Leaky Heaven Circus

Satomi, Yvonne and I went to the Leaky Heaven Circus yesterday and it was really fun and wunderbar. I recommend you look into it and catch it while it’s still going. It goes to Sunday I think. http://www.leakyheaven.com
I went to their website and on the front page was the poster but it was cut up and rearranged so rather than try to figure it out I just clicked on the image and looked for an address inside the site. I found Leaky Heaven Performance Society 600 Campell Ave but it turns out that was wrong so we spent some time trying to find a poster or make calls to get the proper info. We found postcards in a community center that had the real address – 1500 block of Williams St – and when we got there it was sold out, but there was a waiting list that one could be added to, so we had our names added even though she said “it’s not looking too good.” We waited for a while and then they called out 6 more people on the waiting list, then another 6, then another 3 and so on and so on until finally we got in. So, despite my rushed research the day before, we got to see a fantastic circus, complete with madcap monkey shines, rockillicking revelry and haughty high jinks. I donated some extra money after the show was over.

We played D&D tonight and then Anghold and I went over to Ursula’s to play poker. Somehow I ended up with everyone’s money at the end of the night (even though everyone’s money was Ursula’s, and I didn’t get to keep it). I made some bold dealer plays – whatever the term is when the dealer calls what’s wild and how many rounds of how many cards are dealt – but most of my overtures were brutally frowned upon.

eBay at the moon

I just had an annoying eBay encounter. One of the things on my “favourite” searches is the Predator soundtrack. You can fix your settings so that every day you get emails containing new listings for your favourites. I got an email telling me about a listing of a rare Predator promo cd that had all of the songs that are on the regular Predator sountrack (which is a very limited edition CD that usually goes for $60 US or more – which obviously I can’t afford or justify). Usually when there’s a new listing I just bid my max ($20) and I am grossly outbid almost immediately – which I expect. So I did likewise on this listing but a split second after I bid I realized there was a “BUY IT NOW” price of $20, which means I shouldn’t have bid – I should have just hit the BUY IT NOW button and ended the auction. So I emailed the seller telling them I had made a mistake and I would like to “Buy it Now” and then figured out how to retract my bid. So I retracted my bed, and then hit the BUY IT NOW button. Then I Paypalled the guy $26.50 (I had earlier emailed him about how much postage would be and $6.50 was the response). This was yesterday or the day before, and I just got an email that says:

Sorry, but it looks like someone else already beat you to bidding on the item. I show that ebay user llwilloughby won the auction thru Buy It Now and he already sent me a Paypal payment. I only have one CD so I can’t sell it to you. I’ll refund your money immediately. Once again, I’m sorry.

Which I can’t figure out since it took me all of 5 minutes to go from being the first bidder to retracting my bid to hitting the Buy It Now button. I guess god hates me. Or he wants me to save my money. Either way, DAMN YOU GOD!!!!

Also, sellers of Nausicaa DVDs who live in the Vancouver area but won’t let you come and pick up the disc to save $5 on shipping deserve a little kick in the bum.

Don't forget – tomorrow is Knitting in the Buff

I had some errands to do today and it looked overcast out so I dressed slightly warmer than usual. And then when I got to the end of the block I turned around and changed into something cooler. I walked down to Divine Industries our record company where I gave them my only copy of Great Old Ones so that we can reissue the album. Allen was on the phone so I chatted with Laura about Scrabble but then it was back on my feet to go to the Comicshop where I dropped off posters and tickets for H.P. Lovecraft’s Birthday Party. I didn’t plan on buying anything while I was there but I couldn’t resist a few of the open D&D miniatures they had (lemure, ettercap, grick – all monsters all the time), and some discounted DUNGEON magazines (cheap and useful!). I talked with Ryan and Jeremy who work there about the con and this and that – some young kid there was saying that I might not have a steady paycheck from my artwork but at least I’ll have valuable art to hand down to my children. Valuable, valuable words to live by.

From there I walked down to Drexoll Games where I dropped off more tix/posters and while I was there I exchanged the dice that Ursula gave me for my birthday. She saw me ogling dice when we were at the 24-hour game-a-thon and so she got them for me, but she got me the set of 12 six-siders instead of the full nerd set (d4,d6,d8,d10,d12,d20). I was going to keep the d6’s because they could come in handy, but this morning I decided that I had enough d6’s for my needs – but not enough d20’s, so off I went. Ziggy was there so at first I wasn’t sure if he had the authority for exchanges (since I didn’t have the receipt) but it was no problem. The problem arose when I went to find the set I wanted (dark marble royal blue with gold numbers) and I saw the green dark marble and then a kind of neat plasma green that were also very appealing to my artistic sensibilities. There was a girl there talking with Ziggy so I asked her which ones she liked best. She picked the dark green. Then I showed them to Ziggy and he chose the plasma green. My original jones had been for the royal blue so I was back where I started. I decided that I better roll for it! Ziggy got out a d6 and I decided 1-2 = dark green, 3-4=plasma, 5-6= blue. I rolled a 6 so we made the exchange and I was $1.50 up on the deal to boot.


Then I walked over to Jolly’s Bistro and I had a veggie roti. The food there is really tasty but about 10% too expensive. I suggest you try it though (it’s just west of the Naam). Marlo and I are on no junk-food diets right now (pretty much since we saw Supersize Me!, although for me it had more to do with the fact that I had a buddy, not because I saw the movie. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a couple months now. The problem (if you can call it that) is that Kelly is a chocolatier and she always brings over decadent treats that are delicious-cubed. I think the hardest thing to do will be to give up chocolate, in fact I don’t think I’m going to do that. I’m just going to cut down. Nixing the chips & pop won’t be much of a problem – nuts/raisins and juice make good alternatives. There’s no alternative to chocolate though.

Now I’m off to draw undead squid for charity….

World Wildlife Federation of Justice.

We had a couple new superheroes to the home WWFJ campaign today – Otter Destruct (super strength and invulnerability) and Drako (Duck with draconic powers) joined Go-Rilla, Bushido Dragon and the Invisible Fink. They saved the lives of several animaloids in a burning building, part of a rash of arson that has been plaguing New Metro City of late. The Invisible Fink arrived late (he heard about it on the news while everyone was on the scene moments after the fire started (by two firebombs in the building, as it turns out). A hippo that Otter D saved told her that he had information about the arsonist, and that he’d meet her at the waterfront subway station at midnight with more info. The heroes arrived (most undercover) later that night to meet with him. The hippo took them across the street into a construction site where he introduced them to his “boss” – a shadowy horse wearing a hood. The horse said “Superheroics are all well and good, but I’m prepared to offer you something more substantial for your abilities” and he cracks open a couple briefcases filled with money. Go-Rilla asks “and if we refuse?” The dark horse snaps his fingers and out of the shadows come Tarmadillo and Rhinosferatu. That’s where we paused for the day.

It occurs to me that if we had gone to see Supersize Me! at Tinseltown instead of 5th Ave Cinema we would have each saved $2 for a total of $8. And the seats would have been comfier. And bubble tea would have been on hand. Anyway….

3 out of 4
or 4 out of 5
or 8 out of 10.
You pick the rating system you like best.

James got me a rock lord – which I think is my fifth. Then we drove out to Chilliwack and I forgot to give him gas money because I didn’t ride home with him. In a convoluted set of circumstances Stewie needlessly rented a car and went separately from the rest of us, so we actually had a spare seat in James car which if I had known about it earlier I would have dragged Anghold along. Anyway that’s all ducks under the windbridge now. The reason we went to Chilliwack was because we were invited to Sid’s BBQ. I ended up eating a hamburger even after seeing Supersize Me! I saw all the usual Chilliwackian residents like Bob, Garett & Lea, Tara & Jordan, my brother, etc etc. Even Suzanne Bate who I haven’t seen for years. After the food we bandied about ideas for a short to make for the H.P. Lovecraft film festival and I came up with this great idea that would take way too long and would have limited appeal to non-Ghostbusters fans but I still think it’s a great idea and I think that Stewie and I will work on it (covertly – shhhh). Nevermind that we still haven’t gotten our SSZ treatment to Stuart Gordon yet. Then we played Pac-Man, Galaxian, DigDug and 2 other weird retro games for way too long and watched children playing with children, dogs playing with dogs, and children playing with dogs. It was all very culture (as opposed to counter-culture) but quite enjoyable, and hey – free food. It was Linda’s birthday yesterday so there was cake for that too. You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? Don’t worry, now that it’s July it won’t be long before I post an entry that I’m sure we can all relate too.

Also, I phoned my grandparents yesterday. My grandpa actually said “you’re another day older and deeper in debt.” I guess some sayings never get worn out – I know I’ll be telling my czar chasm joke until I’m 85 so fair’s fair.

New Metro City

So Disney is blocking Michael Moore’s new movie criticising George W Bush because it may “jeopardize tax breaks granted to Disney for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Jeb Bush is governor.” Of course that is horrific and of course it is no surprise.

Yesterday Yvonne and I redesigned Vancouver for my anthropomorphic super-animals game I’m working on. There’s now a dam in North Vancouver and a military academy by Stanley Park and a Coney-Island like boardwalk along Sunset Beach. I’m going to do it all up nice-nice in the next few days. Has anyone been to Disappointment Lake, and if so – did it live up to it’s name?

Has anybody else noticed that recently when you search for something in Google, it will give you your list of results, and a few seconds later in will pop extra listings, to whit:

Free Virus Scan
Scan for spyware, malware and keyloggers in addition to viruses, worms and trojans. New threats
and annoyances are created faster than any individual can keep up with.
http://defender.veloz.com/ – 15k

You can find MAPQUEST right now at Info.com.
Click here to show top and relevant search results for MAPQUEST from 14 Search engines with just
1 click.
http://msxml.us.info.com/ – 44k

right under the first listing? I wonder if this is some new deal Google has or if it’s due to some virus-like thing on my computer. One thing for sure – I hate it.

I think it would be fun to crash wedding ceremonies and when the priest says “if anyone knows any reason why these two people should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace” cry out either one of their names longingly and run up to declare your secret love. That would be a fun activity for an otherwise dull Sunday afternoon.

If You Love Christmas So Much, Why Don't You Marry It?

I had a dream this morning that Anthony Hopkins came to my house. And that I had a house.

Moving on…

Movies I want to see as soon as possible:

Return of the King
Triplettes of Belleville
Intolerable Cruelty

Movies I am also interested in but theoretically could wait until video/dvd:
Matchstick Men
21 Grams
Mystic River

(Don’t forget, Princess Mononoke & The Dark Crystal are playing at the Placebo on Sunday (28th), and p:ano (the band) is playing at the Sugar Refinery on Monday (29th).)

I went down to Drexoll Games today and picked up a cool monk figure with a spiked chain. I didn’t really know what I was looking for – there were a few that caught my eye, but I decided I didn’t have enough monk minis in my collection. I like it. I also bought an issue of Dungeon Magazine which has some really interesting adventures in it (but only 2).

For posterity, I will catalogue here the really bad joke I thought up while I was walking from Broadway to 4th Ave.

Hugo: I really love Christmas
Buford: If you love Christmas so much, why don’t you marry it?
Hugo: Marry Christmas?

Sorry, it’s all in the delivery.

I had a look at their boxing day sale table. amidst the games etc was a copy of Cults Across America, a Cthulhu board game for which I did art. It’s actually a pretty good game, but it takes a long time to play and it’s expensive ($70). They (Darcy & Tamara, shopowners) tried to apologize to me for marking it down but I wouldn’t let them. When Jeff showed up in the store a few minutes later, he rubbed it in my face that the game was on sale, but then had to apologize when somebody bought it!

While I was browsing through the miniatures a fellow nearby asked me if I had anything to do with Spaceship Zero (the RPG). He asked me if I would run a game of it at his stag party. Yeah, you read right. I thought that was pretty choice and of course I agreed. He hasn’t set a date yet but I gave him my card. I knew I carried those stupid things around for a reason.

Return to the Temple of Gingerbread Evil

Return to the Temple of Gingerbread Evil

gbd0.jpgHaving heard rumours of gingerbread treasure in an ancient gingerbread temple, our gingerbread adventurers gather.

gbd1.jpgThe entrance to the temple is dark (except for the windows), foreboding, and delicious.

gbd2.jpgToren’s half-orc barbarian is ambushed from above by three gummi bloodsuckers. His life-icing is tragically and noisily sucked out of him. Even with his high Fortitude save, he never stood a chance. The cleric could revive him, but figures “ah, why bother?”

gbd3.jpgA bevy (school? murder?) of gummi lobsters guard two coveted icy squares. Unpictured: Darcey’s gruesome death by nippers.

gbd4.jpgA clodhoppers trap claims the life of another valiant adventurer. Bards will sing glorious ballads of the tragic tale of Stewie’s cleric.

gbd5.jpgThe remainder of the group enters the domain of the Cult of the Gummi Bear, interrupting their unholy sacrificial rites before the alter to some nameless profane gingergod. Note the two treasure chests in the back right and the colourful, starry side-effect of Ang Hold’s necromantic aranea’s miscast spell.

gbd6.jpgThe gummi cultists handedly dispatched, Yvonne’s halfling rogue checks for traps on the treasure chests…

gbd7.jpg…sadly she fails her roll. There were no survivors.

Stoned Gaming

On Saturday I played Mutants and Masterminds: not the Red Skrull game, but the reunion of the Justice Hurricane. I used to play Champions with Jeff GMing in oh, 97 or so, shortly after I moved to Vancouver. It’s ironic that Jeff and I went to the same high school in Chilliwack, and knew all the same people, but never actually met until I moved to Van. Anyway, in the Champions game I played Rhinosferatu (half man, half rhino, all vampire) but rather than renew him I decided to make up a new character for the M&M game: The Beekeeper. He’s fun. His alter ego name is Cedric Doppelpopoulos. Everyone there was drinking and/or smoking pot so although there were many hilarious moments, everything was three times as hilarious to everyone else. Stuart was building things with Lego while we played, and Mike, rather doped up, stepped on the bag Stuart left on the floor and fell over like a tree, right onto the table (and my knee). I thought he had either suddenly died or had an attack of narcolepsy, because he didn’t put his hands out when he fell or in any other way reacted. He just lie on the table for a number of seconds as we all tried to lift his inert body up. Turns out he was fine, though he did cut his hand, we discovered minutes later. Tea, Jeff’s girlfriend, is singing in a band (I don’t know the name) and a greeting was passed on to me from Karen, who plays drums for them (if I recall correctly) and who I was told I know. It’s not unlikely that I know her, but I have no recollection of knowing more than one Karen (my ex-boss who I now do web design for). Nevertheless, I returned the “via” greeting and maybe some day we’ll meet “again.”

Our cable went out on Thursday, but just in the living room – not in Mr. Chris’ room. Two guys came this morning to have a look at it. One of them was a typical repairman specimen who was taken to call objects and situations “her.” They couldn’t get the signal fixed today so we are to expect more visits by another “crew” in the next 2-3 days. In the meantime they gave us a lot of cable and a splicer. I hope all of this is free. It should be, shouldn’t it? I’ll be angry and broke if it’s not.

Yesterday, in addition to writing a few ESL dialogues, I worked on the almost-all-girl campaign that I’m running. I did up a map and got a clearer picture of what the string of adventures will be. Here’s hoping they advance in levels as planned, otherwise I may have to add or remove some scenarios. I’m sure I’ll be able to deal with that if it happens. There’s just a little bit in the middle I need to flesh out (how will they get from here to there?), but overall it’s looking pretty damn interesting. I’ve left lots of opportunities for the players to make decisions that will affect the outcome of the story arc, which I’m sure you’ll all agree is important, rather than just taking them for a ride.

NecroWombicon / Robin Williams Plays Spaceship Zero?

Our rock show last night went off like a natural 20. That’s nerd-speak for ‘quite good’, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you blog readers. Despite the fact that we haven’t played (including practice) since March, we hardly screwed up at all. I did forget the words during “Shoggoths Away” but only for a second, and I covered by making up new lyrics as I went, which is always popular.  We played at about quarter after nine so by the time we finished the sun was setting. Yes, we played in a parking lot. Merrick stood right over a manhole cover. The sound system was da bomb – my worries were completely unfounded. Fatrick really came through for us, my thanks to him and to all the fans who formed the “mosh” “pit”. At a bar gig, we never (well I shouldn’t say never but very rarely) are asked to give autographs, but at these nerd-cons, we’re small ‘c’ celebs, and yes I must admit that’s a nice feeling. Someone brought their copy of SSZ for the band to sign, another person just had a piece of cardstock, and another one grabbed our set list and we signed that for him. If I had been able to bring CDs I would have made a killing. But sadly they’re still not done. I did have the foresight to bring the last dregs of the t-shirts that have been quietly sobbing of loneliness in my closet at night, and I sold all but one. Someone shouted out from the crowd that we should play some Clash, so the boys started playing some Clash song. Since I have no idea how any Clash songs go, I stood quietly and entertained myself by thinking about different kinds of wallpaper. For our one and only encore song, there was another little surprise, Jordan got off the drum kit and Mario took over. Oh the fun we have!

All the toil about figuring out the buses turned out to be time wasted – one of Chris’ friends gave us a ride there. I got to play Bubble Bobble too so I was happy. Lester’s Arcade, for those of you who don’t know, is quite a large arcade in Burnaby, open 24 hours, with pool tables and air hockey and LAN games. And it’s got its own pizza joint. After all the nerding was done, Stuey, Slater, Kathryn and I were given a ride back to civilization by Darcey, who ranted (as is his wont) about the many things he was born to rant about, to the edification of us all. A late dinner of salad, an episode of Black Adder, and it was to bed for me.

In the morning Rob called offering me a ride to the gamey-game part of NecroWombicon. Naturally I accepted and gave him his birthday present. I played a game of Carcasonne (I think it’s spelled) which was mildly dull but not without its charm, then I just kind of wandered about while everyone played video games. Finally 6pm rolled around which was when I scheduled to play Spaceship Zero. At first I thought nobody was going to show, but I ended up playing with 9 people playing (though not all at the same time). Everyone seemed to love it and a few asked how to get a copy.

Jeff told me the other day that Robin Williams has a copy of Spaceship Zero the RPG. Apparently he plays D&D with his daughter on the set of the movie he’s shooting now in town with Jeff’s girlfriend’s young daughter, so Jeff gave him his extra copy of SSZ. Will he play it? I hope so. Rob and I were hoping that he and Vin Deisel would get together and start a celebrity RPG advocacy group of some kind. Then maybe it would be cool to play RPGs…

…or they’d just be stigmatized. Either way, I approve.