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).

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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 random  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.

A winter’s day

Originally, I was going to title this post “Hello, world” a la programming, then I thought of “Hello again, world”, which led to “Hello darkness my old friend”, from Simon and Garfunkel, which in turn led to their song “I Am a Rock”: “A winter’s day/in a deep and dark December”. Today being the winter solstice, it seemed particularly fitting (though the sun is shining, and recently the weather around here hasn’t seemed particularly wintry).

So, what’s been happening? I don’t remember offhand when I last wrote here, but I’m sure it’s been a minimum of a few months. In lieu of condensing six (or more) months into a post, I’ll just say that I ended this semester (and my college undergraduate career) on a strong note. Despite unexpected car trouble (after retrieving the book I loaned to my ex-girlfriend), I did well on the final presentation for one class and I apparently did well enough on the final paper for my other class, so I’m satisfied with the results.

I’ve been working less lately, which has been a nice change, though I still need to spend some time over this winter break looking for a new job, or an internship, or something. I think I’ve been burned out on my current job since at least the start of the school year- possibly, if not probably, longer than that. Continue reading

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

Uncertainty

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.