July 2008

So, three years ago I had a kidney stone and instantly felt old. Today it came back. The doctor for serious believes it’s the same stone and that it’s been biding its time all along, the little shit. The good news is that I haven’t had to writhe around on the floor groaning in a few hours and I have a prescription for fun pain killers. All in all, things could be a lot worse, y’know? No big whoop.

No, the point of this is not to garner pity for myself but instead to reflect on how deeply ingrained the tech support job is in anyone who’s worked tech support – and ultimately, that’s what I do, just a very fancy variety of tech support.

The doctor was talking to me about my previous bout with a/the kidney stone and turned to the computer in the examining room to look up my history. The computer was on but the monitor would not come on and he was doing the unnerd thing of banging on it, basically. There I was on the examining table, panting from the spasms (kidney stones feel like someone has driven a knife into one’s back and every few seconds gives the blade a leisurely jiggle) and yet I couldn’t resist the siren song of a computer in need.

As I told Mr. Pink Eyes, it basically turned into me rocking back and forth, bent double, saying, “The monitor doesn’t GASP have any power GASP that kind has a GASP funny way for the plug to go in GASP around back on the other side GASP that makes it easy GASP for the cord to fall out GASP I work in tech support I know what I’m doing GASP OH DENIM-CLAD ZEUS THE PAIN!”

I was right, though, and then the doctor said, “I’m going to give you what I’ve taken the seven times I’ve had a kidney stone,” so it was completely worth it.

The Boyf and I went to see X-Files tonight. Spoiler-containing not-so-brief thoughts below the fold.

Non-spoiler thoughts: it would have made a pretty good episode of the show but maybe not so much a movie with an admission price. There will be nothing lost by waiting to rent it. Better yet, rent the show.


Have you ever had a dream so weird and so unrepresentative of reality that upon waking you found the mere memory of the dream to be somewhat embarrassing? Not just a mildly weird sex dream or something that wound up entertainingly Dadaist and definitely not something simply frightening, just… I dunno. It’s hard to describe, as would be the dream. All I can relatively certainly relate is that I kind of want my subconscious to go on a vacation after last night.

I’m getting prepped to run my first game of White Wolf’s Vampire in… eight years? Ten? Something like that, anyway, as the last game I ran was the Dark Ages game and was played at Dixie Lane. I ran a short intro to a long-running, rotating D&D game after that and a one shot here and there but this is the first time in basically a decade since I’ve sat down with the real world and the World of Darkness and picked a place where I wanted them to overlap.

The new game is to be set in Nashville. After making a few off-hand remarks to my players, things such as “oh, let’s say Elysium is in the basement of a church around the corner from the Ryman Auditorium,” and, later, “I’ll go ahead and say the church has a pretty serious homeless outreach mission so there’s a steady supply of mortals around,” things like that, I hit the Googles to do some research and I pinged KJ for some suggestions.

Here is what I have learned: planning a World of Darkness game in the era of Google Maps is a completely different experience from what it was ten years ago.

KJ suggested a specific bar, The Red Door, as a good game location. A little searching and mapping later, I’d found out that if I typed ‘bar’ into the ‘search nearby’ box I got little arcs following the general curve of the city in those areas so, tah-dah, I had defined The Rack for Nashville’s undead inhabitants. Some zooming and street view and ‘search nearby’ turned up a church that is around the corner from the Ryman with an extensive outreach mission for homeless and borderline people in Nashville. I turned up a cemetery with public Masonic rituals for The Boyf to research towards his Masonic character. Katastrophes identified a specific historic plantation as the place where her character worked as a reenactor. I was able to send Mr. Pink Eyes a link to a fansite for Opryland USA that had a map, pictures and video of the rides in action when the park was still open. Katastrophes made a Google Calendar for us to schedule games and Mr. Pink Eyes made a Google Map we can all edit with all the places we’ve identified thus far as major landmarks or important to the game and the characters. Bascha is writing her character background in Google Docs so I can read it right away when she’s done. I put up an in-game blog with links to everything and Steven has commented on it in-character using his character’s shiny new Gmail address.

I’ve now seen ground-level, from-the-sidewalk pictures of basically every place I know is immediately important at the start of the game.

This beats the shit out of a big pile of notes on paper I would have to keep track of for the next year.

If your spouse is going to call you half a dozen times a day – which is not an exaggeration – please just turn your phone off. Please. Please. See, your spouse always seems to call when someone is on their way over to ask you a question and when they see you blathering away about the weather or when to schedule next year’s dentist appointments or WTFever then they skip you and come to me and I in fact do not enjoy doing your job and mine.

It’s about damn time, isn’t it?