What I Did on My Weekend

So, by my standards, it was an awesome but crazy-busy weekend.

Often, when my weekends are quiet and sedate, I feel like I’m letting the side down and I find myself thinking, “man, I wish I had a crazy-busy weekend, you know?” Then the crazy-busy-weekend comes along and I go along with the flow and then Monday comes and I wake blinking like a stoned raccoon wondering why I’m so tired.

I need coffee. I need to catch up on the writing that didn’t get done. And I really do need to schedule some more crazy-busy weekends in the near future.

The weekend itself is kind of squished together, a little, in my head. Things bleed into each other.

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Okay,  I guess the first thing is that I’ve been shortlisted for some Ditmar Awards this year, in both the Short Story category for One Saturday Night, With Angle, and the novella category for Bleed.  I found this out while having Breakfast with some friends on Sunday morning, largely ’cause I’d been light on the internets over the weekend, and on the whole it was a rather pleasant surprise.

So thanks to all the people who nominated me, and congratulations to the various other people who have been shortlisted. The full Ditmar short list can be found on the Natcon Fifty website and it’s a frickin’ awesome list this year.

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On Saturday night I sat down to watch the Evening With Kevin Smith DVD for the first time, which was basically as entertaining as I’d expected it to be after catching bits and pieces on youtube. Except for this one stretch which was profoundly uncomfortable, which is largely when a young queer member of the audience brings up Chasing Amy and how it contributed to a culture that made her life difficult as a younger woman.

The response is uncomfortable to watch. This is not to say that Smith doesn’t have some good points (Does no-one ever notice that the character who says “All lesbians really need is a good, deep dicking” is the idiot who is wrong about everything throughout the movie) and some that are straight off the back of the white male privileged bingo card (my brother is gay) and at least one that explains why he at least attempted the film that’s interesting (I once had a conversation with my brother about the fact he isn’t represented in narrative, and I try to change that).

But mostly  it’s just uncomfortable because there’s no real attempt to engage with the question before bulldozing through the answer. It’s one of those real I-had-good-intentions style responses that argues that good intentions excuse the faults.

And really, when you’re a geek, there are times when that does actually count as a victory, ’cause there are portions of geekdom that are scarily entrenched in their white-male-privilege and don’t want to let it go.

Which is why, a few hours later, I was really, really happy when a friend sent me the link to Bioware telling a white-straight-male to Get Over It when he complained about the possibility of female and queer relationships being given equal weight in Dragon Age 2.

There are exactly three computer games I’ve bothered to play for longer than 2 hours in the last six years: Total Extreme Wrestling, Blood Bowl Online, and the first Dragon Age. The mindset exhibited by Bioware above is one of the reasons why I got sucked into DA Origins for as long as I did. I’d talked myself out of Dragon Age 2, not because I don’t expect it to be awesome, but because it’s likely to be narrative crack that ’causes me to stop writing and lose my job.

That one response, linked to above, is probably going to change my mind.

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Okay, what else.

Saturday afternoon I did errands. I bought new jeans for the first time in about five or six years (which is one of those facts that’s readily apparent if you’ve seen the current state of my jeans, most of which have holes in them somewhere). In fact, since they were on sale, I bought a whole lot of jeans, which will cost even more to have hemmed (since I am not-so-handy with a needle and thread and thus happily pay professionals) than I did for the jeans themselves.

I bought some books at proper bookstores – Burn Bright, by Marianne de Pierres; Heist Society, by Ally Carter – then I went to my local Borders and watched the gleeful gutting of the stock by people who were all omg-the-bargins. It made me kinda sad, because I really liked my local Borders despite it’s flaws, and it made me feel sorry for the various people who worked there.

I still remember when they first opened the Borders at my preferred shopping center, and how awesome it was to be able to shop for books I actually read before picking up my weekly groceries.

I’ve already burned through Heist Society, which is just as awesome as Tansy Rayner Roberts promised it would be when she reviewed it on her blog. I would have burned through Burn Bright already, but this copy is a gift.

Sunday I went to Avid Reader and bought more books – the Collected Stories of  Gabriel Garcia Marquez (so I can read it at the same time as my dad), Motherless Brooklyn, and Yellowcake by Margo Lanagan.

There is something blissful about acquiring new fiction. Which probably explains my out of control To Be Read pile that’s taking up two bookcases at present.

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On Sunday afternoon I gamed with my Sunday Night Cthulhu group.

We’ve missed a bunch of games recently – due to illness, travel for work, celebrating the birth of one member’s son, etc – so there was something very comforting about slipping back into the Sunday Night Cthulhu routine, even though we’re not actually playing Call of Cthulhu at present.

One of the realities of being a RPG gamer in your thirties (and older) is that weekly gamers are supposed to be impossible, but at this point we’ve been gaming every Sunday for so long that it barely even registers as something as something remarkable. I can’t even remember when we started, although I’m sure it was prior to the first Gen Con Oz and a quick perusal of the blog sees things like “we kicking off the weekly Cthulu sessions after the xmas break” appearing in February of 2008.

Which means we’ve been going for about four years, I think. We’ve lost a player in that time, and recently gained a new one, but for the most part a  core group of four people has been there the entire time.

We played Cthulhu pretty much eclusivly for the first two or three years, hence the fact that Sunday is permanently branded as Cthulhu night despite the fact that we’ve slowly added more systems to the mix (Space 1889 for a while, currently Classic Deadlands which is proving to be 9 kinds of awesome).

Last night’s game, though. Man, it kinda reminds me why I enjoy gaming, you know? Undead revenants kicking the crap out of solitary gunslingers who got caught unawares; the entire team getting caught in a firefight against desperado’s who have the advantage of cover upon the ridge; a mad scientist coming to realize his blueprints are haunted because things keep changing while he’s asleep; the same mad scientist unleashing his flame-thrower for the first time, going a little crazy as he does so.

There is nothing quite so awesome as knowing I get to game with these folks every week, especially since we’re largely in agreement as to the kind of game we want to play.

  4 comments for “What I Did on My Weekend

  1. 29/03/2011 at 2:07 AM

    Those are some great books you acquired! Good hunting, that man.

  2. SeanC
    29/03/2011 at 12:29 PM

    Is Borders in Brisbane closing?

  3. 29/03/2011 at 6:12 PM

    Agreeing on what game to play, that's a good trick to have.

    Younger Brother plays off-planet real-time strategy "Dark Reign."

    I play first-person historical pirate MMORPG "Pirates of the Burning Sea."

    Littlest brother recently unsubbed from space-based MMORPG "Eve" and asked us what he should play next. "Pirates!" I yelled. "Dark Reign!" Younger Brother yelled.

    Come Saturday night, we both ended up sitting alone on our respective servers, waiting for Littlest Brother to log in. Turns out the little bastard had reinstalled Eve ;)

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