Chary's blog
I talk about life, sometimes. Be it serious things, or me poking fun at events in my life.
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    Chary August 2017.

    What a day...


    Where do you even begin with describing such an event? Where you lose not only most of your possessions, but also your home? The place you lived in for 14 out of 20 years of your life is now reduced to nothing.

    In such a situation, you realize the fragility of not only physical possessions, but also life. Nothing lasts forever, after all.

    Leading into the ordeal, news reports played the storm down. I mean, it was Houston Texas we were talking about. We took on Hurricane Ike and lost a hook off a fence; this hurricane would be a trickle of rain comparatively! I remember the morning before, people in town had been laughing, "oh boy, here comes another rainstorm, soooo scary!" The mayor said we'd best stay put. Evacuations would be a terrible idea. Just "hunker down", and maybe have some water bottles 'just' in case. Regardless of the hubris everyone had, there wasn't much to do about it, anyways.

    It's not like you can move an entire house.

    When the rain began to fall, light droplets of water made a soothing sound as they landed upon the rooftop. Tac drop plop. "Raindrops make such a lovely noise, don't they?" I thought to myself.

    I don't hold that sentiment anymore.

    In the span of an hour, everything got worse. The light rain gave way into torrential waterfalls endlessly falling from the sky. It wouldn't stop. Water burst through the garage door. It seeped its way through, until it eventually got through the door into the kitchen. That's when I got a little uneasy. I began rolling up the carpets, picking cables off the floor, making sure nothing would get ruined. It would turn out to be a useless endeavor, but I still had hope then.

    I walked to my room, repeating what I'd done before. I carefully unplugged everything, ensuring nothing important was on the ground. As I finished, I heard something contrasting with the pelting rain outside. A gurgling noise, disturbing and disconcerting. I turned around to see water bubbling, frothing, from the floorboards. In an instant, the water gushed up from below, and as I backed away in horror, I saw my trash can begin to float. My mouth hung open at the unreal situation before me, the water already rushing above my ankles. Watching such a thing unfold made my mind go numb, I couldn't think. I just stood and watched the brown, murky floodwater inside my own home.

    My cats hopped onto a table, clearly upset at the loss of a floor to stand on. My father grumbled, disappointed that we had to unplug the TV. In a daze, I stumbled back into the main hallway, and began mindlessly picking things up and placing them on high shelves. My thoughts became a blur. Hands shaking, I held childhood mementos, and looked around for the safest spot to put them on. I was trudging sluggishly through water that was slowly raising to knee-height. When I returned to my room, the mattress atop my bed began absorbing water from below. The PC I had recently built was settled on the bed, still dry. This was the point of no return: at this moment, I knew some things couldn't be saved because the water was rising too fast, so I needed to pick and choose what I wanted to make it through.

    I hoisted the nightstand beside the bed, and placed it on the watery bed. A piece of the wood crumbled in my grip, already beginning to decay from the water damage. Making sure it would be stable, I then stacked the computer on it, and started shoving important documents, my wallet, and whatever else that could fit on the highest shelf in my room.

    When I returned to the living room, I felt emotionally and physically drained. Hopefully what I'd done was enough, but the feeling of dread and unease increased along with the water level. Weakly, I flopped onto the couch, only to notice that it sunk entirely when I made contact with it. Every couch and chair within the house had begun to float. My father sleepily muttered in annoyance, as the couch he was trying to sleep on proceeded to bob underwater every so often.

    Of all the things going on in that moment, my dad was trying to sleep, half submerged in disgusting floodwater, while our house began to look more and more like a pool.

    I laughed. What more else was there to do? I sat on a tall clothes dresser and laughed at everything around me.

    There was no letting up to the storm. Not a single moment had the rain even slightly relented. I still had signal on my phone, and I kept alternating between calling the Coast Guard and the police. We had to get out. If the water kept rising, there would soon be nowhere safe left to be. Panic flooded me as I imagined being stuck, the doors unable to be open, nowhere to flee to but an endless ocean. Little did I know, the Mayor had put up the wrong number for the Coast Guard on news and emergency sites. Thousands of citizens were dialing a number that would never be answered.

    At this point, I needed to move. My dad still sat on his couch in the other room, now awake, looking entirely nonplussed. He was up to his chest in water. My mom was panicked, and had chosen a tall baker's rack to sit on.

    Perhaps the kitchen counter would make for a comfortable sitting location, I asked myself. This is fine.

    An emergency alert rang out, the phone violently ringing and buzzing. Wearily, I looked at the message: "Warning! City of Houston faces massive flooding!"

    Well duh.

    Hopping from table to soaked chair arm, I made my way to the kitchen counter, the only remaining dry place. Most of the things in my room were probably becoming part of the new Atlantis. Whimpering, I thought about my expensive computer. I could see the top corner of it tilting, about to be submerged in the murk.

    Dad followed my gaze, and asked me what I was so concerned about in there. I incredulously told him "everything!", to which he nodded, as he sloshed his way to a table to sit on. "You know, I just bought that thing...I know everything is kinda ruined now, but that just especially sucks", I muttered. "That was the thing you spent so much money on?", he cried out. Before I could respond, he was already rushing through chest high water, and disappeared from sight. He came back shortly, holding a computer above his head with one arm. For the first time since water had entered the house, he seemed to be alert and paying attention. "We're totally selling this thing if it still works", he told me, water dripping from the case of the PC.

    I blinked. Nothing was phasing me at this point.

    Calling the police wasn't getting anywhere. My phone was slowly dying, with not much battery left to go. I was weighing my options to chance getting electrocuted in order to plug my phone in just to call the police one last time. The rain had been going for 9 hours straight, with no end in sight. Was rescue ever going to come?

    I didn't know at the time, but an old couple two streets away were currently drowning and would be dead the next morning.

    Helicopters were carrying people off their roofs a neighborhood away.

    I glanced out the window to see a man in a rowboat going down the street. Hello, New Venice.

    More hours passed, and it was nearing dawn. Yet, with the pitch black darkness of the sky, no phone battery left, and pelting rain nonstop, it was impossible to tell the time.

    Finally, finally, out of the corner of a window, I could see a man in army camp gear. He was driving a fishing boat, calling out, asking if anyone needed help. I tore the window open, yelling for rescue. My voice was hoarse, my emotional state shattered, my body weak. The boat docked somewhere above my car, the water clearly over the top. The door wouldn't budge due to the amount of water sealing it shut, so I smashed my window to pieces with a curtain rod, and climbed outside, and the boatman hoisted me on board. My parents and the dog followed, and I thanked the boatman profusely.

    After hours of panic and suffering, we were safe. The initial madness was over. My family was okay, we made it.

    Apparently, this man in the serious getup was just a nice guy with a boat. He was out saving people's lives, because he wanted to help. He wasn't part of the police, he wasn't part of any group. With tears in my eyes, I looked at the hero before me. When decades pass, and memories become hazy, this will be one of the things I remember clearly for the rest of my life.

    He dropped us off at the local school, which had been converted into an emergency shelter. Dozens of families and pets sat inside of an elementary school cafeteria, talking, crying, finally able to sit down and be safe. I fell asleep, laying on cold tile, wearing over-sized borrowed clothing, and hugging my dog.

    I woke up to my phone buzzing, now having been charged, in the middle of the day.

    Hundreds of missed messages sprawled across the screen. Everyone was asking me if I was okay, how I was doing, what was going on. Feeling too overwhelmed, I skipped reading them for the moment. On pure instinct, I hit the GBAtemp icon on my browser.

    What I saw, left me speechless.

    For the first time since everything, I cried. (Even now, almost a year later, I cry looking at it, looking back)

    I held my phone and sobbed. Sobbed for the loss of my home, everything I had, the stress, the shock...but I also cried from gratitude.

    Never in my life had I felt so overwhelmed and loved.

    I will always, always remember that moment, I will always be eternally grateful for what everyone did to help. It was invaluable, and really saved me when I was at my lowest and needed help the most. I remember with the first amount of donation money I received, I took a hotel shuttle through flooded streets in a ruined downtown Houston to get two giant pizzas. When I got back to the hotel, a group of flood victims there with me stared at the pizza like it was made of pure gold. I offered one to the people there, and a grown man cried, happy to finally have food days after the disaster. It was a horrible, terrible pizza, but in that moment, we'd never eaten anything better in our lives.

    I'm sorry for going on so long with this. I doubt even a tenth of it will be read. I just wanted to write this, to clear my head. I try not to let this event define me, but the impact it had changed my whole life, and expressing it helps.

    In the face of disaster, you have to pick yourself up. You have to keep going, no matter what happens. That way, when you make it to the other side, and everything is all said and done, you can grasp the future.

    The past will always hurt. It might lessen with time, but the pain will always be there in the back of your mind. But so long as you look forward, you can move on, little by little, with every day that passes. Whenever it rains now, I feel panic. Remembering my old home causes me to tear up. Those things will stick with me for a long time, but it gets easier to deal with.

    I've made a lot of progress, in the time since last August. This experience changed me, but since then, I've grown as a person, I've made new friends, and I'm incredibly happy with my life and the things I've done. The road to healing is a long one, but I'm travelling it one step at a time. Hopefully, come next August, I'll be able to say those same words once more.

    ------------------------------------------

    Thanks for reading, guys. I probably rambled an entire book, but I feel a lot lighter, getting this all written out.

    Tldr: Been a year since hurricane. Melancholy reflections. Thank you and bless you all, because I wouldn't be where I am without your help. LIFE IS GRAND!
    Chary So, I've been having my wisdom teeth come in the past few months. After a lot of cancelled appointments, I finally had one set for the start of next month. They'd be removing 4 teeth (back molars), and then I'd go back in a few weeks to have another 4 (wisdom teeth) removed. So, in total, a removal of 8 teeth. Now, when you have eight teeth too many in your mouth, it kinda gets cramped. I've been having chronic headaches related to it--I just take an aspirin and wait out the pain, but it's been nothing debilitating. I also was removed from my mom's work's medical insurance, because it was getting too expensive for full coverage. Which, according to the dentist, was a bad move, because only having dental insurance won't cover everything. So, I had to further put off any appointments until that was settled and everything could be paid for by insurance.

    Until today.

    My tooth shattered as I was laying down.

    It. Hurt. A. Lot.

    There was so much pressure in my head from the wisdom teeth trying to force their way through, that my (according to google) a Premolar tooth was taking the brunt, and apparently couldn't hack it one more second longer. Cuz as I was on my bed, my head hurt something awful, and then I heard a pop and the pain instantly went away for about 10 seconds before getting even worse. The tooth had just exploded in my mouth. I was stunned for a few seconds before sputtering about and spitting out the remains of my tooth.

    More than half the tooth is just straight gone. I dunno what they even do for that, but my parents are getting an emergency appointment with a dentist this week, supposedly. I dunno what even the heck. I'm still a bit dazed and tearing up from the shock and pain, but I needed to just...vent, because oh my gosh my tooth seriously just freaking shattered.
    Chary [Hells Malice] Alright boys and girls. We were pretty busy, but i’m determined to finish our E3 food blog. So here we are with day 3 and 4!

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    [Hells Malice] First up, we started off the day with some Yogurtland. I’d never been here, nor even tried any frozen yogurt. Turned out to be super good even though they didn’t have a ton of flavours. Definitely will be going back or finding similar places.

    [Chary] YOGURTLAND! I’ll scream this place’s name from the rooftops to get people to go to it. I don’t care if you don’t like froyo (they have ice cream too) anything from them is amazing. This is the Huntington Beach location, which, while different and lacking in flavors from my Houston local Yogurtland, was still fantastic. Reasonably priced, too. You can just pile up all the mochi, gummi worms, marshmallow cream and cherries on top of a giant bucket of frozen yogurt for less than $10.

    BEFORE:
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    AFTER:

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    [Hells Malice] We hit this place up before going to the beach. Wasn’t the one I wanted to go to, but ah well. It was alright. It was good but pretty small portion for the price, and they had a mediocre variety of non-meats. I think i’m a little spoiled though, because I found a mongolian bbq place in Germany and it was absolutely incredible.

    [Chary] I actually loved this place. My tastes are a bit less refined than Malice’s, though, so I’m more easily impressed. It was extra cool cuz you got to watch them take your order and grill it in front of you. I mean, let’s be real--you can’t go wrong when you slap together steak, broccoli, and lobster sauce.

    Side note, I put too much cilantro on mine. I can STILL taste it in my sleep. Ugh.

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    [Hells Malice] Super good, aside from them forgetting my damn salad. I got the ribs, though I tried a bit of Chary’s salmon too. Luckily the ribs were all I needed. Steakhouses really need to up their sour cream game for baked potatoes. I just want a bit of baked potato with my sour cream, not the other way around.

    [Chary] This is the second time I’ve tried ribs before. They’re really tasty, although I much prefer the salmon overall. Potato was great for two bites until the sour cream ran out. I’m thinking I need to just carry giant tubs of sour cream wherever I go. Sound like a good idea? Yes? Yes.

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    [Hells Malice] We decided to have a bit of a taco war of Taco Bell vs Del Taco. We kept things pretty simple, though in hindsight I guess we should’ve done some of the more extravagant tacos. Just doing hard and soft did highlight the difference though. Del Taco had a much more, well, taco-y taste. But overall I actually preferred Taco Bell surprisingly, I guess just because they spice their meat better. But I definitely wouldn’t classify what they give you as much of a taco.

    Del Taco’s carne asada fries were awesome though. Definitely the highlight. Though Taco Bell’s Dorito taco was actually really solid too, it’s pretty much why I realized we should’ve done the more expensive tacos for a proper war. But now I know for next time!

    [Chary] We can’t be friends anymore. I can’t acknowledge a human who prefers Taco Bell to Del Taco. (If the Del Taco gods are listening, please bring it back to Houston?) Crunchy tacos > flour ones every day of the week, btw. I didn’t mind Taco Bell’s crunchy tacos, but good gosh, I almost died taking a bite of the soft taco from them. Del Taco wins, no contest. Shoutout to the Dorito taco though, I’m sure it’s made of pure death and chemicals but it was good.

    Carne asada fries sat atop the rest, though, maaaaan, they were amazing. I expected crappy fast food cheese with old taco meat on soggy fries when I initially ordered this, but it tasted fantastic. I would go to Del Taco for these alone tbh.

    Well, that's it for now! Be on the lookout for our Day 2 E3 blog! It's gonna be up shortly! :D thanks for reading <3
    Chary Well, I've been in Los Angeles for a few days, having a total blast! It's almost time for the big part of the event to start, and I've got a ton of fun stuff lined up, like a meeting with (best company ever) XSEED, being able to try out all of Bandai Namco's upcoming games, and yes, even an interview with Nintendo while in a VIP room watching the new Smash Bros be played at a tournament!~ I can't wait to experience all that stuff, and describe it all! :D

    But before that, @Hells Malice and I decided to write a blog detailing the grandest of things--a blog entirely dedicated to the awesome food we've been ordering while in the Pasadena/Arcadia/Los Angeles area!

    Staaaarting wiiiiith...

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    [Chary] Oh heck yes. In N Out is a staple of a Californian's diet (if you are one and you don't eat it daily, FIGHT ME) Literally the best burger to ever exist! Even if eating like, 1/4 of it is enough to keep me full the whole day ;A;

    [Hells Malice] It was pretty good m8s. I approve. Quite big for the price too. Fries were alright. I'd order it again.

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    [Hells Malice] Don't worry, we didn't eat the peacock. Just a simple chicken club sandwich at the Arcadia Arboretum, and some fresh fruit. Awesome tho, I was surprised. I didn't expect much. Bit dry.

    [Chary] It was super dry! Hello mayonaise, where were you? Really was better than any right it had to be, as "zoo" food though. ...Now I'm wondering...was that piece of chicken really peacock meat?!

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    [Chary] Yes, yes, all of the yes! Fair Oaks Pharmacy is seriously perfection in the form of an ice cream shop. You could order a glass of pure dirt, and they'd find a way to make it taste delicious. Huge portions, super good food. There's a reason it's been around for 100+ years!

    [Chary] That banana split took me way off guard. When they carried it out, I had no idea how huge it was gonna be, cuz holy crap, that's a lot of dessert for only 10 bucks. I feel like I sound like a commercial for them at this point, but seriously, go there. Do it. Stop reading. GO NOW. WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?

    [Hells Malice] I'm pretty blown away by the amount you get. I don't think that picture really captures how huge that banana split is. It nearly killed me to eat 3/4 of it, and I ain't small like Chary. Incredible. Definitely going back for some more. The oldschool candy sold there is a nice touch, got a ton of that too. Woo liquid candy in wax bottles.

    [Chary] Sour cherry gummy coke bottles! I've been introduced to those, only to have to go home next week and never eat them until next E3! Heart break.

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    [Chary] Oh my gosh I'm dying. I was kinda hungry for like, 99c cheap ramen. Instead we got like, ultra ramen, and you got a crapton of stuff! This place was a liiiittle pricey, but man was it good. I feel like I'd go back, at least if I lived in the area.

    [Chary] Shoutout to online ordering and your blessed 'first time use 10$/off' coupons. Woohoo!

    [Hells Malice] Definitely worth. Steak cooked in teriyaki sauce, a variety of deepfried veggies, a nice salad with peanut dressing, and gyoza. Dayum. Super good. Tried the ramen and it was great too. Always fun to try new things, and funner when it actually turns out to be good...and not spicy boiled water with a million bamboo shoots...yep i've gotten that before.


    [Hells Malice] Holy crap that's a lot of food. Prob should've done two days but I was too lazy to get this going for day 1. So there ya have it peeps. Stay tuned for more food, cuz who doesn't love looking pictures of delicious food? Should have some great stuff coming up.

    Thanks for readin'.
    (and yes I used Chary's account so we'd tag a billion people muahahahahahaha)

    [Chary] You monster! You've gone mad with power! Now everyone reading this will be hungry!! Eeeevil!

    Thanks everyone! Hope this was as fun to read as it was to eat!!
    Chary I've spent at least 7 hours in a waiting room lobby of a hospital. I haven't slept decently, my everything hurts, and I'm tired as crap.

    My dad got admitted to a 3 day stay in a hospital yesterday.

    I'm not exactly sure how to feel about it, besides excessive amounts of worry. Mostly because it's sorta nebulous right now. Why is he sick? Dunno. What will the doctors do? Dunno. How long until some answers? Dunno. And in those moments of just waiting, waiting, waiting...it's hard to do anything EXCEPT worry.

    Of course, I'm not used to anyone in my immediate family really getting sick. The last time my mom went to a doctor, it was because she was pregnant with me. Last time my dad saw a doctor was at LEAST a decade ago. So maybe a 3 day stint in a hospital is really no big deal if you're kinda not well. Yet, my dad is a chronic smoker and drinker, which just perpetuates the concern, because of course that kind of behavior will catch up to you...even if you just try to pretend it won't. When I was a little kid, I'd always tell my dad, "Daaaaaddy, smoking is bad! The TV told me so! You should stop!" and he'd laugh it off, and make false promises that consisted of "sure kiddo, one day". You fast forward 15 years or so, and you're listening to a doctor chastise the both of us, me for not trying harder to stop his bad habits, and him for smoking upwards of 40 years straight. Let alone the drinking... 200/113 blood pressure is quite scary, too.

    He's had a minor skin infection on his foot. What went wrong was that he decided to treat it himself, buying steroid cream that he ended up being allergic to. Then when my mom and I noticed, it was because the infection was so irritated that it made him unconsciously scratch at it, making everything way way worse. Now, it's not healing, even after antibiotic treatment. So they wanna keep him a few days to run some tests, because they're thinking his liver might be heavily damaged from years of drinking, causing his skin to be easily irritated, thus preventing the infection from healing.

    It makes you realize the mortality of people you're close to.

    Hopefully it's just something that can easily be treated. I don't even care that he doesn't have insurance, I just want him to NOT have something mega serious. Because, what then, do you do? There's no use in worrying, yet you can't just really tell your brain to stop doing such.

    I'll probably know what's up later today. I pray and hope that he's gonna be okay...cuz he has to be.

    -----------

    As this is a bit depressing to type, and probably read, here's a funny, yet almost painful instance with my old man:

    Me: Hey dad, you want something to eat? There's a vending machine here.
    Dad: Uh...what do they have? Get me whatever.
    Me: Aaaalright, here's some chips and a soda.
    Dad: Ew! That's so unhealthy! You've got to be kidding me! ...now where are my cigarettes?!

    LATER THAT DAY

    Me: Hey, okay, they're gonna keep you here overnight...do you want some food from outside?
    Dad: Yes! Yes please! Get me the Burger King! That is good!
    Me: But...that's...even more unhe---oh never mind.
    Chary So, to preface, my father is a 65 year old Persian man, who doesn't really have a concept of anything past the 1990s. He doesn't understand credit cards, he cannot make a call with a cellular nor smart phone, and he thinks Amazon makes every computer ever. The most experience he has with tech is playing poker on a tablet. And he doesn't know how to get rid of the micro-transaction popups, so he gives up when those happen.

    So of course he'd be the prime person to use Facebook. Wait what?

    He walked into my room today, acting very nervous, and asked me, quietly, "'Chary'...What is a, I may say this wrong...eh...Face Book?" I told him it's a site where people post about their life, basically, and share pictures. He was confused, but he tried to accept it. After all, he still thinks to share a picture, you have to go to a place to get film developed and printed. But he'd heard from a friend of his that people can "talk" to each other, without phone numbers. He had to know what kind of magic allowed something that wild and new.

    When I told him that you can indeed talk to people by using "something sorta like a typewriter, yeah", he excitedly asked me to make an account for him. He wanted to talk to his sisters in Iran, and catch up with them. So as I'm getting one of my alt emails for an account, he asks me, "Do they need my address? I bet I have to give them my address, right? Will I break your mom's Facebook if I make one!?" then he starts to worry. I'm trying my best to hide my laughter, and I tell him it's okay, he doesn't need to worry. Then, he pulls out a ten dollar bill, and tells me to "Pay for a Face Book this way". I just lose it at this point and burst out laughing. First of all, he thought he needed to pay for Facebook. Second, he thought he thought I could send the money in the mail for it. That's too funny.

    Once I finalize his account, he gets all excited. I try to teach him how to use the laptop, telling him to click on the search bar, and type in who he wants to find. He doesn't understand what a click is. Agonizingly, I teach him from step 1 how to use this new and wondrous technology. He still can't get it. So I give up and type his sister's name in, and find her profile, and friend it. Dad doesn't seem to fully understand anything that's going on, but he seems to grasp that now he can talk with his sister. He dictates a message, which I type, and I send it.

    Finally finished, I go sit down and play some games and write. He continually calls me back into the living room, for different issues. He accidentally hit the windows key, so he thinks he broke the computer. Go back, sit down. Get called back, because he doesn't understand why his brother "liked" his message. What is a like!? Get called back to solve the mysterious issue of him clicking this weird thing called Google. Go back, sit down, grab my controller... and get called back, because he's sad. Why is he sad? He clicked an ad that told him he could get free things by clicking it. Cue an eye twitch. Install Adblock. Go back to my room.

    Then finally, once last time, he asks me how to find more people to talk to. I tell him to type what he wants to find, in the facebook search. So I watch him stare at the screen, and one by one, type in letters. I glance back up at the screen to see "nice people" typed into the facebook bar. I don't know whether to "d'awww" or die from laughter.

    My dad might not know much about computers, but he's learning, and in quite possibly the funniest way possible.
    Taffy, VMM, Bad Bunny and 49 others like this.
    Chary I've been awake for goodness knows how long. I spent 4 hours helping my uncle label the circuit breaker to his house, in 90F heat, without A/C. I didn't sleep at all last night. So maybe my writing sounds insane. I feel insane.

    After getting back home, I decide to maybe lay down and finally sleep. I get about 20 minutes of sleep before my mom gets home from work and wakes me up, bringing with her 5 crates of bottled tea. This is not normal, but my brain is too tired to question this discovery. Still slightly out of it, my dad tells me to go walk the dog with him. I stumble out, following along, to where he proceeds to randomly cross a busy street for no reason with the dog, to which I'm starting to wake up, and realize that is not normal either. My dad out of nowhere drops the dog's leash, and the dog takes off in an excited bout of freedom, knowing no one holds the leash anymore. As I frantically chase after my dog, running over asphalt, I make the realization that my father is ridiculously drunk and slurring his speech, and that I've forgotten to put shoes on.

    I catch the dog, and walk him back home, waiting for my father to catch up, where he asks me why I let the dog run around freely like that. Before I can even make a confused retort, I hear my mom asking me where I got the fried chicken. What? ...Fried chicken...what?

    I see a white, plain box, with no markings. In it, is fried chicken. There is an unmarked unknown unexplained box of fried chicken on my kitchen counter.

    I have multiple questions.

    My father, grinning like a madman, joyously tells me, "Ah, my daughter, I shall lie to you and explain chicken". In the time I had been asleep, he had found a 5 dollar bill, and purchased a lotto ticket with it, winning 40 dollars. Excited by this victory, he decided to buy fried chicken, as most people in this situation obviously would. But without a car, or knowledge of how a computer works, how would he acquire such precious chicken?

    Clearly, the answer would be to walk back to the store he bought the lottery from, and beg the cashier to order chicken for him.

    Because that's what he did. In exchange for cash, the manager of the gas station ordered delivery fried chicken. So a courier brought fried chicken to a gas station, which my dad took, used the rest of the money on beer to celebrate, and brought it back home. All in the span of 20 or so minutes.

    That is why there is fried chicken on my kitchen counter. Suspicious looking fried chicken in an unmarked plain box that was won through randomly found money that in turn was used to buy a lotto, which then won money, which then was spent on ordering chicken to a gas station, which was brought home, and is now being eaten.

    I do not understand.
    Chary so here it is!!
    Chary I'm sitting in an uber, on my way to a hotel. Specifically, the hotel that I've been checked into since around September--the time of the flood. In the coming few days, the free government provided hotel will expire, and the last remaining matter of the hurricane will finally be settled. I've since moved out of the hotel, my car has been fixed, beds and appliances have been purchased, and everything is finally "normal" again.

    What makes me so melancholic and reflective, is that I saw a picture of my old house, before the storm, before the destruction, and it made me think--so much has changed throughout 2017. So, so much.

    In January--this time last year--everything was great. I was preparing to go to college in the fall, I was trying to improve my writing skills, and I had a confident and excited view of the future.

    In February, my cat had kittens, and I had gotten attached to the cute little fluffy baby cats. When the litter began to weaken, and slowly die, I took it upon myself to bike a kitten in a backpack to a vet, in hopes of saving it. It was a vain and naive attempt at trying to preserve life. The kittens were unviable from birth, and so the last baby kitty died in my lap, as I cried over the whole tragedy of it all.

    March and April picked up a bit, in terms of happiness. For the most part, I just played lots of video games, studied, and read books. I learned about tons of things, and I even started to get back into some old hobbies, like drawing!

    May was the best month of the year for me. I met my boyfriend, I cut ties with toxic people, I gained a lot of confidence, and I was happy. Everything was on an upswing! I started trying to reach out to other GBAtemp users and make new friends, I had tons of ideas and plans for what I wanted to do for the year, and life was exciting!

    June was nearly just as amazing. I got to go to E3 again, and while it was way more overwhelming this year, I also had so much fun! There's nothing comparable to how impressive of an event it is, and how happy I was to be offered another chance to go to E3. I had new experiences, stepped outside of my comfort zone, and the world felt so full of possibilities and excitement!

    Which is a bit of a shame, seeing as July was an unholy nightmare month. Four of my cats died suddenly and without warning, all on the same day. The vet couldn't find a cause for it, there was no explaination, and it was haunting. Having to watch all that was one of the worst things I've ever dealt with in my life, being helpless, watching your beloved pets die, the look in their eyes. I had two cats live through it, by virtue of having to inject them for a week with a huge needle of fluid, but they lived. I was relieved at that fact, at the very least.

    August, of course, took one look at July, and told it, "You think that's bad? Hold my beer." The first half of the month was me slowly getting over last month's trauma. The second half was pure insanity. Hurricane Harvey destroyed my home, along with most of my possessions in the span of a night, leaving me homeless and scared. Once the terror of spending hours calling the coast guard and police, sitting on a table that was starting to float around the living room wore off, wondering if the then shoulder-high water would drown me, I felt blank. Everything felt surreal and dreamlike. I sat on the cold tile floor of a school cafeteria, looking out a window, watching my house continue to fill with water throughout the night.

    I was snapped out of it, however, when I saw the reaction on GBAtemp. So many people praying, sending well-wishes, asking if I was okay, donating, just so much outpouring of support. It was nothing short of amazing, and to this day, I'm still eternally humbled and grateful and so lucky to have had that.

    September and October were a blur. There was fear about if insurance would cover the cost to repair my car, there was the worry about where we'd live, and trying to make life "normal" again.

    By November, things had settled, and though there were quirks and a lot of new things to have to learn to deal with, I got used to the change and happily began to move on from the flood. I wasn't constantly revolving around that one moment, I was finally free to start walking forward.

    December was a wonderful month. I wasn't really active online throughout most of it, but I spent time with loved ones and relaxed, celebrated my 21st birthday, and realized just how much I've changed in 2017. So much is different than it was the year prior. I never want to be defined by the flood and hurricane, and that event was horrible and I'd never want to live through it again, but I feel like thanks to the support I had, I've moved past all of that and gotten through as a stronger, better person for it. I'll never be able to thank everyone enough, for everything.

    As I move forward into 2018, I hope that I'll continue growing as a person and improving myself. Life may be crazy, but I'll keep moving forward, no matter what!

    I appreciate anyone who read through this blog. In retrospect, it's a useless string of words I rambled while bored in a car. To celebrate your making it to the end, I have a cute picture of my cat for you! Hooray!

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    Chary I'm not one for making blogs a common thing, especially already having done one yesterday, but I felt since this has some big stuff, I'd like to just write it out here.

    Today, I got my car back! "Again?" You say? Well, it had initially been fixed a week and a half ago, and given back to me after insurance paid for it to be repaired. But there were still issues with it, and it broke down right off the lot. Today though, it's been fully repaired and runs just as it used to! Woohoo! They even fixed the USB ports in the cup holder part! The water was up past the ignition, and I'm stunned that the mechanics were able to fix it. Good on them!

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    Pretty pretty car!

    And, not only that, but the pipes in my new house were finally fixed! It's live in ready, and all I need to do is set up the water utilities and get some internet again! Heck yeah! I'll have to take pictures once I've got some furniture and it's all decked out :D

    I'm super psyched to get back into posting news and reviews and everything, really! Crazy stuff keeps happening through all this, but it's hard not to be happy, lately! Things are definitely looking up more and more with each passing day!

    Thanks for reading, and thanks everyone, again, for your kindness and generosity!
    Chary Okay, okay not main Amazon, but I think I seriously impacted their two hour delivery service.

    Starting about...in July, my boyfriend and I were at a hotel. And of course, I realized, hey, Amazon delivers to hotels, let's get some food deliveries. And then I saw, "Get 10 dollars off your first order". So I put in the code, and got a New York Strip steak and 3 sides, fully cooked from a restaurant and delivered to the hotel lobby in an hour, for less than 10 bucks. Cha-ching! $$$

    The following few days, I made more Prime accounts, to abuse the discount coupon. Because Amazon can blacklist public addresses after trial abuse, but not public areas like hotels. Not my proudest moment, but in the face of delicious steak, who am I to hold onto morals? 5 email accounts and 5 delicious steaks with baked potatoes later, I decided, okay, that's enough messing with Amazon.

    Then of course, as you know, the flood happened.

    Which, of course, means I've been living in a hotel...and you know what THAT meaaaaans...

    The first day, I only got some bottled water and cleaning supplies. The next day, I got my parents some groceries. Afterwards...Amazon seemed to notice. As I placed another order for the day, I got an email telling me that Amazon's 2 hour delivery policy would be changing. Okay, that's coincidental, I thought. I don't need any more orders anyways, I told myself.

    And then they lowered the order minimum to 10 dollars, and kept the 10 dollar off coupon active.

    Fancy teas, a broom, a notebook, a mop---tons of home essentials for the new house, bulk orders of canned food and water, a microphone, MORE FANCY TEAS. Every order clocked in at less than 3 bucks, and it was absolutely beautiful and disgusting with how much Amazon was letting me get away with. Of course, I only used the coupon on smaller items--if you tried to get 10$ off something over 15 dollars (that wasn't from a restaurant), you'd get a hefty delivery fee slapped on it. But small things in bulk lined my hotel room, and I gleefully laughed with my copious amounts of email accounts and prime trials.

    Cue today, in which my parents have given me a bunch of stuff to order for the new house. Excitedly, I log on, make a few orders again, and then, I see, Amazon has removed the coupon permanently. Forever gone is the amazing Prime trial shenanigans that I enjoyed. But it was amazing while it lasted! I almost feel as if Amazon saw the madness and got rid of the coupons and kept changing their policy purely because of me! But it could all just be a crazy coincidence!

    I needed to just document this via a blog, because I'm looking at the absolute hoard of water and the broom, and the mop, and the stacks of white chocolate and tea, and tuna, and laughing my head off at what I got away with. Bless Amazon and their trials. You will forever be remembered fondly.
    Chary So, coming off the great year that was 2016, I was totally hyped and ready for what 2017 had in store...or so I thought. It only took a month before 2017 decided to kick me right in the face. And after losing those kittens, a close friend backstabbed me which forced me to remove them from my life, and then some no-lifer wannabe hacker dudebro decided to try and convince people I'm some sorta bigot, (lul?) and after that, my cats died again, right before a hurricane that fricken ruined all my everything. And now I gotta defer my college scholarship, cuz I'm living in a hotel since my house is gone, only to get through that nightmare for my aunt to die of a heart attack. So, 2017, I commend you, for going balls-to-the-walls in a massive attempt to make me go crazy.

    I might be down, but I am not out! While some parts of 2017 have been horrible, there's still been a lot of amazing moments as well. I, again, got to have the fantastic opportunity to attend E3 for GBAtemp, built my first gaming PC, stumbled into meeting my awesome boyfriend, made tons of really good friends on this site, really got into twitch streaming for GBAtemp with my friends, and most recently, got to experience the generosity of the best darn web community I've ever seen. From the heartwarming donations, to the kind words, you guys on GBAtemp really went above and beyond. I feel so blessed to be a part of this site, and it's amazing members. So I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone, for all that they've done for me. I can hardly express how grateful I am, and how much this has touched my heart. Through the ups and downs that the rest of this year will bring me, I can always remember this and feel happy again.

    Thanks <3
    Chary sweet merciful crispy fried steak, it's 102F outside. God bless the person who created central cooling.

    Through all the memes and jokes and trash posts, I have to admit, I really like the blog section. Though it's not really up to par with how it used to be way back when, I like to just mindlessly comment on stuff and blather on in my own little section. It's soothing, in a way. So hopefully none of my followers mind when they see the little red alert notification for this. I just wanted to take a moment for myself, and parse it all out.

    Earlier this year, I mentioned that I had two baby kittens that died, due to fatal illnesses that they were born with. Though they were young kittens, their deaths hit me hard. But that couldn't even possibly measure up to what happened last month. Four of my cats dropped dead out of the blue. I came home one day, to see a small fluffy unmoving body, rigid, dead. I recoiled in horror, only to watch another cat behind me vomit blood, and weakly fall over, desperately meowing in pain. Another cat, my father's, knew enough to not make a spectacle of it, and died quietly, behind the washing machine. Lastly, I watched, agonized, and sobbed, over my favorite cat, the one that I had taught to open doorknobs so he could venture into my room when he felt lonely, raised with a bottle because he'd shown up on my doorstep as a baby kitten, and spent countless hours with, as he watched television, entranced as I play video games, because the flashy movements on screen captured his attention more than any tuna fish could. I put my heart and soul into that cat, and as he lay dying in my lap, I could do nothing but watch as he purred one last time, and passed on. He was too far gone to save.

    With his littermate being the lone survivor, I pleaded, begged and sobbed to a vet to save her. I slammed every dollar in my savings on the table, demanding that something, anything, a miracle, could exist so that this cat could live. The veterinarians there looked at me in pity and confusion. There was no documented illness on file that matched up to what this cat had. "Perhaps poison...?", I was told. Able to do nothing but nod blindly, I could not rack my brain to find a cause for this tragedy. I don't know why this happens. Perhaps I'm not fated to own cats? As even my dog began to look lethargic and weak, the only common link was the food they ate. I threw the heavy, near full sack of cat chow into the trash, enraged. To get irrefutable proof, I would need to send both tissue sample in from my cat, and from the likely tainted food, an endeavor that would cost hundreds to achieve. But even if that were possible, I still had a cat to take care of.

    The vet had shrugged and offered me a bag of saline solution, and an intimidating needle, telling me to inject the cat every few hours. My parents didn't have the strength to do so. On my own, I held down a suffering cat, and jammed a needle, barely mentally able enough to break skin, with shaky hands. Both me and the cat cried out, as I injected the IV. She lived, out of all of the others, she lived. She sits in my lap as I write this. A few days later, I would be sent to Oregon for a vacation with my family. My grieving time was barely a few days.

    I only just now, after finally being back home, not busy running around doing other things, feel that I am able to process these events. Every day, I still open my door, and expect that cat to greet me. I try to cry, but I've long since run out of tears. Deep within my heart, I can feel slight resentment to my parents, who only chastised me when I brought up the idea of a vet. My mother didn't want to drive to a vet at 11pm, nor deal with the drama it entailed. The cat who died in my arms was likely too ill to be saved, but I run through "what ifs", wondering, idealizing, that maybe, just maybe, he had a chance.

    The pain of loss is a heavy one. Though I know now, that I'm moving on, healing, the scars will stay with me. Forever. Do I want another cat, to pour my heart into, all over again? Or am I looking for a replacement that will fill an empty void? The one survivor cat is good, kind, but I look at her, and wish that it was another cat that lived instead.

    Typing this all out, after a month of desperately burying this emotion, finally feels like I can accept the events that occurred. My path in life continues on, with so many new events and happiness out there waiting for me. I will always clutch to the fond memories I have of that cat, who was always by my side, when I was a lonely teenager. His passing feels like an end of an era. I now have friends that I value, opportunities to look forward to, a relationship that I treasure, and ideas that I now have time to dedicate towards. I've grown so much as a person, through those years I had that little fluffball. I can only hope, that maybe, just maybe, he's up in heaven, with the other cats that died, all of them having an amazing time, with no pain or suffering.

    I initially started this blog with a grumpy tirade of Comcast's bad business practices, of how I'm grateful to the members of this community, and my excitement for writing, and streaming for GBAtemp. Instead, the above words are where my mind travelled to. To those that actually read this, well, hey, thanks. To those that don't, well, hey, hopefully you're reading a blog much happier in tone than this one turned out to be.

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    Chary I mean, why not. Everyone else is blogmemeing. Buncha people are gonna gets alerts for this blog, aren't they? ;O; Whoops, oh well! So, GBAtemp people, comment away!
    Chary So yeah, blogs. I don't really use them commonly. But I do like writing, obviously, and I think this is one of those moments where I think enough stuff has happened as of late to warrant me just taking some time to just sit down and parse it all out. That way, I can look back a year later and cringe! That's the point of blogs, right?!

    So where was I in life last time I did this? College prep and kittens...right? Things have been pretty wild since then! After my kitten passed, I actually developed a huge case of insomnia...I had, and I still have trouble sleeping. Sometimes I feel so tired, that I don't really have motivation to do anything. Other times, I would feel pumped up enough to read through multiple books in a day without stopping. It was tiring, mentally, not physically. I tried every trick in the book to sleep, but nothing was successful. Anyways, I can at least sleep for a few hours these days, so that's nice. But sometimes I just feel worn out.

    I had a pretty bad bout with some self confidence issues lately, too. I was feeling pretty down about myself, just for some things, that in the end, were immaterial. But I still couldn't help but feel like I was getting crushed by all these things stacking up onto my head, or just falling and not being able to reach out.

    Then placement exams came and hit me upside the head. And as I've said before, I was never the best student in recent times. But the time I've taken off to study and prepare paid off. All those years of skipping high school and another year consisting of me taking time off to find a career kinda hit my book smarts, a bit, I suppose. Not to say that I'm not intelligent, just that I wasn't really in a frame to properly throw myself into schoolwork again. And I had been pretty depressed, honestly, during that week, and some time surrounding it. But I picked myself up, and aced the tests, specifically English, which I was happy about! Math was middling per usual, but honestly, I expected worse!

    After that, though, I had to deal with some pretty big changes to my daily life. Which irked me more than anything. Though, I don't regret it at all, now. A bunch of stupid chance coincidences led to me tripping and stumbling my way into being the happiest I've been in a while. This past month has been fantastic. Sometimes you need a slap to the face to realize things, and take a step back, and outside of your comfort zone, and escape from bad things. Of course. that might mean losing things you once thought important, but at the same time, you might realize that those things weren't worth reaching out to in the first place.

    I quit out of my job, too. I couldn't justify the work for the pay, and honestly, I got exactly what I wanted from it, so I'm not sad. Content for a portfolio, and a nice recommendation for the future. So hooray! But now I've got some pretty sizable savings, and with my first two years of college being totally and completely paid for, I'm wondering what to do with it. I've found reason to save up for a goal, and the future, but then I notice, "hey, I'd love some nicer headphones." "Woah, look at the Switch!" "Oh man, my back hurts sitting in this chair, I should get an actual good one!" "Holy cow, I've been using this 3 dollar keyboard since 2001, and I'd love a new one!" And other such things.

    Those events lead to me taking that happiness, and running with it. Nothing was going to come from me constantly feeling afraid of myself and the world around me. And thanks, to everyone in that little Discord server I cobbled together! Y'all seriously are great, and have helped cheer me up a lot <3 AND STOP WITH THE BOTS THO, WE'RE BREAKING REALITY. Really though, you're super cool, all of you.

    With regards to games I've played this year, I actually haven't played many new things! Which is a bummer! But I'm playing Utawarerumono and Fire Emblem Echoes, and I'm liking both a lot! Kliff is definitely the most adorable teammate so far! Echoes might top out over Persona 5 for my PERSONA-L goty!!

    Maybe by the time I finally wrap this up, the new episode of the podcast will be up! I'm having fun with recording it with the other staff, and I can't wait to do more episodes. Speaking of things that'll be happening, boy oh boy, it's almost time for E3! I'm so excited to go again! Seriously so thankful to Costello/T-hug/GBAtemp making it possible, and I hope the stuff I post will be good, and that everyone will enjoy it!

    Also can we just take a moment to notice that Polygon is linking to my ban thread? I'm laughing so hard! they called me a "GBAtemp poster"! Yeah, I suppose I do occasionally, MAYBE post on GBAtemp from time to time! Hahaha!

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    Anyways, thanks for reading this ramble! That is, if you managed to force your way through all the words~! <3