terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Thoughts for a Cruddy Monday

Bah, humbug!

Woke up feeling I didn't get the 6 hours I was supposed to have gotten. There was then the tummy ache that kept me home beyond the time I would usually leave the flat. And when I did leave, I had to go back again because all my money was still in the pocket of the shorts I wore last night. Funny really, because the wife had seen me off at the door after (quite unnecessarily) handing me the coins I use for coffee money. But one does not live on coffee money alone, not at today's prices; I had to go back up to the flat and get the cash.

Yes, it's been that kind of Monday morning.

I'd expected to be in a snarly mood for the rest of the day, which would have been good if I were still a Discipline Master (I'd originally typed "DM", but with the weekly D&D sessions I have to keep up my geek! quotient, I thought better than to be ambiguous), but not any more. In the good ol' days, it meant more patrols of the corridors with the mean look in my eyes. Now, it just means scaring the neighbourhood cats (only those that were asking for it) that live around the estate.

Now that I'm in college and in my little nook (which appears to have been originally used by other tutors, when their work spills over from their own workstations, to mark and to complete admin work because their work occasionally still spills over), though, it's been a little better. The stomach's settled somewhat with the infusion of coffee and, in between pauses to think as I craft this entry, I'm finally getting work, that really should have been completed over the weekend, done.

Also, starting to feel guilty about the cats.

***

I've been thinking about a photography project in case I do get into the Shooting Home course this year. Wouldn't do to be picked and then have absolutely no idea what to show at the exhibition.

The wife is suggesting I do one on old people in Singapore. Feels overdone though. I was thinking about doing one about the youth of Singapore (not quite as hardcore as 15, but there's something to aspire to). Was kind of inspired by a group of youngsters in the taxi queue in front of us last night. They didn't look a day over 15 (which meant that it was technically illegal for them to be smoking), but all of them were puffing away [poser-style] like chimneys at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Then again, I might just so irritated by the punks that I don't even finish the project.

There's always the Songkran Festival in Thailand (the one that has celebrants tossing water at each other), but that would mean having to take shots with only a disposable camera because the DSLR will probably go into a cold sweat thinking about the possibility of being drowned again (yes, again). Which means the quality of photos will be quite poor. Unless, of course, I manage to afford that waterproof Olympus mju camera between now and April 13.

Would love to do a bit of travelling again -- and with the earnings of the last three weeks (and then some), it's not a wholly impossible notion to have -- but we are saving up for a rather costly trip back to Vancouver at the end of the year (and I've just been told by Sprite -- post-discussion, see point no. 2 -- that plans for London in June or Calgary in February 2005 may also be in the works), so austerity is the key word these days.

Looks like it might be old people or young punks, after all.

Gawd, I hope I don't kill someone, accidentally or otherwise.

***

Add this to the reasons why I want to leave. It's only February and the temperatures are already as bad as it gets in June.

***

Had a D&D session yesterday (was late for it because of the lunch at Dan's). By the time I arrived, a Moria-esque map was already on the whiteboard and everyone was getting into what turned out to be a Monty Haul weekend. All quite fun. But by night's end, we'd lost one PC (death by shadow dragon) and possibly one player (alienation by social skills, or lack of).

It started as an obvious jibe at another player who was rather draconian in the division of treasure, insisting that whoever wanted an item had to pay for it (sale price) out of his or her share of the treasure. But when it came to items which are gifts to specific players, the rule would not apply. Such was the case last night when she finally received an item that was specifically presented to her. We were fine with letting her have the item but one player kept insisting that she paid for it (after said jibe). When we pointed out that throughout the course of the campaign, every one of us had been presented with such 'gifts' and no one else had made an issue of having to pay for them before, he got agitated and insisted on paying for his item instead.

That went on for a ludicrous amount of time (the social one insisting on paying for his gift and the rest of us telling him not to be stupid -- not so bluntly, of course -- and actually putting the notion to a vote -- 4 to 1, if you're interested in such details) before the DM, who's usually the most affable chap, stepped in and snapped at Mr Social. "Leave it alone" is the summarised version of what was said.

Uncomfortable silence followed.

After we broke for the night and left for our abodes, I was thinking about the whole incident. The player in question had always been weird to me (even more so than your usual D&D geek! types) and definitely lacking in some social skills. We never know whether he was serious about the things he said he would do or if he was even capable of understanding irony. There have been many occasions when he'd react to bad news, or, ambiguous news even, with all the grace of a 3-year old and then sulk at his corner of the table, refusing to contribute to the rest of the encounter. Or he'd harp on things said or encounters that had occurred a long time ago and bring them up every once in a while like a trained parrot. And like a trained parrot, when another player says he or she doesn't have the skill or equipment to do something, he'll chip in, even though the encounter does not concern him, and say that he has said skill or item.

Yeah. Whatever.

I remember a time when his character got caught in a trap and I'd jokingly said, "Cut the leg off and let's continue!" He didn't speak to me for the rest of that session and kept repeating to no one in particular, "When I'm walking around with only one leg, I'll remember you..."

Yeah. Again. What-ever.

I've taken to letting him do whatever he wants at sessions.

Why do we continue to play with him then? (That's what the wife would like to know as well.)

I have absolutely no idea. I do know that the rest of the group is fun to be with (even the one that gets us killed all the time, because he knows irony when he sees it -- most of the time, anyway). But with Mr Social, it's like playing with a sociopath. You don't know what he's thinking most of the time. Worst of all, he takes everything we say at face level.

Which, in the end, makes the game less fun.

***

Hmm, looks like it's a rambling kind of Monday morning as well.

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