Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wishlist is always maintained at for those of you who want that kind of thing.

Work is super interesting but can't really talk about it.

Pretty much finished the SMB3 map remix last night!  Which was really nice, it turned out well and that was my main goal for the night, so mission accomplished.  I think I am still screwed for xmas stuff (as usual, maybe even more than usual) but on the plus side I am getting through 2-3 (albeit short) letters a day so that's good.  Need to do a round of xmas shopping somewhere, maybe valley fair or great mall?  Or start looking for stuff online too...  Still need to finish japan planning, that might be a next big item to look at.  Got the portfolio site done over thanksgiving, that was great!

LD has been getting really positive feedback, despite the fact that I didn't really think it was that impressive ^^;  So that's cool too.

Got S9 in TAP Master randomly, twice.  I guess I'm better at TGM now which feels quite great.  I actually wasn't far off from M rank!!!  I don't know how many of the section time/tetris requirements I missed but my final time was 8:55 which is only 10 seconds off, so at this rate I might just end up getting TAP master M before I get Death GM rank =O

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Have you ever waited for something so long, you thought it would never happen?

I'm not sure how to explain how I feel right now, but that this is both an end, but also not an end.  A beginning, too.  I guess, it wouldn't even matter how it happened, to be honest.  Only that it did.  That it happened at all, is a miracle.  That, by itself, is...

Oh, how time has passed.  And if I could, I might give you that time back.  But perhaps, it's better to look forward, and not back.  I always looked back, hoping I could find you.  But just maybe, if I turn around, I would catch a glimpse of you in the road ahead.  I don't know if I would ever meet you.  Perhaps I wouldn't.  But that would never stop me from calling out.  Even if I knew you wouldn't hear.

I told you once, that there's no meaning in a letter not read.  But that's not true.  Not true at all...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What have I even been doing all my life?  I should just listen to downtempo ambient chill music, emotionally evocative soundscapes and soundtracks.  Why do I produce music that is catchy if it doesn't truly mean something?

...overexaggerating quite a bit here, but seriously though.  Sometimes I wonder why it's such a dichotomy, that sometimes it seems like I like things that are not really in line with my personality.  But then...I remember that my personality is never so one-dimensional as that.  I am not just one type of person, neither is anyone else.

Christmas letters are at 11 done so far.  I have to do some birthday stuff as well.  Slightly worried about gifts, but...that's actually a very small worry compared to some other stuff my body seems to be stressing out about.  Annoying.

There's a SF3:Third Strike arcade machine at work so I've been trying to take that up and get slightly decent at it.  SF is hard and learning to do motions on the joystick is also a challenge, but it's not impossible and it's actually fun to play against other people once in a while.  I'm mainly using Ryu right now since he makes the most "sense" to me intuitively, but Ken and Chun Li are options as well, though I don't have a solid handle on all of their stuff yet.  I think I just realized today that I can probably get a lot better execution if I just try to slow down all of my inputs and take my time.  Especially when I'm doing stuff like DPs, you actually get quite a large timing window in which to input the command (I was testing), but in the heat of the battle I tend to rush it and then screw it up.  Of course sometimes you actually do need to do it fast, for reaction timing or in a chain, but probably better to err on the side of slow and consistent.

Been starting to do small experiments on redoing my writing grip to a more standard tripod grip.  I still have very little precision with it but I can at least write legibly? (if messy)  I'm sure it will take a lot more practice before I'm used to it...but I can revisit my handwriting at the same time and try out some different styles as well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Christmas letters: 7 down, ...some number more to go!  Maybe 30 is the number to aim for this year?  I have ~37 days left until Christmas anyways, I shouldn't push myself too hard and go for 40.  We'll see how it all turns out.

I actually feel like I am really gaining momentum with these xanga blog postings!  Don't mind doing more than one a day--that used to be common practice back in the xanga days anyway!  Maybe now that we're crossposting to G+, I just feel more compelled to use blogspot rather than a FB status update of some sort.  Which is...very nice, in a way.  Something about making an actual blog post as opposed to an ephemeral status update is just...satisfying.

Just a dummy post to test a twitterfeed booboo, as well as G+ crossposting.

Sometimes, I almost feel like posting over at Love Everlasting, my wordpress archive of my now-lost xanga site.  I don't know, just because of the history of it all, you know?  It takes time to settle into a new home.  I still consider just paying the $48/years for xanga premium sometimes.  I know it wouldn't be the same though, and blogspot is surely a more convenient option now anyways.  It was a good move.  But the history will still always remain.  I still have flashbacks to thoughts, things that I wrote about, and "the way that I was".  But...of course.  We all have thoughts like that sometimes, memories of the past, don't we?  Maybe I do a little bit more often than most, or maybe not.  I'm a little less hung up on it now.  I'm still just as sentimental about the past, but I also value the here and now just as much, and even the future too.  Because eventually, all of these things will be past.  And they are all worth treasuring.  Even if this blogger site doesn't feel like it carries history now, surely it might, someday.  In fact...I do feel like I've made enough writings on here, that it's important to me too.  A lot of those writings were lost, confused, and searching for what I should do, but I won't deny that part of my history, just as I won't deny the times when I just felt forever lonely, "in a rut".

Hah, just what got me out of "the rut" anyhow?  I think a lot about myself had to change in order for me to stop feeling that way.  It certainly was not that I wasn't trying hard enough...I know for sure that back then, I "worked" harder for friendship than I do now.  I tried very hard...I wrote many letters, made many calls.  Started many chat windows.  I almost wonder, if things would have gone better if I had not had that determination to try so hard?  Because in the end, I just needed to change.  To value different things, to value different people.  And also, to reconsider what it truly means, to be a good friend to someone.  Hard not enough.  I guess it was a bit futile, in the end.  But I wouldn't ever, ever deny or regret those things that I did.  Even if they were futile or misguided, the "past me" is very very dear to me.  Even if he is not a person I would even like if I met him today, I am thankful that he existed, and will always remember it fondly.  Back then...I was more loud, for certain.  I'm actually happy, that I'm a bit quieter now.  I wonder if he would approve, too?  I think...he might.

Speaking of moving on, and things of new...I have a new job now, at Machine Zone, since us folks at Quark have gotten gobbled up and acquired by them.  Of course, I can't say much about it, not only because I shouldn't, but also because I've only spent a day there so far.  But...I'm sure that it will take time to settle into this, as well.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Can't sleep =/  First it was because I was just feeling emotional, so I went to draw using charcoal.  Then it was because my mind was too busy imagining that I was waltzing, doing waltz competitions at VBall, and doing waltz lifts.  Then I started thinking about food and ended up looking up some cooking stuff...I've actually been trying to learn a whole bunch of random crap to educate myself about things like cooking science, broiling fish, different theories on cooking steaks, spices and herbs, and cheeses...then I got hungry and I just made myself a sandwich...

I also discovered to my chagrin that the spinach dip that I bought has water chestnuts in it.  Water chestnuts!  Seriously?  People do this?  Water chestnuts?  Ugh!  Mixing crunchy bits into creamy chewy spinach dip...forget the fact that I don't care for the taste of water chestnuts much (thank goodness they at least are not real nuts), but I think the mixing of different textures like that is something that I universally dislike in my food...ugh.

Water chestnuts!?!?  Come on...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Random assorted thoughts...

- Broiled salmon is amazing!

- Feeling slightly sick...not too bad but just been feeling weak in general and get low on energy easily.  Hope it doesn't kill my weekend too much, but I guess I'll just have to try and take it easy.  Luckily I don't actually think the convention will be brim-packed with things to do like Fanime or anything.

- "Hopeless Romantic" by fearofdark has been my jam recently.  I can't help but just roll down the windows and blast it while I'm driving.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A.M.R. - State of Mind (Original Mix)

Just discovered this song in my collection.  I have a bunch of trance that I downloaded from 2007-2008, courtesy of nmestar99 on the forums back when that place was still alive and chugging away.  Most of it is a bit dated for my current tastes but there are definitely some good gems lying around in there.  Trance is so good.  I'm making a playlist out of all of these old goodies so that I can go through them and see if there is anything else good lying around in there.

Every time I think of this blog I keep on thinking to myself, what am I supposed to write??  And I think of a bunch of things that I could write about, complaints, feelings, whatever, and I keep on feeling self-conscious about all of it, and then I just end up not writing anything.  Well....screw it all, I should just write...whatever.  That after all is the whole point of this thing, right? is a bit hard.  I've "grown up" in that I can no longer in good conscience blurt out whatever is on my mind.  I think that's neither a great thing nor a terrible thing, really.  I mean it's great that I've matured and am more self-conscious and people probably got annoyed or at least displeased by my old writing style way back when...heck, I've gotten annoyed at other people for the same reason.  But it's a tradeoff too...

I tried using oil pastels today!  Me and B have been meeting weekly for art sessions, which has been great!  It's nice to have someone else to go get you motivated and force yourself to go out and actually do stuff.

This was what I came out with today:

It was pretty fun!  I liked the oil pastels a lot more than expected; I think most of the picture is meh but blending the light/shadow of the wooden bridge was super satisfying!

I was not feeling that great today, actually yesterday at some points not feeling quite up to snuff either.  Part of it is needing to take care of myself better, rest when I should, blahblahblah.  I've also been fighting a minor battle with stress recently these days, it seems that my body is always feeling a bit more stressed than my conscious mind knows it should.  It's really annoying; I never used to have this kind of feeling but it happens to me nowadays--that "fight or flight" response feeling despite not actually having anything of impending doom coming.  So that's annoying to deal with.  Sometimes I am just not all there, like...not doing the things I should be doing, letting time while away.  It's important that I catch myself during those times, I think.  I wonder why it happens to me more often now than it used to?  It worries me a lot when I think about it, actually.  It's really frightening.  It could really just be that I'm stressed because I feel like I'm not accomplishing anything...maybe blogging about it will help?

Or perhaps really it's just a loneliness, maybe even a specific kind of "loneliness" that I didn't use to feel before.  That feeling is there, I'm sure of it, and perhaps more than I let myself know at times.  Maybe I can do something about it too.  I guess sometimes I let that kind of eat away at me without realizing it.

I've been drafting MtG with my brother's group on Wednesdays, which is quite fun!  I will probably skip this week just because I need time to do stuff like trip planning and because Thursday I've got OHC following by Risk of Rain with friends, and Friday early morning I leave for LA.  All of the trip planning stuff is a bit stressful; the LA one is basically figured out (yay) but my East coast trip is not really ironed out and it's difficult because I want to find Kiki, but really she is always difficult to pin down.  It's not the end of the world if I can't find her, but really...

Then there is the Japan trip which needs to be figured out, I think that one is a bit stressful just because it really is time for it to be figured out (two months away) and there is a lot of planning still to be done.  Despite that, good progress has been made so far so it really is just a matter of putting some hours into it.

I have been getting the itch to try designing a new MtG set but I haven't really come up with anything solid yet.  I think I need some mechanical ideas or at least some sort of theme to tie things around before I can start just going and seeing what is possible with design.  Last time with my Ravnica sets it was super easy because I already knew exactly what I wanted to do--just do RTR with different cards and a new keyword for each guild.  The difficulty there was that multicolor design space is limited so it was difficult to find a mechanic that really fit each guild, but in the end I actually think I did quite well if I do say so myself.  Let's actually take a trip down memory lane here and re-examine the mechanics of Return to Return to Ravnica (RtRtR):

Azorius (WU)
Mechanic: Decree -- At the beginning of your next upkeep, [effect].

Example card:
Azorius Adjudicator - 1WU
Creature -- Human Judge
Decree -- At the beginning of your next upkeep, you may return another nontoken creature to its owner's hand.

This was actually a really great design and one of the standout successes of RtRtR.  The wording is a little weird and there might be a better templating.  People were asking whether the ability triggers every time, but I think it's pretty obvious/clear that the ability only triggers once (otherwise it would say "at the beginning of your upkeep".  This wording has been used for the "pact" cards anyways.
Anyways the mechanic actually played really well.  I had a 1W 2/2 creature that had Decree -- you may tap target creature and that was a super-satisfying design because the timing of Decree works out exactly in tandem with the timing of summoning sickness, so your decree trigger is on the same turn that you can swing in.  So that was pretty cool to see actually come together.  I think this was a really nice fit for the Azorius guild as well, and created some interesting blocking scenarios where you were less willing to block in fear of losing your decree trigger.

Golgari (BG)
Mechanic: Ingest (You may exile a creature card from your graveyard as this creature enters the battlefield. If you do, it enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it.)

Example card:
Golgari Gravewurm - 2BG
Creature -- Wurm
Ingest (You may exile a creature card from your graveyard as this creature enters the battlefield. If you do, it enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it.)

Sort of like "reverse Scavenge".  The trick here was to make creatures that were slightly behind curve when played without Ingest but slightly ahead of curve when you could Ingest.  There's also an interesting tension for spending cards in your graveyard as a resource and there was a really nice enabler I designed called Delve which was B - mill yourself for 2 and you may return a creature from your graveyard to your hand.  That was an awesome card because at first glance it seems like another Raise Dead variant but it actually doubles as an Ingest enabler so turn 1 Delve is actually a really nice play even if you don't get anything.  Some of the fancier Ingest cards had interactions with +1/+1 counters, like as long as it has a +1/+1 counter it has trample or something.  Or there was one where you can remove the +1/+1 counter and pay to give creatures -1/-1 or something.  In hindsight I should have made the mechanic "Ingest X" so that the higher-rarity Ingest creatures could exile multiple creatures to grow even bigger.

Rakdos (BR)
Mechanic: Kamikaze -- Whenever [cardname] attacks, [effect].  If you do, sacrifice it at the end of combat.

Example card:
Faceless Menace - 2BR
Creature -- Demon
Kamikaze -- Whenever Faceless Menace attacks, you may have it gain “Creatures with power less than Faceless Menace’s power can’t block it.” If you do, sacrifice it at the end of combat.

You'll notice that the power is pushed a bit in this set.  A 4/4 for cmc4 seems a bit too strong for me nowadays, but I guess at the time my average impression of power was a bit skewed and I didn't realize for example how significant it could be to have a 3/3 for 2G (nessian courser in theros was good!).  Kamikaze was probably the weakest mechanic in the set here.  It was a flavor hit I think, because it ties into Rakdos's explosive nature where you just do whatever it takes to get in there.  However, it's a bad mechanic because it forces you to do something you don't want to do--sacrifice your guy.  Usually the effect is such that you really want to think before you just throw away your guy, even if it doesn't seem like your creature is relevant on the board anymore.  So even though it's an interesting tension for short-term gain vs long-term benefit, I think in the end it wasn't that satisfying to play with.

Selesnya (GW)
Mechanic: Herd -- [effect] as long as you control four or more creatures.

Example card:
Selesnya Trooper - GW
Creature - Elephant Soldier
Herd — Selesnya Trooper gets +1/+2 as long as you control four or more creatures.

This was another problematic mechanic as it was too win-more.  This one was actually designed by someone at mtgsalvation and I blatantly stole it.  The problem with this mechanic (besides being too similar to Battalion) is that keeping four creatures on the board was actually too hard even with token-producing support.  Furthermore, it led to huge blowouts when your fourth creature got removed mid-combat.  And, it led to you not being able to make early-game trades well because you wanted to keep your creatures alive.  This was sort of a development issue and maybe it could have been fixed by adding some more creatures like the "Wall of Fungus" that I made -- 0/2 uncommon for 2G that spawns 1/1 saprolings whenever it takes damage (yes, I made this card before Hornet Nest!) -- cards that allow you to take early game trades.  I at least made a 2G 2/2 that gave you a 1/1 when it died, so that was something.  But overall the Selesnya game plan was a bit too susceptible.  I'm not really sure what the best solution would be other than to either try to deal with it via balancing (tricky) or just come up with an entirely different mechanic.

Izzet (UR)
Mechanic: Chain Reaction -- If another instant or sorcery spell you control has resolved this turn, [effect].

Example card:
Phaseshift - UR
Target creature becomes unblockable until end of turn.
Chain Reaction — If another instant or sorcery spell you control has resolved this turn, that creature also gets +2/+0 until end of turn.

This was another mechanic stolen from mtgsalvation.  This one was a perfect fit for Izzet, which is a guild traditionally geared towards Johnnies.  It's a bit difficult to work with for limited because you need a high concentration of instants and sorceries, but having to do elaborate setups is exactly what Johnny feeds off of anyhow.  In addition, the spells here also fit the Izzet gameplan of just ending the game out of nowhere with unblockable huge creatures and such, and firing off volleys of spells.  The rares were also really flashy, with one that duplicate-cast all of your sorceries and instants, which was pretty amazing *if* you could go off with it.

So there you have it, those were the mechanics.  There were still some balancing and design issues when I left the set for RtG (Return to Gatecrash), but all in all it was a pretty fun thing to design and playtest and have people play at work.  Return to Gatecrash was a little bit less successful in my mind because I didn't have as strong mechanics.  Let's look at what I had:

Simic (GU):
Mutate [cost] (If you cast this card for its mutate cost, it’s an Aura spell with enchant creature. It becomes a creature again if it’s not attached to a creature.)

Yeah, this is just Bestow.  I wanted Simic to be about Auras because in my mind Simic was all about improving creatures (G brings the huge creatures, U brings modifications to them that make them evasive and/or better) and auras seemed like it would be their expertise.  So having auras that could also serve as creatures somehow, or something like totem armor, would make sense.  The idea was that you'd have "Cytoplasts" which would be biomasses that could either fight on their own or be infused onto other creatures.  In the end I'm not sure bestow was exactly the right way to do this but it was tested and tried so it was pretty simple in terms of making sure it worked.  I experimented with some other costs and ability combinations for the bestow creatures which turned out interesting, including a 1/1 flyer for U that bestowed for 2U (and gave flying), and a 0/3 for 1U bestow for 3U that had U - gets +1/-1 until end of turn, which was pretty interesting (maybe a bit too complex for common?).

Boros (RW):
Rally — When [name] enters the battlefield, creatures you control get [bonus].

This was difficult to find a lot of design space for, but it fit the boros theme.  Before I had a really degenerate sliver-like version of this where it triggered on attacking, but now it triggers on ETB.  It's still really strong since if you curve out right you basically have an anthem effect, but the bonuses were kept small enough (+1/+0, +0/+1) that it was still reasonable.  In the end I think this ended up being pretty alright?  I forget...

Orzhov (WB):
Soul Drain X (Whenever this creature is blocked, target opponent loses X life.)

This mechanic was *weird* was also super interesting.  There are basically 3 situations here--when your soul drain is less than your power, you almost always want to block the creature, just as normal.  When soul drain is equal to your power, then you only want to block the creature if you're sure you can kill it.  When soul drain is *greater* than your power then it's weird and you really only block if you know you can kill it.
It was a nice fit for Orzhov because it's a lose-lose situation for the blocker, and lets Orzhov just grind the other guy out.  The common WB soul drain card is a 1WB 1/4 vigilance soul drain 1, which is pretty much the poster child for Soul Drain here.  The other standout design is a 1/1 for W with Soul Drain 2 and 1W: gets +0/+1 until end of turn, which was always interesting to play with.  My friend was convinced that he was overpowered, but I didn't really think so as 1W is really quite a significant cost early game and 1 damage is not significant late game.

Dimir (UB):
Stealth [cost] -- (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its stealth cost.)

Yeah, this is morph.  Probably not the best choice since morph is usually better when you have a bunch of different morph cards at common, but it is actually a nice flavor fit for dimir since they are about being sneaky and such.  I usually had a lot of flip effects here, like the common 2/2 flyer for 1UB that unmorphed for 2UB and gave another creature -2/-2 (probably too strong).  I really had a lot of trouble thinking of a good Dimir mechanic.  It was hard.

Gruul (RG):
Ambush — [cost], Choose a blocked creature you control: Put this creature into play tapped, attacking, and blocked by the same creatures as that creature.

This one was the worst of the bunch just because it was too complicated.  I think it was an interesting mechanic, but as a set mechanic it's too complicated for people to understand what it is doing and it complicated combat too much.  I like that it basically is a way to use creatures as combat tricks and possibly have them turn into full creatures afterwards, which is kind of like bloodrush but in a different way, and I think Gruul is really all about combat tricks and combat stuff (attacking!), but this is just too complicated and you have rules questions about multiple attackers being blocked by the same blockers, etc.  I thought of an alternative mechanic for Gruul based on a hybrid card I had, which is basically something like Evoke -- you cast a card for a reduced cost and it gains haste, usually some creature with an ETB effect.  But I'm not sure how well that would work out, design-wise.

Anyhoo, I've gone on for way too long here so it's time for me to call it a night...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I still cannot believe about the Sanrio boutique stores closing down...only ones left around here now are Great Mall, Eastridge Mall, and Hillsdale.

I understand there are a bunch of corporate and business strategy reasons for it ( and Nakajima is pushing for licensed merchandise sold at big retailers (Hello Kitty goods sold at Target, Walmart, Fry's, whathaveyou) but there is something really important to me about going into a Sanrio store and just feeling really happy and at home.  Even if I didn't end up buying much, going to the Valley Fair, Westfield SF stores was always a delight, they were so bright and colorful and browsing the aisles was always so fun.  Without these stores I would have to go look online to buy all of the Cinnamoroll, Little Twin Stars items and the actual high quality Sanrio merchandise, which I guess theoretically shouldn't be the end of the world, but still just very sad that that experience is gone.

On the plus side I will probably be traveling to Japan in a couple of months, so I can make another pilgrimage to Puroland or something...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

PSA for bandcamp downloads

Alright, after the influx of downloads from Korean folks, I'm now completely out of free bandcamp download credits.  I've known for a while that 200 free downloads per month was getting unsustainable, and so I knew this time would come.  I'm not going to pay more out of my own pocket to enable the free downloads again as that's not really self- sustainable either.  So:

- All of my latest albums are now set to $1 each until further notice.  This includes all of my official albums as well as "Monthlies" albums from the current calendar year.

- Monthlies from before this year are still unavailable at the moment.

Obviously the latter point is not ideal.  I also don't think every single one of my albums deserves to be a paid album, for instance some of the albums that are a single track only, like the TwinkleShooter OST.

Moving forward I think there are two options for how to take care of these:

Option (A) is that I find a better way to host the music for free somewhere (I'm open to suggestions).  Dropbox unfortunately is not an option anymore since my monthly batch downloads are huge (worse when it's the FLAC version) and dropbox has bandwidth limits (20GB/day free 200GB/day corporate).  I could do amazon S3 or something?

Option (B) is that I start making mega-compilation albums as actual bandcamp albums.  There are no actual limits on sizing for bandcamp albums, so theoretically I can upload the entirety of Monthlies Batch Download 2013 as a single bandcamp album with individual cover art for each track.  Or I could even just do a $1 album for "all free material I've released in 2013" which could include things like the TwinkleShooter OST.  Seems reasonable...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Short and Sweet, The Adventures of Billy Anderson, KeyBlox, PatientBarrage, RelentlessWaves, GrooveNet, LoopMuse, One of a Kind, TwinkleShooter, Gulliver, World of Snow, Cosmic Melody, Minimalist MAYHEM, Marriage Quest, Hyper Furball, Match Girl, Ripple Runner, Rain...

Someday I will record a video stream of myself going through all of my different works.  A "speedrun" of sorts.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Even if I could reconnect with the past, would I?  To go back to the past and connect with it, to connect with the people there, would also mean to be changing it, to be changing both past, present, and future.  To change is to die.  Would I really want to "destroy" what I held so precious, just to experience it again?  To go back to the past does not mean avoiding loss.  To go back to the past, means giving up the present, and the future.  What really, is the difference, then?  Only that one is known, and the other, foreign and uncertain.  I guess sometimes, the past really is better than the present.  And it is that sense of regret that makes me, makes us wish that we could go in the other direction, to go back to what is known instead of being forced to do what is right, and look for a better place with our heads turned forwards.  Is longing for the past really much different than wishing for something that does not exist in the present?  Or hoping for a future that does not exist?

This weekend has not been a bad one, not really bad at all.  After that last post about Yasunori Mitsuda's music, I started to work on Rain (the game we'd been working on this summer) while my pot roast/stew cooked, and made good progress.  In fact, after continuing to work on it for most of the night, I'm really happy to say that I've just about finished!  All that's left is to square away some minor things to get it ready for release (mostly making sure the soundtrack is all prepped to go), and then it can be shared with the world.  It's been a long time coming...Rain has really been the fruition of multiple months worth of contemplation, planning, and execution, so it's really great to see it finally come together as a finished product.

I spent a good part of Saturday testing out the commons from Khans of Tarkir (the new Magic set) with my brother.  We've learned some useful things about the format, but of course it's limited testing and I do think that the uncommons and rares will change things significantly in some ways, yet I think our restricted environment was also fairly representative in other ways as well.  Aggro seemed really weak in M15 when we were doing our testing for that, but we turned out to be slightly off base, as it wasn't quite as bad as we thought it was, mostly due to the fact that we were testing it against the really good decks.  I think there is something to be said about the fact that sealed pools will generally lead to mediocre curves, so if your pool *does* happen to have a good low-curve deck with consistency and some removal to punch through, that might be a game plan.  But in Khans I'm still seeing that as more of the exception than the rule, just because there are all these guys with huge butts and huge guys that start coming down on turns 5 and later.  By that time all of your 1-4 drops get outclassed unless they have some sort of evasion.  The critical point here I think is that there is a distinct shortage of good combat tricks at cmomon, much similar to M15 actually.  Obviously when you compare to Gatecrash you can see the huge difference in that the Boros aggro decks in GTC had both aggressively-costed guys (wojek halberdiers, 3/2 for 2 and skyknight legionnaire, 2/2 flying for 3) as well as combat tricks that you could use to remove blockers (martial glory, some random white combat tricks, mugging, etc).  Even RTR was better in this regard because you had 2/2s, then 3/3 centaur tokens, and you still had combat tricks like giant growth, etc at common so that even if someone was trying to play some defensive deck with 4-toughness guys to hold back the fort, you can 1-for-1 trade them with a combat trick when they blocked.  I don't see that as happening in Khans since their blockers will be things like 1/4 lifelink, 2/5, 0/5, even 3/6 guys are common.  This means your 2/2 guys are completely useless unless you go super-wide with the goblin/warrior token deck I guess.  Maybe if you get a lot of removal?  RB splash w Mardu aggro might be a thing, I guess, since R has things like the arrow 4 damage sorcery, and black has stuff like the 2 mana -2/-2 which is great at taking out their turn 3 morph.  So you do something like...t2 hasty 2/2 attack for 2, t3 3/1 attack for 2, t4 kill their morph and play a 2/1, attack for 5.  Then you act of treason them and kill them?  The problem is that that plan doesn't really work as well when they play a 1-mana 0/4 and then some other dude.  Well, we'll see I guess.

Perhaps the only bad part of this weekend is that it's already 3:15 AM here and I'm yet to be asleep yet.  There are still many things left to be done, but that will have to wait until later in the week I guess.  I need to pace myself at work since I know that I'm at a point where if I start working harder than I should I'll just burn out, so I just need to work smart and work a normal amount.  We're already going in this weekend (bad timing because it's prerelease weekend), so it doesn't make sense to burn myself out before then anyways.  I also still have lots of things I want to draw using charcoal, I keep on thinking of things but no time to draw.  Bleh.  But again, Rain is done now, and that was pretty much the highest priority thing to get finished, so you can't really call that anything other than a victory.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hah, I meant to start typing a blog post and started typing "" into the URL bar.  Old habits die hard, maybe?  Probably just confused that I used anything else after so long...

Sometimes you don't need fancy sound design to evoke poignant emotions.  I have been wondering lately how I could compose music that has the same flavors of meaning.  Music that is not so much "cool" as it is meaningful.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Do you ever get the feeling that you don't know what to say?  Don't know what to write?  Don't know how to draw, how to make the right music, just don't know what you're supposed to do, how to do it, whether to go, how to be?

I opened this page multiple times already, thinking to write something.  But I turned away...I guess I'm just not as "secure" as I used to be, with my thoughts and feelings.  Which is okay, I think.  It's okay not to trust myself all the time.  Because it's true--a lot of the time, I won't always do or say or think or write the right things.  But I guess confidence and security is supposed to mean accepting that and understanding that it's okay.

Unrequited love.  I've had it for how many years now?  When will I ever see you again?  Why wouldn't you answer me?  And should I still keep on calling out?  Shall I just write you one last letter, saying "goodbye."?  Would I ever do that?  Would I ever actually do that?

I don't really know what I want to say here, or what I want you to think.  I think that's why I've been running away.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

Everything makes more sense in hindsight.  We should forgive each other for the mistakes that we make today, and the ones we will make tomorrow.

I'm not really sure what I should be doing.  Am I doing everything as I should?

Friday, June 13, 2014


I promise you


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sometimes, you don't know how you feel about a decision until after you've made it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It really is kind of amusing to go into my letter log spreadsheet to update it and see that the last time I wrote to both of you was exactly one year ago; I guess I was just as late on the birthday letters last year as I am this time around ^^;

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fanime Day 3

Sunday, my last day at Fanime.  Here was my last chance to make the most I could out of the con...

I decided to go without makeup for the day, as I was just...kind of tired after wearing it for the past 3 days or so.  I just wanted to take it a little bit easier and not worry about eyeliner getting all messed up whenever my eyes got irritated or something.

I didn't have anything to do until the Disney gathering at 1PM.  I was going to grab lunch at a sushi place near home but it turns out they were closed for memorial day weekend or something, so I just headed over to the con, found cheap parking (I think I actually parked in a different parking garage every single day of the con, lol!), and grabbed a sandwich from Subway while on the way to the Disney meetup.

I saw many of the same faces that I had the previous day during the Disney Extended Family gathering, but there were some new people here as well, including Queen Elinor!

We finally got a Brave group shot too--look at the little bear! (His name is Hubert)

I ended up making some small talk with the Merida on the right here (and her bear friend) as we were doing other Disney photos and everything.  I also got her in an action pose with her (handmade!) bow:

So cool!  They said they were going to head to the Artist's Alley to meet their friends and then get lunch, and I asked them if I could just hang out with them--they said yes!  So I spent a good portion of the day just hanging out with them, which was super cool!  My first time meeting strangers at Fanime and hanging out with them, I was really happy being able to meet new people like that!  Not to mention...I got to hang out with Merida!  Omg~

After they got lunch, I mentioned to them that I was planning on heading over to the cosplay masquerade show, which started at 4, and they said they would come check it out with me!  After splitting off from them for a bit to go to the gaming hall (played some more TGM3), we met back up and headed over to wait in line for the masquerade.  And...waited for a long time in the line....quite a while, and later we learned that despite what I had read in the forum post ("curtain opens at 4PM sharp") the doors wouldn't open until 5PM for seating, and the actual thing wouldn't start until 6!?!?  -_-  My friends had to leave too--Merida had a flight at 8 or 8:30 or something, so that wasn't going to work.  So we just returned to the artist's alley to reconvene with their friends (I apologized that it turned out that way).  So that was sort of a bummer.  I didn't really want to keep waiting for the masquerade--for one thing, I was tired of being in line, and for another thing, even though I did enjoy it last year, I kind of didn't feel like going to it by myself--I think it wouldn't have really been as fun.  I said to myself (and Merida and bear) that I could always just go and try to watch it on youtube later or something.

I said farewell to my two new friends at that point, and split off with them in search of other people and other things to do.  My memory is actually a bit fuzzy at this point; I think I probably just ended up playing some more TGM3 (running into Kitaru maybe?  Or Ray and Allen, I think it was?  I forget...), texting/twittering/IMing people to see where they were at.  Eventually I left (1-2 hours later or something) and was going to check the masquerade to see if I could get in now.  On my way there I happened to run into Belicia and Erica and co (their mom, Alicia, Katherine, etc) who were on their way to get dinner, so I asked if I could join them.  We went to a hot dog/sandwich/panini place and my panini took forever to come out so I ended up only eating half of it haha.  I said goodbye to Belicia and Erica and their mom, who were going home, ran into ShinDeh randomly (oh hey!!~), and then headed back to the gaming room yet again.

I first checked the status of the Nidhogg tourney, which I was late for (it was past 7PM), and though I had put my name on a sheet somewhere I didn't see it on their list or waiting list, and frankly didn't care when I saw that there were already 50+ names on the list and waiting list combined.  I asked how many setups there were (only 1...and Nidhogg is a 1v1 game) and made a somewhat snide remark about how there should be more, at which point the guy who was there told me very explicitly to "fuck off" if I didn't have another TV, controllers, and game, which left me with quite a bitter taste as I walked away.  I guess we were both sort of in the wrong there, but anyways I tried my best to see if I could shake that feeling.  It really bothered me, and was honestly the most negative thing I've ever experienced at all of Fanime.

I ended up running into Russell, Kyou, and Wendy, who were going to get dinner, so I followed them (even though I already had eaten a bit and had the other half of my panini in a box that I was carrying around).  They went to a Chinese restaurant and I just chilled with them as they ate.  I went back with them to the gaming hall, where we sort of...walked around and did nothing.  Eventually CCY showed up and they tried to get some Mahjong going on, which I briefly watched a bit of.  I think I tried to play a bit more TGM3, then got up and headed over to the Dance.  I had mixed feelings on going into the Dance; on the one hand, EDM can be great and all, and I actually had quite the experience last year.  On the other hand, they haven't allowed chemical glowsticks in quite some time now so I can't go and glowstick in there, which is disappointing.  I checked out the line, saw that it wasn't bad, and just decided to go for it anyways.  I made it in and checked out what was going on.  There were 3 rooms--I passed by the smaller rooms and went into the big one, where I saw somebody spinning some LED-based poi.  I asked if I could try (guy said to be careful since they're fragile, and I told him I'd just do some basic weaves), and I just did some basic weaves and windmills and such before giving it back to him (explaining that I mostly did glowstringing so I was used to wraps and stuff, which I couldn't do with those), so that was fun.  Obviously he was much better than me, poi moves look so fluid and awesome when someone good is doing them, haha.

I walked around a little more between the rooms after the big room started playing some meh music (non-4-on-the-floor stuff), and I found that the first room that I had passed was actually playing trance!  Uplifting trance!  Wow!  I set my stuff down in there and just stayed there for a while, until midnight when the guys' set ended.  It wasn't amazing or anything, and although I recognized some of the melodies, I didn't actually know or particularly love any of the songs (come on, play some stuff that I'd hear on Group Therapy or something, please?),, uplifting trance is just great!  I also used my earbuds as makeshift earplugs from time to time as to not expose my ears to the full volume for too long, which was helpful.  But yeah, I was dancing a bit, but mostly just standing in the back and taking in the music.  Haha, it's really been a long time since I've listened to good ol uplifting trance like that.  Good times.

Back in the gaming hall, I handed my badge off to Russell since I wouldn't need it anymore, and then I ran into Kitaru who was clearing the invisible roll on Master mode (good job!).  I sat down and played a bunch more TGM3 with him, including a bunch of Shirase versus mode...good times.  I also managed to qualify for S7 and then later S9!  I still didn't finish the game -_- made it to 998 before topping out, can you believe it?  But I passed by S9 qualifying exam anyways, so hooray~

After that we headed out, Alex caught up with some of his friends and I said bye to him as well, leaving the con, walking away from the convention center, and saying my final mental farewells to Fanime for this year.

It was a good time this really was.  It actually turned out...really really well, thinking about all of it.  I'm glad for the awesome prints I bought at the artist's alley, I'm glad for all the friends that I was able to run into and hang out with.  I'm glad for meeting Merida and her bear, and being able to hang out with them, despite having only just met them.  It felt nice to be recognized as Kikyo by random people, though I know that it's not "true" since I don't really know Kikyo so well.  I'm really glad TGM3 was there, I feel like it's not a proper Fanime experience without TGM there in some form or another!  I played 120+ of the 477 games of TGM3 that were played there, haha...yes, I played quite a lot of TGM3.  I didn't mind missing out on the swap meet, or the cosplay masquerade, or the nidhogg tourney, or anything.  I think there were some moments where I really did sort of worry that I didn't really have anything to do, that I would just "finish" Fanime early and have no one to spend time with...but that didn't end up happening.

It was really different this year.  I think it really worked out.  Thank you Fanime.  Thank you everyone.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fanime Day 2

Saturday...the weekend proper had arrived, and now Fanime was really in full swing.

I woke up early, needing to get to the Rumiko Takahashi gathering which was starting at 10:30AM.  Skipped out on Russell's Mahjong panel, sorry Russell!  I needed more sleep...

Parking was a success this time!  Only paid $5 for the whole day, woo-hoo.  Hopefully I'll be able to win at that tomorrow as well, though maybe I won't if I arrive too late and parking fills up...

I saw a Vanellope on the way to the con!  But I actually didn't see any Wreck-It Ralph people anywhere throughout the rest of the con...kind of sad.

Anyways, my first stop was the Rumiko Takahashi gathering; it was pretty cool to see a Ryoga, Ranma, Akane, and even Genma and...Pantyhose Taro??

Impressive.  The gathering was pretty small, but still rather fun.  I'm glad that another Kikyo showed up; I think I would have felt a bit bad if I were the only one who did, even though I guess part of the reason I decided to be there anyways was in case they didn't have one.  The Inuyashas seemed like pretty cool people, hehe.  Also, that Ranma was totally prepared...he had on the alternate movie outfit underneath his normal one:

After that was all done, I was heading into the con, but they were calling all cosplayers who happened to be around out to the main plaza in front of the convention center so that they could take huge cosplay photos, and...I saw Merida!

When I saw her costume and wig I actually thought for a second that it was the same Merida that I had met the year before, and was a bit embarrassed after tapping her on the shoulder excitedly to find out that she wasn't.  Ah, well, still cool anyways.  But I think I'll never have the same excitement that I did when I met that Merida last year; she was so friendly!  The ones I met today felt so much more...distant...

After briefly meeting up with Azura (I think?) and also Wendy and co. in the gaming room I headed out to grab lunch for myself, settling on Hydration over McDonald's, half because I felt like rice and meat was going to feel like a more proper meal, and half just felt like something that I should do while I'm at Fanime.

Oh wait, actually, I forgot; before that I stopped by both the LoL/Dota and Final Fantasy gatherings, just to see if there was anyone interesting there.  At the LoL gathering I only saw one Sona--the one from before, so whatever.  And the only person interesting at the FF gathering was...a girl who was dressed as Ultros from FF6, haha, woo~  It was kind of sad when they called FF1-3 and no one came up.  I guess that's sensible though; the only ones who would really be there from that are probably generic black and white mages anyways.  But it was also sad that no one else from FFIV or FFVI was there.  Actually, come to think of it, I really haven't seen that many FFIV or FFVI cosplayers at Fanime ever, bah.  I guess sprites don't translate into cosplays as efficiently.  I was half-hoping I'd be able to see Bleu as Rydia or Terra ^^;  Haha, that reminds me of last year during the cosplay masquerade show when they did a Final Fantasy Hunger Games skit, and I was cheering for Terra (who ended up winning!  YES!)...

I ran into a Guqin Sona later!  I probably missed her in the gathering since she didn't have the guqin or anything...

I finally found Belicia and Erica!  (And also got to say hi to Amy after she performed at Fanimaid live...even got to wave hi to Reece, who was visiting as well)  Walked around artist's alley with them some more and...found some more Journey prints and buttons...orz.  I resisted the temptation to buy them (*pats self on shoulder*).

After that I ran off to the Touhou gathering.  I didn't bring my Lily White cosplay this year because...I really don't feel like doing that cosplay anymore, and I'm beginning to care less about the Touhou gathering in general.  It's not really that much fun when not a single person out of Russell, CCY, Derek, Belicia, Kat, Erica, etc. are there.  But I still felt a duty to spread the Lily White love, so I brought my green Lily White sign again (which I had been trolling people with earlier in Artist's Alley and the gaming room), and made sure it got included in the appropriate shots.  Apparently there was also a Lily BLACK this time, what???  I was kind of disappointed that I didn't end up bringing my cosplay after all; we could have had a Lily White + Lily Black shot, how rare would that be???  But...meh, it's fine.  I actually don't really regret it.  I actually don't really care much about that green sign anymore either; I actually ended up stashing it behind a table in the Dealer's Hall; it might still be there at the moment, ha ha ha.  I was thinking of trying to pass it off to someone in the Touhou Gathering, but I'm not even sure they would have taken it...(here, have this random green poster, it's yours now, deal with it, kthxbai?)

Speaking of the Dealer's Hall, this year marks the first time where I bought absolutely =nothing= from the dealer's hall!  Woo~  The only thing that I really wanted was a Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar poster, but...really, even if I seriously wanted it that badly, I have no room on my wall whatsoever to put it on.  So...I guess I'm sort of done with all that.  Or maybe it's just because my fandom(/merchandising?) tastes are different now...I'm going for Journey things and Brave nowadays instead of being all up on Pita-Ten and Nanoha and everything.  So I guess I just buy from Artist's Alley nowadays?  That's kind of...fine, actually, I almost feel like the stuff coming out of there is just, a lot "nicer" sometimes, haha.

I went to the Kyoukai no Kanata gatherine with Belicia and Erica, where...we had like 12 Mirais.  It was actually sort of frightening.

I also ran into a Journeyer!

Dammit, thinking back on it, I probably should have said hi...if I see them again I definitely will try and talk to them and ask them if they're on the forums or anything.  For now, I'll just...blame it on the fact that, it's a Journeyer--why would I think to talk to them using words?  I should just chirp at them and run around in circles around them, then faceplant on the floor.  LOL man...if I ever make a journey cape, I will definitely definitely have to do that if I ever meet another journeyer, ahahahaha...

We went off to the Disney gathering (where I also met up with Isabelle briefly), which was not nearly as epic for me as it was last year (Merida and Wreck It Ralph!!!), but ended up having some epic moments, usually involving Cinderella's sisters:

Who in this shot are pointing at the other pair of sisters who were photobombing them from behind the glass wall.  Too perfect...

Mary Poppins was also awesome, especially the cheeky remarks she made in rebuttal to the Cinderella sisters.  At one point the Cinderella sisters were arguing over who had the better dresses, trying to woo over Gaston, and Mary Poppins over on the side was just like "Well, we all know there's only one person here who's really dressed properly here, now don't we?"  She also made witty remarks about Gaston...something like "No one's been like Gaston...but that doesn't mean to be like Gaston is a good thing."  And when the Cinderella sisters whipped out their recorder and flute and played horrendously, Mary Poppins just did a very deliberate *slow clap*.  Haha, so perfect.

After saying goodbye to Belicia and Erica (who went home for the day), I went over to the gaming room again, where I found that Kitaru had set up Ti!  So I hopped on that and played for...quite some time, actually, haha.  Ran into Jasper too, and ended up grabbing dinner with him and his friend (cheesesteaks).  I was quite exhausted after all that, but I decided to head back to the con one more time just to see if anyone was around, or if any random strangers seemed amenable to meeting or anything.  I ended up playing some more TGM3, and ended up getting Shirase S5 (and hitting the Torikan) despite feeling quite brain-dead.  So that's my first ever "EXCELLENT/but...let's go better next time".  I also had my first ever promotional exam, which was pretty exciting, although the exam was for S5, which is...not that exciting (for reference, my current best single performance in TexMaster is an M7, which is a full 11 grades higher than that).  It's probably because my Master performances on that account so far have been...pretty crappy (haven't even cleared the game yet).

Anyways, I was definitely much tired, so aching at that point, I checked up on CCY and Russell and said hi to Russell and Wendy but basically just left to go drive home at that point.  At the last chance possible, during the elevator ride up to my parking spot, I struck up a short conversation with a friendly-looking man and woman there, asking them how their con was going and if they had gone in previous years and if they had any plans for tomorrow.  It was a short and trivial conversation, but it actually left me feeling quite good.  I've really come a long way since years past.

Tomorrow I don't have all that much to do, besides maybe stop by the *other* Disney gathering, play some TAP doubles mode if that's set up, and go see the cosplay masquerade.  Oh, there's also a Nidhogg tournament going on at 7PM, but I'm really not sure how long masquerade will take, and I wouldn't be too disappointed if I didn't get to join in the Nidhogg fun; it seems like it's pretty popular and so it will probably take forever to actually get the tournament going.  Plus, what happens if I get the cave stage?  Really the sole reason I want to enter the tournament is so I can show off my fancy movement, hahaha.  Well, whatever.

It's been good so far~  Let's get a good rest and take a good attitude to tomorrow, too!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fanime Day 1

The first full day of Fanime...somehow it felt like I didn't actually do much, but I'm still really exhausted.  I was actually feeling quite tired already at 10/11PM; I guess that's what happens when you spend like 8 hours at con without really taking any time to just chill and sit down and not do much.

I took quite a bit longer than anticipated to get ready (makeup, costume, preparing in case I needed anything, grabbing food for the day, etc), and when I got over to San Jose I had forgotten exactly where the parking lot that I used last year was (yesterday I had used the convention center garage, which was most definitely full today), so I actually spent quite a few minutes just driving around trying to figure out where to park, driving past public parking lots with ridiculous prices like $30 parking.  I ended up going into a garage by Safeway and ended up paying $19 which is kind of sucky but also not actually that bad for a weekday I think.  I probably could have saved $5 or something by parking across the street instead from the looks of it, but oh well, at that point I just wanted to get into the con and be done with it.  Tomorrow I'll go for the one across the street from there; it claims $6 parking on weekends. (?)

I ran into Bleu on my way to the con, yay!  Was nice to see her, and we traded numbers in case I wanted to hang out later.

I saw some LoL cosplayers hanging around outside the convention center, including a Muse Sona, complete with hovering etwahl!  I asked her what she made it out of (spray foam and stuff), and more importantly got to see how she got it to float -- she used thin strings that were attached to her hands, pretty clever!  I'll have to consider that if I ever do that Silent Night Sona cosplay...which I feel like I don't actually want to, now that I think of it.  I'm not enough of a fan of LoL to do that; would much rather just make a Journey cape or something!

Speaking of Journey, today was the day where I went through all of artist's alley, and I picked up some sweet Journey prints!  I basically went through the whole alley and had an "omg" moment each time I saw a Journey print.

I couldn't decide which ones to buy at first (way too expensive to buy =all= of them, unfortunately...), so I ended up just noting them for later, taking pictures of them, and then when I was done going through everything, made the tough choice on which ones to buy and which ones to pass on.  I was so proud to be holding around and showing off my Journey awesome! ^^  Ah, that reminds me, one of the people said they had another print for sale online of the underground level, so I'll have to remember to check that out at some point...

I also picked up a few random other things at artists' alley, like a postcard, a random print from thousandskies that I really liked, and some LoL stuff.  I ran into Bleu again, too!

After walking back and forth to and from my car to both drop off my prints and to grab the rest of my sandwich, I spent most of the rest of the day in the gaming room playing in the Tetris tourney, alongside Alex and Azura and co.  I got to play and see all these weird Tetris games for the first time, including Tetris Battle Gaiden, Magical Tetris, and N64 Tetris Giga was actually quite ridiculous.  I was sorely feeling the absence of the TAP machine though, I was really itching to play TGM.  Maybe Alex will manage to have it set up tomorrow.

That was fun anyways.  Oh, apparently there was also a Nidhogg tourney going on; I should have signed up for that, but I didn't know about it, haha.  Oh well.  I would have loved to demonstrate my mastery of the movement techniques in that game, but hey hey, it's fine, it's fine.

Afterwards I went to check the swap meet line again (nope, still linecon city), and ended up running into Josh and Bryan from high school, whoa!  They weren't going to the con, but they happened to be in the area (for Mega Ran's show?  Small world...), so they just wanted to check it out.  I chilled with them for a while and sort of just people-watched for a bit before they took off.

After that I went back into the con, with nothing really left to do--I wanted to go through dealer's hall some other day (it was probably closed by this time anyways), and didn't want to spend that much there since I had already spent money on...Journey prints, haha.  Some of my friends weren't coming until tomorrow, so I wasn't really sure what I should be doing anymore.  I considered driving off to go to FNW, but somehow I didn't feel like that either, possibly because my feet hurt from standing/walking around for a good part of the day.

I ended up running into Russell and Wendy and...someone else from Stanford whose name I don't know, oops.  So I hung out with them for a while and just proceeded to have random conversations, some involving Wendy talking about chickens, and eating knees, also she randomly twisted my skirt.


CCY also stopped by and said hi, so all in all that was a pretty successful random encounter, hooray~  It was getting pretty late though, so I left and went home.  Now I need to rest up because I actually need to be at con early tomorrow (as opposed to today) to go to the Rumiko Takahashi gathering at 10:30AM...Some people already recognized me as Kikyo today (and asked for pictures)'s an interesting feeling, I guess I know how "that" feels like now.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fanime Day 0

Well, that was quick.

Here we are at Fanime again, before I even realized it.  It really sneaked (snuck?) up on me this year, it seems like.  Maybe it's because I'm just being busy occupied by work, Decadance, Ludum Dare, and everything like that, that it surprised me when all of a sudden memorial day weekend rolled around.  I even forgot to ask for Friday off until this week! xD

I was actually in a bit of busy-busy mode before leaving for Fanime...I had been doing a bunch of different things at work, barely wrapping up around 5PM or so, at which point I had to borrow a hard drive enclosure, drop by my house, drop if off, head back home, and do OHC (which turned out alright actually).  After that I warmed up some leftovers, ate while OHC listening party was going on, and got ready to go after getting a message from my friend Shindeh, who was over there already.

I can't say much happened today, really.  Russell was picking up my badge, so really all I was planning to do was stop by, check out the swap meet to buy any cute cheap things that I saw (like stationery and such), and maybe stop by the gaming room as well to see if anyone I knew was around.  Apparently linecon was non-existent this year, and badge pickup was EXTREMELY fast compared to...well, how it is normally, which is quite horrendous.  Sure enough, the first thing I noticed after parking and walking into the convention center was the long winding maze of caution tape.....and nobody actually standing there waiting in it.  GG linecon, GG.

I was trying to find Shindeh when Russell and Kyou (who later remarked that I'm apparently quite easy to spot from far away?) called out to me and I said hi to them, got my badge, and sat with them for a bit.  Some photographer asked to shoot some photos of Kyou and...of me?  Which was a bit surprising, since I wasn't actually in real cosplay--I was just wearing my sailor fuku top with long sleeves and long skirt, as a sort of..."dress down cosplay" I guess you could call it?  But whatever.  We had a somewhat amusing conversation where I mentioned I was going to wear a miko outfit tomorrow and he totally misheard me as saying "Miku" which led to some confusion.  I guess it's really interesting since a year or two ago this would already seem like a big deal to be wearing and I'd treat it as a "costume", but nowadays...I've definitely worn this to like, Deca rehearsal and everything.  *shrug*

I didn't end up meeting with Shindeh, and I didn't see Alex in the gaming room either.  Looking outside, apparently linecon was actually at the Swap Meet:

And that line of people turned the corner of the building and went alllllll the way down to the next street over.  Sheesh.  I went down the line of people seeing if perchance Shindeh was there (nope, though I did wave hi to MingSum who was!), then walked back.  Yeah, waiting that long wasn't going to be worth it.  I wish they would just keep swap meet in the convention center *like they did last year* which I guess gives them less space supposedly (?) but makes it so much easier to, you know, actually go and get in.  Well whatever.  Missing out on a year of swap meet isn't too bad given that I'm spending a lot more money on important stuff in life like, you know, groceries, gas, and rent (not to mention my new desktop and all), so it's okay.  I'll see if linecon is still there tomorrow (my prediction is that it will be) and if so, meh.  The only regret I'd have (just like two years ago when the *same* thing happened) is not being able to buy Little Twin Stars stuff because that one lady (or her delegates?) seem to be there every year...*grumble grumble*

Walking down the halls made me really quite nostalgic, reminding me of Fanime from last year.  So much happened during that weekend...I can even remember specific spots in the halls where we sat down, or where I was walking when I first saw Merida, haha.  I really don't know how it all will turn out this year, but I'm at least thankful that I ran into Russell and Kyou otherwise I would have just drove down there and spent a few bucks on parking for no good reason. 9_9

Haven't decided what exactly I'm going to do tomorrow, besides try and meet up with a few people, go through the usual places, and all.  There's no real interesting events or meetups going on, so I've basically got  the day free.  Which maybe is how it should be; let's just do our best and welcome the unexpected?  Yeah, I should try my best~  Not sure whether I'll go to FNW either; I think it'll just depend on what I'm doing at the time.

As it is now, I'm happy to be home, early, with the chance to just rest for the night.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sometimes life is just about making the same mistakes over and over again.

I guess that doesn't mean you can't still learn from them, though.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I can't believe Fanime is already next week...omg...sheesh.

Apparently warm warm warm weather is supposed to be hitting this week...time for me to stay indoors all day, muahahaha.  Did some work on Ripple Runner this weekend, added a really hard level.  Hoping to add some more levels this week, trying to rope in some other people to contribute too.  LD voting ends in a week!

Warm weather always makes me nostalgic...but then again, come to think of it, cold weather does too.  I guess I'm just forever lost in the past.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Our strengths are also our weaknesses.  I used to believe in myself more, without reservation, but also was more arrogant and inconsiderate.

I'll always look back at the past.  Even now, that time when I was torn between my "quiet, soft self" and the one who wanted to take risks, explore, and go on adventures, has become a treasure--something which is precious, even if only for the fact that it is a part of me, one that I will never be able to experience in the same way again.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The import over at is all finished and done, so all of my xanga postings are now available in archived form, albeit in somewhat altered format as they've lost their proper font and all.

I have a lot of feelings about this, but I feel like I shouldn't even bother trying to write it all out again.  I've said enough about this as is.

"The song is about loving someone before and after sleep, being the last encounter for that person. In the evening, you dream of the person you want to be with, and in the morning you hope to see that person again. Though conveying the feelings can't be done, remembering the person keeps them alive in you."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why does time only flow one way?

Why can I not see anyone from the past anymore?  Their presence--no, their very existence, erased.  Mine too.  The old Timm[ie]...why is it that they are gone now, and I can't meet them, can't talk to them?

I guess the same could be said about the Timm[ie] that is soon to be, the Timm[ie] that will be.  But I have no sentiment toward them, no attachment.  It is only the people, friends, love, memories, letters, sounds, smells, experiences of the past that I feel unrevocably bound to.

For a brief moment today, I was talking to you, and I thought fondly about the past.  My mind wasn't filled with regret, or longing, or bittersweet remembrance.  I was simply happy that the past had happened at all, happy for its existence.  That's something that I never feel.

And now, as I finish writing a letter to a friend who I last saw some 6 or 7 years ago, I increment the number in my Letter Log and update the "Last Written To" date.  The last letter I wrote to this person was at around this same time last year.  Ah, that's right...this past Christmas was the one where I was trying to escape my past, to set myself free of my attachments and not keep believing in fantasies.  That was...foolish in a way, but necessary.

Why does the past pull me away from the present so much?  What is it that makes me disregard what *is*, and instead long for what *was*?  And if I really could go backward, wouldn't I just be leaving this moment too?  Even if I really could go back in time to the past, that wouldn't help wouldn't help at all.  My "now" would just become yet another "past", one that I would have to say goodbye to.

It's not really time, is it?  It's change.  Losing time is always a concern, but really what scares me is the change.  "To change is to die.", you told me.  Does that mean that all those people I once loved are dead now?  In a way, they are.  And how can I not stop to mourn them?

And if they could speak to me, what would they say?  Would they tell me to stop mourning?  Would the Timm[ie] of a year ago, of two years ago, of 7 years ago, what would they tell me?  What would they say?  What would they do?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It used to be so easy for me to speak.  Look at this piece from February of 2005:


lets look at today.  hey, maybe this’ll actually be a good post.

-got up, ate stuff, went to my flute lesson.  actually did okay, despite…uhm…sucking.

-went to track practice from 2:30-4:30.  ran.  then did miscellaneous stuff.  then ran for half and hour straight.  wheee…?

oh, and sorry jen, i didn’t know you were “uninformed”…-_-;  lol…

-whoo….go..getting stuff done.  kinda.  i guess.  wont go into details because ehh….i wont bother.

-this new PLL alg is….tasty…..heheh….

-it’s thursday.  angel still needs to come over, people should go to the movies, and i still have stuff to get done.

hm…i’m kinda wondering if i’ll experience some flood of emotion.
…nah, it’ll probably feel the same.  or something.

guys are dumb.

oh yeah, recently i’ve been booted off of the computer a lot more often.  whereas before it was occasionally because my dad wanted to burn some dvd, now my brother has been going on an ebay frenzy buying hella games.  which….is fine.  except sometimes i need the computer to get stuff done.  orrrrr i could be in the middle of an important conversation with an awesome person.  oh well….

gosh, i hate it when the aim buddy list window decides to suddenly move around at random.

uhm…..interrupted my chain of thought….(train of thought?……uh….chain?……..tetris attack?)

random moment: me playing wc3 in a separate room in ryan’s house.  other people were chatting and nick says something about a noise and techno.  I get up, pop my head in–”techno?  where?”

uhmm……oh yeah, i got 3 pieces that might work for me conducting.  ehh….most of the stuff i looked at was either bleh, or i didn’t know the conductor, or it was too hard.  (haha, our band playing toccata and fugue by Bach with me conducting.  yeah right.)  i ended up picking 2 bach pieces and 1 mozart.   lol.  expect a bach.

whoo….over 300 words.  i guess this is a good post. XD


……dangit.  i just ran out.  oh well.

i need to cube more often with Cubie.  awesome.  work on the F2L.

need to play SSBM.  yes.

need wc3.  yep.


hey, cool!  it’s only 9:30!  and tomorrow, i dont have to get up early!  yayy!!!



Have I really improved since then?  When you read that post, I'm sure all you see is a childish bratty teenager with an ego problem.  But I think that person was better than me in some ways.  Wow, I poured more alcohol for myself than I thought.  Oops oh wlel

I will keep breathing.  I will do what I need to do, it's okay.  If I need to shut down for a bit, I can do that too, a bit later.  The time for that will come.  Right now I'll do what I need to do first.  I can be myself later.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

As I lay in my bed, still half-asleep, not quite conscious yet, half-descending into another dream, I wondered to myself who my band director was.  I knew that it couldn't possibly be K, because I had already graduated from Fremont, but I guess because I had been dreaming about marching band again, I just assumed that I was still in it.  It took me a minute to realize that I wasn't in school anymore, wasn't in band at all anymore, and now I'm in Decadance instead.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I feel like shit.  But.  It is because I am tired.  I'm off to the shower now.  And then my bed.  Don't wake me up.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

How long does a moment last?

Does it end in the blink of an eye?  Ephemeral, never to truly be experienced again?

Does it linger, as time stretches, and you can't think of anything else?

Does it become forever etched into your mind, something that you can forget about, but never really forget?

Can it be captured?  Can it be relived?  Can it be shared?

Is it something that will live on, years later, as an echo, a glimpse of a time no longer, a memory?

How long, is a moment?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Drafted with my brother's MtG group tonight, after missing last week (b/c I didn't really feel like it and wanted some time to myself) and the week before (was out of town).  Was kind of tired, and I think mentally let that affect me, plus I was slightly rusty.  Was the first time I've drafted BTT and not really known what the heck was going on during the draft, though luckily I managed to come up with something pretty decent.  I definitely made some mistakes playing though...I think I lost a nessian asp b/c of forgetting combat damage dealt through my own Time to Feed not once but TWICE, wow.  I also made decisions that I regretted almost immediately afterwards but didn't bother taking them back, partly because in "real games" you can't just "take back" your moves, and also partly because I was just tired and didn't care 100%.

I probably shouldn't have gone in the first place since N is coming over tomorrow, but it was still good fun despite being tired.  Also, me and N (other N) are talking about doing trauma center co-op, which I really want to make happen, muahahaha.  Trauma Center is always a good time!

There's a Deca performance on Friday before Jammix...I guess I need to be sure to get enough sleep, otherwise I'm just going to be totally burned out Friday night.  I'm hopeful for Jammix, haha, let's hope that it doesn't turn out like the last one did for me.

Work has been...alright.  I think I've been "in the zone" much less often nowadays.  Probably for a variety of reasons, maybe one just because I've been a little more distracted, two because I have more different responsibilities to juggle around, three because we are actually trying to move more slowly than usual anyways, and maybe I'm just tired sometimes too?  Maybe one of these days I should just take a WFH day and sit down and try to just crank through things in my own home.  Get a good night's sleep, take a nice shower, just get myself comfortable and sane and just do what I know I can do.

I'm 5-0 in the Back Draft tourney at work...whee.  That one has been fun; I've certainly been putting a lot of effort into it.

I started thinking about making a Risk of Rain fangame using Unity/C# like a month ago, but...I'm not sure that will ever come to fruition.  I kind of already knew when I was in the midst of it that it was something that seemed too ambitious, so it's probably best if I don't try to pursue it anymore, but it was still a good experience to think about how I would architect out the networking logic.  So even as a thought exercise it was cool.

Ludum Dare is coming up in a few weeks, as is the Journey to Nyx prerelease, AND a Deca performance, all in the same weekend.  Yeouch.  It's definitely not a good idea to do the prerelease along with Ludum Dare, so I'm just going to do LD and skip out on the prerelease, which...makes me quite sad, but I bet I can just get them to do a sealed tourney at my workplace and just enjoy the new set that way.  I was considering doing the Deca performance as well, but in the end I'm deciding against it (unless they really really need me), just because...Ludum Dare is always super draining for me, especially since I put so much effort into it, and I want to stay sane.  Plus, we have oodles of Deca performances coming up, and I don't think it's the end of the world if I don't go to every single one.

I'm actually sort of intimidated by the thought of Ludum Dare coming I ready?  I guess that's kind of silly, how "ready" can you really be for Ludum Dare, anyways?  I think I need to really think about what kind of goals I have for this time and what kind of thing I want to make.  I still have yet to make an "arcade style" game, and I think that could be an option.  I could also try and make something artsy, though that's often difficult to come up with ideas for...but that would certainly be nice.  I was almost contemplating how it might be to do hand-drawn animation, but...I really don't think I have what it takes to do that...I certainly wouldn't want to just go for it without any practice anyways.  Perhaps I'll try to make something with simple yet clean artwork.  You know, something with squares and circles and rectangles and such.  -Nice- looking ones.  And of course, awesome music, because that's always the most important part.

I've not been in the best spirits for the past few days, but...I'm still hopeful.  Just going to try and calm down a bit.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This sun and heat really reminds me of so many things...that time two years ago, being at Stanford...but most of all, band camp...memories of a time long past, never quite forgotten.  All of the ridiculous band stories are always precious, even the terrible ones that now in hindsight are something we can laugh about (like the day that K threatened to kick people out of band if they didn't show up with a water bottle, and every single one of us lined up for an inspection.  Wow.)  "Kenneth riding on an elephant at a monster truck rally".  Yeah.

Why must the glass be half-empty all of the time?


I know you guys are all busy playing the new D3 expansion, but one of my dreams last night I was playing D2 again.  So awesome.  I think I was initially playing as a sorceress, but then I quickly realized what I really wanted to do was play a javazon, because they're pretty awesome and I've never really built one before.  Ahhhhhhhh  Although to be honest I'd probably just play Median XL (or whatever has become of it now), not classic LOD.  bah.

I haven't been feeling that great recently, for some reason.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The past is important to me.  The reason that I like the Little Twin Stars so much?  It's because of Juliann.  And the reason I sign all of my letters with "Love Always"?  That's because of Resa.  Even the brackets in my name--that's because of Belinda and Carolyn.

A Journey with Purrsnickityy

Today I logged on to go on my 6th Journey.  I booted up my brother's PS3, and quickly hopped onto the Journey forums to say that I was logging on, hoping for a chance to finally meet up with a forum member.  Last time around after finishing my Journey I had done some flying practice with my white cloak, trying to practice some of the advanced techniques like chargeboosting and dropshooting and skimming, and I even managed to get into the backstage glitch areas of both the Chapter Select area (via fastflying through the wind wall) as well as the Broken Bridge (clipping through the wall, and later via chargeboosting).  I decided that for today's Journey I would don my white cloak.

When I started up the game, to my surprise I found that I had the "Resume" option, since I guess I had been playing around in the Broken Bridge area last time, so I got to skip the intro cinematic and jump right into things.  In fact, when I hit Resume, I started right in the Broken Bridge area with my white cloak, so I decided to go and activate the second bridge segment and wait for someone to meet me.

After activating the second bridge segment, I went and played around with some flying techniques, trying to get a little better at them (still learning!), while also refreshing my laptop, seeing if I got any replies on the forums.  And then...a white glow at the edge of my screen!  I turned to see who it was, and saw a white cloak chirp-chirp-chirping at me!

I ran towards my new companion, fairly sure that it was a forum member--who else would be waiting at the Broken Bridge wearing a white cloak with only the second segment activated?  They started chirping their heads off and we ran around each other.  Once I did a faceplant and saw that they did the same, I was certain--this was an experienced Journeyer that I had met!

I later found out that I had met TriggerHappyFox / Purrsnickityy.  We spent a bit more time randomly goofing off, including some zen-jumps, and even faceplant jumps, which I am terrible at getting consistently.

We went and played around in the Broken Bridge area for a while.  I was so impressed by the way in which you flew deftly about--here was someone who really knew how to fly!  All I really knew how to do was the easy chargeboost in that area, and was still working on everything else.  After grabbing the three symbols in the area, I spent some time trying to work on flier-assisted diveboosts, which is something I've been trying to get the hang of.  I had minimal success, but it seemed like you at least understood what I was trying to do, and attempted to show me how to do it.  I think I'm starting to get the hang of it after today, but it'll just take a bit more practice before I'm keen on how many pumps I need to do, getting the right approach angle, and also timing my chirp while simultaneously directing the camera angle.

I should note that you are by far the chirpiest companion I have ever met!  It really felt like nonstop chirping at some points, which was so different from other Journeys that I've had!  I almost felt bad at some points where I wasn't being as "chatty" as you; you just had so much energy!  I should also note that it was really different traveling with you compared to the non-forum-goers that I've met, just because of how much we were flying around.  I think I'm more used to just sticking close together with someone, so it was a big change to be flying around and occasionally even losing sight of each other for a bit.  Normally I would make a real effort to avoid flying ahead somewhere, but in this case I felt confident that no matter where I went, you'd be able to follow and catch up, since you seemed so experienced (at least, much more than I).

Interestingly enough, you let me "lead" for quite a lot of our Journey, even though I'm clearly new to all of this.  However, I did know about the BB headbonk glitch entry point, and when I started trying to get in, you got the idea and went in yourself.  We explored the BB backstage for a while; this was the first time I had ever properly explored it, and also the first time that I had ever been there with someone else!  I laughed out loud when you landed on the horizontal sandfall and fell down on your face, letting the sand carry you and deposit you on that ledge--that was so charming, I just had to try it myself.

At some point you also tried faceplant-jumping with me for a bit.  Now, I had tried doing it before, and gotten it once or twice, but I'm still really bad at the timing for it, so it took me quite some time, but I finally got it a couple times! :)

Thank you for all those times that you sat down with me at various points during our adventure together.  Some of those times I just wanted to enjoy the view, and at other times I was pulling out my phone in an attempt to take a picture of something awesome that you had shown me.

In the Sunken City stage, we made our way to the Rest Stop and I tried some more flier-assisted diveboosting there, though I wasn't having too much success.  I should note that I went back there after our Journey and I have a much better handle on it now.  Besides just getting better at aiming and timing my chirps, I've also found that I have MUCH more success doing a reverse-boost (keeping camera down and moving towards the camera) than trying to aim the camera upwards.  It's also much easier to see where I'm going when I use that method, so I'm going to do that from now on.

Thank you for showing me the chargeboosting spot at the rest stop area!  I never knew that that existed, to be honest.  I was honestly amazed by just how many new things I was able to learn from our time together...I've always thought that a lot of techniques and nooks and crannies would be hard to "teach" in-game, but I genuinely felt like I had learned quite a bit (though I can't say I remember all of the different places you took me!).  You showed me how to get up onto the invisible platform at the rest stop that I had only heard of before and never seen with my own eyes.  I took some phone camera photos of us just sitting up there on the invisible ledge--awesome!

After the sideways camera sunset scene, we played around a bit before moving on.  I thought it was actually pretty hilarious how we were both facing the camera doing awkward one point I managed to get myself to float there for a while facing the camera...I was amused xD

We started to play around a bit at the darker area at the end of the Sunken City stage, and then to my surprise, we entered a glitch area!  I still can't actually remember where we went to get into the backstage, but I was really surprised, as I didn't know about this area at all.  And boy, was it wonderful, the sights that we saw.  Being able to see the shimmery sand, and random cliffs that seemed to drop off into was like a whole new world back there!  At this point you were still letting me mostly take the lead, which was actually a bit frightening...this was my first time really exploring any glitch areas, so I kept on being afraid that I would wander off into somewhere that I wasn't supposed to.  At one point you brought me to the place where you can fall down and retrigger the "dramatic falling music" that happens at that area, and we retriggered that twice.  That really had me grinning! :D

Then you showed me the random underground-style column of light that was down there--that was so cool too!  We never actually returned to the stage proper--we ended up going onto the Underground from the backstage, somehow.

In the Underground, I knew there were some fancy flier-assisted diveboosts and such that you could do, but I couldn't exactly remember the details of them (I'm new to all of this!)...but in the end we climbed up the jellyfish room just via tandem flight and actually worked our way into the UG glitch area!  Wow, the third glitch of the run!  We explored a bit there, and I saw a few interesting things, including a weird War Machine that I saw through a wall.

Eventually, though, we stumbled into nothingness.  I followed you for a while, but in the end it turned out that we were lost in there.  It was actually quite a unique experience--my first time wandering around in absolute nothingness together with someone like that.  I felt really lost and afraid to leave your side--I really knew nothing about the glitch areas, so all I could really do was to keep traveling along with you and hope to never leave you.  In my mind I compared it to a sort of Death March of a different flavor.

In the end you sat down and I saw you turn into dust...oh no!  I guess we really were lost.  At that point I panicked a bit--here I was, deep in the middle of a glitch, with no way out but to chapter select, and I had just had a wonderful experience with someone who had just left me and I didn't even know what your name was!  I hastily refreshed the forums but didn't see any replies to the topics I had posted in.

I decided that I would Chapter Select and return to the Underground stage, in the hopes that you would do the same, and that we could reconnect.  After I arrived there, I met a white cloak! was not you.  No, it was most definitely not you--this person was completely different.  No maniacal chirping, no fancy flying.  I was astonished at how different their character was from you, and how much I could tell even though you guys were both fully-embroidered white cloaks.  I ended up tagging along with this new fellow, and shortly after I saw your message on the forums apologizing for leaving me in the UG glitch after getting lost.  I was so glad when I saw that forum message, to be honest--finally I knew who I could be thankful to! :)

I'm sad that we couldn't finish our Journey together properly--I'm sure it would have been an amazing one, and that I would have learned much more.  But alas, you also mentioned that something came up and you had to go, so it was not meant to be.

The rest of my Journey was rather uneventful--I ran into a random red cloak in the tower, but lost him and connected with a new white cloak, who I lost somewhere in the snow level, and met someone else in paradise.  I activated the last glyph (which I didn't realize I was missing) in the snow level, over to the left of the war machine area, and got the achievement for that.  I also realized for the first time that the heater room (my favorite place in the game) actually turns off after a bit (or maybe it happens when you leave it?), and you can't turn it back on.  That made me really sad. =(

That was also the first time I've ever taken the final death march by myself.  I was a bit distracted since my sister-in-law was dealing with my baby nephew in the same room, but it was definitely a much different feeling, doing the death march alone.  Much different.  I've also started trying to get experimental during the death march, seeing whether I can turn around, stop moving, etc.  Somehow this time I managed to still have the beam of light from the mountain visible even as I fell to my knees and died, which I don't think usually happens.

I found another white cloak in paradise.  I sort of wanted to play around and explore paradise for a while, but in the end I just followed them and flew by it all pretty quickly.  They actually drew me a heart in the snow at the end, which surprised me quite much, since I had just met them at paradise.  It was really interesting how unmeaningful that heart was to me compared to the other hearts that people have drawn for me.

At the very end, when we were walking into the light, I decided to do something sneaky and when they were at the point of no return (when you keep walking forward), I actually turned around and started walking =away= from the light.  Has anyone else ever done this?  Does it look really weird from the other person's point of view?  I feel like this is something I'd be way too afraid to try when I'm with any companion who I care about, since walking into the light together is so meaningful, but I'm still really curious--can you see your companion turn around and abandon you in the last moment, and how does that feel?? TriggerHappyFox / Purrsnickityy -- thank you so much for being such a wonderful companion, and for showing me so much of the wonderful world of Journey that I have never seen before.  It was an excellent first time meeting a fellow forum member. <3  And don't worry about getting lost in the UG glitch--I knew that that was a danger, getting into all of these glitch areas, was just too exciting to pass up.  How can I not want to go and explore whole new areas that I've never been in before?? ^^;

(one last thing: I thought it was hilarious when we went to collect the scarf symbol in the underground in that "tube" and you started awkwardly wiggling left and right while facing the camera because of how the camera angle is set up to look into the tube!  xD)