A winter’s day

Originally, I was going to title this post “Hello, world” a la programming, then I thought of “Hello again, world”, which led to “Hello darkness my old friend”, from Simon and Garfunkel, which in turn led to their song “I Am a Rock”: “A winter’s day/in a deep and dark December”. Today being the winter solstice, it seemed particularly fitting (though the sun is shining, and recently the weather around here hasn’t seemed particularly wintry).

So, what’s been happening? I don’t remember offhand when I last wrote here, but I’m sure it’s been a minimum of a few months. In lieu of condensing six (or more) months into a post, I’ll just say that I ended this semester (and my college undergraduate career) on a strong note. Despite unexpected car trouble (after retrieving the book I loaned to my ex-girlfriend), I did well on the final presentation for one class and I apparently did well enough on the final paper for my other class, so I’m satisfied with the results.

I’ve been working less lately, which has been a nice change, though I still need to spend some time over this winter break looking for a new job, or an internship, or something. I think I’ve been burned out on my current job since at least the start of the school year- possibly, if not probably, longer than that. Continue reading

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Stubborn

The theme of my gaming this weekend seems to be “Endurance”.

Europa Universalis 4:
I started a game the other night as Portugal, which starts with the territory of modern Portugal (Portugal, the Azores, and some other islands) as well as Ceuta, a single province in modern Morocco that was conquered by Portugal in 1415 and, in our timeline, became Spanish territory in 1668.
After starting this game recently (possibly Saturday morning?), Sunday night and early Monday morning I played as the Kingdom of Portugal from June 1, 1450 to July 1, 1480.
At one point, Burgundy attacked my ally England to seize Calais (in northern France), so I joined the war to aid my English ally.
To make a long story short, somehow about 20,000 Burgundian and Dutch soldiers appeared in Portugal (I don’t know how- possibly they marched through France and Spain), I tried attacking them and lost, and at some point made peace in exchange for a lot of money.

In 1455, Morocco declared war on me wanting Ceuta. Unfortunately my English and Castilian allies dishonored our alliance and did not join the war. I think England was still at war with Burgundy and Castile was at war with France. Anyway, the ensuing war lasted 22 years and resulted in 81,000 Portuguese casualties and about 60,000 Moroccan casualties. Highlights include Portugal winning victories at sea (I only lost 1 heavy ship and captured several transports) but being unable to win in Morocco- I’d occupy a province, or even a couple provinces, but then the numerically superior (and, at one point, technologically superior) Moroccan army would stomp my army, and it was very frustrating. After taking out a bunch of loans and debasing my currency (both of which earned me 62 ‘ducats’ each time, but with varying long-term effects), finally Morocco offered me a “white peace” where neither side gained or lost territory (despite me being at -60 war score). Before that peace offer, every peace offer they sent would have resulted in my ceding Ceuta and Algarve (southern Portugal), and I refused to cede Portuguese territory. I was willing to give up Ceuta if I absolutely had to (if nothing else, it would probably allow me to focus on the exploration and colonization game), but I didn’t want to give up any Portuguese territory just because Morocco had fabricated a claim on southern Portugal.

Portuguese victory was also aided by rebellions breaking out in Morocco- a peasant revolt and a pretender revolt. I supported the pretender rebels, and both rebellions occupied several provinces. Shortly after the Moroccan-Portuguese peace, there were notifications that Morocco had gone bankrupt and the rebels had broken the country. The pretender rebellion won, though the new Moroccan regime still hated my guts (despite my support after they had rebelled).

After the war, with the explorer I started with and continuing technological development, I’ve begun to explore off the coast of Africa and North America.

Mount and Blade: Warband

In my current game of Mount and Blade, I recently entered a mercenary contract with the Kingdom of Swadia, which is currently at war with all but one of the other kingdoms in the game. As a condition of my contract, I’m supposed to serve the Kingdom of Swadia for a month.

There have been a couple occasions where I meet a superior force and, by sacrificing a few men, am able to escape.

My proudest moment of this weekend was fighting a battle against a nominally equal foe- I had 42 soldiers against 37 (I believe they were Rhodoks). If I remember correctly, I lost 5 men and had several wounded while killing 32. Granted, I think I’m currently playing on an easier difficulty, but absurd odds like that are always enjoyable.

I haven’t been defeated and captured yet, though I’ve had a few defeats and, like I said, a few times where I’ve had to sacrifice a few men in order to escape.

Empire: Total War

This is the first time I’ve played Empire: Total War since July, if I remember correctly. In my last game I was playing a campaign as Sweden and had taken Moscow and was working on defeating Russia, Denmark, and Poland-Lithuania.

In the campaign I just started, I’m playing as the Ottoman Empire. I just defeated Georgia, making them a protectorate after defeating their army when they tried to break my siege of their capital, but I’m still at war with Venice (who has sunk most of my fleet), Russia (I’m not sure if I’ve actually faced them in battle yet), and Morocco.

I’ve defeated the Venetians in southern Greece, and I’m currently laying siege to the capital of their holdings in southern Greece. Unfortunately they have a more powerful fleet, and I’m not sure what I can do about that short of spending treasure and several turns building up an equivalent or more powerful fleet. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite got the hang of naval battles in Empire, but it’s particularly annoying when the enemy has a superior fleet and you don’t know what to do about it. Venice had 2 frigates (1 5th rate and 1 6th rate), several smaller ships (brigs and sloops, maybe), and a couple galleys, while I had 1 frigate (my admiral’s 5th-rate flagship), a galley, and 2 light galleys, for a grand total of 50 guns and about 250-300 men against Venice’s couple hundred guns and several hundred men. After losing my galleys in the Black Sea and retreating, I lost my flagship when Venice caught up with my admiral’s flagship and a sloop in the Aegean Sea.

Saturday night’s all right?

I don’t know what to write, but I feel like I should write something.

The semester started the week before last, and the two classes I’m retaking this semester shouldn’t be too challenging. I’ve taken them before, I basically know what’s expected, and I know what my mistakes were last semester- I just have to get them done, and hopefully get good grades. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m working on the job search front, but no progress yet.  Continue reading

Uncertainty

I’m not sure what to write about.

It’s been about 7 months since the end of my first relationship, and a few weeks since my last contact with my ex-girlfriend. I’d say I’m probably over the breakup (though it seems like I’ve been that way for some time, honestly). I anticipate that she might reach out again this coming fall, but of course there’s always the possibility that, as she has said, we might never talk again.

I’m not a fan of the idea of never talking again, but I imagine, based on our interaction since we broke up, she probably knows that I’m not the one closing that particular door, and if she wants to contact me, I’ll probably reply. Last month while my siblings were in town, I did think it was strange that she tried calling me one afternoon. I didn’t see the missed call until a few hours after it happened. If I remember correctly, after looking on my phone I realized that was the first time she’s called me since March. I thought it was possible that it was a mistake (“butt dial”, “pocket dial”, etc.), but it seemed strange considering we hadn’t texted or talked for a couple weeks, and I imagine if she’s been texting or calling anyone since she went home for the summer it’s been her boyfriend and family.

I haven’t been thinking about my ex-girlfriend much lately, but the last few days I had been thinking about her after finally trying the restaurant she mentioned wanting to go to for her birthday if her boyfriend couldn’t come visit (though her boyfriend ultimately did come down, so I didn’t have to take her out for her birthday after all) and thinking about how it’s been about 7 months since we broke up. Today, I deleted a few pictures on my phone and ate the last bite of gelato in my freezer, which was from one day last fall when we bought gelato before settling in to watch Netflix.

She hasn’t been to my apartment since the start of the spring semester, but there doesn’t seem to be many physical reminders left. Sure, there’s the lamp she gave me for Christmas one year (the first year we were together, I think?), and various things I can associate with her (like the days when I would make fried rice for dinner or eggs and cinnamon rolls for breakfast), but not many (if anything) that I can physically handle and associate with a specific memory. Such is life and the passage of time, I suppose.

Less fortunately, I briefly looked at job postings today, and the idea of filling out job applications or tinkering with my resume is demoralizing. “Looking for a job is a job in itself”, and I know I don’t want to work at my current job forever, but I also know that I don’t relish the prospect of filling out job applications, updating my resume, and all the other associated nonsense. I do think getting a new job would help, if only so it might be something I enjoy more than my current job, which I have been doing for far too long.

In other demoralizing news, I’m not sure what to do on the dating front. I haven’t been very active lately, but online dating hasn’t seemed to work for me yet. Maybe it’s my pictures, or maybe I’m just not in a good spot (as family seems to think), which I sort of agree with. Walking in the park one evening earlier this week I saw several couples, which kind of made me wish I had someone to go on walks with and otherwise enjoy my summer, but at the same time I kind of am enjoying the single life and not having to be accountable to anyone. If I had a girlfriend, I’m sure she would have plans of her own (even if it was just planning our next date or trip together), and right now I’m free [within the confines set by my work schedule].

In more fortunate news, I’ve been using Duolingo for nearly a week. I’ve used it before, but never for this long. Studying German, French, Spanish, Welsh, Russian, and Chinese (the most recent I’ve embarked on) makes me feel accomplished, though studying Chinese keeps making me feel slightly stupid when I make a mistake.

I’m not sure what else I could write about, so that may be where I leave off for now. It’s weird thinking about classes starting in about a month- I’m not sure I’m ready for that, but I know I need to finish registering for classes and get all of that straightened out.

Moving on?

I hadn’t realized, until looking at my last few entries, how long it had been since I’ve written a post. The semester ended, I graduated (but I’ll have to retake a couple classes), and thus far I’m enjoying my summer (relatively). I can write more about that later, though.

My main interest in writing here, at the moment, is to mark the six months since my ex-girlfriend and I broke up. I think I’ve written about it here before- she wanted me to propose, and I didn’t want to marry her. While it’s possible I could have been more diplomatic and handled it better than I did, the fact remains that I didn’t want to marry her and we wanted different things.

This seems like as good a place as any to mention recent interaction with her, though there hasn’t been much of that. Continue reading

It’s time to ramble on

I don’t know why I feel like I should write something here.

Obligatory “It’s been a while”. The end of the semester is nigh, and of course that means there’s papers and projects to do, tests to take, and all sorts of other fun things.

Meanwhile, at work, I can’t think of any particular upheaval, but there’s some schedule changes due to people moving to different shifts. I am unaffected, thankfully, but it’s different. Change is the only constant in life, I guess.

I have less than two hours before work, and I don’t know that I feel like writing about recent interaction with my ex-girlfriend right now. I might make that my next entry. We’ll see.

As far as relationships go, I don’t know if I feel like life would truly be easier if I had a girlfriend right now, but it would be nice to have someone to talk to and cuddle with. I don’t remember if I’ve written anything here about the girl I went on a few dates with – that can also be something I write about in the near future. Heh.

This seems like a particularly scatterbrained entry with no point. Suffice to say, I should probably be productive instead of thinking about story ideas. At the moment, I have three main projects in mind: finishing the Stellaris AAR I started a couple months ago, writing a story set in the post-apocalyptic Ozarks (inspired by a CK2: After the End game), and possibly finishing another Stellaris AAR I started last summer.

Gods, that seems like a lot, and that doesn’t even include all the junk I need to do before the end of the semester. I know I’ve been thinking about including things from recent interaction with ex-girlfriend in a story, though I’m not sure how I could (to say nothing of it seeming, while not unoriginal, maybe too personal?).

Anyway, expect more posts in the near future. I like the idea of trying to make another post this week – maybe even two.

 

Time is short

I feel like I don’t have much to report, but I would like to write regardless.

My parents visited this weekend to help my brother move some stuff home and to see a concert. I requested Saturday (the day of the concert) off work, and got more than I expected when my schedule from a couple weeks ago was repeated, so I worked Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday of last week (24 hours instead of the usual 32) before getting nearly a week (Friday through this coming Wednesday) off work, to my pleasant surprise.

I had never been to a concert before, so that was interesting. I got to hang out with my brother, his girlfriend, and the married couple they’re friends with, so I did sort of feel like a fifth wheel (particularly during some of the slower, romantic songs toward the end), but it was alright. I was not a fan of the people sitting a few rows down who decided to start smoking despite the fact we were in a smoke-free arena. Shortly before the end of the concert, a woman sitting behind us shouted that they needed to put out their cigarette, and then she hid behind my brother and his friend, so when they turned around they apparently thought that us “kids” (probably the youngest people in the section by a couple decades) had said something and they said something about “spoiled babies”. The woman who had shouted that they needed to put out their cigarette was apparently talking about how a lack of confrontation was what was wrong with society today, and at one point the people in front of us said “F*ck you!” and flipped off the woman who had told them to stop smoking. We decided to leave shortly before the end of the concert since we didn’t want to get stuck in the middle.

I started talking to a girl on a dating app (Coffee Meets Bagel, specifically) the week before last, and after a few days of chatting we made plans to meet this past Friday. She works at an aquarium, and I had been hesitant to go to where she works, but I figured it would at least be interesting to get the guided tour. That went well – after walking through the aquarium where she works for about an hour, we walked a short distance for lunch and sat and talked for several hours before I had to go to class. Later in the day I asked if she wanted to make plans for next weekend and she said she would like that. We haven’t discussed plans for next weekend yet.

I don’t know what will come of it, but talking to her has definitely felt like it’s helped me move on. Until my ex-girlfriend called to wake me up last Tuesday, I hadn’t talked to her since the Thursday before spring break (about a week and a half). Now that I think about it I don’t remember the last time I had heard her voice (maybe two weeks prior or longer?). Our phone conversation last week certainly didn’t last long (I thanked her for calling and said bye). While I remember missing her during spring break (particularly while driving through the city she’s been living in), while driving back to my apartment I was remembering some of our arguments from last summer that seemed somewhat stupid in hindsight, and I decided at one point that if she wanted to talk, she knows how to contact me. While I think I would like to be friends, I’m not sure she wants to be friends- if she did want to be friends, I assume she would talk to me more. I can also see where that might be somewhat weird considering she has a boyfriend in another city and we used to be in a relationship, so that could be awkward. I know I remember it seeming somewhat awkward the first couple times I saw her after she returned from winter break.

In other news, there’s apparently about 7 weeks left in the semester, and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I wish I had more spare time to relax, instead of constantly having assignments (for example, the assignments last week that I didn’t get done) and other obligations. I have a few hours left before work this afternoon (I agreed to work for someone), for example, and while I could be productive I really don’t want to be productive and would rather spend my last free hours on the Internet or playing a game.