Let's Dancing!

We’re hard at work on my next comic, titled Let’s Dancing. As I stated in my cheesy end of CAR announcement, this new strip will still have a punchline, yet it’ll be plot-based in the sense that things progress. I’ve tried to keep CAR away from continuity altogether, and I’ve done quite a nice job, if you ask me.

In fact, I have a little more to say about CAR before I get into the details of LD… I’m really proud about how it turned out. If you think about it, my CAR was a lot like Josh Lesnick’s CuteWendy, as it was easy and fun to make, and it was very lighthearted. I wouldn’t say that my Midgard was like Josh’s Wendy before he put that on hiatus, but we both just went from two tiring, long projects into something fun.

I never missed a day of CAR. I did run down to the deadline a lot of the time, but to me and many other webcartoonists, being on the internet and being ahead of schedule are oxymoronic. A comic starts to run downhill once the maker starts to not want to make it, and that’s when the comics take longer and often don’t get put up in time. I sense that if I continued CAR, I might start doing this. So I felt like ending it because of that.

Doing things in Flash is fun. In fact, LD will also be colored in Flash, since it’s just so easy. I always had a good time making comics for CAR, since so much stuff could easily be done with Flash. I never found the need to stop making or throw away a strip because it was too tedious or boring. The CAR comics are like my childrens. I love them all!

So just like Lesnick graded his pre-CuteWendy comics, I give CAR an A. Ha-ha! I’m so praud (sic) of myself.

As for Let’s Dancing – don’t worry that it’ll be a DDR comic. Yes, it will have DDR jokes. Yes, there will be lots of mentions of things that won’t make sense to people who have never played. But those who read from the beginning, just like all stories, will be able to understand everything. And even if not, people will get the gist of it. The characters are funny, the drawing style is fun, and it still retains a lot of the light-hearted feel that CAR has.

But the big announcement – I said that I’d only be making 2 LD comics a week, and while this is true, I have two more people working on the comic with me! Bryan Groza and Brad Griffin have both volunteered to help out and make the other half of the comics. They can both draw the characters really well and have (or will quickly have, in Brad’s case) a firm grasp of Flash, so this will equal out to a comic EVERY OTHER DAY. Isn’t that great?

Unlike CAR, where I thought of it the day before I started it, I have put a lot of thought into LD, and we’re already about 8 strips into it already. It’s easy to draw and color this sort of stuff, but I’m personally keeping this to one every 4 days for me, since I plan to continue this into college, and I plan to have much less free time while in college.

As for other stuff!

STAR testing is this week, for all schools. That means that the seniors don’t have to take them, therefore they don’t have to come to school until after lunch. That’s made my mornings very… easy. I’ll try to schedule all of my college classes for somewhere around noontime – it’s only recently occurred to me that waking up at 6:30 is ridiculous.

OMG BeForU!
OMG Naoki Neo-Standard!
OMG Naoki Platinum!
OMG Love RevenG – FC’ed Orion.78 but failed at last few steps of exotic ethnic…

And World Tour is my latest challenge. I must kick Afronova’s ass. I used to easily be able to full combo it. Argh.

I’m “graduating” from Jew school on Friday!
Hannah’s being confirmed at Jew school the Friday after next!

Hannah’s birthday was fun, but you should read James’s blog about it, because all I did was put on an uncaring air and be really intentionally insulting to everyone. It was fun!

Oh, and you can get a preview of Let’s Dancing here.

Yeah it's like okay

I think I’m going to have to adopt some sort of mature air for the month and a half that I have left in high school, since I’m now sure that I’m on my way to UC Santa Cruz. I vacationed in Santa Cruz this past week during Spring Break just to find my way around the campus and city.

I went with my mom, her boyfriend Steve, my sister Lily, her friend Melissa, and our two dogs. We set off on Thursday morning in two cars – I drove in my own car, and everyone else drove in my mom’s big ol’ Nissan truck. The trip to Santa Cruz was pretty fast. We went down a coastal route, which made for nice views of the Pacific. I pretty much followed behind them until we entered San Francisco, where I got off the wrong exit and found myself searching for them around the Presidio for a while. In the end, we arrived at our campsite in the Henry Powell state park.

The first day, we drove around the city and the campus for a while. I found myself constantly telling Lily and Melissa to stop embarassing me, as they were pretending that they were girls from some sorority and inviting everyone to their party. Not only are they both 13, but there are no sororities in UC Santa Cruz. Whatever. I was trying to convey some sort of collegiate air of my own, anyway, so there’s no need for me to complain about false appearances.

We did stop off at the Boardwalk on the first day, and I got in some games of DDR. There’s one booth on the Boardwalk situated right outside an arcade. All that’s in this small booth is a DDR Extreme machine, so you can show your stuff as people walk by. This means HUGE crowds. The first day that I was there, I met two DDR Freak members, Rancid Fish and The Burninator. Yeah, we danced it up. Good times. And I failed at Cartoon Heroes. But that’s getting into specifics.

We ate at this nice diner, and I tried to get Lily and Melissa as quiet as possible with their remarks about hippies. I tried to get them to realize that there’s a variety of people in Santa Cruz, and that they really don’t care about what social norm they fit into. I found myself starting to talk louder than them, though, so I shut up sooner or later.

That night I made the bad decision of sleeping in my car. I thought it’d be warmer than sleeping in a tent. Turned out that it was just as cold, and going to sleep on a car seat is torture. During the middle of the night I tried to cram myself into the back of the car, but that just made me wake up with major back pains.

The next day was the actual tour of UCSC. We woke up pretty early to get there to find that our reservation for the tour wasn’t recorded, so we just had to wait an extra half-hour to start off. I think the tour was what really made my mom make up her mind about the college. Besides the amazing academics and student life that we were shown, the architecture and the flora (and often the combinations of the two) were simply beautiful. No wonder people flock to UCSC for the art programs – just gazing out at one of the many ocean views or taking a walk through the multitude of forest pathways is probably enough for anyone to write a symphony or paint… something… big.

At the end of the tour we were dropped off at the Student Center where we had some good pizza and I bought myself some stuff. I’ll be sporting my UC Santa Cruz hoodie for a while; I’m so proud of myself. I also got a bumper sticker for my car. Yeah, I’ll make a comic about that, be patient.

We met up with Paula and her son Scott Rugg, family friends of ours. Paula was the vice principal of my elementary school, Weibel, back in Fremont. They had just finished taking the campus tour too.

We decided to make our way to one of many tourist attractions in Santa Cruz: the Mystery Spot. It’s… a MYSTERY! So I’ll uh, make this text white so you have to highlight it to read it. OMG spoilers. The Mystery Spot is this area about 150 feet in diameter in De La Veaga park. When you enter it, soon you find that gravity itself is actually thrown off. It’s easier to climb uphill. You can place balls on a slant and they’ll actually go uphill. Our tour guide had a multitude of levels and compasses to prove that this place was legitimate. You don’t really believe it when you’re there, but as you leave you sorta realize what you just did. This is an actual place where gravity is thrown off. The trees around the area all of a sudden become very twisty and slanty once they pass through the Spot. No birds nest in the Spot. It is rather strange. Check it out if you’re ever down there.

For dinner we made our way to Capitola, an upscale neighborhood. We ate at Gayle’s Deli, which, according to my mom, is at least state-renowned. We walked the dogs through the city, and stopped off to look at a few stores, one being a sword shop. That place is pretty nice. Some parts of the street that runs parallel with the shore remind me of Puerto Vallarta.

We said our farewells to Paula and Scott and went back to our campsite, where we made s’mores. This time I tried sleeping in a tent, but it was still pretty damn difficult. I was sorta resting on a bump, and I’ve just become too accustomed to sleeping on mattresses. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned how much my back has been aching from weight training. Agh.

The next day was TEH DAY O’ FUN! We met up at the Boardwalk with another one of Lily’s friends, Morgan, and his dad Brad. I made it very clear that today I would completely branch off from the rest of the family and play DDR all day. And I did.

I also tried my hand at Percussion Freaks, which is mildly easier than Beatmania. Beatmania and Dance Maniax were also there, but BM was turned off and Dance Maniax just looked… boring.

I ended up spending most of my time in the booth where I was the first day that I got there. Not many other DDR players came around, so I got to play game after game of Nonstop Random All Difficult. That is so amazingly fun to do. For some odd reason, I found that I could play about 6 consecutive games without taking a break or getting thirsty. While I’m sure that’s not very healthy, it shows how much my stamina has grown. My sister can pass Heavy 7-footers now, so she played along for a while, and some other people who work at the Boardwalk are really, really good at DDR as well, so I sorta had some competition. That was fun.

Wow, there’s only like one more paragraph left to do, but I have to go. I shall complete this. I swear.

iMac

You know how sometimes your muscles just twitch? It doesn’t hurt or anything, but right now I have them in an eyelid and a muscle on the side of my ribs. I feel like a little man is inside the muscle and knocking on the walls, as if I could feel the little imprint of a miniature fist from the outside.

You should all go read Hannah and Jeremiah‘s blog. Joint blogs are very entertaining to read, because although they could easily turn into some sort of dialogue, it is only sparingly that they do. It’s as if you’ve got the same person with dissociative identity disorder and he is really good friends with himself.

Since this is yet another random stream of thought, I might mention that the usage of “he” and “himself” in the past paragraph applies to both genders, and in the grammatical sense, this should be the case even when women are writing about an ambiguous situation.

I feel like I’m getting back on track, although my grades are lower than they’ve been in quite some time. I have more C’s in my classes than usual, but I brought up a few grades from D’s earlier, so things are looking up. I’m getting work done. That is a breakthrough. I can get on the computer and do necessary work before I go and chat/read comics/blog/etc. I still need to work on this, but I have been turning all of my assignments in for quite some time now, and it’s only getting easier.

Although I’ve always seen TL‘s technology situation as in the dumps, it does have a few things going for it. A few concerned teachers have gone out of their way to make some changes. First is the website, which is only a few years old, put together by my math teacher. He also helps arrange computerized grading and attendance, which has made the jobs of teachers much easier. Revolving around the website and in-class computerization is a school-wide network, where one can log in at one of dozens of iMacs with their own username/password. None of this is really new, but it just shows how technology is helping. And I should mention that California has one of the lowest education budgets in the country.

There is one rather new thing: last year, about 4 dozen iBooks were purchased with AirPort capability, so carts go from class to class and people can go on the internet and access their files from their desks. And recently Mac OS X was installed on the iBooks, so we can do all of our work in style.

One thing I’m working on these days is my cardinal traits, as seen from other people. I see myself as a self-actualized individual, and given this sense of control, I can define what I want to be percieved as. One trait that I really feel I don’t embody is “kind.” Here’s an example of flat-out kind: Chris. He is the kindest person I know. Every person I’ve ever seen him talk to, online or offline, he has complimented and supported in some way. He is very outgoing, as he can and will say anything to anyone he pleases. From what I can see, he is not introverted in any way.

Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but what I’m getting at is the fact that I wish I was more open and kind like that. One thing that sets me back is that I’m not sure I want to rid of my sarcastic edge. I insult ideas and occasionally I single out people I know. The only way people know I’m kidding and good-natured is that I place a “:P” at the end of my sentences. (Since I can’t do this in real life, I’m just much quieter instead.) Because of this, maybe I don’t want to become such the kind person that Chris is. Perhaps I can work on my generosity otherwise, like my selfless desire to drive people around.

Okay, I’m tired of writing for now. Check out my new LiveJournal. It makes a much stronger statement than anything I could ever write here.

DYNAMITE EVAR!

There was a swing dance toniiiiiiiight.

I finally took our two modded DDR pads home from school. I’ll remove and salvage all the mod material and throw those damn pads out… and sooner than later we’ll insert the new pads so we can bring the DDR club back into school.

I spent a few hours at Time Out instead of Starbase. Lots of kids would pass through the arcade and watch me play DDR for a bit. I saw a few of my TL friends. My beverages were a Frappucino-esque drink and a pineapple smoothie, which were mistakes because they’re both dairy-based. Having passed MAX300, full-comboed Destiny, Paranoia Clean, and Kakumei, and passed Naoki feat. Paula Terry twice, I left.

I got all fancied up and found that my grades weren’t as horrible as I expected for this last quarter. No D’s. I left for my mom’s, but first I drove through TLHS to see if I had left my backpack standing out in front of the school as I was busy loading the two modded pads into my car. I had, but it was there untouched. As I was driving through, I noticed Sophie, Annie, and Geoff, the Drake-ers/oids/o’s, very much too early for the swing dance. I invited them over to my mom’s to sit and do nothing for about an hour. Beats sitting and doing nothing in the cold.

My plan, though, was to miss the first hour of the swing dance and go over to my temple, where my Tuesday night class would be reading a story to the congregation. It was a small tale about two men, one rich and one poor, who both wanted to invite a stranger into their house for the Sabbath meal. It went over well.

I zoomed back to the swing dance, and things were, uh, swingin’. The swing dance only went on for another hour after I got there, but it was pretty cool to see everyone in sort of a swing costume. I mean, James won the best-dressed contest.


Aw, he looks sad. :(
Annie re-taught me some of the basic steps and I got to dance with a few more people. It’s very seriously easy to just go up to someone and ask them to dance in a sort of thing like this. Everyone there is an intelligent person, and it really doesn’t “mean” anything to dance with them, if you know what I mean.

So, the swing dance was over, but our dancing passion was not fulfilled, so… guess what… we went to Starbase for some DDR. Along with Sophie, Annie, and Geoff, who I said I’d drive home, James and Brad came as well. We freestyled mostly, though, since we were all in swing attire. We played Mikeneko Rock a few times, as well as other swingy songs. And then I passed some edit data of the song “Cowgirl” for which I will now shoot myself.

I drove everyone home, and a few cool things happened:

First of all, as we left the valley from dropping off Annie and Sophie, we stopped at a 7-11. So the image is this: 3 guys in full swing attire, suspenders and hats and all (well not for me but I was wearing a kewl jacket) step out of the car, walk in, and buy giant Double Hyper Extreme Big Gulps. I thought it was pretty funny. I have to make some sort of comic out of that.

I dropped Brad off, and right as I was turning the corner onto James’s cross street, well, I made a mistakey. I didn’t come to a complete stop at a the stop sign. As the time that I turned in front of James’s house, I noticed a police car behind me. First time getting pulled over, yay!

Everything went very smoothly, though. It was just after midnight, but I’ve had my license for long enough that that’s legal… and I had my license/registration/insurance all there, and I was explaining that I was dropping my friends off from a dance. The whole thing just emanated “responsible designated driver.” So the policeman didn’t cite me. That was cool. I’ll be sure to try to do that “count S.T.O.P. at every stop sign” thing from now on.

And then this morning I woke up and found that since I didn’t get a B average in all of my classes, I couldn’t go out and drive everyone to San Jose to meet this bitchass. Eh, my only purpose was to serve as chaperone, so since I wasn’t too important for anything else, I guess it’s fine that I sit it out. I don’t like being used, you know. Yeah. I’m an independent woman.