felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So - continuing on the medieval theme - I was trying to decide which modernization of "clerkes" I like: clerks or clerics. It's for a work of fantasy-fiction that steers quite close to the coast of the real Middle Ages. I settled on cleric.

I still like that clerks and clerics were once the same thing. Any educated cleric who couldn't get ordained went into bookkeeping instead. The separation was never quite complete, either, which is why clerks do clerical work and sometimes make clerical errors - which sounds like most of Pope Benedict's career thus far, but I digress.

I'm also tickled by the fact that most of my adult-life jobs have been as a cleric. I used to be a store cleric, now I'm a data-entry/record/filing cleric. I should start describing myself as such.

But it's just nice to know that - should the Zombie Apocalypse ever descend upon the school where I work - I now possess the power to turn undead. Good thing I wear my holy symbol under my shirt.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Today and tomorrow are th main events politically. If Ignatieff doesn't chicken out, we'll have a new government this week, and we'll finally have an NDP coalition. Last time the NDP had the balance of power, we got many of the social programs that are now woven into progressive Canadians' view of the country.

In the meantime, I've had trouble focusing on my writing. I set up a strict schedule for myself, and I'm nowhere close to keeping it. I've had trouble focusing these last few weeks.

I've been playing video games -- my usual cure for writer's block. I also started reading a brilliant webcomic named Goblins, which is funny in exact proportion to the amount of Dungeons and Dragons you've played in your life. I'm loving it, but it does make me miss gaming.

(People who've never played won't get it. Casual players will probably find it amusing. But there are lots of in-jokes that no one's going to get unless they've been DMing since 1st edition. The real test of how long you've been playing D&D would be if you recognize the picture on the back of the wall in this scene.)

Nothing much else going on except that I managed to save 100 square feet of rainforest in the only FaceBook app that actually does something in the real world, L'il Green Patch. That's 10 by 10 feet, or enough to preserve the endangered Gelatinous Cube.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I develop weird obsessions -- usually they don't last more than a week or so, but for awhile someting, almost always something obscure, obsesses me and I feel driven to find out all I can. The stranger and more obscure, the better.

These obsessions have been everything from Norse funeral customs, to Medieval bestiaries, to Bible translation, to lost gay language Polari. It's not always historical or literary, however. Very weird pop culture mutations get me every time.

This week, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] montrealais, it's baby names. And more than anything else, it's the name Raistlin.

The final revenge of Raistlin )
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So last night was a lovely birthday party at [livejournal.com profile] rougemacabre's, who was a marvellous hostess as always. The dinner was marvellous, and I had curry for the first time.

I'm gradually coming out of Internet detox, though it shall be some time before I can catch up on all my friends' pages. I've been moving slowly through, but I'm about two weeks behind for everyone.

I've been mostly procrastinating, but I am still ahead on my Shakespeare course, and I've been playing around with a fantasy short story that wants to grow into a fantasy novel. Trying not to get too far ahead of myself, since I still have another novel to revise once all the feedback comes in, but it's just too tempting to go ahead and write ^_^

Looking forward to seeing [livejournal.com profile] terren_divided on Saturday, and to our first game in many an age on Sunday. I'll give advanced warning that there will be no game the week after, because I have to work the first weekend every month.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
It looks like we're going to have to cancel the game for tomorrow. [livejournal.com profile] montrealais just discovered a prior commitment, and we just can't play this next one without him there :(
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
The worst of my two exams is over. The test was really difficult, but I think I did well on two of the three essays, if slightly incoherent. There were only four of us in the room, including a friend of mine.

I found out after the test, though, that it shall be marked by Bina, the program's most extreme postmodernist. I've been avoiding any class with her name attached to it, mostly because they're about postmodernism, and not really about the books studied in those classes.

Now I have to read a few thousand pages for next Friday. Right now, I've reading a very, very sincere 700-page novel by Rohinton Mistry about an unusual friendship that strikes up between two upper-class Parsis and two Hindu untouchables.

It's a good (though thorough) novel. But I really just want to watch anime right now, and I've got "Cloud Age Symphony" stuck in my head (Grainy video with SOUND here).

Anyway, we're considering a party and a D&D game next week, after my last exam (probably the last of my academic career, ever). The game will probably be Sunday, as per usual, but I'm happy to take suggestions for the party.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
A quick note to my D&D players )

Other than that, I've been speeding a long on the final culling of my novel. And I have reached -- oh joy! -- the 17th Century in my readings for my comprehensive exams.

I have just started Ben Jonson's Volpone. I read A Defence of Poesy earlier this week, and found it surprisingly un-boring.

(It's strange reading a book discussing English literature written before Shakespeare -- it's like reding a science-fiction story that subtly hints that it takes place in a parallel universe. Sidney laments that England has produced no great playwrights.)

I also read Marlowe's Dr. Faustus this week. I love Marlowe, but seriously -- Faustus sells his soul, and uses the power to do nothing more exciting than play practical jokes and put on shows for 24 years? What a lack of imagination!
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So, in addition to being le Saint-Jean here in Quebec, it's Stonewall Day. Which is an event I've had mixed feelings about since I started reading up on queer history.

Not that it wasn't a wonderful event. It was the turning point of the American movement. The problem is, most Canadians think it was the turning point of the Canadian queer movement as well. Actually, we already had political organizations, and they'd won legalization earlier that same year -- May 14, 1969.

(That bill, C-150 or the Omnibus Bill, legalized homosexuality, abortion, and easy divorce, all at the same time.)

There's nothing wrong with Americans celebrating it, or Canadians offering our best wishes. But the problem with being queer and Canadian is that your history gets forgotten twice. Canadians in general can't be bothered to remember their own history, and a disturbing number of queer Canadians confuse our country with the one to the south -- for instance, quite a few believe that they aren't allowed in our military (to cite one example).

History's not well-respected these days, but I think that losing one's history is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a community. Forgetting the past usually opens the door to self-destruction.

On a more fun note, there shall be a game tomorrow. Noon, among the boxes here. I am also more than a third through my major edit.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So, my room is gradually taking on the pre-move, zero-decoration-and-furniture allure of a crack addict's appartment. Except, of course, the computer wouldn't last two minutes in a crack addict's apartment.

(I have the computer propped up on boxes -- it reminds me vaguely of tireless car on cinderblocks.)

No surprises that virtually everything I own is in book form. Even factoring in the furniture I'm taking with me, and the clothes, about 75% or 80% of what I own seems to be books (and we're talking volume, not number, here). And that's only if I don't include notebooks, old journals, scrapbooks, etc.

On a D&D note, it looks like we can have it here after all -- if you guys don't mind all the boxes, that is :)
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So it's been a quiet day. Got a little editing done -- I may hit the one-quarter mark today -- and some packing done. The big move is a week from tomorrow.

We've been watching a sweet and silly anime called Princess Princess. It's about three 16-year-old boys at an all-boys school who are bribed by the student council into dressing up as girls because the lack of girls is a serious drain on morale.

Sometimes, when watching an anime, I try to picture what it would look like if done on North American TV. With this one, it's just not coming. I don't think US cartoons have had any drag queens since Bugs Bunny hung up his wedding dress.

Practical things: it looks like all or most of us can play D&D this weekend, but the question is where? Matt doesn't want to have it here because our appartment is nothing but a giant mass of boxes right now.

Any ideas?
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
It's beginning to look like the game's going to be a no-go again. We just won't have enough players, so I thought I'd give everyone a head's up for Sunday. And next Sunday will probably be impossible :/

I'd still like to get together with people, though.

Editing is going slowly, because work has been insane. I had more hours of work this week than I've ever had at that job, and it looks the same for next week. We're testing around the clock -- last year at this time, it was so dead I was laid of for several months.

Our semi-new saleswoman works around the clock getting contracts. Our teachers are working 9 to 5, our filing cabinets are bursting with recent student tests, and everyone is frazzled. Summer has never been this busy before, from what I hear. I can only imagine what things are going to be like in September.

Otherwise, I read a short introduction/biography to Foucault today. Interesting. He's one of my least-favourite philosophers, but it helped me to find some redeeming qualities in him -- as a person, if not a philosopher.

I also discovered a few more reasons to dislike his ideas.

He was much more politically active than I thought, though, even as his ideas attacked real politicial commitment. I was also amused that he and Roland Barthes were on-again, off-again lovers -- there's a metaphor in that for the relationships of postmodernism and poststructuralism, I'm certain.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So I'm thinking about cancelling the game this weekend. Neither [livejournal.com profile] foi_nefaste nor [livejournal.com profile] em_fish can make it, so I was wondering how other people felt...?

It's just not as much fun whe we're down to half.

Not much else to say. It's been a pretty productive couple of days editing and packing. Plus I've been getting more hours at work. Yet again we had clear evidence that English teachers can't add, or even copy information from one sheet to another -- three teachers had to revise all of their attendance for the last two months.

I have been reading some very good books. I'm quite amused that this book of the queer history of Montreal (Sortir de l'Ombre)was funded by both the federal and provincial government. And I strongly recommend the graphic novel Fun House by Alison Bechdel -- it's brilliant.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Things are a tad less crisis-y right now, and I've very slowly begun to get caught up on my friends' pages.

Again, let me know if I've missed anything vital.

The last few weeks have been hectic and sleep-starved. Two weeks ago, I prepared an exhaustive presentation on the first 200 years of the sonnet in Canada -- using mostly poets who've been long-forgotten, but were popular once.

Poets disappear in this country, like words written in sand beneath the rising tide.

Then I polished off my journal for that class, and submitted it (it came back with an A).

For my rare-book class, I was also doing research into the long-forgotten. I'm now probably the sole living expert on one of the Schoolbook Battle of 1866 -- mostly because no one else knows it even happened. Virtually all my sources were things written last century.

The battle was a major public controversy at the time, but has nearly disappeared, except for a few experts on early-Canadian publishing. Strange since it involved two figures who are actually remembered -- George Brown (a father of Confederation and founder of the Globe) and Egerton Ryerson (father of universal education and the guy Ryerson University is named for).

I have one last essay until this semester is over.

I am looking forward to the game this Saturday, though -- it's keeping me sane. And D&D will be Saturday this time, at noon. We shall have an extra guest. And [livejournal.com profile] foi_nefaste, get back to me as soon as you know what he's playing...? And he'll have to come up with a reason why he's on the one trade route through the world's most desolate desert. This reason must be a) imaginative, b) interesting, and/or c) funny.

My old-book teacher is batshit crazy, but I learned a lot in that class.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I want to apologize again for being so scarce. I haven't had a chance to check my friends' pages for days, so let me know if I've missed any major crises/emergencies of which I should be aware.

(Nothing much happening in my own life besides school -- and the recycling bins getting stolen. and I bought a new printer.)

This state of affairs will likely last the next few weeks. I have a presentation Tuesday, a project to be handed in Tuesday, a project and a final essay the next day, and less than two weeks after that, one major essay.

Then, summer. Then the comps, and one last class, and I'm a Master of English Lit, which sounds vaguely like a martial arts style after the word "master."

Meanwhile, I have set aside time for D&D -- and I need it, or I'm going to go crazy. Fortunately, I've had this portion of the adventure long-since prepared. So, right: to my players, the game shall proceed at my place, Sunday, April 2, 2006, beginning at noon. Hopefully we'll get to play longer this time.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
First, a congratulations/plug for [livejournal.com profile] metawidget, who is running on the GPA platform for Concordia's grad students association. Most grad students hardly have time to think about voting, much less running, for the organization so he deserves to be lauded.

Plus the fact that someone is on the slate who I know and whose politics I can trust has made me decide to vote GPA.

On a far less important note, I did one of the geekiest things I've ever done yesterday: I posted a message to one of the writers of a D&D book and asked for a clarification on something. I don't know whether to be ashamed for exuberant geekery, or stoked that I got a prompt response from him :)
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
D&D group stuff for my players, cut for geekery )

for everyone else, I'm not avoiding commenting on people's journals. I'm just behind because of so much else to do. I did get 40 pages of editing done this morning, and have the final version of project due for this evening.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I'm very pleased with my writing. It's going very well.

Well enough that I signed up for a poetry/prose reading on the 25th, at Zeke's Gallery on St-Laurent. They asked for my full name to add to their poster, so that means it's for real. The panic is already setting in. I have to get stuff polished for then. I was thinking one poetic piece and a short passage from my novel.

It'll be the first time I've read to a group larger than a classroom -- and I only did that once.

There's no D&D this weekend -- for reasons both tragic and happy. One of our members is in the hospital, and another will be celebrating her birth. We'll have a session a week Sunday (on March 19), then (for those of you planning in the long term) take the Sunday after that off (March 26).

And [livejournal.com profile] retrogamerbear, get in contact with me, 'kay?
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Hello. Just a reminder to my players that tomorrow's the game. It's noon for most people, but [livejournal.com profile] melting_penguin and PapaGnu are coming over at 11:30 to finish their characters. You can come then, too, [livejournal.com profile] man_dragora, but you don't have to. I realize it's early for a Sunday morning :)

After that, we're skipping a week. [livejournal.com profile] foi_nefaste has somewhere to be, and Matt will be in hospital. The week after that (two weeks tomorrow) Matt has asked that we move over to his place because he'd like to get into things. It's not that far from mine, so I hope it won't be a problem...?

Our NDP meeting went well -- better than usual. People were actually debating, discussing, arguing. Most times I'm there, there are one or two passionate participators while everyone else looks like they're there for some kind of secular mass, and bored to tears.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

So we had a rather bland discussion in my Sonnets course today. Compared to the debate about the possibility of free will and mind and self-generating somethings, the topic of homosexuality in the sonnets was rather blasé. Things are getting better -- I brought a ton of books to argue my points, but I didn't need them.

One interesting bit of tension was when our professor, in the last three minutes, suddenly announced that she didn't like the dynamic in the class, and asked us how we would change it.

She's right, of course -- the dynamic is bad. But it's not really her fault. She's put together a great course, but she got lazy students who aren't doing the work. I can't say I'm free from blame, there :/


3rd-edition housewives )


Latest details )

In more amusing political news, Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian compared Taiwan's political relationship to the US with the relationship between Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar. Is Taiwan Jack or Ennis...?
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
The Adventure

one dead troll in a baggie... )

[livejournal.com profile] man_dragora, our next session will be next Sunday, at noon. I'll send you a letter a little later, but I'll just say I like all your ideas :)


felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

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