athelind: (ouroboros)
I turned 50 yesterday. It feels pretty good: a fresh start.

I must finally be a "grown-up", because my answer to the question, "what do you want to on your birthday?" was "get this furshlugginer report done and to the client by the end of the month."

... no, seriously. I actually had a dream the night before last about being hijacked by friends and family and getting dragged off to a "fun" gathering, while all the while thinking, "But I wanted to get stuff DONE this morning! I told my manager that I'd have that on his desk! I'm losing HOURS of work!" When I actually woke up and got to work, there was a palpable sense of relief. I was wholly engaged in the problem-solving, both the data analysis and the minutiae of layout and production. I was busy non-stop, and enjoying myself thoroughly. With as many birthdays as I've spent without gainful employ, being occupied might be the Best Present Ever.

Getting my paycheck AND a quarterly bonus on my birthday is right up there, too.

Another Truly Excellent Present: after a year of record-low rainfall, the "storm gates are finally open", as our local TV weather announcers like to say. We're getting wave after wave of storms that are doing their level best to make up for the last year in the span of a couple of weeks. We're close enough to the edge that we'll probably still be in official drought conditions for the rest of the year, but next year looks like an El Niño year, so things might get REALLY wet.

(Eventually, Californians will understand that an "average rainfall year" almost never happens: our "average" is the mean between five years of drought and two years of flooding. Once we start planning accordingly ... well, then climate change will screw up the pattern, but nevertheless.)

The juxtaposition of Birthday and Rain has brought an amusing wave of pleasant nostalgia, triggered during the long commute home yesterday. The big El Niño of '78-'79, which brought an end to the long drought that shaped my childhood years, corresponds neatly to the release dates of the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, which shaped my teenage years. Hearing pouring rain playing its staccato on a metal roof always brings me back to the lazy days I spent curled up in the back of our motor home, pouring over the latest volume of AD&D (or, more often, some unofficial supplement from some third-party vendor).

The cheap bindings, terrible typesetting, and cheesy art based on cheap dime store toys didn't matter. For all my critiques of "dungeon fantasy", I remember the open-eyed excitement and possibility of High Fantasy, of a hobby built around creating entire worlds. I've got that rare wave of wanting to play a D&D-style RPG again, though it might be better served by getting back to work on my own High Fantasy Magnum Opus.

It's possible my "grown-up" status may still be in some degree of dispute ...


athelind: (Howitzer)
When did it stop being bad manners to talk about religion and personal belief?

Ninety-nine percent of our problems with polarization and conflict stem from the shift in culture that's made this an acceptable topic of public discourse.

I miss the concept of "boundaries".


athelind: (ewd3)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

There was a stuffed rabbit named Juniper, long gone, who was my favorite stuffed animal.

There were the Colorforms Outer Space Men, also departed, who tapped into every child's "cool monster" center decades before the current wave of "Mon", and who left me with a life-long tendency to empathize with The Alien.

There was a teddy bear my sisters brought back from camp one year, who was just another stuffed animal in my childhood days. Somehow, though, he survived all the moves and cleanings and purges of belongings, and gained my respect and affection. He lost an eye along the way, and, when I first went off to college, I gave him an eyepatch, turned an old sock into a turtleneck, and dubbed him "Nick Furry, Agent of B.E.A.R.". He's held that name for almost thirty years now, far longer, needless to say, than he was just Oso The Random Teddy Bear.

My favorite. by far, however, had to have been my very first G.I. Joe. He was, originally, one of the Mercury astronaut Joes that Hasbro produced, starting in the year I was born, though I suspect he dates from a couple of years after that. This was Archetypal Joe: 12" tall, no "Kung-Fu Grip", not even the fuzzy, flocked, "life-like hair" of the early '70s.

I had a bunch of G.I. Joes, as did most of my friends as a kid, but this one was always the senior officer. The whole neighborhood respected the obvious air of authority bestowed by painted-on hair. He was the Old Soldier, hailing from the days when G.I. Joe was "America's Movable Fighting Man", and those "Adventure Team" tyros paid him his due, by gum.

His foil-coated space suit is long gone; he's dressed in the green fatigues of a later acquisition. When all the rest of my collection was bestowed onto my younger cousin, I held on to him, making some excuse about "first run" and "valuable collectible", but that was smoke and mirrors. Valuable he may be, though the collector's market has little respect for toys actually well-used and played with.

It's a moot point, though.

You don't sell your best friend.

Somewhere in the depths of [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia's garage, both Nick Furry and the Old Soldier slumber comfortably in a box, awaiting the Day of the Great Unpacking, when they shall, once more, be seated upon a shelf, displayed for all the world to see.

And sometimes, maybe, just maybe, when nobody's watching ...

... someone will play with them again, too.

Because that's what toys are for.


athelind: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

There was a stuffed rabbit named Juniper, long gone, who was my favorite stuffed animal.

There were the Colorforms Outer Space Men, also departed, who tapped into every child's "cool monster" center decades before the current wave of "Mon", and who left me with a life-long tendency to empathize with The Alien.

There was a teddy bear my sisters brought back from camp one year, who was just another stuffed animal in my childhood days. Somehow, though, he survived all the moves and cleanings and purges of belongings, and gained my respect and affection. He lost an eye along the way, and, when I first went off to college, I gave him an eyepatch, turned an old sock into a turtleneck, and dubbed him "Nick Furry, Agent of B.E.A.R.". He's held that name for almost thirty years now, far longer, needless to say, than he was just Oso The Random Teddy Bear.

My favorite. by far, however, had to have been my very first G.I. Joe. He was, originally, one of the Mercury astronaut Joes that Hasbro produced, starting in the year I was born, though I suspect he dates from a couple of years after that. This was Archetypal Joe: 12" tall, no "Kung-Fu Grip", not even the fuzzy, flocked, "life-like hair" of the early '70s.

I had a bunch of G.I. Joes, as did most of my friends as a kid, but this one was always the senior officer. The whole neighborhood respected the obvious air of authority bestowed by painted-on hair. He was the Old Soldier, hailing from the days when G.I. Joe was "America's Movable Fighting Man", and those "Adventure Team" tyros paid him his due, by gum.

His foil-coated space suit is long gone; he's dressed in the green fatigues of a later acquisition. When all the rest of my collection was bestowed onto my younger cousin, I held on to him, making some excuse about "first run" and "valuable collectible", but that was smoke and mirrors. Valuable he may be, though the collector's market has little respect for toys actually well-used and played with.

It's a moot point, though.

You don't sell your best friend.

Somewhere in the depths of [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia's garage, both Nick Furry and the Old Soldier slumber comfortably in a box, awaiting the Day of the Great Unpacking, when they shall, once more, be seated upon a shelf, displayed for all the world to see.

And sometimes, maybe, just maybe, when nobody's watching ...

... someone will play with them again, too.

Because that's what toys are for.


athelind: (hoard potato)
From a conversation on FurryMUCK, with someone grumbling about the new movie "mixing up the characters":

I can't really take "G.I. Joe Canon" seriously.

I mean... where are the facial scars? In
my day, all the Joes had identical facial scars. It was like a gang sign or something.



athelind: (Default)
From a conversation on FurryMUCK, with someone grumbling about the new movie "mixing up the characters":

I can't really take "G.I. Joe Canon" seriously.

I mean... where are the facial scars? In
my day, all the Joes had identical facial scars. It was like a gang sign or something.



athelind: (Sci Fi)
I've spent the day being melancholy about the Apollo 11 launch, which happened when I was 5. So I come home from work, and what do I find on my Friends list, courtesy of the [livejournal.com profile] retro_future community?



The cover to my very favorite book from childhood.

Please keep me away from any mention of Major Matt Mason or the Colorforms Outer Space Men for the next 72 hours or so, or I'm just gonna curl up into a Schwartzchild Radius of nostalgia and never be heard from again.


Those of you participating in [livejournal.com profile] tealfox and [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi's Star Wars Saga game this weekend who read the linked review will see a particular irony in this particular book impinging on my consciousness at this particular juncture.
athelind: (Default)
I've spent the day being melancholy about the Apollo 11 launch, which happened when I was 5. So I come home from work, and what do I find on my Friends list, courtesy of the [livejournal.com profile] retro_future community?



The cover to my very favorite book from childhood.

Please keep me away from any mention of Major Matt Mason or the Colorforms Outer Space Men for the next 72 hours or so, or I'm just gonna curl up into a Schwartzchild Radius of nostalgia and never be heard from again.


Those of you participating in [livejournal.com profile] tealfox and [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi's Star Wars Saga game this weekend who read the linked review will see a particular irony in this particular book impinging on my consciousness at this particular juncture.

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