Thursday, September 15, 2016

I think it's really important to compliment people, and also to thank them and show them your appreciation or admiration.  Sometimes I will randomly message people to say they are awesome for no real reason, or thank them for something that happened ages ago.  Or even apologize for something that doesn't matter because it was all in the past.

We can all be really hard on ourselves sometimes.  Sometimes it can really help to hear a friendly reminder of why your life is worthwhile, and that you are appreciated by someone else.  And it also means a lot when someone "goes out of their way" to show you that they care.  I say "go out of their way", but it really isn't -- it really only takes a couple of seconds and you'll probably end up feeling positive about it too.


This week has been more up and down than the last...and by that I mean there were a couple of downswings.  I'm back to feeling pretty good about life, but I was feeling kind of frustrated and/or just tired of life earlier.  Sometimes it's not really anything catastrophic or systemic, but just little things that happened to stack up against you in the wrong way at the same time.  Or things that bother you more than you'd like it to.  I think everyone probably has days like that...

I've had a legitimate flurry of new album releases over the past week or two:

Watch for Falling Rocks Original Soundtrack on Sept 3
Mysterious Space Original Soundtrack - Volume 2 also on Sept 3
Take My Hand EP on Sept 7
and now Ivory on Sept 15

It feels great to get things out of the backlog!  The tracks for "Take My Hand EP" were started 5 =years= ago, and Ivory has been sitting around for a while too.

Even more exciting is the fact that I've been working on new album art for my social dance music album:

That's right!  It's finally coming around, which makes me super happy.  I'm not 100% sure this will be the actual album design, but I'm coming around on it (still need to design the rest of the physical CD case though).  You'll also notice that I'm no longer calling it "DanceBit" because I really wasn't happy with that title after thinking about it more.  "9-Bit Ballroom" was an idea I tossed around in my head, and I think that would be a good title too, but if I use this image for the album then "Celestial Melodies" definitely fits it.  I'll have to see how I feel about it after thinking it over again.

I made tomato soup for the first time this past week!  I made way too much...@_@, but it was a success!  I followed this recipe from Serious Eats, which is the lazy no-sautee version -- there is a slightly-more-effort version here.  I didn't go nuts with the blender though (it was already jam-packed to the limit so I didn't want it to explode or make a mess or anything), so I left it a little less smooth than it could have been, and had to heat it up using a pot on the stove.  Some of you may not know this but I'm actually super into cooking and try to cook my own meals pretty often.  Things that I want to try next are a cream of mushroom soup (I'm really inexperienced with soups in general, especially western soups, so I've decided to try making some), and I also wanted to have another go at this miso-glazed salmon recipe, which I've done once before.  I generally broil my salmon pretty plainly (and deliciously) but I wanted to change things up a bit for next time.  Salmon is sooooo good. >w<

I've been having a blast playing through Final Fantasy Tactics using my friend's PSP.  I'm currently knee-deep into Chapter 2 and am raising my faithful band of recruits into something fierce.  A lot of them are still just grinding JP to unlock more jobs and abilities before they actually become useful, but I've got a Monk with Attack Up that is pretty great at punching things dead AND healing a crapton of HP with Chakra.  Ramza is unfortunately currently useless as he's currently grinding JP as a Thief, which is a job class with terrible stats for dealing any sort of respectable damage.  But he's gotta get some jlvls before he can become a Ninja and get two swords.  My summoners and mages have actually been the majority of damage output in key battles.

Going to try heading to Starlite Ballroom in SJ tomorrow night with a friend.  How confusing that it's named the same as what used to be Starlite in MV (then Cheryl Burke, now who-knows-what)...regardless, I have no idea what that will be like but am looking forward to getting some dancing in and seeing my friend too!

What else has been going on?  In MtG-related news, I narrowly lost in the finals of the work sealed league that I was running, taking 2nd place as my generous consolation (to be honest I thought that I would be out much earlier than that).  I was extremely happy with how I played game 1 of the final match -- it was a rare scenario where I had all of the variables in my head, thought thoroughly through every important consideration, and was one step ahead of my opponent the whole time.  It was almost perfect ("almost" because I still may have made one or two suboptimal plays.  Magic is hard!!!).  In game 2 I kept a shaky hand with 2 mountains and white spells on the draw and needed to hit a plains in order to really play a fair game.  I bricked and despite casting a lightning axe and then a madnessed alchemist's greeting (discarding to hand size!) there was no way for me to do anything that game.  Going back to it I should have mulliganed that hand, but I think I was thrown off by the fact that I had the lightning axe to take out a threat if I missed on the land early, and if I got there the hand would have had a lot of power as having a lightning axe plus alchemist's greeting in hand is pretty good.  So I think I got trapped by seeing the lightning axe.  Game 3 he gets a faith unbroken on his selfless spirit and I didn't draw one of my 6 answers to it quite in time for it to make a difference.  I perhaps should have sided my other alchemist's greeting from the board given that I knew he had faith unbroken, but in any case, I think I'll certainly accept the loss and take 2nd.  We also did a conspiracy: take the crown draft where I drafted 10 conspiracy cards, lol.  After my first game everyone now just targets me from the onset which makes things impossible @_@.  But probably rightly so, as I have insane card advantage from Summoner's bond, which is pretty awesome.  In other news, Kaladesh spoilers have been popping out but I haven't really been following too closely.  Seems like it should be super exciting though!

So yeah, that's been life recently.  There are some good days and some not-so-good days.  It's a mix, really!

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