Sunday was pretty much recovering from the dregs of the migraine and the late night on Saturday. My parents had Alex and I over for dinner, which was nummy. We watched the first half of Woody Allen's Love And War until Alex quietly admitted that he honestly can't stand Woody Allen, so we made our excuses and split. I wish my hunny had said something before my dad popped the DVD in... Well, he did say something, it was "Well, I can stand Allen's earlier work, sure..." Sigh. Silly hunny.
The no-brain game continues to amuse me. The addition of an EZ Board to faciliate between-game communications has encouraged a lot of usually lackadaisical players to roleplay, and Mike the GM is pretty happy about that. I've been adding a few refinements to Rebecca, and I think she's just about set, now. Of course, I'm still getting ideas for other characters - particularly yet-another-Malkavian, just because the clan in that game needs some serious shaking-up. In fact, I've been scrawling down these ideas as they come to me and I'm posting them on a grab-bag page... I would rather offer them up to some other player/GM rather than let them languish on their own in the meantime...
Aragon is coming up again, quickly, with the next game set for the 14th. Huzzah, it won't be a new moon! Diana can be a skosh more mature in her behavior. Just a bit, though... She's still, essentially, a teenager. I think I've nailed down a fix for my nasty habit of drinking too much at game. I've just gotten way too used to having a glass in my hand, and I hate drinking soda all night, as it strips my throat. So I'm going to take a big bottle of Martinelli's with me to the game and pour it into a champagne flute... It's sweet, but not as nasty as sodapop, and it's tasty - part of my downfall is that I just plain like the taste of wine... Maybe that'll keep my oral fixation under control... Oh please, keep the double entendres to yourself...
God bless Jennifer's habit of moving her
personal deadlines back, to ensure she gets tasks done. She told herself
that her deadline for BlackGate was April 1st so firmly, I believed
it. Alas, I had only got drafts done by Sunday, as the migraine fairy ate up
all the time that I had set aside for finishing. I was just getting ready to
screw up the courage to break the bad news to Don, and Jennifer reminds me,
"Uh, the real deadline is the 15th, Johanna." Glory be! Now
I've just got to trim, uh, 300 words from both my reviews. Guess who managed
to forget that she is supposed to keep them under 500 words? Better
yet, under 300 - uh-oh... And I was worried I wouldn't have anything to
say... I really want to make good on these little capsule reviews, as Don
has hinted heavily that writing a handful of nice little reviews is the best
way to convince the publishers to trust you with a feature-length article -
and I've got some ideas rattling around in my head.
Enthusiasm. It furthers one to install helpers
Preponderance of the Small. Success. Perseverance furthers.
Time to quit talking and start doing - but don't bite off more than you can chew.
Is anybody else
utterly chilled by the fact that Timothy McVeigh's execution is going
to be broadcast as a pay-per-view even on the web? Worse yet, the charge is
$1.95 - or so rumor has it. Wow, so that's how much it costs to indulge
in a sickening vicarious thrill. I really hope that I've been utterly
misinformed about the entire thing. It's bad enough over 1,000 people are
scrambling for eight seats to witness the event directly... Then again, I
suppose I should surprised that the number of would-be witnesses is so small.
Given how badly, at times, I want my role-playing characters to win over their fellow characters I suppose it's a bit naive of me to be suprised by our collective thirst for revenge in real life. Spare me your 'an executed murderer never kills again' pro-execution rant (although I doubt anyone of that opinion even visits this journal). Recidivism for murder is less than 3% and the majority of convicted murderers have admitted that the death-penalty was not a deterrent for them. Then again, how many murderers really think before killing?
Forget the death-penalty and Scared Straight. Make borderline offenders sit down and watch some seriously informative documentaries on forensic science. Make 'em realize that, what with DNA extractions, laserlight & superglue fingerprint retreival, the fact that bloodstrains that have been scrubbed away can still be brought to light and analyzed, it's damn near impossible to get away with a crime. Particularly if you're not a fucking genius. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're average hardened criminal isn't too bright, right? It's a weird admission to make, but the advanced state of forensic science is why I'm never going to commit a crime. Never mind that fuzzy-wuzzy moral implications stuff... Well, okay, that's a part of it too.
Ah, the boss is out of the office today, so it's the perfect time to listen to that MP3 of Carlin on Campus I ripped. In fact, it's the only time to be listening to such things. As long as I turn down the volume when the phone rings...
Slight hiccup with the Sunday vampire game. Seems I made a couple of misplaced assumptions about the Downtime Chick. She has no access to the game database, so has no idea about character statistics, nor has she been furnished with character histories that have been handed to the Character Chick. Combine that with her rumored reluctance to do the job at all, and one's list of actions tends to get anemic results. Drat. Ah well, it's a no-brain game, so I'm trying very hard not to get too het-up about it.
My grab-bag characters are, of course, growing out of control. The background for Renee is getting far too long - but that's probably because I really want to play her, myself. Hehe.
|Huan / Dispersion [Dissolution]||K'uei / Opposition|
Opposition. In small matters, good fortune.
It's time for karmic spring cleaning. Drop an old grudge today. Better yet, drop several.
It's been a bit of a
Anglophilic week for entertainment at Miskatonic Acres. Alex and I have gotten
hooked on Robot Wars (the British version) and Junkyward Wars.
The latter program is a hoot. Two teams o'geeks have one day to build an
assigned item (a land yacht, a flying machine, a hovercraft, etc) out of parts
scavenged from a junkyard. Okay, it might not sound like much, but to a person
like me - who has the mechanical abilities of a sedated penguin - it's a
heckuva thing to watch. My pal Casey really wants to be on this show, go
figure, but I suspect his reputation will precede him and TLC will have more
sense than to allow him near a welding torch... I think he would have better
luck with Robot Wars. But, for heaven's sake, stay away from Robotica...
On the save-the-brain-from-rotting front, I've finally started reading About a Boy by Nick Hornby. Susan loaned it to me a while ago, and it's been languishing on my get-around-to pile. I picked it up for BART this morning and have gotten utterly hooked. Incisive, humorous, honest - JoBob says "check it out".
Let's see...it's Tuesday. I think James will have recovered from his surprise birthday party on Saturday by now. Whether or not he and Dave have recovered from the sheer volume of helium they inhaled during the evening is another matter entirely. I swear, Dave is the only guy who can make Helium Voice sound sinister...
The Sunday game was alright - a bit of an ebb before some serious shit hits the fan. Rebecca is trying to consolidate her position and figure out what she can delegate to Aaraon - Adam's recently arrived Tremere. Thank god Rebecca has another Tremere she can count on, now. Most of the downtime weirdness got sorted out, mostly by my realizing it wasn't worth getting pissy about and letting it go. But I would be happier if someone else was doing the job - say, someone who can actually install Grapevine on their home computer...
Well, all that research had to go somewhere. If you're dying for something new to read, go take a look at Outfitting The Vodacce Fate Witch.
|Hsiao Ch'u / The Taming Power of the Small||T'ung J^en / Fellowship with Men|
The Taming Power of the Small has
Fellowship with Men in the open.
Get your priorities straight, and then stick by them.
Shannon and James
came over for pizza-and-a-movie last night. Of course, it became pizza and
severe gaming-gossip night, instead. Some interesting ideas were kicked around
and some of the might even be useful. But they're not worth getting into
around here, just yet...
In the meantime, Shannon and I had a lovely little chinwag about seventeen year-olds who want to learn about Wicca because they've watched The Craft too many times. The general consensus was to club said children with lots of books about the subject and let them sort out what they want to do for themselves - and do not let them horn in on your solitary practices. Shannon's a very private person, spiritually, and said seventeen-year-old keeps trying to invite herself over on every significant day in the calendar. Shannon, go figure, hasn't been too keen on this, but she's trying to mentor the kid as best she can, while aware that the youngster will probably get bored in a few weeks and decide they want to play Pokemon instead, or something...
I'm agonizing about my hair. Keep it shoulder length, or grow it down to my waist again? Keep it sorta-brown, or talk to my luvly hairdresser about a more radical change in color - no, not purple! And will going to see Bridget Jones' Diary this weekend just compound the situation?
So, on Tuesday night, Alex and I watched a recently-made cinematic production of Jesus Christ, Superstar on PBS. I had really only tuned in to see Rik Mayall do a turn as Herod (fabulous!), but the production was actually pretty good and - my usual antipathy for Lloyd Webber aside - I rather liked it. So, afterwards, we were chatting about the history of the show and Alex was telling me about how bloody controversial it was when it was first produced, particularly because of the sympathetic treatment of Judas Iscariot. In the middle of the coversation, Alex suddenly got a rather crafty expression on his face - the expression that usually heralds a very interesting idea.
"You know," he says. "In all my time doing Vampire LARPs, I've seen some pretty blatant swipes from history - Caine, Longinus, Caligula and the rest... But I've never seen any game that featured Judas Iscariot as a vampire..."
"No bloody wonder," I commented, knowing where he was going with it. "It really would be up there with trying to play, oh, Jesus as a vampire.."
But, of course, an idea this wicked, we couldn't leave alone, so we've started brainstorming ideas as to how you would present Judas as a Vampire character. Of course, it requires a bit of manipulation, but what the hell...Alex and I love these little mental exercises. So far, we've decided that Judas may actually be something very similar to Caine. He, too, would be cursed by God (rather than being Embraced by another Kindred) but Judas never had a handy Mage around to teach him the ways of his blood, as Lilith taught Caine. In fact, Judas has been totally denied the 'advantages' of undead life and has no disciplines at all. He is a de-facto 1st Generation kindred, but he has the abilities of a 15th Generation vampire - no vast blood pool, no addictive vitae, no elder thirst, and he can't Sire (or even ghoul) another human.
He's also got a deeply scrambled mind. He suffers bouts of phasia and torpor, so centuries tend to pass without him noticing - but he's so introverted, he hardly notices. He's driven by what he's done in the past - alternating between massive egomania and crushing guilt and remorse. He's desperately seeking Golconda in the form of Christ's forgiveness - and doing what he can to be at the right place and time for the Second Coming. And there's a whole bunch of other ideas being kicked around: that he's a walking omen - Judas comes through your territory, Something Big is going to happen; that he actually came within reach of salvation/Golconda but lost it (through his own failure, of course), etc...
James, realist that he is, hears all this and says "So what's to stop other PCs from killing Judas? What keeps him from suicide?" That broght the brainstorming back to earth with a thud. "Hmmm...okay...time to modify God's curse a bit." we mumbled. "Maybe he can't kill himself. He's tried, and he wakes up in the ground, 200 years later. Or even when he gets torn to shreds by outraged Kindred...he comes back... Hmmmm. God wouldn't let him have an out like Final Death. Not yet... Hmmmm"
So, once again, watch out for the lightening bolt to hit our house. We had to think of this during Easter Week, didn't we?
Alex has been pretty
disenchanted with how Misha is failing to gel in Aragon, so I wouldn't
be surprised if he actually pitched this Judas idea as an NPC to Dave. The
needle of the Angst Meter is just going to get buried if Alex can talk
Dave - or any other GM - into it.
Aragon is tomorrow, though, so I think Alex is stuck with Misha for the meantime. Meanwhile, I've got to nail down Diana's mannerisms for the half-moon. Fortunately, I think I've found a justification for her bizarre speech habits (I've got to learn to quit after that third glass of plonk at game) and that's a start. And I've got to find clothes I can wear to Chad & Danielle's b-day dinner and to game, as we're going to have to go straight from one to the other. Oy...
|Sui / Following||Ts'ui / Gathering Together [Massing]|
Following has supreme success.
Gathering Together. Success.
I can only hope this is suggesting that I should do something more satisfying than just my taxes this weekend. Looks like a good time for collaboration, so get to it - but don't let your own ego dominate proceedings.
Postscript (on the 16th): Since writing the above, Alex and I had a chat with a Mutual Friend about this whole business. It was rather enlightening. The Mutual Friend had some well-justified questions about the opinions we held towards The Other Man and She and talking them out actually helped diffuse some of Alex's anger, I think. Most of that diffusion derived from the fact that Alex had to verbalize his reasons for feeling peeved and, in that verbalization, he realized that some of what he was holding onto just wasn't that valid - while simultaneously helping him realize what really mattered to him about this situation. We know that a lot of what we said to the Mutual Friend will get back to The Other Man - the Mutual Friend pretty much offered to do a bit of in-betweening - but I don't know if anything positive will come of it... Really, Alex and The Other Man need to share a few words, but I don't think that's going to happen if She is still hanging around The Other Man and voicing her own negative opinion of Alex - which was recently revealed to us by the Aggrieved Husband. However, the words of an Aggrieved Husband have to be taken with a bit of salt so... So I really have no idea what's going to happen or if it's going to do Alex any emotional good. I'll just cross my fingers and spin the prayer wheel, I guess...
I watched Chicken
Run last night. Too cute for words! I need a screen grab of the panicking
chickens for my computer - a fatal error signal, perhaps...
We also watched Charlies' Angels, which I hadn't bothered to go to theater for, and it was good silly fun. Lots of pretty people wearing cool outfits and kicking ass. Unsurprisingly, I have been inspired to resurrect Code Black and run a camp-fest game for that crowd. More on that in the Musings section.
Aragon happened on Saturday night. Initially, I thought I wasn't going to make it - She and The Other Man were going to be there and Alex and I weren't sure how civil we were going to be. But, as the day unfolded and details came out, I decided that I could face it, but Alex still felt that he would rather stay off site for a while. So, Alex dropped me off and I already knew that Logan would give me a ride home.
I should have just stayed home. Admittedly, I came in at 9PM and had already missed about half of the game... But by the time I got there, the game had devolved into a running gunfight involving a whole passel o'Settites and some treaty wrangling with some Anarchs that my character (Diana) really couldn't care about. Aside from the death of one PC that Diana rather liked, she could have phoned her presence in.
Certainly, part of my dissatisfaction is how Diana is not quite gelling the way I expected her to. I wanted to play this book-smart but worldly-unwise Malkie whom, I thought, would have a 'Manipulate Me!' sign over her head and offer some interesting opportunities to the other kindred - do you take advantage of her, or take her under your wing sort of dilemmas. I wanted to see how the court would react to her. Alas, she's getting the usual reception a rather childish/unworldly Malkavian receives - the brush-off. This will have repercussions as Diana matures - which she is doing rather quickly. I'm wondering how the court is going to react to that - if they do. But, if they're startled to see Diana suddenly grow up into a selfish, heartless bitch, she'll point out that they were her role models. Heh.
So, that's all on my end to work on and adapt Diana to be more enjoyable and more cohesive within the court. It'll be a bit of a challenge, but I'm cautiously optimistic.
Meanwhile, I'm not too keen on the turn the plot of Aragon seems to have taken. It's yet another Sabbat-on-all-sides, make-a-bargain-with-the-anarchs situation, with a badass Methuselah boogeyman supposedly pulling the strings. Sigh. I hope there's some big twist coming up, because otherwise I'm going to be kind of disappointed in Dave taking such a pedestrian turn in game plotting. He's usually quite twisted, but I have noticed that he also has a fondness of using NPCs that are far more powerful than really necessary - and often tend to be the 'star' of the show. It works in tabletop, but when twenty characters grind to a halt because they have to pay attention to one NPC, that can seriously screw up a LARP...
To be fair, though, Dave has been working for the past, um, 12 days straight, with at least 12-hour days, so he can be forgiven if he didn't have much time for plotting. Fortunately, the previous Aragon game he ran was such a hit that I think if the next game harkens back to it, the playership will gladly forgive Saturday's debacle as "New GM hiccups". And that's how I feel, too.
Angels... I was watching that silly pile of dreck - I enjoyed it, but it
was still dreck, alright? - and I couldn't help thinking of the old Code
Black team. CB was one part writing-collab, one part RPG and three
parts running-joke between me, Casey and Jennifer back when Jenn and Casey
were sharing a house and I was spending an awful lot of time there. We had
created avatar-ish characters that were some of the most successful - and most
accident prone - spies in the business. There was a lot of silliness, some
writing and much giggling all round. One of the main points that CB
tried to emphasize was that our characters suffered bad luck as well as good
and frequently got the shit beat out of us and spent a truly amazing amount of
time in hospital, recovering from missions. Yknow, an element of realism along
with the fantasy...
Casey created Jason Carlossi, the obligatory dark'n'broody member of the troupe, with a deep love of gadgets, despite the fact that they usually hurt him far more than they helped him. Ask him about the grappling gun incident on the San Mateo bridge hi-rise, sometime. Jennifer created Marlena Whittaker, mistress of disguise and dissimulation. It's been a while, but I think she was an expert computer hacker and all around cryptography whiz, too. I put together Andrea Smith, mercurial assassin with a fondness for poisons and all the tact and poise of a thrown half-brick. We never did much writing, but we created some amusing scenarios and wiled away many an evening when we were too broke to do anything but stay home and chat.
We've talked before about actually pulling everything together and running a Top Secret/Hong Kong Action Theater type event but, over the past five years, we just never really got around to setting anything concrete... Well, Charlie's Angels jarred something loose in my brain on the BART this morning. The plot is still a bit nebulous - well, a lot nebulous, actually - but I woke up with the certain notion that getting the old gang together and maybe adding Andy and Alex into the mix, would be a hoot! Nothing serious, just an action-packed tabletop game that will make us laugh until we hiccup. For plottage, so far, I've got a media mogul, the 2000 Olympics at Sydney, the cities of London and Hong Kong and treacherous ally in the mix. All I need is a shark-filled tank and some throwaway thugs and I'm all set to start running this puppy! After all, planning was never a strong point of Code Black, so I don't have a hard act to follow as a game-master...
|K'uei / Opposition||Ta Ch'u / The Taming Power of the Great|
Opposition. In small matters, good fortune.
The Taming Power of the Great.
Do not let your supersticions and paranoia run away with you. Just because a situation doesn't open well, it doesn't mean that it can't end well - but be careful not to take on more than you can handle.
Happy Puppy Dance! Alex and I are going to visit Kevin and Colette on Saturday and visit their thirty-something-pound Rottweiller puppy, Angharad. What fun! I've got kittens to play with at Shannon's place, so a puppy will nicely balance matters.
Code Black is attaining new levels of silliness. I've got the first game all written down, and I'm working on another installment, inspired by the Chinese Spy Plane fiasco. I'm now realizing what a siren-call formula can be. Forget plot elements, just take the basic idea - say, a stolen spy plane - and start working out how the classic movie elements would fit in: where do I put the meglomaniacal genius? And the beautiful traitor? And the international conspiracy? Oh, mustn't forget the exotic locations, the skydiving and a shark tank. Ooh, skydiving into a shark tank... And so on... It's a hoot!
Soap Opera - latest
plotline. So, in the Sunday game, apparently Mike and Ellie have had a severe
disagreement. The core of it seems to be about Ellie's perceived role in the
game. A further disagreement revolves around something to do with cross-game
continuity/recycling of elements from a previous incarnation of a chronicle
run by Mike. I'm fuzzy on the details, but it seems that Ellie is dead set
against it, and claims that Mike promised never to recycle said elements. When
she tried to fall back on "Well, I'm a Storyteller in this game, too, and
I say we don't do it.", Mike pulled rank on her and pointed out that as
far as he's concerned, he is the only Storyteller and the only one with
the powers of Executive Decision. Unsurprisingly, this went down like a
depleted-uranium balloon with Ellie.
I don't know either party terribly well, but I do know them well enough to know they've both got strong egos and the disagreement must have been something to behold - but only in the way fireworks should be viewed: from a great distance.
Ellie declared that Mike could take his perceived hierarchy - particularly her job as character and logistics person - and shove it up his ass. She didn't want to put up with the disagreement, so she quit her position within the group. She would retire to being a regular player. So far, so good, all participants are acting somewhat reasonably. Then Ellie declared that she would not hand over the Grapevine database which contains the character sheets and XP totals. WTF? Talk about "Taking the ball and going home." Ellie's threatened action would have punished the entire game, not just Mike... A rash maneuver at best, and one that could get a person blacklisted from games at worst. And she expected to be allowed to remain within the game after pulling a stunt like that...
Fortunately, Ellie's friend, Shannon, stepped in and has apparently got a go-round solution - and I think she charmed the XP totals out of Ellie, to boot. Shannon will be taking over the Grapevine DB and hand-typing in everyone's characters (about fifty, all told) based upon the paper copies that Ellie will be handing out at the game on Sunday. Thank heavens Ellie is at least agreeing to follow her commitment through to the next game, at least... It all makes a lot of work for Shannon, but she seems glad to take it on if it keeps the game on an even keel. I believe the solution will even allow for Ellie to remain as a player in the game, although I'll be surprised if Mike is that magnanimous.
There are other factors involved that are just too dreary to list here. I've got my opinion, which boils down to: it's a game. If so much of your ego is tied into a game that it's severely threatened by a disagreement, or you so lack real causes to get up-in-arms about that a game is it, it's time to rethink your priorities.
I love these little realizations I've been having since I left college... ;)
|Pi / Holding Together (Union)||Chi Chi / After Completion|
Holding Together brings good
After Completion. Success in small
Try not to be forced into committing something you're
not ready for - but if you're ready to do so, then go for it. However,
carefully consider any decisions you make, as you might be getting bad
Oh dear, I really should know better than
to wade into a favorite British novel and then indulge in nostalgia. The
combination never works well for me.
Perhaps I should say that the combination is never productive for me. I tend to root up some old sentiments and wallow in them - and there's very little good in that, is there?
I was reading through some old favorite murder-mystery on my shelf. Ironically enough, it was one of those more-English-than-English novels, written by an American, but it was an English edition, so it contained the old spellings and suchlike. I was snatching sentences between chatting with a friend on my computer, and I caught myself wondering when I switched from flavour to flavor and centre to center. The answer is, of course: 1984. But I didn't really pay much mind to it until a year or so ago.
Ironic, ain't it, that the more experience we accumulate, the longer we live, the more inclined we are to look backwards. Well, those of us who are inclined to being introspective and broody, at least. Worse yet, thinking about the past always gets me worrying about the future...
This past weekend was domestic. Alex and
I bought things we needed for the yard - a lawnmower, weed killer, tools, etc.
And we both damn near made statistics out of ourselves by buggering ourselves
up as we did yard work. I dam' near broke my ankle on Saturday (I'm still
hobbling around like a war veteran) and Alex got himself a truly impressive
sunburn on his back. We joked to each other about our cozy little domestic
routine and, once again, a nagging little voice rose up. This will be
impossible when we have a child. It came up again on Sunday, when Alex and
I decided to visit a newly established English pub/restaurant in Danville. No
more spur of the moment running about with a kid on your hands. Look at how a family
hobbles Rob and Lisa. And Lex. And Shannon. Kiss the disposable income
Bloody hell. I like my life the way it is. But I want to have children, too. How can I accommodate both? I can't, of course. Compromises will have to be made. And I'm sure that - once the child is here - I will probably be quite reasonable about those compromises, but right now, I'm afraid. Will I resent the child for the impact it will have on my life? Will I be angry? Will I try to take it out on them? On Alex? Will the child sense that resentment?
Based on my own experience... the kid will be clueless. All children are self-centered, but I think I was exceptionally so. The effect of being an only child, I guess. But that possibility - that the child will sense my inevitable resentment of their impact on my life, even while I love them madly - gives me pause. I'm in no rush to add another neuroses-riddled adult to the world population. I mean, I'm supposed to be a rational and reasonable adult. What's so bloody reasonable about opening myself up for a lifetime of doubt and vulnerability, with the likely outcome of the doubt and vulnerability of an entirely new person onto the Karmic wheel? That's not fair to me or It, right?
(Never mind Alex, I'm continuing my tradition of being rampantly selfish, here. If he wants his own space, he can publish his own sodding journal. I'm wallowing and wallowing is never impartial)
We've all read the torrid novels and
psycho babble. I'm terrified that I'm going to try to make up for my own
perceived inadequacies by pushing my child too far and in the wrong direction
- thus creating a whole other set of problems. Admittedly awareness and
admission is part of the cure...but good intentions pave the way the way to
hell. I want to have a child, I want to raise a good kid, but I've got no idea
how to do it with the minimum of attendant neuroses...
Fortunately, there are books for this kind of thing. Or so I'm told.
Is it wrong of me to prefer my lifestyle the way it currently is? Despite the broadening horizons of the past thirty (or so) years, women are still expected to find their ultimate fulfillment in raising children. Anyone who says otherwise hasn't witnessed the media firestorm that erupts when a woman abandons or hurts their child. To be a "Bad Mother" is the most unforgivable sin in this culture that cherishes maternal sentiment and the sanctity of childhood above all other female virtues. In popular culture and the criminal courts, a woman who turns her back on her children - or even just declares that she would rather live without the necessity of breeding - is considered marginal at best, and freakish at worst. Which is no doubt why I feel guilty about not feeling ready to have kids yet...
But I digress. It's been a long couple of days.
I feel as guilty as hell that Alex and I haven't kept up with our intentions to conceive a child round about, oh, four months ago. I've been lucky so far in that neither of us feel ready. But I'm getting a feeling that Alex is going to be ready before I am. Honestly, one is never fully ready to have kids (my mom nailed that during one of our long talks), but I know Alex wouldn't exactly fall apart if I turned up preggers tomorrow. Whereas I would. Hell, I think I would fall apart if I turned up preggers any time in the next year. We're not earning enough money, we don't have any credit, our careers are dead-ended, the time just isn't right.
So when is it going to be right? That's the kicker. I don't want to leap into childbearing without an ounce of caution and suddenly find myself, a few short months later, in a non-childproof house, with half of my income and no idea about feeding, formulas and vaccinations. Oh no, I'm in no rush to make mistakes. But I can't shake this stupid culturally-induced sense of guilt about not feeling ready to have kids, yet. I'm 28, Alex is 34 - both of us going on about 19, mentally. No doubt that is part of the problem. But I'm not about to get pregnant in the hopes that it will confer maturity and wisdom. I've seen too many clueless parents to believe in that.
Fuck it. It's late, I'm tired and obviously in a self-pitying mood. A good night's sleep and I'll feel better. I'm sorry, I really meant for this to be a fluffy piece of introspection about how I had let my cultural identity fade while quixotically clinging to nostalgia - as Robert Graves put it (speaking through Claudius Cesar) "Their homeland just gives them something to maudlin about when they're drunk. They don't really want to go home..." but it all spun out of control. Stay tuned, the fluff will return.
Meanwhile, I've just hear that She is
going to remain in the Sunday game - in which her ex-husband plays. Fucking
brilliant. Didn't it occur to her that the Husband might want a game without
her (she's in another mutual game with him, but logistics makes it tough for
her to give that one up). Once again, She proves how utterly clueless and
selfish she can be. It doesn't help that She told her Ex that She and The
Other Man were going to give up that particular game...It seems that Her mind
has changed. No word on how The Other Man feels about it.
Supposedly, The Husband has stated he's okay with it. I've got my own opinion - that Husband is in 'let's build a shell and pretend everything is okay' phase - but he ain't wanting or asking for my opinion... So I've got to try to keep my mouth shut and my IC and OOC feelings separate when we encounter each other. Fortunately, my character and hers never really ran into each other, anyways...
Ah, a good night's sleep, and I'm feeling much better. Now let's pretend yesterday's little missive never happened, shall we? The management appreciates your consideration.
My ankle is getting better, and I wish Alex's sunburn was healing as rapidly. He didn't get any sleep at all last night, and his ouchies and twitchings managed to irritate me, even while I was feeling awful for the poor dear. Then, of course, I felt guilty about getting mad...which Passive-Aggressive Gal started taking out on her husband. You know how it us. Ugh. Well, maybe this time Alex has finally realized that he doesn't tan the way he used to, and break out the sunblock during the next bout of yard work.
Okay, this whole Code Black thing is getting out of control. I came within a breadth of buying the domain name codeblack.org (or codeblackonline.com) just as a part of the joke. I would have parked the domain, as I'm not going so far as to pay $15/month for the sake of the joke - I've got plenty of spare space on my other domains... But I stepped back just in time. It's not like I have a lot of players, and it's not like those players haven't already bookmarked the regular page... so buying a domain would be just a bit foolish.
Yeah, like I've let good sense stop me in the past... Smart money says I'll cave before Friday. I damn near bought foozwak.com just to have it. I don't have any content ready for that site...
Incidentally - unbelievably cheap domain name purchases may be had at gandi.net - twelve Euros a year for .com, .net and .org!
Annoyingly enough, even while I'm enjoying playing Rebecca in the Sunday game, I'm giving thought to playing Svetlana - a throwaway character I had made for my Grab Bag. I think it's just my frustrated urge to show off and prance around in silly outfits coming to the fore. But an outdoor game that will be a veritable endurance test come summertime is hardly the one in which to play a character with excessive sartorial demands... I'm going to do my best to squash my flippant urges and focus on Renee. If I'm going to switch characters later this year, I think Renee would be much more satisfying in the long run.
to yesterday's moment of outrage. Apparently the
notion of She returning to the Sunday game is not okay with the
Aggrieved Husband. Upon more sober reflection, I believe the gossip that got
related to me might have included the caveat of 'when the Husband calms down,
She says She'll come back to game', so I might have been a tad mistaken in my
initial splutterings. If She really does intend to wait until her former
beloved calms down, well... I doubt we'll be seeing her in that game again...
And the other Sunday Melodrama has quietly died down. Even though I snapped and tossed gasoline on the fire at one point - I don't like getting unsolicted, whining, mea culpa e-mails in my inbox that do their best to slag someone while simultaneously declaring their purity of purpose, it just rubs me the wrong way. So even though I flamed Ellie on the game's public forum, I acceded to Mike's request to get over my fit of pique and let the matter drop. It seems that Ellie has, also - but not before she fired me a private salvo that was as about as sensible as her initial missive. I felt driven to get the last word in - although I doubt Ellie read it - but at least we had moved to a private venue by then. And the rest of the playership has quietly let the matter drop. The fact that the character database was restored was probably a big factor in that...
So now we can all get back to the regular business of sniping at each other in character. Heh.
On other tearing
apart fronts... The Estranged Husband has dropped a hint that he would rather
I not talk too much about the ongoing meltdown in his life in this
journal. I can understand that, but I am going to make a comment about part of
if that somewhat involves me as a participant, rather than morbidly curious
spectator. It seems that She has realized that burning her bridges with her
friends - and even her acquaintances - wasn't such a smart idea. After sending
me a rather tart e-mail telling me, in short, to butt out of her life as far
as humanly possible, She called my house yesterday and left a perky little
message with her new celphone number and telling Alex and I to give her a
call, since we haven't chatted in a while. Oh, brother.
On the one hand, whilst it would be lovely to say "Sure thing! Alex and I can overlook the mincemeat you've just made out of two people's lives and the slap in the face you gave us and, oh yes, let's not forget the fact that you apparently spent the past three months telling your husband that you couldn't stand us and didn't want to spend time with us. Sure! Let's chat! Let's be buddies again!" That, I suppose, would be the smart, mature and grown-up thing to do.
Bugger that for a game of soldiers - as my British compatriots would say.
I would like to believe that Her call came out of a spontaneous desire to try to establish a detente, but I just don't believe that. Because of my newly-enacted consideration of the Estranged Husband's (and The Other Man's) feelings in all of this, I can't divulge details. But, suffice it to say that, based upon things I have heard from both of them, She is not looking to make any kind of amends, She just thinks that we'll gladly pretend nothing happened and be her buddy again. Her bright-and-perky tone definitely suggested that the notion that things are less than jake between us was not on her mind and y'know what? She has proven herself so selfish and self-justifying that She might actually believe it.
I've got a feeling that when I tell She that I'm not ready to speak with her just yet, and why I feel that way, she'll be honestly surprised and hurt - which doesn't make the prospect of telling her that any easier, but it's the truth. Unlike her, I'm not going to start telling lies. Frankly, I've only just started being able to share my unvarnished opinion of her - which wasn't terribly nice, but I had kept it to myself because I'm fond of the Estranged Husband and, before the blowup, I thought that maybe I wasn't giving her enough credit as a human being. Well, in hindsight, I think my unvarnished opinion - unempathic, selfish and occasionally malicious - was more accurate than I knew, and I'm not about to go stuffing it back into a box, now when it's just getting its first taste of fresh air.
Yeah, it's bitter, and a bit petty, but that's how I feel right now. I'm hoping that, in a few weeks, She's true motives will be easier to discern - is She calling us because she's scraping the bottom of the friendship barrel? Does she have detente on her mind? Or is she just being a fool and thinking that we will pretend that nothing has happened? And then we can build from there. Right now, I'm too vexed with her to trust myself to keep a civil tongue when speaking with her directly... So be prepared for a few more weeks of this kind of grumbling, sorry...
And none of this has
been helped by the fact that, once again, Old Ma Mead is being asked for
relationship advice by teenagers. How come I get myself into these situations?
Well, I know why, really - because I don't want to see young girls get
themselves into stupid trouble - by, say, dating 25-year-old men when one is
sixteen - and I'll talk to said girls until my tongue falls out to try to
prevent any unpleasantness. Now, if only I knew the sixteen year old was listening
- but I'm not optimistic. The memory is getting fuzzier, but I remember being
sixteen and damned if I took advice from anyone over the age of 21...
Actually, I'm selling that situation short, the sixteen-year-old and the eighteen-year-old that the Older Guy dumped her for have gotten together, heaved him out of their collective lives and have sworn 'never again'. With luck, they can stick to that resolution. At my end, I'm going to take the rather sheltered (socially) sixteen-year-old to a gaming convention, so she can meet some nice lads her own age who will treat her like a queen. She's a little shy, but also five-foot-nine and very pretty, so the boys will be breaking out in red-satin-hearts all around her, and she'll realize that she doesn't need a chap whose tastes are more than a little alarming... Fortunately, the girl's mother seems to be behind the idea - of the gaming convention as a modern cotillion - so I have higher hopes for the future.
Oh yeah, gaming. I remember that. Vaguely... Heh.
As predicted, I
caved in, and CodeBlack.org is online.
If you want cheap hosting for a mini-site, check out drak.net - I'm
paying $5 a month for my site...
I ran a prelude for Alex and Chris and, while they had fun - they certainly found their action-farce legs very quickly - they managed to make mincemeat out of my plot and made me realize that I've given the kids way too many points to build their characters. I wanted to weigh the statistics in favor of success, but these guys failed, I think, one roll all night. I've sent out an e-mail warning everyone that their stats are going to change, but I don't think it's enough. What I really want to do is shave about 15 freebies off what I gave them, intially. But I declared those numbers as "set in stone" and I really hate going back on such declarations... Mutter. I'll just have to come up with really fiendish plots.
Meanwhile, the Aragon 'assault Oakland' downtime was last night. It was a typical Dave event. We were pretty much doomed - I think we severely screwed up some plot element by (you guessed it) splitting the party. The practical upshot was that three buildings in downtown Oakland got blown up by the Sabbat - they got away, of course - one PC died (but that's okay, because Alex wanted to retire the character, anyways) and one other PC got to commit diablerie. I'm sure there'll be some long term ramifications to what happened, but it was a bit unsatisfying in that we really didn't know what the Sabbat's intention was when it came to the mass destruction. It's not quite their style.. Ah well, I'm sure it'll all make sense, three games from now. :)
Poor Diana is getting a little depressed. She liked Tristan. He got killed. She liked Misha. He got killed. Now she's rather nervous because she likes the Prince... Cue the angst meter!
|P'i / Standstill (Stagnation)||K'uei / Opposition|
Standstill. Evil people do not
Opposition. In small matters, good fortune.
It's time to step back from the melodrama - without callously disengaging - and take care of one's own needs. Don't change something for the sake of change alone. Avoid the siren call of impulsiveness.