Tag: Palos Verdes

The… Anti-Summer 2018 Initiative?

The… Anti-Summer 2018 Initiative?

Greetings and salutations.

As you may have noticed, things have been a little different around here recently. A little more barren.

Don’t worry, it’s not a symptom of finally running out of ideas. I did that about a year ago and wrote about my pencil set.

Nor is it some delusion that my Naruto-Arena post is the peak of my creativity (though I like that post and you should read it if you haven’t).

There has actually been plenty of exciting blog fodder over the last week.

I attended Alyson’s fourth 4th of July parade and survived the concurrent earthquake.

I also survived the subsequent 7.1 earthquake that struck California.

Though to be fair I was far out of the range of both, and you should follow my old Daily Titan colleague Lauren Jennings to see more of the damage in Ridgecrest.

My Bachelor’s degree was finally shipped.

Over the last few weeks my family has also sat down and binged a few shows:

Good Omens on Amazon Prime Video (which has a phenomenal underlying controversy) and Stranger Things season 3 on Netflix. Both of which are extremely well-constructed and receive honest recommendations.

Even if part of my interest in Stranger Things comes from our long-time investment.

Beyond all that, I’ve also been playing a lot of Fire Emblem Warriors.

The game has been far more fun than I expected, and incorporates a number of intriguing elements in a novel gameplay style for my prior experiences. Interesting elements that might make for a perfect post.

Yet I haven’t written about any of those things.

You see, let’s go back to my Summer Initiative. It was a sort of challenge to myself:

“You’re not working on the Daily Titan right now,” I said. “So why not try writing something every day to keep your skills sharp?”

The drive to write more led to an increase in site traffic and a subsequent sense of pride that has extended my near-daily posts for about a year.

So much so that I used its existence as a part of a freelancing pitch.

With all that said, you might be wondering why I haven’t written in six days.

It turns out I might have conditioned myself to care about blogging a little too much. For some time now, what I’m blogging every day has been the focal point of all my writer’s stress.

Which is kind of a problem when you have a book you want to finish.

Thus I decided to scale back as a test. Would I be more productive on my book if I stopped focusing on daily blog posts?

As it turns out, I have been.

Over the last week I’ve gotten myself to nearly 300 pages, and I believe that’s as good a sign as any that I should scale back my blog stuff until I get through the novel.

Currently my anti-Summer Initiative is shaping up to be blog posts over the weekend while keeping my weekdays free to write the book. I’d like to finish my first draft before Mom and Aly get back from New York at the end of July.

The weekend will probably have at least one week-in-review and quicker one-offs like a piece on Spider-Man: Far From Home that I’ll write after seeing the film tomorrow.

And I’ll leave myself open to the occasional weekday post. Because I’m a Fire Emblem Heroes addict and Intelligent Systems lied about fewer summer banners.

But otherwise I’m trying more life updates through Twitter and Instagram during the week — as you can see throughout this post.

So if you’re interested in keeping up, go ahead and follow me there!

A lazy Sunday

As the weekend closes out with another relatively chill day, I find I don’t have a whole heck of a lot to talk about.

I don’t want to skip a day of writing, but at the same time I’d rather not fall into the clichéd territory of the post talking about how I don’t have anything to talk about. So instead, upon the advice of my sister, I’ll just debrief on exactly what I did today. Because why not?

The early morning was somewhat lazy. I slept in until the beast was roused by my parents, who wanted to make sure I was cognizant of the fact that they were leaving to go do chores with my grandparents and drop Aly off at a bowling party.

They figured after I spent time with the old folks the other day I’d probably prefer to stay home. Plus, someone needed to stay home to pick the girl up from her party, and as the third family member with a license and a car it all fit together perfectly.

Funny side story from this morning: My dad forgot his phone at home on the charger this morning. I found that out when I heard it ringing from upstairs, which is what led to me actually getting out of bed. I ran upstairs to see what was happening, only to find I’d missed the call coming in from mom’s phone by a matter of seconds.

The second I hit the icon to call her back, I heard my cell phone starting to ring.

From downstairs.

So I had to head back down, at which point I missed the second call and also lost the connection from dad’s phone since I don’t have the password to unlock it.

I called them back from mine soon after to let them know I had his phone, but overall it played out like an Abbott and Costello routine.

Once I was up and about, I had the opportunity to relax a bit. While watching some videos and eating cereal — the true sign of a successful Sunday — I did some more research for some scholarships I’m planning on applying for as well as some research into profiles I’m working on for Gladeo.

Plus I did my daily activities on Duel Links and Fire Emblem Heroes. Always have to get those out of my system, even when Legendary Ryoma continues to screw me over. Only two days left for that event… So we’ll see how things turn out.

Eventually I got the call to chauffeur the young one. Her party was set to end at 2:00 p.m.

Naturally she let me know at 1:50 p.m. or so.

So I pulled all of my stuff together and drove out the actually somewhat considerable distance to a place called PV Bowl, which is a rather popular destination in my family since I found out about the place through staff bonding days on the High Tide back in high school.

Once I picked her up we decided to go to lunch. There’s a large shopping center right across the street from the bowling alley where we popped into a Jersey Mike’s, followed soon after by a trip to Yogurt Land. My choice than hers, respectively.

Because she had a bunch of homework to do (given she still has another three weeks or so left in the school year) we went home after that. Even though she insisted we go to blindly wander some other store as a further distraction. Unfortunately someone had to be the good brother in the relationship.

Of course, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t able to persuade me to watch a few Vine compilations when we got home. They’re about her favorite thing on the planet, and I do appreciate indulging in the endless gutter of internet creativity on occasion.

Soon enough my parents got home with the week’s groceries, but I managed to get out of putting them away by heading out with my dad on a longish car ride back in the direction of Palos Verdes to pick up some KFC. There are much closer KFCs to home, but he brought a cigar along so it was clearly a drive to blow off some steam.

I was willing to indulge the long ride with nice company. It was nice to have some alone time to chat, catch up on life.

When we got home the night was pretty quiet from there on out. Aly finished her homework, we all ate chicken, we looked over the upcoming California Primary ballot, we watched Westworld (as mind-blowing and wild as ever) and then I started writing this up.

Simple and clean.

Cliché aside I really didn’t have a lot to talk about tonight, but I’m somewhat impressed that I was able to get a solid 800 words or so just talking about my day. It was kinda fun to debrief too, honestly.

I’ll probably try to pivot back to a post with a more defined subject tomorrow, but if you’re interested in hearing me just chat more about my days in the future, let me know. It might become my fallback for more lazy days coming up, frankly.

Those strange associations

After my biweekly Gladeo meeting this morning, Mom and I travelled out into the Wild, Wild West of Palos Verdes to take care of some chores.

Namely chores for my sister, who happens to still be in school and couldn’t make the trip out herself. But hey, what are siblings for if not to be a stand-in where extra hands are needed.

See my sister is a high school musician for those of you that haven’t seen me talk about her before.

Quite a good one too, I’d say.

She plays flute primarily, but also dabbles in a number of other instruments including saxophone, piccolo and keyboard. Today’s trip happened to be for the piccolo specifically, as she’s been renting the thing for so long that now she wanted to buy it from the music store.

It’s this place in a shopping center called the Promenade for anyone who lives local and might know what I’m talking about.

Pretty nice place, honestly.

The thing that has stood out about this trip in particular for me, however, is the fact that I thought this was going to be a brand new excursion when it turns out I’ve been here before.

Memory and how remembering things works has always been an interesting subject for me. Getting to learn about cool, underlying brain mechanisms is one of the reasons I like being a psychology minor at CSUF.

Video games have always been an excellent associative trigger for memories (because of course they are). Playing Pokémon Sapphire always brings me back to raising a Wingull named Lt. Sergeant in my grandparent’s house in Florida. That sort of thing.

Don’t ask me why that was the Wingull’s name, though. I had some strange thing about raising a Wingull army that I don’t remember the genesis of.

That said I’m getting way off topic.

Being back at this music store and the Good Stuff restaurant nearby that we also ate at last time we came over here:

Has triggered a very specific and more recent memory within me.

Summoning this big lug in Fire Emblem Heroes:

That’s right, I’m right back at the restaurant where I once wasted all kinds of orbs just to summon the Mystletainn master himself.

Whether that particular binge of orbs was worth it is questionable in hindsight, considering Sigurd came into the game a few weeks later and outclassed my cavalry swordsman…

But for the positive memory and emotional association alone, I think the summon was plenty worthwhile.

A Calm before the Storm

A Calm before the Storm

Last night I spent the day over at Cal State Fullerton, working on our first “paper” for the Fall 2016 semester.  It wasn’t really a full paper as much as it was just a small advertisement-filled insert of sorts meant to be displayed at the New Student Orientation, but still.  It was the first things I’ve gotten to work on as the new News Editor on the Daily Titan’s editorial staff.

There’s another two weeks left before we start our serious productions, at which point posts on here about my journalism stuff should get quite a bit more frequent.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to take advantage of the last bit of free time I have that isn’t taken up by my Political Philosophy class.  For today, that meant going out with one of my sister’s friends who invited us out to Palos Verdes to spent time at Abalone Cove, where there’s tide pools to explore.

I got to swim in the ocean, which I haven’t done in quite some time, and we spent time skipping and stacking rocks.

Oh, and naturally, there were plenty of water-type Pokémon to find while we were there, because how could I not look out  for them?

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The Cove also happened to be right next to Lloyd Wright’s Wayfarers Chapel, which was right up the road.  Lloyd Wright being the son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, naturally.

All and all a pretty good day, I’d say.  Sometimes it’s nice to take a little bit of time to relax and enjoy nature – which is still just as pretty here in California despite the eternal drought we’ve been plagued with for an unsung number of years.