It's been a week or so since I talked about having difficulty starting up with school again this year. I was optimistic at the end of that entry, and figured that I would get back into the swing of things soon. Oh man, did I overestimate my ability to manage stress!

Good news though, I did manage to quit that extracurricular activity that I had been wanting to wash my hands of last week. My responsibilities relating to that have all but ended. The most I'll be required to do is hand over some information and paperwork.

Right now, I'm working on getting caught up with my classes. I'm doing better than last week, but each time I seem to be almost caught up, I get assigned even more. That's life as a student. I think I need to prioritize my tasks more. Copying notes is all well and good, but I've been neglecting practice problems. I feel like if I focus more on those, I'll have more time, plus I'll have a better understanding of the material. I'm so used to copying notes to study that I'm not sure how it'll go. We'll see.

I have a quiz and two tests coming up, so wish me luck.

My mental state has been interesting. Historically I've been a people-pleaser, but I'm trying to break out of that right now. I have been taken advantage of too often by people who wouldn't give me the time of day if the roles were reversed. I am no longer willing to play the role of the person who is willing to accommodate everyone's needs, while neglecting their own.

This kind of thinking really came to a head when an unpleasant individual wouldn't stop talking about himself during one of my extracurricular activities. I hate it when people assume that I'm just an audience for them. If I'm polite to people, especially men... actually, this has only ever happened with men... they assume that it means I'm interested in hearing their entire life story. They effectively read me their resume and think that it's a valid conversation. Sorry guy, I give not a shit about your degrees and all your work experience. Plus, why are you in university again if you're supposedly so accomplished and have so much to offer the workforce? Go work and leave me alone if you're so great. Anyway, the second time the guy tried that on me, I tried to look as disinterested as possible and interrupted him in the middle of his sentence to tell him I was leaving. I think if he tries it again I won't even acknowledge him, I'll just leave, LOL.

In other news, on the weekend my fiance and I went for a drive to a neighboring town. The weather was great, so we walked the beach. I collected some sea glass and put it on top of various posts and concrete structures for people to find. I found a tiny little blue piece, which I thought was really pretty. After our walk we visited a few discount stores, got cheap popsicles at a grimy convenience store (immaculate vibes), and picked up some vegetables at a farm market. I had a really great day, which I needed after the previous week's stress.

Last night I did my usual hike. It's getting dark earlier each week, but I made it to the bottom before the sun completely set. Didn't see much wildlife this time, but the grasshoppers are still around, just in lower quantities. Seeing a bird take off from its tree and fly over my head filled me with a brief and strange sense of joy.

I want to find more time to do the things that I enjoy. Working on my website, making art, and exploring nature have taken a backseat to studying and attending classes for the time being. Maybe if I get caught up with schoolwork, I'll be able to take a breather. Speaking of which, next week and the week after have Monday holidays. I'm planning to use these days off to my benefit to try to get caught up.

Looks like I ended up being pretty negative in this one, too. Here's hoping the next entry is more cheerful, for my sake and the sake of those who may be reading.

Until next time.


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School started, so it's been awhile since I've had time to write. I'm having a hard time getting back into it after such a long vacation. Plus, I'm taking an extra course this time. Oh well, I'll get used to it eventually.

Speaking of school, I started teaching a beginner's HTML class as part of my internship. I am definitely not qualified to do this, but so far I'm just teaching the very basics. It's good practice for speaking in front of others, a skill at which I am very weak. I was pretty nervous but I think the first session went pretty well, considering.

My finance course is giving me a bit of trouble. A lot of the courses in this school claim to be beginner-level, but the professors assume that the students have a lot of prior knowledge and breeze through or completely ignore the basics of the subject. This would be fine if we had enough time to learn the material at home, but so much material is squeezed into such a short semester that it becomes unsustainable. I'm paying for the course; shouldn't I actually be taught the material? The worst part is that the professor for this course usually arrives 10-15 minutes late to a 1h15min long class, and spends half of the time telling jokes and anecdotes. I want to learn, dammit (and pass)!

Rant over, sorry. Among my other courses are an accounting course, a computer course, and a law course. The computer course has mostly been about Excel so far, but we're supposed to be learning about databases later on, which I am looking forward to. These three courses haven't been too stressful so far. I'm doing my best to keep on top of the notes and practice problems, but I seem to be falling behind by one class or chapter each time. One of these afternoons I'll have to really put my nose to the grindstone and get caught up. There are certain extracurricular responsibilites at school I have that are getting in my way, but I'm thinking I'll be able to pawn them off on someone else soon. (I'm basically picking up after someone who left me in the lurch, but after the pieces are back together I'm outta there!)

My little secondhand haul. The pets need a clean.

On the more positive side, I had a nice weekend overall. I spent it with my fiance. It rained a ton so we didn't do much, but it was nice to spend time together. Also, I bought some secondhand things locally: three littlest pet shop figures that were missing from my collection, as well as a copy of Pokémon Pearl and Rune Factory for the DS. I owned Rune Factory before, but it's been missing for awhile. I think I must have loaned it out to someone who never gave it back. As for Pearl, it's a new addition to my collection, though I already owned Diamond version. I'm also missing my Platinum version... I wonder who has it now. [will update later with pics.]

Another LPS I picked up while thrifting recently.

Now that the term has started, I have less and less time to spend on everything other than studying. That includes exercise, unfortunately. It could just be because I didn't sleep enough last night, or because I ate some rice cakes that didn't sit well in my stomach today, but this evening's hike was a bit of a slog. My muscles aren't complaining, but I was huffing and puffing the entire way up the mountain. Maybe I'm falling out of shape. I'm going to have to add some more cardio into my routine...

The tone for this entry wasn't the most positive, but overall I'm doing OK. Stress is normal at the beginning of the school year. I'm improving in everything each and every day. I think that once I get a few things sorted out and get used to my new routine, I'll feel great.

Until next time.


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Today I found out about the concept of "webgardens". They're webpages where people have been displaying little 250x250 frames of others' websites, called "pots". Here is some more information about them, as well as a tutorial on how to make your own. (Attention: I think she has written "posts" where she meant to write "pots" a few times, don't get confused.)

Needless to say I love this concept and immediately started to try to make my own "pot". It's pretty basic at moment of writing but I'm still working on it.

In other news, I had a great past couple of days. On the 28th I went for a hike to a local waterfall that I've visited a few times before. The forest that surrounds the waterfall is amazing; full of tall trees, moss, and mushrooms. It's like something out of Tolkien.

My friend the cicada on my shoulder.

On the way in there is an ATV trail that has filled up with water. Imagine my surprise when I discovered some salamander larvae living in the little puddles. They were adorable! It was my first time seeing them in person. I sent some pictures to my internet friend who likes axolotls, and he explained that they were baby salamanders (originally I had thought they were mini-axos, lol). Unfortunately the photos aren't very good, so I won't share them here.

Along the trail we also saw two toads, and one large frog. There was even a tiny frog swimming in one of the puddles.

After our hike we went to the beach. Sitting in a beach chair and relaxing, I turned my head and discovered a cicada sitting on my shoulder. He sat there very calmly and politely, until I put my finger out for him to climb onto. It must have made him realize that I was a huge scary mammal, because he quickly and noisily flew away after standing on my hand for only about 30 seconds.

Next I went swimming. I used my snorkel and saw some crabs and fish as usual. Crabs continue to be very entertaining to me. They threaten me whenever I swim near.

The cicada after climbing onto my finger.

To round out the day, we harvested some green and yellow beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and a whole ton of garlic from the garden. The garlic is outside drying now.

Today (the 29th: I am writing this after midnight) I went to work in the morning, which was fine. After work we hiked up a local mountain that we've been doing once a week this summer. The wildlife today included possibly thousands of noisy grasshoppers, some huge dragonflies, a harvestman in a blueberry patch, and some amorous slugs. I've been able to push myself more and more each time I do this mountain (assuming I get enough sleep and food the day of), which is very motivating to me.

I didn't mention this yet on here, but I had a bit of a depressive episode this summer, but I think it has passed. I'm looking forward to challenging myself with tougher hikes in the future. School starts next Wednesday, so I'm gearing up for that as well.

Until next time.


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This week I received two lovely packages in the mail.

The first package was a copy of W.I.T.C.H. volume 10. It's a graphic novel series that I loved as a kid, but I never got to read them all because the library didn't have them. I still really love the characters and art style. Now that I have adult money, I'm slowly collecting all of the omnibus editions. I won't post a picture of my copy since it's the same as all the others, but here's what it looks like.

The littlest pet shop figures I received from my friend.

The second package was my friend's half of a trade we were doing. She was super generous with her end of the trade. She sent me some Littlest Pet Shop toys that I was missing from my collection.

I love getting things in the mail. Every time someone trades with me or I make an order, it gives me something to look forward to. :^)

Lately I've been playing Pokémon Soul Silver while my fiancé plays Heart Gold version. I started out with Totodile this time, even though I usually choose Chikorita. I'm about to fight Whitney and her Miltank, so wish me luck, lol.

On another note, the start of the school year is fast approaching and I'm sort of dreading it. I even had a mini-freakout about it yesterday. Studying all the time has its rewards but I'm worried that I'll have a hard time getting back into it after two months' summer break. Plus it means I'll have less time to spend on hobbies like editing my site, reading, and drawing my characters. Oh well, I'll try to squeeze that stuff in on evenings and weekends.

Until next time.


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I recently stumbled across this delightful pixel doll archive website.

The room I made today. The assets are from a defunct site called Cyworld.

Pixel dolls, doll-makers, dress up games, and room makers were one of my first forays into the Internet as a kid in the early 2000s. Sadly, a lot of the classic websites like dressupgames, elouai, etc have either shut down completely, or changed so much that they are unrecognizable.

I had a lot of fun this evening browsing this website's archive. I saw some old familiar doll art styles and even some images I remember from maker games I played in my childhood. I highly recommend checking it out and playing some of the games in the Dollmakers section.

The site is pretty much perfect for pixel doll lovers. New dolls and makers are still being added. My only complaint is that the function for saving your creations downloads a blurry, upscaled version of the pixel art. I'm sure this will eventually be fixed.

This is pretty dangerous, actually. I might end up wasting a lot of time on this site...

Until next time.

P.S.: (It's technically the next day, but whatever.) I made the site's main content container narrower today. The way I do galleries is giving me trouble each time I want to change things around. I'm going to try to find some other method for them.


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I decided to set up a diary page where I can talk a little bit about my personal life as well as plans I have for the website.

Today I'm thinking about how I want to change the main style of this site. I think it's okay, I like the colours and everything. But it's also pretty plain, and now that I'm a bit more knowledgeable about CSS and have seen some cool and inspiring personal websites, I want to kick things up a notch.

I'd like to have more variety between the main pages' layouts while still keeping the same general look. For example, maybe this diary page can look more like a real diary book, with little pages to turn. I'll have a fun afternoon or five trying to figure out how to make that work.

Before I go too crazy with changing the style, I'm going to make sure that all of the main pages have at least a *little* bit of content. To tide myself over I've made all the borders 1px wide instead of 3px... I think it looks a lot nicer. I'm including links to screenshots of most of the main pages today (the ones with content, and one without) so that my future self can look back.

Anyway, I need to stop doing all of my website edits at 3am. I get way too into it and it keeps ruining my sleep schedule, LOL.

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