carriers and continued to very much enjoy the company of 8 other early-30s proto-parents.  Of course, once you've helped a fellow Durham lecturer stick a Tiny Tears doll onto his chest with lots of fabric, no one can take themselves at all seriously!  Next week we're learning how to wash our tiny tears dolls, and may I suspect include nappy changing too!

Saturday early afternoon was spent doing errands in town and then lunch at Cafe Conteinental, followed by a late afternoon of reading at home, and finishing the BBC Pride & Prejudice in the evening.  It's taken 6 months to get James to watch it but he's glad he did.  Ironically, they were screening the ghastly recent film version over the weekend, and even after 3 minutes he was able to identify several of it's major flaws!  (We didn't keep watching...)

Sunday I taught at Sunday School and had several 11 year olds insisting that I bring the baby in next term, went home for lunch and after an afternoon nap, we decided to go for a walk.  Only as we were leaving through the garden, I decided to "just pull up a few weeds".  Next thing you know, we've cancelled the walk and spent 90 minutes with me weeding and then teaching James how to distinguish between errant grass and daffodil leaves!

As someone who generally dislikes gardening, I was suprised by how much I enjoyed it.  Partly is was the lovely weather - sunny but not hot - and the sense of achievement as I cleared away lots of weeds and self-seeded plants to reveal a rose we only planted last month finally getting going with leaves (it was a bare stalk in May!).  Partly it was the exertion which I miss these days - walking is only really viable where it's flat and swimming requires more logistical effort.  Anyway, I now have nascent plans to do the front flower bed one evening this week when it's sunny, and to mulch the back garden soon.

Finally, having decided long ago that the fat, short bookcase in the spare room had to go, to make room for baby-related furniture, and having cleared its contents onto wall-mounted shelves in May, we had the brainwave that it could go into the garden shed and make it easier to get in and out (by having more stuff on shelves rather than on the floor).  So we carried it down, emptied the shed, and then slowly put everything back.

All in all, a very domesticated weekend, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I know that at some point I'm going to be desperate to go out dancing of a Saturday night, but since I can't exactly dance right now, this is filling my time suprisingly well!

Monday, January 4th, 2010
10:47 am
Music Monday
Love this cover. V mellow and reminds me of a favourite Scrubs episode, of course...

Current Mood: mellow
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
4:57 pm
Music Monday
a bit o' Cara Dillon, although that's not her face that her voice seems to be coming out of...!

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
11:35 pm
Calling Shirelings
I have a feeling I was meant to ask this 2 years ago but ... anyone want a hard or jpg copy of the attached (or any component parts?)

Post is unlocked so please to pass the message on to Louisa, Little Gary, Kev etc...

Monday, November 9th, 2009
2:41 pm
9th November: Nick Robinson
A rather touching half-post from Nick Robinson today...   (Best read to the sound of a good emotive soundtrack...!)

When politics matters...


If anyone ever suggests to me that politics doesn't matter, I tell them to remember 9 November. It's a day I will never forget.

Not just because I was lucky enough to stand on top of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago.

People standing on and around the Berlin Wall in November 1989Not just because I will never forget the moment I watched a young Berliner jump off the wall into East Germany to hand a flower to one of the troops who, just days before, would have been under orders to shoot on sight anyone who dared to do such a thing.

Not just because when people say the word "freedom", I think of the spontaneous applause which followed and the smiles which broke on the troops' faces.

But also because of a less happy German anniversary. Today marks 71 years since Kristallnacht - the Night of Broken Glass - a night of co-ordinated Nazi attacks on German Jews on which synagogues, homes and businesses were ransacked, dozens of Jews were murdered and thousands arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Luckily, my grandparents - who were German Jews - had fled Berlin already.They taught me that politics mattered.

Thursday, November 5th, 2009
10:15 am
I think flutterbutter says it best...

"Let us all remember that many of the people who we are remembering by choosing whether or not to wear a poppy fought in World War Two against Nazis. It was the Nazis who imposed the wearing of labels and badges as the Star of David and pink triangles to propagate hate and discrimination. That we have the free choice to show our appreciation and respect in our own way is the greatest honour to the sacrifices paid. If only the Daily Mail could recognise this rather than bullying people in a puritanical way that wouldn't be out of place by Burka Bullying Taleban forces who our armed services are currently battling against."

asyn further down made an interesting point too...

"However, people in Ireland and other ex-British Empire members have long objected to wearing them because the proceeds only benefit ex-servicemen and families in the UK. This means that the enormous contribution of thousands of non-British who served (and still serve) in the British Army is being continuously ignored. "

Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
10:40 pm
In Paris With You

The other poem of Fenton's I have typed on my laptop.

This one me and Rob and Ben scripted into a dialogue for an in-class performance.  I'm actually quite proud of that because it worked well.  I read the 'female' part and they sat back to back with me and shared the 'male' part.



In Paris With YouCollapse )
10:29 pm

At our newly formed book group this evening, Beth tried to give me back my cope of James Fenton's poetry and I promptly leant it to Alice.  I've now gone back to one of his poems I typed up years ago and had on my wardrobe door in College.  And it really struck me just how much more deeply I understand the poem than I did when writing my A level coursework on it 13 years ago.  How could I have been so oblivious, not only to things that I needed more historical context to understand, but even things I should have spotte like the 'dying men with tattooed wrists'?

It just goes to show that although I could pull apart most poems with ease by upper sixth, my simplistic understanding of current affairs and modern history really annihilated my ability to truly comprehend both JAmes Fenton and the issues he was talking about.

(I got an A for my coursework by the way.  It was performance based and for this piece I scripted it into a series of talking heads, switching with each new voice and carrying the poem between them.  That was almost the full extent of what I had to say about it...!)

JerusalemCollapse )
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
8:36 am
Jorge Cham on tour!
I do hope my London and Nottingham friends will make me feel better aobut missing him, by going along themselves?!

Friday, October 16th, 2009
12:23 pm
Education education education
I agree with pretty much everything the latest report into schools recommends (nicely summarised by the Guardian here).

However, while I've been angry at the Governments continued emphasis in quantifying and league tables in assessments, I have one massive bee in my bonnet on all this, which is triggered by this:

"The Conservative shadow schools minister, Nick Gibb, said: "We agree that the wave of bureaucracy over the past decade has been deeply damaging and we must trust teachers more.

Let's get one thing straight.  This wave of bureaucracy started under Thatcher; the National Curriculum was introduced by the Tories because ThEY didn't trust teachers.  SATS were introduced by the Tories because THEY didn't trust teachers' reports.  The idea of parents as consumers and choosers and league tables were introduced by the Tories because THEY wanted free-market economics in education.

Apart from improving pay and conditions, Labour has been a total failure on education.  But that's because they're bloody idiots who went gung-ho in following previous Tory policy despite the fact that we'd kicked those bastards out, becuase they somehow thought it was what the public wanted.

So why the f**k does a Tory shadow minister think we should listen to his bloody moralising the subject?

Yes, my anger is driven in part by the fact  that my parents were teachers, I was the first year to take SATs and I saw first hand what happened to Education through the 80s and 90s.  But still, that doesn't make me wrong.

Current Mood: angry
Thursday, August 27th, 2009
6:21 pm
It needs to be said.

I am so madly in love that I realised last night that this may be the greatest passion of my life since one Captain Carrot.  I can barely recall the last time I was so swept off my feet, where the fateful lifting of a book could lead so inexorably to lack of sleep, dubious use of work time, and intense daydreaming.

Shintaro Karish: I love you! I do! I want your babies!  But alas you are fictional, and Book 5 will not be published for many months to come.  What can such a spurned and bereft devotee do in circumstances such as these?

Only the company of others will succor me.

Friends! Fellow bloggers!  Read these books!

Disclaimer: probably more for the girls, but even James thought it was okay!

Current Mood: giddy
Monday, August 24th, 2009
12:56 pm
Dream me a dream
Last night I had my second lucid dream of my life.

It was a wedding stress dream and somewhere in the middle of panicking becaue we'd already got to the reception and there weren't enough seats, and we'd not had any pictures taken yet - in fact, our photographer wasn't even there because we hadn't confirmed the date with him - and James and I had had no moment to ourselves ... I suddenly thought "But wait, I don't remember any time between August and this.  It's not soon enough to be my wedding.  I must dreaming."

I then had to explain to at least two people that I was dreaming and I needed to wake up just to make sure.  One was dismissive, the other just said "are you sure? well see if you can wake up then".  This was frustrating because I couldn't wake up, and I wanted them to help me.

It took a few minutes but I managed in the end to open my eyes just long enough to give a sigh of relief because I *was* just dreaming.  And then I went back to sleep.

So far, lucid dreaming isn't the theme park I'd been promised...!
Monday, July 13th, 2009
3:06 pm
7 things I hate about you...
Because Tony did it for me...

Post your name and I will do each of the following:
1. I'll respond with something random about you.
2. I'll tell you which song or movie you remind me of.
3. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.
4. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
5. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
6. I'll ask you something I've always wondered about you.
7. I'll tell you my favorite thing about you.
8. If you play, you MUST post this on yours.
Thursday, March 19th, 2009
9:46 am
Battlestar Gallactica - why you should watch it/

I found this article on The Grauniad website explaining why BSG is one of the best TV series of all time (okay I'm slightly paraphrasing,  but not much).

Because one paragraph contains spoilers, I'm copying it here without, and sending this link to people I want to convert instead...

Better than The Wire?Collapse )
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