Saving Money Slowly

2013-05-12 18.18.30About a year ago, just after Balticon was over, I said to myself: “That was great, but.. Next year I’ve got plan my money better!”

I managed to get to Balticon, but I was severely money-crunched. I’m not a great saver, really, but it’s balanced out pretty well by the fact that I’m not a great spender, either. I grew up poor, which manifested in me in a number of ways, not least of which is a very strong desire to resist buying anything until the need is great.

This is not a perfect strategy. Continue reading

May the Fourth brings forth: A Geek Prayer

A Geek Prayer coverartYears ago, when gathering in the infamous Blue Room student lounge at the Student Union Building at UNB (which is in the building I still work in!), gamers and geeks of all stripes would gather just about every evening and all weekend long to game, gab and generally geek out.

I remember back then hearing people mention “A Geek Prayer”. So many people were raised Catholic or Christian (yet most moved far away from it) that saying “May the Force Be With You” immediately conjured up the response phrase “And also with you.”

Someone mentioned that to me again recently, and I started to elaborate on the idea.. And then I turned the microphone on, and well.. Here we are! 🙂

(Full text of A Geek Prayer after the cut.)

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Facing one’s limited Faces

Becoming someone else is hard.

I don’t mean changing who you actually are, but rather, the process of putting on a role, such as what an actor or a gamer does.

I’m not really an actor — I’ve done some audio drama and one stage play in high school — but I am a gamer. I love to game, but have a very hard time truly inhabiting a character. To do that requires, I think, a certain sense of empathy and imagination, which I have when I’m writing, but when it comes to gaming I’m often just a bit too tired to focus and summon that skill.

I should clarify for the newbs: when I say “gaming”, I’m not referring to video games, I’m referring to old-school, table-top, pen-and-paper, dice-and-character-sheets, game-master-and-players kind of gaming. I’ve been doing that since about 1991, playing in dozens of games — perhaps hundreds by now? I’ve probably run a dozen or two games, with varying success, and I’ve written game skeletons, fictions and even a few very bad game systems.

When I say “gaming”, I mean gaming.

And it’s hard to do.

At least for me.. Continue reading

Chestnuts roasting over an open memory

I don’t have a lot of rituals. I have a few patterns, like my morning routine, but they aren’t filled with any meaning. They are functional patterns, designed to take me from initial State A to End State B with an efficient number of steps, established through many years of practice and slow, gradual, mostly subconscious modification.

But tonight I picked up chestnuts. Honest-to-God, 100% edible, roastable-just-like-the-song chestnuts. And I will roast them, probably Thursday night, and I will eat them. And it will be ritual, a welcoming sign of the Christmas season approaching. Continue reading

Life advice: Add enough flour until ready; bake until done.

Doesn't a bat-shaped molasses cookie scream "Christmas!" to you?

I like to cook. I don’t often have the time these days, and I don’t have nearly enough experience to make anything grand, but when I do have a chance, I go for it.

It’s difficult to point to exactly why I enjoy cooking. I’m not a great chef, so I have plenty of failures (but being stubborn and unwilling to waste anything, they are generally still eaten). I don’t have lots of money or fancy tools, so the meals I make aren’t exotic or fancy. I don’t have anyone to cook for besides myself (generally), so there isn’t much satisfaction garnered from others.

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