Monthly Review, January 2022

I don’t really do monthly reviews, even though I have a recurring “Do a damn monthly review” task in my todoist. What am I even reviewing? Haven’t I just been sitting around doing nothing? Well, friends, I think that’s what we’re here to find out.

Work

This is the first month of my third year as a lead instructor for the software engineering program at Flatiron School. My cohort of thirteen students finished their fourth “phase”, where they concentrated on building out back end servers with Ruby on Rails. They all passed their code challenge on the first try, and absolutely killed their projects. We’re into the fifth and final phase where they’re doing solo capstone projects, and I can’t wait to see what they do.

The people upstairs are doing the people upstairs thing, reorganizing departments and having town halls about how this year they’re going to be focusing on doing their jobs, only more than ever, so, business as usual. I’ve got a new grand-manager, which shouldn’t affect me at all, and they’ve announced that we might be shifting the backend curriculum to Python for some reason, but that’s a long time from now, so, we’ll see. They also told us that instructors are getting an three week off-rotation phase (and maybe a bonus) after each cohort they run, which is in three weeks for me, so we’ll see if I hit that cutoff or not. Other stuff is afoot, but shh.

I finally updated my personal laptop to Monterey, which took me out of commission for a full day. No way I’m doing that to the work computer.

Health

I got diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (or pre-diabetes) for christmas, so that’s been fun. I’ve probably had it for a long time now, and just never noticed, but it looks like my days as a sugar dumpster are coming to an end. I’ve been put on a big handful of medication that I have to take every morning (I think I’m up to twelve pills a day now, with three blood sugar meds, a statin, three different allergy pills, depression drugs, a go-to-bed-dammit pill, daily vitamins, and a couple of advil and/or aspirin, because old) and I’m not sure if those are kicking off extra anxiety or jitteriness, but there’s definitely some of that. I’m not drinking or smoking, only have a coffee soylent and maybe a cup of tea a day, and I’m doing the sleep-at-midnight-wake-at-eight schedule, like it or not. I’m doing okay—I’ve got a remote consultation with Seaton for the diabetes stuff later this week, so we’ll see what they say.

Home

We had some folks from Sundae come by to do a 3d tour of the house (which is super cool, even if the house is a disaster) and an inspection—they put the property up on their marketplace for a week, and we’ll get bids in when they’re done. There’s no obligation, we can take it or leave it, and unless someone offers something ridiculous, I’m in no hurry to move out of this place—I’ve been here for fifteen years now, and I have no idea where we’d go if we moved, because anywhere near Austin is way too expensive. But if some rich dude wants to pay me way too much to bulldoze this wreck and put up a big glass box like all the other new houses here, well, we’ll see.

Paidia is at her new school now and she seems to love it. I wasn’t involved in that decision, and it’s really not in my budget, so I’m still figuring out how that’s supposed to work. Her mom is driving her to school every day, which is probably half an hour each way, and she’s staying over there mostly because of that, I guess—there’s no way I can take that kind of time off, because job. I think this is a fantastic opportunity for her to learn how to take public transportation, but there’s apparently some resistance to that, so. I’m still trying to figure out when we get to spend time together—I take her to her therapy appointments once every two weeks, and we do stuff on Sundays sometimes, but scheduling is hard. We’ll figure it out. I also got some art from her to make some enamel pins with—I already ordered the first batch (cute mushroom head frog) and I can’t wait to see what they look like.

Nichole is still here working on her phD, and doing all the work. She’s great. There’s not enough space here to say how awesome it is being with her.

Game Stuff

I’ve been doing a lot of work on Majcher Arcana stuff in my few free hours between end of day and way too early (for me) bedtime. I started a new tooter, and spruced up the old itch.io page a little bit. I’ve been trying to knock out some little projects, and polish some older ones, so this month has seen a whole bunch of releases:

  • Icebox: Decompression, a larp that I wrote for a games-on-stage series at the Hideout Theater, back when live theater was a thing. It’s set on a generation ship where… things happen, but not in any particular order.
  • Being Ogrim Stormbane, a short free game that’s a re-write and re-publish of a thing I wrote for the 200 Word RPG Challenge a few years back. It plays in fifteen minutes, and it’s basically the sword and sorcery version of Being John Malkovich.
  • Not strictly Majcher Arcana material, but I wrote a small web app that converts Wordle results into hex maps. Dumb, but fun.
  • Wag The Cat, a /RUN that I wrote up for CBR+PNK, based on the scenario that I made up on the fly for the Faded Havens folks when we played. It’s a great little cyberpunk hack of Blades in the Dark that you can run with little or no prep, but takes a bit of narrative agility on the part of the GM. Super recommend it, though.
  • Built a virtual card table set for continuing playtesting Icebox: Timeline (another entry in the “stuff happens on a generation ship” line) over on playingcards.io, which I’ll be sending out to folks as we play.
  • Started a Better Soulslike Jam for folks to submit their Dark Souls-based RPGs to, after the widespread disappointment about the announcement that the official game was going to be Yet Another 5e Hack. Only got a little bit of blowback from dragonbros, but they’re not really the target audience here, right? (I’ve never played Dark Souls, and it doesn’t seem like my type of thing, but I’m happy to host the jam!)
  • Continued working on some things (like Shadows of the Molten Mouth for the Random Adventure Jam) and inadvisably started some new ones (like Grackle Teeth, a solo apocalyptic journaling game) and kept puttering along with everything else.

We’re continuing to stream our roleplaying games every Friday on my twitch channel, and we’re getting a little bit of traction—I don’t have any ambitions for it, but I do like getting followers and stuff to make my numbers go up and get shiny badges and stuff. Playing with Heath and Nichole and Peter is always great fun—they’re all super talented performers and improvisers and players, and no matter what we get into, it always winds up being a good time. We did our CBR+PNK run earlier in the month, and now we’re starting up a good long campaign of The Between. I will say more about that in the future, I’m sure, but for now, I am just so impressed with how fantastic the game itself is. So. Good.

I’ve also been continuing our weekly game of Stars in the Dark (a Star Wars Blades in the Dark hack) with some folks from The Gauntlet (Anders, Rich, Steven, and Xai) on Saturdays. This was my first time playing Blades, and it’s still great fun after sixteen weeks! We also started a two-shot of Once More Into the Void with some folks (Chris, Jo, and Nic) on Wednesdays—that’s about half of our old Masks group, and it’s really nice to play with them again. I’ve also signed up to run games on the Gauntlet now, so there’s a “playtest” session of Icebox: Timeline on the calendar, and I’ll be adding more soon!

Media

Things I’ve watched:

  • Hellbound (Netflix, not what I was expecting, but good)
  • The Lost Boys (Nic has never seen it, and it’s still great.)
  • Clue (same)
  • Started on Doom Patrol (SO good)
  • Terminator Genisys (it was fine)
  • A few episodes of The Prisoner (watched a long time ago, remember nothing, so that’s fun)
  • The Book of Boba Fett (of course)
  • Lots of youtube (woodworking, home cooking, music production, general science and movie stuff, whatever the algorithm throws at me)

Other games I’ve played:

  • Walkabout Golf (on Oculus with the Saturday morning golf crew)
  • Demeo (same, freakin’ Rat King)
  • RagnaRock (super fun new Viking longboat rowing rhythm game)
  • Wordle (like everyone else in the world)
  • Started idling on Evolve again a little bit in the background
  • Played Parks finally (in person, with some vaxxed friends)
  • Read a ton of new RPG books and zines, too many to keep track of or list here, although that sounds like something I should do, huh.

Other Stuff

I got back into Duolingo after mumble years, and I switched over to Klingon, so I guess I’m doing that now. {qaplaH}!

I’ve got a full streak of writing 750 words every morning this month, so that’s encouraging. I’m trying not to make it a big deal if I break it, because then I don’t write for months, so, just doing what I can do.

Baking bread again, which is nice. I’m trying out a new recipe/process, and making a new loaf every other day or so. It’s nice. I’ve also got a bunch of kombucha brewing—I’ve never liked it, but I tried some that my buddy Deano made a while back, and it was tasty, so I gave it a shot. Turns out, it’s not bad if you make it good. So, have a bunch of blueberry, watermelon, pomegranate, ginger, honey lemon, and I’m trying out a coffee(!!) one this time around. We also finally got a proper food processor, so we’re having fun with that, making hummus and energy bars and salsa and chopping stuff and whatnot. Nerds.

It was bulk collection day, which means christmas for a hoarder like me. Got a big pile of scrap wood, a bunch of pallets to break down, a bunch of stuff for a floating garden, a new wheelbarrow, and some other fun little doodads.

I tried some of that Magic Spoon cereal. Like, all the flavors. It’s fucking terrible, and we will never speak of it again.

We’ve got a ton of critters in and around the house. Fortunato (our friendliest) raccoon still comes by for treats, but I had to take steps about our little mouse circus. I’ve tried a bunch of non-lethal options, but the only thing that really worked was a bucket trap—I caught about a dozen little guys and let them go in the greenbelt nearby. I am at war with our indoor rat, though. Poe (the rat) has been impossible to keep out of stuff in the pantry (RIP oatmeal) and has been chewing up lots of other stuff. He’s proven too wily for the bucket (or any other) trap, so I might have to resort to something more dire. He’s got a few days, but he’s got to go, sadly.

The chickens (Didi, Gogo, Pozzo, and Lucky) are still the best little fluff butts. We’re getting lots of eggs, and they’re fun to cuddle.

Plans

Ugh, what? I don’t have to say what I want to do next month, do I? Okay, fine. I’m not gonna do any of it, though, because I don’t do plans.

I’m gonna keep doing my job and graduate some great students. (Hit me up if you need to hire any awesome junior full-stack developers) We’ll see what happens after that.

I’m continuing work on a bunch of games—Grackle Teeth and Icebox: Timeline are next up in the pipe, but I’ve got a list of dozens of things big and small to poke at, and new stuff pops up all the time, so no promises.

I’ll keep cruising along with my twitch and Gauntlet games. I’ll be running some stuff soon, and I’ve got a crazy idea in my head to run all the incursions in the Trophy Dark book this year, so we’ll see how that goes. I don’t think that I’m signed up to play anything that I’m not in now, so I should fix that.

It’s time to get all my tax stuff together, so it’s paperwork time! I might have to get house stuff in order real quick like too, so, yikes.

Still working out what my new diet looks like, so… not looking forward to that, but I’ll know more after this week.

Gonna watch some more of these movies and teevees I got here, and try out a new vidya game or two. And I gotta get some beans for Legumentines!

And…. I think that’s it. Good month, team! See you in March!

--

--

--

Teacher, Game Designer, Performer, Developer, all the things.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Everything Is Attitude — Recipes for Life — We Are Constantly Learning and Evolving

Why we should stop shaming and start accepting

Less stuff please

The Transformative Power of Gratitude

Dealing with emotions and procrastination as an INFP

Silver Linings in today’s “New Normal” — Deeper Connections

You Never Know Who You Might Help

orange sun and sky at sunset with silhouettes of tree branches.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Marc Majcher

Marc Majcher

Teacher, Game Designer, Performer, Developer, all the things.

More from Medium

Poly Smart Chain works with TRON DAO to bring USDT and USDC from the TRON network into Poly Smart…

Smart Enemy

Welcome to KaramelaDAO!

The Republic of Fulton