No SMOFCon for me

Because of some things I'm contemplating, I had additionally contemplated (although it's likely part of the same... Never mind) attending SmofCon here in Toronto.

It's a recurring travelling convention for convention organizers. I think it would be interesting to get perspectives from people who run events. But this weekend was a holiday one, with parties and screenings and planning of parties, so it just fell by the wayside. Such is life.

What I expected, I guess

So last night Cynra & I took in John Cleese's Last Chance to See Me Before I Die tour.

It was not bad. He started off with a confession that the purpose of the tour was to pay his most recent bout of alimony.

The show consisted of anecdote, followed by video clip, repeat. He told about his parents' life, his life starting from his youth, up to Python, then some Fawlty Towers, a little Wanda and the scene. I guess it might have been a but much to hope for a bit on Bond, but he was probably tired.

We had nice chairs. The seats were angled such that I could see the TelePrompTer at the back of the room.

It was actually a less enjoyable experience than the Carlin show I went to before his death.

Carlin was reading his material off of sheets of paper, but at least he was doing new material.

The Cleese show felt like I was watching an intimate and interactive show (which is never either) only the anecdotes are broken by recordings instead of performances.

He told one anecdote about performing the Parrot sketch in front of an audience that knew the words. When his partner (Palin or Idle?) threw him, he asked the audience if they knew his next line, and they all did.

He said... Something about how the audience paid to watch a show they'd already memorized. It felt like he was telling all of us in the audience to go fuck ourselves.

Not quite what I'd call enjoyable.

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Today in today

Last night picked up my spirit a bit; ran the second half of the intro adventure for Edge of Empire. System is growing on me.

I got Redshirts out of the library a couple weeks ago. I had read the first four chapters on my phone but hadn't moved into the book since I got it.

So I decided to renew it. But someone else has put a hold on it.

So I had two options: read it in one day or return it & hope I get it out of the library again.

So I read it, tearing through a couple hundred pages today. And it made me feel better. Just to do nothing but read a book for a day.

Tomorrow it's back to the grind, pumping out cover letters & focussing resumes. Hopefully I'll find something soon.

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(no subject)

You have to feel sorry for the kids these days. I assume, barring some breakthrough in social dynamics, the pack mentality of teenagers is still as strong as ever, and they descend on the weak and sickly like hungry wolves.

I mean, I had it rough. ARE-YOU-EFF-EFF. I still get a bit of the PTSD twitches thinking about high school. There's about a dozen people I can think of from the period without the meat of my right cheek twitching, and one (Hi, Rob!) who I really, really hope died of syphilis. It gets hard outside, and then on the inside it gets real easy to think about the easiest way to end it (or at the very least avoid having to be around for it, since we've seen they don't let up once the level of victim elevates).

But reading about the Todd kid (which is hard because, yes, cheek twitches) is tough. Because I see what they have to go through, and it's worse. It's a hundred times worse. How many people would I have had to block to keep pictures of camels from popping up on my feed? How thick would my security features have to have been? Would I have ever gotten up the courage to do a vanity Google search?

I wasn't even a pretty girl who could be cajoled/threatened into debasing myself, and then having the evidence spread far and wide. Although the thought that pretty girls get subjected to this stuff too is so far beyond my sphere of comprehension that it was like hitting a mental speed bump.

But the breadth of Social Media alone is just horrible. The ability to reach out to people also allows them to smack you in the face. And when that pack is run by a pure sociopath (Hey, Rob!) I can only imagine the constant stream of viciousness and how horrible it would be to live like that, and how tempting checking out might be.

Of course, the only solution is for people to take responsibility for their own kids and for people to develop empathy. I think we can acknowledge that's not going to happen. Now I wish the Mayans were right.

Today, in Seattle

So I got into Seattle yesterday. Nice city, and good weather.

Spent several hours after breakfast at the Experience Music Project. There were a couple superbly curated exhibits on Jimi Hendrix & Nirvana which made me realize that I need to listen to more music.

(I'd like to take a moment to shout out to fenchurche for giving me a short intro to the town last week. I wish I had more time in town to see all of it, or even to hang out a bit. Next time for sure. Plus, that troll looks pretty cool)

EMP also had features on Horror films & sci fi. The horror one had several screens with short retrospectives on some of the curators. I don't respect Eli Roth but I don't hate him as much as I did yesterday morning.

Each screen was surrounded by a giant sized plastic sprue containing elements of each if their films.

Roth's display also had a door next to it. From behind the door could be heard the sound of power tools & screams & blood seeming to seep from beneath it.

There were a lot of props and displays.

I also checked out the Sci Fi Icons display ( while holding my newly acquired used copy of The Glass Teat. Stereotypical much?). It was mostly a display if props, but if you enjoy that stuff it's cool.

I enjoy that stuff, btw.

Contemplated the space needle, but I'm too cheap to drop a twenty for a view without a terrified wife at my side.

Perhaps in the future I'll grab a City Pass.

But yes, fun city. Took the monorail downtown & wandered a bit. Dropped into the local ebgames to take advantage of an offer on a Facebook game.

Don't judge me.

Strolled about Chinatown a bit (which is where the hostel I'm staying at is located) and grabbed some BBQ pork with rice & veggies for dinner. Late dinner, sure, but can anyone tell me what kind of pizza place closes at nine?

Good town. Kind of hate the radio station they have on in the common room. But I doubt you can get the CBC here.

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People who get punched in the face

Okay, today it's just two, very similar ones:

People who go to convention panels and write reviews of them... God, maybe I should just stop there.


A) People who go to convention panels and write reviews of them and complain that they didn't cover parts of the topic they were interested in.

Kid, it's a two way street. Did you raise your hand and ask the question? The panelists can only talk about a few things (50 minutes is surprisingly little time) and and they can't read your mind.

B) people who go to convention panels and write reviews of them and remark that "the author seemed more interested in promoting their book than talking about the topic."

First off? It's 99% likely that, since the author was on the panel their book is probably at least a little relevant to the topic at hand. So your argument falls down there.

Secondly, they aren't gonna sell books if people don't know about them. Writers gotta hustle. Unless they're established enough to have the books moving.

Even people comfy on the midlist (shurely shome mishtake?) probably feel a little anxious about their sales.

So, yeah. Either of those types of people (or as I call them, WorldCon attendees) get the happy face punch.

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Comic Book Guy

Munchkinism is dead?

Saw this on

I think this reflects a significant cultural shift in the hobby. My impression is that, back in the day, if what the text says a class is good at and what the mechanics mean a class is good at were out of whack, it wasn't a big deal - you were expected to play to the former, and exploiting the latter was decried as "power-gaming" or "munchkinism". That doesn't happen anymore, unless you're playing with a whole group of grognards; playing your character the way the mechanics for his class suggest he should be played - regardless of what the flavour text says - is no longer stigmatised.

I don't think this meets the the abuse of both the at table social contract and the rules that I qualify as munchkinism. It's definitely power gaming, which is very annoying (Paul, je te regarde) but a valid play style as long as it doesn't upset the enjoyment of the other players.

I always saw Munchkinism as part and parcel with Monty Haul games. Munchkinism is a play style that needs to be encouraged by the play group, starting with the GM & then the other players.

And there's so many games that one game's Munchkinism is another game's standard play style (D&D Munchkinism is Exalted's casual play).