robotnik2004: (Robot 3)
Synopsis of our DramaSystem game about a hellbound 70s rock band, Part 2 of 3. (Here's Part 1, here's Part 3, and here's the podcast where we jawed about it.)

Southern Rock Opera : Act Two

Don’t sing with a fake British accent / don’t act like your family’s a joke

Episode 4: Hotel California )

Episode 5: I Wanna Be Sedated )

Episode 6: To Beat the Devil / Angels and Fuselage )

Interlude: Gimme Shelter )
robotnik2004: (Default)
So the author of this blog I sometimes read had a poll as to what she should write about next. And I was amused to see that "remembering 9/11" got exactly zero votes - it was trounced by "why I'm afraid of research," "why I hate Katie Couric" (that one got my vote), and even "how to get better technical support." I suspect that lack of interest in one more 9/11 reminiscence is fairly widespread. So I'll spare you my ruminations on that 9/11 picture from yesterday, except to kinda sorta answer [livejournal.com profile] that_cad and [livejournal.com profile] freeparking:



Well, the picture wasn't faked. And I know I didn't really say anything about why I thought the picture was remarkable. But I didn't think it was an interesting picture because I couldn't believe that people would be so callous as to smile on 9/11/2001, omg the dirty unpatriotic sobs why do they hate America? Almost the opposite, in fact. The picture's not unbelievable to me, it's the most believable representation of 9-11 I think I've seen. I also think it was interesting that the photographer suppressed this picture for four years because he thought it was too disturbing: not because it's graphic, but because it doesn't look anything like An Official 9-11 PhotoTM is supposed to look like. There's no firefighter in silhouette, no backlit flag to get choked up about, no George W Bush doing his gimlet-eyed grimly-determined monkey look. And finally, I think it's interesting because (this is the gist of the Frank Rich column) it suggests a path not taken, one where Americans exercised their formidable national powers of Getting Over It, where 9-11 was a horrible, tragic crime but not a Defining Moment that deranged and derailed an entire nation, plunging us all forever and irrevocably into The War on Terror and The Post 9-11 World.
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[livejournal.com profile] papersource has already done the work of sketching out our trip last week to New York. It was a great time, with large doses of two things I do find myself missing in London: big city life, and my friends. We got to meet Steve’s new girlfriend, who is bubbly and cute and wry and fun and a delight, and to reconnect with a dozen or so people we haven’t seen in way too long. We ate extremely well, saw Syriana—the thriller that’s more depressing than Traffic!—and checked out the spooky-tawdry nineteenth century spiritualist photographs at the Met.



In honor of the spiritualists, I coughed up considerable ectoplasm. I was fighting a wretched cold the whole time we were in the city, but my strictly observed regimen of air travel, beer, lack of sleep, and stepping directly into every frozen slush puddle in Manhattan somehow failed to vanquish the bug. The worst was at the newly reopened observation deck on top of Rockefeller Center, all cool and art deco and crazy high and windy cold. I got some sort of super-combination hiccuping cough going there, and basically rained down loogies of pestilence onto the crowds milling around the giant Christmas tree, seventy stories below. (I don't feel too bad, really. They were in line to see Alec Baldwin host his umpteenth SNL; their sensibilities can't have been that delicate.) The sickness finally lodged itself in my throat and rendered me utterly voiceless for much of this week.

Say, that reminds me: I’m quite tickled by reports of this new(-ish) Lovecraftian(-ish) RPG(-ish), The Shab-al-Hiri Roach. It's the game that asks: "Are you willing to swallow a soul-eating telepathic insect bent on destroying human civilization? Not even if it will help you get tenure?" Story of my life, man.

NYX

Dec. 9th, 2005 12:05 am
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On Tuesday, I taught my last class of the semester. Time flies! I also made it to my nephew Porter’s preschool Christmas Concert, which was mucho cute but not so mucho in tune. By late Tuesday night I was shivering uncontrollably despite being huddled under every blanket in the house; Wednesday I suffered through a crazy fever complete with panicky hallucinations. The contents of my fever dreams were just lesson plans and to do lists, unfortunately—I’m no closer to unlocking the Hill Street Blues cipher. But by Wednesday night I felt a lot better, which is good, because this morning Lisa and I flew down to New York City for the weekend, which is where I’m writing this post.

We’re sub-sub-subletting an apartment in the East Village from a friend of a friend. It’s hilarious: it has one hugely impressive room with a giant picture window, a 10’ Christmas tree, and a high, vaulted ceiling… but that’s it. The bed is on a platform about two feet below that ceiling—you climb up a ladder through a trap door to get to it. Whee! We just had an astonishing multi-course dinner with our friend Drew who consented to take us to a crazy excellent yakitori place in the city, only very recently defiled by gaijin. Chicken sashimi—yes, it's what it sounds like—is alarmingly good.

Standard whoo travel bla bla bla post (plus a photo appropriate for the day). That is all.

Edit: Oh yeah, the other thing about the place we're staying in is the way we got the keys. The person whose place it is is actually in Canada this week, so she got a friend to drop a set of keys off at the corner deli, "Sambas, the Deli of Life." It was only when we arrived and Sambas, the deli-owner of life, said he had no freakin' idea what keys we were talking about that it occurred to me how fragile this plan was. One Seinfeld plotline later, the keys were revealed to have fallen behind the meats. Hakuna mazoola, all will be well, the circle deli of life.
robotnik2004: (Default)
Now that's more like it. L&I just returned from a great, great weekend in New York. A very generous friend of mine lent us his apartment, which is in Greenwich Village a block from NYU, at the following highly auspicious address:

If I Can't Make It There... I'm Pretty Much SOL

Highlights of our weekend included: killer deli, killer sushi, the brilliant Lower East Side Tenement Museum (what can I say, we're history geeks), a hugely enjoyable if not always entirely in tune set by a girlrock trio at Meow Mix (which is the lesbian bar featured in Chasing Amy) (and we were friends of friends of the drummer, so la-di-da for us), hanging with L's college buddy Toby, which I always love (all of the friends we saw in NYC are great, of course, but I particularly like seeing Toby—my Toronto posse will have a pretty good sense of what he's like if they picture an alternate-history Derek largely unreformed by Whitney), the front lines of the bitter feud between New York's bluegrass and old timey music scenes (from whence comes the subject line of this post—you probably had to be there), a Greek dinner in Astoria with L's gourmet-savvy friend Drew and a bunch of his friends that turned into a five-hour multi-restaurant Olympiad of fish and flesh and wine and garlic and endless Greek desserts. All this plus tons of quality L&R time, and the Village and Soho just exploding with energy and hormones from the first honest-to-God, warm-breeze, short-sleeve weekend of 2004.

Travel—vacation travel, I mean—is rejuvenating, regardless of where you go and what you do. It shakes up your patterns and frees your head. Even my daydreaming this weekend was more optimistic than it's been in a while—more creative, more fun. You know: all the books I'm going to write, the cancer cures, the sitcom about the sassy robot, that kind of stuff. None of the problems making me miserable this winter have been solved or abated or really gone anywhere, but you can only stay hunched over for so long.

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