a] The Furmeet
Where do I even start with this? How about by saying that if I'm invited to another such event in the future, I will accept the invitation, and gladly make cookies and other goodies to share, but will make only brief appearances during the course of the actual party. For the first part of the day this time, it went well. Hell, I brought the big, heavy TV downstairs by myself, necessitating a 4-story descent with the elevator, just so I could sit there and play Startropics and MC Kids while other people watched. I beat both in one sitting (separately), too, and generally milled about otherwise, trying not to sit behind the counter all day like last time. Right around when pizza was ordered, I asked Dan if he wanted me to run out and get more pop, as the 7 cases we had started off with were all gone. He said yes, so off I went for a bit of an excursion, down to Pharma Plus, and back with another 5 cases. Spent my own money on those too. People seemed appreciative though, so it was worth it, until I went to take the cart back upstairs to the apartment, and was accosted by somebody from the party saying that I might not want to go back down there, because the police were on their way. I didn't, and still don't understand exactly what happened there. All I know is that I'm pretty sure aforementioned person was the same one I met at the party Dan had up in the apartment before, who played through a Castlevania game on the Nintendo. Otherwise, as stated, I didn't know what was going on, so heeding their caution, I went back up to the apartment, and stayed there for a good couple hours. I told Xion what I had heard, and he called Dan to ask what was going on, only to be told that there was some drama, but it had been sorted out, by the person I met up in the lobby being asked to leave. Did I mention yet that pizza had arrived just as I was wheeling the pop in? Yeah. I would've liked to get some of that, but still being uncertain about what was going on, opted to stay in the apartment, where things only became worse. Something had happened between Chris and Xion, prompting Chris to go home, upset, and Xion to get emotional, which I just couldn't take, what with the other things that were on my mind. While he was on the phone with Chris at first, I tried to distract myself from sweeping up the wood shavings around Lela's (Xion's rabbit) cage, but once it was clear that things between them weren't getting any better, I crawled under the table (with a couch in front of it), and just laid there for a good twenty minutes. Dan eventually came up to lay down for a bit, because he still wasn't feeling well, so I went into his room for a bit with him. Eventually, he got up to go back downstairs, prompting me to want to do the same thing, but because I still wasn't feeling completely up to it from the various other emotions coursing through me, sat on the bed, lost in thought, eventually deciding that hell with it, I would go out to Walmart, and at least make some use of the day. By that point, Chris was back, and both he and Xion were out on the balcony, but I didn't want to tell them where I was going, as one way or the other they would realize that I was freaking out, thus making things worse for me, so I instead told somebody else from the party who had followed Dan upstairs that, should anybody ask, I had gone out to Walmart. And I did. Was out for a couple hours, actually, and came home not feeling entirely recovered, but well enough to eventually go back downstairs. Once there, I settled in in front of the Nintendo again, to watch somebody play Mario 3. They got frustrated and reset the game, so I picked up the second controller and asked them to switch it to 2-player. They did, and we played the game for a bit, acquiring the warp whistles needed to advance to world 8. I completed the first level, and we both died several times at the second, which quickly prompted one of the other person's friends to attempt to distract us on further attempts at making it through that level. They essentially fondled the other person's crotch, and when they died and it was my turn, said "I know what your weakness is!", and did exactly the same thing to me. Can you see where I'm headed with this? I'll even start a new paragraph so it stands out:
Dear kid: get the hell away from me. I don't know who in god's name you think you are, but touch me like that again, and I'll be asked to leave the party as a result of how I react.
In the end, I completed the level, and even beat the game, defeating Bowser as small Mario, but just... where is the line drawn? Maybe it would help a bit to consider that the person who was trying to distract us was likely drunk, because they stayed the night in the apartment as well, and were perfectly civil both before bed and also in the morning, but I have a big issue with that sort of contact. Fortunately, following that, the party went more or less the same as last time, aside from Bungee being in control of cleaning up. The only change that made is that cleaning up was much more rushed than before (didn't put furniture back in exactly the same place; didn't mop; spent significantly more time laying out on the couches, talking), and that's pretty much all there is to say of last Saturday. As for the future, as a result of what happened this time, if I am invited to another one of those events, I will accept, but with specific conditions. I would gladly make cookies and bring candy / other treats to share, and would be there to help with set-up and take-down, but would not attend the party proper short of heading down for maybe ten minutes at a time, to see what was going on. If something caught my interest to make me want to stay for longer, then sure, I'll stay, but extended interaction just doesn't work.
b] The Pop Exasperation
When we went grocery shopping on Tuesday night, Xion bought a case of lime Pepsi. Over the next couple days, he gave me four cans from that case. One was for cleaning up the kitchen, because it was "nice of me" (my train of thought was that I needed to clean it up in order to start baking cookies on Wednesday), and I can't remember what the other three were four, but the more important thing to be aware of is that when he gave me the fourth, he said "Here, you can have the last one", and in response, I said that I would have to buy him a case then. He said that was a generous offer, and all was well for a couple days. At some point after that though, he twisted what I said around into that I actually owed him a case, which sent me right off into contained anger. To my mind, I owed him four cans of Pepsi - lime, preferably. Not an entire case. I figuratively bit my tongue though, and when I returned from Walmart on Saturday, asked if he would be content with regular Pepsi. He said he would be, so I told him it was out on the dining room table, and also that I would probably take a couple cans, as fair was fair, what with the only technically owing him four cans as mentioned previously. Somehow, he left that case out on the table all night, so in the morning when he actually went to grab a can, there were none left. On Sunday, we went out to Food Basics, where I bought him another case, so that would finally be done and dealt with, only for Dan to give him another $10 because "everybody else drank [Xion's] pop", which I feel is a slap in the face. How can I get that sort of deal? As mentioned up in item A, I bought five additional cases of pop for the party with my own money. Dan didn't even hint at asking if I wanted to be reimbursed for those, and yet Xion can be paid back about two and a half times over? Hell, I paid for his (Xion's) transit out to Yorkdale Mall on Sunday, because I wanted to go there myself, but he wanted to come along, because Chris wasn't around and he was bored. $6 of my own money, which was really only paid back by him paying for him, Chris, and I to take a taxi home from Mississauga, which is another story I really don't want to get into right now. Suffice it to say, on Sunday night (I think), Chris was being really disagreeable, and Xion wasn't having any of it, so he wanted to go down there (to Mississauga), and "drag him back by the scruff of his neck", bringing me along with him, because he thought I would be able to talk to Chris, but there's a trick to that. I can talk with people - much as Xion and I did a little while ago - when they want to talk. I can try to explore the issue and whatnot, but if the other person isn't open to that sort of discussion, there's nothing I can do. Thus, the role I served there was pretty much that of the uninvolved person you want to have around so two other people don't fight, and now that's it's happened once, I refuse to be used like that again.
c] Transit Difficulties
Xion, Chris, and I (noticing a pattern yet?) originally had plans to go to the zoo on Monday the 7th. As it happened though (mostly due to the events of Sunday night), neither of them felt up to going then, so I went on my own. The trip there was normal, and it was nice being able to do exactly what I wanted. I renewed my membership first, then browsed through both gift shops, buying a couple things in each, then went off to walk through the Eurasia area, only to find that it was blocked off, and will be until May of 2013. Not wanting to just go back home though, I went around to see the white lions, ordered a Beaver Tail, went back to the area where Dan and I found money before, and found another $3, then decided to call it a day, having done everything that I wanted to do in the available areas. The bus ride from the zoo to Kennedy station went smoothly. I fell asleep, but woke up a couple stops before the actual station, and the rest was nice, so I have no complaint about that. As for the subway ride, however, just as I was stepping into the train, there was an announcement about an incident involving personal injury at track level in Old Mill station. As a result of said incident, there was no service between Jane and Royal York station, meaning that upon getting to Jane station, by which point the train was quite crowded again, everybody had to file out, and slowly up the stairs, then wait for one of three shuttle buses, all of which were crowded, then take the relatively slow trip back to Islington station. On one hand, seeing that different route was neat, but on the other, the stress of not knowing if I would end up where I needed to be was not. In fact, my plans for coming home from the zoo that day were originally to take the subway all the way out to Kipling, then go out to a few other places from there, but after the whole shuttle bus thing, I decided to just head home.
Incident number two came when I chose to go out to Real Canadian Superstore on my own. I remembered the route from when Xion and I had previously gone there, but after making my purchases, could seemingly not find bus 73 again. A different bus - #89 came by twice, and appeared to be bound for Keele station, judging by the display on the front, so when it came by a third time, I got on, and had the pleasure of enduring another extended bout of stress and anxiety, come from hoping that I would get to where I needed to be. I did, then couldn't find how to get to the westbound platform at Keele station, but did eventually (there was a flight of stairs just inside the door, which I missed at first), and upon making it back to Islington, hoped that I wouldn't encounter any further difficulties. It turns out hoping isn't enough, though.
The third and final issue came about just yesterday. Xion insisted that he, Chris, and I go to the zoo before I had to head back to Union station, despite my reservations about having enough time, so we did, and for the most part, we had enough time for everything. When the bus back to Kennedy station came along though, I got on, having a token ready, and sat down at the back of the bus, thinking they would be in shortly, and sit somewhere nearby. Instead, the bus pulled away with them standing out on the sidewalk, waving, and I was pissed. While there was a faint glimmer of the possibility that they might not have had enough money to get on the bus, it seemed much more likely (at least at the time) that they'd decided they wanted to stay there longer, and thus would just send me off, and head back in to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. I fumed about that for a good fifteen minutes, eventually talking myself into setting it aside in favor of focusing on getting back to the apartment, grabbing my bags, and taking off for Union Station, but that too was cut short, by difficulties related to the bus I was on. At the zoo, the display on the front said it was headed for Kennedy Station, which is where I needed to go. The bus number (86A) also corresponded with what I was familiar with from other trips to the zoo, yet about halfway back to the subway station, somebody else on the bus got up and started verbally abusing the driver, calling him an "arrogant goof", and proclaiming that nobody would no where the bus we were on was going, because it was new. Sure enough, we were all made to get off at (what was to me) an arbitrary point along the side of the road, causing me much anxiety and panic, but I still had the presence of mind to get a transfer slip, and ask the driver "Could you tell me how I would get to Kennedy station from here?" He said another bus would be along in a couple minutes, so I thanked him, and he said "You're welcome" with complete sincerity (contrary to what would be expected by the aforementioned passenger's outburst), and, to my extreme relief, another bus did come along about four minutes afterward, which everybody was able to board with only minor difficulties. The driver of the second one seemed confused at first, presumably from seeing everybody with transfers for the same route he was driving, but he asked one person "You guys are from the other bus?", and that was that. Off we went to Kennedy station, but the rest of the trip was not entirely unremarkable either. As we were coming down off the bridge right next to the station, the driver came on the bus's intercom system, and made an announcement along the lines of "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The time is currently 4:30pm [...], and I would just like to take a moment to say 'thank you for taking the TTC'. Please join us in the lounge for some snacks and beverages...", and I didn't hear the rest after that, but it was exactly the thing needed to take the stress away. Everybody got a bit of a laugh out of it, and at least one other lady on the bus and I said "thank you" to him on the way out, because under those circumstances, it was much appreciated.
I'm not saying that public transit can't be trusted, but the above goes to show that there's something to be said for walking as well.
I believe that's all I have time for today, but there will almost certainly be more, if only because this most recent time away was distinctly different. I almost wish Xion was online right now, so I could discuss certain concerns (some of which were mentioned above) with him, but needing to leave for work is even closer than before, and I have other things to between now and then. I hope Manoah works tonight...