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

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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 )

(7 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
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
November 22
November 23
November 28
November 29
November 30
December 5
December 6
December 7

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

I want to watch at a reasonable pace
I want to rock and roll all night and party every day
I have an iron butt, let's do this!

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)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the entire first season)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the second season so far)
The Avengers
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America: The First Avenger
Other M.C.U. film that I own (see below)
Other M.C.U. film that I hope someone else owns (see below)
Marvel One-Shots

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
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. 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?


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

All of it
Just the Good Parts
You watch all of it, I'll sleep in

Plans AhoyCollapse )

(5 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

5:22 am
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.


(Lie to me)

Friday, February 7th, 2014
3:27 pm
Before Science. Before History.
Long ago, a scholar in a remote monastery began the work of translating an ancient text, which foretold the rise and fall of the level of magic in the world. And at its crest, the barriers to other dimensions would thin, and beings of unspeakable evil would be able to cross over into our world and lay waste to it. These beings became known as Horrors, and that time became known as the Scourge. The people of the world built massive underground fortresses to hide civilization from the Scourge and wait until the surface became safe again.

It didn't. The magic level began to drop and then mysteriously stabilized. Explorers were sent out, and they discovered a world transformed. It was inhabited by strange creatures they had never seen before, plants and animals that had barely scraped by, and populated still with Horrors. It has been a hundred years since the doors were reluctantly opened. It is an age of legend, as brave heroes explore the jungles, reclaim the land, and combat the Horrors.


This is the world of Earthdawn, my favorite fantasy RPG. Why is the wilderness filled with wandering creatures? Why are there dungeons full of monsters and magical treasure? Where does magic come from? How does a magic sword become a magic sword? Earthdawn began by taking a cold hard look at all the classic tropes of fantasy role playing and said "If this is what makes for a fun game, can't we at least come up with a world where all of this makes sense?" The setting is designed to bring sense to these fantasy tropes, and the system is designed to reinforce the setting.

The rules are slick, combining the best strengths of level-based and skill-based systems. The world-building is spectacular. It sucks you down into the Age of Legend to battle with evil and rebuild a shattered world. Earthdawn Fourth Edition is currently being funded via Kickstarter and I encourage all lovers of fantasy to take a look.


(2 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Monday, August 5th, 2013
8:28 pm
*#^!&#$% SUP
In their never-ending quest to drive people away from livejournal, SUP has no restricted going older on your flist to 100 entries - it used to be thousands. If anybody posted anything of note in July, please comment here so I can find it (comments screened).

(6 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Monday, July 15th, 2013
12:55 pm
Pennsic Panic
There are really only two weeks a year when all of my clothes are clean: The week immediately before, and the week immediately after, Pennsic. There's this moment where the rising tide of clean laundry crests like a wave about to curl, as more and more of it is clean, but I'm not quite ready to start packing, so my drawers fill with pants and underwear, my hangars fill with shirts, my shelves are bursting at the seams with towels.

I have a lot of clothes. Souvenir t-shirts, souvenir polo shirts, work shirts, work pants, dress pants, jeans, suits, formalwear, costume pieces, sca garb...This year, during the post-Pennsic laundry binge, my goal is to cull the clothes that are no longer in sufficient repair to bother keeping and to mark the leftmost shirts and such. Then, next year, I can fill in from the right and cull all of the clothes that I haven't worn for a year.

Also, I think I need to rotate out my black socks after this year. Most of them are looking rather grey.

(1 sympathetic lie | Lie to me)

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
2:35 pm
On Death
I continue to feel really, really weird when people post death notices of prominent SCAdians on SCA-related facebook pages, email lists, livejournals, etc. I thought perhaps my feelings might change when someone I knew died, but they did not. I feel really voyeuristic, almost offended that I'm receiving information I feel is private. Yet I don't feel this way when a "famous person" dies. Thoughts?

(Lie to me)

Friday, May 31st, 2013
12:58 pm
What's in a name?
I'm working on a LARP Character, and I'm puzzling my puzzler with coming up with a good name. It needs to say "I'm of Scandinavian Descent" but also "I'm from Middle America". It needs to be ethnic, but not too. I'm not overly concerned about meaning or symbolism for this name, but for reference: He's a bit of a misanthrope, but a team player. He's a physical education teacher who wants to reach out to his students: the couch potatoes, the dumb jocks, the loners, the social butterflies, and teach them to challenge their preconceived notions about how to tackle problems and achieve their goals, and maybe avoid poisoning themselves or getting pregnant. Also, he's a werewolf.

Poll #1916669 What's in a name?

What should I name my character?

Eric Nealson
Neil Ericsson
Eric Larsson
Ticky Box!
Other (see comments)

(12 sympathetic lies | Lie to me)

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
10:32 pm
Character death was not the only big thing to go on during my weekend. Sunday was the Boston Netrunner Regional Tournament. Netrunner was originally released as an Asymmetrical Collectible Card Game back in 1996. The "Asymmetrical" part comes from the fact that there are two players: The Corporation and the Netrunner. The Runner is trying to break into the Corp's servers and steal the plans to their secret projects. The Corp is trying to keep the Runner out long enough to launch their secret projects. It was rereleased last year as a Living Card Game, which is basically the same thing only the distribution model is a little kinder to players.

I had mixed feelings going into this tournament. Most of the times I played this game, my gameplay blew up rather spectacularly during the first game, which can be pretty lethal in a tournament. I was also unsure of how many people were going to be there. The Game Nights at Pandemonium tended to cap out at 7 people, and had seemed to be petering out. Meanwhile, the stresses of my commute have been getting to me and I had not spent much time deckbuilding, nor had I played any online matches since March.

The Tournament Organizer himself wasn't sure who was showing up, and said he'd be happy if we were able to break even on the prize support ($20/person for 16 people or $10/person for 32 or more). We had 47. Pandemonium, normally largely occupied by Magic: The Gathering players, was packed with Netrunners, some of which I knew, many of which I had at least met, but many of whom were brand new to me (One of my opponents had come all the way up from Long Island).

Most of my games are a blur at this point - Netrunner is a game of bluffing, misdirection, and information control, and there are a number of strong deck archetypes that I saw repeatedly throughout the day. One thing that is not a blur, though, was that I was doing well. With 47 people, we had six Swiss Seeding rounds before a cut to the top 8 for a Single Elimination bracket to determine the overall winner. In the first five rounds, my worst score was a draw.

One of the quirks of the Swiss Tournament format is that, in the last round, you can reach a situation where actually playing the game hurts your standing. If my sixth round opponent and I came to a draw, we were both in the top 8. If one of us was badly beaten by the other, he could get knocked out, and the winner would have had only a minor advancement in place to compensate for it. The risk (and more importantly the stress) wasn't worth the effort, so we declared an Intentional Draw.

Sadly, in my first elimination round, I was quickly trounced and out of the tournament, but I walked away with some nifty prizes and the realization that yes, I am rather good at this game and had not been wasting my time (completely) and that I'm getting much better about controlling myself when profoundly nervous (the secret is Ginger Ale).

(Lie to me)

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