All About the Geekery
I am feeling a lot better. It's sad that I didn't take the last two days of the week off, too. But I know, back at work, there is a test pass starting. I had the best vacation. In a way, I feel like I had two vacations. The first one was at Rich's place. The second one at Conquest.
Vacation #1: At Rich's Place
I did the right thing by driving down to California. It took me 14.5 hours. I took my time. I stopped for food. I mentally distanced myself from the stress of work as I drove farther and farther from Washington. The drive between WA and CA is fast becoming a tradition of mentally purging my brain.
It was a good feeling to know where I was going at the end of the trip. A feeling of relief and familiarity. I got to see a bunch of people Sunday night as part of Rich's (unkyrich) Sunday night game. This part of the vacation was all about not really planning. There were a couple of people I had plans to visit with but, other than that, I played it by ear.
Monday, I had a really good dinner with my brother. I treated him to Red Lobster and told him to have whatever he wanted. We talked about his family, his move, my job and that sort of thing. It was a surprisingly good time. He wanted to come back to Rich's place and hang out but, in the end, I decided against it because Rich is very liberal and Scott is very much not. Since both men have very strong, vocal opinions, I figured that would be a bad idea.
Tuesday, I hung out at Dana street and watched the familiar strangers come and go. I got to see the guy with the dreadlocks, the girl with the teal hair and the man with the cross. All people I had seen before but don't know. I passed on a message from sylvan to Aaron - who didn't know (couldn't remember?) Sylvan's real name but, apparently, used to be roommates with him.
After that, Yony (zunger) and I met up for dinner and went to Chef Liu's. They recently reopened in a new place. It doesn't seem any bigger than the last place but it does seem nicer. They remembered both of us with big smiles. Yony and I talked about all sorts of things. I can't really remember what. I just remember looking him in the eyes and mentally sighing. Every time I think I'm over him, I discover I'm not. I don't know if I ever will be. It felt really good to talk with him face to face again. He feels as good as always.
Wednesday started the day having lunch with Ben (benliblit) complete with lots of good conversation. It lead into the evening of Monte (vmurther) and sushi. *mmmm* A happy tradition for us now. Sushi, writing talk and whatever else comes up. We spent hours at Sono Sushi. I am becoming very jealous and selfish of sushi time with him. It's not something I want to share. Afterwards, caffeine at the Bean Scene then a quick trip to Trader Joe's for baklava fixings.
Back at his place, we talked until Thea (lemurling) and her mom came home. Thea then presented me with a homemade small labyrinth based on the labyrinth of Jericho. It is designed for me to use when I'm stressed at work and need to calm, center and focus. It is so pretty, too. Blues, purples and whites. I will be taking it to work with me tomorrow.
Thursday, Rich and I went out for lunch and saw Suspect Zero with Ben Kingsley. It was a good movie but both Rich and I could see how to make it better. Some of it was too neatly tied up. Some of it, like the relationship between the two FBI agents was choppy. We're sure the connecting bits in the change of their relationship ended up on the cutting room floor. But, over all, the movie had a wonderfully gritty feel to it.
I headed back out to Monte's place later that night to pick up the homemade baklava - which was a huge hit at the convention - and ended up in a really interesting conversation about poetry with Monte and Thea. I haven't had that kind of conversation, discussing, rhyme/meter, Villanelles and other forms of poetry in a very long time.
It had been five days of meandering through the days with little thought to planning and it was exactly what I wanted and needed. There were a lot of people I didn't have time to see and that was sad but, I figure I can catch them the next time I go down.
Vacation #2: ConQuest
Friday, we arrived and set up. Good Omens had a couple of dedicated rooms and that worked really well. I always knew where to find the GO crowd. Friday night, I got into Rob and Dave's (manictao) Villains and Vigilantes game. I was playing a female version of the Punisher. I wasn't very nice. It was a blast. But, in the tradition of all Villains and Vigilantes games I have been in, someone dropped something really heavy on me. For once, though, I was playing someone who could take it.
Saturday, I started out in Chuckling Cthulhu's (Alex [dancingshaman] and Johanna [britgeekgrrl]) "Big Brains, Skinny Ties" game. I got to play "Jesse Burton," the daughter of Jack Burton and Gracie Law from "Big Trouble in Little China." I wasn't the smartest cookie in the jar but I was really loyal to "Jack Chi," the son of Wang Chi and Mao Yin, played by Dave Webb. This is the first time he and I were teamed up together. It was awesome. If he got into a fight, I jumped right in, whether or not I knew why I was fighting. He did keep the secret that Lo Pan was running around and, yes, I did have green eyes. As I was a Jack Burton type, I making passes at all the males - including Lo Pan - whose player had a brain fart and told Jesse he did have a girlfriend. *hehehe*
Saturday night, I was in Bill's (baronlaw) "Cthulhu Cookies" LARP where I played a sweet school teacher who happened to be having dreams about the stars and did know a Mythos spell but I never had to set it off.
Sunday, I got into Rich's Buffy game. This is the third time I've gotten into his game and the second time I've played the Slayer. I don't know why people don't want to play the Slayer, I love it. The game was based on "Weird Science" and we ended up fighting a mini-Glory, named Leia. The Slayer almost died. It was really bad. But, when the Slayer went down, every other PC burnt drama points and jumped on Leia. My favorite was the Jock character pounding on Leia, shouting "Don't you ever hit Maddie!" I did come back, burning the last of my drama points, to decapitate her.
Sunday night, I played in the DoD invitation only LARP called "Asylum." They gave me the scariest character I have ever played. A super villain named "Madam Leota" who wanted nothing more than to forget who this "Madam Leota" was and wanted to remain just "Leota." She didn't want to remember the voices or the demons. She didn't want to remember those forces she controlled that tried to control her. It was a good thing for the game that she had 4 babysitters (A doctor, her brother and two superheros) and her brother dosed her with thorzine. That probably is what saved everyone from her releasing Cthulhu-esq monsters/powers on the whole game. She was loosing it fast. My favorite moment was when David (grandmoffdavid) and Wendy (deirdremoon) were both whispering into my ears with entreaties and promises while one of the doctors and brother watched me talk insanely to no one, swaying to David's singsong voice.
Monday was both disappointing and fun. I had no sign ups for my 7th Sea game. None. This was an ego blow for me since the last time I ran Tangled Threads, the one coordinator came to me to tell me that 32 GMs had used their priority slips to get into my game. I have three people show up but, that just wasn't enough. This game was based on one of my nightmares and I didn't want my main characters to get killed. So, GregE showed up and ran a pick up Shadowrun game. It was a lot of fun. I'm going to keep the character and have her talking with Billy Bushido over email.
Over all, I had a really good time on my vacation and I'm glad I took it. Tomorrow, I get back to reality and my job. It's good, I suppose because I know I'm really going to miss my CA friends a lot. I got all sad as people were coming in to say good-bye to me. I guess these good-byes where harder because I know it will be at least six months before I see most of them again. I miss that closeness between us. I do have a couple of promises of people coming to visit and that will be nice.
Tarot Card for the Day: Three of Cups