Et Omnibus Requiem

(Via James's Genre Books. 3 to go.)

So, even though David Eddings's The Elenium is technically 3 books (The Diamond Throne, The Ruby Knight, and The Sapphire Rose), I own the omnibus copy with all three volumes contained within. While this will count against my year end reading numbers, it was easier than trying to delve through three separate volumes.

The plot centers mainly around Sparhawk, a Pandion Knight in service to the Throne of Cimmura, one of the 4 ill defined Elene Kingdoms and the city of Chyrellos. (No, it's nothing like Medieval Europe at all!) The Pandion order has the advantage of having Styric tutors to instruct them in magic, the Styric mostly being Pagans worshiping The Younger Gods from the north. There is a race of mixed Elene and Styric heritage, but they're all involved in worshiping the evil god Azash. there's also the Eshandist Heresy down in Rendor, but they're basically Lutherans portrayed as ignorant savages.....

Anyway, One of the local priests has designs on becoming Patriarch or whatever. that plot gets the ball rolling as Annias has poisoned the rightful queen. They Pandions put a spell on her to preserve her until a spell is found. That leads to the Four Orders of Elene knights to go seek out Bhellium, the legendary stone capable of remaking the world.

And eventually leads everyone to Azash.

Since it's high fantasy and Eddings to boot, the ending is fairly foregone. It's readable, but some of the opinions expressed under veil of fiction get really annoying. As much as people complain about Piers Anthony's sexism, Eddings is just as bad with it.

When falling into madness, DIVE!

(Xposted from James's Genre Books)

I'll admit, back when I first read Stewart Wieck's Malkavian, I skipped chapters here and there, mainly due to the nature of one of the narrators. That would be Anatole, the so called Prophet of Gehenna. Given that the weakness of the clan is that they all suffer from some form of insanity, this may explain why this one takes a bit to get through. Particularly since one of the two major narrators is one of Anatole's personality fragments, and it's the one that actually makes sense.

We actually get 3 lunatics in this mix, as both Prince Bennington and The General from Atlanta show up alive and well. And they indeed dance on Anatole's strings, as he has visions of them and provides them with other visions. (It's worth noting that the Malkavians have a special ability in game call the "Malkavian Madness Network" or "Cobweb" that allows them something akin to telepathy. Not quite that, but close enough for horse shoes and hand grenades.)

So, anyway, Anatole comes to the States from Serbia towards the beginning, following his visions. (He's evidently been following them for some time, as he has the Concorde to himself, having booked the flight years earlier.) All the characters of note seem to have Animal representations in his visions, with the other puppeteers showing up as nightmarish predators.

This leads first to New York City, then to Atlanta, where he leads the General to a newly returned Victoria Ash and Bennington to the Tremere chantry to get the robe that killed Heracles. With all the pieces in place, Anatole is free to travel to the Catskills where Leopold is still sculpting. (This is after revealing to Victoria that she sired Leopold. Which neither of them remember.)

Anatole ends up sacrificing himself in the cave, using his own blood to scroll prophecy on the reborn Cathedral of Flesh. In an epilogue, Ramona and Hesha arrive together, wherein Ramona kill her Sire and clanmates stuck in the walls of the cathedral while Hesha takes pictures of and makes copies of Anatole's writings.

So, upon rereading this, it's better than I remember, and the visions do make more sense, particularly since having read the series before (and reading them closer together), I actually can figure out what the heck he's actually describing. And added bonus is finally seeing Victoria use her combat prowess to take her revenge of Elford, who mutilated her so madly several books ago.

Polyesther Fhtagn!

As some of you might have run across over the past few days, I've been pondering a Call of Cthulhu campaign set in the late 1970's New York City. It started with this....

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And that spiraled into this story, which while not hitting Lovecraft's existential horror or madness, still would provide a fund prop to get characters in the story involved in the plot. Like, if Daniel somehow gets a copy of it and seeks out the characters. Or if the characters find the hidden temple and read it.

Let me also preface this by stating I don't endorse drug use anymore than I endorse following Elder Gods into long forgotten blasphemous temples.


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Sometimes, dreams never die.

I've talked about it on here before, years and years ago (and I ain't digging through tags to find it) but tonight, we return to the topic of a project I participated in back in the Summer of 1992.

To preface this, a musical I had never heard of was major topic of conversation at camp, one City of Angels.

Anyway, the camp I was at was a Governor's Institute on Creativity in Northeastern Ohio at Ashland University. Three sections, that I believe were divided into smaller sections (musical theatre, writing, and visual art). I of course was in the Musical theatre section. Our group wrote a musical that was sort of Walter Mitty, wherein Owen sat in a restaurant fantasizing about a woman in the restaurant. Due to some confusion, mainly due to conversation on the above musical, we ended up having Owen in contemporary time, with his fantasies being him a a 30's Private Dick. The girl became a moll, her boyfriend the boss....

Anyway, because of that, I can add a few things to my resume under the heading "Things I enjoyed doing, but haven't done since." Namely, I actually composed a song and the accompaniment, helped write the script, helped choreograph parts of it, and handled most of the props and set design. The latter two were things I really enjoyed above all else, and once the desire to be an actor fizzled, they became one of my dreams. Problem being, much like other dreams, they never really came to fruition, as my life took some very different turns along the way.

And now, I find Ohio State is putting on City of Angels this weekend, and the tickets are in my price range, even if mom is going to end up buying them as my birthday present.

That dream never died, it seems. Finding out that a musical I've wanted to see for a while is being presented someplace where I can see it reawakened that long ago goal that still remains pretty untenable. I mean, yeah, I could probably volunteer with some of the local groups, but I'm really lacking at the construction aspect. Also, I have no artistic talent when it comes to drawing.

On a totally unrelated note, I got to see the stage version of The Lion King last month. The show was fabulous, although it took a while to adjust to the amount of puppetry it involved to portray the animals of the savannah. Also, there's nothing like having a giant rhino walk down the aisle right next to you, or having a hyena hiss at mom as they processed down for "Be Prepared". One of the best jokes came at the start of the second act, when Zazu, who in the movie follows up "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" with "It's a Small World", instead followed it with the chorus of Frozen's "Let It Go". It brought down the house.


I wound up cleaning my friend list on here.

Admittedly, most of these were deleted accounts. And a few were suspicious, given a friends only post I made wound up in the hands of two people I have no desire to talk with ever again. As such, the leak was either here or G+, so both lists have been trimmed a bit.

If I unjustly defriended you, and you want back on, please comment here. Not like LJ is exactly alive any more, but I'm still here lurking sometimes.


Well, a friend of mine writes a psychology blog, and his post today struck an old nerve with me.

See, I remember studying the Dysfunctional Family model back at Teen Institute, except we had the heads of household included. You know, Addict and Co-dependent. At larger events, we'd expand out the model to include the larger community in it's relations to the core family. Things like the judge sentencing the scapegoat to jail time, or myself and my friend Tammy as neighbors going to each kid and going "Here's a cookie! Your daddy's just sleeping!"

In truth, growing up with my mom, who displayed most of the symptoms of co-dependency (I think the addict in the model would be my hated uncle), I usually got stuck in the role of Mascot or Lost child. Yeah, I scapegoated a few times, and occasionally played the hero, but most of my role growing up was either staying the fuck out of sight or using humor to try to defuse the situations as the arose.

This has largely carried over into my adult life. I mean yes, I have a temper and am quite capable of asserting myself when pushed too far, but for the most part, I either hide or try to make a joke about things when shit gets rough. So many actions of my adult life have been attempts to deflect focus off of myself.

Anyway, enough about me. Off to shower.


So, I haven't updated in a while, mainly due to lack of much of anything to say.

I find my tongue is getting sharper as the weather cools and the business begins the march towards the Holidays.

I find my anger is getting misdirected and leaking out at bad times.

So, yeah, hello Winter.

A few issues

The other day, I ran across this site, which ended up royally pissing me off.

Let me start by stating I had my Eagle Court of Honor on October 16th, 1992. I also had my first voluntary sexual experiences with a member of my troop, and my troop's Senior Patrol Leader was the one who taught many of us how to masturbate. I was not the only one who had a cock in one of my orifices at an event, nor was I the only one to shove my dick in someone else's orifice at an event. This was not limited to my troop, nor my council.

Most of the adult leaders at one point or another let slip some of the much more flagrent violations of policy in their youth. (Admittedly, most of those were drug/alcohol related, but still...) I still recall the cannabis plants growing in the Staff area at my Council's big summer camp.

They found one pedophile while I was still in Scouts. He was married with children. And he masturbated a kid in a wheelchair.

So why am I ranting about this shit now? National's policy and most of the commentary against changing the policy completely ignore the reality on the ground. And a good majority of the current regulations, for that matter. Because if we pretend that no sex ever happens, then BSA should cut the entire requirements added since I left the program about avoiding sexual predators. Because involuntary sex still involves the dirty dangly parts. BSA would also need to appoint morality monitors to follow around all Scouts and make sure nothing at all related to sex issues forth from a Scout or Adult Leader during any Scouting event. (And give we're discussing 12-18 year old boys, I wish them really good luck with that.)

You can't stop reality from intruding on ideological bullshit that only seems to exist in the warped dreamscape of National Council, which in turn is allegedly being held hostage by certain Evangelical, Mormon, and Catholic interests. What you can do is start figuring out how best to address the reality, and maybe, just maybe work on a better narrative that becomes much more inclusive and can better apply the values I was taught in Boy Scouts. Because half of what I was taught revolved around leadership, and the other half revolved around learning to make decisions for myself based on the best information presented. Plus a bunch of outdoor skills that still get practiced. Maybe not so much Metal Craft, but the point remains.

I hate seeing an organization I loved one upon a time start falling apart because it can't adapt to circumstances that no longer want to remain hidden in a closet with other skeletons just to appease an increasingly brittle ideology that has never been based in reality.