Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I have a new home

Well, I now have a condo. Payment details are being finalized and a building inspection is being set up, but in almost exactly 30 days I will be in posession of a 6th floor condo in the Esplanade, a nice, family-sort-of neighbourhood in Toronto. Downtown Toronto.

The amount of joy I feel at this time is...difficult to express. Its a really nice place. One bedroom, with a little set off den. Those fake wood laminate floors, built in washer and dryer, etc. etc. etc.

More to the point, its MINE. I cannot be kicked out becuase school is over, or because its Christmas break. I do not have to deal with siblings or parents living there. The only people in there will be the people *I* choose, and I won't have to go down the hall to cook some food anymore. Honestly, its gonna be frickin wonderful. Just absolutely MARVELOUS.

I take posession on April 2nd, but I probably won't be moving in until after CAiNE. And then, slowly, moving things piece by piece. Stuff I don't need here in dorm, transported on the TTC over a series of weeks (as opposed to one horrid move on the day I leave residence).

...though I find myself wondering: How in god's name did I get my minibar fridge in here in the first place? I honestly have no idea, becuase I didn't bring it by cab, which means I must have carried it bodily with me...which seems more than a little impossible (or at least highly imporbable). Best not to think about it, I suppose.

More Way Down tonight


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Reconstructing the Way Down #3

"The Way Down is the lowest point in Necropolis, some say the lowest point in the world. Its the home of cutthroats, thieves, and back alley conjurers without a nickle to their name that hasn't been spent on 'dust or gin. Its the hottest bar in Necropolis, THE place to be seen in the Occult Underground, and THE place to make contacts, sell souls, and, sometimes, even save lives. It is the heart of counterculture, the crucible of revolution, and for some...the very last chance to find a place called 'Home'."
-Adelaide Fetch, Tales from the Way Down

Way Down Rennovations

I'll be honest when I say that I didn't really change the Way Down itself much. The original idea, that there was an underground bar where the Occult Underground met, a bar run by a man damned by the gods, wasn't, and isn't, a new one. The whole thing was inspired by some weird notion that came to me while watching Constantine, and germinated into an entire universe pretty much without me even having to think about it. The name "The Way Down" is a direct reference to how fucking long the staircase down to the front door is (and also the idea that the Way Down is Mimir's own personal hell)...but its also a bit of a nod to "The Waydown", the San Fransisco nightclub run out of an old gutted church in White Wolf's Mage: The Ascension. There are, of course, some obvious similarities (magicians hang out at both), but I try to stay away from any of the old Hollow One cliches and focus more on the pervasive nature of Necropolis' Occult Underground. Or, to put it another way: The Way Down is much more Vertigo than it is Mage.

From the first thought and characterizations, the world of the Way Down pretty much wrote itself. The main cast sprung out almost entirely fully formed, often from only vague images that I thought looked kind of cool (Lady Vapor as a woman in old ball gowns and wedding dresses wearing a WWII era gas mask, for instance). I've edited some of them a little bit for the new stuff, mainly to bring them more in line with each other and create a sense of a shared world as opposed to a whole bunch of interesting and odd characters just seemingly mashed into the same setting.

To do that, I've polarized the Occult Underground of Necropolis into four rough camps: The Way Down, The Magic Mafia, The Aleister Arms and The Free Agents.

The first two are obvious, and I'll note changes on them below.

The third are Nick Scratch's people, the minions of the self proclaimed "Lord of Necropolis". Most of them are modern twists on old magical concepts. My conceptual notes for the Aleister Arms people note that they are "Satanic Rock'n'Roll Freemasons" (a nod to the Arms' namesake, Aleister Crowley [whose head is often described in the text as being that of "a fat man who looks vaugley like Winston Churchill"]). They have most of the connections that Tom'o'Troubles doesn't, and tend to be far more violent and hardcore than most of the other groups.

The last are those members of the occult underground who owe no one allegiance or loyalty. Some of them are anarchists who pursue their own agenda, uninhibited by the orders of Tom'o'Troubles or Nick Scratch, or by the relative (and minor) morality of Mimir and Judas Janet. Others are powers in their own right who refuse to bow and scrape before the masses.

The final and ultimate free agent, at least at the start of the story, is Adelaide Fetch...but the story of how he came to be an ally of the Way Down will be told in the coming weeks.

The Way Down

The Way Down was originally a cave about a hundred feet under the street of Necropolis. It had a door, and rough stone stairs leading to the surface...a perfect means of escape set to taunt Mimir for his impudence of daring to mess with The Golden. No one knows where the power for the place comes from, how the chandeleirs of black twisted metal hanging from the ceiling get their juice or how Morningstar manages to get The Fallen's amps hooked up. But the electricity is there...somewhere, and it doesn't seem to stop. Its the same with the water (though strange things HAVE, occasionally, crawled out of the pipes, which is why there are no urinals in the men's washroom), and the place stays, miraculously, cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The Way Down is shaped in a rough square, with the stairs leading down to a large number of round tables and chairs set around the floor. Booths line each of the bare stone walls, each booth set with leather of varying shades and ages. None of the chairs match, none of the tables are exactly, 100% even...but somehow they work well together. Set in the far back corner is the bar, a long affair with over 30 barstools and a long unbroken timber of warped driftwood smack on top, sanded smooth and lacqured with a deep red glaze that almost looks like blood. All the metal in the place is tarnished, often silver or chrome with bits of brass and copper appearing where it looked too good to remove. The dance floor takes up a large portion of the middle of the room, towards the back, right in front of a small stage...just large enough to hold Morningstar and his four bandmates.

The Way Down does NOT look like a professional bar. It is a bar cobbled together from whatever Mimir could find, where every penny goes towards keeping it stocked and repaired. Don't bother asking for food. They serve liquor. You bring your own food. If you're particularly nasty, Mimir might slip you that muddy brown hootch he distills from the rusty faucet in the back of the bar, the one enshrined with the label "God's Piss".

Mimir and Judas Janet serve bar and hold court in the club 7 nights a week. Mimir lives in the back store room, he can't really go anywhere else, and Judas Janet has devoted her entire life to the Way Down so much so that she hardly ever leaves anyway.

Drinks are served by the four Agony Sisters: Dominica, Bianca, Marissa, and Christina Agony; the Dominatrices of the Dead, the Practical Necromancers, who once convinced a man to come back to dead because they could hurt him more as a ghost than they could as a living creature. All dressed in black, the Agonies occasionally hold a floor show for those into the most creative aspects of S&M, and while they DO do some of the best waitressing in town, they also keep the general riff-raff out; if you're not wanted in the Way Down, one look from one of the Agony Sisters will generally send you running.

Lady Vapor has been a fixture of the Way Down since it opened...an unprecedented attack on her Edge, that side of her that makes sure that she is always there first...if not before. And while she may have been the first in the doors, it has often been to her disapointment and consernation that she was first of a CROWD...that she didn't have the chance to sample the bar's delights first before anyone else. But still, she has brought her social circle to the Way Down, making it one of the CENTERS of the Occult Underground. Vapor's Edge has another facet: she never suffers the ill effects of taking her passions to the extreme. She cannot OD, she cannot be poisoned by alcohol, she never gets full, and she never has to fake it during sex. And so she searches for the ultimate rush...which has, over the years, developed into her obsession with the gas mask she ALWAYS wears. The gas mask that generally hooks into a tank of something awful and noxious. Oxygen is too pedestrian for Lady Vapor, and she has long since given up its bland essence for the more dangerous. Vapor is one of the most in-the-know people in the Way Down, specifically becuase her Edge makes sure she hears all the gossip FIRST, and when the people of the Way Down take arms against a common foe, Vapor is often one of the first ones on the unofficial war council.

But what would the Way Down be without music? And who better to provide it than Necropolis' hottest underground band, Morningstar and the Fallen? Some claim that this quintet of rock'n'roll bad boys are fallen angels, but no proof has yet surfaced. Sure, they all wear black, their hair is the perfect blond, their eyes the perfect blue, and when their voices pitched just perfectly so...but they lack a certain savoir-faire associated with demons. But there is also Morningstar's Edge to consider...that incredible sense of psychic and spiritual heat that he radiates in song, that almost forms a halo of shadow around him when his music reaches it's crescendo. He is certainly a power...though how great of one, and how far he'll take it, is something that remains to be seen.

And that's the crew of the Way Down. This post was a bit of a whopper, so I'm gonna just stop here and make a second post on Monday talking about some of the other major players in the game, and a few other locales. And next Friday, the first chapter of the Tales from the Way Down comes out. So stay tuned.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fun with Wikipedia

A search for "Eastern European Elvis Impersonator" on Wikipedia gives the following results:
* 1977
Relevance: 1.9% - -
* Music of Italy
Relevance: 1.4% - -
* Richard Nixon
Relevance: 1.0% -

I don't make this shit up. Seriously.

"Uh huh! I ain't nozing but a KROOOOOOK barking all ze time!"

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Reconstructing the Way Down #2

“My name is Fetch. Adelaide Fetch. FYI, in ghost lore, a fetch is a nasty little haunt akin to a poltergeist. Which isn’t to say I’m dead. I’m damn hard to kill, but my heart’s still ticking and I can still shed a tear or two. But I know a good name when I see it, and this is the one I’ve been stuck with. Some people assume that being named ‘fetch’ means I can find things, or transport things, or maybe that I just like chasing thrown sticks. No such luck, unfortunately, which has always been a problem for people wandering into my offices.

No, my edge is a little more direct: I, Adelaide Fetch, am the Poltergeist PI; the oggart Bogart; the Gremlin Gumshoe; needless other corny names as applicable. I make the world go haywire, and even though I’m tough to kill, when I bring my edge to bear most people aren’t. You ever been attacked by an enraged set of butter knives and soup spoons before?

Trust me, that cutlery will do you some serious pain.”

Designing Fetch

So introduces Adelaide Fetch, the nominal protagonist and POV character for the new Way Down stories. He rose out of the POV-Character-Occult-PI genre that seems to be so prevalent these days, but more to the point he rose out of the need for a 1st person narrator who wasn't a) trapped in a bar, b) a criminal mastermind, or c) a woman (like I said before, when writing I'm just not confident I can get a female 1st person narrative style down straight). Which left out everyone from Mimir to Tom'o'Troubles to Judas Janet.

The result was that I had to create a character I could talk through, and one that had a reason to poke his nose where it didn't belong. I'd already written some basic ideas down for a city detective named Vale, a hero cop who took everything bad and evil inside him and funneled it into his shadow, creating a living, breathing nemesis that follows him wherever he goes. Vale's shadow works much like a Shadow from Wraith: The Oblivion in that it offers him a Faustian deal of power in return for evil, and also that it would bring him back to life, but every time he took power from it it got a little closer to being a REAL being, and able to walk about and cause evil on its own.

The problem with a character like that is that they tend to be broody and needlessly angsty. I don't WANT angst in the Way Down...at least not too much of it. This is supposed to be a slick, weird ride through a murky, overbearing city where junkies baseline a mix of zombie powder and Drain-O to get high; where the top underground rock band is made up of 4 men who claim to be fallen angels (Morningstar and the Fallen); where the height of underground fashion is set by a woman who doesn't go anywhere without a WWI-era gasmask on. This is no place for Angel/Elric-style broodiness about how evil is a part of you, etc. etc.

Fetch's Look

And thus was Adelaide Fetch born. A semi-hardboiled PI with a knack for making the world go nuts. A man who DOES carry a gun, unlike certain occult PIs I could name (*coughdresdenandtaylorcough*), but generally just uses it to club people over the head with. He's not a good looking man, he's not a womanizer, and in appearence he's closer to Conan Doyle's description of Holmes than to the prettyboys (or at least handsome men) like Green's John Taylor. Actually, Paul Blackthorne, the man currently playing Harry Dresden on the television adaptation of The Dresden Files, is pretty close to my original conceptual stuff for Fetch. Make him a bit shorter, make him almost entirely bald on top, break his nose a few times, and make his build a bit more wiry and you're getting closer to what Adelaide Fetch looks like.

Fetch's History

Fetch grew up in the school of hard knocks. Carstark Crossing is a lower-middle class district of Necropolis where Fetch spent his first couple years of life following an adoption at an early age. CC isn't a great neighbourhood, but its normal enough that most ofthe Underground leave it alone, if only becuase its so dreadfully boring, magically. Fetch's Edge started up when he was young, he's not really sure where it came from, and played havoc with the family house while he was asleep. While the exact origin of his powers his a mystery, Fetch has often theorized it has something to do with being the sole survivor of a plane crash that orphaned him as an infant and led to his subsequent adoption. Some piece of the havoc on the plane stayed with him, deep inside him. Some shard of death and chaos (more on Fetch's gift in a moment).

Within a few weeks of his Edge manifesting, Fetch was back in the adoption system. Necropolis is a dangerous place for orphans; they tend to go missing when no one is watching, especially at places like Our Lady of Perpetual Penance Orphanage in Carstark Crossing where Fetch was sent in between homes. While he finished his education normally, Fetch learned a lot about sneaking, a lot about stealing, and a whole lot about running while he grew up. But there was one thing he could never outrun: His poltergeist Edge.

After he graduated high school and got out on his own, Fetch fell into the private investigation business as partner to the infamous, and now very late, Necropolis PI, Felix "Sinner" Sullivan. Sullivan was infamous for his own Edge, the one that let him look into your eyes and see every dirty and shameful thing you'd ever done. And he could fling it right back at you. They say that Sullivan could have made one of the greatest priests in the world, but he preferred to looking a philandering husband in the eyes and then get him to cough up the dough to keep quiet.

Working for Sullivan, Fetch learned the dirty side of the private detective's game, and he learned how to be a damn good detective at the same time. It wasn't a bad gig, even if Sullivan DID make him sleep on the couch in the office. After Sullivan died, an unfortunate incident involving an attempt to blackmail Tom'o'Troubles, his will left the office, the apartment, the car, and the three grand in outstanding debts at the dogtrack to Fetch.

After scaring the bejesus out of the bookies at the track and getting himself banned from Booktown (the Necropolis district where all the illegal sporting events take place), Fetch settled old scores and started the detective agency anew. He didn't have Sullivan's eye for sin, but he had more muscle packed behind his eyes than any ten palookas, so when it came to taking the strong arm to the streets for information he did things just as well as Sullivan...some say better. Sullivan couldn't stare down Glaistig, but Fetch's power kept Tom'o'Troubles pet assasin at bay.

Fetch's Edge

Fetch's Edge, as the opening quote suggests, makes the world go haywire. Its basically a very focused, area-of-effect telekinesis. There isn't a whole lot of room for subtlety with it; when Fetch unleashes his Edge every small object in the room picks itself up and starts orbiting him. He can direct their movement, so his Edge makes a GREAT tool for busting things up and scaring the shit out of people, but its not great for small stuff. At its lowest levels of manifestation, it flings about cutlery with a dangerous ease. Fetch still hasn't discovered its upward limits, but he once took out a renegade client by hurling a Volkswagon at them.

The problem with Fetch's Edge is that it seems to have a mind of its own. He has to CONCENTRATE when he's using it, otherwise whatever he's animating tends to act on its own accord, attacking random people and causing a truly impressive level of damage. It also tends to get worse the less he's thinking about it, and the Volkswagon incident started off as an attempt to distract said renegade client with swirling garbage, and ended up with swirling cars. Fetch knows how to play the stories about his Edge's power up, and tries to avoid people realizing how easily it can go rogue.

There are a few ancilliary benefits to his Edge, however. Fetch's Edge instinctivly works to hold his body together. While he's not invulnerable, Fetch tends to heal faster than most, doesn't lose a lot of blood, doesn't tend to go into shock, and is generally just really hard to kill or keep down. Additionally, his Edge can be pushed to a much smaller level than he lets people know. He doesn't use it often, but he can push his Edge to such a small level that it fries delicate electronics and makes most electrical systems go truly haywire. He hasn't tried to 'geist anything finer than that...he's a little worried what would happen if he tried.


And that's where we find Adelaide Fetch, 10 years after Sullivan's death. He's been in the game for 12 years at this point in time. He's going on 31, but he feels older. His hair certainly LOOKS older. His trenchcoat hasn't seen the cleaners in over a year, and his shoes could use a shine. He carries a .357 not for the bullets but for the weight of the butt, and the switchblade on his left ankle can kill from a hundred paces. He's not the best detective in the Necropolis, but he's one of the only ones who sets his own price...and decides whether or not he's going to be bribed.

He's an interesting character to explore for the narrative...and I think you'll find that he ties into the Way Down quite nicely. And very amusingly.

Next week I'll talk about redesigning the Way Down itself, along with some new friends and enemies in the persons of the Magic Mafia, The Aleister Arms, and the many free agents who roam the Necropolis night.

Till next Friday, Excelsior!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

All Hail My 1AP of Regeneration!

Leg's better. It healed. I don't tend to injure permanently, at least not seriously. I expect that I will get arthritis in my shoulder, the one I dislocated and relocated in the same 10 second period (impact with concrete, ow); the knee that the cab hit; probably in those fingers I sprained when I was a kid. Arthritis runs in the family, so I expect to be hunched over and accurately predicting the weather in the next decade or two.

As is, the knee is pretty much healed. Stairs are still a bit of an issue, but not nearly as much as they were a few days ago. Haven't needed the cane since a week ago, so THAT'S a plus, though I'll still be using it today since tonight is Hamilton Mage, and my PC uses a cane. Becuase his knee...yes, his LEFT knee...got blown out in a magical accident.

So yes. All hail my 1AP of Regeneration.

And remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you healing.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Reconstructing the Way Down #1

Every Friday, hopefully, I'll be adding another chapter to the Way Down, but for February I think I'm going to devote a few hundred words each week to talking about the new designs for it. I really wish I could do art. Seriously. I may take to doctoring photographs I pull off the net to demonstrate things.

So...the Way Down.

I've been doing a lot of thinking recently about what really drew me to writing the Way Down stories in the first place. I really DO like the setting, the occult underground played off against a gothic sort of city, heavy in the counter-culture elements. Post-modern magic, but with some really wacky twists to it. Not just Unknown Armies style symbolic tension, but some actual weird ideas about magic and magical abilities.

The Way Down's concept of special abilities ties in closely with those I expressed in the short lived 7r4d3m4rk stories. Its about having the Edge, that ephemeral quality that somehow makes you better than everyone else. Differently, but better. You're a step above the rest. Not just in having a special power, or powers, but in almost all other aspects. You're just that extra bit cooler, that extra bit smarter, that extra bit better than the rest.

Now, for Trademark, that Edge was all about cyberpunk revolutionaries and corporate super-soldiers being phenomenally cool and having Matrix-style gunbattles and using technology with names that sound like something out of a Jack Kirby comic.

Not so with the Way Down. I really want to emphasize that while almost all the characters within the occult underground have powers, most of them only have A power. One power, one Edge. Some of the more powerful ones might have more than one Edge, or an Edge that covers a very wide area (mind that the Edge in text will always be referred to with a small "e"...this isn't a White Wolf game, where all powers have recognizable names).

Actual spellcasters and sorcerers in the Way Down setting will be VERY rare, and while some characters know a few spells, or a lot of spells within a very narrow area, the actual people who can fling around honest to go Dr. Strange/Dr. Fate-style magic will be very few...and very feared. I've decided that Judas Janet knows a few various spells and tricks, most of them culled from her archaeology days before she melted the Holy Grail down into thirty silver studs and had them embedded in her face. Mimir, however, will NOT have much in the way of magic...The Golden took most of his power away from him, and now what he's left with is immortality and some carnival gypsy tricks.

Magical POWERS, the Edge, however will be very common in the occult underground. EVERYONE will be defined by some schtick or another, however minor. For the purposes of the Edge, I count having a magic item or the like as a magical power. Some characters, like Glaistig will have both (Glaistig has some inhuman physical abilities thanks to her strange origins, as well as the weapon that is the idea of a weapon, and thus can be any weapon at her will).

To digress from magic for a moment, I want to talk a little about the structure I'm working with for the stories now.

I decided that while the "campfire legends"-style of the Way Down stories was cool and all, I really craved to write some dialogue. And I kept finding myself hamstrung while writing about having the characters talk without actually writing what they were saying. It was great for some flash fiction, but it really got on my nerves after a while.

With that in mind, I've actually started doing the new Way Down stuff in the 1st person, in the style of stuff like The Dresden Files, the novels of the Nightside, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, and the like. Not that I'm comparing myself to those writers, I am nowhere near as cool as Butcher, Green, or Hamilton, but I DO like the way that they use the 1st person in their stories.

The problem, however, was figuring out how to fit the 1st person into the Way Down. Mimir would be the obvious choice, but remember that he can't actually leave the bar, and while I COULD shape things around that, I really wanted to used the POV character to explore Necropolis and the rest of the Scar. Judas Janet was the next choice...but I really just can't click with her internal monologue. I tried, and it came out a bit too much like a mix of Anita Blake and Deena Pilgrim. I have trouble writing POV characters who are women, which is odd becuase I don't have any trouble PLAYING them in games, and playing them well enough that my female gaming friends don't clout me over the head. But I dunno. I may be selling myself short, or just backing off before I even try (which I admit...I do do some times). But anyway.

So I decided to just buckle down and, honestly, write the kind of story that was both fun, easier, and the kind of thing I really wanted to write from the start. With a few edits, I came up with the POV character of the Way Down:

Adelaide Fetch. The Poltergeist P.I. The boggart Bogart. The gremling Gumshoe.

Yeah. I had fun with him. I'll chat more about HIM next week.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Gregory House, Warren Ellis, The Bard...What Do These Three Have in Common?

We're all on the bloody STICK! That's what!


So anyway, I got clipped by a cab on Wednesday. The passengers of Beck Cab 1007 (yes, if you read this I know who you are, the police have been notified, we will be having words) opened their door into my left knee as I rode past them, out of their seeming inability to notice what was right in front of them. I dunno...its possible they were bipedal hammerhead sharks, I'm not 100% sure. The male ran off pretty quick, and the female seemed more worried about the appearence of calling 911 than giving the cab's information.

Suffice to say, I went flying, because when it comes to 210lbs. of human flesh vs. half a ton of Detroit heavy metal, the Motor City's finest product wins. Hands down. So I went FLYING. Head over handlebars, ass over teakettle, as they say. Unlike the last time I took a spill on my bike I did NOT manage to pull into a chigari roll, and just wound up flat on my face, VERY glad I was wearing my winter jacket (and thus only got a very minor scrape). And no sooner do the passengers get out of the car and close their door...but the frelling cab drives the hell off at TOP speed.

My front wheel is TOTALED. I'm considering uploading pictures, its actually pretty impressive. It looks like someone Marcel Duchamp would hang in a gallery. My knee looks, or looked (the swelling has gone down considerably in the last few days), like it had a half pound of cotton stuffed under the skin.

My thanks to Darrel Last-name-unknown, of SpeedTrek International Inc., a passing bike courier who got the cab's number and some information from the passengers before they wigged out and ran off, no doubt fearing the mighty power of the Civil Suit.

So then I hauled my ass three blocks over and two blocks down to Toronto PD 52 division (as a DC comics fan, the irony here is not lost on me), where a very nice officer named Hardwick (I know a Hardwick back in BC, I think he's a cop, too...they two are, though, apparently not related) took down all my info and was quite friendly, even giving me a lift to the ER at Toronto General once we were done. Information is being passed to Hit & Run, I hope to hear back from them this week. If not, they will be hearing from me.

My leg was not, thankfully, broken or sprained. It was just really, really swollen, and I suspect has a rather badly pulled or strained muscle. Due to my weird quirk of physiology, I don't bruise like a regular person. So while my leg is stiff, hurts like a bitch at times, and won't bear as much weight as normal, it is not actually constantly sore or aching, and I'm slowly weaning my way off the cane. Work today was a bit painful for 6 hours without sitting down, but I take that as a sign that I'mhealing well.

Which is actually pretty impressive considering that car door opened into my leg when I was going between 10 and 20kph, and then I went flying and LANDED on said knee. I walked away miraculously unharmed for how bad an injury I could have gotten.

ER was OK. Took about an hour to get to see a doctor, which I'm told is a GOOD time in these cirumstances, and everyone was wonderful and friendly. No one popped vicodin while spouting witty one liners, a fact for which I am sorely dissapointed, but at least they were civil.

After the ER I went to the Hairy Tarantula, blew about a hundred bucks on trades, a new RPG (...its magic noir! 1920s with sorcery!), and "Grave Robbers From Outer Space". Then went out for dinner with my stepmother (who coincidentally happened to be in town...I know, whenever I fall I always manage to find a few bucks in the gutter) at this fabulous Portugese place. Made friends with the kitchen folk there. Was all good.

Then ordered the new English translation of "Day Watch" by Sergei Luchyenko (reading "Night Watch" right now...its so fucking good...SOOOOOO good), as well as the first 10 books of "Amber" (in one big handy volume that I have lusted after for years), and the new animated Iron Man movie.

Thursday I met up early with Kelsi. We got together 3 hours earlier than expected, becuase I ditched class so as a) meet up with Kelsi earlier, and b) not have to trek across campus with a bum knee. She and I had a really good time. Played "Grave Robbers"...which was just hilarious. She managed to build a cast of almost entirely Young characters, AND drew "Mom" ("Mom gains +1 Defense for every 'Young' character in your movie"), which managed to survive some truly heinous Creature combo attacks I threw out at her ("Campy '60s Crossover" with "Arachnaphobia" and "Sewer Cannibals"...or the best, "Alien Pod People" buffed with "The Mad Scientist", and "The Money Shot"...and picking off Mom and the Aged Vampire Hunter with "Only The Virgin Survives"...yeah, I'm geeking out). Dinner and talking ensued, as usual.

Friday I took off work, knee still bugging me, and took the bike in to CyclePath to get it repaired, and to have some professionals look it over to tell me what the damage is, so I can hand THAT bit of info eventually to the cab company's insurance people as well. Also ended upgrabbing Dan Simmons' "Endymion", and a copy of the Hagakure, which I'm using in Requiem.

...and Futureshop netted me a real gem. The 1989-90 FOX TV show, "Alien Nation", on DVD. Full series. For $19.99. I loved the show back when they were rerunning it on SPACE. Now I've been watching it for the alst two days, and I still love it. WONDERFUL show.

So we come to now. My leg still hurts, but its getting better. I exercised today for the first time since Wednesday. I got a care package/birthday present from Mom involving a lot of chocolate and home made shortbread cookies. Work was OK, and I have nice, big, fat paycheck in my pocket. And I will hopefully be shaking down a cab company for money, so really...I'm not doing too badly.

Every cloud has a silver lining, eh?