GIF of hogg's icon on a flag, the flag is waving in the wind

.:February 21, 2024:.

Hi all, long time no see

It's nice to see you all again. To be completely honest, I've been feeling a little down lately. My job kind of stinks (the whole reason I got a masters degree was so I wouldn't have to work customer service again, and here I am... getting yelled at by old ladies... again). I've been having difficulty providing myself with a new purpose in life since I finished my masters degree, got a full-time job, apartment, and moved in with my boyfriend. That's what I wanted for so long and now it's like... what next? What can possibly top this?

I know when I finished my degree I said that was enough excitement for a while and all I wanted was to live peacefully and pursue quiet improvement in my hobbies. Turns out that's not true! The boredom and monotony is really killing me. I guess I'm the kind of person who needs a goal, I like competition and I like having something to work towards. I like having stakes. Maybe I should travel more, or start actually competing in pentathlon (I finally started riding lessons, so now I have basic competence in all 5 sports), or move to Toronto like I wanted to actually find a job related to my degree, or get my PhD. Whatever it is it's not this. Do people really live like this? The same day every day forever and ever until you die? I want excitement, I just don't know where I can find it...

.:September 3, 2023:.

Hiiiiii Hogg fans

I've been keeping busy! I got my first real big girl job, I'm moving into a new apartment with my boyfriend in October, and I'm almost finished producing the pilot episode of my own radio show! My band is also getting close to being ready to debut too, I've been taking some music lessons to really make sure I know what I'm doing and I feel very confident about the direction my life is headed. The job is just a boring office job, it's hard to find work for my degree in this city and eventually I'd like to move to a different one so I can do something more related to my masters' but I like having the freedom to have a life outside of work hours. It was never really like that during my masters. I felt like I had to be always 'on'. But now I can relax a little bit and explore my other interests. You can check out the episodes of my radio show as they air on my projects page, or on cjam.ca. What else... I've been doing more woodworking and knitting and sewing than ever which feels great. I love being able to make stuff. I feel so free now that my masters is over and done with. I can't wait to keep working on all my creative projects and decorate my new apartment.

See you next time!

.:May 31, 2023:.

Hi again!

Sorry I haven't been very active lately! I've been pretty busy, because I just finished my masters degree in neuroscience a few weeks ago! It feels pretty good. I'm still not sure it was worth it, there were looooots of times when I really didn't enjoy it. But at the very least I'm lucky enough to not be in debt afterwards, and I have some work experience that should help me get a good job out of the ordeal.

So I'm now officially unemployed. Officially a NEET. I'm going to spend the rest of the summer looking for work and working on personal projects, like knitting and sewing and music and carpentry. Once I have a job I'm FINALLY going to move in with Hoggsband which is very exciting for me, and I think it's going to work out really well. We talk about how it's going to work and what rules we have all the time. I have to say things are coming up hogg. I'm looking forward to being paid well (better than a masters student anyway), and being able to have some free time to myself after leaving work. My supervisor was kind of notorious for emailing me late at night. I never really felt like I could relax in case he wanted me for something at 11pm. But I don't have any deadlines hanging over my head anymore, so I'm free to set boundaries with my work-life. That means I can devote more time to the things I actually like doing.

WAIT! What else happened? I'm volunteering at the local community radio station, i found a little indie cinema in the next city over so I'm watching lots of weird movies, and I have even more big plans.

Very exciting stuff. Thanks for checking out the site and I hope I see you again soon < 3

.:January 29, 2023:.

Happy New Year hogg fans!

Recently, Hoggsband and I went to IKEA, there are not many in Canada so it was a trip for us. I have some meditations on our visit, and I'm posting it here because as you all know recently I read "the design of everyday things" which gave me much to think about as I went through the rooms, and I'm hoping some of you may find it interesting or useful. In the book the author really stresses the importance of trying out the showrooms or the appliances you're going to buy and pretending you're using them, so I opened every door, drawer and shelf, sat on every couch, seat, and bed, and I encouraged hoggsband to do the same. We discovered that a lot of the furniture there, while cute, was not functional for regular life. The first thing we noticed right away was that the sofas were too short. They fit me pretty well because I'm not very tall but hoggsband had to crouch down to sit on them, which was uncomfortable. Also regarding the couches we found a lot of them had seats that were too narrow to comfortably lie down or sit on. you were half hanging off the end if you lay down. If we get an ikea couch in the future we would get lifters for the legs or buy longer couch legs to put on it, and pick one with a deeper seat. I did not like the way the single chairs were angled inward, which made them uncomfortable to sit on. A lot of the desk/gaming chairs had seats that were too narrow as well, which is not good for me because i like to sit criss-cross at my desk.

One BIG design failure is the handles on much of the furniture. Drawers without handles that were supposed to have a gap at the top to let you pull them out, but the gap was way too small, a kind of "peg" handle or little narrow ledges along the edge, push-to-open doors that risk getting your fingers pinched. These were not comfortable to handle and were difficult to grip, and also presented confusion about whether drawers without handles were push-to-open or pull out. if you get drawers without handles in your home I recommend making them all one type (push-to-open or pull out) otherwise you'll find yourself trying to pull on push drawers. The biggest design failure we saw while we were there was a corner sink in one of the showrooms. The countertop was along two walls and formed an intersection, the sink was placed in that corner between the two counters. Because the countertops were still on either side of the corner, the sink was too far back and was too difficult to reach in and use. Both of us had to lean very far to reach the handles, even hoggsband who is taller than I.

Some things we did like were the "soft close" drawers which stopped the drawers and cupboard doors from slamming shut, and one of the show rooms had the fridge hidden behind a set of cupboards so it was sort of "blended in" to the room without a big ugly stainless steel appliance covered in fingerprints sitting there. Another one did that with a dishwasher. So, we have a better idea of what kinds of furniture we should get now. It was very productive but I am baffled by how bad some of these designs are for like... human use. I understand wanting to make the sightlines clean for that sleek minimalist design (although not to my taste), but you need handles you can actually grab. There was also a bathroom vanity made entirely of glass and mirrors and it was covered in fingerprints. Hope you like cleaning that every day. So in conclusion, do what the book says. When you go to buy a washing machine, pretend you're putting your clothes in and taking them out otherwise you might find yourself buying a washing machine that's too tall for you, and you have to stand on your toes to reach in to get that last shirt and it's really annoying. It's really just a lot of little things you don't really think about at first but can really be frustrating when you have to live with it every single day.

in that order

These are all things I think about often in my own projects. When I make furniture or sew clothes or 3D print an object I think might be useful, I want to make sure not only is it useful or attractive but will I like using it? Is it comfortable? Because if it isn't there's a good chance I might use it once and never again. And that's a huge waste.

.:December 8, 2022:.

Hi again Hogg fans...

It's been a while... sorry about that! But I've been keeping busy lately, I had my last introductory fencing lesson so I can move into the beginner group classes now! Very exciting. I got to see DFA79 in November, which was awesome. And I've been working on some other projects as well. I've been doing a lot of knitting for the holidays.

One of those projects is that I've been practicing my bass more regularly again. I think I'd like to start writing music, so I'm going to check out some books on music theory at the library. It's really nice having things to think about besides work and my Masters degree. Something clicked for me, finally, that made me want to start learning music theory again. I was in marching band during high school (about... oh... 6+ years ago now lol), so I learned a little bit about it then, but other stuff got in the way and I didn't think it important enough to stick with it. I kind of used to think of music theory as being in a vacuum from the actual practice of playing music. I kind of thought of it as just studying what characterizes existing music, kind of the way you study theoretical physics. Not really having any concrete application but just to find out how it works (engineers are the people who actually apply physics, not theoretical physicists), so I didn't really care that much. But now I'm figuring out that knowing theory and those principles can actually make writing new music easier. Isn't that a crazy thought? And the only real way to test myself on music theory now, now that I'm not in school and I have to rely on myself, is by applying it. So, I want to make my own music to practice my understanding of that theory, as well as figure out what I admire in the kinds of bands I personally like.

One thing I'm starting to learn is that something I really appreciate in my favourite bands like Shellac and Lightning Bolt and Death from Above is the degree of... musical clarity they have. I don't feel like any of the elements are competing for my attention. There are lots of bands and songs I can appreciate as being technically good, but don't really consider them my favourite. I find a lot of music too cluttered for me. Kind of sonically busy and distracting. It takes me a long time to decide if I like a band or not, maybe knowing this part will make it easier. And I'd like to emulate this characteristic which I most admire if I can.

It's kind of the same thing with painting. I used to do really well in art class as a kid because I'm really imitative. It's easy to figure out how to imitate the way something looks. I also didn't really care about art theory for the same reasons. I took a minor in art history in my undergrad, but that was just because I thought history was cool. I'd like to get back into painting lately - this is partly because of my thing about wanting everything or at least as much as possible in my house to be a handmade work of art that I made. A lot of work but I think it'll be worth it. And if I want to hang some paintings in my house, well, I better brush up. I intend to look more into art and colour theory as well to improve, to make things a lot easier for myself when It comes to painting by knowing what's already been established practice rather than just trying to do everything by blind feeling alone like I used to, which only ever got me so far. Well that's all for now. See ya later!

.:October 20, 2022:.

Hello Hogg fans!

As you may have noticed, I finally finished the first public version of mealhogg. This is very exciting for me, it's my first coding project, you can download it on the projects page. I spent the summer learning python to help me automate basic housekeeping administration tasks, and to make some stuff I do at work a little easier. Normally I hate computers because I don't really understand how they work, so I'm punishing their existence by enslaving them to do household chores for me. Mealplanning especially is something I thought would be a good task to start with.

What I like to do to save money is pick meals that have the same ingredients for a week, so when I go to the grocery store I'm not buying a whole bunch of stuff, most of which will spoil before I have the opportunity to use it all. This does actually save me a lot of money, and my typical grocery bill is 10$/week (averaged) or less because of my system. Before, I had an excel spreadsheet and was using the 'filter' function to show me all the recipes I had with the same ingredients, but it was so hard to choose.... oh I don't want to make that this week.... I'm tired of this recipe.... I don't feel like it.... it ended up taking like 15 minutes to choose. Now I just have mealhogg randomize the options and it takes a few seconds! I'm posting it here in case anybody else might think it's useful, it's all set up as an .exe file in a .zip folder with everything you need so it's super simple to use. It's also totally free to download and use (although I reserve the right to add a 'donations' button later if I want and think it's good enough). I'm going to keep tinkering with it here and there when I learn something new or have a good idea, but for now I'm glad it's done and that I learned a lot making it. Now I can move onto some different projects, like knitting a scarf for myself and some sweaters for hoggsband. Keep an eye out for those later.

What else has been going on... well I sprained my ankle thanksgiving weekend. That sucks, I had to push back my next fencing lesson because I couldn't walk for a while. It's getting better now although it's still sore and weak. I've been staying off of it and resting a lot. That's it for this blog post. See you soon, and if you have any problems with mealhogg just let me know, you can email me at hoggboss420@aol.com. And thanks for 1000 views on my website!

.:September 15, 2022:.

Hi again Hogg fans, I haven't updated in a while, sorry! So let me tell you about what I've been up to...

The other day I went to the asian supermarket to get mooncakes, I was hoping they would be on sale since the mid-autumn festival was over but I ended up paying full price anyway... at least they had some. I've always wanted to try mooncakes ever since I was a little kid and I would watch reruns of sagwa on TVO Kids. They also had kabocha squash on sale, which I've always wanted to try cooking. The weather was so nice and cool and squash is in season, it make me think Wow! It really is autumn. Too late, the weather just got hot again, but it made me nostalgic thinking the seasons were about to change.

What else have I been up to? Well I started taking fencing lessons! It's a lot of fun and I really hope to keep up with it. I knit myself some mittens for winter (the weather network says it'll be extra cold this year) which you can see in the arts & crafts gallery, And I've been getting into gundam building lately. Hoggsband helped me with the entry level RX-78-2 gundam, check it out:

Maybe once I build some more I can set up a gundam gallery. Other than that I've just been working, cooking, practicing my Bass, working on my DDR scores, reading, doodling, checking out bands that come into town, and doing anything else than helps keep me off of social media. See you again soon!

.:June 3, 2022:.

Hi hogg fans, you'll never believe my rotten luck lately. Not only did I have an accident with a serrated bread knife trying to cut some sourdough I made, slicing my finger open from the first to the second knuckle, but I also fell on the stairs while wearing socks and got a MASSIVE bruise on my ass, and got bitten by a tick. Man.

Well anyway I'm ok now. Super bored. And hot (my new place has really bad air conditioning). I've been trying to occupy myself by going to the farmers market, and the arcade to play DDR, and riding my bike to the grocery store to browse, and reading, and learning HTML, and working on my masters. But it never works, I finish one activity and I'm like now what? I can only buy myself a little treat to pass the time so much before I run out of money. There haven't been any good bands in town and the bus to the next city over still isn't running because of the pandemic. I've picked up swimming as a hobby as well. I go down to the city pool once a week-ish for 6$ to swim laps, keep up my stamina. All this exercise is giving me more energy throughout the day and nowhere to put it. It's hopeless.... there's nothing I hate more than being bored and not having a task to do. Maybe I should crochet a mockup for some mittens, so I'm ready to go once I buy some nice yarn and make myself a pair for the winter? Hoggsband isn't any use either, he doesn't do anything all day except play video games. How can somebody live like that.

.:May 13, 2022:.

I miss going to shows so much. I recently moved at the beginning of the month and my new place is much closer to downtown, so I have more opportunities to do cool stuff now than when I was living in the suburbs. The band I saw this week was awesome, the first time I've gone out since.... no idea how long now. Celebrity Death Slot Machine, check it out:

The opening band wasn't that great but sometimes that's just how it is. There's another show I'm thinking of seeing on the weekend, with some harsh noise bands. I'm hoping there'll be a mosh pit. I miss mosh pits too. I have too much energy. Anyway the move is going well. It's my first time not living with my parents and I think I'm doing really well on my own. I've managed to get more thesis work done this week than I did in the whole month of April. And it really inspires confidence that I'm able to take care of myself, I even made shakshouka for myself for dinner tonight. But it's making me wish I could live with hoggsband even sooner, I told him to wait until I finished my degree and got a job so I could support both of us. That just means I should work extra hard to get my masters so we can shack up, right?

.:Apr 20, 2022:.

Happy 420! I was outside riding my bike to the library yesterday, when I rode over a screw somebody left in the road, check it out, it's huge:

huge metal screw some asshole left in the middle of the road

Anyway that punctured my tire. I've never changed a bike tire before, but I decided I'd give it a try to see if i could save some money. It ended up being really easy! All I had to do was replace the inflatable tube on the inside. i feel great now, i feel empowered like i could fix anything. i could probably build a house now if i wanted to

bicycle flipped upside down with it's rear wheel taken offthe same bicycle now fixed

good as new! never pay money for what you can learn to do yourself.

.:Apr 18, 2022:.

I recently took this online quiz for fun. I got 105/1000, although I think probably only 80 of those should count. It's both less and more than i expected, less because i feel like i have read more than 75 books and most of those were pretty well known. More because i mostly read classics and not really even the most popular ones + i only started this little project of mine last year, and a lot of those are long books so i have more pages and fewer books logged overall. This however does lend credence to my theory about "people who make it a part of their personality that they read books", that:

and also this lets me add a new piece to that theory by which i mean, they'll add books they read in school as a requirement (not necessarily bad, i do that too), but to pad out their numbers to make it seem like they do a lot more reading than they actually do, they'll include books from way way before the standard course of high school english class books. By which i mean, childrens books they were probably read aloud from in kindergarten that they probably don't actually remember, they just know the title from their childhood. Like 'a very hungry caterpillar' or 'if you give a mouse a cookie' types. you're telling me you read "everybody poops" at age 33? for fun? because you wanted to? And not to start a debate on which types of literature "counts" as reading, Hogg just has a higher standard for which books she considers herself as having "read", and which ones contribute to her overall goal to "complete the western canon". For hogg to include a book on her storygraph it has to; If these types of people could include reading the cover of people magazine in line at the grocery store on their goodreads accounts to make the number go up they would. To tell you the truth i kind of have just a general distrust of people who say they "like books". I read a lot, especially now, I like reading - it's a little bit relaxing. But probably 99% of the books i've read seriously stunk. I feel confident in saying 99.99999% of all books just suck. Most books aren't that good. You have to develop some kind of personal taste or critical thinking skills to be able to distill out the 9 or 8 of them that were actually worth your time, just like TV, movies, video games, and everything else.