Saturday, November 01, 2008


It's Nov 1. Time to start on NaNoWriMo. Which, of course, means, it's time to procrastinate. Why? Because starting on a project like this is scary. Not scary like monsters and tests you didn't study for. But scary because I have to pick ONE projects and carry it through for a whole month!

My situation right now is: I can either choose a project that I've been thinking about for a while, or start a whole new project that I know nothing about.

Advantages of project 1: The Known World.
1. I already have ideas. So in theory it should be easy to develop those into 50k words.
2. It's something I've told someone else about already, and they said "cool." So that provides some additional motivation.

Disadvantages of project 1:
1. I've had long enough to think about it for it to turn into one of those "pet projects" that has to turn out just so or I won't be happy.
2. It's a "collection" idea. A collection of short stories. So in theory it's a bunch of ideas that I would have to work on instead of just one.

Advantages of project 2:
1. Clean slate, with plenty of opportunity for inspiration.
2. No connections to other projects. No pre-set expectation levels.

Disadvantages of project 2:
1. I just did a couple of 30-minute test-writes that yielded some great material. But they were all done before Nov 1, so I can't use those words.* I feel like I used up my good ideas.
2. I feel an attachment to project 1, and want it to happen.

So here's what I'm thinking:
Project 1 has too much emotional attachment. Even though Project 2 has the scariness of a new project, I think Project 1 has too much risk. So I'll try project 2.

Now I just need an idea.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

30 minutes, unedited

I'm going to write for 30 minutes and see what comes out. I had an idea on the way over to the coffee shop, and we'll see what I can make of it.

"Hello Margaret."

"It's Maggie. I've told you that a hundred times. Honestly, professor, I think you do it just to piss me off."

"Margaret, I would never do anything to anger you!" He replied with a rye smile.

"The usual?" She asked. I guess I should have said a dry smile. He'll have a rye smile after that shot. And the next. Honestly, I don't know why he buys the cheap stuff. It's not like money's an issue.

I've seen this guy in here every Friday night for the past year. Well, almost a year. I only moved here ten months ago. Whatever. I got nothing against regulars. If I did, I'd be a hypocrite, wouldn't I? Now, I don't fault the guy for ordering the same thing every time, either. I just don't see why a guy who comes in wearing a brand new several-hundred-dollar suit orders the cheap stuff.

"So, how's things, professor?" She leans over the bar, her ample frame causing the old wood to sag imperceptibly.

"Well damn it Margaret, I need a good librarian and I can't find one anywhere!"

My ears perk up as if someone lit a Q-tip on fire. Maggie knows I'm studying to become a librarian. She also knows I'm out of a job. She's got to point him my way, but I don't know if I want her to. I mean, I'm only half a pint away from being soused. Shit. I try to straighten my collar, but he's already headed over to my lonely corner table.

"Excuse me, sir, but are you Aaron?" The 'professor's' breath reeks of cheap rye whiskey. He's got a low-ball glass of the stuff filled to the brim with one thin token ice chip in it so he can call it "on the rocks."

"Yes. I am." I respond, trying not to look like I've been slouching over beer after beer for the past three hours.

"I uh... Well... Let me introduce myself. My name is Professor Charles Wade." I lift my hand to shake his extended wrinkled hand. I feel like there's a lead weight on the end of my wrist and his grip is like the blacksmith's forge. I pull back sharply, then force a chuckle, hoping I didn't offend him.

"Well, in any case, it's a pleasure to meet you." He continued. "Margaret kindly directed me to you in response to an inquiry I have. You see..."

He's still talking, but I can barely hear him. The beer is roaring between my ears, and the juke box just kicked in, blaring god knows what over the speakers. The background din slowly fades as the professor leans in and talks at me, inches from my face.

"...for a book that no other librarian seems to recognize. But Margaret said you are a little more familiar with things that others are not. That is, your expertise lies in areas not usually pursued by those in the library profession."

Oh geez. What did Maggie tell this weirdo? I pulled over a chair from the next table and offered the professor a seat.

"Look, uh..."

"You can call me Charles."

"Look, Charles, I don't know what Maggie told you, but I'm not a librarian. I'm still in school studying librarianship. I've got two years left of school before I can get a job just putting books back on the shelf. If you're looking for a lib--"

When he pulled out that drawing it was like he sucker-punched me in the gut. All my breath left me. My vision narrowed. All I could see was his crumpled napkin stained with spilled whiskey and feathering, bleeding, black ink. He read my reaction like a book.

"You understand now why I need you and not any other librarian."

"No. No I don't understand. You don't need me. You need someone who specializes in tracking down rare and out of print books. Have you tried the web? No wait. You don't need that. What you need is someone who can find books that don't exist. That and a good shrink."

I slammed the rest of my beer and instantly regretted it. The bolus, too large for my throat, made me ache for minutes afterward.

"No. Wait." I lurched forward, snatching the napkin from him. "I'll... I'll see what I can do."

He smiled. Yellow. That was his smile. All yellow. Gums: yellow. Teeth: yellow. Dear god even his tongue looked yellow. Maybe it was the light. Maybe it was the booze. Maybe I should've called it quits an hour ago. Gone home before this guy ever walked in.

He handed me a small card. Printed in embossed black ink on an ivory stock was written "Professor Charles Wade, esoteric philosophy, antiquarian. 10 West Road."

Shit. I looked up from his card as I fumbled it into my pocket. Shit. Why was I letting this deranged old man fill my head with wacky ideas. He didn't know me. I didn't know him. Why should I listen to anything he had to say? He reached for the napkin on the table again.

"Wait. Ok. So you want me to look for some weird book. What am I supposed to be looking for?"

"It's a journal. A diary. You are familiar with Honoré Fragonard?"

I nodded. "The erotic painter or his... "artistic" cousin, the anatomist?"

"The latter. You see, no one has ever been able to exactly duplicate his methods. Certainly we have more efficient and easier ways of preserving specimens now. But there is a certain... how shall I put this? There is a certain charm to his methods that is lost in the cold science of today."

"So you want me to dig up this guy's scientific journals so you can recreate what he did?"

"Exactly!" He took a victorious swig of whiskey as if I had just handed him the diaries he wanted.

"Well, it's not that easy, friend. First off, this guy lived in, what, the 18th century? Next, there are historians, scientists, biographers, and god knows who else, with access to inexhaustible resources, who haven't found these papers yet. What makes you think I stand a chance at finding what hundreds of other people, better trained people, haven't been able to find in over 200 years?"

"This." He slipped a well-worn manilla envelope across the table.

I eyed him suspiciously. He clearly didn't think this was any sort of clandestine operation. I mean, he just handed me his trump card in the middle of a crowded, if poorly-lit, bar in Uptown. I lifted the flap, watching him for a reaction. I didn't get one.

"Look. At least buy me a beer, man."

He stood up and walked off to the bar. No doubt to buy me the cheapest swill on tap. I quickly snatched the napkin and jammed it into my pocket. No way I was letting that out of my sight.

Bastard probably had another one or the original copy. He was probably stupid enough to have it with him. Probably in one of the pockets of that tweed jacket. I could get friendly, offer to walk him out of the bar, lead him quietly to the back alley and jump him. Take whatever he had with him. Drawings, sketches, money. I needed money, but not that bad. And whatever this guy had on him wasn't going to be anything I could sell. Even if there were a buyer, I'd never trust anyone who'd want to buy... this.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Prep for NaNoWriMo

In preparation for National Novel Writing Month, I thought I'd see how many words I could write in a half hour, without really having an idea of what I was going to write until I started writing.

The answer? 923 words written in a half hour of my lunch break. "Exuberant Imperfection" was the goal. Write quick, dirty, and without self-editing or censoring. Simply write. For quantity, not quality. I think I hit the backspace button only a few times, moved one set of words a half-sentence forward to make more sense. But other than that, this is the final, raw product. Enjoy.

“This is a test. This is only a test. If this had been an actual emergency . . .”

“We’d all be dead already,” Jeff grumbled. His chair groaned as he leaned back and thudded his feet on top of his desk. The blinking red light just above the monitor reminded him to flick off the security switch and deactivate the alarm test.

Meanwhile images of people trudging back into the building danced across dozens of television screens. The closed circuit surveillance system was supposedly state of the art. When it was built. In 1976. But now there were more than a dozen “blind” sectors where the cameras existed only as obsolete wall-hangings.

It’s not like a building like this actually needed all that security. Only twenty stories tall, and dwarfed by the neighboring skyscrapers, Maditech Inc. scarcely merited a security department as big as it had. Two dozen employees wore the navy blue and green uniform of a Maditech Security Specialist.

“Bullshit.” Jeff spat as he punched a few keys and brought the image from monitor A1-G onto the big screen. There he could see in all their grainy, blurry, depravity, Lorna and Michael fucking in the bottom of stairwell A1. The maintenance storage closet.

Michael was not an attractive man. Neither was Jeff, but at least Jeff was somewhat in shape. He wasn’t “ripped” but you could tell from looking at him that there was muscle under his bulk. Mike, on the other hand, looked like there was more bulk under his bulk.

“Like a fucking soap opera.” Jeff laughed and reached for his walkie-talkie – another relic from 1976. “Steve, you wanna handle the lovebirds this time?”

“Copy that. One cold shower coming up.” Buzzed back the voice on the radio.

Seconds later, Jeff nearly fell out of his chair laughing, when the silver fire sprinklers drenched the illicit rendez-vous in a frigid downpour. He knew he’d probably have to file an incident report, and somehow gum up the sprinkler system in that section to make it look like an accident. But hell, a little monkey-work to pay for hilarity like this? “So worth it.” Jeff mouthed to himself.

Maditech Inc. was founded in 1974 by John Thames. It quickly grew through the 1980’s manufacturing computer parts. In late 1990 it was bought out by a much larger company in California, and all production moved West. But the company headquarters remained in Minneapolis.

Back in 1985, Maditech bought the building in which it currently houses it’s main operations. The higher-ups declined to do any sort of renovations on the building. Instead they renovated the company to fit the building.

New departments were created. Old departments were gutted or split. Employees were promoted or demoted for no reason other than Maditech needed someone in the corner office on floor 15 and that department didn’t have anybody qualified for that kind of office.

Michael Turning, wet and cold, was one of those promotions. He had worked in accounts receivable for only two months before the move. And when he got to the new office, he was surprised to see his name engraved on a brass plate on the plywood door to the large office on the 14th floor.

Jeff, on the other hand, was one of the unexpected demotions. He had formerly been Head of Security for Maditech in their warehouse-like offices on the other side of town. When the company moved and Jeff got to the new building, he found a slew of new hires in his department. And not one veteran security specialist at Maditech outranked the new kids. That’s just what they were. The oldest among them was 25. And the seven new hires had a combined total experience in security of less than seven years.

Jeff Storch was 38 when the company moved. He was pushing 60 now. These days he didn’t mind being a Security Specialist II. The pay was good. He had seniority, so he got to work the day shift. And the benefits package was staggering.

He’d done the math. If he were injured on the job – nothing life-threatening even, just a broken arm – and couldn’t work for six weeks, he’d get the equivalent of three months’ pay. He’d only collected on that once, and he hadn’t even been injured.

In early May, 1998, when he was still working night shifts, Jeff had been making a sweep of the 16th floor before heading home for the night. He saw a light on in an office that should have been empty. He radioed for backup, not because he needed the help, but because he knew the other guys were probably so bored they’d appreciate the excitement. When Jeff threw open the door, Tommy and Greg rushed in.

There, sitting behind Mrs. Swok’s desk, was a strange man dressed in a dull gray suit, smoking a cigarette and letting the ash fall all over the desk. The three guards approached the man and gently led him out the front door onto the street. For his part, the stranger was polite and friendly. He even offered the guys a cigarette.

The next day, Jeff received a note in his mailbox. “Meet me in my office. – Dave Lorach”

The meeting was brief. Jeff was told he’d been working exceptionally hard, and his commitment was appreciated. “We just want to make sure that you stay healthy, Jeff. We need you well-rested. You are officially on vacation for the week. When you return, your post will be waiting. With a pay raise.”

Monday, August 11, 2008

Honoré Fragonard

Inspired by the question "Where would your investigator look for information about ghouls?" thread over at, I was inspired to look up Honoré Fragonard again. I find the man fascinating and would love to get my hands on any sort of biographical information I can find. Unfortunately it seems there is very little. I think I may have to visit a medical library or similarly specialized library to find much.

In the meantime, I have this biography from the Honoré Fragonard Museum. And there is the French Wikipedia article as well, which I have translated (roughly) for the aforementioned YSDC thread.

What I find most fascinating is that he made his Écorchés not only for scientific purposes, but for artistic and entertainment and money! He sold many to aristocrats to help furnish their Curiosities Cabinets.

And then when he tried to collect all of his works in one place he was foiled! People, both of science and the aristocracy, wanted them too much to see them displayed in a museum. So there are only 21 specimens that have survived at École National Vétérinaire d'Alfort, and one or two other at other museums and universities. But he made around 50 or more! Where are those other 30?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Storytelling Assignment: Your Own Story

For next session we are to write and prepare to tell a story of our own. It is supposed to be a story about us, featuring us, or a friend, a relative, a family story. I wonder if I could use one or some of my dad's stories about George the Squirrel. Probably not, since I'm supposed to write the story myself. But maybe I could do a story in the style of George? That's just one idea.

Our professor gave us several prompts. Many of them sparked memories that would make for great stories, I think.

I'll have to give this assignment some thought. There are so many possible stories about myself and others that I could tell, and I want to pick the best one.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Creative Writing Prompt #46

Writing prompt #46: In 200 words, describe a hot day

Attempt #1: fiction. 212 words.
It’s the kind of heat that sticks to you like the tar softening in the streets. The humid, damp, soaking grip of Minnesota summer. Sure, it’s not as hot as summers further south, but like we say, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

But what I’m really thinking right now is who the hell gets married outside in this kind of weather? What bride says “I want to wilt in the sun front of my friends and family”? At least she gets to wear white – she doesn’t care if they talk – the groom is wearing a black wool suit. I don’t know if I pity him more for having to suffer through the heat or the years to come.

Dark, solid, heavy rainclouds taunt us from the edge of the horizon. The relief that rain would bring is far away, and “just skirting around the metro area.” I hate weathermen. I swear if you just put them outside to do the forecast on days like this their pretty little plastic smiles would melt and drip down their face.

It’s too hot to be this angry. I fan myself with the wedding program, dreaming of the indoor, open-bar, reception. “Two gin and tonics, please.” I can already tasty the icy pine tree.

Attempt #2: embellished non-fiction. 203 words.
We were gathered around the great bonfire in our full uniforms. Each Boy Scout adorned with his merit badge sash, proudly displaying his accomplishes. The ripples of the lake lapping at the shore just beyond the clearing were the only sounds. We, the newest initiates into the Order of the Arrow, had sworn ourselves to silence for the duration of our induction weekend. Now that weekend was coming to a close.

Our fellow scouts, senior members of the Order, had taken on the traditional garb of American Indian tribes from our region and marched slowly past the many concentric rings of initiates towards the raging flames.

My uniform clung to me tightly, stuck in place by the glue that was the sheets of sweat pouring out of my body after digging post holes and building fences in the blazing sun. As I stared into the fire I couldn’t help wondering what it felt like to pass out from heat stroke. What it would look like to others as I dropped to my knees. What it might feel like when my head started to spin and I barely managed to get my arms in front of my face before it collided with the ground.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Storytelling Essay

I'm taking a storytelling course. For one of the assignments I need to write an essay. I need to brainstorm a bit, so I'll do it here.

The topic of the essay is "storytelling" in the broadest sense. We can write on anything related to storytelling. I think I want to write about storytelling as it appears in my life.

What does that mean? Well, storytelling mostly shows up in my life in two forms: jokes and RPGs. How do I turn that into an essay?

I suppose I could compare telling stories to telling jokes. The selection, learning, and telling processes are pretty much identical. Jokes are (usually) just short stories with (hopefully) humorous punch lines as the endings. Each joke can be changed and retold in the teller's own way. There are good joke tellers and bad ones.

RPGs are where it gets a little tougher for me. To me an RPG is a collaborative, participatory, storytelling or story performance event. The Game Master (GM) selects a story and learns it, then begins telling the story to the players. But as the game progresses control of the story and the role of storyteller passes to different people at different times.

In some ways it is similar to when a Storyteller has audience members participate in the telling of a story. For example, in "Who's in Rabbit's House?" the storyteller can have several audience members take on the roles of the animals who come along to help Rabbit. In an RPG, the players are invited to take on the roles of characters in the story. However, there is a major difference. In "Who's in Rabbit's House" the participating audience members do not get to choose how their animals help, or decide that they don't want to help. In an RPG, the players and their characters have a much stronger and more direct impact on how the story develops and changes.

Looking back two paragraphs I see a great essay thesis: “an RPG is a collaborative, participatory, storytelling or story performance event.” To make it a complete essay I should probably touch on topics like: how is it similar to and different than a “traditional” storytelling event? How can RPGs be used in story hours? What purpose can they serve?

Hmm… do I really want to discuss the purpose of RPGs outside of entertainment?

Where was I? Right… RPGs as collaborative storytelling.
  • Storytelling in my life = Jokes & Collaborative
    • Jokes since a young age
      • Family - witty, one-liners, groaners
      • Earl - the story joke
    • Collaborative Stories
      • "Choose Your Own Adventure" with Dad
      • Play/imagination
    • RPGs
  • Jokes as short tales
    • Selection is the same: audience, language, content
    • Learning is the same: learn episodes, memorize only important phrases
    • Telling is the same: can be good/bad, make it your own
  • RPGs as collaborative telling
    • Selection is the same
    • Learning is the same
      • Learn episodes, don't memorize - things will change
    • Telling is similar with variations
      • Similarities
        • Set the mood, keep players interested
        • Can be formal, informal, telling, or performance
        • Need to plan for "event": ups, downs, tension and release, etc.
      • Differences
        • Level of participation is greater in RPG
        • RPG. Game. The purpose is mostly entertainment, escape.
  • How to use participatory collaborative stories?
    • [[refer to textbook]]

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Prize Pictures

See previous post for explanation.

I win!

I got my prize on Monday! The leatherbound copy of Trail of Cthulhu.

"You are the first, and hence have boasting rights.
-Simon Rogers"

Yeah! The first!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


The other night I had a very powerful, enjoyable, and distinctly Lovecraftian dream.

I was driving with my girlfriend, brother, and cousin, around an underground parking ramp looking for a spot. Up ahead I saw a sign which simply read "He!" with an arrow pointing into a dark alcove.

I knew exactly what "He!" meant. It was for Hastur. He who shall not be named. I knew it was an art show featured works by artists influenced, inspired, and affected by The King in Yellow.

I turned and parked and led our group into that dimly lit alcove to a glass door beyond which the gallery stood waiting. Inside it was simply a long hallway that bent at right angles, winding around like a maze. Every inch of every wall was covered with fancifully framed fantastic paintings with images of the Tattered King, the city of Carcossa, the Lake of Hali, Aldebarran, Taurus, the Hyades.

It was thrilling, exciting, amazing. I was ecstatic. My companions were less that pleased. My girlfriend seemed impatient, my brother was bored, and my cousin gibbered madly in a corner.

That was about when I woke up.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Keeper's Cupboard 4 - FINISHED!

I just finished doing the layout and converting to a .pdf file! Woohoo! I'm just waiting on PoC regarding permission for some art, and then I'll send it off to Ye Olde Yoggie.

I think this scenario is almost good enough to be published. The audience is a little too specific to have universal appeal, so I think I'll pass on trying to submit it to any RPG companies (let them come to me!). So it should be available soon on We shall see!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Great Morning

First: Last night's dream

I don't remember much, except that I was on an archaeological expedition in Egypt when I suddenly found myself hiding in a very narrow cave. It was quite wide, but so short that I had to lay flat on my stomach. Hiding in the cave with me was an older man and his daughter who was blind. I started talking to the girl in French, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, and German. In real life I'd only be able to hold a decent conversation in French, use minimal halting Hebrew, and say "hello" in any of the other languages. Somehow in this dream I was fluent in all of them.

The next scene I can remember was the girl leading me into an underground complex as we fled from the Black Wind avatar of Nyarlathotep. We were fleeing underground in search of the Dark Mother (Shub Niggurath) to seek her aid in defeating Nyarlathotep and prevent the end of the world. The only other inhabitants of the cave were strange hulking monstrosities with huge mining drills as arms.

We found Shub Niggurath on a metal catwalk spanning a deep lava-filled chasm. She was an old wizened woman, stooped over, and looking very feeble. Yet when we intoned the proper prayer (I wish I could remember the words!) she grew to an immense height, filling the cavern with her presence. We felt, rather than saw, Nyarlathotep's avatar fleeing from the power of Shub Niggurath, racing for the exit of the cave. As the girl and I also fled, fearing a collapse of the cave, we sealed Nyarlathotep inside. The last image before I woke up was one of an invisible fist desperately clawing at the cave walls, only managing to strike twice before Shub Niggurath dispelled the evil.

Where did this dream come from? Most likely a combination of things. Nyarlathotep likely appeared because I've been listening to the Yog Radio podcast audio game of "Masks of Nyarlathotep." Shub Niggurath was probably conjured from my reading HPL's "The Whisperer in Darkness." The drill-bit monsters seemed remarkably similar to the "Big Daddys" in BioShock on the Xbox 360. But where did the girl come from? And my polyglot abilities? And the thematic good v. evil elements of the dream?

It was truly a great adventure of a dream, very exciting and enjoyable and it left me in a good mood when I awoke.

Then, this morning I found out that one of the captions I had submitted in the Pelgrane Press Caption Competition made it to the final four! So vote for #3 Here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Keeper's Cupboard 4

I'm very excited about how this episode of The Keeper's Cupboard (KC) is coming along. I gave myself a great prompt, based on the theme of Yog-Radio 30: A 10th Anniversary tribute scenario for From that prompt I've got a fun scenario concept. Now I just have to get down to the nitty-gritty "work" part of writing.

I've laid out the clues, the "what's going on," and general motivations for NPC's. What I need to do now is arrange/place the clues and create a well-defined storyline that will be clear enough for other Keepers to follow, and with enough clues and mystery to be fun and intriguing for players.

Once I've got that, I'll send a copy off to a few people for proof-reading and playtesting. I want this to be ready to release by June 15th (YR 30 is tentatively slated for mid-late June) so that I will have enough time to record the audio for KC #4 and get it to PoC with enough time for him to get it into YR 30.

Any RPG writers out there with tips, tricks, suggestions, feel free to contact me. I could use the help ;-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Terrible dreams, night of 5/19/2008

Maybe it was too much rootbeer at our tasting. Maybe it was a half-empty bed. Maybe I was nervous and excited for Kelcie's interview, too. Maybe there was a thunderstorm. In any case, last night's dreams made it nearly impossible to get any rest.

The first dream I remember began with me working at the University Book Store. I was watching myself from a third-person perspective as I went about my normal tasks. The scene faded out and was replaced with a view of the sky as thick black ominous clouds roiled and rolled over each other, plowing across the entire skyline. In that way that dreams have of offering more information than the senses can perceive, I knew that this was the end.

The skies roared and unleashed their fury on the land. Back inside the bookstore people were running around frantically as the water level began to rise. I remember seeing a basement store room afloat with boxes and debris, and seeing someone floating face down, unmoving.

When the storm finally passed, we began to gauge the damage. Everything was destroyed. To call it "devestation" would be putting it lightly. Then, as if watching from the lens of a television news camera, I saw myself talking to Duane. Instead of being the manager of the bookstore, he was my supervisor at some sort of mechanical shop. He kept smiling, but his eyes were full of tears. He said that instead of trying to rebuild this business, he would give it up for lost and start a new business in a new trade in a new town. I don't know why, but there was something in that scene that suggested everyone was adopting this policy. And it made me feel incredibly sad and indefinably disappointed; everyone was giving up, discarding their old life in the meek hope that there would be something better. Or something at all.

I spent an hour awake after that dream confused, upset, and oddly terrified.

The second disturbing dream of the night is now almost humorous to me. I don't remember the entire dream, only one scene. In it my vision was filled with an impenetrable blackness and the face of Adele [one of our good friends]. But this image was twisted and distorted, shrouded in red, consumed with evil. Were there horns on her head or am I "remembering" that into the dream? One thing I am sure of was the overwhelming sense of menace and terror in that scene. But now that I think back on it, I almost laugh. After all, Adele as the face of evil? That's ridiculous.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Have You Seen Me?

I found this way back when and now I can't find the digital original. All I have is this bookmark I made of it, and it's fading fast. So here's hoping someone out there in the aether can help me find the original!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wedding Reception Menu

We rent out the reading room of the library for weddings, receptions, events, etc. I found this intriguing and hilarious menu from a wedding reception held last weekend.

I wonder how one serves "child." I would think rare, or perhaps served like veal.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ageing my book

Thanks to Altricaj over on YSDC for the link to a website that turns new photos into old-timey wonders. My book of the Yellow Sign looks much more impressive 80 years ago, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Dream, night of 3/31/2008

The Dream:
I don't remember a lot about this dream except that it was of the extra-confusing sort. The kind in which I went through a number of levels of sleep, dreaming, and wakefulness all while still physically asleep. I shall try to give some of the flashes that I remember.

At some point in my dream I was surrounded by strange faces speaking a language I could not understand. Later I was standing with several other children - we were all teens - talking about something frightful in hushed voices. It seems that all of us were cursed with nocturnal unconscious teleportation. I wish I could remember the term they used, for it conveyed a mystical and saintly ability. It was then that the faces and odd languages made sense. In my sleep I had teleported to somewhere in Russia and was greeted and believed to be a saint.

When I looked around next, the children were all gone, and I was standing in the entryway of a great cyclopean building of stone construction. I got the distinct impression that it was a sort of temple long since passed into disuse. Around me were my family, my paternal grandparents, and my girlfriend. We all boarded a large pontoon boat and sailed out onto a vast black lake.

I don't know what could have triggered this dream or where these images came from. Looking back at dreams for meaning is rather chancy, since there is a tendency to reverse impose images, thoughts, and concepts that weren't there initially.

For example: when I think back on the temple now, I think of an image in the Trail of Cthulhu RPG. However, I know that's not what the temple in my dream really looked like. I know that something happened on the pontoon boat that involved my grandfather, but I don't remember it, and when I try to recall it I get the distinct impression I'm imagining something that wasn't there to begin with.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

D&D in honor of E. Gary Gygax

I just learned his first name was Ernest. He seemed like a friendly guy and it's a shame he's gone. Yes yes, I know it's late to talk about this as it happened over a week ago, but tomorrow I'll be running a session of Basic DnD, first ed. both to honor Mr. Gygax, and to try to recapture the fun I had playing AD&D 2nd ed. as a kid.

I will be running Palace of the Silver Princess (B3), which I downloaded from the Wizards of the Coast website. It seems like a pretty basic dungeon crawl with some good tricks. We'll have a small group tomorrow (DM + 2 players) because two players had a schedule conflict. That's ok, we'll play next time (I'm excited to get started on Harris' Unknown Armies campaign).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Scary Dream, Night of 3/13/08

I don't remember the details, just the overall feeling.

I know it began with Kelcie and I walking down a forest road. As we came to an intersection I was almost knocked over by a passing biker. Enraged, I yelled after him, shaking my fist. Kelcie looked at me, worry written on her face.


"Who are you yelling at?"

"That biker. He almost knocked me over!"

"Sam, there's no one there."

Of course when I looked, she was right. There hadn't been any biker.

This theme repeated itself again and again. I would get almost violently angry with someone, almost coming to blows, and Kelcie, increasingly disturbed by my actions, would show me that there was no one there.

I remember at one point trying to convince her, or perhaps it was some sort of official (a policeman perhaps?) that I wasn't just seeing things, that these people were there. I remember arguing with them, desperately trying to show them I was right, I was sane. Of course, that's when I realized the official wasn't really there. Neither was Kelcie. I was all alone. With hundreds of people around me who weren't really there either.