|First activity (Mon.):||Recreating my lost comics disc, then reading comics and working on the Fear Itself edit||3:37|
|First activity (Tue.):||Mowing the lawn||0:16|
|I'm not waiting for the Thinker to write his silly little month-plan, because there's so much to be done.|
21:25 - Figure out which of my comics discs have become unreadable, and replace them.
22:00 - Catch up on comics
1:30 - Work on my Fear Itself collection. (It's only because of this part that I feel justified in starting with comics.)
3:00 - bed.
12:00 - Mow the lawn
12:30 - Gamer Mom
5:30 - Go to Jerusalem for The Tenth Man rehearsal
When I get home, TV until 2:00, and score.
I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
|Time allocation:||The Tenth Man||4:37|
|Dinner out with my mother||0:47|
|Mowing the lawn||0:16|
|I was at a rehearsal of my new play.
I got to node 100 of Gamer Mom.
I got to work on the comics.
There was a mix-up, where I thought I had made a mistake in my schedule and used an hour to have a dinner with my mother, in which we had nothing to say to each other. I got to the rehearsal late, missing the first exercise.
|Performance review:||"I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect." Most days I think that's just an empty phrase, but here I actually see it. The schedule is as precise as they could be under the circumstances, and taking into account all the human failings we're saddled with.|
|Notes:||No records today. Just comics, TV and a mostly-passive videogame.|
|The conference room should be really old-school keyboard interface. I want this to be something that no one would have any idea how to use without knowing all the keys. That'll make it something that brings together those of us who know the secret.|
|Time allocation:||Mundane activities||4:35|
|Designing the "conference room"||2:34|
|Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors||2:10|
|Hee hee. When the Programmer said to design the conference room, he probably didn't expect something this complicated. This is going to be a lot of work to make, and it'll be worth it because it's a great design. I've taken everything into account: every possible way I'd want to use the program, every feeling I want this program to evoke, every keyboard function that would be intuitive to me but confusing to anyone else. I picture me using this hugely complex program, this programmerly old-school-crossed-with-graphical-flair enigma of a visual interface, and if anyone else is in the room they'll say: "What the hell is that?". And I'll respond: "This is how I plan my day.", and they'll look at me like I'm from another planet. Which I am.
I've figured out what to do with that exploration format I used in the blog post "Sequential motion pictures". Short nodes, in two or three branches weaving in and out of each other, in a loop back to where you started with no going backwards. It lets me control the way it's read, it doesn't overwhelm, and it still has that sense of wandering through a strange creation. I've started writing a post like that, about nothing in particular. It just sort of builds on itself, with one idea leading to another idea leading to a totally different topic. It's a lot of work, and I'd like to get it done while the stories are still fresh. That means tomorrow, ideally, or the day after that at the very latest. This is a really time-sensitive post.
|Notes:||A few activities were not counted: reading a comic, and browsing the web. I took a nap, and missed the first major rainfall of the winter.|
|Performance review:||Some good work here, but it's undone by the lack of commitment to the Rules. There wasn't supposed to be any comics or web browsing, even in small doses. And you need to write down what you're doing, instead of just counting everything as mundane activities. So I need to take a point off for the comics, a point off for the mundane activities, a point off for the web browsing, and a point off for cheating a bit before starting the day. Still not a terrible day, but you can do better.|
|First activity:||Helping my father with something||0:29|
|No comics? That's a shame, there's so much to do there. Well, it's not like there's a lack of other things that need doing. So I'll just do my best to get out of panic mode.|
15:39 - Gamer Mom
Shabbat is 16:31-17:36.
17:45 - The conference room.
21:00 - Gamer Mom
22:30 - The Tenth Man
0:00 - Score.
I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
|Time allocation:||The conference room||3:04|
|The Tenth Man||1:23|
|The shul website||0:59|
|Helping my father||0:29|
|I programmed maybe one tenth of the design the Explorer laid out for the conference room.
I reached node 108 of Gamer Mom, which included two endings. I programmed the ending function.
I learned my part in The Tenth Man better.
I found out what would be necessary for creating an actually useful website for the shul.
I helped my father protect his outdoor exercise area from the rain.
The shul website was not something I'd planned on working on, but my father brought it up and I had previously volunteered to take care of it.
|Notes:||There was some web browsing, despite panic mode. Not a lot of browsing, but some.|
|Performance review:||It's a fine day, with two problems. First, the web stuff. Obviously. I'd like for the Programmer to look into ways to restrict that based on character. Secondly, there's a messiness to how the schedule was followed. More precision is expected - today was supposed to be perfect.|
|First activity:||My Improvised Sonata||0:16|
|Piano is not a good fit for me. I just don't have the head to think of two hands at once. I've been ignoring that fact since forever, but it's the truth. When I was younger I only played octaves in the left hand. Then I only did simple arpeggios, and now I'm mostly back to octaves. I've composed things with more complicated harmonies, and even a bit of counterpoint in Variations on V.O.V., but it always takes me effort to play those pieces. I certainly never manage to do anything like that in my improvisation; when I try to, I lose control of the music entirely and my fingers are just flailing around. And in case you think I'm the sort of musical genius whose every muscle spasm leads to things which sound nice: no, I am not such a person. As soon as I start trying to think about two things at once, I fail as a musician on the most basic levels. Back when I improvised duets, I often would limit myself to one hand. I felt like an amateur for doing it, but it was better than the alternative. I am not capable of multitasking. I have one thought at any given time. Either that thought is a pattern, or it's a tune. Never both. So I really should have been playing violin all this time.
My new composition, which inches forward slowly, should be for violin. I stumbled onto the music of Vanessa Mae, a violinist who does techno, and while I don't like her style (It doesn't aim very high.), I do think that the intensity she gets from a violin is precisely what I have in mind from my piece. I expect I will only be able to play a violin well enough to play my composition after maybe five years of practice, but even if I don't play I can still write it out as a violin solo.
|Notes:||This was supposed to be an Explorer day, but he didn't feel up to it so the Musician stepped in. Part of the "music" was playing the rhythm game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!.|
|Performance review:||There are some technical problems here: web browsing, the lack of an opening statement, a general lack of motivation and inspiration. And they all come from a failure to be in the spirit of the Musician. This closing statement is something I might have written. I'd much rather hear specifics about music you've been composing, rather than vague plans for the future. For instance, if you'd like to write for violin, write out the sheet music! Don't just talk about it.|
|First activity:||Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!||2:30|
|Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!, Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Uncharted 2, Horizon Riders.|
|Time allocation:||Inazuma Eleven||3:22|
|Uncharted 2: Among Thieves||3:21|
|Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!||2:30|
|Inazuma Eleven is a fun soccer RPG. It differs from usual Japanese RPGs in that the conflicts actually involve some strategy. If you don't plan out your team, adding in appropriate players when you find weaknesses, and if you don't plan out the moment-to-moment plays between multiple characters, you simply don't win. You might get through a few random encounters, but when there's a story-based match you'll be hopelessly outmaneuvered. Not being very familiar with soccer, it took me four tries to get through the last match I played. I had to earn my victory. On the other hand, there may be too much strategy. There are way too many players to keep track of, each of those players has not just unique stats but also unique special moves, and then on top of that there's a rock-paper-scissors system like Fire Emblem! It's too much, and I'm starting to wonder if maybe the developers should have stuck to something more streamlined than soccer - hopscotch, maybe. What makes all this noise at all playable is the ability to freeze the real-time strategy at any point, take your time to tell all your players what they're doing next, and then resume. That's a brilliant mechanic.
I finished Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! on the Normal difficulty, and I'm very much looking forward to replaying all the songs on Hard and (eventually) Insane. It's a rhythm game with a demented sense of style, where you play as a bunch of... I'm not sure what to call them... maybe male cheerleaders?... but really agressive and masculine, like fighters almost. So you cheer for some random person in a Japanese-weird situation, like a guy fighting a giant mouse, or a horse chasing after a thief on the race track, or some nonsense like that, and if you play well they do better. I actually wish the style of it were less intrusive to the gameplay. Because really what this is is a fantastic rhythm game. It's all on the touch screen, tapping and sliding and (very occasionally) spinning. Mainly just tapping and sliding, but the levels are well-designed for the music and it really gives a workout to your sense of rhythm. The story segments just get in the way: each time you start the level you need to first wait for the story to play out (No way to skip it, because it goes with the music.), and then in between each section of the song there's another long story break. It gets really tedious. It would be nice if the story were just in the background like a WarioWare minigame, instead of in your face all the time. I'm sure I'd enjoy the stories more if I could read Japanese. But it would still be overdone.
I should never have downloaded Horizon Riders. I was excited to play something that finally used the Wii's Balance Board, because I am so sick of Nintendo inventing peripherals and then never using them. But it's just a generic and boring rail shooter, and the Balance Board control isn't even well-implemented. Sigh.
|Performance review:||A game was finished, a section passed in other games. I'd say it's a solid 9.|
|First activity (Tue.):||Editing Fear Itself||1:15|
|First activity (Wed.):||Gamer Mom||2:17|
|I'll keep working on comics until 19:00.|
19:00 - Figure out how to use the printer, and then fill in and scan the paperwork from work.
19:45 - Games night
0:30 - Do the "homework" for the Tenth Man
2:00 - Work on the conference room.
3:00 - sleep.
12:10 - Gamer Mom
14:30 - TV
16:00 - score.
I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
|Time allocation:||Games night||4:40|
|The Tenth Man||1:33|
|The conference room||0:35|
|Connecting to the printer||0:13|
|I organized some comics, and made some tricky edits to specific pages.
I reached node 117 of Gamer Mom. I wrote a short journal for my The Tenth Man character.
I started adding in the images to the conference room program.
The printer turned out to not be a problem; evidently the difficulties I'd previously had were with the other printer. After printing out the paperwork for the data entry job, I concluded that I did not understand what it said. So rather than scanning it in, I'll wait until whenever they need me next, and sign it when someone can clarify where I'm supposed to sign.
|Performance review:||Wow, you really weren't kidding when you said you could run our life all by yourself. There's a lot going on here, and if it were up to me I'd certainly give you another day as soon as possible. (Right away, even.) But the Explorer has decided to go on next, and you'll just have to speak up at the next opportunity you have. You're not always going to get all the time you need, so make the most of what you've got.|
|Yay! Panic mode is over!|
|Notes:||09-10 November was the Explorer, and it wasn't particularly engaging. Games, a rehearsal, some piano. He threw out the blog post he was working on, and made some minor progress on the comics editing. And then no scoring, under the misapprehension that the day was going to continue after Shabbat. I think we can safely say that had we estimated the score, we would have found it to be a 5/10. So the three days after that are going to each be counted as separate, 0/10 days. Yes, I know that means "panic mode" for the rest of the month. I'm sorry, did you think you could waste three fucking days on TV shows and not have to pay for it?|
|First activity (Tue.):||The Tenth Man||1:16|
|First activity (Wed.):||The Tenth Man||0:48|
|My character in the play, Arthur Brooks, is how I might have turned out had I lived in the first half of the twentieth century in America. Rebellion wasn't really an option, so you just follow the silly little path you're given and hope it leads somewhere good. In Arthur's case, it certainly didn't. And yet he's kept going, getting a job and getting married and having kids and eventually realizing that he has absolutely nothing in life and would like to end it. I thought, joining this play, that I'd get something more naturalistic to tackle, but actually Arthur's attitudes are as staged as any other character I've played. He's trying to keep up appearances, just because his little sarcastic attitude is all he's got that he actually values.|
|Time allocation:||The Tenth Man||17:23|
|Deirdra Kiai's new game, "The Play"||1:20|
|This is a good time for me to be playing this character, given how shitty I feel all the time lately. I go to each rehearsal not expecting much, and then however it goes I come back not feeling like much has happened. I am Arthur Brooks, as pathetic a thought as that is. And over the course of this show, somehow I've got to transform from a person who is bored and apathetic, and will not impress anyone in the audience, into a person with a rosy future filled with love and craziness, through a rough few hours of fighting against what I need. The middle part includes some brilliant monologues, so biting a critique of society that the audience may bleed just listening to them. I am not worthy to be carrying this play's core dramatic arc, am I?|
|Notes:||I figured since Deirdra Kiai's new game was about a play, that I could pass it off as a related activity. But it doesn't really count. I browsed the web and read comics, despite the whole "panic mode" thing.|
|Performance review:||The programmer would use this as yet more ammunition against the idea of tracking monthly averages. But really, the demands are not unreasonable. "Stay in character." That's all it is. If you really think there's nothing in the world that matters as much as this play, which shold have been your attitude today, then what the hell are you doing reading comics and browsing the web? Work on the play, or if you can't do that then go to sleep early. Yes, early. It won't kill you. If we can't keep our motivations under control, then this entire multiple-personality system is a sham and should be ended. More thinking is needed.|
|First activity:||The blog||2:52|
|I set out clear goals for everyone, and we burned out. So I set less clear goals for everyone, and everyone ignored them. So I said to heck with it, you guys write your own goals, and I'm finding that you can't rely on volunteers to be motivated. I guess it's similar to the story with Gamer Mom, where I need to keep waiting for Kyler to draw the images because he has things in his life that he actually considers important. (I kept telling him he should reuse images wherever possible, to avoid this sort of situation, but he's a perfectionist and wants to do the job right.) If you just let people take as long as they need, they wait until the last minute. So I need to set the plan myself, and get them to actually care about it. I'm hoping having daily meetings between us will help, but honestly I'm starting to think that I have very little real power in this group.|
|Watching a debate about God||2:30|
|Chatting with Deirdra||1:08|
|Dungeons & Dragons||0:08|
|I'm living on the wrong side of the world. Why am I here, exactly? The acting? As nice as it is, I can live without it. The occasional job? I'm sure there's data entry work everywhere, and if not there are other jobs. The religious stuff? I don't actually care much about that. Ditto for family. I hate the weather here, I can't have a decent conversation with most people I meet because of the language barrier, no one here plays games so I feel like I'm on a totally different planet from everyone, it's so hard to get games in general... I'd miss Jerusalem, but really that's it. Basically the only thing holding me here is that I don't know how to leave. How does a person who is totally incompatible with the real world cut his ties to the people by whose unwarranted generosity he survives in the real world? It's a rhetorical question, don't answer that. I'm not even entirely sure I need to live among Jews - as I said, that doesn't actually matter to me at all. I ask myself why I'm even holding on to religion, and the only answer I have is that I dislike change. Sure, I believe in God. But there are a half dozen other things I believe in that aren't compatible with Judaism. I believe in my blog. I believe in the possibility of artificial intelligence -which is to say, no free will. I believe in a fundamental equivalence of genders. I believe in nonconformity as a virtue in and of itself. Judaism is weird, and I like that, but it actually works better if I'm not in an entire country of Jewish people. It can be one more thing that sets me apart from everyone else. It's not like I've ever actually gotten anything out of the whole "united nation" thing except a few more Kosher meals. I don't feel connected to the people here, I feel isolated and lonely. Let Judaism be a little gimmick in a different land, rather than just the status quo in this one.
The only thing this place has going for it is I might find a weird Jewish girl here. But it's been a decade since puberty and I have yet to meet any person -girl or otherwise- who I consider "dating material". It's time to cut my losses and leave. How do I do that?
|Performance review:||It's a new thought, and it very much came out of the way this day played out. Unless someone would like to reduce the score, I think this was a success.|
|Notes:||No records today. There was a Dungeons & Dragons game, and then I watched all the rest of Slings and Arrows.|
|Notes:||Again, nothing of value done or recorded.|
|First activity (Sun.):||Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan||4:18|
|First activity (Mon.):||Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan||1:52|
|Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!, Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance|
|Time allocation:||Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan||6:10|
|The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks||3:37|
|Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan's final level in Hard mode is way too finicky for a game with no practice mode. The rhythm I get. It's not complicated. The hard part is always hitting the touch screen at precisely the right spot at ludicrous speeds using a tiny Nintendo DS stylus that keeps slipping out of my fingers. I find that in order to have anything approaching the kind of precision the level demands is to hold the stylus down at the bottom, with my face right up to the screen so that I can more easily perceive the tiny nuances of distance that the game will make me restart the level if I don't get just right. And restarting the level is a real pain - once I waited fifty seconds for the whole opening video to play out, just to lose within five seconds and have to start the waiting over again. If you're going to keep trying to throw me off, you need to give me a chance to practice before throwing me in. Otherwise, it's not difficulty, it's just frustration. I reached a totally new pattern three minutes in, and in the two seconds it took me to figure out what they wanted of me it told me I had lost and needed to start over. That is simply bad design, I'm sorry. It crosses the boundary from a challenge to stylus-throwing frustration.
Zelda, on the other hand, well, it's modern-day Zelda. They don't expect me to be able to do anything by myself, instead telling me where to go and then reminding me of where I'm supposed to be going. And then when I get there, it's not generally that interesting. Zelda has gotten stale and bloated, and I say this despite Spirit Tracks being much better than Twilight Princess was. Eiji Aonuma's just running the series into the ground with his smothering control of the player's experience.
|Performance review:||One point comes off for browsing the web. Plenty of progress, though.|
|Notes:||More unrecorded days. I worked on Dungeon Master and The Tenth Man, but mainly I just watched a lot of TV (Flight of the Conchords, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes) and read/organized a lot of comics. My god, I'm far behind on organizing comics. I guess I'll need to lighten up the restrictions in that area. I'm going to need to lighten up the restrictions in general, because this depression is getting ridiculous.|
|Performance review:||I'm going to count this as three zero-pointers.|
|First activity (Thu.):||Comics||3:26|
|First activity (Fri.):||Gamer Mom||0:26|
|To heck with the rules. They've led me down into this gutter, and need to be reworked. In the meantime, I know what I need to do. First, I'll burn three comics discs. Then I'll finish that blog post, because the Explorer already threw out a blog post this month and I don't want to lose another one. And finally, I'll work on Gamer Mom as I told Kyler I would a few days ago. Today will be a good day, and I'll figure out the rest later.|
|That was really fun. I needed that.|
|Notes:||I organized a lot of comics, burning two discs and nearly completing a third. I wrote a new blog post. I moved forward with the programming and "acting" for Gamer Mom.|
|Performance review:||There should be more room for comics in the character rules. (I have an idea of how to do that without messing anything up.) I do think it's a worthwhile activity, when it's a hobby rather than an addiction. I'll admit, the line between the two is blurry. TV I'm less thrilled about. It seems like unless it's a really brilliant show, we're not getting all that much of it. I think a few years from now, we'll never be watching more than two hours of TV per week. Sure, there's good stuff out there. But it just doesn't fit into an overstuffed life.
But this is all beside the main point, which is that today we regressed to the kind of days we had at the beginning of the year, before the Rules. I think that's fine as a temporary way to catch our breath, but I hope we get back to the characters next.
|First activity:||Hanging out (sort of) with people who stayed by us for Shabbat|
|I feel a little bit better. I'm ready to get back to business tomorrow.|
|Performance review:||I don't care for this day much. If the goal was socializing, then it should have been the Person and there were other opportunities you didn't take advantage of. TV was unnecessary, and I really don't like that Gamer Mom is at the bottom of the list. We need to get our act together, already.|
|First activity:||Setting up an e-mail address for Dena||0:11|
|15:10 - Gamer Mom|
2:00 - Score.
I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
|Time allocation:||The Tenth Man||5:45|
|Setting up an e-mail address for Dena||0:11|
|I had a decent rehearsal of the play.
I programmed/designed one more node in Gamer Mom, and selected repeat image files for all nodes which I could do so with, up to node 127.
|Notes:||Kyler wrote a comment on the blog, which meant that control went to the Person, who decided the comment should be "framed" properly.
On the short walk to the rehearsal, I apparently passed something I'm allergic to. This has happened just a handful of times in my life, always while walking outside. Generally I get little itchy bumps over all my skin, which go away after a few hours. This time the reaction was so severe that all my skin was red and swollen (I needed to loosen my watch, because it was starting to cut off blood circulation.), and as the time came for the rehearsal to begin I found myself feeling so ill that I was struggling to move. After lying down for twenty minutes or so, I felt stable enough to start rehearsing shakily, and by the time the rehearsal ended three hours later I was almost perfectly back to normal.
|Performance review:||It is right and proper that the Person replaced you. That doesn't excuse the re-entry, with TV and web browsing. The underlying problem is an irrational order. The new program is the least of a known quantity, and that means it requires the most energy.|
|Notes:||Yet another day going against the rules. In addition to the usual vices of piano and TV, many hours were spent organizing and editing the Fear Itself comics crossover. I'd say I've finished almost half of it. (It will probably be two full CDs.)|