The Start of the Week

Went swimmin’ with J.J. at the local Y upon waking up this morn. I swim not unlike a half drown keel-hauled cabin boy but still, I got a third of a glass of swimmin’ done before gasping for air. Wednesday we’ll hit the seas again.

I be trying to get into shape but its no easy task. Me carcass is soft from too much library time and not enough time lifting steel, swimming the seas nor fighting with my fellows. I’ve grown soft, y’see and its a sad sight for all.

J.J. filled my belly with his venison and barley stew and I was off to home.

Me lady-friend shaved my noggin’ last night, mostly to alleve the scaly whites that afflict my scalp like the pox. One hairless day and already some relief.

Good day to all.

Summer in the City

I love watching the music television stations. They are like watching beautiful car pop culture car wrecks to a terrible soundtrack. I can’t take my eyes away. People watch car wrecks to make sure that it isn’t them dead, right? Didn’t Gaiman write that in Sandman? Same reason people watch car crashes on the side of the highway, slow down to see, same reason I watch this shit when I’m home where the cable T.V., I reckon.

Took the train back with Jay. Jay, who moved to Ithaca, moved into my apartment a hundred years ago. Or is it a thousand? He’s the one who told me, “Judd, you always tell me these ideas you have but you never tell me what you’re doing about them. I never heard what projects you’re working on.” Snapped me out of my funk and got my ass writing aggressively for the first time since living in Japan.

Now he talks too much about the women he’s fucking and not enough about the auditions he’s going on. I can’t seem to give him the snap awake that he gave me.

I had to cancel my Sunday Burning Wheel game. There just wasn’t going to be enough time to finish up the pre-made characters, have time to get back to Ithaca and be sane. I e-mailed the fellas about a half-hour ago in hopes of re-scheduling.

I got to play Geek Poker tonight with the fellas. Magic: The Gathering, Jersey style with shit talking and the like. Fun.

It is time to start doing conditioning again. 100 push-ups, 4 sets of 25 or 10 sets of 10. 200 squats, 4 sets of 50. Some kind of ab thing…4 sets of 25.

Swimming and Such

I managed to swim five laps in a row. I have no idea what the stroke I’m butchering is called…the butterfly…the crawl? I am going to go take out some books on fitness swimming tonight before work and then go look up an instructor as Linea suggested.

In gaming news, I’m thinking of using Sorcerer’s mini-supplement, Charnel Gods to run a dark super-hero game. I like the idea of super-heroes whose powers will eventually end the world. That tickles me.

I got The Shadow of Yesterday in the mail and am in the process of reading it over. Looking forward to taking that for a spin too.

The Riddle of Blood is on hiatus for the holidays, until January 2nd. I’m hoping this time will be used for valuable for getting some rules points solid such as more solid rules for vampiric hunger and blood sorcery and some priority table tweaking.

Things Happening in My Life That I Don’t Like

I’ve finished reading two books in the past six months. Dark Tower, Book VII took me a week or so to read and Perdido Street Station took me the better part of a few months after it got lost in the chaotic mess that is my room. I feel like one of the ADHD kids I’ve worked with these past few years and I wonder if I’m not one of these ADHD kids I’ve worked with these past few years.

I should read a book a week with ease. Right? Why doesn’t my brain work like that anymore? Is it a matter of having fallen out of habit? Have I grown lazy or have I always been like this and I don’t want to admit it?

My main media intake consists of comic books, RPG forums, on-line news, Rob’s DVD’s, movies taken out of the library and RPG books.

I sleep so much lately that I barely have time to eat. I find myself in the evening realizing that I haven’t eaten all day. What the fuck is that?

I am in the worst shape of my life. Sleeping constantly will do that. I had to cut out of soccer because of the new job. Visits to the Swamp are cut down to once a week. Can’t hit the Y with Jeff due to the new schedule. I have plenty of time, only working 40 hours a week. I have this gut. It flows over the sides of my jeans. Its fucking gross, dude.

My past year was taken up writing gaming material, most of which remains unfinished. I need to get back to stories, rather than arranging things so other people can tell stories.

It is as if my life is this dance and I like the band, the beat and the melody. I dig the other people on the floor and love my dance partner but I don’t like where my feet end up when the music starts.

That metaphor got stale fast.

I am getting dizzy spells again. That’s fun.

I am quite happy being miserable. Most people who know me wouldn’t know it. Janaki does.

“How was your day?”

“Eh. Didn’t get as much done as I would have liked.”

How many years can I say that about?

Felt like that if I could write it down it’d be like an exorcism. We’ll see.

It has gotten late.
Tomorrow’s here already.
Sleepless journal post.

The Shape of My Life

This week I struggled to acclimate to my late night work schedule and failed utterly. I slept at every opportunity, sleeping so much that I often missed meals. I have two prime periods of potential productivity, before 1:00 pm, when I leave for the job at South Hill Elementary and between 5:30 pm and 10:30, the latter being when I am due to be at Olin.

My fellow supervisors who work at Olin are nice. They also seem a little bored. Heidi is the other person on staff member on shift with me. I have no idea what her title is (but should really know that). She used to work as a social worker and did another vaguely mentioned stint on a Buddhist Retreat. Both of these things tell me that she will deal with an emergency situation well.

Why does being a Buddhist mean anything about how she’ll handle emergencies? Because it means she must know KUNG-FU.


We’ve walked home together this week and its been nice chit-chatting and walking around Ithaca again. I’ve become too car dependent.

I missed every opportunity to head to the Y and the GIAC Boxing Gym. Next week I’m all over that shit. My walk to and from Olin have become my only excercise.

My Riddle of Steel variant, The Riddle of Blood, has been moved to Sunday nights. We’ll play in a fast 4 hour session before I head to work. We game in Goldwyn Smith Hall, so I can just pack up and head over to Olin. The second sesion really took off. Mario tweaked some of his SA’s and the game really flew with just me, Mario and Jevon at the table.

I barely saw Janaki this week through my haze of work and sleep. Tomorrow I’m off to Philly to see Rob and Sara, do some gamin’. Should be fun. I haven’t been to the City of Brotherly Love in ten years. Will hit the road with my trusty AAA Triptych, the Lord of Doors, Miriam and Dan. Should be a really fun drive.

I’ll come back for my first unassisted shift at Olin and then I’m on a fuckin’ mission to see next week as more productive and less ass-sittery than this ‘un. Settling into the new job will only hold as an excuse for so long.

My day planner, Frank, is cluttered with things to do like: Y, Boxing Gym, Daily Conditioning, Put Together Heavy Bag, Room, Closet, Finish up SU application, 1000 words a day on TRoB.

It is time to start checking some of this drek off the list. Frank must be bored with this same old shit week in and week out.


I’m due to meet Jeff to work out in forty minutes and I reckon I’ll scarf some breakfast and go too. Got no sleep last night. Just couldn’t do it.

Had a geekfest of a weekend. Gamed Friday night with Pete, Lily and Janaki. Janaki played an Orc. Her character killed two men and then ate one of their legs. I was so proud.

Gamed Saturday night with an impromptu group that could’ve been a real disaster but ended up being a total treat. It was fantastic.

So today I posted a bunch of threads worth looking at along with writing up the sorcery system for The Riddle of Blood. If you are not a gaming geek, avert your eyes from the following.

Here is my newest Sorcerer variant, posted twenty minutes ago. It does Hackmaster better than Hackmaster does Hackmaster and maybe better than 1st Edition does Hackmaster. Yes, it uses Sorcerer for bad junior high D&D.

I posted a thread about my gaming this weekend. Jeff, don’t read it as it contains some details about the game I will be running for you and JJ this Tuesday.

And I posted a thread asking about the validity of the syncing up between Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz.

I also sent Jeff a long meandering e-mail about death in tabletop RPG’s, posted a cosntructive criticism of the Ithaca Fantasy Role-playing Association on their Yahoo group and sent the Ithaca Legion yahoo group a note, asking them to include RPG’s in their description. I have no idea what got into me this weekend.

Gotta go eat some oatmeal and then go get my lift on.

Odd August

Couldn’t sleep, just stayed awake and cleaned my room, reflected on the exciting weeks to come.

August has two landmarks that I’m participating in, Gen Con and NAGA. These are two really different parts of me with big events in the space of a few weeks. Should be fun.

Jeff and JJ decided to hit Gen Con late and so I’m going unregistered. But I’m excited to see Fury of Shadow released and it’ll be cool to do some networking. Its always nice to see the high holy ground of gaming geekdom. I haven’t attended a Gen Con since ’94.

I missed Ithaca’s own grappling tournament, so I was kind of pumped to hit NAGA, the biggest east coast grappling tournament. I’m competing in the heavyweight beginner gi and white belt no-gi divisions. Luckily, heavyweight is 200-224 and I’m hovering at a lean 218 lately. I had visions of some 350 pound monster getting me in the mount and laying his sternum on my face.

Lily had to fight against this woman who out-weighed her by 70 or so pounds because Ithaca tournament is so small they didn’t have enough women for her to wrestle. She lost on points, didn’t get hurt and didn’t tap. That woman is tough, man. I wouldn’t have wanted to wrestle her opponent. She had legs like my father…shit, she had everything like my father but the mustache and the penis (oh, and the wrestling technique).

I really don’t know how I’m going to do at this tournament. I’ve only wrestled people from my twice a week class and they all weight less than 200. I’m worried that my technique is based too much on muscling those who weight less than me about and not enough on good, solid grappling fundamentals. Pete’s a great teacher but I’m just not used to people of my own size putting their bodies on me. We’ll see.

Any additional supporters are appreciated, come one and come all. My mom and Pete Cornell will be there to cheer me on too.

I have 13 days to hit a self-set deadline for a d20 project called Pentacle. It is shaping up alright.

The summer has gone by too quickly. I’ve only been swimming in a gorge but once.

This shall have to be remedied forthwithe.

Hope everyone’s summer is going well. Make out on a beach, catch a firefly or get grass stains on the knees of some old jeans while ya still can.

(Now I’m off to train. Jumping rope and burpees. Fun, fun, fun.)

On Working Out

I have been going to the local Y with Jeff and Julie. Jeff and I have been working out together, though I’m not sure why we all don’t just work out as a big ole trio.

Lifting weights in a gym is like taking your body to a laboratory. You push its limits, record the outcome, set goals, and see how the experiment flies.

Years ago when I lived in Tampa I did next to nothing but work out in a local Gold’s Gym for three months. Six days a week, one to two hours a day Mike, Amy and I worked out. I got big, really big. It was an odd thing after a lifetime of being a skinny guy.

If left to my own devices I just won’t reliably do push-ups, squats and sit-ups. So, I’ll pay for the privilege of lifting pieces of metal at the YMCA. I will take my body to the laboratory and use it in the real world in enough fun, dynamic ways so that I can see what it can do in the field.