The Modern Malaise of Mixed Emotions

It is a brand new month. Not a lot has changed since yesterday when I was upset about being in a tough financial spot (though I’ve crunched numbers so at least I know exactly how much wiggle room I have), but I did get my yearly Spotify stats today so now I’m wondering if I have a music/podcast addiction or if I’ve grown reliant on those forms of media to combat my constant solitude. I spent an average of 7.2 hours a day listening to Spotify, exactly 21% of which was a single podcast.

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This Capitalist Hellscape

There are days where I consider getting an extra job. I have full-time work with the opportunity for overtime, but there’s not always work to do there and sometimes you just hit the point where you’ve been bashing your head against something for so long you can’t really do any more. A second job would have to be something mindless, something maybe physically taxing but not mentally taxing, since my current day-job takes pretty much all the mental energy I’ve got. Unfortunately, that would mean losing pretty much all of my writing time and energy.

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Looking To The Future

I took a weekend off. It was nice to get a chance to rest. Or at least sort of rest since it is me and I still did laundry, Dungeons and Dragons prep, and worked on story ideas in my head. I also spent time cleaning and doing home improvement/winterization projects. I experimented with insulating my windows with plastic, the first time I’ve had to do so since I have been lucky to have good windows and well-insulated apartments in the past, and learned a lot about the struggles inherent in this sort of shit. They look terrible and half of them need to be fixed or entirely replaced, but it’ll be easier going forward since I have some experience now.

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Post Holiday Reflections

Thanksgiving is over. It was fun to visit two of my siblings, horribly stressful to drive into the Chicagoland area since I haven’t drive anywhere more crowded than the central Wisconsin suburbs in about two years, and a delight to have two Thanksgivings in a row with mostly the same group of people so we can all say we’re building new traditions away from bad family situations. I’ve also finished most of my writing projects I’d assigned myself over my week of vacation, caught up on most of the media I missed, and managed to not fall further behind on anything else. Now, resting can begin.

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Wisconsin Winter Preparations

I have lived many winters without ever needing to put plastic insulation over my windows. If this sentence makes no sense to you, well, congratulations on not living in shitty or old apartment or house in a frigid midwestern or generally northern US state. Or, you know, anywhere else in the world where the outside doesn’t get so cold in the winter that it can leech through every exterior surface of your dwelling to steal every drop of warmth you posses but also so warm in the summer that an unattended egg can cook in thirty minutes of sunlight or less.

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Dungeon Master Chris’ Complex Custom Content

One of my strengths as a DM is my ability to create customized, interesting content. I normally wouldn’t assert this because it includes a value judgment and is based on preferences, but part of the nature of customized content is adapting things to fit the interests of the people involved. It can be incredibly exhausting to do when the various players have very different interests (shoutout to my lovely but incredibly interest-diverse D&D group that meets no more than once every other week), but it is incredibly satisfying when it works out.

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The Best D&D Story Genre Is Mix-And-Match

I’ve begun introducing some elements of horror into one of my D&D campaigns. One of the BBEGs of the whole homebrew world is essentially nothingness that is something. The Void, since I can’t help but enjoy an allusion to a common phrase. Because when you stare into The Void in this homebrew D&D world, it literally stares back into you. It provides a great tool to mechanism ennui, doubt, and questions about the purpose of it all in a D&D game where some of the players are interested in asking those questions.

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Holiday Reflections

I am at the beginning of a entire week (including two weekends) off of work. The first such week I’ve had since the winter holidays of 2020. I’ve taken the time off to work on some writing projects, rest, and grapple with the issues inherent with navigating the holiday season separate from a toxic family situation. Which, you know, is emotionally fraught enough on it’s own without throwing the holidays into the mix, which is an exponential increase rather than additive or even multiplicative. But I’ve planned some writing projects to keep me busy and engaged, some projects around the house to keep me moving and give me time outside my own head, and enough fun plans to keep me from feeling like I’m not using my time well.

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I Have Too Much Fun Stuff To Do

My relationship with media consumption has shifted over the last year and a half. It’s a mixture of living alone, trying to maintain healthy day-to-day habits, and the way that the pandemic has shifted a lot of content I used to consume into the streaming sphere. I had very little I used to follow as it came out, instead consuming it in bursts when I had time or wasn’t feeling well, or just needed a couch day. The pandemic changed how I rationed out my energy, my need for rest, and how I react to socializing, and that in turn changed how I consume media.

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Falling Asleep To Fallout 4

I have returned to playing Fallout 4. One of my friends reinvested himself in the franchise and, after we had a lengthy talk about it one day, I found myself wishing to return to the world. I’ve played it before, even doing a fun punching-only build with a character who looked like Superman/Clark Kent, but I’ve never beaten the game. Like Skyrim, there’s just so much to do that I never quite get around to chasing down the main quests. Or most of the major side-quests. I don’t think I even reached the point of the game where you have to pick a final faction. I have, however, always enjoyed the game and it’s low-stakes combat on a moderate or lower difficulty makes it a perfect game to doze off to.

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