Late night thoughts

I’ll begin by saying I should probably keep this brief. A more comprehensive update can come later. Whenever I decide to write that.

I don’t remember offhand if I’ve written it here before, but I am in a rut. I’ve had the same job for 6 years (7, if you count the year I worked for the same company at a different location), I’ve lived in the same apartment for 4 years as of yesterday, I broke up with my first girlfriend 1 year and 9 months ago, and I earned my bachelor’s degree 9 months ago. Aside from my ex no longer being in the picture and the changes associated with that (no needy girlfriend to entertain, but also no ex asking for occasional favors), I’m not sure my life has dramatically changed recently, which is both sort of good and bad. On the bright side, of course, my brother did get married just over a month ago, so technically I gained a sister-in-law, and I could get further into the weeds, but suffice it to say I’ve been unhappy. Sure, I make do and try to find some satisfaction, but the daily grind is irritating at times, and I’ve been burnt out, at least professionally, for what seems like a while. Probably at least a year, possibly a couple.

Recently, the beginning of the new semester, the anniversary of starting our relationship, and other things have made me think of my ex. Continue reading

Advertisements

A new leaf

I’ve been giving the beginning of a new month some thought lately. At some point in the last couple days I thought of the phrase “a thousand new beginnings” for some reason (though my off-the-cuff approximate calculations means a thousand days is about 3 years, while a thousand months is… less than ten years), though I have also been thinking about how a new month always means the beginning of a new chapter in the book of the year. August was late summer, while September marks the official end of summer and beginning of fall (meteorologically as well as astronomically).

The last couple weeks I’ve been having issues with my apartment air conditioner. I haven’t submitted a maintenance ticket yet, but mostly it’s been bearable as long as I have my ceiling fan running. Maybe it’s reminiscent of when I lived at home and we only had a couple window air conditioners, though a couple weeks ago it was tolerable because there was a warm day, and then a front moved through, the temperature dropped about 10 degrees, and the daily high temperatures dropped from the high 80s or low 90s to the low 80s.

Earlier for some reason I was thinking about September 2017, which reminded me of when my ex and I broke up for a day early in that month shortly before our 2nd anniversary (and about 3 months before we broke up for good). I was sure that getting back together was a mistake at the time, and in hindsight, it would have probably been better to not have got back together. Still, I’d like to think that was a learning experience, so if it happens again maybe I can draw the line and remain strong, so to speak.

Despite my recent thinking about this being the dawn of a new chapter, I haven’t really changed anything dramatically yet. I’m not sure what could change- maybe being more attentive about cleaning or conscientious about my schoolwork, or perhaps being gung-ho and ‘putting myself out there’ by submitting a bunch of job applications! What fun!

In all seriousness, I can’t think of much else to write. Maybe in the near future I’ll write here about my current Pathfinder game that I’ve been playing with some coworkers.

Recent doings and thoughts

I don’t know where to begin.

This schedule, instead of working Wednesday through Sunday, I worked Wednesday through Saturday last week, Sunday and Monday this week, had Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (yesterday and today) off, and then I work Thursday through Saturday. I think the reason for the slight change in schedule is one of the assistant managers at work taking a vacation this week, so I got to work a Monday night for the first time in… I’m not sure, but a while, anyway. Maybe at least 6 months.

Last weekend my sister came down and we went kayaking at a state park. That was fun- I hadn’t been there before and it was a lovely day to be on the water. It was good to see her for the first time in a few months too, though she’s been doing a lot of driving lately. I guess that’s what happens if one is fitting an entire summer into 2 weeks, though.

On my days off this week, yesterday I had lunch with a friend, went to return a couple library books, checked out more books, and messed around with some Pathfinder character ideas and started on some monster stat blocks.

Last week, I re-installed and played Master of Magic for the first time in a long time. I don’t remember if I’ve written about Master of Magic before here, and maybe it was long ago, but it’s a turn-based strategy game from 1995 where you control a wizard trying to defeat your opponents, who are also powerful magic users. The flavors of magic are similar to Magic: The Gathering (Sorcery, Death, Nature, Life, Chaos), and you can choose to begin play as one of several races. Additionally, the game features two “planes” you can try to conquer- Arcanus, which is similar to Earth (aside from the existence of magic, fantastic creatures, and various fantasy races such as high elves, halflings, orcs, gnolls, and several varieties of human), and Myrror, which is more magical and home to magical races such as dark elves, dwarves, trolls, draconians, and beastmen. I had created a game playing as a wizard specializing in death magic ruling a city of halflings and had played about 11 years (if my math is right, about 100 turns) before I quit, but somehow I haven’t got that game to work since. Naturally, I’m not playing a game from 1995 ‘natively’ – I bought the game several years ago online, and that came with an emulator (DOSbox), but for whatever reason it doesn’t work very well. I don’t know if that’s due to 32-bit vs. 64-bit differences, RAM, CPU cycles, or what the problem is, but I remember tinkering with it and somehow getting it to work fine last week, but it’s been painfully slow whenever I’ve tried since then.

Anyway, in that last game of Master of Magic, I hadn’t encountered any other wizards yet, but I had established a few other halfling cities and conquered a neutral city of High Men. As a result of that game, I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about undead, halflings, and Pathfinder again.

I may have already written about it in a recent entry, but a couple months ago I had some ideas for a D&D-inspired fantasy story, and earlier today I was thinking that, if a city had been taken over by an evil necromancer, its neighbors would probably react- perhaps the natives or their sympathizers might try to overthrow the necromancer and restore the original government (or a continuation), while less savory types (such as bandits and other troublemakers) might try to curry favor with the new dark lord by attempting to join their service or prove their worth (by wreaking havoc among the neighbors).

This, I thought, seemed like good potential for a plot for that story (or a tabletop RPG campaign). If the party is fighting some bandits, finding a link between the bandits and the evil necromancer that has recently taken over a nearby city would set things up for further confrontation with the necromancer or his minions.

Earlier today I went to get frozen yogurt and, after eating it, I went to a liquor store and bought a beer, a bottle of mead, and a bottle of vodka. Earlier I bought a BBQ Frito pie from the food truck that my apartment complex brought in this week. I’m used to working Wednesday nights, which has usually been when they bring in the food truck, so it’s different actually being able to buy something instead of having to leave for work 15 minutes before they open.

In other news, I’ve been occasionally thinking about my ex-girlfriend, though that seems increasingly pointless as time passes. I realized a couple weeks ago that it’s been a year and a half since we broke up, and that realization was like a week after the actual date. Maybe this is a problem that lasts until the next relationship, or maybe I just need more of a social life. I’m not sure, but it would really help if I could just get another job, and I don’t know how to make that happen without submitting a bunch of job applications and someone finally taking a chance on hiring me. Unfortunately, “I’m fantastic, hire me!” isn’t quite sufficient, or at least I don’t think it would be. It’d be nice if it was enough, though.

My brother is getting married in a month, and in slightly over a month the fall semester will start. At this point, it seems unlikely that anything will have changed since then. As I think I wrote last time, it’d be nice if some things changed, but I don’t see a way for them to change without more effort on my part and somebody finally showing interest in me, whether my job application or my half-hearted dating app profiles.

I wish things were different, but I don’t know what I can do to rapidly and immediately change them.

Interesting times

Like the old Chinese curse says, we sure live in interesting times, don’t we?

It’d be nice if President Trump’s sudden cancellation of the military strike resulted in increased dialogue and deescalation of tensions, but I don’t quite expect that. Honestly, I’m surprised we haven’t invaded North Korea, Iran, and/or both yet- that was close to my first thought after hearing that Trump had won the election, “where are we invading next?”

Politics aside, there haven’t been many changes in my life, which may not be annoying, but sometimes I wish there was slightly more excitement. Maybe not “arguing with significant other” excitement, since I’ve been there and have no interest in returning to that any time soon, but having a romantic interest sounds slightly more interesting than my current state of “why would I leave my apartment if I don’t absolutely have to?”

I did have a phone interview last week for a job that I recently applied for, but it’s been over a week and I haven’t heard anything since. I need to resume my job search, I guess- getting out of my current and recent rut would be nice. Promising news on the job or romance fronts would be better than the alternative, which is to say no news.

In other news, I’ve been playing Stellaris, Crusader Kings 2, and Empire: Total War recently. I might write more about those here later, but I re-installed Empire: Total War a couple days ago and, for some reason, decided to play as the Ottoman Empire in a grand campaign. Much like the last time I decided to try it, I’m now at war with Russia, Venice, and Austria, so basically par for the course for the Ottomans throughout their history, though I’m crap at naval battles in that game, so I suspect I’m probably worse than whatever the Ottoman navy was like in 1703.

It’s not the first time I’ve had the idea, but writing about my Empire Total War game here suddenly sounds interesting- unlike my writing on the Paradox Interactive forums I don’t know if anyone would read it here, though the usual notifications I get about people liking my post may belie that.

I went to a coffee shop for breakfast this morning and got a breakfast sandwich, a ‘bear claw’ pastry, and a double shot espresso. I was expecting more coffee, I don’t know if I’ve ever had straight espresso before, and I didn’t feel fancy enough to be drinking it.

Today’s the first day of summer, and I suddenly wonder what I’ll be doing in 3 months. I hope to find out (and hopefully it’s not surviving the aftermath of World War 3, but I digress).

In beer there is truth?

I know there’s a Latin phrase “in vino veritas”, or “In wine there is truth”. I’m not sure what the equivalent is for beer. Fun fact: Today is my ex-girlfriend’s birthday.

In February, after a few weeks of no contact, my ex-girlfriend sent me a text message asking if I had seen Umbrella Academy, a show on Netflix. After I replied that I hadn’t, she asked if I’d be interested in watching it with her. I said sure, asked if she wanted to come over to my apartment, and when she asked when, I said that I had that night and the next day off work, and she said that that night wouldn’t work because she had gone home for the weekend. I said something about how I had figured she might have gone home to take advantage of the long weekend, and she didn’t reply. At some point during this conversation, I think she asked if I could get some things for her from Wal-Mart, I said I suppose I could, and if I remember correctly, that was when she asked (for the first time in over a year) if I’d be interested in watching Netflix with her.

A few days later she texted me again about getting her stuff. I got it on a Thursday, and due to a minor scheduling conflict (she wasn’t going to be at her room until 4:30 PM, and I worked at 5 PM that night), we arranged that I was going to drop it off at her room Friday morning. Friday morning, I showed up at her door, handed her what she had requested, and the only words exchanged were “Thanks”. Incidentally, this is the last time I’ve seen her in person. While walking away from her dorm room, I sent her a text asking if she was still interested in watching Umbrella Academy together, and she replied “Already watched it.” That evening while I was at work, she texted me to ask when I got off work, I told her, and she asked if I’d be interested in picking her up after I got off work so we could watch Netflix together. I said sure, and then she said that actually I could come to her room the next day, and she would buy me lunch.

That night, she asked if I could bring her a drink, and after I asked what she liked, she said she liked Samuel Adams Winter or Boston Lager. Saturday morning, after picking my car up from the dealership where I had left it to get a recall taken care of, I stopped at a gas station to buy a bottle of Boston Lager, went to campus to work on homework, and continued the text message conversation with her.

Originally she had asked when I might come to her room, and I had thrown out a randomĀ  time and said 11 AM. I wasn’t sure if that would work, but she said it would. Around 10 AM I think she asked if I could come later, and that it might be 1 PM. I think this was around when she asked when I had to work, and I told her 5 PM, and she said that was plenty of time. I had said that coming after 11 would be fine, since I had stuff I could work on.

A few minutes after 11, she texted me (paraphrased) “never mind, maybe we can do it another day.”

At first I had thought that she had slept in until after 10 AM, and wanted some additional time to make herself presentable. I wouldn’t care, but I remember when we were dating she usually wore makeup and styled her hair. I’m sure if she was going to have me come over, she would want to clean up her room, apply makeup and style her hair, and probably put on “real” clothes (say, jeans and a t-shirt), rather than roll out of bed (without styling her hair or applying makeup) and open the door to greet me dressed in an old t-shirt and pajama pants (or whatever she was sleeping in at the time).

At some point after she canceled, I wondered if there was something going on (like her roommate being in the room, a family crisis, or an argument with her boyfriend) that she didn’t want me to be in her room for. I also think, though, that if she was genuinely interested in watching Netflix with me, she could have suggested a time to reschedule or, if needed, an alternate location. Maybe it’s because, as she said in her most recent e-mail from last month, I’m dependable, but if she had been genuinely interested in watching Netflix with me she could have offered an alternative, like “Today won’t work, what about tomorrow/next weekend/this specific day?”

I still suspect that her asking me if I’d want to watch Netflix with her for the first time in over a year is due to her wanting emotional validation after conflict with her boyfriend, but now I wonder if she was considering her options that morning. Maybe she was arguing with her boyfriend while also texting me and weighing her options.

Anyway, after she canceled, I took the beer home and it sat in my fridge for a month. After a month had passed, I sent her a picture of the bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager via Snapchat with a caption that said something along the lines of “It amuses me that this is still in my fridge after a month. I hope you are well.”

A few days later I sent her an e-mail, which was probably a mistake, but the ensuing week of e-mail exchanges (where I told her I had a new phone number and she told me about making plans with her boyfriend) remains, thus far, our last contact. (not counting her finally opening the Snapchat message a month after I sent it, but I’ve noticed she doesn’t seem to be a very active Snapchat user- of course, neither am I)

I decided to drink the beer I bought (originally for her) today, since it’s her birthday. A couple days ago I was a little sad remembering memories from celebrating her birthdays when we were dating, but in hindsight that seems ridiculous, and now this is just another day. She didn’t ask me to take her out for her birthday, and I haven’t heard from her for a month. There’s always the possibility she might reach out, but I’m sure at this point, she’s looking forward to moving in with her boyfriend after she graduates from college in a couple weeks and she probably has no desire to talk to me.

That may not be the most uplifting note to end on, but it’s the end of this particular entry, methinks.

Pathfinder-inspired pondering

Pathfinder is a tabletop roleplaying game based on Dungeons and Dragons revised 3rd edition (or D&D 3.5).

Last night at work I was remembering the game of Pathfinder I ran when I was dating my ex-girlfriend. The party was composed of my ex (playing a half-elf sorceror), a couple coworkers (I think one was a ranger and the other was a paladin), and the human bard I was running in addition to acting as DM/GM.

The plot was that a group of bandits had been causing trouble in the area, and the captain of the city watch had tasked our party with taking care of the problem. The reward was a few hundred gold pieces each, I think- I don’t remember if I said a firm number, but I mainly seem to remember not thinking about a reward until someone asked what the reward was. Oops, the perils of being a novice DM.

At one point, I had this idea that a human adept could be in a relationship with the bandit leader, and that she could escape the party’s assault on the bandit HQ (an old mansion in the forest) and become a recurring villain causing trouble for the party in the future. This plan didn’t work out- if I remember correctly, the ranger got a good attack roll and shot her with a longbow. In any event, she didn’t survive to escape after the party stormed into the mansion, so I think my loose future plans adjusted to make the adept’s sister the possible future villain.

Anyway, thinking about that game reminded me that I still have the character sheet for the half-elf sorceror my ex had made, and I think when we broke up I asked if she wanted her character sheet and she didn’t, so I put it with the rest of my notes from that game and I haven’t looked at it since. Continue reading

“What D&D Character are you?” results

I Am A: Neutral Good Elf Wizard (4th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-13
Dexterity-13
Constitution-13
Intelligence-16
Wisdom-15
Charisma-12

Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Race:
Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Class:
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard’s strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)