Summer mix

Finally renewing my domain for this blog (less than a day before it was due to expire) reminded me that I haven’t written here for a while.

Procrastination and stress continue in my summer writing class, but I met for an individual conference with my teacher today. After arriving 5 minutes before I had signed up for the conference, we talked for a few minutes before we were done, which was still a few minutes in advance of 11 AM, which was the time I had signed up for my conference. We didn’t have class today, and don’t have class tomorrow, so a couple extra days of being able to sleep in slightly will be nice. Long story short, my grade is better than I had expected, but since there’s now just under a month left I need to step it up so I haven’t completely wasted my time and money and have to re-take this stupid class yet again.

As for the non-academic parts of my life at the moment, work has kind of been dominating my “free” time. For whatever reason (sleep deprivation?), I don’t think I’ve done much of late as far as playing computer games or otherwise entertaining myself, but I’m still probably spending too much time on social media. On the other hand, as much as I may dislike my current job, I do have to pay rent, tuition, and other bills somehow.

Other recent amusements have included online versions of the board game Diplomacy, continuing conversation with the young woman I’ve been texting since late February, and last week’s quick trip home.

The original game of Diplomacy uses a map of Europe, North Africa, and the Levant immediately prior to the First World War and has seven Great Powers available to play, starting in the year 1900- Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Russia, and Turkey. Last week, a friend invited me to a game using a variant set in the universe of A Song of Ice and Fire (or Game of Thrones) that includes Westeros and the western coast of Essos (and, therefore, 4 of the 9 Free Cities), with the playable powers being House Baratheon, House Stark, House Lannister, House Greyjoy, House Tyrell, House Martell, and, the House I ultimately am playing as, House Targaryen. This game began in spring of the 298th year after Aegon’s Landing, which is to say about the time of the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones.

As you may be able to tell, I’m kind of an ASoIaF aficionado. Anyway, we managed to play a couple years (6 turns?) before we had to take a break of a few weeks because one of the players is traveling overseas and without Internet access, if I remember correctly. The other game I joined, which contains some of, if not all of the same people, is on a map called “Ancient Mediterranean” which includes Rome, Carthage, Greece, Persia, and the country I’m controlling, Egypt, on a map of the Mediterranean plus North Africa, the Black Sea, and parts of modern France, Germany, and the Balkans.

In both games, the first few turns have passed, so we’re starting to see some conflicts as players run into each other and struggle for dominance. It might be really interesting to see a game and be privy to all of the negotiations and correspondence, rather than being limited to seeing the pieces move around the map and one’s own correspondence.

Last week’s trip home was nice. I drove home Thursday morning and afternoon after getting out of class, and when I got home my siblings and a friend and neighbor who graduated from art school this spring were trying to start a fire for a hot dog roast, after the previous efforts had been hampered by some rain. The fire got underway shortly after I got home, and so we roasted hot dogs and ate s’mores, so that was fun.

The next day, I drove to meet the young woman I’ve been texting – I really should come up with a nice “pseudonym”. Anyway, we had agreed to meet at a local museum for a couple hours, and I somehow wasn’t nervous until, shortly before arriving at the museum, I thought I had forgotten its location. These fears were for naught, however, so after I parked and got out of the car, we walked the short distance to the front door and I tried opening the door after making some innocuous comment about the nice weather (cloudy, somewhat cool, and probably damp, since I think it had rained that morning). The front door was locked, because we had arrived at about the same time as the retired woman who was going to be working at the museum that day. She saw us trying to get in, so she came over, unlocked the door, and then began giving us a guided tour. That lasted about an hour, and then Correspondent and I walked around looking at exhibits and occasionally talking for close to another hour before she had to leave. We went our separate ways and our text message conversation has continued more or less unchanged. If anything, it’s probably improved, though since I’m reluctant to divulge too much, I’ll just say it’s been especially flirtatious.

Saturday night I went with my parents and sister to see Tomorrowland in the movie theater, which was interesting, and Sunday morning I left home and drove the 5 hours back to my apartment in order to be ready for work from 4 PM to midnight. Sunday was unusually busy, based on my count of pizza orders compared to what seems like a typical Sunday, and I also worked the same times Monday and Tuesday. Earlier tonight I worked from 5 to 9 PM, and I spent most of that time at a cash register, as I suspected I would. Math and talking to people, the two main things involved in running a cash register, are among my least favorite things to do.

I have Thursday and Friday off this week, and then I work Saturday from 4 to midnight. Since it’s the 4th of July, and this is (the United States of) America, I’m sure it’ll be a blast (in the most sarcastic sense possible). My summer class will be over at the end of July, and then I’ll have a few weeks off before the fall semester starts again. Time sure flies, doesn’t it?

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