May 25, 2003

As I write this, debauchery is afoot, if all is going as planned.

"Hi, I'm Martha, and I'm a hot lesbian."

Tee hee.

I'm here at home in my role as Designated Driver On Call, writing this as I listen to some inspiringly spoooOooky music from the Goth Box collection. A little while ago it was Skinny Puppy, which definitely goes on the list for the Unofficial Unknown Armies Soundtrack, along with "I Have a Special Plan for This World" and most of the ouvre of Coil.

It's also raining like a bastard. Eck.

Spyder's MSN Messenger seems to have crapped itself a little while ago, which is very sad. I am alone in a cold universe once again, with only coffee and my sick mind for company, nihil nihil. This is no hour for the sane. Just as well it's me that's up, then.

I could, of course, be using this valuable time to surf for pr0n. I could chalk it up as research, even. Somehow. But no - I blog. I do it all for the fans, of course. I just wanted everyone out there to know what sacrifices I make. Such is my love for you all.

(Don't be fooled, folks. It's 1:30 a.m. and my brain has turned to crab paste. Somehow this means I'm channeling the Avatar of the Martyr. I don't know what the implications of that are, but at least it's keeping me doing something vaguely constructive and keeping the world safe from the image of me asleep on the couch with johnson in hand, Dancers at the End of Time open on my chest and a half-drained white zinfandel beside me, while Time Bandits plays itself out on the DVD to an otherwise still and silent room. Oh, wait. Never mind.)

Um. Or something. We expect normal coherency to return tomorrow. "Disregard previous cookie."

May 23, 2003

Learned this morning, to my delight, that this most Illuminated of dates is also the day of the Second Defenestration of Prague.

This year marks the 385th anniversary.

The possibilities for commemoration are sorely tempting.

May 21, 2003

The new column's up today.

And then, of course, a morning browse of the fora yielded this, for a humbling dose of "Wooch, wish I'd written that column instead." Dammit.

Ah, well. "There's always something cleverer than you."

May 20, 2003

Back yesterday from New Orleans, which was fabulous - Bourbon Street is everything they say it is. You can't go wrong with a couple of nights in a city where they dispense your daiquiri from a Slurpee machine.

But just walking around the French Quarter is pretty awesome; New Orleans is a city older than the US by quite a bit, and it wears its history well. It's fitting that gumbo is a signature dish of the city when NO itself is a kind of rich and spicy stew of many things: its pirate heritage, its Southern legacy, its Carnival spirit, its well-loved tourists; Cajun and Caribbean and Voudoun and many other things besides. You're reminded everywhere that plastic Mardi Gras beads and tacky souvenir shops are a gloss over something that is old and dark and wild, growing out of the bayou heat and fed by the sea.

Every bit as much fun as drinking outside in the Bourbon Street revelry was riding in a streetcar through the Garden District; having a crawfish omelet for breakfast in Jackson Square; visiting the modestly spooky shrine of the Voodoo Museum; and catching the burlesque revue at the Shim Sham Club, this last featuring a guest appearance by fetish mistress Dita von Teese ("Hey, I have naked pictures of her somewhere") and marking my initiation into the odd world of seeing women get undressed live - though a pretty damn classy example of that, and excellently done. We left wishing we'd had more time to do more things, which ain't a bad note to depart on.

Spent last night finishing up my column and sending it off; it should run, um, this week or next week, sometime. I wound up liking last month's more than I thought I did after seeing it online, and I'm sort of hoping I'll have a similar reaction to this one later, as I got that "not my most brilliant work" feeling again after it was wrapped. It's sort of a "well, duh" column; so it goes. It occurs to me that a lot of installments of Last Dark Art have been "well, duh" columns. I just have to reconcile myself to the idea that I'm probably not saying anything to the gaming community that it hasn't already said somewhere before.

And, dammit, I still haven't seen X2, or Matrix Reloaded. I am lame, lame, lame.

Day after tomorrow I'm meeting Martha A. for some pre-wedding girl-talk after work. Even after five years, I'm not certain what advice I have to give, if advice is being sought, except possibly "It's hard enough to be pleasant to the same human being every day of your life, so be as good as you can to each other, and do your best to figure out when she needs a hug and when you should leave her the hell alone." But just that fact that I've been singled out for this is pretty warm and fuzzy. Not to mention that I've been asked to provide incidental music at the wedding; lacking the heart to say "You overestimate my talents," I shall suck it up, practice like a fiend for the next two weeks, and consider it an extra honor.

May 15, 2003

Far too few hours from now, I'll be hauling my ass outta bed for another trip to the airport, this time bound for N'awlins, where many crawfish and oysters will be surprised to have gone to their reward in Shellfish Heaven for the sake of feeding me. Sick and morbid as it is, the thought of that makes me strangely happy.

Much writing was not done this week, save for the first third or so of this month's column, so Spyder's going to just have to do the IM equivalent of looking at her watch and tapping her foot a bit longer. These things happen; it seems I'm the literary equivalent of a brewer and not a stir-fry chef, and some stuff I thought was done fermenting wasn't. Will rectify as time allows. And perhaps a couple of evenings in the French Quarter will do wonders for inspiration as well.

That's about it. Hopefully I'll post some more in a few days; meanwhile, I got a vacation to go to. Zai jian.

May 10, 2003

I became a member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund today. This was long overdue, and I've been, y'know, Thinking About It for quite some time. But today's the day I said to myself, "I just got paid and I have no excuses."

It's a tremendous blow for free speech to support these guys, who do Good Things in places you might not even know they needed to be done. And they sell tremendously cool stuff too. If you've got the cash to spend, there are worse things to do with it than get yourself a $25 1-year membership or pick up some of their merchandise. And then the next time you go and pick up Lucifer or Max and Lily or Small Favors right off the shelf at your Friendly Local Comics Store, you can feel good about having helped keep them there.

Stacy still sick, but on antibiotics and improving. Been a rough week or two for her. Damn spring. Hopefully we can manage some retail therapy tomorrow, and the recovery will be in full swing.

Now I go unwind. Crappy week. More updates later.

May 02, 2003

We were planning on a trip to WV this weekend, which has now been postponed due to lingering illnesses, and seeing as we're sort of booked all month, it's unlikely to happen until June. I think that's probably the longest stretch so far between visits home. Nothing to be done, though. Such is the price of being a couple of in-demand kinda people.

Stacy is home once again today, and about time, too. As she points out, this is partially because I was a bastard at her until she relented, for which I make no apologies. I remember the last time full-on peeneumonia set in, and how much fun that was. I remain unconvinced that anything work-related is that important. (To be fair, I remain unconvinced that anything work-related is very important ever, but that's a whole other set of issues.) And besides, anyone who looks and sounds as rough as my sweet wife does today should be quarantined at home, because a) there's no sense spreading that kind of love around, and b) no one wants to see that shit. So there.

Couple of nights ago I had the pleasure of a Walpurgisnacht dinner with Paul and his girlfriend Melissa, which was actually pretty nice, and a better experience than the last couple of times I hung out with Paul. But I remain in some sense skeptical about the future of my friendship with Paul, if only because he seemed almost resolute in refusing to take a hint about how much better I liked New Happy Paul than Classic Paul with Snarky Commentary. (Melissa, OTOH, is very nice and smart and funny, and I hope for his sake not too good for him. Because all he needs is another reason to get all-out mean from feeling sorry for himself all over again. But I digress.) It's a bit sad that things ended up taking this turn, because I've always liked Paul, usually in spite of himself. But given a choice between being around someone who seems to think of the things I'm into as a number of conversational bullseyes (when any interest is shown at all), and people who make me feel wonderful about myself... well, guess which one I'm going to pick.

(And it's sort of a measure of how things are that I post all this here without fear of consequences, because Paul is much too aloof and cool to do anything like read my weblog, or care much that I have one, except possibly to let me know how nerdy and passe blogging is or some such elitist crap. Which, if you've spent ten minutes with Paul, is the absolute nadir of irony.)

Anyway, I also spent two nights beating my head against the keyboard until 700 words or so of "The Pagurus Game" arranged themselves in a shape I could live with, which is not exactly the kind of pace I wanted to be keeping, but that's the hand I drew this week. Sometimes you gets the bear and sometimes the bear gets you. I think I need another project to decompress into when the main one isn't working for me, just to keep the proper number of balls in the air to satisfy my obsessive and neurotic muse. You wanna know what kind of dork I am? I'm seriously considering writing Exalted fanfic. So that kind of dork. (Yeah, I know. Shaddap.)

This is the morning of the year
A rainy green smile
After a long gloomy
Pale winter night
The shouting of the child
Melts into rustling
When the heavy rain
Rushes from on high

When the May rain comes
All of this shall be washed away
When the May rain comes...

Oh, yeah - happy Beltane, slightly belated.

Something I should've linked days ago here is Maija's Elfwood Gallery, which all and sundry should visit and leave nice comments on so she'll put more stuff up on't. And shame on those asshats who run the site for being tiny-brained about what constitutes "fantasy"; let's all be thankful nobody told Ellen Kushner that shit, or the field would be even more woefully short of effete dandies and salon intrigue than it already is. And besides, I'm convinced it's terribly bad form to try and tell a Finn what fantasy is - those guys practically speak Elvish. That's just asking to be tied to a chair and beaten with the Kalevala until some sense gets in.

Wooch. Okay, I feel better now. Back on my head, then.