grinninfoole: (strangelove)
I'm at the Hyatt in Morristown, NJ this weekend, taking part in a really fun gaming convention, as I have done several times in the past. Today is an interesting day for me, slightly melancholy but also happy and grateful, as it's ten years to the day since millari and I tied the knot. Of course, we untied it last year, but we're still very close and she had planned to come down to the con with me, until she bowed out because of work pressure. It's too bad, but I'm proud of her for recognizing that she couldn't make it work and not blowing up her life trying anyway.

I've had some unexpected downtime here, as a couple of events I offered to run didn't fire, but they were scheduled at the last minute, and I did take the opportunity to swim yesterday afternoon (430 meters in the hotel pool), at least. I've played a couple of D&D adventurer's league adventures, which have been OK but not compelling. I'm not sure if it's just the hit or miss quality of the writing (because they can't all be excellent) in comparison to the stories they had for LFR back in 4th edition, or if it's just that I don't love this paladin the way that I loved the wizard I played in those games, but I do find myself missing the chance to play Omen of Halruaa. Also, it does distract from the story when one is riding herd on three twelve year olds. :)

But I quite enjoyed the Agents of SHIELD LARP (which I had to play in as I already have the badge). It let me scratch the itch of 'doing the thing no one else is doing', because I signed up for the Networking division, which basically meant that my job was to be the fixer for everyone else. And literally no one else had opted for that, choosing mostly field ops, Intel, tech, and medical. There were about 40 other players, so the story was big enough that I did not have a clear picture of what was happening, which is the part of live action gaming that most throws me compared to table top. This was the debut session, and it looks like there will be more at future cons, so I look forward to doing this again. I wonder if they'll make anything of the fact that character-me was born in Wakanda?

I also tried out Trail of Cthulhu, which was very simple to play (though I gather not to run) and appealingly tragic and weird. I played an antiques dealer whose college student son had disappeared two years before, supposedly while somehow at a house that had burned down in the 1890s. Driving home one afternoon, I suddenly saw the old house on Hill Street, standing where it no longer was, so I stopped and went in. There, I met a PI who claimed to be hired by my long-dead wife, a young girl who claimed to be the stillborn daughter my wife had died to bring into the world, and a woman who confidently asserted that it was all fine because she was only dreaming. We slowly uncovered a twisting mystery of alternate histories in which I was dead, or a hopeless drunk, or a single father, until we finally tracked down my long lost son, only to discover that he was, indeed, long lost, and that his body was only a vessel for a consciousness that was jumping across alternate realities. Some other NPCs claimed that it was a monster, a worm that was slowly eating through all reality, but for me, it all came down to whether or not I thought that I could reclaim my son from the thing that looked out from his eyes, or if I could only avenge him. I went with option B, after the girl playing the daughter I never had convinced me that now that we knew what had happened to Francis, it was time to move on. As I said, appealingly tragic and weird. It reminded of that shortlived TV series starring Jason Isaacs, Awake.

And now, I have to run and eat before I run my 4th edition D&D adventure, the Dreadful Davenport of Dolorous Doom, in which our party of murder hobos must haul a wizard's accursed sofa across town to the dump.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I left myself a note the other day to post about my monthly accomplishments. Now that I'm trying to do it, I'm staring blankly at this screen, wondering what the hell I could possibly have had in mind. Still, never let it be said I won't blindly follow the orders of a small-minded tyrant....

1) Negotiated a 10% raise at my job, and chose a career path.
I guess that's pretty big. I'm still making 20% less than the average for Sales & Related employees in my area. But, as I mentioned in another post, I like what I'm doing, who I'm working with, and why I'm doing it. And I think it's enough for my needs.

2) I got Howard Cruse to come to the store last week for book club, and it was fantastic. (Read more on the store's Facebook page, if you like.)

3) I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and went to the Burlesque show a couple of weeks ago. It was fun, and I got to socialize a bit with new people, which I'm not doing all that much. I wonder if I should try joining another game, or perhaps starting one?


Eh, this doesn't seem all that amazing to me. Still, I did do these things, and I'm proud of them, so what the hell.

OH, and these aren't MY accomplishments, but they're still pretty cool:

Time lapse photos of star formation.

Some clever buggers at UC Riverside have figured out how to convert acids into bases. Assuming that isn't a mistake, that strikes me as the kind of fundamental discovery that wins Nobel prizes. (But I'm not a chemist, and maybe it will just be a parlor trick.


EDIT TO ADD:
A fish that lives on land! (With gills and everything.)

A diamond planet! (Please, Doctor, can we go?)
grinninfoole: (Default)
I have been rearranging my deck chairs lately, though I am making some progress on life goals.  I have re-started properly following Weight Watchers, journaling my points and considering the food I eat more carefully.  (The Kripalu 'Rain Forest' bars millari made the other day present a challenge.)  I have watched quite a bit of TV lately, though. Which isn't much for life growth, but was fun, so I shan't regret it.

Today was spent taking care of niggling things about the house, so now the front porch is clear, the big AC is finally out of the window, the hornet's nest is removed (and the window properly closed this time.)  I'm even posting to my LJ (as you can plainly see.)

I had a surprisingly helpful conversation with a customer last week, who was asking about graphic novels because she wanted to teach a class.  She turns out to teach at HCC, and had helpful advice on seeking work there, though I wish she'd written her name down as well as the other stuff.  She said I could drop her name, but since I don't remember it, I'm feeling like I can't actually do it.  It's purely a matter of me finding an excuse not to take a risk where I care about the consequences of failing, and I must shake it.  

I have moments of... not regretting, exactly, but  mourning my decision to split up with millari.  Like when I notice the absence of my wedding ring on my left hand, or today, when we were changing the sheets, and she perfectly interpreted my thinking, based on my facial expression.  

I think I shall sign up for Yuletide this year.  If I limit myself to a few fun fandoms (Leverage, Burn Notice, maybe Chuck), I think I can summon the wherewithal to squeeze out 1000 words.  And I'll be happy about it.

Anyway, I've spent more than my alloted half hour, so to bed!

P.S.  I have been meaning to mention here for at least a week: I am, apparently, a SQUARE, a total L7.  Recently, the show Glee did a version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I read a great essay (that I can't find now, alas) that explained exactly why it was a travesty.  Apparently, Glee took out the word transsexual from the songs, and had a girl play Frank N. Furter, along with some other changes (perhaps removing the cannibalism?) that, this person claimed, completely flipped the point of the story, which is that, in that house, the normal, clean-cut, white-bread heterosexuals (like me) are the outsiders who don't fit in, and over the course of the movie, they discover that, much as they deny it, they actually kind of like Frank N. Furter's way of life.  

I grew up with constant reminders that I was an outsider, a weirdo who didn't fit in, so I can forget all the ways in which I so very 'establishment'.  "Still," I thought, "Brad is definitely not a gamer, would never take comics seriously, and probably never actually enjoyed learning anything.  I'm may not be Frank, or Rocky, but I'm not Brad."  And then, a friend posted THIS to her journal, a very saucy song by a man in drag about he can't wait to have penis surgically transformed into a vagina.  I watched and listened, agog, feeling a bit like that moment in Buckaroo Banzai when Christopher Lloyd proclaims: "It's not my damn planet", and finally accepted the truth:

Hi, my name's Brad and I'm quite ordinary and mainstream.  Welcome to my blog. :) 
grinninfoole: (Default)
I happened upon an older entry in a friend's journal, and I fell in love with this idea again, so here it is:

Post your favorite FAKE memory of me. No reality, please, just 100% fictitious anecdotes.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Well, now that I have had a chance to listen to them, I may have to revise that to 'my pretty goodness'.  But, anyway, I have uploaded audio files of the two pieces that I read the other day to Mega Upload (which was [livejournal.com profile] _usakeh_ 's suggestion).  I was surprised to find that Google, which will allow one to upload and share documents, photos, and videos, has no service specifically for audio, and I can't figure out how to upload them directly to LJ.

Anyway, here are the links.  The first story is about 7 minutes long (8.51 MB), and the second about 17 minutes (16.17 MB).

A Report On The Factual Basis Of Various Folk Delusions

Jordan And His Real Father


In case it needs to be mentioned: these performances, and the writings performed, are my original creations, and all rights of any kind are mine, solely.  You may download them for your private listening pleasure only.

grinninfoole: (Default)
Today, in the Smith College library, I read some fiction that I wrote.  It went really well.

It was the first in a series of readings, organized by local writing maven Carol Edelstein, and I was paired up with Stephanie Gibbs.  She suggested that we have a theme to our event, and came up with "Of Monsters and Men."

She read first, reading two great stories, one about Men and how they deal with the grass being...odd, and one about the monster under her bed.  Both stories were funny, and imaginative, and well-read.

Then I read two pieces.  The first was a short, humorous piece about Urban Legends, which actually got some laughs.  The second, which is a work in progress, was a very dark piece about young man with a monster for a father.  I'm proud of what I wrote, and the audience seemed genuinely caught up by it.

Over all, about 30 people attended, including my parents and brother, and I think they were proud.  Dad actually came up and gave me a hug when it was over, and that felt really great.

Several other friends were able to make it, too, including [livejournal.com profile] fuschia , [livejournal.com profile] sydneycat , [livejournal.com profile] wildgreentide [livejournal.com profile] lostcircuit , and [livejournal.com profile] anzovin , [livejournal.com profile] sundart  and St. Watzerface and the Obscurantist.  I'm very grateful to you all for coming.  Several other folks were kind enough to send their regrets, but a special thanks has to go to poor [livejournal.com profile] _usakeh_ , who actually set out to come, but was foiled by the wiles of Amtrak.  You were super sweet to give that much of a damn, my dear.



Most importantly, thank you [livejournal.com profile] millari for proof-reading and editing my story, for getting supplies so there was food for the reception, and for making your wonderful guacamole.


Crap!

Sep. 3rd, 2008 12:53 am
grinninfoole: (Default)
It's only ten minutes.

MUST WRITE MORE!




(HUGE THANKS to [livejournal.com profile] millari  for listening and commenting.)
grinninfoole: (Default)
It's been two years since I legally teamed up with Millari.  They've been pretty good ones, too.  I have, more than once, lamented in this journal that I haven't been progressing in life, growing as a person.  Taking a moment now to look at what I have done, and not what I blame myself for not doing, I have come a long way from a passive, self-loathing, person with no life goals or plans, to a person with some actual ambitions, and the drive to accomplish them.  I have a rewarding marriage, a nice house, a good job, two cats, and good friends.  Of late, I have even been writing creatively, and it's been exciting (the retreat to Noble View kick-started things) and i finally, finally, started going around to local schools and inquiring about job openings and such.  It looks like there are real possibilities, that might pay well, too.  I'm excited about the idea of making more money than we spend.

In all of this, millari has been my partner, my ally, my critic, my audience, and my biggest fan.  If I believed in a personal deity, I would thank Him/Her/It for bringing us together.


In the short term:

Tonight, we dine at Chez Albert.  Tomorrow, an old friend comes to visit from abroad.  Sometime in August, we'll take a vacation together.

For now, Joyeux Anniversaire, ma copine!
grinninfoole: (Default)
I am a bit startled to realize that it's nearly midnight.  The days just seem to slip past me of late, though to be fair to myself, [personal profile] millari and I got a lot done today: yard work, vacuuming, wedding shopping*, laundry, and had MAMEd, Mrs. Crafty, and younger child to dinner.  A good day--and good news: it seems that all of my distant, and long unseen, friends and relatives will make it to the wedding  (Though this does seriously limit the local friends we can invite, because of the limited space in our house.).  And I'm enough of a socialized American male that my day was made better by the Red Sox winning on a David Ortiz walk-off home run.

I'm not doing a good job keeping up with my writing though.  I should have spent the past two hours writing, as M has been doing.  Well, enough of this: I'll stop screwing around and at least make my quota for the day, so I can go to bed soon.  A long and busy day awaits me tomorrow.







*(I am flabbergasted by how easy it is to spend a lot of money when getting married.  I didn't set out to buy anything elaborate for a wedding ring or a tux, yet I'll probably spend over $2,000 just on those two things.  Which might even be cheap in comparison, but really shocks me.  Still, I'm only getting married once, and I plan to keep them until I die, so it'll be worth it.)

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