I was lying in bed last night, on the verge of falling asleep, and I realized that the best way to get myself writing regularly again is… well, to write. And it’s been so long since I wrote regularly, I figured the best thing to write about is myself and my life and...Read More
Not much to report. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days working on some other creative endeavors, namely a new podcast focusing on tabletop games and random geeky banter. It should be ready by next Wednesday, so I’ll post a link when the first episode goes live.
In other news, we’re expecting the arrival of our second child any day now. Natania is very ready to be finished with this pregnancy, and I’m looking forward to meeting our Elodie.
Liam continues to do well at school, which is a huge relief. After his behavioral issues at the beginning of the year, we were quite concerned. But he walks home every day with me, telling me how much he enjoyed his day, how much fun he had, what he learned, etc. And his reading skill is growing by leaps and bounds every day. Most parents think their kids are geniuses, and I guess I’m no different.Read More
I finished reading Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One today. I checked it out for the Kindle from the North Carolina Digital Library (which made me feel super cool and “future is now!” and everything, fitting pretty well with the book). I hope Mr. Cline doesn’t mind that I didn’t pay anything for it…
It took me about five days to finish the book, which is a pretty good clip for me, these days. And I really enjoyed it. It’s not that the world of Ready Player One is particularly original, or even that the characters are that interesting–it is, and they are, but not any more than those of most books–but that Cline’s ability to capture the love and nostalgia for the 1980s is superhuman.
I was born in the ’80s, so I’m really a child of the ’90s. That’s the era in which I did most of my formative obsessing: listening to music (The Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, Dinosaur Jr.), playing games (any and all Zelda games, Final Fantasy, and, of course, Dungeons & Dragons), watching loads of movies (I worked as a projectionist and in a video rental store), pining after girls, etc. But I have–had, even then–a healthy respect for the culture of the ’80s, including many things that Cline touches upon in his book. So I ate up every reference to WarGames and Pac-Man and 80′s arcade culture.
Another amazing and dangerous thing is that the instant I was finished with the novel, I began to miss my time in Azeroth. I’ve only ever played one MMORPG and, like most other gamers, it was World of Warcraft. There was something in Cline’s descriptions of Parzival and his friends’ exploits throughout OASIS that made me long for those days where some guildmates and I would work together to bring down a difficult dungeon boss. That teamwork and camaraderie is so often missing from day-to-day RL. Which is, of course, why it is so damned attractive. And dangerous.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go play some Zork.Read More
I was lying in bed last night, on the verge of falling asleep, and I realized that the best way to get myself writing regularly again is… well, to write. And it’s been so long since I wrote regularly, I figured the best thing to write about is myself and my life and the things that go on inside of my head. So I grabbed the little Moleskine I keep next to my bed and the pen with the flashlight that I got from ThinkGeek and I wrote, “Every night, write for 15 minutes”.
So… that’s what this is.
I’m using my favorite text editor of all time, TextMate, and a little timer widget that runs on my dashboard. And I’ve set a reminder in Google Calendar: every night at around 9pm, I will be ordered to do this little exercise. Some of what I write might make it to GeekDad, while the bulk will likely remain here on my own blog.
Today was Liam’s second-to-last day of spring break–they’re off on Monday, too–and we spent the morning in our pajamas. After sending Natania off to work, he and I watched Spy Kids on Netflix. At first he didn’t want to watch it, as he is stuck in an entertainment rut of Overhaulin’ (ugh) and Top Gear (yay!). But I convinced him. And he loved it, wanted to watch it when mom got home, can’t wait for the sequels, etc.
Then I tried something very ambitious. I pulled out our Legend of Drizzt board game and told Liam we were going to play some Dungeons & Dragons. He was excited. I had, of course, forgotten that I haven’t actually unpacked the game, so we spent about twenty minutes punching cardboard tokens and tiles and organizing all of the pieces.
After a cursory refresher of the rules, we started. He played Regis the halfling and I was Drizzt. In the scenario we played, we had to find a lost artifact, and Artemis Entreri was after Regis for his crimes against the thieves’ guild.
I was a little light on the Encounter card draws (I made him pull one whenever he didn’t explore, but not on black arrows; I gave myself all Encounter cards that the rules called for) and at one point, he got discouraged by the appearance of the assassin Artemis and being pinned in against a bad monster, so I role-played that the monster, a spirit, didn’t give chase as he ran away. I also let him pull a special tile so that we could be reunited on the board (we had split the party… d’oh!)
Other than that, though, we played the game rules-as-written. And had a lot of fun! About halfway through, I realized that I was playing it too much like a board game, so I amped up the characterization and made sure that Liam knew it was fine for him to do the same. When he smashed Artemis down with his magical mace, Liam was excited and described it to me, swiping the assassin’s miniature off the board to illustrate.
All in all, a lot of fun. He immediately told me that the crown we had fetched from the ancient throne room was cursed, and I told him that we’d have to explore the further adventures of Regis and Drizzt and the cursed crown on another day. He’s looking forward to it.
Which, of course, means that I have succeeded.Read More
Now the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and trunk
And the only time he’s satisfied
Is when he’s on a drunk
(h/t Tracy)Read More