Log in

No account? Create an account
A Touch of Madness
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

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

[ << Previous 20 ]
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
1:15 pm
I think I might be an actor
It's getting rather difficult to keep track of what shows I've been in and what shows I want to be in. I'm the kind of nerd who uses The Complete Works of Shakespeare as a To-Do List, so I'm including notes on which shows of his I've seen or studied. The list currently does not include shows done as a child or shows where I worked Tech.

Note: Plays marked with an asterisk (*) are now commonly referred to as the "late romances". Plays marked with two asterisks (**) are sometimes referred to as the "problem plays". The two plays marked with three asterisks (***) were not included in the First Folio.

5 down, 33 to goCollapse )

(Lie to me)

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
9:40 pm
The Love of Things
I love things. I love taking my things out of their boxes, holding them, fiddling with them, recalling previous times I'd played with them, worked with them, fiddled with them. I love making things, assembling things, disassembling things, and buying things. I think that's why I gravitate toward board and card games over computer games. It's certainly why my discretionary spending account is always empty.

Last month I backed a Kickstarter for a miniatures wargame called Burrows & Badgers, with the intent of just getting the terrain piece. My mind seized upon the wargame, though, and is obsessing over the details of how to build and play a campaign for this particular wargame. Something about the cross between Redwall, Disney's Robin Hood, and Dark Sword & Sorcery roleplay is really scratching my imagination, and thinking of all the painting, the statbuilding, the moving minis, the measuring of distances, the rolling of dice...it's filling up the parts of my brain that love things. I want to thing the hell out of this game, but my attempts at finding other people interested in playing it have not met with significant results.

I'm sure this feeling will pass, but for now, I just want to buy all these figures and paint them and move them about on the table and twang their bows and pew-pew their slingstones and come up with funny pun-based furry names and medievaloid backstories for them. The brainweasels are busy, only this time they're wearing gauntlets and leather tunics.

(Lie to me)

Friday, November 18th, 2016
11:00 pm
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
While I continue to be ticked off at J. K. Rowling for her complete mishandling of Magic in North America, my position on this particular film has softened compared to Dr. Strange due to the prominent roles of women and minorities, including two Jewish main characters and a Black President of Macusa (The Magical Congress of the United States of America). So while I did not set it high on my to-watch list, rosinavs was more interested in it than Arrival, so we went to see it.

Wow. Man, is Eddie Redmayne a good actor. I hated Newt Scamander and Eddie positively shat on every scene he was in. The character was obnoxious, self-centered, awkward to the point of ridiculousness, and not only bad at people, but pretty terrible with the animals, too. It's kind of like the screenwriters saw The Imitation Game and took it upon themselves to write an even more unlikeable Autistic-coded British Intellectual character. Newt gets into a number of poorly conceived, tedious, repetitive comedic sequences trying to capture some of the creatures that escaped from his case and I look forward to being able to fast-forward through them.

The rest of the main characters, however, are awesome, the plot is directly connected to the mid-20th Century detailed in the Potterverse backstory without feeling predetermined, and the visuals are stunning.

I would not say that it's a must-see, but if you've been jonesing for Pottermore and don't mind Rowling's codescending views on Native Americans (who make no appearance whatsoever in the film) and Americans in general, it might be fun to watch.

(Lie to me)

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
10:39 pm
On Third Parties
I was a paid staffer for Phillies 2008, a Libertarian Party Presidential Campaign. By then, I was already identifying as a Small Government Socialist, so I got an inside view into the Party with an outsider's perspective. George had no intention of winning the election. He had no intention of getting the 5% of votes necessary to win Federal Funding for future Libertarian Presidential candidates. His one and only goal was to spread the message of Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty. He didn't get the nomination.

See, the problem with Third Parties in America is that they've watched too many underdog movies. They remember that Lincoln was the first Republican President, but they ignore they course of events that led to that Presidency. The Whig Party had coalesced in the early 19th Century in opposition to Andrew Jackson's platform of expansionism and genocide, with the explicit goals of protecting American businesses and empowering the Legislative Branch to limit the power of the Executive. It broke up in the 1850s over the question of Abolition. Most of the members of the Radical Republicans were former Whigs. When Abraham Lincoln joined the Republican Party, most of the Governors of the Northern States were already Republicans.  And when he won the White House, he brought with him Majority Control of both houses of Congress. Contrast with the Libertarian Party, which has never won a single seat in Congress. Or the Green Party, which has never won a single seat in Congress.

Now I know I'm very very angry at those voters in swing states that voted for Johnson (I'm also angry at those voters in swing states that voted for Stein or really anyone other than Clinton, but those numbers are less impressive). I know I bitterly and angrily told friends both here in MA and further afield to not risk Human Civilization to vote Third Party, but some did it anyway. Why? Because it feels good. And if the stakes are this high, we have to find a way to get people to come together and do what is right and feel good about it. And if they didn't feel good voting for Clinton, then we needed to reframe the proposition so that they got to do what feels good and help Clinton get elected. We did not get enough people to feel good about voting for Clinton, and at the end of the day, that's why she lost.

I propose a new system. The stick did not work, so let's try the carrot. I take as given that anyone reading this will accept that electing a Democrat in 2020 is better for the country than electing a Republican. Add in the alternatives and we have:

Vote Democrat >> Vote Third Party >> No Vote >> Vote Republican

If we default the Opposition to Trumpery to the Vote Democrat state, in order for you, gentle reader, to move Right, you need to get five people to move Left. Why five? Sampling error, for one. You may think you've moved someone left when they really were voting left anyway. You may think you've moved someone left when it was really a team effort and multiple people earned the "reward" of being able to vote Third Party. You may think you've moved someone left but they're really just going to vote Republican anyway. You may think you've moved someone left who's no longer able to successfully cast a ballot due to Voter Suppression schemes. So that's the deal. Make plans with your Conservative-leaning and Far-Left-leaning friends to go out and vote. Work out the plans of when and how and for whom you're going to vote. Hold them to their word that they'll vote to oppose Trumpery in all its forms. Vote for whoever you damn well please, but only as long as you can point to five people who are going to Move Left.

(1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016
11:02 pm
All Good Things...
It's beginning to look like my Earthdawn game will be ending sooner than expected. A lot of things are changing lately, not just because of election worries, and that's causing several of my players to have to terminate their attendance earlier than the anticipated February ending of the game. We may have only one or two more sessions left before it's all over.

The feeling that this is the last season of America only grows...

(Lie to me)

Friday, November 11th, 2016
12:21 pm
Enter the Ruffle
I have two vivid memories from when I was ten that help highlight my relationship with traditional masculinity.

Art class: I'm painting a rainbow. I get my hands on the purple paint and the other boys recoil in fear. "That's a girl's color", they tell me. No one can own a color, I scoff.

Summer camp: We're talking around the table at dinner. One of the other boys says "When I get married..." and I ask who he's planning on marrying. He doesn't know. He just knows that he will. The other boys all know that someday they will get married. How? When? To whom? They have no idea. I scoff.

I scoff because I don't need someone else to tell me how to be a man.

When rosinavs and I moved in together, we had to deal with one of those fundamental incompatibilities that all cohabitators share. She likes the bedroom significantly colder than I do when we sleep at night. So I invest in pajamas. I have a lot of pajamas. Muppet pajamas. Superhero pajamas. Disney pajamas. Fleece pajamas. Flannel pajamas. Sleep pants. Union suits. Footie pajamas. Onesies. Some of these come from the menswear section of stores, but most come from the womens' intimates section.

About two years ago, I was in Wal*Mart, browsing their new winter collection of pajamas and I see something I did not expect to find irresistible. It was a Hello Kitty sleep set, with fluffy fleece sleep shorts with teeny tiny bows on the hem and a ruffled bubblegum pink camisole. It was the ruffle. Something about the hyperbolic shape of the ruffle appeals to the mathematician in me. I like the way they twirl, the way they refuse to lie flat. Also they're pretty. I bought it immediately. I don't wear the camisole very often since I'm not a fan of spaghetti straps and it wasn't really built for someone with a torso as long as mine, but the sleep shorts are fantastic on the colder summer nights. So I've been looking at finding newer, more suitable sources of ruffles to wear.

Last winter, I had a dream involving a pair of pink sneakers and white ruffle socks. After a couple weeks of searching, I found the shoes but I still haven't found ruffle socks in my size. SADFACE. I stopped in at Lane Bryant last week to buy some tights for an Elizabethan event and took a browse through the clearance rack when I saw a skirt that I loved. It was white, green, and off-black in a sort of camo/floral pattern, with a gold wire on the hem of the ruffle to add a little sparkle. I didn't have time to try on clothes, so I left it to go finish running my errands.

Then on Tuesday we saw the future of human civilization go down the toilet in front of our eyes and Wednesday night I was mad so I went to go buy me a skirt because Fuck Mike Pence. So I went back to Lane Bryant and strode boldly forth over to the clearance rack and when the staff said "May I help you?", I said "Yes. I'm here to buy a skirt. I don't know what size I am so I may have to try on a few. I thought you had this one in a size 16 when I was in last week, but I can't find it now." She offered to go back to see if they had any more. I asked her to grab anything else ruffly that looked like it might fit.

Thanks to Awesome Andrea and Magic Michelle at Highland Commons Lane Bryant (in Hudson, MA), I now have *two* ruffly skirts: The camo/floral one and a faux-distressed-leather dealie that makes me look like a fangirl for the Shadows. They are awesome.

So, in summary:
I like pink, ruffles, and sparkles.
I wear a size 17 or so skirt.
I wear women's size 12 shoes.
I'm thinking of changing my gender designator from "cismale" to "ruffleboy".

Current Mood: pretty punk

(3 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Thursday, November 10th, 2016
11:36 pm
Tonight's post has been delayed because I had to reteach myself how to use Gimp. So you get this cryptic Gratuitous Icon Post instead.

(Lie to me)

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
2:27 pm
Define "interesting"
When I decided a few months ago to watch Post-Apocalyptic films on election night, it seemed like a pretty fun gag. And as the mood dampened last night and the odds of HRC winning went from good to bad to desperate, I put the laptop away and watched the damn movies. Because there's one key thing that a good Post-Apocalyptic movie has: survival in the face of desperate circumstances.

America has handed the Republican Party control of all 3 branches of the Federal Government. Over the next four years, they will do everything in their power to destroy all progress made by the human race in the last 120 years. Equality, Education, Opportunity, Peace, Safety, Stability, Trust, the Environment, all of these things are in dire peril.

I never expected to make it to 30. I'd always feared that Millennial thinking would take over Conservative Christianity and that the rise of American Fascism would happen at the dawn of the 21st Century. But living through history is like the metaphorical boiled frog. Small incremental changes slow alter the political landscape until one day you wake up in a Totalitarian Dictatorship. But I'd decided long ago that I was going to dig in. That I would hunker down and help my fellow Americans succeed, survive, or escape, as things dictated.

I am in shock and horror and fear. But I will do what I can to help and protect my people no matter what comes. No matter the cost.

(3 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Monday, November 7th, 2016
3:56 pm
Well, that was fun
Crown Tournament was a blast. Anna and Brion decided to go old school and ran a straight-up Double Elimination Tournament, seeded by Order of Precedence. Now, we didn't have a 64-person tree (or 64 combatants), so we had to fudge a few things setting up the first round, but that's something only us MoLs ever saw. The Shield Tree Shields did their job and helped combatants, consorts, and populace see who was fighting who where. The Heralds did their job and told everyone who was fighting and who they were fighting for, and the Marshals did their job and helped ensure that every fight was clean and safe.

The trip home was not so happy as I was violently ill starting around midnight and lasting most of Sunday, so I only feel a little guilty about not posting over the weekend.

(Lie to me)

Friday, November 4th, 2016
11:55 pm
My resolve is weakening
So far, Doctor Strange has been getting rave reviews. It's been on my nix list due to the blatant racism in the casting decisions and I'm looking for ideas for penance to pay in lieu of a boycott. That way, I can make a clear decision in advance whether I think it's worth the blood price.

What do you recommend I donate and to whom to make up for any contributions I might make to Hollywood's Whitewashing?

(4 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
2:25 pm

(Lie to me)

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016
1:53 pm
I like to write, but I have difficulty motivating myself to do so at times. So while I have no overwhelming urge to write a novel at this time, I'm taking advantage of all my other friends' positive writing energy to get back in the habit of blogging again. I'm gonna try to post every day, although not every post will be Public, so be sure to login and friend me if you want to see them all.

I frequently have dreams while sleeping on the train, and some of them are dreams of me sitting on the train. Now the worst ones are ones where I'm dreaming I'm going the other way, which is always just rude of my subconscious, but this morning I dreamt I was sitting next to the Royal Chiropractor on the train. When the train pulled into the station, I pulled my gloves off and there was another pair of gloves underneath them. "I guess I'm still dreaming", I said, and then I woke up.

I used to be a lucid dreamer. I got out of the habit in college because, well, sleeping for pleasure becomes less of a thing when there are friends and classes and games and parties and and and...I'd like to see if I can get back in the habit now.

(Lie to me)

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
4:16 pm
This is not the post-Pennsic post. I will post the post-Pennsic post later. This is Invisibilia.Collapse )

Invisibilia (Latin for invisible things) is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.


(Lie to me)

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
3:38 pm
O Canada
I've been trying to get to a Canadian Crown Tournament for years. Every six months, the Kingdom of the East holds a Crown Tournament to determine the Heirs to the Throne. Then five months later, those Heirs are Crowned and a new Crown Tournament needs to be held. The tournament travels through each region of the Kingdom in turn. I've been to every Fall Crown Tournament since joining the SCA in 2006, but the Spring Crown Tournaments happen at the ends of the Kingdom, and I live in the middle. I've been to two Southern Crown Tournaments now, but Tir Mara has remained elusive. 2010 was a week before my wedding. 2012 was in Nova Scotia and both money and PTO were extremely tight. We almost made it in 2014, but we were already running a local event that day. Finally, on the last day of the 50th year of the SCA, I made it to Crown Tournament in Canada, and it was glorious.

Crown Tournament is one of my favorite events, and not just because I'm working to make it happen. Or, more precisely, it's because so many people are working to make it happen. The combatants and their consorts process into Court and are presented before the Crown. The shield heralds raise the combatants' heraldry for all to see. The field heralds announce each bout to great acclaim. The marshals work hard to keep the excitement and pressure from going to the combatants' heads. The list runners bring the results back to the Ministry of Lists, and we ministers move names on paper to figure out who's fighting who next. And the whole time, the Order of the Rose calls attention to great acts of chivalry (while also making sure to catch the winner's inspiration in case they faint).

We drove North to Montreal Friday night, having had a small snafu with the car, but otherwise proceeding apace. We got to Chateau de Robin around midnight and had a good time chatting, stretching, and decompressing until around 1:30.

Saturday, the weather was damn near perfect: sunny but not too hot, too windy, or too stifling. During the tournament itself, everything worked like clockwork. There were a few injuries and a few hotheads, but the marshals arranged for the occasional pause in the action to give the combatants a chance to cool down. And the winner? Duke Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon -- Knight, Laurel, and Pelican -- fighting for his wife, Duchess Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon -- Laurel, Pelican, Lion of Atenveldt, and Tyger of the East -- AKA two really big deal people in their 50s. Brion took all comers with courtesy, chivalry, grace, and a great deal of serenity.

We left the event only to drive immediately back. A group of local folks had lost a critical engine belt and we gave one a ride back to the event to try and get some help. We had dinner at a local restaurant with a lovely house wine and delicious poutine.

Sunday, we had a nice leisurely breakfast where Jeanne put up with my deliberate mispronunciations of french, packed the car, went shopping for wine, and then slowly made our way home.

(Lie to me)

Thursday, January 28th, 2016
11:43 pm
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
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)

[ << Previous 20 ]
Amazon.com Wishlist   About LiveJournal.com