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2020-03-29 07:59:44 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: March 2020

[any identifying names and locations will be changed for protection and privacy.]


...Don't think I'm heading off to Montana for the month of May. For some reason I think it's okay to hold off on such a pronouncement until the arbitrary, "first full week of April," as I have slim hopes of something turning round in a positive way (...or am I just delusional?). On the flip side, if for some reason I am laid off from the day job, or furloughed, then I should just pack up and roll out there now, staying an extra month or two. It is clearly an easy place to practice social distancing. At the same time, should I end up contracting this virus, being out there (and a burden to everyone on site) is likely the worst thing I could choose to do.

Maybe the reason I haven't contacted them to postpone the trip is because I don't want to admit that it needs to be postponed. It's like another setback - this one being, however, completely beyond my control.

That's it. I need to send them a message today. It's not happening. I'll see what options they have perhaps six months down the road, like, the end of the summer. Bloody hell, man.

I bailed on the game designer's meeting this month, and the retreat at a VBRO lake house was also canceled. The retreat may be rescheduled for the Autumn, but there's also a game design convention in town now set for September (originally scheduled to take place this May) that I would want to attend. Of course, the other designers will also plan on being at this convention, so there will most-assuredly be no conflicting dates. I know there was discussion about possibly scheduling the retreat for a short time just before the designer's convention, so we'll see how that turns out. I honestly can't recall what the consensus was.

At the day job, I've been making forays into digital online study guides for our clients. So I've been doing a -lot- of audio recording these past two weeks, patching it into my game-making software, to develop serviceable materials for our clients. This is all a stopgap measure until our office can invest in a legitimate Learning Management System/LMS, but even though I acknowledge that it's temporary, it's been very well-received. Apart from a few hiccups with smartphones, it's accessible to everyone we've shared it with. My executive director is shopping round a "demo version" of a module I created to potential funders, as an example of how our organization has adjusted to service delivery in the time of social distancing.

It's a new realm for me, but I imagine it was inevitable. The world was already moving with a trend towards distance learning, offsite learning, and digital classrooms. I see this as an opportunity to finally transition into that space (and our office to finally take a tech budget seriously...). I've helped our clients stay informed, and helped our office stay relevant. Those are moves in the right direction (and I stay essential at my day job, which is -definitely- a move in the right direction).

I've not been driven to mess with the Glowforge for nearly two weeks now. I do have a dice tower project I can pick away at, but I've not been driven to learn Inkscape on my own. I'm just lazy about it, really.

I've decided I'm not organizing the Sekret Santa game jam anymore. I've lost both patience and credibility with that group, so it's time for me to step down. Meanwhile, since there's spare time on the weekends I've done a couple One Hour Game Jam entries, which have been fun diversions.

Everything is on hold in this department. Bloody hell: what's -not- on hold these days?

I had an interesting "lack of communication" online (I really can't call it a conversation or discussion), midway through this month regarding charitable giving right now. Someone was discussing creating a game jam as a benefit, in order to raise money for those affected by the crisis. Considering no one in our group is in any way connected to an established charitable organization, I commented, "I don't think right now is a good time for a benefit event." An immediate reply to my comment was, "That is a ludicrous statement."

There was some back and forth about it, but my main point (without even discussing a distinct lack of connections to charitable organizations) was that -everyone- is stressing right now, everyone is figuring out what the fuck they're gonna do. There's no one in a safe position right now. If they were, they wouldn't be likely to spend their disposable income on video games. The most vocal of the detractors had a platform that there are people living hand to mouth, laid off from their job with no recourse and no savings, homeless folks with no safety net whatsoever, and so now is the -best- time for a benefit.

I agree that there will always be people in need of help (capitalism ensures that), but I personally feel that not every time is the best time for a benefit event. Good luck finding a foundation - or better yet, developing your own fundraiser - that's gonna move the needle in any direction forward. Local giving is what to do right now if you wanna realize any immediate relief for someone. The detractor mentioned Food Not Bombs as a candidate, and I agree with that. I think that's a great organization that's horizontally-organized, resilient, and makes an immediate difference. Giving to them is a good thing to do right now. It's simple, tangible, and effective. Well... As effective as the powerless and disenfranchised can be when giving to one another, I suppose.

Just don't expect some foundation to stoop to our level, particularly right now. It's just not gonna happen. Again: there will always be people who need help, but it's not always a good time to run a fundraiser event.

One of the last things I had a chance to do with family this month was attend a benefit show near where my brother lives. It took place at a legit arcade, where all the machines are set to 'free play' so you can play as much as you want. It was a benefit show for the local roller derby group, and also featured a gaggle of local punk bands. Three things I wanted to see there: arcade games, punk music, and roller derby women (and in that order). My brother treated me to a ticket - an unexpected, pleasant surprise - and I had a blast. It was good to connect with my brother for a time.

Sent a message to a woman on the online dating site, and fully-acknowledged the poor timing of attempting to start up a relationship of some kind. She wrote back though, and also seemed good-natured about the current state of things. I wrote back after about a week during quarantine, and may hear back from her soon. We'll see if that leads anywhere. If we can carry on a conversation without being creeped-out or bored with one another, then I take it as a solid foundation.

I have a long-time ex-girlfriend who lives nearby, and she's invited me to stay with her during lockdown. This isn't a good idea, the more I think about it. I do want to be a comfort in terms of helping her deal with her anxiety, but I can already see that if I were to stay there for a while we'd eventually be back in bed together. This is beyond the various logistical issues of me staying there long-term (at least a month or two) would the scenario come to pass. I ended our relationship for several reasons, most of which are still extant to this day. That's not to say she isn't a good-hearted person worthy of praise and care and help. But implicit in me staying would be some sort of potential rekindling of something that's not good for me. I'll just leave it at that.

The bicycling event would have been this past Friday. Damnit.

I'm doing the exercise bike maybe five days a week (I'm back up to 25 minutes at a time, most recently, somewhere between 315 - 350 calories at a time), and sporadically doing other exercises: mostly bicycle crunches/kicks. I want my abs to feel like they're doing something, which is likely the one muscle group the Airdyne doesn't really access. I took a look at my weight recently, and working from home has assisted me in reducing my weight. Is muscle being lost, or am I not eating as much? Maybe both. I'd rather not become a lazy, weakened, frail, pale-faced lump of human during this time of isolation.

In a way, I am actually looking forward to this time inside and away from everyone. It does give me a chance to stay much more disciplined about what I put into my body, and since I have an exercise bike at home I can't ignore it, and have edged closer to daily cycling more now than I have for some time. It actually helps me sleep at night, at least (which is something that's been a challenge during this "adjustment period").

This was the month everything hit the fan in the US. It was a long time coming (I'd been preparing in terms of provisions and hunkering-down since January, I think), but when it finally hit, it was hard. It's giving people a taste of just how bad things can become, thanks to our current political and economic system. Hopefully people will still be angry when/if elections come round again, and we can kick all the blatantly shitty motherfuckers out of office. We'll see.

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