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Discolor Online

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

 

Ten Things I Haven't Done

...but people I know have.

1. Gone on tour as a roadie for a band
2. Undergone gender reassignment
3. Had quadruplets
4. Had their roleplaying game used as the basis for a tv show
5. Had a child die of complications from chicken pox
6. Had the presense of mind upon seeing the Spice Girls in a Las Vegas elevator to ask, "Which one of you is the slutty one again?"
7. Performed (non-religious) humanitarian work in Africa
8. Had the door torn off their moving car (sideswiped by a semi on the freeway)
9. Had success picking up chicks with the line "Nice shoes."
10. Hitchhiked from Montana to Alaska with a baby

 
 

Ten Song Lyrics

Lyrics from songs that have been banging around my head constantly the last several days. Read into it what you will.

1. I have earned my disillusionment/I have been working all of my life/and I am a patriot/I have been fighting the good fight...

2. "What the fuck?" is written all over your pretty face.

3. They don't know what they like so much about it/they just go for any shiny old bauble/and nobody sparkles like you...

4. Modern man, evolutionary betrayer/modern man, ecosystem destroyer/modern man, destroy yourself in shame/modern man, pathetic example of earth's organic heritage

5. Set in our way content with our decay/We wave the flag of freedom as we conquer and invade/Ever ask yourself where's my place in this hell

6. My hands are locked up tight in fists/my mind is racing filled with lists/of things to do and things Iíve done/another sleepless nightís begun

7. Hotel maids smile in unison/then you know in your brain/you know in your brain/leave the capitol/exit this roman shell

8. Telling my business to kids I don't even know/you're like a daytime talk show, and that's low/so you can tell everyone, that I'm jerking you/and if you don't like it, take it personal

9. We live our life in our own way/never really listened to what they say/the kind of faith that doesn't fade away we are the true believers

10. Release the bats! Release the bats! (Thanks a lot, Patrick!)

 
 

Conquest LA Report

Green Ronin spent the holiday weekend at Conquest LA. For a first-year convention I felt they had a very respectable turnout. The dealer's hall took up only a corner of one of the ballrooms, with four of us displaying products, but it was a clever arrangement: the corner of the hall was able to be sectioned off from the rest of the hall in the evenings, but open during the day, so when people were on their way to the gaming tables they could pass through for a quick look at what we had to offer.

The Conquest staff were incredibly hospitable and friendly, and I must say we had a wonderful time as guests. Chris played in a couple of AEG's roleplaying events (World's Largest Dungeon and a Spycraft game), Kate played in a couple of Yu Gi Oh tournaments, and we were even invited to play in an "Escape Diablo" dungeon bash that was a riot. GM Robert Lionheart was quite excellent, and a good sport for allowing a nine-year-old to join his game. The industry round-table with folks like Don Perrin, Peter Adkison, John Zinser, and James Ernest was also good fun for those who attended, as well as the Q&A dinner and reception with Keith Baker.

I had a great time at this convention and I think they've done all the right things to grow this into a fun on-going event. Next year they'll be holding the con over Martin Luther King weekend and at a different location, and I have every intention of attending again. If you're an LA-area gamer, do give Conquest LA a try!

In other welcome news, the LAX Marriott has very comfortable beds, which I've come to appreciate more and more the older I get. Most hotel beds just can't compare to my bed at home, but the Marriott was really comfortable and a welcome relief.

Definitely a good weekend to spend inside gaming. We drove around a bit yesterday and got caught in torrential rains and came across several areas where roads were closed because of mudslides. Weather in LA is completely sucky right now.

Here's hoping the rain holds off long enough for us to catch our flight and get back to sunny Seattle!

 
 

Figures

Seattle: Sunny

Sunny skies. High around 50F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.


Los Angeles: T-Storms

Thunderstorms this morning, overcast during the afternoon with occasional rain - a rumble of thunder is still possible. A few storms may be severe early. High near 60F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall possibly over one inch.




Figures...

 
 

Smoking Trigger

Argh.

For the first time in more than a year, I feel to buy cigarettes and start smoking again. Stress, severe stress...does it to me every time. More than stress, it's the feeling of wanting to resort to violence against people who are making my life harder than it needs to be that gives rise to the impulse to want to grab a cigarette and turn that violence inward instead.

I swear, I've never gotten anything but trouble for trying to be a decent person who does the right thing...I could have been a millionaire by now if not constrained by conscience, ethics, morals, and a heart-felt aversion to being an asshole.

Good thing I'm leaving for Los Angeles in a few hours; unlike Las Vegas, Los Angeles is an easy place to avoid smoking.

 
 

Things I don't need to see

Kate covets one of those fancy new generation family vehicles with the built-in video screens and DVD players. Whenever we're driving along and she sees some other family comfortably watching Spongebob Squarepants in their space age minivan in the next lane, she points it out to me.

Last night, Kate and I pulled up behind one of these minivans at a stoplight. Dark blue with tinted windows, we could still clearly see the glowing video display broadcasting its video like a beacon in the night. And what were they watching, you ask?

HARDCORE PORN.

That's right, clearly visible to my nine-year-old daughter: the naked jiggling titties of an "adult entertainment actress", being penetrated in every orifice while a spare onanist arced his moneyshot over her belly.

At the next light I was able to position the car so the porno wasn't visible to Kate (and thankfully she was fiddling with her Gameboy and either didn't notice the video show or at least didn't comment on it), but I watched as a series of other drivers noticed what was being broadcast in the van and grimaced, laughed, pointed, and nearly ran into each other.

I'm not calling for a ban on porn, but is it too much to ask that it be kept at home, please?

 
 

Crap

Just found out my friends' sweet little baby girl needs to go in for open heart surgery. Crap, crap, crap.

 
 

Tracy Chevalier

A few months ago, on a tip from my friend Jenny, I bought myself a ticket for one of the Seattle Arts & Lectures events, to hear author Tracy Chevalier.

Last night was the night.

First, I had to tear the house apart to find my ticket, because I'd cleverly put it "somewhere safe." Up to about 2 hours before the event, I still wasn't sure I'd be attending, since I couldn't remember my oh-so-clever safe place. Of course, it was right under my nose the whole time, perfectly safe and with some relief I found it and got myself ready to go out. The 106 runs right past my house and stops in the University Tunnel which literally has an elevator to Benaroya Hall. Couldn't be easier!

I joined several other attendees in a quick meal from Puck's (though, despite the linked review here I wouldn't call $12.00 for a small bowl of soup and a large bowl of simple greens and a bottle of root beer "cheap eats"). I asked some ladies sitting at a large table with a free seat if I could join them as the tables were very crowded, and what fun they were! Middle aged book club friends, they were a riot and seemed to enjoy my company as an "audience". They discussed the unappealing chartreuse color of Puck's walls ("Doesn't that seem a poor choice of color to paint the walls of a restaurant?"), the ongoing social security debate and President Bush's proposed plan to stop incentives for employer contributions to employee health care (neither idea they held in high regard), and another mutual friend's attempts to teach all of them to knit ("Look at this scarf," said one, "Knitted by guess whose virgin hands." "Oh, she tried to teach me to knit socks. Socks! I got one quarter of the way through one sock." "Maybe we should work on them together. A Stitch and bitch!"), their (largely unsuccessful) investments into stocks and bonds, the "secret" Benaroya restrooms. More fun than I expected to have over a bowl of soup with strangers.

Inside the main hall the University Book Store was selling copies of Chevalier's books and I bought a copy of The Lady and the Unicorn, which I'd been looking at in hardcover. I chatted with the girl running the table as she ran my credit card, saying I was pleased to see the book out in paperback (and autographed, no less) and ended up having a nice conversation with her about books and reading and working to support your habit, heh heh. Me chit-chatting with total strangers just doesn't normally happen; twice in one night (and enjoying myself to boot) is unheard of. I was enjoying myself already and hadn't even stepped foot into the lecture itself!

The lecture was interesting, Chevalier opened by sharing some hilarious e-mails she's received from people enraged by her depictions of Vermeer and her audacity in thinking she had the right to use a famous person as a character in a historical novel. She called them the "mad e-mailers" and I laughed with recognition, as they're every bit as bitter and mean and self-important as the roleplayers who write hate mail to game companies. I found myself nodding in recognition and agreement with many of the things she had to say about the blending of fact and fiction in writing, in the perceptions we have of what is "real" and what is "true" and how she uses real people and places to bring the fictional people and events more to life. I also found it interesting that she writes longhand and edits as she goes, about 1000 words a day (about 4 days of work brings her through one scene of a story) because she can type much faster than she can think through what she's putting on paper; writing it out longhand she finds to be the right speed to force her to clarify her thoughts and editing on the page lets her see it all in front of her. That style resonates with me.

Kate missed me while I was out, because I rarely go out on excursions with neither her nor Chris. She'd bet him that I was going to come home from my lecture having had a bad time and wishing I hadn't gone out (oh, a bit of wishful thinking, Miss Kate?). Sadly for her I had a great time, and even though I missed my bus by 2 minutes and had to wait nearly half an hour in the cold to take the alternate, longer, packed with stinky drunks bus home, I was already plotting to do it again before the door had barely closed behind me.

 
 

Gourmet Tea

Someone mentioned Adagio Teas in an another online community I frequent and I thought I'd pass the recommendation along here.

Adagio were having a promotion where they'd send out a gift package in exchange for a link on your website. I gave it a shot and while I was in England I got a package from the company with a sampler pack of four herbal teas (I expressed a particular interest in their herbal teas) and their neat little "ingenuiTEA" brewing cup (you can see it here

I've been using the heck out of the brewing cup to make all sorts of loose-leaf teas (though, sadly, they don't offer my friend Ruth's favorite decadence: monkey-picked oolong). They have sampler packs broken down by type (black, oolong, white, green, herbal blends, rooibos, etc.) and also offer some funky "flavored" teas (including chocolate, caramel, and coconut) that I'll admit I'm curious about. This stuff is definitely in the funky gourmet vein: I'd expect people who balk at the whole coffee house, hand-roasted and freshly ground beans coffee "experience" won't embrace the froofy tea culture that this company is trying to cater to. In other words, it's up my alley, and if you're looking to branch out from Liptons or Celestial Seasonings it might be up your alley too.

 
 

Atari Bastards!

Argh!!

I traded some Green Ronin books with my ex-husband for a copy of Sid Meier's Pirates, a trade that I was quite excited about. I played the heck out of the Sega Genesis version of the game when we were married and he remembered how much I liked it, so when he got a copy and decided he didn't want it, he thought of me.

Anyway, I really had my hopes up to play, but I can't get the damn thing to run! I can get through about two or three minutes of game play (talk to the merchant, or pull my ship out of the harbor for example) and then the damn game quits. Kate and I sat down to play a bit last night and it didn't take long for Kate to declare "This takes all the fun out of it," and leave the room.

I went to the website, as instructed in the manual. I tried their troubleshooting tips: this computer is only a couple of months old, desperately needed replacement for Chris's old work machine. It excedes the system requirements across the board (double the processor speed, double the RAM, a current operating system...). I quit all other programs that might have been running in the background, updated the video driver, nothing helped.

SO today I prepared to call tech support: they have "interactive voice response" supposedly available 24/7. I was to punch in either the first three letters of the title, or the five-digit "Part number" from the CD. I tried punching in SID (for SID MEIER'S PIRATES) and there was no entry. Ok, I thought, I'm being too literal. Perhaps it's under PIR (for PIRATES). No, after listing off all the various versions of RISK I might be calling about, again I hit a brick wall. I tried punching in the Part number (24810) from the CD, but they have no such part number on file.

The system auto-forwarded me to the "live technicians" -- where I received a recording telling me the office was closed and I should call back between 8:00am and 6:00pm Pacific Time. It's worth noting that I was calling at 4:55pm Pacific time...

I'm particularly irked that I've followed all of their stupid instructions (including calling for help during the business hours they PRINTED IN THE FUCKING MANUAL). Terrible, terrible customer service! Grrrr.

 
 

England Photos

I believe you'll be able to see a couple photos, including pics of the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2E proofs, if you click here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikchick/

 
 

Fighting the Good Fight...

...the fight against jet-lag that is. Since my sleep schedule is all screwy and my brain is mush, it's all I can do to update with the results of an online quiz. It should be noted that I love Gunn and am not sad whatsoever to have come out with this result. Oh, that series of episodes where the gang is working at the law firm and he's made the "deal with the devil" that has him being the smart guy, but it's fucking him up? Loved that one.


You scored as Gunn. You're Gunn. A born fighter, you're a lot smarter than most people give you credit for. Not just the muscle, you often see things that others miss.

Gunn

81%

Doyle

81%

Lorne

63%

Cordelia

63%

Connor

63%

Angel

56%

Fred

50%

Wesley

38%

Which Angel Character Are You?
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