In Review – January 2023

  • Make at least 10 blog posts during January.
  • Play and write about two games for #PuzzleGameMonth.
  • Get at least two more characters to level 70 in World of Warcraft.
  • Get the Loremaster of the Dragon Isles on at least one of my alts in World of Warcraft.
  • Participate in the group Humble Choice review.
  • Play and write about at least one game I bought during December.
  • Make a post about co-op game night.
  • Read at least four books.
  • Watch at least one new-to-me movie.
  • Watch at least one new-to-me season, series or mini-series.
  • Finish reorganizing my crafting area.
  • Do at least 2500 stitches on any current project or combination of current projects.

I feel like I did pretty good this month for how un-focused I was feeling. When it came to playing games and blogging, I mostly just did whatever felt right at the time, and I made a more determined push towards my other goals. Mostly, I’m happy with how it all shook out – I managed to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed while also avoiding decision-paralysis problems.


GAMING

I expect that I’m probably pretty close to being done with Against the Storm, at least for awhile, but it dominated my January game time, with over 100 hours played. I’ve put well over 150 hours into this one since I started playing it late December, and although I’ve already turned the difficulty up once (something I rarely do in games), I don’t feel a particular need to make it even harder, so I think I’ve just about gotten what I can from it.

I expect my World of Warcraft time would have seen a dip this month, even if I hadn’t been enamored with another game, but the dip likely would have been a bit less, and I might have even met one or both of my WoW-related goals this month. I’m not upset about it by any means – I feel like I’m still playing enough to make the subscription cost worthwhile, but I’m hoping to find a better sense of pacing than how I’m currently playing.

Starbound was a one-and-done, we tried it out on co-op night, and neither of us much cared for the experience. Instead, we started up The Survivalists, which definitely has more than its share of flaws, but is still a pretty enjoyable co-op experience.

Everything else I played in January for any significant amount of time was either for the group Humble Choice review, or for #PuzzleGameMonth.

Gaming Related Spending

I mostly threw my money at other hobbies this month, which was a nice change. I did buy the Wadjet Eye bundle on Humble, and picked up a couple of games during Steam’s recent Base Builder Sale. I also grabbed a couple of companion pets for WoW at the beginning of the month that I didn’t have and that were leaving the store. When you add my Humble Choice and World of Warcraft subscriptions, my total gaming related spending for January was $78.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading

After a slow start, I ended up finishing five books this month, although I was lukewarm on most of them. The exception was In My Dreams I Hold a Knife, which I found myself reading a chapter or two of every chance I got until I finished it. Two of these books I picked up because of their associated TV adaptations, but I still find myself mostly picking books by whatever sounds good in the moment.

Watching

Although I didn’t manage to get myself away from re-watching things this month, I still managed to catch a few things that were new to me.

Firstly, despite owning the entire series on DVD, I had never actually watched the entire final season of Sanctuary, which I have now remedied, and I appreciate the fact that the show didn’t go out on a huge cliffhanger. Then, on a whim, I binged the entirety of Panic on Amazon. It’s only a ten episode series, and it definitely lends itself well to a marathon watch. Amazon decided against making another season, which honestly, is probably best. It was a complete story, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing a limited series that doesn’t drag on into ridiculousness.

I managed to make a bit of time to squeeze in a movie, and I decided to go with Escape Room. I walked away with very mixed feelings. The puzzle design in the game was pretty impressive, but man, everything else about it felt mediocre. The acting was hit-or-miss, the plot was threadbare, and if you’re the type to struggle with a suspension of disbelief, it’s better to just skip the whole thing. There was almost nothing in the entire movie that felt even slightly plausible.

Stitchcraft Etc.

Logically, I realize that I’m just struggling a lot with this particular pattern, and I haven’t lost interest in the hobby itself, but this project is dragging on forever. I’m unwilling to abandon it, however, so I’ve been telling myself to just do 100 stitches every day. Some days, that’s all I can handle. Others, I end up working on it for twice that or more, and then there have been a few days where even that felt like too much, so I didn’t force it.

Sometime over the course of the month, I managed to eke past the midpoint, and although I expect this will take at least another couple months to finish up, I’m not longer questioning if I’ll be able to finish it.

However, I’ve been working on other types of projects that take far less concentration. I’d gotten away from yarn work because although I enjoy the process, and have no shortage of supplies to work with, I’d gotten tired of finished projects just piling up. I’m in a weird place with most types of crafts in that they are strictly hobbies, and I doubt that I’m proficient enough anyway to sell my work for anywhere near what I should based on material costs & time spent. I’ve also been doing it long enough that I’ve gifted many projects to family and friends, and I just don’t know what to do with any of it anymore.

The scarf I’m currently working on, though, that one I’m keeping for myself. It’s a fairly basic stitch, but a really lovely yarn.

I’ve also started playing with diamond paintings again, which are typically not very impressive when finished, but super meditative to do, and I’m okay with them being solely about the doing, and less about the having at the end.

Diversifying in this way means that no matter what kind of day I’m having, there’s something enjoyable I can work on, and I think that’s helped me get past some of my winter doldrums & frustrations.


I know we’re only a month in, but so far 2023 seems to be about figuring out how much space I need to make for myself for the things I enjoy, and what level of rigidity works best for me. It’s a process, but this feels like a pretty solid start.

Nerd Girl Goals – February 2023

I have been aimless more often than I like to be over the past month, and because of that, I’m putting a goal right into my intro paragraph for this month. I would like to resume using a content planning calendar, because I do better with schedules, even if they’re not as rigid as they could be. I am not entirely sure where January went, but I’m guessing the fact that I never knew what day it was a big part of the reason time felt even more floaty and unstable than usual.


GAMING

World of Warcraft

I still haven’t quite figured out my optimal cadence with World of Warcraft right now. I’m still interested in doing a bit more than just raid logging, but I’m finding my interest in actually playing is not quite matching my ambitions. I’m finding most weeks I’m doing what I want to get done on my main most every week, but I’m not nearly as consistent with my max level alts, and I’m doing very little with my sub-70s still. I’m not sure yet if this is a sign of an impending period of being unsubbed, or just a natural reaction to the “less required content” vibe of Dragonflight.

Given all that, I’m going to make my World of Warcraft goals nigh unmissable for February. I’d like to get one more character to max level, and that should be easy with my hunter about a level from cap. I’d also like to max out renown with at least one faction on my main, probably one of the two that stops at 25 rather than 30. I’d also like to make at least one World of Warcraft related post.

Community Game-Along 2023

#DatingSiMonth seems like the perfect time to dive into something I picked up in one of the (too many) Itch.io bundles. Although visual novels aren’t necessarily my go-to games, I picked out Changeling to play through during February.

But because I also like to have options, I’m going to either dive back into My Time at Portia or start up Potion Permit. While not strictly dating sims, both have romanceable characters, so I think those fit into the spirit of the theme.

No matter which way I end up going, I want to make one post for #DatingSiMonth.

Other Gaming

The latest iteration of Steam Next Fest is right around the corner. It’s usually not a struggle for me to find half a dozen demos I’d like to try out, so I’m going to set my goal for this one as at least one NextFest post. Sometimes, there’s oodles of stuff, and I do more than that, but I’d rather get out one post with games I was excited to play, than drag myself through a bunch of demos I don’t care about.

I’m also bringing forward a couple of things that have been working well for me – namely participating in the group Humble Choice review and playing and writing about a title purchased during the prior month.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading

While I’m glad I’ve gotten back into reading and not just listening, I do wish I were able to be a little less “all or nothing” between formats. In an attempt to nudge myself in this direction, I’m going to set my goals at read any four books and listen to at least one audiobook.

Watching

Here again, I’m pretty pleased with where I’m putting my focus, so I’m going to repeat my January goal of watching one new-to-me movie and one new-to-me series / mini-series / season this month.

Stitchcraft Etc.

For the first time in ages, I find myself wanting to diversify my crafting time. While that’s not been fantastic for my stitch count, I’ve been glad to have things to work on that require a little bit less intense focus, and that I can do away from my desk. However, I also know that I can be extremely fickle with these things, so while I’d like to include them, I don’t want to invest too much. I think that finishing a non-cross-stitch project would be a reasonable goal this month, as well as another 2,500 stitches on any cross-stitch project in progress.

I also intend to re-organize my craft cabinet this month so that I can more easily find the things I’m looking for (and so that I have room for the craft supplies I don’t need but keep buying anyway).

(Image is of the diamond painting kit I started working on recently – it’s a fairly small one, and although these never look quite as good as the artwork they’re made from, they’re usually cheap enough that I don’t care as much about the final product as I do about the process of it.)


IN SUMMARY

  • Start using my content planning calendar again.
  • Make at least 10 blog posts in February.
  • Get at least one more character to level 70 in World of Warcraft.
  • Max out at least one faction of renown on one character in World of Warcraft.
  • Make at least one post related to World of Warcraft.
  • Make at least one post for #DatingSiMonth
  • Make at least one post for Steam NextFest.
  • Play and write about one title purchased in Janaury 2023.
  • Participate in the group review of the February Humble Choice.
  • Read / listen to at least four books.
  • Listen to at least one audiobook.
  • Watch at least one new-to-me movie.
  • Watch at least one new-to-me series, mini-series or season.
  • Do at least 2,500 stitches on a cross-stitch project in progress.
  • Finish any non-cross-stitch project in progress.
  • Re-organize my craft cabinet.

Self-Reflection Sunday: The Whys of Goal-Setting

Every month, when I sit down to write my goal post for the upcoming month, I think about how there are probably a lot of people out there who think I’ve completely lost my marbles. I’ll admit it felt weird at first, making a to-do list for my leisure activities & hobbies. In fact, most of the time, I don’t even have anything written down to keep me on-track in any other aspect of my life, but I’ve kept up with Nerd Girl Goals since September of 2019, so more than three years now.

Obviously, it’s a thing that I feel is working for me on some level, even though, most months I don’t come anywhere close to checking off everything on my list. In fact, I pretty regularly refer back to the bulleted list several times throughout the month. Why do I do it? What do I get out of it? Well, the answer is … complicated, as I find it serves multiple purposes for me.

Outsmarting Decision Paralysis & The Punishment Loop

Magi does a pretty good job of explaining decision paralysis in his recent blog post on the topic, but to put it very simply, decision paralysis occurs when someone has too many choices of how to spend their time, money, or energy. And we live in a world that seems almost designed to cause this condition – no matter what it is you might need, want, or think you need or want, there’s likely to be more than a handful of options.

Several years ago, I determined that my number one problem with time management wasn’t a time management problem at all – it was decision paralysis! Since leaving my last job in late 2014, I’ve had more free time than the average adult, and yet I always felt like I got less done, and that what I did manage to get done, whether it be for productivity or leisure, never really felt satisfying. Either I would flit aimlessly from one task to the next, never making much progress in anything, or I would fixate on something that if – for whatever reason – I could not do, would prevent me from doing anything else meaningful.

It was immensely frustrating fairly regularly, and often led to something I like even less than decision paralysis – the dreaded punishment loop. See, if couldn’t focus, or I couldn’t focus on what I perceived to be the right thing, then I would not allow myself to do much of anything else. Nothing productive, nothing relaxing or enjoyable. I basically put myself in a weird mental time out, where only the least satisfying of time-waster tasks were allowed. It was awful.

It took me longer than I care to admit to to realize what I was doing, and even longer still to break that pattern. I still find myself slipping once in a while, but once I recognize the pattern starting to happen, I will often refer to my monthly project list, and find something on there that feels like I can handle it. I tell myself I’ll try the new game I wanted to write about for half an hour, or that I’ll do around 50 stitches on a cross-stitch pattern I’m working on. Usually, it’s enough to break me out of that cycle, even if whatever task I initially choose doesn’t stick.

Having a quick reference of things I want to do – or at the very least, want to get done – often gets me back on track. Where I maybe couldn’t choose from all the various options available to me, I find it far easier to choose one of eight to ten line items.

The Satisfaction of Faux Productivity

So. What do I mean by faux productivity? Well, it’s a crutch I rely on when for whatever reason either my brain or my body won’t allow me to do what it considers to be real work. It’s work that doesn’t actually matter. There’s no consequences for missing a deadline, or ignoring a task, but it does allow for a spark of happy chemicals in the brain for making progress towards a goal.

As someone who struggles with both mental and physical health issues, and is still fighting the programming that tells me that my worth as a person is inherently tied to my productivity, training myself to be satisfied by checking things off on a list that don’t actually need doing has pulled me out of a rut more times than I can count. No one is going to be upset with me if I don’t play that game, write that blog post, or watch that movie I said I was going to. More importantly, I’m not going to be upset with myself. It’s all carrot, no stick; it feels good to do it, but it doesn’t feel bad when I don’t.

Having goals centered around reading books and watching television give me something that feels meaningful on days I can barely get out of bed. Working on this blog and on craft projects give me something concrete I can look at and remind myself that I am doing things, even if they’re not the things society tells me I should be focusing on. It’s okay that these aren’t the things that are valued by the world; they’re things that I find valuable, and most of the time, that’s enough for me.

Sure, I realize that this is just a form of psychological chicanery, but I’m also not about to sabotage something that works when so very many things don’t.

Keeping a Tangible Record of Progress

This is, in a lot of ways, another little mental health trick. Usually, to do lists are destined for the nearest trash can whenever they’re either all checked off or given up on. Instead, I keep mine – digitally, and on the internet, sure, but I can always go back and see what I’ve done.

Time has felt very weird for the past few years, and having a record of how (at least in part) I spent the months that all seem to blend together has kept me grounded. It gives me a small semblance of structure, something that marks the passage of time, and a reference when I get down on myself. In fact, I’ve found it valuable enough that I think if I were to stop blogging for whatever reason, I’d keep something very similar in a journal.

As a bonus, it reminds me to make space and time in my life for things that bring me joy. That it’s okay to have goals that don’t lead to more money, or a cleaner house, or whatever else it is I’m supposed to be striving for. That it is perfectly acceptable to want things just for myself sometimes.


If you are a person who sets goals for yourself around your leisure-time activities, why do you do it? Does anything I talked about here resonate with you, or do you have completely different reasons?

If you aren’t a person who sets these kinds of goals, have you ever considered it? Do you think you might get something from it?

Feel free to respond in the comments, or if you prefer, to talk about this topic in your own space.

In Review – December 2022

  • Make at least 10 blog posts in December.
  • Do at least one Quick Look of a game purchased during November.
  • Participate in the group review of the December Humble Choice.
  • Get at least three characters to level 70 in World of Warcraft.
  • Reach 100 points in at least one primary profession in World of Warcraft.
  • Progress in My Time At Portia at least as far as Somber Marsh in the main story.
  • Complete the fourth main dungeon in Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos during co-op nights.
  • Complete my 2022 GoodReads challenge of reading 48 books for the year.
  • Progress to at least 66% completion in my current cross-stitch project.
  • Research and consider buying a table top scroll frame for cross-stitch.
  • Run the December 2022 Game Giveaway event.

This may not have been my best month for crossing off line items, but most of it felt pretty good, and that’s way more important. I tend to get myself all knotted up in task completion and scheduling and I forget to just go where my joy takes me sometimes. This month, I knew I had overscheduled myself, and it’s a lot easier looking at missed goals when you know you made far too many to start with.


GAMING

December contained far fewer games than most months in 2022, but significantly more than my average hours. While most of that can be traced to the new Dragonflight expansion in World of Warcraft, I also managed to get way too caught up in Against the Storm, which was one of my impulse purchases during the Winter Sale season.

Most of the remaining titles I played this month were played with friends (mostly on co-op game night), leaving only TOEM and Viscera Cleanup Detail for solo play. This was definitely less variety than I would have in a normal month, even going back to before the #JustOnePercent project, but sometimes you’ve got to go for quality over quantity.

World of Warcraft

I did manage to hit my goal of getting three characters leveled, and each of them has a different primary gathering profession that I’ve also maxed out. However, I’m finding that the profession rework has necessitated a change in the way I view my crafting professions. Typically, in a new expansion, one of the first things I do after reaching max level is to grind out my professions so that they too are capped.

Dragonflight seems like it actively discourages this, and if you take a good look at what’s offered by profession trainers, you can see that the writing is on the wall right from the start. Most profession trainers have nothing new to teach you after you reach the halfway point. Everything after that is either random drops, purchasable from the different factions at higher reputation levels, or unlocked via the profession skill tree. However, unlocking these recipes is only half the battle – most of them require end-game, soulbound materials, so you won’t be crafting anything in bulk. Initially, I wasn’t a big fan of this part of the re-work, but I’m slowly coming around.

The initial gearing-up period also hasn’t been too awful for me; I’ve been well past my guild’s minimum raid requirements for quite awhile now, and we have a few more days before our first foray into the Vault of the Incarnates. I’m still a little grumpy about the reduced number of available world quests each week, but I’m starting to fall into a reasonable rhythm of working on my main in a few short bursts throughout the week, and devoting the rest of my World of Warcraft time to my army of alts.

Gaming Related Spending

I know a lot of folks tend to curb their spending right before the winter holidays, and I can tell you right now I had the complete and utter opposite experience. I’ve been banking some extra fun money almost every month all year long, and I went spend-happy this month. In fact, I’m not even going to attempt the collage of what I bought this month – it’s beyond unwieldy. I managed to rack up an absolutely outrageous $232 in gaming-related spending this month.

I can’t even blame that on a single huge purchase, but quite a bit of it is accounted for by three things. First, I bought myself a fancy new mouse; there wasn’t anything wrong with my old one, I just wanted a few more side buttons without giving in and getting a full 12-panel of thumb buttons. Secondly, I picked up the Jingle Jam bundle again this year, which seems to keep getting just a little more expensive every year, but hasn’t even come close yet to not being worth the money.

Lastly, I spent just about every penny of my $100 winter sale budget, although a few of the titles I grabbed from other storefronts as they were slightly cheaper there than on Steam. All in all, I managed to grab 12 titles (including one gift), and one of those I’ve already played for over 50 hours. Even if I never touch anything else I bought, I’ve already more than gotten my money’s worth!


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading

This year’s reading goal was perfectly and precisely met, although I didn’t do a whole lot of reading in December. I did, however, decided to finish the year out with a perfectly spooky winter re-read (Ghost Story) that I’ve wanted to dive into for awhile. It’d been quite a few years at this point, and I was surprised at how much of the story I didn’t remember.

Watching

December wasn’t all that great for me on the watching front; in fact, outside of Monday night movies on Discord, I hardly watched anything this month. I did get a bit into season 2 of Gotham and then I just never got back to it. Despite deciding to set a goal going forward of watching more things that are new to me, I noticed a couple nights ago that the Roku channel has all four seasons of Sanctuary, so of course, I had to start that even though I know it’s highly unlikely I’ll make it to the end.

Stitchcraft

Most of the month, I didn’t even go near my craft desk. I did, however, do my research and found a scroll frame on Etsy that was everything I wanted, including on sale.

Bear Creek Ltd is an Etsy shop based in Austin, TX, and is the only place I found that made non-floor scroll frames that could accommodate projects more than 24″ wide. Unsurprisingly, the thing is huge, but it’s well made, and I can see myself getting years of use out of it.

However, it only arrived a few days ago, and I’m still deep in the adjustment period. I had to rearrange quite a bit of my crafting space to make room, but so far, I like it a whole lot.

It is, however, A Project to set up initially, so when I do smaller projects, I’m unlikely to use it. This is probably more of a pro than a con, though, as it should help prevent me from project hopping so that I’ll actually, maybe, get something finished.


Overall, I’m pretty ok with where December took me. I had no real expectations of being overly focused, but I think I’ve got a better handle on what I want the shape of my leisure to look like going forward, and I’ve made some good first steps in getting there.

Nerd Girl Goals – January 2023

Finally, not just a new month, but an entire new year! As someone who doesn’t really do New Year’s Resolutions, it probably means even less than it might, but I’m still glad to be putting 2022 behind me. While it’d be more than a bit of hyperbole to say that it was – for me personally – the worst year ever, there was still a lot of things I’ll be glad to be able to say were so last year.


GAMING

World of Warcraft

Now that the new expansion thrill is mostly over, and I’m settling into a more reasonable cadence, I’m not entirely sure what’s next for me in World of Warcraft. My guild will be stepping into normal Vault of the Incarnates in a few days, but with only five hours of scheduled raiding in January, I’m hesitant to set much in the way of goals in relation to raiding. I still have professions – I mean, characters, of course – to level, but we’re probably still about 6 weeks out from any significant new content. On the other hand, I still have enough to poke at that I’m not quite ready to dive back into old content either.

To keep me at least a little on task, I think I’ll set my goals for two more characters to level 70 and Loremaster of the Dragon Isles on a second character.

Community Game-Along 2023

With no big gaming or blogging projects on the horizon, I’ve decided to jump back into the Community Game-Along for 2023, in no small part because there are only a handful of themes all year that take me outside of my comfort zone. The theme for January is #PuzzleGameMonth, and I thought I’d pick out a couple of puzzle games from my library to play around with.

The three games I was most drawn to on a first pass were Gorogoa, Palindrome Syndrome: Escape Room, and Strange Horticulture. Although I’m not 100% committed to these particular titles, I’d like to play at least two puzzle games during January as part of the Community Game-Along.

Other Gaming

I think January will probably be a little bit about figuring out how much I want to pre-plan, and how much space I need to leave myself to spend time doing whatever catches my fancy. Goal-setting helps me to keep from getting overwhelmed by decision paralysis, but setting too many goals just turns me into a rebellious teenager who will do just about anything to avoid working on the list I made for myself. It’s a balancing act, and I’ve found that treating my line items as suggestions rather than must-dos helps quite a bit.

That said, I prefer to have something on my content planning calendar, but without tying myself to a single game or group of games that I feel like I must play. So, to keep it sort of flexible without being too flexible (I swear, I’m impossible to please!), I think I’ll try out some repeatable categories.

For example, I’d like to continue participating in UnwiseOwl’s group review of the Humble Choice, as well as sitting down to play and write about something I purchased during the prior month. I have a terrible habit of getting spendy and then forgetting I own something right up until the point I try to to buy it again. I also would really like to start making a point to write about what I’m playing on co-op game night, although we don’t always change games frequently enough for this to be an every month sort of thing.

Otherwise, I’m sticking to a play-what-I-want, write-what-I-want policy for the time being.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading

I’m fairly sure I want to repeat my goal from 2022 and go for 48 books again this year, in some combination of print & audio. That averages out to four books a month, which feels doable even when I’m not reading a whole lot, and then I get on a kick and I either get way ahead, or totally caught up in a week or two. It’s not enough to stress me out, but it’s highly unlikely I’ll be done by March. It just feels right. Which makes my shorter-term goal four books during January.

In the shortest term, I want to get back into the reading before bed habit, because I have gotten outrageously sloppy with my sleep hygiene over the past couple weeks.

Watching

This past year, I was super inconsistent with my media consumption when it comes to television and movies. Either the TV doesn’t even go on for weeks at a time, or I slip into the familiar comfort of perpetual re-watching. Doing Discord movies nights has helped somewhat, but I still find myself gravitating to old favorites and not trying anything new.

Although it’s not really my focus here, my goals are mostly for me anyway. So I’d like to get into the habit of one new-to-me movie and one new-to-me season, series or mini-series each month. I won’t force myself to sit through something I’m not enjoying, but like you do with small children and food, I at least have to try a couple bites.

Stitchcraft

I am 100% absolutely not ready to start the giant project I’ve been looking forward to for what feels like forever now, and it wouldn’t be terribly satisfying on a “couple hundred stitches every other week” schedule that I’ve been doing for awhile now. I’m in the middle of reworking my crafting desk, and once I’ve finished that, I want to figure out a schedule and / or a goal around number of stitches or completion percentage or something that will motivate me. I have no idea yet what that’s going to look like, but the unfinished projects are just making me feel awful, especially since they were all intended to be gifts for dates that have long since passed.

In fact, I think it’s not a problem so much with the hobby itself, but with larger struggles I’m having around time management in general lately. Unfortunately, I’m never sure which of my polar opposite approaches to this problem is going to be more effective. Sometimes it’s more rigid scheduling and goal-setting. Sometimes, it’s going completely hands off for a few weeks, doing whatever strikes my fancy until I get annoyed with that level of freedom. All I do know is that this tends to happen almost every year around the holidays, and I should have most of the kinks worked out of it all by the middle of the month. I hope.


IN SUMMARY

  • Make at least 10 blog posts during January.
  • Play and write about two games for #PuzzleGameMonth.
  • Get at least two more characters to level 70 in World of Warcraft.
  • Get the Loremaster of the Dragon Isles on at least one of my alts in World of Warcraft.
  • Participate in the group Humble Choice review.
  • Play and write about at least one game I bought during December.
  • Make a post about co-op game night.
  • Read at least four books.
  • Watch at least one new-to-me movie.
  • Watch at least one new-to-me season, series or mini-series.
  • Finish reorganizing my crafting area.
  • Do at least 2500 stitches on any current project or combination of current projects.

A Few Final Thoughts On #JustOnePercent (By Way of Steam’s Year In Review)

This was a very atypical year for me, as far as how I played games. So, of course, this is also the first year that Steam dropped their end of the year replay wrap up! While it’s not 100% representative of how I spent my gaming time, at least quantity-wise, I do play most game via Steam. This year, because of the Just One Percent Project, I might have branched out a bit more, playing a handful of titles on Itch.io*, through XBox Game Pass for PC, and even a handful on the Epic launcher and on Utomik. So while the numbers don’t quite reflect everything, it looks kind of like how I felt to play – which is to say, a bit chaotic.

*I really would like to play more of the stuff that I have picked up on Itch.io, but those games tend to be a casualty of the size of my Steam library and the fact that when I don’t know what to play, Steam is always my first stop.

If you’re curious about all the details of my Steam Replay for 2022, clicking on the image above will take you there.

Just on Steam, I played 198 different games this year, when you include the 48 demos I tried out. Even taking those out of the equation, that’s still 149 different titles. Now, I am a dabbler, true, but I’m not normally that much of a dabbler. But between February and November of this year, I made 105 posts for the #JustOnePercent project. Assuming a 10% fail rate (where I at least launched the game, but didn’t write about it for one reason or another), and – just a guesstimate – assuming that 25% of what I played for the project was on another platform, when we fudge the numbers just smidgen, we can guess that about 87 of those titles I played specifically as part of the project.

That leaves me with what feels like a far more manageable number of 62 games that I played this year just because they struck my fancy, which is a little more than 5 a month. That feels about right to me. The ranking by playtime seems to reflect that as well – it’s not until you reach the third dozen that games I chose for the project start regularly appearing, with Cozy Grove being the only title to make an appearance in my top two dozen, by playtime.

(Although I suspect a couple of the titles I played outside of Steam – notably The Wild At Heart and The Forgotten City would have showed up in my top 25, easily.)

What isn’t particular surprising is the very low number of games (which is to say, one?) in the top third of my list of titles played for the year that were not indie titles. When I say I mostly play indie games, I guess I really mean it, and now I have the stats to back it up.


I’ve been putting off writing about the project a bit, partially because – oh dear lord – I needed a break from it after 10 long months, but also because I hadn’t yet figured out the answer to a key question.

Was it successful?

I mean, I know it was in that I did what I set out to do. I played more than 100 games that came out on Steam in full release during 2021. For the majority of those titles, that means I spent at least an hour with each game, and there were a handful I really enjoyed that I would maybe never have gotten around to trying out. While I didn’t go spelunking too far outside of my comfort zone, I feel like I stretched a little, and that’s always a good thing.

But I don’t think the project necessarily made the statement I thought it would when I started out.

I’ll admit it – a few of the titles that I played probably never should have seen the light of day, never mind an active store front. But for the most part, I could see the merit in each of the titles, even when I was very clearly not the target audience. Some of the games I picked – in large part because they were at least in the same orbit as my taste – were immensely popular and successful indie titles. Some of the games I thought were great, however, only managed a handful of sales.

It’s not easy to pull a top twelve from a big old mess of over 100 titles, but the games that I feel were probably the best of the bunch – at least for my taste – were Cozy Grove, The Forgotten City, The Wild at Heart, Wildermyth, Gamedec, Lacuna, At Eve’s Wake, Wytchwood, Before We Leave, Overboard, To The Rescue, and The List. Order of preference is – at best – approximate.

I really don’t envy the people who need to come up with the titles to put on the “Best of…” lists we always see at this time of year, and I really struggled picking my “Top Twelve” from the 105 games I played for the project. Even in doing so, I kind of felt like it was a bit unfair – a full two-thirds of the titles I felt like I got the most out of were already on my wish list (or were games I had Kickstarted) before the idea for the project even existed.

Putting those aside for a moment, the four biggest happy surprises for me were the following titles: The Forgotten City, The Wild at Heart, At Eve’s Wake, and The List. None of these were on my radar at all, and I would probably not have played any of them outside the boundaries of this project, and I loved every one of them.

Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy any of the other games I played – in fact, I enjoyed most of them. They just weren’t necessarily the exact game I would have picked to play when I did if I had not been so tightly focused on 2021 releases from indie game developers.


Which I guess just leaves one final question: Would I do it again?

Sorry for anyone who was a big fan of the project, but I don’t think that I would. It’s not that I don’t think I play a hundred or so different games in the course of an average year – I have no doubt that I do – but I definitely skipped out on more than a few things I would have really preferred to be playing at any given time.

I’ve built a big library precisely so I can go where my whims take me. I like my whims. I’m pretty damn attached to my whims.

This is well reflected by my Steam Replay, as well as by those silly charts I post in my In Review posts – I tend to spend the most time playing the games that I want to play at any given time. Revolutionary, right? It’s also why this is my hobby, and not my job.

I had toyed around with some different project ideas for 2023, but I think – just now – I’ve realized that what I would really like to do is play whatever strikes my fancy, at least for awhile.

In Review – November 2022

  • At least 8 posts for the #JustOnePercent project.
  • At least 4 posts unrelated to the #JustOnePercent project.
  • Finish leveling at least 2 more characters in World of Warcraft.
  • Complete the Mountacular achievement in World of Warcraft.
  • Complete the Re-Re-Re-Renowned achievement in World of Warcraft.
  • Participate in the group review of the November Humble Choice.
  • Read any six books.
  • Complete any one stitching project.
  • Watch at least a few episodes of Channel Zero on AMC+.
  • Cancel AMC+ before it goes back to full price.
  • Schedule four Monday Night Movie watch parties.
  • Schedule at least two game nights.

Another month that actually looks better in the rearview than it felt at the time. It sometimes feels like every time I get something back on the track I want it to be on, something else derails. I have been putting a high premium on settling my sleep schedule to something that works better for me on the regular, which ended up leading to dropped routines in other places (post-midnight Wordle, I was sad to see you go). More time spent playing video games led to less time at my craft desk. Trying to figure out new social media sites led to less time spent on the blog. Everything’s a balancing act, and I’m forever trying to pile far too much on the scale.

Also, I should have shot for that level 70 goal in World of Warcraft. I made it, with a couple of hours to spare.


GAMING

#JustOnePercent

The eight games I covered in November were Hammerting, Next Space Rebels, Factory Town, Toy Tinker Simulator, French Crime, Huntress: The Cursed Village, Wytchwood, and Aspire: Ina’s Tale. I didn’t end up playing any of these on the Steam Deck, but every single one was played for at least an hour and is represented on the spreadsheet.

I went into the month pretty sure that I was going to end up dropping games, and I think that almost felt like explicit permission to do so. I ended up getting behind and missing the anniversary for Exodus Borealis, and I bounced off Tunnel of Doom, Fantasy Gardens, and He Will Shoot within a matter of minutes. Finally, I decided to swap out Archvale for Aspire: Ina’s Tale so I could cover one more game from my library rather than GamePass.

I ended up making 105 project posts, which once added to the 12 qualifying titles I wrote about before starting the project, that means I played 117 out of 10,967 games released in 2021. I had decided up front to only count games that fully released during the year, but I have no idea how to even begin to calculate how many titles were first made available for sale versus how many were full release titles. Without the dozen prior posts, I wouldn’t quite have covered 1%, but I feel like I met the spirit of the project.

World of Warcraft

Dragonflight prep took up a lot of time this month, but not nearly as much as I expect that Dragonflight proper will in the coming month. I had hoped to level a couple more characters, but between the pre-expansion event, and the adjusted experience gains that came with the second half of the pre-patch, I managed to finish all the remaining classes on my main server. I did however, take a small shortcut; I had a level 50 boost just hanging out on my account, and I decided to use that on my rogue, cutting out 40 levels worth of time.

So, for the first time ever, after having set it as a goal multiple times now, I am going into an expansion with every class at max level! Which kind of took a bit of the shine off of my other goals, but I met those tasks as well.

Mountacular ended up being even easier than I anticipated, and I got it while working on cleaning out my quest log by finally doing the scenarios to unlock the Dark Iron Dwarves and Lightforged Draenei. I had completely forgotten that finishing those questlines rewarded racial mounts.

Re-Re-Re-Renowned took considerably longer. I eventually decided that I’d finish grinding renown on my original four level 60 characters. I picked up the consumable item that would boost them each to level 60, and did most of the rest through daily callings and questing through the Zerith Mortis story. I finished Necrolords in the earlier part of the month, but managed to put off doing anything with Night Fae until just about the very last minute.

Although there’s still some things I wish I had gotten around to, I was overall pleased with the progress I made in finishing up Shadowlands achievements. It’ll most likely be almost entirely Dragonflight for at least the first month or so, but we’ll see if I end up popping back into some older content.

Other Gaming

The biggest chunk of my non World of Warcraft game time this month went into my third attempt of My Time At Portia. I’m about 40 hours into a fresh save, and I’ve only recently passed the point where I usually wander off from the game. Will this be the time I finish it? Only time will tell. It has been several days since I’ve checked in on my builder, but I do expect I’ll get back to it, maybe even as soon as this weekend.

All of my co-op game nights in November were devoted to working our way through Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos. It’s definitely a game that I would have found supremely frustrating had I played it alone – there are weird spikes in difficulty due to the oh-so-very grindy nature of it, and there have been several times I would have been at a loss for how to proceed that my co-op partner would declare was “very Zelda-esque”.

I don’t love it, but I am enjoying it, which is pretty successful for co-op stuff.

We had a SMITE night in the clubhouse, so I got to shake the rust off a little bit, and I played my first ever game of Settlers of Catan via Tabletop Simulator. I played around a little bit in RoboQuest, so I could do a short write up for UnwiseOwl’s group review of the November Humble Choice. Past that, I hardly even loaded anything up.

Gaming Related Spending

However, I clearly wasn’t deterred in the least this month from spending money on gaming! I had all my regular subscriptions (GamePass, World of Warcraft, and Humble Choice) this month, but I also did a lot of other shopping.

This collage covers most of my November gaming spending. It didn’t matter this month if it was a bundle, sale, or even single release-day purchase – if I wanted it, I bought it! On the other hand, I spent very little on any of my other hobbies this month, so I still came in under my total entertainment budget.

I also purchased my very first race change in World of Warcraft this month. I never thought there’d be an occasion where I’d want to spend money to change a character rather than just level something else, but I never ever want to go hunting for all the pre-Legion inscription recipes in the game again. So, after years of frustration with my very very short Death Knight, I decided to make her tall, in hopes that I will play her more if I can figure out where she is on the screen, which is generally full of very large monster ankle. I debated between Kul Tiran, human, or worgen for a couple of days, ultimately settling on worgen. I haven’t done much with her since then – she was already fairly well settled for Dragonflight, so it’ll be a little while yet until I see if my investment pays off.

My total gaming-related spending this month came in at a whopping $157 – and that doesn’t even include the expansion, which is part of my Christmas/birthday gift from my husband for this year.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading

Going back to reading on my tablet before bed made a world of difference this month. In fact, out of nine books, only one was an audiobook this month. I have basically been picking things almost at random from my Scribd recommendations; as far as I can recall, I haven’t read a single book from any of these authors prior to this month. It’s been mostly working out for me, although a few I would consider to be just alright, there wasn’t anything here that tempted me to leave it unfinished and choose something else.

Watching

Other than Monday night movies at the Clubhouse, and sporadic background cooking shows, I didn’t spend a lot of time watching this month. I did get through all six episodes of the first season of Channel Zero before my AMC+ subscription ran out, and I might put the other seasons on my Halloween watch list for next year.

I’ve also recently started re-watching Gotham from the beginning. I love the first season, I’ve probably seen it four times now. However, I find I quickly lose interest a few episodes into Season 2. I’m not super invested, but it’ll be interesting to see if this is the time it sticks.

Stitchcraft

I really need to start taking a better look at patterns before I get all the supplies for them, or – better yet – before I buy the pattern. The project I’m currently working on has 12 shades between white and the darkest gray it uses, and for the most part, it’s all single stitches here and there of each shade. It’s simply awful to work on, and super hard to follow the pattern. I have no doubt there’s at least 30 mistakes in the pattern already, and I’m not quite 1/3 done with it.

I’ve been averaging anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 stitches most months, and in November, I only did a little over 3,000. I am so very very behind where I wanted to be, but there was almost always something more appealing I could have been doing, and I really struggled this month to get my butt into the chair, although when I did, I usually got through several hundred stitches.

So not only did nothing get finished this month, I was way behind my usual productivity.


This month really solidified for me that I just have too many hobbies. I have a ridiculous amount of free time compared to most adult humans, and I still can only manage to make headway with about half of the things I’m juggling at any given time, never mind the several other things I’d like to be doing or learning, but I just don’t have space for in my life currently. I don’t know how working adults with families – even healthy working adults with families – find the time and energy to do anything at all!

Nerd Girl Goals – December 2022

With all that remains of the #JustOnePercent Project is the wrap-up post, I have a nearly empty content planning calendar for the first time since I implemented it. I had hoped for a giant cartoon lightbulb to magically appear and direct me at what comes next, but maybe this is best. Maybe December is a good month to kind of lie low a little bit.


GAMING

World of Warcraft

Probably my favorite part of an MMO is right when there’s a new expansions. I mean sure, content patches can be lovely, but there’s something incomparable to the time when absolutely everything feels new. I walk a weird path in World of Warcraft, where I like to raid, but otherwise, I am an uber-casual when it comes to end game content. I do as few dungeons as possible, avoid Mythic+ like it might actually kill me, and I almost never do any PvP. Instead, I level alts, work on professions & collections, and old content. A lot of the time, for me, World of Warcraft is a single player game that just happens to have other people in it.

I expect a lot of the next few weeks to be taken up with leveling – both in terms of character XP, as well as doing whatever I need to do to increase my reputation, and really dive into the profession rework. Usually, I spend a week or so fully focused on my main character, and then I start poking at alts. Although I still have unfinished business in Shadowlands (and Battle for Azeroth, and Legion and…), I expect almost the entirety of December to be hyperfixated on the Dragon Isles.

I’d like to have a minimum of three characters at level 70 before the end of the month. More would be excellent, but December is also a month where things tend to come up and eat away at my free time, so I’d rather set the goal on the low side and not get burned out right out of the gate.

Since I mostly have managed to avoid spoilers, as a result, I also really don’t know how most of the systems in Dragonflight actually work, so I’m keeping my achievement goals to things that feel very achievable.

Other Gaming

I’m not sure how I want to set goals for gaming outside of WoW, either, because if I’m really enjoying the new expansion, it will absolutely eat up my all of my gaming time. On the other hand, I kind of want to celebrate being free of the shackles of games I am “supposed to” play by playing some of the stuff I’ve been neglecting over the past 10 months.

One thing I know I would like to do is spend more time this month working my way through the main story of My Time At Portia. I started playing on a whim about halfway through November, and for a few days, it was all I wanted to do when I sat down at the computer. Despite having made a couple of good starts in the past, I ended up wandering off around the same point in the game both times. Now, I’ve made significant progress past that point, and I really think I’d like to see if I can get through the entire story this time, even if I don’t stick around to grind out all the artifacts and such once I have.

I expect I’m slightly less than halfway through the main plot, but with a whole bunch of workshop upgrades already under my belt, it seems like the later quests actually progress more quickly than the early ones.

I don’t expect to put nearly as much time into it as I did last month, but I’d like to keep plugging along, so I’m going to set my goal as progressing to the Somber Marsh chapter of the main story.

I also expect that there is only another couple of play sessions left in Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos before we’ve completed the main quest line. We just barely poked our head into the final biome, and there’s only one major dungeon left before the endgame. Now, I’m unsure how much content there is after that, and I also have no idea how much patience we’ll have once it becomes an epic post-game grind, but I think it’s reasonable to say we’ll finish the fourth main story dungeon in Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos before the end of the month, even with holiday-related things potentially causing us to miss a night or two.

Finally, I’d like to do a Quick Look of one of the games I purchased during November, in an attempt to stop buying things and then instantly forgetting they exist, as well as continue to participate in UnwiseOwl’s group review of Humble Choice, provided he continues with it. All in all, I would like to make at least 10 blog posts in December, although I won’t necessarily restrict all of them to gaming topics.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading

I made an impressive about-face from the reading slump I had been in for months, and now, for the first time in awhile, I’m ahead of schedule to finish 48 books this year. Normally at this point, I’m hunting around for the shortest things I can find that I’d be okay with counting towards my goal, and this year, I’m expecting smooth sailing. In fact, I could be done now if I just finished three of the titles I have in progress! To keep it simple, I’d like to meet my 2022 GoodReads challenge of completing 48 books before the end of December.

Stitchcraft

I’ve recently realized that, even with the copious amounts of free time I have, if I want to make any significant progress in my hobbies, I need to focus on one or two at a time and stop trying to do it all.

I am starting to despair that I’m ever going to finish my works-in-progress, never mind finish them all in time for holiday gifts. In fact, I expect I’ll need a lot of discipline to get even one done in time. I have just under 10,000 stitches remaining for the project currently on my desk – which is about 30% done – and that would take at least 20 very dedicated stitching days to complete. Since that seems less than likely, I’ll set a more modest goal of 66% completion before the month’s end, which feels reasonable even if I work in smaller blocks of time.

I’d also like to do more research into a scroll frame, preferably one that is meant to be used table-top, because my taste in projects has been running on the larger side. I’m already not prioritizing portability in my projects, so a solution that would allow me to see more of my project at once might be motivating.

Other Nerdstuff

I’m not going to set anything in the way of specific goals for either watching or Discord this month, other than to run the December game giveaway. This one should be significantly shorter than the last two, as I’ve decided to skip anything that didn’t make it out of the last chance giveaways during the past two sessions. I will still probably keep scheduling Clubhouse events, including a couple of holiday movie watch parties, but I realize at lot of people are socially overwhelmed in December, and I don’t want to add much to that pressure.


IN SUMMARY

  • Make at least 10 blog posts in December.
  • Do at least one Quick Look of a game purchased during November.
  • Participate in the group review of the December Humble Choice.
  • Get at least three characters to level 70 in World of Warcraft.
  • Reach 100 points in at least one primary profession in World of Warcraft.
  • Progress in My Time At Portia at least as far as Somber Marsh in the main story.
  • Complete the fourth main dungeon in Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos during co-op nights.
  • Complete my 2022 GoodReads challenge of reading 48 books for the year.
  • Progress to at least 66% completion in my current cross-stitch project.
  • Research and consider buying a table top scroll frame for cross-stitch.
  • Run the December 2022 Game Giveaway event.

In Review – October 2022

  • Twelve posts for the #JustOnePercent Project
  • At least four posts unrelated to the #JustOnePercent Project
  • Finish leveling three more characters in World of Warcraft (priest, warrior, demon hunter)
  • Participate in the group review of the October Humble Choice.
  • Play & post about at least one horror game.
  • Play at least four demos from the October 2022 Steam Next Fest.
  • Read any six books.
  • Schedule at least four horror movie watch parties.
  • Order the remaining supplies for my 2023 stitching project, and get the floss carded.

October just might be my favorite month of the year, but holy moly it’s full of distractions. Since my Septembers are typically hectic, I almost always need to spend more time on rest in October, and I invariably forget about this in my great desire to use all my spare time on things that bring me joy. Thankfully, one of the things that brings me the most joy in October really isn’t incompatible with extra rest, and that’s watching all manner of horror movies and TV programs, and I did plenty of that over the last several weeks.

But that meant less time for everything else, and I didn’t really account for that when I was setting my goals, but I’ve long since stopped expecting to cross everything off every month.


GAMING

Data taken from ManicTime.

#JustOnePercent

The seven games I covered in October were Midnight Protocol, Subway Midnight, At Eve’s Wake, Dogs Organized Neatly, To The Rescue!, Time Loader, and DYSMANTLE. Only Subway Midnight is absent from the chart above, as I played that one for less than an hour.

I did not choose my games well (or wisely) this month. I ended up dropping 5 games in total, four because I just couldn’t get into them after several attempts, and another one (Evil Genius 2: World Domination) because I made the exact same mistake as last month – confusing the XBox Game Pass release date with the game’s actual release date. This after dropping the final three titles I had slated for September felt really bad, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that I still had plenty of games that came out before the end of 2021 that I was still going to surpass my goal in the end.

I think the biggest positive surprise for me was At Eve’s Wake – I’m not a huge fan of visual novels, generally speaking, but this one had me hooked. I did end up wandering off before discovering all the endings, because the more I played, the more the rough edges started to show. It was clever, but not quite clever enough to stand up to multiple back-to-back playthroughs. It’s something I probably never would have picked up if it weren’t in a bundle, so I’m very glad to have discovered it.

World of Warcraft

I definitely played more World of Warcraft in October than I did in September. Partially, I can chalk that up to having more time to play, but mostly, I think, it was a result of having firm goals to work towards. I didn’t do as well with leveling as I had hoped, but Blizzard’s decision to split the pre-patch into two separate events and continue the Winds of Wisdom buff for three more weeks took a bit of pressure off there, freeing me up to spend time on other stuff.

The quest for the Jellycat probably took up the most time – not only did we do weekly raids trying to finish it up before 10.0, since none of us were sure if it was going to be available after that, but most weeks, we raided an extra night. Still, had it gone away with the first part of the pre-patch, we would have been out of luck – when the update came on the 28th, we were one solitary boss away from completion. However, we were able to go back in this past Wednesday, and killed the Jailer, awarding about half our regular raid team with their very own ugly green riding kitty.

It really is a hideous beast and I love it.

I also managed to knock out a few other last minute goals. With the help of my husband and another guildmate, we managed to complete four levels of The Jailer’s Gauntlet for a mawrat mount, and then my husband and I tackled a full set of Flawless 12s to get the Mawsworn Charger. I spend entirely too long hanging out in the Endmire day after day, but managed to finally tame Sinrunner Blanchy and free up a handful of bag slots in the bargain.

Lastly, as someone who usually really enjoys the whole questing experience, I was surprised to discover I’d missed just a handful of side quest chains, so I did not have Loremaster of Shadowlands. I knew I wanted to remedy that before moving on from the Shadowlands to the Dragon Isles, so I knocked out the remaining handful of quests in one night. Oddly enough, I had done just about all of it across the characters I had leveled, but in two zones, no one character had done all of it.

Despite not getting to do everything I would have liked to, I am pretty pleased with the progress I made this month.

Other Gaming

Around the middle of the month, Stardeus finally released into Early Access and ended up being my major single-player time suck for the month. Right now, the early game is fantastic, but as you get closer to the endgame, it starts to lose that wow factor for me. The pace of upgrades, research, and new colonists becomes very very slow indeed, and you’re still only one crisis away from a disaster you cannot possibly recover from. Shortly after reaching the slow down the first time, I ended up losing everything. The second time, it went much better, but that also lead to me losing interest. I’ll definitely be back to check in on it as more things are added and tweaked, but I think I’m satisfied with my progress and understanding of the game mechanics for the time being.

I managed to download and play twelve demos during the October 2022 Steam NextFest, which I wrote about in two separate entries [(part one) and (part two)]. I keep on getting excited about some of the new stuff that’s coming out, but I am also perpetually impatient waiting for things I tried out a year or more ago to become a purchasable product. More and more titles on my wishlist are starting to show dates in 2023 or beyond, and while it’s not like I don’t have anything else to keep me occupied, it’s hard to maintain enthusiasm over such a long period.

On co-op game night, we managed to wring a few last bits of fun out of Card Hunter, before moving on to Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos, which is far more entertaining than the Steam reviews had lead me to believe. It probably wasn’t anything either of us were going to drop full price on, but we somehow managed to both end up with it from bundles or giveaways, and decided it was worth an evening to try out. It’s been quite awhile since I laughed that hard playing a video game. It’s more than a bit grindy, but since our least favorite part of co-op night is deciding what to play next, that’s not necessarily a bad thing unless it gets overly tedious.

Lastly, I managed to try out two of the games in the October Humble Choice Bundle, and give my first impressions of them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t crazy about either game this month, but considering they only end up being around $2 each, it wasn’t a great disappointment.

Gaming Related Spending

The only non-subscription item I spent money on as far as gaming was concerned was picking up Stardeus on release. Add that to my World of Warcraft subscription, Game Pass subscription, and Humble Choice subscription, and my total game related spending for October was only $60.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading

After almost two months of not having the attention span to read or listen to any books, I may not have made my goal, but I feel like I’m getting back into the groove. Although I listened to The Team while stitching, I read the other two on my tablet. I’d gotten away from print for most of the year due to my tremendously irritating quirk of being unwilling to do just one thing at a time.

However, I’ve fallen into some really bad pre-bedtime habits, so I’ve made the decision to get back into the routine of reading right before I want to be asleep. My goal is to be in bed an hour before the time I’d ideally be asleep for the night, and use that hour to read. Sure, it might backfire occasionally if I’m at an exciting part of a good book, but at least I’ll be staying up too late doing something I actually want to be doing, rather than scrolling Instagram mindlessly, or playing one more level of a matching game on my phone.

Stitchcraft

When I decided to get back to stitching, I really dove in, and for the first time in a long time, managed to both start and finish a project in the same month! Having a whole bunch of movies to re-watch really helped me along, and the fact that the project was only 6 colors and around 3000 stitches didn’t hurt either.

I also got in my (nearly) final floss order in for the mega-project I’m planning to start in the New Year. Somehow, despite having a spreadsheet with everything I needed, and rechecking the order twice before placing it, I managed to miss a single skein of thread when I was shopping. Since I’m not interested in paying for shipping for a single skein of embroidery floss, I figure I’ll put it in with my next order, as I’m likely to need something to break up that 500K stitch monstrosity.

So, every color I need for the project – save for that one – is carded and ready to go. Organized floss boxes are so very satisfying to me.

Watching

I feel like I watched all the things this month. All five titles in the Final Destination series. The first seven movies in the Saw series. I binged the entire sixth season of American Horror Story over three days. I saw Halloweentown for the first time. We watched five different movies during Monday night watch parties. I re-watched the first Puppet Master movie, and the IT miniseries from the early 90s. My husband’s best friend came over one night, and I watched the 1982 version of The Thing for the first time. I binged a couple of seasons of Tales from the Crypt, as well as the feature length Demon Knight. We even watched a few episodes of The Halloween Cookie Challenge on Discovery+.

Somehow, I still found enough time to dive deep into the archives, and do a triple feature of horror movies about video games (as opposed to video game adapations). None of these movies are particularly good, mind you, but this year, every one of them seemed to hit the spot.

If Arcade, Brainscan, and Stay Alive are to be believed, being a gamer is a dangerous pastime.

Even with everything I’ve listed out, I know I’ve forgotten some things. It was a horror filled month, and it made me wonder why I feel like I need to ravenously consume all of this each October, and then barely indulge during the remainder of the year.

Krikket’s Clubhouse

Just click on the header if you’d like to join in the shenanigans!

Monday nights in October were for the weird, the scary, and the absolutely ridiculous. For the first three weeks, we watched movies I watch pretty much every year. I branched out a little bit for the last two, although Cabin in the Woods I revisit from time to time, it’s not an every October movie for me. Attendance was somewhat spotty, but it’s clear we have enough folks that are into watching a flick on a Monday night that I may try to make this a weekly occurrence. Worst case scenario, it means that I’ll at least watch a handful of movies per month.

The only other seasonal event was The Haunting of Emmie Jenkins online escape room from Masters of Mystery. Although the four of us who played enjoyed it overall, I felt slightly mislead by the game’s description. I expected that – in the course of escaping – we’d uncover the answer to the mystery that the game started with. Instead, it was just a lure to get us into the house and the puzzles throughout had almost nothing to do with the murders or the ransom note for a child who didn’t seem to exist.

I would be absolutely open to getting another online escape room to play, but I think I’d possibly try a different source next time. Both the lack of resolution and the fact that once you play the game, you lose access to it irked me a little bit.

For most of the night, I was sure we weren’t going to make it in the hour time limit (although the game stated that you could play beyond the timer, you just wouldn’t “win”). But we did, with six entire seconds to spare.


Oddly enough, my monthly “In Review” posts probably take longer to organize and write than anything else I do for this blog. Fortunately, they’re actually probably my favorite part of blogging, and the posts I’m most likely to go back and reread!

Nerd Girl Goals – November 2022

I am so far past ready for this entire train wreck of a year to be in the rearview mirror, but we’ve got two more months, and I’m going to at least try to make the best of them. I’ve mostly settled back into more comfortable routines, and although there’s a few parts of my life where I’m still riding on the struggle bus, most days are more or less fine now.

I love a schedule, but once I need to discard the plan and fly by the seat of my pants, re-integrating myself into the world of checking off to do lists and making good use of my time always feels hard. It’s worth it, because once everything is running smoothly, I’m at my best, but I feel like I’ve been huffing & puffing my way through a strenuous uphill climb the last month or so.


GAMING

#JustOnePercent

Planned games for the #JustOnePercent Project for October are Hammerting, Next Space Rebels, Factory Town, Exodus Borealis, Toy Tinker Simulator, Tunnel of Doom, PCI: Public Crime Investigation, Huntress: The Cursed Village, Fantasy Gardens, Archvale, Wytchwood, and He Will Shoot.

This is one of those times I’m super glad I built myself some wiggle room into this project. Having dropped almost half of October’s games, I still have not crossed the 100-game finish line, but even if I have some issues again this month, I only need to do three of these dozen games for the project to be complete – everything else is extra credit. Because of this, despite having chosen a dozen games, I’m going to set my goal a little lower this month – to cover at least 8 of the titles I pre-selected.

I’ve been finding moving screenshots from the Steam Deck to the PC to be more steps than I want to do on a regular basis, so the only game I set aside for Deck play this month is Tunnel of Doom.

World of Warcraft

Despite some frustrations that came with the pre-patch, I’m fairly certain I’m in for at least the Dragonflight leveling experience. As much as I’d like to set my goal to have a level 70 character before the end of November, that might be a pretty big ask with only two days to accomplish, and the potential for all the connectivity issues that tend to come with a new expansion.

Instead, I think I would like to focus on a small scale World of Warcraft related blog project where I choose a small handful of achievements, some from current content, some from expansions past, to focus my attention on each month. I was surprised how much I was able to get done in October once I set my mind to things, and if I’m honest with myself, chasing achievements and collectibles is one of my favorite parts of the game.

Given that it’s pre-patch, and there’s still quite a bit I’m trying to get used to, I’m going to make this this first batch a little challenge-light.

Mountacular – I’m currently sitting at 249/250 mounts for this achievement – finding one more should be a piece of cake.
Re-Re-Re-Renowned – Probably the easiest way to fishing this one up is to level a character in each of the two covenants I don’t have rather than try to scrape up 20 levels of renown on characters I barely knew how to play prior to the talent changes. Night Fae should be easy enough, I would just need to figure out how to handle the Necrolords (my least favorite zone & covenant of Shadowlands).

The Winds of Wisdom buff has been extended through the drop of the second half of the pre-patch on November 15th, so continuing to level alts doesn’t seem like the worst way to spend the next couple of weeks.

Other Gaming

This should be the last time for awhile that I’m going to have to de-prioritize general gaming in order to allow myself enough time to do all the other things on my list (although I expect at least the early weeks of December are going to be all about World of Warcraft). I do intend to participate in Unwise Owl’s group Humble choice review (assuming he decides to continue the project), and I have no plans to end my weekly co-op game night.

Past that, I think I’d like to dedicate some of my Other Gaming energy this month to figuring out if there are any other blog-projects I’d like to start up with #JustOnePercent coming to an end this month. Otherwise, provided I have time and energy, I’ll play whatever suits my fancy.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Reading

I am still behind on my reading goals, although I not so far behind that I feel like I can’t get caught up. After a couple of book-light months, my interest in reading has been re-kindled (pun absolutely not intended). I’d like to shoot for six books again this month. If I manage to stick to my goal of reading to wind down at night instead of playing mindless phone games, this is probably very doable.

Stitchcraft

This is another hobby I managed to wrestle back on track during October, and I will be happy enough just to continue apace. I have four in-progress projects (including one that I set up specifically to be a portable project), and I’d like to complete at least one, with a stretch goal of two before the end of the month, which will put me on track to have my plate cleared before starting up my massive project after the first of the year.

Watching

I’ve mostly decided that I want to pick up Netflix again for a month or two, but I’ve been putting it off to make sure I had the time & energy to devote to watching everything I want to over the course of no more than 2 months before cancelling again. I had toyed with the idea of re-subbing during October since a lot of what I am interested in is horror or at least horror-adjacent.

However, the other thing I have come to realize is – there is no rule saying that horror is only for October. I can carry on my horror fling through all the winter months if I so choose (and I’m definitely leaning towards making that choice). So once I finish out whatever I feel like I can’t miss on AMC+ (which I am planning to cancel mid-month since my annual plan is ending, and I don’t feel like I get enough value out of it at full price), I’ll toss Netflix a little bit of money and start working my way through their original content I’m most interested in.

Most notably, I’d like to at least check out Channel Zero on AMC+ before I cancel. I don’t feel like I must watch all the seasons, but I’d at least like to know if it’s something I’ll actually enjoy, just in case they throw an offer of another year of bargain basement subscription prices at me.

Krikket’s Clubhouse

I really enjoyed having Monday night movies throughout October, and I am fairly sure I’m going to continue on that schedule through November. We even had some impromptu watch parties. But those were the only events that saw much success this past month, so I’d like to try scheduling some party game nights again. I’ll keep my expectations low, however, as with the upcoming holidays, I expect most people will have less time to hang out with their friends online while they are preparing themselves to hang out with their families in person.


IN SUMMARY

  • At least 8 posts for the #JustOnePercent project.
  • At least 4 posts unrelated to the #JustOnePercent project.
  • Finish leveling at least 2 more characters in World of Warcraft.
  • Complete the Mountacular achievement in World of Warcraft.
  • Complete the Re-Re-Re-Renowned achievement in World of Warcraft.
  • Participate in the group review of the November Humble Choice.
  • Read any six books.
  • Complete any one stitching project.
  • Watch at least a few episodes of Channel Zero on AMC+.
  • Cancel AMC+ before it goes back to full price.
  • Schedule four Monday Night Movie watch parties.
  • Schedule at least two game nights.