Friday, October 26, 2018

Big update, Unemployment, Tai Chi, synths, Dark Souls update, etc etc etc.

You'd think that being unemployed I'd blog more often instead of less often...but I guess it's more just that the days of me feeling like i NEED to say something about =everything= are past.  I definitely remember that stage in high school where I just found it really nice, theraputic even to just type everything out as a way of processing it and to distill any of those leftover thoughts and feelings that I had.  I'd like to (?) think that I am a little bit better at being able to acknowledge my thoughts and feelings as they happen and "let them pass", so to speak.  Kind of like meditating, you know?  Where you don't necessarily feel obligated to act upon every single thought or feeling.

Speaking of which, I think I'm really feeling a lot better so far about (not) stressing out about things in general.  Of course there is still an internal alarm bell (or whatever metaphor you want to use) that starts going off whenever I haven't gotten to one or more of my responsibilities for a long time, but I think it's been easier to not stress out about that alarm going off (and trust that I will be able to get to it).  Perhaps more importantly, it's also been easier to manage that alarm in the first place, since I really feel like I am doing a better job of keeping up with things in general now, with letters, music, etc.  Things will never be perfect and my plate will never be fully empty, but as long as I'm making forward progress I'm happy.

I did some tai chi for the first time in forever the other day!  It felt nice, just went out to the park after doing some stretching and such at home.  I'm super out of shape of course, but actually not =as bad= as I thought, so that was nice.  It didn't take a ton of time either, so hopefully that's something I can start doing randomly a bit more often.  Though it is a bit less fun doing it alone compared to when it was with others.  But it's sort of fun to be alone in its own way, too, I guess.

Worked on a bunch of music stuff today!  Got started on an interesting request to remix Gliding Dance of the Maidens, which took quite some tries to get started on, but I think I'm making headway there, yay.  Also did OHC today, in which I tried to emulate puru's progressive sounds.  I was eh...about halfway successful I think.  I managed to get pretty tight drum sequencing, which I think worked really nicely -- I'm going to have to push this "clean" style of drums more in the future.  I really stumbled on making the proper trance pluck sounds though, something which I feel like I used to be able to do but I guess I've gotten out of practice with it.  After OHC ended I spent some time experimenting with that, trying to get the hang of it not only with the classic 3xOsc synth, but also with Harmor and Sytrus.  I actually might start trying to use Sytrus a bit more often for this type of supersaw sound, as it's fairly easy to get a good unison saw sound out of sytrus and the filters actually work pretty nicely.  Harmor can do it too, of course, but...I dunno, the UI in harmor just feels more clunky and confusing, really.  Both Sytrus and Harmor are capable of doing subtractive synthesis, even though Sytrus is built for FM/ringmod and Harmor is built as an additive synth.  So maybe more Sytrus is in my future when I want to play around with synth stuff...?  Anyways, it felt good to be doing so much work on music.  It's just as well too, since I already have a commission lined up for next month too!

Xmas letters are progressing smoothly!  I've gotten 25 of them done, and also took care of some birthday letters along the way as well.  Only 6 more days left!  I still have some of the longer ones left to do though, so hopefully I can schedule them in at good times.  I still have to do my Japanese letter too, which will probably take a while, haha.  Once all the letters are done I have to make sure to not relax -- need to get all the gift shopping done early otherwise deadlines will sneak up on me before I know it...

Progressing further and further in Dark Souls, which has been keeping my interest pretty well!  I've also started listening to the Bonfireside chat podcast (that, the "Analog" melee podcast, and Limited Resources for MtG are my 3 podcasts to listen to while driving) alongside my playthrough, which...well, I wouldn't say it's the =greatest= podcast in the world, but it's enjoyable enough, for a drive.  Anyways, the main cleric character (Sayuri) has a bunch of points into Faith and uses lightning spear in addition to the Jagged Ghost Blade (currently reinforced to +4), which fortuitously dropped from one of the ghosts in new londo ruins.  It's just as well too, because we spent a LOT of time down in those ruins fighting those ghosts wayyyy before we were supposed to...we ended up clearing the ENTIRE area out and got confused because there was nowhere else to go (turns out I had just completely missed the door to the lower undead burg, argh).  Anyways, it's been serving really well, as it's got really nice base damage AND procs a nice bleed effect as well.  The only thing is that it doesn't do too well in narrower spaces or against short or flying enemies as it mainly has horizontal slash attacks, so occasionally we'll switch to the good ol mace (one of the better weapons in the game actually) and use those vertical attacks to smash things.

The jagged ghost blade doesn't have much scaling, so eventually we'll replace it with some sort of divine or just regular reinforced dex scaling weapon.  Our scimitar is currently a divine scimitar although we haven't needed it yet (once we go into the catacombs, I guess?), and we just picked up a falchion so that could be a candidate.  Some sort of katana would actually be great -- apparently there is an Iaito somewhere in blighttown that you can get to by jumping to a platform, so maybe that, if we end up going back there.  I might just do some backtracking through blighttown (ugh) anyways, as I'm sure I didn't get everything there.  I actually also should go back to the lower burg since I apparently completely missed Griggs there, lol.

Anyways, we actually made our way all the way through the depths, through blighttown, and beat quelaag, rang the second bell to presumably unlock sen's fortress (?) and are now near the ruins of chaos.  There are quite a few different directions we can explore go at this point, though I guess sen's fortress is the next real progress area (?).  There's no shortage of unexplored areas, at any rate, as there's the bridge in valley of drakes that i don't know where it goes (shortcut to somewhere?), there's the crest of artorias door which I don't know where it leads to, and a bunch of stuff in blighttown probably. certainly a lot of stuff in this game, lol.  Also, we accidentally killed the Chaos Servant guy guarding Quelaag's sister, whoops!  Didn't see the option to talk to him since I was holding my shield up.  Fortunately that doesn't really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things, just sort of unfortunate.  Wish somebody had left a message there that indicated something about that dude though.  We also missed beating Kirk in the sewers -- didn't realize he was an NPC to be beaten.  Whatever, there's no way to expect to get everything right on the first playthrough.

My second character is a sorcery-focused int build, which is a drastically different playstyle, as she gets to really nuke things with hard-hitting magic attacks, but it requires a different set of tactics as she's sort of fragile and the magic takes time to cast, so it's tricky sometimes to find a good window of time to fire them off.  I've beaten the Gaping Dragon with that character, so next is to head down to blighttown.

Third character is sort of a lolzy one, just focusing on strength and two-handing huge weapons.  I haven't played with that one very much at all, I think I only beat the taurus demon so far.  Don't know if I'll continue, though it does seem funny to just hold really huge weapons around haha.

Cleared a Space Alert mission successfully for the first time in about 3 years, which was fun!  Really gotta keep your wits sharp to succeed in that's still fun though.

I've started playing through Hollow Knight as well!  In earnest this time, as the last time I tried I didn't get very far at all.  Currently just got to the Fungal, a LOT of attention and detail went into the art for this game, it's pretty insane how fully-featured all of these environments are and so far the different feel of all the areas is coming across really well.  It's been fun so far.

Things that are coming up (a.k.a. things that I have to get done, lol)...besides stuff that is not really worth mentioning (getting my flu shot at some point), I actually still might want to do a short post-mortem for Bath Time, lol.  Speaking of which, there's a pretty annoying touchscreen bug, so (sigh) I probably will try to fix that up and make a new mobile build for it.  At SOME point I'll have to try to actually get back to development on Rhythm Quest, though it is certainly intimidating since there is so much that needs to be done there.  Besides all the content, I want to redo how the map screen works entirely if possible, maybe the main menu as well, but also have to make a calibration screen of some sort, etc etc etc.

For anime, Inuyasha (lol) is on hold at the moment, but I finished off Evangelion for reals (yay).  I didn't expect the ah..."change of direction" at the end of the series to be so...SUDDEN...but thinking about it, it makes sense.  For some reason I expected that to start happening earlier, but it really was compacted into the last little bit.  Anyways, now I'm making my way through the latter parts of Onii Sama e...which has had some quite nice episodes.  I don't really know what to say about it without having to explain a lot of other things about the anime, so I won't really bother, but it has been good.

Not much melee these days, but one thing that is exciting is that Rishi and KJH made it into summit!  Woot!  Should be a good lineup!  That's pretty exciting.

Also been catching up on going through random music that I've got backlogged on my drive, including Chronology (jazz rearrangement album of Chrono Trigger, it's pretty nice!), as well as Harmony of Heroes (super smash bros giant rearrangement album) and the Final Smash extension (those two didn't have that much that was to my liking, but a few things here and there were nice).  As I said, it just feels nice to be making progress on things.  I even went through all of my accumulated deviantArt notifications the other day, haha.  I'm actually trying to get back into my habit of using my little batch script to open up a bunch of websites every morning for me to check for updates!  Anyways, all of these things feel great to be going back to.  I should also be putting out my "Monthlies" release for this month relatively soon too!

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