So, as promised, here I am, finally on a computer after six months! I have a lot of catching up to do, which I hope to start doing here in February. Tumblr's going to be the most difficult thing, I think, with a lot of my hesitation up to this point being for mental health reasons and the rest from my work schedule.
The entire month of December was nuts. Not only was I trying to balance holiday stuff, but work was packed to the brim with, well... work. I was lucky to get one day off a week, and on top of that, I've been sick on and off since probably well into November. Hell, I'm sick now, as I'm writing, and I just got over being sick just to be sick again! From last year, there are only really three major changes: the boyfriend, working in the hotel, and my position at work. I've never been sick this often for this long before. It really sucks. I thought it was just a cold, but my dad says there's a virus going around that, when he described it, had my exact symptoms. It started off with congestion and fatigue, like a regular cold would, then I felt better for a day, and immediately felt worse again the next day with more congestion, headaches, itchy eyes, an extremely sore throat, nausea, fatigue, and aches. The latter half of the illness has been going on for three days now, and I've been trying everything I know of for home remedies since I have neither the cash nor the time for much else.
I've got tons of pictures to sort through and upload from the last year. That's going to be a project in and of itself. What's kind of cool, though, is I only need to do that with the DSLR stuff. Finally, having a Windows Phone has a perk: my new computer synced right up to it and uploaded my photos! There's not too awful much I actually want to share from those, so sorting through them should be a cakewalk, but I still need to wait until I have Photoshop or GIMP or something again. Working in photography has made me appreciate the medium a lot more. Nowadays, anyone with a basic smartphone can take a picture, but truly capturing the essence of something you're seeing or encapsulating the perfect moment takes more skill than the layman gives photographers credit for. Framing, composition, exposure, lighting... all of these factors that the photographer needs to think of on the fly to snap the ideal photo.
As an example, the other day, I was out shooting our snowtubing location when an immense amount of fog rolled in right for my hour of portraits up top. The sun also happened to be setting, which meant the use of flash to make any sort of coherent photograph happen. Even with digital DSLR cameras, a lot of consideration had to go into how I was not only going to approach the guests, but my proximity from them, their angle to capture ANY sort of background, how external lights would affect the subjects AND the fog, and how the flash would bounce off the fog. Lots of families come to the snowtubing park, so making little kids want to look or smile is a challenge in and of itself, so the added difficulty of the fog just made the hour that much more frustrating.
To add to that point, I'd like to return to my phone's photos for a moment. Like I said before, there's not much in there that's particularly impressive or well shot, but I was trying to capture moments with a sub-par piece of technology, as well. A lot of the photos have meaning to me, but would be lost on others unless I was there to explain them or to caption them. Not every photo is gold. Even people who work in the field can and will take shoddy photos for themselves. It's a level of professionalism to go into a place where you're employed for something and produce consistently quality results, but be somewhat wont when your own personal life is involved. To this end, the world can be a beautiful place, but not everything is as memorable as some people may think in a specified moment. "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" and all that.
I still want to make a separate Tumblr for my photography, but I doubt it will be up anytime soon. Besides, I need to sort through stuff on mikage-s and get back into action there. I've been absent for just about as long as I haven't had a functional computer, and I'm admittedly a bit afraid to return because I feel like I've accidentally let people down by not being there. Maybe if I make a post about it on my main, that will help ease the transition back in? I've skimmed my dash on my phone, but that's about all I can do on that thing. Actual rp threads, art, and messages are out of the question there, so I really just need time to sit down at my computer for a few days and get back in the swing of things.
In other rp news, I joined a D&D campaign last week, reviving my half-elf Aasin in a new edition of the game. The session was in person, which was a lot of fun for me, but the likelihood of continuing irl sessions looks grim. We'll still be able to play via a chat client, but part of the charm of tabletop gaming is the actual tabletop, I feel. Aasin's got an elf buddy this time around and hasn't met the team's human, which is probably for the best for the first session. I'll likely produce some sort of art of him eventually; I already drew something of a portrait, but I feel it needs color. I'd also like to draw something of a two panel comic of him scaling the tower from the first session. The campaign was one of the stock ones with a couple things tweaked here and there by the DM, but to put it briefly, our party needs to investigate a tower in a swamp where some crazy bad stuff is going down. The door was sunken into the ground, so the only way in was to scale the tower. Jurgin the Drow Elf and a nameless Dwarf, Aasin's teammates, tried to scale the tower first, to no avail, and then Aasin climbed it like it was no big deal. I think it'd be fun to draw my cheeky half-elf showing the other two up and then looking down on them from his perch after having tossed the goblin sentry over the edge.
I've got a few other ideas to sit down and paint, too, but I'd need a day off and alone for that, which hasn't been something I've been able to have in months. I didn't realize how much it was stressing me out until probably about two weeks ago, when I tried to take a mental health day that went south in a hurry. Being physically sick and mentally unwell is a bad combination that feeds into itself like an ouroboros. As soon as I recover from my physical ailments, my mind comes back to haunt me, in turn wearing my immune system back down to where I get sick again. I think it's time for a change, but I don't know where or how to approach the subject. There also, I'll need help changing, and finding people to help with that will be its own challenge. Everyone's always busy with something.
An aside, I recently finished the Ace Attorney anime and Cowboy Bebop. I liked Ace Attorney a lot more than I thought I was going to. The atmosphere was light and the characters were campy and fun, which was kind of funny when considering that a murder happened every few episodes. As for Cowboy Bebop, the space western kept me on my toes the entire time, wanting more each time the end credits rolled. I mean, it's a classic for a reason, no doubt. The ragtag Bebop crew reminded me of a D&D campaign, where each of the characters joined the crew for a limited amount of time, bringing their unique skills to the table, but ultimately had their own goals to accomplish. I couldn't really get behind Spike as a main character, favoring the other members of the crew, just because he was so OP. I really resonated with Jet though, trying to keep everything together the best he could. The themes of utilizing your talents, that everyone had something to contribute, and that your past makes you who you are, but doesn't need to define you were really poignant. To weigh into the "You're gonna carry that weight" mystery, my personal take on it was that the people Spike left behind will need to carry the weight of their lost comrade. The Red Dragon Syndicate will need to reevaluate their role and existence without leadership, Faye and Jet will need to utilize what their time with Spike taught them, and the viewer will need to carry the weight of the stories told through the anime and their feelings throughout the series. The use of music in the show was likewise really cool. I kind of wish we could have learned a little more about Ein and what he could do as a data dog, but that's my only major lament.
I managed to unclutter my room last week. The entire process took around 15 hours. Mind you, that's a build-up of 2+ years. I was quite relieved when I was done, though thorough organization isn't really one of my strong suits. I usually work in organized messes, which, since I haven't had the time for many things, just kept snowballing into oblivion. As such, time management is a major point of contention for me this year and a habit I really need to get working on.
Con attendance this year will probably be limited to two or three events. CPAC is on the docket, as is ColossalCon East. Cosplay are yet to be determined, but I'd like to go as Young Itachi and Amane Suzuha to at least something. Both cosplay depend on the weather as neither is wise for colder temperatures, meaning that CPAC would probably need a warmer cosplay. I went as Izaya last year, both Raijin and Classic Anime versions, but as much fun as I have as Izaya, my other cosplay need love too. If my sibling wants to go, it'd be fun to try out my Cesar Salazar cosplay, granted we can collectively find all of the pieces to go as the Salazar brothers. Otherwise, my options for colder weather cosplay are Kagari Shuusei, Heiwajima Shizuo, Akatsuki!Uchiha Itachi, or Orihara Izaya (Raijin/Classic Anime/Hito Rabu Man). (...after perusing the ColossalCon East site, Izaya is a must at that particular convention. I might have to take my stop sign off of its post to have Vic Migogna and Johnny Yong Bosch sign it! Excitement~ ;u; )
That'll about do it for this month's installment of Chinaricatscratch! See you all next time