I suppose I can take the fact that the vicarious melodrama seems to be dying down quite quickly as a sign that my milieu is becoming more mature - or perhaps we're just getting older and too dam' tired to tolerate bullshit for as long as we used to. My money's on the latter.
Estranged Husband has pinged me and told me that I'm free to gibber on about his situation in this journal for all he minds but, go figure, I'm tired today and don't feel like it. Aside from realizing that I strongly suspect that She did indeed lie to Alex and myself for several months - again, details are being withheld for various reasons - and that I'm really not keen on sharing the same airspace with her for the foreseeable future, all is quiet.
A strangely unproductive day at work. Rick had to keep borrowing my keyboard - just the keyboard - so he could poke around the network server and figure out why it's apparently bent on eating our DNS information. There was only so much I could do with just the mouse, so I spent half the afternoon playing Atomica over at popcap.com. I did manage to finish a graphic I was doing for the Intelligent Capital website, and I was kinda proud of that... I had spent the entire morning typing in more business cards but, since the Exchange server wasn't talking to anyone, all I really did was type up information in readiness for a lot of cut and pasting once the server comes back online, sigh...No keyboard meant no typing...
I'm getting restive and wanting a change of scene - which wouldn't be a bad thing if changes of scene weren't so expensive and tricky to arrange. Along with the whole
how, when and where is the how much and who looks after the animals
issue, too. Fortunately, we have friends who are willing to dogsit - the cat can pretty much look after himself - but I'm not keen on letting any of my friends into the house right now. After all, they're my
friends and I don't want to expose them to the filth that is currently evolving into sentience in my kitchen.
And the next question is, of course, where and how. If I could find the scratch, there's the usual passel of gaming conventions coming up over Memorial Day weekend. Alex and I could go to KublaCon in Oakland. But conventions are rapidly becoming an investment of declining return. If I'm not running anything - and I do not have time to throw anything together, unless I want to do a rehash of my Prisoner larp - then I generally don't have much to do at cons, aside from drink. I've gotten far too fussy about what games I will play, and with whom to really enjoy the 'mixer' aspect of conventions - and most of my friends are in the same boat, too and are, therefore, also giving up the habit of going to gaming-conventions. Gamers don't grow old so much as they fade away.
Paradoxically, I'm not big on 'going away' either. Well, I don't mind visiting some places, but I'm not keen on the 'lying on the beach for two days' kind of weekend. I get bored and fidgety with nothing to do. Give me some nice used bookstores to visit, or a couple of museums to check out. Heck, I'll even visit churches, if they're old enough to be historically interesting. But, of course, those kind of activities - particularly the used-bookstores - tend to cost a lot of dosh. Well, they do if you want to have any fun.
I suppose, ideally, what I would like to do is hop in the car, with a precise goal in mind, but still have a surprising, interesting and unstructured weekend. In a four star hotel. For less than $200. You can see how this would be difficult.
I think I'm just chafing under the recent routine. There are only so many TV dinners one can eat (particularly when one is fussy!) and episodes of Junkyard Wars one can watch before one becomes a bit vexed and tetchy. And that's been the routine for the past few weeks. Between the busted sewing machine and ongoing need for economy, there have been no sewing binges (although Alex has been able to go visit the comic book store more than once, she muttered with a Marge Simpson like hmmm) or any other impulsive breaks to the daily grind. And there are no movies worth watching either - I keep meaning to go see "Bridget Jones' Diary" but I'm afraid I'll be disappointed. Besides, just catching a movie isn't quite the change in routine I was looking for.
This is just post spring-fever blahs, that's what this is. I'll try to divert my energy into something useful like house-cleaning and deal with it that way, I guess. I can't afford a madcap shopping spree and my Jedi powers don't seem to be leaning in the direction of winning lottery tickets (or spontaneous weight loss) so I may as well make the best of matters.
More likely yet, I'm feeling restive because there's a lot going on that I don't have any control over, but which affects me nonetheless. So I want to exert some control, and pamper myself a bit, too. Now, if I can just convince myself that housecleaning really is a pampering task... Sure, I'll feel better when it's done, but it's getting started that almost kills me...
Happy dance! James, Laurel and Dave have found a new place on the Richmond/El Cerrito border! They'll be moving in two weeks, yay!
I'm suffering from some character blahs too. There are a few different reasons for that one.
Hm, it seems that the downtime on Sunday are an indication of things to come in
Aragon. I like Dave - he can be a wickedly inventive GM at times - but he has a rather...aggressive turn of plot sometimes. I agree that defeat makes characters interesting - just as constant victory makes them dull - but, if my impressions are correct, Aragon is about to move into a much more antagonistic vein. Antagonistic towards the characters that is. It's been observed before that Dave seems to have some kind of problem with letting his NPCs lose (ie, they can't), combined with a tendency to make his NPCs the 'star of the show' (which compounds the first problem - or is that vice versa?) Either way, I don't see a really rosy future for the Aragon court. I see a lot of character defeats and subsequent collapse of player morale - which tends to be followed by the collapse of the game, or a serious snit fit from the GM. With luck, I'm wrong. Time will tell, I suppose.
Of course, I'm going to bring this up with Dave - hopefully before I post this entry, in fact - but given how we have butted heads about this issue when we co-ran Aragon, I don't think my opinion will be heeded any more now then it was before - that is to say, not too much. And, of course, should other players become disenchanted in the future, they won't tell the GM - they never do. No, they'll tell me and Alex and hope we'll pass it on for them - not realizing that Dave isn't going to take us any more seriously than he would take them.
In fact, funnelling opinions through one or two players is a bad thing - as the GM can dismiss it by thinking "Oh, only one or two players really think that." Tip from the GM veteran, kiddies, if a lot of players have an opinion about a matter and want to communicate that with the GM, write a collective e-mail and sign it. That's a good compromise between spamming a GM - which can make him feel indundated and frighten him into withdrawing even further from the playership - and going through a single representative. Trust me on this one.
Fortunately, Diana is still entertaining. Her development is changing, but it's still interesting.
Meanwhile, I'm just staying sane by muttering my regular mantra: "It's not my game anymore...It's not my game anymore..."
Postscript - I managed to catch up
with Dave, last night (as it now is) and we had a short chat about my
perceptions and worries. Of course, the talk wasn't nearly long enough, and I
didn't agree with everything he said, but the limits of Instant Messaging made
it hard for me to express my opinions clearly - and quickly - without risking
being severely misunderstood. So, rather than risk that misunderstanding, I
backed off from a few of my core issues and went in a new direction.
Nonetheless, it was an illuminating chat. It seems Dave is suffering some of the
same disillusionment that made me walk away from the game and a lot of it has
origins in something that the GM can't control. Once again, another GM is
suffering from a playership that claims they want a character-driven chronicle,
but they don't seem to be willing to put in the work that is required to keep
such a thing going. Granted, there are a few players who do - James,
Chris, Jenn Brozek, Alex and myself - but that's not a significant enough
portion of the group to keep the character-driven plots bubbling. In fact, it's
such a small portion of the group that the mutterings of GM favoritism
can't be far behind.
Dave could knock himself out crafting character-oriented plotlines, but if the majority of the characters don't touch them... Well, no wonder he's feeling like a guy who's offering free filet mignon on the street, only to watch passers-by go into McDonald's, instead... Unsurprisingly, I know exactly how he feels - I'm just a little surprised that he's only starting to feel it now, rather than while we were all running Aragon together.
So I spoke with him about keeping the first rule - having fun - and what makes a game fun for him, rather than for the players. His answers were a tad surprising, but not entirely so, given the rather selfless nature of many Game Masters. He's not really considering his own happiness while running a larp, he's considering the satisfaction of his players, and deriving his own enjoyment from that. While this tends to make for some kickass games, it also makes for GMs who burn out rather quickly, as players are a notoriously difficult bunch to keep consistently happy. It also puts a GM at risk of investing too much of their ego into the game - if the players aren't happy, then you aren't happy, regardless of how much genuine effort you've put into an event. A GM in that situation starts dismissing their own work - no matter how Herculean - and depends entirely upon the approval of the playership to feel good about themselves.
Boy, does this sound familiar...
Admittedly, one must have happy players to keep a game going, but they don't have to be hysterical... But I digress...
So, in my ongoing attempt to approach any conflict with a solution-oriented mindset, rather than a problem-oriented one (I guess those managers at MM had more of an effect on me than I thought), I spoke with Dave a bit about how to provide some character-oriented plottage without Dave killing himself, or the game falling apart should those plots be ignored. I'm going to start doing again what I actually liked doing for Aragon - going through character histories and brainstorming little "crunchy bits". They won't be full blown plots, nor is there any assurance that Dave will make use of them. But I'll brainstorm ideas, write them down and throw them at Dave. Then he and James will decide if any of them are worth implementing. It might not sound like much, but it will be a task off Dave's shoulders, and I must admit I'm a bit smug about my ability to twist characters together and glean interesting nuggets out of a history - particularly when I don't have logistics, metaplots and downtime to worry about, too. It's not much, but it's all I can do and it's better than nothing.
Meanwhile, in the Sunday game, I'm exhausted by out-of-game melodrama - see earlier entries for details of Ellie's Temper Tantrums and mentions of sixteen year olds dating twenty-five year olds for that associated ungliness. Trying to keep my temper and/or be the Voice of Reason through all that has been difficult, and I've not always been successful either, dammit.
I'm also exhausted by my self-avowed attempt to be a roleplaying mentor/example to the greener players. I like to think that I'm having a positive impact on that group but, in my more honest moments, I realize I'm probably delusional in that respect. I heeded the advice of more seasoned roleplayers when I was a greenie, but I know that I had some unusually good examples to follow - and I was willing to listen to 'em. I have no idea if this bunch have that same confidence - for whatever reason. Annoyingly enough, trying to be a good example includes not letting my ego run rampant throughout the court, which kinda reduces my hoped-for guilty pleasures when I joined this troupe. Ah well...
Rebecca's a tiring character to play, too. She's such a workaholic eager-beaver type, which I - despite occasional frenzies of gaming-related activity - am not. It's rather exhausting to think up to her level of paranoia and ambition, sometimes. It rather reminds me of when I was playing Rachel in Bedlam's Rest - now there's a character who just wore me out. Of course, I loved every moment of it.
I'm wondering if Rebecca was the best choice for a game that is still a bit green. Several players lack the fundamental understanding of vampire that you need to play a live-action chronicle - and they're showing a tendency to take in-character actions personally. Several players have gotten rather miffed at their characters being forced to owe boons, etc, and are apparently carrying their OOC miffedness into IC actions. Oh, that's just peachy. Guess who's character has been reaping some of those boons? Guess who's character isn't going to ease up - much - just because some player is feeling unloved? To heck with it, I've got a handful of concepts ready to play if Rebecca gets offed...
I've been re-reading Yes, Prime Minister on the train over the past couple of days. I don't think I had consciously acknowledged how much effect that blasted book/show has had on my Vampire style, particularly when it comes to creative interpretations of the truth and rumor-mongering. As it is, I can see an awful lot of Sir Humphrey in my actions when I start seriously stirring up shit in court. How amusing! I suppose I will have to add Jonathan Lynn and Anthony Jay to my list of inspirations...
Contemplation. The ablution has been made,
Development. The maiden is given in marriage.
You're in a position to have some subtle but significant influence over some others at the moment - be careful not to abuse that influence for your own gain or for the sake of ego. Stick by what you think may be right, not necessarily the best for you, personally. Hm, once again, I'm able to crowbar this into having relevance...
Tomorrow afternoon is a used-bookstore-and-Indian-food crawl with the BADdies - the Bay Area Dwarfers. It's a listserv/loose knit social group with the only thing held in common is a general enjoyment of science fiction, particularly Red Dwarf. It's been a long time - over a year - since I last got together with these guys, so it'll be nice to spend an afternoon with them. Now, I wonder if we're going to recognize each other when we meet up at the Change of Hobbit? From what I can tell on the list, none of the three members whom I can easily identify are going to be there. Uh-oh...
I've been reading Alan Bennet's Coming Home on the commute this week and really enjoying it. The excerpts from his diaries are particularly nifty, as well as the minor revelations. I didn't know he had written Prick Up Your Ears. Sure, I knew about Forty Years On and The Madness of King George the Third, but not the Joe Orton biopic that I rather liked, despite it's weaknesses. Anyways, if you want a solid, accessible collection of essays and such, check it out.
I'm in trouble. Simplicity are coming out with some reasonably authentic patterns for Victorian garb - they're going so far as to demand busks and steel boning in their corset pattern, etc... The gothic sewing list to which I subscribe is going moderately bonkers over the patterns, which is a reliable sign of approval. I think I'll be toddling over to Jo-Anne's Fabrics when the next sale rolls around...
I'm finally running
the first full episode of Code
Black this evening - tentatively titled Rock Steady. I must admit,
I'm a bit leery about how it's going to go. The finale for the plot really
isn't done but, after wrangling with it for over a week - longer than I
dedicated to the other 3/4 of the episode - I've decided to just relax and
pull it out of my ear when the time comes. I'm probably going to have my hands
more than full while juggling three headstrong players and their Darling
characters. Don't get me wrong, I'm very keen to do this, I'm just belatedly
becoming aware of some of the pitfalls of this campaign - not the least of
which being that comedy isn't my strong suit. Never mind, I think the players
will provide plenty of that aspect, themselves.
Unsurprisingly, Alex is already working on an episode that he wants to run, and it very much harkens to the campy Roger Moore 007 days. It should be fun!
|Kuei Mei / The Marrying Maiden||Yu / Enthusiasm|
The Marrying Maiden.
It furthers one to install helpers and to set armies marching.
Well, this is a little confusing... I think it's time for a bit of masterly inactivity - or enlisting Alex's help with a project...
Had a really good visit with James and Dave, last night. We were supposed to just shoot the shit about Aragon and maybe help craft a couple of crunchy-bits. Of course, we didn't really get around to the game until dessert at the local Italian joint (delicious lasagna!) but we had a fun time telling each other 'no-shit-there-I-was' gaming stories until we finally got to the ice-cream.
Anyways, Dave let Alex and I in on what he wanted to have happen on Saturday, and then we started kicking around how to make it happen - after all, intention without execution isn't any good. Alex came up with some good notions, I just acted as a sounding board and occasionally entertained James when Alex and Dave would go off on a tangent referring to an Alabama-era game of eight years ago... Anyhoo, I can't divulge details - too many Aragon players in these parts - but the game is going to be very...interesting. Yeah, that's it, interesting. Dave is well aware of the dog's dinner that was his second game, so he really wants to make good on Saturday, and I think he will. There are some big surprises in store, stuff that will effect the entire game and - I think - have only minimal grandstanding.
I must admit, the selfish part of me is gnashing my teeth because Alex is going to play a very cool NPC and I want to help, but I have to play Diana - just because her reactions to Alex's NPC are going to be veeeery interesting. Well, to me at least. Since I'm far more interested in Diana than anyone else is, I'm going to have to make my own good time, anyways. ;)
|Wei Chi / Before Completion||Chieh / Limitation|
Before Completion. Success. But if
the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing, gets his tail in
Limitation. Success. Galling limitation must not be persevered in.
Don't give up on something at the first hitch, but be ready to discern the difference between a momentary setback and a project-ending problem. If your ego gets rankled, don't let that rankling goad you into something rash.
Onto more mundane things. Just when I thought I had the fabric situation under control, I can't find the three yards of black duck I swear I bought a couple of months ago. I was going to try to throw something together for the Aragon game tomorrow - providing my backup machine could handle it - but I guess I've left it too late, as usual. Hell, I can't even find the pattern I was going to use...
I fell hopelessly in lust at the bus stop yesterday. I spotted a very buff young man heading for the gym and was immediately smitten. I didn't think six-pack abs existed outside of underwear advertisments, but this chap had 'em, and more... Well built - not overdeveloped - slightly tanned, wearing snug shorts and a sheer muscle shirt to show it all off. Yum. Of course, I couldn't describe his face if my life depended on it...
Still slogging through A Social History of London - I've gotten to the Victorian era, now, and the pace is picking up after things got a bit dull with the Georgians. I've been inspired to find some writings by Henry Mayhew (the founder of Punch) as his descriptions of the city quoted within A Social History... were very evocative. I think they'll be quite valuable for Fear Stalks Whitechapel - for creating NPCs, at least.
Saw The Mummy
Returns last night. Oh. My. God. What a pile of dreck! Okay, so it
was amusing, but dreck it nonetheless was. It's certainly a lot more
fun to watch if you're a gamer, I think, but - in my case - that was countered
by knowing just a smidgen of history which was, of course, blown to
flinders within the film. I know, I know, one can't expect reality in these
things, but still, it got vexing. If I get a sufficient amount of time to warm
up my suspension of disbelief early in the feature, I can usually enjoy anything
but this movie demanded too much within the first five minutes, so I ended up
with the mental equivalent of shin splints for the next two hours. It was the
bas-relief of Egyptian babes facing off with sai in their hands that
finally sprained my head....
But it is a fun movie. Good looking cast (mostly), gorgeous locales, more CGI bad guys than you can shake a stick at and plot holes you could drive a Mack truck through - all the ingredients for mindless fun. Just remember that: mindless.
Contraiwise, I'm wondering what it would take to convince Dave to let me play a Mummy in his game. The third edition is quite cool...
Alex is too sniffly to run Star Wars tonight, which is alright, but he put my nose ever-so-slightly out of joint by appropriating what I had thought was the next Code Black night to pick his chronicle up again. Maybe I wasn't clear enough after the last game. Ah well, I'll talk to him about it. After all, it's all just gaming - not terribly earth shattering one way or another.
Aragon is tomorrow, and I've been scrambling to finish assembling an EZboard for the troupe. I made it two months ago, but Dave wasn't too keen on it, so I just let it go. But now, after using one for the Sunday game for the past two months, it seems Dave has been converted. I believe James employed a bit of evangelical zeal. Whatever, I decided it would be best if it was ready to go come game-time so, on the day after, the players can go look at it and see what it can do for them. Yahoo's servers are getting slower, and have lately taken to eating Dave's e-mails to the player-roster, so I'm not too surprised by his newfound enthusiasm... I've learned to like it, too, but - like Yahoo - it does have it's hiccupping moments.
|Ch'ien / Modesty||Sh^eng / Pushing Upward|
Modesty creates success.
Pushing Upward has supreme success.
Don't sweat the small stuff - and it's all small stuff...
I had a pleasant weekend. My tax refund came in and, while Alex and I gloomily agreed that most of it has to be held back to repair the car, we decided we deserved some treats after the recent weeks of frugality. Naturally, we overdid it a bit but at least we bought durable items of lasting worth - music, movies, books and clothes that we will actually wear more than once. Well, I might be hard-pressed to convince my boss to let me wear vinyl hip-huggers to work. They were half price, how could I resist buying them? I also made my annual pilgrimage to the Clinique counter and, as usual, fifty dollars' worth of makeup has me set for the next year or so.
Saw Susan and
Christopher for Mothers' Day, and that was nice. We just ate breakfast
together and I gave Susan a gift certificate to Macy's - the usual default
gift. I had to resort to a blank card, as all Mothers' Day cards seem to
feature one of two messages: "Mom, you're such a great domestic
slave" or "Aren't you lucky to have a kid as great as me?".
Both sentiments put my teeth on edge. There didn't seem to be a card that
struck the right note of "Of course I'm fond of you - especially for not
strangling me when I was about seventeen. Thanks for everything..." You
know, upbeat and affectionate, but not mushy, demeaning or egotistical...
I suppose I shouldn't fret about it too much, the whole dam' day was cooked up by Hallmark anyways. Admittedly, it's worth more than my life to ignore it, of course... My mother may have her easygoing moments, but I've noticed that she becomes most put out at the idea of ignoring some traditions...
Motherpusbucket... Obviously, there was some bad karma unleashed over the weekend. Shannon's sister broke her leg - messily. One of Dave's good friends on the east coast was murdered at an ATM. Douglas Adams died at a blasted gymnasium... okay, so that last one doesn't have much impact on my personal life, but these lists always seem to read better in threes. Meanwhile, I'm just cranky because my car needs fixing. Hello, Mr. Mallet O'Perspective, how nice to see you again...thud
I had a good time at Aragon on Saturday, mostly because Diana was really curious about the werewolves that showed up - so much so that she didn't hear the Sensechal or the Keeper of Elysium yelling at her to get away from them. Oops.
But I don't know how much of a good time the other players had. More importantly, I don't know if Dave had a good time and, if the GM ain't enjoying himself, well... the game ain't long for the world. We'll see, I guess. Right now, Dave's got other things on his mind.
Given that Diana's goals have been realized a little earlier than I anticipated - I didn't know lupine were going to be an in-game presence quite so soon - I'm at a bit of a loose end for her. I can still play her, certainly, but I don't know how much of an inspiration she will be to me beyond this point. I think I want to see the Tosco plotline (now that it's been revived) out with her, but after that, I don't know. I guess it depends on if I can convince Dave to let me play this acolyte of Isis idea I've got...
For the first time
in about five years, White Wolf have published a sourcebook that I actually
read from cover to cover - as opposed to just flipping through the updated
bits to some new edition, as I did for Vampire, Werewolf and Mage
- and in two sittings, no less. The book is Mummy: The Resurrection.
Okay, I'm biased, as I dig Egyptological thingies, but the de-facto 3rd edition of Mummy kicks ass. For a start, it's a hell of an improvement over the first two editions, totally revamping the mechanics and giving the Mummies a more developed culture and some very coherent goals - and with a reasonably good in-game explanation as to what happened to the Shemsu-Heru of the first two editions. Furthermore, the authors bothered to do some research, so if you know your history, you're not gnashing your teeth by the second chapter. And, finally, as oppposed to the fatalistic-Ragnarok point-of-view of the werewolves, the Mummies are actually rather hopeful warriors for Balance In All Things - which most often translates to fighting the Wyrm/Chaos/Apep in a variety of ways. Hell, compared to the werewolves, the Amenti (as Mummies are now called) are positively cheerful! They like being alive and living it as much they can, realizing that the world is a nifty place and should be enjoyed at every reasonable opportunity - otherwise, why would she be worth defending? Yay, a break from the angst!
Unsurprisingly, I am bursting with ideas for characters and really want to talk some GM into letting me play a Mummy - or even a retainer/assistant to the culture, as I've got ideas in that direction too - such as the acolyte of Isis mentioned above. Mummy really is a sourcebook, not a stand-alone game as Mummies have some severe restrictions on their abilities, and are rare enough to almost never congregate outside of the Middle East, so I'll have to hold my breath and find a GM and a game that can accomodate such a thing. Go figure, Mummies really loan themselves to Werewolf and Wraith and I'm not in a chronicle like that right now. Maybe, just maybe I can sweet talk one of my Vampire GMs...
Speaking of Werewolf, Alex and I are thinking of maybe running a Werewolf Moot, a la Rich and Shaunna's ass-kicking moot of a few years ago, later this summer. I've got a campsite on Mount Diablo reserved - intially for Valley of the Kings - so we may as well use it. But it entirely depends upon player enthusiasm. We'll need about fifteen players to make it work and the more, the merrier. The next couple of weeks evangelizing should determine whether or not I need to bone up on Werewolf in a hurry...
Tui / The Joyous, Lake
The Joyous. Success.
Don't be too proud to not ask the advice of your friends, and don't be so stubborn as to not listen to it.
Well, it looks like
Jennifer and I our having our annual spat. Well, the word spat suggests
mutual irritation whilst, in fact, she's just angry at me, whereas I'm rather
phlegmatic about matters. The whole incident has been borne of the fact that
Instant Messaging can often hamper communication more than it helps, and I
made the mistake of forgetting that Jennifer can't read my mind. I have tried
to e-mail and explanation and apology, but she's not in a very conciliatory
mood just now.
Honestly, I've done my part to explain and apologize, and that's all I can do. I'm not going to get sucked into some cycle of anger and finger-pointing. I hate it when there's discord between friends, but the Melodrama Fairy (think Buddy from Kids in the Hall) is stirring up enough mischief without my adding to it.
If nothing else, I think I can take this is a sign that I'm finally getting a handle on my temper. If I had read the current entry at Abstract Thoughts even three months ago, I would have immediately blown up, gone to pieces and generally said a lot of things that would have done far more damage than the initial incident. Unreasonable, yes, but that's the way I am (hopefully was) at times. As it is, I'm a little saddened because I think Jennifer is taking out her disappointment with Aragon on me (and I've told her so, Mr. Anonymous Journal Snipper) but that's all.
presence of the Melodrama Fairy has set me to thinking. At first I thought The
fun to bullshit ratio in LARPing is starting to get out of whack, maybe I
should quit LARPing. Then I remembered that bullshit is a part of life and
melodrama will occur where-ever one goes. But it occurs to me that my social
circle is getting a little stifled and an airing-out may be in order. I might
take a break from LARPing, just to create the time for that, and to get a
little perspective on, well, everything.
I've been in the Bay Area for ten years. Although I lived in the U.K. for twelve, it was the first twelve years of my life and thus my social interactions were a bit different, go figure. This is the longest time I've spent in one area whilst being reasonably coherent and aware of my surroundings. I have a fine circle of friends, but they are almost all derived from gaming or sci-fi fan activity, which is a giant fishbowl unto itself. The system is enclosed and, I think, after a few years' circulation within the fishbowl, I'm starting to run into the glass walls around me. It's taken a while, but I'm finally becoming aware of the boundaries of my relatively small territory. Watching the careful social stepping around that has been borne out of Chris & JL's divorce has brought that into sharp focus, also: Let's see, if he's going to go there, she's going to be here, which means I would rather be at that other place... Another big breakup has happened in the same clique, so things are only going to stay the same - if not get worse. As big as it is, a fishbowl is still a fishbowl.
So maybe it's time to change the water - or at least get a new brightly colored plastic castle to put on the gravel and swim around...
I've been casually visiting the House of Netjer for a couple of weeks and, synchronicity being what it is, deriving a reasonable bit of support from the discussions going on in their forums. It's led me to start thinking about getting more involved with the organization They run a three month online-class for students of Kemetic Orthodoxy, and I'm thinking of applying for the next round. Taking the course doesn't obligate one to any further commitment and I think it would be rather educational. The idea of a peer-group that isn't gaming-related is quite appealing and I've always been drawn to the icons of ancient Egypt. However, I'm withholding my final decision until I've had enough time to determine if these people are reasonably-well grounded, or if they're yet another bunch of spirituality-of-the-month froot loops. I've got time, as the next round of classes won't kick off for a few weeks.
I need to pare down the fluff in my life, I think. Of course, a fluff-less life is boring, so the pruning will have to be rather carefully done. But it occurs to me that I've got far too much energy dedicated to entirely meaningless projects. A craving for meaning is probably what is driving my curiosity in the House of Netjer, I think. Fortunately, I've been raised too much the cynic to get sucked in to something just because it's at the right place in the right time. But one does try to heed the tiny omens one comes across.
I'm also thinking about caving in and taking some organized sewing classes and learn some more-advanced techniques in something other than a haphazard manner. Of course, that means repairing my machine (again!) but that won't cost much. And it would be nice to make Alex some new garb for Faire this year. I know, I know, I say that every year! I've got to start using up some of that fabric I've got...
I suppose if I wanted a real challenge, I could always try cleaning my house!
I have been far too preoccupied to be thinking about gaming these past couple of days. Go figure.
|Ko / Revolution (Molting)||Hsu / Waiting (Nourishment)|
Revolution. On your own day you are
Waiting. If you are sincere, you
have light and success.
Hm, seems to be validating my rumbling thoughts of finding some new hobbies/outlets - or at least taking a break from the ones I currently have...
As usual, with a
broken sewing machine and a filthy house, I'm mad to sew again. I think I
might swing by the bookstore and pick up a couple of Sewing For Dummies
type books to pore over until I can find some lessons that are worth my time.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to cut a deal with myself that if I clean up the kitchen
on Saturday morning (a task that is going to require a hazmat suit and a lot
of chemicals) I can sew my little heart out on the spare machine on Saturday
afternoon. So far, the negotiating sides are deadlocked. I have a hard enough
time getting up on a Saturday morning without knowing that I've got a toxic
stovetop awaiting my attention... But Alex has his D&D game at Bob's place
on Saturday night, and I'm going to be at a loose end, anyways, so I would
rather clean in the morning and - at worst - veg out in the evening, than veg
out in the morning and then stay up half the night scraping calcified take-out
off the crockery because now I'm mad at myself for not taking care of it
earlier in the day.
I've never pretended to be logical.
O'Perspective is continuing to make its rounds. Laurel's mother has been
hospitalized for some serious heart problems. Shannon's husband, Mike,
graduates boot camp today (some good news for a change) and there's
every chance that my monthly PG&E bill is going to top $100 by mid-summer.
And this ia a house that doesn't have the usual power-sinks like an electric
dryer, or air-conditioning. The computer can't be using that much
Dave claims he is carrying two large sticks with which to beat the Melodrama Fairy, so maybe that has sent him shrieking back into the ether.
I decided to do something mildly constructive with my current Egyptology binge: Egyptology for the Gamer
And although Dave shot down - and rightfully so - my idea for a 'flavor NPC' in Aragon I might write up a history for Miriam El-Suufi anyways. No, Miriam isn't a WoD Mummy, but she is a human who is affiliated with them. It's a nifty concept, but there's really no room for her in the current storyline of that chronicle. Still, there was no harm in pitching her. In the meantime, I can write, if I want to. Writing about her should keep my gaming itch satisfied, should it flare up. She's got a lot of potential, given that she travels the world looking for dazed newly-arisen would-be Amenti and bringing them to where they need to be. Globe-trotting, high risk, mysteries and magic all wrapped up into one set of motivations... Maybe I'll put her into the Grab Bag.
I'm going to skip
CAST (the Sunday game) for the time being, although I'm hoping that just
missing it the once is all I will have to do. If I miss two games, I'll be
seriously out of the loop and, beyond that, well, I may as well leave the
chronicle permanently. Whilst a game of that nature (medium-sized group,
frequent meetings) could easily accommodate a bungee player or two, as it
already does, I don't like the idea of joining their ranks...
I'm not sure if I'm going to go to the Aragon game in mid-June, it will depend upon my mood - and if my mother intends to celebrate her birthday that night, as it falls rather close to that weekend. I think maybe a month off will re-charge my batteries, or give me some ideas as to what to do next. Diana's at a good stage to put into a holding-pattern, anyways. But, on the other hand, even a mediocre night at Aragon is usually worth the trouble of going... I'll make a decision about that closer to the game-day.
And I've turned down an invite to join Dave's WoD/Pulp Cairo chronicle, as tempting as it sounds. I was flattered enough that he found the Egyptology for Gamers page useful. Maybe in July, or so, if he's still willing to have me...
However, I'm keeping my commitment to helping James brainstorm some character crunchies for Aragon, and perhaps putting some distance between myself and gaming will create an interesting perspective... or leave me high and dry for ideas. Time will tell...
|Chun / Difficulty at the Beginning||Fu / Return (The Turning Point)|
Difficulty at the Beginning works
Return. Success. Going out and
coming in without error.
Stand by what you believe in, but not to the point of pig-headedness. If in doubt about whether or not to take action, stay your hand until you are quite certain about what to do. A slight change in habits might prove fruitful.
Oh my. A pal of
mine, T (it's not an initial, that's his entire name) is hosting a July 4th
picnic and performance in Berkeley. Apparently his gang of friends aren't
happy with simply charring a whole bunch of red meat to commemorate the most
American of holidays, they want to put on a somewhat-impromptu performance of
the play-within-a-play from A Midsummer Night's Dream. Yow. Nifty, but
ambitious. Still, fun is where one finds it. I might join 'em, just to catch
up with a gang I don't usually see outside of gaming conventions... I can't
trust myself to memorize Shakespeare (a casting call went out last night) but
I've offered to help rustle up some costuming elements. Apparently there is
talk of going with a Disco 70's motif. Faaaabulous!
What's really surprising is that, given that this will all be happening in Berkeley, it won't seem the slightest bit out of the ordinary to any passers-by... Maybe if they gave the performance in business-suits... (rude mechanicals, indeed!)
Alex and I have decided to celebrate our anniversary during the three-day weekend following, but I'm wondering what we're going to do, aside from scattering Chuckling Cthulhu fliers all over the place. There are two big gaming cons that weekend, y'see...
Reminder: on May 25th, carry your towel proudly!
Taking at least a month off from gaming is going to be harder than I thought. Dave offered me a spot in his 1920s World of Darkness/Pulp Cairo chronicle (aiye!), Rich is muttering about launching a tabletop Mummy chronicle (darnit!) and Alex and I have received a better-than-anticipated response to the idea of a live-action garou moot (holy cow!). Okay, so I clearly put myself into that final bind but, geeze. Resolve to taking a few weeks off from gaming clearly shouldn't be done when GMs are feeling all spring-y and invigorated. Fortunately, all concerned are quite understanding of the need to take a break...
To my surprise, we've received ten very firm "heck yeahs!" from potential players of a campout moot on Mount Diablo. Alex and I are aiming for 15 - 20 and I think we might actually get it. Better yet, the revised-revised Laws of the Wild is shipping at the end of the month, so we''ll have a reasonable rules set to call on. Running the game as MET will save us a lot of headaches. It took nearly ten years, but I guess WW got me back into their fold.
Now we've just gotta think up plots. Just because Rich's nigh-legendary kick-ass moot practically carried itself doesn't mean ours will. Of course, lots of little silly ideas (such as covering Dave in henna tattoos for his character, Warchilde) are utterly distracting me from thinking of plots. You know you can buy pre-made colored henna paste, now? Body Art supply is one of my favorite places to go, although the web site design leaves a lot to be desired. For custom application, check out Pacific Tattoo which has a great in-house henna artist!
|Lu / Treading [Conduct]||Ch'ien / The Creative|
Treading upon the tail of the tiger.
The Creative works sublime success,
Keep a clear head in times of conflict and take pains to stick to the high road, rather than falling victim to ego.
I had an interesting
conversation with Walkyr the other day, about anger as a motivating factor. A
lot of people have achieved things through spite but raw anger has rarely
accomplished anything lasting, aside from the occasional war. Walkyr mentioned
that anger was almost all he had left at the moment - he's not too keen on his
current posting in the USAF - and I mentioned what a shame I thought that was.
More and more often, I've been telling myself that very little is worth
getting angry about - be it a guy who cuts me in a line, or some twit being
thoughtless or my boss expecting me to develop ESP, whatever - I just tell
myself it's not worth getting angry about and let it go. Walkyr thought it a
rather surprising philosophy but, well, I've decided that I've got too many
things requiring my energy for me to go throwing that energy away on simmering
fury. Imagine all the things a person can be doing instead of throwing a
tantrum? Anger just empowers negative things. Who needs that?
That's not to say that my resolution to be easy going has been entirely successful - or that I'm advocating a doormat existance. Moderation in all things, right? And Rome wasn't built in a day...
To ease communications, I've set up an area on the Aragon EZBoard for the live-action moot - which still needs the obligatory cool Event Name... I've posted a few house rules, a quick description of the game site, etc. As we receive and approve character concepts, we'll be posting them online to help people find out what's out there and get together to form packs. Miracle of miracles, Alex managed to track down Kristina who has been rather absent from our social circle lately - moving to Petaluma will do that. Kristina was one of the original pack of Luna's Mist (who will be hosting the moot this time around) so it will be nice to have her around to reprise her role - Black Fury Ahroun with the tribal name Kicks to the Crotch. I wonder how she'll get along with James' Bonegnawer, Tastes Like Chicken...
In the meantime, I've got to go up the mountain at some point this month and check out the campsite. Just how primitive is primitive, I wonder? I know there's no running water, but I hope that there's a firepit, at least (although I know fires might not be allowed in mid-july) and that the toilets are more than a hole in the ground with a shovel and a pile of lime...
|K'an / The Abysmal (Water)||Pi / Holding Together [Union]|
The Abysmal repeated.
Holding Together brings good
Maintain proper priorities and don't go rushing off to take on a project that is too much for yourself, just because you're enthusiastic to get started. Big things are made of little things - focus on little things today.
Why don't I ever see someone walking through downtown carrying a boombox blasting classical music? Why do I only ever hear rap and the occasional mariachi band? One day, I'm going to stroll through the theater district and mark my turf with a stereo blasting Verdi's Aida or something. Although I suppose Wagner would have more impact.
Alex and I helped
James et al move house yesterday. Although, in my case, I think
'helped' is a very loose sense of the word. Given my little girly-wrists -
chronically sprained, both of them, so I have to take it easy when carrying
heavy things - I was only carrying things like bags of clothes and blankets.
Still, when your new place is the upper half of a two-storey duplex, I guess
any help is welcome.
They've got a nice place, actually - much nicer than it seems from the outside. Four small bedrooms, a big kitchen and living room, a laundry room and even a small patio out back, plus enough parking for both of their vehicles and the incipient downstairs neighbor. They've also got new carpets and a new paint job - even if that paint job was just a tad botched here and there. Overall, not bad, but the rent is close to ruinous - the cost of living on the west side of the east bay, I guess. Early on, James was trying to convince Alex and I to consider moving into the bottom part of the house, but I am done, done, done being the bottom neighbor in a de-facto apartment, no matter how nice it was - and it would have meant losing a lot of space but only saving a little bit of money. If we didn't have the pets, it would have been worth considering - especially given that Alex loves the climate in El Cerrito - but, as it is, it's not an option.
Still, I'll miss having James, Laurel and Dave close to hand - and not just because James has always been willing to come get my ass out of a sling when I'm stranded somewhere in Concord... Laurel's my only buddy who shares the sewing addiction - although she is ten times the seamstress I will ever be. And Dave and James are always good company and fun to hang around with. Admittedly, now that Dave has moved out of Miskatonic Acres, his occasional company is much more bearable - and the sentiment is mutual, I think... Still, I'll miss having them all close to hand.
My self-declared month away from Vampire has jogged some other bits and pieces loose. I finally put together an introduction and accompanying page for Kumla Storyseeker and Miriam El-Suufi and I've got an idea for a vignette that features both of them, but I'm not sure if I'm going to write that up, as I'm not sure if it's really going to gel - or matter. I mean, it'll be a bit of fun, but I don't think it's really going to contribute to the development of either character. I'm thinking about having a go with the infamous 100 Questions for Miriam, just for the mental exercise, and that will develop her character more than a dozen little vignettes.
I think I've sussed out why I'm feeling a bit burned out by the CAST game - y'know, the one that's supposed to be a 'no brainer'. First, as an every-other-week game, it demands a certain amount of constant attention, if not entirely conscious attention - a lot like a process running in the background on my desktop computer, in a way. And that gets a bit tiring after a while, even if it is low-demand. Second, the game doesn't offer that many chances for roleplaying, per se. Right now, my experience in the chronicle has been very reactionary and motivated by dealing with the latest crisis. Rather than roleplaying and tinkering with my character, I'm doing a lot of pinballing across the court. Part of that I attribute to the nature of the plots in the game - it's the usual sort-this-out-before-the-Masquerade-goes-boom kind of thing, and part of it I attribute to the playership at large. The players are green and a lot of them are of the type that Kevin would call the wanna-be Champions players - approaching Vampire as a sort of Superheroes With Fangs kind of game. Very much a problem-solving, ass-kicking approach to the game, not a character-oriented approach.
Now, I can only roleplay in a vacuum for so long. Alex, James, Shannon, Chris and I are all of the classic 'touchy-feely' roleplayers. We love crafting a character, throwing it into trouble and then getting ourselves out of it, preferably through roleplay. Sure, there are going to be times when pinballing around and writing long lists of downtime actions are the best way to deal with matters, but such things shouldn't make up the majority of the game - as they are, for me, right now in the CAST game. Too much of my time is being spent crafting nifty little intelligence dossiers for the clan, convoluted and exhaustive downtime plans (which are invariably lost by Miranda, or dealt with in an entirely half-baked way, but that's a subject for a different rant entirely) and, on occasion, trying to play Buffer Zone between Jean-Paul and the rest of the court (which is pretty neat, I'll admit). Okay, so no-one is making me do a lot of that, but it's neccessary to keep the clan going and to ensure that someone is pursuing the plots that Mike has laid out.
Time spent in logistics/panic-mode takes away from time that could be spent roleplaying. Even roleplaying with a bunch of greenies can be worth it - as a lot of those greenies are going to learn by the example given to them. And those greenies are starting to turn in better performances over time, I've seen that much. But it's proving a very slow process and the selfish part of me feels like I've been LARPing for nearly ten years, now, I really want to be done with newbies... Selfish, but hey, I'm an OFOG (Old Fart of Gaming) in spirit, if not in fact.
I play games like Vampire because I like to roleplay, not because I want to sit down and try to think out the trickiest, sneakiest downtime (well, unless my character really is tricky and sneaky, but Rebecca isn't) and play fireman for court crises. Alas, I feel very much like, "If I don't do this, no-one else will" when it comes to the plots. It's not an accurate feeling but, well, given the number of greenies in court, it's entirely inaccurate, either.
But I digress. I play RPGs to have fun with developing a character and, sometimes, solve a neat mystery or kick a little ass along the way. I'm not getting that out of CAST right now, and I'm only getting it out of Aragon about half the time. Now, my issues with Aragon are much more self-borne that the ones I have with CAST. I've managed to cut down the drinking - somewhat - at Aragon (now I'm usually only mildly tiddly at game's end, rather than near-legless) and, lo and behold, I'm enjoying the game more. But with CAST... I don't know. I could change characters to one that is involved with a less hierarchical clan - say the Malkavian or Toreador (my two faves) but given the other players in that game who are currently in those clans, I don't think I would measurably improve my RP experience. The other option is to keep doing my best to give a good example and insist upon RPing whenever possible within the court.
Geeze, enough with the analysis. It's just a game. I'm going to give it some thought over the next few weeks and I'll either drop the CAST game, or I'll change characters, or I'll figure out a way to shake the RP experience I crave out of the troupe without killing myself from the effort.
Hm, for a vampire-free month, that entry took up a lot of space.
Meanwhile, the pre-pre-prep for the lupine moot is going well. So far, we've got a couple of Glasswalkers, a Bonegnawer, a Wendigo, a Silent Strider, an Uketena and a Black Fury. Good mix, so far. To my surprise, we're not up to our ass in ahroun auspices - which is good. The kind of moot Alex and I have in mind isn't going to be too exciting for the ahrouns, anyways. Well, not until the end of the evening. Heh heh heh.
|Wu Wang / Innocence (The Unexpected)|
Innocence. Supreme success.
Well, um, I did honestly forget about the upcoming anniversary. Really!
Got me a Sewing for Dummies book at the used-book store - well, the Singer Complete Guide to Sewing, actually, and it's already proven very helpful. I've got some ideas for re-organizing the "Craft Room" when we have the funds again. Sigh. I guess I'll have to put off my plans to buy me a EuroPro machine for my birthday. The EuroPro is a machine that won't break when I run multiple layers of fabric through it, so it'll earn back it's cost within, oh, four projects, given that it costs me $50 each time I bust my regular machine... And it does a few - quite a few - stitches that my regular machine doesn't and comes with a passel o'useful feet, too... Some women want furs and fast cars. I want a turbo-powered sewing machine.
Because of various
factors - mostly attributable to gaming companies and movie studios, I think -
a fresh rash of Egyptology has broken out amongst my social circle and I'm
thinking of making a day of it. The
Rosicrucian Museum is just down in San Jose - the best Egyptology
collection on the west coast, even if it was collected by a slightly dingbat
religious order. And the San Jose Technology Museum is showing an IMAX film
"The Secrets of Egypt". Oh, my cup runneth over! The trick is
finding someone with a car who wants to go. Someone with a car that will
manage to make it San Jose (unlike Levi). If I can get a large enough group
together, we could rent a minivan for the weekend and really make Enterprise
regret the phrase Unlimited Mileage, but I'm not sure if I can get that
big a group together.
Well, if naught else, Dave and I are up for doing the day trip via public transit if need be - and that would be an adventure in itself! It's been a long time since I've gone down to the Rosicrucian Museum, so it would be pretty neat.
Thinking of niftiness, it's a shame that Alex's Star Wars game is this Friday, as a theater group near my office is putting on Mister Shakespeare's Magic Mirror - 10 Actors, 56 Roles, 28 Plays and A Baseball Game. It looks like it might be a rather amusing diversion... But I'm already booked, and the show would cost $18, another strike against it. Darn.
Not a lot, aside from Alex's upcoming Star Wars game, which I'm looking forward to. Andy is still trying to lure me into his Exploration game, but I can't commit to a mid-week game in Fremont. I've also decided to decline my open invitation to Dave's Cairo/WoD game because She is in it, and I'm still not sure I can be civil to Her just yet. That's my issue, not hers, so there's no need to pollute a perfectly innocent RPG with it.
A Mummy LARP in the Rosicrucian Museum? You might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment... ;)
|Kuan / Contemplation (View)||P'i / Standstill [Stagnation]|
Contemplation. The ablution has been made, but not yet the offering. Full of trust they look up to him.
Standstill. Evil people do not further the perseverance of the superior man. The great departs; the small approaches.
When faced with a conflict, feel free to seek the advice of others, but heed your inner voice, also.
I'm about 2/3
through my sewing book and the itch to sew is getting stronger. My machine has
been dropped off at the shop so, with luck, I'll have it back before the itch
fades. I've also thrown caution to the wind and decided that, when I can
afford it, I'm buying a fitting dummy. If I wait for the right time, I can
land one for $100 - providing I can find the special petite-and-padded model I
would need. Short person means short torso, and I've got a high waist as it
is... My to-sew pile is getting extensive and several of the patterns are
going to require muslins and a bit of tailoring - and that tailoring will be
much easier if I have a mannequin to fit it to, rather than trying to alter a
muslin while I'm wearing it. I'm just not that flexible...
Meanwhile, I've also got a new fashion book at the used-book store: English Women's Clothing Through the 19th Century. I tell ya, if I'm going to Gaskell's in June or August, I'm going to go with the turn of the century Empire look. No corseting, no outrageous bustles, no tight bodices... Sure, a high waist and tube dress makes me look rather matronly but, to heck with it... I think Folkwear does a decent pattern, now that I think of it...
I think taking time off from Vampire isn't sufficient. There's still Alex's Star Wars game, a PBEM that a friend of mine suckered me into, the lupine moot, Chuckling Cthulhu, Code Black... So, I'm thinking of quietly bowing out of Star Wars after the next chapter, and throwing Code Black at Alex after I finish our first episode (whenever that will be). The PBEM isn't taking much of my time, ditto for Chuckling Cthulhu. Now, the lupine moot will take a lot of my time, but it's only a one-shot, so I'll be free after that... Still, in order to take up some new hobbies, or even just change my routine, I need to free up more of my time - and my mind!
|Ch'ien / The Creative||H^eng / Duration|
The Creative works sublime success,
Duration. Success. No blame.
Act in haste, repent at leisure. You're on the cusp of something right now, choose your next steps carefully, and for the proper reasons. This is a time for justified confidence, but not arrogance.
annoying. I had a light lunch and too much soda, so I came home with a nasty
headache and, whilst I wanted to hang out with Dave and James, who had
come over to watch Alex's 'soaps' (wrestling) with him, I instead spent most
of the evening sulking over the computer in the back room. But cranky
headaches give interesting dreams. Heaven only knows what my subconscious was
trying for with the gang-o'-friends goes to the aquarium and Rob A. turns
into a big orange fish in the airplane on the way back dream. He was still
talkative and charismatic, but a fish nonetheless... Weird... I'm sure the
giant seahorses were important, too, but at least they stayed in a tank in the
Gonos caught up with me last night, and we chatted for a while. He always manages to call when I'm out of the house, so when he does reach me, I give him as much time as I can. He's a good guy in a tight spot - got laid off five months ago and is having a hell of a time finding new work. At this point, he's willing to go back to game QA just to make the rent... That or he's thinking of moving down to San Diego. A whole lot of people are leaving, or thinking about it - with good reason, I suspect.
Meanwhile, a high-school
acquaintance fell out of the sky the other day. Not literally, of course.
Shimpei was a Japanese student who blasted through GHS in three years, in
order to have a year to go back to Japan and cram for college, and that was
the last I had heard of him. I remember him as a nice chap - rare enough for a
teenage boy - who was friendly in a rather cautious way and smarter than any
three people put together. Earlier this week, he dropped me a line letting me
know he was back in the U.S. - albeit in South Dakota - and generally looking
forward to getting back into the American swing of things. Neat!
Last week, I received an e-mail from a former fellow-drama-clubber who is looking for a mutual acquaintance. Of course, she remember my damn hat - I wore a fedora for about, oh, thirteen months straight - and that's about all she remembers. Still, it was amusing to hear from her, even if I didn't have any news about our long-lost mutual acquaintance, John C.
Yay! My sewing machine is going to be back from the shop today! I've got muslin ready and a pattern for the B5/Chef's jacket ready to go. I'm going to start cutting it tomorrow and I'll be sewing over the holiday weekend... I've priced out some dressforms and it's definitely going to have to wait until my b-day, or later. What I don't understand is why would I want to pay $600 for a custom-moulded dress form, if it's not in the slightest bit adjustable? What if I lose/gain weight? Then I've got a $600 paperweight on my hands. The Dritz My Double will do me just fine...
Eavesdropping on the bus.... A recently-arrived Mormon missionary from Indiana - fresh faced, blonde and entirely clean-cut. He's been in San Francisco for less than three weeks and absolutely loves it - but he's sometimes overwhelmed by the difference between the big city and the 7,000-person town he came from. He managed to hold off nearly fifteen minutes before starting to explain the Book of Mormon to his riding-acquaintance. He was an interesting contrast to the former hooker I was eavesdropping on when I was taking the bus the other way. An erudite and unashamed lady who had the luck to be working for an escort service, rather than hustling on the street. I believe she's working for a web-company, now. She had a few tart (ahem) things to say about the hookers who congegrate on some parts of 16th street in the early evening...
Yay! Kudos to Dave! He's going to take an armload of Chuckling Cthulhu fliers with him to both ConQuest and KublaCon, so we can get the word out without having to drag poor Levi over hill and dale (and risk losing even more chunks of the engine). I'm starting to attack the left-fallow ground of Steincorp Station again, looking over the notes and suchlike. It's matured pretty well and I think we've got a fun little event on our hands - if we can get the players!
Let's see, Star Wars tonight, Port Townsend tomorrow... Didn't I say I was going to take a break from all this? Playing in PT breaks my 'no Vampire' rule, but Logan got rather puppy-eyed on me when I mentioned that, and I know it takes an act of god (well, Kevin) to get all of the players of that crew into the same place at the same time. So I relented.
|Ching / The Well||K'an / The Abysmal (Water)|
If you are sincere, you have success
in your heart,
Accept that some things are constant and others are
beyond your control - you cannot change a person's mind if they are not
willing to listen. Don't become frustrated by this state of affairs, but
continue to follow your self-determined path.
The chef's jacket pattern seems to have done the trick for the EA jacket prototype I was working on for Steincorp Station. The collar isn't the greatest, and it requires a little jiggery-pokery on the front closure, but I think it falls well within tolerances for 'good enough, darnit!'. Best of all, I put the prototype together in seven hours - I'm a slow sewer, I'll admit - which means that the final version will be a one-day garment, too - hopefully.
Now, where did I put that black duck so I can make me my Trinity-style corset?
Friday: Alex's Star Wars game. I had a good time, but poor Alex got bored off his butt. He was happy that the gang was roleplaying and, generally, getting along well - but he was jonesing to run us through some big gunfight he had waiting in the wings, and we never got there! We were too busy having meetings and wandering off to interact. Alex thinks it rather ironic that some of the best RP he's seen all month has happened in what he considers the most RP-light game we play - and I can see his point. Still, as I say, I had a good time - particularly in a scene Yahnna had with Dell, Dave's character. Although if she finds out he's still bullshitting her (a likely possibility) there's going to be hell to pay.
I'm doing my best to keep Yahnna reasonably low-profile in that game for a couple of reasons - all player-motivated. The first is, of course, the usual reason of I don't want to run the risk of appearing to be getting extra attention because my hubby is the GM. I don't think that's ever happened in a game of Alex's, but it's a risk that I like to keep my eyes open to.
The other reason is that the gang contains me, Jennifer, James and Dave, which means there are four strong egos rubbing up against each other - so that's a small powder keg waiting to go off, right from the get-go. One thoughtless bit of grandstanding and several people would be getting very pissed off. Then add in the fact that James is playing a rather status conscientious character (or perhaps I should say that Bodie is very conscientious about respect) - in utter contrast to Yahnna's rather rough-and-ready smuggler background, and the chances for IC friction go up by another order of magnitude. A lot of that got settled a couple of games ago, but I have to keep an eye on mine/Yahnna's tendency to be a bossyboots and not stomp all over Bodie's feelings. James, I know, can tell the difference between IC and OOC, so that's not a worry. But too much IC friction can really slow a game down and pollute its karma. So I'm trying to be careful, y'know?
Meanwhile in the Saturday Port Townsend game, it seems that Janice can't do anything but grandstand. That's what I get for playing an over-protective, over-curious, over-enthusiastic Toreador, I guess. I may as well have Janice's Mustang blasting the Angel theme tune while she's cruising Water Street and looking for trouble, because Angel is what she's turning into. Well, not really. Janice can't quite pull off the leather trenchcoat - keeps getting tangled up in it, don't y'know - and she has far too many cheerful moments. But, once Janice finds out what has happened to Delphi (I got some OOC foreshadowing from Jennifer, who plays Delphi) hoo boy... Heads are gonna roll! Janice finds Delphi occasionally annoying, but that doesn't mean she doesn't like her... And anyone Janice likes, Janice looks after. It's that whole caregiver-nature thing. Now, if I could just stop Janice's Humanity from nosediving every fourth game or so...
Anyways, I had a good time with Logan running the episode, although I was pooped from the Star Wars game going until midnight, and I was just a wee bit hungover, too - that third beer on Friday just sneaked up on me and beat me up. So whenever Janice wasn't involved in a scene, I was jumping around the house - tidying up, putting out food, laying out a pattern in the other room - just so I would stay awake. Fortunately, I really try not to be in the room when a scene is occurring without my character (if I don't hear what's going on, there's no chance of my taking OOC information into character) so I had lots of legitimate chances to walk around and stay on my feet.
So, while Alex and I were having an early dinner with Shannon on Sunday afternoon. Alex made a passing joke that got me thinking. Alex was telling Shannon about two of his favorite darlings in his Star Wars game - namely Admiral Zoraith and Darth Stygoss (aka, the Marquis DeLorik). Both characters were featured in Alex's first SW chronicle - the much-missed Tales of the Iridium Rose - but they're both such nifty characters, Alex couldn't let 'em go and, given that this second chronicle occurs five years after the first, it's quite plausible for him to keep the NPCs on the roster. Of course, the worst of the two - Stygoss - is already starting to make himself known. I'm having great fun with Yahnna's reactions to all this - the sang froid has totally evaporated. "Storm a fortified Imperial prison protected by five thousand military men? No problem, we can do that, it'll be a piece of cake. What? You say you had a vision of dark-robed human with a red lightsaber? Oh shit!"
Anyways, so Alex is lovingly boasting about his babies - he's managed to scare the pants offa several of us with Stygoss, and we've all got grudging admiration for Zoraith even if he is on the wrong side - and he makes some joke about Yahnna and Zoraith getting involved because Alex used Derek Jacobi for the character's likeness. "Then again," Alex muses. "I suppose DeLorik would be more likely, since I'm using Jeremy Irons with costuming straight out of the Dungeons & Dragons movie...". My initial reaction was the to-be-expected of eep! Then I thought "Hm, could be interesting, but way too dark for a Star Wars game." and concluded with "Nah, it'll be a bad idea all 'round - and never mind my characters' well established precedent of fucking the wrong people..." (Rachel, Trish, Rebecca... the list goes on...). Still, there are disadvantages to having one's hubby be the GM - they know one far too well...