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Pericles in SPACE

reposted from g+, mostly for animate_mush

Pericles, Prince of Tyre is not a good play, but tonight it was greatly improved by:

*The "Cantina Karaoke" variety pre-show.

*The pulp scifi costumes of King Antiochus (who very nearly had EVIL stamped on his forehead) and his daughter (who had a very impressive hat).

*The six-way lightsaber battle at the birthday games of the half-Klingon Princess of Pentapolis.

*The Starfleet uniformed extras wheeling the Stargate out onto stage to let you know the next scene is set in Tarsus, while the Jedi extras cart of the the body of the dead Red Shirt.

*The captain of the ship which is wrecked the night Marina is born; and his coat, which was kind of a brownish color (notable among his sailors, a knit hat and a hawaiian shirt).

*When Marina is kidnapped by pirates (just before Dionyza's assassin/jaffa can kill her), the pirates being the entire rest of the cast besides the two of them who sweep through yelling at the top of their lungs, dressed as who knows what, except that they were led by Jack Sparrow.

*The distinctive, five-tone theme Pericles hears when he hallucinates music in Act V, before his Close Encounter with the goddess Diana.

In short, Shady Shakespeare found a way to perform Pericles and make a virtue of the play-as-it-is-written's complete disjointedness of plot, theme, time, and space: MASH UP ALL THE THINGS.

On Parade

A scene from our Star Wars game on Friday, imagined from a bystander's view point.

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You've owned a small shop near the docks of the Wheel for almost 10 years now, and you've seen a lot of strange things and people. It's a space station of tens of thousands of people, and most of that is not permanent population. It's people coming and going to the greatest casinos in the galaxy. Or perhaps to do a little smuggling on the side. You're not easily surprised anymore.

So when you hear a high-pitched screaming making its way down the corridors towards your shop and you go to see what's happening, it's more because it's a slow evening, than because it's shocking. The screamer is moving fast, and you almost don't make it to the window in time to see the tiny, brown-robed figure go by. It's a surprising amount of noise—and speed—for such a small creature. You can make out one word of its screams, "Utinni".

Huh, you say to yourself. Did a Jawa just run by, screaming at the top of its lungs? That's something you don't see every day, I have to admit.

Paused at the window in surprise, you're still there when another figure runs by after the Jawa. A Human this time, but also quite tiny: a short, scrawny teenage girl, carrying a large object. As you watch, you suddenly realize she's carrying a blaster rifle almost as big as she is! And doing a surprisingly good job sprinting with it. Twisting and turning through the thinning evening crowd, the rifle moves in her hands like a live thing and never runs into anything. Though admittedly the crowd is mostly standing still staring after the Jawa at this point.

Then another Human runs after them. The first thing you notice is that she's got a man in a rather nice suit slung over her shoulder, but she's making impressive speed for all that. The second is that her arms are wrist to shoulder tattoos. Only a few steps behind her is yet another young woman. This one looks like a fairly normal, sane person, which is itself a little startling at this point.

You wait at the window for a few minutes after they go by. Where are they all going? Are they chasing the Jawa? What exactly is she going to do to the Jawa with the man in the suit? Are there going to be more lunatics?

Yes, yes there are. A man jogs by along the same route, dragging another man behind him by the leg, this one in combat armor, bouncing and jolting over the floor. Wait, is that a lightsaber in his belt? Nothing good comes of getting mixed up in matters involving lightsabers. You should close up your shop and go home, before trouble arrives. But you linger at the window, just in case the parade isn't over.

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New Blog

fyi, I have a new blog up at http://blog.sedesdraconis.com

My first four posts:
Recording a Dance of Information
A Brace of Linguists
Māori Tengwar for DungeonWorld
Penguin-Lizard-Spock and the Ten Heavenly Stems

The Vorksoigan Tarot

Mike and Shannon and Kate came over last night. We were talking about Bujold, unsurprisingly.

While discussing Bothari, I mentioned that his relationship with Cordelia reminded me of the Tarot card Strength: the woman taming the lion.

Some eighteen or so hours later, the first draft of an outline of the Vorkosigan Tarot is now up at
http://www.sedesdraconis.com/index.php/Vorkosigan_Tarot

Looking for constructive feedback! Help me finalize some up in the air decisions! Find descriptions and correlations and patterns I've missed! Help me improve the formatting! Correct how you'd like me to cite your name!

Discussion can happen here or http://www.sedesdraconis.com/index.php/Talk:Vorkosigan_Tarot

Bujold @ Books Inc 10/19/2010

From my notes (wording may be imprecise or elliptical)

Re. series structures: the Vorkosigan model is the Horatio Hornblower books

Re. the Book of the Father: "The Father is the god of justice, I should be able to do something with that; there's a whole section right there of fantasies of justice: mysteries."

Re. Miles growing up and changing careers: "Eventually I got interested in how many genres I could fit into one series. Military story, Young man coming of age, Romance of both flavors: a comedy and a drama, several mysteries."

Re. Chalion: "I wanted it to take seriously two things fantasy religions often don't: I wanted it to take mysticism seriously and I wanted it to take seriously the social function of religion."

"I feel like a bigamist. I've got two publishers, and other writers don't even have one. More than I can take care of."

"The book itself teaches you to read it. I think some people who bounce of science fiction have trouble with that. They want things to be laid out from the beginning so they know they're not wrong."

Read more...Collapse )

Realization for the week

Several things made me realize/remember recently that I have bad fine motor coordination. I had forgotten, because I have quite good hand-eye coordination.

Also, because generally I avoid most things that require fine motor coordination. Below average fine motor coordination and above average attention to detail makes fine motor tasks pretty un-fun. It's why I stopped practicing my calligraphy; I just can't put the pen where I want it on anything resembling a consistent basis. It's also one of the reasons I don't carve pumpkins anymore.

It's also why I love drawing on the computer: This circle is going to be exactly 3 points across, and it is going to be centered at 443.46, 304.17, and it's going to damn well stay there. To quote sarkat "Do you have any idea how much this pleases me?"

The Plan

We've been working on a heist in the star wars game for several sessions. We spent almost the entirety of this evening finalizing the plan for the final steps of the heist.

The PlanCollapse )

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I have a new job, against all odds

I have a new job! Though I haven't started for real yet. I'm going to be working with a company that does science outreach; I'll be starting doing afterschool programs at elementary schools.

This despite all efforts of the universe to stop me from having this job.

When I was sent an e-mail with an interview time, Gmail held it up as spam. I missed the interview because I knew nothing about it. There were 700 and something other messages in my Gmail spam folder, not a single other one could be even generously classified as a false positive.

Then I had an orientation and hiring-paperwork meeting this past Monday. I drove down to my parents house on Sunday to get my social security card, to put together with my driver's license, for the I-9. When getting ready to walk out the door Monday afternoon, I couldn't find my wallet, which now contained both of my forms of id, along with, y'know, all the other things a wallet is good for holding.

As best I can reconstruct the story, my wallet fell out in the parking lot Sunday night. Sometime between then and Monday afternoon, someone walked off with it. Later, they bought a candy bar for $1 with my bank card at a gas station in San Jose at around 3:00. :(

But despite this, I have a new job. Also, a new wallet, a new temporary driver's license, and a new bank card on the way. Sometime, I will also get a new social security card. Which is just as well, because a felt pen leaked on my social security card.

Well, actually, the pen leaked on the bottom of my backpack. But then I was in Seattle six and a half years ago and my entire backpack became completely soaked, which set the ink a-moving.

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Yay! My spreadsheet works!

It now correctly converts back and forth between
1. x,y coordinates (measured in points) in my Illustrator document, interpreted as a Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area Projection, and
2. Longitude/Latitude in both Earthly and Gnomish coordinate systems.