October 31, 2000

I got some great news

I got some great news tonight! "At the Ocean's Edge", a story I've been trying to get published for about a year now, was accepted today by InterText. No word yet on when it'll be published. Believe me, you'll see the link here when it goes up!

Posted by Lisa at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

Yes, it's Halloween time once

Yes, it's Halloween time once again, and the freaks are out, just to prove it. I love my friends. This is what I get for asking James to show me part of his Halloween costume:

Courtesy of his webcam, naturally. Every once in a while I think I'd like one of those, but y'all would be scared. Trust me.

Posted by Lisa at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2000

Remember this entry about singing

Remember this entry about singing at a wedding in November? That wedding is a week from Saturday.

I'm still singing in it. I wasn't able to find other singers or sheet music, although I did try, so it's just going to be me. All by my lonesome. A cappella. Eep! During the unity candle ceremony even. Whee!

I'm a touch nervous. And I have no idea what I'm going to wear.

Posted by Lisa at 08:25 PM | Comments (1)

Never Boring

Oy. Well, like I wrote Dawn earlier: My life is never boring.

I made a painful realization this morning as I looked over my paystub. I don't make enough money. Each month (yeah, I get paid once a month) I wait for payday, thinking "THIS time it'll be okay and everything will work out." Every once in a while, it does. Most of the time, there's panic and bill-juggling and threats of utilities being turned off. I don't live extravagantly. My big vices are phone calls and internet fees, which just aren't the difference between what I make and what I owe. I just don't make enough money.

My first thought was "Well, I'm going to have to get a second job." And I may still have to for a bit. I realized, however, that that's a temporary solution. The first permanent solution to suggest itself was to look for another full-time job. I spent most of the morning looking around for what's out there. I've looked off and on for a few months now.

There came another painful realization. All of the jobs I want to do, that pay enough for me to live on, require something I don't have: a degree. Logical conclusion: I need to go back to school. Error in logic there: I can't afford to pay my bills, how the heck can I afford school? For various and sundry reasons, financial aid isn't an option for me right now, although it might be in the future (translation: I screwed up and made some mistakes when I was in school).

Then I remembered a conversation my mom and I had a few weeks ago. She offered to let me come live in a fairly detached part of her and my stepdad's house for less rent than I'm paying now by far. I hesitated for several reasons, mostly because it came down to me not wanting to be a 28 year old who lives with her parents, rent or no. However, a 28 year old who lives with her parents while working and paying her way through school? That I can deal with.

I know this will be hard, on so many different levels. Living with my family. My work schedule here would be a pain in the ass. Living with my family. Trying to get back into the swing of full-time (or nearly full-time) school. Living with my family. Being an older 'non-traditional' student. Did I mention living with my family?

But I want to do this. I've put it off and put it off, thinking there was no way to do it, thinking that I didn't know what I wanted to study anyway, so why bother? It's time I got off my ass, though. I've spent enough time figuring out who I am and resolving a lot of those issues. It's time that I got out and did something with what I've learned about myself.

Aside from all the financial issues, I just want to learn. I'm tired of being immensely intelligent and vastly undereducated. I've come a long way, reading and educating myself, but I want to be in school.

Watch this space for updates. Dear God in heaven... I might be moving again soon... *whimper*

Posted by Lisa at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2000

October 26, 2000

I meant to write today,

I meant to write today, really. I ended up spending huge portions of the day chatting with one of the rare intelligent people from the WomenGamers board. I'm trying to be entertaining here, y'all, but life is fairly slow at the moment.

However, if you thought the Pamie entry below was funny, go see what everyone else had to say about it. Man, I think I scared my neighbors.

Posted by Lisa at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2000

I just heard what has

I just heard what has to be the worst tech support nightmare story I think I've ever heard.

One of the support representatives here got a call yesterday at 10:30 am. Whatever the problem was, around 11:00 am (which is already an unusually long call) she suggested that the user reboot the network server, then reinstall the software.

The user came back and said he'd done so. The problem wasn't fixed. So for the next six hours the support representative kept the user on the phone, trying to resolve the issue. (I think she did take some time off the phone to eat, but not much.)

Finally around 4:30, six hours after the original call started, the user said, "Oh, I didn't actually reboot the network server. Did I really need to do that?"

The representative politely asked the user to hold because, as she said, "I wanted to kill him right about then." The user really rebooted the server this time, and within fifteen minutes the issue was resolved.

Posted by Lisa at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

The theme song for nearly

The theme song for nearly every relationship one of my characters has had with one of Brand's characters in any given game:

'Cause you're a god
And I am not
And I just thought
That you would know
Trust me, if you know the gaming history, that's comedy gold, baby. :) Yes, I've been reading too much Pamie lately. And drinking too much caffeine. God I'm so punchy right now... must... concentrate...

Posted by Lisa at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

Well, I finally got Max

Well, I finally got Max to the vet today. The good news is that he doesn't have feline leukemia (which I was terrifed of after reading about Pamie and Lillith last year). The vet -- who was fabulous, really everyone at the clinic was -- is treating his symptoms for now, and if they don't respond, then will do some more involved bloodwork. Based on what she said and all of the changes in him, it seems very likely that his problem is hyperthyroidism. Treatable, but still fairly expensive.

Posted by Lisa at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

Yes yes, I've been a

Yes yes, I've been a little busy over at the WomenGamers.Com Discussion Forum lately. I should know better than to argue with dolts, but I have to admit, the exchange below gave me a great deal of pleasure:

Gel214th: While you're addressing those envelopes and checking 'em twice, how about contributing in a positive manner to bring both the male and female aspects of the gaming community together..so we can get some better games and environments out of the whole collaboration?

Selkie: Golly. Why didn't I think of that? I suppose that would be part of the reason why I'm a professional in the RPG industry. I write for Dream Pod 9.

I can't tell you how good it felt to be able to say "I'm a professional in the RPG industry." On so many levels. Whee!

Posted by Lisa at 06:43 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2000

Pamie comes through again with

Pamie comes through again with a shoot-Coke-through-your-nose-funny entry. I think it's funny because I've had conversations like this.

"E-I-E-I-Oh my God!"

"I'm going on the general assumption that women are intelligent creatures. Therefore I'd assume that they'd never want any donkey genetic code to get mixed with their own so they don't make any ass creatures."

No, this is not for the easily offended or squeamish. But I nearly strangled myself reading it.

Posted by Lisa at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2000

Once again, I find myself

Once again, I find myself stunned and angered by the blatant and ignorant sexism of Gary Gygax. What burns me up the most is that this interview was on WomenGamers.Com:

.Gel> Do you think that the artwork and the overall presentation of RPGs present a stereotypical, if not sexist view, of females?

GG> Significant in the decision to play or not? Noppers! If the game is appealing, then who cares about artwork and presentation. Chess with a cheap board and plastic pieces is still chess.

.Gel> You don't think that the fact that a lot of the artwork showcases the men in full armor, and the women in thongs and with copious amounts of bare skin, could be a turn off for women?

GG> Not any mature female, no. Who cares what is shown there. Same with scantily clad male barbarian figures ala Conan! Both genders would likely not mind flaunting it if they had it, eh? Now if one is a rabid and militant feminine activist, I am sure it will cause a horrid outburst, but then again so do beauty pageants, and plenty of women enter same--watch them on the telly too.

I don't even have the words. I guess I must be a rabid and militant feminist. And if no one cares about artwork and presentation, you tell me why gaming companies spend so much on said artwork and presentation. Shame on you, WG.C for publishing that crap and for not pushing harder on the women in gaming issue. Stop kissing Gary's ass.

Posted by Lisa at 10:31 PM | Comments (0)

General OOC (Out of Character)

General OOC (Out of Character) Room madness on Something Wicked -- think of it as a chat room, only more literate. On frightening character concepts/descriptions:

Miles didn't _keep_ it. Lord. I was afraid to page about it, for fear it might say "I know." I'm surprised the Garou hanging out with it didn't attack it as a formori. I'd think two eighteen inch prehensile penises and 48DD breasts that defy gravity would just _scream_ worm taint.
Daisy lol!
Daisy gonna get me summa that, mmm-mm!
Chloe says "Miles?"
Chloe says "Don't /ever/, EVER use the phrase 'prehensile penises' in a sentence around me again. Okay? For my sanity's sake."
Polymatheia starts to giggle hysterically, and frightens her cat.
Chloe grins.
Miles puts it on the list with "writhing nipples."
Polymatheia makes a character with writhing nipples and prehensile penises.

You can't make this stuff up.

Posted by Lisa at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)

So. I washed Max. How

So. I washed Max. How much fun do you think that was? He smells better though. I think he feels better. I would too, after being that yicky and then getting clean. Bleh. Aren't cats supposed to be vain, conceited, clean animals? :P

Posted by Lisa at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

It's Alive! (Notes on Character Creation)

I mentioned in the blog over the weekend that I was deep in the throes of character creation. It's a fascinating process for me. Unfortunately, I can never do it for its own sake. Most gamers I know have character after character already finished, waiting for a chance to play them. I can't do that. I can't get myself through the often-frustrating birthing process unless I already know I'm going to have a chance to play that character.

This often leads to me having far more MUSH characters than is strictly wise or advisable. A current count: I have seven on Something Wicked This Way Comes -- Jake, Chloe, Toby, Rowan, Marisol, Samantha, as well as a storytelling persona that can take on any of several characters for any given plot. I have three on my own MUSH, Once On This Island, which isn't even open yet -- Aislinn, Elizabeth and Mama Yetunde, who'll be my NPC character. Then I have two on the also as yet unopened Tribe 8 MUSH -- Colette and Hanya. And two staff characters (who don't play, but do solely administrative stuff) as well. I desperately need to update my MUSH page, I think.

This doesn't even count the characters I play in various tabletop games or inactive MUSH characters either. I can think of at least 24 other characters that I've played with varying degrees of success in the two and a half years I've been seriously MUSHing. It can get noisy in my head at times. They've varied widely in age, gender, race, personality. I've noticed I seem to follow certain types most closely, however -- but that's a subject for another journal entry.

Samantha's the baby of the group. She came into existence last Friday, and I haven't even been approved by staff on Something Wicked yet. I thought I'd try to walk through and break down the character creation process as it happens in my head.

Friday morning, James and Brand and I were sitting around talking about things that are going on with our various characters. We realized that the three of us hadn't had a chance to play together as a group in a long time. Our characters seem to be more antagonistic towards each other. That can be fun, but sometimes it gets old. "We need a group of characters that like each other." I can't remember who said it, Brand or James, but we started thinking of character concepts -- like any of us need more characters to play.

Brand came up with the idea of a mage-based rock band. If you know Mage at all, the likeliest character concept to come out of that is a Cult of Ecstasy mage. They're stereotyped as the 'sex, drugs and rock and roll' mages, hippies, rebels, etc. (Toby is actually going to be one eventually, because I like playing around with perceived stereotypes of the different White Wolf groups -- but this is getting way too esoteric for non-gamers.) Once again, I started playing around with the stereotypes.

Simple enough to start off, which is how it always begins. Whenever I write a character's history, I usually try to write it in first person. It gives me a feel for what their voice is like. I wrote her history up on Friday. (If you want to see how that turned out, click here. There's a lot of Mage jargon there, though.) She came out as sort of a cross between Zack de la Rocha (lead singer for Rage Against the Machine) and Gwen Stefani (lead singer for No Doubt). What that means, for you folks not up on popular music, is that she's a Southern California girl with a lot of energy and big political ideals.

Once I'd gotten the history written, it was like Dr. F. putting the electrodes to his monster. She got up and started walking and talking. And damn, was she loud. I went home and picked out some MP3s of mine that suited her, put them on repeat, then did some research, mostly through my Mage sourcebooks. Stats -- those nifty numbers that go on the character sheet that a lot of gamers can get obsessed with -- are usually the last things to come to me.

After writing in her voice for a while, and talking to Brand about mythology, I found a few other links to who she is. Mages all have a spirit of sorts that guides them. It can be a mythological figure, a ghost, a totem spirit, any number of things. Sam's Avatar (to use game terms) is an obscure Etruscan goddess named Feronia, the goddess of fire, freedom and fertility. A lot of her motivations and flaws and personality quirks come from that simple fact. Once that piece fell into place, figuring how the rest of her character, like stats and how she relates to and uses magic, was easy.

And that's usually how it goes. I start with a seed of an idea, sometimes as simple as "I want to create a completely non-stereotypical Cult of Ecstasy mage" (Toby) or as complex as "What if a famous historical figure were actually an eshu -- a form of changeling -- and were still alive today? What would she be like? What's she been doing for the past three hundred years?" (Elizabeth) From there ideas come willy-nilly. Sometimes the personality comes first. Sometimes a name. Sometimes a history. It's an incredibly organic process and I can never quite predict how it will turn out -- a lot like all of my writing.

There's one thing that always, always has to happen. At some point, the character has to come lurching to life. I've started to recognize that. If that doesn't happen, it doesn't matter how much I write, or how often I play them, they fall over lifeless at some point, never to move again.

The most interesting thing about this to me is this: it's helped with my writing. Immensely. The characters I create for stories that aren't gaming-related go through a similar process, only without the stats. Learning to recognize a 'live' character from a 'walking dead' character keeps me from wasting time writing and writing about a character that isn't going anywhere -- and by default, a story that isn't going anywhere.

Now if I could just learn how to do that with a journal entry! ;-)

Posted by Lisa at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

This just in from Tennessee:

This just in from Tennessee:

Investigators say that a 17-year-old boy put together a to-do list aimed at killing members of the pop group 'N Sync.

At least he was organized about it.

Posted by Lisa at 06:26 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2000

For Brand, and a certain

For Brand, and a certain squid-obsessed character of his:

"It looks like a squid on a stick."

And y'all really should just be reading Sluggy Freelance anyway.

Posted by Lisa at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2000

I finally got around to

I finally got around to reading Brian's wedding site. I feel an awful sense of loss that I wasn't there for his wedding. This came from the vows he wrote:

For life is a road where there is no map,
a road which endures all elements of nature,
a road that is smooth and straight in many places,
and rocky and windy in others,

A road for which our marriage is a vessel to travel upon,
our love is its fuel,
and we, as a family, its passengers,

A road landmarked by all the glorious moments we share,
and for which memory, reflection, and togetherness
are its final destination.

And sometimes I feel like maybe I'm not so cynical about marriage after all.

Posted by Lisa at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

Burying myself in character creation.

Burying myself in character creation. Brand came up with a nifty group concept for me and him and James. So I've dragged out my Mage books and am reading. It feels good to get this philosophically involved with a new character again. It's giving me some new insights on Toby too.

I know, I'm a geek. But I'm a thoughtful, philosophical geek!

Posted by Lisa at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2000

I sent this to my

I sent this to my notify list the other day, but I wanted to share it with everybody: The Woman Who Was Too Big For God

There was a secret the big woman knew, something she didn't tell anyone. She didn't even tell herself very often because it hurt to hear the words. "I'm too big," she'd whisper, "too big for God. Even God doesn't have arms big enough to hold me." And then that great and big and gentle woman would cry. And her tears were just like her- big and gentle and they washed over her face and splashed down into her lap.

I cried when I read it, and cried even more when a friend emailed me after reading it and told me it sounded so much like me. Cried in a good way, though.

Posted by Lisa at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

As I expected, I'm doing

As I expected, I'm doing much, much better today, although I didn't get the night's sleep I was hoping for. Max woke me up once, but he seems to be doing a lot better today. Hopefully I can get him into the vet tomorrow.

And no bad dreams, which is a very good thing.

Posted by Lisa at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2000

Mood Slip

Well, here I am, with my stomach hurting from eating too much. Was it because everything at dinner was so good that I just couldn't turn it down? No. It was because I didn't eat all day, and when I finally did eat dinner, I was upset about a few things, so I ate and ate and ate... and pretty soon I wasn't upset anymore. Except it didn't quite work that way. Now I'm sitting here upset for eating myself sick to avoid feeling. I haven't done that in a long time. (Of course I've got an eating disorder, even I know my body size isn't just because of genetics and such.) When things were at their worst, I used to joke that I was half-bulimic or that I was a lazy bulimic -- binging but no purging. That's not exactly true. I don't binge, I just overeat, and there is a difference. In any case, I feel awful, emotionally and physically.

I hate the month of October with a passion. I don't know why, but every October since 1994 I've spent fighting depression hard, and often losing. I've never really looked into why that is, if it's just situational or if there could be something physiological about the change in the seasons or if it's just a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point.

What was the trigger this time? Max is sick. When I'm already a little fragile, I don't deal well with emergency situations at all. I'm not sure exactly what's wrong, save that something's hurting his tummy too and he's got diarrhea. He keeps coming to me for comfort and I keep wanting to push him away because he stinks. I'm taking him to the vet in the morning, because the emergency vet said he didn't have to come in tonight. I feel like the world's shittiest cat owner right now, because I can't help him or comfort him -- I just don't have the resources for it right now.

I still have some Klonopin in my bathroom cabinet. I'm debating taking one, because for the second time tonight, I feel like I'm on the verge of a panic attack -- which was what triggered the overeating to begin with. Max is in pain and I can't do anything about it, and it's freaking me out a little. I can never ever have kids, because I don't think I'm equipped to deal with it.

I feel like I'm made of spun glass right now and I'm about to shatter.

(Before anyone calls me or sends me worried email, I'll be fine in the morning, I know I will. Right now I think I'm just going to go to bed and try to sleep -- and hopefully not have the horrid dreams I had last night.)

Posted by Lisa at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2000

House Log

I don't normally do this, but after reading how much fun a friend has with her blog I wanted to share some of the silliness that is me and my friends. I'm gonna tell on a few people. First off, anything attributed to Chloe is me. Miles is my friend Phil -- the one I went to see in Oklahoma. Jimmy is James , and Prospero and Cousin Kate are Josh and Laura, two incredibly awesome California folks who run Something Wicked This Way Comes and are part of the crew of us working on Tribe 8 stuff.

Apologies to those who aren't familiar with Changeling. This probably won't be very funny. This was originally logged on March 22, 2000.

Guest2 wants to see Second Coming: Book of Lost Houses.

Jimmy doesn't want to see that one at all. Ewww.

Cousin Kate says "THAT should have been out before 2K."

Cousin Kate says "Or at least in January."

Jimmy chuckles. "White Wolf, late on release? When did this start happening?" ;)

Guest2 says "Release date.. 11/00."

Chloe chuckles. And thinks everyone who knows her knows which House she'd like to see officially show up in BoLH. ;)

Miles says "As long as it's not House Pariah."

Jimmy wants to see it too, but is pretty afraid they'll butcher it.

Guest2 says "Which house?"

Jimmy nods to Miles too. "And that sort of garbage is my other fear."

Cousin Kate says "House Bobo."

Chloe says "It's one of the houses Deana McKinney came up with. Moment. :)"

Thomas Dane SO fears KB Redcap.

Jimmy assumed it was House Elatha?

Thomas Dane says "House Pancakes."

Cousin Kate laughs

Chloe nodnods at Jimmy. http://www.geocities.com/elathan_of_fomhiore/freehold/Houseelatha.html

Thomas Dane says "House Style. House Dressing."

Cousin Kate /laughs/!

Chloe is /so/ using that one in her TT game. How could she not? :) *giggles at TD*

Thomas Dane has some -ideas-, man. House Dressing can have a ginger taste to it. They're very popular among Japanese people, and addictive.

Miles takes bets that House Merinita'll show up.

Cousin Kate finds House Dressing funnier and funnier the more she looks at it

Jimmy wants to see House Rules. Their boon is they can warp reality via a manipulation roll. Their flaw is that everyone that meets them feels compelled to do nothing but argue.

Cousin Kate nods at Miles.

Thomas Dane says "where's the most recent release date list?"

Guest2 says " http://www.nocturnis.net/faqs/caf/calendar.php "

Chloe giggles at Jimmy. :)

Jimmy nods. "Duke Stupid-Ass of House Rules was the one that managed to suck away vampire powers through sex." ;)

Prospero comes down from on high.

Prospero has arrived.

Prospero wants to hear this mad crazy fun, yo.

Thomas Dane just wants House Painter. They're all artists, you see.

Jimmy grins at Pro. "We're making up the new Houses for the Lost House release."

Chloe says "House Mother. They're rather boggan-y sidhe."

Thomas Dane offers you House Salad. The Gardeners.

Miles says "House Wine. They complain constantly."

Chloe says "House Special."

Jimmy says "They're all handicapped."

Miles says "House Detective. They're all clones of Kent."

Chloe gets a bad case of the giggles.

Jimmy sorries for that one. But I couldn't resist.

Chloe says "I was trying to come up with something Jimmy. That works. :)"

Mia says "House Arrest."

Cousin Kate dies!

Chloe says "They're all criminals?"

Thomas Dane says "criminals and law enforcement. Many trolls belong to this house."

Cousin Kate says "Its the long lost brother of Eiluned and Ailil."

Chloe says "House Boat. Relatives to the mer and the selkies."

Cousin Kate says "The one mother liked best."

Thomas Dane says "House Style is, of course, where Cindy Crawford came from."

Prospero says "House Wife. House Flaw: they're all Truehearted. House Boon: they can vaccum, cook, take care of the kids and do windows, too!"

Chloe falls over.

Thomas Dane says "House Husband. Same thing, but more liberated."

Chloe says "House Guest. Eternal wanderers."

Prospero says "House. Where Lem, Matt, Mike, Chuck and EV come from."

Cousin Kate says "And they don't get the dust bunnies under the couch."

Thomas Dane says "House Cat. What can you say about them? ;>"

Chloe says "God. Somebody log this, please."

Cousin Kate LAUGHS!

Miles says "House Winchester. They're huge, rambling, but never go anywhere."

Miles says "House of Lords. They're redundant."

Miles says "House of Commons. No sidhe allowed."

Prospero says "When is this book coming out? I fear the tidal wave of applicants."

Cousin Kate can hear us all thinking of House ____ now.

Cousin Kate says "December, I think Guest said."

Guest2 says "November."

Prospero says "Good, we can breathe easier."

Mia says "House Boy...Boon: Very efficient. Flaw: Satyr playtoy."

Cousin Kate says "Sometime inappropriate."

Anna has connected.

Miles says "House Frat. Boon: Copious Stamina. Flaw: Toga! Toga! Toga!"

Cousin Kate is going to go take a shower and try and think of crazy houses. ;)

Chloe says "House Fire. See also: House Flambeau."

Cousin Kate laughs

Prospero says "House Frat: Boon: Toga! Toga! Toga! Flaw: Copious Stamina."

Miles says "House Sitter. They all look like Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin."

Guest2 says "House Party?"

Chloe says "Lots of satyrs in their ranks. :)"

Thomas Dane just thinks... House Call - The only nobles to come visit -you-.

Cousin Kate says "They can have a trago named 'Block', so they're Block Party."

Cousin Kate says "House Warming. They live in the Kingdom of Bright Paradise."

Chloe giggles!

Miles says "House Isnotahome: They're not really comfortable anywhere."

Cousin Kate gets one in, yes!

Cousin Kate says "House Call, bwaaaa!"

Anna says "House Fly?"

Miles says "They all have wings, but they've got to puke on their food to eat it."

Chloe says "House Broken. Well...."

Cousin Kate says "House boon: all have wings merit. House flaw: all have wings merit."

Anna giggles.

Cousin Kate snarfs!

Thomas Dane likes House Key. They're all childlings with busy parents.

Prospero says "House Boon. Known as generous folk."

Cousin Kate says "TD is -good- at this"

Thomas Dane is just sick. ;>

Miles says "House Flaw: They're sick puppies."

Thomas Dane brings you... House Rising Sun. They're all... <ehem> and it's located in New Orleans.

Miles says "House Lights: They glow in the dark."

Anna snickers. Good one.

Chloe says "It's been ruin of many a poor boy, TD."

Thomas Dane high-fives Chloe.

Chloe grins.

Prospero says "Alternately: House Fly: they all got cool clothes and dance really good."

Chloe giggles!

Cousin Kate says "House Keeper. They're the watchers who watch the watchers."

Chloe says "House Music: Funky DJs."

Anna says "Flaw: Have to do what everyone else around them is doing."

Chloe giggles.

Miles says "House Pet: The Satyrs just LOVE them."

Cousin Kate says "House 'A'mess. Where Pro and CKate live."

Thomas Dane really hopes someone logs this for the webpage. I tried but lost my old screen.

Prospero says "No, that's House Miniscule."

Thomas Dane likes House For Sale. They're all mercenaries and realtors.

Cousin Kate says "House O'Mirrors?"

Thomas Dane says "Fun House. They're backwards -and- clowns!"

Cousin Kate says "They flip seelie and unseelie by looking in reflective surfaces."

Cousin Kate says "Clowns!"

Miles says "House Usher: They just won't stay dead."

Chloe says "Terrible sibling rivalry though."

Anna says "House Rules?"

Cousin Kate says "Caught that one. ;)"

Chloe says "That's what /started/ all of this. :)"

Anna says "Drat. *muttermutter* :)"

Cousin Kate says "House Rodenberry: all those techno sidhe can have a place now."

Thomas Dane says "House Call, revised - They're all telephone solicitors."

Miles says "House Work: And you thought the DOUGAL were industrious."

Bottom chuckles. "House Nextdoor: Flaw, they're loud as hell, Boon, they throw the best damn Midsummer parties."

Prospero icks. "Name the technohouse after somebody cooler."

Miles says "House Gibson?"

Guest2 says "House Heinlein?"

Cousin Kate says "Fine: House Strazinski."

Prospero says "House Niven. House Asimov. House Gibson."

Cousin Kate LOVES G2 now.

Miles says "House Heinlein: They're all multitalented Redheads."

Guest2 hops into CK's arms.

Cousin Kate says "With the JOAT merit."

Miles nods at CKate.

Thomas Dane says "and the Faerie Eternity Merit."

Miles says "House Boon: They can walk around naked and not worry about the effects of Gravity."

Cousin Kate sees house work. Narf!

Thomas Dane laughs.

Bottom grins. "House of Pain: Bad redcap music, but popularity is inevitable."

Miles says "House of the Dead: They're very quiet in Parliament."

Cousin Kate says "House Heinlein: you thought Fiona was bad."

Guest2 says "And very popular with Sluagh, the House of the Dead are.."

Miles says "House Writer: They're talented hacks."

Cousin Kate says "The Opera House. They all sing."

Chloe says "House Wares. They specialize in nifty gadgets made of plastic. Own lots of stock in Rubbermaid."

Cousin Kate says "Not to be confussed by the Kingdom of Willows spin off: The Grand Ol' Opre House."

Vander says "House WaReZ: Boon: Computer aptitude for free. Flaw: Hunted."

Anna says "House Salad, vegans one and all."

Miles says "Best little Whore House: And you though House Heinlein was bad."

Thomas Dane says "but it's only in Texas."

Lili has connected.

Cousin Kate says "side hurts... laughing..."

Chloe giggles at Vander!

Prospero says "Smoke House: mmmm nummy."

Thomas Dane says "Hill House, Haunted House, and House 2: The Second Story. A trio of related houses that are all infested with poltergeists and banshees. Scary!"

Chloe says "Not /that/ scary. ;)"

Prospero says "In the Dreaming, the movies were actually cool, though."

Chloe says "Yeah. that /would/ be a dream. ;)"

Miles loved House 2. Bite your tongue, Prosp.

Prospero did not see.

Bottom smiles. "House of Non-Sequitor. Where Prospero sits on his lonely throne, and we all giggle at him."

Miles says "Of course, I'm a sucker for Cowboy Zombies."

Prospero wheeees!

Thomas Dane ooooos. Road House! Every sidhe looks like Patrick Swayze, and they all get +2 to intimidation and brawl.

Cousin Kate says "They somehow have Troll blood without being blue."

Chloe says "House Hunting: See 'House Guest', except they're eternal wanderers in search of a place to lay their heads."

Vander says "House Sitter, Every Sidhe is mooching off a noble who's on vacation."

Chloe says "Already done, Vander. :)"

Vander says "Missed it"

Thomas Dane says "Mobile Home - Trailer trash sidhe who don't even rate a full house. Can't have about resources 2, but the entire house is very loyal to one another."

Chloe says "HEY."

Prospero says "And they have shotguns."

Cousin Kate says "A household within House Opera could be Lounge. Then they could be Lounge Lizards."

Prospero says "All pooka."

Vander says "Home Improvement: Offshoot of House Dougal, specializes in supercharging powertools. Flaw: Always gets injured with said tools."

Chloe thinks we finally killed the topic. :)

Cousin Kate LAUGHS!

Chloe peers?

Thomas Dane grins. "White House. Composed entirely of older Causcasian sidhe who are born to rule the country. Flaw: prone to scandals, abuse, and excesses. Must run for reelection."

Thomas Dane says "needless to say, their policies of not admitting women, minorities, people under 35, or people of most religions in means that they're a very unpopular house. Kind of like Gwydion, with a bigger stick up their rear."

Miles says "Doogie-Houser: Precocious brats."

Chloe groans.

Chloe's tummy hurts from holding giggles in.

Miles says "House Doctor: What members of Doogie House-r grow up to be."

Bottom sighs. "So, CKate shouts out from the shower 'Hey! You gotta say House of Blues! an' say it was from me!!'"

Miles says "And finally, House Archer: They're all named for Noir detectives and tend to be the focus of High Weirdness."

Chloe says "And they're all played by Miles. :)"

Posted by Lisa at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2000


Glamour Girl Tired. Oh god. So amazingly tired. Look at the picture. It takes energy to look that good! Little story. Think back, to the story of the eeeevil leopard print dress. Well, after writing Wednesday's entry, Jo called me at work and told me about a dance Friday night that she and Eric and a few other people were going to. I was invited to come along. It was being billed as a formal thing, but really only as formal as you wanted to be. Instantly I thought, "Hooray! I can wear my dress!"

So I did. Obviously. (There are a few other pictures up.)

I can't tell you the last time I dressed up and went dancing. Years. It's easily been years. I felt wonderful. I was so worried that I'd feel naked or stared at or laughed at for wearing something that I felt was so revealing. Instead I got nothing but compliments. There may have been one or two disdainful looks, but I was able to ignore them. By and large, it was a terrific experience, not to mention a lot of fun. Not only did I get compliments, but I got flirted with. I even ended up with a few phone numbers.

I'm a little awed. Was that all the result of purely a change in body confidence? Was it just the crowd I was with? When I went dancing before, years ago, that never happened. Ever. I got politely ignored, confidence or no.

I'm not sure I describe exactly how it felt. I noticed a definite change in the energy that ran through me. I think it even shows in the pictures, beyond the difference of makeup and clothing alone. My laugh was more frequent. It was lower, richer, louder, a sound that came from somewhere in the depths of my stomach and just rolled out of my throat. My voice was the same way (except when I got flustered by some of the flirting). Powerful. I felt very powerful. It's close to the feeling I used to get at SCA events. It's a very sexual feeling, but that's not all there is to it.

I think it was just honest-to-god, bone-deep confidence in my appearance. It's a feeling that comes so seldom to me, I don't know how to name it or understand it when it does come along. I like it. I want it back. I want that feeling to be like a best friend, something I understand and revel in the presence of, but something I'm so comfortable with that I know it will always be there.

Posted by Lisa at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2000

Confessions of a Fat Chick

I wanted to share most of an email I sent today to an email list I recently joined through NAAFA , or in case you haven't checked the bio page or heard my soapboxing, the National Association to Advance of Fat Acceptance. I've poked around the list for several days now, with varying responses. To my horror, one of the first responses I had was a bit of smugness when someone would post their weight and I'd know it was more than mine. Once I realized that nasty bit of sizism still lurked, I started trying to stomp it out. I'm getting better. The most reassuring, was that I started to realize, there really are people out there like me, fat and trying -- to varying degrees of success -- to be empowered about it. Anyway, here's what you won't find on my bio page:

Hi everybody. :) I've been lurking for several days now. I'm 28, divorced, and live in the Southeast Michigan area with my cat. I've been fat almost all of my life. The joke I make is that after I got my tonsils out when I was five I just never stopped eating all the ice cream I wanted. ;) (Yes, it's a bad joke.) Like most of you, I went through diet after diet, even as a kid. I first joined Weight Watchers when I was eight.

Finally in 11th grade, when I was 15, I followed a high-protein low-carb diet and lost 80 pounds in nine months, going from about 260 to about 180. Within three years, it was all back and then some. That was my last really serious diet effort. I got married, got divorced, went through some serious struggles with depression, and here I am.

I don't know how much I weigh. I don't really care. When I left my ex-husband, I weighed around 400 lbs. Two years later, I probably weighed about 250, just due to some dramatic lifestyle changes, no conscious effort. Now, some four years after /that/, I'm probably back up around the 400 mark.

My self-esteem fluctuates almost as dramatically as my weight, although the two aren't linked. I find myself attracted to larger women and larger men, but find it hard to believe that they would be attracted to /me/. On some days. On other days, honey, I'm all that and a side of beer-battered onion rings, a large Coke and a piece of apple pie. ;)

I know I need to be more active. Right now, I'm incredibly lucky to be in a good health, because I /don't/ live a healthy lifestyle. If y'all want to blame somebody for the stereotypical 'sits around all the time and eats junk food' fat person, it's me. Sorry, I'll try to improve, I promise, just so y'all don't get dirty looks at the grocery store. ;) (Yes, I'm being tongue in cheek.) But I /do/ need to improve, and I'm working on that. As an office drone and a freelance writer/web designer/computer junkie, it's hard to remember to get off my cushy butt and go do something.

Oh. And I love to talk. In case you missed that. ;) Nice meeting you all.

So. There you go. You have no idea what it took to post the numbers, particularly. There's a part of my brain that screams, "YOU CAN'T TELL PEOPLE THAT !" As if, somehow, just by seeing those magical numbers, my friends will stop loving me, or my readers will be disgusted and stop reading. Or whatever. And maybe you are disgusted, friend or relative or casual reader or whoever. But see, here's the definition of empowerment for me: your disgust is not my problem. I might find it disgusting that you love anchovies or watch pro wrestling or clip your toenails in public or whatever. And my reaction wouldn't be your problem either.

I'm not going to debate the issue of how controllable weight is, and if diets work and whether or not I should change for the sake of societal expectations or whatever. If you email me on that subject, I'll read it, and then politely delete it. Don't expect a response. I have my opinions on the above matters, but you could probably figure that out. ;-)

Here's what it's all about for me. I admit, I am not the world's happiest person. My brain chemicals see to that on a regular basis. I further admit that I have body image issues. Oh children, do I. All women (and a lot of men!) do, it's impossible not to in this society. Hell, wouldn't you, if you'd grown up being told over and over and over that you were unacceptable, ugly, a loser, a weak, self-indulgent thing that no one could possibly ever love or find attractive? And I'm not just talking about subconscious societal messages. I'm talking flat out, to my face comments. A good example: "You have such a pretty face." (Well what about the rest of me? There's plenty there, y'know!)

Even worse than the comments are the subtle things, the things you're never quite sure are based on your size or not. Follow the month ago link. That was a date. The first and only. Never heard from again. I've joked with people that the quickest way for me to get rid of annoying net geeks is to send them a picture when they ask for one (which is usually the first thing they do). It's a joke, but it happens. Time and time again. Most of the time, I can laugh it off. However, when I've spent weeks getting to know someone, chatting and hanging around online, and then they vanish without a trace as soon as I send them a picture -- I can't ignore that. I can't laugh it off. And I can't help but wonder if it was because I'm fat.

It's easy, if you're not in the middle of it, to just say, "Ignore them! They're assholes!" And yeah, they are assholes. But when you run into enough of them, you start to wonder if the assholes are right, even though everything in you tells you they're not.

Me, one month ago Let me tell you what I see when I look in the mirror. I see bright, beautiful blue eyes. I see the long hair I've always wanted, long and flowing and a lovely warm reddish brown. I see a double chin, ticklish and protective of a supersensitive neck. I see my father's nose, slightly hawkish. I see my mother's mouth, a similarity that goes beyond skin deep. I see the scarred, split eyebrow from when I fell against a coffee table as a toddler.

I see my body. I see plump, rounded, slightly sloped shoulders and fat upper arms (arms I'm often ashamed to show). I see full, heavy breasts (that I worry about being too saggy). I see a tummy with rolls of fat (and yet how is that a bad thing? I have a marvelously comfy lap to hold people of all sizes on). I see wide hips (hips that I sometimes have to worry about fitting into restaurant booths, airplane seats, armchairs). I see powerful thighs and calves that take me where I want to go, and have the potential to dance for hours (and yet, my thighs rub together when I walk).

I see... me. Most of the time I look at myself in the mirror, even naked, and I am at peace with what I see. Sometimes even happy. When I am not, when I look in the mirror and feel despair or even disgust at what I see there, I do not think, "I hate what I see, I'm hideous." I think, "If anyone else could see me right now, they'd be grossed out. They would find me ugly. They would hate what I see." It's a small but very vital difference.

Diet programs always tell you should have a goal. Something concrete to keep you focused. Something to work towards. My goal is not a size 10. My goal is not a number on a scale. My goal, if you'll indulge me a moment, is in the second poem over on the sidebar, a poem I haven't quoted in about a year. My goal is to feel this way, all the time. I think I'll be more successful with that goal than I ever was with a number on a scale.

Posted by Lisa at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2000

Sex and the Single Writer

As I told Dawn in an email earlier today, the muse has bitten me in the ass once more. I'm suddenly on fire with ideas of things to write and say. I'm considering another book for Tribe 8, similar in style to my last one. I have an idea for an honest-to-god novel, if I can ever tie myself to a chair to work on it. I'm doing a lot of writing for my MUSH. Brand has recruited me to help with a proposal for a second T8 book.

So naturally, this morning I started a story. Sleep deprivation will do marvelous things to people. I should mention, I was up talking (and roleplaying) with Brand until about 7:30 this morning. At that point, knowing I had to be at work at 9, I went to lay down for about fifteen minutes or so. No good. As I lay there, thoughts drifting, an idea showed up and clobbered me right between the eyeballs. CLONK. I dunno, maybe it fell from the ceiling or something.

So I sat down and wrote about a page before getting dressed and coming to work. I had to. I debated it. I'd have to skip a shower to write. But I knew if I didn't sit down and start writing right then, the core of the idea would fade, and by the time I got home tonight, it wouldn't seem so important anymore, and it would never get written. It's happened to me before.

Normally, I would have emailed the story off to myself at work and spent most of today working on it as well. I... can't do that with this story. It's one of my rare (read: the last time I wrote a story like this was five years ago) attempts at out-and-out erotica. Not exactly something you want the boss reading over your shoulder. or as you type it, if your boss is a fascist with one of those keystroke-monitoring programs. (Note: if you're reading this as I type, hi Dave! I didn't mean to imply you were a fascist, really.)

This is, in all honesty, the story that may never see the light of day. If I ever decide to publish it, it may well be under a pseudonym, or somewhere I'd tell very very few people about it. It's not because I'm ashamed to write something sexual. It's not even that I'm ashamed to let people read something I've written that's sexual. It's, well... largely autobiographical. Transparently so, and I think it will remain that way, no matter what attempts I make at disguising it. If you know me, you're going to know what I'm writing about as you read it. And now, like a goomba, I practically just told all of you that it's autobiographical (although it may not all be!), so you'd know that it happened, and that it wasn't some twisted fantasy of mine.

It isn't shame that would keep me from sharing this story from you, from posting it next to all the stories about faeries and werewolves and vampires. It's fear. Fear that you just don't want to know that much about me. Fear that you might be hurt by what I have to say. It's not a happy story. Fear that my attempts at capturing passion on a page are going to come out laughable and potboilerish. Fear that my sexuality will seem laughable and potboilerish.

And let's not even get into the idea that very fat people aren't supposed to even be sexual.

Fear and loathing aside (fear of loathing?), it's a story about secrets, and not all the secrets in it are mine alone to tell. What do you do when you have a story you have to tell, but aren't sure if you can ever share it? You write it in the dark hours, just before dawn, just after sunset, huddled in front of the computer in a darkened room, struggling to capture emotion and nuance and memory -- 'What did he say?' 'When did he say it?' 'How do I describe that touch?' 'How did his eyes look then?' Struggling to make it breathe instead of burble and boil melodramatically.

Then, if you have to, when you finish it, you save the file away in a subdirectory, the millenial equivalent of locking it away in a drawer. You may sandwich it into a collection of stories someday -- if you're ever lucky enough to publish in such -- someday when the events are far enough removed that no one really cares anymore, someday when you're old enough that the exploits of your twenties aren't going to make anyone peer curiously or laugh or shiver in revulsion.

And sometimes, only sometimes, you find someone to show it to. And you let out a little bit of the story you carried around, first in your head, then in your proverbial drawer. And a little more of the stone gets chipped away.

(An aside to my friends: if you think it's about you, it probably isn't.)

Posted by Lisa at 02:15 PM | Comments (1)

October 08, 2000

Storytellers Anonymous

I picked up Stephen King's new non-fiction book last week. I admit, I don't monitor new book releases super closely, but I usually know when King has released something, largely because I watch for that, as I've been one of his readers for years. This one slipped in right under my radar. I didn't know anything about it until I passed it at Barnes and Noble. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. One of my favorite authors wrote a book about writing? I'm so there. What I'm discovering, largely, is that he approaches writing very much like I do. Not surprising, considering how much of his work I've read and more particularly, at what point in my life I've read it.

I've spent most of today curled up in my bed reading. Not hard to do, it's a cold, drizzly afternoon more suited to November than early October. And as I curled up, reading Stephen King's often amusing insights on writing and thinking about yesterday's events, I pulled together some knowledge about myself, clarifying something I always knew.

I'm a storyteller. An absolute addict to that process, not to put too fine a point on it. That's why I spend so much time on MUSHes. That's why I game. That's why I write. That's why this journal has been still for the past month or so. None of my personal stories have felt worth the telling. The entries I did before my unofficial, almost-hiatus were very dissatisfying to me. They felt like rote 'well I have to write something' entries. Maybe they felt that way to you. Maybe they didn't.

Interactive storytelling is the absolute pinnacle for me. As a player or as the storyteller (or Weaver, or GM, or whatever you want to call it), or even as a collaborative writer, getting together with other people to tell a story is the best thing on earth. Or one of, at the very least. When it all comes together, like yesterday, there's nothing else like it.

Individual storytelling, like my writing, is also a wonderful feeling when it's good, but it comes a little harder for me. It requires a little more discipline, for one thing. I don't get the immediate audience reaction, for another. Acting and interactive storytelling both fill a very definite need in me, although acting is almost somewhere between storytelling and writing in terms of how it feels and how it works.

Yesterday is a great example. I finally ran a session of my Changeling game again. I realized, to my horror, the last time we played was in July. I didn't especially feel like running the game yesterday -- or, more accurately, didn't feel like doing the preparation work necessary to tell the story I wanted to tell. But I did it, and was determined to set a mood and tell the story. Alex and Jason and Dawn picked up on that determination, I think. For the first time ever, I did things like darken the room and light candles. There was even a touch of live action roleplay, as I set up a 'shrine' and had the players come look at and handle the items on it (which where actually pieces of paper describing the items). I've done so much build up with this storyline, feeding out background information in little bits, getting incredibly frustrated because the players were getting restive. "Nothing's happening," they told me. "We're not doing anything." And they really weren't, because I was laying groundwork. I got frustrated. I doubted myself. I whined to Brand constantly, "It's going to be such a good story, but I can't manage to snag them into it!"

Yesterday I made contact. With the increased mood, I delivered a whammy, and in my not-so-modest opinion, did the best damn job storytelling I've ever done. Speaking of Stephen King, I'm reminded of something he wrote in his other non-fiction book, Danse Macabre. He talked about gore in horror movies, and how, if the audience doesn't care about the characters, you can throw oceans of blood at them and they will remain unmoved. If the audience is deeply involved with the characters, however, even a few drops of blood can be devastating. Unless I'm misremembering, I haven't killed off anyone in this campaign -- oh wait. I did kill off one character, but he was more along the lines of your typical RPG monster, i.e., you have to kill him to get past him. So that was exciting from a game standpoint, but it didn't mean much in terms of story impact. Yesterday, however, four characters that had become important to the main characters died.

All of us, storyteller and players together, created a scene which brought home just exactly what the impending war will mean to their characters. In terms of roleplaying games, it was the best possible situation. They took the ideas I threw out, and twisted and turned them and made the situation even more powerful than I had planned. It gave them a very very personal reason to want to stop the war, in addition to the more abstract reasons, like 'war is unhealthy for children and other living things'. By the end of the game, we were all hyped on the storyline and emotionally wrung out. I was on a high that lasted until I finally fell asleep at around five this morning.

You can't beat that. That is the reason why I get so distracted from my 'real life' concerns. That's why my house is a disaster area. That's why my work area is cluttered with books on writing and research for whatever world I'm trying to create in my head and express to someone else. That's why I stay in a job most would consider dead-end, because it doesn't interfere with my internal landscape. I'm like the absent-minded inventor who doesn't notice his house is starting to burn because he's so focused on the blueprints in front of him. I don't say these things as an excuse. Like all addicts, I've lost a sense of balance. I need to work on regaining that. However, as far as addictions go, I think mine's fairly harmless in the long run. It's not going to kill me or bankrupt me (unless you count buying books of all sorts, of course), and might even be good for me (I'm getting published because of it!). Nonetheless...

"Hi, my name's Lisa, and I'm a storyteller."

Posted by Lisa at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)