You can't keep a bad man down. According to Alex, I was tossing and muttering in my sleep again, and I'm pretty certain it's Paul demanding my downtime. I had a rather odd half-dream about him, just as I was falling asleep. It was a conversation between character and author, and if I could remember one word of what was said, I would be bloody ecstatic. What's the point of all this nifty subconcious time if I can't remember any of it.
I tell ya, I'm starting to feel like a character in a Jhonen Vasquez comic. The minute my Mr. Squeeky starts talking to me, I'm putting myself in an asylum. Well, as long as I'm having fun, I guess it's alright...
None. Isn't that a nice change? ;)
Heh, I'm not the
only one at Miskatonic Acres who is beginning to feel old. Early Saturday
afternoon, Dave headed out to a rave with Jen Brecheen and Tony V. 11AM
Sunday, Dave returned, looking about as tired as I've ever seen him.
"How was it?" I asked. Dave merely croaked "Those things are
a young man's game" and retreated to bed for the next seven hours.
Fucking with sleep patterns was definitely the order of the weekend. Friday night, I slept pretty well, but - of course - I slept too long. So I stayed up pretty late on Saturday, which meant I slept later on Sunday and... you get the picture. This morning was just a joy.
But at least I stayed up late for good reasons. While Jenn was off raving, Alex and I dragged Jenn's husband, Chris, over for a visit. Chris brought over his stack of Kevin Smith DVDs and I finally watched Dogma. I've been a bit leery of Kevin Smith movies - as per my 'avoid anything the media squeals that loudly about' policy - but I'm glad Alex and Chris convinced me to sit still for that one. Given that the only member of the cast that I can usually bear is Alan Rickman, I was inclined to dislike the movie just on principle. I mean, Ben Affleck? Matt Damon? Come on...
So, of course, I laughed my ass off throughout the entire thing. The screenplay was tight and I guess Smith has got a talent for sitting on actors as needed, which saved the movie from crossing the line from farcical to just plain sad.
But now this means I've got to watch the rest of the 'New Jersey Series' now. There goes the rest of the week...
Damn and blast!
Nortel have cancelled the class that was going to bring Brian
out for a visit. This is the third time the class has been cancelled
and we're all starting to get a little tired of the situation. Brian,
meanwhile, is on the verge of cashing in some of his hard-earned vacation
time and spending some real time with us. In which case, I'm sure he's going
to wait until the weather is warmer. So much for seeing Brian over New
Year's. So much for Alex's idea of dragging the Kindred family over from
Vegas and having a little west-coast reunion. Thbbt. Pout.
But Alex and I are still going to try to clear out the 'box-room' as we had planned. Given that we pay the rent for it, having that third bedroom would be nice. We've got a futon for it and everything, just like real grown-ups. Heavens forbid that late-staying guests might have a place to stay other than our icky sofa... Keeping the futon non-icky will be a challenge, given Tigger's penchant for pissing on the furniture. Fortunately, vinyl futon-covers are quite affordable. I swear, that cat is lucky he's so damned cute, otherwise I would have wrung his furry little neck years ago.
Last night was another visit with Jenn and Chris. It's nice to have some friends who live close enough for impromptu get-togethers. Alex has made some dry remark about finding the 'uber-us' - two people who are like us, only more so - but I think he was getting high off comic-book fumes or something. Anyways, we just hang out over burgers at some diner and talked about nothing in particular, given that none of us were going to sleep before midnight. Ah, bliss. I think we alarmed our waitress a tad when she came by during the middle of yet-another 'no shit, there I was in a ten-by-ten stone corridor' story - this one about Alex's Star Wars game. I was ranting about the damage some blasted Sith Lord had inflicted on my ship, goddammit - without giving much thought to how such statements might be received by passers-by. But we left an outrageous tip on a tiny check, so I hope that made up for it...
I've started re-reading The Ethical Slut again, which is always good for public transit, because one can derive endless amusement from watching other commuters noticing the title of the volume. Practical Demon Keeping is a good second, but the cover looks a little too jokey for it to startle strangers. Seriously, though, The Ethical Slut is an interesting and useful volume for anyone interested in polyamorous relationships - lots of good advice, warnings, etc. Yes, there's a reason why I'm re-reading it. No, I'm not going to talk about it online unless all concerned parties agree - and I rather doubt they will.
subject once again - there's a reason this journal has Ramblings in
it's name, y'know - I caught Part One of the Dune miniseries on the
Sci-Fi channel last night. There's only a couple of things wrong with it:
the casting, the direction, the adaptation and the costuming. Otherwise it's
Alright, that was mean, I'll admit that. But, man, it's a disappointment. You think with six hours to play with, a decent effort could be cranked out. I can accept the addition of many secondary characters to help explain certain plot elements, but a lot of story changes just don't make sense. Why is Irulan at the dinner party in Arakeen? Why do the Sardaukar look even sillier than the Swiss Guard? Why are the Fremen so clean? Why is Paul Atreides whining even more than Luke Skywalker did in Star Wars: A New Hope? Sure, the casting of Baron Harkonnen and Dr. Kynes are pretty spot-on, but talk about too little, too late.
The newsgroup alt.fan.dune was saturated with similar caterwauling. It's the most traffic that group has seen in years. God help the director of the miniseries if he ever gets within reach of these people. Even fans who thought David Lynch should burn in hell for his adaptation couldn't forgive the Sci-Fi channel (and some of them are starting to consider Lynch in a more sympathetic light, hm). About the only thing the fans could even begrudgingly praise was the fact that this production - supposedly - is using Frank Herbert's own pronunciation of character names - harko'nin, uh-tree-dee's, tu-fir, etc... But there's much online spatting about even that...
Me, I've only got one question: did anyone involved with this production actually read the bloody book? From the look of the series, I don't think so.
I'm going to be spending the next day or so catching up on Aragon, as things have eased up at work enough for me to leave it at the office for the next couple of days. I amused myself over the weekend by creating a Tzimisce-style 'Choose Your Own Adventure' for Hilario. Apparently it tied Chris up in knots - rather fitting given the plot, hum... I'd share it with y'all, but it's very twisted and this webhost doesn't approve of sites linking to such things - and never mind the fact that my father reads this journal and there are some creative endeavors that shouldn't be shared with family. Well, not with mine.
Side note: honestly, I think my dear ol' dad has about as much interest in my hobbies as a scallop does in the economy of Zaire, but everyone maintains the personal fiction that their parents can be shocked - although I think my popster is slightly less flappable than most. But I'm in no rush to put anything to the test, because if I did, one of us would get a nasty shock, and I'm not sure it wouldn't be me...
Alex will be running his Star
Wars game for the first time in a while, at the end of the week, and I'm
already looking forward to it. We've still got to do some final tweaks on my
incoming character, as she's still a bit lopsided, but I'm reasonably
confident it'll work out alright.
I'll miss playing Dora, but only a smidgen. I doubt the group will miss her much, either. The idiot-savant bimbo with gobs of charisma concept was far less entertaining (and sustaining) over the long-term than I anticipated... About the only advantage it had was that playing her was quite undemanding, and that suited my end-of-the-week mentality just fine. However, I took it too far and it was difficult to get Dora to put anything on the line, plotwise - and I didn't care about her enough to put the energy into finding a way to get her more involved. Friday-laziness not withstanding, the time I put into Dora was damned minimal, even by my standards.
But I'm a bit more fired up about the new character I've got lined up, so I guess I'll be back to my trying-not-to-hog-the-GM routine in no time. Fortunately, the current crop of characters are pretty tough to shove out of the spotlight, so I don't think I'll have to worry about it, much. Still, it's something that worries me, as I know I'm an attention-fiend, but I don't want to be known as the annoying-S.O.-of-the-GM. I see enough of them at conventions and hate 'em for the blight they are...
With Dave's latest gaming-venture - this time it's AD&D - I don't think my appropriation of his pulp-era game will be happening any time soon. Apparently it's looking like Dave might be able to keep this latest chronicle of his going for a while - unlike the abortive re-start of his 7th Sea game and stillborn pulp-era chronicle - and I'm not real keen to start carving into my Saturdays for a game. The pulp-era thing is pure brain-candy and not very high priority. Too many of us have other standing obligations on Saturdays, although I'm probably the only one who spends most Saturdays in the fabric store or over the sewing machine.
From feast to
famine. After another absentee-boss day, Rick blasted into the office
unusually early for him - 9:30AM - and we immediately set down to another
round of tweaks to the website. They're totally justified, and the addition
of some new train pictures is great but, damn, it's not even noon yet and
I'm pixel-shocked. With luck, the site will be live by Thursday or so. But
I've not tested it in Netscape, yet, and the thought of that fills me with
dread, as I've a bad feeling it's going to suck.
Fortunately, the content kicks ass. My boss has got a bit of an unsung talent for pepping up what would otherwise be some very dry text about the business and what it can do. I'm starting to wonder what he needs me around for...
Yawn... I probably wouldn't be so susceptible to photon shock if I had slept well last night. No, I didn't stay up late. This time it was a nasty little nightmare that chose to jump all over me at 2AM. I can usually shrug them off - long practice - but this one had me insisting Alex turn on the light, get me a drink of water, etc. Yuk.
And no sooner had
I typed the above paragraph than things got busy in the office. Really busy.
Not only did I not a chance to finish the entry, but I totally forgot to
take it home too - since I'm without an online connection at the office,
I've been writing the daily-ish diatribe at my desk, and then upload it when
I get home. So leaving the disk at the office is tres annoying.
Tuesday night was pretty low key. Dave was in a foul mood for some reason - I'm sure the fact that Alex and I left him stranded at BART didn't help - so Alex and I headed off to the Brecheen's for a visit. In transit, Dave had managed to spread his foul mood via online messaging to Jennifer Brecheen, so when we arrived, the conversation was a little stilted for a while. Some emotions should be shared, others, never...
Fortunately, Jenn managed to shake off the worst of her funk and she was able to join the conversation a short while into the evening. Oddly enough - given my usual attitudes - we had an extended chat about Disney animated features. Jenn has a copy of the stage version of "Beauty And The Beast" and insisted we hear a song that had been added to the production for Gaston - his proposal to Belle. It was a hoot! I might have to pick up that CD...
Tuesday night was pretty much a repeat of Monday - although I decided not to wake Alex after the latest bout of nocturnal nastiness. But that good intention was for naught, as Dave coming in the front door at 2:30AM (...whatever...) managed to wake up every creature in the house. If I hadn't been dreaming about big nasties, I probably could have shrugged the whole thing off and gone back to sleep pretty easily, but that was not to be, as I spent over half-an-hour imagining axe-murderers and the like. Drat. The commute this morning was bloody awful. I always manage to fall asleep about five minutes before the train reaches my station. Oh, for Alex's fall-asleep-anywhere talent...
and I'm feeling particularly Grinch-like this year. Maybe it's because Alex
and I can't afford to be as lavish with gift-giving as we were last year,
but I suspect only laziness is responsible for my reluctance to draw up a
list and figure out what to buy people. I also hate and loathe the mall at
the holidays, but it's too late to resort to catalogs or e-sellers. I'm on
the verge of copping out and making a big donation to some warm and fuzzy
charity in the names of my friends, but I'm not sure if that'll go down real
well with them. Heck, I'll be the first to admit that getting nice little
presents is fun!
And don't ask me what I'm going to get for Alex. Everything I have in mind is big-ticket - like $300+ - and if I buy him something like that, I won't have much money left for friends, no matter how lazy I'm feeling about shopping. But he's got so many of the little things he wants, darnit! And it's no fun if you ask your hunnybunny what they want... Meanwhile, I'm not allowed to buy anything for myself between now and the holidays, lest I buy something that Alex has already hidden in the closet. Bah. Self-denial has never sat well with me.
I'm still trying to play catchup with Aragon, ugh.
Alex has decided that we'll probably go catch the D&D movie, rather than run the Star Wars game on Friday. The movie looks deliciously awful (snarl some more, Jeremy!) and, as gamers, we're kinda obligated to go see it...
It's been another
busy couple of days, but nothing really worth writing about. The highlight
of yesterday had to be the installation of DSL in the office, which resulted
in half my day getting vaped as I caught up with my online cartoons and
various e-mail accounts. Heh.
Now I've just got to crawl through web and update the offices' database of VC contacts - about 250 or so. Aiyee... Then I've got to go trolling for SEC filings for the potential client list I built last month. Oy. The work is a little dull, because it's so repetitive. And I can't install Instant Messenger on my machine because I don't have that kind of permission on the network... Fortunately, AOL run a quickie Java-based version that doesn't require installation locally, so I can chat with buddies as I go, just with a limited interface.
At least, with the boss out of the office this morning, I can crank the 80s station while I work.
Tonight is the D&D movie. The more I see, the more awful it looks. Still, it can't be a bigger waste of my time than that Dune miniseries and a b-movie will only steal two hours of my life, not six. Besides, we're going to a very late show, maybe I can get drunk first or something...
Alex is going to run a short Star Wars vignette tonight, then we're going to head out to the D&D movie. As we get closer to the introduction of my new character, the more nervous I get. I'm still a little doubtful about how well she's going to fit into the group. Still, it can't be much more awkward than the Dora situation.
So tonight will probably be hanging out with Chris Brecheen and watching another of the ViewAskew films (probably Clerks) I'm a bit out of sorts, since I had psyched myself up for taking Jennifer out and making a big fuss of the birthday girl, but I'll get over it. Staying home and watching wrestling isn't quite the same as going out for a nice dinner - I was all set to take Jenn to El Morrocco, which features authentic grub (no forks allowed!) and live bellydancing, heh. But it's what Jenn wants, so we'll do it...
Brace yourself, I'm about to rant about the D&D movie.
You sure you want to read this?
You might want to read the review at Ain't It Cool, first.
But I'm not really going to spoil much.
I mean, what's there to spoil?
So, fortified with
a pint of Foster's at dinner and a pint of rum in my bag, I saw the Dungeons
and Dragons movie, last night.
Oh. My. God. What a heap of unmitigated horseshit!
The effects were surprisingly bad - all the more so for being put against some very pretty sets and nice bits of proppage. The costuming was amusing too - the breastplate worn by the elven ranger was downright hilarious. I'm sure a lot of the nifty shiny things - dragon-controlling-scepters, funky leather armor and assorted baubles - will be featured in many a derivative AD&:D game for some time, yet.
But the script and the acting were vile. I mean, really, really awful. I've not a seen so much forced melodrama since Darkman. Worse yet, Jeremy Irons, while chewing on every bit of scenery in sight, spitting it out, and chewing on it again, still out-acts everyone in the picture. At least one can be reasonably sure that he was intentionally camping it up. The rest of the cast, who knows? They certainly didn't demonstrate enough facility to be able to turn in a performance that awful deliberately. The only one who isn't over-emoting a storm is Thora whatsername (the Empress) who show's every sign of having a significantly-sized broom up her ass. It was a new definition for the word 'stiff' - which is surprising, given her reasonable effort in American Beauty.
And the editor obviously had his mind on something other than his job, as the continuity is occasionally baffling. Now, I'm sure some scenes were cut out because they bombed with test audiences or somesuch, but it really made a dog's dinner out of the story - more so than the script alone. How did the party make peace with the Elven chick? How did Ridley find the rest of the party after getting the Nifty Red Dragon Thing? When in hell did the Empress make the transition from high-vantage point to on dragonback? Sigh...
While I'm on the subject, I wasn't too keen on the photography, either, but it's clear the DP was told "Shoot for TV aspect-ratio. Video is where this movie is going to make it's money". The producers had best hope so, as word-of-mouth is going to kill this film in a week. Even gamers will take only so much crap.
Now, the film knows it's awful. And if you go to the movie theater with that firmly in mind, you'll have a blast. I was shrieking with laughter whenever Jeremy Irons was on the screen, and giving it the MST3K treatment, otherwise. It was so awful, you can't help but laugh at it - and if you have an ingrained love of grade-Z films (like a lot of us do) then it's a hoot.
I can't imagine how the talent could convince themselves they were in anything but a piece of shlock designed to see how many gamers will pay eight bucks to see a crappy fantasy movie - call it a dry run for Lord of the Rings, if you will. Sure, LotR will be a lot better, but the studios probably don't mind seeing how many bums-on-seats they can get for crap, and projecting their revenues from there.
So, if you have a love of awful movies, or just otherwise an utter masochist, go to this film. Otherwise, wait for video. Of course, Alex and I have already agreed to buy it on DVD when it comes out. Whenever I'm in a crappy mood, watching a man who's been directed by Cronenberg (twice!) frothing at the mouth and snarling "You can't keep me from my destiny!" will be sure to make me laugh.
Meanwhile, at the
other end of the holiday-calmness-meter, my mother is getting ramped up for
a holiday party at her house. Years ago (and I mean years) my parents
would have Christmas parties at their house. My memories are pretty fuzzy,
but as I recall, the parties were of the 'invite everyone you know, and tell
them to bring food and drink' level of swankiness. The naughty movies and
pina coladas playing in the den might have been a unique tradition, but I
could be wrong. Needless to say, my parents operate on a whole different
level of sophistication, now. And, of course, I've beens suckered into
handing out appetizers during the evening. My mother is in high tizzy-mode -
although given the likelihood of PG&E cutting power during the event, I
don't blame her - and I'm not sure if Christopher is going to make it to
Saturday with his Yuletide cheer intact...
Alex and I won't be having our holiday party this year - after three years' running. The biggest factor is budget - those parties were fun, but expen$ive - and the other is that we would never get the house clean in time. Between those two situations, just forget any big events at Miskatonic Acres. Now, come summer, we've got a lovely backyard for barbecues, as long as we can keep the dog under control.
Ugh, I've been typing this journal without my glasses and my eyes are about to cross....
Baker-Mead good luck didn't hold. Carclub, once again are acting like
they're going to fuck Alex over. Apparently the IT guy didn't tell the HR
gal that he really liked the temp they had hired to fill the vacancy for the
interim, so they won't be offering Alex a job, after all. I was so furious
this morning when Alex told me. I was actually looking for CarClub's phone
number, ready to call the aforementioned IT and HR persons and tell them
what I thought of this totally unfuckingprofessional behavior. Fortunately,
cooler heads prevailed...
Apparently the HR chick is still fighting to get Alex hired on - yeah right - and she's going to call him on Monday. Alex had told her - in a far sweeter tone than I would have - that unless she's got an offer letter in her hand, to go take a running jump. Alex was really looking forward to leaving his current job - and the possibility of a mutual vacation at Xmas had me pretty happy, too. Bah.
No point stewing about it, I suppose. Alex's opinion of his current employer is softening, somewhat. He found out that he got hit with a bait-and-switch (from IT administrator/web guy to payroll technician) because the guy who recruited him told Alex that he was applying for the former job, but sold him to the boss for the latter. That recruiter is no longer with the company and, apparently, not missed at all. Meanwhile Grant, Alex's boss, is giving Alex some of the responsibilities he should have had - a new person is about to fill the position alex wanted - and is telling Alex that if a way to share the job can be devised, he's welcome to it. It's not quite what Alex wanted, but it's better than nothing.
The Brecheens came
over last night and I tried a new chicken recipe. It went over so well, I'll
post it here. BTW, the portions are what I came up with to realistically
feed five hungry people:
Enough skinless, boneless chicken breasts to go around (2 per person, usually) 18 ounce jar of apricot jam 2 cups of Russian dressing 2 1-oz packets of instant onion soup mix
In a saucepan,
combine the jam, dressing and onion soup mix over medium heat until the
ingredients combine. I added a quarter teaspoon of dry (English) mustard, a
dash of cayenne and a good-sized twist of ground black pepper, but you can
probably skip that. Dip the chicken breasts in the mixture until coated and
place in a baking dish (2 quart or bigger). Pour sauce on chicken to cover.
Throw away any excess sauce, since you've dipped raw chicken in it, you
can't keep it. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 90 minutes, or until the
chicken is done (reads 160 degrees on a meat thermometer/juices run clear).
Serve with whatever.
Tip: Scoop up a spoonful of sauce from the top of the dish when you pull it out of the oven and discard. That way, you'll catch a lot of the oil from the salad dressing (instead of getting it on your plate like I did). Stir up the sauce a bit to recombine, before serving.
It was delish! I grabbed it from meals.com which has a pretty nifty recipe database.
everyone had a long/busy/mindkilling day - Dave had to work in the
warehouse, Alex was cranky over CarClub and I've just found out I'm taking
over a lot of the bookkeeping in my office (aiye!) - it was a Chinese food
and Dark-Forces-on-the-Playstation kind of day. Well, the boys in the house
played video games. I just wrote this, instead.
I had better enjoy the mindlessness while it lasts. Friday is Susan's holiday party, and Alex and I starting to get hit with the tizzy-effect from that. I still haven't done my Christmas shopping - and I don't know if I can afford Alex's pressie until I learn whether or not I'm getting a Christmas bonus - and it's about time I quit slacking on Aragon and get back into the groove with that. Whew!
To my immense
surprise, Dave has resurrected his 7th Sea game. He's going to run a
chapter this Saturday afternoon. Now that the Vodacce sourcebook is out,
I've gotten some ideas for tweaking Elena's
history and adding a few new 'crunchy bits'. Alex was deeply alarmed by my
squealed request to Dave of "Oooh! Can Elena have a trained spider?
Please! All the other fate witches have one! I just want a little
one! I'll take good care of it, honest!". Alex dislikes spiders in
general and he certainly doesn't like the idea of Elena having one.
Mind you, I'm a little sceptical about how long the game is going to last - Dave 'restarted' this chronicle back in August, only to have it fade out after only one game. So I'm not going to write a voluminous amount of stuff for my character. Yet.
birthday party was on Saturday night. FYI, Jenny-Lynn is Jennifer
Brecheen, the nickname has been encouraged to avoid confusion with the other
Jennifer B. It
was very quiet - just Dave, James, Tony, Jason, Alex, me and Chris. Alex and
I showed up with a bazillion leftovers from my mom's party. Fortunately,
Jenny-Lynn is having a second get-together on Tuesday and I think the frozen
appetizers will be eaten, then...
Anyways... the party was very low-key. Maybe it was accumulated tiredness from the weekend so-far and the clusterfuck that was the 7th Sea game (see below), but I had a nasty case of bad vibes as soon as I walked into the Brecheen's apartment. Fortunately, a movie was slapped on - Fight Club - and by the time it was over, I had quietly downed a bottle of champagne and was feeling just about relaxed enough to talk for about twenty minutes before Alex and I made our excuses and went home. We were just too pooped to stay up all night. According to Chris, people did stay up all night and Jenny-Lynn - still newly acquainted with booze - had a lulu of a hangover the next day...
Quick aside: Fight Club is another film I'm immensely glad I managed to miss when it first came out - much like how I feel about Heathers. They're both the kind of film that, had I seen them during theatrical release, I would have been inspired to take a machete to my school/office. Great films, the pair of them, but not precisely conducive to healthy thought - for short periods of time, at least.
Catty as it sounds, I'm glad I didn't stay at the Brecheen's place. There's some weird energy going on in that household right now - much of which involves Dave, unfortunately - and I think that was contributing to my case of bad vibes. All concerned parties are working on it, though, so maybe things will get easier, soon. I've got my own horribly opinionated opinion about the matter, but even I know when not to throw gasoline on the fire - besides, I'm only getting one side of the story... Bah, I hate it when there's friction between friends.
Sunday was Xmas
shopping, which was reasonably painless as Alex and I slashed our
giving-list, this year. Super-close friends, family, and that's all - most
of whom have been covered by deft applications of gift certificates, Amazon
purchases or, in a pinch, a trip to Cost Plus. We might even get away with
spending less than $400 this year, yay! Which is good, because we forgot a
couple of bills last month, oops...
After much ferreting at the American Book Exchange and learning that a signed first edition of most Stephen King novels cost more than a used car, I found something for Alex. It won't be here by Christmas but, fortunately, my hunny-bunny understands. Apparently, his present to me is caught in the same delay. Heh. Meanwhile, we've decided our 'mutual' present will be a color printer. We were both thinking of getting it for the other one of us, as it was... Good thing we shared our ideas first, hm? Imagine the red faces after the boxes were unwrapped...
I'm vexed because I couldn't think of some wonderfully creative, witty, affectionate gift for Alex. I mean, no matter how much he likes what I've gotten him, a book is, well, a book. Although I'm talking to a photographer friend of mine, BJ, about doing some 'ahem' pictures for Alex's benefit. Unsurprisingly, Alex likes that idea. But those pictures won't be taken until after the holidays, sigh...
Fortunately, BJ can work wonders with Photoshop and he assures me he can make my thighs look two sizes smaller. And no-one else gets to see the pix. Those two factors alone make this route far more valuable than visiting a 'boudoir' photographer - and do you know how much those people charge? Throw in the cost of a hair stylist, a make up artist, a body waxing and some exciting underthings and, well, that signed Stephen King edition would be a better bargain...
Oh, stop pulling faces. Ladies do this kind of thing all the time, otherwise there wouldn't be such a thriving industry built around it...
So, as mentioned, Dave's 7th Sea game was a bit of a dog's dinner. It was no fault of Dave's. Between some monumentally bad roleplaying decisions made by all of the players - with the possible exception of Laurel - and (I think) a bit of player weariness at a second reboot of the campaign, the game was one long hissy-fit. Four out of the five characters walked out on the party at least once - which constituted the majority of bad RP decisions. Characters refused to ease up and try to trust each other, information that should have been shared with the party wasn't until way too late, etc...
I got so frustrated, I dragged Alex aside and chewed him out. I don't think I've ever told-off a fellow player before. sure, as a GM I've slapped the wrists of a few players - but this was a first. I would have gone after James, too, but that would have been like kicking a man when he's down...
I was particularly sore at the way Alex's character, Ian DuMont, was behaving - mostly because I'm used to Alex being the unifier of any group he's within. Admittedly, Elena had given him a nasty shock earlier (prompting his walkout on the party) but, hell, he asked a Fate Witch to prove her power. What else is she going to do but dig up his deepest-held secret and whisper it in his ear?
So, I chewed Alex out, and got chewed back for playing a not-too-approachable character, myself. I partially agreed with him but also countered with first, Fate Witches aren't known for being easily approachable - and, in my opinion, I was playing Elena nicer than type dictated. Second, it wasn't like I - or any of us, it turned out - had much to build upon in terms of trustworthiness or approachability. This is a problem with trying to throw together a 'cold' party that is otherwise unconnected.
Laurel's character, Sigrid, scolded us into some semblance of good behavior, but only after the whole group nearly gave up on each other. Talk about leaving something almost too late. Even then, I sensed that the characters weren't feeling too inclined to heed her advice. I dunno, maybe the holidays were getting to us, but we were all acting like jerks and fucking up what would have otherwise been a good game.
What really makes me wince is wondering what Dave thought of all that bloody-mindedness. I know that he pretty much gave up on us about three-quarters of the way through... I'll be surprised if there's a second episode to this campaign. And if there is, we had better get drunk, first. Hell, drinking always works as a bonding exercise when the characters do it...
Read Bruno, it's worth it. Although swallowing the archives in one gulp is not recommended, unless you like huge dollops of existential self-questioning that will, sooner or later, invoke a strong sense that your own life is irretrievably pointless... As you might guess, I just read something like three-year's worth of the strip in a single gulp during a dull morning at the office.
Drat, domain names
are getting so hard to find. So much for buying starkitten.com for Jennifer
as a goofy Xmas present. Some bloody design company is already sitting on
Thinking of weird randomness and gifts, someone blasted through Rough Cut and passed on a contact address for Debi Nickel. Debi was a buddy of mine in high-school who got cursed with Johanna's 'lose everything' syndrome in regards to her e-mail address. I've been kicking myself about that one for about five years, believe it or not. I liked Debi. When I was 17, I thought she was the epitome of cool - she had style, she read Jack Kerouac, and - by the standards of suburban New England - listened to some very groovy music. I swear, the fact that she was the only friend of mine who also dug Adam Ant had nothing to do with it...
But the thought of trying to reestablish contact now freaks me out a little. I mean, it's been a long time since we last talked. Have I just managed to turn into some nostalgic geek who's clinging on to a rose-tinted vision of the past? Hm, probably not, my memory of my life prior to, oh, 1997 is anything but rose-tinted. Never mind the fact that the woman might not want to talk to me - if, indeed, I've e-mailed the correct person.
I guess this falls under 'burn-that-bridge-when-I-cross-it'.
I'm thinking about
caving in and getting my next tattoo about twenty pounds earlier than I
intended. Sort of a holiday pressie to myself. It's not going anywhere
particularly stretchy - over my left kidney - but I would really prefer to
grit my teeth and lift some weights before then. Then again, given that I'm
not going to do it until after I do those photos with BJ - a healing tattoo
is not an erotic sight - so I suppose I could just shut my yap and
adopt an exercise routine... Oh, who am I kidding? I've hardly got the
willpower to clean out the catbox, let alone enough to lose weight...
The tattoo? Oh, just a circular Celtic knot, two strands, each strand a variant of Ouroboros. It's a mixture of symbols that I would usually avoid, but I'm rather taken by this one. Still, no rush.
If I hear one more Old Navy "Item of the Week" ad, I'm gonna hunt down every single marketing-guy responsible for it and pull their brains out through their eyelids.
The caffeinne charge is ebbing. I'm going to go take a nap under my desk or something...
On the much-better-news front, I did write the correct Debi yesterday. And she wrote back! And she was glad to hear from me! Yay! Debi is living in Providence with a guy she adores and making a living as a TV producer - a documentary by her company will be airing on Nova in February. Oh drat, I think I'm jealous - but in a warm and fuzzy way. She gave me a compact summary of the past few years at her end, and I sent her several hundred words of drivel in return. A phone call is being planned. Double yay!
Yes, I've moved the Ramblings again. Everything is now parked on skaro.com and will stay here until I get sick of paying $20/month for web-hosting. The reason? Laziness. I was sick of having to use Peopleweb's no-FTP interface to upload files, and this URL is much quicker to type. I took the chance to fix some more broken URLS in the archives, although some links are going to forever point to features on the old Tripod site - which is why I've left about 25MB of old material and half a million 'forwarding pages' in place. Sigh - I never should have been lazy. If I had just gone with a shared-server host the first time around, none of this would be necessary...
I wasn't able to
do anything to mark Yule, beyond a few peaceful thoughts at sunset. Work
piled up on me, so I couldn't split for the beach as I had planned. I
actually considered a festive Yuletide hole-in-the-head (another ear
piercing) but I had to decide against that as I don't want a ring in my ear
when I do photos with BJ next month. Three weeks post-piercing would be too
dang soon to remove the jewelry. I'm glad my tattoo artist isn't close to my
office otherwise who knows what I would have done... Hmm.... New
Thinking of photos with BJ, I've decided to go whole hawg with the prep. No, no, no, not liposuction. Waxing! Although I draw the line at some gory details in this journal, I'll just say that it's a neckline-to-ankles kinda deal. However, I am not going for a "Brazilian" bikini wax. Aiyee! My regular waxing-lady quoted me a very good price (less than $150) and she's willing to accommodate my work schedule, so I won't have to slide out of the office too early on the appointed day. If there's no journal entry on the 12th of January, it'll be because I'm still smarting from the process. Weirdly enough, I'm kinda looking forward to it. I blame it on my adolescent adoration of Nagel paintings (shut up, I know I'll never be that thin. Hush) Although I think Alex is a little creeped out by the waxing-thing... Silly lad. He's not getting it done...
God help me and Alex. We've got to finish our Xmas shopping tomorrow. We're getting up at 7AM and are going to do our best to avoid the crowds. Yeah, I know, a foolish thought. We've just got to pick up presents for Lance, Melissa and Danielle. And Dave. And maybe something else for the Brecheens. Aw, hell...
I bet you thought I had forgotten all about this section, didn't you?
Alex will be pulling a Star Wars game out of his ear tonight, and I'm feeling optimistic. If nothing else, I think James, Jennifer and I are all feeling a bit trite about what we did to Dave's 7th Sea game last week and, as a result, we'll probably be on our best behavior. I, of course, am totally easy to please, because I'm playing Yahnna again, yay! To my immense relief, the group did not roll their eyes and make dark mutterings about undue-influence over the GM. Well, if they did, they didn't do it within my hearing.
As suspected, everyone was a bit more well-behaved at Alex's Star Wars game, last night. Yahnna was brought into the group after the minimum of posturing - hey, she had to show a bit of character during negotiations. She might be a slightly-more-mellow version of the character, but she's nobody's fool...
Apparently Dave is thinking about another reboot of the 7th Sea game. I suppose I can sit still for it, given how I contributed to the last meltdown, but it's becoming a bit tiring. Maybe we should just accept the fact that, for some unknown reason - our characters are failing to gel correctly. Wait, I'm mistaken. We gelled fine during the first incarnation of the game, and even did alright during the first (and only) game of the second incarnation. It was the third time around that proved 'orrible...
I've got nothing
planned for the New Year. The Brecheens are going to come over and hang out.
We might go out for dinner. We might not. It's all fun and games at
Miskatonic Acres, I tell ya.
I just finished making the Claire MacCaddel Cloister Dress (a Folkwear pattern and one I reccomend for being easy-peasy, just pay attention while sewing the gathers) only to discover that it's too long in the torso! Drat! However, I'm pretty certain it'll fit Jenny-Lynn quite well, so if it does, she can have it. Fortunately, the pattern includes marks for shortening the torso pieces, so I'm alright for future incarnations - and with a total sewing time of something like four hours, future incarnations there will be... I'm just bummed I used ten-dollar-a-yard fabric to find out it was too long... Jenny-Lynn can have it for nada because I've got a nasty feeling it'll bleed when it's cleaned, so she'll have to take care to wash is separately from her other things, in cold water... So it might not be much of a gift...
has been eaten alive by the inspiration-pixie, still - which is one of the
reasons I've not been near the computer for three days. Really, I'm dead
chuffed that he's feeling so creative and having such fun with the project.
Meanwhile, I'm reading whatever piratical/naval history books he isn't
referring to while writing, and they're pretty neat... Given that the story
has become a 7th Sea tale, I'm encouraging Alex to drop a line to the
publishers of the RPG, if his first draft turns out well. They've not
mentioned any plans to publish fiction based on their RPG, but it never
hurts to make an inquiry and offer a proposal letter. Alex is a much better
writer than he gives himself credit for, methinks. Heh heh heh. Whaddya mean
The denial of goof-off time has forced me to stick with my sewing projects, too. Tomorrow I'll probably make the second incarnation of the aforementioned Folkwear pattern and, possibly, a pair of pants, too. I'm also watching my way through the Kubrick DVD set - yesterday was Barry Lyndon - although that can be more harm than help, as I've got a nasty tendency to pin bits of my pattern-in-progress to bits other than those the instructions have indicated - and then not noticing until after I've sewn 'em down. Drat...
The Brecheens are due momentarily. Happy new year, and all that...