Beginnings and Endings

I hadn’t realized it had been more than six months since I wrote here, but somehow that’s not a surprise. I know I had forgotten I had this blog until recently- and I don’t even remember what reminded me. I think it was visiting some site that used WordPress.

Anyway, the big story in my personal life of the last month is breaking up with the girl that I had been in a relationship with for two years. While I’ve been wanting to write about it (particularly since we have sort of started communicating again), I also am leery of writing too much here. Among other reasons, it’s weird imagining her reading anything I write here (though I don’t think I ever told her I had a blog), to say nothing of her current boyfriend, her family, or Internet archaeologists of the future. Haha. Anyway, to abbreviate a long story, she had started talking about wanting an engagement ring and a wedding proposal soon, and I didn’t want to propose to her. After several weeks of arguing about it and her departure for the winter break, she gave me the ultimatum of either proposing or breaking up. I didn’t want to propose, so we broke up. We maintained sporadic contact (mostly initiated by her) for about the next week and a half, and at some point I apparently made her think I had changed my mind. Once I told her that I hadn’t, she said she didn’t want to talk to me unless I had changed my mind or unless it was about getting her stuff back. Aside from a few text messages, some of which I’m sure were intended to make me jealous or otherwise upset, we had stopped talking, which has been its own adjustment. I can write more about that later.

Unfortunately, the spring semester began Tuesday. On the bright side, I only have one class Tuesdays and Thursdays, but this good news is somewhat marred by the fact this class is at 9:30 AM (not good news for this night owl, especially on nights I work until midnight) and the fact that Mondays and Wednesdays this semester I have three classes spaced out between 11:15 AM and 6:45 PM. Of course, since the semester just started, I haven’t had any serious assignments yet, but I’m not looking forward to having assignments and projects due.

In other news, I’ve been playing a lot of Stellaris lately (and this was particularly true before this week). I decided to start working on another AAR, this time based on playing as a Trade League (ethoi: Pacifist Xenophile Materialist) after playing a brief game because I had never tried the Corporate Dominion civic. At the moment I’ve been having mild “writer’s block” not quite knowing how I want to start it. I have decided I want this to be sort of a history, rather than the narrative story based on another Stellaris game that I played last summer. With that in mind, I’ve decided I want to start with a sort of prologue of the first ruler’s term covering the first twenty years of the game. Right now I think I’ve decided on listing the achievements of the first term (information about planets colonized, technologies researched, economic growth, diplomacy, etc.) before I start writing the history proper. Of course, before I write that history, I’ll also have to play past 2220, and decide whether I want to go with the random election, or burn most of my current Influence reserve and keep my current ruler for another twenty years. Decisions, decisions.

Well, I’m overdue to go to bed, so that’s all for now. I’ll try to write more here later- if nothing else, writing a blog post might make me feel more accomplished than some of the alternatives.

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Long time no see

I haven’t written here for a while, but once again, since I renewed my domain registration I figured I might as well write something here.

I’ve been working a lot this week, unfortunately. I’m very close to being overtime (due to agreeing to work 4 hours on two of my three days off this week), so I was told to come in an hour late tonight. I may have to do that again tomorrow night, but I suppose we’ll see. I’m hoping tonight isn’t busy, but again, I guess I’ll find out for myself in a few hours.

I feel like I should be writing more about what I’ve been up to lately, but at the same time it doesn’t seem like there’s been very much. Working, as I’ve already mentioned. I was a full-time student again during the last academic year, and this past spring I took a web design class which was interesting and covered HTML, Javascript, Bootstrap, and XML. I also took a finance class because it’s required due to my major being part of the College of Business at my university. I took it online, which in hindsight may have been a mistake, but when I re-took that class as an intersession class (during the three weeks between the spring semester ending and the start of summer classes), I improved my grade from a D to a B, so that was satisfactory.

Since my class ended last week (has it really been a week?), I’ve been enjoying my increased free time by playing lots of Stellaris (when I’m not working). I may write more here later, and considering I’m paying for this domain, as I’ve said, I really should start writing here again more often.

For now, auf Wiedersehen.

winding down

Once again, I haven’t written anything here for a while. This morning at 7 I registered for the spring 2016 semester, and after working until midnight last night and going to bed about 2:30 I set an alarm to go off a few minutes before 7 with the plan that I would wake up and be ready to register for classes, and then maybe do a few other things before going to my 11:15 business law class.

As planned, I woke up, rolled out of bed a few minutes before 7, and was ready a couple minutes before 7. This morning before going to bed I had picked out which sections I wanted to register for. My desired section of German 2 only had 4 seats available, and accounting 2 had a few more seats than that, but writing 1 (i.e., the class I tried taking last summer on campus and online last spring and the summer before that, never mind during my second semester of freshman year almost 6 years ago) and American History had, and have, a bunch of sections available because they’re required general education courses, so I picked out sections so I would be taking 2 classes every day of the week next semester (in contrast to this semester’s schedule of 1 class Monday/Wednesday/Friday and 3 classes back-to-back Tuesday/Thursday – not something I wish to repeat).

Anyway, I registered for classes, and then had to wait about 30 minutes before the university website was working so I could see that I had successfully registered. Continue reading

High Autumn

I haven’t written here for a while, have I? I’m not entirely sure why, honestly. I’m still working and taking classes, and as of about a month ago I have a girlfriend (F, who I’ve mentioned before here), so I suppose I’ve been busy. Too busy to blog, apparently.

I can’t think of anything particularly exciting that has happened recently, so I suppose I’ll start rambling about recent events and current happenings. Mid-term grades came out yesterday, and for the most part they were, I suppose, satisfactory (particularly considering the effort I’ve been putting into my classes and the stress of working a lot and moving).

That reminds me – about a month ago my (now former) room-mate got a job offer in another city, which set into motion the process of his moving out of the apartment and my eventual transfer to another apartment in the same complex. That process was stressful, but my mother and sister drove down one weekend after I signed the lease to help me move, and my brother and a friend of his also came over for an afternoon to help me move. I almost feel like I am, or have, finally settled in, but due to the state of my room and kitchen that might be a slight exaggeration. It probably wouldn’t hurt to clean up a bit, but who has time for that?

On the work front, due to some people quitting, transferring, or in any case leaving (and now I’m not sure I remember who did what, since I don’t think it was anyone I knew very well), I’ve had to work a lot of hours for a few weeks. The first couple weeks of the semester I was scheduled to work 20 hours, which I liked, but then I had to work 24 hours for a few weeks. Okay, that’s still tolerable (even if I’m ‘lazy’ and value my time not spent as a cog in the capitalist machine). For I think a couple weeks I was scheduled to work 32 hours, which is difficult when also taking 12 hours of classes. Luckily, some new people have started now, and I think I’m going to be working slightly fewer hours, at least for next week. I think this week I am only scheduled for 28 hours, and tomorrow I (finally) have a day off after working for 6 days straight. Admittedly, the last two days (tonight and yesterday) are only for 4 hours each, which are almost rewarding after working last weekend.

As of last Saturday I’m officially 24 years and 6 months old (so 24 years, 6 months, and 4 days old today). On one hand it seems weird thinking about being 25, but at the same time I can’t really think of any goals or anything like that. If I were on a “conventional” track, I would have graduated from college 2 years ago, be working, trying to find a job (more likely in this economy), or possibly in post-graduate education. Maybe working on my master’s or doctorate? The important thing here is that I’m not on a “conventional” track, due to taking 2 years off from school and now being a “non-traditional student”.

I can’t really think of anything else to write about, particularly considering I need to be getting ready for work, so I guess this is where I sign off. Maybe I’ll write about my recent writing projects in my next post.

Look Down

Ten days seems to be approximately the amount of time that passes before I realize that I haven’t written here for a while.

Thankfully, as of last Wednesday (the 19th) I no longer have stitches on my right hand, so I have two fully functional hands again. The nurse that took the first stitch out had to go get another nurse to help take out the other 3, but aside from the wound hurting a bit after the stitches came out, and it being a bit sensitive over the next few days (mostly when I changed gloves at work), it still hasn’t troubled me much and seems to be healing nicely. Continue reading

Last gasp

My writing class is finally over as of yesterday. Due to a consistent lack of effort and interest, I suspect I’ll probably have to take it again in the future, and I haven’t decided yet when that might happen. The good news, at least, is that the final grade will be available next week, and for now I have about two weeks (technically, two weeks and a few days) before the fall semester begins.

Personally, I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy myself again. For the last several weeks, I was stressing and focused on the class, which usually resulted in procrastination and feeling bad about procrastination rather than anything resembling productivity. Since the class is over, I’ll be able to resume work on my various creative writing projects and ideas, as well as possibly finish a few books and play some computer games.

I’m planning on going home for a brief trip next week, so that will be nice. I’m sure being a full-time student again this fall will impact my free time, but I’ll have to see. I never had cause to develop study skills in high school, and after quickly learning that I didn’t like being a computer science major my freshman year of college could definitely have been better.

Anyway, on a lighter note, here’s a brief list of current writing project ideas.

  • Crusader Kings 2: After the End mod history and/or narrative
    • Tribe of the Mouse (central Florida)
    • Duke of Driftless (Dubuque/northeastern Iowa)
    • something in the Ozarks (southwest Missouri/northwest Arkansas)
  • Europa Universalis 4: Super States mod history and/or narrative
    • California
  • Crusader Kings 2 narrative
    • Byzantine Balearics – working title “Edge of Empire”
  • list of fantasy ideas to be made into a story

summer and strategy

Apparently I haven’t written any posts here for almost two weeks. I suppose I should change that, shouldn’t I?

I don’t know that I can think of anything recently that’s particularly exciting, since I’m still working, taking a writing class, and corresponding with F (the young woman I’ve been texting since late February).

The night of the 4th of July wasn’t as busy as I had expected it to be, but of course the next day, when I had the kitchen to myself, was the day that more people decided they wanted pizza. I managed, and I’ve heard that my hard work is appreciated, so that’s always good to hear. Days off are always nice, particularly this week – I had last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off work, worked Friday and Saturday night, and then I have three days off this week, which I just realized are about half over, since I had Sunday (for once), Monday, and Tuesday night off.

Last Tuesday I drove to campus and sat outside the classroom for several minutes before one of my classmates pointed out, as he was leaving, that there was a sign posted that class had been canceled. I had received a wake-up call from my mother that morning, which meant I was awake 45 minutes to an hour earlier than usual, and I later saw that the teacher had sent the e-mail canceling class around 8:30 that morning. Driving to campus only to find out that class was canceled was slightly frustrating, but it was nice having class canceled on a day off (even if I had trouble imagining being ill in July, as the teacher apparently was).

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned Europa Universalis 4 or the Super States mod here before, but I’ve been thinking about it lately. Europa Universalis 4 is a game from Paradox Interactive (the company that makes Crusader Kings 2) that allows one to play as any country between roughly 1444 and 1820. About a year ago, I discovered that someone had made a mod (the Super States mod) that allows you to play as a US, Mexican, or Australian state or Canadian province that somehow wound up in 1444. Now, of course, there are a few additional scenarios, but playing as a US state thrown back in time has appealed to me. I’ve thought before that it would be interesting to play a game with that mod and then write a history from “the beginning” (1444) to European contact in the late 1400s/early 1500s. European interaction with the new world would be very different if there are equally advanced states of European descent occupying the New World.

Previous ideas for writing this “history” have included Missouri (because I’m a life-long native of Missouri) and California (because it offers more interesting opportunities, like the possibility of having a navy and Pacific colonization and exploration). The creator of the mod, however, has been busy with vague “real life” issues, and has not been able to keep the mod updated for the current version of EU4, since several expansions had been released since the last mod update. However, an update for the mod was released on July 4, which unfortunately wasn’t working but did get me thinking about the interesting possibilty of a strategy game, like RISK or Diplomacy, set in the United States. Or perhaps I should say the Divided States.

Initially I thought it would be interesting to have the players playing as different states, and that led to the idea of having the players start by fighting over a particular state, uniting it, and then moving on to try uniting the States in their image. I drew a few rough maps of Midwestern states (Missouri by hand, Iowa and Nebraska on the computer) for this game, but it’s somewhat hard to do that when you’re not familiar with an area of a state and there’s not much in a region. It’s fairly easy to designate a metropolitan area as a “territory”, or to draw a shape around a town that’s obviously going to dominate an area due to having the largest population in a particular area, but beyond a certain point I feel like it would be difficult for aspiring governments to hold on to territory beyond a certain distance if they’re limited to pre-modern technology.

I’ve also been thinking about the After the End mod for Crusader Kings 2, probably because thinking about the Divided States and pre-modern technology reminded me of it. Lately, for some reason, I’ve been thinking it would be interesting to play in the southern US – I’ve never been east of Chicago, but lately I’ve been thinking Florida, the Carolinas, or Virginia (among other places) might be interesting to play because of the possibility of naval combat. Who doesn’t like ships, right? At the moment I’m considering a project, similar to my Chariton after-action report, for somewhere in Florida, but I don’t think I’ll start that until some time after the Horse Lords expansion is released tomorrow and the After the End mod is updated with whatever new mechanics they decide to integrate.