Being Peri-Menopausal, and Pissed!

Why in fuckity does nobody talk about this insanity, except in jokes!?

Fair warning – if you find bodily functions TMI – especially the female kind – you may want to read something else today.

I have blogged about getting older and being peri-menopausal before, here and here, but today I am especially baffled by why I was never warned about this properly!
Growing up – depending on your family, and your culture – you will most likely be taught about “the birds and the bees”, and periods, and how your body will change.
Someone will give you a book, or someone will talk at you while you cringe and blush – but they stop talking when they get to the part about having babies, and how not to have babies!

WHY!??!?! The first time most women find out anything about being peri-menopausal is when they’re right in the thick of it!
The only time you hear about peri-menopause on TV or in movies, is when someone whispers about a woman “going through the change”, or jokes about hot flashes. The peri-menopausal women are portrayed as crazy and best pandered to, or avoided entirely. And they are often depressed about about becoming menopausal.

To be honest, for many women peri-menopause can be an insane period,* and you don’t have to be over 50 to experience it – I had just turned 36 when this shit show started!
For almost 10 years now, I have alternated between a crazy unpredictable menstrual cycle, having no period at all for a few months, and then having a few periods where I bleed like a stuck pig. Thank heavens I work from home – I can’t imagine going through 4 pairs of panties in a single morning whilst being office-bound!
This after my monthly visit from Aunt Flo has been a breeze all my life – I never had crazy cramps, or serious PMS, or any other complications!
As if that isn’t enough to push me to the brink, add to it that when I’m not having a period, I go from feeling like I have a furnace in my head, to having palpitations, lightheadedness, and vertigo. Then I have night sweats for a few days, where my hair and pillowcases will be drenched in sweat as soon as the sun goes down. I’m an emo, stabby bitch FAR more often than I would care to admit, and I suddenly have high blood pressure, when it has been low my WHOLE life.
AND my libido has taken a nose dive. That REALLY bugs me.

Before you ask – I’m not using any kind of hormone replacement therapy because of the prevalence of cancer in my family, and because most days I am pretty much fine.

I am actually looking forward to finally being menopausal though, because that means this crap is finally done with – but that is at least a year away. Again. It looks like my shrunken ovaries are determined to push their luck as much as they can!

*pun intended

Being Too Social


Social media has turned us all into introverts – its not that its “too people-y” outside, its “too people-y” in our own heads!

I wrote a post on this back in May 2011, and if anything, its gotten worse – and we do it to ourselves!

Having an active social life that includes “real life” friends and family as well as an online existence has become normal. Its unusual to meet someone who is not on Facebook.
In the days before the internet, our social circles were a handful of close friends, if you were lucky you could include your family. If you were really lucky, you had a best friend too. These were the people you invited to birthday parties and special celebrations, the ones you called if you had news. These were the people with whom you shared your life, and it was done face-to-face, or over the phone.
Announcements of life changing events didn’t happen every day, and if something big happened – a baby, a loss, a new job – you had ample time to process it emotionally before the next proclamation (in theory, ‘coz shit happens), and these announcements were shared personally, without the need for a disclaimer to not share it on social media until you’d had a chance to share your news yourself.

I know I bounce from one emotion to another a lot more often in a single day than someone who doesn’t use social media. If I woke up on the wrong side of the bed ten years ago, I would probably have stayed in that mood all day. Now if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I can scroll through Facebook and within an hour I have laughed, been disappointed, excited, annoyed, gone back to feeling grumpy, posted about it somewhere, felt better because I got it off my chest, and then gone back to being grumpy because nobody noticed!
People we used to talk to face-to-face now post their news online, and because of social media algorithms we don’t see it. Then we overthink everything without really giving ourselves the chance to finish thinking about the last thing, and then we feel guilty because we’re suddenly laughing at a cat video, when we haven’t yet finished mourning something else entirely!
And for heaven’s sake – you can’t change social media algorithms with a status update!

I love how social media allows me to be the centre of attention sometimes, and keeps me grounded and aware of just how blessed I am, and I hate how it makes me feel left out. I hate how it has allowed me to believe I have better relationships with people than I really do…
I love how I have also discovered things I didn’t know I would be interested in, I have had my mind changed, and I have been educated, but I hate how it also makes me feel less than…
Social media has done more to break down the barriers between races and cultures than politics will ever do, but it has also increased those tensions.
It is an awesome and powerful double-edged sword.
It can empower you and make you feel like you actually have a voice on this overcrowded planet, but the emotional overload is why people don’t want to talk on the phone anymore, or commit to an invitation, and I miss that.

…come play on my roller coaster

Being a Bird Watcher

The birds in our garden…

It’s magical.

A pair of Crested Barbetts have taken over the dead tree that had Black-collared Barbetts nesting in it last year, and I’m pretty sure there are chicks in the nest.

A pair of Hadedas have a nest in a thorn tree overhanging our garden, and have a clutch of three new chicks – the umpteenth time they’ve hatched chicks in that tree.

Yesterday and today, a pair of fluffy Bulbul fledglings have been following their parents from tree to tree, chirping softly while they wait for their next meal and squealing with mouths wide open when their parents are near!

All the trees, and the various berries (mulberry, syringa, privet) makes our garden very bird friendly! We’ve had Muisvoel chicks, Hoepoe fledglings, Loerie fledglings, Masked Weaver chicks! I just love it!

I miss sharing this with my dad so much. He would have loved the the Crested vs Black-collared Barbett battle!

How to enjoy a Comic Con!

On Sunday September 16th, I attended my first Comic Con – the first ever Comic Con in Africa!

I have waited YEARS for Comic Con to come to SA, and as soon as I saw the announcements my Glugster and I were determined to go. Hubby doesn’t mind dressing up, but its me who wants to CosPlay, and its so easy with Terry Pratchett’s Nanny Ogg as my alter ego!! So hubby came along in civvies and carried all our stuff, while I hung onto my hat! 😛

As soon as we could we booked our tickets for the Sunday (Saturday was already sold out), and I started checking on my costume. I tried to make my boots more red, made sure I had the right spray to make my hair white, and got my mom to make me a cape (the last one I used was rented).
In the weeks ahead of Comic Con I asked a couple of friends to play Granny Weatherwax and Magrat Garlick to my Nanny Ogg, and we went as Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters! It was SO much fun, and we were recognised a lot more often than I thought we would be – with people taking pictures with us and of us!

Picture by Starbright Jewellery

Once we got home, I realised I hadn’t taken NEARLY enough pictures of the day, and some of the incredible costumes I saw, and we hadn’t seen everything there was to see! I started thinking about how we can make sure we miss nothing next time, and that is how this blog post came about.
So. What will I do differently next year?

  • First – shoes!
    I will make sure that both my Glugster and I are wearing super-comfy shoes (mine were no problem, his weren’t fabulous) because there’s a LOT of walking and standing at Comic Con!
  • Second – we will start saving money WELL in advance!*
    Food and drink at expos is notoriously pricey (as in R20 for a can of Coke) and you can’t spend the day there and NOT eat, but you need money for all the cool stuff thats on offer! The original artworks and paintings and jewellery were SO “must-have”, and if you are a collector there are comics and games and all kinds of things you may be battling to find in actual shops.
  • Third – we will have a “schedule”!
    Our plan is to first check the list of talks and workshops happening and what time they are taking place so we can be sure to be in the right place at the right time. Then we will do a tour of ALL the stalls and displays and have a good look at everything on offer and on show. Then we’ll break for food, and THEN we will walk around checking out everyone’s costumes and taking pictures of, and with them!

If you went to Comic Con Africa this year, did you get a VIP ticket? Is it worth the expense?

*There is NO way I will ever fork out several hundred rands for a photo with a celebrity, unless I win the lottery!

Being a Proud Geek at #ComicConAfrica2018

Dear Oliver Roberts (if that is your name),

Today I read your article about Comic Con Africa in the Sunday Times Review, and to say I was offended is putting it -ing mildly.
But as you yourself noted, we geeks are a polite bunch, though your article has got our backs up, to say the least.

I went to Comic Con last Sunday, dressed as a fat old witch. My costume wasn’t complicated, or difficult to put together since I am already a fat old lady, but I chose my costume because Nanny Ogg is my favourite character from one of my favourite series of books, written by the inimitable Sir Terry Pratchett.
Had I identified more with Ayla from Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children novels, I could have gone to Comic Con dressed in a fur bikini and a long blonde wig, without a second thought as to whether or not I could pull it off in your eyes.

Comic Con is different things for different geeks, let me see if I can give you a wee bit of insight…
For serious cosplayers, the challenge is in making and competing in their costume, and they spend MONTHS in preparation. And at Comic Con they get to see professional cosplayers and attend workshops about making costumes.
For many of us its just fun to dress up and pretend to be someone else for the day, and not all costumes are handmade, but those who do go in costume LOVE to be recognised and photographed- if you ask first, of course.
For the gaming geeks, its about the games, and the “expensive keyboards and monitors” and new releases and watching professionals compete.
For the collectors, its about the comics and the “absurdly expensive figurines” and the “framed posters signed by the entire cast of Big Bang Theory”.

I’m not sure why you agreed to attend Comic Con Africa at all, Oliver, perhaps you weren’t given a choice, but whatever the reason you went to report on it, you clearly left your journalistic integrity at home.
You wrote that at Comic Con, “everyone is free to be themselves, without any fear of ridicule or scorn”, yet you were incapable of the same attitude.
It makes me sad to think that people who didn’t get to Comic Con this year may be put off attending the next one because of your article.

This world really would be a far better place if more people behaved like geeks do, and like we do at Comic Con, if our acceptance and tolerance and polite optimism were indeed the pervading energy on this planet.

Part of me hopes you will attend next year, and go in costume to try and have fun.
But if you can’t be more like us, then rather stay at home.