(no subject)

Just as there is a doctor's office that serves our living complex, Molenwijk, there is also a dental practice. (I'm reminding myself that this isn't a company town situation, though if feels a little like it. I could go elsewhere if I wanted to. It's just so convenient when it's nearby.) So I'll make an appointment there. As soon as I get past the apprehension about making a phone call.

I stayed up *way* too late last night playing Oxygen Not Included.

School, Dental Work

Yesterady, around 4 AM my time (10 PM Boston time), I turned in the last items to finish the class I took an incomplete on this past semester. I am done with school for the next fifteen days or so until the new semester starts. I'm hoping to be more organized and thorough and less crazy during the next semester. But for now, I'm just happy and relieved.

Unfortunately, two days ago I lost a dental crown while I was eating dinner. Well, I didn't actually *lose* it; I still have it. It's just not where it's supposed to be. I've been avoiding going to a dentist because of Covid, but I do believe I'll have to take my chances. At least I live in a civilized country where dental care is pretty available.
Tawas dog

Keyboard Stand Problem

Once upon a time, I bought a cheap music-type keyboard from Goodwill. It came with a folding X-style stand that was fine except it was too short for me. I ended up turning it sideways and securing it with a twist-tie.

A little while back, I ordered myself a nicer keyboard. It's a 61-key MIDI controller with velocity-sensitive keys. I bought the suggested X-style stand with it from the music store. To my surprise, it has the same issue; it's too tall at minium height. I have it turned sidewise and again am using twist ties to keep it from folding up.

I write about this because it just collapsed, and as I worked to secure it up again, I wondered if this is just me being too short for a standard height to work (I'm 5'11" so that seems unlikely), or having bad luck with cheap keyboard stands, or what? If I use the stand as intended, the keys are definitely too high for good ergonomics, and if I sit in a taller chair my feet aren't flat on the floor.

Strange Christmas

I am sad this morning. This is the most disconnected I have ever felt from both the event and the larger concept of Christmas. Nearly every past year I've spent the day with my parents, brothers, partner(s), and family friends. Today, it feels like just another Friday. Which in pandemic times, could be just another anyday. I don't really know what to do with myself, and I just miss people.

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope it's a wonderful experience this year for you and yours, despite all the hardships.

Red Dead Redemption 2

I love Red Dead Redemption and have been excited about trying RDR2 since it came out in 2018. It was on sale a couple days ago, so I finally bought it.

The world is immense, and so full of things to do! Creatures to study and track, plants to locate, fish to catch, legendary animals to hunt. The collector in me could be very happy spending hours finding all these things to fill in the entries in the in-game compendium.

The graphics are gorgeous! Whether riding through the rocky landscape or playing poker at a makeshift telegraph wire spool-turned-table, the detail of everything is amazing. I want so much to spend the approximately 77 hours it takes to do all the primary story content and extras in the game.

But I can't. The character I'm playing is simply not someone I can enjoy being. I've only played a couple hours and have had to kill guards on a train my gang is robbing and threaten two different witnesses to what I did with death. The next work I'm supposed to do for my gang is to find three people who've borrowed money from our loan shark and extract it from them. On top of that, I went into a bar where a friend was talking to some women, probably sex workers. Without confirmation (or choice on my part) I asked one of them "So how much do you cost?"

I confirmed last night via reviews that, while you can do your best to make honorable choices and refrain from killing innocent people unnecessarily, this kind of horribleness is an inescapable part of the game's story.

I was trying to think last night of something in my life to analogize this experience to and I remembered starting to read "Lord Foul's Bane," the first book in Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series. The books are held in high regard by critics and readers alike and represent a vast, immersive world to be lost in for scores of hours. Shortly into the first book, I read the scene wherein the protagonist rapes someone and I gave up. I just couldn't keep going and enjoy what I was reading.

I feel like that with RDR2. There's so much amazing content there that I *know* I could happy spent many hours losing myself in. But not as that character. That I can't do. The protagonist of the first RDR was a former gang member (who is actually in your gang in RDR2 - it's a prequel), but while the moral choices for him to make are often complex and the world is often a dark one, I could make choices that left me feeling like I was genuinely doing my best to be a good person. I think that's mandatory in my escapist fiction. Because it's not an option in RDR2, I just can't enjoy it.

I'm going to see if we can return it.

(no subject)

I've done piano practice until my back hurts this morning. I'm not sure if it's a matter of length of time or bad ergonomics. Probably both?

The sun is up, but there's rain until 11 so I'm not going outside quite yet.

Rainy Day

I was thinking of riding across the IJ and into greater Amsterdam today, but the forecast is once again rain, rain, rain. Maybe I can manage a little walk outside at least if there are any lulls.
  • Current Mood
    awake awake
Tawas dog

Bike Ride Around Het Twiske

I went out on Endurance, my Gazelle bicycle, this morning and rode around the edge of a recreational area called Het Twiske. It's full of cows, canals, little farms, bike paths, bird watching areas, people and their dogs, and more. It was a nice ride; I'll probably do it again now and then.

Tawas dog

A Good Morning So Far

Kenosha, WI has 9 hours and 3 minutes of daylight today and the sun rises at 7:15. Amsterdam has 7'40" and the sun doesn't rise until quarter to 9. We are north!

As far as I know I do not have SAD, but I wonder if this change has maybe a little to do with my mental health.

That said, I am up at 5 in the morning and I feel great. I took all of our garbage out and enjoyed the four or five trips up and down three flights of stairs to our unit. Then I worked on Dutch with Duolingo for a bit (I started that yesterday after many months away) and am now playing music.

I wish I could feel like this more often.