March 25th, 2004

there!, Hello

There's always liquor...

Life she's been odd lately. I haven't been sleeping well. Last night, I had the most bizarre stress dreams... Most of them deal with responsibility, so I tend to think they're relating to my job/life. I have to wonder what's getting me so dogged. All I know is, my sleep is not restful.

Well, Pete's gone to Barcelona. He left last night, and will return a week from next Monday. In the interrum, I will be hacking out this motor -- trying to get the mutha to work -- hacking out the project with the master's student -- again, trying to get the mutha to work -- and dealing with Marco. I wonder if my working relationship with Marco is causing my stress dreams. It's not a bad one per-se, but it is trying, sometimes.

READING:
Well, I finished Poppy Brite's new novel Liquor a couple of days ago. It was excellent. I wrote a 5 star review at Amazon.com. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/cm/member-reviews/-/A2GCOWKCL8E3W/1/ref=cm_cr_auth/102-4544290-9226500)
Last night I started reading *Sunset and Sawdust* by Lansdale. The first 25 pages are a little on the slow side... I don't know if I connect with the main character.

GAMING UPDATES:
Well, this weekend is gaming weekend at WPI.

Looks like the household will be going to the thang on Sunday afternoon for a Hunters: the Reckoning game. This is a White-Wolf Studios game based on their World of Darkness setting/Storyteller System. Essentially, this is the flip side to the Vampire, Werewolf, Mage games, where the players are all normal human beings with a single twist -- each of them has a special gimmick, a cantrip, a trick, which gives them something of an edge over the other mortals in the world. The Hunters are all imbued with energy by unknown powers -- gods, perhaps? -- to take back the night from monsters. I've been tossing around character concepts in my head, and I think I want to go a challenging route: I think I want to play someone absolutely humane, not the killing machine that automatically comes to mind when someone thinks of a game that features spent shell casings on its Rulebook's cover. I sense a trip to Borders or Gameboro tonight, so I can flip through a copy of the book (it's actually a game I don't own). I envision Amalphia, a twenty-seven year old woman on crutches (or with a permanent leg injury/limp). The wound came from a brush with the supernatural. However, she did not see the responsible creature as an 'evil monstrous thang', but a wounded soul in need of a little compassion, a little forgiveness. This will be difficult as hell, I suppose -- especially if the game is combat heavy -- but I view the character as a non-combatant. Maybe even, shock of shocks, a pacifist... The character is still in development, though. I need to flip through the book...

I've emailed a storyteller named Janet, who's running Vampire: The Masquerade on Friday night... No word yet, but I doubt she'll have three slots -- I mean the game is tomorrow night! Anywho, that's a game based on an old First Edition module (called *Alien Hunger*), which I own, but never read. I know this much: the characters are all newbie Vampires, the setting is Denver, and there were rules in the book for "Cow Tipping" which is vamp-slang for draining blood from bovines.

Last night our Wednesday night Gaming Group -- which I will refer to as 3 Chicks and a GM -- met for our first session of d20 Modern. It seemed to go well. A little slow, but I think it picked up in the end. Not a bad adventure for first level characters, but the two non-novice players (Trista and Kat) surprised me by not running away, when the horde of assault rifle toting Germans showed up... This goes opposite to their Ravenloft style of "Crap! Monsters! RUN AWAY!" It's nice to know the group can still surprise the shit out of me. Amber, our new player -- the first time she table top RPG'd -- was pretty cool, and seemed to have fun. The best time of the night -- mean old vipers attacked the party. One of them crawled up Trista's brainiac character's pantsleg and botched a bite attack (it got caught up in her pants), so lickity split, Trista announcing "I'm taking off my pants and chucking them away!" followed by Kat setting the pants on fire with her handy torch. It was wonderfully funny, and a nice gaming moment.

The game started with the characters on a company funded expedition into the Peruvian Andes, to an ancient temple and resting place for "La Mappa di Umberra" or "The Scroll of Worlds." So, Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of adventure in the wilds, then a rival company's strike team showed up -- at the worst possible moment -- and there was a shootout in the main temple chamber. Finally, the characters escaped through a weird blacker-than-black doorway, and found themselves... Somewhere else. BUM-BUM-BUMMMMMM. The doorway led to darkness, eventually the 'floor' gave out, and the characters found themselves falling through the roof of a barn in grasslands, in a place decidedly different than the Amazonian rainforest. A weirdly dressed farmer type addressed them in a weird accent -- kind of Scottish by way of Cockney -- declared the group "Witches!" and shouted for "Guards!" His call for help was answered by armoured men on horseback, and as the characters were running into the fields, we cut for the evening. Silly and strange. I enjoyed it. Nothing dreadfully serious about it, but nothing dreadfully serious was intended -- it was what it was, a fun time for four people to hang out together.

Fun Fact of the Day: Did you know that the Amazon rainforest is home to 30% of the known species of animals in the world?
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there!, Hello

Love 'Im, Hate 'Im

Three words: Orson Scott Card.

Damn do I hate his politics, opinions and just about every nonfiction article (but not full book) I read of his. But I love his fiction... Strange how that happens. I suppose my relationship to him is like other folks to Harlan Ellison.

http://www.hatrack.com/

That's his home page, offers links to his nonfiction essays of opinion -- I agree with maybe 25% of his reviews. About 40% of his opinion essays (World Watch) drive me so bug-fuck pissed that it's a chore to finish them. Yet I read them anyway (even if just to mentally retort with my own opinions). Ah, Kafka would be proud:

"We should read the books that bite and sting us, for if the work does not, then why are we reading it?" -- Franz Kafka

He's got some great fiction ("The Originist", *Enders Game*, *Memory of Earth*), some lousy fiction (just about everything of his that Trista's read apparently falls into this category), and I dig his writer's guides (*Writing SF and Fantasy* and *Characters and Viewpoint*).

Man, does he piss me off!
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