Favorites of 2016

I keep coming back to this blog and finding I have so little I want to write about.

My life hasn’t really changed in any huge way. There are no news or articles I really want to discuss. There’s nothing nagging my mind or that I’ve been deep in thought about. Same old aggravations, same general routine, and all. I’m not unhappy about that. I simply don’t want to talk about it all the time.

So, I’ll do this. I’ll end my blog posts for 2016 with my favorite things of this year. If I come up with something else to talk about, I’ll post it, but for now, I’m considering this my last post of the year.

  • Movies. This year, I saw Zootopia, The Jungle Book, Storks, and Moana in theaters. Moana was my most favorite because it was an awesome movie and the very first Disney Princess movie I ever got to see in theaters. My least favorite was Storks. It was a cool movie, but it had a very annoying character throughout it that I personally didn’t find funny.
  • My job. This one is probably as obvious as crystal clear glass. I finally got my very first job and was finally making some money of my own. I confess I’ve done the typical thing and spent my money almost as soon as I got it, but only once have I spent all of it. I’ve been much more careful since and I try to never let my bank account fall under $100. This was the first year I was able to buy Christmas presents and that felt great!
  • Travel. I hate traveling, but to be with my boyfriend makes the trips worth it. Since I started working, we’ve gotten together almost weekly instead of monthly like we used to. For me, that’s the best reward of having this job. Of course, being who he is, he’s not letting me pay for everything. One thing I told him long before I got a job was I would never let him go hungry on any night if I could help it. He thought I was kidding, but I meant it. I have to argue with him to get him to take just $10 for food if he needs it. I appreciate he’s so grateful and won’t take advantage of me, but he knows I hate him going hungry. I was also finally able to bring him to my house once. No, my family didn’t meet him, but I was glad I could finally show him my room. My bed is too small for us, though. He was more content on the rug. ūüėõ
  • Pok√©mon. First off, I loved the year-long giveaway for the 20th anniversary! I got every one! I’ll never use them, but I love collecting, so I’m so glad I didn’t miss out. Meloetta and Manaphy are my favorites. Sun and Moon come after. Although I still have some small gripes, the games have not disappointed me. I think my favorite feature is Pok√© Pelago. I also question if the games really do cater more to kids. Sure, it seems so on the outside, but the games are really darker than any previous game has ever been. I’m almost willing to bet the creators did that on purpose. Make the games seem too easy at first, only to later shock the players with the real difficulty. And it is hard! Something I’m doing in S&M that I’ve never done in any game I played before is using the X items. It’s either that or all the bosses kill me. Well played, Pok√©mon Company. Well played.

I’ve been considering trying to get my driver’s license if I keep my job after the seasonal period. I don’t have a car to drive, but I think it’ll be nice to have it my license is all. Then, if and when I do have a car for myself, I’ll have getting the license out of the way.

2015 brought me a wonderful partner and 2016 brought me a great job. I’m hoping 2017 will bring something good as well, although I imagine there’ll be some heartbreak before it comes.

The Sun and the Moon

That’s a throwback to something. I bet no one will be able to guess and I’m not giving any hints. ūüėČ

In my post about search results, I mentioned searches for pokemon are the most common ones that lead to my blog. Funnily enough, I haven’t made a pokemon-related post since 2015. I suppose it’s not so odd since this blog is supposed to be life journal of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences, but it makes me happy something I love so much is popular on this blog. So, let’s change how recently there’s been a Pok√©mon post!

I am very excited for the release of Pok√©mon Sun and Moon! There’s yet to be a pair of games I don’t like and each new generation of games becomes my favorite. I have no doubt I’m going to love Sun and Moon over X and Y. It’ll simply be the usual. Aside from being the newest games, there are reasons I’m excited for them.

The biggest reason I’m so happy about Sun and Moon is the creators bought trainer customization back! Its absence in the ORAS games is one of my disappointments and the games being remakes does not justify that because fairy types and features like Pok√©mon Amie are in the ORAS pair when they didn’t exist in the original RSE games either. Therefore, that excuse is a pile of fish carcasses! I got a lot of hate on Tumblr for pointing that out and being unhappy about the absence of trainer customization, but it’s Tumblr and a fandom. The majority of people on Tumblr don’t like you not thinking how they do and I’ve ranted plenty about fandoms already.

Better is there are now four trainers to choose from of each gender instead of three. Two characters who look more like me now. Yay! Whether characters look like me or not isn’t particularly a big deal, but it’s always a nice thing, especially when it’s something I’m playing through. Reading trainer customization was returning was especially a nice surprise because the creators once said trainer customization was only meant for Kalos. It’s their choice and their games, but I rolled my eyes so hard at that. What, Kalos is the only region where people like shopping? Well, I suppose it could be. I don’t write the stories!

After trainer customization, the next thing I’m most excited for is, supposedly, Sun and Moon will be entirely in 3D (graphic-wise, not the effect). There will be no 2D imagery whatsoever. I am very thrilled for that because I always wondered why X and Y weren’t fully 3D when they were the first pair of Pok√©mon games for the 3DS. When I think about it, however, I suppose that could be why. X and Y could be seen as a trial run and a stepping stone to improving the Pok√©mon games further and further for the 3DS. Everybody starts somewhere and why bite off more than you can chew when it’s your first time with something new?

(Wow. That sounds so wrong.)

I also adore the starter pokemon: Litten (the cat), Popplio (the seal), and Rowlet (the owl). I’ve already chosen my starters. I’m choosing Litten in Sun and Popplio in Moon. I like cats, so it’s not hard to see why Litten is my first choice. For Popplio, I just like its design more than Rowlet’s. However, I can’t say I’m liking most of the new pokemon’s designs so far. My favorite, besides Litten, is Pikipek, but of the new pokemon that have been shown, I see most of their designs as ugly or hideous. Although, Cutiefly falls under “ugly cute” for me. It is cute, but I hate mosquitoes. When I first heard its name, my thought was it sounds like a fan came up with it. Then again, the same could be said for most pokemon’s names (fun fact: “Cutiefly” rhymes with “Beautifly“). Fan-made sounding names aren’t anything new.

Another new feature, one of the smaller ones, I’m thrilled about is during pokemon battles, there’s an indicator to tell you how effective a move will be against your pokemon. I know the type match-ups by heart, but I don’t know every pokemon’s typing by heart and dual typing throws a wrench into it. Anything that makes a guidebook a little less necessary is a welcome addition to me!

So far, my only hope for these particular games is their post-story isn’t as short as X and Y’s. That was my only disappointment about the X and Y games. Overall, I cannot wait for Sun and Moon, and while I’m not trying to rush the summer, I’m very much looking forward to November for these games to be released (and for Disney’s newest princess, Moana).

City Girl On A Farm

Yesterday, I took a trip with a friend of mine and her family to a farm. I’ve been to the countryside before, as I have a few relatives who live out there, but I’d never been to a farm until then. My only exposure to farms had been television and I always figured they were unrealistic. It is TV, after all.

I had a great time. I enjoyed seeing all the animals, took several pictures, and even got a video of a rooster crowing. In fact, roosters were crowing the whole time we were there, so that destroys the myth they only crow in the morning. I’m guessing Hollywood invented that.

However, I can’t say I’d be thrilled to go again. I’m glad I could go, and was able to spend time with my friend and her family, but if I somehow ever decide I want to move to the countryside, it will never be out of a desire to be a farmer.

First and foremost, practically the whole farm was filthy. I know that seems like a big “duh”, but keep in mind although I’ve moved multiple times in my life, I have always lived in cities. Small ones, but cities nonetheless. Yes, I know cities are dirty too, but this was much dirtier than I’m used to. There were flies everywhere, even on some of the animals (the farm dog had flies hanging around on his ears!), and the children and I had to continuously be very careful of where we stepped to avoid stepping in animal waste in the large areas. I’m not insensitive, so I realize that’s just part of life for the people who live on that farm, but for me, someone who has not grown up that way, that’s disgusting and nowhere near normal. I have to admit if I’d been told that beforehand, I would’ve backed out of going because if I so much as knew about a place as filthy as that, I’d avoid it like a plague. Even some of the furniture they have, like a fridge, was dirty.

My friend tried to console me by reminding me that humans also have waste and, when I said flies are disease-ridden, have diseases too. That’s true, yes, but that did not help me feel better. Humans, at least as I’ve been taught, do that business in the privacy of a bathroom with the door locked! When humans get sick, we stay in bed until we’re well again or, if it’s severe, seek medical attention. In the case that we can’t stay home until we’re well again, we take over-the-counter medicine and carry tissues with us to avoid spreading our illness to other people. Yes, some people aren’t that considerate, but most people I’ve met are. I don’t think the same can be said for flies, and frankly, I don’t like most insects anyway. Flies, in particular, disgust me.

The bottom line is while I admire the work they do, that’s not a lifestyle I could live. No, I wasn’t expecting all the animals to be cute and cuddly, but I certainly wasn’t expecting flies to be swarming either. We couldn’t even eat without flies around. I wasn’t expecting a farm to be as pristine as a hospital, but I wasn’t expecting that level of filth either. My friend teased me a bit about being a complete city girl and I suppose I can’t say she’s wrong. I’ve grown up across cities, so what else could I be? However, considering other nature trips I’ve enjoyed, like hiking, I’d say it’s less of a “city girl” thing and more of a “this is too much filth for me” thing.

Break It Down

I’ve got an art problem and it starts with “impatience”.

It’s much more fun look at your own than make it. At least, that’s how I feel when things start taking longer than I’d like. For the most part, I can reasonably assume how long something will take to finish because I’ve done it before. If it’s more than a day, the idea doesn’t leave my head. And I hate that.

The reason that happens is if something goes on for too long, I get bored of it, especially if I’m been working on it for several hours in a row. The longest I’ve ever worked on something was 14 hours and I still wasn’t finished. It’s not too hard to see why I didn’t want to open an art program again for a while.

I asked for advice on DeivantArt’s forum and I got two ideas I found useful. One was to take some time to make a bunch of rough drafts and sketches. It’s still practice and it’s hard to really get bored when they take about a half hour at most. That was a good idea to me because I do sketching. Can make everything messy and clean it up later. Besides, who says they all have to make it off the page? Some of my drawings never leave the sketchbook, which is probably good because some of them are really bad ideas.

The other idea was breaking down the process into smaller goals to achieve for the day instead of worrying about finishing the whole thing at once and getting it all done as soon as possible. Unless I don’t want to digitize it, my drawing process usually goes in this order: pencil sketch, transfer, outline, details, color, shade, background, sign and watermark, upload. Done. Depending on the size of what I’m trying to make, that can be a very long process, and it never looks like it took as long as it did. Something I spent three weeks on will often look like it only took half a day.

I feel like doing so makes me lazy, but I like the idea that I can just do one part at a time and decide I’m done of the day instead of trying to get it done as quickly as possible. That’s probably why they look so bad in the first place, in addition to the low skill I have. That’s not a new idea to me. Just one I always felt made me a lazy person because I’m making it easy on myself. Of course, if this is supposed to be fun, I probably should do that. I’m not exactly trying to make a career out of this. Having to rush, and still being unable to keep up, is why I never did well in art classes during high school.

I don’t know when I’m going to create or rework something again, but whenever I’ll do, I’ll give that idea a shot. Hopefully, it’s something I can manage to stick to.

A New Game For Me

For the past two weeks, I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which was my birthday gift from my boyfriend. The game is from 2012, but I’d never played any of the series before, so it’s completely new to me.

I’ve played everyday since bringing the game home. It’s a really lax game for the most part, which is probably why I like it so much. I enjoy challenges like puzzles, quests, and destroying enemies, but slow-paced games are my favorite.

He told me Animal Crossing is a life simulation and I didn’t believe him at first, but I see how it fits into the category. The only simulation games I’d ever played before are The Sims series and Cities: Skylines, so my view of the genre is narrow. I do compare AC: NL to Sims every now and then, but I can’t really say it’s like either game. Although, if I had to choose, I’d say it was a little closer to Sims, but barely.

For starters, AC: NL has something Sims has yet to introduce: debt. You can’t really get into debt in any of the Sims games. If you fall behind on your bills, you just get your furniture taken away by the repossession service. When you buy a house, you pay full price for it right up front. In AC: NL, you have to make a down payment for your house before construction can start and you have to pay off the loan before you can expand or re-furnish your house. The same applies to town buildings. Building anything in the Sims is free unless you do it while playing with a household. In AC: NL, you’ve got to pay the full price (although citizens can donate, but they rarely, if ever, donate much) before a new building will be built. Cities: Skylines has a loan and debt system, but the income is automatic. If you keep your city happy and new citizens continually coming in, your income will be more than your expenses. Also, all loans must be paid back in full rather than little by little.

That kind of system is a new thing for me. It takes a lot of patience! Thankfully, making bells (the game’s currency) is easy, but it’s time-consuming and if you have a high debt to pay off, it’ll take a long time if you don’t play around the clock. You can “time-travel”, but I don’t want to manipulate the game’s time. It feels like cheating to me, even though it isn’t.

The town itself grows slowly, but the population grows quickly. It seems every other day, someone new moves into my town. It’s pretty much a Happyland, but that’s fine with me. I’m trying to run a town! I don’t need citizens fighting!

Another thing that’s different from Sims is there’s no instant delivery. Whatever you buy, you have to take to your home yourself. Renovations aren’t completed until 6 AM on the next morning. You also have to buy clothes and have a closet or some kind of storage to store them in. Only in Sims 2 was that the case. In Sims 3 and 4, you could just click your character to change their outfit and you got “new clothes” by changing their outfits in the create mode. It was a bit annoying in Sims 2, but I don’t mind it in AC: NL because the clothing store isn’t far and the clothes change is instant.

If I were the type who over-analyzed everything, I’d say there’s a message in a human running a town of animals. I did my think my character was weird-looking at first, but she’s grown on me, so I see her as kind of cute. She was also klutzy for a while. She kept tripping when she ran with her parasol. Luckily, that was a one-day thing.

Overall, the game is cute and cool, and I’m having a great time with it. I feel sorry for my citizens when the “newness” wears off, though. Those poor animals will be abandoned for months! I hope they’re better at taking care of themselves than sims are when left to their own devices!

Time Does Fly!

Oh, who am I kidding? Aging is the slowest thing in the universe. But when another year has finally passed, it can certainly seem short.

Today is my 22nd birthday! I have been getting birthday wishes since midnight, mostly from Tumblr, but I’ve gotten ones from family, friends, and my boyfriend. I also got a few gifts and the day in general was pleasant.

I also learned something today. “Birthday” is not necessarily an easy word to spell.

What the whozits is a “bartlay”?

My First Valentine!

Happy Valentine’s Day! I had a wonderful day!

My boyfriend and I agreed to get together for today. Admittedly, the weather wasn’t favorable, but when is winter ever favorable for outing plans unless you’re doing winter sports?

The plan was only to go a buffet and, later, a bakery, but we filled in the time between with a bit of shopping. The buffet was great, although it was busy! The wait staff didn’t get a moment’s peace! I guess that’s standard for Valentine’s Day. I only had two plates, but he had five! And he still finished before I did, although his plates weren’t as full as mine after the first.

We were in the buffet for an hour. After that, we went around, looking for belts and razors for me, and a pair of gloves of him (because I’ll be darned if anyone’s hands freeze on my watch!). The belts were easy to find, but it took a few more stores to find the razors and gloves we were after. We also window-shopped around a game store for a little while. Just to see if there was anything new.

The bakery was great! We each had a slice of chocolate mousse and it was one of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever tasted in my life! I took my time eating mine because it was so good! He took some jello for later in the evening. Apparently, jello can spoil within an hour if it’s not refrigerated. I didn’t know that.

We got the gloves for him after the visit to the bakery and that was it. It was time to go home. I waited with him until the train came, we kissed goodbye when it did, and we left. Honestly, as much as I wanted to get out of the cold, I was still kind of sad we had to split ways. It’s the same way I feel every time we have to go home.

Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays because it’s supposed to be a day about love, but this one will probably always be my favorite for being my first one where I had a valentine. The year is still very early, but I’m going to consider this as one of my favorite days of this year.