No girlfriend, no games, no goals

I came up with the title of this post while taking the dogs for a mid-day walk earlier this afternoon. While I don’t plan to make this a long post exhaustively breaking down the causes and effects, I do think this phrase succinctly describes my current situation (even if admitting this fact seems like telling on myself, or at least betraying that not all is well, in contrast to the usual depiction on social media).

As for no girlfriend, all I really have to say about that is that, in December, I’ll have been single for four years, and, of course, there’s still a pandemic raging. I haven’t dabbled much in online dating lately, but what little I have looked around (admittedly, mostly on Tinder and OkCupid) is disappointing because I want something more substantial than a blank bio and a picture, and because people are disappointing I suspect my list of desired qualities is probably rare in this area, to put it lightly. I also haven’t lost much sleep about this, because (much like pre-college) I figure I’ll meet someone eventually, so I don’t worry about it.

No games stems from noticing that, according to my Steam library earlier today, apparently it’s been 3 weeks since I played anything (ignoring the 2.7 hours I spent a couple weeks ago using a floorplan generator to map a dungeon for my current D&D-inspired story idea). It’s also been 2 years since I last played D&D with anyone, and much like my frustration over not having a girlfriend or, indeed, any romantic prospects that I’m aware of, I think there’s a similar problem of having to meet other people and “put myself out there”. Indeed, the ongoing pandemic complicates the prospect of meeting in person (as if my work schedule and location didn’t already pose enough obstacles), which leaves online gaming, and I’m not currently aware of anyone who might be interested in playing and has a similar schedule. I haven’t exactly asked my friends, but most of my friends who might be interested seem to have families and jobs and other commitments, and they might not be game to meet for an online game at, say, midnight. Of course, scheduling is always a problem, but it’d be nice if I could work less and play more. D&D character ideas seem rather useless without having a prospect of playing them, and I also haven’t done any looking for groups in this department either. I think websites exist where I could play by post or something, but that’s a further effort. Playing with friends was simpler when I lived with a Game Master, and the other half of our party lived in the next apartment building of the same complex.

As for no goals, this stems from a coworker recently asking “What have you been up to?” and my answer being, as usual, something like “Not much.” As far as I can think of, my coworkers range in age from 16 to their mid-60s, which is quite a range. While a 16-year-old or a 17-year-old might be worried about their homework or preparing for college or enduring senior year, and someone in their mid-60s might be worried about medical procedures or health issues or their family, I feel like right now I’m relatively fortunate in that I don’t have to worry about much, but also I’m not really doing anything other than work.

I get up, I go to work 5 days a week, I come home, rinse and repeat. Since I don’t have any friends that live close, I can’t exactly swing by to socialize, and as previously mentioned most of the friends that do come to mind are busy, so we might chat, but it’s been a while since I’ve been to anyone’s house for a social event (discounting, I guess, my grandparents’ being visited by relatives).

If I was currently in college, for example, I might be studying or have assignments or projects or be busy with that, or if I had a family I’d have to consider childcare and whatever the child/children was doing (whether daycare or school). However, I’m not currently taking any classes and I have no children, so that rules those out.

I have things I want to do, or would be nice to do, but I’m not very organized about coming up with a list of goals for my day off (for example), or for “this week”, or “by November”, or anything like that.

I suspect I might be happier if not all three of those admitted simplifications were true, but who knows. It could certainly be worse.


Summer: Vacation, etc.

For some reason, this morning I woke up and decided I could write a post here, because I was vaguely aware it had been a while and I figured I could write about some recent happenings.

After coming to WordPress, apparently I haven’t written here since the end of February. Really?

I, uh, can’t think of much to report, or at least not enough to write a thousand or so words about the last (does math) five months, give or take a week. I mean, I probably could find the words to figure out how to write 200 words about March, April, May, June, and July, plus the first not-quite-week of August, but I’m not sure what I’d report about each month, particularly some of the earlier months. Therefore, I’ll stick to more recent events, like the past few weeks.

A couple weeks ago (July 21-24) I took my first vacation in a while to visit my sister, and it was nice to see her and get away from the daily grind. I hadn’t been to my former city of residence since I moved away about a year ago (July 29, 2020). We didn’t do much- I got my oil changed and a couple new tires (I had asked them to rotate my tires at Wal-Mart while I was getting my oil changed, and then they told me they couldn’t rotate the tires because they were worn down to the belt, and I had sort of forgot about getting new tires), we went for a couple walks, and we got carry-out for several meals. I enjoyed the pan of brownies she had made, and despite taking a couple Mom-made masks and being worried about the current state of the pandemic, I didn’t even wear the masks at all, so that seemed a bit pointless.

It seems weird to think about it being time to get ready for school, though of course it’s been over a year since I’ve taken any classes, and I don’t have any children, so I don’t exactly have to worry much about it (which I’m somewhat thankful for, in light of the current state of the ongoing pandemic). There are several people at work that are leaving, apparently, including the assistant manager and several of the night kitchen people, so that’s potentially a problem, but hopefully more people get hired and I don’t wind up having to work a bunch of overtime (or something).

Recently I’ve been toying with some Dungeons and Dragons/Pathfinder-inspired story ideas. Last fall, I think, I had an idea for a story that was inspired by reading about some of the class options in Pathfinder (specifically, the water elemental bloodline for sorcerers), and this spring (or maybe summer) I had another idea for another D&D-inspired idea, and most recently I’ve been inspired by a game I discovered while visiting my sister last month. The game is called Good Old Dungeon, and it’s a fairly simple dungeon crawl where you control a character and fight monsters and, of course, can use experience points, gold, and materials to advance your character. I created a wizard and thus decided I wanted to build a D&D wizard. I’ve been playing with some ideas recently for a D&D inspired story where this wizard is the main character, and of course building a D&D character has made me want to play D&D or a similar game, though I’m not currently aware of anyone that’s playing. As usual, scheduling is an issue- if I wanted to run a game, I could probably figure out how to find a group of people interested in playing, though the question as ever would be if they’re available or willing to play when I am- say, at 10 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, or after 9 pm most days of the week, or some other not-quite-conventional hour. What I always slightly disliked about playing with my former roommate and other friends several years ago was that we would get together to play on Sunday afternoons at noon. Since I usually worked at 4 PM on Sunday, losing my scarce time before work always slightly vexed me.

Recently, reading about the history of the county where I work has led me to some old books that are available online and were published in the 1880s. Aside from reading about the early history of the county, and the strangeness of imagining the area in the 1840s when it was the unsettled frontier and people were worrying about Indian attacks, I have to admit being amused by some of the flowery writing- I doubt that a history published in 2021 would talk about how “savages” made no use of the country and how the area has some of the most fertile soil in the world (or at least the United States). It’s amusing to imagine such a history- aside from an additional 140 years to cover, unless it was written by a Republican or similar conservative, it’s easier to imagine a more “politically correct” (“woke”?) history that, for example, would not use the phrase “savage” unless it was a direct quote from a contemporary source, and only used if it had good reason. For that matter, I imagine such a history written now might include some native sources, or at least sources that weren’t solely from white men. Some history about slavery in this area might be interesting, for example, though as this was the northernmost outcropping of legal slavery, my understanding is that there wasn’t a lot of it (as opposed to, say, the lower South where cotton and other crops were the basis of the economy). I’ll admit I’m not well versed in antebellum history on this local level!

As a weird and tangentially related note on local history, Wednesday morning on my way to work my mom called and said the local museum was closing and she had been called by someone who was trying to return things to the families that had donated/loaned them. After work Wednesday, I met my mom there and we picked up several things that had belonged to my First World War veteran great-grandfather and had been donated by my grandparents, including his uniform, chest, mess kit and some other memorabilia that had been in the chest, a hay knife, a green bean snipper, an egg scale, a chicken feeder, a table, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting. We also picked up an old washing machine that didn’t belong to my relatives, but I think belonged to one of our neighbors (or at least someone that was the ancestor of some of our neighbors).

Speaking of my grandparents, they celebrated their 70th anniversary August 1. I worked that day, but their children (my aunts and father) took them out to lunch and I stopped by Sunday morning before work to see them. My grandparents are certainly in good shape for being in their early 90s, and I’ve sort of already decided that I’ve probably lost my chance to match that particular milestone (unless I somehow meet and marry someone and we both live another 70 years, which may or may not happen depending on medical technology of the late 21st century).

Let’s see- local history, family, vacation, story ideas- I’m not sure what else to write about. Well, I can think of some funny work-related anecdotes, but this post seems like it’s long enough already, so I think I might put those in another post. I don’t know about writing here more regularly, but it also seems like that’s not the worst idea. Until next time.

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


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.

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.



Have I really not written here for over two weeks?

I requested last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (April 3-5) off from work, expecting to get only those three days and hoping to be able to go home for Easter with my brother. To my pleasant surprise, I instead got nearly 2 weeks off work, which ends tonight. Tomorrow and Saturday I work until midnight, and Friday (my 24th birthday[!]), I only work until 8 PM. It being a Friday night, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up having to stay at least a few minutes late.  Continue reading

and it started so well

Today was going well until I decided to restart my computer after installing some updates.

I slept in till about 11, had scrambled eggs with sausage, onion, and green pepper for brunch, got some homework and laundry done, had spaghetti for lunch, and decided to go ahead and restart my computer to finish installing updates.

Something was apparently messed up, because I then wasn’t able to boot Ubuntu properly, and after fiddling around trying to delete an old version of the kernel I apparently deleted (or otherwise rendered inaccessible) everything I had accumulated in the last month since my last drastic computer problem(s).

The good news is that I still had an older version of Ubuntu installed on the other hard drive, so I still have all the data from before the motherboard in my old computer failed, but now I have a hard drive that may or may not still have other stuff on it and nothing works properly with my old hard drive.

On the one hand, I want to fiddle with it until it works properly, but on the other hand I’m already sick of messing with it and I just want everything to work perfectly.

Long story short, looks like I’ll have to restart my attempt at writing about the Crusader Kings 2: After the End mod game.


As anyone who has paid attention to my various social media accounts is probably aware, and as I’ve probably already said multiple times here, I really don’t like the writing class I’m taking this semester. On the one hand, I like talking about myself (or my problems, as appropriate), but on the other hand I also don’t like feeling like I whine too much, which is probably why I’ve almost exclusively limited my complaints to social media, my parents, and other mostly textual media. I could make whiny posts on Facebook every day, but I don’t, because I see enough boring/stupid/mundane posts (on a side note, I might be a slight Facebook addict) every day, and my posts that seem to most consistently get “likes” and other interaction generally seem to be puns, humor, and other relatively innocuous fare. At work, if anyone asks me how I’m doing or what’s going on, I generally reply with something vague and uninformative like “nothing much”, because I’d rather not extensively talk about my problems, nobody cares (or so I’m convinced), and it’s innocent small talk.

Getting back on topic, some reading about motivation and study habits has given me a few ideas for potential solutions, or at least things to try. One thing I read recently suggested having separate areas for “work” and recreation, which I think merits investigation. I know I’m easily distracted (as is evidenced by habitually keeping many browser tabs open, among other things), and when working from my desk in my room it’s all too easy to open a new tab and check Facebook (for example) if I get bored (which, with this writing class, is frequently). I seem to remember hearing this suggestion from at least one (and probably both, realistically) of my parents during my freshman year of university, though I don’t remember doing so. I do seem to remember visiting the library at least once, but I think I usually tried to just do my homework in my dorm room (and we can see how well that turned out).

Another solution I’ve been considering that I’ve read (and also probably been told before) is scheduling time to work on classes. There may be people who are disciplined enough to do their online classes right after waking up at sunrise, get everything done at once, and then enjoy their day, but realistically speaking I am not one of them (and not just because I’m a night owl who dislikes having to sleep at all). Time management, organization, and a few other things are, historically speaking, among my weaknesses. (See also social interaction, empathy, and non-verbal communication, but I digress)

I thought there were a few other things I wanted to try, but between my counseling appointment this morning (which mostly seemed to focus on being involved on campus, and not so much my recent lack of interest in my boring classes) and now, writing a blog entry some fifteen hours later (almost two hours after I got off work), I seem to have forgotten them. Making to-do lists was something discussed this morning, I can remember at least that much. I know I’ve tried it before, but my problem is generally that I then proceed to ignore the to-do list after making it, as if I’ve achieved something simply by writing it down, and writing it down will make it happen. Sadly, I’m afraid that works better for fiction than to-do lists.

I’ve also been thinking lately that I spend too much time on Facebook, or at least look at it too frequently – if I only looked at it once a day, or even less, it would no doubt be more interesting than my current practice of looking at it at least a few times a day, if not at least once every couple of hours or so.

I remember being frustrated at work tonight while I was thinking about my frustration with myself and how every class I’ve taken at my current university has been easy, but (for the most part) I haven’t really been applying myself. Of course, as I may have written here before, I’ve noticed there’s a very strong correlation between my grade in a class and my interest in a class (easy and/or interesting? A! Relatively easy, but requiring lots of study and memorization? B or C, maybe). One of these days (if not this semester), I’m going to exhaust the gen eds and start taking upper-level courses, which will, maybe hopefully eventually, be more interesting.

I’m beginning to run out of things to say, and it is, after all, 2 in the morning, so I should probably go get ready for bed. This week I’ve been fighting a cold, and after being congested today I’m hoping that it’s on its last legs. Maybe tomorrow, or the next day, I’ll wake up and this rhinovirus will have been defeated.


Hindsight, as the saying goes, is 20/20. This, among other reasons, is probably why I’m increasingly convinced that I should have talked to someone about my academic problems during my freshman year of college, instead of continuing to take computer science classes that I disliked and, eventually, losing interest in most of my classes.

At the time (has it really been five years?), I believe I wanted to keep a nice scholarship that involved being a computer science major, but in retrospect it wouldn’t have been the end of the world to try living off-campus and (much as I’ve been doing recently) work while only taking classes as I can afford to pay for them.

I distinctly remember, during the first week of class my freshman year, in the computer science class I was taking the professor was talking about Boolean logic, among other things (conversion to and from binary? I don’t remember what else now), and at one point I decided I didn’t like being a computer science major.

Again, in retrospect, I should have gone to the counseling center, or mentioned it to my parents, or talked to a friend, or done almost anything other than what I actually did – continue going to class, not apply myself, eventually get a tutor, and I think I ended the class somewhere in the C range. Lack of study skills aside, at least in the first two weeks or whatever I could have, relatively painlessly, switched to being a chemistry major, or a biology major, or even an undecided major.

Instead, I continued going to classes I disliked, not applying myself, and shortly after the start of the second semester I completely stopped going to most of my classes, because freshman writing, trigonometry, and another programming class failed to interest me. I only went to the first day of the writing class (and another day much later in the semester), and I seem to remember attending trigonometry and the Java class until at least mid-February, after which I believe I stopped attending those classes.

I’m mainly writing and thinking about this right now because the alternative is working on my current writing class, which just seems completely pointless and boring. Maybe it’d be different if I were taking it in a classroom with an interesting teacher, but it’s really hard for me to be interested in anything I find boring (like, for example, freshman writing).

I need to figure out a way to weaken the very strong correlation between my interest in a class and my eventual grade in that class, and if nothing else it’s hard for everything to always be interesting and exciting (as my current job proves).

Tonight I get to work the cash register at work for a full shift. I’m very introverted, and immensely dislike being a cashier to begin with, but Mondays usually aren’t too busy, and as I learned last night I’ll have more help than I originally thought I would. Thankfully, tomorrow I’m back in the kitchen for a short shift, and then I have Wednesday and Friday off, if I remember correctly.

A few recreational writing ideas

Between getting up early for my counseling appointment on campus and working until midnight, Thursday was a long day. I slept for 9 hours yesterday morning, which meant I woke up around 11:15 and didn’t get out of bed until about noon. After making chili in a slow cooker and getting dressed to leave the apartment, I went to the grocery store in the early afternoon and bought, among other things, 3 bottles of wine (which is 2 more than I’d usually buy at one time, but there was a 2 bottles for $7 sale on some dessert wine that looked intriguing). At one point I was wondering about starting a wine review blog, and then I more or less immediately dismissed the idea because, among other things, I feel like I lack the proper equipment (proper serving glasses, proper storage facilities, etc.) and I either have a high alcohol tolerance (being of English/German/Welsh/Irish descent and a male human) or I rarely drink in large enough quantities to get drunk.

Anyway, I tried Space Engineers this afternoon (Minecraft IN SPACE! is fun, until you neglect to consider gravity/physics), and I re-visited Europa Universalis 4 (a game made by the same company that made Crusader Kings 2 covering the years 1444-1820). Specifically, a game I have going in a mod where the American and Mexican states, and Canadian and Australian provinces, somehow wound up in 1444. As of this writing I’ve reached 1465, and Missouri has lost Kansas City and St. Louis (and most of its former territory north of the Missouri River) to Iowa as result of a war in which Iowa invaded Nebraska and Missouri came to the aid of its ally Nebraska.

At some point, this reminded me of previous ideas I had for writing something involving this mod, and more generally something set in the timeframe covered by Europa Universalis (1444-1820) as opposed to Crusader Kings (769-1453). I’ve have yet to get very far in a game of Europa Universalis, but that time frame sees the cutting edge of European military technology go from pikes and crossbows (or longbows) to flintlock muskets and heavy artillery, to say nothing of advances in more peaceful areas (the printing press! the industrial revolution!).

Who knows if, or when, I’ll find time to write even a portion of these, but here’s what I’m thinking of for game-related writing ideas at the moment. In a way, my old computer dying and having to re-install everything was both a blessing and a curse.

  • EU4: California, either in narrative or “historical” format
  • EU4: closer to history, and not the same as California. Portugal, maybe?
  • telling about my current (or a future) CK2 game as the Dukes of Chariton in post-apocalyptic North America
  • something for another CK2 game – Celtic, Norse, Finnish?
  • another CK2 game different from the first two, in style as well as content

These, of course, don’t even include various other ideas I’ve had, or will have. I suppose what I should do is work on some of these, but organization and follow-through have never been my strong suit. I also feel like I should start reading for pleasure again, but at the same time I still have these college classes I’m currently taking, so I shouldn’t totally neglect those, and that whole “working to pay rent and bills” thing.