Nerd Girl Goals – May 2022

Spring is in the air, at least most days, and I still don’t want to leave the house. Which is probably for the best, because despite a lot of energy being put into “say(ing) it ain’t so”, there’s still a pandemic going on. I’m sure I’ll take advantage of the opportunity to hit up a few outdoor events before the oppressive heat of summer kicks in and I enter into a committed relationship with my air conditioner, but I also don’t anticipate having any difficulty knocking some nerdy goals out this month.


GAMING

Planned games for the #JustOnePercent project for May are Unforgettable You, Before We Leave, Network, Polyville Canyon, Subnautica: Below Zero, Wild at Heart, Just Die Already, Lacuna, Tainted Grail, Scoot Kaboom and the Tomb of Doom, Solasta: Crown of the Magister, Overboard, and No Ghost in Stay Home.

If nothing goes sideways, I’m looking at another thirteen game month for #JustOnePercent. That said, if for some reason I have to drop a game or two, I’m not going looking for replacements – I’m far enough ahead that I don’t need to keep this pace, but there’s so many games I’m interested in every month. Several of these are pretty hefty titles that I expect I’m going to want to play for significantly more than an hour, so I’d like to have the freedom to do that if the spirit moves me.

I’m planning to stick to Monday – Thursday – Saturday for project posts because the spacing feels right. GamePass is coming in clutch this month – four of the thirteen titles I’m planning on I will be playing through the service. If I had purchased just those four games at full price, it would have cost me around $115.

I have absolutely zero reason to believe that with our super-casual 3ish hour a week schedule, we’ll be anywhere near the end of Terraria before the month is up. If either Core Keeper or Wildermyth gets additional content added, we may pop back over, but I foresee this being a game that will carry us through a couple of months, easily.

While I probably should keep my non-project solo gaming goals extra light this month, I do have a shoot-for-the-stars kind of plan. Firstly, I’d like to hit level 40 in my all-gold playthrough of Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2. Secondly, I want to dip back into The Elder Scrolls Online on a super-casual basis. Before I took my last break, I’d rolled up some alts that I never got around to leveling up, and I’d like to pick one and cruise through one of the Chapters I’ve never done. For me, ESO is best when I play it like a single player, story-focused game, and that’s really all I’m hoping to get out of it this time. Initially, I’m not planning to re-up my subscription, but I also realize not re-upping means I basically can’t touch my leveled characters or use my bank. I admit it, I’m a virtual hoarder.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading: In an attempt to compromise with myself by setting reasonable goals, I’m going shoot for three books this month, at least one of them print, and at least one of them from my recommended book challenge. I am currently just barely on track for my 2022 Goodreads challenge, and I’d like to not fall too far behind.

Watching: I’ve already cancelled my Netflix subscription; I cannot remember the last thing we watched on there, and it’s the most expensive streaming service we pay for by a good margin. I figure if we end up missing it, we can always re-subscribe. My promotional period for Starz ends mid-month, so that one is going to be the next to go. Lately, I’ve found myself less interesting in watching things than in figuring out how to spend less money on television. I may carve out some time to check out The Wilds on Amazon Prime, but it’s equally possible that I’m just going to try to have the television on a whole lot less than I normally do.

Stitchcraft: Once I wrap up my June deadline project in the next week or so, I’d like to get one of my other August projects in frame and carded. I also want to hit at least 25% on either of the two massive projects I currently have going. That really isn’t going to necessitate picking up the pace, just maintaining my current momentum.


IN SUMMARY

  • At least 12 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 4 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.

In Review – April 2022

  • At least 12 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 4 posts unrelated to #JustOnePercent.
  • Pick out something and play it just because I want to.
  • Read at least 4 books.
  • Read at least 1 book from My 12 Challenge.
  • Complete at least half of the stitch-craft project with a June deadline.
  • Move all my stuff into my new room!

There were a lot of other things this month that don’t show up on this sort of checklist – my husband had his third attempt at a spinal fusion, and there were a lot of things that needed to be done around that. We were pushing hard on renovations as well, and trying to contract out some other work that needs to be done around here to folks able-bodied enough to do it. For the first time in awhile, real life was doing it’s damnedest to get in the way of my nerdstuff. Winter is not my favorite season, but it’s by far the quietest, at least once the holidays are over.

I am really happy with where I ended up as far as gaming & blogging was concerned, but some other stuff fell by the wayside while I was doing it. The biggest area that took a hit this month was all things reading-related. Most nights I was exhausted enough that concentration was an issue, so it was just more comfortable to fall into my habit of comfort television re-watching. I blew through the first four seasons of Criminal Minds in the latter half of the month, which meant a lot of hours I might have otherwise spent with audiobooks went there. When I made my goal post, 4 books felt like a no brainer, but I’m like that with reading anyway; either I’m stuffing myself silly or I’m going completely without.


GAMING

Because I clearly lack good sense, I upped my #JustOnePercent coverage to thirteen games this month. I’ve still managed to completely avoid despair, but this is the first month that I’ve had multiple irritating roadblocks on the project.

I ended up swapping out some games from my original list as the month progressed. The first was a free-to-play online game that had, less than a year after release, already been taken offline despite still being available to download on Steam. The second was a game demo that I thought was a full game until I started it up.

This was also the first time I bailed on multiple titles short of hitting the hour mark or end credits. Both games I ducked out early on should have been right up my alley, but both ended up being the wrong kind of challenging for me. I’m just over 1/3 of the way through the project now; I suppose I shouldn’t be too put off by a couple titles that just didn’t work for me.

The thirteen games I covered in March were Safari Zone, The Cryptologist Room*, Rain on Your Parade, Ashwalkers, Secret Government*, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, Robin Hood: Hail to the King, Cryofall, Island Farmer, Legend of Keepers, The Invisible Hand, Eternia: Pet Whisperer*, and Redeliver*. Titles marked with an asterisk were played less than one hour and are absent from the chart above.

I really expected this whole project to be … harder than it is turning out to be. Now that I have a workable schedule (and lord knows, I love a schedule), I’m not struggling to keep up. I already have access to the majority of games I plan to play throughout the project, and I’m on track to far exceed my goal of 100 games in a year. I’ve gotten to play a lot of things I probably would have otherwise passed over, and I’m actually making use of my subscription services and the game library I’ve been building up for years now.

Non-project gaming continues to be significantly lighter. Part of that is the heavy focus on #JustOnePercent, part of it is just life in general, and part of it is the fact that I’m actually working steadily on crafting projects.

Other than a quick dip into Rift – and I do mean quick, it took me far longer to re-download the game than the 10ish minutes I had it running – this month was free of MMOs and the only co-op gaming I did was my weekly game date. We finished up the currently available content in Core Keeper, and moved onto Terraria, which is a game I’ve had issues with in the past. Unsurprisingly, it’s a lot easier when you’re playing with someone who has already beaten the game multiple times, and who is perfectly happy to do most of the hard stuff while I look for ore and spend a bit of time fishing.

I did also poke at a few different things in my solo gaming time. I played a good amount of Nanotale: Typing Chronicles before getting frustrated with my lack of map reading skills in the later parts of the game. I am also pretty officially back on my bullshit with Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2, which manages to both scratch a weird itch and fill the niche of a game I can play for a few minutes here and there.

Wrapping things up, no one could possibly be more surprised than me that I am still playing Cozy Grove every day. I still don’t love the real time aspect of it all, but it fits so nicely into most of my days, giving me something low-key to do while waking up and having coffee. It is absolutely 100% a chore-fest, but it’s a comforting chore-fest. I average about 30 minutes a day with it, but almost through my third month and I haven’t missed even a single daily check in.

This was also a slightly less spendy month; my gaming related spending was only $59, which includes my XBox Game Pass subscription and the Humble Choice. I picked up on game on Steam (Overboard) which had been on my wishlist and also happens to be a qualifying game for #JustOnePercent. The rest of it went to Fanatical, where I grabbed a couple of bundles that caught my eye, and the Blackwood Upgrade for Elder Scrolls Online while it was under $10.

I may have also pulled the trigger on my Steam Deck, which does not count against my budget since it’s my (now very very late) 2021 Christmas & birthday present from my husband.


READING

I only managed to finish two books this month, both audio on Scribd. Friends Like These was delightfully twisty, although somewhat short on likeable characters. Desperation was a re-read, but a book I’d read so long ago I’d forgotten just about everything but the biggest plot points, so it was still really enjoyable.

This month I came up against Scribd’s manner of imposing limitations on their supposedly unlimited reading & listening. Once you pass a certain number of titles read in either format – I believe it’s four, but I’m not 100% sure on that – since your last subscription payment, Scribd starts removing things from your search results. You can still find them if you search very specifically, but they’ll have a banner indicating that they’re “temporarily unavailable” until your next payment clears.

This would be outrageously annoying except for one teeny loophole – anything already on your saved list when you hit your soft cap is still available. If, like me, you tend to click “save” on anything that looks remotely interesting, you should never run out of things to listen to or read. Just bear this in mind, if you plan on binging a series, make sure you add all the titles to your saved list at the beginning so you don’t get locked out.

I guess you could say that Scribd is sort of unlimited, but I’m still finding it a better overall value than Audible & Kindle Unlimited.


EVERYTHING ELSE

RENOVATIONS: I can’t quite say that we’re done with my new space, but it’s 100% useable, and I am moved in! Sure, I’m still working around some lingering construction materials, and there’s a few boxes of accumulated junk I need to go through. I’m also planning to incorporate some more storage, and do some decoration, but it’s been lovely to have some actual space and not feel like I’ve been crammed into any available corner.

STITCHCRAFT: Against my own rules (and my better judgement), I am currently working on three different projects at once. The smallest is also the one with the closest deadline, and I’m creeping up on 70% completion. It’s working up fairly fast, and I expect to be finished with that one in the next week or two. I’ve also managed to put a couple percent each on two massive projects. They’re both challenging for different reasons, so I’m hoping getting an early start on them will let me take adequate breaks where I tackle some of the smaller stuff in my queue.

WATCHING: The only new-to-me watch this month was a single episode of Castle Rock, which looks like it’s going to be interesting, and I’m loving the cast so far. I was especially excited to peep Melanie Lynskey, who really impressed me in Yellowjackets. Otherwise, I’ve just been background watching TV series I’ve already seen and the occasional comfort movie.

Nerd Girl Goals – April 2022

I’m anticipating two major life things this month that are likely to cut into my time. Firstly, I’m planning to move my PC (as well as quite a few other items) into the newly renovated space that’s going to be a combination bedroom and office / crafting space. Secondly, my husband is going in for yet another surgery on his spine, which if it is in line with previous surgeries, means about a week in the hospital and another week at home where he’s going to need more of my attention than usual. Since I also have thirteen #JustOnePercent games on the agenda during the month, I’m going to really have to manage my time & energy well.


GAMING

Planned games for April are Safari Zone, The Cryptologist Room, Runeverse: The Card Game, Secret Government, Ashwalkers, Rain on Your Parade, Invisible Wings, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, Cryofall, Legend of Keepers, Island Farmer, Eternia: Pet Whisperer, and Redeliver.

I may have bitten off more this month than I can chew. Trying to write about thirteen games is a lot, but I really struggled with which (if any) I should cut. I’ve plotted out my schedule already, and since it worked fairly well last month, the majority of my posts for the project are going to follow a Monday – Thursday – Saturday schedule. I plan on trying to frontload my month as much as I can, so that once things go a little wacky around here during the middle of the month, I’ll be able to take a step back without sacrificing my planned content.

On the co-op front, I’m hoping we still have enough to do in Core Keeper to not have to move onto another game before the end of the month. I was a little apprehensive about it – I tend to not do all that well at the combat portions of these types of games, but I haven’t been struggling too much with the combat, and I’m really digging (pun only sort of intended) the rest of the mechanics. I’d like to get another three or four gaming sessions out of the current content, but I’m also really looking forward to seeing what else gets added to the game.

I’m not completely abandoning So We Meet Again but I’ve already managed to completely ignore it during two months with less other things going on, so I’m going to pre-emptively decide to ignore it in April. Which means I’ll probably end up doing it, because that’s how things work out a lot of the time.

However, since I’m currently MMO-less, I am going to be looking for something else to play in the in-betweens of things. Very definitive, I know.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading: I feel like I’m back on track with reading – well, mostly listening to – books. I’d like to up my total reading goal this month up to four titles completed, with at least one of those being from my recommended book challenge. Scribd has a couple of those in audio, and I bought a third on Audible before I bailed. Scribd also has a handful available in e-book, and at least one I own, so there’s really no reason not to get started.

Watching: The last week or so of April is likely to have an abnormally high amount of TV time, but as of right now, I don’t have anything that I feel like I need to watch. I do want to figure out what I’m most interested in on Netflix, AppleTV, and Starz and prioritize those things – I’d like to drop all three of those services in the near-ish future.

Stitch-craft: My next stitching deadline isn’t until June, so although I know what the next couple of projects on the frames will be, it’s not a big deal if I shift some craft time back to gaming & blogging this month. I’d like to hit at least the 50% mark on the project with a June deadline, but it’s relatively small (under 10,000 stitches) so I feel like this particular goal is a bit of a freebie.


IN SUMMARY

  • At least 12 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 4 posts unrelated to #JustOnePercent.
  • Pick out something and play it just because I want to.
  • Read at least 4 books.
  • Read at least 1 book from My 12 Challenge.
  • Complete at least half of the stitch-craft project with a June deadline.
  • Move all my stuff into my new room!

In Review – March 2022

March To Do List

  • Put all of March’s planned content into Asana.
  • At least 8 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 4 posts unrelated to #JustOnePercent.
  • Spend my remaining Audible credits & cancel my subscription.
  • Read / listen to at least two books.
  • Get all non-current stitching project materials into project bags.
  • Finish both current stitching projects.
  • Finish prepping & painting walls in the back room.

So close to getting through it all. The biggest impediment to finishing up the stitching projects is that the baby sampler (which was on hold until the baby was born & I had the name and date to put in) was as finished as it could be, but then the baby came a bit early and showed up on March 28th! Prior to that, I was still about 500 or so stitches behind, which is a mere day or two – at any rate, both should be done and ready for framing by the end of the week.

As for my renovation goal, that’s another one I missed by mere days. The last wall has been prepped, and the first coat of paint is going on today! The flooring will be going in over the next week or so, and then we just need to tackle furniture, and figure out all the wiring to get everything fully functional. I feel like we’ve been working on this one forever, and it almost doesn’t feel real that I’ll actually have all that space for myself by the end of April.


GAMING

Data taken from ManicTime.

I was pretty much spot on with both the #JustOnePercent project stuff as well as still producing a limited amount of unrelated content. I covered twelve games #JustOnePercent games this month, which brings my total up to 21/100 going into month three. I’ve been keeping my spreadsheet updated as I write my posts, and as I gain access to new titles that fit the parameters. At this point, I have enough games available that I will be able to cover 100 games that were all published within a 12 month period (between 2/1/21 and 1/31/22), which is twice as narrow as the scope I originally set.

The twelve games I covered in March were Bloodroots, Size Matters, Landlord of the Woods*, Sizeable, Endzone: A World Apart, Machinika Museum, PuzzlePet – Feed Your Cat*, Paradise Lost*, Heart of Enya, Word Wise, Cozy Grove, and Lost Words: Beyond the Page. Titles marked with an asterisk were played less than one hour and are absent from the chart above.

I’ve been making note of how and why each title was acquired, so I decided to make up a small chart of the sources of each of the games I’ve already covered. Just under 2/3 were either purchased by me strictly to play for this project, or purchased by me due to genuine interest or inclusion in a bundle. The remaining titles were either available to me on GamePass, or I obtained free either on Steam directly, through Prime Gaming, or via Epic Store giveaways. Turns out that I grossly overestimated the additional cost of this project initially, and as a result, I’m planning to remove my sponsorship request form, as there really is no reason for it to exist.

So far the most challenging part of the project has been making sure I cover each game before the anniversary of its release – I also expect that this will get easier as I go, although both April and May currently have a gridlock around mid-month, when several titles released either on the same day or within a few days of one another. I realize it’s an arbitrary rule, but it has had the unintended consequence of helping with decision paralysis, so I’m sticking with it.

Non-project gaming has taken a bit of a hit this month, as a result of increasing the number of project titles, as well as trying to juggle my other hobbies, and work on home renovations. Even still, I feel like this was one of my balanced months in recent memory, as well as one of my most productive. I have to give at least partial credit for that to my content planning calendar. Having goals mapped out for the entire month really helps me stay on track and plan my time better than I normally do.

Out of the five games I spent any significant time in outside of the project this month, three were played on co-op game nights (Stolen Realm, Dungeon Defenders II, and Core Keeper). We’ve finally settled on Core Keeper, at least until we run out of current content. The game is newly released, and in Early Access, so we’re hoping to be able to hop in and out of this one as major updates are released. At the end of our third play session, we’ve hit a pretty major milestone, but I’m still optimistic we’ll have enough to do to play at least another 3-4 sessions.

The remainder of my gaming time was spend on MMOs, and I feel like I’ve pretty much wrapped up my time with both of them at least for now. I posted around mid-month about cancelling my World of Warcraft subscription and my conflicted feelings on it. Lost Ark on the other hand, just seems to have petered out for me. Surprisingly, my loss of interest isn’t about the grind, which is significant, but about the amount of time travel takes, and the sheer amount of travel expected at the point in the game I find myself at currently. I’m not going so far as to say I’m completely over it, but I find myself logging in less and less frequently, and spending less time in game when I do log in now. The honeymoon is clearly over.

I did get a little spend-happy this month, resulting in $132 worth of gaming related expenses. A good chunk of that was bundles; I picked up two of the big charity bundles that were available, spending $20 on itch.io’s and $15 on Fanatical’s. I also bought this month’s Humble Choice, and spent about $30 during Fanatical’s Bundlefest at the beginning of March. I snagged four more games for #JustOnePercent when they hit deep discounts on Steam, and also purchased Core Keeper the week after it released as well as Loop Hero when it was available for under $5 on Steam. I didn’t break the budget, but I definitely used it all up for March.


READING

Books were definitely where I overachieved in March. Knowing I was planning to cancel my Audible subscription, I listened to I Eat Men Like Air and Fantasticland, both of which were part of Audible’s Plus catalog, early in the month. Switching over to Scribd’s library, I decided to revisit an author I used to really love and picked out Sole Survivor as my next audiobook, but found it dragged a bit for me, which meant I took 10 days to listen to the whole thing. I finished out the month with The Silent Patient (which I binged over two days) and They Did Bad Things.

My sole e-book for the month was Paperbacks From Hell, which has been pretty interesting, but is definitely something I’ve been reading far more casually.

I did manage to spend my remaining Audible credits, going for a mix of things I knew I’d enjoy, and a couple of series that looked interesting enough to try out. My husband requested a copy of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, so that rounded out the package.


EVERYTHING ELSE

WATCHING: It did end up being a slow television month. We watched the final episode of Lovecraft Country, and settled on Castle Rock as our next date-night watch. I binged the first season of Next Level Chef on Hulu, and rewatched most of the first four seasons of House on Amazon Prime. The last week or so, I’ve been watching Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction on IMDBtv, and commercials are still every bit as annoying as I remember them being.

Now that I’m looking back at everything that went on in March, it’s kind of a small miracle that I also managed to check off the majority of my to do list. I went through all my cross-stitch supplies, and put the supplies for each different project in its own bag. I tackled some kitchen organization, managed to bake a couple of different things and made a batch of fudge that never did set up right. I plastered and painted, moved furniture around over and over and put in way too many Home Depot orders. I got the taxes filed, I got my booster shot, I spent a not insignificant amount of time panicking about the state of everything. March was an incredibly full month, and yet I managed to get by without dropping too many balls, so I’m calling that a success.

Nerd Girl Goals – March 2022

I may officially be over-extended. There are just too many things right now I want to do, and I feel like I’m walking that tightrope where leisure could start to feel like responsibility at any moment. But here’s the thing – I have a really low tolerance for boredom, and I struggle pretty often with choice paralysis. That means I have often have an easier time with everything when I over-plan than when I leave things too open ended. Sure, when it came to the actual line items, last month looked like a bit of a failure, but if it was, it was a satisfying failure. I may have dropped some balls, but they were rubber, not glass, so it’s fine.


GAMING

In order to play 100 games for the #JustOnePercent Project, I need to average 8 and one third posts per month. To keep the numbers nice and simple, I’m going to shoot for 10 games a month. Thankfully, I managed to get my spreadsheet pretty full & organized during February, so I know I already have access to plenty of games to cover almost the entire project. I already have my March choices downloaded and ready to go, and I’ve already plotted out a rough posting schedule into Asana.

Planned games for March are Bloodroots, Landlord of the Woods, Endzone: A World Apart, Sizeable, Machinika Museum, Paradise Lost, PuzzlePet – Feed Your Cat, Heart of Enya, Lost Words: Beyond the Page, and Cozy Grove.

It should be interesting to see how far I wander from the plan.

I’m also committing to playing Oxenfree to satisfaction during this month. It’s been ages since I touched this one, but I remember liking what I played of it. It’ll be a fresh playthrough, and I’d like to see the story through to completion for So We Meet Again.

Then, there’s a new patch worth of content for World of Warcraft, and I’m still really enjoying playing Lost Ark (although I’m doing it somewhat less obsessively now). But as long as nothing completely unexpected happens on the gaming front, I should be able to balance all of this, and still have time for my other hobbies.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading: Honestly, as far as books are concerned, there are only two things I want to focus on in March. First, make space for books in general – I don’t care if I’m reading or listening, I need to spend some time with stories. Second, I need to spend the remainder of my Audible credits and get the heck out. I’m pretty much committed to Scribd for my subscription book needs – in fact, I’ve already cancelled my Kindle Unlimited – but it’s only a smart budget choice if I’m not also paying for a redundant service as well.

Watching: It’s just about time to pick out another “watch together” show, but I have no idea what that’s going to be. I’d also like to start to figure out if there’s anything I’d really like to see on our non-core streaming services before I start paring those down. Even keeping only our favorites, and the ones that are part of something else we already pay for, it’s more television than we can conceivably watch on a monthly basis. I think the most likely candidates for cancellation are Netflix & AppleTV, so I’ll probably start there.

Stitch-Craft: I’d really prefer not to cut too much into my stitching time until I feel a little more caught up, but I would like to put an evening or two aside to get organized. My craft corner is starting to spread further and further out into the living room, and having everything better sorted for storage will make it a whole bunch easier to move it to my new room once the renovations are done. Speaking of which…

DIY Renovations: I tend not to talk about this too much as it’s painfully slow and tedious, but I’ve set myself a personal goal to be moved into the new room by the end of April, and I’m starting to worry I’m going to have to pick up the pace pretty significantly to meet that particular deadline. We’ve hit a few unanticipated snags (which I guess is a thing that happens when a room has basically been ignored for a decade and a half), but if there’s to be any hope of sticking to the schedule, we really need to – at the very least – have the walls finished up by the end of the month.


IN SUMMARY

  • Put all of March’s planned content into Asana.
  • At least 8 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 4 posts unrelated to #JustOnePercent.
  • Spend my remaining Audible credits & cancel my subscription.
  • Read / listen to at least two books.
  • Get all non-current stitching project materials into project bags.
  • Finish both current stitching projects.
  • Finish prepping & painting walls in the back room.

In Review – February 2022

To do in February:

  • At least 8 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 4 posts unrelated to #JustOnePercent.
  • Choose and start a game for So We Meet Again.
  • Read / Listen to at least one book from my 12 Challenge.
  • Finish up Lovecraft Country and check out Yellowjackets.
  • Complete at least two stitching projects.
  • Figure out a method of content planning that works for me, and implement it (carried over from January).

Well. I thought I was doing great in February, right up until it became time to check off things on my list! As it turns out, I was probably too ambitious with my goals, and I wandered pretty far off my intended track this month.


GAMING

Data taken from ManicTime.

Nothing screws up a well-laid plan faster than spending over half of my gaming time on a game I really had no intention of playing at all! However, something made me try out Lost Ark and for the latter half of the month, that was pretty much the only thing I wanted to play. I’m still avoiding much of anything even remotely end-game-y and have started leveling some alts while I try to make some sort of sense of the 8 bajillion systems that the game has. I’m not making a lot of progress figuring things out, but at least the questing around is still fun.

As for the Just One Percent Project, I managed to get in 9 posts this month. For those who don’t want to do the math, that is just about perfectly on track to hit 100 by the end of January 2023. Only six show up in the chart above (Faraway: Puzzle Escape accounts for the unlabeled teal section) however, since one I played the last couple days in January, and two fell well short of the hour minimum I use to build the graph. However, Cozy Grove (which is on the schedule for me to post about in March) made up an not insignificant slice of the pie, and I expect that’s a pattern that might continue going forward. After all, there’s nothing in the rules that say I can’t get a bit of a jump on the play time even if I don’t intend the post in a given month.

Games 1-9 played for #JustOnePercent

As far as So We Meet Again, while I did choose and re-download my next game – Oxenfree – I didn’t so much as launch it during the entire month, so that one I’ll be carrying over into March.

Overall, gaming was back pretty squarely within my normal range of somewhere between 70 and 100 hours a month. I petered out on The Colonists pretty early in the month, and I tried to give The Medium a fair shake before it disappeared from GamePass on the 16th, but I found I wasn’t enjoying it nearly as much as I’d hoped. I’ve still been playing Stolen Realm on my co-op game night, and I attended our guild’s last pre-9.2 raid in World of Warcraft.


WATCHING

While we still haven’t finished Lovecraft Country, we are only one episode from the end. This has been a hard watch, which makes even two back-to-back episodes a daunting proposition for me. Due to some real life scheduling snafus, my husband and I have had less dedicated TV watching time, so I think we only watched two episodes over the course of the month. I am interested to see how they wrap it all up in that last hour, but man, it’s not a lighthearted show.

And speaking of things that aren’t easy to watch, I must be on a kick.

I elected to watch Yellowjackets on my own, and in a way I regret it because hooboy, it is the kind of show I really want to pick apart with someone else. I generally struggle with any form of story telling that highlights people that are basically good and that the audience is meant to root for doing really terrible things, so I had been a bit unsure I’d be able to stomach this show about a soccer team of girls surviving in the wilderness for 19 months after a plane crash.

It turned out that – at least as far as Season 1 is concerned – I haven’t hit anything that I found that particular brand of disturbing, which is not to say that it’s not really really dark. While it’s tough to talk about the show in any detail without giving away the twists and turns that make it such a compelling drama, I can say that I really appreciated that – at least so far – there’s just a hint of flirtation with the supernatural, and a whole bunch of mostly relatable reaction to trauma. I don’t know that there’s a weak actor in the entire cast, and the soundtrack is perfection.

I binge watched all ten episodes over two days while my husband was staying with a friend who’d recently had surgery. In fact, the only reason I’m not 100% thrilled with the entire experience is that I thought it was a mini-series when I started it; I didn’t anticipate this being a story told over multiple seasons, and I’m a little miffed that it’s not even close to over.

Once I was finished, I did a deep dive into blow by blow reviews (which are full of spoilers if you haven’t seen it and freaking amazing reads if you have), and even found myself browsing the subreddit dedicated to the show. Still, I’d have a hard time recommending it to most folks due to the subject matter, but for me, it was a definite 10 out of 10. I plan to watch the second season as soon as all the episodes are out, which isn’t likely to be much before this time next year.

The only other new thing I watched this month was the Hulu original movie No Exit, which just dropped on February 25. While it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever sat through, it was nevertheless a pretty big disappointment for me. The description led me to believe this was going to be something of a locked room mystery, and I suppose it is, for about 15 minutes of its 95 minute run time. For the remainder, it’s a pretty forgettable thriller, albeit one with some pretty decent acting, especially given the improbable character actions that the actors had to make feel convincing.


EVERYTHING ELSE

I finally caught up on my January goal of figuring out a content scheduling solution and signed up for Asana. I really like how easy it is to set up, and the calendar view is great, but so far, I’m not finding it is actually keeping me more on task than my previous system of just remembering things. There is a free plan which I think covers all my needs, so I would like to keep up with it for at least a few months to see if I find that it actually is helping, or if it just ends up being one more thing I need to do. I did start rather late in the month, so it’s possible this will be exactly what I need to keep up with posting outside of #JustOnePercent things, and maybe even to keep better track of all the things I want to do outside of blogging.

I did not so much as pick up a book or open up Scribd after the first few days of February, and I really need to get back to that in March. Part of it was spending more time than usual at my computer, and part of it was that I did most of my crafting in periods of decreased concentration, so I defaulted to having some of my often-watched comfort shows on in the background while I worked.

I did manage a partial completion of my stitching goals, however. I did finish one of my two projects with April deadlines, but still have a bit to go on the other project I need to wrap up to free up that frame. I’m not panicking yet about being behind schedule, but I definitely need to dedicate a little more time to this going forward.

I did get back to baking this month. I found myself with quite a few brown bananas, and not being the biggest fan of banana bread, decided to try out something different. I ended up making two batches of Banana Blondies to share around, and I think this is going to be my go-to recipe for neglected bananas in the future. The only change I made to the recipe was to add half a cup of toasted coconut, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they came out.

Nerd Girl Goals – February 2022

Look, I know I said I was hoping to do more with the blog in 2022, but I promise you, I never expected to be embarking on a year-long, 100 game-playing project! But the #JustOnePercent project starts today, and runs until January 31, 2023, which seems so very very far away right now. Posting about 100 games means I need to be writing something up every 3 to 4 days, so at least my post count should be going up!

#JustOnePercent

I’ve done a pretty good job of setting myself up with a spreadsheet, putting the games available to me that fit the project in order by date of release. Obviously, putting something onto the spreadsheet is no guarantee that I will definitely play and write about it, and I’m sure I’ll jump around from time to time, but these games are probably the most likely to be featured this month. Highlight titles were purchased and/or downloaded specifically for this project, and will almost definitely make an appearance here. Setting a goal of covering 10 games a month gives me a little wiggle room to drop the ball if life gets crazy, or to surpass the original goal of 100 games.

I’ve already managed to scrape SteamDB for games released in 2021 through the end of July, so I’m approximately 25% of the way through the organizational part. I’d like to also get through August – January this month, so I can then just pay attention to new releases through the duration.

I’m currently at 72 games I have access to, and another 43 wish listed.


GAMING

Now, you’d think that’d probably be enough to work on gaming-wise, but I do plan on continuing with my So We Meet Again series as well, although I’ve adjusted my expectations somewhat and may not finish something to satisfaction every month with my other commitments. I’m also hoping to keep space in my schedule to, at least every now and then, play something simply because it strikes my fancy.

Still, I don’t want to get overwhelmed or burnt out – keeping up with all the other things I want to do over the next year could very easily lead to me posting every other day or more. So for me, this February will be about finding the balance, which is extra important this month since it’s 2 to 3 days shorter than all the rest!


READING

The good news is that I managed to finish getting my recommendation challenge filled out! The bad news is, most of these books aren’t available through the services I currently use, so I’m going to have to budget for picking these up, in either e-book or paperback, most likely. I grabbed an ebook of Mexican Gothic, and I’ve already found a couple others on Scribd, so I’d like to check off one or two of those this month.

Otherwise, I’m going to continue on listening to audiobooks while I craft, and finish spending my outstanding Audible credits so I can cancel my subscription.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Stitch-craft: I have two projects that need to go out the door immediately, all done but for the framing. I have two more with early April deadlines, and one other in progress. I’d like to wrap up at least one of my April projects and the one I have nearly done (although it’s got a much later deadline). I also have a huge project that I need done by early September, and although that seems really far away, it’s 40,000 stitches, which is – bare minimum – at least 10 weeks worth of work just on that. I’d like to start working on it sooner rather than later, so I can break it up with some of the smaller projects. I want to at least get it started before the end of the month.

Ideally, I also need a notebook or a spreadsheet or something to keep track of birthdays so I can make sure I leave myself enough time to pick out patterns, order supplies and actually do the stitching & framing throughout the remainder of the year.

On My Watchlist: I’m definitely focusing less on television & movies right now, but I would like to finish up Lovecraft Country this month, as well as at least watching the beginning of Yellowjackets, which I’m not 100% sure if I’ll like, but I took advantage of two heavily discounted months of Showtime in order to check out. If it’s not for me, that’s fine, but I don’t want it getting away from me and my opportunity to watch to run out.


IN SUMMARY

To do in February:

  • At least 8 posts for #JustOnePercent.
  • At least 4 posts unrelated to #JustOnePercent.
  • Choose and start a game for So We Meet Again.
  • Read / Listen to at least one book from my 12 Challenge.
  • Finish up Lovecraft Country and check out Yellowjackets.
  • Complete at least two stitching projects.
  • Figure out a method of content planning that works for me, and implement it (carried over from January).

In Review – January 2022

To Do In January

  • At least 10 blog posts.
  • At least two blog posts on non-gaming-centric topics.
  • Nerd Girl Thoughts will get a bit of a cosmetic overhaul.
  • Figure out a method of content planning that works for me, and implement it.
  • Choose and play a game for the first So We Meet Again post.

Four out of five isn’t too shabby. I’m not sure if I should give myself full credit for the cosmetic overhaul – I definitely made a few changes, but after a couple of sessions of poring over different themes, I found that there wasn’t anything I actually liked better than what I was using! I am, however, finally three years in starting to play around with pages rather than just posts, but I am also a creature of habit who likes to keep things simple, so it’s still feeling a little awkward to me.

However, the start of the #JustOnePercent Project has kind of necessitated a level of organization I hadn’t previously really needed. Now that it’s started, I’m hoping to streamline some more things to make looking back over the now-not-insignificant amount of content here a little more manageable.

I did at least look into content planning solutions, and I’ve had tabs open for both Notion and Asana for most of the month. I think Asana will be more useful to me and the way that I work, but since I haven’t gotten around to actually trying either one, it’s hard to say for sure.


GAMING

Data taken from ManicTime.

Initially, when I was looking at my data for this month, I thought to myself that it couldn’t possibly be right. I haven’t had a sub-40 hour gaming month since I started tracking last June. But on reflection, this was definitely a dry-spell sort of month. Now that the holidays are over, renovations have resumed, which really sucks the energy right out of me. I also probably took on too much in regards to crafting projects, so most of my useful down time was spent on those, rather than on games. There were two weeks in January where I didn’t have my regular co-op gaming night, and I still can’t get enthused about World of Warcraft outside of raid nights.

So I guess it makes sense.

It was a month of dabbling. I deliberately chose a very short game for my first So We Meet Again post to make sure I’d have the time and energy to see it through to completion. After ending December on a huge PowerWash Simulator bender, I lost interest when it came time to clean the Ferris wheel, what I believe was probably only a couple of jobs from the current end. I did play through The Gunk to the credits on GamePass, and I’m mostly done with the peaceful missions in The Colonists, which I expect I’ll be wrapping up before the middle of February. As for co-op, we revisited Wildermyth this past week to play through the new Legacy-Only story campaign, and we spent one evening trying to work out the intricacies of Stolen Realm.

I hardly ever remember to take screenshots on co-op nights, but I did manage to immortalize my first character death in Stolen Realm.

I also have been back on my bullshit, having downloaded both Merge Dragons and The Secret Society onto my tablet, and have been checking in with both of those at least daily. In a way, it’s nice to have a couple of comfort games on the go that are self-limiting in how much time I spend on them. I’ve also been consistently playing Wordle, which guarantees I’ll spend at least five minutes a day thinking. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good way of tracking these gaming activities, so they don’t show up in my nifty pie chart.


READING

I’m off to a great start with my GoodReads challenge this year, exclusively with audiobooks. Sure, three of those were novellas, but if I keep up at this pace, whatever reservations I have about novellas “counting” won’t much matter. In the end, stories are stories, and I’ve been listening to a lot of stories.


WATCHING

Suprisingly, this was also a light television month. Sure, I might have binge watched a few seasons of Worst Cooks in America, and checked out the first few episodes of Next Level Chef on Hulu, but I have cut way back on mindless background television.

On date nights, my husband and I have been watching one episode a week of Lovecraft Country. It’s a pretty heavy show, so I like having time to process it all between episodes, so despite feeling like we’ve been watching it forever, we still have three episodes left to go. Once we’ve finished, I think I’m going to take another stab at reading the book, which I’m guessing is probably going to be so different as to be almost unrecognizable.


STITCHCRAFT

I only ended up finishing one project this month, although I made really good progress on another despite having to started it later than intended due to a shipment of supplies that got delayed by several weeks. This finishes off my first big burst of the year. I’m planning to do a project for all the birthdays in our friend group this year, and now that the February birthdays are finished up, I have a couple of April deadline projects, and then a whole bunch over the summer.

It’s entirely possible I may even get around to working on some of the projects I’ve picked out for myself, or perhaps starting up the Tarot Stitch-Along I signed up for, and then proceeded to completely ignore. Of course, patterns don’t expire, and embroidery floss doesn’t spoil, so there’s no rush.


All in all, January felt to me like a well balanced month for all things nerdy. I’m getting more organized, and life is feeling a little less out of control than it has for the past few months. Here’s to maintaining equilibrium!

Nerd Girl Goals – January 2022

No matter how early I start thinking about something, I feel like I almost never have all those thoughts properly sorted before it’s go time. Well, it’s go time on 2022, and I realize that I had yet to decide on my goal format for the year! Apologies for how scattered this may turn out to be!

Out With the Old

I mentioned it briefly in my November wrap-up, but I’m ducking out of the Community Game-Along this year. I’ve really enjoyed dabbling in the past 24 months worth of themes, but as time goes on, it’s harder and harder for me to get excited about games in genres I don’t usually enjoy. It’s a great community of folks, but I’d like to refocus my energy on some other projects going forward.

Also, due to changes in the way my household is dealing with budgeting around entertainment costs, I’ve decided to drop the headers announcing which paid MMO and subscription game service I’m choosing each month. With a set dollar amount set aside for entertainment, there may be months I do neither, or months where I choose two (or more!) of one or both.

Lastly, since I recently activated a paid WordPress plan, I’ve been giving some serious consideration to giving this place a bit of a makeover. January is usually a pretty quiet month for me overall, so I’d really like to work on that this month.

In With the New

Probably the most important change I’m hoping to make for the blog in 2022, however, is content planning. I know, it’s a little crazy, but I’m going to give it a whirl. Honestly, over two years in, and I am mostly flying by the seat of my pants. As a result, that’s led to some seriously unbalanced months as far as posts go – I get my goals out, maybe make another post or two throughout the month, and then try to cram all the stuff I’d procrastinated into the last few days. I’ve realized that isn’t really working for me; it’s too sporadic. I’d like something a little more structured, unfortunately, I still haven’t worked out all the details!

That said, first priority is to post more regularly, with a goal of getting out 2-3 entries per week, and giving me a minimum of 10 per month. In order to do that, I’d like to start a couple of new series, mostly (but not entirely) gaming related. I’d really like to tell you about all of those right now, but … you see where I’m going with this, right?

… I promise, as soon as I get all those ideas polished up, I’ll be talking about them here.

That said, one is ready for prime time. I’ll be doing a monthly series called “So We Meet Again” where I revisit a game I’ve played in the past. Sometimes, it’ll be a game I bounced off of – sometimes, just a game that I wandered away from before I meant to. Either way, it’ll be a second chance for some games to get played to satisfaction.


Gaming

In another bit of a departure from the norm, I’m not pre-planning my gaming this month. I’m still working my way through Career Mode in Power Wash Simulator, and our guild resumes our regular raid nights starting on the fifth, so there’s a couple of things already determined, but mostly, I’m going to wait and see what looks good to me as I sort through the incredible mess of I’ve made of my Steam library the last few weeks. Not only was there Winter Sale shenanigans, I also added a lot of titles while sorting through the last two plus years of unreedemed keys from bundles, as well as a handful of titles from the latest Yogcast Jingle Jam bundle.

The only other thing I am reasonably sure is going to see play time in January is Stolen Realm. It’s an early access party-based RPG that my co-op partner and I have decided to tackle next. I am absolutely charmed by the art style, and reviews seem to indicate there’s already a pretty significant chunk of content available to play.


Other Nerdstuff

Books: Despite not even coming close to my Goodreads 2021 challenge (I ended with only 20/48 books read), I’m setting myself the same goal for this year. I’d like to start getting my money’s worth from my Audible and Kindle Unlimited subscriptions, so making time to get back into reading is going to be a priority for me. I’ve also solicited some book recommendations from folks on Twitter, and although I didn’t manage to fill out all twelve slots, I’m going to make an effort to read those books this year as well.

Food: Now that I don’t have contractors in my house (ok, so I haven’t for awhile, but go with it), I’d like to get back to doing more in the kitchen. My two major points of interest when it comes to making food are soups and baked goods. I’d like to talk a little more about that stuff, but that means I’m also going to have to remember to take photos of the process as well as the results. In particular, I’d like to do more with baking and confections – I actually looked into the cost of pastry school, and then immediately decided I can probably teach myself enough to bring me joy.

Crafts: I’m still spending a significant amount of time doing crafts, mostly cross-stitch, although I expect to also be doing some painting and yarn-work once I’ve made a little more progress in getting my office / crafting space set up. This is another thing I talk a little bit about, but I’m considering going into more depth with.

All Things Streamed: For the most part, this is TV shows and movies, but I’m leaving the category open to also talk about things I might watch on Twitch or YouTube. Another thing I don’t have much planned for, but something I want to be cognizant of going forward.

Obviously, adding all these other things to what has – thus far – been mostly a gaming-focused blog might not work out for me, but I’d like to see what other kind of posts might work here, whether that be for my audience, or for my own records.


In Summary

To Do In January

  • At least 10 blog posts.
  • At least two blog posts on non-gaming-centric topics.
  • Nerd Girl Thoughts will get a bit of a cosmetic overhaul.
  • Figure out a method of content planning that works for me, and implement it.
  • Choose and play a game for the first So We Meet Again post.

It’s actually a far heftier to do list than the length implies, but man, I do enjoy a good organizational project!

In Review – December 2021

Data taken from ManicTime.

I was all over the place this month (not surprising), and my gaming hours are down slightly (also not surprising). I definitely did not get my money’s worth out of my World of Warcraft sub this month, logging just under 5 hours, but I did manage to get a Sylvanas kill under my belt, so I can walk away from this tier of raiding satisfied, no matter how much or how little else I do while waiting for 9.2. I did play The Good Life on XBox Game Pass, but yet again, I downloaded far more titles than I ever loaded up.

My co-op partner and I have also finally wrapped up the currently available story content in Wildermyth, so I expect I’ll be doing a little write-up about that experience in the next week or so, but man, the end of the month really snuck up on me. In fact, I ended up with a handful of post ideas that didn’t make it into December, but with a little bit of focus (which has been in short supply around here lately, I admit), I should be able to start off 2022 with a bit of a sprint.


What I did do during December was something I’ve wanted to do for ages, but never had the gumption to put together until now. I finally organized all my unused game keys from Humble Choice/Monthly, as well as other bundles, and … I just gave them away. Not all of them, not by a long shot, but I probably decreased the size of my digital dustbin by half or more.

Setting up the Discord was easy, and once I settled on a method for listing them all (thank you Sesh for being such a fantastically useful bot!) I was able to do all the listing and the actually distribution in about 30-60 minutes per day. I started putting up listings on the 6th, and gave away my last key on the 29th.

It was kind of a big time commitment in a month where I probably shouldn’t have been looking for more things to do, but I really enjoyed sending a whole bunch of video games to their new homes, where hopefully they will be played and adored.


I have done a lot of thinking about the direction I want to go in with this blog, and you might have noticed that I’ve ponied up a few bucks a month to make the ads go away. I have ideas for a few new semi-regular features, and I’d like to see my post count and consistency go up. As a result, my monthly book-ends might take on a bit of a different look in the new year.

All in all, I’m really okay with December being over, and with leaving 2021 in the rearview mirror.