jakebe: (I'm The Dude!)
Went to the dentist today to get what I thought would be the last cavity before CA. As it turns out, it won't be the last and *this* one cost twice as much as I was expecting. Now I have half what I thought I would have saved for the move, which means it's going to be hot dog and ramen for the rest of the summer. ;)

On a brighter note, I finally pulled my bike out of mothballs, rode about 3.5 miles in 15 minutes. My legs are going to be screaming at me tomorrow morning, but that's all right. I put up one of those electronic distance tabby-things so I know how fast I'm going, how far, etc. I also have a neat little water bottle jobby to put on too, which I will sometime tomorrow. The *plan* is to ride at least three times a week, for at least 20 minutes. By the time I'm ready to go to CA, hopefully I'll be able to bike to work (which is no small feat, given the hilliness of Fayetteville).

Wrote two descriptions and finished up a scrap of short story yesterday; today I hope to nail at least one more and get some building done for Arroyo over on Taps. Oh! And get three entries ahead on Smiley Dan's journal, so I can finally start posting.

But first, work. The Bookshop is ordering from a cajun cafe in town, so I have spicy food to look forward to! I'm having red beans and rice, with potato salad and lemon bundt cake. It is deelicious, I guarantee.

P.S. -- [livejournal.com profile] lazarusrat, guess the icon for the last post and win eleventy billion Cool Points! Redeemable as hugs and other favors at your leisure. :)
jakebe: (Default)
Wouldn't that be awesome?

Whoo, this turned out to be kind of long. )
jakebe: (Default)
Good lord, it's been a busy week.

As usual, work's been semi-monstrous. Lots of books, no room, the usual type of deal. Thankfully I've been busting my ass, staying longer hours, all that, just to catch up to the point where I can start trying to get ahead once more. Unfortunately, this has been seriously cutting into my writing. :/

I went to the dentist yesterday. Two of three worst cavities were filled, so I can theoretically eat things again. This actually makes me very happy, and I plan on taking full advantage of it! Unfortunately, hard things are still out because of the filling on the site of the future crown, so it looks like boiled carrots for me from now on...and less in the way of hard pretzels, which is another thing I love.

Dr. Beavers, as usual, did good work...though I spent a lot of time just waiting, and the whole thing took two hours when it could have taken about 45 minutes. They took a lot of care making sure I was good and numb before they did anything, and I spent most of the drilling being really curious about everything, all the sensations that I was experiencing. I also had a bit of a philosophical meditation on the nature of perception vs. reality, which is probably amusing only to me and is already fading into the stuff of dreams anyway. I also learned a lot about how to write about someone going insane and why, so besides getting my teeth fixed it was a pretty productive little visit.

Tonight is going to be all writing, all the time; GWO is coming into the home stretch and I'd like to finish it by tomorrow. That's because Cy's W:tA game is starting up again tomorrow evening. Hurrah, I get to play Dan again!

Anyway, that's a brief update. Will write more when I have the time.

South Side

Feb. 13th, 2006 05:46 pm
jakebe: (Skunk!)
Hey! Here's the flip side to the Johari meme that's been going around. If you said kind things about me through Johari, first of all thanks. ;) Secondly, go and tell me what I should probably work on. Trust me, I'll appreciate it! Even if I have to sulk about it sometime later.

The weekend was interesting. Friday night I was in Cy's Werewolf: the Apocalypse game, which is presumably going on hiatus because one of our esteemed players (Jim, a.k.a. Todd/"The Toby") has to take on a second job. This was the last game we had to set things right for a while, so we took the opportunity and ran with it.

I could say a lot about it, but it's probably best reserved for Smiley Dan's LiveJournal. Now that there's a hiatus I'll have a bit of time to catch up on it. I think I'm going to just be open with everything and have full disclosure, because I really just...eh, don't want to mess with trying to find ways to talk about everything without...you know, blowing the cover that Dan's supposed to have in the WoD. Hopefully we can disconnect the LiveJournal from the game proper so that repercussions won't fall on the party's collective head.

Anyway, because of the wonderfulness that is Storyteller combat (and the fact that everyone was blowing Rage like candy for extra actions), the game lasted until 5:30 in the morning...with me needing to go to work at 9. Didn't get any sleep, went in to work, and was a zombie from 2 p.m. to the time I got to go to bed sometime Saturday evening. I really would rather not repeat an instance like that, if it's all the same.

Sunday I just hung around on-line; Virginia gave me my Valentine's Day present, which was really sweet of her. :) It's a...Tao Stones meditation set. Two sets of eight stones, one made of wood, the other made of rock, and you pull one from each to get your fortune. Really neat, though the ultimate results are kind of weird. I'm not sure I agree with the opinions ("truths" if you will) expressed in the book, but it's fun to think about anyway.

Then there was Odis' Gummi Bear game on Sunday evening. After three weeks, I'm finally starting to come around and have fun with it. The benevolent slant is coming a lot easier and with that major hurdle out of the way I can start having fun with my character trait. All it takes is learning the 'secret handshake' of you know, no killing under any circumstances. Last night, all of us put our heads together, came up with a non-violent plan for the immediate problem and with our unique skill sets we executed it *perfectly*. Well, near-perfectly. There's something about getting together, coming up with a fairly complex plan of action, and watching everything fall into place. It's just...joyous. :) There really does need to be a lot more co-operation between players like this in D+D games, in general.

Also, we've...'adopted' a poor runaway kid who thinks he's a squirrel. This is a long story in and of itself, but it doesn't seem like there's a lot we can do about it...except maybe find a 'baleful polymorph' spell to, you know, actually *make* him a squirrel. The human body, as simliar to monkeys and apes as it is, really isn't meant for climbing and cracking acorns. ;)

Good lord, I'm such a geek.

So, I've got a dental appointment with a Dr. Henderson for Wednesday at 10 a.m. for a second opinion. The check will only cost $45 as long as I can get the x-ray from Dr. Beavers, and then we'll see what's what and go from there. I'm expecting fillings to be a bit less (Henderson uses porcelain also), but if they're not I'll have to bite the bullet and go with Beavers. Either way, I think I'll be able to get the most pressing stuff done with my tax return. *keeps his fingers crossed* I've been pretty good about flossing (about four times a week) and using the flouride rinse, so hey... My gums have stopped bleeding which is definitely a good thing.

I've made a menu for the week! Tonight, I'll be making pasta with red sauce, chicken and corn. I've got mushrooms and peppers and onions, along with spices, to experiment with making my own red sauce (using canned tomato sauce as a base), and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I'm planning to add oregano and pepper and basil to it so far...any recommendations for other good spices to add?

Let's see; ah, there's a Zen meditation group meeting tonight at a church near work. I've been there a few times and I like the crowd all right, but my boss has joined recently and the group's gotten a fair bit bigger since I last went there. I'm curious to see what kind of sangha's developed (if any). The fellow who leads it is a guy named Jack; he wrote a lot of Sunset gardening books in his day and travels extensively. He's pretty much atheist Zen, which works just fine because he focuses more on the "Zen" and less on the "Buddhism." I'll have to explain the quotes later, because I still have work to do.

Well Honey

Feb. 9th, 2006 07:41 am
jakebe: (Default)
Ooof, it's been a slightly hectic two days.

Tuesday, I threw my D+D game for a bunch of people...and I thought it was one of my best ever(tm). The pacing was good, the story was nice and self-contained (for the most part) and there are a lot of things starting to come together for the players. Though no one's really said anything about it, I think it feels like a lot of those little clues and happenstances that seemed isolated before are finally starting to come together and a...picture is developing. Though I could be wrong. :) My biggest worry is...getting the party to operate at more of an even keel. Even during the fight there was quite a disparity in participation. And Odis is getting a pretty big head about his mage, so there's the impulse to just throw stuff at him, but that might just get the rest of the party killed. :) I'm faced with the challenge of finding a way to keep the game interesting to a wide confluence of personalities and someone with a not-insubstantial ego. ;) So that's the biggest challenge; the game changes immediately once the plot is revealed and while I don't mind that, I wonder if the way things have developed has been...just right. Well, I mean, of course it hasn't, but...what could I have done to make it...more mysterious yet interesting, without sputtering between too much information and too little? I really should have kept better notes after the games; hell, in general. :) That's one of the best lessons I've taken home from all of this...keep *extensive* notes about player reactions, and be as specific as possible. Also, I could have arced the transition from commoner to hero classes a little better. Ah well, c'est la vie.

Yesterday, work was fairly insane. In addition to having piles and piles of books to shelve there was an *enormous* order to take care of. Some outfit in New York that specializes in rare and special photography books suddenly pounced on our selection, to the tune of $1300 for 3 books. I can't even imagine paying that much for a book...unless, you know, there was a first edition signed Hesse or something. :) And even then, I would have to learn German to *really* enjoy it. ;) By the way, did you know that the craze over first editions is really a holdover from Victorian-age England? According to the way I hear it, first editions were really tiny printings of anywhere from 200 - 1000 printings to see how the public would react to the book. Based on the feedback and/or buzz (and the ridiculously easy British libel laws), the publishing house would edit the book and print a much larger second edition would be published or...not. In many cases, the first edition of a book would be drastically different from the final version that we've come to know and love. Since we have focus groups and advance review copies and all that stuff now, there's no need for the small first printing any more...but people still go crazy over it anyway. We have...maybe four or five first editions of "The DaVinci Code," and they're selling for upwards of $75.00. Which isn't *quite* so big a markup as other books, but that's a significant pop in the four or five years it's been out.

Tangent! The three books were really expensive, and the customer is keenly interested in buying more from us. Which is just awesome. Even with the bookseller discount, the sale ends up being near $1200, which makes Charles giddy with happiness...which makes everyone *else* giddy with relief. If ever there were a moment I understood intimately the Anya-ian joys of niche capitalism, it'd be right now. :)

Anyway, juggling that internet order along with the monstrous stacks of books was a real...challenge. I tend to get rather tight-lipped and easily flustered when I'm overwhelmed with stuff, and part of it's just a show to Charles and Don that I *am* working hard at this, and this *is* a lot of work for me to do day in and day out. It's not a 16-hour day or quite as involved as anything having to do with computers, perhaps, but it's decent, hard work...and compared to a lot of my coworkers, my workload is substantial. I worked quickly all afternoon, making sure that not only the books were organized on the brick-and-mortar shelves, but that this order and the others that came through were filled to spec. (Some online book buyers can get really finicky about merchandise.) So I do all that, get ready to run the credit card through...and one digit in the credit card number for the photography order is missing. Unf. I call the customer's workplace; he's gone home for the day, so I'll have to wait until...well, today to fulfill the order. Write a note for Charles about it, and stew about it for much of the day. Well, at least until [livejournal.com profile] dakimov called me to keep me company for a couple of hours. Thanks Dad. :)

I've been trying yoga about three times a day for the last little bit, and it's been helping my back *immensely*. There's a lot less tension there, though I can feel the knot against my right shoulder blade people have been talking about now. Oof. It doesn't feel like it's ever going to go away!

Also spent a good bit of the last few days checking other dentists about the tooth situation; it turns out that $100+ is standard for fillings these days, and *no one* uses metal any more. Which, hey, probably great, but...damnit, no one's going to see the bottom of my upper molars anyway. ;) Anyway, I have a tentative date scheduled for Feb. 20 with Dr. Beavers. Since his prices are comparable and everything, loyalty wins out over convenience, I suppose.

Anyway, it's time to get ready for work, officially.
jakebe: (Default)
I love Robert Aitken's take on the Four Noble Truths better than all others. None of this "Life is suffering" business. It's so...misleading about how happy Buddhists are, really. Aren't we happy? Yes we are.

Anyway, the wisdom tooth extraction is today. While this isn't nearly as bad as what some people are going through (Feel better, [livejournal.com profile] tyrnn!), I have to admit I'm scared shitless. I will try to distract myself with books this morning, which works because, you know, hey, I work in a Bookshop. :) Anyway, if I'm down for the next week or so, this is probably why.

I'll try to make one more post before I go under the knife...and drill...and....ball peen hammer?!?! ****O.O****


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