Being Betrayed by Strangers: The Invisible Audience

I was going to work more on a couple of posts I’ve been writing for the past couple of days, one being a sort-of follow up to my last post on stress, and others more silly a something Lexy and I talked of, but here I am writing this.

I don’t know how many people go out and read unfinished or finished works by strangers on the internet–silly, I know, considering I’m currently writing to an invisible audience who may have already left for another site by now–but I’m going to assume that we all have people who we like to read from.

And it really is reading FROM.

It feels like Grammar will soon come up to me and give me a good smack for that, but you are reading what strangers have put out to the Invisible Audience, born from their imaginations.

How they put things, how they see things, how they cope with what has happened, we read it and we judge it and we decide if we like it or not, and if we read enough of it, we like enough of what we’ve read, like how they’ve written, we become fans.

We read more.

We like them more, FOR reading of their ideas.

We develop this faith in them, not like a religion, but like a childs’ faith that Santa exists, or their faith that Adults (particularly Parents) know pretty much everything and can always tell when you’ve done something You Shouldn’t Have Done.

This faith says that they will continue to write things you like.

They, this stranger you have put faith into, will continue producing this writing quality you enjoy.

I don’t know WHAT yo end up reading online, you could read news articles, you could read blogs, you could read published books that may have been put onto the internet with or without permission, you could read fanfiction, porn, ads, tweets, facebooks updates…

I really don’t know, but guaranteed you have a site that you go to regularly, or a writer you check up on often, or SOMETHING that keeps you coming back….

Because you have faith that they will continue putting something you find interesting and GOOD online.

The way it develops for most people, I believe, is that you read one thing from them, this Stranger, that you like.

So you check out other things of theirs that they’ve posted.

I find myself doing this the most on fanfiction.net

I read a story I like and check out what else the writer has posted on their profile.

I don’t read EVERYTHING of theirs, no, but if they have written something for a fandom that I like, and the plot summary or teaser interests me, I will read more of what they’ve written.

In some cases, like what prompted me to start writing this particular post, I like what I’ve read of what they’ve written that I decide to click on the stories that they’ve put up in a fandom I like that I don’t think seems particularly interesting.

I caught myself doing this for an author called esama (BETRAYAL! s/he’s moved all her fics and it’s taken me this long to find them HERE!) after reading a good deal of this Strangers Sherlock stories that I decided that I like how they portray the characters, I like how they’ve used certain crossovers, I like pretty much everything.

So I started reading one story that I didn’t think looked that interesting, and then decided it was really good. Went onto the next one that I thought didn’t look interesting, and decoded I really liked it.

On the third one, which is just now in another tab, waiting for me to get this thought out of my head before reading it, it crossed my mind that right now, I’m expecting this story to be good, I expect to be adding it to my ‘favourites’ list, and I expect that I will be extremely disappointed in this author if this doesn’t turn out to be awesome.

I mean, I already have this author on my subscriptions list, and on my favourites list, what if this turns out to be a BAD story? What if it’s total crap?

I don’t know that it’s crap at the moment, as I haven’t read it yet, but I feel like I would be feeling pretty betrayed if this author who I don’t know doesn’t live up to my expectations.

I know that betrayed may not be the right word, but disappointed may also work if you don’t want to admit that the inner 5-year-old inside of you that judges everything would feel betrayed–betrayed in the same way as I remember being when my Dad refused to tell me what something meant and directed me to a dictionary, the same way I know I felt betrayed when, in that last year of desperately believing in Santa Clause I decided to give him one last chance to prove he was real, and he failed. Because in my mind, if Santa was really as amazing as everyone said he was, he would get the letter I left out for him on Christmas night and produce whatever it was I put on that letter even on such short notice.

Of course Santa is real, but he has more of a business happening, wheer he reads your mind and puts gifts in stores for family members to buy.

But that’s a theory for another post.

But the faith that we all put into strangers still amazes me.

The following that some writers get is staggering…

Or, if you’re more of a YouTube person, consider the vloggers out there.

You hit that subscribe button figuring that they will continue giving you the entertainment you are looking for.

Sure, you get a sort of relationship with people over the internet, reviewing/commenting and giving your opinion on what they have displayed for the Invisible Audience, but they are still, essentially, strangers.

And yet, on YouTube I get excited when one of my comments gained 21 thumbs up…

Strangers are fun…

The internet is a wonderful place, I think…

Sometimes You Need a Break. Dealing with Stress.

Slightly more serious post than my other ones, but this one is something I think a good number of students (at least university/college students) may find important.

I am going to get this out of the way and say I don’t do stress well.

Or rather, I stress well, I don’t DEAL with stress well. Here’s how I think of my stress dealings:

I bottle it up, store it away since its so unpleasant to deal with. Later, when I once again get stressed, I bottle that up too, even as the aftershocks of the feeling shake up the last bottle of stress.

Unlike real life, the tremors of stress stay with me, though I ignore it, and so it slowly shakes the second, and eventually third, fourth, fifth bottles up as well, building up pressure that I also ignore (as I am so very good at it) until the bottles I use start having trouble containing it.

I feel like, at least right now, the bottles I use are plastic. Later, if I keep doing this, the bottles may be made of glass. I don’t know.

When, eventually, the bottles fizz and explode so that I have stress colouring everything, making everything sticky and gross and makes me feel like doing nothing else but clean up and throw away the stress, I do so. It is, after all, hard to focus on anything else when you have sticky, gross stress all over you.

I ignore everything else, I have trouble concentrating, I have this overwhelming urge to do nothing, to go do something else that will make me feel better, like maybe watch comedy skits, or watch shows I know I like and episodes I know are funny, or read something totally random, or something else entirely.

I’ve been working on this example and been trying to self-analyze in a realistic, objective way, and I know that I need to work on a better way of dealing with stress than bottling it up and storing it away.

The reason I say I believe my bottles to be plastic right now, is because when the bottles explode from stress overload, broken plastic doesn’t hurt or cut nearly as deeply as glass.

Wow, that sounded a bit dark, huh?

I’m just trying to say that this tendency of mine to put away stress could develop into a worse problem, or could cause me to ignore something important because it happens to be stressful.

To help counteract that, I’m doing a number of things.

I don’t quite bend over backwards to do it, but close enough

I’m trying to schedule myself better (made a schedule for the week, having classes, study times, break times, etc…). Hopefully by having something steady and schedule like in my life, I’ll have something to hold ono.

Yoga, once a week. Similar to the schedule, by having yoga, it’s consistent and, unlike the schedule, something physical. If I need to do something more exerting, I can get onto one of the exercise machines and go on for an hour.

Phone conversation with Mom at least once a week. I am used to having a support system on hand. I don’t like talking about stress to friends, because I don’t like making my friends

My family has more personality than this and my three roommates combined

feel uncomfortable. It isn’t like I’m going to be able to talk to my roommates after all. I hardly ever see them, and even if I did, I don’t particularly like them. As such, my support system is my family. I need to be able to talk with them. So I’m making sure that at least once a week, there will be a conversation. To just talk. About nothing in particular. About things happening at home, things happening in Ottawa, allowing Mom to complain about her school while I can talk about how wonderful it is to be skating. I think it’s helping. No guarantee though. Midterms are stressful.

Writing. I know it isn’t the best thing, but writing here, on a blog, is almost surprisingly stress-releasing. Even if I don’t talk about stress. To be able to put my thoughts out to an invisible crowd, it’s nice. I also still write fiction for my own, and fanfiction because I enjoy getting reviews. It helps that most reviews are positive and are very encouraging and you can’t feel useless when you get an enthusiastic review for one of your ideas. Hell, I have a number of people who review regularly for my story ‘It’s Green‘ (Harry Potter Fanfiction and yes I linked to my own story) and I can go on for endless replies in conversation with these people who I only know because they like something I’ve written enough to contact me. How awesome is that?

By the way, Mom doesn’t like that I write fanfiction, but it’s a stress reliever for me. I enjoy writing. I didn’t do NaNoWriMo this year because I promised I wouldn’t, but writing is one of my hobbies. I’m not giving it up. I’m glad my Mom understands that. Or at least I believe she does.

Aaah, stress, you give me such issues!

Boy do I need to work on this, and I believe that this IS helping, but i’s hard to be objective in things such as these. I’ve been thinking on this for so long that I could be imagining everything, and I’m sure that some invisible person out there reading this is thinking I am imagining everything, or explaining it unrealistically, or SOMETHING, but this is as close to the ‘truth’ of the matter as I can get to.

It’s very hard being objective when dealing with yourself.

I think that’s one reason why self-portraits are so hard to do. You try to make it better because you’re vain (don’t try to deny it) and want to look pretty.

Or cool, if you aren’t quite ready to admit that you think you’re pretty.

But, as I said before, I don’t do (dealing with) stress well.

But, because I’ve been able to recognize it well enough… I am also going to recognize that I need a break.

Not a full one, more like slowing down to a jog from a sprint, but a break none the less.

Next semester, my hesitant plan is to take a break from school, move back to Toronto, and (with the permission of uOttawa) take a course while in Toronto so that I’m not totally removed from doing class work.

It will be one semester, and a break from full-time class. This will be me working to get used to stress of university, while having my support system with me.

I don’t know if I would have done better having taken the first year off, but this is what I’m doing now.

I wish I had  my own time machine, to go back to the beginning of the school year, maybe then I could have done a better job, but since I don’t, I’m giving myself a chance to breathe.

 

Google Verb! A Meme.

Okay, I have been going on a somewhat Vlogbrothers Marathon in between studying (which is why it’s somewhat), and I came across THIS VIDEO. All Links will open in a new window.

The idea is something that Ive sort of done before, but this time instead of answering questions about yourself using your iPod/whatever music player you use (see what I mean HERE), this uses Google.

Yes, the sometimes broken fountain of information… It will tel you things about yourself 😀

The idea (for those of you who are unwilling or unable to watch this less than 4 minute video) is that you put in YOUR NAME (not the words, just your actual name) and a VERB.

The questions to ask Google are:

Q: Type in “[your name] needs” in the Google search.

Q: Type in “[your name] looks like” in Google search.

Q: Type in “[your name] says” in Google search.

Q: Type in “[your name] wants” in Google search.

Q:Type in “[your name] does” in Google search.

Q: Type in “[your name] hates” in Google search.

Q: Type in “[your name] asks” in Google search.

Q: Type in “[your name] likes ” in Google search.

Q: Type in “[your name] eats ” in Google search.

Q: Type in “[your name] wears ” in Google search.

Q: Type in “[your name] was arrested for” in Google Search.

Q: Type in “[your name] loves” in Google Search.

Because I don’t particularly want to put my name up on the internet, I’m going to do two parts to this. They will be one question right after another, but I will be putting two answers down. Bold will be Doodle. Doodled93 only goes to link with my username. Will still say full username on this though. Regular will be my name. Now let’s get to it.

Doodled93 needs to share buttons. No. They are mine. 

I need sleep. Yeah, no really. But I think i’ve been getting better at sticking to my sleeping shedule

Doodled93 looks like the poodles transformed into pandas. I’m an extremely smart dog with a somewhat bad grooming rep who  changed into an animal that is so dedicated to eating something that it can’t digest properly that it developed a fatty thumb-like protuberance so that it could eat it easier. Lexy, try and figure that one out 😀

I look like I’m praying. Lots of Mr. Darcy and D’Arcy names here, mostly male references. I am not male. I am also not religious. Meh.

Doodled93 says Happy Holidays. Cheerful.

I say no shake-up needed. Can Anyone explain that to me?

Doodled93 wants you to buy this 100 yen shit from China. There was also wants you to try Google plus.. I’m not, really, actually trying to market things.

I want to be friends on Facebook. Sure. I guess. Look me up as ‘Doodled Fiction’ I guess. Made it for ffn.net

Doodled93 does frequently asked questions. I frequently ASK questions… I wonder how many people have asked the same then?

I do it again. … Okay.

Doodled93 hates water. This was a cat video. I’m rather fine with water, and bathing, and swimming actually. When i’s frozen it’s a lot of fun 😀

I hate my life this week. Not exactly cheerful, but it IS midterm week. Close enough.

Doodled93 asks you to solve puzzles. Mostly just talk about my own though.

I ask to Marry you. This is commonly all together with “That awkward moment when Mr. {my name} asks to marry you”

Doodled93 likes small spaces. Um, okay? 

I like everything. Apparently I do not discriminate. 

Doodled93 eats UK work time. Another option was dinner 😀 I wonder how many people in the UK read this and go “hm… not really”

I eat food. Fascinating.

Doodled93 wears a dress. Lexy is laughing now. I don’t wear dresses that often, and it was hardly four years ago that I had convinced people that I would never wear dresses. I once convinced a girl in my class that I was allergic to the colour pink.

I wear clothing designed by Arianne Phillips. Important? Not really to me. 

Doodled93 was arrested for doodling on school desk. Can this actually happen? Yes, apparently. Schools should have gotten a hint from ‘my’ name. 

I was arrested for Horsing around. Really? Frig…

Doodled93 loves to dance. O_O Really. I have no sense of coordination when it comes to dancing. I love to dance in my mind, where no one can see.

I love to paint! Ok, awesome 😛 Much more realistic than dancing 😀

And that is it.

What does Google have to say about you?

Bloody Mary: The weirdest massage ever

I’ve heard of a number of massages, and the weirder ones are usually the ones that sound the most painful.

The idea that people pay to have someone slap them around and thump them to get knots out of their muscles is weird to me, as is the idea of placing hot stones over your joints, but obviously it works, otherwise it wouldn’t be popular.

Acupuncture as a form of massage (or other relief, I don’t know what you would call it) makes me curious even as it makes me shiver.

As a side note, why is it, in cartoons, acupuncturists always seem to have poison needles as well as normal needles? And why must they place the two boxes side by side?

Moving on.

Through reading manga (Lexy, Mom, I’m taking a BREAK from studying, sheesh…) (a yaoi romance HERE if you’re curious, explicit just to warn you) I saw mention of a weird massage.

I thought that Bloody Mary was only a drink, but apparently not.

Someone somewhere decided that it was a good idea to make it into a massage as well. Or a wrap. It involves doing both as far as I understand

Yes, it has vodka involved.

And many tomatoes.

I’m not going to go too much into it, as I am still mostly baffled as to why someone would decide to make this into a massage (though, like acupuncture, I am fascinated and curious and kind of maybe want to try it)

You can read another blog HERE about more details. Apparently it makes your skin really smooth as well, and gets the blood pumping (due to vodka, and you don’t even drink it!)

I just thought it was weird.

I didn’t really think that people used so much food in such ways outside of that one episode from The Weekenders (cartoon I loved watching) where the ever-changing Pizza Place was a spa, and they had Cheese wraps (actually wrap them up) and pepperoni slices to place over their eyes.

Speaking of cheese, For those who have read about my complaints about my Roommates (here here and here), an update. They ate all of my cheese. It was a big block of it. They ate it all.

This is unacceptable.

I just want them to stop eating my stuff... Is that too much to ask for?

So yeah, weird massage/wrap sharing and profound sadness over cheese thieves.

My life.

😀

Dog Training: How to Ignore Cats

First of all, for more on dog training and on general dog-related things, I would go to my Sister’s blog HERE because with me in university, she has quite a bit more contact with our pooch now.

Gwynn is an Aussie-doodle (australian shepherd and poodle mix) with a good temperament, plays well with dogs, and has an unfortunate habit of going batshit crazy over cats.

When visiting relatives/ family friends who have cats, he will go absolutely bonkers to get to them t play.

Cats are a new species to him, a strange and mysterious one that he ha never had the chance to play with before.

To him, they are like leprechauns. Ones that you (and it seems like only you) see every once in a while. It is very confusing for him when he sees a cat on the porch of some house, or walking down the street, because he wants to play with that cat so badly, an it doesn’t seem as though Lexy or I have caught sight of the Leprecat, even though it’s RIGHT THERE.

This is a bit of a bother to my sister and I, and to the rest of the family, because it’s very hard to have a nice family visit with the Dog there acting like a cat addict going through withdrawal symptoms while we wave cats in front of his face.

We aren’t, by the way, waving cats in front of his face.

BUT to hep stop him from going through this act of apeshit crazyness, we have worked on training him out of it when we can.

I managed to take a video of it a while back, when we were going for a walk and happened to see a cat hanging out on the porch of one house.

Here is what happened.

To explain the training a bit better, we are trying to train Gwynn to get into the habit of thinking that when he sees a cat, he should sit down and look to Lexy (or, later, whoever is holding the leash).

Since the cat was there, we had him sit down next to Lexy and he would get a treat every time he looked up at my sister.

We didn’t have a clicker on hand with us, so when he looked up at my sister she said “yes” to indicate what she was giving him a treat for. He looks up, “yes”, Treat.

That way, if he looked away before my sister managed to get the treat for him, he wouldn’t get confused and think he was getting the treat for looking at the cat.

This is working somewhat, but since it’s rare that we find a cat willing to stick around for us to stand there and play this training game, it is slow going.

To give you an idea of why, exactly, we would like him to at least calm down a little in regards to cats, it isn’t just for social reasons.

When walking, if we don’t see the cat before Gwynn does, he will lunge towards the cat with the probable hope taht if he can just get to it fast enough, they could be friends.

This usually results in my sisters arm to get jerked (painfully, as it has happened to me as well), and risk loosing grip of his leash.

This is not good.

If anyone has any other suggestions on how to teach your dog to be calm around cats, please feel free to mention, and please check out my sisters blog for more 😀

I believe she has a section describing the training classes that she (and I, earlier) have gone to, and other training tricks of hers.

Also feel free to share any funny walking stories. I think that this kind of training can be done for squirrels as well 😉

Thanks!

My Roommate the Sasquatch

I am a student of University of Ottawa, and I’m living in res. I managed to get an apartment style residence, which means that there’s 4 rooms in total, a kitchen area, two bathrooms, and a living room area.

So I have three roommates, two boys and one other girl, and I have to share a washroom with one of the boys…

In my mind I now call him Sasquatch.

I pretty much never see him… he’s hairy… and leaves mysterious signs of his presence via hairiness.

I have posted something in complaint before, HERE, on how he leaves thousands of little hairs on the floor of the shower. It’s disgusting, grosses me out, and I have to spend some time before each shower rinsing the hairs down the drain.

I have also posted a complaint HERE about how my roommates are stealing my food. This is just so you know exactly how unimpressed I am with my roommates.

But earlier this week the grossness from the shower migrated to the sink.

Cue Horrified expression

And I was horrified.

I took this picture not so shortly after I escaped from the nastyness, because I was certain the horrified look that came to my face upon discovery was still there

You know something’s bad when you feel like you have to wash your hands after you wash your hands.

Look upon it in horror!

It’s like all the grossness on the floor of the shower was brought to this smaller area, with dirt and grime and strange blue… stuff to create this concentration of nastyness that, I am pretty much ENTIRELY sure that The Sasquatch heard me complain about from his room…

He possibly even heard me rant to my Mom on the phone later that night, but if he managed to miss the startled “HOLY SHIT!” that flew from my mouth when moved from finishing my business to wash my hands…

EeeeeeEEEEEEEEwwwwwWWWWWWW-eh! Mom make it GO AWAY!

I don’t feel like a baby complaining to mom, because I am GROSSED OUT!

But I am still a bit too much of a wimp to complain directly to him… But perhaps I will print out this picture and put it on his door or something…

"Please stop leaving hair in the bathroom... everywhere. Clean up after yourself... kthxbai!"

Just… Just– EUGH!

It’s so gross! DX

Has anyone else had roommates this gross? What do you DO about it?

His cleanliness gives me the heebee jeebies…

BLEGH!

"Bow ties are cool... THAT is NOT"

I Miss My Dog

Because he is my dog. MINE.

Lexy may have first claim over him, because, you know, she bought him, she pays for his food, she goes on most walks with him (MORNING walks, even when it’s crap out)… all that stuff matters not.

Because he is also MY dog.

I miss him.

Of course I miss my family too, but there is something about the family animal that sort of sticks with you.

I want to crouch down and have him sit down between my knees for a cuddle.

Or, possibly, walk up to me and turn around in his ever so classy “Here is my bum” with implied “Scratch it” pose.

I want to see him do an all around stretch, starting with downward facing dog and moving on to cobra before finishing with a funny face and a shake. If this shake produces little fluffs of fur in the air, that is fine.


Hugs from my family are awesome, but giving a hug to my dog is an overall fluffier experience.

Recently, as broadcasted by my sister HERE, it was my birthday 😀

Very exciting, yes, and one of my friends gave me a particular gift.

She gave me a stuffed dog…

This looks nothing like my dog, so that’s not the point of this, but I have been very stressed lately, and it is the kind of stuffed animal that has been stuffed to fair solidness, and so it is a wonderful stress-hug-thing to hug, because it doesn’t feel like hugging a towel.

I do like squishy stuffed animals, by the way, but when you need a hug and you need it to feel solid…

Well.

I just really miss having Gwynn around.

Currently the only thing that’s living with me (roommates don’t count, it’s more like they’re living next to me) is my aloe plant, something I begged off of family because I needed SOMETHING around.

It’s grown some since I got it.

I think I should name it as well...

But because I’m happy that I’m able to get some stress off by squeezing the air from the stuffing of my dog (currently nameless, but a boy for his manly image), I’m going to post some pictures.

Manly pattern means manly dog... And his eyes and nose are so soft!

If you have a name suggestion for my dear, manly pooch, I’d love to hear it!

I love my new poochie, but I still Miss Gwynn

Thank you!

P.S. Lexy, please send me family and dog pictures. I see you in a week or so, but I would like them regardless.

I miss you all! Give puppy a rub down for me!