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*swoops in on a rope*

Hi guys!

This is a yes-I'm-still-alive-and-blogging post.

Things to know about my life right now:

- I'm in England for a semester.
- I'm now a college junior oh my god when did that happen.
- I'm still obsessed with Doctor Who, but my initial mentality of WATCH ALL THE THINGS from last summer has thankfully died down and I've started actually sleeping again.
- I just had my first summer in 5 years with no Wayfinder. I was supposed to be an SIT at Winter Game, but New York got blizzarded REALLY HARD.

Still not sure how often I'll be updating here, if at all, but I can promise regular updates from my study abroad blog.

And now I'm off to fetch my laundry. Later!

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Books I read in 2010:

For college:

Literary Theory
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
- The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Intro to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
- A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
- As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl by John Colapinto
- Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men by Michael Kimmel
- How I Became Hettie Jones by Hettie Jones

Women in Chinese Literature
- The Rouge of the North by Eileen Chang
- Virgin Widows by Gu Hua
- The Butcher's Wife by Li Ang
- Waiting by Ha Jin (actually, I'm not quite sure this counts because I never made it through the last 10-20 pages)

Autobiographical Writing
- I'm Sorry You Feel That Way: The Astonishing But True Story Of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother, and Friend to Man and Dog by Diana Joseph (we actually weren't supposed to read the whole thing for class, but it was a fun and interesting read so I just went ahead and finished it)

Playwriting
- M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang
- Fences by August Wilson
- A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller

Literature of the Cold War
- The Crucible by Arthur Miller
- The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John LeCarre
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margret Atwood

For fun:
- Trinity Blood: Reborn on the Mars, Volume 3 by Sunao Yoshida
- Max by James Patterson
- Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman (audiobook) by E.W. Hornung
- Love Among the Chickens (audiobook) by P.G. Wodehouse
- The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
- Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It edited by Lynne D. Thomas and Tara O'Shea
- Doctor Who Short Trips: Life Science edited by John Binns
- Doctor Who New Adventures: Human Nature by Paul Cornell
- Doctor Who Missing Adventures: Cold Fusion by Lance Parkin
- Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare

Currently reading: Selene of Alexandria by Faith L. Justice (aka, my mom)

*looks back* Oh wow. More than I thought. But you can probably see why my For Fun list was so short.

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As the year ends...

My Christmas haul this year was pretty meager, but I got some good stuff (a lot of it was Doctor Who-related):

- The War Games (the final Second Doctor story)
- Lost in Time (the majority of the remaining episodes from partially-junked First and Second Doctor serials)
- Ponyo
- Adobe Premiere Elements
- A Dalek
- The Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS
- A Flip HD camera
- A black fleece sweater

Winter Game at Wayfinder was supposed to be my birthday present (which feels like cheating because I was hired as an SIT there anyway), but the fucking blizzard knocked out nearly every mode of transportation that could've gotten me to Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Seriously.

And now for the inevitable:

A Year in Review memeCollapse )

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Selene of Alexandria

My mom commissioned me to make a book trailer for her novel and here, at last, is the final product!



I'd actually be interested in doing more of these if other people are interested.

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Fun times!

Guess what, kids! I'm going to the airport on Tuesday! So how should I go through that newfangled securitymajigger?

- Radiation?

- Groping?

- Hope this airport hasn't installed these yet?

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At last

Dear Internet,

I am now an English major.

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Listy list of books

BBC Booklist. Yayness.

Bold means I've finished
Italics means I've started

01 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
02 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
03 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
04 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
05 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
07 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (could. not. finish. this.)
08 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (read it once, refused to re-read it for my Cold War Literature class)
09 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (wait, do they really expect anybody doing this list to've completed this?)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (I still need to read the last 3 books)
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis (but...Chronicles of Narnia is already on here...)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (amazingly, one of the only novels I've ever re-read)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (going to be reading this for class later this semester)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (wound up going the same way as Wuthering Heights. could. not. finish.)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (it's been YEARS, though)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (again, we already had the Complete Works, so why is this on here?)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Seriously, I need to read more things instead of Tumbling and watching Doctor Who all the time...

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Hmm...

I appear to have an depressing post at the top of my journal.

I shall fix this with cats.


Doctor Who... cats?
by ~TardisCat on deviantART

I MEAN LOOK AT THE TOM BAKER KITTY OH MY GOD IT IS SO FLUFFY LOOK AT ITS LITTLE SCARF HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS CAN I KEEP THEM FOREVER

30 Days of Television: Day 22

Favorite series finale: Gurren Lagann

I couldn't find any finale clips that weren't from the recap movie so...here's the actual episode (ignore the ad, it's an official video). Obviously you don't have to watch the whole thing because if you haven't seen the rest of the show it probably won't make a lick of sense, but...dayum.



Yes, those were people standing in drills just to look badass.

Yes, that was a giant robot standing on a galaxy.

Yes, those were giant robots fighting on galaxies.

Yes, those were giant robots throwing galaxies at each other.

No, the dub dialogue isn't really the best.

But that's not the point.

Gurren Lagann is one of the manliest shows I've ever seen, and it's amazing. Most of the episode (and the show, for that matter) may be about giant robots beating the ever-loving crap out of each other, the ending has such a beautifully executed message about progression and moving forward (watch after the credits for the epilogue) and why Simon has probably one of the best coming-of-age stories in anything I've ever seen ever.

And yes, I did wind up re-watching the entire episode after I put the embedded code in. Because.



30 Days of Telly Meme
Day 01 - A Show That Should Never Have Been Canceled: Higher Ground
Day 02 - A Show That You Wish More People Were Watching: Oban Star-Racers
Day 03 - Your Favorite New Show (aired this TV season): Doctor Who: Season 5/31/1/Fnarg
Day 04 - Your Favorite Show Ever: Samurai Jack
Day 05 - A Show You Hate: Father of the Pride
Day 06 - Favorite Episode of Your Favorite TV Show: Jack and the Scotsman (1 and 2)
Day 07 - Least Favorite Episode of Your Favorite TV Show: Jack and the Three Blind Archers/Robo-Samurai vs. Mondo-Bot
Day 08 - A Show Everyone Should Watch: Cowboy Bebob (with runner-up: Now and Then, Here and There)
Day 09 - Best Scene Ever: George in Drag/Going Over the Top from Blackadder Goes Forth
Day 10 - A Show You Thought You Wouldn't Like But Ended Up Loving: Jeeves and Wooster (with runner-up: Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Day 11 - A Show That Disappointed You: Digimon Data Squad
Day 12 - An Episode You've Watched More Than 5 Times: Any given episode from the first 2 seasons of Samurai Jack
Day 13 - Favorite Childhood Show: Rugrats
Day 14 - Favorite Male Character: The Doctor
Day 15 - Favorite Female Character: Donna Noble
Day 16 - Your Guilty Pleasure Show: Sonic Underground/Toad Patrol/W.I.T.C.H.
Day 17 - Favorite Mini Series: Casanova
Day 18 - Favorite Title Sequence: Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (When The Cry)/A Bit of Fry and Laurie (Season 4)
Day 19 - Best TV Show Cast: Ignoring
Day 20 - Favorite Kiss: House/Cuddy
Day 21 - Favorite Ship: Bertie/Jeeves, Four/Romana II, Adric/Nyssa
Day 22 - Favorite Series Finale:
Day 23 - Most Annoying Character:
Day 24 - Best Quote:
Day 25 - A Show You Plan On Watching (Old or New):
Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season Finale:
Day 27 - Best Pilot Episode:
Day 28 - First TV Show Obsession:
Day 29 - Current TV Show Obsession:
Day 30 - Saddest Character Death:

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30 Days of Television: Day 21

HOLY SHIT IT'S THIS AGAIN.

Favorite ship: I have several, actually

Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, so...

Jeeves/Bertie (Jeeves and Wooster)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Four/Romana II (Doctor Who; kind of a meta-ship because their actors were actually married for 16 months)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Adric/Nyssa (Doctor Who)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I would put Two/Jamie here as well (my caption for that picture makes me unreasonably happy), but I haven't seen enough of their episodes to get a good first-hand feel (no pun intended) for how their slashiness plays out. I've seen lots of evidence in screencaps, though.

I just realized that all the pictures show the characters in the reverse order that their captions do. Oh well...



30 Days of Telly Meme
Day 01 - A Show That Should Never Have Been Canceled: Higher Ground
Day 02 - A Show That You Wish More People Were Watching: Oban Star-Racers
Day 03 - Your Favorite New Show (aired this TV season): Doctor Who: Season 5/31/1/Fnarg
Day 04 - Your Favorite Show Ever: Samurai Jack
Day 05 - A Show You Hate: Father of the Pride
Day 06 - Favorite Episode of Your Favorite TV Show: Jack and the Scotsman (1 and 2)
Day 07 - Least Favorite Episode of Your Favorite TV Show: Jack and the Three Blind Archers/Robo-Samurai vs. Mondo-Bot
Day 08 - A Show Everyone Should Watch: Cowboy Bebob (with runner-up: Now and Then, Here and There)
Day 09 - Best Scene Ever: George in Drag/Going Over the Top from Blackadder Goes Forth
Day 10 - A Show You Thought You Wouldn't Like But Ended Up Loving: Jeeves and Wooster (with runner-up: Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Day 11 - A Show That Disappointed You: Digimon Data Squad
Day 12 - An Episode You've Watched More Than 5 Times: Any given episode from the first 2 seasons of Samurai Jack
Day 13 - Favorite Childhood Show: Rugrats
Day 14 - Favorite Male Character: The Doctor
Day 15 - Favorite Female Character: Donna Noble
Day 16 - Your Guilty Pleasure Show: Sonic Underground/Toad Patrol/W.I.T.C.H.
Day 17 - Favorite Mini Series: Casanova
Day 18 - Favorite Title Sequence: Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (When The Cry)/A Bit of Fry and Laurie (Season 4)
Day 19 - Best TV Show Cast: Ignoring
Day 20 - Favorite Kiss: House/Cuddy
Day 21 - Favorite Ship:
Day 22 - Favorite Series Finale:
Day 23 - Most Annoying Character:
Day 24 - Best Quote:
Day 25 - A Show You Plan On Watching (Old or New):
Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season Finale:
Day 27 - Best Pilot Episode:
Day 28 - First TV Show Obsession:
Day 29 - Current TV Show Obsession:
Day 30 - Saddest Character Death:

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About 2 hours overdue

As a native New Yorker, I am morally obligated to make a 9/11 post. I just looked back and saw, to my amazement, that despite having this LJ for nearly 6 years, I've never done a proper one before.

I was 10 years old and in 5th grade at the time, and I honestly knew nothing about it until about 1 in the afternoon when our bus coordinator came in to tell me that my dad had come to pick me up. The first thing he did when I saw him was tell me that mom was fine and all the rest of the family was fine, then he told me that two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Towers. I remember coming out of school and seeing the massive cloud of black smoke hanging over lower Manhattan and asking my dad if it was "from the accident" (I didn't know it was a terrorist attack until some time later). When I was watching TV later that night, mom came in and asked if I was watching Nickelodeon (which was really all I watched back then) and told me not to change the channel. I don't remember much about the following days, but even then I could tell that this was a day that was going to live on in history for many many generations.

I realize that I'm very lucky. I didn't know anyone who died in the attacks. Steve's dad was in the south tower when it happened, but he was only on the 2nd floor so he had plenty of time to escape safely. Still, I don't think there are that many degrees of separation between me and people who did loose people (I think my mom said that the son of one of her writer's group friends had been interning at the WTC over the summer and most of the people he'd worked with were killed).

About an hour or so ago, I was walking behind Lowry and found a dead bird. It was just lying there, smack in the middle of potential rowdy-college-kids-on-a-Saturday-night traffic. At first I started to walk away, but something was yanking at my heartstrings. I'd been to the Wayne County Fair earlier today and saw a lot of animals, which made me d'aaaawwwww already, so the idea of this poor thing's lifeless corpse being trampled by frat boys where were stewed to the gills just did not sit well with me at all. So I went into Mom's Truck Stop, grabbed a few napkins, and ran back outside to scoop up the little guy, looking around for a good set of bushes to stick him in so he could rest in peace. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I could've sworn I felt the last of its warmth through my fingers as I was still holding it...

While I was writing the part about my dad coming to get me, the fire alarm went off. How appropriate (don't worry, nothing's actually wrong).

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The Finding of the Way (Part 4)

GAME DAY 2 (belated)

It just occurred to me that I haven't actually explained what this game was about. Allow me to remedy that.

The Pygmalion Dollhouse started as something I dreamt up in the Wooster library because the title sounded cool (Actually, the majority of my games tend to start this way, my almost alarmingly successful Space Opera from last year being one of them). Eventually, it evolved into a story about tragic figures. The world's backstory is as follows:

The town of Lovecraft Hollow was founded on the legend of Lovecraft the Fairy King, a great healer who went insane from grief and tried to perfect the art of raising the dead and (according to the legend) eventually died himself. In actuality, he put himself into a magical coma so that he could recover his strength and one day return to finish what he had started. This would require the aid of a kindred spirit: someone with an exceptional ability to create whose life was dominated by grief. Centuries later this came in the form of the town dollmaker, Walter Pygmalion (hence the title), who had lost his wife and son 10 years ago. He was approached by fairies who offered him a proposition: if he helped them make dolls that would steal the souls of children in the hospital and revive Lovecraft, they would have Lovecraft bring Pygmalion's wife and son back to life. He agreed.

Here's what happened next.

The night game began with the townsfolk having a friendly swordfighting tournament while the fairies went to get another batch of souls from Pygmalion's workshop. They're spotted by Pygmalion's former apprentices who go off to warn the townsfolk. What was supposed to happen next was the fairies (led by me as Cypress and cosmicsol as Willow) would abduct the current hospital patients, take them back to Lovecraft's grove, and make a big scene out of transferring the final batch of souls into Lovecraft and finally bringing him back. A few major things went awry:

- The dolls took the people's souls at the hospital, something they weren't supposed to do as it rendered the people playing the patients unable to do much for the rest of the game.
- I grossly underestimated how long it would take for the the good guys to complete their quests, and I didn't want to do the final siphoning ritual too soon before they arrived, because then we'd have a mighty and powerful entity hanging around with nothing to do before the good guys showed up. This resulted in all the dolls and all the patients literally standing around doing nothing for a good 45 minutes. Fortunately, about half of them were game guests, but there was still about half a dozen campers in there. The mere words of mortals cannot possibly begin to describe how not good this is.
- Willow had his own agenda and wound up going missing for a good while, leaving me to essentially fend for myself (unless you count Pygmalion, who I think was there too) for the entire second half of night game. Being a PC leader for the first time is daunting as it is, and missing someone to bounce ideas off of really doesn't make it better. Roy, I know you were having an amazing crazy-intense side-story there but...I'm sorry, I just really don't think that was the right time to do it. We had PCs to think of.
- I really didn't do a good enough job of keeping my captives occupied while we waited and I think the overall scene was largely disempowering, which is the exact opposite of what Wayfinder games are supposed to be about for younger campers.

Day game on Thursday was, from my viewpoint, much better. First and foremost, since there weren't any rituals for us (the fairies) to perform, we were much freer to run around and harass the good guys more instead of waiting around for them to do stuff. Also I felt like there was more exploration in the dynamic between Willow and Cypress, something I was hoping would happen but couldn't be sure of since we were both PC leaders and needed to keep most of our focus everywhere except ourselves. I have to give epic kudos to Roy for playing Willow so well and to the both of us for becoming such excellent foils for each other. Cypress was the more kind and considerate of the two, but she had a goal and believed that the ends justified the means. This resulted in her being opposed to killing but being pretty okay with taking human souls, believing that having a living body was ultimately better than having a dead one (also, she repeatedly apologized to the townsfolk for taking their souls and spent part of the aforementioned long wait from the previous night telling the true story of Lovecraft and Pygmalion because she felt everyone there "had a right to know what was being done to them and why").

Willow, on the other hand, had a Dark and Brooding Past Involving a Tragic Love Affair (Roy's idea, not mine, although I'd half-expected something of the sort to develop with him). He was more brash and serious and quicker to action. He also had an ends-justify-the-means mentality, but his "means" were more hardcore. In other words, he wasn't afraid of killing. Particularly humans. Especially humans. Did I mention he really didn't like humans? He really didn't like humans. One of the fun things I got to do with our relationship was play with the fact that we were at equal status. Basically, I wasn't afraid to take cracks at him about "you really need to pick your girlfriends better" and the like. If he warned me to hold my tongue, I took it as an invitation to go one step further before shutting up (for the time being). In essence, Cypress became more like a gently-chiding big-sister figure for Willow, doing other things like using "really, Willow, I honestly don't know what to do with you sometimes" as a healing spell incantation (this actually happened about 3 times in one scene, one involving him getting clocked in the head with an arrow right after turning his back on an armed archer). In the final battle, I almost had my first loved-one-dies-in-my-arms scene with him, but it turned into loved-one-turns-into-a-zombie-fairy-in-my-arms scene. This was going to be where I was planning to have a big "oh no Willow I'm sorry you're like my brother and I love you please hold on" moment, but I forgot about it in the intensity of the scene.

Eventually, the game concluded with Lovecraft seeing the error of his ways and ordering me to return all the stolen souls as he died. For the first time, I got to deliver the epic final speech of the game. Actually, I don't think it was really so much a "speech" as it was a series of statements. It wasn't until a day or two later that I realized how appropriate my very last lines were: "BE WHOLE AGAIN! BE. YOURSELVES. AGAIN! GAAAAAAME!"

Will try to come back with more tomorrow, for it is late and my sophomore classes begin at 9 AM. And I still need to shower.

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Rushrushrushrushrush

Sorry I've disappeared, been REALLY busy. Will finish the Wayfinder stuff in the next few days.

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The Finding of the Way (Part 3)

GAME DAY 1

So. Today was the big day.

One of the odd sensations that came with today was unconscious emotional distancing. When you see people begin to take on the world and the characters that you've bestowed upon them, they start to turn it into their own thing. The product turns from what you'd thought up in your head into something very different in reality, even if everything goes according to the Flow sheet and you cast decent people in the important roles (leaders and such). This is by NO MEANS a bad thing, it's just a weird thing. I noticed it with The Five Moons of Japan in 2008, I noticed it with Space Opera last summer, and I'm noticing it here now.

Anyway. This morning I ran my first solo Flow meeting, explaining to everyone what needed to happen when. I say "solo" because for my past two games, I had a Story Supervisor and they did most of the Flow meeting stuff for me. Today, I was on my own and I feel like fumbled a LOT. Fortunately, everyone still got the gist (we did all the straightening out later) and assured me that I did a good job. Then we had a major fumble with the magic workshops. Usually kids at Intro-level games have the option of being a Mage class, but for The Pygmalion Dollhouse that won't be available until mid-game tomorrow. Unfortunately, we didn't communicate properly the only kids who take the Mage workshop could get the magic in-game, so almost no one went. I forget exactly how we resolved this, but we did, and we'll see how it goes tomorrow. I spent most of today feeling like I'd forgotten to tell people important little things, even though I probably didn't.

Anyway, game time.

I'll save full elaboration for later because I'm REALLY tired, left my Mac charger in the costuming room, really need to sleep, and would prefer to tell the whole game story in one go (when I'm actually more conscious).

I think the overall reaction was positive, but I had the odd experience of having two boys at my side on the way back to the mainspace with one saying "this is the best game I've ever played!" and the other saying "this is the worst game I've ever played" (yes, both in those exact words). I was reassured later that the complaining kid had been very problematic earlier on anyway, so it wasn't really a surprise.

We'll see tomorrow how it all ends up. For now...oh god SLEEP...

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The Finding of the Way (Part 2)

Yesterday didn't end quite like I'd hoped. When I made my last entry, I was in the mainspace at Ashokan (where Finale is) and was told that my group would be heading out around 11. This turned into 12:30 AM. I was not happy about this, as it took an hour to get me back to Todd's and then I still had to shower, resulting in my getting a lot less sleep than I'd hoped.

Regardless, Day 2 went well. I managed to get casting done at Ashokan, despite drawing a small crowd of about a half-dozen on-lookers. I let them hang around as long as they were quiet and didn't put any beverages near my computer. Sorting through questionnaires and doing up the cast list is a process that the campers never get to see, so I figured "sure, why not?" When I got in this morning, I had a few people who really knew the Unison kids look over my casting list to see if I had everybody placed well, and it would appear that I did.

I gave people their groups and characters in the afternoon. I gave fair warning to all prospective gamewriters in the room that "casting and character development is the most chaotic part of the process." First you need to introduce the characters that everybody will know, then you've got to split everyone up into their groups, then you need to hand out character and group sheets, then you need to keep running back and forth between groups answering questions and making sure everybody knows and understands all the important stuff while making sure that you're making enough time to meet with every group. I'm just glad that the onslaught of equipment questions that Colin and Ed warned me were coming never actually happened (I own them a debt for squashing that for me). Trine said at our closing staff meeting that a lot of kids were worried that they weren't going to have a good game and, like I said yesterday, considering how little they know about what's going to happen to the townsfolk in the game, this really doesn't surprise me at all. Although, I do wish I'd had the chance to talk to her about it afterwards, but she got waylayed with other people with other things first.

On the other hand, half the campers worrying that they're going to have a bad game is pretty damn important. I know the feeling, and it sucks. MAJORLY. And I've never been to Wayfinder at the ages of these kids, so it might be even worse for them. Oh well...all will be revealed in due time.

Tomorrow is game night, which means it's going to be a busy busy day. I should probably end my classicwhoblog commentary early tonight. Sleep actually DOES need to happen.

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The Finding of the Way (Part 1)

Guys. I'm writing from Wayfinder.

I figured since I actually have internet this week, I'd take the opportunity to do a day-by-day blogging of how a game actually comes about. Yes, I'm running my third game this week :D

HOWEVER. This time is different. I'm running it at Unison (one of the Wayfinder day camps) which means that instead of dealing with a large cast of older people I know, I'm dealing with a smaller cast of younger kids I don't know (I do know most of the staff I'm working with though, and at least half of them are people I've known for several years). Still, the general principles of game-running remain basically the same.

Yesterday was spent mainly being driven around to places: first a bus to Kingston, then a car to Finale to hang out with the main Wayfinder peoples for an hour or so, then to dinner, then to the Wayfinder office to get my casting questionnaires and other important things printed out (I had all the main things printed out, but some things needed copies), then to Todd's house (the guy I'm lodging with this week, since Unison people aren't allowed to lodge at Finale this year for some reason).

Then today happened. The kids behaved about how I expected: being about 9-12-year-olds, they were mostly cooperative but took longer to settle down and didn't always listen to directions. On the other hand, being Story Head (PAID POSITION, FUCK YEAH) and not a workshop teacher, I don't have to spend that much time worrying about handling them. I expect this is going to change drastically on Wednesday when the night game is actually run. For today, I only needed their attention at the very end of the day when I did Story Intro (explaining the world they'd be playing in and handing out casting questionnaires). Tomorrow's going to be the same, since I won't be announcing casting until the very end of the day again (not my scheduling decision, but I'm not complaining). To be honest, the kids didn't seem particularly enthusiastic about my game The Pygmalion Dollhouse, which actually doesn't surprise me, considering how little the Story Intro reveals and how not-action-packed (and how!) the teaser was. Also, I'd never intended this to be a game for this particular audience. But oh well, we'll see how it goes when the actual game is run. At least my fellow staffers appreciate it.

To be continued...

Tags:

Have I mentioned that I love my hometown?

1.) Go to google and type in "You know you're from [your state] when..."
2.) Cut and paste the list
3.) Bold or italicize items that apply to you.

You know you're from New York when...

1. You’re 35 years old and don’t have a driver’s license.

2. You ride in a subway car with no air conditioning just because there are seats available.

3. You take the train home and you know exactly where on the platform the doors will open that will leave you right in front of the exit stairway.

4. You know what a ‘regular’ coffee is.

5. It’s not ‘Manhattan’; it’s ‘The City’.

6. There is no north and south. It’s “uptown” or “downtown.”
If you’re really from New York you have absolutely no concept of where north and south are…. (and east or west is “cross-town”!)

7. You cross the street anywhere but on the corners and you yell at cars for not respecting your right to do it.

8. You move 3,000 miles away, spend 10 years learning the local language and people still know you’re from Brooklyn the minute you open your mouth.

10. You return after 10 years and the first foods you want are a “real” pizza and a “real” bagel. (okay, so 15 weeks isn't 10 years, but still...)

11. A 500 square foot apartment is large.

12. You know the differences between all the different Ray’s Pizzas.

13. You are not under the mistaken impression that any human being would be able to actually understand a PA announcement on the subway.

14. You wouldn’t bother ordering pizza in any other city.

15. You get ready to order dinner every night and must choose from the major food groups which are: Chinese, Italian, Mexican or Indian.
(it's a different set of "food groups" in my house, but it's the same general principle)

16. You’re not the least bit interested in going to Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

17. Your internal clock is permanently set to know when alternate sides of the street parking regulations are in effect.

18. You know what a bodega is.

19. Someone bumps into you, and you check for your wallet.

20. You don’t even notice the lady walking down the road having a perfectly normal conversation with herself.

21. You pay “only” $230 a month to park your car.

22. You cringe at hearing people pronounce Houston St. like the city in Texas.

23. The presidential visit is a major traffic jam, not an honor.

24. You can nap on the subway and never miss your stop.

25. The deli guy gives you a straw with any beverage you buy, even if it’s a beer.
(even though I don't buy beer)

Tags:

30 Days of Television: Day 19/20

Best TV show cast: I honestly have no real answer for this. Next question.

Favorite kiss: House and Cuddy



I wish I could remember when I became a Huddy supporter. I was a Hameron girl at first, but I guess it was after Hunting that I realized "omg Cameron and Chase belong togethaaar." Season 5 was in full swing when I started actually watching the show, so I got all kinds of Late Arrival Spoilers. House and Cuddy finally making some connection was one of them, and I remember it got me excited. I think I love this one because I love pretty much ANY moment where House's more human side shows through. I STILL haven't seen the season 6 finale yet, but if my YouTube searching earlier is any indication, it's gone quite a few stages...



30 Days of Telly Meme
Day 01 - A Show That Should Never Have Been Canceled: Higher Ground
Day 02 - A Show That You Wish More People Were Watching: Oban Star-Racers
Day 03 - Your Favorite New Show (aired this TV season): Doctor Who: Season 5/31/1/Fnarg
Day 04 - Your Favorite Show Ever: Samurai Jack
Day 05 - A Show You Hate: Father of the Pride
Day 06 - Favorite Episode of Your Favorite TV Show: Jack and the Scotsman (1 and 2)
Day 07 - Least Favorite Episode of Your Favorite TV Show: Jack and the Three Blind Archers/Robo-Samurai vs. Mondo-Bot
Day 08 - A Show Everyone Should Watch: Cowboy Bebob (with runner-up: Now and Then, Here and There)
Day 09 - Best Scene Ever: George in Drag/Going Over the Top from Blackadder Goes Forth
Day 10 - A Show You Thought You Wouldn't Like But Ended Up Loving: Jeeves and Wooster (with runner-up: Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Day 11 - A Show That Disappointed You: Digimon Data Squad
Day 12 - An Episode You've Watched More Than 5 Times: Any given episode from the first 2 seasons of Samurai Jack
Day 13 - Favorite Childhood Show: Rugrats
Day 14 - Favorite Male Character: The Doctor
Day 15 - Favorite Female Character: Donna Noble
Day 16 - Your Guilty Pleasure Show: Sonic Underground/Toad Patrol/W.I.T.C.H.
Day 17 - Favorite Mini Series: Casanova
Day 18 - Favorite Title Sequence: Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (When The Cry)/A Bit of Fry and Laurie (Season 4)
Day 19 - Best TV Show Cast:
Day 20 - Favorite Kiss:
Day 21 - Favorite Ship:
Day 22 - Favorite Series Finale:
Day 23 - Most Annoying Character:
Day 24 - Best Quote:
Day 25 - A Show You Plan On Watching (Old or New):
Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season Finale:
Day 27 - Best Pilot Episode:
Day 28 - First TV Show Obsession:
Day 29 - Current TV Show Obsession:
Day 30 - Saddest Character Death:

Tags:

Shenanigans first. By which I mean, actually talking a little about my life. Yes, I do actually still have one.

Anyway.

This past weekend was my grandpa's 80th birthday, for which my mom had spent the past several months preparing a surprise party for. Extended family is extended. And also old. Here's the problem with me and my relatives: virtually NONE of them (that I know of) are my age. At all. The closest I've got is my cousin Ryan, who's not only 7 years older than me, but is also married with kids. I exist in this weird half-generation and, in case you were wondering, yes it does suck. I spent most of the party getting bored repeatedly and going off to the garage to leach off some internets on my iPod, keeping the rescued kitten company, and taking naps. Also, I brought season 4 of A Bit of Fry and Laurie with me, which did me good company during the evenings. My dad even sat down to watch a few episodes with me.

But that's not the story I wanted to tell you.

You know how every once in a while, you'll have That One Trip where nearly everything with your flight goes wrong?

Yup.

Mom and I were supposed to be heading out together on Friday morning, but our flight to Columbus was canceled due to adverse weather. When we were trying to re-book, mom was able to be transferred to a flight going through Washington DC, but not me. For some reason. So I wound up being re-booked for a flight through Charlotte, North Carolina, the next morning. Thus, for the first time in my life, I left an airport where I had gone intending to take a plane. I was actually looking forward to to the layover in Charlotte, since I've never gone to a new state on my own before, so I saw the whole situation as a kind of adventure.

Then I got home and realized I was locked out of the house. And then the mosquitoes came.

Morgan came home about an hour later and the porch had internet, so I managed to survive. The next morning, I went to the airport with dad (we were on two separate flights, but we were both supposed to arrive in Columbus about an hour apart) and got on my plane with no problem.

Then our takeoff was delayed by about 5 hours.

Fortunately, I was basically armed to the teeth with stuff to keep me occupied: a Doctor Who short story anthology (Short Trips: Life Science), Code of the Woosters, several Eighth Doctor audio dramas on my iPod, my computer, Fry and Laurie, and my sketchbook. So in the end, I wasn't really "bored," I was just "waiting." A lot. When we returned to the gate briefly, the couple sitting next to me who couldn't get the right connecting flight re-booking got off the plane, leaving me with a window seat and plenty of room on the side for the actual flight. Everything went right from there on out, including the trip back.

WHEW.

Now. Meme time. I'm doing 2 today because a) I've been very tragically behind on this and b) they're both fairly short.

Favorite mini series: Casanova



This is actually the ONLY mini-series I've seen (I think. I know I've seen a few things on Masterpiece Theater, but I don't remember what they were) so I don't really need to talk about why it's my favorite. I've always wanted to introduce this show with "This is a story written by Russell T. Davies and starring David Tennant as a dashing free spirit who runs through history with his faithful companion and has lots of crazy adventure...no wait, that's seasons 2-4 of Doctor Who...sorry...This is a story written by Russell T. Davies and starring David Tennant as a dashing free spirit who runs through history with his faithful companion and has lots of crazy adventures. I speak, of course, of Casanova."

And I'm proud to say that I actually own the DVD.

Favorite title sequence: Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (When They Cry)/A Bit of Fry and Laurie (Season 4)

Having watched a LOT of anime in the past 5 years or so, it's REALLY hard to pick one, but then I remembered that this existed. Okay, so I'll admit that I like it just a little bit for for the song, but just LOOK at this and tell me it DOESN'T creep you out.



And now for something completely different:





30 Days of Telly Meme
Day 01 - A Show That Should Never Have Been Canceled: Higher Ground
Day 02 - A Show That You Wish More People Were Watching: Oban Star-Racers
Day 03 - Your Favorite New Show (aired this TV season): Doctor Who: Season 5/31/1/Fnarg
Day 04 - Your Favorite Show Ever: Samurai Jack
Day 05 - A Show You Hate: Father of the Pride
Day 06 - Favorite Episode of Your Favorite TV Show: Jack and the Scotsman (1 and 2)
Day 07 - Least Favorite Episode of Your Favorite TV Show: Jack and the Three Blind Archers/Robo-Samurai vs. Mondo-Bot
Day 08 - A Show Everyone Should Watch: Cowboy Bebob (with runner-up: Now and Then, Here and There)
Day 09 - Best Scene Ever: George in Drag/Going Over the Top from Blackadder Goes Forth
Day 10 - A Show You Thought You Wouldn't Like But Ended Up Loving: Jeeves and Wooster (with runner-up: Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Day 11 - A Show That Disappointed You: Digimon Data Squad
Day 12 - An Episode You've Watched More Than 5 Times: Any given episode from the first 2 seasons of Samurai Jack
Day 13 - Favorite Childhood Show: Rugrats
Day 14 - Favorite Male Character: The Doctor
Day 15 - Favorite Female Character: Donna Noble
Day 16 - Your Guilty Pleasure Show: Sonic Underground/Toad Patrol/W.I.T.C.H.
Day 17 - Favorite Mini Series:
Day 18 - Favorite Title Sequence:
Day 19 - Best TV Show Cast:
Day 20 - Favorite Kiss:
Day 21 - Favorite Ship:
Day 22 - Favorite Series Finale:
Day 23 - Most Annoying Character:
Day 24 - Best Quote:
Day 25 - A Show You Plan On Watching (Old or New):
Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season Finale:
Day 27 - Best Pilot Episode:
Day 28 - First TV Show Obsession:
Day 29 - Current TV Show Obsession:
Day 30 - Saddest Character Death:
Your guilty pleasure show: Sonic Underground/Toad Patrol/W.I.T.C.H.







OH MY GOD A THREE-WAY. Guilty-pleasure shows seem so rare in my life that I just decided to talk about all of them. I don't watch any of them now, but I did sometime in the past 5-6 years or so. There are a few shows that I look back on with a little embarrassment that I watched them (like Pokemon, but EVERYBODY was watching that), but these were the ones I was a little embarrassed to be watching while I was watching them.

Sonic Underground
Yes, you DID just see Sonic the Hedgehog as a prince with siblings who fight robots with the Power of Rock. That really DID just happen, and this show really DOES exist. This is generally considered to be the runt of the litter in terms of the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons that came out in the '90s (the other two being Sonic the Hedgehog, which I hear is really good, and The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, which is like the old Roadrunner cartoons except without the good), but I was actually intrigued by the premise. And they did have a good song every once in a while. It was one of those shows that was very episodic and unfortunately never actually had an ending, despite also being 40 episodes long, but I had fun with it because it was so weird and different, if lame.

Toad Patrol
This was something I stumbled on while channel surfing at my grandparent's house, as I was apt to do, years ago. It seemed to be on Disney Channel a lot and something I couldn't pinpoint intrigued me about it, so I kept watching. It was a kid's animal fantasy show about a band of young toads migrating through a forest to reach the haven of Toad Hollow before the seasons changed and turned them into toadstools. After watching for a bit, I realized what gripped me about it: for a kid's show, it could get surprisingly dark in an almost Watership Down kind of way (actually, that's how I found out about that book), AND, most importantly, it had an evolving plot with recurring characters, development, and a beginning/middle/end. It was divided into two seasons with their own plot arcs, the first following the journey to Toad Hollow and the second dealing with the rescue of their mentor and the revelations of who turns the stray toads into toadstools every year and why. Of these three shows, this was the only one where I didn't see all the episodes and that my mom tried to talk me out of watching. I think it worked eventually (fortunately, I'd seen the ending by this point).

W.I.T.C.H.
An Italian imitation-anime Magical Girl show about five Ordinary High School Girls who discover Their Destiny and receive the Power Of The Elements with which to Fight An Evil Force in an Alternate Fantasy Universe. Yeah, the premise was one of the most trope-rific things of ever, but like Toad Patrol, it actually had a plot with a beginning, middle, and end and distinct story arcs. The villains were a bit bland, but Narissa had an interesting backstory. Also, the troubles of the fantasy world of Meridian felt more genuine and less like just a mission that the girls had to take on. The show was actually based on an Italian comic series which WAS being released in the US as graphic novels (and they were darker than the show, so I really enjoyed those), but they stopped after volume 8, which made me of sad.



30 Days of Telly Meme
Day 01 - A Show That Should Never Have Been Canceled: Higher Ground
Day 02 - A Show That You Wish More People Were Watching: Oban Star-Racers
Day 03 - Your Favorite New Show (aired this TV season): Doctor Who: Season 5/31/1/Fnarg
Day 04 - Your Favorite Show Ever: Samurai Jack
Day 05 - A Show You Hate: Father of the Pride
Day 06 - Favorite Episode of Your Favorite TV Show: Jack and the Scotsman (1 and 2)
Day 07 - Least Favorite Episode of Your Favorite TV Show: Jack and the Three Blind Archers/Robo-Samurai vs. Mondo-Bot
Day 08 - A Show Everyone Should Watch: Cowboy Bebob (with runner-up: Now and Then, Here and There)
Day 09 - Best Scene Ever: George in Drag/Going Over the Top from Blackadder Goes Forth
Day 10 - A Show You Thought You Wouldn't Like But Ended Up Loving: Jeeves and Wooster (with runner-up: Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Day 11 - A Show That Disappointed You: Digimon Data Squad
Day 12 - An Episode You've Watched More Than 5 Times: Any given episode from the first 2 seasons of Samurai Jack
Day 13 - Favorite Childhood Show: Rugrats
Day 14 - Favorite Male Character: The Doctor
Day 15 - Favorite Female Character: Donna Noble
Day 16 - Your Guilty Pleasure Show:
Day 17 - Favorite Mini Series:
Day 18 - Favorite Title Sequence:
Day 19 - Best TV Show Cast:
Day 20 - Favorite Kiss:
Day 21 - Favorite Ship:
Day 22 - Favorite Series Finale:
Day 23 - Most Annoying Character:
Day 24 - Best Quote:
Day 25 - A Show You Plan On Watching (Old or New):
Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season Finale:
Day 27 - Best Pilot Episode:
Day 28 - First TV Show Obsession:
Day 29 - Current TV Show Obsession:
Day 30 - Saddest Character Death:


So I figured I'd try out this Analyze Your Writing meme thing. I did an excerpt from one of my lighter entries and got this:


I write like
P. G. Wodehouse

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




I did one of my more contemplative entries and got this:


I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




Finally I did one of my rage-splosion entries and got this:


I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




What is this I don't even