Dilemma

Should I renew my lease?

That is the dilemma of the title.

When I moved into my current apartment in September 2015, I originally signed a 6-month lease, which I’ve renewed several times. I’ve been getting lease renewal offers from my apartment complex since mid-December, and my lease ends at the end of March. I’m supposed to give 60 days notice if I am going to vacate, and I have been guilty of trying not to think about the decision, which anyone could probably tell you is not the best way to make a decision.

Fortunately, I don’t have anyone making this decision for me! For the past 2 years, I have been single, and aside from my job and friends from work, I don’t really have any ties to my current city. Sure, I got my bachelor’s degree here, but I don’t have a girlfriend or fiancee with ties to the area, which would be a factor if it existed. Of course, I also remember my ex talking about living together, once upon a time, and if I did have a girlfriend or fiancee and we had been together long enough, I’m sure that would be a consideration! “Oh yeah, my lease is expiring in a few months,” “well, we’ve been together about a year, wanna live together?” Not sure how my family would feel about that, but of course I don’t have a girlfriend, so I don’t even have to worry about that!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem clear-cut either. Maybe I’m overthinking things, but moving back in with my parents and looking for a next step seems like failure. It’s not, objectively- sure, culturally we Americans are usually not fond of moving back in with parents after high school/college, but I think The Great Recession of the late 2000s/early 2010s may have sort of changed that, or at least made it less of a stigma. I know about 10 years ago was, or at least seemed like, more of a failure considering I quit going to my college classes, but right now I can’t think of any negatives in my life. Sure, I’m single and occasionally lonely (though that hasn’t really been a problem this year, fingers crossed), but being single seems better than being in a bad relationship. I don’t have any entanglements with my ex- she did ask me for favors before she left this city, but among other things I think that was due to her not knowing anyone else, and very possibly not wanting to get to know anyone else, whereas at least she knew me (even if she thought I was a jerk for breaking up with her). That digression aside, as mentioned I don’t really have anything tying me to my current city. Moving back home to the country wouldn’t mean that I was stuck there forever either- it seems generous of my parents to say that they’ll help me, but that may be due to my reading or imagining horror stories where parents are like “nope, sorry, you’re 18 now, figure it out yourself.”

I thought maybe I had more to offer here, but I feel the proverbial well running dry- maybe I’m just distracted. Anyway, I’m not happy with the current stagnation and I want a change, though I’m also not sure what the future holds, and I’m not keen on diving into the unknown- I’d rather know, for example, that I would be able to find a satisfying job or at least some sense of progress or success, rather than “oh, the future is unknown, and you might find a better job quickly or it might take you another year of living at home working in an unsatisfactory job and filling out job applications with no clear result.”

I dislike being so far from family, but I also like doing my own thing and not having to share space with anyone (whether that’s a dog in my lap or my mom going to bed at 10 PM while I stay up until 4 AM).

I should decide, but every time I’ve mentioned it to someone recently it seems like they just say “well, you’ll just have to decide” which is true, but I’d rather have something more tangible and specific, even if it’s not strictly “here’s what I think you should do.”

Lonely thoughts

The semester did not end on the best note, but maybe in the future I’ll learn from my mistakes and begin the final project more than 4 days before the due date.

I’m trying to think of what else has happened since I last wrote here- I don’t remember when that was, and I haven’t looked at this blog for a while, so I don’t remember offhand just how long it’s been.

Anyway, I decided to write because, as the title of this post says, I’ve been thinking about loneliness lately. When I went home for Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago I was feeling lonely at one point, which seemed ridiculous as I was sitting in bed in my family’s home, but this holiday season usually features a lot of talk about seeing family- cue the jokes about political discussion at Thanksgiving, or Christmas gift-giving, among others. This morning I went to bed about 5 AM and woke up about 8:30 AM, which is a bit earlier than I had expected, but my guess is that waking up early is related to the dream I had. I don’t remember many details now, but I do remember the dream including seeing several couples kissing and “making out”. I didn’t wake up feeling particularly lonely or otherwise negative, but I wondered if, on some subconscious level, I woke up because my brain was signaling “Wake up to make sure the family/tribe/pack hasn’t abandoned you.”

It may be a mistake, but I’ve also been thinking sporadically over the last few days about the impending 2nd anniversary of the end of my first relationship, which will be tomorrow. In a few months, assuming I don’t somehow find another girlfriend, I’ll have been single for as long as the length of that relationship. Last I heard from my ex (September, I think?), she and the guy she’s been dating since shortly after we broke up (i.e., for nearly 2 years) are going to get married in April.

I was watching some YouTube videos earlier today about loneliness, and at a certain point they didn’t seem especially helpful.

I’ve thought before, and was thinking again earlier, that there seem to be several stages. Of course, it’s not strictly an ordered list with a straightforward progression, since most people probably move through the stages multiple times in their life, but the way I’ve thought of it has been in several stages.

A: Singledom (where I currently reside)
B: “talking”/early dating (from first introduction to, say, the first date)
C: Dating (before “defining the relationship”)
D: New relationship
E: Established/comfortable/intimate relationship

I’ve thought before, and I’ve thought recently, that I’d like to simply skip from A to E (as jarring as that would be), so I would have someone to talk to, make plans with, etc. and not have to mess with, say, leaving my apartment to meet people or deal with all the effort and weeding out that is required to meet people. Sure, you can swipe on Tinder or your dating app of choice all day long, but fact remains, as a male, online dating is not exactly in my favor. Maybe it’s the general biological fact of women being selective and men usually pursuing, and I think I’ve read before about the user base of online dating apps and website being mostly male, but I bet if I made a profile as a cute girl I’d get a lot more interest than making a profile as yet another guy. In my admittedly limited online dating experience, there’s finding someone who’s interested (that is a real person and not, say, a camgirl or bot or other scammer), then making plans to meet up, and proceeding from there. It’s been over a year (nearly 2, come to think of it) since I’ve made any kind of plans to meet someone that I started talking to online. This past summer, I guess, I was talking to a girl for a while, but then she sent me a message at one point that she was interested in someone else and was getting off the app.

Historically, my issue with apps like Tinder and Bumble has been the fact that most people don’t write much in their bios. I’m somewhat aware that’s kind of the point, and it’s supposed to be superficial (they’re cute, swipe right! Not interested, swipe left!), but I’d like something with a similar level of effort but where they actually write something about themselves. Sure, originality and creativity is difficult (or so I’ve heard), but it’d be nice to see a profile that said something original (“I’m not a Star Wars fan, but we can watch them togther” or “Star Trek > Star Wars” or even “I’m a dog momma”) that isn’t something I’ve seen countless times.

Online dating may be like Facebook, in that nobody wants to appear boring and write something like “I usually only leave my apartment to go to work, so frankly I’m somewhat boring” rather than “I love to travel and drink! Let’s get coffee!”, but, as I’ve thought before, I also am probably not in the best position to be seriously dating. When I was with my ex, we were both undergraduate students, I was working, and so my situation may have been more understandable. Now, however, as a graduate student inching closer to my 3rd decade of life, I occasionally feel like I should be more impressive. It could be worse, though. Haha.

Still, I haven’t been using online dating apps much of late, since the constant sameness of either blank bios or unattractive people (and maybe I’m just bored, depressed, and negative) does not interest me. “Grab my butt and buy me tacos” was funny to see the first time, and fortunately it’s not super common, but I’ve seen it several times (as well as bios that reference being a “dog mom” or having “fur babies” or the even more direct ‘I’m just using you for your backyard for my puppy to run around in”).

Mostly, and again I’m probably not looking in the right place, but I’m also not sure that I’m interested in single mothers, cosmetologists, nurses, drug users or people who have tons of tattoos and piercings, and somehow Tinder (at least) seems to have tons of those people! I don’t think I’ve seen any profiles yet that check all of those boxes (being a 420-friendly cosmetologist nurse single mom with a lot of tattoos and piercings would be kind of impressive, though- how do you have any time in your day?), but seeing or finding more graduate students and/or people who are closer to what I’m looking for would be kind of nice.

I have thought before that Tinder probably has a lot of people who are more “open to experiences”, in the sense of the Big 5 personality trait theory, which probably explains the piercings and tattoos and drug users, or at least that’s what I’ve thought. Of course on a certain level there’s probably also people who are just there to try it out (hence the “just got out of a relationship and looking to make friends” or “wanting to meet new people”) or people who work odd hours and don’t get out much (like the profiles I’ve seen that mention working night shift, or working a lot, or the nurses/cosmetologists/others that may not have much opportunity to socialize outside of work).

Well, as usual I wrote more than intended, but oh well. Maybe in the near future I’ll write something that seems a little less pathetic and emotional.

Thinking about old news

It seems that about a month has passed since my last entry. Offhand, I can’t think of any major events recently. Sure, we got a new manager at work after about a month and a half, and perhaps other major events could come to mind, but at the moment I can’t think of anything major that personally affects me.

Last week I was able to get several days off work and go home for fall break with my sister, so that was nice. It was nice seeing family (including my brother and his wife, so I sort of got two road trips in one week) and being away from the daily grind. This week I somehow have 3 days off work, which I should make use of by looking for work and working on schoolwork and cleaning my apartment, but thus far today I haven’t been especially productive. I did cook dinner earlier tonight- I made rice, cooked some frozen corn, opened a can of baked beans, and combined that with chopped onion, green pepper, homegrown jalapeno pepper, and tomato that I fried in bacon grease. It was good, though I wasn’t very hungry (probably due to not doing anything today).

The night is still relatively young, though I don’t expect to do anything exciting the rest of the night. I might boot up a game and play Stellaris or something, though.

I’ve been thinking about my ex lately, which, as I’ve said, I probably shouldn’t be. Continue reading

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

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

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.