Wednesday, December 31, 2014


So the year as come and gone in the blink of an eye... as is tradition, I figured I'd actually take this seriously and lay out some personal resolutions for 2015:
  • Be more sociable, empathetic, stop being so quiet and actually take initiative to talk and speak out thoroughly.
  • Improve time management, and organizing. Focus on a task, avoiding 21st century distractions, suffer thru what needs to be done first and bask in leisure later (a lesson I've had to learn the hard way). Perform check lists, utilize calendar for more than leisure.
  • Get at least two works of fictions out. Be it infamous Valleydog or Elevations or whatever comes to mind. At the very least focus on that work and not whine about lack of appreciation for something that hasn't even been fleshed out yet. 
  • Reduce vanity. 
  • Save up and begin process for employment and moving out, cut ties with family without being forced to burn bridges. Improve financing.
  • Be happy, genuine positive outlook and not just derpy.
  • Stop relying on twitter as lifeblood; reduce tweet output and focus on more worthwhile work. People don't stop thinking about you if you log off for a bit.
  • Be more active (the most generic of resolutions, I know).
  • Don't be afraid of input and review. A punch in the face is good for improvement.
  • Actually stay dedicated to a task

    Of course, whether or not these actually will stay in place is debatable (as they usually are), but definitely gives some thought. Considering habits, I really do need to watch myself, keep notes on these if I were to achieve them (coming from one who hoped to get Valleydog animated come Winter 2013.... I'm an amitious thinker?).

Monday, December 22, 2014

An Urban Frolic: Tigers and Huskies and Horses, oh my!

The Bay Area has a surprisingly vast furry community. About one of every 15 or so furries you may find online will have some presence here, and there is more or less a meet every other day (in some cases overlapping in the same day). It is ridiculously easy (well, relatively speaking) to make connections and be active, in a surprisingly tightnit, however vast, community. You could practically immerse yourself in the fandom around here, if you so desire (not that such is recommended, for sanity). By comparison, from my own standpoint as I've come to realize over the past two years of living here, this place is pretty much spoiled with the furry activity.

I had wanted to get involved since finding the fandom in my younger and more vulnerable years, just something about meeting other animal people seemed pretty awesome. Of course, being in a small college town and, well, young didn't really help matters at the time. It did jumpstart my art hobby, but that's another topic for another time. I did join the two local(ish) communities at the time: SacFurs (because, hey, there might have been one or two others in the small town of Davis), and BAF (despite being a good 80 miles away from the centre of such), and hearing plenty from the latter (also another topi-... actually I digress), and the high amount of furmeets in that area compared to the sparse organization for the closer Sacramento. Again, I digress, but I did find out about the legendary, almost mythical, Frolic from such, and things that entailed....

Or so I thought. I never did get a chance to check it out (occasionally holding a grudge to it) until December 2013, when necessity for an ill-fated video project prompted me to go. Having heard of what goes on, I had...reservations and a bit of hesitance expecting, to put it lightly, a wild party of debauchery. Needless to say, this was judgmental overthought like a public perception of furry fandom, upon witnessing what is pretty much at least on the outside (having been underage at the time) a casual fur meet without a verbal filter, in San Francisco, that lasts right up until morning. I did return twice again the following year in two subsequent months, latter not by intent. Having an enjoyable time....until the need to use the restroom hits and pretty much being unable to find relief due to an out-of-order gas station and being just under 21 at the time. The meet just wasn't as high a priority at the time for that reason alone (transportation between SJ and SF and overnight notwithstanding) save for special occasions.

And having turned 21 on the first week of December, you can bet I made an effort in attending this time around, having been anticipating for months...while not to the regrettable extent as Rainfurrest, there was plenty of excitement... and figuring out best way to prepare for the interior, which also proved to be overthinking.

Anywho, I left my household around 2pm to grab an early bite downtown and wait at Diridon station for a husky, to tag along to San Francisco around 5. I arrived in the station an hour early, so took care of a few buying a ticket upon finding that said husky would be running late, and helping him get there; we both dashed up aboard the train, a Baby Bullet Express, just literally a minute before the doors closed. The ride itself isn't anything to write home about. It was fast, it was comfy, I enjoyed chatting with a husky as we zoomed past glowing lights and into San Francisco. It was a train thing, though could've done with more water.... okay there were plenty of Santa hats... everywhere, upon exiting the train at 4th&King. Apparently Santa Con (yes, that's a thing) happened, with block upon blocks of various civilians in Santa hats as we tried to find the right Muni bus to the Stud - and waited as it stood for a while. Nontheless, we did get onboard a short ride, and stopped just right across the street. For a first time, that wasn't too bad. 

Walking thrice across the street, and coming across a few fellow early birds...early dogs? Bit of a low-key start, with animals whom I don't really associate with let alone know much about. Very quick conversations of "what's up" that are cut short by short attention spans and more exciting folks were had. So far, it kinda felt like one of this awkward parties that you don't really know anyone, and BS your way around. This, combined with a pressing (and chronic, yay for waters) need for restroom, prompted me to step inside.

Maybe my  poor sense of exterior architecture and interior misjudgement got to me, but I was surprised with how open and and paradoxically how compact everything was. Very quiet and cozy bar, with an undersea cove kinda feel enhanced only by the wavy lights highlighting a Marilyn Monroe, and a...rather compact dance floor in the back, perhaps a bit too early? Yay reverse furry time. Apparently the event wasn't set-up yet, so a bit of a back-and-forth while animals slowly came in as the clock struck 8, and then some. I ran into a few more familiar fur friends who know who they are. Planned to tag along with them for an outing as the event warmed up. Apparently I derped on communication and misheard a "leaving now" for a "be right back".. after a good half hour of a moonmoon-like waiting and erratic socialization before realizing said derp. Discussed a few good writing ideas with a fursuiter while stocking up on energy at the nearby Shell as an impromptu handler. Brief compliments ("nice furry you have") from the merchants were given, they're probably used to this every month... then again, it is San Francisco.

The meet soon packed up on crowd, and I went back and forth socializing within, and just sitting by the aforementioned husky. The feeling was quite surreal. I even got a very personal and  motivational speech from a technicolor wolf with glasses of all things. Good catching up, as well as seeing various furs I haven't seen in a long while (those appearing from out of NorCal and CA in general surprised me). I walked with a couple more furs to a crepe stand not too far. The clock struck 11 or so, time flew fast. It was a pleasant diversion, and the meal was good, much needed treat.

 The night rolled on, and perhaps a s a right of passage was offered a drink. Appreciative nice gesture aside, Either I'm still not used to the taste, or just the way the drink was prepared, but there was something about long island iced tea that just tasted strongly like slurping up a cup of mouthwash. Took a few sips enjoying the company from a horse, 'twas a nice time, almost cozy in this zone of warmth and comfort that spread on to the dance itself, where it just clicked. It was loud as marf, yes.. heck I nearly strained my voice inside, but the place was just full of energy! The intimate space made for a more immersive feel for the dance. I guess you can say it was an example in great things coming in small packages.

Time had to come to an end, and around 2am soon had to part ways with this acid trip assortment of animals. Bidding farewell, I departed with furs back to Saint Joseph's town into the peninsula mountains amid a foggy night.

I really enjoyed my time. Save for some...affections (maybe I'm desensitized at this point?), any assumptions dispelled. In fact, as time went on, Frolic just felt like another furmeet mixed in with a dance, a wild, big fuzzy party in the city. While I doubt I would make an effort to routinely do the monthly trip (I would quickly become desensitized to the event as I am with most meets, and going to San Francisco for a night party, however enticing... doesn't quite justify a trip for me), Frolic certainly was worth the wait, and I'd probably leave the option to for special occasion. Like all events of course, it isn't much a priority (and really, I'm trying ween off the meets after a binge for a year and making a habit), but all in good fun. Makes me appreciative to be in this area, with activities like this in (relatively) easy reach (and more on  this in a later, also belated post).

Nevertheless, thank you for reading my rambling and gushing in vanity. Until the next ramble that's over 140 characters....

Hasta Marfle!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Collegiate III

As I last discussed before on here, college hasn't been my forte. Going assignment-by-assignment in general education and not really being able to go into my true major, what I payed thousands of dollars in loans to a specialized school for, and end up focusing more on personal projects aforementionedly mentioned before.

In a last ditch effort in very last minute (read, one weekend in October), I looked into seeing if I could get certified for IT skills, do a course, and hopefully make enough to not have to worry about being dependent in a secure way, with practical skills, and use time after to persue projects and own leisures (with the joys of adult responsibility included, of course).

After a rushed search, I found Unitek, the only one that matched the critereon of "reputable school with a course under a year that doesn't require Gen eds is hands on and is fairly reasonable cost". Even after doing a tour, research into certifications and ratings (they only now brought back IT after a decade of being exclusively nursing, so reviews on my particular intent were nonexistent or otherwise would've been dated).

The only issue I would have is the commute.

I live in San Jose, and the school itself is in Fremont. While the furthest I'd be commuting yet, it could be a lot worse, and is feasible on transit (a good two-hour bus ride, but I've done this before many times *cough*Fursuitbowling*cough*). That being said, the hurdles as such were as follows (and became more apparent when I actually tested the route):
  • The area between Fremont and San Jose is the only land section in the Bay Area 'ring' that lacks a frequent rail connection (yet, though BART won't be finished for another four years), and the only public transit option is either Amtrak (too infrequent and costly), or VTA Express 181 from downtown to Fremont's BART, and an AC transit bus passing the school itself (The dwell time between the two does add up).
  • AC transit, compared to VTA, is unreliable and becomes infrequent in middle of the day (and is a different animal compared to the latter). 
  • My class would start at 8am, requiring to be out of the house no later than 6
  • I would be going reverse the peak flow (north from Silicon). Which is great because lack of traffic, but this also includes, so far, a lack of carpool routes in my vicinity to the likes of Unitek (which is nowhere near a city center/office complex and more outskirts strip mall).
So getting there and staying would take a lot of dedication.

All seemed fine and dandy, I scored higher than most on entry tests, and was pretty much ready to go save for the loan. Incidents of miscommunication happened in the mean time, which in turn got me thinking and considering if I really should finalize the loan and bind myself to another $20k obligation, given my past track record...

I have a week to decide, but even now it has me thinking, as I have for months now, about my habits, and my future, what I have planned, and what I am setting myself up to do, given I'd rather focus on my projects; applying what I learn to such in lieu of actual assignments, and thinking I'll just ending up repeating the same.

I have been thinking of just taking a year off studies to focus on Project CanisVulpes , which I know at this rate has the same amount of progress and mention as Fur Affinity getting a UI update. Honestly and embarrasingly.. or not, given current minimal interest as far as I'm aware, this is something I haven't been able to, or as much as I'd like to, work on due to having my mind set to other things, pressure, and worry to avoid biting the hand that feeds me for reasons, and stupid ones in hindsight. This past year I've been admittedly taking classes to maintain some external sense of responsibility that "working on a computer all day on a foundations for a risky art project to justify eventual funding" doesn't give, and have distracted myself due to overthinking and failed time management (because you really can't do both efficiently, and as I've learned the hard way, to my chagrin). Ironically, this is the same thought I had back in July, which nothing came out of, clearly. I kinda wonder if this is me being all bark without bite.

It is this, plus the financial leash, plus the primary reason of me taking the course, that has given me doubts into actually going forward, and as to what to do. I could be practical, and do the 9-months, but it's still a major devotion, and I'd be pushing back everything else I've been trying to work on further... and likewise, on the other hand, the added uncertainty over a project that is now 3 years old, updated sporadically with variable quality, often written at last minute, now based on memories and source over 5 years old with little character development. If anything, this isn't really the best track record to start with, much less trying to be presentable and justify turning this into an animation, and getting backing thereof despite my tireless revising and reworking to fit the animation and motion medium template. Heck, even I feel awkward mentioning this to friends because it is by no means near presentable (the comic itself is nowhere near the intended final product I have in mind, but I digress).

Nevertheless,  explaining this plan to family is a (and honestly weak, personal) challenge (as in, I never have in full) as, frankly, I am currently in no financial condition that is self-supporting should I find myself without a roof over my head, much less in a densely-packed, overpriced metropolitan area of the  San Francisco Bay. Yes, it is a tough challenge... and considering that, in hindsight, I hindered chance to learn self responsibility (and in turn personal freedom) in favor of convenience and comfort, in what may possibly be a time of discovery, where I am still young enough to make a non-life-threatening mistake but still manage to pick another path should something fail, to explore my options without major regret and still set my life out. The clock is ticking though, and I need to figure out what to do, and stick with that, I know... nothing worth having comes easy. I don't wanna merely survive, but live. Follow my nose, my passions beyond the comforting leash, so to speak.

With all of this in mind, the only question that remains, is am I truly willing to drop a costly facade of obedience for sake of convenience and risk leaving these comforts for something I truly desire?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Marflecards!

I had fun sending out cards last year that I'll be sending some again and then some this year. :)

Said cards are hand drawn by me personally, akin to, but not exclusively, this and this, plus additional designs for this year. 

Also, for a bit extra and for the fun of it, I will be sending out homemade cookies. These, in packs of three, will come in a cup with a special design. Currently have planned the usual fare of chocolate chip, and sugar, plus Nutella, but do plan on including some extras to the list (peppermint crinkle comes to mind).

If you're interested in getting a card, and/or treats to go along, please do fill out this form and I'll get on that later this week!

Also, if you happen to be in Northern California area of the Bay and are particularly active in the furry events, I can arrange to personally deliver the card and treats to local, regularly scheduled meets (eg Chicken, and to lesser extent and upon outright severe special request Frolic, among others), do let me know in footnotes and this can be set up.