Wednesday, January 24th, 2024, 6:47AM

In December, I didn't touch the site at all. There were a number of reasons for this. In chronological order, I:

  • Got denied an entry level position at a print shop. It actually hurt my feelings a lot because there was only one other applicant they were considering.
  • Started working overnights at what was supposed to be a placeholder job. It pays better than the print shop, thanks to the schedule differential, but it's exhausting.
  • Crashed my car. It took a full month to get it repaired because of some strike that kept the shop from getting the replacement parts. Because I'm 24 and not 25, I couldn't rent a car, so I had to rely on the CTA. It's nice it's there at all, but oh my god the suspension on Chicago buses is a fucking nightmare.
  • Lost my phone. Had to replace it in order to even get the old one back because Lyft is fucking stupid, apparently. The new one is nice at least, and I'm glad I didn't completely lose all my old photos and things.
  • Found out that taxes are so much higher in Chicago that despite working a full 8 hours more every week with a $1.50 hourly pay raise from when I worked in Omaha, I make LESS money. I'm living paycheck to paycheck regardless, how the fuck does that work?!
  • Just had a pretty extreme sense of ennui grip me after all of that, even when the issues were resolved. Didn't really feel like touching the site, or drawing, or doing much of anything I usually do.
  • The mood thing was most likely due to the fact I've apparently been lead poisoning myself on the tap water at my house since moving here. Apparently it's a huge issue here - if you're visiting Chicago, don't drink the water.

    I'm sort of bouncing back from it all. One thing I have been doing is watching a lot of Doctor Who. It started as just a thing I did for lack of anything better to do and now I'm buying the Tenth Doctor audiobook bundles to listen to at work... LMAO..... I'll probably get through all of them in a month or so, I think I'll do a little blog thing where I recommend the ones I like then. So far my favorite is Prisoner of the Daleks (Nicholas Briggs does a FANTASTIC job with the audiobook reading! He does a different voice for all the characters and his Ten impression is spot on!) and my least favorite is Ghosts of India. It's kind of actually painful to me when DW does a "the Doctor meets a historical figure" thing but it's with a historical figure you know more about than basic surface level. It's for kids really so it's silly to complain about usually but Ghandi's moral purity is an actual honest to god plot point it's insane.

    Besides that, I haven't much to report. Due to working again I haven't gotten to really go out and do anything since that first time - I can't even eat out at restaurants besides McDonalds unless I stay up past my bedtime! It's really annoying. Aren't big cities supposed to have more night owls? The fucking grocery store customers sure don't see a problem coming in to get a whole pantry at 10:55PM, but god forbid a decent restaurant is open past 8. It's just weird to me since most people I know eat later than that all the time? Kinda frustrating.


    Wednesday, November 8th, 2023, 6:50PM

    There's something strangely heartening to me about being in the city. I know to the people around me who grew up in it, this is all normal. So many people around, the nearest 7/11 always being a block away at most, passing bus stop after bus stop. Every cuisine imaginable at most a 30-minute drive away. Even having a library card is a luxury to me, so it's a lot to get used to! For the most part I'm very pleased to be here.

    With how busy the move and preparing for it made me, I've really fallen behind on my language studies - I need to get back on that. I can even tell, because here I actually hear other people speaking Russian and Ukrainian semi-regularly. Ukrainian more often (predictable if you know much about Chicago), which is different from where I was in Omaha having Russian coworkers and very few Ukrainians in the whole city. I live in a neighborhood that's more Polish than Ukrainian currently, so maybe I'll start to learn a bit of basic Polish as well soon...? It could be useful.

    ON THAT NOTE, in the future I may write smaller blog entries in my target language(s). If anyone reading my blog happens to speak those languages, and you see mistakes, feel free to nicely correct me (and contact me in general! I'd love more people to practice on LOL). I just need to practice more, which of course means I'll open myself up to a lot of mistakes naturally.

    I'm within the city limits of Chicago, but a little less than a half hour away from downtown. It's a bit unfortunate - I'll have to pay for parking or take an hour on the bus to go to most of the nightclubs - but it's a lot more relaxed. Makes it easier to get used to. Even driving to the suburbs outside of the city, I'm amazed with how much better they are. They're still ugly, concrete parking-lot wastelands, like any north American suburb, but they have bus stops and libraries. The Half Priced Books in Niles(? I forgot exactly, but it's north of me) has way more language-learning material and general variety in products. The Goodwill stores don't sell furniture here.

    Another thing that makes me really happy that shouldn't be so exciting is the insane variety in grocery stores. I'm within walking distance to a Polish bakery (which also sells some deli items), a chain grocery store that's kind of expensive but has the widest variety of tvorog I've ever seen, an Arabic grocery store, a Mexican grocery store, a Dollar General, and an Aldi. I'm within driving distance to about three dozen more, including a really nice Korean grocer I went to today to get MSG and chili oil for my rice and noodles... BTW, don't let anyone ever lie to you, MSG is worth whatever supposed health issues it has. You can just have your rice cooker rice come out ready with a couple spoonfuls of the stuff. It's great. I would've bought more stuff from that grocer, because they had a great variety of candies and snacks like any asian grocery store does, (and they even had pre-cut sashimi ?! Imagine a grocery store pre-made charcuterie board but for sashimi.) but I didn't think to grab a cart when I walked in, so I stuck mostly to the essentials I was there for (...plus some red bean buns for later, heh). There's also a million different restaurants within walking distance, and a lot of them are fairly cheap - I can buy a meal for under ten dollars. I got a burger from a local place for $9 yesterday and it came with fries and a soda and it wasn't a small burger either. Some things are definitely more expensive in the city but I feel like I won't struggle with food insecurity quite as much here. (There's a catholic church in the neighborhood that gives out free food if all else fails, so that's comforting to know, you know? I'm really tired of starving.)

    I'm mostly moved in after a whole week. I realized I am sorely behind on furniture I need (I SEVERELY underestimated how much bigger this space is than my previous accomodations), so I had to get a coat hanger, and I'm still in need of an area rug, an office chair, a loveseat or some other form of seating, and another dresser or bookshelf (I'm hoping to find something that's like, half-and-half with two shelves on top and two drawers on bottom? I'm sure that won't be easy though). I'll be browsing Craigslist for a while, suffice to say, LOL.

    I love the neighborhood. The older folks especially remind me of my grandfather and the other old people from my hometown, because they'll literally just talk to you even though you're a stranger just because they feel like talking to someone and you're there. In Omaha, people would just pretend you don't exist. It feels a lot nicer.

    Weed is legal in the state of Illinois, so I tried it. I'll be using it in the future a lot I can imagine, as I had a really good time. It's like alcohol making food taste better but it does that with everything; I listened to Psychic Chasms by Neon Indian like 5 times that day and every joke felt funnier. The guy at the dispensary was super friendly too, maybe we'll get to be friends.

    But speaking of Neon Indian.... I got to see them LIVE! Something I've dreamed about since I was 14, a whole decade ago! ... It was really fun, but I was kind of disappointed too. You know how you look forward to something your whole life, and then it's not all you dreamed it could be? It was that kind of situation, sort of. I don't want to complain but man, they haven't been the band I fell in love with since VEGA INTL. Night School came out. It's such a massive tonal shift from their first two albums, and granted it was probably about as massively influential on the music world as the first two combined, but god I just don't find it as interesting.... Out of their setlist they played mostly their new album, World of Hassle, and VEGA INTL. They also played Deadbeat Summer, off of Psychic Chasms, and Polish Girl, from Era Extraña, at the very end of the concert. It wouldn't have bothered me so much if not for the guys behind me talking shit about Era Extraña and fans who got into the band through Polish Girl all while admitting they'd gotten into it through songs off VEGA INTL - like, respect your elders, goddamn!
    I just found it really disappointing, is all. I'll probably never get to hear Hex Girlfriend or 6669 or Should've Taken Acid With You or Arcade Blues live. Alas! That's my luck, being born in 1999, I guess.
    On the bright side, the crowd was great, from what I could tell (I showed up early and skipped the merch table to get in the front row like usual!). You could tell everyone was there because they WANTED to be there, because they actually loved the band that was playing, and because they actually loved music in general - people were really great for the opening act, Glove, as well. They put on a great show too!

    Here's a picture they posted to their Instagram of the event that has me in the crowd! I'm the only one wearing a mask, on the right side of the crowd by the front.

    Other than that, I also turned 24 at the start of the month. It feels the exact same as being 23 so far. I'll stop counting the COVID years and pretend I'm 22 if it starts to bother me.

    I've successfully transferred at my job to my new location, and switched to overnights. This means slightly better pay and less time with customers, so it should suit me well. However, the schedule manager seems to be extremely overworked, so it's been a full week and my schedule is still completely empty. I'm trying to take it in stride and use the time to get accustomed to my new sleep schedule that the position will require, but it's a bit worrysome. I applied for an assistant managerial position at a different grocery store, which I'm not sure I'll get, but the pay is really good (plus it's still hourly! If I have to get called in at the last minute I'll get paid the overtime I'm owed for it!!) so I'm crossing my fingers for it. The other job which I applied to is also a lot closer to my house - a 7 minute drive instead of a 15 minute drive. Wish me luck!

    Thursday, July 20th, 2023.

    Hey, it's been a while. Haven't had much to say. Still alive though.

    My dog had to get an ultrasound to check for cancer a few days ago, but everything came back clear. She doesn't seem sick, my mom was visiting and she's kind of insane.

    Watched Unicorn: Warriors Eternal season 1. I would recommend it. Genndy Tartakovsky could put together a good show with both hands tied behind his back, which is kind of what only having a 10 22-minute episode season to tell a whole story is like. I'm really hoping it gets renewed, and the next season gets more or longer episodes, because it deserves the chance to really shine.

    Lack of updates have been a mix of being too busy to do anything and really bad depression resulting from not having time to do anything. You know. I almost made an update around the start of June but then the Kakhovka Dam news kind of had me in a bad place all month. It's easy for people to say just to tune out the news but it's not that easy to do when it's your own people. IDK. The ZNPP scare made me feel even worse.

    Can't really think of anything else worth mentioning that isn't even more depressing. The last few days I've been going through and editing pages some, I like where I'm going with it. I've been experimenting with some stuff, progressively less simple stuff. It's been pretty fun so I'll probably keep at it when I can. I told an IRL friend I'd help them set up a NeoCities so I'll probably share a link to theirs here once it's up :)

    Monday, May 1st, 2023.

    The day got away from me, but I at least got my homework done, so that's fine. Hopefully I'll feel less aimless tomorrow with work before everything else lol. Other than my parents visiting and the novelties that have resulted (my parents watching Initial D because it has cars in it, me making them listen to Einsturzende Neubauten for a minute instead of explaining with words what industrial music is), it's been an uneventful day. Anyway, on to noting stuff I plan to do to the site before I forget! Since I keep forgetting what I meant to do whenever I have time to do it.

  • Update contact info on the sidebar. I'm debating if I should make an email just for this website so I can recieve them for this site, without using my business email, but if it didn't give me phone notifications I would never think to check it so I'm not sure how to go about having 2 emails.
  • Figure out dropdowns so this page can be separated by months, maybe?
  • Add more stuff to the resource pages that I have saved
  • I might remove or unlist the Castlevania related pages since I've fallen out of love with it for now. It feels kind of embarrassing to have them right on the main page of the site
  • I want to make pages catalouging collections! I collect physical media of music, movies and games, and I'm kinda serious about it, so I have a lot to jot down for that and to look through. And of course there's also the Castlevania merch collection which.... I think has actually scared some people who've seen it with how big it is. Oops
  • Add some stuff to the music recs page
  • I also want to edit/overhaul the pages in general so they're Mine and not obviously from a base layout I feel irrationally embarrassed about it... My coding skills are terrible and I never understand the simplest instructions in this kind of thing but if it looks bad then it looks like old web so that's actually good. Infallible logic
  • Saturday, April 29th, 2023.

    Two days in a row! And I actually have fun things to share this time. :)

    I went to a local festival today. It was a big thing where local artists sold their works + people sold antiques, with live music and food trucks. There were a lot of options and it was hard to choose between a couple of things I'd never had before, but I decided to get Thai food and it was really good! I'd never eaten from a food truck before, either, it was a fun experience.

    There were a few people selling vinyls and tapes, for good prices too! New Wave was hard to find among the classic rock and blues but I managed to score a vinyl of Kajagoogoo's White Feathers. My favorite Kajagoogoo album is actually Islands, but since it's less popular it's probably really cheap for me to get on Discogs at some point later, so that's okay.

    Sunday, April 23rd, 2023.

    Yesterday I drove 4 hours to Kansas City to see a Molchat Doma concert. It was awesome, and I'll be trying to attend next time they visit the states, and every time I can in general from now on. A lot of my extended family lives a couple hours out from there and there was also a funeral and a retirement party and a prom and a graduation to attend. The works.

    Due to recent lawmaking I think I'm technically breaking the law just by existing in Missouri? Or something. Unfortunately on the road one of my tires blew up so I'm stuck here for at least a couple more days, whatever happens. It's a shame about the law, too, KC seems like a nice place to live. I really miss good italian food whenever I'm trapped in the Midwest.

    Speaking of the law, weed is legal here. And it's "decriminalized" back where I live across state lines... Do you think I'd get in trouble if I brought some home to use myself?

    That's all I've got for today. Oh, except Mazzio's in Harrisonville, Missouri has the best pizza in the United States. Until next time.

    Wednesday, March 15th, 2023.

    Been a while. I went to Houston and had fun. I'm very jealous of how GREEN everything is already there! Agh!

    I went to a New Order concert in San Antonio, and the river walk; then drove down to Houston for a few days. Visited the Funeral History Museum (cool!) and the Houston Space Center (we didn't have time to see much of rocket park but the space suits were cool), walked around the Galleria when it was too close to closing to actually do any shopping, raided the thrift stores and antique shops, tried lots and lots of new food and randomly walked in on a seaside(ish?) carnival thing I didn't know was happening. I also visited my parents which went fine.

    During my flight back the airport randomly changed the station I was supposed to be at so I had to sprint across the whole airport. It was really scary but I made it and I am safely back home! I think that's enough air travel to last me another decade. Ugh.

    Thursday, March 9th, 2023.

    The Dead Cells x Castlevania DLC came out a few days ago and all I've seen Castlevania fans do is complain. Maybe it's bad form to say I'm annoyed, but, hey, it's annoying! I'm waiting until after my trip to TX is over to start it and trying to make sure that doesn't sour my own experience. At the end of the day, though, I can't say I'm surprised. If we ever get a new game at all, I'll have to brace myself for this, but ten times worse.

    School's started. I've already got all my homework in one class done for the first week because it's a teacher that paces things nicely, which I'm insanely grateful for. I need the chance to get a breather after the last couple of years. Not looking forward to the seven hour on-campus live drawing course I'll be attending every Friday for the next three months starting tomorrow, but, it is what it is.

    It's snowing today. Gross.

    I've started reading Midnight in Chernobyl while I await the arrival of my recent AbeBooks purchases. I'll probably take it with me to the airport and finish it while I wait.

    Monday, February 27th, 2023.

    I said I wouldn't post every day and I set out to prove it!

    Over the weekend a friend of mine set up a Castlevania forum, which has been fun. I went to a neighboring town to visit a friend and had a good time even if we couldn't get any blini like I had hoped. Alas.

    Thursday, February 23rd, 2023.

    I probably won't post something to this page every day, but I've been on a roll this weekend (for me, not you.)

    Last night was nice. I watched that Chernobyl series on HBO. I usually hate TV, but the Chernobyl Disaster used to be a special interest of mine so I was curious how much it got wrong/right. It was like five hours long, so I finished it today. It actually clarifies for inaccuracies at the end of the film, which I appreciated! It was well made, even if it was awkward for me to watch something that was clearly designed for people who know nothing about the event or Ukraine (at one particularly funny moment, Legasov explains over the phone to Gorbachev what the Dnieper is.)

    Ran a bunch of errands I'd not had time for for weeks, attended my very last class of the quarter, and finished up the last of my homework aside from one discussion post I don't think I'll be doing, lol. Feels good to be free of something, even if I have to go to work tomorrow!

    Today's a good day to be a Castlevania fan, as well. New merch from Figurama, a release date for the Dead Cells x Castlevania DLC (less than two weeks away!), and word of a new game announcement for E3 later in the year! That's better than we've had in nearly a decade! I hope IGA is involved somehow.

    Tuesday, February 21st, 2023.

    As a side note before I begin, God, I hate the English language. February? And I thought Russian spelling was hard.

    Today I finished up the last of my classwork in my one in-person course I had this quarter. We still meet on Thursday again, so I'm leaving my classwork in my online courses to finish up then. Better than scrolling Tumblr for three hours.

    Overall, it's been a day for endings. I finished reading Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's masterpiece, Roadside Picnic, which I'd been working my way through since mid-January. I watched Stalker, the Andrei Tarkovsky film which was heavily inspired from it, back last November. I watched it only two days before watching Dead Man's Letters, so in the immediate moment its effect on me was somewhat muddied - I only watch maybe 5 or 6 movies in a year, usually. Too picky.

    I digress. Roadside Picnic is a wonderful story. I went in with no expectations, only curiosity, and I came out of it enriched. It says a lot about what it means to be human, or to be humane, in a world that demands the worst parts of you. It's also got a lengthy bar conversation between a couple of scientists about what truly quantifies sentience, which is always a plus. I'd recommend it to any interested reader, but I would especially demand it be known as Required Reading for all science fiction fans.