-I got my yellow belt
in karate on Wednesday. The test included me going through the twelve basics and naming them (4 stances, 4 blocks, 4 strikes and the transitioning between all of them), completing Fukyugata-Ichi, performing the strikes on a pad, doing jab-cross-kick drills on pads, and then doing a round of free-form sparring with teacher, which included all manners of kicks, strikes, dodging, and footwork. Lastly, I had to claim my belt from him in a tug-of-war and flailed about hard but kept up and strong and never once fell over. I only messed up on two things; named one strike backwards and hit right when I should have hit left. Very very minor and I wound up being the one who screwed up the least despite being nervous all night Tuesday with stomach issues. Otherwise, sensei says I have a very solid foundation and he says he expects good things of me, especially with my past martial arts experience. I notice he went hardest on me, probably because the others were young teens and I do have that prior work in my name. He may have photos of this up on the site, I'll check eventually and post links if I see any.
-I beat Dragon Quest 8 the other week. Jessica + Gringham Whip + Oomph + Twin Dragon Lash + Yangus using Helm Splitter to lower his defense = dead way too easy. Jessica wound up far outclassing everyone else in damage output once I won her that whip at the Baccarat casino. Good job, I broke the game with the black mage. I think she nary cast an offensive spell once she owned it. Shit was insane.
-I've been struggling with small episodes of depression the past week or so, and it's given me RP burnout. I plan on fighting it and forcing myself back in starting this week because I know if I dropped and didn't try I'd regret it. Besides, Alleyne's first year anniversary in Para is on Monday. And I got too many ideas. Most of the depression is related to family stress, helping friends cope, sympathy pains from my girlfriend, and dealing with my own insecurities about my religion. Or rather, insecurities about having faith in a world becoming rapidly more secular and closed-minded to such things. (Not that I think that being secular or without faith is bad. Far, far from it. It's the elitism and shunning of me just based on the fact I've any faith at all that's doing me in. This bullying and othering trend has got to stop.)
-Speaking of, convenient segue! I'm replaying Okami. I'm Shinto, and once I beat it again, I'm going to do a post about my faith and my struggles with it and my identity in general. I don't think I can ever lose my faith; I think it's something too ingrained in me and a huge deal to me, and that's okay. It's accepting it despite people's prejudices and educating others on tolerance that I constantly struggle with, and I think replaying this is helping me sort my thoughts out a lot. My girlfriend is enjoying the playthrough and uses it to ask me questions about Shinto and how it relates to me, both out of curiosity and to better me, as she knows how important this is to me, and for that I'm really grateful and lucky to have her. We're using it as a mass educating tool despite the fact it's not exactly a perfect representation of Shinto and a game more about old Japanese culture and faith in general, but the ideals of it and personalities of the gods are spot on, but that can wait for my post. I'm not too far in; I'm just now back at Kusa Village and Sasa Sanctuary. This may take a while but I think I need that time to sort my thoughts out well enough anyways.