Inspired A

Nov. 22nd, 2011 05:15 pm
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So, a couple people I have grown to really treasure have updated in the last couple days after some longish silences and I figured it was about time I did the same. Funny as I sit here my gut response that nothing really big has happened since James and I moved into our house but actually its been over a year now... and well a lot HAS happened. Most folks on here probably still don't know I am GM of my current location on a for real permanent sort of basis. I could do a whole post on that a lone but it's not where my brain is heading right now.

I can't hope to do it justice but just walking back in from our suburban front yard I get a little reflective on the events of late... Here is the first that comes to mind:

The yard - When we bought the short sale, we knew it had been under recent neglect despite being a relatively newish place. A lot of it was minor, paint chips, a broken door, and the like but the big, nasty glaring eyesore was the yard. The front yard was a trodden smear of mud and yellow strangles of grass that made you just want to pave it over. I am most often at a game table, in front of a computer or reading. So I responded with a classic me half-shrug and walked inside bent on finding the ideal orientation of game rooms (computer, console, and table top). Some people claim there are other rooms in houses, aside from the love chamber and feeding trough... but I think they are fictional or diversion tactics to lower my PvP rankings. Anyway... James often was found looking out front and muttering commentary about how hard it might be to fix the sprinkler system. Somewhere in the root of my brain it dawned on me that he cared about... you know... outside.

After catching this stare one too many times I took it upon myself to try to do something about it. I bought a hand aerator and punched a gazillion holes in the lawn. I fertilized, watered, and weeded... Ignoring the old-school farm boy in my head that was trying to remind me how late in the season it was (We took possession in September). James' looks became more pessimistic and a few helpful neighbors chimed in that prior residents had had a $3000 quote to fix the sprinklers. I gave up, until "someday" when we had to resources to go ground zero. I thought James had too.

Come this spring, James gave it another go. We did more seed, more watering, and started earlier. I helped a little, mostly what I could after long stretches of work and mostly what I needed to do to not be paralyzed with guilt. But honestly, when those first few scraggly sprouts started, I sighed and thought how best to remain supportive while telling James it was okay to wait another year.

So I tried to distract us both by pursuing a long standing pipe dream of a backyard garden. We researched technique. Bounced ideas about it off our green thumb friends. We hit a local school's heirloom plant sale. Planned hard for tomatoes, tried to till, broke a tiller, and found a local farm kid with an industrial tiller to get the soil ready. And soon enough we had homemade cages, over 24 tomato plants, a handful of peppers and a big, often prolific garden. I was so proud of him and well, me too, I was certain that it was accomplishment enough that I didn't even mention I felt he could give up on the yard again.

He didn't.

Each week I would note a struggling effort and few more thin blades of blue mountain grass working up the packed and dusty clay. And I figured there wasn't any harm in it the effort. I even did another seed and feed. It wasn't until my lazy butt was sleeping in one morning and he came in holding a cracked plastic joint and proclaimed:

"45 cents."

Shaking off mid-morning confusion I realized he meant the sprinklers. He explained that one piece had broken, he had replaced it ridiculously cheaply and that there was no sign of leaks since he'd fixed it. And the lawn? Exploded. Over the next few weeks, neighbors started stopping to comment, the guy next door even asked how we'd done it and got rid of his few brown spots. All the while James worked and believed. And it is the best damn lawn on the loop.

So often growing up gay, it has been about hiding, muting, or even just avoiding things. It was so nice to have something in my life, from my partner that wasn't just privately beautiful. It was something to show the world, and inspire others to try to better too. And I had thrown in the towel on it this year. So anyway, not only can he garden with me, but James' Mean Green Mother of a Thumb brought a dead lawn to life so strong, it is still bright green two days before Thanksgiving.

I don't even half-shrug at it anymore.
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Gen Con.

For years it has meant the Grail of gaming to me. The long story )

Which is why I find myself very surprised that during a stay-cation where the opportunity to go to GenCon for free is slipping through my fingers today and I am only sort of bummed about it... Which is to say I am bummed about it, but I have my games and friends here, home-cooked meals, and my own bed to sleep in.

Maybe next year... Maybe.
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Many moons ago I wrote about a split in my core group over the release of D&D 4E.

Today at brunch the reigning DM of the 4E circle told me about his new game starting tonight. What surprised me is that NONE of the other gamers he took with him to 4E are going to be playing in it. All the old 3.5 people have quit. I don't mean to laugh too much here, but shouldn't that be telling you something?

He still stands by his call.

And I still gave him Paizo stuff for his birthday.

Ahhhh.... The Battle (Mostly Won) Continues.
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So as some... ok... probably none of you know, James and I have started a garden. In an effort to have a nice and shareable yield, we have researched a ton of techniques, spent hours looking at materials and hunted down several strains of heirloom tomatoes and a few other plants (mostly peppers and spices). After a few of my pepper plants seemed to just crumble into death I got upset and began to question my green thumb.

Then several of our tomato plants started inexplicably wilting. I began to doubt soil composition, light exposure... and then tnday after a hunch I started exploring the wilting plants more closely. And low and behold... Aphids. Shitloads of them. After feeling the gardeners equivalent STD panic, I remembered that ladybugs are natural predators to the little green bastards sucking the life from my future salad trimmings... After a friend agreed, I made some calls and now... waiting to the dark of night (they fly away if dispersed in daylight)... Me and my 1500 new friends will engage the enemy.

I never thought I'd own or be proud of an army of ladybugs... but there you have it.

Nightmare

Apr. 8th, 2011 05:00 am
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I can't really remember why. I was in a new apartment or condo, maybe even it was an entire Brownstone. It had the half-held notion of being a "second home", somehow possessed but less familiar than things I usually own. We had friends over. The walls were a warm shade between pumpkin, maize and tan. I looked around and realized we had more guests than usual and that I was being rude tucked away in a back study. As I moved to get up, our newest cat jumped up near me. He was an orange short-hair tabby with amber-gold eyes. He was very skittish around the company, especially the new folks.

Picking him up, I scratched his head and heard his purring build as he half-struggled to get away. I was taking him back out to the other room, we wanted him to get over being startled. As I walked out into the front room, I finally calmed him down when one of the new guests with acne-scars I tried not to notice asked me about the cat. His name. It was dignified, a little cerebral and just thought-provoking enough but its three syllables were gone as soon as I said them. He also asked where the cat came from...

* * * * *

I was in my car, I fretted a bit about how dusty the dash was. I looked up and realized we were up on a mountain road. Somewhere in the Uintahs, possibly somewhere else, the pines were an unreal shade of emerald, almost impossibly green. It was spring. There were a lot more people on the road than I imagined would be when we planned the trip. I noticed a police car stalking a red sporty number like a hungry predator. I also realized I was under the speed limit, exceptionally so. The police car seemed to realize that as well and began to slow... perhaps with the hopes of nailing me with a DUI even though I hadn't been drinking.

I knew it was stupid to re-actively speed up. I knew I went too far, making things look even worse as I ripped out in front of the police car. I knew he would shift right behind me into my lane. I knew that my constant checking of the mirror made me appear to meander from lane to lane as I watched the white shiny car to the neglect of the road. I knew the bright colors ahead peaking through green undergrowth were from a campground. I had a storybook certainty about all of this.

I didn't know about the girls.

Bursting through the wild green off the side of the road two girls emerged, running. They were a total shock, as was the fact that they were darting right into the road. I slammed on the breaks and regarded them with an uncertain horror as I felt the metal and rubber of my car gripping hard under the urgency of my foot. Time crawled. I felt the molten bits of tire breaking away in a black rainbow along the pavement--a tragedy that would soon be faded tire marks, mostly ignored.

I saw the girls clearly, and the knowing slowly returned. They each wore khaki shorts and sun-faded pastel t-shirts, barefoot with the early tan of a spring already spent with a frenzy of outdoor activity. The muted colors of their shirts played between a plum-turned-peach and red-faded-pink in a way that only friends trying to be sisters could manage. The chipped nails of their feet and hands announced the colors they remembered the shirts having been. Sun had also faded their light brown hair, equally but in different streaks and curls of blonde. They were fourteen. One was named Amber. How I knew this as the liquid-like action of my screaming tires was spreading them across the rough road... as my car tried to stop... was something I could not grasp.

But I did.

I saw the policeman's face widen in a shocked scream, lost silently in the chorus of wailing tires. His rubber joined the song and by a mystery of reaction, he managed to flip on his lights and siren. It was a singular accompaniment to the skidding screeches--Like the blooming of another fear under that of the uncertain death before me:I had never been pulled over, a rare, precious perfection was about to be lost. The girl's spring bliss slowly gave way to the awareness of danger, hurtling toward them. Somewhere to my side and behind me explicatives burst from my those in the car with me. It all jumbled in an incomparable mess.

Horror-struck the girls froze in the worst middle-of-the-road kind of way.

No screams, only the barest widening of the freckles dancing around blue eyes.

The mass of my car sunk to the road as it shuddered closer and closer. I wondered if I was about to kill these two innocent girls, just shy of their first breaths of love. Amber was about to tell her friend who she wanted to go to her first dance with. As the facts of their lives burst into my mind as surely as the screaming policeman's coffee was taking flight somewhere behind me, I was still unsure of their fate.

And I didn't know, not until we came to a sudden rest, inches from their cracked and glossy toe-nails. Even in that moment, where profound release and a secondary terror of arrest or punishment warred across my mind, the initial shock was too much. Even as I reached for my registration and thought better of it and unlatched my belt, the majority of my mind was recoiling. Even as I already knew the girls were fine and that the policeman was actually only going to give me a warning after checking my breath, I was too horrified about the almost-destruction. And as my mind shot toward the dark of the room where I was actually sleeping...

...I almost missed a box at the roadside where two kittens lay, abandoned and waiting for me take them home.
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Today was the first day in MONTHS I actually had to go off my first page of friends to get caught up with people. I am so happy to hear from so many of you and to share in your lives. Thank you.
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I worked 14 days straight, three of them in the range of 16 hours each and I still woke up at 5:45 a.m. without an alarm. That my friends is some powerful lingering childhood Christmas morning conditioning.

New Year,,,

Jan. 1st, 2010 12:55 pm
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So for the first time in a while, I spent the New Years festivities doing my favorite observance of the holiday... Making my friends and boyfriend fight for their lives versus runemarked giants in the cyclopean ruins of an ancient city!

Starting our new year right...
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4E's motto is "Never split the party."

I can't get over how sadly ironic that statement has become...

Hey...

Feb. 12th, 2009 08:11 am
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In case you hadn't heard....

The Ice Stone has melted!
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If you haven't already heard, Push is amazing. Go see it.
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Some days are just rough to wrap my head around.

Super-Kids

Aug. 27th, 2008 12:48 pm
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So after reading Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga (yes, cynics may groan now) for ethical reasons before selling anymore of it, I really tried to use my somewhat surprised enjoyment of it to renew my interest in children's literature. Being a book guy, I felt that Harry Potter and its clingers had glutted the market for so long that it was kind of a no-brainer to find good recommends for most kids because they wanted the next thing like it. That's NOT to belittle similar fantastic series (the Lightning Thief for example), but it also did force me to think about other things kids might like that weren't strictly magical.

I was surprised to see that despite a HUGE run of superhuman movies and the ilk, not very many people had tried to get in on the niche. Jenny Nimmo did a little with Charlie Bone but both in look and feel its still very Potter-esque.

So I was surprised when I stumbled on the Quantum Prophecy (originally released as "The New Heroes" in the UK). First off to all the comic book fanatics on my list, ITS NOT A SOPHISTICATED SUPERS STORY. But it is a kid friendly, less cheesy answer to Hero High and the genre of next-gen supers. Its got a touch of British and American sensibilities to it. Its a fast read (both american releases took less than six hours), its cheap, and its action oriented. In short if you have a semi-geeky nephew, niece, or cousin who you need a good book gift for, I say get it.

OMG SNF

Jun. 5th, 2008 11:05 am
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I must in fact be an emo girl of 14. I would have thought it impossible to be emotionally exhausted from text messaging before this morning...
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Dear Not-Crazy People,

A lot of people are saying things that make sense for the first time in a long while. Unfortunately, these sense-makers are really concerned about being the very-mostest-right. And they are being loud and nasty about being heard and known to be the mostest-right. Please stop fueling my mounting fear that the non-crazy people will destroy each other for the bad-crazy people, and thus allow them to stay and do more bad and crazy things.

Please?

kthanxbye
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I just can't fix something for someone else...

Why don't I stop trying?
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I often test a little closer to evil but eh.. the rest is fairly accurate... Strength and Dex are a bit high.. eh... Cha maybe too? Still.. I'd play me... and I'm much cooler than being a Bard... *wink*

Read more... )
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Looks like the dude has a job again, starting next week.. but its still in Michigan... so.. no Utah in the near future... mixed nuts I guess. Ah well.. its still VERY cool.
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I always appreciate honesty, but that recruiter nearly hung up the phone on me when I told her long-term in Michigan wasn't likely.

I think there may have been a sonic boom on her end when she reached for the disconnect button.
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