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Jan. 20th, 2012

08:29 pm - A Week! A Week!

Today was the 20th of January, and that can mean only one thing. Well, it could probably mean a whole lot of things, especially if you subscribe to the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, but in this particular timespline, with its waveform collapsed by myself as the observer, it means only one thing:

We have one week until Rabbit Hole Day!

Rabbit Hole Day

Rabbit Hole Day

Rabbit Hole Day

Rabbit Hole Day

Friday! Friday! Friday!

For consideration: late for a very important date

Current Music: Pogo, "Alice"

Jan. 6th, 2012

03:47 pm - Fiasco: Objective Zebra

Fiasco is a role-playing game of capers gone horribly wrong. The mechanics are built around incompetence, betrayal, and just plain bad luck, with a largely inevitable outcome in which most if not all the characters come to bad ends for what they have done. The ruleset is very basic, and is "skinned" easily with various settings that bring a specific flavor or tone to the same basic underlying mechanics. We've played a number of games using "Dragon Slayers", the fantasy setting, but tonight we were in the mood for something new, so we used a playset called "Objective Zebra". Here's its intro text:

"All is quiet aboard the U.S. Navy submarine SS-495, the USS Saddleback. She's on reduced battery power, nestled in the soft mud of the North Sea somewhere off the coast of Lower Saxony.

It is the middle of World War II. You were specially selected for this mission. They made it sound like a great honor, to ferry a handful of civilians somewhere, in the greatest secrecy, so they could do something that would help win the war. It was called "Objective Zebra". It hasn't worked out so well.

You surfaced and took them, heavily guarded, to an island that wasn't on the Saddleback's charts. They did whatever it is they were supposed to do and came back in a tearing hurry, followed by German spotter aircraft, and E-Boats, and finally a depth-charge tossing Vorpostenboot from the mouth of the Elbe that nearly sunk you. Saddleback went deep and got quiet fast, diving for her life.

Saddleback's collapse depth was 200 meters. When you came to rest on the bottom, amid the screaming protest of over-stressed metal, the gage read 226. There is a meter of water in the pump room and the forward torpedo compartment is largely flooded. The horrible groaning of the tortured pressure hull has mixed with another sound - something stranger, more unearthly - from outside the Saddleback. Whatever it is, it is like nothing even the saltiest old timers has ever heard before. And it is getting closer. What the hell did those civilians do?

You're trapped in a stranded submarine and you have to get the hell out of here... before it comes in!"

Gameplay write-up behind cutCollapse )

For consideration: I promise I will write up the Dragon Slayer fiascoes that we played last year, at some point

Dec. 24th, 2011

09:53 am - With apologies to John & Paul & George & Ringo

I'm fixing a hole where the Claus gets in
And fills my house with useless bling
As he ho ho hos

I'm filling the chimney and blocking the door
To save my house from any more
Of his ho ho ho

And it really doesn't matter if he's real or fake
All this cheer I can't take
All this cheer
See the children standing there who ask for stuff and never care
And wonder where the milk and cookies go

I'm trapping my roof with some dangerous things
And when he arrives on reindeer wings
Then I'll ho ho ho

And it really doesn't matter if he's fake or real
It makes me want to kill
It makes me want
Silly people run around all merry-gay and never ask
Who's gonna pay for all this stuff galore

I'm making a list and I'm checking it twice
Gonna decide who's naughty and nice
Then I'll ho ho ho

I'm fixing a hole where the Claus gets in…

For consideration: three decades later I still think it's hilarious to say "Away to the window I flew like a flash / tore open the shutters and threw up!"

Current Music: The Beatles, "Fixing a Hole"

Nov. 12th, 2011

12:31 am - Hilarious NetFlix Reviews #21

A mix of new and nostalgic from the late summer. A couple of surprising disappointments this time.

CATFISH: * * *Collapse )
HERCULES: * * * *Collapse )
BLAZING SADDLES: * * * * *Collapse )
VALHALLA RISING: * * * *Collapse )
MYSTERY TEAM: * * *Collapse )
THE SOCIAL NETWORK: * * * *Collapse )
TARZAN: * * *Collapse )
LOGAN'S RUN: * * * * *Collapse )
For consideration: coming up we have more dark ages fun, some capers, a TV series many people love that I just couldn't get into, and one of the all-time worst monster movies of the 80s

Nov. 2nd, 2011

11:31 am - Dream: Find My Steve

India is raw and hot and foul outside. Inside is only slightly better, but at least there's shade.

The Engineer finishes reviewing the diagnostic output - screens and screens of raw information winnowed down to a clean, concise summary - and nods to the others. "Everything checks out. It's him."

The Designer looks back from where he is crouching, closely examining. "I could have told you that. He's right there, in the eyes." He turns back: "Hello, old friend."

The Logistician checks his messages on a device referred to only by a combination of letters and numbers. "The campus nursery suite is ready for his arrival. We'll keep the debut event small, in Town Hall."

The Salesman smiles at the Punjabi woman whose home this is. "Your son, in his previous life, changed the world for the better for millions of people. We will help him, and you, achieve that destiny again."

She knows who they are and what they are saying, but does not care whether they are right or not. She just knows their belief means it is her world, and her newborn son's, that will suddenly change for the better.

The nursing baby knows nothing of this. He merely scowls at the tit in his mouth, thinking there must be a way to make these things easier to use.

For consideration: I had to mentally review, as I was waking up, whether this had actually happened or not

Oct. 31st, 2011

08:41 pm - 100 Words: Better Plan All Year

When I was a kid, Halloween was the Big Score. Bigger even than Christmas, really. Out all night, come back with a bag of hard-earned loot. Good honest ransack.

But then I grew. “Aren’t you a little old for trick-or-treat?” I didn’t want to admit it, but it was true. Too old. I had to stop, but every year I missed the game something fierce. What to do?

So that’s why I have nine kids now. A good crew. Out all night. Big bags of loot, every one. Kick your share up, little ones. Papa needs to dip his beak.

For consider: "Why don't you take your social regulations, shove 'em up your ass?"

Current Music: Dead Kennedys, "Halloween"

Sep. 20th, 2011

11:41 pm - Apologies to Don Henley

Nobody on the road
Nobody on the lawn
I smell it in the air
The human race is gone
Empty stores, empty streets
The living only pray
I'm waiting in your house
Though I know you've decayed

I can see you
Your brains are shining in the sun
You got your flesh pulled off
And your hunger is strong, baby
I can tell you my hunt for you will still be on
After the zombie virus has won.

I never will forget that flu
It always started with a cough
Remember how the streets went crazy
Remember how they how they dragged you off
Now I don't understand
Why you can't be deceased
But babe I'm gonna put you down
Gonna make you rest in peace

I can see you
Your brains keep shining in the sun
I see you lurching real slow
Lunging at everyone
I can tell you my hunt for you will still be on
After the zombie virus has won

Out on the road today
I saw your dead friends feeding on a wounded deer
A little voice inside my head said
"Don't go near, you must never get near"
I thought I knew what death was
Our price for sin
That world is gone forever
I should just let them win

But I can see you
Your brains keep shining in the sun
You got an arm pulled off
One eyeball gone, baby
I can tell you my hunt for you will still be on
After the zombie virus has won.

For consideration: love is stronger than death

Tags: ,
Current Music: Don Henley, "Boys of Summer"

Jun. 26th, 2011

10:28 pm - Nostalgic NetFlix Reviews #20

There's a lot more end of the world in this batch, but on reviewing further I think the dominant theme was the urge to revisit some films I've seen when I was much younger. Dangerous, I know, right? A lot of movies do not age well.

PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE: * * *Collapse )
ICE STATION ZEBRA: * * * *Collapse )
FLASH GORDON: * * * *Collapse )
THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER: * * * *Collapse )
TERMINATOR: SALVATION: * * * *Collapse )
TANGLED: * * * *Collapse )
HARDWARE: * *Collapse )
SIX-STRING SAMURAI: * * * *Collapse )
ENCHANTED: * * *Collapse )

For consideration: next batch will be all over the map, I think

12:02 pm - Post-Apocalyptic NetFlix Reviews #19

Lots of Great Success in this batch (and lots of end of the world) tempered by two rather unfortunate failures in picking fare for Liana.

GENTLEMEN BRONCOS: * * * * *Collapse )
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD: * * * *Collapse )
TOY STORY 3: * * *Collapse )
I AM LEGEND: * * * *Collapse )
MUPPET WIZARD OF OZ: * * *Collapse )
MARY POPPINS: * * * *Collapse )
THE QUIET EARTH: * * * *Collapse )
MONSTERS: * * * *Collapse )
ON THE BEACH: * * * *Collapse )

For consideration: next batch is more post-apocalyptic fun

Apr. 30th, 2011

01:22 pm - Dream: Indie

Chuck, my animal handler, looked grim. "We have a problem."

The look on Chuck's face wasn't *that* worried, so not a panic-and-run problem. My eyebrows indicated he should continue: "Yeah?"

"Something's wrong with Stuart."

Hm. "Guess you'd better show me."

We made our way over to the cages where we kept the cast. Sure enough, Stuart was just lying there on his side and one leg was sort of kicking spasmodically. He didn't seem to be leaking any more fluid than usual, so it wasn't cellular breakdown...

"Did he break a bone or something?"

Chuck shook his head. "Doesn't look like it. As intact as he ever was. He's just sort of... checked out."

I looked around at the other cages. The others were all slightly more agitated than usual, rubbing against whichever sides of their containers were furthest away from Stuart's.

Chuck saw what I was looking at and nodded. "The others can tell something's wrong. Maybe it's infectious. Something they know to avoid, somehow."

"A disease...? Is there such a thing?"

Chuck shrugged. "Not that I've ever heard of but, you know, the science is still catching up. It's only been, what, eighteen months since the outbreak? Lot of studies still in progress, not yet published."

I looked at Stuart through the bars. Just the day before, he'd been vigorous. Alert. Stable. The single best member of the cast we'd managed to catch out in the Costa Rican jungle.

The biological research wasn't the only thing still catching up to the world's first and only outbreak of post-mortem reanimation. So far there weren't any laws prohibiting us from doing more or less whatever we wanted with the shamblers, at our risk, so long as we didn't try to bring them out of the containment zone or try to exit the zone ourselves without a clean blood test. At some point, the status of the reanimated - to be protected as a new species or eradicated as a threat - would be determined by international law. But our little faux-documentary would be in the can long before then... so long as my cast members didn't fall down and stop moving.

I sighed and ran fingers through my thinning hair. "Well, at this point we have too much footage to just start over with a new zombie, and Stuart's too distinctive for us to just replace him with someone similar-looking in the same clothes." I peered through the bars at my male lead once again. "See if you can get him on his feet with some raw meat, I guess."

Heading back to the camper, I once again reflected on the wisdom (or lack thereof) in my career choices. Film an indie zombie film on location with the actual zombies. It had seemed so obvious at the time. What could go wrong, other than maybe losing control of the critters and becoming infected ourselves? But, haha, turns out that wasn't the biggest problem facing us. No, as always, the biggest problem was coping with the freakin' talent.

Actors. Turns out, alive or dead, they're all the same.

For consideration: in my dream psychology I think zombies have long settled into the symbolic role of "mundane obstacles of life"

Apr. 29th, 2011

12:28 am - Seasonal NetFlix Reviews #18

These are actually from the turn of the year, December and January. Forgot all about my NetFlix review list! Lots to catch up on so expect a couple more of these soon.

ELF: * * *Collapse )
DEATH AND THE COMPASS: * * *Collapse )
TRIANGLE: * * * *Collapse )
THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG: * * * *Collapse )
TOY STORY 2: * * * *Collapse )
SPLICE: * * *Collapse )
WRONG IS RIGHT: * * * *Collapse )
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA: * * * *Collapse )
ALPHAVILLE: * *Collapse )
FANTASIA 2000: * * * *Collapse )

For consideration: coming next, some "hip" and "indie" offerings and a handful of end-of-the-worlds 

Apr. 13th, 2011

12:14 am - That Groovy Thing

Jack looks at the tubing around his arm.

“Explain how it works again?”

He’s a lunk but I do my best.

“Metabolic capability is limited by the internal bandwidth of your neurochemical processes. The… juice… reconfigures those processes for higher rate of transmission.”

He squeezes his fist several times, making the vein bulge.


I sigh.

“Something like that.”

He grins, imagining a new life.

“Stronger. Faster. Tougher. It’s gonna be awesome. I’m going to be a hero.”

I nod, then shrug.

“Sure, if the acceleration doesn’t tear you apart.”

He starts…

“Wait. What?”

…but I drive the plunger home.

For consideration: "This could lead to excellence... or serious injury."

Current Music: They Might Be Giants, "Spiraling Shape"

Mar. 31st, 2011


1. Go to http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/60-completely-unusable-stock-photos

2. Write a short story about one of those pictures.

For consideration: you will be making the world a better place

Mar. 26th, 2011

03:06 pm - Phrases of Commerce!

Choice bits in a piece of comment spam I just got a few minutes ago (which will remain screened so as to not benefit the spammers):

My boyfriend and I host parties at our legislative body at least definitely a month, and off it hard to curb conversations succeeding on for the unalloyed night. Our friends are from unique walks of sentience after all, and since we into up pretty again, every so often conversations can run dry.

It adapted to to be that we would sport Wii Sports, but with moral 4 main games, things became wearying after a while. With these 22 simulation games, undivided gloaming is on no occasion enough.

Wii has, from the birth farm infrequently, provided home-hosted parties a lot of entertainment to watch your friends play.

Retail shops dispose of it at an preposterous evaluation, since they be experiencing to pay in requital for rent etc. What I normally do is set about to the retail shops and test the item I indigence to buy. I prove them off, ask questions, but let something be known them I distress to believe about it. Then I search in return the product online and kind it online, sans all the subsidiary cost from their rent etc.

Wii games helps a lot when I bored or when my boyfriend is too busy to assign period with me.

Too grave I had to away to inflame during the date or else I definite it would have felt influential playing all over the day.

For consideration: inflame during the date! the unalloyed night at our legislative body! undivided gloaming from the birth farm!

Mar. 20th, 2011

12:56 pm - #HigherStakesChildrensBooks


Big god. Little god.

Big gods and little gods. Good and evil gods.

"Do you like my prayer?"
"I do not. Good-by!"

One little god going in. Three big gods going out.

A cruel god on a basalt ziggurat. A kind god on a granite ziggurat. An emotional god on a sandstone ziggurat.

Some big gods and some little gods going around in processionals. A god out of a processional.

Two big gods in ascent. One little god in decline.

The emotional god is up. The logical god is down. The kind god is in. The cruel god is out.

One god up on a temple. Three gods down in the city.

An emotional god over the ziggurat. A logical god under the ziggurat.

Two gods in a temple on a plateau in the city. A god over the city. A god under the city.

"Hello again."
"Do you like my prayer?"
"I do not like it. Good-by again."

The gods are all going around and around and around. Go around again!

The sun is up. The sun is Logic. The logical sun is over the temple. It is enlightened out here in the sun. It is not enlightened here under the temple.

Now it is night. Three gods at an orgy on a plateau at night.

Gods at peace. Peace, gods, peace! Gods at war. War, gods, war!

"Hello again."
"Do you like my prayer?"
"I do not like that prayer. Good-by again."

Gods in processionals again. Going away. Going away fast.

Look at those gods go. Go, gods, go!

Stop, gods. Stop! The ritual is halted now.

Go, gods. Go! The ritual is proceeding now.

Two gods at war. At war up on top. Go down, gods. Do not war up there. Go down.

Now it is night. Night is not a time for war. It is time for sleep. The gods go to sleep. They will sleep all night.

Now it is day. The sun is up. Now is the time for all gods to get up. Get up! It is day. Time to get going. Go, gods. Go!

There they go. Look at those gods go! Why are they going fast in those processionals? What are they going to do? Where are those gods going?

Look where they are going. They are all going to that big ziggurat over there.

Now the processionals stop. Now all the gods get out. And now look where those gods are going! To the ziggurat! To the ziggurat!

Up the ziggurat! Up the ziggurat! Up they go to the top of the ziggurat. Why? Will they have peace there? Will they have war there? What is up there on top of that ziggurat?

A god orgy! A big god orgy! Big gods, little gods, cruel gods, kind gods, logical gods, emotional gods, good gods, and evil gods are all at a god orgy! What a god orgy!

"Hello again. And now do you like my prayer?"
"I do. What a prayer! I like it! I like that orgy prayer!"
"Good-by! Good-by!"

For consideration: GO!

Feb. 13th, 2011

08:47 pm - Even-Handed NetFlix Reviews #17

Some old animation, some new live-action. Some pleasant surprises, some expected disappointments.

MULHOLLAND DRIVE: * * *Collapse )
THE HUDSUCKER PROXY: * * * * *Collapse )
THE SWORD IN THE STONE: * * *Collapse )
GET HIM TO THE GREEK: * * * *Collapse )
MODERN FAMILY: SEASON 1: * * * *Collapse )
MEMORIES: * * *Collapse )
HOT TUB TIME MACHINE: * * * *Collapse )
FANTASIA: * * * * *Collapse )
IRON MAN 2: * * * *Collapse )

For consideration: next up we have a bunch of things other people told me I really ought to see, most of which paid off

Feb. 9th, 2011

02:49 pm - 100 Words: It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong or Right

What do you mean, the missiles won’t fire?

This is an untested scenario, sir.

Untested? We’ve run sixty overwhelming first-strike simulations!

Not like this, sir. The enemy has completely disarmed their counterstrike.

Our best-case scenario and THEN some!

In pure loss of life and materiel, yes. But in public perception...

Public perception? We’re gonna win! Everyone likes that!

Everyone likes winning against a clear threat. When the enemy accepts perfectly pacifistic vulnerability to annhilation...

...the people would rebel?

They might. We don’t know, sir. It’s an...

...untested scenario. I’ll be damned. Lost the war before it even started.

For consideration: "No one wants to be defeated."

Current Music: Michael Jackson, "Beat It"

Feb. 5th, 2011

08:27 pm - Daily

Okay, to the list of 365 Project choices that would be harder than writing every day, please add "running a complete marathon every day".

For consideration: at a certain point it just seems like you're using your fantastic health as a weapon for beating yourself


Jan. 31st, 2011

12:00 pm - John Barry Memorial Haiku

Famous composer
for film and television.
My fave: "The Black Hole"

For consideration: how did I never know that the Bond theme authorship was contentious?


Jan. 27th, 2011

11:25 pm - Wait

We re-integrated our three selves... but did we end up in the wrong universe? I just checked the news and this one is a complete disaster!

For consideration: is it too late to turn this rabbit hole around?

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