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2020-04-26 21:14:59 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: April 2020

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


The visit to the eco compound has been postponed, likely another year. I would have hit the road at the end of this coming week and been gone for a month if I were able to. However the day job needed me to stick around and develop curriculum for a "virtual training," as there's no one else who would have been able to do it. Plus, if I ended up becoming sick with this virus, I think the last place I'd prefer to be is away from the familiar, and being a burden to my hosts. I'm looking into this visit for next year.

The community garden coordinator never came back to me, of course. Likely they would have in early March if there were no virus.

I've purchased a few board games lately, to be delivered in the mail, but I've not been designing any. Instead, my creative energies have been tapped for my day job and for video game design.

I also acknowledged on a board game designer's forum that I don't expect my designs to be professionally published. I feel there's too much a glut of design (being varying levels of sophisticated, fiddly, actually good quality, and pompous) for me to want to be part of that industry, and/or to legitimately compete. I don't take myself seriously and haven't done a deep-dive into game design for several months. It's just not a priority at this point.

Regarding video games, I did a couple One Hour Game Jam entries lately, and there's been a derivation of the Secret Santa video game exchange I'd hosted. I resigned from that post after a five year run, which was long enough for it to need an overhaul or renovation. I hosted a couple "town hall" meetings with a few of the outspoken members of that community, and someone agreed to take it on as organizer and give it a trial run this month, ending in early May. I'm making a game for someone (an amusing platformer where you play as a frog, patching-up leaks in a big stone wall to hold back toxic waste from polluting a woodland), and presumably someone is making a game for me. It's time for me to bow out of that community completely, as it really isn't helping me feel good about myself and what I do (and requesting feedback from them is like pulling teeth out of a Corgi).

Rather than increase my own income, I've attempted to spread round some of my income to those who have none. I'm fortunate enough to still have a day job, and my supervisor and exec director seem to hold me in high enough esteem that, should push come to shove, I'd likely be one of the last to go if we had to close up shop or downsize. So I've contributed to a couple local bookstores, indie book publishers, an anarchist magazine (I renewed my subscription after a few years away), and the local comic shop.

The comic shop will be sending me a "mystery box" of comics, graphic novels, and other stuff from their shelves for my contribution. I figure if I receive something I really don't like I could sell it off using eBay, when it's safe to go into the Post Office again.

Another cool thing I did was watch a "virtual screening" hosted by the cinema I would regularly visit on Sunday mornings. I caught an excellent documentary called "Other Music," about the record store of the same name that closed up its NYC shop after 20 years. Lots of moments that resonated, including the notion that small businesses are pretty much on their own here in the United States. I've already stayed away from Amazon successfully since 2015, so my shopping habits are already tuned to support local businesses instead of corporations. But "Other Music" still reminded me that there's more I could do in terms of supporting local businesses and mutual aid efforts. Having a steady job and direct deposit right now is a tremendous boon, and although spending money on local efforts has little or nothing to do with me increasing my income, I'm thoroughly convinced that a thriving local business environment uplifts everyone in the community.

I keep seeing messages from non-profits and social organizations starting off their emails and videos with the phrase, "This is an unprecedented time." It seems to have affected my mother the most. She and I speak on the phone once a week, and trade text messages a little more frequently. I chat with maybe two friends of mine on the phone every other week, check-in with a few others each week via text, and I check facebook once a week.

I see the people I live with maybe a combined total of five minutes a week. They are an elderly couple and another tenant just a bit older than me. The nextdoor neighbours I see for about 30 seconds a week. I go to the grocery store at 9pm Sunday evenings ( I started writing this after I'd returned from my most recent trip) and I speak to no one and barely see anyone else's eyes. We're all wearing masks (because this state's governor isn't a dipshit and/or complete corporate whore).

For almost a week, there was a little house spider that was interested in my work desk, and would crawl all over it. I nearly deluded myself into thinking we were friends.

That's two bicycling events in a row that have been canceled. So I'm on my exercise bike five or six days a week (Friday is typically a rest day). I've been eating a square or two of super-dark chocolate with my breakfast every day. My diet is reasonably diverse, and although it's rather simple and spare, lately I'll treat myself to a tray of cinnamon rolls from the grocery's bakery each week.

I stretch myself thin with the day job responsibilities, and then pull myself back together with my daily routine: exercise bike, video games, reading hour. Each day I drink my first cup of coffee in the backyard, with the sun shining on my face, and munch an apple. I throw all my apple cores and orange rinds into the woods that separate the backyard and the Interstate highway, convinced it helps the wildlife.

I've spent more money this month on radical political causes - socialism, anarchism, and mutual aid - than I have likely in years. It's like reuniting with old coworkers who would never bring up how much I sucked at my responsibilities, because for some reason they still liked having me around.

We're in The Bleakness now. I'm already dreaming about the Autumn being here. No one will ever be the same. I only hope that I come out of this with more backbone and grit. That's like, my only option.