Category Archives: Diary

Entries here are diary experiences of my day-to-day life, like recounting events I was at, and tracking the passage of time on the blog with month-end wrapup posts.

February 2024 Wrapup

Hey hang on, this month normally fits nicely into the schedule with standard numbers! Who put an extra day in this Smooch Month? I guess that means that this year, the year is just a little extra smoochy! But those four weeks and an extra, they are past us and now it is time to reflect on what happened this month, and what I wrote.

If you check this blog periodically, you might have missed all sorts of interesting articles just because, you know, discoverability is hard.

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Smooch Month 2024

Welcome to Smooch Month here on Press Dot Exe! It’s a month to consider and celebrate and scrutinise at length media that centres and focuses on what you might normally see called romantic media. At some point years ago, I offhandedly referenced the idea that ‘romantic’ is a term best suited to being about feelings and then that’s how I’ve used it ever since and in the process trapped myself into using the term ‘smooch month’ when what I mean, ostensibly, is exactly what everyone else means, in common language, romantic media.

And so! Here we are, with the idea of smooch media!

an image of a calendar, overlaid with the word 'february', along with some smoochy lips and a heart
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January 2024 Wrapup

One month down! 2024’s going to be easy, you’re going to see! We made it this far, we just have to do this again and I’m sure we’ll find a way. This month has seen a Games Done Quick event, a bunch of videos, five story piles!

Let’s get into it, looking at what you might have already seen and what you might have missed if you’re at all a fan of Things Talen makes!

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For Love Of Novelty

There’s this idea in board game discourse of ‘the cult of the new.’ I’m sure it exists elsewhere, but I can see it very much in the culture of spaces like BoardgameGeek, and I always like making fun of that site, so I shall do so. The idea is that new things get more attention and are considered more worthy than old things, and this is true even if the old things aren’t actually all that old. At the time of writing, the oldest game in the BoardgameGeek top 10 is War of the Ring: Second Edition, which is from 2011. While sure, 2011 is 13 years ago, it is pretty interesting that this is a hobby with important representatives from the 1960s, 1920s, 1880s, and then we get into things like Chess and everything gets weird.

And it isn’t just that these older games like Uno and Scrabble aren’t considered part of the ranking system on BoardgameGeek, that the site is categorically unrelated. They absolutely are, and you can see their place in the rating system that they have. It’s a funny thing that I’ve spoken about called the tail of spite, and a smarter scientist than I have written about it.

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I Missed My Notebook

I have been bullet journaling now for several years. Longer, I think, than I’ve been doing daily blog posts – the blog posts were facilitated in part through a dedication to using a physical journal to record my daily efforts writing. Late last year, I also picked up a very cheap, not very good sketch pad, which I have been using to also do some sketching, separated from anything ‘important’ that I may want to reference later.

At the time I wrote my pledge in the front of the book: Nothing has to be any good. It’s true. I’m going to spend a lot of my time going forward making things for no purpose but for enjoying the making. I write because I want to write, I draw because I want to draw. Audiences are beautiful and validating and rewarding, I love you so much.

But I also have to act, sometimes like you’re not there.

I’m going to show you some sketches from my book, because they’re not very good and you should see that. You should be able to see how when I hand-draw something, even as someone who does a lot of graphic design work for computer art and games and stuff like that, my drawing looks pretty bad. I’m not practiced, I’m not familiar. Things I do I don’t do very well, and part of that is because I don’t do it enough.

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The Everything Wrapup of 2023

Here we are, at the end of the year.

I write a lot on this blog — this year represents a full 365,000 words, more or less. I cover a range of topics, too, with ideas like the interactions within queerness and politics, the life of a fundamentalist Christian, game making, writing, media analysis and of course, by volume, tons and tons of Dungeons & Dragons nonsense.

Chances are, at the end of the year, you haven’t read everything I’ve done. I have, but I’m just one person, and therefore, statistically negligible. What if you want to read a bunch of stuff on my blog, but don’t know what I made this year that you’d think is cool?

Let me give you a run-down on my favourite articles of 2023, then! Get ready for some links!

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Decemberween ’23 — Decay!

There’s a very real consequence to being my friend, in that I will bring you terrible things to point and laugh at, unless you make it clear I shouldn’t.

Twitter has been a strange part of my life, in that it is simply put, a bad space and the actual reach and improvement it gave my life, while tangible, is hard to quantify versus the effort it took. I try to think of it less as a product I spent my labor on and more a play space I used, and try to ignore the ways in which whatever chemistry drove that place also absolutely scrubbed layers off me in the process of its operation. But Twitter is something I think of as a site I used, and my account only persists so when someone inevitably links me something because they’re not off the site either.

Anyway, one of the friends I made on Twitter was Decay, and Decay is great.

Decay's cohost avatar, which is a picture of Entrapta, which does not properly convey their chaotic Harry Duboisish stumbling through the virtualised halls of the Great Enemy, The Computer
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Decemberween 2023 — Nixie IV

Hey, you know Nixie right? I talk about her about once a year, it seems. You know, the one who likes planes. The one who likes guns. The one who watches anime and recommends I check some out. The one who contributed to my Air America article, the one who contributed to the Nicolas Cage Month Con Air article, and the one who has gotten an article multiple Decemberweens in a row now.

It’s not just because I get to use pictures from Ascendance of a Bookworm because they remind me of her.

Anyway, this year, Nixie went to China and became a pirate.

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Decemberween ’23 — Shelf!

It’s funny to me how my skill for making the mundane into the histrionic, one of the only skills I really acquired in church, is something that I always want to employ in the benefit of showing off how great my friends are. I want to raise the rafters and woo the crowd and sway the senses as I tell you, as I extol to you, as I exhort you, about how the good and wellbeing of my social circle or even just people I think deserve attention but are too shy go get it for themselves, are great things, and how my friends, these people around me deserve your attention and respect and praise and at the very least, a monument here, in this year, to show that I know they matter to me and that they are so important to my own heart and soul that it stymies me. That whole skillset jerks to a halt when I have to get too sincere about something I love. Or in this case, someone I love.

I know I’ve mentioned Shelf before. I’ve mentioned Shelf when talking about cancer and I’ve talked about Shelf when learning about failed medications and I’ve talked about Shelf when sitting late in the dark, afraid for my friend who is without power in the storms that make Canada colder than Mars. Shelf is almost a regular fixture at this point, you could probably go through and map a bunch of Shelf content on my blog.

But I couldn’t not talk about Shelf this year. I wrote down the people I wanted to talk about, the way my heart sings thinking about the things and people and ideas that have made this year better, and here, closest to Christmas, I just… couldn’t not talk about Shelf.

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Decemberween ’23 — Jason!

I think about these friend posts from time to time which runs the risk of making my really cool friends who are constantly doing things and making stuff in the day to day, like, more likely to get attention. And that’s not a terrible thing, after all, this is still the attention economy or whatever, by posting about my friend Amber, I might direct attention to her online presence and her cool cosplays, or if I post about my friend Nixie I might get people looking at her Patreon, all that kinda thing.

I wanna talk, today, this close to Christmas, though, about a friend who doesn’t really put himself out there on the internet, and who isn’t here to ‘sell’ himself. Sure, we’ve done that kinda thing, we’ve all had fun doing things… but

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Some friends I want to talk about, and who I think about, because they’re my friends and I love them and that’s really cool and really good. Because my friends are great.

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Decemberween, Twenty Twenty Threen

Hey are you new here? Statistically speaking, no, but I’m still going to act like you are.

A screencap from homestar runner's 2024 decemberween advent calendar, with 'decemberthreen' written on it.

Long and short! Decemberween is here! All normal article content is suspended! Story Piles are going to be about Christmas movies and Game Piles are going to try and focus on things good for social experiences around family gatherings!

You can press more to read more about the kinds of things you’re going to see this month, or you can just go ‘oh okay, I’m not going to get a weird long-form story about a magician who lied about attacking the Nazis.’

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November 2023 Wrapup

Ostensibly, this is the last article of the year that follows the ‘normal’ pattern of the rest of the year. There’s a whole month more after this, but this is kind of the last spot I have to put anything that doesn’t fit in Decemberween… … which is to say this is my last chance to be spiteful, mad, or cruel about something. Not that I spend a lot of time doing that, but it’s definitely the point at which I have to get any last minute spite out the door.

Oh, you don’t need to worry, you don’t need to worry about that at all. I’m not going to burst into vituperous rage over something, mind you. It doesn’t show up this month.

Much.

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Starting New Habits

I bought a sketchbook yesterday.

Not yesterday when you read this of course, but yesterday for me.

I bought the sketchbook at the Reject Shop. It was not a nice sketchbook. It was not an expensive sketchbook. It doesn’t have a nice cover. It doesn’t have a leather case to keep it in. It’s not like the leather cover my sister got me for my bullet journal. It cost me $3 and its brand name is ‘VISUAL ART DIARY.’

Today, I started drawing in it.

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October 2023 Wrapup

Dread Month draws to a close! The spookiest of nights, the dawn of the dead, the uh, thing! We shed our shackles and dance in our bones, and tomorrow, go about the business of being people, once again, sloughing out into the drawing heat and the growing, burning, hateful light of a sun that resents us and we celebrate in spite of it. You know, the normal and natural way everyone relates to this time of the year.

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Dread Month 2023

Behold as once more, October rolls around, the internet that is American gets all spooky, and the rest of us can either determine whether or not we want to go along with it or decide we want to be insulted for a month for not liking fun. Yay! Halloween!

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September 2023 Wrapup

Spring has sprung and with it the first thirty degree day since February. Oh, that’s not a hot hot day, but it is a hot day. I sit on that evening and sweat slightly and wrinkle my nose as I consider the wrapup for this month, almost two weeks out from it. Let’s get into it.

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August 2023 Wrapup

Kinda flew by there, or maybe it’s just that when a semester is firing, then I start breaking my weeks into more and more tightly managed little snippets. I think I’m going to have to change when I have snacks, any way, it’s time to get talking about all the great articles I wrote this week and youuuuu didn’t read yet!

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Tricks Month 2023!

Ahah, it’s August and that means there’s nothing up my sleeve – nothing up my other sleeve – but here, on the table, under this hat that is hiding an enormous melon is the theme of tricks month. Tricks! Tricks, fun, chicanery, fooling and duping and the ways of the witty and wagering who ambiguated and disorientate with gesture and guile.

I love magic nonsense. I love magic philosophically and I love magic structurally, I love the way that magic can inform your mind and change the way you treat the world and I love it as a story element, as in, the way that a story can trick you into thinking the things the story wants you to think.

It’s not the same thing as lying.

It might not even involve any lying.

Tricks can be fun like that.

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July 2023 Wrapup!

Do you know that the majority of people who read my blog are in fact, super great and cool? It’s true, I have the analytics. No, you can’t see them. Why would you want to? Don’t you trust me? I’m very trustworthy and can be relied upon to have normal thoughts in my normal brain. I had it certified.

Anyway, it’s the end of a month, and I think it’d be good if you checked through this list of links and suggestions and see if there’s cool content on this blog you’d care about that you missed!

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I Got My Library Card!

And it made me feel silly!

I got my first library card so long ago that it actually referred to me as ‘Master Governmentname Familyname.’ Like, master, what a ridiculous thing. That, you might not realise, is an archaic term used for a young unmarried man, which means that if you’re one of those holdouts going ‘Ah, Talen is secretly trans, but the type of trans he is is a trans dude‘ there’s some contraindicating evidence. Anyway point is, when I was very young, I loved my library card.

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June 2023 Wrapup

June has ended, the time of Queer Pride is over, which means we resume our normally regular scheduled broadcast of Queer Wrath. Please do not adjust your set, we will continue to bang on pots and pans (both the metal object, and the people who are into lots of genders). Pride Month is the month where we party, the rest of the year is when we arm ourselves, you see.

But with that in mind, let’s check out a bunch of stuff I wrote and made this month and why you, you, you, might want to go back and read it, and see the cool things you missed!

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Pride Month 2023!

In the major English-speaking parts of the worlds I’m familiar with (which weirdly, is not Nigeria, despite it having four times as many English speakers as my home country and Canada combined), June is Pride Month. This is because a number of inter-linked corporate interests have been able to maximise sharing economic value by treating England, Australia, Canada and America as if we all operate on roughly comparable time scales and interests. For this reason, June is the month where America celebrates Pride, in the ways America does, and the rest of us are already buying your t-shirts, so your rainbows show up on all our soda cans anyway. Happy Pride! Buy something.

The obligatory response is of course, ‘well, why?’ and not just why do we do Pride in June, but rather, why do we need Pride at all? After all, isn’t homophobia solved and fixed and now we’re just kind of tidying up around the edges? Of course not, and if you’re reading this you know that’s not true, because I am not some general access explainer, I’m the blog of a weirdo who likes board games and anime and has somehow captured an audience just barely larger than a really suspect church congregation. But why not talk about it anyway, in the specific vein of Hey I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

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May 2023 Wrapup

May’s over! We got there, everybody. That’s one more May in the books that won’t be hurting anybody any more. Just eleven more months before you see millenials busting out the Justin Timberlake memes again. It did bring an annual tradition of finding time to make at least one article making fun of Star Wars to run on May the 4th.

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A Hindrance To Writing

The PC that I use to write this blog has suffered an incident the likes of which can contrive to render the production of posts inconvenient and difficult. It is not a serious concern and perhaps by the day after today, it will be resolved (either through drying out, or through the purchase of a keyboard to replace the unit that is suffering the distress). It is not unlikely that this situation will be resolved within a day or two, even though the effect it has currently is particularly frustrating.

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April 2023 Wrapup

It’s a weird relief when a theme month end. Sometimes a theme month is so jammed that I’m glad to have the freedom to post any old stuff I want. Sometimes a theme is so challenging to work with (like, say, romance), that I kind feel like the last few posts are scraping off a very hard surface. Now, I thought that it’d be really easy to make make 30 posts that are mostly just about me, or special, deeply intense interests.

This month did not go as planned.

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Talen Month 2023!

Ah, tis April, and an even month and since I organise things in a particular way because of my particular brain in a particular stage, this is the month I dedicate to Talen Month. This is to say, the month where the only thing a topic needs to be deemed worthy is for me to say oh yeah I love talking about that. It’s a time for very specific silly niche interests, it’s a time to bring up old beeves, it’s a time to abandon what’s contemporary or current and instead reflect on the accumulated construction of mess and trauma and false memories that is me.

It’s really dumb that I need a reason for this!

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March Wrapup, 2023!

It’s funny to me that I know more things that reference the phrase march comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb than I have ever heard the phrase in its own sake. It’s a floating signifier. I think, if you forced me to explain it, it’s a phrase about the sudden shift in the weather at the start of March and then the way it very slowly settles down, which sounds like either a reference to a specific period of time or a reference to a weather pattern that’s very different to me here. Here in Australia, March comes in like Extra February and leaves like Soggy February.

You didn’t come here to listen to me talking about the wet ones, though, you came here to see a monthly roundup of interesting articles on interesting topics that I think you, yes, you, should consider going and reading and now I’m going to present them to you in a sort of ‘list’ form that makes it easier for you to break them down into your areas of interest!

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