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Sketcha-Holic


A goofy little miss that's here to write and draw to her heart's content. Her imagination doesn't know when to shut off.

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Dec
26th
2021

And Now, A Newsletter · 10:35pm Dec 26th, 2021

Huh, back in July I said I oughta talk more around here. It's now the day after Christmas and I have not, in fact, talked more around here.

So, I'll give you the rundown on what I've been up to since then. Warning, it gets a little long in talking about last summer's vacation and about a new fixation I have.

Later half of July
So, a few days after my last post was Pioneer Day, and me, having the day off that day and always wanting to do something on a holiday and a little miffed that we weren't doing a Dutch Oven Cook-Off like we did in years past, decided to look around for something to do. Rodeos were sold out, but I saw that This is the Place Heritage Park was open, so I grabbed the sister that was free (Marshmallow Wings), drove down to Salt Lake, and we had an adventure walking around a replica of a pioneer town and learning about pioneer things and history and having this snow cone ice cream thingy and participating in a watermelon eating contest there (we didn't win but who cares when you have watermelon on a hot summer day?). We also petted some sheep and goats and there was this talkative goat (who we called the goat version of Gabby) that Marshy pretended to interview. We left when the park closed and had dinner at a mall downtown.

Then the week after that, we packed my brother and sister-in-law's things in a trailer and hauled it off to California. I gotta tell you that Wendover's hilarious, on the Utah side it seems like a chill, unassuming town... and then you get on the Nevada side, and it's an explosion of casinos.
(It's technically two towns in two different states, but everyone just considers it one town.)

It took a couple of days to drive there through the hazy Nevada desert (the unfortunate thing about the Great Basin is that smog gets trapped in it, and it gets worse whenever California's on fire), had to spend the night in Reno (the streets are so uncomfortably narrow compared to Salt Lake, especially when you're in a truck hauling a trailer, and it made me nervous) and on the second day we stopped at the Donner Party Memorial for a bit to check out the museum there because we're weird little history nuts. We made to their house that afternoon, hauled the stuff in, and had pizza for dinner.

We explored a nearby state park the next day, wandering these lichen-filled woods, gazing out to the ocean, looking at seals, sea lions, and otters, and just having a nice little hike. Then we went down to the beach just to... stare at the ocean some more (we didn't have swimsuits with us... even then, the ocean kind of scares me, I don't want to swim in it--also, ocean cold!). I played a little game of writing my name in the sand and seeing how long it took the waves to wash it away. Then we chilled and bro and sis-in-law's house the rest of the day. Oh, and we went into a Goodwill just for Dad to get a chair (I did buy a shirt that struck my fancy), and I didn't realize until later that we had been the only ones in there without masks. Can't believe we got away with that in California.

Next day, we get up early for some whale watching Mom scheduled us for. We ended up in line for the wrong boat and almost missed our trip, but we barely made it in time. The trip was great! We saw a nursery pod of Risso's dolphins (yey baby dolphins), another pod of some other kind of dolphins, and a couple of humpback whales. The first one was just moseying along, we only saw the blowhole of him... the second one must have found some fish because he was putting on a show--he breached three times, slapped his chin on the water several times, poked his fin out, I saw him open his mouth a couple times, and he swam under our boat. I wished I could have caught him breaching on camera. After whale-watching, we explored the fisherman's wharf. We ate at a bistro, where we were stared at by a seagull we named "Begly", and I had fettuccini alfredo that had a little too much garlic. Then we bought souvenirs, I got some candy from a cute little candy shop, and then we accidentally wandered into a historic part of town where the "first brick house in California" was.

We chilled the rest of the day, aside from a dinner at Denny's, and then we started driving home the next day. Didn't spend the night in Reno that time, we went further in Nevada to some other town to sleep in before going the rest of the way home. At least it wasn't hazy on the way back.

August
My parents went to the (insert last name here) Family Campout, while unfortunately, me and my sisters only had work off for our California trip and we had to stay home for our jobs (yep, including Marshy, who started her first job last summer).

Had a terrible scare in the middle of the month when the van outright died on me when I was going up a hill on a busy road, and I was pressing on the brake for dear life until I got help and managed to get the van working long enough to take me home. After getting the van examined, we decided that it was done, had it taken to the junkyard (funny, it was the third car that month), and Mom got a new car while I got Grandma's old car, since she doesn't drive anymore. I was sad to see the van (even if it had been a hunk of junk for over a year) and my Darkwing Decal go.

For my birthday later in the month, I dragged my sisters (yes, both of them this time!) to a nearby water park, because goshdarnit, I like to swim and go down waterslides.

That whole month, I decided to take an art challenge--Darkwing OC Month... which, yes, I do have Darkwing Duck OCs. And I was going to do all the prompts, even if it killed me, since I wanted an excuse to draw them and develop them further. And I managed to do it! Though, it was mainly because I stuck to pencil sketches through most of it. Here are the OCs if you're curious:


Here's the tag on my Tumblr if you want to check out those sketches. And if you'd like to know more, you can just ask! I still check this place frequently, even if I'm not making content myself (wish I had the time and energy to share all the ideas I want to share).

But I have to share this highlight that I colored after the month was over:

Context: Megavolt has a brother who is just a completely normal guy with a job and family. Ron's a really nice guy, but has conflicting feelings over having a supervillain for a brother, especially with crud like this.

September
I... don't remember much of what happened in September. However, I did get curious about a certain 80's property that got two reboots this year--and I was especially curious about one character that some people claim nobody likes, but turned out to have a good share of fans who were upset that he was killed off in one of the reboots and dramatically changed in the other...

I suppose you might have figured it out in the last paragraph, but I'll say it anyway--I've gotten into Masters of the Universe, and my favorite character is Orko.

It's funny, it started when I somehow ended up following the whole Master of the Universe Revelations drama--both leading up to and after its premiere--despite not really caring about the franchise. I knew about He-Man, Skeletor, that one little wizard thing that was one of the infamous cutesy 80's sidekicks, the fact that She-Ra is He-Man's sister, and the memes (I distinctly remember this one time when we were on our way to a folk dance class in Salt Lake, where I saw the HEYEAYEA-YEAH-YEAH meme appearing in the window of a little tech store, and that was so random I burst out laughing). But, I was hoping for the sake of the MOTU fans that their reboot turned out good, that they wouldn't suffer the pain of seeing childhood faves ruined (I'm still mad about Teen Titans Go and Powerpuff Girls 2016).

From what I've seen of MOTU: Revelations (both parts of it by now)... uuuuuuugggggghhhhhhh... it left a really bad taste in my mouth. Especially you, Teela, you're a freakin' awful brat that has everyone worshipping at your feet for some reason. And also killing off the cute comic relief is a cheap shot, booooooooo (even if you did bring him back... and make him suddenly more skilled and powerful...? Did he end up in the Dragonball afterlife and train with King Kai or something?).

So, I decided to do some research on the franchise, and check out some episodes of both the 80's and 2002 series. I actually find the 80's series kind of charming in its cheesy ridiculousness, and the 2002 one has some pretty cool stuff. Not to mention the lore and world of the franchise across each of its series has some pretty interesting stuff with a lot of potential that is never really fully realized if you ask me--although there's also a lot of stupid stuff and the continuity is a contradictory mess. But, of course, a lot of franchises are this way, so I'll just have to pick and choose what I like and stick it in my self-indulgent AU of the thing, kind of like how I view the MLP comics.

Because of this, I'm now extra mad at Revelations. Goshdarnit, Teela was actually likable in the 80's series!

Also, Orko is really interesting--magic-wise he's the best of the best on his homeworld (Trolla), gets swept away by a cosmic storm to another dimension (Eternia), saves Adam's life at the cost of losing a magic conduit, and turns out that without that conduit, he can't control his magic on Eternia. But goshdarnit, he's going to try to help. He's also a little goofball and I love him, not to mention his super Trollan swagger:

Dree Elle is adorable as well, and is criminally underdeveloped when she's clearly got potential.

I'm miffed that Revelations changed his backstory to "I always sucked and my parents were ashamed of me boohoo". Especially since I don't think it was necessary, the scene where he reveals that could have easily been a scene where he laments that as "Orko the Great" he should have been there to help his people--but he wasn't, they're gone, and maybe he's a sham because of some stupid, selfish belief he could master Eternian magic despite it not clicking with him.

(Though I ain't accepting any story involving Trollan extinction and Orko being last of his kind--I like his girlfriend and his uncle, and with the bits of Trollan lore in the wider MOTU lore (aside from a few bits I don't like), I'm getting hopped up on the free real estate that is Trolla and what I could do to explore there... help, ideas of both the light and the dark variety are forming in my head, somebody do something!)

But, I can disregard Revelations anyway. CGI Reboot's better, though I'm not keen on leaning more into the technology side of things, as the fantasy side is more interesting to me... and I'm annoyed that they turned Orko into a robot. At least he still has some charm.

Here, have an Orko drawing:

Here, have a redesign that exists in my silly self-indulgent AU:

For some reason, I imagine this design having the same voice as Tomato Sandwich, except perkier and higher-pitched.

And this is how you know nothing really happened in September... oh, right, I'm a cashier at my work now. Somehow I manage to get away with doodling at the register. I also hate how my schedule's all over the place and screws with my sense of time.

October and November
I was a mad scientist for Halloween! I was allowed to wear the costume at work, and at least four people thought I was Dr. Horrible.

I also somehow managed to throw a Halloween party for the extended family at our house. Just because I found some Halloween-themed treats I wanted to bake. Everything turned out well, especially dinner, treats, and a game of Telestrations that had us dying of laughter.

And with the fun things out of the way, on to the more somber thing: My Grandma had a stroke around Halloween. Luckily, she was at my aunt's house when it happened, so they were able to call an ambulance, and later she was airlifted to another hospital that could better treat her. She spent a few weeks there and in rehab until she was clear to go home--although she has to be supervised constantly. The extended family is on rotation to watch her, along with a couple nurses assigned to her. She's been recovering well for her age (91), but she can't talk coherently and it's frustrating for everyone.

And if that wasn't enough, my uncle also got a stroke not too long after Grandma. He's still alive, but last I heard he was having trouble with his right side and was just quiet. The last few years have been pretty rough on him between losing his grandson one year, losing his wife the next, and now this.

My Thanksgiving was nice though. We had dinner in the early afternoon, Dad wanted to take us to see lights in Salt Lake but it was still light out, so we killed time by watching Encanto in a theater. The movie was alright, though it leaves some questions unanswered and could be stronger in some parts. We did enjoy the lights on our walk back to Dad's truck.

December
I had my turn watching Grandma... I'm not cut out for monitoring a stroke patient on my own. Me being a doormat and in high-strung worry mode is not really a good combination when dealing with something like that. So I'll just leave it to the family members who have cooler heads under that kind of pressure, and see her when she's brought to our house one of these Sundays or at a family gathering, like Christmas Eve.

Peaches and Cream turned one on the 16th. I gave them (and Mama Meadow) melons as "birthday cake" (since you can't give actual birthday cakes to guinea pigs), and let them play in my room until they got tired and wanted to go back to the cage. They're tame enough to climb in my lap and it's so cute! I'm so glad to have these girls... even if cleaning their cage takes over an hour and a half.

My brother and sister-in-law are visiting for Christmas and New Years. Their dog Nino is still a little rascal.

Anyway, my Christmas loot is as follows:
A glasses-shaped knickknack from Marshy, who "felt sorry" for me and Sis-in-Law for not having glasses like the rest of the family.
Three books--one pioneer related, one national parks related, and a Guinea Pig Christmas Carol
A replacement Darkwing Decal after the one from last year was lost when we had to scrap the van
A mug saying "I DRAW. What's your superpower?"
A toy guinea pig made with alpaca hair
A leather purse
A 2022 calender
And a framed picture of this:

And that's about it. Didn't get to make many treats thanks to my schedule, sadly. No sugar cookie Nativity this year (and I had a new angel-shaped cookie cutter too). Just some fudge that turned into crumbles for some reason and we had to scramble to turn into fudge balls before it cooled.

Anyway, that's that, and I hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

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