Why do I write these blog posts so late? Anyway, here are some blurbs about what I did from April to June this year.
- 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)!
- 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.
- 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!)
The past few months have been wild, y’all.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
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.
- Visited Seattle for a work retreat! We visited the Bloedel Reserve, which was a lovely, quiet place to take a nature walk.
- Flew down to Austin, TX for CSCW 2020! A lot of the papers were about how machine learning and people (can) work together. Some interesting presentations/papers I saw:
- Did some reviewing for CHI 2020.
- It feels like the previous year’s winners of the Adobe Women-in-Technology Scholarship and Fellowship just got announced, but it’s already time to review applications for this year, so I did a bunch of that!
- Went on a big trip to Korea and Japan with my fiance and his family! Some notable stuff we did:
- 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!
- 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? 😅
- 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 😊
- 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!)
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…)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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? 😛
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).
- 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.
- 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 😛 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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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!).
This blog post is about a month-and-a-half overdue, but here we go!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 😛