mneme: (Default)
"I used incense and now there's a cloud of dust around me. Is this normal?"

"If I throw a ball, can I get it back?"

"Where do balls go when I throw them?"

"How do berries work?"

"Why are there clouds of flowers everywhere? Is everyone else just made of money? Or is there some source for flowers I don't know about?"

"Is it true that you can find more water creatures near water? I found some carp and crabs on the dock. But I can't find any creatures in the water; is that right?"

"Why are there always so many rats and bats around?"

"Can I change my clothes? I've been walking around in the same clothes for days, and I'm getting bored with them, but if there's a way, I don't know how to do it."

"I've got great balls. Should I save them until things get hard? Or should I try to use them on everything to save time?"

"Can I use gyms to get stronger? Or do I need to get stronger somewhere else and only go back to a gym when I'll be the strongest one there?"

"What happens if your're actively doing something in a gym when another team takes it over? Is it easier to take over a gym or to go there to train?"

"I know how to take pictures, but how do I find them and look at them afterwards?"

"Are there ways to get money without spending money on it?"

(Mostly a collaboration between YT and [livejournal.com profile] drwrong)
mneme: (Default)
I kinda dashed it off, but so it goes.

Trying to Forget

I gorge on poppies, stamens down to roots.
They fill me up, and yet I do not sleep.
My magic spent on hats and jumping boots,
But in my mind, the fears and doubts still creep.
I know my past: my sisters, ere the fall
(Despite my pain, my eyes no longer weep)
Before their deaths, that we created all.
I wish for death, and so this tea I steep.
Forgetfulness can't last, but it might ease
The weight of all this past, but it's not cheap:
My eyes, my magic, bounties that might please,
The folk of Oz, but truly it's no leap
To see that it's my sorrow that's the cause
Of everything that's wonderful (and terrible) in Oz.

Prompts: What's most recently been happening in the Namesakes webcomic (http://namesakecomic.com/comic/trying-to-forget), and the first post, "Forgetfulness, sleep, poppies...", which I decided to take as a poetry prompt.

(Edit to fix the punctuation and clean it up a bit; the original poem was very much a single stream of consciousness in less then 10 minutes, with occasional pauses to find a rhyme word).
mneme: (Default)
So, I was asked by an acqaintance if I had any reccomendations for magical girl anime/manga. Since I've been (in between everything -else- I've been doing), working on a magical girl Apocalypse World game (with some collaborators, who have been doing great work while I'm in a fallow "working on everything but" period), I wrote back...maybe a bit too much. Fortnately I'm tired, or I might not have stopped at 5 recomendations.

Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon are in some ways the best and most central of those I've seen. Sailor Moon of course established the "Magical Girl fighting" manga/anime genre; Cardcaptor is very different in many ways (it's Clamp, for one thing; one of their few non-tragic series), but in both cases, the series brilliantly mix home life, school life, and the magical world, making all of them important, and in both series, love is central. Cardcaptor is pretty long; around 72 episodes for the first two seasons [which are really one story]; Sailor Moon is super-long, with something like 300 episodes over 5 seasons, but they use the length not just for variable length stock footage transformation/attack sequences (actually, Sailor Moon does this a lot; Cardcaptor goes against type and comes up with an excuse for the heroine's costume to change every episode, so while the poses are stock, the outfit is different every time), but for building up character development and relationship notes that can be gloriously cashed in later. Of course, every series has its own arc and mini-arcs within those, but there are definately notes that are saved up until the end before being cashed in.

Nanoha is a very odd but good mix; a series that's designed for an adult audience despite fairly young protagonist. It's still basically about love, but they spend a lot more attention than the average making the fight scenes and magic make in-world sense rather than just moral/emotional sense. It has 3 series; each one has its own unities, but each is very different from the next; in the first, you've got a semi-typical "young girl gets powers, alies" opening; but in the second the relationships are all mixed up and it's more of a mystery plot. In the third series, the main characters are grown up and training their own proteges, so the action is bigger and the training and secondary characters get to take more central stage, while the established characters show off their more mature strengths and get to act against powerful foes while they are at their peak, rather than the more typical "growth character faces off against dark lord; wins via luck, aid, and moral certitude".

Madoka and Revolutionary Girl Utena are great examples of the postmodern side of the genre. Madoka is very short, very dark, and brilliant; there's not that much more I can say about it without spoilers, but it's great on many levels. Revolutionary Girl Utena is...the emotional side of the genre broken down to its base level; from its central genderfuck (key premise: A young girl is saved by a prince; she grows up to teenager-hood and decides she will accomplish her goal in emulation: She will become a prince too!), to the core formula of someone's central emotional crisis resulting in them challenging Utena to a duel, which, naturally, is far more about arguments and metaphor than actual swordplay.
mneme: (Default)
So as long as I'm doing a touch of backed up blogging before doing the necessary things (which is to say, upgrading our cleaning supplies and other things hilight by the recent plumbing disaster; see the last post), I might as well do a short con report -- because Rainbowcon, last weekend, was -amazing-.

Steve Savitsky and company held a tiny house filk convention (a tiny convention; not a tiny house; just to be clear; the convention was in the house) last weekend. I'd known about it for a year, after it was announced in the wake of the wedding in the same site last year, but we'd dragged our heels on committing, given that it was across the country and also likely to be tiny. And it was going to be expensive, given that it was fairly last-min, and we were low on cope after our move. On the other hand, I'd been an unofficial advisor, encouraging the organizers to go super-low on programming to accomidate the gap in "filk relaxacons" that can let filkers hang out together without a lot of must-make programming.

And you know? It was -amazing-, and I'm glad we went. The con guests were Decadent Dave Clement (who I admit I've always been somewhat intimidated by, but who is -amazing-, both personally and as a performer) and Tim and Annie Walker (who we've seen back and forth at different filk cons over the years when our across-the-pond paths crossed, and got to connect with, finally, at Loncon in 2014.

We decided to go out on stupid-early Friday morning (ie, a 4AM flight, without more than an hour of sleep between us before the flight), so we spent a bunch of time recovering before making it over to the con itself; at the con, I voted in (and was mostly outvoted, which was fair, since I didn't attend much programming) the programmed workshops, had something dinner-ish (con-provided in the excellent kitchen con suite by Colleen; extremely impressive given that it was, for most, a free con), listened to, danced to, and sang from the audience at Dave's concert, then chatted and socialized until the evening filk -- a modified poker chip bardic where you got three chips (blue > red > white x 2), and weren't limited to not using your later colors until after the early colors were used up; instead, earlier colors were higher priority and would "trump" later colors, but you had to use your colors in order rather than saving your blue chip until you -really- wanted to go. I loved this format, and loved this circle, however short; we'd intended to tuck in early, but as it happened we ended up sticking around until we'd each used up, IIRC, 3 chips (ie, gone 3 times) and it was after 1AM.

On Saturday, we slept in (this might be a pattern), missing the early workshop session; I don't remember much of this session, but I know it involved a Stan Rogers singalong by Dave, Annie leading a vocal/harmony workshop (where I decided to sing soprano--because I could (the soprano part was pretty low and my head voice is reasonably strong) and because we were heavy on basses and tenors and light on sopranos, Tim and Annie's excellent concert (we didn't dance as much as we had at Dave's concert, but this was mostly due to being too relaxed), much socializing and food, and the evening concert (which was a bit of a low-ebb, although still pleasant; it started late enough that the announced format; cats cradle, was way overkill; we barely had enough performers to maintain a chaos filk, so we mostly never got a queue of more than 2 people (and that only by effort), and eventually stopped passing around the yarn ball entirely before the filk ended.

Sunday? Sunday, well, we also slept in (who didn't see this one coming?), and hung around, mostly chatting with a bit of filking, until the jam/closing ceremonies started. The Jam was a lot of fun; we had just enough instrumentalists that it was solid, but not so many that it felt like (as you do at OVFF) that you're lost in the crowd and your individual contribution cannot be heard, much less be a full part of the ouvre. We'd planned at this point to slink into the night, since we had a red-eye going back to NYC (after all, this is how I manage other-coast conventions without losing more days of work than I want to), but it turned out that the dead dog dinner was near the airport, so we were able to spend a precious few more hours with people before we had to drop off our bags and wait for our plane (particularly Stephen Schwartz, who I've been second order connected to for -years-, but only briefly bumped into at a few events for the last 18 years or so we've known the other exist; also planning to do a 4 player online Fiasco game that we really should set up and plane).

Will we be back next year? Well, it's still an open question; a lot depends on how Contata planning is going; we'll either be at the end of our rope or really, really need the break, I'm guessing. But assuming we have the budget? Absolutely. When you get down to it, this tiny con gives you -more- than you get from a larger con. Of course, if enough people decide that this is a good idea, maybe some day it won't be as small a con, but as long as the concept stays largely the same it will likely have a lot more of a "small con" vibe than a con that's designed to be a larger filk convention cut down a few sizes (like the NEfilks, which as much as I love them, tend to go with "yes please" on programming).

Pros: Yes, there are some. With an intimate setting like this, you get to spend more time with more of them individually, so there's less of "traveling to hang out with people you hang out with all the time"). The hosts were amazing and gracious. The con was in many ways far more relaxed than a larger con (even GaFilk, which tries to be as "filk reclaxicon as it can given its size) can ever be. I had lots of chances to also rock a shaker egg and my bass voice (I even ended up walking over near Dave, who was singing a bass line on a song, at one point, so we could hear each other better and choose different lines) rather than accidentally colliding all the time)

Cons: Yes, it was one. Next year there will probably be a slightly smoother way of disseminating the program, since there was one even if it was relatively minimal. I brought my little harpsicle SE, rather than a fiddle--which would normally be the right decision except that as I'd forgotten, they'd rented a lovely 36 string Dusty Strings for Annie which she was totally willing to let me use whenever she wasn't using it, so if I'd brought a fiddle I'd have been able to play fiddle -and- harp as appropriate. It was too short, and we weren't able to attend the dead dog filk. On my way out of the dead dog, I had a brain fart and forgot Dave's name (because my brain does stuff like this), so ended up skipping over saying goodbye (and circled back and did so a minute or so later after my secondary search engine had gone online and searched, appropriately, against "Decadent.")); whooops/ack.

My morning

May. 7th, 2016 02:51 pm
mneme: (Default)
Woke up at 10AM--had a rest of three or four hours.
Woke up at 10AM--was just pulled out of my bower,
I wished I was sleepin'--or at least wearing shoes,
I've got the backed up plumbing, first floor apartment blues.

I started bailing; filling up buckets and plastic cans,
Yeah, I started bailing, gross as it was, it all-hands,
It was unavailing--I was Sisyphus--doomed to lose,
It was the backed-up plumbing, first floor apartment blues.

I thought it was our fault--that we'd left the water on,
Yeah, I thought it was our fault; our home insurance would be gone,
Then I saw the bathtub, it looked just like a big loo,
We had the backed-up plumbing, first floor apartment blues.

We called the super, he took one look and went away.
Yeah, called the super, but with our problem he wouldn't stay,
I cursed that pooper, then it flowed like a transfus-ion
He'd cleared the blockage--that caused our first-floor blues.

It wasn't over--the floor was covered in dirt,
No, it wasn't over; my back was starting to hurt,
He brought back a hoover, and sucked up most of that dread stew,
It was finally ending, our backed-up plumbing blues,
All done, but the cleaning--our backed-up pluming, first floor apartment blues.

....


Yeah, this morning was a bit interesting. I knew people said that first floor apartments were prone to flooding, but nobody mentioned the idea that it wasn't -outside- flooding you had to worry about (we're actually above the garage, so that's not such a big deal for us) as that you're the early warning signal when the plumbing goes haywire. Also, gross.
mneme: (Default)
Since nobody else seems to have beaten me to the punch (and why not? Even if his sex life is none of our business, his platform -makes- it our business, as do his Princess Bride impressions):


People keep wondering how Cruz got 5 women to sleep with him that weren't his wife. I'm guessing he took Miracle Pills. Or maybe they had the wine in front of him (Sorry, tried really hard to not make this a rape joke, but it writes itself :( )

Cruz keeps talking about "family values." I do not think those words mean what he thinks they mean.

Before this scandal broke, Cruz's campaign was only mostly dead. Now the only thing we can really do is go through it's pockets for loose change. Like these jokes.
mneme: (Default)
Inspired by a line from [personal profile] satyrblade

This song is -shamelessly- political. And decidedly time-bound, but hey, now's the time.

March, 2016 ("We're gonna miss him")
© 2016 Joshua Kronengold
(to the tune of "You're gonna miss me", Lulu and the Lampshades)

Obama's got less than a year to go,
Some people think he's on his way.
And I sure would like to send a lot of company,
Send some congress with him for the U-S-A.

When he's gone,
When he's gone,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone,
We'll miss his jokes made with aplomb,
We'll miss his air of peace and calm,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone.

Me and my friends are registered to vote,
For those that we like both old and new,
We've got ones who make us shiver,
We've got ones who makes us quiver,
But I sure wish we had Obama too,

When he's gone,
When he's gone.
We're gonna miss him when he's gone.
It's been a lovely seven years,
It's been full of right-wing tears,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone

The primary race has been a lot of fun,
With too many double-takes to list,
We've got a race that's kind of tight,
And a clown-car on the right,
But it's not for them that I sing this song,

When he's gone (when he's gone)
When he's gone (when he's gone)
We're gonna miss him when he's gone.
We'll miss the way he fills a tux,
And the year he gave no...buckets,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone.

When he's gone,
When he's gone,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone,
We'll miss his jokes made with aplomb,
We'll miss his air of peace and calm,
We're gonna miss him when he's gone.

Moved

Jan. 13th, 2016 03:00 pm
mneme: (Default)
I am now a home-owner. Or co-op owner, or whatever. (still in Woodside)

Ok, to be fair, [personal profile] drcpunk and I were homeowners as of sometime November -- but it didn't feel real until tonight, when we were finally, finally moved into the new place sufficiently that we could sleep there, use the internet; all the necessities (this morning, the Internet's not working again, but that's the kind of ache and pain I'm used to dealing with on occasion, and it sounds like a technician is working on it (ETA before posting: Well, sort of. RR messed up the cable modem move big time, and so while we have some internet at the new place, we have a lot of random redirects to a site we can't usefully access. They're giving us a small credit and predicting 1-3 days in engineering (after a level 3 support person worked on it for a while before escallating it) before a fix).

It's the usual thing: The old place still has lots of detritus of our life there we'll need to retrieve, but it's now a largely managable problem; the new place is full of boxes.

On the other hand, we were apparently at the old place since 1999. We moved out in 2016 -- so around 16 or 17 years. That's a long. long time--and we had an accumulation of stuff (including stuff we had to decide that time had passed by long since) and history that is hard to let go of. But...the new place is quite a lot better. More space, more storage space; most walls are concrete rather than drywall, 9-10' ceilings rather than the 8.5' of the old place, ground floor in an elevator building (not a third floor walk-up), 5 minutes (rather than 8) walk from the subway, dishwasher and a laundry room right outside rather than no dishwasher and a laundrymat two blocks away; a few other amnenities from it being a more newly renovated home.

There are some wrinkles. The cable thing, plus there's a socket that doesn't seem to work which is inconvenient, plus while the place is very warm (overall a bonus) in winter, it might almost be too warm (we turned on the ceiling fan in the bedroom last night to somewhat counteract the heat). But we should be able to entertain more, and by being in a more permanent residence, we -should- feel free to make more modifications that make our lives easier without worrying that we will soon abandon all we've built when we move (or that the landlord will object). And from everything we've heard so far, it's a heck of a lot quieter.

Special thanks to [profile] jlighton and Sarah J for their exemplary and beyond the call of duty help with the move, including multiple nights over after helping pack, stage, and pre-move things in order to make space for the large number of boxes we needed to complete the move -- as well as the many, many other people who showed up to help out. We are blessed.
mneme: (Default)
We didn't celebrate Chanukah much this year; I think the only candle-lighting we attended was Ellen's, at the NYRSF holiday reading. I did purchase dark chocolate Chanukah gelt and shared it, mostly too late -- and I also got some US money bags of gelt that we're still going through very slowly (and also some blue Ingress NYC Resistance gelt coins that someone comissioned for the NYC Resistance holiday party). And, as the previous post showed, I designed another Dreydl game (I did eventually find a dreydl in our house; a disk design that we inherited from Lisa's father, but I'm not happy with how it spins, so I might want to get more standard tops to test with).

For December 24, we did the usual Julebord at Aquevit (we don't celebrate Christmas, but do occasionally celebrate Yule, and have habitually attended the Dec 24 Julebord for the last 10 years or so with a gathering of friends who were doing it for longer). It's a very traditionally Scandanavian Julebord -- a buffet with 9+ preparations of pickled herring, various kinds of preserved salmon, cheeses, a small selection of traditional scandanavian hot foods (Janeson's temptation, sweedish meatballs, ribs, a roast meat), venison, and a shameless selection of deserts.

Every year over the past few, people have complained about how the board was getting worse -- not bad eough not to do it next year, but enough that it was noticably worse than the glory days when the group first did it. Not this year, though -- apparently, the old head chef of the resturuant has retired, and this year the new head chef (formerly the desert chef for Aquevit) was in charge of the whole board. She changed some things -- specifically, she went almost entirely to smaller portions, but more variety (except for the rollmops; a herring preparation that by necessity can't really be shrunk), which everyone really appreciated, and the much greater variety in foods on offer couldn't but be appreciated by the crowd. As it happens, when I asked about the changes, she was standing and looking at people taking from the buffet, so I went over and contratulated/praised her -- and later, she went over and greeted our table (and got praise and congratulations from the table, which contained Lisa and I, who have been doing this for about a decade, Rich and Anne, who have done it maybe 2-5 times before, two new attendees, and Stephen Tihor and his wife, Kate (Kate's only done it maybe two times before, since before that she had to work Christmas eve as nurses don't get a lot of rest; we went over after the meal a few times to visit and comminsurate with her; Stephen has been there the entire time, of course, maybe 15+ times in all if not more).

For New Years eve, we went to our now traditional party, and I prepared a honey apply Tiramisu (with no coffee or alcohol). The party was a bit lower keyed than it's been in the past; there was a lower invite list than usual, and enough friends that don't see one another often that we mostly talked rather than playing games (I did get a few rounds of Code Words in, though; a game that's been going around where in each round, one person on each side takes the role of the spy master -- who tries to guide their team to select the words which represent the team's agents while avoiding opposing agents, innocent bystanders, and, worst of all (and triggering an instant round loss) the assassin -- using a single word and a number each turn as their only communication to their teams). Probably just as well, given that at a party by the same hosts a few months ago, the game playing turned to disaster, as someone left an open container of punch on the table right next to a large, long, cardboard-chit filled, and expensive game--which I proceeded to knock over on my way back in onto the game midway through. Not an experience I wish to repeat (and which, combined with a play-through of the new Dominion expansion a few months later which also occasioned a spilled drink, made me much more willing to enforce a "no open containers of liquid near the games" rule in general when I play. I wasn't all that pleased by the apple honey tiramisu -- I added some cinnamon on top which I thought overpowered the more subtle apple and honey flavors, and it didn't really have enough time before serving for the cookies to reach a proper moist consistency (I prepared it early afternoon, and hoped the two hours in the fridge after we arrived would be enough to put it over the edge)--plus I regretted not putting more of the homemade apple sauce (chopped, but not peeled gala apples, stewed for an hour or two while doing the other preparations, with just a touch of honey put into the mix, and then boiled almost to the point of the liquid boiling out, and slightly mashed after softening) into the dish rather than just using it as the dipping sauce for the lady fingers--but most of the tray was still gone by the time we left, so clearly not everyone agreed with me.

New Years day, we went (as we have for the last 2-3 years, I think) to the Neilsen Hayden's party--bringing a new apple tiramisu that repaired all the flaws I had with the first one (honey on top, not cinnamon, prepared the night before, the entire remainder of the apple sauce used to dip and flavor the ladyfingers and the remainder used as a layer on its own), as well as a more traditional tiramisu with kaluha, fresh coffee, and cocoa, which got praise from, of all people, Ellen Datlow. It was a lot of fun, with munches and conversations with both close friends and people in the publishing industry (and sometimes people who are both, like Moshe Feder).
mneme: (Default)
Last year, I wrote (and as far as I know, nobody has ever played, including me) Dreydl to Go -- a straightforward adapation of the traditional Dreydl game that's designed to contain actual gameplay (rather than a completely new game with radically different elements). The primary features of Dreidl are:

1. It's a gambling game.
2. the meanings of the four letters (great, ok, nothing happens, lose).
3. It can be played with a single dreydl that's passed around.

This all seems to lend itself to a push your luck game, where the primary decision you're making is how many times to spin the dreydl, given shifting circumstances.

This year, predictably enough, there are still Jewish gamers who still think that Dreydl is a boring non-game (unsurpisingly; it is) and want people to come up with a plausible alternative. So I feel inspired:

War of Lights

A simple war game, played with a Dreydl, a napkin, and 9 distinct Gelt per player.

You need:

Each player should take 9 gelt of the same color. If you don't have 9 distinct gelt for each player, you can mark them by dripping wax onto the foil, marking them distinctly with a knife -- or simplify slightly by only having each player have five gelt (placed as a horizontal cross).

Everyone also takes a napkin and divides it into 9 squares (ie, in thirds, both ways). Put one piece of gelt on each square of your napkin. All other players do the same.

Terms:
Your napkin is your base.
The center is your spawn point.
Your 4 corners are the exit/entry points.

The game is played in turns (to determine who goes first, have everyone spin the dreydl. The person who spins best (gimmel > hey > nun > shin) goes first; on a tie, the tied players spin again.

On your turn, you can do one of:

1. Move cross-napkin from a corner square to any matching opponent's corner square (1,1 to an opponent's 1,1, etc)
2. Move any piece of yours on a napkin
3. A safe Spawn (on your own napkin).
4. A risky Spawn (on your own napkin).

Moving

Moves are horizontal, diagonal, or corner to matching corner.

Whenever you move into an occupied square, spin the dreydl:

Gimel: eliminate the attacked piece, and your piece must move into the space it occupied.
Hey: eliminate the attacked piece, and your piece does not move.
Nun: Push. Nothing happens.
Shin: The attacking piece is eliminated.

Safe spawns:

To safely spawn, you must either have two pieces on opposite sides of your unoccupied center square (spawn point), and have fewer than your starting number of pieces. Take one of your eliminated pieces and place it on your spawn point.

To riskily spawn, you must have at least one piece adjacent to your spawn point, have fewer than your starting number of pieces, and spin the dreydl.

Gimmel: Spawn a piece on your spawn point, and you may move it to an adjacent empty square.
Hey: Spawn a piece on your spawn point.
Nun: Nothing happens.
Shin: The spawning piece is eliminated (parthinogenesis is risky).

A player is eliminated once they have no pieces left.

The winner of the game is the first player who occupies all (or two if there are more than 3 players in the game) opposing spawn points, or is the last player who still has pieces left.

Obviously, this game is loosely inspired by Andy Looney's Martian Coasters.
mneme: (Default)
Because [personal profile] technoshaman claimed that Let it Go was going to end up "like Band from Argo"...


Banned from Frozen
ttto "Boston Burglar" (trad) as learned from Leslie Fish's Banned from Argo

The snow is glowing brightly, not a footprint to be seen,
A land of isolation, and it looks like I'm the queen,
The wind is howling loudly, like the storm that swirls inside,
I couldn't ever keep it in, and heaven knows I tried,

So I will let it go and let it roar,
Yes I will let it go, I cannot hold back any more,
I care not what they're gonna think or what they're gonna say,
I'm never bothered by cold, anyway,

It's funny how some distance seems to make things feel so small,
And the fears that once controlled me, they can't get to me at all,
So now it's time for freedom, and to see what I can do,
I am beyond both right and wrong, the limits I'll break through,

So I will let it go, become the sky,
Yes I will let it go, and you will never see me cry,
It's here that I am gonna stand, and here that I will stay,
I'm never bothered by cold, anyway,

My power flurries through the air, and flows into the ground,
And my soul is spiralling in fractals all around,
Then suddenly one thought turns clear, just like an icy blast,
I'm never, ever going back, the past is in the past,

So I will let it go, rising like dawn,
Yes I will let it go, for good that perfect girl is gone,
Let the storm rage on, for here I stand in-the light of day,
I'm never bothered by cold, anyway,
mneme: (Default)
There's earlier version of this song earlier in my feed, but since made a few changes prior to singing this as an argument at the Business Meeting, after being recognized, as an argument at the World Science Fiction Society at the 73rd Worldcon, on the motion of the same name.

The Five Percent Solution )
mneme: (Default)
Ok, so, this was a weekend:

Friday, we danced )

Saturday, we gamed, and then danced some more )

Sunday, we got classes )

...And I helped reconstruct the ragtime camel step )

And I got some useful feedback )

Why traditional (lead/follow) Partner Dance is like a RPG

So, the thing about comparing partner dancing to RPGs is that a naive approach would be that the lead is the GM, and the follow is the player. This is, it turns out, exactly wrong.

The follow in partner dance is the GM, with a role that encompasses pretty much everything a GM does in an RPG except for scene-setting (which is handled by whoever chooses the music). The lead's role, by contrast, is pretty much exactly like that of a player in an RPG.

The follow's job is to maintain the physics model of the dance, to add styling, and to respond to what the lead does -- but not to make directional choices in the dance itself -- just like the GM's job is to maintain the physics mode of the game, to add flavor text, and to respond to what the players do, but not, generally to set narrative direction (except by picking the scenario, which as I mentioned, is much like picking the music in that it sets the scenes, but doesn't determine character choices). A good follow will maintain a consistent physics model (momentum, etc) commensurate with the style of the dance, except when they choose to creatively depart from it or when safety becomes a factor -- just like a good GM will keep the narrative and physical logic of the game world consistent unless they have a good reason to depart from them.

The lead's job is to make clear creative choices, and to communicate them clearly and directly--just like a player's job is to make clear narrative and strategic choices for their character. In both cases, the rule is "have a plan, but be prepared to improvise."

The reason it's possible (or even likely) that people will reverse these is the assumption that both the GM and the lead are "in charge". But, of course, neither the GM nor the lead are really in charge; what people do in a group or paired activity for pleasure is a matter of consensus, however roles are divided up.

In which the post is wrapped, and we get home at a reasonable hour )
mneme: (Default)
A few months ago, someone ran a "Groundhog Day" scenario at a local con as a pickup game using Monsterhearts. [personal profile] drcpunk played in it.

Now, first, it seems clear to me that people had fun at this game. It was -not- a failure, by any means.

However, it also seems clear, both based on [personal profile] drcpunk's description of play, and in what I've heard elsewhere, that the game was not ideal -- both in that it violated the implicit contract of play of Monsterhearts, and that it didn't really fulfill the promise that one -could- have in a Monsterhearts/Groundhog Day scenario.

FWIW, my purpose isn't to trash the original game. It seems to have been fun! But I want to sketch out how I'd do something similar that would fit my aesthetic better.

This is yet another very geeky RPG methods post. Be warned! )
mneme: (Default)
I'm well aware that this has been done before, but I wasn't satisfied with how, so having had an idea of doing a thing, I feel compelled to finish.

I'd be sorry, except I'm really not.

Click here to read the thing )

Dexcon 2015

Jul. 7th, 2015 02:12 pm
mneme: (Default)
Another Dexcon come and gone. This time with less stupid sleep deprivation and more late mornings, due to not wanting to put my brain on the fritz.

I came down late Wednesday, somewhat against my original plans, as something came up at work I couldn't easily skip out on--but due to trains being fast, still made it to Morristown well before 9 (games start at 10), doing an Ingress mission on the way and catching up with [personal profile] drcpunk for dinner.

A longish con report with included song follows )

When your friendship's on rails 
To be much more than pals,
That's amore.

When you cook up a dish,
Of an 'eel' of a fish,
that's a moray.

With a pattern that fades
Smoothly between two shades,
that's a moire,

With two letters that come
As a version of "mom"
That's 'M' or 'A'


more con report! )
mneme: (Default)
I've never been a Trek fan, particularly, but that hasn't stopped me from picking up bits of it, given fannish immersion (and a Next Gen watching weekly gathering before we switched to B5).

But it occurs to me that there's a set of Star Trek races that are inherently a conversation about emotion.


VULCAN: I AM SUPERIOR BECAUSE I HAVE NO EMOTIONS. JUST LOGIC.
ROMULAN: NO, I AM SUPERIOR BECAUSE I EMBRACE MY EMOTIONS, AND THEY EMPOWER ME.
BETAZOID: UM. YOU ARE BOTH LYING TO YOURSELVES, BUT YOU'RE PROBABLY HAPPIER THAT WAY.
ANDROID: DO I HAVE EMOTIONS?
BETAZOID: I CAN'T SENSE ANY, BUT MAYBE THAT'S JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE AN ANDROID.
ANDROID: NOPE. I MUST NOT HAVE ANY. THAT MAKES ME SAD.
BETAZOID: UM....
ANDROID: YUP. NO EMOTIONS AT ALL; THE BETAZOID SAYS SO, AND MY ANDROID LOGIC INTERPRETS PERFECTLY.
BETAZOID: GRRR
ANDROID: ANYWAY, ANYONE HAVE EMOTIONS I CAN BORROW?
VULCAN: YOU CAN HAVE MINE. I DON'T NEED THEM.
ROMULAN: THAT IS ILLOGICAL!a
mneme: (Default)
So apparently there's a measure that's been submitted to amend or remove the "5% rule" for the Hugo awards. This is a good idea -- that rule was put in place to avoid the case where you have, say, three works that get 50%, 25%, and 20% of the ballots -- and then the next work has 4% or less of the ballots, thus not really in the running for competing with the more important works. But in fact, when a category is saturated enough, the field gets large enough and we no longer have central places where everyone is reading the same things, we end up with situations like Best Short Story -- where for most of the last 5 years we've had fewer than 5 things on the ballot (sometimes as few as 3) with even the successful nominees not getting much more than 5% (or mabye even that; the 5% rule has an exception that you still have to have 3 nominees even if you need to bend it to do so) of the ballot, and thus no significant difference between what made the cut and what didn't -- but a much thinner field than there really should be.

They call it "The 5%" solution.

The reason for the following one verse filk, therefore, should be obvious.

(Also, thank you, [personal profile] drcpunk for remembering to write down my brainstormed chorus couplet so it was still around when I finished the verse and got around to writing the chorus).

"The Five Percent Solution"
TTTO: "I Never Do Anything Twice/The Madam's Song", by Stephen Sondheim
By Joshua Kronengold

Before I was a neo,
I don't recall the date,
We made a rule for our premier award,
Even if it made the cut, a nomination met its fate,
If one in twenty didn't think it scored

At first it proved a good rule,
Avoided the long tails,
But later, when the field ballooned in size,
If our population fails,
To all read the same tales,
Where the ballot's concerned there's too much for the prize,

Then, yes, the genre was small,
Now, though, you can't read it all,
Then, tastes were more concentrated,
The best stories rated,
And found themselves slated

We must this rule amend,
At this point, it's hard to defend,
I think that it makes no sense,
To limit works by five percent.
mneme: (oldharp)
Gwen Knighton Raftery wrote me a poem!

Josh Kronengold
In three-quarter time
Breathlessly rhyme
A drum, a hand
A harp, a man
Throw them at the light
Throw them at the light
Throw them three times
At the light
And you will find him laughing
And you will find the ladies laughing
And you will find them each with the other
Throw them at the light.
mneme: (Default)
A Sonnet to Serenity

First quatrain and last couplet by Joshua Kronengold, second quatrain and following couplet by [personal profile] batyatoon, first couplet (5-6) and editing by [personal profile] thnidu.


Deny me answer to my heart's behest,
Deprive me of my property and lot,
Remove my person, force me by duress,
To where the land shan't bear me, I care not.
For I am unencumbered by oppression,
Nor canst thou wrest the sky from my possession.

Though I be exiled to the endless dark,
And though they tell the world I'll not return;
Though thou may'st fan the flame or set the spark
That seas may boil and that the land may burn;
My will's my own, and so the skies shall be --
And neither wilt thou ever take from me.

Now nowhere can I be, since Peace I found,
But mine is that which lies above the ground.

Profile

mneme: (Default)
Joshua Kronengold

July 2016

S M T W T F S
     12
34 56789
1011 1213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 25th, 2016 06:29 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios