What was one time in the past month that you felt super optimistic? I feel like I felt optimistic at our school orientation for seventh grade. That’s when we go into the middle school, high school, and so, I felt so optimistic in those moments because we made our commitment to graduate where we put our hand print on a piece of big paper that goes up in the cafeteria when you’re in high school, and it says the year you graduate on it and it’s super special. You get a picture in a cap and gown. You get to see all your classes, meet all your teachers, and I just felt so optimistic that this, you know, year was going to be a really great one. Seventh grade. I was just like “seventh grade, here I come.” Like, I’m going to be doing so many things that I didn’t get to do before, and I just get to experience school at a whole new level.
I remember, my family, ours- my family we, we got our own Elf on the Shelf, two of them, actually. One guy and one girl. We opened them and then gave them names and stuff. I think that’s the ritual you have to do. And then yeah, we let them do stuff cuz I wanted to see if it was actually real and holy crap. It’s like, I am fifteen right now. I’m turning sixteen in December, but I still believe what I saw was real. So I remember like they moved so much! We didn’t see them move, but they were just like in places my parents couldn’t have possibly put them like they were- In my living room we used to have this window to just some room for some reason. And like, on top of that was like this huge curtain, like maybe eight, ten feet off the ground, like this little pole where the curtains are on and they’re just sitting up there. I remember like we were watching them cuz my siblings and I was super scared. My parents just laughing at us. So I don’t- it was a very strange reaction. So like I remember blinking and like they were close together. Blinking again, they’re far apart. And blinking cuz I couldn’t believe my eyes, and they were close together again. What the heck! It was so weird.
Have you ever heard the saying that the grass is always greener on the other side? Oh, yes. I have heard that. I feel like that’s true kind of every day for probably everyone. You see something that someone else has that you’re just like, wow, I want — I kind of want that, that’s so cool. There’s also –I know –I forgot the specific thing. But generally it’s like you see something that someone else has and you have that exact same thing. I know for me it was clothing. There’s also –I know –I forgot the specific thing. But generally it’s like you see something that someone else has and you have that exact same thing. I know for me it was clothing. There’s this girl who’s wearing this exact same piece of clothing as I did. I think it was a pant –it was probably like — I don’t — I’m not really sure, but it was something that was exactly the same as mine, but I just felt like, I feel like I didn’t look good and it just didn’t look good in me, but for her, it was beautiful on her, it was like absolutely amazing. It was just a lot greener over there, but I think that the grass is always greener on the other side, really relates to a lot of people kind of everyday type of thing. You always see other people and you’re like, wow, these people’s, you know, maybe fashion sense or academics or just life in general is better than mine, it’s always greener on the other side. And I also feel like that’s because you don’t look at your side enough. You always, your eyes always go to your neighbor’s side. Your eyes always go to someone else’s side. You just don’t look at your side enough is why you feel like the grass is always greener on the other side.
What are some other words for “cool”? Sometimes I’m being sarcastic. I’m like, “oh, neat.” N-E-A-T, like, “wow, that’s so neat.” in a very sarcastic tone. True to myself. Sometimes I say “sick”. That’s sick. My dad says “that’s gnarly”. I don’t know. I don’t know if I can think of any more off the top of my head. Oh, sometimes my — like if I’m joking around my friends and I’m like, “oh, that’s swag.” really rarely, but it’s I would never say that if I was being serious ever.
Besides “cool”, what words do I say when something is cool? I definitely say “groovy” a lot. Say “right on”, say “dope”. I say “hell, yeah”. I say, “amazing”. Other words that I’ve heard but don’t say, I don’t super say things are lit. I would say that’s like a little bit younger than me. I don’t say “tight”. I don’t actually, I don’t know what age group uses that, “tight”. Maybe it is my age group. I just don’t say it. Same with — Oh shoot, I just had another one –um–drew a blank. I don’t know. There’s another one that like I feel like boys, a couple of years older than me would say, let me think. Oh, shoot. Oh, “sick”. Yeah, I don’t really say that either. But yeah, I do like “groovy” I use “groovy” a lot and text just ’cause I feel like it — I don’t know it gives a wide range of saying, all right, cool. They’re — I feel it’s a good response to the things. And it just feels lowkey.
And so July kind of bled into August, and I had found myself in this rabbit hole of exploring the growth of people getting paid to run Dungeons and Dragons games. Definitely driven by the pandemic, but now holding up even as the pandemic loosens in different places around the world. And so I thought, “Why not give it a try?” I’ve been running through the entire pandemic multiple games with and for my friends and having a good time and I have experience in the video game industry. I worked alongside some of the greatest designers in video game history. And so I found a site that’s startplaying.games that basically serves as a bridge. They help Dungeon Masters who want to get paid for running the game connect to players who are willing to pay to run. And I, I spent, you know, a good three weeks investigating the marketplace and the different kind of web sites that offered and felt like that one, startplaying.games, really kind of nailed the scenario well. They did, they do paid matching. Like, you know, they have a list of all the games people want to run and they have a bunch of, you know, people can log in making an account and go, “I want to play in that game,” and, you know, join it and get their credit card ready and show up on Friday night and have Friday night Dungeons and Dragons in their own house at their computer, but with people from other places the world and a Dungeon Master who is treating it professionally and therefore, you know, should be at a certain tier of achievement and delivery could pay his capacity giving that experience. So I built, you know, made an account, built a profile, thought about the games I wanted to run, looked at the format everybody else was doing, thought about a marketing plan, and put it out there. And I’m two weeks in and I’m already getting, I’ve got four different conversations. One has led to a group of people out of Sydney, Australia – mind you, I’m in Kalamazoo, Michigan – who don’t know anything about D&D other than they want to play. And apparently, they’re in some form of lockdown, because they said they, you know, they’re, they’re all in their houses and they can’t hang out together. So they want us…