I made it to another Friday…

Yep, we’re almost there. I’m tired of the noise in the office, tired of other people’s phone calls, whimsical ringtones, loud conversations, off-key humming, tuneless whistling, and other background noise. Yes, I’m cranky, but that’s hardly news.

Tomorrow afternoon, Edmund and I have a photography class. Actually, it’s rather more of a PhotoShop class, but it’s all good. No gaming planned for the weekend, but we do have the second half of “Savage Lorax” on Monday night. I suppose we should try to catch up on house chores this weekend, but I’m rather skeptical that this will happen… I’m just not in the mood.

Savage Lorax: Apocalypse Now

We had our SGA game last night, the first half of Mark’s two-part Savage Lorax game. We had eight players, which is a lot — it was bustling. We had a great time and never stopped laughing, but Good Lord! it was a bloodthirsty crowd. Dr. Seuss must be crying.

Nerdly Update for Monday Morning

Nerd Index for last weekend was close to 1.0, meaning we spent almost the entire weekend doing nerdly useless things instead of chores.

On Friday night, I managed to write a quick capsule review for Conspiracy of Shadows, which I’d just finished reading, and to wrap up the bulk of my notes for a few articles on the SGA wiki. I still need to type up my playtest notes from Land of Og ASAP, and I’m waiting for my print copy of The Zorcerer of Zo to post an actual play review.

Saturday opened with aggravation from Kinko’s when Edmund tried to print his game notes and the one available computer wouldn’t read his disk (despite the fact that the disk could be read just fine at home on both our far-from-state-of-the-art computers.) We had to go back home, transfer the content of his CD to my flash drive, then go print it elsewhere. But we did manage to make our habitual Saturday stops: lunch (a bit on the run) at Brooklyn Grinder (best sandwiches in Seattle), go across the street to pick up a few books we had ordered at The Dreaming (our Friendly Local Gaming Store), then race to Edmund’s Unknown Armies game, decide to change venues because UA is just not comfortable to play in a noisy, bustling, family-oriented venue.

We finally settled down for an afternoon of gaming. Terrific kick-off to our mini-series; Taylor did an awesome job as party leader (she plays an Avatar of the Merchant). It was quite interesting because Edmund had written the opening game before we had decided on our characters, but somehow we ended up picking a bunch of triggers that fit closely with his game. I need to post the game notes ASAP. Then after the game our friends Ed and Linda, where we’d ended up playing, invited us to stay for Linda’s excellent seafood lasagna followed by a pear and Port torte!

On Sunday, we woke up quite late even though we had gone to bed early. We grabbed some brekkie, then headed out to catch the matinée of “Letters from Iwo Jima” at the Egyptian Theater, then we came back home briefly and, to our cats’ displeasure, soon disappeared again to go see “Flags of Our Fathers” at the Crest Cinema, the local second-run theatre. It was great to see both on the same day. Not a cheerful topic, but two great movies that made awesome cinematographic bookends. I think maybe I’ll get both DVDs as a set for dad.

My Eye! / Mon oeil!

Not a whole lot of posting in the last few days because I managed to get some speck of dust or dirt in my eye and couldn’t get rid of it. Also, I was snowed in on Tuesday.

Went to a class on environmental impact assessment regulations yesterday, the most boring class I’ve had in years. Normally environmental impact assessment gets me very interested but this class was toxically dull. One reason maybe that 14 out of 15 instructors were lawyers. They don’t seem to know that you CAN have visual support along with a speech, and that if you do have slides, they CAN be informative and aesthetically pleasing. Also, they use words I know but string them together into pure gibberish. I heard one refer to the “pre-decisional decision.” I shit you not. I can certify that when a lawyer says, when introducing the last two speakers of the day, that those who stayed to the bitter end will be rewarded because “we will end with a bang,” he’s referring to the sound you will make by hitting the table with your forehead when you pass out from boredom.

So this morning was my first chance to go to see my doctor. She extracted the offending mote from my eye and gave me a prescription for drops to take care of the infection. I have everything zoomed to 150% right now so I can read my screen.

Je n’ai pas écrit ou lu grand chose ces derniers jours parce que je me suis tapé un machin dans l’oeil qui m’a rendu quasi-borgne. Il neigeait à plein temps mardi alors je n’ai pas voulu prendre l’autobus pour aller voir le docteur.

Hier, j’ai assisté au cours le plus platte qu’on m’ait infligé depuis des années. Le sujet était pourtant un qui m’intéresse. les règlements régissant les études d’impact environmental. Mais 14 présentateurs sur 15 étaient avocats — et ces gens-là ne paraissent pas se rendre compte qu’un peu de support visuel rend une présentation vachement plus intéressante et utile. En plus, ils utilisent des mots communs mais les assemblent en niaiseries de premier ordre. Je ne sais toujours pas ce qu’est une “décision pré-décisionnelle”. Sans farces. Et quand un avocat, présentant les deux derniers invités, vous annonce que ceux qui sont restés jusqu’à la fin seront récompensés parce qu’on va finir avec un “boum”, il parle du bruit que fera votre tête quand vous vous évanouirez d’ennui.

J’ai finalement eu ma chance de visiter le docteur ce matin. Elle a retiré la poutre de mon oeil et m’a prescrit des goutte pour enrayer l’infection. Je me sers présentement de la loupe et j’ai agrandi le texte à 150% pour arriver à lire sur mon écran.

More weather and gaming ramblings

Seattle’s been iced over since last Wednesday. We got enough snow in my neighbourhood to hold on to the “winter wonderland” look. Fortunately, streets are mostly clear as of yesterday afternoon, except in shady spots where the sun never hits enough to melt the ice. I worked from home on Wednesday and Thursday, and that was going well. On Friday, I was gently asked to come to the office. I did, but I still don’t know why; I didn’t have any work that I couldn’t handle equally well from home. Heh.

Saturday we had some more snow; Edmund and I attended the monthly SGA luncheon then I ran my Top 10: Night Shift game. Because some of the players come quite a distance from out of town (the champion comes from Bellingham, which is 82 miles or 136 km) and the snow had started again, we decided we would end the game earlier than usual, so I pretty much threw the party into a big fight almost as soon as the game opened. I normally hate games that are just a big battle, but the PCs were definitely due for a fight; I tend to run low-combat games and some of the players had been frank about itching for a slugfest. So I had the Special Operations Bureau team run into a group of Nazi science villains, including a couple of the PCs’ nemeses (nemesises?) and a Bad Guy who had been lurking in the shadows for several episodes, the Brain Beast of Berlin. Everyone did really well and the mix of abilities I had picked for the villains seem to provide adequate challenge. Then we had our customary post-game group dinner, which is half the reason some of the players are in our group, being self-described “social gamers.”

On Sunday, Edmund and I went book shopping (no particular reason, that’s just the only recreational shopping we do!) at The Dreaming and Half Price Books, then went to see “Miss Potter”. It’s a sweet little movie, not “heartwarming” enough to make me nauseous (I’m not big on chick flicks.)

And last night (Monday), we had our weekly game at SGA, with the conclusion of Johnzo’s “Against the Lord of Blood”. It was oodles of fun, and the GM offered a truly “old skool” prize, which was randomly assigned but fittingly ended up with Meg who played Sammy “Goldswimmer”: a copy of the really, really bad novel by Rona Jaffe, “Mazes & Monsters”.  Ow.

Clichés of the moment

A few expressions I’m tired of hearing:

  • He/she/they “drank the Kool-Aid.” I know the documentary on Jonestown is coming out, but I don’t think that’s why this particular expression has been on everyone’s lips this year. I’d like to keep such a simile for places where it really applies; after all, nearly a thousand people died, so let’s please have a little respect, thank you very much.
  • “The Surge.” I had a very interesting conversation about that with Edmund last night; he’d heard someone discuss it on NPR, and it seems someone has decided “surge”, unlike “permanent increase of troops in Iraq”, is thought to sound peppy, energetic, and temporary. To me, it sounds of tidal waves, floods, storms, or my computer being fried by lightning and an improperly grounded line — in other words, disasters. So maybe that makes it the perfect word, but damn, that’s a stupid one and I’m tired of it.
  • “Meme.” Just because something is a fad, a cliché, or a bromide doesn’t make it a meme (though I admit most memes are clichés).

Fun gaming, crap weather

The weekend went quickly. We made our Unknown Armies characters.

  • Taylor is going to be team leader, with an Avatar of the Merchant.
  • Ed Freeman is playing Tear, a bruiser/Epideromancer (trust Ed to find the breaking points in a game immediately! 🙂
  • Mark is playing Ambrose, a tarnished paladin and former member of Opus Dei who lost his faith.
  • Meg will be playing a Bibliomancer.
  • Jason is playing a sniper channelling one of the big Avatars, maybe the Masterless Man, I forgot.
  • I’m playing Brandy, B&E specialist and only surviving victim of the Green River Killer

We discovered that TNI basic equipment is pretty damn mean.

Then we played the playtest version of the new Land of Og rules. I had kept prep to a minimum, playing straight out of the book, in accordance with the instructions received. I was reminded of a basic axiom of gaming: if you put a T. rex in a game — any game, the PCs will try to kill it rather than running away as a sane person would. 8-o But all in all it was fun, though the venue was too loud. I need to write my notes tonight and send them to the publisher, Firefly Games.

On Sunday I met with a friend who owns a small but upscale publishing company, Wimer Publishing; I act as her Webmaster and she’s asked me to help her set up a blog. It won’t be a haphazard rambling like this, it will be embedded in her Website.

Then Edmund and I went to our friendly local gaming store, The Dreaming, and bought a couple of comics (including the latest issue of Castle Waiting), then went to the Metro and caught a showing of Children of Men. We liked it; I thought it was a movie the cast and crew could feel proud of.

Then last night we went to johnzo’s Dungeon & Savages game at the local club and had a great time. Everyone laughed a lot. It was a great crew to game with, no one trying to steal the show, everyone listening to everyone else and riffing off each other’s ideas. Since we had five women and three men playing, we voted for our group name to be “The Five Swell Gals” — ah, the tyranny of the majority. 🙂

But now we’re getting more crappy weather, high winds and sideways rain, and the forecast promises ice and snow overnight. It wouldn’t be more than an annoyance back home, but here we have all these hills and goddamn crappy buses that can’t make it up the slightest incline when it’s slippery! Chances are good I’ll decide to work from home tomorrow, as the last couple of “storms” made traffic a nightmare in the Emerald City.

One week down, 51 to go…

Gaaah! I’m glad I only worked three days this week. I really dig this “being on vacation” thing, I need more of it.

Tomorrow should be fun, our RPG group is getting together to create characters for an Unknown Armies mini-series, our first ever. We have 7 great people in the group (I’m including myself!), which promises to be as great as the group that plays Top 10 on alternate Saturdays. Then after character creation, we’re going to playtest the new rules for Land of Og. Whee!

At the SGA gaming community, things are also rolling along briskly. Our weekly games are already booked through February, all with games that look like they’ll kick @$$! With other gaming associations in Seattle, we’re trying to set up more games for Conquest NW, boost it a little so we don’t lose our winter convention.

Yeah, I’m happy it’s Friday afternoon. 🙂


We came back from our vacation in “sunny” Sequim on Tuesday January 2nd. It was a good, restful vacation with a decent amount of birdwatching, photography, and trail walking. We had a couple of adult bald eagles and a couple of two-year juveniles visiting us daily. We (hopefully) got good closeups of a black-tailed deer.

Me r’v’là!
Nous sommes revenus de nos vacances mardi le 2 janvier. Nous nous sommes bien reposés, occupant notre temps à observer les oiseaux, à faire de la photographie et à nous promener sur des sentiers de marche. Nous avons particulièrement aimé la famille d’aigle à tête blanche (pygargue est un néologisme qui m’emmerde) qui nous visitait quotidiennement, la volière de geais gris qui nous a assailli et une bande de cailles qui vivaient près de la maison que nous occupions.