White Christmas! / Noël blanc!

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, lovely for people who had to travel. Today started gray and now… we’ve been having snow for a good hour or so. It’s now coming pretty thickly. A white Christmas is an infrequent treat for Seattle!

Hier nous avons eu du très beau temps, parfait pour les gens qui voyagent. Aujourd’hui, une surprise pour Seattle: de la neige en gros flocons denses. C’est rare par ici d’avoir un Noël blanc! ^_^

Christmas Eve / Veille de Noël

On Friday night we got together with , , Lisa, and new player Scott to make Scion characters for new game. I waited 75 minutes for the bus; even in the forgiving Seattle temperatures, I was cold and unhappy by the time I got on board (switching to the 14, since the 49 never showed up!) but the bus driver was so very nice it was almost worth it. He was cheerful, courteous, friendly, handled the crazy pre-Christmas rush hour traffic calmly, announced every stop very clearly, and played vintage big band jazz Christmas music for us. He cheered me up.

Saturday, we got wrapping/decorating supplies, did the grocery shopping, has a nice lunch at La Casa del Mojito, stopped by The Dreaming to get our weekly comic books, then headed home. I assembled our Christmas cards (yes, that late — we finally got the photos back to make the cards with) and addressed them, etc., while cooked massive quantities of pear compote and canned it in Mason jars. Sunday, I made a couple of batches of chocolate cranberry biscotti and after prettifying a few batches and some of the jars of peach, headed for our friends Ed & Linda’s place for the L5R game and present exchange. A fun time was had by all.

Today we didn’t do too much, except wrap our presents to each other and stop at the store for a few last-minute supplies. I was pretty chipper because my result came in today, and I passed the stupid PE exam. Edmund made a delicious shrimp pasta dish for dinner, and he just served me Baileys-and-Kahlua coffee.

I talked to my family, everyone is there but us. Dad’s health is still up-and-down, though; on Saturday he woke up after a good night, his voice was back and he immediately called several people to give them updates. But tonight he was tired and had no appetite, and decided not to go to Christmas mass, which is unusual for him. I hope he’ll rebound again ASAP.

Nous avons vus des amis vendredi et dimanche soir. Entre les deux, samedi a été très occupé avec les emplettes, les cartes de Noël (nous venions de recevoir les photos et j’ai enfin assemblé et adressé nos cartes), la popotte (Edmund a fait de la compote de poires), etc. Dimanche j’ai fait des biscottes au chocolat et tout emballé, puis nous sommes allés voir des amis.

Aujourd’hui nous avons enveloppé nos cadeaux pour l’un et l’autre. J’ai reçu confirmation dans le courrier du jour que j’avais passé l’examen d’octobre, ha-ha. Edmund a fait un délicieux vermicelli aux crevettes pour souper et vient de me servir un café au Baileys et Kahlua.

J’ai appelé ma famille à Rougemont, tout le monde est là sauf nous. Marie-Claude, Maxime, Camille et Vincent restent jusqu’à mercredi; Jean et Julie rentrent chez eux ce soir. Papa allait bien samedi, il avait temporairement retrouvé la voix, mais aujourd’hui il était très fatigué et est allé se coucher à six heures trente sans souper. Il n’avait même pas l’énergie d’aller à la messe de huit heures. J’espère qu’il va bientôt reprendre du mieux.

Happy Winter Solstice! / Joyeux Solstice!

Hanukkah (Dec. 4-12) and Eid-al-Adha (Dec. 20) are already behind us. Today is the Winter Solstice, at 22:08, PST; next week we have Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Kwanzaa (and Boxing Day, if you’re shopping-prone) back-to-back on Dec. 24 to 26. Then we wait for New Year’s Eve and New Year (Dec. 31-Jan. 1), then Twelfth Night (Jan. 5) and Epiphany (Jan. 6). I like holidays. 🙂

I’m taking Monday off, so we’ll have four days to ourselves. We’re seeing friends (and gaming) tonight and Sunday night; tomorrow is Cooking-Baking-Wrapping Day. I’m also prepping a couple of games for the following weekend, one for the on-going playtest and one to run Spirit of the Season using the Truth & Justice system. We’ll also have a night of board games on the 30 with some friends.

It’s a low-budget Christmas this year; we’re low on cash and out of vacation days too. I had warned everyone last year that we would average the “big” 2006 Christmas with a lean 2007 Christmas. I feel financially apprehensive, I’m worried about dad’s health, but I’m very, very grateful for my wonderful husband and all the great friends I have.

Nous voilà passé Hanukkah et Eid-al-Adha mais nous pouvons fêter le solstice d’hiver ce soir, puis la Veille de Noël, Noël, Kwanzaa, la Veille du Jour de l’An, le Nouvel An et la Nuit des Rois. J’aime bien tout célébrer!

Il me reste juste assez de congés pour le 24 et le 31 décembre, ce qui me donnera deux longues fins de semaine. Nous sommes censés voir des amis ici et là; demain c’est jour de cuisine et d’emballage. Nous faisons un Noël à budget réduit, mais c’était prévu comme ça depuis l’an dernier. La santé de papa m’inquiète mais je me compte chanceuse d’avoir un mari que j’adore et d’excellents amis.

Tossed salad

We had an interesting playtest game on Saturday. As played, the game was very broken. However, there are a few rules which I didn’t understand the same way as the GM; since I’m running the next game, I can try it “my” way. Still, I gave the author a lot of feedback because I think some of the significant problems are inherent. The really nifty thing, though was that was feeling well and was there. Yay!!! We had dinner at la Casa del Mojito at their new second location in the U District, and everyone enjoyed the food and company.

On Sunday, we had the monthly club luncheon; we met at the inexplicable, inescapable, inimitable Archie McPhee store, then had brunch at Vera’s Cafe in Ballard. On Monday night, the Christmas game collapsed because three people were sick and three were dealing with out-of-town visitors. We had dinner with an extremely nice friend and discovered that she is being ill-used by her employer. What’s going is terribly unfair and it makes my blood boil. I want to help, but there doesn’t seem to be a way. 😦

finally got his own LJ page and has become fascinated with LJ options and tools. He’s also been cooking goodies lately, like Kaluha coffee cakes and fruit cobblers, yum!

Yesterday, we had a company outing. We’re losing an employee, a very nice young woman I’m going to miss very much and who is leaving for a new job; for her going-away party, we went to the Seattle Aquarium, which I had not visited since the projects I worked on over there were completed. It was fun!

And finally, for a bit of welcome lagniappe this morning: one of our office colour printers has been on the fritz lately and the repairman was in; after changing some parts, he asked that we put through a BIG job, several hundred pages duplexed. We didn’t have any deliverables due, no one needed any large texts printed so we were about to print “junk” pages, when I suddenly remembered I had a bunch of game PDFs on my flash drive, downloaded from RPGNow’s “Thanksgiveaway Week”; so I printed a stack of RPGs. Colour, duplexed, no cost, and no guilt! ^_^

Close call! / Une frousse

Yesterday, Edmund was hit by a car! He has only bruises and sprained articulations, thank God, but it could have been much worse. He was crossing the street in daytime, in a well-marked and busy pedestrian crossing at an intersection (going to Whole Foods). A van in the cross-street arrived at the intersection and the driver decided to turn briskly, without checking for pedestrians first. Edmund was hit — mostly the arm he flung in the way — and fell, but the van stopped short of running completely over him. He says he found himself under the vehicle up to his waist, staring at the front end… He scrambled like a crab to get out from under. And here is the loveliest part: the driver then took off! We assume he didn’t have any insurance. I just can’t imagine being the kind of person who would hit someone and take off without checking their injuries and offering assistance.

Edmund was too frazzled to read the license plate, thought of it a moment too late. Other people saw the incident but were too far to read the number as well; a group of firefighters on their lunch break at Whole Foods saw the whole thing and were nice enough to check on Edmund. He filed a police report, but had very little on the vehicle except that it was an older tan van. He has a sprained wrist, elbow and shoulder (fortunately, on the right side, his off-hand), and bruises all around, but seems to be otherwise OK.

Ironically, while this was going on, I was having my annual 8-hour health and safety training where we heard, among other things, about traffic risk on and around job sites, and had our first aid and CPR certification.

It’s hard not to get morbid about something like this; the thought that he could have been killed seems to just stick there in my mind and I have always had an overly developed imagination.

Edmund en est quitte pour une collection de contusions et entorses mais il a eu une belle peur hier quand il a été heurté par une voiture! Il traversait la rue en plein jour, à une intersection bien marquée, quand une camionette est arrivée de la rue transversale et le chauffeur a décidé de tourner sans vérifier. Edmund a été heurté et il est tombé au sol, se retrouvant à moitié sous le véhicule! Il est sorti de là aussi rapidement que possible… et le chauffeur a accéléré, disparaissant avant qu’Edmund ou l’un des témoins ne puisse noter son numéro de plaque d’immatriculation. Des pompiers qui s’étaient arrêtés pour dîner sont venus à l’aide d’Edmund, puis il est allé faire un rapport de police (mais sand grand espoir). Il a un poignet, un coude et une épaule foulés, tous du côté droit. Heureusement, il est gaucher.

Pendant ce temps-là, j’étais en train de prendre mon cours de premiers soins annuel!

Friends & Family / Famille, amis

Dad’s chemotherapy treatment is proceeding, but dad’s morale is going by ups and downs. Too many downs, sounds like. It’s hard to show a lot of enthusiasm for something that makes you feel ill and weak and old.

My friend came out of surgery to remove her brain tumour. She’s very strong and brave and I admire her. I hope she’ll be well enough that we can get together this weekend; she seems to be staying with her parents for now, I need to unearth their phone number.

My knee is better, physical therapy does help. I’m due to go visit the surgeon who referred me, but I’m not in a hurry — he might say “Great! You can stop now,” and I’d rather continue since it seems to be helping.

Holiday-wise, I’m a disaster. I have one present for a friend and one for Edmund, that’s it. Nothing for anyone else… not even ideas. I know no one requires presents, but it would be nice to have a little something. I need to brainstorm with Edmund on this tonight.

And finally, I’m grumpy because a co-worker is driving me bonkers, and that’s all I’m going to say about that…

La chimiothérapie de papa va de l’avant mais son moral est en dents de scie. C’est dégueulasse, un remède qui vous rend presqu’aussi malade que la maladie elle-même.

Ma copine Dawn a subi une opération au cerveau la semaine dernière pour retirer une tumeur cancéreuse. Elle va apparemment aussi bien que possible — c’est vachement relatif. J’espère qu’elle ira assez bien pour qu’on se voit en fin de semaine. Dawn a un cran terrible, elle est très brave.

Mon genou va mieux, la physiothérapie parait faire effet. Je vais continuer les visites aussi longtemps que possible.

Et la bonne femme qui s’occupe du marketing ici me tombe royalement sur les nerfs. Pourquoi les gens en marketing semblent-ils toujours incapables de faire tout leur boulot et sont toujours décidés à choisir seulement quelques tâches parmi toutes celles qui leur reviennent?

Roaches, dragons, starships

Games, games, games… Don’t I do anything else? I feel vaguely sheepish that my main topic to report on is usually game-related. I will have a separate post later to talk about family, health, etc.

We recently started beta playtest on a new game; we’ve collected a lot of comments and it’s quite interesting for me to see what everyone in the game group homes in on, what perspectives they bring to the table. I hope our comments will be perceived as constructive, as they are meant to be — and not the ramblings of a bunch of power gamers bent on breaking the system!

Last Monday we had a flooding all over town, including the club’s parking lot (but not our building); we ended up with eight people and no game, looking for a new location (ended up at Third Place Commons) and an impromptu game for that many people. That gave us a chance to try The Shab-al-hiri Roach, a hilarious lampooning of academia I had just given Edmund at Thanksgiving. We had fun, things really got in gear when Edmund’s character attempted to kill the Chancellor of Pemberton College… His role-playing is so much fun, I love to watch him go! ^_^

Saturday we had a Dragonflight staff meeting, then lunch at La Casa del Mojito, yum! Then Edmund ran a live-action role-playing game (LARP) set in the Fading Suns universe. The setup was an Avestite ship leaving Criticorum for Pyre with a complement of sinners (prisoners), which sustained a suspicious explosion in Engineering as we were headed for the Jumpgate. Drifting between the stars, the remaining crew and escaped prisoners struggle for control and fend off demons. We had fun. Taylor had made her own Avestite costume and it was simply stunning. Edmund took some photos, I’ll post them later.

Sunday started with a dusting of snow; everything was white, but it didn’t last. We went to my company’s holiday party, a brunch at the Space Needle (Skyline restaurant). The food was quite good, and several of my co-workers had brought their children who squealed in delight. It was rather cute. Then in the evening we had our celebration dinner for the crew of Emerald City Gamefest, which was a lot of fun. We were very good, we didn’t talk business except in the last few minutes of the evening.

Tonight we finally kick off our Full Light, Full Steam campaign, a combination of online with a few tabletop sessions like tonight’s. I’m very much looking forward to it!