Distracting Myself From… Myself

So the world’s on fire, but you’re tired of hearing about that, and so am I. Instead, I thought I might talk about things I’m doing to keep busy while stuck at home. I have a lot of hobbies, and rarely get the chance to indulge them, so here goes…

Some 15mm Napoleonic miniatures I worked on previously. That’s a U.S. dime in the foreground, for scale. No, I didn’t hand-paint the flag, but I hand-painted everything else.

First, I’ve been painting miniatures again. Mostly, I’ve been working on my Napoleonic (historical) miniatures, painting up some Austrians, French, and Russians. These are very small: 15 mm scale (meaning a figure of a 6′ tall man would be 15mm tall). Surprisingly, they are slow to finish, and I get frustrated at the lack of progress and lose momentum. I’ve also been painting a few Warhammer Fantasy miniatures; I’ve just finished some goblins and wood elves. These are 28mm scale, so almost twice as big as the Napoleonics. Games Workshop’s sculptors have a technique to make the details of the figure really pop – kind of like a caricature. This style makes highlighting the details easy, though I still have trouble doing realistic-looking gemstones (Wood Elves have LOTS of gems as decorations.) It’s a mostly relaxing hobby, though since we swapped a big table for the smaller one I now have as my painting station, there isn’t really a good space for me to sit and paint, so I do it standing up over the clothes washer, which means I can’t do it for long at one time. Standing on our basement’s concrete floor for more than 30-45 minutes at a stretch is hard on my legs, feet, and back.

I’ve been reading a lot more this year. I hope to make a bigger dent in my to-read pile, and so far it seems to be working! I plan to have a few recommendations as a future blog post.

The biggest change right now is that I’ve gone back to playing Pokemon Go!. I’ve gained a fair bit of weight over the last few years, accelerated more recently by not walking around the neighborhood chasing after imaginary animals. I originally quit because I was having an endless series of tech frustrations, culminating in my new phone not working at all for the game. I also got too worked up about the game, as a number of my Pokemon buddies can attest. I tried it again last week, and miraculously things worked, so I’ve been back at it, along with a (hopefully) improved diet to help me trim down a bit. It’d be nice if my steampunk outfits fit me better, so that’s a goal I look forward to. I’ve also been a bit less obsessed with Pokemon GO! after taking over a year off, so that makes me feel better about having picked it up again. I do most of my Pokemon-ing late a night: this limits contact with other people. The downside is, it also limits my opportunities in-game, as there are daily events that stop around sunset.

There’s many more things I could do – including more useful things like trying to sort out boxes of crap into trash/keep/donate piles, clearing out the garage, and many, many more. I COULD be writing more, but anxiety is making it difficult for me to concentrate, and depression has been kicking my ass lately. But for now, I have things to keep me busy, T is working from home every day (so I get to see more of her!), and the cats are loving all the people time they’re getting, so things could be much, much worse. At the moment, we’re both waiting for the shoe to drop, having just been at a convention a little over a week ago. I last went out for groceries today, and hoping I can go two weeks or more from here without having to be in contact with people other than T, just to be sure. Fingers crossed!

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