D&D, Art and Beyond…


A few weeks ago I noticed that my iPhone was eligible for an upgrade.  I debated it, didn’t think I really needed an upgrade. I use my phone a lot, mostly to browse facebook or the web when I’m sitting on the toilet, or to receive work-related emails, or to listen to music or podcasts in the car on the way to work.  I play around with it in the break room while I’m waiting for my lunch to cook in the microwave, or in meetings while I’m waiting for them to start. What I’m saying here is it’s justified (is it? shut up…).

So I made my way to the AT&T store on my lunch break and I exchanged my iPhone 6 (base model) for an iPhone 7 plus 128g. I told myself I wouldn’t be one of those people that rush out and get the newest i-device, and to be honest I didn’t need to upgrade, I could have just let my phone be paid off a lower my monthly phone bill by $20. That would have been the sensible and responsible thing to do.

Well I’m not very responsible. Not when it comes to money. Not when it comes to shopping.

I love to shop. Not for clothes or jewelry or makeup, but for gadgets, toys, books, movies, art supplies, and random shit like hand carved Hungarian horse bow with hand fletched wooden arrows, or a $350 telescope that now sits in a plastic bin wrapped in blankets in my closet. It’s an addiction, and it’s made it very difficult to save up and to pay off my credit card, when I know I’ve got $1000 extra each month not going to bills or gas or groceries, it’s hard to make yourself not run out and buy everything you want for yourself. I struggle to even save up for things I really want (antique pick-up truck, Tiny house trailer). I’m always so eager for that quick score of some lesser item I can afford in one fell swoop than to save up over months for something.

Regardless, I didn’t take the option of a lower phone bill, I took the option of upgrading to a new phone. I don’t have buyers remorse, I love my new phone. I love the plus. The screen is big enough that I even feel comfortable reading kindle books on it. (On my old phone I felt like a “page” was little more than a sentence, now a page feels more like a couple paragraphs and I don’t feel like I’m flipping the page every 2 seconds). The camera is amazing, for photos and videos. I watched a show on it last night and the quality of the screen was fantastic, I forgot I was watching on a smaller device. All in all I am pretty pleased with it.

Where I really splurged however was with my iPad. It was a little more than half paid off. Not eligible for an upgrade, and not worth half what I still owed on it. Regardless, I upgraded that too. When I first got my iPad (just last year actually, in May I think 2016) I had wanted to get an Apple Pencil and do digital artwork on it. But what I didn’t know at the time was that the Pencil only works with iPad Pro, and I’d gotten an Air 2.  Of course, I could have gotten a third party stylus, but all the reviews I’ve seen have said that the Apple Pencil blows almost every other stylus (exception maybe of Wacom) out of the water.

So I was pretty disappointed when I learned the iPad I’d gotten wouldn’t work with a Pencil (and also learned how expensive Pencils were!) But I managed. I used the iPad as an e-reader, and to use for D&D using a third party app called Fight Club. It got use, if not for the purpose I really wanted it for.

Since then I’ve been on the fence, debating on if I wanted a Surface Pro for digital artwork on the go. I watched many reviews and debated for a long time. I think the price tag on the Pro kept me back. To get the specs I wanted (minimum) it would be about $1,000. I just wasn’t ready to commit that to something I wasn’t sure I’d use. After all I’d gotten the Parblo Coast drawing tablet a while back for around $300 and hardly use it. (I wasn’t counting on how much I’d want to unplug from the computer, but the Parblo is basically just a second monitor with touch screen and pen recognition, so I had to sit at my desk to use it).  I wanted to sit in the living room and draw, draw at D&D, draw during my lunch break at work.  Of course all that can be done with a sketchbook and pencil, and I do enjoy that. But I’ve been missing digital art.

At any rate, I watched many reviews on the Surface Pro which led me to many iPad Pro vs Surface Pro for digital artwork type review videos. In almost all of them the consensus is that the iPad Pro is better for laid back artistry, for just having fun and drawing, and the Apple Pencil far outstripped the Surface Pro pen.  Where the Surface shined was with the ability to run legit art programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Manga Studio, etc (of which I have the latter). That swayed me for a time.

But when I realized I had an iPhone upgrade, and would be going to the AT&T store anyway, and when I had spent all day with Amazon open looking at the Surface Pro 4 sitting in my wish list, and watching the price drop slowly from 1,014 to 1,008 over the course of the day, I decided enough was enough. I watched a couple more videos and decided that the iPad Pro was the way to go.

So to begin summing up this rambling mess, I decided to upgrade that as well. I turned in my iPhone 6 and my iPad Air 2, and I walked out of the store with an iPhone 7 plus, an Apple Pencil, a keyboard case, and a receipt for the iPad Pro 9.7 128g that will be shipping to my house in a few days.

Now I eagerly await it’s arrival, so I can get Procreate app and begin testing out all the features, using the Pencil, doing digital artwork, using it to read my kindle books, to watch my shows, and to use the new D&D Beyond app when that comes out (high hopes!) until then I’ll get Fight Club 5 back on there and running again. I also look forward to using to to write, and perhaps do more of than in a non stream-of-consciousness-blog format.

I am very excited, I love my gadgets. 🙂


Oh and I have my first sessions with the therapist today. I’m nervous and excited and terrified and hopeful and curious and a bit queasy.


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