January 6, 2024

A week into the new year already. Looking back on 2023... though I mostly wasted the last few months in depression, it was a good year. I came to a true peace with childlessness. I learned to enjoy life in a new way outside of my original plans. I loved my husband more than ever, and he loved me more too. I spent more time exploring fun new hobbies. I (sometimes) made more of an effort to socialize. I kept getting healthier. I turned 30!

For 2024, I want to continue all of that. Keep learning to just do my thing regardless of what people think. Get more exercise, build up my stamina, get serious about DDR again maybe? It's been a few months now since I've played at all... I want to keep working on improving the house more, but have to be careful not to get carried away. Went a little too hard moving furniture and cleaning up yesterday and pulled something in my chest, pathetic. I also want to take more photos this year. I love looking back at photos, but I also love just experiencing things in the moment without worrying about taking a picture, so it'll be hard for me. Also to keep on pushing beyond my social anxiety. I just have to do it.

Oh! My top albums for 2023, here (click to expand):

For my birthday I received my very first miniature build kit. I'm totally new to it, so definitely clumsy and learning along the way, but it's pretty enjoyable :3 This is the one I'm working on:

Photo from the shop, obviously not mine. I was so proud when I put the door together. It actually swings! I think I probably felt extra proud because I stabbed myself in the thumb while trying to drill a hole for the hardware, so it felt like more of an ordeal.

Growing up there was a woman who lived a block away. She was older (probably in her 60s?), lived alone, I don't think she was ever married or had kids. But she was a serious doll collector - all kinds. She had the most amazing dollhouse that she had built herself. Just amazingly decorated and detailed. She would let me and my neighbor come over to check out her dolls and dollhouse. Such a nice memory.

It's a bit gloomy outside today, and even though I've been much more energetic, my cleaning-induced injury means I should probably rest a bit today. Will I use the time to work on all the website projects I've left half (or less) done? Well, that's my intention at least. I guess we'll see.

December 27, 2023

The time period between Christmas and New Years is always weird. Time doesn't feel real, and I'm not sure what I should be focused on other than just resting up and eating leftovers.

I'm 30 now. I had my birthday a couple weeks ago. It feels good. I feel more solid and confident in who I am. Insecurities about my looks or about being "weird" or whatever get less as I get older. It's really nice. For my birthday, my husband took me to paint pottery! We both made mugs and I was so happy with how they came out. I haven't painted pottery in years and had been mentioning it, so I'm glad we got to go.

It was a lot of fun. For me, spending time together working on something or creating something is the best kind of quality time. After that we went out to a nice dinner. The food and drinks were good, and the restaurant had a nice cozy vibe. Some of the music choices were super bizarre though! Mostly jazzy holiday classics, but with a few very strange remixes thrown in. I ordered a mule, which made me realize yet again that my standards for something tasting "gingery" are quite high. It's probably because I tend to drink pretty strong ginger tea often enough that I've just built up a tolerance - all this to say that the drink tasted fine, but not too flavorful...

As for Christmas, everything went well, but just didn't feel too Christmas-y. It wasn't cold, first of all, but just the feeling outside wasn't right. Christmas has never felt quite the same since my parents moved out of my childhood home a few years ago anyway. Sometimes I like to go and look at the house on Google Maps just to see myself standing out in the yard with my now long since gone dog. Look around and see all the neighbors houses and gardens exactly as they should be. Nanny just down the street sitting out on her porch. Feels like home.

I always hated my hometown growing up because I didn't fit in so much, but I miss it as I get older. I know if I were really to move back, it wouldn't be the same. People have moved away and died; I'm only remembering the best parts. The warm memories seem to leave out how I really felt while living there.

People in my current neighborhood don't really do much for holidays. It makes the winter seem so much colder walking down the street and just seeing darkness. No comfort from the candles in the windows as you pass by, no joy from the colorful lights hanging from each house, no eye-rolling (and secret admiration) for the houses who really go all out with all kinds of tacky lawn decorations. There isn't really much sense of community here anyway, so I guess that's why people don't see a point. It's sad to me, but since I don't plan on staying here forever, I haven't put in any effort to connect anyway.

I did make some cookies this year, though maybe not as many as in years past. I've just been tired. I got a cookie press as a secret santa gift, so that was fun to try out.

I'm not usually a serious New Years resolution person, but I have been thinking about some things, especially since I'm now in a new decade of my life! One thing I thought of was that I'd like to visit at least one new place a year. That's already on the books for next year, so yay. We've also got a Disney World trip planned soon, so I've been trying to up my daily steps to train for 15-20k+ step days every day lol

Hm, maybe someday I should tell people I moved my site, huh? Maybe today... also should respond to messages... As long as I'm moving forward in some way... doing something. It's all okay. No matter which way I go, it's okay. Just keep moving.

December 1, 2023

I'm getting better. So far this week I've completed everything on my to-do list and some extras on top of that. It's so nice to wake up to a clean house, really makes me feel better from the very start of the day. I feel a little proud of myself this week. I haven't sat in the dark looping Millstone for hours in a couple of weeks now, so that's good.

We saw my family for Thanksgiving, which went fine. I made a very low-effort pumpkin pie that turned out perfectly acceptable. Hopefully next year I'll be feeling better and able to do something a bit nicer. I ate some good food, but it was hard to fully enjoy.

Last week I had my 1 year follow up with the urologist and found out I have two small kidney stones... one on each side. I really thought I was done with them, but I guess not. That was pretty discouraging because I've been working so hard with my diet and water drinking, but it's not enough. I literally drink at least 3 liters of just water every day! Managing the diet portion is more difficult because I'm managing several things at once that all have pretty much completely contradictory diet recommendations. It's all just left me with a lot of anxiety (what if it happens at a bad time, what if I can't manage the pain, what if, what if, what if...)

As for last entry's resolution to respond to all messages, well... I didn't do that. I didn't even post the entry, it just sat on my computer. I'll get to it... by the end of the year for sure... right? As always, I just feel ashamed of myself for letting it go on this long, but I know if it were me I'd be happy to hear from a friend no matter how long it's been. I need to stop making excuses for myself and just stop ignoring people.

I've almost completely finished my Christmas shopping. I just have a few more things to buy. I haven't got anything for my dad yet, but he's always difficult to shop for.

It's been getting cold and we had our first flurries recently, so I've been enjoying my electric blanket. My cat loves it too, though he doesn't really understand how it works. He just lays on it and sometimes it's hot, sometimes not. He struggles with knowing what to expect from technology. We got him an automatic feeder this year for two reasons: one is that he knows exactly when his mealtime is and will become a terrible nuisance if you're not right on time, and two it helps when we leave the house for a day or two. But since we've had the auto feeder, he doesn't seem to understand time so well. He'll go and sit and stare at it an hour+ before mealtime. He's had it for months now, but still does this.

Another interesting meal-related quirk of his is that he loves to wait for the dog to finish eating and then drink the "broth" that's left over. We add water to the dog's food, so there's always some leftover. For whatever reason, this cat considers it a true delicacy. He is never late for broth time and he always comes away trotting so happily. It's very cute.

Oh, and I started my annual Christmas movie binge after Thanksgiving. Mostly the Hallmark/Lifetime fare. This is a sacred tradition of mine. Usually as I get closer to Christmas I start watching the movies I really love, but after Thanksgiving I watch all the bad Christmas movies I can. I watched A Christmas Frequency today and it was particularly bad.

My husband's birthday is coming up and he keeps insisting he doesn't want to do anything other than for me to make miyeokguk which I do every year anyway. He's been adamant that he wants to spend his time studying extra since the first of his exams is this coming week. I'll just put my energy into planning something for after his exams, I guess. Though we'll be heading off to Disney shortly after that, so maybe that's enough excitement. Actually, we have a lot of fun stuff going on next year. I'm looking forward to it.

I guess I should go get some stuff done. I'm taking it a bit easy today since I've gone pretty hard all week, but I still want to keep up the momentum to to and keep myself from backsliding. I'm going to keep getting better. I feel determined.

November 19, 2023

I feel like there's something I need to express that I just can't get out. I'm embarassed by my own embarassment and shame-fueled isolation. I haven't even linked this new site to my old one and I feel afraid to. I know if I completely delete the old one and sever all ties I'm sure I will regret it in the future, but it's all I want to do lately.

I tell myself no one cares about me, and I feel it. But this is just me doing the same terrible things I've always done. The problem is not that no one cares about me. It may be a small group, but they are there, they are real, they matter to me, so why do I do this? No, the real problem that I'm too busy with my self-loathing to even properly see the people who do care. Of course I feel ashamed of it. It's a behavior I hate in other people... probably because it hits a bit too close to home. When I get like this I just find any excuse to dismiss any show of concern. Even if the world stopped turning and everyone took time to pay attention to me it wouldn't be enough. Because the problem is me, not the level of attention I'm getting from anyone else. I am a bottomless pit.

What kind of person complains about this knowing she has messages she's been ignoring? Me, I guess.

Is it even really possible to change these deep, ugly parts of yourself? Sure, people can make changes: lose weight, start a new hobby, stop drinking... but how often do you really see people change these deep-seated patterns of behavior that they've been repeating since childhood? I've been through years of therapy and meds, no longer doing either, but I can't say how much they'd help anymore anyway.

I hate to admit it, but there is a part of me that could not bear to separate the things that comprise the bad parts from me. If I am not sad, if I am not alone, who am I at all... for a start: I'm going to resolve to respond to unanswered messages this week. I said this last week in my head, but now that I've written it out it's real.

Well, aside from all of that... what else is new? I did buy a couple of paint samples for the guest room updates, but neither was quite right. I've picked out two new ones that will hopefully work better. The two I bought before were both too light. It's been almost a month since, but I did buy the desk and bed too. They're all set up and I'm pretty happy with them. The room is a mess right now, but even with crap all over the floor it feels much more open than it did with the giant queen size bed in there. I've been looking into pillows to dress the daybed to make it look more couch-like, and holy crap bolster pillows and covers are expensive. I don't have a working sewing machine anymore and haven't done any hand sewing in years other than small repairs/maintenance stuff, otherwise I'd just try to make them myself. Plus, motivation hasn't been exactly at its highest lately.

We had to at least get the desk and stuff set up quickly since my husband is currently in a program at work to prepare for a promotion. Lots of hours outside of work studying every day. But he does get paid overtime, which is nice. I worried about how he'd handle working so much with the extra study time, but I've been really proud of him. He's not missed a single day of study and has really been putting in the work. I have to think of something to celebrate after he passes the exams.

November 7, 2023

I just want to deactivate all my accounts and delete everything. I've been ignoring messages for weeks now (not that there's many), and I feel bad about it. I don't know what to say. I hate having eyes on me, but I like having my website. Well, when I'm feeling well and motivated to actually work on it. I just wish there was some magical "vibe check" you have to pass before seeing the site. It's the idea of people with bad intent or who just want to... mock me I guess? that I worry about. I realize this is like big anxiety brain stuff. I am just a random person on the internet, truly no one cares about what I'm posting here (and that's a good thing).

I started using my stupid light box again to see if it'll help with my mood at all. Or at least just help me get moving in the mornings. I don't like it, but I know it's worth trying. Actually, these past few days I have had some bursts of productivity so that's something to be proud of. I am still spending an inordinate amount of time spacing out staring at either the wall or computer screen. Depression is a very funny thing from an outside perspective, honestly. Like, alright, maybe if you started going outside, ate real food, turned off the 24/7 stream of sad music, and did literally anything other than laying down you would feel better. But I can't. I'm the one in charge of my brain and body, so how is it possible that I can't just make it do something better? I don't know!

Halloween went okay. I dressed up as a witch to hand out candy. We got lots of compliments on our costumes and decorations, which was nice. I always like seeing the cute little kids in their costumes. My husband was dressed as Woody from Toy Story and this little girl and her baby brother were dressed as Jessie and Woody and they were SO thrilled to see him. It was adorable. The group of teenage boys who stole our candy & bowl last year came by in an even larger group. They were unusually chummy for a group of teenage boys, probably because they know that we know who they are. I decided to just be nice and give them some candy anyway.

Oh, also, my husband bought me a canned bubble tea which I've never had before so I'm curious about it. Maybe I'll try that today as a little treat for getting some chores done. Once I've finished up what's leftover of our Halloween candy I'll start trying to cut back on sugar... which reminds me! I recently had some bloodwork done and my cholesterol was abnormally low. It wasn't flagged as being a bad or abnormal thing on the results, I guess they only care if it's under a certain level, not if it goes too low. But from what I've seen online having your cholesterol too low might not be a good thing either. I've never had it be too low before, so maybe it's just a weird fluke. I don't want to start eating a bunch of red meat or something just to get it up...

I've been noticing extra white around my dog's face these days. He'll be 11 in just a few months. I hope he'll be the next dog to break the world record for longest life. I've had so many pets throughout my life and obviously been through loss many times, but when he goes, I really just don't know how I'll go on. I've never had such a connection with any animal. Thankfully, he's still very healthy and energetic so I hope we'll have many more years together.

I've been working on a completely revamped about page, which is why I haven't uploaded the old one to the new site yet. I'm struggling to find complete satisfaction with it, though. I'll get something done and not be happy enough, redo it, still not happy, redo, repeat. I also have a concept in mind for a new music page, but haven't started on that at all. I wish I had more time to do things.

October 17, 2023

I know writing isn't going to "fix" me, but I feel like I have to on the off chance that it might. I think one of my most detrimental personal qualities is my belief that continued rumination will somehow unlock a crucial insight I've missed up until that point. This pretty much never happens, I just end up stuck in my head more than before. I guess writing is healthier than just sitting and thinking if it has to be one of the two.

Things I know will make me feel better: go for a walk, have a nice bath, watch a comfort movie, get off the internet. I know all of this to be true, but it's hard to make myself do any of it. I've been in this spot before, and I know that every time I have eventually gotten better. I think I've just been through it so many times that the hopelessness drifts away from being a complete and utter hopelessness and more like a "well, you know you're going to get depressed again, it's fine, just ride it out, nothing else to do..." Which isn't great but it's a lot better than thinking nothing will ever get better. A walk might be a bit ambitious, but I want to try to at least force myself to have a bath today. I have been showering daily, but a bath always seems to make me feel better. Maybe I'll watch Titanic or Mamma Mia or The Wedding Singer or any of my other feel better movies.

I feel fine after my flu shot, btw. Fatigued, but that's normal for me. Every time I go to the pharmacy these days I just come away thinking I'm so glad I don't work at a pharmacy. Every single one I've been to post-covid has been horrendously understaffed with a horde of people impatiently complaining about the staff. I feel so sorry for the people working there. It's not their fault.

I bought the last couple of pieces I needed for my Halloween costume. I have no official plans this year other than staying home and handing out candy. Last year I was sick on Halloween and stayed inside the house watching movies with a bowl outside the door. A group of shithead teenagers stole the whole thing. Yes, even the bowl. So my husband and I had to go running out in the rain while sick to get our bowl back. Those little jerks pretended they didn't know where the candy was even though we saw them dump it in their backpacks. But obviously there's no use getting into it with a bunch of asshole children. It was a lot of money's worth of candy, though ;~; Some people just suck. But - we had neighbors kind enough to give us enough candy to refill our bowl so that other kids wouldn't miss out.

I need to summon the motivation to get to work on my to do list for today. I didn't finish yesterday's so I need to finish that too. I just don't feel like it. OH!! I need to buy pumpkins for carving (and pumpkin bread). I just need to get myself together. I'm considering buying a domain and moving off Neocities. I only held off this long since I wasn't sure I'd keep with the site, but I'm coming up on a year now so I think I'd be ok paying a bit for a domain (and hosting if I can't get free hosting).

I've been really wanting to revamp my about and music pages. I just feel like I could make them so much better. Sometimes I think about pasting my website to do list on here, but I think I'm the only one who could understand it. It's full of half-thoughts, words I found interesting, lyrics, etc... just things I felt relevant at some point. I wish I would be more consistent about turning idea into reality.

October 16, 2023

So far today I've been unusually cold considering it's not really cold out. Can't seem to warm up. And I have to go out later to get my flu shot ;~; I usually feel a bit sick the night after and next day after getting it, but maybe this time will be different.

The Astarion-inspired perfume (Trickery from Kronos Olfactory!) I ordered finally arrived a few days ago. I also ordered Lupine from them while I was at it. I wore Trickery yesterday and Lupine today and I've liked both, though I think Lupine is a bit more of my typical scent. I tend to be an unsophisticated gourmand girl for daily wear. Trickery scared me a bit at first glance because the rosemary was strong, but it wore down really nice!

I'm still working on redoing the guest room, but the unnecessarily large bed is almost completely moved out of the room! I've been doing it piece by piece, and it's almost done. I ordered the desk I decided on and it should arrive next week! I just can't make up my mind about a desk chair... I did finally narrow my paint choices down to a few colors I need to get samples of. And I found some curtains I think are going to look so nice! I can't wait to get everything done and enjoy my nice new room ^^

Still feeling gloomy, drained, bleh... but what's the point in going on about it...? My own self-centeredness disgusts me, but if the alternative is to try to distract myself and just fake being normal, well, I don't want to lie to myself. Just ignore it, move on, take a break to indulge it in small doses, don't forget about it, I don't know, whatever. I'm not going to help myself. I don't want to - this is who I am (at the moment). Ashamed of myself yet can't stand the idea of hiding it. I'll stare at a wall for the next few hours. What more is there to say? I'm tired.

I must be miserable to bear witness to, and I do feel sorry for that - though... it's my site, so I'll just carry on.

October 12, 2023

I find myself in a hole again. Something inside me keeps digging without knowing. I realized today that I've just been lying to myself all these years. In just a couple of weeks it will be 12 years since my hospitalization. Every year I dress the season up with decorations, costumes, parties... I say it's my favorite, the time of year I feel the best, most myself. But I just feel worn down these past few years. I can't keep it up. Sometimes I wonder if I died that day after all. I don't know what to make of myself. My life. I feel as if my body is hollow but I can't move. I haven't been sleeping. I haven't been eating as I should. I'm still somewhat clean so I guess there's that. I haven't even been doing... anything at all. I lay in bed, I listen to music. I can't play games, I can't go out, I can't read; nothing works.

I'm in my self-created pool of misery and every day lately I keep wading in, just to see. Sometimes I think I'd be happier if I just stayed here instead of flitting in and out, up and down. Here I drown in two feet of water. Feel sorry for myself and hate myself for it. Then feel sorry for hating myself. It's pathetic, it's reprehensible, what did I ever have to be miserable over?

And now I've got a text from a co-worker. Out of my brooding, into the world. Maybe. I want to quit my job. It makes me unhappy, but if I don't have a job I will probably rot away in my bed. It's so strange because I know I've said so many times before that I love days I'm not working because there's so much to do. I'm not sure which one is more truthful.

I opened the text. Found out some news about what awaits me tomorrow at work. Literally the work day from hell. I feel sick just thinking about it. My fucking incompetent manager apparently doesn't know how to manage her staff and let too many people have the day off tomorrow leaving me to manage the workload of multiple people. Alone. I know that may not sound like much for some jobs, but for my job, it's a nightmare. God, I want to quit. I hate that place so much. I want to scream. I want to cry. I can't bear it.

After I got the text I checked my work email (which I never do from home) and had an infuriating email from my manager. She's trying to fluff it up "you'll be everyone's hero!!" meanwhile she's doing fucking next to nothing to carry the load?! It all feels like it never ends. Well, I don't feel so sad anymore. Just incredibly anxious for tomorrow. My husband is getting a big promotion and once he's settled in that position I won't have to work anymore if I don't want to. I can't wait to quit. 5 years of my life wasted in that place. No real appreciation, the pay is not good, crazy turnover, I don't feel good about the work we do... there's no reason to stay.

I think I've talked about this before, but I've not really liked any jobs I've had. Maybe it's just a personality defect of mine, or maybe I'm not wrong and it's better to spend your days doing things that actually matter and make you feel fulfilled. Sometimes I just want somebody to tell me that I'm doing a good job. But maybe that'd be a lie. Anyway, nobody else is going to comfort me.

Self: you're doing your very best. Life is hard, and your pain is real. Have some compassion for yourself. You deserve love and care. You aren't a bad person, you aren't unlovable. No mother will come to wipe your tears. It's the truth and no amount of wishing and waiting will make it so. Be your own comfort.

It will pass. It will. It has to.

I always come back to this song when I feel this way. Just listening to the song and reading the comments on the video makes me feel less alone. Ah, we're all suffering, I guess. This comment in particular really hit my heart:
"너무 초라해서 날 다독일 힘도 없을 때 나 대신 날 사랑해주는 노래"
A song that gives me love when I'm so insignificant/pathetic that I don't have the strength to comfort myself. It's hard to translate in a way that sounds as nice without making it clunky in English, but hopefully you get the idea. It's just nice to know that I'm not really alone, as much as I feel it.

October 9, 2023

I went to Dark Nights at Hershey this past weekend. As much as I love Halloween and theme parks, I've never been to a Halloween event at a theme park! I have been to a standalone scare attraction before and had a lot of fun there, but for some reason just never made it to any others. We were supposed to go to Dark Nights last year, but saw a lot of disappointing reviews so decided to skip it since it was the first year they did it, maybe they needed time to work out some kinks, you know.

We managed to do all 5 houses and ride most coasters! Before we got there I was hoping to eat a bunch of themed food, but honestly, we only ate a few things. We got this hot chicken that comes on bread and with a pickle (and supposedly cocoa sprinkled on the chicken but I didn't taste it). It was the smallest piece of chicken, like a slightly large boneless wing. So it was mostly just crumbly, sad bread. The chicken did taste good, and the pickle was fine, but it was $11 v.v The best things we ate? Mini donuts from a food truck! We got apple cider and smores - they were soooo good.

As for the houses and scare zones, they were mostly pretty good! I didn't know how scary they'd be, but it felt like a decent level for a more family-oriented park. It's not the scariest place I've ever been in my life, but it wasn't too baby-proofed. The theming in the houses was honestly much better than I expected, I was impressed! My favorites were the catacombs themed house, the carnival themed house, and the mine themed house (in no particular order). I think the mine one was the scariest, at least they got me good in there lol

My favorite scare zone was the Midway of Misery. The entrance looks so cool and I love "spooky circus/carnival" as a theme. The music there was fun too. At one point they played Scream by Avenged Sevenfold - what a throwback. There weren't a ton of scare actors in a lot of the scare zones, so I wouldn't expect them to be very scary, but still fun theming. They really got creative with lighting, sounds, fog, smells, decor, etc. to great effect.

Unfortunately, I only took one picture the whole time we were there. As we were leaving the last house, I saw a great shot across the water. The fog was perfectly framing the swings, it looked so cool and spooky. But like I said, we were literally exiting one of the houses at the time and I was scared someone was going to jumpscare me if I stopped to take a photo so I kept walking. My instinct was good, because not 10 steps further someone popped out. So we had to walk around to the other side of the swings to get a much worse shot ;~;

Well, either way... the red lights were cool even if the photo sucks. During the last hour, everything except for the Dark Nights specific attractions was closed and the park really emptied out. It enhanced the eerie vibes by like 10000%. Also I kept seeing people with these Dark Nights light up cups that looked so cool... I was so very tempted to buy one, but realistically when would I use it other than for that one night? I talked myself out of it, but they were cool. No matter how old I get, it seems that light up stuff never loses its appeal.

I've been absolutely drained after all of the excitement, though. Too tired to do much of anything at all other than mentally planning my guest room renovations. Finally, finally, finally I can get started on it. Spending money on "non-essentials" is hard sometimes, but I know it'll really improve things once that room is more functional. Plus, we genuinely do need the office space we're planning to put in there. My greatest dilemma at the moment is figuring out the paint color for the walls! I plan to do like a dusty pink/sage green color scheme in the bedding/curtains/decor etc. but I also have a family heirloom quilt that I want to display in there. It's mostly white, with baby pink and baby blue details. I think I can hang that on the wall and make it work, but I just can't make up my mind on the paint color. I'm torn between a light muted green, light greyish blue, or a pale dusty blush. I know I want the color of the wall to be pretty muted, but the specifics I just can't decide on.

I think I might get some samples and see how they look as the light changes in the room. I'm excited though. It's fun to have a project.

September 30, 2023

Boy, I wasn't fucking kidding when I said "slow updates due to Astarion hours". I've just been busy in general even aside from that. I wrote the entry below like 3 weeks ago and never uploaded it. Also never worked any further on that new layout for this page lol this is as good as it gets, I can't bring myself to care about it right now and this works fine.

I had the most exhausting day yesterday and still feel so wiped out. For starters I had to do my BLS re-cert and that MOTHERFUCKING MANNEQUIN. Ohhhhhh my god. (Also why are the CPR dummies all called "manikins" instead of mannequins? Who made that dumb fucking decision?) ...anyway... the computer feedback program they use to test you is soooooo exacting and I had to repeat and repeat and repeat. So I'm drenched in sweat, my arms are exhausted, my hair is a mess and this thing keeps failing me for the smallest things ;~; I did pass it, but my god. And it's not just me being incompetent. Literally everyone I know hates that thing. And aside from that, the whole day was just crazy. I need some rest...

But after I rest a bit... ⋆˙⟡♡ Astarion ♡⟡˙⋆ 2023 is my year of healing my heart through loving fictional men. Alistair and now Astarion. I knew going into the game that I'd like Astarion, but I didn't expect to love him so much. I'm so happy that he's so popular because there is so much incredible fanart and merch out there! !!Spoilers for Astarion romance ahead!!

I'm not going to write a whole thesis here, but I think anyone with any kind of trauma of a similar type will connect with his story. Unfortunately, I keep seeing people online saying that Astarion is asexual because he's afraid and somewhat sex-repulsed, just going through the motions due to his history. He clearly is not asexual, as he does initiate sex of his own free will, after clearly stating how he finally feels safe and seen for himself as a person and not an owned object. And he says in no uncertain terms that he wants to experience sex with you as his love interest, because he loves and trusts you and finally feels comfortable in knowing what he actually wants. Complete sex repulsion, varying levels of sexual avoidance, and dissociation during sex are so common after sexual trauma - that doesn't make you asexual. Wanting to be seen as more than a sex object doesn't make you asexual.

I'm honestly not really sure why it bothers me that I keep seeing people saying this. I think I'm taking it personally unintentionally, even though it's not about me at all. It's just... I don't know. I am aware he is a fictional character without real feelings, that's why I'm saying I think I'm taking it personally. I don't have a problem with that being your headcanon, but pretending it's the objective truth is annoying. There's little in this game that can be considered "absolute canon" due to the huge variety in player choice, but I'd say this part of Astarion's characterization is one of those truly canon items.

This also reminds that I've seen people arguing on Twitter (gotta stay off that damn site) about making "bad" choices for Astarion. Like, is it morally wrong to ascend him? I think not. It's a choice in video game. It makes me feel sad for him even though he isn't real, but I think we owe it to ourselves to explore the depths of our human capacity for ugliness in fiction. I also see a lot of people screaming about shipping Astarion and Cazador like people haven't been shipping shit like that since the beginning of time. I'm personally not into it at all and it does make me feel icky, but I think you should be able to explore it if you want to. It's simply fictional.

I guess I've drifted into that pro/anti debate again which brings me to: how on earth did we get to a point where people have started believing that "pro" stands for "problematic" lol I truly cannot bring myself to feel entitled to dictate what fictional ships and tropes people can enjoy. Sure, say you think it's weird or gross or it makes you uncomfortable, but trying to tell people they can't do that and that they should die? Be depraved all you want, it's your business. How boring the world would be if we all stopped creating art that pushes the boundaries of morality and taste. Also, just... why does it matter what someone else wants to make fanart/fic of? Just don't look at it, who cares. Frankly the strong "anti" mindset people remind me a lot of religious people who say "how can someone act morally without religious dogma to dictate morality for them?" as if it's impossible to figure out how to be a decent person without someone else telling you how. In this case instead of a god telling you, it's the media you consume. "If I see something bad happen in media, how am I supposed to know it's bad?"

I think the lesson for me here is to stop spending time on Twitter because there's rarely anything of use there, just bad/annoying takes on things that don't matter at all. But there are so many cool artists I follow on there that aren't on Tumblr ;~; I hadn't been using Tumblr for the past few months since that hideous redesign, but just recently started using the dashboard unfucker and it feels more comfortable again. Definitely recommend checking it out if you've also been troubled by the ugly new Tumblr dash.

Totally unrelated to anything here, but Spotify played me some old Tegan & Sara today and man it took me back. Still one of my most listened to music groups; the entirety of If It Was You, So Jealous, and The Con just put me back in an exact time and place. Heartbroken, hopeless, self-hating, alone on the park swings for hours everyday just listening to music and people watching, desperately seeking an escape. I can't stop feeling incredibly sorry for younger me, I wish I could comfort her. Doesn't everyone feel that way, though? I think the depth of the pain I've felt has made me into a better person. As much as I hate to admit that something good can come from suffering...

September 6, 2023

I'm back from the beach! I'm "working on" (read: thinking about working on) a new non-summery layout for this page so probably won't actually publish this until it's done. It was a great trip! I ended up catching a cold (thankfully not Covid) and was out of commission for 2 days, so I couldn't do everything I wanted, but still made the best of it!

Every year when we go to the beach, we start out trying to be morning people because that's what you're "supposed to" do, but end up remembering that it's just not for us. The early evening hours on the beach are unbeatable. Most people have left by then, the temperature is way more comfortable, and the vibe is just impeccable. When the sky is starting to darken with all the pinks and oranges, loud families have left so there's no sound but the waves... it's so relaxing.

I also ended up having a ton of success finding seashells this trip! One day I made a heart out of my collection.

As I was finishing up the seashell heart, a little girl came up and was watching and asking about it. After I finished it, she came back a while later asking some more questions, and then starting moving shells around. Harmless or so I thought. Then she started throwing sand over it and running her hands through it, messing the whole thing up. I kept telling her that I worked so hard on it and asked her to stop, but the damage was done so fast and there was no fixing it ;~; I'm just glad I got pictures of it. That same day there was another kid who kept yelling at and chasing away seagulls. It made me sad.

We have a yearly ritual of visiting the same fortune teller machine on the boardwalk every year. We used to save up our tickets over the years for bigger prizes, but over the past few years we've stopped playing ticket redemption games because it just feels like a waste of money. Although I did get an immersion blender one year. That I probably could've just bought at a store for half the price (or less).

I also had tons of good food on the trip. So much food. Now back to real life where I can't just eat and drink whatever/whenever I want ._. I'm so glad I cleaned the house top to bottom and left no major chores for me to have to do when I got home. Other than unpacking, but that's not too bad. And now that I'm home I finally get to start Baldur's Gate 3!!!!!! FINALLY. Plus there's the moogle tomestone event going on in FFXIV right now that I gotta get working on. Sea of Stars looks really good too... there's just so many great games and not enough time.

But with starting BG3 comes Astarion so updates will likely be sparse in that time ^^'