inventory

note: sorry, I know the formatting is fucked up. I don’t know why WordPress does this sometimes, and I don’t know how to fix it without inserting break tags between paragraphs, which makes the spaces between them gigantic. Sorry, sorry. Please forward all complaints to the first person named Janet you have in your address book. She’ll love hearing them, I promise.

Hi, Hello, Guten Tag.

 

I haven’t jumped off a bridge, been abducted by Sasquatches (Sas…quati? Sasquaron? Sasquatillia? I could Google it but where’s the fun in that), or launched myself into space via the power of my own ass (YET). I’ve just been busy with getting caught up at work after vacation, trying to mentally adjust to no longer being on vacation, pining for more vacation, and wading through the daily struggle of trying not to think so much about why I exist. Those all take up a lot of time and mental energy, so I haven’t had much left of either to write.
BUT I’M HERE NOW!
There’s a post about GenCon coming, complete with discussions about the games I played, I swear…but this is not that.
This, amigos, is an exhaustive inventory of my purse. This post is being brought to you by the literal five minute struggle I had to find my work keys this morning as I pulled handful after handful of random fuckery out of my purse. At one point during the process I actually thought to myself, ‘maybe I should get a smaller shoulder-bag just for my work essentials. I could tuck it here into the bigger bag and everything would be contained right where I need it’.
Let that sink in for a minute. My bag is so big, and so full of shit, that I was seriously contemplating GETTING ANOTHER BAG to segregate the things I need to find easily, and putting it INSIDE THE TOO-BIG, TOO-FULL BAG.
nevermind_nathan_fillion

Exactly.

Here is the bag in question. It’s sitting on my size 11 shoes, which I didn’t actually do for scale, but feel free to make that connection if you’d like.
img_20180817_111011249_ll

It’s sort of Tardis blue, but it’s not really bigger on the inside.

I’m not actually a purse carrying type. When I’m leaving the house to run errands or something, I just grab my wallet, which is a checkbook clutch thing. I don’t like leaving my wallet hanging around unattended at work though, and I like the idea of it being unattended in my car even LESS, so I’ve always maintained some kind of smallish bag situation in order to tote the wallet, my keys, and my lunch back and forth to work. Sometimes it has been an actual purse, sometimes a messenger bag, and for a while I used one of those reusable bags you get for like $2.50 at the grocery store.
When I first got this blue bag many years ago, the intended use was as a carry-on for air travel, as it was big enough to fit even a large knitting project, a 1-liter bottle of water, my wallet, and my Kindle or a book, with a bit of room to spare. I’m not really sure quite how I ended up transitioning it from a carry-on to my daily lug-shit-around bag, honestly. It was probably after some trip we took where I was too tired and brain-dead to transfer my shit over from one bag to another the morning that I had to go back to work. That sounds like me.
Now, if you have ADHD or are close to someone who does, you may be able to see where this is going. The Second Law of ADHD Life is that The Mess Will Always Expand To Fill The Available Space. Get a bigger kitchen table because your old small one is always covered with piles of stuff? The mess will expand to fill the available space. Clean out the trash in the back seat of the car to build the illusion that you are a functioning adult? The mess will expand to fill the available space. Switch to a bigger hand bag for whatever reason? The mess will expand, blah blah blah. It’s like gravity, or my husband’s willingness to eat Taco Bell even though it makes him sick every time. It just IS. You can try to fight nature, but nature always wins. It doesn’t matter what kind of bag I end up with. I will always, ALWAYS, end up filling it with weird junk. I did it as a child, I did it even worse as a teenager, and I will likely continue to do it for as long as I have a bag that I leave the house with daily.
SO.
With all that said, here’s the full and truthful inventory of my bag as of this morning:
  • one ballpoint pen: click style, orange, emblazoned with the words ‘Riverbank Church’, which I have never attended and don’t know the actual location of.
  • lipstick: three different shades. I had a lip color phase which I have long since passed, but for some reason I still carry these around. Just in case of a pale lip emergency, I guess?
  • small bottle of tylenol: because ibuprofen doesn’t work on my headaches, and headaches make me anxious, which makes my headaches worse. Welcome to my world.
  • empty plastic bag from local grocery store: I think I might have used this to wrap a potentially leaky lunch container one day, and then felt bad about single-handedly ruining the environment if I threw it away, so back in the bag it went. I didn’t actually un-crumple it and check whether it contained remnants of leaked lunch. I haven’t developed a case of bag-ants, so I think it’s probably ok.
  • work keys: ironically, these are all keys to the old office that I haven’t given back yet, but there’s also a security token on the key ring that I need to do some of my daily functions, and is therefore about the only thing in the bag that I ACTUALLY need to have with me on a day to day basis.
  • small container of dental floss: having stuff stuck in my teeth makes me twitchy, so I like to have floss just in case.
  • three barrettes: pop-style metal ones. These are for keeping my hair out of my face at yoga class. I only use one at a time, but I carry backups because they’re small and very lose-able.
  • wallet: where all my plastic money access cards live. This is a hot mess too and could merit its own inventory post, frankly.
  • two copies of a bill I need to pay: I brought the first one to work with me to argue with them about the charges, realized I was wrong before I even called them (thankfully), stuffed it in my bag, forgot about it, and didn’t pay it. The next month they kindly sent me a reminder copy. I thought to myself that the best place to put it in order to remember to pay it would be my bag, so in it went two weeks ago. Sidenote: I threw away the older copy while doing this inventory. Remind me to write a check for the newer copy when I’m done with this.
  • Microsoft Office suite software box, empty: I have a semi-reasonable excuse for this one. It came from when I bought our laptop a couple years ago. All it has in it is the serial number for the copy of Office that I bought. I set up the new laptop at work so that my IT guy could do his VPN voodoo on it, entered the serial number for Office, then tossed the box in my desk drawer and forgot about it until we started moving the office and it came time to empty my drawers out. At that point I wasn’t sure whether the serial number was something I should keep a record of, so I saved the box to be on the safe side. Granted, that WAS like eight weeks ago, but still.
  • small bottle of ibuprofen: because tylenol doesn’t work on my period cramps.
  • passport: the last time I traveled internationally, I used this bag as my carry-on. That was April of 2017. Passport’s still in there.
  • brush and comb: because sometimes I try to make my hair all travel in sort of the same direction, just to see what it looks like.
  • sugar free honey lemon Ricola cough drops, half bag: these are another cleaning-out-old-desk holdover
  • 2016 W2 tax form: I think I had this with me to validate my 2016 adjusted gross income so that I could file my 2017 taxes online.  I did my taxes in February. It is now almost September.
  • 2017 W2 tax form: see above.
  • 2017 W2 tax form of my husband’s: see above.
  • small tube of refill erasers for a Pentel mechanical pencil: I bought these through work with the intention of using them in my clicky pencils at home. Haven’t gotten there yet. I still use the pencils…I just erase with a different eraser. Guess I didn’t need them that bad?
  • broken claw-style hair clip, small: it’s not completely broken – just one tooth got snapped off. Still totally viable in a hair emergency, which I feel the need to always be prepared for.
  • my copy of my mom’s advance directive paperwork: my mom got really sick for a while back in early 2017. They made her fill out advance directive (living will) paperwork and since I’m her only kid and I’m named for everything in it along with my dad, I had to be given a copy. It doesn’t have any sensitive information on it or anything…it’s just a super weird thing to have been carrying around for like 18 months.
  • letter from a friend, postmarked May 2017: When I went to renew my driver’s license in December 2017, I had to bring some pieces of mail with me to prove that I really do live where I say I live. Because, you know, that shit totally couldn’t be faked.
  • 2017 car registration (now long expired): I THINK this may have been related to the last item, but I’m not positive.
  • pay stub circa 12/2017: possibly also related to the license renewal thing? I get all my pay stubs electronically now, so at least I don’t have to worry about accumulating large piles of them anymore.
  • receipt for coach tickets dated April 2017: this was from our trip to the UK. It was actually tucked into my passport folio thing but must have worked its way out during one of my many pawing-through-layers-of-shit-to-find-keys sessions.
  • little card from flowers my husband sent me for our anniversary: which anniversary, I can’t be sure. Which number, I mean. I know that they were for our wedding anniversary, not like…the anniversary of that time I thought it would be a good idea to put raisins in the sweet potato mash (because trust me, that was NOT a celebratory experience for him).
  • job application for local grocery store, blank: this was given to me to give to my husband when the owner of the local grocery store was trying to get him to come work for her. The fact that it’s still in my bag like four months later should tell you what he thought of that idea.
  • book, entitled ‘Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself’: I bought this from Amazon and forgot to change my shipping address from work to home, so it got delivered at work. I took it out of the box, tucked it into my bag with the intention of starting it after I finished the book I was working on at the time. This was in January (I just checked Amazon). As you can clearly tell, I’ve not yet gotten over myself enough to actually crack this book.
  • reusable plastic carrier bag from Asda: this is circa April 2017 when we were in the UK. We went to Asda to stock up on British candy before we headed home. I had my usual guilt over trashing a plastic bag once I got home, and then realized this was actually a pretty decent reusable bag. Why I felt that keeping it folded up in my purse was an appropriate use for it, I couldn’t tell you.

There you go. I’ve now wasted just over 2,000 words telling you about all the junk in my bag. 2008 to be exact. Well, before I wrote that. And that. Ok, I gotta go.

My Gigantic Post About Games I Played At GenCon (subtitle: Sorry In Advance)

I promised you a post about the actual games I played at GenCon, and here it is, in all its dubious glory. It’s really long and rambling. You might want a snack. Or, you know, just skip reading it entirely. Trust me, I won’t be mad. I probably won’t even know!
Anyway.

One of the goals I had for GenCon this year was to play actual games rather than to just wander aimlessly and be generally fucking afraid of interacting with anyone. I decided I was going to do the thing and that was that.

Except, then I looked at the GenCon events webpage and got instantly and horrifically overwhelmed by there being OMG TOO MANY CHOICES and I had to spend some time in a darkened room with a bottle of wine.

After a few weeks of making noise about how I really should schedule myself for some stuff and then drinking the idea right back out of my head in short order, I realized that in fact I had only TWO days left until GenCon and I hadn’t bought anything other than generic tickets.

Fuck.

At that point choosing games to play was pretty easy though, seeing as how I had specific time slots to work with and almost everything was sold out at that point. So really, I did myself a favor, procrastinating like I did. Honest!

I ended up booking tickets for three games: Dragoon, Concept and Mythe.

Dragoon was described as a Kickstarter-funded board game where you can “be the dragon”. I like board games and I already pretend I’m a pterodactyl on the regular anyway, so this seemed like a pretty good fit for me. In the game, the dragons (one per player) live on this island that a bunch of humans have invaded. You, as the dragon, can either make friends with the humans and get them to pay you gold in tribute, or you can rampage and smash shit up (both the humans’ shit and other dragons’ shit). The goal is to hoard as much gold as you can (because duh, dragon), and the first dragon to 50 gold wins. There are two cloth boards in the game – the main island map, and another board that is used to track your score. Each of the four dragons is a different metal – gold, silver, copper and…dark? I don’t know, it was a dark grey metal. Anyway, each dragon also has their own lair. During game set-up, everyone chooses where to place their lairs. From there, you then enter a “build” phase where you roll dice and set up little village (or city) cards on the island corresponding to the numbers on the dice. You, as the dragon, then get to move around the island, deciding if you want to torch the human villages for instant gold or claim them so that they have to pay you tribute. If you come to a village or city that belongs to another dragon you can fight them for it…or just destroy it out from under them. You can also sneak into other dragons’ lairs and steal some of their gold. There’s a deck of action cards as well, which let you do things like take extra actions on your turn, move extra spaces across the board, and everyone’s favorite, the “lay waste” card that basically lets your dragon go Godzilla-mode across the island, destroying everything in its path.

I really enjoyed Dragoon. It was quick to learn and there was a lot of potential for fucking people over (which, let’s admit it, is half the fun of many games). The art design was a fun kind of Cubist-meets-comic book style and the dice, dragons, little castles and other movable pieces all felt super solid and of high quality. And of course they were all appealingly shiny. Mmm, shiny! It played relatively quickly – I think it took us about an hour and that was with us getting the full tutorial and lots of hand-holding from the person running the demo. The only real downside I found to the game was a big one: the price. The “special edition”, (which is the only edition available as far as I can tell, although BoardGameGeek shows a non-metallic version), is $75. Considering the quantity of die-cast pieces and all the metal plating involved, that price doesn’t really feel out of the ballpark to me…it’s just not really something I can justify in my budget currently. If there’s a non-special edition available in the near future for significantly less money, I’d be all over it. All in all, I’d say if you have a chance to play this game you should definitely give it a try.

Concept is one of those games that’s so simple it becomes really hard to explain. There’s a game board with a whole bunch of little images on it – everything from shapes and colors to representations of really broad ideas like “faith”, “plant”, “warmth”, etc. You draw a card from the deck with three choices (easy, medium and hard) of words / phrases on it, and then you have to use the game pieces on the board to try and convey the word / phrase you’ve chosen, without using any verbal or physical cues other than placing the game pieces. The goal is for your partner to be able to correctly guess the word / phrase you’re trying to represent on the board. The team with the most points wins.

Concept is super easy to learn but actually guessing things correctly can be extremely challenging, which seems like it could lead to some endless games unless you employ time limits. To be fair, I think probably the fun of the game is much more in the ridiculous things that people end up guessing rather than the accumulation of points. For example, one of the people in the game I played had picked “tea” as their word. They placed tokens on the squares representing hot / heat, liquid / beverage, and plant. We all then sat there staring at the board saying “hot plant water?” over and over, trying to figure out what the fuck that could mean. No one actually ended up guessing “tea”, but we were all still talking about “hot plant water” even after the game ended. There was also a round that proved we were all degenerates because the person representing the word had chosen the tiles for “circle”, “brown”, “happy” and “love”, and more than half of us guessed “anal sex”. It turns out she meant cookies, for the record…but you can see how Concept would be a valuable tool for identifying the pervs in your group if you were so inclined. A good party game, to me, needs to be simple to learn and have the potential for hilarity, and Concept definitely checks both these boxes.

Mythe is a card-based game where you play a mouse hero questing to defeat a dragon and recover the Sacred Cheese. I didn’t actually end up playing it because I opted to play some other games with some friends instead. My brain was pretty thoroughly fried from sleep deprivation at that point and the idea of trying to learn a new game with strangers was giving me the twitches so I skipped it. I hope to be able to try Mythe in the future, though.

Aside from the games above that I bought actual tickets to play, I also ended up playing a bunch of Mayfair board games with some of my buddies. Mayfair gives out different ribbons for demo’ing certain games, and this year after you collected a certain amount of ribbons you got ANOTHER ribbon decreeing you a Knight of Catan, along with a sweet 50% off coupon for some of the games they were selling. My friends were on a quest to get ALL the Mayfair ribbons possible, so that meant playing a whole lot of Mayfair games. Here’s what we played:

–  basic Settlers of Catan, which I’ve played many times before and somehow manage to enjoy even though I continually suck at it.

Costa Rica, which is a tile-based game where you’re an explorer moving through the jungle and collecting animals, but you have to be careful because if you flip over too many mosquitoes your explorer gets malaria or Dengue fever or something and dies. Well, s/he may not DIE, but they can’t collect any more animals for you so it reduces your chances of being able to get a good score (you get bonuses for different kinds of animals, quantities of animals, etc). This game is really fun and pretty easy to learn, although our sleep-deprived brains were making it a lot harder than it needed to be. What we eventually figured out is that the whole game is really just a tile-based version of Chicken: you’re trying to go as far into the jungle as you can without getting mosquito’ed. Sometimes it works…and sometimes you die of Dengue fever with nothing but a box of chameleons to mourn your loss.

Empire Express – a game where you build train routes and then shuttle loads of goods back and forth to try and build up enough money to win. You have to pay for the track you build, though…and some cities only allow a certain number of tracks going in / out…and sometimes you have to pay other players to use THEIR tracks so that you can deliver your goods. So it’s basically Ticket to Ride crossed with Monopoly. This game took us like two hours to play, but the first 45 minutes or so of that was trying to figure out how the hell the game actually worked. Don’t get me wrong, I think Mayfair’s instructions were probably fine…we were just ludicrously over-tired and words stopped making sense pretty early on during this one.  Things quickly devolved into making very crude jokes about dropping loads, there were suspicions of collusion, and our unofficial alternative tag-line for the game became “There’s fucking NOTHING ‘express’ about this game”. I did enjoy it, though I’m chalking about 75% of that up to the company of the people I was playing with. I’d like to give it another try when I’m not hallucinating from lack of sleep, maybe.

Booty, in which you are a pirate trying to stash goods and treasure, accumulate political influence, and populate islands, all to build up victory points. The mechanics are interesting: there’s a deck of cards with all the different “booty” items on them, which the Quartermaster deals out mostly face-up in the middle of the table. The Quartermaster then groups the booty into piles that s/he thinks might be appealing to the other players (or NOT appealing, if it’s something they want to keep for themselves). Player number two has right of first refusal for the first pile of booty. If they don’t want it, it passes on to player number three and on, who can each accept or refuse. If THEY refuse, the pile goes to the Quartermaster. The process is repeated with the other piles of booty until it’s all distributed, then the next turn begins. The interesting thing though, is that the Quartermaster role can be passed off to another player. In other words, if you pick the first pile the Quartermaster offers you, you become the Quartermaster. This can be really advantageous if you’re good at it, but if you suck at it, it can hurt you. So there’s an element of gambling which not only makes the game more interesting, but is thematically clever. I really enjoyed Booty a lot and actually almost bought it…but then I talked myself out of it because I’m a cheapskate weirdo who can’t let herself have nice things. If you’re not a cheapskate weirdo and you like pretending to be a pirate you should totally buy it, though.

Patchwork – a two-player game where each person has a board they’re trying to fill with Tetris-like quilt patches. Buttons are used as currency to buy patches with, and certain patch pieces will net you more buttons each turn than others. You don’t get to just paw through the pile willy-nilly to pick out the pieces you need, though. The pieces are set up in a big circle around the main board and you can only pick up to three ahead of where the turn marker is. You can also choose to not buy any pieces for your turn, which allows you to move your piece ahead of your opponent on the board and net more buttons. There are some pieces you can only get if you pass them on the board, and you can sometimes manipulate it so that you get an extra turn or two if you buy pieces that don’t move you far enough along the board to surpass your opponent. Game play ends when both players make it to the center of the board. Score is calculated by adding up how many blank spaces you have left on your quilt (each empty square counts as two), then subtracting that amount from the buttons you have accumulated. Highest button count wins. This game was really fun, and not just because I’m a Tetris freak. It’s very elegant in its simplicity, but there’s also that underlying element of gambling again – do you spend all your buttons buying a piece you know your opponent would really like, and just hope that you can fill in around it in time to get your money back? Do you skip buying for a couple turns to amass great button wealth, in the hopes that you’ll be able to catch up to your opponent in terms of filling up your board later on? There’s a lot more strategy involved than one might think at first glance.

Happy Salmon – we actually bought this game right before GenCon and brought it with us. It’s a ridiculously silly, fast and fun game. Each player gets a deck of 12 cards which show four different actions: high five (self-explanatory), pound it (a fist-bump), switcheroo (you and the person you match with have to physically swap places at the table), and Happy Salmon (you and another player hold your forearms together and slap each others’ forearm three times). The object of the game is to get through your deck as quickly as possible. Everyone tries to do this by yelling out the name of a card and looking to see if anyone else has the same card. If you and someone else are both yelling “high five”, then you execute said action, chuck the card and move on to the next. If no one is matching what you’re yelling out, you can move that card to the bottom of your deck and try another action. It’s complete and utter chaos, with people fist-bumping and Happy Salmon-ing across the table, running around to switch places, etc. You do need a table where you can stand up and move around so it’s not exactly a play-anywhere type game, but it’s SUPER fun. It could also very easily be adapted into a drinking game. I’m just saying.

Dastardly Dirigibles – this is a card-based game where you have to built an airship. Each airship has the same basic parts, but there are eight different styles denoted by symbols on the cards and you get bonus points for having more coordinating style parts. In other words, if you’ve got an airship with three “wrench” symbol cards, you’re going to earn more points than if you’ve only got one “wrench” symbol and the rest wild cards or something. You HAVE to play part cards in your hand if someone else plays that part, so you can really screw people over by making them replace their chosen style of tail or nose cone with another random one in their hand. There are also action cards that have various ways of screwing people over, like stealing parts from their airship or their hand, making everyone discard a certain part, etc. The game is meant to be played over three rounds with a cumulative score at the end. Even with three rounds, the game goes quite quickly. The art on the cards is neat – they’re basically all variations of steampunky type stuff, but some look more military, some more art deco style, etc. There are plenty of opportunities to screw people over in-game as well, which I find is key to a game being fun for me. What that says about me I’m not entirely sure…ahem. Anyway, I’m going to pick this game up the next time I’m at our local games store, as I think the folks we usually do game night with will really enjoy it.

I think that’s everything I played! We also did a True Dungeon run, which I’ll talk about in a future post because this one has exceeded the bounds of sensibility at this point and I also have to get some actual work done today. Apparently.

Where Have I Been?

First of all, I need to tell you that I straight up just Googled the word “been” because it looked so weird and wrong when I typed it that I had a sudden wave of worry about whether maybe I had hallucinated the word entirely. Turns out I didn’t, so ten victory points for me.

ANYWAY.

I went on vacation last week! Hooray! Every August we go out to Indianapolis for GenCon, which is a massive tabletop gaming convention. When I say massive, I’m talking like…60,000+ attendees. It’s crazy.

You’d think it would be an introvert’s worst nightmare considering the vast sea of humanity that 60,000 people represents. And in some respects, that’s accurate. There are parts of GenCon that would send most introverts screaming for the hills. But, in other respects, a place so packed with people can also be very introvert-friendly. It’s incredibly easy to be anonymous in such a large crowd, and the background babble of thousands of voices becomes almost soothing and brook-like after a while. You’re also in the middle of nerd Mecca at GenCon, which can be really liberating. Whether you’re a board gamer or an anime cosplayer, a steampunk enthusiast, a Star Wars fan or someone who is into feudal Japanese culture, it’s not like anyone is there to pursue NON-nerdy interests so there’s not really a ton of judgemental bullshit. I mean, there are always assholes, and GenCon is no exception, but by and large there’s a pervasive attitude of what I like to think of as Nerdmaste – ie: the nerd in me recognizes and respects the nerd in you.

GenCon is NOT a relaxing vacation. It’s a ton of walking (I averaged like 3.5 miles a day), Indianapolis is as HOT AND MOIST AS SATAN’S TAINT in August, and all that social interaction tends have a high mental cost for some of the less humanity-tolerant among us (aka: me). There’s also usually a lack of sleep which compounds over the course of the con. When it comes to sleep deprivation, the drop-off from “oh gods, so tired” to fucking Chernobyl-esque radioactive melt-downs is real quick for me, and there’s basically no middle ground. So, while staying up until 2:30 in the morning playing games and drinking beer with friends is definitely a good time, it’s also something that I end up paying a heavy cumulative brain tax for.

This year it was an especially busy con for me because I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to just kind of float along behind my husband or hide in the crafting rooms like I have in past years. I went through the events schedule and picked some games that looked interesting to me (more on those in a future post. WHEEE, look at her try to plan ahead! It will all end in flames, I’m sure of it), bought tickets for them, and played them even though no one I knew was going to be playing with me. That admittedly was not easy for me to do, but I’m really glad I did it.

Another thing I did this year that I really enjoyed was volunteering for a couple shifts at the Worldbuilders booth. Worldbuilders is a charity founded by one of my favorite writers, Pat Rothfuss. They raise money for great organizations like Heifer International and Mercy Corps, both of which do a lot of good for many people in need. A Twitter friend had given me the heads-up that Worldbuilders was looking for some people to help sling merch (all the proceeds of which go directly to the charity) during the convention and I jumped at the chance to get involved. The Worldbuilders folks were all nice and working the booth gave me a chance to chat with a lot of people I probably would never have otherwise talked to.

Working at Worldbuilders also brought about an opportunity to meet another of my very favorite writers, Scott Lynch, which was VERY exciting. During my first shift at the booth, someone picked up a copy of Lynch’s first book, ‘Lies of Locke Lamora‘, and when I commented how much I loved the book, the person reminded me that Lynch was going to be doing a signing at GenCon the next day. I bought a copy of ‘Lies‘ after my shift and managed to be one of the first few people in line for the signing the next day.

Scott Lynch, for the record, is the coolest. He rounded the corner headed for the signing table, saw a bunch of us standing in line and said “wow, are you guys all here for ME?”  When we all said yes, he came over and went down the line, shaking everyone’s hands and making chit-chat with the dozen or so of us that had accumulated. That was super cool. Then, when the woman in front of me in line had like four books for him to sign and wanted to have her picture taken with him, he was not only accommodating but seemed genuinely happy to do so. He just struck me as a really humble, authentic person and it totally made my day.

Then it was MY turn to have my book signed, and I went into complete fan-girl choke mode. Like, the most I could get out was “Mark…with a K…” when he asked me who I’d like the book personalized for. All I really wanted in that moment was to tell him how his public honesty about his struggles with depression and anxiety really meant a lot to so many of us who fight similar battles, but how the fuck do you broach that subject, you know? There’s no good segue from “how do you want this book made out” to “hey, thanks for admitting that you’re fucked in the head, because it gives the rest of us who are fucked in the head some much-needed hope and perspective.” So…yeah. I couldn’t say it, but  I was beaming those thoughts at him super hard while I was standing there, so maybe he caught a little ripple of them. I hope so.

Stay tuned for a post about the actual games I played at the con, coming up just as soon as I can get caught up on sleep and work.

 

 

…and then I lost an hour’s worth of work.

I went on vacation over the weekend.  I wrote a big long post about how great it was.  There were all kinds of pictures with funny captions and everything.  It was probably the best thing I’ll ever have written.  We’re talking Pulitzer material here, honest.  If they gave Pulitzer prizes for blog posts about vacations, anyway.

Then, The Internets decided to have a freaking seizure juuuust before I hit “post”, and all my hilarity went right down the tubes in one fell swoop.

I am not some grannie who has never used a computer before, people.  I grew up in the 90’s!  I SHOULD DAMN WELL KNOW BETTER THAN TO NOT PERIODICALLY SAVE MY WORK.  It’s like I’m back in 7th grade again, trying to convince my teacher that I DID have a book report but the computer ate it.

I can’t even with this shit.

I also can’t decide if there should be a comma in that last sentence or not.  Technically, it probably isn’t even a sentence so it doesn’t really matter.

OMG I am so annoyed.

Here, enjoy this picture of Pierre photobombing a scenic vista while I cry a little bit and curse my inability to simply hit the “save draft” button once in a god damned blue moon.

“Oh, hallo! Ah am ze Fronch anteater, Pierre. Ah weel show you zeez rocks en Maine. Zey are velly good rocks, ah promeez!”