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

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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.

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).

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)

The end is nigh

At first, I chose the title of this post because I turn 28 in less than a week. On further reflection, I suppose it also applies to this semester.

Apparently it’s been a few months since I wrote anything here? Let’s see, what’s happened since then…

I got a new phone and phone number last month, after 4 years of using the same Samsung Galaxy S5 and nearly 13 years with the same number. The Samsung Galaxy S7 I have now is quite an upgrade, or at least it seems that way.

I’m still working at a convenience store, and I need to be working a bit harder on finding a different job, whether that’s advancing to being an assistant manager (the idea of which does not excite me) or finding something more white-collar. Filling out job applications is more than slightly soul-draining and frustrating, but I guess that’s what I have to do (and it’s certainly what I’ve been told to do for a while now). The alternative, I guess, is cooking or being a cashier, and I’ve more than had my fill of that in the last 6.5 years.

Earlier this semester my ex-girlfriend texted me a few times, mostly asking for favors, but it’s been nearly a month since she texted me. I e-mailed her last week to inform her my phone number had changed, and after talking to her, it’s only reinforced the feeling of dodging a bullet (or an arsenal). I’m confident that one of, if not the main, reason she’s texted me in the last 6 months has been for emotional validation. It probably took me longer than it should have, but I noticed at some point last fall (about 8 months after we broke up) that she wasn’t interested in talking to me unless she initiated contact. She told me in our recent e-mail correspondence that she’s making plans for the future with the guy she’s been dating since a few weeks after we broke up, so good for her, I guess. I didn’t want the same things she did, but it sounds like she’s getting what she wants, even if it’s been delayed by a year since we broke up over a year ago.
I have had no positive developments on the dating or meeting people front, but I also don’t do anything or go anywhere, and online dating apps are not particularly exciting.

Maybe I’ll rant about it in another post, but to me, the profiles I’ve seen where young women write that they like dogs, beer, tacos, wine, coffee (or any combination of those) is not exactly unique. I’m sure the idea is that they’re marketing themselves (“look, we have common ground!”), but I think at least 50% of people like dogs, tacos, and beer, and depending on the exact interests and demographics, I bet most twenty-something people enjoy dogs, alcohol, sports, and/or live music. Sad to say, you’re going to need something a bit more unique for me to have any interest. “I like the same things as most people” does not pique my interest the way that a good line about Star Wars might, as an example. Sure, some of the bios are occasionally funny, but “looking for a doggy daddy” or “my dog is just using you for your backyard” or “looking for someone to touch my butt and buy me tacos” is basically just variations on that same theme. Maybe it works and I’m just a cynical misanthrope, but I’m increasingly convinced that I’m not going to find my next relationship through online dating and/or dating apps. On the other hand, I’ve had some recent superficial conversation with a fellow graduate student, so who knows, maybe I’m just grumpy.

I unfortunately haven’t been gaming much recently, thanks to this semester’s computer forensics class keeping me busy, but it’s been kind of interesting. My study habits could be better, but I think I’m doing okay, and hopefully will finish strong.

I still haven’t decided what I want to do for my birthday next week. Unfortunately I work that night, since I didn’t get around to requesting the day off, but maybe I can treat myself that day and go out to eat or something.

Auf wiedersehen, fair readers.

Thoughts

I completed my bachelor’s degree last semester, and this semester I only registered for one graduate class- computer forensics.

The job search is underway- I’ve submitted a couple job applications, and I need to submit a few more. One of my coworkers has been promoted to kitchen manager, which is fine, since I’ve not been interested in being a convenience store manager, but I do need to find something better. Another coworker, who has been wanting to be kitchen manager, is predictably annoyed by this development.

Nothing happening on the relationship or meeting people front- I deleted Tinder off my phone and reinstalled Bumble, but other than a few ‘likes’ nothing has happened. I suspect my pictures might be part of the problem, but I also wonder if the religious beliefs (or lack thereof) and politics are a problem. Maybe I notice it because it’s in contrast with me, but it sure seems like I’ve seen a lot of “Christian” and “Conservative” in contrast to my “Liberal”.

Anyway, the main purpose for this entry is writing about a Stellaris game I’ve been playing. Recently I’ve been playing with the idea of specializing planets to produce particular resources- an energy planet, mining planet, farming planet, industrial planet, research planet, etc. which seems like a good idea, to take advantage of bonuses, but I’m also hesitant to put all of my figurative eggs in one basket and have to deal with resource deficits if an enemy occupies the planets. On the other hand, my recent games have been at the lowest difficulty level, and it’s not hard for me to pull ahead of the AI, so maybe I’m just being overly cautious.

In the game I was playing last night, I was playing as the Holy Cevantian Empire- a militarist xenophobic spiritualist theocratic monarchy of ‘space elves’ that are native to the alpine world of Cevasia.

Near my northern border with a spiritualist “fallen empire”, there’s a desert planet that has a strategic resource- volatile motes, which I currently have a slight deficit of due to having 1 unit per month income and some industry that uses slightly more than 1 unit per month

It’s slightly funny to think about what that colonization project would be like- I can’t imagine getting a few thousand people to colonize a planet that is marginally habitable (a desert planet when you’re native to a cold, mountainous world), in addition to being far away from the other planets in the empire (6-8 hyperlane jumps, depending on your route, so that’s like a minimum of 6 months travel from Cevasia).

The Empire is, after all, a theocratic monarchy, and I imagine there would probably be some element of a “command economy”, as in “Congratulations, the Archprophet has chosen you to colonize a new planet”. Even if it’s not direct conscription, there would also probably have to be some incentives, like subsidies to lower the price of imports or lower taxes or some other, boring, financial/governmental bureaucratic measures.

I don’t have the technology yet for a prison colony (the most recent patch added the ability to designate a planet as a prison colony), but it’s also amusing to imagine this desert planet serving as a sort of prison colony or like the Soviet gulags or something.

Realistically, due to it being the closest to another alien empire (as well as the distance from the capital and home to a strategic resource), my plans for this planet, other than building the strategic resource extraction facilities, are to add fortifications and other buildings to ensure the populace doesn’t stray too far from the Holy Imperial Government.

In other news, we got a bit of snow this morning, but I don’t think the couple inches we received will stick around for very long. It might be a hassle to drive to and from work today, but I imagine before long the snow will melt.