Monday, February 02, 2004

Wow! What a weekend. Saturday, I went to NC Game Day at State. I left home at 7:50 am, stopped to get cash & found a parking spot by 8:40 am. If I'd been any later, I would not have found a spot. No players showed up for my game until about 10 am. The one who did show, who had signed up, had all the books & wanted a chance to play before trying to run it. He'd played at a con & that was it.

He made up a character & two more people showed up & asked what we were doing (thanks Sean for the Game Host screen, it does attract attention). they made up characters & we started to play. We had Nutmeg the squirrel elementalist/cleric (journeyman air mage), Allisan the ferret robber/charlatan & the wolverine bodyguard/bounty hunter. Once characters were done I sent them on a simple errand to find & capture 3 bandits. So they got an introduction to combat. By that time it was 2pm so I wanted my lunch. Gerald (Allisan's player) & I went to get Chinese food on Hillsborough St.

When we came back, the table I had been using had another game running, so Lyman (who was running things) found me another table. I didn't have another game officially but I said that if I found interested players then I'd run something else. Gerald was interested & so was Nutmeg's player. Then 2 guys who had never heard of Ironclaw stopped by & I gave them pregenerated characters. Unfortunately the Excel spreadsheet character sheets are still in beta test & were not as complete as I'd like. But they found 2 possibilities, so Nutmeg & Allisan were joined by Dante & Rafael. Rafael was the ferret witch hunter while Dante was the goat apothecary/homeopath. I sent them through Cup Hunt. No combat but lots of interaction & man/sentient vs. environment. They had fun, which is the purpose after all.

As I was packing up a young man named Clay stopped by. He had thumbed through Ironclaw & he was interested in the game but wanted someone to explain it to him. His gaming group is concluding their D&D game & they are shopping for another game. So I went through character generation, how the rolls work etc. He fell in love with it. We then sat down & he and two others who happened to be standing around, made up characters. If we had gotten done early enough I would have run again but it was getting to 9 pm & I wanted to get home & get some sleep.

I made it home before 10 pm, finding my way off campus easier than I had found my way on. Then it was spend some time with my SO before heading off to bed. I had left before he woke up Saturday morning so this was of some importance.

The next morning we sat around and watched the history of drinks in America: coffee, Kool-aid, beer, wine, martinis, cocktails, sodas etc. It was very interesting. Then I finally got moving & tried to make a bannock cake. Instead of dough I ended up with oat soup. I wrapped it in tin foil & took it anyway. Chris left to do the grocery shopping before I left for Imbolc. I packed up my supplies & even with my errands, made it to Gaia's Gardens about 1:45. Chris H. showed up just after I did, so both of us were early.

He unlocked the gate & helped my prepar & set things out. Of course, things never go quite as you plan, so the braided circle ended up smaller than my foot in diameter; the Bride's cross was okay but I only made 1 instead of 4; there were only 3 tables instead of 4 & 1 of them is broken so I set up 2 together to make one ~decent-sized altar; I'd forgotten scissors but Chris's knife worked; had to tie the tablecloth onto the tables; the candles did not want to stay lit - the wind; the firelogs in the tin pans worked well; and I'd forgotten the sage to cleanse the circle & people; & I'd brought my draft notes instead of the final copy. At least I'd brought my source material. The making of Bride's crosses with the raffia went, um, okay. I set the ~bannock to cook over the fire in the center.

There were 2 new people at the circle, they seem nice. The ritual went well, people were complimentary at least. I set the ~bannock out as an offering. After the ritual I put the water & milk from the altar plus the stones & seashell offerings near it. They'll be used to decorated the garden later. It was still cold so the gathering after ritual did not last long. People ate the 'Jewish bannock', aka bagel, & the cheese so that was good. I put the candles & other re-usable supplies in the building as I packed up. I took the glass holders home to be washed. I'll put them in the supply drawer later. Steve & I were the last to leave. He locked up & we talked a little bit. He's writing a story & he wants my input. It sounds fascinating & I can't wait to see it.

I stopped by Wal-mart on the way home & bought Carolina Panthers: NFC champ t-shirts, one for me & one for Chris. I also bought about 4 books & a pair of bike shorts. I hope that the shorts fit. When I got home I took off my out layers of clothes to get rid of the smoky smell, & wore my new t-shirt & the leggings that I'd been wearing. Chris made hot dogs & hamburgers, salsa & chips plus an apple crumble with ice cream & caramel or chocolate sauce. It was great. Oh, and he made pizza rolls.

Chris, Rosemary & I, and her two dogs, watched the Superbowl XXXVIII. It was a great game. Rosemary doesn't understand football & doesn't want to. I understand a little bit, partially from what I learned in that chapter of Phys Ed in high school & partially from Chris as we watch the game. Based on my behavior during the game, Chris says that he doesn't want to me to watch games during the season. I get, um, a little involved in the game.

It was a close & hard-fought game. The Panthers lost to my disappointment but I'm still proud of them. Unlike so many Superbowls it was not a blow-out. They almost won, came very close in fact. I plan to send an email expressing my pride & support for the team. I'd like a shirt: "Carolina Panthers: Superbowl XXXVIII Champions almost."

The Budweiser commercial with the mule interviewing to be a Budweiser Clydesdale was great, as was the ad for next season't football. Most of the commercials were a scream, like the Fed Ex one with the alien. the worst ones were just, okay. I liked P Diddy & Nelly's act at half-time & Kid Rock wasn't too bad but what was up with Janet Jackson? I mean her opening outfit was okay but she had a train without a skirt and that just did not go with the rest of her clothes. All of her dancers were dressed oddly. Then the bit at the end with Justin Timberlake apparently ripping off part of her blouse. It was, frankly, stupid. Not shocking, just stupid.

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