I'm going to maybe need a "domestic life" userpic or something. :) Not a lot to report today, but for once that's because I was kinda productive instead of not being at all productive. I did chauffeur duty today because Gb had weird school hours, so it was all very homemaker for me this morning. Dropped off Tb at work, have a nice day, honey, I love you. Dropped off Gb at school, see you at 3, make good choices. Ran errands, went shopping, picked up kid, picked up wife. I dunno, it was all very calming and happy. Didn't get a hell of a lot else done, but hey. I helped out, at least. :)
Anyway. Once that was all done, I basically went back in my cave and ate an entire chicken, so I got that going for me, too.
It's Misdirected Mark streaming night, but they had a bunch of technical difficulties, so the show didn't quite go as planned. They basically ended up doing Aftershow-only, really. :) I got a lot of shoutouts for hanging out with Phil and Senda at Dreamation, though, which was awesome. I got namedropped at the same time as Jason Pitre! I fainted. Senda hauled out one of the more dynamic table selfies of us from this weekend, so that's pretty awesome. Such good memories. Such good people. Makes me all squishy inside.
I should link to more stuff, huh. It's weird how separate LJ feels from the rest of social media, and I'm not sure why. Part of it is probably the newness of coming back, but part of it is probably also the oldness of the site and this blogging practice. Here's a pic of Phil, Senda, and me when we first met up at the con. I have to admit, they have done a pretty outstanding job of branding. :)
I think if it wasn't so late I'd work on capturing and embedding some of these pics, but for the moment...eh. I can't be bothered. :)
Oh, one of the notable things I did not get to today because of my domestic chores was doing the con writeups. Was hoping to get to it tomorrow, instead, but there might be a little last-minute game-playing going on in Brooklyn, so, we'll see what happens. This is how it starts, though...miss a day here, a day there, and the shit never gets done. I should have done it on Monday when I had a solid opportunity, but I was so damn dedicated to doing nothing on the day after a con that I just refused to start the work. That'll learn me. :) Or not. ;)
Anyway, might be out and about again tomorrow, so I'll close 'er down. Weirdly fulfilling day today. I could get used to housewifing. :)
Here I am, back from Dreamation. This was the least prepared I've ever been for a con, I think, and definitely not something I would have attempted if it were any further away or any less friendly and awesome than I know Double Exposure events to be. In all the lead-up to the con, I was never sure if I would even be able to make it out there (or when), so I didn't get a room, and (almost) didn't schedule anything in advance. The exception there was that I did secure a seat in Phil's Hydro Hacker Operatives playtest, because, geez, why wouldn't I. I mean, let's not mess around, Senda and Phil coming to the con was one of the big reasons I really wanted to make it out there. I didn't go at all on Friday, but I went up both Saturday and Sunday and came back home in between. This served as a decent experiment on how it would go if I wanted to try to attend future Double Exposure cons without getting a room. I'm so-so on it. If I ever get back to the point where I can comfortably lose a little sleep and still con hard, then maybe I'll consider that as a thing to do in the future. An alternative, also, is that if I start rooming with people then it might bring the cost down to about on par. But anyway. that's just logistics. Details.
My intention is to do Dodecahedroid writeups of the con proper, so I'll save myself all that for now. In this here blog, I want to talk more about the internal and social stuff and also aftermath and con drop. Today was my traditional post-con recovery day. I mean, I ran a few errands, but on the whole I took it pretty easy and just let things settle a bit. I was a lot more "social" at this con, by which I mean I didn't necessarily spend more time with people, but the time was weighted more non-game than usual. Met up with Phil and Senda, of course. Caught up with Meg at the end, which was awesome. Not only did I get to meet up with Laura and Dev, but luckily I got to sit in on a game of Companions' Tale, so that was awesome! I met a few people for the first time: Brennan Taylor, which was funny because I met him totally randomly because he wanted a panda hat and I happened to be the one he asked about it and I was standing next to Senda, who was handing them out. :) Er...that's not why it was funny. It was funny because I was able to tell him that I was just recently in his neck of the woods at Arcana and I had just picked up a game of his (Mortal Coil). Also I got some face time with Joshua A. C. Newman, which was pretty great because I got to name-drop Stephan on him. ;) I picked up some copies of The Bloody-handed Name of Bronze, which I was happy about because I missed it at Metatopia. Oh, also Hannah Shaffer and Evan Rowland! That was pretty great, too. Hannah is every bit as happy and enthusiastic as she is on podcasts, and it was pretty sweet to finally meet face-to-face. And Evan's art is, of course, amazing. I haven't yet cracked my copy of Noirlandia yet from the Kickstarter, but Phil and Senda got to play this weekend and they said it was awesome, so woo!
Erm...I'm sure there was more. But I kinda got sidetracked; I was going to talk about social stuff. So, yeah, I actually ran into Phil, Senda, and Meg all at the same time, and it was a bit before the H2O slot was scheduled, so I hung out with them and "helped" them set up (read: stood around while Phil did stuff). Oh! Reminds me...Ro from Gamers Plane...that was another one I met for the first time. I'm reminded because he also came by and hung out before the H2O slot. That game was fun. Jason Pitre was also in the slot, which was cool. Oh, also! The couple that I first met, like...two Metatopias ago, I think, at one of Shane Harsch's playtests. Wild. Also someone else that I didn't know, so it was a pretty full table. Fun game, good playtest. Jason's a pretty smart dude, and it's clear he loves to talk design. Phil, Senda, Jason, and I went out for empanadas afterward, and then I left them to their respective night games, and I headed back home. That was Saturday.
Sunday I resolved to make it in time for the morning slot and pick up what I could find with space. I had signed up as an alternate for Companion's Tale, but all the original sign-ups showed, so I went looking for something else. I could have sat in on a 5E game, it turned out, but what ended up happening was that three more alternates showed up for CT, so that was enough to play a second game! Dev ran the "overflow" game. That was also very fun! No familiar faces, but I met a couple people that are kind of friends of friends but that I didn't know previously. There weren't a whole lot of Sunday afternoon slots, but the convention was still technically going. What ended up happening is that Phil and Senda recruited Meg and me and we did a playtest/playstorming for Senda's magical girls Lasers and Feelings hack that she's working on. What great fun that was! Phil and I chuckled over being old and how as young proto-grognards, we never could have anticipated growing up and playing magical girls. ;) We parted ways after the game, and I gave Meg a lift back to Brooklyn. Which was also nice because I got to say hi to Dan. :) Meg and I had a pretty nice chat on the way home. Nothing in particular; just chat. But it was like...people chat, not congoer chat, so it was also social time.
That was by way of setup, I think. So from last night after I got home and earlier today, I started having this weird, like...after-the-fact social anxiety. I was suddenly worried that I had botched some things over the weekend. There were basically two concerns.
One, I thought that I had been "weird fanboy" to Phil and Senda. This stemmed from the realization afterward that I consider them pretty good friends because we've interacted so much over the...wow, years...but I spend way more time hearing them and seeing them than they do me. It's that weird podcast intimacy thing. I was a lot more guarded about that kind of thing with James and Kat, but by our second con together, I had stopped worrying about it completely. Kat, especially, put me at ease about that pretty effectively. Anyway, the point was that I had felt I might have been tagging along annoyingly.
Two, I thought that I might have been "scary guy" to Meg. This was mostly about the ride home. She was originally going to take the train back, and I just offered the ride because...that's what I do. I just assumed it to be a better choice, which is why I offered. I worried afterward that maybe I had rushed her into it. I don't know, maybe she wanted to take the train, you know? Like for decompression time after the con. She had been there twice as long as I had, run a bunch of LARPs, did like three or four interviews...I mean shit, if I had had that kind of schedule I would be looking forward to some alone time. Also, though, and this is the dumb part, halfway back, I suddenly doubted that I was taking the correct route home, so I had to pull off the highway to muck with the GPS (it's a "safety" feature that I can't muck with it while the car's moving). It wasn't until the next day that I realized I might have just fast-talked Meg into getting into the car and then halfway through, unexpectedly exited the highway in favor of a deserted New Jersey industrial park. Jesus! And, like, it's not like we're strangers or anything, but still. That could have easily been uncomfortable for her, and I didn't even give it a thought at the time.
Okay, so...thing one. I've since talked to all parties involved, and everything's fine. I was aware on some level that I was being a little over-anxious about this stuff, but it never hurts to get that reassurance that I do not, in fact, appear to people like the monster I sometimes think I appear as. ;)
Thing two, I really want this lesson to sink in, but I've been thinking a lot about the thing with Meg and the industrial park. Even if I didn't actually make her feel threatened, because she knows me well enough, I could have, and it's not the situation itself that was bad, per se, it's that I didn't even think about it. That's just thoughtless, and that's not what I want to be about. So that's a lesson I want to take away from this for sure.
Thing three, what's with all the second-guessing? As I was experiencing these feelings, like I said before, I was aware on some level that I was being a little over-anxious about this. That said, though, it was well enough within that grey area that I wasn't sure enough that I was overreacting, and I needed to reach out to the people involved to see. That's not like me, I don't think, but that's where I was at this morning. I expressed, in a semi-joking way, some of these feelings (in a general sense) on Twitter, and I was surprised to learn a couple things. One, that it was more common for people to feel this way than I thought. (Somebody even had a term for it: "social interaction hangover.") Two, I learned that this is also something that people associate with con drop.
Now, to me, con drop had always been about depression. The after-con "blues," if you will. I had never really thought about it in terms of anxiety, particularly social anxiety, which I would never have thought of as an aftermath thing, just a beforehand thing. So that's just an interesting new context for me to put this in. And it's something I should maybe be aware of to look out for in future con drop situations. Not just sadness, but some kind of...doubts, I guess? Hmm...now that I'm laying it all out, an argument could definitely made for this to be more like a self-esteem or self-doubt problem, which could just as easily be a depression thing as an anxiety thing. Either way, though, the knowledge that other people feel this way and also associate it with con drop means that I have a nice, normalizing context for this in the future. Just another log to add to that fire, I think. Which, in closing, is why I came back to journaling in the first place, isn't it. :)
If I do further con writeups, I'll probably link to them from here. But knowing myself, if I don't get to them tomorrow, they're probably not going to happen at all, so...we'll see what we can do about that. In the meantime, I'm on chauffeur duty tomorrow, so I should hit the sack soon. Until next time.
[EDIT: I totally meant to mention this and forgot, but I am also pretty relaxed about all this because I have therapy tomorrow, too, so...there's that.]
Schedule's a bit flipped this week so date night is tonight instead of tomorrow, so I don't have much blogging time. Turns out to be fine, though, because I don't really have much to report from today, except that date night got moved. ;) I did manage to go out again today, which is good, but I didn't do much else, despite having planned to have done so. Today is detox day 1, though, so I'm cutting myself slack. Got a few things I have to get done tomorrow (like laundry!) but otherwise I'm looking forward to a mostly con-filled weekend, so woo! Anyway, more later, but probably much later. This will likely be my last post until after the weekend, but I don't want to go into a whole long absence again like last time!
One of the financial habits I've found most difficult to change is my propensity to back RPG Kickstarters. I mention this because some beauts have come out recently (The Watch) or are coming soon (Noir World). Just today, Laura Simpson's Companions' Tale launched, and I was so excited about it that I happened to be the first backer. :) Anyway, believe it or not, I actually have begun to exercise a little extra discretion since leaving my job, but only a little. All in all, though, I have to say, it's something I feel all right about spending money on.
I wasn't amazingly productive today, but I wasn't totally useless, either. I even got out of the house to do some grocery shopping. Most of the rest of the day was online stuff. I capped things off in that department watching a stream of Greenlight from One Shot's new studio, The Pocket Dimension. Fun times.
I also did a bit of cooking today, so pre-bed I had a lot of dishes to wash. I forgot to mention that when Tb and I went away last weekend, we ended up watching a fair amount of Chopped. I'm glad my cooking life is not that dramatic.
Anyway, just a bare recap for today, because I shut down the computer too early and I'm blogging on my phone. ;) Oh! Tb also brought me some ice cream this evening, which was very thoughtful and also delicious. And welcome, because for dinner I had mostly had zucchini. ;) Anyway, yeah. Fairly plain day, I'd say. Big day for Laura and Dev, though! Maybe I'll expand on the Kickstarter and stuff in a later post. For now, good night.
Pretty nice day today, all told. I had therapy in the morning, which went well. My therapist says I seem so much better since I left the job, which I have to say is pretty validating. I didn't do a whole hell of a lot else with my day, really, at least on the "to-do list" side of things. I did a lot of online catchup, checking in, keeping up with the exciting world of RPG Kickstarters and so forth. The usual jazz on that front. This evening, Tabitha and I had some quality time. We basically already did our Valentine's Day thing this past weekend, but I thought it would be nice to at least have dinner and hang out tonight, just for the ritual of it. I found out this afternoon that a place near us had heart-shaped pizzas for the occasion, so we got one of those, and we had some ice cream. Gabriel came down from upstairs and we all hung out for a bit and had some laughs. All in all, it was very homey. Very pleasant. I think our life together is a good one, and I feel very fortunate about it. Good times.
Actually, a bit of a P.S. to that last entry, though it's not really related. On the topic of RPG cons, there's like...a little less than four weeks until the Breakout RPG con in Toronto. I hadn't known about the con before, but a few months back at Metatopia I met the conrunners, and ever since the thing got on my radar, it has been looking amazing. I'd really like to go, and weirdly I feel like I'm in a position to do so now, at least time-wise, but I really don't think I can justify the expense, particularly without a job. I like to think this is me being responsible, instead of me caving to anxiety. But I just wanted to note it, I guess, because given the time and the money, I'd go in a heartbeat. The guest and attendance lists are just stupendous; all kinds of people that I really like or would really like to meet. The runners are the kind of people I like and into the kind of gaming that I like, and I also think it would be fun to finally hang with some Canadian gamers on their turf for once. :) It's a tough call. I really want to go, but I think skipping this one is probably the right decision for me at this particular time in my life. If I could engineer my next situation exactly to my specs, it would mean sufficient extra money and time for gaming cons, but that's basically just "win the lottery" plans, so I don't tend to spend too much time thinking about it. Still. Would be so great to just head up to Toronto for a weekend of awesome gaming and gaming peeps.
Anyway. Just thought that bore mentioning. If I get super risky in the next few weeks then maybe I'll end up going for it, but for now, it's just a nice thing to think about, and I'm glad it's happening.
Okay, I've been off the blogging train for a couple weeks now. Definitely not how I saw this year going when I started out, but so it goes. There's been a lot happening, though, and I didn't have the energy to keep up with it all. Lots of big changes, though. Let's go.
The lost time when I wasn't blogging was primarily due to falling into a depression hole. I felt it coming...like I knew it was coming, but ultimately I couldn't do anything about it. I ghosted work for a bit. It felt like the thing to do, but it never helps my cause. There's not really much I can report from that time, really. It was a lot of rolling blank tape and getting enough sleep and that kind of stuff -- that kind of solitary/isolationist self-care that I so often default to that nowadays I'm not even sure counts as care, but it's what I got.
That all came to a head about two weeks ago, at the beginning of the month. I finally made a decision and put in my notice at work. I had pictured having a couple weeks to close up open issues and get documentation together and whatever, but do to an unfortunate miscommunication, it was regarded as my just quitting on the spot. I can understand the mistake; I'd been out sick for a while, and I wasn't super clear in my email. Probably for the best, though; that ending time is always weird. In any case, I finished out the week, and that basically closed that chapter of my life. Well, almost. I still have to get back to the office and drop of my computer and phone, but otherwise...I guess that's that. So that's pretty big.
I'm giving myself at least a couple weeks on break to kind of reset and try to get my shit together. It's been good. Well...it's been mixed, but mostly good. It was a lot more emotional for me to leave than I thought it was going to be. Had to say goodbye to a lot of good people, but I know deep down that this was the right thing to do. Since I have the chance to take a breather, I'm going to try and make some personal improvements. Clean up the house, get on some better diet and exercise habits, try and figure out what's next, and so on. Whatever's next, I want it to mean something. That's really the biggest goal. I don't want to keep feeling like I'm missing my shot. Other than that, I'm trying to keep a pretty open mind, and also trying to get myself in the headspace where I'll be able to take some chances and put in some work. I'm ready for something new, basically, is what it all comes down to. Something new, and something better.
That's really the big news, to be honest. So that gives you an idea of what my life is going to be about in the near future.
A week ago (Monday), I met up with Mom and Sis again for lunch. Niece was there this time. It was pretty nice. We talked about getting together like that every once in a while, maybe a couple times a year or something. That sounds pretty nice. Will probably help me stay more connected to people.
This past weekend, Tabitha and I went away for the weekend, and it was really nice. We used to go to Wicked Faire every year; it was kind of our Valentine's thing. But since last year was the final installment of that con, we kind of called an audible this year. At first (like, last year), we had planned on hitting the replacement con, Glimmerdark, but there turned out to be some confusion about the hotel reservation, and then we weren't sure about tickets, and finally we just decided nah. We had figured we'd go away anyway, at least for something, but a couple weeks ago we basically just made some random hotel reservations and decided to make a really chill weekend of it, and that's exactly what we did. I really liked it. The two of us got to get away from it all, really, and just spend a lot of quality time together, and I think it was great bonding. Good way to feel the love. I'm really happy about how things went, and I think she was, too.
This coming weekend is Dreamation, which I'm pretty stoked about, as well. Usually I can't go, because Wicked Faire was always scheduled opposite it, but this year it looks like I can at least swing by. In the lead-up to the con, I wasn't super sure I could go or if I could, how much I could go, so I didn't get a room, and figured I could just head up for a day or two days or whatever I had time for. It's actually looking at this point like I could have gone for the whole con, but I'm going to keep it reasonable anyway. It'll be an experiment to see how it works out going to a Double Exposure con without a room, and also I'm not sure I'm even down for a few days of intense gaming. I'll be happy enough to get a game or two in and maybe see a bunch of people that I don't get to see very often. Whatever happens, I think it'll end up being a good time. I'm looking forward to that, too.
In the meantime, this week I'm still kinda counting myself as "on break," but I'm taking care of miscellaneous tasks here and there. I'm generally doing fine at this point and keeping myself together. I'm counting that as a win. And that actually feels good, for once, instead of just saying the words and making the tally. I feel like I'm making progress. "Progress" is going to be a big word for me as part of all these changes. Progress for me, and hopefully progress for the world. I want to take part in something bigger and better for people. That's what I'm looking for now. Or will be in a little while, anyway. Looking to my own house first before I start taking on the big, bad world.
Anyway, that's what's going on around these parts. I guess I had pictured this being a longer entry, but it's funny how such big things can be reduced to so few actual words. Just to put this on record, I had been picturing maybe three months or so of downtime. I'd probably be okay going out to six, but I don't intend to let things go that long. My biggest thing for self-monitoring is that I don't want this to turn into one of those things where I don't do anything except watch TV all day and then wonder where all my time goes. I know that's my tendency, so I'm going to try and keep at least a little productive, as I can. I wouldn't say I'm exactly optimistic about whatever's coming next, but I'm not feeling dread and despair, so that's at least a step in the right direction. I'm not gonna sweat not having solid plans, at least not yet. This is a familiar pattern for me. I'm just gonna take this chance to take a break while I can.
Gonna try and get back on daily blogging, though. At least that will help keep me a little accountable. ;)
No progress of note. Lost my temper tonight at a goddamn ad on YouTube, so I guess things are still a little...off. (Details are on my FB. Maybe I should have cross-posted if this is for posterity, but whatever. Still figuring this nonsense out a little, I guess.) It's a pretty reliable indicator for me that I'm in a bad way when emotions are so close to the surface. Guess I didn't blog yesterday. Would be nothing to report anyway. Same for today, frankly. This week's been a wash for sure. It's only January. Already fuckin' up.
Today was a zero. Not a day for blogging, honestly, but I'm trying to stick with this and I should record days like this, too, so I have something to go by. Skipped work today. I unplugged, too: no social media, no Internet catchup. Just a hole in the calendar. I did catch up on some podcast backlog, though. Therapy got canceled, which was both opportune and not. Opportune because I really didn't feel like going, but also inopportune because I really didn't feel like going, so it probably would have been better if I'd gone. Could have used it, maybe. As it is, I'm just fucking unmoored today. It's a bad scene. I know I won't want to deal with work tomorrow, again, and I know I can't get back into that habit. Back into that space. Was hoping today I could get my head right. I know...it's a process. And this is just a stumble; I can't lose hope or will or whatever the fuck it is that people tap into to keep going about their lives. Days like today are the ones that make me think more about medication. The bad depression days and the bad anxiety days, those are the ones where I keep thinking if there was a pill I could take to not feel this way, I would take it. And then I realize that there are pills I could take, at least theoretically. Sometimes I wonder what stops me, except that I've been professionally advised against it and I know I don't think it's for me anyway. An unexpected day away from the world once in a while, I guess that's my pill. Doesn't always work, I suppose.
I dunno. Feel shitty. I feel on some level like I've failed. Again. I know my therapist would say I haven't, but I can't take that at face value. I remember now (too late, maybe) that last week's mission was to focus on the good that I could find, to recognize that acknowledging the good parts doesn't really mean ignoring the bad parts, but I can't stop it from feeling that way. I can feel the imbalance, and it weighs me down. There's so much I'm not doing right. Which I realize intellectually is not the same thing as not doing anything right, but I can say with some confidence that I didn't do anything right today.
Hell with it. Tomorrow's another day, and it's not going to be magically better on its own. I gotta work at this shit.
Tuesdays, right? This wasn't the usual Tuesday, but it was still a bummer. Fuck it.