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~

All That Waiting for Nothing

Back on the 2nd of February, I came home from work to find a message from Lynn O'Brien - the manager of the Downtown Chatham Centre - on my answering machine, offering me a job. I went for a meeting / informal interview the next afternoon, everything seemed to go well, but then I was just stuck waiting. I tried calling probably six times total... over the course of a month. I even went up to see her in person once about halfway through, and all she told me is "We haven't done anything yet." "Frustration" is the best word that comes to mind.

Skip ahead one month, five days, and today I wake up to a new message, and a missed call from the mall, which I figured was finally the update I was waiting for, but all I got was "We're not looking to hire anybody right now, and I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you."

Right.

You know what though? It's okay. For one, I've already been waiting this long, which makes me question how reliable she would be if I needed to get ahold of her once employed. For two? If she had called me to say they were ready to have me start working, up to three get-togethers planned for later this month would probably not be able to happen, and that would be a huge letdown.

Then, Dad and I were supposed to go out this afternoon, first to Renaissance Personnel, followed by going to practise some driving, but the former's been rescheduled to I'm going to call and book an appointment to go through the introductory steps as soon as possible next week, so I can have one normal afternoon here tomorrow. The driving also went alright, but I'm still nervous for whenever it is in May that I'll be going for my G2.

Beyond that, I'm just really looking forward to the weekend. As far as I know, I have no set plans with other people, and I need the time to relax. I still want to go up to Wendys one of those nights (if I can afford it), and try to work on sorting through my next bin of random stuff, but I would also like to dust off whichever console and play a game that I haven't in a while. Maybe Super Mario Galaxy 2, since the last time I played that, I still had everything set up in my bedroom, and laid in bed. Weird times.

I'm starting to feel in the mood to just sit and stare at the screen for a bit now. I still have the better part of two hours before I have to go to work, at least~

Proving I Did Something

It's not nearly the end of the day yet, but past this point I just intend to sit and force myself to relax with whatever. It's not the day I was expecting it to be, as I got completely sucked into a random task mid-afternoon, which took me much longer than expected in the end to complete, but ultimately, I'm glad I did it, and I just hope I can find the same sort of emotional motivation next weekend to tackle the next step.

What I actually did was went through a bin of stuff that had sat largely untouched since I moved in here, and ultimately sorted all of that out, as well as organized all of my paper files and government mailings. Whenever I get there, I want to go to Commercial Copy Center to buy and and attempt to make an envelope for all of my small things from going to visit Dan so many times before.

I threw away a good bit of stuff as well, but nothing of importance, and also found a fair few things - mostly from Jen - that I had forgotten about, which have been filed away in their own special place.

Originally, before all of that, I was planning to just try to chill out (as in a little bit of alcohol) in the afternoon, then walk some way up to Mom and Dad's to drop some DVDs and cookies off to Mom, then up to Wendys for supper, because their promotional burger and baked potato look amazing, then just resume whatever else for the rest of the night, but I couldn't.

Productivity and alcohol didn't mix in my mind for one thing, and dropping movies and cookies off to Mom was rendered moot when I decided I didn't have the money for Wendys this weekend after all, plus, I'm going over there tomorrow to do my laundry one more time, now that Theo's back with Adam and Trish.

I also want to do something proper different with whatever next day off if I am to go get that special supper, but for now, that's going to require reaching out and seeing what's available.

I'm not sure what else to say, but I guess I could divulge that I'm still planning a trip up to 7-11 when I'm done writing this. Some snacks from there will still be nice. Tomorrow marks the beginning of another week of work and not having this time to myself, so I intend to enjoy these few hours while they last~

An Update to Before

It almost happened, but then it didn't. And while I don't want to dwell, having to meet face to face changed a lot of the situation.

Did I make the right choice in the end?

Against all of my logic and reasoning toward being done, yes, I did. Emotion won out, and I would have lost alot of good in my life had things gone the other way.

Still, I said what I wanted to and made it clear what my stance was, and while there are some things that I still don't feel quite right about, but if we are to continue as friends, we'll definitely be talking more as we're able.

I would be lying if I said there weren't matters to be settled elsewhere too, but as of now, I'll be able to start on that Saturday, when I go to Mom and Dad's to do my laundry.

For now, it's been a hell of a two weeks, and the plans that I originally had for tomorrow have been postponed 'til Sunday, so I can go lay down as soon as I post this, and just sleep.

It's going to be nice.

On Unexpected Life Events

I wasn't planning to write one of these so soon at all, but I have the time right now, so I figure why not at least try to say something.

It's been a weird couple of weeks. I don't want to go into details right now, because I'm trying to just accept things for what they are and move on with my own life, but today was a rough time indeed. I woke up to what were some of the nastiest, most personal messages that I've ever received in my life, and from none other than a person who used to mean more to me than anything else. In some aspects, they were warranted, and I'll take it on the chin for not taking no for an answer the first time, but for the rest, I'm still blindsided to the point where I'm not sure if I should actually feel hurt, or just accept this as that it's time to move on.

I went for a ~3 hour long walk earlier to try and clear my head, and came to one conclusion: that I was at least ready to block said other person in Discord. Today may have been the end of us as friends. It's uncomfortable to think about and type that, after how long we've known each other, but I don't see how we could even be in the same room together after everything they said. I'm not trying to say it's all their fault either, as I most definitely share alot of the blame, but in this particular instance, they're the ones who sent the messages.

How to move forward from this? Wake up tomorrow and try to be better. Some sort of cliche advice like that. I'm really not sure yet, but I at least want to find some community to get involved in online.

I also feel like I'm starting to run out of energy for writing, so I'll just leave this here for now and see if looking back tomorrow brings any new thoughts to mind. I've done enough thinking about it for today.