marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
The life updates I've posted so far this year have all been pretty shit. As is often the case when I've had enough positive energy I've been too busy trying to get things done to take or make the time to update here about day-to-day stuff. Facebook really has claimed that space in my life; although even there it is mostly a stream of articles and links about what I have read today online that I consider important, and jottings from gaming sessions.

There are still many things I could be attending to instead of posting, but someone worth writing about has come into my life and her presence and support is helping me get back on track. Yes, I have fallen into a relationship with a lovely lady of about my own age, based in Wellington but that's not an insurmountable issue in this age of electronic long-distance communication and affordable plane travel. We have just spent the better part of a fortnight in the same city (a trip arranged pre-relationship around other circumstances) and I was surprised at the feeling of loss as she walked out to the plane home; I am very cautious about letting myself feel too deeply too fast for anyone but apparently she managed to sneak something past my guard ;)

Positive impacts on my life and ability to do stuff include
- talking on the phone in the evenings winding down my brain for sleep
- wake-up calls and encouragement to get out of bed in the morning
- the "companionship" segment in my life filled in enough that life rolls a little more like a wheel and a little less like a triangle
- various topics and triggers of angst not having anything to get a grip on any more
- an overall improved feeling of wellbeing

Some of these will also be due to the season and increased daylight hours; and of course I'm not miraculously un-depressed. My sleep quality is still pretty rubbishy and quantity required still high. Anxiety about my performance at work has actually jumped even as I have found more reason to be there and work better.

But. Enough mental cycles have freed up that I am looking towards and thinking about the future with an energy that I have not had for a long time.

Happy days.

In other news
- my Monday gaming group has wrapped up for the moment; work and other commitments taking some of us away from the table.
- my Sunday game continues to progress although again real life means making some adjustments there.
- I've managed to slightly dent the reading pile.
- Friday just past was the 13th and I hosted another Gothic Vampire party (last year the opportunity was missed). There were fewer people than I had expected; but most seemed to be having a good time
- LBTC Gytha continues to be herself
- One of the Hall rabbits (domestics "released" into the grounds by someone at New Years) crossed the road and got itself picked up and taken to the vet by a neighbour; so we now know they are not microchipped and may be one step closer to rehoming them.
- We might just about be on top of the spring growth at the Hall this year; working bees have managed to be almost-monthly although it is still rare that anyone other than the Rovers and myself show up.
- I have had some issues with the number of requests for Hall time we've been getting from people who seem to think we're open 24/7 at the drop of an email.
- I've kind of given up on managing it myself and started paying someone to deal with some of the gardening and such.
marsden_online: (skull)
Reading back over the past few years entries I notice a clear pattern of going in already exhausted and not getting nearly as much gaming done as I would like. This year was no exception; various issues at work have triggered emotional breakpoints and seen me push myself harder than is safe. To boot a head cold which has been threatening for the past fortnight arrived with a vengeance, leading to me wearing a flu mask Sunday and Monday; arguably I should also have done so Saturday or even not attended at all. However I had a friend down from Wellington staying with me and commensurate responsibilities to make sure she was able to be there.

Despite my efforts to keep the Hall calendar clear it had two entries; the Saturday morning one was a no-show and the Monday afternoon one arrived an hour late and then was un-prepared and spent half-an-hour doing make-up. I was able to leave them shooting with someone else on site but both instances meant time spent waiting around in cold wet weather when I could have been gaming. An alarm call out just after midnight on Saturday morning did not help matters.

My brain is blanking on some of the games I played and when
- Saturday had at least four games, starting with Betrayal at the House on the Hill which I had to abandon to get to the Hall, but apparently the Haunt won two rounds later (although we'd seemed to be in a good position), late afternoon was Kingsburgh, later in the evening a quick 2-player learning game of Fairy(Faery?)Tale and then ? . I was also able to purchase enough card sleeves of appropriate size from the Comics Compulsion table to kill time sleeving my copy of DC Heroes.
- Sunday I had two long, 3-player games of DC Heroes Crisis with different people where we lost at the very end, the first time to the final crisis and the second time by the stack running out when we had only to defeat the final super-villain two more times. I must have played Roll for the Galaxy because we discovered one of the cups missing. Jamaica because I noticed one of our often-indecisive players was quite quick at it.
- Monday had Castles of the Mad King Ludwig (which someone kindly stepped out of to let me play when I arrived as it was being set up) followed by Egizia. After getting back from the Hall I managed a game of DC Heroes before helping a little with pack up.

Today I called into work sick and have spent it napping / doing chores around the house / a delivery/groceries run / coughing a lung out. I would have liked to go along to Saga tonight for a couple more games but by about 4pm I had to admit to myself that wasn't going to happen.

Three times during the past few days I have teetered on the brink of emotional collapse. One was Saturday morning trying to get out of the house on time after oversleeping, and that was pure exhaustion.

The second was when I wandered upstairs on Sunday night to try and take some discrete photos of the LARPs in progress (trying to keep myself occupied and stable between running out of gaming options myself and my guest finishing up) to be shooed off. The shooing off wasn't entirely unexpected but the way it made me feel was. The third was being called out on possibly having taken photos including someone without permission - I haven't actually looked at the photos yet but yeah likely. I was sick, tired and probably sloppy with my judgement/recall/asking.

I'm still trying to figure out the reason the last two hit me so hard; I can't tell right now whether I'm feeling hurt by the criticism, upset with myself for not being more careful / not holding myself to high enough standards, or because I caused upset to someone I care about. In any case all there is to be done is apologise and attempt to not repeat the mistake.

Probably also time to book another psych appointment.
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
Over the past couple of weeks I have spent quite a lot of time gardening one way and another. Whether helping out a friend, digging out a tree stump (two more to go) and filling my now enlarged green bin with weeds and rubbish from my own garden, harvesting some of the the still-present potato population or yesterday an intensive working bee at the Hall I have laid to rest the concerns about an apparent drop in stamina which sent me to the Dr before Xmas.

spade, hole and tree stump
I dug a thing!

I have also acquired a substantial number of blisters, scrapes and scratches on my hands and forearms, and some sunburn. There has also been the luxury of being able to collapse after each period of activity. In fact once the New Year Blues lifted my activity pattern has pretty much been bursts of energy and motivation followed by equal periods of lethargy and exhaustion. There has been a lot of napping.

A few other things I have accomplished:
- baking bread (gluten-free, from a sourdough "bug" gifted by a friend)
- standing desk (previously posted)
- hosting my now-annual bring-a-thing for charity boardgaming day. Attendance was (disappointingly #ifIamhonest) lower this year than previously but I think that was mostly a co-incidence of timing. Normally it would have been a week or so later.
- several enjoyable outings with small groups of friends, myself specifically invited rather than the broadly invited parties and such which make up most of my socialising
- A variety of cleaning tasks around the house, but these have taken a back seat to the gardening.

For all the bursts of energy I still have a list of things I would like to get accomplished this holiday that have not been reached. I have not completed the prep for the next arc of the game I am running on Sundays; indeed I have managed barely any. (A small relief that tonights game was cancelled after two players could not make it, giving me another week and time today to among other things have a nap and write this post. Which will make 12 tasks crossed off todays todo list alone.) There are still gardening and annual cleaning tasks to be done (some of which are years overdue all ready ...). There are still several books I had planned to take time to read. More blog posts to be written.

Tomorrow I am cutting my holiday short by a week and returning to work early to deal with matters arising for one of my current major projects and another regular project which I have been on-called to deal with this past week. Given the state of things when work closed for the Xmas break I was half-expecting this to be the case so I am not mentally unprepared. I don't expect to be doing my full-time hours, just what is needed for these projects so I will still have "spare" time to schedule getting things done in, but it will be back to scheduling rather than the free-flow approach which has seen me be (what feels) so productive over the last few weeks.

I hope to be able to springboard off this time into a routine which sticks with me for the year, if I can keep myself from wanting and attempting to do all-the-things at once. Especially as the days get shorter again. I know my level of success at this has been mixed in all previous years and am not entirely confident.
marsden_online: (Default)
Yesterday was a good day. I woke up feeling somewhat as if my brain had reset from the previous few days self-inflicted misery and ready to get on with some things. The weather was not conducive to planned gardening so I set out on an extended series of shopping errands, acquiring
- a socket set and impulsively a fairly comprehensive set of screwdriver heads / drill bits for my power drill/driver
- more half-price short-dated bacon than I am easily going to consume (good stuff from a butcher, not water-filled supermarket stuff).
- ditto discount bananas (from the supermarket, not the butcher)
- the real score of the day was visiting the EcoShop to find items useful for converting my home computing environment to a standing workstation. I picked out two items which between them came to somewhat more than I really intended to pay, not discovering until I reached checkout that the store was having a "five dollar furniture day". :D

The two bits cleaned up nicely, most of the markings coming off with a little Jif and elbow grease. The screwdriver heads I had impulsively bought earlier meant I had the bit I needed to remove the wheels from the horizontal cabinet :)

A lot of unplugging and replugging later, this is the result.

Photo of the new setup including resident cat

The monitor alignment is a bit odd but unlike like work where all 3 monitors are pretty much constantly in use at home the left one is usually off and the right is quite auxiliary. I am actually finding having it a little higher to be better than the lower it was before. If I had a touch screen in the array I would find it very tempting to experiment with that much lower angled up.

I've been wanting to experiment with a standing desk for some time, multiple reasons including
- less sitting / stronger posture (my sciatica has been playing up regularly over the past year)
- less getting "trapped" at the computer: just the few hours I have spent yesterday proved that once I have finished everything I have to do I am more likely to wander off and do something else than sit there flipping between social media channels
-- sitting time is more likely to be non-screen dominated eg reading an actual book (Terry Pratchett's "Men At Arms" this day), game prep (I have the laptop if I feel the need to sit and write something extended and again that will at least happen in another room)
-- also no more eating at the computer, which is another shake up to my routine.
- An improvement in my touch-typing as it is not quite as easy to just glance down at the keyboard.

An added bonus is that the powerboard and case now being at normal-desk height mean I no longer have a nest of cables gathering dust down on the floor beside the desk. I've put the chair in there for the moment and the room actually feels a little less cluttered as a result.
marsden_online: (Default)
Reading back over my LJ and FB it looks like I started the year in much the same place emotionally as I am right now, there were quite a lot of individual good days in the company of friends but also some pretty bad patches - May, July, October through now ... I may have made some progress on identifying some of the puzzle pieces ...

My regular Sunday and Monday games were regular high points, other gaming was mixed. Recorded some good games; know I didn't bother griping about many not-so-good ones.

My muse turned on a few times, mostly in February and March but there are a few other substantial opinion posts througout the year.

I'm confident that I made a positive difference in the lives of a number of people over the year; less confident that I didn't impact negatively on anyone.

Politically the world seemed to continue to go to shit, both in NZ and overseas.

Notable events:

February: substantial aftershock just a few days short of the 5th anniversary of the 2011 quake brought everything flooding back for a lot of people.

April: Family reunion in the high country, returned to find an acquaintance had passed to cancer.

June: Buckets of Dice (mixed)
: combined having to get the drains replaced due earthquake damage with getting some substantial garden alterations done above ground, a very expensive month which nevertheless crossed two major projects off the list.

August: Hosted the KAOS 48 Hour Party despite being plagued myself during the weekend.

September: started a new drug/supplement, which didn't seem to help. Discontinued at the end of the 3-month course (wasn't subsidised)

November: SAGA's 48 hour charity event
: "Kaikoura" earthquakes (ongoing)

This year I didn't spend anything on my family for Xmas and instead focused on friends and other acquaintances whom I knew needed some nice things in their lives.

Had the family lunch not been at my relatively close parents I would not have attended that for the first time ever; this was something I was doing for myself as I did not feel up to the effectively full day of travel otherwise would have entailed. I did then end up appearing (and eating) at 3 different socials among friends in Christchurch and was quite exhausted by the end of the day but overall it felt lower-key.

I do appear to have completely exhausted myself physically* (gardening/housework) and mostly exhausted myself emotionally so I am hoping for a good KAOS New Years party tomorrow night to pick me up. Historically this is against the odds.

* My stamina seems to have plummeted over the year. I went to the Dr concerned a few weeks ago and he sent me off for a raft of blood tests, which I haven't heard back from yet.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Most people are probably aware that over the past going on 24 hours NZ has been hit by another series of major earthquakes starting at very just after midnight Sunday/Monday. I had not long gone to bed when it hit so after about 10 seconds of "aftershock" and then ~ 1:20 minutes of "nope, crap, that's a BIG quake inland just getting here" and some minutes on FB checking that no-one in Christchurch itself was reporting major issues I went off to sleep, thus not seeing the tsunami warning and evacuation notices (which didn't affect me anyway) until checking again during a wake around 4am. I figured if anyone needed transport or to shelter at my place I would get a message or txt directly so I slept for another few hours, starting the day feeling not significantly tireder than usual. That wasn't to last.

Fortunately I had already booked the day off work to recover from attending a 48 hour charity event over the weekend (more on that below). The first hour or so I spent touching base with various people by FB and phone before starting on my pre-existing chores list. I didn't get through as much of this as hoped - a somewhat overdue cleaning of the bathroom leaving me physically exhausted and attempting to set the ball rolling on a safety inspection of the Hall further soaked up energy. I eventually spent 2-3 hours napping - in part to shut down some nervous energy and generalised anxiety - before setting out to help a friend with transport and hugs, do the grocery shopping and after a simple dinner deliver some care packages. (One of which had already been on my to-do list but which under the circumstances I bulked up a bit more ;) ) I could tell that I probably shouldn't be driving well before I got home, and if I wasn't waiting for a better time to take my meds I would be back in bed already.

Friday / Saturday I spent about 24 hours total at SAGA's now-annual 48-hour gaming event to raise money for charity (this year AVIVA). I'll just copy and paste from my FB statuses here ...

Saturday 4:30pm
Plays so far:
Colony Wars (obliterated by Daniel Starky's base spam strategy)
Thurn & Taxis (resounding win)
Dominion w. Prosperity (barely last but a long way from the winner)
Broken Eagle the Learned Nano who Combines Words of Power is about to set out into the world of Numenera in search of greater knowledge.

Saturday 10:50pm
After Numenera finished off for the day with a game of Tiny Kingdoms. Didn't do particularly well but probably OK for a first time.
I'd liked to have stayed longer but it is patently obvious that it would be a very bad Idea. If I can get a good sleep tonight I may be able to stay later tomorrow night.

Sunday 3:20am
Didn't get to games until after 2pm but then stayed somewhat longer than expected. Still 3am is no later than I get home from a good party. Cat seems unimpressed by my long absence.
Plays today (pretty sure I have forgotten something)
Tiny Epic Kingdoms
Settlers of Catan
DC Heroes
Colony Wars
Zombie Dice
Seven Wonders
Istanbul (new)

... preliminary reports are that we raised well over $1000 if everyone comes through on their pledges. I enjoyed myself - overly much so without really realising it, on the Friday in particular which left me stuck in bed until much later than I had planned on Saturday. I did spend more time and energy than I had hoped taking the lead in deciding on and teaching games; the teaching not so much of a problem (I was actually recommended, to my face, and later even messaged thanks for the fun time someone had as a result). I also made sure one person who probably otherwise would not have made it but I knew would benefit greatly from getting out of the house got both there and home.

As always I experienced more downtime between games than I would have liked, but I had gone prepared for that also with things to do.

Sunday afternoon (you noticed the status update at 3:20AM above?) was spent on a few chores and Sunday evening instead of my usual game we chilled and watched Guardians of the Galaxy which a couple of our members had missed at the theatre. (I am really enjoying the new projector.) I actually went to bed feeling uncommonly relaxed and happy ... and then the quake hit.

That has filled in the time nicely; shortly I will be abed and hopefully will feel much better in the morning. Because otherwise I am /not/ looking forward to work tomorrow.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
This year I hosted the 48 [crosses off non-existent bucket list]. Much has been made of this but for me it was a relatively straightforward matter snip )


Oct. 17th, 2015 08:59 am
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
I half expected to be writing this post at 5am. Instead I lingered in bed to a relaxed 7:30am.

I don't know what combination it may be of the increased sunshine hours, the change in medication, the week I took off or the absence of one stressor from work but the last three days have been excellent for getting out of bed and having time in my day.

Wednesday I told myself if I could get to work early enough and do 1-2 hours work beforehand I would go to the Fox Hunt Stunt at Uni, and so it happened. Then back to a solid afternoon at work followed by gaming.

Thursday I was prepared to languish in be wiped out by the previous day but was still up by an early-for-me 8:30am followed by a solid day at work and a little productivity in the evening.

Friday I was up before 6am for a walk around the block before a full day at work (including a staff lunch-slash-meeting which was mostly positive rather than the doom and gloom and whip-cracking I had been fearing). (In fact over the week I maxed out my target hours at work; which is also good for the bank balance.)

I won't say I haven't been feeling the effects in the evenings; Friday (last) night I did topple into bed at 8pm. And I was awake and could have been up and attacking the day at 5:30am again this morning; but instead just lay watching the clouds drift by out the window and petting the cat for a couple of hours.

As with all upswings in mood there is no telling how long this one will last so I need to try and make the most of it. But for a change I find that means a balance of doing-little / taking it easy / relaxing alongside getting-stuff-done rather than trying to crush as many backed-up tasks into the time as possible. It may help that I have no urgent outstanding matters and the Hall calendar is fairly empty for this weekend. I have time.
marsden_online: (Ghostfighter)
On Tuesday evening I had the opportunity to play in a one-shot of Numenera with a group of people I don't have the pleasure of gaming with very often. I've heard about the system on-and-off and I was suitably impressed with it in play; immediately encouraging of a descriptive style of play, very simple mechanic, setting deals neatly and explicitly with the natural player tendency to "now-ise" everything. Would pick up and run.

Busana the Intelligent Glaive who Explores Dark Places* and her two companions Roderick the Foolish Glaive who Stands Like A Bastion and Future Steve 17 the ? Nano who Exists Slightly Out of Phase were drawn into a "game" wherein an inimical race were plotting a public massacre of several locals.
* Recreation of the character I am currently playing on Wednesdays in an Arcana Unearthed campaign - system which was coincidentally also authored by Monte Cook.

Things I Have Not Done Before in a game included
- discretely emptying a "love poison" potion around the roots of a plantlike creature acting as a receptionist to gain her favour and expedited access to the Aon Priest we hoped had information which would help us.

- persuading an NPC that the reason his husband was lying on the floor goaning and bleeding out his ears was because he was going to imbibe too much "counterwise wine" at the event he had received an invitation to.

- having to dodge an "Instant Boat" being created in the air above the final combat (and special mention to Roderick who "stood like a bastion" and caught one end of said boat as it fell to give myself and Future Steve 17 a better chance of getting out of the way).

The final battle was a nail-biting and near-thing as our characters were underpowered for the scenario, and more than once it looked like we were doomed to lose. We only managed to interrupt and limit the massacre rather than prevent it completely, and Busana nearly perished but after the final opponent was subdued Future Steve 17 was able to make use of a convenient first aid kit to restore sufficient health that she was able to limp tail-and-ears-high out to the cheering crowds.

On the way home from the game I nearly ran over a bunny just around the corner from home - a pale tan mini-lop with dark brown ears which ran straight at the car. A grey smush-faced companion hopped out of a nearby drive while I was trying to earn the first's trust enough to catch it so I was able to go and bang on the door (just before midnight) until the owners came out to herd them back to their hutch.
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
The weekend started as planned, in that I got to the airport and parked in good time. After that things went a bit awry. It turned out that fog had prevented some earlier flights landing so (at least) three flights /out/ of Christchurch had been cancelled, including mine, due to not having the aircraft available.

elsnippo )
marsden_online: (Rage)
Last evening I attended a fairly convivial flatwarming drinkies where I managed to complete the find-all-the-things (20 symbols hidden around the flat) game going on about 30 minutes ahead of anyone else, netting some chocolates and 400 "badass points to do with as you will". Unfortunately no (in)decent opportunities arose to take advantage of that. (What else would I use them for?).

Unfortunately by the time I got home my mood was ebbing and the rest of my night was broken not only by the sort of dreams where one wakes up covered in cold sweat but also by a completely unnecessary 2:45am phone call which whil eit dragged me out of a dream I was not enjoying was nevertheless not an improvement.

I can't remember the details of that first dream now but the second was perhaps unsurprisingly filled with anger and frustration although the targets were forces and people outside my control, particularly economic and government/social.

The last was running (which included the superleap-glide combo one often gets in dreams) to try and stay ahead of a zombie-virus which was outbreaking. Most of the population of the city (wherever it was) had been infected by a dormant version which was now being activated by an airbourne vector but the active virus could also be spread by touch (starting as a rash). The front created by the airbourne vector spreading outwards was what I was trying to keep ahead of but only just keeping pace with. There was a lot of treetop/rooftop/walltop jump-gliding as well as trying to get over or past infected groups (which retained humanlike intelligence just with a very specific goal) without being noticed, often this included entering a building which may-or-may not have an active contagion and trying to get through and out the other side before the inhabitants were affected.

Fortunately the zombies were fairly easy to disable with small amounts of stabbing (often with cutlery) but that still meant they had managed to get dangerously close. There were a number of incidents of meeting/teaming up with people who were not infected/active only to have to stab/kill/evade them as the virus was contracted or became active.

I did get infected as the virus which was apparently developing some form of hive-intelligence started infecting wolves and one of them managed to superleap onto my back in mid air. Attempts to kill myself by biting down on home-made bullets I'd acquired from someone in the process of succumbing earlier failed but apparently I was not entirely human or something (in the dream just before the virus outbreak I had been some form of lower-social-class ape creature) and the virus was taking longer than usual to affect me.

I managed to make it out of the city with a flying leap over a steep slope which although I could glide down into the sea/lakeside wilderness beyond it was such a distance that safe/gentle landing was in no way assured (or likely) after which I was likely to be lying helpless until I either died (properly) or fought off the virus. I woke up at that point though.

When just about finished typing this up the first time the damn cat decided she was going to walk across between me and the laptop without care for where she was standing and managed to step on the F5 key wiping it all.This is how I discovered the Lazurus plugin while installed is apparently not working in this browser and is responsible for a sharp decline in my mood, as a consequence of which my next actions are not going to be write up the three sessions of On the Road I am behind but go back to playing Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge which I purchased from a couple of days ago.

Dear diary

Dec. 8th, 2014 10:17 pm
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
Recording quite a surprisingly pleasant weekend. Somehow I found myself under pretty much no pressure to be anywhere or do anything which led to a lot of napping and a surprising amount of productivity in between
- picking up an Xmas present for the elder niblings
- some significant reading
- going to a party and dancing early and hard (which in retrospect may have been a bit of a mistake as it contributed to my fading off home early)
- some significant hedge pruning
- Some minor stuff at the Hall on Sunday - not what I had sort of planned due to the weather completely sapping my enthusiasm for the outdoors but cleaned up some glass indoors and emptied the water containers while photographer etc did their thing.
- catching up on writing game logs (several hours of writing there)

The reading and the writing in particular were aided immensely by finally managing to come up with a comfortable arrangement for sitting up in bed with either book or laptop. (This may in future also result in more media watching). Time spent out of the "office" and away from the preponderance of possible "to dos" on the main computer is good for me.

Today was also quite unusual - a Hall alarm at 5:15am (unusual time, unusual day), pretty much just on dawn meant by the time I got home again there was little point in going back to bed even though I had only managed 4-5 hours broken, dream-filled sleep (probably due to all of the aforementioned napping). This led to
- doing a load of laundry
- six fairly productive hours at work
- washing the dishes
- vacuuming

At this point I had to take a nap because while I could have pushed myself to do the next thing on the list it would not have been done well and it would not have been good for me I woke up with enough energy and more importantly determination to pick up momentum again.

- mopped the floors -> bringing me up-to-date on the household chores
- cooked a good dinner which will double for tomorrow night
- caught up the accounts (and discovered my recent foray into Bonus Bonds is starting to pay out - must make a separate spreadsheet to track ROI on that)
- dug up some information about our power usage and emailed it off to one of the companies I am talking to about Solar (and probably the one I am going to go with).
- made a dear diary post :)

I'd like to think I'll be able to get a good nights sleep and an early start for an equally good day tomorrow but as I remember all too well from the start of last week, that's actually probably going to prove pretty arbitrary and random.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
I can say yesterday was a good day. On about 6 hours sleep (I sleep wayyy to much anyway) I somehow was out of bed and stayed out of bed at a fairly early hour over my body & brain's protestations. I had planned to spend the morning writing but instead somehow pruned a chunk of hedge, mowed the lawns, and completed several smaller chores before a midday lunch and over to the hall for a half-hour vigorous grubbing of thistles and some pruning before first roleplayers and then a photographer and crew turned up.

Some explanation: I had (reluctantly) arranged to be at the Hall for the photographer, and the DM for our Wednesday game had a week off and was keen to run an extra session. Since the weather was theoretically going to be fine and I wasn't keen on twiddling my thumbs around the hall for 3 ½ hours I saw the opportunity to cross "game at the hall" off the bucket list.

The weather was not as warm as it could have been on the day before summer (pity the models) but we still managed to have a good time I think.

I got home a bit later than I would have liked, had a nice burger for dinner and still had just enough left in me to process the weekend party photos. Crashed into bed before 9pm looking forward to waking up early and having an equally productive day today.

Slept solidly, woke up around 7 ... with completely no ability to get out of bed. A long list of things which need doing (see below); several of which I want to get done; but absolutely no capacity to act on those desires on my own accord. Eventually my bladder forced me out of bed a little after 10am.

That's 3 hours in which I could have completed any of
- update my AU spellsheet to output Markos' new 3rd level spells and Zediz'r's new 4th level spells
- write up the next "On the Road" (as I continue to fall behind)
- persuade the flatmate to excavate ~ the last two weeks of dishes from his room so they could be washed, and washed them

Those 3 things all sort of needed to be done today (because Tuesdays are invariably completely taken by work and gaming and the backlog will just get worse come Wednesday evening's session). I will still have time and spoons to complete /one/, probably the least necessary, after I have eaten tonight.

Alternatively I could have caught up of the hall stuff I am failing to find the motivation to push (eg overdue working bee) or managed a "full" day at work and been home to complete one or more of these things in the evening. I haven;t even been very good at getting out of bed for work the past couple of months - I haven't lost *all* the progress I thought I had made but my performance has not been stellar.

It's not even that I don't want to go to work either because I do, it's just that
despite all the reasons I lie there listing to myself about why I should be getting out of bed
none of them "do it" for me.

And yet Sunday, when I could have stayed in bed for more hours and it wouldn't have mattered, My system was suddenly "Bam. lets get stuff done". And I /know/ that when I get up early I have good days and get stuff done. I have a lot of stuff I /want/ to get done even though I'm wondering about the point of some of it.

It's like I've forgotten how to can.
marsden_online: (Evil GM)
From Friday 10am to Sunday 10am (a couple of hours ago) SAGA ran a 48 hour gaming event to raise money for charity. Although I didn't intend to do an all-nighter myself between running a mini-campaign over Friday evening - Saturday wee hours, a Hall alarm and then getting sucked into just one more game (until after sunrise) I actually spent ~39 hours straight a mostly-awake; the longest I have ever.

The mini-campaign was also, (despite all my years of gaming)
- the first time I have run such a thing (D&D levels 1-3 in one sitting and we probably would have gone another couple of hours had the Hall alarm not come in - luckily while the players were taking a break after their characters had returned from the dungeon a bit beaten up after gong "a room too far")
- the first time I have run a session that long (6-7 hours including breaks)
- the first time I have run a game which ran after midnight

I didn't actually get to play in any RPGs myself (was hoping for a Dungeon World game) but I did keep track of the board games (on FB)
- Seven Wonders win 86 points. Seven players leaders and cities.
- Lords of Waterdeep + expansions third 164 points
- Biblios last with 4 points
- King of New York - not a winner is me.
- Sentinels of the Multiverse - eventual win against Baron Blade on Mars. (Legacy, Tempest, Visionary)
- Cards against humanity : not last.
- Stone Age 3rd 139 points
- Kingsburg narrow win with 43 points.
- Shipwrights of the North Sea win 16 points
- Race for the Galaxy 3rd 26 points.
- Last hour with some not-very-awake people; cleanup then Dixit and a round of Love Letter.

Not quite as many as I hoped, and I would have liked another round of Seven Wonders and to play DC Heroes but Sentinels has taken over as /the/ superhero card game of the moment.

There were also not as many casual attendees as I expected - the number of people present was pretty stable and mostly the same people. I had expected larger swells of people only attending for a few hours and a few games in the afternoons and evenings - thus my pledge of $1 per attendee playing at least one game fell a bit flat. (I handed over closer to what I had expected anyway.) Probably I should have gone with "per game played" after all.

Nevertheless I had a mostly good time, with occasional lapses into boredom and fending off sleep-deprivation enabled moments of emotional collapse. As successful weekend.

Some of the games which were played
Lords of Waterdeep
marsden_online: (Ghostfighter)
It's been over two months since I posted anything about life in general which wasn't dumping angst. So here's a less-transient-than-facebook record of some events.

Hall )

kitty )

gaming )

dentist )

other stuff )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
It's been about a fortnight since my last entry. Sometimes that means life is going really well and I just don't have time to update. This time it means life is a bit of a slog and I haven't even really had the energy to think about updating.

I clearly overdid things far more than I thought in the lead up to my trip - since then my ability to get out of bed in the morning has plummeted as have my work hours (although the quality of my work in those hours is I think better than in the longer hours I was pushing through previously), and the amount of energy coping with the Hall sucks has ballooned. There seem to be an unusually high number of people expecting that I can arrange something there for them at short notice right now; fortunately M has been available to be on site weekday afternoons.

Last night there was an o-ghod-oclock-am alarm which I barely managed to drag myself out of bed to attend (doors open, no-one found), and then failed to get any meaningful sleep for the rest of the night*, dragging myself out of bed with just enough time to throw clothes on and grab the makings of breakfast to take with me as I headed out the door to open up for a groups of film students at 10am. I eventually ate [brunch] about 11 sitting on the patio steps in the sun but my body was already telling me my physical reserves were at the point of exhaustion, and then I spent the next hour or so pulling weeds. By the time I made it home about 2pm I managed a drink and a banana before falling back into bed for a few hours; from which I awoke not particularly refreshed. (A shower and dinner have since helped to some extent.)

* I was asleep enough to dream - a very long dream about the hall (which had grown another 2 dormitory wings and various other rooms) being overrun without permission by hundreds of people doing some sort of Zombie Walk event at the same time as the Red Cross were attempting to do an exercise there. In some scenes it was hard to tell who were the exercise victims and who were the "zombies" especially as the latter while generally well-behaved kept ignoring the instructions not to go into the areas the Red Cross had set up for their exercise, and I had friends who were involved in both (which the dream gave me several hugs from; the only positive point). The alarm clock woke me up just as I had spotted "zombie" people actually making their way / breaking into the managers residence and my feelings of helpless anger were peaking.

And tomorrow still has an ever-increasing list of things which will need doing.

There have been some positive experiences in the past couple of weeks - gaming is going well on both nights and last night I hung out with a friend for dinner and an introduction to Firefly which I have so far avoided except as a wash of pop-culture; only because I don't tend to watch things by myself.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
I took a couple of extra days this weekend to travel to Dunedin (Friday - Sunday) and recuperate/get the chores done (today).

The drive was a bit nerve-wracking in both directions - although I ought *not* have been tired I found myself at risk of nodding off / zoning out behind the wheel more times than I would have liked. And on the return trip the weather came in wet and *dark* between Ashburton and Chch which didn't help.

Dunedin itself was mostly good, turning on a beautiful day on Saturday much of which I spent traipsing around town / catching up with first [ profile] salahdra and then S. My legs did not thanks me for this on Saturday evening/Sunday.

Friday evening I dropped in on [ profile] avaiaal at work but it was quite busy so there wasn't time for more than a hug :( It was the first weekend back for the Uni - there were drunk students everywhere. I had just driven past one party which appeared to be being broken up by police.

Sunday I had lunch with [ profile] micheinnz before heading back north.

In between times I mostly spent at my excuse for the trip, the OURS minicon, either playing board games or, as my busy social calendar meant I kept getting there after people were all organised into games, watching/listening to people play games (somewhat bored). I should have taken my Russian homework and some other reading material to the con with me but I kept leaving that behind in my motel room :-/ Fortunately for me (and only me) the Saturday night LARP didn't reach critical mass.

Games I played over the weekend included Blood Bonds[?] which was OK but not something I'd like to play a lot, DC Heroes (mostly the new set), Biblios, Seven Wonders (with and without expansions) and briefly filling in in a game of Fiasco for a player who had to leave, during which I managed to get the character body-swapped with a very angry sentient tavern (instead of the enchanted crow the other characters thought I had been put in - there was a lot of it going around) effectively removing the character from the game by the time I also had to leave.

The weekend proper was completed by an invitation to dinner (which I was lacking the energy to produce myself) by [ profile] littlel who had over-catered for her evening with a very tasty spiced pork dish.

All very good, but not at all rejuvenating. I feel like I need a long weekend to get over my long weekend - and the week that went before it.

The hall also had several alarms and a few other things which I wound up co-ordinating by phone :(

#Prius round trip (filled tank to passing petrol station again) 735km 4.7L / 100km and that with the a/c on quite a bit.

Today I slept in longer than planned, and also took a longer-than planed nap in the afternoon evening, but I did also get a number of things achieved which I'm going to list here because hopefully in one place they will look more impressive than the things I planned to achieve but didn't :)

- made a number of information-seeking phone calls / sent emails
- caught up the accounts
- bought the reading list/inbox back under control
- logged on to work and dealt with some urgent stuff
- did laundry
- chopped firewood (acquired minor injury but all fingers accounted for)
- filled the green bin
- prepped for tomorrow nights game
- did Russian homework (some of the actual exercises not just the reviewing I have been doing).
- wrote journal post
- about to go an research something writing post has reminded me of.
marsden_online: (Default)
It has been a good weekend that feels productive but not overly exhausting, and I just want to record that.

- I've managed to set a number of things in motion, including finally acting on my long-held intent to start learning a second language (in this case Russian) and progress a number of other short term plans like my every-couple-of-years cleanout of old computers and parts.

- Some significant gardening got done (including one of the compost bins mostly emptying so now I can have a good clean-up of some parts of the garden and and fill it up again) and I may have found someone who will make use of my long-fallow vegetable garden.

- some significant shopping got done - not particularly significant in value but in that it was something I wouldn't have spent (and wasn't) money on before paying off the mortgage. I am now letting myself buy some of those things.

- spent some time reading in front of the fire - and my muse seems to be waking up again (see previous post for an example :)

- I did manage to whittle down my backlog of RSS article to read/post a bit, although this may have resulted in my friends FB feeds getting spammed a little. Massive FB sharing spike for me over the past two days and I still have a queue of things I want to post.

I'm a little wary - I don't want to blow this sudden burst or creativity and burn out especially given how I was feeling only a week ago, and I've been through these highs before. But it does feel like my system has come to an acceptance of some level of change and is getting on with plans....
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
The last few weeks have been ... perhaps not rough, but corrugated. Work, Hall, gaming, parties, commitments have just come one after the other with little space for a breather. The last several social events I haven't even felt like taking photos, and have not been able to hold up my end of any significant conversation. So it was with some surprise that I found myself having actual conversations at a small event earlier today.

Today I had set aside as a day for *me*, so I was at the brunch because I wanted to be and had no other commitments or dramas weighing on me :) I'd also managed a decent nights sleep beforehand. But Saturday was also unexpectedly relaxing.

I was at the hall from about 10am until 4pm solid, and a significant amount of that time I spent either showing people around or otherwise watching what they were doing. I also managed some cleanup and gardening. given my state I really expected this to be as much of a chore than a pleasure, but as it turned out it (especially the gardening) actually provided enough focus that various other issues moved "out of sight, out of mind" for a while. It was about 3pm that I really *realised* that I was feeling better.

Then another commitment for the evening fell through enabling me to take up an invitation to see a movie with friends which also boosted my mood beyond my expectations. I was still a wallhugger at the party that night, but I felt better.

The feeling has peaked, I'm already on the way down and facing the prospect of another busy week, with a party at mine to finish it. But it helps to remember that those moments can still be there.
marsden_online: (Kea)
The last couple of weeks have been very good for me - most days I've been managing to exit bed on time and for a while last week I thought I was going to hit 30 hours. Alas it was not to be, only due to competing commitments though. It was productive work as well - I've managed to beat a series of programming issues which were frustrating me and now feel real progress is being made once more, which has in turn improved my enthusiasm for going into work and my focus once there.

It may be that my internalised expectations of myself have also subsided a bit to meet reality - that's one theory anyway.

This week I wasn't pressuring myself to try for 30 and was somewhat surprised to notice on Thursday afternoon that I was past 20. I drove home with an odd sort of sensation - worried about the fact that I was not feeling under any immediate pressure to accomplish anything either at work or at home. Today I identified that feeling as a low-level anxiety - anxiety is very rare for me mostly because I'm too busy trying to get the next thing I-have-to-do done to notice it - and by today it had passed.

That said, I also failed to make it out of bed at a reasonable time today ... but didn't have to leave work for anything else this afternoon so managed my full day worth of hours anyway, and had only a few chores planned for about the house tonight.

Beyond work - the weather has been very good more bright warm sunshine than rain. I have been marking tasks off my to-do list around the house and around the Hall. Socialising has been more rewarding and less stressful than the previous few weeks (significantly through lessened exposure to one individual I admit). The weak point has actually been the D&D3.5 game I am running on Tuesdays - we've had issues getting critical mass over the uni holidays and then the PCs took off in an unexpected direction and last session we had an unexpected fatality of one character whose backstory I had been building on, so I am woefully under-prepped. This group is also good about getting on and does things a lot quicker than some other groups I've run for, so I'm finding myself under-estimating the amount of prep I need rather than my usual over-prepping.

Finally, earlier this week I claimed for my tax refund for 2013-14 (discovering I have been using the wrong tax code, but never mind the difference is in the right direction :) ) and it came through tonight, giving me enough money to at last zero the mortgage. This is a goal which has just kept slipping into and out of reach again repeatedly over the past few years; last year and this I have been pursuing it quite determinedly. It will be temporary no doubt - although there are a few other things I want to spend money on first I will no doubt be dipping into it again when the next bit of home renovation reaches the top of the list. And that was what turned a satisfactory week into an excellent one :D

[I am buying a lotto ticket tomorrow; now if I could just get laid as well ...]

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