Chronicles: 2020 Spring

Why do I write these blog posts so late? Anyway, here are some blurbs about what I did from April to June this year.

Academic

  • Organized talks for the students and colleagues at Adobe who were going to have CHI papers appear this year! We’re going to be making the talk recordings public on the research website, so stay tuned!
  • Intern season started at Adobe! Through the hard work of the intern program team, we managed to be able to host remote internships rather than cancelling it. I’m pleased to be hosting Tricia Ngoon again this summer.
  • Did some reviewing for UIST 2020.
  • Submitted our paper to CSCW 2020 again (June submissions)!

Art

  • I drew matching phone backgrounds for me and partner for his birthday featuring our FFXIV characters!
  • A whole month late, but finished my submission for the #SixFanarts challenge that was going around in April! I took this chance to try and challenge myself to color on one layer (rather than splitting up different sections of the character into different layers like usual) and, wow, my painting speed increased by a lot.
  • Does designing my Animal Crossing island count as doing art?
  • The anime conventions I would have been going to this month were cancelled. Definitely glad they were cancelled, but still bummed I can’t hang out with artist and convention pals, probably for the rest of this year at least.
  • I’ve been falling behind on drawing my weekly comics at Herogirl. Part of it is because I’m tired (thanks, COVID-19 and other awful things happening out in the world) and part of it is because I feel bad trying to be funny when I could be putting my energy into making the world a better place more directly? Hmm.

Personal

  • I played a virtual/remote escape room with friends! We played Escape from the Werewolf Village by Real Escape Game/SCRAP and it was really fun and satisfying! The way it worked was that we had a proxy team member in the physical escape room (located in Japan) that we could give commands to to help us explore the room and physically interact with the puzzles. We progressed through the game by receiving keywords through puzzle solving which we could type to a Facebook Messenger bot that would give us information for the next puzzle! I was a bit nervous about giving commands to a stranger, but the staff were really nice and the game was smoothly organized. It was a lot of fun!
  • Enjoyed watching Corona Relief Done Quick! It’s really interesting to watch how they set up the runs so that speedrunners could participate from all sorts of places from their homes! There were a few technical difficulties but for the most part it was pretty true to the pre-COVID-19 experience! I wonder if the tech team did a write-up of how they set everything up somewhere?
  • Games: Pokemon Cafe Mix (cute and relaxing puzzle game!), Trials of Mana demo (lovely music, I hadn’t played the original, but the remake’s controls are a bit janky so I decided to hold off on getting the full game), Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu (I completed my Pokedex!), Final Fantasy 7 Remake (perfect combo of nostalgia and new content, I can’t wait for the next part!), Animal Crossing: New Horizons (got my island to 5-stars!)
  • Anime: My Hero Academia, Haikyuu, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (a fun show with a good ending!)

Chronicles: 2020 Winter

The past few months have been wild, y’all.

Academic

  • Visited Seattle for a team retreat! We did an escape room as a team and we escaped! It was my first time ever beating an escape room! We did The Vanishing Room by Locurio.
  • While in Seattle, I met with some students and faculty at the University of Washington (with one of my Adobe colleagues, Valentina)! It was quite nostalgic visiting — I think it was the first time since I had graduated from UW that I had been back during an actual school day. Students were around going about their daily lives and trying not to slip on the icy sidewalks.
  • I got promoted at work! (Whatever that means! I guess I’m doing a good job at my job!)
  • Presented a bit about my current research at the Stanford HCI Group‘s weekly meeting.
  • CHI 2020 got cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. But I was a co-author on three papers that was going to appear there! Awesome work by the students and collaborators I worked with.
    • Decipher: An Interactive Visualization Tool for Interpreting Unstructured Design Feedback from Multiple Providers (first author: Grace Yen)
    • Temporal Segmentation of Creative Live Streams (first author: Ailie Fraser)
    • Generating Audio-Visual Slideshows from Text Articles Using Word Concreteness (first author: Mackenzie Leake)
  • The CSCW 2020 paper I had been working on didn’t get in — oh well! It’s a good research idea. I’ll keep working on it!

Art

Personal

  • COVID-19!
    • My partner and I have been working from home since the start of March or so. My company decided to close down our Bay Area offices, but I managed to go in to save my office plant before that happened.
    • Donated some N95 masks to hospitals through #GetUsPPE!
    • Wrote a blog post on Tumblr about how geeks can help fight COVID-19!
  • Voted in CA primaries!
  • Watched AGDQ 2020 and donated where I can! (They read one of my donations on stream, just after the FFVIII run!)
  • Got tickets to see BTS in Los Angeles! (But the show’s been postponed.)
    • My favorite Map of the Soul track: Black Swan.
  • D&D
    • I ran a short Pokemon D&D session for a few friends!
    • FFXIV D&D continues with our small group!
  • Anime: The Rising of the Shield Hero (surprised me), My Hero Academia (continuing), Haikyuu (continuing), Gintama (Jirocho Arc)
  • Games: FFXIV Patch 5.2 (also I finished all the role quests and the little extra story bit they reward with is wild), FFVII Remake demo (it looks so good, I’m so excited), Kentucky Route Zero (beautiful and clever, also I suggested as our “book” for the next work book club meeting heh), Bravely Default II Demo (a little disappointing — UI is hard to look at), Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX (so cute!), War of the Visions: Bravely Default (I can’t play any more mobile games… but there’s a FFXIV event…), Animal Crossing: New Horizons (this is it. This is the only video game I’m going to play for the rest of my life.)
    • Pokemon HOME came out! I spent some time transferring Pokemon from my old 3DS games. It is awesome being able to wonder trade on my phone!
    • Board games: Everdell (really cute and chill)
  • Books: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (really charming and bittersweet), Delicious Dungeon Vol 1 – 5 (funny! the art is detailed)
  • Podcasts: I got to see Hello From the Magic Tavern live shows in SF and SEA!

Chronicles: 2019 Autumn

Ended up not doing a whole lot of art this quarter! I spent most of my time planning for next year and hanging out with friends and family.

Academic

Art

Personal

  • Went on a big trip to Korea and Japan with my fiance and his family! Some notable stuff we did:
    • Korea
      • ALTDIF Tea Bar — we had a mixed tea drink tasting course that was amazing! Each of the drinks was themed after a contemporary Korean literature book that the mixers liked.
      • Leesle — totally by chance, I happened to see a shop that sold modern hanbok clothes meant for everyday wear and I went and bought a few pieces! I had been following the brand on Instagram for a while, but hadn’t realized they had a shop near where we were sightseeing!
      • Korean Folk Village — we were there off-season and so it was awkwardly empty, but we had a lot of fun watching the various performances and walking around the village.
      • Hongdae Free Market — it’s like an outdoor artist alley with local artists selling handmade crafts and artwork!
    • Japan
      • Kanazawa — we took the Shinkansen down to a quiet, pretty city called Kanazawa and stayed in this lovely hotel that had its own bathhouse and provided massage chairs in the rooms! Like, what? This was also where I had the best curry I have ever, ever eaten.
      • Visited the new Pokemon Cafe in Ginza!
      • Team Lab Planets — I’m not even sure how to describe this place; maybe an immersive, interactive art museum? The first stop in the museum is a locker room where you can borrow shorts if you’re wearing clothes that make it hard to wade through water! Definitely worth a visit, though I think it’s a temporary museum.
      • Nintendo Store – visited the new store in Shibuya PARCO, and somehow managed to avoid the 5+ hour line to get in by getting up early to nab a ticket that guaranteed that we would enter the store at a specific time! I bought… a lot.
  • My fiance and I are starting wedding planning! It’s… a lot. How can something be so exciting and so frustrating at the same time? ūüėÖ
  • Visited my family in Seattle for Christmas! My nephew informed my mother than Santa isn’t real. We also went to the Nutcracker altogether — it was my niece and nephew’s first time going to a live theatre performance and they had a great time ūüėä
  • Anime: Evangelion (my friend and I marathoned the whole series in one day because neither of us had watched it, and our brains melted), Dr. Stone (weird story, but kinda charming! I’ll watch the second season when it comes out.)
  • Games: Link’s Awakening (a sweet, cute game), Pokemon Shield (enjoyed the spectacle of the battles and the characters!), FFXIV (slowly leveling my RDM, it’s at 75 now. The new NieR raids are very exciting!), FFVIII (finally finished it — after all these years, I was very surprised at how much I didn’t know about the story)
    • Board games: Moon Base, which we picked up in Japan! It’s a little like 3D checkers?
  • Books: Persepolis (I read it because I was able to get my book club at work to read it :D)
  • Podcasts: The Adventure Zone: Graduation (really loving it so far — Travis has improved so much as a DM!)

Chronicles: 2019 Summer

Academic

  • Finished up intern projects for the summer and submitted a few papers to CHI 2020.
  • I served as a guest judge for the final showcase for a design class at Berkeley! Super fun.
  • Attended the¬†awards ceremony for the Adobe Research Fellowship and Adobe Women-in-Technology Scholarship! Congrats to all the winners!
  • A thing I worked on finally launched! Behance¬†now has user livestreaming, and on some people’s streams, you can see an automatically generated set of chapters to help you navigate super-long stream video recordings!

Art

Personal

  • I got engaged!
    • As part of our engagement date, we went The Game Parlour in SF and had fun trying a bunch of board games in their library!¬†We ended up buying Dice Forge (you say it’s a crafting-based board game? Yes, please!)
  • As a small move to improve my mental health, I’m trying to reduce¬†the amount of news I encounter through social media. Deleting Twitter isn’t super realistic because it’s a primary way I keep up with a lot of my art friends, so I went through an unfollowed a lot of accounts I know talk about news-related stuff. I need to build a new habit of reading the news regularly on purpose rather than just kind of encountering it throughout my day. We’ll see how this works out!
  • Had fun watching SGDQ 2019!
  • Visited Seattle at the end of September to hang out with family! I took my niece and nephew to the Living Computer Museum and the Seattle Art Museum. I highly recommend looking at art with young children (my niece had some A+ commentary).
  • Games: FFXIV¬†Shadowbringers (SO GOOD. My fiance finally finished it a whole 2.5 months later, during which I was dying because I couldn’t chat about the story with him), Rune Factory 4 (finally beat it! Though I still haven’t managed to marry anyone in it because of the random event system :P), Earthbound (beat it! A wholesome story), Kingdom Hearts 3 (I’m¬†still not sure what the story is, but I feel like I’ve fulfilled my promise to my 14 year old self to see this game series through at least this far), Untitled Goose Game (super fun, very mischievous)
    • FFXIV: Finished leveling my crafters to 80, finished leveling my Bard, and am nearly finished leveling my Astrologian! (Gotta get those optional role quests done for the extra story info!) I’m not sure how I feel about healing. I think I’ll stick with being a tank.
    • Heard that there is going to be a Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town remake for the Switch! I really hope it’s good!
    • Mobages: So much for trying to quit! Pokemon Masters came out (I found the gameplay a little boring though, so I might drop it for now and check again on it next year), and I’ve also been playing Ragnarok M like a madman. Dragalia Lost and Granblue Fantasy had updates to their story quests, so I caught up on those too.
  • Anime: Fruits Basket¬†(remake)
  • Books:¬†I… haven’t read any books these few months because I’ve been playing video games… ūüėõ
  • Podcasts: Hello From the Magic Tavern (finally caught up!), The Adventure Zone: Amnesty

Chronicles: 2019 Spring

Academic

  • Submitted papers to CSCW and UIST 2019!
  • I attended Creativity & Cognition 2019 in beautiful San Diego, CA! I participated as a Graduate Symposium mentor and as the chair for posters and demos this year. Thankfully, everything went great (super thanks to the hotel staff and local arrangements chairs for all their help)!
    • Thanks to a couple of colleagues, I got to go out on a sailboat for the first time! :O
  • I also attended CHI 2019 over in Glasgow, Scotland, UK!
  • Participated as a industry career panelist for an annual Women in Computer Science event at Berkeley.

Art

Personal

  • Celebrated 6 years together with my boyfriend!
  • Attended The Adventure Zone and¬†My Brother, My Brother, and Me shows¬†in San Jose with friends!
  • I have a new lucky bamboo pal that I got free from work and that also survived a plane ride. We also got a new plant for our bathroom (her name is Freya and she’s a dieffenbachia!). And, after a lot of Youtube video-watching and a lot of anxiety, I tried cutting down Beatrix¬†because she was getting kinda tall. Hopefully she keeps growing!
  • My New Year’s resolution to be more eco-friendly is going well! This is just an eyeball estimate, but the amount of trash we throw away now per day is probably about 5 – 10% of what we used to throw away. It’s nuts. And it really doesn’t take that much longer to separate out organic waste from recyclable containers and rinse ’em out before throwing them into the recycling bin instead of the trash can.¬†Another thing I want to start doing is ordering less stuff online (coughAmazoncough), or at least order things in big chunks instead of one or two items at a time. If all goes well I might even get rid of my Prime subscription ūüėõ
  • Spent a few days in London (following my trip to CHI in Glasgow)!
    • Got my first Tarot reading at Treadwell’s Books! It was extremely confusing because I didn’t know what to ask about, but it was interesting.
    • Had fancy tea time at Fortnum & Mason! The store itself is huge and full of cute tea accessories. I bought a tea tray and some tea (Chamomile & Bee Pollen, and Ginger and Sicilian Lemon, yum!)
    • Visited the British Museum. I was surprised there was a manga exhibit? Unfortunately it wasn’t open at the time I was there!
    • Grabbed some nice dessert at Cakes & Bubbles!
  • I learned about the Jewish concept of¬†Lashon Hara from this twitter thread that I found really good. (Basically, the idea is that, before you say something about someone, decide whether to say it based on whether it’s useful to say, rather than¬†whether it’s true or not.)¬†I¬†do find I sometimes have to catch¬†myself before saying something potentially harmful (sometimes because my anxiety gets the better of me and I’m scrambling to fill silence in a conversation, and other times because I still don’t have a good sense of the line between teasing someone and just being mean).
  • Games: FFXIV (leveled all my gatherers and crafters to 70, and I’m starting to level my first healer, AST!), Granblue Fantasy (I know, I know, I’ve been trying to quit mobages, but the summer event was wild), Cadence of Hyrule (it’s super hard), Atelier Rorona (my first Atelier game! It’s super cute and addicting)
    • E3 announcements: the FFXIV Shadowbringers trailer teased some crazy lore bombs, I’m definitely getting Collection of Mana, Animal Crossing was delayed (but that’s OK!), and¬†holy moly there’s going to be a Breath of the Wild 2!
    • We got the FFXIV Cactpot board game¬†on a whim, heh! It’s actually pretty fun.
    • We also an Oculus Quest! The only thing I do on it is play Beat Saber though. I wonder what else I can do with it?
  • Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind (didn’t like it as much as Stardust Crusaders, but still fun, and Bruno really stole the show for me), Mob Psycho 100 II (so, so, so good),
    • Not quite anime, but the Detective Pikachu movie was fun!
  • Books: Daily Painting, The Miracle of Mindfulness, Circe, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, Gender Queer, Why We Sleep

 

Chronicles: 2019 Winter

Academic

  • Attended my company’s big internal technical conference (Tech Summit) in February! I even gave a talk on how cool crowdsourcing is! (Since, you know, that’s my area of expertise.) It was a good chance to learn about what engineers in the company are up to.
  • I’m one of the posters & demos chairs for Creativity & Cognition 2019 this year! This involves a lot of, well, organizing¬†and (real talk here) floundering because this is my first time organizing ANYTHING for a conference! But it’s a lot of fun — I hope I can help make the conference a good experience for everyone!

Art

Personal

  • Had a great time watching AGDQ 2019!
    • I really enjoyed the Rayman 2 run (really great commentary); watching Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight made me want to play it; and of course, enjoyed the TASBot block.
  • Killed my first succulent ūüôĀ But I got another one! I now know to keep them away from humidifiers and closer to sunny windows.
  • I went to a cat show near me on a whim! It was really interesting and fun! I have no idea how the judging works, but it was neat seeing all the pretty cats and the judges’ commentary on them.
  • I got really into tarot in the past couple months! (The deck I bought was the Kawaii Tarot.) I’ve always been a bit of a interest in folklore, superstition, and religion, and am super fascinated about how these have developed over time and how different cultures and times have related to it. It seems like a fun brainstorming tool — I’ve seen a couple of blog posts around on how people use tarot to write stories or develop characters. I’m going to have to try it out!
  • Kept up with my regular DMing sessions and also played in a friend’s one-shot Mage game where I was a cranky goddess disguised as a village elder! I enjoyed being a cranky old lady.
  • As one of my New Year’s resolutions, I’m trying to be more eco-friendly! I’m focusing on recycling things I didn’t before (cough take-out containers and boba cups) and now have a compost bag in our house for organic waste. I also bought a reusable boba cup and straw that I’ve already made good use out of because I drink way too much boba!
  • Games: FFXIV patch 4.5 (leveled all my gatherers to 60+ too!), Celeste (fun, challenging, easy to pick up anytime kind of game!), The Return of the Obra Dinn (spooky and difficult, very rewarding), Granblue Fantasy (What Makes the Sky Blue III), Let’s Go Pikachu, Doki Doki Literature Club (why. why did I play this.)
    • Still playing through Kingdom Hearts 3 and Smash Ultimate. Started up Rune Factory 4 again, too! (Hopefully I’ll finally get through the third story arc so I can finish the game!)
    • Boardgames: Wingspan (cute, easy game), 2-player Betrayal at the House on the Hill (works surprisingly well!)
  • Anime: She-Ra (cute), That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (positive and fun fantasy shenanigans), SSSS Gridman (I was really into this, but the ending kinda got away), Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind (fun so far, not sure how I feel about Giorno!), Kaguya-sama: Love is War (REALLY FUN. I think my favorite anime of the season!), Hinamatsuri (funny, great animation, really sweet), Gintama, Skull Face Bookseller Honda-san (ok funny, good background show), Neo Yokio (So. SO. SO BAD. SO BAD IT’S GOOD? What did I watch??)
    • Tried: Zombieland Saga, Saint Seiya Saintia Sho
    • Not anime, but I finished watching all of Friends on Netflix, so I guess I’m officially caught up on pop culture now.
  • Books: Way of the House Husband, The Creative Tarot, Enchantments, Grimoires: A History of Magic Books, Light Magic for Dark Times, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Vol. 8, My Solo Exchange Diary, The Power of Myth, Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes
    • I’m so proud of myself for reading more this year!

Chronicles: 2018 Autumn

I did so much travelling at the end of 2018, and the holidays were super busy! As a result, I think most of my notes are going to be in the Personal section (sorry, job and hobbies…)

Academic

  • Went on a bunch of work trips! I visited our Seattle office twice and visited the New York office once! It’s always great to see people in person.
  • Finished a bunch of reviews for CHI 2019.
  • I cannot believe it’s intern recruiting season again! I feel like I barely just finished with the summer. Time to think about projects for next year.

Art

  • Finished my entry for the FFXIV NA Fan Fest art contest! I did a bit of real-time panic on Twitter, so you can see how I progressed. I did make it as a finalist, which made me really happy.
  • I did Inktober this year again! It’s so exhausting but I love love love doing Inktober, and I always feel so accomplished at the end of the month. I feel like I wasn’t as adventurous with compositions this year, but I think I did a better job telling stories with my illustrations.
  • I tabled at the¬†Geek Girl Con¬†artist alley, which was my first convention in Seattle! It’s small, but well-organized and the vibe of the convention was really positive and relaxed. I’m definitely going to look into attending again next year.
  • I got my first wholesale order! A number of the phone charms I designed will be sold at a REAL, PHYSICAL store (the Mox Boarding House in Seattle) in the next month or so, which is nuts! I wish I could go see it on display in person!
  • I¬†leveled-up my knitting skills! I made some mini-stockings¬†(learned how to knit fair-isle!)¬†and some¬†stuffed animals¬†(learned how to knit in the round!)¬†as Christmas presents.
  • Right at the end of the year, started working on some new illustrations for Nintendo-themed birthday cards! I managed to finish this Animal Crossing birthday illustration just before the new year.

Personal

  • I¬†participated in¬†VoterCon! No, really. I’m going to do my best to be more vocal about civic participation and I am sure as heck going to be on top of voting!
  • Conventions! I went to Blizzcon for the first time, survived the lines, and spent pretty much the whole time at the Starcraft 2 stage and watched a non-Korean player win the world championship for the first time in Starcraft’s 20 year history. I also went to FFXIV Fan Fest in Las Vegas and (despite being a little sick) had a lot of fun with friends, hearing about new game updates, and of course, enjoying the Primals concert!
  • My boyfriend’s¬†family visited from Singapore and Australia! They hung out in California while I was visiting my parents in Seattle, then they came up to the Pacific Northwest and we had fun looking around Seattle and Portland.
  • More D&D! I didn’t do as much DMing since my players and I were all travelling a lot these few months, but I kept up with the campaign that I’m a player in. I also ended up running a mini-session of Mines of Phandelver for my¬†boyfriend and his sister while we were traveling together, by printing out some premade characters in our hotel lobby!
  • Some new things I tried:
    • Went to a golf driving range for the first time¬†over Thanksgiving because my¬†mom¬†has been learning golf and wanted to go.
    • Bought a few little succulents for the home and office! I’m really enjoying having them with me.
  • Games:¬† Deltarune: Chapter 1 (really enjoyable! great music, art, characters so far), FFXIV (mostly crafting and botanist leveling), FFXV (I finally finished it! I understand now while people are crying over it all the time, ahh)
    • I tried out quitting mobages (Dragalia and Granblue mostly) and it’s amazing how much more free time I feel like I have! Definitely going to stick with it as much as I can.
    • Started playing Earthbound, Let’s Go: Pikachu, Smash Ultimate! So many games to play…
    • Board games: Tea Dragon Society (very very cute art, but not very strategically deep), Fog of Love (interesting, feels a little too real sometimes), Azul (ideal hangout game), Unstable Unicorn (fun, feels like a shorter, less intense Munchkin), Tokyo Highway (really tactile and fun!). I also got my first tarot deck on a whim, which has been fun to play with!
  • Anime: Revue Starlight (it was really good! Recommended if you like magical realism), Little Witch Academia (finished! Very cute, and the story was more solid than I expected), Gintama, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind (enjoyable so far!), Voltron S7 (it’s… finally over? It’s a nice background show, I feel pretty neutral about the overall story), Aggretsuko: We Wish You a Metal Christmas (cute! cute!!!)
    • Tried: Sword Art Online Aliciziation (why do I keep trying to watch Sword Art), SSSS Gridman, Tsurune, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
    • I also went to see the SF Symphony perform The Nightmare Before Christmas! This was actually my first time watching the film, though I was familiar with the music. I actually found it a little scary… how did little kids watch this? ūüėõ

Chronicles: 2018 Summer

Academic

  • Finished serving on the CSCW 2018 program committee! It was my first time in a PC meeting and seeing the paper acceptance process behind-the-scenes… I didn’t have any papers that I needed to particularly champion, so a lot of it was me observing how more experienced folks talked about the value of different kinds of research work. I think I learned a lot.
  • I served on the Scholarship committee at work! It was a pretty intense process of reading applications, meeting with the other committee members, and holding interviews… but it’s definitely a rewarding process, especially because you get to interact with so many great students.
  • Finished up my summer internships! All my interns started on papers for CHI, but we decided not to submit and work on fleshing them out a bit more for a future conference deadline. I’ll be continuing to work on these projects with my interns!
  • Accepted a few roles for Creativity & Cognition 2019, which will be in San Diego! I’ll be serving as¬†a mentor for the Graduate Symposium and as one of the Posters & Demos Chairs.
  • Spent some spare time learning React and Node! I think one of my goals for the rest of this year (or next year?) will be to use these as much as possible to try and get a good understanding of it.
  • My company¬†decided to write a Researcher Spotlight article about me and my research :O

Art

  • Tabled at Anime Expo‘s Artist Alley! IT WAS. SO. HOT. OUTSIDE.¬†Fortunately the temperature in the artist alley was totally fine! I feel like they made a lot of improvements this year — they included this reserved rest area for artists and artist helpers which was a great place to take a break from the crowds and eat some food away from all my precious merch! I hope they bring it back next year.
    • I usually don’t take commissions at AX because traffic is so crazy, but I did end up taking one commission for a repeat customer that was fun to work on!
  • I also tabled at Crunchyroll Expo‘s Artist Alley! I had a couple of new pieces a merch, including a sketchbook of my Inktober drawings from 2017 and a small Nier Automata fanart print¬†(that I had to get rush printed because I finished the game and drew some fanart last minute!). I also did a bunch of commissions, including probably my favorite drawing I’ve ever done for someone.
  • Got into Geek Girl Con‘s Artist Alley! I’m excited because this will be my first Seattle convention and I’ll be meeting lots of artists and attendees I’ve never met before!
  • Added all the new merch I’ve made so far this year to the Etsy store!
  • I have been bad about doing my weekly comics. ūüėź I think I let all this convention prep get the better of me…

Personal

  • Highlight of the quarter: I MET YASUHIRO WADA (the creator of Harvest Moon) AT AX AND GAVE HIM¬†MY HARVEST MOON FANART AND I THINK HE LIKED THEM! I also got to get his autograph (and made some friends in the autograph line — so nice to chat with other Harvest Moon fans!)
  • Got my tickets to FFXIV Fan Fest! I actually missed out on tickets, but it turned out that an FC member was able to snag a couple. See you all in Las Vegas!
  • Attended the Distant Worlds concert with some friends!
  • My boyfriend and I babysat a friend’s¬†kittens¬†for a few weeks and had a lovely time! Eevee is a super sweet, smart Abyssinian and Bansky the Bombay is a little terror that wants to hunt everything in sight (but is still very cute).
  • Tried a bunch of stuff to try and get more healthy. Started playing tennis on the weekends, and also started seeing a chiropractor and dietician for some other issues, though I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing it in the long term. We’ll see how it goes!
  • I’m learning¬†how to knit! I’m teaming up with someone at work to create a knitted Welcome Blanket that will go to refugees entering the U.S.
  • Anime:
    • Hanebado (was really excited for this, but I can’t get into the characters), Hinamatsuri (surprisingly funny and sweet), Cells at Work! (feels a bit too edutainment-y), BNHA (of course), Chuunibyou movie (super fluffy and romantic!), Asobi Asobase (I very reluctantly find this show hilarious), Harukana Receive (wanted girl’s sports anime, got fanservice… boo), Chio’s School Road (just ok), Gintama (I am never going to catch up), Voltron Season 6 (I mean, I’m just in too deep now)
  • Games:
    • Went on a mobage downloading frenzy (FF¬†Dissidia Opera Omnia, Grow Stone, Digimon Links, Dragon Village M, Idle Poring, and got back into Tiny Farm and Pokemon Go a little, please, someone help), Little Dragons Cafe (very cute but it’s laggy loading times makes it kinda hard to play), Rune Factory 4 (I still haven’t unlocked the third story arc but I finally managed to start dating some of the characters!), Story of Season: Trio of Towns (really addicting and cute!), and caught up on FFXIV patch 4.3¬†and 4.4.
    • I finished Nier Automata, and oh my god, what a crazy game. It defied all my expectations, to the point where I can’t decide if I even like the game or not.
    • Watching a lot of Starcraft recently! I only played the game a bit when I was younger, but I found that I enjoy spectating!
  • Lots of D&D this month!
    • My players and I managed to keep to a monthly schedule, and I think I really grew as a DM —¬†I had the epiphany that I should be rewarding¬†players for their own actions, even if I have to hastily improv something a little sloppy/dumb, rather than rewarding them for being able to read the preconceived scenarios that I have in my mind. That seems to work out way better (at least for my players). We also had a fun session where one of my friends joined us as a temporary guest player where he died at the end, and that was all very exciting and the scenario actually managed to bring a little emotion to the table. Success!
    • I also joined a separate D&D campaign as a player, this time with some grad school friends! It feels so good to not have to prep for sessions ūüôā

Chronicles: 2018 Spring

Another blog post that’s a little late!¬†I feel like I’ve traveled a lot the past few months (for both work and art).

Academic

  • A few friends teaching a social computing class invited me to give a guest lecture! I basically just gave my dissertation defense, but I think the students found it useful? I got to stick around and learn about their class projects and give some feedback, which was fun. Giving that lecture, and¬†knowing¬†the students were looking at me as an ~*~*industry person*~*~,¬†I¬†remember thinking, “Wow, I’m definitely not a student anymore.”
  • I’m serving on the CSCW program committee! Lots of reviewing and reviewer assignments these past couple months as submissions have come in.
  • Visited the Seattle Adobe office for about a week! It was nice to meet up with colleagues in person. I also got to visit my parents over the weekend and go hiking with them while I was there.
  • Then, the week after, I went to CHI in Montreal! It was my first time there and found the city lovely and very walkable.¬†A couple of¬†favorite papers:
  • A few weeks after that, Adobe had their annual research retreat, held at the Seascape Resort! Gave a talk¬†on¬†an early thoughts on a framework for designing (machine learning and crowd-powered) creativity tools and got a lot of positive responses and feedback.
  • I also went to HCIC 2018. I gave a talk with my colleague (and manager) Mira Dontcheva on the same idea I presented at a research retreat and got some good feedback there too. Social validation, yay!
  • A bunch of my friends defended this year! Congrats to Ethan, Will, and Niloufar!
  • Intern season at¬†Adobe¬†started! I am working with Grace Yen (UCIC), Eureka Foong (Northwestern), and Mackenzie Leake (Stanford) this summer.

Art

  • Wrote up a new tutorial, this time on how I cut small prints!
  • Finished¬†a¬†new Harvest Moon print, featuring the More Friends of Mineral Town cast!
  • Attended the artist alley at A-Kon! I had a great time meeting people and doing commissions, but I was a little disappointed by a¬†lack of communication from the artist alley¬†that resulted in a lot of artists (including myself) arriving one day earlier than they needed to — it turned out the artist alley was not open the first day of the convention! I used my extra day in Texas to hole up in my hotel room and do paper reviews for CSCW ūüėõ Also, I ended up getting stuck at the airport overnight while trying to come home :’D
  • The Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Fanbook I participated in was able to raise $1000 for Doctors Without Borders!
  • Got into Crunchyroll Expo‘s Artist Alley! I’ll be there from September 1 – 3 later this year.
  • I drew another Neat Things comic about how weird penguin skeletons are.
  • I did an interview with Sevengamer’s FFXIV Wiki about my artwork and life on FFXIV!

Personal

  • My dog died at my parent’s home earlier this year. I’ll miss you, Lucky.
  • I need to get back into exercising! Travel, combined with being sick and mildly spraining my ankle, made it so I haven’t been running or doing yoga for¬†a few months.
  • Anime: Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card Arc (still very cute!), Boku no Hero Academia (still my go-to shounen anime fix), Kino’s Journey (finished it! I liked the last two episodes a lot, but somehow it felt less serious and philosophical than the original series), Pokemon Sun and Moon (still super cute, funny, and well-written), RWBY Volume 5
  • Games:
    • Rune Factory 4 (finished Arc 1 and 2, just waiting for Arc 3 to trigger while doing town events and dating events with NPCs), Persona 5 (finally finished it! The ending was pretty crazy but I enjoyed it overall), Breath of the Wild (finished it as well, I loved the beautiful world and¬†I really like scholar/researcher Zelda in this iteration of the series), Granblue Fantasy, FF Record Keeper
    • I started¬†Nier Automata! FFXV is also on deck to play soon, but after Persona I felt like I wanted a break from a long JRPG.
    • I’m super behind on FFXIV! I haven’t played through 4.3 yet.
  • Podcasts:
    • I got to go to¬†the¬†MBMBAM and The Adventure Zone¬†live shows in San Francisco and had so much fun! It was awesome seeing some of my favorite podcasters live.
  • D&D continues!
    • Our group tried Roll20¬†for the first time since I was sick during our scheduled game session, and it went well! It was super nice being able to quickly pull together a map that players could move their own characters around. I tried forgoing battles completely for this session and doing a more roleplaying/social challenge¬†using initiative order, which I think helped make sure all players¬†stayed engaged.
    • I also tried a World of Darkness tabletop roleplaying game with some friends as a one-time player character! It was interesting playing with a new group. They were a bit more physically active in their roleplaying (e.g., having conversations in parallel in different rooms rather than everyone paying attention to everything) which was very new to me and hard to get used to, but they made me feel very comfortable despite how awkward and¬†shy I was being (thanks guys!).

Chronicles: 2018 Winter

This blog post is about a month-and-a-half overdue, but here we go!

Academic

  • Work continues to be hard but fun and interesting! My current struggle: figuring out how to reduce meetings and increase available time for research work. I’ve been asking some more experienced folks for advice and was relieved to hear that it’s perfectly reasonable I’ve been more meeting-heavy since I’m trying to¬†get to know people and figure out what projects to work on. I got some good pointers and encouragement on how to make sure I’m spending my time on the things I find most interesting. (Side note: my work colleagues are super nice and thoughtful people and I’m so glad I work with them!)
  • Worked with a few folks to submit¬†a talk¬†proposal to HCIC 2018! Will¬†it get in? I hope so! (But then that means I have to prepare a presentation, so…)
  • I interviewed potential hires for the first time! It’s super weird being on the other side of the table. I think I already¬†knew this, but actually¬†conducting interviews and participating in meetings about hires¬†really cemented for me how difficult and human (?) the whole process is.

Art

  • Participated in Hourly Comic Day!
  • Got into A-Kon‘s artist alley! I’ll be there from June 7 – 10 this year. It’ll also be my first anime convention of 2018,¬†which makes me a little nervous. It’s been a while since I’ve done commissions and travelled for a con!
  • Finished my first illustration this year: a portrait of Alphinaud and Alisaie from FFXIV!
  • Also did a few ink sketch portraits of my D&D players’ characters! A whole year ago I had done a few for two players for their birthdays and realized I had never given birthday presents to the rest of them… Better late than never?
  • Spent some time putting together some speedpaint videos of newer illustrations for my YouTube channel! I actually really¬†enjoy putting these together… it’s relaxing to see the end result and it’s fun finding and working with¬†music artists and¬†featuring¬†their remixes and songs.
  • Tried a stab at a new¬†type of comic for Herogirl that I’m¬†calling “Neat Things”, where I illustrate a fact or real-world story that I¬†find neat! My first one was about the history of citrus fruits.
  • I put¬†together my Inktober 2017 artbook and sent it off to print (finally)! I’ll hopefully have it up in my Etsy store soon.
  • Completed another full Hobonichi and started a new one! I’m so glad to have discovered journaling and I hope I can keep it up for many more years.

Personal

  • I made self-care a 2018 resolution for myself! So far, I’ve:
    • Started getting monthly massages. This is the one thing I’ve been looking forward to trying to do¬†now that I have more disposable income.
    • Started running twice a week! By “running”, I mean jogging lightly on a treadmill for like 15 minutes. My knees were not liking this, so at a friend’s suggestion, I got myself some new super-cushioned running shoes.
    • Committed to doing yoga twice a week! I’ve been doing it on and off for the past year, but now I’m making it a part of my weekly schedule. I just do it at home by following along with Youtube videos.
    • Made time for meditation. Now that I regularly take the train¬†to work, I’ve found it’s¬†provided me a way to get¬†a 10-minute meditation session in my day. I am still terrible at it, but hopefully this will help me do it more regularly.
    • Worked on better sleep hygiene. I’m trying a couple of different things to help me fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time (like, falling asleep in less than an hour would be really nice), like not eating and exercising at night and not looking at my phone in bed. I also started wearing an eyemask¬†— I used to think I was pretty good at sleeping with lights on, but the eyemask has been probably one of the most helpful things I’ve tried so far.
    • Tried out a daily “worry time”. I worry about everything, all the time, for any reason, so I thought I would try taking 20 minutes or so each day to worry as much as I want! My thought was that this would help me worry less the rest of the day, but so far I’m finding it just makes me more anxious than before. Go figure.
  • Anime: Girl’s Last Tour (my favorite anime I’ve seen in a while! Very cute and mysterious), Pop Team Epic (I can’t tell if I liked it or not, but it was… engaging?), Yuru Camp (the animation quality and characters were nothing to write home about, but it was a relaxing show and very good at making you want to go camping), Gintama (still good, still working through the archives), Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card Arc (enjoying it so far! It’s pretty true to the original anime, which I love)
    • Tried: Osomatsu S2 (I’m not sure why, but the humor just didn’t hold my attention this season), Love Live Sunshine S2 (the plots for each episode started getting repetitive), Darling in the FRANXX (no), Idolish7 (why did I try this), A Place Further than the Universe (looks great, but the story seems a bit heavy! I’ll have to come back to this), Violet Evergarden (same), Mitsuboshi Colors (animation quality is great, but I couldn’t get into the humor)
  • Games: FFXIV Patch 4.2 (finished Coil of Bahamut with some friends finally, cleared Byakko Ex, leveled some of my crafters to 70, and I changed my main class to PLD!), Dai Gyakuten Saiban (finished watching a let’s play of this, enjoyed the fun story!), Persona 5 (still working through it, still good, but¬†it’s so long), Granblue Fantasy, FF Record Keeper
  • Podcasts: The Adventure Zone: Amnesty, Wonderful, The Polygon Show, Acquisitions Incorporated
    • I¬†nabbed tickets to see MBMBAM and The Adventure Zone live in June!¬†Woohoo!
  • D&D:
    • Had my first session with my D&D group since October!
    • Because we’ve been having some trouble role-playing, I set up individual character brainstorming sessions with each player and I think that actually went pretty well! I’m also starting to see how a story can come together based on how characters’ individual backstories connect…
    • Built¬†a campaign wiki to help me keep in-game and DM knowledge separate and to have a place where I can keep session notes ūüėõ