Yesterday at work was pretty rough, as the migraine fairy decided to visit at about 11AM. The blindness this time was quite aggravating - serious pin wheeling multi-colored triangles and a floating blind spot. I don't think Curtis really believed me, but he seemed rather intrigued nonetheless. I could have skipped the entire experience, of course. So I spent most of the day slamming hot tea and advil at regular intervals. It's a good thing I didn't cut my finger, I would have bled to death in seconds.
Went to bed sober last night - which is a bit of a change from the past few Fridays. I can't make any assurances for tonight, of course. I think last night's sobriety was only attributable to the fact that I couldn't bear the idea of getting tipsy while watching Notorious.
If you haven't seen that film, do so! Even if you hate Hitchcock, it's a great movie - Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman just smolder and Claude Rains kicks ass, as always. Oh yeah, the story is pretty nifty, too, but I've gotta admit that the stars are usually what I watch it for. The .05% of me that is a foolish romantic adores this film, too...
The estrogen levels definately spiked dangerously last night, as Notorious was preceded by the final half hour of Goldfinger. Hands up who else suddenly has Shirley Bassey's belting rendition of the title song stuck in their heads? I thought so... Anyways, my personal opinion of Sean Connery aside, I can't deny he was a handsome little devil. Foolish sigh...
All of this was neatly counteracted by watching a half-hour of The Operation on the Discovery Channel. I've said it before and I'll say it again - science is amazing. But please, dear lord, don't ever hit me with the need for brain surgery. I've seen two brain operations on that show, now, and - while it's been educational and awe-inspiring - when the surgeon is cutting through the skull with something that looks like he got it at Home Depot, I get the willies.
And I slept like a baby through the night too - despite Alex's prediction of nightmares.
Today is some errand-running before Dave's 7th Sea crew come over. I really want to get a hair cut, but I also need to get my hair re-colored - which I can't afford just now and I'm too lazy to do the separately. I'm going to go back to dark brown hair, I think - I can't quite sustain the nerve for eggplant purple, and Alex has that "It's not really okay with me, but I'll say it is if it makes you happy" face whenever the subject is mentioned. So, I might as well go back to my natural color and save myself the money - the brownish red I have is alright - but only alright. It's definitely not worth the $100+ every two months to keep it that way...
Aragon has had it's first major stumble - we've lost one of the major NPCs who has told us he just can't commit because his schedule is so erratic - so now we're considering who to cast. A very distinct possibility is Brook - our local answer to the Marlboro man - who would be a hell of a counterpart to the refined Toreador that Tony is playing. Brook will be stopping by to say hello later, so we might talk to him, then...
Must dash, the boys are waiting on me to go get breakfast.
Yesterday was Chad and Danielle's (Alex's nephew and niece) birthdays, so we met his family over at Benihana for dinner. Apparently Benihana is the kid's favorite place to eat. I had never been there before but even culturally-unhip me had heard of the place. It was about what I expected - noisy, over-marketed and overpriced, but somewhat entertaining. Besides, how I felt about the place didn't matter. The kids loved it. :) Emily - Melissa's youngest daughter - has hit that growing-like-a-weed toddler stage and I was floored by how big she's getting. I swear she grew half an inch during dinner.
was Dave's 7th Sea game. Now I understand all the hooting laughter I would
hear coming from the living room while Dave was running this particular
campaign. It's not a game, it's a one-man show! Nothing against Dave, natch,
but it was definitely a case of the GM making the game - even though my
character wasn't involved for the first hour, I still had a hoot watching
everything else that was going on. One particularly Pepe-Le-Pew-esque NPC
was trying to put the moves on Sigrid (Laurel's character) a seven foot tall
Valkyrie with amusing results. It was like watching a rat trying to carry
off a pumpkin...
I made good on my threat and played Elena DiFiori, a Vodacce fate witch. Alex found a terrific picture for a spooooky woman whose gaze others are terrified to meet. Of course, she's a very junior fate witch, but she's not going to let anyone know that. When travelling in foreign lands, it's best to let the natives believe you can suck their soul out of their bodies at twenty paces - it makes them think twice before trying to pick your pocket.
Of course, Elena got her moment of high-silliness - convincing some pursuing ruffians that it was best to make a tactical retreat. Of course, while Elena was striking her time-to-consume-some-souls pose while shrieking something in her native tongue, Jennifer was desperately muffling her laughter because she knew Elena was merely reciting the Vodacce equivalent of There once was a man from Nantucket... - but the pursuing ruffians didn't know that. Posing and gesture are a key part of this game, as you might guess.
It was all good fun and I'm looking forward to the next one.
Well, I promised Alex he could hog the computer today, and I've got Aragon things to do, so I'm outta here...
Despite the fact
that Miskatonic Acres almost spontaneously combusted from the heat,
yesterday - Alex wins, we're going to have to get A/C - it was an alright
day. We continued to OD on movies and watched The Thomas Crown Affair
(last year's remake) and The Matrix while eating ice cream for
dinner. The heat itself was just about bearable but the very late night on
Saturday and the fact that the best way to cope with the heat was to follow
the cat's example and sleep through to day put all of us on Tokyo time.
Getting up this morning was a joy, let me tell you.
My opinion of The Thomas Crown Affair remains unchanged from when I first saw it - the first half of the movie rocks, the second half is mildly irritating. I'm not so vexed about the ending as I used to be - realizing that Kathy stuck to her principles, rather than selling Thomas out - but I still think the film, like so many, goes downhill after the characters have sex. Ah well, it's still fun to watch. How the DP managed to make New York City look so gorgeous, I'll never know - it seemed so clean, and I know that's a lie! Well, it's an exaggeration. Still, I miss the place sometimes.
I told Jennifer that next time I found a cheap weekend-special to JFK, we should hop on a plane and go - she would love the Metropolitan Museum of Art... I suspect she thinks I'm joking but, hell, if you don't mind taking a red-eye on 3 days' notice, you can get a r/t ticket to NYC for about $230. The fact that you're a zombie come Monday is incidental. Mad-cap trips are supposed to leave you groggy and out of your skull on fatigue-toxins - that's how you know you had fun. And the idea of a spontaneous trip appeals to me - proof to myself that I haven't petrified entirely - although LA would no-doubt be a lot easier to swing. But what's in LA that's worth grabbing your briefcase off your desk at lunchtime and yelling to your coworkers "See ya Monday, I've got an offer I can't refuse!".
Dammit, this must be spring fever... Hm, time to start writing. That usually deals with it.
Tony came over last night to create his character for Aragon. He seems quite chuffed with the latest incarnation of Devon Ashmoore, and I'm glad. Alex, Dave and I discussed how to re-cast the Duke we've just lost and came up with a couple of good ideas. It's been narrowed down to two candidates and we've told them that whichever one of them comes up with the best character concept, they get to be Duke - and the other person will be their lieutenant. We're hoping this will encourage the candidates to churn out really stunning concepts...
In other gamer-silliness, I'm tinkering out a history for Elena DiFiori. Since 7th Sea is such a swashbuckling/swooning-maids kinda game, I can get pretty outrageous, so I'm having fun with it - and it's such a relief not to be writing a vampire's history. Admittedly, a Venetian-style witch who can manipulate the threads of fate isn't precisely a bag of cheery good-feelings, but 7th Sea is far more feel-good than the World of Darkness... The mindset is pretty easy to pick up, so I'm sure Elena's history will read like a torrid Regency romance by the time I'm done with it.
construction crew on the floor below my office has scheduled all their
seriously nerve-wracking noisy tasks for 7:30AM this morning, so I'm
typing this with the melodious sounds (and smell) of concrete drilling
permeating the air. To top it all off, I've apparently got awful Feng
Shui at my work desk, Mr. Prickles is insisting that I address him as Lord
Prickles (I never should have let him read my Vampire RPG books) and
I've got a zillion things to do - most of which I forgot to write little
reminders to myself for - and the day is shaping up to be a real winner.
Alright, new-age geeks, is there any good place to put a wastebasket? It seems mine is currently sitting in my 'knowledge corner' and that can't be good. But the only other option is to stick it at my 'useful people' area and I don't know which I need more - smarts or cooperative co-workers. Given the amount of bullying I have to do to get interviews lined up around here, maybe a negative spot in that zone won't have much discernible effect.
Oh, thank goodness, I think the construction guys have quit. Knowing my luck, they've just gone on a break... Still, I might as well get some work done while I can!
Much work to be done, today, no time to dawdle.
Woke up an utter wreck because of two things. The first would be the two-hour nap I had after coming home from work - bad idea and the other is that, once again, the Allergy Fairy is making her rounds and I'm outta my skull - loopy doesn't even begin to cover it. Unfortunately, I've got a zillion - well, three - candidates that have to be scheduled today and a whole bunch of other tasks going on, so I've just got to slam Sudafed and hope for the best. Ugh.
On the plus side, I finished Elena's history the other day, and Alex found another cool picture to use - and I now have the name of the model, so I can look for more. As threatened, Elena's history reads like one of Shakespeare's more sleazy tragedies, although it isn't quite up to 'torrid Regency romance' just yet - although I think Elena's seduction of her stepfather was a step in the right direction. Oh, don't be pulling faces, I told you 7th Sea encourages high-drama and related silliness.
Aragon matters are trundling nicely. I think we'll be picking most of the neonates tonight - although I'm waiting on four players who were tracked down and invited at the last minute... The two candidates for the other Duke spot are apparently working on a plan to pitch one of them as the Duke and the other as his lieutenant, just as I had hoped. I heard from the hotel, yesterday, and we're locked in for the game date, yay! (ahem, June 3rd, ahem)
Happy wannabe-goth-girl dance! I finally picked up Einsturzende Neubauten's album ½Mensch. It contains one of the creepiest songs I've ever heard - Halber Mensch - which is my primary reason for buying it. Even better, there is a translation of the German lyrics included with the disc, so I even have a better-than-vague idea of what is being sung. Ahh, bliss.
Ack, must get busy! And just to add that air of cheeriness to the office, SuperDave is glooming around the office, sighing over our stock price (hello, Nasdaq plunge) and muttering darkly dire warnings...
Don't read Latin in front of the books! - Giles, Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Quick! Call your
stockbroker! Krispy Kreme goes public today! It's not a dot-com stock, so
it'll probably do roaring business on the market. Diana brought in a couple
dozen to commemorate their IPO and I finally caved in and tried one. Wow!
Deep-fried, sugar-frosted air - I can now see how the engineers are hooked
on these things...
Meanwhile, at about noon yesterday, SuperDave and I figured that we probably could have bought controlling interest in our employers with our lunch money - our stock hit a bit of a low, yesterday, but bounced back. However, Mr. Prickles has forbidden me from buying the company unless I promise him the job title of Lord High Inquisitor. Heck, for the contents of his piggybank, he probably could have bought himself a seat on the board...
Ack, I'm still operating on Tokyo time. I was staring at the ceiling at midnight, last night and getting up six hours later was like scaling the Eiger. I really hope this isn't a side-affect of allergy-season - I don't know how much longer I can cope. I get very cranky when I'm not sleeping regularly.
ep, last night, but the quote above was worth it. It's something that every
Cthulhu character learns early in their career - or else their careers don't
progress much further.
I didn't catch most of Angel because Brian and Trisha called me to talk about characters for Aragon. I'm very relieved that Jennifer let them know that they were invited, because it seems I had blithely sent their invitations to invalid e-mail addresses. They've both got good concepts - although I'm a little leery about Brian and Dale's ideas - but I was glad to hear from them, and learn that they're enthusiastic about joining the game. I really wanted them involved. Plus, they put me in touch with another player who I had feared had fallen off the face of the earth. Fortunately, she hasn't and - with any luck - she'll be joining Aragon, also.
Gamer-geekiness continued, yesterday, when I caved and assembled a page for Elena DiFiori, my 7th Sea character. There's not much there at the moment, but I believe that's going to change. How can I not write for a game that's like every Errol Flynn movie even made, all rolled into one?
On a big
reading-jag at the moment. On the mindless front, I'm ploughing through I,
Claudius again - a nice easy read on the train home. Almost as mindless
- but not quite, because I've not read it before - is The War Hound and
The World's Pain by Michael Moorcock, which is showing every sign of
being another of his trademark surreal fantasy works.
I'm also re-reading The Charmer by Patrick Hamilton, for the first time in, oh, ten years or so. Hamilton's novel probably has no appeal unless you enjoy between-the-wars British social satire/commentary work, but I picked it up after Masterpiece Theater showed a TV adaptation of it. The fact that Nigel Havers was in the title role had nothing to do with my watching it, I swear... Unsurprisingly, the book is rather better than the TV series - although I enjoyed both.
Thinking of the whole book/movie debate, I need to round up a gang to go see American Psycho next week. Alex has flatly refused to attend and I'm casting around for someone - anyone - who has read the book to come with me to the movie. I've got a feeling that this is going to be one of those movies that a viewer is going to hate if they didn't read the book, first. A point that a lot of preparing-to-be-outraged moviegoers are no-doubt missing is that American Psycho is a satire. A very gory one, to be sure, but a satire nonetheless.
As mentioned previously in this fine journal, my longtime addiction to Ellis defies explanation - including my own. His characters invariably irritate me and - I know I'm not the only one thinking this but - hasn't he been writing the same novel over and over again for the past ten years? I finally got through Glamourama and I'm damned if I can remember anything specific (or significant) about it. But I can't stop reading the man's work. Weird. Maybe it's because I feel comparatively moral and ethical when compared to his creations. Ow.
But, since I'm a film wonk and I dig Christian Bale, I'll trot off to the movie in short order. Given how much I hate gory films - I can't sit through even the silliest slasher flick, they're one of the few things that will give me nightmares - it's a testament to my Ellis-addiction that I'll go see this movie.
An almost winner for today's quote from the movie Clueless - "I've got a .45 and a shovel - and it looks like no-one will miss you." - uttered by Cher's father to her latest beau... I may have to use that when I'm trolling for interviewees today.
Dude! This says we exist only if we think we exist. What if I
don't think that? What then?
Somebody take those damn books away from him... - South Park (of all things)
Not much to report
today. Last night was spent running errands and going through Aragon
characters. Dave and I got way too many ideas from the above episode of South
Park. No, you don't want to know...
Sign I'm completely losing my mind #354: I've started creating character sheets for all of the mortal contacts in Aragon. It's going to be a bit of work to create 100+ mortal characters but it's from a lesson I learned while running Diablo's Children. If I have to make a decision on the fly about an NPC's abilities or chance or success, I will always grossly overestimate their skills and the consequences usually have untold (and vexing) ramifications far out of proportion to the original circumstances. Or, worse yet, I tell the players that they can write up the stats for their contacts - resulting in minor street-gangsters who control the entire Cosa Nostra. Ugh. So, I would rather sweat a little now, to save us some major headaches, later.
There's been a rash of thefts at my office this week. One co-worker had three credit cards taken out of her wallet and over $10,000 worth of stuff was charged to them before she realized they were gone. Yow! We all received a stern lecture about our security only being any good if we remember to close the doors behind us. It seems that were all raised in barns.
Hit the marketing-site for American Psycho yesterday - americanpsycho.com, if you're curious. Having read Ellis' own review of the movie, I'm very keen to go see it. It seems that the core theme of the book - satire - has not been lost and that most of the icky stuff happens off-screen. Phew! Dave has volunteered to toddle over to the megaplex with me so I won't have to go alone... Now I've just got to find the book for him before the 14th...
My word! It's been snowing in London! Am I operating on the wrong calendar, is it not April?
Yawn. I'm still operating on Tokyo time. For variety, I was zonked out by 11PM last night, but woke up before 5:30AM, mostly because the toe I bashed in the shower last night (while doing Nijinsky-esque moves trying to shave my legs) decided to throb and ache merrily and nigh-convince me that the damn thing was broken. It's much better, now, but wearing dress shoes today probably wasn't the hottest idea.
But a lovely sight
was beheld this morning on the commute - the SFPD has obviously sent their
poster boy out to walk a beat, be seen and cause women to sigh and think
"Ahhh, that's what our tax dollars are being spent on...".
This young chap was almost painfully archtypical - blue eyes, strong face,
tight blue-serge clad ass... *cough* Oh, um, sorry, I went to Mars for a
moment, there... I swear, I didn't know I had a uniform fetish until I met
Alex - and he thinks I'm a twit for it. A gal can't get no respect...
Still, it has set what I hope will be a good tone for the day.
Since Dave has
cancelled the Champions game tonight - the campaign just isn't unfolding the
way he expected - I'm thinking of maybe dragging the boys out to the movie
theater or something. We haven't done much other than bum around the house
and talk Aragon all week, so a night off might do us all some good. And if I
stay home, I'm probably only going to watch silly videos and drink wine -
or, worse yet, drink wine and write. And with spring-fever rattling around
in my head, god only knows what kind of tripe I would turn out.
I have a blast writing when I'm tipsy, I'll admit, but once the hangover clears and I re-read what I've turned out, I usually end up sobbing on my desk and demanding those brain cells back. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a tad, but not by much... Of course, I've usually posted whatever-it-is to the writing archive while still drunk and, if that's the case, I force myself to leave it up there as penance for stupid deeds done while intoxicated. And you know what really cheeses me off? When readers drop a line saying that they think it's the best thing I've written yet. Argh. I'm starting to see why Dylan Thomas drank himself to death.
Apropos of nothing, I found another nice picture of Joanna Going - aka Elena DiFiori - the other day. Alex is a little surprised I've gotten so into her but, darnit, she's a cutie! And since Dave said that there are no ugly characters in his 7th Sea game, I decided to take him to heart. When one is feeling fat and puffy, there's nothing like playing beautiful people to give one a vicarious thrill...
Despite the fact I haven't lifted weights in a while (hands up who isn't surprised to hear that? Damn, I thought y'all had more faith in me) I'm still losing weight - albeit more slowly. I'm at 138, now! Still, I'm intending to break back into the routine this weekend. It's going to hurt, but I felt so darn good while I was doing it. No, I'm not a masochist, I think I'm just more vulnerable to endorphins - no doubt through lack of regular exposure.
I'm going to find me a big mug of tea and eat my Friday-morning indulgence - a donut - before I fall asleep on my keyboard. I've got lots of things to do today, and some of them are even work-related!
After yesterday's pleasant start, the rest of the day at the office unfolded in a fairly dull way - which is better than complete chaos, admittedly. I got some more Aragon work done, although I'm starting to burn out on writing all the humans for the Influences, so I think I'll take a break over the weekend.
came over last night and we watched her newly-acquired DVD of Sixth Sense.
After I got past the first five minutes where whatsername, Malcolm's wife,
really annoyed me, I enjoyed the film. The screenplay was a lot tighter than
expected and bless Alex's heart for not blowing the ending to me,
even though he's known it since the film was released.
I usually don't like knowing about 'surprise' endings to films, nor do I care to read spoilers if I really want to enjoy a movie. I remember I spent three weeks assiduously avoiding any publicity about The Crying Game when it first came out - although, upon viewing, I decided the effort was wasted. So I did the same with Sixth Sense. I do it because I agree with the opinion of a friend of mine - I've paid my eight bucks to see this movie, go ahead and manipulate me! I will let the film take me wherever it wants to - a whole bunch of people have worked damned hard to do that, and what fun is it to try to contravene that effort?
Although I'm willing to let myself be manipulated by a film, it doesn't mean I can't think about it critically, afterwards, and that's usually why a lot of my friends hate watching movies with me. However, by now, most of them have learned that knowing a smidge about film-making and theory does not ruin a viewing experience, just because one has learned to raise the bar in terms of standards... It just means that us film-wonks are better able to appreciate a good movie - and tear a bad one to shreds. Okay, that's enough justification for today.
Got an e-mail -
probably spammail, but what the hell - from the editor of an online goth 'zine
Sedative who wants me
to submit a couple of my bits from Juggling
Mercury. It's no skin off my nose, so I'll probably pass on a couple of
my darker bits - after a re-polishing, of course. It's not quite
fame-and-fortune - even the editor has admitted to a small readership - but
it'll be nice to be read by some new people... Although a goth-following
might not really be what I want. ;)
Once again, it's time to let Alex hog the computer. He no longer has regular access at work, so I can't be as greedy with the machine as I once was...
I want exactly what I should want at this point in my life. But maybe I don't want the life I chose. - Dana Scully, X-Files
A little tired
this morning, but I have only myself to blame. The Bedlam's Rest
pizza-meeting was last night, and then I stayed up to watch the X-Files ep
that Alex had taped, afterwards. Still, at least I was in bed by 12. Alex
got sucked into the living room by the oh-so-melodious strains of Dennis
Miller, and didn't get to sleep until after 1AM.
The pizza-meeting was about what I expected. The chances of Rebecca being killed-off next game are somewhat less than they were two days ago, but not by much. Dave, Alex and I are still going in like it's going to be our last game, though, so we'll see who - or what - is left standing, afterwards.
A productive day for Aragon, too. An innocent remark of Alex's turned a five-month plot into a ten-month arc with massive political ramifications - power, treachery, cats and dogs living together! Whee! I can't wait to start running these plots for people and see their reactions. Of course, I'm sure those reactions will be completely contra to what any of The Trinity (as the collective GMs are known) had in mind, but it'll still be fun.
Once again, I'm so happy to be working with a collaborative team. Ideas get refined in ways that would never happen in a one-person operation, and it's such fun to kick back for an afternoon and throw ideas back and forth, determining what will work, and why. Another bonus is that the workload is spread out enough that I don't think anyone is feeling too oppressed. Well, except for Alex, who is currently typing in the discipline cards for the game - thank heavens for OCR software on the scanner. But once those cards are done, they're done and Alex's biggest headache is over.
In further Aragon good-news, I've found a decent laptop that I can afford, without resorting to e-bay. If you're looking for a reasonably priced 486 machine to bash out your novel during the commute, check out usedtoshiba.com. Their low-end machines range from $150 - $300, which is fabulous considering they come with a guarantee, somewhat-functioning battery and a power-supply. So, Alex will have the machine he wants for game administration, before our character-generation meeting on the 29th - that makes him very happy, and that cheers me up no end.
While I was
tooling around e-bay last night - a usually-harmless habit of mine - I came
across their listing for wigs, mostly because I was bored and searching on
random words. A pal of mine, Trisha, wore a wig for one of her characters in
Bedlam's Rest to devastating effect, and I was rather impressed by
it. So now I'm thinking "Hmmm, I don't mind if it looks a bit
cheap...Ooo, look at that shade of auburn, and it's so long...".
Dressing up for games is a harmless pursuit, so I'm going to be keeping an
eye on e-bay for the next few weeks. Of course, watch me not have the right
face for wig-wearing - and I hear the things are a divil to keep clean,
without accompanying frizzies...
And it'll make a change from my usual PVC/velvet purchases via that site...
Work beckons, I have a busy day ahead.
Oh joy! Oh
rapture! The Buddha of Suburbia miniseries has been released in the
US! Now I just need four hours when the lads aren't home so I can watch it.
Furthermore, My Son The Fanatic has made it to VHS too, although I
have no idea if that's worth watching - whereas I know I want to see Buddha
Other discoveries on the toy-front included taking a gander at the fold-out keyboard for the Palm Pilot. Ohmigod, it's so nifty! I must have one of them! The keyboard is slightly smaller than a laptop keyboard when unfolded, has a good feeling to the keys when typing, and folds up into a package only slightly larger than the pilot itself. If my bosses won't buy me a laptop, they had damn well better let me expense one of these nifty things - anything to keep from handwriting notes at the bimonthly Baffle-Johanna meeting. Typing them directly would be so much easier - even typing into a Palm Pilot.
All this and rumors of Lynch's cut of Dune on DVD, too! My cup runneth over!
Meanwhile, life on
the allergy front continues to suck. I think I'm just not used to
living in a place with a big backyard, after three years in the apartment.
When I'm in the city, life is bearable - although I'm out of my skull from
fatigue - but when I'm at home...ugh. Waking up is the pits, always
involving far too much sneezing and snuffling - and the fact that I usually
can't get to sleep until midnight (allergen headaches) doesn't help. I hate
to resort to allergy drugs - that either make my heart race or turn me into
a zombie - but I think I'm going to have to, tonight. Five hours of sleep
per night is for the birds.
Today, I'm all discombobulated because the alarm went off in the middle of a nightmare - so I'm tired and freaked out, this morning, damn it all.
I've heard that Anne Rice is threatening to sue fanfic writers who are using her characters. WTF? Fic writers don't make money from their creation, and always give credit to the original source - what's to object about? It seems Madam Rice doesn't like anyone else playing with her kids. While I can somewhat understand her disquiet - it must suck much when you read awful fanfic featuring your babies - I also think that fanfic should be taken as it's intended, a form of flattery, and left to exist. Threatening to sue people who aren't diverting your potential revenue - find me a person who has said "I don't need the latest Whosis novel, I would rather read fanfiction!" (and meant it) - is only going to make you look like a poor sport. Sigh.
For reasons too
ludicrous to divulge, I happened to watch some wrestling last night. Yes,
yes, it's vile, objectionable and downright silly but, gosh, there's a broad
streak of commedia dell arte going on within it, too. The long-drawn
out rivalries between degrees of bad and not-so-bad guys, the excessive
posturing, the truly heinous rhetoric - I found it all rather amusing. Well,
clear until the actual wrestling started, then it just got stupid. Still, I
wasn't going to object to an hour-plus of fit fellas in tight trunks, so I
must admit I kept watching, albeit with a book in my hand (Hustlers,
Escorts and Porn Stars - An Insider's Guide to Male Prostitution - which
I considered an apt accompaniment).
I suppose the former-film-students guild will now kick in my door and revoke my union card. But it's satire, I swear!
Aragon continues to unfold nicely. Yesterday we discussed a couple of the truly awful things we have in mind for the PCs - the kind of awful that requires we have an adult playership... And I almost killed Dave with a passing suggestion - I shouldn't have said anything while he was eating, oops. Unfortunately, too many Aragon players read this journal for me to get into details but, as I've said before, I can't wait for this game to get going!
I somehow managed to haul myself through the day, yesterday, but it was like walking through sludge. It turns out I'm not the only one suffering nasty hay-fever, as half the office is drugging itself to the gills with sudafed to keep going. Today is marginally better and I'm sure I'm the only person in the entire bay area who is looking forward to the possibility of rain showers today and tomorrow.
Did some work on
pages, yesterday. Rob is finally catching up on the game summaries and he
picked some pictures for the newer NPCs and the like. While I was on a roll,
I updated the RPG
Character pages a bit, too - trimming down the graphics on that page and
adding an Other
Characters area to encompass Yahnna and Elena. Just lots of little stuff
that has been bugging me to get done for a while.
I went mad and bought myself something cute on e-bay, yesterday - no, not a wig! A black brocade pseudo-corset from one of the many lingerie sellers I keep an eye on over there. It's very pretty and I intend to use it as part of Carmine's wardrobe for Aragon. Thinking of Carmine's wardrobe - and yes, I'm back to wigs again - I've been doing a little comparison shopping online and I'm starting to think I might skip the e-bay option entirely, as the 'bargains' being offered there really aren't. There are times when deals can be found - the corset I bought, for example, usually retails at the sellers' site for $80, and I paid half that - but this doesn't seem to be one of those times. It doesn't really matter, such silliness is very low on my radar.
Far more important silliness would be getting DSL at Miskatonic Acres. I've found a place that will provide service to my house, even though the phone company won't. If you're trapped in the same bind, dear reader, check out DSL Reports. That site has a little tool to help you find DSL carriers, and their partnered ISPs, within your area. Alex and I are opting for a company that costs a little more than its competitors - $60/month rather than $50 - but it had a much better rating for customer service and tech support than the others. However, with Aragon coming up, my trip to CT in May and Dave still without a job (poor sod) I don't think we can really afford to get it (even with free installation and equipment) until June or so. Drat. Well, I'll talk to Alex about it. If we give up comic books and e-bay for a month or so, I think we could swing it.
A candidate at MM has just scored big points with me. He - the candidate - wants to meet Mr. Prickles before he interviews with everyone else, because he believes he should meet the one who's really in charge... Giggle, all this because I pulled out my Whacky Sense O'Humor (TM) to keep the guy interested in us - our rather out-of-date job description didn't quite do it for him, y'see...
Well, bossman is giving me the hairy eyeball, so I had better get to work...
through the depressingly regular scold-the-admin meeting yesterday, I had a
moment of sartori. I hate my job, I realized. The people are
lovely, the environment is great, but if I have to generate one more expense
report, I'm going to go postal. I have these thoughts from time to time,
but yesterday I really meant it. My unhappiness with being a secretary
crossed the line from resigned vexation to aggressive dislike in less than a
What's worse than being unhappy at work is that I feel horribly guilty for not enjoying my job more. I earn fabulous money, great benefits, etc, so I should be dancing into the office every day, right? I know far too many people who have to wear silly clothes to an office every day for half the money and none of the office-parties, so not being happy with the current situation makes me feel like a traitor. I also feel guilty for being so selfish as to want a 'happy' job. As my father would mutter "Don't be so bloody American about it!".
The 'responsible so-called adult' reflex doesn't help, either. Alex is paid next to nothing - I earn nearly twice what he does - and Dave is still out of a job. If I ran off and joined the circus, we don't have a prayer of survival. I don't mean that we won't be able to buy neat toys, I mean we won't be able to make rent and buy food simultaneously. That rather restricts my options. Alex will be in the real job-market come September but I don't know how I'm going to make it that far.
So, what would I be doing if I had a choice? Writing, be it copy-editing, tech-writing, fabricating annoying little jingles, anything, as long as it covers the rent and involves using parts of my brain that don't give a damn about expense reports. But we all know how thick those jobs are on the ground, don't we? And it's not exactly a field rife with entry-level jobs. People wonder why godawful advertising slogans are constantly inflicted on us: it's because all copywriters are out of their skulls from malnutrition and lousy hours because they ain't paid squat! But I digress...
I managed to calm myself down, somewhat, by writing an imaginary cover letter. There's nothing so sobering as trying to pithily explain why an entirely inexperienced candidate deserves consideration. No matter how I phrased it, it all came out reading like a mid-life crisis set to paper. Fabulous.
Maybe this is just
a moment of pique - like a lot of my temper tantrums are. If I'm lucky, I'll
wake up on Monday, newly reinvigorated and inspired to do a super job
answering the phone and scheduling meetings.
Uh-huh, and if I'm really lucky, I'll win the lottery - but I'm not going to hold my breath.
Well, if naught else, yesterday's grumps made me update and prettify my resume, for whatever good that will do me.
And some good can
come of bitchery. I kvetched about the above to Jennifer
and she suggested I seek the advice of our mutual pal Mary. I had quite
forgotten that Mary has recently crossed over from the thrilling career of
teaching The Leaders of Tomorrow (Grades K - 2, I think) into copy-writing -
fame, fortune, etc... Perhaps it's not quite as glamorous as I make it sound
but, from what I'm told, the money more than suffices.
Mary made a very cogent suggestion - work as a volunteer to build up a portfolio of pieces and gather experience. I initially balked at the idea as who - even the most cash-strapped organization - is going to accept the work of a completely green writer? Still, Mary told me to post a notice over on Craig's List and cross my fingers. What the hell, nothing to lose, right?
Well, Craig's took the notice down after a few hours - I think I accidentally violated some rule of theirs - but I had already received a very interesting e-mail. San Francisco Black & White, a photographic collective/gallery/outreach program really needs some writers to put together their website, PR materials, and practically anything else that can be thought of - they're on the verge of a makeover of their image and approach. Despite my protestations of no professional experience, Jim - one of the chaps in charge - told me that anything I churned out would have to be better than anything he could produce so, therefore, would I like to stop by the place next week and we'll talk about how I can help them out?
Naturally, I sent Mary a big thank-you letter for the suggestion.
So, it's only potential work at this point, but it's better than nothing. I don't know how much of a portfolio I should build before I even think about departing from the AA biz - I suspect a year or so of volunteer work, if I can keep it constant, will do it. Of course, the whole upcoming-family-plans are going to interfere with that but I'll burn that bridge when I get to it. I've just got to get out of the administrative rut, and that has to start somewhere...
And, in grand karmic fashion, I'm coming down with a migraine - the second in ten days, I think. Great...
From the Management: Mead promises to return to her usual state of vapid-cynicism before the next full moon. Fluffy blatherings with which to ease the disquiet in your soul while you're goofing off from work will soon be here again!
Got hit by a whomping migraine at 10AM, yesterday. Karma, no doubt, for yesterday's
Good thing: Practically everything else.
The day at work was a travail and horrible and that's all I'm going to say on that subject.
However, Alex and I visited my parents last night and had a dee-lish-us home-cooked meal (leg of lamb, green beans, tomatoes Provencal), a decadent dessert (treacle pudding and custard!) followed by a viewing of Forbidden Planet on DVD. Talk about your perfect geek-night. I had never seen Forbidden Planet all the way through, before, so the screening was long overdue. I can see why the movie was a seminal moment in SF film, but it's totally impossible to watch with a straight face. Well, not after a 2,000 calorie meal (or so it felt) and a glass of wine...
And American Psycho opens today. What more can a filmgeek ask for. Yeah, yeah, I'm sure the film is getting mixed reviews, but do I care? Heck, no! Two hours of an extremely fit Christian Bale and a deeply-messed-up plot? I'm so there! Naturally, I seem to have lost my second copy of the book but, with luck, it'll be getting republished to earn a few dollars more from the film, so I can pick up yet another copy.
Tonight is Alex's Star Wars game - I only barely got Yahnna's report of last time written and posted yesterday... Alex has given me a few hints of what's in store tonight and I don't think I have to worry about being a GM-hog this evening. I think Duvessa and the gang are going to have plenty to do while Yahnna keeps her mouth shut.
I honestly can't think of much else to say, so I'm off to get to work...
Ah, what's Saturday morning without my post-gaming hangover? Actually, it's rather pleasant, but today is not going to be one of those days. I'm not shattered, just a bit headachy - and seeing as how I was up until 3AM, I think that I would probably be feeling a bit off even if I had remained stone-cold sober...
The Star Wars
game last night was great fun. Alex pulled out all the plot bits I expected,
plus a few surprises. Maybe he just wanted to avoid having to run the group
through the era of the movies - and jump to the extremely nifty period of
the Timothy Zahn follow-up novels (a great read, if you're a Star Wars fan).
Well, whatever the reason, the entire crew of the Star Chaser except
and Gela'han (Dave's hilariously sleazy Twilek) fell into a plot device and
got fast-forwarded fifteen years. The 'Chaser's crew were more than a tad
surprised to be hailed the the New Republic ship Redemption. New
And, of course, Yahnna was there to try to help the ease the shock of transition - although she was pretty damn shocked, herself.
As a consolation prize for Yahnna perhaps being unplayable from this point on - she really is too old for dam'fool crusades at this point - Alex allowed her to have an illicit rendezvous with a certain smart-mouthed human pilot the night before the group split up and all hell broke loose...Although Alex ixnayed the idea of Yahnna bearing an illegitimate child of Han Solo's. *Chortle* Alex knows I'm pretty easy to please, really, and visions of a young Harrison Ford do just fine.
Tonight is an
episode of Concordia,
a game that is getting campier by the minute. It's getting so silly, in
fact, that I'm starting to think that Mercy
is entirely too serious to be played in this setting. Still, we're not going
to be in the Hollow Earth forever, and that's the source of most of the
silliness. We'll see, I guess.
Speaking of character silliness - this time of my own making - what a difference a clone makes - although you have to know what's going on with Rachel/Yvette to get the irony. But it was such an amusing picture, I couldn't resist. Whoa nelly! Good thing Cassius isn't alive to see that!...
Well, I sense that Dave is getting antsy to check his e-mail, so I'm outta here...
N is for Neville, who died of ennui...
Edward Gorey died yesterday. What a crappy start to what promises to be a very long day.
I slept like a
baby over the weekend, which utterly fails to explain why I only got four
and half hours last night. Argh. Alex has theorized that it's something to
do with my allergies - we cut the overgrown lawn, yesterday. I think it
probably had more to do with that very rich Italian food we had for
I had some weird dreams last night, too. Oddly enough, one of them was in-character as Rebecca. Methinks my subconscious is trying to tell me something, but I'm not sure what. I probably don't want to know.
The in-character subconscious wanderings are easily attributed to last night's almost entirely baffling Bedlam's Rest downtime game. I'm sure there was a point to it - just as I'm equally sure the game went awry from Brian's intentions - but I'm darned if I know what that point was, other than "Cathayans are a tricky bunch". Maybe we'll learn more as time passes but, as it is, I know I could have done a lot more with six hours of my time. Ah, well, win-some, lose-some, right?
But a few incidents that happened last night might have some interesting consequences for Rebecca, so I'm going to try to pursue that as much as possible - albeit allowing for the fact that one of the key characters (Dave's) will be retiring after the next game. I'm just hoping that'll make him amenable to going-for-broke on a few things... I'm approaching this next game like it will probably be my last, so I'm feeling rather reckless, too. ;)
Everyone is going
around my office with a long face, having just filed their taxes. Of course,
like every other bimbo who got a refund, I filed back in February. However,
my constant tele-filing left me up a creek when it came to figuring out
where I was supposed to send Dave's tax returns. I haven't actually mailed
a tax form in years...
Ugh, ucky long day in the office is ahead - to be followed by a meeting with the poor suckers (um, I mean gracious patrons) that are willing to let me loose on their writing needs, so I'm outta here.
Z is for Zilla who drank too much gin
Well, actually it was just a glass of wine, last night, but I felt like continuing the Edward Gorey theme...
Was a bit late for work this morning, but that's okay, as it was for the best of reasons. Fortunately, my 'running late' is everyone else's 'hour early' so it's not like anyone noticed. And for those who are wondering what is the best reason for being late to work, let me just say that Alex woke up in a very good mood, this morning, and decided to share.
I stayed up too
late last night with a bit of writing. I can't really dignify it as a full
piece, as it was Yvette
and Paul shaking the bars of their cage, again. I attribute it entirely to
spring fever. I love the characters, really I do, but they keep trying to go
off their own way, despite my intentions. They just don't understand I'm
trying to save them from a rut of antagonism and angry sex...sigh.
Fortunately, I think we've managed to reach a compromise, this time - which
means they've finally forgiven me for what I did to Interlude...
Aw, I bitch about it, but it's a lot of fun, really. ;)
Met briefly with
the guys at SF Black And White,
last night - Jim and Fred - and they seem like pleasant chaps. The gallery
is undergoing some major retro-fitting right now - for none-SF natives, that
means the building is being rendered marginally more earthquake-proof, not
done out in an 1950's style. It's not quite finished yet, they're not ready
for enthusiastic wanna-be writers. But it was good to meet them and have
I'm really hoping that I can do some good work for these guys - they need everything from content for their web site to press releases. I'm also hoping this does not turn out like my ill-fated tenure at a video-studio many years ago, which was the last time I volunteered for two nigh-crazed creative guys... Ack. Fingers are crossed, and all that.
The gallery is in an interesting neighborhood. I walked up Sutter to get there - which runs right past Union Square and some very chi-chi boutiques. Eventually, the tourists were left behind and the neighborhood began to resemble a place where real people could live. The gallery itself was near Sutter and Leavenworth, which - I learned on the way out - is on the edge of the Tenderloin. On my way back, I was feeling lazy and not remembering my map of SF too well, so I cut down Leavenworth in the general direction of Market. I saw some very interesting examples of city street culture on my way... It wasn't particularly hair raising - in the daytime - and was, in fact, rather interesting. But I would hate to take that walk at night.
But I do like walking through the city, even when I have other options. After all, I could have taken the bus, both ways. But the buses are nasty and crowded at rush hour, and what's to see? The back of someone's head is as exciting as it gets - unless you're extremely unlucky. But walking along the streets, I picked up ideas for several minor characters, which were stuffed into the mental folder to be pulled out at a later date for whatever pieces they are best suited for. I saw some great architecture - always remember to look up when moving through the urban environment and I learned a little bit more about the city's geography - albeit rather haphazardly. I defy anyone to derive that much nifty information from inside a car!
Well, my boss is giving me the morning hairy-eyeball (we have daily meetings now, sigh) so I had best hop to it!
The next few paragraphs probably won't matter to you unless you are familiar
with the principal characters and/or have a hobby of writing, yourself.
Holy cow! Yesterday I was kvetching about how Yvette and Paul had, once again, taken to shaking the bars of their cage that is my imagination and generally insisting I pay attention to them. So, the night before, I had sat down with my favorite writing aids - wine and New Wave tunes - and set to tinkering. I had nothing in mind, really, just a little mental doodling. I expected the characters to follow their usual course of shouting at each other and falling into bed - not always in that order - but the little buggers had to go surprise me again.
They've come full circle - but with a twist. At the height of the relationship between Rachel (now Yvette) and Paul, the two of them had the all-too-occurent-in-trashy-fiction relationship of "I hate you, I want you. I want to kill you and/or sleep with you, and I'm not sure which I would enjoy more.". As I have said before, there's a lot of Aeon Flux/Trevor Goodchilde going on with those two. Anyways... So, their relationship had remained quite predictable. Paul would routinely show up, do a number on Rachel's head, fuck her madly, and go on his way. It was a bit of a rut, sure, but hell, these are vampire characters. It's not like I've been trying to write the Great American Novel.
The above all took place before/during the first incarnation of Bedlam's Rest. Following the end of that chronicle, I really didn't like the idea of letting the characters go - if nothing else, I didn't want to have to create a new twisted dynamic to write about when tipsy - but I couldn't reconcile the continuity at the end of the game and the characters. Bluntly put, Rachel had been killed (but not before being cloned, long story) and so had Paul. Hm, troublesome, thought I.
I had no problem simply retconning matters so that Paul was in a torpor and left for dead, but Rachel's state left me vexed. To bring her back from the dead struck me as too much of a copout. After all, she had interacted with a whole bunch of other characters and, well, just the whole notion didn't appeal to me - it smacked of being a pisspoor loser, if nothing else... So I grabbed a dangling thread from one of Rob's plotlines - that Rachel had been cloned at least a dozen times by a rather independently-minded Progenitor - and ran with that. And that's how Starting Over was kicked off.
Starting Over was just meant to be a toy for me to play with from time to time. Full-on brain candy for me to nibble on from time to time. I should have realized that characters I adored for two years - through BROne - weren't about to let me go that easily. At first, the pieces were very bare, and easy to write - the process of Paul finding Yvette, learning that she was a clone of Rachel, and dealing with that. I anticipated that Paul would finally be happy to have the most malleable incarnation of his favorite plaything and the two of them would scamper off into some less-frequented corner of my imagination and amuse themselves without disturbing me.
Boy, was I stupid.
Paul had plans for his new toy, and she had her own ideas, too. Those two have refused to give me a break since January. I eventually realized that this was the best chance I was ever going to have to break the two characters out of the rut that had been established for them by the Rachel/Paul encounters. They were free of the demands of another GM's game and I was under no particular deadline. So, I set out to alter their encounters from those that had marked the Rachel/Paul collection.
They didn't like that. Yvette, in particular, didn't like it. Yvette, at this point, was a ghoul. Ghouls - in the White Wolf canon, at least - tend to be a bit hot blooded and more susceptible to human passions than most humans - the exact opposite of vampires, as it were. Yvette had her own ideas for what she wanted from Paul (which made a change from Rachel's contrived reluctance, ho-hum) and Paul had the nerve to decide that those ideas weren't an option. Yvette wouldn't have been much of a challenge, he knew, so why bother with satisfying any of her so-obvious needs? Yes, that was nasty and arrogant to stance to take but this is Paul Viersan, for heaven's sake.
So, with all this established, I started doing little free-writing last night, just seeing where the characters would go. I expected everything to devolve into something silly/twisted and to have to beat the characters up, shortly thereafter. I've exorcised some pretty torrid ideas about them before, I'm sure I'll have to do it again. To my surprise, the little devils dug up a revelation and even acheived a bit of growth. After four years' (total) of tinkering with 'em, Paul and Yvette's attitudes - in one key area, at least - have been reversed. Yvette managed to back Paul into a corner and then neatly cut his legs out from under him - all because he was afraid of losing an iota of his cherished self-control.
Whoa! Where did that come from?
Don't get me wrong, I'm tickled pink. I'm just stunned that I had to sit down and write until that came to me - it wasn't anything I had realized until after I had started writing - long after I had started, in fact.
Sometimes, writing is like watching evolution happen - inexorable, occasionally baffling and entirely beyond one's control. But the end results are always better than the origins.
And for those who are wondering, you can read the latest bit, here, although I can't guarantee that I'm not quite done tinkering with it, yet. Some ideas came to me on the train this morning...
Ok, you non-writers can come back, now.
Hit The Tonga
Room, last night, an amusing bar in the Fairmont Hotel. It's a nifty place,
although the climb up the hill nearly killed us. Tip for would-be visitors:
the cable car line goes right by the place... The hotel itself is so swanky,
I was convinced that they wouldn't let us scruffy engineering-types in, but
it seems the oh-so-polished staff are used to after-work riffraff coming in
for happy hour.
It was a co-worker's b-day and a good excuse to drink bizarre rum-laden drinks with that came in hollow coconut and garnished with a live parrot. The decor was pure shmaltz - inside-of-a-giant-tropical-hut variety, along with tiki gods here and there and the occasional tropical storm. Although I was disappointed that the rain only fell into the lagoon/pool thing in the center of the room. I think it would be much funner if we all had to dive beneath our tables for cover every fifteen minutes.
Alex and I got home about nine pm, to discover that James and Laurel had taken Dave out for dinner - a nice thing on a variety of levels. James and Laurel have also loaned Dave a gorgeous book on Versailles, to be used as a reference for the 7th Sea game. Oddly enough, Louis XIV is a dead ringer for Jon Lovitz. No, really! Go look at the guy's portrait - the resemblance is unmistakable.
Another day is getting ready to go, here at Casa Modem, so I'm off to get my cup of tea and get started. Maybe today I won't spend the entire day distracted by figments of my imagination.
You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment...
tired this morning, but it's my own fault, so I can't complain. After
waiting nearly a year for a friend to return half of House of Cards
tape - and not receiving it - I caved in and bought a new copy at the
videostore. Dave hadn't seen it and he was really champing at the bit to
view this thing that Alex and kept declaring should be required viewing for
Vampire players, so we watched it last night - all in one sitting.
Unsurprisingly, Dave was enthralled by it, and there is talk of a screening
for the Aragon players. As long as they understand that we're not
asking them to impersonate the series, we just want them to understand a
fabulous example of behind-the-scenes manipulation. Heh.
Of course, it would have to followed by an I, Claudius marathon - at least of the episodes that feature Livia...
In fact, we're putting together a reccomended reading/viewing list of non-vampire books/movies for Vampire players. Got a suggestion?
Not much else to report at the moment. Just when I think work is damned aggravating, I realize that I could be in Jennifer's shoes and coping with an HR lady who thinks she's telepathic, aiye! My boss and I may butt heads every now and then - mostly because I hate the work - but at least I don't have to worry about him like that.
Well, speaking of the boss, he just called and asked me to get going on a passel of tasks, so I've got to run...
PS - Did everyone bathe in perfume/cologne today?
A pleasant day, yesterday. Enough work to keep me busy, not so much as to make me want to take a knife to the bosses. Today, one of my bosses - SuperDave - is out of the office, competing in a surfing competition in Honolulu. This man never ceases to surprise me - ex-military, corden bleu surfer dude!
points included picking up Alex's computer - it's in good shape although the
screen has a few bad pixels on it. The sellers warned me they won't take it
back unless it has eight bad pixels, and I counted only four. I had to track
across the back of beyond - well, south of Market - to the Fedex pickup
point, because my delivery address had been severely scrambled. But, the
package wasn't too heavy, and the walk wasn't too long, so I'm not
While Alex muttered and cursed about trying to install Win95 on a 486 machine (current estimate is saying it's going to take about eight hours) I prettified the Aragon site a little bit. Nothing major, just new buttons and titles. I've also ripped out some pages that were just taking up space...
The office has
been reduced to half it's former strength - a lot of engineers are out at
client sites or on vacation, today, so I'm going to go tear through my tasks
and see if I can't convince my boss to let me go at noon...
Dave's 7th Sea game is tonight, yay! I wonder what trouble Elena et al will get into this time?
Argh! Bloody Tripod! Obviously, their scripts have choked again and - for the second time in less than six months - my site is being festooned with popup boxes. I would write them a nasty e-mail, but that only got me automated responses last time - and they extended my premium membership for a whole month - ooooh. Grr.... I hate popups. If these eejits want to keep me happy, they should proof their scripts, not try to buy me off with a whopping $6 worth of free service...
On a lighter note, Dave's 7th Sea game was last night. Despite the fact that we committed the ultimate sin of breaking up the party - Elena has a bit of a temper and it's really best if she just takes a time out when peeved, and peeved she was at one point - I think we all had a good time. Jennifer, Laurel and myself were amused by the presence of an NPC who precisely resembled Sting during The Bride, although I doubt the guys found that terribly entertaining... Otherwise the party had a grand ol' time fleeing L'Empereur's little whims - he wanted an evening with Jennifer's character and never mind the fact that she's betrothed to someone else - and generally causing havoc.
Proof that recruiters don't read postings on job boards, #487 - After posting my weekly plea for volunteer chances to write copy for anyone willing to take a chance on me, I received an e-mail from some south-bay agency asking me if I wanted to apply for a 3-month contract writing copy in San Jose. It was spam, and it wasn't even good spam. Suuuure, I'm going to give up my regular job for a short-contract that won't pay enough to cover the dogfood budget and with no possibility of ongoing work, afterwards...
Be afraid: your humble author is about to go blow the bell-curve on some poor psych student's research. I was perusing the volunteer listings at Craig's List during a dull moment and I came across a cri de coeur from a Cal psych student who needs volunteers to take a battery of tests for her grad work. What the heck, thought I, I'm rather curious to learn what tests people are given these days and - here was the clincher - I need to put good karma back in the system, since I've been getting help from the list, myself... So, come Monday, I'll be meeting the grad student in question - Erin - and doing a preliminary interview to ensure that I'm not completely unsuited. Heh.
An uneventful day
- in Miskatonic Acres - for myself. Alex had to go do a family thing during
the day, and James descended upon Dave and took him out for a day in the
city. Me, I stayed home, tinkered with Aragon plots and watched a couple of
I finally watched A Perfect Murder and it was amusing - although painfully predictable. However, whoever dresses Michael Douglas in that film deserves massive kudos - he looked fabulous. I also rewatched The Thomas Crown Affair - the 1999 remake. Weak as the final third of the film may be, I still really enjoy it. Maybe it's because the film provides fantasy fodder for both genders - imagine yourself as Rene Russo or Pierce Brosnan, kids! Although I notice that one doesn't see much of Brosnan's face during the obligatory love scene, which suggests the film was directed (and shot) by a man. Ah well, nothing's perfect.
In the silly dress-up side, I spent some time fiddling with the silly wig I bought the other day. It's going to take some fussing - drat my thick hair! - but I think I've found a way to wear it without a) my hair showing through or b) the back of my skull bulging like a Star Trek alien's...
And that's it. Sorry guys. Today is dinner at Alex's sister's place and I shall have to bite my tongue to keep from quoting Bill Hicks - how does a bunny leaving eggs tell the story of Jesus, again? Why not goldfish leaving Lincoln Logs in your sock drawer? At least that carries some connotation of being miraculous...
What a drag, Tripod still hasn't remedied the popup-box situation... I wrote them a nasty e-mail last night, but that didn't do much good last time, so I doubt it will this time, either...
Yesterday was very quiet - dinner at Melissa's place and moderate entertainment watching very young children hunt for Easter eggs. They really were a bit too young, I think, to really get what was going on, but the families involved seem to enjoy it, so who am I to complain?
Today is looking to be a busy day, and I've got a lot to do after work, too. I'm running by Berkeley to meet Erin - the psych student - and I'm calling my contact over at CafePress to discuss their needs. So, no time for pithy observations today, sorry!
Damn it all! Tripod no longer offer a 'no-popup' option! Supposedly, they warned me about this in December. Like I'm going to remember that... So, I've contacted my friend and Rough Cut will be moving in the next week or so. The archives for this journal will probably stay here on Tripod - mostly because I really don't want to hand-correct the absolute URLs for 200+ web pages in one sitting... I'll try to correct them over time and move them to a new home over several weeks, most likely... Bah, what a chore.
Monday's visit with Erin - the psych doctoral candidate who was in need of volunteers for testing - was interesting, but long. I was with her for over four hours and it was tiring. It turns out there's a lot more to Rorsach pictures than just blurting out what they kinda look like - I had to explain in minute detail what I could see, so she could see it too (for reference). Ack. I think the one with the pink dancing bears got her. We were both pretty loopy by the end of the evening... Next up: cognitive reasoning and drawing lots of pictures, apparently. Great. I suck at drawing...
Aragon has been ramping up in the past two weeks. This Saturday is our first get-together with the players to collect character stats and answer questions. I really hope everyone comes through on this - I'll be crushed if people flake out on us. Not that that's meant to make you Aragon players feel guilty. ;)
Oh boy. My parents have bought one of those automatic-feeders for the cats, which wouldn't be worth mentioning if it wasn't for the fact of Bess. Bess is a foundling cat that came into my parents' lives in Christmas of '94 - she had obviously seen that only-visible-to-felines sign in our backyard that said Suckers with lots fo tuna live here. She's a sweet little beast but once she settled with us, she got fat - really fat. It's because she was starving when she found us, so she tends to eat every scrap of food within reach, just to ensure that doesn't happen again. Perhaps now you can understand my trepidation about leaving an auto-feeder around this cat. If its the type that just keeps refilling the bowl each time it empties, Bess is going to stuff herself with its entire contents and the other two cats in my parents' house are going to be forced to eat Bess to survive. It could happen...
Came in to work at 8AM and immediately got swamped by tasks. There's nothing like trying to arrange accomodations for 30 engineers flying in from across the world over a period of five days to give one gray hairs. And I haven't even had breakfast, yet...
Ugh, the fact of these damn popup boxes is a real disincentive to writing a journal entry... No news on the move, yet, but it will happen - one way or another.
Last night was
some serious vegging after a late day at work. I steamed some artichokes for
my dinner while Alex made his nigh-legendary porkchops - legendary because
that dish is one of the few cases where pork is rendered into a really
fattening dish, probably because he fries the suckers in a half inch of
oil... Me, I just stuck with the artichokes.
Dave was exhausted, so we all slumped out on the couch, and watched the first half of To Play The King. Seen so soon after House of Cards, it's weaknesses are apparent, but it's still amusing. In other Anglovid news, my copy of The Charmer showed up in the mail so now I have to get over to Kevin Jones' house (he has an international standards VCR) and make a copy for home consumption. I'm still boggled by the fact that buying the tape from the UK cost me $23 while the US version (before shipping) would have been $70. Oy....
The universe is flat, apparently, and won't be collapsing back on itself as previously supposed. I find that rather disappointing. The cyclical theory of the universe had a nice ring of continuity to it. Maybe us earthlings are the only intelligent life in the universe - but there's always next time. Okay, so next time would be about fifteen billion years from now and not terribly relevant to my life, but it was a pleasant little conceit that saved me from complete pessimism. But now the science boffins are telling me that we're looking at the Cold Death universe. We're doomed, no matter what, no matter what kind of fabulous Jetson-esque advances we make, the universe will eventually spread itself too thin and die of intergalactic hypothermia. Brr. Find me a silver lining to that.
And on that cheerful note, I have to get to work.