I know, another long absence. Things have been crazy in a good and bad way. I suggest you hit the
live journal for gory details. It's a lot easier to update that thing than this site,
so I've been able to squeeze in snippets from time to time.
The good: I'm working again. Here, to be precise. I'm an office manager-slash-mother hen to this place. The people are good and working the California Music Awards on my fifth day of employment only drove me to the brink of insanity. But it was insane in a good way. If my gamer friends think I'm bitchy and obsessive when running a larp, they should see me when I'm shoving my was past tipsy backstage freeloaders. I swear, I was about to start using my clipboard as a melee weapon. I'm getting credited as a production manager for the gig - which is not nearly as grand as it sounds, but it beats "General Dogsbody", which is what I felt like by the end of the night... I met some nice/interesting/hilarious people during that evening - from the English interviewer to the incredibly-French director - and I rather hope I'll run into them again in the future.
The show will be airing locally (Bay Area) on UPN 44 sometime on Saturday evening, if you're morbidly curious. I'll probably tape it, just to glimpse my name whizzing by in the credits. Fame at last!
Sort of good: my muse is showing signs of waking up. I expected - hoped, rather - her to perk up a bit when I quit stressing about my job. Unfortunately, just as she was starting to churn out all sorts of ideas for secondary characters for a piece I want to work on, my job smothered all my remaining brain cells. Things are a bit saner now, so I think I can get back to it in the next week or so. I haven't gotten as far as actually writing anything yet, but the mere fact that I'm even thinking about it is a step in the right direction.
See, I want to write something that isn't gamer-related, and I've been inspired by a new-ish genre that is irreverently referring to itself as tart noir. It may all come to naught, but I think it will be fun to tinker with, in the meantime. Does anyone have any recommendations for books for wannabe murder-mystery writers - aside from the Howdunit series, that is?
Not so good at all: I have punted my nascent writing gig with Chris H and the Kaer'en guys. I can tell that my new job is going to have some erratic hours - the joys of production - and it's one thing to pay only sporadic attention to a personal project, but entirely other to blow someone else's labor of love. I feel totally crummy for flaking out on the guys, but I realized that if I tried to take on what they need done, there was almost no chance of success. It was a case of let them down now, or let them down later and I opted for now. It was for the best. Really.
Almost entirely ungood: Something has come up in my family. At their request, I'm not talking about it with anyone except Alex. Feel free to start a betting pool on precisely when my head will pop from the effort of keeping my mouth shut - and put me down for next Tuesday. Suffice it to say that if I look very distracted or burst into tears for no apparent reason, there is a reason - just not an apparent one.
Although I must admit that blasting the Moulin Rouge soundtrack at eleven can do a lot for a gloomy mood...
Yeah, right. Don't make me laugh.
I've almost totally handed off character-maven stuff to Ryan, and I think that will be permanent. Just because I think I'll have time to help out with game-stuff this week doesn't mean I'll have time next week. Besides, I want to free up processor-time for the nascent writing project, above.
However, I've found a glimmer of inspiration for Patricia, so she's not quite dead yet...
But a much bigger priority is the fact that I've got three weeks to pull Deep Secrets together for KublaCon. Oh shit!
Just saw Spiderman.
Citizen Kane, it ain't, but it's good fun. Willem Defoe proved he can chew
on the scenery like the best of 'em, and Tobey McGuire is cute as a button.
The story was no more implausible than any other superhero movie, and Sam
Raimy was a good choice for the material - I was a little balky, at first,
when I heard he was directing it, but I think he produced something that is
very faithful to the overall spirit of the comic. That's no easy task when
the comic spans thirty years...
There were some shots that were surprisingly grainy - like the hospital scenes with Aunt May - and those rather jarred with the rest of the film, but that's a minor quibble. Some of the featured architecture was just delicious - props to the location scouts! - and I didn't think the CGI dragged much at all, although I hear some people found it a bit relentless, and I can see where those critics were coming from. The foley was well done, too - I'm usually pretty indifferent about that, but I noticed it this time, for some reason. Then again, maybe that's the definition of bad foley - when it becomes a consciously-noticed thing... I dunno, it's late and I'm tired... Anyways, it was entertaining. Check it out if you want some brain candy.
The job continues to unfold well. I'm doing regular admin stuff - hunt down health insurance, nag about office supplies, and such - but now I'm doing it in a place where I at least sorta understand what's going on. Yay! It's a hell of a lot easier to stay on top of things when one isn't struggling for comprehension of what a given incident or meeting is about...
Oh, I have purple hair now. Well, purple-ish. Pictures to follow when I remember to nag Alex to take one for me.
Whew! After much delay, I've finally written back to four would-be players for CAST about their ideas. Since I felt guilty about the delay, I fear I might have overwhelmed them with feedback/suggestions on their concepts. Y'know, trying to make up for the lag, and all.
Still, if the players are anything like the four who are bringing them in, I think they'll understand where I'm coming from. The four already-established players have already manifested themselves as cut-above role-players, and very interested in developing their characters beyond a few hasty sentences and a bunch of numbers. Although I'm not looking forward to any extra work from them, I'm also happy to see it coming down the pike. I like well-developed characters, I do. Furthermore, it inspires me to get off my ass and work harder on my own characters. And we're getting at leas one new Malkavian, possibly two. Yay! Okay, that's a selfish yay, but if it's news to you that I'm a selfish person, then it's just too late for ya...
So, the Ramblings has just turned three years old and I'm thinking about shutting it down. More about that in a moment.
I did the obligatory Mother's Day visit today, and tried very hard not to think about the ongoing family worry, with moderate success. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
Picked up a
useful, if anecdotal, book today: The Mystery Handbook, by the
Mystery Writers of America. I knew if I held out for long enough, I would
find something noteworthy at the used-book store. I've only just started
reading it, but it seems to be chock full of the kinds of kicks-in-the-butt
I need in order to focus on my nascent story idea. I think it will prove
very useful, too, if I get as far as developing that idea. Rome
wasn't built in a day, and all.
I'm still wrestling with finding time to write as it is, let alone actually getting anything done. Most of my thinking is being done during my commute - particularly when I'm waiting for my boss to come in and unlock the office in the morning - and I have all sorts of bits and pieces jotted into my Palm Pilot. I really need to get another 'writing notebook' put together. I've already filled up the last one - mostly with ideas for SteinCorp Station as I recall. Hey, I needed paper, and the notebook was right there... It should be mentioned that it was a very small notebook. Anyways, I know the time can be found, it's just a matter of making a few resolutions and sticking to them.
It would be easier if my preferred form of brainstorming didn't involve talking out loud to myself. I find it easier to stay focused, that way, and I can talk a lot faster than I can type, but it does mean that one gets some odd looks from passers-by when I'm waiting outside the office and muttering to myself - even in San Francisco. But I'm not going to screw with a system that works...
So, as I said, the future of the Ramblings is in doubt. Well, more to the point, the current format of the Ramblings is under some heavy scrutiny. I've been using Livejournal for a few weeks now, and I've rather liked it. The easy-peasy interface appeals to my lazy side, as does the fact that I can update the thing from anywhere I've got a net connection, not just from home. The ease of LJ is the reason why the frequency posting hereabouts has dropped even further... So, I've got a couple of options.
I'd be lying if I
didn't say that third option is rather tempting, but I'm not too keen on
having an online-only archive for my thoughts. What if LJ's servers go down
in some horribly fatal manner? I could write all entries off-line and then
upload them, but that negates most of the convenience of LJ.
So, I'm thinking of Option Two. Formally scale things back around here to every week - that's how it's been for a while, anyways. Then if my ardent crush on LJ wanes, or I just have something to say that's too important to risk a remote-only copy, the Ramblings will still be here for me.
The jury is still out. Because of ongoing family-worries - obliquely mentioned above - I don't think I want to make any major changes until the end of June, or so. However, I don't think it will kill me to try to spend a little more time with my faithful friend, here. Sure, Livejournal is cutesy and popular - some of the features are pretty neat - but, dammit, I built this site, and I'm sure it would imply all sorts of self-confidence issues if I was to cavalierly walk away from it...
I am seethingly peeved at the folks at KublaCon - the intended hosts for Deep Secrets. If I hadn't had the foresight to ask some questions about their LARP space, I doubt I would have ever been told by them that their larp space is a tent. A freakin' tent. I ranted about this already on my livejournal, so if you want the ugly details, go over there... I'm still not sure if the game is going to happen. At this point, it's very doubtful.
The CAST game went well, although there's some behind-the-scenes tension with an aggrieved player that's leaving a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. However, I've decided that that particular situation has ground to a halt, and there won't be any improvement for some time - if at all. I really should listen to that niggling voice in my mind that suggests I take a conversation 'live' rather than depending on e-mail. I didn't do much to improve matters when I scolded said player for being - in not so many words - a whining hypocrite. But hell, he wanted honesty, so I gave it to him. A bit late for regrets, now.
It's just a game, and recent changes in my life - job, family, etc - have brought home just how little the game really matter to me. Granted, I don't like knowing about someone's hurt feelings that have spawned from the game, but I'm reasonably confident he'll recover. With luck, time will pass, perspective will be restored to all parties, and life will go on pretty much as it did before. Or the player will quit. Whatever, it's his decision to make. I'm done worrying about it, and this is the last time I'm going to mention the situation publicly or privately - so you don't have to worry about being 'talked about' any more, Mr. Player (he reads the Ramblings, you see, and voiced a worry about being trashed by the CAST STs and dammit I said I'm done talking about it!)
Alex has quit doing logistics for CAST and I'm glad. He did a great job with it, but it was taking up too much time - mostly because he kept raising his own standards, I think. Anyways, now he's freed up his brain for plotting and not just for CAST. Mind you, I've discovered that I sometimes think my hunny is a bit too brusque when giving his feedback to a fellow plot-devisor. There's confident, there's arrogant, and then there's just plain pushy, and during recent plot-sessions I've been biting my tongue more often than not.
I tell a lie. The other day, I was a little crankier than usual, and I didn't appreciate Alex's response to a plot-point I was wrestling with in Deep Secrets. So I rather snippily told him that I would appreciate it if he could be a bit more tactful, to which he said "I didn't realize I had to worry about that with you."
Tip to new husbands: the above is not a smart thing to say to your wife when she is feeling cranky and is a past master of verbal infighting.
"Oh?" said I. "Being married means you don't have to be polite to your wife?" - or words to that effect. Alex wisely retreated into defensive silence and then changed the subject. Realizing that pursuit would only lead to some sort of spat, I let it go. But really...
I understand a person can get strong opinions about subjects they consider themselves well-versed within. Oftentimes, a reasonable tone is left by the wayside during a good brainstorming session, I'll acknowledge that. But, as I say, lately I've felt like Alex skips the preliminaries of 'polite consideration' and 'spirited rebuttal' and starts straight in with 'blunt slapdown'. It gets a bit wearying after a while, and it's one of the reasons I tend to wander out of the room during CAST plot meetings. I have a choice between going, or staying and snapping Alex's head off for being a bit of a rude whatsit. In the name of peace - and acknowledging the fact that maybe I'm just a bit oversensitive - I decide to go.
I'm going to get an earful about this tomorrow, I'm sure. Ah well. I've been clearing the air about various gaming matters as of late - obviously - so I may as well do it all at once. Jeeze, at this rate, I'm not going to have any gaming friends left, particularly when I start wearing my "Please, oh please, don't tell me about your character" button to gaming conventions... Ironic, given that I'm the character-chela for CAST, non?
Postcript - I did indeed decide to shut down Irregular Ramblings. However, I have continued online journaling with two journals. One is my oft-mentioned livejournal, and the other is Yestermonth. Feel free to take a look at them.
April '02 Index