The Sunday Currently – 05

My goal this past week was to start getting back to writing and drawing comics again. Although I didn’t get to make any actual comic strips, I did manage to come up with new ideas and start sketching out characters again. After months of feeling creatively dry, I’ll take that as a win.

Drawing characters in various styles and proportions. I’ve been experimenting with new looks I can use for the comic, although after some exploration, I realized that the style I’m comfortable with was not that far off from what I was already doing in the first place.

Writing prompts. I haven’t worked out the scripts for the comics, but I’ve started listing down ideas in my bullet journal so I can revisit it later. I usually change up the text anyway until the very last minute, so I tend to write in rough ideas first, sketch, then polish after.

Playing so much Postknight. I’ve only been playing for a little over a week and I’ve already finished all the current available areas and fully upgrade the tier 5 Nightbane armor set (currently my favorite). The only things left to do, if I were to go all completionist about it, is to get to 5 hearts for all the romanceables, get to S rank (currently at A-7, I think), and possibly try to do all the other achievements (but I really don’t see the point). I’m STILL playing, by the way. The game is really addicting.

Reading Red Shirts, still. I’ve relaxed my reading pace a bit, so I’ve been going through my books a lot slower. I’ve been enjoying the book so far, as it feels like a very long episode of Star Trek. I’ve been imagining one of the characters to look like Anton Yelchin, and I really hope he survives the book.

Watching Legion. I’ve managed to watch the first two episodes of Legion this past week and I’m really, really liking the treatment. Also, Dan Stevens appears to be getting younger (WTF). Riverdale is still, also, on the watchlist. I’ve decided at this point that I like it. Not loving it yet, still, but definitely not a hate.

Wanting new eyebrow makeup. I’ve upped my skincare game, so now my brain has shifted to trying to level up my makeup game. I thought I’d try to master my eyebrows first, since they’re very sparse, and on a normal day I look like I barely have any brows at all. I’ve already done some research (youtube), so now all I need is the proper tools so I can practice the techniques.

Needing for the weather to improve a bit. We’ve been having super cold nights and then weird overcast days with minimal sunshine (and then rain!) this past week, and as a result, we’ve been feeling sick all week. I would like to not feel sick so I can go back to my cardio.

Thinking about how my year has been going so far and the running theme seems to be self-improvement and relearning how to “love myself”. There has been several aspects of my life that I let slip or neglected for several years (like fitness and skincare), and now that I’ve taken a more active role in improving them, I feel like I’m getting some of my confidence (which was completely destroyed in 2016) back.

Feeling good. These days, I feel like I worry less. I still worry a lot, mind you, but much less than I used to. I’ve relaxed my iron grip on my finances, and figured it’s about time I invested a little money on things that can improve my self-confidence (like skincare products and makeup). I’m not going all crazy and buying all the most expensive stuff, but improving one small thing at a time.

The Sunday Currently – 04

The past week had me quite busy with work. When I wasn’t working, I was obsessing over skincare products, and when I wasn’t doing that, I was either sleeping or watching TV. Not a lot of drawing and writing got done, but if you count my misadventures into the world of skincare as play, then yes, I’ve been playing A LOT.

Drawing not a lot, again. Unless you count stuff for work, in which case, I did so much drawing this week that I’m starting to get sick of Photoshop.

Writing drafts for a mini comic I’m thinking of printing for Komikon. Well, I wrote a rough script and an outline last Monday but haven’t looked at my document since, so we’ll see where that goes next week.

Playing with skincare and, well, this new mobile game called Postknight. I bought quite a lot of new skincare products over the past week, and I’ve been experimenting with the 10-Step Korean Skincare regimen. I’d say I spent a fortune but, honestly, I bought a lot of good local products that didn’t eat a hole through my wallet. I may or may not write more about this experiment in the future.

Reading beauty product reviews. I didn’t get too much Kindle reading done, although I bought yet another book (it was on sale, damnit) that I started reading last night called Redshirts by John Scalzi.

Watching Netflix shows. Netflix gave me another free month trial and so far I’ve burned through the entire first season of Santa Clarita Diet (loved it), and watched the pilot for A Series of Unfortunate Events (it’s okay). Also watched up to the second episode of Riverdale and it’s still very WTF but I also can’t get enough of it.

Wanting anti-aging eye cream and makeup that doesn’t make my face look cake-y.

Needing to get a grip on my new obsession before it eats a hole through my wallet.

Thinking about where to focus my creative efforts. This is something I’ve been struggling with since last year, and I still don’t have an answer.

Feeling optimistic. Despite lack of progress on the creative front, I do feel like I’m making significant progress in other areas of my life, especially with fitness.

The Sunday Currently – 03

The problem with my new bullet journaling habit is that I now have a log of everything, which means I can recall exactly how good/bad I felt everyday. I suppose that’s not really a bad thing, and it’s pretty useful when I’m doing these end-of-the-week blog posts, but it does constantly force me to evaluate my life choices on a daily basis. In a way, I’m continuously learning new things about myself and readjusting my life depending on what works and what doesn’t.

Last week, for example, I’ve learned that I still tend to pile on too many unrealistic expectations on myself. I tried to get back into making comics again when I knew that my regular work was going to stress me out already, at least for that week.

Drawing nothing. I don’t recall trying to do any serious drawing outside of work last week, though I did spend a few minutes mindlessly sketching one night.

Writing this post. I didn’t really intend to be doing The Sunday Currently every week, but it’s kind of an easy way to get into the habit of writing something-anything really- once a week. I like to think of it as a “weekly assessment” kind of thing as well, where I try to recall the lessons learned for the week.

Playing nothing as well. I haven’t actually played any new games the past week. I was intending to try out Final Fantasy XV last Sunday but ended up sleeping early instead to prep for the coming week, and then I just forgot.

Reading too many books. One of the things I tried last week was reading 3 books of different genres at a time (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, Wired For Story by Lisa Cron, and Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne by David Gaider). It was mostly an attempt at curbing my reading speed so I don’t end up burning through all my books in a week (thus requiring me to spend on more books). On the upside, it worked, because I didn’t finish any of the 3 books I started reading. On the downside, I’m missing the ‘high’ of having finished something. Although reading 3 books at a time seemed like a good idea at the time, by day three I found myself gravitating towards just one book. By day six I was burning through just one.

Watching more Fresh Off the Boat. I’m still trying to decide whether or not I should keep my iFlix subscription. On the upside, it’s cheap. On the downside, I only really resubscribed for that one show. Just like Jessica, I can be a bit of a penny pincher.

Wanting steak. This craving just came up last night, but it might have to do with all the greens and cheese we ate as an afternoon snack while the Roseros and Dante’s former officemates were here for a visit.

Needing protein powder. I ran out sometime last week and was intending to not buy any more but it threw me off of my daily routine. I made it a habit to have a protein shake for breakfast every morning for the last two months and as soon as I stopped, it’s like I didn’t know how to get my day started anymore.

Thinking about what to do for Komikon. The next convention is scheduled for April 1 and I would really like to be able to have something to show by then.

Feeling chill. Last week was a bit stressful and a lot of my days were kind of meh, but somehow Sunday mornings have turned into quiet moments of reflection as I write my Sunday Currentlys, and I’m able to relax and plan for the week ahead.

It’s Not the Riverdale That You Used To Know

I grew up reading Archie comics, and it’s practically why I got into comics and art in the first place. Although the series never seemed to care so much about canon when it came to plot lines, the characters mostly stayed the same throughout stories, at least from what I can remember of it.

I very recently watched the pilot of CW’s Riverdale, and I am not quite sure how I feel about it yet. I can’t say that I’m one of those advocates of “sticking to the source material” when it comes to adaptations, but Riverdale was certainly pushing the boundaries of my comfort zones as a fan. There were things from the pilot that I really liked, some I’m not so sure about, and one thing I wish they cut out completely.

Likes:

  • Everyone is hot. Though I suppose this is a given being a CW show. I thought that the blatant explanation of how Archie Andrews got ripped from pouring concrete all summer was kind of funny.
  • Veronica is likable. In the comics from my youth, she was portrayed mostly as a mean, rich snob who was the clear ‘bad choice’ for Archie.
  • Hermione Lodge. I don’t think I ever saw her in the comics, and I’m just amused at seeing ‘Hermione’ used in a context that’s not Harry Potter. Also, how convenient that both Lodge parents have the same initials.
  •  Moose is gay? I don’t know how they’ll handle this in future episodes, but some character development past the comic’s big dumb jock stereotype would be nice.

Not sure about:

  • Reggie Mantle as token Asian in what seems to be a dumb jock role. I suppose I should be glad they made at least one character Asian. We’ll see how this develops.
  • All-black Josie and the Pussycats, and they we’re kind of snobs. I would have preferred that they stuck with the mixed race version in the comics (though I guess that would’ve made Valerie the token black girl).
  • Everything else, really.

Wished they cut out:

  • Grundy as a young, hot teacher who gets involved with Archie. This was honestly the only true WTF moment for me. Everything else was more “sure, let’s see where this goes.”

Like I said, I’m not entirely sure whether I like the show or not, but I’ll probably watch it anyway for the eye candy that is Archie Andrews. After all, I managed to stomach entire seasons of The Vampire Diaries for the sake of looking at Ian Somerhalder (though I genuinely liked that show until Elena Gilbert became too whiny). I can stand to watch more Riverdale episodes.

The Sunday Currently – 02

Alright, week two! Last week, I mentioned that I originally wanted to put my own spin into The Sunday Currently but ultimately decided against it. I realized, instead of a complete revamp, what I’m going to do is slowly evolve it by changing the activities from the original template that don’t matter as much to me into things that actually make sense in my life (e.g. “listening” into “playing” because I don’t really listen to a lot of music, but I’m constantly playing a new video/tabletop game. Might be a different story if I start listening to podcasts again, then maybe I’ll just bring that activity back.)

Drawing comics again, hopefully. I’ve got some ideas, but I haven’t gotten around to really working on it. I also have those D&D portraits still pending, gah.

Writing a review of the Riverdale pilot because OMGWTFBBQ.

Playing a lot of board games. I tried out Scythe and XenoShfyt: Onslaught with a couple of friends last week. Both games were pretty fun, but I liked XenoShyft much better because it was co-op and I got to blow shit up (I was playing as the scientist and got bonuses for using explosives).

Reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I realized last night that extending my no-spending-on-non-essentials rule to books was driving me nuts so I caved in and finally bought a book that’s been sitting on my wishlist for months.

Watching a lot of TV all of a sudden. Suits is back, and so is The Magicians. And then there’s the Riverdale pilot.

Wanting Korean beauty products. Somehow I found myself looking into the “10 Step Korean beauty regimen” last week and now I’m thinking of ways to streamline that into something more manageable and affordable.

Needing to stop buying cheap 5-in-1 panty packs from Bench and cheap, low quality stuff in general.

Thinking whether talking about panties in my blog is a good idea and then I remember what I’m reading and decide IDGAF.

Feeling pretty good despite a mini mental breakdown last night caused mostly, probably, by self imposed restrictions over what I could (and couldn’t) spend on for the month.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game for People Who Hate Card Games

One of the games Dante and I got into late last year is called Arkham Horror: The Card Game. We’ve had several gaming sessions since the start of the year, and I find that I enjoy it immensely. I’ve decided that I’d write a little review just for fun, since I don’t normally write reviews, though I think about writing them a lot (in case anyone was interested in paying me for my opinions on things).

A bit of background though: I normally hate card games. TCGs, LCGs, in analog or digital format: I hate all of them. I played a bit of Magic the Gathering back when I was in grade school, and I have tried to rekindle interest several times over the years, but I just can’t be bothered.

I also briefly owned my own set of Netrunner cards when Dante first got me into it but I realized soon after that I didn’t enjoy the deckbuilding aspect, which I suppose is kind of the whole point with these games. The only card game I really got into in recent history was Gwent from The Witcher 3, but that was partially due to it already being “free” as part of a bigger game, and I didn’t have to shell out any money on expansions (except for the actual Witcher 3 DLCs, of course).

Granted, I didn’t shell out any money on Arkham Horror: The Card Game either (Dante buys them), but I like it enough to consider getting another starter set just so we can customize our decks with more ease. But let me get into the reasons why I like the game so much first:

  • It’s a cooperative adventure game. I’m not sure if there are any other games like it in the market, but it’s the first of its kind for me to play. Most of the card games I tried in the past were of the competitive nature, and I’m not a very competitive player.
  • It has story. Yes, I know, Netrunner and Magic and Hearthstone all have their own backstories and lore, but the actual sessions themselves don’t have a stories (Hearthstone has campaigns, I think, but I never got past the tutorial). Arkham Horror: The Card Game, being an adventure game, comes with an actual story campaign that you have to follow, so it’s a bit like D&D with cards and a Lovecraftian setting.
  • Deckbuilding is easy and actually fun. Each character in the game has a recommended pool of cards you can pick from, and since the game is fairly new, the pool of available cards isn’t massive (at least, not yet). This minimizes option paralysis, which is great for people who don’t want to spend too much energy making “the perfect deck,” a.k.a. me. Also, deckbuilding here feels more like tweaking character stats/skills/backstory rather than the probability-something-something-math-optimization shit that competitive games seem to require these days. I pick my cards based on what makes sense for the character I’m building for, so, really, it’s a role playing game in card game format.

Maybe I’m not making enough sense because I haven’t explained how the game actually works yet, but I’m going to do a bit of a cheat and instead point you towards a video that can do that for me:

As you can see from the video, this game is really fun and can make for hilarious gaming moments, but it can also be very brutal. Tip: read the rules very carefully, and several times over if possible. Another tip: don’t try gaming the system (like, putting off killing the last boss so you can deal with a character weakness).

Anyway, if you’re into cooperative adventure games, this game is definitely worth the money.

The Sunday Currently – 01

I had originally intended to spin my own version of The Sunday Currently (an idea I got from a friend, who got it from somewhere else), but I realized it’d be too much work. Also, I was thinking of calling it The Weekly Report then realized that attaching “weekly” to the title sets expectations of consistency, which I haven’t been very good at, so it’s probably best to follow the non-committal original template.

Reading Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? I bought this on Kindle maybe over a year ago, read it about halfway through, then forgot about it (which is the state of about 50% of the books I have on Kindle). I’m trying this thing in January where I try not to spend on anything non-essential so I’ve been going through all the books I bought and haven’t finished reading one by one. The upside to relegating social media browsing to an “on the toilet” activity is that I get so much other reading done. So far this year I’ve read through In Progress by Jessica Hische, Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Think Like a Freak by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

Writing lists of all the other books I want to buy and read on Kindle. The same friend I got this blog template from also inspired me to try out bullet journaling again (her handwriting is so amazingly clean I’m so jealous). I had started one last year but never made it into a proper habit.

Listening to the humming of the trikes outside our house. I haven’t been going on Spotify much since I can’t work/read/think/write when there’s music playing, and that’s mostly what I’ve been doing since the start of the year (well, except for writing, but I’m trying to change that).

Watching Fresh Off the Boat on iFlix. I don’t really watch that much TV anymore but when I’m sick I find that watching good comedies usually help me feel better.

Feeling not sick, yey! I developed a bad cold last Wednesday and have been feeling pretty shit since, but I’m feeling much better now though I still have a slight cough.

Thinking about all the things I really ought to be doing after I finish this post.

Wanting to shop for furniture for our office/workshop/room of requirement downstairs which I had recently just cleaned up, but it’s a Sunday and I hate going out on Sundays because people.

Hoping that I’ll be back in full health tomorrow so I can go back to the gym after work.

Needing to get back to working on the D&D portraits for my adventuring group, and probably doing more art in general.

Loving my new obsession on keeping our house clean. Seeing things are in order makes me feel like a proper adult. The house isn’t 100% clutter free, but at least our living room is now a much nicer place to hang out and relax in.