Q’bu Tutorial: The game of indeterminate spelling

Today marks a week since I started doing Wii Fit Plus, and also the first time I tried to do a plank on it. Suffice to say after 8 seconds I started screaming “NOPE ABORT” and started panicking and trying to figure out how to exit the activity. Anyways.

IT’S TIME. It’s time for y’all to learn the game that’s pronounced like “kəbuː” but I’m not sure how to spel (Ceboo? Caboo? Keboo? Kaboo? Cabu? Kabu? Cebu? Kabu?), so I’m going to go full-on Gorgl’psi and just call it Q’bu.

To play Q’bu you need a standard 52 card deck along with 2 jokers. The goal of the game is to have your hand add up to 3 or less points. 2-10 are worth the value on the card, aces are worth one point, face cards are worth 10 points, jokers are worth 0 points, and red kings are worth -1 points.

You start the game by dealing out four cards to each player facedown, two a row. The player may look at the bottom two cards only and are not allowed to look at them again unless they get a special card. (A player gets 5 if they lost the last round as part of their top row.) Play goes around by picking up cards from the deck and then choosing whether to put it in the discard pile or swap with a card in your hand and put that card in the discard pile. If you discard certain cards directly from the deck, you can perform special actions:

  • 7 & 8: Look at one of your own cards
  • 9 & 10: Look at somebody else’s card
  • Jack & Queen: Blind swap (swap two cards without looking at them)
  • Black King: Smart swap (look at two cards and decide whether or not to swap them)

If a player discards a card, one player can then discard or “burn” any cards they have that have the same rank. If someone burns a card that doesn’t match, they have to pick up an extra card to add to their hand.

In addition, you can burn a card for someone else if you know their card matches the one just discarded. In turn, you can take one of your cards and add it to their hand. It’s kind of like burning one of your own cards, but also probably making their hand worse.

And in case you were wondering, you’re not allowed to take notes on the cards around the table – ya gotta keep it in your head. My brother remembers it by tapping out a rhythm, I personally use the tactic of rhythmically clicking my tongue.

When a player has 3 or less points in their hand and think they can win, instead of picking up a card they say “Q’bu”. This player’s hand gets “locked” and they are now the only player at the table who can win or lose; every other player gets one more turn to try and beat their hand. After everyone else has played, everyone reveals their hand. If the person who said “Q’bu” has the best hand, they win. If anyone else at the table has a better hand, they lose.

If you’re playing competitively, each time someone wins they get a point and each time someone loses they lose a point; rounds of play continue until someone reaches 5 points (or was it 3? I forget pick your own number).

So that’s how to play Q’bu!

In other news, I published a poetry today! If you didn’t know I’ve written a lot of poetry. It’s called “Lamp” and explains some things and probably makes people more confused for anyone who tries to follow along with whatever’s happening in this crazy multiverse of stories I’ve made up.

Boy howdy I hope this explanation of gameplay made sense. That’s all for today!


Finals, Professionalism, and Diversity: Only two more days, I can do this

In case you didn’t know, it was officially posted on the PHB yesterday: I am no longer an author for the PHB. I’ll keep posting my super long rambling bits of text that could be called “blogging”, I suppose, right over here!

Today was the beginning of the fun thing us old high schoolers get to do: finals! Suffice to say math can be confusing at times, and I managed to get a good score on my English presentation. (It was about how emojis and abbreviations aren’t totally destroying the language, hah. I think I convinced most people in the audience!) As a first for me, I only have four finals – a program I’m in has more project-based grades rather than tests, so we don’t have finals. Heck, the presentation I did for English wasn’t even really a final, it was just a presentation we did at the end of the year. I certainly don’t mind having less pressure before the holidays. Also, thanks to my schedule this year, I don’t have to go to school until after 12. Maybe I’ll pop back onto the PHC or play some Poptropica, we’ll see.

Anyways, before I gave my presentation (I was last, not my choice), there were certainly some… interesting ones before me that I felt I couldn’t go without mentioning. First of all was a kid whose document was titled “Convince these [derogatory female term]”, used the term “whack” multiple times throughout the presentation, and spoke at the speed of fast for a solid minute without even realizing it or trying to fix it. We then had a 30 second and a 10 minute presentation back-to-back. They were supposed to be between 2 and 3 minutes. We then had a guy who was forgettable, a guy whose document was titled “outline thing”, and then during my presentation I discovered that somehow some classmates of mine didn’t know about Gone With The Wind, or that really famous scene from it with the swear.

At any rate, before my presentation when I was definitely totally paying complete attention to the other presentations, I started to wonder about professionalism. You see, back when I was in fifth grade (I think), I had to give a report on a state. And for my presentation on Nevada, I decided to go with a persona of a skiier coming off of the slopes and telling some Nevada n00b all about the history of the state in some sort of café that served hot chocolate. I got a perfect grade, but was docked off 5 points for not being professional. Everyone I heard from said mine was the most entertaining and memorable, however. Which makes me wonder… what’s the deal with having to use professional language all the time? Why can’t you just present like you’re talking to friends? I know I’d probably be a whole lot more stressed for presentations. if I had to put on this false air of professionalism, heh.

I watch this YouTuber with some mature/explicit content named GradeAUnderA (kids look him up with extreme caution) who made some excellent points on using “academic” language – if you use such superfluous words that make you bloviate, it makes less of the audience able to understand you. Heck, my computer’s dictionary doesn’t even know what those two words I used are! As he points out, if you’re trying to educate people on your findings or whatever, shouldn’t you be using words that make sense to the most amount of people, rather than words that just make you sound like you have a big vocabulary? I also don’t see why we can’t put jokes and the like in presentations – it helps keep people engaged and not dozing off, like I might have done a little during the 10 minute presentation, heh. It’s not that her topic wasn’t interesting, it was that hearing about one thing for so long with no breaks can get a little droll!

Of course, I’m not saying one shouldn’t talk in a different matter than day-to-day conversation when giving a speech – there are simply some words that one should probably never use in a speech, like “bae” or “twerk”. Of course, one could argue that one should never use emojis in a presentation, but that was something I did today, so maybe I don’t actually know anything. Hmm. At any rate, probably don’t swear in front of your teachers.

What was the last thing I was supposed to talk about in this post, based on the title I put up there before I actually wrote it? Oh yeah, diversity. Recently I heard an argument that giving a character technicolor skin, like teal or pink or say, bright orange, is including POC (people of color) and racial diversity. Let me test something real quick with y’all. Here’s some drawings I completed recently. Take a look at this character. And this one. And this one too, for good measure.

You done looking? Great! I’m just curious now: what race do you think they are? Didn’t give them any coloring at all. Be honest, tell me telepathically. Trust me, I’m a telepath.

Okay, in order, those characters are a black/white mix, a mixed-race Latina, and a Japanese. Let me guess: you assumed they were white, right? See, the thing is, there’s been so many white people in popular culture, it’s very easy to assume that any non-defined character is just going to be white, as if it’s the default race. Kind of like people assume male is the default gender. (Funny thing is, neither is true biologically, heh.) So if you make a character a nice vibrant color, people are going to assume it’s just another white character with a really bad spray tan, or whatever. As TV Tropes nicely put it in their page:

Giving your characters unrealistic skin tones sounds like a great way to avoid Race Tropes and Unfortunate Implications, doesn’t it? Well, sometimes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work like this. If a character is meant to be of a specific ethnicity, they will most likely have the “correct” skin tone for their ethnicity, regardless of anything else. It seems as if only “white people” (i.e., people with the Caucasoid features of straight hair, round eyes, thin noses, thin lips, and so forth irrespective of actual skin color) get Amazing Technicolor Skin — everyone else is left out. Still, it’s a nice thought. Isn’t it?

Basically, unless all of your humans have technicolor skin, don’t bother. Or if you do, at least don’t claim it’s adding racial diversity. It just makes you sound super racist. Like you’d rather have purple people than actual people of color in your work.

The thing is, I sort of suffer from this too. I’m not immune! Many of my characters I thought of as white when I first made them. Then I looked back and thought “wait, why?” There was no reason they had to be white. So I didn’t make them white anymore. BAM, done. It’s not hard. And if my work ever becomes popular in some way, now some kid can look at someone who’s like them in fiction, and that’s pretty cool. Basically, “diversity for diversity’s sake is bad storytelling” makes absolutely no sense. There’s no reason why I can’t have my characters be races other than white! It’s not like their entire character hinges on the fact that they’re Caucasian. It’s funny, so many POC seem to have their characters hinge entirely on the fact that they’re POC. … Huh, that’s probably kind of a problem. But in my mind, it’s just another facet of their personality, like the fact that they have this eye color or this hairstyle or like this food.

I think that’s all I’ve got for today. Sorry that this post had literally nothing to do with any fandoms or whatever, I guess I’m still not sure what’s going to go on this blog.


P.S. Check out all of the characters I drew over here! I spent at least a week on this and I want you to appreciate it. Only four of them are Caucasian, and only two are straight. No reason why not, right? 😉

Poptropica, Sameface Syndrome, and Gray Ethics: I don’t think these posts will ever get any shorter for a long time

Art is hard. Anybody who does art is sure to tell you this. Honestly, I’m still having trouble with drawing and art-style. Anyways, today I’m going to be talking about my entries into the Poptropica Costume Contest, why Adobe Illustrator is hard to use, and why I have trouble with “Sameface Syndrome”. We’ll see if I actually cover all of these topics or not, I tend to lose track of my posts easily. 😛

First off, #MyPoptropicaCostume contest entries! I decided to base them all off of my own characters, since I think outfits for most of them are cool. I started off with 22(!) ideas for the contest, but ended up whittling it down to drawing only 10, and I’m going to have to enter only three. Welp.


First off is my entry “Future Soldier”. It’s a gender-neutral costume that has the most parts out of all of these costumes: it has separate parts for the bangs, the ponytails, the backpack, the black shirt, the gray armor plate, the white battle skirt, the gray belt and blue decoration, and the three scars on the face. The mouth would just default to whatever the Poptropican’s wearing. It’s based off of my character Liam Koshe with part of the hair coming from Anna Johnson – suffice to say they live in something that’s roughly equivalent to the bad future of Time Tangled Island.


Next is my entry “Futuristic Alien”. It’s a female costume that consists of a fair amount of parts: there’s the ponytail, the swept-over bangs, the ears with earrings, the tube top, the skirt, and the silver hoop belt. The lips is just the basic mouth with lipstick option. It’s based off of my Poptropican OC Urodets, who almost definitely has some alien DNA in there.


The next is costume “Modern Chill”. It’s a female costume that has the hair (which is white, no matter what), the bangs (which is the Poptropican’s hair color), mouth with blue lipstick, the silver looped choker, the shirt and overshirt, the black skirt (which can just be one of those default skirts), and the silver loop belt. It’s based off of another Poptropica OC, Sylvia, who covers up that eye for a very specific reason.


“Scheming Gambler” is my next entry. It’s a female costume that has the parts of the hair, the shirt and tie, the green jacket the goes on top, black shorts (that again can be one of those default parts), and a green cape that serves as the coattails of the jacket and is not supposed to resemble a mustache but does anyways. The mouth can again be one of those basic mouths. This costume is based off of my character Lydia Strong, who’s certainly got Lady Luck on her side.


Halfway there! Next is “Feisty Woman”, which is kind of a vague name, but I never said I was good at naming things, heh. It’s a female costume that consists of the ponytail, the bangs (with the tips always being blue), the blue shirt with lighter blue undershirt, the short light blue skirt, and a frown with blue lipstick on it. In hindsight, this costume might have gotten a nicer effect if I’d changed the eyes to lidded – she looks more concerned than apathetic/bored in this. Oh well. This costume is based off of my character Sasha Small, who certainly doesn’t like the cards she’s been dealt in life.


This one seems to have been a favorite based on the comments it’s gotten, heh. This one is “Modern Look”, which is probably the most unique of all of the costumes. It’s a female costume with hair which is supposed to look like it’s partially shaved, a black tank top, the red-orange overshirt with star, a pair of blue jeans (again, can be a basic piece already in the database), and a smile with orange lipstick. This one is based off of my Poptropica OC Ariel, who isn’t a little mermaid but is probably one of my favorite in terms of appearance.


I like the way this one looks, in general I like this character’s design. This is “Steampunk Woman”, which is a female costume inspired by, well, steampunk. It consists of a long ponytail, bangs with the silver clips, a green pendant, a brown and gold corset, a silver belt, a brown layered skirt, and a smile with golden lipstick. This one is based off of another Poptropica OC, Eleonora. You can probably guess where she fits into the story, but she proves more important than you’d expect. At any rate, this is the last costume based off of any Poptropica OCs.


“Modern Flame” came out a little differently than I planned simply due to the fact that I’m very bad at using Illustrator properly, I think. This is a gender-neutral costume with flamey hair, black crop-top, an orange overshirt, and jean shorts. The mouth can be the basic smile seen in lots of places. The hair was originally going to be a mohawk, then I realized I had no idea how to do that, so I didn’t. It’s based off of my character Yoshi Nix, who has nothing to do with the green dinosaur (I think).


Penultimate costume, let’s go! “Retro Dress” is a female costume that consists of the hair, the top part of the dress, the bottom part of the dress, the belt, and a mouth with pink lipstick. It’s based off of my character Abigail deBois, whom in hindsight kind of resembles Daphne from Scooby Doo. Let’s just say Abigail has some regrets about her physiology.


Final costume I made, and the most simple. “Simple Elegance” consists of a ponytail, a black top, a white skirt, and a smile with pale pink lipstick. That’s it. I mean, I could have added the wings present in the original character’s design, but the fact of the matter is wings are hard and I barely understand Adobe Illustrator as it is. Based off of my character Ella Sus, a shy girl with no legs but has wings.

Whoof, finished with that. Just lied to my teacher and said I was studying for the final. Sorry, I’m a disappointment, but I’m sure I’ll pass the final. ANYWAYS, study for your final and possibly answer this survey to help me pick which outfits to submit? Thanks!

What else was I going to talk about today? Man, this is already a pretty long post. Can’t wait until the inevitable future when I run out of ideas and my posts will just be like five words that mostly consist of “I feel like dabbing today”.

Ah yes, complaining about Adobe Illustrator! Basically, Adobe Illustrator can be a pain. Moving the endpoints of lines around 3/10 would recommend, it’s very hard and annoying. Basically I spend far too much time making sure the curves look good. Mostly it just takes a long time to do, hah. But hey, since Poptropica use vector graphics, better work with a vector program to make the costumes, right? Also these costumes are all very simplistic because holy carp I’m lazy, so so lazy, also as previously mentioned Adobe Illustrator is a little hard to use.

Alright, let’s talk about “Sameface Syndrome”. Known on TV Tropes as Only Six Faces, it’s when the faces of characters tend to look… exactly… the same. This tends to be a large critique against many artists, and I’m certainly not immune from this. But in my defense, when I look at people, I see the same basic features: two eyes, two ears, two eyebrows, a nose, and a mouth, all located in the same order atop a face. Sure, there are differences, but ones I don’t know how to translate to paper/screen when drawing. It probably doesn’t hurt that so much media that I’ve been exposed to has this same sort of idea. I mean, for starters, let’s look at Poptropica, for starters. I know it’s a video game, but if you’re trying to emulate styles, not much to go off on here. Basically, when I design characters, I focus a whole lot more and the colors, hair style, and clothing in my mind rather than the shape of the face. This is because I see most faces as the same – oval. And at the end of the day, I’m not trying to be the next Michelangelo, I’m just trying to express all of these crazy character ideas and stories to the world. I forget where I’m going with this.

Anyways: Yes, I suffer from “Sameface Syndrome”; I don’t know how to fix it without changing my style like crazy; and I’m not trying to be the next great artist. On a somewhat related note, I’m happy with my body and don’t feel the need to lose any weight, so your words mean nothing to me.

I think that’s it for today. Wish me luck getting up earlier tomorrow for finals, ha.

– Ylimegirl