God I hate this guy

I have spent a couple of hours over the last two days struggling to beat this sonofabitch so I can move on with my Dark Souls III Let’s Play, and I am defeated; I just had to upload an episode that was nothing but me losing, because I’m not as far ahead as I usually am and the alternative is having no video at all to upload.

It is possible you recognize the picture! I have griped about the Nameless King before; this is a boss I have only beaten (twice, I think) with magic, long-range characters. I have never beaten him with a melee character, and my current build is a Strength build. Again. The big difference here is that the first time when I wasn’t able to beat him I wasn’t recording my ignominious failure to put it on YouTube. I’ve gotten close a couple of times, but no success yet, and I am at the point right now where if I can’t paste him tomorrow within half an hour of getting home I’m going to just give up and go beat the game.

I love this game, but Christ do I hate this boss.

EDIT: Got ‘im. On the very next try, as a matter of fact. With nine heals left. I could see the fucking Matrix.

In which I should have guessed

…never give them two posts on a Saturday. It inevitably leads to a Sunday in which I’m either too busy or too stressed out to write anything. Today was “too busy,” I think; I actually got a fair amount of stuff done around the house, so that was good, but none of it involved, like, words.

Go give somebody a hug; I’ve got to go over my kid’s homework with him.

A review of an actual book

I’m a hundred percent certain I’ve talked about this before: my wife and I both love to read. I read a lot faster than she does, but we have fairly similar tastes in reading material for the most part, so she only very rarely actually buys books. Generally once she finishes something she’ll ask me what I’ve read recently that she’ll want to read, or just go looking through the bookshelves that are slowly taking over our entire house until something strikes her fancy, and then she’ll read that.

There is a critical difference between the two of us here, because while we are both readers, I am also a book collector and my wife very much is not. She has very gently suggested to me a couple of times that we might possibly have too many books. I do not recognize that as a legitimate state of existence. “Too many books” is, for me, quite simply not a thing.

Which brings me to a little dilemma I’m having with James Islington’s The Shadow of What Was Lost.

I don’t like the story. I am not enjoying reading this book. The reasons aren’t especially interesting and fall into my Don’t Shit on Books Unnecessarily policy; I’m just not enjoying it very much, 200 or so pages into its 700 or so page length, with two more volumes already concluding the trilogy that are available but I haven’t bought.

The problem is the actual book— not the story, not the part you’re supposed to, like, look at, but the actual physical object itself that you hold in your hands– is amazing, at least in the paperback edition. The pages and especially the cover just feel great, and the book is exactly the right size, and it even smells good, and I know from seeing them in bookstores that the entire trilogy looks great on a shelf. So much so, as a matter of fact, that I’m considering going ahead and ordering the rest of the series just so that I can touch them and so that they can be on my bookshelves together, effectively as art pieces and not as things that convey a story. I mean, would I ever read them? Will I even finish this one, or will I DNF it and move on to something I’ll enjoy reading more? Or will I just keep reading it so I can hold it for longer, because it’s so pleasant to have in the hand?

This is … not a thing my wife understands. As marital incompatibilities go, I’ll take it, believe me, but if I end up ordering the next couple of books I might have to find a way to put them somewhere she won’t find them. Not quite sure how that’s gonna work, but we’ll see what I can come up with.

On creativity, and taking showers

I’ll get to the image in a minute, don’t worry.

Also, this one’s going to be kind of stream-of-consciousness, sorry about that.

I just took a shower– yes, it’s 3:00 in the afternoon, it’s also Saturday, shut up– and while I was in the shower I was, as one does, putting together a blueprint in my head for the dedicated library that I will eventually have in the house that we don’t have yet. I am not joking when I say I have been thinking about this room for most of my life, and until I live in a house with this room, built to my specifications, I am immortal, because I plan to die in my library with my feet up and a book in my hand and simply am going to refuse to go any other way.

This isn’t about the room, specifically, but it’s what led me down the path: thick, plush burgundy carpet. Two expensive leather chairs, the type with hand-driven nailhead accents (this, roughly, but I’m picturing a slightly lighter leather) and two matching ottomans, each with a reading lamp on a chairside end table, facing a fireplace at an angle. Behind the chairs, an executive desk. Bookshelves lining the walls up to an angled ceiling with exposed beams and skylights. Behind the desk, the shelves would come into the room at 90 degree angles to the walls, too– as many nooks as the room could hold.

And above that fireplace, the piece of artwork I have pictured above. That’s a style of artwork called bunka, which is basically painting with needle and thread. While it’s done with a pattern, the entire thing was done by hand– and this one specifically was made by my grandmother. She made enough of them that she had seven children and most of her grandkids have at least one piece by her in their homes; we have two, this one (technically my uncle’s, who gave it to me for safekeeping at one point when he was moving a lot, but he’s never getting it back) and another of Scamp from Lady and the Tramp that hung in both my room and my son’s room when we were very young.

My grandmother was crafty as hell, and we all have tons of stuff that she made, ranging from those bunka pictures to ceramics to intricate Christmas ornaments made with beads and fishing line. I don’t know if she ever drew or painted with, like, actual paint— I suspect not, because if she did surely we’d have some examples around– but she must have always been making things with whatever the hell spare time she managed to find while raising seven kids.

And thinking about all of that got me wondering what my grandmother would have done if she’d had access to a 3D printer. And … man, that’s a rabbit hole. I have often lamented my lack of ability to Make Things, which honestly is probably more of a reflection of my unwillingness to spend the time learning how to Make Things, but more and more lately I’m pushing the TikTok algorithm toward showing me people who are doing art of some kind or another, whether it’s painting or sculpture or 3d art or carpenters or resin art or miniature painting or Gunpla or god those people who make like entire D&D castles and taverns and scenery sets out of styrofoam and shit, they’re amazing, or digital artwork or oh my God the cosplayers and there was a bookmaking account that I really love that went dormant on me and I really miss it. I actually bought a bunch of bookmaking supplies and managed to make a little notebook for my son, which to my great gratification he still uses and carries around with him a lot, but I’ve not yet started a second one.

Grandma just, y’know, went out and made stuff, while her grandson sits around and wonders what he could make “if he had time,” when he’s spending 20 hours a day fucking around on his phone and not raising seven kids.

I should maybe follow her example.

Headline headline headline

wait, how the hell is it 8:00?

I know the answer to that, and that’s that I had a ton of errands to run after work, so I didn’t get home until almost 6:30, ate dinner before I melted into a puddle, and then had to sit around and do some productive staring for a little while before I made it into the office. I did indeed pick up an Xbox Series X today; it’s still in the box, on the floor over there; I’ll set it up tomorrow. I don’t think any gaming of any kind is going to take place today, honestly; once I finish this I have laundry to put away (the Saga of Putting My Laundry Away has been going on for far too long) and after that I’m probably going to collapse into bed. Didn’t we get a snow day this week? I think we did, and somehow it was still the longest week ever.

I had a lengthy conversation with another teacher on my math team this afternoon, who popped by my room to express some concern about something I’d said to her in a moment of weakness earlier in the week. She basically wanted to make sure I was okay. Eventually we reached the conclusion that neither of us were especially okay and that furthermore neither of us really had any good idea about what to do about it. I haven’t talked about HB 1134 much around here other than a few scattered allusions here and there but I don’t think anyone is prepared for just how many teachers are going to quit if it passes. This year has already been substantially harder than last year was, in firm keeping with the Nothing Ever Gets Better law of public education, and of course next year is going to be worse. Much worse, if the statehouse has anything to say about it, and they’re doing it to us deliberately.

Anyway. I’m gonna go fold laundry.