misslynx: (Me - w/ Kiska (on couch))
Slept too late, and the pears were not ripe yet despite being stuck in a bag with apples for a day and a half, so I didn't get to make the sweet potato/pear thing I was going to - just set off with the cupcakes, cookies, tofu roast (á la Tofurkey, but by a small local company instead) and blackberry porter. Which as it turned out was plenty, because there was a ton and a half of food. [livejournal.com profile] the_moogie is an excellent cook and tend to go all out when hosting any kind of social event. Also, multiple varieties of wine and beer, and at least three kinds of the beer had chocolate in them. And five kinds were varieties of stout. Clearly a woman after my own heart.

So, spent the day with her and [livejournal.com profile] mr_pugh, [livejournal.com profile] cleasai and [livejournal.com profile] insolent_cherub, plus a brief appearance by The Moogie's brother. There was much eating, drinking, silliness, and general merriment. I really need more of that. I did miss being with my actual bio-family, but being with chosen family can be pretty awesome too.

The results of my adventures in baking seem to have been well-received, though I ended up with a lot left, but that may have been just because there was so much there. I did give everyone some cookies to take home (and later gave three more to a homeless woman who was camped out in the entryway of [livejournal.com profile] kettunainen and [livejournal.com profile] optimystik's building when I went there to water their plants), so I only have a few of those left, but I still have eight cupcakes left! Anyone want one?

BTW, the cupcakes came out pretty well in spite of everything, though they are possibly the stickiest, messiest cupcakes ever due to the ooey-gooey caramelly Dulce Sin Leche topping. Also, some of them ended up with bonus caramel inside, due to the not-so-successful attempt at swirling it into the top of the batter before baking. But hey, any screw-up that results in cupcakes having a molten caramel centre is a feature, not a bug, as far as I'm concerned.

And I am pleased to note that thanks to a collective gift, Cleasai now has the Spirit of the Century book, and will be running a game of that sometime in the future, possibly starting in March. My attempts at trying to kickstart character creation right then and there, since it seemed like it would be exceptionally fun to do with a bunch of drunk people, were unsuccessful, despite SOTC having the most fun-sounding character creation process I've ever seen...

Anyway: I am now very tired and it is definitely time to sleep. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
misslynx: (Art - Deliria)
[livejournal.com profile] satyrblade just announced that he's putting up a small number of copies of the long-out-of-print Deliria book for sale (autographed if you want) for $30 each - check it out. The book is otherwise pretty hard to find... I have a copy, of course, but some of you who I game with might want your own.

(BTW, for anyone who doesn't know, [livejournal.com profile] satyrblade = Phil Brucato = developer of Mage: the Ascension as well as Deliria, and author of a whole whack of White Wolf gaming books before and after he went independent to start his own company.)
misslynx: (Art - Curtana Fairy)
(Started this post last night, got distracted, and only just remembered I had it half-finished...)

You know you've had a really, really good gaming session when you manage to make one of your players cry.

Er... in a good way, I mean. Wow, that first sentence sounded way more sadistic than I actually meant it. The scene in question did start with something awful, but the crying part happened when the characters were able to transform it into something good (specifically: healing children injured in a war, by a spontaneous act of magic-through-music).

It's times like this that really remind me why I love gaming - because at it's best, it can be a really vivid and moving form of collaborative storytelling. And in particular, I love Deliria, because it really lends itself to that, more than many other systems. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] satyrblade, for creating it.
misslynx: (Me - w/iBook)
I should have probably posted something about this sooner, but DriveThru RPG is having their annual GM's Day sale where all kinds of stuff is discounted by 25% (or even more in some cases) - and, most notably, one particular company, Adamant Entertainment, has decided to offer their entire product line at $1 a title, no matter what the usual price of any given book.

The reason I think the Adamant offer is particularly likely to be of interest to a lot of people I know is because of one of their game lines in particular: The Imperial Age, which is a Victorian/steampunk game. There are 20 titles in it, including sourcebooks on steampunk machinery, Victorian hermetic magic, British India, adapting classic fantasy races (elves, orcs, etc. to a Victorian setting, etc. For $1 each. It's based on ye olde d20 system, which is not one of my favourites, but I suspect there's a lot of stuff in there that can be adapted to other systems or just generally mined for inspiration.

The sale ends Monday morning, so any gamers out there who are interested in and/or already running Victorian/steampunk games (yes, [livejournal.com profile] curgoth, I am looking at you, among other people), might want to check this out sooner rather than later. For anyone who is a gamer but is not so interested in the Victorian stuff, there's tons of other stuff on sale, both in the main 25%+ off range and in the Adamant $1-each-for-everything range.

Me, I managed to restrain myself from ordering the entire Imperial Age line (even though at $20 for the lot it would not have been exactly a large expenditure), and just settled on a handful of the ones I thought would be most readily adaptable to other systems. Though I now find I keep looking back at the page thinking "Hmmm, maybe I should have gotten that one... and that one... and that one..." so I should probably just step away from the computer now while the damage is still minimal.
misslynx: (Default)
Well, assuming everyone who bid follows through, I'll have raised $195 for Médecins Sans Frontières via my [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti offerings. Two of the four winners (three for web services, one for a story) have already sent me their donation confirmations.

(Re the web services, those who have in the past chided me for working for magic beans, or just overworking in general, will hopefully be pleased to know I set very definite limits on what was included, so as not to let any of them turn into huge massive time sinks that would prevent me from doing the work that pays the rent.)

Sadly, I did NOT win the crocheted dinosaur I bid on - someone outbid me this morning, and due to my sleep schedule being all messed up because of my recent crazy string of all-nighters, I did not wake up until after noon, so bidding was closed. :-( But there will be another auction in February, so maybe I'll have another chance then, if this person or someone else offers something similar. I just think Aidan would really like it...

I did win two smaller auctions, for stories. One for a mythology-based story featuring Erzulie Dantor, and one for some sort of an urban fantasy story, for which I can apparently specify a few details like species, setting, etc. - haven't decided what I'd like to request for that one yet.

I'm also starting to have interesting ideas spinning around in my head for the one story of mine that was bid on - the fairy tale she wants it based on is All-Kinds-of-Fur, from the Brothers Grimm, and I can think of a number of ways that could go...

. . .

Oh, and in other Haiti-related news, gamer geeks should take note that Drive-Thru RPG, a web site selling PDF versions of many and various role-playing games, from the popular to the obscure, is doing their own fundraising effort, including an offer where a $20 donation to MSF through their site will get you a coupon good for downloading a massive bunch of stuff free (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wire_mother for the link).

I took a quick look over the list of products you can get with the coupon, and while certainly not all of them look all that interesting (in particular, a lot of them are add-ons for games I don't have), there were a small handful that looked quite cool (Seven Leagues, Summerland and the Kerberos Club, in particular), so I might do it.
misslynx: (Default)
Still need to do a Real Update[TM] covering assorted events of the past month like Maíre & Deb's wedding and [livejournal.com profile] lgbtech's visit, but this is not it. For the time being, I just need to announce a few small things:
  1. This recipe is awesomely delicious. But should not be made if you are in a hurry, as it takes time. It's easy, but it takes time. Especially if you use the beet greens (which I very much recommend), as they tend to need a lot of washing. But OMG is it worth it. It's impressive-looking, as well as tasty - the pasta turns neon fuschia and looks amazing mixed in with bright green beet tops and dark red beets. I think I used a higher veggies-to-pasta ratio than the recipe calls for, and a little more garlic (two large cloves to one bunch of beets and a small amount of whole wheat pasta), and added a squirt of lemon juice to tone down the sweetness. But so, so very good. Will definitely make again.

  2. My Deliria game seems to be getting off to a good start despite having thus far never had the same group of players show up twice. Best quote of the evening: "You guys are pretty nice for a bunch of Satan-worshippers." [livejournal.com profile] the_moogie is an excellent hostess, as always. Yummy mushroom thingies and pistachio nuts and Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Yes, she got an extra experience point.

  3. Last but definitely not least, on the way back, I did something that I not only have never done before, but that until recently I had considered impossible, or at least highly improbably that I would do any time in the foreseeable future.

    I suppose the story really begins the previous night, where I briefly attempted what I ended up doing tonight, because suddenly it just didn't look quite so impossible as it always had before, but didn't quite feel up to it then. Or maybe it begins last week with [livejournal.com profile] optimystik giving my bike a mini-tune-up which included raising the seat a bit higher, which I've found has made a huge difference in how easy it is to ride, particularly up hills. Small hills that used to be daunting to me I can now ride up relatively easily. But still, I hadn't quite expected to be able to do this.

    Tonight, when riding along Davenport, I got to Christie, where I usually get off my bike and walk it up the killer hill of doom. And I did not get off my bike. I did not walk my bike. I just turned right and rode straight up the hill.

    Let me repeat that: I RODE UP THE DAVENPORT HILL. On my bike. Me. 46 Years old. Arthritis in knees and ankles. Massively out of shape until relatively recently. I. RODE. UP. THE. DAVENPORT. HILL.

    It was not easy. I downshifted all the way to 1 (well, 1 on the middle gear - my bike has 18 speeds but in practice I only ever use the middle 6 because the left shifter scares me), at times was going so slowly I almost thought my bike would topple over, and at several points seriously considered giving up. But I did not give up. I didn't even stop for a breather after I got to the top, though I desperately wanted to. Ironically, the very slight incline of the first couple of blocks after the crest of the hill was almost harder than the hill itself, because my leg muscles were so fried by that point. But I kept going, even though I had to stay in really low gear at first. By St. Clair I was back up to 4, and by the time I got home a minute or two later, my legs didn't hurt any more, though I was still a bit out of breath and soaked with sweat. I don't know what kind of shape I'm going to be in tomorrow...

    But I did it.
misslynx: (Default)
I really, really want to play this game.
misslynx: (Default)
Animal updates cut for scatological content, in hopes of not squicking out my flist.
  1. Kiska update )


  2. Rosalind update )


  3. Speaking of construction, I was delighted to see a cement mixer outside my building earlier today. Not as delighted as I would have been if it had been in the act of pouring cement right there, but still... It was obviously getting ready to pour cement somewhere, and I can only hope that it was doing the road surface a little east of me, as that would mean that soon it will do the road in front of my building and then this will all be over. Or at least, the part of it in front of me will be. As far as I can see, pouring the actual road is the last remaining thing that needs doing here, other than stuff like painting lines on it, replacing the signposts and things, etc., all of which will hopefully be a little quieter.

    I am also ridiculously pleased that at least one tree on my block survived the whole construction project. I suppose I could equally well be upset that the others didn't, but on the whole I'm trying to focus on the positive. I'm not sure why they took down all but one of the trees, but it did look like the one they left was the biggest. Maybe there's some city by-law about not killing trees above a certain size or age, or maybe they just figured the smaller ones wouldn't be robust enough to survive and the bigger one would, I don't know. But I'm glad we have one left, and I really hope they replace the others.

    Also, I am very glad that the tree immediately outside my eastern windows is growing out of Filippo's patio rather than on the sidewalk, and thus not subject to any of this. I would be seriously upset if anything happened to that tree.


  4. Very happy to have finally started my Deliria game, though I had to do so with only half the players, as it turned out. One player was sick, and another (her spouse), had to stay home to take care of her. And the original opening scene I had in mind needed them. But I was able to come up with an alternate opening that focussed on the other two player characters, and kept the story on track such that I can still do the original scene I had in mind next time.

    Gaming really is an essential sanity-saving measure for me. There's something about the particular kind of collaborative creativity it involves that feeds something in me that nothing else does. I suppose it's the same part of the mind that, as a child, loves playing make-believe. Maybe some people lose that as they get older, but I don't seem to have, and I'm very happy for that. Writing fiction is probably the closest "respectable", grown-up activity to that, but it doesn't (usually, at least) involve the same kind of interaction with other people, which for me is part of what makes gaming especially enjoyable. It involves not just exercising my own creativity, but bouncing it off of other people's. In some ways that aspect of it reminds me a little bit of playing in a band, but again, slightly different.

    Well, whatever the reason for it, it really does feel like an integral part of my life -- more than just an enjoyable time-waster. When I don't have it, I really miss it, and when I come back to it after not doing it for a while, I have that satisfied feeling like an empty spot in my psyche just got properly filled and all is now right with the world, or at least my corner of it.


  5. And that seems like an appropriately upbeat note to end on, as I have to get to the gym and from thence to a Drupal Users Group meeting. Hope everyone else is doing similarly well.
misslynx: (Default)
Huge work crunch, got 3.5 hours sleep in the last 40 hours or so, and those after staying up last night until 11 this morning working. So not much time to update...

However, I just have to say that this is quite possibly the finest ad I have ever seen in all my days on The Interwebs. Seriously, I want to print it out and frame it or something.

Its destination is here, for anyone who wants to have a look. But the actual site doesn't look nearly as spiffy as that insane ad.

(I would have just put a link to the page I saw it on, but I think the ads rotate randomly, so it might not be there next time.)
misslynx: (Oh R'lyeh?)
Today, I:
  1. Survived a one-shot Call of Cthulhu game with no ill effects except temporary insanity, scars from a shotgun blast to the face, and a deep desire never to see the inside of a cave again under any circumstances (which would probably be less problematic were my character not a professional caving guide). Ironically, I think it was the insanity that saved me, since it made me panic, scream and run like mad for the nearest exit, which all things concerned was probably the most sensible thing I could have done under the circumstances.

  2. Met a dog that had been rescued from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. His new owner had only had him for two weeks, because he was one of the dogs that the rescue organization had had the hardest time placing. Had he not been adopted within a few days of when he was, he would have been put down. He had reacted to the trauma he'd been through by becoming really skittish and fearful of people, so when people came to adopt dogs, he'd shy away from them, and they'd adopt the friendlier dogs instead.

    But this guy adopted him, and after only two weeks in his forever home, he was much improved. He was able to socialize with Kiska while being only mildly jumpy, though he did initially cringe back and growl a little when I offered him my hand to sniff, so I could see why some potential owners might have reacted negatively to him. But when I stayed still, and his owner and I both spoke to him soothingly, he eventually slunk forward and sniffed my hand and tentatively wagged his tail a little. He seemed like a nice dog, just one who'd been through some very bad times. But it's amazing what a loving home will help a dog recover from.

  3. Discovered that a combination of cooldown time, chocolate and willpower will eventually allow me to answer even an e-mail that pushes all sorts of different emotional buttons and hotspots in a reasonably calm and civilized manner.

  4. Also discovered that, despite not having weighed myself in a long time and fearing the worst, and despite having been inundated with many and various forms of really good chocolate over the course of birthday week, I not only have not regained any weight, but having finally hit 180 (well, 180.2), and thus feel justified in finally crossing out the "30" on my profile and writing "35" (as in, pounds lost, under the Goals Accomplished section).

    5 pounds more to my target weight. Unless I for some reason decide I feel a compelling desire to actually land within the "normal" range of the BMI, which would require another 7 pounds or so coming off. But really, I recall 175 as feeling pretty good, and that will probably do just fine.
More substantial update coming... someday. Right now, the only reason I am awake is that I should theoretically be working, as I did not get a lot of work done this weekend between various things. But I am tired and cannot brain, so I think I will go to bed.
misslynx: (Deliria)
[livejournal.com profile] fairgrove_u is a play-by-post LJ Changeling game that [livejournal.com profile] thegamemistress is starting.

I've never done any sort of role-playing online before -- only in the low-tech, sitting-around-the-living-room sort of way. But it seems like an interesting idea.

If anyone is interested, the rules, how to create and submit a character, etc. are all linked from the community's userinfo page.
misslynx: (seal)
  1. DSL is back. YAY!

  2. Switched my journal over to the new Flexible Squares layout, one of the contest winners. Will probably make further customizations over time. Nothing wrong with the old design; just wanted a change. Though I find it's weird the way my current default userpic is all over the place. May need to change that.

  3. Wrapped up my long-running (around a year) Changeling/Vampire crossover game tonight. Strange. I thought I'd feel a sense of relief and accomplishment, instead I just feel disappointed. I wanted this to be the grand dramatic climax that would end everything with a bang; instead it just felt like a big let-down. more detail for the geeky )

  4. Now I have a lot of work I need to catch up on. Also, rent's due tomorrow, and I really need to find some way to make everyone who owes me money actually be able to pay. In most cases, it seems to be not that they don't want to pay me, but that they really can't. If everyone that owed me right now paid me I'd have over $3000 in the bank instead of around $10 as is actually the case. Maybe I need to do a prosperity-for-my-clients spell.

  5. I want to see the seals again. Want want want. Oh well. At least I have the photos, and the little stuffed seal [livejournal.com profile] ladyjane bought me. That will have to do.
misslynx: (Default)
Well, this weekend is the biennial family reunion for my mother's side of the family, so I'm taking off to the US for four days. I had originally thought I'd just be going for the weekend, because I'm catching a ride with my sister who has a regular 9 to 5 sort of job, but it turns out she's taking two days off work and so we're leaving first thing tomorrow morning. I only just found this out last night, so I've had a bit of a mad scramble getting invoices and contracts out to clients, trying to catch up on work as much as possible, finding someone to feed my kitties, etc.

Oh, and trying to pull in money from clients so as not to have my phone and gas cut off in my absence. I have seven invoices outstanding that I sent out between June 18 and last week, so when I checked my P.O. box today I was really hoping to find some money in it. But all that was there was a piece of computer junk mail and a returned invoice -- from a company that owes me something like $1800, and has now apparently moved without leaving a forwarding address. Oh, joy. I guess I'm just going to have to try and sweet-talk Bell into holding off until I get back, by which point I'll probably be able to collect the deposit from a new client I just landed today.

In other news... Started the Werewolf game on Sunday, albeit with only N. and Cleasai, because Lady Sun couldn't make it and Eyelashes was on hiatus while sorting out his issues with her (which it sounds like they've made good progress on, that was nice to hear). It was blazingly hot, though, so none of us were all that on the ball. Everyone's brain was melting. Did two training sessions for clients on Dreamweaver this week, DE board meeting on Monday night, and went to my friend/teacher/high priestess's 50th birthday party on Tuesday. Was going to go for coffee with N. tomorrow night and talk about things, but travel plans have shot that down...

Oh, and I hate my refrigerator even more now. The other day when it was really hot, I went to make dinner, and discovered mold growing on no fewer than FOUR things I'd been planning on cooking, none of which had even been in the fridge for as long as a week! Things just go bad incredibly fast in there during hot weather... If I could afford it, I'd just eat in restaurants all summer and save myself the aggravation. Then again, if I had that kind of money, I suppose I could actually buy a new fridge... :-)

Anyway, I should be packing, not writing!

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