In Review – August 2022 [#Blaugust2022]

  • At least 31 posts during the month of August & get the Blaugust 2022 Rainbow Diamond Award
  • Obtain the Blaugcheivement Platinum Trophy
  • Write at least 12 #JustOnePercent Project posts
  • Write at least 2 game-specific non-project posts
  • Do not forget this is all for fun and do not burn myself out
  • Read / listen to at least four books

Well, there’s another Blaugust in the rearview mirror, and what might be my first full crossed off list since I started using this format. I’m not going to say that I low-balled my goals for the month, but they were pretty focused, so I feel like this month was almost more of a pass-or-fail system than usual for me. I do think I got more of a feeling of satisfaction out of writing and scheduling ahead than I would have if I actually made it a daily practice, so I think that’s likely to influence how I put things together going forward.

Being a procrastinator in recovery is really weird sometimes.


GAMING

Data taken from ManicTime.

I toyed with the idea of dropping the chart entirely until I wrapped up the #JustOnePercent project, as jumping around to as many different games as I do right now makes the whole thing kind of meaningless. But with only three more months in the project, I think I’m going to just stick to it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was really looking forward to seeing what these look like from December on.

#JustOnePercent

The twelve games I covered in August were Lawn Mowing Simulator, Black Book, Life is Hard, Space Scavenger, Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery, Twelve Minutes, In Sound Mind, Tinytopia, The Big Con, Cloud Gardens, Lake, and Kitaria Fables. Only Kitaria Fables didn’t see a full hour of play time during August (although I played for several hours in July).

By some metrics, this may have been my most successful project month yet. Sure, there were a few games this month I didn’t much care for, but overall, I think I chose well for myself this month. I did scramble my schedule a bit to get my post out on In Sound Mind considerable earlier to participate in UnwiseOwl’s group Humble Choice review, but I felt like I had made and stuck to my schedule better than in previous months.

I saw credits on two games this month – Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery, and The Big Con – but most of the games I don’t feel like I need to go back to.

Non-Project Gaming

My non-project gaming also felt more focused this month, with only three additional games played on the Steam Deck (Zuma Deluxe, Going Under, and Magicmaker), and three on PC, including Card Hunter, which has been our co-op game night choice all throughout August. I feel like I’ve about exhausted the available content in Clanfolk; I have successfully unlocked almost the entire tech tree and managed to get through a winter well set-up for continued success. I expect this is a title I’ll revisit as it comes further along in its development.

The real wild card this month was Saint’s Row: The Third. This is a game I’ve played to completion in the past, as well as dabbled in a few times. A bit past the midpoint of the month, I found myself just really craving something chaotic and silly and brainless. While I considered a handful of titles, Saint’s Row ended up winning out, and I played it obsessively for a couple of days until the craving was satiated.

Gaming Related Spending

While August was an incredibly spendy month for me, very little of that was for gaming-related expenses. In fact, other than my regular subscriptions (Humble Choice and XBox Game Pass), I only made one other gaming related purchase. I picked up a couple of build your own bundles on Fanatical, where I nabbed a bunch of stuff that looked interesting at really good prices, but mostly, I wanted Aquarium Designer from one set and Unmemory from the other, and added other things that looked good to fill out the bundles. Total gaming related spending for August was only $35.


EVERYTHING ELSE

READING: I got through four more books in the 87th Precinct series, but this wasn’t a heavy reading month, at least not as far as books go, but I probably made up some of it in the sheer quantity of blog posts read. These audiobooks have been averaging about 5 hours, and this month, I found myself listening more often while cooking or baking as well as while crafting in order to meet my goals.

BLAUGUST: I managed to put out 31 posts during August (and only a couple of them were absolutely fluff). I also systematically worked my way through the Blaugcheivements, earning my first ever platinum trophy! No, seriously. While there are many nerdpoints to be had on PC, I think that Platinum Trophies are pretty much a console exclusive, and since that’s never been my jam this is my very first. I also think I did a better job of reading, Discord participation, and general networking this time around, so I am overall pleased with how I tacked this event this year.

That said, I don’t know how many more days I have in me for this streak; I’m perfectly happy with my 3-5 per week posting schedule, with occasional periods of less activity, for the other 11 months out of the year.

Nerd Girl Goals – September 2022

This is my 31st post for #Blaugust2022, and hooboy, am I glad that’s over. In all fairness, this was probably my easiest Blaugust yet, but trying to figure out what to write about every single day is harder for me than the actual writing (and that is taking into account how much easier it becomes when you’re looking at a minimum of twelve project games, as well as five themed posts). My ideal blogging schedule is somewhere in the vicinity of 3-5 posts a week, so going forward, I think I’ll try to keep that in mind when planning out my calendar.


GAMING

#JustOnePercent

Planned games for the #JustOnePercent Project for September are Milo and the MagpiesTiny Robots Recharged, The Artful Escape, Kraken Academy, I Am Fish, Gas Station Simulator, Gamedec, Guild of Ascension, If On a Winter’s Night Four Travelers, Embr, Dandy Ace, and Heliopedia.

This is probably the batch of games I swapped around more than any other. On my initial list, September was almost entirely made up of XBox Game Pass games. I ended up switching out some of those titles I was personally less interested in for things I’ve picked up here and there over the past few months, but for some reason, this batch still feels a bit overwhelming.

However, I now have the schedule as firmed up as it’s going to get through the end of November when I’ll finish up the project, which means I’ve got 36 more games on my list, and 81 behind me. If you add in the other dozen 2021 releases I wrote about before starting the project, that means by the beginning of December I will have played 129 of the 10,967 games released on Steam in 2021, or a whopping 1.18%.

The games I’m planning to play on the Deck for September are Milo and the Magpies, I Am Fish, If On a Winter’s Night Four Travelers, and Embr. For the goal list, it’s going to twelve project posts again this month.

Other Gaming

I’ve really been all over the place gaming-wise lately, but the one thing I am sure of is that I’d like to renew my World of Warcraft subscription. However, before I do so, I’d like to have a much better idea of what I plan to do with it, so I want to sit down and make up a list of pre-expansion goals. I’ve already pretty much decided that I’m unlikely to return to raiding when I’m more than a full patch behind as far as gear progression goes, but as long as I go back in with enough other things I’m interested in finishing up (or even working on from past expansions), I’ll probably get my money’s worth out of it.

With everything else I have on my plate in September, I’m going to avoid making any other game-specific goals this month. However, I would like to keep up with my more regular blog schedule, so I’m going to shoot for six non-project posts in September, which will put me in comfortably in the 5 posts per week zone. I just have no idea what they’re going to be about yet.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Still keeping just a smidgen ahead of my yearly reading challenge on GoodReads.

Reading

While I’ve been enjoying my 87th Precinct Audiobook Reread, I think it’s time to start mixing it up a little bit. My Scribd audio TBR (and print TBR) list just keeps growing. While I’m a bit concerned that switching back to longer listens will hinder my ability to finish as many books as I’d like to, I’m also really ready for something different. In the spirit of compromise, I’ll task myself with only three books this month, which will give me a little more wiggle room for some listens longer than a few hours.

I’d also like to grab a couple of core rulebooks for TTRPG systems I’m unfamiliar with from DriveThruRPG, and start poking around in them. I’m ever-so-slightly toying with the idea of setting up some sort of short campaign to play online over the winter months, but most of the ideas I’m tumbling around with aren’t a great fit for any of the systems I have passing familiarity with. I’d like to pick up at least one “rules-light” system corebook that’s appropriate for more contemporary stories, and go from there.

Stitchcraft

Due to being over ambitious, I’m still working on a pair of rather hefty projects, but the deadlines I had set myself are already in the rearview mirror. Still, I’m probably about halfway through one of the two projects now that I’ve scaled it down in scope a little bit, so I’d like to have that one finished by the end of September.

However, since I know that I tend to get antsy when I don’t know what’s next project-wise (it’s a personality flaw), I’m going to try to get my next two projects picked out, and supplies ordered this month as well. I do have a little extra fun money burning a hole in my pocket, so while I’m ordering stuff anyway, I’ll probably pick up somewhere between a third and half of the supplies I’m going to need for my giant project, even though I’m still several months off from starting it. It’ll give me a little burst of joy to get some of that stuff actually in my hands (and will help me avoid being outrageously annoyed late on because this way I won’t have to card 90 colors of floss all at once).

Television

Although I almost always ignore my watching goals, I’m finding I’m starting to miss watching stuff, and my list of shows that I’m interested in never seems to stop growing. Of course, being forever behind has it’s advantages – sometimes the wait means that something I’ve been interested in gets cancelled, which means I won’t be stuck waiting for more seasons, but also, that there aren’t going to be any more seasons, which usually leads to unsatisfying endings.

Yes, I’m talking mostly about The Wilds, and no, I’m probably not going to bother watching it now.

However, the itch to re-up my Netflix sub to watch The Sandman is starting to be really difficult to ignore, which I realize is the absolute opposite of patient watching. At the very least, I’d like to look through other new-to-me stuff that Netflix is currently offering, and if I feel there’s enough value for a month or two of subscription cost, I’ll likely focus my watching efforts there until I’m satisfied and feel ready to cancel again.

Krikket’s Clubhouse

So far, I’m reasonably pleased with how my Discord server is shaping up, but I would really like to be more diligent about planning different sorts of activities. So, rather than setting goals related to the growth of the server – which I only have a little control over – I’m going to set myself a goal of planning at least six events during September, at least one of which will be something other than a watch party, craft & chat, or Codewords Online.


IN SUMMARY

Having typed all that out now, I realize I’m at risk of overloading myself to make up for all the stuff I got a crazy urge to do in August that I shelved to focus on #Blaugust2022. However, we’re also heading into the time of year that my interest in doing things surges, as the really hot days start to be the exception rather than the norm. I’m okay going a little bold with my goals this month.

  • Twelve posts for the #JustOnePercent Project
  • At least six posts unrelated to the #JustOnePercent Project.
  • Work up a list of pre-expansion goals for World of Warcraft.
  • Reactivate my World of Warcraft subscription.
  • Read / listen to any three books.
  • Pick up at least one core rulebook for a rule-light TTRPG system.
  • Finish up current stitching project.
  • Decide on my next two stitching projects and order supplies.
  • Figure out if there’s enough new-to-me stuff on Netflix to justify restarting my subscription.
  • Plan at least six Discord events, with at least one being a new type of event.

The Road to Platinum – #Blaugust2022 Blaugcheivements

Blaugcheivement Unlocked!

Blaugust, as envisioned by Belghast of Tales of the Aggronaut, is a festival of blogging, a celebration of content creation of the written word variety, and a community-building activity for people participating in a medium that many consider to be dying or already dead. Although Blaugust awards are granted for established blogs who put out at least five posts during the month of August, I’ve set my sights on the Rainbow Diamond award, and am planning a post per day for the entire month.


As much as I love collecting achievements (or nerd points, as I started calling them soon after they were introduced in World of Warcraft back in 2008), I’ve never been particularly interested in trying to 100% most things. Even in games I’ve really loved and played to death, it seems like there’s always that one achievement that feels impossible, or forces you to play in a way that you don’t enjoy. I’ve mostly elected to collect nerd points only so long as I’m enjoying the process, which fits right in with my Play to Satsifaction theory.

Now, Blaugchievements are different. I knew when I started that I wanted the top trophy, and I was going to do whatever I could to get it. Now, just one day from the end of #Blaugust2022, I’m going to sum up my personal Road to Platinum.

(In all honesty, I was going to do most of this stuff anyway…)


The Post-Specific Blaugcheivements

Tips & Tricks for Staying Productive and Avoiding Burnout – August 2, 2022

Welcome to the Club(house) – August 5, 2022

The Spirits of Hobbies Past – August 12, 2022

Your Summer Safari – Five Photo-Snapping Games – August 7, 2022

Pay No Attention to the Nerd Behind the Curtain – August 9, 2022

Quick Look – In Sound Mind – August 15, 2022

Blaugust Reviews Humble Choice August 2022 – Unwise Owl – August 29, 2022

The Joy In Everything That’s Not Blogging – August 16, 2022

Pushing Through the Rough Spots – August 23, 2022

The Boy Scouts Had It Right All Along – August 29, 2022


The Non-Post-Specific Blaugchievements

The non-post-specific Blaugchievements fall into one of two categories. About half are of the you played the game, have nerdpoints variety, and most of the rest are nebulous and harder to point to the moment of completion. Suffice it to say, that all of those I feel I completed over the course of the month, but there’s a couple I wanted to highlight.

Two folks signed up for #Blaugust2022, and explicitly gave me the credit for this achievement. If you haven’t popped in and said hi to Jaedia at Dragons and Whimsy or DarksydeTed at Dispatches from Darksyde, it’s not too late, go do that now.

Okay, this one specifically talks about sharing pet pictures in the Blaugust Discord, which I did, but you all deserve dog photos as well!


And In The End…

What would a series of achievements be if there was not a “Platinum Trophy”. This one is gained by completing all of the achievements above during Blaugust.

As of yesterday’s post, I completed the Going Platinum Blaugcheivement, and tomorrow, I will earn my Rainbow Diamond Award for the year with my September goals post. It’s been a wild ride again this year, and I am glad to have shared it with so many friends, both new and old.

In Review – July 2022

  • At least 10 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 6 posts unrelated to #JustOnePercent.
  • Play & write about at least one game purchased during the Steam Summer Sale season 2022.
  • Read / listen to any 6 books.
  • Finish both projects with August deadlines.
  • Do my Second Quarter Stitchcraft Gallery post.
  • Run Krikket’s Game Giveways summer session.
  • Start sending out invites for Krikket’s Clubhouse Discord server.

At least one thing I didn’t scratch off the list in July was a deliberate choice. I wanted to hold off on my Stitchcraft Gallery post to have it in for Blaugust 2022, and as a bonus, have another finished piece or two to show off once they were in the hands of their intended recipients. That said, I also did far less stitching during July than I had hoped to get done, so I expect that’s going to present an interesting conundrum in how I spend my time in August – I either need to get very dedicated very quickly, or I’m going be giving out some belated birthday gifts!


GAMING

Data taken from ManicTime and my own records.

This chart really drives home that while my time spent gaming is just slightly below average, my focus was absolutely all over the place this month. It does make for a rather pretty pie chart though – lots of colors!

I put out a total of 20 posts during July, with a little more than half of them being part of the #JustOnePercent project. The game time split between my PC and my Steam Deck was about 60/40 this month, which I probably shouldn’t have found surprising, but I’m definitely using the Deck more than I think I am.

#JustOnePercent

The eleven games I covered in July were Cris Tales, Song of Farca, In Space No One Can Hear You Clean*, The Forgotten City, Abomi Nation, Leaf Me Alone, inbento, An Odd Tale*, Doomsday Vault, Dreamscaper, and Garden StoryTitles marked with an asterisk were played less than one hour during June and are absent from the chart above.

I had to do a little scrambling this month as far as project gaming went. I ended up dropping Last Stop, as I hadn’t realized it left XBox Game Pass at the end of June, and Reality’s Reverse Side, as the translation was just not good, and it made it really difficult to follow what was going on. I ended up picking up another Game Pass game – Garden Story – which had not been available when I originally was making my list, so I decided to cover that one a little early rather than rearrange my entire month of August to accommodate it.

There were only two games this month I played for less than an hour, and only one of those was because I just didn’t care for it. I also managed to actually finish a project game this month, which is not something I normally have the time or inclination to do.

Non-Project Gaming

I was scattered when it came to gaming all month long, having almost doubled my total number of games played with non-project gaming during July. Most of these were played on the Steam Deck, and including the one project game I completed, I saw credits roll on three different games, although one of those (Battle Chef Brigade) was a replay for me.

Finding out what types of games I enjoy playing on the Steam Deck has been a bit of an adventure. Overall, I try to decide if I think a game will play more smoothly with the controller than the mouse and keyboard, but I’ve definitely shelved a couple of titles due to screen size – my eyes just aren’t what they used to be, and titles with a lot of small text are more comfortable to play on my larger monitor. Probably the biggest surprise of a title that I didn’t expect to work for me without a mouse & keyboard was Zuma Deluxe, although I’m still adjusting to the using the trackpad to aim, it’s become my late-night settle-my-brain game of choice over the last week or so.

Although I didn’t actually play anything from Itch.io on the Steam Deck yet, I did manage to follow the instructions I found on Reddit and have it working on there. It took me an embarrassingly long time, and then, I got distracted while cleaning out “non-steam games” from my library and managed to lose my shortcut, necessitating starting over from the beginning. I am pleased to report I managed to get it working in about half as much time the second time around.

Gaming Related Spending

This was a fairly spendy month. I picked up two of the big Itch.io bundles early in the month for a total of $20, spent an additional $32 in the Steam Summer Sale, grabbed a couple of newly released titles I was excited about for $29, and picked up a small bundle on Fanatical as well as the Humble Monthly and my Game Pass subscription. All total, I spent $106 on gaming during July.


Everything Else

READING: Came up one short on books this month, but I’m still really enjoying the audiobook versions of the 87th Precinct Series. Not having to think about what I’m going to listen to next has been a nice bonus, too. Looking ahead, I can see that Scribd is missing a handful of titles in the series, but I still have quite a few to go before I hit the 20th book, which is the first missing title. I may just read my hard copies of the books that aren’t available in between, but I’m not 100% decided on that yet – it’s been a long time since I’ve actually read a book made out of paper!

STITCHCRAFT: I am so far behind. Like, I’m pretty sure if I chained myself to my craft desk for every waking hour for the next two weeks, I still wouldn’t be caught up. While some of this is due to having taken a couple of lengthy breaks for various reasons, really, the true culprit is that I just got overly ambitious. I’m down to two projects in progress, both of which are just not going to be done in time for their intended recipient’s birthdays, and I have – mostly – just accepted that as fact. The smaller of the two is just going to be belated, and I’ve decided that the 40,000 stitch full-coverage piece I’m going to shoot to have done in time to be a Christmas present.

DISCORD SHENANIGANS: The summer batch of giveaways went off without a hitch. Unfortunately, now I find myself left with about 100 or so keys that I’ve been unable to even give away after two separate events. My other Discord project – starting up a community general activity server – is going well, but is definitely still in the phase where I’m probably overscheduling myself to see what will actually entice people to log on. That’s ok, I expected that. I’m seeing activity in the text channels most days, and I figure that’s a good start.


Recruit a Friend – Convince another blogger to participate in this year’s Blaugust event. This could be a brand new blogger but also could just be convincing another blogger out there to participate. Again much of the focus on Blaugust is to stir up activity in the community and get bloggers active again.

Lastly, I was able to check one more Blaugcheivement off my list right before the start of Blaugust 2022 proper. Jaedia, author of Dragons & Whimsy has decided to join in again this year, and my husband will also be participating with his brand new blog, Dispatches from Darksyde, which may or may not be live yet when this post goes up.

This was the task that I thought might keep me from my platinum trophy, so fingers crossed it’s all smooth sailing from here on out.

Nerd Girl Goals – August 2022


BLAUGUST 2022

Well, it’s that time of year, and I’m as ready as I’m going to be to tackle a month of daily blogging, with community focused Blaugchievements to earn, and a full content calendar to work from. After a frankly disappointing effort last year, I’ve set my sights on both a Rainbow Diamond award and a Platinum Trophy.

I’ve already earned my first four achievements, and posted a couple times about joining up and getting ready. I’ll link those posts just in case you missed them!

If you want more information, read all about Blaugust 2022 over on Tales of the Aggronaut. If you haven’t done so already, you can sign up for Blaugust 2022 here, and join us in the Discord as well. If I influenced you to give this craziness a try, please let me know so I can grab the associated nerdpoints.


GAMING

#JustOnePercent

Planned games for the #JustOnePercent Project for August are Lawn Mowing Simulator, Black Book, Life is Hard, Twelve Minutes, Space Scavenger, Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery, Tinytopia, The Big Con, Cloud Gardens, Lake, Yerba Mate Tycoon, and Falling as Lightning.

I’ve made it past the two-thirds mark now, and have decided to finish out the project when I run out of games that were released in 2021. I’ve got everything already installed (and shhh, don’t tell but I’ve already started playing a couple). The majority of titles this month are games that I purchased (either by themselves or as part of a bundle), with three of subscription-service games and one free title rounding the month out. Black Book and The Big Con are the titles this month I’m going to play on the Steam Deck if all goes according to plan. There are a dozen games on the schedule for this month, and since I’m planning to post daily for Blaugust, I’m setting the goal at 12 #JustOnePercent project posts.

Other Gaming

I’ve gotten away from posting this the last few months – possibly because I feel like most months my goals post has gotten a bit overly-long, but I figured the beginning of Blaugust was a great time to bring it back. Sometimes, I forget that this is all supposed to be about having fun, not about meeting whatever arbitrary metrics I set for myself.

Outside of my planned project posts this month, I didn’t plan too much that was game specific. I do, however, plan to do at least a quick look at Clanfolk this month, because I’ve been kind of obsessed with it since it came out in mid-July. I’d also like to revisit the project I planned to start on prior to taking on #J1P, and play something I’d previously stopped playing before I reached my gaming to satisfaction point, so look for a So We Meet Again post later in the month.

To recap: I’ve got myself put down for at least two game-specific non-project posts this month.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

I’m sure some of you are probably thinking by now “Damn, Krikket, isn’t that enough?” and while the answer is most definitely yes, yes it is more than enough, I’m going to put myself down for at least another four books read this month. I’m comfortably ahead of my yearly challenge goal right now, and there’s a lot of other stuff I plan on focusing on this month, but I’m still in the short books part of my 87th Precinct re-read, so I don’t anticipate finding them time to listen to another four of them to be outside the realm of possibility.

I do still have a lot of stitching to work on, but I’ve accepted that I was a bit overly ambitious with these last couple projects, and that they are going to be somewhere between acceptably belated and outrageously late, but I’m going to plug along as I’m able and see where I end up.


IN SUMMARY

Note: I am slowly learning that I can talk about things I’d like to do without actually making them line items in a checklist. I am, now and forever, a work in progress.

  • At least 31 posts during the month of August & get the Blaugust 2022 Rainbow Diamond Award
  • Obtain the Blaugcheivement Platinum Trophy
  • Write at least 12 #JustOnePercent Project posts
  • Write at least 2 game-specific non-project posts
  • Do not forget this is all for fun and do not burn myself out
  • Read / listen to at least four books

Getting Ready for Blaugust 2022

I’m sure that no one who’s been hanging out with me here awhile is going to be surprised when I say the past couple of months, I’ve been blogging while riding The Struggle Bus. In fact, if I weren’t smack dab in the middle of a big project, which I’ve already done the lion’s share of the organizational work for, I might not be blogging at all right now.

So the announcement for Blaugust 2022, while not unexpected, has left me very very conflicted. While I do love a good challenge (and Blaugust always seems to be a Very Good Challenge), I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to really dedicate the time and energy this year to participate in the way I prefer – which is to say, I’m a Rainbow Diamond girl or bust. In order to do that, I need to post 31 times during the month of August, and right now, I’m scrambling to do half that every month.

One of the many panels of Hyperbole and a Half which has spawned a million memes.

And then I signed up anyway.


Of course, participating in Blaugust doesn’t mean you need to post 31 entries next month. In fact, a single post a week over the course of the month is enough to get you a bronze award. Heck, if you’re new to blogging, just the act of creating a new blog and participating at all means you have succeeded!

This year also brings a new component – Blaugchievements! As a almost-but-not-entirely reformed chaser of Nerd Points in everything, this was probably the thing that tipped the scales. While I still want my shiny Rainbow Diamond award at the end of the month, I’m also planning to collect me some trophies. In fact, I’ve gotten the first one already!

(click the button, and it can be yours as well!)

Looking at my content planning calendar, there is some good news. I’ve been bumping a lot of non-project post ideas forever forward, and I already have 18 of the 31 days of August with a planned post. That’s more than half and I haven’t even checked the prompt list yet. I’m going to do my best to have the whole month full of post ideas before the kickoff date of August 1st.

I will say that I’ve been kind of hyper-focused on building and participating in communities right now, so the addition of community-focused (but totally optional) achievement goals definitely influenced my choice to jump off the struggle bus and onto this crazy train for another year.

Oops, I got another one, and so can you if you click!

In Review – June 2022

  • At least 10 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 6 posts unrelated to #JustOnePercent.
  • Hit level 50 in CSD2 with all gold medals.
  • Finish Lacuna.
  • Try out at least one game in a different genre on the Steam Deck.
  • Read / listen to any 6 books.
  • Complete at least 75% of my project with the mid-July deadline.
  • Get my in-progress yarn projects organized.
  • Watch at least 3 episodes of a new to me TV show.

The early weeks of June felt like they were super-focused and I was feeling really good about everything. By mid-month, the majority of my mental and emotional energy had started to be used up on things that were Decidedly UnFun, as it felt like everyone I know decided to battle their demons all at once. This then went directly into a scary week of sleep deprivation and pet illness – thankfully, both of my girls are back to their normal lazy dog selves now.

So, in the end, June turned into a month where instead of struggling to figure out what I wanted to do, I struggled with finding the energy to do anything at all. I’m fairly sure the only reason I met any of my goals this month was that I got a jump on a lot of things during the first third of the month, so I never got to the point where I was actually pushing up against deadlines until this last weekend. Having both Wholesome Direct and Steam Next Fest to talk about in the first half of the month made my 6 non-project post goal almost trivial.

Everything I failed to complete this month was something I didn’t even attempt to start.


GAMING

What I was very successful at this month was keeping my spreadsheet up! I lumped together all my demo playtime into one category, as even the demos I spent the most time with were right on the edge of an hour of playtime, which is my normal cut off for the chart. Overall, a huge chunk of my gaming time went into my go-to game to play on the Deck: Atomicrops.

#JustOnePercent

The twelve games I covered in June were Garbage, Big Bang West, Backbone, Beasts of Maravilla Island, Black Mansion*, Wildermyth*, Welcome to Lakewood*, Melodramatica, The List, Runo*, Outsider: After Life and Highrisers. Titles marked with an asterisk were played less than one hour during June and are absent from the chart above.

Non-Project Gaming

Almost all of my non-project gaming time was spend on demos or Atomicrops, although the nearly 9 hours I spent playing demo games doesn’t even come close to the more than 60 I put into this silly little roguelite. I will say that I dabbled in other games on the Deck – I spent a little less than an hour and a half with Endless Fables 3: Dark Moor, tried out a puzzle-platformer in Planet of the Eyes and even played a very short session of Torchlight III before deciding the text size was just a little too small for my middle-aged eyesight. I also played three demos (Potion Permit, Alchemia: Creatio Ex Nihilo, and Dome Keeper), as well as one of my project titles (Outsider: After Life) from either my couch or my bed.

Having the Steam Deck was a huge boon this month – there were several points in the month where my pain was such that sitting at my computer or craft desk was out of the question, but I still had the mental capacity to be doing something that was engaging rather than just wallowing. I will admit to having some small pangs of buyer’s remorse back in May, but after this past month, I feel really good about my purchase.

We also finished up our Terraria run around the middle of the month, and despite my initial hesitancy after bouncing hard off of this one in 2016, I did mostly enjoy my time with the game. To be sure, I still prefer my games to have a little more guidance built-in, but playing alongside someone who really really knows the ropes countered almost everything I didn’t like about it.

Gaming Related Spending

My picks from Fanatical’s Build Your Own Slayer Bundle 6 were Grotto, Nobodies, Iratus: Lord of the Dead, Tunnel of Doom, and Blazing Beaks. Not bad for a little over $1.50 each.

This was a spendy month for gaming, which isn’t terribly surprising as I usually budget an obnoxious amount to spend during the many Summer Sales that tend to pop up in late June. Early in the month, I picked up a few individual games (including two specifically for #J1P purposes) and a bundle from Fanatical. I plan to do a more in-depth look at my Summer Sale buys after the sales have ended and I’m safe from any last-minute impulse buys, but my total June gaming-related spending was $93. This includes – as usual – both my GamePass Subscription and the Humble Choice bundle.


EVERYTHING ELSE

READING: Here again, the first part of the month was great – I flew through the first three books in just over a week. The fourth book – which wasn’t actually appreciably longer than the previous two – I spent almost two weeks on, and then couldn’t make myself pick something new for a couple days afterwards. Finally, I decided to indulge in a re-read / first listen of some very early Ed McBain novels, which I’ll be honest, often feel really problematic 65 years after publication.

STITCHCRAFT: Another place where a good early push saved my bacon this month. The project I’m currently working on has four distinct sections, and I flew through the first two despite my reservations about it being a more complex pattern than I’ve been used to. The third section, however, was just problem after problem. I had to dedicate an entire evening to ripping out several hundred stitches because my count was off by one somewhere that would have made a huge difference. Once I managed to finish that section, however, the fourth is going pretty much the way of the first three, and I’m well past my 75% completion goal, and expect to be fully done before the end of the weekend.

WATCHING: I’m still in a television and movie funk, and other than a handful of episodes of Guy’s Grocery Games, nothing I saw this month was new to me. There were a couple of days when my dogs were feeling poorly that I just sat with them and watched comfort movies – Happy Feet, Disney’s Hercules, and Ice Age, but they were really basically background noise for me. I’m sure this current disinterest is due in part to my aversion to giving all my focus to something that’s non-interactive, but mostly due to the fact that I can now play a game pretty much anywhere so I don’t need the entertainment provided by the TV right now.

Nerd Girl Goals – July 2022

I’ve decided I wanted to try something a little different this month – and perhaps going forward – and flip the order of my goal & recap posts. In other words, Nerd Girl Goals will be on the last day of the prior month, while the recap will be on the first day of the following month. Partially, this is for the sake of increased accuracy, but mainly it’s because I realize that I almost always write the posts in this order, and then post them in the reverse. We’ll see how I end up liking it, but this idea was sort of a “eureka moment” for me, and yes, I realize how completely silly that sounds.


GAMING

#JustOnePercent

Planned games for the #JustOnePercent Project for July are Cris Tales, Song of Farca, Reality’s Reverse Side, Last Stop, In Space No One Can Hear You Clean, The Forgotten City, Abomi Nation, Leaf Me Alone, inbento, An Odd Tale, Doomsday Vault, and Dreamscaper.

This month has a pretty great variety of sources for the #JustOnePercent games – three were purchased specifically for this project, three are on GamePass, two were purchased by me individually but not specifically for the project, two were from bundles I purchased but not for that specific game, one was an Epic store giveaway, and one is a game available for free on Steam.

Two of the games that I own on Steam (Song of Farca and Abomi Nation) have been rated as being Playable on Steam Deck, so I have installed those two game there and intend to play them exclusively on the Deck. I won’t say I’ve mastered getting screen shots from my Deck to my computer, but I managed to do it for Outsider: After Life, so I’m confident I can manage it for these titles as well.

At this point, I’m more than halfway through my goal of 100 games, and even if I continue on playing the games I’ve already picked out, I’ll be wrapping up #JustOnePercent in early to mid December with 120 games played. Because I’m so well situated in regards to number of available titles and being ahead of schedule, I’m going to again make my official goal 10 posts for #JustOnePercent for July.

Co-Op Game Night

I’m not 100% sure just yet where we’re heading next with our co-op game night. We still have some new content to look at in Core Keeper, but for the most part, there just isn’t anything new out there we’re overly excited to try out. We’ve started toying with the idea of doing some board game adaptations in Tabletop Simulator, or looking for games more conducive to one or two sessions than epic months-long campaigns. The only thing we have decided is that we want to keep getting together every Tuesday night to do something!

Other Gaming

Like I did last month for my reading goals, I’m keeping my non-project gaming goals fairly unspecific this month. This is partially because there’s a couple meatier titles on the project list this month that I might find myself caught up in, but it’s also partially because I’ve been finding myself craving comfort and familiarity in gaming over challenge or novelty.

However, I will task myself with playing and writing about at least one game that I purchased during the Steam Summer Sale season of 2022 at some point this month.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading

I’m not quite confident enough to say that I’m definitely past my reading slump, but I’ve started indulging in a re-read of a series I’ve loved for many years, and it’s taken off the pressure of choosing the next book every few days. I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with it – there are 55 books in the series – but given the relatively short length of the earlier titles, giving myself another month with a goal of reading six books feels very very doable.

Stitchcraft

With my July deadline project nearly done, this month I’ll be working on two separate projects with August deadlines. One is fairly small – less than 5000 stitches – so I don’t anticipate any issues knocking that one out in it’s entirety in a week or so. The other I’ve already started on, and is about four times as large in terms of stitch count, which will make July a pretty craft-intensive month. That’ll be great for my reading goals at least. Ideally, I’d like to finish both projects with August deadlines so that I can dedicate all of August to the outrageously huge project I have to finish up by early September.

I’m also due for another gallery post sometime in July, but I only have a couple of new finished pieces since the last one, so I’d like to figure out how to add more to that series than just pictures and pattern links.

Everything Else

I continue to be resistant to using my leisure time for much else besides gaming, audiobooks, and cross-stitch. Sure, there are other things I think miss doing, but in a very abstract way. Even “comfort” television and movies haven’t been particularly enticing, and it’s too damn hot to spent much more time in the kitchen than absolutely necessary. As it gets hotter outside, my motivation for home improvement tasks has fallen off a cliff, and I realize that it’s probably also due to the fact that as much as I want things to be finished, I’m just really sick of working on it all.

In short, I feel like I might want to be doing other things, but I have no idea what those things are.

So instead of setting goals for things I’m just not enthused about, in July both of my “everything else” projects are going to be gaming-related. First, I’m bringing Krikket’s Game Giveaways out of semi-retirement, and hopefully finding loving homes for more of my unused game keys. It tends to make for a bit of a hectic couple of weeks, but I really love doing it. Secondly, I think it’s maybe time to stop messing around and open up Krikket’s Clubhouse, a community Discord server I’ve been working up in an attempt to have a structured place available for people in my orbit to come together to do fun things online, and maybe get some interplay between the different online communities I’m already a part of.


IN SUMMARY

Note: I am slowly learning that I can talk about things I’d like to do without actually making them line items in a checklist. I am, now and forever, a work in progress.

  • At least 10 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 6 posts unrelated to #JustOnePercent.
  • Play & write about at least one game purchased during the Steam Summer Sale season 2022.
  • Read / listen to any 6 books.
  • Finish both projects with August deadlines.
  • Do my Second Quarter Stitchcraft Gallery post.
  • Run Krikket’s Game Giveways summer session.
  • Start sending out invites for Krikket’s Clubhouse Discord server.

Nerd Girl Goals – June 2022

I’m not entirely sure I am ready for another month. Like, maybe I could take a few weeks off in between? What do you mean time doesn’t work like that?

In all seriousness, as much as it’s been a huge weight off my shoulders to have a reasonably tidy & useful physical space, I really feel like I need to so something to straighten out my headspace to match. There has to be a middle ground between complete and utter mental health chaos and toxic positivity. I keep trying to remind myself that I can only do what I can do, and to stop letting situations that are leagues away from being in my control throw me off. I’m no good to anyone when I do nothing but mope around.


GAMING

#JustOnePercent

Planned games for the #JustOnePercent Project for June are Garbage, Big Bang West, Backbone, Beasts of Maravilla Island, Black Mansion, Wildermyth, Welcome to Lakewood, Melodramatica, The List, Runo, Outsider: After Life, and HighRisers.

Half of the games on this list this month are things I purchased specifically for inclusion in this project, and two are free titles that I thought looked really interesting. Out of the remaining four, two were included in bundles I bought, although not for those specific titles, and two titles were purchased individually. This is both the first and last month where project specific purchases make up such a significant portion of the month’s games, so I’m hoping I chose well for myself.

I realize it may not look like it, but I went through my spreadsheet last month and pared way down on the number of project games I hope to cover in the next few months. My “I can just do one more” attitude wasn’t serving me well; it almost never serves me well, actually. Going forward, I’m putting a hard cap of a dozen games per month, and I am trying to make sure as many of those games as possible are games I’m genuinely excited about.

I am also going to re-reduce my goal to 10 posts a month, giving me explicit permission to pass on games that just aren’t working for me without scrambling for replacement titles. At the end of four months, I am very nearly halfway through my goal of 100 games, and although I plan to surpass that before moving on from this project, I’d have to drop an awful lot of balls to fall behind at this point.

I’ve also been finding that I’m putting off other things I’d like to be writing about, so I’m hoping to oh-so-slightly up my non-project posts for June.

Co-Op Game Night

I still don’t really understand the full scope of Terraria, so I don’t know if we have another month’s worth of play left to go. However, I think we’re still early enough in that we haven’t even really started talking about a next game, so I have no idea where we’ll end up after this one. I know Starbound isn’t entirely out of contention, but my guess at this point is co-op nights throughout June will continue to be playing Terraria. I’m still liking it well enough, thankfully, but I’m not sure it’s anything I would ever play by myself.

Steam Deck Gaming

Although I’ve been playing Atomicrops pretty obsessively when I reach for my Steam Deck, I would like to mix it up a little this month. I purchases Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch specifically for its suitability for Steam Deck play. I’d like to round things out with something more story-focused (The Town of Light), and something with a bit of platforming (Darq) to see how I like those types of games on the small screen as well.

Other Gaming

I don’t think I’m over my Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2 challenge run just yet, although it’s starting to get to be the kind of hard that usually puts me off this kind of madness. I’m going to set my goal for level 50 this month, but I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to pull that off.

I would also like to go back and finish up Lacuna. In May, I elected to finish up The Wild at Heart instead of Lacuna since I knew I wasn’t going to have time to do both and still keep to my schedule, but I really did enjoy the first section enough that I would like to play the rest of it.

Keplerth left Early Access on May 23, and I have been waiting for 1.0 to dive into this one. I played a few minutes last month, but I’d like to give it a fair shake this month, especially since it might be a good candidate for co-op game night in the future.

I’m also – just barely – starting to get the itch to return to World of Warcraft again. It’s just a tiny tug at the moment, so it’s likely to pass on it’s own, but I’m not ruling out subbing up for a month.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading

Still on track for my GoodReads goal this year, but again, just barely. So, in an attempt to do something just a little bit different, I’m just going to set a goal of six books, any six books, and leave it at that. From my list or not, audio or print, whatever floats my boat. I’m hoping if I take the pressure of the details off, I’ll have an easier time with the quantity.

Stitchcraft

The good news is my next project deadline is about 6 weeks out still. The bad news is, it’s on a project I haven’t even started yet! I somehow got my dates mixed up, and missed getting this one into its proper place in the queue. More good news: I do have it framed up and the floss carded, so I’m ready to start it, and it’s significantly less stitches than anything else I have going on right now. More bad news: it’s also more technically challenging than anything I’ve worked on since I restarted this hobby last fall. It’s got a bunch of petit stitches, and backstitching, and I’ve been avoiding anything that’s not just 100% regular old stitches. As much as I’d like to say I’ll get it all done this month, I’ll be satisfied if I hit 75%.

I’ve also been missing yarn-work lately, and I’d like to find an excuse to pick up a hook or a pair of needles again. Obviously, summer is not the ideal time for big warm projects, but I could work up a scarf or some dish towels. I’d like to get my half-finished projects organized and spend a little bit of time on at least one of them. Or I may stay true to character, and randomly start something new that I will later add to the unfinished projects pile!

Watching

After what feels like a pretty lengthy break from new-to-me television, I’d like to dip my toes back in the pool this month. There’s a handful of shows I’ve heard just enough about to be interested in, but I’d like to sit down with an episode or two of something that looks intriguing. There’s a few shows I’ve been meaning to check out, but I may also just dip into another season of American Horror Story I haven’t watched yet. Other shows I’m considering are The Wilds, Interrogation, Servant, or The Mare of Easttown.

Renovations & Other Non-Nerdy Things That Need Doing

The current state of things around the house is less about what I am physically doing, and more about what I am able to coordinate and pay someone else to do. Currently, we’ve just started a big basement cleanout and reorganization, with the intent of having distinct and separate areas for long term storage, a functional laundry area, and a tabletop gaming space down there. I’m also hoping in the next couple weeks, we’ll have finally finished the bathroom renovations we started last fall. Everything is functional, but it looks rough in there. I’d like to get some paint on the walls, and some storage solutions implemented.

Relatedly, I really need to start tackling the Laundry Problem. We own way too many things that are made of cloth, and a lot of it has outlived it’s usefulness. However, it’s hard to figure out exactly what is what, as one of my go-to cleaning “hacks” is to stuff everything made out of cloth that isn’t where it belongs into giant laundry bags and stuff them into the back of a closet. Not having had the option of doing laundry at home for well over a year now means that I am mostly just barely keeping up with what we use in any given week, and I’d like to push past that and start making some progress. I think if we have a useable laundry room again, I’ll have a much better chance of that.

I’ve also been avoiding the fact that we need to replace our vehicle in the fairly near future. There’s some paperwork stuff that needs to be handled, and the used car market is completely awful right now, so I’ve been procrastinating, but we probably really need to move forward with that this month.


IN SUMMARY

Note: I am slowly learning that I can talk about things I’d like to do without actually making them line items in a checklist. I am, now and forever, a work in progress.

  • At least 10 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 6 posts unrelated to #JustOnePercent.
  • Hit level 50 in CSD2 with all gold medals.
  • Finish Lacuna.
  • Try out at least one game in a different genre on the Steam Deck.
  • Read / listen to any 6 books.
  • Complete at least 75% of my project with the mid-July deadline.
  • Get my in-progress yarn projects organized.
  • Watch at least 3 episodes of a new to me TV show.

In Review – May 2022

  • At least 12 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least posts unrelated to #JustOne Percent.
  • Hit level 40 in CSD2 with all gold medals.
  • Complete the chapter story of Elsweyr, Greywood, or Blackmoor in Elder Scrolls Online.
  • Listen to / read at least 3 books total.
  • Read at least 1 print book.
  • Listen to / read at least 1 book from My 12 Project.
  • Finish cross stitch with June deadline.
  • Hit 25% on one other current stitch project.
  • Get new project in a frame with all floss carded.
  • Cancel Starz.
  • Get crafting desk cleaned off and usable.

Apparently, in my world, May is grumpy and full of procrastination. I was super ambitious with goal setting, and by the end of the first week, I was worrying that I wasn’t going to get anywhere all month long. I was super stressed about, well, pretty much everything – projects at home, frustration in my social circles, and the whole entire state of everything in the U.S. and globally, and I just … couldn’t focus or relax. All of this led to my first setback in the #JustOnePercent project, which, in retrospect wasn’t too much of a setback – I did end up skipping over one game out of my planned thirteen for May, but other than having to shuffle some post days around, everything else I managed to get done.

But as much as I enjoy checking off entries on any sort of to do list, I never expect to complete all of my goals every month, so I’m not too upset where I ended up. My desire to play ESO again passed as quickly as it appeared, and I didn’t even open the launcher all month long. My stitchcraft goals were perhaps a little overly ambitious, but getting derailed mid-month while I waited for a magnifier light which got lost in transit probably didn’t help. I did better with books, but am still mostly disinterested in actually reading (as opposed to listening) or to diving into any of the books that have been recommended to me.


GAMING

Since receiving my Steam Deck earlier this month, I have accepted that my gaming hours chart will likely never be accurate again. I’ve made an effort to record hours spent playing stuff away from my PC, but I also am relying on memory and my own faithfulness to entering it in manually before I forget. I primarily played two games on the Steam Deck this month (Bugsnax and Atomicrops), and since I did not play either of them before the beginning of the month, I went with the hours played stat in Steam, but I would like to have a better system going forward because this is unlikely to always be the case.

#JustOnePercent

The twelve games I covered in May were Unforgettable You*, Before We Leave, Polyville Canyon, Subnautica: Below Zero, Just Die Already, Lacuna, The Wild at Heart, Tainted Grail: Conquest, Scoot Kaboom and the Tomb of Doom*, Solasta: Crown of the Magister, Overboard!, and No Ghost in Stay Home*. Titles marked with an asterisk were played less than one hour and are absent from the chart above.

Non-Project Gaming

Once I dropped all the games that I played for less than an hour, I was down to only five games again outside of #J1P gaming. The first part of the month I was obsessed with Bugsnax, playing through it twice on GamePass before purchasing it on Steam and playing through a third time on my Steam Deck. The last week or so, Atomicrops has been my go-to portable game; I’m dreadfully bad at it, but for whatever reason, that’s not putting me off, and I am … oh so slowly … starting to see some improvement in my handling of the controls. This may be my gateway drug to twin-stick shooters. It’s a genre I’ve always been interested in, but I’ve never been able to manage the required controller dexterity.

Terraria is still the co-op game night game; progress has slowed a bit as the loot gods have not been kind to us, so we end up redoing a lot of boss fights. We have now moved into “hardmode”, which means a lot of time spent gathering resources and gearing up for the bigger fights that I know are coming and am sort of dreading.

Somewhere around mid-month, I missed my first day of Cozy Grove in over three months, and since then, I’ve found myself less and less interested in doing my ghost bear chores. Frankly, I’m surprised that this one lasted as long as it did, and having sunk more than 50 hours total into the game, I’d say I definitely got my money’s worth of out it, even if I never actually finish it. I only have a handful of ghost bears left to help in the base game, but I find the later characters far less interesting than the early game ones.

I feel like I played a lot more Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2 this month than my actual hours show, because there were a lot of sessions where I’d try two or three shifts, fail them all early, and walk away frustrated. If my count is right, I have completed 87 gold star shifts to get enough experience to reach level 40.

Gaming Related Spending

I made a handful of individual game purchases in May: Bugsnax, Abomi Nation, Recipe for Disaster, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, The Forest, and State of Decay 2. Other than the Humble Choice bundle for May, I managed to not buy any bundles this month.

Most of my fun money this month went to other hobbies, but I still managed to spend $85 on gaming. This includes my Humble Choice subscription, my XBox Game Pass subscription, and six new games for the library.


EVERYTHING ELSE

READING: It really hasn’t taken too long for me to go from being basically disinterested in audiobooks to almost completely being disinterested in print. The anywhere anytime advantage of print pales in comparison to the hobby multitasking of audio for my current situation. I’m not really going places all that often, and I’m getting to enjoy two hobbies at once that engage different parts of my brain. The major downside is that I can read way faster than I can be read to, so finishing these four books took approximately 35 hours!

STITCHCRAFT: I learned an important lesson this month – while I might be fine stitching on 18 count with my readers on, 20 count is just enough smaller that I need more help to be able to see comfortably. I tried to push through with stronger readers, but those would make me queasy every time I looked anywhere that wasn’t my work area. I finally gave in a splurged on a magnifying lamp, and I took a few days off while I waited for it to arrive.

Amazon lost the first lamp I ordered, and when I had given up hope of it ever arriving, I ordered a different one. I feel like this is another sign from the universe to stop cheaping out on everything, since when they both arrived, of course the more expensive one suited my needs far better. I managed to rig it up to my stitching-in-bed setup, but it also was the impetus I needed to finish getting my desk cleaned off and usable. I expect I’ll be able to make more progress and be more comfortable doing it going forward.

WATCHING: I cancelled my subscription to two different streaming services this month – Netflix and Starz – and it sort of feels like the perfect time to have done so because it seems like all of the televisions in the whole house are off more often than they aren’t these days. I have been watching some Guy’s Grocery Games during dinner or while waiting for things to be done cooking, but I just haven’t been willing to put on anything that requires more from me.

RENOVATIONS: This time last year, we were in the middle of contractor hell, so I’m glad that what we’ve got left is mostly smaller projects. I didn’t make a lot of noticeable progress in my personal space (or honestly, anywhere else in the house) this month, but I’ve found that just small jobs of tidying and organization in here to be very satisfying, and I’m generally not a fan of slow work with little visible effect. I’m still planning to get some shelves up, and dithering about what art I’d like to buy for my space, but it’s really past time I start moving onto other things as well.