This past week has been pretty lax at work. No clients and new projects coming in, which means I'm getting paid to pretty much just report for the day and standby in case something does come up. While for many people, that may sound like the dream, as a professional in the creatives industry, being "benched" denies me the training and practice I need to further the craft. I feel like this unproductivity would make me rusty before I'm even great at anything.
To be fair, though, the light workload does give me time to daydream and think about other projects, which was what I've been doing with my all-too-generous spare time. It also gives me time enough to check out more stuff that have been floating around in the ether, mainly in the form of YouTube videos. I'm such a big fan of the platform that I'm constantly trying to discover more and more channels to subscribe to. I probably watch more YouTube productions now than TV shows. No, they're not all cat videos. Some of them are very informative while some are just plain humorous, mostly in a slice-of-life kinda way. Take Buzzfeed's video channels, for example.
While this obsession of mine is hardly unique to this last week, I did share more videos on my social networks this week (mainly because of the aforementioned lack of better things to do at work) than any other time in the past . This was also the week that I got to peruse more Saturday Night Live videos, which made me realize something.
Aside from making me wonder how I would've fared in sketch, improv, or even stand-up comedy, I realized that the ever-changing nature of the cast in the show's 40-year history is exactly what I've been looking for. I already mentioned in a previous blog how I tend to organize my experiences and memories in "seasons". For that matter, I think what I want in this life is to be part of something and be remembered for my time in whatever that something is. I want to just come in, do my thing, make an impact, then leave and hope that I'm memorable enough. Right now, the closest I have to that is the last (*almost*) five years in my current job, which ran alongside all the personal growth I've experienced as well.
Of course, Saturday Night Live is equally famous for featuring musical guests weekly and one of the prolific ones they had on the show earlier this year was Sam Smith who - up until last week - was just a name I keep reading on social media. I finally got to check out his music videos (and consequently, his songs) and I gotta say it's refreshing to hear his brand of music, especially in this era dominated by songs like Bang Bang and Anaconda.
Seriously: Whatever happened to slow ballads? Am I just being old and hipster to still want new music to sound soft and buttery in my ears with beautiful and poetic words?
Ironically enough, I got into watching YouTube videos at the office just so I can have something playing in the background while working on client's projects. Now I spend more time there than I do on Photoshop and Illustrator. To be fair, the thought of contributing content to the platform has fueled my motivations as well so all is not lost.
On that note, I also thought I'd spend last week at home working on a client's video but, seeing as the project had an open deadline (as in the client hasn't elected to give me any), I pursued other interests instead. I thought I'd get started on a new book since I finished Neil Gaiman's "Anansi Boys" (and loved it) but that didn't happen because a couple of games kept me busy all through last week as well.
Heroes Chronicles is a spin-off of Heroes of Might and Magic III with pretty much the same gameplay. I never got to play it until I bought my copy from GOG.com, so it's like a familiar thing that I'm also experiencing for the first time. Yeah, it's funky like that and I still love the game after all these years! I got to finish the third chapter in the game by the end of last week. Hopefully, I get to finish the remaining five by the end of the year!
While Heroes Chronicles has taken the time I wanted to spend editing a video, Zenonia has taken the time I intended to start on a new book. The thing is, though: Playing a fantasy RPG is pretty much like reading a fantasy book as far as I'm concerned (and I love me some fantasy). The same thrill and excitement is there and the story element more than makes up for it. Of course, repetitive gameplay does take me out of the experience but that's okay. There is a certain joy that comes with leveling up in experience and earning money to buy more powerful equipment, both staples in any RPG game.
What surprised me about this game though is that I don't have control of a party. I just have one character and I'm kinda getting bored. Keep in mind: I didn't just start playing the game last week. I did spend more waking mornings and sleepy nights playing it though. It does kinda get addictive and that I have an Android-based gaming device with physical buttons make the button-mashing all the more rewarding. I ended the week finishing off a tough boss so yay me!
So I put off editing my client's video until the weekend. That didn't happen because I decided to continue with Age of Wonders 2, which takes me roughly half a day to finish a level. I thought I was on the last level the last time I played the game about a month and I can finally move on with my life but, as it turns out, I skipped a few "bonus" levels, which I think is just fine. I just wish I can finish it before the year ends though.
The thing with Age of Wonders 2, though, is that there's no random map generator so you're forced to either play the preset scenarios or the campaign. I can't just play a casual game to test out the different factions, as I am wont to do when it comes to strategy games.
I remember writing about the dangers of becoming less of a creator and more of a consumer some time ago and the reason while this blog was delayed was because, in the original draft I wrote yesterday, I was berating myself for simply enjoying these things that I do instead of being productive. I realized halfway through it that I really didn't like how it was going. I just want to enjoy what's in front of me and share it without any drama and so here I am.
Lastly, Friday was Halloween and, as much as I wanted to go join my friends even if just to take photos (or videos) because I didn't have a costume but I also just wanted to stay home and play games. Guess what ultimately won out, though I do feel a tad envious that I didn't get to see this.