Sunday, 29 September 2013

Relief, please

The good news is that I'm surviving. The bad news is that I'm still in Pretoria. I really, really don't like Pretoria, and I like it less every day. The only thing I can say I like about it is that cars in town actually stop and wait for pedestrians to cross the road, which my years as a Joburg pedestrian had taught me never to expect (since I started driving, I have always made an effort to give pedestrians the right of way myself, often shocking Joburg's pedestrians). Apart from that, I don't think much of Pretoria drivers. There basically aren't any of them within the city bowl, yet they still manage to crash into each other regularly and as soon  as they're over the rim, on the highways around the edge of town, they turn into vast numbers of speeding, aggressive arseholes.

And don't even get me started about the work I do. Worst research project I've ever been involved in, wasting 2 months of my life. Approximately half of that was literally completely wasted, with work thrown out and never used for anything ever again.

Weekends are now vital to me. I've been developing a big, convoluted analogy between emotions and electrical capacitors, but the short version is that some relief is essential. I'm buying a weekly six-pack, which is unusual for me, and cramming as much fun into my weekends as I can manage. I have to. But that also means I'm just plain wearing myself out. I need some days off to simply do nothing at all, all alone, and get my oomph back. This week, I get half a Sunday of that. I think 3 weeks ago, I took a full Sunday. Before that, my memory gets fuzzy. It's not really enough.

And this next weekend is going to be crazy-busy (in a great way) because the USS Dauntless is mounting a group expedition down to Sutherland, to see the pretty sky and telescopes. We're going by bus, which may be a little gruelling over that distance, but I've been wanting to go for years, since I first read up about the place in my first year of teaching (it was also partly covered in my first ever guest hosting of Consilience).

Otherwise, DeeTwenty [EDIT: I no longer associate with DeeTwenty and can not endorse it in any way] and its soon-to-be-public venue is looking to be the great center of my life's happiness (apart, obviously, from visiting Byron and  Moxie at my parents' place). It's a damn fantastic idea, and you should throw all your money at them. Now. Go. Throw digital cash. Then play games with me and/or people you like.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Good, Bad and Geeky Places

It's been suggested that I've been far too miserable the last month or so. I'm inclined to agree. It's been suggested that I should try to cheer up or do something to fix my situation. I'm inclined to agree with the latter, but because of that, I'm not happy to accept the former. I may reach a point where it does me more harm than good to be unhappy with my new status quo, and then I can look at ways to cope with it better, but in the mean time, unhappiness is good. It keeps me motivated to aim for something better, like Joburg. Apologies in advance to anyone who finds my grumpiness unpleasant, but you can't have your literal chocolate Sham until you've cleared all the metaphorical broccoli Sham off your simile-like plate.

But it's not all grim with me. Weekend visits to Joburg are a poor substitute for actually living there, and I keep running short on time for everything, even completely missing some events, but it's never bad to see friends. It adds even more motivation to get my life back on track, so that I can have more happy fun time with them. It's a carrot and stick thing, I guess.

And it's kind of fantastic to know that I have too much fun stuff waiting for me. How crap would it be if I was miserable and lonely and bored in Pretoria, and didn't have anything to look forward to in Joburg either. In terms of roleplaying groups alone, I need a 4-day weekend, so I can carry on with my own Star Trek and Warhammer campaigns, fit in the other complex stuff planned for my formerly-usual Thursday group, and also start off with a new D&D campaign run by Damon White (a name that will soon be revealed to be of broader relevance to this post) just like the ones he used to run in the old days.

Particularly exciting among the good times this past weekend was the meeting to learn about Owen Swart's new project, a dedicated geeking venue. Unlike geek shops, which kind of want you to buy stuff above all else and tend not to have very comfortable gaming areas, this venue is intended to be a place to gather a fair-sized mob and get some proper gaming done in homely comfort, but without actually hogging someone's home while they're trying to sleep. It's a damn fine idea, which immediately reminded me of Babylon White, the residence of the White family, friends of mine since early high school. Bab White always fulfilled a similar role, as the Whites were up at all hours, very hospitable and unusually well stocked with games of all descriptions. The big difference here is that you don't need to be a family friend of the Swarts to enjoy Owen's cunning new plan. (Also, nice coincidence with the names there.)

I will certainly report more as I learn it.