July ’21 Lockdown Escape

Despite of an ‘Escape’ word on the title,
No.
I didn’t go anywhere.
We are still in confinement.
No need to police about what I did.

Do you ever feel so relaxed that you forgot World is currently messed up by COVID19?
If you do, Congratulations! If you don’t, let’s try something new! Maybe there is a pencil nearby, you can try writing poetry, drawing, or even carving it into a miniature or something!

I despise seeing lack of empathy, arrogant and hypocrite post about being productive during pandemic.
You read more books? Good! You finished series on Netflix? Happy For you!
You joined virtual Marathon? Sounds FUN! You take a nap? Take anytime you need!
People who don’t enjoy confinement does not mean they are boring people who don’t have hobby. They probably don’t have the same privilege and same comfort staying at home. We know, it is not their wish to spend most of the day sleeping or watching TV, they might be a person who loves jogging, hiking, fishing, camping or meeting friends. When being productive during pandemic becomes a competition, sometimes it makes these privileged people feeling superior to shame others’ stress in confinement as if whatever they do is never good enough. Come one, guys, there’s no need to judge what others do during self-isolation.

As for myself, I am not actually an outdoor person, I love staying at home, reading, playing and drawing, but I miss going out too. I miss shopping (Not that I’m a shopaholic, I seriously hate online shopping. I cannot choose the quality of the item myself that I often got the item damaged or below my quality standard) I miss travelling, I miss hugging my friends and playing board game with them, I want to try Tango Class, I also want to continue Krav Maga or Thai Boxing class (which sadly, the gym is permanently closed). So yeah, me too. Guys, we are in this together. Let’s stay at home until we are safe while appreciate everything we can do. Anyway, in this post I want to share my Favorite Lockdown Escape that become my therapy, while putting review on them, because it is July already, time for half-year Review!

Reading

During pandemic, I tend to choose thicker and more difficult books. The silver lining of being at home all the time is that I don’t need to carry heavy things including hardcover books. (That’s why most of my collection are softcover so I can carry them anywhere). The hardcover book I just read is Stephen Fry’s Mythos Tetralogy, and currently on the sequel book, Heroes. Mythos by Stephen Fry becomes my number 1 most favorite Lockdown Escape. I know! I maybe talk about this too much, I even already wrote my review on Goodreads too, but I seriously do not have enough words to justify the book entirely. The book that I owned is published by Chronicle Books. It contains so many surprising facts and beautiful pictures. I really feel like visiting museum and walking at art gallery at the same time! We know how Greek Mythology can be so complex and complicated, but this one will make you attached. See it yourself here!

Another tetralogy that I’m currently reading is Math Girls by Hiroshi Yuki. As suggested by its title it is about Math and about Girls. While the story is about one boy and two girls who are obsessed with math. Their friendship and their feeling to each others grow along with the complexity of the math problem they are doing together. The romance between those students are maybe cheesy, but what I enjoy most about this book is the math problem. It opened my eyes how Japanese solves math differently from how I was taught at school. It really refreshed my memory on discrete and continuous math. It somehow makes me wonder further how people measure before decimal and negative numbers are introduced. What is 2-3 before someone proposed the idea of negative number. I just love reading Math Girls because my brain is activated too to solve math problems.

Playing

Hades. Yes! Still under hype of Greek Myth, my husband and I are addicted to play Hades. I actually bought this game before Mythos, but I postponed the game progress after some things. When I read Mythos, I immediately remembered about Hades and decided to continue the progress. This game is as well-researched as Stephen Fry’s Mythos! The Underworld is filled with diamond and gold to describe Hades as the richest Greek God. (In Roman, Plouton means rich and Hades is Pluto in Roman). Also, one of the monster in Elysium there is Soul Catchers which is a ball of butterflies that sucking your energy slowly. (In Greek, Soul is Psyche which also means Butterfly). This well-researched design and development just won Game Developers Conference game of the year 2021 as it deserves. Somehow reading the book and playing the game make feel like living entirely in Greek Myth.

Hades review: A near flawless romp through hell - Polygon

For the first time, I participated on Dutch Chess Tournament in chess.com. It is really fun! I won and lost some games. Definitely will join more tournaments. I still aim (and fail :’)) to improve my rank from 1100 which is my current highest rank to 1200. I really need to practice new opening. Nonetheless, I feel like my confidence on sacrificing Rook is improving! I might write about this later on different post. I really want to know how Magnus Carlsen’s strategy on sacrificing pieces for valuable moves, but boy, it is so advanced. Only people who can think 5 moves ahead can understand his play.

And for those who are living with more than two people, I highly recommend you to try play Catan. My husband owned the special edition that the land and the sea are made of wood. It is soo prettyyy. You can play this game only with three persons, but the more players, the more challenging the game will be, because your mobility to dominate the sources is limited. You can also try play it online.

Creating

As you might have known, my drawing forte is human portrait. This is not my first time drawing animal, but this is my first time have a sketchbook dedicated only to animal sketches. Sketching animal difficulty is totally different from sketching human. I rarely exercise shading animal anatomy, that it is not easy to draw its head proportionally.

Since I also love to learn about animal, I add descriptions that are interesting about their anatomy. For closer look of this collections, you can view it on my other posts: Safari in Pencil.

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