April 2023

Choosing life


IT'S FREEZING OUTSIDE!!!!! Well, okay, it's actually about the same temperature as yesterday, but I have a cold again so everything feels worse. I cannot stop snuffling and sneezing. And I don't want to take cold medicine because it's YUCKY. And I don't want to get in bed and rest, I want to be ON THE COMPUTER!!!!!

Ugh, okay, tantrum over. Sneezing tires me out so much, it's hard to keep up the performative irritation. The real irritation is on the skin around my nose from all these damn tissues! I also destroyed my tastebuds chewing Vitamin C tablets. I must have eaten at least 10 today, which is probably like 5,000% of the recommended daily value.... This is not good. I have quite the headache. But at least my Kleenex box has a really cute pattern on it. It's green and blue, with big leafy plants and flowers. I carry it with me everywhere like a cardboard appendage. How fashionable.

Okay, I just spoke aloud for the first time in a little bit and found I've totally lost my voice. The cold medicine (yucky as it is) sounds more appealing by the minute. And so does curling up in my bed to just lay still and do absolutely nothing... Ahh... ugh.... ← (sick noises) Okay, I drank the medicine X__+X It was not as bad as anticipated, but unappetising nonetheless. I hope it knocks me out cold and I have a nice dream.

Thank you for tuning into this rather boring Vivarism entry. .... I guess it's up to me to make it less boring??? Okay, I'll try. Ahem.

Today was a good day. I talked to many different people, which was new and exciting. Even though I'm fatigued with illness, I'm happy and surprised to say it wasn't tiring at all. I read more of a story that I really enjoy, one that reminds me of the TV shows I grew up watching. When I first picked it up, it made me remember just how much I love political thrillers. I also enjoyed cooking today... I made rice!!!!!! I think my life would be easier with a rice cooker, but I so enjoy the process that I have no desire for convenience.

That's enough now I think.... aughg... I need to just get in bed. I can't do this anymore. (Passes away)

CardTen of Swords
Music"Ninja Re Bang Bang" by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
My Happiness
Gentle rain in the morning, then the sun came out! Washed my hair. Life-saving space heater.


A cold but bright day today. I don't mind the chill so much anymore, now that the trees and flowers are big and green and beautiful. Today I spent at least half an hour just photographing different plants that I saw. Though I'm by no means a photographer— I wouldn't even call myself an amateur— nor do I aspire to learn the craft, my unrefined skill is precisely why I had so much fun. I felt no pressure to succeed or perform. I just enjoyed myself. I had fun looking at beautiful flowers and feeling uplifted by their mere presence. Goddess, I love springtime. I don't love the accompanying pollen allergies... but it's a price I'm willing to pay.

... This is so random, but I think I'll attempt Linux again. Well, it's only random if I don't explain my thought process— and I kind of feel like explaining, so here we go. The explanation:

Through the beginning of May, I'll be away from home and, as a result, away from my computer. It hasn't happened yet but I'm already feeling the separation anxiety. Not because I'm as digitally-dependent as I used to be, but because I LOVE MY PC SO MUCH! It's so functional! It's so fast! It's covered in cute stickers that make me HAPPY! My dinky old laptop cannot possibly compare!

Unless, of course, I strip her bare and install a minimal operating system. While I'm away, I'll probably only use it for web-dev'ing and web-browsing. I won't draw on it now that I've got tablet just for art, and I definitely will not be gaming.... Basically, she no longer needs to be the jack-of-all-trades that she once was. She can just be herself! And what she is, is dinky!

So I guess the question is: Puppy Linux, or Tiny10? I'm definitely more comfortable and familiar with Windows, so that would be the easiest avenue. But... I kinda feel like learning something new. I've always wanted to be one of those Linux Girls (LOL). Honestly, I think that tech-savviness is not only a critical skill in today's tech-dependent world— it's also attractive as all get-out. I would never choose a partner based on the OS she runs, and I'd turn my nose up at anybody doing the same, but I think a certain level of computer know-how is just.... It's just sexy, okay. I like girls who aren't afraid to edit their system registries. Sue me.

In the interest of embodying the qualities I find attractive, I'd like to grow my skills and pursue new knowledge. How hard can Linux be, anyways? I'm in a much better headspace than the last time I tried to make the switch. Since then (wow, a whole year has passed?) I've only gotten smarter and stronger and, well, better at computer stuff. Better at stuff in general. I'm also approaching the endeavour with a healthier mindset. Rather than doomspiraling about privacy, I just want an OS that my dinky little machine can handle. It helps that, through the process of building a real PC, I've realised just how dinky she is.

Is that mean? Lol. I feel like I'm being mean to my poor computer. I'm sorry, darling, you're not dinky, you're just... random-access-memory-challenged. And your screen is in the weirdest fucking resolution ever. And for some reason your microphone is under your keyboard?! But it's not your fault you were manufactured that way! In spite of your glaring design issues, I love and appreciate you all the same ♥

Hahaha, why is this so funny to me???? That's like telling someone, "don't worry, you didn't ask to be born ugly." How backhanded. This is terrible. I've definitely got to wipe her clean and start fresh now, so she'll forget my insults.

CardJustice (reversed)
TimeLate night musings
MoodOkay, content
Music"Mister Ant" by Psapp
My Happiness
Adorable little purple flowers: groundcover in 2 different yards on the same street. Sweet potato leftovers. I bought dinosaur-shaped flossers.


The sky is totally overcast. Since last night, I've been waiting to hear the rain come down, but it seems like it's too shy. It's really cold, too. I can't believe that a couple weeks ago I was wearing flip-flops and pajama shorts, and now before I go outside I slip into snow boots and a down-filled coat. Ridiculous! At least the flowers are still blooming, the grass is green, and the sun sets so much later in the day. Otherwise, I'd totally believe you if you told me it was still winter.

I stayed up way past my bedtime researching Tiny Homes and then the dog pooped in my bed, so altogether I was awake until the wee hours. I'm running on very little sleep right now: just the couple hours I caught in the morning, and a few accidental moments of shut-eye when I drifted off after supper. I'm sort of catching a cold, too, so I just feel groggy and gross all around X__+X

Today has not been bad, though, not at all. I ate a delicious breakfast, coded my Music Garden, and listened to lots of songs that I enjoy. Most of all, I'm excited to get in bed at the end of the day and have a good night's sleep. In the meantime, I'm doing my best to be happy and comfortable, and to stay patient with myself.

I can't believe that April is almost over! What a productive month it's been. I'm excited to finish out the last week in high spirits and equally high hopes. I think it'd be interesting if I wrote about my hopes for each month at the beginning, and then reflect on their fruition at the end. That could be lots of fun, and a great reread for my future self when she wants bite-sized refreshers on her history. It's a way to hold myself accountable, too. So far I haven't been writing down my intentions, just kind of musing on them. What better place to put them than Vivarism?

CardQueen of Cups (reversed)
TimeDarker than usual...
MusicFloetry's Floetic
My Happiness
Nostalgic about music I used to enjoy. Unsalted cashews surprisingly tasty. I have soft, warm clothes to bundle up in. I'll heal in time.


Today it's cloudy, windy, and cold. I've realised the inordinate dread and stubbornness I feel when it's time to get out of bed is really just a fear of the cold. This is perplexing, because I keep my socks and slippers close by, and it's easy enough to put on an extra layer or two once I'm upright. Plus, the initial shock of the cold is brief, altogether forgotten less than 5 minutes later. It seems this is yet another case where the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.

On a lighter note: lately, I'm thinking about cutlery. I eat with teaspoons, not tablespoons, so it's important for me to have twice as many of those. Regardless of their size, I like spoons with long, rounded handles. My favourite spoons are sundae spoons. My least favourite spoons are the ones with wide ends that don't fit in the dishwasher. Honestly, I consider this to be more the dishwasher's problem than the spoon's. When I'm holding it, the wide end is quite enjoyable.

I like forks with four tongs, not three. When the tines are too long, it makes me feel intimidated. Too short, and I question the efficacy of the utensil. I doubt they make forks with handles as long as sundae spoons, but if they did, that would be the scariest fork of all. I do not like tiny forks for babies (see: dessert forks). As a lover of spoons, if I'm eating with a fork it means that meal is serious business. It's got to be big enough to accomodate my speed-eating.

I have no particular opinions on butter knives or dinner knives, but I do prefer my cooking knives to be big, sharp, and colourful, with a sturdy handle. We have a set where each knife is one colour of the rainbow, with nifty guards for the blades and everything. I really like that set. I'd like to either take it with me when I move out, or buy a brand new one for myself. ... Now I'm worried: will they still be available when it's time for me to go in a year? Maybe I ought to buy them now, just to keep in storage.

As for dishes, I like patterns. As much as I dislike like plain, understated dishes, I dislike ornate, fancy looking ones even more. A simple but cute pattern is best. And I like them thick, too. If I can't place my trust in a flimsy bowl, how can I expect it to hold my food? I prefer bowls to plates, by the way— the natural inclination of a spoon-lover. This household is seriously lacking in big, wide bowls, which are ideal for portioning and stirring large meals. Too little surface area, and it takes too long to cool off. Too little volume means I have to go for second helpings, which means I have to salt and stir twice, and I'm a speed-eater! This is about efficiency.

Plates still have their uses, of course. When I'm eating with my hands (e.g. sandwich), I like to have a nice big plate to rest it on. Little plates are good for little desserts, but even then I will eat with a spoon. And as much as I love big bowls, I want to have just as many little bowls, the right size to hold a handful of grapes or cashews. They're good as spoon rests, too, but it'd be nice to have a dedicated spoon rest for once in my life.

And glasses... I barely drink from glasses these days; I just fill and refill my water bottle— probably because I hate the glasses here. They're all short and wide, fat and frustrating to hold. As cute as it is— conceptually— to hold things with both hands, in practice, it's horribly inefficient. I have tiny hands so I prefer tall, skinny glasses. Even better if it's a glass with a handle! But handles on glasses and mugs have to be far enough from the vestibule to wrap all four of my fingers around. I get mad when I feel like I can't hold things securely.

Getting riled up about this is sort of tiring me out. I guess it's just exciting to think that one day I will have my own home, and with it comes the opportunity to fill it with things that I like. I'll trawl through thrift stores and garage sales and take home my favourites without worrying about anybody else's opinions. If I want to eat exclusively with sundae spoons, that's just my grown-up perogative.

I am a lover of cute, sweet, happy, colourful things. I adore decorated spaces, and I fare better when even my essentials bring me joy. Like, I literally refuse to wear camisoles that don't have a little bow on the front. It runs deep. I can scarcely imagine how much happier I'll be when everything in my kitchen— the pots and pans, the towels and oven mitts, the placemats and tableware— are cute things that I personally picked out. To be the master of my own domain.... It's a distant dream right now, seeing as I'm still struggling to get out of bed. But it's a dream that will be realised in due time.

CardThe Hermit (reversed)
TimeGrey Wednesday
MoodFine. Content.
My Happiness
A pleasantly, unexpectedly free morning! The dog is eating. I live in a world full of exciting possibilities.


Yesterday it was sunny and bright and blazing hot. After about 30 minutes outside, I came back in with tanlines on my feet. Today could not be any more different. It's overcast and there's a cold wind blowing. This is the kind of day where I just want to stay inside, maybe even get back in bed.

I'm dogsitting though, so that's not possible. As much as I love this dog and her owner, taking care of her is pretty stressful. The worst part is that she's not eating. She's got an anxious personality, so I expected this kind of thing to happen, but it still worries me. Oh well. Eventually she'll get hungry enough to just eat. This experience just confirms how much I prefer cats....

Still, things are pretty good. I've been reading Robert McKee's Story and it's quite insightful. The one thing I dislike is just how male McKee is. He's a good writer with important knowledge to share, but the fact that he is a man taints his perspective. I've been so spoiled to read things only from female authors as of late. If Story annoys me too much, I'll switch to Ursula K. Le Guin's Steering the Craft which discusses the same subject matter. I'll definitely be reading it eventually, anyway. I suppose it's just a matter of finishing Story first.

So, yes. I'm getting back to writing, which is my lifelong passion(!!) so this is rather exciting for me. Before, I felt kind of guilty taking a break from coding and drawing and everything to play Sakuna, but it seems to have paid off. I feel inspired to be creative again in ways that I wasn't before. The research that I'm doing now is bringing me closer to creating the fiction that I want to create. For a while now, I've been thinking, "I want to write stories for people who don't go outside," because those are the people with whom I most closely identify. What do I want to say to those people...? I haven't decided yet. It's all rather nebulous. But that's fine, I've got time.

Today I'm going to focus on getting this website up and running. I've been writing these entries but not publishing them— not publishing anything! It's a bit sad... I wanted to have everything ready before launching Vivarism 2.0, but then I underestimated how long that would take. Obviously, it's only taking this long because I stopped to play video games... lol... BUT! It's happening now. A few days ago I made my to-do list. All that's left is to decide what needs to be done ASAP, and what I can wait on.

CardThe King of Cups
TimeGrey afternoon
MoodSticky (allergies)
MusicMushishi OST
My Happiness
Slept comfortably. I'm home, safe and warm. And when I was not at home, some strangers complimented my afro.


Happy Homestuck day! It feels like summertime over here. It seems that my wish from a few days ago came true: when I took out the trash today, I went out in just pajamas and flip-flops! All the windows are open, too, so there's a lovely breeze flowing through the whole house. What a time to be alive! Springtime!!!!

I just finished Sakuna and cried my way through the entire ending. The characters are so well-written and -acted that, despite some story beats being introduced at literally the last second, I felt the full weight of the narrative. And let me tell you... it is crushing!!! But also, uplifting? After playing I feel very happy and accomplished, like I could fly! Maybe "weight" is the wrong metaphor here, lol.

Anyways, I really, really, really love that game. I want to keep playing later on, so I can do all the sidequests and see all the events. I want to spend more time in that world, with those characters... It was only a ~30 hour experience, but I feel very attached to them. Attached enough that I want to make OCs based off of Sakuna and Kokorowa— their relationship was just too cute!!!! And I love Sakuna so much, she's definitely my favourite character that I've discovered recently.

Of course, I have to ask myself... what is it that I like about her, and about her relationship with Kokorowa? The first step of successful replication is thoughtful analysis. So.... hm. I like that they're invaluable allies to each other. They're both smart, kind, and accomplished, but in different ways, so they can make up for each other's faults. I really like the drama between them in the second act of the story as well. Sakuna believes so wholeheartedly in Kokorowa that they're able to reconcile their differences just by talking. They have the sort of bond that seems able to weather any storm.

Maybe that's what I need more of? Conflict... Or... Hm... no. I was going to say, "when I think back to my officially paired OCs, they usually get along without much issue," but that's not true at all. All of my stories have some measure of strife and secrets, especially between lovers, including the ones who are actually good for each other. I think that what I need is just to have OCs again, ahaha. I've been so much into my Sans stuff this year, I haven't done much original work at all. Recently, I did make some new Animal Crossing OCs but, again— despite the fact that the game has very little bearing on their dealings (I really just make up my own lore)— that's still not entirely original.

Sigh...! I want to write again!!! Don't worry though, it's a happy sigh, an excited sigh that is aware of new possibilities. I'll think more about what I want from the story, and then decide how to evoke those feelings. It's occuring to me now that a lot of my old works were born from places of deep emotional pain— pain that, for the most part, no longer bothers me. Perhaps that's why those works don't resonate with me as much anymore.

I've known from the begininning that my creative pursuits tend to be emotional bandaids. I write into the story what I don't have in real life. For the first time ever, I'm pretty content with my day-to-day existence. I've found the strength to heal and I'm growing stronger one step at a time. I don't hate myself anymore. I'm not so angry or so afraid, and I feel confident that I can make a happy future for myself. Maybe... I don't need stories the way that I used to...?

CardSix of Pentacles
TimeBirds are singing
My Happiness
Woke up earlyish. Sooo much cleaning! Delicious lemon chicken (new recipe). Doodling~


A beautiful day outside today. It's supposed to be nice and warm all week. I've officially changed the season on my calendar to Spring because the flowers are in bloom (dogwood, magnolia, hyacinth, daffodils, everything!) and the trees are almost, almost back with their leaves. It doesn't quite feel like springtime yet, but with time the weather will continue to improve— I just have to be patient. It's so hard to be patient though, ahahaha.... I just want to wear my cute clothes! I don't want to worry about my coat and gloves and scarf anymore! I want to walk out the house in a T-shirt and shorts!!!!!!!

Seasonal woes aside, I've gotten addicted to the game Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin. I remember seeing it months ago and thinking, "oh, I'd like to play that," but not acting on it. I'm glad that I waited until now— when I have a proper PC that can actually run games— because, OH MY GODDESS IS IT ADDICTING. I can't put it down! Can you imagine how frustrating it'd be if I couldn't play this magnificent game just because my hardware wasn't up to speed?!

I love everything about Sakuna. There is not one thing I don't like. To my surprise, I even like the side-scrolling, beat-em-up platforming part of the game. The combat is fun and floaty and satisfying in a way that other action-RPG/Farming sims never achieve. Rune Factory 2 and Frontier (games I positively adored as a kid) walked so Sakuna could run. The writing is much better than other titles in the genre, too— in part because the cast is small and familial. There's no romance system, only growing rice and slaying demons, and every second of it is perfect.

Really, though, I love the characters in this game!!! Sakuna herself is so cute, I love her spoiled, grandiose personality (kinnie moment). The dynamic between her and the rag-tag group of humans never fails to make me laugh. The character writing is impeccable in general, and I can tell a lot of care and effort went into keeping their personalities consistent and distinct. I think my second favourite after Sakuna is Mythe, just because she's so cute and wise and kind, and she has such good intentions. I like that she speaks in broken Japanese not because she's stupid, but because she is literally a foreigner who had to learn the language all by herself. And her broken Japanese can be very, very funny!!!!

After those two, it's hard to rank the characters because I just love them all so much. I feel close to them in ways that I haven't felt in... any game ever, actually. I was going to say "since Undertale," but that's not true at all. Undertale is much, much shorter, and leagues less intimate. The character writing is on the same expert level, but Sakuna intentionally creates this atmosphere of tight-knit family. Of all the simulated video game families I've ever had, this one feels the most real to me. I guess that's what happens when you regularly share meals....

Speaking of, the conversations had over dinner can be quite thought-provoking. They're full of interesting philosophical questions and observations about people. At the same time that they're insightful, they're never preachy. It always feels like you're listening in on a real conversation between real individuals, none of whom are under any real pressure of persuasion. The same goes for you. You're free to get what you can from the story— whatever lessons on love, life, tolerance, and work you may be lacking— but you're mostly there to enjoy the game. It bears repeating that I'm really, really enjoying it.

CardPage of Swords (reversed)
TimeGood Morning!
My Happiness
Delicious honey yogurt breakfast. Laid in bed daydreaming about Sans. About to play Sakuna again, lol.


Lots of cloudy days this week. On the bright side, the forsythia is finally beginning to bloom. I noticed it yesterday, and ever since then I can't help but peek out my window to see it. I love forsythia so so so much. When I was a kid, I tried eating it. It doesn't taste very good, and I'm 90% sure it's not meant for consumption at all (poisonous), but I still loved it....

This morning, my teeth (of all things) are feeling inexplicably sensitive. I haven't been doing anything differently, so I don't know why they hurt so much.... At least the pain is not constant. Still, I'm not enjoying the little twinge that comes with every sip of water. On a more positive note, I'm otherwise in tip-top physical health! Every night for the past week, I've spent about half an hour stretching before bed. It feels quite nice. I also like how "grounding" it is, in the sense that at times I focus on nothing but the sensation of my muscles pulling taut. A quiet brain is a good thing for someone who is constantly thinking, thinking, thinking.

Little changes like this have been helping lots, lately. I feel like I'm doing better in general. I'm more focused, more ambitious, less anxious. I keep asking myself, "what's important to me to do today?" and then really trying to do it. Today's most important thing is my health. I'm a little tired today, not feeling at my best, but that feels more emotional than physical. Regardless, I just want to take things slow, listen to internal cues to best take care of myself. Of course, today— the first day where I'm really feeling under the weather— is the day I decide to write a journal entry about my progress.... Haha. Impeccable timing as usual, Flonne.

I guess this is a testament to the nonlinear nature of recovery. Ups, downs, etc. My menses is on the way, too. That's probably what's got me down "suddenly" and "for no reason." No, girl, your cycle is a reason and a half. To whoever is reading: if you ever feel insane, just ask yourself when you last had your period. That'll answer half your questions.

Anyways, lately I've been thinking about how people are all the same. Everywhere in the world, we've been doing the same things, over and over, generation after generation. Washing up and getting dirty and washing up again, cooking and eating and pooping, singing, dancing, loving someone and hoping they love us back. Everybody just wants to be safe, happy, and in good health. It's all the same. We're all the same. There's comfort in the repetition.

CardTen of Wands (reversed)
MusicYeYe's 30
My Happiness
Warm, comfy bed. Well-kept video game archives. Doing my best. Little victories brighten my mood.