robotnik2004: (Default)
Random idea I'm too busy/lazy to work up into a series of posts:

Anyone remember that "Just Imagine" series of comics where a wondering world "finally" got to see how Stan Lee would "re-imagine" the classic DC Heroes? So you had "Just Imagine... Stan Lee creating Superman," "Just Imagine... Stan Lee creates Batman," and so on. Insert Stan-bashing joke here, except it's just too easy, so instead I'll link to "Just Imagine... Stan Lee creating the Watchmen."

So I was thinking about how, in both good ways and bad, Gary Gygax was like the Stan Lee of gaming. And I started to amuse myself by "just imagining" Gary Gygax's Dogs in the Vineyard, or Gary Gygax's Unknown Armies, or any fairly non-Gygaxian game you have an affinity for, with all kinds of Gygaxian verbiage and random tables and anagrams of Gygax for all the place names.

And then [livejournal.com profile] jeffwik  and [livejournal.com profile] bryant  both posted postmortems on recent games they've run (and let me just say that you two may not be entirely happy with everything about them, but I'd have knifed a moderately-sized orangutan to play in either one) and that got me thinking about old games I've played in and old games I wish I'd played in, and that turned the Just Imagine idea into something where I'd mix and match the names of classic games from our circle onto the interests and obsessions of game masters from same.  In other words:
  • Just Imagine... [livejournal.com profile] jeffwik's Orlando Trash! (you know, because of Jeff's Disney thing)
  • Just Imagine... [livejournal.com profile] bryant's Airportation! (no idea what this would be - it's just a name with potential)
  • Just Imagine... [livejournal.com profile] robotnik's Uncanny Valley! (no idea what that would be about either - robots, presumably - I've just always been jealous of that as a name for a game)
  • Just Imagine... [livejournal.com profile] jeregenest's Through the Delbruek Gate! (dunno - the name just sounds like it could be Jeremiah's), that or else [livejournal.com profile] jeregenest's Unknown USA (that I'd dig).
  • Just Imagine... [livejournal.com profile] mgrasso 's Pantellos! (faeries, natch)
(I'm missing lots of key people, I know, but I'm coming up with these games off the top of my head. And the names of most of the cool [livejournal.com profile] head58 games I can remember reading about take the form "[adjective] Star Wars.")

So anyway: just imagine... I finished and fleshed out this post!
robotnik2004: (Default)
Just breaking radio silence to say:

Mooninites? Aaaaah ha ha ha ha ha. I miss Boston.

Elected officials said there is no room for battery-powered contraptions in a post Sept. 11 world.

Though I've always liked the other two ATHF aliens better than the Mooninites. Emery and whatsisname. "What do you know of fire? You prance around like you have laser eyes. You don't!"

Tooth Hurty

Sep. 5th, 2006 10:25 pm
robotnik2004: (Heart!)
We're in Boston! We're at the Kendall Hotel. It's pretty swell.

You Know Who seems to be getting a new tooth.

That is all.
robotnik2004: (Default)
I felt like dusting off an old Boston-themed icon for this post. So as I mentioned a while back, [livejournal.com profile] papersource, [livejournal.com profile] polka_roo, and I are coming to Boston! We'll be in town most of next week, arriving Tues. Sept. 5 and leaving Sun. Sept. 10. It's a working trip for me, but as always, we want to see our friends if we can. My schedule looks something like this:

Wednesday evening, we're having dinner at [livejournal.com profile] jereblossom, and once we've chowed down, they've kindly offered to throw open their doors for public visitation and Yuki viewing. So that's the best guaranteed time to meet the Ukelele.

Wednesday and Thursday during the day, I'll be working in the MIT archives, but would love to have lunch or coffee or whatever with anyone in the MIT / Kendall area or anyone who can get there.

Friday during the day, ditto what I just said, except I'll be at Harvard instead of MIT. Come on, you know you want to pick me up, take me to Redbones, and talk about Spelljammer Planescape.

Thursday or Friday evening, I'm hoping to get together on one of those nights with my Allston homeys, but whichever night I don't I would probably be available for doing something with the Ephemeral Circus. This might be sans Y and L, so we could go out someplace non-baby friendly if we wanted and/or really indulge the kind of geeky gamer talk that L can only take in small to medium doses. Or maybe even (gasp) game, I guess, although I'd be pretty rusty, and I'd have to reset my "450 days since last game" sympathy clock.

Saturday, I think we're mostly booked, although there may be some free time in the afternoon. Besides, you'll all be busy helping [livejournal.com profile] jeffwik move, right?

I'm not sure yet what our cellphone situation will be, so comment or email if you want to make contact.

And now, a Korean cartoon about Star Wars! )

Cominatcha

Aug. 11th, 2006 11:00 am
robotnik2004: (Default)


Speaking of airports, we just booked tickets for a trip to Boston! [livejournal.com profile] papersource, [livejournal.com profile] polka_roo, and I will be in town the week after Labor Day, from Wednesday Sept. 6 to Sunday Sept. 10. Our socializing abilities may be curtailed a little bit by You Know Who but we hope to see a bunch of you and introduce you to our little friend.
robotnik2004: (Default)
Do you ever get comments to elderly LJ posts and wonder how and why the commenter ever happened upon your post?

In case #1, it's no mystery: last October, I posted briefly about Toronto's Royal Society for Adventurology. [livejournal.com profile] goutwort, one of the founders, happened upon the post several months later and left a comment pointing to the URL of his art/design studio. Some gorgeous stuff there—I am particularly enamored/mystified by the extensive Science & Sons site. The Adventurologists have also staked out the URL adventurology.ca, but it seems to be under construction as yet. The RSA remains active: I see they organized an "Abandoned Object Safari" around Earth Day, and continue to meet for bicycle polo, polite society, penmanship, and tea. ("Naughty librarians and derelicts welcome.") Well met, friend Adventurologists! And if the croquet commandos do return to Boston this summer ([livejournal.com profile] my_tallest and [livejournal.com profile] that_cad will correct me as to the official name of their august affiliation), I hope your two like-minded societies can swap visiting cards or Flickr tags or whatever is done nowadays.

Case #2 is more random. Back in February, I posted a link to a story about my evil ex-landlord, Snidely Whiplash Leonard Samia, profiteering Katrina victims in New Orleans. In April (on Yu-Jo's birthday, actually, so it was mixed in with all the congratulatory posts and emails), I got the following comment from a Samia sock puppet tenant:
BS
Well i cant agree with any of that. No one did die from the accident, remember accidents do happen. I also do live in one of Mr. Samia's apartments and I haven't had any problems. ... I have met Mr. Samia and he is a very nice man, very easily to get along with. I feel bad for him that he is being singled out like this. In reference to Katrina. It was a disastrous hurricane. People did die and building did get completely ruinied. His complex still stands and is running as we speak. Reasons for eviction was because of the water that got into the building, the water created pesticides, and if the body recieves pesticides one can die. If one did die, or even got ill and he didn't evacuate, not evict. Then the only person getting more press than Mr. Samia himself, would be George W. Bush.

So I guess I was wrong about anyone dying in the Boston balcony accident ("accidents do happen," excellent point), and also, apparently water creates pesticides. But I'm awful curious how much time my anonymous commenter devotes to defending Samia's internet honor. If you Google Samia's name (the only way I can imagine my post would be discovered) you have to scroll through several pages of Samia-hate from disgruntled tenant-bloggers before you come to my own modest (and relatively sedate) contribution.

Finally (case #3), if you cast your mind way way back, you may recall my post about Bernhardt Hurwood's Invisibles. Some time later, I got an anonymous comment to a different post which appears to be from a friend of the mysterious but totally awesome Bernhardt Hurwood:
I'm sure that if Bernie were alive today he'd be flattered at your thinking he's someone else. He actually wrote 62 books before his untimely death of cancer. Hurwood was really his name, though he sometimes also wrote under the name Mallory T Knight and a few other pseudonyms. His full bibliography is somewhere online.

I still say he's a time travelling Morrison avatar, or vice versa, but at any rate, I salute you both, Bernie Hurwood and his anonymous friend who has difficulty using LJ's comment function properly, where/whoever you are!
robotnik2004: (Default)
Saigon! I'm still stuck here in Saigon.

Er, Cambridge.
robotnik2004: (Default)

Leonard Samia (artist's conception)

One of my Adieu to Boston posts last summer mentioned that when I lived in Allston, I had the pleasure of being a peon/tenant in Leonard Samia's sprawling fiefdom of slummery. We knew he was a sweetheart when a balcony on one of his other Boston properties collapsed (killing a tenant, I believe). While stoutly denying responsibility for the accident, he pulled his guys off the repair job they were doing on our house, leaving us without siding or insulation for several months of winter, in order to "fix" the crappy unsafe balconies on all his other properties (for "fix the balconies," read "nail boards over any doors and windows that open onto them").

But his crapulence extends even farther than I knew. My old homey Joe just sent me this link to Sunday's Boston Globe: Landlord with Boston ties lashed for Katrina evictions. Apparently Samia also owns some of the most rundown parts of New Orleans. And even though his apartments survived Katrina intact, he's used the chaos from the hurricane as the perfect moment to evict his low-income tenants and do a little profiteering on skyrocketing post-Katrina rents. Wow. He's like the villain in some 19th century melodrama. Or The Simpsons.

''In a situation where horrible landlords are a dime a dozen, [Samia] stands head and shoulders above everybody else in the worst landlord category," said Quigley.

(The picture accompanying the article, my buddy Steve points out, looks a little like our Allston place.)
robotnik2004: (Default)


Just a heads up: [livejournal.com profile] papersource, the [livejournal.com profile] polka_roo, and I will be visiting Boston the week/end of February 9-12. I guess that means we'll miss the influx of "girlfriends from Canada," which is too bad, but maybe that will make it easier to schedule face time with people when we do come. Watch this space for more info and planning. We can't wait to roll with our Boston homeys again.

("Polka-roo" is of course the Fetus Formerly Known as the Seamonkey / Secret Squirrel, so renamed because (a) it does an awful lot of poking lately, but (b) it has a way of quieting right down and running silent whenever its Daddy puts a hand on Mommy's belly to see what all the excitement is about. As in, "The Polka-Roo was just here!" "Aw, I missed him again!" Get it? Those raised in Ontario know what I'm talking about.)
robotnik2004: (Default)
Do you know what today is?

Of course you do!

It's Saint Amnesty to Post About Random Out of Date Stuff's Day!

For it was on this very day back in, oh, let's say the 80s, between the day that the eponymous Saint Amnesty to Post About Random Out of Date Stuff, patron saint of unpaid LiveJournal accounts, finished his grading for the term and the day that he went away on holiday, was killed by a car bomb—a holy car bomb, mind you—and the rest, as they say, is history. So it is that on this day every year, people with unpaid LiveJournal accounts honor St. Amnesty by posting about stuff that they meant to post about months ago, and get toffee.

The thing is, I kind of always knew my brother would grow up to train an army of killer of Asian 4-year-olds... )
robotnik2004: (Default)


The house is packed; we leave first thing tomorrow. I owe all the Bostonians reading this one more memory lane post, specifically about how entirely wonderful all of you are, but it will have to be written in Canada. Bye, everybody. Thanks.

2000+1d4

Jun. 21st, 2005 05:25 pm
robotnik2004: (Default)
I'd better skip ahead a bit, brother: yesterday was eaten up by moving stuff, and my desktop gets packed up tomorrow, and everything else gets packed up Thursday, and then we're in limbo for two weeks and I don't know how much I'll be online.



My 2001 entry was going to be about moving to JP, and the night my car was stolen and we were inexplicably traumatized by a little girl jive-dancing on the subway, coming back from a fancy dinner we couldn't afford. By extension, it was going to be about class and race in America and coming to terms with all that. Though I could have also talked about giving up finger-quotes for Lisa, or getting traction on the dissertation, or the time these dudes flew a couple of planes into some buildings. And then 2002 was all about weddings, ours and the seven others we went to that year. But some of you have been waiting patiently for me to get to gaming, and since it's half of what we talk about around here, I've got to cover it. I just don't know how to do it justice.

Big pile of gaming memories behind the cut. )

Yeah, you probably had to be there. But if you were there, thanks. Because we were there together.

2000

Jun. 19th, 2005 11:05 am
robotnik2004: (Default)

Big Joe, Mike/Chuck, Steve and Rob on the Forest Moon of Allston. Little Joe is obviously R2, but I'm not sure who that makes C3P0.

A is for Allston )

I'm still beaming from last night's soiree and the previous night's dinner at [livejournal.com profile] jereblossom. Thanks, guys.
robotnik2004: (Default)
We just got in from Doyle's, and you guys are the Fonz. Thanks for coming out, everybody. I hope you had as much fun as I did. I'm so touched by the present, and blown away by the song. I know I was supposed to wait to listen to it, but I didn't, and man, I knew [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom could write a song, but [livejournal.com profile] head58 is great, toy guitar or no!

(And [livejournal.com profile] jeregenest and [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom, you were there in spirit, and I hope you enjoyed the concert and getting to be a couple tonight. Plus, thanks for dinner last night, which was astonishing as always.)

Now I'm all nostalgic and blue about leaving, but in a good way, I guess, if that's possible. Thanks again. :)

1999

Jun. 18th, 2005 11:53 am
robotnik2004: (Default)
Hey, kids: do you remember 1999?



Do you remember when there was a New Economy and we called the internet "cyberspace" and websites "new media" and the stock market was going up and up and up and "nobody can be told what the Matrix is" and every week another kid was a software billionaire? In 1999, half my students were cutting classes to sweet-talk venture capitalists and launch IPOs, and I thought about when I was 12 and split my time between playing D&D and programming Apple BASIC, but then I only kept one of those geeky hobbies going over the years, and in 1999 I asked myself, is it possible I backed the wrong horse?

Well, do ya? )

1998

Jun. 17th, 2005 12:03 pm
robotnik2004: (Default)
I'd better talk about 1998, because I'm three years into my memories of grad school, and I've managed to say nothing about school itself. Here goes. )

Don't forget: Doyle's, 3484 Washington Street in JP, tomorrow night at 7.

1997

Jun. 15th, 2005 12:20 pm
robotnik2004: (Default)
That's you! You're a triangle! You!

OK, it's 1997, and can we have something a little more cheerful this time? In my second and third year of grad school, I lived with three friends from the dorms (see, I did make friends in the dorms eventually—they were all Americans, mind you) in a gorgeous apartment in Inman Square, one that four grad students couldn't possibly afford today. Once or twice a year, we threw massive house-shaking parties there. I don't know quite how we did it, to tell the truth. I've never thrown parties like that before or since. But the emails went out, and the guests poured in, and our place would be packed with bodies, some in attractive shapes, and nearly all shimmying and shaking and bumping up against each other in a way that belies my usual portrait of grad school as a social wasteland. This was soon after the Chemical Brothers muscled into the mainstream, and I can remember the aptly-named Block Rocking Beats rattling windows all the way down the street. For years to come, people I'd never met would tell me about the epic parties they attended on Marie Street in 1997.

But my signature memory is not one of the raging parties—it's the hour or two after one of them. Read more... )

Shout-out to Inman Square: Dining too fine to waste on grad students, so get those property values rising! East Coast Grill, the first good place in Boston I managed to take my parents! The Druid, which is fun to say in a ridiculous Irish accent ("tha' DROOOOOOD!"), and where they pass the hat for the I.R.A! Jae's (not there anymore), with great-for-beginners sushi and killer pad thai! 1369, when you absolutely need coffee served by a lesbian but you can't make it all the way to Jamaica Plain! Olé, for awesome $8 guacamole served in an infinitely dense chunk of black hole! The Thirsty Scholar, where I got to hang out with Jim Carroll! That Portuguese sandwich place, where L and I went after several early dates! That Indian place, that wasn't actually that good! That Southern place, that I never went to!

1996

Jun. 14th, 2005 11:23 pm
robotnik2004: (Default)


This is supposed to be a memory from 1996, but it needs a memory from 1994 for context. Or maybe I just want to brag/confess. Read more... )

...

Now here's a random 2005 moment for you, no extra charge. In fact, this took place just today, though it does have a bit of an early 90s feel to it. I got an ice cream this afternoon at J.P. Licks. When I got to the counter, a middle-aged woman was shouting at the cashier that one of their flavor names was offensive. "We are a multi-racial family, and we find that completely inappropriate!" But I didn't catch which flavor it was, and I'm dying to know. They all seem so innocuous. Lumpy Primate? Black and White Malted? Cow Tracks? Rum and Raisin?

Another mysterious but very J.P. moment, come to think of it: I walked by a cop today giving a driver a ticket. The woman getting the ticket was screaming at the (male) cop, "I'M A LESBIAN! A LESBIAN! A DYKE!"

Ok, one more. This was a few weeks ago, and it actually took place in Allston rather than J.P. But it stuck in my head, and the theme of angry women continues. Woman on cell phone, yelling well above the din of a coffee shop: "LET ME TALK TO HER! LET ME TALK TO HER! CHRIST, WILL YOU LET ME TALK TO HER?" She then hangs up the phone and says calmly to the woman behind her in line, "I wish I'd never made contact with my biological family."

Edit: I got it! The new wasabi-flavored ice cream, Turning Japanese. Seems pretty harmless to me, but that's gotta be it. You can take J.P. Licks out of Jamaica Plain, but you can't take the Jamaica Plain out of J.P. Licks.

1995

Jun. 13th, 2005 11:55 am
robotnik2004: (Default)
Kids today growing up too fast
Nostalgic for the last ten years before the last ten years have passed
So why you gotta act like you know when you don't know?
It's okay if you don't know everything.


I set foot in Harvard Square for the very first time on a sunny, sweaty Sunday in September 1995. Ten years ago, or just about. Here's 1995-me: he's getting out of a taxi in front of Out of Town News. No, actually it was across the street in front of Mass Army Navy, where there's now a Verizon store inside another Verizon store inside a bank inside three co-located Starbucks. 1995-me wears jeans, Converse hi-tops, a Grateful Dead T-shirt, and a red and black hoodie: one of those rough wool hippy hoodies you might buy at a campus bazaar for Guatemalan social justice in the earnest early '90s. (Which is exactly where 1993-me bought it.) 1995-me is skinnier than 2005-me and he doesn't need glasses. He has much longer hair—not as long as it was four months earlier at graduation, but still shaggy, Kurt Cobain length. And he's dragging a humongous blue duffel bag, which weighs a ton because it contains most of his life. And he doesn't know anything about anything.

Meandering memories and lame philosophizing. Read more! )

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