It is amazing how hurt and confused you get when somebody steals your book.  I was not terribly bothered when Best Scandal Ever was pirated, as they were giving it away and I appreciated the distribution, but last night I found out someone has been selling Best Romance Ever on Amazon.
I have no idea how much money they have made from it, I do not imagine that it is much, but the fact they put a hideous cover on it and had the audacity to put it up there annoys me intensely. It is a bit like handing out leaflets for something you believe in, only for a mugger to come along, take your leaflets and then stand next to you selling them.
The only reason that there is money involved with Amazon purchases, is because Amazon won’t let me put the books on there free of charge.  I have a policy of not charging for the best…ever books because they were intended for one person, and that person happens to have no respect for giving things like books away. (you would understand if you knew the lengthy story, but it is not something I care to go into here) In any case, since I do not really publicise them, they do not move on Amazon, so I rarely check it.
To add to this mystery, someone who clearly knows me put themselves on Amazon as ‘Little Minx,’ and reviewed both books.  Anyone meeting me in person would drop the little part, so I am not sure who this could be.  The person knows me well enough to remember my birthday, and even my closest friends would know that my birthday is something I usually try to avoid, so I am more confused than ever.
The good thing is that there is not likely to be money involved.  The great thing about starting out with a bunch of free books, is that you take the whole thing for what it is – a hobby, until someone either tells you that you are too good to be giving away books, or you have amassed sufficient readers and books to make it worthwhile to sell them at all.  Money kind of sullies everything, in terms of fun, so I think given that we have now had four bestselling authors try to claim the book, (turned out to be a software error causing their angst from other books) another book has been pirated, and now someone has actually tried to steal Best Romance ever, I am rather glad I chose this slow and lazy route.  I am learning not to hit the roof when something stressful happens, because nobody else is all that bothered.
Anyway, you can see why someone who put a lot of work and money into marketing would absolutely freak out if something like this would happen. That is not to say that us paupers take it much better.  If it is your book, it is your book.
On a lighter note, I now know what stumbleupon is for. It doesn’t tell you much on the site, but basically it is a kind of swapsite for websites that want to expand, so there are a lot of people who sit and click through tons of them in order to add theirs.  It adds a lot of traffic, but most of that traffic is utterly useless.  I am also in the process of adding myself to a few other sites from the ‘shameless’ post.  This takes a long time to get up and running, so do not think that it is something you can do in one day.  Try two a day or so, as the form filling and information adding gets really boring.  Then you wonder how you could possibly have ignored all the fiddly bits that they ask for and not kept a record of all your website addresses.  Such a waste of time.  Sigh.

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Ina Disguise Statistics Update

Ina Disguise Statistics update

For those who are interested, here is my statistics update.


More than a million readership hits per year does not translate into actual readers, so do not be deceived if somebody tells you they have X million hits.  It probably includes some bots, some accidental hits etc.


Overall, Ina Disguise attracts about 5,000 people per year via the artwork, from all over the world, although I seem to be particularly popular in the Far East, Eastern Europe and the USA.


Ina Disguise has about 25,000 readers, the blog is set to overtake the books this year unless I put out the unfinished works I have on the go, which depends on how I feel.  Like the pervert I am, I am having a sewing moment in the course of designing the game so I have not felt like writing for a while.  I have also been building computers for the last month or so, and I have other commitments apart from this project.


95 people have so far this month come to the website looking for information on Wolfe, which is a bit bizarre as statistically speaking, he only gets about 20 percent of the posts.  He is one of many threads, and if you take a look at the tag cloud, ironically not the most significant one.  I have just let it happen, rather than concentrating on one thing or another, so I guess I am a bit inattentive. Some posts were strategic, and I see that my subversive PR is extremely effective. (no, I am not going further into that, but David would not be displeased at the level of naughtiness that goes into this blog)


300 people have got to the products page so far this month, which is good considering that I almost never plug it.  I am the laziest marketer in the world so I figure this is OK.  The website is actually doing slightly better than Etsy in terms of the artwork, so I guess spreading myself around a bit in the form of article writing is the next step.


I figure this is not bad for a part-time entity.  I need to get the game nailed down and the books and stories out, and I need to work on some articles whilst I get some more artwork done.  The sooner I have the non-Ina Disguise work out of the way the better.


Again, if you are reading this because you plan to do something similar, take the slow approach where possible.  You can waste a lot of money if you try to rush it, and the personal approach ALWAYS wins.  It is also considerably cheaper to put hours in than money in the early months.

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The Future of Capitalism

The Future of Capitalism

Listening to the delectable Yanis Varoufakis this evening, (he moves beautifully) it struck me what a marvellous idealist he is.  His ideas about society and capitalism are charming, but they will not work, sadly.  The future for the Eurozone and for the USA is extremely bleak for the general population, and there is very little chance of turning back.


Why?  Yanis’ take on the relationship between capital and state is based on the idea that:

businesses appropriate research from society, which is governable
society has responsibility for the people in it

What we have seen from our government in the UK, is that a large proportion of society feels no responsibility for the people in it, and that governments cannot be trusted to function effectively or responsibly when there is a possibility of personal profit.  As a thinking and feeling individual, Yanis is adorable, but as a realist, he falls down on a number of counts.


TTIP will give business the right to challenge governments on issues of regulation.  In the UK and the rest of Europe, regulation is currently dictated from Brussels, by faceless people who debate in private and are seemingly unchallengeable by the well paid MEPs who sit in the European Parliament. What we have found out about TTIP has been either leaked, or interpreted by people who have limited time to look at the documents, and who are prevented from making notes, taking the time they need to study it, or fully evaluating the information they are provided with.  This will not do, for a number of reasons which the public appear to be choosing not to understand.


Yanis’ view of society as being something which falls within governable boundaries has disintegrated thanks to the internet.  Intellectual property now has to be seen as individual in nature, rather than as something produced by a collective will.  This makes it far easier to exploit, and far more difficult to regulate.  In addition, enforcing taxation on business effectively has become impossible, in the event that we do not have tax haven income, we will simply be undercut by systems in place in countries such as Switzerland, the villages of Zug and Pfaffikon being cases in point.


We are all about to be crushed under a capitalist jackboot which is not going to be under anyone’s control, and if there is a suspicion that it is, the person concerned will simply be presented with a self interest situation that they cannot, and probably will not, resist.  Responsible idealists such as Yanis and I are a dying, almost dead breed.


Add to this the massive proportion of the UK and USA population who appear to believe that nothing unfortunate will ever happen to them, and that as long as they support the mighty they will be protected, which is not only untrue but a vicious state of existence, and you have a storm which ends in disaster.


As Yanis says, the future mechanisation of deskilled work means that the very people baying for the blood of the less fortunate will very soon be suffering alongside them.  As Yanis says, it only takes a small development for AI to pass the Turing test, meaning that human labour will cease to be relevant at all in a massive proportion of cases.


The only good thing about this is that the businesses still need someone to sell to.  If we cannot tax businesses effectively, and businesses require nothing but customers, what are we left with but resource hogging consumers with no income?  Then nation states truly do become irrelevant, since inevitably anyone functioning internationally will simply choose to base themselves wherever corporation tax is lowest.


The good news here is that individuals can only consume so much.  As I have said in previous posts, you have to trickle up, otherwise you cease to function at all.  There is no point in continuously benefitting the haves at the expense of the have-nots, because the haves have limited wants.  Otherwise you end up with very dirty luxury, since nobody can afford to do the cleaning.


So, what is the answer?  My proposal, in my extensive paper for Wolfe, was that the answer is to create maximum income limitations, return to anti trust legislation, and break up large companies.  Genetic modification for example, should not be in the hands of chemical companies, and companies such as Walmart should be restricted to one line of retail trade.  This keeps companies as competitive instead of domineering forces, and it creates new opportunities for the general population. We certainly do not want TTIP or TISA, which are inherently corrupt deals designed to confuse those being courted to sign them.  We allowed them to get too big, and now we have a major and urgent problem with companies bigger than nation states.


If we cannot persuade the public to vote with their wallets, we have to persuade governments to join together to prevent the unlimited growth of individual businesses.  Capitalism is lovely, but it is no respecter of human suffering.  Since there is no way of making a global decision to do this, we also have to take into account that a less altruistic country is always going to allow the existing giants to function without restriction, and we have to be prepared to punish them accordingly.  Otherwise the future involves destruction beyond our current imagination, as we return to a dark age of clearing the starving bodies from the street, whilst others hide in their rooms, eking a living from underselling their ideas to unfettered corporate monsters.

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Self Imposed Aging

Self imposed aging

I read an article this morning with a title along the lines of ‘Millennials have the key to future business development, as only they have an idea how to innovate for future customers.’  It was not much catchier than this, but I am a bit unwilling to bother finding the link.  These are the same millennials who graduated at the same time as me, who were denounced as incapable of knowing when to agree to make other people a cup of tea or do the photocopying rather than impressing everyone with their vast knowledge of nothing.


Personally, since at a whopping ten years older than them I was discounted entirely as a colleague, and was asked by Rothschild’s why I would even want to work with such people, I have limited experience of them, but I do not think they have exclusive knowledge that anyone else fails to grasp.


One of the things the article touched on was our unwillingness to think like children as we get older.  We lose our curiosity about the world, and prefer to develop intensive knowledge streams.  Well duh, you can’t follow every path, otherwise everyone would look a whole lot more like me, and a lot less like someone with a mortgage and children.  At some point you have to use the principle of opportunity cost to decide what you want out of life.


Having said this, there is no reason why you cannot devote some of your time to being aware of what you are turning down.  I, for example, cannot be bothered getting a smartphone in order to know all about apps, instagram or snapchat.  I detest mobile phones, and had to be forced twice by an employer to accept one.  I do not see why I should be forced to be on the end of a connective string all the time, and I do think that there is value in maintaining your hand/eye coordination in the form of physically making 3 dimensional objects.  In the same way that a great chef creates something with colour, texture, flavour, overall design, an artist balances much the same principles with whatever medium they use.  I happen to be very good at 3d modelling, so I dabbled a bit with that online in the course of messing about, and as it turns out this is what I should probably be concentrating on if I want to make any money.


So, instead of playing computer games, all someone older than a Millennial has to do to maintain their current managerial and innovative capacity is learn a few computing science skills, app development, programming, game design etc.  It is not a hard overall concept to get your teeth into, everything works pretty much like your average, common or garden tree.  Millennials are not the only people to have seen a tree.  Whilst I do not see the value in endless photo sharing apps, so I am unlikely to come up with the next billion dollar format, I can just about manage to figure out how to take my ideas to a new generation, thanks all the same.


I had a friend years ago who despite being younger than me, said that I did not act the way a 32 year old (at the time) woman should act.  This is understandable, since my life has consisted of creative focus on seemingly random dudes, percolated with appalling long term relationships with people I shouldn’t have bothered either trusting or wasting time with.  On the other hand, who made the rules on how a 32 year old woman should act?  Do they hand out slippers and a cardigan on your 30th?  My family tend to peak very late in life, so I have always had my peak to look forward to, maybe this is making the difference?


At this point in my life, I notice that even one bad meal makes a difference to how I look, so I am aware that I am getting older, but apart from the now screaming urgency in terms of having a child, I do not feel in the slightest bit older in terms of my curiosity.  Am I really that unusual?


It certainly seems so, since most of my male friends seem to have settled into a disgruntled state of dissatisfaction with their lot and a kind of grumpy complacency that means they actually need to be shaken into thinking about changing anything.  It is most dispiriting.


Maybe my obsessive focus on work has helped me avoid this.  The lengthy concentration on a task, to the point where you are thinking you might get finished in the next five years or so, rather than constantly looking back and thinking things were better when you were 28.  They weren’t better at all.  Men aren’t really worth bothering with before 35 or so, and you have to actually save money to get anything done when you are that age because there is always someone waiting to charge you for learning the things you later find out are available free. You have more patience when you are older too, so the driven quality that seems to be admirable calms down to a more steadfast and skillful plod.  That is a good thing, not something that should be undervalued or maligned.


Perhaps I am lucky that my life has gone in a different direction to the one I actually worked for.  Perhaps a career and a family would have made me miserable, old and defensive.  Perhaps the people that seem so happy are hiding behind the thought that they did what was expected of them, and now don’t have to think at all.  This seems to me to be like a slow death.  Maybe being lonely and trapped at home is actually freedom, from conventional worry, loss of self and inflexible aging.


I can say for certain that deciding to effectively marry myself to a person that I do not know was the best decision I ever made in terms of endless self-doubt, so perhaps it is a case of making a decision outwith reality to prevent the crippling stiffness of age.  I can say with equal certainty that willingness to learn and change is a major factor in the aging process.


If you do not tweak the product, the product becomes obsolete, which is as relevant to yourself as it is to any product.

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Perfection is for failures

There is an intense strength about the creative mind that transcends reality in order to achieve something better.


I did not realise this, when I still spent time with Aldous and Harry, and wondered why I was not completely discouraged from doing anything, since they did not appear to either understand what I was doing, nor want to understand when it was explained to them.


Twisty, who is a finisher rather than a creator, is more encouraging as a rule, but I have detected the familiar sneer of contempt even as he sits watching me make a piece for weeks knowing perfectly well that everything I make looks as if a five year old is working on it until it gets to completion.  I have a very low failure rate, some would say too low, but I do tend to get the job done, even when the items I work on tend to be experimental in nature. Better this than not trying at all.


artwork 024meme2


Honey, I made you an icon, for example, is a form of orgonite, which I discovered in the course of experimenting with coloured grout and a vague idea I had about glorifying Wolfe in precious metals and gemstones.  It was only after I started the work that it occurred to me that all the gemstones had reiki meanings, and so I simply went for the relevant stones to create a message within a rather flashy and childlike rendering of Wolfe’s face. (I do love this picture of him, but I suspect it is because I see the genetic pointers that my father imprinted on me, so I guess it is a little vain of me.   He also looks a bit tired, which is very cute indeed if you happen to be a chick.)


Twisty has some amusing pictures of the making of the icon, which he takes great delight in showing me now and again.  I am reasonably pleased with the glorious kitsch imperfection and quasi-medieval effect.  I was very surprised that it was so popular in Russia.  I was afraid that they would be slightly offended that I had borrowed some Russian Orthodox imagery, but they passed the blog post around Russia for weeks.


I am now working on a cameo and 3d rendering of a statue which I found at Versailles, which has been slightly modified to look suspiciously like him, so I am getting more representative as I develop my creative stamina.  I do not want to go too far down this route, however, as my work is really about emotional imprinting.  The point is to allow the hands to do what you are feeling, rather than muck around with yet more new mediums.


Anyway, to return to the actual point.  Perfection is not something that successful creators or innovative thinkers really care to address.  It is up to a finisher like Twisty to worry about perfection and adding additional details to further egg your pudding, so to speak.  To someone like me, innovation involves mess, mistakes, and lots of them.  Fear of mistakes is therefore, fear of working at all.


Wolfe’s unwillingness to waste even a bad day at work, littered across youtube, was extremely useful in unlocking this tendency.  I am less likely to put things on the back burner until I have subconciously figured out a way of getting it just right.  This could be a wasteful new trait, but so far it has worked out well.  I do, of course have a lot of experience of how to get out of trouble these days, but I still retain the roughness that I crave in terms of the finished product.


I was the same as a chef.  Some chefs want their items to look mass produced or ‘perfect.’  I always wanted things to look as if your mother had slaved over the stove all day, and not quite managed to copy the picture.  Strangely, I have found most people, like me, associate this imperfection with love.  I was ‘denounced’ as the ‘flavour queen’ by a disparaging former chef at one point in my career.  To refer to something that tastes unusually good as not so proficient as something which looks perfect may seem churlish, but this is the nature of cooking at the higher levels.  They need to find something wrong with your work, otherwise there is something wrong with them.


And here is the key to those people who seek to discourage you by saying that your early efforts in terms of learning an instrument, learning to draw, learning to cook etc are worthless.  They are the sort of people who do nothing, learn nothing and pay for someone else’s efforts in terms of years of mistakes to achieve something new.  They are not the world’s innovators, and they fear their own mistakes.  There is an entire culture of admiring expertise which involves an abdication of personal responsibility.  It occurs to me that I too am guilty of this, since I am unwilling to spend more than two or three minutes on recording a blog post in case I do it well and annoy Wolfe.  Oratory is his thing, and I am unwilling to rain on his parade.


This is a terrible attitude.  I should want to make it better.  I just don’t want to.  I want to get the job done, and move onto the next, considerably more worthwhile task.  I have tried to explain this to Twisty many times, but he would rather spend four weeks on getting one thing perfect, in one memorable case missing the boat entirely in terms of topicality, than put out a rough product on the basis of building up an audience.  This is the trade off you have to make.  One of the many things I got from my ponderings on Wolfe, was that you are never going to be ready.  Something is always going to be wrong, so you might as well put your ‘better than most’ effort out and work on perfection later.


Perfection is for failures and people who don’t try.  A master of an art is someone who has learned to accept a margin of error that probably only he/she can see.  It doesn’t matter how hard you work on a creative concept, you will always see the problems.  Michelangelo would probably point at all the rough parts if you asked him about his work too.


So, my thought for the day is – Learn to love your mistakes, and you will learn to love you.  Forget everyone else, forget the negative voice and blunder away.  Smile at your errors, believe in your mistakes and don’t ever stop trying, because if you do, the only thing you will learn is how to be a perfect failure.


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Are you agreeing to be a nobody?

Are you agreeing to be a nobody?

The good thing about having a temper is that you get things cleared up now and again.  I tend to have a long fuse and nuclear sized blast, personally, which means that my relationships go through a lot of interruptions, unless I am in a particularly unusual situation.  Wolfe may be surprised to learn that I have actually been quite subdued in my response to our various misunderstandings and mishaps, since it is usually unclear whether he is doing it himself, or delegating it to a minion.


If you have a look at the welcome page, you will see that Ina Disguise is a lengthy response to a rather rude, arrogant and complacent individual, who felt quite safe to assume that it was OK to insult a stranger.  Your staff reflect you.


The fact that this stranger had already devoted a lot of time to something relatively important was entirely meaningless, and as a side product it wasted a lot of my emotional energy and time.  This is not his fault,  however, that much I do agree with.  I come from a fairly narcissistic family, so I am used to the ‘what do you mean I upset her, it is her fault for being upset’ response.


So I was left with a pile of emotional rubble, no family, nobody to look up to, which is out of character anyway as I am not in the habit of investing emotionally in fame whores.  People choose fame for a variety of reasons, and until I came across Wolfe, I did not have much respect for any of them.  There are several reasons for his particular love of being well known.  Pretty girls, money and providing people with health information, probably in that order.


So I was left with a number of alternatives:

I choose to accept that I do not deserve any common courtesy and am a nobody.
I choose to believe that I did something wrong by bothering to do a lot of intense academic work with the intention of offering it to a stranger who probably does not deserve it.
I choose to believe that I did something wrong by trying to give somebody a present.
I choose to believe Wolfe, my friend in London, or in fact Aldous, that I am way too ugly to be seen by anybody, and that women like me should crawl under a stone and die.
I choose to accept that by belief in any alternative hypothesis means that there is something wrong with me, and the evidence points to my having some sort of disorder, despite there being far less talented individuals out there promoting inferior values and work.
I rebel against a life history of being suppressed and do what the hell I feel like doing for a change.

It took several months to figure out the best course of action.  I settled on Ina Disguise.  There are a number of branches to the project, seen or unseen.  The main theme is, that I refuse to accept that I am either one of thousands of ‘fans,’ (there are many aspects of his work that I utterly hate, and I do wish that he had a completely different life, so I do not think that this is relevant at all) or sufficiently inferior to the rest of the human race that I am not entitled to say what I feel, when I feel like saying it. In the unlikely event that he does any more than check in now and again and read everything at once, which is what he has been doing since I made initial contact with him, then it is his look out.  He certainly didn’t care about upsetting me.


It would have been extremely unhealthy of me to agree to be a nothing, in order to do nothing, feel unhappy, and agree to be less than I actually am.  I have, in many respects met my match, and it is likely that I will spend the rest of my life alone as a result, presenting a further range of responses.  My personal choice is to enjoy the work and ignore everything else, and it benefits at least two people, never mind the thousands that have been entertained by my work so far.  I am astonished at the number of young people and men, in particular, who have been touched by my alternative take on love, life and work.


Whatever your approach to life, next time you self-evaluate, think about what I have just said.  Are you agreeing to be less than you are?  Are you agreeing to be second rate, in order to please someone that did not really know or like you in the first place?  Do you accept that everyone else is always right, and you are always wrong?  If the answer is yes, then you are the equivalent of a battered partner.  You are agreeing to be life’s punchbag.  Just say no.

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Social Conditioning is a bitch, ain’t it?

Someone on Facebook actually wrote this into their book.  I presume they are American.  I am sure it is relevant to a macho culture, where women are still expected to spend the equivalent of a small car on looking pretty so that some big hairy bloke pays for a date, but it is not terribly relevant in my country, where the women were expected to fight off English soldiers at home whilst the men ran for the hills to plan the counter attacks.
You can imagine that your social conditioning has some relevance in nature, but it would not be true.  Women are just as capable of doing the running as men are.  Some women prefer it.  Some men prefer it.  Some people don’t actually want to be together at all, and prefer to remain in a stalemate situation forever.
It depends on what you want.  I was in very responsible positions from a fairly early age, so men became relatively minor figures.  A good kitchen runs a bit like a beehive, so you get used to several of them running about at your feet.  Whilst I freely admit that men are often confused when you openly do the chasing, regardless of anything else that is going on, it is absolutely not true to say that all men hate a straight talker.  A small majority prefer it, unless it involves faintly embarrassing social situations, like explaining their existing girlfriend.
What is annoying is the time they expect you to spend waiting to find out whilst they struggle with the new concept.  Women just don’t have the time to waste.
The situation I have now, which is perfect for me, and advantageous for Wolfe, since it comprises of a form of ‘showmance’ which does not need to actually go anywhere, generating some entertainment in the course of producing permanent work, is partially as a result of my not wanting what Wolfe traditionally goes for.
He is probably aware of this, but confused about my methodology and the time I am spending on it.  This does not matter, since I have no intention of doing any actual chasing in person.  If he makes up his mind that he believes me to be superior to an entire harem of willing supplicants, that is his decision.  (Probably a stupid decision, but clearly I do not think so.) I am certainly not planning on doing any begging, demanding or requesting. Real people are a different kettle of fish to passing ships in the sea, and there is a necessary requirement for tolerance, understanding and fluctuations in emotional state.  That is Ina’s entire raison d’etre.
I have experienced men with hang-ups about being objectified in the past.  This is laughable, since if asked they will always say they love being objectified.  Many, if they actually experience it, are so shocked that they assume that there is something wrong with you doing exactly what they do on a daily basis.  Eye them up, attract their attention, ask.  What is so freakish about that? If we all broke the rules, rather than manipulating some unwitting dude into doing the asking just to follow a rule we never agreed to, then the problem would not exist.
So, I was less than impressed by this person’s idea of ‘the rules.’  There aren’t any, end of story.  If you agree to be a little woman, expect to be treated like one.  It may be fun in the sack, now and again, but I can assure you that men run out of imagination a long time before you do.  Better to be a wild and dangerous filly, than a placid mare.
So, next time you see some quiet lonely man, especially the ones your friends laugh at your looking at, try being a bit more assertive.  Winkle out the information you require to make the move.  You might win, you might not, but it is better than agreeing to a social contract that you did not participate in constructing.
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Blog readers note

Reading on a screen before bed might be killing you
Reading on a laptop or tablet can alter the way you think
Too much screen time damages the brain
Five things too much screen time does to your body
Before you start panicking and switching off your device, most of what is said in these articles refers to things we already knew – too much sitting about is bad for you, too much light from non ambient sources is bad for you, being too intensely interested in what you are doing is bad for sleeping, electrical devices near you damage your sleep, etc etc.  I am personally quite careful to keep things like sewing, gardening, driving, decorating quite far away from any functional computers so my time is divided between separate areas of the house.
This takes up quite a lot of room, and I am fortunate to be able to do this.  It will not always be the case, when my mother is not around any more I imagine that I will be struggling to pick up my long lost career, never mind afford somewhere that I can actually fit into.
A female friend from school, who coincidentally looked a bit like Daniel Vitalis’ identical twin, worked on a study with Stirling University in the 1990s, which was based on the premise that rural people are more affected by the full moon than city people.  Eventually the study narrowed down the reason for this to be the amount of electricity used in cities.  The brain tunes in with the electrical rhythm of the moon, other people or with the fridge, computer or other electrical device if they are in the same room, which is why people like me prefer to create at nighttime, when most people in the area have switched everything off.
Many artists and writers have noticed that they work much better at night.  I am not sure what implications that tapping away on a laptop might have for your writing, as opposed to avoiding devices, but even if we were not using computers, we would still be battling the light bulb.  Perhaps further studies on this are necessary.  In any case, when I told a few people about this, they were relieved to discover that they were not imagining it.  Stirling University has apparently not posted the study as it was conducted prior to the internet revolution, but I for one would be delighted if they would, since it makes some sense of a rather ‘woo’ sounding theory.
The physical implications of spending time in a chair are obvious, you will get a fat ass and a fat tummy if you do this too much.  The wrist and hand problems are another thing entirely, and you should be extremely mindful of making sure your ergonomics are better than mine (I am usually lying in bed covered in militant cats, which is no better for you.)
As I have previously mentioned, it is wise to leave your gadgets at home now and again, and if possible get away from your computer entirely once in a while.  It really does not matter if you do not see who has tweeted you for a week or more.  It does not matter how many likes you have on facebook, and it actually makes no difference to my figures whether I have a facebook following or not.  My book readers, in particular, tend to come from elsewhere.
If you are concerned about your abstract thinking, here are a few tests you can run
Free Aptitude Tests
Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests
Abstract reasoning test
If you are concerned about your emotional well being
Happiness test
Empathy test
Positive psychology test
And I am sure you can find some more by yourselves.  I find I self-regulate, on intellectual and creative as well as whether I am spending too much time with my computer.  I do not like to combine my care of mother with computer use, so again those things happen in separate rooms where possible. If I have been writing for a few weeks, I crave sewing, and vice versa, so despite my having been heavily involved with computers for nearly twenty years, apart from a couple of binge periods when life was not otherwise worth living, I have had pretty moderate exposure.  I do feel sorry for the younger generations who do not remember life without them.  As with the curse of the mobile phone, I am sure they feel naked without their connection, when the truth is that you are a lot more naked with it.

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Die if ya do

Die if ya do



Don’t wanna do nothin’ new,


Wanna sit here and take an antacid


Keep your evil salad,


Wanna eat cake and feel a bit flaccid,


Don’t challenge my opinions, or ask me to do anythiiiiiiing!


‘Cos if you tip up my boat, I’ll just not bother to swiiiiiim


Yeah! Leave me to rot, I just cannot change my world view!


No, no, no, no, no




I hate everyone, and nobody’s gonna get throuuuuuugh






‘Cos I’ll die if ya do, die if ya do, if the stroke don’t get me


I’ll have a heart attack on you


Die in your kitchen, die in your car,


You think you’re goin’ somewhere but you will not get far


Burst a blood vessel all over the seats,


To carry me out, you’ll have to stain all your sheets.


Leave me alone, or you’ll be sorry as hellllllllllllll




Don’t wanna learn nothin’


Wanna sit here watchin’ Hitler instead,


I hate richer people, and I hate poor sick people in bed,


You can keep all your herbs, and your superfood too,


Nothin’s gonna help me, or my sore, sore head


Gonna wear my dark glasses, and sit here in pain,


Anything you’re gonna try, you’re gonna try it in vain,




There’s nothin’ you can do, so you might as well eat some cake toooooo




‘Cos I’ll die if ya do, die if ya do.  Diabetes ain’t got me, but it’s gonna get you


Die in your bathroom, die in your hall


Nothing you can do to help me at all


I’ll sit here in my armchair, watching Nazi vids


Hating everybody, soon you’ll be on the skids


Laughing at misfortune, smiling full of hate


Nothing you can say is gonna clean up my plate


Give me more cake, or I’ll trip you up on the stairs,




Then I’ll laugh my head off, burst an arteryyyyy,


Bleed over the antiques and hid my head on a shelllllf




There’s nothin’ you can do, you broke your ankle when I tripped you upppppp,




No, no, no




Cos’ I’ll die if ya do, die if ya do,


Bleed everywhere forever, make a mess outta you,


You’ll feel like you’ve been cruel, feel like you’ve been bad


Nothing’s gonna help you feel any less sad,


Skull fragments in the garage, in the studio,


Dead body in the garden maybe on the patio,


Blood in the pink roses, in the pussy willow


You’ll need a full squad just to move me real slow




Ya know, it’s much easierrrr


If ya just give me the caaaaaaaake,




Yeah, yeah,




Even though I’ll die if ya do, die if ya do,


Give me all the cake, else I’ll complain about you


Black forest gateau, strawberry cheesecake.


You can keep your evil veggies and the spooky fruit too,


Take the herbs and grass away


Take the raw chocolate too,


Give me all the cake or I’ll complain about you.


Deep fried potato, a gallon of milk


The pains in my stomach are something else too,


Don’t force me to live, don’t ask me to think


I’ll just throw up my fries in your nice new clean sink.


I’ll pretend I’m not tired, pretend I’m not sick,


No I don’t want no smoothie it looks way too thick.




Don’t force me to do anythiiiiiing……




Cos’ I’ll die if ya do, die if ya do,


Collapse in the lounge, or in your nice tidy loo,


Rigor Mortis in your doorway, stiff limbs on your floor


Put your pedal to the metal getting right out the door.


Give me all the cake, and all the fries too,


Oily mayonnaise, salty sausage and ham


I’ll eat what I want, and it’s better if you eat the cake toooooooo


Don’t challenge my opinions, or you know what I’ll do to youuuuuu




Yeah, yeah, yeah




Die if ya do, die if ya do


Won’t pay attention to your views, won’t listen to you,


I just wanna moan, wanna complain too


Wanna eat some more cake, and take some painkillers too


Blood quality’s for sissies, and for dumb hippies too,


Wanna complain until midnight and then after that too.


Give me back my Hitler, my antacid world view,


Life is too short, and I don’t want a mess,


Don’t challenge my opinions or make me wear a dress,


Fetch me my slippers, and some more kaolin,


My plan is to expire over your violin.


You’ll be tidying up my fluids


Mopping up my blood,


But at least I’ll have eaten some more of that food.


The post Die if ya do (song, think Dixie Chix) appeared first on Ina Disguise – Author.

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Accept that you are alive

Accept that you are alive

When I was 32, and finishing up at university, my best friend was 89 years old.  She was a naughty, vital, very intelligent old lady whose doctor still tried to tell me was ditzy after she died, although if you had been on the receiving end of as many phone calls at 1am as I was, you would have known, as I did, that she was entirely lucid.


She had a twisted, sick and extremely sharp sense of humour, and used to like telling care providers that she planned to end her life with a sharp knife in the shower.  She used to do this out of boredom, as towards the end she was bored with humans, bored with manners and bored with social convention.


Sometimes accepting that you are alive is a lot harder than accepting that you are dying, hence my previous post.


My mother, in particular, has benefitted enormously from my friendship with Elizabeth.  My annoying Tory neighbour might have benefitted (agggh, how do I get rid of an American spellchecker?) also, but he too is choosing death over life.


What do I mean by accepting that you are alive?  As long as you are alive, there is always more to learn, more to experience and more to do.  One of my more annoying exs once asked me what scared me the most.  I replied that having nothing to do was the most frightening thing in the world, but since this is coming from someone who wrote a book at the age of ten because I was confined to bed for ten months, you can see that I am pretty flexible about finding things to do.  His reply was having nowhere to go.  This is less flexible, and although this particular ex was younger than me, he is now a snobbish, inflexible old man who cannot form relationships effectively.


The Candy Crush Saga fans are avoiding being alive.  If you claim that you are addicted to facebook, you are avoiding being alive by looking at other people, and probably falling short.  If you like celebrity culture, your avoidance of being alive involves investing heavily in information about other people.  Celebrity culture, in a political economy, is immensely important, because it keeps you unhappy, unsatisfied and it keeps you shopping and voting a certain way.  Breaking out of this paradigm is going to become harder and harder the more entrenched you allow yourself and your children to become, especially now that the internet, via ever developing gadgets, follows us everywhere.


So, today’s thought for today is to rid yourself of influence.  Stop caring what other people are doing.  Look inwards and find yourself.  Accept that you are alive, and rid yourself of distractions.  Life is short, on one hand, but it is also long and very boring, especially towards the end.  The only solution is to find something that you can do sitting down, that absorbs you and removes you from the limited world of other humans.  People get boring, once you are in your dotage.  The trick to longevity, therefore, involves ensuring that you have something less worldly to interest you, alongside your comparatively superficial connections to others to keep your visitor and contact count up.


As I have said before, to avoid the stiffness and inflexibility that goes with age, it is important to keep learning, to keep growing, and to keep finding new things to widen your outlook.  I have now lost count of the number of middle aged exs that come here and talk about immigration and their fears based upon social change.  Social change is something that is out of your control, unless you plan to start a civil war.  We have to exert pressure to apply the rules fairly, rather than take recourse in barbaric and negative approaches to change.  I do not speak from the standpoint of a multiculturalist, I speak from the standpoint of someone from a country which has developed from centuries of infiltration.


Once you have accepted that you are alive, things like making a fool of yourself are meaningless, since you will seek to attain your goals at the pace you set.  You will lose your willingness to conform to other’s ideas of you, and you will truly master the art of making your own path.  One step closer to true freedom.


So, before you too get suckered into a resentful state of incapacitated rage at the things you cannot control, think about yourself.  Have you accepted that you are alive, and that there is a finite amount of time to complete the tasks you have set yourself?  Have you even managed to set them?  If the answer is no, get on with it, because time is always shorter than you think, and you have to do it before you get bored, because once you are bored, you are accepting your death.

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