Stories

Aug. 7th, 2012 08:18 am
innocent_man: (aurum)
This is story that Cael told Heather and Teagan the other day, as transcribed by Heather:

Reggie Elephant has a regular gun. And he also has an egg gun. And for example he has a rocket gun that blasts him off in space. And also he has an airplane gun. It also transforms him into a stinky elephant which turns him into gas. Reggie Elephant is listening to his whole story because he has his listening wheels on. Reggie Elephant says he is going to turn into an egg which means he has to take off his listening wheels and put on his big wheels and electrocute himself. He can also have no wheels! He has a collection of guns. He is getting built by Cael. Also his trunk is being built by me, Cael. If he shoots three times he can destroy any shield, even a mama shield. I am putting on his protecting wheels so he can put up his own shield. Now he put on his shrinking wheels to shrink. He can shoot fire balls. Reggie Elephant is awesome! The End.

Still a better love story than Twilight.

Cael is very into shooting and various kinds of guns and superpowers and so on. If we could just get him to stop randomly using his powers on people at the market, we'd be in business.

Anyway, last night was Promethean. Yep. )
innocent_man: (Default)
(I actually posted this over on my blog a couple of days ago, because DW was being stupid and wasn't letting me post. But I've fixed some typos and added a funnier title, so you can read it here, you lucky so-n-so.)

So, it was a sound enough plan. We (Michelle and I) leave on Thursday, hit Davenport, IA the first night, drive to Des Moines Friday (today), get lunch at Zombie Burger, head to Kansas City, crash with her aunt, drive to Oklahoma City on Friday, get her kiddos at the airport, stay with her folks a couple of days in Middle-of-Fucking-Nowhere, OK, drive to St. Louis, stay in a hotel, drive home. Whole thing takes a week. Lots of driving, but no real killer days of driving, and plenty of time for wineries and strange and beautiful things.

And then fuckery happened.

Let me back up. (Only a few photos this time, sorry.)

We left yesterday, stopping first at Heather's house to visit my kiddos (they just got back from their own trip):


Cale using a freeze ray on me.




Teagan being adorable.



 We drove forever, and we found a winery in Indiana that, apart from having two godawful red wines (smelled like tomato sauce, tasted like soy sauce) also had a Traminette and a blueberry wine that were just lovely. Other low point of the detour - the signs are for shit. We wound overshooting it, heading too far north, and we wound up in...Michigan?



Nice bench, innit?



So we bought some wine, and kept heading west. We initially thought about stopping through Chicago and hitting the Shedd Aquarium, but it's only open until 6 and we didn't figure we'd have time. Above all, we joked, we want avoid Gary. There are vampires there.

But somewhere in Indiana, our A/C quit. Now, you gotta know, it's a billion fucking degrees out. Staying in the car is fatal. We kept going, got as far as Gary (fuck) and stopped at a Jiffy Lube to get the A/C recharged. Hell, my car has a quarter-million miles on it. That'll need to happen, right?

Well, Jiffy Lube said, "nope, totally not a recharge issue. A leak in the line." OK, then. We drove down the road to a repair place, and the dude said, "Yep, can totally do that. Tomorrow."

Michelle and I talked it over, and figured fuck it, we'll get to Davenport tonight (we weren't too far away) and get the car repaired in the morning. We arrived in Davenport smelling like GenCon, but this morning I got up at crack o'clock and took the car to Firestone. And the very nice, tall man at Firestone said...

...my compressor exploded (note to those who, like me, don't speak car - the word "exploded" shares a prefix with "expensive," and that's not a coincidence, baby). Yes, they can fix it. No, it's not cheap, but I sure as balls don't want to drive to Oklahoma and back to Cleveland with no A/C. There's not enough deodorant in the world.

So I am now at the Starbucks in the Barnes & Noble in the mall in Davenport in the log in the hole at the bottom of the sea, waiting on the car to be fixed.


My car, in surgery.



The rest of the plan continues as scripted. I am getting a Zombie Burger today.

Further details and photos as we go on.
innocent_man: (slimshady)
Last week was Origins, and so we all piled into Baby Blue (Michelle's weird, she names her cars) and trundled down to Columbus to do some gaming, some hanging out, some demos of curse the darkness.

Overall impressions: Attendance seemed light this year. I don't have numbers to back that, but based on what I was seeing and hearing, the move to early June may have been a mistake. Next year it's later in the month, so we'll see if that really made a difference, but I dunno.

Professionally, though, I think it was a good con for me. I made some connections, spent a lot of time hanging with Matt McElroy in the DriveThru RPG booth and with Jonathan Lavallee and Mark Truman and talking business, pleasure, my Kickstarter, Mark's Kickstarter, game design, and so on. That was awesome. Also introduced to the joys of bibimbap, which I'm totally making as soon as I get my hands on some bowls that can handle it.

Wednesday! )

Thursday! )

Friday! )

Saturday! )

Sunday! )
innocent_man: (teagan crazy)
Yesterday I wanted something to do with my kids that didn't cost much and wasn't outdoors (because it was rainy and then became cold and rainy). I started thinking that we'd go to the zoo, but again, cold and rainy. And besides which, Teagan's out of school at 3:30 and the zoo is only open until five.

I like playing with my kids, so I figured we'd have a little game. I knew Teagan wanted to go to Wendy's for dinner, so I had Michelle call my cell and leave a message using her awesome German accent as the evil Dr. Twistybread, claiming to have kidnapped Wendy in order to obtain the secret of delicious Frostys. Teagan was appropriately horrified. Cael decided he could use his super punching power on the evil Dr. Twistybread.

We talked about where to start looking for clues, and I told Teagan to think about "twisty bread." That suggested pretzels, so we headed to the mall, since that's where you can get big pretzels (Auntie Anne's, y'see). I slipped my GameStop card into the pretzel bag when Teagan wasn't looking, and from there just kind of winged clues, sometimes with the help of mall store staff, until we wound up at the arcade. We needed at least 20 tickets to free Wendy from Dr. Twistybread's clutches, but we managed it, and then headed to Wendy's for a celebratory dinner.

If I'd had more time to prepare, I'd have made up better clues rather than winging it, but that just gives me something to shoot for next time. In any event, the kids had a blast playing sleuth. :)

I, however, am home sick today. Michelle is done with her exam (yay!) and I woke up feeling crappy, so I'm taking it easy so I can go to the movie tonight (John Carter, y'see). For now, I want to make a character.

The Game: Sorcerer
The Publisher: Adept Press
Degree of Familiarity: None. I read it on our trip to Kentucky and it kind of screamed "Run me!"
Books Required: Just the core.

A demon cannot be hurt. )
innocent_man: (absurdities)
So, today I made dinner for my kiddos and my girls, we watched A Bug's Life (mini-review forthcoming) and then the kiddos went to my mother's and we played Misspent Youth.



Persimmons, chicken breasts, corn mush, Gouda cheese, asparagus.


What? Asparagus again? )

Oh, so one other thing first. I took the kids roller skating on Saturday; here are some pictures.



Cael skating.


Teagan skating.


Both had fun. There were some spills, but they bounced back and both said they enjoyed it. Cael has a pretty impressive sense of balance for his age.

Right, so, Misspent Youth, then. )
innocent_man: (oogie boogie)
Lots to do today. And before 3PM, when my players show up for Misspent Youth maybe a game, but we're not playing Misspent Youth because we're down a player. So, what's on the docket?


  • Clean kitchen (which is mostly a matter of doing the dishes).
  • Call Wells Fargo.
  • Call Erie.
  • Call Sprint.
  • Do write-up from last night's curse the darkness game.

  • Write up and send notes for the upcoming Leverage game.
  • Do write-up for Brokeback Mountain
  • Do write-ups for a million Chopped dinners (resolution: get better about doing those daily, especially since I'm likely to be doing a bunch of them next week).

  • Maybe make a character? It's been a while.


But now the general update.

Halloween was fun. Teagan went out as a black cat:



Mow.


Cael went as Buzz Lightyear, but he didn't actually trick or treat with us. He was under the weather and slept through most of it, and then went out and hit a couple of houses with Aaron. But here's a picture of him in his wings, romping through leaves:



To Infinity and Beyond!


Let's see. I'm getting adjusted to the new living arrangements (that is, Heather and Aaron have their house, Michelle and I live here). The kids are over here a few nights a week, generally Tuesday night plus some time over the weekend. I like having them here and I'd have them here more often, but with my school schedule it's hard - Teagan goes to school and hour and a half later than I do, so I can't take her, and Michelle generally works in the morning so she can't be kid-responsible. It's kind of becoming hard on me, some days. I do miss seeing them every day.

Next weekend, Heather and Aaron are going out of town and I get the kiddos all weekend, so that'll be fun. I want to take them roller-skating. Well, Teagan, anyway - I mean, I could strap skates to Cael, but I have no idea if that'd be fun for him or now. The kids are reaching that annoying stage where Teagan is too old (or too big) to run around on mall playgrounds and Cael is too little to do some of the things that Teagan likes to do (laser tag, movies in theaters). This will resolve soon enough, of course, but at the moment it does mean I have to either arrange Caelbysitting or make plans accordingly. Is what it is.

My neighbors remain. Went to court on Wednesday. Jill should have showed up, dropped the charges, admitted she was wrong, and been done with it. Instead, we have to set a trial date. I'm hoping the prosecutor will realize there's exactly zero evidence here and drop it. But failing that, getting around a table and being able to say, "OK, do you realize that everyone in my house is conditioned to jump up and check the windows the instant we hear a dog bark? And that's because we don't want to bug you?" would be good.

Assassin's Creed: Revelations comes out next week. For which I am well and truly jazzed. (Seriously, look at the trailer. And what is that awesome song?). I have decided, however, that after this I'm not buying any more video games until I finish that, Dead Island, LA Noire, Mortal Kombat, Batman: Arkham City, and what the hell, a coupla corndogs. Unless they do Left4Dead 3.

Anyway, with all of that in mind, I have much to do. I shall start, I think, by making a phone call, then cleaning the kitchen.
innocent_man: (cael new)
The Scene: Cael is in the kitchen, nomming on an apple.

CAEL: The book turned into an apple!

ME: The book turned into...an apple?

CAEL: Yeah! And I can't read, so I ate it.

My son is weird.
innocent_man: (safe)
The scene: Dinner with Sarah, Michelle, Heather, Aaron, Max and the kiddos. Sarah's birthday was Monday, so it's dinner for that. Teagan gave her a present - a box with a pencil, a picture she drew, and some weird clapper hands.

SARAH: Thank you! That's so sweet!

TEAGAN: Thank you. You can keep the pencil and those clapper hands.

CAEL (holding up one of Teagan's soccer socks, dirty and inside out): Here! You can have this sock!

That's Cael. He just wanted to be part of the giving.
innocent_man: (Default)
Tonight you get both dinner and a character! Wooo!

First, dinner. Our ingredients, chosen by Michelle, Heather and Teagan, were:



Steak, oranges, puff pastry, chard and raisins


What would you make? )

Oh, and while I was cooking, we had visitors:



Cael: "The deers are eating grass!"


Cael: "The deers! They are so cute!"


And now:

The Game: Pirates of the Spanish Main
The Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Degree of Familiarity: Some with Savage Worlds, none with this game.
Books Required: Just the one. Unlike most SW products, you don't need the SW core. All the rules are right here!

Yarr. )
innocent_man: (cael new)
Conversations you have with a 2-year-old:

ME: Cael, poopie goes in the potty.

CAEL: No! It goes on the FLOOR!

And, on we go.

The Game: Dresden Files
The Publisher: Evil Hat
Degree of Familiarity: A goodly amount. I've never run Dresden, though I have run Spirit of the Century and I've been playing Dresden for some time now.
Books Required: Just the core.

And there's porn in Blood Rites! )
innocent_man: (teagan crazy)
THE SCENE: I'm cooking dinner (stuffed trout, water chestnuts sauteed with dill) when I hear:

TEAGAN: Bad Sephi! Bad Sephi!

ME: What's up?

TEAGAN: Sephi almost bit Cael!

ME: Why, what was he doing?

TEAGAN: Sitting. (pause) On Sephi.

All's Fair

Aug. 12th, 2010 09:58 pm
innocent_man: (teagan)
Today, we went to the county fair with the kiddos. It's the same as when I was a kid: Overpriced food, cheap prizes for which you pay an extra buck for the privilege of throwing darts at balloons, clunky rides.

The kids loved it. So it was totally worth the money.

The closest thing they had to a roller coaster was this thing called the Dragon Wagon, a 9-car coaster that just goes over some bumps. The line was long, and Cael was tired (and too small to go on it anyway), but Teagan had expressed interest. When she saw the line, she balked, but we made her stick it out.

The ride's operator would let it go round the track once, then stop if anyone needed to jump off (some kids scare easier than others). I was worried for Teagan - she likes rides, but sometimes she gets freaked out by new things.

I needn't have worried. She went around once with that "um, OK" look on her face, and for the next 10 rounds or so, she was grinning like a fool. She had the smile that only a child can have, missing her two front teeth and her hair streaming out behind her, grinning at us but never daring to take her hands off the safety bar. She squealed at the hills and bumps, and smiled that same smile at us every single time, and for just a moment, I remembered, fondly, the nights I spent at fairs as a boy, walking across the street from the house at Parkside Boulevard or as a camper at Falcon Camp. I remember the cheap fried food and the Barnum-esque freaks, and the spinny rides that made me sick. I remember how everything was big and bright and tempting, and I saw it again as Teagan rode the Dragon Wagon.

She got off when the ride was done, and said, "Can I do it again?"

Cael, watching from my arms, yelled, "Do it again! Do it again!"

Yes, my loves, you can. Maybe not tonight, but soon.
innocent_man: (safe)
Heck yes, we do.

So, a few more pics from Asheville. Now, the last time I posted NC pictures, it was Friday morning and we were getting ready to leave. So this first batch of pictures is actually from last Friday (a week ago today). Got it? Good. Then we'll begin.

Teagan rode with my brother and his kiddos, so when Heather and I got there we just had Cael with us. We wandered the streets a bit and saw that Asheville takes domesticity very seriously.



Heather doing the ironing.


Also found a little stand that sold handmade sweaters and whatnot, and since Cael as one in a similar style that he just loves, we bought him a larger one for next fall/winter.



Cael models his new sweater (very briefly, as it was too sodding hot for that).

We had lunch at the Tupelo Honey Cafe again, and then I took Liam, Donovan and Teagan to see Despicable Me. The theater was just down the highway a ways, and I'm figuring, we go in, get popcorn, very normal, yeah?

Uh, no.



Whoa.


You can't see it in that picture, but there's a full bar to the right. I asked the girl at the counter if there were concessions, and get this, you order from your seat. Like, real food. Holy shit, where are the theaters like this in Ohio? (Answer: There aren't any.) Anyway, since we'd already eaten, we got milkshakes and watched the movie, which is very cute but ain't no Pixar film.

And then we left and headed back to Asheville. I found a little gaming store called Blitzkrieg, which sells mostly board and minis, with a little, neglected shelf of RPGs.



But a fun sign.


And then back to the cabin for photos in Independence Day garb.



Freedom of expression.


And then probably sleep. It's been a week.

Next day was "Holy shit, they're coming to clean at 10AM, so let's go already!" day. I did get one last snap of everyone having breakfast.




And then Heather and I got on the road with Cael (Teagan rode back with my mother to give her some company). Along the Pigeon River, in Tennessee (which wasn't far from where we honeymooned, actually), we found an awesome little cafe, with some interesting signs on the door, called The Bean Tree:



Yay! Not a chain!


Yeah, we get it. Food servers in the South are slow.


The food was really good, though, and wasn't really all that slow. The burger had stuff mixed into the patty. When I asked what, the waitress said, "Oh, whatever they got from the herb garden." I like that quite a lot.

I took a picture of Heather and Cael by the river, and noted a little henna tattoo studio staffed by pretty girls:



Cael is fussy in this picture, but I don't know if that's obvious.


Hair colors are different in the south.


And back on the road! We stopped at Chick-fil-a for dinner, and I only bring that up because it gives me a segue to this last photo:




By the way, they pumped god-awful Christian "rock" music into that kids room. Are they trying to push kids to violence? Blargh. But really, we chose that place because a) I like their smammiches, b) it had a playground and c) we were in near-highway suburbia, not the kind of place you find a nice little locally-owned joint.

But then we drove the rest of the way home, and then we got here, and then week went by, and then I came upstairs to write this, and then I don't know what happens.
innocent_man: (abyssal)
Haven't posted pictures the last couple of days because...well, because Tuesday we didn't really leave the cabin, and Wednesday I just couldn't be arsed. So I shall update you on Wednesday and yesterday, before we zip off to Asheville. I'm taking three kids to see Despicable Me today. If you don't hear from me again, I tell you now that it was nice knowing you.

Especially you. Aww, yeah.

Anyway. Wednesday we went to Asheville. We went first to the Tupelo Honey Cafe. Bit of a wait to get in, but based on the food, well worth it. OMG. (We're actually going there for brunch today.)


The family, outside the cafe.


The cafe, above the family.


Food was really awesome. Fried green tomatoes, goat cheese grits (lots of goat cheese on this menu, in fact), and I had poached eggs and crab cakes. Yum. I'm really glad we're going back, because that menu was pretty much "throw a dart and get something awesome."

So then we wandered around Asheville for a while. Interesting things:



A sculpture.


Children petting a (very patient) dog in a yarn store.


An admonition to steal from Wal-Mart in a little hippie store.


Teagan eating a cherry in a store called Chocolate Fetish.


Did you hear me? CHOCOLATE. FETISH.


So then we drove a little ways to find this little toy store called Once Upon a Time. Now, I'm not saying this store is haunted or anything, but look at the street name:



See? Not haunted!


The store itself was pretty cool, except that it's on a second floor with no handicapped access, so my mother couldn't walk up to it. The kids all picked out there prezzies (except Cael, who was dead to the world in the car, which was a good thing - seriously, the poor kiddo's nap schedule is all whack-a-ding-hoy), and we headed out.

On the way out, I spotted another funny street name. Now, I'm not saying the building on the corner was a brothel, but...




Anyway, we got back to the cabin and turned down the heat in the hot tub (or "hot pool" as the kiddos call it), and let the kids get in. I mentioned making child soup, and Cael latched onto that, saying "Make soup! Make soup!" as he splashed about. He also kept losing his footing and slipping under, so he didn't stay in long. But here's a picture of the soup:



Child soup!


And then there was bed.

Thursday, we pretty much lounged around the cabin again. The kiddos hid from the heat under the table:




And much merriment was had. But really, what's emblematic of summer to me is faces smushed with s'mores:








innocent_man: (rocksfall)
There are piles of children here. Seriously.




So today, we dragged ourselves out of bed and had breakfast. Donovan was, inexplicably, wearing those kooky glasses. Reminded me of the one scene from Explorers.



We decided to drive into...well, further into North Carolina and go gem-grubbing. More on this later. We had to get there first, and that required some driving on some extremely curvy roads, following my brother [livejournal.com profile] jonsan, who is aware that turn signals exist and regards them in much the same way I regard mushrooms (that is, I understand that other folks like them, but they don't work for me personally). One thing I did notice was a large number of buildings with odd symbols on the sides, like so:



World of Darkness fodder? Nah, too cheery.


We stopped in the little town of Burnsville, NC, for lunch. This worked out fine; little diner called the hilltop gave us everything I'd expect from Southern dining - good food, polite staff, slow service. I did appreciate that grumpy people got an extra charge, though of course I had to roll my eyes a little at their other sign:



Demonstrate your goddamn thesis.


Even having riots on the seats didn't seem to get us our food any faster, though it was fun to watch.



We got done eating and went in search of ice cream. We could, mind you, have gotten ice cream at the diner (floats and malts, anyway) or gone down to the little coffehouse in town, which might have done, but we heard there was an ice cream spot on the way to where we were going.

This would prove a poor decision.

We got back on the road, and discovered that the ice cream stand was closed. Balls. No matter, there were lots of gem-grubbing places nearby, so surely someone had an ice cream place open, too, to suck up tourist dollars. We arrived at Emerald City shortly thereafter.






Now, I'd never been gem-grubbing before. Here's how this works. You pays your money and you gets a busket (not a Lexus)...



Liam considers his busket.


...a couple of trowels, a couple of plastic bags, and a sheet of what gems to look for. You then sit down at a trough of flowing water and dump the contents of the busket into trays with mesh bottoms, sifting out the dirt and then pitching out the big useless rocks, keeping the sparkly pretty rocks.



Cael wonders how one uses these odds thingies.


Teagan looks for diamonds, or anything else that looks pretty.


Jon balances Rosie and lots of rocks.


You then collect all of the pretty rocks in one of the bags:



Teagan, with a bag of rocks. Like a jar of dirt.


And...do what you want with them. You can get them cut and set, if they're of cut/set quality, but not all of them are. We wound up with a couple of good-sized gems (one emerald and one amethyst, and I think a moonstone), but really the fun is in the grubbing.

After the grubbing, Cael scampered off down the path, so I followed. He led me up to the mouth of a huge, rather awesome cave:




I did not see any British women or albino cave dwellers, though I did look. We got back on the road after that and drove through another little town, looking for ice cream. We did not find any, and in fact the area looked pretty desolate. Holiday Monday, yes, but also the recession, I think, has done a number on the area.

That said, there is a surreal number of churches down here. I mean, like, one every less-than-a-mile. And I find myself wondering how this rural area possibly has the population to support that many churches, but not enough to support one fucking ice cream parlor (seriously, still luck). We drove back to Burnsville, finally admitting that we should have just bought malts in the first place, but they were closed, as was everything else in town. Balls.

So we headed back to the cabin for dinner, and had cake and ice cream here. So all was not lost. Tomorrow: I don't know, but my first choice would be sitting on the deck, reading and drinking coffee.

Oh, one more picture:


Cael, being street.
innocent_man: (teagan)
More photos! More vacation wackiness!

Well, not so much. Today we when rolled out of bed, I decided to take the kids on a hike. Now, we're on a freaking mountain, so hikes are of necessity brief (because every step you take down you have to take back up).


We are not, however, in Tallahassee.


So I rounded up the kiddos, which consists of Cael, Teagan and my two nephews (my niece, Rosie, is too little for this). Behold:



Teagan and Donovan are ready to do karate. Liam could care less.


Cael rode on my back, reminding me of the dangers of the Dark Side.


We wandered down the mountain a ways, and struck off the road to find something more interesting. This area is really pretty, but don't take my word:



"Wow, this place is really pretty!"


"Let's make houses!"


We found a big ol' pile of uprooted trees. We talked about what might have done that, and the consensus was "giant beaver."



Heh. Beaver.


We wandered into the woods a ways, but the noseeums were getting a little thick and we didn't have bug spray (plus I recited that poem about not going a-hunting for fear of little men and may have freaked Teagan out a little) so we headed back.


Teagan, worried about impending Durance.


Back at the house, we had lunch and then went to the pool. No swimming pictures, as my camera is not waterproof. The kiddos spent some time today making chalk drawings, and they have these interesting glasses that are supposed to allow them to see the pictures in 3-D or something. All I know is that Cael likes wearing them.




At some point we popped downstairs for a bit of Rock Band. Hearing Morgan coming, I put my arm round the corner to snap a picture.



Kind of a horror-movie sort of shot, yeah?


Rosie took lead vocals initially:



Rosie, singing "Bad Romance."


But eventually gave up the mic and Morgan and I switched off on vocals. Eventually we had dinner, and then begins the nighttime ritual. Cael has been increasingly unwilling to go the heck to bed (don't know if it's officially rigmarole status, but it's close). So we tried to give him a bath. We did not know it would make him a gremlin:



Beware!


Eventually he dozed off, and now here we are.

But not for long. Boom! Pow! We had a nifty fireworks display outside, which the kids mostly slept through. I'd have taken pictures, but I don't have that kind of camera skill. I shall instead simply say Happy Fourth, and tomorrow we go hunting for riches!
innocent_man: (family)
Here I am in North Carolina, by way of West Virginia, Virginia, a little bit of Tennessee, and the horror of Johnson City, TN. Yi.

Anyway, we (Heather, Cael and I - Teagan went down with my mother separately) left yesterday entirely too late. We also stopped at Best Buy because Heather was owed a camera for her birthday.



She has a love for her camera that I find a little strange.


We finally got on the road seriously, and drove south, south, south, with Heather happily clicking pictures of whatever was to hand:



Me, to hand.


We stopped for coffee and so on at one point, and Cael demonstrated again that he's a little weirdo and will drink whatever beverage you give him, regardless of whether it's caffeinated or really good for him:



That's frappucino in that cup.


Eventually we stopped in Wyethville, VA, which is about as big as it sounds, and looked around for a restaurant. Now, as you know, I won't eat chain food when I'm on vacation if I can avoid it, and normally that works out just fine. Sometimes, though, it backfires a little. Let's start with the good stuff. This place was really cool. Had a garden outside, with nifty sculpture and a bunny-hopper:



Looks like the Hedge, though, dunnit?


Bunny house!


Heather snuggles Cael, Cael grudgingly acquiesces.


BUNNY!


We were seated in a reasonable amount of time. And then...we waited...for...our...food. See, in the South, "service" means "you get your food in the same 24-hour period that you order it." And there's this little bit in the menu about how if you don't care about food quality, maybe you'd better go eat fast food." Oh, look, Southern passive-aggression! How I've missed you!

Anyway, it took entirely too long to get our food. And if the food had been awesome, I'd have been OK with that. It wasn't. It was OK. Sauce on the chicken verde tasted a little tannic, like maybe there was booze in the sauce and they didn't reduce it down all the way. The soup was good, the bread was yummy, and the fried grits were mighty tasty (and you can't exactly get those in my area).

But the other thing, we had this babby with us, and an hour and a half for dinner is entirely too much for him to wait. Seriously. The poor kid started eating my hat.



Yum! Salty leather!


So then we got on the way, and got turned around in Johnson City. Holy cow. Johnson City was laid out by drunken fish-monkeys. That city makes no goddamn sense. We seriously drove back and forth something like a dozen times, saying, "Where the fuck is the highway?" Finally the city took pity on us, and we headed the hell out.

We rolled in to the cabin at late o'clock, and hung out with Jon and Morgan until the small hours. And now it's today, and you'll get more pictures tomorrow!

Huzzah!
innocent_man: (teagan crazy)
So! It's already Tuesday, and Origins is feeling further and further away. That said, I suppose I should do my write-ups for the con. With pictures. And hookers. In fact, forget the pictures and the con!

Anyway, Bender aside, last week we went to Origins. "We" here is myself, Heather, Aaron, Michelle, Cael, Teagan, Andrea and Cory (insofar as they were sharing a room with us, though we really didn't see too much of them, as they were busy with their own shenanigans, for the most part).

Photos, so I cut to spare your flists. )
innocent_man: (punk rock)
OK, check this out.

If you don't want to click the link, it's an awesome little playhouse for kiddos. Now, in a perfect, Rockwellian sort of world, I'd have the time, resources and know-how to construct such a thing for my kids. But I don't. So I'm asking for a little help.

If you've got a few bucks to spare, would consider tossing them into a jar (below: a jar)? I really do mean "a few bucks"; the thing is only about $300, which ordinarily I would be able to afford without too much trouble (for reasons that are probably pretty clear if you live near Cleveland, I'm concerned about my income next year and I'm trying to watch finances).

If you can't spare a few bucks, no worries at all. This isn't a charity that's going to save lives, it's just going to make my kids really, really happy. If I can bribe you by, say, writing up some NPCs for your game or running a one-shot for you (provided you're relatively local to me), I'd be happy to. :)

Thanks, all!






innocent_man: (cthulhu)
I'm running Trail of Cthulhu again, at the request of [livejournal.com profile] hellgirl5, who just wanted more tentacles in her life.

If you don't know (perhaps because you didn't read the character I made for the game), one of the bits in Trail is "Sources of Stability." These are people that one's character knows that help him/her stay sane (or rather, stay stable, since Sanity is another stat entirely). I find it interesting that the last time I ran this game, most of the players chose spouses and children for their characters, and this time, only one of the players did. I have no idea what that indicates, beyond just a different focus for characters in the game.

But it did get me thinking about the notion of other people as sources of stability. I like people. Moreover, I think it's a point of, dare I say, almost spiritual correctness to like other people, or at the very least to be well-disposed towards them. One of the irritating stereotypes about atheists that I run into periodically is that we're grumpy, nihilistic or misanthropic. None of that is true in my case. I mean, I'm nihilistic in a kind of purist sense, insofar as I don't believe in intrinsic meaning to life, the universe and everything, but I believe very heavily that we can invest life etc. with enough meaning to make it all very worthwhile. And I've never particularly understood someone claiming to be Christian, where one of the core tenets of the faith is "Love your neighbor as yourself" (and don't give me that "I hate myself so I have everyone" bullshit; you know perfectly well what Josh meant) then turning around and expressing strong dislike for the whole of humanity.

Yes, humanity does awful things. Believe me, I know that as well as anyone. But if you're going to be a person of faith, if the ideal is of higher consequence than the immediate reality (or do I have this "faith" thing wrong again? Please, feel free to correct me), then shouldn't a love and respect for humanity be present regardless of all those horrible things? Shouldn't the instances of beauty, selflessness, love and courage outweigh the greed, violence and entitlement? More rejoicing for the one lamb who is saved than the millions served with mint jelly (again, I might be screwing that up. Oh, hell, it's Luke 15:7, in case you missed it).

Tonight, I took Cael up to bed and sat in his room with him, snuggled up to my chest, him staring off into the dark, his little baby heartbeat getting slow and restful as he got drowsy. It struck me, as I was holding him and rocking, that I was very close to state of no-mind there. I was nowhere else but in that moment, and I had no stress at all - nothing related to work, relationships, or life in general was in my mind. Only the gentle weight on my chest, and his little breaths, and the dark room.

Stability.

Now, the game. )

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