If you hadn't guessed, the boys got a little loopy while moving the house yesterday. My apologies for the lack of an entry, but I was unbelievably busy between work and aforementioned brain-damaged lads.
We have not even begun to settle in the new place - boxes everywhere and gosh, the place suddenly feels smaller, but the weekend should take care of that. Regardless of Tigger having a fit every fifteen minutes and annoying chirpings from the smoke alarm (remedied by deft removal of the near-drained battery), I slept like a baby last night. It was so quiet. No neighbors creaking on the ceiling, no listening to early-bird commuters warming up their clunker in the parking lot outside, no police sirens tearing up Contra Costa Boulevard. Ah, bliss.
We'll see how blissful I'm feeling after a few days unpacking...
Once again, I'm giving thought to revamping the website. I neatened up the front page, at the expense of losing the search engine, but that's not nearly enough. I'm constantly jealous of the very sleek, minimalist sites I see out there (while raging against those same sites that have an ongoing love affair with 6-point type, go figure), but how to do that with a site consisting of over 800 pages in five directories? I really don't want the site to be more than four layers deep, but I also want visitors to have enough information at each layer to navigate through the place. I will probably have to do some serious restructuring, as well as redesign. But that's not going to be any time soon, sigh...
I rarely get political in my little corner of the web - as my friends know, I save that for personal interaction - but I have to say something about yesterday's primaries. I think most politicians are buffoons and yahoos, and Republicans more so than most, but I'm damned glad that McCain won the Republican side, yesterday. If that mealy-mouthed, semi-coherent heir-to-no-empire whatsit ends up as President, I'm going to move to Canada.
"But wait!" I hear you cry, "There's a Democrat candidate, too, you know. Maybe he'll win?". Yeah, right. Oh, it's not my lack of belief in Gore's ability to win a campaign, it's my lack of faith in voters. Mobs are a fickle bunch, particularly after fifteen years of MTV and I doubt Gore's going to win, just because voters will be thinking hey, it's time for a change. The majority pays no attention to issues and is more motivated by boredom and the desire for entertainment than any thought of the need for stable government. Just for once, I'd like to see a Senate and Presidency in synch - although that most likely means Republican rule, ugh.
I can't vote, so kvetching is my main form of expression. When organized, kvetching becomes grass-roots activism, admittedly, but how effective has that been lately? And spare me your ranting e-mails in response, this is all rhetorical, anyways.
Another hectic day at work, beckons. We've finally got hiring up to full speed, and that means dozens of candidates that I have to chase down and corner into interviewing with us. Considering that these people send us their resume, you would think that they would return their phone
We're in the discovery phase with the new place. The discoveries include:
Most of the plugs - two exceptions - are two pronged, making it a little hard to plug in our computers. Heat circulates very well through the place The house wiring is a little...unconventional - discovered while replacing a circuit breaker last night The cat has decided that the hallway makes a grand racetrack There are no phone jacks in the living room or kitchen The only working phone jack for our current number is in Dave's room There is nothing like abundant full length mirrors to get one serious about dieting. (Who's that fat person in the mirror? Aiyeeee!)
Who said the excitement ends when you're done unloading the van?
Despite that, all
is going fairly well. Alex and Dave were justifiably grumpy about a circuit
breaker giving up the ghost just as they were plugging in the computer
(following a quick trip to the hardware store for outlet converters). I
think the house brownie is just fucking with us. Well, it had better get its
licks in while it can, because Tigger is a veteran hunter of house
The dog, of course, is the happiest canine in the hemisphere at the moment. The entire yard is for me? Oh, bliss! Oh, joy unending! Ooh, can I roll in that?. So, of course, every time any of us look like we might be wandering in the vicinity of a door, Sandy bolts for it, hoping we'll let him outside. This makes coming in with the groceries even more of an adventure than usual.
Annoyingly enough, we can't muster the energy to unpack just yet - Alex and Dave did most of the work when moving and they're just exhausted. But that will change soon. We only have a handful of books available to us, most of our bathroom stuff is in boxes, still and, dammit, we need that microwave! So I think we'll be on an unpacking binge over the weekend.
Today, the digital cable gets installed - yay! BBC America! The Sci-Fi Network! The Food Channel! Nummmm.... There's a lot more time with the One Eyed God in my future.
Next month, once we're over the moving costs and DunDraCon, I'll be looking into DSL - but not before I get some firewall software for the machines. I've been hearing some horror stories about hackers using personal machines that are constantly connected as electronic springboards for their nefarious activities, yuk.
In other news -
and there's not much of it - I continued my lackadasial sleeking of Rough
Cut. Yesterday was the turn of my Writing
Archive, although I regret stripping the information off it, but the
load time is way down, now.
I've been giving more thought to setting up a web server at the house - particularly once I get DSL - but I'm ambivalent. I really don't want to have to go through moving my site and updating the hundreds of places I'm linked to - tip for web newbies, search engines do work for you, but it takes about six months to get fully spidered and sorted. I think that if I do set up a home web server, it'll run as a mirror to the tripod site, and I'll add other projects to that end. Moving the RPG Defense League would be much easier, and I've discovered that a domain name I want is still available... No, I'm not going to tell you what it is. Domain poachers are everywhere these days... ;)
9AM is fast approaching, time for me to get to work!
Okay, I gotta ask.
What's with Tom Jones? More to the point, what is with other musician's
obsession with Tom Jones? Amongst the MP3s I've found - and, because of
morbid curiousity, downloaded - are a cover of the Prince song Kiss
done by Tom Jones and Art of Noise and The Cardigans and Tom Jones doing Burning
Down The House. The morbid curiosity provoked me to look further, so I
did. I came across Jones and Portishead performing Motherless Child,
TJ and Robbie Williams with Are You Gonna Go My Way and, god help me,
Jones with Mousse T. performing Sex Bomb. What gives? Why are so many
musicians falling over to colloborate with one of the most fascinatingly
awful voices ever? I suppose that might be the reason, actually, but what
else is out there? I'm fully expecting to find a collab of Living La Vida
Loca with Tom Jones and Britney Spears... And if there already is
such a thing, please don't tell me.
Actually, I thought the two covers I grabbed yesterday were rather amusing, but I feel kind of ashamed admitting that.
Ugh, there are days when I want to quit reading newspapers. I'm naturally squeamish - don't ask me how that came about, it just spontaneously manifested after years of dedicated callousness - and reading about the Alaska Airlines crash does not install a sense of calm within my jangled nerves. Apparently the plane was inverted before it hit the water. My overactive imagination, of course, is only too happy to provide theoretical scenes of what it might have been like inside the cabin. Darn it, nightmares at night are bad enough. These daytime imaginings I'm prone to give me the willies...
Sign that you're RPing way too much, #421. Yesterday, Jennifer mentioned in passing that Jeremy of Clan Toreador was destroyed in a game of Rich's. Jeremy (a longtime character of Rich's) was the sire to my first - and still being played - vampire character, Janice. 'Tis just a game, granted, but I couldn't help feeling a pang of regret. Janice and Jeremy got into a lot of fun trouble together... I would pout for a week if Janice got killed off. I haven't played her in a while, so it's odd that I should feel any attachment to her after so long, but I suppose it's because there's a lot of me within her. However, Alex is about to kick off the Port Townsend game where I'm being allowed to play Janice after a three-year hiatus. It'll be interesting to see if the character has changed much.
discoveries at Miskatonic Acres: It's going to cost over $150 to get a phone
jack put in the kitchen, but I'm at the "Can I fix this problem by
throwing money at it?" stage, so I don't care. With luck, the PacBell
guy will also switch over the other phone lines (there are three
running into the house) to the main number, thus giving us extensions in the
We have digital cable now. Holy cow! A bazillion channels, and still nothing on. But it takes a lot longer to surf, now. I insisted that we pick up HBO so I can watch The Sopranos and find out what the fuss is about. If I don't like this show, I'm going to be really annoyed. But, from what I've heard, I'll like it.
I spent most of
last night on a coding/graphics tear for a project that I will probably
never have the effort to get off the ground - as opposed to those I've
launched and then let starve to death.
Thinking of which, I finally dissembled Geekgrrl's Gothic Spot the other day, and The Maternal Jackal doesn't whimper much these days. I really should just move those rants fully into the Writing Archive and delete all the Jackal stuff - I'm getting a little cramped for room here on Tripod - but I'm too fond of the old bitch to kill her off just yet.
Leo DiCaprio as Peter Parker? Oh, spare me.
And that's my weekend - and all I have time to describe. More on Monday, I hope!
weekend was much like it was described yesterday
with much unpacking and gaming.
The Star Wars game was good fun, but Yahnna is getting a little prickled by Dev. He keeps getting these silly ideas that the crew is a democracy. Now, Yahnna is all for the occasional spirited debate, but there is a time and a place for everything... Duvessa didn't have a whole lot to do - nor did Gelehan (Britt's character) but I've got a feeling that now we've finally re-united with the Iridium Rose, that's going to change....
Enough gaming talk, it's time for me to earn another day's grossly inflated pay. Oh, didn't I mention I got another raise? It's all part-and-parcel of becoming Superdave's assistant. I'm getting spoiled, though, as I was a bit pouty that it was 'only' $5K... Ah, life is good when that's all I have to complain about...
Watched Better Off Dead on cable last night. I had forgotten how many wrenching moments that movie captured. Ouch. John Hughes et al have a lot to answer for.
Alas, I can't jabber any more, I've got to go clean out SuperDave's v-mail and sundry other exciting tasks...
PS - I took Mr. Prickles with me to the MM office today. He likes it, but he doesn't understand why the Modem people were so startled to see him. I told him it was because his fearsome reputation had preceded him...
Irony is kind of ironic, that way... - Willow, Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Did the weekly
homage to the one-eyed god, last night. Buffy is moving a lot faster
than I expected - I thought 314 and the inevitable split between Buffy and
The Initiative would be spun out over a few episodes. Alex and I lost our
mutual guess as to what 314 was about, but no worries. No, I'm not going to
spoil that for you... I also dig what's going on between Willow and her new
friend, and I'm sure protests will start pouring out of the woodwork any
I thought Angel was a bit ho-hum. The plot had too many shades of Gor and other silliness for my taste. Bai Ling in a scrumptious outfit did alleviate the ennui somewhat, though. But the ongoing rumor that she's the new love interest disturbs me mightily. The whole dangerous-sex thing is old-old-old and Kate's better for Angel, anyways. So speaketh the Miskatonic Acres TV Critics' Circle.
Not quite so sore today, thank goodness, and the habit of drinking water is growing on me. Now I just need to stop snacking on potato chips and candy and things can only get better from here. Still, I think yesterday's lapse was excusable - Safeway had a stash of Cape Cod Dark Russet chips and I love those things - and hardly ever see 'em. Ok, so it's not much of an excuse. Rome wasn't built in a day, y'know.
Bashed out Yahnna's latest diary entry the other day. It's far from her best, but I feel obligated to provide a different POV to Duvessa. :)
Tonight I'm either going to be doing some more unpacking or running over to my parents' place to do some laundry. The last batch of clean clothes finally gave out. It's a shame I can't just drop Dave off there for a full afternoon of laundering, but Dave pulled a face at the notion and I don't know how Susan would feel about having him hang around the house (never mind what Misha would have to say!) although I don't think it would be too much of an issue...
Already bloody behind on the day, must dash.
What's the plan? I'll go in there and start hitting people in the face
- hard. We'll see how it goes from there
- Tuesday's Angel episode, or any Champions game.
Squished into the
office a little later than planned today. It was hissing down with rain in
Contra Costa and guess who left the umbrella in the car? Dave and I looked
like drowned rats by the time the bus came. Alas, we're tight on cash, or
else I would have called a cab and skipped the whole squishy thing entirely.
I really hope my federal refund comes in soon. My state refund came in and just barely covered a check I had completely forgotten about - phew! But now I'm down to $3 in my checking account. Aiyee! Fortunately, I have enough cans of soup and instant breakfasts to keep me going until next payday, we're just going to have to take it easy over the weekend - hence bumming laundry privileges from the family.
Hardly sore at
all, today, to my surprise. My biceps are twinging a bit because I switched
up to 5lb weights a little earlier than planned - 3lbs wasn't doing anything
for them - but I expect that to die down in a couple of days. I'm doing one
of those terribly trendy aerobic/body-tone weight routines. I like it
because it's fast - half an hour a day - doesn't take much room and only
requires a pair of 5lb weights and a chair. I'm breaking in a little easy -
using 3lb weights and 2/3 the reps for the first week, then up to full reps
next week and full weight the week after - but since I'm so out of shape,
I'm not surprised that even that level of activity is making me twinge.
And I was a good gal with food yesterday all the way until dinner when I had - gasp! - five french fries with my grilled chicken sandwich (and it had a slice of cheese on it, but I tried to peel the worst of it off). I think I'll reward myself with an extra ounce of raw carrots at lunch.
That's the problem with dieting, the little rewards aren't really worth it. And I can't have the big rewards until I actually lose some weight (a reward in itself, of course!). Although I have been sleeping a lot better for the past week - although that might be attributable to living in a quiet house - and I consider a good night's sleep a fine treat. Now, if I could just stop having dreams about the vivid crew acting out their Austin Powers fantasies, my nights would be as close to perfect as I could hope for.
Yay! Brian has started his journal again!
Vivid's CEO celebrates the conclusion of their
merger with Modem Media.
I'm a little bummed. I
was supposed to join a tabletop vampire game with Ryan et al - a prelude to A
Dream Deferred, but the chap who was supposed to pick me up never showed,
nor did I get a call about what happened. I'm not too ticked about the ride
vanishing in the ether, that just meant a night at home with my hunny and a good
book. I'm more ticked about the fact that I got all psyched up for a game - even
though I can't stand a couple of the players - and it didn't happen. Gamus
Interruptus, I guess.
I'm already getting into hyper-gamer mode about DunDraCon - my annual fit of gamer-wallowing, so I suppose I'm a little oversensitive just now...
This weekend promises much unpacking - we finally have the boxes inventoried and are ready to actually start arranging the office and the library, as Alex calls them. We've also got to do our final brainstorming for the Bedrest closure game - if it's going to happen, we have to tie up some things this weekend. Unfortunately, Alex has to work tomorrow, so that means he's going to be a crankypuss when he comes home...
My apologies for the popup boxes all over the site today. Tripod seems to have forgotten that I'm a premium member and, therefore, I'm not supposed to have these ads all over the place. I've written some very nasty letters and the site is prepped to move if they don't resolve this within 24 hours. I hate popup ads. Moving Rough Cut and updating URLs will be a gold-plated son of a bitch, but I'll do anything to avoid annoyances... A friend of mine has offered to host my site, maybe I should give him a call, instead... ;)
I had a rabid fan letter from a reader of Unplugged. The fellow in question said he had been waiting a whole month for the sequel, Unplugged - so when is it going to arrive. Oh dear...I had to tell him that some others (sorry, Simon!) have been waiting nearly a year. My meager public is demanding I get my act together - which I have slowly been doing for the past month. Now it's time to put up or shut up, it seems. Flattering words from strangers are a hell of an encouragement, I must admit...
I'm finally starting
to realize how deeply Joanne's death messed me up. At the time, I did my best to
keep it all superficial. I hardly know her, I told myself. I have to
be the grown-up. I can't afford to feel anything. I have to be here to support
Alex, he's the one really suffering. And that gave me a dandy excuse to
ignore my own feelings. I'm very good at that - bottling things up and ignoring
them for years at a time.
But ignoring how I felt didn't make it go away. I've been in a severe funk for nearly six months - I'm hesitant to use the word depressed, it's too much of a catch-all, these days. My favorite hobbies abandoned me, promptly followed by my mood and temper. I felt no urge to write, or be with my friends, or do anything. I just lolled back and let Alex do everything and anything I could shove off on him - while simultaneously berating myself for being a lazy bitch. Guilt and obligation set up a lovely feedback cycle and shredded my self-esteem in short order.
As time has passed, I'm reluctantly admitting that Joanne's death hit me harder than I'm willing to admit. I was very fond of her. She was a crazy, dynamic optimist - those last two are things I will never be while sober. I admired her upbeat outlook, her quick sense of humor and her deep devotion to her family. But, while she was dying, I couldn't bring myself to look at her. Call it a fear of death, if you will, but that husk gasping on a camp-bed was not Joanne. I disassociated the dying woman from the living.
When it was over, I convinced myself that I had coped with her death in a proper manner and it was smooth sailing ahead. But I didn't sense the gash beneath the waterline. Never mind how I had felt about the dying husk, I had loved the living woman and losing her hurt me far more than I could admit. I could blame culture or my own personality, but it doesn't really matter. The important fact is that I locked my hurt up inside of me, telling myself that such crosses had to be borne by individuals, and it was not my place to burden others with it. What bullshit.
A couple of months ago, I realized that my sudden desertion of my favorite hobbies was not a good sign, but I convinced myself that it was a sign of changing times - of changing habits. I'm growing up, yeah, that's it. To admit anything else would have unleashed a tide of emotions that I didn't want to deal with. Like any normal person, intense emotions (those not of my own choosing) are intimidating and terrifying. Who wants to face that? I certainly didn't. So I told myself that gaming - and gamer writing - were impeding my personal growth and, therefore, should be abandoned.
What a bloody twit I was. Even whilst perfectly aware of the symptoms of a dozen different flavors of depression, I couldn't admit to myself that I was depressed. Oh, not seriously to be sure, but enough to affect my daily routine and temperament. Now I've admitted it, and I'm wondering what to do, next. Sure, I have a great health plan, but that won't do anything for me unless I need drugs or an asylum - the joys of HMOs in California. I don't need any of that. I just need time to heal my state of mind.
It's uphill work, but I think I can do it. Admission is the first step, right?
And I will write that blasted story, damn it!
Tripod finally got back to me, yesterday. It seems an automated script vomited and decided that all of us premier members weren't such, anymore, and pasted pop-ups all over our sites. Tripod apologized prettily - via form letter (I know, because I complained thrice and got the exact same reply to each communique) - and extended my membership by one month. I'm still giving thought to moving the site, though...
Spent a large chunk of Sunday doing minor tweaks all over Rough Cut. I added a few banners hither and yon and neatened up the RPG fiction page and my vampire character area. All ultimately meaningless, admittedly, but a fun way to pass a rainy afternoon.
Caught X-Files last
night. Once again, Mulder gets hit with the angst stick. All very touching, I'm
sure, but I can't shake the sense that Chris Carter has been making it up as he
goes along for the past eight years amd now he's scrambling to tie everything
together by season's end. Hm, sounds like one of my games...
Thinking of games, I made my character for Dave's Champions game last night. Katherine Grady (aka Vesper - yes I'm reading Ian Fleming again, what's your point?) was initially intended as a resurrection of a character I played with Brian "And this is my concubine, Bubbles" Wiatr. But since Katherine is being given more history than her previous incarnation, she left her roots behind some time ago. At the moment she's a gymnast-turned-boyguard turned-volunteer for a CIA hero-o-matic program - Trinity with psionics. God knows what she'll be by the time I'm done building her.
I'm in a bit of a cranky mood today - probably because I shorted myself on sleep last night with my nose buried in Villette - oh, get your mind out of the gutter, Villette is a novel by Charlotte Bronte. Alas, crankiness doesn't excuse my wanting to throttle my fellow-commuters for rustling their newspapers so loudly, or typing on their laptops with so much vigor. Illogical, yes, but it's Monday.
Much to my peevedness, Alex and I are going to have to reschedule the Bedlam's Rest One closure game. We intended to spend the past weekend brainstorming and tying loose ends, but between the house not being fully unpacked yet, Alex having to work on Saturday and my aforementioned visit from the headache fairy, we didn't anything done. However, I think the news might come as a relief to some people. I know Jennifer already has a lot to do scheduled at the convention, and Rob would probably prefer to save the admission fee towards his upcoming mortgage... Besides, I'm the one who's always saying that going to a convention to play with the same old crowd is pointless...
And for those who are wondering why I'm not regaling you with tales of something wonderfully considerate and Valentine-flavored courtesy of the husband, let me tell that we don't celebrate that day in Miskatonic Acres. Firstly, it's because this day is a rather unpleasant anniversary for Alex but it's mostly because we're gooey and gushy all year 'round. We don't need a special day for it...
The office is abuzz about Sims, the newest desktop addiction. I'm strenuously resisting for the moment, but I might have to cave in, one of these days. I'm still recovering from my Civ II binge.
Preparation for the
convention proceeds apace. I feel really guilty admitting it, but I'm glad the
BedRest Closure Game was rescheduled. I can now look forward to the weekend with
no brain-fry on my part - a new experience for me. This will be the first
convention I've attended that I've not run a game at - ever.
I'm gearing up for Mike Gonos' Agent X game, The Pavement Artists (spots still available!) with happy anticipation. Since my need to buy stupid props has been thwarted by the cancellation of Valley of the Kings (another guilt bomb) I'm fending off the urge to buy too many props to help Mike out with his event. Need some laminated badges? No sweat, I've been thinking about buying a laminator for a while. Walkie talkies? Hell, a couple of cheap ones won't cost too much... Aiyee!
Fortunately, the fact that Dave won't be able to contribute to the rent come March 1st - even if he finds a job tomorrow, he won't be paid - is sufficient discouragement to wanton spending. Alex and I will no doubt make the usual number of silly-con purchases - I still have a stack of gaming books from the last DunDraCon that I haven't read - but this convention is really a mini-vacation for us, so I don't want to make myself cranky before it even starts.
Actually, I'm not too vexed about Dave not finding a job, yet. He was offered one, in fact - but it was a six-day week for absolutely paltry money. Alex and I both told Dave we would thrash him if he settled that low. We want him to find a job, yes, but not a job he's going to hate. Grumpy roommates are the pits. Dave is very low-impact, as roomies go, and cheap to keep. I just wish he would eat more! I can't shake the sense that he's got it in his head to eat as little as possible, so as to not be a 'burden'. Like cans of soup and mac'n'cheese (kitchen still isn't unpacked fully) cost that much... All his economizing does is make me fret about him wasting away.
So, how about them Oscar nominations, huh? The usual pile of crap, although it was interesting to see Cider House Rules get so much recognition. I wanted to go see that film, but Alex pulled at face at the notion and it zipped through the theaters when I was preoccupied with something else - moving, I think. Ah well, I'm sure it won't be long to video.
Maybe it's psychosomatic, but my pants feel looser. ;)
"Well, that's why they're called cartoons and not documentaries." - Obligatory Wednesday morning Buffy quote.
I'm just too honest for my own good. I called to pay my celphone bill, yesterday and it was way too low. I had to miss payment in January because of the crunch that was moving, but the bill only came out to ten dollars. So I got on the horn with customer service and discovered that, yes, I did owe more than that, and promptly paid it. Actually, it was more a fear of the snafu catching up to me in six months via a collection agency - and I'm trying hard to repair my credit - rather than honesty that motivated me to track down the mistake. The Cellular One service I have is crappy, but I've been snookered into a two year contract with them so I might as well make the best of it. If I can keep that record clean, I'll be able to upgrade to a decent PCS service without having to put down an ungodly deposit, first.
The weekly obeisance
to the one-eyed god was alright, I suppose. I enjoyed Buffy - although I
don't think anyone was surprised to realize that those 'vitamin' shots
weren't just vitamins. Poor bloody Riley, his world's gone upside down, but I'm
glad the truth came out quickly. Drawn-out character suffering gives me
head-pains - which makes me wonder why I put up with the Angel-Buffy angst as
long as I did...
Are any other Eddings' fans raising their eyebrows at the idea of a Polgara demon? If you've read the Belgariad or Mallorean, the demon-of-the-week on Buffy boggles the imagination a tad.
Woo-hoo! Faith's coming back! Catfight!!
Angel: Hm. Most of the story was already blown by the trailer, although I enjoyed the last fifteen minutes. Finally! Evil humans! Not all evil can be blamed on demons, no matter how well that would fit the show's premise. Overall, I don't think the episode was the best, but the continuing growth of Angel and the little revelations about Wesley were worth it. But we need to see more of Kate, dammit!
I must be cheering up,
I bought some clothes yesterday. Nothing major, just three new tee-shirts, since
Mervyn's had them on sale. I even tried on a couple of skirts, after realizing
that I don't any skirts shorter than floor-length. Unfortunately, being
five-foot-three with size 12 hips is a pain, as any skirt that fits me around
the middle reaches down to my knees - the most unflattering place for a skirt to
end. I'm not looking for a Calista Flockhart Special, just a short skirt that
stops above the knee. Unfortunately, my sewing machine is still out of
commission, so I can't shorten a regular skirt at the moment...
The real divil is that I can't wear a micro-mini as - while I think the lower 2/3 of my gams are just fine on the eyeballs, further up, the territory gets a little, um, rough. Expansive, shall we say. So my sartorial needs for a short skirt demand something with a hem that lands within a specific two inch range. Sigh.
When I hear men complain about buying clothes, I just laugh.
Today's diet tip: Safeway's Healthy Advantage Hot Cereal is quite tasty, very low fat and comes in four flavors. I've been eating 'em for breakfast for the past two weeks and haven't gotten bored of them yet. I particularly recommend that maple-raisin.
I did some more work
for The Pavement Artists, yesterday. The GM, Mike, needed a fake grant
written up for human-rights organization that my character works for and he had
no idea how to create one himself, so he asked me - like I had a clue.
Fortunately, the 'net came through again, and I found a great page on how to
write a mini-grant application, complete with an example. Instead of working,
yesterday morning, I created a bogus application to the Mellon Foundation on
behalf of a human-rights organization in Sarajevo. It was actually rather fun!
Okay, okay, I shoulda been working, but I get distracted easily, dig?
With this help I'm giving Mike, watch my character get offed by the bad guys in the first hour of the game. ;)
And on that cheerful note, I will depart. No entry until late Monday or early Tuesday, kids! However, I am taking my camera, so expect some pix at the end of it all!
The three-day geekout
went very well. I had a much better time than I anticipated and I'm infinitely
glad that I didn't have to run any games at all. Being worry-free at a gaming
con was a pleasant change.
Friday night was Mike Gutterres' Cthulhu Now game. It went well, although player-paranoia (always a good thing in a Cthulhu game) slowed us down so much in the first part of the game that the bad guys had sufficient time to release an airborne plague over Tokyo, Seoul and Los Angeles and become immortal servitors of a Chinese god of pestilence. Oops. My character, Jane, had seen enough in the way of cults and elder things to know when to get out of Dodge and cold-heartedly abandoned those cities to their fates. What can I say, it was in-character.
The game produced a
handful of amusing quotes, though:
Although I suppose you had to have been there, really. At two in the morning, it all seemed hilarious.
Saturday was The
Pavement Artists and, as a playtest, it went very well. There were some
severe problems with the plot but they were identified and can be avoided in any
future incarnations of the game - which is the point of a playtest. I had a
blast playing Sonja Greer, a well-meaning woman who finds out that her employers
- the National Endowment for Democracy - are being used by the CIA to provide
funds to terrorist groups in the Balkans. Mike Gutterres was a Russian agent
with the unenviable task of trying to convince Sonja to hand over names of CIA
operatives while she was visiting a conference in Switzerland, and Jennifer
was a CIA counter-intel agent determined to save Sonja's life and bamboozle the
Unfortunately, the other three PCs in the game realized very early on -about 45 minutes into the game - that a lot of their problems would be solved if Sonja was killed immediately. Such solutions, while effective, make for a rather short game. The Russians had a reason to keep Sonja alive (well, until they found out that she intended to give them false information) but the Americans had no such need - not good. Jenn, Mike and I did our best, but after five hours, I had no choice but to be bundled into a limousine by Jenn's character and spirited out of Switzerland.
But, as I say, I had a great time and think Gonos' ideas have potential. He would like to start up some kind of regular chronicle with an emphasis in constant real-time plots and tradecraft. Overgrown boys (okay, and girls) with toy guns and cipher books, in other words. What the hell, it's no sillier than some games I've run.
Alas, Gonos had to leave the con immediately after his game ended because his nephew - the most fearless five-year-old on the planet - had broken his arm again. The boy's alright, but he had to have surgery and two screws put into his forearm...sigh. The child apparently has not yet made the connection between flinging himself off the top of tall bits of furniture and the injuries that mysteriously manifest immediately afterwards.
Fashion Break: After a minor amount of agonizing, I donned the miniskirt/shirt/boots combo I had put aside for The Pavement Artists. I had a lovely time striding around the hotel like I owned the joint - knee-high boots do that to me. I caused quite a few neck-vertebra to pop and - while I will admit that making gamer-boys drool is much like shooting fish in a barrel - it was a shot in the arm for my flagging self-esteem. Heh. It's a shame the damned skirt is dry-clean only. That means it'll be months before I wear it again.
Saturday night was
reserved for fierce socializing. I managed to keep up my resolution of making at
least one new acquaintance per convention by barging in on a conversation
between two fellas - Chris and Michael. Much drinking ensued - it must have, as
I somehow misplaced a startling amount of cash that evening and the bar is the
only place I can think of where it would have been spent - and I had a grand old
time. I have no idea if Michael and Chris enjoyed themselves - although Logan
(who stopped by at one point) tells me that Chris is convinced I'm utterly
insane - but they weren't too ashamed (or hungover) to say hello the next day.
The story of how Michael and Chris happened to know each other is rather nifty. Chris is a writer who has self-published some sci-fi pieces about a temporal police force who dash about all over history ensuring that other fellows with time travel (human and aliens) don't muck up history for everyone else. I would give a better description, but I've not been by Chris' set, yet, to read them... Apparently Michael came across these tales and thought they would make for a good game plot. Very flattering, methinks. Having obtained permission from Chris to use his material, Chris' wife told him to get on a plane and come to the convention all the way from Boston. Even niftier! I just happened to introduce myself to them because the bar was crowded, their table had an empty seat and I really wanted to chat with someone who was past the age of 25...
Having stayed up until nearly 3AM and ingested a heroic amount of vodka and overpriced vino (no, not mixed, don't be disgusting) Sunday was low-key day for me. I signed up for Michael's game - Time War - but there were just too many people in the room - about a dozen - and my fraying temper was not up to the task of putting up with them. When I caught myself cocking back to throw a nearly-full can of soda at one boor's head, I realized it was time to go back to my room and chill out for a while.
I amused myself with a trashy novel and a newly-acquired copy of Awful Green Things From Outer Space - yet another beer-and-pretzels board game. It's a simple two-player game in which one person plays the horde of Awful Green Things that are overruning a spaceship, and the other person plays the crew members who are trying to make it to the lifeboats. The Green Things are impossible to kill - when blown to bits by the crew, each bit becomes a new Green Thing - so the crew have to find the right weapons to use (ones that will stun, rather than explode, the monsters) and move very quickly. All silly fun. It might have been my loopy temper, but I've got it in my head to run Awful Green Things as a live-action event... Any of my readers who witnessed Games Caucus' live-action Aliens event know it can be done... Watch this space for more information!
Monday was just the usual routine of checking out, doing one more troll around the dealers' room (I bought a celtic-knotwork bodice dagger/letter opener/whatever) and coming home. To ease the transition back into real-life, Alex and I stopped by the comic-book store and blew the money we hadn't blown at the dealers' room...
So, it was a good convention for me - thank god. After being so burned at the last DunDraCon (putting too much effort into Evil At Bay) and having a less-than-stellar time at ConQuest, I was worried that conventions had lost their appeal for me. Since cons are my best chance to meet new gamers, I didn't want to quit going to them, but - for the sake of my liver - I have to have more to do at them than just sit in the bar and drink... Saturday night aside, my liver was safe and - since I actually played in some games - I had enough fun to justify keeping conventions on my list of things to do... Although I swear the gamers get younger every year - or is it me getting older?
I'm sure today in the office is going to kill me. And I'm not looking forward to lifting weights tonight - owie, owie, owie!
It took me nine months, but I finally did it! I accidentally overwrote this entry with tomorrow's entry! Both locally and remotely! Darnit, darnit, darnit!
Oh well, it wasn't much of an entry, anyways. Live and learn. :)
Thank heavens diet
food is cheap. Because of yet-another miscalculation of finances (big surprise,
right) I'm broke until payday, again. So much for holding a couple of hundred
back towards the rent... Bah.
On the ain't-technology-neat level of things, I've set up electronic payment for almost all of the household bills. No more scrambling to find my checkbook and some postage stamps before we lose heat and light, yay! I know, I know, security concerns, yadda-yadda. The way I figure it, I've had utility checks stolen out of the mail before (which we only discovered when PacBell called us demanding payment) so I don't see the postal system as all that much safer than electronic transactions.
Ugh, feeling a little sore today. I hate crunches, but I have to do 'em if I ever want my stomach to resemble something other than a topographical map of the Sahara - soft and lumpy. Still, on the good news front, I managed to resist a plate of french fries waved under my nose at work, yesterday (ah, my supportive co-workers) and I'm up to full weight and reps with my weight routine. Supposedly the pounds will simply melt off me from this point forward. Yeah, whatever, I just figure doing this has a slight chance of being more effective than just wishing the weight away...
Honestly, not much to
report, as per-midweek-usual. Superdave is down with food poisoning today (bad
sushi). Roommate-Dave has a job interview in the city. Ryan's game last night
wasn't quite as chaotic as I anticipated - although I had to bug out at
ten-thirty, given that I was getting up at 6:30. Although Cody's cute puppy -
Shep Proudfoot, a helluva name for a puppy, methinks - nearly got smuggled out
in my bag. He was ten pounds of waggly tail and slobbery tongue, squeal.
Tonight is the final party at the 510 office - cue nostalgic sniffles. Alas, I will only stick around for the minimum allowable time, as Dave is launching his Champions game tonight and only a cad would flake out on that. If I want to drink, I've still got vodka in the freezer from the convention...
I'm a little leery of Britt, in this particular game. He's been calling Dave twice a day, all week, to pitch concepts - apparently each more bizarre and number-crunching than the last. Of course, Champions is Shangri-La for number crunching, I'm told. Me, I'm just telling Dave what I want in a character and letting him make it.
My old high school class is, once again, proving it has all the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge. It looks like no-one has volunteered to organize a reunion for the crowd - thereby proving that teenaged carmudgeonness can last ten years and I'm a little bummed over that. I like any excuse to visit the east coast and I think a reunion would be grand (albeit masochistic) fun. I would offer to do reunion-type things myself but, being 3,000 miles away from the alma-mater, it doesn't make much sense... However, I am giving thought to assembling some kind of web-page to encourage classmates to check in and keep in touch with each other... More news on that as events warrant.
Speaking of silly ideas doomed to failure, the notion of an Awful Green Things live-action event still isn't leaving me alone, dammit!
Reality is just an annoying little detail for you, isn't it? - Alice (an online 'toon)
The Champions game
went well, I think, although we didn't really start until nine, and only then
because Alex stamped his foot and reminded everyone that he needed to get up for
work at 5AM the next morning. Most of the game was set-up, introducing us to
River City, Maryland and the history of super-heroing in Dave's universe. Dave
is taking a lot of the area history from a campaign he and Alex played in, so
he's very familiar with it and able to present it well, albeit with a few
peanut-gallery comments from Alex.
The group is the usual whacky mix. Rob is a famous prettyboy actor, who also happens to be a shapechanger called Plasm. Britt is the Egypto-centric magic-user, Horus (the latest in a long series to wield the name), Alex is playing a Batman knockoff, Nightmare - and I love my husband dearly, but I wish he would knock it off with the raspy voice. Eric is a youngster with the ability to turn himself into a very dense metallic human (you have to see it to believe it) who is as-yet unnamed, and I'm the ass-kicking psi-chick, Vesper.
I think the mayhem is really going to hit at the next game. We just barely got acquainted at the last game, so now the serious property-damage can begin. Groovy...
When you're smart, people need you! - Chris Knight
A domestic day,
yesterday. I unboxed (most of) the rest of the kitchen, to the point where I was
willing to cook within it, so I made some teriyaki chicken and various
vegetables for dinner. I'm not a fancy cook. As long as it tastes good, I don't
fuss about the names of the recipes - sorry, Susan! Much wine was consumed and,
shortly after that, I staggered towards the computer to write my entry for the
Alas, short of that, there's not much to mention. Oh, I wrote a new poem on Friday, Whiskey Over Ice. It leaped into my head during the commute and demanded it be written down. Your opinions are your own, as usual.
When did being smart go out of fashion goddammit? I need more wine. No I don't. Ack.
I wanted to do a long, deep, entry on the various factors that impacted me today - from gymnasts to muppets, but as usual, the late hour and much alcohol has sabotaged me. However - hey Meredith! - I have given thought to resurrecting our Real Genius fanfic. Wanna work with me on it, again? ;)
Time to go to bed, I think... More later/tomorrow.
So, I come in to the
office this morning and realize that things much have gotten seriously
whacky at the party on Friday. All of the walls, supporting columns, etc, are
covered in graffiti. Since we have to repaint the office when we move this week,
I guess the vividians decided they had nothing left to lose and had at all
surfaces with magic markers.
With luck, I will have some pictures to post later - the sheer volume of wall-scribblings is truly impressive. My particular favorites would have to be "WE ARE MODEM. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.", written next to SuperDave's desk (and I wonder if it was a Modemedian or a vividian who wrote that) and Stupidity: Winners never quit, and quitters never win. But those who never win AND never quit are idiots!
Last night was a fun
evening. Alex and I met up with Susan and Christopher for a nummy dinner (source
of most of yesterday's fat intake, ah well) and I was able to give Christopher
a decent sized check paying back most of what he loaned Alex and I when
we moved into Arkham, three years ago. Bless 'im, he's willing to forgive the
As usual, the subject of baby-names came up - my parents are itching for a grandchild - and (I should learn to expect this, really) my mother is insisting upon traditional naming conventions when she has given no sign whatsoever in the past 27 years that she gave a damn. Apparently, if Alex and I have a son, we're expected to name it after my father, or my paternal grandfather - news to me and Alex, I might add. On top of that, Alex would like a son to have his middle name. So, it seems I'm not going to be getting any say in the naming of the little sprog - Benjamin Rodney Baker. Sigh. I'm hereby reinforcing my policy of praying for a daughter. No, I'm not pregant but, as I say, the parents want grandkids real bad. It doesn't help that Susan's best friend just became a grandma.
(Parenthetical note - my would-be son's initials are an internet acronym - BRB. Hm, there's one strike against it...)
Alex and I had a jolly evening after dinner - sang along to old Beatles' tunes all the way home and then Alex and Dave indulged in one of their favorite brain candy films, Disney's Three Musketeers. A harmless end to a good day.
Today, however, promises to be fairly heious. Lots of playing catch-up with interview candidates, etc, so I'm off.