✿ Diary ✿

Apr. 13th, 2023

Not to go on about spring, but as I was finishing up my treadmill exercise for the day I could hear screaming coming from outside. Turning to look, I discovered two teachers (or a teacher and TA, idk) had brought their class over to the jungle gym and swings on this unseasonably sunny and, dare I say, hot day. The sound of unfettered access to freedom was amply audible! The kids even managed to rope one teacher into a mini game of football!

It's little things like that that kids will remember. It made me recall a similar experience, when we'd gone as a class to do "field research" in a park for science and instead of bringing us directly back to the school, our teacher allowed us to spend the rest of the time playing on the swings and climbing frames instead. She could see the joy, the way we had all been eyeing the swings while we worked but didn't dare venture over, and she was smiling for the rest of our park visit, too.

There's no further point here, other than to document a brief moment of joy that I hope extends on to anyone reading, as well. <3

Apr. 11th, 2023

Spring feels like it's finally arrived! The weather has been so lovely of late. The basement where I can usually be found computing is still quite cold (which will be very nice in the middle of summer) but outside and through the rest of the house you can smell this special time of year in the air!

To me, this scent and feeling bring back so many memories. The way we would rush outside at recess or on the weekends without a coat on, even if it was still technically chilly coat weather. Bringing out the patio furniture and setting it up. Playing Barbies on the deck like they were on some kind of amazing outdoor vacation from the little nooks and corners that typically served as their houses indoors... That last one also reminds me of the Kelly Playland set. I loved that thing SO MUCH and I cannot explain why! It was fun indoors, of course, but just felt completely elevated when it was brought out onto the deck on a nice sunny day. I guess it went from a McDonald's PlayPlace to fully functioning outdoor park/jungle gym on those days.

As one sometimes does when facing turmoil in one's life, I've been looking a lot at old toys I used to own. The Hamtaro Ham-Ham House, the Kelly Playland, and a number of other things that I can't remember right now have been forefront in my mind. I would love to own them again, but it raises the question: What would I actually do with them? To sit and play Barbies or Ham-Hams now feels wrong somehow. Not in an embarrassing way, just in a "How do I do this?" sort of way. The concept of playtime is something I think adults still grasp (well, some of them do, anyway) but in a wholly different way: I'll watch an anime, or play a video game, or sew a cosplay. Might even clean up an area for funsies lol. In a world so fast-paced and productivity-oriented, stopping to hash out a melodrama for the Barbies nowadays seems wild, like there isn't time for it when there are so many other things that need to be done... Maybe we need some [insert toys of choice] time in our lives to remind us of what it is to slow down and relax.

One of my friends recently discovered her old Barbie collection and did a little show-and-tell. Maybe that's all we can do now: Go through our bins, fondly recall the simpler times, then put them away again and move on. [shrug emoji]

Speaking of Barbies, the Barbie movie is coming out around the same time as my birthday! I can't wait to see it, even though I know it'll be another long while until it comes to a streaming service. I didn't like movie theatres before, but with the pandemic and my OCD on top of that, even for such a fun movie there's no way I'll be seeing it before (probably) next year lol.

Apr. 6th, 2023

When—despite your hoping otherwise—people turn out to be exactly who you thought they were, it's always disappointing.

The friendships have ended. After being briefly interrogated and harassed, I finally put my foot down and it turned out to be for the final time. While I'm at peace with my decision to finally stick up for myself and not bow down to them any longer after ~15 years, while I'm currently only feeling anger at their cruel and untrue words, I know it's in the coming days, weeks, and months that other emotions will creep in.

Already I've been second-guessing myself. Maybe I really am the awful one. Maybe what I said and did were really mean.

Then I think of how they've taught me over the years that it is always my fault. I think of all the times they've done exactly what they're accusing me of doing, of how they cannot be held accountable, how they have always, always victimized themselves... I think about how they ganged up on me like this final conversation was some sort of grand takedown, and when I didn't agree to their terms, how one cut and ran immediately, and how the other said the nastiest, most cutting things they could possibly think of.

I wonder how many more bridges these two will burn with others before they stop to wonder if maybe, just maybe, it has been their own words and actions that have caused people to leave. It's wishful thinking; I know this will never occur to them.

On the other side of this, in spite of being angry and upset, I feel relief. No, it didn't end in the graceful-drifting-apart sort of way I'd hoped for or imagined, but it's done now. It's over. I'm free to do what I want, think what I want, without being spoken down to or—no, I'll call it for what it is: I'm free from the bullying. It's funny to me how they can't see the adolescent level of drama they've been operating on for the past 10+ years and got upset with me for pointing it out. And now I never need to hear another hyperbole-laden recount of events, never have to have a mean thing said to me by them again... It's a little surreal still. I can't wait to discuss it with my therapist next week.

For now, though, Easter is approaching! I've got all the bunny decorations up and know there will be some chocolate eggs to be had. Most of the decorations are ones we've had since I was a kid, including window clings (the real ones lol, not the gel kind), giant card cutouts of bunnies, a tiny Easter Tree, and even the baskets with plastic eggs. It's the first comforting drop of nostalgia after Christmas, and I'm very glad it's so close to the unpleasantness that's just happened.

Do you have any fun Easter decorations or nostalgic traditions? A favourite chocolate/candy? Let me know in the guestbook! (I really do need to figure out how to add a comments section over here...)

Apr. 1st, 2023

Happy April! I spent some time today wandering around my island, enjoying the cherry blossoms and crafting the new picnic basket recipe that Isabelle sent out this morning. I loved to see it included some dango since Rilakkuma and Kaoru has been playing on something of a loop lately [sweatsmile emoji] and they're almost always eating dango.

I had a further idea for this entry early this afternoon but it left me before I had the chance to sit down and write lol. So for now, I hope anyone reading this is enjoying their day and that something nice happens. <3

Mar. 25th, 2023

Just a quick little post! I came across a picture of the very first Bratz doll I had: Jade from "The Strut It! Fashion Collection"! (Photo sourced from the web but the page it came from was broken so it's unlinked.)

I really regret donating so many of my childhood toys in a few days of "I have to get rid of everything!" madness, my Jade collection included. For some reason any time I got a Bratz doll it was ALWAYS Jade lol! I had the Winter Wonderland (I think that was the name?) version, which I somehow still have a whole outfit, some jackets, and boots from, and also Tokyo A-Go-Go... and of course the above Strut It! variant. I brought that doll with me everywhere for a while, so it was really neat to "see" her again after all these years. The top and skirt were still so vivid in my mind even though I haven't thought about them for so long. They have anniversary re-releases of Jade, and I'd really like to get just the basic one so I can dress her in the clothes I have left and display her somewhere.

It did remind me that I was lucky enough to have kept my My Scene dolls and they're now heading the brand new "Barbies" page in the misc. section! They were sort of like Mattel's knockoff/ripoff version of the Bratz dolls, but I think overall I actually preferred them. They could still wear regular Barbie clothes and shoes whereas the Bratz were a very specific size and could only wear the Bratz shoes.

Either way, I had a great time as a kid with both brands, and I'm eager to have photoshoots with all my other Barbies lol!

Mar. 21st, 2023

I've been logging WAY too many hours on LOTRO because of the Spring Festival. Fic writing has suffered, but since I've now completed the 12-day-long quest I anticipate a much more normal level of play lol.

Word has come that the seasonal job I've had for 10+ years, which went "remote" last year, will again be available to me. This is good news in that I will be paid and making an income once again in a way that's work-from-home and doesn't force me to interact with anyone except by email or the occasional phone call. It's also familiar, relatively easy, and perhaps most importantly, it means I don't need to be out in public somewhere triggering my contamination OCD at every turn. The pandemic has really taken a toll on my mental health, which was already very poor after many years of people-pleasing and accidentally not being able to set boundaries, etc. but March 2020 really sent my brain spiralling down into oblivion lol. I know many others can relate. <3

The only part of it I'm not fond of is that there aren't really "hours". I record the hours I work, what I worked on, and submit them every two weeks. For some I'm sure that would be considered ~the dream~ lol, and it's absolutely not that I want to work a 9-to-5 (been there, done that, didn't like it), but some kind of structure would be great. I don't know what that structure would be, I don't know how to put my exact feelings into words, but... structure!

In trying to brightside this, however, I've realized that I get to work in my own space and kind of on my own terms. While I was working in person, listening to music wasn't permitted, but here at home in my little workspace I can listen to whatever I want! I have trolls and some plushies on my desk to smile at me every day, I'm surrounded by stickers and posters—and I can surround myself with even more if the mood strikes! Perhaps my favourite discovery, however, is that I could very easily sit and work with a BAB (or any other plushie for that matter) in my lap without anyone even knowing! It's wild!!

Life update aside, I opened my window today for the first time in months; the weather here has become much more temperate over the past few days so it was warm enough to let some fresh air in without freezing! There's a particular smell in the air that comes with melting snow and thawing earth that is just such a huge reminder of those early spring days in elementary school. Sometimes we weren't allowed on the field for days and had to only play on the tarmac at recess (or, sorry, "nutrition breaks" [eyeroll emoji]) because the snow was melting and there were little ponds and mud all around that teachers and custodians obviously didn't want kids trailing in through the school.

There's a kind of fuzzy memory in my mind, vivid enough to remember some specific instances on that field where puddles abounded but there was somehow still a thin layer of ice over them. Sometimes we would try to crack it open to get to the water, and other times we would try to skate on it for as long as we could before it gave way. I can remember the whole layout of that field, where we skated, where we poked at the puddles and the mud. As I write this I think back on some of the games we would create for ourselves, wonderfully imaginative and free-for-all because there were no rules or anyone to tell us we were "doing it wrong".

I hope that's sparked a memory or two from your elementary school days. Now more than ever I'm wishing to have proper blog programming here so you could leave a comment about your springtime recess memories. Drop me a line in the guestbook instead! Goodness knows it needs more love, and don't forget to check for replies! ;)

Mar. 18th, 2023

Today I added a music player to the navbar and I'm so excited about it! Back in the day I remember midi files playing automatically when you'd hop on somebody's page. If they were really fancy, they had a selection of midis in a little player somewhere for you to choose from... and then the really, really fancy pages had a real music player, playing actual songs instead of midi files. That was always like "Whoa!" so I've wanted to have one on this website for a while but just didn't know how to go about it.

This one is a Spotify player, which seemed the easiest route to go since they offered the option to embed and customize it a bit, and I already had the whole playlist on there. It's a collection of songs I've been compiling over the past couple of years, songs that I remember having on cassette tape or CD, hearing on the radio while at my parents' work, out and about in restaurants or malls, at school, on TV... wherever! They're songs I really enjoyed as a kid or that just stuck with me for all these years. I hope they bring you some joy and a nostalgic memory or two, and that you maybe find a few you'd forgotten about. :)

Mar. 6th, 2023

Each time I make a new entry, I copy/paste the coding from the last one to save time, and I wish I were coming here fresh from playing an old game now. (Though I have been logging some serious hours on LOTRO with my new character...) [sweatsmile emoji]

The first real entry in this diary—which is what I'm now calling it as "blog" to me feels more performative and less personal—was talking about some friendship troubles. I am now reporting that the friend who wasn't sure whether they could continue to remain on amicable terms with me since I was not wholly "on their side" has since cut ties. They did it in a subtle way, but after spending so much time seeing how they cut ties with the other friends... it's exactly the same down to timeframes and tests. I can't say it doesn't hurt; I was there for them through the immense struggle they endured (and are very much continuing to endure) and to be cast aside when they're no longer able to use me is something I'll be wrestling with for the next little while.

The option was given to communicate via messages rather than our usual video calls for the next several months (their chosen timeframe) but I don't think I'll be reaching out at all. If they want to message me I will politely respond, but if this is another one of their tests then I'm not rising to the occasion.

What truly is grating on me the most, however, is that they seem to not be allowing their partner—whom has also struggled through the past year and a bit of this quite valiantly—to speak to me, either. They didn't say anything about it in their group message, only that they wouldn't be participating in our weekly video calls, so I replied in understanding and extended the offer to their partner to continue on if they would like. Unfortunately I was met with a very stilted response that, in essence, said they would reach out when I could be of use again.

I can't pretend that doesn't hurt, either.

But I'm free from being dragged down into an emotional abyss every week now, I suppose... I'm going to continue distancing from the other two friends as well, but I'd thought and hoped the friendship with this person and their partner might carry on and become something great. Oh well... You win some, you lose some. My mother has always said that and it rings so true right now.

So in other, more pleasant news, I've been getting back into the swing of LOTRO lately as we gear up for the spring festival. It's been an interesting learning curve to use my new keyboard and mouse setup. There are things I love about it and things I prefer on my laptop, but I expect I'll get very used to it after a while.

I've also been working on some fun, self-indulgent fanfics of late, something I encourage anyone who enjoys writing fics to do. They'll never be AO3 published, but they make for a wonderful creative outlet and are enjoyable to re-read and gently edit at night before bed. I've said it before and you will read it MANY more times on this site lol, cringe culture, in my mind, is well and truly dead. Love what you love and don't be ashamed! There is nothing better to read than a story that is perfectly tailored to each and every one of your own personal joys.

This is turning into a long and wordy entry, so I'll wrap up by saying that I'm nearly finished my Black Butler re-watch and don't want it to end! I've been splicing in episodes of my Sailor Moon Crystal re-watch as well to stretch it out a bit longer, and I'm looking forward to finishing that as well so I can go back and watch the original Sailor Moon series (and maybe try out a couple new series, too).

Stay sparkly!

Feb. 26th, 2023

I come here fresh from playing an old game that used to occupy me for hours: Hello Kitty's Big Fun Deluxe. It was part of a series of games on one CD by Big Top Entertainment, the others being the Felix Cartoon Toolbox and Keroppi Day Hopper. As you can tell, it was Sanrio themed aside from Felix... I'm not quite sure why he was there lol. The Felix Cartoon Toolbox was a program you could use to make animations/movies featuring Felix the Cat (obviously) and, if I recall correctly, various backgrounds and other animated objects; this is one I'd like to try out again. The Keroppi Day Hopper was pretty useless as a kid unless you had a busy schedule, as it was a simple day planner. It may also have had a diary function, which I think I used more than I ever used the calendars. When I was a kid my mother usually kept track of my schedule for me, or I had little pencil-and-paper planners that came with a clear plastic outer sleeve and usually had cute animals or a funky design on the covers. It just wasn't convenient to boot up the ol' PC, put in the CD, and wait for Keroppi's Day Hopper to load.

The website I stumbled upon–Classic Reload—offers the chance to play this again either for the sake of nostalgia, or if you've never ever heard of this in your life. I'm looking forward to checking out some of the other games they have. It's so convenient to be able to load up the game right there in the browser as opposed to trying to find it for download somewhere and hoping that you can somehow make it compatible with 20+ years of technological advancement. It's a bit slow and laggy, but isn't unplayable by any means—in fact it's a great way to take your time and slow down in an otherwise fast-paced online world.

Feb. 22nd, 2023

Desiring nothing more than a nice cold cup of milk tea while my OCD has kept me housebound for the duration of the pandemic, I set out to try to make some myself. Unfortunately I can't drink quantities of milk, even just one cup for this, because it makes me ill, so I've set out on a quest to find the best alternative. So far I've tried something called NotMilk (not sponsored, just linking in case it's helpful) and that has by far been my favourite. The only trouble is that it's extremely difficult to get here, so my next try has been Silk oat milk. As I type I'm sipping from the second milk tea I've made with it and... this ain't it. [crylaugh emoji] note to self: look into integrated blogging platforms that would allow for liberal use of emojis In my initial test I think I over-iced and then it melted to dilute the taste a bit, but this very much tastes like wet oats and I can't say I'm about that lol. Ah well, back to the drawing board!

In other news it feels like friendships are dissolving left and right. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; some of them I'm actively trying to dissolve. [sweatsmile emoji] One in particular, however, I just got word on yesterday that it may be them de-friending me if I continue to associate with the friends whose relationships with me I'm trying to dissolve. This person has been going through a really rough time lately and I get that. Still, it can't be expected that everyone deals with situations in the same way, so my long game of slowly and steadily putting distance between myself and these other friends in a way that's safe for me is sadly never going to be in line with their need to cut all ties immediately and be done with it.

In other-other news, I've been getting back into anime and all things kawaii of late. Truth be told, I never really wanted to give it up, but the influence of society (and the particular judgement from one of those aforementioned friends I'm distancing from) made younger me feel bad and foolish and so I moved on to different things. I still love those other things of course, but I also still love certain animes and mangas, and Rilakkuma, and etc.! It's been very freeing to go back to those interests with a fresh perspective and an open heart. This is the year, I've decided, when I make the most concentrated effort I have ever made to enjoy wholeheartedly those things that bring me the most happiness and not spare a single care for what other people may think or the judgement they may pass.

This milk tea is awful but I have to finish it so I don't feel like I've wasted an entire tea bag and cup of oat milk. [sweatsmile emoji, again]

Feb. 21st, 2023

I'm putting it in writing on my blog page that I'm going to do my best to keep up a blog. :)