Saturday, November 19, 2011


We all have ups and downs. Riding through a down period right now. Not depressed like I was the last couple of years, just stuff collapsing around me. Had to buy some new tires, because the rubber was worn down to the radial belts. Power supply went down in my computer, which was a pain, but was remarkably easy to repair (literally the only hardware work I think I've ever done on a computer which did not require opening the case multiple times to troubleshoot the fix plus hours of cursing--even just adding a memory card always seems to go wrong at least once). I've had an upper molar slowly disintegrating for the last four years which lost another chunk last night. There's a class I need to take to finalize my divorce that I still need to schedule (yes, after 17 years of marriage and three-plus years of separation, the State of Oklahoma requires me to pay for a class in order to be divorced).

And then there's the royal screw job Target is giving its employees by moving its Black Friday sale up to midnight. I can't really blame Target; they're giving the customers what they want. I blame all those greedy douchebags who will be lining up on Thanksgiving for hours so they can buy cheap toasters. Part of me hopes that people won't show up so this doesn't get even worse next year, but the part of me that eats and has a mortgage must hope the sale is a big success so I will get plenty of hours.

I hate the holidays. I've been indifferent to Christmas for years and generally enjoyed Thanksgiving, but working in retail, I'm already sick of Christmas and hate Thanksgiving as well.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Riding the Wave

So the other night, we're doing our weekly role-playing game, and efamar gets this text alert. Everyone sort of pauses, because this never happens. So she checks her phone and announces, "Tornado warning. Huh." Which prompts a very brief discussion of tornado warnings. Brief because suddenly everyone stops talking, and their eyes go wide.

"Did you feel that?"

And before I could say, "No, I didn't feel anything," because apparently I was the only one who didn't (my feet weren't touching the floor at the time, but resting on the chair legs), the ground started to rumble and the house shook.

It didn't last long, maybe 30 seconds of real shaking, plus another minute or so for the last rumbles to die down. But everyone was really freaked out, except me. And I want to say it's because I've lived in California and earthquakes just don't faze me, except that I never felt a really major one even in California.

No, mainly I was just giddy with delight at what had happened in the game. Let's rewind a bit. A couple of weeks ago, my character found a little girl, the only survivor of a wrecked airship. And it was apparent that this girl was in some trouble, because she was being pursued by some real badasses. I wanted to take her back to her father's house, but there was some doubt as to whether or not he was in on it, and even if he wasn't, there was some doubt (mainly from efamar's character) that he was a fit father, given that he had sent her off to be wed at age 10.

But we decided we needed to meet with the father and probe to see if we could learn more about the situation so we could make a more informed decision. And as I have mentioned before, my character has alternate personalities. And as a matter of fact, one of them was feeding my main the lines he should be saying (there was a deal between them involving letting him out later to spend time with efamar's character--that bit didn't work out so well for him). The story was mostly true with one major bit of bluff in it, but the mark decided to call the bluff and start threatening the characters' lives (along with insulting the cover story).

And so I make with a few twitches and an inappropriate smile, and this wave of "Oh shit" flutters around the table. Because although my performance was no Ed-Norton-in-Primal-Fear star turn, it was enough to let them know there'd been a switch, and everybody was sort of panicked, wondering what the new arrival would do.

And of course, what the new arrival did was defuse the situation without bloodshed, because that's what he's good at. But the point is, by the time the ground started shaking, I was already riding a wave of giddiness.

Because there's a real sense of power in that "Oh shit" reaction. I'm not the kind of guy who generates that kind of reaction in everyday life, but at that table, one inappropriate smile and suddenly, everyone thinks I'm Bruce Banner and my eyes have just turned green.

It was also gratifying that at least one person at the table knew immediately which personality had emerged. I had tried to differentiate them. Seems it worked.

And now it seems as if we're stepping out into the larger campaign. Baby steps are done, small tremors have been noted, but now the shaking really starts.