Goals for the New Year

Here are some goals I’d like to try out next year, and some explanation of why.

  • Stop qualifying things I say to people with “Don’t be offended, but…” or “You probably already knew this, but…”. The reason I’d like to cut back on these sorts of apology modifiers to my statements is that they are unnecessary and, when you really think deeply on them, pretty stupid. As far as not being offended goes, the person may well be offended anyway since what usually follows is an offensive or at the very least brash statement that is unapologetic, possibly even rude or inappropriate. I don’t intend to start saying rude things to people either, but often times I want to express an opinion that runs contrary to my conversation partner’s opinion, and including that modifier is a way to soften what I say. I don’t need to soften it. I am as much entitled to my opinions and beliefs as anyone else. Tossing these utterly useless safety blankets over my words is likely to make me less of a competitor, and I do feel as well that it may lead others to respect me less. As I will be entering a male dominated work force next year, I need to have every ounce of respect I can harness. I do not need to be seen as a weak contender, who is openly and primarily worried I might offend someone.
  • Attempt a more open attitude with people as I venture into my new life. This one is tricky and I debated even putting it here – I am introverted and very private by nature so it might be that I am unable or unwilling to change this about myself. Some part of me is always a bit disappointed, though, when I go through a life stage with the opportunity to meet new people and form solid friendships, and end up not doing that. I am a closed off person and prefer not to share or mingle in a large group. I am capable of forming strong bonds with others, but only after a trust gaining period which often means I appear rude, boring, or unapproachable when people first meet me. This often means that it takes a certain type of person to get to know me, which in a way is preferable. The friends I have made are similar to me and I do not have to worry about being myself around them. That being said I have been told that, once people know me, I have a very nice personality that doesn’t shine through at first because of my [hostile/protective] shell. I am hoping to finally do what I have been telling myself to do since middle school which is to start coming out of my shell more. If it happens, it happens – but I am not going to feel I’ve let myself down by continuing to be the person I’ve been for 27 years.
  • This one is also a stretch – I’d like to form a routine for myself. I’ve never been comfortable or good at forming and following routines, but I see that people who have routines manage to accomplish a lot more. After a day of accomplishing very little work, I feel that, although I enjoy relaxing and running on a free-flowing schedule, it leaves me feeling somewhat unsatisfied at the end of the day. I feel that if I scheduled myself I could get more done, and I realize that I am also capable of this type of time management – after all, I graduated college magna cum laude while working over part-time hours, while still having time to do Let’s Plays and other hobbies. The trouble, I believe, is that when I do not have any obligation to complete a task, and no deadlines, I will procrastinate indefinitely. I have been told before that I am happiest when I have many things to do within a deadline. I think that this is true, but it is the deadlines that are key. Without them, I can give myself any number of tasks to do, and it may take years to finish them, if I ever do finish. That being said, I will attempt to set up a system in which I have outlined “due dates” for myself on personal projects, and rewards for completing them within the alloted timeframe. It seems the reward is a large part of my motivation as well – a paycheck, or an A in a class. Coming up with other rewards may be challenging, as I tend to be the type of person who will reward myself for nothing – the strongest power of the reward is when it comes from someone else, and definitely when it comes from an authority figure. I will need to take charge of myself, and be my own authority figure, if I am going to advance myself as a person on my own time.

What are everyone else’s goals for the new year? Do you see new year’s resolutions or goals as cliche? Do you practice them at all?

I see that people are still viewing this blog…

…so probably I should write something in it. I don’t have a whole lot to say, other than my goal to upload one video per day to YouTube has been successful so far. I missed one day but I have uploaded two videos for a few of the days so I’ve definitely not shorted myself of the goal. I also haven’t ended up with as much of a backlog as I thought I would – despite having extra time this month I haven’t ended up with a lot of videos waiting to be uploaded, which is a bit surprising. Before I had decided to upload every day, I did end up with backlogs from time to time, which I simply didn’t bother to upload.
So I suppose my issue wasn’t that I was not recording enough to upload daily, but that I simply wasn’t doing the uploading. This is a good finding, because it means that even when I am working again, I should be able to record enough in order to upload almost daily. I feel that this is a good practice because it keeps me involved in my hobby, and allows people to keep up with a playlist more easily.
What are you thoughts on uploading daily? Would you like to see one video from each series per day (which would be more difficult, of course) or is one video, from any series I am currently working on, enough?

Which game to LP…?

Now that I have more time to record, I want to start some new playlists. I already have several going currently but they are all fairly stale, and I need to get something new going in order to keep my attention (and probably viewer’s attention as well). Here is a rundown of what will be happening with the current series:

As I mentioned in the latest episode of it, Fallout New Vegas is winding down – I plan to keep the playlist going but only upload it once a week or so (basically that’s what I have already been doing, so it shouldn’t cause too much of a stir). That way, fans of Launie’s Mojave desert adventures can continue to get their fix, but I do not need to worry about keeping the long-running series fresh for everyday uploading.

XCOM is the hardest game for me to record right now because my current save is becoming more and more of a disaster. I feel that, despite my determination to continue that save until game over, the best thing to do is to begin a new game and use my gained knowledge about the game to improve my play. People do want to see me improve, I am sure. I will keep the old save file, as long as it doesn’t get corrupted, and perhaps finish it in the future (in a stream maybe?).

I have finished recording the Gone Home playlist, except for a bonus video where I will return to find things I missed on the first play, assuming the game lets me return to roam the house some more.

I have started two other playlists but I have not uploaded them yet because I worry about the game play not being good, and in one the in-game music is very loud, which would not be a problem except it was meant to be an ASMR play-through. I also realized, after the first few recordings of these games, that I may not want to continue them into full playlists. The two games are Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and The Banner Saga (which was ASMR style).

Here is my plan for those two: I will upload them as “testers” or teasers, and if I get a lot of response or excitement about continuing, and I feel like I desire to continue the games and record, then I will. But they will be uploaded with the expectation that they might never become finished playlists. It is a shame to simply scrap the work, however, so I may as well upload them.

I might do several more uploads of “tester” games until I find one people are excited about seeing me play. I have many games that I have not even touched yet, and some that I have hardly delved into. I am not sure which one will make a good LP that I will definitely want to continue, except for Skyrim. I know I want to do a Khajiit roleplay of Skyrim that is completely in character. I have the character, voice, and some back story in mind. I plan to take this character through the main quest in Skyrim, since despite putting 100+ hours into the game, I have yet to complete the main quest. And it is easier than coming up with my own story. ;P

I have been mentioning this Skyrim LP for over a year, and people probably suspect I will never do it. I am nervous to begin it. I want it to be perfect, and I have not yet done a completely in-character LP. Launie in New Vegas was supposed to be a practice for that, but it did not go so well. So I need to continue preparing myself for recording Skyrim and begin when I am ready. In the mean time, I can play any number of games, although I am leaning toward more casual games at the moment so that I can focus more on the quality of my commentary, which I have hoped to improve as I put more time into the hobby of Let’s Playing.

Here is a short list of some games I have that I could record:

-The Sims 3

-Fallout or Fallout 2

-Anno 2070

-Endless Legend

-Starbound

-Ys II & Ys Origin

-MMOs like TERA and Path of Exile which I can record casually/ASMR style

 

If you’d like, provide some feedback on which of those games you’d like to see the most. I have a lot more games but those are the ones I think would lend themselves to some casual recording.

 

St. Valentine’s Day (Or, “When does history matter?”)

I’m sorry this is not a gaming post, but hopefully some people will still enjoy it.

I was just thinking about Valentine’s day and some of the history behind it. Yes, today it has become basically an excuse for various companies to promote extra sales through “guilt-inducing advertising”, i.e. that you should buy gifts for people BECAUSE it’s Valentine’s day. And your significant other (and let’s not make this gender-specific) EXPECTS something.

IF YOU’RE ALONE IT SUCKS…right? WRONG.

As Peter Griffin once said, “OH. My. God. Who. The. Hell. Cares?”

I don’t have any issue with being single on Valentine’s. I haven’t been single every year, but the majority of my life (well that makes sense mainly because I’m 26), I have been. If I really think about it and am honest, I am sure there were some years where it did bother me. Especially the year right after my long-term relationship had ended. But when I try to analyze why it is that I might feel upset about being alone, or not mind it, I come up with some interesting theories.

One of them involves the history of Valentine’s, and that really is the point of this post. So I have heard these stories of who Saint Valentine really was. I am not Catholic, so I honestly have very little idea. I was going to look some stuff up, but then I came to write this because I realized that I don’t care. And here’s why I don’t care:

Who Saint Valentine was, if he was a real person, or what he did while living has absolutely no relation whatsoever to how we think of the holiday today. And it shouldn’t. Because your choice to celebrate it should not be based on anything to do with a Saint, negative or positive. I am not trying to offend anyone who holds religious views. What I mean is, even for the devout, I don’t believe that Valentine’s day has anything to do with religion at all anymore. **At least not in popular US culture**

So what is Valentine’s day for the modern-day couple? I suppose it is a chance to acknowledge love for one another – but isn’t that something you should do each day anyway? I don’t think of it as a time when people are particularly charitable, as during Winter holidays (Christmas/Haunukah/Kwanzaa). It’s not a time when people come together with family and friends to celebrate. It’s a rather selfish declaration of “I’m so glad to be having regular sex”. It is often overlooked by people who have been married for any extended period of time, or at least not made a big deal of, because, hell, they made it work already.

And as we all know – it sells a fruck ton of candy, flowers, silly gifts and expensive dinners and limo rides. Even if you go a no-frills route, as a couple, you’re still putting undue stress on one another to come up with something special JUST BECAUSE it’s February 14th. I don’t think any of this is new stuff; it’s all been said before. But it’s all true. 

I feel like Valentine’s day is one of the absolute worst days on the calendar, and not because I feel left out if I’m single. It’s because it’s so damn exploitative. People rush into finding a mate this time of year just so they can do the special date thing, spend money, blah blah blah. It’s not for those people who are truly in love. 

Now of course, those silly gifts and the candy can be fun. I like to get flowers as much as the next lady (or man. If you’re a man who likes to get flowers you’re alright with me. I’ll pick you a bouquet if you like). If you have a date and want to romp around on Feb 14th, by all means, do so. But try not to take this day so seriously! It should be meant as some light-hearted fun and no one should be feeling left out for lack of partner. 

Here is an important part 😉

***If you’re single this year on Valentines, buy some roses, candy, card, or other gift and give it to your neighbor, friend, co-worker (keep that work-place friendly though :P), classmate, or whoever. Try to brighten someone’s day who otherwise might be feeling down. Bring a sense of community to a holiday that otherwise leeches so much and leads to so many hurt feelings.

Summer Wrap-Up

This summer I did so many things that I had never done before. I also did a lot of alone time reflecting on my life and what I want out of it. The most fun I ever have in life is exploring new places and learning about new things. I’m still figuring out how I can make this in a career – travel writer? Journalist? World famous rock star? (that last one is obviously a joke)

As I move forward in life (always forward never backward), I want to get closer to that goal of having a lot of freedom, and being able to do new things all the time. I do not know with certainty what my answer is yet, but I can only hope that with hard work and of course luck it will come to me. I’ve been evolving and I like it. There are so many things now I can do that I did not have the courage to do before. I am always growing into myself.

Here are a few things I want to improve on:

-Carry a notebook with me all the time, everywhere. I was in the bar doing shots and so many words came to me that I wanted to write. I didn’t even have a pen. In my head, when the perfect sentence or phrase forms I need to get it out right away, so I need to have my writer’s tools all the time and not just some of the time. I can’t use my phone to record written notes. Although the device has the capability, I won’t be able to get my perfect sentences out unless I am writing them with a pen. I learned to write in the time before cell phones, so my mind and muscles work together when I’m holding a pen but not always when I am tapping a touchscreen.

-Run more. I’ve always found running relaxing and fun but it is difficult for me to get up and do it a lot of the time. Then when I do run, my muscles get sore and I do not want to do it again for a few days. I need to establish a reward system for myself, and construct running into a habitual activity that eventually becomes its own reward. I’ve also noticed a few changes in my body that come with getting older, but which would easily be reversed with running. I live near a park and have a free gym on campus, so there is absolutely no excuse for me not to establish this habit.

 

Now I’ll talk about some things I did this summer. . .

  • Went camping with a really cool group of people from college. During the night we were attacked by raccoons (a fellow camper had so politely left dog food in his tent). The critters ripped his tent open so we had to cram out whole group into one tent. Of course I didn’t sleep well because I was fearing the raccoon would rip the tent open and come in! There may or may not have been some mind-altering substances involved. But trust me, the raccoons were real and very persistent.
  • Welcomed 3 friend’s wonderful new babies into the world. I have a group of friends I’ve been with since grade school, and three of them had babies this summer. I am definitely not a baby/child type of person, so even holding a baby was a pretty new experience for me. I’m very happy for my friends and wish them best for their new families, though I feel this will be a bit of a turning point in our group. I do not plan to have children of my own and of course families operate a bit differently than single people. I will keep in touch with them of course, and will enjoy seeing what type of people their kids turn out to be. 
  • Got a tattoo. For those of you who follow my Twitter you have seen my tattoo picture. Its a scorpion, right above my left ankle, lateral aspect (the outside) of my leg. I got it on 6th Street in Austin, Texas. Most of my friends already have tattoos, so I am just going to their side of the group. I chose a scorpion because I am a Scorpio but do not like the zodiac symbol for Scorpio. I am not really into astrology seriously, but I do think it says something about me and who I am. My little tat is a cute, fun, tame scorpion.
  • Did a body shot. I love tequila shots but had never done a body shot before. Went into Friends bar on 6th Street in Austin and the bartender offered me one. That’s not something I will do on regular occasion, it is a fairly awkward procedure especially with someone you do not know. 

 

So that’s the story of my summer, or rather the highlights. Going over everything would take far too long! Since getting back from Texas I’ve been catching up on sleep (another thing I did for the first time was deprive myself of sleep – let me tell you this is not a good idea, I had some trouble functioning and became even more loopy and forgetful than usual.), and getting back on track with my YouTube channels. I would like to use YouTube as more of a creative outlet since it is an easy way to share your ideas with the world, and I love all of the people I’ve gotten to know and who have supported me through my journey. Even if my channel remains small time I will value all of the experiences I have with it. 

Hope all of you had great summers filled with lots of adventure, and are now ready to start a new season & new stage of life!

The Joys of a Tedious Life

This will be a short one – I just want to point out how lucky I am to be able to complain.

What do I complain about? Having to fill out paperwork, do car maintenance, even having idle time is often cause for a complaint or at least irritated sigh on my part.

“Oh curse my life, I need to submit this health insurance waiver so I can go back to college next month.”

Most people do not have the luxury to complain about things like that so trust me, I do consider myself lucky. Though paperwork and things in life that “must be done” are not something I enjoy, I would miss them if I had to lead a life without them. A life filled with fear of where I’d sleep or eat next. 

Self-actualization might even be in my future, if I could stop being too lazy to run on a regular basis.

Hope you all are lucky enough to have tedious things to complain about as well!

Confidence

Lately, I have been learning just how important confidence is as a factor in advancement in life. It’s not just intelligence, looks, wealth, motivational drive or luck that propels one from mediocre to great in life – a lot of it has to do with self-confidence. Most people lack this tremendously. The automatic response in most people is to shy away from responsibility, danger, or stress. Those with self-confidence face these things head on, sometimes even with enthusiasm. They are anxious to show off what they are capable of. 

Does the confidence have to be linked with skill? Not necessarily. However, skill tends to advance more readily (in any area) when one is also confident. As the old saying goes, “whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you’re right.” (OK I heard that on Family Guy, but I’m sure it has some connection to an office motivational poster.)

Perhaps I am just speaking out of my butt, but I want to believe that confidence is the key to getting anything done that you want to get done. People enjoy to hear a confident person speak. In times of uncertainty, they want a confident person to point them in the right direction. I am not sure I will ever be a leadership level of confident. I suffer from pretty severe anxiety which, although not debilitating, means I awkward my way through social interactions and dispel any illusion of self-confidence one might have of me. 

Social relationships in general are definitely not my thing. I feel I should adopt some other thing to perfect. Physical fitness is high on the list, since someone once told me that physical confidence and ability leads directly to a higher social confidence and ability. I’ve yet to test this theory – while I do not consider myself “out of shape”, I for certain have a long way to go to reach my potential strength and ability.

There are a myriad of things I am good at but nothing that I am an expert on. That being said, it cycles back to my previous post of being lost in life, stuck in a rut. I think what might boost me out of the rut is a little self-confidence, some idea that I am capable of whatever it is I decide I want to do. I’ve been trying to work on this all my life with slow growing success (you would not believe how utterly socially undeveloped I was as a child), so perhaps I will have a “break through” soon, or perhaps this slow progress will continue. Either would be fine – I simply want to move forward whether it be little by little or in a great leap.

Being “stuck” in life

So here I am, almost 26 years old, I do not have much direction in my life and have no idea what my future will entail. Probably like most people my age. I have trouble being ok with that, since I was raised from childhood to think I always needed a plan. If I didn’t plan, things wouldn’t work and I’d be … well… I guess somewhere “bad”. Was never quite clear where I’d end up without planning! Ironically, planning hasn’t taken me anywhere either.

I have been working the same job for 6 years now (well not technically the same job, I’ve advanced, but have been at the same place). I hope to leave there next Spring after I graduate from college (for the second time), but I do not know where to go. There is a lot of the world I want to see. I do not know how to finance my adventures, and I am uncertain that I can make much money independently. 

I consistently feel both that I can do anything I want and nothing I want. It is confusing. I am afraid to take chances, terrified I will get myself into trouble somehow, and often feel as if I do not give my best. I am not sure what it will take in life to consider myself a success, or to alleviate my fear of taking chances. Perhaps getting out there more – I have lived in the same city my entire life, though I’ve traveled I have little experience. Hell, I have never even pumped gas for my car because it is illegal in my State. 

That is so trivial – but for me it makes me feel silly and consequently afraid to put myself out there, into the world, which is full of those we judge and who judge alike. Perhaps I have a touch of depression, some type of OCD, or paranoid schizophrenia, all of which run in the family. A distrust of doctors does as well, so no, I haven’t been to see anyone about any of it and likely never will, unless I’m ordered there by law.

So, this rut I am in now, how will I pull myself out of it? I’d enjoy to start making more videos – I don’t feel like I get enough of those done (I know you will tell me I do, but it’s also the quality I’m concerned about – I can do better than what I am doing now). 

I’d really like to work on the LP magazine, but given my (to say the least) pathetic skill with graphics, I cannot do a thing with it except text/embed video. I want to try and deliver something as promised, and to show in some small way to those who submitted work that I value that. I am not sure when I will be able to do this.

I skipped my Sunday Vlog this week but it doesn’t matter, as I realized right before I wrote this post. Sunday Vlog doesn’t have to mean every Sunday. I had nothing to talk about, really, for this week. So we will leave it to next week. 

Thank you so much to those who read and comment this blog, it makes me glad that I continue to write in it and helps me feel like there are those who enjoy my channel enough to pay attention to everything I put into it. You have absolutely no idea how valuable that is to me, it keeps me going with my projects when I otherwise might easily give up.

Life Update

So what has been going on with me ? I haven’t done a blog post in 2 weeks! The handful of you who check the blog regularly and were promised weekly updates are possibly outraged. But I know you are more understanding than that. Please don’t throw tomatoes. I am putting up a tomato shield just in case.

…OK, you have either thrown something at your PC screen (haha) or had a chuckle, or simply written me off as a weirdo. Now I’ll tell you why I’ve not updated the blog. I do not have an excuse. Here is what I do during the summer:
I do not attend classes, because the government and university will not give me grant money during the summer. And I am not spending all of my hard earned cash on education. Most of the year I attend classes full time, taking about 16 credit hours per term. I also work part time about 15 hours per week. In the summer my employer was only able to increase my hours to 25 – 30 per week. I make a bit more money but half the week I have very little to do. Finding a second job is a possibility, but then I’d have to quit when classes started. So I don’t do that.
I like to travel with my savings during the summer. Last year I went to Europe, so this year I could only afford a plane ticket to Texas. I won’t be going until next month.
I’ve had a few other money-making endeavours, including partnering my YouTube channel, and pet sitting on occasion. Why am I telling you all this?

Well, here is the thing about me: I get kinda depressed when I do not have a whole lot of things to do. Projects, and work distract me from other things about life that I dislike. When I do not have enough work, what I should do is make gaming videos. But since I get depressed, I do not feel like doing that. I want to get out of the house, but I do not have a lot of places to go. So I buy things, and then get annoyed with myself when the house has a lot of clutter. Although it is nice clutter that I like.

Blog posts do not get created when you’ve spent the day wandering around, picking fruit and racing the dog, then sitting inside watching YouTube and Internet shopping. When I make a blog post I feel it has to be interesting. But perhaps not. Only a few people check this, so maybe it doesn’t matter to you what you read as long as it is a new thing to read.

Now I feel as though I am rambling, so this will be a short one. Maybe I can come up with an amusing anecdotal story for next time. Or…more likely forget.

Modding Skyrim for a Roleplay

For the past 2 days, I’ve spent a fair amount of time modding Skyrim for (far in the future) plans to do an LP of it in a Roleplay style. The modding is difficult.

Initially you can set up Skyrim how you want with 7 or 8 mods to make it more beautiful, more difficult, or more complex. It will work fine. You’ll play a few months. Then all the mods will be messed up by an update to Skyrim, or you will need to update Skyrim for mods to keep working, or SKSE (script extender required for most mods) will fall behind and not be available to run with the current Skyrim update. You can turn off automatic updates but then when you go to update mods or SKSE they won’t work with the version of Skyrim you have. After a few hours in which you come across 7 or 8 more mods that you want to use as well, all of your mods are updated to the current version. You go into Skyrim. It crashes. You change the load order around. You go into Skyrim. It runs. You are out of time to play since you spent so much time modding.

Right now I have well over 25 mods for Skyrim (I’m far too lazy to actually count how many I’m using). It doesn’t seem like a lot, but with that many there can be enough compatibility issues that you can’t really tell what is working and what isn’t. I’d enjoy getting Requiem to work, but unfortunately doesn’t seem compatible with many of the other mods I have. Skyrim Redone is fine but the “ReProccer” patch doesn’t work for me – no matter what I do it will not detect that I have SkyRe_Main.esp in my load order. So I can’t use my Immersive Armor and Weapons mods with it.

The madness and troubleshooting will continue until I narrow down which combination of mods play happy with each other and get the game set up the way I feel it’ll be best to play as a Roleplay. So, yea, a Skyrim LP of mine is coming. I do not know when, but I can tell you it’ll be after I have finished a few of my other LPs. IF I ever manage to get out of modding construction and play the actual game!