music

I don’t want your 9-5, or anyone to tell me how to live my life!

My music listening and gig going has been dominated over the last couple of years by the UK country scene but this afternoon I’ve found myself going back in time 14 or so years (yikes!) to listen to some Good Charlotte. I can’t even remember the last time I listened to their self-titled debut album but it would seem I’m still word perfect.

And, of course, listening to the music brings back memories. Both good and bad. Thinking about all the people I know, all the people in my life because of this band. The people I met on LJ, through fandom, through chat rooms and message boards. The people I met in queues. A few people I wish I could forget but at the same time were an important part of my life. The people I’ve lost touch with but who I still find myself remembering and wondering what they’re doing.

Good Charlotte were the first band I ever road-tripped for. The first band I ever followed around the country for a week to go to every date on a tour for. The first band I was ever front row centre on the barrier for.

My car – Lotte – yup, she’s named after Good Charlotte. Fuck, she’s actually signed by them – and that tour in 2007 getting her signed was so much ridiculous fun. It started as a joke, first night of the tour before the gig, all the emo kids were getting stupid shit like shoes and towels signed and I jokingly asked Joel to sign my car. He just laughed. But Benji grinned and hopped over the security bar (freaking their security guy out) and signed her. Inside of my door, ‘drive safe’ and a big heart. And then getting the rest of the band to sign her too. Deano and Paul both just… wandering away from the venue to where I’d parked (which was usually like just the other side of the tourbus – but still!)

I’m trying to find words to make sense of some of these gig memories but it’s… it’s so hard to describe the awesome of the interaction I used to get from Joel on stage. Feeling so overwhelmed the first time I met them that I sat on the curb and CRIED. How amazing it feels like when Billy’s incredulous that you’re at another gig. Deano’s hugs. The way Benji would make sure I was still on my feet at the end of each gig – and he’d always check with Chel and not just met. Paul failing to throw a pick at me and instead just… giving it to me after the gig. I’ve got guitar picks and drumsticks and set lists and signed tickets and pictures and pictures and pictures.
I’m wondering where the pictures are.

I remember winning tickets for the launch party for Chronicles Of Life & Death at Alton Towers. I found out the night before and literally called my boss from the road ‘Hi, John, remember that Good Charlotte competition I was talking about in work yesterday? Well, I won and I’m on my way up the M1 to Staffordshire and I’ll be back in work tomorrow!’

I hate that my body doesn’t let me do this anymore. I used to be able to drive between cities for a week, getting just a few hours kip, then being front row, centre, on the barrier. Crutches at my feet, enough strength in my upper body to hold myself up on the barrier. Then repeating it every night.
Their gigs aren’t the same anymore. I tried. But – and it sounds stupid – I wasn’t enjoying myself when I couldn’t be on the barrier. Being a good disabled llama and sitting on the balcony… All I could think was how much fun it used to be down there.

This trip down memory lane is making me grin like crazy. And there’s tears – happy and sad. And I had forgotten how much love. HOW MUCH LOVE I have for these boys from Maryland and their pop punk music. It didn’t save my life by any means, but it certainly changed it in ways I never imagined possible.

101 Things In 1001 Days

100 Things That Make Me Happy

As part of my 101 Things In 1001 Days I set out to write a list of 100 Things That Make Me Happy.

It took me something like 2 months to compile the list and I was mindful to try to make sure it wasn’t just fandom related – that it was very well-rounded and covered a variety of things that I enjoy.

If I’m honest, It was actually a lot harder to do than anticipated. I don’t know if that’s just because of how down I’ve been over the last 6 months or so. At the same time, though, writing it and re-reading it has been a pretty good form of therapy. Reminding me of little things that make me smile – and nudging me to go and do some of them.

Anything than involves happiness is never a bad thing, right?

So here is 100 things that make Cassie happy
1. Going to bed and knowing I don’t have an alarm set in the morning
2. Having a hot bath, putting on warm & clean pjs and getting into a freshly made bed with clean bedding
3. Getting a forward-facing window seat with a table on the train to work
4. Getting any seat on the train home from work
5. My Natalie
6. My Dragon
7. Stargate SG1
8. Stargate Atlantis
9. Star Wars
10. TLOR gigs
Continue reading “100 Things That Make Me Happy”

life

A desperate plea for help

As many of you know, I have struggled with depression for somewhere in the region of 20 years, and have had a bad run of it over the last couple of months since my mum died. This culminated in a suicide attempt at the beginning of February.

My doctor has kept me signed off work since, and I’ve returned to work this week.

I’ve had an email today from my HR department advising me that I won’t be getting paid for the 5 weeks I’ve been off and they will be deducting £1800 from my wages. This is more than my actual months wages and they will be splitting it over 2 months, deducting £867 gross from my March and April salaries.

This leaves me completely unable to pay my rent, my bills or even get to work. My monthly salary is £1572 gross so taking off the £867 leaves me with £705.50 gross – or about £550 after tax

My basic monthly outgoings come to £950ish a month.

You can see how the maths there doesn’t add up!

As you can imagine, I’m having epic panic right now. I’m trying to get hold of Citizens Advice to find out what options are available to me but I honestly don’t know how I’m going to manage.

Please, please, if you’re able to help, every penny is appreciated like you would not believe. I’ve set up a gofundme at https://www.gofundme.com/d3utncj2 because I literally don’t know what else to do

Thank you ❤

cassie is a geek

Destined For Geekness

I’m pretty sure I was always going to be a geek.

My mum used to tell me how when I was about 2 or 3, the only way she could get peace and quiet to get anything done around the house was to sit my in my high-chair in front of the TV when Dukes Of Hazzard was on. I mean Dukes Of Hazzard… what 2-3 year old girl gets fascinated by that show?! Also, as I sit here typing it, I have 3 General Lee’s in his room. And the first car I ever bought brand new was orange, in honour of her. And it’s my favourite colour. I have no idea if that’s connected.
I remember getting SO excited about a decade or so ago when I met Catherine Bach. I’m pretty sure I would die if I ever met John Schneider or Tom Wopat.

I then spent a lot of time in the late 80s/early 90s watching a lot of the ‘boys’ stuff. Cartoon-wise it was Ghostbusters, Bucky O’Hare, Defenders Of The Earth and I was totally nuts over Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles – wallpaper, bedding… I read the TMNT, Ghostbusters, Bucky O’Hare comics too. And The Beano.
I also loved to watch like Doctor Who, The A-Team, MacGyver, Magnum PI, Knight Rider, CHiPs. Y’know, the sort of thing all self-respecting 7-8 year old girl would watch. Man I was such a tomboy.

I would ready The Famous Five and The Hardy Boys… and I was doing fanfic and roleplay before I even knew what they were. Playing in the woods, making up and acting out my own stories where I was with them. Or one time where Joe Hardy got hurt so Frank Hardy kissed it better. Yup. I was about 9.

I also used to write stories. I remember one that was about an evil witch who enchanted all the toys to do her bidding, and these two girls who just wanted their dolls back and went on a quest. There was a dragon and… I have no idea what happened but I remember them having cheese and branston pickle sandwiches in their picnic!

As I moved towards teens, I found the horror and sci-fi sections of the library. Stephen King was (still is) a favourite, and there was more than one occasion where a librarian would ring my mum and ask if she was sure I should be checking out these books. Mum was just like ‘it’s a book, let her read it’

At the same time, I was watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on TV. The X-Files started when I was like 13-14. I also discovered re-runs of Jon Pertwee & Tom Baker era Doctor Who, 60s horror movies (hammer house of horror LOVE!), the outer limits, the twilight zone… And that little show, don’t know if you’ve heard of it? Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I know I’ve mentioned before how much the show influenced me and how I grew up with the characters, being the same age as them.
I was writing X-Files fanfiction as well. Proper alien abduction sci-fi stuff. By hand. And getting a teacher to correct it.

A group of my friends and I snuck into the cinema to see Interiew With A Vampire in the mid-90s. It was an 18 and we were maybe 14. But it was vampires, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and Antonio Banderas, what were we supposed to do? We all came out of the cinema in LOVE… and my first stop was the bookshop where I bought the first three of the Vampire Chronicles. And fell even more in love, only with Armand and Daniel *draws sparkly orange hearts*

I loved all the sci-fi films at that time – Stargate, Independence Day, Men In Black, The Mummy. And also Mission Impossible. Again with being a total tomboy!

I got the internet and found online fandom in 1999/2000, and fell head over heels into Savage Garden RPS slash, shortly followed by Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and The Sentinel. I’ve been involved in one fandom or another since then, always reading and writing fanfic and squeeing muchly, sometimes roleplaying.
I started going to sci-fi conventions around the same time.

Sci-fi and horror has always been such a part of my life, and so has fandom. I can’t imagine a world without fangirling! I’ve met some incredible people through fandom, love how fandoms connect and you find new shows and books and movies and music and people in the strangest ways. Pretty much everyoen I know in real life I’ve met… well in a queue for something or other, either at a gig or a convention!

Today finds me starting something new for me. Well.
I’ve not read comics since I was in my early teens and I have in front of my some copies of The Amazing Spiderman, The Uncanny X-Men and The Invincible Iron Man. Actually quite excited to dive in…

music

My Month in Music

I’ve always had incredibly eclectic taste in music. In fact, if you asked my Natalie she’d happily tell you that my music tastes have multiple personality disorder! It’s true, really. I probably do have about 4, if not 5, different people’s worth of music taste.

I’m not trying to say that this is bad. Just an observation about the fact it can get pretty damn weird.

So out of curiousity, I poked at some of last.fm‘s stats and apparently, my 10 most listened to artists in February 2016 are:
5 Seconds Of Summer
Enya
Foxboro Hot Tubs
Raintown
Florida Georgia Line
Five Finger Death Punch
Five For Fighting
Gary Quinn
Spice Girls
Forever The Sickest Kids.
We have there pop/punk, new age, punk, country, southern rock, metalcore, alternative rock and 90s pop… And, apparently February was brought to you by the number 5 and the letter F!

And my most played track of the month?


I don’t even know LMFAO

What have you been listening to lately?

a day in the life

A Day In The Life – February 10 2016

ADayintheLifeBanner

A Day in the Life is a monthly link up run by Georgie. To take part in the linkup, bloggers document their daily life on a designated day each month to show what a typical day is like, using the prompts/theme provided

What did I wear today? I am wearing blue jeans, a long-sleeve plain grey shirt, a Bon Jovi Forever t-shirt from the 2000 European Crush Tour – I saw them in Stoke, in case you were wondering, and it was my first Bon Jovi concert. Obviously underwear, bra and socks too
I’m thinking about putting on a sweater, cos I’m getting chilly, and the one on the back of the couch is an old blue Nike one.

What made I laugh? Talking to Dragon on the phone this morning, telling her about my dream. It was so very bizarre, involving going for a Starbucks with Jim Beaver because he missed seeing me at Asylum conventions. At Starbucks we met up with Torri Higginson and Dragon spent ages trying to tell her who Jim was. The dream then switched to a Stargate convention which was at an ice-rink. We found our seats and then Joe Flanigan & Michaels Shanks were doing some kind of… routine. Yeah.. I don’t know, but it was hysterical talking about it

TIL (Today I Learned) I’m missing an awful lot of drama/excitement at work this week. Apparently our head of the board of trustees is in critical condition in hospital after a heart attack, and that there was also a fatal shooting just outside the building. It’s not known if that’s because of the nature of the organisation or not.
I think I’m quite glad I’m signed off sick this week and safely under my blankie on my couch!

The weather It’s been grey and gloomy all day, raining off and on. It’s not been as chilly as it has been and the wind has dropped, so that’s good 🙂

Four people that I encountered in my day
Dragon I already mentioned I was on the phone to Dragon this morning, talking about dreams and conventions and nothing and everything. She cheered me up this morning when I was still feeling quite low and fatigued. Only a few short weeks til I head down south and spend a week with her going to some gigs. Can’t wait!

Natalie Seems my Natalie went and published a book yesterday. I’ll share a link once it’s available on amazon, should be there by the end of the week. But she’s my BFF and we talk pretty much all afternoon/evening (my time zone) on gchat. She’s not been around as much as normal today cos she’s off doing pre-employment stuff for her new job!

Geek Director Also known as the HR Director in work. One of the few people who know the real reason I’m off sick, and that’s just because of his role. He’s been texting me, just checking in on me, and we’ve been sharing excitement about the Deadpool movie.

Felicity Smoak No, really, can I have a Felicity of my very own? I’ve been doing a little catch up of Arrow today, attention span witholding. I’m about 1/3 of the way through Season 3 and no, really, I completely and utterly adore Felicity. She’s easily my favourite character on the show. I really do have a thing for the socially-awkward geek character – pick any show and there’s a 99% change that will be my favourite character.

642 things to write about: young writer's edition, life

Blue his house with a blue little window

I have successfully Sunday-ed.
I did my grocery shopping. Admittedly, I did it online and it’s being delivered tomorrow but, still… I have purchased groceries.
I arranged my car insurance renewal – pain-free and cheap, just the way I like it
I managed to sort, fold and put away all the laundry that had piled up on the chair for the last *cough* 2 months. It hurt my hips but I got it done. It may not sound like much but one small, physical, achievement has me feeling pretty good.

So I treated myself. I walked down to the little Tesco and bought myself a bottle of Dr Pepper and a thing of Millionaire’s Shortbread that was on roll back. Nom nom nom and very nice it was too!

I also finished S2 of Rizzoli & Isles. That’s two seasons in the last week. Oops.
I’m now trying to watch one of Michael Shanks’ movies, The Bouquet, but it is awful – and not the fun kind of awful either.

I’m now trying to write some more of the shapeshifter AU but I’m a little stuck. Trying to hash it out with Natalie to get past this block. It’s frustrating that I’m so close to the end and there’s this bloody great mountain in front of me. GRRRRR

I can’t help but think this is a very boring blogpost so I grabbed the 642 Things To Write About book that Dragon got me for Christmas, and the next prompt is:
The entire neighbourood is beige and grey, but at the end of the street sits a bright blue house. Who lives in there?

Clearly, the person who lives in there is ME. You’ve met me, right, and my love for all things bright and colourful? You’ve been in my house? OK, maybe I wouldn’t have a house that was blue on the outside but on the inside is ALL the colours. I hated being stuck in private rentals where everything was off-white or magnolia or cream or beige, it was so cold and clinical.

For those of you who don’t know… My hall/stairs/landing are blue and yellow, my kitchen is green and grey, my living room is brown and orange. My bedroom when I finish it will be red, black and gold. I’m planning on my bathroom being purple. Not sure about the spare room yet though.