grinninfoole: (strangelove)
Stoic has been running a pathfinder game inspired by the Sharpe's Rifles books for a couple of years now, I think, and I joined in about a year ago as a !Quaker chaplain. It's been quite fun, the sort of game that makes it worth dealing with all of Pathfinder's rules apparatus. A couple of months ago he decided that he wanted to run a session only every other weeks, so I offered to run an alternating Deadlands game. (Why Deadlands? I was familiar with the Savage World rules after playing in another one myself, the rules are fairly simple but flexible enough to allow for players to customize their characters, and the feel of the game with an initiative system using a poker deck and drawing fate chips from a bag would be a nice change of pace from what the other guys were used to.).

We're down to four of us, just now, so I invited MaMEd to join us for our first session of 2016, which was yesterday--I thought it would be a good excuse to see more of him. On the spur of the moment, after stopping by the shop and chatting with Successor at the Roost, I invited her to join. Given how busy she is, I was shocked she said yes, but I'm delighted I did so. She hit the ground running, and her shapeshifter bounty hunter is a great addition to the group. Ironically, MaMEd had to cancel at the last minute, so I'll have to work him in next time.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
I started 2016 off well. I spent New Year's Eve with MaMEd and his family, swapping gifts and enjoying each other's company. The Attraction game (which is like playing marbles with magnets) was a big hit with Princess C. Saturday into Sunday was a lot of games. [livejournal.com profile] millari and I had a nice supper at Mulino's Saturday evening, followed by some Chrononauts at her place. Sunday was twelve hours of gaming fun at my house. M came over, as well as Suave, and folks from my Deadlands/Transhuman gaming group (until I come up with nicknames: SS, TJ, JEL, JE). We played a cute trick-taking game called Friday the 13th, then Lords of Waterdeep (as there were only five of us yet–poor M had to wait an hour for us to finish, but was very chill about it–and it was a close game to the end), and all seven of us played Shadows Over Camelot. It turned out that none of us was a traitor (only 12.5% chance of that) and we managed to find the Grail, retrieve Excalibur and Lancelot's Armor, defeat the Black Knight, and drive off an invasion of Picts. Ironically, we won by allowing an invasion of Saxons to proceed, thus filling up the Table. After that, Suave took off, so we played Unspeakable Words (the Lovecraftian word game) and more Friday 13th. Then TJ and M departed, so the four of us remaining wrapped up with an old chestnut (for me, at least), Reiner Knizia's Lord Of The Rings coop game. I got that game back in 2001, and I have played it dozens of times (according to the scoring sheet), but not since 2007. It was a bit of a roller-coaster as I tried to recall the rules, but the hobbits managed to chuck the ring into the fire all the same. Poor Stoic, who has been my houseguest for the past month as he reboots and regroups, is also recuperating from an injury, and he felt too unwell to join us. Perhaps next time.

It was enormous fun, exactly why I keep trying to have these sorts of parties. I hope to have more luck with them in the year to come.
grinninfoole: (Default)
1) This coming Saturday will be the second Paint & Pixel Festival.  I've managed to arrange programming this year, which is good, but I still feel like I did a slap-dash job, and kind of guilty about it.  Peggy continues to impress with her passion and capability. 

We're hosting comics workshops for kids at the store as part of the build up to the show.  Colin, the education guy, has done a great job setting these up and running them.  Peggy also sponsored a couple of movie nights at Popcorn Noir, the next of which is the Muppet Movie on Thursday..... which will conflict with my Deadlands game.  aargh!

Oh, and there's a filk band performing in the Mythos on Monday at 7, which could conflict with dinner plans!  double argh!

2) On columbus day, M and I went to NYC, met with the Ladies of Brattleboro for dinner at the Green Table, and then went to see Sleep No More, which is an extraordinary experience in immersive theater.  One is given a mask & enjoined not to speak, and for up to 3 hours one wonders around inside a warehouse of four or five stories where a troop of interpretive dancers performs something inspired by Macbeth.  One can explore the trappings of the set as much as one wishes, or follow performers around or hang out in the lounge.  It's a choose your own adventure style of show, though only as an observer.   I wound up following one stunning beautiful woman around for a while, and wound up getting whisked into a locked room for a short private performance that, while a scripted part of the show, was quite intimate and moving.  Which, if you are thinking of something sexual, is completely wrong--yet it felt like everything you would fantasize about.  A great experience which was well worth the cost.  I plan to go back at some point.

3) My mom is still in a rehab hospital, still in real pain, but I think getting better.  I hope.  Dad is still slipping away a bit at a time.

4) I drove back to Andover last night, couldn't sleep, and watched the Matrix Reloaded on demand.  It's better than I recalled.  The talky scenes make more sense when I can process the sometimes ornate and philosophical dialog, and some of the WTF plot twists actual do make some logical sense.  The biggest weakness that remains, for me, are the pointless action scenes.  The first Matrix was good in part because all the fight scenes served the story, developed character, and looked cool.  In Reloaded, there a couple of set pieces that just take up time. If the Wachowskis had done more with them, they'd have greatly improved the movie.  (Three examples: the introductory fight with Seraph--what does tussling with Neo for two minutes tell him, or us, that we don't know?; then. the  big fight scene with a crowd of Agent Smiths drags on; and the fight with the Merovingian's goons in his foyer is designed to waste Neo's time, but must it waste ours?  What's the point of another display of kung fu?  Are these guys really as challenging as the huge crowd of Agent Smiths?)  On the whole, I stick by some of my earlier criticisms, but I have to upgrade my rating of the film.

5) Sometimes I'm fine, and sometimes the depression gets to me.  I need to spend more time with friends.  I clearly need that.

6) Had an interesting talk with Morlock about making changes in my life. He pointed out that I'm still struggling with some of the same questions that bugged me years ago.  Maybe, he suggested, I need new questions.  hmmmmmmmmmmm.

7) 2013 must be the year I learn to budget.  Just because my desires have heretofore not exceeded my means, doesn't mean those means are inexhaustible. I must get the hang of identifying priorities, choosing amongst them, and then setting aside the others while resisting impulsive spending.  Good grief!

obla di

Aug. 8th, 2009 07:15 pm
grinninfoole: (Default)
Millari is home!

Yesterday, we hosted another Church Of Otis Bad Movie Night.  The Pope, St. Watserface (& Concubine) and Syd joined us for two entertainingly poorly made films.  The first was Modesty Blaise, a mid-60s action flick with five different directors and a female lead who spoke no English and learned her lines phonetically.  It did, however, have both Terence Stamp as an appealingly roguish criminal and Dirk Bogarde as an evil mastermind with a horror of violence and a different color theme in each scene.  It had random costume changes, a musical number, and lots of bad accents. 

The second was King Of The Zombies, a 1941 flick, just over an hour long, about a Nazi scientist in the South Seas, a voodoo cult and zombies.  It was as dumb as one might imagine, and also featured tons of blatant racism, especially around the character of Jefferson Jackson, the black manservant to one of the white leading men, as played by Mantan Moreland.  I see that Moreland played a lot of cowardly black servants in the 30s and 40s, and was considered funny, but with the rise of the Civil Rights movement in the 50s, he was seen as emblematic of rejected stereotypes.  It was uncomfortable to watch, especially since he really was hilarious, thanks to excellent delivery and perfect comic timing.  Also, honestly, he seemed the smartest and most interesting character in the piece.  I'd love to see more of his work.

Today, _usakeh_ came out for the day, and we watched the first couple of episodes of Life On Mars (the original BBC version with John Simm).  I had heard it was fabulous, and it did not disappoint.  We'll watch more later, in tandem.

grinninfoole: (Default)
Two great family interactions I'd like to memorialize before bed.

Last Monday, M and I went out to Andover to visit and make supper.  My cousin (not sure what alias to give her) was visiting for a couple of days between a summer internship and a flight home before the fall semester.  I hadn't seen her in four or five years.  I was nervous that I'd be really dull to her, or that she'd be kind of hip, popular girl who never liked me when I was a lad.  (I had no basis for this fear, other than my cousin has the looks to be one of said girls, and my own insecurities.)  Happily, we got along swimmingly.  My cousin was delightfully smart, chatty, and even geeky.  (I wish she'd told me more about her studies, though.)  She also laughed nervously a lot, though, and I hope that was just about staying alone for a couple of days with unkown quantity relatives, which might have been agonizing for all she knew.  She's really cool, and I hope she's more comfortable in more familiar venues.  I really hope that we will see her again soon.


This weekend, my mom came out for an extended visit.  I picked her up on Friday, drove her out here, and we had supper at the home of MAMEd and family.  Little Caitlin was charming as always, and it was a great, relaxing visit.  Afterwards, we chatted and watched two episodes of Mad Men, which I have decided I quite like.  The rampant sexism of the period weirdly fascinates more than it repels.

Saturday we went to the house warming party of Sundart, Anzovin, and [profile] space_craft , and got to see lots of cool people.  Supper at Mulino's, followed by more Mad Men.

Today was PARTY for mom's birthday, a low key affair with a few of my friends whom I know Mom likes, plus my brother and dad.  (Not all of my friends whom Mom likes, but I didn't want to overwhelm either of my parents.)  Special shout to [livejournal.com profile] sydneycat  for playing raconteur while the Team made sandwiches and finished up the party spread.  Thanks, as well, to another friend for home-made carrot cake!

Mom had a good time, and I'm so glad that she got to go out and have some fun on this adventure.




grinninfoole: (Default)
Our friend Arnaud is visiting from France for the next week.  I haven't seen him in four years, and it's good to catch up. He arrived late yesterday, and after he went to sleep, I stayed up later because a friend wasn't doing well.  (Sadly, said friend will be spending a couple of days in a psych ward--let's hope it's a short stay.)  Anyway, I slept late.

Today, we lazed about, watching some Monty Python episodes.  This evening, we went over to UMass and watched the Amherst fireworks, which were lovely.  After a bite at the diner, we went to Friday Night Rewind (thanks to [profile] sundart for getting us tickets) to 1996's tour de farce Independence Day.  I didn't remember the details very well, but it certainly punished me for knowing things as much as I recalled, and the story was full of ridiculous and unlikely coincidences.  And bad acting, too.  However, Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch were lots of fun, and watching this cheese-puff patriotism was greatly improved by the rewind crowd, who had seen it before and helped coat the stupidest bits with irony to ease them down my throat.  Best part of the screening: a tie between [personal profile] kjpepper stripping the H, the N and A from a  HANCOCK visor; and trading snarky comments with reigning Pioneer Valley Queen of Snark, [profile] sydneycat.  Hurray!  Tomorrow, I'll take Arnaud to game night at the store, and next week, we'll go camping and hiking for a couple of days.  And next weekend, we'll throw a little birthday party for my mom.  Ah, it's nice to have a few days off in a row.

ETA: Today, for the first time since she joined our pride, Tilda caught a mouse and brought it inside.  Then, an hour later, she caught another one.  I don't know what's up with that, but I hope she doesn't keep bringing them inside.
grinninfoole: (Default)
In a week, I shall be married.  My friend Rob is in the air right now from London.  Other friends and family will be flying in from all over the US, including Hawaii.  We have gotten most of the preparations done for the wedding, but those last few will fill up the days ahead.  I'm nervous, excited, and struck by just how easy it is to spend lots of money.

And Feisty is getting older.  A few minutes of scrambling after the red dot, and she was happy to sit back and watch.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Saturday evening, [personal profile] millari and I hosted [profile] wandelrust and [personal profile] omnia_mutantur for an evening of takeout falafel and the World of Warcraft board game.  It took over 5 hours to finish one game, so we were all fading into exhaustion when it was done, but it was actually fun.  The pieces are well made, the game mechanic balanced stategic and tactical concerns, and you get to pick up handfuls of dice and roll them to kill monsters, take their stuff, and gain XP.  Not an everyday game, but a satisfying return to the fun of those early 80s all night D&D games with my friends.

Oh, and the wedding is now less than two weeks away.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Millari and I are going to bed now, after throwing a very successful Christmas party.  Many people came over the evening and it seemed that most, if not all, had a very good time.  

Our guests included: MAMEd and his lovely wife Holiday and their daughters, Lefty and [livejournal.com profile] fuschia , St. Whatserface and Brian, The Destroyer, [livejournal.com profile] reverendtom and [livejournal.com profile] ionia_dreaming , [livejournal.com profile] sydneycat and [profile] [livejournal.com profile] morlock, [livejournal.com profile] soulstorage ,the pazza ragazza and her friend the enemy of obscurity (unlike these aliases I'm choosing to use), more than we actually expected.  We barely had enough room for us all.

Activities included singing carols, making ornaments (which now grace our tree), pulling christmas crackers and surprising M & H's eldest daughter with a birthday cake. 

Food included: the birthday cake, with homemade frosting courtesy of Millari, a key lime pie and flan (also Millari), chiles in nogada by Millari, with help from Holiday and the birthday girl, using a family recipe of M's dad.  I made pasta with various sauces for different tastes.  There was also much cheese, chips, crackers, antipasto, and vegetables for dipping in hummus and salsa. We served eggnog and cider spiced with wassail.  Despite there being 18 of us, we still have way too much food.  (We didn't even get around to roasting chestnuts...)

It's hard a parties like this, even when you have personally invited everyone there, to emotionally connect with more than one or two people.  Happily, I got to spend at least a few nice moments, between cooking and hosting and such, with almost everyone, and I'm really glad I did.

Help and goodies were provided by: St. W and B, who brought cookies (B), lent us a crock pot, and made up lyric sheets for carols and led the singing (St W); Lefty (clean up, fixing a light) and F (brought wine); Holiday (cooking and brought soda); and RT and ID (mead), and the Destroyer (more chips).  And, actually, probably more people helped than I even know, and I appreciate them, too.

And now, to emulate Feisty, who, after receiving much adoration, has curled up on the bed and fallen deeply asleep.




P.S.  Je t'aime beaucoup, ma copine.
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M and I watched this last night, so I have at last seen it. I thought it was a pretty good film. I quite understand fuschia's little thing for Monica Bellucci, and for the other pretty young thing, too. I found the story itself an engaging mix of Enlightenment rationalism and Hollywood hokum. Since in a weird way the film is all about the revolution, and since that is still a very live topic in French society, I wonder how the French audiences understood the depiction of aristocrats in the film. I detected a lingering sympathy for them.

I also had no idea that the Mohawks knew kung fu, but I probably shouldn't make too much of that. Certainly, the fight scenes looked a lot cooler than many others I have seen. And the CGI beast was surprisingly good.

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