Weeknotes 7

to summarize: trying to redesign, internet reading list, way too much minecraft, and some other media

Minecraft screenshot of a cat lounging on a bed.
The latest hyperfixation


I’ve started working on a site redesign. I’m bored of how my site currently looks—this design (which I’m calling version 5) has been around since May 2022. The homepage has changed a couple of times but the site design has remained. Enough of that. I must change it. I’m back on my redesign bullshit and you’re going to hear all about it.

This effort started, as most redesigns do, badly. I initially wanted to use the font Sfizia, which I bought earlier this year and left to collect dust. But I discovered that the italic variant I wanted to use had some strange spacing issues with certain characters, and I had to scrap it because I couldn’t control that.

A blog post where the title begins with a 'W' and is visually aligned further to the left than the body text that follows
The W is ruining the left alignment

As it turns out though, I think this was the right move, because I switched to the font Woodland that brought a whole different mood and I felt compelled to adjust the rest of the styling to match it. And so my colour palette changed from the cool blue (familiar ground) to a more autumn-y palette.

Blog post screenshot featuring a warm brown palette with yellow and orange accents.
Title font: Woodland; body font: Be Vietnam Pro (which I've used in a previous design and quite like)
Blog post with an aside and blockquote
Trying to make it cute. Rounded corners, dashes, warm tones.

I quite like how it’s coming along, but it’ll take a bit of work to finish the whole thing. I have a lot of content, lots of different pages and layouts and edge cases.

Reading on the internet

  1. Something Good #88: Irene – an amazing, melancholic story about looking for a long lost love. Imagine that: you live a long, rich life. You’re in your 70s. And then you learn, from the YouTube comments section, that you made a profound impact on someone more than half a century ago. It’s born from Sad YouTube.
  2. The World’s Most Popular Painter Sent His Followers After Me Because He Didn’t Like a Review of His Work. Here’s What I Learned – about art and art criticism, the internet, hero worship, parasocial relationships, authenticity. It’s wild to see the artist in question say ‘love will always outshine being a hater’ while simultaneously sending his followers to harass the critic. The critic writes:

    Basically, I’m arguing that we should think of [Devon Rodriguez’s] social media posts as part of his practice, to be reviewed in and of themselves. These are, after all, not just how he got famous; in some sense they are what he is really famous for.

  3. Comics Devices Library – an incredible library of visual devices used in comics. It really makes me want to pick up my long-dead webcomic sideproject again.
  4. How To Map A Number Between Two Ranges – I’m allergic to math, but this is a really nice article about doing a math thing in JavaScript. I think this is the ideal tutorial format: a tl;dr for the lazy and hurried, a theoretical (well, in this case, mathematical) and then practical (in js) explanation of the thing, and links for further reading. I wish every tutorial were written like this.
  5. Color Me Curious – colour is one of those things I really need to properly learn—in all mediums—and this newsletter issue does a lovely job at explaining some of the new CSS colour features.


I feel like I consumed a lot of things in the past few weeks. Here are some highlights:

Things I watched

  • Killers of the Flower Moon (sort of) – I was on the fence about seeing this in theatres (it’s 3.5 hours long) and did end up going. Except, the fire alarm went off about 2h45m into the movie, and everyone was sent home with some consolation tickets. And now I don’t know if I want to go back to finish the movie—do I have it in me to rewatch all that again? Do I simply show up late? Interruption aside, the movie is slow and stunning, and I do want to see how it all unravels.
  • The Bear (season 1) – this was vaguely on my to-watch list for a while because I had heard it is excellent, but the thing that pushed me to start it is seeing this clip (from S1E2) out of context, which lived rent-free in my head all day. The show really is excellent. I’m hoping to get around to watching season 2 soon.
    • I’ll Uber, thank you
  • Coco – I hadn’t seen this before, and last Pixar movie I’d watched was Brave. I thought Coco would be a fun jaunt for the evening but in true Pixar fashion it completely wrecked me by the end (yeah, the reunion song got me). My favourite rendition of Remember Me from the soundtrack is Carlos Rivera’s (the horns!!).
  • Loki (season 2) – I wasn’t planning on watching this (I have Marvel fatigue) but then I remembered Ke Huy Quan is in it so I have to. We had Temple of Doom and The Goonies on DVD when I was a kid, which I’m guessing my parents bought because he was in them. Seeing him achieve such success later in life is, well, a joy that I must follow.

Things I read

  • There was a week in October where I did nothing but reread Bleach. I had stopped my Naruto reread because I got bored, and Bleach was the other big series from my manga years. A lot of it is silly (the shounen powerups are endless) but it’s got such style and the artwork is so pretty.
  • I finally finished reading Dune. I had started this way back in fall 2022, but had to return it to the library, and didn’t get around to continuing it until the last few weeks. It was fun! I’m hoping to rewatch the movie again soon with this new context.

Relatedly, I bought a physical copy of The Sympathizer. I want to mark it up, highlight passages and make notes. I don’t think I’ll get to rereading it anytime soon though because it’s a heavy book and the ending bit still weighs on me.

The book and a pair of glasses on a small table. The photo is grainy and was taken with the flash on, giving it a harsh look.
Here's a photo I took while trying out the camera app West, which emulates the gritty look of a film camera. Flash on here for bonus effect.

Things I played

I spent a week entirely consumed by Minecraft. I first tried it back in January this year, but only played it a couple of times because it was confusing and overwhelming and I wasn’t interested enough to dive deeper.

This time, something clicked in my brain and I thought about nothing but building my little house (an ugly, roofless box of wood planks), digging down into caves (down to y16, to mine iron), and taming village kitties. It fully took over my brain. I think I’ve relaxed with it a bit more now, but I’ve enjoyed how meditative it is to find resources and build things. It’s like how I felt playing Stardew Valley, except without the focus on optimizing every single second I was playing.

Something I’ve learned while playing it though is that I truly do not have what it takes to play a horror game. Sometimes I think about returning to Bioshock or trying Prey (which I own, for some reason), but ‘exploring’ dark caves in Minecraft actually fills me with so much fear and anxiety that it’s basically confirmed I would not be able to play anything actually scary. I get jumpscared by every single boxy, cartoony Minecraft enemy.

Minecraft screenshot looking down into a dark gave. In the darkness are the glowing red eyes of a spider monster.
nope nope nope nope nope

I haven’t been playing much Destiny lately, outside of an intense stint in Iron Banner (i.e. PvP) a few weeks ago, in which I went on quite a few losing streaks and was generally unsuccessful. It’s a seasonal lull, which is nice, I guess. It’s nice to have Destiny-Life balance.

Things I listened to

  • 1989 is when I started listening to Taylor Swift, so I was looking forward to the 1989 (Taylor’s Version). But I think I’m resigned to the fact that I have no music taste to distinguish her version versus the original release, so really I’m just here for the vault tracks. I like Now That We Don’t Talk.
  • Rereading Bleach got me listening to its music again, and Life is Like a Boat by Rie fu (ending theme #1) is a standout.
  • REALiZE by LiSA – this came up in a Spotify playlist, and I went to rewatch the music video again, which made me miss watching Across the Spider-Verse in theatres. The song has such frenetic energy that fits the movie and the animation is just—you know, so unbelievably beautiful. (Also, I’ve been listening to this on repeat while writing this.)