Archive for November, 2006


Heading off

Ok, so Mary and I will be leaving for New Hampshire in a few minutes. I will have internet access, but not as much time to actually use it. Still, hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with LJ and my email for the next few days, and give a quick update when we get up there. At least I have NCIS on my iPod for the trip. And I’ve decided to try and catch up on Heroes if I can. And I know I’m behind on Supernatural. Dammit, what happened to television being crap that would melt my brain?

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I enjoyed writing this one. I didn’t want to extrapolate too much on Lorenzo’s actions, but I hope I got at least close to how he might act in the situations outlined. This was actually an incredible song choice considering what Nick is going through right now, so thank you for selecting it. Now, without further ado, here’s the first of my character meme things. Not work safe.

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Basic update

I’m writing a basic, catch-all update before I get to work on the character meme.

Thanksgiving was good, as was the rest of the weekend. Thank you to everyone who called/emailed/contacted in some way to give birthday wishes and holiday greetings. I appreciate them all.

Went and saw Casino Royale with my father. Can I say that that is one of the best James Bond films that I’ve seen in quite some time? If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest it. It doesn’t follow any of the established Bond formulas and really has the courage to try and re-establish the franchise in a new and interesting way, much like Chris Nolan did with Batman Begins. Daniel Craig, for lacking the pretty-boy image that people like Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan grafted onto the character, actually plays a real spy. He’s not perfectly smooth, he doesn’t know everything, and while he’s competent, he plays Bond as what M called “a blunt instrument.” The film, while not lacking in action sequences (all of which were incredible), was mostly cerebral. It wasn’t about Bond trying to figure out the bad guy’s plan and kill him before he destroys the world. He already knows the bad guy and his plan and has to outsmart him specifically without killing him. The very end didn’t become a giant battle scene like most Bond films (my favorite example being Blofeld’s minions vs. 100 ninja in You Only Live Twice), but was really shiny regardless. Most importantly, Bond is not the archetype that we’ve become used to, but is a real, three-dimensional character with feelings, motivations, and thoughts that could belong to a real person. Oh, and the plot was original (am I the only one who noticed that Die Another Day was the same damn plot as Diamonds are Forever, for example?).

I, of course, was watching this movie for two, as I needed to see what Nick thought of it as well. Not only did Nick love this movie, he will probably buy a print of it to view at home. Also, I’ve decided that the opening song, Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name,” is Nick’s new theme song. It fits so perfectly that I’m adding it to his soundtrack, even though I had originally set a firm limit of one Bond theme for the character.

I also saw Happy Feet, but I would suggest reading Dexeron‘s review since we saw the film together and basically agreed on the major points.

Otherwise, I’m prepping for the trip Mary and I are taking to New Hampshire on Thursday. I have an appointment to speak with somebody in charge of the Masters of Liberal Studies at Rollins College tomorrow to see about attending there. And I am an iPod addict, though I’d been listening to music pretty obsessively for the past few months regardless. My friend Scott gave me an excellent and interesting book that I’m considering reading again. That’s about it in my life as a whole. Now, on to character posts.

EDIT: Forgot to mention. I put in my application for SE ARST Changeling yesterday. I didn’t get the receipt of confirmation from Clint, so I sent it again today. No idea if I’ll get it, but I have the experience, and my list of references looks like a Who’s Who Among Camarilla Changeling Players and STs, so I hope that’ll help.

Dammit, I’ve caught a meme

Stolen from corstis

1. Choose a character of mine from the list below.
2. Choose a song you’d like to see a post about.
3. If our characters have interacted, let me know if you want them involved.

Characters (Present):
Nick Taggart (Requiem)
Noel Aig (Awakening)
Bandabras Pelinor (Dreaming)

Characters (Past):
Alexi Xendo (Masquerade)
Ramla Horus (Ascension)
Moonpanther (Ascension)
Jack Prescott (Marvel)

I thought it would be fun to do this one. Besides, I can always use some prompting. I might need assistance finding more recent music, but I’ll do my best.

Birthday present

So, last night it snowed in Orlando. It wasn’t much, just flurries, but for some reason I find the very fact that it happened to be miraculous. I know most of the people reading this see snow as no big deal, but for somebody who has never seen it before, I find last night’s events absolutely amazing. It’s not a big miracle like world peace might be, but it is a small one, just enough to show everybody that there is some magic left in the world, occasionally making the impossible very possible. I consider this a birthday present from the Powers that Be, just to make me smile and laugh in pure wonderment.

Your Birthdate: November 22

You tend to be understated and under appreciated.
You have a hidden force to do amazing things, doing them your own way.
People may see you as strange and shy, but they know little.
Your unconventional ways have more power than they (and even you) know.

Your strength: Standing up for what you know is true

Your weakness: You tend to be picky and rigid

Your power color: Silver

Your power symbol: Square

Your power month: April

Saturday Night

Ok, so I’ve been meaning to write this one since Saturday. I once again went out with Nela and Kenny, as well as Purplecowmn andKaliana, but this time we went to Big Belly Brewery for one of purplecowmn‘s former co-worker’s birthday. For those who don’t know, on Church Street there is a place that’s three clubs in one: Chillers on the ground floor, Big Belly Brewery in the middle, and Latitudes on the roof, and one cover applies to all of them.

Suffice it to say, it was awesome. The place played music I liked. The waitresses were all scantily dressed. They have 3 for 1 drinks from 10:30 to 11:30, not to mention they give away free shots every few hours (meaning the servers stand on the bar with a bottle of red alcohol that I couldn’t identify and poor a shot into your mouth if you stand there with your head tilted back). It was really a blast. Went upstairs to Latitudes for a while as well, since I’d been wanting to go there for several months and never got around to it, and that was really fun also. It was a little more laid back, the music wasn’t as hard (classic rock down stairs, more relaxed alternative upstairs), they had heaters (since it was outside and it’s getting cooler), and you can see most of downtown from part of it.

So, not only was the place pretty kewl in and of itself, but within 10 minutes of being there, Shannon Burke, one of my favorite local talk radio personalities (listening to his show right now) randomly came over to our table and said, “You look like nice folks. Let me buy you a round of drinks.” Kenny was a little put off at first since he didn’t know this guy and he was handing out cards, indicating a probable sales pitch, but I asked if he was, in fact, Shannon Burke, and he confirmed. Spoke with him for a few minutes and can say that he seems to be a pretty nice guy.

So, a fun time was had by all. Which is why I’m concerned by this strange melancholy that’s been affecting me recently. I have no reason to be sad or depressed, yet it keeps hitting me every once in a while. It’s strange. I can’t pinpoint when it started, but it’s got me a little concerned. At least I can look at it intellectually. I’m sure I’ll be fine soon enough. But in the mean time, I’m curious as to what it is and why I’m experiencing it.

Also, I’ve uploaded a ton of new userpics that Selena made in a marathon boredom session. I’ll use one for this post. They are incredible. No relation to the post itself, but it’s pretty awesome looking.

Good evening

Yea, last night was fun. Our friends Nela and Kenny decided to take me to a hockey game for my birthday (which is technically Wednesday, but this was when the game was), so they bought Mary and I tickets for the Florida Seals (formerly the Orlando Seals, formerly the Orlando Solar Bears). I have to say, I had a really great time.

First, there are some things you should know about minor league hockey: 1) it is in no way like the clean, professional-style hockey you see in the NHL. NHL hockey is very neat; they skate around the ice, checks come expectedly and in a relatively proper manner. I don’t want to degrade NHL players, since they are mostly very talented athletes, but for the most part it’s straight-forward hockey the whole game. Not so with minor league. These guys were all over the ice. They weren’t really that great at certain things, like playing as a team (couldn’t tell you how many times our guys passed the puck to nobody) or staying on their feet (often due to being tripped by the other team), but I found myself empathizing with them. They were kinda like regular guys playing hockey rather than professional athletes.

2) I can actually hear things. The puck hitting sticks, players yelling at one another, all of this is perfectly clear. The reason why is that attendance was probably around 200 people. This works both ways: I know that they could hear me, too. When I loudly implied that one of the officials was taking bribes from the opposite team, I know that he could hear me. When Mary was egging a fight on, they were getting that message loud and clear.

3) Because of small attendance, they rely heavily on theatrics. I think it’s safe to say that the opposite team’s head coach was playing the part of pissed off evil villain really well. At one point during the second period, the Seals presented him with a bouquet in honor of being the league’s “Lamest Coach” which he threw down on the ice in a huff. He was later ejected from the game in the last minute of play. They had cheerleaders, something that you don’t often find at a hockey game, and I was surprised when they were greeting people at the door (What? Skin? At a hockey game?). There were traditions of all sorts that all 12 Seals fans knew. Last night was “Guaranteed Fight Night,” and the last minute of play, when the Seals were ahead 6 to 1, no less than five fights broke out. Literally, they would face off, the puck would be dropped, and two guys would immediately throw off their gloves and go at it. They would fight for a little, be kicked off the ice, then everyone would face off and they would start again. About four to six seconds would pass before they’d have to stop the clock again. I know it was for the fans’ benefit, but it was wonderfully dramatic and a lot of fun.

4) Because the fan base is so small, I have the feeling that I actually have access to this team. Mary was making suggestions to the guy who decides what merchandise to make when we were on our way out, for example. It’s not like being one of millions of Rangers fans where if you don’t buy a ticket, somebody else will. They realize that they are out in the sticks and have to hold on to every fan if they want to have a team next season, so they actually listen and make an effort. I think almost every jersey I saw people wearing last night was signed.

Ken and I agreed that we would be willing to adopt this team as our own. I would love to go to more games. It’s like blue collar hockey, and for some reason I feel like even when they win, they are somehow the underdogs. It was a really good time had by all.

We went to Denny’s afterward and Mary laughed so hard she had an asthma attack. We got home around 1am, no issues.

Audra’s lesson

I will concentrate. My mind is my own. It is Tuesday, November 8th, 2006.

Last night I spoke with Audra and I like where her training is going so far. She found the loophole I left, but now I’ve closed that one and opened another. At one point I will have to start her memory training in earnest, but for now I enjoy seeing how she avoids assignments.

I helped her pack that evening. The advantage of spending time with Lorenzo is that women’s clothes is not a mystery to me. In fact, she has some lovely outfits that would look wonderful on the new alias I’m crafting. I have really beautiful calves and the way the skirts were cut- Back on topic, Nick. Your arrogance will kill you.

She bought another book, like I expected. I didn’t expect her to use the answers in the back, but now I have a better idea of what to count on. So long as there is an easy way out, she will take it. I can use that tendency.

I also wanted to warn you to be careful of yourself. I’ve been you before, and don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made.

She didn’t quite get it. I know that she wanted to, but I still sense that she doesn’t think things like that will happen to her. She isn’t afraid, and that’s what’s really going to get her. I pulled out my picture.

Thought Bubble

There are 83 stars, but only 48 names in the book beneath it. She was confused. Makes sense, I hadn’t explained yet. This is the CIA memorial wall. Each star represents an agent killed during a mission. 48 of the agents are listed in the book beneath, called the Book of Honor. 35 agents must remain anonymous, even in death. That got her attention a little bit, but I think this did the job, Second row from the bottom, seventh from the left is me.

I told her about Budapest and the cafe, trying to stress that the reason why I’m one of the unnamed 35 is because I got cocky. You get confident and then ambitious and then you think if you just go for it you can wiggle your way out of it…I know exactly what you’re talking about. No, you don’t, Audra. Not yet. But you will one day. It was a good object lesson, and honesty was clearly the way to go with this as I had every doubt that it would mean something right now. Hopefully the first time her ego ruins a mission, she’ll think about my star and remember that it could get much worse. You’re getting sentimental. Stick to the facts. Yes, she will fail one day. Yes, she has a lot to learn. So will you and and so do you, and don’t get egotistical like an ideally trained mentor. You will teach her with reasonable expectations or you will not teach her at all. I’m right.

I look forward to seeing how she cheats on the next assignment. They only get worse from here.

And her first acting challenge makes me smile just thinking about it…

No cars tonight, but a plane overhead flying a banner and the sulfur in the water is up tonight. Neighbors also docked their boat too hard. Must have just come back from a picnic on the water and didn’t finish all the hot dogs. Have to tell Roger that if he wants that boat to last a few years, he has to be careful when he docks it.

…..

This is later the same night. Solved it. That’s why I do this.

From the Journal of the Late Noel Aig:

November 15, 2006

I sat there watching my wife sleep and I realized that I’d never done that before. Our courtship began after her disasterous encounter with an elder god, and she hasn’t slept since, so this was an entirely new experience for me. I think I like her asleep. She genuinely looks happy in a totally unguarded way.

Once again I find that I’m quite happy having given up my life as a rogue demon hunter in exchange for beginning this cabal. Even when I’m in the grip of frustrated rage, removed from everyone else, they still manage to take care of things. Their reasons may often be skewed, but they still manage to find the correct right course of action and follow it.

Solomon looked exhausted from the ritual. I can’t blame him; it must have been quite a trial to break whatever effect was on her. That Elle had also already brought Jeremy from home was incredible, and by the time I had arrived, everyone had completed their jobs. Moreso, I could tell that Jeremy was honestly concerned for my well-being, and I cannot express how grateful I am that he decided to stay, be it for my health or to research Zephyr’s key.

Mr. Black or Cricket will be along in a few hours to interrupt Fiction’s nap. She should sleep for several uninterrupted days, having not done so much as an hour in six months, but she would be angry to let the Mysterium down, so I’ll wake her when the time comes, but I’ll have Fee clear the rest of her appointments.

I saw that she was looking for something to hug, and while I was tempted to join her, I still had research to do on Tenebrious and the Child’s Breath spirits. Besides, I rather enjoyed watching her sleep. Instead, I crafted a stuffed-animal version of myself out of Ephemera. I realize that sounds rather egotistical, but I could think of no other appropriate form and considered a Cthulhu one to be in poor taste.

They’ll be just fine when I’m not around.

Post Script: Relearning a childhood love of comic books. Thanks, Conner. Next I’ll be playing Zephyr’s video games.