Monday, September 29, 2008

Roleplaying versus Acting

I can't sleep just yet.

How is roleplaying different from acting? Is it motive? respect? performance for an audience? goal?

Do we, as humans, simply instinctively know that someone is roleplaying or acting?

Or is there a difference? I found this quote attributed to Robert de Niro:

One of the things about acting is it allows you to live other people's lives without having to pay the price.

Monday, September 08, 2008

New one from Neal

Neal Stephenson's got a new title due out tomorrow: Anathem, seemingly very much in the vein of Canticle for Leibowitz.

Props to Unshelved for their synopsis. I couldn't do it better, but click through for the full page spread. And truth be told, you had me at Neal Stephenson.

Buy it from Amazon through this link, and I get a kickback.

Better yet, buy it from a local bookstore.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Nine-day Weekend

We are back in the city with water, power, AC, sewage, and no damage.

Have I had a "Hurrication?" Sort of. We drove eighteen hours to Tennessee, stayed four days, drove nine hours to get back. Ate some bad-for-me-but-delicious food at Krystal Burger, ate some pig at a BBQ joint, had some spicy chicken with black bean sauce in Nashville. Murfreesboro is about five square miles, so we thought nothing of zipping around to check out thrift stores or pawn shops or comic stores or restaurants. Twice Paul and I drove a half-hour to Nashville for gaming with strangers and thrift store hopping. It's a pleasant enough little college town to spend a few days hacking around, but I don't know if I could live there.

Our cat, Zapruder, died on the way back. We don't know how, we don't know why; I just checked on him and he was cold and stiff. We're guessing sheer stress (even though he survived three weeks alone after Katrina) or respiratory failure, since he tended to wheeze. He was only 8. A little fat, but not sick. Driving back, we brought him out at rest stops to eat or drink or hit the litter box, and he seemed okay enough. He did fuss a little at being in the car, but that was normal (he fussed quite often). For hours, we all assumed he was just settled down and sleeping. I even heard him snoring a bit. Twenty minutes outside of our friend's place in Slidell, Cat asks me to check on him... and he wasn't moving. I even had a denial moment of "maybe he's just really tired" until I moved his paw and felt how cold he was, then saw that rigor had set in. Cat asked if he was okay, and I said "I don't think so. Pull over."

I am desperately trying to remember him as alive and a pain in the ass, or seeing him "sleeping" when I discovered he was dead, as opposed to Cat wailing and holding an obviously dead and stinking piece of meat with an awful grimacing expression in a Mississippi truck stop parking lot. It is not a pleasant image.

When Aphasia died six years ago, I lost it. Cat was strong for me then. I need to be strong for her, and I'll get my turn to grieve.

Here are a few pictures to amuse and edify. Somewhere down the line, I will blog about grief in the digital age.

Now Ike is on the way. We may stay with fellow evacuees in Memphis or with old friends in Austin. A friend blogged that Ike's gonna beat Mississippi like he did Tina, which is lightly amusing.

I need to return some emails and blog about gaming; also soon it is time to enjoy some lunch.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Posrep Slidell. Sitrep just buried our cat. Things could be better.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Planned Travel

Our "evacation" is coming to an end. Nagin has lifted all the checkpoints and restrictions on returning to the city, so we are planning to make the drive back tomorrow. I'm hoping it will be close to actual drive time instead of 16-18 hours. Murfreesboro has been pretty good to us, so far. It's tiny, so we can drive all round the place without worry. We hit a few thrift stores, ate barebecue, chicken and biscuits, and pizza.

Right now, I know that the little house got no water. I know that there's no trees falling on our houses. I know that we also have no electricity. NOCCA has power and no damage, as far as I know. The new house also suffered no damage.

I am amazing glad that my city has survived- once again, the eyes of millions saw us take a beating, but this time we stayed on our feet. I hope that people will still evacuate the next time.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Industrial Canal

For the record, the scary footage of water coming over the Industrial Canal is a mile or three from NOCCA. This Google Map shows the area in question; I'm not 100% positive which bridge Geraldo televised from, but it's either the Claiborne bridge or the St Claude one.

The State Street Coffee facility in this image from CNN is here.

Quick Gustav update

Woke up this morning around 5:30, watched some news. Went back to sleep, woke up again around nine.

We've been watching Fox News and streaming WWL. So far, we are cautiously optimistic and hopeful. A little worried about the loose vessels in the Industrial Canal and for the cities of Houma and the rest of Louisiana.

So far, this looks like normal, pedestrian, everyday hurricane damage — a world of difference from outright devastation. I'm hoping that we're jsut going to have power outages and expected wind damage.

Currently, NOCCA still has power. I expect to hear more about the situation at work this evening.

I'll blog more about our journey later, but so far, I honestly feel like this is a regular hurricane. We're trying to do regular out-of-town vacation-style stuff- go to the grocery store, a coffee shop, check out the local food, gaming, and thrift scenes.