Showing posts with label meatspace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meatspace. Show all posts

6.11.17

red carpet premiere

Paul finally finished his Master's degree and got the mark for it last Friday - a Distinction overall, since all the individual marks he got were also Distinction grades - so i can pass around the documentary he made now (embedded above).

huge thanks to everyone who helped make the film: Kevin Warwick, Jenova Rain and Vicarious for their interviews, Meredith Thomas for the vintage portrait sketch that was used for the title card, Klayton (of Celldweller) for allowing the use of his music for the soundtrack, and the biohacking community at large for ideas, feedback and suggestions. i apologise if anyone sent content to Paul or me and it didn't end up in the film - there was a very strict limit on how long the film was allowed to be, meaning that a lot of things we wanted to feature couldn't be kept in without it being too long. i actually do have a dusty youtube channel somewhere, however, so i plan to upload the interviews as separate films; that way you can see the full unedited versions as well if you want.

[aside: i read the feedback sheet that Paul got handed and was extremely surprised to note that his tutor, Richard, actually uses "they/them" to talk about me even when there's like zero chance i will see what he's writing which is generally not how it goes down and is also very sweet. you're a diamond Richard - even though i would probably get into academic slap fights with you over postmodernism ("is it a crock of shit? discuss.") you can learn my pronouns any time, shitlord. sorry about pretending i was not schtupping your star pupil.]

in other Paul-related news he is still kind of fucked. a CT scan showed there is a problem with his intestines, but some more... invasive... tests are required before they know exactly what that problem is or what's causing it. the next test is coming up in a week or so but until then he still can't eat solid food and is in quite a bit of pain and discomfort. i've passed on all the messages you sent to me about him, so he knows there's well wishers out there. hopefully Ganesh sends some good luck Paul's way and gets him back to health soon. (Ganesh is the god of biohackers, obviously.)

amusingly enough, Paul has needed to take some Tramadol, which you all know will fuck you up.

in any case, the homebrewed documentary i first heard about from a cute and enthusiastic Goth boy five years ago is finally actually filmed and released - he titled it "Lepht Anonym: Biohacker", so if my embed up there isn't working or you for some incomprehensible reason don't like my eye-watering tiny white text on a black background, you can find it on youpoop at his channel, Voxis Productions. you can also watch some offensive puppet humour if you're bored (i recommend it!)

more to come. i am still working on a quick guide to the various chips/tags you can buy to put inside yourself - types, what em do, installation, etc etc. i have also gone back to my online security course after having to take a break for mental health reasons, which worries me a lot, but i can't take breaks forever. i might put digests of what i've been studying up here, since it's hacking-related stuff. watch this space if you like that sort of thing.


carpe corporem

L

8.9.17

...and the fugly

some things have happened! some of them are good! some of them are shit though.


Paul has finally finally finished and submitted his documentary. it's been handed in to the course at the University of Birmingham & the tutors say it will be a few months before it's marked, so i won't be able to tell you what they think of it very soon. Paul is gonna upload it to his YouTube channel within a few weeks though so you lot will see it first (it says, as if its blog has any readers. HI GOOGLE SPIDER) i'll put the link to it up here & on twatter when i get one.

thankyou to everyone who contributed help to it, of any kind. Jenova Rain and Kevin Warwick were both lovely people, and there are so many other people who contributed or offered videos, interviews, etc etc - there was lots of extra material that Paul couldn't cram into the 25 minutes he was allowed for the film, so i will be putting up this stuff for you all on my own YouTube (once i fish it out from behind the sofa and dust it off, obviously.) there's full interviews that Paul did with Jenova and Kevin Warwick face to face, plus a long-distance one with Vicarious, and one with me although you should probably not watch that one because i could not have worse hair if i fucking tried, goddamn. i'll put these up as soon as i can.

less good: the Student Loans company called yesterday, asking for £4200. apparently this is the soonest they decided to tell me after i had to leave university the second time, which (can't remember if i wrote about it here or how much) was also because of the SLC - they wouldn't pay the tuition fee, which at that time was £9k per year, but they were cool with giving out some maintenance money. could i get family to pay the nine grand, they suggested? every year for a total of twenty-seven thousand fucking pounds out of pocket? i explained that even if we sold everything we collectively owned and one of my (valuable!) kidneys, we wouldn't be able to come up with that kind of money. oh, said the SLC. well, you'll have to fuck off out of that uni then. they did not at any time mention that this meant they'd be wanting that money back DIRECTLY - i figured i'd be paying it back as part of my regular student loans, i.e. when i'm earning enough to justify repaying it, and they were happy to let me think that for several years up until now when they suddenly decided not to.

didn't make any difference on the phone to them that i have zero income apart from benefits, and those go completely on food/electric/gas/internet/rent/travel/course tuition etc etc - perhaps you should go to a debt charity, said the SLC. i don't have any debt (apart from this one that i suddenly have...) so i'm not sure how the hell they'd be able to help. i tried to explain this & that no matter how you wrangle my finances, i can't afford to take anything out of that budget to pay these guys. welp, we need something, said the SLC. you've got until Monday to come up with something, we need you to ring back on the 11th and go through all your incomes and expenditures with us over the phone and decide how big a chunk of that we're gonna take.

i'm trying not to think about it until then. this weekend a film crew will be here - they want to interview me for a TV series about "cheating death", which has an episode about h+ (or it might be biohacking, i'm not sure). they're also interviewing Kevin Warwick, though not at the same time, so the finished episode will probably be quite interesting - it's going to be a BBC Worldwide thing, i'll put links up as i have them. i'm also waiting for an interview i gave up in London for a Turkish TV show to be published on their website. unfortunately i am not famous enough to actually get paid for this kind of stuff.

fuck, the future came and i didn't get my jetpack OR to be rich and famous. where's my goddamn jetpack?!

L

24.12.16

the winter feast


it will probably be christmas day by the time most of you read this, or later. i hope you have or had a good day wherever you were or whatever you were doing. may 2017 be less shit than 2016 was.

if you sent me email in the last year, i'm really sorry for not replying to you. i do read most of what arrives but there's a high volume of spam plus a similarly high volume of legit emails, so it's hard to reply to them all when you have no motivation to do ordinary day to day tasks and even less to interact with people.

my partner is looking after me - he's doing a good job. i have not been very well this last year, and it didn't help that i spent about six months trying to do a networking qualification that was too advanced for me and not actually relevant to my eventual CEH qualification since i already know basic networking (it turns out that the one i was trying to do, the CompTIA Network+, is actually quite high level and involves a LOT of background reading for someone who has been on the programming or security side of things rather than the network engineering side. it's probably a fantastic exam to take if you want to be able to understand the logistics of every network everywhere and be able to engineer the perfect network for the situation your clients are in, every time, but it is way too in depth for a hacker to learn from scratch.) i've contacted the training provider about this & luckily they were really understanding - they apologised for having suggested the Network+ to me on the phone, and reset the time i had paid for so that i didn't pay for six months of wasted training and stress that got me nowhere. i'm currently working on the CompTIA Security+ & should be going back to that after christmas. i haven't done lots and lots of it but it seems like it's a lot closer to what i've been teaching myself for all this time than the Network+ was.

i am trying to be more accessible this coming year. my immediate plans are to attempt to restart my haptic compass project, and to complete my magnetic implant array. this will eventually also involve removing the failed experimental debris left in my right small finger (this debris is what you could see in the short BBC3 documentary, for those that asked - it is the encapsulated remains of a node whose experimental covering i was testing. it no longer works and will have to be removed before i can use the space to install a new node but this would be a long and involved surgery with a lot of pain and for this reason i have been avoiding it.)

merry christmas to you all, and many happy winters to come

cc

L

18.3.16

recent escapades


recent experiments seem to suggest the possibility of using acetone to dissolve various RFID and contactless devices to gain useful components. i also found the local Rag Market selling 100% acetone for cheapsies, which is always good. by "useful" i do of course mean "useful for installing beneath one's sliced open and surgically retracted flesh in order to further one's admittedly bizarre experimentation". biggest problem right now is making coiled-copper antennae, which are very delicate, suitable for implantation (i.e. bioproof) whilst still retaining functionality. it seems that a square shape, not filled in in the middle, with the chip connected to the coil on the outside (and the whole thing coated in whatever) is the best proto-dealio to be manufacturing, as it seems like that's the most stable construct that maintains the original shape of the device somewhat but also has the smallest surface area. as everyone probably figured out by now, items with a small surface area are far more likely to take beneath the skin than larger ones, and for related reasons, stuff with holes in is better than stuff without, so long as the holes don't compromise the bioproofing (whatever it is you've used for that). but i've had a few failures (conceptual and otherwise) & now need further supplies to fuck with. i'm going to be messing around with a contactless, refillable bus pass they sell around this area of Birmingham this time (sort of like an Oyster card if you're familiar with those). more as it happens / doesn't happen / gets horrifically infected and results in loss of limbs.

in other recent escapades i went with Paul (the documentary bloke!) to the Circus of Horrors a while ago. it was pretty amusing, although the posters led me to expect less than the quantity i actually witnessed of midget cock, balls and/or arsehole (how does he lift that weight, even with what are proportionally rather large tools?!) we accidentally bought VIP tickets and thus Paul calmly appreciated the artistry while i drank both of the little bottles of red wine we were given, plus a complimentary vodka lemonade, and spent most of the evening thinking a mixture of "HAHAHA WOW YAAY" and "I LIEK FISHNETS, I LIEK CORSETS" which i'm pretty sure is exactly what you're supposed to do anyway. it was immensely fun, they gave us free snacks and a tiny box of delicious truffles, and we even got to talk to the ringleader/owner afterwards (i did not say anything retarded, surprisingly.)

while that has exhausted my "fun stuff" budget for a while, i have got some cash left saved for experiments, so worry not. i'm not spending scalpel money on drink like some sort of *crazy person*.

cc

L

2.10.15

it doesn't even have a title!

once again i find myself apologising for the lack of blog-related content. the last two months or so have been utterly hectic: as you know, i was still staying with my folks after my attempt to do a second try at a University degree failed for lack of £27,000 in tuition fees, and when i last updated i was still there. since then my parents embarked on a massive house move: they decided to move to a different house in the same little town, someone else snapped it up, then their house was still on the market, they started looking further and further afield and ended up buying this tiny smallholding near Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. (it turns out you can buy a lot more in Wales for the money.) there was a lot of drama whilst all this was up in the air: house viewings all the time where we'd have to scrub the whole place and hoover everything and hide all the personal stuff and take all three of my mum's dogs out of the house, the stupid old bat who eventually bought the place requiring four of said viewings, showing up unannounced, constantly threatening to pull out of the deal, etc. the move also necessitated my mum selling her wool shop business, my dad moving the whole premises of the little business he ran to an office on their new property, my brother (who works for my dad) and his partner and their two very very young kids also moving to Wales to live in the annexe attached to the new house, my great-grandma moving in with my Nan for health reasons, and my parents (and their large collection of animals) living in her empty house for a month or so with all their stuff in storage before they could even get to Wales. during all this, i wasn't sure where i could go or what would happen. eventually, after a massively stressful search for housing that would take itinerant losers as tenants, i found a flat.

so i am now in Kings Norton, Birmingham. truly a cyberpunk metropolis. please to not send anything to the previous address in Thornbury as the old bat will end up with it and frankly i would like to kick her in the ovaries rather than inadvertently give her gifts. if anyone would like the new address for sending letters, news, free anthrax etc., i'm happy to send it to you via email. my PayPal is still at a.mason.06@aberdeen.ac.uk, and i'm still at the same email address and Twitter page.

my parents helped move all the crap in & i have now sorted out rent, bills, council tax etc. & am fully set up in here. now that i have my own place rather than just staying in the spare room of someone else's house, i'm a lot more free to continue/restart projects, collaborate, talk etc. on biohacking stuff. you can't really do experimental surgery in a tiny house that has lots and lots of pets.

other things what is interesting: a while back, the people who make the graphic novel series Metal Made Flesh named a biohacker character after me (sort of, they called the hacker Leift Antonym). as you can see below, she doesn't look anything like yours fugly. it was seriously flattering though, even if she does get murdered horribly and forgotten over the course of the plot. it's a very well written book, i loved the art and the world they show is a sort of transhuman purgatory; i'd definitely recommend it to fellow weirdos.


the documentary is (still) an ongoing work, which had to go on hiatus while we were all running around worrying about somewhere to live. Paul's supervisor on his degree programme is on board, and his degree will be completed next year, so by that time the doc in its final form will be finished and ready to... go on YouTube i spose. he is working on it as his degree thesis project, which gives him access to pro equipment and editing machines plus other bonuses & will make it a better film in the end. he wants to make it clear that there's nothing to prevent anyone else filming whatever they want - i've not signed any bullshit non-disclosure agreements or confidentiality stuff, he's not paying me, and there's no agreed-on exclusivity, so anyone else who wants to interview and/or film stuff about my work is welcome to. if anyone still even remembers i had a blog.

health crap: it turns out that methadone in liquid form is not actually licenced for use with pain patients! so i had to switch to capsules instead. they're easier to deal with. this is a temporary thing: because methadone is a. massively stigmatised, such that pharmacists/nurses/etc tend to assume i am a heroin addict in treatment, and b. a pain in the arse to get hold of owing to the weird distribution requirements for pharmacies, i will soon be seeing a pain management consultant here to talk about switching back to a small dose of morphine or whatever. i found out there's a cool adjunct called nefopam which should potentiate the morphine allowing me to take less meds and have more pain relief, so i wanna ask them about that too. i haven't yet accessed any mental health services in Birmingham but i have a new antidepressant (lofepramine) which is more effective than the last one, and i have been a lot better recently than when i was on my own before.

so thanks for being patient, if anyone reads this, and i will be trying to post a blog on Fridays now i have a lot less stress to deal with.

cc

Lepht


EDIT 15.10.15: had to remove some personal details. feel free to email if you are confused. i apologise for editing but it was unavoidable. also clarified some stuff regarding exclusivity & the forthcoming documentary.

15.3.15

i missed that penguin

i finally got my arse in gear and installed Linux back onto this machine. amazing how much faster the OS runs than Windows, especially if you've been putting up with the latter for any longish amount of time. i use Fedora, which has always worked out of the box for me, but i found that GNOME 3 is a bit weird and required Fedy and gnome-tweak-tool to be installed before i could turn it into something resembling a usable GUI. maybe it's meant for tablets like everything else on the fucking planet these days. (in other crap news, i lost my Kindle :( )

medication wise i am thinking about coming off the Abilify/aripiprazole. my metabolism is still slow as a snail on Valium and i still weigh more than i should, although i'm down to 10st 10lb from 11st. i can't stand being overweight, so i gave up sweets and that seems to have helped some, but not enough. might have to give up alcohol as well, possibly also red meat.

no biohacking news, sorry. that's all for now sibs. carpe corporem

L

2.2.15

undiagnosis

so i've been waiting for months and months to see an autism specialist here in Bristol, and i finally got to see one for three sessions a few weeks back. i get called back in for a third about a week ago, only to find that they've undiagnosed me - that is to say, these specialists (and they're pretty much the experts) are sure i don't have a developmental disorder. so "what's wrong with me" has now gone from Asperger's Syndrome, to Borderline Personality Disorder, and now to nothing at all according to these ladies (apart from major depression.)

not really sure what to think of that. i trust their professional opinion, and their diagnosis was based on a pretty comprehensive test battery plus a massive arseload of history - interviewing me and my ma, pages on pages of questions about my life and my development (my ma's questionnnaire about me was 18 pages long) - so i don't think it's likely they've got it wrong. but if there's nothing wrong with me, officially, that sort of screws with my access to mental health services outside of severe depressive episodes. so i don't know if this is good or not.

anyone else run into anything like this? ever end up with a diagnosis that stuck?

L

8.12.14

status affected

okay some new things have happened and it is time to stop neglecting the blog and actually tell people something! hooray.

first some bad news. unfortunately i wasn't able to pay the tuition fees for my place at UWE, and i can't get a loan because you can only have so many years' worth of loans. there's no exemption to the rule for health reasons, apparently. i signed the withdrawal form on Wednesday to break the contract and officially cancel my student status, so i am now without an occupation other than "itinerant loser". i'm trying to trade in the credits i earned so far for a designated degree, as crap as that is. much better than no degree. after that, i'm gonna try and get some kind of research assistant job. if anyone knows of any institutes or universities hiring, i'm all ears, could always do with some extra leads.

second, some good news. i found a partner - although you probably already know that because i said it on Twitter.

also the documentary is still on - we have a lot of raw footage, plus my old videos, and i'm told it now needs lots of storyboarding to work out the narrative. then editing, graphic art work, more editing etc. i don't know fuck all about filmmaking really.

health wise i'm alright. i started a new treatment last week - a six-week course focused on mindfulness, which is a new treatment for depression that looks promising from the evidence. it seems pretty helpful at first glance. i also had a new drug added to my regimen - aripiprazole (Abilify), which apart from making me sleepy as fuck is actually helping my mood levels i think. between all of that, Paul, and the support i've been getting from you all i'm dealing with things pretty well overall. it's nice to have someone to look out for me.

can't think of anything else that's happened right now, but i probably will sooner or later. hope you're all enjoying the run up to Christmas, sibs.

cc

L

16.7.14

nyuus

ugh. i'm so crap at composing blog entries these days. here is some shit that has been happening:

while the current shitty depressive episode is still ongoing, i'm getting closer to some proper treatment. a few months ago my referral to LIFT Psychology, a local mental health service, went through and i was sent on a three-day "stress and mood management" course based on introductory cognitive-behavioural therapy. it did help explain some shit about how exactly the thought patterns created by depression work, how they become cyclical or "neverending", how triggers exacerbate them, etc. the downside was that although this knowledge might be useful if i do get any one-on-one sessions with a CB therapist, it didn't do any good for actually halting or removing any of those destructive patterns. that was the first day, and the other two were about anxiety disorders and anger management, so although i was there they weren't really relevant. they're gonna call tomorrow evening for a "review" and i'm hoping they'll send me on something specific to long-term depression now. i'll take what i can get. i also discovered that this whole time i'm meant to have had weekly or fortnightly appointments with my GP specifically to discuss my mood, thoughts, antidepressants and the like, which the GP has utterly failed to even mention, so i'm gonna try and set that up even if it's just a medication review. i haven't had the dose on my escitalopram (my main antidepressant) checked or adjusted for about five years now so i'm pretty sure it needs doing.

it was my birthday on the 14th - i got all the messages people sent me & all that, so thanks for the kind words. i also checked the facebook page duneo set up so thankyou for your messages there as well. my family went to the pub carvery (yeah that's how classy we are) and i abused the fact that i've survived twenty-six years without killing myself or dying of self-induced septicaemia to persuade the chef to give me an extra Yorkshire pudding and the tasty bit off the top of the roast beef that everyone else doesn't want. HAUTE CUISINE. my brother and his partner baked a cake that was blue on the inside, with yellow and purple buttercream, covered with iced flowers and rainbows, and was filled with jelly beans in the centre. it was a badass cake. i didn't want any presents on account of the cost, but my parents bought me a weird-looking toy frog to replace the one that i'd had since i was born that got stolen from me when i was moving out of University halls one summer (i had two big market bags that contained all my possessions/clothes/books and the one with all my textbooks, my toy frog, my recent birthday presents from friends, a little book that my dad gave me when i was two or three and my completely worthless sentimental-value jewellery was the one some scumbag lifted while i was loading up the other one into a taxi.) i named it Slymer II after the first one. i'm still gutted about that fucking frog.

regarding university, i have been trying to get into Bristol University, but we got the news a week or so ago that they don't take students without maths A2 levels, which i don't have, or they would have accepted me. their advice was either to go back to sixth form (yeah, back to fucking SCHOOL) for two years to get one, or to apply to the other local university UWE (University of the West of England). having looked at both courses, i'm pretty sure the Bristol one is too theoretical for the type of research i wanna go into - plus i don't wanna go hang out with a load of sixteen-year-olds who are still in compulsory education, i don't wanna wear a school fucking uniform, and i especially don't wanna go anywhere near the town secondary school which was the place where i got so badly bullied that i don't even have proper memories of most of it. the UWE course seems much closer to what i was studying in Aberdeen. i am actually very, very bad at maths - one educational psychologist in Aberdeen thought i had dyscalculia because i can't do basic arithmetic in my head, although i'm alright with stuff like algebra - so even if i did manage to get an A at the A2 level, i don't think i would be able to handle the contents of the second and third year university courses, which you have to take at the Maths Department with the maths students. even if i did i wouldn't be able to get the sort of grades i was getting in Aberdeen. seems like there's a distinction between mathematical, theoretical computing science in some universities and applied, less academic CS in others - the only thing i'm kind of worried about is that this might make it a "lesser" degree and maybe that would affect my chances of a career. when i was applying for places on linguistics & language degrees at eighteen i was repeatedly told not to apply to UWE because of its bad academic reputation, so i was also worried about that, but it seems that was referring to the Languages department, and UWE has apparently vastly improved its rankings over the last five years or so. so, i'm now trying to find someone at UCAS to find out how to apply for this place given my rather twisted situation.

in other news, my parents have decided to use what they've saved up over the past few years and take us on a holiday. a massive ten day holiday. the kind i've never been on before. they're going to some all-inclusive place in fucking Jamaica and for some reason they actually agreed to take me with them - i've seen the brochure and it looks incredible. the pool has a bar that you swim up to and sunken seats where you drink your drink and there's a snack hut on the side that gives you hot jerk chicken. it even has a Chinese restaurant. they're going in September (so my ma will have her 50th birthday out there which is pretty bizarre to think about because there is no way my ma looks fifty years old), so hopefully if i do get into UWE it won't interfere with classes, but i suppose i can always take some class work with me. i wouldn't mind working the whole time if i could go to the pool bar for breaks. i've never done anything like it - we don't have that kind of money and they've saved for a long time i think, it's never gonna happen again, so i'm still amazed they actually let me come. (hence why i didn't want them to spend any money on my birthday.) i am gonna have to take about ten cans of factor 75, and figure out a way to get a litre of heavy opiate painkillers into the country without being arrested, but i fucking love travelling when i can & i think it's gonna be fucking great.

i have also lost half a stone since being taken off one of my antidepressants, quetiapine. if any of you have depression, or an anxiety problem or a psychosis-related condition, i'd advise thinking really carefully about your calorie intake and checking the side-effects of your medications before you start if you're offered a new one. especially that particular medicine - it does help you with mood but it's so, so bad for side effects and i've had similar experiences (though not as bad) with others. i didn't look at the info properly and so because i didn't change my diet as they increased the dose i went from a size 8, weighing eight and a half stone, to a size 12 weighing eleven. being disgusted with yourself and not being able to figure out why reducing your calorie intake isn't working like it should pretty much offsets any benefits the drug might have moodwise, and it doesn't help if you're finding it hard to do things like put on makeup, shower properly, etc because now every time you look in the mirror or down at your body you're reminded that you're repulsively overweight. i'm hoping to lose the rest of the weight over the next year.

i'm loath to say "EVERYTHING IS FINE NOW" because it's still not and every time i say that something fucking awful happens, but shit is at least going a better way than it was a few months ago. i've been able to tidy the house and make the beds more often the last couple of weeks, and also to take my dog out for a couple of walks, and today i did the house, had a shower, did my hair and paint, and took my laptop to Hawkes House (the local omni-hangout that does restaurant food and tapas and drinks and coffee, that sort of shit) with the express purpose of putting a blog entry up and starting to deal with emails. a month ago doing any one of these things would have been the max i was capable of in one day, and there were a lot of days when i couldn't do fuck all.

i'm gonna try and do this again tomorrow. i haven't replied to any emails today (i was writing this) but i did clear out all the spam and automail, so tomorrow i'm gonna try and get to the emails.

carpe corporem

L

16.3.14

in other news here is my dog


i love my dog. her name is Frankie. she is my best friend.

L

repairs in progress

i have seen an assessment dude from the psychiatry services here recently and said dude has recommended a pretty major medication shift. the main sleep medication i have is quietiapine, or Seroquel as its brand name. it's actually an antipsychotic (i am not psychotic) so it has some pretty gnarly side effects, but it works well as a sedative and is also one of the only well-studied treatments for BPD. i was fairly certain that because of this i'd be stuck with the shit for life. it's a pain in that it fucks up your metabolism and appetite - apparently almost everyone on these drugs gains weight, which is one of the things that's been really getting to me. i track and restrict calories but the amount that i lose weight on instead of plateau has gone way down, from 1500 losing me a good amount of weight per month to still weighing the same on 1350, so it's hard to actually get the weight off.

so assessment psychiatrist dude tells me apparently there's a new drug called aripiprazole or Abilify that i'd never heard of. says you add it on to pre-existing antidepressant regimes instead of replacing them, but he reckons it can replace the quetiapine. and it doesn't cause weight gain - in fact it's apparently associated with weight loss in depressives. fucking a. i agreed, and dude wrote to my GP (who is currently in charge of my psych meds until i can see a real psychiatrist, in the predicted waiting time of six to eight months, natch) recommending a regime change. he also pointed out that tramadol is a pretty crap breakthrough pain med for someone accustomed to 100mls of bloody methadone as their everyday pain control, but didn't suggest a replacement, so i have to go inquire therein about everything. hopefully i can see the GP either tomorrow or Tuesday and start that shit ASAP, although i did find that quetiapine can fuck you up if you stop taking it suddenly. mine ran out when i forgot to request the repeat scrip once and i was throwing up everything i ate for like five or six days. i think i'll probably need to taper off of it this time.

dunno how i'll do with sleep on just melatonin, but insomniac is better than fatarse.

L

9.12.13

begging hat

my sincerest apologies if i inadvertently appeared to be a scam by not claiming funds via PayPal - i forgot you had to do that. i cannot thank you all enough for flinging a few quid this way here and there (or a whole lot of quid, as it may be) - i literally have nothing right now and it's fucking amazing to suddenly have even a little bit of funds for food and fags. i am kind of a massive burden on my parents and it sucks to live in someone's spare room and not even be able to feed yourself.

on the benefits front, i duly applied, sent lots of data and got a nice letter in the post. dear hacker, we cannot pay you benefits. it doesn't even say why - under the "why" section it just says "we cannot pay you". i don't even know if i'm eligible for some other shit, or what - the guy on the phone sure as hell didn't think i was. i guess i'm gonna have to find a way into the nearest city to get to a physical job centre or something, i dunno.

emo or not, the colder it gets, the more i just miss Muad-Dib. i'd give up anything for a chance to be back with him.

22.11.13

the kindness of hackers

i feel pretty goddamn shitty. i'm still at my mum's - i'll be here until September 2014 at the earliest - and i'm still completely fucking broke. i have to ask my parents for food right now. some people have volunteered to help, so if you really want to, i have a paypal at a.mason.06@aberdeen.ac.uk. i also have a bank account (it contains minus 2K). if anyone wants to give me 2K so the bank will stop trying to take my blood, you go right ahead, sir or madam. if you wanna throw me a few quid i will happily give you the details by email or you can text me, my phone number is a few posts down i think.

i will also accept offers of free food, random parcels, pills, your unwanted Steam items and/or oldarse games, all that shit your ex-girlfriend left at your place six months ago when she moved out, grocery vouchers pilfered from your parents, and a few people have asked if it is okay to send christmas presents, which it definitely fucking is. anything you wanna send, you can send. i am too poor to be proud, i will eat anything that doesn't contain cheese or tomatoes (they make me throw up). (well, they make me throw up more.) pizza is OK. and second-hand clothes you don't want, i seriously love those. especially men's ones, which are way more comfortable and seem to be the only way to get jeans which are not skintight or hoodies that actually keep you warm or hats that do not look fucking stupid. i am incredibly easy to please.

my mum has given the green light for sending things to this address, it is:

21 Ashgrove
Thornbury
Bristol
BS35 2LH
England
the condition on that is that nobody comes to visit. i'm not exactly up for visits anyway and i think most of you are on the mainland or in the USA to boot. so knock yourselves out.

*jingles its begging hat*

unfortunately i do not currently have the space for that pony.

L

9.5.13

broken

okay so i've seen all your comments more or less, but there's too many for me to adequately respond to right now including all the mentions and messages on Twitter, comments here on various posts, phone SMS and answerphone messages, emails etc. i haven't reaccessed the email box yet & to be honest i might just delete everything in it beyond the last month or so, so if you did send anything you desperately want me to see or you really need a reply to go ahead and resend it.

the situation is, my meat home is not faring too splendidly. a few months back my thyroid stopped working properly, and since it isn't the standard autoimmune problem (i have the problematic TSH levels but not the autoantibodies, if anyone cares) i'm not being treated for it. the GP i was seeing thought it was better to just leave it, and as you could probably have fucking guessed, that didn't turn out to be a great treatment. i'm carrying two and a half stones or so of extra weight and it's not pretty. i'm tracking calories as best i can, but on 2K/day i was still gaining and it's only stabilised on around 1500 or less now. that's fucking hard to stick to, although it helps that we're poor as fuck.

the poor as fuck is because i'm not currently getting any student allowance, on account of i've been too fucked up to do anything like either study or work. so i'm not possessed of any funds for experimentation, which is frustrating.

the rest is still there: i'm still anaemic as far as i know, my back's still fucked, i'm still taking 100mg of fucking methadone daily for it (which granted is free) and i'm still mad. officially the diagnosis is "BPD with cyclic treatment-resistant major depression and iatrogenic opiate dependence". (apparently that explains the two or three occasions on which i've heard weird songs that aren't playing in meatspace.) contrary to the general commenter opinion i am not in fact schizophrenic. i think someone made a video somewhere on YouTube or something, about how i'm a fucking nutjob and you shouldn't listen to me because i'm just telling you what the voices in my head tell me to, but alas, i've never had the sort of hallucination that tells you things. mine were only ever little odd tunes going round and round, with or without strange poetic lyrics.

as to the suggestion that maybe it's not auditory hallucinations and i'm actually a conduit for an unseen dimension of the world that most of us aren't aware of, well, that might be cooler but if it's true the hidden dimension pretty much just wants to sing songs about shadows and twiddle its thumbs. sorry.

so that's what i've been doing. absolutely bollocks all, more or less. i think if it were either purely physical problems, or just the mental stuff, i might have been able to deal with it better, but it's everything all at once. the mental capacity to deal with and ignore the pain got fouled up because of all the shit that goes on in my head, and anything in meatspace i might have turned to in order to escape or improve the psychological status goes out the window because of the pain and the loss of mobility involved, never mind the fact that going anywhere or doing anything tends to cost money. i've pretty much just been trying to sleep as much as i could, because pathetically enough, that was the only place that didn't hurt to be in. the downside of that is that in that sorry escapist state there's no room for communication, and in fact i had the general idea that it was better not to look at the email or blog and to keep the phone off because all the messages would be overwhelming. that's not strictly true but there are literally thousands of people wanting a heads up, and fifty or so who worry exceedingly within a few days of not getting one, so there is a fuckton to keep up with.

(that isn't to say that anyone trying to reach me worsened the sickness or did anything wrong, it's a flaw in my logic, so to speak, but it's so ingrained that combined with the fact that i don't like voice contact at the best of times, it just led to me totally shutting down in an attempt to escape it all.)

i think it's improving, slightly. after all i can speak now, right? i don't know. i don't wanna make any grandiose statements that it's all better. my blood family in England and my adopted big brother in Canada have been trying really hard to help, and for the first time my blood family now have all the details of my medical diagnoses. my mum came up here to see me and figure out what the fuck i was doing, then realised how fucked up i was, so with their support i'm currently planning to go down to England over the summer to maybe recuperate a little. there's animals there, dogs and little bantam chickens that sit in your hands and a cat, and there wouldn't be the same kinds of money problems, although i'd just be sponging off them which does bother me quite a lot. i also changed GPs to hopefully get a fresh look at my case and some decent treatment for the pain and thyroid problems, and i've had a formal care plan drawn up with the psychiatrist which is in draft right now. i feel like a broken cyborg that's just been discovered in the rubbish heap, dragged home and pulled up onto a bench for someone to take a look at. maybe they can fix me and get me running again, maybe i'm too damaged for that, i don't know. i've pretty much only just "woken up".

so if anyone else out there wants to help restore an obsolete piece of junk that might still have some use, i'm all ears over here on this workbench.

16.1.12

first exam

well, that was fucking terrible. ran out of time, a quarter or more of the shit i was meant to be answering got left behind. another quarter did get answered but was so messy and rushed that i seriously doubt it will get me any marks. i guess i did alright on the other half, even though it was mostly on Agent UML, which is the one tiny piece of the course i didn't fucking revise or even make notes on - but i'm not good at estimating that kind of thing, so really i have no idea whether i'll even pass or not. there were five or six drawing questions, so i fucked up my time management and wasted almost all the time i had making the fucking drawings, painstakingly, by hand since the University doesn't let computers for exams access anything other than MS Word. i have nowhere near the level of Windows Stockholm Syndrome required to be able to make legible AUML diagrams and finite state automata in Word, never mind the level it would take to want to.

(i know people are trying to be nice when they say this, but no, sib, i will not "pass with flying colours" this time. please don't say that. i'm not low-self-esteeming a perfectly good exam transcript up to shit - this really was a very bad run. they happen. also i am trying not to say stupid shit like OHHHHH WOE WOE IS ME ASHES AND DUST I HAVE RUINED MY LIFE when actually i just got an average mark instead of a very good one.)

unsure of what to do now. that was the first exam, the next one is the day after tomorrow. i didn't sleep last night so i'm wavering a bit; think i'll at least mail Prof. V about what happened before I pass out in my bubble bath. reckon i'll make tomorrow a hardcore revision day. gonna chill out tonight.

i'd type more about some other stuff i was gonna talk about but i'm whacked now and i keep hitting the wrong keys like a little old lady. gnight, all. carpe corporem.

L

14.1.12

crap news

we got a letter a few days ago that said we're being evicted, again. the new outdoor second-floor beer balcony that the pub's owners (a company called Belhaven) have been wittering on about apparently requires the destruction of my home. B and i have been given two months to get the fuck out before they want to start construction, which means ball-wrecking our flat to make room for a little atrium and stairway where customers will come for about twenty days of the year max, to "enjoy" the "sun" of the City. we haven't even been here for the year we said we'd be.

Muad-Dib and i are gonna try and get a one-bedroom place to live in that we can share, and B is gonna find someplace to live by herself before she moves to Southampton (southwest England) in September. i have no idea where we're gonna live or what it's going to cost, but at least we can pool our resources. i'm still pretty stunned that he's cool with that kind of commitment.

the stupid thing is that this beer balcony is a shitty business decision. there's one right next to where they're gonna put it that gets all the sun in the courtyard, literally two metres away from their one. there's also an existing beer garden for this pub that's well liked, and a pub next door that has a proper roof terrace, twice the size of the balconies and heated with proper shelter for the rain and a 360-degree suntrap all year round. to boot, customers of our pub will have to climb several flights of stairs and go round to the back of the building to reach this balcony, unlike the other balcony. they will not be arsed to do it. it's not gonna make Belhaven any fucking money given the cost it will incur to build the damn thing. B wants to write to them and ask them to postpone construction but i doubt they'll agree.

i can't do fuck all about it yet, although at least we have a plan (exams are first priority right now). just thought i'd let you know that once again my landlords have turned out to be cunts.

L

10.1.12

progress report

progress report: see shrink today, ought to have a slightly better dose of meds tomorrow as the starting 35mg is now causing some serious problems 12hrs after last dosage. digestive system reactivates too quickly now, having become adjusted to 35mg, and switches on at about 9am every morning to shout HEY! LISTEN! GET UP YOU LITTLE FUCK! HEY! LISTEN! and retch and stuff. not cool. the sensation is horrible and completely unignorable. it's not even pain, it's like that physical feeling kids get of too much excitement building up in your guts, like when you're four and you realise it's your birthday tomorrow or you're sixteen and somebody hot takes interest in you.

er, or maybe that was just me. i remember that feeling when it had an emotional origin and wasn't quite so fucking obnoxious... goddamn i had such a crush on this one hacker at my school, Majestic, when i was sixteen. i worshipped that dude. i loved everything about that guy for some reason, including his slight sociopathy, and despite the fact that i plainly annoyed him in hindsight. i pretty much thought he was Phate. eventually he took up with a pretty, mute Japanese girl who did not suffer from my charming lack of social skills, inadequate understanding of personal grooming and total inability to dress myself; i learned the meaning of "emo kid phase", sparked a school-wide trend of referring to me as "bitter like a lemon", spent weeks pathetically crying myself to sleep and dyed my hair red for a bit in an effort to be more interesting. good times.

at least i was pretty sure at the times themselves that they were good. good in the sense of doing stupid peer-pressure faux-rebel teenager things, which i was sure i was obligated to do at every opportunity and explore every possible avenue of lest i "miss out" somehow. i was the crappiest teenager ever. secretly, i just wanted to learn to hack stuff, and i was pretty terrible at it, so mostly i just hung around people who were actually good frustrating them with my completely useless educational background in literary analysis and European linguistics. i figured i would fake it till i made it and therefore, for a while, adopted a searingly irritating habit of just mimicking the personal behaviours of anyone who actually did have some skills. i think i thought this would "rub off" and i'd be a real hacker one day. occasionally i'd do something mildly rebellious yet always completely without risk to me like tipsily try oral with a giiiiirl or bob up and down at parties in the woods which i diligently referred to as "raves" or have a tab or a joint, and spend the next day self-congratulating in an actual physical journal about how badass i was. i'm surprised i didn't pass out from sheer narcissism the day i snuck off to London to get my tiny, unobtrusive, incredibly expensive (because the guy realised how naive i was and that i could easily be fleeced in return for secrecy) underage first tattoo.

er. as i was saying, progress report. i'm a little bit drugged up right now. pain levels are fine as long as the medication remains active, which is the problem of course, since as expected the starter dose has become inadequate. that's pretty routine. as for repair work, i've created a studying space in my house after B removed her desk to her room to use as a dressing table. i now have more plug space and a little whiteboard she didn't want which is badass because i always wanted a whiteboard. i need to steal a pen for it though. haven't done hardly any revision for the imminent exams, because i still (to my shame) have the goddamn assignments to do. i am perfectly aware of how ridiculous that is. am communicating with a professor in the Department, Prof. V, who is remarkably sympathetic to all this despite my general tendency to fuck up, about what to do in that regard, what to prioritise etc. maybe doing the assignments will function as revision too. Prof. V says not to panic but he has now gone on holiday, and i'm sort of shitting myself here. my parents will be so disappointed if i have to repeat another year, again.

i'm pretty damn worried about that particular situation, and the variable pain levels don't help at all. Friday night / Saturday morning, when i missed my Friday dose of painkillers and spent the night awake in Stage II withdrawal, was fucking terrible and it's so easy to fall into II or even III with such a small amount of the stuff in my system at any one time. there's no grace period. i am pretty sure that my level of organisation, as it stands, is not sufficient enough for me to be completely safe without the buffer provided by a day's worth of dwindling effect in case of emergency.

speaking of which i've also introduced a couple supplementary organisation methods to my system, attempting to forget less shit, procrastinate less, be late for less things etc. i have a wall calendar (although it is for last year) and i'm drawing up a routine list of tasks that occur every weekday (you know, cleaning the flat on Sunday, taking recycling out on collection days, scrubbing my face on Saturday with the weird green shit that stops you getting spots, that kind of thing.) i'm also logging (but not restricting for now) caloric intake in a little book B brought back for me from Poland, since the meat's metabolism has changed recently and seems to fluctuate like a bitch requiring a lot more control than it did before. i assume that's an aging thing, although it's failed to affect Muad-Dib. he's a year younger than me though, and possesses a much more efficient shell with a ridiculously efficient metabolic rate. also he has things like muscle mass and a Y chromosome. sometimes i wish i could switch meat with him; he gets boobies to look at, i'd get the ability to walk upstairs without hurting my goddamn self.

then again it would be more than i'm capable of to inflict another human being with a substance dependency, two severe psychiatric diseases with management options but no cures and periodic life-fucking-up flareups, chronic pain and the permanent risk of pregnancy every time you fuck. also i'm a selfish ass and i'd be loath to give someone else my implants, tattoos and pretty shiny decorations. plus, i'm kind of used to everyone treating me like a dying orphan and that would not fly were i simply a lazy healthy guy instead of a lazy unhealthy little hacker thing.

god, i type a lot of shit. carpe corporem, all. further report later on (psychiatrist at 6pm) if the psychiatrist has anything of interest to you all to say.

L

9.1.12

the newer system generally is the better

as i learned today rather definitively. i'll start by explaining that yeah, out of a stupid antiquated habit i did (up until today) always send my rent in to the landlord by cheque. when i started paying rent aged 18 i didn't have internet banking set up on my account and i thought it was the safest way to give large amounts of money to people who don't accept debit cards, without paying charges or physically going to a bank whose only branch in the City is fucking ten miles from campus. i really ought to have rethought this policy, oh i dunno maybe four fucking years ago when i set the IB up.

so today, the ninth of goddamn January, i get a call from the landlord. "We didn't get your cheque for December; is this one we just received the December rent? What? It's the January rent, like what is due in January and arrives on January the fourth in an envelope marked JANUARY RENT? Three hundred and fifty pounds plix then, you little bastard. Now."

i called up the bank in a fucked-up medication-induced state of sociopathic calm, silently wondering whether i could use the same begging patch as my homeless friend Daz and whether he would teach me the ropes of homelessness for free. the bank, upon being told that i had written and sent a cheque, it had gone out of my account and its recipient said they didn't do that, blinked.

"You really ought not to have used a cheque," said the phone lady. "You should have put the money through over the Internet."

it turns out they don't keep records (at least not that they would give out to ID-verified customers) of where cheques fucking go. they keep records of them going out, and when one is paid in it just says CHEQUE IN :D :D :D without any indication of what cheque or whence. cockheads didn't actually have any idea who had paid in the cheque or to where, and couldn't help other than the nice lady saying it sucked and she'd do something if she could. i couldn't even get pissed off at her because she clearly wasn't able to do fuck all to help, even though she wanted to.

they just kept telling me this was a flaw of the cheque system and i ought to have used something else to pay the landlord. well, fuck, dickheads; why does the system still exist then? if it's really that insecure why don't we just fucking abolish it? and it really is that insecure, apparently. the bank shrugged and wondered idly if the police might be able to help, but i shudder to open a criminal investigation for any reason, never mind before i'd even physically seen the landlord about anything, so i ordered printed statements and a cheque voucher as evidence and excused myself before the Vulcan calm collapsed and i started blubbering like a fucking moron. i call the landlord back up and ask them to search their records for the cheque's number to see if it actually arrived, and tell them that evidence of my having written and guaranteed it is forthcoming. at this point they decide i'll be the one who needs to go to the fuzz and/or Post Office to open any investigations that are necessary, since i won't just do the easiest thing like a reasonable person and pay them twice. they tell me they only have three employees including the two people who own the fucking company and they'll get Angela to have a look in the goddamn filing cabinets. i hang up and start thinking of shit i can maybe sell to raise a secondary rent payment, possibly some viscera, quietly freaking the fuck out.

two hours later i get a call from the landlord again.

Angela found the cheque where it has been since December the fourth when i sent it. it was paid into one of the employees' personal accounts. i don't even know if that was someone stealing it or if they're actually employing someone that dim. they were very sorry for the inconvenience. i sat there for about ten minutes with dried YOU'RE-FUCKED tears on my face looking like a guy who's just been told he has HIV or something because my brain is broken and can't distinguish between a bad yet non-fatal event and the end of the fucking world as it knows it.

and all i could think was, i fucking hate cheques.


L

5.12.11

meat free

almost. new medication doing incredibly well, should updose this week. glad to see all the support, will jump in on discussions / answer questions later when i've had a bit more sleep. house is now filled with Christmas decorations B had me put up because i'm manlier than she is, twinkly lights etc., and i will be interested to see how fucking spangly it all looks on 60mg of this stuff.

the stuff won't be named, as someone asked, because of the searches it will generate and because of what people will be led here. there are other reasons but i don't need to talk about it. Unq, or anyone else who is privy to my bitchings in the real world, if you want to know the gory details, drop me a text. everyone else, you can email me if you like, because i don't want to deliberately keep things from you all, although it's really not worth the effort for this particular piece of knowledge.

am layering up to slay Mephisto, then tackle a peer-to-peer system assessment with the aid of all my skeleton mages and a tough-ass mercenary i've been dragging around since i hitched my first ride to Lut Gholein on that crappy caravan. wish me luck, fgts.

L

13.11.11

repair in progress

seeing another specialist now, the psychologist i was referred to a while back. we're still in the initial review stage with one more appointment to go before she decides whether or not she'll treat me. with the way it's been so far - "We need to find the emotional source of this depression" - the odds of that look slim. but, if she doesn't see me, i think somebody else will; at any rate even if they don't it will mean more sessions with the actual psychiatrist, who is excellent.

having some trouble with University re. sleeping; missed a few classes, need to drop my extra and catch up with the others. have emailed a professor who ought to be able to help me there.

regarding pain, which has been pretty bad these last few months since the buprenorphine stopped working (Dr. D puts it down to tolerance, which i was told was impossible, but he knows more than i do) - i will be starting a new pain med on Wednesday this week. that's good, because this one will be stronger and not a crappy partial agonist (meaning i can dose up if necessary) and it will also not be filled with poison that makes it impossible to do anything else for pain. i cannot tell you all how glad i will be to get that shit out of my veins. i'll be free for the first time in a very long time. my blood has been converted into a trap for my mind and that trap is about to be dismantled, finally.

downside: five days of withdrawal to make sure it's safe by the time i start the new meds. i am a couple days in but as you all know it starts on the third really. this week is gonna be fun.

will be sure to let you know how everything is going so you can point and laugh etc. other stuff tomorrow depending on how shitty i feel.

L