A short little while ago I bought a new bear. After the election stress, I wanted something to cheer me up, and also to commemorate the election.
I picked a panda for a very corny reason. I felt that, with his black and white colors, he symbolized the current polarized feelings very well, during a time in which nuance is lacking and middle ground seems practically nonexistent.
I dressed him up very patriotic, something I’ve never done with any bear before. I know I’m not the only one who hadn’t felt as much joy displaying the flag or patriotic things over the past four years. Someone writing to the opinion column the other day put it very well, saying something to the effect that the flag itself had somehow become politicized, to the point that you were assumed to belong to a specific party if you displayed it too much. I felt the same way, and it made me quite sad.
So now I have my little patriotic bear, and I’ve put up a little flag in my studio as well, with a promise to myself that come what may I’ll continue to display it proudly, because I’m part of America, too.
Why “Jelly Donut”? Well, believe it or not, there’s a patriotic thing to that as well. When my mom and I arrived to the USA on December 12, 2001 at just a little past 4:00am, one of the first places we went to was Dunkin’ Donuts. It was one of the few places that were open (7-11 and I would soon become fast friends too.) I had never had donuts before! I’ll never forget the smell when we walked in there. Whenever I walk into a Dunkin’ Donuts early in the morning today, those memories come flooding back.
Jelly Donuts are my favorite and one of the first I ever had, too.
So there you go. That’s the story behind my new bear.
We finished Ever17! Honestly, I thought we would be playing it for weeks and weeks… as in, months… and there isn’t really a game I can play every single day for a minimum of an hour a day for months on end. When doing that, it is inevitable that at least a few days I’ll play when I really don’t feel like it.
So when we first started, half of me was excited, but the other half slightly dreaded it… just a little… I didn’t know if I would like it, and if I found that I didn’t, I’d have to still play the whole thing, if I didn’t want to disappoint Christopher. 😅
Now… I wish it HAD lasted months… it ended too soon.
While I admit I didn’t want to play every single day and sometimes I wished I could skip a day and have time in between to look forward to it more (which would apply to any game or book I am enjoying, frankly, as well as any tv show I am watching) on the whole, I immensely enjoyed the game.
The rest of this post includes written spoilers as well as spoilery art taken directly from the game, so it’ll be under the cut. IF YOU HAVEN’T PLAYED EVER17 AND YOU INTEND TO SOMEDAY, YOU SHOULD STOP READING HERE. Much like with Undertale, once you spoil this shit, you’ll never be able to enjoy it properly.
Hello! I’m back with a “normal” post. It’s been a while and all I have been doing is posting insufferable rants about the election and about online stuff, while accumulating less annoying, more pleasant topics on the side. Now there’s a lot of that, so I might as well make a couple big posts of it to chase away the less fun ones. Or maybe more like four. Anyway here’s the first.
🌈 Health Stuff 🌈
Disclaimer: Please do not comment with any sort of medical advice. I’m going to ask my doctor about this is if it continues. Please bear in mind I’ve had an incredibly exhaustive amount of blood work and a spine MRI last month, so anything very serious would have popped up. I have been suffering from paresthesia in other ways, and my doctor is aware.
Today I woke up to my left leg being completely numb down to my foot.
It was the second or third time of this happening in a week, and just as frightening as the other times. I jumped out of bed this time, desperate to feel my limb again, quite literally punching my foot because not feeling it is so scary. I don’t even feel pins and needles for a while. Any feeling takes 20-30 seconds to come back, and when it does the pins and needles aren’t as intense as they would normally be upon losing feeling on an entire body part. It’s really disconcerting.
What makes it particularly odd is that I wake up just as I fell asleep: on my back, without any apparent constriction to any area of my body.
It’s just puzzling and scary, and today I woke up feeling garbage-y in general due to my period and everything I did yesterday, so I have cramps and my legs hurt.
As far as COVID-19 goes, Christopher appears to be over it. When we stopped isolating from each other, we celebrated by ordering sushi:
The CDC (along with the contact tracer who called us both) says he and I are free to resume our normal lives as of last Monday, and we have done so.
Now, the CDC doesn’t recommend that you judge whether or not you can go back to work by a test result. You can have remnants of the virus for 14+ weeks after you first get symptoms, which will cause tests to still say positive though you aren’t contagious (and in fact one of my husband’s coworkers tested positive for THREE. MONTHS.) Christopher continues to test positive (twice now) so while he no longer has to isolate, he can’t go back to work because his job won’t follow CDC advice and instead requires two negative tests to allow employees to return.
In addition to this, it would seem Christopher didn’t develop antibodies. As for me, I never had symptoms.
At the end of the day I very much hope that this whole mess somehow keeps us from attending Thanksgiving. Of course I love and want to see my family, especially given Grandpa’s passing in July. But I am deeply concerned about the holidays and about Grandma, and I think everyone is being completely careless. Someone in the newspaper described this year as being at war, and how their grandmother during WW2 couldn’t be with her husband due to deployment. It was war, everyone understood and had happier holidays in later years.
This is war too, only after a different enemy, which requires us to make a conscious decision not to gather. I really hope a big family gathering won’t happen, for everyone’s safety… a vaccine is in the horizon… I want us all to be able to enjoy the holidays next year and many years more.
🌈 Studio 🌈
Earlier, I mentioned the stuff I did yesterday, which left me tired and sore. So, you all have heard much from me at this point regarding my workspace being uncomfortable, and all the commissions I took to raise money to fix it, buying things such as a foot rest, an arm for my Cintiq, a new chair, and several other things I had to return because they didn’t work. I’ve spent hours arranging things in different ways to find a new, more comfortable position.
Really, it’s not only that, though. Normally I also get to draw at my mom’s twice a month (if in a very ergonomically unfriendly situation) or I go to the park, or to Starbucks, to draw and write. But this year I haven’t done that. It’s getting to me. It’s really getting to me. I miss people watching really badly. My environment never changes. I’m not bored, but I’m restless and lonesome for people, rather than any one individual person.
So yesterday I did something more drastic, and moved my entire setup by a couple of feet, freeing the window area which improves my mood. I can see the street, and more light comes in. I also put a little plant there:
It took a ton of work to make this fairly small shift, as well as unplugging everything and plugging it back in, but now it’s done, and as I use it this afternoon, it seems… okay, I guess. After trying so many things, I’m hesitant to get too excited about anything, but I’m trying to be optimistic.
For an added change of pace, I began working on traditional art in the library:
I’ve been taking sketch commissions for the first time in years, and while I am rusty, it’s fun so far:
I eventually bought a slanted drawing board by Falling In Art, which made work more comfortable there, and I can easily move to other places:
Here it is in use:
Sometimes, Kotoko keeps me company. I try to keep a little bed for her wherever I work:
I’ve also had a new bear for company, Jelly Donut. I’ll talk more about him in his own post, but here’s a photo of him, taken before his outfit was put together:
🌈 Snails 🌈
I stopped writing about this every time it happened, but the truth is, snails from my first clutch are dying. These seem to be sudden deaths of otherwise quite healthy snails and my other snails are doing well enough. I can only guess that the parents really had bad genes, and were probably siblings, which would not be surprising.
Most of the milk snail clutch consists of runts, as it is now apparent. I’m giving it a little more time, but though I am loath to do it, a cull to prevent suffering will probably have to happen soon.
Only four of the roman snail eggs have hatched.
🌈 Cats 🌈
You might remember that Tomoyo had a serious bladder infection of some sort. It was a bad time. She’s all better now. Kotoko is also responding well to the Gabapentin for her joint pain.
🌈 New Game 🌈
Christopher got me a new game, Code: Realize / Guardian of Rebirth (visual novel game names are so freaking cryptic, I swear.) I haven’t started playing it yet (maybe later today) but I am really excited about it because it’ll be the first visual novel I play all on my own, and it’s an otome, so that’s doubly exciting.
That would be all for this post. I still have to share a little about books I have been reading, and about Jelly Donut, and Ever17, which we just finished playing. but I’ll save that for separate posts. Thank you for reading this one!
Marina's furry art, fantasy writing and daily life!