Saturday, June 21, 2008

Waiting Rooms and Fragile Things

I have been spending a lot of time around hospitals recently, which means I have spent a lot of time waiting.   Waiting while my wife had surgery.  Waiting with my wife in the ER.  Waiting to get her transferred up to the hospital.  Even waiting while she was getting discharged.

I would just like to say waiting sucks!

Especially hospital waiting rooms.  You sit there full of an uncomfortable mixture of anxiety and utter boredom.  Literally, there is nothing to do but stand around and worry.

Well, I suppose you can read.  I have enough enough experience with waiting rooms that I always grab a book on the way out.  That's how I read Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress in its entirety while in a waiting room on Wednesday.  It is also how I read  Fragile Things over the last two days.

Fragile Things is a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman.  A more accurate title would probably be "A collection of random bits I have written over the years that really don't fit anywhere else so here you go!"   Perhaps that title might have been a bit too on the nose.

Nevertheless, it was a fascinating collection of short stories precisely because it was so random.  There was a story that crossing over the works of Sir Conan Arthur Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft.  A story directly translated from a nightmare.  A story about an old professor who just might be Susan Pevensie from the Narnia books.  A poem about how to survive in a faerie tale.  A story set in the Matrix.  A continuation of his novel American Gods which includes an adaptation of the Beowulf within it.

All and all, it was a great cross-section of Neil Gaiman's work.  I enjoyed it a lot.

Don't know if I would recommend reading it in a hospital waiting room though.  A lot of it was too heady and contained too much musing on the nature of life and death for such an environment.  So if you find yourself in one, read Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress instead.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Apparently June will not be the month I break my posting record...

Hey there, this is just a quick post to let people know I am still alive and have not given up on this haven of geekdom.  I could make excuses like: "I broke my foot", "My wife just had surgery", and "Work has been nuts!".  However, I know from experience that none of that would fly with my readership (all three of you).

So let me put out a couple of quick recommendations:

I just finished reading Confessions of a Part-Time SorceressAstrid is hot!.  My wife bought it for me because she saw it was a "D&D" book and she was not dissuaded by the subtitle "A Girl's Guide to the D&D Game" that I was probably not the target audience for this book.

Nevertheless, I found it to be a quick and fun read.  The gaming sessions described within seemed more like actual game session than most books about gaming contain, accurately describing the distracting side-conversations, the frustration of a DM trying to keep a session from going off the rails, and how players with different play styles can rub each other the wrong way.  Yet it still conveyed the sense of fun gamers have when gaming.

(It did have a lot of pink though, so I may have to turn in my man card just for reading the whole thing).

Actually, my biggest recommendation concerning Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress is that if you are a male gamer you have a wife, fiancee, or significant other: Buy this for her!  Seriously, it is not a bad book to introduce them to the hobby, either for future inclusion or at least tolerant smiles when you regale them with tales of your half-elf paladin.

MiddleMan_ My next recommendation is a new ABC Family TV show called The Middleman.  It is based off of an indy comic book series named The Middleman (Well, duh!).

Basically the premise is that comic book villainy is real and the Middle Man exists to take care of it and cover it up.  Sort of like crossing Doctor Who with X-Files, but in a fun, campy way rather than a gritty, serious way (that series would be called Torchwood).

Oh, by comic book villainy I mean scientists who come up with plans to conquer the earth using hyper-intelligent apes.  So it may not be a series for everyone.

If you are interested, you can watch the pilot in its entirety on the ABC Family's Website  If you like it, watch the series.  If you don't, I just wasted an hour of your life. 

(If you are on the fence, well it is probably a short term commitment since I imagine this will be canceled within one season.)

I will admit the TV series is a bit cheesy.  And that the special effects are more "old school" Doctor Who level than what most people are used to.  However, it also is fun.  And who doesn't like hyper-intelligent apes?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Official Game Recap for the June 7th session up at Lords of Tyr

This is just a quick post to let everyone know the game recap for the June 7th World Wide Game day D&D session is up at Lords of Tyr

The recap summarizes last session's run through the second part of module H1: Keep on the Shadowfell.  So if you are planning on attending the June 14th session and missed the last session, it might be a good idea to read up on it.

On the other hand, if you are not part of our gaming group and want to avoid spoilers about H1: Keep on the Shadowfell, it is still a good idea to avoid it!