Not BBQ Weather

There are times when my laziness is not enough to keep me from doing something marginally productive.  These times are few and far between but they are there.  With my attitude towards sitting down to write changing to more of an amicable disdain rather than cold war hatred I have  slowly become more  ambitious though I still like to sit around and do nothing.  Well, not nothing.  I do enjoy playing video games, though I have been getting a tad bit bored with the games that I currently have, and nothing over the next couple months interests me.  But that is neither here nor there, for I was originally talking about my ability to sometimes be useful.

I don’t mind cooking.  There is something cathartic about the entire process of measuring the right amount of ingredients and then mixing them all together.  Sometimes in my geekier moments, of which there are many, I realize that the process of preparing sour dough bread is akin to alchemy.  And I won’t lie; that makes it just oh so much entertaining.  But it is also a very relaxing endeavor for me, at least when I am not ravenous and demanding the still uncooked meat to become fast friends with my stomach.  And sometimes I make really tasty food so in the end we all win.

Last night, while out shopping for groceries I received a phone call from my girlfriend.  I needed to pick her up from work in an hour or so and then drop her off again for some damned three hour meeting.  I am a bit hungry as I had only eaten a bowl of cereal all day and figured I’d make some delicious ribs for the two of us, along with a nice salad to get those delicious vitamins.  Five minutes late I am through the checkout line and back in my car, another five and I was back home and preparing the ribs.  With the task finished I sat down to trudge through Dead Space in the hopes of getting the achievement for killing 30 enemies with the flamethrower.  Anger ensued until I left to pick her up from work.

Now the entire day up until this point had been cloudy, with the sun poking out once in a while.  So it was mildly annoying when I went out to light the barbecue that it started raining.  Nothing heavy, just enough to dampen my high spirits ever so slightly.  Then I went inside and it stopped.  A few minutes later I went out to put the ribs on and it started raining when I stepped outside and stopped when I was back inside.  Curious, I thought.  So I decided to fake it out, pretending only to head out.  It rained and didn’t stop immediately; I was rained on as I flipped the ribs, and it stopped when I went inside.  But I had the final laugh, for although the weather itself tried to ruin my meal those ribs were delicious.  In your face water cycle.

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A Place To Sit And Rest

Today has been a good day, at least when it comes down to possession of furniture.  I am now sitting on my new couch, a used but definitely comfortable creation that has replaced the shitty and horrible brown monstrosity that once sat in front of my TV.  Yes, gone is that disease riddled (I can neither confirm nor deny this claim) affront to nature.  I have picked up a hide-a-bed as well and have learned a very valuable lesson.  Hide-a-beds are incredibly fucking heavy and are the opposite of fun to move.

Now onto the information that actually matters.  Today I have started my novel.  This isn’t really cause for celebration as I have started and stopped writing it countless times over the last several years.  And the only positive thing to come out of all this time is that the story is now exactly what I want to tell.  In the past there had been a lot of filler where I would have three plot points and I’d have to fill in what happens between them on the fly.  This time around I know exactly what happens from start to finish.  The progression of events are there; the how and why of each characters’ action is fully known.  At this point it is merely getting the words typed up that is the hard part.

Now I have said in the past that one of the main themes of the novel is dreams, and that hasn’t changed.  They still exist as a medium to show how the events of the story slowly change the future from being hopeless to perhaps one where they may succeed.  But I have also started to realize that the names of the characters has become much more prevalent.   For example it seems that most of the names that I have picked, especially the names for the central characters, have all had meanings that are definitive of the character’s personality.  So I have decided that as of now I shall be going by what type of goals, drives, and the very essence of the character is before I decide on a name for them.

On a final note I must say this couch is incredibly comfortable.  Best forty dollars I have spent in a long time.

Games, District 9, and More Games

From glancing at my calendar I have determined that another game night is fast approaching.  I don’t have any specifics on timing, but I believe it may in fact happen Labour Day weekend.  I envision it being centered around a very large Shadowrun adventure, perhaps one that may in fact kill everyone involved.  Which is saying a lot considering we have a Troll with cyborg limbs and decked out in a lot of body armor.  It will take a lot to take down that homicidal tyrant.  Perhaps one day I shall impart the horrors that this demon has ushered unto the denizens of Seattle, and how a major highway has been under construction after an ill-thought out battle.

It may come as no surprise, but I went to see District 9 on opening night and again this last Monday night.  I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, as evidenced by me being more than willing to head back for a second showing.  I have been excited about this movie ever since I saw Neill Blomkamp’s promos for Halo 3.  I went in expecting some excellent action sequences, and from my readings online, an excellent story and I was not disappointed on either fronts.   Now I was one of the people that enjoyed the shaky cam style of Cloverfield and that same style works really well with the faux documentary feel of the movie.  I can’t recommend this movie enough, so if you are interested in a good story, a good sci-fi movie, or just like seeing things blow up it’s a solid choice for you.

As of right now I’ve decided to pass on picking up Halo: ODST.  My reasoning behind it is that while I do enjoy the Halo universe I really can’t justify it.  From what I understand the campaign would be pretty short and it w0uld be the same multiplayer from Halo 3 with 3 new maps.  Which is all well and good, but I absolutely loathe the Halo 3 Xbox Live community.  Instead I am considering picking up Dragon Age: Origins.  The more I see of this game the more I want it.  I have had a craving for a fantasy RPG for a long while now, and Bioware has yet to disappoint me (on a side note, the more I see about Mass Effect 2 the more I want it as well.)  The only issue is that Modern Warefare 2 comes out a week after Dragon Age, and that is my must buy for the end of the year.  I played the original to death and got all the achievements; including that damned Mile High Club on Veteran one.  In all honesty I will probably pick both games up and love them both to death.  From killing things with swords and axes to killing them with guns and arial artillery.  It shall be a crazy November.

The Madness Took It’s Toll

So I have returned from the August Long Weekend.  Alive, unhealthy, and probably shaved a year off my life.  But I have returned.  Our game weekends are, for lack of a better description, taxing.  Out eating habbits tend to be junk food, energy drinks, and lots of greasy burgers.  Hence, shaving a year off my life.  But we also had a good time doing some gaming, what with my Cthulhu adventure going on and playing some Zombie Town.

Our gaming group never takes anything overly serious.  It’s not that we can’t, it’s more that our personalities lead to us not being able to take anything overly serious.  For example, Cthulhu is about slowly realizing that your characters are in mortal danger all the time and playing them as madness slowly takes hold.  It’s a more serious themed table top RPG than say D&D.  But it becomes a whole less serious when the characters are (and I’m not making this up) Chuck Norris, Atticus Finch (who suffers from nymphomania), Indiana Jones, Dana Scully, Doctor Who, and The Elephant Man.  Yes .  Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird is a nymphomaniac.

Everything was going well for this adventure… for about ten minutes.  Dana Scully received a letter from… Fox Mulder asking for her help in an investigation.  It was at this point that Dana decided not to tell the others that they are going into potential harm and that they were going on a ski trip.  During their train ride north Dana, who is huffing Ether for some unknown reason, blacks out and dreams about being abducted by aliens whlie visions of what’s to come flash by in her mind.  The group thus arrives in a fairly backwoods town nearby and Dana, apparently under the influence of the drugs decides to take the groups transport and head to the ski resort on her own, in the words of the player “To go have sex with Mulder”.

The rest of the group stayed in town for a bit and find that there are a variety of rumored misdeeds happening in the town and surrounding area.  Chuck Norris, realizing that the transport is missing hires another driver to take them around.  Only to have Atticus convince the driver that they should go around looking to pick up the local women for some good times.  Needless to say, this plan failed to produce anything good.  Eventually the rest of the group makes their way out to the ski resort.  Unable to find Dana, they check themselves in and go down to the bar and restaurant for food and refreshment.  Dana eventually shows up and finds Mulder, and they discuss the activities of a suspected cult that had kidnapped his sister.  With information provided by the Lone Gunmen, it’s revealed that the resort had been funded by a Carl Stanford, whom Mulder believes to be a big player in this cult.  They also reveal through stolen blue prints that there was a strange room built square in the middle of the basement.

Thus Dana informs Chuck Norris that they aren’t here for relaxation and that there is a cult about.  Chuck, in turn, goes about informing the others and that they all go to bed.  Save for Atticus, who in the words of the player, “Is looking for sex and sandwiches.”  Alone, confused, and apparently hungry Atticus is jumped by three cultists and knocked unconscious.  Chuck Norris, because Chuck Norris can see everything (don’t ask) rallies the troops and leads the charge to save Atticus.  Only to fall two stories down the stair case.  Unfazed Chuck takes on the three cultists unarmed as they drawn their guns.  The Elephant Man while shooting from the stairwell is ensnared by dark magic, where shadows consume him and crushes his lungs.  As he struggled to breath and fight off the magic he accidentally shoots Chuck.  Who is then immediately shot in the face by the cultists and dies horribly.  The others manage to rally and kill the cultists and save Atticus but it is to late for Chuck.  During this entire exchange the gun fire has caused an avalanche, cutting off their only road out of the mountains and back to town.

The group telegraphs a message back to the police about the cultists, but Atticus disappears and heads down into the basement.  The Elephant Man follows and the two end up in a cavern beneath the lodge.  There they find the reanimated corpses that had been stolen from the town’s graveyard.  They attack the zombies, Atticus doing so bare handed.  In the end the rest of the group descended the stairwell to the cavern.  Scully, upon seeing the undead, faints while the rest attempt a valiant stand.  His gun depleted the Elephant Man throws it at a zombie but misses, it clattering down into the darkness below.  He then, through a very impressive display of grappling, over powers the same zombie and hurls it over the edge.  The other two zombies are quickly dispatched.

Around the dark altar they find notes about the cult’s activities as well as getting a time for a communication ceremony.  They also find a sheet of paper describing the process of creating a zombie.  Atticus of course decides that they own it to their departed friend to bring him back.  As a zombie.  The others object but only briefly and they decie to watch in horror as Atticus brought Chuck’s body down to the cavern.  Cutting his hand and filling the corpse’s mouth with blood he kissed the corpse and muttered the phrases to bring him back.  And this was roughly the point where shit hit the fan.  Everyone took a hit to their sanity for seeing the corpse of their dead friend rise up as a zombie, and Atticus took another hit of Sanity from the sanity loss for casting the spell.  Which sent him indefinitely insane, suffering from accute paranoia.  Other’s are rooted to the spot in fear temporarily.

Eventually they regroup and head back up stairs only to find Mulder and the Lone Gunmen waiting for them, having been keeping fighting off cultists who had been trying to get down into the cavern..  They all see Zombie Chuck Norris and they all lose sanity.  Langley loses it and ends up mimicking the zombie’s actions, while Frohicke’s mind completely snapped sending him into a fit of suicidal mania.  He thus threw himself down the stairs leading to the cavern and broke his neck.  Everyone witnessing this then had to make their sanity throws and some made it, others didn’t.  In the end they decide that the best course of action is to retire for the evening and root out the cultists in the morning.

During their rest Dana, The Elephant Man, and Atticus (who had spent his time boarding up his windows and door and was now hiding in a closet while zombie Chuck Norris stood watch) were attacked by three Byahkee.  Scully ran out of her room to find Mulder and get help, where as The Elephant Man stood his ground.  He wounded the beast before it tore out his throat.  Atticus on the other hand was fine for the time being, the beast unable to break through the window easily.  With the help of zombie Chuck, he managed to kill two of the beasts while he hid in the closet.  The last was gunned down by Scully and Mulder.

The Doctor, not likely where things had been heading ran to the bar and began preparing Molotov Cocktails.   Scully succumbs to exhaustion and dreams of a woman giving her a strange camera like device.  When she awoke the device was in her hand, and she was perplexed to realize that it was a Yithian Lightning Gun.  It appeared that the Yithian’s were at least somewhat interested in preventing the cult’s activities.  The next day they (minus Atticus, who in a full fit of paranoia refused to leave the room and accused Dana and the Doctor of being cultists.  Zombie Chuck was killed once more by Dana) were unable to root out any other cultists and ended up deciding to look for the communing location described in the notes.  It was thus that they found a wooded glade, the branches high above clasped in such a way that the shadow cast the Elder Sign on the snow below.  They covered their tracks and waited.

In the evening six robed figures arrived and began to create a bonfire and began to worship an effigy of the great Cthulhu.  The Doctor, not wanting to see what was coming threw a molotov and successfully started three cultists on fire.  A firefight ensued, and a cultist summoned a Formless Spawn to help.  It soon fell pray to the lightning gun and molotovs, now being thrown by The Doctor in a fit of mad laughter.  The cleaned up the cultists before they could finish their commune with what looked to be Cthulhu.  The police eventually arrived, and ended up taking Atticus into custody to be thrown into an Asylum.  The others were eventually free to go, evidence of the cult’s activities enough to convince the police that what happened was in self defense for the most part and was necessary to protect innocent lives in the future.  They were then left wondering where the cult was situated and how to best go about bringing them down.  And this, is where the adventure ended.

All in all I had a lot of fun running this adventure with the group.  I can’t deny that I spent most of the adventure either shaking my head in disbelief about their actions or in fits of laughter at the results of them.  Especially the fact that Atticus brought back Chuck as a zombie.  In the end though the investigators prevailed, the cult’s training ground was shut down, and when we finished I got to see the Roughriders beat Calgary in the last minute.  It was a good night.