Hm, how interesting. Jennifer has just learned that some outfit wishes to run a convention under the StarQuest name. StarQuest was a sci-fi con that a whole bunch of us entirely green people threw together for a couple of years. I wasn't involved after the first one - school sucked up a lot of my time and, frankly, the crew for the following events didn't strike me as having learned much from losing $25K the first time around - but I still feel a certain fondness for the ol' thing. Well, whoever it might be, I'm rather glad that they've at least though to ask the former chairman permission to use the SQ name - since it was never trademarked, they don't have any obligation to ask anyone before moving on... I must admit, like Jennifer, I'm rather curious to know who is setting themselves up for an exercise in extended masochism... Those of you who've worked cons know what I mean...
Yay! I've finally updated the Archive!
More tomorrow, must dash and get started on the day...
The game on
Saturday night went really well - although I certainly could have reined my
celebration in a little but, hell, I was in a good mood. The players seemed
to really enjoy themselves - they haven't made any major complaints, yet -
and the plots went off pretty much as anticipated.
Logan and Dave's mock-combat scene between the Duke of Concord and the Anarch Paul Ortiz went down very well with everyone. I, of course, was a little nervous about either of them getting hurt. They're both professionally trained in stage-combat (my friends know the coolest things) but accidents will happen - just ask Dave how he got his nose broken at a Vampire LARP in Alabama. Anyways, it went off with nary a hitch and I think it knocked to socks off the spectators.
Dave then went off to play his next character, Detective Noah Davenport, and he promptly blew everyone's circuits by shaving off his beard for the role. Admittedly, it wasn't a full beard - he says he'll have it grown out in a couple of weeks - but the other players were certainly surprised by Dave's action. It also knocked about ten years off his face - which is why he grew it in the first place...
Anyways, Dave - as usual - did a great job playing his NPCs, while I had a fun time playing the Prince, Helen Carmine. I also did a rather incoherent turn as Mattie Storin. Between being nearly-concussed by a Nosferatu and then whacked up full of heavy-duty sedatives and anti-psychotic drugs (at the orders of the same Nosferatu - thanks a heap, Michael ;) ) - Mattie was a little, um, deranged... However, it seems that some of the tripe Mattie was bleating out was taken very seriously by the PCs. Heh. When are players going to learn that GM characters don't always tell the truth?
Well, my bosses just came in and things are picking up already, so I had better run.
Yesterday was Christopher's birthday, so Alex and I went to visit. Susan cooked an amazing meal - as usual - and Christopher got some nice things, including the Criterion Edition of "Life of Brian" on DVD. June is the family b-day month and this year I've got a double whammy with Father's Day falling on my mother's birthday...
is going through his out-processing classes at Travis - it's much like
re-integrating convicts into society, from what I've heard - and I want to
have a few words with some of the advisors running the class... The job
market - particularly for IT types - is unbelievably healthy, so what was
Alex told? He was told that the job-market resembles an out-take from West
Side Story with desperate job-hunters clinging resumes in one hand,
knives in the other and they're out for blood, blood, blood!
Naturally, Alex was a little alarmed by this - it took most of the evening
curled up with comic books and comfort food for him to unwind, poor dear.
Me? I'm not too worried. Alex is more than qualified to wade into IT support, or anything else he puts his mind to. Once he's done with his resume-writing class, I'll take the results and run 'em past a couple of people I know and get it really polished. The recruiters will be burning up the phone lines - they have some silly notion about ex-military people being very reliable... ;)
Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, I'm asking an actor of my acquaintance (Lance) to recommend a photographer so RoomieDave can get some headshots done. Lance has been getting steady work in the Bay Area for years (even had a regular, if minor, character on Nash Bridges for a while) so I'm sure he can make a good recommendation. Apparently there's an online casting source that a person can list with for a reasonable fee and a SAG card and Dave wouldn't mind doing that while he's looking for regular work... I don't see any harm in it and, frankly, why should all residents of Miskatonic Acres have to cope with thwarted ambition?
Another day is gearing up, must dash!
However, there has been some good news, today. The Air Force just contacted Alex and let him know that he's finally achieved his AA equivalency in Information Resources Management - yay! The fact that he achieved it back in December and is only being told now is being overlooked. Apparently he might even have a lot of equivalent-units towards his BA already established - but he'll have to go to a college and speak to a counselor to work it out, fully. Fortunately, the CalState systems has a great program for recognizing credit-equivalencies obtained via real-world experience and, honestly, finishing a BA isn't way high on Alex's list of to-dos right now...
Oy vey, my high-school's ten-year reunion has been scheduled for November... I had better get to work on losing that last ten pounds I keep saying I'm gonna lose. Even though I didn't like most of my classmates - a mutual antagonism, I assure ya - I'm curious to see what everyone is doing, these days. I sincerely doubt anyone is going to be feeling envious of me - aside from the fact that I'm living in the hip-n-happenin' Bay Area - but what the hell. I'll be happy to see some of them, again...
Well, I must run. I know I've got a chewing out coming to me but, as of 1:30PM, it still hasn't happened and I'm feeling like Calvin waiting for his Dad to figure out he broke the binoculars. Of course, my bosses probably realize I'm feeling like that and are letting me sweat, darn them!
I fled work early
on Friday - about 3PM or so - and managed to escape my drubbing for another
day. I'm hoping that everyone concerned will have chilled out over the
weekend, but who can be sure? In the meantime, I shall continue to fling
resumes about hither and yon and contact the company stockbroker about
picking up all the options I have vested so far and cashing those in, too.
I've also got about $500 tied up in the employee stock purchase plan so, I
think if things really do become unbearable, I can scrape up enough to keep
Alex and I alive while I go job-hunting.
But I'm not putting my notice in, yet. Dave still being unemployed is a warning against that. He had a couple of interviews last week, and has a couple more tomorrow, but nothing looks too hopeful, darnit. He's been getting ill, off and on, for the past few days and I've got a bad feeling he's stressing out. :P
So, of course, I'm adding to the household stress level by wanting to quit my job. Ten out of ten for personal fulfillment, but minus several million for good thinking, right? Hell, I've been rumbling about leaving MM since The Merger, it's just coming to a head, that's all. As I've said, it's a real shame because the people are great and the money is tops, I'm just sick of supporting a department where I don't understand the day-to-day processes and I'm having a helluva time even caring about those processes. It's hard to feel a part of the team when everyone else is engaged in some rousing debate about PERL applications and I'm wondering what oysters have to do with website engineering...
The weekend was
extremely lazy. About the only thing of note that I did was go into the
front yard and pull up weeds and hack at shrubs so the landlord won't blow
his top about the place. Alex and I have agreed that we've got to go buy a
few cubic yards of shredded bark and 'resurface' the front garden, as it's
getting very threadbare and tatty. Considering that Alex and I have
all the botanical know-how that a golden retriever has of quantum physics,
you can imagine that the yard must be looking pretty heinous at this point.
Mental note: Next time, send out a housemate who does not suffer from hay-fever to deal with the plants. My arms and face were still itching five hours after I came in...
After five months of having an unusable third-bedroom - because it's full of boxes - Alex and I have made a pact to throw/give away half of our belongings. We know about a quarter of our stuff is junk, anyways - the trick is finding it - but the other quarter-each will be tough to part with, I'm sure. Okay, maybe it is silly to hang on to "Just Awful", a kiddies' book I've had since I was about four, but I'm not gonna feel good about tossing it out - but I have to throw some things away, and I'm not parting with my Beano collection!
Still, once it's done, we'll finally have our 'craft' room - not that my sewing machine is working or that Alex has had the urge to draw in six months, but it'll be there.
adventuresome front, the July 4th weekend trip to Port Townsend has been
confirmed and booked. I must admit, I'm feeling a leetle trepidatious
about heading up the coast in a teeny plane but the inestimable Dr. Jones is
just about the only person I would let convince me to get into one of
the darn things... 'Sides, what's life without a little adventure, hm? I'm
sure the town itself will be packed out for the holiday weekend, but it's a
great chance to visit this place that Alex knows like the back of his hand -
without ever having seen it, himself - and it'll be a fun outing with some
good friends that we hardly ever get to see...
God knows how many photos I'll be taking of the place - at night, no less - for Alex's tabletop game...
Meanwhile, life is
doing it's best to screw Alex up royally. The details are too dreary to get
into here but, suffice to say, how is a guy supposed to take care of
appointments that must be done during office hours, when he's been assigned
12 hour days for the duration? Never mind the fact that if said appointments
aren't fulfilled, Alex is stuck in the Air Force for another couple
So, Miskatonic Acres is just brimming with good feelings right now. I wonder if I could just move back into my parents' place until this all breaks... I just hope one of things breaking won't be my husband!
My incipient Cthulhu Gaslight idea - tentatively titled "The Infernal Machine" is at the dashing-all-over-the-place stage. I'm torn between making it a mythos-oriented game or one extended, awful, pun. If you're not a player in my game (Alex, Jenn, Dave) and are curious to hear about said pun, feel free to drop me a line. It's awful, I assure you... But, when all is said and done, I'll probably go with the more fulfilling idea. I don't need a player-lynching on top of this heat wave.
Must get to work, another busy day unfolds...
The job-hunt trundles along. I'm still getting a kick out of telling recruiters to shove their executive-support positions. I suppose I might regret that, sooner or later, but at the moment, I take these moments of frivolity where I can. I finally had a bright idea and sent a crie-de-coeur to the inestimably cool Drue - a former co-worker of mine and all-around groovy chick - and she gracefully passed on a few connections of hers that I can go whine at - um, I mean, see if perhaps they can use me...
Dave's 7th Sea game is tonight - finally. I know I wasn't the only one suffering withdrawal. With luck, James will be hosting. His place has air conditioning and the heat wave is still in full-force over in the east bay... I'm looking forward to the game, but I'm wondering if I can get Elena out of her latest scrape with a modicum of dignity... Knowing Dave, I doubt it. ;)
Well, kids, I'm
writing this at 2AM because I know I'm not gonna be awake before 10....
The 7th Sea game went well, even if it seemed to be primarily motivated by our characters having sex with NPCs. Whatever...I blame it upon the heatwave. The practical upshot is that most of our characters seemed pretty damned happy about it...
More soon, I promise. I'm just too tired to share lurid details.
**wan wave** Hi
Owen, I'm sorry! It seems I owe Drue a
double dose of gratitude!
More on what that means, tomorrow....
It's two, two, two
entries in one!
I had actually written a scanty entry for yesterday but I was so damn tired at 2AM that I didn't upload it. It's there now, but you're not really missing much.
spent recovering from Friday night - I really should know better than to
drink pink wine - and popping down to Jennifer's
place for a meeting of our Casting The Runes coterie. The meeting
actually went a lot better than I expected. Greg was able to show up - when
he thought he couldn't - and Dominic was quite as unbearable as I feared he
might be. Dom's an alright chap, just a little overbearing at times...
It also didn't help that Dave came up with a brilliant idea for another game - Aragon - halfway through dinner. To minimize disruption to the conversation, we were frantically writing notes back and forth to each other. I'm sure it struck everyone else as terribly rude, but the Aragon players will be appreciative. Heh.
Well, it's Father's Day and my mom's birthday, so I gotta get out of here and go be filial - or whatever the equivalent is for daughters...
Alex and I had dinner with Brook last night to catch up on some Aragon things. Brook is a de-facto Primogen (in this game, termed 'lieutenant') and he's been out of the loop on a few things, so the chance to catch up was too important to miss. His character is amusingly paranoid and is going to cause all kinds of trouble, none of which I can discuss here since too many Aragon players stop by this journal...
Regarding the Owen
comment of Saturday - I promised I would explain. A
couple of days ago, I e-mailed Drue, a
former vividian, asking for some help/references to hack my way into the
exciting field of editorial slavery. Amongst several other names she passed
on, she mentioned Owen Thomas. The name struck me as familiar and I
wondered, momentarily, if this was the same Owen that I had known as my
buddy Sherman's roomate. "Nah," I decided, "This is a big
city. There must be lotsa Owens out there.".
So, I sent this chap the usual "Hi, you don't know me, but please help me out because we share a mutual acquaintance" letter. Hours later, I receive an e-mail back stating "Don't know you? Don't be foolish, Johanna!". Indeed, it is the same fellow that I had known before, a very pleasant surprise - and not just because I need all the help I can get in this job hunt! I had lost touch with Owen a couple of years ago and have been minorly vexed about that, ever since. Now, if naught else, we're back in touch again and I'm very happy about that.
Time to run, Monday beckons. At least I got most of my Monday-reports done last Friday, for a change...
In order to ensure
that Alex will never regret leaving the military, he's on a hell schedule.
He was doing 12 hour days for the past week, now he's onto 'only' ten hour
days, but it's looking like a 6 - 7 day week from now until the end of July,
because two of his three co-workers in testing have been relieved of their
duties. No, the inspection of last week did not go well. Alex
suspects that he would be getting relieved too (which would actually
be beneficial for him, as it would free up his schedule to finish his
out-processing) but A Certain Officer didn't manage to scrounge up enough
evidence against Alex to get him 'fired'.
Don't join the military, kids. Recruiters lie and the espirit de corps you hear so much doesn't seem to exist outside of war time.
Dave is still jobless and, given the possibility that Alex's job hunt could outlast his terminal pay, Dave has been told to go work in retail until he gets a better job. It's a nasty thing to do to a guy - I feel like I just sold Dave into slavery - but there's a framing store at the mall where a couple of our friends work where the money is better-than-average for retail and you pick up a few viable skills. After all, there will always be pictures that need framing...
With luck, Alex will find a job long before his terminal leave ends but...well, we thought Dave would find a job within days, too... We can't run Miskatonic Acres on just my paycheck, so Dave has to go out and earn some dosh...
As can be imagined, this isn't promoting a stress-free atmosphere at home. Alex is utterly stressed out and exhausted - to the point of where I've told him to stay in bed in the mornings, rather than dropping me at the train station. He comes home cranky, which gets me cranky and god knows what it does to Dave...
Just one more month...just one more month...
from the above, things are fine. Well, they're average, which is enough for
me, right now. I'm still happily submitting resumes to various interesting
jobs - the connections Drue kindly passed
on have petered out - and telling recruiters to shove it. Work is
alternately boring and vexing, but I can cope with that, right?
The trip to Port Townsend is still on for next weekend - it looks like Alex can take July 3 off, after all - and I'm looking forward to that. Alex and I are a bit uncomfortable about Kevin's covering everything on his nickel, but he insisted - or so Alex tells me. Kevin rarely pushes a point, which makes the rare occasions when he does that much more potent... Alex is in charge of organizing our schedule, since he's the expert on the town. Collette and I will just be snapping pictures like madmen. Collette is a great photographer - I wonder if she's gotten into large-format negatives, yet? I'll just be fooling around with my digital toy...
The cable has been
out for four days. The service wax cut off for two days because we had
forgotten to pay the bill (prompting a frantic flurry of calls to determine
which other bills I might have lost) and two days because of 'service
upgrades' that have knocked out our signal. The AT&T guys have been very
pleasant and credited the lost days to our account, but they keep pushing
back the restoration time, darnit! Meanwhile, I am running around my office
looking for someone, anyone, who gets the Food Network to tape the
upcoming Iron Chef In New York special...
So, with no broadcast TV to numb our brains, we've been watching movies a lot in our house. Last night I caved in to my vestigial sentimental side and watched "LA Story", which is one of my favorite films. Watching that movie is about the only time I can tolerate the mere notion of Los Angeles... That and I always wanted to be Sara McDowell (Victoria Tennant's character)...
We've also been plotting for Aragon. Players will be glad to know that we finally calculated the XP rewards last night - we'll be mailing 'em out tonight, as I left the list at home. We also sat down and pulled together the plots for next game. Oh my... *evil GM chortle* those players aren't gonna know whether to kiss us or kill us by the end of the night. It makes me vexed that we have to wait until the 15th for the game!
That's enough procrastinating from the office for today - more tommorow, I hope!
... Maybe I'm getting too old for
staying up on Friday night and watching back-to-back episodes of "Sex
In The City" on HBO... Although I suspect rampant allergies and
grinding stress have far more to do with my general tiredness. Heck, I only
had one beer last night - as opposed to my usual bottle of wine - so
I know I'm not suffering the after-effects of the Demon Booze...
I'm adding the aforementioned TV show onto my very short list of programs I want to keep up with. The writing is great and it's pure chick-food. I keep screeching with laughter at anything Samantha says... Dave watched the show last night because he's madly in lust with Kim Catrall - like every other guy who saw "Big Trouble In Little China", go figure.
Yesterday at work
was pleasantly uneventful and I fled like a yellow coward at 3PM. There was
nothing on my desk that I couldn't do on Monday, or over the weekend. I've
brought home a little spreadsheet that I have to update from my notes, but
Curtis and I had a little chat over lunch about my situation. I can tell that he's not gonna miss my scatter-brained skills, but he went to the trouble of asking how my job-hunt is going and if there was any little projects in the department that I would like to pursue to maintain my flagging interest for the duration. Honestly, I would probably enjoy painting the office more than my regular tasks - heck, I did when I was working at a video studio in Berkeley. Still, it was nice of him to ask after me...
Alex is working this morning - ugh. After that, we're going to have lunch with his dad, Dan. Alex is a little tripped out by the fact that his Dad is dating again, but he's not tripped out in a bad way. Before she died, Joanne practically ordered Dan to make new friends after she was gone and it takes a stronger guy than Alex's dad to defy her... Apparently Dan is enjoying making new friends and not looking too hard for a long-term relationship. But he's keeping his options open and getting out a couple of times a week, which is great to hear. I can't help wondering how Alex's sister is taking it - her relationship with Dan could be called rocky, at best...
getting together with Tony and maybe Chris Brecheen to do some RP for Aragon.
My ghoul, Mattie, needs to talk to Tony's character (Devon) and I know
Alex's character can always find something to talk to Devon about...
The courts just seriously screwed the pooch and a human that the Prince had
ordered them to look up just turned up dead in the Sacramento Delta. With
any luck, the PCs are currently shitting bricks - and so they should...
Gods, I love being a GM...
And once the evil-evil part of the night is done, some serious brain-rotting is planned. We'll probably go catch a screening of "Shaft" or something equally derivative...
Woo-hoo! The Watchmen movie adaptation project is back online. Shame Terry Gilliam isn't involved...
Ahh, a nice lazy day yesterday. Alex had to go to work, so I got up relatively late - 8AM - and did a little cleaning before packing it in and going back to bed to read a book, instead. My current reading is a history of the Waffen-SS - not your usual weekend fare, I'll admit, but it's one of the few things on the bookshelf that I haven't read three times in the past two years. Oddly enough, while I was reading through it in the elevator on the way out of my office yesterday, some stranger, seeing the book, commented "Oh, my grandfather was in the Waffen-SS.". So help me, I was awfully tempted to say "Really? Maybe he knew my great-uncle. I believe he went up a chimney at Dachau."... Of course I didn't say it, but I wonder how I was supposed to respond to a non-sequitur like the one cited...
I had a very odd afternoon. I had a nap with Alex - pooped after he got home from work - and the nap was damned disorienting. I dreamed of such mundane things - doing my e-mail, Aragon plots, talking to Alex - that I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to untangle what had actually happened and what hadn't. Come midnight, I was still confused. Great, I'm getting senile dementia several decades too early...
Today I'm traipsing up Mount Diablo with Logan to take some pictures. It's all in the name of silly fun - well, it is for me, since I love have my picture taken - so it'll be interesting to see what we come up with... After that, a Port Townsend game is planned, but Alex is pooped from work all week, so I'm not sure if the game is going to happen. Of course, being the greedy little gamer that I am, I want him to run, but this is Alex's only day off this week...
Had a lovely clamber all over Mount Diablo with Logan, yesterday - although I don't recommend doing it while wearing a corset... Still, we had fun, although not as much time as Logan might have liked... I'm looking forward to seeing how the pix come out. I've also resolved never to venture into the Great Outdoors whilst wearing makeup and hairspray as one of the two was a massive bug pheromone. Logan was left blissfully alone by the little blighters - which is good, as that gave him time to watch out for poison oak - but they were all over me. Ouch!
Then Alex ran Port
Townsend during which I had a total mood collapse. I think it was
because I was tired and itchy and therefore not really dedicating 100% of my
interest to what was going on. I really should have just left the game when
I realized I wasn't feeling inclined to keep up but, darnit, Alex puts a lot
of work into the game and I'd feel even worse if I just slinked away
from it. From what I can remember it was an okay game - more setup for the
future than anything else. I just wish I could have paid more attention to
It's been one of those weekends - just unable to focus and generally out of it. Most of Saturday evening I was a zombie, following all the too-mundane-to-tell-apart-from-reality dreams I had. And Sunday was just...odd. I blame the pollen. Or stress. Probably both. Waking up this morning was a gold-plated sonuvabitch and even after several cups of very strong tea, I still feel tired and vexatious. What a lovely way to start the week, hm?
I'm probably just catching Alex's own stressed-out state - and he's got far more valid reasons to be tired and cranky than I do. I suppose I should just do the Stepford thing and lavish him with extra helpings of luvin' attention for the next three weeks, but it's hard to be a shnugglepuss when one is feeling more like a porcupine. Bah.
So, it seems that
the Stress Fairy is visiting everyone this week. It's been a very
up-and-down few days, which is why there hasn't been an entry all week - it
would have made awful reading. The practical upshot at this point is that
things are better than they have been for a few days, and seem to have
Later today, Alex and I will be meeting up with Kevin and Collette and heading off to Port Townsend - yay! I can't say what kind of bargain Alex had to strike with his bloody-minded boss to get the day off, but it was legal and it did the trick... I'm just glad we're going, as Alex would be unbearable if he missed this chance to visit this damned town he's been reading about for years.
So no journal entry until July 5. And would-be burglars take note, Dave will still be in the house and everything we own is covered in dog fur, so there's no real point to breaking it. :)
And now that we're going, maybe my daily migraine will decide to go packing. I was really falling apart earlier in the week - picking up more of Alex's stress than was good for me, I guess - and it was damned inconvenient.
Aragon is chugging
along nicely, although I had a bit of an 'eek' moment this morning when it
seemed that Alex hadn't been recording people's Influence use in Grapevine,
thus leaving me wondering how we're tracking who has accomplished what and
how... At this point, I'm hoping he's got a list he's keeping somewhere
else. I ask you, what's the point of having a game-administration tool if
it's never used?
Ah well, it's a minor thing, really.
Once again, I'm
taking on another foolish online project... The domain name vampirelarp.com
was just sitting there... So I'm picking it up and building a very
simple portal site, starting with a directory of active vampire LARPs
in North America and Europe. It's amazing how many dead/waaaay out of date
vampire sites are out there. About 80% of all the sites I surfed (I think I
hit nearly a hundred, yesterday) came up either 404 or the most recent game
listed was over six months ago... Dear reader, if you're part of an active
Vampire LARP, drop me a line and I'll
add 'em to the list. I've no idea when the site is going to be fully
functional but I'm shooting for mid/end of July.
For those who can't afford the InterNic fee (down to one-year up front, btw) check out NameZero. They'll pay for your domain name and set up a POP3 mail account for you, but you've got to carry their ugly-woo banner on your front page. Of course, I agreed to this before I found out Internic only wants $35 a year, now... Still, if I want to break the deal, all I'll have to do is pony up $15 to the service and $35 to Internic and, heck, I can cope with a silly banner for a while...
Well, another day beckons... Yesterday I made a page for the MM intranet. Okay, all I did was build a table and slap it into a template, but it counts!