Sunday, January 29, 2017

Despite having a pretty good weekend in a lot of respects, I actually feel like crap right now.  This is what happens when you don't take proper care of yourself.  Wish I could be with meowmie right now.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I'm sorry to all those people who didn't really like me, and pushed me aside, but that I still ended up constantly reaching out to anyways.

I'm not sorry to all those people who really liked me, but that I stopped reaching out to, because it seemed like they were pushing me aside.

When the polite words for "I don't like you, go away" and "I really like you, but I'm unreliable so you won't hear from me" are the same, how am I supposed to tell whether I am supposed to count you as a friend, and to spend my time and energy on you?  I was talking to a good friend today about how I think as a principle it's very important to me that when you care about someone you make sure that you are available for them.  Your feelings of desire, your grand plans, your admiration mean so little unless put into actions.  And your words carry less and less meaning each time you betray their spirit.

I mean, I get it.  I have people that I really don't like too, and rather than tell them flat out that I don't want them around, I just brush them off lightly and tell them "ohh, sorry I don't really feel up to it, maybe next time".  How, then, is that any different from that friend you have that you can never pin down, who is always "busy" with other things, but "still likes you a lot"?

Maybe it isn't.

Be honest with yourself.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Happy birthday today to My Melody! :)

Tahoe Trip 2017, other updates

Well, I was =going= to do a lot of things last night, but had some changes of plans, hahaha.  Ran into a coworker on the train ride and ended up having a nice chat with them instead of blogging like I was intending to.  And then besides meeting Audrey for a short chat, Brett came over for a melee session which ended up being aweeeesome.  I was super on top of my game and definitely felt like I had leveled up.  My edgeguarding definitely still needs work though; I still have trouble recognizing when I need to jump out off-stage and go out there for an edgeguard -- right now I either stay on-stage or grab ledge but a lot of times the correct thing to do is jump out.  We captured a handful of our sets on video, including some pretty great moments like clutch ledgetechs, and even a mew2king-esque 0 to death that I did on FD as Marth (woot!).

This past weekend was our Tahoe snow trip!  It was super awesome and filled with many fun adventures, as well as some silly mistakes that were made, haha.  Snowboarding felt amazing and I had definitely improved since the last time.  Our last run was super duper sweet and was the perfect way to cap off the trip (though I also wish we could have done more).  Was even starting to get the hang of turns at the end (though I also ate it once), and I felt like I had a lot of control as I was leafing down the mountain and navigating around other people.  Would definitely go again sometime.

Me and Kat were in charge of food for the trip, which was quite fun and seemed to turn out successfully (though with one or two notable setbacks).  It was actually super awesome that we stayed at a place with a full kitchen, and I realized again just how much I enjoy cooking, haha.  It was a mild challenge being in charge of food for 6 people (definitely the most food I have ever made), but the proportions seemed to actually work out pretty nicely as well.

Other highlights included some crazy shenanigans that both cars ran into due to closed roads on the way to Tahoe, a pretty epic 6-person Spaceteam session, as well as my first time actually (like actually) playing D&D, in which I played a snarky, socially inept wizard who always knew the exact time due to being raised in the Geffen Clock Tower (lololol).  Tahoe itself was beautiful and seeing all the white snow everywhere was quite something.  And yeah, boarding was awesome.

Work is going okay!  I have been trying to cook myself one lunch per week at the office, though honestly it would probably be more often if I had more groceries on hand to bring and cook (things are still slightly a mess at home from having brought a bunch of kitchen stuff on the trip, though at least I spent some time putting up my fallen-down room posters).  Have been feeling a little less stressed lately and am trying to integrate myself into the team and in general just feel more comfortable.  I think it will take time (as it always does), but I can feel it getting there, slowly.

Went to Mission City Swing for the past 3 weeks in a row!  It's been fun, though I'm ready to take a break and am not going tonight.  Cautiously looking forward to Jammix this Friday though!

In other news, I'm working on a remix of my favorite A-zu-ra tune, which I've gotten off to a great start and hope to finish sometime this week to submit to his remix album.  It's going to be pretty sweet!

That's about it for now, I guess.  Unfortunately I don't really have progress to report on Rhythm Quest -- right now I'm stuck trying to figure out the most elegant way to handle sloped collisions in a general way for my platformer physics system, which admittedly is not 100% related to Rhythm Quest entirely, but I hope to use it for some sloped paths in some of the levels.  Continuing to watch Chihayafuru here and there, and I don't know if I mentioned it but I started a playthrough of Earthbound, hoping to actually finish it properly this time around.  Also played through Gamma Bros, which was a cute little twin-stick shooter.

To close off, I'm going to repost this little snippet from Kelly Casanova on (de)gendered dancing.  I know I've posted this before, but really it deserves more mention:

"I see only positive results from encouraging ALL my students to learn both lead and follow roles as soon as they feel grounded in their traditional role basics. Men and women who both lead and follow learn to have more empathy and compassion for their partners. Women who know how to lead can now dance all night long where in the past the ratio of men to women would normally dictate that many women would sit out most of the evening. Men who can follow can directly "steal" moves and advanced techniques from some of the more experienced leaders making both themselves and their subsequent followers happier. Men and women alike get to stretch themselves in skills of leading and following in a relationship and perhaps discover skills and preferences they didn’t even know they had. In the traditional role of male lead, female follow, many men only get acquainted with women, and many women only get to know men. This breeds a sense of competition for partners, which is not always healthy to a good, friendly social environment. When everyone knows both parts, men develop more friendships with other men and women with other women. Win-win for everyone as far as I can tell."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Just wrote my 993rd tracked letter.  Only 7 more until I hit 1000!!!

Lots of stuff happened, including a pretty epic trip to Tahoe!  I'll try to make a full post on the way home on the train.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Many things happened!  It's been a good couple of weeks, actually...very good.

I was pretty stressed for my first week at my new job, but it actually went fairly well.  Highlights included going to Mission City Swing on Wednesday with my friend, which I had a great time at!  I also learned that despite Caltrain being my commute option of choice, it's actually not too bad at all to drive up to the city for work, particularly given that there's a $12 parking lot right by where my company is so that's pretty easy.  So I can just drive to work on Wednesdays and head to MCS afterwards using my car, driving back afterwards, and it works out great.  $12 is not something I really want to pay so often, but isn't really THAT much higher than the caltrain fare both ways.  (Though the fact that I'm just getting monthly passes makes that a bit of a moot point if I'm perfectly honest)

I have brought in a small rice cooker to work as well as a bottle of olive oil and some rice and I am all set to start enacting my grand plan of cooking my own fresh lunch at the company!  I may even try to do it tomorrow -- I'm thinking to bring a salmon filet and then maybe a husk of corn, which is trivial to cook using the microwave.

My 2-week break after getting my introduction to the new company was pretty nice!  I spent quite a bit of time preparing Christmas letters and gifts for people, which I'm happy to say was a great success this year!  Although I definitely was packaging and enveloping and addressing things semi-last-minute, it was not like previous years where I pushed myself to get to 40 letters by trying to crank out a whole bunch during the last few days.  And it's a little better this way, I feel.  I basically did a better job at prioritizing and setting goals that are realistic given all of the other things that I want to do as well.  The final outcome was 25 letters, which was not bad at all!  And I was really happy with how gifts turned out this year, actually.  Especially the fact that I had many boxes saved up of varying sizes, which turned out to be super useful.  And as always, I'm super thankful for the post office at Nob Hill, which I always use for my USPS mailing needs.  They are so friendly there and they all recognize me there by now since I've gone to mail out stuff and buy stamps and everything from them so often.

Christmas overall went extremely well this year and I was actually very pleasantly surprised by it.  I received quite a few letters from friends, and I'm also super grateful for those who got me presents off of my wishlist, including Little Twin Stars microfiber cloths (!), hair bows, a replacement Hello Kitty license plate holder, and even the musician's earplugs that I wanted!  Even my parents got me a pair of waterproof hiking shoes (in a size that actually fits!?) that I need for walking in SF in the rain!  I also got to spend time together with various people, and eat some good food too.

I did not spend quite =as= much time working on Rhythm Quest over the Christmas break as I did during my break between jobs.  However I did manage to think about my redesign of the game and start working on it, and I actually made significant progress on the rework.  The levels are now tile-based and notes are handled completely differently, as I'm laying them down using Tiled instead of in a text editor.  I replaced the Kirby-looking character with a character that looks fairly close to the one from Ripple Runner, and redid the backgrounds and tileset as well.  As with Ripple Runner, I'm using a monochromatic 4-color palette for the tileset and backgrounds so that I can use hue shifting to give variation to them mid-song.

In addition I implemented a bunch of other good stuff, including checkpoints and even debug transport controls for quickly jumping to a given checkpoint in a song, as well as manually controlling song position during runtime, even rewinding through a song or playing it in slo-mo to debug any issues I might need to.  Pretty cool stuff!  The game is already looking pretty darn cool again and I'm really excited to see how it's going to shape up, as well as start working on some actual songs and levels for it.

I have been working on Rhythm Quest on my MacBook Air recently and it's been a mixed bag, to be honest.  I don't have a windows partition set up yet, and am not sure whether I want one to be honest.  But OSX's mouse handling is teeeerrrrribbbleee if you're used to PC mouse acceleration curves.  I can't believe how much it actually hinders my productivity when I'm trying to do things like paint tilesets and work on animations.  I ran one of those quick mouse accuracy test games and it turns out that using a mouse with OSX is actually WORSE for me than just using the built-in trackpad, which is terrible.  Unfortunately you can't tweak the acceleration curves easily since they removed that API from OSX (why?), so if you want to actually rememdy the problem you need to shell out money for a custom solution like ControllerMate, and even then it's difficult to get right.  I don't just seems like you can't really win.  It's sad because I'm fine with so many other things about working in the OSX environment, but the mouse handling just sucks.  Bah.  I love love love working with my desktop.

Anyways, despite that, my current plan is to try and work on Rhythm Quest daily during my morning train commute (and on the way back do some blogging like I am now, or letter-writing or something), as that's a good time to try and get stuff done (and my brain won't be dead or anything).  Of course, I'll need to work on it outside of those times too, for times when I need my desktop for composing, artwork, laying out levels, etc.  But I can at least work on coding and simple spriting work on the train.

Ludum Dare came and went, and I did pretty well!  3rd place in audio, and 15th place overall, which is not bad at all!  I actually really liked how my game turned out.  I was very unsure of it at first after turning it in, particularly because I was really struggling with the game design through the latter part of development, but hearing other people's positive feedback was really encouraging and I'm glad people had fun with it.

I also finished playing through the main campaign of Ori and the Blind Forest, which was really fun!  I actually controlled only the movement and jumping (left hand controls) while my friend took over all of the mouse functions and it was extremely fun going through the game together in that way.  Gaming together with friends is a really fun experience, I think, one that can't be replicated online, really.  It's great!

I also watched a good deal of anime lately, including finishing both the first and second seasons of Hibike! Euphonium, which was amazing amazing amazing and is now my favorite episodic anime ever.  Wuaaahhhhhhhhh.  Currently I'm going through the first season of Chihayafuru, heheh.

I did a little bit of experimenting with new recipes over the break too!  Not too many things, but I made three new dishes.  The first was a Kung Pao chicken recipe from Serious Eats which turned out extremely well both times I made it.  Very tasty and will definitely make it again, maybe even try to internalize the ingredient amounts.  It's a spicy hearty dish so it's great for this cold weather, and it also uses chicken, which is great because I don't actually have a lot of chicken recipes.  Also tried to make shui zhu yu, or whatever that chinese spicy sichuan fish dish is.  For the fish meat I used these super duper cheap Zwai nuggets, which I would...not use again.  They were very flavorful and fatty, but too rich, and a little fishy...I dunno, it wasn't the most pleasant.  I will have to try that dish again using a different white-meat fish.  If anyone has any recommendations on which one to choose I'd love to hear it!  I  am definitely still learning my way around types of fish and don't yet know which ones are chewy vs flaky, etc.

I also made a black pepper fish dish with two types of fish that I got from Nijiya (which I was initially going to use for the sichuan dish but didn't).  It turned out pretty great!  I think one of the fish was some sort of cod and the other was bass?  I wish I remembered because they were very different, one being much more chewy/springy and the other being much more flaky/tender.  Regardless, that was a success.  I've also been using red onions a little bit more recently as they go well in the chicken dish as well as this fish one.

I noticed a small scratch on my left lens today, which was concerning but in the end probably not really anything to get worked up about (though I do wonder what I accidentally did to cause it).  However it did remind me of the fact that I don't currently have vision or dental insurance (only health) and should go and get some.  Sigh, life problems.  They also assigned me the wrong Primary Care Physician when I switched insurance companies, so I have to go and get that rectified as well. (edit: this is fixed now, yay)  In brighter news, I got my clipper card in the mail and set it up with pre-tax contributions and started using it today, so yay!

I've written a lot but there's still even more to cover!  I dyed my hair between Christmas and New Year's and it was super fun!  Went to have it professionally done by the lady who cuts my hair nowadys and though it took quite a while, I'm really happy that I finally went and did it.  Initially I wanted to get it dyed some sort of blue color, but unfortunately that's a hard color to get and we didn't want to damage my hair too much by overbleaching it.  So after some bleaching, the bottom half of my hair turned out a pretty lovely light brown color that I was actually pretty happy with too.  I decided in the end to just get some highlights instead of dying the whole thing because the bleached color was cool too!  The blue dye ended up turning my hair a sort of blueish green color which I'm actually pretty fond of, so now I have teal-ish streaks going through the brownish/yellow/reddish hair.  It's great, but next time I see my stylist I'm probably going to ask her to dye all of it because I really like the blue-green color and think it would be cool if all of my hair was that color as well.

Since the bottom half of my hair is bleached now I have to make sure to take better care of it so I've been regularly alternating between leave-in conditioners and argan oil treatments to make sure that it's healthy, as well as really making sure to follow the old adage of shampooing your roots and conditioning your ends.  It's actually pretty nice that my roots are still uncolored because I can just shampoo that part without worrying about stripping the bleached hair of oils or anything.

Fixed a silly bug with Nyamo's Adventure today.  That's right, still patching my game from June 2016! lol.  Also, as the previous post alludes to, people are being silly about Ludum Dare ratings.  I think we can all agree that the rating system is inherently, but more importantly, NECESSARILY flawed.  My entry scored #3 in audio.  Looking at the #1 and #2 entries, I really don't think that their audio is up to snuff.  #1 earned points for doing "procedural audio" despite being an underwhelming game, and #2 earned points for humor as opposed to actually being good music.  But that's how it goes in LD!  That's just how it goes. :)  And that, my friend, is perfectly fine.

Went on another MBTI kick recently.  It's fun!  I tried typing some of my good friends, which was interesting.  My best friend is INFP, apparently two of the other really important people in my life are INFP and ENFP.  Heheh.

Feeling optimistic about the coming year...let's all do our best!

Can't ever please everyone

Due to serious concerns about the rating system, Ludum Dare 36 is run without ratings and rankings.
"WHAT??? We are doing an LD without ratings??? Ratings are the best part of Ludum Dare, this SUCKS. I HATE LD."

Ludum Dare 37 is run with the standard rating system.
"These ratings are bullshit. People cheated. Scoring is so unfair. The rating system SUCKS. I HATE LD."


Monday, January 2, 2017

Hello 2017

Trying to start the new year off right.  It's 12:15AM and I'm all ready for bed.  Pre-chopped some food to saute tomorrow and pack for lunch and set the rice cooker timer.  Going to wake at around 7:45, take a shower and get dressed, treat my hair to some argan oil, cook and pack lunch, then head out to catch the train at 9:14AM, on which I'll try and work on Rhythm Quest some more.

There is, of course, much more to recount, but I'll leave it at that for now, and get to the rest sometime later.  Maybe tomorrow, during lunch, or perhaps on the train ride back home.

For now, let's all wish each other the best for the coming year.  I'm cautiously excited about the year...I'm sure there will be challenges that I will need to face, but also things to look forward to as well.  I'll hope for the best.