My Love Story (So Far…)- Chapter 4

Please be reminded; any names of people portrayed in this series are altered to protect their identities.

It wasn’t long before I’d dusted myself off and left Johnny in my past. At that time, many of us spent our lunch-hour in the basement by the band room. Few people aside from our group ever came down there, so we designated it as ‘our turf.’ One of our group that had been around well before Johnny and I met had always stood out in my perspective; I always did have a thing for blue eyes, after all. His name was Felix. I had strong feelings towards him, but I didn’t suspect those feelings were returned.

One night, however, our group had gathered at my house to relax and watch Disney movies. We’d tossed in The Lion King and he and I had gone from sitting together on the couch, to hesitantly cuddling upright until we were lying side-by-side as he held me close to him. I gathered up to gall to turn and face him and just enjoyed the silent moment. Here comes the cheesy part; as the movie progressed, the classic ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight?’ song started playing. Before I knew it, we were making out. From there, we just kind of took off. I will give him this, he was a very good kisser.

We spent most of our time cuddling, but I’d done the same thing I did in my previous relationship and tried to give him what he wanted before I was ready. While we never did sleep together, I recall doing other things with him that I’m not necessarily proud of. It wasn’t long before that got around and everyone in our group knew all about it. From there, everyone outside our group knew, and quite possibly their dogs were whispering about it, too. Bottom-line, a lot of people didn’t see me in the same light anymore, but I didn’t care. I was with him, and whatever made him happy would surely bring me happiness too.

All but three months later, Valentine’s Day was upon us, but I’d noticed he was acting a little distant during the previous days. February 13th crept around the corner and we were chatting over MSN messenger that night when he’d told me he had just tried to get back together with his ex-girlfriend, who had turned him down regardless. Mutually, we decided to go our separate ways, but I recall feeling a wave of pain like I had not felt with Johnny.

I continued to stay in the same place our group always did, but weeks later, he was in a serious relationship with an adorable girl in our group. I remember them being obnoxiously lovey-dovey whenever they were together, but that is, perhaps simply because I was very sensitive to it at the time. Still, I remember people looking over to me, waiting for me to react, and whispering amongst each other in discomfort. It didn’t take long before I stopped joining them there. I began my habit of wandering. I didn’t care where; I would simply walk around and about, dreaming of an escape from the handful of friends I had left behind.

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To be continued…


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Zombiepocalypse: What Would You Do?

This was created by me, but you are free to use it and pass it along. I don’t expect nor care whether or not I am credited. This is all just for fun!
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1. If you were in your home while the zombie-pocalypse started happening, what would you do?

I would start assigning tasks to my household. In my current situation, I live with four others.

  • First: head upstairs and start filling the tubs and sinks with water, and prepping for the demolition of our beloved staircase.
  • Second: ensure the doors are locked and keep a lookout for immediate danger. If the situation gets dicey enough where we no longer have time to prepare, they would alert the rest of us and run upstairs to safety with anything they can collect along the way.
  • Third: collect as much non-perishable food as possible, as well as containers and toiletries if time allows the luxury.
  • Forth: collect weapons, tools, batteries, entertainment, rope, tools, first aid, blankets, etc.

Once that was done, it’s up the stairs we go. We’d demolish the staircase and hide away in the temporary safety of the rooms on the top level. With two full bathrooms and three bedrooms, we should be able to sustain ourselves for a while. At this point, we can try to contact other loved ones, but it’s doubtful we will get through. Now, it’s all about conserving energy and keeping calm while starting to discuss our next steps.

We would keep a great deal of rope up above as our means of getting back down to ground-level, but only if we have no choice and must gather supplies or leave our home.

When the time came where things had quieted down enough to leave, I would start to seek out the rest of my loved ones at my own risk. There are a very small handful of people I would risk death for, but I would not stop hunting for them until they were found. The only thing that would stop me then would be death itself.

2. How many survivors would be in your group?
Ideally, two to five. Any more than that may be too large. I don’t believe in safety in numbers; more people means more mouths to feed and more asses to save if they get in trouble. With a smaller group, you can keep track of each other, but still distribute the tasks and workload comfortably.

3. What are your thoughts on killing zombies?
It’s only to be done when absolutely necessary. We all love the games and movies, but killing a zombie in real life would not be the same. You are risking drawing attention to yourself, and exposing yourself to infection and danger. Having to kill zombies would be an unavoidable part of survival, but that doesn’t mean you need to go out looking for trouble. Avoid them when you can, and if you can’t, take them out quickly and quietly.

4. What would you wear if you had the choice?
A tank top, a light jacket, cargo pants, a utility belt, hiking boots, and riding gloves. All in black, army green, and brown. There’s no place for neon in a post-apocalyptic world. I would also wear a string necklace with a single bullet that would be saved for myself if I found myself in an inescapable situation.

5. What would you choose as your melee weapon?
I will always choose the multi-purposed crowbar. I would also accept a lead pipe, or a metal baseball bat, but those wouldn’t be my preferences. I would be keeping a hunting knife on me at all times. If your weapon can double as a tool, you may be even better off.

6. What would you choose as your primary weapon?
Two handguns. I would probably go with the standard Glock simply because they are low-maintenance, and relatively easy to use. If I were a better shot, I would prefer  bow and arrow, but at my current skill level, I would be horribly ineffective.

7. What skills do you currently have that would benefit you?
I am able to spend long stretches of time in solitude without it getting to my head and am relatively decent at critical thinking. Aside from that, I would be at quite a disadvantage as I am.

8. List three skills you would want to acquire before a zombie-pocalypse were to arise.
Impeccable first aid training, physical stamina, and the ability to find resources in the wild.

9. You hear a noise nearby; do you investigate?
Doubtful. If the area from whence it came happened to be spacious and well-lit, I may consider it, but that’s one of the easiest ways to get yourself killed.

10. Where is your ideal location to wait out a zombie-pocalypse?
It all depends on what resources you have available. If you can make it out to a military base in the middle of the ocean, go for it; but it’s unlikely you’d manage to make it there. I would not intend to wait it out. I would settle from place to place for short periods of time, but the key is to keep moving.

11. What would be your favoured mode of transportation?
By foot. Always by foot.

12. What is, in your opinion, the most dangerous aspect of the zombie-pocalypse?
The living. Zombies are predictable, but realistically, the two things that will pose the biggest threat are other survivors who are either desperate or just plain horrible people, and your own mind would cause problems on it’s own. The situation is traumatic no matter how you slice it, so your mind could start playing tricks on you, or the stress of it all could even drive you to insanity if you’re not cautious.

13. Would you have a pet?
If anything, I would keep a mouse, rat, or a small snake. Any creature that is silent, easy to carry, and quick would be best. That way, if something were to happen to me, they would be able to escape with little risk.

14. You’ve been bitten and no one in your group knows yet; what will do?
I would be up front and say my goodbyes, leaving the group so they wouldn’t have to see the whole bullet-to-the-head thing. There’s no way in hell I’m going to be a zombie, but I’m not going to ask my group to watch.

15. Do you think a zombie-pocalypse could ever happen?
Not necessarily. Outbreaks of rabies I think would probably be as close as it would get, but no strain that would happen in real life would really function like they do in the media. I’m certain any “zombie-pocalypse” that would ever happen in reality would be nothing like we’ve seen in film.

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Want to give this survey a go? Copy and paste it to your own blog/website and give it a try! Morbid curiosity never really killed the cat, did it?


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Ashes and Blood

While most children had imaginary friends, she had someone all her own. Someone only she could understand. She created him. She built on him since childhood, sculpting carefully on a dream that she was certain wouldn’t come true. He would visit her dreams, he would appear in her drawings. When she would sing herself to sleep, he would be etched in her lullabies, keeping her safe from harm in her rest. She sought a strange sick beauty and contentment in her solitude, far from reality, finding the unnatural comfort in her imagination to keep her safe in her world of make-believe.

As she grew, he grew with her. He had become so familiar, and became the only ‘home’ she could truly run to in her darkest times. Nothing phased her until her dream became reality. She found herself staring him right in the face; the face she had become so familiar with that it almost unraveled her mind. His eyes were dark and unreadable, hiding a secret pain. His scent that filled her with a maddening intoxication like an unshakable craving for some kind of drug. His voice was music to her ears, as the echo of distant thunder. Everything was just as she had imagined, but all she felt was one-sided and all in her head.

In her heart of hearts she battled her emotions vigorously and without rest, but in the end, she knew she would fall. Everyone warned her not to cave in. She constantly reminded herself to tread carefully. She was successful for a time, but she let her guard down; only for a moment, it seemed, but long enough for him to get into her head and under her skin.

As the walls of her castle of make-believe crashed down around her feet, she was given a violent shove into the reality she had worked so hard to avoid. She could never return to her imaginary world, because her own creation had destroyed all she had constructed, leaving only remnants of her dreams in segments of charred rubble among ashes and blood.

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Is “Friendzoning” a Thing?

For the past half-decade or so, I’ve been hearing this term a lot. Two friends going about their own business are living their lives in uncomplicated harmony. Suddenly, one of those friends feels something more, so they gather all their courage to suggest they lose the ‘friends’ title and get romantic instead. But alas, those feelings are one-sided. “We can still stay friends, though,” offers little to no solace. So the unfortunately smitten of the two is left embarrassed and awkward, crying their anguish to the skies with one simple phrase; “I’ve been friendzoned.”

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Truly this is a troubling matter that has no doubt plagued many of us in our lives, but what exactly is friendzoning? Well, the answer may not be as simple as you think. What this term suggests is actually damaging and degrading to both people involved, only offering more toxicity between them and it only escalates the drama and heartache that could otherwise be overcome through maturity and understanding.

So, my darlings; allow me to set the record straight.

Friendzoning does exist. However, all too often people use it without warrant to do so. When your friend rebuffs your affections, it’s normal to feel hurt. Opening yourself up romantically to someone takes a lot of courage, so when that interaction is unsuccessful, it can get a little difficult to deal with. Adding the ‘friend’ dynamic makes it much more difficult. It can be confusing to decide where to go from there. So do you fight through the awkwardness and hope that those feelings fade so you may move on without losing your friend, or do you walk away, knowing those feelings may never go away?

Sometimes it’s best to walk away. There’s no saying whether or not your paths will cross again, but in my experience, taking a step back can often times be the best way to clear your thoughts and reset your heart, clearing the way for love in the future with whomever you decide to pursue. This can be a difficult decision, but when executed properly, it can be the least damaging way to handle things. Simply explain how you feel, and take those steps to start moving on with your life.

Let’s say you decide to stick around; I implore you to not start with the friendzone complaints. It comes across as little more than a whine and will only push your friend away by making them feel guilty or uncomfortable. This will further destroy your bond with them and will prolong the awkwardness to the point where the damage may become irreversible. Friends can overcome many things, strengthening their connections through pain and adversity, but that involves the ability to be mature and move on from the discomforts of your pasts together to build upon your friendship, rather than tearing it down with negativity and bitter memories.

Now, addressing the friendzoners of the world; don’t be that person. If someone comes up to you and tells you how they feel, laying all their cards on the table, you are not obligated to return those feelings. Simply let them down with integrity and honesty, but be sure that they know exactly where you stand. Do not hold the possibility over their heads by being wishy-washy and asking them to wait for you. If you need time to think, do so, but you should lay your cards out on the table as they have done with you. Most importantly, do not look at this as an opportunity to gain leverage. This person is just that; a person. Not only that, but a person who may care a great deal for you. Using this to gain things (whether it be materialistic objects or emotional fulfillment) from them is cruel and manipulative, and they don’t deserve that.

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There is a right and a wrong way to handle every situation. Keeping an open mind and a mature outlook on situations, even if your judgement is clouded with negative emotions, is a healthy part of growing as a person. People will come and go, and friends often drift apart for reasons that are not always predicted. But with each interaction, you can understand more about the people around you, which can in turn aid your in learning more about yourself. You will grow and become stronger every day, but only if you allow yourself to do so by letting go of the things you can’t control. This is one of the hardest lessons to learn in life.


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My Love Story (So Far…)- Chapter 3

Please be reminded; any names of people portrayed in this series are altered to protect their identities.

A couple months passed since my break up with Seth. I found myself slowly returning to a more steady internal state as the first year of high school started to come to a close. My feelings for him had not faded, but I was learning to hide them better. To me, that was an accomplishment all it’s own.

I remember the last day of grade 10 being of my most fun and memorable. A group of my friends and I planned on meeting on the field to play a game of red-rover to celebrate the end of our first year. As my friends and I sat in our usual seats in Math class, we all collaborated together to sneak out one by one to meet at our usual hangout in the choir room. It was the best place for us to go when we were cutting classes; we’d keep the main room’s lights off and the door closed while we all sneaked to the backrooms to listen to music and kill time. Any passers by would think the room was locked and empty, so at the time, we never got caught. There were a few others in our group who wanted to join us, but they weren’t too keen on cutting class. We didn’t judge; we had all afternoon anyways.

One by one, we bolted into the hallway and sprinted to the choir rooms, bringing snacks along with us. Finally, we’d all gathered and spent the majority of that time listening to Dane Cook and passing around inside jokes. I remember laughing so hard my sides still hurt an hour later. For a time, I was even a little happy. I had even set my sights on someone new. His name was Johnny.

Johnny was a little more preppy than Seth. He loved to party, had a strong energy about him, and was far more intelligent than many gave him credit for. He was the kind of kid that could skip classes, show up for a test, and still pull off the highest mark without cheating. He had joined our group that day through a mutual friend of ours. This was the first time we actually spoke to each other.

Finally, the day ended and we spent hours losing control in the field, playing the most cut-throat game of red-rover I can remember. It was raining hard that day, but we all agreed it was more fun that way. In retrospect, one kid did almost get hypothermia, and another one wound up with a knee in the crotch, but at the end of it all, we took a group picture and headed home. During that summer vacation, Johnny and I found ourselves on MSN messenger all the time until he decided to ask me out to see a movie.

From then on, we were dating. I was convinced that I was completely enamored with him, but he had a habit of asking for sex fairly often. I continued to say no for about a month before I had started to really think long and hard about this. I remembered what had happened with Seth. I remember thinking, “that’s why Seth broke up with me. These are high school guys; they’re not going to wait around for me forever. Fifteen year-old girls do this all the time anyways. Let’s face it, if I don’t sleep with him, I’m going to lose him to someone who will.”

Thus, Johnny became my first. While I’d like to tell you it was a wonderful experience, I don’t remember much about it. We had to be careful, quiet, and discrete. In fact, I was so focused on not getting caught that I barely paid attention to that moment. One thing I do remember was feeling strange afterward. As though I had done something wrong. I didn’t believe I was going to get in trouble, but it felt as though I was scolding myself internally for turning away from what my heart told me.

“But it’s worth it. I won’t lose him as long as I keep him happy.”

Essentially the day after I had given myself to him, he turned a switch and became more and more distant, and less and less interested. It was all of a few weeks later I noticed him getting very friendly with a friend of mine whom he shared classes with. He was not an arts student when we met, but he started taking parts in plays and took up drama in place of one of his spares. I didn’t mind that; I was excited for him, but something told me there was a romance between he and my friend. I had no proof, so I tried to put it out of my mind.

Then he started to avoid me like the plague. He hadn’t changed his relationship status on Facebook, or even said a word to me about anything, but I would go days to over a week without seeing him. I decided to just open the opportunity so he could just break up with me and get it over with, but I would simply get stood up, or ignored. This continued for nearly a month before I caught him online and asked him if he wanted to call it quits, but he simply danced around the question as if he were amused by my torment. We were speaking on MSN one final time before, I found myself so infuriated that he was forcing my hand, I told him it was over then and there. I signed out and washed my hands of him. I was slightly confused as to why I was not crying; I thought it was a good thing, and returned to my life as it had been before we’d met, but I always felt a twinge of pain whenever I saw him, or when his name was spoken.

All but a week later, he and my friend made things official and started dating, but everyone knew they were together well before that. To their credit, they were together for quite a while before they broke up for the same reason we had ended. She and I became friends again for a brief time, but these days, we haven’t spoken for a couple years.

As for Johnny,  years later I was told that he and his friends had a ‘competition’ going on at the time; who could get the most v-cards. I soon received a message from him apologizing for his behaviour when we were together. I thanked him for the apology and wished him well, but we never spoke again after that. Whether or not he has learned and truly grown through the years, I cannot say for certain, but I didn’t intend to make any effort to find out.

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To be continued…


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My Love Story (So Far…)- Chapter 2

Please be reminded; any names of people portrayed in this series are altered to protect their identities.

The first day of high school arrived. In such a short time, I found myself changing for the worse. I was no longer a pillar of positivity and resilience as I once was. All I wanted now was to be accepted by someone; anyone. It showed in everything I did.

As a child, I always stuck to my values when no one else would. I believed in true love above all things. I believed in taking people at their word and always believing in others. I believed that true friends never strayed. However, just as my hope was shattered in the fortitude of my faith in love, I found many other values were challenged. In my desire for acceptance, I found my once cherished friendships deteriorating, and the new friends I was making were not as they seemed.

Then, I met Seth. I remember he was two grades above me, and he was the class metalhead. If there was one thing he loved, it was to make his opinions known, regardless of who it offended. He also happened to be the school’s radio-station host for the lunch-hour, and I often noticed his absence in class. In hopes that I would run into him, I started cutting classes myself. Eventually, we began talking. Conversation started to grow into much more when finally, I decided to set up an opportunity. I invited he and a handful of friends to see a movie one night.

The friends I had invited knew all about my feelings towards Seth and as the credits rolled and we started heading back towards the lobby, they each went their separate ways to give us a little time alone. He and I made small-talk about the film, and shared a few awkward chuckles before we realized we’d wandered to the staircase overlooking the mural of the pyramids of Egypt at night. There was a long pause, but both of us knew what the other was thinking. Finally, he spoke up and told me I’d been on his mind a great deal lately, and that he wanted to spend more time with me. He invited me to join him during his next broadcast; to which I agreed. We bid farewell with a long hug; with a hold that was just a little too tight for two innocent friends.

That following Monday, I met him at the broadcasting station. We were the only ones there, and as he put on a song from one of his favourite bands, he took a seat beside me. As the chorus played, he leaned in and I surrendered my first kiss to him there. It sounds sweet, but frankly, I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t so much kiss him; I more or less just sat there blushing with my eyes closed until he pulled away.

Now, my parents were not too happy with my choice in a boyfriend, but that held little meaning to me. As far as I was concerned, I’d found someone who seemed to genuinely care about me. We spent the majority of our time watching movies, listening to music, and making out. One day, he even gave me a necklace he claimed once belonged to his grandmother; that became the only necklace I wore from then on. I was, at the time, head over heels.

However, not too long later, a time came where he wanted to do more than simply make out. I, not being of a very confident state of mind, asked to wait. We dated for about seven months before he seemed to get sick of waiting and he broke up with me early that winter. Even though a part of me suspected it was coming, I remember crying myself to sleep for days. While he requested that we remain friends, it was all but a week before we stopped talking altogether.

I felt myself drawing away from people more than ever before. I continued to skip classes. After all, “how could I possibly be expected to sit through a lecture on communism when all I can do is cry?”

For months, I kept his grandmother’s necklace around my neck before finally, I decided it was doing me nothing but harm to keep it. I tried to return it to him, but he insisted I keep it and that he didn’t want it back. A few days later, I found myself looking over the edge of a bridge by the river. As the sun set, I remember the moment I made the choice to numb my heart; love wasn’t a responsibility I was ready for. The first step was to get rid of anything that reminded me of him. So with a deep breath and a final goodbye, I tossed the necklace into the river and returned home to see a much colder reflection of myself staring back in the mirror.

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To be continued…

(Image by PaniFilth: http://orig03.deviantart.net/e3cf/f/2008/019/a/e/letting_go_by_panifilth.jpg)


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Top 10 Neopets

Ah, another childhood wonder. Neopets opened up on the late 90’s and was a staple of not only my childhood, but that of many others who lived out their childhoods in the early 2000’s. Neopets was the virtual pet site and was addicting to many as they struggled to win as many neopoints as they could playing the multitude of games available.

Now, lately, it seems Neopets has been on the decline as it seems to get passed off from company to company. I still have an account that I rarely go on, and it seems that the website has lost its wonder in the thick of ads and content that tries too hard to be modern. However, I cannot forget what it was and how it managed to help shape my childhood, building friendships, and even playing a hand in helping me find my passions!

So come reminisce with me as we look back on the Top 10 Neopets!


Before I begin, I’d like to give a big shout-out and thank-you to Suta-Raito graphics for their wonderful Neopets pictures! All the artwork you see in this list aside from Number 10 are from their website, so go have a look!


10. Vandagyre
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This is the most recently-released pet from the website; only having been revealed in 2014! While I do not always enjoy the newer pets, I like Vandagyre’s design; strongly resembling an owl and a panda. They hail from the mountains are said to be well-mannered, quiet and intelligent. Well played, Neopets. Well played.
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9. Scorchio
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This is one of the originals, folks! In Neopets’ official launch in 1999, Scorchio was one of the pets available to create, and was one of the most popular of it’s time. It loves hot, volcanic places, and is known for it’s friendly, outgoing nature! Some even call it the mascot for Neopets back in the day!
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8. Shoyru
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This was the winning result of a contest launched back in 2000 to design a Neopet. Little did it’s creator know it would soon become one of the top 5 most popular Neopets! Even to this day it reigns superior above the majority of the others. It is noted for it’s fiery nature. It’s very loyal, but if someone treats it badly, it will not soon forget!divider_by_danotomorrow
7. Cybunny
Definicybunnytely one of the cutest Neopets on this list, Cybunny was released in 2000. It loves cold, snowy climates in which it frolics and lives out it’s life. This pet was more common among the young girls on the website, but still had decent popularity among the young male demographic as well.
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6. Eyriemaraquaneyrie

This is obviously a griffin-inspired pet, and is the very image of
courage and boldness. While they are playful, they are also known to be quite aggressive when threatened. Eyrie was released in the year 2000 and is still a popular pet to this very day. After all,who wouldn’t want to befriend their very own griffin?divider_by_danotomorrow
5. Peophin
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These mystical-looking Neopets are known to be shy and elusive, but are also said to bring good fortune and happiness to those who come across them. Much like mermaids, there are many stories of them saving Neopets who have been lost at sea. Aside from that, they prefer to stick to their own. Peophin was actually the first limited edition pet during it’s release, but was later placed in the same category as the commons.
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4. Kougrakougra6
Simple as they get, this tiger-like Neopet was released in 2000. Hailing from the forests, Kougras actually prefer exotic fruits over meat. Sure, they love to hunt and capture prey, but they’re never sure where to go from there, so they allow it to escape. I used to love this pet before it was redesigned years later. It was once one of the more powerful-looking pets of it’s time.
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3. Draik
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In 2002, this little dragon was temporarily released in the Create-A-Pet system before being placed as a limited edition pet. Ever since, it has been quite possibly the most elusive Neopet to own. Many of us went through our years on the website desperately trying to get one, and most of us never succeeded. This little fire-breathing dragon is the most sought-after pet; so rare, it ranks second-last in it’s rate of ownership on the website!
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2. Gelertgelert5
Released in the year 2000, this was one of those pets that really just make up the dream-animal you only wish you deserved in real life! Gelerts are loyal and faithful, and ever-so-friendly. This was, in fact a symbol my childhood friends and I often used to define our very friendship and the basis on which it once stood. Any virtual creature that can carry so much meaning should be very high on this list.
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Honourable mentions: Poogle, Uni, Xweetok, Koi, Hissi.
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1. Lupe
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This was a Neopet I always created first for my accounts. I was a huge wolf fan as a child growing up and even today, the wolf is one of my favourite. Lupes were said to be fiercely loyal, with a love for exploration and all kinds of adventures. It’s design was among the more simple ones, but I think that’s part of the reason I always loved it; the creators didn’t have to try so hard to make such a wonderful pet.

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Well, Neopians? Do you agree with this list? What are your favourite friends from your childhood? Let me know in the comments below, or make you own list and link me so I can have a look!

Thanks for reading! Stay connected for more nostalgic Top 10 lists! Until next time!


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