Friday, January 21, 2005

Return to the Hold Music

So I finally, actually went back to work.

It's taken me a week longer than it was supposed to, in essence, because of the built-in assiness of getting cleared to return to work after such a long leave of absence. I've said every day for four days that I was going back to work the next day and it didn't happen until now.

Whoo-ee. I am so glad that my doctor insisted I do half-time for a couple of weeks before jumping back in to full-time.

So I get to the call center, a place I haven't spent much time in even before this leave, since I generally telecommute. I return to that very soon, but for logistics reasons I need to come in until my half-time is over. I came in half an hour early to get my passwords reset.

It took two hours to get me fully reintegrated into the system because 1/3 of the IT desk is comprised of one smarmy idiot who spent ten minutes telling me that ALL the passwords were case sensitive. Because of this, and his failure to backdate the password change, I got locked out of the system twice. It takes twenty minutes to unlock, and has no override. I spent my first 2 hours of work doing manual tickets and transferring calls, because I couldn't get into the database to check orders or ship dates.

I did enjoy myself, far more than I ever did at the soul-sucking temp job. I also saw a lot of people I've missed, and came out tired but not angry or frustrated. I got to see DoktorMT, who I've missed terribly (I haven't talked to him in five months because I had to cut off my internet access while on leave and didn't get the emails he sent me with his new contact info.) I have someone to talk about HST and Eastern spirituality with again! Woot!

Luz de la Luna defended my extreme geekiness over at Special Sauce's blog, and I just want to shout her out for that.

I spent WAYYY too much money this week for my own good. I get a paycheck tomorrow and will go wangle with the bank about the charges from the late paycheck on Monday.

However, because of spending wayyy too much money, I now have lots of new fabulousness!

I made a box blessed to Ellegua/Legba last night after group. Last night's group was one of the best we'd had in a while, even without a guided meditation -- CDHSarah found a neat used book with a section for group use to evaluate progress and set goals for the year, and we had one of the most involved and exacting discussions we've ever had as a result of it. We've started an e-mail list, resolved to spend more time together as a group outside meetings, and addressed all those little niggly things that can turn into big problems, as well as just good old fashioned bonding. By the time we got done with that part, Not Dave-O had to leave, so we decided to forgo meditation and get drunk.

Well, they got drunk, anyway. I came home and tore my apartment apart looking for a set of keys that turned out to be hiding at the bottom of my bag, then went back and made the box, which is SO COOL. I need to get a digital camera at some point so I can show you things like this -- and show Tes the Resplendence of the Muumuu -- and now that I'm working again (and get stuff at cost without paying shipping, AND can split that up into payments) that just might happen soon. The Artist and I also had some good talks when we went to the mythical 24 hour Subway for drunk-and-high munchies, and did some good energy work on each other.

Also, we invented the coolest thing to hit AD&D since TSR went open-source: the imaginary die. Those of you whose teeth are set on edge by technical D&D wanks can just skip down to the media stuff.

Yesterday I spent the entire day with the Artist, you see, because it was our long-commute day. As we do on long-commute day, we came up with a great idea. I was advising the Artist on his campaign, as it just doubled in number of players and he's never dealt with a group that large, while I spent 3 years in college playing in a group of eight to ten and know a few tricks to keep play from getting tedious. I started joking with him about making someone modify all their rolls by pi -- he's an old-school player and keeps correcting the Artist, which is helpful sometimes but has gone to the point of obnoxious.

We gave each other the Evil Look of Dawning Recognition, went on a Hobby Lobby mission, and now have dice that are marked i, pi, ½x, x, x², and sqrt x, for use at DM's discretion. If you get i, an even roll means you get -1 -- awesome on a savings throw, as technically that would cause the thing you were saving vs to backfire on itself, shitty on an attack roll as that's a hyper-critical miss. An odd roll means you imagined the previous action, though. We are geeks. We are evil. We are friggin' awesome.

I get a shitload of XP for thinking of this (I think he's going to level me up for it) AND I get to bring Icculus from The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday in as my deity. Which means that my Druid has to go and retrieve the Helping Friendly Book at level 12, which will be an awesome quest, as the HFB is the most wicked-ass magical item ever (it has the goddamn RECIPE FOR TIME in it, dude.) I also got "mockingbird" as a language without having to use a slot for it. As a negative modifier, every time I meet a person named Wilson I have to do a save to see if I go berserk. If you're scratching your head, please realize that this may be the first AD&D/Phish fusion in the history of ever. My Druid is now named "Erin Wolf". Ha ha haaaaa....

We also found out that the quality of the formerly unsurpassed local gaming-and-comix-and-used-media store, The Great Escape, has declined -- the guy behind the counter had never heard of a d100, and they've gotten rid of the loose dice at the downtown location. Bah on them.

OK, OK, out with the unsurpassed geekiness, in with the media.

What I'm Reading

Since I went into Ms. B's armed with my gift certificate and most of my discretionary cash, EVERYTHING. I got:

The Rolling Stones, one of my fave juvenile Heinleins, to replace the copy Catherine took to Arizona.

The Sagas of Icelanders, with intro by Jane Smiley.

Breakfast of Champions, because the only copy I ever had got donated to the communal house I was living at the time, which is OK, but I'm glad I have one now.

The Stand, uncut and in hardback. The copy I had was the abridged and is in bad shape. I'm trying to replace all my Stephen King with hardback copies when the opportunity presents, since most of mine are in a state of extreme shabbiness. I usually do it via, where you can get a like-new hardback of most of the older novels for 75 cents due to the proliferation of copies available, but I've gotten the abridged twice trying to get it online, so I snapped it up.

One for the Money, the first Stephanie Plum novel, to replace the one Molly took with her when she departed for parts unknown.

The Long Dark TeaTime of the Soul by Douglas Adams, which has been AWOL for seven years or so. I now have the complete Adams, to my knowledge.

Choke by Chuck Pahlaniuk. I'll have the complete Pahlaniuk pretty soon too.

Foundation & Earth. I actually have a copy of this book on order as well, but I sold it to the Artist right there in the bookstore -- told him he could have whichever copy was in better condition for a pack of cigarettes, since I paid $3.15 for the one on order and could get a copy there for $2. I suppose I didn't have to do that, but the Foundation series is basically an us-thing -- none of our other friends who are readers have the least interest in it, so we've been swapping copies as they became available since we started the series, and he bought my copy of Prelude to Foundation just because he found a good copy cheap and wasn't done with it yet, so I suppose I owed him one. With this, we'll both have almost the complete set. I think the Artist is getting the Robot series for his birthday, since he still hasn't gotten to read them and my copies are too battered to lend.

I also put an antique conversational Japanese primer on hold. And when we went to Bookman/Bookwoman looking for a Monsters Manual, I succumbed to the Devil and bought Be Safe! Simple Strategies for Death-Free Living on total impulse. It's funny as all hell, though. I have to be careful with my BM/BW trips, because I could easily be convinced to sell a kidney and an ovary cheap on the black market when I see everything they have there. (Memphis Word Nerd, come down here and we'll hock our futures together! Browse with me! But first update already!)

We have, unfortunately, had to boycott Elder's Books because there's some fairly good evidence that the owner was hiring homeless people to steal books from area colleges and bookstores to fluff out his stock -- especially those books which were on required lists at Vandy -- and that makes him pond scum, however awesome his store may be. Stealing books makes you slime. Exploiting the homeless to keep your hands clean makes you algae. (But..but he has...first. Edition. L. Frank. Baum. God is cruel.)

What I'm Hearing

The Artist got me some George Carlin. Right now, though, in anti-honor of the anti-inauguration, I've been listening to a lot of good old stuff -- Joan Baez's Battle Hymn of the Republic, Jimi's Star-Spangled Banner, Arlo's cover of Phil Och's I Ain't Marchin' Anymore. Leadbelly's Hitler Song too, just for Georgie, and Ginsberg's End The Vietnam War with the illyB backtrack. You know. Hippie stuff, just like every other day. But for the cause, man.

The photos of protesters being beaten and gassed over that have been linked over at The Lounge broke my heart.Things like these are the reason I can't watch the news any more.

In happier news, Good Grandma and Favorite Uncle are coming to town next week! Huzzah!

This is the part where you leave me a comment.


At 11:49 PM, Blogger Memphis Word Nerd said...

Hooray for book posts (as if I didn't love your blog enough already)!!!!!! Now I have a ton of new book suggestions...YAY!!!!!!!!!! Miz NashVegas is a GOOD blogger; she may have a cookie.

I was in your ever-so-lovely city yesterday, just in time to catch a little of the snow before high-tailing it back to Memphis. Did you get much accumulation?

At 12:05 AM, Blogger Memphis Word Nerd said...

Oh, wow, I was so excited when I skimmed your post (I have a nasty habit of skimming posts before I read them) I was so excited that I left a comment without actually having read the whole post. Now that I've read it I need to comment again.

First: I am so completely lost by your gamer language and I feel like I'm reading some sort of foreign text. It's kind of fun trying to figure things out by context. Sad, eh?

Second: I've read and loved a few of the books that you listed (Vonnegut, Evanovich, Adams) and I'm familiar with a couple of the other authors (I love Pahlaniuk, though I can feel my hair turning prematurely gray with frustration each time I try to spell his name). I'll add some of the others to my "must read" book. Yes, I actually have a spiral bound book in which I keep my list of books that I want to read. Sigh...

Third: Squee! I got a shout out! :-) About the update, though...don't hold your breath. It seems like lately I just have enough time to EITHER read you and Special Sauce OR write my own posts. I enjoy reading your stuff enough that writing my own tends to fall by the wayside. I've been reading a wide variety of stuff lately (for example, Henry James' "The Bostonians" and Laurell K. Hamilton's latest delicious smutfest) but I haven't gotten around to posting about any of it. I have been terrible about journaling, too. Perhaps my creativity is on a hiatus. Maybe soon. In the meantime, thanks for noticing.

I'm glad to hear that you're back at work.

Joan Baez is god. I just turned off my Joni Mitchell cd. I can listen to her version of "Stormy Weather" for days on end.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Special Sauce said...

Welcome back to work (fie, why can't they just mail the check and let you do nothing, I ask)! As welcome as that may be... Oohoo! More books to check out! Yay! Though, ET, please don't hold it against me, I've never been a big Douglas Adams fan. (I know, I know, I should like him, I really really should. He is wacky. He is zany. He is endowed with many talents. I've tried, I really have, and just can't do it. I will accept my beating at your convenience.) Everything else though, I'm so checkin'. :)

Hope you had a fantastic weekend!

At 5:41 PM, Blogger parcequilfaut said...

Word Nerd, next time you're going to be in da'Vegas, e-mail me! I'll show you all the nifty. We did get a good bit of accumulation the night OF the snow, but by noon the next day it had all melted, so that was for the best. And it snowed instead of raining and then snowing, so there was no ice to speak of.

Don't feel bad about your books book. I had one of those until it got ridiculous, so now I just use the Wish List function on, and go scan through it whenever I have book money to spend. Which is often.

ET, don't stress the no-Adams love. It would be kind of creepy if we liked ALL the same things; Dad's genetics aren't enough for that. I don't give a tinker's damn about football, so we're even.
Just curious though; have you tried the non-Hitchhiker (Dirk Gently) books? It's not beating-worthy, but they are different to a degree.

An update: Choke is kick-ass, reminds me of Fight Club. All the rest were re-reads. And after all that dorking around, my character died as soon as she leveled far enough to be able to. But the Artist has promised to let me recycle the character shit, because we spent so long working it out, if I help him set up the riddles for the next part of the campaign while I'm not playing.

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the box to elegbara (i'm assuming that is who you mean -- the voudoun names are a bit different than the umbanda/macumba names) sounds truly wonderful. i would love to see a photo of that, as well as the resplendent muu muu!

i haven't had TOO much experience with elegbara, which is somewhat strange, as he is the keeper of all roads and doors, and i have done SO much travelling in my life. perhaps that is because he is also the orixá who looks after jobs, and my job has always been so (relatively) unimportant to me.....

i've really wanted to talk more about orixás and other traditions in the are you there, god? it's me, bustie. thread, but i confess that the christianity talk becomes overwhelming and all consuming and i really don't have the patience to even lurk. perhaps people feel the same way about the orixás, i don't know. all i know is that i have been drawn to you since day one, when you were going to sing on the radio....and here we are, with similar traditions in our lives. i'm sure that is NOT coincidence.

shall i post a prayer to elegbara here for you????

hugs and kisses -- and three is a magic number.......



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