Monday, March 19, 2018

This track really helping me get through life right now.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Whether it be through music, stories, dance, or drawing, it is always a special feeling to communicate with a fellow artist using art alone.  There's a certain kind excitement about thinking about a stranger's work and imagining what kind of person they might be like, and what they are trying to express.  When something resonates, it often feels as if there is a moment of shared understanding, even if you're not sure.

I'm...feeling quite a bit better today.  Made it to the end of the week, it's Friday, I got a good burst of energy, and more importantly, I think I mostly hit the bottom of being in "the grip" last night.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

This week has not been the greatest for me, as I have been feeling a general sense that life is not quite worth fighting for.  Sometimes when I think about how something that I believed in and wished for is no longer within the realm of possibility in this transient world, it feels like I have no choice but to sit down and simply stop moving.  There was a path that I was following, but like the rest, somewhere in the middle it was cut short; derailing from the other end, opening up into a wide chasm of nothing more than unrealized hopes and dreams.  When confronted with that, would I turn around and start walking down yet another path?  Would I plunge into the emptiness and try to swim to the other end, knowing that it would only bring me futility and grief?  Or would I simply stand there, unmoving, and silently wishing for what never was, what was never meant to be?  Waiting.  Because even if I were to give up and walk away, it would always remain in my mind forever.  And someday if I finally reached an oasis in the desert, would that really be a success?  When that mirage would continue to haunt me forever.

I don't know which dream to hold onto anymore.  Only that I am too stubborn to let them go.


Unjammix happened last week, which was pretty fun.  We had some blasts from the past, including Dive Deep and Lucid Dream, which I made wayyy long ago for Celestial Melodies, as well as my remix of Puru - Toki.  Overall the music seemed more tame than I remembered, but then again the last one was 7 years (!) ago, so I wouldn't trust my memory of it anymore anyways.  There were some really good ones sprinkled in here and there though, so I enjoyed that.

Also I love Celeste.

Been working through a Phendrana Drifts remix, in the style of Sentience, but good lord it is taking a long time.  It's turning out alright I think, but just a real struggle to figure out which direction to take it for each new section, so it is taking forever as I throw different ideas at it in an attempt to see what sticks.

There are some potential exciting changes coming in the near(ish) future for me, so another thing.

If there is any respite, it's that I will be reconnecting with someone next week.  Something that will probably be a healthy break for my weary soul.


"This is it, Madeline. Just breathe. You can do this."

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Quiet and Falling

This track has really worked itself into my mind recently (just finished getting all the collectibles in the Mirror Temple this morning).  The progression and mood is just...chilling; it really works well.  If I was more well-versed in theory I'd be able to give you a better rundown of how exactly it accomplishes this, but for now I'm content to say that it inspires me to try similar things with my own music sometime.  This type of feeling and texture is something that I'd definitely like to try working with in the future.

Celeste is quickly becoming one of my favorite games of all time.  It's these kinds of works and music that make me think that all I want to do all day is create things.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Physical Social Media Recap, Stardew Valley, Melee

Well, the whole writing out my social media posts on physical media was pretty interesting and fun, but overall not something I'd really imagine continuing with.  Here are my assorted thoughts on it, in bullet form:

- It was nice to set aside time and actually write down my blogging on the train.  Though, I found that it also sort of took away from my normal letter-writing time.
- I felt like I was disincentivized from really being as thorough as I would have liked since things took longer to write down.  This is a net loss in an era where I'm already trying to fight a battle against whether to write down all of my thoughts (good) vs. not really bother (bad).
- There were also definitely times when I feel like I felt like blogging but didn't because I wasn't in a time and place where I could fully dedicate myself to it.  This might seem like a straight downside, but in reality part of the whole point was to be more intentional, so I feel like this is neither a positive nor a negative overall.
- I'm not really sure what other people thought of my posts.  I can only conjecture that they seemed more novel and interesting, but I have no idea whether more or less people bothered to read them.
- I feel like the hardest part of the whole thing was actually getting good photos of the letters after writing them out, lol.  Overhead lights make things really awkward to set up since trying to take a photo from overhead results in a nasty shadow.
- Commenting on other people's posts in written form felt super awkward, like I was trying to be obnoxiously hipster for no good reason.  It was fun, but I don't think it really made sense unfortunately.
- Initially I had the idea that blogging like this would let me show off a bunch of my different letter pads and sets, but in the end I actually just ended up reusing the same few designs for all of it.  Perhaps this would be a different story if this was back in college where I was just in my room all day (insert forlorn pang of rememberance here), but I did most of my writing on the train this time, so that didn't happen.

So yeah, that's that...

We've been playing more Stardew Valley together, which has been oodles of fun!  It's a little bit of a different experience since nothing is really new or novel anymore on the second playthrough, but that hasn't really made it less fun really.  We currently just made it to autumn and I hope to lay out our crops (including some rare seeds and of course a metric crapton of cranberries) soon.  So far we seem to be resource capped on wood quite often; probably because there are the same number of trees but two of us to split the wood between.  I've been trying to very aggressively plant seeds in various places though -- not just in our farm but all around the valley -- hopefully those saplings will mature before too long.

As far as Melee stuff goes, I still peruse PP's assorted thoughts on Marth every so often, as it's a great resource in trying to further my understanding of the character (and of Melee in general).  As I said before, I've realized that I have an issue exerting pressure against Falco's lasers without relying on dash attack (which is actually okay in this situation, but not the "cleanest" option) and walk up fsmash/ftilt/dtilt (lazy, bad mostly, though fsmash is surprisingly not the worst here).  If the Falco is doing braindead approaches where it's SHL into telegraphed aerial where I'm standing, then I can win the situation every time because I can just dash back after every laser and then get a grab.  However, I've clearly recognized situations where I need to not dash back and give up space because they are doing more "keepaway lasers", so the correct thing to do is aggressive movement and threaten them -- i.e. call out their lasers.

I think a key realization is that when I put myself in that situation I had not developed the answers for pushing in aggressively and I think my mind just thought that I need to "push in somehow" so I try to dash inwards.  I think in my mind I was hoping that they will try to aerial at me and that I will cross under them by just yolo dashing straight into them, but really that seems like a terribly inconsistent plan unless they really are overshooting all of their aerials consistently.

I think there are a couple things I need to think about in this situation.  One is that dashing actually removes some options for threatening with, namely dtilt and jab, because you can't do them out of a dash.  You can still side-b though which is useful because if they try to laser or aerial and you hit them out of it with a side-b, you are now at a threatening range but they do not have laser threat anymore, which is good for Marth.

Another is that I need to recognize my own threat range and exactly which threats I can use against Falco in this situation and what will work against A) Falco coming in with an aerial or another laser vs B) Falco continuing to laser in place.

*Outside of tipper fsmash range*
I think this range is the most important because it's actually the trickiest for me right now.  This is because dash attack is the only threat that will actually reach Falco from this position.  Because the onus is on me to approach closer than this range (because this is not my optimal range), I need to figure out how to do that.
My two main options for approaching closer to this range are to dash in, or wd in.
Something else that's important about this range is that Falco cannot overshoot an aerial from this range -- i.e. if he attacks me, he will be forced to attack where I am, which means I can dash back around the aerial.  HOWEVER, this does not work if I dashed in, and it especially doesn't work if I WDed in.

If I think the Falco will attack after a laser at this distance, then my options are:
- take the laser, dashback
- shield the laser, retreating fair
- take the laser, jab (or side-b, but jab is probably better here)

If I opt to press inward (e.g. I didn't predict Falco attacking), then most likely one of these two things will happen:
- Falco will attack with an aerial (or another SHL)
- Falco will shoot another laser in place

If Falco shoots another laser in place, then I will end up taking (or shielding) a laser, but I will have moved forward some amount of space.  The ideal amount is such that my tipper fair can hit Falco.  At this point we can consider that I have the advantage, but I still need to decide what to do next -- approaching fair, run up grab, jab, sideb, shield, observe, dashback?

If falco attacks with an aerial while I decided to dash or WD in, then I'll probably get hit unless I approached into a shielding option, which seems bad.  Maybe that's the mixup, then?

Either way, after moving forward I think the options are either, run up grab, run up shieldstop fair, run in rising approaching fair, or run up take laser. (or run up shield, but that is not the option we want)

I played around with these options some more and just generally thinking to "threaten Falco's space" in general and it actually seemed to give a lot of good dividends yesterday, so that's good.  I felt like I was much more threatening as opposed to passive, and I think if I keep that up I will be able to force respect for my spacing.

I taught a brief lesson on preps for the kids at Dancebreak on Monday, which was pretty fun.  Maybe this is the right way moving forward?  It's at least better than what I was doing a year ago (i.e. nothing), so there's that.

I've been a bit lacking on sleep this week...hopefully I can catch up.