6/25: Adult ver. 2

Has it been that long since I last sat down and wrote something personal on here? Wow. Just wow.

But seriously though, it’s been such a crazy three months for me, I don’t know where to begin. March felt like a turning point for me; I got accepted in a job that was surprisingly fun, I was rolling around in volunteer work, side by side with trying to apply for school in a course I thought was interesting.

Fast forward to present day Shing, I’m still going back and forth between working my part-time job downtown and juggling schoolwork for the summer. In between, I’ve also gotten into the habit of reading for fun and writing a few pieces for bookbed.org – so far, I’ve only gotten two out, but I’m hoping I could contribute more.

It sounds way corny, but the thought of doing all these things made me think that I’ve reached a certain level of adult-ness. It’s still not as big as moving out or anything, but it does make you feel like you’ve gotten a bit more control over this whole adult-ing thing than you did a month ago. It feels like finally, your life is headed somewhere, even if you’re still not sure where.

Here’s a list of stuff I’m looking forward to:

  1. I’m going to a seminar I’ve been looking forward to since January
  2. Fall classes — I can only still take one class but I’m always excited to go
  3. Saving up — sounds boring but damn, does it feel good to say that I do have something in the bank
  4. Getting my driver’s license (hopefully in one take)
  5. I’m learning how to dress properly for work. I’m baduy so this is priority #1.

Q1 and Q2 might not have been the best but things are surely looking up for Q3!

 

 

Post-Game Feels: Emily is Away

Emily is Away

Emily is Away is an interactive adventure-ish game by Kyle Seeley

How do I even begin describing Emily is Away? It’s only been 15 minutes since I’ve finished two whole playthroughs and I’m still reeling from the after-feels.

Starting with the technical side, Emily is Away is an interactive, simulation type of game. If you’re just as old as me, you’ll be brought back to the old Windows XP looking (albeit pixelized version) messenger which feels real nostalgic. It even comes complete with all the keyboard typing sounds that you’ve probably heard while chatting up your friends in the good old days, and it’s pretty cool!

Emily1Let that old-school style sink in.

Like any other chat-simulation, gameplay is pretty straightforward: you pick from a pre-determined set of responses and the story continues based on your answer. What I like about this is it really goes out and make you type on your keyboard to make words appear on the chatbox before hitting send — a little extra work, yes, but this element really does tie up to the whole experience of playing the game. It doesn’t leave you hanging either and tells you when you’ve made a critical decision in the story.

emily choices
“Emily will remember that”

But what probably shines the most is the plot itself. As I’ve said, I’ve done two playthroughs of the game (each round lasted 20-30 minutes, pretty quick) but I still haven’t gotten close to my chosen ideal ending, WHICH DOES NOT EXIST (according to forums). It’s just so absolutely frustrating to see my character all over the place and I couldn’t do a thing about it *cries*.

Either way, everything is so reminiscent of the past — not just because of the platform used, but also how the whole story showcases the kind of love you’d have probably encountered in high school or college in the 90’s (or early 2000’s). It’s like taking a trip down to memory lane~

Emily is Away is exactly what you need if you’re looking to re-live more-than-a-decade-ago feels. Even if you’ll just breeze through the game, I promise that it will not disappoint!

They just came out with a second game as well (just this May 2017!) and I’m super pumped to see that one through~

Check out Emily is Away on Steam here.

PS: Had to figure out how to make GIFs for this post. Yay or Nay? 🙂

3/17: Social Media Break

Right. This was bound to happen anyway sooner or later, so I might as well talk about my own thoughts about this whole social media detox thing and why I’m doing this for the nth time in my life. True, you can always look up so many articles on Google about this whole phenomenon (and you might have experienced the same thing one too many times), but I’d want to be honest for once about this.

Do I think that it’s ironic how social media is pushing me away from being social? Yes. Yes, I do. The truth is that when you’re still lost in your 20-somethings and you see almost everyone else live their lives glamorously, it’s hard to take. You can’t technically imagine them anymore as the girl who sat beside you in class years ago, or the boy you were grouped with for a project. They’re already at the top of their game (and who knows how far they’ll go), and you’re still you.

For me, this is how the irony begins. You start to not talk to anyone else but your close friends. You refuse to go to reunions in fear of seeing how far the gap is between your peers. The worst part of it is, instead of cheering people on for their little accomplishments, you do the opposite in your head and criticize them for it.

This is definitely unsightly and ugly. To me, the whole thing goes beyond the self-comparison issue. Just because I’m bitter, it shouldn’t mean I can go and diss other’s hard work. This definitely goes against my personal belief of being a supportive friend. Once I got to the point of thinking negatively about others, I knew I needed to stop.  Am I a coward for doing so? Shamefully, I admit I am.

So what happens during a social media detox? Realistically, and more than any feel-good advice article, I’d just really like to cement the following ideas back in my head:

1) Things DO happen but in their own time. But that also doesn’t mean you can sit around lazily doing nothing either (read: patience and hard work)

There are some people who you can consider very lucky in life and get to where they are faster because of where they were, to begin with (read this comic by Toby Morris entitled “On a Plate” – seriously, so much feels for this one) but most of them also had to work hard for what they wanted to do. Who knows how many hours they put in before getting that big break?

Exactly. And the same can happen for me too.

2) Make ‘self-love’ the reason and the motivation.

I know this doesn’t make sense, but let me clarify. There are many reasons why I could motivate myself to do something — I could save myself from embarrassment next time I’m dragged into a reunion, or I could do it to please other people (if you’re a people pleaser, that is) or to prove other people wrong. But if all my failures taught me anything, it’s that I didn’t put myself in the equation.

I realized that unless it was something I wanted for myself, the whole plan (of getting thinner, getting a better job, etc.) would be set-up for failure.

Concorde’s “Sons” music video drives the point nicely (and will forever haunt my mind).

I don’t know how long this detox will be (or more like how long I can hold out for) but one thing’s for sure: social media has brought out the worst in us. Or well, in me.

3/6: Being Mindful of Bad Habits

Although it may seem like I’m always up on my feet and running, I’ve just recently started noticing the habits that I’ve formed that could easily fall under time-wasters, and that (according to my mom) makes me look like a really lazy person.

In my defense, I’m not lazy. If there was anything I put my mind into doing, I’d go at it until I saw it through. But I do admit to procrastinating at times and waiting for the last minute to get up and start the day. After a few days of self-reflection and being mindful of the regular things I do on a day-to-day basis, here are my observations:

  1. I snuggle in bed until late morning. Literally, if I know it’s too early to get up, I would go back to sleep.
  2. When I do wake up, the first thing I do is check manga and read new updates
  3. I don’t eat breakfast
  4. I start personal projects and work at around 10 pm
  5. In the end, I sleep at 2-3 in the morning

Alright, I’m guilty. I’m absolutely guilty for living the unhealthy lifestyle.

So I know the list seems like a fairly normal timeline, but I’ve realized that these things do seem to have a domino effect on each other, like a viscous cycle that you can’t break unless you change something. I’ve also read somewhere that successful people start the day early, so I’m sure my daily routine isn’t a stepping stone to success.

To counter these newly formed bad habits (it wasn’t until recently that I’ve started doing these, I swear), here are the things I thought of reforming:

  1. Wake up the first time around (aka no snoozing)
  2. Not touching my cell phone first thing in the morning. It can wait
  3. Make toast. It will only take 10 minutes to prepare and eat anyway.
  4. Be a burrito in bed on or before 12 mn

Hopefully, this works! I’ve read somewhere that it will take 21 days to form new habits, so I bet this’ll take a while~

Post-Game Feels: コクラセ (Kokurase)

kokurase

Kokurase is an RPG game published by Degica Games

Steam never ceases to surprise me every time I try to dig up for free RPG games! Coming across the free first episode, I was completely taken by the fun pop-candy vibe it gave off. Of course, it felt like a refreshing break from my usual genre of games (read: the sad and scary kind), but it houses more than spunk to make you buy the next two episodes.

First thing’s first — have you seen the art? It is GORGEOUS! Enough said.

kokurase-3

Apart from that, what’s also intriguing enough is the premise of the game: Kokurase is a secret team in Hanaseto High School composed of four students. Their mission is simple, but it sets the whole game into motion: it’s to help clients profess their love! I’ve finished playing all three episodes and let me tell you, the story always ALWAYS takes an unexpected turn. Genji, the leader of the Kokurase, never seems to reveal his true motives and you’re left to follow specific instructions. Everything plays out unexpectedly at the end and you’re left feeling dumbfounded, asking yourself the question “Was this the plan all along?”.

It also has a kicker soundtrack playing in the background with every character having a special theme of his/her own. My favorite would be Riho’s theme and Kotarou Hino’s second theme from Episode 3! They’re more of the upbeat tunes, but there are others who are either on the mellow side (Meg’s) or of the mysterious kind (like Genji’s). Either way, you think about it, the character theme songs give a big helping hand in setting the ambiance of the story and it’s very on point. I wouldn’t mind buying the soundtrack, to be honest.

My favorite aspect of the game is really the system itself. In order to proceed to the next scene, you have to switch and toggle to another character! It makes a lot of sense story-wise because each character has their own mini-mission to complete, but the system itself is pretty different than your usual straight to the point RPG game. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a manual switching system like this before, especially when it’s very much integrated into the gameplay.

kokurase-2

Another is how puzzles (or missions) are usually solved not by items but by Key Phrases said throughout the story. Although they’re usually logged in as special phrases — and you’ll see them said in a green text, you’ll have to pay attention to the story and the dialogue to make sense of everything during crunch time! I haven’t perfected it myself to create combos (which I believe unlocks special extra after the episode is done) but you’ll know when you’ve got it right or wrong based on the character’s responses after.

kokurase-5

One feature that I think newbies would like the most is how the screen shows your next move. Located on the upper right corner, this handy feature helped me on many occasions whenever I got stuck in the middle of the game. It also turns orange when the task is done (along with your character being immovable), letting you know when to make a character switch.

kokurase-4

In a nutshell, Kokurase has a solid storyline, with a great soundtrack and gaming system that will keep you guessing what will happen next! I totally enjoyed playing this game, enough to warrant the purchase of the next two episodes! The game isn’t done either and I’m very much looking forward to the next installments. It gets better and better too with each episode too!

Did I mention that the game is also a Nico Nico Indie Game Fest Award Winner? That speaks volumes about how wonderful the game is! You can try out the first episode for free so you can judge it for yourself.

Check out the official game website here.
Check out the game on Steam.

For those who’ve decided to buy the next two episodes as a DLC, here’s a quick rundown on how to play the next two episode respectively:

On your Steam page, go to Library > Games > right click on Kokurase – Episode 1 and click “Play Episode 2” or “Play Episode 3”

how-to-launch

Took me a long time to figure this one out. You’re welcome!

D3: Meaning of My Blog Name

Before I begin this update, let me tell you first how hard it is to keep up with this daily challenge and that I don’t think these challenges really are my thing. Even in the middle of limbo, I’ve asked myself countless times how other people seem to have the time (or discipline) to make these challenges into reality. God knows I don’t have that *insert awkward laugh here*

So instead of having a daily output, I was thinking of giving myself some leeway and put up a weekly post instead. At least on the weekends, I can focus on having more stuff written instead of cramming every single thought in a single update. The whole point of starting this challenge anyway is to help me write better!

With that said, on to today’s topic!

hodgepodge

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on. My past blogs had always been about different topics of interest, but I wanted a clean slate since the Tumblr universe was something I wasn’t getting on well with. It feels like a cop out to admit that I couldn’t make up my mind, but I settled for Hodgepodge Corner as my blog’s name to satisfy my random posts.

Once while discussing blogging with a  good friend of mine, Trix from A Swish and Flick, she mentioned that my blog was a sort of lifestyle blog — a thought which never occurred to me at all! So I guess if ever anyone needed to categorize it, Hodgepodge Corner would either be a personal or a lifestyle blog. Either way, I’m just happy to share random content that I’ve found greatly amusing.

D2: 20 Facts About Me

  1. I prefer people calling me by my nickname, “Shing”
  2. I’m a 20-something Filipina who’s trying to get by in a foreign country
  3. My weight is something which causes me great anxiety at times
  4. I’m an introvert. Yes, my psychology tests all point to me being an extreme introvert
  5. BUT People have said that I’m an amazingly jolly and happy person
  6. Which is a huge contrast when they find out that I’m super grumpy when I wake up
  7. I consider myself as a frustrated everything  – frustrated writer, artist, blogger, etc.
  8. But I do like writing – like paper & pen writing!
  9. I have a book obsession – literally I just like owning books and my to-read pile is getting taller and taller every year
  10. I’m a night owl (but I do try to sleep earlier)
  11. I think skin care is more important than make-up
  12. I always can’t make up my mind if I want to keep my hair short or not
  13. I don’t watch or do things that people are currently raving about. I wait for the enthusiasm to die down before I jump on the bandwagon
  14. I don’t like raw egg on food. Any food.
  15. I don’t like cheese on supposedly sweet things/desserts
  16. Chocolate will always be my guilty pleasure
  17. I’m still trying to learn Japanese, but I’m miserably failing at it
  18. I like discovering neat places that are huge and spacious
  19. I’m a history geek
  20. I don’t like goodbyes