projects | blog


[all the things] [rss]

October 23, 2021 9:18 PM

10 miles

I probably gained about 20 pounds over the course of the pandemic. Maybe only 5 lbs or so during 2020, but once travel started opening back up again, and I was visiting home, I just ballooned really quickly. I gained about 15 lbs between February and June this year, and it was enough to make my doctor ask me about it.

You weigh 140? Is that right? You were 126 earlier this year.

Uhhh, yep, that's right. I told her it was due to stress.

So I had to do something about it. Stop eating so much fried chicken. Stop drinking soda. Start cooking again. Oh, and exercise.

But I felt like a blob. I could feel the tightness in my clothes and the heaviness all over my body. But I've been there before. If I can recover from a freshman 30, I can revert this quarantine 15.

So I did what I did eight years ago when I was overweight and terribly out of shape. I started running. And man, was it a struggle. How the hell did I manage to do 5 mile runs no problem pre-pandemic? For months I was barely able to run 2 miles non-stop. And I was running slow. 11 minute mile pace.

But something changed a few weeks ago. I don't know what it was. I felt lighter? I started being able to run 5Ks again. I ran 5 miles with my partner and I felt...fine. And then last week, I went out for a run on my own, with no real expectations. I ran three miles, and it felt so comfortable, so I kept going. I was at five miles, six miles, seven miles. I started running faster. I thought, "I think I can hit 10 miles". So I kept going. My feet started hurting, but I was determined. And suddenly, there it was.

I really thought I was going to have a few more #in-progress posts before getting to this point, but I guess I just unlocked something within me.


May 28, 2021 6:32 PM

Elite Beat Agents

Because one silly rhythm game quarantine goal wasn't enough, I decided that I would turn on my Nintendo DS for the first time in years and play some Elite Beat Agents. And the battery on that thing is amazing. I hadn't charged it in over 5 years and it still turned on and had plenty of battery left.

I've heard the gameplay is similar to osu! but what makes it unique is that each song you can play has a story. Each one has a similar structure: the main character has some sort of ordeal they need to get through, and they call for help from the agents, and the agents dance their way to success. How well you do on the rhythm game determines the outcome of the story.

,-. ; ____ ____ __ __ . \_ \ _-' / ____// __ \ / // / _,' \ \ `-. / / __// / / / / // / ,' _ ,-\_ \ _-' / /_/ // /_/ / /_//_/ `. ,~,',' ,'\_ `. `-. \____/ \____/ (_)(_) _.--` : ! ; . `-~~~. ,.-'-._ ,-~-. .' \; ! + _.---=' ,.---. `.' ` \: ',_,.-'# //-~-~-\\ `-' { |'==-,-=='| \`==' \ ('=='/'==') \ \ :! _`w_ !; \ "-,__ |[___]| __ \ t_____J ``~-. \ ( ^ ) _/\_ | \ } \ /*\ / > < | \

I first played this game...14 years ago? I remembered it being a lot of fun, but once I got to the Hard Rock! level I struggled a lot, and I was never able to beat the whole game. But this time, I was determined to finish it. And because I like to make things harder for myself, I also decided to try and get a full combo on every single song on all 4 levels.

Yeah, I don't know why I insist on full combo-ing everything. That definitely made this take way longer than I wanted it to, and I think I hate the song Survivor now.

But I did it! And I only had to charge my DS twice this whole time! This is a fun game. I definitely recommend, but I don't think I'll ever play this again in my life.


December 13, 2020 2:38 PM

Guardian's Crusade

When I was a little kid, I played a lot of Playstation. My family had a PS1, and we also had a decent collection of games. One of my favorite video games was Guardian's Crusade.

,,=. -------------------------------,,=. ------------------- // \| _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ // \| __ _ _ _ _ _ __ || | | ^ |_)|\ | ^ || | }}/ ' || |_)| |/ ' ^ |\ | ` || ___ | ||_|| \| )||_||\ | \_ || | \| |\_ |_|| )|-- \\ || \_// \' '|/ |/ \| \/ \_) \\ _ ' '\_/\_)/ \|/ |_, \\_||-------------------------------\\_//-------------------

Now even though I loved this game, I was never able to beat it as a kid. This was partly because I was (and still am) just terrible at video games. But I was also never able to beat it because I didn't have a slot on my memory card to save my progress. Crazy, right? I would just keep playing this game from the start over and over.

Yeah...I had a memory card, but it was full. If I was smarter, I would have just freed up space on that memory card. But for some crazy reason 10 year old me wasn't able to figure out that.

Anyway, this is a cute little JRPG where you take in a little pink creature thing who helps you to save the world. I happened to see this game in a used game store maybe 7 years ago? I had to get it for the nostalgia. I started playing it again, and the game is way longer than I expected it to be. (Though, you can apparently speedrun it in about 3 and half hours.)

|\ /| \|\/|/ '(O)(O)' ; .. ; \\'. __ .'// ( ) `-.__.-' // \\ ` `

At some point, you actually lose your pink companion and have to fight a boss by yourself. I cannot tell you how many times this took me. I kept losing and I kept fighting more monsters to gain more XP just to try the boss again and still lose. Turns out I just had a terrible strategy. But I ended up overpowering myself so much that once I beat this boss, the rest of the bosses were WAY easy.

The navigation in this game is also interesting. They hide chests in hard to find places, so you have to keep reorienting the camera so you don't miss anything. And of course when I do that I end up getting lost and forgetting which way I entered the cave. Before you get to the final battle, trying to get from one town to another is a pain in the butt. You eventually get this "water spider" that allows you to cross the ocean but it moves. so. slow. Eventually the pink thing learns how to fly and you can use that instead, but I don't think it moves any faster.

But one really interesting part of the game is that you get to collect special items called Living Toys. They're like Pokemon, and you gotta catch em all. You even need to collect a certain Living Toy just to get access to the World Map. They also make battle really interesting.

Anyway, many years after I first played this game, and still many years after I re-picked it up later in life, I finally beat it! (Beat as in finished the story. I did not find all the Living Toys) And I did it without consulting an online guide! Afterwards I did check an online guide, and I realized I was playing this in the most inefficient way possible.

Overall, about 24 hours actually spent playing this game, so it's really a pretty short RPG. I had fun, and I'm glad that I can finally cross this off my list!


November 17, 2020 10:03 PM

My DDR quarantine goal

Back when the pandemic first started, I gave myself a quarantine goal of getting an A in every single song in Dance Dance Revolution Konamix. Now I love DDR, and I guess I'm decent at it, but not amazing. But this is a really old version of DDR for the PS1. Getting an A in Konamix means getting a FULL COMBO--nothing but Greats and Perfects. (Marvelous didn't exist in this version)

,=. .*. ,'. ,=. ,+ ,+ . | | . ,+ +. +. +. ,+ -----. + `.| |.' + ,+ +. .===== +. + =====' `+ ` ` +' + .'| |`. + '----- + `+ '+ `+ +' `' | | `' +' +' `=' `-' '-' `=' These arrows were a lot of work to type out.

All of the songs in Konamix have a level from 1-9, 1 being easy and 9 being the hardest. Nowadays, the highest level is 20. The hardest songs in Konamix miiight be a 13 in today's scale. So, getting a full combo on all of them? Totally doable.

EXCEPT, I'm in a second floor apartment and all I have are crappy foam dance pads. Each one seems to have a different arrow that's at least a little broken. Konamix also didn't have a lot of options. Pretty much everyone speeds up the arrows now, but you have to read everything at 1x in Konamix. And on top of all that the backgrounds are suuuuper trippy.

Anyway, this was a really silly quarantine goal, and to be honest, I didn't actually think I was going to finish this because of my pads misfiring ALL. THE. TIME. But! I was determined! And on Sunday I finally achieved my goal. It only took many months and many, many attempts at playing Drop Out.


July 6, 2020 7:36 PM

15 years in the making

When I was about 12 years old (okay, I don't really remember how old I was since it was so long ago) I received a cross stitch kit from my aunt (at least I think that's who gave it to me) for my birthday (once again, maybe it wasn't my birthday. maybe it was Christmas, who knows). But anyway, it was a long time ago, and I had never done cross stitch before. Turns out 12 year old self did not have the attention capacity to do a cross stitch. This was also a kind of complicated cross stitch. Definitely not a my-first-cross-stitch cross stitch. It said WELCOME with a bunch of flowers around it. I think I got the WELCOME part done at 12 years old.

X X X XXX X XX XX X X XXX X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X XXX X X X X X X X XXX X X X X X X X X X X X X X X XXX XXX XX XX X X X XXX A very very simplistic picture of what I was able to do at 12 years old. The actual cross stitch has more crosses than this.

At some point, I got bored, and the cross stitch kit sat in storage. Years later I would take it out and add more cross stitches to it. But I still didn't get very far. I did this again years later. And again. I probably had 4 or 5 attempts to actually finish the dumb thing. But I always got bored. So bored. My eyes would glaze over the crosses and I couldn't focus...

Until now! Because staying at home this much means I now have time to finish all the things that I've started years ago. And this cross stitch is the oldest of those things, so I was determined to get this done. And somehow, I've finally been able to get into the right mindset. And it's done. I FINALLY FINISHED MY CROSS STITCH.

15 years in the making.

Next up, cleaning it, ironing it, mounting it, framing it, and putting it on a nice spot on my wall.