dorchadas: (Broken Dream)
A couple days ago, I read this article about the game Wurm Online and a man who was a king. I found it really poignant, the image of the author and the man riding together through an overgrown and abandoned landscape, littered with the crumbling ruins of what was once a vibrant community of players now almost all gone. A single house, alone in the wilderness, the last remnant of life.

Like this passage:
We haven’t seen a single soul since we left Strongbox but these towers are populated by NPC guards. Reminders that there used to be something worth protecting nearby. In this case, the flat land is peppered with bed frames. It used to be a collection of houses. But none of the walls, roofs or chimney stacks remain. Only bedframes, abandoned and forgotten.
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

The other reason the Wurm Online article hit me is because I played World of Warcraft for six years, for thousands of hours of playtime, and I have almost no posts written about it on here. For a long time, I used my blog as a form of social media before Twitter and Tumble and Facebook rose to the prominence they now occupy, and once those took off, I stopped posting much of anything here that wasn't directly what happened in my daily life. That means I sometimes went weeks or months without posting, and that something that took up a huge portion of my life and the lives of many of my friends for years is left with almost no records. I even ended up accidentally deleting my screenshots at some point. All I have are memories.

Yesterday, [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I finished watching ToraDora, after having it on our to-watch list for almost six years. It's a deconstruction of the tsundere--one of the main characters is even voiced by Kugimiya Rie--with a happy ending that works out for nearly everyone. It's very Japanese in that "I will set aside my own happiness for now so that you can be happy and achieve your dreams" way, in multiple directions. And like many other such anime, it ends when high school does, happily, and the future is glowing brightly ahead as the characters walk forward into it. Even though these are high school relationships and the odds of them lasting past the beginning of college is very low, we don't want to see that. We want a happy ending.

That Japanese in the subject translates as "There is nothing that is eternal," which is the title of a story I wrote for that Scion LARP I was in and also one of the bedrock parts of my life philosophy. And while I was searching for the link to that story, I found this question on 知恵袋 (chiebukuro, "fount of knowledge") where someone asks if there is anything in this world that is eternal. One person says love, and one person says time, but the majority answer is that there is nothing.

I think that's what I write so much of my life down now. It's a way of holding out against entropy, of making the transitory experience of playing a single-player video game into something that can be shared with other people, of turning my experience of a good meal or an anime convention or a vacation into a record that will stand for longer than my memories do. There's already been plenty of times when I read an old blog post I wrote and find something I had forgotten or that I was remembering wrong, and writing it down meant that what really happened, or my perception thereof, remains.

We are, all of us, looking for something eternal. We will fail, inevitably. But that doesn't mean we can't try.

We don't build sandcastles in the hope that they'll last forever.

Are you there in my dreams?
Waiting there just for me?
Are you there for me?
Are you there for me?

I won't surrender
While hope still lives in this world...
Kawaii heart emoji photo heart_emoji_by_kawaiiprincess2-d51re77.gif
dorchadas: (JCDenton)
Some of these will be pretty similar to [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd's list, but you know, we're married. It kind of makes sense.

In no particular order:

  • Family Vacations!: We took two trips last year that I've been wanting to take for a while--one to Oregon, where I've spent over a year of my life when you count all the summer trips I took as a child, and to Philadelphia, where I lived when I was at university. Both of those were obviously huge parts of my life, and I'm really happy that I got the chance to share them with [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd. Now, maybe it's her turn. I hear she really likes New Orleans...

  • Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: We did it. It was more like 60 weeks, counting the time that we had to take off and the few extra curries we threw in, which meant that it wasn't 50 curries either, but I was amazed by the response I got to my writing. Many people telling me that they looked forward to it every week, inviting themselves to dinner (jokingly or otherwise) and asking [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd to make a particular food, asking what the next food project was going to be... It was really surprising for me, since I never realize how many people read my writing. Maybe we will do another food project! Any suggestions?

  • We Went to Alinea: That was something we were planning to do for years, but we never really made the time until a friend suggested it and we took her up on the offer. It lived up to the hype. If you can find a reason, go.

  • Japanese Lessons: This is something I've been putting off for the longest time, for financial reasons and because I was nervous about the process of learning. But I finally bit the bullet, started going to classes, and I think it's helped a lot. I can get practice reading anywhere on the internet, I can practice listening by watching anime or JDramas, but I can't practice speaking without a speaking partner. This was gearing up to the trip we're planning to take in 2016, but I think I'll keep going after that. I will be able to speak conversational Japanese by the time I die.

  • Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom: I worked on this, on and off, for about two years, from the initial idea to statting things up in Novus to switching to Exalted to really nailing everything down, and in 2015 I started running a brief test game to see if it all works. And it does! I have a bit of a difficult time balancing combat encounters, but my contention that mortal- or god-blooded level Exalted produces a fun game has some support now. My players actually asked for another game after the current one finishes, so I'll be running a longer game with different characters in the future. They may yet trample the jeweled thrones of Agarica under their sandaled feet!

  • Saving Money: I did it! I had a goal of every month, putting some money into savings, some money into investments, and some money into our retirement accounts, and I managed to do that every single month in 2015. Sometimes I couldn't put in as much as I wanted in one of those categories, but I'd always make up for it in subsequent months.

  • Writing: Throughout 2015, I wrote a review of every book I read and video game I beat, I kept up Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries, developed Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom into something workable and functional as a game, and wrote a bunch of other blog posts as well. Even though I didn't work more on The Lamplighters Guild, I still did a lot of writing work.

  • Fashion: I finally realized that maybe I should get rid of some of those old clothes and that, now that we have money, I can afford to dress the way that I've always wanted to rather than wearing clothes forever until they fall apart. Thanks to PlastikWrap, Demobaza, Zolnar, H2H, and a couple other places I can't remember. Sadly, trawling thrift shops is usually not that helpful for me--it's hard enough for me to find clothes from clothes shops. I wrote more about this here.


Traditionally, I post the lyrics to "Long December" on New Year's to express my hope for a good new year, but this year I have something a bit different. While looking around for something for a friend's birthday, I found a poem from the 小倉百人一首 that I think fits pretty well:
ながらへば
またこの頃や
しのばれむ
憂しと見し世ぞ
今は恋しき
And here's my translation of it:
If I should live long
will these days again
Be brought to mind?
That world that I grieved to see,
Now, it is dear to me
明けましておめでとう!今年もよろしく!

Happy New Year, everyone.
dorchadas: (Great Old Ones)
I ran a Delta Green game for three years (about eight months of which was active play time), and one of the things I did for the game was write a bit of flavor text after every mission that F Cell went on. They're all stored on a private Facebook group at the moment, but since I don't trust Facebook to keep them safe, I'm going to reproduce them all here for posterity.

I'm pretty proud of a couple of them, especially the writeups for Night Floors, Future/Perfect, Let's Learn Aklo, and Younger Than the Mountains. The names below are all the names of the scenarios, if you want to look up the context yourself.

1) PUPPET SHOWS AND SHADOW PLAYS
Read more... )

2) LAST THINGS LAST
Read more... )

3) NIGHT FLOORS
Read more... )

4) WATER/RETENTION
Read more... )

5) FUTURE/PERFECT
Read more... )

6) A FALL OF MOONDUST
Read more... )

7) WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN
Read more... )

8) CONVERGENCE
Read more... )

9) THE REPAIRER OF REPUTATIONS
Read more... )

10) THE EMPEROR IS MISSING
Read more... )

11) SPECIAL AGENT
Read more... )

12) A VICTIM OF THE ART
Read more... )

13) DARKEST CALLING
Read more... )

14) LET'S LEARN AKLO
Read more... )

15) YOUNGER THAN THE MOUNTAINS
Read more... )

One last Night at the Opera.

I'm on a boat

2013-Sep-03, Tuesday 15:24
dorchadas: (Dreams are older)
Yes, that song I'm "listening" to is a real song, and it's exactly as bad as you're probably imagining it to be.

For Labor Day weekend, [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I went out to visit my parents in the suburbs, prompted by them mentioning that they had tickets to go on a boat ride on the Fox River, which was pretty much exactly like I expected. It was only an hour and the boat wasn't that fast--and it wasn't a real steamboat, since the paddle is just for show--but it was still really relaxing. There was even an overcast sky, so I didn't have to worry about being sunburned.

That's not the main thing I thought was notable, though.While I was looking through the stuff that I told my parents to throw away that they never threw away, I managed to find one of the books I was looking for--the World of Warcraft RPG, about which I'll have another entry later--and didn't find my Warcraft III CDs and had to buy them again, but one of the things I did find down in the basement while rooting through the storage room were the journals I kept in high school.

For pretty much the entirety of my four years in high school, I kept a pen and paper journal. I wrote at least a page every day, and sometimes more. Thinking back on that now, I wonder what exactly I wrote about? The daily minutiae of life in high school, I assume, and all the ponderings that only an adolescent who doesn't realize that their amazing philosophical insights have already been better expressed by others can think are worth writing down. That's what I remember going into that journal, and while I was there, I didn't pull them out and read them again. Maybe I should have. I've often thought of taking them and transcribing the entries in them into LJ, which wouldn't be as bad as it sounds because I wrote them using allusion and obfuscation with the aim of making anyone else who read them have a difficult time figuring out what it going on. Unfortunately, that works for me too--[personal profile] schoolpsychnerd read them a few years ago, and I couldn't answer most of her questions about them because whatever the context for the references within had long sense passed from my mind.

I think the main thing that I want to keep is continuity. I started out on Ujournal, which just vanished out from under me one day (which is why I back everything up on Dreamwidth, just to be safe). A while later, the entries came back on AboutMyLife.net, and while I saved some entries (you can see them under my Ireland tag), I reasoned that I had changed enough that it didn't matter and let the rest go. I still regret that. I posted a lot of random stuff, and a lot of worthless stuff...or at least, that's what I remember. Even AboutMyLife.net is gone now, so there's basically no way to get the others back. At least if I wrote down the stuff from my high school journals, it'd be saved, and in re-reading them to transcribe them would probably be personally valuable. But it's the probably that stops me, and also how much work it would be. Typing in more than 1500 handwritten pages would take a very long time. But if I don't do that, it'll probably get lost somewhere, like the other book and my WCIII CDs did. Ugh.

I haven't looked at it in over a decade. Maybe it doesn't matter.

"All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return."
dorchadas: (Default)
This is a listing of some of the auto-complete entries in my copy of OpenOffice.

thi = thigh-highs
can = cannibalism
her = herbivorous
mas = masquerade
mer = mercifully
hea = heart-stopping
dan = dangerously
lin = linguistic
nig = nightshade's
sto = stock-stiff
the = themselves
sti = still-sealed
alr = already-married
com = combat-heavy
con = concentration
one = one-adventure-a-year
hea = heavenward
lig = light-eating
lon = long-forgotten
fir = fireballs-and-thunderbolts
tha = thaumaturge
rec = recently-dead
mos = mostly-darkened
not = notwithstanding
dre = dressings-down

I leave any analysis of trends here for the reader.

i can has curry!

2007-Jul-11, Wednesday 21:37
dorchadas: (Jealous)
i can has a lot of things lately.

Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] softlykarou found some curry paste somewhere, for mixing with water, and since she was at work today, I figured I'd try my hand at making it. It went pretty well, until the part where I messed up and it took an extra 45 minutes to thicken because I didn't actually simmer it during the previous stage. Once I did that, though, the sauce thickened just fine (with the addition of a bit of flour), and it turned out awesome. At least if [livejournal.com profile] softlykarou is any judge. It was Japanese curry, so it was more sweet than spicy, but I can probably add more red pepper next time. The flavor was a little weak, but I'm sure I can tweak it a bit.

You missed out, [livejournal.com profile] ashiri_chan ^_~

I've gotten back into writing with a vengeance. I dropped my NaNo project for about six months, for various reasons, but in the past 3 days I've written another five pages, and I have plenty more outlined in my head. Maybe I can actually finish it. It should be around 80K words when it's done, which I'm told is a good think for a starting manuscript. Whether it'll be that long when it's edited is another story...

Apartments are awesome. We'll see if I say the same thing when the bills come, though...

気持ち悪い

2006-Dec-19, Tuesday 19:04
dorchadas: (Angst)
I've been having stomach troubles (just nausea and a vague sort of unsettled feeling) for three days now. I hope it's just transient and doesn't develop into the flu that [livejournal.com profile] nytesenvy and [livejournal.com profile] sephimb had...or isn't some sign of something worse. Ugh.

My NaNo is still coming along, though much more slowly than it was. I need to just sit down and force myself to write again.

Tomorrow, I'll be getting on a plane to go out to Seattle to visit my aunt and uncle and their family, and my grandfather. Until yesterday, the power was out (and had been since Saturday) and it didn't look like they would be getting it back any time soon, but apparently it's all been fixed. I am not happy about this, since I have no desire to go.

My grandfather has Alzheimer's, or something similar enough that it makes no difference. My grandmother (on the other side) had it too, and she died two years before her body stopped working. I was never that close to her, but she was a schoolteacher for thirty years and lived and worked on a farm as well. After her husband died, she started to forget things, and she eventually moved in with us. I remember quite clearly the day that she told me she should probably just kill herself, because then she wouldn't be a bother to so many other people who clearly didn't have her best interests at heart (speaking of my parents). The last time I saw her, five months before her funeral, there was nothing left. Just a body that ate when it was told to, slept when led to bed, and otherwise stared blankly at the wall.

I don't want that to be the way I remember my grandfather. Unfortunately, it looks like I have no choice.

Me

2006-Nov-30, Thursday 16:54
dorchadas: (For the Horde!)
The Good:
I sent in my JET application, so now (beyond wedding planning stuff) I have nothing really hanging over my head.
I'm still working on my NaNo. Not at the same pace as I was, but I am still writing.

The Bad:
I won't hear back from the JET people until January.
Since when does a fucking urine test cost 270 fucking dollars? Admittedly, that's before insurance helps with that, but if insurance doesn't help... ><
dorchadas: (Angst)
The more I work on this JET essay, the more convinced I am that it's a waste of time and I shouldn't bother.

I will, of course. But after close to eight hours of work (on a two page double-spaced essay, no less) it's still a pile of shit. My hope is pretty much gone by this point.

やった!

2006-Nov-24, Friday 16:32
dorchadas: (Jealous)
五万つ言葉を書きました!

The third time I've tried it, and the only time I managed to get anywhere really past halfway. Fifty thousand words in just over three weeks.

And I'm still not done with the story. Oh well...I can finish that. This is a lot easier to write than any of my other novels were, and finishing it won't be so bad.

And hey, maybe I'll have something publishable when I'm done!
dorchadas: (Broken Dream)
Most of my posts lately have been my NaNo project. There's 35K words done if you want me to add you to the NaNo LJ list. :)

My sister got into Michigan State for Vet school! She's not sure that she's going to go yet, because she hasn't heard back from any of the other places she applied to (I'm not sure what all these are. I know Penn is one of them), but at least she knows that no matter what any of the others say, she's going!

Speaking of which, I need to get cracking on my JET essay. By Thanksgiving weekend, it'll be done. *nods*

I'm starting to see why people look back on college as the best years of their lives. I wouldn't say that's true of me (though it was hella fun), but my life recently hasn't been worth posting about as much because so much of it is the same. Not boring, or bad, just similar.

It's freezing cold here.

Dual purpose

2006-Nov-06, Monday 17:21
dorchadas: (Gendowned)
This is partially an update and partially a test of my new userpic :-p

We've picked out a time and a place for the wedding. We should be sending out invitations within the next month or so. It depends entirely on how much of my/our time is taken up with NaNoing and filling out our JET applications. Speaking of which, I need to work on my essay...

NaNo is going well. Up to 13K words on day 6. I'll be done with plenty of time to spare if I keep my current pace. I might even finish my novel, which would be amazing.

Life is good. I like it that way.

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dorchadas: (Default)
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