Week 2

Week 2 has been difficult in regards to avoiding social media. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been bouncing over to YT a lot more often to watch things I don’t need. Not near the extent of myself before this journey, but I still watched an hour of Super Eyepatch Wolf talking about how the Simpsons was apparently good again (spoiler: The Simpsons aren’t the same as they used to be, but there’s merit in watching them again apparently) Made me want to actually watch some of the newer episodes. Maybe I will try to see them sometime.

Week 2 has also been a poor week for controlling self-control urges. I can blame some of it on being on my birthday and going to the shopping mall when I was down in Eau Claire, but it’s still all my responsibility. What’s kind of weighing on me now is I promised my brother I would take him out somewhere and he’s talked about potentially wanting to get out this Sunday. I don’t want to spend anything and I’d almost choose not to go, but I also want to spend some quality time with him.

Maybe I will go anyway. I have been thinking of trading my PS5 in for Gamestop credit. Initially, I was going to save it for whenever the Switch 2 was announced for order, but I think it’d be more effective if I can turn it into some Steam credit. That would give me enough money to pay for my PC games for the year at the least. More if I convince myself to keep it to the essentials.

In regards to what I bought, I should probably start with my trip to Eau Claire last Saturday (05/11)

I went down to Eau Claire last Saturday to spend some time with one of my best friends J. We initially decided we would grab some manjare rolls (a pizza roll, minus sauce, that we’ve only ever been able to find in specific pizza places in EC) However, the place was closed and we were forced to shift our plans to the mall food court (I still wanted something pizzaish and this was the best option)

I got myself some Rocky Rococo (a slice of sausage pizza with breadsticks) and we explored the mall. Stopped at Gamestop where I picked up an Evangelion shirt, Spencers where I got an aesthetic Japanese shirt that says “drift” and a senpai squad shirt (which sounds a lot more cringe than it is, I promise), and at a hobby shop where J offered to buy me the Pokemon model kit I was looking at for my birthday (I got Jiggly Puff)

After that, we ran over to Books-a-Million. While I did a decent job at keeping myself from buying manga (I did just recently get rid of a ton of it), I was completely blindsided by their shirts. Ended up getting a shirt from Chainsaw Man and one from Hooky (which I initially thought was Little Witch Academia, but since it’s still cute, I’m not upset) I also bought an issue of Otaku USA because I like supporting dead media.

I’d show more pictures of my haul (and maybe I’ll do that if I lose control in the future), but sadly the internet doesn’t maintain images of any of the shirts I got (or at least they don’t make it simple) I just wish I wasn’t always feeling so damn cold all the time that I could actually show off my shirts more. Though I guess that wont be too much of a problem in the coming weeks now.

After my shopping “frenzy” was over, J and I went on a walk around the university. It was crazy to see how much things had changed since we’d been there. We only took a stroll around lower campus, but I guess that’s where all the changes would have been. Then we took a bit of a stroll through the park and hopped back into the car to head back to J’s place to end the day.

He asked me if there was anything else I wanted to do, and I remembered hearing about the opening of a new Costco in Eau Claire. While we weren’t members, and didn’t know if you could look without a membership, I had never seen one before (due to living in rural Wisconsin) and was curious to see it. Turns out you don’t need to be a member just to look, and the experience was certainly interesting. While there’s nothing there that would personally get me to buy a membership, it did seem to impress J a bit, and it was definitely fun.

An overall great time down in EC. Can’t say as much for the drive down and back due to both road construction and me not knowing how my AC worked (Yeah, I’m an idiot sometimes) Though I’d still do it all again in a heartbeat (though maybe I would have cut down on my shirts a bit… yeah right 😛 )

Nothing much happened that Sunday, except that I spent more money again. You see after I finished putting together the Jigglypuff model that J got me, I wanted more, and that got me thinking about some mech girl models I’d seen before but resisted pulling the trigger on. Upon searching them up again, and seeing the insanely good yen exchange rate, I put in an order I probably shouldn’t have. Not going to beat myself up over it, but definitely need to avoid that going forward. I also ended up buying all three volumes of Hooky to read (just so I wouldn’t feel ignorant wearing the shirt I bought)

Monday the 13th was the day my new OLED TV (Samsung 95c) was scheduled to be delivered. I was pretty much glued to my door for the entire morning/early afternoon. It came around 2, and despite the box seeming like it’d been through a fucking warzone, the TV was in great condition (though it took me a bit to figure out how to safely remove it) Mounting it was a a bit of a challenge, and then I had to re-mount it twice to get it positioned just right (which was definitely a strain) but I managed to do it.

I’m not really sure what I think of it so far. I kind of expected more, if I’m being entirely honest, but at the same time, I recognize that it looks cool for certain things. I’ll need to watch/play more things before I can give a definitive “was it worth it” review. Though at this point even if it wasn’t, I can’t really do anything to return it.

Tuesday, yesterday, was my birthday. For the past several years, what that’s meant is a fairly quiet normal day for me. Nothing special. This year was not much different. I did go online and order a standing desk for myself (using special financing where it’ll cost me 20 a month) and while I’m not happy adding to my debt, I can justify it at least being for my health (I think sitting is what’s been contributing to my chronic constipation) I also got myself a nice treat from Dairy Queen and gas for my car (ouch)

I think the highlight for Tuesday was that night when I rewatched the first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies. It had been years (literally since I was a teenager) since I last saw it, and for whatever reason, I had been wanting to rewatch the trilogy again. Maybe its because I’m getting old and I want to be young forever ;_;

I was surprised. When I was young, I liked the first movie, but the second movie was what I really vibed with. Upon rewatching it though, I found myself feeling the opposite. Possibly because as a young kid, I never really understood the first movie (I found myself catching a lot of stuff that probably went over a kids head) and the second movie just being a lot more of the goofy turtles I loved from the cartoon I watched religiously then

I’d go as far to call the first movie a masterpiece of film. Much of it is done so well that I find myself hungry for movies like it. The second movie is not bad, by any means, but having Michaelangelo talk about giving someone a pickle within the first 10 minutes of the movie (not sure if that was meant to be a cleverly disguised dick reference or a poorly chosen silly joke) was a huge tonal whiplash and probably only serves fans of the series.

I’m not sure if I’ll rewatch the third movie yet. While I can remember being crazy about it as a kid, I’ve heard from many that it does not hold up well at all. Considering how the second made me feel, I don’t know if I have any desire to shatter the illusion. At least not when I have other things I could be doing with that time.

That’s about the extent of my second week. Like I mentioned in a few places, it was a good one for self control, but it was a fairly positive week. This next week will be more about kicking up my productivity, I hope. Got a new exercise bike and a standing desk should be coming, so I’ll let you know how that pans out.

Until then, stay frosty

Week 1

I forgot whether I said I would make my first update on the 7th or 8th. I assumed the 8th since it would allow me to talk about an entire week’s “progress” but I wasn’t sure until I checked today. I probably worry a bit too much about misremembering considering I rarely do (more often I’ll forget than misremember) but I’m happy that one anxiety turned out to be unnecessary (as they often are)

I have been keeping a log of stuff I do each day like I said I would. I ended up buying a physical journal because I figured that would be more effective than trying to keep a digital one (If I see it every day, it will motivate me to use it) The notes themselves aren’t exactly impressive. It’s mostly just to remind myself of what I did or what occurred. I’ve also been sort of using it to monitor my health.

The contents aren’t super exciting. They’re just mostly to remind myself of things

Let’s start off with a report on my social media usage. The first day was not too bad, but the second onward, if I didn’t pay attention, I often found myself entering in the URLs of Youtube and Reddit. The worst was on the second day where I actually went to YT and watched 3 minutes of a 7 minute video about something I can’t even remember (which goes to show how pointless it probably was)

I started reading the Japanese vn あくまで、これは~の物語 aka Korehano. I ended up buying it last year after finishing and enjoying the developer’s other title シンソウノイズ ~受信探偵の事件簿~ aka Shinsou Noise. My main reason, apart from the fact it’s from the same developer, was due to some offhand comment I saw about Korehano never getting localized for “reasons” (but the commenter never specifying what reasons those were)

I thought I was potentially in for a hidden gem. Warning: I’m going to spoil a bit of the beginning before the OP:

Essentially someone who is supposed to be dead starts contacting the main characters. This all leads up to a scene where one of the main heroines dies by throwing herself in front of a train. The OP plays and it’s a banger

After this though, the game quickly dives into mediocrity. The biggest issue being how it’s structured. In order to unlock more of the story, you often have to sit through these bite sized chunks that switch between 3-4 separate storylines. Two of which aren’t very suspenseful in the least (more slice of life, but not the good kind) The other two being more interesting but never offering you more than a taste of a story (that will often abruptly end in a stupid way when it forces you to play a different chunk)

If that weren’t bad enough, the DRM is a bit annoying. If you try playing this cracked, you’ll find that after 6 endings you can’t progress anymore. That’s because whatever flags completion and unlocks the next set of endings is absent from the cracked version. At which point your only options are to either load it into a non-cracked version and skip through one of the routes again (like I did) or find some kind of save.

Much as I’m not really enjoying it, I will probably finish it at this point. I am already about 19 out of 25 endings completed. Plus considering I bought it, I feel like it’d be good to finish it. Hoping to knock it out before this weekend so I can start on a fresh VN at somewhat during week 2. Though I have no idea what I will start.

One thing I might have mentioned before, although I’m not sure to what extent, is I’ve been working on getting rid of crap. More specifically, I’ve been selling a lot of stuff I don’t think I’ll ever get around to doing. Mainly a lot of manga and a good number of figures that I have grown tired with.

I’ve been selling through eBay, and the experience has been mixed. On the one hand, there hasn’t been too many things that haven’t sold due to me selling them for much cheaper than anyone else (and a pretty sizeable loss from what I got them for) and for selling somewhat desirable items. On the other dealing with some of the people and multiple days of mailing out 10+ packages real took a toll on me.

I wont complain about it here too much as I don’t think that helps anything. On the positive side though, selling has not only helped me declutter my life, it’s also helped with paying some debts and getting me a few things that I’ve been wanting for a while.

I essentially bought myself three big purchases for my birthday this year. A new chair, an e-bike, and a new OLED TV.

For a chair, I went with a refurbished Herman Miller Embody chair off eBay. I haven’t had the greatest luck with chairs, or even the greatest luck with refurbished Herman Miller chairs (got an Aeron several years ago I didn’t like) However, I wanted a good desk chair that didn’t come apart on me or get uncomfortable and apart from the Aeron, the Embody was the only chair I would see people mention as the premium of the premium.

My initial impressions were that it wasn’t especially great, but having used it for a couple weeks now, I’m not disliking it. While I think it could be more comfortable, I imagine there’s a point where comfort starts to sacrifice other areas. Thinking about it that way, I’m willing to settle with it.

For the e-bike, I picked up an Lectric XP 3.0. I tried to do my due research, but honestly e-bike shit is really tainted with a lot of different opinions. I had seen Lectric before and they offered a price that seemed cheaper than the rest, so during one of the warm days of April I decided to place an order.

It took me a bit to figure out how to use it. Came with absolutely no instructions and I had to watch several YT videos to figure out what I was doing wrong at parts. However, after that was done, I ended up having a fairly smooth experience with it. It’s been great to get out and ride again (I’ve missed having a bike) and the e-bike features are great for not worrying about whether I’m going to be able to make it back on my own power. The only issue so far is that the number of good days to ride have been few with there being a lot of rainy and overcast days.

For the tv, I went with another 55 inch but upgraded to OLED. I’d been wanting an OLED display for a while, but have been reluctant to jump due to price. However, with wanting to watch more stuff, I ended up deciding it would be a good investment.

I can’t actually give my impressions on the TV right now because I haven’t gotten it yet. I ended up ordering from a retailer I had never even heard of called Electronic Express (they’re based in the south US i guess) and they ship with some weird shipping service that didn’t provide tracking and were supposed to call me to schedule a delivery. When that didn’t happen, I called them to find they had given it to another delivery company and am now waiting to see if I hear from them before I call them. Hopefully it wont be too much longer, though my patience is wearing thin

Speaking of TVs, another thing I’ve been doing is working on my TV setup. You see, my room is small, and with how things were arranged the only place I had to put it was the wall on my opposite side of my bed. The issue with this is while it provided a good movie/anime watching distance, it was rather suboptimal for any kind of gaming due to the writing being too hard to read. I’ve wanted a way to bring my TV closer to the bed, and with the purchase of my new OLED, I decided I should probably figure out a way how to do that.

I thought I had found one solution in a ceiling TV mount I found. It was motorized and would allow the TV to fold up against the ceiling when not in use. I ordered it and even learned how to use a buzz saw to put together a decent place to mount it. The problem was that once I got it up, I found that the angle of the TV was a bit too sharp.

I cut the board that the tv is partially drilled into as well as did all the drilling and mounting

It’s still up on the ceiling and I find I can watch it comfortably if I lie back. However, lying back is not always optimal as it makes you sleepy, and sitting up I end up straining my neck to see it right. Thus unfortunately, I’ve come to the conclusion I’ll have to find something else.

I think I have a better, cheaper, solution coming at the end of this week. I’ll have to see and give you all an update then. Hopefully I’ll also be able to update you on my OLED TV then too. Fingers crossed.

Got my car battery replaced on Friday. This has been somewhat long overdue as my car has been having frequent issues of dying after a few days of unuse. I only just got to it now because I want to get out more again and I have financial freedom to take care of it. I also got my oil changed with it. Hopefully this means my car is good for at least this next year.

I want to say that I’ll probably get a different one when I turn 40, but I’m not entirely sure what my plans are going to be yet. If I did, I’d definitely like to get something that’s a little more built to handle the rough Wisconsin weather. It’d also be nice if I could find something decent in electric hybrids at that point, but I’m not sure where we’ll be with those (Or where I’ll be even) I’d also love something with more leg room and built in rear cameras/parking assistance

What else to mention? I guess in other media I’ve been finishing up Mob Psycho season 3 (on episode 10 right now) and I finally watched the Made in Abyss movie so I can finally start up season 2 (on episode 5 currently) I’ve also been somewhat watching the original Gundam anime (don’t ask why) and I might be rewatching season 1 of Mushoku Tensei (just so I can catch up to the new stuff) I have some things I could say about all of those things, but I woke up both 2 and 7 am today and I’m not feeling the most thrilled about writing much more today. Maybe next week I’ll get more into it with other things.

See you all on the 15 (the day after my birthday) 🙂

The Commitment

Over the years, I’ve talked fairly extensively on here (and with other people) about my future plans. All those times, I’d offer several different options I was thinking about, and I would make assurances that I would figure it out soon. Except I never did, and the years went on like this. Empty promises driven by a lack of motivation, a lack of confidence, and honestly a deeply ingrained sense of entitlement and laziness.

I was a bit of a narcissist, I’ve realized. I’ve always considered myself to be special. Not quite in the sense that I had a huge ego or absolutely loved myself. Actually much the opposite. I saw myself as incapable. Someone that needed and deserved help. I saw the misfortune in my life as being directly targeted at me, and I believed I deserved something better. Only ever putting in effort at the moments where it became necessary for me to do so.

It’s something that’s somewhat hard to admit openly despite having an idea of it for some time. Narcissists, after all, are commonly seen as assholes that only care about themselves. That’s not who I am or who I want to be. I didn’t want to admit to it out of fear of what others would think, but most of all, it was out of fear of what I would become if I admitted it.

Therapists in the past have told me that I’m too hard on myself. I think a lot of the reason for that comes from trying hard to deny or avoid negative thoughts rather than doing something about them. A lot of reason comes from me not letting go of the idea of “I’m different from everyone” and falling into an endless spiral of helplessness. Thus instead of a negative thought coming up once or twice, it would come up multiple times and increase in magnitude rather than be processed with in a healthy way.

What finally got me to admit this was reading the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. I mentioned it in my previous post, but I got a free trial to Kindle Unlimited for my impulse buy of a Kindle Scribe (probably one of my better impulse buys) and I started reading it mostly to test out the device. I liked the first couple pages that I ended up reading the rest of the book and the sequel book Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope too.

While I’d love to talk about all the things these two books talked about, I’m not confident I could distill them in a way that did it justice (I’m even thinking about reading them again in a couple months) I’ll just limit it to some of the observations I had while reading.

The first book isn’t as crass as it might seem, although it’s still somewhat crass. At first the idea of “not giving a fuck” probably brings up an image of being apathetic, but the book explains it more as fucks being a limited resource. There’s only so much emotional energy you have for things, and when you spread yourself thin is where you start giving priority to things that don’t matter and stop giving priority to things that don’t.

The book cuts a bit deep to inform you you’re not special, but then nobody else is either. It makes a strong argument that seeing yourself as special or trying to limit pain is what’s actually making you miserable in the long run.

If I could put it into simple words, the book isn’t there to build you up or cut you down, it’s there to cut away the delusions (positive and negative) to give you an accurate picture of what you are.

The second book goes more into explaining why we end up like that. It talks about two sides of the brain, emotional and thinking, and how a lot of problems stem from the thinking brain not getting through effectively to the emotional brain (Partly because we think it’s the thinking brain that’s driving our actions, when it’s always the emotional)

Like I said, I can’t do it justice. Not until I at least read it again. All you need to know right now though is that both books have contributed a great deal to the stuff I’ll be doing from here on out. Which is primarily what I’ve come to this post to tell you about.

A good number of my current problems revolve around my usage of the internet. I spent way too much time on it as a kid, and even now, with that become somewhat normalized given smart devices, I give it too much of my attention. If I’m not checking Twitter, my email, Discord, reddit, shopping sites, etc, I’m either sleeping, pooping, or the internet has gone out.

If you’ve followed my past updates, you know that I’ve recognized this for a while now. You’ll also know that I’ve made several plans before to limit or even stop my usage of my internet. And, even if I didn’t tell you the results of those plans, you could probably gather those have always eventually failed.

I tried to justify it by saying that it’s hard when the modern world expects us to be connected. I tried to justify it with my loneliness. Though what it really was was just me trying to find a distraction from other things. It was my thinking brain letting my emotional brain indulge in fluff instead of more difficult tasks. It was preferring the instant gratification to the delayed.

Even as I write this post, I feel myself clicking over to gmail or Twitter or Youtube. I know it’s just making this longer to complete. I know that what I find over there isn’t going to be worth it. Yet to convince the impulsive part of my brain is a fruitless effort, and to try and force it through sheer willpower only gets me so far.

What’s the answer then? Sadly, I don’t think there is a simple one. I think it’s going to take both trying to convince my emotional brain as well as exhibiting pure willpower. I think it’s going to require me taking on new priorities and focusing more on them. I think it’s going to require changes to myself unlike any I’ve ever had before. I think it’s going to take more than a simple promise. I think it’s going to take a true commitment.

Much as I don’t want to think about the future or avoid choosing a path, I think that’s a big part of what is ultimately reinforcing these bad habits. I’ve said before, albeit somewhat flippantly, that I’d figure things out when I turn 40 (for reasons I’m not comfortable publicly sharing) Though I realize without working up to it, I’m not going to be ready when I hit 40 unless I do anything. I’m not going to be ready unless I make a true commitment.

You can probably see where I’m going with this. I’m basically writing this post now to say “It’s time to make a commitment.

For a period of three months, starting in May and ending in August, I’m going to be deleting my social media accounts and keeping off the computer as much as possible. Only in cases where I’m reading a Japanese visual novel (part of my method of learning Japanese) or doing Wanikani reviews shall I be on it. I will still check email and take care of certain financial obligations via tablet, although I also will stop myself from buying anything new I stumble across. I will also use tablet sometimes to look up guides for games I’m stuck with.

I don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that all I’ll be doing is playing vns and games though. I’ve got a few Japanese textbooks and I’m going to be sitting down with them more seriously to do studying. My hope is that by the end of three months I will have worked through most and acquired quite a lot of skill via my studies via vns (I’m also hoping to do some listening practice too)

I’ve got a few things I’d like to try. I’ve got some art materials, and some guides, and I’m thinking of possible starting to draw a little everyday. Do it for three months and see where I get to by the end of it. I also have perler beads, which I want to start learning how to do.

Another thing, that I’ve been in the process of doing, is I want to sell more of my material possessions so that I’m down to what I absolutely can’t stand to be rid of It’s been taking a while, but I intend to keep doing it (The extra money plus not having so much crap is nice) This has had the added effect of me helping around my house a bit more

I also got a new electric bike about a week ago. I haven’t had much chances to ride (due to tripping over the family dog and taking a nasty fall a couple days ago) but I hope to get out and ride on the beautiful days. Anything that gets me out of the house.

I also hope to visit friends more frequently. I want to rekindle some our relationship and let them know they’re important to me.

I do realize that a lot of this sounds like stuff I’ve said before. Let me make a more definitive commitment. I’ll be required to keep a journal logging what I do. This contents of which will be transcribed each week and posted on here starting Wed May 8th.

My hope is that by forcing myself to write it each day, I’ll be more inclined to make sure I do something, and less inclined to faff about like I often do. If I don’t, I want whoever’s out there reading this to feel free to ride my ass about it. Because I want this to be a commitment that sticks

By the end of these three months I intend to have an answer of what the next step will be. Keep tuned for my next update on May 8th

Hey, it’s been a while.

To update on the therapy situation from my last post, I decided not to see anyone. More accurately, I couldn’t really come to a decision, and I opted for the classic “do nothing” approach. Not the best approach, I know, but honestly, it’s not something I think I could ever come to a clear decision on simply by thinking about it. Plus, it’s not as though I’m locking myself out from doing it forever. If it turns out that I did better with it, I’ll consider pursuing it again.

Not exactly therapy but something tangentially related, I started reading the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson last night. Yesterday I had just bought a new Kindle Scribe (which I got 100 bucks off for trading in some old Kindles) and I wanted to test out the free Kindle Unlimited Trial. Initially, I wasn’t planning to read it for serious, but that thing really sucked me in. Considering I got 30% into it in one night, it’s probably a safe bet to say I’ll read it all.

The idea of the book is basically there’s limited things to put your energy towards and that you shouldn’t get caught up giving “fucks” about things that aren’t moving your life forward in some way. Essentially things therapy was starting to make me feel, but distilled into a much more crass/humorous solution. Highly recommend others to read, though ideally for free if you can 😉

Speaking of things I shouldn’t give a fuck about, let me talk about FF7: Rebirth. Despite starting the game on February 29th and playing it pretty extensively every day, I didn’t end up finishing it until the 14. 100 some hours of playing, and even then I wasn’t “done” with it for another 16 days while I attempted to do every bit of content that I missed or that was added by the game. Until today where I sit with one fight left to get platinum, but I’ve lost a lot of the patience I had to engage with it.

First, I should clarify that I loved Rebirth. The main characters depictions in Remake and Rebirth are SO much better than the original games. It’s not even up to debate. While I love the OG a lot (enough to play through it once every couple years) I can’t deny that my original time through the game, a lot of my love of things were more superficial/from me just being in love with other things and just overlooking them/I don’t know what you’d call it.

Let me explain it more by providing some insight into 12-13 year old Mae’s mind. My three favorite characters back then were Cloud, Yuffie, and Vincent. Cloud because he was the main character and I always found myself inserting into MC’s (regardless of whether we were similar or not) and the other two because they were “secret” characters. Thus they were better than the non-secret because why would a secret character not be overpowered?

I’m not saying all my attachment to these characters was entirely superficial, but a lot of it definitely was. What teenage boy didn’t also like Tifa for her dramatically oversized ti-assets or Barret for the amount he acted like Mr. T and swore a lot? It was kind of shocking that when I distilled the characters down to their key assets and moments, that there was a lot less there than I thought there was.

It made me appreciate Remake that much more because it made them feel much more real and important to me. They weren’t just caricatures with moments, they felt like real people that I knew and loved.

Some people criticize a lot of the new characters that have been added to the games, and while I don’t necessarily find them as good as the old characters, I have to acknowledge that it’s a lot harder for an new character to stand on the same stage as an OG character they already have established and only need to define further. That’s not to say they couldn’t do better with them, but I don’t think OG players would ever be as interested in them as they were the main cast, sadly.

Anyway, back to Rebirth. It’s much better than Remake in just about everyway. I don’t fault Remake for being Midgar only, given the amount they spent on making the OG Avalanche into loveable characters. However, I do fault it for Midgar being as small as it was. For something that’s supposed to be expanded, I still felt like Midgar was pretty small in comparison to how big it’s meant to be. I wanted to explore sectors that were never part of the original. I wanted to see a Midgar on the scale of at least a quarter of what Rebirth’s open world did.

I would even go as far to call Rebirth as good or better than the original. That’s how much it manages to nail and improve things. Music, characters, and a lot of the story beats are just way more enjoyable and really struck a chord with me.

It’s not, however, a perfect game. Nothing ever is. I think there’s a few scenes like Red finding out the truth about his father, or Cloud taking part in the play at the Gold Saucer, where I feel like it didn’t translate well from the original. Gongaga also felt weird, even if I can appreciate them wanting to expand it some.

My biggest criticisms come in the form of Zack and the extra content.

Zack content is given to you at the very beginning of the game, and it makes you think it’s going to be a bigger thing than it actually is. Hell they even let you fight as him. Yet, it’s like 6 chapters before you see him again, and after that the sections are mostly just 5 minute series of cutscenes. I understand they want to clue us in on the multiple worlds thing, but I feel like it could have been done more similar to the last game if this was as far as they were willing to go for him.

The extra content, some people will say, is something you shouldn’t consider when evaluating a game. Given that it’s optional and no one needs to do it. Yet, I find myself being unable to agree with that. I think optional content when not done well can totally be a detriment to the game overall.

A somewhat unfair example would be something like the recent Zelda games. They’re designed in such a way where you can go off and beat the game pretty early. In such cases, you might call like 80-90% of the game optional. Yet, I don’t think anyone reasonable would argue that you can’t judge them based on that content.

Again, I know it’s an unfair example. The optional content in Rebirth is primarily minigames and optional fights that only people looking to 100% need to care about. It’s on a different scale than the type of game Zelda is. I bring it up though because regardless if something is technically optional, it will still affect people’s overall enjoyment.

I’m one of those types who, when they love a game, tends to want to experience every bit of it. Something I’m starting to realize probably isn’t worth it for most. In Rebirth there’s an obscene amount of it (mostly in the form of mini-games) and part of me feels like if I don’t do it all, that the game isn’t complete for me. I haven’t exhausted everything that it has to offer me.

This extra content can be good at first, but obviously the more time that it takes, the more it starts to become a drag. I could and should cut my losses and move on, but even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to somehow disregard that content. It would forever stick out like a sore point about that title. I would say “FF7 Rebirth was great, but that side content really dragged it down” Something I might initially say if I completed it all, but might be more willing to soften up on as time goes by

In other words, failures stick in your mind. Success often makes you forget, or at least tolerate, a lot of the hardships that got you there. I’d rather leave Rebirth, a game I love, as a success, than feeling it as a game I failed to conquer.

And yes, you can argue that maybe I need to change how I look at this. If I could convince myself it’s not worth giving a fuck about, then it wouldn’t stand out as a failure. And maybe I should do that. Though not giving a fuck in itself does require a lot more work than how it sounds.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts on Rebirth. Initially, I had planned to write up a long dedicated post for it, but I think I’ve come to the conclusion that writing that kind of stuff just isn’t my thing. If I had more readers, or I was discussing it verbally with someone it might be a different matter, but as it stands, I’m not a professional reviewer and have no real desire to be. Thus I’m going to stop giving a fuck about making sure each and every thought I have is expressed in detail on here.

In other news, remember when I talked about sorting out issues with my stomach? Well, that turned out not to be true. Despite following most of the same regimen, I’ve unfortunately been having a lot of the same issues as before (sometimes worse) I’ve also been having some serious bouts of neuropathy (and by serious I mean interfering with sleep some nights that I don’t get any)

I went to see my doctor about it, but she didn’t seem overly concerned about any of what I told her. Though I did get her to send me a referral to a neurologist (that I see in July) So that’s something I guess. Also my symptoms seem to be not as bad lately (minus the day before yesterday when I couldn’t sleep the entire day) So I’m a bit more optimistic that I’m not dying at least

I spent a lot of money recently. I’ve been interested before into getting into perling/fuse beads because of all the people I see making gaming/anime stuff with it, and I decided to get myself a kit of stuff to get started. I also bought a coloring book and some crayons out of a desire to do some coloring again (I guess I’m in a real artsy fartsy mood) I’ve also been collecting some games and plushes I probably don’t need, but fuck it.

That’s all I’ve got to say for now. If I had to guess, I’ll probably post again sometime in April or in May around my birthday.

It feels like I have unfortunate luck with therapy. The first therapist I ever felt like I connected with was when I went to school for a semester in Moorhead Minnesota. She was younger than a lot of my therapists had been at that point, and I felt like she could understand the issues I had a lot better. Unfortunately, she was only there as part of her own program to become licensed, and would not be sticking around after that semester (If she had, I might have reconsidered my decision to leave some)

When I started seeking counseling in Eau Claire, I ended up seeing this one guy, and despite my apprehensions of a male therapist, he showed me so much kindness and empathy that I couldn’t help developing a liking of the guy. The problem, however, was that he had MS to a serious degree, and often he would need to cancel appointments due to being in too much pain. I could and probably should have requested to see someone else, but it was hard for me to make that choice. Both because seeking therapy itself is a lot more work than people realize, but also because it felt way too awkward.

Then when I moved back home I got a referral to see someone locally. The woman I ended up with was nice, but I wouldn’t say that therapy with her was very effective. It was good for getting things off my chest and examining how hard I was on myself, but the solutions she offered often felt a bit too far out of my comfort zones. I don’t know. Maybe we could’ve gotten somewhere, but unfortunately due to COVID we had to stop. It wasn’t until many months later they reopened, but at that point I really wasn’t feeling it anymore.

Most recently, as I think I’ve discussed here, I’ve started therapy again. Initially it was partly to get an assessment to apply to a state program (a program I didn’t qualify for according to the “algorithm”) but I actually ended up continuing because it felt like I made some progress. The guy I was seeing, despite still being apprehensive about male therapists, seemed to have ideas more congruent with my own and what I knew about psychology (Keep in mind I studied psychology) I thought, if nothing else, it could maybe be a good thing to keep seeing him.

Today I was informed, rather offhandedly, that he was going to be leaving to form his own private practice. He seemed to think he had mentioned it before, and he mentioned he had told his employer a month in advance. Yet I only learned about it today. Apparently he’s going to be gone after next week, which means I have one more appointment with him.

This leaves me in a bit of a delicate situation. Essentially, there’s a total of four different options. Option 1 is I continue to see him at his new practice. Option 2 is I see someone else at the place he’s leaving. Option 3 is I seek out a different place. Option 4 is I stop therapy for the time being (either to be permanent or picked up later)

Option 1 wouldn’t be terrible, but I’m not sure if insurance would go for it. Much as I like the guy, I’m not really comfortable with the idea of paying for therapy. My finances aren’t really equipped for it either. At least not on a weekly basis like I’m doing now, and if I can’t do weekly, it doesn’t feel like it would have the same effect.

Option 2 and 3 is the crapshoot. Do I manage to get someone I like or do I end up in a situation like the one I did before COVID? Where I don’t dislike the therapist, but nothing ever seems to change? Do I feel comfortable with the idea of potentially spending a lot of sessions shopping around? Is that really a productive use of my time.

Option 4 might seem bad at first glance, and there are of course some negatives. Chief among them is I’d have to make sure what I’ve gained out of these past sessions doesn’t go to waste. I’d have to go it all alone rather than having someone to show me where I’m maybe not looking at an accurate picture of reality. That can be a lot for someone to burden themselves with while they’re on the road to better mental health.

That all being said, I am in a better state than I have been in the past. While I’m not going to pretend to be completely mentally healthy (something I don’t think anyone can claim), I can say that I do have a more accurate framework to work from than I have in the past. I feel like change can potentially happen now, whereas in the past it couldn’t. The only difference is now is whether I go it on my own or whether I feel the need still to have someone there with me.

Something that I’m 50/50 on right now. I probably wont make a decision until we have our final session next week. I’ll keep people updated when I know more.

That’s not all I wanted to talk about in this post. I’ve actually been wanting to make a post for a while about some things, but it’s been difficult for me to sit down and do so. Now that I’ve got something tangentially related, however, it seems like a good chance for me to talk about the current me.

If you’ve never been to therapy, or studied much psychology like I have, you probably don’t really understand a lot about what it is. Even if you support the idea of it (which I’d hope most reading my blog would) you might not fully get what happens or how it works. Let me demystify it a bit to give some context for stuff.

People who need mental therapy, in most cases, know something is wrong, but do not have the ability to get an accurate picture of it. Since they can’t get an accurate picture of what’s wrong, they fail to find solutions to those problems, and as a result tend to create even more problems. Up until the point where it gets so overwhelming that eventually something has to give. Often resulting in downward negative spirals.

A therapist isn’t really there to do anything other than to help you look at yourself more objectively. They can’t solve your problems. They can offer you ideas, just like any other person, and sometimes those ideas are good because they’re based on what they know of you. However, it’s nothing more than an idea. Their real benefit is for confirming things you know about yourself and for pointing out unproductive/unhealthy thinking that’s muddying your own capabilities to take action.

To put this in the context of me, one of my big problems is that I tended to deal in absolutes. Saying or thinking things like “always” or “never” whenever something triggers my anxiety. Like if I fail at doing something, I might think “This always happens” which doesn’t help for setting me up to try something again. It just creates this persona of defeatism.

I’ve been attempting to correct that lately by being more cognizant of the language I use. Simply from doing that, I’ve noticed a lot of spots where changing what I say has changed how I feel about a lot of things. I now feel like I’m getting a far more accurate scale of who I am than I’ve had thanks to being a little more open minded about things when it has to do with myself.

I am a highly sensitive person. This means I often feel emotions in higher capacity than others. Sometimes it has brought me at odds with other people, particularly when I didn’t know how to deal with my emotions and when I saw others not acting the same way. Often times it dictated how I dealt with situations, and brought me a lot of problems (particularly when I got in fights with others who I might also consider to be highly sensitive)

At the root of emotions is anxiety. An evolutionary adaptation meant to perceive and protect us from potential threats. An adaptation that largely fails in today’s modern world due to the threats being much different and largely unforseeable, and we now find a lot of people struggling to differentiate the real threats from things this old system perceives as threats.

It’s hard to control anxiety. You can’t control what will make you feel anxious. The only thing you control is how you process it. Do you let the anxiety kick up negative emotions for a fight or flight response, do you ignore it and face the potential danger? If it was always a conscious thing, it might be easier, but unfortunately sometimes you just have to default to how you’ve always handled it.

For me, I’ve never been able to deal with anxiety properly. At first it was because I wasn’t sure where it was coming from because I didn’t understand it was something biological I didn’t control. Then after some point, the only way I knew how to deal with it was to either avoid a situation entirely or explode (again dealing with absolutes)

I remember back when I was dating a girl online named Candace. The relationship, despite lasting only a week or so, destroyed me. Lots of emotions ran hot and while I wont feel bad for being so upset, I always felt bad about the way I handled it. Because I knew somewhere there was a better way I could have handled it if I didn’t let my anxiety go crazy, and now with hindsight I can agree that there was so much I could have done.

Some of my arguments with good friends (and some no longer friends) also relate to this. The emotions I felt were valid, but the anxiety of the time being handled poorly, made the expression of these emotions cause a lot of conflict. Conflict that either broke the relationships or put them so far off how I wanted them to ultimately be.

I guess, what I’m ultimately trying to say here is that I do understand my anxiety now. Not only do I understand it, but I can actually recognize it. I also know that I tend to feel emotions at a higher capacity and that sometimes I need to be a bit more mindful about the expression of those emotions. I’m more aware of how I shouldn’t let anxiety take control of those.

So what’s next?

For a while now, I’ve been sort of stuck. Thinking too much about the future and the past. Thinking too much about what I can do or can’t. Thinking too much. One of my biggest problems.

It’s a common saying that those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it, but like most sayings it’s not applicable to everything. Trying to think out every action I’ve done or think ahead about every action I’m going to do is pointless because nothing ever works out the same or in a specific way. You have to give up on this idea that thinking is going to give you an edge in future problems. You can only use it to work about present problems.

And sometimes you’re going to make the same mistakes over and over. Another common thing is parents saying they don’t want their kids to make the same mistakes they did, only for the kid to make the same mistakes. It’s not that they necessarily couldn’t have been avoided or that the parent failed, sometimes we just have to make mistakes and fail to see what’s truly important.

I’ve been making some decisions lately to change the situation I am in. I mentioned to a few people that I started selling a lot of stuff to pay off credit cards. This is partly true, but I’ve also been thinking I don’t need the amount of stuff I have. I’ve been thinking about how I have so much stuff I’ll never do, and I’ve decided that I need to stop putting things I’ll never get around to on my “to-do” lists.

As I get my card paid off, I’m trying hard to keep to a budget. It’s not tight, by any means, but I am trying to make sure I don’t fall into old habits. Despite wanting collectors edition of FF7 Rebirth, I’ve been trying really hard not to buy it (despite FOMO) I’ve also been keeping myself from buying other FF7 memorabilia (crap like a 60.00 steelbook for integrade) which keep popping in my head as I think about the game releasing at the end of the month (I’ve got the standard edition ordered with partial Gamestop credit)

I intend to finally start saving in earnest from here on out. Before I talked about saving, but I think one of the reasons I never did was that I didn’t have much of an idea what I was saving for. This time is different as I have two major expenses that I’m considering

The first is that I’m going to be needing a different car at some point. While mine still contains considerably low mileage and mostly still runs good, after driving it for a few years, I can’t help but feel I could use something a bit more tailored to me. Something with a bit more tech (like a backup camera) and something better for driving in the snowy conditions here. Not to mention something where I can reliably use the cigarette lighter for power or the battery could hold a charge. Would be nice

The next is that I’m planning to go to Japan. I’m not sure exactly when or under what circumstances, but I’m adamant that I need to at least go once in my life. If I do go, I’d also rather it be as soon as possible rather than be something I say “someday” to (Like what I originally planned on doing with some friends of mine before we started drifting a bit)

Treating those both as inevitabilities, now the purchases of things I might want become a lot easier to ignore. Obviously there’s still going to be things that have me forking over my money (like I recently bought an Omori figure and will be buying some certain nendoroids over the next few months) but I’m thinking they’ll be much more meaningful purchases than the past.

I’ll be living with my parents a bit longer, but I have no intention of sitting completely still. While I can’t say I have any concrete plans to move anywhere at this time, I do think I might go to an anime convention or two. My intentions being less focused on visiting the vendor halls, like most of my previous conventions, but possibly volunteering and maybe trying to experience one in a less antisocial capacity.

The specifics of that are still up in the air though as it depends on several factors (like whether certain conventions will still require masks or not since I can’t stand masks) Even if it falls through though, I’d like to get out more.

Potentially, I’d like to start dating. If I could find someone that aligns with me on enough stuff. However, most of that is dependent on a lot of things I can’t necessarily control. Though I do think I am actually in a place where I’m ready and not simply searching for the exact copy of what Candace was to me anymore.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ve been writing this over a couple hours now, and I don’t think I can keep myself from playing Infinite Wealth any longer. I’ll keep you all updated on anything BIG, but other than that you might not see much from me for a while. Not making any promises. Just saying

A couple months ago I was contacted by a woman from my HMO whose job it was to make people aware of the mental health resources that were available and then connect people to them. I don’t remember how the conversation went, but it generally ended up with her mentioning that the state had a program that might be able to help me with all kinds of things. She told me that she would get a hold of them and have them contact me.

It took a while for her to get a hold of them and to get them to contact me. By a while, I mean it was over a week, closer to two weeks even. When I finally got a hold of someone they set up an appointment shortly after, and I thought the ball was finally moving. Until I got to the appointment and found out in order to even be able to apply for the program (what they call the functional screening) I had to be evaluated by one of their certified mental health professionals and have their medical person sign off on the process.

I ended up making an appointment with their approved counselor a week or two later, but unfortunately the woman for the state who was handling this couldn’t get a hold of the person on their end that needed to sign for it. This went on for several weeks until they finally said that it wasn’t likely they’d be able to get a signature and asked if my primary care physician could sign it.

I said okay, but at the time I felt a bit perplexed as to why we didn’t do that in the first place. This all led up to the day I would go in to do my functional screening, which despite the impressive name, was nothing more than the woman who worked for the state entering in a bunch of info based on questions she asked me. All of which would be run through an algorithm and a decision would be made in 7 seconds (as she told me)

Not to keep anyone in suspense, but the algorithm determined I was ineligible. I left feeling pretty bummed. Despite not putting a lot of stock in it initially, the amount of waiting and hoops I needed to jump through had put in an expectation. Maybe I thought they could do something, or maybe it was just because it felt like I was finally doing something. In either case, I was not in a good spot that day.

I have all matter of opinions on why I think I was rejected. Mainly that I think their algorithm is a crock of shit that’s probably looking for the least amount of people to help that it can, because this is a state funded program and we know what state republicans probably think of that. No handouts.

It didn’t take me very long to get over it. In truth, I wasn’t sure what it could do for me. I was just doing it out of hope that it could offer something that could get my life moving forward. Something that it might have actually did by sheer accident of getting me to seek counseling again.

I’ve had close to half a dozen sessions and compared to the therapy I’ve had throughout life, they’ve been the most effective to date. Though that could just be an effect of where I am now versus where I was when I had therapy in the past. I do acknowledge that a lot of things have changed both because of therapy I’ve had and experiences.

Going to keep sticking with it and see where things go. There’s a couple of things I want to share about in regards to my sessions, but I’m going to hold off until I feel like I can be a bit more coherent with what I want to say. I don’t feel like it will be long though before I do share. Just wanted to let people know what I’ve been up to

Media round-up December 2023

I love sharing what I do and what I think about the things I do. However, I’ve come to realize that I’m not really cut out for essay-length posts on those things. Too much work. Thus, I’ve come up with what I’d like to dub “media round-up” posts.

The way it works is every month I write up about the media I was consuming the previous month. From music to games to anime to books, anything and everything goes. That includes things I don’t finish or things I start as well (unless I want to keep them a surprise) The contents will range from a paragraph to many depending on what I want to say, and all spoilers will be hidden behind a spoiler tag. Though I wont be spoiling anything for this first post.

Games

Fate CCC – The fan translation which feels like it took eons is finally out. I’ve started playing this on my hacked PSVita. Not very far into it, but my impressions thus far are that the gameplay isn’t very fun and the story is nothing close to what Japanese readers used to claim was kamige. There’s of course still room for it to improve, but I’ve pretty much checked out on the gameplay and decided to cheat through it instead.

No clue on when I’ll finish it. Low priority right now

Baldurs Gate III – This won game of the year at several different game award shows, and while I recognized it was a smash hit based on the number of people I saw playing it, I didn’t quite understand at the time why it was. Now that I’ve started playing it though, I’ve started to understand.

It took me a little bit though. At first I was just content to check it out via a copy of my brothers game (DRM free), and in the early stages I had trouble getting used to the various systems. Over time though I got better at the gameplay and I noticed my game was having a ton of issues that had been patched out. I then decided to get the game on Steam so I could get updates and ever since then I’ve been playing a lot.

Currently I’m still on act 1 or part 1 or whatever it’s referred to as. Despite playing a morally ambiguous campaign, I’m surprised at how much I’ve been inclined to pick the good options. Maybe it’s because I’m too worried about Shadowhearts affection (which at first seemed like it was more neutral but now seems to favor more goodhearted acts)

My party is my OC (rogue), Shadowheart, Astarion, and the gith character. I wasn’t a huge fan of the gith woman (which might explain why I can’t remember her name) The first time I started playing I even rejected her “desire” to join me. However, I found myself needing a fighter/meat shield somewhat badly through my first campaign and thus recruited her my second time (I deleted my first campaign because of that and other poor decisions) Now she’s kind of growing on me a bit.

Right now I would say my biggest complaint is loading is kind of bad. I know it’s probably an effect of me save scumming, and I wouldn’t do it so much if it weren’t for the terrible rolls I seem to get constantly (Like a success rating of 10 and constantly getting single digit numbers multiple times) Maybe when I play through it again (and yes I can forsee myself doing multiple playthroughs at this early stage), I’ll try a game where I just roll with everything. Though for now I’m having plenty of fun doing things this way

Yosuga no sora – My last VN of 2023. Initially, I had been waiting for the English fan translation of this like Fate/CCC. Unlike Fate/CCC it was taking a much longer time, and at this point I had both the ability and tools to read it. I decided to go for it, and I’m happy that I did (for the most part)

I like stories that are set in the rural Japanese country. I think because it makes the relationships between characters feel a lot more intimate. Whether it is or not, I couldn’t say. Though I feel like the same thing also happens in real life too. Smaller communities are just more interesting.

Of course, if you Google Yosuga no Sora, you’re most likely going to see things about the anime and the incest in it. While I haven’t watched the anime, I feel like the amount of talk about the incest does the title an incredible disservice because that’s only one of the five routes, and while it does come at the end (where a true route typically would) it’s not necessarily a longer or more fleshed out route than the others (making me consider it less as the definitive story and more as just the last route I played) Though I guess technically her name is part of the title (Sora) So maybe they meant it to be, but again I don’t really see it as anything special

The other routes are pretty decent to good. The best, which I unintentionally started first, is definitely Akira to me. The worst depends on whether you’re talking about the character or the substance of the route. The worst character was definitely Nao for me, but the worst substance was probably Kazuha’s route.

I’d really like to post the full OST for the game because I found it to be quite good. Sadly I can’t seem to find any music from it aside from the title music or music used in the anime (which is entirely different)

Anime

Attack on Titan – Initially I watched the first season 10+ years ago. My first impressions of it were, to boil it down into simplistic terms, Eren sucked and Mikasa was a waifu. There were other thoughts, I’m sure, but I didn’t write any of them down for reference and I don’t really remember them. Apart from some vague things like the memes and general feelings.

The long wait for season two paired with the huge popularity kept me away from Attack on Titan for several years. I don’t like admitting it, but for a while there, I viewed Attack on Titan as a “normie” anime and didn’t want to associate with it. The reasons why are stupid, and maybe some other time I can talk more about my anime elitism phase. However, what’s important is that I’m no longer that way. I haven’t been that way for at least 6-7 of those 10 years since the original.

Since I didn’t watch the second season, I couldn’t watch the third when it came out. At this point I just decided I wasn’t interested in watching it until I could just watch everything. Something I had no idea would take as long as it had at the time. Though now I see that it’s only natural to expect long good things to take a long time (partly why I’ve wanted to get back into manga more than anime)

Anyway I liked Mikasa my first time, but on the rewatch of season 1 I actually came to dislike her character (a dislike that stayed for most of the series) I initially was attracted to how strong and cool she was, but I now realized that she was pretty much dependent on Eren (who I still didn’t like, but I came to appreciate parts of his character later) She wasn’t the strong female I admired.

I actually ended up liking Annie and Sasha more. Which I find funny in retrospect since Sasha at first is more of a meme character and Annie.. Well I said I wasn’t going to get into spoilers, but lets just say she doesn’t get nearly the screentime Mikasa does. Yet Annie feels like a much stronger character overall.

I also liked the series overall. I do think there were parts where they dragged things out a bit much, and I do think there were characters (apart from just Mikasa) that could’ve used more dimension and development. I also think the way the author chose to have the characters resolve everything to not be the most interesting concept wise, but I guess they were probably going for what would be the flashiest most Hollywood-esque kind of conclusion.

RahXephon – If you were part of the anime community back in the late 2000s, you might have heard of this series being mentioned alongside things like Evangelion. That’s how I heard of it. Since then I’ve always meant to watch it because while I still don’t understand Evangelion, I still really enjoyed it.

In an explanation video I watched afterwards, I heard someone say that RahXephon is less like Evangelion and more like Revolutionary Girl Utena. I haven’t seen Utena, so I can’t really verify that claim, but I can somewhat agree that the Evangelion comparison is less apt. Though I’d be hard-pressed to really explain it.

The series is really confusing, and it is the type of show you need to give your full attention to, which explains why it took me so long to completely watch through it. The other two times I remember starting it and feeling too confused to want to continue. This time I stuck through the confusion.

I can’t say that if you watch and stick with it that the series will explain everything. I can’t promise the series will even give you everything you need to figure things out. Afterall, like I said a couple paragraphs ago, I had to watch an explanation video about it. Only when I did that did most of the stuff click, and I say most of the stuff because I’m positive there were some things I probably still didn’t get (But at that point I didn’t care)

I liked it though. I think what it does really well is the moments of tension between characters. I have not seen many works that can capture those moments half as well as RahXephon does. It’s like the saying about the tension being so thick you can cut it with a knife. Except you can actually see it.

The answers were also pretty interesting. I wont say that it’s mindblowing. Just interesting. Not a bad anime at all.

Oh and the OP is great. Though it might not be something that immediately catches everyone. I didn’t find it special until about the 3 or 4 episode.

Eureka Seven (rewatch) – Eureka Seven, when I first watched it via Adult Swim in the late 2000s, became quite possibly my favorite anime. That assessment though was based mostly on the adrenaline of seeing it weekly and the special editions of the DVDs I used to buy (Which came with a lot of cool stuff like the OST and T-shirts) Upon rewatching it in the past, I’ve come to lower my assessment somewhat.

It’s still good of course, but even this third time rewatching has been less exciting. Even watching it with Japanese audio for the first time hasn’t been novel enough to make it feel any fresher than the last time I watched it. I’ve come to think that maybe this series isn’t really meant to be watched multiple times.

I think something that illustrates this is that despite starting RahXephon at the halfway point of Eureka Seven, I ended up watching more RahXephon towards the end of 2023 (funnily enough, they’re both from the same studio) Eureka Seven I had three episodes I could of easily finished before the new year started. In fact I planned to do just that. Except I just found myself wanting to do something else instead. I’ll still finish it, but I don’t know. Unless I watch it again to show someone else, I think I might just leave it as a “good anime” rather than “the GOAT” like it was

The OST still is the GOAT though.

Books

Bakemonogatari – I think I might have mentioned this somewhere before, but I’ve been reading Bakemonogatari in English. I’ve actually owned all the Monogatari light novels for a while now, and I’ve wanted to see what made it such a hit with a lot of anime fans.

I’m mixed on it. I don’t mind reading it, and I do find some of it interesting. However, I find it lacking in a big hook. Right now it’s just seems to be Araragi (the MC) helping girls solve issues with unusual creatures/gods/demons. While that’s interesting in itself, most of the cases have been easily resolved and it feels more like a monster of the week type formula story.

I assume that it’s setting up things and it’s just being slow getting everything in place. The cases, while mostly resolved without much fuss, aren’t just forgotten about as the story progresses (the characters in them are so far continually showing up) Thus is why I assume it’s setting up for something more. Hopefully something I can get emotionally invested in.

Enders Shadow – Technically I’m listening to the audiobook and technically I’ve already read it before. Right now I’ve started listening to it again because I’ve been trying a new sleeping position and wanted an audiobook to listen to. Ended up getting a free trial of Audible again for it’s free audiobook and chose Enders Shadow because I was having a hard time finding something (Plus I assumed it would be better to fall asleep to something I’ve already read than something I was interested in reading)

Music

I don’t know how often I’ll have something to put in this section as I don’t seek out new music much. However every so often I’ll listen to mixes of music that YT gives me and find new artists and songs (primarily all Japanese music) When that happens, I’ll try to make note of them and share them in here (as well as maybe including them with regular blog posts)

I’m not sure whether I discovered all of these this year or last. I felt like I had discovered Sakanaction this year, but I saw on Discord I had posted videos back in 2022. Though for a section like this it doesn’t really matter. It’s more about sharing songs I think are cool.

I’ll also share them on normal blog posts as usual, but for these I’ll try to give a few with some impressions (though I’m not someone that can express music well)

I had difficulty choosing between this and another Vaundy song I really like. I chose this one for this month. Next month I’ll post the other

This is the only song from Cody Lee that I’ve heard. I think I might have tried listening to some others, but none of them gave the same kind of feelings this one does.

It’s actually really hard to pick one Chilli Beans song because they’re all really good. I’m actually kind of happy I discovered them when they were still kind of new and before they ended up doing a One Piece ending song (which is how a lot of other people got introduced) It might sound kind of hipster, but yeah I liked them before they were popular. I chose this one just because I find it the most universally appealing (though I’m not sure if it’s my favorite or not)

I am still working on the site’s layout somewhat. It’s not an every day kind of thing at the moment, but more of a when I feel like it kind of thing. Thus you might see me finish it tomorrow, or you might see it a month from now. Hard to say.

Not that I really think many, if any, are really following that. The real reason I write about these things is more for my benefit. It makes me feel like I’m doing something and it makes it feel important by making it seem like I’m doing it for someone other than myself. Even if doing it for oneself should be all one needs.

Attack on Titan post is in limbo. I did finish the series and I did like it overall. I feel conflicted, however, about the style of post I want to write about it. Part of me wants to write out something you’d see a professional reviewer try to do. The kind of thing you’d see in those 1h+ video essays on YT. Whereas the other part of me just wants to dump a bunch of my chaotic thoughts and call it a day.

It’s a common struggle I face with making posts on here. Nine times out of ten I end up not posting, and the one out of ten times I do, it feels more like a Frankenstein fusion between the two. That is I’ll start out posts intending to do something deep, because I do ultimately care about what I’m posting, but then I’ll end up feeling frustrated part way through and make the decision to dump the rest of my thoughts and pull out.

I think a lot about what I’m writing these posts for in the first place. Do I want to be a media reviewer? No, I don’t think so. I think what I want is to convey my feelings for pieces of media in a way that people can easily digest and understand. Without feeling like I’m being too basic.

That’s I guess my biggest worry. If I write something on here and I don’t write the most persuasive in-depth paragraphs, are people going to assume I’m someone that turns their brain off whenever they consume media? Are they going to accept my opinions on things as legit opinions?

It’s the wrong way to approach it, I know. Worrying about other people is a sure-fire way for failure. You can’t know what people think and you can’t control it either. I shouldn’t pay heed and press on. Fuck it, let’s move on.

It’s almost Christmas, meaning it wasn’t Christmas I spent a bunch of money on myself. Shouldn’t have, and I probably shouldn’t use Christmas as an excuse, although that’s part of how I rationalized it at the time. Need to get away from social media where I’m constantly seeing things that look cute that I want. Like an Aegis plushie that I saw but instantly noped out of when I saw it was rare and going for 200 bucks..

What did I buy? I bought a Xenoblade 2 shirt the other day that was feature on the Yetee, but along with that I saw another shirt of Roll from Mega Man and this nice Mega Man travel bag thing. I actually needed a travel bag for my wallet, phone, etc, and I’d been checking Amazon a few times over the past few months. So I’m not too upset at these, even if I already have way too many t-shirts.

I bought two Attack on Titan Nendoroids. Annie and Sasha. Bit of a spoiler for the Attack on Titan post, but they were my favorite characters. I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it if I had to pay the 100+ each for them that many secondhand places like eBay were charging, but I unfortunately managed to find a legit retailer that was selling them for cheaper and FOMO kicked in hard.

Speaking of Nendoroids, I did preorder a couple of upcoming releases. Thankfully as a preorder it fits within my budget a lot nicer than something I have to pay up front for. Specifically I preordered Nendos of Sakura (card captor Sakura), Shiori (Tokimeki Memorial), Noriko (Gunbuster), and Ruri (Martian Successor Nadesico) and I do have the option of cancelling them later. Though I don’t imagine I will unless things get especially dire.

Actually speaking of Ruri, I ended up buying her Pop-up parade figure. Initially, I had it preordered from Rightstuf, but it was looking questionable about whether they were going to get it anytime soon. The release date on the preorder was for March or April 2024, but it was already released in Japan. I ended up finding someone in the US who was selling her new from Japan for less on eBay of all places, and I made the executive decision to cancel that part of my old RS order and buy that. Saving a total of 5 bucks and time saved.

Oddly enough, after cancelling Ruri from Rightstuf, I ended up getting charged for another figure I preordered in the same order. This time it was a Maya (Ace Attorney) Nendoroid they said wasn’t coming until next year.. Kind of sucked to be charged out of the blue like that for it, but it was already something I had planned for at least

Back to purchases. I saw a Twitter post of the Xenoblade II OST being on sale for like 13% off yesterday. For those unaware, I’ve actually been really getting into OST collecting ever since I bought a 5 CD stereo a couple years ago and installed it into my room during my various room renovations this year. Given how I had been on a Xenoblade kick with the shirt I just bought, I pounced on it and the OST of the other two games.

That probably was at the point where I overdid it a bit. I also forgot to mention it, but I had also made a knee-jerk manga sale purchase a few days ago too. I bought 6 omnibuses of the Oh My Goddess manga because I have a fondness for the Oh My Goddess anime (even though I can’t remember it) and it seemed like a harder to come across series (people were wondering about reprints earlier this year) I did try to cancel it but unfortunately they had already shipped it. They said I could get an RMA request to return it, but maybe I’ll just live with it.

One thing I should note here, is while spending money is definitely an issue, the bigger thing I’m concerned with is the impulse control. I am on top of my financial stuff, and I am working off debt. Not as expediently as I could if I didn’t get any of this stuff, but I’ve made improvements. I’m also hoping to talk to my therapist sometime soon about this.

Ah yeah, I don’t know if I mentioned that before, but I have been seeing someone recently. I’ve had about 2 sessions with them now, and while it’s too early to say whether I think they’re a keeper, I am not discouraged in regards to the way things have been heading. Hopefully they can give me a rational voice to build myself up to be a stronger and much more content individual.

I might be making some big changes next year. There’s some stuff still up in the air about some programs I’m applying for. More specifically it’s finding out if I apply for anything that certain venues offer. I can’t really go much into it because I don’t actually know a whole lot about it. It’s been kind of a clusterfuck just doing a lot of the initial work for it (part of the reason I’m actually going to therapy now too)

Fuck it, this is already turning into my end of the year post. Let’s talk about next year

I was going to write up a media post talking about all the media I plan to consume next year, but since we’re rambling now, that’ll probably get rolled up into this. Before that, let’s do the resolutions

More Japanese more the time – This one is a no brainer. Although, I will point out that I have been making good on this toward the end of this year. I’ve been using one of the Wanikani extensions to practice all the kanji that they teach, and I am regularly drilling them so that I can flawlessly remember the meanings and readings of 2070 (ish) kanji.

While that alone doesn’t make one fluent in Japanese, I’ve noticed that after a few days of spending a couple of hours doing that that I’ve started being able to switch over my brain into Japanese easier. Particularly whenever I see Japanese V-tubers on Twitter, and I can actually start reading their Tweets almost as if they were English (Though not quite as smooth as that)

Going to learn to draw anime – This is something I decided more recently, but I saw a video on YT of Pewdiepie learning to draw anime that inspired me to give it a shot. More accurately I saw a video of an artist reacting to a video about Pewdiepie learning to draw. Watching both Pewdiepie’s progress and the artist commenting on it gave me this strong desire to want to do it myself.

I should be clear that I’ve always had a desire to draw anime. I actually used to want to be an artist when I was real little. However I got discouraged early on from doing art, and when it came to drawing anime some of my early attempts brought up those memories and general feelings that I might not be able to become good at it.

But I’m trying to kick that thinking to the curb. It shouldn’t be impossible for me to learn to draw anime. Maybe I wont be a pro, but if I could sketch some cute girls here and there, I feel like I’d be a lot happier.

Going to learn programming – I have a video course on Python I bought a couple years ago. I did part of it, but I never went the whole way through it. I’ve always wanted to though to get a better sense of whether I’d be interested in software development.

Right now it’s on a lower priority as I’m working on other stuff, but if other stuff is going in a positive direction, I could see myself tackling this again. Partly because I’d like to make a game with it.

There’s a few other things I could add to the list, but let’s keep it focused. If I can manage to do one to a satisfactory level, we’ll consider it a success.

Let me go over media

Games wise I only have three games I’m really looking at next year: Like A Dragon Infinite Wealth, FF7 Rebirth, and Eiyuden Chronicles.

I’ll most likely play all three upon release. The one I’m most excited for being Rebirth followed by Like A Dragon, followed by Eiyuden. If you’re wondering why Eiyuden is so low despite Suikoden meaning so much to me, it’s because I’m going into it with the least amount of expectations after seeing the least amount of stuff (I’m also factoring in that it’s a Kickstarter game) That’s by choice because of how much I’d have riding on it otherwise.

Apart from those 3 games, I don’t really have anything else earmarked. Persona 3 remake would be cool, but it honestly doesn’t strike me as anything beyond a better looking Persona 3. There’s also that Metaphor games which looks good but we’ll see

For things I might play, I do have a bunch of stuff earmarked as potential replays. I’d like to replay FF7 Remake before Rebirth if I have the time. I’d also like to do the entire Suikoden series (minus 4 and spinoffs) in Japanese but I’m also waiting for the remaster of one and two (Something I’ll probably play but I don’t have specific plans for) I’d also like to replay a PSX RPG in Japanese (either Xenogears or Wild Arms) I might also replay Xenosaga

Oh yeah speaking of Xeno, I’ll be replaying Xenoblade 2 and 3 so I can play their respective DLCs (Torna and Future Redeemed)

There’s a few things I’m currently playing like CCC and Baldurs Gate III that I’m sure will spill into 2024

Let’s see apart from games… My plans for media are a bit looser. I hope to read at least 5-6 visual novels in Japanese though I don’t have specific titles in mind. I would also like to read some more VNs in general, but whether I get the time… Who knows.

Uhh what else is there.. BOOKS. I started reading the Monogatari series this year, and I’ll be done with Bakemonogatari (the first couple books) soon. Since I’ve bought all the books in past irresponsible purchases, I’m hoping to read the entire thing sooner rather than later.

I think that about covers it all. There might be some other things I’m forgetting, but I’m trying to wrap things up so as not to spend anymore that the two hours (or so) I’ve been plugging away at this. I’m already starting to get distracted by other shit and it’s affecting my ability to really think about what to write here.

So we’ll leave off here for right now. Maybe I’ll finish that Attack on Titan post before the year is out. If not, I’ll see you all next year

Been thinking about redoing the site again I…

Been thinking about redoing the site again. I don’t think I use tags effectively enough to justify their existence, and I’ve been wanting to change the color scheme/font design to make things a bit nicer to read. Shouldn’t be too hard to implement in theory, but my experience tells me to not take it too lightly. Thus I can’t really give a date on it other than sometime between now and 2024

I’ve been hard at work selling a bunch of stuff on eBay. The main reason being I could really use the money to cover my irresponsible spending of the past year, but also because I’ve realized I just have too much shit. Shit that just isn’t doing anything for me anymore. Shit that’s just making life more difficult than it needs to be.

In a prior post, I mentioned a lot about the reasons I buy a lot of this shit. Some of it is for things I plan to do in the future (like I might buy a manga series on a deal if I think I might be interested in reading it someday, or big deluxe copies of games that I plan to replay) or it’s something I buy to feel like I’m adequately showing my appreciation of something (and for potential recognition from other peopl)

I knew those both weren’t great. Particularly when I have so little money and I should be working towards a sustainable future. Though it took me a while to sort it out and confront it internally. It is not, what some people might expect, as simple as just telling yourself to grow up and be responsible. Rather it’s a process of convincing yourself that you’re strong enough without it. It’s a process of gaining self confidence to not feel dependent on that stuff.

It’s also a process of finding inner peace and learning to let go of material possession. I know that probably sounds really Buddhist, and to be fair, I actually am really attracted to a lot of Buddhist philosophy. I view it more under the light of being mentally healthier.

Of course I’m not looking to go completely minimalist here. Maybe eventually if I find that things lead that way, I might. However, at this stage I’m still very much interested in acquiring things. I’m just finally starting to get to a stage where I’m more selective of things.

One example I can give is with video games. One thing I’ve been trying to do is to stop buying expensive collectors editions. I don’t know if I had mentioned it before, but I had cancelled both the collectors edition of Final Fantasy VII rebirth and an upcoming trails game. Recently I also sold the collectors edition I bought for Star Ocean the second story as well.

When I think about all the collector’s editions of games that I’ve ever bought, none of them have ever really been amazing. While it would look neat when I first got it, what would end up happening is I’d enjoy the game and then it and the collectors edition contents would sit around. Not doing anything. Just taking up space.

And yeah it’d look cool on my shelf, but you know what else looks cool on my shelf? A figure, a plush, hell just about anything. Just because it’s something I love doesn’t mean I need to have that specific thing in order to show I love it. It’s just excess crap in a lot of cases

Particularly with games. You know the ones that offer art books and OSTs? Most of the time the artbook doesn’t hold a candle to official artbooks you can buy later and the OSTs are only ever of arranged songs. Sometimes the game will come with a figure, but even figures a lot of the time have other options if the character is popular enough (Hell I didn’t even want the 18 inch Sephiroth statue from rebirth when I first ordered the collectors edition.. Why I even ordered it in the first place is really hard to explain)

I’ve actually started selling a lot of my games that have PC ports on Steam too. It just doesn’t make sense to collect a library of physical games when the systems they’re on aren’t always going to be there. Yeah, digital means I’m dependent on Steam, but then I don’t really think I’m going to replay every game I ever buy (and even if I do I can’t imagine it being more than once) A digital library, I feel is much more practical. It may not be as impressive to show off as a physical.. But..

But another thing is I feel like game collecting really is only for the titles you really care about. Not for complete sets of games, or even games that you like. I think it’s more important to curate and refine collections to your essence. Otherwise, what does your collection really do when it’s a hodgepodge of stuff?

BUT I haven’t given up completely on collecting game stuff. If Suikoden were to come out with something special or even part 3 of FF7 (if they come out with something Tifa related) I could be tempted. Hell Xenogears and Chrono Trigger too (I’ve already bought plenty of Xenogears merch in the past month. What’s different is that I’ve taken a more practical approach to it all. Rather than just letting my love of something dictate whether i needed to have something.

Well for the most part.. It’s still all a work in progress.

Game Awards was yesterday Some of my quick…

Game Awards was yesterday. Some of my quick thoughts about the show below.

Honestly, the only stakes I had in awards this year were Lies of P and Resident Evil 4. Neither of which won or were even nominated for much. Disappointing because I think both of them could use more attention (particularly Lies of P) Oh well.

I was happy to see Ironmouse get content creator of the year. While I’m not as big into vtubing anymore and haven’t really watched much of her, from what little I know of her, she definitely stood out more than some of those other picks. That’s probably my bias though considering there were a lot of people asking who after she won (and I don’t think they were all doing it ironically.. Though how can you be on Twitch and not know about her is kind of insane to me)

I don’t think Sea of Stars deserved winning indie. I know there was a lot of controversy with Dave the Diver being there (since it’s technically not indie) and I’m glad it didn’t win, but even without having played any other games in the category, I feel like Sea of Stars only got by on it’s aesthetics. Again my bias from not liking the game much but yeah

Alan Wake II and BG3 seemed to be winning all the other awards. From what I’ve seen/heard its deserved, although personally I can’t really make a judgment. I’m interested in playing both someday, but right now there’s not really a convenient way to play either (both in cost, and that Alan Wake II requires playing a bunch of other stuff) Maybe in 2024

The new Atlus game, Metaphor Re Fantazio, looks pretty sick. I’m happy to see them do something that’s not SMT related for once (yes that includes Persona) Hoping to see something new here.

Visions of Mana was disappointing. While I wouldn’t totally poo poo the idea of another mana game, it’s not the series I was hoping to see. I had some small hopes SE would do something like tease a Chrono or Xeno game. Hopium to the max, perhaps, but Mana was just not enough to make me get excited.

There were a few other games I found interesting, though a lot of them didn’t show much of gameplay (things like Last Sentinel) Thus I have to sort of hold my hype in check.

The highlight of the entire show, to me, was the FF7 main theme. Both the performance and the small trailer were fantastic. And against my better judgment I went and watched the extended trailer that was posted to YT. Which ended up being pretty good, but also kind of makes it harder to wait for its release..