Discolor Online

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


Table for 15

Table for 15
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
Last night we had the pleasure of dinner with some friends of Chris's from high school. Elizabeth and Geoff live in Seattle with their blended family (her son and daughter plus his three sons). Elizabeth's sister was in visiting from Boston and another Boston to Seattle transplant plus the Lindroos-Pramas-Freins brought the party up to six adults and nine kids (mostly boys).

Dinner was a gigantic feast of Dungeness crab, cooked in perhaps the biggest pot I've ever seen in a home kitchen, plus corn, cornbread, a summer salad packed with seasonal vegetables, slabs of watermelon, and plum tarts with ice cream.

Very few of the kids had eaten crab before and Geoff was enthusiastic about introducing them to a real crab feast. Kate, a burgeoning near-vegetarian, was a little queasy about the crab but gamely tried it and then filled up on corn bread and watermelon (which is what I would have predicted). She's trying to expand her food horizons and challenge her palate but she has a hard time with fish and "sea bugs".

As the night crept on and the adults lingered first over wine and then over dessert and coffee, the youngest children started to drop in place, curling up with pillows and under chairs to stay close to the action until they just couldn't keep their eyes open any longer. Meanwhile, several of the boys (including at times both dads) stepped over to an adjoining room that was packed with musical instruments and began jamming. They were FANTASTIC. I tried to get some video of the moment but my phone video was too dark and really couldn't capture the energy and skill of the group. At one point Geoff and his step-daughter were swing dancing while the boys jammed but I was too slow to capture the moment with my phoen (and didn't have my real cameras with me). Kate, an only child, the oldest child there and a girl out-numbered, played a card game with some of the younger kids and then stuck close to the adults as has always been her way.

It was glorious chaos and good for the soul. I had a marvelous time.

Labels: , , ,



I wanted to thank everyone for their sympathy on the whole friend moving away issue. I really do appreciate it. I just needed to cry a little for myself so I could move forward being supportive and positive for my friend and his opportunities. Everything about this move has the possibility to be good for him, personally and professionally. I'm fully supportive of him taking this and running with it, he deserves it. He's even considering starting a blog so we can all keep up with him, which would be great. I've been able to remain closest to distant friends who are enthusiastic internet users.

Meanwhile it was game night last night, so I made up some Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf and Guinness Chocolate Cake in his honor and we drank some Bowmore 17-year and had one last game night hurrah. We even squeezed in a couple of games of Tsuro right at the end so we could say we actually played games on game night.

Labels: , ,



No, this isn't a post about Gary Gygax.

Sorry to be so selfish but this one is all about me.

I have very few close friends who have known me for any length of time in my life. I spent my childhood moving around, city to city, school to school. Even in my adult life, I spent a few years in Georgia, a couple years back in Minnesota, a few years in Vancouver and so forth. Seattle's been the place I've sunk my roots for the longest ever and that's a mere 10 years.

This is not to say that I haven't had friends in all the places I've lived, just that when I moved away from wherever it was I inevitably lost touch with people. My best friend in Georgia got divorced and moved away to start over, which included losing touch with me. The guy who was my best friend in Minnesota fell in love, moved away, and we lost touch. In Vancouver, Nigel Findley was the guy who held our group together and when he died and I moved away I lost touch with many of those guys. Life happens.

Life is happening again. In the last several years, many of my game industry friends have ended up moving away. One of the guys who stood up as a witness for my wedding fell in love, moved away, and I think we received a Christmas card once... others have gotten jobs and moved to distant lands (England, Canada, far southern California). I was gutted when Foxbat left us for a job. Codrus is taking some interviews soon and it's all too likely that he'll be leaving us as well.

Today I heard some really devastating news, though. News I predicted a few weeks ago and then Pramas convinced me that I was being overly pessimistic so I decided to be all cool about it. But no. My gut doesn't steer me wrong on these things. I was accursedly correct and our number will be diminished yet again. I have three or four people I refer to when talking about "my oldest, dearest friends" and I'm losing another one. Even having predicted it, I definitely, selfishly, did not want this to happen. I am torn up over this one, wrenched, heartsick. I will be the good friend, I will support my dear friend in his endeavors, but I am very, very unhappy and feeling very sorry for myself right now.

Labels: , ,


Jolly goodness

Job related stress levels are still pretty high and Kate missed the bus this morning (though she was out at the stop at the normal time) and we had to cancel game night so you might think I'd be Miss Crankypants today but I'm actually feeling pretty good. Two small things happened today that made me downright jolly.

On the way back from taking Kate to school (and dropping off a bunch of kids movies on VHS which I'm donating to the school for their Parents' Night Out program) I stopped at the Columbia City Bakery. I'd just been in yesterday and I don't usually get down there two weeks in a row let alone two days in a row but I decided to treat myself since I had to be out and about anyway. I walked in, glasses fogged up, and checked out the pastry counter. I was fully intending to order a tall Americano (their espresso is so good!) and one of their "snowballs" (currently filled with spiced pears and maple mascarpone). My favorite barista chick saw me peering over my glasses and gave me a smile and I joined the line at the counter. When I got to the front, a tall Americano was waiting for me, just like I was some sort of honest to goodness regular, without me having to say anything. She read my mind and that small kindness had me grinning happily all morning.

One Americano is not enough, though, so I brewed up a pot of coffee this afternoon. As I was sitting down to my first cup, I opened my e-mail to see a note telling me to check my front porch... where COOKIES had appeared like magic. Chocolate chip mint cookies.

See? It's not so hard to make me happy. A little good coffee, a little chocolate... mmm, happiness. Downright frickin' jolly, I tell you.

Labels: ,


And the day was saved...

Kate and her friend arrived home after school and we got them all set up to take over the living room for Sleepover Extravaganza 2007. Furniture was moved, sleeping bags unrolled, Nintendo DSes were plugged in. I braced her for the bad news.

"I have some bad news..." I said.
"You weren't able to get the guitars from Ray?" Kate guessed.
"Worse," I said.
Stricken, Kate gasped, "BUNNIES?!!" (Poor kid, two hamsters deaths have scarred her...)
"No, no, not that bad!" I reassured her. "I wouldn't break news about your bunnies like this!" *sheesh*

I let her know that by "worse" I meant there was no Xbox at all... which meant no games or DVDs for the sleepover. Disappointing but not earth-shattering.

Meanwhile, people had been following along on my blog, where I'd vented about the situation a couple of hours earlier. After reading my tale of Xbox woe yesterday, Mysticalforest kindly offered up the use of his 360 in the comments of my LJ! Not only that but he was kind enough to drive up to my house and hand deliver it. I was soon able to share the happy news with the girls and Sleepover Extravaganza 2007 was saved! Games were played, movies were watched, pizza ordered, popcorn popped. Bunnies frolicked, girls and parents were happy. When the replacement machine was plugged in and booted up, Kate said, "He even uses the same icon I do!" Big Hero Points to Mysticalforest for saving the day.

The girls are crashed out on the living room floor now and I expect they stayed up pretty late. They were still going strong playing Animal Crossing when I went to bed. At some point during the night they pulled chairs up to my computer and were watching Code Monkey videos on YouTube (because that was what was on the screen when I got up this morning). I've been puttering around trying not to be too noisy but I've been up for two hours already and I'm starting to get hungry and want coffee. When the girls arise I'll probably bust out the recipe for pumpkin pancakes and make bacon.

Labels: , ,


Christmas is Over

For us, Christmas is over already. Tomorrow there will be stockings even though Kate knows the whole secret to Santa this year and we'll go over to Ray and Christine's tomorrow afternoon for a while. Low key and laid back, nothing too different from how we'd spend a typical Sunday with the crew. The big stuff is over. My mom, brother, and sis-in-law left to go back to Portland this morning. We had our big dinner (I did skip making the squash/rice side dish after all) last night and opened presents after that. We also went to see Eragon at the Cinerama and so, because of its proximity to Top Pot donuts, we had donuts for breakfast. Typical for my family, we munched donuts while Pramas explained to my SIL about Pol Pot and the campaign to exterminate Cambodia's intellectuals. Nothing says Christmas with the family like the Khmer Rouge, eh?

We actually had a very nice family visit, though our lack of a spare room was sorely felt as all our guests (including Rosie) hunkered down with the Christmas tree in the living room. I sent the family packing with a trunk full of leftovers, including half a pumpkin cheesecake. My brother called when he got home just to tell me once again how good the food was.

I spent my day playing with this. I've finally joined the world of the real MP3 player, woohoo! Pramas even got pink to match my birthday shoes and my new phone. (I've been on a pink kick this year.) Kate also got a Scrabble set so we played that tonight, too.

Not that Christmas is all about gifts, but I have to say that the gifts I received this year were fabulous. I got clothes items that fit and that I love, I got food and cooking items that I'd been coveting or that were perfect together (one gift included coffee beans, another was a spiffy new coffee making device (thanks Hal!) for example), I got books and music that I've been positively reveling in. All hits and no misses. Pramas also got me a Truthiness kit from Subversive Cross Stitch that I can't wait to tear into. I stayed up way too late reading Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation (thanks Will!) and we finished off a big chunk of the various sweets and goodies that were delivered to the house (thanks Rob, thanks Ev!).

Feeling very good about my holiday this year. No grinchy feelings at all. How nice!

Labels: , ,



As has become tradition, my mother-in-law sent Chris giant lobsters again for his birthday. She called to be sure we'd be home to accept the delivery, and we were expecting lobsters to arrive on Monday, but she went for the Saturday delivery instead. Since I'd planned a party for Chris, I totally wasn't intending to cook lobsters yesterday afternoon but I opened the box and took a peek at the lobsters, and they were looking none too peppy. I was worried that the larger of the two was possibly no longer with us, but it twitched half-heartedly after I poked at it for a while). NO WAY they were going to last another day, they had to be cooked immediately.

So, we had some giant lobsters for lunch, we have a ton of meat left over (they were just too big to eat!), and I went crazy making lobster stock before the party. This month's issue of Cooking Light arrived Friday and when I was reading it what did I see but a recipe for lobster stock! And, coincidentally, I have lobsters lying around the house and just enough time to make stock before the party. It was a sign, a portent. I had to obey.

The party at the Capitol Club was delightful, the Blue Room just the perfect setting. Only twice during the night did anyone uninvited intrude into the room. The first was a drugged up club-goer who twitched his way into the room and tried to make himself comfortable, until we told him it was a private party and all stared at him until his paranoia kicked in and he got up and left again. We heard the doorman forcibly ejecting him with a, "What are you doing in here, we told you to LEAVE," followed by a quick apology to the room for not noticing he'd slipped in. The second intrusion was a twenty-something partier who stuck her head in the room and bitchily barked at us to "Stop it right now." Since everyone else was in brisk, geek conversation, we had no idea what she was talking about. "Stop throwing ice!" We looked around at our iceless drinks, and back to her, baffled. Conversation screeched to a halt. Luckily, Sasha had been sitting with a view to the door and had seen some ice go flying past while the woman was standing there, and knew what the hell she was talking about and jumped in to tell Righteous Indignation Chick that the ice was coming from elsewhere. Good thing, too, or I would have had to match her Righteous Indignation with some of my own, and goodness knows that couldn't have ended well.

Besides my favorite part, where John Tynes shows up late to the party, wearing the same Trogdor the Burninator shirt that the birthday boy is wearing, my next favorite bit was where our waiter, overhearing the raging geek debate about whether Spiderman or Batman is older, picks up on Ray's remark about the Rawhide Kid and asks if it's true that the Rawhide Kids is an out of the closet, gay cowboy comic book character. To his delight, we confirm that it's real. My second favorite part of the evening (only coming in second because I'm currently smitten with Strong Bad) was the ever-gracious Stan! offering to belly dance, since Chris's one "disappointment" of the evening was the lack of belly dancers. Lotsa fun, laughter, and good friends.

We closed the place out, cursing all the while at Seattle's lame policy of bum rushing people out of bars and clubs at 1:30am (even though they technically don't close until 2am, when the clock strikes 2 the lights must be off and the doors locked, no stragglers). We milled around on the streets with a couple hundred other refugees from the surrounding area, and debated moving the dregs of the party over to Ray and Christine's private room, but eventually decided to call it a night. John and Ray apparently drove the looped Mr. Mitch home, which was undoubtedly a good plan. When we left them, Mitch had just peed on a building (for lack of a bathroom), was munching happily on a sausage purchased from a street vendor, and was looking for an attractive young woman who might answer the night's burning question of "What the hell is a camel toe?".

Labels: , ,


WedCon is ON!

Ever since my barely-post-September-11 wedding, I've been talking about having a West Coast Reception. We've lovingly dubbed this reception WedCon, part wedding reception, part gaming convention.

It's taken us two years to get things properly organized, but I'm pleased to say that as of now, WedCon I is on the schedule. If people come and have fun, there could certainly be WedCon II or WedCon III in the future.

I put the deposit on the New Holly gathering hall today. Finally, I'll get to cater my own reception. I'm beside myself. What fun.

Chris is pleased, I'm sure, because we'll have a captive audience for games for at least the 5 hours that we have the hall. We may decide to have the party go on at our house into the following day, haven't decided the details yet. It's nice to have something fun and personal to look forward to, since so much of my attention is sucked up by the upcoming convention season and concerns for the business.

Labels: , , ,


Worn out

Saturday I spent the day wrestling with a loft bed in Kate's room. I made a hellish trip to IKEA, which turned out to be in the midst of some gigantic sale. The place was a zoo, with kids running amok all over the place, and mall-walking zombies standing or shuffling in the middle of every conceivable walking space. I can spend hours strolling IKEA getting ideas for projects on the right day, but Saturday was not that day. I curse every one of those shambling mounds who thought it was a good idea to wander the crowded aisles aimlessly with their ill-mannered offspring.

After getting off to that great start, I then spent the afternoon struggling to move a couple of 100 pound packages from the car to Kate's upstairs room alone. I ended up doing it in stages which had me dragging the boxes from the car to the porch, then breaking each package into its component parts on the porch and moving the pieces inside and upstairs. It was quite a work out!

Spent about 3 hours sweating and wrestling with pieces of loft bed, then cleaned up and ran off to join folks at Ray and Christine's for a barbecue. Ray mixed up some excellent mojitos using this gigantic bunch of fresh mint I'd picked up from the Columbia City farmer's market last week. Yummy!

Christine cooked up some great burgers, grilled asparagus, grilled corn on the cob (one of my favorites!), garnished the whole thing with two different kinds of potato salad, and opened up several bottles of wine. Very nice way to spend a Kate-free weekend and kick off the official "summer season." Of course, I hit the wall as I often do at R&C's and had to excuse myself for a lie-down at midnight or so, in the middle of watching the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Angels Revenge episode. I told Chris to wake me when he was ready to go, but as it turned out, I woke up on my own around 2:30am. Chris, Ray and the esteemed Mr. Tynes were having a vigorous discussion about game properties and game design. Managed to crawl wearily into the car sometime around 3:30am and drove home only to find myself completely awake and alert after the brisk drive in the cool morning.

I tinkered on the loft bed for a short while, then noodled around on the internet until I finally felt sleepy again, somewhere around 4:45am. Unfortunately for me, I'd forgotten to set my clock. I have a great alarm clock that I can set to automatically turn off on the weekends, and start ringing again automatically during the week. This is a fantastic feature, until you have a long weekend where you stay up until almost 5am on a Monday morning. Argh! Was jolted unpleasantly awake at my usual 7:45am, then fell exhaustedly back to sleep only to be rudely awoken again by a recorded message from Citibank somewhere around 8:30am.

It was not long after that I just gave up, got out of bed, and went back to finishing the loft bed.

I'm quite proud of my handiwork. I managed to get the bed erected, move Kate's computer desk and associated electronics across the room, get everything working, move and restock her bookshelves, and generally make the room livable again as a solo project. The unfortunate part was that I had to drive to Canby and back to pick Kate up from my mom's after all of this! Chris came with me to keep me company and help make sure I didn't get drowsy on the road (which, thanks to his engaging conversation, I did not).

After picking Kate up at my mom's, I tooled around Canby with the family, goggling at the massive development that's sprung up on "the other side of town" near my old junior high. What I remember as farm fields has turned solidly into suburbia. I took the opportunity to drive by the "new" elementary school and gave my pal JD a call, figuring we'd pay him a quick visit since he was laid up on the couch after knee surgery. We stormed his house in the middle of dinner, while he and wife Kris were already entertaining the Gingeriches. Kate played with the Gingerich kids while JD gamely hobbled up onto his crutches and gave us a tour of the house, specifically his game closet and library. We couldn't stay too long, as I had a 3+ hour drive ahead of me, but still it was great to see JD in person after having spent the last 15 years or so in touch only through mutual friends, or recently, through e-mail and weblogs.

Made it home safe and sound, but am still feeling the effects of my sleepless weekend.

Labels: , ,


My Friend J.D.

I have no clear memory of meeting J.D.. I moved around enough as a kid that I'm able to narrow it down to a specific window of opportunity, but I have no recollection of a moment when we met and I became aware of him as a person, or took note of his place in my universe.

It may very well have been when I was a Freshman at Canby Union High School , probably involving the speech team or the school literary magazine, Patina. JD was a grade ahead of me, so while I might have known of him in a general way when I was in the 7th grade at Ackerman Junior High (now Ackerman Middle School) I didn't know him personally that far back.

I moved to Canby the summer after I graduated 6th grade at a grade school in nearby Oregon City. The only things of note that came from Oregon City are Tonya Harding and the unfortunate murders of two young girls at an apartment complex very near one of the houses my family rented back in the day. Oregon City was on a traditional school year system, with 9 months on and about 3 months off during the summer. I moved to Canby just before I would have had to attend classes at Moss Junior High, where a group of older, tougher girls had already warned me I was "dead meat" as soon as I showed my face.

Canby was on this wacky year-round "track" system, the first time I had ever encountered such a thing. Kids attended K-4 in one school building, then moved to another school for grades 5-6, all classes running on one of three "tracks" that were a few weeks on, then a week or two off, throughout the school year. I'd never heard of such a thing, but it did mean that when we were all thrown together into the junior high for grades 7-8, there were plenty of kids who didn't know each other because they'd been on different tracks or what have you. For grades 7-8 and then through all high school, the school year ran on the same traditional system I was used to.

During my years in Canby, I was attending Canby Christian Church and active in their youth group. JD had been raised Mennonite, but at the time I met him he was loosening his religious views. I dragged him off to some youth group rally or other once, where he later admitted to me that the evangelical bent of the evening hadn't meshed well with his "conservative Mennonite views" (a phrase I remember him using, mostly because I was having trouble understanding for myself what it meant to have "conservative Mennonite views"). We have both since completely moved away from that sort of religious lifestyle, but there was definitely a time when my life revolved around getting to Sunday school on time and being allowed to go to the next Petra concert. I can still sing the chorus of Not By Sight. JD was one of the people from that time with whom I felt comfortable with when it came to having heartfelt talks about the mysteries of a person's spiritual life and developing code of morals and ethics.

JD and I, along with another friend, Mitch Sherrard, wrote like fiends and exchanged poetry on a regular basis. JD was the best poetic talent of the three of us, with a best vocabulary and the willingness to try out many different poetic styles. I remember him as alternately serious and almost pretentious about writing as a craft and his writing in particular on one hand, and a sweetly tender, goofy, girl-crazy boy brimming over with affection for the world.

Mitch was like JD's dark counter-part in our trio. Mitch's father had died before we became friends, and Mitch was struggling with many of the typical dark issues of teenhood: alienation, loneliness, feelings of uncertainty and loss. Mitch's poetry was often dark, brooding, cynical, and then surprisingly sensitive and vulnerable when you'd least expect it.

My poetry was the rawest of the three, which I attribute to my relative youth and utter lack of life experience. I was always cooking up some melodramatic, angsty, thing and always shot to include a "message" or overt moral statement. Oh how I cringe looking over some of those masterpieces of modern teen poetry.

I have a wonderful photo of the two of them clowning for the camera outside the High School sometime in the winter of the '84-'85 school year (or so I assume because of the visible patches of snow). Aside from yearbook photos, it may be the only remaining snapshot I have of either of them.

JD and I have reconnected over the last few months, thanks to the blessed wonder of the Internet. I visit his blog regularly and he has been kind enough to visit and comment at mine as well. It's been fantastic to see how JD, the boy I knew, has become JD, the familiar-yet-different man. Wonderful wonderful technology that allows us to reconnect after so long, and across so many hundreds of miles.

JD is having knee surgery tomorrow (technically today, I suppose). It's a bit more serious than the typical, minor, orthoscopic surgery and he has dibs on all my best, most healing thoughts until he recovers. I'd appreciate it if the rest of you who swing by Nikchick.com could keep him in your thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery as well.

Labels: ,


Small victory

The competitor I mentioned recently has agreed to remove half of our company name from his site, but maintains he has the right to use the other half because of its "historical significance". Whatever. As annoyed as I am, he's reaping what he deserves, and if he wants to corner the market selling to pedophile gamers, he can go right along doing that and hopefully he'll be leaving me out of it from this point on. Ug.

Taking our flight down to LA tomorrow, conducting business meetings and so forth at E3. Am leaving Kate in the capable hands of Uncle Jess for the weekend. Jess has been an excellent friend, stepping up at the last minute to shuttle Kate back and forth to school and hanging with her while we're gone. Kate adores Jess and Kathryn, they're like the extended family, the aunt and uncle she doesn't have (at least not near by). Still, it's no small undertaking to agree to keep Kate for two and a half days straight. On a scale of one to Awesome, they're super-great.

In order to try and keep this unexpected trip from costing too much, we booked the whole thing through Priceline, which has up arriving something like 24 hours in advance of our meeting, and leaving late the day after! If all goes well, we'll be able to hook up with some other people at E3 who might be in the mood to make deals with little ol' us. If not, the meetings we have scheduled are plenty fine all on their own.

In addition to the scheduled meetings, I have hopes of seeing other industry folks that we know. It's possible The Bish will be there, and we just could run into him if he is (that would be swell, we haven't seen Bishop since he took a job in Edmonton and moved away with barely a fond, drunken farewell). Friend, and fellow Atlas Games alum, Jeff Tidball is currently living in LA, having finished his stint at film school. He's now working on the Lord of the Rings property at Decipher, and if we don't manage to hook up with him on this jaunt, we expect we will be seeing him at either Origins or GenCon later this summer.

Most pleasantly exciting of all, for me, is that LA is relatively near Palm Springs. One of my oldest, very dearest friends, with whom I've only been in sporadic contact with in the last eight or nine years, is a reporter for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs. It's been, oh, nearly 10 years since we've seen each other in person, and since we're getting in so god-awful early I should have no trouble at all making the drive out to Palm Springs for some face-to-face reconnecting. I'm absolutely thrilled, especially because I have so few close friends from childhood that I still have any connection to.

Must pack, so I can get Kate bundled off and packed up to Jess's by 5:30am. Cursed early-morning flights!

Labels: , ,


Oh so busy

Yesterday I was in the house for about an hour. My friend Greg and his two girls were in town, waiting for wife/mom Nichole to finish some certification training she was doing. Haven't seen Greg in, oh, 15 years or so. In addition to taking a painting across town to be scanned, and making trips to the post office and UPS, handing a ton of important time-sensitive e-mail that popped up ("Where are we supposed to ship these books today?" Um, the same damn warehouse address I've given you for the last 6 books, perhaps? "Your account is going to be canceled in 4 days unless you update your billing information!" So, of the three billing options you have saved in regards to my account you can't find *one* that you like?... Hey where's my restock shipment for books X, Y, and Z that I'm now out of stock on?? Blah, blah, blah.), I also received a delivery of new books and drove copies across town so certain contributors could have them before the weekend, and managed to squeeze in a visit with Greg and his girls. I took Kate out of school and let her and the girls have the run of the Seattle Children's Museum for a couple of hours. After a quick lunch, it was back to running around trying to get Kate's things packed for her weekend with her dad, including digging up her birth certificate, her social security card, and other things she needed for her border-crossing interview (her dad applied to get her some sort of fast pass thingy to make their regular border crossings easier).

Several hours of brutal traffic jams later, I found myself at the Cascade Mall, child-free and with no one waiting for me to return to Seattle at any particular time. I took advantage of this and bought tickets to the first available showing of X-Men 2. It was a couple hours until I could get into the movie, so I bought a couple of books that caught my eye at Waldenbooks, headed out for a sandwich at Quiznos, and spent probably an hour reading in the comfy chairs at Starbucks, drinking coffee and waiting for showtime.

I loved X-Men 2! So good I just about needed a cigarette afterwards! Heh. The good thing (for me) is that I'm familiar enough with the source material that I can enjoy the character development and plot of the movie without the crippling geek affliction of knowing everything so well that the slightest deviation from the comic books (or novels or whatever a Geek Favorite movie is based on) ruins the geek's ability to just enjoy the movie. Thus, I was able to groove on the fact that the name Remy LeBeau flashes past on a computer screen (and say to myself, "Ooh, does this mean Gambit for X3?") and just go on back to enjoying the film. Hooray for me.

When I got back to Seattle, I curled up in bed, munched some White Cheddar Cheetos, listened to the Old School Rap station that my digital cable system provides, and did crossword puzzles until I was tired enough to fall asleep. Good, productive, fun day.

I will probably write more over the weekend on various topics ranging from my youthful obsession with Rick Springfield, my thoughts on the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as a movie, the childhood friends I've managed to reconnect with thanks to the internet, the book Jarhead, and why I've saved two books filled with angsty teen poetry that wasn't even written by me. But for now, Chick needs coffee.

Labels: ,


Punch in the mouth

I have a good friend who, like me, can be somewhat explosive when provoked. When I knew him only through his online persona, I commented to friend and foe alike that I was going to punch him in the mouth if I ever met him in person. He's such a sweet person in person though, that ol' punch in the mouth never happened.

That's not to say we haven't had our differences. We had a royal blow-out spat last summer, in fact. It resulted almost entirely from feeling passionately about our beliefs and holding our work so close to our hearts. It's like two pretty girls who both really want to be Prom Queen. I've always wished that I was demure and centered enough to just roll with my 'losses,' smile sweetly, and not take it personally when things don't work out as I plan but I've never been that way.

It's a terrible tightrope to walk, especially when people who love you also love (most of the time) that whole-hearted, passionate, no-holds-barred approach to life that you exhibit. (As moms around the world have said, "It's all fun until someone loses an eye, and then the crying starts.") All the more so when two or more of us get all passionate, "shooting from the hip," suffering no fools, emotionally invested and find ourselves at odds.

In those times when I'm being all calm and rational and someone else is in full-on freak out mode, the compassionate caring part of me wants to soothe it and make it better. Luckily, I know better than to play with that fire, I've learned that lesson from both sides of the argument. Let it go, let it go, let them vent and calm down and after the raging buzzsaw of raw emotion has subsided, maybe we can all work it out.

Makes me think of The Reverend Horton Heat. Fire in the hole!



Full Day

Began with breakfast at Etta's, then off to the Mariner's game. Beautiful weather! The game was only a bit over 2 hours (Mariners won) but our seats were in the sun for that whole time. The stadium temperature sign kept flashing 56 degrees, but it was much much wamer in the sun. We all left a little pink on our noses and forearms, except for Kate. I tried so hard to keep from getting a farmer's tan while in Arizona, but blew it today.

I wore my nifty WWDN t-shirt to the game, and have a lovely farmer's tan to show for it. boo hoo!

After the game we hit Wasabi for happy hour sake and sushi, and then happily toddled off to join Ray, Christine, and John at R&C's place. Because Kate was along, and being a bit hyper under all the attention, Ray suggested we have a couple cocktails and throw in the Josie and the Pussy Cats movie. Perfect! We'd been hoping that Jess and Kathryn would remember to bring along episodes of Land of the Lost from their place, but (memories impared by too many Lemon Drops?) they were forgotten and will have to wait for another day.

Got zero gardening done this afternoon, but managed to fit in plenty of food, fun, and friends. Here's hoping there'll be a few more precious hours of sunshine tomorrow so the gardening can be finished before the rest of the rainy week begins.

Labels: , ,



Got together with friends Charles and Tammie for lunch today. So very nice to see them! We used to play Ars Magica together after they moved up here from Los Angeles when Charles took a job at Wizards of the Coast, but as Chris and I started ramping up Green Ronin, we just couldn't make time to play anymore. Since we stopped playing together, we see much less of them, which is a shame as we always enjoy spending time with them.

We took the opportunity to meet out at a suburban mall that had both a Fatburger and a Krispy Kreme franchise, next door to each other. I'd never been to Fatburger before, but enjoyed finishing off Kate's uneaten burger. Their onion rings and chocolate shake also get my highest recommendation.

C&T have been working on the remodel of their house for a while, doing a lot of the work themselves. They recently finished with all the contractor-related work and are back to doing things themselves, like painting and putting in tile. I eagerly offered my services as a home improvement assistant if they want/need the help because it would fulfill my urge to have more projects without having to take on an entire renovation myself.

After we parted ways, I took the opportunity to head over to the nearby Home Depot to buy lawn and garden stuff. I've been itching to get out in my back yard again this year, but every time I've planned to go back there I've either been made a better offer, or the weather has not cooperated. I thought from the look of things this morning that the weather was going to be rainy again today, but lo, the clouds did part this afternoon and allow me a chance to give the gardening itch a scratch.

We returned home with a station wagon full of potting soil, seedlings and so on. Kate helped me by randomly pulling up weeds and digging in the dirt for about an hour, but then ran off to pet the neighbor's cat and I didn't see her again. I worked from 5:30 or so until it got too dark to work, about 8:15. Cut the grass, pulled up the herbs from the garden and transplanted them into a flower box, planted ornamental greens and flowers along the sunny-fence line, put in a lilac bush, some rhubarb, and for the hell of it planted some tulip bulbs (who knows if those will bloom after being neglected on the back porch for months!), weeded and cultivated the vegetable garden patch, etc. I definitely got a workout! I was sweating and I can already feel the soreness in my arms and back from all the pulling and digging and mowing. Felt good, though. It's a good kind of sore. I look forward to more gardening this year.

Tomorrow is the Mariners with Jess and Kathryn, after breakfast at Etta's Seafood. Monday Stan! Is dropping by. Wednesday, Chris flies to NYC and one of my junior high school friends is coming to town and wants to meet up for lunch or whatnot. All of a sudden, I'm not only busy at work but having a social schedule as well. It's fun!




Went to see A Mighty Wind yesterday afternoon. I found it entertaining, and there were times in the theater where the audience was laughing so much that the follow-up lines were missed. The cast was excellent, but there were several times where I felt the pace didn't quite clip along in the same snappy way as Best in Show (which in turn was criticized for not being as snappy as This is Spinal Tap or Waiting for Guffman). Quite enjoyable nonetheless, and nice to see such a quirky, non-standard film in such wide release (it was on four screens at the theater I chose yesterday, and playing all over the rest of the city as well).

Grabbed a coffee after the movie and tried to dodge the panhandlers parked in front of every door to every venue and parking garage downtown. I'm not unsympathetic to the needs of the down and out! Far from it. But I am wary of being scammed by people who make a living standing on street corners, and I dislike being hassled for money on the rare occasions that I actually venture out of my house to enjoy the city.

Made good on my threat to call Ray, and sure enough, when we called he was all in favor of our dropping by. Christine was out with John Tynes at a birthday party/cooking class they'd been invited to, but the menu was quite seafood-heavy and since Mr. Ray is deathly allergic to seafood, he'd had to decline the invite while they went on without him. Chris and I took him down to The Ave instead, for some nice, safe sausages.

Walked over to Scarecrow Video to find something else fun to watch. Chris found a Hong Kong flick he'd been hoping to see, but it was Region 3 and our player at home is not one of those new-fangled Multi-Region players, so he gave it a pass. Ray came away with a delightfully awful vampire movie called The Vampire Lovers. Lesbian vampires, a goofy green-skinned man on a black horse, and Peter Cushing as "General von Spielsdorf" in a kick-ass flowery smoking jacket. What more could we ask? It was awful and delicious and I laughed my ass off.

Partway through The Vampire Lovers, John and Christine returned to the house and joined us in the home theater room for a while. Christine went off to bed before the movie's dramatic conclusion, but John stayed for the whole thing. I had a single cocktail (Chris was curious about this Japanese cocktail he'd been hearing about, so, ever the gracious host, Ray mixed up a few) and then headed home at a civilized hour in the hope that I'd have energy to mow the lawn this morning.

As morning is nearly over and I'm just now getting around to having coffee, lawn mowing will be waiting until afternoon.

Labels: ,



Went out for sushi last night with Evan and Rona. Kate's with her dad, so I have a free weekend. Sushi was good, up on the north end of Seattle where we never really go. Lots of spicy rolls, and some spicy scallops that were out of this world. It was nice to see Evan and Rona socially, haven't seen Rona since the wedding reception. After sushi, they tipped us off to a place that serves a really decadent Mexican chocolate cake (complete with fried bananas, caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream), so we walked over and had coffee and dessert.

We also took the opportunity to look over copies of Cartographica, our new full-color map book. I really hope people like this one, but lately we've been receiving such strange criticisms of our products I'm filled with worry that we're going to see reviews that grade us down on the product because it's not in a spiral binder (of course, if it was in a spiral binder, we'd be graded down for non-standard binding and pages that could possibly tear out) or some such. It's a beautiful book, meant to serve as inspiration for the GM who needs a location to build an adventure around, or a map of a keep or tower or mine to show players where their adventure is taking place. Todd Gamble created the entire thing and really went all out. Still, I want so much for people to respond well (while fearing that they won't) that I'm going to worry about it for the next few weeks until the first reviews are in. I'm such a freakin' people pleaser at heart, it's tough when your market is the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. Link shamelessly stolen from foldedspace.org, where JD talks about CBG's recent career switch: JD's new doctor.

Woke up this morning having slept soundly and about 45 minutes longer than usual. My head is full of ideas of how I can spend my day. First on the list is definitely cutting the grass, since it's about 4 inches longer than our Home Owner's Association permits, and growing steadily. I also have a large bag of potting soil, seeds and bulbs in the back of my car just waiting to be planted. Waiting since pedicure day, in fact, so it really is about time I got to it. Would like to slip out to see a movie this weekend as well, but that might be asking too much. May end up calling Ray and Christine, our traditional "free Saturday" friends, if the roving Mr. Tynes didn't drink them dry last night.

Ah, the endless possibilities for a free Saturday!

Labels: , ,


Last Days

Yesterday was Kate's last day to have fun with the kids before we head to Tucson this afternoon. We tried to make a day of it. We went shopping (because we found we needed a few more hot weather clothes as the temps reached 90 degrees yesterday), went back to the zoo and made a stop at Zoe's school. We were planning to take the girls bowling, but they started fighting in the car, so we went home for time outs instead.

After her time out, Kate was on her best behavior, hoping we'd reconsider bowling. Eventually we decided to go bowling after all, the girls had enough of an attitude adjustment. We bowled two games and then hauled our tired girls to the grocery store to pick up some things for my favorite black bean and goat cheese quesadillas. I cooked those up, and made some nachos (Kate complained that I forgot the olives) and plain cheese quesadillas for the girls. Bought some chocolate truffles to enjoy after dinner, but we went on a golf ball hunt on the darkened golf course instead.

Jim came out and started hitting golf balls around with his baseball bat, while the girls were hoarding all the balls they could find. Three girls running around with flashlights and screaming eventually attracted the attention of the country club security guard, who tooled out on his little golf cart with high-beam lights to bust us! Apparently some tightass neighbor complained about us being on the course after dark. Phooey. The guard was nice enough. Said "Ah, a little pre-Easter egg hunting?" Chided us gently, since Ashley is a resident, and sent us on our way. The girls collected (and divided evenly between them) 42 golf balls! I'm secretly leaving our stash of balls in the guest house for Sarah and her family to find when they come to stay next week.

The golf ball hunt was great fun, but we spent so long out on the golf course we ended up putting the girls to bed way after 10:00. Zoe had to go to school today! Mad was supposed to go to school too, but she was too out of it, so for the third time during our visit she got to play "Hoo-tey". (Mad's got the cutest way of speaking. All of her K sounds come out as Ts, so Kate is Tate, and School is Stool. Hookey is Hoo-tey. It's made for some interesting translations, but Kate seems to understand her perfectly well.)

Sadly, Kate woke up in the middle of the night. We've been sleeping in the same bed out in the guesthouse, so I was awakened right away when she woke up and started making gagging sounds. I said "Honey, do you have to throw up?" and she suddenly sat bolt upright! Yikes! I hustled her off the bed and got her as far as the dressing room sink before she puked into it. I managed to eventually move her over the toilet, but I had quite the mess to clean up. YUCK. So gross. Puking kids has to be one of the worst things about parenthood. She was crying "Why, why? I don't want this to happen!" and saying she wanted her Daddy, but when I got her back to bed she fell back asleep right away. She slept restlessly the rest of the night, and of course every time she moved I bolted awake out of fear of being puked on, but we had no further incidents and she feels fine today. No idea what that was all about, but I'm hoping it's nothing serious that's going to come back while were on the road or visiting any of my physically frail relatives!

Now it's time for me to hit the road. Tucson here we come.

Labels: , ,



Survived having 10 kids over to The Compound yesterday. 8 girls and 2 boys managed to play nicely together for the most part. Some of our more introverted kids needed a little more quiet time and space, but there were thankfully few meltdowns or melodramatics. My worldly daughter was eager to show off Homestarrunner.com to her new friends, who ranged from the girls who watch The Simpsons and Survivor with their parents to those who live a much more sheltered existence, for whom Strong Bad shouting "Holy Crap!" was going to be a big deal. I figured it was clean enough for the big kids, but unfortunately for me the mom of the more sheltered kids walked in just as Homestar was growling "Hey Crapface," in Kate's favorite episode of Strong Bad E-mail. ::sigh:: I'll be responsible for therapy bills in the future, I'm sure.

Kate, being born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, keeps begging to go swimming in the outdoor, unheated pool. To her, we're in the midst of summer here in Phoenix, while the natives are sure to bring sweaters on outings and feel the weather is MUCH too cold to consider swimming. She's become a much better swimmer in the last year, thanks to swimming with her dad on their visits. If it were up to me, she probably still wouldn't know how to swim. I'm not much of a swimmer myself, after a near drowning experience when I was 6 or 7.

Today is another beautiful day, though. Looking out from my host's computer room I see blue sky and sunshine, palm trees, and green grass over the fence on the nearby golf course. They have tons of trees around a large, sunny patio directly in back of the house. Along one side is a grassy play area with a large play structure for the kids. Along the other side of the house there is a long, narrow stretch of lawn bordered by orange, lemon, and fig trees, all currently with fruit. Strange desert birds of all sorts flit around the house all day, singing in the trees. The first night we spent out in the guest house there were birds singing at 2:30 in the morning, but either I'm getting used to it now or they're keeping the racket down, because I haven't heard them in the middle of the night since.

We have been keeping all of our bags and belongings up off the floor out in the guest house, though, since it's the beginning of scorpion season. Jim found one outside the other day, but I haven't seen any. Kate was very afraid of seeing any scorps because Animal Planet had her convinced they were deadly poisonous, but the local scorpions are merely unpleasant (like a bee sting) according to our hosts. That calmed her fears considerably. Apparently scorpions are not entirely common throughout Phoenix, but Ashley and Jim have them because they migrate through the near-by golf course. Just on the chance they're keen to make a home in our suitcases or sneakers, we've been keeping everything up high anyway.

It's about time for us to all trek off to the Phoenix Science Center with the Kate and a couple of local Phoenix kids who are playing hooky for the day to spend some time with Kate. Another fun-filled day on the road.

Labels: , ,


Leaving on a Jet Plane

Kate and I are nearly ready to go on our Spring Break trip to Arizona. She is so excited about going she was barely able to sleep last night and woke up at 2:30am wondering if it was morning yet. This is a grand experiment on my part: Kate and I haven't had a solo holiday together since I grabbed her up and took her by train from Vancouver BC out to a get-together (the first!) with my e-mail mom group, then made a brief stop at GenCon on my way to my parents' place in Minnesota. She was, oh, just about 8 months old for that trip. She's a bit bigger now but every bit as fun.

We'll be staying with a friend of mine who has daughters 7 and 5 years old, and visiting other mom-list friends, including the only mom on our list to have lost a child since we've all been together. Her daughter, Melissa, would also have been 5; she has two living daughters as well, ages 5 and 3-ish. Her Kate-aged daughter is a child of a much different temperament than her mother, and I've been pleased to be able to give my impressions of what's likely going on in Lauren's head (since I was very much like Lauren when I was her age). I'll also have a couple of days to spend with my friend Karyl, who is just an amazing woman: working full time, mom to two boys, going to night school to get her degree, and she's lost 40 pounds since last October.

That's the fun part of the trip. Visiting with The Moms, exploring the wilds of Arizona with Kate and their kids, swimming and sunning ourselves. Not much not to like about that!

The second half of the trip is more sad for me. I'm taking this trip primarily because I fear it's going to be one of the last times I will get to see some of my relatives, who are ailing in various ways. I have not seen my grandmother since 1993. It was shortly before we found out that she had Alzheimer's, though we'd had our suspicions that something just wasn't right before that. My grandmother is one tough cookie, though, and fiercely private. She and grandpa had long since decided to winter in Arizona, and she groused about coming back to Minnesota in her later years. "It's just a work farm," she'd say, as she cleaned the beach or hung clothes out on the line. It was no surprise when they eventually decided to live in Arizona fulltime, though I have no doubt that being able to hide grandma's illness through distance had a little something to do with it. My grandma has long since forgotten that she ever remembered who I was. I don't exist in her world anymore. I'm not sure anyone does. She went through a serious bout of pneumonia last spring that they feared would be the death of her, but even in her diminished state she'd have none of that. She'll be going out when she's good and ready, thank you very much. I feared her for much of my childhood, afraid of crossing her and making her stern with me, but it's clear to me now that the same scrappy will to make things "just so" that intimidated he hell out of me as a kid is fundamental to her being. Even when everything else that made her her has eroded, that iron core of her determination remains.

My Grandpa Lindroos, meanwhile, was diagnosed with prostate cancer a couple of years ago. My dad broke the news to me that Grandpa had decided not to bother with treatment. I guess he figured at over 80 years old, it was a slow disease that wasn't going to take him before Grandma passed on, so why go through treatment? I've seen my grandpa a few times since he made the decision to put Grandma into fulltime care. I know that had to have killed him, they'd been married for over 50 years at that point. I used to work in a nursing home that specialized in care for residents with dementia conditions (mostly Alzheimer's, but some other conditions as well), and we saw over and over again that families would try to keep their loved ones in the home as long as they could, often far longer than they should have. My fondest childhood memories revolve around the time I spend with my grandpa, at the lake house he built himself, where he indulged my requests to go fishing or drive the motor boat or "build stuff" with his power tools. He loved me unconditionally, was patient and understated, and proud of me. When I "helped" him post some No Hunting signs on his property, he proudly displayed an entire row of my childishly-scrawled "Don't Shoot the Baby Rabbits!!!" signs (complete with animal drawings made with black permanent marker on wood planks) all the way down their winding rural driveway.

I made special plans to bring Kate and Chris up to Ely last summer, to coincide with my grandpa's scheduled visit to his old house (which now belongs to Uncle Jack and Aunt Dolly), but then Grandma had her scary bout with pneumonia, and everyone thought she could go at any moment. Grandpa certainly didn't want to take two weeks to go to Minnesota if Grandma was at risk of dying while he was gone! Under the current circumstances, I don't know when he might make another trip "home" and goodness knows if I would be able to arrange to be there at the same time. So, I've scheduled a trip to see him in Arizona instead.

I'm quite a bit frightened by what I might see when I get there. I deeply love my grandparents and they were undeniably influential in shaping who I've grown up to be. The feeling I have about them now, in their current circumstances, is tenderness and timidity. I feel like I'm watching the beautiful bubble of their lives, full, shimmering, increasingly transparent and in danger of popping out of existence at any moment. I've never known anything like it before in my life.

Labels: , , ,


Weekend Part Deux

I had planned to do some gardening yesterday, as spring is definitely sproinging up in Seattle. Yesterday ended up having several beautiful sun-breaks (interspersed with rolling grey clouds and sprinkles, of course) and the temperature got to be a glorious 70 degrees. However, I wasn't even yet out of bed before that plan changed!

Instead of gardening, I accompanied Chris on a jaunt to Ray and Christine's place, where the Germans and Russians were scheduled to fight to the last chit in true Advanced Squad Leader glory. Chris has been searching for someone to play ASL with him for years, so when Ray relocated to Seattle, it was a match made in heaven. Upon hearing that Chris and Ray had arranged a play date, Christine passed a message through Ray to Chris to me that we should get together and do "girly things" while the boys played. So long, potting soil, hello pedicures!

Christine and I indulged in some Passion Tea, browsed the garden store, and stopped at Pasta & Co to pick up fixings for dinner. Off to the local QFC for wine and sodas, and we were set. Ray whipped up some homemade pasta when we got back, Chris shook up a few martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives and we noshed and caught up on gossip. We hadn't seen Christine since some time in January, though Ray's dropped by the house a couple of times since then. Plenty to catch up on. We hung around for dinner, downed a couple of bottles of wine, and eventually dissolved into talk of games and politics. The four of us are of a similar mindset: disenfranchised liberals who look with no small amount of horror and disgust at how international crises are playing out. It was refreshing to talk to someone on "my side" of the issue who has an informed, logical opinion. I've about had it with the gloating knee-jerk conservatives who assume that I oppose the war only because I hate George W. Bush to his core and that I must be some sort of peacenik nutjob completely divorced from reality. Ug. I can feel my ire rising just thinking about it. It was good to vent and commiserate with people I like and respect, and especially nice to do so without stumbling across any unfortunate revelations about their political beliefs.

Anyway, we called it a night, and I properly paced myself so that I didn't collapse in a heap and unintentionally spend the night, as I've so often done after similar nights at Ray's (especially if, after a late dinner and several drinks we throw in a DVD in the dark, basement home theater: that's just asking for me to pass out for the night on the couch. I'm so old and weak.).

This morning I slept in decadently late, rousing myself just in time to shower and change and dash off to Etta's Seafood where Chris and I were meeting my friend Tim. I've known Tim since he and his college buddies were playtesters and game demoers for Ars Magica, back in the day. They were always referred to, fondly, as "The Michigan Guys" and I've lost touch completely with most of them. Tim, however, was working in the computer biz in the Bay Area and regularly played games with other friends of mine, also guys from the game industry. When he found out he'd be relocating to Seattle, courtesy of Uncle Bill, my friends said, "Well, you've got to look up Nicole," and so we met up again.

Had a fantastic brunch at Etta's and talked about the various ways in which our interests have caused us to travel similar paths (trips to London, visits to Skywalker Ranch, contacts with people in various industries who used to be gamers, what have you). And wouldn't you know, while we were finishing brunch, who should stroll past the window toward Pike Place Market but Ray and Christine! No doubt they were off to do some shopping for whatever typical Sunday meal they're planning to whip up tonight. I'm sure Tynes will be posting about it in his blog, since Mr. Johnny spends a goodly amount of time cooking, eating, and hanging out at Ray and Christine's as well. Heh heh.

Before parting ways with Tim, we strolled through the market ourselves and bought some sausages at Ulis and some fresh flowers, too colorful and spring-y to pass up! Tim is going to be living in corporate housing hell for the next 5 months or so, while his house is being built. The good news for us is that when he finally gets settled in, he's going to be living down in Renton, which we're much more likely to visit than any of the places we need to cross a bridge to get to. I hope to introduce Tim to the rest of "the gang" and maybe integrate him into some gaming, I think he'd fit in nicely with the rest of our very nice friends. Tim's specifically building his house to include a "gaming loft" where he plans to have a pool table and game area. Nice to have another old gamer friend in the area!

Chris is putting together an army for a 40K game with Jess this afternoon, and I'll be driving up to Burlington to pick Kate up from her weekend with her dad. It's been a fun, action-packed weekend. Now I just have to buckle down and get everything in order before Kate and I leave for Arizona for spring break. We fly out on Thursday night! Time is just flying by.

Labels: , ,



Got together last night with a friend who is in town for WrestleMania. So weird to think of people coming across the country for something like this! We met him at his hotel and then sauntered five blocks straight downhill to The Bookstore bar at the Alexis Hotel. Back when Ray and Christine lived in Chicago but came to town on business, the Bookstore was their favorite haunt. We looked around for Christian, the server who always had the best gossip about what celebs were in town, but there was only the slightly bored and irritated waitress to be found.

Hal had been going on about his ephiphany over bourbon in Vegas, so I went to their booze list and asked for some help picking a bourbon to try. Ms. Irritated didn't seem in the mood to help me expand my horizons and gave a couple half-hearted suggestions off the list, so I gave it the ol' college try and picked one at random. Turned out to be $13 a shot, and not the kind of thing that would make me wonder what I'd been missing. Shoulda stuck to the Macallan 18-year, at least I know that's what I like.

It was good to hang with Zev. We reminisced about the time we all found ourselves in Germany at the Essen Game Fair. Several of us had hooked up for dinner, wandering into a steak house of some sort where we were fairly unwelcome Americans. After hanging around too late at the restaurant, we searched for somewhere to carry on our rowdy conversation (extra-exhuberent because of riotous Paul, our loud, old-school-punker, stereotypical New Yorker friend) we found that Zev's hotel had no lobby to speak of, so we moved to the room. At some point, while we were in the midst of loudly discussing sexual deviancy or Nazis or stories of Paul's adventures, the phone rang. Mild-mannered Zev answers the phone and from our side of the conversation we hear "Hello...No...Yes, ok, sorry. Yes, sorry. Ok." We wait expectantly to be filled in on what's happening. Zev hangs up. Apparently the front desk had called up and said "Have you a fire? No? Then perhaps you could be quiet? Your neighbors are trying to sleep." Ouch. We tried talking quietly for another half an hour or so, but invariably the volume and intensity of the conversation would creep up and Paul would be half-shouting and Zev would be spasming "Shh, SHHH!" We decided it would be best to sneak out of the hotel before we got Zev evicted from his room.

Good times. Maybe we can do it again this year.

We tried to vacate The Bookstore in favor of cheap late-night eats at McCormick and Schmicks, but it was crowded with young couples and hipsters who'd staked out their turf early. We decided to pack it in and head home instead.

I briefly considered taking Zev to the Zig Zag, but since he doesn't drink I didn't want to drag him all that way from his hotel so he could drink water there too. Judging from other reports, sounds like we missed out on crossing paths with some other fun-loving friends out for the night.

Labels: , ,



Last night Chris pointed me to a story about our friends Charles and Tammie that another friend, Monte Cook, had written up for his website. Monte's "Line of Sight" column changes frequently, and I don't think he keeps an archive, but for now the story is up here. I highly recommend it.