Thursday, September 17, 2020

Random Life Tips That Work For Me

Here's a list of some life tips (or "hacks," as they are now popularly called) that I have found to be personally useful and/or beneficial. Some of these I learned from other sources, while some of them I discovered on my own. I present them this week with hopes that you, loyal blog reader, may find them helpful in your own life.

(Disclaimer: view any bits of advice given to you by a writer/musician with a healthy amount of skepticism. Except for maybe the ones that have to do with writing or playing music. Or, perhaps, organizing your daily schedule.)

Finances

- Pay off your credit card balance in full every time. And then get one of those cards that gives you cash back on purchases. Seriously.

- Set up an automatic transfer at your bank that will move a certain amount of money from your checking account to your savings account each month.

- Use coupons. Also, buy the generic brand equivalent of things that don't depend on taste or texture (e.g., vitamins, aspirin).

- Don't buy too many expensive cat toys. They will not care. Cardboard boxes, crumpled-up sticky notes, and a flashlight will do just fine.

Health

- To fall asleep faster, use the following four-step routine: (1) relax your face - you'd be surprised how tense that thing is, I know I was; (2) release the tension - imagine it escaping through your pores like pollen floating away; (3) clear your mind - let the thoughts fly in and out like butterflies; (4) focus on your breathing.

- When you don't feel exercising, tell yourself you're going to do just one (easy) thing. And then just one more. And then just one more. Before you know it, you'll have done your entire workout. Honestly, the hardest part is getting started.

- Wash your hands a lot, even when there isn't a pandemic.

Writing

- A standard page in a book is roughly 250 words. So, if you just write 250 words (less than the length of this blog post so far) every day, you'll have a completed 300-page manuscript in under a year.

- Don't stop to self-edit. Just keep writing. Fix it later. Also, whatever you're writing is probably better than you think it is while you're writing it.

- For sci-fi/fantasy authors, listening to epic music soundtracks while writing might be helpful and even inspirational. I know it is for me.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

A Post That Is Sort Of About Football: 2020 Edition

I haven't done one of these posts since the 2016-2017 season (when I did three of them), so I figured it was time. Hopefully I won't be jinxing the entire season - which is scheduled to begin tonight - by doing so.


Arizona Cardinals: apparently you guys are supposed to be pretty good this year, especially with your shiny new DeAndre Hopkins. We shall see.

Atlanta Falcons: did you know that Fort Storm, from my band's comic book series Glorified, is modeled after Mercedes-Benz Stadium? Well, it is.

Baltimore Ravens: one of those teams with annoyingly good luck at drafting quarterbacks (at least recently, anyway). I'm sure Cleveland hates you even more now.

Buffalo Bills: apparently you guys are supposed to be even better this year - maybe even division champs. We shall see.

Carolina Panthers: are not scheduled to play the Seahawks during the regular season for what feels like the first time in forever.

Chicago Bears: So, not Nick Foles, then? Remember, like Jason Mendoza said in The Good Place, "that guy won a Super Bowl!"

Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow? Well, I guess he won a National Championship.

Cleveland Browns: yeah

Dallas Cowboys: back in 2016 I described this team (who I used to follow when I lived in Hawaii due mostly to lack of options) as like "an ex, where you just peripherally take notice of stuff they're up to but you try not to get too involved." So...contract issues with Dak? Releasing Clinton-Dix? Okay, whatever, I'll look away now. 

Denver Broncos: So, wait, who is your quarterback this year? Drew Lock? Honestly, I lost track after Manning retired.

Detroit Lions: I have friends who moved from Portland to the Detroit area, so there must be something to it.

Green Bay Packers: another one of those teams with annoyingly good luck at drafting quarterbacks... or not?

Houston Texans: I still kinda feel sorry for this team for blowing a 24-0 lead in last season's divisional playoff game.

Indianapolis Colts: Philip Rivers? Sure, why not, I guess.

Jacksonville Jaguars: not tanking for draft position, huh? Right...

Kansas City Chiefs: I'm sure will be missing their crowd noise as much as the Seahawks will. Congratulations on last season, by the way.

Las Vegas Raiders: I went to Las Vegas last year when doing stuff like that was still a thing. It was fun.

Los Angeles Chargers: will always be San Diego to me.

Los Angeles Rams: that new logo... 

Miami Dolphins: So, not Tua Tagovailoa, then? Oh well, whatever.

Minnesota Vikings: you guys got Ngakoue from Jacksonville for just a 2nd and a conditional 5th? Man, why didn't the Seahawks do that? I mean, since we're trading the future for the present anyway (see "Seattle Seahawks" below)...

New England Patriots: the first real test to see if the Patriots are Belichick (great Subway commercial, by the way) or Brady. Although, Cam Newton isn't exactly a slouch.

New Orleans Saints: I wouldn't mind going to New Orleans one day when doing stuff like that is a thing again.

New York Giants: I wouldn't mind going to New York one day when doing stuff like that is a thing again.

New York Jets: enjoy all those first-round draft picks you got from the Seahawks.

Philadelphia Eagles: the team that the aforementioned Nick Foles won a Super Bowl with (see "Chicago Bears" above).

Pittsburgh Steelers: your city reminds me of Stranger Things, season 2.

San Francisco 49ers: I'm hoping for a post-Super Bowl-loss hangover. Because rivalries are fun, but I prefer when division opponents are just flat-out bad.

Seattle Seahawks: honestly, I think this year is kind of Super Bowl or bust. After all, you traded away a million draft choices for Jamal Adams, who you're going to have to pay a billion dollars to starting next year, not to mention the other guys in the secondary along with some other key players. Also, Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson are not getting any younger. So, you know, Go Hawks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: the first real test to see if the Patriots are Belichick or Brady. Although, you do have that Fournette guy now.

Tennessee Titans: no offense to Chiefs fans, but I wanted you guys to make it to the Super Bowl last year.

Washington Football Team: I like that they're finally changing the name, but doesn't "Football Team," even as an interim moniker, seem a little, I dunno, sulky? Or spiteful? Kind of like, "SIGH okay, fine, I'll change the name...to this. Happy now? Huh?"

Thursday, September 3, 2020

OTMGirls Rule: Aggretsuko Season 3 Bullet Point Reaction Post

This is not an Anime Roundup post. Nor is it a review (there are lots of other good places for that on the Internet). This is simply a spoiler-filled reaction post to Season 3 of my all-time second-favorite anime, Aggretsuko (which I finished watching in two days).
- I love that Retsuko felt more satisfaction from earning a little bit of money from her work as the accounting manager for OTMGirls than she ever did as a corporate OL ("office lady").

- I also love that Manaka is 26 years old but still chasing her dream of becoming a pop music idol - while working part-time at a konbini (convenience store).

- Haida can really rock the bass. And his origin story ("I started out on acoustic guitar, but then my friends and I formed a band and we needed someone to play bass") is pretty much the origin story of all bassists everywhere. Because, as you know if you've been reading this blog for a while, no one ever starts out wanting to play the bass.

- Speaking of Haida, my opinion is that he should give up on Retsuko. I mean, c'mon, man, you already told her how you felt back in the Season 1 finale, and she rejected you. That ship has sailed. Move on.

- Haida and Inui seem like a perfect match - their meet-cute in the vinyl record store was classic - but hey, I get it. He's just not that into her. Better to be clear about that up front rather than settling or stringing her along. That said, see the bullet point above. Maybe you should just stay single and start a new band instead, Haida-san.

- Speaking of bands, Hyodo making the OTMGirls learn how to play instruments reminded me of how the K-On! voice actors had to do something similar. That whole bit about the F chord being an impenetrable wall was hilarious.

- Speaking of voice actors, I think the OTMGirls' voice actors are actually an idol group in real life? Does anyone know for sure?

- Fenneko is the best.

- Anyway, can't wait for Season 4!