Stress Direction and the Time I Have To Do Things

So I haven’t posted anything here very recently–hell, last thing I posted was a picture of a goat (which I swear is more impressive than it sounds) I drew for one of my sister’s stories.

I don’t think I have quite the steady readership here, but I do write elsewhere (fanfiction, mostly, on Archive Of Our Own, and Fanfiction.net), and I do actually have regular visitors to many of my stories.

Hell, in a world of usernames mostly made or kept from your tweens or drunken haha-this-is-obviously-the-best-idea‘s, I recognize a rather astonishing amount of usernames and profile pictures that aren’t actually of people. (Hahaha, yes, so sayeth Doodled93 with a Halloween costumed selfie to the one side and a picture of my dog on the other. But my username is an adaption of a childhood nickname and the creative use of my birth year, so.)

But the thing is, I have a pretty steady readership in my fanfiction plunges, people I’m surprised to see reviewing/commenting on one story or another because they’re usually commenting on other fandoms I’ve written in, and usually it’s pretty nice. The thing I like about Ao3 (archive of our own, for those not in the know) is how friendly everyone is, and while part of that, I think, is because you have to join a usually quick waiting list to even get an account (whereas there are many dud ffn.net accounts), but also because people looking into fanfiction are generally pretty nice.

Actually care about what you post, the quality you crank out, and people will respond.

I think the most negative comments I get nowadays is from people reviewing for the first time a story I wrote nearly, gosh, 8 years ago now(02/14), and it’s mostly about the overuse of some punctuation.

But the negative comments I get aren’t the annoying ones, not really, and I think I’ve mentioned this before, but berating and shouting at me for not having updated one story in a while gets me stressed and annoyed and a bit spiteful. 

It’s the stressed part of that mix that I’m going to be focusing on today, but you should really pay attention to the fact that when I get annoyed I get spiteful.

If you’ve read anything of mine before this, of the non-fiction side of things, you’ll know that I’ve had a lot to say about stress. I’ve written about stressful situations, I’ve written about what stress is really like for me, I’ve even just tagged posts as ‘stress’ or ‘stressful’ simply because writing about it gets my anxiety up.

I don’t deal with stress well.

I think I’ve gotten better, in that instead of bottling it up I let it out in bursts to Lexy and internet and real life friends in short bursts, but I still have the avoid-it instinct…

Do you see why it is doubly unwise to yell at me and snark about when I’ll likely update?

Because I’m NOT a writer that can work within a certain deadline, I am simply one that can work within parameters. Hmm, should this story be 10k/chapter, or maybe 5k, or should this be every 7 pages, or… hmm. When should I be updating this, because otherwise the chapter will either go on forever or else never get worked on due to its open-ended-ness.

When I was in a bad way after Ottawa-related failings, I was stressed and unhappy and trying my best to avoid real life and all that comes with that, and so I got quite a bit of writing done.

Because when you’re avoiding real life, fiction is where it’s at.

Or just the internet in general.

I read and wrote a hell of a lot, and was unemployed so I had all the time I could possibly want and/or need, and basically turned all my attention towards plot, character development, 10k long chapters, and taking breaks in-between to finish whole seasons of TV shows. As uncomfortable as it may seem to you, I wallowed in unemployment and a feeling of failure but was 80% oblivious to it because 80% of my day was turned towards fictional drama, and a large part of the remaining 20% was eating and sleeping in.

Now, however, I’m in a bit of a better place, and I have a job.

Full-time even, and for a while I had TWO jobs, at least until current job was like “What would it take for you to quit working other job and come here full-time?”

Kudos to past put-on-the-spot me, because I responded with ‘benefits’, because that seemed more likely than ‘more than minimum wage’.

And now while I have stressy bits of work (working in the produce section of an organic foods store means there’s ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE DONE, and also manager issues but whatever), I am working full-time.

I can no longer utilize my best writing time (between 10pm and 2am) because I either have work to get to at 7am, or I’ve returned from an exhausting shift that ended at 9:30pm.

So no, my writing is not happening at quite the same pace as it was last year, or even over the summer, but you know what?

Stress is usually the thing that gets me writing, because it is an escape.

Sometimes more than reading, because I am quite literally feeling like I’m in my characters head.

When I haven’t written in a long while, or am blanking on what–or how–to write in a particular story I have yet to update for a while, I experience a bit of anxiety, because I do want to write. I enjoy it. But I stress myself out in a minimal way when I haven’t updated something in a while, because I’m disappointing myself. Not in a ‘you could do better’ kind of way, but more like making plans, looking forward to it, and then finding out that either you or the person(s) you were going to hang out with and do that thing with can’t make it.

Oh, ok. Next time then. 

But when I get passive aggressive remarks and pressure from people who, while it’s flattering that they’re enjoying what I’ve written that much, don’t give a f*** what else I’m doing or how much pressure they and their unknowing compadre’s are putting on me, who would very likely feel a bit of camaraderie with the others if they knew (Hah, the author will have to update sooner than expected if we’re ALL shouting at the same time), well.

Stressed.

Annoyed.

Spiteful.

Let’s work our way up, shall we?

Spite, a desire to hurt, annoy, or offend someone.

Leads up to Annoy, irritate (someone); make (someone) a little angry.

And though it’s not in there, anger is part of this too.

I don’t like being angry, I don’t like the way it makes me feel, I don’t like experiencing that boiling in my gut, and I especially don’t like how hard it is to keep it focused on the intended recipient/aggressor. It’s like the difference between being a little peeved and being actually angry is like using two different types of weapons. Being peeved is like your emotions are turned into a laser, easy to point it at the thing that’s causing it.

Being angry is like having that laser pointer turned into some kind of gun that lets out a poisonous miasma. It’s scary, there’s kickback that can injure you, and as soon as it’s out, it’s up in the air. It could affect anyone. Could hurt anyone.

And you know what? If you let me get to know you for 48 hours, within that 48 hours I will have figured out what sort of thing I would have to say to you to actually hurt your feelings, the way that shouldn’t hurt because it’s a relative stranger saying it to you, but hits deep anyways. But I don’t say it. Ever. Because if hearing that it’s that easy to figure out how to hurt a stranger verbally puts you off from ever wanting to interact or even meet me, then maybe it’ll change your mind to hear that I don’t say any of it because I find it very easy to empathize, and I’m selfish enough to not want the emotional backlash of hurting your feelings.

But being actually angry makes that wall in my head of ‘no, you do not say this ever’ seem more like a line, and hey, isn’t it closer than I thought it was, and I bet I could walk right over it, easy as pie.

And that is stressful.

Stress, a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances, makes me want to escape. I don’t like being angry because I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t like actually feeling stressed out because I don’t like feeling like I need to escape.

And I really don’t like feeling like I need to escape from my escape.

There are a few situations that I get into that translate into me not being able to write coherently/well.

Alcohol. I will never be that writer who sits down to write with a bottle of wine (i don’t drink wine but that’s besides the point), or with a beer, and a masterpiece will never have its rough draft written in a drunken haze.

Exhaustion. I can write best when it’s late into the night, but I’m pretty antisocial, and interacting with people is exhausting. This is why I don’t really write well after work, because 1) I’m tired, and 2) writing how character a interacts with characters b-z around them is working socialization muscles that do not have the capabilities for this sort of work. I get steadily more anxiety ridden when I have to talk for a prolonged amount of time, and that makes me stressed, and makes me want to escape, and it’s hard to interact socially and also escape at the same time.

And I kind of just mentioned it within ‘exhaustion’, but Stress.

Because if you missed it,

It is hard to interact with anything when all you want to do is escape.

So yeah, this is 1700 words of unhappiness at how some strangers on the internet are making something I enjoy, something I like escaping to, into something I feel like I need to escape from.

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Magnanimous 50¢

Went to one of the conveniently places Mac’s that’s a short walk from my res, feeling in need of a bag of chips and maybe an Arizona.

It’s late, but nice out, and I’m tempted to go on walking, past this macs and maybe onto the next one.

I don’t, and I’m glad  I did.

When looking for my Arizona, I moved back from the chip selection at my back so that this baby faced guy to get past me, and he says while walking towards and past me, as if continuing a conversation:

“I really like your sweater–”

Because He was looking at me I said Thank you, and he continued with

“Yeah, it looks like it’d be really warm, it is warm isn’t it? Thanks”

and continued walking.

I thought, okay, baby faced, and a rather high (if sort of scratchy) voice, probably younger than I thought. I was thinking MAYBE University, more likely High School. Very likely he’s high.

Now I was thinking that, well, it’s possible he’s in university, but it’s more likely he’s either in high school or middle school. Very likely high.

I was smiling at the compliment because, high or not, compliments are nice, and he looked cute.

I know I just finished saying he was most likely pretty young, but he had a face of someone you knew was going to be cute if you gave it a few more years.

Maybe his voice would sound nice after Puberty as well, I was sort of thinking, but he had some acne, so perhaps the voice issue was from smoking so much, or maybe he had a cold, or maybe he was just that high.

So I grabbed a bag of chips and two Arizona’s (one for later) and brought it to the counter, where the baby-faced, high voiced kid had finished buying whatever he had ought + orange juice (“Hey, where’s my orange juice? I can’t find it!” The cashier pushes the orange juice in bag towards him. “oh”) and I notice that he’s left behind two quarters.

The Cashier slides the change to the side but pauses when the kid speaks up.

“Oh, no, that’s for her…”

I felt like laughing in his face, because he sounded like he was being the nicest (and possibly flirtiest) guy out there.

Yeah, in a tone one would use for giving up a $10, he says:

“Oh, no, that’s for her…”

Baby faces, high voice, and I still don’t know if that’s a confirmation that he’s high, or that he’s really young to think that 50 cents is generous, or maybe he’s really high out of his mind, but I bought my chips and Arizona’s with a small smile and a non-verbal conversation with the cash register guy…

He means it’s for you, eh?

Yeah, I know, you keep it.

Sure? He’s being very generous…

Yeah, go ahead. I can go without his magnanimously given 50¢

Really.

Yeah, I’m sure I’ll survive.

🙂

😀

I’m still giggling about it, and part of me wants to meet that guy again… when he’s high or not, because it was really friggin funny XD

Especially since the parting glance between Cashier and I was a mutual

Look at him eh?

I know…

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!

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!

Happy Hermit Day!

Happy Hermit day everyone!

I figured that with the number of posts that are wishing you a happy Christmas, I would wait until the end of the day AFTER good ol’ Xmas to say Happy Hermit day!

Let this be a lesson to all who thought it would be a great idea to go to the mall today, that some people and families, like Lexy and mine, know that today is not actually the day to go out and try to get a deal.

Today is a great day to hang out with the family (AT HOME) and bask in the no-need-to-buy-more glow, and stay in your hovel cave hole home and embrace the hermit like tendencies that you usually bury in order to be social with friends.

To students, this is that same tendency that pops up around exam time that tells you to stay in and study and maybe spend some time huddled in your closet to hide from your textbooks.

To everyone else, please note that if you MUST go out and shop so soon after the Xmas holidays, the deals stay up for a while longer after today. They aren’t AS great, but you won’t get elbowed in the face, you won’t feel claustrophobic in the wide open expanse of the mall, and the employees at the store you’re at will be in a much better mood… most haven’t worked the day before, so they feel really lucky to miss the rush.

This is just a message.

I would have posted this earlier in the day, but I don’t think the people who need to read this would have read it in time anyway.

To all, Happy holidays and Happy Hermit Day!

Not this kind of hermit... though some may still feel a bit crabby 😀

Meet the Engineer

I know I mentioned a while ago that at one point in my high school career (read: 3.3/4 years) that I wanted to be an engineer.

Engineering is a bit of a joke in university, and when I was going around on tours to different universities FOR Engineering, I even heard a couple of people joking about how Engineering is the thing to sign up for if you’re good at math and science, but don’t know what you want to do.

For those reading this and shaking their heads, well, for those who don’t know what to do and re average at their school work, they sign up for General Arts.

For those who don’t know what they want to do but are good at English, you go into English.

For those who don’t know what they want to do but are good at art of some kind, they go into the specialty of that Art.

There are other examples that I could use, but I think the point has gotten across.

By the way, I DO know what I want to do at this point, which is WHY I went into Visual Arts. I want to restore art in museums… and recently I found out that there’s a burgeoning job pool for restoring old film.

But back to what I was saying…

My sister has told me over the course of the years that I wanted to be an Engineer that the Engineering department is the butt of a lot of jokes.

It is.

But she has also told me that the Engineers are the real party-ers, and has mentioned over the years that SHE studied to be an engineer that if one looked at the ratio between males to females… well…

There are a lot of guys. I think at one school I heard that last years engineering first years had only 17% female number.

I know a good couple of engineers here, but I don’t see them that often since there’s such a difference between our schedules.

But something else occurred to me recently, as one of my friends was raving about a favourite game of hers.

It’s a bit sexist sounding, but more males play video games than girls, on average.

I’m only saying ON AVERAGE.

I know plant of girls who play video games. I play video games. Now that I’m REALLY thinking on it, most of the people I know are female and play video games.

But back to what I was trying to say.

A friend plays this game, Team Fortress (1 and 2) a lot, and since I’m limited to what I can play by what my friends have while I’m at their home and by what I can find to play that I can play on a computer, I haven’t played this.

But she ‘ships’ a lot of the characters. Look it up, it’s circling the word ‘fandom’ in those-who-know-it’s mind.

So, I looked it up, saw that it looked amusing, and noticed that you could see these little clips for Team Fortress 2 as character introductions.

The ones I’ve heard the most of were Heavy and Medic, but I’ve also heard of Spy and Scout and Soldier too. But I found out about a character that I hadn’t heard of before…

And I don’t know why nobody has mentioned the guy to me yet.

The Engineer…

I freely admit that I’m writing this post right now so that I could show this to Lexy, and I’m writing now that if you (Lexy) don’t watch this short, less than 2 minute long clip, I will be very disappointed in you. Very much so. This made me laugh in ways that made me think, oh god, Lexy would love this, she’d get a real kick out of it, it’s so kind-of cliché but in such a way that it’s also kind of right in some cases…

Brings me back to a different kind of Engineering cliché, where we planned during our Creek Valley Adventure to move a not-log across the little stream-creek part we had such difficulty with, that we were going to make a bridge… just because. (P.S. look up my username on YouTube and see the sped up full version, will all of the film I shot during this Adventure)

I believe I mentioned that “It was [Lexy’s] Engineering instincts acting up”

But this video here made me think about how awesome Engineering actually is, even though it’s from a game, but because it’s cliché because that’s pretty much the mind of an Engineer.

I think it was an engineer who decided so-and-so many years ago that, instead of going around the canyon every time they wanted to get to a point, they would make their own path… a bridge.

Engineers are a rare creature indeed, that they will do an immense amount of work in order to be lazy.

That’s where cars come from.

And as much as I would like to leave this there, with that last line being the punch line, I would like to go further to point out that it was an artist who figured out the whole moving pictures deal, and engineers worked on TOP of that to bring you the television and, later, the computer. Also Video Games. 😀

Both of which are even bigger icons of laziness.

Yay Art.

ERTW (Engineers Rule The World) may be true, but Arts students are the uuber creative Mafia underneath it all.

I Laugh at Unfortunate Things

I have a bit of an issue when I rewatch movies…

I laugh at unfortunate things.

For example, I was watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine earlier, and in the beginning, where kid Wolverine gets all pissed off and starts screaming, looking at those new spiky claws bursting forth from between his knuckles…

I was laughing.

Laughing pretty darn hard. Dramatic kid acts dramatically.

Later, when there’s the dramatic parting between Victor and Jimmy/Logan, I’m giggling a fit, and as soon as it scene flashes to the Canadian Rockies, I’m still giggling, this time about how he’d like “I’m going to get away from the fighting… now where to do tha–CANADA! Canada! Of course!”

Of course, Canada… and then, after he decides to go Canadian, he also decides to be a lumberjack.

That’s not a cliché old Canadian job at all XD

In other movies, a character dies dramatically, I giggle, A very sad parting between two characters that you KNOW should be together.. giggles again..

I think it’s because in the first time I watch a movie, I have all of myself distracted by the moving-pictures of newness to attract all of my attention, making me try to think ahead as to what’s going to happen (because I like to spoil ‘surprises’ for myself.. I usually guess right. I do this for books as well).

The second or third or whatever time around, I blame the giggles on my humour mixed with Sanity’s humour and Insanity’s humour.

Aha, I know that part of you, if you’ve read other posts of mine, are thinking “Right, Insanity and Sanity again, huh?”

But I also know that those same thoughts are thinking “Um, Sanity has a sense of humour?”

Yes, Sanity has a sense of humour.

And it’s very close to Insanity’s idea of it, especially in regards to movies.

Insanity can find humour in pretty much anything, and Sanity finds humour out of ridiculous things… like a kid yelling out while looking like they’re acting.

This leads to both laughing over stupid parts of movies that, if you were watching it get filmed on its own, you’d be giggling as well.

That usually causes me to giggle at cartoons as well, when a character says something that, when I think about them saying it in a studio, makes me laugh.

This is why any thoughts about acting–vocal or otherwise– have always been dashed.

My Mom can help me in convincing you of this, as she can tell you multiple times that I thought Id be clever and lie to her, and will have a serious face for about 2 seconds after I lie…

And then I’ll burst into giggles.

There’s some more inappropriate giggling…