Stuff...

Jul. 7th, 2011 09:31 am
amnesiack: (batllerina)
The weekend (plus a few days before and after) was awesome. It included Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz on the big screen at Central Cinema, an awesome wedding at the Woodland Park Zoo, and amazing house show with 11 bands and tons of friends, and the annual "best 4th of July party ever (until the next one)" at the house of [livejournal.com profile] random_girl and [livejournal.com profile] grandmoffdavid.

I've been playing bass again. Three friends and I decided to put together a band and mess around and see what comes of it. We've had three practices in three weeks so far, and while we're still not good, we're definitely better than when we started. It's a very cool, low-pressure situation since we're all either (a) brand new to playing our instruments (which includes vocals) or (b) haven't played them in 7+ years. So we're just figuring things out together as we go.

On a less postivie note: )
amnesiack: (uber die)
I'd gotten really good about exercising by walking/jogging around Greenlake while the weather was still nice, but that went into sharp decline as the days turned dark and the weather turned foul. While I'm still able to get out there on occasion (Sunday was a beautiful example), it became obvious quickly that if I was going to maintain any sort of regular workout regimen, I was going to have to join a gym. So yesterday I did just that.

It's overpriced for what I'm getting, especially compared to the big chain gyms, but it's two blocks from the apartment and has everything I actually need. The barriers that will keep me from exercising are extremely low, so having a gym that is 98% as easy to use as the trail around the lake is paramount and worth the extra expense, for now at least.

On an unrelated note, some friends of mine from the Seattle punk community wanted to get into roleplaying and knew that I was really immersed in that world, so they asked me to run a game for them. I pitched a handful of things, and it looks like we're going to be playing Burning Wheel starting in a couple of weeks. I'm going to run The Sword as a way of introducing them to the system, and then we'll discuss the overall campaign and get things rolling. I'm pretty excited.
amnesiack: (uber die)
I got my iPhone 4 yesterday. This may make me seem like a crazed gadget junkie, but in my defense, this is the first smartphone I've ever owned, and it's only been a year and a half since I got my first cell phone, period. So there, non-existent person to whom I feel compelled to justify myself!

This also marks the transition for me and Lesley into full-fledged cell phone independence. I've been riding on a friend's family share plan (thanks!), and she's been on her parents' plan up until now. We've now got our very own family plan, with just the two of us. Independence is expensive.

----

I've been playing around with D&D character apps for the iPhone, since updating character sheets sucks and having a bulky laptop on the table is the pits. There are two that seem pretty good, though neither is the 100% perfect machine. Both allow you to upload Character Builder files to the web and then access them via the phone in a cool, streamlined capacity.

iPlay4e
Pros:
* Translates the character builder files very well, so you have to do little or no any after-the-fact tweaking.
* It has a built-in die roller both for general rolls and on a per-power basis with all mods calculated in advance.

Cons:
* It's a web app, which makes it slower, and means it's constantly using up data capacity and battery life at a quicker rate.
* Powers don't include the effect descriptions beyond attack mods and damage; you have to follow a link to the Compendium for that.
* Manual tweaks are impossible for most parts of the character.

i4e
Pros:
* Power entries are more robust in their information, and there is a description field that will let you fill in any information that you want, so there is no need to check the books/compendium.
* It's a native app that just downloads characters from the i4e server when you ask it to, so it's not using up bandwidth or a lot of battery life while in use.
* Virtually everything in the character can be tweaked manually if you desire.

Cons:
* Only the bare skeleton of the character gets imported from the character builder files, so you end up having to do a lot of manual updating and tweaking before the character is playable. This is a huge pain.

I'll be playing around with both, since we've got a game coming up on Tuesday, and I'll probably learn pretty quickly which I prefer.
amnesiack: (stills)
Lesley shared a cool article about so-called "Benevolent Sexism".
In general, benevolent sexism manifests itself in a paternalistic stance ("Men take care of women.") that is couched in notions of complementarity ("Men have leadership gifts and women have relational gifts.") and chivalry (i.e., the princess in the tower or the damsel in distress: Women wait and watch while we rescue/work/sacrifice/struggle for them). Overtly, these attitudes seem kind and noble but, structurally, they keep power firmly in the hands of men. It's a soft, sweet paternalism. A benevolent sexism.
Read the rest here: http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2010/05/ambivalent-sexism.html

Ugh

Dec. 11th, 2009 10:58 am
amnesiack: (stills)
Yay, another example of U.S. law enforcement/military acting as government-sanctioned thugs. Peter Watts, author of one of my all-time favorite science-fiction novels (Starfish) was assaulted by border guards while returning to his home in Canada on December 8th. I know this stuff happens all the time all over the world without us being aware of it, but it certainly gets highlighted when someone you're familiar with gets worked over.

Here's Watts' brief summary of the event.

Corey Doctorow also has some things to say.
amnesiack: (SPAZ)
The first episode of Seattle Punk Audio Zine is now available: http://bit.ly/1lKhCu

In this episode, I interview The Damage Done and play four songs from their album Scream All Of Our Cliches.

If you're at all interested in punk music or would just like to hear what's been eating a good chunk of my brain lately, please listen to show. I've learned a lot just from doing my first couple of interviews and editing this episode, but I know I still have a lot to learn. Feedback, especially if it will help to improve the show, is welcome and encouraged.

There is also a feed you can subscribe to in order to get updated on future posts and episodes. It will probably be available in iTunes in the next couple of days as well.

Cheers!
amnesiack: (ramona hood)
I went to a great show on Saturday night with [livejournal.com profile] lesleymac, [livejournal.com profile] retrocareer, and Reid at Studio Seven (The Damage Done, Shook Ones, The Riot Before, Living With Lions, and A Wilhelm Scream, for those wondering). The music was great, and it was tons of fun hanging out with my friends there, but I always feel a little weird about shows at that venue.

I think it's a combination of the size of the room and the height of the stage. It's not remotely like a stadium or even a concert hall in size, and there's no barrier or security guards between the crowd and the edge of the stage. Still, there's just enough of a distance there between the performers and the crowd that it feels fundamentally different from shows at Grn Strp Haus, Black Lodge, The Bit, FBK, The Morgue, Barnhouse, etc. that goes beyond sounds systems, admission prices, or audience makeup. Hmmm...
amnesiack: (american astronaut)
San Diego, CA joins Little Rock, AR and Springfield, MO on the list of airports I have visited that have free wi-fi. Way to step up, San Diego.
amnesiack: (Default)
Is anyone here going to San Diego Comicon?
amnesiack: (skull panda)
This blog entry is pretty challenging for me. Vegetarianism, once I got over the initial hurdles, was an easy choice because it felt like a simple means of living out parts of my ethics in regards to exploitation, and it didn't take that much effort. Approaching the problems surrounding the exploitation of the human labor involved in producing food, both plant and animal, is much more difficult and without anything resembling easy personal solutions. Why are big, difficult problems always so big and difficult, dagnabit?
amnesiack: (commie star)
I went to the Democratic Caucus today. It was my first time participating in one, and it turned out to be extremely disorganized, but once everything worked out, it was really cool. There were three precincts, including mine, meeting in the room where I was. The final delegate counts ended up being 5 Obama - 1 Hillary, 5 Obama - 1 Hillary, and 10 Obama - 1 Hillary. I ran into my friend Dan afterwards, and he told me his 6 delegate precinct ended up with all 6 going to Obama.

I hope this is a state-wide trend.
amnesiack: (american astronaut)
So, I'm really burnt out on the house searching/buying process already. It sucks. However, I'm not quite as down on it today as I have been (like, say, Thursday). We looked at two more properties today, and both of them rocked. We've put in an offer on this place. It's a spacious (for real, not just in realtor-speak) 3 bedroom, 2 bath townhouse in the Central District. By bus it's 15 minutes from work and 20 minutes from the U-District. There's a Trader Joes 0.7 miles away, and all three of us and our stuff will actually fit comfortably in it. I really hope we get this one; we should know if our offer is accepted by noon tomorrow, and then we'll go through the inspection process again. Woo.

If that one falls through, here's the second one. It's not as big, but it's nice and has cool hardwood floors. The location isn't quite as desirable either (Columbia City again), but I'd already gotten used to the idea of living there, so that wouldn't be a big deal.
amnesiack: (kitaguchi)
Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] lesleymac, because she rocks.

Note: Posted via email.
amnesiack: (Default)
So, I know that I have a lot of friends who have friends who live in the bay area and whatnot. Does anyone know someone who is planning on attending the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco this weekend? If so, please inform me, because I need Bryan Lee O'Malley hookups.
amnesiack: (grumpy)
Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday.


Note: Posted via email.
amnesiack: (roseskull)
I acquired a not-new but new-to-me set of shelves from [livejournal.com profile] preciousjade and [livejournal.com profile] grandmoffdavid last night. It's one of two shelves that I laid claim to when they offered, but I'm unsure as to how I'll be able to transport the second one, as it's very tall. The one that made it home is short and the shelves are very shallow, which makes it problematic for storing "traditional" rpg books or trade paperbacks, but it's perfect for most small press rpgs and digest-sized graphic novels. I've been out of book shelf space for a while now, so there have been numerous stacks of books all over my bedroom (generally on the floor), which isn't very big to begin with, but now I can glance over and see Spirit of the Century, Scott Pilgrim, Dogs in the Vineyard, Love the Way You Love, Dictionary of Mu, and Demo (among a host of other things) all snuggling up with one another on shelves where they can't have a cat wharf a hairball on them or be accidently knocked over and subsequently stepped on by me. Rock.

Note: Posted via email.
amnesiack: (scottbass)
This weekend has been great so far.

Last night, [livejournal.com profile] lesleymac and I went over to [livejournal.com profile] hansandersen's place, and he ran a game of Dogs in the Vineyard for us (see my earlier review of the game here: http://amnesiack.livejournal.com/97780.html).

The game was fantastic. It really was everything I hoped it to be, and maybe even a bit more. The system is fun, with a neat strategic game-within-a-game setup, but at the same time, it completely gets out of your way and lets really neat roleplaying moments happen. Two highlights for me:

1) My insecure, non-confrontational character being the first to draw a gun, without even me expecting it to happen. It came completely out of nowhere, but it just felt like the right thing to do at the time, and that one action shaped a huge portion of the rest of game after that.

2) Being put in a situation where a man's life was literally in my character's hands, having to decide whether he would live or die, and having to take several minutes internally debating before I could actually come to a decision.

From what I hear, these sorts of situations are common in Dogs.

Tonight, [livejournal.com profile] darklingrose, [livejournal.com profile] covenantscave, [livejournal.com profile] lesleymac, and I went to the second annual Science Fiction Short Film Festival. It was a lot of fun again this year, with some really good films (particularly in the second half), though overall the quality of the movies was a bit lower than last year.

Also, I played a bunch of Final Fantasy XII today. Booyah.
amnesiack: (Default)
I'm sure that, by now, most of you have heard about the Mooninite attack on Boston. Personally, I find the situation to be both funny and tragic. Regardless of how you feel about guerrilla marketing, this sort of reaction to what basically amounts to a Light Bright (see pictures here) highlights how ridiculous things have gotten in our country due to our obsession with terrorism.

Also, my ipod stopped working correctly this morning. It still plays, and it still syncs with my computer, but it looks like the headphone jack is no longer transmitting to the headphones. Most likely, it's become unsoddered to the motherboard inside. It's a fairly common occurrence in the older model ipods (I have a Gen 2). I'm going to see what the cost is for getting this fixed, and then I'll decide whether or not to buy a new 80 GB shiny, shiny video ipod, retaining my old one as a portable firewire hard drive. Happily, I will be receiving a $300 bonus in my next paycheck, so if I do decide to upgrade it won't be a stretch financially.

I felt like my 7th Sea game ran more smoothly last night than it has for a while, despite the players doing several things that I wasn't expecting. It looks like we'll have one more session (maybe two, if something very unexpected happens next session), then we'll do a planning session for Future Imperfect, and then we'll likely start the new game in mid-to-late-March.
amnesiack: (Default)
For some reason, I feel like posting the current/upcoming roleplaying games in which I am involved.

7th Sea: From the Depths
Schedule:
Bi-weekly (every other Wednesday night), 7pm
My Partners in Crime: [livejournal.com profile] hansandersen, [livejournal.com profile] preciousjade, [livejournal.com profile] yurodivuie, Jason
This is the game I've been running for (I think) over a year now. It's gone pretty well I think, though it's had some ups and downs, largely revolving around players having to leave for various reasons and new players joining. It will be ending soon, to be replaced by Future Imperfect, a game of transhuman cyberpunk using Tri-Stat by way of Ex Machina.

Weapons of the Gods: No-Brand Heroes
Schedule:
Bi-weekly (every other Wednesday night), 7pm
My Partners in Crime: [livejournal.com profile] hansandersen, [livejournal.com profile] lesleymac, [livejournal.com profile] yurodivuie, [livejournal.com profile] bookishelaine, Jason
I have a short list of games (usually various stripes of Indie) that I love in theory but have never gotten to play (or at least play to my satisfaction). Weapons of the Gods is one of those games. When Jason decided to end his fantastic Adventure! game (Terra Occulta) and replace it with a game of Japanese High School Martial Arts Drama (influenced primarily by the old Rival Schools: United by Fate video game, the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, and a heckuva lot of anime), I lobbied pretty aggressively for WotG as the system. Also under consideration were Big Eyes, Small Mouth, Wushu, Feng Shui, and Exalted, but in the end, WotG won out, which makes me very, very happy. Our first session will probably be on February 6th.

TVRPS: Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic
Schedule:
Weekly (every Thursday night, theoretically), 7pm
My Partners in Crime: [livejournal.com profile] preciousjade, [livejournal.com profile] grandmoffdavid, [livejournal.com profile] yurodivuie, [livejournal.com profile] covenantscave, [livejournal.com profile] darklingrose, [livejournal.com profile] jinasphinx
This is [livejournal.com profile] preciousjade's game, which has been going on for well over two years now (maybe three?). It's been a good game, using a simple homebrew system designed by [livejournal.com profile] grandmoffdavid. It's ending soon and will be replaced with a Steampunk game of some sort, using an as-yet-undecided system. I'm lobbying for Spirit of the Century, which is another game on the list that I mentioned above, but it's still very much up in the air.

Exalted 2nd Edition: Heaven's Mandate
Schedule:
Weekly (every Saturday), 11 am
My Partners in Crime: [livejournal.com profile] hansandersen, [livejournal.com profile] lesleymac, [livejournal.com profile] yurodivuie, Jason
[livejournal.com profile] jewjaydiction used to run this one, before he had to move back to Minnesota. When that happened, the courageous [livejournal.com profile] yurodivuie jumped on the grenade for us, sidelining his character into NPC-dom to take over as GM. This game has been a ton of fun. It's also very unique compared to other games I've played in because nearly as much takes place off-screen (so to speak) as does on-screen, due to our game wiki.

Ars Magica 5th Edition: Arrrrrrrrs Magica!
Schedule:
Alternating Sundays (2 on, 1 off), 2pm
My Partners in Crime: [livejournal.com profile] yurodivuie, Robert, Joe, Laura, Chad, Steve
This is my second long-running Ars Magica game with this group. I think they've been playing various Ars campaigns (with a few members dropping in and out) for at least 5 or 6 years, if not longer. I've been with the group for around three years. It's a fun game, with occasional trade-offs as GM (as is somewhat typical for the system). Robert is "lead GM", and he does a great job of coordinating a long-term story with sudden connections and payoffs that turn up unexpectedly.
amnesiack: (okami)
I partied at the Priebes' last night, and it was fun as always. Jason had a really good Clark Kent costume (complete with little bits of Superman suit peeking out from beneath his business suit), [livejournal.com profile] preciousjade was the Wicked Witch of the East, [livejournal.com profile] yurodivuie was the Angel of Death, and [livejournal.com profile] jinasphinx was a character from Battlestar Galactica (Sorry, Jina, I haven't seen the show, so that's about the best I can do).

My planned Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi costume fell through, so I ended up doing the Luchador thing again. I wanted to mix it up a little, though, so I used the black and red mask (as opposed to my blue and white mask), added a cape, and put in my vampire fangs. So, instead of "El Mucho", this year I was "El Vampiro Grande."

We cut out a little early, owing to the fact that David and I were still exhausted from Dallas, and Dawn has to get up really early on weekdays.

Prior to going to the party, I of course picked up my copy of Final Fantasy XII (Collectors' Edition) at the GameStop from which I had pre-ordered it. I have to admit that I'm in a bit of a delima over it, though; if I start playing FFXII now, it will be months before I finish Okami, which is a really great game. However, if I delay playing FFXII to finish Okami, not only will I not be playing FFXII, but I'll have to avoid our main living room at home like the plague, so as not to see what's happening while David is playing FFXII. Argh! Curse you holiday gaming season!

July 2011

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