Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Things have become...."interesting".  I feel a bit like Kaguya-hime.

I think I'm beginning to come to the realization that having a sort of faith/hope is really important to keep me going at the present moment.  Believing in that things will be alright, that I really can hold onto things forever, that I really am getting somewhere -- I'm not going to say it's a self-fulfilling prophecy because it isn't, but it certainly helps.

I finally bit the bullet and -- like I should have done quite a while ago, traded in both my old iphone 6s and 5s for a brand spankin new iphone SE.  Of course, I had to fork over some cash as well, but I decided recently after just being more annoyed at the shape and size of the 6s that enough was enough and that it was time to reclaim at least =this= part of my past.  So I'm happily using one of my old 5s Little Twin Stars cases now, and finally I can actually hold my phone properly again.  Yes, it's silly, but after complaining about the size for basically a year and being jealous of everyone who still had their 5s, and even considering doing the even worse downgrade back to my old 5s (for real), I had had enough.  Man.

A neighborhood cat whom I like to call Fluffy has been stopping over to visit every once in a while and he (she?) is really the best >///<.  I think he stole my heart the other night when he came over to hang out.  Pretty sure he belongs to someone since he looks pretty healthy, well fed, and is super friendly.  Fluffy~

It's been a pretty slow month for my music.  I tried to make a Vocaloid rearrangement of Egoist - Planetes, which as I could have predicted, feel sort of flat...=but= it was a good effort I think.  That ended up going out to my patrons on Patreon (you can support me too at and will probably go on my Vocaloid mishmash album of random Vocaloid experiments.  This past weekend I also started on another This Binary Universe-inspired song which was pretty nice!  Hoping to finish that off in the next few days before the end of the month -- probably just needs one more session and it'll be done.

A-zu-ra is working on his 5th and final Sevensongs of Springbreak album this week, which is pretty exciting.  His The Bed of Diverse Flowers is still one of my favorite albums, which was the 3rd in the spring break series.  He's posted some previews of what he's got so far, if you'd like to take a listen and get hype.

Dance continues to be pretty exciting these days.  I'm still on a short hiatus from WCS, but working on a ton of new waltz stuff still, every time I go to FNW.  In addition I reached out to some people who said they would actually be willing to get something started in terms of a weekly waltz practice / workshop session, so =maybe= that will actually happen ???

Last Friday me and a friend did our first trial run of playing Melee on the caltrain on the way back from work and it was pretty darn glorious.  I installed a Windows partition onto my macbook air as well (finally found a reason to), we had the controllers, the adapter, smooth 60fps gameplay, and I even brought a headphone splitter.  Like i said, it was glorious.  We'll definitely have to do it again.

I've also been making significant progress through Earthbound during the train ride home from work on other days -- I've just gotten Poo in my party and am now inside the Pyramid.

About to get my hair dyed later today, which I'm pretty excited about :)  It's important to take some time to treat yourself to things, I think, when the goings are getting a little rough.  Haha, I think it's also during these times that it becomes even more important than usual to try and stick to things like blogging and writing my letters that are at risk of being dropped.

I can't say that things are necessarily good right now.  But there are good things, and that's pretty important.

Friday, March 24, 2017

"You taught me...that some days, you don't always have to try your best.  Sometimes, it's not your fault.  Even if you could have done better, it's not always worth it.  It's okay.  And when you do decide to turn around, the sun and flowers will be there to laugh together with you."

Originally posted Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

12th Journey, feat raisin

Originally posted on the TGC forums here.

A big thank you to raisin for organizing the 5th anniversary Journey event, and also for meeting me out on the sands!

This was my 12th Journey, and the first time that I had done in quite some time!  I've shown a handful of people through the game, letting them play on my account, but I hadn't taken to the sands myself in a long while.  The event was in the middle of the work day for me, but I worked remotely and took a few hours of time out from working for the occasion.  No save reset for me (never done such a thing yet!), but I did cast off my white robe and went as a fully-embroidered red cloak.

As a personal aside, I've been having some interesting times lately -- nothing too crazy happening as far as life goes, but I have definitely been feeling a bit "lost" and ungrounded.  The best way I can describe it is that it felt as if the universe was swirling around and moving about all around me, and I felt as though I did not "have" anything, did not have a foothold or a heading.  At the risk of delving a bit too deep into personal matters, I will say that I care very intensely about the past and often struggle with moving on or letting go.  These feelings were at the forefront of my mind as I set out for my Journey and I knew beforehand that my playthrough would be a good chance to reflect upon my life's Journey as well.

I leaped off the BB right on the dot at the start of the event and it wasn't long before I found a fellow red-clothed companion!  After some happy greetings and faceplanting it was clear that we were both excited to see each other and go play.  It wasn't until after my playthrough that I discovered that the reddie I had encountered was none other than raisin!  I had actually taken my 10th Journey through the sands together with raisin -- a wonderful and fun-filled experience that I recounted here, though we failed to walk through the light together, losing each other in the darkness as we ventured into the snow glitch and lost our way in the midst of the death march.  Reading that account again now really makes me smile -- you showed me so many wonderful things...playing with WMs, a breathtaking meditation plummet, new CB spots, and my first time coasting and doing a dry tower run.  I consider myself lucky to have been blessed with the opportunity to Journey with you again.

It was here in the BB area that I started to realize just how long it had been since I had last taken to the sands -- it took me a bit to remember the exact position of the glyph on the left side in the cave area.  How embarrasing! xP  This was also the first time in a very long while that I had gone out in red.  My, what a different experience!  No longer could I speed across the ground easily, yet at the same time, it made it such a compelling reason to stay close by your side.  Nostalgic indeed.

We went off to collect some glyphs, release some flyers, etc. and I decided to try my hand at the usual CB spot near the glyph on the right.  As I mentioned, I haven't done this in *forever* so I couldn't even remember whether I was supposed to continue to flap or not, and whether or not being too close to one another would throw us off.  Nonetheless I still managed to get a decent CB out of it somehow, though not nearly high enough to ascend to the end of the level.  It was after that that you chirped at me and motioned to try and get through the rock headbonk entrance to the glitch area.  My -- another spot where being in red really made things much more difficult!  You made it in first and I knew where you were trying to lead me, just had trouble pinpointing the exact spot.  Thank you for coming back out and assisting me some more -- eventually we both made it in, hooray!  Unfortunately we didn't have much luck climbing out of the sandfall, as I forget how that area behaves and being in red certainly didn't help.  Funnily enough last time that we tried to play around in that glitch it also led to, as you put it, "a comedy of misunderstandings" xD

We had an unfortunate disconnect in the PD as your game decided to crash -- you were there with me one moment, then gone the next.  I wandered the desert on my own a bit, realizing that again, I had forgotten the relative locations of the landmarks that I knew were there somehow. ^^;  I had some nice times playing with the little scarf carpets, actually, as I bumbled about trying to find my way.  Eventually you managed to find me again!  Rejoice!  We went around collecting more glyphs and at one point took a brief break to practice our faceplant-jumping.  A skill that I have yet to fully master, but I was able to get one!  *chirp*  I also really enjoyed the little nook on the side edge of the structure that we walked along, pushing our heads down into the sand ^^  I've never seen anything like that!  Such fun to be shown these hidden corners of the game by another such as yourself :)

We had some nice coasting in the PD as well...funny -- did you know that you are the only person I've ever coasted with?  We flew together above to the top of the structure and I was able to do my first beamdown, together with you!  What a magical feeling, floating down with such grace!

We did not play for too long in the SC, or the rest stop area -- and I knew that I should not, either, having to eventually get back to work at some point.  We did try to get another beamdown at the dramatic drop area at the end of the level, but my attempts to sync up together with you were proving laughably difficult. xD

In the UG you took me up in the jellyfish room to the glitch and I followed with some small amount of trepidation, not wanting to go too far into glitch-land.  Thankfully, you were an excellent and considerate leader and I felt secure the whole way through!  I'm really grateful for that :)  You showed me scaredy-cat WM like you did during our previous journey, and then we proceeded to the final slide down to the end of the level.  I know there are some interesting things that you can do for that slidedown but am not sure of any of them off the top of my head.  I decided to just fly as quickly as I could toward the bottom, beating the WMs by a mile, but when I looked back you were no longer there, and alas there was only one WM chasing me, not two.  I chirped in the darkness but alas, we had DCed and you were nowhere to be found.  I sat through the history lesson and said a brief hello to the two scarf ribbons on the right before moving onward alone to the tower.

I met another reddie in the tower, one who may or may not have been on their first playthrough, and was acting rather aloof.  I did interact with them a bit, going through a majority of the tower together, but I realized during this that I did not really want another companion at this point.  My hopes of reuniting with raisin were slim at this point and I decided that I was in the mood for finishing my Journey alone and having some time to reflect on things, as well as appreciate the landscape itself.

In the snow level I started to take my time, going along at my own pace, spending a little more time with the fallen carpet flyers than usual.  It was here that I met some more reddies -- one who made an unfortunate fall back down to the beginning of the level, and later on another one whom I crossed the WM field with, only to have him get caught by a WM and get hit.  They dusted on me immediately afterward, leaving me alone in the snow again.

As always, I spent a while lingering at the warm lantern room, it being my favorite spot in the game.  This may seem silly to you, but I actually always thought that the lantern doesn't stay lit for very long, and always just deactivates itself after a set amount of time -- I think because I've always been through that area together with a companion and we deactivated it soon after.  To my surprise that wasn't the case, and I sat there in the lantern room for quite some time meditating in the warm orange glow, with the gentle lantern music cue playing against the rush of the wind outside.  It was actually a very very meaningful experience for me, knowing that I could hold this moment for as long as I wished, especially given the things I had been struggling with in life recently.  Having a comfortable, safe spot that I can stay in and preserve is very important to me as a person, and it is exactly for that reason that I feel so strongly about that room in the game.  As I do with life, I half considered just ending my Journey there, not wanting to move on from my restful place.  But the aforementioned reddie came by and I decided to follow them.

After being dusted on, I was left to tackle the windy corridor and the final death march alone.  As always, the DM is an interesting experience -- I feel like it can conjure such wildly different feelings each time.  This time was unique in that I felt little will to continue onward to the mountain itself.  Of course, I continued to push onward, fulfilling the role I was meant to play, but I later realized that it was not the mountain ahead of me that I truly desired, but rather, the fun times spent together with raisin in the PD that I wanted to return to.  Having lost my connection to the past as well as my pull forward to the future, I found myself lost in an endless sea of white.  I already knew this in my own life, but having the elements depicted as concrete metaphors really brought it all together for me.

I went through Paradise alone as well, but actually enjoyed it quite much.  It's been a while since playing in Paradise alone, and I think it really brings a new feel to the place, being able to spend more time alone with the gorgeous water, the little islands off to the sides of the main path, and hanging out with the whales as well.  Oh, how I loved playing with those whales!  I feel like I am usually too distracted by keeping up with and playing around with my companion to really say hi to them.

I have been considering some concepts of Buddhism lately and trying to come to terms with the idea that we don't really "have anything" so to speak, that life is fleeting and it is not really possible to truly "preserve" anything, despite my strong ideals of hanging onto things.  "The cup is already broken", as they say.  As I crossed the threshold into the light, I watched my figure walk further and further into the distance, surrounded by the blank white nothingness, and for the first time I really, truly watched all the way, focusing on that tiny figure in the center of the screen as it faded until finally there was nothingness again.  I think I'll be reflecting on that image for a while.

Thank you so much again, raisin, for organizing this event and for a wonderful time together (that unfortunately met a premature end).  It was really nice getting to know you in the sands for a time again and I found my Journey to be very theraputic as well.  Perhaps someday we'll actually get to walk into the light together ^^;

Monday, March 13, 2017

Journey's 5th Anniversary, Feeling Lost

Happy 5th anniversary to Journey today!

I talk about this game all the time -- I know right now all the hype is about Breath of the Wild (which looks really cool too), but if you don't already know about the importance and legacy of Journey I highly encourage you to at least look it up.  I'll be joining in the 5th anniversary playthrough event this afternoon, looking forward to it as it's been a while since I've been out on the sands!

Lately I have been feeling quite lost in life -- "like I have nothing".  Somehow I really had a strong feeling that the universe is just swirling, spinning, and moving along, and I was just lost in all of the movement and turbulence.  Like I could not find a foothold, or an anchor to ground me.  Writing my 1000th letter got me thinking about the past too.  I think I really got overwhelmed thinking about all of the things that I have lost over the years, because I did not have a corresponding set of things in my mind that tie me to the present -- things that I know, understand, and am comfortable with.  Apparently I was incredibly sad about this last night because I ended up crying a lot about it.  It made me realize that I am going through life a little too "quickly" at the moment, and that I need to dedicate more time to things that help me feel grounded, anchored, and connected to the past.

My thoughts about the past have really become a lot more informed throughout the years, via various things -- in particular, the time when I tried to skip my annual Christmas letter tradition (and ended up feeling so doubtful and sad about it), and the time when me and my best friend tried to develop our "bird" / return game (the predecessor to Rain) together.  Both of those experiences, as well as the note about the sand castles ("Why?"), along with many other things, made me realize that it's not a matter of whether I should let go of the past and move on.  Because most of the time that's just not something I can do.  Looking backward is just something that I have to do, something that is a part of me.  I need to move slowly through life.  So I know now, that when I am feeling this way, I can't solve things by letting go -- I just have to go more slowly.

Let's try our best again this week.

1000th Letter

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Kono monogatari no hajimari no basho de
Yakusoku dake ga kurikaeshite mo
Anata no kioku ni watashi wa zutto ikiteru

Friday, March 10, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

That feeling when you feel like it's easier to speak to someone through music than through words

"The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something."

-- Seth Godin

ISFJs disagree. xD  (and other Si-doms)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Slow down, life.  One step at a time, ok?

Slept together with Shia last night for about 10 hours.  Really needed that.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Small things hurt entirely more than they should.

I've just finished letter #999...the next one is the big 1000.

Someday I might attempt to spell out my thoughts on Princess Kaguya.  I don't even know if I could, but maybe someday I will try.  Maybe.  Someday.  It's not so simple to explain.

Happy belated birthday to Cinnamoroll!

It's kind of funny, but for reals...somewhere along the way while I was driving to Dancebreak, listening to some pretty awesome music, I just had this feeling that I suddenly rediscovered what makes my life meaningful again.  Making music, dance, creating art, flow state, the process of mastery and feeling that you can achieve anything.  I don't really know how I forgot about it but in that moment I feel like I remembered why I am alive.

I kind of miss working with charcoal.  I mean, I didn't even do it much and I'm not any good at it or anything, but I miss it all the same.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sheesh!  Was going to cook some chicken curry using a premade indian simmer sauce until I read the label again and discovered that it contains almonds???  sigh...  made sa cha chicken instead as a backup.  Been using that sauce more often since dinner with BenZhen -- it's a nice one to have handy!

Seriously though, I get it that nuts are awesome and healthy and everything but I wish for my own selfish benefit that they didn't pop up in these random foods and ingredients every once in a while.  It's hard to be vigilant when things are not regular.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Things are...okay.  It's really nice that it's the weekend.  Dance was nice, as was playing melee earlier today.

People could be...a lot better, I think.  But I shouldn't try and be one to judge.

Kiki was in my dream last night (I think it was last night, and not the night before).  She had some psychopathic French teacher who upon discovering that her class was not fast asleep like they were supposed to or something, basically chased after us like some sort of maniac and used acupuncture-like needles (!?) on us as a sort of punishment.  Dreams are weird.

Played through some more Earthbound the other day, and actually got back to where I was earlier! (Just after Belch)  Have also been progressing through Hatoful Boyfriend, lol.

I hope that things will be alright.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Creature of Habit

It should come as no surprise that I'm a creature of habit.  The continued existence of this very blog should be enough to prove that.  But by "creature of habit" I don't mean simply that I default to doing the thing that I know, but more than that, that I have a =need= to be engrossed in a habitual rhythm (as I'm writing about in a letter -- letter #999!).  Everyone does, to a certain extent, I'm sure, but I feel like there is a strong correlation between my mental and emotional well-being and whether I feel like I am following the daily life patterns that I know to be good.

Currently things are a mix, really.  I'm doing alright, but at the same time, I know that something is wrong.  Fortunately, it's not a "scary" feeling, not that dreaded, awful feeling of "wrongness", which is one of the worst feelings to have.  But rather, it's more of a feeling that where I am right now, is not really quite where I want to be.  That I'm not comfortable with my current "resting place", if you could even call it that.  And I think identifying and becoming able to fall into familiar patterns is something that will help me cope with this feeling.

I think this is, out of anything, one of the ways that MBTI helps me form a more concrete idea of the way that I function -- in that it lets me put a name, "Si", to something that I already know intuitively to be important.  Speaking of MBTI, I totally mistyped my mother all this time and as it turns out I think she is ESFJ not ISFJ which makes a lot of sense.  Now you know...

As the years go on I feel like the number of things I can write about here become less and less, which makes me a bit sad.  There is something really beautiful about being frank and honest about things, despite how crude and immature it may be at the same time.  I feel like many people look back upon their past writings and ideals and shudder...I think I am glad to have grown in many ways since then, but also sad that things have changed, of course.  There are parts of the old me that I don't think I can truly recapture anymore; parts which I think are actually very significant to my being.  Sometimes I do wonder what it would be like if I could still keep a very direct translation from what's on my mind to what is in this little corner of the internet.  I would probably get in a lot of trouble sometimes.  But perhaps it would be healthier in the end, too.

Though I know from firsthand experience (don't we all) that it can be really atrocious for someone to go on about themselves and their problems all the time, I think it is really dangerous for us to make it a habit to cover all that up and engage in small talk all of the time.  For me, personally, at least, it makes me forgot how to be "real" again, which is frightening.  I think it's good to try my best to avoid falling into that.  I know that I am fighting upstream against the current, even more so when it comes to other mediums like phone calls, but it would be unbecoming of me to stop trying.