Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Hate Shoveling Snow

I'm home, again, for the holidays. It's not much of a change for me. But it does mean that I'm in the old family house where I grew for the first time since my childhood dog died. And it's, well, it's strange. With the cat also gone from earlier in the year, it's the first time in as long as I've been alive that my mother has absolutely no pets at all to call her own. There's an emptiness to it. Like a hole. A stillness, a silence, like the noise you've only noticed because it's stopped. Doors open that would have been closed. Bowls, beds, that had held their place for years gone and, knowing my mother, stored away. And, yeah, I kinda wish she was around because it's a lonely place without that presence of another living thing.

Going to be a sucky Christmas this year, I think. But preparations are well underway. Furniture has been polished, carpets steamed, walls washed as we ready for the rest of our family to descend on us like a swarm of locusts hungry for appetizers. It's just going to be weird because we've finally gotten to the point where we've split to the winds. Enough having moved on, moved elsewhere, or otherwise gone through life changing events that what I think of as the whole family just isn't going to be there. But my brother will be, having hopefully made the flight from the coast if the weather permits, so there's that at least.

As for how things went in-game last night, I think I did alright. Got all four of the characters I was trying to get through GW:EN through most of the Asuran cycle. Didn't quite manage to get it done before exhaustion and a cranky internet connection made me quit for the night but everyone's through Gadd's and Oola's and a few are up to the annoying GOLEM mission where you have to defend two points from a Destroyer assault (There is, of course, a trick to it if you're trying to hench it. If you skip talking to the quest guy at the start you scan slip out the side and take on the Destroyers who are standing around waiting politely to start tearing into your flesh with their molten claws and wipe them out before the starting bell rings. You have to deal with a few more charging into your base afterwards but it's not as hard as it is otherwise. Beats how I wound up doing it with my Monk, anyway. Which was, namely, to bring two Paras, a Monk Hero, three offensive henchies - I forget which but I'm guessing Talon and Zho, and, uh, someone who isn't Cynn, I hope, along with another Monk. Flagging the Heroes in one spot and the henchies in the other and then running back and forth between the two as needed. Post LoD-nerf, too, so I think I was doing some kind of prot/heal thing that wasn't really very effective.). They've all got all the Charr and Norn stuff out of the way and that just least a few quests and the Heart of the Shiverpeaks and the final confrontation with the Great Destroyer. Considering I only got a few hours, stolen in bits and pieces over the course of the event, I'll live with it.

I'm not in any great hurry to continue and get it done, either. I think, instead, that it's time to work on tracking down some of those PvE skills - the Ebon Vanguard wards look promising for my Ele, for one, and I must have Pain Inverter on everything or I feel like less of a man. Or I could go back and work on some other things like hard mode or protector tracks or rep grinding or what have you. At the moment, though, I think I'm going to take a break and rest up in advance of what's sure to be a ton of playtime during Wintersday.

In news of other projects that, very likely, only I really care about, here's how things are going on the next novel. I'll admit I've been slacking off the past week or so thanks to everything going on. And since we're on the slow to glacial pace I move at on my own, that means I'd been pretty well stalled out. But it's never been very far from my thoughts. I want to do this and I'm building up to it. I'm going to jot down some thoughts once I get done here, in fact, and that should put preproduction back on track.

I've also discovered that the Script Frenzy is scheduled this year for April instead of June. Which is just awful for me as I anticipate being insanely busy then instead of being in the lull of a summer vacation with nothing better to do than crank up the AC and write my brains out. But with only four months to plan, I need to start generating something like an idea of what to write.

Also, I was talking to my aunt the other day. She's one of those people who volunteers to help out with elections. The staff at the poling places who...do whatever it is the staff at those places do when they're not, in my experience, standing around looking disinterested and passing out stickers like you gave blood or something (Which is not, I repeat, not to say that I think those people are doing something less than a necessary and important bit of civic duty. Just that it's governmental work and, as usual, it features a lot of inefficiency.). Once it became a trainwreck I pretty much stopped paying attention to it.

Long story short, the Democratic side of things doesn't matter because the national committee are being a bunch of pricks, half the candidates have pulled out, and the in-state members of the party are split about what, exactly, they're trying to accomplish here. So, you know, politics as usual and actually going out and voting in it will be even more inconsequential than usual because your vote, literally, won't really count. The Republicans are motoring on and thanks to the peculiarities of the Michigan system, it's an open primary and practically anyone can vote in the one of their choice. Meaning, I think, that a lot of Dems are going to forget about their own contest to muddy the water for their opponents (It's how we wound up going for McCain in 2000, after all.) rendering that decision pointless as well. I'm tempted to do it myself but, honestly, at this point I can't stomach the idea of approving any of the Republican candidates even as a "least objectionable" choice. I think I'd go to pull the lever and it would melt away from my hand or something.

But she reminded me that, hey, Michigan's holding its primary in, like, four weeks. And I should probably start paying attention. she says the big thing now is absentee ballots. Namely, that because the date was moved up the election officials might not be able to get all the ballots out and back in time for them to be properly counted. Lots of scrambling and CYA going on, in other words. And it's just one more big mess in what's increasingly become a series of mistakes. But, hey, our primary system is broken and we need to fix it and if this helps then I'm all for it.

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