gaming

Postcards From the Edge

Antartica: Day 51. Our rations are running low. We lost Thompson sometime during the night. Morale dwindling. The men speak of mutiny. But I must persevere.  Ahem. Sorry...I'm a little off today. And by off I mean absolutely fucking batshit crazy. Why? Well, let me tell you a story (or four).

Approximately 5 and a half years ago I played a game called Shadows Over Camelot.  Fun, cooperative game where 3-7 players are the Knights of the Round Table (quite indefatigable). Players fend off invasions from Saxon hordes and quest for legendary trinkets. Generally entertaining and has a lot of replay value, especially when you put in the "traitor" mechanic. (One knight is secretly working against you. Maybe. *shifty eyes*) So, anywho, I played this game once many moons ago and the next day I had a baby. (Disclaimer: Any correlation between Shadows over Camelot and pregnancy or childbirth is coincidental. If you experience a Grail quest that lasts for more than 4 hours please see the rules because you're doing it wrong.) I haven't gotten to play it since. Friends have pulled the game off the shelf in the interim but never while I'm around and when I've suggested it, I'm overruled.

So, Friday night, we had some friends by to game and hang out. We ended up playing on the Wii rather than doing any table top gaming, but my friend Jeff brought Shadows just in case. He accidentally left it here and I "accidentally" forgot to take it to a party I knew he'd be attending on Saturday.

Yesterday, after taking the kiddo to explore the under sea wonders at the Sea Life aquarium (I saw a starfish's feet!), I decided that I wanted people to come to my house and do my bidding: PLAY SHADOWS!!! I posed the invite on Facebook and got a few people in on the action. What was cool was that a dear friend of mine brought along a guy I gamed with at Phoenix Comic Con who brought a long a total stranger who rocks. There was pizza, caffeine, laughter and a successful game of Shadows. (Finally!) Well, we were all having such a good time we got out Thunderstone. And played til 12:30am.

By that time, I was wired. Couldn't even think of sleeping. Stayed up til 2:30 and decided to try that going to bed thing. At 3:30 I was still awake and listening to the awesome thunderstorm outside. I listened to it until it started to peter out around 5am. By that time, TyGrr (my stripey kitty) wanted snuggles and worship in the form of tummy rubs. And Sean's alarm started going off. When TyGrr was appeased, Sprocket wanted her tithe and it was about 6am.

So, as you can tell by my Twitter feed, I haven't slept! I've caffeinated and right now I feel like a jittery drunken Kung Fu master. Or a particularly insane zombie who doesn't crave brains but cascades on Bejeweled.

When I get tired ... like really tired... I get what I call "your mom" tired. I call it this because at that point, I'm likely to answer any questions with YOUR MOM! I've passed that point and gone straight to Arkham levels of mentally unhinged. And yet, I'm bouncing about like Tigger with a Starbucks IV drip.

OH!

I wanted to tell you... so, my daughter (5, small and cute) woke up this morning. As I usually do when I'm about to make our breakfasts, I asked her to feed the cats.

Her: Okay. I'll do that while you get my breakfast. Can I have toast and butter, please? Me: Sure. Thank you for asking so nicely. Her: You're welcome. *gets cat food and puts it into the bowls* Me: Orange juice or milk today? Her: Orange juice, please. Me: You've got excellent manners today. (This is something we're working on as it has slipped recently.) Her: Thanks. I know I've been kinda bad the past few days. I just wanted to show you that I can be good.

*melt*

With an attitude like that, today's going to be great even without any sleep.

And now, I have too much blood in my caffeine system. Time to go do mom things with a stellar kiddo and hope for the best as far as energy goes.

Have a great day, kids!

Pimp It!

Today I'm doing a post solely for the pimpage of others. I encourage you to get in on the act. Leave comments to hawk for writers/bands/people/whatever that you like. (No Porn, dude, this is a family show.) If you want to pimp yourself, go for it. Just be hospitable, k?In no particular order...

1) The Scientific Mom: My friend Amy has started a blog to keep track of the many things she's been doing with her daughter over the past few years. Seriously, I'm jealous of the mom Amy is. She makes me feel lazy. Anyway. Amy has been homeschooling her daughter for...well, ever...and the results have been amazing. For a long time she just posted about her adventures on Facebook, but recently she decided to share her magic with the rest of the world. Amy is a terrific friend, a spectacular mother and one hell of a teacher. 2) Absence of Time: My friend Chris started a garage project of making jewelry. Because of this, we all win. His steampunk-inspired jewelry is not just fashion, it's art. I love his work and wish I had oodles more money to throw at him. He does original work as well as commissions. Earlier this year, mutual friends got married and the bride had the spectacular idea of commissioning jewelry for her bridesmaids. I got this stunning hair clip to add to my collection of AoT bee jewelry.

Good Night Gracie  Fort Wayne, Indiana. I used to march drumline with this guy named Dan McCoy. Fun, tattooed, terrific player. Turns out that when he isn't being a dad, starting a curling league or growing out an epic beard, he drums for Good Night Gracie. Rocktastic band, tons of fun. GNG throws a great party and pleases the crowd. They do a lot of covers and you can listen to them on their site. Go. Like now.

3) Friends' Bands: 

  • Collectible Boys Iowa City, Iowa. Again, I used to drum with their drummer, Chris Wood. He's got a few other projects, but this one stands out as particularly stellar. The vocalist for Collectible Boys, Renee Zukin is nothing short of amazing. Their debut album Sense of Redemption drops this week. Indie band with a lot of talent behind it. Check out the teaser tracks on the link above and buy the album!
  • The New Guilt Indianapolis, Indiana. Fairly new band still growing a following. They're a bunch of talented guys who found one another and are building a foundation for boss work. My friend Brian "Shadows" Burke (formerly of Valhalla) takes lead guitar on this one. Check 'em out. Friend them on Facebook and go see them if you are in the area.
  • Clay Colton Band  San Diego, California. Again, I used to drum with the drummer, B.J. Morgan. Like Dan of Good Night Gracie, B.J. helped me refine my set technique and pushed me to be a better player. Check out their summer tour dates and see when you can experience them for yourself.

Book Country - Writer's community initiated by Penguin Publishing. You'll find a lot of talent here and great feedback for your work. Fantastic place to connect with other writers. Go. Friend me so I can read your stuff. :)

4) Guise Knights: So yeah, I'm involved with this one personally, but hey, it's a group thing. Guise Knights is a Phoenix, AZ based gaming organization. What started off as a group of friends getting together weekly to shoot the shit and kill things with dice has turned into a larger group of people scattered about the state (with a few friends in other states that we bring in for events because they rock). We go around to conventions and make the gaming awesome. Our members run and teach several kinds of games, from Dungeons & Dragons, to big box games like Doom and starter games like Dixit. GK also provides game reviews. So yeah, if you need a gaming fix...Guise Knights can help you with that. 5) Artists/Writers/Writerly Things: Okay, so I can't narrow this down, so here's a list of people I think are phenomenal. If you don't see your name here it's probably because I'm just forgetful this morning.

  • Gail Carriger - Writes the Parasol Protectorate series (Orbit). Fun steampunk with vamps and weres. I recommend them.
  • Candace Ganger - Strong woman whose blog is a delight to read.
  • Julie Summerell - I heart her Twitter. She makes me laugh a lot and also makes me hungry when she talks about her cooking.
  • Michelle M Welch - Podcast "Theme and Variations", has a trilogy of books out that starts with The Confidence Game. Great wit. And today's her birthday! (Going to her party later. Go show her love.)
  • DeAnnaKnippling - Writer of "Choose Your Doom: Zombie Apocalypse". She writes about zombies and it's really fun. Plus, she's starting her own epublishing gig. Her tweets brighten my day.
  • Johanna Harness - Writer, blogger, inspiration. Johanna started the Twitter hashtag #amwriting and maintains AmWriting.org for all of us word hounds. She has a lot of good things to say on craft and navigating the industry. She genuinely wants to see people succeed at their goals.
  • Zach Reddy - I love his work. Have some on my wall. And he's my husband's brother. I'm particularly fond of his ideas for the 13th doctor. Was very happy to see him in his booth at Phoenix Comic Con this year. He shared that booth with...
  • Emma Lysyk  - Comics and jewelry with quirk and style. A ton of fun.
  • Britney Lee - Found her work on a whim and fell in love. She has this series of prints of Hawaiian deities and I LOVE it. Wish I had more money to throw at her, too. PLUS! She's living the dream and working as an animator for Disney. She also does paper art now which is stunning. Go look for yourself.
  • Bald Pirate Photography - My friend Eric Fiallos started doing photography a couple of years ago and he's really flourished. Of course, I am slightly biased, he did my wedding photos. Eric also does more intimate work. He has a talent for making everyone look sensuous and natural.
  • Captured By Sable - My stepsister has started working on photography as well and her work just gets better and better. Her concepts of composition are unique and delightful to look at.
  • Monique Reddy - My sister-in-law, married to Zach Reddy. Her photography is, in a word, stunning. She has a terrific sense of the moment and a gift for finding light and color to make a shot go from a digital picture to a work of art.
Alright, so that's my list. For the moment. Add to it. Leave comments pimping out friends, family, co-workers, yourself... whatever. Go thou and explore!

Live! From the Center Ring!

Ladies and gentles, direct your attention to the center ring if you would please where our very one Wahine, the Illustrious Blue, will entertain you--no, astound you!--with her tales of daring do. Okay, so maybe I'm a little punchy this evening. The past few days have been a Convergence of All Things. This happens every so often. Everyone we know has something going on... on the same day. On opposite ends of town. Add to that one stressed out me and you've got someone who's hanging onto sanity by a tenuous thread of spider silk. And that is when running off to join the circus sounds great. Uh-oh... Ringling is coming to town this week.

No really, they are. And I'm sooooo going. Okay, I'm not going to run away to do something like play with fire all day or swing from the flying trapeze. But I will be taking my daughter to her first circus. *bouncy mom* I'm so freaking stoked. I LOVE the circus. Hell, I love circus history. I love carnies. I love it all. It's one of my favorite settings to write and researching the tradition is something of a hobby of mine. So, getting to take K to see the Big Show for the first time makes me freaking ecstatic.

Know what else makes me happy? My Life. Meet me after the jump and I'll give you a few reasons why.

First of all...Friday night. After a pretty stressful week, I got a surprise email from my mom demanding some time with her granddaughter. As it happened, we needed a sitter for a gaming session. Oh look! Serendipity! So, Friday I got to take out some of my aggression on helpless critters under the guise of a Warforged Warden named Six who wields an executioner's axe (brutal 2). (This is Dungeons and Dragons 4th ed for those of you who are going, "huh?") Sitting around a table at the house of friends...gaming...laying waste to evil doers...eating good food...petting the cats of said friends... yeah, it's a good way to spend the evening. Also a great way to let off some steam and find balance. Six reached level 4 and gets to go shopping for new magical goodies to make her even more formidable. Fear my squeaky wrath, ye villains of the Living Forgotten Realms. I will own you. And kill you. A lot.

Mom, in all her awesomeness, offered to keep K for an overnight, so Saturday morning, Sean and I went to pick up the girl and go house shopping. I have to brag about my kid for a moment. For a 5 year old, house hunting can be just about as interesting as a root canal, but K took it in stride. She is awesome. Her favorite part was testing the acoustics of each house. Being empty and mostly tiled, a good portion of the houses were excellent echo chambers. Always important to test such things. Hee...she loved one of the houses we checked out. It had a Cupboard Under The Stairs! Okay, so it was a closet. But in the back of this closet, was a little hidey hole with a light in it. Perfect for a small person to go crawl in with a book. She spent a lot of time in there and loves the idea of having her own little nook. (Alas, we're not likely to make an offer on that house.)

There is one house we looked at that Sean gave a solid A- grade. I am doing my damnedest not to fall in love with it. We've only started looking and we've still got a lease here... falling in love with a house on the first trip out shopping... yeah. Bad idea.

But yeah. Six houses... one of which smelled of old people. *shudder* We had fun. We narrowed down what we want. And we took a lunch break at Chino Bandito. Hells to the yeah. (If you live in Phoenix and haven't been to Chino, you must go. if you don't live in Arizona...you have to come here and go there. That's all.) So, after speeding back home to change clothes, we loaded up in the car again to take K to her gymnastics class. Sean and I went to dinner with friends who were celebrating their 18 year old daughter's last weekend at home until after Basic Training. Laughter...merriment... a bit of good Reisling. Yeah. Saturday rocked.

And today... Father's day. More awesome kiddo time. Some vegging out with Lego Harry Potter and many smiles shared with the husband.

I'm sitting here and admiring this little life of mine. For as crazy as I felt last week, tonight I am asking, "Can this get any better?"

Yup. The circus is coming to town! (And the husband brought home Thunderstone! *maniacal geek laughter*)

Hope you've all had a great weekend...especially all of the fathers/grandfathers/stepfathers/father-figures out there who make a difference in the life of a child just by being in the room.

Shine on, y'all.

Blog Gumbo

So, looking at the news buzzing around right now, I realize that I have some opinions on a few things. This post will be random, possibly offensive and may topic jump. (I have a pounding headache and am going crazy at the moment, but more on that later)... so sit back, grab some chai and join me in a trip through my thoughts.

1) Pottermore. Let's forget for just a moment that I haven't seen Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1 yet. (I have a kid. This makes getting to movies difficult sometimes. Stop looking at me like that. No, I will not turn in my Harry Potter Fan card. Shut up!) The trailers for the last installment make me squee. The past couple of weeks I've been playing the Lego Harry Potter game. I even tried to start reading Sorcerer's Stone to K, but she's not interested yet. (She's 5, we forgive her and hope this is just a phase.) But... today... the big buzz is about Pottermore. What, you ask, is Pottermore? Well, it's a teaser site. Pink background, 2 owls and a single word (pottermore) hovering over JK Rowling's signature.

This gets a quirk of the eyebrow. O rly? I say. Click on one of the owls and you're taken to JKR's youtube channel. There you will find a clock counting down to some major announcement.  Merlin's beard, what could it be?! More from the Potterverse? (Seriously, you don't write one of the biggest franchises ever centered around a character named Potter and THEN start a new project with the same name and NOT include that character. Bad form and highly sneaky. And mean.) So my fangirl heart palpitates at the idea that we might get what I've wanted for years. Prequels! I want to see what Moony, Padfoot and Prongs were up to back in their day. Oh! Or maybe we can see some of Fred & George's exploits before Harry gets to Hogwarts. Will we see what happens after the epilogue of Deathly Hallows? Gah! I'm already going nuts for the final movie(s), now she does this? Shrewd woman.

So what do you think? Do you think it's not a new book series at all but some media tie-in to boost move #7? What do you hope it is? Geek with me on this one.

2) House Hunting. Don't I wish we were hunting THAT House. Yes, all I would have to do is force myself to look at Fox. But, no... not looking for Hugh Laurie (call me). So, Sean and I have been together for almost 7 years at this point. We've got a 5 year old...we got married last year...and now we're talking about getting a house. Like seriously talking about it. I spoke with a mortgage broker this week to see what we can afford...we've been looking at listings for houses and this weekend we are going to look at some of them . All I can think is, "when the hell did I become a grown up?" Yeah, I know that sounds weird coming from a mom...but really...when did that happen? And in the past, Sean and I have talked about getting a house, but it was talk. We knew at the time we didn't have the cash to do it... it was something for the future and sometimes just something to dream about. Now, it's actually happening. We're serious about it and every day something happens to push that forward one more step. Our lease in this house is up in January. Sure, we're looking early, but Sean and I don't want to do this last minute. (When we moved into the place we're in now, we had a month to pack and move out of our apartment...during Christmas. Yeah. Not again.)

So when did I become a grown up? I still don't feel like one. I just feel like a kid with more responsibilities. I still play with my imaginary friends and I can still beat people at Candyland. I don't want to grow up. Don't you lose part of your soul when you do that? Nope. Not me. I'm not growing up. I flat out refuse. Getting older is inevitable. Acting responsibly is preferred. But being a grown up? No. *blows a raspberry*

So yeah, please wish us luck on this as it's daunting and exciting all the same.

3) Weiner. *sigh* I really do wish that politicians people would just learn to be smart about shit. Taking pictures of your cock and posting them online when you're in a sensitive job position? Yeah, dumbass. However, I think resignation was the wrong way to go. Sure, he's in therapy. (And who wouldn't need physical therapy if they had to walk around constantly leaning to the left like that?) But, does this really effect his ability to stick it to the GOP? Does his propensity for finding alone time in the gym to take junk shots interfere with his political views? I'm sure that someone out there will say that this is outrageous. "We can't have immoral people in office!"

*blink*

What planet are you on? If I wanted a moral politician in office I'd move to the country where I can also have a unicorn ranch and where rivers run freely with decaf chai latte. Where dark chocolate and money grow on trees. We don't live there. Moral politicians? Don't they live at the North Pole with Santa and the Easter Bunny?

Point is, Weiner is a voice for good and now, because people on both sides of the aisle are still puritanical hypocrites, we have lost that voice. Did he fuck up? Absolutely. But who hasn't? Scandals come out every week about someone in government. For one thing, this guy had to work twice as hard to get where he is because with a name like "weiner" you're already starting in the back. Furthermore...why do I care if someone posted pictures of his junk online? Jon Kyl is a flat out liar and no one seems to give a shit. If we take a picture of 3% of his junk and post it (saying it's 90% of course) will that make you yell to get him to resign? Pretty please with chai on top?

4) Michele Bachmann. Seriously, can the woman EVER look at a camera? Must she always look off to the side? Dear Buddha, I want a plastic rocket, a pony and for her to not come near the White House.

5) GIVE ME THE BOOK! And while we're talking about teasers... editor Anne Sowards posted a picture of fresh copies of Jim Butcher's newest book GHOST STORY. This is the next book in the Harry Dresden series and isn't out until late next month. I want this book and I want it now. No, I won't go read the snippets online. Why would I do that? I don't want spoilers and I want to enjoy it all at once. In my hands. I want to be able to curse the name Jim Butcher and slam a book shut. Clicking to close a browser just doesn't have the same umph behind it. Along those same lines... Gail Carriger's next book in the Parasol Protectorate comes out in a few weeks. I will have HEARTLESS, oh yes I will.

6) My Book. As for my own writings...I will be starting preliminary outlines for Eli's story. Also, I'm trying to nail down a plot for the zombie sequel. In that case, I have too many ideas for future books and need to sort out what should come next and how to dole out information to get to my end result.

I have to say thank you. The support from you guys these past few weeks has been immense and I can't begin to repay that. The debacle with my now-former-agent actually improved things in my career. Right now, I'm querying again and have some interest in the book. We'll see what happens. Also, thank you all so much for your support on Eli's story. So many of you enjoyed just that snippet that I feel like he has a safe place to tell his story. You are all awesome.

So yeah... that's life around here. House-hunting, book shopping, being Mom. Gaming with friends. It's a silly little life, but I love it.

Con-templations

We did it! It's Monday. Phoenix Comic Con is over and we survived! Muahahahahah! Holy shit, that was fun! There were costumes, there were crowds, there was a freaking huge Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. PHX CC lived up to its hype and even surpassed its own expectations. I think the final attendance numbers came in at 23,000 adults. This does not count children present (of which there were several). All in all, 2011 was a very successful Con.

I spent most of the con running games with my friends The Guise Knights. When I wasn't running games, I was playing them or finding more caffeine. Here's my experience of it.



Thursday
After K's kindergarten graduation ceremony, our little family packed up a few bags and went up to the convention center to register. I had a panel that night to hit up, too, so we wanted to be onsite early. Sean and I took K on a whirlwind tour of the exhibition hall where we ran into a lot of old friends. Some people who haven't seen K in a few years just gaped at how she's grown. We saw Browncoats, video game characters brought to life, shelves of swag, light sabers, Storm Troopers. I think K nearly fainted when she met a life-sized R2 D2 who rolled up to her and beeped. I had to run upstairs for the informal Author Roundup. There were about 30 of us up there, tops, including the guests. Instead of sitting in the chairs while the authors sat behind their table, we all gathered on the floor and spent a half our bullshitting. Cherie Priest (Boneshaker, Clementine), Paul Cornell (British Summertime, episodes of Dr. Who) and John Scalzi (Old Man's War, Fuzzy Nation) are not only great authors they are terrific, lovely people. If you ever have the chance to just go say hi to them, I highly recommend it. When we first sat down, forming a little circle on the floor, I wasn't sure if we were going to sing Kumbaya or play Duck-Duck-Goose. We started introducing ourselves and Paul Cornell, in his very awesome British accent, asked, "So are we all alcoholics?" Immediately put the room in an easy kinda vibe and conversations began. It wasn't like one or two people held everyone rapt. Just a mixer.

After about a half hour, Cherie and Scalzi took off and I went back over to the Hyatt next door to check on our gaming area and meet up with the husband and daughter. K had so much fun, she asked to stay home from school the next day so she could come with us to Comic Con! That ended up not happening because that night, she had what I call an "existential crisis". (more on that in a moment.) Sean had a late night game to run, so I took the little miss back home and got her ready for bed.

As we're going about our routine of stories and teeth-brushing...K finds the little poem her teachers gave her...and promptly starts bawling. She starts asking if her school will still be there or if it will be crushed now that she won't be there. (I thought we'd hit the object permanence milestone back in the first year, but, these things happen I suppose.) She started crying and couldn't articulate just what made her sad, but from what I got from her...she realized she's growing up. She asked if her voice will always be the same. I ended up snuggling her for a bit to calm her down. This led to her asking questions about babies and what they do in utero.

"You sleep, mostly," I said.
"I don't remember seeing anything."
"Your eyes weren't ready to see yet. They didn't work."
Her eyes got really big and with the biggest, most disgusted voice she could muster she wailed, "You mean I didn't have eyes or a nose or a face? I just had a mouth like a WORM!??!"

To calm her down, I got out the baby box and book...the collections of ultrasound pictures and the little hats or booties she can't wear anymore but that we couldn't part with. For an hour, we looked over these little treasures from her past and it calmed her down enough that she could sleep. I slept fitfully until Sean got home and then everyone rested  up for the next day.


Friday
I think the best word to describe Friday would be "chaos". The car went back and forth all over the place to make sure people were where they needed to be when they needed to be there. I got K to school and zoomed up to the gaming area to begin my shift. I ran Dixit for a while, helped other people set up stuff and then took off to pick up K from school. Once I got back, Sean was finishing up with one of his games. We took K down to the exhibition hall again (apparently just missing a run in with Leonard Nimoy). Bruce Boxleitner was doing a signing and we stood near the end of his line and I said, "Hey, kiddo, know who that is? That's Captain Sheridan."
"Really?" (Yes, my 5 year old likes Babylon 5.)
"Yup. He's also the actor who played Tron."
"Cool!"

We went around and looked at the gorgeous Lego creations, some of the costumes, but by Friday evening, the crowds were starting to show up and my people-induced-claustrophobia kicked into gear. I hugged my kiddo (as she was about to go to her Grandma's house) and I flew off to the zombie creators panel with the above mentioned Ms. Priest, Dean Lorey, Jeffrey J. Mariotte and Yvonne Navarro. We talked about the different flavors of zombie (shufflers, runners, sentients) and the merits of each. Yvonne was hilarious. "I like them all," she said with a blissful smile. "But, if I'm being chased, I prefer the shamblers."

After the panel, I had to run back to the Hyatt for, you guessed it, gaming. I ran Guillotine, Do You Worship Cthulhu (that was a lot of fun!) and then jumped into the all night Apples To Apples game while Sean ran his games a few tables over. Sean and I got home at 3am... I was so wired, I stayed up an extra hour playing video games.

Saturday
I didn't have an obligation until 2pm. So, the smart person would have asked a friend for crash space in one of the hotel rooms upstairs and spent the day sleeping so as to get ready for the all night shift I had to run. Right? Well, that was my plan...then, my husband introduced me to a game called Thunderstone. I LOVE this game now. So, I sat in on that for a while... ran some Fluxx... played some Hex Hex with Inge, took a couple of hours to walk about then I took up an extra shift running Dixit. I joined a qualifier for the Thunderstone tournament (didn't make it, dammit. Lost by one point!) By this point it was going on 9:30pm and I had 2 hours if I wanted any sleep before 4:30pm the next day...I also didn't feel so hot. So, I did what I should've done hours before: I went up to a friend's room to grab a nap. (Saw Wil Wheaton milling about the gaming area at that point, too.)

But a nap didn't happen. Puking happened. I don't know if it was something I ate or my body rejecting the caffeine or just a random bug from being amongst thousands of people, but mightily did I hurl. About 11:30, I went back downstairs, feeling a bit better, but still shaky, and spent a few hours playing Apples to Apples. The nausea kicked back in, a few stars aligned and the Con decided to shut down gaming early...so i went home. The next morning, my stomach said I wouldn't be running anything and I passed off my shifts. I missed the last day.

I learned a lot of how to improve for next year. For example, getting a room on site. Step two: at least one costume and three: no puking.

OH! The big one though... getting contact info for people I game with. There were so many people that I found to be fun and awesome and I may not see them ever again, let alone next year. To the crew I played "Do You Worship Cthulhu" with... you were very kind to someone who didn't know the game and that might be the most fun I've had outside of a game of Apples to Apples. Mary & Shawn, congrats and good luck. Stay safe. Michael-who-is-Shawn's-Dad, take care of those two. Michael-who-beat-me-at-Thunderstone ... it. is. on.

I've mostly recovered. The house is getting back in order and a certain 5 year old is on summer vacation.

...and I'm going through Con withdrawal. While you can occasionally spot someone walking around the house scantily clad, there just aren't Storm Troopers here. And...believe it or not...I miss gaming. Anyone up for a round of Dominion or Zombie Dice?