Posted tagged ‘Real life’

Finding the Eye of the Storm

December 1, 2012

Yeah, sorry, no guide update yet. I try to save my writing energy for constructive stuff, but perhaps that’s my problem. Perhaps I need to write about less useful stuff to build up momentum.

Anyway, last time I posted I was sitting in a hotel in Moloka’i, stunned by my guild (the near-perfect guild I had been looking for all my gaming life, dammit!) breaking up. But, I’ve bathed in the WoW guild world for so long that my frustration was limited to a short lived disappointment. Guild breakups happen, they suck, but all you can do is move on. As far as I can tell, I’m still on good terms with every party involved, and I’d have plenty of potential homes to choose from, if the need came up.

The timing of the guild breakup, actually, ended up being pretty good. While, yes, it did happen as I was sitting in a hotel room in the middle of the pacific ocean, it also happened right before some stressful changes at my workplace.

Yes, I know that just about each of my posts can be summed up to “I’M SOOOOO STRESSED OMG OMG OMG”, but it’s my blog and I can write what I want.

I have no Hawaii pictures on this computer to distract from the wall of text, so here's a picture of a weekend trip to Banff

I have no Hawaii pictures on this computer to distract from the wall of text, so here’s a picture of a weekend trip to Banff

My life as a grown up

So. I’d consider myself to be rather well adjusted. I have a good job. I’m good at personal finances. I have diploma wall in my living room. I make friends easily. I’m happy about my life. I have a wide variety of interests. I have no hangups about my weight, my gender or what others think of me. Cherishing positive relationships and avoiding negative ones comes naturally.

Yet, when I look back at the last year and a half in my workplace, I want to slap myself.

I had a very toxic coworker.

The laziest, most selfish person you could imagine. A slob who left everything lying around. (I even suspect she used go out of her way to mix up my paperwork to make my life miserable.) A hoarder who’d use our work area as an extension of home, and crowd it with her food and personal belongings. A miserable person who’d randomly yell at others whenever she sensed the world not revolving around her (she even made a few customers cry). A control freak who’d make up bizarre rules for us to follow (but, of course, wouldn’t follow them herself). She’d refuse to learn the basics of her job (what I figured out on my own in 5-10 minutes, she still couldn’t grasp after countless explanations from me, and over 25 years on the job) and would just leave anything less-straightforward on the counter, in drawers or on the floor for me to first find, then puzzle out.

As a new grad, it didn’t occur to me that this wasn’t normal. In school they make you aware that you’ll be constantly juggling problems, that your short term memory will always be stretched to its breaking point, that the hours are hard and that work never ends. When I came home exhausted, stressed and sick to my stomach every day, I figured it was just inexperience. When I suffered a mini-burnout last April (after about 8 months on the job), I thought it was me not being strong enough. (After all, I do have tendency to crumble under pressure… I had my first minor burnout when I was 12 and have had several burnouts of varying intensities since.)

Eventually, the rest of the staff started complaining too, and head office began issuing warnings to this person. Corporations being what they are, it took a long, long, long time, but after a lot of me losing my temper on the phone, that person left the company around the same time as my plane from Hawaii touched ground.

I didn’t even make it home that day. I went straight from the airport to work. Remember, I was gone for 2 weeks. And this toxic person does not do anything. Which means that I had 2 weeks worth of problems, paperwork, mistakes, complaints and hoarding garbage to sort through.

As the stress of doing my regular job added to the stress of cleaning up 2 weeks worth of garbage (plus the 16 months of crap she’d been hiding in closets and cupboards – which amounted to about 3 large boxes of neglected paperwork), bubbles of anger kept surfacing. Anger at this person for taking advantage of me, anger for all the patients and customers who’d been neglected or treated badly by her, anger at being deprived of a “new grad learning” period, anger at the higher ups for not acting immediately.

And mostly angry at myself for not asking for help, for not exposing this person sooner.

I always try to be superwoman. My entire life I’ve been surrounded by overachievers. When things were overwhelming at work, I’d think to myself “Well, Jenni, or M-E would do this easily, I should be able to do this easily too.” Not realizing that Jenni or M-E would have been on the phone with the higher ups from day 1, reporting every incident, speaking their mind, standing up for themselves. Using every resource available until they were treated with at least basic respect.

I’ve been mostly on my own this week to fix all the damage that had been done by “Toxic”. I have a new colleague starting tomorrow and the rest of the staff has been trying to get into their normal groove. I did learn my lesson and have been calling my higher ups whenever I need help, and have been insisting until they give me what I need. But I’m exhausted. There are just mountains of papers and problems everywhere. And every time I feel better, I discover another hidden pile of horrors.

But beyond the work, it’s the anger that’s taking a toll on me. It keeps me up at night, it makes my insides hurt, it makes me snap at my staff and at my friends. I’m not worried, I bounce back easily, but, you know, even for me, healing takes a little while.

How this all ties back to WoW

I’m kind of glad I don’t have to concentrate on raiding with all this turmoil. I do miss raiding like crazy and want to yell obscenities on Twitter whenever friends talk about their raids. Yet, it’s good that I have this time to myself to recover and reorganize my emotions.

A group of my most recent guildies welcomed me to spend my guild transition time with them, which was tempting. Their alt runs would keep me up-to-date for future raids and I respect every player on that team. But as I sort through my fury and fumble toward the light, I felt the need for something different. I wanted old friends, I wanted family.

I sent an email to my good friend Vik (of Leetsauced fame), transfered my character over to Nerzhul and within a couple of hours, carried the Conquest guild tag once again.

It was such a warm feeling. I wasn’t expecting anyone to remember me, but to my greatest surprise, there was a lot of cheering and fanfare when I logged in during one of their raids. I had been having a rough day, and they just turned it around. It felt like I was finally home.

I’ve been sneaking into their Mumble and just quietly hanging out, which is more than enough for me. I’m also happily on the same server as Team Sport, another guild of dear friends, so whenever I escape the stress of work I log into the game and feel blessed.

It’ll be short lived – I miss raiding too much too stick around for too long (and Conquest’s raid schedule isn’t compatible with my work schedule), but in the meanwhile it is reminiscent of when I was going to school in Newfoundland and would visit my friends and family in Québec city for two weeks over the holidays.

I’m visiting old, dear friends for the holidays.

The Intertwinement of Real Life and WoW

March 13, 2011

Before anything, there’s a link I’ve been meaning to share for awhile. When a character hits max level, getting the order of rep maxing right makes a world of difference when it comes to getting that character geared. It’s also a huge headache. So Kahiaau at Green Bar Spec wrote a guide for each of the healing classes. I was thrilled that someone did the hard work to, in case I ever level another healer, make my life easier.

And there’s another link I want to share, one I want to brag about. During my previous clerkship rotation, I wrote an article for our student newsletter about my other passion. I’m quite proud of the end result, so I thought I’d share it. It’s written for pharmacy students, but it’s entry level and anyone should be able to understand it. Head over to the CAPSIL website and hit the “Winter 2011 / Hiver 2011″ link. I’m on page 14. Don’t stare too much at the creepy picture of me or you’ll get nightmares.

So, World of Warcraft. These days, I want to have my cake and eat it too. I slowed down on the gaming quite a bit so I could focus on clerkship. It’s rough. Clerkship, I mean. Even though I’m averaging 12 hours of sleep a night, I can still barely get through the days. I’m chomping on Advil and having sleep attacks all over the place. Which is pretty bad considering I’m making decisions that affect people’s lives.

When I get home, I get two thoughts: “I’m so glad I get the evening to myself” and “I’m so glad I don’t have anything scheduled in WoW tonight.”

But then I see my friends sharing their boss kills on Twitter and in their blogs. Most are either putting their final attempts in on Nef or doing their first few hardmodes. And I get jealous, I really do.

I have been raiding occasionally. Most weeks I manage to get one night of raiding in. The group I play with are really casual, so there’s no stress. They’re fun people, joking around and chitchatting between pulls. They’ve been super welcoming and have even convinced me to pick up tanking again. But I’m discovering that even when WoW is the least of my concerns, I’m not a casual player and I can’t act like one, no matter how hard I try. Maybe it’s that I’m not a casual person. Maybe my WoW attitude just reflects who I am as a human being.
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See These Loose Threads? I’m Tying Them Up.

January 23, 2011

Those looking for my bondage blog will have to keep looking, I have a relatively strict minimal bondage talk on this blog rule.

I know all my blog posts start with “I have lots of ideas, but real life is kicking my arse, blablabla.” I really have no idea how the rest of you do it. My day goes like this:

7am - Get up, get ready for work.
7:45am - Leave for work.
5-5:30pm - Get home from work, get supper ready.
6:30-7pm - Finish supper, have pre-raid nap.
9:50pm - Wake up, get ready for raid.
2:00pm - Unwind from raid, go to bed.

SEE HOW MUCH BLOGGING TIME IS IN THERE? Considering a blog post takes anywhere between 2 and 12 hours to write, it’s just not going to happen. I have no idea how people with kids and a social life manage to do this stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not quitting blogging, I’m just making sure THE ENTIRE WORLD is as annoyed as I am with days that only have 24 hours. Like WTF. What was Mother Nature thinking? 24 hours is clearly not enough for a full day.

The Blogroll

There are few things I hate more than updating the blogroll, but there you go, it’s more or less up to date. If I forgot any paladin blogs, give me a nudge. My criteria are:

- Must have a paladin component
- Must have been updated in the past month.
- Must have been around for a few months.

I’ll make the occasional exception when I feel like it, but I don’t really take recommendations outside of those criteria. I add most blogs to my reader, but my blogroll is long enough, I have to cut somewhere.

New additions you might be interested in are :

Lykkos’ The Healing Bubble – Lykkos joined Conquest around Cataclysm and the guy is brilliant. Really, really smart healer. Hopefully he’ll update a bit more if he gets some traffic.

Joe Ego’s Levelling Holy – Most of your probably know Joe Ego from Plus Heal. And if you don’t, then you should. He’s had a blog for awhile, but the updates have become regular lately so I’m excited to finally get to add his work to my blogroll.

Aunna’s Bandage Spec – Aunna’s blog was actually in my “General Healing” folder, but pretty much all the content is paladin specific. Updates seem to be about every two weeks or so (kind of like my blog!) but the posts are good. They show a solid understanding of the class (I’ve learned a trick or two from Aunna!) and they’re written in a way that anyone get something out of them, from beginner to advanced players.

Fannon’s Dwarven Battle Medic – Another general healing blog that ended up being paladin-centric, Dwarven Battle Medic was one of my favourite discoveries lately. He post about everything from raiding, to general WoW commentaries, to amazing screenshots (I hear he’s trained as a professional photographer and, well, it shows!).

Porkchop’s Porkchopsnholysauce - Another great recent discovery, Porkchop writes about paladin healing and boss strats, with a few inserts about the greater WoW beyond paladins.

Vilepickle’s Best in Slot Ressource: Paladin – I found Vilepickle’s raid logs once when researching boss kills. It was totally random, and I was all “hey, that’s the Best in Slot guy!”. Errm. Anyway, his old BiS tool was so popular that he’s expanded to cover all classes. You have to pay to get access to everything, but there’s enough free information to be useful, even for those of us depended on our meagre student loans.

Naithin’s Fun in Games – A rare non-paladin exception, Naithin was one of the first people I “met” when I started blogging. A former Warrior/Druid blogger, he now writes about most aspects of WoW, with a touch of other games. He’s also a pillar among those of us who write about WoW for the writing part moreso than the WoW part. Those of you who want to get involved with a community of people who write and love to write, Naithin’s your guys.

Twitter Behaviours I feel Compelled to Mock

Yeah, I felt too bad to give these their stand alone post, but there are some (and by some I mean 3) Twitter behaviours that make me /facepalm.

1- Proudly announcing: “I UNFOLLOWED @SOANDSO” “So and so, you’re not my friend anymore! HEI EVERYONE! So and so isn’t my friend anymore!” Like srsly, grow up. Unfollow whoever you want, no one cares. Well, ok, we all love the popcornable drama, but you’re really not doing yourself a favour.

2- Tweets of “Unfollow me all you want, I don’t care!” Hi, stop lying. If you notice you’re being unfollowed and take the time to tweet about it, you obviously care. And if you care, it’s probably because you’re not being followed by enough people. Get out there and make some friends (or just add anyone who seems mildly interesting), then you’ll have no idea who follows you and who doesn’t.

3- Post argument “Oh, @soandso thinks this!” or “I love arguing with stupid people” Really obvious manoeuvre there. You realize that it’s impossible to have an intelligent discussion with 140 characters a reply and you deal with it by making sure the other person is JUST AS FRUSTRATED as you are. And you do it by trying to publicly humiliate them. Great people skillz you got there.

Yeah, I’m sure I demonstrate poor social skills at plenty of times too. Like when I mock people’s Twitter behaviours on my blog.

Anyway, that’s the loose end tying for now. Next few weeks are all about internship work (the joys of being a health science student: you have to PAY TO WORK) and negotiating for an official job when I graduate. As usual, the pattern of offers go: my first choice company doesn’t get back to me, so I go with the best offer among the companies who do get back to me. Then when I’ve developed a good relationship with best offer company and am ready to sign the contract, first choice company SUDDENLY shows interest in me again. It’s so much STRESS.

And to think that I could have gotten a job at WalMart right out of high school and not wasted 10 years of my life going to college and being STRESSED OUT all the time.

January Rain

January 7, 2011

I’ve always envied people who were content living a simple life, or even more, who could bear to be unemployed. It’s not only the having so little obligations that gets to me (although I’m envious of that too), it’s the mere being able to stand doing so little.

It took me a little over a week and a half of Christmas vacation before I was convinced I was losing my mind.

Anyway, if I’m behind on answering comments and emails (I’ll get around to it, I promise!) it’s because I dragged my insane, sobbing, loser self to Montreal for a few days to escape the turmoil factory that is the internet.

I had forgotten how terribly ugly, yet extremely delicious and convenient downtown Montreal is! From All-You-Can-Eat Sushi to an entire chicken in a bowl of soup (both within a couple of hours of each other), I nommed my way around the city for four days. I remembered why I live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean: if I lived near any place where good food was easily accessible, I’d have to waste money on a gym membership to avoid becoming the Chubby Pally and the Overused (Ice Cream) Spoon.

In between restaurants, I got to see Tron and Black Swan (I have such a huge girl crush on Mila Kunis now), aaaand I got to meetup with some awesome people.

Meeting Kurn

And by awesome people, I mean (among others) Kurn, my fellow holy pally and fellow sort-of-Anglo Québecoise. I was really nervous and not too sure what to expect… She’s always been a very strong and forceful writer, but writing styles can be deceiving. I’ve seen myself described as a comedy writer. I hope those describers never have to meet me and my serious, slow wits in person. Anyway, meeting Kurn was lovely, like meeting a long lost sister. I poured my heart out about my in-game struggles, we compared our guilds, discussed blogging and our blogging guildies, brainstormed about the future of holy paladinning and shared tales of growing up Anglo in the midst of the Québec language wars. By the time I looked at my watch, 4 hours had gone by!

Catching up with my fellow geek gamer girlfriends from high school

I also got to catch up with a few old friends I hadn’t seen in a few years. Two in particular have been characters in this blog as my dear fellow geeky gamer girls from high school.

Last time I saw A, who’d gotten me into Final Fantasy, was 4 years ago. At the time, she was super busy juggling jobs, living it up in the city and, well, not gaming. So I was surprised when we stumbled into this conversation:

A: I was playing *whispers* Starcraft 2 and-
Me: You play Starcraft 2?
A’s Husband: *grumbling* She always plays Starcraft 2. She plays for hours!
A: Yeah, I didn’t want to tell you, but when you called me the other night was in the middle of a cooperative…
Me: You could have told me! I totally understand! I get phone calls in the middle of coorperatives too!

Actually, I was sort of lying, I don’t do coorperatives, but I was trying to earn myself a Starcraft 2 buddy. Then we played Civilization V on her PS3 for 4 hours, and her husband teased me about how I went all the way to Montreal to do nothing but watch movies and play video games (but I’m still trying to figure out how going to Montreal to watch movies and play video games is a bad thing).

Later that day, I caught up with V, with whom I spend my last year of high school talking about Might and Magic. When I was 16, I idolized Val. She was gorgeous, brilliant and funny. She was also a free thinker, a natural one. One of those people who don’t give in to peer pressure because it just doesn’t occur to them that they’re being pressured to do or be anything.

I hadn’t seen her for 8 years. I was surprised she remembered me. Even more surprised she’d want to see me. I was anxious. Would she be the same person I looked up to 10 years ago?

Well, one of our first conversations went like this:

V: My favorite game has always been Sonic the Hedgehog. I loved Sonic! But I have this hole phobia so I won’t go near holes. …I never got very far in Sonic.

I told her I played WoW. She answered she loved WoW: she doesn’t play but it keeps her boyfriend out of her hair and lets her have the PS3 to herself. I hear Mr. V is quite the Blizzard fanboy. Maybe we’ll be seeing them at Blizzcon next year.

When the topic of Blizzcon came up, I told her about the cinematic panel I attended. About how they used to use dots to make water and now they use squares. Whatever that means. She then said something about polygons. Polygons? Yep. Turns out she attended video game college. Apparently it’s the best way to learn about 3D modeling. Whatever that is.

For those who didn’t read my initial post about V, it ended like this:

One day I’ll get in touch with that old friend, we’ll joke and laugh about old times. We’ll play the games again and relive those crazy days of high school.

We didn’t get a chance to game together: we were, after all, downtown getting kicked out of coffee shops. But we did those other things.

For both friends (actually, for the few other friends I caught up with too), nothing had changed in the many years since we’d seen each other, except for that we’d become calmer, more experienced and, in their case, even better versions of the people we were 10 years ago.

All that to say that I know I’m totally slacking on the blog, but if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got this overwhelming urge to play Civilization V.

The Chronicles of Ophelie the Wussy Pally

November 24, 2010

I want to thank everyone for your words of encouragement, it really helped keep morale up over the past few days. In the grand scheme of things, two weeks of being a bit sore with less mobility really isn’t a big deal, but I’m a huge wuss and my arse was thoroughly kicked. It took me a few tries, but this post was written lightheartedly and is meant to be read in the same tone. As my friends always tell me: “If you’re not worth a few laughs, you’re not worth much.” (I know, I have really nice friends.)

They say that when really bad things happen, you sort of change your view on stuff. I guess that’s kind of true. For example, I now view 5pm as a perfectly acceptable bedtime. And I view 16 hours as a reasonable, good night of sleep.

Mostly, though, its everyone else who changes. People talk louder, have more off key voices, smack their gum more, have more loud colds, make more noise when they turn book pages, have this annoying habit of existing… At the hospital, they ask about suicidal ideation but, really, its homicidal ideation they should worry about.

There’s always an ambiguous feeling when you’re sick. Part of you is all “NO! I WANT TO DO THIS MYSELF! I CANT ACCEPT RIDES TO CLASS OR ANYTHING I HAVE TO DO IT MYSELF ME ME ME!“. The rest of you is overwhelmed with despair at the thought of having to wipe your own arse at the toilet (not that I have that problem right now, bowels were among the first functions to shut down) or to chew your own food. Chewing is srz bzn, I assure you.

I’ve always criticized other MS patients I meet in the hospital about their whining, but now I kind of relate. I’ve been providing anyone within shouting distance of my progress: “Well, today I can flex my legs a bit more and my left foot is slightly less tingly, but my hands are still very tingly and my back feels sprained from about the fourth vertebrae down, and it hurts when I lean slightly to the left and- Hey!
why are you walking so fast! I can’t keep up! Stop running away from meeeeeeee!

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Even More Computerless than Usual

November 21, 2010

Yeah, I still have no computer. At this rate, I doubt I’ll even be able to find a guild I can pay for that last drake achievement.

I’ve also been quite ill, ill as in unable to walk long distances and ill as in landed myself in Emerg twice in the past four days, and our public transportation is still on strike, so I haven’t been able to make it to the computer lab for some time. I know that by tonight I’ll regret today’s 2 hour trek to the library (normally it takes me 20 minutes to walk to the library) but I AM A GOOD, DETERMINED STUDENT.

I’m sure I’ll eventually get around to telling the tales of my hilarious adventures of the past week or so, and there’ve been many, but I have a lot of work to catch up on and I can only sit upright for so many minutes at a time. I’ll say this though: I will never, ever complain that my abs aren’t strong enough. Seriously. I’m actually terrified that they’ll snap my ribcage. Who knew abs were that powerful?

I’ll answer emails, facebook messages and twitter but I don’t know when I’ll have regular internet access so please be patient. Also, while I can receive twitter DMs on my phone (and only twitter DMs, no email, no facebook), I can’t answer, so if you want a response, include a phone number. I’m bored out of my mind, so it will be my immense pleasure to reply with a lovely, elaborate text message.

ps. I can’t do any kind of graphic editing on this library computer (actually I probably can, but my hands hurt like hell), so use your imagination to picture an ICC drake with something like RIP written on it. Yeah, I’m pissed off that I can’t walk, or sit upright and that my abs muscles are trying to kill me, but I’m still more pissed off at being one achievement short of a drake. Rest assured that my priorities are still in the right places.

What I Did When I Got Tossed Out Into the Real World

November 8, 2010

A couple of nights ago, I was at the library, talking to a friend I ran into there. I was smiling calmly, holding my eternal blue mug, filled with herbal tea. In a zen tone, borrowed from a number of my yoga teachers and very unfitting of me, I gently said: “I feel so less stressed now that I don’t have the internet.”

Ok, I didn’t feel like that the first night. I barely slept. What little sleep I had was interrupted by constant gasping for air. Whether or not it was anxiety or just this annoying cough that’s been plaguing me for the past week coming on, I don’t know. I’ve had trouble breathing on and off my entire life. After being screened for every breathing disorder under the sun, I was eventually referred to a support group for people with mood (and anxiety) disorders. (I’ll say, though, that I met many of my dearest friends via mood group so I’m actually grateful to have been told “it’s all in your head“.)

It’s ok, you can laugh at me. I’m too dependent on one machine. I don’t have a smartphone, or even a semi decent phone. I don’t watch any TV. All my planning, my communication, my entertainment is dependent on a single collection of electric circuits. I had the rug completely pulled out from beneath me.

But it didn’t take me too long to adapt. Here’s what I’ve been doing out here in the tangible world.

1) I started using an agenda! I always use my agendas for, like, the first 2 weeks of a semester. Then I give up on it: I can just rely on classmates and checking my email at the last moment. But then I couldn’t do that anymore. So I went to the lab, pulled up my emails and transcribed everything into my agenda. And OMG! I can’t believe how much easier it is to have all this information neatly sorted in front of me, on paper. As a result, I’ve attended more stuff over the past week than I have in the past 2 months.

2) I watched some TV. Ok, I only know of two channels: TLC and Slice. And those channels play nothing but wedding and baby shows. But! If anyone needs a wedding planned or an emergency delivery, I’m totally your girl. Actually, it did come in handy the other day. I had my class on pregnancy care and the prof asked if any of us knew was eclampsia was. I raised my hand Hermione-Granger-style: I knew exactly what eclampsia was! One of the girls featured on I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant suffered from eclampsia and had a seizure while driving. Who says sensationalist shows aren’t educational?

3) I traded one form of escapism for a slightly more useful one. I did something that completely shocked me. I wrote two exams last week: toxicology and cardiology. Tox is a 1-credit course so there’s no pressure, but cardiology is like getting run over by a train of a giant trucks. Having both of them around the same time was brutal. The exam writing wasn’t shocking, but feeling confident while writing them was very much a new feeling. I never feel confident writing exams. But the thing is this. WoW is my escapism, how I unwind. Without a computer, I didn’t have WoW. I looked around for a different escapism and all I could find was studying. I’m now completely addicted to studying. I bring my notes with me everywhere and I constantly fight the urge to read them. I’m so far ahead in all my classes, you wouldn’t believe it. I expect this to come in handy when Cataclysm drops itself smack in the first week of finals. I’m hoping to have all four of my finals prepared before then.

4) I’ve developed a feeling of deep solidarity with the other inhabitants of the general library’s fourth floor. And no, I don’t mean inhabitants like the issues of the past 50 years of the Sedimentology journal (which are, I’m sure, very friendly). I get my own health science library at the hospital, but its constantly overrun by too-chatty medical and nursing students. The fourth floor of the general library is a world apart from the rest. And I have this feeling of quiet understand with Guy-with-noisy-cold, Girl-who-wears-shorts-in-this-weather, Guy-with-MacBook and Girl-with-scarves. I don’t know any of their names or what their majors are (I’m guessing Math, Kinesiology, English and Liberal Arts respectively because I totally don’t stereotype or anything like that), but after spending night after night in each others vicinity, in that cold, dark wing of the library, we’ve become intimately acquainted. To the point where we smile and say hi to each on campus. I’m positive they call me either “Girl-who-can’t-breathe” or “Girl-who-gets-angry-at-paper“.

5) I finally became acquainted with Freya Stark. I first heard about Freya Stark when I was reading Alice Steinbach’s European traveling records. I just had to find out more about this extraordinary woman who traveled alone throughout the Middle East, at a time where it practically unheard of for a woman to travel alone, especially to such exotic locations. (Although, so far, so she’s met other British women all over Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan so it probably wasn’t as unheard of as we think.) I picked up The Freya Stark Story from the school library (I couldn’t find a link to it on Amazon): her personal account of her early life and first few travels to the Middle East. And wow. Just wow. It’s hard to remember that this was written by a woman who was born in 1893. She’s hard to follow at times: she jumps from one topic to another without transitioning and she often says “we” without letting the reader know who “we” consists of. But otherwise, she’s amazing to read. She uses a lot of imagery (I suppose they don’t call her the poet of travel guide writing for nothing) and she has a strong but subtle sense of humour that I just adore. Sometimes it feels like she’s in my head, writing my thoughts. And her “I’m going to do what I want, and I’m going to do it while looking fabulous” attitude is so perfect. I would have loved to meet her.

6) I hung out with myself. I spend a lot of time alone, but between studying and doing WoW related stuff, I haven’t really spend time with myself since coming home from out West. I did some touristy stuff by walking around St. John’s and taking pictures (which I’ll probably publish somewhere once I get my computer back), then climbed Signal Hill. Can you believe that I’ve lived in St. John’s for 5 years yet have never climbed Signal Hill? I visited the GeoCentre while I was there and was amused by how their geological history exhibit have fantastic “planet”, “local” and “human” history sections while the “future” section of the exhibit was closed due to being under construction. Then I came home and watched the cat sleep on my bed. The hard part is getting my brain to shut up. It thinks of every potentially embarrassing thing I’ve said in my life or social faux pas I’ve ever made and repeats it over and over and over again until all I can think of is “I screwed up my every opportunity at ever getting a job, my profs must all think I’m an inconsiderate, unprofessional idiot, I should stop burdening my classmates by talking to them.” Took me a few hours, but I eventually got it under control and could think more pleasant thoughts. I can see why so many people have trouble spending time with themselves, though. It takes a lot of patience to come to terms with one’s unresolvable distance from perfection.

And that was my little-over-a-week of no computer. It’s not so bad, I’m getting a lot of work done, I’ve been more sleep than I thought my body was capable of and I’m enjoying the break from internet stress. I do, however, miss my guildies so much that it’s kind of embarrassing and I’m very annoyed that they always pick the weeks I’m not there do to All You Can Eat which is STILL the only achievement standing between me and my drake $^&$%$#$@.

I wonder if I could pay a random guild off the realm forums to carry me to it…

Cool pictures of the scenery

April 30, 2010

Due to popular demand, here are some pictures from my backpacking trip so far. Sorry, no pictures of me. I love traveling alone but it has the downside that I never get to be in any of my pictures. Also no pictures of guildies, I was forbidden from posting any compromising shots and, um, all pictures I take of people are compromising.

Click on any picture to make it bigger.

Some views from the Nanaimo-Horseshoe Bay Ferry:

Nanaimo.

Random cute sailboat.

Horseshoe Bay.

Vancouver Pictures:

Vancouver: they have furry trees here.

View of North Vancouver

Cute picture of the city.

I’m heading back to Vancouver next week, so I’ll probably get some more exciting pictures then… When I was there last weekend, I came across the best views on my last morning there, when I wasn’t carrying my camera around.

Penticton:

My little corner of the Penticton hostel.

View of the wineries from the road.

Red Rooster Winery. So much delicious wine!

View from above of the town of Naramata.

I *believe* this is the Hillcrest Winery. The food was overpriced, but amazingly good. One of the best meals I’ve had on this trip so far.

There’s a town there, BUT I CANT FIGURE OUT HOW TO REACH IT! Picture of Penticton. I got lost on the way back to the hostel. So close to town but yet, so far away.

I still have another week of traveling left, so I should have some more pictures I can use to brag about my trip soon!

Burnout is teh suXor

April 6, 2010

I know I’m behind on answering comments and emails. I know I haven’t done the Shared Topic writeup this week. No one’s complained yet, but it’s frustrating me. I want to do get stuff done. I’m supposed to be an efficient person, dammit. I want to get stuff done but the moment I try, I get this overwhelming nausea. I managed to get back on schedule with school stuff. It took all my self discipline but I managed. Anything “optional” just completely destroys me.

I hate using my blog to whine, it’s the exact thing I promised myself I wouldn’t do, but the last two weeks or so, I’ve felt nothing but frustration and guilt when I try to blog. I guess it has to come out somehow.

I keep seeing holy pally misinformation floating by on Twitter and I’m all “OMG YAY BLOG TOPIC!” and go to write. Then I throw up and then I start crying out of frustration.

Things, be they in real life, on the internetz, in game, that wouldn’t usually bother me upset me like crazy. And now I’m wondering if this is the real me and my happy, goofy self was all an act. Maybe I’m actually a psycho woman and my personality is just coming out.

God I hate burnout.

Know what else I hate? Not being able to eat much. I miss food so badly. I have this gorgeous Easter basket I won. It’s full of chocolate. Chocolate that I usually love but that makes me throw up these days. Every now and again I get this little hint of hunger. I excitedly run to the kitchen and manage to get two spoonfuls of oatmeal or yogurt or applesauce in before the nausea comes rushing back.

Oh and this new fainting thing is pretty detestable as well. My cat is great about it though. When he saw me sprawled out in the kitchen at 5 am this morning, he was all “FLOOR PARTY!!!” and chilled with me on ground until I could drag myself back to bed.

This. semester. cannot. end. soon. enough.

But it’s not all bad these days. I’m getting ready to move out West for my summer clinical rotation, which should be pretty nice. I’m getting second thoughts now: Am I going to find an affordable place to live? Is my internship going to work out? Will I run out of money? Yet for the most part, I’m excited. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken off with my backpack on a semi-spontaneous adventure and the wanderlust itch is killing me.

Here are some pictures of the town I’m moving to:

Doesn’t it look amazing?

Anyway, I expect to get my sanity back within the next two weeks. Hopefully I’ll still have a few readers that haven’t been scared away by my whining. Between now and then, if you’ve sent an email or left a comment I haven’t answered, I’m not ignoring them. I really appreciate you all, but I’m not quite myself these days. Or maybe I’m too much myself. Or whatever.


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