Eat all the eats!

Nov 20

For most of my life, Thanksgiving dinner has been lovingly cooked by my mom, for my immediate family plus whatever strays we happened to pick up. Last year, sometime during the summer, my dad tactfully observed that they hosted a fair number of family dinners and barbecues, and wouldn’t it be nice if someone else hosted something for a change.

One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was volunteering to host Thanksgiving at my place. And despite small emergencies like the cat coughing up Lovecraftian horrors the night before, I managed not to eff it up completely. That may have been a tactical error, because now I’m pretty much on the hook for Thanksgiving until the end of time.

This year I started pondering the menu partway through October. By the beginning of November I had a menu planned out. Two weeks in advance I got the turkey and a bunch of the ingredients. Once my brining plans were finalized I got the rest and mapped out my time with military precision. I’ve got one oven, two slow cookers (one on loan), a five-burner stove and a fridge so big I keep feeling like I should attempt no landings on Europa.

On the pretense that you care, here’s what’s on the menu this year:

And while everyone is watching me fret around the house flailing over food, we’ll enjoy some crockpot Maple Pumpkin Spice Lattes, made with my self-concocted pumpkin pie spice.

And the best thing? The turkey carcass goes home with my parents. No weeks of leftovers for me!

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“I think there was something funny in that potato I ate …”

Nov 12

By popular request, and by popular I mean the two people who responded to me on Twitter, here’s a post about the tabletop rpg I’m part of. Better known as #rpgfuckyeah, in our caffeine-fueled midgame tweets.

It’s set in the retro post-apocalyptic world of the Fallout video games, with atmosphere provided by papercraft and an iTunes playlist of period music and radio transmissions (awesomely voice-acted by some Pendant folk). Instead of meeting a mysterious person in a tavern, our little band of adventurers was chosen by (possibly rigged) lots to leave the safety of our vault to find a new supply of food. That’s kind of faded into Macguffin territory during the rest of our exploits.

During the first session we nicknamed our group the League of Extraordinary Assholes, because we discovered that all of us had treated Charisma as a dump stat. The most charismatic member of the group has a completely-average Charisma of 5 out of 10. She’s also the one who started our first fight by telling a guy “I’m going to stab you in the face” and attempting to make good on it.

You can almost hear the hamster wheels.This hasty sketch blatantly traced over a picture of Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove is my character, Joe. Joe is not the brains of the operation. His Intelligence score is 3 out of 10. I’m not a big minmaxer but I threw most of his points into areas that would make him very good at being a giant stupid wall of muscle. In my head he’s voiced by Patrick Warburton (another hint of Kronk), and his height/weight are based on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

So far Joe’s strengths are:

  • knocking on doors and yelling “HELLO?”
  • axeing questions (see cuz he has an axe …)
  • being the height of fashion by wearing the pelt of a dead super cat and a baseball cap he pulled out of the stomach of a scorpion
  • sneaking up to a sleeping guy and then completely failing to cut his head off with an axe, chopping into his own leg in the process
  • standing around looking pretty while other people kill stuff from very far away
  • ingesting every drug we could scrape together to become Super Joe
  • acquiring a devoted ladyfriend

He has a wooden plank with a map scratched onto it by a helpful wandering salesperson. When I update it with in-character knowledge, I write with my left hand and spell stuff the way Joe would. What can I say, I have a little method actor in me.

Playing Joe is fun, although it can be a little challenging. I love playing against type, and it’s great doing stuff in the game I’d never be able to do in real life. If I could Do Voices I’d totally have one for Joe. At the same time, the conflict between my ideas as a player and his ideas as a complete idiot makes it a little hard to get any strategery going on. I come up with all kinds of ideas that Joe would never think of. Sometimes I can reframe them into ideas he would have (“I can’t remember all these places! Can you draw a picture on this plank?”) and sometimes I can just blab it out and let someone else’s character have the idea.

As the squishy pewpew folk in the group have gotten better at pewpewing and acquired better guns, Joe’s job as The Meatshield has gotten a little slow. Maybe it’s about time he considered a career change. I wonder if Radio Wasteland DJ Johnny Franks is hiring …

If’n you wanna see the things we put our poor DM through, synopses are here.

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Putting up posters, figuring out what the light switches do …

Nov 06

So I’m still poking around with this blog.

As you can see from the front page spam, I’ve moved most of my old Starbucks content here, so I won’t lose those sweet unmonetized search result clicks. I plan to update the content and add more, maybe drink reviews, stuff from other coffee joints, stuff like that. If I didn’t have a day job I’d totally be an obsessive coffee reviewer.

But I’m also planning to use this to replace my old LiveJournal blog, which I’ve had for roughly a hundred million years. Way better interface, much more up to date, my own domain name, not owned by The Russians … what’s not to like?

That means I face the hardest question facing any person with a keyboard and an internet: what the hell do I write? Generally I look at my life and say, “pretty much nobody but me gives a crap about any of this.” But on the other hand, the internet is made of things nobody but the writer gives a crap about*.

Let me know what you think — and by “you” I mostly mean “the friends I will pester to look at my shiny new blog”, since the non-coffee stuff hasn’t had a chance to build any real traffic. What should I write about? Does this theme look nice, or does it smell like Ikea? What does the peach symbolize in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”? Does my ass look fat in these jeans? Who does your hair? What will I do if my cat figures out he’ll never actually catch the laser dot?
* Bolted to a solid foundation of cat pictures.

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