Derik Badman's Journal

December 2021

2021-12-09 10:10

Almost a whole month. I did get some coding done, though not a ton, working more on adding cloud based storage to my character sheet app, mostly as a way to see how it would work and what complications would arise (I have yet to address sync conflicts). I have been toying with the idea of making music again after... decades (?) of not. I downloaded Garageband and have played around with it, but having gotten rid of all my musical gear long ago, my only interface is mouse and keyboard, neither ideal, as they have no real feel to them, like drawing with a mouse instead of a pressure sensitive device. Considering purchasing a computer->guitar hookup (and borrowing a guitar), or maybe a "controller" that has pads and keys, but also worried that once again it will just be another thing that I don't really work at, give up on, and then it sits around making me feel bad for spending the money.

I'm not even sure anymore what I have been doing. Watched (or rewatched) a bunch of tv shows... watched or rewatched a handful of movies (Personal Shopper, Mr. Arkadin, Irma Vep, Shadow of a Doubt being the most recent that I still remember)... I reread Delillo's Underworld which was a large portion of my reading the past few weeks (it is very long). I've run three sessions of D&D for a group of coworkers, but my regular group has not had a session in months.

We hosted Thanksgiving again with seven guests feeling like so many people in the house after all this time of having no visitors at all. Realizing (surely, re-releazing and then forgetting) how much the meal part of the holiday is actually the least fun, as everyone sitting around the same table makes for awkward conversation, and it is better to be able to just chat with different people in smaller groups and snack on things.

I probably continued to work too much, always getting sucked in too early, because I sit down at my computer to do something else but then start looking at Slack and there's always something that needs attention or is best accomplished before the day starts (so as to less interrupt customers).

Got my covid booster Tuesday, then was feeling a little off yesterday so I took the afternoon off and watched movies. I rewatched Irma Vep and felt so much more into it this time through than I did on my first watch back in May of 2020. Maybe just being more open to it this time, knowing what to expect, made it easier to pay closer attention to the film, to see the connections in it. Still love the ending sequence with all it's scratchings and discordant sounds. Watched one of the Criterion extras on it with Assayas talking about the film and apparently that last part was inspired by a Lettrist film, a group I've for a long time heard about but never saw any of their work.

2021-12-28 08:35

Back to work after a few days off for the holiday, with a few days off late this week too.

I ended up borrowing a guitar and buying an audio hookup for the computer as well as a small midi controller. I've not even unpacked either of the latter, but I've been trying to practice the guitar everyday. My fingers only sort of remember what to do, so it's just been a lot of scales to get used to fingering the frets and picking the strings again.

Worked a lot on my rpg-table-randomizer which I just released as a v1.0.0 finally after having release the first v0.1.0 version way back in September of 2016. That was not steady work, as version v0.7.0 was also from Sept 2016 but then v0.7.1 wasn't until April 2020, and then back in April of this year I finally started up refactoring it to modern javascript. Pretty happy with where it ended up but don't have much of an idea of how to get anyone to notice it exists and get feedback.

Not a lot of movies since earlier in the month (that I can remember)... I watched the documentary on Lydia Lunch which was pretty interesting, though very... fannish in its position to her. A bunch of tv shows either with Lianne or own my own. For All Mankind on Apple+ is an excellent alternate history sci-fi show from Ronald D. Moore (of DS9 and BSG fame). Finished my rewatch of DS9 too. Rewatched Star Trek Discovery's previous season in prep for the new season which has now started (and is pretty good so far). The new season of The Expanse started up, which is the last one, and I'm rather baffled on how they are going to wrap it all up. The Wheel of Time season 1 just ended and it was... ok, entertaining enough but not amazing. I don't think they managed to take their rather generic fantasy source and make it better (I haven't read any of those books since high school, but I recall they are not particularly inventive with their fantasy tropes). Still, you don't get a lot of that style of fantasy in tv/movies.

Finished up binging The Witcher season 2 this weekend too. Impressed with how the writers shift away from the source material in ways that feel thematically appropriate, while still making the plot end up back at various expected places. Though it does feel like it's making their adaptation a lot longer, which leads one to wonder if they will really be able to last long enough to finish. (That Netflix has already done a spin-off animation and has a spin-off live action show coming soon is at least a good sign in that respect.)

Do I even remember what I've been reading? I reread Kawabata's Sound of the Mountain for the third or fourth time. I made a second attempt at Le Guin's Always Coming Home and again failed to get too far into it, I'm just not into the fictional anthropological stuff (of which there is a lot). So I switched to rereading her Five Ways to Forgiveness.

Christmas was fairly quiet (though not nearly as much as last year). Spend some time with Lianne's family (including the new baby), and then with my parents and Tim's family. It was kind of nice to have a slightly smaller group, as I got to pay a little more attention to people. We never stay long, though, I'm just not built for extended socializing and by that point it's like 6 hours of that all in a row. There was concern about the virus, but we are all vaccinated, so hopefully we'll get a few more days out without finding out anyone got sick. Things do seem to be taking another downturn as far as the pandemic goes, though at this point, I'm not sure what else I can do to limit my interactions or increase my caution. Haven't been to a restaurant since summer, wear a mask whenever I go somewhere inside, mostly avoid going places at all.

My birthday is tomorrow, but I shifted my day off work to Thursday to avoid working only two non-consecutive days this week.