Dr. W's Space Travels
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2021-08-01 20:28:42 (UTC)

Space Cadet Makes Killer Potato Salad

Dr. Wood LVII

I feel like my last few entries have been more lecture-y than me just sharing my experiences and how I feel about stuff. So I’ll bring it back to my classic diary-writing style. This weekend was a very nice one. I once again stayed at home the whole time, doing some cleaning and mounting my new license plate to my car. Watched the K-ON! Movie yesterday, which was so much fun. K-ON! is one of my favorite anime series, and the movie didn’t fall short in the humor and wholesomeness, supplemented by KyoAni’s fluid animation style, that I so loved from it. Today I made some potato salad, using a recipe I got from the anime cookbook I received last Christmas. It’s the potato salad featured in episode 15 of Future Diary, and coincidentally, The Friends Club is doing a new food competition where we get to post photos of food/drink concoctions featured in animanga. Visually speaking, the potato salad was okay, but I thought it did taste pretty good. It beat out the cookies from the other day… which, by the way, are still sitting in my fridge, their voluminous numbers rivaling the quantity of stars in space.

I’ve been trying to switch things up a bit these days. Well, sort of – I’m still very snugly based in many of my normal grooves. Oh, I guess that’s why they call routines “grooves”, since you’re inclined to stay in them. But I often considered the alternate meaning of “groove”, as in like a rhythm. Maybe both are correct. Anyway, one example of me doing this was making Yuno Gasai’s fabled potato salad (which I posed with a phone and a “ketchup blood”-covered knife as props from the show). Another was to finally get around to playing a game I’d been meaning to play for like 7 months. Last Christmas I received Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax from one of my aunts (I put it on my Amazon wishlist because it looked like a lot of fun), but I put off playing it until just yesterday. Game was fun as fudge! I played as Asuna from Sword Art Online, and – lemme brag for just a moment, then I’ll stop – I won every single match in arcade mode. I’ll admit I do have somewhat of a “fighting game” sense that carries over to games I’ve never even played nor watched a tutorial for. Used to play a lot of Soul Calibur, Super Smash Bros., Marvel vs. Capcom, and of course Skullgirls, so I was kind of able to develop that. I remember playing Injustice for the first time with friends during my army days, and they were very doubtful towards my claims that I hadn’t played it before, based on the skill I was exhibiting. Okay that was a longer moment of bragging than I intended – if necessary, I can relist some of the things I suck at. Hehe. (Comedy… social skills… relationships…) What was I saying… oh yeah, it was just a lot of fun, especially seeing a lot of characters I recognized from shows I loved (Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!, Taiga from Toradora, Kuroiyukihime from Accel World, Asuna and Kirito… and they even had Boogiepop as a supporting character, which surprised me as I adored watching Boogiepop & Others). I think others might consider it to be a “mid” game, but usually when something is about average in terms of entertainment value, I find great enjoyment in it.

I honestly really like this habit of doing new things each weekend. So far I’ll chalk up two weekends where I did something out of the ordinary. Weekend #1 starts with last weekend, where I made the prolific humanitarian advance of conceiving baked goods that I’m convinced could survive a nuclear holocaust. During weekend #2, I whipped up Yukiteru Amano’s favorite potato salad, and I played a really fun and flashy fighting game involving a slew of wonderful light novel characters – one that I’d been meaning to play for what now feels like ages (though hasn’t even been a year). As I’m moving into this phase of “do new crap” and slipping into the mindset of wanting to take things less for granted, I’m realizing more and more of what there is to do, even just at home. I realized that the main challenge that I’ve faced with doing new things is that I don’t wanna risk “wasting my time”. I used to be afraid that if I do something new and it ends up disappointing me or feeling like there was no gain from it, I’d have squandered all my free time. This was long coupled with a desire to covet my weekends because the workweeks were so stressful. So if a weekend was a unfulfilling flub, I’d have to wait five more days for another chance. That attitude is something I’ve been working on for a long time, fortunately, and I think I’ve gotten a lot better with valuing my weekdays closer to the extent at which I value my weekends. If I feel like my weekdays have just as much of a chance to become the most beautiful day of my life (shouts out to Mark Twain) as my weekends, then filling my weekends (which are larger reservoirs of free time) with doing new things will feel a lot more risk-free. Simultaneously, I’ll be filling my weekdays with fun stuff too because of how much I cherish them, an act made possible by coping techniques for when work gets stressful and I’m on the verge of checking out mentally the rest of the day. This theoretical end state (“end state” might not be the best term but I hope it conveys what I’m trying to say) where I make the most of my weekdays and weekends is an ideal (oh, “ideal” was the term I was looking for…), and I know I’m not there yet. I have a lot of room to improve. But I absolutely wanna keep doing it, because I’m very pleased with the results so far and the momentum I’ve achieved with it up until now.

Look at me singing my own praises. One thing that hasn’t changed since I started these diary entries is how much I love petting my own ego. Anyway, I have a few plans already set in place for making my upcoming weeks full of potential joy. I bought some new vegan ice cream bars at the grocery store during my last visit, so I’m looking forward to trying them out while I get back into Maitetsu (which I’ve oddly strayed from a bit lately… but I know my train girls will always wait for me patiently, huhu). I also got a movie ticket for the 10th of August to see the Shirobako Movie. This movie came out a few years ago but Fathom Events likes to do throwbacks like this, which I’m a big fan of (they did Ghibli Fest a few years ago). I’m going to see it at the same theatre I saw the Demon Slayer Mugen Train movie at – beautiful theatre, and has a really nice promenade outside. I’ll be sure to share about that experience when I get to it. Oh, and I’m also trying to make more of an effort to get in touch with family. I called my stepmom yesterday, who was taking a trip to Philadelphia with my dad and youngest brother and sister, and got to hear from her the account of their very fun day. I didn’t get much of a chance to verbally talk with her, but we texted a bit and I felt genuinely happy to hear about how their day had gone. I also was a bit envious as I haven’t been to Philadelphia in a while, but that’s my problem XD I do realize that following a vehicle purchase, I need to be cautious about my spending. Not that I’m in even remote danger of financial instability… it’s just something I shouldn’t take too lightly. I could easily launch hundreds of dollars into trips to Maido, trips to Somerville, room decorations and new Patreons, especially knowing that I have overtime money in the near future. But I think at least a little bit of mindfulness in this regard will go a long way. I have a lot of stuff coming up on the horizon too: my breast cancer walk in South Carolina, my Friends Club meetup at the Atlanta anime convention, and my long-awaited Japan revisitation. I’m not sure how my talks of doing more new things went into a talk about my financial outlook, but I can tie up the random ideas by saying that there are many fun and free things at my disposal that I can do, and I’d like to continue exploring them.

So I’m hoping next week is just five hours of overtime. It was never specified this past Friday how much it’d be… I don’t particularly like finding out on the Monday of because if I find out it’s now 10 hours, I’d have missed out on capitalizing on a Monday morning to chip away at that number. It wouldn’t be the hugest deal in the world, but planning my days around overtime has to be pretty precise. So I really do hope it’s just five. But if it’s 10, I won’t die. It’s 15 that makes me die. So I’m still good. By the way, it’s really bothering me how I’m inclined to write out “five”, but when it comes to 10 and 15, I use the numerical characters. But it’d feel weird to just go with “5” because it’s supposedly customary to write out numbers lower than… is it lower than 10? I have no idea, and not pedantic enough to look it up (but still too pedantic to let it go… add “decisiveness” to the list of things I suck at, please…)

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