Veni, vidi, bacchavi
Below are the 15 most recent journal entries recorded in the "William H Howard" journal:
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I'm back in the game|
Ok, so I haven't posted here in a LONG time.
Time to change that, I think.
This livejournal is being revived, and will consist almost entirely of friends only entries from here on out. Public entries will be available at my main blogsite.
Why am I coming back here?
Because I want to be able to forge closer connections with people, I want to make posts I trust, to people I trust. And I want a place where i coan be raw and emotional but random people won't be able to read what I write.
Join me for the ride? Send me a message if we aren't already friends.
I desperately want a new phone:
My specifications are "ANDROID"
Suggestions? I'm prepared to drop a few hundred here.
I tried to go looking in the mall last night, but none of the sales drones could talk to me about specifications, and Dick Smiths just had the exact same selection as the 2 degrees shop anyway. So I'm probably tithing to Internet retailers instead.
But I don't really know a lot about phones, so help appreciated.
This message crossposted.
Earthquakes aint' got me yet. My eye hurts still though.
Where did March go?|
It's weird. For me, cold, hunger, and depression are inexplicably wound together. Consequently right now I'm cold and hungry, and I feel depressed.
I guess the close contact with friends is helping ward away a lot of my normal feelings of indecision. But then, I've just realised I'm going to have to try to maintain classes for the sake of my continuing fiscal security. (It changes how much I owe the government, a lot.), and so I guess I feel a bit shot in the foot.
Plus side, have now accrued so much responsibility I think I'm secure until the end of the proessing in Chch, at least for a few hours a day.
But yeah, it's all kind of odd in my head right now. I guess I forget that backsliding horrid days happen, since I know I've had a great last 3 weeks, but on a day like today it feels like the happiness is all a lie, yeah? God damn mind, banging against the walls.
Back to Chirstchurch|
Tomorrow I fly back to Christchurch. Excitement! Or something. Feeling a little stressy, need to figure out last things to buy. HATE MY BANK WITH A FURIOUS PASSION FOR FUCKING AROUND ON MY FUNDS.
Still, that'll work out, fortunately friend I've been staying with spotted me $80 for todays shopping. Will pay them back later.
I'll be there from around 9am tomorrow.
I kind of have something to do on Saturday night.
Otherwise I have no specific plans, and haven't booked a ticket home yet. I'll figure that out once I'm in Auckland.
So yeah, not sure what exactly to get up to. People should contact me with plans?
Also there's a slim chance I might need a lift in the morning (9amish) from Auckland airport.
Sorry for the flippancy, apparently flippancy, cynicism, and sarcasm are my coping mechanisms.
So, I know I'm not absolutely ok, I'm somewhat shakey, by which I mean I'm physically shaking most of the time. I'm holding together a lot better than a lot of people though. So y'know, not that bad.
I guess I should try wandering the nearby streets checking on people, but then, that's an awfully motivated thing to be doing.
Hooray for learned helplessness, or something, I guess.
I've got a bunch of stuff to do, but I'm totally not going to get it done today. That can start on Thursday, once I hit Auckland.
Still, I'm incredibly lucky, AFAIK everyone I know is ok, I'm physically uninjured, and I'm going to spend the weekend in Auckland getting my head back on straight.
Sent off message to the Crux Australis. Ye god, I'm mad.
Life, it's happening.|
Too much to write about the last few weeks. Will get around to it soon, honest.
Right now, it's time for a few words from Lao Zi, since you know, we should all contemplate the Dao from time to time.
The highest virtue is like water.
Water is good at benefiting all things, but does not compete with them.
It stays in the palces that others disdain;
this is why water si the closest to "Dao".
He should love to sdwell in the lower places [as water];
he should be as deep and profound [as water];
he should be faithful in his friendship [as water];
he should be sincere [as water] in his speech;
he should be in good order [as water] in his governing;
he should be competent [as water] in handling things;
he should act accordingly [as water] in his activities.
It is because he does not compete [as water],
that he makes no mistakes.
Lao Zi, Dao De Jing - The Classic of the Way of Virtue Chapter 8
So, I went up to Wellington in the weekend for Kapcon. It was the most awesome convention I've ever attended, and I hope that next year continues in this vein.
This is going to be a bit bare bones, I think, I hope to come back and update this some more in the next day or so.
I had 2 and a bit days precon, having arrived on Wednesday night. Wellington has a lot of nice places to be a foodie, and hang out, and I wound up with 3 successive nights eating out and losing track of all of my funds. It was glorious, though it did mean I didn't get to buy any board games.
Though, I did manage to read :
Harry Harrison - Bill the Galactic Hero: Hilarious, farcical, quick to read.
Charles Stross - The Family Trade: Enthralling read, though I'm very glad I bought the second book the day I finished the first. It's obviously the preamble for a big series.
Pre-con drinks itself, like last year, felt like something I should have enjoyed immensely, standing around talking to like minded gamers, many of whom I've met before, but instead I felt out of place. I know this is just my personal neuroses and bear no ill will to the con, or the people there. It's just hard to mesh with a group that's comprised in large part of people who are quite good friends. It's hard to not feel like you're intruding on conversations sometimes.
Session 1: Dead Man's Chest
A LARP facilitated by Anna Klein. I was definitely the sore thumb for my lack of costuming, and I owe an apology to the people there for this. I had a hard time getting into the swing of things, and while I had a good time, I wonder if the character I plaeyd, the Chef who is secretly a poisoner, is written with worse ins to the group than others. Maybe people are just supposed to have less respect for social station according to the LARP writers, since I understand this to have been a prebought scenario for dinner party use.
Regardless, it was a great start to the con, everyone else looked amazing in costume, and Bryn's captain Jack was awesome. Thanks to the players, and to Anna for running it.
Session 2: Purgatory 13, Descent to Abraxus
I went in with high hopes, and I wasn't disappointed. Though in some ways I think the final session of Purgatory 13 run sounds like it was more of the mania I had hoped this one would be, the GMs having kicked into high gear so that they could reach their target for kills. It was definitely very interesting and strange, and a game I don't regret having played in. The 12 man session was split in two, with two GMs in two rooms, and actions having consequences mirrored in both rooms. We basically doomed the ship utterly by being incompetent, it took us too long to realize that burning through all of your passions was much better than ever failing anything. Or at least, it took me too long to realize it. (Also, I found my initial passion, LUST, to be hard for me to work into the narrative, in the end I just shoehorned it in to burn the character up and achieve -something-.)
Session 3: 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars
I ran this one. I'm still not inspired by my performance, though I've had at least 2 of my players say they had a good time. I need to work ongetting things set up better, and not dragging so much. I only got through 2 worlds before I had to call the session. My favourite moments were Scott narrating his combats via what songs were being queued up on his Mandelbrite armour. I really need to find a way to work around recalcitrant Sergeants. Both times I've run, I've felt that part of the slow down came from the sergeant not having enough energy for what I wanted them to do, and other players/characters deferring to them didn't help.
LARP: Al Shir-ma.
I played as Umar al-Aziza, lovesick son of the apothecary/alchemist Aziza. I helped my best friend Jisan recover his memories, in part so that he wouldn't pursue Samia, the woman of my (and most other peoples) dreams.
I spent a lot of time after that skirting the issue, pursuing a job with the listlessness of someone who doesn't have direction, and I spent an ammount of time discussing with people ways for me to show Samia I loved her with a grand gesture.
Eventually, I took a job with the court as junior scribe, bending to my mothers whims, and admitted to Samia my love, admittedly after Jisan got sick of my mooning over Samia and -dragged me to her- and told her I liked her. Things were actually -less- awkward for me after that point, surprisingly.
In the meanwhile, Yehzeed, the barber who was in love with my mother, and was my substitute father figure (my real father having died many years before), had a falling out with my mother. Aziza had discovered his part in my father's death and loss of riches. He begged me to reconcile them, but being emotionally volatile, I just wound up shouting at my mother about how she was letting old hatreds rob her of her chance of happiness.
Somehow in this, Yehzeed came to an agreement with Aziza that he would marry Samia (the woman I loved, who loved him) in exchange for Aziza receiving all of my fathers stolen wealth and power. The moment of this reveal was, however, utterly heart breaking for me as Umar.
Actually, I really would like clarification on if Samia was about to agree to marry me and Yehzeed interrupted, or if I just completely misread what was meant to be a gentle breaking of news as a cause for celebration.
Heart broken, and sure that my mother would never, ever, stop scheming and running my life if I stayed in Al shir-ma, I left with one of the traders, penniless. I did this because it was this, or find a weapon and kill Yehzeed, since my life had no meaning anymore. And because I really just wanted my mother to not get what she wanted, since she'd just arranged to marry the woman she knew I loved to someone else.
Probably the LARP would've gone much differently for me if I'd not been playing a lovesick wimp who put off even declaring his intentions for a long time because he was trying to get something grand and romantic to give to win her fathers approval, but had absolutely nothing to trade whatsoever.
Session 4: The Thursday Crisis
And see, if I hadn't been in Dale Elvy's incredibly awesome game 4th session, I probably would have made the LARP my breakaway best game of the convention. But I had SO MUCH fun with this, that I honestly can't tell if Al Shir-ma, or Session 4, or Session 5 were my best game.
Suffice to say, gaming with Norm, Jenni, and Nasia (and two guys I know less well, and can not name from memory) was awesome. I spent most of the game either appalled by, hating, or looking up to Norm's rendition of my father, CAPTAIN HOPE, and when Jenni's PROFESSOR ETERNITY was falling apart, I felt honestly defensive for my character DANIEL HOPE's mother.
The twist was seen a long way coming, out of character. But I didn't see it at all coming IC.
Oh, and starting off playing by appearing on a breakfast talk show totally rocked too.
Session 5: Best Friends
I was supposed to run 3:16 in this slot, but I didn't get enough players signing up, and I was bone tired, so I canned it and played in Games on Demand instead. There, I saw Jenni who I'd just had a great Session 4 with, and signed up immediately for her game, Best Friends. The game of Bitchy high school girls, where your stats are determined by what people hate you for.
Anyway, it was great, we played as Carebears. I was initially lukewarm to the idea, and I did think of leaving early to go replay Purgatory 13, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The ways in which we ruined Jenni's childhood probably shouldn't be recounted. I will say I'm honestly surprised that Ian's wonderfully played FRUITMOOSE, the enforcer of good diets, didn't actually -kill- me at the end of the game. I was expecting it, but it didn't come. And I'll say that the ventriloquist act was almost certainly planted in my head because of Jenni mentioning the Robot Chicken episode about Carebear Cousin genocide.
Too tired to continue, I helped clean up in Session 6, and then got a lift out to Norm's for the after-con bash. This was awesome too, like last year. I got to talk to a raft of interesting people, and filled my head with more ideas about how to organize things, and how to become a better GM. I also rashly agreed to run a game in the first round of Kapcon next year, and I intend to stick to that. I'll either run a SDC entry from the past, or I'll actually make a scenario. I've got a few months to decide before Idiot starts bugging for blurbs.
Go to Naomi and Sam, for arranging me a place to stay.
Sean and Susan, and their wonderful children, for letting me stay in their spare room.
Con organizers, for running a great con.
All the GMs, for running great games.
All the players, for being swell people to game with.
All the people who gave me a lift while I was in Wellington, you all rock.
I'm sure I've missed important people and things. I'll come back and revisit this at some point, but at this point it's been an hour since I started writing this, and I should really sleep. I'm still nowhere near caught up on sleep after the con.
Resolution I made with self after 'The Thursday Crisis'. See if I can get Dale to run those characters again at a future con with the same players. The players were a blast, the characters were a blast, and, well, Norm may have been my favourite gamer of the entire con for the way he constantly said "FOR HOPE!"
Not coping so well.|
Still getting by. Managing slow progress on enrolling at Uni. Don't know where I'm going to live for the year yet, STILL. Things keep falling through. Vasty depths of the things that I always worry about late at night when my self confidence ebbs low are currently daily things to be beaten back at all times of day.
So, y'know. What else is new?
Fly me to the moon|
Let me play amongst the stars,
tell me what life is like,
On Jupiter or Mars.
So, I'm not feeling too together lately. I spent until about the 20th still thinking I had a (slim) chance of getting into TCol.
Turns out, that's not happening. I made it to interviews all 3 times. Most disheartening was the denial that said they didn't think I could stand the pressures of being a teacher.
Though, you have to wonder if they're right, when you've spent all month in a backslide of epic proportions where it's hard to deal with people.
I miss China. A lot. I miss having a job, and an apartment, and a class, and the struggle with language barriers, and sitting outside my apartment building at 11pm eating food covered in spices and cooked on a little charcoal barbecue, in direct contravention of all fo the travel advice that warns you never to trust the hygeine of such places.
I miss my coworkers, my friends, my students even. I miss feeling needed by society, even in a minimal ancilliary capacity. I'm going to submerge again into academia next year, so as to get secondary teachable subjects, and afterwards I'll be reapplying to teachers college. The rest of the year will no doubt be a whirlwind of social stuff (clubs, societies, organizing committes. Heaven forbid I slip into politics again, though there's a sirens call of that stuff.) and voluntearing (Canty TCol suggested my application would be improved if I had more experience with children. It's a good idea, and will help me fight off the self doubt.)
I feel like I've failed to launch. I don't regret this year, but it's by no means been an easy one. And somewhere along the way in the last 16 months, I feel like I lost proper contact with my core people. I don't even understand how so many bridges fell into disrepair, which is the most damning thing.
Had a pretty good week, hanging out. Kind of sad that we didn't get any roleplaying done yet (which means, almost certainly no RPing whatsoever this week), but I'm sure I'll get a chance to scratch that itch. And the combo board games/computer games/Halo has satisfied for hanging out and general gaming needs.
TCol letter arrived today. No admission. Leaves Friday as more important than ever.
Current fallback plan for next year:
Fulltime employment (unlikely, job market sucks)
Overseas (unlikely, continuing concerns place me in NZ for the foreseeable future)
University (probable, study English and History and reapply to Teacher programmes for next year, unless I've gotten completely over the idea before then.)
Events of note in the recent past..|
Ok, first up. I am currently -without- a working laptop, which makes this whole itnernet thing a bit more haphazard than I like.
Anyway, now I shall add some recent events.
On the 3rd I had my interview with the Teachers College. I'm still undecided on whether i did alright at it or not. 3 person panel (1 Uni employee, 2 principals) vs 4 applicants group interview. We had a rotating question system, I had to answer the first question of the interview, and I completely bollocksed it up. But I think the rest of the interview went alright. One of my co-interviewees said that he thought I did well, but was maybe a bit too honest. We'll see. Officially they're supposed to get back to me sometime in the next week and a half.
Anyway. Other than that, life has been progressing. I guess I'm still a bit of a mess on some levels, but being in Chch is fun. Seeing people is good for me.
Uhm, yeah, rambly. My next interview is coming up on Friday.
Oh yeah, Flyswat incident. John, frustrated with being repeatedly landed on by a particular fly while playing Halo swatted it. And in the process apparently smashed some crucial part of my laptop. It's screen makes weird swirly patterns, and even the external output is having colour problems from time to time.
So, uhm, Insurance, yay.
I'm still kicking around ideas for a game to run at Big Gaming Week or Kapcon. Not sure. I've been wondering about Santa Claus for the last 3 days.
The musings on a game to run are probably going to come to naught. I know I could run 3:16 at Kapcon, but I'm not sure that'd actually generate interest for people.
I've got an interview lined up with the school I want to get into for the 10th. It's exciting, and worrying. And all of that.
It's a step forward though, and those always make me apprehensive.
Obviously I'll need to get a haircut sometime before then, contemplating if I should wear my suit.
Uhm, that's about all for now, I think, that gives a brief update on that aspect of life. I've continued to underacheive as far as job seeking is concerned, but life is still good. And I'll be making more progress on job apps once I print some CVs off tomorrow.
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