essentialsaltes: (Dead)
For the past few days, I've been living about 2.5 lives, and not had time to catch up on it. Until now (?) We'll see how far I get.

click at your own risk )
essentialsaltes: (jasmine)
Sax Rohmer's novel is at least 75% less racist than the film. It's also interesting that while the film Fu Manchu is trying to revive the legend of Genghis Khan, in the book his goal is to gain control of Islam (or at least an Islamic sect) by impersonating the Mahdi. Fu Manchu is portrayed as an honorable gentleman (if a ruthless criminal mastermind), and it's very much a plot point that he's a man of his word -- explicitly contrasting with a rather bombastic British archaeo... er... privileged private tomb raider, who ransoms his daughter with fakes of the antiquities he has promised. And the book actually ends with Fu Manchu deviously infiltrating a very generous wedding gift into the wedding of the daughter and her young swain. (Fu is probably exceedingly relieved that the wedding prevents the young swain from becoming his own son-in-law, since his just-as-evil-genius-y daughter improbably ("I have tricked you many times; for, although I love you, [swain], you are really not very clever.") has taken a fancy to him. (But it's ok, the swain only sexed her up while he was under the influence of a mind control drug.))

I also read through [ profile] aaronjv's Secret Ante (aka Soul Strip Poker), a larp of revealing characters (souls, if you like) through poker. In effect, you use memories or character aspects as chips to bet with. If you win someone's 'Fear' chip, you can get them to reveal their Fear to you, or reveal it publicly. I think my favorite sentence in Secret Ante is: "It's probably more intellectually challenging to play a fictional character, and more emotionally trying to play You." OK, I'm also partial to the part where he thanks me for providing some dim inspiration in the form of Casino Arcane/Arcana.
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
Went to an estate sale in Beverly Hills yesterday, primarily the belongings of silent film actor/director Hobart Henley, as well as those of his wife and boys. It's like they all went off to the other house in Florida in 1940 and just left a house full of possessions behind. Lots of great stuff, but with antique store prices on them, even at 50% off most of it when we got there. Sure, it's a tough balance between trying to get what the stuff is worth and trying to empty the house in a weekend, so I have no problem with the prices, but I'm feelin' the vibe of Lock, Stock... these shotguns may be antiques, but we're not paying antique prices for them.

I was interested in the 30's-ish bakelite Mah Jongg set, despite the broken hinge on the case and the rusted out doodads on the racks. A nice prop or curiosity for me, but not for $375. No, not even for the half-off price of $187.

We did get one 'antique', and it's almost comical as the estate agent is talking up this piece, and the legendary status of the manufacturer. OK, I'll take your word that a brand-new Brown Jordan Tamiami loveseat will run you $800, but the last lawnchairs I bought at a yard sale were $5 each. I'm delighted to know that for a few hundred dollars, I could get it sandblasted, repainted and have the vinyl rewoven, but honestly I'm gonna give you $30 and stick it in the yard:
From Public Photos

Now, true, it is a neat piece, and the style originally debuted in 1959 (the design was relaunched a few years ago). Very comfortable and a nice design. Well worth $30. But $800? I am not your customer, Brown Jordan. I think the fainting couch is the probably the most expensive piece of furniture we own, and it wasn't $800 and it doesn't sit in the yard. Definitely a neat estate sale, but mostly not for the likes of us, who live some distance from 90210.

That evening A&K had a little BBQ for LARP-ish Wyrd-y folks. Fun to get together and socialize with occasional semi-serious discussions of live gaming. I'm sorry Lisa got a bit ganged up on as the only strong proponent for live combat present among a group of people where I'm probably the most sympathetic to LC, by which I mean "eh, it's not my thing".

You can click through the image to see a couple more from the yard/garden. Me in my new boonie hat next to the high (and getting higher) corn (infiltrated by monstrous fennel), and the dark sunflower in front of the volunteer tomato.
essentialsaltes: (Default)
I played D&D this past Saturday. Although I probably could have truthfully uttered that sentence on many occasions during my life, I'd be willing to stake a Franklin that this is the first time this millennium. [ profile] notjenschiz got the ball rolling with his impressive plan to create a MMRPG with multiple GMs in a shared world setting. Then a thousand cooks descended, creating a broth that appeared to have little hope of tastiness. Then itf boldly stepped in to run the first scenario. It was great. PC's slowly identified the halo of PC-glow about each other, and after a short period of indifference and a shorter period of mutual antagonism, we banded together just in time to almost be slain and/or declared outlaws. But from the jaws of defeat, we snatched victory. Yay us!

And now, Kirsten Dunst and Carl Sagan v. the paparazzi.
essentialsaltes: (Nazgul)
For the none of you who are interested, I think I've pretty much reached my level of incompetence. There are maybe a few songs that I can wring one more star out of, but they're pretty few. A recent highlight was 4-starring Institutionalized on Expert. It continues to bug me that I cannot 5-star Woman. I've five starred everything else up to Crazy on You.

In related news, bon vivant and [ profile] bonniedelight's man of business RB has informed me that MW is also a Guitar Hero ace. RB has called for some sort of "pit fight" for ultimate Guitar Hero supremacy before the end of the year. Details as the story develops.
essentialsaltes: (cartouche)
We received our first Christmas card on the same day we sent out our first couple cards.

Now for the delicious pork-containing links:

If you're interested in carrying out your own Indiana Jones/Last Crusade-style epic adventurous quest to attain the Holy Grail, you could do worse than to start by acquiring Arthur Machen's Grail Notes. It's almost as good as something Sean Connery has touched.

Fight fire with fire. Fight disease with llama blood.

It's heartwarming to see Texans give their new Muslim neighbors a warm welcome. Oh, sorry. That was the news from fantasy land. In the real world, they hold weekly pig races next to the mosque.

Speaking of Texas, W has lost his mojo.

Guitar Hero 2 has a 'performance' mode, where you just... um... play the fucking song without seeing the notes.
I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!
(but I am two songs away from 5-starring all of the standard songs on Hard.)

Bonus Holiday Season link!
Bilder från 2006 års pepparkaksbak i Läbyvad. Detta år byggde vi en Tie Fighter Advanced. If you recognize any of the words in there, it's probably worth your while to click.


essentialsaltes: (Default)

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