I wish I could think of some clever April-Fools-ish thing to say, but I'm just no good at that sort
A busy, but rewarding weekend. CAST game on Saturday - details below - and visiting Alex's sister, Melissa, and her family for a birthday/Easter get-together. I only see Melissa's husband's family two or three times a year, so it's a little awkward trying to make conversation with them - particularly given the fact that I'm reasonably sure that I have nothing in common with them. Still, it wasn't anything a large glass of wine couldn't help. Well, I thought I was doing well... I haven't since heard that I mortified anyone, so I guess my average is improving.
Oh yeah, the latest on The Diet, if you're still following that saga.
I'm starting to reach the smug stage, which means I have to be careful that
I don't start slacking off. I consider myself halfway done, but there's no
room for resting on my laurels!
I'm on the horns of a dilemma. I want to sew something - anything to stave off the boredom of a fruitless job-hunt - but I have no idea what shape I'm going to be in in a month's time! I had better start finding some things to make for Alex!
The CAST game went terrifically well. It seems the 'pile on plots' approach is working out beyond anyone's expectations. More satisfying yet, seven of the ten plot points created for the evening were entirely derived from people's character history - perfect!
Now, if we can just avoid having the Prince sending half the court on a nigh suicidal mission in Oakland next week, everything will be great.
Patricia has been permanently retired from the chronicle. I didn't plan it that way, but she insisted. That's what I get for having the traits Impatient and Unstable on the character sheet. Trish just had enough of Bone's pig-headedness and she stormed out of the middle of the court - and I had already told myself that the next time she left that court, it would be the last time. As an ST, I wouldn't tolerate a bungee-character from one of the players, so I have to stick to that same standard myself. I suppose there is a tiny chance she might be talked into returning - but only if the one doing the talking is the Prince she severely pissed off, and that just ain't likely. Easier to say she's gone forever from CAST, and leave it at that.
Unfortunately, I'm still totally uninspired for another character. I've got a couple of half-baked ideas, but they all lack long-term goals. I don't want to bring a character in and encounter the same troubles I had with Trisha. I'm kicking around a notion for a Nosferatu - I've not played that clan before but, honestly, they don't have that much appeal for me, so I might see if I can't work the concept into a more appealing clan, like Ventrue or Brujah. I was also contemplating re-treading Diana into a slightly-more-sane Toreador concept, but I don't think that's a good example to set the players - we're trying to discourage re-tread characters. Contraiwise, I always thought Diana might work better in a more-frequent chronicle like CAST... It's all up in the air for the meantime.
Sorry, I've been ignoring the Ramblings in favor of the live journal - it's a new toy, so I've been distracted....
moment: yesterday morning, while I lay in bed glaring at the alarm, Max
clambered onto my reclining head and draped himself over it. I'm used to
this, actually, and often tolerate it because it's frankly adorable. This
time, his chest was perched on top of my ear - with his paws draped onto my
forehead - so all I could hear was this basso-profoundo purr fading
in and out. In between the purring, I could hear his heart which, as you
might imagine, was going at roughly the same tempo as a Kiss drum solo.
Maybe you had to have been there, but I thought it was utterly squealsome.
Unfortunately, he's not being so cute, now. He's bent on fighting with every single thing he comes across. I guess I have been invaded by pen, CD, floppy disk and foot-shaped aliens and I have no idea of the peril I'm in. Y'know, very perilous.
Whoo, no more strong tea and carb bars for my breakfast. The combo seems to have over-revved my engine. But it beats the three-day sulk I've been on all week, so what the hell...
This is either funny, or insulting, depending upon
I've got a shot at
an interview next week. Unfortunately, it's an office-drudge thing at
another investment bank but, dammit, work is work.
I'm giving some thought to enrolling in evening classes in the summer/fall - probably at City College downtown, if I'm going to be working in the city again. There are a lot of things I want to study, just for the fun of it but, more to the point, I think I should try to take a tech-writing class, and possibly a couple of 'power user' type mini-courses for MS Office applications. If I'm going to keep doing this crap, I may as well get good at it. On the more-fun end of the scale, I would love to take an apparel-design or costuming class, but the only place offering those courses these days is SFSU, and I would have to pay post-grad fees to them - something like $100 per unit. Eek! Still, I'll keep my eyes open over at DVC, maybe they'll bring their fashion design program back from the dead.
A former co-worker of mine once declared her belief that learning is a basic life function - if you stop learning, you die. I'm starting to feel like that, myself. If it wasn't for my habit of picking up books on various topics that seem intriguing on the discount table at B&N, I strongly suspect that I would - at best - be in a vegetative state. There are days when I still feel like that, regardless, but it's not as bad as it might be... But I like learning about things, almost anything. Just this past month, I've been reading about the role of women in contemporary Japan, English history since the year Dot, the evolution of CIA exfiltration operations in Asia and, yes, I'm still ploughing through Faludi's Stiffed - it's a great book, it just requires a lot of attention. I'm an intellectual dilettante.
However, since I tend to have the attention span of a concussed bee these days, being out of academia makes formal study a difficult thing. Picking up and devouring the occasional book on a subject is the best I can do. But it's not enough. All that does is make me feel like a dilettante. I rather miss the focus of my latter college years, when I was finally concentrating on my major, and not much else. If I had the money, time and willpower, I would go to grad school - I hear the local Hayward Extension Campus offers a hell of a Master's program in Multimedia Development - but, well... that's a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of money. I'm not sure I could hack it. So, in the meantime, I'll gladly consider gobbling up a few more undergrad courses. Academic appetizers, as it were.
Go online and download something, anything, by Diana Krall. Right now! Um, and then buy her CDs, of course. Oh no, I'm not advocating the theft of creative materials, Mr. Lawyer... But I do advocate try-before-you-buy. If a person could still sample an album before buying it at the local record store, I would happily do that. But a person can't, so a person has to make-do...
Must dash. I'm expecting company imminently, and I have errands to run after that. Tonight, we're shooting up a whole lotta Stormtroopers - and the house is already tidy, whew!
Good thing: I have
a job interview, tomorrow.
Bad thing: It's a totally unexciting admin position at an investment bank. Business casual garb. Ugh.
Slightly better-thing - technically it's an 'executive assistant' position, so that will look good on the resume.
Not-so-good thing - but the job as it was described is really only 1/4 executive support and 3/4 admin monkey for the junior partners.
Still, it's supporting a small team of dudes - four or five, within a company of twenty - and I would much rather deal with such a job in a smaller office. But I bet it means they're going to offer totally lousy wages. Still, it's got to be more than unemployment...
I blame Jennifer for this, entirely..
You are Civilian Calvin!
You are Fozzie!Wokka Wokka! You
love to make lame jokes. Your sense of humor might be a bit off, but
you're a great friend and can always be counted on.
Alright, that's enough of that...
optimistic and aghast about this job interview. I'm not too keen on returing
to the admin grind, but I've resigned myself to that. What I'm not
happy about is the dress-code. I don't have a business-casual wardrobe any
more, since I haven't worked in such an environment since, oh, early '97. I
can fake it with a few pieces I have - I've got a couple of long skirts and
some slacks that will work with turtlenecks - but if I do end up
getting an offer from these yahoos in the city, I'm going to have to drop
most of my first paycheck on suitable clothing. I hate having to buy
clothes I don't like. And I doubt I could even find a silver lining like
Alex has, and play a character that occasionally makes use of the stuff...
Still, I guess I'll burn that bridge when I get to it. Bitching aside, I really, really need a job. Five months out of work is just too long.
Although unemployment has had its moments... I doubt I would have been able to focus properly on losing weight, if I was trying to juggle a new job, simultaneously. Nor would I have had time to sew some funky new things, tinker with my writing or make a couple of new online friends - one of whom I'll be meeting on Wednesday for coffee. But still, money is more important, alas.
I'm thinking I might need to take a break from playing Vampire for a while. In six weeks, I've not been able to come up with a viable new concept for CAST - the latest one stalled out on Sunday morning. Perhaps this is a sign that I need to take a break from playing for a bit. I'm enjoying the game, still, but only in the 'support' capacity. Maybe I just need to give my brain a bit of a rest, and inspiration will return. I'm sure ongoing job-stress has been a part of the problem, too.
In fact, I've had a hell of a time focusing on any game, lately. During Alex's Star Wars game on Friday, I kept fidgeting and finally just left the room whenever my character wasn't 'on stage' - just so I wouldn't distract the other players. It's not that I felt like I was being ignored - I'm no GM hog - but if I wasn't involved, the idea of just sitting and watching the rest of the game struck me as unbearable. Usually, I like to be away from 'other' scenes, just so I don't get tipped OOC to what's coming up IC, but things feel like they've changed. Now I just can't stand being a spectator. The same thing happened on Sunday when Alex was running a downtime event for the CAST group. Usually, I would just sit down, watch the game, and gleefully chuckle as the PCs get into trouble. Not this time. I bugged out the moment game-play began and lurked in computer room the entire time. I had that same compelling feeling of not wanting to be around while game-play was on.
I don't know why this change in attitude has come about, but I don't like it. Maybe it, too, will go away when I shed this load of niggling stress I've got. Or maybe I just need to have a long talk with my attention-span. I don't know...
The interview went well, I think. I'll be hearing from them at the end of the week, or beginning of next. As mentioned before, I can't be fussy, so if they make me an offer, I'll probably take it.
Coffee with Stress Kitten was jolly good fun, although it took me hours to come down from all that espresso. I wrote about the meeting already on my own live journal, so you should toddle over there for details if you want them.
In the meantime,
I'm listening to Alison Moyet and chewing on a passing remark made by Fuschia
another LJ friend of mine. She mentioned that she had a crush on me in
high-school - not a surprise, actually, as I was rather crushed-out on her,
in my own way, too. Fuschia was a bookish, pneumatic strawberry blonde who
projected just the right combination of courage and vulnerability to be
utterly appealing... If only we had a smidge more bravery...but we were
probably both terrified of offending each other...
But the news of a past crush isn't what got me brooding. Well, yes it is... I've been juggling my sexual identity for a while. It's been like juggling eggs and, somewhere along the way, somebody greased the damn eggs. Usually, I describe myself as 'straight, but open minded' - but with the concerted application of enough vodka, that description can match anyone. Other days - usually ones when I'm feeling brave and more confident than usual - I come right out and say I'm bisexual. But I can't shake this godawful feeling of being a fraud whenever that statement falls out of my mouth.
See, I'm not entirely comfortable about being attracted to women. Let me amend that: it scares me silly, for no good reason. I remember having some strong fears of intimacy when I was a teenager, but (obviously) I got the hang of it once I got started (with boys, natch). And the little wave of panic I feel when entertaining a pass from a woman is very similar, although I'm not sure why it overcomes me. It's not like I was raised in a homophobic environment - not with a childhood in Brighton and adulthood within a stone's throw of San Francisco, for heaven's sake.
The practical upshot is that I've not spent much time with other women. I'm too busy analyzing the source of my own feelings, and even if I get past that, I'm still usually too dam' nervous to go beyond the classically bitchy flirting of the defensive virgin. A female friend of mine - who shall remain nameless - has flat out told me that she would like to go to bed with me. I think she's attractive, her S.O. tells me she's a panic in bed, my husband is reasonably cool with the idea, as is the SO. The only thing stopping me is me. Whenever I stat contemplating a tumble with a woman, I start feeling muddled and confused. Do I really want to do this? Is this honest attraction I'm feeling? How can I tell? Hell, what if I'm no good? Okay, that last one doesn't rank as high as the other issues - but, y'know, after aiming to be a panic in bed with boys for twelve years, I'm not used to, ahem, virgin territory. Am I just letting lousy self-esteem stop me from being comfortable with myself, or what?
Hell, I hardly know the right questions to ask, let alone the answers.
And is there much point in debating this. I'm married to a man, so I've pretty much nailed down the lid on my sexual preference - occasional roominess in the relationship notwithstanding. Besides, my batting ratio is very much in favor of the menfolk. Even more so if one counts only the sober encounters. But I digress. My point is, I'm married to a guy I adore. I know I'm not about to throw him over for anyone, male or female. Isn't further self-exploration pointless - possibly even destructive? Am I whistling in the dark? Or am I just another bored het girl looking for a thrill?
My stomach is hurting just thinking about this. Does this mean I need to think about it more or less?
Usually, at this point, I quit thinking about it entirely.
I've got half an idea for a Toreador for CAST, but I'm still kicking it around. Rather than approaching the character-creation process in the usual manner, I'm identifying aspects from past characters that I really enjoyed roleplaying, and building on that. For example, all of my characters have control/power issues - usually they believe they are in total control of their lives, but they rarely are. Sometimes there is a specific nemesis involved - Rachel had Paul, Patricia had Michael - or sometimes the character is her own worst enemy - such as the case with Janice and Rebecca. My characters also prefer to be in a focused niche - they know how to do one or two things, and do them very well - nor do they deal well with anyone who they perceive as 'horning in' on their territory. And they're all intelligent, if not entirely smart...
Now, if I can assemble these ideas into something that isn't just a shtick, I might have an interesting Toreador. This one has a name, already - Genevieve, pronounced in the French manner - which is more than I could say for the stalled-out Nosferatu character...
No update because
I've been furiously sulking for the past few days. Mostly because I didn't
get offered the job I interviewed for. The rest of the sulk was born out of
sheer bad feeling, methinks. It's been that kind of week: sleeping too much
and feeling entirely uninspired. In a desperate attempt to shake out of
that, I'm going to try to clean up the bedroom today - Max managed to make
one hell of a ruckus in there, this morning. But it's 11AM and I'm still
trying to get the energy together. If nothing else, at least I'm reasonably
sure to get out of the house, today - Stress
Kitten is going to give me a call when she gets sick of dealing with her
thesis and we're going to visit for a bit.
The latest on The Diet has been published...
I'm increasingly despondent about the job hunt. My friends are doing their chirpy best to be supportive but that only goes so far, particularly after five months of non-work and only one interview. There are just too many cute-and-talented admins on the market, I suppose... Following a kick in the butt from some pals, I flung a few resumes over at UCB but given that they're still trying to fill positions that have been vacant since November, god only knows what sort of hiring standards they're using...
I had some fun at CAST. Alex talked me into bringing Patricia back and that was amusing. I've got a couple of long-ish term goals for her now, so we'll see if she pans out this time. The game itself went well - five new players and lots of political plots going on. Michael is starting to get his "Seasoned GM Legs" after handling this zoo for a year and a half, and that's good, too.
Hmm. Just remember that I've got about four weeks to finish writing Deep Secrets for KublaCon. Oh boy!
I want to improve my writing skills Which means I need to spend more time practicing Which means I need to cut down on the frivolous things that can distract me from practice Which means I'm going to have to give up gaming And the internet And quite possibly sewing. And practically everything else.
Alright, I exaggerate, somewhat.
I'm too easily distracted. Let me just check my e-mail / go through my IE bookmarks / call my friends / write up that game idea. I can't focus on real writing if I'm sitting in front of the tube watching some pithy sitcom on BBC America.
Aw man, I'm just not cut out for sacrifice. But I can't find any way out of it, and the walls are closing in. It feels like every day that passes with a little more dust landing on my Big Girls' Book of Short Fiction, I've lost another battle - and the end of the war is sooner than I think.
I'm tired of
drifting through life like I have been. Maybe I'm hoping too much but
perhaps if I stripped down my hobbies and distractions, and tried to focus
on one thing (aside from getting a job, *ahem*) then I will stop feeling so
rudderless. After all, I don't have a career, per se - no-one makes a
career out of being an administrative assistant. Well, no-one worth
mentioning, that is. I don't think I could make a career out of writing,
either, but at least I believe that any gains made from improving as a
writer will prove more satisfying over the long run. Besides, I might get
Everywhere I look, I see people who have - either by accident or design - acquired some focus in their lives. They are teachers, engineers, software geeks, artists. Meanwhile, I'm still floundering around like a newly-graduated college student, looking for a career-break. I have no particular skills that stand out - nor am I in any sort of industry that's going anywhere. Going back to school isn't the answer - another degree would just impoverish me and I doubt my taste in academia would do much for my desirability as a new hire. Not a lot of call for dilettantes these days. Alas.
This is turning out much gloomier than I anticipated. I think it all boils down to the notion that if I can just focus on something - other than my job hunt and my diet - I'll feel like I've done...something. As I've mentioned in my livejournal, I've got a nascent idea for some non-gamer writing tickling in my head. But I don't want to talk about it yet. Talking about it too early will kill it. Unfortunately, I'm so bloody cautious about it that I can barely even think about it just now, but I'm hoping that time will impart bravery. But I digress.
If I can make this nascent idea work, I'll have a small, tangible achievement at the end of it all. About fifty pages worth, I hope. As I say: small, but tangible. And possibly more marketable than anything I've written in the past six years. We'll see. It's going to require courage and dedication to do, and those are two things that I'm notoriously short of...