Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Coming To America Vs. RAW

* = Well at least I'm not this guy...

Let’s be honest, this weekend blew. When it comes to a game like Marvel SAGA, a bunch of cancellations makes it mighty hard to run the game, so when I had almost 50% of the players cancel between Friday and Saturday early afternoon I knew I was in trouble. I decided to try and make the best of a bad situation and offer to play & or run Gamma World instead since I’ve yet to get a chance to bust it out. Instead two of the three players were gracious enough to at least be down for Wrath Of Ashardalon. It was a decent time. We ended the night with some King’s Gate, which really is a fantastic little game even though I was curb stomped epically.

In the interim J.B. drank a bit too much & was a tad obnoxious. It really didn’t bother me too much, although his constant harping about not getting to play Marvel SAGA made me feel very uncomfortable and then guilty. So I decided to placate him by offering to run on Sunday. After a late turn in we both got up reasonably early, I busted out some French toast for us, and then we watched the last 9 episodes of Avengers.

Finally, we came to sitting down and jumping into Marvel SAGA. It went horribly. I just couldn’t seem to find a groove of getting things across to him. In a normal play group of even just three people, when momentum begins to stall for one player I just jump to the next. It gives everything a cliffhanger feel and lets the player digest the situation while allowing me to start to change the direction to hopefully better the play experience for them. Sunday I didn’t have that buffer. Instead I resorted to throwing five different potential situations at J.B., he on the other hand wanted nothing to do with any of them. I’ve seen this situation happen in other people’s games, I have never experience a full-blown case of J.B.’s “Robot Anger”. I was pretty shocked to have him yelling, standing up, and glaring over a game. I let him know that, then packed up the books, and let him know we were done playing. About ten minutes after being shocked I started to get angry. It was sort of a slow burn of anger. I quickly put things away, he said he had to drive home, and I went out to do yard work with my lovely wife. It was awkward at best.

I don’t get people. I try and do right by them. I really do try to do what they want. If you ask me for something I always try to do it. If you make a request I try to meet that request. I try to be outgoing, friendly, and polite. So it really bothers me when people show no appreciation, when they are openly hostile over things that aren’t really that important, and when they disrespect my home & me.

Lately I feel more at a loss to understand people away from work. While at work it’s my job to try and figure folks out. It’s easy, there is no emotional attachment, no significant investment, and the reality is I don’t really care about their feelings or opinions. Away from work I’ve surrogated my friends for my family, and when they wound me, real or imagined it’s devastating. It exacerbates an already overwhelming feeling of isolation from the rest of the real world. I have found I love the idea of things now, not the actual things themselves.

I love the idea of friends, but the return on investment is low. I love the idea of having things like Movie-A-Thons, BINGO, BUZZ Trivia Challenge, etc., but the reality is it’s just a let down. I enjoy the idea of making things for friends, but the reality is the lists of requests never end and if there is ever anything wrong with them I over compensate. I spend a lot of time doing this and it’s time lost in the end. I do it to make my friends happy, but they never seem to be.

I truly love running Marvel SAGA, and especially D&D. I love the world building, the adventure design, and the shared sense of storytelling. I end up with cancellations at the last minute, folks who don’t seem to care about it, and sometimes ‘Robot Anger’. I do these things as respite from my everyday life of drudgery. I do them to transport others and myself to strange vistas where we can be whoever we want, whenever we want, and do whatever we want, to visit where all things become possible. I do them to share a love of imagination, to escape the doldrums of a workweek, and relive those wonderful childhood moments where the world was bigger than anything we could have ever dreamed of. Before taxes, jobs, school, mortgages, death, divorce, fighting, etc. there was imagination, simple joy, and us. I do it for those things.

I don’t do it to make it feel like work. I hearken back to Dave and I playing Horus Heresy one afternoon. Both of us pumped to bust the game out, old school GW version mind you. Taking like an hour to set it up, getting about forty minutes into playing, and realizing we weren’t having any fun. No fun. So we stopped. We laughed, put it away, and played something else. It was glorious. It was the realization that we didn’t have to play something if we didn’t like it, that we could/can have fun just having fun. I want that feeling when I play games. I don’t want to feel like I’m meeting a deadline, doing accounting homework, or being a punching bag for someone else’s unresolved issues.

Of all the things that I’ve lost in 2011, losing ‘fun’ is just the cherry on top of the shit sundae.


- Sunday we dug 59 stones out of the ground. By stones I mean a foot long by half a foot tall, solid. These things are enormous, heavy, and sort of pretty, but digging them out was a horrible experience. I’m glad it’s done, but I’m now dreading where they are going to get moved to next.
- Sunday also was the unveiling of Cassandra’s crock-pot Beer Cheese Soup. All I can say is “WOW”! I love beer cheese soup, and I’ve eaten a TON of it, but I have to say I’ve never had a homemade version that was even in the same ballpark as this. It is amazing. I can’t wait to have it again.
- I found this funny;

- The basement will not get done before the family comes to visit. Time and opportunity have conspired against us. Thus is life.
- Last night we hung out on the couch and watch the new episode of Doctor Who, ‘The Doctor’s Wife’. It was very touching, and just a great deal of fun.
- I think Joe K. is right I have a miniatures addiction.
- Speaking of Minis I'm not making anymore attempts to meet the '10 per week' thing. It's been pointed out to me now by a few people that a hobby should not have a minimum number of success to be enjoyable. I like painting, and will continue to do so, but I'm going to have no expectations about the amount I'm going to complete anymore.
- I’m thinking of doing a Friday Night Board Game Group in my basement. It would be informal, sort of as a way to take the pressure off Dave who constantly hosts. Maybe it’ll happen, maybe it won’t.
- Due to this weekend I’m putting Marvel SAGA on hiatus for a while. I’m undecided as to whether I’ll even go back to it. Maybe I’ll run a three-month, three Saturday nights, Gamma World thingee instead.

You know I’m tired. I’m just tired of everything. The weight of life is dragging me down right now. The endless questions without answers, the inability to make others happy, and the failed relationships I shabbily build. I’m just tired of life right now. I want to hibernate away and sleep until things sort themselves out. More than anything I’m tired of feeling this way.

“Standing on some dotted line
Reacting to the hands of time
A circumstance that I've been fed
Leaving questions in my head

Find the space that was left bare
An empty space I'd gladly share

One must live while one must die

Combined paired up for so many years
Unsure if I really want to shed a tear
Signing off is always so clearly done
A number 2 is now reduced to one

Find the space that was left bare
An empty space I'd gladly share

When your clock is up
And you rest for good
I will cut off my armpiece
Just like we agreed we would

One must live while one must die

While the other argues that
The world ain't fair
But then who ever promised
Anybody equal share
You might as well forget
What you gambled on
'Cause plans never go by the way they're drawn

When your clock is up
And you rest for good
I will cut off my armpiece
Just like we agreed we would

One must live while one must die

I can't say goodbye
It's all I can do to get up every morning
And when all else fails I try
To face myself and everything else
But mostly I wonder why”

* = Old Bob is an accurate visual representation of my feelings currently...


  1. bummer, dude. i bet J to the B was just as disappointed as you that there were cancellations. I'm sure he was pumped to play, and made the long trip for it, so he was just pissed it didn't go down right. on a less conjectural note, here is my list of demands for saturday: we eat literal tons of crazy asian food. BOOM! that's it. easy to please!

  2. NICE!
    Yeah I'm done trying to figure out what was going through dude's head. Instead I'm going to concentrate on us stuffing our faces with Asian goodness!