Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.



I found myself in an almost giddy good mood yesterday. Like a tremendous weight had been lifted from me. I floated through the day.

Today is beautifully sunny, and Kate is spending the weekend here instead of with her dad. I intend to go out and enjoy some Mommy-Daughter time in the sunshine shortly.

Life is good, and I can't for the life of me stop smiling.


Being American

One of the best purchases I made at Comic Con was the "We Are Not All Jerks" Shirt from the Dumbrella booth.

Truly, I've been discouraged and ashamed and more than a little hopeless. Being an American just doesn't seem to mean the what I grew up believing it meant.

Bless his gentle heart, Jimmy Carter's speech at the Democratic Convention lays out exactly what needs to be done. He can still see the America I once believed existed. I hope we have the chance to try to get it back.

Meanwhile, I guess I'll just wear my shirt and apologize a lot.


It's a sign

Seen, hanging over every check-out line, in an Oregon grocery store (where I'd stopped to replenish my cooler with drinks and fresh fruit), laminated color signs advertising the arrival of fresh, dark Oregon cherries. Against the background photo of the fruit, only two words.



Bad Dream

I had a vivid dream in which all manner of personal betrayals played out. I have awakened, feeling the weight of emotion on me, every ounce of rage,betrayal, hurt, and disbelief riding along on the surface of my consciousnessas if the events of the dream had really happened to me, just now.

I've lived these feelings before in real circumstances. I've hoped to never have to feel them again, especially the feelings of betrayal. It's disturbing to have them triggered by a dream. In the dark strangeness of the hotel room, in my uncomfortable hotel bed, I toss and turn trying to rest at ease. Through the thin hotel walls I hear a baby mewling in the next room. Trains rumble along, tooting their horns and triggering the clanging crossing guards. The dream holds tight and refuses to fade away with the rising sun.

I dreamed I was in a sandwich shop. Some of my business partners were there, milling around fixing sandwiches as I mulled over some unpleasant information. The guy who waltzed into Chris's cubical within a day of having maneuvered himself into being Chris's new boss and gleefully told him to toss out all the work he'd been doing over the last year was involved in these goings on somehow. So was the guy who made sure all references to Chris were removed from the company's products after Chris left the company (regardless of thefact that they were actually reprinting his work and words). Guys who'd used their positions as Brand Manager to fuck with everything Chris touched were extending their slimy tentacles into our new business somehow, though what exactly had happened is not clear to me. The overwhelming feeling was one of deep, personal betrayal. You thought we were friends, but I'm fucking you over. You thought you could trust me, but I was just using you for my own glorification. I'm using things I've gleaned about you to further my own agenda, smiling to your face while stabbing you in the back the instant it's turned to me.

One of my new colleagues set a sandwich down in front of me. Looking at it from outside of the dream, it was very much like the ice cream party Wizards of the Coast threw for the remaining staff after one of their rounds of layoffs, as if ice cream would make the remaining workers forget that people they'd worked with for over a decade had just been politely escorted from the building. As he walked away, I put the events together and blurted out, "They all knew! They've known this whole time." The guy I thought was one of my oldest friends knew what would happen. My new colleagues had been informed. They knew, they were complicit, they participated in masking the charade until it was revealed to me, merely a pawn and a player.

The last thing in the world I wanted was a sandwich. A neutral party in the sandwich shop said of my other colleagues, "Wow, they sure turned pale when you said that." The horrible truth sinks in, we've been screwed again.

The intense feelings brought bubbling up by this dream begin to fade. Despite the trains and the traffic noises, despite the yahoo in the next room blabbing and roaring as if he were a Norse storyteller, my eyes droop again and I feel the tension of the unpleasant memories mixed with remnants of dream flow out of my body and over the thin hotel mattress. The challenges of packing the car with too many convention left overs and beginning the long drive home still lie ahead of me, but at last I think I may be able to sleep again for another hour or two.

Please let it be dreamless.


Comic Con

Just like Vegas in March, I arrived in San Diego feeling just fine. One or two nights in air conditioning, though, and I'm sick as a dog. Ridiculous head cold, horribly sore and swollen throat. The air conditioning seems to be what really does it to me, for whatever reason. Bad filters? Air too dry or too moist? I have no idea, but it makes me a really ineffective booth staffer, let me tell you.

It took a good hour last night for the crowd of people let in for ComicCon's "Preview Night" to filter through the huge building and end up in our little corner of the hall. There are a few more hobby game industry people exhibiting this year. Of course the big guys like WizKids, Wizards/Hasbro and Upper Deck are here, but for the most part there aren't a lot of small publishers here. I'm not sure that I'd recommend it for most of the folks from our corner, either. We're here because we've got comic properties like The Nocturnals and The Red Star in RPG form, plus our generic Mutants & Masterminds line. Even so, it's a bit of a stretch to make it all relevant to the Comic Con attendees, I think. Folks like Adventure Retail, repping Atlas and Steve Jackson Games, plus a wide variety of other games and game-geek paraphernalia (dice, cthulhu plushies) are really in a much better position to make Comic Con a significant stop on their summer convention tour.

The coolest thing I've seen at Comic Con so far is the Red Tango booth near us, with gorgeous retro kitty goodies. They must be mine! Nothing to do with comics, but I lust for them anyway.


Driving Fool

I've always been something of a driving fool. Hitting my driving years in rural Minnesota, I thought nothing of driving 45 minutes to go see a movie or driving all over creation just because I had nothing better to do. In my final year of high school, I was taking two classes at the high school, then driving for an hour to take a full load of classes at the nearest community college for dual credit through Minnesota's Post-Secondary Options program. As a young twenty-something, I thought nothing of a 24-hour drive to get myself back and forth from Georgia to Minnesota. I drove with a friend to my first GAMA Trade Show at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, then drove solo from Las Vegas, up the coast to Portland and back to Minnesota.

I haven't been on a haul-ass multi-day drive in many years. Monday morning, I woke at 4am for no good reason, and spent the morning burning mixed CDs from iTunes songs for the drive since I couldn't sleep. After loading the car, Chris and I hopped to it and I drove us all the way to Sacramento before having to stop for the night. Woohoo, I still have it! NO denying that I'm far more sore and tired than I would have been ten years ago, but it's nice to know I can still pull off a major driving stunt when necessary.

We arrived in lovely San Diego by mid-afternoon, no problem. A mere final leg of 500 miles, ha! Comic Con officially starts tomorrow, but tonight is "Preview Night" which means we're going to have to set up our booth and be there ready to work for two or three hours tonight, starting about 5:30pm. San Diego is a beautiful city and I've thoroughly enjoyed my trips here. The only bummer so far (aside from the $145/night hotel rooms) has been the additional parking fee the hotel charges. That cost me $100! Shit.



I signed up with the folks behind the monorail recall this week. I will admit up front, I voted against the monorail initiative when last it appeared on the ballot. I was willing to be won over after the plan's narrow victory at the polls a couple of years ago, but everything that has come out, everything that has solidified in the plan, has only raised more doubts and questions for me.

I am not an opponent of public transit. If anything, my seven months of carlessness have made me appreciate what transit options we have in Seattle and support even more strongly expanding those options. I've lived in Portland and Atlanta and Vancouver, BC, (all areas with vastly superior public transit). I've spent enough time in New York City to understand my non-driver husband's nostalgic laments for the subway.

I understand that these projects take money and lots of it. I'm not trying to avoid the burden of taxes, or the inconveniences of construction. I'm not on the side that crank Tim Eyeman, who objected to the monorail groups plan to set aside contracts for women and minorities. But what I want is a sensible plan, a realistic budget and time-table, and a project that will serve the city (not just the contractors who get the big money for doing the work). This current monorail plan is already showing itself to be grossly under-funded and veering from the general concept that was put before the voters the first time around.


Good Books

Tim loaned me his battered copy of Liege-Killer, The Paratwa Saga, Book 1, by Christopher Hinz the last time I was at his place. I'm not one to normally delve into science fiction (or science fantasy, or even just plain ol' fantasy) but this book really grabbed me. Excellent reading, and I've started myself on the sequel, Ash Ock already.

I also received a surprise package and a thank you from an industry friend and colleague today, much to my shock and delight. He sent me History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat (translated from the French by Anthea Bell) in all of its 800 pages of hardbacked glory, and such a kind note just thanking me for the things I've said and done. It is this kind of gentle thoughtfulness that is present in the game community and that inspires me to carry on after a legion of Comic Book Guys and Cat Piss Men (and let's not forget the Arrogant Elite) have beaten me down and spit on my efforts. What a dichotomy the game industry is. If I could just figure out a way to have the good without the rest of it...


They know what I like...

Received a gift of bottle of Tamnavulin 12-Year Single Malt Scotch from a friend who wanted to let me know he was thinking of me. A toast to solidarity! A toast to lying sacks of poo getting their just desserts! A toast to friends who know what I like!

Thanks man, I've been enjoying it.


Bastille Day

Back in 1975, Canadian prog rockers Rush released Bastille Day on their third album, Caress of Steel. ...Power isn't all that money buys indeed.

There's no bread, let them eat cake
There's no end to what they'll take
Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
Wash the salt into the earth

But they're marching to Bastille Day
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
Free the dungeons of the innocent
The king will kneel, and let his kingdom rise

Bloodstained velvet, dirty lace
Naked fear on every face
See them bow their heads to die
As we would bow as they rode by

And we're marching to Bastille Day
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
Sing, o choirs of cacophony
The king has kneeled, to let his kingdom rise.

Lessons taught but never learned
All around us anger burns
Guide the future by the past
Long ago the mould was cast

For they marched up to Bastille Day
La guillotine claimed her bloody prize
Hear the echoes of the centuries
Power isn't all that money buys

Happy Bastille Day, France.


And so, it's done...

Posted to the Academy membership e-mail list a short time ago...

Dear Academy Members:

As you know, Matt Forbeck is heading a taskforce to look at the Origins Awards. There has been discussion within the taskforce mailing list as to the function of the Academy. There is even a possibility that the Academy may not exist after the taskforce recommendations.

I have asked Nicole Lindroos to step down as Academy Chair. I will not be asking anyone to step into the role to replace her. Until the GAMA Board of Directors hears the taskforce recommendations, the Academy is without a purpose. In the taskforce recommendations, we will either find that the Academy has a new and invigorated mandate, or no mandate at all. If it turns out to be the latter, I don't want someone left "holding the bag." Nicole Lindroos has done excellent service to GAMA and the Academy, and I do not wish any future actions of I or the Board of Directors tarnishing that.

If the taskforce does recommend that the Academy continue, and with an invigorated mandate, I will name a new Chair at that time.

The Academy Chair will remain empty until further notice.

Thank you.

Don Perrin
Don Perrin
GAMA President

This turn of events was not unexpected, but I remain sad to see that all the work I've done for the last year stands to be swept aside and done away with nonetheless. A year of my life, shamelessly wasted. Squandered.

Don't I feel foolish...


Horny Teens

I discovered two of them having sex virtually under my kitchen window last evening!

The sideyard between my house and the park (this is a toddler park, definitely not for big kids) is *maybe* 6 feet, and they were in the bushes right up against my fence. I wouldn't have noticed them at all except the girl was squealing and laughing and making a ruckus that I could hear from inside the house, and when I looked down from the kitchen window, there was the top of this boy's head and the girl's feet up in the air!

They under-estimated what a nosy busybody I am. :)

First I tried to scare them off by going to the front porch and moving some things around. Then I went into the sideyard itself to retrieve some gardening tools. The girl was laying there, looking up at me, laughing her head off. The young man at least had the decency to avert his face and look a little ashamed of himself. I grabbed my weed-whacker and said, as I walked by, "This is not an appropriate place for that activity." or some other such lameass comment. I was actually a lot more embarrassed by them than I thought I'd be. The girl continued to think this was the funniest thing ever and howled with laughter.

I then puttered around in the back yard for a while until they left.

Just looked out my kitchen window again, and they're back in the park this afternoon. The girl is brazen! She's up on the kiddie play equipment, saw me looking out the window and just started laughing again. If I'd been caught in her position, I'd have been mortified and never gone within blocks of the place again. At least this time they still have their clothes on.

This park is also an occasional gathering place for kids who want to hang out and smoke dope around dusk. I've caught a few whiffs, on occasion.


Firefox Users

Anyone know why I can't open the comments on my blog (the Blogger version, not the Livejournal)? I've just started using Firefox, and when I try to display the comments on Discolor Online, I get a message saying that I've chosen to open a binary file. While it asks "What should Firefox do with this file?" the only option I'm allowed is Save to Disk, which downloads my comments as a colorfully formatted Excel file.

Pain in the ass, and I'm not enough the computer geek to have a clue why it's doing this.

Anyone else?


I Would Have It All, If I Only Had This Much

Thursday: Picked Kate up. Shook off the post-Origins depression long enough to have a mini "Girl's Day" with her. We shopped, got haircuts, played together, and I forgot my sadness and disappointment for a while. Love my girl.

Friday: As sign of how full of stress and unhappiness I've been, I staggered through Friday like a drunk. I returned my rental car. Met Evan on Capitol Hill for coffee, where we monopolized the Starbuck's comfy leather chairs for a couple of hours and I spilled my aching guts to a sympathetic ear. It's been too long since Evan and I had a coffee date. I talked too much, but I needed the shoulder of a real friend on Friday and Evan was there for me as he's been in the past. Despite my faults.

Saturday: Spiderman 2 with people with other friends. Had a lovely time, enjoyed the movie and the company. Went to R&C's for grilling afterward and was struck by spontaneous narcolepsy. Had to excuse myself to the back room for a nap, where I crashed hard and slipped immediately into intense, disconcerting dreams. Woke in time to join the crew for dinner, but ended up staying the night as Chris and Ray had another marathon discussion about game design. Kate and I just curled up in the spare room.

Sunday: Bruce picked us up for dim sum at Sun Ya in the International District. Again, for no good reason, I found myself struggling against crushing fatigue. I literally fell into bed for a couple of hours as soon as we got back from dim sum, and instead of doing anything social for the 4th, we stayed home and eventually just watched fireworks on tv. I had to put earplugs in to sleep that night, as our neighbors were incredibly festive and shooting off fireworks until after midnight.

Monday: Woke at 3:30am after anguishing dreams. Managed to get a couple hours more sleep between 5:30am and 7:00am. First day with my new Flexcar account. Broke it in by going down to Bruce and Tim's barbecue. Wonderful time! Kate was a little hyper, but she gets that way when she's been up too late the night before (as she'd been for the 4th) so I should have predicted. Good fun, good friends, good food. Finished reading The Anubis Gates again, which I'd forgotten so much of it was like reading a whole new book. Borrowed Leige-Killer and Ash Ock from Tim. Intent on keeping my brain distracted.


Note to Self...

Dear Nicole,

In the future, trust your gut. When your first impression of a guy is that he deserves a punch in the mouth, he probably does.

Remember this, you foolish woman. It will save a lot of heartache.


Shhh, don't tell my husband...

Mollpeartree inspired me to have a lemming moment, and this is what I got for my trouble. A hippie?! Well, I guess that would explain why my daughter ended up at that hippie school. At least I'm a hippie with a mean streak. Ha ha ha!

My results:

You are an SECF--Sober Emotional Constructive Follower. This makes you a hippie. You are passionate about your causes and steadfast in your commitments. Once you've made up your mind, no one can convince you otherwise. Your politics are left-leaning, and your lifestyle choices decidedly temperate and chaste.

You do tremendous work when focused, but usually you operate somewhat distracted. You blow hot and cold, and while you normally endeavor on the side of goodness and truth, you have a massive mean streak which is not to be taken lightly. You don't get mad, you get even.

Please don't get even with this web site.