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A Touch of Madness
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Gregory Pettigrew's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, January 28th, 2016
11:43 pm
Scheduling
For a year and a half, I tried to keep my schedule posted here. It was a dumb move. For starters, Livejournal just ain't the format for keeping track of calendar events. It was nice seeing everything laid out in a list, but that was about all it was good for. It didn't make for interesting reading, it failed as a writing prompt, but -- worst of all -- it raised the minimum hurdle for getting a post out there. So I've now made the effort to formally move everything to gcal.

However, one thing that LJ is great for is open-ended discussion, so I have ideas for a couple of events I'd like to spitball a bit:

1. Caper Night
Crime happens; hilarity ensues. I want to host a party where we watch a bunch of crime procedural films and marvel at how awesome they are. Over the years, I've developed quite the collection, some of which are rather obscure. Dinner will of course be deviled eggs, mescalin greens, and chicken piccata. This is closest to happening given that all I really need is a free weekend.

2. Casino Royale
A more ambitious sort of theme party, I want to host a tribute to spy movies. James Bond Marathon in the TV room. Roulette, Craps, Baccarat, and Texas Hold 'Em in the Great Room. Costume Contests, Assassin Games, and Beluga Caviar. I have a team of interested parties, I just need the money to make it happen.

3. Whiskey Party, AKA the cigar-smoke-filled backroom
I'd like to start holding a regular meeting of like-minded individuals who want to intellectually and then practically work towards solving the big issues of the day. The last time I tried to organize this, I only got 2 responses. Some of the principals from when this gathering was originally proposed are no longer talking to each other. This will probably never happen, and it makes me sad. Actually smoking cigars was never part of the plan. I do still like the idea of sipping whiskey at it, but that's not compatible with the biology of all the principals.

4. Grilling and Games, Miami 2017 Edition
I had a 4th of July party running for several years that was pretty awesome, designed around the idea of having fun on 7/4 even when it is a weekday. 2017 begins a new 3-year series of 7/4 on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, and we will begin by having the lights go down on Broadway.

5. The Battle of Five Armies
I play in the SCA with the Shire of Quintavia, which has the dubious honor of bordering on six other local groups, all Baronies. It is extremely rare for Quintavia to hold an event where none of its direct neighbors are holding competing events, let alone other groups in the region. I want to run a big outdoor camping event whose premise is to get several of our neighbors to commit to coming and fighting each other. We do the work, we collect the money, they get the prize, everybody has a good time. There will be War Points and Great Court and a White Elephant.

(6 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Sunday, October 25th, 2015
6:46 pm
Gah!
I'm not really sure why, but the urge to write is failing to coalesce. So here's what sense I can make of my current calendar. I'm worried I'm missing some things, but that's life.

Plans AhoyCollapse )

(Lie to me)

Sunday, August 30th, 2015
4:55 pm

(5 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Saturday, June 13th, 2015
8:22 am
Pan-Fried Peapods
Since I have overheard multiple people exclaim how good these were last night:

1 pound snow peas
1 onion
1/4 cup scallions
1/4 cup parsley
garlic to taste
vegetable oil
sesame oil
sesame seeds
soy sauce

Wash and clean all vegetables. Chop the other vegetables but leave the snow peas whole. In a frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and add the snow peas. Note that sesame oil has a low smoke point and should be added later. If you add it now, it could scorch or start a fire.

Since all of these vegetables are perfectly edible raw (with the possible exception of the garlic), the frying is mostly about adding and mixing flavors. After the snow peas have started to soften, add the other vegetables and continue frying until the onions have started to turn clear. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for another minute.

Ideally you have started with just enough oil to fry all the vegetables but that when you add the soy sauce, the water cooks off a little and it turns into a glaze.

(Lie to me)

Thursday, May 7th, 2015
8:01 pm
Plus ca change...
I have many posts brewing inside me, but I am stuck at work loading a build when I should be running my RPG. Would anyone be interested in Sense8 Til You Bleed on 6/6? It's a new series on Netflix by JMS and the Wachowskis. It looks pretty cool.

Plans AhoyCollapse )

(1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
11:39 am
Three Logicians walk into a bar...
There's a logic puzzle that's been going around that has a bunch of my friends stumped. I don't know if it's really from a primary school assignment in Singapore (the syntax certainly reflects Singapore's mixed heritage), but I solved more complicated logic puzzles all the time in elementary school, so maybe.

Albert and Bernard just become friends with Cheryl, and they want to know when her birthday is. Cheryl gives them a list of 10 possible dates.

May 15, May 16, May 19, June 17, June 18, July 14, July 16, August 14, August 15, August 17

Cheryl then tells Albert and Bernard separately the month and the day of her birthday respectively.

Albert: I don't know when Cheryl's birthday is, but I know that Bernard does not know too.

Bernard: At first I don't know when Cheryl's birthday is, but I know now.

Albert: Then I also know when Cheryl's birthday is.

So when is Cheryl's birthday?

Answer behind the cutCollapse )

(5 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
3:15 pm
Andreiko's Guide to Pennsic
A number of friends have expressed an interest in going to Pennsic this year. While http://www.pennsicwar.org/penn44/geninfo.html has a lot of great info, I thought I'd organize my own thoughts on some of the concepts involved. Besides the items on the packing lists, there are three big-ticket items you need for a trip to Pennsic: Time, Money, and an EncampmentCollapse )

(9 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
4:35 pm
Stuff and Things
I was totally going to post something substantive, but I forgot what it was, so I'll just update my calendar and be done with it. Anyone wanna give me a writing prompt?

Plans AhoyCollapse )

(1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

Sunday, February 1st, 2015
6:48 pm
The Dollar Dance
Well, there was supposed to be a post or two in January, but here we are. The big news is that rosinavs' contract expired, which means money is tight, but we knew this was coming, so we'll deal. 2014 was a very rough year for many, us included, but we did manage to pay off WPI, the IRS, and our unpaid condo fees that had built up while we we both unemployed the last time around.

The Madwoman of Chaillot is going very well, people have been very impressed with our performance. Last show is this Friday, so please come by and watch the vagabonds of Paris get their revenge on the Corporate Machine.

Plans AhoyCollapse )

(4 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Sunday, December 21st, 2014
9:17 pm
Too Many Bells
S.H.I.E.L.D.T.U.B. was a great success, we have about a dozen people for Season 1, then people slowly trickled out as we watched Season 2. However, I am still slightly overbooked and slightly broke. Since I wasn't able to pay for Intercon during the initial signups due to a financial scheduling snafu, I haven't signed up for it yet and might skip it this year in order to catch up on sleep. I am especially overwhelmed by Christmas this year. I just want to pull the ripchord. Here's what I am looking forward to:

Plans AhoyCollapse )

(Lie to me)

Sunday, November 16th, 2014
9:56 pm
Absolutely Nothing
I had a great time at the Masquerade Ball last night, but damn I have been busy. That was the fourth SCA event in a row and I have not had a single free weekend since August. Fortunately, rosinavs and I have carved out next weekend for Absolutely Nothing. We may not even put on pants. It will be glorious.

S.H.I.E.L.D.T.U.B. is the weekend after, and even if you didn't fill out the poll, please come by, it'll be a lot of fun.

I don't usually advertise the Camelot New Year's Party here, but since my usual other New Year's Party is taking a year off, I will probably staying home all night and be comfortable inviting people to join me. There will be games, drinks, karaoke, and probably some navel gazing for the coming year. Y'all come by.

Plans AhoyCollapse )

(3 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
8:17 pm
M.C.U.T.U.B.
Having blown past our original target date of 9/13 as well as given up on our backup date of 10/4, I can now take more time to consider the options. I have three freeish weekends coming up, including Thanksgiving Weekend, which obviously has its pluses and minuses. Please fill out this poll and, for better or for worse, I'll make a final decision. Also my calendar for the rest of 2014 has mostly firmed up, so take a look and see if anything is interesting to you or if you want to fill an open hole in my schedule.

Poll #1983980 People to See, Things To Do

What dates are you available for M.C.U.T.U.B.?

November 21
3(6.5%)
November 22
4(8.7%)
November 23
6(13.0%)
November 28
6(13.0%)
November 29
6(13.0%)
November 30
5(10.9%)
December 5
4(8.7%)
December 6
4(8.7%)
December 7
5(10.9%)
Ticky!
3(6.5%)

How hardcore do you want to be when watching M.C.U.T.U.B.?

I want to watch at a reasonable pace
4(36.4%)
I want to rock and roll all night and party every day
3(27.3%)
I have an iron butt, let's do this!
4(36.4%)

What media should we watch during M.C.U.T.U.B.?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the Good Parts Version of season 1)
3(11.1%)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the entire first season)
5(18.5%)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the second season so far)
6(22.2%)
The Avengers
3(11.1%)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
5(18.5%)
Captain America: The First Avenger
1(3.7%)
Other M.C.U. film that I own (see below)
1(3.7%)
Other M.C.U. film that I hope someone else owns (see below)
0(0.0%)
Marvel One-Shots
3(11.1%)

Other M.C.U. films that I own

Other M.C.U. films that I hope someone else owns



Plans AhoyCollapse )

(1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
5:59 am
Toast
My toast from last night:

Hello everyone, thank you for coming. I'm Greg and I've known teenyweenyowen since he was this tall (holds hand above head).

It seems a millennium ago I started college at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, about half an hour from here, and not too long after, so did Owen. After graduation, I joined the Society for Creative Anarchronism, and not too long after, so did Owen. Later, I bought a house off Sawyer Hill Road in Berlin, and not too long after, so did Owen. And then I married a wonderful person I met through the SCA, and not too long after, so did Owen. So you can clearly see that I've been friends with Owen for a while now and we've done a lot together, and if you have an interest in History and are looking for The One, you should consider joining the SCA.

If you were just meeting Owen for the first time today and werre wondering what kind of person he is and what he has to offer Rebecca besides huge size, here are a few things you should know about him: He is kind to animals. He is good with children. He is handy. He is a foul-weather friend. By that last one, I mean that when I need people to get something done and I don't think anyone will do it -- I don't even think I would do it if the circumstances were reversed -- Owen is the first to volunteer. Even if sometimes I can't count on him to be awake before noon, I know I can count on him when I'm in trouble.

But most relevantly for all of you: He makes Rebecca smile. He makes Rebecca laugh. He makes Rebecca happy. I told Owen and Rebecca when he asked her to marry him that if being engaged ever ceases to be the most fun thing they've ever done, that they should stop. As you can see, they took my advice and they are no longer engaged.

There will be sorrows and frustrations and tragedies ahead, and lots of hard work, but it is when we work hard for ourselves and for the ones we love that we receive the greatest joys, and looking back on that work, it has been a lot of fun. So please raise your glasses and join me in wishing these two that being married to each other is the most fun that they will ever have.

(2 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
10:31 am
S.H.I.E.L.D.T.U.B.
S.H.I.E.L.D. til you bleed!

I'm going to try to squeeze in a viewing of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 on Saturday, September 13. The show, of course, is 22 episodes long, which makes it roughly 18 hours long. Further, there's a movie that takes place about 2/3 of the way through the season that, while it doesn't directly involve the characters from the show, has a strong impact on the characters in the show.

Poll #1980039 Details, Details

Do you want to watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier in its place in order?

Yes
1(50.0%)
No
0(0.0%)
Maybe
1(50.0%)

Do you want to watch all of Season 1 or just the good parts version?

All of it
2(100.0%)
Just the Good Parts
0(0.0%)
You watch all of it, I'll sleep in
0(0.0%)


Plans AhoyCollapse )

(5 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

5:22 am
Introspection
I had an unsettling dream which called into question my perception of events long ago. I am left wondering what I have done that seemed right in my mind, but to the other parties involved was wrong. Therefore, if I have wronged you or another in the past, please consider the possibility that I am blinded by my perspective on the matter, ignorant of my wrongdoing, and in need of correction. Please help me be a better person by letting me know of my unforgiven transgressions.

Comments are screened.

(Lie to me)

Sunday, July 27th, 2014
12:06 pm
Styx come sail away


Taking a break from the 21st century for a while...

(Lie to me)

Friday, June 27th, 2014
10:50 am
This is a public service announcement
Grilling and Games will not be happening this year. The genesis of the party was "What do you do with a full time job and a day off in the middle of the week?" and that's not true this year. Grilling and Games will return in 2017 when we will drink Mojitos while playing "Bigappleship".

(Lie to me)

Monday, June 23rd, 2014
11:50 pm
The Colonial Union Needs You!
After last Intercon, rosinavs told me she wanted to write and run a "big" LARP. Our previous LARP, Resurrect Me, Please was a lightly paced storytelling game for 11 people. This time around, she wants something a little bigger. After some discussion, including of this coming Intercon's theme, "Orbit", we hit upon the idea of running a game based on John Scalzi's Old Man's War Series. That's where you come in.

We're looking for two groups of people:

1) People who are interested in writing a 30+ person LARP based on a military science fiction series.

2) People who have read the series who are interested in helping us discuss some of the questions raised by the series, whether we should try to answer them in our LARP, and, if so, what those answers should be.

Comments will likely be full of spoilers. If you are of the first type and want to read the books before viewing the comments, we have the whole series.

(3 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Friday, March 28th, 2014
7:54 pm
The Dollar Dance
This morning, I felt terrible. Coughing fits, fever, chills -- terrible. I took the day off of work and miraculously felt better when I woke up again at 9:30, so I spent the day dealing with some things I'd been putting off. I paid some bills, did some laundry, and signed up for some credit cards. There is a bubble, like a shockwave or sonic boom, of 0% interest credit card debt riding our income, threatening to overcome us if all of it expires at once. Every Spring, it comes close, and then we sign up for a few new cards, transfer the balances over, and continue to ride it out. It's not a very good plan, but it's the best we could come up with on the way down.

I get paid semi-monthly and rosinavs gets paid biweekly, which is actually a really convenient way to earn money when deep in debt. All of my income goes toward paying the monthly expenses: credit card bills, condo fees, utilities, commuter rail passes, etc. and all of her income goes toward paying the day-to-day expenses: food, gas, entertainment, etc. There's not a lot of room in the budget, but what there is, we sock away for the annual expenses: car insurance, real estate taxes, income taxes.

We keep track of our expenses in a spreadsheet on Google Docs, so we can both edit it at any time from anywhere. While updating things, I got to take a look at our debt numbers and sure enough they've been going down. It sometimes feels like we'll never make any progress (mostly because we're still very underwater on the house), but, besides a certain very expensive cat, the debt is going down. Very soon I'll have my student debt paid off.

We're not out of the rapids yet. We've got income taxes next month and real estate taxes the month after that, but at that point, it should be fairly smooth sailing for a good six months.

(Lie to me)

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
9:35 am
Good Reads
Two of my favorite reads of last year were the first two installments of this book series: Unidentified Funny Objects. UFO is an anthology of humor SF/F stories. Stories featuring Orcish Public Defenders, Alien Invasions via Twitter, Elemental Activists, and The Improved Cubicle Door Spell. Stories by Jim Hines, Sergey Lukyanenko, Mike Resnick, and more.

UFO3 is available for pre-order on Kickstarter.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/776571295/unidentified-funny-objects-3-annual-anthology-of-h

(1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

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