Tag Archives: Pokรฉmon Legends: Arceus

Week 17 Summary: A New Job And A Cruise! ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿšข

Still working on LOADS of art!

What. A. Week! The cruise with my mom got finalized –for the most part. We sail in August! Hopefully. I applied to a new job because of the few hours at the other one –and got it! I (sort of) finished Pokรฉmon Legends Arceus, and started a new game, Grow: Song Of The Evertree.

I visited my mom and got lots of art done throughout the week. I also prepped some new outfits for my dolls. I actually don’t talk about that last bit in this post; I created a separate post for it which you can read here.

๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฆ WARNING! ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿƒ
This post will contain some spoilers for Pokรฉmon Legends: Arceus and Grow: Song Of The Evertree.

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Monday was an uneventful, but busy day. In the afternoon I made time to play more Diablo II with our partner:

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Tuesday was a weird day. On the positive end, I accomplished a TON of commission progress. I exercised, and finally got to see the credits roll in Pokรฉmon Legends: Arceus. It is VERY frustrating that Game Freak decided not to allow the player to screenshot the end screen.

The basic โ€œendingโ€ feels very abrupt, which makes sense since it isnโ€™t the โ€œtrueโ€ ending. But this is the point at which I allow myself to put down a game that, at times, I have not enjoyed very much at all. At least temporarily.

Maybe I should have known better than to pick it up, considering it was a game focused on my least favorite aspect of Pokรฉmon (this being, catching them โ€”Iโ€™m someone who far prefers to battle). But that I could have gotten past, perhapsโ€ฆ if only it was enough to catch a Pokรฉmon once and youโ€™re done, and if you didnโ€™t have to deal with the ridiculousness that is the subduing of frenzied Pokรฉmonโ€ฆ though I admit I found it easier as it went along.

Avalugg was particularly easy. For me, Arcanine was the hardest. But I didn’t enjoy any of them.

The story was okay. I found the casting out of the protagonist to be interesting and unexpected. Really enjoyed these scenes…

…particularly those of the protagonist contemplating her situation all alone, and being visited by Pokรฉmon.

Looking back as I work on this post, I realize that as much as I grumbled about many aspects of this game, I had enough fun to want to return to really finish it and see its “true” ending. So maybe I will in a couple of weeks.

I also really enjoyed some of the scenes featuring Cyllene, particularly this one:

Very true words. This battle was also very cool as far as visuals!

I needed something completely different as a follow-up, so I started Grow: Song Of The Evertree.

Oh my goodness do I LOVE this game! โœจ๐Ÿ˜ญโœจ Let me start by saying that I am fed up with so-called “cozy” games. I can only play the same variation of Animal Crossing so many times. There are SO many farming sims and other games of this genre –from Story Of Seasons to Stardew Valley to everything in between. I fully expected Grow: Song Of The Evertree to be a drag, and yet, for some reason, I still bought it.

I find this game’s chores to be different enough, and delightful enough (even the fishing mechanic!) to be completely sold. In addition to the lovely character customization, what really makes this game for me are Book and Copperpot. Here’s Book:

These two have cared for you, the protagonist, since you were a baby.

The atmosphere is so wonderful, everywhere…

There are great side characters to meet and areas to explore:

I’ve only progressed a little so far, but the game is bringing me a lot of joy.

On a less positive note, after all the intense rains and flooding, we found a sunken area in our driveway:

We live in Florida โ€”sinkhole land. So you can imagine seeing anything like that is always scary. I’ve been calling around to have someone come take a look.

In the evening, I went to my momโ€™s. Sheโ€™s sick (not COVID, we tested) and she was feeling poorly enough to ask me to cancel our celebratory fancy dinner, which is a big bummer.

But we had our little โ€œpicadaโ€ as always, though it turned out to be a fondue for dinner.

I played my new video game a little more before calling it a night fairly early. I was very tired.

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Wednesday my mom and I just relaxed. Natasha had a bad case of bed head in the morning โ€”a reminder of why I donโ€™t sleep with dolls! I combed her hair and she was alright. But I enjoyed cuddling her during the night.

My mom surprised me with a little box full of things she had accumulated for me. Some I don’t really know what to do with, but they all made me smile.

This li’l guy was my favorite (the tiny typewriter is a jewel box I had from before):

Here’s Sweeney being sweet…

And being sweet some more…

My mom made fried potatoes and eggs for dinner. Hers are the BEST!! My favorite childhood meal.

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

While out on my morning walk, I passed by a local market, which is about 10 walking minutes from our house, and saw a “Help Wanted” sign for a full-time cashier position. Because my job has been giving me such few hours that it barely counts as employment (I’m talking about 5-9 hours a week) I decided to apply.

The first interview went very well. I was told I’d probably be coming in again to see the owner in the afternoon, but I never received a callback. I kept my fingers crossed, but I was cranky about it.

For lunch, I had a potato and an egg sandwich and kept reading this weird book about wizards:

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

Still no callback from the market at all on Thursday… I was pretty bummed out about it. It was a stressful day, as the process of finalizing our cruise booking began in earnest, and I was in charge of it. It was finalized by Friday night, sans payment. So, finalized, but kinda-sorta. I can’t emphasize enough how stressful this was! Everything happened so quickly. The cruise is happening in just about one hundred and twenty days.

I was checking the Ring camera, as I do sometimes, and saw the old tomcat that tends to visit our front door area. As I was watching the video in the quiet of the morning, suddenly there was a massive CRASH!!! that seems to come from inside the house. I couldn’t figure out what it was! Take a look (with sound). You’ll notice the tomcat is startled as FRICK and takes off like a bat out of hell:

Later Christopher figured out that this was probably Elliot crashing furiously against the window blinds as the tomcat walked underneath them. What a racket –and what a fright for the marauder! Lol.

On this day I noticed that Buddy had shown up!! In April!

I like to think he’s just trying to watch over me because I’ve been so stressed, and it makes me smile. I wonder how long he will stay.

On this day I also finished this commission for Adri:

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

I got up early to cook braised beef on the Crock-Pot for Saturday night’s dinner. In relation to the cruise, this was the most stressful day. The morning involved some very tense discussions about money at home. I found myself crying fifteen minutes before I was slated to go in to work, and pulling myself together was not easy.

Yet, a few minutes after I went in, the atmosphere at work and my coworkers had already perked me up.

I really do enjoy my current job. I love my coworkers, the customers, and the store. If the market calls back eventually, I guess I will be leaving it. But I desperately need more hours, to the point that I’m seeking full-time employment now, after all. So I found myself with a lot of mixed feelings as I worked on Saturday.

Around 5 pm, I took a fifteen-minute break to see if there were any news about the cruise planning… and found a voicemail from the market’s manager!

I figured this meant I had the job… which made the remaining two hours very odd. I still did my best with everything. Getting customers’ emails, helping my coworkers finish some projects… This had actually been the day I felt the most like “one of the team”, no longer a newbie, just, accepted. Fooling around as we worked, everyone doing their best. I felt a lot of sadness thinking that maybe, probably, that would be my last day.

Why couldn’t that place have given me more hoursโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜” But as it stands I’m not even sure the store will survive. [EDITOR’S NOTE: These words will become tragically and hilariously prophetic as will be elaborated on next week’s post.]

I texted the manager at the market during my break as well as called them back when I left work but did not get a response on this day.

I came home around 7 pm. Even though I was tired and a bit down for a bunch of reasons, the evening went well enough. I got some chores done and dinner turned out pretty great.

Here’s some small things I got from work. Candy, primary-colored pacifiers for my stuffed animals, a rainbow plate, and pink โ€œSolo-likeโ€ cups (theyโ€™re super thick and strong) one for me and one toy-size, for toy photos:

I haven’t made a clip-on stuffie pacifier in like forever. But primary-colored ones were impossible to resist! I gave one to Beanie and one to Tritium. In the end, I didn’t make them into brooch “pin-style” pacifiers. I left them as they were, around their necks.

Here’s a bonus Tomoyo watching us from the couch during dinner:

In the evening I figured I should reinstall the NCL app. The new cruise is already showing up!

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

There was no communication from the new job, but it was Sunday after all. Anticipating a potentially busy workweek ahead, I got up early so I could get as much done as possible. I worked a little on the blog, got dressed, showered, did my chores, and then worked on art. Finally, I finished some pieces:

Polenta accompanied me during lunch –leftover pasta with some added radish coins.

On this day I cleaned the snail tank. I have some photos and a video to share, as is often the case on tank cleaning days.

I caught two of the Roman snails going at it. ‘Tis the season!

Afterward, they were spent:

A couple more random cute pics:

We got Jersey Mike’s for dinner, and I got to use my new plate!

And that is it for this week. My goals continue to be on pause. But that’s okay: it is for good reasons. I firmly believe everything will fall into place by the time I am doing an end-of-year wrap-up. ๐Ÿ˜Š Have a great week, everyone!

Week 10 Summary: Christopher’s Birthday! ๐ŸŽ‚

This was a week with some painful lows but still some happy moments. I went to see my mom, we had family visit, we celebrated Christopher’s birthday, my mom’s immigration process finally had movement, and I completed my first race (well, it was a walk) since restarting my daily strolls. I also took Kotoko to the vet, some tests were done, and the results were not good.

Because of those test results, I want to warn you that this post will discuss pet illness and impending (though not immediate) loss. Because it’ll come right away, under the Monday summary, there is no cut: if you keep reading, it’ll be after the “soot” photo. So please be aware of that. Anyway, let’s get on with the summary.

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Let’s start Monday with something utterly delightful. Remember the soots from last week? The blue soot at this employee’s desk has been graced with a tiny hat!

I love the idea of someone possibly purposely bringing this hat to work for this soot. It’s so cute.

๐Ÿ’ž Pet Illness/Loss CW Starts Here ๐Ÿ’ž

Now, with much regret, I must move on to a more somber topic. You might recall I mentioned on my last post that I planned to take Kotoko to the vet on Monday. Her projectile vomiting is somewhat controlled by occasional Cerenia, but with no specific cause, I wanted to try the vet near our house and see if anything else had developed that our usual, beloved and trusted vet, Dr. Pisano, had not seen at the time. It was also time for a new blood test.

Kotoko was quite noisy as everything was done to her –check-up, x-rays, blood work. She was in discomfort, her tummy tense, and the x-rays would show other motives too. Here she is attentively listening to the vet talk about her:

After the x-rays were done, the vet took me to the back to show them to me. In this first one, if you know what you are looking at, you will catch a few things: the first being the spacing between her last few vertebrae, where an irreversible degeneration is occurring. This is painful for Kotoko, and probably made the x-rays more uncomfortable too.

The more important one is the thickening, or potential mass, in her stomach:

Because of her long-standing other symptoms, there isn’t exactly a multitude of possibilities here. It is almost certainly IBS or lymphoma, or IBS that became lymphoma. Kotoko’s blood tests also came back, and they showed the first stage of kidney failure. So as you can see, she is dealing with a lot.

The prognosis is not good. Kidney situation aside, this is a fast-acting disease, and Kotoko is 15 years old. We could do an ultrasound, and possibly need a biopsy to boot ($1,300 at a minimum if both are needed) but all this would tell us is how little time we have left. The course of action would not change.

We have decided to not subject her to any more diagnostics. Instead, we will use our funds for the best prescription foods, for daily medications that will substantially improve her comfort, and in paying for the service that will allow us to say a comfortable goodbye at home when the time does come (this is very expensive, hundreds of dollars).

And really, it could be fast. It could be two months. We could get unlucky, and it could be less, or we could get lucky, and it could be longer. We are going to do all we can to enjoy whatever time is left with her. We might just get lucky in how much time that is. Why not think positive? But even if we don’t, I know I’ll take a lot of comfort in the fact that, at 15, Kotoko has had such a long and happy life. She could have hardly had more loving or dedicated pet parents, if I do say so myself. She also had kitty friends, and many human friends to boot.

You might have seen me mention something very vague on Mastodon. It was about this. I didn’t want to go into detail, because even someone who understands pet loss may not realize why this loss will be so major to us. We’ve experienced severe heartbreak over pet loss before –this will be of a different magnitude. We will be okay. But because this isn’t a normal pet loss situation (I don’t think I could properly explain why) it will be a while until we are.

But I also want to concentrate in the here and now: with daily Cerenia, Kotoko already is showing a big improvement. No more vomiting, much bigger appetite. She just looks more lively. She’s a sturdy cat, and as long as she is here, we will love her and be grateful for her. Later we will have time to grieve. Before that time comes, I am also doing some things like a cute little cast of her paw, and a stamped imprint of it as well. I might do more things if I can think of them.

Something interesting that you can see in this other x-ray is that Kotoko has an extra rib, like some people or animals have an extra toe:

Let me close this part with a little more positivity. I really liked this vet, which is walking distance from us. They also have some chill office cats, three of them. Here’s a photo of one of them:

๐Ÿ’ž Pet Illness/Loss CW Ends Here ๐Ÿ’ž

Monday evening I completed the Snoopy Run, 13.1 miles! I walked it, though.

My medal should be here by the weekend.

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

The most significant event that happened on this day is that my mom’s immigration case entered the last stage on USCIS. She should have her residence soon… I hope!

A funny thing happened too. Tomoyo has a tendency to fling her toys high in the air when she plays. Well, while I was having lunch, this landed on my plate:

It actually landed ON my food (gross) but I moved it off right away. Meanwhile, she was just innocently waiting for me to return it to her:

Here’s a random photo of our sweet old lady:

In the evening I got dropped off at my mom’s. She gave Christopher his birthday present before he and our partner left. Then we had snacks, and wine, played Generala, and talked about a million things.

For dinner we had a baked potato:

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Wednesday was a calm day. Here’s Sweeney being very cute:

In the afternoon my mom made really delicious egg bites, and we watched TV together.

Later I lay down a while and played more Legends: Arceus.

Not long after, our partner picked me up. Once we got back home, I made the guys dinner, then tea, and just did my best to keep Christopher cheerful. Between the bad news this week and his back hurting so much without a break, it’s been really rough for him.

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

Thursday was Christopher’s birthday. I prepared his presents on his desk before he woke up:

I also hid one in his book bag so he’d have something to open at work. He liked most of them. ๐Ÿ˜Š In the evening, we had dinner at Blue Ginger to celebrate. It was really good!

On this day I finished reading another book. Though it was comics, it was really long, as it was an omnibus of all the Muppet Babies comics, plus the comic in which they first appear (The Muppets Take Manhattan). That marks the seventh book I’ve read this year. With it being March already, this may not sound like much, but “It” was well over 1,100 pages… so that took a while.

The Muppet Babies Omnibus was delightful. Some frames made me do a double take! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Baby Rowlf was adorable…

There were a lot of funny fourth wall breaking moments. This one was particularly amusing!

Next, I’m going to finish The Last Days of the Dinosaurs by Riley Black.

I decided to move one of the cat stairs to the porch to make it easier for Kotoko to access the chairs, particularly in light of her spine degeneration. She uses it, but right now, mostly sleeps on the bigger step rather than the chair, I guess because it became “new” again. Elliot sleeps on the chair.

It’s been so much fun to feed the birds and squirrels at the front of the house. Here’s a photo I took on this day:

Down the road, I would like to buy a bench and a birdbath, so I can enjoy seeing them up close while I’m outside reading a book.

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

Let’s start Friday off with this photo of Tomoyo lounging on my chest. Really, she’s just waiting to be fed.

It was cage cleaning day, so here’s a couple of photos of a cutie:

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

Saturday morning we went to look at garage sales, a favorite activity when family visits. You never know what you’ll find!

For lunch we went to Chili’s. I had Palmito in my backpack so I took photos of him on this day:

You very likely have never seen Palmito, Robito or Rosemary (the skunk, not the cat). These little plushies were the first I ever took places with me back in the heyday of Toyvoyagers.

Though the website is still accessible on the date of me making this post, and the odd Travelog still updates, Toyvoyagers are sadly very much defunct. The idea was that you bought a little metal tag with a unique number for your toy, and left it places, and hoped someone would update its Travelog. It did happen! Alternatively, you could send your toy to one person elsewhere in the world, and then they would come back. Or you could have it join a “round robin” of locations.

All of my Toyvoyagers went places and brought me back souvenirs. It’s nice to be taking them out again.

When we got back from lunch, I found my latest medal in the mailbox. It’s really pretty!

I also have the t-shirt (though I won’t make a habit of ordering those) and the race bib with my number, which I’ll probably use for a scrapbooking page.

Christopher gave me $5 and I got some goodies while out garage saling:

This book is for dungeon masters but really cool and inspiring nonetheless!

And I couldn’t leave this little guy behind:

I’ve washed and disinfected him, so he’s ready for cuddling!

For Christopher’s birthday dinner, we went to Buca Di Beppo. We had chicken parmigiana, stuffed shells, meatballs, and garlic bread. We had a coupon for a free dessert for Christopher that was big enough for the five of us!

It’s really nice to be taking Palmito out for photos again. It’s been many years.

After we got home, we hung out at the house watching Christopher play GTA 5 (always fun) and then our friend Jessie came over, so we watched the two of them and our partner play the Stick Fight game on Steam. It was a really nice and chill evening.

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

I went on my usual five mile walk, and stopped by Target. I hadn’t been to Target all year. They had a new version of their Sesame Street figures that was really cute:

Christopher made a really good pasta with zucchini for dinner. It looked far too healthy to be so delicious, I was pleasantly surprised. Can’t wait to have it again.

I usually only sleep with Grover, but on this night I wanted to cuddle my new triceratops friend too. Grover didn’t mind sharing!

Before we know it, March will be over… the rainy season will come, with it the humid and oppressive heat, and then hurricane season. Time is flying, but I’m trying to make the best of it, and I hope you all are too. Let’s make this coming week a wonderful one!

Week 9 Summary: Soots And Other Fun Things ๐Ÿ‘พ

March is here! It came so fast. March brings Christopher’s 39th birthday, Mwako’s visit, and the usual visit to the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition with my mom. Anyway, let’s get on with the summary!

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Let’s begin Monday with a photo of Rosie chilling by my work area:

You might remember the little “soots” that took over our house quite some time ago. The following isn’t something that happened specifically on this day, I’m just picking this part of the summary to share it.

They now appear to be multiplying at Christopher’s workplace, with some help from him (though almost no one knows this for a fact, since he is very sneaky about it).

The colorful little soots have made their way all over the factory –even the CFO’s office! Christopher sends me photos sometimes, so here’s a few:

For the most part no one has removed them, though some HAVE moved a little. They seem to be amusing a lot of people, it’s pretty great! ๐Ÿ˜

You might also remember me mentioning that on Valentine’s Day, our partner got me a pair of headphones, but they turned out to be the wrong ones. So we returned them and I got to pick out a new pair. I picked the Razer Kraken x Doraemon 50th Anniversary Limited Edition gaming headset, which was only ever released in China as an exclusive promotion. They’ve finally arrived!

They are lovely. I adore this color scheme SO MUCH! Very kidcore-y vibes.

I would like to get some of the matching add-ons too, if only the mouse, because it’s actually my favorite mouse model, and it’s been discontinued.

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

On this day I was able to snap a pretty cute photo of Rosie and Tomoyo chilling out together:

Before grocery shopping, our partner and I went to get some wines. It was a nice little outing together, and he bought me a raptor wine stopper! It’s so cool.

I’m surprised to still come across brand new Jurassic World versions of these Good 2 Grow bottle caps/toppers/whatever they are. I found a pyroraptor one to add to my collection!

I forgot to post this on the day it happened, but a few days ago, the guys went to the grocery store and brought me flowers (the sunflowers, not the black roses, lol).

Sunflowers are my most favorite flower ever. They fill me with happiness. I wish I could always have some on my table, I’d never get tired of seeing them. It was such a nice surprise.

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Elliot has been enjoying the outdoor “hammock” a lot since I moved it to the sun, but in an unexpected way:

Oh well… at least it’s getting some use!

In a moment of weakness, after being informed that Dollar General can be a surprise treasure trove for dinosaur toys, I went and took a look. To my delight, I found a large stegosaurus of the same fashion as my large foam dinos (Mojito, Churrasco and Fuit Gummi) so I brought him home:

I also found some totally bizarre and hilarious tiny dinos that are very clearly meant to be Gon ripoffs:

You probably don’t know Gon, unless you’re a big comic and/or dinosaur fan, but it is a true underlooked gem in manga. I only own this one volume, it’s very short, and one of my treasures:

Drawn by Masashi Tanaka, Gon has no dialogue and no onomatopeias. Every frame looks like it would have taken a full day to painstakingly render–I say this as someone who has similarly spent pleasant hours absorbed in crosshatching a scene with pen and ink. This is to say nothing of the absolutely BONKERS full-page spreads:

Gon is some sort of vague Carnosaurs, with a more t. Rex-like head, although I’ve also seen him described as a Giganotosaurus. This is possible, since Gon was first published one year after the discovery of Giganotosaurus.

Somehow, Gon lives in a more modern world. He’s escaped extinction in some way. The manga follows his interactions with these modern species, which are never quite prepared for the force to be reckoned with that is Gon.

While often humorous, scenes of death (very sad scenes, really) can be crushing and sudden, only adding to the emotional intensity that this wordless manga provides.

Below are two examples from this particular volume –in one, a wolf-pup is completely crushed by a tiger’s gigantic paw. This comes immediately after the same tiger killed the pups’ mother:

In this other example, a bird steals a baby penguin and very cheerfully flies away to eat it. The contrast between the bird’s happy face, the terror of the chick, and the shared grief so eloquently depicted by Tanaka in the frame that follows, are impressively drawn and brimming with emotion:

There is an animated, CGI version of Gon. It is, in my opinion, a terrible adaptation in which all of the nuance and charm is lost. I mean… here’s a couple of GIFs from it…

You know what, maybe farts are in the manga too, I haven’t read all of it, it seems out of character for the manga though. I watched some of the anime and it was SO lame. Worst of ALL, the animals talk! Ugh.

I should point out that Gon also made an appearance as a playable character in the game Tekken 3:

He does have a fart attack in Tekken, so who knows, maybe it’s a thing. ๐Ÿ™„ In any case, it was very amusing to find this little toy set that basically shows Gon as a bunch of different species –including a parasaurolophus!

As a funny side note, when looking for Gon gifs I came an account on Tenor that clearly has a “special interest“:

So yeah, that was odd. Aaaanyway… on to Thursday!

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

Thursday evening the three of us went for a walk together. When we passed the local pond/lake/whatever you call it, the bullfrogs were LOUD. Our partner walked closer to the reeds and grasses by the water to find one of them for me. It was enormous.

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

Friday was tank cleaning day, so I have a lot of photos to share. I also have some really cute lettuce-rasping action caught in video:

I ended up ordering a tree hide like the one the rats used to have. It looks really nice in the tank, and the snails seem to like hanging out inside it.

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

I continued to walk as much as I could, 4-5 miles every day. The weather is still mild compared to what will soon come. I snapped this pretty photo of a flower.

In the afternoon, I relaxed with more Legends: Arceus and a little snack. Then I had a nap.

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

Sunday evening I went on a walk with our partner and we hadn’t gotten far from the house when we saw this little (fake) LEGO table set out for bulk trash:

I don’t really have space for it indoors, so I put it on the porch with a pillow for the cats. It’s colorful and cute, I didn’t really want to just leave it out to be trashed.

Anyway, that’s it for this week. Next week is Christopher’s birthday, and tomorrow I’ll be taking Kotoko to the vet right by our house to do some more looking-into her vomiting that won’t go away and see if she’s actually lost weight or it’s all in my head. I’ll update you all next Sunday. Until then, I hope you have a happy week!

Week 5 Summary: Working On Myself ๐Ÿฃ

CONTENT WARNING: There will be some minor references to struggles with food and eating in this post. It will be from Friday onward and will have a reminder content warning so it won't surprise you. This stuff will diminish with time, right now it is a big thing in my life, so I apologize if it is annoying.

Happy Sunday, everyone! Firstly, let me address something you may have noticed (perhaps with relief) if you’re a daily subscriber: the 2023 Goal Tracker post notifications are no longer being sent out.

This is because I was apprehensive about flooding people’s inboxes with something that interested only me (I mean, more than the rest of a lot of this blog’s content, even). Sharing the posts imbued me with a definite sense of accountability, but it wasn’t worth causing people to unsubscribe. So I still publish them, but now they are all private, for my eyes only, and so, no one gets notifications for them. You can still keep track of my progress on my 2023 resolutions page if you are so inclined. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Overall, this was a positive week. Let’s get on with the summary!

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Christopher has been a little low, so I baked cookies to cheer him up! And well, I also wanted cookies. They were great! We still have a package left, I’ll probably make it next week.

It was tank cleaning day, so have some photos. Excuse the poop. They’re literally always pooping.

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

I worked on art lots on this day, getting this piece almost to completion –here’s a WIP:

And here’s a random photo I took of Kotoko on this day. She was being extra adorable.

Being Tuesday, Project Night was next! Grogu kept me company as I worked on a Mandalorian Valentine page.

It was especially fun, and I’m glad I grabbed the card while grocery shopping to do this. ๐Ÿ˜Š Even if its message seems oddly threatening…

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Christopher stayed home on this day, as he wasn’t doing so well. I did my best to look after him. I also finished the art I shared a WIP of for the day before. Other than that, it was a normal day of doing my best to stick to all my resolutions.

One of those has been riding my stationary bike almost every day, and playing Legends: Arceus at the same time. I found that it was easier to go from Violet to Arceus, than it was on my first attempt when I went from Sword to Arceus for a bit. Violet got me a little more used to the whole open world business.

I’m also glad I finished Violet before going back to Arceus because otherwise the graphics in Violet would have bothered me so much more. Arceus does have glitches and frame rate issues as well, but I still find it utterly beautiful.

The utter disappointment in Mai’s Munchlax face after losing the battle was SO cute. He looked so crestfallen! I felt kinda bad…

WAIT –Bambi’s dad!?

Nevermind it’s just Wyrdeer.

I can’t be the only one who thought “Old Prince” when I saw him in that pose, though!

CONTENT WARNING: Going forward for the rest of the post, there will be occasional discussion of disordered eating, fitness, and weight loss. It will be in a mostly positive note, but please don't continue reading the post if this topic is triggering for you. ๐Ÿ™

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

On this day, you may recall that I made this post. It was a self-reflection that was very long overdue. I’d mostly ignored a lot of the issues presented there, because I am neither worryingly skinny nor morbidly obese, nor does my weight fluctuate wildly, nor am I engaged in seriously physically harmful practices in relation to food.

But I could tell that my relationship with food was becoming problematic, obsessive, and distressing on an everyday basis. I started to feel that if I continued to ignore it, it could verge into actually dangerous territory. So, I made changes to my everyday life that began on this day.

The primary change, really, is simply a drastic reduction in my snacking. I have lunch, a snack, and dinner. Because I’d been so obsessive with eating a small snack whenever I felt like I could, I’d forgotten how to read hunger cues (indeed, I had not had them for a very long time). You could say I am really bad at hearing my body’s signals. So, for me, limiting my snacking to very set times is very important, as is planning everything I will eat that day on the day before.

I am flexible: generally, I simply have mate for breakfast (it’s like tea, no calories, so it doesn’t break my intermittent fast) but on this week there were been two mornings where I had a handful of Raisin Bran because I am trying very hard to increase fiber in my diet and every extra bit helps. One night, after a full dinner, I was still so hungry that I had a banana, and that was okay. I listened to my body and gave it something good.

On that note, the primary reason for my intermittent fast is to have a set time for dinner and not go to bed too soon after (a healthy practice) and to actually be hungry for lunch. So, it is not a diet practice as much as a lifestyle change that I want to keep for every day.

Anyway, on to more fun things, this was date night! We went to Tijuana Flats for a treat, and I snuck Toro inside my backpack. ๐Ÿ˜Š

He enjoyed some tortilla chips!

Once we got back home, we played with LEGO, and I completed my first set of the year!

123 Sesame Street is full of adorable details and it has to be my favorite set I’ve put together yet, along with the LEGO Friends Friendship Tree House.

Later that night, I happened to spot our littlest possum visitor through the dining room window. He was so cute! I went to the door (without opening it) so I could get some photos and video from the narrow window on the side.

I’ve been making an effort to clean this area before night to discourage the guys from visiting, much as I love them. They get really close to the house and I wouldn’t want them to get aggressive. They come after the bird seed that the birds dropped during the day, but admittedly there is never much that is edible. They mostly sniff around for a few minutes and leave.

After our nightly anime watching, I went to write for a while. It wasn’t until the clock showed well past 2:00am and Christopher came into the room to make me go to bed and turned on the lights that I saw that the Boba Fett plushie I longed for had been hidden among other green friends! It was there all the time, for hours, and I hadn’t seen it!

This was such a lovely surprise from Christopher, and I can’t wait to make him a bandana and kandi necklace like the rest of my toys. I’ll show close-ups of him in and out of the box a little later in this post. Needless to say, I went to bed very happy!

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

To start this day, here is Tomoyo laying on my chest while we hung out on the couch in the morning:

On this day I started to watch 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (ๆฏใ‚’ใŸใšใญใฆไธ‰ๅƒ้‡Œ, Haha o Tazunete Sanzenri) a Japanese animated television series directed by Isao Takahata that aired in 1976. You may recall me mentioning this anime when I was reading Corazรณn: Diario De Un Niรฑo by Edmondo De Amicis earlier this year. The GIF that started this day’s summary is from that anime.

Corazรณn is the daily diary of an Italian schoolboy growing up in the late 1800’s. Included in the novel are twelve stories that Enrique has to copy for school, which the teacher provides to the students. The stories all have morals about family or patriotism, or the like. The anime is loosely based on one of these stories, “De Los Apeninos A Los Andes” (From the Apennines to the Andes).

While this short story is the longest in the novel, it’s still but a few pages long. The anime greatly expands upon it, turning it into a 52-episode epic that had me crying with just the first one! It is full of heart, and definitely a drama. Not something you’d see being made for kids nowadays, I’m sure. It would be considered traumatizing.

Very sad, given that stories like these recognize the real pain, loss and fear children experience daily all over the world throughout history and across all generations, regardless of whether adults today like to think about it. Anyway, I’m looking forward to binging it over the next few weeks.

I didn’t have time to free poor Boba from his bindings this day, but I took a close-up photo of him:

I went grocery shopping on this day. Before doing so, I’d trashed a lot of my unhealthy snacks. I did keep some, and I put them out of my easy reach. But sometimes I pick one to have the next day and leave it where I can get it. Believe it or not, I have the rest under lock and key, and I give the key to Christopher during the day. I guess perhaps a detail such as this might make it more clear why I feel my lack of self control is such a problem (the key was my idea, mind you).

It took me longer to shop for groceries because I was much more careful with my choices. I came home with a lot of healthy foods, non-processed stuff, fruits, veggies. I very much enjoyed my meals the rest of this week and surprised myself with how delicious I could still make meals without smothering everything in cheese, or frying stuff.

I made tilapia with potatoes for this night. Normally I’d have made a second side. But we were all full without one. That was a good choice too.

Afterwards, I enjoyed playing more Legends: Arceus and riding my stationary bike. Once I finish, I always lay on the couch with Tomoyo for a bit, who by now is eager to get fed, but tolerates some love anyway…

What a face!

On this day, I finally began using my food diary. I decided to use a Google Sheets document rather than a written book after all. I find this more useful, I am more likely to enter the data, and I can add up calories and subtract exercise.

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

As the week went by, my feelings towards food and eating improved more and more. I began to eat much more mindfully, not snacking became easier, and food was tastier as a result. I felt more satisfied and happy, and a lot of my feelings of guilt began to go away. This week I had salad for every lunch. I’ll switch once the salad mix is out, but I know I’ll make it again soon because it was so delicious!

It has krab (which I seasoned with salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning) boiled egg, some crunchy topping, a cracked black pepper ranch dressing, and a base of iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, carrots, red cabbage and radishes.

I’ve been trying to use meditation techniques to control some of the obsessive snacking thoughts. I acknowledge the thought, and let it pass, or try to. I do not guilt myself over the thought. It’s just something that crosses my mind, and I remind myself it doesn’t actually have the power over me that I think it does. It was hard at first but it’s been helping a lot, too.

On the afternoon, I finally found time to free Boba Fett. He is so flippin’ cute! I love his little fists. I’m not sure he should trust the rocket launcher, though. It’s not the most reliable. I also cut up the box for more scrapbooking materials!

For dinner, I made turkey burgers with avocado. ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿฅ‘๐ŸŸ

Random snail photo of the day:

During the night we received a rarer visitor: one of the local raccoons! He was just passing by.

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

It was a rainy weekend, and a lazy, relaxing Sunday. I had my usual breakfast early in the morning as the sun was coming up, and read a little more, too.

Afterwards I took a little nap and Tomoyo napped on me too:

I had an unexpected gift card later in the day. I was really happy that I could buy a simple board game to play with my mom the next time I visit her!

Since I had enough left, I got something off of my wish list… I’m gonna say this doesn’t count against my resolution since it was a gift card. I’ve been wanting this little guy sooo much!

Afternoon snack was rich in fiber. Did more reading, and Blue kept me company this time!

Having worked on Patreon rewards all throughout the weekend, I decided it was ok to take some “me” time to scrapbook. I really wanted to make a couple of Child’s Play / Chucky themed pages.

Here’s the “Good Guys” page before everything is pasted in!

And here it is all finished:

This was the more “gory” page. Here it is underway…

…and all done!

I had a lot of fun! Dinner was grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, some avocado slices and kale salad. Pretty small portions, so on this night, after exercising, I had a banana, too.

I finished the week with much more positive feelings than it started with. I hope I can carry them on into the next, and have fun things to share with you all! Have a great week, guys!

Jurassic World Evolution, Pokรฉmon Legends: Arceus & More! ๐ŸŽฎ๐ŸŒˆ

Time for a gaming update! I’ve been trying to game more, because I have such a backlog. To that end, I made a new gaming-only Twitch account:

On this post I’m going to catch up on my gaming of the last few weeks. ๐Ÿ˜Š

๐Ÿฆ• Jurassic World Evolution ๐Ÿฆ•

I finally started playing Jurassic World Evolution. I love it!

Originally, I wanted to try it right as Jurassic World Evolution 2 was about to come out, so I asked for that as my only Christmas present from Christopher, and waited.

Well… I found JWE2 unintuitive, difficult, and just plain boring, since I couldn’t progress through the campaign. After being so hyped, I was so disappointed. Nonetheless, when JWE1 went on sale, I decided to get it and try. It was a huge difference for me! I put 10 hours in it in less than two days and got my first island to four stars. I did have some hiccups but got past them so much more easily.

Also, as soon as I created my first carnivore it immediately escaped and ate three people because I didn’t build the fence correctly. Whoops.

Once I beat this game I’ll likely try to go back to JWE2 and see if, with a solid understanding of the original, I do better at the second one.

โš”๏ธ Pokรฉmon Sword โš”๏ธ

I FINALLY finished Pokรฉmon Sword! That didn’t take long at all. Okay, in fairness I didn’t touch it in months.

CW: Some Pokรฉmon Sword spoilers below I guess? Not really but still. Kinda.

Can I just say I really love the atmosphere in a lot of scenes in this game…

Curry time! Making curry for my Pokรฉmon is kinda pointless (well, for the most part) but it’s still fun (and makes me crave real curry, every time):

I was so happy to see Bede come back at the end. He was my favorite character, honestly I wish he had been the main rival.

Here’s a few more shots I just really liked.

This was ultimately my winning team. I had to evolve my Mudbray to beat the game.

Here are all my favorite screenshots of the end of the game:

It didn’t bring me to tears or anything (I don’t think a modern Pokemon game can do that to me, unfortunately) but it was still fun. Might even get the expansion pass eventually.

Also –it had been so long since I started playing this game that I completely forgot how pretty the starting area is:

I’m done with Sword for a while, at least. Time for Arceus!

๐Ÿ—ป Pokรฉmon Legends: Arceus ๐Ÿ—ป

I got this game for Valentine’s Day. So it’s high time I put some hours in it!

It’s really pretty looking, though I’m not sure if it’s as polished as Sword/Shield. Somehow it feels like it isn’t? But that doesn’t make much sense. Don’t get me wrong though, it is clearly beautiful:

Also I love the shifty eyes everyone is giving you at the beginning:

My biggest gripe currently, coming out of Sword, is that I keep pressing the wrong controller buttons. But I’m sure the more I play the more I’ll get used to it. Right now it feels like it’s gonna be a very grindy game… but we’ll see!

โš™๏ธ Chrono Cross Get! โš™๏ธ

Finally, after weeks (actually, months?) of waiting, my copy of Chrono Cross arrived from PlayAsia! I’m so, so, SO super excited to revisit these memories!

That’s all I’ve got to share with you for now, gaming wise. Hope to catch you when I stream next!