Average score:

A softer touch

There's a lot to do this month. We need to work seriously on the play, move forward significantly with Gamer Mom, build a conference room program to communicate regularly between us personalities as well as a blog post to house any interesting discussions, and get started on producing music we can sell. None of that will happen if I keep treating you guys like I've been treating you. I can't keep pushing you down and expecting that you'll still be interested in helping, and I also can't just leave you on your own and provide criticisms without constructive advice. We've voted to keep the multiple personality system going, and I aim to prove that that was the right call.
First activity (Tue.): The Tenth Man 2:38
First activity (Sat.): Gamer Mom 0:58
17:30 - The Tenth Man
23:30 - Gamer Mom
00:30 - Write up the notes for "Fugue State"
02:00 - Score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: The Tenth Man 8:52
Mundane activities 4:36
TV 1:11
Gamer Mom 0:58
Comics 0:16
I memorized two scenes from the play, then went to a rehearsal for those two scenes and performed adequately.
I programmed four nodes of Gamer Mom.

When I came home, I was completely exhausted from the rehearsal, but I couldn't bring myself to go to sleep. I watched TV, then browsed the web for hours.
Notes: The final monologue is a mess, as is much of the rest of the play. However, there was one little monologue which the directors said was alreay ready for the stage. I did not do any particular preparation for that monologue (beyond what I do for anything else), so I don't know how to take this.
Performance review: Nice recovery, continuing the day after going to sleep. The only thing you didn't get to was the hour and a half of music. There will be plenty of time for that in the rest of the month.
First activity (Wed.): Watching a magician's act on YouTube 0:33
First activity (Thu.): The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 3:42
Who is Arthur Brooks?
Time allocation: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 9:50
The Tenth Man 6:43
Mundane activities 4:32
Watching the movie "Seven Samurai" 3:35
Comics 1:44
Piano 0:39
Watching the aforementioned YouTube video 0:33
Arthur Brooks is simple enough. He has three layers. The first is total, crippling depression. The second is a veneer of professionalism: careful speech, deliberate movements. The third is smugness, just enough to say sarcastically that everything's fine without getting too carried away in the act. Keep the three layers visible for the duration of the play, letting one layer or another slip off for a few moments at a few appropriate points, and we've got ourselves a character. Then there's the second version of him, who's a totally different character. Simple.

I am in love with The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. I expected it to be decent, but it is blowing me away. There's still all the failings of modern Zelda when it comes to storytelling, but the gameplay is surprisingly faithful to the series' roots. It's never necessary to move on to the next part of the story. There's always lots of exploration to be done instead. The train gameplay starts out fun and gets more and more intricate as the game goes on, letting you take passengers and then cargo. (The hunch that I'd get to carry cargo was my main motivation for hours.) When I take a passenger, and they keep complimenting me on my driving, I wish they'd be quiet. What do they take me for?- I'm a professional. Like I'd ignore the rules of the tracks while I'm being paid for a job.

Seven Samurai has curious pacing, in that it is a three-and-a-half hour movie covering an exceedingly simple story and somehow it doesn't drag. I thought there would be some twist or something, but there is none and nothing of the sort is needed. It is the story of one battle. In act one the people who will be fighting are collected. In act two they prepare to fight. And in act three they fight. The focus of the story is the friction between classes: the fighters who are willing to put their lives on the line for the protection of childlike civilians who are scared of them. I would have thought you'd need more than that to tell a story with, but apparently not because it works.
Performance review: I like your enthusiasm. That's not easy to maintain for such a long day, but I do get the sense that from start to finish you were enjoying everything you were doing.
Notes: I did very little in this week: we went to see The Muppets, I had a rehearsal, I put a few hours in for Gamer Mom, and that's it. All the rest is comics, TV and piano. I'd call it a relapse if this weren't the usual state of things by now. It seems like days which are almost coherent are the exception, rather than the rule. And because of that, I'm turning off the computer until Tuesday. (It's Wednesday now.) No piano either. My life needs to be sorted out, immediately, and vague resolutions aren't going to cut it.
First activity (Thu.): The Tenth Man 1:33
First activity (Fri.): Zelda music (uncounted)
First activity (Sat.): The Tenth Man 1:37
First activity (Sun.): Getting contact lenses to stay in my eyes 1:09
Three layers: misery, professionalism, snark. I will apply this principle to every line I have, every movement, every moment. And then the audience will see not a character or an actor, but just a person. That is my goal. It is attainable. It will not be easy.
Time allocation: The Tenth Man 18:37
Mundane activities 17:34
Contact lenses 1:09
E-mail 0:15
Notes: My attention was split between The Tenth Man, which I'm now off-book for, and a new The Legend of Zelda variation ("Kakariko City", I'm calling it). I went over and over the script for the play, making lots of tiny notes and practicing in front of the mirror and everything I needed to do to be ready for the first run-through on Sunday, which was canceled at the last minute because the assistant director decided his family was more important. I wore contact lenses, for the first time in my life, to get used to going through the play without glasses on. It took a while to get them in my eyes.
Performance review: These notes are very messy, and I'm not sure whether these times are accurate or not. But what is clear is that a lot of time and effort was invested on the play, and that we're in a better creative place with it now.
Notes: Yet another uncounted day. And it's a real shame, because there's stuff here that could have made for a good day if used properly. Sure, there's the usual TV and web browsing. But there's also a near-addiction to 1994 Spider-Man comics, a sort of behavior which I think should have a place in our life. Also, I finished the game Ghost Trick, and got farther in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. It wasn't the plan, but it wasn't an unmitigated disaster either. These elements could have been part of a good day, and I blew it.
First activity (Tue.): Game night 4:05
First activity (Wed.): The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 2:02
Spirit Tracks, PataNoir.
Time allocation: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 7:55
Game night 4:05
Mundane activities 1:05
Notes: This day was neither started nor ended properly.
Performance review: It's nice to see you so into this Zelda game, but it's a shame you can't share your thoughts with the rest of us. We have protocol for a reason: if things aren't recorded, they don't count.
Notes: Another day without notes. We need to stop doing this. The story is this. The Gamer didn't end properly because the Zelda game had turned into a new addiction - he would ride around on the train in the game for hours, without making substantial progress on the main quest. So when the time came to score the day, he just kept playing. And when the time came to leave for a rehearsal, the preparations were very hastily done and the game was immediately resumed on the go. When I got to Jerusalem, I realized I'd forgotten my cell phone. And when I got to the rehearsal space, no one showed up. I figured maybe the rehearsal was delayed a little because of the holiday, so I stood around outside for an hour to wait. When no one continued to show up, I went home, where I discovered that I had gotten the date of the rehearsal wrong. The day should have ended there, but I was so angry at myself that I spent hour after hour after hour reading comics.
First activity (Thu.): The conference room 2:31
First activity (Fri.): E-mail 0:10
First activity (Sat.): E-mail 0:40
First activity (Sun.): The conference room 1:23
When people ask me "How's it going?", I don't know what to say. The truth is that my life is supremely messed up. But how can I say this to people who have actual external problems to deal with in their lives? All my problems are internal.

My life is messed up because I am messed up. And there is a solution. I am not strong enough to fix myself free of external forces, and there's no one external to help me reach that goal. So I make my other personalities external. Several times a day, I will simply have conversations with the other versions of myself. A support group of one. The ideas the Thinker has come up with are all good, but for them to work at all in the long term they can't just be ideas. We need to live and breathe these characters, and that means being able to talk to each other.

I should have made this program at the beginning of the month, but there were other things I needed to work on: the game Gamer Mom and the play The Tenth Man. This was a mistake. Nothing is as important in my life right now as getting this program operational as soon as possible. The Thinker's resolutions are useless. Individual characters' self-motivation will only last their days. My life is completely useless without someone to talk to who I don't have to be the Person around. There is one week until the end of the year, the year of this grand experiment of multiple personalities. If we ended the month today, we'd have another vote and we'd all vote to stop pretending. So today is the fulcrum around which my life pivots. The next week needs to be so utterly brilliant that it makes up for an entire year of pointlessness. And that all hinges on today having no distractions from what needs to be done. There is nothing in the world so pressing that it will prevent me from finishing this project.
Time allocation: The conference room 18:32
Mundane activities 8:04
E-mail 0:50
Just talking to myself 1:06
Figuring out how to parse dates in BlitzMax 0:30
I've been having a lot of conversations with myself, thanks to this marvelous new program. And I think I've fallen in love with myself. I mean, I see myself as the messed-up person that I am. I see every one of my failings. I don't believe I've figured life out, or that I am actually even in control of what I'm doing most of the time. But I've been talking with my other personalities, and I really think we have it in us to fix all that. I can be something like a combination therapist/parent/business partner/spouse for myself. No external relationship could ever be as intimate as me talking to myself, externalizing everything that's internal with no filter. I know I'm not supposed to be this in love with myself. But if this is what insanity feels like, I never want to be sane.
Notes: It's damned near complete. Here's what it looks like: screenshot. And it saves HTML transcripts so that I can copy and paste the conversations to the blog, though I'm going to have to think about whether there's a point where revealing thoughts this personal will just repel people. Eh, probably not. I'm sure there will be material for the blog. The day was paused for a The Tenth Man rehearsal, in which I was one of the few who actually knew what they were doing.
Performance review: I love you too.
Tamir came over, and played Flower and Ocarina of Time. It was nice.
Time allocation: Mundane activities 12:02
Hanging out with Tamir 5:33
Game night 3:50
Going to a political protest 3:17
Talking with myselves 2:38
The blog 2:34
Gamer Mom 1:15
TV 1:09
IM chats 0:30
There was a protest about the Kharedis which was a twenty minute walk away from home, and thousands of people came from all over the country. Tamir came over and I really enjoyed his company. Game night was really exciting, and I've got friends over the internet. And I'm supposed to think that being able to talk to myself trumps all of that? Sorry, no. The Worker was supposed to help me not waste time, and instead he went off and wasted time. Fat lot of help he was. And I wanted to put something on the blog, so that my few readers don't all jump ship, but I couldn't figure out how to write it.
Notes: I went to the protest with Harel. He made a sign that said "Sluts are people too!", and I helped him hold it up.
Performance review: I don't want you hanging out with the Worker, okay? You two seem to bring out the worst in each other. I also don't necessarily think it's healthy for you to spend all of your time with us. All day you were acting like this was great, and I kept saying I didn't understand it. Now suddenly in the closing statement the truth comes out. You belong with other people. And it's really nice that you can build relationships with the rest of us, but don't lose sight of who you are. You are a person among other people. Just hanging out with us isn't going to cut it. And I'm sorry that I need to be so harsh, because I really did enjoy our talk earlier. But I see you're hurting in this situation.
First activity (Wed.): Figuring out what to do about the Person 0:43
First activity (Thu.): Reading the newspaper 0:25
We've started the next phase of the game, in which we converse on a regular basis. The Person and I have decided that we're going to extend the December scoring period until we finish the next blog post.
Time allocation: Mundane activities 2:23
The Tenth Man 2:10
Comics 2:07
Reading 1:44
Thinking about Kharedi isolationism 1:39
Figuring out what to do about the Person 0:43
Chatting with my grandfather 0:42
The blog 0:09
It is tempting to think of the conference room as an excuse to never deal with other people. The thinking goes: "Why should I need to interact with other people, when I've got every kind of person I care about right here?". The Person tried to pursue this line of thought for a day, and it got him nowhere. Not everything in life is or should be internal. It is possible to be so entrenched in one's own rear end that no new ideas find their way in. These are still early days for this particular band of selves, but ideas have a habit of growing and twisting around and turning into things they were not intended for. I want to make sure that we all understand: we need the Person, and the Person needs other people. We will get nowhere without support and understanding from other non-fictional human beings. I also wish to emphasize that what makes us different does not make us superior. There are many kinds of life. This is one. Everyone else has another. They need us, without realizing it yet. And we need them, without necessarily recognizing it yet. Our multiple-personality model should be cultivated and built upon, but it will never be a replacement.
Performance review: I'm calling this a six: two points out of four for originality, four points out of six for coherence. (It would be a stretch even by my standards to say that the top two activities have anything to do with the final thought. Everything else fits in, though.)

Person: And I'm going to add a point for your help with the blog post. And, y'know, other things.

Explorer: I'm going to add on another one because I think we're finally getting some decent leadership this week. I like where we're headed.

Musician: I'm taking away a point because I'm bitter.
First activity (Thu.): The Tenth Man 5:55
First activity (Fri.): Reading a comic 0:10
17:30 - Play rehearsal.
23:15 - Gamer Mom.
2:00 - bed
10:30 - wake up.
11:10 - the blog post.
14:30 - lunch
15:00 - chores
15:15 - the conference room
16:00 - score.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be perfect.
Time allocation: The Tenth Man 5:55
Mundane activities 4:03
Gamer Mom 2:16
The blog 1:20
Reading a comic 0:10
I went to a play rehearsal.
I worked with Kyler on Gamer Mom. The first hundred nodes are now in near-final state.
I almost completed the first quarter of the blog post.
Notes: The Thinker didn't think the Worker could handle this schedule. The Worker insisted he could, so the Thinker decided that if the Worker was doing well halfway through the day, he'd get to do the second half of the plan. But after waking up and recommitting himself to the schedule, the Worker did not follow through on the second half of the schedule.
Performance review: Working on Gamer Mom with Kyler worked out so well that I'm thinking we should always try to schedule days of Gamer Mom when we can be working together with Kyler. It's a heck of a lot more efficient than working at different times. And congratulations on a strong rehearsal.
First activity: The blog 0:11
We left off the D&D game with Len leading the group into another dimension, along with one enemy soldier she'd tricked into helping them. Only trouble is, we can't actually speak this guy's language. There was a spell cast on Len which let us understand each other, but it's wearing off. When it fails, what happens?
Time allocation: Dungeons and Dragons 3:56
Mundane activities 0:45
The blog 0:11
Performance review: I don't think there were so many opportunities here, but you did take advantage of the ones you had.
Notes: Nothing was written down for today. We're continuing December, following the precedent of December 2010 where we acted like the next month hadn't started yet because we hadn't finished what we were working on.
First activity: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 6:48
When in doubt, reinvent.
Time allocation: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 8:00
Mundane activities 2:39
Watching the movie "True Grit" 2:01
Blog design 0:52
Piano 0:21
I finished Spirit Tracks. I meant to just start the day with that, and spend the rest of the day on the uberimportant bloggery, but it was so amazing I just wanted to keep going. What I love most about Spirit Tracks is the mundanity it has, when you go looking for it. I have spent so many hours just transporting goods from one place to another, and methodically filling in maps, and trying to upgrade my vehicle. It adds up to create a feeling of real life, though it's a real life which is always rewarding. There's never any question that if part of the map opens up, there's going to be something worth seeing there. Maybe a minigame, maybe a puzzle, maybe an entire mini-dungeon. The level of craftsmanship apparent in sections that most players will never see is simply astounding. Finally, finally they've understood that that's the real meat of the game. Not the silly little plot (which reaches new heights of pointlessness by letting Ganon stay dead while inventing an identical pig-monster to replace him), which is and has always been disconnected from the gamistic intent, but the little bits you find of your own initiative because you were just curious.

I'm thinking about how the self-meeting has to change for the new way of doing things. It should be more of a hub, and less of a common post. There should be little sections and subsections, and an introduction for new readers. I want people to have the sense that the end of the month is a major event, which you can attend little bits of if you're interested. It should be like a conference, in web form.

Speaking of which, I strongly recommend doing the self-meeting already. It'll take too long to get everything in place just so. Let the new story begin!
Performance review: I may do that, thanks. And I'm glad Spirit Tracks has been so rewarding.

Edit: I forgot the rule that says the Explorer can't watch movies for longer than being creative. Sorry.
First activity (Tue.): 11 nodes of the blog post 0:56
First activity (Wed.): The last 6 nodes, and publishing 0:32
The Thinker had me test out how quickly I could write the blog post. I found that when I time myself, I can do a node in around five minutes, average. So I can get this post on the internet before the self-meeting. Now I need to get to a dentist's appointment. And then when I get back I will immediately write out the CSS so that the post looks the way the Explorer wanted. If it's not 17:00 yet at that time, I will use all the time I've got until 17:00 reading old Spider-Man comics. Then I will head to the play rehearsal. As soon as I get back, I talk to the Thinker. Then I write out the rest of the dialogue, post it on the internet and score. Even at the end of the day, I am not going to connect my computer to the internet.

I'm not good enough, but today is going to be goddamned flawless.
Time allocation: The Tenth Man 6:25
The blog 5:04
Mundane activities 1:43
Getting a root canal 1:27
The tail end of game night 0:54
Comics 0:33
I finished the dual blog post of "261211002.htm" and "Humanity, I can explain...".
I had a play rehearsal.

When I wrote the schedule, I forgot about game night. I delayed the blog work so that I could play one game.
Performance review: Excellent. This is precisely the day we needed right now.