That time again!

Happy birthday to raininva!

Protected: A round of screwups, on the house

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Change in Status

I think it’s best to just be blunt, here: as of this month, Rain and I are legally divorced. We moved on from the relationship sometime ago, but the Virginia legal system (specifically, the law firm we were paying to handle this) was in no hurry whatsoever to recognize the situation.

Rain’s doing pretty good right now with her work, and what I know of her personal life seems smooth too. I hope the future goes very very well for her.

Next box has the Ark of the Covenant

Local weather is trying to be obliging. “You don’t have a light jacket right now? Okay, we’ll just drop the morning temp to 45 degrees so you can wear your winter coat, does that help?”

Had a very weird dream the other night where I climbed down a narrow drainage pipe to find myself in a secret underground studio where they were filming the return of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” to the cable channels. I was privileged to sit in on one of the sessions where they watch the movie and write the jokes; I started ad-libbing along, and they hired me on the spot, causing me to draw the wrath of one of the other writers for some reason. Any dream interpreters wanna take a shot at that one?

In the ongoing Stuff Reduction Plan, I did some heavy game materials archaeology yesterday. I found my copy of Amber Diceless, a fascinating take on RPG mechanics that uses no random chance at all; Star Warriors, a fast-paced, careening tactical game of Star Wars fightercraft; and Ogre, light infantry and vehicles against a robot tank the size of a small city block. I’m keeping those. (Actually, I fear the Ogre set may belong to rattrap.)

Going away is the stack of official Star Trek fan magazines, which will be probably be trashed; and raininva has dibs on the bigger stack of West End Star Wars RPG and Indiana Jones RPG books. Battletech 3025 scenario and source- books are going; Battletech ‘Mech listing books are staying. I’m not sure whether I’m keeping Castle Falkenstein, or the hardcover first-edition copy of White Wolf Mage. (Starr, a onetime Vampire LARPer, may give me permission to keep that.) However, I will divest myself of the two Last Unicorn Star Trek RPG hardcovers, and the Traveller: A New Era core book. I have a lot of gaming stuff.

Last treasure unearthed: my Wireframe Babylon Project books and GM screen. The savvy fan will find the names of jsciv, yubbie, and impink within; and down in the playtesting credits, a listing for some doof that goes by mikailborg online. Yeah, I’m keeping that one.

Protected: Your powers are weak, old man

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Games under the tree

Definitely a traditional Christmas for me… History and Science channels on the tube, wrapping presents for others while being unable to wait to unwrap ours 🙂

My Munchkin collection is looking healthier! Starr gave me Munchkin Impossible and Munchkin Cthulhu I & II… now we have to invite someone over to play them with us. 2-handed Munchkin is much less fun.

Back in my Decipher days, Justin taught me how to play Carcassonne, and I’ve been wanting a copy for the years since. Never managed to pick it up, but I knew it was fun to play, so I picked up a set as a Christmas present for raininva when I heard she was gaming again. Well, guess what other game I got yesterday 🙂 Already broken it in, too. Fun!

Take the Sci fi sounds quiz I received 85 credits on
The Sci Fi Sounds Quiz

How much of a Sci-Fi geek are you?
Take the Sci-Fi Movie Quizdigital camera ratings

I had a little trouble with some of the older movies I haven’t seen yet…

Countless Screaming Argonauts

Thursday night, the Norva hosted They Might Be Giants for an evening. I’d wanted to go, but hadn’t gotten around to getting tickets and would probably have eventually blown it off; however, I got a phone call from Dwight offering me a spare ticket. I wasn’t going to turn down a free pass! We swung by on Tuesday and picked up a ticket for Starr, and looked forward to the evening.

When I arrived the night of the concert, I got a shiny green wristband to go with the “yes I’m over 21” wristbad. I learned that this band would get me upstairs into the VIP balcony seating, and VIP restrooms and bar/lounge. Swank! raininva and torn757 showed up for the concert, and I got to wave to them from the balcony before heading down to chat. (I said it a couple of times at the show, but I’ll repeat again that Rain’s really looking great. And I got to meet her boyfriend, which was cool.)

Starr finally got out of work, and arrived during the opening performance – a band from Ireland named Oppenheimer. She didn’t have a VIP pass, though! So I told her I’d stay downstairs and enjoy the show with her. The question turned out moot; Starr walked up to a bouncer, smiled sweetly, and made an impressive Fast Talk roll. Soon we were all upstairs for the rest of the evening.

The show itself was awesome. The band sounded incredible, and put on a goofy, geeky hilarious show. They played everything I’d hoped to hear, including “Mesopotamians”, “The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas”, “Particle Man”, and of course “Birdhouse” and “Istanbul”. (Did you know that one of the primary components of the Sun’s nuclear fusion is Advil?)

A bouncy, entertaining, endorphin-rush night. Hard to ask for better.

Gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

Another round of the hair saga today.

Back when I started paying for my own haircuts, I decided to grow my hair long. It was pretty straight and stringy back then. (First pic) After the car accident, I cut it a little bit shorter, but it didn’t get far from my collar line, and it filled out a lot. (Second pic).

raininva liked short hair on me, so I kept it pretty trim while we were together. (Third pic) This year, though, I figured I’d enjoy growing it back out to its two-decades-ago length. (Fourth pic, though I have put the beard back on since then)

Reviews have been mixed. Some of my BCT co-workers were unimpressed, but the new hair went over great at Invisifest. It’s cool at NASA, though with all the military there I think I’ve got the longest hair on base.

This weekend, an acquaintance told me that it looked terrible on me – it bummed me out a bit. But just today, one of my coworkers told me she loved it, and it was a big improvement over April’s length.

I’m going to keep it long for now, but there certainly seems to be very little middle ground here!

1988 1997 2003 2007
1988 1997 2003 2007

Thank you for indulging my little narcisissm moment.

Information High

Questions from rattrap have activated the cloaking device

Funeral scribbling

Got back last night from Salem / Roanoke. rhaps and shrewlet let us stay overnight at their place with no notice, and Rhaps even came down to the service on Friday. I’m really glad, too because it was one more familiar face for raininva, and I think that meant much to her.

Dad thought highly of both Rain and Starr, and I felt they should both be there. The family proved their great class by welcoming and supporting them both; I don’t know if I’ve even been prouder to be an O’Brien. Beth, Cathy, Benny and Jamie (old-guard Batron Starfleeters) showed up for the public reception on Thursday too. Interestingly, time_shark‘s name came up a few times, as it turns out that my dad and my dad’s dad knew Nelson Bond’s family pretty well, and I got to reminiscing with some of the Bonds and their friends about the Showtimers and the southwest Virginian fiction community.

My father was involved in fascinating stuff I never even heard about, stuff I can’t even talk about here. There was a long stretch of my life where I wasn’t close to the man, but I thought I had a pretty good idea who he was and what he got up to. I was right in some ways, and completely wrong in others. I wonder what else I missed?

My sister Whitney, of whom you’ve heard me talk almost nothing here because we too have been somewhat out-of-touch, asked me to be a pallbearer. I was honored, and I’m not sure I could have been talked out of at least trying… but this may have been the stupidest testosterone-induced promise I’ve ever made. I’m not supposed to lift over 25 pounds since the hip surgery; to be fair, I violate this on occasion, but usually with discretion. I strained several muscles, and nearly fell over once. Thank goodness no one said anything. At least I did no actual damage to myself.

Whitney’s one-year-old daughter Kennedy was with her for the two Thursday receptions. Baby singing and the throw-the-toy-on-the-floor game was exactly what I needed that day. Everytime the walls started to close in, I’d just look at Kennedy’s innocently quizzical expression, and things got a tiny bit better.

Friday on the way home, I stopped by my Mom’s, and she and Starr and I grabbed some lunch. While trying to dig up some Tintin comics I wanted to re-read, I found my old I.P.M.S. award for the Ether Flyer Thunderchild model, as well as some Pathfinder group shots and another portion of my dice collection. I can’t believe how much of my life is still at Kentland. I despair of fully sorting through it.

This too, is a bit rambly, but I’m getting closer to my center again. Tried to do a little fiction today, but the headspace isn’t there, and I’m determined to write something. I don’t have the luxury that a Conan Doyle character would of six months of “brain fever”. Bills gotta be paid, chores gotta be done, and life goes on.

And on a crass note, Dad was going to take care of my Dragon*Con travel for me. This isn’t an entitlement whine, but a note that I don’t have a Plan B yet. We’ll have to see what I can work out.

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