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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How’s my Nano? Well…

I’m at 17000-something right now, and that means that I have to write about 7000 words today to get caught up, and wow is that not happening.

I’m not working on only one story this time, and my original plan was to do a Sherlock (BBC) story, but the story that I had in mind is coming out as slow as molasses, and I’m currently hating it despite how amazing I know it would be (it’s been knocking about my head for a while now), so I’m working on something else right now.

I’ve moved on to Torchwood fanfiction. If you’re interested in the show, you’ll know that the end of season three is wrong in so many ways, and if you haven’t gotten there, then you’ll know that the end of season 2 is also horrible (and awesome, don’t forget awesome), and if you aren’t there yet, then you’ll know that the end of season 1 is horrible, but, like the end of season 2, awesome, especially if you watch Dr. Who, because then you’re also saying “OH MY GOD I SAW THAT EPISODE!”

Fun fact for you: When moving the copies of Doctor Who, to keep them from being stolen, they labeled them “Torchwood”, an anagram of Doctor Who.

Now I wait a moment as you spell out Torchwood out of Doctor Who, and Doctor Who out of Torchwood.

Go ahead, I did the same.

But, anyway, I’m doing a ‘Fix-It’ starting after season 3, and I have nearly 10,000 words of it written. When I post it, feel free to check it out (I’ll add two links at the end of this post)

How have I got 17-something k words if I only have about 10k of this story written. That’s me working on my HP fanfic, and my two other Sherlock stories, and adding in the 500-something words of my planned BBC Sherlock story, the one that’s hating on my brain.

Good Luck Fellow NaNo-ers, and for those following Lexy’s blog, know she’s working on extensions of the stories she’s posted on things like Red Writing Hood and Trifecta. HERE for a link to her story archives, maybe she’ll post her story somewhere (maybe on her blog?), I’ll bug her about it if you do 🙂

My Torchwood Fix-It story: And I Wake Up (Lexy, don’t read it before you see season 3.)

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.

 

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!

*THUNK* AAAAAH! Save the Birds

Today I was startled from working on Part 2 of my Woofstock post by a startling noise combination.

*Thunk*

AAAAAAHHHH!

And then general sounds of bustling around.

I had thought that perhaps someone in my family unfamiliar (like one of my parents, or Emma) with how to use our chuck-it (a ball flinger) had jokingly gestured with it towards our back deck, and, in the way luck usually goes, a ball was flung at one of our windows and the rebound nearly hit Lexy.

Maybe on the back of her head, maybe on her arm, but I was picturing it as it was nearly hitting her in the head.

No, not because I have secret wishes of violence towards Lexy, but because it is usually the worst possible (and most times most amusing) situation that runs through my head.

So I ran to the back door, expecting someone injured (possibly) and someone embarrassed (possibly), and likely someone laughing.

If no one was there to laugh, I feel a bit as if I would have been the one to laugh, after asking the needed “what’s wrong?”.

That was not the case.

No laughing.

No.

I looked out our screen door and saw Lexy pulling and excited looking Gwynn off of our back porch, and Mom and Dad looking worried.

It is at this point that I should tell you that my actual first thought about what the *THUNK* noise was, was that it was a bird, as many, many birds end up hitting into the window right next to the computer, and then fly away. occasionally a lesser *THIK* will hit the window, and it will turn out to be a rather large bug.

But this happens regularly, the *THUNK* fly away.

Less, now, that we have shadow stickers on our windows, but I’ll get more on that later.

But it was the following “AAH!” that threw me off, as well as a moment of poor directional hearing.

Here is a picture of the window by the computer in our living room.

To the left, if you could see below it, there would be the porch, and my sister sitting in a chair right below it...

The window that I thought the bird had hit was the one to the right. After I heard Lexy yell I thought that a ball had hit the window, not a bird, and that, as I said earlier, it hit Lexy (prompting the “Aah!”).

But back to the story. Lexy was pulling Gwynn away, and dad was not looking happy. In front of one of the chairs was a little yellow thing.

As you can see, this was no ball...

It was not a Ball.

And it was obvious why Gwynn was looking so excited.

He probably thought it was a chew toy that came from above.

Mom thought we should probably move it, but Dad was pretty stern in saying “NO.”

I remember last summer I was working up near Thunder Bay at a dock, cleaning off the underside of boats to prevent invasive species from spreading, and a woodpecker flew into a door. I was fairly far away at the time, and was pretty worried, but before I could get there, some people started crowding around.

One guy had the bright idea to try to pick it up.

The stunned woodpecker had enough energy to recognize that it was injured, and a large THING was touching it, so it did what any injured and confused animal would do.

It fled.

Flew a fair distance too, right into the edge of a dock, whereupon it sunk in the water.

So Mom did not move the bird. It was a good idea, at least in the mindset that Gwynn was still looking longingly at the bird, but we just took him inside for untill the bird left.

It did not move for a while either, but I could see its beak moving, probably from it freaking out.

We left it alone, making dinner (which had SOME mild interaction with it, since it was right in front of our bbq, and we needed it to make dinner), and I thought it had died from shock, since I couldn’t see its beak moving anymore.

It’s legs were pulled up tight to its body, and it’s beak wasn’t moving. I wasn’t about to feel and see if it’s chest was moving, so Dad suggested/Told us to leave it alone still.

I left for a while, and then, TADA! It wasn’t on its side anymore! It was just sitting on our porch!

HE LIVES! For now...

 It was very exciting, and dad was quick to point out that he was right in leaving it alone.

But it wasn’t moving after that.

What a great thing to happen on Father’s day, huh? And right in front of Dad too… But then again, it happened pretty much ON TOP of Lexy, so at least it isn’t as bad as it could have been.

I left again, after taking the picture, very happy that the little guy was living.

I have to admit that the reason why I decided to take pictures in the first place (besides the fact that I now have bloggeritis, a disease that says “take a picture, and write about it!”), was because if it didn’t live I was going to write a memorial Blog for it, and encourage people to put shadow stickers on their windows, but, it seems like the little guy had a will for life.

The next time I checked, he was still there, and even the time after that, and I was kind of worried about him possibly being dead even after standing up (“If I have to die be some strange bit of solid air, I’m gonna do it standing, dammit!”), but on the third check, he wasn’t there.

Now here’s where the crazy and sane parts of me kick in.

Sane: “YES! He LIVES! Fly Free and Alive Cute Yellow One!”

Insane: “Oh my GOD! Gwynn got out and ATE HIM!”

I happily told Mom and Dad about the fact that the bird was gone, since, the Sane part of me said that if Gwynn had gotten out, SOMEONE would have noticed, right?

Insane: “OhMyGOD! Hunter ATE HIM!!”

Sane went quiet.

For those of you who don’t know, Hunter is the stray black cat with green eyes that hunts around my back yard. He walks like a hunter, which is why I call him that, and he kills the pigeons in our backyard. Also, he walks like a villain in a children’s movie, like Edgar from Arisocats.

Mom calmed me down by saying that yeah, he few off a few minutes ago.

Sane breathed a sigh of relief, even as Insane muttered about how the Yellow One was safe, but the Pigeons probably weren’t.

I put off finishing off my Woofstock Pt 2 post to tell people about this struggle (?) for life, and about the hazards our windows pose for our feathered neighbors.

If you scroll up to the picture of the two windows by my computer, you will notice the shadowish looking bird shadow on the window to the right. That was put there so that it would show that there was something solid there, or at least something that the birds should avoid (hence the predator-bird shape, rather than a sparrow or something).

If you have window space that is clear , and have nothing in the way of it, please put up a sticker, or some other indication thing on your windows.

They do not damage your windows, and you don’t have to get them wet or sticky to put them on, though it is suggested to put them on the inside of your window rather than the outside.

Save your feathered friends the trauma of hitting a window.

It’s not a nice sound, and it is rather startling to see little poufs of feathers floating away, as once happened when a Bluejay hit the window.

That bird was well enough to fly away immediately (Insane muttered about the unfairness that none of the pretty feathers fell off, only the grey blah looking tiny ones), and this Yellow Finch today managed to fly away after about an hour of sitting in shock, but it is always a worry that some day Hunter will get a free snack, thanks to one of our windows.

Check out this site and this birding site  for some more ways to keep birds from hitting your windows.

Also, if you notice, hitting something when you are unaware of it is much more painful than if you notice it at the last second. Windows are always clear to birds, and it has the bad joke at the end in the fact that they still don’t know what hit them afterwards.

Not all birds are like Angry Bird, and can go through things like that.

He's angry because his brethren are being held up to his unrealistic standard! He will not stand for this!

 Save the Birds!

Buy a sticker!

Grades vs. Prom Dress Shopping

Hey all!

It was fairly recently (as in before I even started the blog) that my school gave out our midterms, something that means that, sometime soon, the school will then be sending out those grades to universities and colleges. That is something that is different than the past 11 years of my schooling, but there was one more thing that was radically different, at least for me;

This time I wasn’t dreading the marks.

This is what I used when Marks were coming in...

There is something that I should point out now, before I tell of my not-so unspectacular marks, and hopefully it will explain a bit as to why I took the courses that I did.  For the past three years I was pretty convinced that I wanted to go into Engineering, architectural or civil, and took courses that would get me into a good university so I could go on and BE an engineer. I did all the sciences, I took all the math’s, I did a lot of looking into the various kind of jobs that I could go into—all that stuff, and it was about 3/5th’s of the way through first semester this year that I realized quite how much I really didn’t want to deal with that.

My schedule went something like, physics, religion (I am not religious, but go to a catholic school), double art, and Advanced functions, and my schedule at the beginning of THIS semester was English, Calculus and Vectors, double art, and chemistry.

It was due to my Physics class paired with the fact that I was doing less than stellar in my math class that made me realize that I was mainly going for engineering because a) Lexy was an engineer, b) it would pay lots of money and would almost guarantee a job, c) I really like buildings, and thought it would be cool to be like “hey, I helped build/design that house/building/structure”, and a great deal of d) I don’t actually know what I want to do, and this seems like a good option.

Physics is a class that I didn’t really have an issue with in grade 11, but I don’t know whether or not it was the teacher this year, or because of the content, but I am absolutely serious in saying that if there is any way to avoid physics, I will. If someone offers me money to redo the class, it would have to be a large sum of money, and it would have to be on the promise to pay me double if I got higher than 70. I may sound violently against this, but that’s because I find it extremely easy to despise a subject that makes me feel like an absolute failure, no matter how much I study for it.

This is an example of Brownstone...isn't it awesome?

I think it may have also been the math in it and for those of you who haven’t realized yet, you kind of really need math (and Physics) to be an engineer.

Like, really, really need it.

So nope, I reevaluated everything, and figured out that no, I just really like old buildings (like Victorian and brownstone buildings), and I think that a majority of the idea of Eng as a career was because I had no clue what else I could do and figured that my sis was doing pretty well as an engineer, so why not?

I don’t know how many people go through their high school career thinking things like this, or maybe going for what seems convenient, but it was not a great feeling, realizing I could have been taking a number of more art-oriented courses.

In a way, I was kind of lucky that I didn’t use any of my spares (my school only allows two spare periods) first semester. Because there was no way that I would be able to get through the day with both Calc. and Chem. in one day. As it is now, I have only English and then after a spare, Art, and then I can go home. Escape! Bwahaha!

Ah! What a wonderful thing that is!

This is a Victorian building... I want to live here!!!!!

But I have pretty much gone almost entirely off track from report cards.

So yeah, report cards come around, and I’m not worried in the least. I did not do well in Math or Physics first semester, and I couldn’t get out of Chemistry until after midterms came out, so that was my lowest mark.

Anyway, including an online mark, my top six marks average up to 83.333… %, so I’m good for the average since it’s only the top six marks that universities look at. So I personally don’t see an issue, except that maybe I could get a couple of marks higher in my online course. However pretty much EVERYONE is cranking down on me to get higher marks, to watch my marks, to make sure that I do my best.

Really, I have two courses this semester, with one online course. Art is something that I could do with my eyes closed, and still get a high mark (I got a 93 in both courses), and English is my favourite subject, and I’m getting an 81 while in Advanced placement. Advanced Placement is exactly what it sounds like, and if your school has an IB program, it’s kind of like that.

I realize that the marks are important, but I really don’t believe that stressing over marks when they are fine is going to make them better. No, I don’t have as great marks as, say, Lexy did when she went to high school, but honestly I’ve grown up with people telling me that I shouldn’t hold myself up against, or try to be like Lexy, and yet this keeps on coming up?

This is my last few months as a high school student, and I will be acting like a total dork when I graduate and will probably only ever visit to be able to say “I’VE GRADUATED AND I’M NOT HERE FOR SCHOOL!”

I want to be able to enjoy it until the last week at least, where upon I will study my butt off for my single exam.

Until then I will do my assignments, fill out job applications for the summer, and look for a prom dress/grad. dress, WHICH, I might add, is stressful enough.

I have never seriously gone dress shopping until last weekend, and the trip only secured the knowledge that I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO DRESS SHOP.

Guys, if you are reading this and scoffing at the thought of dress shopping being that much harder than, say, suit shopping, then you are wrong. Those who have the y chromosome and have no interest in wearing (let along shopping for) a dress will now be regaled with the kinds of questions that one of my friends (who is more than adept at dress shopping) asked when we walked into the first dress shop. Please note that by the end you would probably be freaking out as much as I did, if not more.

Guys, you'd be freaking out like this kid, or perhaps like this horse...

This looks darker in real life, and looks (in my opinion) better on me than on this model... I don't really like it on the model...

What kind of cut do you want?

What length do you want?

Does the fabric matter to you?

Do you prefer sequins, ___ (insert something she mentioned but I have no clue what it is) ___ or stones?

Why don’t you want floor length?

What colours do you prefer?

Well then, what colours do you NOT want?

Do you have any idea of what LOOK you even want?

Did you want a halter top, strapless, ___, off the shoulder, blah-de-blah, insert-some-other-kind-that-made-me-baffled, or what?

Are you planning on wearing heels? Flats?

Do you want to be able to wear leggings with it?

And it went on like that; until it got t the point that I hid out in the changing room, and told my two friends to just grab whatever they think would look good, or whatever. And to just guess what size I am, ’cause the numbers freak me out. Why can’t they just put XL, L, M, S, or XS rather than the numbers? My one friend (the more than adept one, since Buddy#2 was just laughing because she had to go through this before, and already had her dress, and is just as not-adept as I am) said that I might be a 1, but that seems too small, but I tried on a 5 and it was TOOOO big. 

Yeah guys, a 5. In shoes that’s downright tiny, and it was too big as a dress.

 And Friend 1 was right, I’m a 1… pssh…

Quick bit of info about my two friends since I feel as ifI’ll be mentioning them again in the near-ish future: Friend 1 /Buddy #1(both will have code-names later probably) knows about dress shopping and is someone I’ve known since middle school, but only really got to know in highschool, and Friend 2/Buddy #2 is someone I’ve known since gr. 9, but have had almost all of my classes with her… Friend 2/Buddy #2  is not less than Friend 1/Buddy #1, but I figured for the moment I would call her 2 because i’ve known 1 longer. If you read this, 2, don’t shake your head at me, it’s certainly not MY fault that you didn’t go to a public school for middleschool ;P

And yes I realise that it’s also not YOUR fault that I didn’t go to a Catholic School in middleschool.

This is my third choice...

So I tactifully retreated (some may call it hiding), and occasionally came out in between fighting with zippers, stupid gauze-ey things that were supposed to tie in some odd fashion, zippers that HID from me and were infinitely more irritating than the ones that just fought with me, little clips and clasps that didn’t clip or clasp the right way, and got a couple of pictures of the ones that weren’t entirely horrible…

I’m fairly certain that the maker of the dresses were fairly devious when they were figuring out how ther wanted it to be tied and whatnot, since everything was complex enough that I had to get it readjusted once I got out… the only reason why I didn’t get help while puting it on was because I didn’t feel like flashing the entire store, nor did I want to go out of the changing rooms clutching the dress to my chest.

And yeah, the entire thing was mildly scarring for me, so I’m going to do my best to avoid that stuff in the future.

But hey, I got a couple of dress options that I like (second choice is here), and will probably be going to pick one of them up soon-ish…

But I’m not going to let prom shopping worry me any more than I’ll let grades worry me 😀

Instead I’ll wallow in agony over the fact that the prom tickets are $120 each, and the prom comittee, instead of booking us for a cool, old Opera house, decided to go to some sort of community hall-type thing…

Ciao~