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I'll pay you bubble.

Okay, now that was fun. :o)

I think maybe White Collar has lost any grip on realism that it ever had. (How do you 'find' and 'burn' all a mysterious mystery-guy's aliases in a single afternoon? Are we really to believe that every forger in New York can be found within Neal's two mile radius? And that they all know each other and hang out together and get sentimental about the same things? Like a piratical festival of conviviality?) And I can't always follow a speedily-executed tv con to the point that I can actually see how one domino necessitates the toppling of the next.

But realism be damned. 'Burke's Seven' was too cute.

Neal in a sloppy t-shirt! Fractal bendy straws! Peter looking all hot and hot-like on a horse! He even got a photo finish!

And I'm really warming to Sarah. Kate definitely never caught on for me - waaaaay too prepubescent-looking. I'm okay with Alex, though I did feel like the show writers were sorting leaning in, forcing her on me. But Sarah I just *like,* even if she does scream Enter The New Love Interest. Maybe it's her loyalty to Peter? Maybe it's how effortlessly she slips into a con, even though she's *not* a career criminal? Maybe it's the fact that she and Neal know when to stop trading barbs and just tell each other the truth.

Or maybe it's her fantastic wardrobe of structured dresses - not too funky, not too consciously eccentric, not too overtly sexualized. Just really, really interesting. Sarah's wardrobe is sort of charged with this powerful, eminently female, creative verve that I just... guh, you know? With just a splash of vintage Audrey Hepburn in 'Charade.' Anyhoo, she's really growing on me. :o)

Favorite part? I think the cute little moment when Peter, Neal and Elizabeth are regrouping back at Chez Burke, right after attention has shifted from Neal's problem to Peter's. Peter's all barkity-bark-bark at Neal, badgering him to listen for once instead of going off half-cocked, only to look over and realize, 'You are listening to me.' Awww...

Oh, White Collar. It is so back on!

Make way for fracking ducklings!

I had an afternoon of many small adventures. I was feeling bummed, so I went out on the town. I tried on a saloon girl headband and a pair of Edna Mode glasses at Forever 21. Both, may I say, looked fantastic on me. I almost bought the saloon girl headband - for serious - because it was so completely fetching. (At least when worn on my head. In the bin, it looked rather frightening). A great big giant royal blue flower made from feathers and rhinestones, nestled in a spray of Muppet-like black ostrich tendrils and framed by two more black ostrich feathers, elaborately trimmed and curled. The latter two feathers stuck up about six or eight inches above the top of my head. I'm willing to admit: I went back to the mirror and admired my fine plumage several times.

And I was like, I wonder how long I'll have to keep this in a drawer before the Diamond Dog look becomes de rigeur? And now I also wonder how many other women are out there wandering around, completely unaware that their fetchingest look starts by jamming curly ostrich feathers in their hair? Flist: YOU WILL NOT KNOW UNTIL YOU TRY IT, TOO! MAKE THIS TREND HAPPEN! IF WE ALL DO IT, THAT COUNTS AS NORMAL. Right?

Later, I tried a new Jamba Juice, and it was *excellent.* The flavor was meant to be strawberries and lemonade, but the effect was something significantly more complex: sweetness and a wholly separate flavor that went right past tangy and landed on bitter. The sweet and the bitter combined was impossibly brisk and refreshing - like drinking a tall frosty glass of chilled grapefruit! Be warned, Strawberry Sumpinorother! I am coming back for you! (Meanwhile, I live in fear that the girl at the counter just made it wrong, and that the incredible bittersweet flavor can never be reproduced...! Ah, but such is the ephemeral nature of experience).

In conclusion, I saw a duck and her duckling crossing the road. I was coming back from feeding my friend's cat, and where the road narrows to only one lane in each direction, a duck walked out in front of my car with her one little baby in tow. (Just one baby! I wonder if there were any more?) There are mostly strip malls and gas stations on that side of the road; I was surprised to see these ducks so far from any body of water I'm aware of.

I slowed my car to a stop to let the ducks pass. Meanwhile, a fast silver car came up behind me. It didn't even slow down - just veered violently around my car and into the turning lane to pull out in front of me. It narrowly missed the ducks - but they were safe.

In the one lane of traffic going the opposite direction, a woman in an SUV saw me stopping and slowed her car to wait for the ducks to make it the rest of the way across. When the silver car swerved into the turning lane and almost hit the ducks, she decisively flipped the driver off. In this instance, I felt it was richly deserved.


I cast Jack's total lack of surprise!

I'm so pathetic, you guys. A year's time seems to be exactly long enough for me to forget what I'm like every single steenking summer around here. I forget that I'm going to get insomnia (or maybe I just go back to utterly disbelieving that I - *IIIIII!* - could ever have the slightest difficulty doing what Tiggers do best - falling asleep). I forget what it feels like to walk to school in the heat and humidity and arrive feeling sapped of strength and partially collapsed into an unattractive boneless puddle. I forget to take seriously the twin hazards of polyester and layering. And I forget how clingy and lonely and desperate I become, once enforced social interaction is no longer a regular part of my day.

I'm an odd duck when it comes to companionship. I'm not what you'd call good at making friends. I have my moments, but on the whole I'm an awkward conversationalist. (And awkwardness is only compounded several-fold when the companions of your youth are mostly philosophers - and male philosophers, at that - because they will needle you and needle you and pick apart everything you say, until you are ready to box their ears. But when you finally do snap, it will go down as a breach of decorum on your part). So yeah: I am often quite lacking in the social skills department, and I need a lot of time to myself, especially if I hope to accomplish anything legitimately productive.

Meanwhile, though, I am this shameless hoverer, dawdling in the graduate lounge after school because I don't really want to go home, where I'll be alone but for the ever-present specter of my work. And when the graduate lounge empties out for the summer, I lose that too.

And go ever so slightly CRAZY. I'm not always consciously aware of my loneliness, since I am busy and important and have Many Things To Do, but as soon as there is anybody around, I become crazed and hyperactive and loud and can't seem to filter what I say! And when it comes time to go, I make stupid, helpless ploys for attention! If I am in somebody's house, I try to help them do the dishes or something, so I don't have to go home yet. I mind the actual boredom and loneliness less, I think, than the loss of my already minimal social-panache.

Probably why I come home after role playing and type about it at length: I just don't have anybody to talk to. (And probably why I am so unaccountably obsessed with role playing, in the first place. It's a weekly opportunity to say to six or seven people at a time, 'HA HA YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO HANG OUT WITH ME!' Which is deeply appreciated no matter how they may sometimes get on my nerves).

We had a great week this time around - and since we met an hour longer than usual, there was a delicious meal in addition to the usual assorted snacks. (Thanks, Angela, for the super-simple and amaaaazing lasagna recipe; a double batch was the perfect convenience meal for such a large group!) Were it not for the fact that I might always have to make it, I'd be thrilled to have dinner together every time we meet; fictional combat is strangely hungry-making.

There is little need for a major recap this time around, so I won't bother with a cut. It will more than suffice to say that we fought another series of battles all in one day, so I thoroughly depleted my allotment of spells and had to get creative, once again. You'd think I would learn to be more conservative, but, then again, I was more conservative, and I still ran out. I wonder whether this problem will only worsen as we level up? Or if it will cease to be an issue? Better spells affect more opponents per casting, which = fewer castings for more effect, but more and tougher opponents may quite possibly mean more failed spells - which eat up spell slots every bit as well as successful spells do.

I was really excited to get some loot this time. (I waaaant more spells and scrolls!) But we're still far behind the rules-projected earnings of newly-minted second level characters. I am guessing the GM is not adjusting at all for the large number of players in the party, so we are dividing the loot and coming up short. I don't mind *that* much. I'd rather have my friends than a lot of fictional money. But it's also true that I was counting on having assets with which to buy scrolls that increase my versatility, so that I can better serve the team. I only know two first level spells right now. TWO! I just leveled up for the very first time, and all my friends got access to new spells at second level, but I didn't. Tough level for Sorcerers; it is the nature of my class. My situation will improve significantly within a level or two (and I totally made this bed and *will* sleep in it), but it is a fact: my usefulness increases with every spell that I can afford to buy, and right now I can't afford to buy much of anything.

Complicating matters, the other group members have persuaded me to take a captured 'masterwork club' as a melee weapon. ('Masterwork club.' Does that strike anyone as an oxymoron?) A 'masterwork club' is an exceptionally well-made club (worth 300 gold more than a regular club), which gives bonuses on melee attacks. Now, I'm not very strong and not much good in a melee. I wasn't planning for my character to attempt melee attacks, and I bought a cheap but serviceable mace with my (very) small quantity of starting gold, mainly so I'd have some way of defending myself in an emergency. I'm a big believer in flanking the enemy for bonuses, but it is also the case that I lack the hit points and armor of many of the other players, so getting close enough to my enemies to hit them with a club - even a Very Very Very Fine Club - may not be the smartest plan. On the other hand, a Very Very Very Fine Club never runs out of spells, so it's something to fall back on (or use instead), when spells are running short.

300 gold could buy twelve first level scrolls at full market value; twenty-four first level scrolls if the wizard in the group knew the spells I wanted and could write them out for me. These twelve scrolls would be expended in a single use, whereas the club could (theoretically) be used many more than twelve or even twenty-four times, and keep right on clubbin'. But I rather hope that within two dozen spellcastings I'll be an advanced enough character that I'll have no need for melee contact whatsoever...

And I wonder why the group encouraged me, specifically, to take it? Maybe none of the fighter-types wants to a wield a club. (It's grunty and half-orcish, I suppose). But a masterwork weapon is a relatively big deal. Couldn't one of them trade it in for a masterwork version of a weapon he actually wanted?

But I digress. Many battles, much looting. The Paladin behaved himself much better tonight, though he still does rather like announcing how magnificent he is. He keeps bragging about his unimaginable (fictional, made-up, pretend) charisma, when he's one of several members of the group with the exact same feature. And he seems to think that the inexorable increase of his charisma score in particular should be a huge priority for the rest of the party, because his charisma is going to be soooo untouchable, only wait and see!. (Nice of him to give us all something to look forward to...) Only it's the nature of his class to require that his points be spread across multiple ability scores, such that his charisma is lower than - and will likely remain lower than - for example, mine. I don't care if my charisma score remains higher than his. (Well, no part of me but the vindictive part cares). But he's not exactly our only hope. There is, as it were, another Skywalker. Or three...

The only really troubling incident tonight was as much my fault as anyone's. Pretty much all my fault. I think it is the embarrassment of the memory, in fact, that is keeping me awake and typing.

I just... I don't know why I just snap sometimes and get all argumentative. I'd swear I didn't used to be like this, at least not with my friends and peers. (My sisters and I totally bicker and fuss all the time). It doesn't help when you get blindsided and would like to make a cautious, polite, rational case for your point of view, but you are holding up six other people, so you end up spitting out rapid-fire objections like a distempered cat. I am willing to apologize, but I'd prefer not to have embarrassed myself in the first place. Is that an option?

You'll recall that I have two - TWO - first level spells to my name. That means when we get into a fight and there are bad guys everywhere, doing to my friends whatever it is that their kind of bad guys does, I have two - TWO - options as to what to do to stop them. Well, not counting the acid I can shoot out of my hands for moderately effective damage, and the possibility of dealing blows with my VERY VERY VERY FINE CLUB. And not counting one of the two - TWO - spells, 'Mage Armor,' which I can only use to help my friends and make them harder to hit. (Not a bad thing to have around, mind you, but I probably shouldn't have taken it at first level. I should have taken something else offensive and left it to faith that the more vulnerable members of the group could stay out of harm's way and not take damage for a few levels).

And what one offensive spell did I pick to learn at first level? As I've mentioned before, it's called 'Grease.' I chose it because it's a spell with multiple applications, some of which reportedly remain good to much higher levels. Right now, I can cast Grease on squares within the area of combat. If someone is already standing on the square I grease, he has to roll a reflex save or fall down. If someone enters a square I've greased, he has to make a reflex save or fall down. And if someone wants to walk across a greased square, he's significantly slowed by the challenge of keeping his balance. Since my friends get bonuses to their attacks whenever an enemy falls prone (uh, pretty much a bonus for 'kicking 'em when they're down...), Grease has its overt uses now, while our opponents are still low-level enough to fail their saves and fall. But they'll get better. The *whole reason* I chose this spell as a high priority at first level - well, other than the fact that it's unexpected and suitably weird - is that it can be used in other ways. You also have the option of greasing an opponent's weapon - or anything, really, that you want him to drop. If you succeed against his reflex save, he drops the item and he has to make another save every time he tries to pick it up again. Not so great if he has good reflexes, but could be handy! Even better: if one of your friends is pinned or locked in a grapple, you can cast Grease on your friend's clothes or armor, and it becomes much harder to keep a grip on that friend.

Of course, the latter two options are only worthwhile if you are permitted to cast Grease on specific items at the same range specified in the spell description. Oh, there *is* a range. And there *are* examples of spells with more than one version, where the rules are different depending on the version you choose. But Grease doesn't have more than one set of rules. It gives one range - a distance of 25ft. - and then lists the ways you can use it. Tonight, my GM abruptly decided that I can never cast Grease on a particular item unless I am touching the item. That means absolutely no dropping of swords. (Whaaat? I *touch* your sword and then *wait to see* if you fumble it? Whaaaaaat?) And that effectively means no helping teammates escape from grapples, since I'd have to know ahead of time that they *will* be grappled and grease the little piggies in advance.

The GM says 'There have to be limits,' and I'm all, 'Yeah, there are. Which is to say: Reflex saves.' If the opponent's reflexes are good enough, they don't suffer from the spell's effects. I waste a turn *and* a spell slot, and the guy doesn't even drop his sword. Our opponents succeeded on their reflex saves several times just tonight, the nimble little buggers. (A smart sorceress with more spells available would switch to a different spell that targets a weaker save. But you will recall that I only know two - TWO - spells).

But I'll freely admit it: I'm mad. I'm kind of mad now, and I was really mad then. (Me, more or less a grown-up, mad about the rules of a stupid game!) I've already noticed a general trend that the GM considers 'what the rules allow' and 'how I picture X being used' to be more or less identical concepts. If you come up with something he doesn't expect, he tends to think: THIS CAN'T BE RIGHT. PLEASE TO BE MOAR CONVENTIONAL.

Meanwhile, I feel like my character not only benefits from but *requires* creativity. Have I mentioned I am going to have *so few* spells available, dudes? I go into every fight reminding myself to think of absolutely every possible application of my three or four options. It is NOT exciting to feel that you have to inform the GM of all your ideas ahead of time, in order to get permission to use a tactic exactly the way it is described in the book! (And, no, the rules don't specifically say 'the range for options B and C is exactly the same as for option A,' but wouldn't they specify any exceptions? Do the rules have to specify that X stays the same in a box, with a fox, on a train, in the rain?)

I was so surprised when the GM wiped out 50% of my future plans for this spell that I *totally* made a fuss. A spluttering, strident, utterly obnoxious fuss. The first thirty seconds or so of which were just Whuh? and What? and But! and IT'S IN THE RULES!!! And then the GM said that he'd more or less see me in detention, because we weren't going to have it out at the table. Which was fine, until a couple of turns later when I had run out of all other options, and our group was getting totally thrashed by this one last Goblin guy (who was already standing on a greased square without falling over, and you can't re-grease that which is already greased - not to any new effect, anyway), and I had no not much choice but to say, 'This is the point at which I'd be desperate enough to try to make him drop his weapon, only you took that option away from me.' And the GM said I could have it for now but he'd deal with me later. And the Goblin's reflexes were so good (as I rather expected) that my ploy had no effect, anyway. I pointed this out. (Sadly, in a spluttering, strident, obnoxious way - or at least that is how my paranoia remembers it). As you say, GM: limits! And here we are, only at first level. The villains are only going to get better from here on out...

Ugh, it was such a fun evening otherwise and we almost entirely behaved ourselves. Why do I have to feel so hung up on handling one confrontation badly? SOCIAL ANXIETYYYYY! (I'm not the only one who argues with the GM, for the record, though I'm one of the only players so far who knows her options well enough to know when she's getting shafted. Plus, a lot of the others have more in common with the GM's tastes. He likes direct damage-dealing. He understands direct damage-dealing. He's always talking as if a sorceress should be little more than a blunt object - rather like a VERY VERY VERY FINE CLUB, see? - just hammering opponents with fireball after magic fireball. I mean, what is spontaneous spell-casting for, if not to do the exact same predictable thing over and over again?)

To end this topic on a more positive note, THE MOST FUN PARTS:

1) We got to talking about the old D&D names that used to attach to many of the spells still in use by Pathfinder. The spells themselves were legally available for Pathfinder to adapt under a complex, wibbly-wobbly, legally-weagley Open Gaming License. But some of the spells had proper names: Bigby's Interposing Hand or Mordencainen's Such and Such. (Beats me how to spell Mordencainen). The spells are still there, but the names are no longer. The wise half-elven cleric and I invented a series of Fight Club themed spells. I SO want to cast 'Jack's Broken Heart' or... what was it? 'Jack's Exaggerated Sense of Rejection'?

2) Our new Rogue, Alastair MacIntyre, is a much better, infinitely more devious rogue than I ever was. We were ready to quit for the day after a couple of biggish fights, but we all ran outside again when we heard a little girl in the spooky dark streets screaming. We had to save her from a Largish Thing, even though we spellcasters were already pretty tapped out. Our rogue, meanwhile, honestly couldn't make up his mind if he wanted to help us or stay indoors and take a nap. At the beginning of his every turn, he would announce matter-of-factly, 'I am trying to decide whether to [execute X helpful maneuver - usually a very good strategy] or go lie down.' This would have been seriously obnoxious coming from anybody else, but this particular guy is a kindly, thoughtful straight-arrow of a gentleman in real life, and his delivery is just so droll. It cracks me up, again and again. His cold-hearted rogue character also swears a lot, but on the whole he doesn't bother to specify any actual contemporary curse words. He just narrates, 'Alastair MacIntyre's shot goes wide; he swears a lot!' Maybe it was all the sugar and lasagna talking, but I kept thinking of irresistibly naughty swears associated with the rogue's fictional deity - who happens to be the goddess of lust. 'By Calistria's pendulous bosoms!' 'Calistria's left teat!' Noooooot appropriate, exactly, but soooooo much fun to say things that disturb the boys, when they make more and more penis comments the more they forget that I'm there. Also: Calistria sounds like an STD.

In other news, I HAD A DOCTOR WHO DREAM! I dreamt that Amy and Eleven and Rory and I were running through the back passages of an enormous Opera House. I never got to see the opulent interior; we were confined to the complicated network of storage rooms and hallways and chambers on several floors backstage. The Opera House was flooding rapidly. We had to keep finding our way to higher and higher ground. Rory got distracted and didn't make it through a door in time, poor dear. The Doctor was forever wandering off, too. But the strangest thing about the dream was my persistent impression that a) I had run through these labyrinthine passageways many times before, so I only had to keep track of the Doctor and try to remember the way, and b) my failure to get The Doctor *and* Amy *and* Rory to safety would cause the flood to reset. I would have to relive the day over and over again until I made sure that all three got out alive. Thus, I was SO VERY SAD about Rory, but I also knew he'd be alive again when the day rebooted, which kept me grim and focused, trying to work out how to beat the Opera House maze.

In other other news, CHEER UP, PRESIDENTRIX, YOU ARE PROBABLY GETTING YOUR CHEAP ON-SALE ORANGE SHOES FROM ENGLAND TOMORROW, you undeserving hussy! I was looking at shiny dice in Waco's prime RPG shop (a disappointing, drab little store - though the clerk was very personable) the other day, and the guy at the counter said, 'Dice for gamers are like shoes for women!' And I wanted to be all, 'Objection, Your Honor, on the grounds of chauvenism!!!' Only I am probably not the best woman to argue that particular case.

And, in concluding other news: one of the only advantages to living a couple of time zones away from my Mailman is I can call her up and order her to watch anything that I watched and liked on the tv. And where she lives, it won't have happened yet! The other day, I ordered her to watch all the way to the end of Craig Ferguson. On account of there was a cute puppet bunny at the end of the show.

She watched it. We talked about it later. It made me think of this:

It made her think of this:

First of all, this woman is my new hero:


OUTFIIIIT! That's the kind of thing I'd wear *every day,* if I could. And I can't currently adopt her hairstyle, but it's only a matter of time until my hair grows back, right? Icons seem inevitable.

My role playing group has now been through two sessions of our new campaign, and so far the most interesting aspect (for me) has been fighting a low-level spellcaster's war of attrition. Right now, I can cast only four first-level spells per day (though that's actually somewhat more than other spell casting classes can do), and I only get two spell choices. Once I use up those spell slots, I have to get eight hours sleep before I can start afresh. So every time we encounter something that goes bump in the night, I've got to ask myself how much juice I can afford to expend on it. It might be the only challenge we get that day. Or we might be awake fighting monsters and henchmen 'til dawn. When you factor in that I am a no0b and have probably never engaged in combat with a goblin or a troll or a wight or whatever before, it's especially tricky because I never automatically know what to dismiss as an unimportant threat. (Player knowledge isn't supposed to figure in. But I'm sure it does).

As implied by the module cover reproduced above, we're playing through Council of Thieves for the Pathfinder RPG, which I state upfront because it is supposed to be Kind of A Big Deal for any Pathfinder players - one of only a couple of long, involved Adventure Paths available so far - and I don't want to give away any Fabulous Secrets by flapping my big yap without putting those secrets behind a cut.Collapse )

In other news, I've been in a wire-fu mood lately, and I rewatched the sumptuous Hero last night. I have such a girl crush on Flying Snow. The whole movie is breathtaking, but when Flying Snow fights... her hair! Her sleeves! She just one of the most beautiful women I ever saw.

I've also been rewatching the obscure Henson workshop series The Storyteller, and I highly recommend it. There may be some corny turns and clunky special effects, but the episodes blend live action and narration with such imagination and energy that one hardly cares. Plus, it's eight delicious episodes of Spot the British Actor. Joely Richardson, Steven Mackintosh, Sean Bean, French and Saunders, creepy Prince Rilian, Mr. Weasely, Fiona from Burn Notice. And the puppet dog is just too cute. ;o9

The following is going to be mostly about role playing. It may not be the only entry about role playing I post today. Heh. I come home hopped up on adrenaline and apple soda, and I want to type about role playing into the wee hours of the morning. Then I fall asleep, wake up, and type about it some more.

The night before last I had a spooky nightmare. I was home visiting my family, only we were staying in some kind of Vacation House. I had somehow forgotten it was Christmas morning, so I was running around half-dressed and badly groomed, leaving messes all over the place, with all my relatives showing up to stare at me. I ran to hide from my relatives in the garage off to the side of the bungalow, but when I got there I found all my friends from role playing waiting for me. They lectured me severely about leaving the door unlocked at night. 'If you must go outside at all,' they said, with many wags of their respective fingers, 'you have to remember to shut the door and set the zombie trap!' They were all very stern with me - me *specifically*! - as if I am the sort of person who forgets to shut the door. Pbbt!

The zombie trap turned out to be a piece of plywood that you would lean up against the door from the inside. Tricky. 'Shouldn't we trap all the windows, too?' I asked. My role playing friends looked at me like I was being unforgivably obtuse. Zombies can't get through glass, they said. Everybody knows that. Haven't you read the core rulebook?

Then we went out for an early dinner. We were having fun and heading back to the car; the sky was just beginning to go all twilighty. Then came the subtlest shift toward darkness, and SUDDENLY THE STREETS WERE OVERFLOWING WITH ZOMBIES! It looked just like that musical number from Singing in the Rain when all the flappers run in out of nowhere, only... zombies.

So we all piled haphazardly into a beat-up van - quite possibly a Volkswagen Minibus - and slammed the door behind us. The only way to get through the press of zombies was to mow them down with the van, but with zombies everywhere as far as the eye could see, I knew that in order to exit the van and get back inside our house, we would have to defeat enough of them to weave a safe path to the back door that we had so cleverly zombie trapped.

I found my role playing binder in the back seat. I felt certain that I should know some kind of a spell we could all use to get past the zombies. I thought it might be a spell with some kind of a force tunnel that we could crawl through to safety, and then the force tunnel would collapse and roll over the zombies and crush them once we were done using it. (Uh, there is no Force Tunnel Zombie Crushing spell, just in case you were wondering. Especially not at first level). But I couldn't think of the name of this spell in my dream, and if I couldn't think of its name, I couldn't announce that I was going to cast it on my turn! I was fumbling with my role playing binder to find the name and the stats of the spell, but my hands were shaking *sooo* badly I couldn't even turn the pages. I gave up, put down the binder and picked up my laptop instead. Only my hands were still shaking, and I kept typing the wrong words into the google search window. I would think the words I wanted, type some other words instead, select them, delete them, then type a whole new set of wrong words. I just COULD NOT find that flippin' spell, and all the time I was searching for it we were just driving around and around the block, running over zombies in our van. MORTAL TERRORZ!

This dream, I am sure, occurred in anticipation of last night's role playing session, our first with (mostly) new characters and a new scenario! We wrapped up the previous module last week. I was hoping the quack doctor would take all the items we found, combine them into some kind of magic gundam suit and attack us, so that we'd have the satisfaction of proving the sheriff was an idiot to take the silly doctor's side and also an excuse to kill the fraud. The sheriff along with him, if possible. (Heh. Turns out I'm a bloodthirsty little gnome, if you yell at me and send me off on a wild goose chase). But we brought the stuff, the doctor made his stupid little magic shroud, the Sheriff turned us loose and we got back the shiny dagger that started it all. Not even a modicum of bloodbathery! In fact, the most fun part of my first-ever module's conclusion was when we had to go back and attempt the minor task at which our rival adventuring party had failed. It wasn't meant to be the last task left, but as previously discussed, we apparently did the module all out of predicted order. We had to coax a magical web-footed water-dwelling girl to give us the vial of pure water that was the source of her secret spring. 'A womanatee!' the wino-cleric shouted. The other (sober) cleric was carefully wading into the water, making perception checks and using spells to detect magic. He was preparing for a serious negotiation. 'I'm going to charm person!' the wino-cleric announced. Everybody tried to convince him not to do it (well, not me, because I didn't remember enough about 'charm person' to care), because if he failed, the womanatee would know he had tried to manipulate her with magic and that would make her less inclined to cooperation of the ordinary, willing variety. 'Too late! I already did it!' said the wino-cleric. But he succeeded. The womanatee became his new best friend. In exchange for her help, we gave her a magical Ring of Swimming that we had found somewhere along the way. I'm not really sure how a Ring of Swimming solves the problem of her magical spring drying up, but it was her idea, and she seemed to think it would work, so I hope she knew what she was talking about. (And/or I hope that we took her vial of pure water back to her afterwards. Ninpen Bittmotten was a selfish little gnome, but I think she'd take the vial back; she'd just grumble about it the whole way).

The intention of this first brief adventure had been to familiarize all the no0bs (like myself) with game mechanics and give everyone a chance to observe the options and think about what sort of characters we really wanted to play. After the experience, I'm still not sure I have a clear favorite class. I kind of want to try them all eventually. I know initially it seemed to me that there were far too few options in the game, perhaps because I had been taught that all the classes a player could possibly choose fell under four total categories: fighter, cleric, wizard, thief. (This is the reason we had two clerics. Because when the fifth guy in the group showed up after our first session, he was told 'we already have one of everything, so you can pick whichever one of the four kinds you want.') I mean, an entire fantasy world, with only *four* types of heroes?!! WHUT. I was like, 'This game has been around for decades, and I could invent you another half a dozen classes tonight, man. And I just got here.'

Now that I have my own copy of the rule book, though, I can see that while there is some truth to this mode of categorization - divine casters are mechanically different from arcane casters; rogues get special combat and skill privileges that melee classes don't get, etc. - each class does have something quite unique and cool about it, even the various kinds of fighter. (There are also Prestige Classes, if you are getting bored with the standard choices and need something to keep you interested. These are specialized roles that you have to earn - grow into - by starting out as a core class, acquiring a certain number of prerequisites, and transitioning into the new role as you level up. Prestige classes have profiles like world explorer or magic scholar or master-archer-who-puts-spells-into-his-arrows-and-shoots-them-at-people). But, anyway, yeah. I knew from the beginning that I would eventually be presented with the opportunity to change characters and pick a new role, and I've been working to familiarize myself with the options.

I enjoyed my roguish gnome character, Ninpen Bittmotten, especially at times when I could take advantage of my small stature - letting the bigger types throw me upstairs and whatnot. (Ninpen was probably poorly conceived, from both storytelling and utility standpoints, but she was still amusing, and I drew her a lot of outfits). I swore from the beginning that I never wanted to play a character too big for a Riding Dog. I also had zero initial interest in being a wizard-type caster. Wizards get a lot of power (blah, blah, powerful blah), but they also get big responsibility, a lot of work, and a lot of conditions - like eight hours of sleep every night or you can't cast spells the next day. Teeedious, methought. So I was taken totally by surprise when my next character sort of leapt out of the book at me, fully formed, and was everything I was convinced from the beginning that I'd never bother with.

She's a half-orc aberrant sorceress. Half-orc means you're nearly seven feet tall (no Riding Dog! unless you could strap one to each foot?) with grey or green skin, a prominent forehead and tusks. Not much of anybody likes the look of you, and your orc parent and human parent probably didn't... get along. Sorceress means exactly like a boring wizard, except you cast spells spontaneously (less preparation, yay), and don't get to know very many spells at one time (less versatility, boo; choosing your handful of spells known is sort of like having the wizard's daily responsibility - choosing spells memorized - magnified exponentially but only when you're planning ahead or picking a new spell). Aberrant is the name of the bloodline from which my character gets her spontaneous magic powers. Some sorcerers are part dragon or blessed by the gods. My character is part aberration. Meaning: she has some sort of mutant or alien blood in her ancestry and can shoot acid out of her hands, heehee. At third level, she develops the ability to stretch her arms twice as far as normal, so as to make touch attacks against characters standing ten feet away! And the capacity for arm stretching will only grow, given time! CREEEEPY!!!

It was just so compelling and weird, friends. And when I found out - because it felt more like 'finding out' than 'making up' - that this character was also a foundling raised by hobbits, it sort of sealed the deal. I mean, poor Alimordae with her head-to-toe grey freckles and her tusks, growing up faster than all her (much longer-lived) siblings and getting bigger and bigger all the time. Barely fitting into hobbit holes and forever breaking the furniture!

cut to spare the casual reader more characterization ditheringCollapse )

Alimordae also realized that her lack of common sense (low wisdom modifier, LOL) was apt to get her into trouble. Just knowing you lack common sense isn't quite enough to give you common sense, but in Alimordae's case it was enough to persuade her to ally herself with an older, wiser friend and confidante. Rashi Tomag is a half-elf cleric of Sarenrae, the goddess of fire and redemption. Alimordae met him on her travels, and they bonded over their shared hatred of injustice and oppression. (Though I daresay Rashi's righteous anger is more sophisticated and better-considered). Rashi is played by the same guy in the group who used to play Terli Ampo (he got the syllables from staring at his wife's waterlily shampoo), another half-elf cleric of Sarenrae, goddess of fire and wisdom. Some of the people in my group wanted to play all-new characters. Others were interested in playing out the roles they'd begun in the first campaign. In order to keep everyone at the same level of development, we all agreed that we'd either create new characters from scratch or rebuild the old character concepts with new stats. Terli Ampo, bless his heart, was a lot like Rashi Tomag, but he had extremely low charisma, so he didn't like much of anybody and (it was supposed to be the case that) nobody much liked him. (Actually, we liked him anyway, even if he was a grumpy bugger). 'Nobody but nobody makes friends with Terli Ampo!' was the refrain.

Ninpen Bittmotten called him Surly Ampo. Affectionately, of course. Anyway, Rashi Tomag has all of Terli Ampo's good qualities but his charisma isn't as socially crippling, LOL.

Now Rashi and Alimordae have both found their way to and settled in Westcrown, a bustling metropolis that derives its prosperity from a pact with an infernal deity - and also the site of our next big adventure! The GM says this one is going to be epic in scope, an adventure path that will take our characters all the way from level 1 to level 20, with a bunch of little mini-arcs along the way. There's a harsh, cursed regime to resist, lawful Hellknights to outwit and escape, forbidden ruins and haunted estates to explore and loot...

I, for one, can't wait!

My companions on this big adventure will be as follows:

-The aforementioned Rashi Tomag, wise half-elven Cleric of Sarenrae. My friend says Rashi looks sort of like Jimmy Fallon. Only a half-elf. Clerics are often pigeon-holed as dedicated healers - their healing magic is the best of any one class - but our Cleric is more interested in battle, from what I can tell, and he has the stuff to be very good at that, too. One of the great things about our unusually large band is that enough of us are able to do the various obligatory tasks that nobody has to get forced to focus on any one thing that he or she really doesn't enjoy.

-Shiny Paladin Rava Thresh, who also belongs to the order of Sarenrae. Paladins are cool, but this one won't let us get away with anything. Like my character, he has quite high charisma, since Paladins use charisma to inspire others to greatness. (Though charisma doesn't seem to help this Paladin act particularly kind or friendly.) Our Paladin-guy keeps comparing his charisma-based skills to mine, trying to prove that he's the best choice to be the absolute Leader of our group. I don't *want* to be the Leader of the group. I don't think my young, impetuous character is ready to lead anything. I just pointed out that since the Paladin won't lie and doesn't actually approach people with a friendly disposition, maybe the several members of the party with high charisma should get to divide the responsibilities of diplomacy and negotiation between them. Like, if we have to talk to the Authorities, sure, send the Paladin, but if we have any dealings with the underworld, maybe we should pick someone more... slippery? And if somebody needs to be intimidated, well, Alimordae may be a nice girl, but she's also nearly seven feet tall with tusks, creepy magic powers, and enormously high intimidation bonuses. WOULD IT BE SUCH A BIG DEAL IF SHE TURNED OUT TO BE THE GROUP'S TOPMOST INTIMIDATOR? IT'S NOT THAT IMPORTANT OF A JOB, PALADIN. When I dutifully recited my stats to the Paladin, he was all, 'Yeah, you actually *might* be better at intimidation than me - for now.' *rolls eyes* Intimidation isn't even a class skill for Paladins. I might just go and max out my ranks in intimidation now, just to annoy him. Geez...

-Elf Wizard Zae. Zae was the wizard on our previous campaign, as well. She's played by the GM's wife, and I like the way she's kind of a nerdy character, more into research than combat. For one, it gives her some nice personality, and I'm not sure what else I know about Zae's personality at this point. For two, it opens up some fun Prestige Class options for her, down the line. For three, it becomes less likely that my character will step on her toes. I didn't want to play a sorceress so as to usurp the role of arcane spellcaster; I wanted to play a character who happened to be a bloodline sorceress. Having a wizard in the group is kind of a relief for me, actually, because it means I don't have to take all the day-to-day utility spells and can be free to specialize/ acquire the few utility spells that we might need to cast frequently or at a moment's notice. The wizard can do some of those things for the group, and it's not the sacrifice for her that it would be for me, because she can learn sooo many more spells than I can. (The only catch: she has to decide at the beginning of each day which spells she's going to cast that day. But the next day she can change her mind. I can't).

- Wino-cleric Ole Olafsen has become Tiefling Bard Zaditor Zaditorium. The name Zaditor comes from my friend's prescription eye drops, LOL. Ole tried to will his glowy dagger to his distant 'friend' Zaditor, along with all his other cool loot from the previous campaign. He said he would get the Paladin to notarize the will. (But the GM said no). Tieflings have infernal ancestry - sort of 'Half-Devil,' though it need not be anything like half - and they are rather more common in Westcrown than in other regions, on account of the city's dark influences. Zaditor in particular has grey skin, horns, a tail, and shaggy red hair. A Bard, meanwhile, is a charisma-based arcane spellcaster similar to a sorceress, but his spell list is shorter and consists mostly of spells that charm, frighten, dominate, inspire, delude, and otherwise influence other characters. In exchange for these limitations, the Bard also gets the capacity to make exciting Bardic Performances, which can give his allies strength, weaken his enemies, or produce other intriguing effects in the midst of combat. Not to mention being frigging entertaining. Alimordae and Zaditor have only just met, but my friend and I have already agreed that we're going to be an unstoppable spellcasting team. Zaditor is an ingenious guy in his own right, but he can also help me play out some of my exciting ideas, when I don't have room to possess all the necessary spells myself.

- Carlos the Dwarf, stoner druid, is new. My friend wanted to join the group for the specific purpose of playing Carlos the Dwarf, because she's a huge fan of Freaks and Geeks. (Carlos was James Franco's RPG character from the episode where he gets roped into gaming with Lindsay's geeky little brother). Carlos looks like a beach bum and has an exciting black leopard named Steve as an animal companion. Welcome, Carlos!

- Our Manly Rogue Assassin is also new. We were having a conversation in the graduate lounge a few weeks ago about how I struggle with playing a character (Ninpen Bittmotten, Gnomish Rogue and Roguish Gnome, that is) whose main function is to stab strangers in the back. Meanwhile, I had simultaneously been trying to seduce this other friend of ours into the group, ever since he made the mistake of saying aloud, 'I'll probably end up coming one night, just to watch, and end up joining in.' That indicated he could be swayed! So we're talking about how I might not be maximally well-suited to roguery, and I whip around to this friend and I'm all, like, 'how do YOU feel about stabbing people in the back, hey?' And he says he's cool with it, and I'm so happy to have found a likely replacement rogue that I blurt out, 'OH THAT WOULD BE ADORABLE!' Because he's a really droll guy, and he'd be *such* a fun rogue, see? But I'm supposed to be making it *more* likely that he'll join the group, LOL, and I just told him he'd make an adorable wee killer. 'I didn't say that!' I amended right away. 'I didn't just say that!' But he was okay with it. 'You meant how manly it would be,' he revised, with total equanimity. Yes. Yes, that is what I meant. Heh. Yes. My friend named his Manly Rogue Assassin 'Alastair MacIntyre'. That may not be funny to non-philosophers; Alastair MacIntyre is a leading ethicist and historian of philosophy at Notre Dame.

- We're also currently running around with an NPC (non-player character) thirteen year old boy named Mossimo or Morrisino or Maraschino or something. We got into trouble and he was there with us, and he seems to be an agent of some kind of secret resistance organization or something. We shall see. We're keeping an eye on him.

I am still working on defining my character in accordance with her statistics. She has to have very high charisma, because it's the governing modifier for a Sorcerer's spellcasting, but it's an unconventional feature for a half-orc to have. I don't think it's out of line, however. (A lot of people I've since found online do. Turns out some old-hands at fantasy RPGs think that no half-orc should be allowed to have high intelligence *or* high charisma. The idea seems to be that if half-orcs can be good or bad at just anything, same as humans, they lose their unique identity as a species. Half-species. Whatever. But I think that's silly. Even if most half-orcs are stronger and hardier than they are smart and likable, it doesn't take away from their group identity for there to be exceptions. And I happen to think it's more fun if a variety of exceptions is actually the rule). Charisma is typically a measure of good looks, influence, and appeal within the game. Alimordae may not be beautiful exactly, but I think she's very striking in appearance. She's probably much more attractive than she realizes. She's also a kind, basically friendly person - maybe even a little Disney Princess chirpy, but she'll grow out of that. With a decently high dexterity, one imagines her as very poised and graceful, and with a more-than-decently high intelligence I think she could one day be quite the leader. (Just not any time soon). She may be a simple country girl at heart, but she commands a great deal of attention. Most of all, seeing as intimidation is charisma-based, it's got to be the case that one need not immediately attract positive attention in order to be considered charismatic. And if I have to resort to unearthly beauty to explain her charisma as it continues to grow, well, I like the idea that a grey-skinned, profoundly freckled woman with tusks could also be a creature of unparalleled beauty. (It's just not important to me yet to specify that she's beautiful). So that's her charisma. I like the idea that Alimordae is not a dramatic, attention-getting person by nature, but that she has an evolving sense of her own capacity to use drama to her - and her allies' - advantage. So far, the hardest part of this aspect of her person for me to get a grip on is the way she is reserved but not shy. I'm both, so it's tricky for me to separate the two. Alimordae happily keeps to herself, but she's supposed to find conversation and making friends much easier than I do.

Decently high intelligence, constitution, and dexterity aren't that hard to act out. I could have let her be much stupider, but after playing the class with the most skill-ranks in all the game, I couldn't bear to have no more than three skill ranks per level. (High intelligence gives you more). Plus, if my character were stupider than me, I would have to keep my many Brilliant Plans to myself when I come up with them! And that would be beyooond beeeaaaring!

Low strength is also easy to understand, and mediocre wisdom relatively so. (Honestly, I'm not sure *I* have more than mediocre wisdom). Youth and a lack of common sense - especially a tendency to make impulsive, haphazard decisions (Alimordae expended one of her only four first-level spells per day to mage armor the NPC kid at the first sign of trouble, because she was worried about him getting hurt; she didn't even bother to armor herself) - are hardly unknown to me. The game dictates that wisdom governs one's proficiency at perception, so I figure she's a little spacey and doesn't notice as many details as others do.

The hardest part remaining, then, is the oddness. I suppose I'm a little odd, myself, but not in quite the incurably weird, otherworldly way I have in mind for my character. I don't want performative oddness to get in the way of the game. But I would like Alimordae to live up to the promise of noticeable peculiarity. So far, I have a handful of inspirational figures - Luna Lovegood, Gonzo, Rosamond from Nate the Great (and Queen Latifah; for elegance and glowing, commanding presence, not so much weirdness.) - plus a List of Things That Odd People Do. Odd people notice things that other people don't, but that probably won't work for me very often, because my GM isn't big on describing stuff, and I can't actually notice details that aren't under my authority to imagine. The dialog of odd people can involve non sequiturs, stating the obvious - especially where ordinary protocol would dictate ignoring some obvious fact and 'playing it cool,' pretending not to notice - and choosing different facts than others do to treat as especially salient. (Though I'll probably limit the latter enough so that my weird habits don't directly damage the group's chances; no being sent to scout and leaving out the part about the enemy encampment in favor of the part about the copulating dragonflies or the baby bear). Since my character is an autodidact where magic is concerned, I figure she'll have her own names for many of the spells she casts. She just describes them the best way she knows how. So far, one of the few spells she knows is called 'grease.' It makes things slippery, see? She likes to say that she's 'buttering' something. Like, 'I butter the floor where they're standing and make them fall over' type thing. I'm totally fielding any suggestions that friends might have for performing my character's oddity without making her an inconvenience or a spot-light hogger.

Egads, how I've gone on and on. This was supposed to be the post where I talked about our adventures last night, but there turned out to be so much preliminary flimflam! I guess I'll have to make another post, eh? (Which is not to say that anybody has to *read* it). I think I will start putting all debriefings from this campaign under a cut, for the record, because it is a major published Adventure Path, and I would hate to spoil any friends who might play it as current or future gamers. Ah well, I suspect I am somewhat obsessed right now, but I'm convinced that this is due to the six or seven week hiatus my group had between meetings, while the other guys were working on their finals. I got a few ideas in my head and spent weeks and weeks researching and chewing them over with no chance to see them play out! All theory and no practice makes Jack go all squirrelly!


Worse than anybody's aunt.

For some weeks I've been trying to think what exactly to say about the advent of the Eleventh Doctor. After watching Matt Smith's first full episode, 'The Eleventh Hour,' you see, the only thought in my head was PLEASE TO SHOW THE PRESIDENTRIX ANOTHER EPISODE RIGHT NAO. Thank you, sir. May I have another?

I knew that I liked it. I knew that I thought it was flipping good fun. (Especially wee little Amy!) It's funny, though: before actually watching, I was pleased by the idea of a new beginning but skeptical that the new could live up to previous seasons. I would have told you that harsh comparisons between Smith and David Tennant were going to be inevitable, and that I might never be able to love another companion after Donna. Big shoes! Terribly hard to fill! Tut tut, Eleventh Doctor! You won't make me love you so easily! N'yah! After the episode, however, all need for comparison seemed mysteriously to have vanished. David Tennant was a fabulous Doctor, and I loved him. (Even if I did harbor some unfortunate and implacable resentment toward him, right at the end there, on account of poor Donna). I think Matt Smith will be a fabulous Doctor as well, and I already love him, too. For that matter, I think Christopher Eccleston was a fabulous Doctor, as were many of the Doctors who preceded him - I just don't remember them as well, so they're less likely to figure into my immediate impressions.

As it happens, I've been *so* enthusiastic lately for Eleven and for his new friend Amy Pond that I, um, sneakified proxy in the U.K. just so that I could find all the episodes on bbc.com that have aired in Britain but not over here. Now that I've seen six Series Five episodes altogether, a thought occurs to me: It's still very hard for me to describe Eleven - especially in any kind of way that makes it sound like I actually like him. He's got that blunt hatchet-face that contorts and crumples in unexpected ways. (Not to mention 'the hair of an idiot'). He's grumpy and supercilious and demanding. He can be juvenile and avuncular at once. But when I think back on the previous seasons of New Who, I wonder whether this isn't the first time I've actually loved the Doctor more than his companion. No reflection whatsoever on David Tennant's skill as an actor - he's marvelous- or his portrayal of the Doctor. No reflection on the latest companion, Karen Gillan's, talents, either. Amy Pond delights me! But I feel closer to Eleven than I think I ever felt to Ten. I loved Ten through Rose and Martha and Donna. The open wonder they experienced became my wonder; their compassion for Ten became my compassion. Eleven is - outwardly, at least - not at all eager to please and quite disinclined to show vulnerability or to invite the viewer nearer. But although he's a prickly pear, I badly want to... huggle him? At my own risk? Maybe it's Eleven's very awkwardness that does it. Ten had this untouchable cavern of grief at his core. Eleven needs you in all kinds of far more modest little ways - needs to you to fry him something or interpret for him to the locals or pester him when he's feeling all 'Mr. Grumpy-face.'

But, ah, now I'm getting into SPOILERS, and I purposed to avoid doing so. A handful of other scattered, spoilery thoughts below, organized behind cuts by episode:

The Beast Below
"no interference, except when little children are crying"Collapse )

The Victory of the Daleks
"you do not require tea?"Collapse )

Time of Angels two-parter
"river, hug amy."Collapse )

Vampires of Venice
"i am excited for someone to invent the tee shirt.Collapse )

In conclusion, I would like ABOUT A THOUSAND funny new Dr. Who icons right now. So many funny lines and so few funny icons! Only angsty icons and shippy icons and icons of Amy's hair. Which, to be fair, is extremely pretty. Just... I want the funny kind, see?

I also *desperately* want an icon of the tiger from last week's Chuck that says, 'Endangered and Majestic.' Hee.

Has anyone else read Jill Barklem's Brambly Hedge books? I still remember my mom coming home with the anthology collecting the four classic seasonal stories. She got it from Price Club (later absorbed by Costco - at any rate, the same store you'd go to for a giant vat of mayonnaise). I was already in high school, I think, but Barklem's stories and illustrations tapped into a vein of something potent that I'd been carrying around with me since childhood. Her mice are plump and quaint and cozy, and her illustrations somehow anticipate my almost hungry appreciation for fussy little secret spaces. Each family of mice lives in a hollowed out stump or tree, and Barklem shows you cross-sections of each of their tree-houses. You can look into all the tiny little rooms full of tiny little things! You can see the way all the little rooms are arranged!

Floor plans, my friends, floor plans! I thought my thing for floor plans had passed - in fact, the only reason I even consciously recognize a 'thing' for floor plans is that I was looking through my folders of old drawings just a couple of days ago, only to find floor plans, floor plans, floor plans, from, like, three separate epochs of my life - but the other day I read about the seventh level 'Mage's Marvelous Mansion' spell in my role playing book, and I immediately started planning what I would want mine to look like inside. LOL. (Extra-planar, fortified magic wizard house, perpetually stocked with delicious food for twelve companions! RAD! What better way to end a long day of adventuring than with a hot bath, a cozy bed, and a piping hot bowl of soup? Only I think 'mansion' would be a bit of a misnomer for mine. The half-orc aberrant sorceress raised by hobbits that I'm working on right now would much rather have a pokey, erratic country house - some kind of a cross between the hobbit holes of her home country, a college at Oxford, and Howl's Moving Castle. Even though she's at least six and a half feet tall, she feels most at home when the ceilings are a little lower than standard for half-orcs - or humans, for that matter; she likes to feel contained).

But, *hem*, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah. Brambly Hedge. So: there's at least one more book in the series beyond the four seasonal books, though I didn't know that until college, when a girl on my floor introduced me to, among other things, Kate Rusby and The Secret Staircase The latter is the only one of Jill Barklem's books that I have in my personal collection, and only because I happened on a copy at the annual library book sale here in town. But it probably boasts the single most staggering floor plan of them all, because it takes place in the Old Oak Palace and concerns the discovery by two mouse-children of, well, a Secret Staircase. Not just any Secret Staircase. Not a paltry split-level ranch house staircase of no consequence. A loooong, narrow staircase that - according to the cross-section of the palace that Barklem provides - spirals unnoticed past about five levels of palace rooms all routinely in use, only to arrive at a suite of dusty but magnificent rooms that have long been forgotten. There are several little bedrooms, a nursery, an awesome bathroom, and even a disused heraldic throne room from a bygone generation of Lordly Woodmice.

WHAT ARE ALL THE SECRET ROOMS DOING UP THERE? WHY ARE THEY SECRET? WHO BUILDS A PRIVATE THRONE ROOM AT THE END OF A LONG STAIRCASE THAT ORIGINATES IN THE ATTIC? What are those dark, dungeon-y vestibules off to the sides, at the staircase's only other two landings? (The actual story never even mentions these rooms). It's almost 4 friggin' a.m., and I'm UNABLE TO SLEEP, because I got the book down to look at some of the pictures, and now I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT THAT FRIGGING SECRET STAIRCASE!

To be clear, it's not that I think the book simply does not make sense. That would probably be easier for me to live with. It's that I'm convinced THERE MUST BE SOME SORT OF PROPER EXPLANATION for these facts, and I'm mad that the book decides to end with a charming mid-winter feast rather than telling me what I want to know, LOL.


Truly assorted icons, yo.

The only thing these icons have in common is that I made them today. Oh. And the majority of them have Danny Kaye in the picture.


Numbers 15 and 16 come from this AMAAAAAZING blog post sent to me by loveminus0:



I caught both parts of Doctor Who: The End of Time tonight, nearly by accident. I had heard The End of Time was pretty terrible, and somewhere between The Next Doctor (which I haven't heard much of anyone talking about, but which I liked), The Planet of the Dead (which bored me to the point that I can't even remember why it also *bothered* me), and the present, my interest in Doctor Who sort of lapsed. I think I felt both exhaustion at Ten's ponderous angst and a physically gnawing abdominal horror at the thought of giving him up and receiving some other bloke in his place. I wanted things neither to proceed nor to remain the same.

I'm not sure what's changed of late - perhaps it was watching Season 3 and experiencing a renewed sense of Doctor Who's many possibilities - but I've felt a sudden surge of excitement at the thought of the transition between Doctors Ten and Eleven. I still wasn't crazy about catching up on Waters of Mars and The End of Time, but I was ready to get on with it.

Tonight I remembered it was Saturday, the night that BBC America customarily airs some manner of loopy scifi/fantasy programming. (Yey!) I fully expected to have to wait a long time before BBC America would be able to show DW Series 5, but I thought maybe I'd get a rerun of Primieval or something, instead. (L.O.L.) As it happens, however, Series 5 starts showing next week! And the End of Time two-parter was starting, just as I flipped the tv on. Somewhat spoilery (and not especially well thought-out) reactions after the cut:

I think my perfect Doctor Who icon might be Wilf saying, "I thought it"d be cleaner."Collapse )




the presidentrix
clean all the things!!!

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