Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, it's Thursday (or at least it still is in Hawaii), and I forgot that I needed to put something up here today, so I drawed you all a turkey. With my eyes closed.

That wasn't it. I drew a velociraptor, too. Here's the turkey:

Hope you enjoyed your day, even if you didn't celebrate this mostly-American holiday.

P.S. I guess I haven't actually said it here yet, but my official update day is Thursday. That might change in the future, but that's the plan for now.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Because My Brother is Awesome

I just turned on my computer and found this waiting for me when it was all booted up:

I believe this was inspired by an older entry in my brother Pete's log that I would have linked to but I didn't find an archive or anything for it and I got bored looking after like five minutes so he'll just have to make it easier to find these things so I can be lazy and still let people see exactly what I'm talking about. Anyway, he posted about a random notice that popped up on his computer screen one day that he'd completely forgotten about, so I decided to do the same. This is what the notice looks like in iCal:

In short, thanks for giving me an entertaining idea, Pete.

P.S.: For anyone wondering about the desktop background, it was made by the ever-hilarious Jeph Jacques.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Have Weird Dreams Sometimes

So the other night, just a couple days after Halloween, I had this dream. It was about a haunted house, and I recall wandering around in it and stuff, and I probably should have written this down way earlier because I forgot most of the details but I still remember the most important part, which was the scariest (to me, anyway) part of the whole setup.

There were these glowing red balls, see, and they floated around the place making this creepy noise and following anyone that came within their line of sight. I'm not sure what qualifies as line of sight for a floating red ball thingy, but I have some theories, which I will share later on. Well, I just have one theory, but it's a pretty good one.

Anyway, the noise they made was like something you'd hear in a horror movie. Or at least, what I imagine you'd hear in a horror movie, seeing as I avoid those things like the plague because I have no ability to cope with scary things whatsoever. Seriously, I had troubles sleeping after watching a Hey Arnold! Halloween special when I was in middle school, and I watched it in broad fucking daylight. Anyway, I think it was a mix between some creepy horror movie-type music combined with a low, droning noise like some kind of machine humming or something, but I can't remember very well. This is frustrating, because it's hard to tell an interesting story when you can't remember half the details and every other line is me going 'I think there was a giant purple elephant somewhere, but I don't remember very well' though admittedly there are no giant purple elephants in this dream. I don't think there have been any giant purple elephants in any of my dreams, actually. Maybe that'll change tonight, though.

So this floaty red ball thing was making this noise and following me around, and somehow this is supposed to be creepy, yes? Well, it may not sound creepy yet, but I haven't even gotten to what this thing did when it caught up to you. Just knowing what it did scared the crap out of me, because these things pretty much ended you. If one caught up to you, you were gone. End of story.

So anyway, I'm wandering around through this haunted house, which was strangely light and more like an office or school or hospital building or some weird kind of combination with a bunch of rooms and parallel hallways crossing at right angles and stuff like a hashtag, except it was more like a square of nine hashtags or something. Here's a helpful visual:


...Except imagine that the vertical lines are actually going at right angles and meeting up with each other like the horizontal ones. And that there's no space in between any of that.

Now, the floaty red ball thing wasn't alone. It had friends, and those friends were all doing the same thing: following people that were in the haunted house and doing their scary floaty red ball thing. So I go into the haunted house with my parents (not sure why they were there, but oh well) and one starts coming after me. I run to try and avoid it, then come across another one that's on the floor. It's not red or glowy, though. It's just a little metal machine thing on the floor. Once it senses my presence, it activates and begins to float, but I grab it and deactivate it before it can do anything.

Yeah. Apparently the little glowing red floaty ball things are machines. Go figure.

It's around this point that I realize that what the red floaty things actually do is transport people back to the beginning of the haunted house. Which, now that I think about it, is exactly what the creepy hand things (wallmaster or whatever) in Zelda games do. Only those things still scare the hell out of me, and when I realized that the glowy red ball things weren't doing anything as horrible as I thought they were, I was a little confused as to why they were horrible things that needed to be avoided at all costs or else your life would turn into a living nightmare or something. They were still scary to me, though, so I snuck up on a second one and grabbed it before it could really do anything, then took both of them into a storage room that had some of my stuffed animals in it for some reason. I stuck the glowy things under a blanket where they wouldn't be able to see anybody (yeah, pretty pathetic scary things if they can be outwitted by a blanket) and grabbed as many of my stuffed animals as I could without getting too close to the things. Then I left the room and went to find my dad, who was in some random room with a projector and there was some video playing for some reason. At that point I was kind of confused as to what there was to do in the haunted house because it wasn't really all that scary. And then I woke up.

I guess I probably shouldn't get a job designing haunted houses. Not even my subconscious can make them scary. Which is weird, because I'm used to having really freaky shit happen in my dreams.

Then, either last night or the night before, I had another weird dream. I have braces, see, and an expander which is still doing its expander work, so the braces are just kind of there for me to get used to them until my upper jaw's wide enough to start doing all the straightening work. Which means there are no wires on my braces and the brackets are kind of just sitting on my teeth for show. And to get caught on the inside of my cheeks, which is both painful and annoying because it's hard to undo without sticking a finger in my mouth.

The thing with braces is that you have to be careful about what foods you eat. Hard or sticky foods can potentially make a bracket fall off, and I've had a few incidents where I bite into food and get a massive jolt of pain going through my molars, followed by a horrible panicky feeling before I feel the braces on those teeth with my tongue and make sure they're all still in place. Therefore, it's only natural that I would have a dream about losing a bracket.

The first time I had that dream was before the weird, failtastic haunted house dream, and it was kind of like those dreams where you feel one of your teeth coming loose or one falls out or something. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then consider yourself lucky. Those dreams are fucking freaky, and having the same kind of dream about your braces is incredibly unsettling.

The second time, the one that happened last night or the night before, was strange in its own right, though. The dream started out the same way the other one did - I noticed suddenly that the brackets on my front teeth were missing, and I freaked out because I didn't want my orthodontist to get mad at me for not being careful even though I've been ridiculously careful and obsessive about brushing my teeth ever since I got this stuff in my mouth, but then I remembered something. I remembered that I'd dreamt about losing brackets a few nights earlier. And I realized that I was probably dreaming and that my brackets would all still be in place once I woke up. So I tried to wake myself up.

Granted, I didn't manage to wake myself up, and I don't remember the rest of the dream after that so I can't really say whether things turned out all right in dream land after that epiphany, but it's still weird. This is the second time in my life where I've actually realized I was dreaming before I woke up, and now that I think about it, both times are when I was dreaming about something relatively realistic. The first was about dropping a book in the bathtub, and then there's the brackets dream. That dream where I rode a weird escalator with geometrically shaped neon lights on the sides and ended up in a giant arena fighting a giant orange that turned into a robot while the arena floor caught on fire and I somehow gained the ability to jump like twenty feet in the air and just sat on the arena wall or something until I woke up? Didn't realize I was dreaming. The dream where there's this guy who wants to get this kid who ends up hiding in dorms and then going for a big final attack and Cyclops from X-Men kills Jack Harkness and it's like a weird video game with Hoothoot from Pokémon and the main character is a squirrel or something? Yeah, didn't realize that one was a dream, either. But the two realistic dreams that occur right around the time when I have a legitimate reason to worry about doing what happens in them? THESE ARE OBVIOUSLY DREAMS, DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT.

I really need to start writing a dream diary.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Daily Story Challenge

Update: as of November 8th, 2011, the daily story challenge is OVER! 365 stories in 365 days, pretty good considering I'm bad at consistency. Anyway, this is over now so this is just a regular ol' blog now. Latest entry is just below this one.

It started as a challenge to write a single, coherent story with a decent plot and length of at least half a page every day for an entire year. It then changed to writing a single, coherent story with a decent plot every day for an entire year. Then it changed to writing something that was pretty close to being a story every day for an entire year. Now it's pretty much 'write something that resembles a story and average one per day for an entire year,' and so far I have been successful. I like to post things in order so I'll be re-posting all the older stories from my livejournal in numerical order before I get going with the newer ones, but if you want to read these older stories, you can. They're here and I'll continue posting them on my livejournal until I get bored or I complete the year-long journey of story postage.

I caught up with the older stories, so I am now updating daily (or close to daily) and things are good and stuff.  Not updating my livejournal anymore, though.  Too much effort.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dishwashers are Evil

So one thing that's really fun about anxiety is what happens when you hear about something unpleasant. Take, for example, the day when I learned that slitting one's wrists can end in death. Now, I'm not really sure what a normal person would do with this knowledge, other than acknowledge that people sometimes commit suicide using this method and avoid stabbing themselves in the wrist with a very sharp knife (I'm pretty sure they'd avoid letting other people do this to them, too, although most types of stabbing are generally the kind that you'd want to avoid due to stabbing being painful and potentially fatal and all), but it's doubtful that most people would think about this tidbit of knowledge in situations where this knowledge isn't immediately applicable (i.e., situations where nobody is trying to kill themselves or someone else via wrist slitting).

When you have massive anxiety, on the other hand, learning about one of the ways a person can die is like learning there's a mentally unbalanced serial killer living in your neighborhood. Sure, maybe the killer only goes after a certain kind of person and you don't fit the criteria, but that doesn't mean you won't be as careful as possible to avoid any sort of encounter with this person. After all, it's generally not fun to have a run-in with a serial killer. And even when that serial killer's been captured by the police and sent to jail, there's still that feeling of unease and paranoia that keeps you on your toes. That's the feeling that stays with me years after I've learned about one of the ways people can die.

It's hard not to think about all the ways you can die when you've got anxiety. I mean, it's like you've got all this energy in your system that can only be used for worrying, so you might as well use it on something, right? Personally, I prefer worrying about things that are easy to fix than something that's difficult to deal with. It's so much easier to worry that way. And to make yourself feel better by coming up with solutions to all those little problems that don't really matter and wouldn't be problems if you weren't so worried about everything to begin with. This is why I have a love-hate relationship with my dishwasher.

Ever since I graduated college, I've been living with my parents in an apartment above our gallery. It's been remodeled fairly recently, and while we still have an old refrigerator and oven/stove combo with only one reliable burner, we were able to replace our laundry machines and dishwasher, which for the longest time was only useful as a very large, out-of-the-way dish rack. Granted, having such a large space right next to the sink for dishes to dry is wonderfully convenient, but having a working machine that washes those dishes for you is even better. Thus, when we remodeled the place, we decided to keep the fridge and the oven/stove for the moment and replace the appliances that desperately needed replacing. Of course, the stove falls under that category too nowadays, but it didn't at the time and we can still use the oven and that one burner so we're keeping it for the moment. Anyway, I think I'm supposed to be writing about the dishwasher right now, so we'll go back to that.

Our new dishwasher is wonderful. It works and it's quiet and it's clean and shiny and it's quiet and it does its job well and it's friggin' quiet. My mother was so thrilled to have a quiet dishwasher that she would turn it on before company came over and tell them that the dishwasher was running so that she could hear them be all amazed because it was so quiet. Of course, I can hear it running from my room right now, but that's because the door's open and the rest of the house is quiet and I just heard my mom loading it so I'm really focused on the noise because I'm thinking about it and it's all your fault that I'm listening to my dishwasher because if I didn't want to tell you about it, I wouldn't be listening really carefully for the noise and I guess there's actually someone outside using a power drill or a saw or something that makes a loud "EEEEEEEEEEEEE" sound which is actually louder than the dishwasher even though whoever's doing it is outside. That's how quiet our dishwasher is.

So you can see why I have a love-hate relationship with our dishwasher. Or, at least you can see why I don't just flat-out hate it. And to be honest, there's not really a good reason for me to hate it. At least, nothing involving the dishwasher itself. The only real problem it has is that it's not bolted in or whatever so if you open the door and pull the racks out there's a good chance the dishwasher will lurch forward because of the weight on the door and be all leaning and the racks will slide even further out because the door's lying at an angle and it's kind of freaky to have a dishwasher rack slide out when it's full of dishes that would probably break if they were hit with enough force, which probably wouldn't happen just from the racks sliding out further than they're meant to, but it's always good to be careful when things like this happen. Still, it isn't really a huge concern as long as you remember to keep an eye on things and unload the top rack before pulling out the bottom rack.

The real reason I hate my dishwasher is because I'm the one who has to unload it. I know this doesn't really have much to do with the quality of my dishwasher, unless there's a dishwasher out there that automatically puts the dishes away for you when they're clean, but that'd be ridiculously expensive and probably not the most reliable system unless it was a robot doing it and it was made really well and could be programmed to recognize every single dish you own and put it where it belongs - unless it didn't get cleaned completely, in which case it would simply put the dish in a specially designated place for someone to clean it, or maybe even clean it for you, if it was waterproof and stuff. But since that doesn't exist around here (it could easily exist somewhere in Japan or Bill Gates's house or somewhere else where technology is awesome and there's a bunch of geniuses with nothing better to do than make robots that can unload dishwashers for you (I don't actually know if Bill Gates has a bunch of geniuses with nothing better to do living in his house, but if I were that rich and successful, I wouldn't see any reason not to have 'em)), and since I like to be a contributing member to my household, it has fallen upon me to unload the dishwasher whenever necessary.

Now, I don't really have a huge problem with unloading the dishwasher. It's a simple enough task - everything goes in a certain place, and I generally don't have to touch anything gross while doing it - so I mostly dislike it because it has to be done once or twice a day, and I just don't roll like that. Still, it's relatively painless, and it's only because of my anxiety that I occasionally feel horribly uncomfortable while doing it.

As I was saying earlier, I have a tendency to think about all the ways I could die when there's really not a reason to be thinking about it. The dishwasher manages to bring out this tendency a lot because of what it frequently contains when I go to unload it: sharp, pointy knives. Sharp, pointy knives are a good way to kill someone. Not that I'm recommending people to use sharp, pointy knives to kill someone because killing people is messy and bad and emotionally scarring and most of the time will get you into way more trouble than it's worth, but when it comes to all the different ways you can die, sharp pointy knives tend to be pretty high up on the list in terms of how easy it is to kill someone with them, whether on purpose or by accident. I think it has something to do with the fact that they cut things, and bodies are one of those things that shouldn't really be cut up because they tend to work a lot better when they're all in one piece.

Because I worry so much about all the ways I (or somebody else, for that matter) could die, and because knives are a pretty easy way to make death happen, I sometimes get a little edgy when I have to put the knives away. This is why there's one skill that every person with anxiety needs to learn in order to make their lives happier and easier. You see, if you learn how to ignore the thoughts that go through your head when your anxiety flares up, or at least push them into a corner of your mind where they can be out of the way while you complete whatever task it is that needs to be done, you can get a lot more finished on your own without having to ask someone else to do things for you while you hide in the other room and rock back and forth in the fetal position while you try not to think of all the horrible things that could happen to the person who's doing whatever it is you asked them to do. However, being able to ignore those thoughts doesn't mean you can get them out of your head completely. Thus, whenever I unload the dishwasher, even though it looks like I'm just casually doing a household chore without so much as a single problem, there is a furious race of thoughts going through my head. That race of thoughts usually looks something like this:

Okay, time to open the dishwasher door OH SHIT YOU PULLED THE BOTTOM RACK OUT FIRST NOW EVERYTHING'S GOING TO FALL OUT AND BREAK AND YOU'RE GOING TO DIE BECAUSE YOU FELL ON IT AND GOT STABBED WITH LOTS OF SILVERWARE AND BROKEN PLATES AND STUFF okay maybe not but the dishes could still break and then mom and dad won't be happy and you'll have to get new dishes PUT IT BACK PUT IT BACK PUT IT BACK

Okay, it's back in place, time to put cups away, aw crap they're wet on the bottom dry them off or they'll cover everything in mold and you'll have to drink moldy water ew ew ew ew

Oh crap you left the cupboard door open don't hit your head on it because you've done that before and it is painful oh it's not in a place where you could hit your head on it BE CAREFUL ANYWAY YOU MIGHT HAVE A WEIRD SPASM OR STAND UP WEIRD AND SOMEHOW HIT IT BY ACCIDENT ANYWAY.

Sweet, only have the silverware to put away now... Oh my God you have a knife in your hand be careful you might drop it and stab your foot with it and then it would bleed everywhere and you'd have to go to the hospital because your foot's got a giant hole in it oh phew the knife's put away now. Oh God you have another one in your hand careful careful careful don't stab your arm or something don't touch the sharp part it will make you bleed okay that one's away now.




And yet, with all these thoughts rushing through my head, I am perfectly capable of unloading the dishwasher in a normal fashion without any outward signs of anxiety. In conclusion, I am the world's greatest actor.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Daily Story 365 - LAST DAY WHOOOOO

About friggin' time, too. I can only write so much about inanimate objects doing strange things before I get bored.
What I've learned from this experience:
1. I cannot stick to a daily posting schedule.
2. I'd rather just write blogs.
3. Coming up with random titles is an excellent way to get a good story idea going.
4. It's hard to take advantage of a blog when you're using it for a project you're not too fond of to begin with.
5. I don't want to think of anything else I've learned right now.
6. It feels nice to actually accomplish a goal instead of giving up halfway. Even though I didn't anticipate getting behind so often and all that, I still managed to do this for a year, and that's pretty impressive for me.

Anyway, now that I'm done, I've decided to do something more exciting with this blog. I'm going to... write blog posts! About whatever I want! And they'll be awesome! Also they'll probably be more on a weekly or twice-weekly basis, rather than attempting to be daily. I won't decide on a day yet because I know I won't be able to stick to an arbitrary date, but I'm sure there'll be some sort of predictable routine on here from now on. I hope you'll have fun.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Daily Story 363 - Too Many Funny Occurrences

It is said that it is possible to die of laughter. This is why it is never wise to go to a comedy show when one has a belly ache.

Daily Story 362 - Funny Occurrence

One morning, a man decided to tell a joke to his wife. She found the joke hilarious and laughed for ten minutes before she could calm down.

Daily Story 361 - Yet Another Strange Occurrence

Two days before Tuesday (though I can't remember which Tuesday it was), there was a giant monster made of gummi bears and toilet paper. The frightened townspeople quickly managed to defeat the giant monster, and they made good use of its remains.

Daily Story 360 - Another Strange Occurrence

One morning, a picture frame decided it wanted to be a contortionist. It quickly gave up on its dream, however, when it tried to bend over backwards and broke the glass on the picture within.

Daily Story 359 - Sleepy Tulips

Most tulips prefer to sleep when they are tired. It makes them ever so much more pleasant when they are awake.

Daily Story 358 - Evil Websites

Once upon a time, a writer decided to challenge herself by writing 365 stories in 365 days. Her attempts to share these stories with the internet were thwarted, however, when the site she wished to post them on decided to take at least half an hour to let her sign in.

Daily Story 357 - Snowy Days

A few weeks ago, it snowed in my little town. A few days ago, it snowed again. Snow is so nice and fluffy. It's pretty, too, which is a good thing, seeing as we'll be staring at it for six months straight now.

Daily Story 356 - Halloween

Candy canes and gumdrops and whiskers on kittens are some of the best things ever, but only gumdrops fit into the whole Halloween theme. Though if one had a bunch of kitten whiskers strewn about the walkway leading to the front porch, it would likely give the trick-or-treaters a scare worth remembering. I would not suggest trying this, however. From what I've heard, kittens are rather attached to their whiskers.

Daily Story 355 - Yellow Slime

One day, a kid went out and bought some yellow slime. Her mother threw it away almost immediately, however, saying, "Slime is gross when it's yellow." The kid didn't really care, as she thought her mother made a valid point.

Daily Story 354 - Slow Days

There was once a time when days spanned 5,000 hours. This is probably still happening on some planets, I'm just not sure which.

Daily Story 353 - Strange Occurrence

One day a toaster woke up and decided it wanted to be a ballerina. Nobody was really sure why, because the toaster had two left feet.

Daily Story 352 - Bouncing Kitties

One day, a mother cat gave birth to five lovely kittens. There was trouble afoot, however, as this mother lived on top of a very tall hill, and one day, when the kittens were learning to walk, one walked off the edge of a small cliff and fell.

Fortunately, the kitten was all right, for it was a very bouncy kitten, and it soon proved to be the same for all the other kittens. Thus, life was good for the kitty family.

Daily Story 351 - Walls

Sometimes, one will get a strange feeling as they walk by a house. This feeling comes from the unnerving sensation that the house is moving, when in fact it is simply standing still, as houses tend to do most of the time. However, if one can spy on a house without it knowing, then they may see the house start to dance. The walls sway in unison and everything is happy. Nothing inside the house falls out of place, as it all joins in on the dance. This only happens when a house is unoccupied, however, as houses do prefer to avoid any unfortunate dancing accidents that might occur to people inside.

Daily Story 350 - Bread

I made bread the other day. It is delicious.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Daily Story 349 - Fish

Fish go blub. They also swim.

Daily Story 348 - Tree Ladder Plays House

James's daughter was bored, so she decided to play House. The new ladder James had made joined in once it was finished with its ladder duties, and they had fun.

Daily Story 347 - Tree Ladder

One day, James found himself in need of a second ladder, so he found himself some fallen trees in the forest and used the best wood from each tree to construct a new ladder.

Daily Story 346 - Ladder Tree

Near James's house was a tree that was shaped vaguely like a ladder. Other than that peculiarity, the tree was rather normal, and James's daughter enjoyed climbing it from time to time.

Daily Story 345 - Death of the Bread Ladder

After a couple of weeks of having a living lump of ladder-shaped bread wandering aimlessly around the house, James noticed something. The bread ladder was getting moldy. A week later, the bread ladder smelled so horrible that it decided to go off and die in the forest. James buried it next to its favorite ladder-shaped tree.

Daily Story 344 - Bread Ladder Bread

In the strangest twist, the second ladder-shaped bread that James and his daughter baked after the first such bread was so loved by the ladder seemed to take on a life of its own. It became hungry after a while, and so James and his daughter baked it some bread. The bread ladder seemed to be perfectly fine with this.

Daily Story 343 - Bread Ladder

James's daughter was bored, so James decided to bake some bread with her. They baked it in the shape of a ladder. That night, the ladder that usually ate the bread that James baked was pleased and flattered to see that its bread was in the shape of a ladder.

Daily Story 342 - Ladder Bread

James's ladder was hungry, so James baked it some bread. The ladder enjoyed eating the bread, so James baked it bread every time it was hungry from that day on.

Daily Story 341 - Helping Hands

Someone's hand got chopped off in a bizarre and unfortunate baking accident. The hands took on a life of their own and began doing things all around the town. The people of the town were confused but grateful.

Daily Story 340 - Delicious Bread

I have been recently in the mood to go on a baking spree. I've made brownies and cookies and pie crusts from scratch, and mother dearest was kind enough to buy some yeast so that I can make some bread.

Yay bread.

Daily Story 339 - Pyro Bread

The treacherous bread of the place of legend set the whole place of legend on fire. The mops had to work 24/7 to put out the flames and there were quite a few minor burns that had to be treated afterward.