Diary
Tuck those ribbons under your helmet


(Little Memole.)

I already have a twitter, but sometimes, I guess I want to talk about things on my site too, so instead of doing that during an update, I'll do it here!
Journal template and graphics from Fool Lovers. Background from Alice's Home. Oh, and as a general warning, I tend to talk about food I eat a fair bit? ^^;; It got quite repetitive warning for that, when it became nearly a staple, so I'll save warnings for other subjects going forward.

12, April, 2022 [CW talk of abortion and miscarriage [spontaneous abortion], from both a medical and Islamic religious perspective]
Ramadan has come and gone, I'm trying my best to keep up the good habits, especially avoiding arguments. I get into so many online and I truthfully hate confrontation of any kind! It upsets me, it can make me burn with anger or feel helpless and tearful, or both at once. I won't be dragged into arguments. If I see something horribly wrong, I'll lay down the facts, mute, and leave the conversation. I've gotten into too many because of the abortion debate in the United States. It's so much more clear-cut in Saudi Arabia. Abortion is illegal when it is not out of medical necessity, as Muslims believe life is sacred and protected... but precisely because of that belief, the mother, who is already born and alive, comes first if she is in any danger! We also believe the fetus only recieves its soul by the end of the first trimester. Abortion for medical necessity, as in to save the life, health, or sanity [as in the case of rape, incest, etc.] of the mother, or when the fetus is non-viable (such as an ectopic pregnancy [where the fetus, while alive and healthy, unfortunately implants outside of the uterus... modern science has not yet found a way to save these babies or implant them into the uterus, they must be removed, because they cannot grow to term or be born, they are only in danger of causing the mother to bleed to death at any moment], molar [where the fetus becomes a cancerous tumour instead], or incomplete spontaneous abortion [miscarriage] where the fetus or some of the product of conception is still retained and trapped in the uterus, which can lead to life-threatening sepsis unless she undergoes medical abortion to help expel it]), is well-understood and permitted, it is not challenged or subject of any controversy. Shari'ah law exists to protect the faith, life, sanity, property, and lineage of Muslims.

It is heartbreaking and upsetting for me to see people argue about what to me is something so simple... or to see people deny that these things happen or even often enough to consider their lives worth saving! It is so selfish. Did you know if a woman accidentally becomes pregnant with an IUD in place, it is most likely going to be ectopic, as the purpose of an IUD is to cause too much inflammation to the uterine lining to allow implantation, so the fetus could implant elsewhere? Even after stopping using an IUD, a woman could still be more susceptible to ectopic pregnancy!

Heavy topics aside, as I'm close to finishing both Moribito (only a few episodes left) and The Snow Queen (last 15 or so episodes!), I began a newer series I've had my eye on a while! After studying, my brother and I watched the first two episodes of Spy x Family together! Anya is adorable, clever, and very funny, it’s pretty amazing that she’s the only one who knows who Twilight and Thorn Princess actually are, but her reactions, interests, and corny acting skills are still basically that of an ordinary six-year-old. ^^;;; The setting, fashion, and soundtrack is really nice! A Cold War-inspired anime is pretty unique to me! I LOVE the part of the opening that looks like flashy old comic books with the limited palettes! It’s stylish. The way the gossipy, envious female coworkers were written was SO NASTY, especially Camilla, it reminded me so much of college and internship, nasty… well-written! Although the accusation wasn’t even true, Forger’s defense of Yor was really touching. ;_; I love Yor so much. I was so touched by the brief glimpse of Twilight/Forger’s past too, why he hated the sound of children crying. So moving!! It's a beautiful show and I'm looking forward to the rest. I'm so happy that the fandom hadn't spoiled any of it, just the grenade ring moment.

I've also been enjoying Dracula Daily, a fun little subscription that e-mails a letter from the epistolatry novel, Bram Stoker's Dracula, to your inbox, in chronological order (rather than the order they are in the novel, so it sometimes skips ahead, to keep them in order of events, then goes back!), which makes for a fun, bite-sized, serialized experience... if anyone is having trouble getting back into reading, please enjoy reading this classic in a unique way! ♥ You'll be invested in the characters and feel like they're old friends, it's still early in the beginning, and you can always go back and read what you missed. It's been a lot of fun seeing people have fun with the story, grow attached to the characters, and make lots of art and memes about poor Jonathan's predicament.

30, April, 2022
My phone has been rescued from the depths of my brother’s couch! He was the one who managed to find it. I guess I forgot and did bring it with me to his room when we watched! I spent a portion of the morning repairing what's left of the bottom drawer of my door chest, so it can at least cover the empty space at the bottom. ^^ It now looks significantly better and more put-together!

29, April, 2022
I went to watch a movie with my brother yesterday, decided to leave my phone in my room... and then couldn't find it. It's been over 24 hours and I've somehow managed to lose my phone in my own home. :D;; I didn't lose it in the hospital, because I was still reading Quran off of it in the car and on the dining table afterwards. I just misplaced it... somehow...
Today, I spent the morning sorting my door chest (which double-functions as a smaller bookcase) because it's been chaotic for a while aside from "my" shelf. Now it's pretty inside and out, hopefully! ^^ Organized everything and got rid of the few scraps I didn't want or need.
Oh! I also tried to block more of the annoying ink mess I couldn't clean off of the door. Blocked it with that Alice colouring page aaaand a poster of the multiplication table that we have in said door chest. I feel like it might invite teasing, because I never memorized it. ^^; ... oh, and I tied two ribbons to the door handle—they came from the packaging for my pyjamas! The Alice colouring page and ribbon were added to block the inkstains from earlier. I'm thinking a nice curtain to drape over it would look sweet, make the place more suitable for praying by hiding it unless I want to display it (it's to the left of me, not in front of me or to my right, but still!), and hide the mess even better. Until then, improvising with what we have!

28, April, 2022
I finally went to the orthopedic doctor after slipping and falling with my foot and leg twisting out from the hip, wearing the slippers supposedly bought for me...
The good news: I didn’t break anything! ✨ I got medicine!
The bad news: I tore a muscle, which tends to take a long to heal, and I got a physiotherapy referral.
I'm being "gifted" things because she can't seem to buy things for herself without it being seen as selfish, I don't know if someone else is making her feel that way or if she was raised that way... she also used to criticize us if we wanted gifts that were just for us/not something the family could use together, so I think it's partly the way she was raised, so if she buys things and claims they're for me, but they're actually too big and possibly dangerous for me to wear. Like these slippers. I returned the pyjamas first because I knew they'd drag and I'd rip them up, but I somehow failed to realize over-sized slippers might be dangerous. It's unfortunate. I understand it, but I still wish she wouldn't do that.

23, April, 2022
We finished the last bowl of the limited edition Unicorn Froot Loops! My brother had the last bowl. I cut the unicorn out of the back of the box, since I didn’t get to last time. ^^
Mama gave me a double-sided sticky thing to put it up! When I showed them to my brother, he gave me this look and pointed away, as if he thought I’d make him put it in his room… xD;; The sparkly, rainbow-maned unicorn is far too girly for him, I know that! It was going to my room…

I initially used the unicorn to block some scribbles at the bottom of the door to my bookcase/cupboard, along with some ribbon and a cute manga-style Alice in Wonderland-themed colouring page I printed out (but never coloured, so eventually, my brother coloured it, with my picking the outfit colours and him filling up the background with more trees from his imagination), but mama thought it was a bit of a waste to put it down there, as it isn’t easy to see… she suggested putting it on the door and gave me another sticky thing. I put it on the front or my bedroom door. Even dad complimented it! It was really sweet.

I’m glad my parents, even if they dislike some of our interests (so I try not to bring them up), I’m really glad they’re not like those parents that reject liking animation or kiddy things. They’re fine with plushies & anime, they’ll even enjoy some anime too! الحمد لله
I’m starting to like my room more, it feels more like me! I want to decorate it more.

I saw an old Maple Town dubbed episode on YouTube, “When Children Must be Grown-Ups.” Sadly, it’s missing the last few minutes, but I already know how this story ends as I’ve watched it subtitled (episode 17 of Maple Town) on animebee.tv… it’s a really moving story, poor Oscar/Kirby, even if he was a little terror, he was just lashing out from a lot of grief and not enough support. Still, it was nostalgic and sweet and the live-action Miss Maple segments Saban added are an interesting oddity of old dubs! As well as the very cartoony and goofy voices American dubs had back in the day, when they tried to mask Japanese animation as American cartoons. ^^;;
Speaking of which, someone used the remastered Japanese footage with the dub episode track for A Baby Comes to Maple Town! That episode’s complete, see it before it gets taken down. ^^ I hope Maple Town gets an official rerelease, a chunk of the English dub is lost media and not officially available! It’s too precious a gem of a show to abandon.

Today was really peaceful. I made some pizza before today’s batch of cheese and meat sam(b)osa! It was fun. In the end, it was only my brother and I who ate them… I guess everyone else didn’t have the stomach for them during Ramadan. ^^;;

19, April, 2022 [Islamic and pre-Islamic ancient Arabian history, slavery, mention of a child bride (ordinary in that era in time)]
I had a really nice and peaceful conversation with mama yesterday. She was confused by old Arabian names, like Jahsh, and how harsh they were... I repeated an old adage to her, wherein a foreigner tells an Arab, "You name your slaves well, but poorly name your sons!" To which the Arab replied, "We name our slaves for us and our sons for their enemies." Hence, slaves had gentle, pleasant-sounding names in the hopes they be that way, while their sons were given harsh, war-like names to frighten their enemies. While slavery is now fortunately largely gone from most societies, the bedouin Arabs and tribal families still to this day give rather war-like names to their sons.
It came up again in conversation with my brother—I informed him a classmate of his, Karrar, has one such name, as it means "the one who charges forth in battle," it means a boy who is brave in battle.
Anyway, back to yesterday's talk with mama, I mentioned names like Anis (meaning one who is pleasant company), but she also noted some slaves did not have such gentle-sounding names, and we talked about the different origins, as not everyone was born into slavery... some were taken as prisoners of war or as (human!) war spoils (particularly women and children, as men were typically killed in battle)... I talked about how despite how Bilal is often depicted in film, he is of the Arabian crows/ravens (of mixed Arabic and African descent—checking the details now, his father was Arab, although a slave, and his mother was formerly a Habashi/Abyssinian princess.) We spoke about how some were born free and then captured, like the Zaid bin Harithah, who was gifted to the prophet by his first wife (the one he was monogamous with until her death, Khadijah, who was the Prophet Muhammad's employer, 15 years his senior, and the one who proposed to him!)... he cared for him like a son and while he asked him to do things, mainly treated him like a child, and never rebuked him or asked him why if he failed to do something.

I talked about how his father composed a poem, an elegy, about his lost son, that was also repeated frequently in the hopes it would reach him as a message... remember, the ancient Arabs were largely illiterate, although they prided themselves on their eloquence, so our tradition was largely an oral one. Our early history, battles and romances, were preserved in poems. That is also why our dictionaries and even Quranic exegesis books frequently quote old poems to explain now-archaic words. Writing only began to spread after Islam, when captive enemies could win their freedom by teaching useful skills to the Muslims, like reading and writing. The poem reached Zaid! He was moved and sent a response. His father and uncle hurried to him, hoping to pay ransom, but the Prophet allowed Zaid himself to choose who he wished to stay with—he would happily give him up to his family, but he would not force his decision. Zaid said he saw something in Muhammad (who was not yet a prophet) that made him want to stay with him. His father and uncle were shocked he would choose him over family, but Zaid insisted and Muhammad went to the Ka'bah, considered holy and sacred even before Islam (as it was built by Prophet Abraham/Ibrahim and his son), and informed everyone that he has made Zaid his son, so he would be Zaid ibn Muhammad (Zaid son of Muhammad) and all present bear witness to that. Moved, his father and uncle were satisfied and left the freed and adopted Zaid in his care.

Later, after the advent of Islam, this method of adoption was abolished (changing people's names muddles lineages, the Quran insists children be named after their biological fathers, although if they are unknown, they are to be given a name unrelated to the one adopting them), although raising orphans is still considered one of the best good deeds and allows one to be close (like two fingers side-by-side) with the Prophet on the Day of Judgment.
Indentured servants were also slaves in those days, because there was no prison system, so if someone failed to pay debts... they and their descendants were slaves until they could pay off dues! Life was very difficult then.

I read a bunch of other stories from Zaid's life and mama was surprised by a story I was taught in school, so I was used to it, but she hadn't... there is a verse in the Quran concerning the Prophet trying to hide his feelings for a woman, because he had recommended Zaid marry her (they... did not mesh well and the marriage lasted only one year—Zainab bint Jahsh was an older aristocratic woman from the Quraysh tribe and Zaid had been brought up as a servant), God chides the Prophet for fearing people when God has more right to be feared. This is because the ancient Arabs considered adopted children to be the same as those by blood in terms of whether you can marry who they had previously married or not, but Islamically, that is not the case. Still, he had feared how people might attack him for it, but it was revealed that adopted children should still be attributed to their biological fathers if known and the Prophet is not father (biologically) to any man.
Mama was surprised the Prophet had ever married for love! His marriages were all for some divine wisdom and often were to society's "undesirables," divorcees and widows, women people otherwise would have considered taboo to marry (Maria the Coptic was of Christian background, Saffiyah—another divorcee—was of Jewish background), although the modern day detractors like to mock and criticize him for the single child bride among them, 'Aisha, portraying her as a victim in a very ahistorical fashion (none of his enemies in that era ever criticized that union because it was the norm then!), even though she was brilliant, had an excellent memory (so she narrated among the greatest number of ahadeeth/oral traditions of the Prophet from which we derive many rulings and learned so much about how the Prophet lived his day to day life), she was consulted by Muslim men and women on many matters of knowledge, she even rode into battle... they also ignore that his first wife, Khadijah, whom he continued to love so much 'Aisha was jealous of her although she had long passed away, was much older than him. Khadijah was 40 while the Prophet Muhammad was 25. (Zaid, who he adopted, was only 10 years younger, a boy of about 15...) Keep in mind also that because the ancient Arabs were illiterate and don't celebrate birthdays except the first, they often round their ages to the nearest five or ten... the ages aren't accurate. Older Arabs today also often still have certificates with generic birthdates (often making them sound younger than they actually are!) because their actual birthdates are unknown. ^^;;

14, April, 2022 [CW emotional abuse]
When I say I miss being a child, it isn’t just about nostalgia. It’s freedom. It’s because I have no control over my life whatsoever as an adult. I can get yelled at for expressing an opinion or personal like or dislike that they consider “wrong” because it doesn’t match theirs.
[snip]
I don’t have real, tangible goals for the future because my future’s dead and gone and buried over a decade ago. It’s just “say what the family wants to hear,” “your own likes or dislikes mean nothing,” "even if I want to find some niche in a preset goal, it has to go through their approval first," listen to horrible stuff from parents telling you things like “Nobody loves you, not your father or (your mother), they’re just trying to get close to you because you’ve graduated and will be working soon…”

12, April, 2022
Had a low grade fever the night I took my third dose, woke up feeling damp, couldn't wash ip, so used a refreshing towel. Took a cold and flu day tablet of Paracetamol with my suhoor (pre-dawn meal), since I didn't feel too sick to fast. Felt better, although sleepy and sluggish, frequently dozing off and waking only to pray. Still managed to make food. ^^

The slippers she gave me the same day as the pyjamas were super cute and fluffy and pink, so I wore them, even though they weren’t my size (too big too)… big mistake.
I was trying to clean up spilled creme caramel from the floor and slipped (I don’t normally ever slip on wet surfaces!), the too-big slipper twisted around sideways and I fell, not too fast, but it still really hurt my hip and it felt like it nearly pulled the bone out of the socket! I don’t think it’s actually dislocated at all, but that place stung for a bit. [Update after days: I think I only sprained my hip, it hurt a bit for a few days, but it's otherwise fine. I quietly left the slippers in her room. I won't wear them again, if I can help it, so I don't get seriously injured. I'm too clumsy for oversized slippers!]
Switched back to the old pair she gave me because it was too small, that one’s actually my size so it's safest to wear.

11, April, 2022 [some talk of stepping on eggshells around very temperamental and argumentstive relatives, some rude/vaguely racist starements, but overall, two relatively peaceful days]
I had a very, very pleasant day yesterday, alhamdulilLah. ^^ When I went to ask about possibly going out, she gave me new pyjamas, claiming she was going to give them to me on my birthday in the hijri calendar (since she wasn't around when my Gregorian birthdy came and went, everybody forgot except one online friend who knew it). Although the pyjamas are her size (as she originally bought them for herself and we typically share), so too long for me, I’d rip them up stepping on pant-legs, so I gave them back, which did get her angry at first (eyes bugging out in a dread-inducing way, the way they do before she starts sceraming at people…) until I explained they’ll get ripped like the other pyjamas that got stretched out. Managed to avoid an argument that way.

We eventually went out, although we had a bit of trouble getting inside (apparently, being twice vaccinated isn’t enough anymore, only she was thrice vaccinated!), so the other gate let us in because they only saw mama’s vaccination status…
We bought pyjamas and I also bought a very cute, light purple gingham midi dress with puffed sleeves, with a ribbon belt.
Took her to the Italian cafe my brother and I like, with the gelato and pizzas! It was mostly a pleasant day! Although she did get rude and snippy with the waiter because they didn't have the orders she liked.. they were never this swamped when we visited before, they couldn't help lots of folks visiting during Ramadan. It's not their fault.

There was a lot of arguing this morning, but it blew over quickly. Twitter’s stressing me out again, so leaving my personal. Signed up for my third dose of the vaccine (the booster is mandatory here, now!), so we can easily enter places again.
Managed to schedule an appointment at our usual hospital for normal appointments for tomorrow, but got yelled at because it’s “crowded with foreign workers!”… I rescheduled and found an appointment at our usual vaccination center, but they’re all in the morning… except today, which did have appointments at night! I got a 9:30 appointment and got my third dose. ^^ Apparently, the hospitals had lines waiting all the way out into the street, so that’s why they wanted me to get an appointment away from those… I don’t mind waiting, but, oh, well.

We bought some pasta on the way home because mama asked for some, I also picked up Haribo gummi bears and Sour Punk/Sour Zank.

I found out today Kinder’s Middle Eastern page has a cute section of games for little kids (mazes, spot-the-difference, etc.), free-to-download e-book PDFs (you could also print them and bind them as books for kids if you wanted), and animated versions of those stories for Ramadan. It’s very cute! It reminds me of the kind of fun for-kids websites we had a lot of back in the early 2000’s, like Postopia. Sure, it’s tied to a brand, but they offer fun and safe, clean websites for kids to explore and play, and in this instance, the stories are encouraging kindness to others and feature Muslim characters. ^^
The animations and games have background music, but the games don’t have any dialogue, so you can play them muted if you prefer.

Kinder Ramadan

29, March, 2022
I was fortunately wrong about the last two, everything if fine, I had to make a lot of apologies for my paranoid suspicions, but it went well. People are kinder and more patient with me than they ought to be. I'm very sorry, but grateful. On lighter note!

My cockatiel, who doesn’t seem to see very well, but true to his species, has a great sense of rhythm, apparently memorized that prayer ends after the final tashahud and stopped after taking one bite of food to exit the cage, when I prayed loudly, so I don’t close the cage door.

My brother’s lovebird, Amy, usually persistently chirps to wake me up if I sleep in past 9 AM or so and demands the cloth removed from her cage, but because I was unwell, she stayed perfectly quiet, until I stayed awake and out of bed for more than a quick trip to the bathroom yesterday.
She took me being unwell (for a day, admittedly) better than Aster, who holds a bit of a grudge for my neglecting him a bit during my two weeks of being bedridden with a suspected case of COVID years back to this day. ^^;;; he missed his outside the cage time, he did not like being cooped up.

I wonder how long two weeks feel to birds with their shorter lifespans?

28, February, 2022 [very negative, passing mention of child sexual abuse]
I am past the point of feeling hurt, I have reached the point if feeling nothing at all!
I lost trust in one of the last two people I still had a shred of trust in. To everyone lying to me, faking support, while secretly siding with actual child molesters, see you on Judgment Day.

I never want to make friends again. I don’t believe in them. It's starting to feel as fake and unattainable as romantic love in my mind. I believe in no human being. Until I can find someone who won’t be turned against me or I can be absolutely sure isn’t keeping tabs on me for someone else, I will have no friends. Only acquaintances who I will keep as in the dark as I do people in real life. Pleasantries and no details. Nothing. You don’t deserve my story, you won’t believe it.

The funniest part was her saying earlier she thinks of friendship as sacred and felt hurt I ever doubted her.
This isn’t the first time someone who secretly hated me made ever doubting them to be some kind of major crime that deserves retaliation.
I don’t want to know or love anyone, or let anyone else get to know me either. I am so tired.

On the other hand, I think I’m becoming calmer and better at being on my own again, I’ll relearn how to just exist on my own as a separate person and entertain myself. I left twitter much more easily than tumblr. Being alone will do me good. I can just disappear.

3, February, 2022
She's been away on a very long trip, so it's been very calm. Even with having to do things like cook lunch, tidy up, help my brother with homework and projects, it's much more peaceful without her. I have more energy to do things, too! The only time my energy decreased in a significant way was when I tried to get back into a roleplaying game, but with my brother's exams coming up, it was all a bit too stressful.
I need to be able to be kind with my brother so I can handle things well, that, and it was tiring me out so much, it cut into my ability to pray on time, so it had to go.
It really was a nice game, though, I've never been so welcomed and had a character be so popular before! Just about everyone I played with loved writing with me and enjoyed the character. I tried my best to keep true to canon and had him repay debts of kindness, too, because he's a very endearing sympathetic villain (whose plans usually blow up in his face.) Who would've known that my ideal roleplaying character would be a return to my roots? Bumbling, loveable villains with plenty of heart and little brain. I'm very socially awkward and rather childish, so I always feel awkward playing adults, so I used to think that meant I could only play children or very childish adults, but I could also just play very clueless and unclever adults, too. ^^

[CW child abuse, gaslighting, physical abuse, narcissistic abuse, drama triangle, everything.]
She called a few times and managed to demean me and upset me, even in a just few minutes. [snip]
She was always obsessed with the idea we were writing about her, which I never used to do for years, because I had nicer things on my mind and she was just too self-absorbed and possibly trying to mitigate her own guilt... but now, I realize, she was just accusing others of what she was doing. "If I were your enemy, you wouldn't do what you did to me!" when I... explained to my brother that something she did was wrong? She saw it as undermining her authority, but I was just trying to be the kind of person I needed when I was younger, someone who would support me, and not blame me for the cruel and unrneasonable ways adults act sometimes. She claims she acknowledges her mistakes, but she often either genuinely forgets her (repeated!) misdeeds or lies and claims she does, even though for many years, her most defining characteristic was "never forgetting." Never forgetting where any little thing was, treating every anthill like a great mountain, but suddenly, when it's about her telling ---- not to cry, she lies and claims she's never done that, when she broke ----'s favourite toy beating him with it, shocked silence, then, "Who told you that?" And then when I answered ---- did, she lied and denied again. Maybe it's her own guilty conscience that had her convinced we spent our time writing about her, even back when I never did.
Hitting a one year old with a full milk bottle too, which she threw it across the sufra (plastic sheet we eat on, while sitting around it on the floor, instead of a table.) She denied it when I brought it up again, but then asked why, and I said she had gotten mad at us about something, "... so you made me mad." Deflecting responsibility is her favourite accusation to throw on me too, she loves to accuse everyone else of what she herself is most guilty of. She's also been trying to make ---- hate me by complaining to him that I bit her that time she beat me up horribly in March for saying she acts this way because of the abusive way her parents raised her and she said she'd never forgive me until judgement day. She hit me so badly, I was bruised all over my legs and couldn't get into or out of bed without being in horrible pain. I was in pain lying down, no matter how I lay down. She also beat my legs a lot, even though my right knee was injured, because she does this insane thing where she thinks us stumbling from her shoves are us "overreacting" and so she hits us more to show us what a real beating is like or whatever. She beat me up two weeks before my birthday... she also tried her best to stonewall me, ignore me any time my dad wasn't there (in front of him, she'd reply to me, and even act like "What's wrong?" if I act surprised... but when he's not around, dead silence, even if I'm only asking about important things in the kitchen.) When my birthday came around, she brought flowers, chocolates, and balloons, and other things, overdoing things to make up... she never does more than buy cake until I brought flowers once, then, it was flowers and cake... the month she beat me up, suddenly, there was a present of chocolates and marshmallows, even though she usually hates the idea of birthday presents or thinks all presents should be something everyone else can benefit from too and must have utility or it's "selfish."
So many cruel things. [/CW]

On lighter note, I've started playing American McGee's Alice, too! I knew of this game since I was younger, but never played it until now. There's an Alice in the roleplaying game I was in and I liked the blunt and rather sarcastic portrayal of an older Alice, so I decided to play it. The art is strange and certainly macabre, but also very stylish and unique. I love that I can turn the music all the way down, have subtitles, and an easy mode that makes it easier for someone who's really not into games, like me, to enjoy the story. The puzzles in the Fortress of Doors are definitely challenging, though...

24, December, 2021
‎ما شاء الله
I feel a lot braver and happier lately and so much more free!
I went on a picnic, my first one with the picnic basket! I was going to use a small sufra we got for free with take-out from a restaurant, but my dad brought the big blue mat we used last time on the beach; it’s still a bit sandy!

Alas, no room for the teddy bear in this picnic, but that’s okay, we had sandwiches (mine was egg, my brother’s was tuna!), apple juice and milk. My dad took us to a place with an even bigger playground (my brother climbed all the way to the top of one of those twisty poles and then climbed back down!), we saw flowers, large trees with thick roots, two butterflies, and a cat came sniffing around because of my brother’s tuna sandwich.
I misunderstood what my dad said and thought he wanted us to memorize the way back, so we walked while I tried to find familiar landmarks and I really did make it pretty close, but he called, explained he meant so we could learn how to walk here next time, and came and picked us up!

I made chicken burgers for lunch today! ^^ But we had no tomatoes and the lettuce just finished today, so gave dad a shopping list…

We watched the Stand By Me Doraemon 2 movie, I never knew they made a sequel to the 3D film! It was a lot of fun and very heartwarming. I especially loved seeing the timelines converging and timetravelling and spirit forms of Nobita and Doraemon from later in the film popping up in earlier scenes, and lines that only make sense later on. Also, any adaptation of Nobita’s memories of his grandmother is guaranteed to make me cry. Beautiful story!!
They also madded the one thing it was missing: Nobita’s grandmother getting the chance to see his bride. ;3;

26, November, 2021
I haven't written any entries in a while as it's still hard to edit my site without a laptop of my own, but, oh well! I'll do a little digest of various nice things that happened recently. My brother's exams are over, we started the vacation yesterday! A little before that, mama brought chocolates from a business trip to Georgia—the country, not the American state. The Georgian script is so lovely and oddly cute in digital print (so round and bubbly, it reminds me of the cuter way of writing hiragana), the more traditional fonts look so elegant! Mama gave me Georgian lari coins, I love admiring the different engravings on coins... one has a deer! A beautiful stag. I love deer, so it's my favourite. Others have heraldic animals, rearing lions (lions rampant) around a coat of arms, and an a lion with a figure on its back that resembles how saints are depicted in Christian religious iconography (halo around head, right hand with three fingers raised, a sign of benediction...?)
[CW death, religious persecution, mention of torture] Looking it up now, the animal I could not recognize was a griffin! And the saint was a child martyr (only 15 years old!) Mammes... the story goes that he was a child of a couple killed for their faith. He was raised by a rich widow until he was 15, when she died... he was tortured for his faith, until angels instructed him to hide in a mountain. He was later thrown to the lions, but he befriended them, while talking sbout his faith. Finally, they killed the poor boy with a weapon. The story of children being persecuted by a corrupt ruler who kills people for their faith reminds me of the People of the Cave in the Quran... they're the same youths known as the Seven Sleepers in other Abrahamic faiths. [/CW]

A week or so ago, I saw a cute video shared by a parenting twitter about cutting used straws after cleaning them into nearly equal, short segments, to glue side-by-side and then attach on top of another straw, to make a bubble wand! My brother had fun blowing bubbles. I realized this was also a good way to get an anxious kid to practice breathing deeply if simply breathing deeply just makes them more anxious... blowing slowly to make bigger bubbles is more pleasant and fun. ♥

[spoilers for Pocket Monsters (2019)/Pokemon Journeys Episode 87, CW bullying, toxic stress leading to a lifethreatening disease]

This episode introduced to Regina, a young girl who briefly transfers to Koharu’s school, as her family is there to see Koharu’s father (Professor Sakuragi) to investigate a strange illness her Glacia/Glaceon, Mieze, suffers from, causing it to attack others with intense Blizzard attacks.
They wish their daughter would make friends and even consider taking Mieze away from her if Mieze’s condition cannot improve, as her parents believe Mieze is the cause of Regina’s inability to make friends… rather than a symptom of another problem.

When Regina is daunted by too many questions by her new classmates, Mieze freezes them, mistaking a benign situation as a dangerous one.
Koharu does her best to include Regina and eat with her, she, Satoshi, and Gou even defend her to the principal, worried she’ll be kicked out for the incident with Mieze.
Although the other students avoid Regina, Koharu keeps trying to be her friend, and learns Regina was bullied in her old school, particularly for resembling the Ice Queen in a children’s story… her name also means “Queen,” so that likely only increased the bullying.
Mieze would come save her every time, but her parents were unaware of this, so the problem repeated every time she was bullied… Mieze became so hypervigilant, that she began to attack anything that seemed remotely like a threat to Regina and her body temperature became dangerously low even for a Glaceon from the constant use of Blizzard.

Regina confesses to her parents at the end and is apologetic and tearful for always hiding behind Mieze, causing her to bear such a heavy burden, and they apologize for not noticing that something was wrong and are happy she had a friend in Mieze.
Regina promises to get stronger so she can protect herself and Mieze, so Mieze won’t have to always worry about keeping her safe and can begin to recover.
She apologizes to her classmates and promises Mieze won’t freeze anyone again. Mieze makes a little icepark for everyone to play in and the kids have fun, before soon, Regina must return to her home... (they never tell us the name, but from her western name and appearance, it seems to be a European-inspired one.)
The ending shows her keeping in touch with Koharu, sending her a beautiful snowglobe and hand-written letters with wax seals on the envelope! Vintage tastes, this little girl has. ♥ She promises to visit again during school break, and talks about Mieze overcoming her illness, and how they're into battling now. ^^

I’ve never seen so many animators and artists working on the show share so much fanwork/unofficial art of their own, the very day the episode aired! I collected the Regina artwork by animators and other staff artists in a thread on twitter.

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