*INDEX post* [all the creativity at your fingertips] has come to my attention that my journal is a little hard to navigate when one is searching for very particular things, namely the creative things. And when I am presented with a problem, I work to solve it. So, voila, index post! (Also, my first ever sticky post that is probably here to stay.)

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*The GUESS series can be accessed via tags. It doesn't make sense to index them because the only way I can index them would be by answer, and where's the fun in that?

**I may index the 30 Day Description projects in future, but for now they can be accessed via tags as well.
guess, psych

Max steals the show

Just finished watching 'The Grinch' with my dad and younger sister, and it's really not what I expected.

At the end of the movie, my sister turned to me and said:
"Well, there wasn't much story at all."

I couldn't agree more. For me, the best part about the story was Max. Max wins the award for best dog. Hands down, no contest. The show was worth watching just to get to know Max. (I want a Max of my own now so bad. :3)

Take Max out ... and the story is meh.

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In short, the backstory was weak, buildup was inconsistent, and the resolution was very abrupt. As the central main character, the Grinch's character evolution was just not handled well enough to support the entire production.

My rating: 5/10
The movie as a whole is still watchable, but I would not rewatch it nor really recommend it to others. Animation values are amazing, and the soundtrack works well enough. That said, I do wish they had casted someone else to do the narration. Pharell Williams' voice was just a shade too light to carry Seuss off with aplomb.
guess, psych

30 Day Descriptions: Take 3 (Day 7)

Hush, you. I know what you're about to say. It's been years since Day 6 ... but Day 7 never came! Well, now it has emerged. So hush, you. :p

I knew him the best, I knew him the least.

5 years of friendship, 5 years of dating, 10 years of marriage ... I thought I knew him like no one else ever would. It had seemed like the most natural thing in the world — our relationship. We had clicked at first 'hello' and our friendship took off like a rolling stone down a steep slope. You got me, and I had thought, at least back then, that I had you. But now ...

I realise that I never really knew you at all. What I knew was but the tip of the iceberg, a sliver of moon on the night after a new moon ... it was just one of your many masks.

Ugh. So weak. Looks like I definitely need more time to get back into the groove of writing again. />.<\
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slump, sigh, tired

the saga of me and my alien baby

So yeah ... remember that alien baby I told you about? It took over my life completely, especially after June of last year.

It was a gradual takeover, and though I could feel something was wrong, I thought I could handle it.

It was just 3 hours per day, right? Sure I could fit it in somewhere, and if not, there was always the weekend to make up for lost time.

My day job? Well, it's not like things were so busy that I couldn't find time to translate a paragraph or two in between the work I had at the office ...

Rest and relaxation? I'm translating a web novel! Reading and writing have always been my hobbies, so isn't this just getting paid to do something I like?

Besides, the money was good, the fans were (mostly) great, and I was learning some pretty cool things all the time while translating. It was nice interacting with other translators too. What did I have to complain about?

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slump, sigh, tired

The stone wall of 'I don't wanna talk about it'

I hate it when someone just cuts a conversation short with 'I don't want to talk about it'. While there are some cases where it applies, namely if one is asking personal and intrusive questions, it is generally just a cop-out. I don't know what to say, so I don't want to talk about it. I don't have a good argument against your logic, so I don't want to talk about it. I think you're wrong but don't feel like arguing, I don't want to talk about it. People who use it might think it's a great way to avoid conflict, but I'm telling you now: no, it really isn't. Just by saying that, you're forcefully shutting down communication channels for the issue to be properly resolved.

If you've got something to say, say it! Disagree with me! Argue your points! Don't just shut me out! Phrases like 'I don't wanna talk about it', 'I shouldn''t have said anything to begin with', 'just pretend I didn't say anything', in contexts of discussion all just sum up to the same thing -- I don't think you're worth arguing with. It gives the impression that you think the other is too stupid to even get your points, that the other is completely beyond reasoning with, that the other is not worth your time and effort. It hurts. It hurts just as much as slamming into a stone wall. And even then, with a real stone wall, at least I would have seen it coming before I actually hit it.
slump, sigh, tired

It's been a while (as always)

Well, I'm sure you know the drill by now. It's the same old, same old. I write, and make promises to keep on writing, but then something shiny swaggers by, and I'm distracted. So horribly distracted. Long unannounced hiatuses are pretty much par for the norm for me now, so I would be surprised if there's anyone out there still reading this. Xp

In any case, I make no promises this time, neither out loud nor to myself. Life's been busy, and I've actually been doing lots of writing, just not here and not drawn from my own creativity. What does that mean? Well, I'm currently a contracted translator. These days, my creativity has been limited to figuring out how to better transfer a phrase in all its glory from Chinese to English. Trust me, it's not as easy as Google Translate makes it out to be.

People think translation is easy, especially those who know more than one language well. Well, newsflash — just knowing two languages doesn't mean you can translate. Just like knowing a language doesn't mean you can teach it. The existence of Google Translate doesn't help that assumption. It's like, voila! Instant translation! Many people can see that GT doesn't translate super accurately, but they say that it's good enough, and they always wonder why human translators take so much longer to come up with a 'not that long' translation.

Well now ... just to give you context, 3000 Chinese characters takes me about 3 hours to translate properly with general editing. If you include finer editing, I can take up to 4 or 5 hours, depending. Sure, there are many others who can do it way faster than I can (probably?), and I'm kinda new to the field, but still, I look at my work ethic and feel like I'm not far from the average.

Where does all that time go? Reading, processing, actually translating, rewriting, and editing. Oh, and don't forget the publishing operations and interaction with readers after that too. I'm pretty sure I spend waaaay too much time on this job for the amount I'm paid, but I'm still having fun with it right now, so I haven't been too bothered by it. Haha.

So... anyway, that's what I've been doing. But I've missed this. Missed rambling on in my own words, missed dabbling in poetry forms and creative fancies, missed hanging out on LJ. This may be a tad dramatic perhaps, but my thoughts have not been mine own for quite a while. Oh. A quirky thought just popped into my head. Translation is like taking an alien baby and trying to make it pass off as a local. Yeeeeep. I've been carrying an alien baby around.

On that note, I shall end this entry. This was fun. I know I said I'd make no promises, but right now, I do hope I will be able to visit more often in between caring for this alien baby of mine. Till next time, whenever that may be.


In an unnamed forest in an unnamed land, an unnamed man sits crying by a riverbank. The bare trees stand watch, bark rough and branches sharp. The grasses by the bank are dry and brown, and the water level is low. The river still flows, but its movement is sluggish, painfully slow. The man does not see this as he stares blindly into the distance, his tears trickling in a steady stream down his face, to fall through the air, to join the listless march of the river below.

This is not an unnamed forest in an unnamed land, nor is this man truly an unnamed man. It is just that their names have all been forgotten and as such is lost for the telling. And so the forest wilts, the river crawls, and the man cries. All of this done in mournful silence and forced companionship.

The river was the first. At least, the man believes it was the first. When he found himself here, there was nothing but the river. The man could not remember his name or anything else. He could not understand why looking at the river would cause a fist to clench over his heart and squeeze the tears from his eyes. But it felt right to cry, and so he did. The river did not judge, and neither did the forest when it appeared.

In this suspended time out of time, the man knows no hunger or thirst, and his body needs no rest. He seems to have cried for an eternity but the tears never run dry. The pain in his heart does not lead him to ever wonder why. As he cries, the bare trees stand guard as the river accepts his tears.

In the distance, far, far away, at the end of the river, a small pool grows, fed by tears. By its very edge, a seed is just beginning to sprout.
happy, love, smile

Kingdom Hearts Union X

Ehehehehe. The subject line for today pretty much sums up the day. Despite my best laid plans for being productive, my concentration was pretty much derailed the minute the updated KHUX came out. >.<

That said, I had full intent to fix up my bike today (while the game was still under maintenance), but found myself lacking the tools I needed. <.< >.> Still, things look promising, and my bike will be sturdy again one day without having to rely on the tensile strength of camping string. :p One day.

Anyhow, back to the game. It's Kingdom Hearts. It's gorgeous. It's nostalgic. It's.....Kingdom Hearts. So many new features and content were added in this update; even after the hours I've spent playing it, I still haven't explored everything yet. Which is great. ^-^ And that alone, of course, should be reason enough, but I found myself wondering what I truly enjoy the game for. What is the most enjoyable aspect of the game for me?

Well, after some thought, I think I like the challenge of figuring out how the medals work together to achieve a goal (which usually means killing the enemies Xp). It's like this. Not everyone gets the same medals. You draw/pull, and you get the luck of the draw. There isn't really such a thing as a crappy hand - it's just how cohesively your medals can work together. As such, decisions you make about when to pull is also important, since not all medals released at a time may work out for you.

As a f2p (free-to-play) player, the game is probably more challenging to me than for the players who pay. I may grouch about the whales sometimes, but it's all in good fun. Let them reap the rewards of supporting the game financially. For me, the climb is steeper and requires more creative thinking, and there are certain walls and obstacles that only waiting can overcome. The collection of medals I have is patchy, and often doesn't want to work together in a way that makes sense. And more often than not, I won't have the best and shiniest things in the game. But so what? That's part and parcel of the fun, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

random spring post

Joensuu is host to a tug-of-war between winter and spring at the moment. Despite it already being the first week into April, we are still getting sporadic days of snow, usually just as we begin believing in the rain and sunshine of spring. Some friends have joked about losing hope. Xp (I still believe that spring is winning. There can be no other outcome. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

Meanwhile, life moves on. This week will be a rather social week, and I have a presentation coming up on Friday. Um....yep.

*The mind stalls.*

Looks like I have no more filtered words to say for today. Till next time. Happy spring! **\^-^/**
happy, love, smile

Card Game: Rummi

Rummi ♠♥♦♣
This game requires:

  • 2 decks of cards, along with all 8 jokers (total: 112 cards)

  • 4 players


  1. Shuffle the cards.

  2. The dealer cuts the deck at random and peeks at a card. The number on the card determines which player will cut the deck. (Count begins from dealer, moving anti-clockwise.)

  3. After the designated player cuts the deck, cards are dealt out to the players beginning from the dealer's right in batches of 4 until each player has 20 cards.

  4. The rest of the cards are put aside and will not be involved in play.

Objective of the game:

  • To finish all the cards within one's hand. If impossible, to play as many cards as possible, especially those with a high number, so that your hand is ultimately the hand with the least number of points.

Things of note:

  • Jokers can be any card the player wishes. Once played, their role is set and they cannot be redeemed from the board.

  • J, Q, and K are considered 10 point cards. An Ace is considered 15 points.


  • Players arrange their cards and check for the following:

    1. 'Tien Hu' - all cards can be cleared within one's hand itself. Automatic win. Payout depends on established rules.

    2. No 'passport' - There is not a single instance of a 3-card sequence. Automatic loss. Player sits out the game.

Game play:

  1. The player on the dealer's right begins play. The first hand will always be the 'passport' (a 3-card sequence, e.g. 2♥, 3♥, 4♥). Players are not allowed to add onto any other player's played hands till the 2nd hand.

  2. Once the first round of 'passports' have been played, play continues whereby each player has to put at least one card onto the board in turn. Playable hands are:

    • a) 3-card sequences

    • b) a 'kill' - 3 of a kind (e.g. K♠, K♥, K♦ or even 3♠, 3♠, 3♥)

    • c) Adding a card onto an existing sequence

    • d) 'Killing' a card which matches a previous 'kill'

  3. If a player has no playable hands at any point, the player is considered out of the game. Gameplay continues between all other viable players until one player is left if no one finished all their cards before that point.

  4. If a player finishes their cards at any point, the game is immediately over, and all players pay the winner the set 'Hu' amount, and adjustments are made as discussed in the 'Scoring' section.


  1. If a player manages to finish all their cards, they win and it is called a 'Hu'. Payout depends on established rules.

  2. If no player finishes their cards, all players tally up their points based on their cards left unplayed. Points correspond with the number on the cards. J, Q, and K are considered 10 point cards. An Ace is considered 15 points.

  3. The player with the least amount of points is ranked first, while the others are ranked accordingly. Payout tier will depend on the ranking. (For example, in a 1-2-3 game, everyone pays the 1st place player, but the 2nd player will pay $1, the 3rd player will pay $2, and the 4th player will pay $3.)

  4. Adjustments are made for Jokers and Aces. Each Joker and Ace is worth $0.50. Players pay each other depending on the difference between the Jokers and Aces they have. A matching pair of Aces (e.g. A♣, A♣) doubles their worth, making each Ace $1.