Saturday, May 31, 2008

Up and at 'em, Atom Ant!

Well, we got home from Johnbai's about five and a half hours ago; we head out for Stella's in a little over an hour. Time for a post!

Thursday night, Otis and I watched The Andromeda Strain, the 1970 sci-fi thriller that introduced that storytelling machine Michale Crichton to the movie-going public. Surprisingly effective (albeit a bit dated in some of the language), even Otis was entranced by the old-school high-tech suspense. *

On Friday, NatDog and I headed up to campus for some meetings, stopping on the way to drop Otis off in LFP to hang with her family. It was a short and productive day, and we were all home in time for some afternoon sunshine.

The evening up at Johnbai's was totally cool. Although we got started late, we had a rousing good time, and the DM presented us with an episode that got to the core of what chaotic and lawful alignments really mean. It was a killer combination of philosophical debate and ass-kicking that was challenging, exhausting, and totally cool.

And which, as I say, didn't end all that long ago. Time for a little more Folger's, baby.

*(LNTAM Memorial Asterix): In the bonus feature, Crichton quotes director Robert Wise as telling him "We're going to make your movie and nobody's in it." While that may have been an accurate (if glib) remark from a marketing standpoint, it belies the talent that the cast of Arthur Hill, David Wayne, Kate Reid, and James Olson brought to the endeavor. Hill, in fact, has a small moment that is one of my favorite in all of film.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What a whirl, what a whirl

Wow, I'm feeling a little dizzy! Tuesday night we D&D'ed until late, and Wednesday, while Otis had a Family MRI Day, I worked an eight ay-em to eight pee-em day, with a sojourn in the middle to help Stella with a little moving and with arrangements for a lot more, and then today I had class and then a three-hour (!) training session on Second Life, and now Otis and I are up on Cap Hill doing the laptop thing, and I have to go onto campus tomorrow for a meeting, and then we D&D again, and the next morning is the moving party for Stella! Holy frijoles!

Besides all that, I got nuthin'!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Table the discussion

Monday: drove to LFP, swapped Renty Red for Pater's Big Truck, drove to Lynnwood, picked up the New Table, drove to the RD, unloaded and set up the table (had to take the legs off to get it upstairs!), drove the truck back to LFP, had lunch (first corn of the season - yummy!), swapped back into Renty Red, drove down to Lake City, stopped at the Value Village 50% sale, came home, did laundry, hung out, had pizza with Soapy, and retired.

Today: well, back to normal. Work 'n' stuff. At least it's nice out!

Oh, and is it really the end of the world as we know it?

Monday, May 26, 2008

I must be on one of those Martian days...

Hey, so the official first weekend of summer is behaving accordingly! Although I wimped out and took the bus instead of the scooter yesterday, the threatening clouds never did more than glare and glower, and the afternoon turned out to be fine indeed.

Otis headed out to Carnation for some woo-time with a pal, so I mass transited downtown to meet up with Neds and Mr. X, new to the gang (but soon to get a full immersion courtesy of the mechanism of GURPS). We broke fast, had coffee, ate donuts, and generally geeked it for a while until I caught the bus back for the RD.

In the evening, Otis and I made a semi-impulse buy to help stimulate the economy: we bought a pretty fancy dining table from Craig's List. Or at least we secured it; today, we will be getting it back to the house.

And it looks like it will be another fine day for it.

Last year on this day I wrote these words:

Let us honor on Memorial Day all those who gave their lives in service while doing their duty, and let us hope that our country never squanders the sacrifice that so many are willing to make.

It saddens me that so many more service personnel and civilians have been sacrificed in our current misadventure, and I hope someday soon this day of memorial reflects only upon the losses of the distant past and those of not last week.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Man, whatta weekend

Okay, so this is turning out nicely.

On Friday Otis had a morning appointment, so I went out to do some work and take care of some errands. I made us a quick lunch before Otis took off for Family Chemo Day with her Pater and Mater. That gave me some more time for TCB until Soapy showed up at about 4 pm for what would turn into eleven hours of RPG stuff, between Soapy and I doing some preliminary work on the upcoming game, the regular meeting up at Johnbai's with Neds and Otis, and then the after-hours bull session with Johnbai, Soapy, and me until 3:00 am!

Nonetheless, I was up at about 7:45 today, even before the cats, ready for this beautiful day. When Otis got up a little later, we went out to breakfast on the way to cat-sitting duties. We enjoyed the sunshine in our little yard cafe and then visited Dingo and Johnbai at O's; Johnbai and I got my scooter roadworthy as well.

In the evening, we headed up to Lynnwood to visit Gweekers and Mikey at Sarry and Warry's place, and to enjoy the first barbecue of the season! It was a festive evening full of kids and dog and food and fun.

Since returning home, I have rescued a bird from its demise at the hands of our warrior, Selkie, and we have dealt with a visit from the raccoon bandit. I'm wondering if there will be any further wildlife adventures before the evening ends!

Still time for me to listen to some Swing Years tunes and to work on some projects, before grabbing the gusto again tomorrow. I think I'll try to scooter between the thundershowers!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Twixt fantasy and reality

My head is swimming with ideas for the upcoming Clockpunk and Cavemen game, I'm making arrangements for character creation sessions, Johnbai is scheduling extra session of D&D, I've gotten some geek-ware in the mail, and so on, and so on. But I thought that I wouldn't talk about that stuff tonight, but rather about something real.

Some weeks ago, I was returning from my evening class that ended in Belltown at about 9:30, and stopped by the Safeway to pick up a few items on the way home.

Checking out, I noticed that it was rather busy for a late night in the supermarket; several checkout stands were staffed, and all of them had lines. I, of course, joined the one that had some sort of problem ahead - something about a refund, or a card that wouldn't read, just one of those things that makes an otherwise simple transaction take four or five times longer than it usually does.

As we other customers waited in line, the fellow behind me began to get agitated. He was a few years older than me, a bit scruffy in his motorcycle jacket, and had apparently had a few drinks prior to coming in to purchase the single twenty-ouncer of malt liquor that comprised his shopping. The delay was frustrating him; he was muttering and complaining - "Come on!" and "What's going on here?" and "These people can't even run a store!" - and shuffling his feet, looking vainly for another faster or shorter line to jump to. I was pretty cool with waiting, and I started to to think about formulating a response to this guy, who was making himself very present and looking as if he might go off at any moment.

I could remember a time when I would have been right there with him: "Yeah, man, what is up with this place? Can't they even check us out?!" I think it has been a while since that was my default response, though.

I could remember a time in the past when I would have confronted him: "Hey, pal, give it a rest, willya? We're all just trying to get home and we don't need you flapping your gums." I would be looking to exert moral authority over someone who was breaching the peace; what right did he have to mess with a perfectly peaceful night? I realized that down that road lay, as it usually does, no productive outcome.

I thought about these things, and decided that the best bet was to let neither the delay itself nor my linemate's poor attitude ruin my evening. I ignored him and stood there wrapped in my own ataraxia, letting (or trying to let) any sense of frustration or impatience with the entire situation wash over, through, or past me. I think, for the most part, it worked.

I was reflecting on this experience the next day, when it struck me that there was actually an even better way to respond to this situation: I should have offered this fellow my place in line. I mean, it was obvious that for whatever reason, getting that beer and getting out of that store quickly was important to him, while another few moments wait would not have mattered to me. What would I have lost by letting him go ahead? Nothing. What would he have gained? An incremental advance toward his goal and maybe a sense of some little victory. And what would I have gained? A more peaceful wait on line.

It seemed like a good outcome all around, as long as I let go of any sense of investment in the process of checking out and the "rules of the line," which are ultimately arbitrary anyway. It was only in that imaginary realm that I would have "lost" anything. And the more I thought about it, the more I felt that an agitated, solitary guy who really, really needed a beer at 10:00 pm on Tuesday was probably in a lot worse shape than I was, in more ways than one; why not give him this small boon?

I was discussing the matter with Johnbai the next day, and we considered the possibility that the offer would have been interpreted as sarcastic or insulting, leading to precisely the kind of pointless conflict and agitation that I had been seeking to avoid. How could this be avoided? We decided that the only chance would be if the offer were made genuinely, authentically, and without any guile. Only then would the honest person-to-person contact actually be made.

So, the big question then remains: how do I become a person for whom this sort of response is genuine, authentic, and automatic, and not an intellectual consideration of the next day?

I don't know if the answer lies with Epicurus or Bodhidharma, but I think I'll keep looking.

Chop wood, carry water.

In the meanwhile, there's some hit point calculations I need to make for some NPCs, and I need to check for some cheap d6 online. Catch you later!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just work, so...

Was up at the crack grading, and spent the day in conferences or class, so here's a little movie instead of actual content:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rain with gradual clearing

Man, this morning was a bit of a surprise after the weekend, wasn't it? Still and all, it turned into a nice day later, and I got to take a walk through the U District this afternoon in the sun, so there's not too much to complain about. (I took a severe hit to my geek cred, though - I was wandering around looking for the Wizards of the Coast game store, which even Otis knew had moved out long ago...)

I've tried to update the blogroll and linkage a little bit. These are all on the sidebar, but let me point out some changes, additions, and deletions:

The Full Belly Project is now Little Spark. New name, same great mission from Johnbai and O. Check it out for the latest.

Reality Mom Zine has been added to the linkage: this is the zine run by Otis's pal RealityMom (and thank you, Capt. Obvious). If you have little one, or are thinking of having little ones or just like to read about moms and dads and kids, this is a spot for you.

Also new on the link list is Juliet Anderson, Architect, for all your, um, architectural needs, I imagine.

There are some missing links - I think Soapy has a couple of photography sites that aren't here (I finally got around to deleting striped fries) and I might have missed some others. Just lemme know, okay?

I added a few blogs from members of the gang and absent friends, and deleted some cobwebsites, too (where have all the tramps and spivs gone, Scotty?)

I attended a great training session yesterday, perhaps the best in-service I have done in a long time, if not ever. Michelle LeBaron from UBC came down to lead some activities on conflict management - which is how she terms the actuality that we face whenever we try conflict resolution, since many conflicts are not resolved, but merely dealt with.

In the limited time that we had, we explored her concept of the layers of conflict. Many conflicts start out at a material level - a competition for scarce resources, for example. We tend to respond to these with creative thinking and problem-solving skills, which work - as long as everyone is on the same page.

As these approaches frequently don't work, we have realized that often the problem is actually transactional - that is, although the conflict may be resolvable, our communication around finding the solution has become the actual or immediate problem. This is when we apply those skills like active listening, using I-statements, and so on: to try to get past the confounding communication difficulties so the underlying conflict can be addressed.

But what LeBaron has identified is a tertiary layer of conflict, the symbolic. This is the case of a disconnect in the basic perception of reality between two parties creating or exacerbating conflict. When the very metaphors we use to make meaning of the world are at cross-purposes, or when our concepts of our own identity become entwined in a struggle with another, or when the grand narrative to which we adhere tells a different story that someone else's - those conflicts cannot be resolved with creative problem-solving or communication skills. It takes some kind of shift in perspective - some kind of a-ha moment that lets you really see things from someone else's point of view - in order to even recognize what the conflict truly is, much less take any steps to manage it.

What I may see as a simple struggle for control over resources, no big deal, nothing personal, may in fact be very important to someone else in a way that I can't imagine. When I want to re-load the dishwasher to pack it more efficiently, my narrative may be merely "I am better at spatial relationships so I should do this." I cannot even understand why it might create a conflict, because I can't see that someone else's narrative may be "I need to prove myself as capable of simple domestic chores." Only if I really understand that perspective can we begin to manage that conflict.

I think I got so much out of this training session because it fed into concerns and questions I have been trying to address in my personal life, specifically, seeing the world in a different way and trying to make situations I encounter better rather than just winning or proving myself right. Oddly enough, my character change in our current D&D game reflects this preoccupation of late; I'm trying out in the game approaches that I think might actually be valuable in the real world.

So, here's to all of us having both the wisdom and the fortitude to manage our conflicts wisely and well.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Well, after heatwave Saturday we had a Sunday that was almost as hot and every bit as pleasant. After my Tullification in the morning, Otis and I went down to Magnuson Park to eat our lunch in the park. What lunch is that you, ask? Well, our yummy lunch - from...

It was actually pretty decent.

We also took my bike into REI; I'll get it back early in June (sheesh). I bought a summer belt for my kilt with my member dividend, so the trip did have some instant gratification.

Today was work-breakfast-bus-work-class-training-conferences-home. Although I tried to pretend it was still summery - Tevas and all - it wasn't.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One of us is working

NatDog and I are down at the Wallingford Tully's. One of us is grading papers - who might that be? Otis prolly had the best idea of all - she's running though Ravenna Park!

The photo to the left is just to show that I occasionally do physical labor and to announce that yesterday's Garden(ing) Party was a huge success! Otis has sent out a thank-you to all y'all (and you know who you are) who donated all that you did to help out. The day was hot but the crowd was cool!

Now, it's time to TCB a little and then get out into this day! I'd love to take a bike ride, but it's more likely that if the bike is in the picture today I'll be taking it in for repairs.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


When I was writing this morning's post, the sun must have been in my eyes, because I got distracted and forgot to report the big news!

Just before the D&D session, Neds was opening her mail and discovered that she has received her diplomas from Open University. We can now announce that Neds is now officially a BABA! If I can get this right, she has earned one B.A. in Classical Studies and another B.A. in Something Equally Obscure. I think she got distinctions or something, which is like cum laude, too! (I invite her to use the comments to correct any minor inaccuracies in that summary of her academic excellence.)

Here are some extra special graduation wishes!

Go Neds, go Neds!

Johnbai is right!

Regardless of what the calendar says and for however long it lasts, it's summertime! The weather is absolutely fabulous for the Garden(ing) Party today.

NatDog and I had to go to campus for some meetings yesterday, but we kept the day as short as possible and drove both ways with the sun roof open. She dropped me at LFP on the way home so Otis and I could do some gardening prep; then we played around in the afternoon on this and that. When we met up with Soapy and Neds and Johnbai's place, the D&D session was held with wide-open windows, and almost felt like we were in a gazebo. We once again went to bed too late, but it was quite a great day.

Wheyona has posted what I consider to be the quintessential self-marketing video. This little YouTube clip is focused on a writer, but with all the independent operators I know trying to establish themselves in diverse fields of art and commerce, I think its truths are approriate for a lot of us.

So, is this a clever idea, or just another sign of consumerism triumphant? (I can get sixty of these with my stimulus check!)

See some you later!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ministry of funny walks

Did you ever walk with someone and try to get in step with them, so you do this little step-step-hop-step thing, but their legs are longer than yours or something and gradually you get out of step again, and you have to do it again?

Sometimes I feel that way about daily blogging. I blog every evening for a bunch of days in a row, and then I miss one, so the next day I blog in the morning, so now I'm on a morning schedule for a while, until I miss one of those and I'm back to evenings. Step-step-hop-step, you always wind up missing one.

Thursday was a class-work-meeting day, with a NatDog Trifecta. We carpooled and had lunch on campus, and then she stopped by after work for some kitty-love and to hang out with Otis and RealityMom in the beautiful afternoon sunshine. Yay, sunshine!

In the evening, Otis and I watched Mirrormask, the Neil Gaiman-Dave McKean fantasy. It was visually beautiful and had an engaging lead, but I found it ultimately shallow and unsatisfying.

It seems that most everyone else I know has received their stimulus checks - because they had direct deposit. Otis and I must not have checked that box - although I have no idea why we wouldn't - so I think we have another two weeks before our participation in the redistribution of resources and the re-energization of our unsustainable consumer economy. I can wait.

Now, it's time for morning exercises and getting out into this gorgeous day!

This isn't exactly blogging about cats, but it's close:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mostly work this time

Yep, just a day of that kind of stuff. I'm with Otis at 3PB/LFP for some tea and wireless after classes and prepping and the usual (although because of some morning snafus I did miss a meeting I was supposed to attend - shucky darns!).

I'm looking at figurines for the upcoming GURPS campaign. I haven't found anything quite right; I was thinking perhaps of ordering these:

If you ignore the official designations, there's a pretty good variety here, and it gives you the flavor of what we're going for.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Let's focus on the good stuff

On a rainy, gray workday like today, we need to pay attention to any rays of sunshine that we can find. Here's a few of mine:

It appears that neither Otis or I was hurt in the fender-bender yesterday. Bike wheels are easy.

I didn't mention yesterday that Otis's mother had her memoir accepted by a publisher! She should get a contract soon and the book will be out within a year.

The weather is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous for the Garden(ing) Work Party up in LFP this Saturday in support of Otis's father. If you haven't received an email with the details, let me now and we'll clue you in!

I had a great time with Dingo and Johnbai tonight while Otis was at an art workshop. We did some alpha testing of a new GURPS module that I have developed, and even though there were a few curves, it ran pretty darn smoothly. I'm looking forward to real, live play action.

Now that's not a bad list!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mostly bike news

Silence Heart Nest is very busy on Mother's day, even early in the morning. In case you were wondering. And the Fremont Sunday market is still there.

So, this morning I continued on my Bike-to-Work Month biking. I tooled up the B-G mid-morning, and just about at Log Boom Park I came upon a colleague from Cascadia, who has been participating in Bike-to-Work Forever. It was a nice change to spend the last five miles cruising with him and chatting. He showed me the shortcut he takes - fewer miles, fewer hills, but some traffic - so my numbers were 14.6 miles in 1:03 for 13.9 mph.

Otis was in LFP for dinner, so she picked my up and we threw the bike on the rack. Well, wouldn't you know it, as we were driving south on Bothell Way at NE 170th, someone ran into the rear of Renty Red (she thought that traffic was moving through the intersection more quickly than it actually was). We're fine, but the rear bumper is toast, and my poor bike was in the way:

Looks like I need a new front wheel, at least, but I'll have to take it into the shop to have it checked out anyway. No biking for me for a while!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

More coolness

Yesterday tuned out to be a fairly decent day, weather-wise, which was groovy, because the main event of the day was the Garden(ing) Party at O's new place. It seemed like the whole gang was there or passed through for part of the day, and in support of Erico's manic dedication to the Platonic ideal of a garden and Johnbai's chain-gang work ethic, the scruffy backyard was transformed into a brick raised-bed vegetable garden, and a good start was made on the ornamental. Otis and I moved in and out of the activities - she had Work and I had work to do - along with Sylvio, Andres2, and Moll; Dingo and Court2 were there for the long haul.

(Oh, yeah - I skipped the convention. See Yojimbo's comment on the prior post.)

At the end of the day, O provided a typically sumptuous and thoughtful meal, the perfect close to the daylight portion of the day. I think Sylvio has pictures of the event and the handiwork; we'll link when we can.

Back at home, Otis and I worked on creative projects long into the night.

I can't belive the internets have been so dull that I haven't linked to anything in a long time. Here's a picture of the what the new building on the Cascadia campus is supposed to look like. I think my current office is about even with those people on the walkway, so I should have a great view of the activities. Groundbreaking is scheduled for about a week or two from now, and they expect the building to be in January 2010.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Freaky Friday

Man, yesterday was tight!*

Otis had a morning appointment, so I went out fairly early and settled in a World Cup for a while. I did some work, but also wrote for while on the backstory for the upcoming GURPS campaign. It was cool to write for myself for a change - it has been too long since I have done that.

I trotted home in time to join Otis and NatDog for lunch. We hit the buffet at India Bistro and then did a little shopping in the neighborhood.

A little later in the afternoon, I bussed it up to Cap Hill to hang out at the Caffe Vitta while Otis was at a writing group. I did some more research and writing and started to feel the project really coming together. I had extended some invitations for company, but no one wound up joining me, so I got a lot done.

Then it was time for D&D - Soapy, Neds, Otis and I all converged on Johnbai's apartment in the evening, together as a party for the first time in three weeks. We had a rousing adventure as Johnbai guided us through troglodyte caves and into pitched battle in a boxed canyon. I got to put my new character through his paces (rolling one critical success with spectacular results) and we all got to work together again. It was great, especially the part when Neds fell asleep.

We got home late and didn't get to bed until after 1:00 am. The best bit was that the cats let us sleep in today! When I got up a few minutes ago, they were both asleep on the foot of the bed. Either there were no pre-dawn attacks, or we were both too tired to respond to them.

Now I just have to decide whether I am actually going to the Emerald City ComiCon today, or if twenty bucks is too high a tariff for hanging around with a bunch of fanlings. (What I need to do is check the actual programming and see what's happening.)

Here's to a swell weekend, one way or the other!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

More in a row!

Carpooled with NatDog to work : bussed back the U-district : hit Zanadu and got a comic I had been waiting for : met Otis for dinner at Chaco Canyon : watched Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle on the big wall (it was crude, but clever in places).

Here's a picture of Otis and Selkie for no reason other than it's cute:

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


It's laptops galore here in the RD! While O is waiting for connectivity, she and Johnbai are here getting wirelessed, having brought tiramisu and wine along just for fun. Selkie doesn't know what's up.

Last night I wound up having just a short meeting at Antioch and then hanging out at Wayward Coffee up on Phinney while Otis was at her book club. It is pretty cool, with a Firefly theme going on.

Today I biked again, and improved my going-in time to 1:04 for 15.2, for an average of 14.25 mph. Not as much fun today as Monday, but clouds and gray will do that, won't they?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Is it Toozeday or Tyuseday?

We have achieved bikation! I rolled up the B-G to Bothell yesterday, doing 15.15 miles in 1:06, for a respectable first-ride-of-the-season speed of 13.8 mph. It was an absolutely beautiful day for it, and I felt much stronger than I usually do on the first ride - maybe those RCAF exercises every morning are having an effect after all.

Coming home was another matter - my last class gets out at 8:00 pm, so I tried riding the bus to around Northgate and biking down LCW/Roosevelt from there. Not so happy, that, so maybe I'll try a different strategy tomorrow. As the days get longer it will become easier.

Otis and I had a nice surprise last night - O stopped by to use our wifi to research which ISP she wants. It's so cool having a close neighbor-good pal combo!

Today was an early-in, early-out day at campus. (This time, I gave NatDog a ride, so I guess it does count as a carpool now. ) That gave me time to have my business meeting this afternoon; it remains to be seen where that is headed.

Johnbai said he liked the tea-rap, so here's another one, very NSFW:

Monday, May 05, 2008

Ready, steady, go

Wow - what a weekend, just jam-packed with goodness. Yesterday, Otis and I took a nice long walk in the sunshine, through the neighborhood and the park, with a nice hill thrown in for good measure. I did some grading, and then we spent the afternoon wandering around as well - and I can tell you, Golden Gardens was as full as the Fourth of July. Give 'em a nice sunny day and Seattlites come a-runnin' outside, shucking off clothes and pretending it's California. (It was especially fun to watch the kids romping in the water, which must have been, what, all of fifty degrees?) We stopped for dinner and some laptopping in Fremont, and then joined the gang downtown for a thoroughly enjoyable screening of Iron Man at Cinerama.

This will be a fairly full week: in addition to my regular classes and a session with my independent study students, I have some meetings on campus as well as a meeting for some moonlight work. A former student recommended me for some grant writing work, so I'll be talking with those folks tomorrow.

Oh, and in the by-the-way department: You will recall that I put on my suit for the second time a couple weeks ago, but I got word during my conference last week that there will be no move to West Seattle in the offing. No worries; I didn't think it was in the cards anyway.

But the the biggest deal today is that I need to get the bike out of the shed and drag my sorry butt up to Bothell. My personal biking season has traditionally started on April 1, but thanks mostly to the weather, we have had a delayed opening this year. In an attempt to avoid the total fiasco that was last year (after two good seasons in a row), I have signed up for Bike-to-Work Month this May. Because of the conference, today is the first day I can participate, and the weather is cooperating, my first class isn't until 1:15 pm, and there's no excuse. Wish me luck!

(Clockpunk bicycle-parts orrery courtesy Cabinet of Wonders.)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Obama wins Guam!

I heard this headline on NPR and actually thought for a minute it was some kind of joking commentary on the supersaturation of election coverage into the popular culture, but alas...

My rainy-Saturday predication held true for yesterday: it turned out to be a mostly low-key, low-energy afternoon around the RD, filled with such excitement as balancing my checkbook.

We did head out in the evening to grab a bite of pizza and attend Arts West Presents Seattle Playwrights Studio Sixth Annual Showcase in West Seattle. The evening comprised performances of four one-act plays and one excerpt from a full-length musical. All of the pieces were works-in-progress which were still being workshopped; nonetheless, the entertainment value was still pretty high. We went primarily to see Penny Loves Butchie Hartog, a compelling monologue from the perspective of a girl in juvenile detention, which was written by one of Otis's writing group parters. The other playlets were clever and intriguing as well; only the musical, an extended dramatization of the Vicki Lawrence hit The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia, needed a lot more work before it was in any way ready for an audience. (I used the time to write one of the scenes for our next RPG campaign.)

When we came home, I put on the old-time radio and stayed up until past midnight cleaning up my office and clearing stuff out to take to Goodwill. Do I know how to have a good time, or what?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Blogging from Mongolia

Otis is off to a massage appointment, so she dropped me off here near Fisherman's Terminal to hang out until she is finished. It's a nice little coffee shop, but somehow Caffe Appassionato just seems a little too enthusiastic a name for a mellow, rainy Saturday morning.

So, I had a nice brekkie bagel and I have a cup of hot tea to hand, and I'm ready to TCB - Take care of Blogness.

Speaking of tea, here's a goofy little video (with a vaguely steampunk vibe) swimming against the coffee culture current:

Yesterday was all up and downs - hit some last sessions at the conference (bleh), took off early (yay!) for a long drive home (bleh), Dingo called to say Iron Man was sold out (bleh), we got home early (yay!) and were graced with a Friday visit from Yojimbo (yay!) and Johnbai stopping by (yay!) to see O in the middle of moving in down the street (double-yay!).

Today will, I think, be the traditional rainy Saturday.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Waitin' for the coffee

I'm downstairs looking at the not-yet-set-up breakfast bar for the last day of the conference. I want some grub!

Yesterday was predictably long: plenary session, session, lunch, session, session - none of them terribly memorable - and then skip out to meet with Gweekers and The Marmot Queen! We hung around the hotel for a bit, and then decamped to an Italian restaurant for dinner with the spouses (and a whole herd of tweens coming to see High School Musical at the opera house). Fun stuff.

After dinner, I hit a local game and comic store for a browse and then had a relaxing evening reading until folks started filtering back from being out, when I reconnected with some of my peeps.

Here's hoping today will be a more profitable exercise - and that were out of here on time!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Good morning!

I left out the best parts of last night - I got to spend a few hours in the company of Gweekers, catching up some more and deconstructing the tenure track. Good times! And I was video chatting Otis while I was posting in the lobby - cool, high-tech silliness. I wasn't nearly as cranky as that post sounded, and I'll be in an even better mood in a few minutes, when I'm outside of a good breakfast.

Otis sent me a psychedelic picture of her furniture re-arranging project, too: