Today’s music that really spoke to me was Pärt’s Symphony #4. It’s a great piece that really shows off Pärt’s minimalist style.
I’m pretty sure I’ve written about Pärt before, but he’s one of my favorite composers, and certainly my favorite contemporary composer.
What I really enjoy about his work is the way that he can send one’s mind off in contemplation without relying on forceful compositions. Sometimes somber, sometimes uplifting, Symphony #4’s restraint comes in spite of its incredible power.
With a master composing music, there is no need for bombastic showmanship. I am not trying to say that these things cannot be good (after all, I love a good Tchaikovsky piece when I can get one), but rather that the slow, deliberate movements and restrained use of complex harmonies that forms the core of Pärt’s distinctive style can be incredibly intense in ways that would surprise those used to some of the more “meaty” composers out there.
As of this week, I’ve hit my original goal weight when I started dieting. I’ve still got some distance left to go before I’m at an ideal weight, but I’m a lot healthier and happier than I was before I got here, so that’s a good plus.
A few things I’ve noticed that I want to quickly reflect on before I forget them on this are:
I’ve gotten a lot more deliberate in what I eat. No more sides at restaurants unless they’re something I actually want.
Letting myself have an occasional indulgence as part of a planned, regular occurrence (AKA cheat day) makes it a lot easier to resist those temptations during the rest of the time, since I’m not developing a “Woe is me, I can’t have donuts” complex.
It’s required me to change the way I view my actions. No more blaming the junk food for my choice to eat it. Developing the ability to resist temptation is important, and one of the reasons my prior efforts have failed.
I think it’s a little telling that despite the fact that I eat less, and generally a little more austere fare than what I ate before I went on my diet, I’m still pretty happy with what I’m eating.
In fact, I think I might actually rate my overall satisfaction from the food I eat as higher than I would have before my diet. There are a few things that go into that, of course, since I’m not getting as much carbohydrate-induced spikes in hunger, but I think some of it is getting rid of the things I used to eat just to have something to eat.
Now that I just eat primarily protein and greens, with fresh fruit as an added element, I find meals more enjoyable than I used to because they don’t have any associated feelings of overindulgence (and guilt) or potential pain down the road in the form of indigestion.
Recently I’ve been maintaining two blogs every day, this one, and the official Loreshaper Games blog on steemit. This has been going okay, but I’ve seen a few issues with it.
First, Loreshaper Games is the public face of most of my writing, and it’s where I’ve been putting up my high-yield articles. While this blog is also tied to steemit, it’s a lot slower than my other stuff and largely personally interesting rather than intended for an audience.
Second, writing two posts a day is not necessarily difficult for me, but keeping up the high-quality posts is becoming more problematic. There is a limit to how much good writing I can do.
Third, I either wind up with too much overlap or too little focus. I’ve frequently worried that I repeat myself too much here. I don’t have a diligent content creation plan like I do with the Loreshaper Games steemit platform.
So I’m going to be shifting down a gear on this blog. I’ll still be writing posts occasionally. I’m not going to go into a long hiatus like I did in the past (unless something extreme happens). Rather, I’m not going to feel like I am pressured to write for this blog every day. Something like 70% of my writing until very recently focused on game design, and now I want that to all happen over at Loreshaper Games. The remainder will happen here.
I think that will result in more quality. The quantity of writing will be less overall, but not meaningfully so; I’ve been writing ~3000 words a day on many days, but at the cost of not getting enough work done on my game projects and hitting a wall in terms of stamina and burnout.
When I have something interesting to say about philosophy, my campaign of self-improvement, or other non-game topics, I’ll write it here. Everything game-related, except for reviews, will go to Loreshaper Games.
Wrapping up the 12th chapter of Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (Amazon Affiliate link) feels a little surreal, because I’ve now been going through it for almost a month or so. It’s been quite a long journey, and I’ve been trying to apply some of the tips that Peterson gives to my life.
And, not too surprisingly given the feedback he’s gotten on the internet, many of them work. Some of them overlap with things I already did and knew about, but where I have made an intentional effort to pursue the objectives laid out in the 12 Rules I can see immediate improvement in my outlook and performance.
I’ve been using mechanical keyboards for a while now, and I want to quickly write up my observations on them. They’re quite fascinating and I love the tactile feedback and responsiveness they provide, and the nice solid construction they have that most membrane keyboards lack.
For those of us just joining me, I’ve been reading Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (Amazon Affiliate link). The core lesson in the 11th chapter of Peterson’s book is a little different from the title, and I’ll probably spend more time trying to unpack the points rather than giving a blow-by-blow of Peterson’s argumentation.
I want to take a moment to discuss how I’m handling vehicles in Hammercalled. I generally feel that roleplaying games tend to treat vehicles poorly, and while Hammercalled isn’t going to go into great mechanical complexity with vehicles (barring the usual “highly customizable” thing that we tend to do with anything) I want to talk about some ways that Hammercalled makes vehicles feel interesting.
I reviewed Spire a while back, and it’s the sort of game that’s managed to stick with me since I first discovered it on Kickstarter and then played it with my local gaming group.
It’s a good time for everyone, and its setting is delightful (and sublime) in its weirdness and darkness. It’s punk done without self-indulgence, and it’s beautiful.
So, here’s some music that I suggest for Spire. I’ve selected a handful of artists whose work I feel fits perfectly with the aesthetic and mood of the game. Before I begin, I should point out that I am considering this both for reading and playing the game to, so some of these songs are definitely more for ambience than persistent listening.