2020 – Year of the Great Film Watch

I’m not a great watcher of films, but my boyfriend really is. Over the last year, we’ve had numerous film nights, to the point where we can’t remember if we’ve seen a movie or not. I’ve always had the same problem: not remembering what I’ve seen, unless it makes a huge impact. So here, I’ll try to chronicle what we saw and what we enjoyed. This post will be added to and expanded as my memory allows.

First watches:
Venom
Spiderman: Far From Home
The Joker
Unhinged
Unfriended
The Trench
Greyhound
Extract
Bloodshot
The New Mutants (bad)
Greenland
2067
Ad Astra
Freaks (my top watch of the year)
Mulan
Jumanji: The Next Level
Tesla
Us
Ava
Gamer
Tenet
Coherence
Bumblebee

Rewatches:
Ready Player One
I Am Legend
The Jungle Book
Leon
American Psycho




Oops, I did it again

Had a good day at work, made amazing progress with my research, felt well rested – so naturally, for no reason, I started chewing my lip again. Relapsing after 20 years is strange to the point of inexplicable.

The best way I can describe it, is that it feels like you’re eating a cancer out of the innards of your lip. The blood tastes sweet, the pain is immense, the membrane is stringy, and it just feels incredible.

Never mind I have blood literally flowing from my mouth right now and all over my arms. Never mind I’ve almost bitten a hole. Never mind this will give me weeks of unpleasant agony and I won’t be able to talk properly.

3 months since I last did it. This time 4 times as bad. Two painkillers, two sleeping pills, then bed. If anything happens to me, I went out on a high.

Morsicatio Labiorum: Lip biting as a lifelong habit

I’m writing this because there’s not much out there about it. I was a chronic lip-biter from the age of around 6 to 18. When people think of lip-biting they think of people biting the outside of their lips, but that’s not accurate. We bite the inside of our lips, lower or upper, resulting in a mouth wound or ulcer.

Some studies say this is because of anxiety. I don’t think I suffered much anxiety at the age of 6. I can’t tell you why I did it. but I can tell you I seriously injured myself twice doing it. And I can tell you it felt good, and like the most natural thing in the world.

I’m writing this now, because I relapsed last night – probably the first time in 10 years or more. I did it infrequently in my 20s. maybe a couple of times in my 30s, and not at all in my 40s until last night. But the ritual is exactly the same as it was when I was a child.

When I was a child, I’d get a pressure build up in my upper lip when I’d run, and I’d have to bite my lip to release that pressure. The more constant trigger though was when I felt I had a cold or an illness coming on. I’d bite my middle-lower lip because my brain told me it would make me feel better.

My brain would guide my teeth to the exact spot that I had to bite to release the blood. Then I’d bite at it until I popped the membrane and could taste the blood. I’d suck on the wound for a minute or so then, to drain the blood, and my brain would instruct me how much more and which pattern I needed to bite to ease or heal the illness that was forthcoming.

The amount of pain sometimes almost causes a blackout. But you know, if you just bite that one spot, you won’t get ill. Eventually your brain tells you “that’s enough, you’re done now, you’ve done enough” and you stop biting. But that’s not the end of the ritual.

Within a couple of days a white membrane will form over the wound in the form of an ulcer, like a scab over a wound. You have to bite that off, too, suck away the blood, and let the wound heal open. You don’t have to eat the membrane. it’s not unpleasant, it just doesn’t matter. The idea is to never let a protective barrier form for the wound.

Cures such as Anbesol or Bongela sting in a good way when the wound is open. They feel amazing. Also dripping neat brandy onto the wound can recreate the ‘sting’ that will ease the mental torment.

The two times I seriously injured myself, I bit through to my gland – once when I was 18, once when I was 26. Those times were uncomfortable, and stopped some of the obsessive biting. but never completely cured it.

I’m very surprised I found myself doing it last night and that I couldn’t stop it. I can’t even remember the last time I did. But anyone else who bites their lips in a ritualistic manner, you’re not alone. I’m not sure if it counts as self-harm or not – I don’t think so, as I was doing it from such an early age – but maybe the pain and release cycle is linked.

Any other chronic lip biters, please do get in touch, and maybe we can work it out together.

The Great Migration

I’ve decided it’s finally time to migrate all my websites and projects to a new server. I’ve installed Centos 8.2 and will initally be using Caddy as a webserver.

The migrations starts with my static websites – then I’ll be moving my WordPress sites across (this is a WordPress website), and finally my webapps and custom coded sites.

I’ve hosted my latest project – Survival Supply – over on Shopify, but will attempt to build a a custom solution over the next 12 months.

You can check it out here:

https://survivalsupply.co.uk

Losing count

I’ve lost count of how much money I’ve made so far this year. I am guessing I’m close to my $100K, but until the dust settles in June or July, I have no clue. My life is currently a whirlwind of buying goods & stuffing boxes: every penny I take goes into backordered goods, more boxes get stuffed, more painkillers get taken.

There’ll come a point where all the orders are fulfilled, cancelled or refunded. That’s when I’ll know what I’ve actually made.

For now, I’m not getting a moment’s rest. Making money can be hard work sometimes.

Old projects week | revamping iCrewz

icrewz

This week I will start revamping one of my old projects, iCrewz.com, which is a membership website for people in the film industry who are looking for crew member jobs, locations or equipment hire. The website is ten years old now and I haven’t promoted it at all, so it’s time to pick up the pace with this.

I’ll need a VA to post the available jobs, and then I’ll make sure the posts are echoed out to Twitter and Facebook. This should bring traffic in to start with. I’ll look at further marketing strategies once the site is fully revamped and having jobs posted to it regularly.

My third income stream

Once the website is completed, it will become my third income stream. It’s the addition of multiple income streams that will get me to the $100K – whilst at the same time, not letting any streams fall out of favour. Keep your attention rotating and don’t miss a trick with any of your income streams. Set a schedule to check in on your projects and make sure they’re running okay.

Work Overload – Hitting The Wall

I’m now at a point, in mid-February, where the amount of work I have to do exceeds the amount of time I have available to work. I was exhausted this weekend, and spent most of my time in bed.

One of my big nightmares (amongst many) was updating the Amazon Pricing Rules via upload. It’s not intuitive how to fill in the feed, and it took me over 10 attempts to get a working version. That version only covers around 10% of my inventory and there’s a lot more to be done. However, I have so much to do with my freelance clients, too, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to revisit it.

From Clickfunnels, to Wix, to WordPress, to Magento, to Shopify – I’m multi-tasking and going full speed. Currently bringing in around £800 a week which will account for around half of my $100K goal if I can keep up the pace until the end of the year.

I’m officially self-employed now, and it’s scary and exhausting. It’s also liberating. I’m looking forward to seeing where the path will take me.

Board Game Corner: Finca – Easy

board game finca

This week, I’ve been learning to play a game called Finca, another simple resource gathering and delivery game. You move your farmers around a wheel to collect the fruit, using action tokens to move to various places on the wheel. Then you deliver the fruit you have collected to the villages, each village awarding a different number of points.

A very simple game, yet highly addictive. One that I’ll definitely be playing again, and maybe even investing in the real life version.

I play most of my board games (for free) at YUCATA.DE. They have a selection of 100s of board games and players from around the world. Most of the board games I write about are available to try on the website, so check it out today.

Board Game Corner: Chakra – EASY

Chakra is the latest game at Yucata that I’ve been wasting my time on. A really simple game to learn, the idea is to align the jewels in your chakra using your inspiration tokens on each move to activate one of the sets of arrows which move the jewels up and down in various permutatons.

I didn’t like the game much on the first play, but it’s become strangely addictive. I have no strategy as yet, but I’m beating more people the more time I spend playing it.

The game is designed by Luka Krleza and released on BLAM! Games. It seems to be available in the UK for around £17 at the moment, and definitely a good board game investment for the price.

I play most of my board games (for free) at YUCATA.DE. They have a selection of 100s of board games and players from around the world. Most of the board games I write about are available to try on the website, so check it out today.

January Recap – Setting the Foundation

I spent January stocking up and getting my ducks in a row. I have potential freelance work that will hopefully take me up to 25 hours a week guaranteed over February, and as I heat up the Amazon Seller Central marketplace, those two streams of income should steady themselves out over the next few weeks.

10 Things I Achieved In January:

  1. Updated my CV
  2. Learned new skills in Amazon Forecast
  3. Made advertising banners for Amazon Services and completed the application
  4. Found out information about New Enterprise Allowance scheme and almost finished the process
  5. Set up dropshipping process in Amazon UK and Amazon US
  6. Started work on my agency website
  7. Helped my friend design his business leaflets (seee the featured image)
  8. Learned more advanced Excel skills – even though I’ve been using it for years, always something new!
  9. Successfully secured my annual customer’s order.
  10. Became comfortable with AWS.

What I Didn’t Do Well In January:

  1. I didn’t get the stock out of the house
  2. I put on a LOT of weight
  3. I didn’t manage my time as effectively as I could have: better than usual but still lacking.
  4. I didn’t manage my money efficiently.

On the negative side, I had one client cancel a contract suddenly, and I’ve put on over a stone. It’s because I’m not getting out much and eating junk, but that’s something else I’ll focus on in the month to come.

I still have a lot of niggly bits to do before I’m ready to settle down and let things flow, but it’s been a good start. With pay day in sight on Thursday, and plenty of plans coming together, I’m hopeful that month two of 2020 will be doubly productive.