Wow! Life has been nuts. Some good, some bad.
Last Wednesday we had to put the Elderly Cat to sleep. Ronin was 14, and when he started exhibiting the symptoms of kidney disease we did what we could to make him comfortable and then took him in once he wasn’t. After going through heroic measures with Punkin 3 years ago, we decided that it would just be better not to. Ronin wouldn’t have stood for subcutaneous fluids, and it just would have made his last days even more miserable than they already were. He got his extra special elderly cat gooshy food, and lots of loves and the heated kitty bed, and last Wednesday when he started having trouble walking, we took him in and held him until the end. The last couple of days I carried him with me everywhere and prayed we could stave it off, but really when it comes to kidney disease in cats, all the treatments do is rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic until the water hits your neck. We just couldn’t do it again.
Also, at work, we’ve been going through Accreditation. Accreditation is the process by which the powers that be decide if you should be allowed to grant degrees in your field or not. It is a long, painful, agonizing process. And, it has occupied the majority of my brain for about the last 6-9 months.
Now, the big fun oh boy! news of the month is that the weekend before last was Ambercon NW! Ta DA! Brilliant, as always. Many thanks to Simone, Guy and everyone else who works so hard to make that weekend so awesome and such a freaking success!
Thursday night was the Porn Game, in which I played professional dominatrix Martina Votkanova. The porn game is usually really light and fluffy, and as we started one of the players, Joe, laughingly said, “I bet there’s really a ‘save the pattern, save the universe’ plot in here, but we’ve just been having so much fun with the smut that we’ve never found it.” Well, we found it. The game climaxed (pun intended) with an orgy to save the Serpent in Chaos and the Universe.
Friday morning, I took off to hang out with my friend Karrin, affectionately known as the Keeper of the Other Half of my Brain. Friday afternoon Karrin, myself, and our friend Madelaine, who are apparently known as the Trifecta of Female Gamer Evil, played with several other folks in a game called the Hooded Men run by Jules, and using a system written by Ben Lehmann. We played bandits in Arden during the time of the Black Road, charged by Julian with destroying a terrifying monster or being eaten by his hounds. Of course, Madelaine, Karrin and I decided that we were a lesbian bandit love triangle, and hilarity ensued. Ben Lehmann came up with the idea, as a shaman, to essentially hit the reset button on Arden by sacrificing himself to the forest at it’s heart. I got to sacrifice myself for true love, by dying in flames with Karrin’s character, while Madelaine looked on and said, “Wow, glad I got out of that relationship.” Much fun was had.
Friday night, after a freakout brought on by concern for the elderly cat, I ran Attack of the B-Movies, using the 2-die or Bridge System written by Jordan, Chris and Ogre. I had my four players play elder Amberites as horror movie tropes. We had Dierdre the Cheerleader, Corwin the Sexy Outsider, Brand the Accidental Hero and Benedict the Hyper-Competent guy. They killed Werewolf Julian. Brand was attacked by Vampire Fiona. Corwin got suckered into a trap by Flora tied to a bed. And ultimately they faced down Vampire Master Caine with Corwin tied to an altar, Fiona and Flora crouching at Caine’s feet. A lot of fun, very silly. I described the scene of the final conflict as “Caine, as painted by Frank Frazetta.” Having been bitten by Fiona, Brand had to obey Caine, but Benedict killed Caine just as Brand lunged, and so Brand stopped up short in his attack, dusted off Benedict’s lapels and said, “Good job.”
Saturday morning I played in Nursery Crimes PDX game run by my friend Jen. Again, a blast. This was based loosely off Jaspre Fforde’s Nursery Crimes books. I played a vet who had developed an allergy to cats and dogs, who signed on with Nursery Crimes because she could still deal with talking bears, horses and lions. We faced off against the Evil Mayor and Shere Khan from the Jungle Book, helped by Bagheera and the Lion from either Daniel in the Lion’s Den or Androcoles and the Lion, not sure which. Lives were saved, man-eating tigers were caged, Evil Mayor was arrested. Truly epic.
Saturday night I ran the Amber/Harry Potter crossover game for the fourth year running. This year the players decided that it was time to wreak some havoc on canon. Usually I’m pretty careful to run them parallel to the books, but not intrude on canon. Oh, not this bunch. They got to save the day. And I got introduced to the wonder that is the Bourbon Furnace. Oooo, amazing drink.
Sunday morning I ran Amber Family Therapy. This is an idea that Debra Donoghue and Ogre came up with at our first Ambercon, and I got tired of waiting for her to come back and run it. Ogre asked me if I were going to play the therapist as “the one true family therapist, or some poor clueless therapist out of Shadow?” I opted for choice two as I found it far funnier, and Oh it was, therapist Harmony Stone. I had Karrin as Brand “There’s always room on Team Destroy Them All, Harmony.” Also a Corwin (sleazy), Martin, Fiona, Llewella, Merlin, Gerard, and Julian. Oh, Julian. My buddy Craig played the creepiest most fucked up Julian ever, with repressed homosexuality and incest issues, an unnatural attraction to Morgenstern and REALLY inappopriate crush on Flora. Craig won the game. One moment both Karrin (out of character) and I just wanted to hug him because he was so pitiable, and then he’d say something just… WHOA! and we’d recoil in horror. Everyone else was awesome as well, but Craig went the extra distance. After about two hours of that we declared Craig the winner, and then just talked about sex, Karrin and I performed dramatic readings of bad porn from the internet, and laid around the room nursing our hangovers.
I now have a request to run Amber Family Therapy up in Seattle for people up here, and I’m considering banning Craig. I don’t know if I’m up for that much more icky in my life. Kidding. I love sharing the wrinkles in my brain with everyone else.
Ok, that’s about it. Sorry again about it taking so long to do stuff, but damn has life been crazy.