daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I am slowly recovering from Gencon. Had a great time, but the end phase was marked by some unpleasant drama. Still, into each life some drama must fall, and some good might come of it so?

One of the good (and bad) things about Gencon is that I come back with a head stuffed with story fragments from other worlds/games, and then they start fermenting and crossbreeding in my head. This morning the froth in my head produced this sentence: "She had devoured the souls of two demon lords, and she no longer felt the same way about chitin." I totally want to write the story that produces this sentence (which, I assure you, makes perfect sense in context) but when am I going to find the time?

I hardly did any shopping in the Gencon dealers room, and thus came home with most of my mad money intact. So I did the sensible thing and bought a bunch of inks from Goulet. No, really, it was sensible! They were all on sale, I got five bottles total (giving me a discount) and I got the FPN member discount. I even kind of needed 3 out of the five inks I ordered: two are iron gall inks (and everyone needs some iron gall inks) and one is a red I can used for editing. Because you can't expect to get stories involving chitin right on the first pass.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I have a new fiction up: Setting a Course. It was pretty entertaining to write, so there is that. It's been getting generally good responses, except for the one guy who slammed it for having really bad grammar. This is upsetting to me for its sheer FTF? quality--if I really did have bad grammar, I'm quite certain that someone in Ricepaper would have pointed this out to me long years before now.

Normally this time of year I'd be making posts about my garden. This year I barely have a garden and what I have is holding on by its metaphorical fingernails. We haven't had rain in 6 weeks, and we have had at least three weeks of temps in the upper 90s and lower 100s. I don't think I need to go into what a horrible combination this is for plants.

Oddly, it hasn't been that hard on me. This is odd because, as you may or may not recall, I don't use air conditioning. I will grant there have been more than a few days I just laid around and read or slept the heat away, but on the positive side I only had a $26 dollar electric bill for last month. More money for Gencon!!!

Speaking of, I need to find an apartment sitter: the heat makes it even more important that my plants get daily attention. I have gone back to making lists of all the things I need to get done in a certain interval of time, as experience shows I have trouble prioritizing without one. So right now I have a Things to Do This Week List and a Things To Do Before I Leave for Gencon List. Both of them are too long, but I am trying to stay calm about it.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
Have bought plane tickets for trip. Now I need to find a housesitter for while I am away, and rides to/from the airport.

Yoon, if you were thinking of buying a Safari or an Al-Star in the near future, save your money till then. There is a pen shop (OK, it's a pipe/tobacco shop that also carries pens) a block from the hotel that carries Lamy stuff. I had a brief conversation with the clerk and confirmed that they at least have the basic Lamy stuff. I didn't ask too many questions, as my voice is still giving me grief, but I think it would be fun to shop for a pen in a brick-and-mortar store.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I jotted this down on my Facebook page a week or so ago and decided that I liked it enough to keep it around. So I am archiving it here:

Why do I keep looking for the moon?--
Its face looks on yours
as mine cannot


I have never figured out where my obsession with the moon and stars came from, but it is a very old one.


My laptop is currently refusing to boot up. Someone who is actually trained in Apple stuff has diagnosed it as a kernel panic, so tonight I am going to go through the steps outlined on the support page. I am hoping that my auxillery keyboard is not affected by the panic, or things could get ugly. (I shouldn't keep worrying about this, because evidently most cases are cured by simply booting up in safe mode and that only takes the shift key, but I always worry. It's an unpleasant part of who I am.)



On the Monday after Gencon I was going through security at the Indy airport and was just starting to put my shoes on when the woman behind me (who looked my age) pointed at my bag of liquids and said, "Excuse me, but are those miniature paints?"

"No, those are temporary tattoo paints," I said, "but from your question I know you were here for Gencon." She laughed and confirmed it. We chatted as we put ourselves back together. It was her first Gencon, she had been urged to go in the past by her friends, and now she couldn't understand why it took her so long to come. She had been playing games for some time, and now was getting interested in miniatures. "So you will be back next year," I said. "I intend to," she said, and then we were heading off to our respective gates. I will probably never see her again, but it made me happy to know that next year there was going to be one more middle-aged woman guiding the destiny of armies in Indy.
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
Barring some unfortunate failure of the Orbitz website I now have plane tickets for Gencon. I now have hotel accommodations, a Gencon badge, and plane tickets. Still to be obtained: an apartment sitter, rides to and from the airport, and a suitcase full of clean clothes. I also need to investigate the airline's website to confirm that it is really true that you can pack unopened bottles of alcohol in your checked luggage, because I need to bring some home with me. (I found some French flower liqueurs in Chicago last February, and it is a long story.) And if it is maybe I should bring a bottle of that made-in-Nebraska vodka I discovered last month and donate it to the party suite--because it would amuse me to bring a Nebraska product and because I am curious as to how it stands up, quality-wise. I am not myself a frequent drinker of hard liquors, but I know people who are and many of them will be at Gencon.

I should start planning my clothes now. My temptation is always to bring more than I need and make decisions there, but the extra charges on checked luggage make that an expensive luxury. And then there is the parasol Karin and Ami gave me which I now really want to take. Aside from being lovely and perfect for me (all black; decorated with ribbons and roses), having something to keep the Indiana summer sun off of me would be awesome. I usually bring a hat or two, but I really want to bring the parasol this year. Finding clothes to coordinate won't be a problem, because I usually bring a lot of black clothes to wear on vacation. (I can't wear them to work, so...)

When I was younger I used to get impatient waiting for a special day to arrive, but I am now at the pleasant stage of life where I know it will arrive faster than I am ready for it. Aside from the above I need to work out a dinning budget, get the garden ready to cope without me, figure out what events I am going to at Gencon, and start figuring out who else is going to be there and when I can find time to say hello to them, and complete a few writing assignments. The days will fly by!
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
My first day of Gencon, and in the dealers room I bought--jewelry. I feel somewhat embarrassed by this, but to be fair I get most of my current gaming-related desires satisfied by AEG, so why not buy jewelry?

I'm currently watching Devil May Cry 3 (played by James, one of my roommates) to entertain myself before going to the Unicorn Clan dinner. It's geeky,but soothing.

I had an interesting time getting here yesterday, but I feel too lazy to type much right now. Later, I hope.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Arrived safely on Wednesday and got picked up at the airport by Brent and James. (There's a story about that, but I don't feel like typing it out now so remind me to post it next week.)

I've mostly been hanging out and looking at stuff. Dealers room is overwhelming as always, but I've made most of my saving throws. At Prof Herbert's table in the Art Show I found something I HAD TO BUY: He had some very nice mugs with some of his L5R art on it and one of them was--Pokku! Well, how could I resist everyone's favorite goblin? So now I have yet another mug. I'm think I'll take it work and show it off. "This a character I write for!" I'll say proudly, and my co-workers will either ooh and ahh (those who play games) or look confused (everyone else).

I need to review the new L5R rules to make sure I have all the new tweaks down; I am going to play in tomorrow's tournament. I'll lose a lot (rusty card skills are rusty) (not to be confused with Rusky ;-) ) but I should have fun.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I'M GOING TO GENCON!



This was in doubt for a while, due to our expansion plans. I had provisional permission from our General Manager to go, but it was not a sure thing and it was (one of the) things that were eating me up recently. Aside from it being Gencon, and my once-a-year opportunity to hang out with Brent, this year Fred Wan (my editor on the Story Team and one-time steady debate opponent on the Crane forum) was going to his first Gencon ever--this could be my only chance to meet someone I've been 'talking' to for almost ten years. So, yeah. NEEDED TO GO.


At the beginning of this week I decided that I couldn't stand the uncertainty anymore and it was time for me to act. This morning I went into his office before things got crazy and broached the subject. Since I wanted it to go my way, I brought it up as if it was already approved and said, "if it's more convenient, I could shave two days off my vacation by flying out on Wednesday instead of leaving Monday and driving." This plan also is going to cost me about $400 more dollars (luggage fees, I do not love thee) but victory requires sacrifices. My manager said that would be great and I bought my plane tickets as quickly as humanly possible.

On my way home, to celebrate, I bought a stuffed white persian kitten toy. BWAHAHAHA! Now he needs a name. Nominations are being accepted!
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
After talking it over with a few friends I've decided to go to Gencon after all. As Margo pointed out, when I'm old an grey I won't be wishing that I'd paid off my hospital bill quicker, I'll be wishing I went to Gencon. (Strictly speaking, I'm already old(ish) and grey, but the principle still holds. {And as a point of pride, I'd like it to be known that when I color my hair I'm not trying to cover up my grey hairs; I just find my natural hair color boring and unattractive.})

I don't know yet what I'll be doing; I've been a little too frazzled to look at the list of events at the Gencon site. But I think I'd like to play in the Legacy tournament--Iron Fortress of the Daidoji FTW! I guess I should download a copy of the Samurai Edition rules and brush up on how to play the game. Deck building will be a pain, but maybe this could be my chance to get some sorting done in the collection. I should also see if there are any obscure rpg games I'd like to try. I kind of don't understand people who go to Gencon and play D&D: How hard can it be to find a local D&D game? Everway or Bunnies and Burrows--now those are the games you go to Gencon for. I suppose this is one of those matters-of-taste things.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This morning I was wandering around Crochet Pattern Central (allegedly looking for baby stuff, but really just goofing off) and I came across Joyful Dancer, a site that has crochet patterns for belly dancers. This made me smile, because it reminded me of something cool that had happened at a Gencon a few years ago.

That Gencon the management had arranged for some band that did folky/sf/fantasy stuff to set up in the con's public spaces to entertain the passers-by, and I had sat down to eat my lunch and enjoy the music. After a few minutes a troop of belly dancers wandered by. They stopped, listened for a moment, dropped their bags in a nearby corner and started to dance. I'd never seen a troop that close and the grace and dexterity of those women was amazing. The crowd was delighted, and fortunately so was the band. After the first song ended the band's leader consulted with the dancers to see what kind of rhythms worked best for dancing, and the the band proceeded to play the songs they had that suited the dancers best.

The dancers were only able to stay for about 10 minutes (they were, in fact, on their way to a scheduled performance) but it was one of the coolest ten minutes of that Gencon.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Tomorrow morning at 6:30 am I'm going to get on a plane and go to Indy; today at 6:30 am I'm trying to stay calm. I need to pack, I need to finish picking up the living room, I need to get traveler's checks before the bank closes, I need to stop my mail, I need to figure out what bills to write out before I leave, I need to...argh! At least I got laundry done this weekend. And I have more than enough vacation hours saved, so I can leave work early this afternoon. (Except, I need to make salt-free bread, I need to make flax bread, I need to...argh!) I have pre-vacation stress disorder.

I am looking forward to Gencon, though. I'll be rooming with Brent and James from Kyuden Ryu, and that will be good because they weren't able to come last year. Also I'll see Chisa and Jeremy and a bunch of other people that I only get to see at Gencon. There's no official L5R larp, which is a pity--I would have liked to reprise Doji Domotai. My current plan is to see what the anime schedule is, in case they are showing any Bleach, and then spend most of Thursday strolling the dealer's room. Unless I spot some cool rpg game that I want to play. A few years back I got into a Bunnies and Burrows game and had a blast, so I've been on the lookout for another chance to play. The rest of Gencon will be misc gaming and socializing. A friend recommended Warlord sealed deck, which I may try. It's been years since I learned the rules, but that game is not rocket science.

All right. Breakfast is over: time to take a shower, get dressed and get this day moving. I have a lot of things to get hysterical over, so I need to get started now.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Getting sick is never a good thing; getting sick the week before a vacation is bad. Not as bad as getting sick during a vacation, but still. My fever continued on into Sunday and finally broke on Monday, meaning I spent most of my weekend and Monday lying in bed, sweating and staring at the ceiling. (I understand that there are situations where this can be entertaining, but this was not one of them.) I went to work for a few hours on Tuesday and managed to get a load of laundry done, but there is still a long list of things that I need to get done before Gencon that I haven't gotten to yet. I gave up cards last night *cry* to get some stuff done, but I've barely made a dent.

BUT ENOUGH MOPING! I did manage to get one thing done while lying around the house: I finished a crochet project! Given a simple enough pattern (and it was a really simple pattern) even feverish people can crochet, so when I wasn't wandering around the internet reading crochet websites I was actually plying my hook.

The project is something I call my Lion-Crane Mane. If you are a L5R player, you will shortly figure out why. If you are not, don't worry about it--it's not that important. Earlier this summer while going through the disco'ed bin at my local Jo Ann's I found a few skeins of a yarn called Radiance. It is a composite yarn that has a strand of fingerling weight worsted-look, a strand of eyelash, and a strand of railroad. The color phase that caught my eye had beige-colored fingerling, champagne-colored eyelash, and light-blue/dark-blue/copper railroad. I had absolutely no use for it and I'm not even that fond of eyelash yarns, but I was smitten by the colors so I grabbed the last three skeins.

About two weeks ago I decided that since I have dresses in the blue family and dresses in the gold family a fashion scarf that had both blue and gold would be, you know, a winner. So I hauled out the yarn and went to it. I didn't bother to find a pattern because yarns like this are all Special Effect--cool stitch patterns are wasted on it, because no one can see them. I pulled out one of my big hooks and did a couple of test swatches to determine if double or treble crochet would be better, and settled on the long, lanky treble crochet.

Two skeins later my scarf was done. It's around two yards long, which I think is about right for my height. It's rather pretty, with its halo of champagne fur and the flecks of blue peeking out--though I credit that to the yarn, and not to any particular skill on my part. If I can find a willing friend with a digital camera I'll post a photo of it sometime. And I think I'll take it to Gencon.

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