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All posts for the month August, 2004

Kids on the Field

So, I havn’t been around kids in a long long time. So long in fact that I forgot what they were like. A few weeks ago a friend of a friend moved back to San Diego after spending 3-4 years in Japan (actually two friends of a the same friend were there and they both recently moved back, we’ll call them Tom and Oscar).

I became good friends with both of them even though Tom spent a little over a month in San Diego before moving to Santa Barbara to go to school. However, Oscar decided to move in with his family down in Chula Vista. Well, now that he is settled in is time to do some gaming (which he had been on a 3-4 year hiatus and was itching to get into character).

My friend (who is the friend who had the friends who moved from Japan, we’ll call him Jonathan) was more than eager to oblige. A few of us head down to his place to do some gaming, but…

It is a Japanese household (as they all sit on the floor and eat with their toes) and he has FOUR kids. Oscar had ordered a pizza and we had to help him clean up his garage for gaming. The two older boys (one 6 and the other 4, I think) we’re running around and doing kid things around us. When we finished everyone went inside except myself and the two boys. I suddenly became very nervous as I felt completly responcible for them. Suddenly one jumped up and ran toward the street and ringing around a car.

After about five minutes of this I couldn’t handle it anymore and realized everyone was staying inside. I decide to head back in hoping the two boys would follow… they didn’t. Again, I became super nervous thinking I was responcible. Eventually the came back in, perfectly fine.

The second time I went up their I had to pick up the two younger guys in our group while Jonathan and Oscar picked up another pizza. We arrived early. Just me, two guys who aren’t old enough to drink, 4 kids and the mother. Immediatly the two guys had fun wrestling and playing with the two boys (and the girl who was 2 or 3 and tried to jump in).

Just before arriving Jonathan called us and asked us to read to the kids (apparently, a daily tradition that must be completed before we game). Jonathan asked me but I told him I don’t do kids and handed the phone off.

But something strange happened. After the wrestling the two guys offered to read to the kids. The mother pulled a few librairy books and handed it to them. Suddenly all 3 kids (the 4th one is actually and infant only a few months old) crowded around the two. One started reading a book about dinosaurs and kept asking me how to pronounce certain dinosaur name. He than tried to give explainations of the material that were little more than useless, especially to a bunch of kids to whom English is a second language.

I felt an urge to take over. I’ve always had an interest in teaching (I actually applied for the Jet program, a program to help teach English to Japanese students) and wanted to read to them. I didn’t interfere and let my friend continue reading but now I have a regret that I didn’t read to them as I know I would have done a great job. I’m actually looking forward to going back over their, and perhaps reading to these children and hopefully get use to them.

Back in the Saddle

This installment has been a long time coming as I have started seeing someone new. However, after our first date/meeting I gave her my blog address. Right after I knew this was a mistake (not that I had anything to hide) because my blog was the perfect place to write about her but no she could read anything I put her. A few weeks after I asked some friends if I should write about her in this blog. The conversation went like this:

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CHRIS: How long do I wait to post about her on my blog?

ERIC: A day.

CHRIS: Tomorrow?

ERIC: No…

TOM: …Tomorrow, then a day.

ERIC: …Yeah.

CHRIS: So, two days?

ERIC: Yeah, I guess you could call it that.

TOM: Definitely. Two days. That’s the industry standard.

ERIC: (to TOM, shop talk) …I used to wait two days. Now everyone waits two days. Three days is kinda the money now, don’t you think?

TOM: …Yeah. But two’s enough not to look anxious…

ERIC: Yeah, but three days is kinda the money…

CHRIS: (interrupting sarcastically) Why don’t I just wait three weeks and tell her I was cleaning out my room and remembered the date…

The guys laugh.

ERIC: Laugh all you want, but if you post too soon you can scare off a nice baby who’s ready to party.

TOM: Don’t listen to him. You post whenever it feels right to you.

CHRIS: How long you guys gonna wait to post about your honeys?

ERIC AND TOM: Six days.

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Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly like that but enough time has passed that I feel I can post this. It feels good to be dating again. Her name is Stephanie and she is great. Tons of fun, interesting to talk to, athletic, pretty, smart, sexy.

Of course a concern of mine was that she had little to no interest in roleplaying or genre geek stuff in general. I quickly got over this as I looked at my friends and their partners who also had little to no interest in geek culture (ie comic books, scifi/fantasy, rpgs, video games ex ex). A friend of mine even said the next girl I see should have no interest in gaming. I agree 100%. This has also given me a chance to do a lot of things I have been wanting to do but have come up with excuses not to. Such as see a play…

My favorite date so far was when we went to see “Kiss Me Kate.” A musical about what happens backstage during a production of “Taming of the Shrew.” The musical itself was alright but the venue and atmosphere was amazing. An outdoor stage with a combination of seating and grass in which you can bring dinner and eat outside before the play started.

So, now with Stephanie I have something else to look forward to during the week which keeps me extremely busy. I wake up at 7am and go to sleep at midnight with little to no time to relax at home…. and I have no problem with that. As a matter of fact I love it. However, tonight I actually have nothing to do… might be nice to just kick back and watch a movie or read a book.

From my rant that I posted on rpg-sandiego.org

must have been blind and deaf because I don’t know what happened this year. Now that I’ve been buying/playing at GT for a year and familier with the staff and regulars I was shocked and appalled by the lack of support by the gaming community. There was a community there… the Game Towne community. Perhaps I was niave in thinking that Game Fest this year was going to be as good if not better than last, and year before.

In the two games I ran, and the one I played only 1 person did not have a GM ticket (free entry for anyone who runs 2 or more games). Last year we had 3-4 players with tickets in Uhlan’s games. Count Zero warned me but I stuck it out in hope that Game Fest would come through. I even ran full fledged d20 Fading Suns because the d20 community is so large and vast that certainly they would be interested. I also ran vampire and I quickly discovered that there is only 1 vampire player in San Diego. Or maybe it is only 1 vampire playing in San Diego who shops at Game Towne. Or, it was 1 vampire player who was aware of Game Fest. Or 1 vampire player who cared.

So it seemed consistant with all the games. Lack of interest with the exception of the regulars who are waiting for a game at 6, showed up to another game that got cancelled ex ex.

Since writing that I got to play in one more game and had a lot of fun. I also discovered why I was so disappointed with Game Fest this year. Game Fest last year was probably on par but it was magical. This had to do with the fact that I’d only been living in San Diego for 2 months and only knew a few people. It was at Game Fest 03 that I would meet a lot of people who would become good friends.

Perhaps I was wanting to do that for someone else. Wanting some new gamer to walk into Game Fest looking for people to meet and I could help show him the way. In some ways I got to do this when my old friend Scott and his wife, Denise, moved to San Diego. It was nice to show someone around the city. Show them my favorite places. It made me feel like part of the city.

Of course it didn’t help that on my way to Gamefest on Saturday I decided to the back route getting directions from a friend who is native to SD. Of course I get confused and drive into incoming lane. Luckily, I managed to spin around before any traffic was heading our way.

So, I realize that in a year I’ve learned a lot but still have a lot to learn.

Needless to say a lot has happened since my original posting.

Last thing I mentioned was that the bidder was waiting for his package. Well, it did finally show up. Apparently, it had exploded and 1/3 of the contents was lost, 1/3 was damaged, and the final 3rd made it intact.

Well, I immediatly apologize for what happened and offer him a complete refund if he would send the other bidders package. He refuses and says he won’t send off the package until he gets a full refund.

Now, I didn’t have the money to give him a full refund. Let me explain why… As I said before these weren’t my books. They belonged to a friend and I got to keep half of the money. The first package sold for $180, the second $280 for a total of $460. I end up giving $230 to my friend. I end up with around $50 in ebay fees leaving me with $180 which I hadn’t touched.

So, I couldn’t offer him a full refund right away. I start the insurance claim and everything is looking well but it is going to take 6 weeks for the claim to process. I tell him and he still won’t release the package. I tell the other bidder what is going on and he asks for a refund.

I give the other guy a choice. He can either mail the package and I would refund him $180 (the value of the package) or he could keep the package and I would take off $180 from his refund. He freaks and threatens to sue me.

Well, know I have no choice but to refund the other guy and I shoot him $180 and will take it off the other guys refund. I did enough research to know he has little power (as it has been 30 days since the auction closed). To make matters worse he finally decided to mail the package and I havn’t been able to get ahold of the other bidder. The saga continues…. …. …