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digital hoarding gardening tendencies

archived stuff, writings i've outgrown

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thoughts on neocities (also social media, web design, self expression)

posted 11/21/2020, edited 12/20/2020

first journal entry :') i finally decided to make this page because i was really inspired by some neocities sites with this hybrid journal-like opinion-column-esque writing, which 1) are really insightful and fun to read, 2) reminded me that once upon a time i used to write more, and (though somewhat obvious since im moving away from insta for similar reasons) 3) feels SO LIBERATING to thought-dump without wondering if anyone will Clap for my shitty articles on Medium. though i'm not yet sure how i will balance having this page AND a physical diary AND a physical sketchbook AND a digital diary AND way too many social media accounts (h el p m e)

speaking of social media, i want to explain in more detail why i wanted to make a neocities website, as well as postulate why i'm having so much more FUN than on social media (to be precise, it's mostly just Inst*gram lol)... i think for a long time, i was aware of just how unhealthy Inst*gram was for me, but it took longer for me to realize why and actually do anything about it. what set off the chain reaction of realization in my head was this insta post (ironic, yes, i know, but i'll also address this in a moment) – it was a slap-in-the-face reminder that Inst*gram is very ostensibly for-profit, and very much not for artists' and creators' profit. (this was coincidentally a month before Inst*gram made the profit-driven decision to replace the notifications button with a shopping button, but that just drove the point home even more.) i had been posting allll of my best photos and paintings on insta, and only on insta, which meant my work LIVED on insta, making it harder than it already is to extricate the number of likes from my personal satisfaction with my work. another moment of rage-turned-clarity was when i eagerly posted a drawtober illustration i really liked earlier than usual at 3am, and that post did historically awful, getting not even 10 likes, versus my usual 30 and occasional 50. there seemed like no point in marketing myself there if my audience is constantly axed by the algorithm even when i was posting daily.

unfortunately, the only thing keeping me from leaving the platform completely is all my irl friends and random mutuals i've met through events (pre-covid...) and insta and faceb**k groups (again, here we see how these platforms have helped me find community but keeps axing them in favor of their profit). i still need a platform to market myself to people i know, and there's not yet a solid replacement for insta in this aspect. twitter is an option, but i've weighed the pros and cons and the tl;dr is it feels healthier and more engaging than insta, but just isn't as widely adopted, which means a smaller audience by default. so it looks like i won't be deactivating quite yet, but already i feel my mindset and relationship to insta shifting for the better.

and by shifting for the better i mostly mean shifting my attention to neocities, which has been so much more fulfilling and less stress-inducing. right now i have a tiny network of fewer than 20 mutuals, but it all feels genuine and positive, with less pressure to pump out algorithm-friendly content and more creative freedom. and where many of my insta mutuals are those kind of compulsory ones accumulated randomly throughout college, neocities is by nature full of creative people with interests overlapping mine. no shade to those insta mutuals, who have expanded my network and helped me find cool online connections, but i keep being pleasantly surprised to find strangers with common interests and mindsets on neocities. i don't think i know a single person irl who spends their free time coding websites for fun LOL (i was gonna say i don't know anyone who codes for fun, but i do know people who contribute to open source for fun but that seems different enough that i Cannot Relate) i thought it was a quintessential millenial activity but i guess not...

now for outlining some of my goals for this website. as an infp i am usually so repulsed by the idea of setting goals and prefer to go by Vibes instead, but i do like to set my intentions so that i don't stray too far and stress out over non-issues. i started this website as a sort of digital sketchbook, to try out and share my explorations of whatever new visual style or javascript library or other cool idea i come across. in high school i wanted to be a web designer when i "grew up" and although i'm a little deterred now by knowing how difficult it is, i still carry that aspiration in the back of my mind. from where i'm standing now, i think someday i'd like to help other creatives build custom websites that best display their work in their medium for the online realm. well, that was a brief tangent of me daydreaming out loud, but to be clear my website is by no means a portfolio or a workbook on becoming a web designer. i'm just messing around throwing things (code) at the wall and seeing what looks cool, and maybe others can also find it cool and say hi. to be honest this sounds kind of hippie and abstract, because in reality i do some of this stuff in my day job and i can't help but want to make a well-designed, responsive, and accessible website! i guess these requirements don't have to stunt creativity, but are part of the challenge. maybe on days where i don't feel as inspired or creative i can do some accessibility testing.

these "goals" or intentions explain why the pages on my website don't match at all, besides the fonts and the nav. i'm tired of sticking to rules and expectations of perfection, usually imposed by myself but magnified on insta – for example, for the last 4? 5? years i have kept a tidy row-of-3 layout on my insta, and it is so hard to break out of because every new post ruins my layout... these kinds of rules followed to this extent haven't been conducive to my creativity, so here's to a new url new me :) if you've read this far thanks for following my shitty writing littered with cynical LOLs and thank you for witnessing my journey! <3

reflections from a day off – on stress, imposter syndrome, capitalism, etc.

posted 12/5/2020

this week felt like my longest work week ever. there weren't even any pressing deadlines or dumpster-fire emergencies, but coming back from thanksgiving break, my anxious little pea brain finally cracked under whatever invisible pressure it was under. to skip the lengthy tmi full story, the tl;dr is that my post-turkey-feast week involved a buffet of self-imposed overtime, flash-flood-style crying, and random physical ailments that seemed only explainable by stress, all culminating in an ugly and unceremonious breakdown on friday, topped off with a nervous and barely coherent request to take the day off. on the bright side (yes there is a bright side after that hell of a sentence) i spent the rest of my day post-breakdown actually unpacking all the mental bullshit that had been silently driving me insane for probably months. shoutout to my mom for listening and talking me through my breakdown and the retrospective for a whole 3 hours. i don't want to dive into the dreary details, but i just wanted to write up my revelations from today, as mantras or reminders to myself from now on:

i don't need to push myself to my limits to deserve happiness. i always felt married to this mindset that i need to be performant and high-achieving to deserve success and happiness; if i ever caught myself slacking, i would hastily punish myself with soul-crushing amounts of self-disappointment. this idea of "slacking" includes much-needed rest and self-care, which i end up witholding from myself or guilting myself for. i realized this mindset partially originated from my school days, when i got pretty good grades and subsequently felt pressure (from peer perception, myself, moderately from my parents, and from a shitty grading system) to always be on my A game and never make mistakes. before today i had been aware of how school had influenced my ethos, but i thought it was a thing of past and hadn't realized it's also the culprit for much of my present-day stress. the sad thing is that this mantra was already one of my well-established beliefs in my social justice journey: unlike what capitalism leads us to believe, everyone deserves love and care and security regardless of their life choices (bar maybe the most egregious and unapologetic criminals with a malicious intention to harm others? an unclear nuance; i digress). it is sad that i could never apply this sort of sympathy and kindess to myself, and now i wonder how that could have been hindering my ability to apply it to others too.

learning isn't limited to learning new equations and vocabulary and skills. most learning as an adult happens as simply experiencing experiences. note that i'm purposefully avoiding the phrase "gaining experience," because that sounds like some mystical ritual by which i gain exp points during my day-to-day work and level up like a fucking pokemon. by that definition of "learning," i feel like a lvl. 1 margikarp that only knows Splash, waiting for the day i *poof* miraculously evolve into gyrados. but learning is about experiencing experiences that end up being useful knowledge for handling some new project or situation later on in life. it's just that in my career span of one year i haven't yet been able to flex my one year of experiences, so it just feels like i haven't learned anything. i wonder when the many hours spent debugging some really stupidly simple bug will come in handy...

camaraderie at work isn't just about socializing and making friends, but also checking in and staying sane with like-minded folks. unsurprisingly, i have been very prone to comparing myself and my progress at work with the people around me. being so new in my field of work, which happens to have more abstract performance metrics than say a factory worker, i constantly feel like i have no idea if i am doing enough. this is likely compounded by my imposter syndrome, or more precisely my looming fear of being caught slacking and perpetual doubt that i am capable, so that even if i ask how i am performing, i just wouldn't believe it when they tell me i am doing well. but today i realized: every single person i had been working closely with, who i would compare myself to, has 5 or more years of experience MORE than me, not to mention having very different interests and/or being in a different life stage from me. a textbook case of apples to oranges. i never noticed the stark mismatch, simply because i never experienced what it's like to be surrounded by fellow near-clueless entry-level fledglings in a work setting. well, there was one other new grad on my previous team, but because of the way the team was organized we usually worked on very different projects and rarely interacted – though now i'm remembering the few times we chatted i had felt a sense of camaraderie and relief that he had similar experiences to mine. i'm tempted to chastise myself for not being more extroverted about reaching out to all the gen-z at work, but (bringing it back to my earlier point) i want to acknowledge and adapt to the less-than-ideal environment without needing to blame myself. now that i realize the apples-to-oranges gap, i hope this will recalibrate my expectations of both my performance and my social life at work, and help me be a little less harsh on myself.

i think i've been feeling stressed and very stuck for a while now, but i'm finally feeling hopeful because this feels like an actual mental breakthrough. i hope this means my stress-acne will start to go away, and shit will actually get better :')

a couple more thoughts, as an epilogue – i feel like i haven't read anything longer than a tweet in so long, that i can't tell if my writing sucks or not... thank you for making it this far, i hope this was more interesting than some dry self-help article on medium (lol i just love to hate on that app). i hope maybe this can be mildly revelatory for someone in a similar situation, and hmu if you want to talk these things out <3

notes on accessibility and implementation

posted 12/13/2020, last updated 1/18/2021

if you're on mobile, this article might not make total sense because the accessibility controls are hidden on mobile for now. but my thoughts on accessibility and stuff still stand

web accessibility is very important to me! i love making things, and i wish that as many people as possible can experience those things. here i want to explain my design choices, be transparent about how this page uses cookies, and also be a little opinionated :)

why and how does this page use cookies? i am storing a cookie to cache your preferences for 30 days, so that the website will remember if, say, you prefer dark mode with big text. i was inspired by the final bullet point in this article on dark mode accessibility. to be more technical, when you click on one of the accessibility options, the website will store a cookie that looks like pref=yny; expires=Wed, 06 Jan 2021 08:08:02 GMT; path=/, where i use "yny" to denote YES dark mode / NO easy font / YES big text, and the cookie will expire and automatically be deleted after 30 days. i want to demonstrate that cookies aren't all bad! the cookie that my website stores contains no sensitive information, but many webapps use cookies to store login tokens so that you don't have to type your password everytime. those coooould potentially be stolen to compromise your account, so it is best to clean out your cookies and logins once in a while. here's instructions for removing cookies from Google Chrome.

oh my god why Comic Sans??? it is a really good font for folks with dyslexia, because all the letterforms are uniquely shaped, making letters easier to differentiate when reading! here's an article on this, with additional sources linked. i think a lot of the hate for Comic Sans (and Times New Roman) is from the rampant overuse and misuse, which i totally acknowledge, but that doesn't take away from the fact that they're both really legible and Comic Sans especially feels easy on my eyes, dyslexia or not. sorry not sorry if you hate both fonts and i'm forcing you to look at one or the other LOL

oookay... then why Times New Roman?? 1) to be a rebel and/or piss people off. 2) i read online that it is a relatively pretty legible serif font, and i don't have a strong preference on serif fonts, so why not use the default font and reduce my page load time? 3) adding on to the rebel point, i feel like it looks kind of old-school, old web vibes? (i can't say for certain because my age demographic grew up on gmail... not very old web lol) so mixing it with modern html5/css3/javascript makes it look kinda edgy i guess. i think my website looks not too bad :P

why are you like this lol. shoutout to my parents for raising me to be a rebel, or at least just annoying <3

i digress, back to accessibility things. i believe every engineer should know and care about accessibility! which unfortunately not enough do! and i don't just view accessibility as "enabling access for those with disabilities," but also providing more choices for everyone to feel more comfortable, regardless of whether they have a diagnosed disability or not at all or something in between. i decided to work on this partly because staring at the walls of serif text on a white background was simply Too Much and i wanted a dark mode. i'm not saying you HAVE to do this on your website because it is your space to do whatever! i just believe that people making stuff used by lots of other people should care, and this is my playground to practice that. [added 1/18/21:] i thought of an analogy: your neocities site is your living room or bedroom, whereas a web application like gmail is a mcdonalds - you should be able to limit who goes into your room, but (i'd argue that) mcdonalds should be accessible to as many people as possible. [end of addition] tbh i don't expect my website to be 100% accessible at all times, especially when i am trying out new ideas, but this page contains an excessive amount of text so it was a good place to start. but if you ever run into an accessibility issue or some other bug on my website please let me know and i will be very grateful and try to fix it! i hope this was transparent and interesting and that you have a new outlook on Comic Sans :)

and some final technical notes on accessibility: i tested the colors on this page for color contrast using this checker, making sure all text/background color combinations pass. i also manually tested this page for keyboard accessibility, i.e. making sure all the links and buttons can be accessed via keyboard. i still need to do some research on optimal font sizes and line spacing, will update!

just lockdown things

added 12/15/2020, will be updated over time. last updated 2/4/2021

games | art | hobbies | shows | other

i've been working from home since march, and i can count the number of times i left the house for longer than 5 minutes on my hands... this sounds terrible and everything and yes it wasn't without a lot of crying and questioning my life, even though i have the privilege to be housed and fed and healthy and indoors this whole time, but my anxious little cancer sun / cancer moon / cancer stellium self has otherwise reeeeeally thrived...

saw this on twitter today, this is all i want to be. i think its by @plounce?

before covid i was already mildly struggling with work and work-life balance, but was also very preoccupied with constant fomo and not knowing how to spend my non-work hours in a fulfilling way. in contrast, these days (though i still struggle with work-life balance since i'm no longer constrained by the timetables of my public transit commute) in my crumbs of spare time i've really got to focus on myself instead of other people: i watched a bunch of online concerts that i probably wouldn't have gone to irl? i think my relationship with gender expression has improved? i have a slightly clearer picture of what i need from the people around me? i sorted out my relationship with social media? also i discovered neocities, lifechanging truly

if my life was an animal crossing game this would be the soundtrack

i'm pretty proud of doing lots of cool random stuff during the last 9(?) months. note that i'm not a dirty capitalist and i don't believe you need to have been "productive" during a global pandemic, i've just found bits of joy doing random hobbies and i think doing a loose recap will make me feel better about potatoing around and wearing sweatpants for 9 months l o l


  • in late march to april i racked up 100+ hours in animal crossing new horizons, before dropping it completely and neglecting my island for months lol
  • (update 1/2/21) i picked it back up recently, and i even celebrated the new years countdown in-game! a twitter mutual a few timezones ahead of me had tweeted about how depressing the new york ball drop was, so instead my family watched the countdown together with me and my cute little villagers! very cute 10/10
  • i am very attached to my diner-themed room!!
  • (i'm looking at my animal crossing calendar that i got with the game and where i took little notes to remember what i did in the last 9 months that feels like 9 weeks)
  • i played dragon quest 9 for a bit in october i think? i got much farther than when i last played it in high school, which is a nice feeling because i thought i'd be terrible at rpgs now after pausing for almost a decade, but guess not - maybe i did get smarter?? also realized how much has changed in 10 years, because the game has gendered equipment/clothing, e.g. boxer shorts can only be worn by male characters. meanwhile me with my all female party (only because the "female" characters had better hairstyles)... but it's okay i play animal crossing! (@ cyberpunk 2077 though lol.....)
  • i fiiiiinally got persona 5 after my friend casually recommended it to me a few years ago, but i suddenly remembered it because i was listening to songs from cytus on youtube and i kept seeing comments like "this sounds like persona" on my favs? so i looked up the persona soundtrack and WOW IT'S AMAZING so i had to play the game so that i'm not a poser... gameplay and art direction are exactly my style and so well done?? it's just when i'm stressed from work i don't like to watch dramas or anything with a storyline because it stresses me out even more, so it's on the backburner until i feel a little lighter
  • i'm an orbit, can you tell...
  • (update 2/4/21) i picked p5 back up the other day! after playing some ffxv i realized that if i focus less on the storyline and more on how enjoyable the day-to-day gameplay is, i don't have to feel as anxious about picking up the controller the next time. i think p5 does a great job at this (esp since i'm new to persona and this is my first playthrough) because i feel like i'm taking the story day-by-day just like the characters are. i elaborate more on this in this journal entry
  • and then i got all nostalgic about cytus so i bought that too! i used to play the free version on android, but i decided i am a working adult now i can afford a $3 mobile game. i played that for 3 days and abruptly stopped because it is difficult and because i am busy with another (easier) rhythm game:
  • imo this barely counts as a game but i play a lot of starship and woollim superstar. recently, fnc superstar got released but it is the worst of the ones i've played so i plan to drop that after i satisfactorily level up my sf9 card deck.. my favorite of the series is the starship one because wjsn and monsta x have lots of good songs! my wjsn card decks are my pride and joy! let me flex for a sec!!
  • this took a lot of grinding... 0 real money spent tho!
  • (update 1/2/21) during a video call recently, a friend raved about final fantasy 15 (ffxv) and described it as "boy band roadtrip," so of course i was instantly sold. i've been really out of touch with video games for the last ~6 years, but this piqued my interest enough to do a little research: i don't have a ps4 or xbox, so i found that my laptop (which has a graphics card because i originally thought i'd be doing more video editing) is actually capable enough for gaming, so i ended up installing steam and getting the free demo then buying a handheld controller then scoring ffxv and witcher 3 during the holiday sale (the friend who recommended persona 5 is currently into witcher 3, so i trust their taste in games). i think all this was a bit of a slippery slope because i'm so excited to rediscover my g a m e r days of old. i almost forgot how much i love rpgs (i guess dragon quest 9 just wasn't enough to scratch the itch; i think the immersive 3d worlds is what sold me)
  • (funny side story: i don't have a mouse, but i do have an ancient drawing tablet.. so before i bought the controller, picture me furiously scribbling and tapping my tablet pen to fight monsters... plus the fact i've never played using wasd in my life, it made for one painfully self-aware / hilariously bad noob gamer moment. thanks to the handheld controller, my ego is semi-restored)


    thanks for being interested in my website <3
  • i got my ipad and apple pencil and procreate in april i think? i'm still figuring it out but its a fun new medium i've never explored, you can see some of my explorations on the "my art" page heh
  • in july i started learning 3d modeling! 3d seemed really intimidating so i pushed myself to dive into it. i haven't practiced it much lately, but it was really satisfying to go from 0 to making simple but cool-looking renders. like here's the default cube with a couple of modifiers and the roughness set to 0 and i got my insta mutuals ooh-ing and ahh-ing lol
  • i joined some discord servers and took free online workshops and visited virtual zine fairs and galleries??? which i don't think i would have done most of that without being in lockdown! these are all things that make me slightly nervous so i am proud of myself for actually trying!


  • i'm as invested into kpop as ever. nct has been churning out albums this year, and it seems they release one whenever i'm having a bad time so their really hype title tracks end up being the soundtrack to my breakdowns...
  • yes, it is possible to cry to "ayyyyyyyy we ballin'"
  • still spending a lot of time on stan twitter. especially before discovering neocities, having convos with moots (and arguments with randos lol) was one of the main things keeping me sane? most of my irls cannot relate, but talking to semi-strangers has given me a lot of comfort over the years
  • i did a lot of online window shopping back in april, and i was strangely obsessed with really femme clothes? i've always liked these silhouettes for the aesthetic but they never look good on me, so being stuck at home made it seem more comfortable to wear? i mean, i bought some and still look shit in it, but that phase has since passed and i'm back to my boxy schoolboy outfits now
  • speaking of clothes, the ~5 times i left the house to do some quick shopping at target i put together some really nice outfits, because i only wore the pieces i really liked. and since i wasn't seeing anyone i knew i didn't have to dress for anyone but myself! pretty liberating tbh
  • (not pics of me but) one day i'll dress with the style and confidence of xu minghao...
  • i got a couple of new houseplants, which it seems like everyone i know has done, and i made a comic and a little zine about it! not sure where to post them yet but it's amazing how my plants literally sparked my inspiration
  • i got a mechanical keyboard?? which it seems like everyone has a mechanical keyboard now??? is it a quarantine thing? did you also get a mechanical keyboard in the last 9 months???
  • oh i just remembered, i got really into making these really low-quality kpop mashups in adobe audition (basically audacity, but expensive) back in July. basically ripping acapellas and fitting them on instrumentals lol. the soundcloud link earlier is one of them :)


  • in may (i think?) i group-watched The Untamed (i'll refer to it as cql, short for 陈情令) with my friends over video chat and got reeeeally invested... i was slightly hesitant at first because i was wary that the show might be full of queerbaiting, but even before starting the show i was kind of already in love with Wang Yibo and was willing to endure 50 episodes only for him lol... but even by ep 1, i got so invested because it was my first time seeing a story NOT centered around a het couple, and the lack of stuffy gender roles (think kdrama-style, male lead being borderline abusive and dragging the female lead aggressively by the wrist, which is supposed to be romantic somehow) was refreshing and got me saying "GOD I WANT THIS FOR ME" every episode :(
  • look at me as lwj! chilling in the cloud recesses!
  • (updated 12/20/20) around the same time, thanks to the youtube algorithm that knows how predictable i am, i also got really invested in the chinese idol girl group survival show, Youth With You 2 (i'll just refer to it as qcyn, short for 青春有你), for similar reasons. i'm guessing it has something to do with how sexualizing female idols for male audiences would be a big no-no in china, so instead they marketed the show with a message of self-expression and empowerment aimed at young women, and that resonated with me. shout out to lu keran for being my hairstyle inspo lol
  • i think Road to Kingdom (rtk) was around the same time as well, because i distinctly remember some nights where i stayed up watching cql and then qcyn and then rtk... by sunrise i was a mess because both cql and rtk (episode 3 goddammit) made me cry my eyes out :'''''')
  • started watching these: dance of the phoenix, teen titans, ojamajo doremi - gonna try to get through at least one of these during xmas break! (update 1/2/21) xmas break is almost over and i haven't watched a single one of these... but adding to my ever-growing watchlist, my friends want to watch this kdrama called lovestruck in the city, but i'm rarely in the mood to sit down for a tv show - i wonder whats the fine line between me being super excited about a game or tv show, vs me avoiding it like the plague..

miscellaneous? self-care, life organization, etc.

  • oooh i tried one of those online skincare services and it fixed my skin??? my skin was POPPING and not in a good way - she was breaking out like popcorn in the microwave.. but shes doing so good now i havent looked like this since freshman year of college! back when i was less stressed, i guess
  • i started using notion (no i am not paid to say any of this) - again, i don't think lockdown is necessarily a time to be productive. i said something similar in another journal entry: i hate the idea of productivity and prefer to go by ~vibes~ lol.. i just use notion to keep track of random chores / ideas / deadlines and organize my bookmarks / reading lists. it was really helpful when i was brainstorming for multiple zine submissions at the same time. also i use it to do a micro-diary where i log one thing i was proud of each day (whenever i feel like it or remember to) and i think thats been positive for my mental health
  • (update 12/20/20) i started using a productivity tracker today - again, it's not really for Productivity but because i keep working overtime out of anxiety (and no i don't get paid overtime lol) and feeling fatigued all the time, i want to have an objective picture of how much work i'm doing and maybe identify unhealthy patterns that's making me feel drained all the time
  • (update 2/4/21) i got a account a few days ago, and already it's telling me things i already know: my most listened song these few days is "ODD EYE" by Dreamcatcher, and my top albums are the P5 soundtrack and NCT2020's Resonance. surprise surprise. though because i'm still new to this, i get self-conscious about the fact that random shit i watch on youtube gets scrobbled so maybe the results are a little skewed at the moment, but i'm sure i'll get used to it soon enough. then we can accurately analyze and laugh at how much kpop / video game ost / eurobeat i listen to.

a digital fireplace

posted 12/24/2020, updated 12/25/2020, minor update 9/8/2021

my thoughts are still very incomplete, but i wanted to document my ideas and inspiration when i created /xmas.html:

i wanted to make a webpage that you can visit any time and leave on in the background for ambience, kind of like one of those 10 hour fireplace videos on youtube. i think personally i want to make art that gives off good vibes, not necessarily with a backstory or conveying any message. outside of neocities i haven't really found any webpage like this that was meant solely for vibes, as websites these days are always for consumption or selling you something. sometimes i try to leave youtube or twitter on my laptop screen while i'm drawing on my ipad, but it's very distracting (by design), just screaming out for you to scroll and engage and like and comment. hopefully i'll keep making these webpages that can bring you a bit of peace / comfort / lo-fi jazzhop lol

also wanted to credit my inspiration:

  • aegi's website is really inspiring for the world-building, interactive visuals, and overall good vibes
  • gatosalchicha's tv page def inspired the tv idea! overall super freshly-designed website
  • my "ugly" xmas sweater from walmart lol - i'll link a photo later
  • bikobatanari's thoughts on overconsumption - i'm def thinking about this when i say that we always visit websites to consume and not just to vibe
  • the lo-fi christmas mix itself
  • window swap (added 9/8/21) - i forgot to mention it here before, but adding it now so i can clean it up from my links page. simulates looking out a random window somewhere in the world, in both a digital and spatial sense. it's pretty and has a bit of organic white noise to put on in the background while i'm working.

and some changes i'd make if i had more time and longer attention span:

  • add a remote control to adjust tv volume
  • make the tv glow flicker, either randomly or according to the tv content
  • make the tree lights blink or change color
  • in general add more details and props to the scene. i like my illustrations busy like an I Spy book, but i got tired of spending so much time on this one thing. maybe one day when i'm better at digital painting i can do more complex pieces

diary-esque ramblings

i'm no longer updating here! please visit /diary.html for the latest :)

12/30/21: hope you're having a restful holiday season :) soon i will separately post a 2021 lookback and reflect on my not-resolutions from the start of the year, but for now here's my more short-sighted thoughts. lately, the bad: feeling stuck at home during the holidays, pessimism and existential crises from the state of omicron and climate change, belated guilt for going to a concert earlier this month, sad to possibly skip the concert in january, unsure whether i like my haircut and then spiraling into gender panic. the less bad: finally exercising again, picking up my bass again for fun, worked some sewing machine magic to alter some clothes i got online, successfully cooked most of christmas dinner by myself, playing some new video games and watching some anime, so glad i took plenty of time off work to reset my brain.

12/19/21: feeling a little better since the last entry because my work project seems to be wrapping up and i'm getting closer and closer to my week off but... can't help but feel a sense of doom as omicron rages on and it seems like no one (besides a minority of the most concerned and the most affected) is doing anything about it. my resolve to move out and start living my life is getting stronger, but... in this economy??

12/8/21: i sense another pessimistic diary entry coming up, because work has been beating my ass. which i feel like it shouldn't, because my gut tells me i was making steady progress throughout despite the roadblocks and unexpected setbacks but man it was so difficult and it feels so bad. that plus the social anxiety makes me feel really bad to 1) tell my team that i missed my time estimates and 2) meet and warm up to the new people joining our team lately and soon. that shit literally causing me to lose sleep and making my skin break out. thankfully i mostly solved it last night (4am? this morning?) and i feel noticeably better than yesterday, though i still feel so worn down, wrung out. and like... seeing myself like this, my higher self looking at my sleep-deprived earthly self with undereye circles, is kinda sad. especially because i feel so distant from being able to make art right now. these few days, seeing art online makes me so envious of others' time and energy and creativity. not to say that they don't deserve it or don't have their own set of struggles, just that i miss having that energy to create anything. deep down i know it's useless to look backwards but thinking about college when i was definitely more fearless about making art, even if (in my eyes now) it sucked. i also know that this feeling, even though right now it feels like the heaviest thing right now, can dissipate in a matter of days once i get some rest and recharge, but i'm still just so out of practice, the brain muscles have been left unused too long. makes me wonder if the "adult" work life has beat the joy and creativity out of me. maybe it's my own fault for letting it drag on like this.

i don't have any concrete resolution to this except i'll think about how i want to do better in 2022. to end on a happier note, i decided that i'm gonna treat myself more in 2022, so i already have a few concert tickets lined up, one next week and one in january! i'm going by myself because i regret missing some really good concerts in the last 5 years from humming and hawing because i didn't have any friends to go with. but fuck it if i wait around for other people to validate what i like i'm gonna die alone and boring. gonna get my booster shot and then see some of my favorite artists! hope this sets the tone for a generally better time in 2022

12/5/21: lately my social anxiety has been worse than usual, not sure why. feels like it creeps into every moment and interaction, whether online or irl. maybe i can blame instagram as usual, because i feel really weird about my social media presence lately, everything i post feels so cringe. also thinking about how a brutally honest friend (huhh usually *i'm* the brutally honest one! because i utter every thought i have when the social anxiety isn't quick enough to stop me, shoutout to my sagittarius rising) described me as perpetually caffeinated even when i'm not. another friend separately likened me to the 180 bpm osu-esque future bass that was blasting, saying she imagined it was what it sounds like in my head all times. and i think they're both right... tbh i think i knew this already, after all i've been like this pretty much since forever, but to have it described in words back to me is a weird exercise in viewing myself from the outside. this makes me a bit nervous, as i'm prone to overanalyze what other people think of me, but i keep coming back to the very grounding fact that i know i've been like this since forever, and it's not changing anytime soon. my inner anxiety voice wonders if this makes me weird and unpleasant, but my higher inner self assures me that this is my charm and should be treasured. still, the uncertainties persist and so i wonder what it would look like to finally (if ever) feel comfortable in my mortal human persona/avatar/mecha?? idk i'm just the little guy in "my" "brain" piloting this big dumb flesh mecha

november 2021

11/26/21: another thanksgiving where my mental health is in the pits. i think there's something about thanksgiving in particular... especially when i'm at home already, celebrating with family doesn't really feel like a special event and i just feel more obligated than usual to stay home, which makes me lose it because i feel like i have even less independence/agency than usual. also the whiplash after hanging out and going on a chaotic/fun roadtrip with friends for the last 5 days and then coming home and processing the pile of accumulated social anxiety by myself while my parents think i'm insane and add to my insanity by telling me to simply stop having anxiety. black friday has been a highlight though - yeah i hate consumerism and shit but i just bought a few pieces from this clothing brand i've been eyeing since 2016 but i didn't have the money or fashion tastes or confidence to justify buying. confidence is still lacking but since the pandemic and lockdown i feel like fuck it, life is short and gender is shit, i need to wear this stuff before i get old and/or die. also i genuinely feel happier when i'm dressed like a creepy porcelain doll. and lately i feel like my irl friends are getting used to how annoying i am (regardless of whether that's actually the case) so i feel a biiit more comfortable to experiment with clothes when i see them. it doesn't really help that i live at home and my parents are passively like "why are you dressed like that" when i wear my favorite things but my internet friends always hype me up and that makes me so happy. mentally i always circle back to "i want to move out" but change is scary and kinda annoying

11/11/21 (2): was feeling really shit today (seasonal depression? vitamin d deficiency?) until i caught up with a good friend and we ended up facetiming for 2 hours talking about everything under the sun... this is a reminder to call your friends

11/11/21: not sure if you noticed unless you've been keeping up with the neocities feed, but i added a new page that i really like! but i'm not sure where to link it yet. but basically i found a tool that solves the dilemma i mentioned in "a year online", of representing non-linear thinking on the web. even as a personal note-taking tool it's been really conducive to jotting down any stray thoughts and questions in a way that feels comparable to paper, but with the added benefits of hyperlinks and then publishing on here. you can create and save boards locally, so you don't need neocities or any web hosting to use it, 10/10 recommend!

11/1/21: i stopped working earlier than usual at a normal time today and my food even tasted better. is it that stupidly simple! also i have new website ideas but never enough time/energy to actualize them, and perhaps not enough people to discuss, develop, and hype up my ideas with? does anyone want to be my website friend pls hmu ;u;

october 2021

10/30/21: (see the previous entry which i wrote a few hours ago) just kidding! i finally finished the sort functionality! i can finally sleep well, after a whole week of rolling it around in my mind and thinking about how to implement it in the moments before i fall asleep each night (i'm not joking i've been doing this since high school, trying to solve math problems in my sleep lol nerd)

10/29/21: working on a sort feature for the journal landing page because i'm tired of defaulting to chronological order but its more complicated than i thought lol // people on the internet actually read and like what i put on here thats crazyyy i feel blessed but still inadequate especially with my low volume of output lately, i know it shouldn't diminish my worth as a creator but its the imposter syndrome leaking into every corner of my life, dam // a moderate week at work but still feeling sapped and didn't get much website-ing done :( i'll be seeing my friends tomorrow for (early) halloween i hope that's just what i need

10/24/21: really happy with the new journal entry i just put up! it has just the right amount of messiness to 1) mirror the way my train of thought jumps here and there and 2) not feel like a polished and clichéd thinkpiece, like i'd feared halfway through writing it. also, unrelated but i was browsing today and was reminded of a channel i follow called "website as architecture," which then reminded me of my latent interest in architecture and spatial design (is that a thing?) and my curiousity as to how it could inform my website-making, but this time i thought i should learn more and actually fuel this passion that i keep forgetting i have. i want to find some books and essays, and i found some free online classes around architecture that seem promising. i think this newfound appetite for knowledge this time around was sparked by some fun convos i had on discord about ugly vs good buildings. bless this discord server for reminding me that learning can actually be cool and fun! i'm so excited actually! who knew, i guess school sucks but learning is a different thing. i'll update with a journal entry or something when i have some progress and resources to share :)

10/15/21: feel stuck in a perpetual limbo between desiring independence and seeking validation. hopefully this will resolve itself when i move out next year (manifesting!) and maybe get a tattoo (hello kitty?) that my parents hate lol // not feeling myself irl lately, i don't know how i want to clothe and present myself, don't want to be perceived unless it's online // really want to work on my creative ideas but again and again i overexert myself at work doing not much but still feeling stressed, waiting for the holiday season to be my salvation // i'm falling behind on kpop updates and gossip these days, am i growing old? old and boring? boring or burnt out? god i hope not

10/10/21: happy one year to this little website <3 i'm so thankful for all the connections i've made just from putting up bits of code on the internet. here's to many more years, i love this little space i've created for my favs and thoughts and worries and dreams that i'm sure i will keep nurturing it, unlike all the productivity and social media apps that i inevitably drop after a few months. funny that the facebook outage last week (the most peaceful 6 hours i'd had all week) was perfectly timed right before my website-birthday, almost as a literary foil to contrast my cute little website against how those apps fill me with some amount of dread every time i reflexively open them without even thinking. alright that's enough of my anti-instagram sentiment, i'm sure you get the point by now, from how often i bring it up in this journal... i think i was stuck in a creative rut in 2020, having left school and still figuring out work-life balance and then thrown into a pandemic. but working on this website has been helping me build my sense of self, both as an artist and as an overthinker who needs somewhere to release all the pent-up thoughts and feelings and ideas. it's also started conversations with really cool people online, without which i probably would have perished, sad and isolated in my room. i want to keep growing this website, not necessarily increasing my view count or file size, but to incrementally transform it as i grow as a person. something something ship of theseus. i'm curious what new conversations it'll eventually lead me to. also i'm thankful to anyone and everyone who ever stopped by my website, maybe browsed around and wrote in the guestbook or come back for updates, or maybe none of that. paradoxically, being perceived might be just as important as existence in the first place (at least in terms of art). thank you, hope you're doing well <3

september 2021

9/16/21: finally have a day off after one of my top 3 most stressful work weeks to date - i desperately need to dump thoughts that have been slow-cooking in the back of my mind. i'm back to feeling dissatisfied with the art i've been making. i think the easy answer to this is that i've been too overwhelmed by work to have energy for tinkering with my websites, which is probably my favorite creative medium. specifically i say websites, because i was able to squeeze in some drawing and zine-making in this past month, and while i'm satisfied by the outcome and the positive response, the art style and content just doesn't feel right. the issue isn't that it's not genuine, because this *is* how i draw and these *are* my experiences i'm depicting, but i think it's a symptom of feeling drained and pessimistic. these feelings don't translate literally into my art, but certainly means it's less inspired than i'd like. another practical reason is that i haven't had the energy to practice drawing (or other mediums, besides coding) at all, so i feel like i lack the visual language to communicate my ideas in the rare case that they're actually interesting. at this point it's tempting to jump to the conclusion that i should just get back into the grind and improve my drawing skills, but i think rest and health are implied prerequisites. and with that i think i'll go easy on website updates for another week or so, for my sanity - take care!

9/8/21: i stupidly had a medium-sized cold brew yesterday and had the worst non-sleep of my life, just dreading the end of the world until sunrise, highly would not recommend. also random but been chewing gum a lot lately, my weird sleep schedule makes me crave food at ungodly times so i chew gum to trick my brain, but also to feel like the delinq high school student that i wasn't... remembering how relatively straightedge i was back then, although already kinda weird. in 4th grade someone called me weird and they were right and it has stuck since

9/4/21: been thinking a lot about life lately. that sounds really corny but amidst the upsetting news headlines, shit politics, a whole pandemic and its non-believers raging outside, and me burning out at work and barely leaving the house again, i think it follows that i feel a little bit pessimistic. it's funny how life feels like an rpg - i often say this ironically, but it truly feels that way. shouldn't a role-playing video game, as merely a man-made simulation of real life, be simpler than real life? in mechanics and complexity, yes, but maybe real life isn't actually that complicated either, at least in principle. comparing my life to video games has been really comforting, espceially when i feel like i'm "doing it wrong" - life is an open world game like BotW, except the idea of a main storyline or quest is much less rigid. in most cases, you are not the destined knight burdened with the task of saving your entire kingdom from singular evil and subsequent ruin, unless you decide to be. me, i'm just doing some side quests, exploring a little bit, and vibing, without any intention of speedrunning or completionism or saving the kingdom. and i think that's okay.

9/1/21: hey there, it feels like it's been so long once again - i've been really overwhelmed by work lately. my lead specifically told me not to burn out because work is busier than usual, and lo and behold... my sleep schedule has been solidly flipped over for the past month-ish: sleep late, wake up late but just in time for meetings, take midday naps, work late at night, sleep late, rinse, repeat. i settled into this strange schedule in the first place because it works for me, but i'll admit that the negative points are probably exacerbated by the bigger workload than usual. feeling like i have so little time and energy for fun stuff lately, unless i stay up even later at night (it's 3am right now, which is actually kind of early lol). i felt the most relaxed and creative last weekend because i had an extra day off, but on monday i was back to being a whole zombie. waiting for work to chill out... also waiting for covid to be less bad so maybe i can have more distractions or reminders to step away from work? to be honest that sound a little too aspirational bordering on delusional, because i know i wouldn't magically change if covid disappeared tomorrow. i don't know. maybe i just need a vacation and some extra sleep

misc website thoughts - how to make my writings feel more like a garden and less like a static chronologic blog? specifically, how to update writings to grow as i grow while preserving the process - some idea of version control, but visually flattened to show history at a glance - i'm thinking something like google docs suggestion mode, but would it overly clutter the reading experience? i want to develop my "thoughts on neocities" journal entry without erasing the snapshot of when i first wrote it

august 2021

8/15/21: and another weekend staying in. i feel a bit of fomo seeing hangouts and concerts and stuff on social media, but not enough fomo to override my overwhelming need/desire to stay home. i've been dead silent on my instagram account, which makes me a bit antsy but, like the fomo, i can't find the energy for it at all. work is still going full steam, so i've desperately needed these weekends to chill. as usual, doing little creative things is my way to unwind and lately i've been dabbling in garageband and audacity. i realized music is the one hobby i occasionally play with despite being awful at it - unlike my other creative endeavors, somehow i give myself permission to be bad at music and not feel pressured to post my creations for likes and stats, because its just fun.

8/8/21: finally got some rest this weekend after a really long week stressing myself out about work - i was so stressed by myself that i didn't feel like i had any free time besides squeezing in an hour before sleeping late each night to play some mahjong on my 1st-gen DS that i dug out and charged, works great - no internet, just vibes. i already decided last week that i would do nothing and stay in all this weekend to recuperate, and it worked :') i tried to sleep in on saturday but i think i was so used to stress-sleeping all week that i kept waking up, but sunday i got in 10 hours and finally felt better, feeling more peaceful and creative again, what a relief. my creative juices flowing again, just for me to go into garageband on my ipad again to make some cursed kpop mashups lol - it's just so fun to make without caring about rules or quality, i'm just fucking around, why not?

8/1/21: july was another tiring month even though i'd hoped otherwise - well, for the most part i got to take a break from my personal creative projects as planned, but with my friends all getting vaxxed i've had more hangouts lately and maybe i'm getting old or our brains were rewired by the pandemic, but going out every weekend has been unexpectedly exhausting. i'm craving some quiet time to tend to my online spaces, and myself too i guess. i notice that with any irl group i hang out with i inevitably curate and abridge myself to fit in with my surroundings, at the expense of me feeling less whole and a bit drained each time. also, i think this website needs a fresh coat of paint, tbd!

july 2021

7/25/21: expectedly, another relatively long break from neocities after pulling a week of all-nighters to finish my ambitious birthday website (see the previous entry). projects like this are super exhilarating but obviously drain the physical/mental/creative energy out of me for at least a month. that plus a few weekends of social events one after another have just knocked me out, been needing a lot of naps lately.

but this weekend was really restful! i finally got my alone time (not counting cats), recharging and finally feeling creative and less anxious. the "less anxious" part especially is such a relief. i'm currently catsitting for a friend, and it's my first time living alone in over 2 years. the first couple hours felt so strange, but once i settled into it i felt so at ease and content, even though my friend's house is a little (a lot) messy. my other very type-a friend was shocked that i'd agree to housesit such a messy house but i'm doing very well, i guess i'm not type-a. i've been thinking about moving to my own place, but a few people have warned me about how lonely it can get so i'm testing it out, and i feel a bit more resolved now because i think i'll like it. i'm glad things are finally looking up a little bit, at least personally, while the world outside seems to burn (almost literally). but "the end of the world" is actually the easiest outcome, since the difficult stuff comes from living out each day, which i might as well do if our time here is so limited. it's getting late and my mind is wandering... anyways, i genuinely hope you're doing well :)

7/7/21: returning to neocities always feels like returning home after a long trip and crashing comfortably into my own bed. this time i was busy working on a little project on the side, which was super fun and fulfilling but sucked the living juices out of me over the last two weeks, so i'm very glad to come back and rest for a bit. the project was technically super interesting and got a lot of positive feedback, so i want to write up a journal entry with my reflections/learnings. in the meantime i will catch up on sleep and take it easy until my next project reveals itself to me like a prophetic vision lol. i'm also starting to feel a tiny bit discontent with how this website looks again, i think some pages could use a refresh but i have no timeline for when that will happen while i'm recovering my creative energy. i also want to catch up on my neocities feed and see what my neighbors have been up to lately, hope you're doing well :)

june 2021

6/27/21: i have some updated thoughts since the last somewhat pessimistic diary entry - i had a really good time hanging out with my friends this weekend (there's some overlap with the friends i hung out with previously so i'm partially retracting my pessimism haha). i had a personal mini-crisis on friday right when i was supposed to hang out with one of them, but she was fine with my anxious self and i actually felt really comfortable and comforted. later we met up with another friend and we watched kpop for 3+ hours LOL - then today i hung out with a larger group to celebrate a birthday. there were some faces i hadn't met in person or hadn't seen in a long time, but nonetheless i felt comfortable and accepted and appreciated for my presence, even when i made a terrible joke or awkwardly tripped over my own words. i think i was wrong last time - i do feel like my friendships have matured along with us, slowly and not always very obviously but surely. or maybe its just me growing into a more mature mindset, with better expectations for my relationships. thats probably it. either way i'm happy about it :)

also, i haven't been as prolific about updates on this website because i'm working on some other website ideas i have. some of it can be found here, and i'm currently working on another one - i was really inspired by a url interactive zine fair i attended, so i decided to make a birthday party website for my birthday! its been a wild ride learning server-side web development for it (hence why i'm on neocities less, because i had to find another platform that supports server-side development), and i hope to show it off here soon. i actually have a lot of ideas for my neocities website too and especially the journal, but i'll get back to it after my birthday :) hope you are doing well, dear reader

6/19/21: hello i'm back! it simultaneously feels like it's been a long time yet not really. after lockdown has fully fucked up my sense of time and space for over a year, i hung out irl with some vaccinated friends the past couple weekends, which has been nice but equally disorienting. a lot of times i find myself much rather wanting to be online on neocities and whatnot than socializing irl/afk... is it a lingering symptom of lockdown, or is my body actually being honest for once about its wants, needs, and boundaries? either way, with things seemingly open now i regret how it's harder to decline invites again, purely for my own sanity vs pulling a covid-related excuse. i'm sure that not being in complete lockdown will be better for my mental health, but i also don't want to go back to my depressing pre-lockdown life, but i also cannot envision a new lifestyle for myself. i feel lost and unmoored. my online presence remains the only constant and safe haven...

6/7/21: i've mentioned here before when i made an account (in january? february?) to see what kind of music i was listening across all my different platforms (youtube, apple music, bandcamp, soundcloud), but now 5 months later i've decided to uninstall it. after a few weeks it was already pretty clear that kpop is overwhelmingly my top genre, and that didn't come as a surprise. yet, it feels kind of unfair because i have a lot of music interests scattered across different genres, but i tend to loop a handful of kpop songs while i work for 8 hours monday to friday for the predictability and to help me focus, so these few songs overtake my other music count-wise. seeing the stats week after week made me kind of self conscious to the point where i would try to avoid listening to kpop to kind of finesse better stats, which might be good for discovering new music, but it felt unnatural (lol) and kind of forced to have my behavior dictated by a statistic. i wish the app had a "distinct count" metric which would highlight the breadth rather than the volume of my musical consumption, but i guess the pm at didn't consider that, for whatever reason.

i'm starting to think that this is the central flaw with capitalism's obsession lately with data-driven decisions, because it frames truth as something easily capturable by a handful of quantitative metrics, and fails to acknowledge factors and symptoms not found by crunching numbers. this take might put me at odds with many of my peers at work (i work in tech), where so many people make a point to "optimize" their lives and their productivity, but i just want to live naturally and softly, allowing myself to morph and adapt with my mood and the seasons. similarly, i've previously mentioned using a productivity tracker to figure out what times of day i focused best, and after a few months i got my answers but my continued usage was becoming another piece of mental overhead too so i deleted that app. so this isn't to say that data is useless, because i got some interesting insights while using these apps, but i think relying on them long-term was creating more stress than use for me. not sure how to wrap this up nicely because i'm just thought-dumping, but i hope you might also re-evaluate what apps and routines aren't actually working for you and just delete them :)

may 2021

5/29/21: it feels so nice to be back on neocities :') the worst part of being burnt out lately was feeling uncreative and having zero energy at all times, so i couldn't even de-stress by making things if i wanted to. i'm very happy with my website updates lately, so i finally submitted my website to another listing - it got accepted! it feels great to see my humble website next to some really creative ones out there. also starting to see my friends again - they stopped by to drop off coffee/food a couple times, and we just stood on the sidewalk and gossiped - it was so strange yet sort of comforting. i'm very excited to hang out with them for a longer period of time tomorrow, but i'm subconsciously very stressed about re-learning to interact with friends and the outside world afk and not just online... consciously i'm sure it'll be fine, judging by the few times i did have to do stuff and run errands outside the house, but i stress anyways. wish me luck :')

5/23/21: indeed the side effects of the second shot totally knocked me out, starting with nausea and chills at 6am, at which point i immediately took some painkiller (and throughout the day) which helped a lot. stayed in bed pretty much all day, did some reading, played a lot on my DS. despite feeling physically like shit it was a good day :)

5/22/21: i'm back (!) after a long almost-month feeling always burnt out and uncreative. i'm writing this while lying in bed because i'm kind of feeling the side effects of the second vaccine dose and i'm bracing myself for even worse, so i'm tucked in bed with all these toys and gadgets around me to keep me entertained - my DS, some books, some tylenol, some vitamin water, etc. weirdly, the act of anticipating being sick and bedridden for a whole day has been strangely liberating - this might be the first time in a while that i've given myself full permission to rest. i say that i'm lazy and hate work but anxiety always gets the best of me, so i end up always working on something even on my days off. but nope not today - well actually, ironically, in my mentally rested state i felt more creative than usual today so i actually did a lot of stuff (like work on this website!), but i kinda feel great. it'd be nice to stay like this for a bit :') i feel like i've missed out on a lot of my mutuals' website updates during my time afk, so i'm excited to go through them from the comfort of my bed tomorrow (i expect the micro-flu to hit then **sweats nervously**). i've missed being on here, i feel like i digitally returned home and finally took a deep breath

5/8/21: feeling a tiny bit better today, but only after having a 3am breakdown after the last journal entry where i suddenly and conveniently at 3am faced a barrage of revelations about the source of at least a fraction of my latest fears and anxieties. the entire next day was just spent in shock processing these revelations so i felt super mentally fucked and distant all day. i feel like i'm still reeling/recovering but i've had more revelatory (but thankfully less jolting) moments since - i started budgeting more seriously, trying to fully understand how everything adds up, and that's given me a renewed sense of agency that has lessened the anxiety a little bit. also kind of silly but kind of symbolic, but i decided that when i move out i want to get my first tattoo as a mark of my agency over my own body. oh and the other revelation i had was that if i don't change my mindset/lifestyle to address shit that was already bothering me pre-lockdown, my moody pessimistic self runs the risk of using the pandemic as an excuse to be resentful and closed-off even once it's safer and things open up. lockdown has been a time of (forced) transformation but it would all go to waste if i keep living like i'm in 2019 after this ordeal. admittedly change is hard, because i can't even envision what a happier lifestyle and a happier me would look like, since i haven't lived it - chicken or the egg?? actually i think i need to read books, my imagination is probably shit because i haven't read in forever.. how do people have time to read and learn for the sake of learning? i feel like i mentally perish at work a little bit, and once i log off i don't have enough braincells left to do anything but watch wjsn videos and cry a little.. how do yall do it...

5/6/21: an epilogue to the previous diary entry - afterwards i thought it wasn't actually burnout because i remembered i got my first vaccine shot earlier that day, because i completely knocked out that night and the entire next day lol... but then i continued being exhausted and vaguely depressed for the entire week so i was like "okay maybe it IS burnout after all" lollll

i've been seeing a mental health coach (aka therapist Lite) because i have no idea how to deal with my Feelings these days... we agreed i should work on releasing them instead of keeping them pent up, so here i am being uncharacteristically open (?) about how i've been, but also because i don't know how else to get it out of my system. i don't know where's the sweet spot between talking things out with people who care and straight up trauma-dumping on friends and strangers. in the past i've tried talking things out with my parents but historically that usually exacerbates my anxieties lol (because their viewpoint is never objective for me because i'm afraid of disappointing/scaring them). i am a little alarmed at how often i've been feeling terrible lately, but if i take an honest look at my pre-covid mental health it already wasn't great, i just had more distractions and less time to unpack my problems and journal them out. also because since forever i've convinced myself that my problems aren't real problems because i have a stable home and a steady income. except last thursday i couldn't focus at work for my life and i cried uncontrollably all day so mayyyyyybe lol - also im starting to think that moving out is my only or one of the few options for me to feel happier, but idk if that's necessarily true. just the thought of moving out has been creating so much anxiety, but maybe that mental pushback just means it's something i need to overcome for the better? i have no idea. i don't know. i wish i knew. maybe i feel a little better having written this out, i seem less insane in writing than in my head

oof my "jaja" song review still isn't done yet... i guess its fine, i ordered the album so maybe when that arrives it'll give me a boost to actually finish it.. kind of excited for my first penomeco album, plus i thiiiink it'll be signed :')

april 2021

4/24/21: i think i'm burnt out again... i keep convincing myself i'm not, so the only way i can tell is by how uncreative i am.. i was pretty excited about watching a babycastles livestream and also second sky today (at the same time so i had two tabs open and alternated muting one or the other lol) but i was so tired i passed out midday and missed much of both :( i already took yesterday off but that was barely enough for me to sleep in and recover maybe 50%, and i'm stuck still paying off the interest on the body-debt of burnout...

4/20/21: after putting wjsn's "unnatural" on repeat non-stop for the last 2.5 weeks, i have a new musical obsession - my favorite rapper/producer penomeco finally dropped a full album - my god it is so well-produced and exactly my style, and in particular the title track "JAJA" and its music video are SO GOOD i almost don't know how to put it into words????? also no one in my close circles really follows penomeco, it's kinda sad... i ended up making my mother listen to me wax poetic about the album all day today lol (sorryyy) so she suggested i write about it, and honestly i can write a whole essay about the music video, which sets up the atmosphere and tells a story so well i cried the first few times i watched it. watch out for that journal entry coming soon, it'll probably be a long one ^^;

4/17/21: im so so so relieved to finally be done with this week - i haven't had a week that felt this busy since college. on paper it doesn't sound like much but i guess theres a big difference between working full-time and going to school full-time (and regularly skipping classes lol). among several other deadlines and things going on lately, i finally finished my zine submission (!) which has been weighing on my mind for the past month and stressing me out for the past week, because unlike my last submission which came together serendipitously quick, this one took a lot more exploration and restarting and tweaking to arrive at something i'm happy with. thankfully i do have something that i'm pretty happy with by the soft deadline, though i'm still plagued by self-doubt telling me its not good enough, but i'm too just exhausted to do anything about that lol. our zine should be coming out soon, maybe i'll post about it then :) i'm kinda excited to see my piece in print, and i hope seeing it in my hands will push aside that self-doubt :')

4/7/21: it's been an exhausting half-week... i was blazingly productive at work these few days but i think i burned myself out really quickly that way... but ironically after spending so much time staring at my work computer the only way for me to wind down is to stare at my personal computer and work on my neocities site lol

march 2021

3/31/21: NEOCITIES USER NYANSEONG IS ON WJSN LOCKDOWN !! no actually WJSN's new song is so so so good i've been thinking about it and repeating it all day ahhhhh - i cannot express how much i love them and their music and their concepts, i need to make fanart but not sure what.. but i have some deadlines coming up so maybe jumping into a new side project isn't the best idea right now lol anyways stream "unnatural" and watch my best girls absolutely kill it ahhh <3

OH i almost forgot to link my finished webzine - i spent last weekend touching up my webzine from web art jam the weekend before, and it took way longer than i anticipated but here it is! writing alt text for all the gifs took a significant chunk of time because its a language muscle i havent flexed much, but its worth it because it has become a part of the artwork - take a peek at the alt text (maybe on a second playthrough) if you're interested :) anyways please check it out and lmk what you think <3

3/23/21: feeling kind of sleep-deprived again from the weekend, but for a wholesome reason? i spent all weekend working on a fun little website/webzine thing for web art jam. i decided to host it on github instead of neocities because its a one-time thing, so i thought it wouldn't make much sense with the neocities concept of profiles and feed updates - anyways. i wrote a whole word dump yesternight in my notion journal but i'll spare you all that and summarize. so i had this idea for a website floating in my head that would be convenient to make during web art jam because the theme is in line with some zines i wanted to submit to soon. but upon more research i realized that those zines didn't exactly fit my vision or my timeline, which is kind of a bummer BUT over the weekend i connected with so many inspiring creators and got the chance to showcase my webzine on other platforms i didn't previously consider?? now yes i am going to tie the moral of the story to kpop but somehow i feel like this echoes the brave girls story, how life has its strange and sometimes serendipitous timing. also adding to the kpop update, yes 1team disbanded but perfectly adding on to my narrative, rubin opened his instagram account and he's a tattoo artist now?? where one door closes another opens i guess truly

3/19/21: in the last month-ish i've been feeling really stuck creatively and undeserving of calling myself an "artist" but these couple days i had a huge epiphany revelation: i'm experiencing this because i'm actually at a crossroads / turning point in my interests.. 2 years ago i was super into photography (and not in lockdown) and churning stuff out pretty regularly so i felt really comfortable calling myself a photographer, but since starting full-time work my tastes/interests/availability has shifted a lot, to the point where i'm kind of lost and not really practicing or producing much art. i don't feel like an artist because i haven't created anything substantial and cohesive lately that i really enjoy. (i do love my website but it just doesn't feel very focused to feel like my "art", it's more of a messy sketchbook.) this was kind of a jarring and slightly embarrassing realization... i realized i'd been spending more time consuming other people's art online than making my own... but! i won't blame myself too much because i think i've been in a looong transitional phase of self-discovery (also in a global pandemic and witnessing multiple national crises), so it's wonderful that im finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. i think this realization is a solid kick in the ass to start working on my art again, like how i grew a lot in my photography back then. this time around i think i want to explore the web medium more, since my nerd ass actually really enjoys programming and the internet is perfect for lockdown.

maybe my realization had been sparked by joining Web Art Jam lately? some really inspiring talks and just being around a really cool community, kind of like when i discovered neocities. i feel super nourished with inspiration, so its time to get to work :) the jam is happening this weekend so we'll see what i can hammer out - convenient because i have a few zine submission deadlines coming up... diamonds are made under pressure or whatever, amiright. shoutout to neocities too for planting these seeds in my head - i think high school me who wanted to be a game/web designer would be happy to see me now <3

3/19/21 (2): SHIT. "REVELATION." that was the word i was trying to remember earlier but i didn't, so instead i used "epiphany" and now my shpiel sounds like one of my corny high school english class papers....

3/13/21: feeling super inspired but sleep deprived... half-baked ideas floating in my head but not enough energy to want to do anything about them.. zzz

3/12/21: some thoughts on recent kpop news (bear with me, there is an interesting, non-kpop-related moral of the story) - lots happened in kpop this week but notably, one of my favorite groups 1team announced their disbandment, and brave girls is suddenly at the top of the charts for pretty much the first time in their career. life can be so fickle and treat people so differently at the same moment in time.. the 1team announcement didn't really come as a surprise after they've been completely social-media-silent for 3 months, but its still sad because they are so talented and had so much potential. on the other hand, the brave girls comeback(?) has been the most wholesome thing in 2021. [to recap, brave girls was on the verge of disbandment but then a fanamde edit of their song from 4 years ago went viral and reminded everyone how good that song is, shooting it to the top of every korean chart ?!] watching them in recent interviews and performances (as well as the video that went viral) and just seeing how happy and blessed they look to get an unimaginable second chance in the fickle and brutal entertainment industry is so heartwarming and gives me so much hope. i was looking up more brave girls content and was reminded that the member eunji had briefly appeared on the tv show queendom, but didn't really get much screentime or attention from it, but now the clip of her appearance has 1 million views on youtube? i feel a little bad for doubting her back then, but then its wildly humbling to realize that her appearance wasn't for nothing, that it would come back 2 years later, and their song would come back 4 years later. reminds me that the universe has its own timing, and nothing we do is ever wasted... 1team has blessed me with such good music in these last 3 years. and maybe sometimes miracles like brave girls happen, it just takes years and a bit of well-timed luck for your hard work to come to fruition. they look so radiant! i will cry

3/8/21: feeling a bit exhausted in a good way because i've been exercising(???) daily the last few days - i've been exercising regularly with a friend over facetime for a few months now, and lately i just realized i gained a tiny bit of muscle since last summer? what a relief because i thought i was gonna fully deteriorate thanks to this lockdown. back in 2020 i could tell my joints were getting really creaky and my stamina had gone to shit, like one stroll-lap at Target would lowkey knock me out LOL but these days i feel a little better, its a really encouraging feeling - shoutout to my friend for bugging me to exercise or else my joints would have fossilized by now

3/5/21: great i feel slightly less hateful today lol. still listening to onf "beautiful beautiful" nonstop it is a bit of an obsession; this performance video is my favorite version and i watch it on loop. i watched it so much i started to pick up the choreo so i started to learn it and mannn the cardio of it all. also someone on discord shared this cool small web directory today and some of these websites are lowkey mind-blowing ? i feel inspired but then the dissatisfaction with my own work is settling in again... i want to submit my site and also i want to join an art-themed webring but i haven't made anything in forever i don't feel qualified hmmmm - whatever i should try to sleep at a socially acceptable time today ALso this journal.html is getting kind of hefty, note to self i will refactor it into iframes sometime

3/4/21: oh man its one of those "spend too many hours mentally at work, take a nap at 11pm, then binge kpop and uwu at my favs" kind of nights. i love onf and golcha a surprising amount for not being in my top 5 groups. many thoughts being thunk... just thinking how its really annoying that some (many?) of my irls assume im extremely horny judging from how much i love my kpop boys when no ? literally i am the least horny person i know ? 99% of the time i feel 0 sexual attraction to these idols or anyone really (the two kpop exceptions so far were moonbin and jaeyoon lol i digress) - i just really appreciate pretty people with really good stage presence, and that enthusiasm comes off as "horniness" im guessing because the people assuming that about me *are* that horny themselves. how do i let people that i'm probably ace/demi and to leave me alone without going through the motions of "coming out" ? i find the concept of "coming out" really restricting, as if i have something to keep in the closet when i feel like an open book that no one is reading (or they're Spark Notes-ing it all wrong). i guess if you are reading this, then congrats on knowing im probably ace and if you keep assuming shit about me go fuck yourself~ <3

3/3/21: happy march! i'm glad i survived february, what a month - i started out the first 12 hours of february 2021 fucking up both by knees and then concussing myself a little bit, and also it has been a whirlwind of a month on kpop twitter lol. i'm super exhausted today but it feels really calming and reassuring to work on my website a little bit, it feels like reclaiming a part of my day for myself that was full of work and meetings and group chats and virtual hangouts

and maybe it's the fatigue talking but i'm going through one of my regularly-scheduled creative ruts where i'm not satisfied with anything i put out and i compare myself to other creative twenty-something year olds who seem so much more prolific and talented. this is kind of why i haven't been able to pick up animal crossing again; nothing i do or make feels satisfying or enough. maybe it's also the social media conditioning talking, and this is the symptom of being on social media more lately. i can't even say i fantasize about deleting twitter/insta because i don't think i have the guts to. they're my only connection to a lot of people in my life/network.. i don't want to be forgotten and lonely AND having no audience for the occasional art post or soapbox-ing... though now i am curious how life would be without social media, because i don't know, and maybe the real thing i fear is the unknown? also i feel... kind of disappointed in how my website looks? i think this might be the "notification addiction" talking again, since i've had fewer interactions on here lately, because i feel like my website needs an overhaul, but only because i'm afraid of it becoming stale and irrelevant and boring, and god wouldn't it be the worst thing to be boring lol

i do hope/think/know these feelings will be temporary... i do have some ideas for new pages and some optimizations i can make, which hopefully will give my website (and my creative psyche?) a breath of fresh air. also i have my eye on a couple of zine open calls; if i get accepted that'll boost my esteem but if i get rejected lol... i think i will be able to handle it because unlike job rejections, it feels like they are rejecting what i'm offering vs rejecting me as a person? unless because my art is my baby it will still make me feel shit? too many questions and not enough brain cells to answer them, good night! zzz

february 2021

2/26/21: oh wow it's been 2 weeks since i last updated... as foreshadowed in my last diary entry, i kinda got wrapped up in social media (INST*GRAM) again.. i did gain some cool new mutuals there and posted some of my art/creations/ramblings and actually got really good response, but now that the short-lived hype is settling i'm starting to feel antsy about my "brand" and how my profile looks again...

however i had a revelation that my social media brand is the fact that i have no brand? 2 years ago i was very much a photography account, but these days my interests and aesthetics are all over the place and that's okay, because i am me and eventually my personal style will show thru. due to the way insta is designed + glorified hustle culture these days + the very real reality that many artists rely on insta to make a living = it is common to see strongly branded ig accounts, but i have the privilege to not need to pay rent with my art so i can afford to have a shit-looking ig account, who cares??? now if only i could actually body this mindset, instead of worrying about and hating my profile once a week...

also i've been really into arts and crafts lately and i made a stuffed plushie friend! she's a bunny! she is so beautiful i can't wait to introduce you to them! i'll make a page for him once i take some nice photos. but basically the ~15 hours per week i was spending on my website was totally diverted to making them and their little outfits by hand. he's so cute he brings me so much joy honestly

2/10/21: on today's episode of My Complicated Relationship With Instagram... i made another i now have 4 active accounts.. thats not even the worst part - today i posted an old drawing study on my art account, just to have some fresh content on my profile, nbd BUT immediately after i got my first likes on it i started to feel the notification addiction creeping in again... man they really design for that addiction.. i'm also a little sad that i'm less active on neocities these days, so i think i need to sit down and evaluate what i want from The Internet before getting back into things. actually i realized that i was getting the same notification-high on neocities too, so i wrote a chrome extension to hide my follower and view counts. maybe i'll clean it up so i can share the code for anyone interested

i honestly want to try social media again because i want to make internet friends, esp to connect with artists, but by design this would require me to fix up my accounts to show off my Brand as an Artist, and i literally have Nothing right now lol and i'm simultaneously going thru a mini identity crisis where i want to see myself as an artist but these days i don't make anything and i have zero motivation to do anything but watch Dreamcatcher videos. i need to think about this - this sounds like content for another journal entry

2/7/21: today was great - i woke up to a couple packages arriving earlier than expected, the best feeling during lockdown imo. one of them was my makeup mini-haul, and i got some stuff for my mom too so we unboxed it together and it was really exciting. then i did my face with the new palettes and took a ton of selfies and then washed my face lol. vibin

2/3/21: i'm only three days into the week and it's already a mess lol on monday i pulled/bruised both knees then fell down the stairs and lowkey concussed myself??? i kept getting a headache so i took half the day off and played persona 5 and strangely it was the most relaxing day i'd had in a while?? since then i've been listening to the P5 soundtrack almost nonstop and i'm always amazed how good it is. maybe i'll write a journal entry just raving about how good P5 is so far, since i'm barely 20% through. i think i'll be so sad when i finish the game, but thankfully that's not for another 70 hours lol

january 2021

1/31/21: man i'm fucking exhausted. on a funner note i finally got a account - i can't wait for this app to tell me that my most listened song of the month is the new golcha or dreamcatcher song that i have been streaming nonstop *pretends to be shocked*

1/30/21 (2): tw death mention - i woke up to the news about sophie and i thought it was a sick joke because i was just thinking about her yesterday.. tbh im not the most diehard fan but i think this hit so hard because her music made me believe she was invincible. rest in peace, sophie

1/30/21: mentally i've been a bit away from neocities.. i think after the intense sprint to finish the zines page i need a little break before my brain gets flowing with ideas again. also i've been starting on a new project at work, which is super new and exciting but i think i was subconsciously really stressed because i've been having weird food cravings and sleep patterns... i made the mistake of buying a big box of cocoa puffs but not enough milk, so i ended up stress-eating cocoa puffs dry from a bowl and my father laughed at me for eating "bird food" and now i can't unsee how it looks like cat food i'm turning into a catboy like my username oh no /ᐠ.ꞈ.ᐟ\

1/18/21 (2): been working on the zines page all week - i'm so excited to show yall what i've been working on, but it's just taking sooo long... last week i thought i would be done this week, but that is clearly not the case. i guess this mirrors the mistake i keep making in my day job of underestimating how long things take. bugs and edge cases keep popping up that take time to design around and fix. i really need to learn to double my estimates before i make any half-promises... it may not be obvious but the upcoming page update is the result of 20+ hours of ideating, photo editing, writing, coding, and debugging. i hope yall have fun browsing it once it's up :)

1/18/21: it seems that a common argument these days for hating mint chocolate chip ice cream is that it tastes like toothpaste. it does, but this argument is on the basis that toothpaste tastes bad - what are y'all brushing your teeth with?? shite????? /lh

1/17/21: a 3-day weekend kicked off with a whole day of staying in bed while working on my website, nice. i'll probably be writing less in this entry because i've actually been journaling regularly in my wjsn diary? this kind of consistency is new to me, but a pleasant surprise because i previously thought it was impossible. maybe i'll post photos of some pages because it actually looks so good

1/8/21: very long week (i live in the US). today was nice though, because i'm 99% done with this work project that has taken me 3 months (which is 3x what was originally estimated...) also my kpop haul arrived today, including my wjsn "season's greetings," a type of kpop merch that typically includes a calendar, sometimes a planner, and other fun things like stickers and photos. now i feel like my year has actually started! and now i have a wjsn calendar to brighten up my work area!

1/7/21: i spent the last few days stressing over work (even tho there is barely any work yet since its the new year), but today my brain seems to be back to normal so i actually have free time, during which i watched youtube clips of skyrim/oblivion glitches and out-of-context kingdom hearts for hoursss. well-spent imo

1/2/21: happy new year! today on My Complicated Relationship With Instagram, the account of a zine i follow and admire followed me back??? and the account has a skinny ratio so it's probably not a bot?? but then i forgot about it and didn't check insta all day because i now have notifications turned off (would recommend)

december 2020

12/25/20: merry christmas! right before i went to sleep yesterday, i posted on insta about my xmas page. i'm personally really happy with it so i expected some positive feedback in the morning, and when i woke up and checked, there was none.. and likely because i wasn't very active last week, my story views were down >50%... i told myself that i would keep a strictly business mentality on insta, but i inevitably still feel this way :(

12/24/20: wjsn's "for the summer" mini-album still slaps now that it's winter - 5 bangers guaranteed to temporarily ward off seasonal depression. very different vibe from all the rainy day lo-fi i've been listening to but i need a balanced diet!

12/20/20: i first read about digital gardens last week, and today i'm thking about renaming this page "garden" to move away from the pressure of publishing well-articulated writing, to something more spontaneous. actually, i was considering adding a new "stash" page so maybe i can combine them

12/19/20: im so insanely caffeinated rn??? i got a cold brew with a starbucks gift card and istg it tasted like it was cold-brewing for weeks... i feel so wired and i want to make art but simultaneously feel like i can't :(

my favorite picrews

posted 12/25/2020, last updated 8/1/2021

tw: mild depiction of blood

picrew is this website where artists create digital paper doll games, so basically you can use it to create custom avatars/artwork by amazing illustrators. i find these on twitter, usually because they go viral for a couple days or if it's by an artist i follow. i love picrews because i get to play dress-up with illustrated characters, so i don't have to worry about body image or whatever. here's some of my favorites so far, in no particular order:

this first one is by tvchany. love their art - the colors, the lofi horror game look. i wish i had green hair. these are a personification of how i'm feeling during Month 10 of lockdown. this reminds me: i've had a minor obsession with mildly gory self-portraits since my angsty middle school days? i think it's because it is a over-dramatic and cathartic representation of me facing my first-world problems?? or its not that deep its just picrew

this one has similar going-bonkers horror anime vibes. i think the prompt that went viral on twitter was "2019 me vs 2020 me" - the 2019 me looks stressed and has questionable fashion tastes, whereas 2020 me has fully retreated into pajamas and blankets and hasn't had a haircut or a box hairdye job in months

i found this one from a mutual on kpop twt because the red veil option looks a lot like one of the outfits in onlyoneof's "line sun goodness" album, so that's the theme i went with for the first picture. the second one was me reimagining myself as the badass femme protagonist of something like "pride and prejudice and zombies" which i was obsessed with in high school (yooo remember back when everything got a zombie spinoff??) the third one is closer to my actual self-image: in a perfect world i'd look regal and rich as fuck lol

i found this one (left two) and this one (rightmost one) on twitter - this time it wasn't part of a viral trend so there's no theme, but i just had so much fun with their art style and the cute clothing choices that are ALL to my taste. the first one is my manifesting my childlike desires and nostalgia, and it looks frighteningly like i did at age 6 (dammit i was so much cuter back then). the second one i made for my mom, because i know she loves the silhouette of cropped puffer jackets in cute colors! the third one is how my 2010s pre-adolescence is kind of back in style: the t-shirt-over-long-sleeves look, leg warmers, hair tie baubles, and my undeniable narutard days (i was That Kid who ninja-ran during recess)

found this one through a twitter mutual today. i think these images are the closest to what i actually look like so far, thanks to the very on-point hairstyle and outfits (this is almost exactly what i wore to Target today, plus a mask ofc). also i'm realizing that the squiggly mouth is a key point to making avatars that look like my anxious ass lol. i'm not exactly a garfield fan but the color just matches that outfit really well. the crab on my head represents my multiple cancer placements. i do love my melody tho i'm more of a hello kitty person. the one on the right has cat ears because it just looks better with it but also because i've been binge-eating cocoa puffs without milk lately and it looks so much like cat food...

i don't really remember where i found this one (well, i mean, it was probably twitter) but its art style is exactly my taste. it was so hard to decide whether to put a pancake, an egg, or a pudding on my head - i could probably make 20 of these with all the permutations of my favs but this is what my heart picked out first: realistically what i think i look like (minus the egg) vs my imaginary kidcore fairy self

found this one on twitter as well - the outcome, especially the one on the right, looks sooo much like me... the chunky amber beaded bracelet really did it for me, i never left the house without that bracelet for the entirety of my college senior year lol

another one from art twitter - at this rate i say this about every picrew i post here but the art style and the character options are exactly my taste, these look exactly how i imagine i look (but cooler)

~more to come as i find them~

new year's.....whatever

posted 1/2/2021, edited 1/9/2021

happy new year! the all-pervasive idea of "new year's resolutions" seems to be universally never-followed-through, both in popular culture and in my personal experience, so i will partake in no such thing. i just so happened to have had some deep talks and self-reflections lately about how i can improve my mental health, so these are my reflections on my 2020 and my wishes for the start of 2021.

  • i'm looking forward to playing more video games this year. i've been away from gaming for a while now, and coming back i realize how much pressure i put on myself to be good at it, even single player games, when no one is watching. i want to give myself permission to SUCK at games and other hobbies, and to spend my free time "unproductively," just existing happily, alone, and shamelessly
  • i realized how often i'm consumed by shame. like i jokingly mentioned on my about page, i'm tired of being ashamed of shit that no one actually cares about: my strange sleep schedule, liking kpop, having zero knowledge of The Office, etc... of course, some of these do have their benefits (e.g. getting more sleep would probably fix my skin), but shame is really bad at actually motivating me to do anything besides feeling like shit and subsequently doing nothing. so until i muster up the willpower to kick my bad habits or develop a healthy one, i should live shamelessly anyways
  • i am tempted to feel disappointed that i didn't produce as much art as i'd like in the past year, but honestly i am very happy with the personally ground-breaking growth i saw in 2020 that was thanks to neocities. making my website and drastically reducing my time on instagram has been the best thing for my mental health and my art goals this year! i feel like i've complained about instagram enough so i won't elaborate here. my website still has so much room to grow and evolve, and here's some of my ideas and todos (before i forget them):
    • redesign the art page to have a dedicated space for doodles and progress shots
    • add a directory for pages in the future like the xmas page. not sure what it should be called yet: spaces? rooms? moods?
    • grow the homepage: i love how it looks but it should be more like a welcome page / an information counter, like how there's maps and stuff right when you enter disneyland
    • make a playlist page for music recs, with (preferably) bandcamp links to support the artists
    • add a page for my kpop favs
    • maybe rethink the forever-under-construction zines page
  • i feel a little apologetic that there is so much text in this journal, and that it must be so boring and/or daunting to read... but i must remind myself that my website, unlike insta, is completely mine. the fact that i always have so much to say means that i had so many previously unexpressed thoughts and ideas. spoiler alert, this journal / digital garden will keep growing with more word dumps (and hopefully more pictures, because i like pictures)

otherwise, i'll keep chugging along like i have in 2020, which was in context a pretty good year for me. if you've read this far, or even if you didn't read this far, i hope you have a happy and healthy 2021!

acnh things

posted 1/9/2021, last updated 1/17/2021

villagers | songs | fish | dialog | outfits

i'm nearing 200 hours logged in animal crossing: new horizons, so yes even though i burned out a little bit from playing A Lot back in april, of course i have some favorites! these days i think i prefer to engage with them here in my journal rather than in-game - the game stresses me out lately because for some reason i'm simultaneously feeling uninspired yet pressured to optimize and perfect my island. so i'm taking a break from the game, but i'm still emotionally invested... alright back to the fun happy things


i am not very aggressive when it comes to video games, so no i haven't had marshall or raymond on my island yet (sadly). but i find there's a lot of hidden gems among the less well-known characters! not every one is everyone's cup of tea but these ones make my heart crumble into tiny loving pieces of utter devastation even when they do the bare minimum. in roughly reverse order:

hamlet wtf... this b*tch looks cute but is absolutely unhinged.
best part of this is me and ken's face 0_0

hamlet is the latest addition to my island! after peggy asked to move out (lol bye) i went on a nook miles ticket adventure to find her replacement. i decided i'd let fate take the wheel and see if i encounter anyone i like hopefully within the first 10 islands. the first few were either grumpy or kinda ugly or too similar to my other villagers... then on the fourth try i saw hamlet! i talked to him and instantly his squeaky dialogue and super perky personality won me over. hamlet is also mom-approved: my mother is super invested in watching me play animal crossing and she was like "THIS ONE IS SO CUTE YOU HAVE TO INVITE HIM!!" the one thing keeping me from ranking hamlet higher is his overwhelming jock personality.. every other thing he says has something to do with lifting weights and the GAINZ, but i guess it's kind of endearingly funny because he is like 1 foot tall and talks in squeaks

screenshot not mine, but isn't she the best???

i don't actually have hazel on my island.. she actually visited my campsite back in may but i gave up after repeatedly losing her card game to convince her to move to my island... she reminds me of one of my internet friends, who loves hazel and also looks a little like her, minus the unibrow. ahh, the unibrow. WHY DOES THE UNIBROW GET SO MUCH HATE. the moment that placed hazel on my Top Villagers list was the moment i saw her on a "top 10 ugliest villagers" list. what in the fresh hell?? i will not tolerate this slander and i will defend hazel till the grave. i looked up videos of her dialogue on youtube, and she is a sisterly villager who will throw hands for her good friends she doesn't deserve this!! if you can't handle a little eyebrow you don't deserve hazel, uni-wow!

imagine my surprise when i boot up the game after a 5 month hiatus to see THIS

i would die for walker. walker is so genuinely naive and wholesome it breaks my heart. he says everything with a literal :3 face, it makes me want to cry. early on i gifted him this work apron because i didn't want it, but i didn't know the villager would wear what you give them right away?? i felt bad for giving him such a dumb gift but he kind of loves it??? and wears it all the time??? and it actually fits his strange rustic cabin hipster aesthetic helpppp


i would also die for drake. what a terrible sentence to take out of context because i hate the rapper (and grown man who keeps grooming girls way younger than him). with that out of the way... because of the formatting it looks like i rank drake above walker, but tbh they have suuuuuch similar personailities that i love both for similar reasons and they'd probably rank the same. i'm actually a tiny bit more attached to walker because he's been on my island longer. BUT i just realized that drake is a cancer (june 25). another sentence that sounds strange out of context. but the fact that drake is a 1-foot-tall duck who is a soft baby cancer and wears an argyle sweater and has dark circles (same) and y2k-reminiscent overplucked arched eyebrows i can't NOT rank him number one???


hands down it's k.k. house for me (both the original and this "club version" i found on youtube). besides the fact that i'm a sucker for house music, before i even realized this song was from animal crossing it had gone semi-viral on kpop twitter, and i saw the cutest video edit of inseong to this song. (the video seems to be deleted now i am so devastated...) i have a kneejerk pavlov reaction to the derpy little "nabibobedouuuu" now

fish (i.e. least annoying fish puns)

under construction :>


under construction :>


under construction :>

thoughts on zines

posted 1/24/2021, last updated 7/25/2021

linked from /zines.html as an extended intro (plus my inevitable tangential thought dump) because i find that many people (among my irls, at least) aren't familiar with the concept of zines, and also i just have a lot of thoughts. enjoy!

definition | format | my journey | links & resources

visit the zines page if you haven't, imo it is pretty FIRE

what is a zine? (the long-winded version)

it is a broadly/loosely defined term, but personally i define it as a self- or independently- published magazine. i like to think of it as a mini-magazine, where the "mini" doesn't necessarily imply smaller size or less effort, but rather a smaller operation that isn't a corporation or team of people whose day job is to make this publication. or actually maybe it IS their day job, but it's an art form rather than having an employer telling you what to put in it every month with a deadline. as i said, loosely defined, but i think you kind of get the idea?

(of course, the lines start to blur if, say, gucci releases a zine to celebrate their ss 2022 collection - the question of appropriation arises, similar to how thrasher and other elements of skate culture have been absorbed by the general public. i don't have a clear answer, and i think this can be a whole topic for a whole dissertation. which i will spare you and me of) - see, i warned you about the tangential word dumps!

sidenote: after i initially wrote this, i found this broken link and this working link to an article supposedly about urban outfitters appropriating zine culture, which is funny because i was really debating between using gucci or urban outfitters as an example, and just the fact that urban outfitters is the club president of Appropriating Subcultures and Profitting Off Independent Artists :^)

cool, what do zines look like? how do i spot one in the wild?

to my knowledge (from previous research and my being too lazy to dig into it right now, but cursorily verified with this wikipedia article), the prototypical zine is often imagined to consist of sharpie drawings and xeroxed collages on stapled printer paper, which hearkens back to one of its roots in the punk subculture of the 70s. another classic zine format is the 8-page zine that can be cut and folded from one piece of paper, no glue or staples needed! this one you will often encounter at zine workshops, and you can probably score one at a local bookstore or art fair for $3 or less! - but always tip your artists when you can <3

the top youtube result for "how to fold a zine" - it's pretty good tbh

that being said, zines exist in infinite shapes and sizes and even mediums. zines don't even have to be paper! zines can be PDFs or even websites that don't necessarily look like a traditional paper zine. but imo they all retain that multimedia DIY publishing spirit. i love how the possible manifestations of a zine are limitless.

i don't really remember where i first learned about zines, but i've always loved magazines. they're basically picture books, essay compilations, shopping catalog, and newspaper, all crammed into one monthly surprise in the mail, brimming with content for you to browse in whatever order at your leisure. come to think of it, my website feels kind of like a magazine, with how every page has a different look and vibe? anyways. i've just always been drawn to books and magazines that have more pictures than words because they seem less intimidating to dive into than a wall of text (not @ this journal entry being a wall of text itself... oops)

my latest zine!

links to some zine / art book fairs:

super cool digital zines:

some collectives that print/publish/document zines:

resources and articles that explain this stuff better than i do:

  • how to make a one-page zine by Kaitlin Chan, very cool zine/comic artist!
  • how to make a zine on kickstarter's blog, pretty practical and thorough actually
  • Printed Matter - website (and irl store in nyc) that sells artists books, including zines, from around the world. you can submit yours for sale too, i know some folks who listed their zines!

and of course, i'll be slowly updating my zine library with my ever-growing collection of physical zines, complete with links to the artist or where to obtain a copy. enjoy!

(wip) take your time – aka why persona 5 is amazing

posted 2/3/2021

i'm just word-dumping right now because i'm too tired to write seriously but i just have many thoughts, brain full

an observation from one review i read really stuck with me - one of the loading screens tells you to "take your time," which is ironic in a life-sim game where you need to make choices in a brutally realistic time management system: between and during story arcs, you have the freedom to study like a good student, hang out with friends, date a sexc egirl doctor, or grind levels and treasure hunt in the dungeons, but all in a limited time frame that inevitably forces you to prioritize and make choices. despite how restrictive this might look on paper, "take your time" does not come off as sarcastic to me, it feels rather reassuring.

i think this is due to the way the story is paced. the story is paced so well, by the way, but i'll get into that shortly. the game starts out with Joker's flashy escapade coming to a quick end when he's caught by a fuckton of police, and then it cuts to him getting brutally interrogated. the bulk of the gameplay then acts as one huge flashback while he's in the interrogation room. in classic shakespearean fashion, you're hooked immediately because you technically already know that Joker meets his doom, but you are itching to know why and a million other questions. however, the game withholds enough information and feeds you enough mysterious nuggets of hope of reversing this apparent doom to keep you curious, whereas i struggle to even be slightly interested in romeo and juliet's story because like, okay they die for each other, fuuuck - but i hate being stuck sitting in a movie for 2 hours KNOWING our favs will just die, no matter how poetic or meaningful it is.. i don't think i'll ever watch titanic... sorry leo/jack/romeo.. whereas P5 grabs your attention with the initial arrest/interrogation setup, but other than that you're thrown into the flashback with 0 information, as if you are Joker arriving in Tokyo for the first time, struggling to find the exit at Shibuya Station for the first time, running around the backstreets for the first time, stumbling into the metaverse and fighting monsters for the first time. in this way, "take your time" seems to be telling me "don't worry about the future yet, take all the time you need right now" - something that my anxious bitchass brain really needs to hear.

i must mention my one complaint (tho def not unique to P5) which is the mild misogyny that seeps in sometimes, but i guess that's what you get when you let male developers in a male-dominated industry in a patriarchical society write stories and make games~ i guess the misogyny just adds to the realism LOL /half-joking so i just tell myself that Joker is non-binary

the soundtrack is ABSOLUTELY FIRE i may eventually write an analysis of my fav tracks with my limited and occasionally made-up music theory knowledge

photoshop things

posted 2/4/21

i consider myself okay at graphic design, and that is probably largely thanks to some shitty kpop edits i made in Photoshop Elements back in high school. in 2020 i went back to my roots, making shitty album cover mashups for my soundcloud. they don't quite meet my standards to display on /art.html, but i still want to show them off somewhere and talk about my niche inside jokes for each one:

lmaooooooo doyoung is a thot he needs to be humbled asdjfals;kdfjal;

this hyunjin was a god-tier hyunjin??? her outfit and hair color on the day of their first win (blessed) look JUST LIKE god-tier inseong in the black outfit during "now or never" era

the webmaster and the artist

posted 2/28/2021

for a list of coding resources, jump to the end

i had a great time virtually exploring printed matter's virtual art book fair (pmvabf) this weekend! of course the lockdown has not been Very Fun but i will say that the online zine/book/art fairs that have sprung up as a result have been wonderful - i cant believe my introvert ass gets to impulse-buy zines from my bed at 3am - but anyways. i posted about it on my neocities profile because i think it's super relevant to my neocities mutuals since the virtual format has some really cool website inspo. similar to the similarly-named but separate virtual art book fair in 2020, how it's formatted is that each exhibitor has a "table" in the form of a customized webpage or microsite. unlike how social media platforms look/work, each exhibitor can have a visually unique page that reflects their aesthetics/values/etc while still being a cohesive part of a larger entity, i.e. the fair.

this is so exciting to me because (you may have picked up on this from my "thoughts on neocities" ramblings and sprinkled throughout) i am searching for ways to find creative community online that doesn't involve corporate social media platforms, and my answer seems to point to personal websites, like all the good stuff (my mutuals!) i see on neocities. i'm slowly realizing that my background in tech uniquely places me as, yes, still an artist myself, but also in a position where i can help other artists, who may not have as much time and energy to invest into learning web technologies, build robust websites that creatively reflect their personalities and values. i believe a website should not be dismissed as Just Another channel of engagement like social media, but it's a creative canvas that should be an extension of the webmaster's identity or practice.

HOWEVER - i eventually noticed that the pmvabf website was being hosted on cargo, basically an artist-centered weebly/squarespace-esque website building platform. oh no, a platform... my first thought was, if a platform already enables all the website-building that i can offer but much faster and easier, then where do i come in? as i explored more microsites i discovered some recurring themes and pitfalls that answered this question. note that this isn't a review or critique of cargo; i think it (and its competitors) can be a valuable platform when it helps artists carve out their own online space with ease - this journal entry is just me trying to reason out what web creators (made up this term instead of using "web developers" since that usually evokes silicon valley big tech) can offer that paid platforms can't.

overly relying on a creative platform built for convenience can limit creativity. this is the cost of convenience. after initially being dazzled by the glitz and polish of all the exhibitor micro-sites, i started to notice lots of reoccuring layouts and design elements, like marquees (i love marquees but god there were so many marquees). i'm guessing these are templates offered by cargo, and it makes sense because probably not every exhibitor has the time or energy or prioritization to make a super fresh and creative micro-site, though some do. i am Not discounting the value of convenience, especially when it comes to organizing a huge online book fair that needs to accommodate hundreds of different exhibitors with different timelines and priorities. however, this was a textbook-perfect Exhibit A of just how much power a platform has in shaping how its users creatively engage. for example, if some product designer at cargo decided there should be, say, 3d scrolling menus, then maybe that week you would see hundreds of 3d menus popping up on cargo sites and eventually elsewhere on the internet. that's not to say this isn't a valid form of innovation, but that platforms could become a bottleneck to pure unhindered creativity by inadvertently (or very advertently) starting or following fleeting trends.

i think that's where web creators come in. and by web creators, i don't mean an exclusive elite of developers with bootcamp certificates or a tech job, but anyone with a working understanding of the web and ability to build on the web from scratch. i do believe it is in everyone and especially artists' interests to be able to code and speak the language of the web. in the (art) world which is increasingly online but partitioned by an oligopoly of big tech corporations, knowing the basics of how the web works is revolutionary. even before reaching the hefty topic of data privacy, it's easy to see the benefits of knowing how to code just by looking at a couple of neocities sites - the creativity i've seen on here is boundless and unmatched, unhindered by paywalls and platform restrictions, maybe limited by browser support and the state of JS and WebGL today, but imo those are high ceilings for many of us on neocities and those standards are rapidly evolving anyways.

lol this journal started off as me consoling myself that although companies exist that do what i'm good at but faster than i can, i think i (and my fellow current and future webmasters) do have things to offer that a convenient platform can't - namely, total creative freedom. and i guess it's slightly self-contradicting how i'm saying that i think everyone should know how to code but that i want to help other artists realize their website ideas - i still stand by both of those, because i hope i can share the technical knowledge i've sucked from the tech industry with creatives, especially on things like browser compatibility, performance optimizations, and web accessibility - not creative things per se, but important considerations nonetheless for ensuring that the audience for your web content is as wide as possible.

in case i've convinced anyone to learn to code, here are some resources:

  • web tutorials by MDN - MDN (Mozilla Developer Network) is my preferred resource for comprehensive tutorials on lots of web-related topics as well as thorough documentation of HTML/CSS/Javascript basics. way better than W3Schools imo (i use a Chrome extension which hides any W3Schools links from my google search results lol)
  • Codecademy - im not sponsored to say this lol this is where i first learned javascript 7 years ago, so i can't speak for all the updates to the website since, but the (free?) intro to HTML/CSS/JavaScript courses are a good hands-on primer if you've never coded before
  • CSS Tricks - a range of intermediate to very advanced yet still interesting articles on, you guessed it, cool CSS tricks. i don't usually browse it as the articles are mostly pretty specific tutorials, but they often pop up in my search results and are really thorough and well-written
  • Glitch - web app where you can run code and publish mini-websites in an online environment without setting up anything on your computer. i haven't personally used this feature but i think they have a sizable user community so you can remix other people's code and ask for coding help
  • Neocities - um no explanation needed but Join Me Here It's Free Fun
  • GitHub Pages - another alternative to hosting a website for free, besides the two options above
  • Namecheap - if you're looking to buy a domain name (like then i would kindly suggest avoiding GoDaddy, which a quick reddit search will tell you about its many questionable practices that you should just avoid. i've heard Namecheap is a solid alternative, but i'm sure theres others out there, i just haven't researched this much
  • The Coding Train - amazing programming lectures on YouTube. lectures makes it sound boring, but it really isn't. daniel shiffman is the CS teacher you wish you had. these videos are less directly about web development and more about programming, but they range from the more algorithmic/math-y topics to more visual and creative coding (look for the ones about "Processing" or "p5.js")
  • P5.js - JavaScript library (which i'm actually using on some pages) for creative coding: visuals, audio, interactivity, etc. very beginner friendly
  • don't be afraid to google anything and everything. even the most senior engineers in big tech do it too. format your searches like "how to do [some cool thing] css [or other language/library name]" to find relevant answers, often on stack overflow or random blog posts. and don't be afraid to copy-paste code, then tinker around until it works
  • in most browsers and on most webpages, you can right-click on the webpage then select "Inspect" or "Inspect element" to see and temporarily modify the code behind it! good for gleaning new tricks whenever you see a cool web effect

(i'm glad i finally have a place to share these resources - i actually compiled this list when i was writing a lesson plan for a "how to make a website" workshop proposal but it got rejected lol but here i am!)

coding and programming is Not be reserved for folks who have a certificate or degree (even those people started from bare bones baby steps googling things like "html how to"); its greatest virture which differs it from other sciences is that anyone with a chromebook can do it. and of course i'd be happy to help debug or answer questions or just share cool website inspo! my guestbook is always open, and you can also reach me on twitter!

web resources

adapted from "webmaster" entry, posted on 4/24/21, updated 5/24/21

some resources i'd recommend while learning to make websites:

  • web tutorials by MDN - MDN (Mozilla Developer Network) is my preferred resource for comprehensive tutorials on lots of web-related topics as well as thorough documentation of HTML/CSS/Javascript basics. way better than W3Schools imo (i use a Chrome extension which hides any W3Schools links from my google search results lol)
  • Codecademy - im not sponsored to say this lol this is where i first learned javascript 7 years ago, so i can't speak for all the updates to the website since, but the (free?) intro to HTML/CSS/JavaScript courses are a good hands-on primer if you've never coded before
  • CSS Tricks - a range of intermediate to very advanced yet still interesting articles on, you guessed it, cool CSS tricks. i don't usually browse it as the articles are mostly pretty specific tutorials, but they often pop up in my search results and are really thorough and well-written
  • Glitch - web app where you can run code and publish mini-websites in an online environment without setting up anything on your computer. i haven't personally used this feature but i think they have a sizable user community so you can remix other people's code and ask for coding help
  • Neocities - um no explanation needed but Join Me Here It's Free Fun
  • GitHub Pages - another alternative to hosting a website for free, besides the two options above
  • Namecheap - if you're looking to buy a domain name (like then i would kindly suggest avoiding GoDaddy, which a quick reddit search will tell you about its many questionable practices that you should just avoid. i've heard Namecheap is a solid alternative, but i'm sure theres others out there, i just haven't researched this much
  • The Coding Train - amazing programming lectures on YouTube. lectures makes it sound boring, but it really isn't. daniel shiffman is the CS teacher you wish you had. these videos are less directly about web development and more about programming, but they range from the more algorithmic/math-y topics to more visual and creative coding (look for the ones about "Processing" or "p5.js")
  • P5.js - JavaScript library (which i'm actually using on some pages) for creative coding: visuals, audio, interactivity, etc. very beginner friendly
  • phaser.js tutorial - i haven't actually used phaser (javascript library for game dev) but this is a really good tutorial for setting up a web dev environment, it's the only article i've seen that actually explains why you need to start a local dev server, and also compares some popular text editors / IDEs
  • don't be afraid to google anything and everything. even the most senior engineers in big tech do it too. format your searches like "how to do [some cool thing] css [or other language/library name]" to find relevant answers, often on stack overflow or random blog posts. and don't be afraid to copy-paste code, then tinker around until it works
  • in most browsers and on most webpages, you can right-click on the webpage then select "Inspect" or "Inspect element" to see and temporarily modify the code behind it! good for gleaning new tricks whenever you see a cool web effect
  • "things i wish i knew as a 15 year old web designer" - a list of great tips and tricks compiled by a neocities neighbor

i'm glad i finally have a place to share these resources - i actually compiled most of this list when i was writing a lesson plan for a "how to make a website" workshop proposal but it got rejected lol but here i am~

coding and programming should not be reserved for folks who have a certificate or degree (and even those people started with baby steps googling "dumb" things like "html how to"); its greatest virture which differs it from other sciences is that anyone with even a chromebook can do it. also, i'd be happy to help debug or answer questions or just share cool website inspo! my guestbook is always open, and you can also reach me on twitter!

an online party: thoughts on digital social spaces and the afk/url venn diagram

posted 8/3/21

since starting on neocities i've thought a lot about how friendships and community on the internet might look like and flourish outside of social media. this website itself is always an exploration for answers, but recently i got to experiment on a slightly larger scale. for my birthday a few weeks ago, i built a website (code word to enter is "uh idk") as an online celebration. actually i usually don't really celebrate let alone even share my birth date, but after over a year of lockdown plus what feels like an abrupt return to normal i felt lonely being stuck at home and geographically far away from all the wonderful mutuals i've met online, and i should mention i was also inspired after attending some really cool online art and music events, so i last-minute decided to create an online party where my friends far and wide could stop by and have a fun time, hopefully not just to celebrate me but to also unwind with friends and friend-in-laws online.

i am so so so happy with how it turned out, especially considering it was kind of a spontaneous idea and my first time doing anything like this. i think the now-archived website speaks for itself on the pure joy and love i received that day, so with this journal i wanted to reflect on some design choices and technical details, more as an objective case study on creating such an online social space.

reflections on format

  • i decided to open the party for 24 hours to make it accessible across timezones, which i think worked pretty well! it was fortunate that my birthday fell on a weekend this year, in retrospect it might not have gotten as much traffic on a wednesday or thursday guessing from my typical instagram engagement numbers on those days. however, having such a wide time frame made it hard to have multiple people congregate in the chat at the same time as i'd hoped, except when i "cheated" by prodding a group chat or posting about it on my instagram, then there'd be a much higher chance a couple of people (who are more likely to already know each other) show up around the same time. another way to address this might be to set limited active time slots (e.g. 3 1-hour slots throughout the day) to force people to congregate, but i also liked the freedom and openness of having all 24 hours.
  • i didn't plan this ahead of time but looking back, it is crucial to have visitors early on populate the initially empty website with some activity and content to set the tone. thankfully my close groupchat pulled through soon after opening to fool around in the chat and send me some memes, which probably made it less intimidating for visitors afterward to add to it.
  • overall i'm happy about the design and i got positive feedback about the whole thing. i think it successfully met my main goal to fairly hold space for both my irl and url friends. the meme collection and collaborative playlist were great, they made the website more interactive and engaging than just being a glorified chatroom and would provide something to talk about in the chat. that said, i think it was hard to have a single linear chat that facilitates more mingling. i had some really fun convos in there, but it ended up kind of linear almost like a guestbook, there weren't many interactions between visitors and mostly me replying to individuals. looking back now i feel like this limitation should have been quite obvious, given how all the chat/social apps these days have different chat features to enable more organic and organized convos (threads, replies, reactions, mentions, etc) but then again i was very crunched on time - oh well. if this project was an early exploration of how an online social space could operate very generally, maybe my next project is to dive into how to design and build an engaging chatroom.

some bugs

technical stuff for those interested, and for my own future reference. these are some bugs i (or my friends, thanks!) noticed but didn't have time to fix. should keep them in mind the next time i build a web app:

  • first letter of the chat box gets clipped if typing too fast after hitting "send" because i wait for the the message to successfully send to clear the input box. a common design pattern to resolve this is the "message not sent, retry?" button like on most messagng apps.
  • there's no good way to differentiate the twitter mobile in-app browser from the actual browser app... this isn't technically a bug, but it came up when i was trying to add a warning for the youtube embed behavior being weird on ios safari. more of a limitation than a bug, but basically ios video embeds didn't work well with how i disabled the native controls to add my own. haven't thought of an elegant way to get around this.
  • to my knowledge, the package i was using for the chat wasn't able to detect a mobile user switching tabs/apps, and may have missed appending new chat messages if a user momentarily switched out of the browser app. i wonder if there's another similar package than can detect these events, so that the web app would re-connect and re-fetch the chat contents including the missed messages.
  • for the meme uploads, initially i had the wrong file size limit set on the client-side to approximately 1/10th what i intended, so some of the memes look like they went through a vitamix lol - i thought i calculated the right number and double-checked it, but maybe it's interpreted as the number of bits instead of bytes like i thought (8 bits per byte would explain the ~1/10th difference).
  • this one is a security vulnerability lol... (don't worry it's disabled now but) i didn't escape the less-than and greater-than signs from user input in the chatbox, so script tag injection attacks were possible ;u; actually it was fun that you could send marquees in the chat, so maybe i should specifically blacklist script tags if there's ever user input. are there other potentially malicious tags that i'm forgetting about? maybe iframe
  • the send button isn't properly disabled after a successful send request. i think this is a simple bug that i didn't catch and forgot to fix lol

some final thoughts

despite all the bugs and improvements i've picked at here, i'm really proud of what i managed to put together. it was my first time building and deploying a web app with a server and everything from scratch, which if you asked me a few months back i don't think i could have done it or even imagined making this. an unintended outcome is also that i feel much more confident in my technical abilities and optimistic about where they'll take me. i definitely need a mental break after this 40-hour boss fight of a project, but i'm excited about the possibilites for my next. stay tuned <3

things that made me cry lately

a growing undated compendium (guess my sun sign and stellium lol)

  • shadowless heretic ghost by sarula bao
  • yanghwa bridge cover by wjsn dawon
  • 그대에게 for you music video by lovelyz
  • overthinking
  • 更咸更濕 too salty too wet by tiffany sia
  • i want to be a cute anime girl by azul crescent
  • golden hour in my room
  • my dad asking me if i want to get boba tomorrow
  • burnout
  • therapy
  • the start of autumn, missing past autumns
  • a nightmare
  • 49 days by lia coleman
  • one cutscene in dragon quest ix
  • ;̴̤̜̳̤̌͘å̴̝̱̮͌s̵̨͇̍̓͜ḋ̸̻̌j̷͍̩̲̣̆̉͐̓̃l̵͕̟̦̏͗f̷̧̓̕͠l̸̬̈́̒̽̌ṣ̶̈́͂͝;̸̲͇̬̹̦͑͐̓͝ḓ̵̟̜̱̜̓̌͛̀̇j̸͚̪͕͍̯̍f̶͖̐̚͜s̵̪̜̎͊͑j̶̡̭͔̉̌̔̕f̵̲̲̈͐̾̅;̵̺̱̥̍a̴̧̡̲̒̔̒s̷̨̽̈́͛̍̌d̵͙̎͛f̸͇̄̈͜
  • i'm not sure... there's something about thanksgiving
  • missed deadlines
  • spoiled little brat music video by underscores
  • when everything all the time feels like a high-stakes game of spyfall
  • the thought of actually having to play spyfall ever again
  • plastic love by mariya takeuchi - the song, the music video, the lyrics... everything about it
  • anxiety
  • the ending to a short hike
  • mild disappointment/fear that the new year might be the exact same as before (not great)
  • an overwhelming fear of being a sorry disappointment
  • just really needed a hug :(
  • let your breath become a flower by raveena
  • i don't even remember but it felt like a big deal in the moment
  • not knowing how to ask for help

☁️ dream log ☁️

do i write these down to remember or to forget?

we finally move in to our new apartment and it's super noisy and smelly... (too real... it's always the afternoon catnaps that are annoyingly vivid/realistic/scary)

(another one where when i woke up i was like - this is kinda fucked up...) i'm hanging out with my childhood best friend at our high school for the mems/cringe. i excuse myself for a moment to go use the bathroom. i pass the door to the mens' bathroom and see a middle-aged man oddly hanging around, which kinda sets off a tiny red flag but i continue to the women's bathroom. i enter and see two of the stalls covered in blood from the toilet to the walls, connected by a streaky path of blood on the ground, as if a body had been dragged across. my mind turns to the man i saw earlier but suddenly the school assembly happening outside ends and a rush of people enter to use the bathroom, and i'm left to explain what i saw and hopefully not be suspected. i forget what happens next but eventually i'm home alone and somehow the same man i saw earlier is now inside my house. he speaks to me in a friendly manner but wanders around the house as if looking for someone. i notice he is holding a huge cleaver in one hand. somehow i realize that he is a wanted criminal for the disappearance or brutal murder of his many daughters. i sneak into the kitchen to grab the biggest knife we have for self-defense. my mother comes home from work and i update her on the situation quietly, and she arms herself too. we're both weirdly unfazed though. we find the man snooping around one of the bedrooms, seemingly checking if anyone was asleep, and we ambush him. he puts up a fight but is surprisingly weak and we debilitate him. i'm afraid to leave my mother to fend him off alone but while he's down i sneak off to find my phone and call the police. i report what's happening but i realize that the other end is a suspicious sounding bot rather than a first responder, so i quickly hang up, fearful that the man had been able to mess with our phones to alert backup. i call police again and this time it seems to go through normally. i check on my mother and she somehow has the situation under control until the police arrive. i go outside to see if any of our neighbors had noticed anything weird going on, but only find some landscapers working. i tell them what just happened and one of the workers responds that she was one of the daughters but was able to escape, and offers words of empathy for the ordeal i just went through, but she sounds weirdly unemotional. (it was a lot scarier in my head.. also everyone's reactions in the dream including mine were unsettlingly and disproportionately calm? almost robotic? am i that jaded to violence as a concept??)

walking home from school during sunset. i hop on my skateboard (i think? no way i was moving that fast just jogging lol) to catch up with a few classmates and ask them, "are you going to __'s birthday party?" they are, so we walk together to the restaurant. it's a cute japanese-inspired building: sliding doors with neat parallel geometries, a minimalist wooden awning above and a raised walkway below. we enter the front and are greeted by a tiny, peaceful courtyard with bamboo trees and a small pond nestled in an alcove of the inner building's exterior. we make it to the party but i don't remember what happens.

(one from a long time ago that i suddenly remembered) i'm at a house party at an old-fashioned looking house with kitschy american decor. we're about to take a group selfie on the floral couch by the brick fireplace when a huge, menacing guy with a huge, menacing weapon (don't remember if it was a firearm or an axe) barges in through the front door. we scatter amidst the screams and chaos that erupts but i manage to hold on to my friend and we escape through a back door that leads outside, which is pitch black and lit only by a couple floodlights. the house was likely an airbnb in the countryside, so there's no fences or neighbors, just a little stone walkway amidst sloped hills of dirt and grass that recede into a creek and some woods in the distance. as we're fleeing, we hear someone's piercing screams of terror behind us as the intruder catches up to them, but we do not dare to look back. adrenaline pumping, my friend and i hide in the shadows of the house between the glaring floodlights, hearing simultaneously the sound of our hearts pounding interrupted by footsteps and mumbling on the other side. we continue to evade the pursuer like this for a while until we're able to safely make a run down the path to the woods, dark and looming with towering trees with bare tendrils for branches, seeming to foreshadow the scares that might be awaiting us within.

anime bart SIMPson

somehow i get a emo bf who wears an oversized black hoodie and looks emo all the time. he doesn't say much but shows affection by embarassing me or being embarassing in public in an endearing way, and quietly i feel understood. we go get hotpot for lunch with some of my friends and my mom is there too. they're heavily scrutinizing this guy on my behalf which i'm honestly appreciative of because i had pretty poor judgement due to low self-esteem in the past lol... there were more happenings but i don't remember them as well as the settings and the architecture? a sunny multi-story restaurant in a round or octagonal building with traditional chinese decor, golden hour filtering through windows of translucent paper in geometric carved dark wood panels. a wet market in the dark (unsure if it's a big warehouse or just dark outside), signs and tables of goods peddled by no-nonsense ladies, staunchly lit in blotches by large spotlights powered by noisy portable generators whirring. a moment of calm on a city street, flanked on both sides by tall buildings blocking out the sun and on a third by a looming tunnel overpass, all enveloping this tiny corner of the city in a shadow that carves a stark silhouette on the upper floors of the buildings.

more architectures but i don't remember the storyline: a basement apartment with a suffocatingly low ceiling but redeemed by one wall of floor-to-ceiling windows opening up to a sloped parking lot shaded by big gnarly trees. a ridiculously narrow car-sized loft with a frosted shower door as the only entrance and window and barrier against the frosty threat of a winter night outside, lit only by fluorescent lights at a gas station.

a genius incel astronaut is charged with murdering his longtime mentor because she was a librarian and he has a librarian kink but was enraged that she demonstrated being smarter than him. adding another layer he is caucasian and she was a woman of color. (why do my dreams get so upsettingly realistic for no good reason. where are the unicorns and cotton candy come onnnn)

i'm at home sitting in my room in near darkness, and i'm on a video call with my therapist on my laptop. my mother keeps walking in and interrupting loudly, and i become irritated and very nervous. i apologize to my therapist for the interruption, and she says some creepy cryptic words about my doom or something and then suddenly i feel cold wispy hands reaching and caressing my right cheek and left shoulder from behind. (obviously less realistic, but rooted enough in reality for me to implore again: where are the unicorns. i want the unicorns)

i'm at an outdoor cafe / coworking space located in a redwood forest supposedly in oregon (completely arbitrary), where a lot of artists like to chill and work. there's a skatepark area where i help a meetup or something take a group photo and i end up hanging out with some of them. there is a path alongside a large river with displays(?) representing each and every neocities site in the order they were created. displays for earlier sites are accompanied with a custom resin and wood carving of the site name, lovingly created by a community member back when there were fewer sites. i find "nyanseong" among the displays, but the custom signs stopped just a few sites before mine. later i meet a couple of really cool digital artists and hang out at their adjacent desks while we all work on our own things (parallel play!). after a bit i decide to walk to the cafe for a pastry and maybe a drink, leaving my stuff with my new friends. on the way back i pause at an empty table to grab some napkins, and my hand accidentally touches some white fluffy stuff, which i guess is some kind of pollen fallen from the redwood trees. instantly i feel my arm burn up with the unfortunately familiar sensation of severe eczema. i ask someone at the nearest table "uhhh do you know what that white fluffy stuff is" and they take one look at my arm and reply "THAT'S an allergic reaction." i look too and there's a big red swollen patch on my arm that looks like a pineapple bun. somehow somewhere eventually i find my eczema medication to slather on the rashes and eventually i get back to my friends' desks. one of them had left so i thanked the other for watching my stuff while i was gone and recounted the ordeal i just went through, laughing at how incredibly untimely it all was. (minus the eczema part, i think this dream was really cool! i've asked myself a lot what kind of community and friendships i'd like to have and couldn't answer, but my subconscious has spoken. in a sense neocities is already this kind of space. would be nice to have physical spaces like this too, but i know how much capitalism hates that, even if it weren't for covid. maybe one day)

i'm at school, but my classroom is an enormous empty aircraft hangar. a terrorist group has seized power locally and has been harrassing individuals of a specific race or religion (unclear). one day my classmate who typically sits behind me doesn't show up, and we learn from watching the news in class that he was captured by the group as part of their intimidation tactic.

it's christmas, my parents and i are walking through a wes anderson -esque town with horsedrawn carraiges on cobblestone roads and mustached men in top hats. on the way to our destination to eat some good food, we pass by a kitschy pastel green and gold art deco hotel with a red carpet and grand flight of stairs marking its entrance, so i playfully walk sideways on the stairs as we pass, but a bellboy tells me to get off because it's decorative or i wasn't a hotel patron or something. i'm disgruntled but we then cross some railroad tracks, meaning we're almost at our destination. we soon find the dessert shop and the boutique restaurant. the former has a long line so we decide to fill up at the restaurant first. we walk inside and it's overwhelmingly pretentious and instagrammable - the lobby looks more like an art gallery or museum. we eventually find the dining room but aren't seated, so we wander into the kitchen and ask a staff member what the heck is this place. they explain their convoluted online reservation/order system, and my mother asks why it's online-only and whether we could just be seated and eat there and asks about the different dishes that are on display. the staff are friendly and explain some of the more popular dishes, but i'm stressed out and just want to order online instead of bugging the staff, or just eat somewhere else. but soon the staff get us seated at a booth with a built-in grill because apparently it was a kbbq restaurant, and we're given big laminated menus to look through, while my dad steps out to grab a jacket or something from the car.

recently started to wear a jade pendant necklace, like i used to do in middle school. i have a habit of putting the pendant in my mouth a biting it like an olympic medal once in a while lol - i dreamt that it actually cracked like a candy

back in college, but my school campus is now a 80s-esque office building. i'm involved in a student organization with some of my friends, and miraculously got assigned. an office space near the school entrance, but it has a lot of windows and faces west so it gets unbearably hot. then we have to submit some paperwork and jump some bureaucratic hoops to register our club, so we spend some time walking around the stuffy carpeted hallways to print out forms and find the right people to talk to. we end up in one of the school libraries and as usual i'm messing around and talking really loudly and soon get told to shut up as it's a quiet zone. later we look for a place to study that isn't the sweltering club office but the library is unbelievably packed.

thinking about the mcdonalds drink machines that require a rfid tag on the bottom of the cup, and ways to circumvent it

some friends and i decide to start a restaurant. we go to the local restaurant wholesale supplier and split up, wandering the surprisingly packed aisles to pick up everything we need, occasionally running into each other and asking "hey do we need this?" and quipping a bit before continuing on with our mission. then suddenly i run into an intimidating figure holding a big firearm. i look in the other direction and find that part of the store had cleared out, leaving other heavily-armed men surrounding what seemed to be hostages. i hurry the fuck out of there along with some others, scared as fuck that i'll get shot. i flee with the others and we all walk down the street in the dry and hot daylight to go somewhere, and eventually i learn that it was a terrorist group targeting folks of a certain political alignment, identified by their past social media posts. i panic, thinking about all that i have posted on social media, vowing to never use it again.

i get hired as a tutor or babysitter and instead end up as the parent's sugar baby lol

another dream of "airbnb stay with friends but involves a secret mission." this time it's in a sunny 70's american home with wood paneling and brightly colored linoleum floors. it's all fun and games but i'm inexplicably afraid of something so i lock the front door, but then half of our group gets back so i unlock the door or else it'd be awkward if they couldn't get in. at one point we have to go somewhere via elevator so i decide to save time by brushing my teeth on the way but then i panic because we're in the elevator and we're almost there but the toothpaste foam in my mouth is overflowing and it's getting on the linoleum elevator floor lol

i'm on a secret mission with a group of spies to retrieve something from the top floor of a high-rise hotel. kind of stressful because i'm not supposed to get caught. many of the higher floors are cold and corporate-looking endless hallways of offices, grimly lit by buzzing incandescent lights. between missions i take breaks back at a colorful sun-drenched airbnb with my friends. some of them are outside cooking brunch in a cute overgrown courtyard.

(the dream described above has reminded me of other ones i've had with similar premises or settings) a grand and sprawling hotel near the airport in a metropolitan city. a school building with an uncomfortably large bathroom. seeking or fleeing something intangible in a maze of hallways and emergency exits. a fancy high-rise corporate office, with increasingly intimidating decor the higher up you go. an enormous greenhouse with precarious-looking glass stairs leading high up. a glass observatory on the top floor of a skyscraper. meeting up with classmates and going to class in a brutalist multi-story school building.

(suddenly remembering other dreams where the main focus was the architecture or the landscapes) an imagined metropolis with very wide yet mostly empty streets, on a gloomy overcast day. a suburban neighborhood, lawns and parks between townhomes and condos, children playing soccer. a wooden cottage with a fenced garden on a secluded tree-shaded gravel road. a city with northeastern vibes, chilly weather and brownstone buildings and skyscrapers and subways. a marketplace tucked into an alleyway in a metropolis. an underground mall. a rickety train ride from a station on elevated outdoor platform to an underground station that exits into a glassy art deco galleria, and down the street is a gothic church and a plaza with a large fountain sculpture.

i'm hanging out with some friends at a quaint and sunny italian restaurant. one friend works there and is telling us anectdotes of horror-customers and we all agree that food service workers deserve so much respect and livable wages. suddenly we all end up working there and don the white dress shirt and black bowtie and apron uniform. we get training on how things operate at the restaurant, and immediately we start serving guests. they were already seated while we were getting training so there's a few tables of guests who are getting a bit impatient, rightfully so after waiting so long without being served water or anything. one of my high school friends is sitting at one of those tables but she doesn't seem to recognize me. i run around to grab some glasses and water carafes (clean glasses were located next door, a pastel diner-esque eatery that has the same owner but is currently just empty and used as extra storage space), but most of them are either dirty or clean but streaky. i'm noticing all these inconsistencies and grumbling and thinking about how to improve them in the coming weeks, but for now it's only my first day. a more senior waiter tells me to give each table an appetizer on the house for their long wait, but we're out the usual plates so again i'm running around looking for a clean plate of the right size. also at some point in the day my boss takes me out back to check on the animals in the restaurant's private farm. at another point i venture on a field trip through "seattle" (it looks nothing like seattle) to find some ingredient that's only available at this one mysterious store in some secluded historic district, so i take the lightrail here and there looking for the secret ingredient.

i'm sitting in the italian restaurant (from the above story) at a small table by the wall with two others but i no longer work there. instead it's the classroom for english class, and that whole scenario just now is actually the short story we were reading for class. of course, i'm not paying attention at all and suddenly the teacher puts us into pairs to do some project or activity. i get paired with one of the people at my table and turns out he's my long-lost classmate from elementary school. the class splits up into the assigned groups and we move to a table near the door. i ask what are we actually doing and apparently we have to summarize and analyze the story. despite me hating his guts back in fourth grade we smoothly finish the assignment together. he asks if i want to get lunch afterwards and i say sure i'm kinda down. we have to present our findings at the next class so i ask him if we should just wing it. he observes that i must be confident we did well and i reply that no, i'm just lazy. the class regroups and for some reason i switch to talking in cantonese and discover that a few others in the class speak cantonese too.

(had this dream a few weeks ago but i suddenly remembered it) my parents drop me off at a restaurant on an empty street seemingly in the middle of nowhere. after a quick and useless interview with the boss i instantly get a job there as a bartender-slash-host. immediately i start my shift and i'm a bit stressed memorizing the basic cocktails on the menu, praying that no more guests show up, and very soon it's the end of my shift. despite the stress i'm reminded that things like this usually get better in about a week and then i'll be really good at it. my parents come pick me up from work.

(same with this one) it's a new school year at a school that seems like a hybrid of my middle school and my college, but with even more trees, mostly redwoods, which with some overcast skies and fog makes it look perpetually like twilight (the movie). the first day of school passes in a blur as i spend most of it just figuring out where my classes are and which familiar faces are in each class. the worst was english class, which was in a classroom that was painted dark inside and had a few decorative lightbulbs hanging from the middle of the ceiling that made that class in particular feel stuffy and suffocating, not to mention it had the most homework. after class i escape to the downtown across from campus to buy dinner to-go. i wander the hilly streets and its curious shops and sights, enjoying my own company.

what's with these dreams taking place at work or at school. is my imagination so limited that i can only see myself working or studying. i hate capitalism

i'm on a camping(?) trip with some friends and friends-of-friends. i'm super awkward around the people i've never met before. there's a lake (pool?) that can be reached by descending a minimalist staircase carved into the side of a mysterious large white wall. there's an island with a dock with some boats and floaties. at nighttime we have a campfire on the island and for some reason my middle school nemesis(?) is also here. at one point i almost drown because i can't swim lol. then suddenly it's my friend's birthday party (with approximately the same group of people) but it's at my house and i have to secretly prepare her gift but then i get into a minor argument with my parents and then someone knocks on the front door.

a rainforest-themed maze of endless mirrors on platforms vaguely shaped like leaves and suspended above the ground on poles. the vertical space is narrow enough that you must crawl on all fours to navigate.

my tweet (it was something mundane like complaining about my day) getting 1 million likes while i was asleep lol

i'm back in school (in an imaginary setting that is a mashup of my kindergarten and high school) and it's either lunch or recess or free period. i'm chatting with a friend and THE taeyong (not sure why he's at school) and eventually i talk about about how much i love the dotae plushie photocards in the sticker album. god even in my dreamverse taeyong is so wholesome and attractive, listening and laughing at our conversation. i develop a full crush on this man during my dream but somehow i keep it cool while talking to him. eventually it's time to go to english class but i left my notebook in my locker so i have to walk back and get it

going on a road trip with my friends and some friends-of-friends. one of the friends-of-friends that i just met flirts with me and i play along because i need the attention even though i'm not that interested. we arrive at the airbnb and we start to make out in front of my friends?? and turns out this guy is monstrously hideous and looks kinda like big ed from 90 day fiance??? he's like way too into it and i'm super grossed out so i fake a stomachache and get the hell out of there...

i hear news that my good friend passed away after an unexpected complication from an injury incurred while partying too hard on halloween. i'm shocked and devastated, but also confused as i hear conflicting information that she survived. i'm not sure if it's the denial stage of grief or just my self-awareness that i'm dreaming, but it didn't affect me as much as i'd expect, although i did wake up with tears streaming down my face

i'm at some sort of party, holding a solo cup full of beer in my hand. my hand is starting to feel numb and tingly with pins and needles (probably because i was sleeping on it lol) so i desperately ask the closest person to take the beer from my hands before i straight up drop it, but they either can't hear me or won't do anything about it so i'm just panicking

why are my dreams stupidly realistic and reflective of my recent anxieties /rq

went to kcon but for some reason it was held in a slightly shabby lecture hall, and seats were not assigned so i wandered the lecture hall looking for an open seat. a bunch of racist extemists had occupied all the vip seats in protest of something. i run into a few college classmates and an old crush and find a seat off to the side.

fighting for my life in the bathroom while having a yelling match with my parents lmaoooooo

paralysis demon but it's shaped like my mother and i feel like i'm dying so i try to scream but nothing comes out

excitement while browsing a magical bookstore. the decor is intense yet bright and welcoming: dark cherry wood shelves climbing to a vaulted window roof, plush upholstered chairs here and there, the occasional stained-glass lamp. i ponder whether i should buy anything since i don't even read books anymore. i ask a friendly employee for a fantasy/sci-fi book rec, and they pluck one out from the shelves just for me.

for whatever reason, i'm grocery shopping at the local chinese supermarket with a friend who i'm not super close to irl. i'm in charge of pushing the shopping cart. she's busy doing the actual shopping but i keep interrupting her to rave about how much i love the new aespa song, taking care to recite some lyrics and mimic the choreography. when we reach the produce section she asks me for an impromptu photoshoot so that she can post a photostrip-style collage on her instagram story. conveniently right when we start taking photos it gets super busy and people keep walking in front of me, and i have to lean backwards into the produce fridge to the get the shot.

me and a few friends go on a roadtrip to central/southern california (this point is ambiguous in the alternate dream-california), to some quaint towns supposedly near one of my friends' hometown. we get hatecrimed and flee through the remote small towns, connected only by a single highway weaving between those californian golden (dry af) rolling hills. our adventure is suspiciously reminiscent of some rpg games - our progress through the towns is limited by our supplies and especially by our phone battery capacity between finding places to charge them in the towns. i don't quite remember but our adventure also involved some offroad biking, a robbery, and a saloon barfight along the way.

in this alternate dreamscape, my extended family jointly inherited a large but decrepit summer home. my parents and i visit to survey its sorry state. upon seeing the daunting task of cleanup and remodeling in front of us, i make the cowardly suggestion of abandoning it, but my parents adamantly insist of reviving it. eventually we do, and a time skip later, it's a beautiful modern mansion and suddenly my entire extended family who's within driving distance (who were nowhere to be found during the renovations) show up for the housewarming..

the end of the world is near. i'm staying at a temporary campsite for climate refugees. it is expected to flood from a heavy rainstorm tomorrow so everyone is preparing to leave after this last night.

sightseeing in new york city (though not really). riding in the pea car, but it's open-top, feeling the breeze. stopping by a nonstandard starbucks, talking to a jaded barista and a gruff barista with a tony soprano accent. i record the passing scenery on my hair brush with its built-in camcorder. we (?) drive across a big bridge, from which the cityline at dusk is visible in the distance with an ominously dark storm cloud hovering above. we make a stop at a quaint and colorful 2nd-floor coffeeshop and play some cards before it's time to leave.

a friend and i run into nct's jaehyun and doyoung on a school campus (lol ncit). we grab lunch together and walk to the parking lot together while chatting. we enter a hallway where the hvac seems really broken, so i jokingly make a sex house reference, about the vents blasting extremely hot and cold air. doyoung seems confused so i tell him to watch sex house

who is your shrek bias?

(maybe this dream log is helpful, i thought i didn't dream much anymore as a boring burnt-out adult, but i guess that's not true. looking through these, i'm reminded that i still have the capacity to be imaginative)

two british nuns pacing down a hallway of a boarding school, calling out a reminder to clean the living quarters ("quort-uhs"). some tiny students are cheerfully running around. the nuns lightly reprimand them but can't help but be enamored.

i show up early to a friend's house party, which some members of loona are apparently attending as well. someone is explaining to jinsoul what bisexuality means, while me and yves are gossiping on the other side of the room, laughing at jinsoul's exaggerated curiosity on the topic (implying that she's bi)

i was part of an experiment to be cloned, but the experiment was partially unsuccessful and my clone turned out deformed with a tiny head (lol). i was tasked with taking my clone to a nearby build-a-bear store (loool) to buy some parts and get them fixed up, but for whatever reason having a clone is either illegal or taboo so i have to make sure they don't look too obvious. as i weave across town through crowded pedestrian walkways in the sweltering summer heat, carrying this big baby of a failed experiment to build-a-bear, i occasionally very aggressively mutter to my annoyingly talkative clone to shut the fuck up or else we'll get caught

arguing with my parents and getting an anxiety attack

i'm on vacation in vancouver, canada with my childhood best friend and someone else who i don't remember, when suddenly we are caught in a horrible massacre led by a group of political extremists and luckily survive. i realize my bag containing my phone and paperwork has disappeared, supposedly stolen during the chaos, but my friends and i quickly flee through the park where we were previously sightseeing, running past and through various landmarks, including a sprawling maze of downward concrete stairs packed with people chilling and picnicking in the nice sunny weather, which lead to a towering outdoor auditorium. at one point these "stairs" turned quite perilous, where i had to jump down or climb down some parts like a ladder. i could no longer hold the iced coffee that was suddenly in my hand, so i asked the nearest dude to hold it for a second while i start climbing down, and he turns out to be an old classmate so i say hi then continue downward after taking back my coffee. apparently my friends had found an easier way down, and went on ahead without me. phone-less and alone, i panic but soon found other familiar faces to ask to contact the two. eventually, i see them circling back riding bicycles. i greet them and excitedly reunite them with the larger group, but they tell me to stop talking because everyone in the auditorium is observing a moment of silence. my rebellious ass doesn't give a shit and keeps talking, but i had an ominous feeling something awful would singularly happen to me as a punishment and then i woke up.

waking up late for work, then going to brush my teeth in a hurry. (imagine my disappointment when i actually woke up late for work but still had to brush my teeth...)

thoughts on a year online

posted 10/24/2021, edited 11/1/21

happy one-year birthday to this website! approximately a year ago on 10/10/2020 i opened a neocities account and started putting together the homepage and its signature times new roman / kpop / wireframes look. this year of my life both dragged on painfully slow and flew past in a haze, but i think neocities is one of the few positive constants in that time. okay whatever enough gushing, there's more of that in the diary (along with my usual package-deal mini-rant about instagram and corporate web).

all this as a lengthy preface to the *meat* of this entry, which is a transcription of a recent thought dump (on paper) obliquely about what this website means to me now (i do like paper because it feels more welcoming to stray ideas and easier to commit to words). it's interesting to compare this to my thoughts on neocities much earlier in this year of self-discovery and new connections, to see how i've both changed and stayed exactly the same. here it is, mostly unedited in its meandering looseness. i'll try to convey the nonlinear nature of the mindmap-style scribbles as best as i can.

NEOCITIES THOUGHTS - one year later

  1. learning how to be messy and be okay with it
  2. trying to unlearn Silicon Valley-esque design principles, fear of it stunting creativity - maybe theres an argument for "my job/education can inform/shape my art uniquely, they are not at odds" [T/N: referencing ann haeyoung's essay in this anthology, starting on page 77] but i'm just so envious of the freeform, non-linear shape of childhood / the uninitiated
  3. along a similar vein i'm kinda sick of neutral colors (for visual design - i'm okay w/ it for my clothing + makeup lol and maybe sometimes home decor) - the rise of instagrammable minimalism appears to be a reaction against the bright saturation saccharine imagery of corporate advertisement + consumerism, but it's i feel it's been co-opted as another marketing tactic. trying to sell me eco products w/ the empty promise that this biodegradable toothbrush will save the earth from ruin.
    1. AND thats why i prefer the saccharine maximalist imagery. either it's 1) obvious in its intention or 2) maybe it's reclaiming the aesthetic for anti-capitalist ideals. IDK!
    2. (NOTE TO SELF) is there some reading/essay on the concept behind sophie's "faceshopping" and its very plastic aesthetic. what does it mean for very queer hyperpop to still be pop
    3. NO MORE MINIMALISM i want to go batshit (and continue to consume cheap products and materials BUT treasure them like i would an overpriced luxury eco product)
    4. the argument that shaming all F21/shein customers is misdirected at poorer people who actually treasure their fast fashion products [T/N: thinking about these screenshots from a mina le video]
  4. my original intention in oct 2020 was to make a "chaotic" website in how its not defined by rules of "good design" (see point 2) - "chaotic" b/c it came through and thats the word [my friend] used to describe. interestingly i think it seems chaotic b/c subconsciously i made the homepage to NOT have any CTAs or real sense of hierarchy! thats aginst every modern SEO principle. a method to my madness!
  5. there is no real "purpose" for visiting my website but for browsing and meandering. this is a deliberately slow and obfuscated(?) objective. rest and comfort (meditative) against haste and productivity and attention economy
  6. ANOTHER NOTE TO SELF: might be good to re-explore non-linear version history

and there it is :) actually it seemed a lot more chaotic and substantial on paper, but the process of reorganizing these mental threads into a word-processing-friendly structure was interesting? maybe i could use css to make it fun and actually nonlinear but i just wanted to get this out of my system (my notebook) quickly. [note 11/1/21: i've been thinking a lot about how to digitally and visually represent non-linear thought on a website, and i think i found my answer in domino, which i first discovered from this website listed on gossip's web - i think i'll try it out] anyways - i think i want to elaborate on some of my hastily jotted thoughts:

in retrospect i think this entry might seem misleading as it's not initially obvious that my thought dump is related to my website, but it is! for context, i was/am in the process of brainstorming for redesigning the homepage, which to me is kind of a big deal because it kind of sets the tone for the rest of the site, and is kind of a shopfront (always thinking of sophie <3) for my online presence. as you can see from my moodboard, i want to go for glaringly bright primary colors and wacky fun motifs, which got me thinking about maximalism/minimalism and "chaos" and consumerism. i think i gravitate to maximalist and ostensibly consumerist imagery, because i'm 1) nostalgic for my childhood in this consumerist society while still untouched by climate anxiety and crippling pessimism about capitalism, and 2) i'm responding the contrived restraint of the instagram minimalist aesthetic, which isn't really minimalism (e.g. in a utilitarian or buddhist/taoist way?) but just consumerism in sans serif and muted colors. i think there's also some power in reclaiming the consumerist aesthetic for personal creative expression, an idea that i vaguely remember reading about in some article about sophie and pc music, but i haven't quite thought that out yet - i'd love to hear anyone's thoughts or recs on this topic!

to be honest, i'm a bit embarrassed (but self-aware enough?) to admit that my thinking, especially the pessimism, is probably largely fueled by my heavy HEAVY use of twitter - out of the frying pan (instagram) and into the fire (twitter)! twitter definitely sucks less than instagram, and i've been able to develop a promising sense of community with my close-ish mutuals, but the twitter experience is: i'm willingly bombarded by a thousand words and images from strangers and non-strangers on the internet each day, a lot of which could be cynical and pessimistic if that's what gets the most likes and retweets. i think a lot of this pessimism is valid, simply a reflection of today's youth witnessing and deploring the current state of the world, but it's A Lot, likely exacerbated by The Algorithm, and it's probably more than my berry-picking, shoplifting brain is equipped to handle (i don't actually shoplift i'm just referring to this meme). my gut reaction is to chastise myself and tell myself to "get off my phone and touch grass" but i don't think that's entirely realistic. maybe my doomscrolling pessimism and my full admission to it is simply a sign of the times. my website is a sign of the times, or more precisely, my personal response to the times. my website is a reflection of the self, you are peering into my brain! i think that is so cool, and something that instagram and twitter won't ever fully replicate.

if you've made it this far, you're a real trooper for braving this untamed and overgrown backyard of my mind with me - as a token of my gratitude here's a song and music video i'm really fond of - unintentionally it perfectly fits the re:consumerism aesthetic i was talking about, what a nice way to wrap up :)

my hopes and dreams for the internet

"what is your utopic vision of the internet?" i'm not sure, but i do have some wishes for the future (and the present, honestly). this list may grow and change as i build a deeper understanding of the web. i hope that:

  • building on the web and accessing information is never paywalled. shoutout neocities for continuing the legacy of geocities and providing the former. the latter isn't unique to the internet, but the way it scales with the internet is what makes it revolutionary. i imagine the internet must seem like a scary leviathan or pandora's box for a lot of (if not all) governments (ironically the real leviathans). i hope alternative and free (in multiple senses of the word) online spaces persist and resist. at least in principle i'm reminded of the uncensored minecraft server.
  • access to the internet isn't surveilled and platform-locked. when i upgraded my router earlier this year, i was adamant that we didn't get the g00gle h0me, despite all its advertised convenience. it requires a g00gle login to setup, implying that my entire household's internet activity would be tied to a user profile, which really doesn't sit right with me. undeniably g00gle already has a ton of ad data on me from their other inescapable services (i recently dropped chrome in favor of firefox, but my entire web identity is already tied to a handful of gmail accounts), but i pray for a future without every corner of the common web arbitered by a corporation or the state.
  • also, the above point will require that the devices we use to access the internet remain "open." to explain what i mean: an example of what i'll call here a "closed" device is almost any apple product, which greatly limit the visibility and customizations on your personally-owned device, meaning you are typically (without some hacking, which is greatly discouraged by design, hence the negative connotation of "jailbreaking") restricted to a whitelist of approved web browsers. we can imagine a worst-case but not-too-far future where there's a tiny list of approved ios web browsers, all which either require you to sign in and/or collect a ton of ad data on you anyways. on the other hand, an example of an open device would be most laptops today, where you are still pretty free to write or install sketchy/rogue software to bypass corporate browsers if you wanted to. the ability to hack and build on our devices that we use to connect to the internet is also crucial to keeping the internet fundamentally open, even if the convenient and consumer-friendly entrypoints are gated or surveilled.
  • access to the internet is decentralized(?) or at least not arbitered by a handful of powerful for-profit entities. i'm wary of the power that internet service providers (ISPs) and subsequently the state have in monitoring or limiting our access to the internet in general. i've forgotten a lot of the stuff i learned in my networking class in college so i'm not 100% sure how this works, but i'm inspired by this article about mesh networks that a friend shared lately. i'm optimistic to see that we have such emergency measures when the state tries to limit connectivity in revolutionary times, and that volunteers devote their time to this.
  • the internet is accessible not only to the wealthy and developed west, and grows with the rest of the world in mind. i'm not sure the state of this today, but as internet technologies continue to develop i hope we de-center the english-speaking west and consider the rest/majority of the world. again this isn't limited to web development, but some immediate web-specific considerations: are your websites and apps backwards compatible with older devices and usable on devices with less computing power? are they built with android and windows in mind? are current and upcoming technologies compatible with languages that don't use the latin alphabet? i'm sure there's more but these are some off the top of my head, partly inspired by my learnings about neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and the efforts to eliminate them, which is another cause i care a lot about and which might warrant a separate journal entry sometime..
  • usage is opt-in, rather than "always on." tech shouldn't pervade my privacy or my afk time by default, at least not without my explicit permission.
  • no infinitely scrollable feeds. info consumption is mindful and curated. so far feels like a pretty good example of this, though its feed technically scrolls infinitely. i guess it's about how a platform is designed and what kinds of behavior/consumption it incentivizes.
  • thoughts are allowed to sit and grow. content can exist and grow without being shoved to the dumps in mere days by an aggressively forgetful algorithm.
  • online spaces allow for anonymity, as in a user can keep their online identity separate from their afk identity, but are still encouraged to maintain an online-specific identity for the sake of accountability and to build a realistic sense of community. i am very skeptical of web platforms requiring my phone number or legal name or ssn or photo verification. sus as hell
  • online spaces don't always have to scale to accommodate millions of global users. limiting the scale can help tailor it to specific community and its group dynamic, making it feel more personal. thinking about mastodon and other tiny social spaces online
  • space for open-ended creative expression. interesting, non-linear, and multimedia ways to express ideas. kind of like botw vs other games, no singular correct answer. something like neocities vs most social media platforms today, which strictly dictate what type of media can be shared and the way they look. also none of that obsessive censorship of female/queer bodies - as mentioned above, not every space is designed to be child-friendly, mind your own business
  • new web technologies are designed with human users in mind - it's unlikely that tech can flawlessly automate or abstract away every human interaction, without substantial tradeoffs to consider. for example, i don't think content moderation bots/algorithms can fairly capture the nuances of human communication and then perform an automated action (deleting a post, banning a user, etc) that communicates the right message. inspired by this article, i think some things won't be improved by replacing a human with an algorithm, and that's okay and we should design with that in mind. sometimes even a trivial interaction with a human could be very effective, simply because it's human. i can't think of a precise example right now, but something along the lines of, a high-end restaurant might choose to keep its human waitstaff in favor of switching to a potentially cost-saving digital self-serve menu system because they believe their amazing service is core to their brand.

idk time is not real

posted 1/1/2022

today if you told me "happy new year 2021!" with enough conviction i would believe you. the past twelve months have been simultaneously the longest year and a nonexistent year. when discussing age nowadays i have to do a bit of mental math because my internal age counter seems to have stopped counting. the future seems uncertain save for the bad parts which seem to be on a neverending downhill. maybe it's bad feng shui to start off a new year commiserating about the previous, but it feels freeing to let it out and leave it behind. 2022 might be great, 2022 might be shit, 2022 might be exactly the same, but regardless i think i (and you!) did a good job of making it through this past year, and i'll worry about 2022 day by day when i get there.

looking back at what i wrote at the beginning of the year, my perkier way of writing then feels so foreign now, but the change is understandable, after facing a year's barrage of upsetting news that has repeatedly destroyed any (if any!) remaining crumb of faith in existing systems (i think that's what i mean by "making it through the year" personally - i've stayed employed and housed and passably healthy, so the endurance game has mostly been invisible and psychological for me). this change is almost a given, in no way a reflection of "how well i did" in 2021, in fact it's a testament to that invisible endurance game, which i am usually quick to dismiss as just a bit of overthinking on my end. with that out of the way, let's look at "how i did" otherwise:

2021's not-resolutions

in that other journal entry i compiled a list of aspirations, deliberately meant not to be actual resolutions, which feel so arbitrary and are too often abandoned mid-year. in retrospect i think that was a good call especially in 2021 - the arbitrary goal-setting of typical resolutions aren't very forgiving of a whole year's unforeseen ups and downs. thankfully my aspirations were pretty realistic and now i can feel good about achieving most of them! to summarize:

  • play more video games, even though i suck - i did this! and i realized i don't suck as much as i thought, my self-perception was just skewed because i was going off of my experience as a child with undeveloped hand-eye coordination and with very few games because i only played whatever my dad bought. this year i bought new games for myself and had a lot of fun
  • live shamelessly about my bad habits at least until i manage to kick them - of course this is a work in progress but i think i feel a little less bad about my insane sleep schedule now. i suspect it's been so incorrigible because it's my main coping method for feeling like i have zero boundaries living at home, so it is what it is until it isn't.
  • miscellaneous website to-dos - almost every one!
  • keep writing in this journal - yup!
  • keep going like in 2020 - to be honest my memory of 2020 is very fuzzy, but if i was referring to my growing sense of community on neocities and art twitter, then definitely! i've connected with so many cool people online (hi) who've been so incredibly kind and supportive. during the course of this year i think i finally reconciled the fact that i need my online friends as much as i need my irl friends and that both kinds of connections are very real.

2021 year in review

a list of good things this year to remind me to feel good about myself. please do not feel compelled to compare! no one needs to accomplish anything ever. these were the things that naturally helped get me through this year.

  • journaled a lot / actually read books / saw a therapist
  • traded zines for the first time!
  • got promoted at work / took adequate time off when i needed a break
  • better boundaries with my social media use / made new friends online
  • got vaccinated, slowly reintegrating into society irl lol
  • created and shared shortly, briefly with the world
  • made my first fullstack web app for my birthday

and my non-resolutions for 2022

  • watch some anime / play more indie games / try an mmorpg
  • make detailed plans to move out, and hopefully move out
  • make "ugly" art / unfinished art / art that channels unpleasant emotions too
  • parallel park successfully...

i think that's all i have for now - i am keeping my expectations low for 2022 because to be quite honest i'm not feeling very optimistic about the things i can't control, but it doesn't matter because i'll just wing it like i always do and hope for the best. thanks for reading and being here and i wish you a healthy and peaceful new year :)

lorem ipsum #1

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neocities is p cool iguess

very cool

look at this nice layout