2016-2017 movie quick hits

I wrote a comment to someone's post the other day, saying that I watch
more movies than any big reader would even have time to read books.
And since I made a new friend who is a film student, this is even more true.
At another time I might feel guilty over my lack of patience
with the written word right now, but well... I just don't :)

And 2017 is an unusual year for me, in that there are so many movies
I'm looking forward to - normal ones and horror movies
- and TV shows! But before I go into all that, here are some quick hits:

 Arrival - Very engaging, but left me kind of enraged.

The Boy - Like previously stated; a rip-off of another movie.

Passengers - Clichéd white people trapped in space, basically.

Before I Wake - Adequate horror, nothing more nothing less.

 Loving - Beautifully acted but very low key, almost slow.

The Girl with all the Gifts - Good but very uneven.

Hacksaw Ridge - Another well acted WWII hero movie.

 Moana - A pleasant surprise, both funny and pretty.

Neon Demon - Slow, stylish, misogynistic confusion.

Suicide Squad - I don't need to tell you, do I..? CRAP.

Sully - The real story is better than the movie adaptation.

Kingsman: The Secret Service - European boy's action dream. Eehh.

Nocturnal Animals - Misleading trailer. Violent and ultimately unsatisfying.

The Purge: Election Year - Turned it off half way through. CRAP.



Bat Fit, part 3 and a second update

The all natural skin care regimen

I read up on coconut oil (which is really a butter in room temperature)
and I learned that the extra virgin eco kind is better for many reasons,
so I got this from my supermarket. It has a wonderful scent and it makes
my skin smooth, and so far the only issue I have is that I feel like eating it :)

Every other day I rub my whole body with coconut oil. It smells much better
than olive oil, but I actually think both of them are just as good for your skin.
For my face I use both daily in a blend, because I don't want to risk getting
black heads (which coconut oil alone is known to sometimes cause). 

Every time I use this new regimen I can't help wondering why I used all these
lotions for so many years. I still have dry skin and have to use moisturizers
several times a day during winter, but why not use ONE. NATURAL. ingredient?
I'm not a new age vegan by any means, but why would anyone not - right..?

The meds/doctors/therapy situation

For several weeks I have been dreading a doctor's appointment
regarding my cervix and HPV. I happened to be just a couple of years too old
to benefit from Sweden's free HPV vaccinations, and I caught HPV when I was
still very young. 5 years ago a careless doctor told me I had "kind of cancer"
and I had a conization. This year I was told I have some cell changes again.

As it turns out, my cervix looks very nice and healthy (my new doctor's words).
But I sat down with her - completely prepared to discuss serious removal
of important parts - and she's like "ahemm, no..? You know, funnily enough, it turns out
you never had severe cell changes to your cervix that time you went in for a conization." 
... what? WHAATTT??? So yeah, I'm apparently good, better than I thought :)

I was gonna write about other stuff today but, as you can imagine,
I'm feeling good tonight and the rest...can wait!



Bat Fit, part 2 and an update

The all natural skin care regimen, update:

Deciding to switch out my entire skin care regimen right when
the coldest and driest weather struck was probably not the best idea.
There was a week when my face felt really dry and coarse,
but I made a facial scrub out of olive oil, honey and sugar
and gently rubbed my face with it three days straight.
Now my face feels like a baby's bottom, and gone are all the blemishes.
No more hydro-cortisone! No more Nivea! No more chap stick!

That's right, all I use is olive oil and natural baby oil (sunflower seed oil,
canola oil and citric acid) and my skin has never felt so good.
The only downside to this regimen is the olive oil scent.
I notice that it really lingers in hair so I stopped using it there.
And use some old clothes right after you slab it all over your body
because it can take an hour or so to really soak in.
My next experiment is to get some extra virgin coconut oil
for my lips, hair and any particularly dry spots. I'm on an all natural roll!

The meds/doctors/therapy situation

My dear dad has been paying for my therapy this last year
but made it clear that he wouldn't be able to continue doing that
in the new year. Luckily my therapist just got signed up with
Swedish 'medicare' which means I will get free sessions until August.
That's a huge load off my chest since I'm still not making any money.

In February I am seeing the doctor about raising the dose of my
anti-depressants. What I have now has been a helping a little bit
but not enough, but it's a relatively new drug and so far she has been
unwilling to stray from the dosage guidelines. Fingers crossed!

 I know that many of you commented on my insomnia in the earlier post,
and wished for me to be able to get off the sleeping pills,
but I honestly don't see that as a realistic goal for me at the moment.
For now I'm just going to try to establish some better routines.

So, how is your Bat Fit coming along?



Bat Fit 2017: New routines, part 1

This year I am joining darling Franny and a big group of other bloggers
and Facebookers in Bat Fit. My ultimate goals are not clearly defined
but I have a list of changes I want to make during 2017.
What I really want is to get back to myself, to really feel like me, 
and by finding some balance (inside and out) I am hoping to end up there.

The skin and hair care regime

I have very dry skin. I also have thin dry hair and brittle nails.
Everything on my outside (and inside - I drink gallons of water)
needs extreme hydration, and I have been using hydrocortisone
for blemishes for years. But I have finally read up on silicones and sulfates,
and for those who are still confused, here is the cliff-notes version:

Silicones in themselves are neither cleansing nor hydrating agents,
they are basically sealants used in almost every skin care product
and hair conditioner. But because most of them are non-water soluble
they demand harsh cleaning agents to wash out. Enter sulfates.

Sulfates are very effective cleaning agents used in everything
from industrialized cleaners to your shampoo. The problem is
they are as dehydrating to skin and hair as they are to everything else,
forcing us to re-hydrate (with silicone based products) once again.

I never use any soap on my face, and I only use a gentle soap
from the pharmacy for other chosen parts of the body. I stopped
using conditioner about a year ago, realizing it only made my hair flatter
and not actually better. If the ends are dry I rinse with apple cider vinegar,
or use a little oil. I switched to a shampoo without sulfates and decided
to only wash my hair once a week to see if it will make a difference.

When my parents came back from France last they brought me some
high-end olive oil, and I decided to use it for skin and hair care only.
I rub it all over after my bath (instead of a lotion with 30 ingredients)
and my skin actually feels different already - softer, younger.

My face, the driest and most sensitive part, will take longer to adjust
to the olive oil treatment. I can already see blemishes fading away,
and I have been using 100% natural baby oil together with my facial lotion
for many years, but at night my face is still crying out for its 'sealant'.

The insomnia

I have sleep-onset insomnia, which means I have difficulties falling asleep.
If I fall asleep I can usually sleep all night, if not straight through the night
(I wake up at the slightest cat noise). But it doesn't matter how tired I am
- sluggish brain and body, cranky mood, blurred vision - I just don't get sleepy.
I have been taking Zolpidem/Ambien for years. Without them I would
probably only sleep every 2 or 3 nights and my days would all be hell.

The problem with the drug is dependency; one needs to increase the dose
over time as the body gets used to it. Luckily I have been able to increase
it very little and only take 1½ per night but, since my insomnia is linked to my
chronic depression and anxiety, I don't know if I will ever be able to do without.

I have been trying to improve my sleep hygiene. I have put up black-out blinds,
gotten an electrical blanket (sleeping in a cool environment is not for me)
and I have increased the amount of pillows in the bed (to feel safe).
I have tried switching off the TV/laptop/phone an hour before bed, but for someone
like me the dark and quiet only kicks my thoughts into high gear. I have tried
different sleep noises (rain, waves etc) but I find them mostly annoying.

The last few months I have experienced some truly erratic sleep behavior
so what I am doing now is quitting the alcohol for a while (more on that
in part 2) and I am starting to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.
The value of proper sleep cannot be over-estimated.


I have a longer list of things I want to change in 2017 so I will also
be posting a part 2 and 3 of my Bat Fit intentions during January
covering food, alcohol, meds/doctors/therapy and my new work situation.
Once February rolls around I am hoping to start seeing some changes.


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