I Know What It Is

I wish I could easily skim through all of my old entries here and try to pinpoint something. Specifically, I want to know when it was that I started really wondering about who I was inside, and took the first step toward pinpointing and any / all of the factors contributing to the way my mind worked, in hopes of resolving the issues I was having back then. Maybe there's a way, but that's neither here nor there right at the moment, because I don't need the distraction. What matters is that however many years later, I have the answer. There are still a couple small details unaccounted for, but it's such a feeling to know that I have absolutely no reason to feel bad about myself because I'm different from just about everyone else I've encountered in life so far. So where did this begin?

Be me, April 21st, somewhere between 1 and 3 in the morning (I can't remember now). I was waiting for a pizza (to cook in the oven), which was actually going to the the title for the entry that I started to write back then, but realized was going to take way too long because I literally wanted to start from beginning and write about every point of influence between then and now in as much detail as I could manage. I was in a particularly good mood, owing to having had a really good shift at work, and an equally good before-work part of the day prior to that. I remember taking my rent check downstairs, coming back up and inside and sitting on the couch, and while I can't remember exactly why past personal issues were on my mind now, I was able to talk myself all the way back through all the years of insecurity and self-doubt that plagued me for so long, and provide solid, logic-based reasons for what had happened to make me that way. Spoilers, but want to know where it all started? For one, not having a proper internet connection at home for the longest time. Given the interest I already had in computers, plus the internet not even being a thing when I was younger, curiosity was only natural, especially about the "bad" things people talked about being available online. For two, I got my first laptop, by a time when we did have a stable connection. Sure, I used it downstairs for the first while, because I didn't so much as consider any other options, but I still remember the first night I came home from work at Taco Bell, and took it up to my room to talk to a coworker who turned out to be a furry too. Wherever you are, John / Zaz, I still smile when I think about our first conversation. Back to the point, it was only a matter of time from there until I started not bothering leaving my room at all, and the rest is history.

Now, in terms of determining the main underlying condition, back when I was still writing entries in here on a regular basis, I happened upon a Wikipedia page for a particular disorder, which seemed like something that might fit me at the time, but also that I wasn't 100% certain of. To be fair, there were alot of pages like that, and it was hard to know if any one particular thing was more relevant than the others, when all the information was new, and there was overlap everywhere. Such is the nature of trying to figure yourself out on your own, when you're miles away from being in the right headspace to do so though. The important thing is I was able to identify with some of what I was reading, but shelved those thoughts when I found my identity and niche as the cat man (other peoples' words, not mine) and managed to make some real-life friends who were into the same thing, and wondered if maybe that was all I needed all along.

It's been a while since then. Five years doesn't seem like enough, and ten seems like too many, but some number of years, and much personal development later I looked the page up again out of general curiosity. I wasn't expecting much - just to see if the points that were relatable before were still the same then - but it was like finding something I'd been looking for my whole life, and I cannot describe the incredible feeling of validation and empowerment I got from reading and re-reading it. Imagine having your subconscious gnaw away at something for a decade, if not more, and finally not having to wonder anymore. Imagine never being able to fully put away the feeling that you're broken and need to be fixed, and suddenly having a whole Wiki article in front of you supporting all of your deficiencies, and differences compared to "normal" people. Problem now is I want to be more specific, but I can't. This is my LiveJournal, and I should be able to write anything in here that I want to, but these are the secrets that I want to keep. Not like it'd be hugely devastating if something came out (the how and why would actually be more interesting than anything else), but I know what makes me me, I'm happy with who I am in that regard, and I don't have to tell anybody else for all of it to be valid.

The most recent realization I've come to maybe isn't such a positive thing (ask me if I care), and because it involves something I do want to share: I, inacu [nolastname], am a misanthrope. The mentality is something I started wondering about years ago, but put to the back of my mind because I felt like it was too negative. Thinking about it nowadays though, it's an integral piece to the current iteration of the puzzle. I'm not just trying to be different or edgy, and it's not like I actively dislike everyone I meet, but I've definitely become more... pessimistic and cynical, to put it mildly. On a vaguely more lighthearted note, the thing that helped me realize this was the first song on The Furry Album. Listen yourself, and you'll probably get what I'm referring to, but because I want there to be one more search result on DuckDuckGo for the phrase, there's a "long rambling nutshell" at the end containing, among other things, the incredibly colorful descriptor "piss-blithering shaven apes". Now I feel like I'm being negative, but I still smile so much at that part. Caveat about the furry thing in particular is that if I anybody asked nowadays, I would identify as not being a part of the fandom. I used to be, when I was still figuring myself out. By no means do I regret that period of my life either. I have a lot of really good, happy memories from back then, and furry as a whole played a big part in getting me to where I am today. Now, though? I'm just a snow leopard. I don't have a character. It's not something I manifest online. Hell, it's barely even something I manifest in real life. I'm just... me, and like I said once before already, I'm happy with that. I guess the one question I still need to answer is why I'm not really comfortable talking about myself, even in a medium that's not likely to be seen by anyone else. I wanted to write all of the above, because the idea's been on my mind for a while, but looking at everything I've typed so far, a small part of me wants to just delete everything, and just be content having these thoughts in my head. I won't though. This needs to amount to something.

Personal life aside, since I think that's about all for now, what about work, and family, since there have been developments in both areas?

Starting with work, things have leveled out more than they've improved, but I'm not at all saying that's a bad thing. Myself and the other two full-timers have assigned aisles now (mine are 7 through 10), which is exactly what I needed. Call me territorial or whatever, but no matter the job, I've never liked having other people in my space. I'm happy to work as part of a team, just separately, and as far as I can tell, the powers that be are happy with the way things are going. I'm happy for another reason too, being that between assigned aisles and having worked there more than a year now, the supervisor that frequently rubbed me the wrong way before has largely been tolerable since. Unsurprisingly, nothing ever came of the promises that were made on the back of the supervisor position being given to the other guy ("you're going to get a key to the store, but you need training first"), but it's been long enough since all that happened that I've stopped caring, and also that I've realized / decided being a supervisor would likely just interfere with me doing my job. I don't care about the extra money, assuming a raise is even involved. There's that expression that if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life, and while I assume there's lots of stuff about the job that I still haven't learned, I really do enjoy just throwing stuff on the shelf. Heck, it's not the first time, and won't be the last, but last time I worked, I punched out for my hour lunch break, and worked through the entire thing. That's not to say every day has been a breeze though...

Going back a few weeks, I was feeling almost as overworked and unappreciated as I did at Tim Hortons. I'd been working since the beginning of the year with only single days off (save for one week when one of the other guys was on vacation and I actually managed to get two in a row), and was really hoping for two. I couldn't see any reason myself why that shouldn't be possible, because one of the other full-timers always has Sunday and Monday off, but when I asked the grocery manager about having the same arrangement, he said that he likes having me work truck days, because I'm a hard worker, truck days being Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, for reference. Obviously I left that conversation highly frustrated, but over the couple days that followed, we were able to figure out a solution. I'm still only getting one day off at a time, but I've got two days off in a row coming in July, a week's worth of paid vacation to look forward to sometime in October (I plan to get through as much of my Christmas baking as possible), and the knowledge that I can book two days off in a row if / when I'm feeling the need for a break again in the future. I was also able to tell the grocery manager that I really like the job, and don't want to lose it on account of something silly like days off, and hear from him directly that he likes me too. Not a huge thing, but it does make a world of difference to know I'm appreciated. The only thing that remains is not knowing if I'm supposed to be getting a one-year review, but as of now, I'm content to just wait and see how long it takes them to figure it out. My hire date was May 14th, my first shift was the 31st, and I've easily worked 2,100+ hours by now, so all the reasons are there as far as I can tell. Fair enough the store's switching to franchised in a couple weeks though, so everyone in management probably has their heads full of fifteen other things at any given point in time.

As for family, there's really only one thing to talk about. After being in and out of the hospital for about half a year (mental care, not physical), Dad's come home for good again, except now he has Alzheimer's / dementia. To be completely honest, I feel very little about the whole thing unless I force it, but it's still weird. I want to know what happened to him. I want to know if this was something that had already started back when he refused to leave his room, before he went to the hospital, or if it's something that started to take over his mind while he was there. I want to be able to talk with him and try to figure out how he's feeling, but for one, I haven't got a clue what questions to ask, and for two, even if I did, I don't know if he has the mental capacity / awareness to be able to answer them. Back before he was discharged, Mom let all of us know what was happening, and suggested we might want to think about writing him a letter. Adam wrote him one almost straight away. Not sure about Naomi, because she's still in the US, but that was back in March, and I'm no closer to writing the first word. Hell, more like I've abandoned the idea, so I don't feel guilty every time I think about it. I wrote all of "Happy Birthday Dad!" in his birthday card a couple weeks ago, because I couldn't think of anything else, and I have the feeling the same is going to happen for Father's Day. I just... don't know. He comes here with Mom once a week to watch a couple episodes of the original MacGyver, as well as on my other night off for a movie, if he's feeling up to it, and maybe I should say that's better than nothing, but I still can't help feeling like I should be doing more. Who knows. Maybe this is the primary reason I've been seeing the personal changes that I have been recently. A need to distance myself from everything and everyone, so just in case something goes boom, I'll be relatively unaffected. I could also be talking nonsense because it's way past bedtime, but I think I deserve more credit than that.

It is about time I wrapped this up (6:55 already...) and tried to make myself tired though. Tomorrow needs to be laundry day, because I might be busy on my next day off, then Mom and Dad are supposed to be coming over. I'd also like to put in some time working in DVDs for Dad, as well as getting back in to Phoenix Wright. I recently picked up Justice for All again, and am up to Turnabout Beginnings, which I remember is the intro to the single case I started playing the series from the beginning again for, so that's exciting. I've even been bringing my 3DS to work, so as to have the option of playing on break, but then I work through my whole break, and days go by without it being touched. The next thing to do is establish that Melissa is actually Dahlia, and yes. I really am excited for it.

That's all for now though. Oh, actually, if anybody else is reading this, and has made it this far, do your ears a favor and go listen to Monstercat Instinct Vol. 7. I haven't stopped since I found it, and that was almost a month ago. Now though, I'm going to post this (and edit it to hell and back after the fact ha).

Until next time-

Random Entry for November

Prediction: I'll end up becoming too tired to stay awake before I've finished writing, and by the time tomorrow gets here and I'm sat with my laptop in front of me again, I won't be in the mood to continue. Still, it's after the time I'd normally go to bed, I'm not feeling tired yet, and there are things I could write about, so why not at least give this a try.

The first topic is work. I feel like the last time I wrote anything in here, the bulk of my problems there were centered around a supervisor who I referred to as having a stick up his butt. Since then, however, either I've become more used to how he comes across, or he's got used to how I prefer to work, because he seems to have eased up alot. I still get the "I would like you to..." from time to time, but I try to remind myself that's just the way he is. So that's good. Work was actually going really well for a few weeks there, for one reason in particular to be revealed shortly, but now there are two other people there who I'm not really fond of, being the other as-of-now full time grocery person, and the grocery manager himself. What happened? The story (probably lengthy) is thus:

Back near the end of September or beginning of October, I was working a shift where the grocery manager and me were the only ones working in the grocery department that day. Unlike when I wrote about work at Taco Bell years ago, I don't want to use his real name, so we'll call him Jeff. Jeff was in the back working on whatever he had to do, and I had just finished working a cart of overstock or something, and was returning it to be back room. Upon coming around the corner, Jeff said he had a question, and asked if I would be interested in being a supervisor two nights out of the week, covering the other grocery supervisor's days off. I asked what my extra duties would be if I said yes, and he explained that I would mostly just have to clean up at the end of the night, also adding that I would have to have a key to the store, and code for the alarm, etc., which is / was a no-brainer. I said that sounded alright to be or something similar, figuring it didn't sound too far removed from the kind of stuff I was doing as I had time already, and after finishing by saying that he'd talk it over with the store manager and let me know, we went back to our respective tasks. I rode that high for a couple days at least. I was thinking I really liked my job to begin with, and to be approached about being a supervisor after working there less than half a year was a really big pat on the back (I'm sure there's a better way to say that but I can't think of it), as was even just the idea of being trusted with a key and so on. Things went back to normal for a week or two, because I didn't want to seem too eager or anything, but every time Jeff mentioned something about the idea, it seemed positive. The store manager was on board, I was excied, and all seemed quite promising. Still, there was a shred of doubt at the back of my mind, because of how new I still was, and my relative lack of experience, and in order to not jump the gun, I kept it to myself, not even telling anyone else at work. That lasted until near the end of the month, when Mom, Adam, and I were out to supper for Mom's birthday, and I spilled the news then, figuring the idea had been on the table long enough that it should be safe to share. Around the same time, I also told one of the part-timers who normally works day shifts, but that's largely insignificant. Back at the beginning of this month, I started doing the end-of-night walkaround with the current main supervisor shadowing me, to make sure I knew everything to look for / check. I got to know the code to the office which was neat, as from day one I wondered if I would ever be told how to get in there, which provided even more positive reinforcement that things were on the up-and-up, and it was only a matter of time 'til I would be closing the store two nights out of the week. To recap, I was offered a supervisor position, kept it to myself because part of me thought it felt too good to be true, but shared the information around with a few people once it seemed safe to do so. Following that, I was guided through what I had to know, and even wrote a list of everything, so I was feeling pretty confident in my ability to not let anyone down. I still hadn't received a key or any of the other necessary credentials, but I told myself they probably didn't want to had those over until it was actually time. Can you see where this is going yet? I'll give you a hint: I'm still extremely salty, and maybe even a little superficially depressed.

A couple weeks ago now, Jeff and I were in the back room once again, and I asked him, just to be certain, if the 14th of November would be my first shift as supervisor / to be closing the store. I can't remember exactly what he said, but it was along the lines of them figuring on giving it to that other full-time grocery person, because he'd been working there far longer than I have (11 years, I think), and that the store manager would prefer to wait until I had more experience. To say it took the wind out of and simultaneously pissed me off would be an understatement. Like, the first time we talked about this was more or less an entire month ago, Jeff. All this time, you've led me to believe that both you and the store manager were on board, and it was just a matter of time, and then with two weeks to go, you tell me you've changed your mind, AND offer no indication that you were even going to say anything if I hadn't asked? Seriously?! Do you understand what that means for me? I know my personal life doesn't have to be even one bit your concern if you don't want it to be, but work is a big thing for me. My social circle is more like a pinprick, and that's being generous. I see my brother, sister in law, and niece a few times a month, my mom on a more or less weekly basis when she comes over for a movie, and my dad either when he comes along, or when I go over to their place. I don't exactly have alot going on in my spare time. Work has alot more of an effect on my emotional state than I imagine it does for other people, and if you can imagine the high I was on when you first offered me the position, imagine how it made me feel when you turned around and gave it to someone else out of the blue like that! Needless to say, for the res of that shift, I was pretty miserable. All I had left to do in terms of work was facing the dry grocery aisles, which would've been a straightforward and relatively easy task on any other night, but imagine crushing a person's excitement and motivation like that, and the results aren't promising. I tried, but the attempt was no good from the start. I saw Jeff here and there a couple times after, and it wasn't until the third or fourth that I finally got the words out to ask him what had changed, and tried to explain from my point of view how excited I had been, with that being the first time anyone had ever offered me that level of responsibility, and how much of a letdown it was. He definitely felt bad, and I appreciate as much, and he tried offering that there would absolutely be more opportunities for responsibility, as vacations would eventually have to be covered. As for what changed, what he said was that the other guy - we'll call him Lee - had alot more experience than I did dealing with situations outside of the norm, and that he had been a supervisor before, so really, they were just giving the key back to him, and so on. Now, maybe you're asking youself "Why didn't Jeff ask Lee to begin with then?", and the answer to that makes the whole situation even more frustrating. Back at the beginning of the pandemic, Lee took some time off. Fine, whatever. When he came back, either Jeff or the store manager asked him if he wanted to be a supervisor again. Lee said no. Then, presumably, when word got around that Jeff had asked me, Lee went to him questioning "Why didn't you ask me?" Jeff said the store manager was going to have a talk with Lee (not sure what about), but didn't offer any hopes that the position could still swing around to me again. A little while later, when I was in another aisle, he came up again and said to think of this as a learning experience. There've been situations at the store here that he never would've imagined at the location he worked in before. Apparently on one occasion, he went into the back room and found a non-employee peeing. Without explaining how he resolved that, he asked what I would do if two customers were fighting. I told him "I don't know", and his response was an unhelpful "Exactly", followed by something about how maybe he would have the main supervisor start calling me up when those sorts of situations arose, so I could see how they were best dealt with.

I just can't. Where do I even start?

Is it wrong to feel like they're partly just trying to make Lee happy? I feel like what should've been said is "We asked [inacu] first, so we're going to let him have a shot. If it doesn't work out for some reason, the position is yours, but we're saying no for now, because you told us you didn't want to be a supervisor when you came back". Like I said to the couple people I shared a short version of the story with since then, I get that I don't know nearly as much as he does, but I don't understand how I'm supposed to learn if I'm not in a position to do so, or what the point to learning is if it's not going to amount to anything. I mean, I like to imagine that there's some position above pleb grocery clerk (this is how I've been pessimistically referring to myself) in store for me somewhere in the future there, but I do not see it. The main supervisor has been working there for six years and some change. Lee, eleven. Above them is Jeff, and above him is the store manager. Opportunities for advancement are practically nonexistent, and I feel like it's going to be that way for a long time.

Needless to say, since all that happened, work has gone from new and mildly intimidating, to decent and even enjoyable on the right days, to irritating, and I'm looking for where to go from here now. I like truck days the most currently. Give us a load to work for the night, which is something I can do without having to interact with other people, face with the last couple hours, and go home. The other shifts - ones that I work twice a week usually - are far more hit-or-miss, as I usually see Jeff, and soon enough will always be working with Lee, who will be doing the job that I'd previously hoped for. I know I need to get over myself, so I guess the best way to do that for now will be to continue moving forward, frustrating as it may be, and adjust to whatever changes with time.

...work is so much fun, huh? I do have my good days there, like I said, and I know this job is still alot better than where I've come from, so I'm not going to do anything stupid, but sometimes...

I think that's going to be just about all for now though. I'd wanted to write more at first, because there is more going on in my life than just work, but it's well past my normal bedtime, so I don't know. There's a situation going on with Dad, Adam's and Ericka's birthdays are coming up very shortly, I picked up a special package for mine in a month earlier today, which contains something I've never tried before, along with some more familiar contents that I haven't had since Spring, I started working on a new project, after not touching anything like that for a long time, and whatever else that isn't coming to mind right now.

So I'll just stop here.

For now, anyway.

I'll try to have something more positive to say about work next time .w.

A Limited (But Lengthy) Update

Been a long time since I wrote in here, and even longer since I recalled a weird dream, but I had a couple last night that still stand out, and I'd like to try and remember as many of the details as I can, instead of letting them just fade in with the rest of the day.

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There. Dreams written about, and I can properly go about my day not having to worry I'm going to forget something or not want to be bothered taking the time when I get home. Still though, like usual, I wonder what prompted those. Yesterday was pretty blah overall, so by the time I got to bed for the night, I should've had a restless sleep if anything. It took me the better part of half a day to finish wrapping a present, and between that, I pretty much just stared at stuff on my laptop, and napped. Once in the morning, again in the afternoon, but for longer, then I went for a ~1 hour walk around to work and 7-11 for some things, came home and ate supper, napped for another hour or two, woke up sometime after midnight, and decided I'd rather just go to bed properly instead of waking up just to stare at my laptop some more. You'd almost think I'm depressed, but either I've become that good at ignoring / hiding it, or my life is just that uninteresting outside of work. I should sign back into Discord sooner or later, and maybe make plans to go hang out with Adam and Trish for a couple hours some night off, but I still don't feel like it. Probably in September I should force myself though, because Christmas shopping season will be starting soon, and yay.

I've mentioned work quite a few times this entry, and I haven't said much about that past my initial concerns forever ago, so why not give an update on how things are going there. Decently. It'll be three months at the end of August, I've got a pretty good handle on all of the aisles, and outside of being slow when it comes to something new / that I don't do very often (setting up / dismantling displays, for example), I feel like I'm doing well. I like truck days (pulling cases of stuff off the skid(s) and working them to the shelves), probably because that the sort of work that I feel like I was hired for, but working overstock isn't bad either, as is being in dairy. The only area I don't overly like is frozen, partly because you're on a time limit to get stuff put away before it starts to thaw, and the other part because working overstock in there means pulling stuff off the shelves essentially at random, rather than overstock in the normal grocery area which is organized by aisle. Maybe with time I'll get better at compiling a mental list of stuff that's getting low out front, but I'm not there yet.

The other problem I'm having with the job currently isn't so much part of the work, as it is a coworker (yes, the sane person referenced in dream #1 above). Their title is supervisor, which means he fits in between me and the department manager, which is fine. I get that, and I liked working with him at first, but in the weeks and months since then, he's started to wear on me, and I'm still not sure who's to blame. Rather than muddle these all into one paragraph though, I'll put them in point-form:

a] There was a night a week or two ago where we were very close to being done - I had two or three cases left, and he saw me looking up on the shelf for more space for a certain product, which turns out was already full. I knew there was another display of it off in a different area, but figured I'd finish working stuff in the aisle I was in first, then go off to do that last thing. With no indication, he grabs said case, goes off to put it away, and comes back telling me that there was a display off in said other area. I wish I'd just given him a blank stare, but I told him something like I knew and was planning to get there, but he beat me to it

b] Just last week, there was an afternoon where I had a shopping cart brimming with cardboard and plastic and other garbage, which I was planning to get rid of when I'd finished with everything that I was working on. Efficiency, right? With no warning, he proceeds to grab the cart and take off toward the back after it, and I actually had to chase him down and explain, to his mild irritation, that I was getting there. He seemed a little off toward me for the rest of the shift afterward, but that could've just as easily been in my head. Just before we left (as in, I was already halfway out the front door), I stopped to try and explain where I was coming from to him. Said that getting rid of my own cardboard, etc. is my chance to slow down and take a breather, and is also when I check the time on the computer in the back, because I don't have a watch or anything, and won't know when to go for break otherwise. Keep in mind it can take me two, three hours to fill a cart, so it's not like I'm back there all the time. I also briefly mentioned not wanting help unless I asked for it, and preferring to work on my own. He brushed me off saying it was okay and to not worry about it, and I went home, my head filled with thoughts of not being worried myself, but explaining my point of view for his benefit and understanding

c] Later on the same night mentioned above, but before we left, he took me aside to say he'd like me to start going for my lunch break sooner. Prior to that, I'd waited as long as possible - until 10pm - so I could get as much work done as I could. Going earlier wasn't and isn't a big deal - it's a difference of 60 minutes in an almost-always 9 hour shift, but is it really a coincidence that nothing was said until the night I gave him attitude? I can't see how. What's more, facing always starts at 10. Get the grocery aisles tidied up and looking presentable for the next day. Because the other people working always start in aisle 1 and work their way up, I start at 10 and work my way down when I come back. On average, I get the same amount done when I come back at 10 as I did coming back at 11 and going the same direction as everyone else. Hell, the last time I was on my own and had to face, I did 10, 8 (we usually skip 9), 7, 6, 5, 4, and the better half of 1. Mind you, I had an extra hour to work with then, but still. I would be an idiot to try and convince anyone to see it my way though. I know that already, and as I said before, it's not that big a deal.

d] The last time we worked, he asked near the beginning of the shift if I'd worked the night before. I answered yes, and, seemingly not hearing me, he proceeds to say that there were some changes made to the front and back-end displays, and to make note of what new products were there. I was aware. I'd faced the front and back end myself being the only one working in grocery the night before (noted in point C). I said as much to him, though I'm not sure if he heard me, then, when it comes time to get down to work, he asks me if I know if there are any displays for a product he had quite a surplus of anywhere else. Like... really guy? You're the supervisor! Is your job just to annoy me and ask stupid questions? Later that shift, he handed out new shirts to everybody working in grocery, which he asked us to change into then. I objected, as to my knowledge, we weren't supposed to start wearing them until Thursday, but eventually went up and put it on. Not an hour later, he comes by and says that one of the higher-ups told him we couldn't wear them for another couple days (Thursday), so I should go change again. I responded with "Well fancy that", not wanting to provoke a confrontation, and he walked away without so much as a halfhearted "Sorry" or "I was wrong". Just some gibberish baby-talk that he spouts from time to time when something unexpected or undesirable happens. Skip ahead a while, and it's 11:45 or so. I've already faced aisle 10, 8, 7 (there's alot to do in 7), and was helping in 6, where a couple other people already were. Supervisor comes up and I take one of my earphones out so he can ask "Did you start from ten?" I say yes while nodding my head, and he starts to walk away. I put my earphone back in and resume listening to whatever. He comes back, so I remove it again, and he asks "Is seven completely done?" I nod yes, put my earphone back in once again, and as he's walking away mutter under my breath "Why wouldn't it be, [supervisor]? Why wouldn't it be... I didn't touch the tins of cat food, because I could spend an hour if not more just there, but they're in 8. Pasta and international is in aisle 7, which I did in its entirely. Even if there was a concern over whether or not I'd done everything, why couldn't he go check for himself and let me know if he found something unsatisfactory? Finally, and hopefully ending off this rant-list, since I've started going for my lunch break earlier, I've also been forgoing taking a 15 minute break sometime before that. Full time staff are supposed to take two 15 minute paid breaks and a 1-hour unpaid lunch. Prior to the change, I'd take a 15 anywhere from 6:30 to 8, work until 10, go for my hour lunch, then just work the rest of the night without worrying about my other 15. Now that I have to go early, I've started to just take my first break at 9, in the form of my lunch, then, depending on how the night's gone and how I'm feeling, call it around 12:15, and not go upstairs for break, but just wander around at a leisurely pace, enjoying a treat for however long there are still freezies and popsicles in the freezer, touching up anything that looks like it needs the attention. The one potential problem I can see is it could mean bad news for me if it gets around and back to the department manager that I'm deliberately waiting until the end of the night to go for break, but that hasn't happened yet. The problem is last time I worked, I decided to call it at 12:10, and go get rid of my cardboard and garbage before taking it easy for the rest of the night. Before I had a chance to start taking it easy though, I noticed a couple cases of easy-to-put-away product that somebody had left in an aisle, so I went to deal with those. While I was in the middle of that, supervisor comes along, and without asking if I was doing anything else after that, says he would like me to start facing HABBA (the area with all the shampoo and conditioner and toothpaste and baby stuff and other such products are) when I'm done. I gave him a forced "oookaaay..." (not sure how to put it in text), while frustration filled my mind all over again. In the end, I helped bring a couple things off the floor to the back, ran upstairs to go to the bathroom, then waited by the punch clock for the last minute. Didn't so much as look at HABBA, so we'll see if he says anything today

It'd be alot easier if I could say all these instances of vague disrespect and rudeness are in my head, and I need to just get over myself, considering I've been there for almost three months compared to his six years, but that can't be. I want to say "I get the feeling I'll never know as much about this job as you do, but I'd appreciate it if you stopped treating me like I don't know what I'm doing at all", but I still haven't been pushed that far or hard enough. I want to emphasize that I respect him as supervisor, and outside of these contained incidents which have clearly been building up, we do get on well enough, but there are definitely times I want to tell him to lay off. I really like this job, and if a well-meaning supervisor with his head stuck up his butt is the worst thing I'm going to have to deal with, then so be it, but please let him find somebody else to pick on. Hell though, it's 2:19 already, when I started writing this at noon, so what does that say? I thought I'd get those dreams out and written down, say a little bit about work, and move on with my day, and the only reason I've moved from the couch so far is to go to the bathroom. Ash is due to be fed though, and I want to exercise at least once before I leave (good thing I'm working a short shift today and don't start 'til 4:30), so really should post this and get on with other things. Maybe next time I can spend less of the day complaining.

It's Now Or Never (to Write)

It's only 9am and already I'm in bed, probably for the night. What is life. I've been awake since 7am as well, and within the last hour, was still over at Mom and Dad's wrapping up a BBQ we were having for Dad's birthday. As in, finishing out the night, and not literally wrapping an new BBQ. What's even more, above everything else, and is my reason for at least starting this entry, I have to be up and awake for 5am tomorrow, which I'm both excited and stressed out over the thought of. You see, I start a new job. At 8am, not 5, but the idea is to have a couple hours to wake up, then walk over. As for where? Sobeys.

Back at the beginning of May, I received the dreaded phone message recalling me from temporary layoff, back to work at Tim Hortons. The big difference from before though is night shifts weren't a thing anymore, and my first one back was from 2:30 - 8pm. They did vary, to the point where I started at 7am one day (only one). Still, that first shift was enough to convince me I was definitely not interested in staying there long-term, so I think within the next morning, I updated my resume, and applied to an Overnight Stocker position at Sobeys on Indeed. When I came home from work, I had a message inviting me to a phone interview, which I called for and went through, which led to an in-store interview the day after that, and finally a phone call the next morning with the good news I was hoping for. Two weeks later (I remember writing my notice on break that afternoon), my last shift arrived, and at 8pm once again, I punched out for the last time. That part's nice. The job was stressing me out enough to where I'd booked time off for a break before, but then the pandemic and temporary layoff happened, I got the break I needed and more (fact of the matter is I booked five days off, when it took a month and a bit for me to feel like I'd fully unwound), I eventually get called back to work, which I'm not interested in, because I was really enjoying the layoff, and then within a few days, I have a legitimate, non-personal reason to be leaving. Also something about some statute of limitations on things from Tim Hortons but I don't know how long that should be. We'll see.

As for Sobeys, I say I'm both excited and nervous. Reasonably so, I guess, but on the off chance it'll help to say something, let's try this:

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I think that's going to be about it though. I had intented to write more at first, but it's already after 10 now, which means there's ~45 minutes 'til I'm going to want to lay down, and that's if I want six hours of sleep. The joy. Hopefully soon I'll find the focus again to write another one of these, because it would be nice to talk about all the non-work things too.

For now though, that's all~

Long-Overdue Thought Dump

Maybe this won't go anywhere, because I'll probably be seeing Adam and Trish tomorrow, and I could just as easily tell them about the things that are on my mind. It's not the first time I thought about writing a LiveJournal entry in recent months, but what's different this time is I feel like they already have enough of their own thoughts in their heads, and if I do end up seeing them, I'd rather talk about things we can all comment on, versus something more one-sided. That said, the first thing on my mind here? A dream I had last night. One that was freaking me out badly enough verbally recalling it on the couch out in the living room that I retreated to underneath the covers in my bedroom, and I was still getting all weirded out. It's not like it's bad because it was just a dream, but the way, and the location it all played out in was just strange.

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Setting the dream aside, the next big thing on my mind is money, and how I feel like I don't have enough right now. For the most part, that's because it's Christmastime, and that's always an expensive time of year, but thinking back to Christmas a year ago, it feels so much different. Last year, I managed to put four digits into my savings in the month of December, and still have lots of gifts to give everybody. This year, I'm having to dip into what I don't want to touch to buy things that aren't even presents, and while I have a good pile of stuff to wrap, it's nowhere near as much as before. What's more, I realized a couple days ago I don't have a single thing for Trish yet. Oh, sure, I spent over $100 on something I knew she'd really want, only to find out Adam already got her the same thing, which, while I am able to return, I probably won't get a refund for until after Christmas. Another layer this year is Naomi and Ty aren't here anymore, after moving to the states to live with Ty's parents until they can afford their own place (long story). I don't want to exclude them, so I thought I'd send them some money via Paypal on Christmas day, but even that's going to require some serious budgeting. So what happened? Why is this year so different?

Item the first: my hours at work are not the same as they were before. This time in 2018, I was working 5 shifts / 45 hours a week, and bringing home just over a thousand dollars bi-weekly. This year, I'm getting three to four shifts a week depending, and my highest pay to date has been ~$900. I haven't been complaining about that, because the cost of less hours and less money is having two other full time overnight people, meaning it's no longer just me and the baker after 4am, but new as of just yesterday, I'm losing an hour and a half on at least one shift. I've decided to give them a pass for now, because it's not worth my time going in and making a fuss over a one-time thing, but if it happens again, I'm going to talk to somebody in management.

Item the second: I've been probably spending too much money unnecessarily lately. To my credit, there's a certain thing I've been doing without for several months now, that I was previously spending at least $100 a month on, but in its place, I have been buying merch. Lapfox / Halley Labs merch, specifically. Due to Emma's personal situation, there's been a new CD or cassette tape each month this year so far, and I've been there for every one I could get my hands paws on, regardless of whether it was something I already had or not. We're waiting on an announcement for December right now, but from what I remember, the same release schedule is going to continue until June or July of next year, when they should finally be in the clear for everything. Still, all of that being said, buying merch directly isn't so much the problem. Buying merch from the /r/lapfoxtrax trading thread on Reddit, however, is a different matter. Because I don't know how to make a reasonable offer, I have so far paid $225 for one cassette tape, and two CD albums, one of which I already own. Initially, I was all pleased with myself for being so into this as to buy from other people, but gone is the satisfaction, until my items arrive, and I save up some money again, anyway.

Item the third: personal expenses. Nothing at all like the $100+ monthly expense mentioned above, this one mostly refers to food. Well, food, and I bought a new laptop a month or so ago, which was almost a $700 setback. Back to food, though, I've been going to 7-11 a lot lately. My days off from work usually come in pairs, and I never fail to make it up there for $6~$15 worth of snacks at least one of the two, sometimes both. Also in the category of food is all the chips and popcorn and other movie-type snacks for whenever Mom comes over here. To be fair, I enjoy having her here to watch a movie now and then, but it seems like every time we have plans, I head up to Food Basics (my own choice, to be fair) and spend at least $10 on things to munch on. $10 could be worse, and it's worth it when you consider what it's going to, but I'm starting to feel like it would be fine if she brought a bag of microwave popcorn from here and I figured out my own food from my freezers full of stuff every other time or something.

Outside of those three things, I try to be as responsible as I can for money though. My change jar of quarters, loonies, and toonies is almost full again, I still have some money in savings, and I don't spend unnecessarily outside of the things listed above... I need to step back and take stock of what I have and what I can expect (namely from work), and do my best to function inside of those constraints. I already went on about it in a previous entry, but one thing I really need to do is start going out for walks again. Monday night before work, I went out to Walmart, Dollarama, and Real Canadian Superstore to get Christmas present wrapping supplies, and a bunch of other stuff I was low on, and the satisfaction I felt just from that walk lasted all night and then some. It's gotten too easy to convince myself that sitting around at home staring at my laptop all night is the best thing to do, since it's the lowest-effort option.

It's getting close to 8am now, so I should try to wrap this up soon, but there's one other, distinctly personal topic that's been gnawing at me for a while (and you watch I'll be here well after 8 writing now). Where I'm at in life. My birthday is coming up next week. Friday the 13th, to be precise. I'll be 35. Halfway to 70, if that means anything, and I just... don't know.

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See? The cut was totally necessary. I'm sure it's after 8 now, but I refuse to look at the clock since I want to wake up for 2, and the less I know about the time the better. I've said pretty much all I wanted to as well, so now it's time to log into LiveJournal for the first time in forever, post this, and lay back down, hopefully to good, wholesome dreams. Tomorrow's activities are going to include going to Commercial Copy Center to get return information for that package printed, mailing out the package at the post office and hopefully picking up another one (or two), putting up my Christmas tree, going for a walk, and even wrapping some presents after the rest of everything is all said and done, if I have the energy.

Regardless, it's nice to have plans, and things to look forward to. Even better is finally getting most to all of this stuff off my chest, since it's clearly been building up. Maybe next time, something more positive <3

A Night of Change

I have to be awake and ready to go get my hair cut in four and a half hours, so I should probably be in bed instead of sitting on the couch writing this, but it's been an interesting night. I worked 11 - 7, and things were going pretty well at first. Found two toonies and a loonie in my tip container, managed to get the first chunk of work for the night done slightly ahead of schedule, and was working with somebody who both knows what they're doing and gets their work done, which is pretty much one out of three for the other people who work overnights. Sadly, tonight was her last one of those shifts, as she's been promoted, and will be working in the morning and afternoon from now on, but it is what it is, and it's pretty likely I'll still see them from time to time.

The second factor affecting things is the fact that I got home from work yesterday morning and as slightly annoyed, after finding an email informing me my schedule had been changed, and my two days off - Sunday and Monday - have been reduced to just one, making it so that I work four days in a row currently (tonight was the second), have one day off, then go back for other five. I've already done two weeks of five days on, one day off, after covering a couple shifts, but now we'll be going onto three. Of course, that begs the question why I mind as much as I do now, when it won't be anything new, but that's a matter of me being fine putting myself out voluntarily, but not liking it so much when I'm not given the choice. Alas, I decided there wasn't much to be done about it, more hours would mean more money, and I still had two days off on the newest schedule to look forward to.

...which brings us to factor number three. Back when I was brand new to overnight shifts, I was trained by Sean. Even then, he had been working for Tim Hortons for even longer than I'd been working at Taco Bell, and made it pretty clear over time that he was getting burnt out. Tired of not being appreciated, of the other staff not finishing the work they're supposed to, and, most damningly, not being allowed to apply for a supervisor position (despite his experience!) any time the opportunity became available, because he was already on the health and safety committee for the store. He tried for a few months to find work elsewhere, and it was one of the last couple times we worked when he commented that he had basically given up, because he was beyond frustrated applying places but not hearing back from any of them. I was looking forward to working with him tomorrow, and even more alright with being penciled in for that extra day since he was the other person on, but then...

Say about 6:00 this morning, I looked over from down in the drive thru area, and saw him at the front counter. Strange seeing him there at such an early hour, but I never got the chance to ask what was going on, because customers picked that moment to come in. When I did get the chance to ask the person who had talked to him what he had wanted, I was told to guess. "Did he say he still wasn't feeling well and wouldn't be able to work tomorrow?" No. Not quite the right idea. "...did he quit?" Yep. Right on the nose.

Now, I was frustrated straight away, because I had a feeling that meant I wouldn't get even one day off within the next stretch of time, then I got more and more stressed out plain and simple when I realized that left me as the most experienced overnight employee (and I've never ever worked out front), alongside an Indian girl I can hardly understand due to her accent, who's only worked one shift, where we put her to work cleaning, and one other younger lady who can only work part time (11-4). The stress has mostly faded away now that I've gotten home, and have been able to decompress, but just...

Brilliant. It's absolutely, 100% brilliant. I feel like it's not too much to want an apology from him, for leaving me in this predicament, but maybe that's asking too much. Maybe I'll see him tomorrow still, but probably not.

As I was headed out from the back to go home, Michael - one of the morning people - said he'd see me later, as he'd been asked about working overnight, so maybe he'll turn out o be a good worker, but I don't know yet.

...and now it's probably time that I had my before bed bowl of cereal if I'm going to do that, and went to lay down. It's going to be 9am before I know it...

No Such Thing as Too Much Sleep

I went to bed around 2:30 in the morning, which is about five hours earlier than normal, because I had a headache from staring at my laptop screen for most of the afternoon and evening, and didn't feel up to doing much else. I figured it would be reasonable to wake up around noon, if not before, but I ended up not rolling over and deciding it was finally time to get on with the day again until quarter after 3. Twelve plus hours of sleep? Feels extremely good, moreso after not getting the best sleep the night before, and it's an overcast, rainy afternoon to make things even better, but I can't help feeling slightly guilty. The only place I went yesterday is Mom and Dad's, and that was only for ~10 minutes to play with Abby, because they were gone out somewhere. Tom never got back to me, and I ended up spending enough money on other things to not be able to afford to go to Walmart, so I just sat here. I tried to be productive rather than just staring at the TV all day, but I want to do more. I was feeling bored enough later at night that I thought if somebody from work called asking me to cover their shift that evening, I would accept, not so much for the money, but to have somebody to talk to. Alas, that was yesterday, and like I said, I made the best of it. I'm still at the beginning of the day today, and I'm feeling pretty good for now, mostly due to the abundance of sleep I just got.

So what are plans for the day? Trying not to spend any money, for one thing. I ended up breaking down and backing this Kickstarter project on the last full day it was running for, then spending another ~$52 a few hours later to buy his digital discography on Bandcamp, because it was 20% off and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity. I discovered a mix on my PSP that I'd downloaded from Youtube quite some time ago now, found the songs of his that were featured surprisingly catchy, and buying the rest of his music has been in the back of my mind since then, so I have now. Still need to go through the converting to MP3 and retagging everything process, but depending on whether or not I hear from Tom, that could be something to do later tonight. All of that being said though, goodbye, $110. You were money that I could've spent on Christmas presents, but ideas for those have dried up again for now, and I get paid tomorrow. There's a Lego set on Walmart's website that Trish suggested Adam would like, but it's $200, so I already told her we'll need to split the cost if he is to get that. It may not be as expensive at last year's Xbox One, but hell if I'm shelling out $200 of my own money to get somebody a giant box of assorted plastic pieces. I need to call Naomi and Ty at some point too, specifically to talk to Ty, because if she would still be interested, I want to get this book for her. Beyond that, I have some dishes to be washed whenever I get there, assorted cleaning that isn't extremely urgent, a second trip to Mom and Dad's to make to drop off the treats from work accumulated over my last four shifts, and I want to take a picture of my white board / todo list for October, then start working on a new one for November. A walk later on might also be nice, but that's only if the weather cooperates, and I can think of a substantial, exciting enough supper. I feel like that isn't nearly enough, especially if I end up having the night to myself again, but I should enjoy this quiet while it lasts, because things will surely start getting busier closer to the end of the month. Christmas is quickly approaching, after all.

Is there anything else worth mentioning? I don't really think so, at least for today. If I could remember more of the dreams I was having last night, I would write about those in detail, but I've been awake long enough now that they're starting to fade. One of them involved work, which isn't a great surprise, another one involved spending a day out with somebody who felt like a friend but who I didn't recognize, and the one just before I woke up started with our family sitting around the kitchen table at our old house eating supper, and everybody was starting to get irritated with Naomi. Josh was even there, for whatever reason. I can remember going upstairs after supper to talk to Mom, who said some things concerning the situation that she hadn't told anybody else, and that's about all. Same as up in the first paragraph, it was a good, long sleep, but it seemed like every time I woke up, rolled over, and dozed off again, I'd fall back asleep to a new dream.

Is there anything worth mentioning about the couple days since I last wrote in here? I worked 8:30pm to ~6am on Tuesday. My longest shift there to date, and I could feel myself getting more irritable the closer I got to the end of it. It was raining when I got done as well, so I didn't go for the long walk that I had planned, and oh look, work just called, and they want to know if I can work 11 - 6:30 tonight. I suppose I'll just wrap this up here and go get started with the day. I'm not calling them back or even saying "Yes" yet, but unless Tom replies and comes over by 6, I might as well. It would help make up what I spent yesterday~

A Long Overdue Update

This is weird.

I'm a) typing on a laptop versus a wireless keyboard connected to my laptop connected to my TV b) sitting farther to the left than normal, and c) intending to write a LiveJournal entry for the first time in some months. I want - no, need - to find a way to get myself out of the rut I've been stuck in for the past 5-6 weeks, and this is the first proper thing I'm trying. I feel like one of the reasons I've gotten to where I am is that I don't talk to too many people that much anymore, so I've been sitting around stewing in my own thoughts, with no outlet. Since August, I've put on some weight, basically stopped going for any sort of walk outside of the bare minimum, and have divided my time evenly between sleeping, sitting in front of the TV, and going to work. So that's fun.

Two months ago, I was motivated. I challenged myself to go for a walk of at least 5km every single day, and believe me, there were some sweaty afternoons when the temperature was up to high 30s / low 40s. I learned that a liberal dusting of baking soda in the wash helps to remove the odor of sweat from clothing. I found out that forcing oneself to walk at speed in a new pair of shoes can induce a pain in the hips that I've never felt before. By the last two weeks, I was walking 13km a day. On the 1st of September, with Mom and Dad's help, I totaled up the numbers I'd been writing down, and figured out the final distance: 405.3km. I knew I was going to take it easy for the first week or so after that, but I lost the motivation, and the rest I've already explained.

I've repeatedly thought and planned to go for a long walk on a night when I didn't work, or to take a longer route to work, but 9/10 times, I'd talk myself out of it, and then, just recently, I realized I've been looking at walking the wrong way. It used to be something enjoyable to do, after work before a day off, and then later at night on one of those days, but somewhere along the way, I've started to see walking more for the exercise and calorie burn that it provides. 13km? 900 to 960 depending on how fast I walk. 16-point-something? 1,200, give or take a bit. Long walks have also become kind of stale, as I've been seeing the same sections of the same path since mid-August. What I need is to get back to the approach I had before, where I was interested more in my pace than anything. I also have intentions to go for a different walk tomorrow when I get done work, but that's still a firm "we'll see" thing. There's a small chance I might be hanging out with Tom either Thursday or Friday (haven't seen him or anybody else at Taco Bell in a long time), but I don't have any specific plans otherwise, so it would be nice to get home and be extra-tired.

New work has been going alright overall. It's weird that I'm almost 5 months in and I've technically only been trained on the back-of-house overnight work, but I could pretty well do that with my eyes closed now. Mornings, on the other hand, can be a little stressful sometimes. Today, for whatever reason, McDonalds was closed, so everybody out and on their way to work had one less option for their morning coffee, and I got stuck making. Still, 6:20 came around eventually, and I couldn't have been more relieved to finally take my headset off. It's been an interesting month or so with coworkers, as the most recent two people to get hired on for nights got fired, but the other two people (who are there from before...) are both nice, and hard workers, and that's all I can hope for.

Other than that, I guess things are going alright today. Slept 'til quarter after 4, which is average for the past while, ate a bowl of cereal, finished off a picross puzzle that I'd been picking at on and off for four days (it's in an actual book), and not much else. I work 11-6:30, so I still have a couple hours, and I can plan to be in bed for ~8:30, to hopefully wake up earlier tomorrow and have some extra time to tidy up and get ready to have Tom over. He never returned my message the last time I sent him an email though, so I guess we'll see.

Now I'm off in search of something small for supper though, because I've somehow worked up a hunger sitting in this rocking chair. Maybe I'll use the couch next time

A New Personal Best

It's quarter to five in the morning and I'm sitting here awake and still somewhat alert. What am I doing to my sleep schedule? At least it'll be nice with the cooler weather to sleep in tomorrow. This being out of work thing was kind of nice at first, but I'm into the second month now, and the money thing is starting to get to me. As far as I can tell, I probably can't apply for unemployment because I left Taco Bell on my own terms, and even if they made some exception and approved my application, the repercussions next year when I get my taxes done wouldn't make it worth it in the end. But this is all entirely beside the point anyway, because I actually logged back into my account here to write about the walk I went on tonight. Previously, this here was the farthest I'd ever gone, and that was 7 years ago looking at the original image properties. Unfortunately, Google Maps can't show the route I walked tonight all at the same time, and I have neither the patience nor the time to sit here taking screenshots for the next two hours, so we'll do it in text, because that seems like it should work.

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That only took an hour and a half instead of two. And I can see daylight outside. How awkward. I guess for now I should go lay down and see what happens, because I'm sure I could use the sleep, and I'm interested to see how my legs and body in general feel whenever I get up. Maybe I'll go for another walk and take all this donation stuff out if I'm feeling up to it~

It's Nice to Go Back

I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed riding the train. From the excitement of going someplace different and the anticipation of adventures waiting at that location, to watching the scenery out the window, and even the relaxing sway and shaking of the car, there's nothing else quite like it.

Today, I went to London on my own, for my third proper shopping day. No idea how long it's been since last time, but circumstances as of late being what they are, I wanted to do something special for myself. Typical for me, I already want to go back, but give it a few days and the idea will fizzle out, once proper life and priorities come into effect again.

A picture will come once I get everything sorted and arranged, but for now, I went to five places, spent about half the money I took, and still came away with so much that one of the wheels actually broke off my luggage bag. The friction from having to drag the thing the rest of the way back to the train station with only one good wheel pretty well destroyed any chances of somehow fitting a new wheel on, so I suppose this one will head off to Goodwill in hopes somebody wants a suitcase with an accessory wheel. Sad, considering how many trips to Toronto it saw me through, but it did well while it lasted.

I also managed to rip a small hole in my pants while I was trying to heft the entire weight of my purchases with one hand back from the Tim Hortons near the train station in London, and broke my PSP screen at some point. The kaleidoscope of colors when I adjust the volume is kind of cool, but here's hoping the dead PSP Adam gave me a while back still has a working screen, so I don't have to buy a replacement. I already want to make a purchase for some puzzle books on Amazon, which will be plenty after I just paid my credit card off again.

For the rest of the night, plans are to call and order food of some sort shortly, then try to be in bed for 3. If this wasn't a special night, I might be in bed already, as there are certain things coming up on Monday that I have to be ready for. But that's all I'm going to say for now, because I want to try and give myself a prime reason to write another one of these then.

In fact, I may just wrap this up here. My empty stomach is starting to make itself known, and I'm excited to empty my bag / backpack and have a proper look at everything. Let's go see~