Too many kids

I had another weird dream the other night. In this one, AJ and Faye had six or seven children. They were living in this tenement-style apartment building, and the kids were distributed throughout various floors. We used the fire escape to go between them.

I was trying to play with all of the kids and get to know them, and it struck me as odd that some of them had the last name “Mills”. “Why aren’t they Aubreys?” I asked AJ.

“You’re the one who came up with Shelly Mills,” AJ retorted. Shelly Mills is the fictional deceased girlfriend of a character of mine from the AMRN who was loosely based on AJ.

“Oh,” I said, because this was somehow logical.

“I think we have too many kids,” AJ said later. “Do you want one?”

He’s said this to me before in real life, as a joke, but in the dream he was absolutely serious. And I seriously considered it for awhile in the dream.

Bleh

I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing lately, reading my old AMRN posts and enjoying the interactions I had with other characters and the long scenes I’d write for characters and NPCs. I decided to share the posts I was enjoying with other people on the board, so I started a thread on the GenDis.

For the most part it has been a fun thread, with some old-timers chiming in with their thoughts. But at some point I mentioned that maybe I wasn’t that bad of a GM after all, and then he made a comment.

I’m not noting a lot of combat posts in this thread. Bar scenes and briefings and debriefings, yes; combat, no.

Just an observation.

He’s actually wrong; there were no bar scenes ;P But that’s beside the point. What he is really doing is gently reminding me that yes indeed, I did suck as a GM.

This guy and I have never gotten along. He rubbed me the wrong way from the very first time he emailed me to tell me all the things the AMRN was doing wrong. I was always on the defensive with him and completely unwilling to listen to anything he had to say.

I’m not proud of my reactions, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an asshole.

Up until the time I read his post I had been thinking I wanted to run a small game, with players I liked and with all new characters. I wanted the game to cover a long time period, to involve character development, and to span various different types of campaign. I planned to start with the characters as hostages, then move to things like ground-pounding, intel-gathering, escaping into the underground, and maybe occasionally a mecha battle. But the idea was that the group wouldn’t have a home to return to at the end of each day; they would be on the run, trying to get to somewhere they could call home. Thanks to events at the beginning of the story, no one would know they were alive, so it would be completely up to them.

It was a Macross game in my head, partly because I didn’t want to have to build a whole new universe. New settings are one thing, but laying out ground rules for an entire universe is a bit much for something that’s supposed to be a fun hobby. But I wondered if I really wanted to do Macross, or if I just chose it because I was used to it.

Now, of course, I’m feeling depressed. Regardless of the fact that this guy’s a jerk, he did remind me of the reason I quit the AMRN in the first place. If I go back and try again, will the results be any different?

Bleh, indeed.

Categories
Writing

I’ve officially retired from the AMRN.

After four and a half years, I’ve decided to quit playing, GMing, and administrating for the Anime-Manga Roleplaying Network. I’ve tendered my resignation, as it were, and given the AMRN my permission to use my character concepts in non-profit ways. (I retained the rights for my own future publishing. We’ll see if that ever happens.)

I was pretty much coerced into playing by Sean and Shade, but I did grow to enjoy it. Eventually I became a Q-GM, then an A-GM, and then a Head GM. I even created and ran a game based on Sailor Moon, but it was during that experience that I really started to dislike the play-by-post format. Over the latter half of my AMRN career, I’ve come to realize that I prefer writing stories to playing and arbitrating games. My goal in quitting the AMRN is to allow myself the freedom to expand into different writing projects.

I believe that writing on the AMRN helped me with technique and with characterization. I will always remember what I learned there, but it’s time to move on.

There is a new project that has been congealing in my mind since around 2002 (or before), and I hope to get started on it sometime soon. For now, I plan to be horribly vague and mysterious about it.

Goodbye, AMRN. It’s been fun.

Categories
Diary

Pollen, and work

Spring is coming. We’re right on the cusp. I know because of the pressure in my sinuses and the beginnings of tears that are suddenly ever-present in my eyes. Yes, that’s right, folks…allergy season is here.

Last night I had a horrible migraine. I thought it was simply due to the work I’ve been doing on a new website for Macross 2051 (I’ve created a new layout and I’m translating it into the proper code for Mambo Content Management System), and though I did take some allergy medicine in the hopes that it would help, I didn’t really believe allergies were the prime suspect.

Today after work I noticed a light dusting of yellow powder on my car. So yeah. Allergies.

Augusta has one of the highest pollen concentrations in the world. Pollen forecast from the Weather Channel; pollen forecast from the makers of Zyrtec. ;> Whichever one you trust, we’ve got pollen, people. I’ve turned on the air conditioning in the hopes that it will help filter some of it out, but I’m getting the feeling that this sinus pressure will stick with me all week :(

In other news…

I haven’t been posting lately, but that’s not due to a lack of things to say. Either I’ve been busy doing something else or I’ve been too tired to write or, the case that happens a lot, I didn’t want to post because I’m going to redo this website in Mambo and I didn’t want to spend energy writing something that I would have to port over later. But heck, I’m going to be working on it for quite some time, so I may as well journal in the meantime. Life’s too short not to blog.

Yes, that was lame. Intentionally lame ;D

Today I talked with Robert about rearranging the office. He had my desk facing one of the sets of windows; I want to turn it to go along the wall to the left, so that I have a better view of the door and so as to open up more space in the center of the room. This will involve shifting some free-standing shelves around and sliding his desk and the mini fridge a few feet away, but it won’t be a big deal, and hopefully the result will make the office look nice and neat. We’ve had clients stop in and we look sort of unprofessional right now. As soon as the main area is laid out the way I want it, I’m going to work on the finer details of spiffifying the office. Should be fun; I like interior design.

I also mentioned to him that I’m going to want a week off sometime in the next two months, and I told him that I would work eight hour shifts the week before or after in order to make up my time. I then asked him when it would be convenient for him for me to go, since the new project will be starting this month. He said that two weeks after the project gets off the ground should be fine, so that means maybe the week of April 5. Of course, you all should know what I plan to do during that time…visit my family!

A week-long vacation to see them will probably be better than the trips I’ve been making, where I go for an undetermined amount of time and then end up getting too attached. One week should be fine. I felt better after the Christmas visit than I had for the other visits, and I really think it was a matter of planning how long the stay would be. I think not having a definite leave date puts me in the wrong mindset, especially towards the end of the visit.

Plus, now I have something to come back to besides housework! (Oh, and Sean, of course ;>)

Today was slower than usual at work, otherwise. I finally managed to scour some of the local magazines for restaurant leads. I also stocked up on printed materials (address labels, instructions, etc), and I affixed quite a few return address labels to bubble mailers. That puts me in good shape for tomorrow, when I have to mail packages.

I just remembered two things I forgot to do while I was at work. Bleh.

I’ll blame them on my sinuses…

Categories
Rant Writing

Despair transmuted

Here I am at 6:30 am after staying up all night–as usual, with something of a nap to tide me over–trembling with euphoria, chest swelled, eyes smarting with unshed tears, because I actually worked hard at writing something.

I have had a pretty shitty night up until this point. The reason I went to take a nap was because I wanted to cry. Bawl, in truth. I was unable to do that; my sobs felt forced and pathetic as I lay wrapped in the covers, face buried in my pillow. But I did at least cry, and then fell off into restless, desperate sleep.

I am unsatisfied with my life and I am unsatisfied with the way I spend my days. I do not feel as if there is any purpose to anything I do. I want more, I want to stop feeling desperate. I want to be more than useful; I want to be thrilling, inspiring, necessary, adored. I want to Do Things that make people Sit Up and Take Notice. I believe I have fallen into despair because I can’t envision these things ever actually happening. I’m lost, jobless, a housewife who hates keeping house. I’m no good to anyone else and I’m no good to myself.

But I wrote something. Something I am outrageously proud of, something I revised until it flowed off my tongue with a rhythm that plows a clear path. I read it aloud, several times, and tweaked it far more than that. I worked on it, and it’s finished, and I can say that I am reasonably happy with it.

It’s only a post. But holy shit do I feel good about it.

I must have needed that.

Categories
Diary

"I think all of us have one question," AJ said. "What’re you going to eat today?"

:>

Well, I don’t know what I’m going to eat today. However, yesterday, I had:

  • five pieces of pizza
  • two cans of Mountain Dew

Hopefully that will satisfy everyone’s curiosity for now. ;P

Sean and I awoke this morning to the violent sounds of a raging storm. Rain slammed against the roof and walls of our apartment as lightning crashed and thunder cracked deafeningly at very close range. Sean got up to look at the storm out the deck door, then returned to curl up in bed. “Honest,” he said, “Georgia didn’t have tropical South American weather before you moved here.”

It’s all my fault!!!

McAfee Virus Scan renewed itself yesterday, so I figured I’d keep it rather than cancelling the service. I’m scanning my computer now, and so far, three small files in my Temporary Internet Files folder have come up as infected. I’m not sure if they are actually causing a problem or not, but it’s good to know that McAfee caught them. The viruses are named “Exploit-ByteVerify” and “JS/Seeker.gen.f“. I just remembered that I haven’t bothered to apply Service Packs to Office yet, so I’ll do that once the scan is done and hopefully lower my infectability factor.

Last night we had Paul over and ordered pizza. That was our tradition for a long time, but the past few weeks we’d been neglecting it. It was good to have company over again. We ended up watching the first two DVDs of Kimagure Orange Road, which I found very amusing and fun. The male lead suffers from that same inability to articulate his desires to women that we see in many titles, but it’s not as overwhelmingly irritating as it is in, say, To Heart. In fact, Kyosuke does much better with it than Tenchi or Keitaro (to use two very famous examples), which is a refreshing change. I’d like to watch more of the show, and soon.

I also need to catch up on Naruto. Episode 44 was just released by the fansubbers, but I think Sean and I haven’t seen anything past 38.

The AMRN has been kicking, so much so that two new games may or may not be in the works. Snipes has been putting together a website in hopes of resurrecting the long-dead Bubblegum Crisis game; Sam has been kicking around the idea of a Cowboy Bebop game for months now. I’d like to mention here that I’ve thought about doing a Cowboy Bebop game ever since seeing Cowboy Bebop. The universe is extraordinarily rich, and the genre leaves plenty of room for more intrigue and fun. The game would have to exclude the original cast, but I feel that assembling a new group of people and writing a story for those people would have the same effect as the anime. What happens, ultimately, would be directly relevant to them, and when it was all said and done they would have changed the face of the universe.

Of course, the biggest problem with that is keeping players. If you let someone join who ends up flaking out a few months in, then you have to totally rewrite your story. This, plus the fact that I am already running two games, sort of curtailed the tiny, preliminary thoughts I was having. Still, the thought that Sam might work something up is exciting. I wonder what sort of character I could play…

Categories
Diary

All good things…

Continuing on the one meal a day plan, I ate:

  • one chicken club sandwich from Chik-Fil-A
  • one large box of waffle fries
  • one medium Dr Pepper
  • two cans of Mountain Dew, one of which I am currently drinking

I’m sort of in a weird mood today. I’m not sure what the deal is, but it probably has something to do with the IRC chat. You know how good things are…they tend to not always stay as good. I guess this is sort of the situation now, though I’m sure things will get better with time. Essentially, there is a guy who comes to the chat that pretty much everyone dislikes, but I have no legit reason to ban him, so we’re stuck with him. (In other news, I did ban Suzaku today–he was asking for it. Literally.)

I’d like to be in the mood to post, and I’m working my way back in, but it’s a slow process. I don’t really have much to say beyond that, so I’ll stop here.

Categories
Diary

Happy Birthday, Dawn!

Yes, it’s August 8 in Malaysia already, which means my dear friend Dawn is celebrating her birthday. I suppose it wouldn’t be proper to put her age here ;D

Dawn and I have known each other since fall/winter of 1999. Actually, the first time I learned of her existence was, I believe, when I visited Sean for the first time in the summer of 1999. I’m actually having a little trouble putting the facts together, but I know that my first encounter with Dawn occurred while Sean and I had our computers over at the Mental Soup offices. We were there after hours hanging out online, and a message popped up on Sean’s ICQ for “Ryu-chan”. Somehow, I also discovered that Dawn had sent him a Christmas card. (He must have still had it on his desk with the rest of his mail. In the middle of summer. I don’t know ;P)

“How did she get your address?” I asked, as this was back in the ‘jealous girlfriend’ stage of our relationship.

“I gave it to her,” Sean said without explanation or apology. (My husband is cool.)

Since I had no real response to this–even jealous-girlfriend-me knew that throwing a hissy fit would be stupid and immature–I dropped the issue. I went back to reading the AMRN to see if I could find her posts or any idea about her (at the time I was not a member, but I had started reading the boards because Sean spent so much time writing there. If I use another parenthetical I may kill myself).

I never did find anything to fuel my jealousy, and I forgot about the whole thing shortly thereafter.

Months later, I decided to join the AMRN with my new character idea, Julien Straub. Shade (who I had also met in person on that trip) and I conspired together to come up with the idea. Basically, Julien would be closeted gay, and he would realize the truth about himself by falling in love with Ryu Connor, Sean’s character. It was going to be a hoot, or so we thought.

So I started roleplaying with Julien, and I discovered that I was really, really liking it.

During the transfer story in which Julien and a crowd of others were shuffling into various squadrons on the Etrakis, I–or rather, Julien’s player–met Dawn–or rather, Dawn and her alter-ego Hellspawn. Oh, boy, this is more convoluted than I thought.

Julien and Iliana’s players, which were of course me and Dawn, began conversing through email. The messages were really interesting and “we” got to know each other quite well. Meanwhile, on ICQ, “Hellspawn”, who played on the AMRN, joined “Julien’s” contact list. Julien and Hellspawn talked for a bit about videogames and RPGs, but ultimately didn’t have much to say to each other. (I was having trouble pretending to be a man. I really had no interest in videogames and RPGs, and I didn’t know what else to talk about.)

Finally, Hellspawn decided that “he” could no longer lie to “his” good friend Julien, and spilled the beans in an email from Iliana, letting me know that they were one and the same person.

After receiving the email, I was sort of shocked, and I wasn’t sure what to think. When I saw Hellspawn on ICQ later, I sucked it up: “You play a pretty good woman, Hellspawn!”

Then Dawn responded with the killer: “That’s because I am one, dearie ^_~”

I about fell out of my chair. But I could hardly fault her, since I was doing the same thing.

I wanted to paste the log of that conversation here, but I seem to have lost all of my Julien chats :P I have checked all my backup CDs and DVDs and I guess I just never thought to copy over Julien’s ICQ stuff. I’m amazed that I didn’t save the chats as text files though. What was I thinking?

In any case, I didn’t tell her who I was for awhile. I actually began living a double life, because as my chat logs with Sean attest, I met Dawn as Heather on January 21, 2000.

Me (9:02:38 PM): Hellspawn, huh?

Sean (9:02:59 PM): Yeah, approve her.

Me (9:03:02 PM): I did.

Me (9:04:02 PM): That’s the same person you were talking to that one time, right?

Sean (9:08:35 PM): Right.

I believe I’m slyly referring to “that girl who called you Ryu-chan?” without actually saying it. I was such a dork at the beginning of our relationship. ;>

Anyway, I don’t have any logs from Dawn until February 4, 2000. By that time we seemed to know each other’s secrets. This excerpt is interesting:

————————————–

ICQ History Log For:

64474335 Witch Child

Started on Wed Sep 27 15:56:59 2000

————————————–

COSLeia 2/15/00 2:31 PM This is weird.

Witch 2/15/00 2:43 PM I agree… ^_^

COSLeia 2/15/00 2:43 PM Back as me. And sure, I’ll talk to Boomer

Witch 2/15/00 2:44 PM ^_^

hold on a moment while I set it up?

COSLeia 2/17/00 4:01 PM :)

Witch 2/17/00 4:02 PM hehe… just noticed?

is Dave online btw? he hasn’t authorized me

yet

COSLeia 2/17/00 4:07 PM I’m not on as Julien so I can’t tell hold on

As you can see, after Dawn found out I was Julien, I still kept up the charade for quite a long time. I even had a few conversations with Sean as Julien, on AIM. O, the deception! These, of course, I managed to save. Just for kicks, here’s an example:

Hellfire00 (11:49:49 PM): Hmm, just Tuesday, was hoping for a new Penny-Arcade.

JulienStraub (11:49:52 PM): Oops. I have to go.

JulienStraub (11:49:59 PM): Penny-Arcade!

JulienStraub (11:50:06 PM): My gaming friends told me about that.

JulienStraub (11:50:08 PM): I never miss it now.

Sean (11:50:14 PM): It rulez.

JulienStraub (11:50:20 PM): 3r33t

Sean (11:50:28 PM): LOL, you know l33t speak!

JulienStraub (11:50:44 PM): I’m on AOL. What do you expect?

Sean (11:50:45 PM): OMG! I thought I was all alone!

Sean (11:50:46 PM): Roxor!

Sean (11:50:49 PM): Heh.

Sean (11:51:19 PM): Alright, take care man, I will chat at you tomorrow I am sure.

“My gaming friends”…peh.

And just for good measure…

JulienStraub (11:14:44 PM): Hello. ^_^

Sean (11:14:50 PM): Hello. ^_^

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay…

Hm. Well. This turned into more of a ramble about Julien than a discussion of my relationship with Dawn ^^;;;; I guess it would be easier to chronicle my friendship with her if I hadn’t seemingly lost all the old chats and emails. :( I don’t know why I didn’t save them. I’ve been saving things like that since 1996. Oh well. I must have lost it all in a format and forgotten to back up beforehand.

Well, I guess I can break the suspense and let the reader know how Dawn found out that I was Julien.

I was having trouble keeping the identities separate after I started talking to Dawn as myself, especially considering how close I had gotten to her as Julien. One day I was telling her about my struggle with cancer, and Dawn paused and then said, “This sounds familiar…”

I froze. I had told Dawn about having cancer as Julien, in email, and completely forgotten! I didn’t want to lie to her (I seem to have no problems with deception as long as I don’t have to actually lie straight out), and so after a moment of consternation, I finally said, “You probably remember it from Julien telling you about it. And I’m Julien.”

I’m sure Dawn almost fell out of her chair…and thus our true and open friendship began :>

Since Dawn and I really started to know each other, our friendship has really deepened and blossomed. I’ve never met her in person, but I can say without a doubt that she is the closest female friend I have. I wanted her to be the maid of honor at my wedding, but unfortunately she couldn’t make it. I told her that she was my maid of honor whether she was there or not, though :)

Since we became friends, I’ve watched Dawn go through some hard times, especially in her relationships. I wish I knew the right thing to do or say to help her find the man for her, but I guess it will just come in time. She seems to attract people who don’t appreciate her…and sadly enough she tends to cling to those people. I guess some of that is natural…women like the ‘strong, silent type’ and would actually rather be dismissed outright by a guy than coddled and pampered by one. But when it goes to the extreme, it’s just hurtful and sad. There needs to be a good balance…two people who know they love each other but who don’t lose their identities and opinions in the process. It’s hard to do, and a lot of it is purely left up to chance. (Who knew I would meet my perfect match in a Robotech chat room?)

I want Dawn to be happy. One of my goals in life once I’m rich ;) is to sponsor Dawn to come to the US. I know she wants to come here and meet everyone. I don’t know that she would necessarily want to stay, and I wouldn’t force her to do anything, but I would love to have her close, so we could hang out in person. It would just be great :>

I sometimes wonder how we would get along in person. She likes to go to clubs and stuff, and she’s a smoker. I imagine she drinks, too, but I’m not sure. Compared to Dawn, I’m pretty boring ^^;; I wonder if she would have fun with me, or if she would need more excitement in her life.

Maybe someday I’ll find out!

Categories
Diary

This is a train! It counts!

Ah,

  • String cheese

that yet isn’t string cheese. (It doesn’t pull off in strings. Being shaped like a log does not make you a string, it makes you a log. Dammit.) Oh, and I’m eating three of these monstrosities. They taste okay.

I wasted my anecdote earlier, because Sam told me I had cheated by not putting one in the post about dinner. I still maintain that that was in fact an anecdote…just a very short one whose core was “I read part of a book.” But regardless, because I posted another story to make him happy, I don’t have any left for this post, which sort of sucks because I have to write something.

I finally did manage to post for the Ghostriders. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The actions were all organized and efficient, so they beat the hell out of the incoming Regults. Now they have to pick up Lynn Kaifun. hehehehehehe.

Sean asked me today if I wanted to finish up Pulp Fiction. I think maybe, now that I know exactly what’s going to happen (because he told me), it might not be so bad to watch the rest. I guess I was reacting to it the same way I react to most horror movies: the tension is just too much for me. I don’t know what the deal with that is. Does it mean that I couldn’t deal with a high-stress working environment? Or are those two things unrelated? (I think I could deal with high stress at work if I enjoyed my job, but who knows?)

Hey, it doesn’t have to be an anecdote…it can be a train of thought. This is a train…see? There are three cars. Four if you count this paragraph, and five if you count the meanderings about cheese. So there!

Categories
Diary Ponderings

Weather

Just a little over two weeks ago, we had a freak hailstorm here in Kentucky…and now it’s eighty degrees (Fahrenheit) and all the trees and Remix flowers are in bloom. It’s amazing.

Sometimes I just have to marvel at weather. It’s cheap nfl jerseys incredible. Somehow, a multitude of varied forces all culminate–either working together or clashing–to bring us the environment that we take for granted. Not only that, but for the most part things are stable, at least here. Sure, you’ll get some wind…but other than that, the air is generally the same temperature as you walk along, and you can’t typically just step into a rainy area. That’s why, when you’re strolling through a moist spot and you hit one of those pockets of either hot or cold air, it’s so surprising. We’re accustomed 6.20.01 to a delicate balance that would be completely thrown off if, say, Luna were wholesale mlb jerseys closer, or our axis of rotation was just a few degrees off, or if we were a little closer to or further away from Sol. But no, asunto our exact positioning at this exact time has allowed life to with emerge.

It’s fantastic.

When I’m not thinking about meteorology :>, I’m typically thinking about…something else. It’s the end of the semester, and I have a stack of papers due as usual. I also have quite a bit of work to do for the good ol’ AMRN, which is nothing new. I need to post, and I need to edit some content. It’ll get done, just not as quickly as I’d like.

I find myself actually looking forward to Episode II, even if its name leaves cheap nfl jerseys the entire universe and then some to be desired. The trailers look good, and the Ain’t It Cool article managed to get me very, very psyched. I’ve tried to tone Ryokou it down, though, Episode I being the Large) massive disappointment that it was. Nothing will cheap mlb jerseys ever equal the original Holy Trilogy, not by a long shot. As long as I keep that in cheap nfl jerseys mind, I’m sure I can enjoy *cringe* Attack of the Clones as what it is likely to be: just another action/scifi vélemények movie.

I wish Ewan would have kept his hair short, though. The mullet he’s sporting as Obi-Wan is just wrong.