I uh, I started out looking for an icon of a jar of mayonnaise and the result I got is this, here, a blank jar.
Let’s crack on shall we?
I blog daily. I have regular features, where every week I’m going to talk about a game, and a piece of media. I’m also going to talk every month about something to do with worldbuilding, games like Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. Chances are good, you haven’t caught everything I’ve written about this month. That’s why at the end of the month I write you a neat little summary and give you some suggestions on stuff you might have missed that I think is particularly worth your attention.
This month’s Game Pile articles:
The Hotline Miami video and Avatar videos were both kinda a crush for me. I honestly imagined I’d be able to make my May videos easier, because I tend to try and treat April’s work as ‘important’ to me. I covered Dragonraid and Final Fantasy XIV, two things that I thought would get a proper bollocking because uh, I had negative opinions on them, and I wanted that negativity to be properly supported. I figured then, that would mean May got to be easier, only to wind up finding myself committed to a treatment of a high profile RPG and a ten year retrospective on a game I love. The original script for the Hotline Miami video is, yes, a composite of my articles on the game, but it’s eight thousand words, and that script needed a lot of work to get pulled down to a tighter, more manageable size. There’s an entire diversion about The Last Of Us that I cut!
This month’s Story Pile articles:
It wasn’t intentional at first that I wound up covering a bunch of Sherlock Holmes videos. It was originally just going to be three things I’d watched – House, Moriarty the Patriot and The Irregulars. Then I went ‘hang on, this is a theme,’ and I thought oh well, three articles is enough, that’s fine, and I wasn’t going to be a big deal that I had other stuff to cover. Then two serendipitous things: Adrienne, a friend, mentioned Elementary to me, and I checked it out, and quite liked it! Then a twitter thread got me thinking about Orson & Olivia, a weirdly dark series from my youth, and so… we got a Sherlock Holmes month!
May was, it seems, my first ‘junk month’ of the year – back in January, I wrote some stuff, felt I was overdoing too many articles of a type and I threw them into the future, far down the line. Like my article on King of Tokyo Black was about a game I played in December last year. The article on booze in worldbuilding was written in December. The article about the history of phones as deformations in our social spaces is similarly dated back to December!
Still, there’s some stuff I wrote in this month; I finally sat down and looked at my own 3.5 D&D work, the Adherent. I wrote a poem about the dog. I looked at Audiobooks! I reviewed my first ten videos of the year! I got mad about people whose only contribution to conversations is to talk shit about things they don’t like!
One of the reasons I do these articles is so I can look back at my own writing and go: Hey, man, I forgot that that fun or good article I did came out! And yeah, wow, like looking back on it, this month was a corker.
I’ve been on-and-off concepting Final Fantasy XIV fan shirt and sticker designs for a few months. Since I told myself I wasn’t going to talk about the game until I made the video about it, which was scheduled ahead of time for Kate’s birthday week in April, the gates have been opened and now we have room for all the great ideas I have inspired by that game. Well, the ideas I have inspired by that game.
When you talk to Khloe Aliapoh about your journal, she asks you if she can use your stories you give her. She then notes that she will change the story a bit, because she doesn’t want to be a copy-coeurl. A coeurl is a type of cat-monster in the setting.
There, isn’t it better, explained?
May is the tail end of the teaching semester. It’s not quite finals marking – no, it’s the period where I need to make sure students have their work back, are as prepared for it as possible, and are capable of working their way through the projects they have lined up. That was kinda on my mind, a lot. Also, this semester – the first half of the year – is when I teach my class on making board games, which is always full of interesting chances to introduce students to new ideas. It’s genuinely, wonderfully exciting stuff. I like students.
We went to Comic-Gong, the first convention we’ve had since January 2020. Part of the tipping point for me was being able to get an outside stall – full ventilation, masks, vaccines, and just knowing that there was air moving around was super nice. We also got to be next to Pig Alley, an alley full of artworks commemorating the area’s interesting history with pigs – pig iron and the steelworks, pork access during the refugee period, and most beautifully, the tale of Torpedo Pig, a beer-stealing feral pig that headbutted a cop.
Fox hasn’t been well this month. It’s just been a rough time for her and that’s meant that as the weather gets colder, I’m walking the dog more on my own, in the cold, at night, because that’s the best way to ensure Elli doesn’t see other dogs and start hollering at them. It’s quiet and dark, and it’s instilled in me a special irritation with people who let their cats go around outside at night, because god damn if Elli doesn’t go completely unhelpful when he sees a cat move around in the distance while I’m walking him on a lead.
Oh yeah, there’s a federal election, too.
And Mother’s day! We visited Fox’s mum, and played some board games. Then, the next day, we visited my sister, who is a mum, and played some board games! I got to playtest my floating island game, too!
Oh oh oh! I also finally took the time in my area to head quite a bit out of my way to the Asian grocery in search of potato starch for cooking purposes. And while I was there, I got to find a bunch of really interesting looking snacks and dishes and look, the result is Fox and I got strawberry and milk daifuku mochi and now I’m going to go to that grocer a lot more.
I joined an anime club! We watch anime and talk about it! That means this month I’ve watched a lot more anime and I’ve watched My Dress Up Darling three times to make sure that different people watch it! I’ve seen the sub and the dub!
It’s been a busy month!
Oh wait I also forgot our TV broke. Which means say, watching movies together has been harder. Which may explain why the Disney Animated Canonball (which was scheduled to wrap up this month) is… not… wrapped up… yet. And we got a new couch, which was Fox’s birthday present that Elli immediately got on and sat like it was his throne. Oh oh and then also that meant clambering around in the roof!
It’s… it’s been a big month.