Rebound

Score: +3

It was all systems normal for me today. I had a full week, zero hours lost, and I get a Sunday this month, coming up this weekend. Which is time and a half. I have been seeing a lot of really ridiculous errors lately in order entry and basic shit. People at work just don’t care like I care, and they never will. I’m trying to foster friendly relations with a select few, but it’s difficult. We have so little in common, most of the time. I know they dislike me, but it’s because they hate me for being superior and knowing it. I don’t flaunt, but I lead by doing more work than anyone else. And taking on more complex issues voluntarily and achieving resolutions. I even do billing shit still. Had two today as a matter of fact. I handle myself like a professional. I don’t fuck around unnecessarily. I don’t often make mistakes. Work is somewhat hostile, but it’s at a level that I can manage. 

Amanda is still struggling with depression. Her Abilify was upped but the effects of that won’t be known for a few days. I’m going to try and spend the afternoon with her and Tristan tomorrow. I have a schedule replete with events. But it’s an achievable sum of things. Truly. 

My relationship with Amanda is awesome, and so freeing. I’m able to engage in a thoughtful discussion with a capable adult and address real issues rationally. I gained some valuable insight into my own insecurities and anxiety. I projected my fear on to Amanda and created a sort of frenzied state in my actions. Spun myself into a knot. But she helped me see that, and I gained perspective on my behaviors. It was refreshing to have such a candid discussion. I will adjust myself and take action where it is needed. 

I’m in a much better place today than I was yesterday. I felt like I just was off chemically from having an insomniac’s night. I was never really asleep. I just kind of laid there and closed my eyes. I think the doxepin is doing more harm than good, so I am discontinuing it. It’s not putting me to sleep anymore. It might even be contributing to my problems. My doctor wanted me to discontinue it last visit, but I declined. Now I just want to see if it makes a difference. Experimentation is a part of the science of progress. 

Tomorrow is my one day off. Huzzah. 

Emptiness

Score: -1

Last night I had severe insomnia. I felt like I laid there with my eyes closed for 8 hours, not sleeping, mind spinning. I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. At all. 

But I went to work anyway because I will not survive in the world unless I make money. Amanda has been struggling with severe depression, but today she got to go see her psychiatrist and got a med increase. I’m so concerned about her, and I hurt for her when she is struggling. 

I had no patience today whatsoever. Customers were grating, unresponsive and not cooperative. I have had worse days on the phone, but this was a pretty bad one. There were plenty of Kana tickets to work, but most of the guys there would rather socialize and laugh all day long. I have occasional interjections, but I mostly just keep to myself. I put my head down and do my job. Today the voice in my head was pounding me. It was demanding that I flee, and go home so that I could surrender. All day long it hammered me, but I didn’t cave. I stayed through my entire shift, even though it was hard. 

My mood never came out of the basement. I had no energy, and my concentration was fractured at best. I didn’t make any critical mistakes and had no issues otherwise. There was a weight on me, pressing me flat, all the time. 

It’s 7:30 and I’m in bed. I want today to be over. It was a miserable run, and now it is done. Tomorrow things will improve, because that’s how bipolar depression works: rapid decline, sleep, normal behavior. 

Have a better night than I am. 

22

Score: +2.5

I have been dealing with anxiety of late. I have also felt wholly uninspired and unable to write. 

My anxieties center around my relationship, and that I am feeling totally inadequate for no good reason. I have been clinging to Amanda out of panic, and we had a good discussion about all of this last night. I have a hard time accepting acknowledgement because I am always pushing myself to improve. Amanda thanks me, every day, for my contributions, and I just don’t accept it. This is 100% on me, because I should be processing her words not devaluing them because I have an insane need to push myself onward. I’ve failed so many times at life, that I just don’t feel like complacency is acceptable. I need to be proactive, and I am, but perhaps unhealthily so. 

I had therapy today, and we went over my anxiety. I gained some much needed perspective and feel wholly capable of correcting the unhealthy way I was coping. Amanda is struggling too, but hers is a much deeper slide into depression. We are taking charge and getting her the help she needs. I wish I had a way to take the burden of pain away from her. 

Orherwise, life has been good. I have been working hard and earning respect. I make very few mistakes and am generally unliked. But I guess I don’t mind. I’m not there to win a popularity contest, I’m being paid to do my job. And I do it well and it fulfills me. Still. 

Well, I have a lot of thoughts in my head, and I’m tired. Goodnight. 

Isengard vs Mordor

Random draw. I’ve yet to play as Gondor or Arnor in any of my wins vs the Hard AI. Unexpected. I’ve done rather well with Rohan and Isengard of late. I can’t seem to finish with Mordor. Anyway, tonight’s matchup occurred on Carnequelle, a lovely 1 vs 1 arena. There were plenty of settlements, and four outposts. By the end I had three of them capped with no need to bother about the fourth. 

I have a decent build order now, I think. I generally stick to improving my economy right away, so that I can dial up a massive income flow to support my war efforts later on. As Isengard, I started two mine shafts right in my base, and one defensive tower. Then I capped two settlements and built a third mineshaft in my base. I had them all up to level 2 in no time, and then built two Uruk pits and set them to rally near the settlements. I had all five up to level three production and then had a pop limit with Uruk scouts. I fed them to creeps and started expanding. 

But the AI did not sit idle. They came after me hard, and the five Ringwraith hero battalion is hard to stop with just Uruk-hai. So shortly after I had both settlements up to level 3, they were  destroyed. I was pushed back into my base. But I rallied, and continued making units. Eventually the towers took care of the units and I was free to expand again. And I did. Rapidly. I filled the void in a hurry and started grabbing settlements. I had six before I was net in opposition again. But this time I had a roaring economy and map control. There was nothing the AI could do. I snuffed out all of his settlements and drove him back into his base, where the battering rams went to work. 

Gametime 36:11

Players

Isengard: Egregious

Mordor: Hard

Units

Isengard: 1197

Mordor: 709

Units Lost

Isengard: 1050

Mordor: 752

Unit Kill / Death Ratio

Isengard: 0.58

Mordor: 1.38

Units Killed

Isengard: 607

Mordor: 1036

Maximum Income Rate Per Minute

Isengard: 2243.67

Mordor: 1141.81

Resources Gathered

Isengard: 80772

Mordor: 41105

As you can see by that miserable units killed to unit death ratio, the spam was on. Most common unit was Uruk-hai by a wide margin. I sprinkled in wargs, pikes and crossbowmen. I had all of my troops upgraded with either steel bolts or forged blades by the final blow. It was overwhelming. I had total map control after repelling the first push from the AI. I marched forward incessantly. It was a good game. 


Bipolar Day

Score: +2

I was all over the place. I attempted to abruptly change my schedule today by waking up at 4:00 am to be at my desk by 5:00 am. I did manage to accomplish this. Why? Because I had a 2:00 psychiatry appointment with my new doctor, and if I started work at 5:00 am I would be done working by 1:30 pm. But my body had something different in mind. I got all the way to work, and took the first call of the day, but I could hardly talk. My speech was slurred like I was drunk. I had a very difficult time concentrating, and my eyes were drifting closed. I could not function, so I drove myself home, and proceeded to sleep for four more hours. Never doing THAT again. 

But while I had the time, I called in about another collections agency that had come asking for money. Money that I indeed owe them, mind you. I spoke to Gregory, and he didn’t mince words: he said my calling in to settle the debt was a “good faith gesture” and he then enrolled me in a total debt consolidation program. They took my entire federal debt and settled it, then set up a payment plan with me over the next 25 years to get the debt paid back (in increments I will be able to afford). That’s good news. 

I met with Dr. Paintal today. She’s an older Indian woman who seems approachable and practical. I explained my history, and stressed the importance of balance. She was attentive and understanding. It was a great meeting. I got my medications refilled and will go pick them up tomorrow, but will have to pay for them for the first time in a while. I think I’m going to get along well with my new doctor. 

I have settled in to understanding the way to victory in my 1 vs 1 skirmishes against the Hard AI. I have won on every map starting with Argonath and ending at Cair Andros. I just recently won with Isengard against Rohan, and that was an Uruk spam if ever there was one. I sprinkled in some crossbowmen with steel bolts to thin the infantry, then the wall of Uruk-hai would get to their archers. It seems the key to any kind of success is establishing a thriving economy. Before and real combat begins, my bases have 3 – 5 resource buildings all at level 3 production. Getting big armies and heroes on the field takes lots of income, and the AI will rapidly overrun you if you can’t get control of at least 50% of the settlements. I’m playing on random now, just trying to get familiar with the different factions. The mod is great fun, and even Tristan is into it. 

Well. Two good things and one bad thing. I’ll take that. 

No Bueno

Score: +2

Big downturn today. Customers were arrogant, rude and obnoxious while they ignored me or hung up on me all day long. Chris knocked me over and made me spill my water on Mike’s desk. Jojo stole my Kana tickets that I claimed and didn’t even ask me if it was cool to do so. I didn’t get to do my order entry game today even though everyone else did. My company never paid me for being the on call tech last month. It’s been a shit day. 

My mood is low; I feel oppressed and generally stomped on. It was nice to be done and come over to Amanda’s place. I feel very loved there, it it was great being there tonight. It really refreshed me. But today was a bad day. I guess everybody has to be the one in the barrel sometime. 

Tomorrow is a new day. Sleep is the great equalizer. 

Gondor vs Mordor II

After reading some build order ideas on the Edain forums, I decided to implement an entirely new strategy of my own concoction. I had been, right away, building 2 townhouses in my base and a barracks or archery range depending on the map. This initial build order worked about 40% of the time against the Medium AI. In my new strategy, I have greatly altered my starting sequence. First order of business was to send both free battalions to two unguarded settlements and build farms, then get one townhouse in the castle followed by two defensive towers at the entrance. I had been leaving a battalion of soldiers in my base to defend against the rush, which happens EVERY TIME at about the 1:00 mark. But with the towers there, all the units they sent in were killed, while my two free battalions were off demolishing creeps and capturing more settlements. Soon I had all the settlements on my side built on, and then I moved across the river to grab his. This is when things started to get a little crazy. He came after me with the pack of five Nazgul and a mountain troll, and forced my troops out of his territory, and pushed me back to my nearest farm, which they proceeded to destroy. Luckily, I had not been idle: my economy was blasting ahead, and I had a blob of soldiers, pikes and knights all running to defend against the incursion. I had troops on the opposite side of the map destroying more settlements and suffocating the AI’s resource flow. Eventually, they had lost too many settlements to be viable as an offensive force, and they died swiftly to scores of soldiers with forged blades. Did I mention that THIS WAS A HARD AI, NOT A MEDIUM???

Players (Gametime 14:28, Argonath)

Gondor: Egregious

Mordor: Hard

Units Created

Gondor: 265

Mordor: 293

Units Killed

Gondor: 333

Mordor: 229

Units Lost

Gondor: 125

Mordor: 293

Unit Kill To Death Ratio

Gondor: 2.66

Mordor: 0.78

Maximum Income Rate Per Minute

Gondor: 1484.14

Mordor: 799.86

Total Resources

Gondor: 20778

Mordor: 11198

The numbers tell the story. I had control of the map, and the majority of the settlements. And I kept the AI from holding the perimeter. I attacked from both directions, dividing his forces and leaving one mass of soldiers to destroy two settlements and then assault his fortress uncontested. I killed every single unit he made, and I did in in half the time it used to take me. It was a resounding, undisputed win, from start to finish. 

I am looking forward to gaming with Will, as he must surely have a strategy that varies from what the AI likes to do. It should be a clash of brains. Soon. 

Happy gaming Edain world.