Some updates

The YouTube channel is dead; long live the YouTube channel.

I’m not deleting it, mind you, but after a couple of weeks of not updating, initially caused by Covid and then a couple of very busy weeks at home, I find that I don’t miss having to spend an hour or more every single day playing video games in a room by myself where no one is allowed to talk to me and where any noise or, God forbid, a bathroom break meant that I was going to have to spend more time after the video was done editing it. I want to spend some time just playing games when I want to and not worrying about some sort of schedule.

I’m not abandoning the idea altogether, mind you, and in fact I still have a couple of games I want to record. But I can tell already that Horizon: Forbidden West is, of all the games I’ve done Let’s Plays on, the one least amenable to the format I’ve chosen, and I want to just play it without having to worry about breaking it up into digestible chunks. The channel wasn’t making me any money and I was probably years away from enough subs to be able to make any money off of it, so I’m going to shove it back into the realm of “hobby” and stop taking it nearly as seriously.

Today was the first day of summer vacation, and speaking as someone who Does Not Know How To Relax, I feel like I used it pretty well. The front lawn is mowed, some cleaning was accomplished, weeds have been whacked, and I delivered some things to Goodwill that have been sitting around the house for a while. We need to finish clearing out my father-in-law’s apartment before June 1, so I’ll likely be up there tomorrow for a while, and then … well, who knows after that.

Playing around with the 3D printer continues apace; I have made five useless objects, one of which broke while trying to remove it from the print bed and another of which broke because of what I’m pretty sure was a design flaw in the model and not actually either user error or the printer being weird. This little axolotl I printed is pretty cool, though, and right now I’ve got it working on what will be a fourteen-hour, high-detail print of a hook horror from Dungeons & Dragons. The boy has announced that he wants a 3d print of every final-evolution Pok√©mon from Generation 1. There are, apparently, 81 of them. No word on whether he plans to pay for the filament, and I have to admit I’m also wondering what keeping this little nozzle at 200 degrees Celsius and the bed at 90 degrees Celsius for hours at a time is going to do to my electric bill.

This one’s a big deal: I had an interview scheduled at another school Friday afternoon, and was setting one up at another school for next week, and then had a long talk with the remaining members of my team Friday morning about next year. It is rumored that we’ve finally got a principal (and, to be clear, we have a name, not just a “they have found a warm body” rumor) and it’s amazing just what a difference the simple rumor that they’d named someone actually made. At any rate, after that conversation, I went back to my classroom, looked around, reflected on the fact that I’d been up very late Thursday night thinking about this interview, and emailed both the principals involved and cancelled. I will, for better or for worse, be returning to my current job again this fall, and I have closed out all of my various job-seekery accounts again for the time being. I’m about to go into year 19 of teaching. There is, unfortunately, a strong likelihood that my school will be closing at either the end of this year or the end of next year, and there is also a rumor that the middle school math teacher at Hogwarts will be retiring at the end of this year. If that happens, I plan to do everything in my power to get that job. But that’s a year away, if in fact it actually happens, and you best believe I’ll be keeping a close eye on it. But for now? I’m coming back.

I expect to regret this decision by September. We’ll see.

Something is happening!

I am told that this will eventually be a pair of owls; I don’t really know what I’m going to do with a pair of owls but at least the printer hasn’t burst into flames or fallen off its table or anything like that yet. It is currently 14% finished with the owl printing and has been printing owls for probably forty minutes if I leave out the time it took for everything to heat up. It’s a bit louder than I wanted it to be without being super annoying; that said, it’s occurred to me that trying to do game recording with this thing running could potentially be an issue.

Speaking of the channel: I’m now something like 10 days into the hiatus that was started by catching Covid, and I’m thinking regular programming will resume this weekend. I’ve had absolutely no brain space left for anything lately other than getting through the end of the school year alive, and now that I’ve mostly managed that– the 8th grade recognition ceremony was today, so those kids are gone-gone, and everybody else’s last day is tomorrow– I think I can redirect my attention to, y’know, important stuff.

Fifty-eight minutes including heating, so probably 50 minutes of printing, and we’re at 20%. I can see owl feet now! S’cool.

I have more to tell you, but again: brain space, and May is somehow not fucking done with us yet, so more regular programming around here will be resuming soon enough too. I’m so close to summer break I can taste it. A day and a half more. I can do this.

In which I am very, very, very dumb and not smart

This showed up on my porch this afternoon, apparently because I purchased it? I don’t know why the hell I might have purchased a 3D printer, I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with a 3D printer, and I don’t know why I went out and bought a little table for it or why I’m putting it together in my office right now, but apparently my lizard brain took a look at the number in my bank account and realized that I’d survived the school year (my kids are gone GONE gONe GoNE) and decided that this was a thing that should happen.

Super. I look forward to printing six more things that will sit pointlessly on a shelf somewhere in my house because I definitely don’t have enough stuff like that.

Fuck.

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.