I’ve spent the last three days cleaning, reorganizing my apartment, and running errands. Took some time off of work, cleared my personal scheduled, and then buckled down while listening to a backlog of Besties podcasts (I kinda fell off in June because I started listening to Friends At The Table and all my podcast time vanished into their massive backlog). If you’re looking for some pleasant voices to listen to talk about video games who are willing to admit when they’re wrong or have stuck their foot in their mouth, The Besties are a good source for that. A bunch of lovely voices to scrub the shit out of your apartment to.Continue reading
A simple shifting of feet
As movement changes from past my door
To through it and I,
Lost in some deep reverie,
Move from past to present
To catch a smile, warm and expectant,
But betrayed by a furrowed brow.
Hollow words meet hollow eyes,
Or at least they should read as hollow.
I can never tell if what I feel
Is written as plainly on my face
As it is written in my heart.
I have a difficult time actually taking vacations. I’ve written before about my struggles, mostly in terms of financial cost, but I also struggle with taking a break from a mental and personal perspective, too. One of my oldest and least-healthy coping mechanism has always been “keep busy.” Which isn’t necessarily unhealthy on it’s own, but if you’re going into this with the thought of “gotta stay too busy to be sad,” then you’ve strayed into an unhealthy mindset and mechanism. The other side of this, which makes this into a problem I actively struggle with, is the fact that I also just like to keep busy. I like having things to do.Continue reading
Some days, as I go through the ordinary tasks of everyday living, I find comfort in the humdrum moments of the life I live. Much can be said about the power of the familiar and the comfortable. Like a cliche in a pleasant movie, we enjoy the familiarity as much as we might decry the sheer normalcy of it. Everyone wants change, and excitement, and for the world to respond to us as we seek to interact with it, but few want it constantly.Continue reading
As I’ve been trying to make my job less mentally taxing and find ways to reinvest myself in the work I’m doing that actually pays bills, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to test software and what it means to play video games in beta or early access. I’m not going to go on another full rant about it, not so soon after the last one, anyway, but given how much of my life is given to testing software and how much is given to video games, it’s difficult to avoid considering the place those two things intersect.Continue reading
I have been updating my blog for two months and eleven days. A more merciful schedule means that I have posted sixty-one times in those seventy-two days. Things have progressed to the point where I no longer feel like this is something I need to do every day. This isn’t a task to fulfill, though writing and editing are on my daily to-do lists, but so is making my bed, washing my masks, and driving to work. Updating constantly, unless I need a break (and I guess I’m just taking Sundays off, since that is the pattern that seems to be emerging), no longer takes up psychic space.Continue reading
Despite my personal feelings about the phrase, “death by a thousand paper cuts” has a certain level of undeniable relevance to my life these days. I first heard it at my previous job, bandied about by a manager who had been promoted because they were good at the job they would then go on to manage and not because they had any special managerial skills or skill with people. They weren’t a terrible manager, but they weren’t a good manager either. They were adequate. To make up for their lackluster interpersonal and managerial skills, they did a lot of management research and introduced a lot of fun buzzword bingo terms (I made the bingo cards for my team).Continue reading
I had an awakening yesterday (a week and a day before this goes up), while I was preparing to run a Dungeons and Dragons game. I’d spent the day in what I like to refer to as “low energy mode” since I’m struggling to find even keel after a few tumulutuous weeks (relatively to the past few tulmultuous years) and was looking for a way to get amped up for my D&D session. I was genuinely excited to run it, but most of the day had slipped by in a fugue as I went about my work tasks and final prep. So I turned to music to shake me from my stupor and get my brain moving.Continue reading
It is always dangerous (and frequently difficult) when introducing a villain in dungeons and dragons, especially a big villain meant to last a while. If they’re near the players in power initially, there’s a good chance the players might just take them out immediately, bringing their villany to a premature end. If they’re too powerful, the players might take a shot at them and be wiped out by the response. Additionally, there’s the stretch in credibility that comes when a super-powered entity doesn’t just lay waste to the plucky young heroes at their first meetting. You can make a good story out of the villain taunting the weaker protagonists, egging them on for some dramatic final confrontation, but that requires a certain style of story and it is difficult to smoothly employ in a shared storytelling medium like a tabletop RPG.Continue reading
I want to write about interesting stuff. Fun games I’ve played, cool D&D moments, problems I’ve overcome, things I’m working through, etc. The problem is, my life is kinda stagnating right now (or at least it sure feels like it!) since the only thing I’m really doing is listening through all of Friends At The Table and playing video games. Few of my D&D games have actually occurred lately and not much major has happened in any of them. The only interesting parts of them I could mention are things that I shouldn’t mention because some of my players might read this blog. I can’t reveal too many details here until after they’re no longer relevant. And all I have to say about Friends At The Table right now is that it is absolutely lovely, some of the best storytelling I’ve ever heard, and y’all should be listening to it if you like Actual Play experiences.Continue reading