Little Steps, Again

November 16, 2012

It’s kind of embarrassing how I wasn’t able to put in a journal entry last night. I intended to — in fact, I even set my phone’s alarm for nine-thirty in the evening just so I can wake up for it — but I think my usual reaction to getting woken by an alarm kicked in before anything else.  That is to say, I grumpily turned it off, and went back to bed.  The next thing I new, it was already well past midnight, so I didn’t bother again.  I set downloads, then tried my best to go to sleep again.

Needless to say, it wasn’t quite successful. Between Twitter, XCOM 2012, and going through my backlog of anime, I was pretty much up until around five in the morning.  It was only then that I finally felt the pull of slumber again… so I jumped into bed without hesitation.

I woke up, obviously, at around eleven in the morning.

Despite the late start, at least this time I had a set goal in mind for today: drawing.  Specifically, adding another Magical Girl to the burgeoning ranks of my long-term art project.  Damnit Himado, don’t make this any more harder than it already is!  Oh well, Remi Shiina is underway, though I’m not really sure if I can finish her lineart tonight.  At least it’s something creative though…

Hopefully I can get the lineart and flats done by tomorrow morning.  That is, unless I can get a second wind somehow tonight.  I’ll just have to see

P.S. For some reason the gym was only going to be open until five in the afternoon, so rather than the full hour of exercise I was expecting, I had to make due with around forty-odd minutes minus warm-up (I got there around ten minutes past four).  I wonder why though.  Maintenance?  Christmas decorating?


An Afternoon’s Worth of Pastels

November 3, 2012

So, last day off before it’s back to work tomorrow.  I woke up late again as usual, though I do think I more than made up for it during the afternoon… and most of the evening.  What was I doing?  Well, working on the skyline of course, though I have to say it’s turned out much more colorful than you’d expect your usual city skyline to be.

I think I’ve going to have to tone down the saturation eventually, but that’s still in the future.  Still have to fill in the windows and whatever spaces needs doing, put it in the background of those  hedges I did before, THEN see if I need to adjust things.

All in all though, it’s kind of fun to be able to do something other than play videogames or review during my day off again.


Very Welcome Idle Weekday

November 2, 2012

So it’s day one of the first “normal” weekend and day off I’ve had since the end of my comprehensive examination.  So how I choose to start it?  By staying in bed until about lunch time.  As usual it got me told off by my father, but it’s my day off, so I’m going to stay in bed as long as I choose, darnit.

Oh, and apparently my tito arrived from the province this time.  When I finally rolled out of my bed, he was on the phone with my mother, which would apparently turn into a three-hour marathon as the two siblings caught up with each other and swapped stories.

As for me, I spent a good part of the day in front of the PC, in this case finishing the last stretch of my Classic Ironman run on XCOM: Enemy Unknown 2012.  I even recorded the ending, though given the rate of encoding it might not get uploaded to Youtube until maybe tomorrow.  Oh well.

Speaking of the run through the Ironman run through the Temple Ship, it was very strange to say the least, especially when compared to the gauntlet I experienced in just Classic.  You see, it seemed like the game decided to skip several spawns — in this case, the Thinmen, Muton, and Sectopod sections were completely empty.  Now given how this was an Ironman game, it made me doubly paranoid, as the game might just decide on spawning them all at once at the last room but… It never happened.

I have a theory for what might have possibly caused it.  You see, by the end of the room that contained the Floaters, Heavy Floaters, and Chrysalids, for an inexplicable reason one of my soldiers caught line of sight to the part where the Muton Elites normally spawn.  This caused them to spawn out of event order, which meant that they came rushing to my squad before they were even supposed to (they died to Overwatch fire at the entrance of the Muton room by the way, surprising me in the process).  

Given how this WAS a Classic Ironman game, I didn’t question the gift horse in the mouth, so to speak.  Once I got to the final room though, it was all just a matter of mopping up.  I used the experience I gained during my Classic run, and suffice to say that the Uber Ethereal didn’t last three turns, heh.

Now that was well worth the time I spent today on it.  So gratifying, especially given how hellish it was during the starting months of the Ironman game.  So expect to see the video soon, ahaha.


Of Hedgerows and Skylines

June 30, 2012

It’s funny how, despite not really planning to do so, I woke up pretty early today, even before my phone’s alarm went off at its scheduled time.  I could have sworn that I heard my sister talking (about how I was supposed to have classes today), but regardless of the reason I was out of bed, and very wide awake.  Needless to say I took advantage of the fact that I was up and about, fired up SAI, and went to “work” on the other pieces of my art project.  Which is to say adding a skyline and treeline as background to my mob of magical girls.

After several hours of squinting, the result is what is displayed on the picture above. The greens are a little too bright for comfort (at least the front row), but given the fact that they’re going to be (mostly) obscured by the running girls I think I can get away with some minor adjustments to the overall brightness later on.  That said, boy this was tiring, and the effort pretty much took the entirety of my day, which just shows my rather amateurish level of skill. Egh.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be done with the trees by tomorrow, so I can finally focus on a much harder task; that is, coloring (and shading!) all those buildings in the background.


Half-Done

May 25, 2012

 

Just a few words to what I’ve been messing around with since I woke up today, and of which I’m nowhere even finished… See those buildings in the background?  Yeah, those that are just outlines right now?  They take anywhere from an hour to two hours or more of work.  I know, I know, I’m putting too much focus on something that’s just going to serve as background, but it’s really hard putting in all those little details that make a building something that doesn’t look merely like a tall block.

Yeah, I can obsess about the strangest of things sometimes when I’m doing fanwork.  What else is new?

Suffice to say that trying to do each building in the skyline one at a time has been… time-consuming to say the least.  Oh well, I don’t have classes tomorrow, so maybe I can get more things done.

Like the trees.  Because they’re going to be added eventually, right?  Right?

On other news… So it’s my payday today.  With my rate increase, I was expecting a bigger payoff when I went to the bank teller around lunchtime today.  Sadly, that wasn’t to be, as out of the eight thousand-and-one-hundred (without taxes and contributions deducted yet) I was expecting, I was only able to get five thousand six-hundred.  Given that I haven’t been late or absent during the cutoff period, that means that that’s a lot of deductions from both taxes as well as for Pag-Ibig, SSS, and God-knows what other stuff.  Bummer.

Oh well, the deductions were expected (since they usually do come at the end of the month), it’s just that I didn’t think that they’d be this big this quick.  Mmph.  With the end-of-the-month bills coming in, it’s going to be tight until the next payday, for sure.


Good Friday Musings and Rewatching Madoka Magica

April 6, 2012

I think a good part of Christendom is, in one way or another, celebrating the passion, crucifixion, and death of Jesus on the cross.  For us here in the Philippines (for the more traditional-minded anyway) that means a pabasa, specifically through the Seven Last Words leading up to three in the afternoon.  There’s also the bisita iglesia, a pilgrimage through at least seven different churches over the course of the day, but it looks like it’s something the family will have to skip out on this year, as not only is it already pretty late in the day (and as such makes it difficult to finish the journey before night falls), but my sister’s currently conked out at the moment.  Really, the pilgrimage isn’t worth it unless you do it with your family.

For the less devoted, I’m guessing that they’re taking advantage of the day to relax and catch up on whatever it was they couldn’t do prior to the Holy Week holiday.  Among the online circle I’m familiar with, that pretty much means watching anime, particularly the new batch of shows for the Spring Season.

I’m in a particularly reflective mood though (besides, I’ve already seen the first episodes of the new shows), so I’m taking the time to do a re-watch of the finale of Madoka Magica which,  due to a mix of real-life events (do remember it was around this time that the 2011 Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami happened) and production delays, somehow landed on a day that unintentionally strengthened the themes inherent in the last two episodes, particularly of selflessness and self-sacrifice.  To a non-Japanese Catholic watcher at the time, the fact that it aired on freaking Good Friday made the message of the show all the more powerful, as it echoed (again unintentionally) the same type of qualities that lie at the core of why Christianity celebrates Holy Week.

It’s not quite a one-is-to-one parallel however, as despite Madoka’s sacrifice the magical girls of her universe still suffer through what might be considered a bum deal, spending the rest of their lives fighting off daemons without any kind of thanks (whereas Christian doctrine says that the sacrifice of Christ opens the door for definitive spiritual redemption) in exchange for their wishes, but in some ways the girls are better off than how they were prior to Madoka’s changing the rules a bit, so to speak.  With Madoka stepping in to take away their despair, each girl is free to pass on without regret, instead of turning into monsters that would very likely make the world much darker.

There’s no direct parallel to the promise that lies at the end of Holy Week either, brought upon by the Resurrection of Christ, unless one interprets the familiar themes of rebirth, renewal, and of new beginnings, in the persona of Homura (and not Madoka, the supposed messiah-figure), after the rewriting of the “rules” of their world.  Gone is the very dour and driven young woman that we’ve seen through the course of the show, and who we learned had suffered through so much just to be able to protect her friend, replaced instead with someone who literally had the crushing kharmic weight of several lifetimes lifted off her frail shoulders, no less determined, but now filled with actual hope that there will be a friendly face waiting for her, once all her struggles come to a close.

Of course one could also interpret the apotheosis of Kaname Madoka from regular schoolgirl, to this anthropomorphic concept of Hope (for magical girls, hah) existing across time as a sort of rebirth as well (though skipping the three-day death and resurrection thing).  Oddly enough, I seem to recall (though I might be misremembering things) how this matches some of the gnostic interpretations of Christ’s Resurrection to be, where Christ the God discards his earthly body and reunites with his pure godhead.  While I’m sure that being erased from existence wasn’t exactly in the cards when Madoka made her wish, much like Christ (in some interpretations) she likely accepted it as a probable (and necessary) outcome.

At least, that’s my thoughts on the matter.  Funny how this weekend made me feel contemplative (though not for matters that normal people may deem “important”), but I suppose that’s just how things are, two days before Easter Sunday.


Week-Start Lethargy

March 12, 2012

Nothing really much to say about my day.  It was slow at work, but I wasn’t really in the mood for anything other than sleeping this afternoon, so that’s what I did.  When I woke up from my siesta, I worked on the stampede again, this time focusing on the Pleiades, especially now that, with Volume 3 of Kazumi Magica out, I finally have official color schemes to work with.  It took a bit of work, but I was able to get it done somehow. 

Funny how my guess of Mirai’s scheme was spot on (without the polka-dots though, which by the way I’m keeping), and I was this close to Satomi’s as well (the shade for her official scheme was a little lighter though).  Saki and Nico’s themes were misses though, but one out of four is something I guess.

And that’s pretty much it. I’m still feeling kind of tired for some reason, so it’s off to bed again.


Day Off (part 2)

March 1, 2012

(Yeah, five hundred words at a time isn’t a lot, but it’s the average length of some of my longer journal entries.  Suffice to say that this story will take a while, but it likely won’t go over 10,000 words in the end)

-*-

Kurt  paused from typing on his laptop, and leaned back against his chair.  He took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes with one of his hands, then perched them back on his nose.  He squinted, and looked at the screen.  He leaned in, as if trying to find some detail on the the laptop’s LED monitor, but after a few moments he sighed.

He needed a break.

Kurt took a look at his wrist watch, and stood up.  He walked over to the window of his room, and raised its blinds.  It was already morning, he saw, though the sun still hadn’t quite risen over the horizon yet.  Sounds from the neighborhood drifted in, as the people that lived in it woke up and started to prepare for the day.

Kurt studied the view of the neighborhood for a bit longer, then turned towards the kitchen.

A brief look through the contents of the refrigerator yielded nothing promising.  Just leftovers from the previous night, and aside from the usual bottles of water, not even a single bottle of soda.  This latter detail made Kurt frown a bit, after he closed the door to the fridge.  So much for having a cup of cola to perk him up.

He leaned back against the kitchen counter, and rubbed his chin in contemplation.  He looked at the fruit bowl that sat in the middle of the dining table, and noted that it was empty.  He also glanced at the bread box, and saw that it was also empty.  

At length Kurt smiled to himself.  It looks like I’m going to have to go to the market anyway, he thought.  Might as well pick up a bottle or two for myself while I’m at it.

The smile still in place, he walked back in the direction of his room to get his wallet.  There he also put on his “outdoor shorts” and his trusty red windbreaker.  He double-checked that he had the house key with him, then put it in the inner pocket of his windbreaker along with his wallet.  Satisfied that he had everything that he needed, Kurt put on his favorite pair of sneakers, then walked out, the door locked securely behind him. 

-*-

Miyu, a large set of sunglasses perched on her nose, exited the rear entrance of the hotel.  It faced the parking lot, but at this hour it was virtually devoid of any vehicles, aside from the ones obviously used by the hotel.  And aside from the guard on duty at the exit to the lot, the place was virtually empty of people as well.  

The young woman sighed at this.  She was relieved that there were no paparazzi waiting for her, but at the same time she was bothered how she was expecting some to be there.  They were an unwelcome facet of her day job that she would rather not have, but it was still troubling to think that she had actually gotten used to their presence.

With her handbag cradled in one elbow, Miyu walked casually towards the car park exit.  A small frown came to her face, as she felt the hollow rumbling of her belly.  Of all the things she and her partner-for-the-night had done, dinner wasn’t one of them.  Talk about being caught up in the heat of the moment…  

She wondered if there was a fast food place close by that was open at that hour.  Surely there were some that were open twenty-four-seven… Right?

Miyu started to rummage through her handbag as she walked, but for some reason couldn’t find it.  She stopped just past the exit to the car park, and looked into her bag’s depths.  She squinted behind her sunglasses, but her eyes soon widened when she saw that her wallet, with its cash and credit cards, just wasn’t there.

She looked through her bag one more time just to be sure.

Nope, it really wasn’t there.  Everything else — her make-up, her lipstick, her traveler’s spellbook as well as the needed bags of components and foci — were though, which made its absence doubly annoying.

Did she leave it in the room?  she wondered.  No, she distinctly remembered not actually touching anything in her bag during the course of the evening.

Where then?

Miyu crossed her arms, and closed her eyes in thought.  She tried to retrace what she had been doing prior to going to the hotel.  What was it again?  She had used the waypoint magic she had learned during her last visit to escape from a particularly stressful session at the studio, and landed somewhere in the local red-light district.  There she hooked up with her beau-for-the night and…

Oh.

The image of her wallet, along with her cellphone, sitting on the top of the dressing-room table given to her, came rushing to Miyu’s mind.  She had left them there during the recording, but she had been so frustrated that she just left the studio in a huff, and had forgotten to retrieve them on the way out.

“Ah damnit,” Miyu muttered to herself, as her palm met her face in disappointment.  She wondered if it was too late to go back to the old man and mooch off him for the rest of the day.

Just as she was about to turn back towards the hotel, she heard someone call out to her.

“Oh hey.”  

Miyu turned in the direction of the voice, and saw the familiar, still-slightly overweight form of Kurt de Scela.  A plastic bag filled with what looked like fruits and plastic bottles of cola was carried in one hand, while a folded newspaper was cradled in his other arm.  

“Ah,” was all that Miyu could manage.

“I thought I was seeing things, but it  is you, isn’t it?” he said as he walked over. He looked at her, glanced at the hotel she was in the process of walking back to, then back at her, this time seemingly noting her outfit.  With its plunging neckline and its matching micro-mini, never mind the fact that it hugged her curves very closely, it wasn’t something that left much to the imagination.

“There’s an important reason for this,” Miyu started to explain, but stopped short when her stomach gave out a very audible growl.  Miyu blushed in embarrassment, while Kurt looked on, his face unreadable.

Neither of them spoke for nearly half a minute.

“Say, there’s a Jollibee branch just close by,” Kurt said finally, one finger scratching his cheek as he spoke.  “I was feeling a little hungry myself, so… What’d you say?  Want to join me for breakfast?”

Miyu pursed her lips, and could only manage a nod of agreement in response.


Even A Little Is Better Than Nothing

February 29, 2012

Given how relatively late I went to bed last night (a good thirty minutes or so past midnight), it’s not surprising that I started my first rest day relatively late as well.  I woke up around nine-thirty, but I didn’t really feel refreshed at all.  I must be because of the heat, and while it was windy, it was obviously much hotter than usual.  That meant that Summer was once again here, or at least it’s the case for us folk living here in the Philippines.

After some breakfast (which was really a brunch when I think about it now), I set about preparing the things I needed for what I was to do today… That is, do some model painting for the Librarium Challenge.  Before I got down to business though, I added a few details to each marine (via my steadily-decreasing bits supply), mainly purity seals and holstered bolt pistols (which means I am now out of said holstered bolt pistols), before giving those additions a layer of Tamiya blue.  Only after the paint dried did I actually start on the real work…

Or I should have.  Even with the windows open, it’s awfully hard to actually do any painting in my room, so I usually also turn on the lights in my room.  I used to have a fluorescent tube for room lighting, but I had to recently change to an energy-saving bulb.  While it’s more than adequate to illuminate the room during evenings, using it during the daytime only makes my eyes tire more quickly than usual.  So really, I was only able to paint after sunset.  Annoying.

Since I couldn’t do any painting during the afternoon, I went to the gym for a bit, and did my usual one-hour routine.  I can’t say that I feel any lighter though, and looking myself in the mirror still shows all the blubber concentrated around my lower abdomen…  Ugh.  I hope that I have some progress on that front come Saturday.

Speaking of progress…  I really have to start on my rewrite.  It’s the end of February, and I’ve literally only done ten pages out of a minimum of eighty pages.  Not good.  So that means that tomorrow will be allocated to that issue.  Five should be a good target, yes?

I’m… going to try to write at least that much tomorrow.  Yeah.


Hobby Sidetracking

February 28, 2012

I know that I should be using my rest day tomorrow to start double-timing on my screenplay rewrite, but at this point I don’t think I’m in the right mindset to even try… So I won’t.  Instead, I’ve decided to just spend at least some of it on my neglected hobbies, Warhammer 40k painting and modeling in particular.  

Specifically, I want to actually start on the 5-man Devastator squad I pledged for the Bolter and Chainsword’s annual Librarium Painting Challenge.  Along with the sergeant (a vet with a power fist that was basecoated and dipped a LONG time ago, but I never got around to finishing), the squad is rounded off by a pair of Missile Launcher marines, and a pair of Lascannon marines.  Not really points-efficient, but the point of the challenge is to put some paint on unpainted models after all.

It should be fun, though once I get the marines basecoated, I’ll definitely have to shift my focus to the screenplay on Thursday. Let’s see how many pages I get out then, eh?

As for work… Ah, it’s the usual Tueday shift, meaning that, had my CS systems been working, I would have had a heck of a headache at the end of the day.  Luckily they weren’t, which meant it was just membership calls for the most part, though those calls did come in faster than usual.

What else… Hmm, let’s see.  This morning on the way to work, someone’s fingers got caught in the doors of the MRT as it closed, and not at the threshold of the doors itself, but in the moving hinges to the side.  Ouch.  The folk around the poor woman tried to get the train to stop by pressing on the emergency button close by, but the train of course kept on going, and all this was highlighted by the train operator making an indignant announcement on the PA to stop playing around with the emergency stop button.  Needless to say, many people were more than a little annoyed at this.  Luckily the woman was able to free her hand once we got to the next station, but I can how something like this might leave a lasting negative impression on her.

Oh, and finally I wasn’t able to go to the gym this afternoon.  I was just so sleepy, that I pretty much decided to nap the rest of the afternoon (and the evening — I went to bed at around four, and woke up around nine).  It’s kind of my fault though, since I did stay up late (reading Zetman, for the curious).  I’ll just have to make up for it tomorrow afternoon, I guess.

And that’s pretty much it for me today.  Hopefully everyone else out there experienced more excitement than I did, ahaha.


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