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May 27, 2024 4:30 PM

Jigsaw puzzles

I used to love doing jigsaw puzzles. I remember the first 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle I ever finished. I was in middle school. It was a collage of stamps. It was honestly a pretty easy puzzle, but I swear it took me months. I was immediately hooked though, and people around me must have noticed it too because I started getting puzzles as gifts.

_______ |_ _| _) (_ (___ __\ (_)

One Christmas, I remember getting one of those huge boxes with 12 jigsaw puzzles in them, 500 - 1000 pieces each. I would finish a whole jigsaw puzzle in one day, and I was done all of them by the time winter break was over. My family would keep all the finished puzzles, intending to eventually hang them up one day. We never did. I never cared for the finished product. I just thought that putting pieces in their proper place was fun.

_ _( )_ | | ) ( |_ _| (_)

I didn't really do as much jisgaw puzzling once I left college, but the craze started up again when one of the admins at work left a jigsaw puzzle out in the cafe. I thought it was just going to be a one-time thing, but when we finished the puzzle, another one was brought out. And another one after that. And we're still getting new jigsaw puzzles in the cafe today!

_ __ _/ Li | (_ _ C \_( )_;

My favorite one was a photo of a hot air balloon, and the reverse side of the puzzle was that same hot air balloon, but rotated 90 degrees. It was a really hard puzzle, and many of my co-workers frequently put pieces in the wrong place, and I had to fix them. I was known as one of the most avid jigsaw puzzlers at work.

__ _ _| l_j |_ (_ _ _) |__/ }_/

But then something happened. I don't know if I could really pinpoint when it happened, but I stopped working on the puzzles. There were too many, and I was way too busy with actual work things. GSG broke me.

_ _( )_ |_ | _) | |_ _| (_)

Every once in a while, I would walk over to the current puzzle, and I'd put a single piece in its place. That was all I could ever do at once. I wasn't really feeling the puzzles, but my co-workers would often work on them together, and I wanted to be a part of it. So I tried to just contribute at least one piece to each new puzzle that came out.

_ _ _| U \_ (_ _) l_n_j

And that continued for years. Once COVID hit, barely anyone was coming into the office, and the same puzzle would sit unfinished for many, many months.

_ _( )_ |_ ;_ _] __) |_ _\ {_)

And then all of a sudden, just about a month ago, another switch seemed to go off in my brain. I was coming into work more regularly again, and I noticed that the puzzle in the office was a really pretty painting of the beach, with a turtle and a bunch of colorful seashells. I did my usual connecting of two pieces together, but instead of going back to my computer, I picked up another piece. And another. And another. I wanted to keep working on the puzzle. And the next time that I was in the office, I wanted to work on it again until it was done.

______ ______ | _| | | (_ _ | |__ _|__( )_| | (_) |_ | | _) | |______\______|

I knew it wasn't just this particular puzzle that grabbed me, because after I finished the beach puzzle, I felt a little tinge of excitement when I saw that there was a new puzzle sitting out.

January 7, 2024 4:19 PM


It is one week into the new year, and I have already gotten sick and stressed out by work. I think my body is telling me I need to relax.

December 10, 2023 6:53 PM

ssl cert

Okay, now I've fixed the SSL cert renewal. Hopefully 😬

October 26, 2023 8:46 PM

a little bit of dancing!

My days are busier, but my cup of water is feeling a little less full lately.

And I had a really busy day at work today. Someone asked me if I could look into an issue, and I read their request, and it all just sounded like Greek to me. I tried to dig into the code on my own, but I was lost, and it felt like I needed two weeks to get up to speed. I asked for help from a guy that has at least ten times more domain knowledge than I do. He would say one thing, and by the time I understood that one thing, he'd have already said 10 more things and I would be lost again.

And before I knew it, it was already 5:30 and I really needed to get out of work and give my brain a rest. I wanted to go to the arcade. I've been wanting to go to the arcade for the past who-knows-how-many-Thursdays. Last week there was a pinball tournament. The week before that I needed to be home to receive a delivery. The week before that I was in Seattle. The week before that the SMX machine was broken. The week before that was another pinball tournament. And the week before that, well that was the last blog post.

So I called Victory Pointe, and it went to voicemail.

This week, we are open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday...

That sounds...promising? But what is "this week"? The last time I called and it went to voicemail, the message actually stated which week it was, and the dates it told me were actually from the prior week, so could I really trust them to be open this week?

But I had to take my chances. It was an unusually nice day out. I got changed and left the office, and I still read over chat as my really smart co-worker continued to work on this problem and explain all the details. I soon got to the bus stop, and I walked over to Victory Pointe, was open.

,.-~. / \ ! __/_.-~~~-._ , ,' ,' `. ' |,' '. | ; | ,~,~ '~' ._. ' : ((:;))~._ ! / `--' `~3---. ' ' \ how many dancers can I make?! | _, \ | ' _.' . `-~' \ ' \ / / ,' ,' ,-~~~-, ,--' (___.' (____)

And then I finally stopped looking at my phone, and I stopped thinking about work, and I started dancing.

It was nice. I had a couple of people walk up to me and compliment my doubles play. I got a round of jubeat in too. I ended my session with Born to Run, and I was sooo inaccurate, but it was sooo much fun 🎶

September 24, 2023 10:31 PM

Hopefully more dancing soon

I've been trying to get back to Victory Pointe more regularly. Even though they no longer have console and board games, and there's no more all-you-can-play deal, and they only open four days a week, and they stopped making milkshakes (they were the best milkshakes), it is still a local establishment that I'd like to support. And they have Stepmaniax and Jubeat and I quite enjoy playing those games.

So I've been making it a point to go into the office on Thursdays so I can take the bus to Victory Pointe after work. Back in 2018, I was doing this regularly, except it was on Tuesdays instead (because Tuesdays are the best days), until one sad Tuesday when I walked up to the door of the arcade and I saw a sign saying that they were closed and switching to "Winter Hours".

,.-~.-~. ,~-.-~.- ( ) ( ) except it wasn't just "winter hours", ( ) ( ) it was the new permanent hours D: `--~'`~-~' `~--~'`~-' * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Anyway, I'm trying to get back to that. I'm trying to get back to ending my workday setting my status to my favorite emoji and making my way to the arcade. I haven't quite made it a routine yet, but I've gone more than a few times this year!

_.._ ,_ \ ,-~~~~~-.'. . / \' , I will forever continue to . ._. '~' . use Google's blob emojis ' --E-~(w) ' / _ | `.__) ; ' / `-._ _ , (__) \__)

Two Thursdays ago I had left work at 4:30pm (that's early for me!) and when I got to Victory Pointe, I saw a sign saying that it was closed that day.

I cannot tell you how many times I've walked up to an arcade only to see that it was closed. But it has to have been over a year since this happened to me, so I guess I was due for another one.

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