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: (strangelove)
I have looked at a lot of art, lately, because I have had some time on my hands. Stories and games, and especially story games, have long been my preferred coping mechanism for life, so this is hardly a surprise. This is the first of a series of posts to sort of clear my mental buffer of thoughts about what I'm currently enjoying, and I'm going to start with the ridiculous amount of TV I have been watching.

Agents of SHIELD )

and speaking of Gotham... )

Sleepy Hollow )

The Good Wife )


Constantine )

Elementary )

Doctor Who )

Gracepoint )

Legend Of Korra )

Finally, it got cancelled after one short season, but Almost Human did quite well as a police procedural with strong SF/futurist elements. The heart of the show was the dynamic between Karl Urban as detective Kennex and Michael Ehle as his android counterpart Dorian. This was a fantastic show with lots going on, and great commentary on contemporary racial politics. A pity it didn't last.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
I'm in Boston for the weekend, working at PAX East.  We plan to sell games, mostly RPGs, to the 20,000 or so nerds who are here for it.  Most have come for the video game stuff, but we hope to snag some spillover cross interest, and maybe get some new customers at our stores.

In other news, the past week saw me working out in New York, helping out in our Mamaroneck store, and working last weekend at the brand new Maelstrom gaming con in New Jersey. It's been strangely tiring, but I did have a nice day off to celebrate my birthday on Monday.  I got to see a dear friend (about whom I shan't say more, as they are very private), but they got me amazing cupcakes in New York city.  Thanks to usakeh for hosting me, and for the Orphan Black DVD.  Looking forward to checking it out.
grinninfoole: (Default)
1) Mom is still in the rehab hospital, and the pain in her back is gone, but unfortunately she still suffers agonizing pain in her legs, and  she's actually losing some mobility in her feet.  Yesterday, she had a CAT scan to figure out what's going on, which appears to be a herniated disc with a bone fragment from the compression fracture in her t12 vertebra (which is what they fixed last week).  So, Mom 
needs more back surgery (a laminectomy) to fix the damage.  This is mostly good news, because it's a fairly routine procedure, and it will likely allow her to recover and come home.  BUT, it's serious enough that she'll need to be anesthetized, recovery from it can take a week or two even when isn't suffering from Parkinson's, osteoporosis, and somewhat frail.  

So, they just told Mom tonight at about 10 PM that on the schedule for 10 AM tomorrow, and she's kind of freaked out.  I'm already in Andover today, because Dave asked me to come back and help with taking Dad to a routine doctor's appointment.  So, I'm going to stay here another night and go with her tomorrow.  I'm glad I can help, but I'm worried I'm going to let something slip between the cracks with...

2) The Paint & Pixel Festival is THIS SATURDAY.  It's going to be a really fun, really cool show, and if you can make it out, I hope you will.  I'm stressing about because I'm arranging the panel discussions, and I still need to make a few arrangements that I should have done about a month ago.  :(   I hope that Peggy, the founder and main organizer, isn't going to crazy because I'm so behind.   Most of it's done, but there a few important details I need to finish.  Most importantly, I need to come up with proper titles, descriptions (to list in the program) and questions (to ask during the event itself).

3) I'm filling in on the next Mythspoken podcast, and I need to make time to plan what I'm going to say.  I want it to go smoothly, since I'm filling in for Mike, and Jim and I don't have the same easy chemistry.

4) I saw my doctor for my annual physical yesterday, and I'm apparently in decent health, except for being 50 to 60 pounds overweight, plus struggling with dysthymia (that's depression  that isn't so bad that I can't enjoy anything ) and a bit of ADD.  She recommended that I take my ADD meds every day, because that might stabilize and improve my moods enough that other areas of my life will be easier to manage.  (Apparently, the significant mood lift I experience from adderal is actually a sign that I do have ADD, as all your non-crazy folks just get more energetic and focused).

5) We had a great concert at the store on Monday night, the Ladies Of Ragnarok, which was three geeky ladies coming and singing nerdy songs up in the Mythos.  I have never been particularly interested by fan music before when I've bumped into it.  It seems, like fan fiction, that much of it lame, but some is actually well made, interesting and fun (albeit perhaps not to a general audience). I particularly enjoyed the Doubleclicks for their great comic stage presence (Aubrey the cellist is my new celebrity crush).  The crowd loved the show, and we got both Molly Lewis and the Doubleclicks to do an encore, so they did the mah na mah na song.  :) 


grinninfoole: (Default)
The human explorer with the most unique claim to fame ever has died.  The torch he lit for our species has been dropped by us all, my generation in particular.  I hope we go to the moon again one day.


His official NASA obituary )
grinninfoole: (Default)
Well, I have perpetrated another crime against pop culture commentary.  This week I talked about science fiction comics, and really just barely scratched the surface. 

In other news: happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] millari!  I hope you and [livejournal.com profile] trovia have a great time celebrating it.  You're still my favorite person, and I hope your 43rd year is prime in every sense of the term.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Here's the latest Mythspoken podcast, with more 'me making too much noise while I think'.  Still, I sound good.  Mike and Ellie discuss things they've thought about carefully, and I spit ball about the blurred lines between the sub-culture of nerdy fandom, and broader mass-culture.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Here's a special episode of my store's podcast, reviewing Dark Knight Rises, in which I fill the third slot.  We stay spoiler free for the first ten minutes or so, and apart from me saying 'you know' too much while I collect my thoughts, I think I did a great job.

Oh, and Mike and Ellie were OK, too. :)

Actually, i probably should have plugged the store's podcast here months ago, since I think the regular trio of Jim, Mike and Ellie are actually interesting if you have any interest in nerdy pop culture.  You can find all the episodes on iTunes and on our website.  Here's a link to the first episode.
grinninfoole: (Default)
The local news did a puff piece on the opening of Dark Knight Rises, and came to my store and talked to me.  They used a few seconds of me saying obvious stuff about Batman.  My impressions are: 1) is that really my voice?  and 2) ugh, the camera really does add 10 pounds. :(

Plus, Mike Lacrosse got the name of my store wrong. 

Anyway, here it is.
grinninfoole: (Default)
This has been a very busy time for me at work.  Last weekend, I went to Morristown NJ to sell stuff and promote the in-the-works Modern Myths NY at DexCon.  It was a bit of a drag driving down and then working late setting up on July 4, but the con itself wasn't too much work and, as I mentioned in my last post, I had some fun.  (I also tried Legend Of The Five Rings, a long-standing RPG that we carry and that I didn't know at all, so I got to have fun and learn something useful. :)

Driving back from the show on Sunday evening, I was feeling really sleepy, so I called a few friends for conversation to keep me awake.  The first couple of folks I tried weren't home, but Grounded was, so I talked to her for 20 minutes.  A nice chat, and while I think I'm still doing some grieving, I definitely feel better about myself and happy to have her as a friend.

In what might qualify as a modern miracle, two different insurance plans of my father's just paid our claims for his care in full.  His care is still shockingly expensive, but now it won't eat up all the family money in only 3-5 years.

I have started walking a couple of days a week in the morning with my friend [alias TBD], which is a good start towards my 'fit into my tux before a friend's wedidng' goal.  Also, it's nice to have nerdy chats about all sorts of stuff.  I don't know who else would tell me about the history of boxing and how it intertwines with racism in America.  Or that the NHL's fan base is growing in the south, possibly because hockey is the last remaining major sport with almost no black players.

Hmmmm, wow, have I really not posted about my college reunion in May?  OK, well, I flew out to Ohio for my 20th reunion from Kenyon College.  I stayed with friends in Granville and drove back and forth to Gambier on Thursday to Saturday.  I got to catch up with a number of my friends from my year in Exeter, which was great.  I went on the 'ghost tour' with Professor Shutt, who is older but still a goofy and charming raconteur.  (Still no word on whether Gunnar is home, but his halberd is. :)   I also spent some time with the Church of Otis crowd, and it was great to see them, particularly [ FVC alias also TBD] and her new boyfriend.  I have known FVC since I was a freshman, and I long had a crush on her (which she knows all about), and she's been an out lesbian all that time, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this guy she's been living with the past year.  Happily, I quite like him.  He's a friendly, grounded, witty person, and a great fit for her.  She's the happiest I have seen her in years.  I would love to see them again soon.

I am slowly migrating my life back into the master bedroom.  The key steps of getting a new bed and sheets etc. has been achieved.  There's more to do, but Feisty approves of bigger bed to share with me.

It's time for me to go, but I'm just going to mention that the fireflies were spectacular this year, and that on the weekend of July first I watched the Easthampton fireworks from my living room window, while the fireflies dancing in the foreground in my backyard.  It was lovely.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Last month, Dark Horse published the first graphic novel continuation of the Avatar The Last Airbender series, the Promise. It's the first part of the story, but it's picking up on the loose threads of Zuko's dad in jail, his missing mother, and the great task of constructing the peace now that the war is finally over. I quite like it: the art keeps the look and feel of the cartoon, but works as comics, and not just screen caps. The writing seems true to the show in themes, characters and dialogue. If you like the show, you should rush over to my shop and get this book.



(Oh, and in my post the other day, I forgot to mention that M and I have watched the first season of Warehouse 13, and actually quite liked it. Saul Rubinek is a lot of fun, and the rapport between the two Secret Service agents working for him is enjoyably functional and comic. I like that the guy (can't recall his name) is so easy-going and friendly that he can play ping pong with his reflection in the Mirror Universe (courtesy of the Lewis Carroll's Looking Glass) while other people dread it because it will unleash their subconscious dark side. I think we'll watch more when we get the chance.)
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)
Here's a post I started last month, that I'm going to try and finish up, reflecting on the past decade of my life.

Between a burger and pancakes. )



Well, I don't know that I have exhausted this vein, but my time is up, so I'll call it done and move on.

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