Still here

A couple of people have remarked on my silence of late--I've posted only five journal entries in the past two weeks, and haven't been keeping up with email. Sorry about that. Nothing bad, just busy.

At this point I'm unlikely to manage to write up my yardwarming party (September 9) in detail. Suffice it to say that many cool people were there and it looked like most of them had a good time. I can't be sure of that, 'cause for most of the party I was so frantic running around dealing with food and such that I didn't get to exchange more than about one sentence with most of the guests. I know that hosting a party usually results in the host not getting much interaction with the guests, but this was significantly more fragmented and busy than I've been at any other party I've hosted. I've made a mental list of things to do and not to in future parties; not having the party overlap with dinnertime is number one on the list. Too much work, too much stress, even though Mary Anne and Twig and Kevin did the vast majority of the dinner-related work. (Arguably, most of the stress could be eliminated through better planning on my part, and having a clearer idea ahead of time of just how many people would be there--I think there may've been as many as 50 adults, and eight or ten kids, over the course of the evening.) Kam, too, helped a lot, as did a few others who I'm not going to try to list at this point. This unfortunately ended up being the first of several social events at my place lately in which I had to abandon the guests just as things were getting underway and go upstairs by myself to calm down a little; fortunately, various people took on hosting duties while I was absent.

. . . The best part of the party for me was Mary Anne dragging me off down the hall for a quick smooching break at one point. But it was also nice to see people from about six different social groups apparently mixing happily. (Including co-workers--while I was working at Macromedia, I used to invite co-workers to my parties, but none of them ever showed up; I was pleased that half a dozen of my current colleagues came to this.) And the yard, which under Twig's patient care is looking very nice indeed these days, received many compliments. Some day I will post Before and After photos.

It took a week or so to recover from that party, especially because that was also the time of the ear infection, which came shortly after a couple of weeks of having a fairly severe cold; there were also a couple of major work deadlines mixed in there, including the release of the Google data API JavaScript client library on Sept. 19. And Jim M. was in town for about a week, during which time we had a small boardgames evening and a roundsing (two more social events involving people eating dinner at my place, though less stressful than the party, and I got to be a much more active participant than I'd been at the party) and assorted hanging-out. Yay for Jim! Meanwhile, I finally caught up on my magazine reading, although I'm still behind on editing. And last week I finally caught up on performance-review stuff at work, only two or three weeks late.

And mixed in with all of that, there's one other big thing that's been taking up my time: planning for a roleplaying game.

I mentioned back in late August that Mary Anne had asked if I would run an RPG, and I said it seemed unlikely but I kept thinking about it anyway, and what with one thing and another it ended up happening. It's a four-episode tightly plotted storyline, featuring a set of modern-day characters gallivanting off into another world in search of a missing family member. The first session was yesterday; I thought it went pretty well, overall. My GMing skills are rusty--I think I haven't run a game since 2000--but I'm enjoying getting back into it. I have quite a lot of prep to do before the next session in two weeks, though.

I spent a while looking through boxes a couple weeks ago trying to find my dice, after I realized that I hadn't used them since before I moved into my current residence. No dice. Eventually, sometime last week, I had a couple of minutes and figured I would take one last look in the garage. There was a box out in plain view with some of Rob's stuff on top of it; the dice were obviously not in that box, but I wondered what was in it, so I opened it up--and sure enough, there were the dice. It was a big relief. It wasn't until after I found them that I realized that I could have gone and bought more at the comic shop a couple blocks away, or just used other people's; but I was glad it didn't come to that. I like my dice. I even still have a couple of my original D&D Basic Set (blue box) dice, though I haven't used them since about fifth grade because they're very cheap softish plastic, worn away in places, and I don't really trust them to still be fair.

What else? Kam and I have continued to watch Enterprise (I felt that "Stigma," the AIDS-analog + unrelated poly hijinx episode, was by far the best episode of the first season and a half; it could have been improved only by having had gay characters ever have appeared in any of the Trek series--I had to laugh when Archer said that among humans, prejudice had been stamped out a century earlier) (but mostly I'm not all that thrilled with the series) and Dr. Who (about which I want to write lots more, but for now I'll just say that Kam and I loved "Blink" (even if it falls apart if you think about it too much) and really loved "Utopia"), and Mary Anne and Kam and Naomi and I watched the first couple episodes of Torchwood last night (Mary Anne has posted some excellent Captain Jack images--I could watch that man all day).

(Added later: Also, finally saw Stardust, with Twig, a week or so back. I hated the first five minutes or so, but enjoyed the rest of it quite a lot; I'm inclined to say I liked it more than the book, though there were some things I was sad to see didn't make it into the movie.)

Unfortunately, in the midst of all this revelry and socializing and getting things done, I've remained off-kilter and irritable. I've snapped at people at work a few times lately, when they really didn't deserve it; I've snapped at friends who've tried to help out with various things; it doesn't take much to push me into the kind of mood where the only thing that will help is retreating to my room, turning off the lights, and listening to Talisman A Cappella's "Hombe" at high volume. It's amazing how soothing those bass voices are, even all these years after I first was soothed by hearing that song in an African-stuff store at Stanford Shopping Center while I was out shopping in a bad mood with Kam.

On the other hand, it also doesn't take much sometimes to push me into a good mood; I walked out the door the other morning on the way to work and ran into warm sunlight and grinned all the way to work.

So, still a little unstable, I guess. Definitely on a more even keel than a couple of weeks ago, though. And I won't be hosting any major social events (other than game sessions) for probably another month or two, so that should also help relax me.

So all in all, things are mostly pretty good. But busy.

And speaking of busy, I really have to go edit now.

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