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Eggs and Endorphins

Higgledy Piggeldy, Joshua Kronengold

7/12/16 11:26 pm - Some questions you might find odd if you don't know the context

"I used incense and now there's a cloud of dust around me. Is this normal?"

"If I throw a ball, can I get it back?"

"Where do balls go when I throw them?"

"How do berries work?"

"Why are there clouds of flowers everywhere? Is everyone else just made of money? Or is there some source for flowers I don't know about?"

"Is it true that you can find more water creatures near water? I found some carp and crabs on the dock. But I can't find any creatures in the water; is that right?"

"Why are there always so many rats and bats around?"

"Can I change my clothes? I've been walking around in the same clothes for days, and I'm getting bored with them, but if there's a way, I don't know how to do it."

"I've got great balls. Should I save them until things get hard? Or should I try to use them on everything to save time?"

"Can I use gyms to get stronger? Or do I need to get stronger somewhere else and only go back to a gym when I'll be the strongest one there?"

"What happens if your're actively doing something in a gym when another team takes it over? Is it easier to take over a gym or to go there to train?"

"I know how to take pictures, but how do I find them and look at them afterwards?"

"Are there ways to get money without spending money on it?"

(Mostly a collaboration between YT and drwrong)

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7/5/16 12:36 am - For those following Namesakes

I kinda dashed it off, but so it goes.

Trying to Forget

I gorge on poppies, stamens down to roots.
They fill me up, and yet I do not sleep.
My magic spent on hats and jumping boots,
But in my mind, the fears and doubts still creep.
I know my past: my sisters, ere the fall
(Despite my pain, my eyes no longer weep)
Before their deaths, that we created all.
I wish for death, and so this tea I steep.
Forgetfulness can't last, but it might ease
The weight of all this past, but it's not cheap:
My eyes, my magic, bounties that might please,
The folk of Oz, but truly it's no leap
To see that it's my sorrow that's the cause
Of everything that's wonderful (and terrible) in Oz.

Prompts: What's most recently been happening in the Namesakes webcomic (http://namesakecomic.com/comic/trying-to-forget), and the first post, "Forgetfulness, sleep, poppies...", which I decided to take as a poetry prompt.

(Edit to fix the punctuation and clean it up a bit; the original poem was very much a single stream of consciousness in less then 10 minutes, with occasional pauses to find a rhyme word).

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6/16/16 02:22 am - On Maho Shoujo anime/manga

So, I was asked by an acqaintance if I had any reccomendations for magical girl anime/manga. Since I've been (in between everything -else- I've been doing), working on a magical girl Apocalypse World game (with some collaborators, who have been doing great work while I'm in a fallow "working on everything but" period), I wrote back...maybe a bit too much. Fortnately I'm tired, or I might not have stopped at 5 recomendations.

Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon are in some ways the best and most central of those I've seen. Sailor Moon of course established the "Magical Girl fighting" manga/anime genre; Cardcaptor is very different in many ways (it's Clamp, for one thing; one of their few non-tragic series), but in both cases, the series brilliantly mix home life, school life, and the magical world, making all of them important, and in both series, love is central. Cardcaptor is pretty long; around 72 episodes for the first two seasons [which are really one story]; Sailor Moon is super-long, with something like 300 episodes over 5 seasons, but they use the length not just for variable length stock footage transformation/attack sequences (actually, Sailor Moon does this a lot; Cardcaptor goes against type and comes up with an excuse for the heroine's costume to change every episode, so while the poses are stock, the outfit is different every time), but for building up character development and relationship notes that can be gloriously cashed in later. Of course, every series has its own arc and mini-arcs within those, but there are definately notes that are saved up until the end before being cashed in.

Nanoha is a very odd but good mix; a series that's designed for an adult audience despite fairly young protagonist. It's still basically about love, but they spend a lot more attention than the average making the fight scenes and magic make in-world sense rather than just moral/emotional sense. It has 3 series; each one has its own unities, but each is very different from the next; in the first, you've got a semi-typical "young girl gets powers, alies" opening; but in the second the relationships are all mixed up and it's more of a mystery plot. In the third series, the main characters are grown up and training their own proteges, so the action is bigger and the training and secondary characters get to take more central stage, while the established characters show off their more mature strengths and get to act against powerful foes while they are at their peak, rather than the more typical "growth character faces off against dark lord; wins via luck, aid, and moral certitude".

Madoka and Revolutionary Girl Utena are great examples of the postmodern side of the genre. Madoka is very short, very dark, and brilliant; there's not that much more I can say about it without spoilers, but it's great on many levels. Revolutionary Girl Utena is...the emotional side of the genre broken down to its base level; from its central genderfuck (key premise: A young girl is saved by a prince; she grows up to teenager-hood and decides she will accomplish her goal in emulation: She will become a prince too!), to the core formula of someone's central emotional crisis resulting in them challenging Utena to a duel, which, naturally, is far more about arguments and metaphor than actual swordplay.

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5/7/16 03:45 pm - Meanwhile, a con report: Rainbowcon

So as long as I'm doing a touch of backed up blogging before doing the necessary things (which is to say, upgrading our cleaning supplies and other things hilight by the recent plumbing disaster; see the last post), I might as well do a short con report -- because Rainbowcon, last weekend, was -amazing-.

Steve Savitsky and company held a tiny house filk convention (a tiny convention; not a tiny house; just to be clear; the convention was in the house) last weekend. I'd known about it for a year, after it was announced in the wake of the wedding in the same site last year, but we'd dragged our heels on committing, given that it was across the country and also likely to be tiny. And it was going to be expensive, given that it was fairly last-min, and we were low on cope after our move. On the other hand, I'd been an unofficial advisor, encouraging the organizers to go super-low on programming to accomidate the gap in "filk relaxacons" that can let filkers hang out together without a lot of must-make programming.

And you know? It was -amazing-, and I'm glad we went. The con guests were Decadent Dave Clement (who I admit I've always been somewhat intimidated by, but who is -amazing-, both personally and as a performer) and Tim and Annie Walker (who we've seen back and forth at different filk cons over the years when our across-the-pond paths crossed, and got to connect with, finally, at Loncon in 2014.

We decided to go out on stupid-early Friday morning (ie, a 4AM flight, without more than an hour of sleep between us before the flight), so we spent a bunch of time recovering before making it over to the con itself; at the con, I voted in (and was mostly outvoted, which was fair, since I didn't attend much programming) the programmed workshops, had something dinner-ish (con-provided in the excellent kitchen con suite by Colleen; extremely impressive given that it was, for most, a free con), listened to, danced to, and sang from the audience at Dave's concert, then chatted and socialized until the evening filk -- a modified poker chip bardic where you got three chips (blue > red > white x 2), and weren't limited to not using your later colors until after the early colors were used up; instead, earlier colors were higher priority and would "trump" later colors, but you had to use your colors in order rather than saving your blue chip until you -really- wanted to go. I loved this format, and loved this circle, however short; we'd intended to tuck in early, but as it happened we ended up sticking around until we'd each used up, IIRC, 3 chips (ie, gone 3 times) and it was after 1AM.

On Saturday, we slept in (this might be a pattern), missing the early workshop session; I don't remember much of this session, but I know it involved a Stan Rogers singalong by Dave, Annie leading a vocal/harmony workshop (where I decided to sing soprano--because I could (the soprano part was pretty low and my head voice is reasonably strong) and because we were heavy on basses and tenors and light on sopranos, Tim and Annie's excellent concert (we didn't dance as much as we had at Dave's concert, but this was mostly due to being too relaxed), much socializing and food, and the evening concert (which was a bit of a low-ebb, although still pleasant; it started late enough that the announced format; cats cradle, was way overkill; we barely had enough performers to maintain a chaos filk, so we mostly never got a queue of more than 2 people (and that only by effort), and eventually stopped passing around the yarn ball entirely before the filk ended.

Sunday? Sunday, well, we also slept in (who didn't see this one coming?), and hung around, mostly chatting with a bit of filking, until the jam/closing ceremonies started. The Jam was a lot of fun; we had just enough instrumentalists that it was solid, but not so many that it felt like (as you do at OVFF) that you're lost in the crowd and your individual contribution cannot be heard, much less be a full part of the ouvre. We'd planned at this point to slink into the night, since we had a red-eye going back to NYC (after all, this is how I manage other-coast conventions without losing more days of work than I want to), but it turned out that the dead dog dinner was near the airport, so we were able to spend a precious few more hours with people before we had to drop off our bags and wait for our plane (particularly Stephen Schwartz, who I've been second order connected to for -years-, but only briefly bumped into at a few events for the last 18 years or so we've known the other exist; also planning to do a 4 player online Fiasco game that we really should set up and plane).

Will we be back next year? Well, it's still an open question; a lot depends on how Contata planning is going; we'll either be at the end of our rope or really, really need the break, I'm guessing. But assuming we have the budget? Absolutely. When you get down to it, this tiny con gives you -more- than you get from a larger con. Of course, if enough people decide that this is a good idea, maybe some day it won't be as small a con, but as long as the concept stays largely the same it will likely have a lot more of a "small con" vibe than a con that's designed to be a larger filk convention cut down a few sizes (like the NEfilks, which as much as I love them, tend to go with "yes please" on programming).

Pros: Yes, there are some. With an intimate setting like this, you get to spend more time with more of them individually, so there's less of "traveling to hang out with people you hang out with all the time"). The hosts were amazing and gracious. The con was in many ways far more relaxed than a larger con (even GaFilk, which tries to be as "filk reclaxicon as it can given its size) can ever be. I had lots of chances to also rock a shaker egg and my bass voice (I even ended up walking over near Dave, who was singing a bass line on a song, at one point, so we could hear each other better and choose different lines) rather than accidentally colliding all the time)

Cons: Yes, it was one. Next year there will probably be a slightly smoother way of disseminating the program, since there was one even if it was relatively minimal. I brought my little harpsicle SE, rather than a fiddle--which would normally be the right decision except that as I'd forgotten, they'd rented a lovely 36 string Dusty Strings for Annie which she was totally willing to let me use whenever she wasn't using it, so if I'd brought a fiddle I'd have been able to play fiddle -and- harp as appropriate. It was too short, and we weren't able to attend the dead dog filk. On my way out of the dead dog, I had a brain fart and forgot Dave's name (because my brain does stuff like this), so ended up skipping over saying goodbye (and circled back and did so a minute or so later after my secondary search engine had gone online and searched, appropriately, against "Decadent.")); whooops/ack.

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5/7/16 02:51 pm - My morning

Woke up at 10AM--had a rest of three or four hours.
Woke up at 10AM--was just pulled out of my bower,
I wished I was sleepin'--or at least wearing shoes,
I've got the backed up plumbing, first floor apartment blues.

I started bailing; filling up buckets and plastic cans,
Yeah, I started bailing, gross as it was, it all-hands,
It was unavailing--I was Sisyphus--doomed to lose,
It was the backed-up plumbing, first floor apartment blues.

I thought it was our fault--that we'd left the water on,
Yeah, I thought it was our fault; our home insurance would be gone,
Then I saw the bathtub, it looked just like a big loo,
We had the backed-up plumbing, first floor apartment blues.

We called the super, he took one look and went away.
Yeah, called the super, but with our problem he wouldn't stay,
I cursed that pooper, then it flowed like a transfus-ion
He'd cleared the blockage--that caused our first-floor blues.

It wasn't over--the floor was covered in dirt,
No, it wasn't over; my back was starting to hurt,
He brought back a hoover, and sucked up most of that dread stew,
It was finally ending, our backed-up plumbing blues,
All done, but the cleaning--our backed-up pluming, first floor apartment blues.


Yeah, this morning was a bit interesting. I knew people said that first floor apartments were prone to flooding, but nobody mentioned the idea that it wasn't -outside- flooding you had to worry about (we're actually above the garage, so that's not such a big deal for us) as that you're the early warning signal when the plumbing goes haywire. Also, gross.

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3/25/16 03:14 pm - This post was too long, but like Cruz's bible, this is just the good parts

Since nobody else seems to have beaten me to the punch (and why not? Even if his sex life is none of our business, his platform -makes- it our business, as do his Princess Bride impressions):

People keep wondering how Cruz got 5 women to sleep with him that weren't his wife. I'm guessing he took Miracle Pills. Or maybe they had the wine in front of him (Sorry, tried really hard to not make this a rape joke, but it writes itself :( )

Cruz keeps talking about "family values." I do not think those words mean what he thinks they mean.

Before this scandal broke, Cruz's campaign was only mostly dead. Now the only thing we can really do is go through it's pockets for loose change. Like these jokes.

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3/5/16 02:01 am - "We're gonna miss him"

Inspired by a line from [dreamwidth.org profile] satyrblade

This song is -shamelessly- political. And decidedly time-bound, but hey, now's the time.

March, 2016 ("We're gonna miss him")
© 2016 Joshua Kronengold
(to the tune of "You're gonna miss me", Lulu and the Lampshades)

Obama's got less than a year to go,
Some people think he's on his way.
And I sure would like to send a lot of company,
Send some congress with him for the U-S-A.

When he's gone,
When he's gone,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone,
We'll miss his jokes made with aplomb,
We'll miss his air of peace and calm,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone.

Me and my friends are registered to vote,
For those that we like both old and new,
We've got ones who make us shiver,
We've got ones who makes us quiver,
But I sure wish we had Obama too,

When he's gone,
When he's gone.
We're gonna miss him when he's gone.
It's been a lovely seven years,
It's been full of right-wing tears,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone

The primary race has been a lot of fun,
With too many double-takes to list,
We've got a race that's kind of tight,
And a clown-car on the right,
But it's not for them that I sing this song,

When he's gone (when he's gone)
When he's gone (when he's gone)
We're gonna miss him when he's gone.
We'll miss the way he fills a tux,
And the year he gave no...buckets,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone.

When he's gone,
When he's gone,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone,
We'll miss his jokes made with aplomb,
We'll miss his air of peace and calm,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone.

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1/13/16 03:00 pm - Moved

I am now a home-owner. Or co-op owner, or whatever. (still in Woodside)

Ok, to be fair, [personal profile] drcpunk and I were homeowners as of sometime November -- but it didn't feel real until tonight, when we were finally, finally moved into the new place sufficiently that we could sleep there, use the internet; all the necessities (this morning, the Internet's not working again, but that's the kind of ache and pain I'm used to dealing with on occasion, and it sounds like a technician is working on it (ETA before posting: Well, sort of. RR messed up the cable modem move big time, and so while we have some internet at the new place, we have a lot of random redirects to a site we can't usefully access. They're giving us a small credit and predicting 1-3 days in engineering (after a level 3 support person worked on it for a while before escallating it) before a fix).

It's the usual thing: The old place still has lots of detritus of our life there we'll need to retrieve, but it's now a largely managable problem; the new place is full of boxes.

On the other hand, we were apparently at the old place since 1999. We moved out in 2016 -- so around 16 or 17 years. That's a long. long time--and we had an accumulation of stuff (including stuff we had to decide that time had passed by long since) and history that is hard to let go of. But...the new place is quite a lot better. More space, more storage space; most walls are concrete rather than drywall, 9-10' ceilings rather than the 8.5' of the old place, ground floor in an elevator building (not a third floor walk-up), 5 minutes (rather than 8) walk from the subway, dishwasher and a laundry room right outside rather than no dishwasher and a laundrymat two blocks away; a few other amnenities from it being a more newly renovated home.

There are some wrinkles. The cable thing, plus there's a socket that doesn't seem to work which is inconvenient, plus while the place is very warm (overall a bonus) in winter, it might almost be too warm (we turned on the ceiling fan in the bedroom last night to somewhat counteract the heat). But we should be able to entertain more, and by being in a more permanent residence, we -should- feel free to make more modifications that make our lives easier without worrying that we will soon abandon all we've built when we move (or that the landlord will object). And from everything we've heard so far, it's a heck of a lot quieter.

Special thanks to [profile] jlighton and Sarah J for their exemplary and beyond the call of duty help with the move, including multiple nights over after helping pack, stage, and pre-move things in order to make space for the large number of boxes we needed to complete the move -- as well as the many, many other people who showed up to help out. We are blessed.

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1/4/16 04:10 pm - Holiday wrap-up

We didn't celebrate Chanukah much this year; I think the only candle-lighting we attended was Ellen's, at the NYRSF holiday reading. I did purchase dark chocolate Chanukah gelt and shared it, mostly too late -- and I also got some US money bags of gelt that we're still going through very slowly (and also some blue Ingress NYC Resistance gelt coins that someone comissioned for the NYC Resistance holiday party). And, as the previous post showed, I designed another Dreydl game (I did eventually find a dreydl in our house; a disk design that we inherited from Lisa's father, but I'm not happy with how it spins, so I might want to get more standard tops to test with).

For December 24, we did the usual Julebord at Aquevit (we don't celebrate Christmas, but do occasionally celebrate Yule, and have habitually attended the Dec 24 Julebord for the last 10 years or so with a gathering of friends who were doing it for longer). It's a very traditionally Scandanavian Julebord -- a buffet with 9+ preparations of pickled herring, various kinds of preserved salmon, cheeses, a small selection of traditional scandanavian hot foods (Janeson's temptation, sweedish meatballs, ribs, a roast meat), venison, and a shameless selection of deserts.

Every year over the past few, people have complained about how the board was getting worse -- not bad eough not to do it next year, but enough that it was noticably worse than the glory days when the group first did it. Not this year, though -- apparently, the old head chef of the resturuant has retired, and this year the new head chef (formerly the desert chef for Aquevit) was in charge of the whole board. She changed some things -- specifically, she went almost entirely to smaller portions, but more variety (except for the rollmops; a herring preparation that by necessity can't really be shrunk), which everyone really appreciated, and the much greater variety in foods on offer couldn't but be appreciated by the crowd. As it happens, when I asked about the changes, she was standing and looking at people taking from the buffet, so I went over and contratulated/praised her -- and later, she went over and greeted our table (and got praise and congratulations from the table, which contained Lisa and I, who have been doing this for about a decade, Rich and Anne, who have done it maybe 2-5 times before, two new attendees, and Stephen Tihor and his wife, Kate (Kate's only done it maybe two times before, since before that she had to work Christmas eve as nurses don't get a lot of rest; we went over after the meal a few times to visit and comminsurate with her; Stephen has been there the entire time, of course, maybe 15+ times in all if not more).

For New Years eve, we went to our now traditional party, and I prepared a honey apply Tiramisu (with no coffee or alcohol). The party was a bit lower keyed than it's been in the past; there was a lower invite list than usual, and enough friends that don't see one another often that we mostly talked rather than playing games (I did get a few rounds of Code Words in, though; a game that's been going around where in each round, one person on each side takes the role of the spy master -- who tries to guide their team to select the words which represent the team's agents while avoiding opposing agents, innocent bystanders, and, worst of all (and triggering an instant round loss) the assassin -- using a single word and a number each turn as their only communication to their teams). Probably just as well, given that at a party by the same hosts a few months ago, the game playing turned to disaster, as someone left an open container of punch on the table right next to a large, long, cardboard-chit filled, and expensive game--which I proceeded to knock over on my way back in onto the game midway through. Not an experience I wish to repeat (and which, combined with a play-through of the new Dominion expansion a few months later which also occasioned a spilled drink, made me much more willing to enforce a "no open containers of liquid near the games" rule in general when I play. I wasn't all that pleased by the apple honey tiramisu -- I added some cinnamon on top which I thought overpowered the more subtle apple and honey flavors, and it didn't really have enough time before serving for the cookies to reach a proper moist consistency (I prepared it early afternoon, and hoped the two hours in the fridge after we arrived would be enough to put it over the edge)--plus I regretted not putting more of the homemade apple sauce (chopped, but not peeled gala apples, stewed for an hour or two while doing the other preparations, with just a touch of honey put into the mix, and then boiled almost to the point of the liquid boiling out, and slightly mashed after softening) into the dish rather than just using it as the dipping sauce for the lady fingers--but most of the tray was still gone by the time we left, so clearly not everyone agreed with me.

New Years day, we went (as we have for the last 2-3 years, I think) to the Neilsen Hayden's party--bringing a new apple tiramisu that repaired all the flaws I had with the first one (honey on top, not cinnamon, prepared the night before, the entire remainder of the apple sauce used to dip and flavor the ladyfingers and the remainder used as a layer on its own), as well as a more traditional tiramisu with kaluha, fresh coffee, and cocoa, which got praise from, of all people, Ellen Datlow. It was a lot of fun, with munches and conversations with both close friends and people in the publishing industry (and sometimes people who are both, like Moshe Feder).

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12/9/15 03:15 pm - War of lights: My 2015 Dreydl game

Last year, I wrote (and as far as I know, nobody has ever played, including me) Dreydl to Go -- a straightforward adapation of the traditional Dreydl game that's designed to contain actual gameplay (rather than a completely new game with radically different elements). The primary features of Dreidl are:

1. It's a gambling game.
2. the meanings of the four letters (great, ok, nothing happens, lose).
3. It can be played with a single dreydl that's passed around.

This all seems to lend itself to a push your luck game, where the primary decision you're making is how many times to spin the dreydl, given shifting circumstances.

This year, predictably enough, there are still Jewish gamers who still think that Dreydl is a boring non-game (unsurpisingly; it is) and want people to come up with a plausible alternative. So I feel inspired:

War of Lights

A simple war game, played with a Dreydl, a napkin, and 9 distinct Gelt per player.

You need:

Each player should take 9 gelt of the same color. If you don't have 9 distinct gelt for each player, you can mark them by dripping wax onto the foil, marking them distinctly with a knife -- or simplify slightly by only having each player have five gelt (placed as a horizontal cross).

Everyone also takes a napkin and divides it into 9 squares (ie, in thirds, both ways). Put one piece of gelt on each square of your napkin. All other players do the same.

Your napkin is your base.
The center is your spawn point.
Your 4 corners are the exit/entry points.

The game is played in turns (to determine who goes first, have everyone spin the dreydl. The person who spins best (gimmel > hey > nun > shin) goes first; on a tie, the tied players spin again.

On your turn, you can do one of:

1. Move cross-napkin from a corner square to any matching opponent's corner square (1,1 to an opponent's 1,1, etc)
2. Move any piece of yours on a napkin
3. A safe Spawn (on your own napkin).
4. A risky Spawn (on your own napkin).


Moves are horizontal, diagonal, or corner to matching corner.

Whenever you move into an occupied square, spin the dreydl:

Gimel: eliminate the attacked piece, and your piece must move into the space it occupied.
Hey: eliminate the attacked piece, and your piece does not move.
Nun: Push. Nothing happens.
Shin: The attacking piece is eliminated.

Safe spawns:

To safely spawn, you must either have two pieces on opposite sides of your unoccupied center square (spawn point), and have fewer than your starting number of pieces. Take one of your eliminated pieces and place it on your spawn point.

To riskily spawn, you must have at least one piece adjacent to your spawn point, have fewer than your starting number of pieces, and spin the dreydl.

Gimmel: Spawn a piece on your spawn point, and you may move it to an adjacent empty square.
Hey: Spawn a piece on your spawn point.
Nun: Nothing happens.
Shin: The spawning piece is eliminated (parthinogenesis is risky).

A player is eliminated once they have no pieces left.

The winner of the game is the first player who occupies all (or two if there are more than 3 players in the game) opposing spawn points, or is the last player who still has pieces left.

Obviously, this game is loosely inspired by Andy Looney's Martian Coasters.

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10/21/15 12:38 pm - I'm so, so sorry

Because [personal profile] technoshaman claimed that Let it Go was going to end up "like Band from Argo"...

Banned from Frozen
ttto "Boston Burglar" (trad) as learned from Leslie Fish's Banned from Argo

The snow is glowing brightly, not a footprint to be seen,
A land of isolation, and it looks like I'm the queen,
The wind is howling loudly, like the storm that swirls inside,
I couldn't ever keep it in, and heaven knows I tried,

So I will let it go and let it roar,
Yes I will let it go, I cannot hold back any more,
I care not what they're gonna think or what they're gonna say,
I'm never bothered by cold, anyway,

It's funny how some distance seems to make things feel so small,
And the fears that once controlled me, they can't get to me at all,
So now it's time for freedom, and to see what I can do,
I am beyond both right and wrong, the limits I'll break through,

So I will let it go, become the sky,
Yes I will let it go, and you will never see me cry,
It's here that I am gonna stand, and here that I will stay,
I'm never bothered by cold, anyway,

My power flurries through the air, and flows into the ground,
And my soul is spiralling in fractals all around,
Then suddenly one thought turns clear, just like an icy blast,
I'm never, ever going back, the past is in the past,

So I will let it go, rising like dawn,
Yes I will let it go, for good that perfect girl is gone,
Let the storm rage on, for here I stand in-the light of day,
I'm never bothered by cold, anyway,

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10/9/15 11:56 am - Sonnet: On Translation

nineweaving is, understandably, upset that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is commissioning a set of scripts with updated language.

papersky responded, with a sonnet on how Shakespere outlives attempts at improving him. (True).

I take a more moderate view, however, seeing as how most companies murder shakespeare in order to perform his work in the first place:

All translators are liars, say'th the sage,
They change the words, and so some bits are lost
When change is made twixt tongues, then that's the cost,
For good or ill, translation makes a different page,

The stage, too, leaves things changed, or else destroyed,
As text is turned to something rich and strange,
Or if not needed, dropped, or rearranged,
And naught may make this journey unalloyed.

And yet, without these crimes, for us is moot
Nine tenths of all the work of wealth and worth,
We cannot learn all tongues that span the earth,
Unless we spend our days in that pursuit.

Change what you must, and work with no remorse,
It is no loss as long as one can find your source.
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8/24/15 12:53 am - The song sung in the WSFS Business Meeting

There's earlier version of this song earlier in my feed, but since made a few changes prior to singing this as an argument at the Business Meeting, after being recognized, as an argument at the World Science Fiction Society at the 73rd Worldcon, on the motion of the same name.

The Five Percent SolutionCollapse )

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7/20/15 01:02 pm - Nocturne Blues, and a weekend

Ok, so, this was a weekend:

Friday, we dancedCollapse )

Saturday, we gamed, and then danced some moreCollapse )

Sunday, we got classesCollapse )

...And I helped reconstruct the ragtime camel stepCollapse )

And I got some useful feedbackCollapse )

Why traditional (lead/follow) Partner Dance is like a RPG

So, the thing about comparing partner dancing to RPGs is that a naive approach would be that the lead is the GM, and the follow is the player. This is, it turns out, exactly wrong.

The follow in partner dance is the GM, with a role that encompasses pretty much everything a GM does in an RPG except for scene-setting (which is handled by whoever chooses the music). The lead's role, by contrast, is pretty much exactly like that of a player in an RPG.

The follow's job is to maintain the physics model of the dance, to add styling, and to respond to what the lead does -- but not to make directional choices in the dance itself -- just like the GM's job is to maintain the physics mode of the game, to add flavor text, and to respond to what the players do, but not, generally to set narrative direction (except by picking the scenario, which as I mentioned, is much like picking the music in that it sets the scenes, but doesn't determine character choices). A good follow will maintain a consistent physics model (momentum, etc) commensurate with the style of the dance, except when they choose to creatively depart from it or when safety becomes a factor -- just like a good GM will keep the narrative and physical logic of the game world consistent unless they have a good reason to depart from them.

The lead's job is to make clear creative choices, and to communicate them clearly and directly--just like a player's job is to make clear narrative and strategic choices for their character. In both cases, the rule is "have a plan, but be prepared to improvise."

The reason it's possible (or even likely) that people will reverse these is the assumption that both the GM and the lead are "in charge". But, of course, neither the GM nor the lead are really in charge; what people do in a group or paired activity for pleasure is a matter of consensus, however roles are divided up.

In which the post is wrapped, and we get home at a reasonable hourCollapse )

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7/13/15 01:13 pm - Monsterhearts and the Groundhog Day scenario

A few months ago, someone ran a "Groundhog Day" scenario at a local con as a pickup game using Monsterhearts. [personal profile] drcpunk played in it.

Now, first, it seems clear to me that people had fun at this game. It was -not- a failure, by any means.

However, it also seems clear, both based on [personal profile] drcpunk's description of play, and in what I've heard elsewhere, that the game was not ideal -- both in that it violated the implicit contract of play of Monsterhearts, and that it didn't really fulfill the promise that one -could- have in a Monsterhearts/Groundhog Day scenario.

FWIW, my purpose isn't to trash the original game. It seems to have been fun! But I want to sketch out how I'd do something similar that would fit my aesthetic better.

This is yet another very geeky RPG methods post. Be warned!Collapse )

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7/10/15 04:13 pm - Near and dear to my heart

I'm well aware that this has been done before, but I wasn't satisfied with how, so having had an idea of doing a thing, I feel compelled to finish.

I'd be sorry, except I'm really not.

Click here to read the thingCollapse )

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7/7/15 02:12 pm - Dexcon 2015

Another Dexcon come and gone. This time with less stupid sleep deprivation and more late mornings, due to not wanting to put my brain on the fritz.

I came down late Wednesday, somewhat against my original plans, as something came up at work I couldn't easily skip out on--but due to trains being fast, still made it to Morristown well before 9 (games start at 10), doing an Ingress mission on the way and catching up with [personal profile] drcpunk for dinner.

A longish con report with included song followsCollapse )

When your friendship's on rails 
To be much more than pals,
That's amore.

When you cook up a dish,
Of an 'eel' of a fish,
that's a moray.

With a pattern that fades
Smoothly between two shades,
that's a moire,

With two letters that come
As a version of "mom"
That's 'M' or 'A'

more con report!Collapse )

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6/4/15 12:08 pm - Star Trek on Emotions

I've never been a Trek fan, particularly, but that hasn't stopped me from picking up bits of it, given fannish immersion (and a Next Gen watching weekly gathering before we switched to B5).

But it occurs to me that there's a set of Star Trek races that are inherently a conversation about emotion.


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4/26/15 01:33 am - Hugo award filk

So apparently there's a measure that's been submitted to amend or remove the "5% rule" for the Hugo awards. This is a good idea -- that rule was put in place to avoid the case where you have, say, three works that get 50%, 25%, and 20% of the ballots -- and then the next work has 4% or less of the ballots, thus not really in the running for competing with the more important works. But in fact, when a category is saturated enough, the field gets large enough and we no longer have central places where everyone is reading the same things, we end up with situations like Best Short Story -- where for most of the last 5 years we've had fewer than 5 things on the ballot (sometimes as few as 3) with even the successful nominees not getting much more than 5% (or mabye even that; the 5% rule has an exception that you still have to have 3 nominees even if you need to bend it to do so) of the ballot, and thus no significant difference between what made the cut and what didn't -- but a much thinner field than there really should be.

They call it "The 5%" solution.

The reason for the following one verse filk, therefore, should be obvious.

(Also, thank you, [personal profile] drcpunk for remembering to write down my brainstormed chorus couplet so it was still around when I finished the verse and got around to writing the chorus).

"The Five Percent Solution"
TTTO: "I Never Do Anything Twice/The Madam's Song", by Stephen Sondheim
By Joshua Kronengold

Before I was a neo,
I don't recall the date,
We made a rule for our premier award,
Even if it made the cut, a nomination met its fate,
If one in twenty didn't think it scored

At first it proved a good rule,
Avoided the long tails,
But later, when the field ballooned in size,
If our population fails,
To all read the same tales,
Where the ballot's concerned there's too much for the prize,

Then, yes, the genre was small,
Now, though, you can't read it all,
Then, tastes were more concentrated,
The best stories rated,
And found themselves slated

We must this rule amend,
At this point, it's hard to defend,
I think that it makes no sense,
To limit works by five percent.

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3/3/15 10:55 am - A poem from Gwen

Gwen Knighton Raftery wrote me a poem!

Josh Kronengold
In three-quarter time
Breathlessly rhyme
A drum, a hand
A harp, a man
Throw them at the light
Throw them at the light
Throw them three times
At the light
And you will find him laughing
And you will find the ladies laughing
And you will find them each with the other
Throw them at the light.

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1/6/15 12:09 pm - And now it's a sonnet

A Sonnet to Serenity

First quatrain and last couplet by Joshua Kronengold, second quatrain and following couplet by [personal profile] batyatoon, first couplet (5-6) and editing by [personal profile] thnidu.

Deny me answer to my heart's behest,
Deprive me of my property and lot,
Remove my person, force me by duress,
To where the land shan't bear me, I care not.
For I am unencumbered by oppression,
Nor canst thou wrest the sky from my possession.

Though I be exiled to the endless dark,
And though they tell the world I'll not return;
Though thou may'st fan the flame or set the spark
That seas may boil and that the land may burn;
My will's my own, and so the skies shall be --
And neither wilt thou ever take from me.

Now nowhere can I be, since Peace I found,
But mine is that which lies above the ground.

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1/4/15 05:23 am - One verse (for now) filk

Reposting this here, since I'd somehow only put it into facebook, where it is -trivial- for it to get lost (whoops).

I should come up with a title for this at some point.
(to the tune of Santa Monica Pier, of course). And maybe a second verse (or two).

I've got half a dozen apples in my pocket, rolling round and getting bruised,
I should cut them up into pieces, and soak them up before they're stewed,
The nutmeg smells a little bit like home, like mulled cider on New Year's Eve,
I've got a cup of oatmeal measured out, and the flour is sieved.

I am a baker here, setting up all my kitchen gear,
Greased up pans and cooking shears, planning food like a brigadeer,
Oh, there's a baking pan, covered up in a spray of pam,
I have dreamed of sweets like these, all of my life.

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12/17/14 02:07 pm - Dreidel-to-Go: draft game, played with gelt and a single dreidel

Anyone want to playtest this?

Dreidel-to-go (name is a work in progress).

This is a push your luck game played with dreidels.

Setup: For each round, either ante up 5 gelt per player (if playing as a gambling game) or seed the pot with 5 gelt per player. The game is played in turns, with the youngest player going first (or choose a start player randomly).

On your turn:
1. Spin the dreidel exactly three times. If you spin a Gimmel, double your winnings (or gain a single gelt in your winnings if you have none) (not including gelt that have been put aside). If you spin Hey, add a gelt to your winnings. If you spin Nun, nothing happens. Finally, if you spin Shin, put one of your winnings aside (if there are no winnings to put aside, take a gelt and immediately put it aside); if you have three gelt put aside, then your turn immediately ends and your winnings are forfeited (as are gelt that have been put aside) and returned to the pot. If you roll gimmel or hey and the pot is empty, you can put into your winnings gelt from your "put aside" pile.

2. You can choose: either take another turn (go back to 1, but do -not- take your winnings), or take your winnings (but -not- any gelt that have been put aside with Shin; those are returned to the pot).

Play until the pot runs out; players can then play another game/round. (a game may be defined as a certain number of rounds, in which case players who do not play subsequent rounds forfeit the game).

(inspired by [personal profile] nancylebov)

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11/26/14 07:48 pm - Chessiecon: Lifts requested (One day I'll post this more than a day ahead....)

[personal profile] drcpunk and I will be at Chessiecon. I'm running music, so I'm not sure how much attention I'll have to spare, but still, it should be fun.

Also, we could use lifts. We're arriving at the train station (Baltimore Penn, natch) at 10:37pm on Thanksgiving, and the light rail isn't running by then. We can take a cab, but a lift would be better, if available.

And going back, we're on a lovely 4AM (almost) train, Which is a minor, if soluble problem, as there's no light rail that late and Penn Station closes for an hour between 2AM and 3AM [for cleaning]. We can finesse this if we need to; there's a walkable Korean restaurant that's open until 4AM that we used last year for this purpose; however, if anyone has a better plan, I'd love to hear it [one where we get to sleep? Even better!)]

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11/20/14 01:12 am - Chessiecon ramp-up

The music schedule for Chessiecon is pretty solid at this point. I'm taking some risks, but I think it will be fun, and that the con will be awesome.

Some hilights:

Tom Smith. Because.

Batya. In, and out of the Funny Things (with Merav).

-Five- sometime members of Clam Chowder, doing their thing in, and out of the music room. Including Don Stallone, who hasn't been seen for...quite some time.

Familiar. Who I've never heard in person(that I know of), but sound -damned- good.

Glen Raphael, Gary Ehrlich and Roberta Rogow (because I do actually want filk on the menu).

The Usual stuff (filk circles, including a moderated 2pm Friday one; the Halelujah Chorus, caroling, Moggy, Ellen James, Sarah Pinkster, and, of course, an insturmental jam).

More lobby performance than you can shake a stick at. Because it's always good to have a choice about where to go.

There -may- end up being too much music. (is there such a thing?) There won't be too little.

If you don't have anything else you're doing on Thanksgiving Weekend this year, it's worth doing.

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7/7/14 01:37 pm - Recent games

I went to Dexcon this past weekend. It was a lot of fun, and I tried 3+1/2 new games (at least), 2+1/2 at least I really liked (I enjoyed Automobile and would play it again, but economic games are hardly novel to me at this point).

Scoundrels of Skullport: I like Lords of Waterdeep, though it's hardly a serious worker placement game (due to the high variance on the Intrigue and Quest cards, there's a lot of randomness there). But Scoundrels makes it a much better game, IMO -- the new buildings generally give more to everyone, so everyone can do a bit more (which makes extra actions slightly less critical, and also makes the expensive plot quests from the original game more worthwhile overall). It also dilutes the obligatory mandatory quests with more "help everyone" Intrigue cards--and provides more ways to play Intrigue cards than the very limited Waterdeep. (it also provides more ways for people to dig themselves into a very deep hole, but then that's the nature of in-game decisions). The addition of 40 point quests makes quest and resource depth a lot more interesting, overall, and I liked the game a fair bit running on a "wealth" model rather than a "scarcity" one (for various reasons, I ended up spending most of the game with far more Thieves and Warriors than I could use, which was a refreshing change).

Thebes came out in 2007, but was new to me. It uses a lovely time track mechanic (plus a great theme; love the archeology); the same one used in Village, but the game itself is very different, as you run around Europe learning about the old world, lecturing, and picking up extras like shovels, research assistants, and cars, then head for the old world and decide how much time you want to waste spend digging up dirt (and the occasional artifact). Then head back to Europe for more lecturing (if you're lucky), and if you found the good stuff and people are still interested, putting on shows of what you've found. The classic approach seems to be to max out your knowledge, then put in time on a few good digs so you get lots of artifacts, but I managed to more than squeak out a win by doing a lot of lecuring (lectures use trianular numbers, so 6 lectures got me 21 points), developing a really good shovel, and randomly digging for a week or three each at every single site to see what appeared when I pulled 3 or four tiles.

Bora Bora I actually learned back in Feburary, but I liked it then, and just ordered it; it's a worker placement+action economy game (more or less) with some interesting action mechanics, as you can take multiple men and women into your village, but only one type of male action and one type of female action can be used (in addition to your workers) in any given turn.

Also, there's Trajan. Trajan isn't worker placement, exactly -- it's an action economy game where the central mechanic is mancala, as you make moves on your personal mancala circle that determine determine what action you take, move the global time track forward (so a big pit can let you control the pace of the game -- or force you to end the turn when you'd rather let it continue for a while), as well as letting you qualify for bonus tiles.

Finally, there's Andromeda, which I tried out after Lisa's game last Saturday in June). I'd seen this a few times, but never tried it; it's good! It's a meld-making game where you build up material on various planets and use it to try to take stations near those planets by earning a certain number of pulls via a lotery system -- all your pieces pulled get to occupy one of the three stations near the planet, while all opponent's pieces pulled result in them being sent back to earth (so no station for you, but less competition next time). It was really fun, and choosing to save special cards for endgame vs spending them, and making early points vs using melds to develop, all felt like real choices.

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6/3/14 08:33 pm - Indy vs Bond

Adam Stewart is running a fictional tournament in his Facebook, where the current round is Indy vs Bond. For understandable reasons, Indy's been getting the worst of it.

Which I think is utterly wrong, but I could hardly sway opinion by just stating it. So instead, I wrote the way I think this would go down.

Despite Bond being a badass heartless combatant, and Indy being a two-fisted archeologist who is -not- a trained assassin, I have to go with Indy here at a walk. It comes down to what kind of story it is. Sure, yeah, Indy would be out of his depth in Bond's world of high stakes gadgets and assassination, but Indy would never be -in- that story.

Instead, it makes much more sense that Bond and Indy have clashed over an artifact which Indy wants for its historical importance, while Bond has been ordered to retrieve it for the British government to use in the Cold War. Naturally, Bond at first gets the upper hand.

"Bond, don't do this," Indy says, hanging precariously off the edge of a cliff. "That belongs in a museum."

"And so it will be," 007 replies, "or at least a copy will be. This is an immense power source, and would be deadly in the wrong hands. You've been a great help; I'm sorry it has to end this way, but I can't have you telling tales." Bond stomps down and breaks the branch Indy is holding on to.

"No, you idiot, you don't understand!" Indy says, but then he's gone.

"Now that that's settled, time to see why this is so important." *The artifact eats him*

Indy pulls himself up from the cliffside where he is fortitously still clinging. "I kept trying to tell him, but he woudln't listen. The artifact was still alive! But I think I can decode a key to keeping it safe for at least a little while if I can just remember ancient Sumerian."

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5/6/14 03:36 pm - Frozen: I wrote a thing

Every once in a while, Dani Colman's long post about why she doesn't like the reason other people like Frozen comes around. And I keep linking to a long post explaining why she's wrong.

That said, that long post is kinda flawed. For starters, it's really long--and as such, it can be almost as much a slog as the original post.

So I wrote my own.

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4/15/14 02:19 am - The Four Players

I wrote this for Alarums and Excursions a few months ago but it seems appropriate to post it tonight.

The good player asks, "what are the rules and customs at this table?" To them, you must explain how the game works, both that which is written down and the rules of gaming etiquette and give them all the responsibilities they can handle and your game supports.

The simple player asks "what do I do next?" To them, you must explain only that which is necessary to plan their next move and begin roleplaying in earnest—If you confuse them with too many options, they might cease playing and/or think the rules are the game, rather than the platform for the game.

The wicked player asks,"what can I get away with?" By framing the game as a source of loopholes to abuse they subvert the purpose of the game and attempt to hurt everyone else's play in favor of their own fun, and you should teach them their error—or even exile them from the table—as soon as possible.

As for the player too shy to ask questions, you must treat them gently, but try to draw them into the game, asking them "what are you doing now?" and "what would you like to do next?" In so doing, you can allow them to develop into a productive player whether or not they give up their shell..

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4/7/14 04:12 pm - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I wrote a comment in [personal profile] nancylebov's journal which was pretty substantial, so I'm adjusting it here as a quasi-review. Spoilers be here, be warned!Collapse )

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3/5/14 06:17 pm - Lunacon schedule

Where to find me at Lunacon (unless it changes), next weekend:

10 AM: Lost in Fanslation (Moderator) (Discussion of where/why/why not/pitfalls, etc of watching anime (and if I have anything to say about it, reading manga) in fan translations).

11 AM: History Repeats: Revisiting Old Skool Games (Tabletop RPG focused--older systems worth playing, older worlds worth revisiting using newer systems)

1 PM: Adapted Songs Circle (this category is so open it hurts, but it'll be pretty easy to follow, at least)

3 PM: If I Ran the Hugos (No smofs here, no sir :)

Should be an interesting day.

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2/5/14 04:43 pm - Contata: Songbook Submissions wanted!

As you know, Bob, this year's NEFilk (the NorthEast Floating Filk Convention) will be Contata 7 on June 20-22, 2014. And as you may not know, we have just opened submissions for the songbook!

No particular theme is required. Songs may be submitted in any common text format, or as graphics in PDF format (particularly handy if you wish to submit sheet music for an original song).

Got a song you want to submit? Email it to batyatoon+contata2014(at)gmail(dot)com, ideally with "Contata 2014 Songbook" somewhere in the subject header. Questions may be sent to the same address or may be asked here as comments.

Please signal-boost this wherever it seems appropriate.

1/2/14 05:14 pm - D&D, Mental vs Physical

I've been playing D&D Next recently, and every once in a while am struct by the issue of mental vs physical.

The problem, when you get down to it, is the mental dump stat.

Basically? Everyone dumps something mental. Worse, you're penalized for -not- dumping mental stats.

The core problem is that you don't get that much from mental stats, compared to physical.

I mean, all stats in Next are effective defenses, which does help. But the physical stats all provide secondary benefits, (and thus weaknesses if you dump them), while the mental stats never do, so each build point you spend on a mental stat that isn't part of one of your core abilities is something you could spend on a physical stat that would help you more, if not in the way you want your character to act.

Strength is the least bad -- but strength protects you from grappling, and affects your carrying capacity. Of course, it also determines melee to-hit and damage (and thus whether monsters run past you whenever they want), but that's less of an issue given Dex melee weapons.

Con is the uber-stat. No experienced player ever dumps Con unless they're willing to take on extreme risk, since your Con has a massive effect on your hit points, and thus survivability. At least they've acknowleged it by having no skills based on Con. (but I believe that concentration checks are still Con-based if you have to make them)

And Dex is rather superb, as it determines Inititative (which can win or lose combats almost by itself), Armor Class (the defense of defenses), ranged to-hit/damage, and melee to-hit/damage for light melee weapons.

But of the mental stats, only Int has a secondary benefit beyond defenses and skills: bonus languages. Charisma is great if you want to talk to people, and Wis is great if you want perception and to understand people--but every skill is useful, so that's not really that much help.

The biggest problem there isn't, of course, casters; casters are reasonably balanced with big power sources, assuming you're spending lots of points on mental stats and not so many on physical ones (although casters -do- have a strong incentive to push piles of points into physicals rather than the mental ones they're not gaining casting from). But physical types are -really- penalized if they want to be smart, or perceptive, or charismatic, since they're giving up stuff extremely useful for their core competency for what amounts to fringe benefits. And casters end up being one-not mental characters, either smart -or- perceptive, -or- charismatic (or at best two out of three), since if you invest in all three you end up not having enough Dex and Con to survive.

Thinking about it, I think they either need to make the mental stats more valuable (have Charisma provide a bonus to aiding your comerades, and/or a bonus to whatever "helper" cohorts you pick up whether they be familiars, mounts, or 3rd edition-style followers; have Wisdom provide some kind of reaction or something--although the current approach of having Wisdom provide hidden benefits of surprise avoidance, defending against the worst attacks, etc isn't awful, and maybe improving the Int benefits to be any kind of non-skill proficiency, for instance), or make mental stats cheaper (going to a (1/2,1/2, 1/2, 1/2, 1, 2, 2 curve to buy up from the starting stat of 8, perhaps, rather than the current curve of 1,1,1,1,1,2,3), saving casters 3 points, but also making it much cheaper to not dumb mental stats relative to physical ones.

The former possiblity is more complex, but means having a simpler, single stat curve. The latter is simpler, but does mean that mental-focused characters would be a little more well rounded than they are now.

But the current curve shapes the game in ways that I, at least, am not fond of. 3rd edition had similar problems, but at least had hidden benefits (the Leadership feat, particularly) to taking off-stat bonsues. 4th edition at least had different classes favor different stats, so if you wanted to make a high-Wisdom fighter-type you could play an Avenger, etc, plus ways to move your basic attack around for -some- variety. But Next is very thin here, so and it would be nice to not have the system shape the characters so consistently and directly; I'd rather make "do I make my Fighter a better talker? Or more perceptive or smarter?" More of a choice, and not just for counter-optimizers.

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12/16/13 01:45 pm - Is a green tea tiramisu a green tearamisu?

Made berry tiramisu (for the office bake-off) and green tea tiramisu (because I could + a contribution for a pot luck next week). [is a berry tiramisu a berrimisu?]

I've found that there are simple and tasty things I basically only end up cooking when I'm making something more complicated--which end up thereby only being available as by-products.

So in this case, in addition to the two tiramisus, I have a berry compote (used for dipping ladyfingers in, naturally), a pretty tasty green tea (not that I don't ordinarily make tea, but it's still quite tasty), and some modified sabonnne (i.e. the leftover tiramisu filling, a sabonne/whipped cream/mascapone cheese mix) in the fridge. The berry compote, at least, is trivial to make and delicious, and I should really make it sometimes even when I don't have a reason to use it as an ingredient.

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11/20/13 04:39 pm - Recent Watching

It's been a while since I posted. Just haven't gotten around to it for a while, not that I post often.

Contata is still very happening. Should be a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing/hearing all our guests.

We've watched a bunch of stuff recently, in our never-ending quest to keep up with pop culture (not to mention the quest to find video content that's fun to exercise to). Falling behind on pop culture makes finding new stuff easier, certainly. Stuff we've watched includes, but isn't limited to the entire first season of Sailor Moon [cheasy, but fun; ironically we watched most of this -after- I played Sailor Moon in a LARP], first three seasons of Phineas and Ferb [WOW], first three seasons of My Little Pony, and the first season and a half of Jackie Chan Adventures [fun; one of the better examples of an active child protag].

I've kept the disc-based Netflix sub up, too, which might explain why we've watched almost the entirety of the first season of Veronica Mars (wow!) and a bunch of movies. The disc this week consisted of the Cat People (orig) and The Curse of the Cat People.

The former I knew the plot of, having seen references to it many times over the years. Newlywed wife avoids physical contact, fearing that she'll turn into a cat, plot escallates, ends tragically. It's very good, and I love a lot of the details, but no real surprises.

The latter, though...first, I'd not heard of it as something separate from "the sequel to The Cat People". Or maybe I just elided, but I don't remember reading it. Second...one of the worst titles ever [if with a fun history]. Third...not really a horror movie, or not mostly a horror movie; this is a -much- better film (IMO) than The Cat People, and has nothing to do with anyone turning into a cat or anything else, nor any curses; instead it has to do with imagination, parental relationships, projection, and ghost of the past. I suppose it's useful to have seen the Cat People before seeing this film in that it helps understand and explain the otherwise -very- troubling behavior from the 7-year old protagonist's father (who is also a protagonist of The Cat People), but I don't think this film even appeals to the same audience.

Another interesting film I saw (this one available on Netflix Streaming) is The Libertine. I mostly expected this to be titilation with a humerous plot -- which is all basically there, but what I didn't expect was how much the movie exposes and attacks the maiden/whore dichotomy, with a protagonist first scandalized not by what her deceased husband had been doing behind her back, but that he never did anything as interesting with her, and with lines like (quoting loosely and from memory) "Why is it that men only call me a whore when refuse them or stop doing something?" It is very much a product of its time, with the most troubling scene what looks to me like a rape that is treated more as rough play by the participants (afterwards), but certainly an interesting movie that addresses issues still very relevant today.

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9/7/13 04:56 am - Rename notice

So, as people who know me in multiple places might have figured out, my real online handle is "mneme". I'll use mnemex or mnemesys or whatnot when I can't get my root handle, but I do have a clear preference.

Until recently, my getting my preferred handle on livejournal was blocked by a user who created a single post and then vanished. But that account having been purged, I'm able to have my preferred handle here!

8/6/13 12:21 am - 10 Things I learned from dancing the blues

So, [personal profile] drcpunk and I have been learning to blues dance recently. It's a lot of fun -- an improvisational lead/follow form with an emphasis on weight-shift-by-weight-shift lead and follow, tremendous enabled and allowed creativity, and a really active NYC scene.

Which means, it's time for...

Ten Things I learned (to do and not to do) from learning to dance the blues [where something's in brackets, it's actually -about- the blues]:

  1. Don't do anything extra--unless you want to. [don't assume a basic step; in blues, every weight-shift is lead--anything the follow does on top of them is their choice, not assumed]
  2. Don't just wave your arms around. Whatever you do, throw your whole body into it. [lead/move from the core]
  3. Don't anticipate. What goes in motion stays in motion until stopped, and stays stopped until started again--unless it -chooses- otherwise [particularly the follow].
  4. You pick what you want to follow--but then, follow it. [for leaders, pick the line in the music you want to dance to, and if you don't like where it leads you, switch; for follows, you -can- choose to ignore the lead and do your own thing, but know you're doing it.]
  5. Every relationship is equal, even when it doesn't seem like it all the time. [The follow is an -equal- partner, and is just as responsible to add to and contribute to the dance. I dance -so- much better with a good, and equal partner]
  6. Every action can--and often, should--be met by an equal and nearly opposite reaction. [blues connection, in particular, involves the follow always matching a push by a push, a tug by a tug. And I think this is good style for a lot of dance, actually, as it means there's always something to lead; if I'm completely relaxed, that's not important, but if I'm moving/tensing my arm and my partner's still relaxed, I lead and nothing happens]
  7. You shouldn't just follow a script--you have to express yourself too, or it's not really a conversation.
  8. Pay attention to your space. How you position yourself matters--you want to vary it, but you also want to choose at any given point what you want, where you are.
  9. In fact, pay attention to what you do. Time, tension, and positioning are all things you choose--and they all matter. You want to be choosing them actively, not passively. Do what you want, when you want--not just "any time."
  10. But in the end, live in the moment, and let it flow; don't overthink things!

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7/30/13 05:28 pm - I just nominated for the pegasus! (and if you're a filker, you should too!)

Nominations end at midnight tonight!

My nominations:

Best Song:

Just beyond
One small boat
Solar flare
Dragon for sale

Best Classic Song:

A Gown too Blue
Storm Dancer
Following in Valentina's Footsteps
Mommy, Can I have a Spaceship
Second-Hand Songs

Best Performer:

Heather Dale
Lady Mondegreen
Sunny Larsen

Best Writer/Composer:

Ada Palmer
Andrew Ross
Betsy Tinny
Batya Wittenberg
Bob Kanefsky [Bob's only got one! And no other wins!]

Best Fairytale Song:

Little Beard Blue (yeah, I nominated myself. I couldn't help it--most of the brainstorm list wasn't what I consider fairy tale songs, and I was running out of nominees I could think of).
My Fairytale
Po Boys
"There's Always a Bigger Fish"
Miller's Daughter

Best Alien Song:
Queen of Air and Darkness (yes, this -seems- to be a fairy song. But it's actually about aliens just pretending to be fairies!)
Fly Little Bird (as revealed in Discount Armageddon, the Jhorlac (coocoos) are aliens from another dimension).
Alien Salad Abduction
Little Fuzzy Animals
Alien Jellyfish Song

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7/30/13 02:01 am - Draft Best Dramatic Presentation: Fan proposal

I'm planning on submitting something like the following to the LoneStarCon 3 (the quickly upcoming Worldcon) Business Meeting, as an attempt to create a Hugo that would be a better place for outstanding filk albums and shows, masquerade presentations, fannish videos and amateur movies, etc than where they currently end up being nominated -- Best Related Work or as doomed contenders for Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form.

So, a few questions:

1. Any suggestions for wording changes?

2. Anyone (who is a Supporting or Attending Member of LoneStarCon 3) interested in co-sponsoring?

3. When I raised the idea earlier this year on the SMOFS lists, one of the cogent requests I didn't have time to look into was for a list of works that would have been valid and worthy contenders for such an award over the last 5 (ish) years. I could probably compose such a list specifically for filk, but given that a filk category failed in the not-too-distant-to-be-remembered past, it's worth having a better populated list if one can.

Short Title: Best Dramatic Presentation (Fan)

Moved, to amend section 3.3 of the WSFS Constitution as follows:
Section 3.3.8: Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form:
Any television program or other production, with a complete running time of 90 minutes or less, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year, and does not qualify for Best Dramatic Presentation, Fan."
Section 3.3.7: Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form:
Any theatrical feature or other production, with a complete running time of more than 90 minutes, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year, and does not qualify for Best Dramatic Presentation, Fan.
Add a new section to 3.3 as follows:

Section 3.3.X: Best Dramatic Presentation, Fan: Any single work or collection of dramatic science fiction, fantasy, or related  subjects, in any medium (including audio or musical collections), which is either non-commercial or made by fans primarily for other fans, and that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year.

Provided that unless this amendment is re-ratified by the 2018 Business Meeting, Section 3.3.X and the changes to 3.3.8 and 3.3.9 shall be repealed, and
Provided that the question of re-ratification shall be automatically placed on the agenda of the 2018 Business Meeting with any constitutional amendments awaiting ratification.
Submitted by: Joshua Kronengold, Lisa Padol
Comments: Filk, and more recently, other geeky music, is a a core part of fandom deserving recognition, but has until now been unable to support a Hugo due to only a few standout albums being produced each year.  In addition, the adoption of the Best Fancast category has highlighted a significant gap in the Hugos -- we now recognize fan audio-visual efforts (which are easier and easier to produce and make available to a wide audience) that appear in a series -- but we have no way to recognize (except for nominating them to non-fan categories) fan dramatic presentations that are, instead, a single work -- such as masquerade presentations, filk albums, free online videos, fannish theatrical productions, and particularly dramatic bits of the Hugo Award ceremony itself.
Creating this award would also encourage the creators of such things to distribute recordings of their efforts, where possible -- which can only serve to benefit all of fandom.
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7/24/13 12:58 pm - Housefilk! This Sunday!

There will be a housefilk this Sunday at the home of Ray Arnold

The Facebook event page is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1395187284031352

Bring your voices, instruments, and ears (but remember, this is filk, and everyone gets to play!).

Remember, local filk customs dictate that anyone can jam along; if you -want- to perform solo without additions from the audience, it's best that you tell people this up front. Also, our housefilks are usually recorded; again, if you don't want to be recorded, that can be arranged for with prior notice.

1-6pm, Sunday, July 28, 2013

Winterfell House
316 West 138th Street,
New York NY 10030

The site is accessible from either the C/B or 2/3 subway lines. Some (small) amount
of free parking nearby. It is also a brownstone, although the filk itself will be on a low floor.

There will be a short concom/NYMFO meeting afterwards for those who are interested.

7/11/13 01:02 am - Ice cream=yum Apple cinnamon ice cream = bigger, bigger yum

So, there's been a spate of small batch ice cream brands springing up. On the one hand, these are awesome -- relatively small companies, often making unusual flavors, support the little guy--plus the ice cream is a cut above even the previous top of the heap supermarket ice creams.

On the other hand, they've pushed the price of ice cream way up -- often to $5 and $7 a pint (!). And the biggest advantage they give is making unusual flavors.

So...it occurred to me that it -might-, just might, be time to get my own ice cream maker. A bit of research (actually, I think Amazon may have suggested it when I was looking for an insertion blender, but anyways) indicated that another device I own that hasn't gotten much use recently--our Kitchenaid stand mixer, had a bowl available that would make a perfectly good ice cream maker -- without having to buy another motor (a big pull for both the insertion blender, replacing our previous hand blender but having a massive lot of attachments, particularly a wisk and food processor).

My first attempt, yesterday, was...not so good. I somehow decided to try a relatively healthy recipe, but it involved custard--I've never made custard before--plus I made a bunch of dubious choices along the way (doubling the recipe--without having double all the ingredients, so I made some replacements and it didn't turn into full soft serve in the mixer...the result is a perfectly serviceable chocolate habinero sorbet (definitely dairy); edible, naturally, but aside from the fun flavor combination, not as good as ice cream that hasn't got too-large crystals.

So naturally, I decided to try again (with a different flavor) today -- apple cinnamon.

I made a few changes to my process:

1. I turned the freezer up to 4.5 (out of 5) from 3. The freezer would typically burn ice cream at 5, so I think 5 would be too much, but even at 24 hours, I thought the bowl could use a bit more cold.

2. I used a recipe that didn't involve custard (and isn't even a little bit healthy -- but the point was to make amazing ice cream, not healthy ice cream. Healthy is for portion control). Specifically, this recipe:

http://www.annies-eats.com/2011/07/08/vanilla-bean-ice-cream-two-ways-and-ice-cream-basics/ (quick summary: melt 3/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt into a cup of cream, add some flavoring if desired, then add another cup of cream, a cup of whole milk and fridge the result until cool. Then turn into ice cream with an ice cream machine or process of choice).

3. I made about half as much ice cream (eg, I didn't touch the quantities in the recipe at all; I'm guessing I ran out of cold last time as -one- of the several mistakes I made).

The result? Some of the best ice cream I've ever had -- and I've been to Jeni's, the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, and Baitcon. I'll have to see what it's like once it's been in the fridge for a day, but as fresh soft serve it's out of this world.

Changes I made to the above recipe:

1. Obviously, I replaced the vanilla with cinnamon. Instead of adding vanilla bean and extract, I added two teaspoons of cinnamon powder and dropped a cinnamon stick in the heated cream.

2. Looking for advice for creamy ice cream online, I saw one to put a bit of alcohol to prevent it from fully freezing -- so in went 2/3 of a tablespoon of Pyat rum after chilling the batter.

3. The apples. I chopped four Granny Smith apples, with peel, (food processed about an apple's worth and just sliced the rest), then popped the result into the microwave for a minute and fridged it before I started the batter. After the batter had decidedly turned into ice cream (in fact, at this point most of it was apparently clinging to the dasher, I added apple bits and apple mash (what the finely chopped apples had turned into after their visit to the inside of the microwave) until the bowl was nearly full, and let the kitchenaid mix the result (spinning at speed 2, now) for another minute or three.

I'm pretty much having to write to restrain myself from sampling more of the soft serve in the freezer (fortunately, there -is- some stuck to the dasher still, but [personal profile] drcpunk has been making some headway there as well, so I don't have much time).

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6/27/13 02:53 pm - Conterpoint, in brief

I just said I probably wouldn't do a Conterpoint report. Which would be shame, as my Conterpoint was Packed With Things. So this is a small (probably) con report. I will miss things! I will skip things!

Also, it"s not actually that short.Collapse )

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6/25/13 04:02 pm - A Dialogue on filk/fandom, guests, and community. And dialogue

Had a short dialogue with gundo on the nature of fandom, coming out of my musing on running a con (did I mention? No, I didn't--yet--but I'm running a con, and it will be -fabulous-) and occasionally having to -un-delegate, which I figured was worthy of wider distribution. "mneme" is, naturally, yours truly.

mneme: I have very mixed feelings towards the hotel/guest liaison positions, as having someone focused on making the hotel/guests happy = good, but having another step in the game of telephone between the rest of the concom and these ever-important externalities = bad

gundo: at a larger con, I believe those are necessary, but the size of the NE cons...

mneme: Indeed. A larger con also has a larger pool to troll for someone with the combination of knowledge and proactiveness you really need for a good liaison. But they also have (potentially, anyway) a lot more guests, and not a presumption that most of the concom already know some or all the guests.

gundo: Well, and at the larger cons the guests aren't part of the larger family, whereas here they are

mneme: Indeed. Well, sometimes they aren't--but filk overall is a much smaller community, and, yes, we pull guests from that community rather than across a (however artificial) "pro" barrier. (something that sf fandom in general also resists, but..it gets complicated).

gundo: Very complicated

mneme: Yes. In general, fandom favors GOHs who are part of the fannish community, if on the pro side. But there are exceptions--and someone who is fan/pro and treated as such in one area is still going to be a superstar in another where they're less well known.

gundo: Well, there are a lot of us who are in the filk community who are pro in some way

mneme: Indeed. The filk community -also- has a pro/fan barrier, although it's even thinner than in literary fandom for a number of reasons. But with the exception of segmented GOH items like the GAFilk "Super Secret Guest", we don't even -think- to pull from outside the community (if often Pro-side people known and known to be within the community ). This is, I think, because Filk defines itself as "within the filk community" -- whereas sf defines itself primarily as "within the dialogue of science fiction" and the literary fandom/convention-going communities is within and appreciative of (as well as in dialogue with) the larger community.

gundo: Right...there's that definition of filk as community, vs filk as style or content

mneme: *nod* It's very telling. And I think a lot of that -is- dialogue. Something is part of a folk tradition if and only if it is in dialogue with other things within that tradition -- just as a work is genre sf only if it is in dialogue with the body of sf works (and when a sf work gets written that is -not- in dialogue with the sf genre, this is often painfully obvious).

gundo: As long as there is ongoing dialogue, then yes, it works

mneme: Indeed. A one-sided "dialogue" can go south, very quickly, particularly when it's perceived differently from both sides.

mneme: Ah, true. And yeah, the whole dysfunctional fannish community thing can be...bad. Some of that is that different people can have really different idea of what a community, well, means.

gundo: Yeah, that's true as well

mneme: Particularly when you're looking at communities built out of geography vs ones based on association and common interests. I mean, one of the reasons that Merav and I are pretty good choices for leadership in the NYC filk community is that we're both in close dialogue the the more global filk community, rather than mostly/primarily in the local area. But that also means we'll have some closer relationships with people across the country than ones with some of those in the local filk community.

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6/4/13 02:20 am - Wow

So, I've long been a fan of Jenna Moran's (formerly Rebecca Borgstrom) fiction and freeform rpg, Nobilis. So naturally, I contributed to her (currently running) kickstarter, Chuubo's Magical Wish Granting Engine. Which is as awesome as a plot-oriented RPG about a boy who makes (often ill advised) wishes can be, and if you're interested in it, you should support it, but that's not what I came here to write about.

No -- instead, one of the backer rewards for Chuubos is an expansion for Nobilis, 3rd edition, on Treasure, called "The Book of Treasure". Treasure is one of the new stats in Nobilis 3rd -- it represents your ability to connect to people -- and to connect to -stuff-; both to have a favorite aunt who is important and helpful in your story, and to have a really nice car, or a magic sword that can cut anything, or a pet cat who follows you everywhere.

So, there are a lot of awesome things about this book. It both expands on every element of Treasure (so far; I'm only 22 pages into a 49 page book), and gives design notes for -why- various things are the way they are in the game -- for instance, it explains that the reason making anchors (connected people and things) is a level 0 miracle is because the designer -wants- people making connections, even if they're not heavily invested in the idea of Treasure.

But the thing that inspired me to post tonight is where it talks about abilities -- particularly Treasure -- that follow an absolute. Being as strong as you need to be. A sword that can cut -anything-. Omni-corrupting artifacts, or hats that shield you from corruption.

In other words, powers that start forum arguments rather than ending them--as people argue whether the Hulk being stronger than anyone beats only Thor being strong enough to lift Molnjir.

What Jenna points out, quite successfully, is that arguments like that -- powers like that -- particularly when they work -- are not arguments about rules. They're metaphors -- and moral arguments that center around the metaphor, not about any particular rule.

The Hulk isn't just "the strongest guy around". He's the superhero that represents the limitless strength of righteous rage. The One Ring isn't just infinitely corrupting (although it is) -- it represents that principle that power itself corrupts without providence and faith in Eru [that is, god]. Superman isn't just as strong as he needs to be (although he is); his is the strength of the pure heart taht acts from unsullied motives.

As such, when two "unlimited" powers clash, what determines what wins (ideally) -- what -should- determine what wins--isn't a number like how many tons the Hulk can lift or who has a bigger stat. Instead, it's the right solution to the moral question posed by their metaphors in the situation. Clark Kent should lose to the limitless power of conquest represented by Apocalypse when his heart is divided and his moral fevor weak -- but win if he's resolved his dilemma and acts from pure motives. The Hulk should defeat many other limitless powers, even that of war, but may prove powerless, in the right situation, against someone representing the power of calm.

This is why, Jenna explains, the rank of a Treasure miracle doesn't determine which one wins; instead, the rank determines the scope of the miracle--how many different things you can do with Treasure--but in a contest between absolutes, what should win is the thing that's won the battle of metaphors.

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3/25/13 03:08 am - Resturant Review: La Vie en Szechuan

La Vie en Szechuan, 14 East 33rd Street, New York, NY, 10016

There have been a succession of mediocre resturants in the spot across the street from the Complete Strategist. However, a few months ago, I noticed that the new place appeared to be an authentic Szechuan place--and a fairly popular one, at that. So naturally, being who we are, [personal profile] drcpunk and I resolved to visit La Vie at the next opportunity.

We didn't, of course, do so as soon as we could have, mostly because we'd also wanted to to hit Hot Kitchen (which is also quite good, if more in the Grand Sichuan mode than La Vie is) in person rather than just takeout. But tonight, as it happened, it was on our route home, so off we went.

It was great. Not cheap--but not awful, either (we ordered 3 cold dishes and a tea smoked duck (for $18) and it came to $56 with tip.

First, the menu. It's full of appetizing pictures of authentic food--and from what I saw on our plates and those of the (mostly Chinese) diners around us, totally accurate. This place is certainly paying attention to presentation, but our food, at least, was also delicious.

So, food we got:

The tea smoked duck: Came with three soft buns, and tasted the way tea smoked duck should taste.

Cold dishes ("Appetizers"--hot appetizers are "signature appetisers"):

Sliced beef in chili paste: Lovely and spicy; definitely provided most of the heat in the meal, and very tasty. Unannounced, but welcome by us were some chinese eggplants hidden in the mix.

Chicken in sczechuan pepper sauce: this was served in a spicy and sour green sauce, and tasted very different (but also really good) sauce than the beef in chili paste.

Spring Bamboo shoots in sessame oil: This, like the duck, wasn't spicy, but it had its own tang from the vegitables in the sauce (scallions, maybe garlic) and we had the chili paste confusing our senses. Also really tasty--we love well made bamboo shoot dishes.

Have to go back--the menu is huge, and really varied. Would love to go back with more people so we can get more of a range.

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3/15/13 12:09 pm - where to find me at Lunacon, plus another query re lunacon

I'm apparently on a fair amount of programming at Lunacon (despite the program not, you know, being up even on the day the con starts; yay organization and new software and non-redundant medum-sized groups).

Stuff I'm on :

150 The Life of a Filker Brundage I Filk Sat 10:00 AM Duration: 01:00
I'm dropping this. 10AM is TOO DAMN EARLY, plus I'm on too much on Saturday as-is.
Food Songs Filk Circle Brundage I Filk Sat 12:00 PM Duration: 01:00
This could be fun! But I'm definately going to need more people showing up, as Amy and I can only trade food songs back and forth for so long.
53 What are "Euro" Games and How Do I Get Involved? Elijah Budd Gaming Sat 1:00 PM Duration: 01:00
This sounds like it will be a blast. Between Perianne, Kevin, and YT, we should have stuff covered and a good vibe; I don't know Tim Rogriguez by name, but with "games" in his email address he should have something to add.
80 Online Fandom Migration Birch Fan Interest Sat 4:00 PM Duration: 01:00

This should be fun; a bunch of us have been on since antideluvian times. That said, we could really use, given the panel description:
More people (on the panel or in the audience) with a wider experience (Deviantart, maybe? Or deeper Google+ experience than I have?).
And we -really- could use someone from the fanfic side of the force, as the panel description talks about that but we don't currently have any panelists who are fanfic writers (I've written some fanfic -filks-, but that's not the same as being part of the online fanfic community). Anyone?
159 Travel Songs Circle Brundage I Filk Sat 7:00 PM Duration: 01:00
Just me and Amy again -- help? There are a lot of great travel songs, though.
163 Ghost Songs Circle Brundage I Filk Sat 10:30 PM Duration: 01:00
Lisa and I are moderating this, and we -can- just sing ghost songs for an hour if we have to. Hopefully, we won't have to. :)

73 EReading Device Petting Zoo Maple Fan Interest Sun 1:00 PM Duration: 01:00
I'm curious as to how this will go. I have a (rooted) color Nook, and can talk about calibre, conversions, and, of course, buying stuff online; it sounds like we have a good variety, but I -might- be motivated to pick up a larger tablet before the con just for funsizes (this would be really silly, but stranger things have been known to happen). We'll see how much this is a talking thing vs a "let peopel try stuff out" thing.

So, who's making Lunacon? And...anyone up to helping out for the online communities panel (talk to Kate Nepveu if you are willing to be -included- on the panel, as she's moderating it).

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2/16/13 01:36 am - Gaming, Nerdnyc: Tzolk'in, gearing up for some fun

Tzolk'in: Wow. Took over 3 hours, but really fun game (supposedly, in two previous games the game only took 2 hours; probably down further with more experience, but definitely schedule at least 3 hours for a first game.

And, a relatively casual playthrough/review of the game followsCollapse )

And so that I justify the terrible title, I'll note that while I'm skipping all the fun things happening this weekend (ok, most of them -- not doing Flea, not doing Wicked, not going to Boskone (no room at the inn, or I might have talked Lisa into heading up to Boston again), not doing a Regency tea dance on Sunday, etc), we're heading up to Dreamation on next Friday (and I've been upping my Soul Calibur V game to not embarass myself there then; after months not playing the game), and I expect I'll be busy playing D&D and board games and Soul and maybe even some indie RPGS.

And then the weekend after, two Larps I had a part in writing will be run by a team headed by crash_mccormick, so we've been handling player queries and filling drops and finishing some stuff on both games (mostly Jamais Vue, which we're doing more work on; Electric Labyrinth, also known as "The game Josh was lead writer on rather than just brainstorming, mechanicing, editing, and doing rewrite jobs with"; also known as "The Girl Genius Game" had a full production run and a minor rewrite done for Anonycon, where it didn't run, so we're just reusing that kit for the Intercon run). Jamais Vue has had more runs -- but that only means we know more of the problems with the (otherwise excellent) game and therefore get to try to fix some of the issues. However, [personal profile] drcpunk and I won't be involved in the runtime of this (however much we are involved in casting and handling emails and writing and mechanics-redesigning and production). Because instead, we will be going to Consonance, where Merav Hoffman will be Interfilk Guest (and we've been gracefully allowed to help her out on some songs during her concert; I'll be lending some harp; Lisa will be lending her voice and comic timing).

Which means, in addition to my semi-seriously training for a semi-serious fighting game tournament, I'm also working on a larp and a half, and rehearsing for a concert that's more serious (guest slot, not program participant slot) than the other concerts we've been part of.

And yet...it's -still- been a far less stressful last few weeks than last year, when we were trying to -write-/produce two first run LARPs to be run on the same weekend, and I was trying to train for the Soul Calibur tournament. (Electric Labyrinth and A Vue to a Kill).

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1/9/13 04:51 pm - Labcattery

I posted some ideas for fixing what I see as the one big flaw in the Gumshoe system here: http://labcats.livejournal.com/61895.html

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1/7/13 05:48 pm - Housefilk, Feb 10, Brooklyn

Originally posted http://otherdeb.dreamwidth.org/366572.html

There will be a housefilk at the home of Deb Wunder, 2451 East 26 Street, Brooklyn, NY, on Sunday, February 10th, 2013, from 1 pm to approximately 5 pm. The housefilk will be followed by a short concom meeting for Contata 2014.

This is NOT a kosher home, so the host requests that those who wish kosher munchies please bring them. She will provide fresh veggies, and such munchies as are usual, although donations of food/munchies are always welcome.

There are two cats on the premises, and one roommate, who some of you already know. Extra folding chairs are welcome, as there are not huge amounts of chairs in the house yet.

If you need further info on where she is located, or how to get there, please email otherdeb@gmail.com (or leave a comment in the page listed above, where comments are screened).

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12/13/12 02:57 am - In which my life continues to be a comedy show in another universe

So, [personal profile] drcpunk gave me some documents while I was doing stuff on my computer this evening -- naturally, since we're still in the early 2000s, she did so by sticking stuff on a micro-sd card rather than sending it over the Internet.

Also, naturally, I put the tiny card (in a larger plastic case) on my desk, to be perused at a later time. Stuff happened.

Cut to when we were about to go to bed (yeah, that should have happened already, shouldn't it? Whoops). I went looking for the card. No card. Now, my memory was never what it was, but I was -sure- I'd put it on my desk, because really, despite absent mindedness, well, where would I put it?

Note that this is what my "desk" looks like at the moment (yes, I have a real desk, but I never use it):


But, I couldn't find it. Couldn't find it on the floor, either, which was the most obvious place (after all, the thing is tiny). Not under the computer. Not under -anything-, in fact. I looked -everywhere-, including lots of inobvious places. Nada.

Eventually, it occured to me that it could have fallen into the tissue box. Looked. Nope. But that gave me an idea.

Know where it was? (answer behind the cut).

Really? Really?Collapse )

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