Discolor Online

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


Summer Recap

The last couple of months have been pretty active for me and I haven't really written about anything overly personal in months. Figure it's about time to mend that.

June was Pramas's 40th birthday. I threw him a party, saw a bunch of old friends and had a really nice time. The following week I went to Portland and camped out at an RV park in my mother's RV so Kate could attend Rock Band Camp for Girls. I videoed Kate's performance from the side of the stage but when I pulled it off the FLIP there was no sound (though there is sound if viewed on the camera) so I've got to figure out what's up with that so I can post the video of her band rockin' out. But I haven't yet.

In July I hosted a friend's 13-year-old son for a week. He's a total gamer and within minutes of his arrival he and Kate were talking Star Trek (or was it Star Wars?) and Xbox. We visited the EMP and the Sci-Fi Museum (which had a bonus Jim Henson exhibit going on), visited Starbucks (the kid likes mochas), stopped at Golden Age Collectibles, introduced him to sushi, and culminated with a visit to the Microsoft Game Studio. I tried to organize a visit to Wizards of the Coast but despite a bunch of advanced notice and call-outs to multiple people there we just weren't able to make that happen, but my friends at Microsoft more than made up for it with the tour they gave the kids of the Game Studio. Kate then went on a week-long trip to Hawaii with her dad and Pramas and I hunkered down to get some work done before GenCon.

My brother returned from his stint doing medical work in Haiti and suggested that we try to go up to Minnesota together to visit my grandpa (who turned 92 this year) with our dad. I was able to book my GenCon flight through Minneapolis to make this happen and it was a really lovely time. The weather was good, the rest of the family golfed (or followed along in a cart) and I got lots of walking in on the golf courses and great face time with the family. It also took my mind off the fact that Ropecon 2009 was going on. Instead I rolled into GenCon feeling as relaxed and happy as I've been in years. Where my brother and I really did not get along as children and I moved in with my dad in 10th grade while he continued to live with my mom, we've grown up and grown into a much happier relationship and I'm really enjoying knowing him as an adult after being either at odds or separated from each other for so many years. Valuable stuff.

August gave way to September and PAX here in Seattle. I attended again this year and reconnected with many good friends from the game industry that I don't get to see nearly enough of. I saw good friends who have moved away for computer jobs and pen-and-paper designers who otherwise don't have reason to visit Seattle. My most popular friends were hard or impossible to track down or only able to speak to us in passing and I left wishing the event had been a couple of days longer so I could have seen more but for me this year was totally about the people and largely not about the content of the event. Sadly, I was also one of the hundreds of people who caught the "PAXflu" and lost more than a week to laying around the house coughing, sniffling, and napping feverishly. I got over the worst of it just in time to head down to Portland to help my mom out as she underwent and recovered from nasal surgery. Even now I still have a very slight cough that pops up and it's been three weeks since the onset of my symptoms. Tomorrow I'll write up that trip in more detail.

That brings us to the beginning of Fall. Kate started back to school for her eighth grade year while I was down with the flu, her last year at Orca. Pramas and I will be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary in a couple of days, the bronze anniversary Google tells me. This weekend is the annual Green Ronin summit and the bulk of the boys will be arriving over the course of the day Thursday. The following weekend is the Diamond/Alliance open house in Baltimore which I'll be traveling to this year and by the time I finish that we'll be well into October and less than a month out from my 40th birthday. This is the year that FIVE of the Green Ronins turned 40 with me closing out the pack as the last of the year. It's also a year that has me feeling like a stone skipping across a pond, spinning along with an external momentum and only briefly coming into contact with the real "surface" of my life.

More later, for now I must sleep.

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Favorite PAX Moment

I tried to deplague-ify myself through diligent hand washing, applications of sanitizer, and I didn't share my controllers or lick any banisters but I still managed to come home with some sort of PAX plague that has settled into my chest over the course of today. So, my PAX report is going to take the form of sharing my single favorite PAX moment by way of Youtube.

Kate and I were at this show (stayed through all three Coulton encores) and saw this thing go down live. Knowing what a sincerely nice guy he is, we were both absolutely thrilled to have the chance to watch this unfold. Kate stood right beside me through the whole show, clapping and singing along, and SQUEEEED with genuine 13-year-old girly delight to see her friend, Wil Wheaton, being treated to something as cool as being serenaded by Jonathan Coulton, Paul and Storm, and Molly. As you can see in the video, Wil felt the same way.




After a busy but very fun PAX schedule, I spent Labor Day laying low and doing little more than combing through recipe books and magazines so I could make out a menu plan and go grocery shopping once I get paid. Since Kate came back to Seattle two weeks early, needing school clothes and supplies on the heels of our Finland/Gencon two-week whirlwind (and I didn't get any child support all summer) we were feeling significantly less flush than usual but not so much so that we couldn't at least enjoy some fun at PAX. Kate and I attended with three-day badges while Pramas worked the Flying Lab booth and then we all got to enjoy connecting in the evenings with friends and seeing Jonathan Coulton and The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets doing their late night musical performances. We even ducked out of PAX for a little while on Saturday to enjoy the nice weather and a final summer bbq with the usual suspects at R&C's. J&J were there with the fabulous Miss V so it really felt like the gang was all together again.

Labor Day evening I got an unexpected call from my brother who wanted to know if we were free for a visit if he came up to Seattle. He's been very busy since starting med school and until this summer it had been 18 months since I'd seen him so we were happy to make time, especially since Tuesday was Kate's last day of summer vacation. In honor of the day she got to take Uncle Chad to the Family Fun Center in Renton and we belted him with water cannons on the bumper boats, drove go-karts, played laser tag, and spent good money on games that gave tickets for plastic junk.

We met Chris after work and had dinner at Marco's Supperclub in Belltown after an unfortunate delay in the form of a flat tire on the Alaska Way Viaduct. There's a dime-sized circular hole in the tire where we ran over something (a bolt perhaps) that I heard crack against the wheel well and then started losing pressure fast. Luckily I was able to limp the 1/4 mile to the Seneca St. exit and get onto 1st Avenue without the tire completely shredding and Chad was all brotherly and changed the tire for us. That means today I'm headed out to get new tires on the car (they needed to be replaced soon anyway).

Kate is off to her first day of 7th Grade. I took our annual first day of school photo and will put it up soon.

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