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Everything Smells Like Gravy

Setting aside the reason for the curious (yet equally delicious) smell, let's start off where I ended last night.

One of the biggest obstacles to collecting what few shreds of dignity that I still have and going back up to my mountain (so to speak) to recuperate is commissions. Seriously, I'd like to know if other people see the things I'm currently having difficulties with as so cut-and-dried. They revolve mostly around feedback, and my dilem(n/m)a is like this: there are at least two artists who I still technically have commissions in progress with that I have every reason to leave negative feedback for, and be done with, the idea being that when they reply, I can explain, and ask for my money back. The problem is that I still would like those commissions (two keychains and five full-color pictures, respectively), so if I leave negative feedback now, and they do eventually get back to me with profuse apologies and give me more than I originally paid for in my works, I'm going to feel bad for leaving them negative reviews, and want to change it. Much as I hate myself for giving the person who wrote Prized Possession a 10/10 now, but that's because I didn't have the gall that I do these days regarding him back then. Anyways it would seem that my problem with these other people is wanting to say "This is what's wrong" so that anybody else can see, but also wanting my keychains and pictures from them at the same time. I won the auction(s) fairly, sent full payment fairly, and then they unfairly disappear without a trace. Yes, yes, I know, they could legitimately have other far more serious things to deal with, but as I've said when talking about this before, how am I supposed to know what's going on without hearing from them? I can properly claim ignorance in this case, but it's as yet been impossible to find a way of turning that into leaving feedback to the effect of not getting what I paid for, without any communication from the other party, but still wanting things to proceed if I had been waiting patiently for however long it took them to reply. Going back a couple years, I liked doing this. Being patient and understanding and ever so slightly manipulative in hopes that they would feel bad for keeping me waiting, and give me a bonus as compensation. Like that tail I commissioned, where the person who made it said they would give me a "nice hand-painted tail", and ultimately the only things they painted on it were rings. Yeah. Maybe I should just write them off entirely though. Remove them from my current commissions list (or better yet, completely delete said list), leave neutral feedback, and proceed as circumstances require from there. Of course, that raises the question of that the criteria to leave neutral feedback are, but to make something up quickly right now, I'd say two months of not hearing from the other person, with me sending at least two messages (one per month) in that time.

As for the smell of gravy now, well, know that saying that goes "necessity is the mother of invention"? Last night, I needed to eat something without spending even more money at 7-11 or Tim Hortons, so even though there was and still is very little to be found in the fridge and cupboards, I was able to work up a meal that I enjoyed the first time, and will almost certainly enjoy as many other times as I should choose to make it in the future. Noodles, with fried mushrooms, and as a surprise sauce, pork gravy. I've been thinking about using this Bulk Barn gift card I have from Michele to get some powdered cheese with which to make homemade KD, but as I haven't made it up there yet, I was forced to improvise, and the results were quite tasty. The only unfortunate detail is that it wasn't my packet of gravy, but I can't picture those being too expensive, so when we go grocery shopping tomorrow, I'll pick up several more for myself so I can use two packages next time, one to replace the packet I used last night, and then two or three cans of clam chowder soup, since I got one the week before last, and it was quite good as well. Better, at least, than going to 7-11 and buying those sausage and english muffin things they have for 99 cents. They're acceptable for being priced at one penny less than a dollar, but they don't come with cheese, and the sausage patty has a... most unpleasant texture if eaten cold. Last time I bought a couple I had some cheese from work to put on them, which I bought for that very purpose, and I just might do the same again tonight, even though I've already eaten 5 chocolate bars (a mere 1,000 calories) and a can of pop for breakfast (150, equaling 1,150 when I've been awake for only a couple hours). So maybe I'll skip that, actually, and get probably a green tea at Tim Hortons instead. Although apple cider would be nice too, but I'm somewhat more wary of it after finding that residue in my cup last time. I'm still fairly confident it's wax from the cup itself, but unless apple cider is kept at an even higher temperature than the hot water that is used for teas, there's a discrepancy. No a particularly worrisome discrepancy, because all I have to do if it becomes an issue is stop drinking that particular beverage, but it's strange nonetheless.

On an unrelated note, I'm not sure what happened last night, but apparently adding another blanket to the pile for that extra bit of warmth while still mostly asleep is a bad idea. I was fine up until then, aside from being uncomfortably cold, and the moment I pulled another blanket out from underneath my bed and spread it out over top of the ones that were already covering me, something happened. I don't know exactly what, but I first laid back down facing away from the window, and felt an intensely uncomfortable pain in my stomach until I flipped over, then after that, the strange, panic-inducing dreams started. First of all, there's not much point to keeping it a secret, as I've now told Mom and Dad and the other people who need to know are aware: the train ticket I mentioned back in the entry titled "Expenses, Expenses, and More Expenses" is for a sort-of vacation that I'm taking at the end of this month. Among other things, said vacation will involve baking cookies, reading / sharing my story with somebody else, and going to the Toronto Zoo again, but I'm not going to mention it again, until the night before I leave, because I don't want it to be ruined, as if one of the dreams I had last night didn't do that well enough already. My memory of it starts with looking being at home and looking at a clock, and seeing that it was 4:58, when the train left at 5. I frantically rushed upstairs to ask Dad for a ride to the train station, explaining the situation, and he agreed, so I started getting ready. Twenty minutes later (or at least that's what it felt like), we were finally outside getting into the van, where I was mentally urging Mom to hurry up and get in, because I didn't want to be late. I don't remember if I ever opened the door and climbed into a seat or not, but what I am able to recall is realizing that I was too late, and hoping that I could just exchange the ticket I had for one to depart "tomorrow". Then I finally realized that I was dreaming, and slowly woke up, all the while thinking to myself "I would never be so tardy in real life." Back on those first few trips that I took to London on my own (and looking back, I seriously can't believe I did that, all on my own), I didn't exhale until I was sitting down in a seat on the train, and I'd given my ticket to the person who was collecting them from everybody. Aside from that one instance where I accidentally took a seat in the first class car, but I imagine that's not uncommon to them. Although that reminds me of the second or third time I went up, when the train going back to Chatham was delayed, and another passenger said we should all be bumped up to first class, only to be met with being told that it was full of people who had been waiting longer than he had. Just be happy we're not still waiting at the station, sir. As for the other dream, the only part of it that's really worth sharing is how it felt the same as the first - perfectly real at the beginning, but eventually I realized I was dreaming, and woke up with a sigh of relief, thinking about how my mind must really be enjoying itself.

There aren't too many other things to mention right now, but related to the above, I'll say that things at work could be much worse. As awful as it may be to spend almost the entire night washing dishes and catching up on things that other people should've done, they could be weekend shifts instead. We could be quite a bit busier, and be open two hours later, and I'd have to close with other managers who I don't get along with quite as well as I do with George. And speaking of him, he hasn't given any indication of minding the new carryover procedures, outside of saying that they're a pain, whereas the way I feel about the dishes is plenty obvious even without me saying anything, and where do I get off doing that? They're dishes. And some cardboard too. That's just part of the job, so if I'm less than upbeat tonight, it'll be because I'm looking forward to getting done and being one day closer to Monday, which is when I work 5-8 so I'll have time to do pretty much anything, including walking up to Walmart and Real Canadian Superstore. Although I would also challenge anybody to remain enthusiastic about doing the same thing(s) night after night after night, but what I'm trying to say is that I'll get used to these new things eventually. Either that, or Melissa will see to them being ended, but either way, complaining and being in a grouchy mood isn't and won't get me anywhere. I have some new music to put on my PSP now though, and then random entertainment to find for another hour. It had better stop raining by 7:00 too...

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