So, tonight's game isn't going to happen. It's a little tough when the GM can't read his notes... But we're going to get together to help Jen and James roll up their character stats and have some fun with 'random things' tables from some other game system. I was playing around with them the other night and it helped me create a couple of defining incidents for Violet's past. Although I'm not too keen on the coming-back-from-the-dead table that I found in the book...
Out of the mouths of babes: "Oh, that 20 point Mystery Disadvantage?" quipped James, "Violet only thought Holmes was her father. Actually, it's Moriarty.". Man, oh man, I really hope Dave doesn't hear that...
Otherwise, life continues apace. Alex and I spent the morning being nice to each other, rather than cleaning out the box room as we had told ourselves all week we were going to. Overall, I think us having some snuggle-time was far more important. Later tonight it's Magritte, movies and Indian food with my dad - since I had to cancel on him on Thursday night.
Perhaps I should
relegate this to the Gaming Musings section, but it's not entirely
apt. I finally wrote something last night! Okay, okay, I write this journal
almost every day, what's the big deal, right? Well, I've not been feeling
inclined to write any fiction - usually my favoritest hobby - for a while. I
haven't kept close track, but it's been at least two months, which is a
heckuva dry spell for me. I was getting pretty frustrated and angry at my
lack of inclination. It probably didn't help that I told myself I was going
to limit my gaming-writing, hoping to divert what few drabs of creativity I
have left towards something more 'serious'.
So much for that idea. For the past few days, I had been kicking around an idea for Violet - a record of an encounter between her and Dr. John Watson, as written from Watson's point of view. Frankly, I had considered it and was on the verge of pushing it aside. "What's the point?" I thought, "Even if I can finish it, it'll just suck, so why bother?" I've not been feeling real confident of my writing abilities lately, y'see...
But it seems that the good doctor really wanted to have his say, so I sat down before our get-together with Jennifer and James last night, and figured I would bash out a few words... Five pages later, Watson was just hitting his stride, darn him. I forgot what a verbose little devil he could be at times - but, yippee! I had written something. I intend to put the final polish on it over the weekend, so it'll no doubt be posted within a few days - as if you're panting with anticipation to see what I'm churning out for characters you know nothing about.
Still, I'm dead chuffed. I just hope I don't have to wait two more months for my next burst of inspiration. I think I'll just have to resign myself to the fact that gaming-writing is what I enjoy, so I might as well stick with it. I'm never going to write the Great American Novel (or screenplay, for that matter) - although that was never my aim. I just wanted to write something better than selfish little character pieces. Oh well...
So, as I mentioned, Jennifer and James came over last night and went through a massive Table of Tables type character prelude for Dave's Pulp game. Dave has some book full of tables of events that shape every step of a character's life so that - if a player is feeling lazy, or short on ideas - they can craft any or all aspects of their character's life by rolling some dice.
I didn't participate much, myself, having already determined most of Violet's history - and those random tables could have really messed it up - even if the players did have veto-rights on anything that happened (unless Dave overrode it). Still, it was a hoot to watch Jennifer and James go through the process. By the end of it, James' half-formed idea of a flying-ace turned hunter-supreme had been a prince of some small African nation, rather forcefully deposed by the natives that were a little disgruntled to discover his father wasn't a god as claimed, had joined the RAF for WWI, watched his squadron get butchered, etc, etc...
Jennifer, meanwhile, was entangled in a bitter rivalry with her twin sister, who pulled a "Man In The Iron Mask" bit of devilment. Jenn's character got her revenge, in the end - at least, she thinks her awful sister is dead and, in the meantime, picked up a million dollars selling some mine of unusual metal that she stumbled across while fleeing from pissed-off Zapata rebels across the Texan wastes...
As I say, all this would have madly screwed up Violet's history. I actually jumped in on a couple of random tables, only to roll up aspects that made absolute sense for her - wanderlust (entailing her studies in Europe while obtaining her MD) and a taste for morphia and cocaine. Violet takes after her father more than she expected, it seems...
ongoing conversation with a player who's opinions I respect - mostly because
he can make a point without whining or being offensive - the GMs of Aragon
are going to be stomping on the gas for the plots. We've shortened our
intended story arc by two months, which means I've got two weeks to cram in
ten weeks of downtime events... Bodies are going to start hitting the
sidewalk like September leaves... If that doesn't alert the players
to what's going on, I don't know what will...
Amongst other matters, it means I will be wrapping up playing Prince Carmine a lot sooner than I anticipated. I can't say I'm going to miss her. It seems that while I tried to present a disaffected Prince who has relinquished too much power to her underlings, the courtiers have seen a stone-cold bitch who rules her Dukes with an iron fist. (Hm, almost typed 'Iron Fish' there, that would have been confusing...). And, frankly, I just don't really like Carmine. She's not a very nice person and, while I've played not-nice characters before, Carmine is the way she is in order to facilitate the game, not because I wanted to play her that way. So I don't really have much in the way of personal investment put into her... Ah well, it just means I won't pout when she leaves the chronicle...
Yesterday, I went
into the city with Christopher to catch the Magritte exhibition at SF MoMA
and it seems everyone in the greater Bay Area had the same idea. The line
was down to the end of the block and people were being admitted at a snail's
pace - argh. Christopher had the right idea by suggesting we take a stroll
around Yerba Buena and see if the line was going to thin out. Sure enough,
after about 45 minutes, the line of nearly 100 was down to half a dozen. Of
course, they were all lining up inside the damn museum - although it
was a much shorter line.
The exhibit seemed pretty substantial to me, but I don't know how much work Magritte produced during his life. All told there were about forty paintings, including the well known This is not a pipe and The Son of Man (which I still think 80% of the attendees only knew of thanks to the recent remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. Anyways, I enjoyed the exhibit, as it was very well organized. I must admit, I think I liked Magritte's earlier work - such as The Making of an Idol - to his later pieces. Magritte's later work seemed more accessible (ie, less baffling) than the earlier pieces, and I thought the very smooth brushwork of those later pieces was rather appealing... Aw, hell, as the awful saying goes, "I don't know art, but I know what I like!" (usually preceding the revelation of simply vile taste) - and I liked Magritte.
We also did a dawdle around some other exhibits. My father found the collection of athletic shoes (1995 - 2000) amusing, but - while I could see the point made by the curator - it pretty much left me cold. Maybe I'm too much a form-over-function person, but the only thing I perceived - especially upon viewing a pair of Prada sneakers - was some rather nasty irony. Again, I don't know art...
I was happy to lay eyes upon Elegy to the Spanish Republic - which I haven't seen since a trip to the Metropolitan in '89 or so. I had forgotten how striking it was. And I got a kick out of Warhol's National Velvet, too. However, as with so much modern art, you have to wonder who's putting on whom. This thought was particularly impossible to suppress while staring at a piece that was an eight-foot-by-five-foot (by one inch thick) sheet of burgundy plastic. Huh? I'm sure there was some deep meaning with the color, size, shape and the fact that it was shiny enough for the viewer to see their own reflection, but I'm damned if I know what that meaning was. That particular piece baffled me so deeply, I don't even remember the title or artist...
Ah, nothing like a trip to the museum to leave one feeling really stupid. Fun, though.
Christoper and I
went back to his place and met Alex, who was bearing Indian food. After
stuffing ourselves on various kinds of chicken (I guess we were all in a
fowl mood, har har) we watched I'm Alright Jack, another installment
in the Peter Sellers video-fest that my father was putting together. I'm
Alright Jack is a satire on trade unions and union/management relations,
made in early 60s, I'm guessing. Christopher tells me the movie had a
helluva impact on popular perceptions of trade unions and industry relations
- and I could see why. Decades later, popular parodies of unions and/or
industry managers showed many signs of being direct descendents of that
film. 'Twas quite uncanny, really...
Alex enjoyed this one, which was good. Ladykillers apparently spooked him out a bit, so I didn't want him to have two bad experiences in a row - I like having his company during the viewfests.
Tomorrow, maybe, we're going over to watch another movie - Two Way Stretch, I think...
Did a lot of Aragon downtime stuff today, not the least of which being dealing with one neonate's ill-thought idea to seek out the Sabbat. I can't say too much (oh, cool your jets, players, he didn't join the sect) but it was great fun to run, and the player said he enjoyed it. Meanwhile, several other players are scrambling to declare their actions before it's too late and, gosh, the airspace over Tosco refinery is going to be buzzing with aircraft...
And I got a lovely idea for a corset-dress outfit for Game Five in October, but that's entirely irrelevant...
Still not quite done with Dr. Watson's account of meeting Violet Adler, but I think I'll be able to take care of it tonight... Maybe all this time in the air has been good for my writers' block...
Okay, his head didn't explode and we've had a little chat about this incident in particular. Of course, he's been worried too, but he's trying to be a manly man and not let me know. Like that's going to keep me from worrying, independently, silly husband.
circumstances too bloody annoying to detail, the Air Force has managed to
screw up Alex's pay situation permanently - that whole 'silence equals
consent' thing - so he has to start work on Monday. He's got one
offer for a very dingy-blah job - no chace to cross-train to IT or anything.
But it's an offer - and they're willing to let him put off an answer until
Monday. Today he's interviewing at a place that is far more
interesting and, supposedly, they will give him an answer immediately after
the interview, or by the end of the day. Fingers crossed, kids!
Dave, meanwhile, is still coping with being half-blind. Bless his folks, they're sending some money so we can take him to an optometrist and at least get him a pair of glasses so he can see well-enough out of his 'good' eye (the one that is 'only' short-sighted and slightly cataracted). Meanwhile, he's supposed to just wait for the ick to drain out from his bad eye - which could take months. Ugh. For the meantime, he has to cope with splitting headaches induced by blurry-eyed peering at things. Double ugh.
As of 12:01AM September 7th, my husband was a civilian, yay! "That's MISTER Baker, to you!", he's happily telling everyone... He's at a bit of a loose end as to how to celebrate, but I'm sure something will come to him. I feel like I should have organized a surprise party, or some other celebration, but I'm utterly clueless about that kind of thing. As it is, I think we'll do a little celebrating tonight with the gaming crowd...
Yesterday was a
pleasant afternoon. After the weekly staff meeting, some co-workers - Matt,
Kevin, Victor, Tracy - and asst'd musical friends to the first two chaps
listed (members of Bruno, I think) all got together and had a
jam-session. There were enough instruments for a band twice the size -
asst'd fiddles, mandolins, various drums, flutes, a squeezebox and (I think)
Irish bagpipes - and the theme was various European country tunes. I eat
this stuff up - as my co-workers have discovered by the fact that I show up
to whatever performances they put on inside/nearby the office - so I had a
The musicians set up on the vacant 14th floor, helped finish off the beer from the staff meeting and generally were a bit silly. At one point, the players discovered the fabulous acoustics garnered by playing in a marble-lined elevator lobby - yowza! Myself and Martia (galpal to Kevin) sat in the middle of the assemblage, and it was something else! Particularly once Matt picked up that bloody great drum of his... It was some point after this that the security guard came up from the lobby, wondering what all the hullabaloo was. Heh.
I'm a sucker for live music - particularly anything that's 'unplugged' and historical. I've always admired anyone who can play an instrument as, even after years of mandatory lessons at school, music is still so many dots on a page to me. Hearing English morris tunes - or whatever the heck they were - also made me regret my lack of dancing ability. Or maybe that was the three beers I had had by that point. Whatever...
I stuck around until seven o'clock when I realized that if I stayed any later, either Alex would get upset, or I would end up very, very drunk. I was happily buzzing at that point and decided it was best if I quietly withdrew. It wouldn't have been so vexing if there were a few more Modemmites there to cheer the musicians on, but the audience was precisely two - Martia and myself. Well, a couple of others stopped by, but they didn't stay. Philistines...
And if Kevin isn't a nice enough chap already - he is, as a matter of fact, a very nice fella - he's given me two comp passes to Faire, so Alex and I can go this weekend as planned, without having to sweat the $17.50 admission fee. Ain't that nice of him? I shall have to do something nice in return... Maybe I'll bake some cookies this weekend or something.
If I don't sew something soon, I'm gonna go bananas. Alex has promised that if he gets an offer today, we'll take my sewing machine to the shop this week and get it fixed - and buy more storage space so we can clear out the box-room and make it a craft-area. That would be an utter, utter relief. Never mind the fact that my buddy Brian (aka Majik) might be visiting in November and we'll need a place to put him up.
Final note: I do not want to talk about the Yahoo Webring merger. It's such a bloody mess and their new interface sucks such big rocks, I think I'll quit webrings all together...
Alex is supposed to run Star Wars tonight, but I think it's going to be shoved aside in favor of quiet celebration of his civilian status. No biggie.
Meanwhile, everyone seems very eager for Dave's Pulp campaign, but I'm also looking forward to the next installment of his re-booted 7th Sea game. The last installment got a bit too doom-and-gloom for the venue, so Dave restarted the game with the hopes that, since we're all in better moods than we were two months ago, we'll be able to approach the game with the correct attitude.
The next Aragon
game is a week away, so I'm dealing with all the last-minute downtime
scrambling. Matters weren't helped when the XP database ate itself (memo:
must e-mail the designer of Grapevine about that bug). Players are clueing
in to some plot lines we have had building for a while - finally! I'm
handling most of the downtime e-mails because I love pulling weird details
out of my ear and Dave can't really do it because he's unable to use the
The pace is pretty frenetic right now, as we're scrambling to fit about 8 weeks of downtime into the next five days. In response to some player opinons, we've decided to stamp on the gas, rather than have the slow building of tension that we had anticipated over the next two months. I'm sure it's for the best, although I'm a little grumpy that these sterling-quality players have proven to have attention spans as low as their inferior counterparts.
Yeah, that was snotty, what's your point? I'm a snotty GM, cope. :)
metaphor courtesy of Alex. Upon describing Dave's expression when Alex
knocked on his door this morning to point out that Dave had slept through
his alarm: "He looked like the Pope had just given him up to the
That's what we get for watching Raiders of the Lost Ark late at night. We had to, to counteract some truly frightening color footage of Nazi escapades which was shown during some documentary on Atlantis - of all things. Nothing like a bizarre SS parade - swastika-bearing knights in full medieval armor, on horseback - in glorious Technicolor to bring home the fact that not only were the Nazis totally evil, but they were entirely lacking in taste, also...
Working on the Aragon game for this Saturday. As usual. As it has been before, so shall it be in the future, now and forever...
Sorry. Let's just say I'm glad we've got a six week break coming up after this one. I wouldn't feel so frustrated if I didn't feel like half the playership just quit talking to me...
Meanwhile, two of
my favorite little darlings, Yvette
and Paul are acting up. They spent most of yesterday suggesting entirely
untenable story ideas - ranging merely chronologically-inconvenient to
worringly pornographic. This probably says something about my subconscious -
but I don't to know what.
Thinking of my subconscious and my favorite bratty vampires, Alex passed on an amusing/worrying fact, late last night. Apparently, when I'm eyebrows-deep in a bit of character writing, I'll talk in my sleep - in character, no less. Alex swears up-hill and down-dale that, while I was working on a Paul/Yvette piece that was giving me grief a few months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night, stared at Alex with a totally vacant expression on my face, said "Don't make me punish you, Yvette." and wandered off into the kitchen for a snack, still muttering. In the morning, I woke up declaring "Yay! I've worked out that plot-point I was having trouble with!". I have no memory of this midnight-incident.
And Alex says that wasn't the first or last time. He's heard me recite an entire passage that later turned up in Unplugged and half a dozen other snippets of character conversation. Bloody hell. I've heard about getting into one's projects, but isn't this a bit much?
Then again, maybe I should start tape recording myself at night. Who knows what kind of ideas I'm missing?
Getting a little vexed with Aragon. I'm hoping it's just stress, but I feel like I need a dramatic renewal of purpose. When I ran Diablo's Children, I felt like all I heard were complaints - they certainly were in the majority. As always, when people are having a good time, they assume you know, but disgruntled gamers want to tell you all about it. Aragon has been somewhat different. Instead of hearing complaints, we're hearing next to nothing.
Alex, Dave and I did a little brainstorming and discussion about this - all the more needed since our survey results came in. We've decided to seriously downgrade the importance of downtime and scale the chronicle back to a monthly event with minimal continuity in-between. When it came to downtime events, the same core of 3 - 4 players have been responding (out of 16). That's not a worthy return on the investment, given that I easily spend an hour per night tracking downtime, crafting ideas and sending e-mails - all for the benefit of a quarter of the group. By sheer apathy, the masses have spoken.
I had such high aims for Aragon, I should have realized that I was setting myself up for disappointment, no matter how well the game goes. I suspect it is going fairly well - we're just not hearing about it from the players. Still, the disappointment, no matter how justified, is a little saddening and quite disheartening.
I suppose I'll feel better after Saturday's game. :P
Meanwhile, Alex and I are back to thinking about Cthulhu Live games. We really must get a hold of Kirk and Lisa. We haven't even spoken to them since Halloween and I feel like an absolute heel about that...
Been doodling out an idea for my next tattoo. I finally had some minor inspiration and I think I've got it down, I just have to find some sources for celtic renditions of serpents. I'm envisioning a circular celtic knot, only two strands, but thoroughly interwoven. Both strands will be serpents, each biting the other's tail. It's meant to be reminiscent of Ouroboros, you see... Well, if/when I get it done, you'll see. This is a scaled-down version of the idea I had for my back - but a spine-length tattoo would have been a) too ouchy and b) way too expensive for words....
Brainstormed for Aragon last night. Dave and Alex managed to put my fears to rest about having enough for the players to do. With the addition of one little plot point, I think we're going to be shaking things up nicely amongst the courtiers. We're really trying to insist that they make their own fun, rather than us spoon-feeding it to them - I just hope what we've got on Saturday will work.
It's annoying, really, because the three of us are really looking forward to the next game, as we've already got many, many ducks in a row for that one. It's going to be a masked ball, complete with revelations, sneaky politicking, debauchery and all that cool stuff. So, of course, trying to get up enthusiasm for the upcoming game has been a little tough...
Friday night Dave will be doing some preludes for his Pulp game. Since Jennifer can't make it, Dave doesn't want to start the game up yet, but he's willing to throw some crunchy bits to the other players. Incidentally, Jen has broken two bones in her leg - her tibia and her fibula, not her fibia as previously reported. Apparently she's renting a wheelchair so she'll be mobile at the Aragon game on Saturday...
I've not been able
to continue my conversation with Rick and Chris because Rick has been
knocked down by the 'flu. With luck, I'll be visiting his home office space
tomorrow - and taking Alex with me. Otherwise it will have to wait until
Friday. Extra-special luck will be required to squeeze an offer from the
guys on the same day, but my fingers are crossed.
Thanks are owed to the various friends and readers (readers? I have readers who aren't already my friends? Why, yes indeedy!) who sent me attagirl e-mails in the past few days. I'm 99% certain I'm going to be leaving MM as soon as possible - the clincher being that I'm already thinking of ICA as 'us' and MM as 'them' is a sign that my subconscious has already made its decision. But, as mentioned before, my subconscious often gets ideas long before it lets the rest of my brain into the loop.
Alex, meanwhile is
still jobless and our money situation has been munged by the fact that both
of us paid the phone bill this morning - plus the nasty deposit to get it
reconnected. Alex and I are particularly bent because there was no warning
on the bill that we were close to losing service. Alex even called the
customer service reps and demanded they point out just where on the bill
such a warning would be. Once it was ascertained that there wasn't a
warning of an impended cutoff, the pacbell dudes just shrugged it off as a
typo and could we please hurry up with that $240 reconnection deposit? Yes,
we both paid a reconnection deposit. I'm not kidding about the big
credit with ma bell. Alex, naturally, didn't like being told that because they
made a typo, we would have to pay the reconnect-fee and a shouting
match ensued. Double sigh. Never mind the fact that the phone number
to pay via ATM card is a toll number - thus meaning Alex had to hike
over to the nearest payphone to use it...
If money was coming in to the household, I would just shrug this all off with 'oh well, we'll have a big credit at Pacbell' but that can't be the case this time. Unfortunately, it's going to take the lovely phone people up to two weeks to get a check back to us. Sigh. Of course that's assuming we even get the promised refund. I wouldn't blame the utility pixies for sitting on our cash for as long as possible.
But enough of my lovely domestic situation. On to...
Last week's Aragon game went really well. The humorous plotline featuring "Lord Absinthe" - a newly Embraced college student taking all his cues from the worst aspects of vampire media - went down very well, although perhaps we worked too hard on the ha-ha side of it and obliterated the more serious under-plot. Ah well, if the players miss it, there'll be another kick-in-the-butt coming in a few weeks.
The crunchy bits went well, too. The players got a lot more out of the shattering of the recent days of peace than I expected, and no-one threatened to beat us for deciding that the fifty girl scouts that were in the hotel for a slumber party (in RL, no less) had decided to collectively jump from the hotel roof. What can I say? Some real-world factors are too good to pass up. And what Vampire GM can resist doing something with a troop of Girl Scouts?
Better yet, we had a very productive post-game confab with the players. We did the usual Player Nominations for best roleplayer of the night, and then we went around the group and asked everyone for one thing that is or isn't working for them in the chronicle. The Trinity got some good answers from that - as well as a few much-needed ego-pats - and we've already plugged in the latest batch of player input into our computer-like brains.
There's no need to tell anyone that the computer our brains resemble is actually a Timex Sinclair...
We're already gearing up for Game Five. For one thing, the Trinity has to start seriously plotting again. We're at a point we didn't think we were going to be at until January, so we had pretty much sat back from crafting new plotlines. Now we've got to scramble and figure out where we want the game to go from here. Oh boy...
And October 28th is to be a Masked Ball - to hail some new things that will be happening in the game. Unfortunately, I can't talk about 'em here as several players read this journal... Anyways, the Trinity wants to do a fancy-shmancy game with decorations, some high-end nibbles, etc and it seems that the players are with us for this one. Well, I've not heard any howls of outrage yet, and that's good enough for me. The crunch, of course, is money. We're just about breaking even at the moment, but getting good food and some fun decorations (and you never want to skimp on fun things like streamers and tinsel!) will add about $200 to the budget, and - see above - the Trinity can't afford that right now.
So I've gotten shameless and sent out a begging letter to the playership. Like PBS facing a shortfall, I've put my hand out to the group and told them that if they want to see a fancy-pants game, they are going to have to provide cash up front. I love gamers dearly, but they're a forgetful bunch. If I ask them to pledge dollars to the game fund, and that I'll accept it on-site, I know all too well that I'm going to be faced by a bunch of players all saying "Oh, did we promise you twenty bucks? We forgot, sorry!" and leave me, Alex and Dave all eating ramen for the next month. Ugh.
Still, if the players can come through, it should be a lot of fun. I love getting silly with games - as anyone who witnessed my cladding my living room with black butcher paper when my house was a nightclub for a vampire larp will attest - and since Aragon is my spoiled-child of a game, I would particularly like to get very silly with this one. It's such a shame the color scheme at the hotel is icky - pink and tan, sorta - and we can't shift the ugly art off the walls. Still, I'm gonna roll with it as best I can. I'm thinking burgundy and cream streamers, burgundy tablecloths, some enclosed (un-spillable) candle-lights and some good-quality nibbles... Oooh, petit-fours, yummmm....
Yeah, I'm the queen of overdoing things. What's your point?
Otherwise, things remain quiet. At the moment, I'm happily grooving to more-recent Smiths tunes - Girlfriend In A Coma and the like while looking for things to do at the office. I know a lot of hardcore Smiths fans deride Strangeways Here We Come as their worst album but, having listened through their entire collection, it still remains my favorite. The fact that it was the first Smiths album I picked up probably has something to do with that. How could I resist a line like "...there's somebody here who will take a hatchet to your ear - the frustration, it renders me hateful..." set to a rockabilly melody?
Small achievements: I'm almost finished with The Mists of Avalon. I finally caved in and picked it up at the used-bookstore, not realizing it would take me almost three weeks to plough through it. Just because it's nearly 900 pages was no reason for me think that would slow me down but, oy, I forgot to allow for the fact that it was 900 large pages. And Bradley's prose isn't precisely dense, but it requires that one pay attention to it. I've been enjoying the book, although a definite detractor has been the fact that Marion Zimmer Bradley is obviously a contemporary to Mercedes Lackey and the manipulative chick-oriented school of fiction. Still, if you want a huge chunk of brain candy and wouldn't mind a new spin on Arthurian legends, it's probably worth your time.
Thank heavens for alternative lifestyles! SuperDave has just reminded me
what's coming up this weekend.
Alex is running his Star Wars game tonight, which surprises me. I thought he had decided to hold off until after Jennifer regained her mobility. I admit, I kinda wonder how the group is going to act without her presence. Her character usually manages to ground mine - the fluffhead - pretty well, although I don't think she ranks as highly in the other PCs worldview. Ah well, I guess we'll see how it goes. After such a long break, I'm having a tough time getting my enthusiasm up, but I suppose that will change once we get going.
As you might guess
from the late entry time, I've been a little decadent this evening. After
spending the entire day cleaning up - it might not seem like much to you,
dear reader, but getting the dam' computer room tidied is a major
achievement, and it only took abject poverty and frustration to motivate me -
Alex and I spent the evening sorting our respective card-collections,
watching movies (The Hunt for Red October, a house favorite) and, for
my part, sewing. I have a pattern that I'm roughing out that I can do by
hand - it's a corset and I want to get the hang of setting a busk.
Without really paying attention to the time, I had knocked back a bottle of old-ish champagne along with/shortly after dinner (no, I didn't sew myself into the corset) while Alex made serious headway into a bottle of port he's had lurking on the countertop for a while. Following our nightly Olympics dose - once every four years, I become an athletics-whore, and not just because of all those tightbodies in track-and-field, although they don't hurt - we slapped on the aforementioned movie and it was 2AM before we knew it. Ah, domestic bliss.
And now I must go to bed before I lose sight of the keyboard entirely. I can only hope that tomorrow is as pleasant as today.
Alex had his
second round interview at Imagelock today. He's pretty confident he's going
to get an offer from them tomorrow or Wednesday, although he's not too keen
on the hours - 8 to 5. But at least that means he's guaranteed time for
lunch. The commute with him should be rather interesting, particularly if I
leave MM for Intelligent Capital... No crime in being early, I guess. ;)
And, glory be, Alex's unemployment check should be coming in just as rent is due, so maybe we won't have to sell Dave to make what's due. Of course, it's not like we could get much for Dave on the slavery market. He would take a lot of upkeep. Heh.
undergoing an interesting correspondence with a chap down in Los Angeles,
Josh Oreck. Apparently he was on the crew for the behind-the-scenes
documentary on the making of The Matrix for HBO, and now he's looking
to make a short piece on the fandom that has evolved around the film.
Judging by his e-mails, he's not got a buyer for the piece, yet, but he's
confident enough to be planning footage shot in LA, Toronto, New York and
here. He wants to interview a broad range of Matrix fans - from the
rabid I-named-my-child-Neo fans to the more laid back fanfic writers - which
is apparently where I'm going to come in (and anyone else I can lay my hands
on that Josh might want to meet).
Being interviewed for anything is on my 'Good ideas for a lark' list so I don't see why I shouldn't help the lad. And if the interview doesn't end up the cutting-room floor, well, that'll be something to boast about at my next class reunion. Oh gods spare me if that's all I can boast about at my next reunion.
Actually, after much agonizing, I don't think I'm going to go to my 10 year reunion for my high school class. Judging by the guest list, the only people who might go, that I would want to see, are people I can see easily outside of the reunion and as for the rest of them... I avoided them like the plague while I was at school, why should I drop several hundred dollars and several days of my time to go see them again? The money can be better spent elsewhere, really.
Random pretty thing. Since I'm telling the Aragon players they've got to have masks, and all...
I'm working on getting some more players into the game and we've got at least 3 in the pipeline, including Chris Hockabout who's a perennial buddy of mine who I don't see nearly often enough. He's one of the chaps behind Secret of Kear'en (sp?) which is a kick-ass science-fantasy rpg which will be published any day now... Anyways, he's a smart guy and passing curious about Vampire, so I would love to see him in the group.
Meanwhile, since Melissa is going to be loaning me her sewing machine, I'm going nuts making plans as for what to wear for the next Aragon game. I love overdressing. I'm pretty confident I can put a corset together in time - and I'm contemplating tinkering with the design to attach a skirt, but that really depends upon the bustline of the corset and how likely I am to fall out if it (a constant worry for us full-figured types). Meanwhile, I'm also hoping to finally make Alex's szur - a Hungarian-style overcoat that would really flatter his figure - in time for the game. If we can afford it, we might even rent a tux for him, so he can look super smart.
Plots for the game? Oh yeah, I'll get to that soon enough. Heh.
"I don't know where I would be without my daily hairy eyeball" - Willow (obligatory Buffy quote)
Okay, get this...
Melissa brings over the sewing machine last night. It belonged to Joanne, actually, and has for a long time - since before Alex went into the military kinda long time. Despite all that, it works fine, following a tune up, and I have no trouble getting acquainted with it. The fact that it feels like it was made out of cast iron was only a momentary setback (heave!). One minor snag - I can't find the right lever/button/whatever to wind bobbins for the machine. Ah well, no biggie, I can use my broken machine to wind bobbins, no problem. So I haul out my poor battered darling and quickly wind a bobbin for the loaner. Just because her tension was gone didn't mean she couldn't be of some use, and getting a wound bobbin is pretty dam' essential...
Well, since I had the machine out, I thought I might as well run a bit of scrap fabric through it and take another look at the tension problem - y'know, reassess how bad it was. Brapadabrapadabrapada... The scrap comes out looking just fine. Hm, must be a fluke, I think. If I run some more fabric through it, it'll probably fall apart - that's what happened last time. So I sew a longer piece of scrap. It's still okay. I pull out my current project - a mock-up of a Victorian corset - and sew a few bits of that.
Upshot: I'm out of practice when it comes to sewing a straight line (sigh) but the bloody machine is fine. Just fine. No tension problems, no misfeeds, nothing. It's a little upset at the crappy thread I ran through it but, hell, I wasn't expecting it to work, darnit. ARGH! How long have things been like this? I've let this machine sit fallow for a year and a half, believing it to be beyond my repair (and constantly too broke and/or forgetful to take it to the shop). Alex is theorizing that whatever spring I stretched out has finally gotten back into place - I blew the tension by running a four-layer seam of brocade and suede, you see... Frankly, I have no idea what's happened, nor how long it will last, but I'm happy to have my baby back. If I wasn't going to Susan's place for dinner tonight, I would be getting reacquainted with my machine. I guess I know what I'm doing this weekend!
getting reacquainted, the Buffy and Angel season openers were
last night. They were both a bit shaky, in my opinion, and I guess Whedon's
trying to challenge himself by opening the season with Buffy vs.
Dracula... Regardless, I enjoyed 'em enough to decide to keep watching the
I also picked my lazy ass up and updated Seraphim, my Angel fansite. Now that I've got the laptop (aka 'The Great Old One') writing show summaries and critiques will be loads easier. Maybe I can keep up with it, this time - and catch up with season one during re-runs. I really did enjoy writing the episode critiques - my desperate attempt to keep my film-brain from rusting entirely shut - but transcribing pages and pages of handwritten notes taken during the show became a real chore, real fast. Now it might not be so aggravating.
Must run, work is calling - and has been for some time. ;)
Despite the fact
that it's payday, I'm still broke. The rent is $1375 and the total income
for this pay period is $1700. That includes shaking Dave down for every
penny he's got, which I'm not going to do - the guy's gotta have his insulin
y'know. So the math ain't so hot. Fortunately, James and Laurel are a bit
flush right now - the joys of having a parent with a trust fund and a soft
heart - so they've offered to loan us some cash to keep us fed until
mid-month. I'm only taking the loan because I know that at mid-month all
three residents of Miskatonic will be bringing in a paycheck - a first! -
and Alex's extremely-late-but-we'll-still-take-it unemployment check should
be coming it. It seems that the state has decided that he can live on $250 a
week, which is ludicrous, but the money he's owed for Sept. 7th through the
1st will pay back James and Laurel immediately and leave us a little left
over - which will no doubt be blown on the next Aragon game. Yeah, we're
irresponsible. If we were responsible, we wouldn't be in the bind we're in
The annoying thing is that I'm utterly responsible for at least half the cash-crunches we get into - a shopping philosophy of "Ooh! Shiny! Must have!" does not make for a healthy savings account - but I still get massively cranky and mean whenever we're short of money. Believe it or don't, I'm actually a reasonably even-tempered person (or if I do get pissed, I do my fuming in private) but at the slightest hint of coming up short at the end of the month, I turn into my evil twin, Bitchy Lass. I'll snap at Alex and Dave, make dark mutterings about money-wasting and am otherwise an utter pain in the ass. Totally hypocritical and every time it happens, I swear it'll be the last time. It never is, though. *Sigh*.
Ugh, the creeping crud is making the rounds of the office and I've been fighting it off all week. I think I'm starting to lose the fight, though. Damn. I don't want to breathe germs on everyone at the Star Wars game.
Oh yeah, happy new year to those who observe it today.
I'm still waiting on my offer from Rick. He's promised it by noon today. I would have received it already, but his network crashed yesterday - y'know, the one in his woodshop - but he's assuring me I'll get something by lunchtime. I hope so. I would like to be able to put in my notice today, if possible. *Crossed fingers*
If I get any good news, I'll put in a flash at the bottom of today's entry. ;)
Just read The Edge of Reason - the follow-up to Bridget Jones' Diary. I really enjoyed it - more so that I enjoyed the first book, I think - although maybe that's the Smug Married in me speaking. Whatever, I say check it out, although it's definately a chick-book.
Written yesterday, too late for publication
such a jealous whatsit. And what's worse, I'm jealous of my friends, but not
so much as to get motivated enough of my ass and do well myself.
What am I talking about? I sometimes wish I could be, y'know, really good at something. Better than my peers, at least. Alright, it's not a nice thing to say, but at least I can admit that, so far, I've failed in that goal, anyways.
Jennifer's a better writer, Laurel is a better seamstress, Alex can design better HTML and graphics, and Dave just landed himself a new contract as line-editor with a gaming company - with a possibility of some free-lance development work later down the road. My film-making skills have rusted shut, and that about ends the list.
I would boast about my cooking, but Susan kicks my ass in that department.
And boasting about one's bedroom skills is beyond gauche - and hard to quantify, to boot.
Ah well. I suppose I can't be that fretted about it, otherwise I really would get off my ass and hone one of my few talents to a sharper point.
Jealousy is such a nasty time-waster. We would all be better off without it. Well, I would. Then I wouldn't be too fretted about my mediocrity. I'm sure envy served a massively useful purpose in the past, when evolution and survival was a very personal matter for everyone but now... Now I'm just getting silly. Back to work...
Alex ran his Star Wars game last night, and I'm starting to wonder how much use Dora is going to be. Admittedly, I was pretty tired last night and just not feeling very inclined to game, but I made precisely zero contribution to the game. I may as well have gone along with Alex's suggestion that I sit the evening out (I was thinking about it) and let Alex run my character. All she did was her happy-bimbo act to a couple of entirely negligent NPCs and start training in a new combat skill (zenji needles, nifty things).
With luck, it was just an off night, but I dunno. I knew there was a risk involved in playing an idiot-savant bimbo...
This weekend, we're going to be resolving downtime for the Aragon players and putting together the newsletter. I've been taking the week off from the game, as I really knocked myself out getting ready for Game Four, and I feel a lot less burned out than I did a few days ago - whew!