Tuesday, March 31, 2020

I got a bit down thinking about social contact, about people and how they care about each other, or don't care.  About how we choose and don't choose to engage with each other when not forced to.


It got me really depressed.  And I was going to try to figure out how to put it all into words, but of course, I don't need to, because I already did, 8 years ago.


So just read that instead.  Because 8 years later, it's pretty much the same thing.  The only difference is that at least I have found the people who care.

And don't get me wrong -- that is a world of difference.  But it is still really sad to think about.  Really sad to call these people that I know won't answer.  But I have to.  Because if I don't, I know I'll have truly given up.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Isolation

But physical isolation has never =been= the issue.  All those years I spent alone, I spent alone not because I lacked the opportunity to come face to face with others, but simply because no one else cared about the same things, in the same ways.  The loneliness of being a creator, of having interests that others shared neither a passion for nor the work ethic for.  Growing up, I wasn't the only one who played video games, but somehow I seemed to be the only one who =understood= them.


The necessity of clinging to the past.  The importance of routine.  The ability to follow through.  The mental aptitude to research, experiment, practice, and learn.  Even those who shared my interests were never able to become my peers.  As I learned, on my own, to develop games, to compose music, to create pixel art, to play, to create, to perform, and practice, in the end it was only me.  To say nothing of the alttpr runs, the puyo chain practice sessions, the poi moves, the glowsticking sessions.  If I had ever been one to be motivated by social energy and community, I would have given up on all of these things long, long ago.

That is not to say that these communities do not exist, or thrive, even.  But it is all but impossible, or perhaps not even desirable at times, for me to find them and seek them out.  Such is the plight of the ISFJ in tech, the antisocial social dancer, the game developer who does not attend GDC, ...

But this, at least, is a place where the internet has helped people like me find like-minded others.  Not even just to be part of a community, but at the very least to share knowledge, to learn from others, and to feel that you are not alone in your pursuits.  I do One Hour Compo every week for myself, not for the community, but I can't deny for a second that when I jump into IRC with these people and listen to their entries week after week, I feel a little bit less alone.

Blogging, too, and expressing personal thoughts, is something that once upon a time, I did not feel alone in.  But as I've written time and time again, that time seems to be long over now, and the herd has moved on, migrated to greener pastures, leaving this land barren.  No one has to stay behind to tend to these spaces.  But some of us do anyways.

If nothing else, though, what =has= changed in my life is that I know that I am not alone in looking back towards the past.  Even if your past is yours, and yours alone to treasure, to remember, and to mourn, perhaps there is solace in knowing that other people believe in your ideals as well.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Been doing lots of rando runs...had a 1:43:30.13 in ALTTPR which could have been even faster if I hadn't mistakenly miscounted keys in PoD -- I thought I had to go into the back to get the big key but turned out it was in harmless hellway all along, gah.  It didn't waste me THAT much time because I had to get the lamp anyways because I can't do turtle rock somaria maze in the dark yet, but still, that felt silly.  It was a pretty easy seed, lots of insane items in kakariko meant lots of stuff was way open early game, so a lot of it was just execution and deciding what to check.  A lot of other people got stuck on go-mode flippers which ended up being on graveyard ledge, but I ended up routing that in thankfully.  I skipped pendant Skull Woods...I feel like I'm starting to learn that I really need to just suck it up and do Skull Woods.  At least I made the right calls in not full clearing thieves town or swamp palace.  I'm starting to take risks! :)  Also did some dark rooms for the first time (easy ones, but still...).  One disturbing habit I have is I keep on forgetting to route in Hyrule castle escape/back of escape checks...I skipped those entirely this entire playthrough...

Got a blazing fast 1:11:28.86 in SM varia randomizer (major/minor split), due to the seed being almost as straightforward as you could ask for.  Did end up having to double dip Maridia since I couldn't find Speed Booster or Ice Beam (ended up finding speed at wrecked ship before coming back), but aside from that it was a very generous seed for sure.

Decided to abort on the old desktop conversion to arcade-type machine project -- I packed all the stuff back inside the original tower so at least now I don't have a bunch of random computer parts lying around on the floor anymore...

Worked pretty hard today...hopefully will try to take it a bit easier tomorrow.

Doing a little bit of work, every day...hopefully it's enough for now.  Things that are still on my mind for the near future are working on more music, taking care of either the 4wide trainer or prepping for LD, taking care of bday letters, and of course doing pixel art, both for next month's monthlies and also for All in a Day's Work 5.

In the meantime I've been carefully curating a whole boatload of Stardew Valley Mods in preparation for picking that up again.  I'm pretty happy with all of the ones I've found, the only dubious one is Stardew Valley Expanded as it feels quite ambitious in terms of its changes and I'm not 100% sure how much I like that, but we'll have to see.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Happy to report that I was able to trim my nails using an actual nail clipper for the first time in...probably over 10 years, probably even more than that.  (they still feel too long even after trimming)

To all my other nail-biting habit comrades, you got this come on I believe in you!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

I can write, even if there is nothing special to say.  It's what I did every single day back in high school, after all.


I've successfully gone quite a while without biting my nails...they feel so long now, even though they're really not.  I need to clip them soon, for my own sanity...

The rain has been...nice.  This weather has been really nice.  I can't decide whether it's a great thing to be inside with such nice weather or a sad thing to be inside with such nice weather.  Who needs sunny days?

I had a string of band-related dreams, sometime this past week, I feel like, but I think they're past now.  I don't know why it's such a thing...even now.  Why is it that in my dreams I'm still coming back to do that thing?  For a long time, I understood it clearly, for it was something that I was still passionate about.  But no more...for I have found many other things that are more important to me...

It's the start of a new week tomorrow... and life continues.  I'm trying to do my best to make progress on little things, here and there -- just small things, cleaning up little things, etc.  There's always more to be done, but if I just make sure I'm doing a little bit every day, it's all gonna be okay.

What task will I work on tomorrow?

Life continues, one more day at a time.  I finished polishing up that commission track, wrote up a bday letter, AND also clipped the foley sounds, which resulted in a pretty nice set of samples.  My ears feel pretty fatigued, hopefully it was just from the extraction process and not just something inherent to the samples that is aggravating on the ear =( You never know, but hopefully in the context of a mix they'll sit well.

Carnival of DEATH starts in 3 days =O...and on the horizon the ominous shadow of Ludum Dare 46 looms ever so slightly larger.  Will I really be ready for it when it comes?  I'm actually pretty hopeful that I will be, since I've got all of a month basically to prepare.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Made dirty rice yesterday, with a big helping of chicken liver.  I worked pretty hard on Thursday so I tried to take it a little easier yesterday.  Managed to set aside some time for both glowsticking and a poi session outside later in the night, so I definitely got my exercise in.  Poi has been going really well still -- I keep on wondering when I'll just run out of things to work on, but somehow I seem to just sort of naturally be happening upon new stuff to try out and/or improve.  Currently I've been focusing on a whole bunch of butterfly variations...

As I mentioned I was planning on doing, I took OHC time on Thursday to work on commission stuff.  Worked pretty well, and I managed to basically finish the first track of a soundtrack commission -- just needs some polishing up and mixing adjustments and then I'll be able to call it done.

Slowly continuing to replace my avatar in various sites as I come across them.  Feels really strange leaving my old one behind since it's become so iconic, but though I'm always slow to change, it doesn't mean that I won't too someday move.

Not quite sure what the plan for today is.  There are a number of options...maybe getting some fresh air, maybe clipping those foley sounds, maybe doing an ALttPR run, maybe finishing that commissioning work, maybe just catching up on various things.  On the plus side, we're still pretty good on food supplies, so no need to worry about that yet.  Lots of lamb meat in the near future, yum...

I miss meowmies!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Right, I'm blogging more often now.


I've been making the most of this chance to cook all sorts of different foods, from the very familiar (sausage, rice, onions, yum), to the not-so-familiar (broccoli and cheddar soup??).

Yesterday for lunch I helped make a five-spice flavor profile pork shoulder soup that I made with some leftover pork shoulder (the extra ones that didn't end up getting turned into carnitas).  Used the pressure cooker, added some veggies and noodles and such, turned out decently!  I don't really work with this sort of five-spice flavor very much, but it wasn't bad.

For dinner we had sous vide pork carnitas which we cooked for the greater part of 24 hours along with a marinate, then shredded, and charred with a blowtorch before pouring some of the juices back on.  We didn't have the full assortment of taco toppings (no white onion, no guac, ...) but we made do with what we had and the pork of course was juicy and delicious.  Had a good bit of leftover pork as well!

Did my ALttPR run for the second week of March and got only a few minutes above 2 hours...could have been sub 2 with a few different decisions or different executions.  I played relatively conservatively instead of taking risks, and I think on my next run I'm going to start to take some educated risks instead of always opting to full-clear stuff.  I'm definitely starting to get a bit of a spidey sense as to where my progression items are pointing me toward, though obviously my routing still needs a lot of practice.  My execution as well, of course -- I died twice trying to do silverless ganon before finally succeeding.

Drew a new profile photo!  Look at this cute thing:


This was for this month's "Monthlies" cover.  Used an 8-color palette that someone else had made up on lospec.com, the colors are so pretty!  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the background on this one...in the end I'm really happy with how it turned out, I spent time ironing out pretty much every different part of it, trying different things here and there.  This is probably the best pixel art work that I've ever done.  I've come a long way...

I'm pretty overdue for working on new music and commission stuff, so I think I'll probably use OHC time today to work on soundtrack commission work.


Monday, March 16, 2020

wheeeeeeeeeee

The world is going crazy, but today was great!

I had yummy dumplings for lunch, and did some Tai Chi for the first time in a very long time.  I didn't go to the park or anything, just did it outside, with the cloudy weather outside, birds chirping, and rain slightly drizzling at times.  It felt so great.

We made some more progress on Dark Souls, finally -- at the Tomb of the Giants now, having demolished Pinwheel.  Lost a bunch of souls afterwards to the big skellies, but doesn't really feel super bad honestly, I feel like at this point we are not really worried about completionism or anything, we're ready to just go through the rest of the environments and try to beat the game (I don't think there is a ton more?).

Did oodles of grocery shopping today, which was so fun!  I've always been cooking pretty much everyday, but now that going out to eat is an even more rare thing, I'm probably gonna be cooking the vast majority of my own meals.  Can't say I have a problem with that at all!  I'm probably never as excited as I am when I'm going grocery shopping...so many possibilities!

It was quite interesting seeing what of the shelves were completely empty and ransacked versus what was hardly touched at all.  Of course, it wasn't a 100% accurate picture, but the meat section was super revealing, if anything -- the entire chicken section, completely empty except for, of course, the chicken livers.  Whereas the lamb section looked.......perfectly normal, hahahaha.  I eat a great deal more lamb than chicken, so....works for me, I guess?  Shelves of SPAM completely wiped out....yeah, it was a fascinating survey of what people are buying / not buying.

I'm finally getting over my cold, which means this next week I'll probably not have as much of an excuse to not be productive.  Honestly can't tell whether I feel excited or scared of that, but at least not feeling tired all the time is bound to be a good thing, right?

Friend helped me record a bunch of foley sounds that I'm going to try and sample through to use in a future song!  Should be fun.  I definitely need to get cracking on some music stuff this next week, so hopefully that or some other stuff can happen soon.

Been continuing to do more ALttPR seeds.  I've started doing some weekly community seeds as well, so I can get some comparisons to other racers in the community, as well as compare other people's experiences with the seed.  I did one for the first week of March, and felt like I did super sloppy, but actually ended up with a half-decent time anyways?  It was a pretty ugly seed, I think all dungeons ended up being required basically...reading the comments by other runners, a lot of other people sort of also had a sloppy way through it as well.

I've done a bit more reading about how the logic works, mainly about how finding an item early means it probably "has a meaning" / unlocks something later, and to be suspicious about it if you haven't found that yet.  For example if you find flippers early, but don't find anything in zora, or waterfall fairy, etc., that points to Swamp Palace or Ice Palace having a high probability of having something important in it.  This is a concept that I'm really going to have to get used to (maybe through some z3rsim practice), but at least I'm starting to wrap my head around it.

Puyo Puyo -- I feel like my progress has really slowed.  At this point I really need to study some common GTR tailing patterns and take it slow to get used to really building clean tails.

Got to write some more letters the other day...

meowmies are great.