No news, actually some news.

Augh.

Not much has happened since last entry. Picked up some new scars (A few minor scalds from hot bacon fat while cooking my wife breakfast), turned 40 (As did Iron Maiden’s first album!), had a wonderful little backyard birthday party with just my household, and felt loved and cared for. Work has been nothing less than flat out, as given that we supply jigsaw puzzles among other things, we think we’re an essential industry. Thanks ScoMo. *sigh*

Things… aren’t good brain wise. I spent a lot of the long weekend asleep, or trying to sleep, and while there’s an element of recovering from the working week, it ain’t all that. It’s not that I feel bleaker than normal, more running on fumes. An early morning not quite anxiety attack today didn’t help either. Well, less attack and more I was an idiot and took a quick look at the news after peeing. Someday I’ll stop myself from doing that, but not today. I’m also kicking myself slightly for not getting up and writing down what was in my head at the time, as I’m all but certain it was more gripping than this. At least it felt that way, but the line between crushing boredom and high drama is very thin around 4:15am.

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How am I coping with conditions at the moment? I don’t know. I’m the only one in my house going outside on a regular basis, so little has changed for me. Sure, I’m trying to avoid people, not make trips I don’t need to and wash my hands more, I’m not ignoring things.  Sure, the trains have been great, the term ‘Reverse Olympics’ comes to mind (Kids, ask your parents), but that’s not exactly something I should be cheering about. As for at home, I’m as introverted as my wife is extroverted, so I’m OK seeking less attention and would be happy for a lock down (Well, for a short time), while she’s climbing up the walls with the limited contact with people she’s having. Alas, the other 3 of us in the house aren’t enough. We’re doing what we can in the meantime, and hopefully cabin fever can be kept at bay.

I’m kinda looking forward to booking a hotel room when this is done and having sometime to myself. At least, I like the idea of that. As with many of my ideas, I’m not sure if I should actually go through with it, but I’m certainly thinking about it. I should use it to write my Pheno freeform, but that’s suffering writers block. It’s time to break out the B5 20th Anniversary Blu-rays and soak them in, that should help kick start something. Assuming I don’t start crying when I realize just how many of the cast have died. Or maybe I’ll just wear a cloak when I take the bins out. It’s been too long since we’ve reminded the street we’re nerds, and that should change. In other rubbish news, the very friendly cat up the street’s humans are leaving soon and I’m really going to miss her.

There are bright spots though. Whilst the attempt to run one of my old games didn’t work, one of my players volunteered to run the scenario  from the back of the new Alien RPG. Good fun was had, and I spent a lot of it desperately trying not to metagame. And yes, I would up dead. Switching universes, a friend of mine was looking for lines to practice her calligraphy on, and I decided to ask for an excerpt from possibly my favorite Babylon 5 exchange. It turned out better than I could have hoped for. It’s a piece I turn to frequently for solace in times such as these. The artist in question can be found here, and I cannot recommend her work highly enough.

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And I can’t end without talking about another part of my childhood passing, with the death of Tim Brooke-Taylor. The Goodies was a massively important part of my childhood, and helped shape, I like to think, a good part of my sense of humour. The out-poring of love for him I saw was heartwarming, as owing to the repeats in the 80’s there’s a massive chunk of my generation that you only have to hint at a giant kitten or a black pudding to reduce them to floods of laughter and wonderful memories. Heck, that episode killed a man from laughter. Getting to see them live was a highlight and I’m gutted I didn’t get a chance to tell him how much his work meant to me.

I know I’m of the age where the icons of my childhood are set to pass (I know I’m going to be inconsolable for at least a week when Tom Baker goes), and they’ve been doing so on a regular basis for the last 20 years or so, but knowing that Coronavirus took him, and not natural causes hurts that bit more. I’ve been very lucky that this is the first time that corona has affected me in any way, and I’m still hoping that it will remain so. My heart goes out to all affected, and I hope that things will improve swiftly. I don’t know what the future holds, but it’s my hope that the spirit of kindness that’s been blossoming continues on. Hopelessly idealistic I know, but some days I can’t help myself.

Be seeing you…

It’s only rock and roll.

No. It’s not. Mick Jagger lied. To borrow a line from, I think an English football manager, it’s not life or death, it’s much more important.  I recently mentioned I was curating a playlist about my aging. Well, this is it. I’ve tried to keep this short, and somewhat on topic. I could have just added songs I like, but that would have been a massive list and kinda defeated the point of this. I’ve tried to keep it to a few pertinent observations on each track, though I should warn that requests for more detail I can do.

Culling things wasn’t easy, though keeping it to things on Spotify helped slightly. For starters, that cut the Rollins Band’s All I Want, while a lovely song (at least compared to their usual output), brings back some mighty painful memories of my youth. Of going out into the world being like an untrained puppy, looking for affection or attention, but with no idea whatsoever of how to get it, or deal with it. Ahhh, memories.

Anyhow, here goes.

 

I’m 18 – Alice Cooper. The epitome of teen angst and confusion. It doesn’t get better than this. It’s a notch on my bucket list that I’ve seen Alice perform this twice.

I Don’t Want to Grow Up – The Ramones. A cover of a Tom Waits tune, it hits me where I live, so to speak. That fear of the future, of struggling for an answer to ‘what to do you want to do with your life?’ I hated that question as an adolescent and still do.

My Shit’s Fucked Up – Warren Zevon. What more is there to say? Zevon had a wonderful knack for the macabre and miserable, and he sums it up perfectly here.

Trouble In My Brain – The Sunnyboys. Lead singer and songwriter Jeremy Oxley was a master at songs such as this, and knowing he was suffering from undiagnosed schizophrenia at the time only adds to it’s poignancy.

Don’t Damn Me – Gun’s and Roses. It’s slightly mortifying to me how swiftly this implanted on my brain from the time I first heard it. “Sometimes I wanna kill, sometimes I wanna die. Sometimes I wanna destroy, sometimes I wanna cry.” Me at 14, and still today, to no small degree.

My Pal – God. Just flat out brilliant. Written when the band were in their teens, it’s just amazing. The footage of them performing it on Countdown (I think – it seems to be live, which that show rarely, if ever, did) is well worth a watch.

I Believe in Miracles – The Ramones. Alas, the album version isn’t on Spotify, so this one (From 1991’s Loco Live) will have to do. It’s a haunting tune about being a fuck up, but still having hope, like a lot of Dee Dee Ramone’s best songs from the later era of the band.

Do Not Go Gentle into the Good Night – Iggy Pop. From his most recent album, it’s smooth jazz over Iggy’s reading of the poem. That description may sound odd, but it’s utterly hypnotic.

Midlife Crisis – Faith No More. I’ve just turned 40. How could I possibly leave a song with this title off the list?

Paranoid – Black Sabbath. It’s not the quintessential Sabbath tune for my ears (That’s Black Sabbath or War Pigs for my money), but this sums up how early 20’s me felt about my place in the world. Plus, that riff.

Descent into the Maelstrom – Radio Birdman. It’s not New Race or Aloha Steve and Danno, but for me the surf drums, the barked “2,3,4!” and Rob Younger’s howl all combine into one of the most electrifying openings of any rock song. The recent film about the band is mandatory viewing for those with an interest in music doco’s.

Depression – Black Flag. Short, fast and ugly, Henry Rollins roar has rarely sounded more berserk.

Love Song – The Damned. Sure, it doesn’t match the theme of this playlist, but to me it’s the greatest love song ever written and I will fiercely defend that to the end of my days.

Blow Up the Outside World – Soundgarden. Haven’t we all had days where we felt like this? RIP Chris Cornell.

Wasted Years – Iron Maiden. This one brings back painful memories of wandering around Melbourne one night in, I think 2001, listening to this on repeat, lost both in body and soul and utterly missing the point of the lyrics. I found where I was staying on the trip after about 2 hours of semi random wandering hoping for a landmark, but didn’t get the point of the song for many years afterwards. Better too late, than not at all eh?

So, I’m 40. Happy Birthday to me! And now, GET THE HELL OF MY LAWN, YOU DAMN PUNK KIDS! 🙂

Be seeing you…

It is late, but I have words.

Couldn’t sleep, had too many words buzzing through my head, so I hope by writing them down, I’ll be able to sleep. It’s been a hell of a week, about which I shall spare you. Instead, I have had… an idea. Long term readers, or people who’ve played my convention games will know how dangerous that can be.

Here we go. YouTube recommended me episodes of the 80’s GI Joe cartoon, and having little else to do on the train, I thought why not? I have observations.
1: This show is pretty damn awful.
2: Were I a drinking man, playing some sort of game where you drink each time someone yell’s “Yo Joe!”, escapes a vehicle wreck or parachutes from an airplane, you would be very drunk pretty damn quickly.
3: Given the resources Cobra must have access to, given the vast amount of underground bases, wacky super weapons and the like they possess, not to mention the sheer amount they must spend on ejector seats, parachutes and other crash proofing technology, why seek world domination through military might? Just do it the (other) American way – buy elections.
“Duke, we’ve just found out that Major Bludd is running for Governor of Boise, Idaho!”
“Right, two can play that game. Scarlett, you and Gung-Ho get started on Shipwreck’s campaign announcement speech. Yo, Joe!”

Yeah, it doesn’t quite have the same spark to it. Anyhow, this sparked something. I have occasional thoughts about trying GM’ing outside of conventions. I had a group of players keen for a Torchwood Sydney game I’d brainstormed with some of them, or that post apocalyptic LARP idea that I thought about dusting off for a few seconds last week. I shut that thought down, reasoning that in the age of isolation what hope is there and also that running a game that had germ warfare and out of control viruses in the current climate wasn’t exactly sensible. I still love the idea of dressing crew in bloodstained koala onesies to act of Drop Bears though. Sorry, back on topic…

Yes, I’m getting to the point here, despite all evidence. We go back a few years now,  to Fair and Balanced. Oh, 2016, remember when we thought that was as bad as it got? Happy times they were… I’m still impressed by how that game’s reputation has spread, having seen several sharp intakes of breath and “YOU?” when it’s mentioned I was responsible for that monster. I’ve resisted writing a sequel, owing to not being able to out crazy reality. I wrote a blurb at one point and may someday make that public – I’m still quite proud of the opening line of “The shining city on the hill is now a strip mall.”

The canon ending of Fair and Balanced was the PC’s, having helped tear the country apart, discovering that Obama was about to announce he was stepping down and returning fair elections to the people. That (generally) took place at some sort of press conference, but I had a thought about amping up the crazy a little. Well, more than a little. The Democrat Party records vault, where Obama’s secret Kenyan birth certificate was kept, is under the Watergate Hotel, for starters.

So, Obama’s giving the big mystery speech, but when the PC’s kick things off his security doesn’t move. Why? Because his lectern transforms into a suit of robot armour and he joins the fight. Maybe he’s secretly a cyborg, who can infect all he touches with socialism, like some sort of Communist Ultron and has an army of Muslim Kenyan ninjas at his command! Of course, there would be something else in the PC’s way, that being the terrible threat of MECHA JOE BIDEN.

I might sketch this out for a 5th anniversary re-run of the game, give people the option for how bat-shit crazy things go. “Do you want it relatively normal, slightly crazy or full Godfrey Ho?” I might not be able to out-crazy reality, but I can give it a damn good go.

Sleep beckons. Be seeing you.

It’s not all doom and gloom.

Really, as much of a miserable sod as I can be, it’s not all bad.

I’m the only one in my house not working from home (This is both good and bad mind you), the Iron Maidens and Mac Sabbath have rescheduled concerts, my fencing group has been posting online training videos (And Guy Windsor dropped the price on his solo training course down to $20 US) and most of my RPG groups have gone online. My brain doctor is an essential service, though I’m not sure if I’ll be there in person or over the phone. Tracey and I are enjoying The Witcher, and I would very much like Geralt’s banquet outfit from Episode 4, please? I’ve said it before, and will say again – we don’t need more licensed merchandise, we need licensed tailors outside cinemas. Speaking of my wife, I managed to surprise her last night, though it’s more my choice of music that did it. I grant you, smooth jazz and poetry usually isn’t my jam, but when you add Iggy Pop to the mix, well, you have my attention. It’s nice to know that after almost 14 years I can still surprise her.

I’m planning to run one of my old con games over Discord and had the people I’d contacted responding yes in seconds, so that’s something. If things go well (and I’m honestly not sure how I’ll do), I may run some more in future, so watch this space. Oh, and in-case you feel the need to respond to me in future, replying to an offer with “DIVE!” will certainly be counted as a yes. Clarification of that response is not required.

Also, I got my fencing mask painted. There was a lot of time spent on trying to decide what to have painted on it, but there could be only one person fit to guard my face, so to speak. The gentleman in question is a little older than I am, and has worn many faces over the decades, reinventing himself on a regular basis. I had it narrowed down between a few of his classic looks or a more recent incarnation, but in the end, sand won the day. Sand? Well, not that sand.

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The sand comment had you thinking Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker right?

What can I say, other than I’m a slave to the power of death? I adore Iron Maiden beyond all measure, as long term readers will know, and while I was tempted to get Darth Vader’s helmet or the Radio Birdman logo, I had to go with the esteemed Mr Edward T Head. The photo looks lovely, but this thing is flat out gorgeous in person. Many thanks to Morbid Curiosity Fencing Masks for their stellar (and speedy) work!

In other news, my birthday’s on Sunday, and while there’ll be no celebration (I’m not stupid and violating social distancing) I still plan to enjoy the day. Somehow. Maybe I’ll sleep in. How am I coping with the proximity to the big Four Oh? I’m curating a playlist on Spotify, with the plan being to post it on the day. I am not ashamed of this, though looking at the tracks I’ve chosen there’s some miserable stuff there. Some of it’s about aging, other songs have stuck with me over the years. I’m not sure what this means, but at least I’ve not started a podcast. I do plan on buying another sword to celebrate though. There is no such thing as too many swords. No. Such. Thing.

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And no, this is not what I wear when when I fence.

The brain hasn’t been great of late. It’s odd, as I’m the one in the house who’s going outside and yet I think I’m the one who actually wants to isolate. the temptation to get my hair chopped to Keanu Reeves in John Wick 3 length has surfaced again as well. I had the vague idea of when all this is over booking a hotel room for a few days, taking my laptop and some books and just hiding, emerging only to eat and phone loved ones. My introvert batteries need some serious charging. Yes, I spent most of last Saturday asleep, but I put that down to the sleeping pill I took Friday night than a spike in my depression. Sure, I think I’ve had that as well, but fuck, who isn’t dealing with that right now? I’m planning to try a half dose of the sleeping pill the next time and see what happens. For science!

I leave you with a recent discovery of mine. As covers go, that’s pretty damn fantastic, and extra points for the showmanship.

Be seeing you…

Cancelled.

Rough week. I am feeling rather ill-equipped to face today. Dropped a sleeping pill last night, and while it didn’t hit me as hard as last time, I’m still in something of a haze.

In the space of roughly a week, the following events have been cancelled or postponed:
Download Festival
The Iron Maidens
Blackpowder and Bloodlines
Iron Maiden
My 40th birthday celebrations
Tuesday sword for the rest of term, possibly longer.

How am I dealing with this? About as well as could be expected.

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I can’t complain about it, given the current situation they made the right call. Public safety’s an important thing, especially when beaches and bars still seem to be full of people and virus cases still seem to be ramping up here. But I’d be lying if I wasn’t cut up about them, as I’d been looking forward to them for quite a while. While bemoaning the state of things to my wife Friday night, she asked me an irritatingly armour piercing question, as she does. I’m not remembering it exactly, but hopefully I’ve got the theme correct: “Is your regular life so miserable that you need these things to look forward to?”

Honestly, I don’t know?

There’s been times when yeah, the thought of an upcoming show or event has helped me to get out of bed. I’m rarely as happy as I am at a concert, so that seems natural to me. Being in a crowd full of people normally isn’t my thing, but there’s something wonderful about a Maiden crowd. I bloody love that band, to a degree my skill with words can’t properly convey, and being amidst a crowd all there to share our in our love of them, well, I feel at home. There’s a lot of love in that crowd, more than at other metals shows I’ve been to. But I’m digressing, as tends to happen when Maiden get mentioned. Back to the point, it’s not the only time I feel that way, but it’s one of the big ones. On a regular basis that’s probably not healthy, but that’s another thing to discuss with my brain doctors.

Getting back to the question, maybe? It certainly feels that way some days. My therapist has said having things to look forward to is good, but it’s possible I’m using that as a distraction to mask other issues. Wouldn’t be the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Maybe I need the distraction more at the moment? My heads above water, but not by much or so it seems. I need stuff to look forward to, or the day to day grind becomes oppressive. My regular games are still on, and they’re great for my health, but they aren’t always enough.

Will ponder this. Be seeing you.

The clash of swords and the *ow* my back hurts…

Things are rough.

A virus that’s not the beer of the same name is running rampant, leaving deaths and incompetent governments in it’s wake. All manner of festivals and gatherings have been cancelled, from music, to arts and writers. Toilet paper appears to be the thing that’ll flip the switch to full Mad Max. The Prime Minister seems to care more for football than governing and Red Dead Redemption 2, aka Yee Haa Skyrim, can only provide so much distraction.

Now’s the time to act with caution, but not fear. Remember to be kind to those less fortunate. Thank bus drivers and retail workers. Vent your abuse at late trains at the bosses of the network, not the poor souls who man the stations. Support local stores, and I don’t just mean your FLGS. (Though please do shop there, as my work may supply them.) Chuck artists you’s work you enjoy a few bucks on their patreons, or buy that little thing you like. Tweet at them to say thank you and tell them how much you love their work. Above all, follow the example of two of the finest humans I’ve known, and “Be excellent to each other.” Cause that’s how we’re gonna get through this.

And when election day rolls around, remember how you feel right now. Remember how the inaction, greed and arrogance of some may have harmed those you love, and please, vote accordingly. Think of how you feel now, filled with fear and concern, unable to trust those meant to be running the country, and vote for hope. For a long time I’ve voted against people (It’s always tough to choose between One Nation and Fred Nile for who to put last), but next election I want to vote for something, instead of against it. Maintain the rage, but keep a reason for it. Be constructive, not destructive. Make Joe Strummer proud.

And above all, be kind. There’s a Kurt Vonnegut quote that comes to mind, actually the only work of his I know. (Thanks Andrew P Street!)  It’s quite simple, and it was on my list of things to read at Godson #2’s naming ceremony. “Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

It’s not all been doom and gloom. I got to play briefly with a montante (A Spanish greatsword) last week at sword, and while drawing it from the bag my fellow student was carrying it in, the blade rasped against the plastic buckles and made a shlang noise.  I was very, very happy to hear that. It was awesome. As for the rapier class that I’m actually there for, it’s still buckets of fun, though less so for my back. Still, you have to start somewhere. I do miss the Saturday crew though – I’m hoping I’ll get the chance to go back there next term.

The brain has been it’s usual up and down self, and possible work changes are up in the air, thanks to the virus. That’s also had me delay my birthday celebrations, but I’m not entirely unhappy about that. 40’s just another number right? Someday’s the dread of that number is some all encompassing Lovecraftian thing, other days I can sweep it under the rug. I don’t remember what I did at 18 or 21, at 30 I was focused on my upcoming wedding, and now, I don’t know.

I have some more goals to add to the list as well!
Train more at rapier, and get good enough that I feel worthy of buying protective gear and weapons of my own.
Not break down when the Irons (Both Maiden and Maidens) have to cancel owing to corona fears. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m bracing myself.
Get one of my D&D groups to use my character’s name, and not just refer to him as ‘pirate’. Yes, he’s a pirate, but he has a name damn it. If I have to kill one of them, it will be done. “What’s that, you need a healing potion? You’ve one Death Save left? Say my name.”

Time for sleep now. Here’s hoping I make it through the night. undisturbed by the possums in the roof. Be seeing you.

A decision!

Brain is up and down, as always. Possible developments that I’m not ready to talk about have happened, and while they’re good, I’m not getting my hopes up yet. No D&D this week, owing to player illness. There’s talk of a pirate themed interlude to give our GM a break, which I’m down for as I dig pirates. Shocking, I know. In other news, there’s new Clone Wars and it looks stunning. The voice actors haven’t missed a step in the 6 years since the show originally ended, and the new animation is flat out gorgeous. No spoilers, but I got all manner of choked up at the end of Episode 2. Yeah, I’m easily emotionally manipulated.

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So, I’ve chosen a Blackpowder character. I’m going for the big game hunter, from Padrice (psuedo France). I’m keeping the Noble family background I’d previously discussed, as well as the family trouble. Looking at the setting, there’s a mountainous region there, which has produced many of Padrice’s greatest generals. That seems to fit with what I was working on, and my head canon is that they’re seen as hicks by some in the capital, let alone the forest of backstabbing and intrigue that is the Emperor’s Court. I’ll email the admins about it when I have it in a more presentable format, mostly to check that nothing clashes with what they have, or are planning.

This leads to costume. I’m looking at something that will blend into to the forest. A dash of Aragorn, some Bard the Bowman for flavour and a pinch of D&D Ranger to taste. I was thinking a hood over a tunic, but with my giant and odd shaped head, I’d rather try before I buy. Or at least double check the returns policy. Tunic wise, the closest I’ve seen is this and while it’s not historical, it’s both pretty close to what I was thinking, and looks battered. (I also want one in purple, but that’s not for game,  outside of game), but a hooded surcoat is tempting, not just for the profile, but the chance to un-belt it and run, hopefully looking all windswept and interesting, is damn tempting. I do love the chance for some windswept and interesting.

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The other option I’ve been kicking around is a long 18th century style waistcoat. That’d give a hint at the noble origins, but one more battered and hard wearing than your typical noble garb. A hidden pocket on the inside wouldn’t hurt either. I’ve a cheap costume vest that can be taken apart for a pattern that should work for either, which means some fabric shopping may be in my future.

Colour wise I’m thinking shades of dark green, but maybe a dark grey for the tunic underneath. I also still want some national colour, that being blue, so I’ll likely wear the sash under the tunic. I’m not planning to carry my rapier through the woods, sticking to the bow and knife but  a tomahawk is tempting. What can I say, I like axes. I’ve a hunting horn, though I’ll need to tie that to something, and the pouches I have should do the trick storage wise. Snacks are essential in a LARP, almost as essential as being excellent to each other and wearing comfortable shoes.

Time to sleep. Be seeing you.

*snores* What?

It’s a Sunday afternoon, and my head is a mess. I’m over tired, and kinda fried. I took the first sleeping pill I got from one of my doctors Friday night and I’m glad I waited till then, as it wiped me out most of Saturday. I’d been looking forward to Saturday night, in which I was going with Godson, Age 10 and his mother to see Alice Cooper, the boy’s first rock show. Well, unless you count the Wiggles gigs he saw as a nipper. Things did not start well, as owing to a spectacular 3-way stuff up between myself, Sydney Buses and Google Maps, things got so cocked up travel wise so we missed the first support act, the MC50, who I’d dearly wanted to see and I raced in to catch Airborne’s final song.

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Fortunately, Alice helped make up for that, with he and his band putting on a cracker of a show. Things kicked off with Feed my Frankenstein, and it was on for young and old. (Also, the makeup of the audience). Alice prowled the stage, as his guitarists hurled themselves around and the drummer had a fine knack for twirling and hurling his sticks around. A hapless young teen was butchered by Jason Voorhees during He’s Back and I’m Eighteen is still one of the most perfect pieces of teen angst ever put to tape, one that hits me as hard at 39 as it did at 18.

The solos, while more than technically proficient, left me a bit cold, as with every twirl or throw of a drumstick I couldn’t help but think ‘Will this be the time he drops one?’ A confetti cannon blasted cash in the air during Billion Dollar Babies, and it wouldn’t be an Alice set with him being murdered somehow, this time by Madame Guillotine. it winds up with a short encore of Department of Youth and School’s Out, with a large section of the audience racing for the gents seconds afterwards, if the queue where I was was any indication. As one fellow in the queue noted “It’s an ageing rock crowd and a prostate issue.”

We made our way outside just as Queen were working through Bohemian Rhapsody next door, and it’s a testament to both the power of that song and Wayne’s World based nostalgia that it immediately summoned an impromptu singalong and air guitar from the crowd. Mercifully, the train ride home was far speedier than getting there, so all ended well. Both Godson and his mother enjoyed the show, which was pleasing. You’ll have to survive without photos, as being up in the nosebleeds meant mine are blurry as hell.

Friday night was spent at the theater with my wife, watching the Complete Works of Shakespeare. It was a Valentine surprise, that I’d worked to keep. I was told a few weeks ago that she had plans, and that I would like them, and despite a couple of offers to let me know, I elected to keep the surprise. I adore that show, for the sheer lunacy and jokes like “Titus Andronicus, the cooking show!” I continue to be glad I managed to avoid being dragged on stage. A glorious night, and well worth catching if you can.

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Outside that, the LARP angst has continued. Well, less angst and more indecision. The torment of so many options and a deadline creeping up on me. Every-time I think I’ve made a decision, the brain reminds me of other options, in it’s usual distracting fashion. Also, having started to learn rapier has me wanting to carry one, and I hadn’t initially planned on that. Fortunately, I own a LARP one, along with a suitable baldric, so that’s one problem sorted. One the bright side, I’ve submitted to Pheno, so *fingers crossed* Now I just have to endure the wait will late April/early May when I find out if I’m successful.

Be seeing you…

Can’t sleep, so writing.

It’s another night of ‘Oh Gods, I can’t sleep’, or in the words of Lemmy, ‘I should be tired, but all I am is wired’ so here goes.

The brain is a bit wonky. The heat has subsided somewhat, mercifully. Having a tooth pulled on Saturday wasn’t fun, though the dentist staff were bloody lovely, both when I charged in looking like a drowned rat and apologizing profusely for accidentally pulling at my beard. The recovery hasn’t been too bad, thankfully, though the mouth ulcer on the same side of my mouth as the removed tooth was remarkably ill-timed. Also, my wife has let me nap a lot, which is lovely. She’s the best.

Phenomenon submissions have opened, and I hope to have mine done this week, for my Babylon 5 freeform. It’s more than a bit nerve wracking, because I think it’s a solid idea for a game, and I really don’t want to screw it up. I love the B5 universe and while I’m wary of what players could do to it, I really want to see what happens. It’s a problem I have when running games for settings I love, in that I have a vision of that setting and don’t like it when it’s fucked with, so we’ll see what happens there. The game’s set in a time of the show basically untouched by canon, which should help. I’m quietly confident, but it’s pretty different from the last two games I’ve submitted, so I’m not treating it as a lock.

Council
In Valen’s Name…

Alas, and with much sadness, Good Society was cancelled owing to low ticket sales. I’m more than a bit sad about that one, as I was really looking forward to getting my Firth on. Or, as my wife put it, “It’s a romance game based around manners, that’s exactly your jam.” Politeness is one of my things, to say the least. I joke when queried that ‘You’ve not met my mother, you don’t know the level of polite to which I was raised’, and it’s frequently hilarious when friends meet her and discover just how intensely I mean that. She’s a saint.

 

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If only there had been a pool at the venue…

The prep for Blackpowder and Bloodlines continues, and it’s mostly been flailing. The old standbys of ‘Hey, here’s other character ideas’ and ‘Look at all those beautiful costumes, can you possibly match that standard?’ crawled into my head late last night and refused to leave. It’s not that I haven’t found kit that fits the character idea, it’s just been a spate of overthinking whether it matches the costume brief and of it either being horribly expensive or cheap as shit. (Wish, I’m looking in your direction… And while we’re talking, could you please stop recommending me sex toys?)

There was a few minutes early this morning I was tempted to go ‘Oh hang it all, I’ll just play a musketeer and be young and stupid’, or any of the myriad other ideas I’ve had for the game. I at least know what nation I’m from, so that helps narrow things down a bit. It’s much the same problem I have when game writing, especially a month or two out from the convention, when I get enough ideas for the next 3 conventions. I’m pretty sure that’s where the Ewok game came from though, so sometimes good comes from it.

Sure, I’ve a pile of leather scraps I’ve been tempted to try and turn into a half cape (They were originally purchased for an Orcish war skirt) and that’s an option. My wife’s holding a craft day this weekend, so I could certainly look into it. I should be able to drape it over the back quiver I have and not have it affect my shooting, I hope. In other options, the signet ring I was after is now out of stock in my size and while I’ve found either a vest or jerkin that I think will work, my over thinking and budget concerns has me doubting things. Or do I go for a short sleeve gambeson instead? Stupid brain. Also, said brain continues to insist that the my character idea is dumb and mostly pinched from Aragorn. Stupid anxiety. And I still can’t find a shirt or tunic I like that doesn’t have giant billowy sleeves. Harrumph.

For those who came in late, the character idea is thus: A noble scion who’s next in line for the family fortune, but who’s siblings are getting somewhat aggressive about getting the cash. To the point of sending assassins. Therefore, he’s journeyed to the New World, under the pretext of trophy hunting, slightly incognito (Hence the fancy signet ring that’ll easily identify him to any would-be assassins – what’s the use of a secret if it doesn’t leak?) till things cool down. I’ve a reason to be there, something to do, and something that’ll cause complications. I think that’s a good start.

I should probably start putting all the possible kit for the game in one place (I know I still own the pants I was going to wear, having previously worn them at my wedding), but I should check they still fit properly. Quitting sugar has taken a surprising amount of weight from my waistline, and according to my wife I’m still shrinking.

I’m gonna sign off and try and sleep again. Before you think it’s all angst and horror, there’s some genuinely good news to report: I’m seeing Alice Cooper Saturday night, Faith No More are touring soon and there’s a new Testament album incoming, though I still need to get a ticket to Download. But looming above all things, is an event I’m looking forward to almost as much as my anniversary – it’s under 3 months till Iron Maiden! *air guitar solo*

More to come. Be seeing you.

Plots, plans and play.

So, there’s been a burst of creativity, or attempting to document things more. So, here goes. For those seeking an update, the brain hasn’t been so great, but seems to be on an upward tick. Whether that’s due to the slightly lower temperature, or that I’ve started learning at another sword class (Italian rapier at Drummoyne, for those curious). My Saturday’s are jam packed with stuff, so Tuesday was the only option, and rapier means I can swash my buckle, if you know what I mean…

I also scored a copy of S2 of Britannia from work, which means come payday I’ll be grabbing S1. it looks an interesting show, but I’m a sucker for Roman era Britain, in particular north of the wall. (You can blame Robert E Howard for that) There was a brief thought of trying to write an event in that time period, even before watching the show (My enthusiasm can get the better of me from time to time), but let’s be honest, it’d be little more than an excuse to mention a certain as yet unconquered village in Gaul. *

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The Blackpowder and Bloodlines prep has continued, mostly in my head. The over thinking about props and costume hasn’t stopped, with such important questions as ‘Does that fit the costume brief?’ and ‘Do I want a tomahawk?’ rattling round the head. I’m firming up on my characters back story and why I’ve come to the New World. Also, I had an excuse to re-watch Brotherhood of the Wolf, both for inspiration and cause it’s a beautiful (and utterly bonkers) film. On the other side, if you’re curious about playing the Good Society LARP, then you have till the 8th to buy a ticket – that’s the cut off date to decide if the GM’s will run the event, or even just the NSW session, which my wife is planning to attend (She’s on stage the night of the Brisbane session, so I’ll be flying solo if it runs). So, hurry up and GET YOUR AUSTEN ON PEOPLE**.

We had session 1 of the new Star Wars game last week, and things are starting to come together. I’ve still not quite got my characters personality down pat yet, but it normally takes me a few sessions to properly gel. Our GM has asked us for some background info to work with the module he’s running, so that’ll give me a chance to come up with more links. And it was fun, which is the important thing. Looking forward to the next session.

More to follow. Be seeing you…

*I made a gourd of Getafix’s magic potion the McGuffin in a game a few years ago, and while disturbingly few people got the reference, one person nearly falling off a chair with laughter made it all worthwhile. Thanks Massive Q!
** I have been informed by my wife that I must now actually know something about Jane Austen, in book or movie form. I have also been told that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies doesn’t count.