August 23, 2023

I need to actually post all these updates and not just keep them hoarded on my computer... I just haven't felt like it. And maybe I won't today either. Maybe I never will. I don't know.

When we went to Hershey Park we stopped at Chocolate World on the way out to stock up on candy. It's like the only place I can reliably find Zero bars. They're one of my favorite candy bars, but they seem to be unpopular. They're really hard to find these days. I also bought a Zagnut, which I've never tried before. It also seems to be difficult to find, but I'm excited to try it. We stocked up on lots of other candies too.

I'm a huge horror fan, but of course there are plenty of classics I still haven't seen, but would like to get to. Two days ago I forced myself to watch The Hills Have Eyes, the original one. I didn't really like it at all. I didn't expect I would, because these kinds of movies aren't really my thing but still... The characters were all flat, I didn't find any of the kills fun or interesting, the villains were just... lame. The movie itself was boring overall and the hour and a half I spent watching it felt like an eternity. Then yesterday I went to the theater to see The Last Voyage of the Demeter. It was alright; no more, no less.

I'm (again) working on my Alistair shrine... but still stuck in the creative poison pool of "not good enough". Lately I've been getting the itch to play DAO again ;~; But I've got so much I should do first... Baldur's Gate 3 is out on PS5 soon. So soon. Just a little longer to wait.

There are so many things I want to do all the time and never enough energy or time to do them all. Even in my entire lifetime I can't do it all. No use worrying about it though. Just do what I can when I can and be as happy as possible. I think it's the best I can do. I should go and actually do some work and just stop thinking before I make myself sad for no good reason.

Just kidding. I'm back again. I did get some things done but not that much. Lately (is "the past few years" lately? well, it feels like it anyway) I feel like I've got this emotional lump stuck in my throat that I just can't get out. I've been doing things I enjoy, I've felt happy and yet... something is wrong. Is there anything wrong at all? Am I looking for something wrong because I don't know how to just be at peace?

Most of my life has been one crisis to the next, but now I find myself in an unfamiliar place. My marriage is in a good place, I have a decent home, I have a steady job and could work more if I wanted, my health is much improved, I've (mostly) made peace with childlessness, I'm doing things I enjoy... where is my great crisis and who am I without it? With nothing in my way, do I now have to go back and fix the damage of the past? Can I? How do I know if there is something wrong and I just don't know what or if I'm just searching for trouble that isn't there?

Are these things that make me happy even real... or am I just putting on a front to hide the truth? Some hidden truth that I don't even know. No matter what I do, where I go, who I become I can't shake the feeling that there's just something wrong with me. Maybe it's not something wrong per se, but I feel like my experience of life is just fundamentally different from other people. I don't know if it's just me or if it's something about me that makes me this way.

I don't want to die anymore, but I don't know what to do with a life. No, it doesn't have to mean anything... but why can't I make myself move and do something? There isn't a point, I get it, and that's okay. That doesn't upset me, at least I don't think it does. I just don't know how to live without some chaos.

I've got this problem of letting a temporary mood hold the brush and paint the picture of my entire life. I feel unhappy so that means everything is always bad. I feel happy so that means everything is good. Black/white, always/never, love/hate. I am aware that I do this, but I can't stop myself. I find myself unbearable to live with, so I don't know how anyone else can do it.

I remember my therapist from my high school years used to always talk to me about developing my own sense of self-esteem and worth rather than seeking it through others because I'm just a bottomless cup that can never fill that way. I guess I haven't changed that much. I don't know. I think I know who I am, but I'm always searching for the key to understanding myself. Does it even matter? I'm just being stupid. I should get my sleep schedule back in order and I'll stop feeling bad about things. I know it, but don't you ever feel like there's something important keeping you up at night? It's nothing tangible just a feeling that there's something. A sense of understanding, belonging? I'm not sure what it is, but going to sleep early just feels wrong.

I've got to stop. I'd like to lie and say I'm going to do something productive, but I'm probably just going to publish these updates and keep laying here doing absolutely nothing except for continuing to feel weird. Well, I'll at least have to make dinner at some point. If you've read all of this, maybe you can just picture me doing that, cleaning up, and maybe exercising like a healthy, responsible person so at least in your imagination I will be a somewhat dignified person.

August 18, 2023

I feel like my body is drained of all life force and I'm happy about it. I've been having so much fun over the past week. Over the weekend, we went to NYC for OPENING WEEKEND OF THE JONAS BROTHERS TOUR AT YANKEE STADIUM!!!!! I ate so much good food, had a great time checking stuff out, and then the concert!!

Actually going out and having a good time has made me realize just how much isolation has made me weird and unhappy. I became very sick during the peak of Covid and haven't been able to get "back to normal" like many people seem to have by now. I've been spending nearly all of my time for the past few years alone at home not doing much at all. I've been so afraid to push my limits with regard to my health which has just lead to me being too afraid to go out at all. Thankfully, I've been doing better (enough) that I felt up to trying to do things these past few months. The changes in my mental state happened so gradually that I didn't realize until I was out in the world like a normal, happy, healthy person.

I'm naturally introverted and anxious, yes, but I used to go to concerts and do fun stuff all the time. Gradually over the past few years I'd managed to convince myself that I hate going out because it's not fun. It's so bizarre the tricks your mind can play. I had the best time at the concert. We got last minute upgrades to pretty good floor seats and managed to resell our old ones without too much of a loss. It was SO HOT but somehow my body found the strength to let me sing and dance for THREE HOURS.

I was just so happy to see them again. They're my favorite band of all time, and I finally got to hear some of my favorite songs that I've never heard live before ;~; I did cry a little because I was just so happy and overwhelmed. I'm trying to work it out so that I can go to a few more shows during the tour, but so far only actually have tickets for one more date. BUT! Those tickets? B STAGE, BABYYYY!!!!!

The stage set-up for the Yankee shows was different than what they're doing at the other shows, so I waited until the first night of a "normal" stage setup to see what songs they'll be playing at B Stage before buying tickets. I got SO lucky. Of course B Stage is all sold out for every date I've seen, but somebody was reselling two tickets FOR FACE VALUE!!!! I couldn't believe it.

Oh yeah, so the songs they're playing at B Stage? It's just a list of my favorite songs. HELLO BEAUTIFUL (MY MOST PLAYED SONG OF ALL TIME!!!), INSEPARABLE?!, TAKE A BREATH????!!!!?!?!?! and that's not even all I can't wait. Plus the B Stage area is super small, so even if I'm not right up on the barricade, Joe Jonas is still going to be like a few feet away from my face.

In non-Jonas news I also went to Hershey Park this week! I got to ride Wildcat's Revenge for the first time. It was absolutely insane. I loved it! I exepected it to be good, but not that good. We took my nephew with us, because he's gotten really into watching coaster videos on Youtube. It's very funny to hear him tell me about random statistics lmao he's been talking up like he's gonna ride everything and on the way there he tells us that actually, last time he was there he rode Skyrush. Of course I figured he's lying, but if he says so, whatever. We agree on the way up that we'd hit Candymonium first and then just make our way around. He was talking a big game as we walked in, but as soon as we got up to Candymonium he says, "I'm not riding that". Like..... seriously...... we tried, but there was no convincing him to get on. So off to Skyrush we went. Should be fine since he already rode it, right? WRONG. Of course we get there and he says "I'm not riding that" AGAIN, and then admits that he didn't actually ride it before like we didn't already know that.

Somehow we actually managed to get him on Great Bear and Wildcat's Revenge. He was still refusing to ride Stormrunner, Candymonium, and Fahrenheit even after Wildcat, which, like????? huh???? I told him if he could handle Wildcat those would be fine, but kid logic doesn't have to make sense to me I guess.

Majority of the day went fine, but then at like 5:30 my nephew wants to ride Laff Trakk. That should be fine, I like Laff Trakk. The only problem is that the line is always long, and this day was no exception. We told him that the park closes at 8 and that this would take up most of the time we had left, but he insisted. So we waited. And waited. And waited. For an hour and ten minutes. I nearly fainted several times and started crying because I started to panic about fainting in public. I was sitting on the ground trying to secretly wipe my tears off on my shirt. I was so embarrassed about nearly fainting, and then I was more embarrassed that I'm a nearly 30 year old woman crying in public because I can't handle waiting in a line.

After we (finally) got off that ride, I had to lay down for a bit. There wasn't time to actually do anything else and I was too sick at that point to ride anything anyway. It took me nearly an hour to walk back to the exit because I could only go so fast and had to keep taking breaks.

It felt (and still feels) so discouraging. I've been doing so well lately that I joke that I'm cured and that I don't even have POTS anymore. As long as I don't do anything really reckless, like trying to stand in a line for over an hour out in the heat I do alright. The day at the park kicked my ass way worse than the concert and weekend walking around NYC. As long as I can keep moving, I feel better. But having to stand still is what kills me. I hate it. It's embarrassing. It makes me feel like I'm just being dramatic, even if what's happening to my body is very real. I try to just keep it to myself to not bother anyone when I can.

My husband felt so bad after seeing how bad I got that he's promising to take me back again so that we can go more my pace and do the things we didn't get to do. I love him so much ;~; Sometimes he takes care of me too much, always trying to hold me up when I lose my balance, always getting things for me so I don't have to get up... Lately I've been trying to be more indepedent with those kinds of things. It makes me proud to be able to do things on my own. I'm sure anyone reading this who hasn't had any health issues of this nature thinks it's silly to be proud of being able to balance on my own or get my own drink, but for me it's a big change so I'm happy about it.

August 9, 2023

Been going harder than usual on the Jonas Brothers discography in prep for opening weekend of The Tour this weekend!!!! Listening to Self-Titled and ALBL hit me hard in the nostalgia. I don't think I've ever mentioned this on here before, but I am a bit of a Niley truther. Link for the tragically unaware. I think maybe it's that we're all the same age and I also had my ~*first love*~ at the same time so the nostalgia is real.

Anyway the Niley-induced nostalgia sent me on my annual(?) Facebook stalk of my high school classmates I don't keep in touch with. Lots of weddings and babies, few really interesting things except that one guy I didn't talk to apparently murdered somebody?! For some reason seeing what everyone's been up to got me feeling... weird... bad weird? I'm not really sure, but just started to feel my mind fading out of my body. Truthfully haven't done enough introspecting to figure out why because I decided to fight the weird feeling by just getting drunk, making dinner, and listening to music.

I can't wait for the concert this weekend ;~; They had a dress rehearsal this week in Hershey and only 200 fans got to go. I didn't even get a text invite T______T Everyone had to sign an NDA before going, so all we know is that everyone I've seen so far says it was amazing and that it's a little over 3 hours long. I just can't wait. I love them so much ;~; You know that clip from Teen Mom of Jenelle talking about the Kesha concert? That's basically how I feel about the Jonas Brothers except more.

Sometimes I think about deleting my site because I simply do not want to be seen by people who don't get me. I waver back and forth between "HEY EVERYBODY LOOK AT ME I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT ME" and then back to "nobody understands me, I have to get out of here". It's insane and stupid, but it's the truth of how I am. Ideally my site would be under some kind of enchantment that makes it only visible to people who truly get me.

I find so many people in general to be just... tedious to deal with. I don't think I'm a better person because I'm not. I'm a broken person with a deeply ugly side. However, for that reason, I simply don't relate to many people. I find myself put off by the average person, even in more "niche" areas like Neocities for example. I'm not seeking followers and feel ill at ease with each follower I gain. I hate seeing people desperate for attention and views. I feel violated when I get followed by someone who clearly has no interest in me or my thoughts and is just following people at random hoping for a follow back. Of course I could just turn my profile off, but I'm always looking for the people out there who do get me, even if they're few and far between.

Can anyone ever actually "get" another person? No, not completely. But that doesn't stop me from seeking it. I form an identity around my sense of rejection, but I do seek connection. And yet I reject that connection by finding ways in which a person will never understand me. It's pathetic, it's embarrassing, but I truly don't want to lower my standards for connection.

I find DNIs and similar statments laughable. Do you really think by saying "racists DNI" they're just gonna fucking U-turn off your site? Yet while I'm here laughing at DNIs am I not doing something similar, even if less tangible by hoping that only people who can "truly" understand me engage with me? I need to take a shower and get ready for bed so I've turned my music off and I can feel my mood souring by the minute. I should just stop writing and not post this. I'll leave it for tomorrow and if I'm somehow not totally embarrassed by what I've said I can post it. Is it fake to censor myself? Or is it authentic if the "real me" decides on the censorship? It's something I wonder about a lot.

August 4, 2023

God, I am the worst at interacting with people in a constricted social manner. ihavegottogetnormaler.jpg I do just fine at work with clients, but co-workers... I like them and I'm friendly with them all (at least I think so), but I always end up feeling like the odd man out. I don't like to get too friendly with people I work with, but I don't want to be too cold. I really struggle with finding that line sometimes. Or maybe I'm just being too hard on myself. No one at work has ever told me that I'm being weird or anything, but sometimes they will make (joking?) comments about things I've said that I thought were just normal.

I think I do fine in casual social settings that I consider "unlimited" if that makes sense. There's no arbitrary, amorphous boundary that's hard to understand. When I'm with a good friend I can just be natural and not have to worry about it. I actually think I'm really good at connecting deeply with people when I feel free to be myself. But even with my own family I have always unintentionally crossed the "appropriate conversation" line my whole life. If I'm just naturally animated and excited, they think I'm being super aggressive, but if I just don't have much to say I'm being weird and reclusive. Hmm... maybe growing up in that kind of environment is why I'm feeling this way... Very interesting...

I'm also dying waiting to play Baldur's Gate 3. I'm waiting for the PS5 version T______T I'm so jealous seeing everyone else play, I can't wait!! I keep writing and editing and re-writing my character in my head. I'm still not 100% set on it. I just know I'll be in that character creator for like 3 weeks. Luckily I have lots of other fun things planned in the next few weeks to try to make the wait easier. It's going to be a tiring month. I hope I can manage.

On that note, I'm pretty happy with my physical health lately. I can do most things, just maybe in a different way or with extra rest time. I think it's both that my condition has improved and that I know how to manage it better now. So now that I'm less concerned about obvious physical symptoms I've been feeling more distressed by the cognitive issues I'm having. I don't find brain fog to be a super useful descriptor for what I experience, but it's the best option available. Sometimes the impact on my ability to retain or learn new information is really embarrassing.

I'm reminiscing on our trip to Busch Gardens a couple months ago. Hanging out in that quiet area behind the aviary in those Adirondack chairs, drinking margaritas and just chilling... So peaceful. I can't wait to go to the beach later this month! I don't understand people who get bored with just hanging out. I love relaxing, I love leisure, I love simply having a good time with no great purpose. I would be thrilled if I didn't have to work ever. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

"We are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody ever tell you any different."

Maybe I'm just in my Jimmy Buffett era. Which reminds me that I recently watched this Youtube video: I ate at every Margaritaville in the Country. I don't subscribe to this guy, couldn't really tell you a thing about him, but I did see his previous video where he did the same thing with eating at all the Rainforest Cafes in the country. They're fun videos! Another recent Youtube video that I really enjoyed was this one: Disney Brand Fatigue Is Damaging Its Parks. And of course Puppet History is back! We've got a new episode to watch tonight ^^

July 26, 2023

I made a cute bracelet the other day and wanted to take a nice photo of it, but ended up with a glamour shot of OuiOui. The bracelet is hardly noticeable, but OuiOui is so cute that I don't care. I had also wanted to go outside to take photos, but my neighbor is smoking and it smells bad so I didn't want to.

I used to make tons of friendship bracelets, but this one was my first in years. It took me a couple repeats of the pattern to get the tension and all looking good, but it turned out nice in the end! In looking at all the friendship bracelet patterns out there these days, it can certainly get much more complicated than the ones I ever did! I saw some that are called "alpha patterns" that look much more complex, but I think I'd like to try some since the designs can be so cute.

I'm also working on some old paint by numbers that I was gifted some time ago. I enjoy them because they're fairly simple to do while I watch a movie or something. But my procrastination means that the paints get thick and painful to use... but the longer I wait, the more they'll dry up, so just bear with it and get it done I guess. I've noticed something weird about a lot of paint by numbers, though. They often seem to have colors that just don't make sense. Like a splotch of pink or purple in the middle of a grey or brownish wall. I guess they're trying to show light/shadow with a limited set of colors, but it just looks so bad.

Finally started applying to join fanlistings and stuff too. I've got so many things bookmarked "for later", yet I never seem to find the proper "later" so I'm making it now. I've been unusually productive on personal projects lately, I guess. Which means I've been less productive in other areas. I still haven't finished FFV, which I started before XVI. I am this close to the end, I just keep... putting it off. Not because I don't like the game or anything, this is just how I work. This is my curse. Pick up projects and don't finish them.

I'm planning to visit a friend in her new house this week, and she's suggested going to the pool. I don't want to be a buzzkill and I do enjoy a pool, but it's supposed to be like almost 100 degrees that day and I will simply drop dead if I'm outside for an extended period of time. But I don't want to say "nooo we can't go to the pool because it's too hot :((((" because that's annoying. I feel like she often forgets my limitations or just doesn't understand because I often just try to push my limits and not say anything when I see friends which is stupid of me. I just don't want to inconvenience anyone for any reason at any time... ever.

I've got some work to get done that I'm here putting off, but I guess I'd better get to it T_T

July 22, 2023

Last night I found out that my husband's dumbass little brother is having a kid. I raged until I burned out, then woke up still angry. And sad, and tired, and aching all over. Of course it was difficult to handle my own siblings having their kids, but it felt "less bad" because they're older than me, so it's in the proper order. Of course I know it's unreasonable to expect him to wait to have a kid because he's younger, but also come on... My husband even asked him a few months ago when they were planning on kids so that we could mentally prepare and he said probably about a year after the wedding so that was a lie. I won't get into the specifics of their marriage and their general immaturity because it's not really important and it's super specific and personal, but there is just no way these two are equipped to be good parents.

And look, I understand that infertility and the complicated emotions around it are very misunderstood by those who haven't personally experienced it. "Why can't you just be happy for them?" types of comments... It doesn't make sense to people, because they think, "somebody else having a kid doesn't take one away from you," and no, it doesn't. But it's just another reminder that my body can't do what a normal body should be capable of. Another reminder that I'm on the outside of society, that everyone else can easily and painlessly experience the one thing I wanted more than anything.

Maybe I never deserved to have a child because I'm a bad person. I know it's not that. It's just plain biology. There's no deeper meaning. And if there's no deeper meaning, maybe there's not so much reason to be upset. But I am upset. I've been dieting a bit, but I'm just gonna say fuck it and indulge all weekend. I reserve the right to be selfish and childish sometimes, who cares. This is the mood for my weekend, including the shitty recording quality:

.....I got some fish & chips and a Mountain Dew. I feel better now. Maybe being human isn't so complicated after all.

July 12, 2023

Absolutely nothing gets me up and moving like listening to my favorite DDR (and other Bemani) music. I need to make a DDR page for my site. Was checking up on my lastfm and found something funny (to me, probably to no one else). If you're not familiar with Bemani artists, Naoki Maeda is a big name and has worked under many aliases leading to many artist pages using the same photo like this:

It's not just funny because it's the same photo, it's something about the specific photo chosen that gets me.

Anyway, on the DDR topic, I gotta start playing again, it's been a few weeks at least. I have to say though, I've had my L-tek pad for a couple years now and it's holding up great. Unlike my less sturdy old pads... sensor welds haven't busted apart, acrylic hasn't cracked. Still hasn't lived as long as the trusty old Cobalt Flux, but that's currently living at my brother's house unused :/ He promised it to me as a wedding gift 4.5 years ago...

I have so many fond memories of my brother and I playing DDR growing up. Every Sunday we'd go to our local pizza place to play their Extreme machine for a couple of hours. At home we had a great setup with a dedicated Stepmania PC. We used to play for hours a day, with score spreadsheets and all lol I really, really do need to make a DDR page, I've got so much to say! The world has felt so much darker to me since it became difficult to find a DDR machine out there. You used to be able to just go to the movies and find a machine, bowling alley, absolutely any arcade... makes me sad.

I still need to get to our semi-local Round 1 to try out their A20 Plus machine. Covid got in the way of me going initially, then my health got bad. Now my health is a good bit better, but I still get scared physically exerting myself when I'm not at home. And to be honest, I prefer the comfort of my own Stepmania (now OutFox) setup at home where I can make things look like my cozy Extreme and Max 2. To this day, I truly struggle to quickly comprehend of the new 1-20 difficulty ratings (I say new, when this change happened like 15 years ago). I will stay an old fogey calling things "10 footers". I never adjusted to Heavy changing to Expert either and at this point never will because it's dumb.

Still working on FFXVI, though I think I'm closing in on the end. I've been having a good time, but so far it's definitely not one of my top FFs. It's a fun game, probably a good entry for those new to the series? Well, I'll share more of my thoughts on it in my game diary when I finish. I'll go play a bit now.

July 10, 2023

Brief preamble on my lifetime dental history: went to the same pretty "fancy" dentist since I was born up until mid-20s, that dentist retired, tried a new place for the past couple years that was ok but not great (they can't schedule appointments 6mos out for some reason, and sometimes when you call they can't schedule appointments at all?), so decided to try a new place. So this new place I decided to try is a large chain offering free consultations and it's covered by my insurance. Why not give it a try, I thought. Got there a bit early to do paperwork and all that, started waiting... about 40 minutes after my schedule appointment time they call me back, yay! Then I'm led to another waiting room, but hey, at least this one has better air conditioning than the main waiting area I was sweating in before. About 15-20 minutes later, finally get called back for x-rays. Pretty standard... at first. They did over a dozen different x-rays. I have never experienced this before in my life. You know those dental x-rays where you have to bite on the plastic thing and they put a camera-type thing up to your face? I had to do SO MANY of those and for some reason their little bite-piece guys were way more massive than any others I've encountered before. Like, gagging me, could barely close my mouth. Well, after all that I finally get to go to the exam room and wait more! Dentist shows up eventually, takes a minute to look at my teeth and declares that everything looks great and clean! He'll have the office manager come in to discuss pricing for the cleaning. She shows up pretty quickly and tells me that the dentist has recommended a "deep cleaning" that will cost me over $2,000 without insurance or over $1,000 with insurance. This deep cleaning is so thorough it'll require 2 different 90 minute appointments requiring numbing, etc. etc. Of course the dentist mentioned nothing about this to me and I've never been told I need anything like this before in my life.

I was so mad that I just wasted an hour and a half of my life on this fucking scam. Oh, and I forgot to mention that they were like, yeah, we know it's a lot of money, do you want financing? DO I WANT FUCKING FINANCING???? Like they think I'm so stupid. I was so furious about it all I almost cried. After I got home, I looked the practice up more and this basically seems to be their business model. Draw people in with the free consultations and then scare them into getting all this over-priced bullshit that they apparently urgently need. The dentist himself was very nice and honest about what he thought, so I think that upset me more because I felt so blindside by it. It the dentist seemed like a slimeball too, then it all makes sense, but he wasn't! So now I have to find a new dentist again. Have to find a new eye doctor too because mine doesn't take my insurance anymore. I'm really sad about that one because I loved that office ;~;

I was honestly surprised about the emotional response I had to the dentist incident. It seemed a bit over the top, I did actually cry a bit when I called my husband to complain about it. Like, yeah, I was upset about having wasted my time, but that shouldn't really bother me that much. I often have disproprotionate emotional responses to "small" things. Thinking on it more, maybe it's because I had expected and planned a certain series of events/timeframe and that was messed up. For some reason, I really struggle to cope with changes in plans like this. Maybe that's all, but either way I feel... disappointed? in myself for not just brushing it off. Which is silly, it's okay for me to be upset about it.

I've been having some ideas swirling around my head for making a page to contain all my Alistair love. I struggle to make progress on it because I want it to be the best I can make it. He deserves nothing but the best :3

July 1, 2023

God, I just heard 18+ by Scene Queen, and man it got me thinking. So many of my favorite bands have had allegations of all kinds come out over the years. After the Jesse Lacey allegations, I found it difficult to listen to Brand New for a long time. Different scene, but I was one of the biggest Seungri fans out there and he absolutely tainted Bigbang for me for years. And Max Bemis, god damn it.

"Headline spot goes to the abuser, half my idols are fucking losers"

You may say, it's literally Max Bemis who has been 1000% clear about who he is since the beginning and has been a general shithead for years now. And yeah, you're right. Say Anything is one of my favorite bands of all time, their music has meant so much to me and still does. I don't want to stop listening to their music, but I don't want to support Max at this point. Everyone seems to draw their own arbitrary lines about who, how, when, why they'll support or stop supporting artists who do something wrong. I don't think there's one right or wrong answer.

Are we all guilty for continuing to enjoy content made by abusers? I think we are (in the same way we're guilty for, say, eating factory farmed meat or buying products made using child labor [but then that's another question of, just because it's so commonplace and everyone does it, does it reduce one's individual level of guilt?]). I'm certainly there on the hook as I continue to listen to Say Anything. Though if you're out there defending these kinds of guys and saying they did nothing wrong, well... you may be a little more guilty than others.

On a totally unrelated note, I think I pulled a chest muscle vacuuming yesterday... v.v absolutely pathetic behavior. I hate vacuuming anyway. I hate carpet altogether, honestly. Wood floors are so much easier to keep clean. If you have fur or dirt on your wood floors, it's right there ready to be swept up. Carpets hold onto it all, disgusting.

Still working on FFXVI, now I've just finished going back to Rosaria and fighting Kupka. I really like Jill so far, she's a cool character. My husband and I are playing pretty much on the same pace, so it's been fun to exchange theories as we progress. OH! ALSO! STEAM SUMMER SALE!! I bought a few games so far. Finally bought the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition and can't wait to play that (after I finish FFXVI, then finish FFV that I left on hold for XVI). But then I think I said I was going to play Mass Effect after XVI, oh well, whatever I'm in the mood for is what I'll play. I wish I could play more games.

I'm (theoretically) on a little spending pause at the moment since we've had a few trips and big expenses over the past few months and will again in August. We booked our Disney trip for our anniversary next year!! I'm so excited to go back. I'm hoping for a miracle in wanting Muppets Great Moments in History to come back to Magic Kingdom by the time I go.

June 28, 2023

My thoughts feel disconnected lately so I'm just taking them as they come. I used to keep a journal with me at all times to jot down random thoughts, observations, photos, clippings... I've been thinking I should pick it up again. I had my annual physical recently and got my bloodwork results. Last year my "bad" cholesterol was a bit high, but this year everything looks good. I'm glad.

I have a family history of scary heart issues and other things. I don't smoke, never have, and I know that's probably a massive factor in the family history aside from simple genetics. Drinking, smoking, weight. Thankfully, those are things in my control (mostly). Sometimes that family history scares me. I'm not afraid that it will kill me, I'm afraid of protracted, painful illness leading to my death. Well, I already have a chronic condition that can be quite disabling (though generally not painful), and I've experienced what many people consider the most painful medical event (kidney stones... including one that caused a blockage [horrible, terrible, would not recommend]) so I'm familiar with pain and disability, but still... Anyway, I'm not afraid of death or dying. I'm only really afraid of it being painful. I'm already almost 30, and frankly for many years of my life did not think I'd live this long which is a whole other issue. Living a "full-length" life after being chronically suicidal to varying degrees for years... is weird. I wouldn't say I've been truly suicidal in a few years at this point, but I think my brain is forever warped.

Many people seem to be afraid of what comes after dying, or fears about what they'll leave behind. I took a course on death and dying in grad school (was super interesting). One of the things we learned about was a scale to assess various sources of fears of death. I can't remember what it was called (it wasn't Collett-Lester), but it was interesting to see how people's fears varied. Personally, I can't really understand the fear about "legacy"-type concerns. You'll be dead, you won't even know what's going on. Maybe if you believe in an afterlife, you think you'll be watching what's going on with the living, I don't know.

On that note, I've always found ghosts interesting, but never seen one or seen any good evidence of ghosts. I've been in many supposedly haunted locations and seen nothing. I even grew up in a very old house that random friends would tell me they "felt" was haunted... My best friend has had a couple of experiences that she attributes to ghosts, including one in which she saw a figure. She wouldn't lie about something like that, but I think there are many things that could look convincingly ghostly. Anyway, I'd like to see a ghost. Have any of you out there seen a ghost? If so, please send me an email and let me know about it.

The concept of an afterlife is interesting as a concept, I guess. I've always been interested in gods, mythology, etc., but I don't know if I feel any of it is real. The only time I've found myself wishing for or praying to a god (just in case) were times that I was truly miserable or afraid and needed something bigger to make sense of it all. I think I generally try to be a kind person, and if that's not good enough for whatever gods may or may not be out there, then I don't want to spend my life worshipping such gods anyway. Really I think I'm just more interested in the concepts themselves and the nature of humans to create these kinds of stories. This reminds me that I have my copy of Bulfinch's Mythology still sitting unread on my shelf. I've been meaning to get to it for a long time now... Sometimes I sit down to write feeling anxious and scattered, but find a point by the end. Well, maybe I've written about a topic or two here, but I'm not sure it was all that important in the end. It doesn't all have to be profound. At least I'm feeling more focused and ready to go get stuff done for the day. Also going to play more FFXVI!!!!!! I've been playing at a reasonable pace (I'm just now at the time jump to the new hideaway)

June 17, 2023

I'm exhauuuuusted. I seem to only really find time to work on the site when life has kicked my ass and I'm stuck in bed for a while. I got so sick from work yesterday, barely made it through the day, spent the second half of it with my laptop laying on the floor. I feel a bit better after a nice sleep, but I still ache and have no energy. We're supposed to be going to see my family to eat crabs tonight. Which, normally, would be a great thing, but maaaaan, I don't know if I can manage sitting up and picking crabs right now. I couldn't manage to take a shower last night, so I have to do that before we leave but it's going to be a struggle. I feel like crap. And then I've got tomorrow to try to recuperate before we have jesa for my husband's grandmother on Monday. His aunts and uncles from Korea are still here too so it's gonna be a whole big thing. Part of me dreads the day I'll be responsible for jesa preparations as the wife of the eldest son, but thankfully a bigger part of me knows that my husband wouldn't put that all on me even if it's the way things are done. Still, knowing me... even if he has no expectations of me, I'd probably put the burden on myself anyway.

I've been fantasizing and actually starting to make moves on doing some renovations around the house. My first plan is to redo the guest room. Right now we have a queen size bed in there that takes up the majority of the room, so I want to switch it to a day bed that can expand to a larger bed if needed. Then I can put a desk in there for a computer and maybe a little vanity space. Right now that room pretty much belongs to the cat, so I have to plan room for all of his stuff too. I'm thinking of like a dusty pink, sage green, with gold and white accents color scheme in there.

In other exciting news, we're finally starting to plan our Disney World trip for our 5th wedding anniversary next year. It's where we went for our honeymoon. During our honeymoon we went to Victoria and Albert's and had the most primo dining experience of my life lol while we were there, the staff suggested coming back for major anniversaries, and we decided that sounded good so here we are going again. Plus I just love Disney World (and Universal). Anyway, as for V&A, if it's ever in the budget, I highly, highly recommend it. The food was the best I've ever had, flavors I'd never even imagine. It's an incredible experience. Having more money to travel, and eat cool food, and do fun stuff is a nice perk of not having kids, even if it wasn't the life I planned.

Oh, also I've been majorly marketed to with the McDonald's Grimace Birthday thing. I'm just a fan of Grimace, what can I say... the milkshake is actually pretty good though. I saw they also made a GBC game, but I haven't tried it yet. Speaking of games, I'm so ready for FFXVI. I hope my preorder arrives on time. If not, I've intentionally not played the demo yet, so if it arrives later in the day (or worse...), I'll play the demo to hold me. I'm worried about getting spoiled, so I'm trying (and largely failing) to stay off sites where it might happen. I also bought the Mass Effect Legendary Edition on sale recently, so I'll finally understand the hype on those games maybe. I'm looking forward to it!

On a side note, I've been developing an interest in birds. I seem to notice them more and I'm just interested in figuring out what kinds of birds I'm seeing and hearing. Is this a natural feature of human aging? Seems like everybody develops a bird interest with age. Another side note, I can't believe I haven't mentioned season 3 of ITYSL on here. If I did I don't remember. It was so good.

"My life is nothing I thought it should be and everything I was worried it would become because for 50 seconds I thought there was monsters on the world."

June 5, 2023

We went on another trip to Busch Gardens! Also tried a new hotel this time and it was so much nicer than the last one for about the same price. I had a really great time. The original plan was to do two days at Busch Gardens and then one for Kings Dominion, but I ended up too fatigued to do all that.

Busch Gardens is currently having their Food & Wine festival, so I was really looking forward to trying all the new stuff! If you're not familiar, there's basically a ton of different booths featuring food and drink from or at least inspired by various countries. We bought the big 15 item sampler pass that gives a bit of a discount. We ate a lot, drank a lot lol I think my favorite items we had were the churrasco (Brazil), lamb chop (Australia), and gamba fritters, especially the sauce (Jamaica). The prickly pear margarita (Mexico) and blue Hawaiian (Hawaii, obv) were my favorite of the drinks. Absolute worst items to me: bananas foster cheesecake and chocolate peanut butter porter, both from the French Quarter booth... these might taste fine to someone who likes bananas and dark beers, I don't like either.

Our first day at the park was constant go, go, go to get all the rides we wanted done. We ended up getting to ride all the coasters that first day, including DarKoaster, the new one that replaced DarKastle. I liked DarKastle and was hoping I'd love DarKoaster. It is fun, it's fine, but I had higher expectations I guess. It's a good family coaster, so it meets a need for some. Luckily, we only waited about an hour (including a short downtime) and I don't think I would wait any longer than that for it. Maybe my opinion will change with time and future rides. Although the capacity seems really low, so I imagine waits will stay long for this one.

Also got to ride Pantheon! Finally! I've been so anxious to get on it and man did it live up to the hype. Of course I've been hearing people hyping this one up for the past year, but I tried my best to not pay too much attention so that I could go in semi-blind and it was SO MUCH BETTER that way! I had no clue about the "rollback"/swing launch or switch track and it was much more exciting not knowing what was going on!

Other "new to me" rides were InvadR and Tempesto. InvadR was... fine... I don't really have much to say about it. It's just meh. Tempesto made my husband nauseous. The seats and restraints are pretty uncomfortable, too. I haven't been on any of the other Sky Rocket II installations at other parks, and I don't think I feel a need to if I come across another. I might have enjoyed it more if it were at a park with a less amazing coaster lineup, but at Busch Gardens it's just... the worst. I'm a Tempesto hater. Full time.

So in the end I think my BGW rankings are like this: Apollo's Chariot > Pantheon > Verbolten > Alpengeist > Griffon > DarKoaster > Loch Ness Monster = InvadR > Tempesto.

On the non-coaster side, I was so happy to ride Escape from Pompeii again. I have such fond memories of this ride from when I was a kid, and it still holds up! I remember the fire and other effects being more intense back then though? It's also possible I just felt that way because I was a kid. The park is beautiful overall and great to just hang out in. I had such a great time at both the park and the hotel, I can't wait to go back *____*

Even the simple moments of the trip were so, so nice. Just relaxing in a secluded area of the park behind the aviary, hanging out by the pool, sitting in the gardens... it was all amazing. It's nice to have somebody I love with me to do all these things with. Though there are always hard times and struggles in life, I feel like I can always be happy if we're together.