Average score:

The Worker's month

There's a ridiculous amount of things to do this month: Gamer Mom, The Importance of Being Earnest, the Megillah reading, The Tenth Man, the shul website, blogging, Dungeon Master, social obligations... This looks like a job for Worker man!

...okay, fine. I'll stay away from creative working. But one thing which I excel at is getting things done. This month, things get done.
First activity (Thu.): Telling Sariel that I won't have time to take D&D as seriously from now on 0:04
First activity (Fri.): E-mail 0:02
At last, what I have waited for. I'm not good enough, but this month is going to be perfect.

23:15 - Gamer Mom
3:00 - bed.
11:00 - wake up.
11:30 (after getting ready properly) - Gamer Mom.
14:00 - lunch, followed by chores
14:35 - The Tenth Man
15:50 - Megillah
17:00 on the dot - score.
Time allocation: Gamer Mom 4:07
Mundane activities 2:29
Practicing the megillah 0:53
The Tenth Man 0:51
I reached node 417 of Gamer Mom.
I ran through the megillah, fixing the very few mistakes.
I worked out what I want to be doing for the first half of The Tenth Man.
Performance review:
The month begins with some solid productivity.
First activity: Eating dinner 0:13
Dungeons & Dragons, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Sly Cooper.
Time allocation: Dungeons & Dragons 3:53
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus 2:38
Mundane activities 0:26
That was an interesting session of our role-playing game. Not sure if it was any good, but interesting. A dozen new baffling questions have popped up, and I am unconvinced that Sariel knows where he's going with all of it. It seems like the story is going in so many directions that it will be very hard to even get all the players on the same page to move forward. I am also learning that I should not let the other player characters out of my sight, because they'll get into all sorts of trouble and I won't be able to help them. Or I'll get into situations that I need them for, and they won't be there. This group splits up way too often, for no particular reason, and it never goes well.

I was going to play Zelda, but I decided to spend the rest of the day on the first Sly Cooper. I have finished the game, in a manner of speaking, but there are still 11 "sprints" left to beat. A sprint is a speed run of a particular level, much as I have played in the Super Mario Galaxy games. But here it is more difficult, and having to beat a level within a time limit becomes a truly hardcore gaming experience. There was one level which just seemed too long to possibly do in the time I was given, so I checked a walkthrough and found out about the shortcut I expected to find (but could not find however hard I looked). Unfortunately, it seems that this "shortcut" was unintended by the game's creators, and it seems to have been prevented in the PS3 rerelease that I am playing. So I watched YouTube and found that there's no trick to beating the level; you just need to be really fast. I had thought it was impossible because I kept tripping the alarms and I didn't realize that once the alarms are set off, the countdown timer speeds up. But once I knew to avoid the alarms, I was able to play over and over and over until I got it right. There's another level where I've known the shortcut ever since I first played through the level, but I gave up on the sprint then because I couldn't figure out how to get past a trap at the end that you need to go through the level in order to have the tool to get through. I tried all the tricks I've picked up since that level, like turning invisible (Doesn't help- they see you if you're invisible.) and throwing mines to blow them up (Doesn't work- they're too far away.), and finally I just turned to a walkthrough. The solution was something I would never have considered, because it was too damned awkward. When you start a sprint, it immediately takes away all your continues, so that you'll need to play through the level in one try. But even during a sprint, getting 100 coins gets you a continue. So you need to collect almost 100 coins before starting the sprint, get a continue, and actually get hit at the trap at the end but be able to keep going. There is no way around the trap.
Performance review:
A reasonable amount of progress in both games. Let's call it 800 EXP.
First activity: An early lunch, so that I could leave early 0:19
14:00 - Gamer Mom
15:10 - Start getting ready to go.
16:00 - Go to Jerusalem for 18:00 rehearsal (I expect it will take longer than usual to get there, due to the weather)
0:00 - TV
2:00 - score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: Mundane activities 6:08
Going to the Importance of Being Earnest rehearsal 2:57
TV 1:57
Gamer Mom 1:02
I reached node 422 of Gamer Mom.
I attended what was in reality not a rehearsal (though it had been explained to me as such) but just a callback for other actors.
Notes: At the callback, I had a lot of fun playing not just Jack but also Cecily (since they didn't have enough people there for the actors to play against). Too much fun, in retrospect - I upstaged the actress who was trying out for Prism. I should have let someone else play Cecily. Oh, who am I kidding - I was having too much fun. Once the director asked if I'd mind doing Cecily for a minute, there was no way I'd give that up. Because it was a callback and not a first rehearsal, it did not take much of my time and probably was not worth the time and money that I spent to get there. Since I was already in the area and the next item on my schedule was at midnight, I stopped by Yardena's house and talked with her for a while.
Performance review:
This is not you. I see bits of the Explorer here, bits of the Person, even bits of the Thinker, but not much Worker. Gamer Mom was supposed to be your first priority, not the "rehearsal". One hour of work is inadequate.
First activity: Piano 0:35
Time allocation: The Importance of Being Earnest 4:50
Mundane activities 3:53
Watching "Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series" 1:25
Gamer Mom 1:06
Talking with Harel 0:40
Finding a suitable domain name for Gamer Mom 0:40
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 0:40
Writing something D&D-related 0:15
Wow, that was a packed day. The first Importance of Being Earnest rehearsal was lots of fun - we went over a scene that Sura said to think of like a tango, with Lianne and I continually moving toward each other and away from each other. So the four of us -Sura, Lianne, myself and Yardena- went through the script line by line figuring out the movement as though it were a dance, and then Lianne and I ran through it and it more or less worked. It was a fantastic creative experience - we were all throwing in ideas for both characters, united in trying to find the best way to play the scene.
Performance review:
Nice energy, and I appreciate that you worked on Gamer Mom.
First activity: E-mail 0:03
This schedule will need to be revised, because I'm not clear on when Kyler will be able to work. But as a starting point:

12:45 - Megillah practice
13:10 - Lunch
13:30 - The Importance of Being Earnest
14:30 - Gamer Mom
17:00 - Dinner
17:30 - The Tenth Man rehearsal
When I get back - Gamer Mom
0:30 - TV
2:00 - score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: The Tenth Man 4:56
Gamer Mom 2:51
TV 2:07
Mundane activities 2:01
The Importance of Being Earnest 0:52
Megillah practice 0:29
I attended a rehearsal for The Tenth Man, in which I tried out my revised performance of Arthur Brooks.
I reached node 439 of Gamer Mom.
I started learning my lines for the first half of the first act of The Importance of Being Earnest.
I fixed a few mistakes in my Megillah reading.
Notes: At the rehearsal, I started an argument that derailed the rehearsal and did no good at all. I should have acted more professional. There was some TV watched outside of the time allocated in the schedule.
Performance review:
A very ambitious plan, with a capable execution. There are a lot of balls in the air right now, and you're keeping them up there.
First activity: Writing an e-mail about The Tenth Man 2:07
We've thrown out our performance for The Tenth Man, because it didn't work and this is an opportunity to do better. But we don't really have the time to work on it properly, and there aren't many rehearsals.
Time allocation: Mundane activities 1:59
Megillah 1:56
Gamer Mom 1:50
Comics 1:38
Reading 1:35
A The Tenth Man-related e-mail 0:18
Talking with Harel 0:13
Notes: I read the Megillah, worked with Kyler, reread the last few blog posts, and assorted other things.
Performance review:
Utterly incoherent.
First activity: Fixing a mistake in Gamer Mom's code 0:07
16:00 - Gamer Mom
21:00 - The Tenth Man
23:00 - The Importance of Being Earnest
0:00 - comics
1:00 - TV

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: TV 7:47
Mundane activities 2:49
Gamer Mom 1:15
I did a few nodes of Gamer Mom.
Notes: This followed three legally unrecorded days, in which we celebrated Purim (and read the Megillah), and stayed at Yardena's apartment in Jerusalem for the entire weekend together with Harel and Rachel.
Performance review:
We'll talk about this in the Dialogues.
First activity (Mon.): Thinking about my characters 0:19
First activity (Tue.): The blog 1:12
Time allocation: Watching a production of West Side Story in Jerusalem 5:11
Mundane activities 3:16
TV 2:06
Reading 1:53
The blog 1:52
Trying out different ideas for helping the Worker 1:17
Trying and failing to continue a piece of music in my head 0:20
A pleasant conversation about the definition of "reality" 0:12
There should be no differentiation between experiences in the "real world" and experiences elsewhere. The only thing that separates a "real" activity from an "unreal" activity in my mind is social acceptance, whose distribution is arbitrary and inconsistent. There must, however, be a recognition of different sorts of activities, and a continual effort to provide each such activity with an appropriate kind of energy. The transition between a primarily social day and a primarily productive day, for instance, as we had just now, is not a simple thing.
Performance review:
Not especially coherent, and what is TV doing there?
First activity (Tue.): Working on Gamer Mom with Kyler 1:32
First activity (Wed.): Watching TV 0:55
When I get back from game night - The Importance of Being Earnest
0:30 - conversation for the blog
2:00 - go to sleep
11:15 - Gamer Mom
15:50 - The Tenth Man
16:20 - the blog post
17:10 - get ready to go
17:30 - The Importance of Being Earnest rehearsal
When I get back - comics
2:00 -Score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: The Importance of Being Earnest 6:13
Hanging out with Harel 4:26
Game night 3:33
Mundane activities 2:47
The blog 1:08
E-mail 0:38
Gamer Mom 0:28
Reading a comic 0:14
My life has become ridiculously social. First I was writing to Shoshana, then I went to Jerusalem (briefly saying hi to Aviella on the way) for a rehearsal with the friendliest cast I've had the pleasure to work with. I came home, talking with Artie (who I know from The Matchmaker) the whole time, and I went straight to the Feldmans to hang out until I had to go to sleep. It's hard to believe I thought I was antisocial just a few years ago. But Harel and Rachel and I were talking about how really, you only seem antisocial when you're expected to interact with incompatible people. I know so many people I like, it's fantastic. I could get used to having a social life.
Notes: The day was started by the Worker, who consented to the Person's taking over.
Performance review:
The only social opportunity missed was that I could have given Yardena a comics disc.
First activity: The Importance of Being Earnest 0:22
14:10 - The blog
17:10 - Gamer Mom
23:30 - The Tenth Man
0:00 - Comics
2:00 - score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: Gamer Mom 4:51
The blog 3:45
Comics 1:57
Mundane activities 1:57
The Tenth Man 0:30
I practiced bits of both plays I'm in.
I ported the code for the "knot" of Gamer Mom from BASIC (see 21 September 2010) to Javascript (and adapted it to fit the game), and filled in the mother images for a majority of those 33 nodes.
I posted the first of The Dialogues, and created the post to contain them.
Notes: There are flaws in the Gamer Mom script that will need to be corrected. "Mundane activities" include some episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged.
Performance review:
I like your drive. Not everything today was easy, and you pushed through it.
First activity (Fri.): Finishing off the mother images up to Gamer Mom's node 483 0:34
First activity (Sun.): Writing nodes 501-504 into the script 0:20
This game is so complex that I do not easily understand the logic of what I wrote in the script. This makes it very easy for me to make mistakes. I said there were 559 nodes - that is not quite accurate. Some of the nodes I counted were doubles, some nodes I missed, and then there are a handful of nodes that I did not write into the script, simply because I missed those loose ends. I have it written down that there was supposed to be an ending with a button called "Stop acting crazy.", but that button and its associated ending is not in the script. So I'm not sure what the actual number of nodes is. I've been changing certain things in the script so that the characters would move around less, since Kyler has been drawing them sitting in place and if they move around that means more images that Kyler needs to draw. The edits I've made to fit the art did involve a few extra nodes, though I can never bring myself to take out nodes.
Time allocation: Lettering 1:23
Deciding which images to reuse where 1:16
Designing buttons 0:48
Untangling the logic of the Knot 0:45
Mundane activities 0:31
Whew! The most complex part of Gamer Mom, complete. (Not counting the handful of images I still need for Kyler to draw.) This is really satisfying work: challenging, not too repetitive, and all for a good cause.
Notes: Saturday night was a D&D game, which had been scheduled in advance.
Performance review:
Interesting: this Addict seems to be more interested in the details of the work, and not the vision of the final product. Given that he was called not by myself but by the Worker, this makes sense. And it certainly fits in the month.
First activity: Putting together the next disc of my Marvel Comics collection 1:06
I really want to not alienate Shoshana, who seems to be one of the coolest people I've ever met. But every time I tell her that I want to hear her talk, it backfires. I was perfectly direct, and it turned her off. I tried to reduce the pressure, and she acted like she barely noticed my existence. I tried explaining that I am actually genuinely interested in the things she wants to talk about, and I think she may have taken it as an insult. I can't say or do anything right with her.
Time allocation: The Importance of Being Earnest 4:22
Hanging out with Yardena 2:36
The movie "The Philadelphia Story" 2:14
Mundane activities 2:09
I think my friendship with Yardena is going to last a long time. I am certainly going to try to make sure that is the case, because I always enjoy her company.
Performance review:
I don't think there were any opportunities missed at all.
First activity: Piano 1:26
Time allocation: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 3:22
Mundane activities 2:55
Watching TV 2:11
"Living in Hyrule" 2:09
Watching the movie "The Adventures of Tintin" 1:43
Starting an argument with my other personalities 0:36
Webcomics 0:07
The second dungeon of Skyward Sword isn't nearly as good as the first one. For that matter, the entire second section of the game is much more linear and tedious than the first section. I was amused to find a somewhat broken version of Minesweeper off at the side. I lost a lot of Rupees to that game.

Tintin was decently fun, though I was hoping for more from a script that both Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright worked on. I'm not at all familiar with the source material, but I wouldn't particularly want to see any more from this universe (despite the inconclusive ending which is clearly hoping for a sequel). What did impress me very much was the cinematography, and I wish I had seen it in 3D because it must have been magnificent. The animation itself is nothing special, motion capture having less charm than almost any other kind of animation and also not being as convincing as live action. But the cinematography is endlessly creative and exciting, and it made an unimpressive plot feel fresh. The editing was also exceptionally good.
Notes: This was supposed to be the Worker's day, but the Explorer jumped in with an hour of piano and the Thinker did not trust the Worker to run the day after that.
Performance review:
I wish the Worker or even the Programmer had done the first activity, rather than the Explorer. I think either one would have delivered a more suitable day for this month.
Notes: This is the last day that will be derailed from me thinking about Shoshana. I wrote a very long letter saying how her lack of honesty and forthrightness had been hurting me because it left me in situations where I could only guess where I stood with her. It was a very long letter, and she wrote back that I was pissing her off and I thanked her for finally being straight with me. And now I'm perfectly happy and ready to move on with my life, while avoiding talking to Shoshana ever again. I have no place in my life for a person who won't let me ever understand her. And even trying to talk to her casually would bring the infatuation right back, and I don't want to derail my life again. So I'm in a healthier place now, but the fact remains that I lost two days due to thinking about and then writing this letter. On the other hand, I did work with Coren on Dungeon Master for two and a half hours.
First activity: Fixing a shell script 0:06
Time to get back on track with some really intensive work.

13:20 - Gamer Mom
19:50 - Living In Hyrule
0:00 - The Importance of Being Earnest
1:00 - score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: Gamer Mom 5:24
"Living in Hyrule" 3:29
Mundane activities 1:52
The Importance of Being Earnest 1:25
I reached node 512 of Gamer Mom.
I continued the chapter of my book "Living in Hyrule" that covers the Inside The Deku Tree dungeon.
I went over the first half of the first act of The Importance of Being Earnest.
Performance review:
Pretty darn good.
First activity: Getting some information for Dena 0:07
I'll start with my chores, followed by lunch. (Get it all out of the way.)
13:15 - Gamer Mom
15:15 - Living In Hyrule
16:20 - TV
17:20 - Score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: Gamer Mom 2:07
"Living in Hyrule" 1:00
TV 0:50
Mundane activities 0:43
I reached node 526 of Gamer Mom, meaning that I'm now back on schedule to code the last node by the end of the month.
I continued writing my book.
Performance review:
Short but very productive. Keep it up.
Skyward Sword, Sly Cooper (sprints), Living in Hyrule
Time allocation: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 3:55
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus 3:35
Mundane activities 0:10
Skyward Sword is so bloated. Every area is way too big, without enough gameplay density to justify the size. So many ridiculous kinds of gameplay are forced, rather than letting the player pick and choose what he's interested in. And the storytelling is awful, even moreso than usual. With Spirit Tracks they figured out what makes Zelda work. Why are they reverting to their old problems?
Performance review:
A lot of progress, given how short the day was.
Notes: The Musician did not take any notes. However, there was much music: an extra verse added to the song "Tomorrow", some old musical ideas dusted off, some Brahms, and an attempt to watch Wagner's Tristan und Isolde that was abandoned an hour in.
Performance review:
Because you didn't keep times, I really should count this as a zero. Still, there's no denying you were acting in character. With proper notes, this would have been a very high-scoring day.
First activity: An early lunch ?
14:00 - Clean the house.
(15:45 - If I finish some part of the cleaning after this point, don't start a new one but move on to the next activity.)
No later than 16:00 - Gamer Mom
17:00 - Dinner
17:15 - rehearsal
22:45 - Gamer Mom
0:00 - Living in Hyrule
0:30 - Watch "Mad Men"
2:00 - score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: The Importance of Being Earnest 5:33
Cleaning the house 1:49
TV 1:48
Mundane activities 1:31
Gamer Mom 1:13
Chatting with Harel and Kyler 1:00
I attended a rehearsal in which we worked on several scenes.
I helped out with the annual house-cleaning.
I reached node 531 of Gamer Mom.

After the rehearsal, I did not have the energy to continue the day. The Person took over and had some conversations, and then I watched the new episode of Mad Men and went to bed.
Performance review:
From now on, I'll have to point out when plans are overly ambitious. I'll try to pay more attention to that. But up to and including the rehearsal, your performance as the Worker was flawless.
First activity: Settling in on Yardena's computer 0:18
I think different places have different energies that you tap into by working there.
Time allocation: The Importance of Being Earnest 5:12
Gamer Mom 2:48
Watching the movie Hugo 2:11
Reading comics 2:00
Mundane activities 1:14
The Tenth Man 0:35
A little bit of outdoor exploration 0:21
Getting pizza for lunch 0:21
Blog ideas 0:08
Yardena let me use her computer while she was out working. It was fun. I came up with a nice little working environment for Gamer Mom, taking advantage of the fact that her widescreen is huge compared to what I'm used to. The movie Hugo was on my to-do list, and Yardena had it so I watched it. It's such a lovely movie. I do wish I had seen it in 3D, but it's still lovely in 2D. When it was almost time for the rehearsal I set out to find a shortcut to our usual rehearsal space. The path I found is most likely not the shortest, but it's a charming walk and I'll try to remember it when I'm going in the opposite direction. I got there a bit early, so I stopped off at the mall across the street where there happened to be a kids' dancing competition going on. Very cute. I enjoyed a croissant as I watched. Then I waited around inside the building until I was reminded that the rehearsal was not there; in fact, it was in the opposite direction from Yardena's house. (I had completely forgotten!) I got there a half hour later than I should have, but everyone else was almost as late (having trouble finding the place) so I was fine.
Performance review:
Very much in character.
Notes: I accidentally erased yesterday's performance review when I uploaded this one. (The perils of using two computers.) I will try to retrieve the file next time I'm on Yardena's computer, but if I can't I still have the notes in my notepad including the opening and closing statements, so I'll recreate it if necessary.
First activity: Lunch 0:12
15:20 - Clean the house
16:10 - Living In Hyrule
21:30 - Gamer Mom
22:30 - TV
1:35 (or 2:35, counting the time change) - score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: "Living in Hyrule" 5:41
Mundane activities 2:38
TV 2:12
Cleaning 0:46
Piano 0:43
I finished the chapter of "Living In Hyrule" that I was writing, making 7 completed tasks out of the 12 things I needed to do this month.
Performance review:
At least you finished the post.
Notes: Nothing but TV.