November in Review

765 wc

I don’t normally do month-in-review posts, but since I was largely absent this month, I figured I should do one for a change.

I’ve spent most of November trying to recover from back pain. The first day of the month it got really bad, then it got better, then it got really bad again, and now it’s getting better again. I’ve been taking a muscle relaxant called baclofen every day this month, and last week I started going to physical therapy to try to loosen things up. X-rays have shown it’s entirely a muscle problem in my upper back, neck, and shoulders, most likely caused by years of slightly incorrect sitting posture (my own theory, since I have no other ideas-assuming it’s not some as-yet-undiscovered medical issue). Technically I have a slight curve in my spine between my shoulder blades but they tell me it’s not unusual and not the root cause here.

So kids, make sure you sit properly at your computers. Knees and elbows at 90 degrees. Trust me when I say it sneaks up on you. (And this is after twenty years of being conscious of this kind of thing and trying to stay vigilant, too.) Find some back stretches and exercises and do them religiously.

The most productive thing I did in November was work on NaNoWriMo, which I accomplished by lying flat on my back in bed, resting an Apple wireless keyboard in my lap touch-typing blind, looking up at an iPad screen I have attached to a mic stand boom next to the bed. “Productive” is a bit of misnomer here since the writing turned out to be entirely awful and a complete waste of my time. I’ve documented the entire saga in a daily vlog which you can find elsewhere if you’re really interested.

Otherwise I have barely even used my PC this month. No gaming, no nothing. (The recording of the aforementioned vlog was the main use of my PC this month, totaling perhaps 15 minutes of sitting in front of the webcam every day.) I haven’t even touched my PS4. After what I’ve been through, I have no desire to do anything that has the slightest chance to trigger that much pain again. I don’t have any games installed right now that’s worth the risk.

There have only been a couple of gaming stories I’ve noted this month. The first is the announcement of Final Fantasy XIV’s Shadowbringers expansion next year. The Blue Mage job sounds interesting but probably not something I’d put much time into. I’ve reached the point in FFXIV where I just don’t want to be bothered learning new things. I just want to log in, play through the new story, and log out. (Assuming I re-subscribe at all, which isn’t a certainty at this point.)

The other is the release of Fallout 76. I was fairly interested in this game, but they haven’t done a very good job of explaining what it even is. A survival game seems to be the consensus, but when I watched someone playing for a half hour on Twitch, I didn’t see any survival mechanics at all. I just saw shooting random super mutants in a big world map. It sounds very much like they released an “early access” game as a full price title. (They basically said as much, as I recall.) My gut tells me it’s probably an experiment to test features they’re working on for Fallout 5. (I realize I’ll probably be lumped in with “the haters” just for making an observation of reality and trying to be a smart consumer, but such is the world we live in now.)

And that’s about the extent of how long I can sit up and type on a laptop right now. My back feels like I’ve just been digging a ditch for four hours. Back to bed for me!

P.S. Oh one more thing I’ll add from bed on the iPad, I believe today is the last day for WildStar. When I first heard it was shutting down, I planned to record a bunch of video of the game. It turned out I recorded one video last month, and haven’t had any compelling desire to log back in. There’s a part of me that wants to be logged in when the servers go off, since I’ve never experienced that before, but on the other hand, what’s the point? I don’t really feel much of a connection with WildStar. To be honest, I can’t think of any MMORPG that I do feel a connection with right now.

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