February 12th, 2005

dance centipedes vagina

Physician, heal thyself

So I got an email message from Nate today. He's someone I met while at the chicago boardgame meetup and we happened to bump into one another at gencon this past summer. The latter is pretty remarkable if you think about it. There are thousands of attendees and the chance that you could find someone at that convention center, even if you were looking for them, is almost entirely nil. There are just too many people in too large an area. Anyway, I saw him again a couple weeks ago at the feburary meetup that Kat and Trip both came with me to. He heard us talking about the gamenight sissymeets and was interested in coming to one. He thought it was simply a group of game affectionados, and even after hearing there was another connection, he didn't seem deterred. I have no clue when or even if we'll have another get together anytime soon but it probaly would be nice to have an additional person. With the chaotic schedules and last minute cancelations, you can never be exactly sure who's showing up and more people is almost alwyas better than less people. Well, up until 7 or so. After that it becomes necessary to split people into multiple groups which kinda sucks. Anyway, I responded to his email that maybe HE should be the one to put together something. God knows I could use a good game night at least as much as he could.

I picked up a new acquisition this morning. I have some really high hopes for it and the game pieces/concept are quite appealing. It's called primordial soup and each player plays a group of amoeba. You spend you time eating and excreting in a glop of, well, primordial goop, which contains food and other amoeba. You can purchase gene mutations which give you special abilities, such as the ability to eat and consume other peoples' amoeba. They can of course try to develop defenses and other adaptations to avoid you. It's the classic game of eat or be eaten. It's a german game originally and I've read there's an expansion. It's unknown whether the expansion will also be translated into english but I certainly hope so. Other than absolutely loving expansions in general (A character flaw towards collecting which alwyas seems to get me into trouble. Just look at my old discarded baseball card, magic the gathering, Ad&d handbook, and anime collections before this board/card game fix), this one will expand the number of players from 3-4 to 5-6 which is alwyas nice. The more people the more fun for most games. The additional rules and cards and boards are no minor matter either. I've often been suckered into buying expansions for a game I've never even played once. The record so far is a Cheapass company game called Deadwood. I think I bought all 5 of the expansions without even reading the rules for the original. I flipped through it and that was about it.

Oh well. I'll get around to playing all of this one day, even if it's stuck at the old folks home in 40 or so years.
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dance centipedes vagina

Scorched by the fires of the soul

This is probaly how things would be if God made the animals of the world under the guidance of a bureacracy.

So I finally finished the da vinci code. It wasn't a bad ending overall. If you simply chopped out the middle 20 or so chapters, basically anything after they arrive at whatshisface's house in france and when they're close to arriving in england, it would have been a quite satisfactory story. However, if I ever and I mean EVER hear the phrase 'sacred feminine' again, I am going to go completely apeshit. I'll probaly beat whoever said it to death with the first phallic-looking object I can find. Crazy feminazi nutjobs.

Now that I'm finished with that book, I'm on to the new one by Stephen Donaldson, The Runes of the Earth. This entire series has a special meaning for me. This book is the start of the third and last set of books in the series of Thomas Covenant. Donaldson began the series near 30 years ago I'd imagine with Lord Foul's Bane. Unlike other fantasy novels, this one took some twists and turns that you would never expect in fantasy. For one, the protagonist was a leper. For another, one of his first actions upon being transported to a magical fantasy land is to rape a native girl who had been doing everything she could to help him. I remember absolutely hating this book when I first finished it. I think I finished it mostly just to see if he died a horrible death. He didn't and I remember being quite disapointed about it. It was quite a while before I even gave the second book a try and likely the only reason I did so is back then I would buy books in bulk, entire series or an author's entire body of work in one go. I grew to really love this series. It became more than simple fantasy and almost a philosophical text for me. Its exploration of guilt, redemption, power, despair, and the lessons taught stay with me to this day. Some passages from the book remain some of the most meaningful things I have read.

Foamfollower's question caught him wandering.

"Are you a storyteller, Thomas Covenant?"

Absently, he replied, "I was, once."

"And you gave it up? Ah, that is as sad a tale in three words as any you might have told me. But a life without a tale is like a sea without salt. How do you live?"

Covenant folded his arms across the gunwales and rested his chin on them. As the boat moved, Andelain opened constantly in front of of him like a bud; but he ignored it, concentrated instead on the plaint of water past the prow. Unconciously, he cleanched his fist over his ring.

"I live."

"Another?" Foamfollower returned. "In two words, a story sadder than the first. Say no more, with one word you will make me weep."

He knew he was going to pass out, wanted hungrily to pass out, but before he lost conciousness, the hurt in his chest made him say, "Giant, I..I need friends."

"Why do you believe that you have none?"

Covenant blinked and saw everything he had done in the Land.

"Don't be ridiculous."

"Then you believe we are real."

"What?" Covenant groped for the Giant's meaning with hands which had no fingers.

"You think us capable of not forgiving you," Foamfollower explained. "Who would forgive you more readily than your dream?"

"No," the Unbeliever said. "Dreams....never forgive."

Then he lost the firelight and Foamfollower's kind face and stumbled into sleep.
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