jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
Thirty boxes of games. I mean, technically twenty-seven, but three of those are overlong boxes, and there's some odds and ends that didn't make it into a box yet. Like Gram's Mahjongg set which doesn't easily fit into anything. Speaking of, I'd ought to take the go set as well.

Expect I could cull it down to two bookcases worth of games. Likely worth doing.

Plan is to take four bookcases with me; if two are games, that leaves two for books. Which means I need to figure out which books come with me and which get to live in boxes for the foreseeable.

The last of Martha Wells's Raksura books should be here on Wednesday, and I'll take that north with me for next week. Other than that, probably some comfort reading. The complete Mike Ford certainly, maybe Freedom & Necessity (s'what I read after Kelly dumped me), hell, maybe it's time to carry on with that full Dragaera reread I've been threatening for awhile. If I had early Misty Lackey books (specifically Arrows and Herald-Mage) I'd read those, they're the kind of displaced trauma I'm looking for. Maybe something by eBear. Etc.

Anyway, books are tomorrow's problem.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
And I'm still here.



Way back in the mists of time my then-girlfriend Steph made me a mix tape with, among other things, David Mallett's sublime folksong "Arthur". And Arthur, where are you now, we need you / We've been much too long without a leader. It took me an unconscionably long time to get around to picking up anything more by him.

I always thought of "Inches and Miles" as the quintessential Dave Mallett breakup song, and I guess it still is. And all things have endings, and beggars have their pride. For my money, though, "Fire" captures the end of a long relationship perfectly. But time here is frozen, the clock ticks no more / Just the ashes and cinders and smell.



Still biking, still getting out to yoga between four and six mornings a week when I'm in town. Prayer-twists are now absolute hell on my upper thighs, likely as a result of biking uphill to yoga. On the bright side I'm enough of a regular now that the teachers think it's worth their time to offer corrections. My flows and backbends seem to be working better. (It's hard to think of it as "worth correcting" when my traitor brain insists on interpreting it as "having been noticed doing something wrong." Always more internal work to be done, I expect.)

I'm still enjoying biking. I'm slower than most of the cyclists I encounter, which is okay with me, and I'm nervous on busy roads. But I like the wind on my face and I like getting where I want to go faster than waiting for a bus and faster than walking. I don't like overheating and feeling like I'm swimming in my shirt. July and more so August are going to be awful for that, I expect. But then it'll be fall again and things will be better.

I went to see a physiotherapist about my weird hip problem while biking. It seems to be a natural consequence of having favoured my right leg for ages, due to a long-standing hip ... "injury" isn't really right, but it's close enough, I guess. So I'm finally getting that taken care of, all manner of fun stretches and pokings and proddings and foldings.



Been starting to think more seriously about tattoos, again. Two data points doth not a trend make but this does seem to towards the end of a significant relationship. I think this time it's more to do with seeing all the gorgeously inked folks at yoga every day.

I can't remember how old I was when I visited Grandmother Taylor's old hometown, and the house on top of Crow Mountain where she grew up and, more relevantly, the cemetary. Must have been high school, but I remember it as being summer weather, which doesn't track with any time in high school. Maybe it was just winter in the south being as bright and warm as it is. Anyway, I've got a distinct memory of looking at gravestones of people I'm distantly related to and deciding simultaneously: that I wanted to be cremated and not left behind; and if I was going to have a markerstone I wanted it to have the epitaph from Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea on it:
Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky.
That and bits of Richard Siken's Love Song of the Square Root of Minus One (especially blackbird over the dark field but I am invisible) have been rattling around in my head for months. I suspect they signify. I've got what might be an image in my mind, but no ability to describe it yet. Contacted one highly-recommended local artist; not yet heard back from her.



Taking a look at a potential place this evening. It's a shared basement, but it's in a great location (Cambie and King Ed), and it's cheap-ish and supposedly big-ish. The roommate seems alright if a bit more social/talkative than I like. She's also connected with several of the local communities that I'd like to tap into. It is possible that this will be exactly what I need and have been looking for.

It's much more likely that it will drive me nuts and I'll desperately need to find my own place in short order, but this will give me a couple of months to catch my breath anyhow. Not that there's likely to be anything findable. This fucken town.

endings

Jul. 2nd, 2017 08:02 pm
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
PSA: [personal profile] uilos and I have split up.

We still love each other a lot, and it's gonna be pretty rough for both of us for awhile. That said, if you feel like you need to choose between Team Tucker and Team Emily, I suspect Team Emily will need the support.

Doubt I'll be replying to comments, but we'll see.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Today I am reminded why it is that I should get new glasses, no matter how much I hate getting glasses and no matter how pricey they are:

I tore a contact this morning.

This is less of a huge world-ending problem than it would have been the last time I wore contacts, because those were more or less eternal and cost several hundred bucks a pair. These are specifically designed to give out after a month, so I've got a bunch of them.

I just don't have them here, while I'm in the far north. (Not actually all that far, by one measure. Maybe fifty km north of the centre of British Columbia. Then again it's a twelve-hour drive to get here from Vancouver, so maybe it's just that BC is Way Too Big.) So I'm wearing my four-year-old glasses.

There's a mild but definite difference in my vision. Far-away things get fuzzier sooner than I expect them to. Not to mention the lack of peripheral vision, which I'd gotten to the point of taking for granted.

And I seem to be getting a headache. There's any number of environmental factors that could be causing that, but "minor change in vision prescription" seems to be the most likely culprit.

Might be time to start carrying a spare set of contacts with me when I travel.

(I've not gotten new glasses partly because they're expensive, and partly because I hate getting frames fitted to my face. It always involves several trips back to the optometrist and complaints of an earpiece that's rubbing weird right in front of my ear, or pushing into my skull behind my ear, or something like that.)
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
"But Tucker, if it's not a forever place, why are you spending high-four-figures redoing the kitchen?"

Three reasons:

1) The stupid cabinets that are too small for the plates to fit in are seriously annoying. It is worth spending money to rectify this, even on a short timescale.

2) It will Increase Resale Value, at least nominally. I'm skeptical as to how much effect home renovations actually have on resale value, but hey, maybe I'm wrong. It will certainly look much nicer, which may have an intangible effect on saleability.

3) It's not that big a kitchen. Any actual homeowners reading this are scratching their heads trying to figure out how we're renovating an entire kitchen for under ten grand. The answer is that this is a tiny 80s condo kitchen, where you can't open the dishwasher and the fridge at the same time, and where two people can technically do separate food-related tasks but they'd better be VERY comfortable in each others' personal space.

And, related to that last one, if I'm gonna be A Homeowner who's not interested in DIYing the heck out of everything, I'd like to have a sense of what goes into a reno project like this. Redoing the tiny kitchen seems like a safeish way to get my feet wet.

Emily stayed home yesterday while the new cabinets got delivered and the old ones got torn out. I stayed home today while the new cabinets got installed. Based on what I've seen so far, IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT TO PAY A PROFESSIONAL TO INSTALL THE DAMN CABINETS. Nobody's kitchen is "cabinet-sized" and things will have to be tweaked to fit, plus there may be, um, "interesting choices" made by previous owners. Like the way there are two different kinds of ceiling drywall in the kitchen over the cabinets, and making them line up is a pain in the neck. I have SO MUCH respect for the guys putting the cabinets in, and occasionally hauling things out to the porch to trim them and hauling them back in.

The wiring in here is substandard enough that the electrician couldn't finish up yesterday, so he'll be back at some point. And Emily's convinced that she can re-hook-up the sink and the dishwasher, at least good enough for a couple of weeks, so the plumber won't be back today either.

So, soon we'll have cabinets, and a temporary sink and counter. Next week the counter-measurer comes to measure exactly how much counter we need, and that ought to arrive in a couple of weeks.

So far, relatively painless. We'll see how it goes once everything is in place and hooked up, and then we'll also need to put in some kind of backsplash. (We had them tear out the HIDEOUS PAINTED-OVER TILE but haven't come up with anything to replace it yet.)
jazzfish: A small grey Totoro, turning around. (Totoro)
Feeling distant from everything. This is a known side effect of trying to get in touch with new people, especially in this city. It's still kind of alienating. And it comes on top of some other stuff that's sloshing around in my head.

Y'all still like me, right?
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I'm mostly adapted to being a one-cat household now. It feels like learning to live with and work around a missing tooth: it mostly doesn't matter, except when something slips and you realise that it's not quite right and hasn't been for awhile.

Kai is lonely, as expected. She's taken over the duty of sitting with anyone who's on the couch, and round midnight she complains that there's no one else in the cat-bed.

I don't know how I grieve, not really. I know how to hold together and I know how to be a sympathetic shoulder.



Other than that.

Viola: there is a marked difference between knowing what you're doing wrong, and knowing how to do it right. At my lesson on Tuesday I think (hope) that I've finally figured out how to hold my left hand properly and in a more natural / less tense position. Gonna have to drill that into me for actual playing of things other than scales, but it felt right enough that I couldn't go back to holding it the way I'd been at the start of the year. Progress, maybe. I'm also gonna have to learn how to play a close second finger: my hand doesn't seem to want to move like that in that angle. Carnegie Hall.

Also sometime in the last year I developed the ability to tune by fifths rather than by harmonics, which is neat. Harmonics: if you rest your finger halfway up one string, not pressing down to the fingerboard, you get a neat ringing tone that's an octave above the open string. If you rest your finger a quarter of the way up the next lower string, it makes the same tone. You can tune your instrument by making sure these tones are the same. Alternately, if you can hear perfect fifths, you can just play both open strings simultaneously and tune one until the chord sounds right. This is the 'normal' way to tune a stringed instrument, and I couldn't do it until recently. So that's neat.

Work: The act of deciding that I want to look for a new job has been remarkably freeing. Work is still stupid and slow but that bothers me way less. Partly that's because the awful IT guy is gone; partly it's because not caring and not feeling trapped makes the idiocies far more bearable. We're still not getting bonuses, we still haven't gotten raises in coming on two years, but, eh. Whatever. If it gets bad enough I can leave, and meanwhile there's breathing room here to work out some stuff.

Condo: Emily's put in a raised bed on the patio, using leftover 4x4s from when they redid the fencing in February. The kitchen cabinets are being put in late next week, and hopefully the counter will go in early the week after.

I am more and more convinced that this is an acceptable stop-gap place, and a fine place to make money on for no reason (we bought for $480 in October; a somewhat-nicer unit in this building sold in February for $600, and an only-slightly-nicer one in March for $570), and unsuitable long-term. I'd thought/hoped that it was just barely big enough; it turns out that it's a little too small. The lack of insuite laundry is getting to me, as expected. Etc. Oh well. Something else will turn up.

I'm also becoming less and less certain that I want to stay in Vancouver, but that's a whole different fishkettle.
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
I've been expecting to write this post for, what, four years now? It's somehow not gotten any easier in the meantime.

wall of cat text )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Sometime last week I came across a passing link, probably somewhere in the Lawyers, Guns & Money comments, to All Birds Are Cats. I started off somewhat baffled, but by the end of the two-minute clip I couldn't stop giggling. "Well, look, if you're not prepared to do the research, Bryan, why make the statement in the first place?"

It seems that John Clarke and Bryan Dawe have made a career for the last thirty years of doing these little two-minute satirical interview sketches, one a week, for Australian television. Some of them are downright brilliant, for example, The Front Fell Off (I have not laughed so hard in ages). Many rely on a grasp of Australian politics that I just don't have, but are still delightful to watch.

Sadly John Clarke died early in April, while 'bushwalking' and birdwatching. On the bright side there's an awful lot of Clarke & Dawe on their Youtube channel, and more to come.

let's book

May. 17th, 2017 12:15 pm
jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
What are you reading?

The ebook of Max Gladstone's first five Craft novels was $13, and I've been meaning to read them for ages, so I picked that up. I'm about halfway through Three Parts Dead so far.

It's very good, as expected. Like Walter Jon Williams's Metropolitan / City On Fire, it would be "urban fantasy" if that term hadn't been co-opted first for punk-rock elves and then for werewolves and vampires. Secondary-world fantasy, set in a city that's decidedly post-medieval. It's detective-ish: a failed wizarding student and her mentor come to town to find out why the god who powers the city seems to have died, and what if anything they can do to fix things. Neat stuff, neat characters.

It's also hitting the exact tone and close to the exact feel that I was going for in my own partially-begun novel. This is mostly frustrating: someone already did the thing I want to do, now if I do it I'll be ripping him off. It's also kind of validating: hey, I had a pretty good idea, there, maybe I ought to stick with it.

What did you just finish reading?

The Skill of Our Hands, by Steven Brust and Skyler White. Took me forever to get through this, for reasons that are not necessarily the fault of the book. It's disconcerting to read a book set in 2014 about how the immigration nonsense in Arizona was clearly a threat to decency, while living through 2017 as it's enacted. So that threw me. More, I think these are just not my kind of book, at least not on first read, and I'm not sure why.

What do you think you'll read next?

At the Gathering, Jason Holt, one of the guys from Czech Games Editions, handed out copies of his Galaxy Trucker novel to everyone who got something at the prize table. Emily's read it and was highly amused, so, probably that. Along with the second Craft novel in ebook.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
As of yesterday I've developed a sore spot on the inside/back of my right hip, at a contact point for the bike seat. Excuse me, saddle. I'm not sure whether it's a bruise or a stretched muscle. I'd been thinking "bruise" but this morning it started out sore and felt much more neutral after a five-minute walk. I can't figure out a work-appropriate way to stretch it, unfortunately. Ibuprofen it is. I'm not sure whether the saddle needs adjusting, or if I just need to adjust to it.

I'm taking the bike in tomorrow anyway to get a rear fender attached. I rode home yesterday through a pretty good rain. That's still a surprisingly pleasant experience: the rain keeps me from overheating, and not having glasses means I can see in the rain, which is neat. But the pannier and the back of my jacket are both mildly mudspattered, and I'm told a fender will help with the worst of that.

The other thing about biking in rush hour in the rain is that it feels ... unsafe? Unpredictable? Impossible? I get a sense that there's no way I can possibly be sufficiently alert to account for all the cars and the pavement and the weather conditions and whatever else. That it's only a matter of time before something unpleasant inevitably happens. That part is less thrilling.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
A Tribute to Carrie Fisher: I grew up on Star Wars: the original was one of the first movies we had on VHS and got watched over and over again, Jedi was one of the first movies I saw in the theatre. And I still hadn't realised how much of an impact it'd had on me until I got unexpectedly sniffly at this video. Gonna have to look up Wishful Drinking and The Princess Diaries, I think.

Frodo Didn't Fail: "Again and again in The Lord of the Rings, we see that strategically pursuing the greater good fails, while remaining true to moral principles succeeds even when it looked foolish."

Love in the Time of Cryptography: "Having your friends and community testifying to your love beats all the selfies in the world."

The Ballad of Maui Hair: "Friend 1: I'm going in for surgery on the 18th. Friend 2: Oh, dear-- Maui Hair: I didn't see the hospital in Maui. *thunderstruck silence* Friend 3: Of course you didn't. Bless your heart."

So A Nazi Walks Into An Iron Bar: the Meyer Lansky Story: "I'm picturing a lot of newsboy caps and comments like 'no no not like that, my bubbe (ofblessedmemory) punches better than that, you grip the brass knuckles like this.'"



Also, hey, it's been awhile since I checked in with my 101 in 1001 list. I've not been ignoring it, just not talking much about it.

101 in 1001 update )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
The tops of my thighs are serious about letting me know that they have been Used. Yoga this morning may have been an error in judgement; even on a good day 'powerful pose' is the devil incarnate, and today even the prayertwists were rough. Hoping for good things from the "continue to work/stretch those muscles rather than letting them freeze" plan.

Had my first dropped chain yesterday. I turned to head up a steep hill, shifted down to low gear in front, and couldn't figure out why I was pedaling and still losing speed. Walked up the hill, took a look, and convinced it to reseat on the gear with minimal fiddling. YAY I FIXED THE THING.

First ride in the light rain this morning. (Not that Vancouver really gets any other kind.) Rather pleasant, honestly. Kept me cooled down, kept me alert, feet didn't slip off the pedals too many times. Suspect I'm gonna want a rear fender sooner than later.

I spent some time yesterday and today studying the city's map of surprisingly comprehensive bike paths. Makes me want to get out and ride the seawall. Or Stanley Park. Or, hell, just through some of the more pleasant and interesting East Van neighborhoods.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
So, um, yesterday I bought a bike.

This was not something I'd ever intended to do.

and yet, here we are. )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I have driven the Fraser Canyon (most of it, anyway, 'round midnight my lack of sleep, lack of updated glasses, and unfamiliarity with logging truck ruts caught up with me and I handed off the driving) and stared down logging trucks. I have watched the seasons roll back from full-throated spring to the tail end of winter as we traveled north. I have walked a property that felt a great deal like Gram and Pop's place in Helena gone to seed. I have flown over mountains and forests in a 2x2 prop plane, and seen the approach to Vancouver in the daytime for only the second or third time.

It was a good trip. It's still settling out in my head: there's a lot to process, here. A lot a lot.

Gonna be an interesting summer.

bah, cars

May. 2nd, 2017 01:13 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
It only took one encounter with rush hour traffic (being routed over the Patullo Bridge in New West) to take me from "driving: actually pretty neat" to "traffic is the devil, cars are the devil, driving is the devil." Bah.

I did go out and take a look at a Pontiac Solstice on Sunday, though. This is a car that I've been vaguely envious of since I saw the posters for the then-new concept car when I was buying Straylight back in 2005. It's stylish and eye-catching and reasonably priced, which are all things I admire. It also has literally no cargo space whatsoever. The way I saw it described was "you could carry a two-four in it, if you poured it out." I didn't really believe this until I saw it for myself, but, yeah. No back seat, no trunk, no space behind the seats for anything larger than the obligatory ADC map.

Didn't get to test-drive it: it was in a dealership showroom and getting it out would have required more waiting and more car-tetris than I was willing to put up with, particularly on a rainy day. Oh well.

I /would/ like to have access to a fun-to-drive car, but I'm not willing to pay real money for that, so. I'll continue dropping money on carshare cars when I feel the need to not take transit or walk, I guess. Possibly look into picking up a bike, though I maintain that cycling in traffic is a more active expression of a death wish than I'm really looking for right now.

This evening I'm off to The Interior. Williams Lake tonight, Prince George tomorrow, and thence to Fort St James. This will be my first trip within BC further than Harrison Hot Springs, which is about an hour and a half out of town. Should be interesting. Definitely gonna be interesting to see how I respond to an actual lengthy road trip.

also

Apr. 24th, 2017 04:35 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
The thing about depression is that thinking too much about it puts me back into that headspace, and now is not a good time to explore that.

Which is to say: thank you for comments, and I'm reading them, and I hope to be able to respond to at least some of them this week.
jazzfish: Two guys with signs: THE END IS NIGH. . . time for tea. (time for tea)
Friday evening I'd intended to meet Emily for dinner at the only source of gator in Vancouver and then catch a music performance. On the way to the restaurant we passed a theatre advertising that this was the last weekend they were showing Angels in America Part 1, and figured we'd go to that instead.

Only, I'd started feeling a little chilled after I left work, and noticed myself drinking a lot of water at dinner and generally feeling kind of ... not really lightheaded, not really spacey, not really achey, but ... feverish. So instead we went home, and Emily finished her sign for the Vancouver Science March ("Be part of the SOLUTION not part of the PRECIPITATE") and I took an hour and a half hot bath.



I woke up the next morning feeling pretty much okay, and saw Emily off into the damp while I waited for Erin. We'd been kicking around the idea of going down to the States this weekend with some other folks, but I think we'd settled on just having a calm couple of days at home.

On the way there I got to experience my first moving vehicle accident. Not very fast moving, but still. Erin had just pulled out to turn left when someone who'd looked like they were turning right didn't.

I've been in several other accidents, from the time when I managed to come to a stop but the person three cars behind me didn't to the time when a concrete pillar at a gas station scooted into the passenger-side of my rental car at five in the morning. There's something different-- more visceral-- about being fully in motion at the time, and also about not being the one driving. Couple days later I'm still occasionally flashing back to the moment of impact, because I happened to be looking in that direction. It's not horrific or frightening, it's more "i can't believe this is actually about to happen."

Erin's car was rendered undriveable: body crunched up, tyre shredded, likely a snapped axle, possibly some engine damage. Probably totaled, since those things will cost more than two grand to fix.

We retreated to the safety of my place, and eventually made our way to Erin's, and the day turned from "quiet relaxing" to "recovery" and then "buying a car." Erin's out of pocket all this week for a school thing, and had been planning on driving her car, with a bunch of her stuff, up north the middle of next week. Which meant that she needed a car, pronto.

So Saturday was spent looking for cars, and on Sunday I rented a car (I'd been planning to anyhow) and we drove up to Squamish to test-drive one, and she ended up buying it. But that still took up much of the day, and much of the rest involved her frantically packing for a week away on a school trip, and then heading out past Maple Ridge for that. Not precisely the restful weekend I'd been hoping for.



Enterprise put me in a Hyundai compact that reminded me a lot of Straylight, my last car. Straylight was a low-riding Saturn coupe that I bought after my previous car caught fire on I-81. It was no hi-performance sports car but it was still fun to drive, and I enjoyed the existence of the trick third door as well. For city-driving or traffic-driving I would have preferred a somewhat more maneuverable Smart; for highways or just point-to-point, Straylight was wonderful.

(When I moved north to the land of carlessness, I sold Straylight to my friend Stephen. I believe it had an unfortunate encounter with a tractor trailer in the Affle House parking lot a few years ago. Sic transit gloria transita.)

By the time I left DC I hated driving, partly because I had to drive to get anywhere but mostly because driving in DC means traffic. Looks like five years was about enough time for that to fade. I genuinely enjoyed driving up and down the Sea-to-Sky. Even the backroads of the camp I left Erin at were kinda fun, though also stressful, due to rain and hunger and uncertainty as to exactly where I was going.

I miss road trips. I miss the freedom of getting anywhere without concern for transit schedules and flaky buses. I miss Straylight. I never thought I'd say that.



At least there was yoga this morning. I feel much better for that.

There's something bubbling under the surface about yoga and about things that make me feel more like me, and how that's changed, but it's not ready yet.
jazzfish: Pig from "Pearls Before Swine" standing next to a Ball O'Splendid Isolation (Ball O'Splendid Isolation)
Will Moore RIP. The comments are insightful, particularly CassandraLeo's, particularly when paired with Five Lies Depression Told Me.

I don't know. At this point I feel confident in saying that I was depressed by summer 2012. That I was probably depressed by September 2011, and likely October 2010, and back and back and back with a little less certainty at each milestone. That being laid off eased up certain pressures but not others, and that after six months, being off work had done about as much good as it was going to. That I remained depressed up through last summer and on into the start of fall.

Still, I'm reluctant to identify as "depressed." I guess maybe I am, if frequent suicidal ideation and sporadic self-harm are anything to go by. I don't know. I feel pretty okay these days, but then oxytocin is a hell of a drug. Ask me in a month.



Too, I'm reluctant to try antidepressants for several reasons. In no particular order:

One, I am not the most reliable observer of my own mental state, and would prefer not to lock myself into something that maybe works with unpleasant side effects.

Two, finding a doctor in this town is a fool's errand.

Three, I would much prefer to sort out the external stressors in my life and see what's left after that.

Four, I've tried drugs once. I was on Prozac for a little over two years, from the end of high school through the first two years of university. It clipped the highs and lows of my emotional state, which I guess was a tradeoff I was happy to make at the time, and also sharply limited any pleasure I took from sex. Not the drive, mind you, just the physical pleasure.

This was under the direction of a terrible, terrible counselor chosen by my parents, at a time when their worry was "clearly there's something wrong with our son, he's not keeping up with his schoolwork." (A caricature, but not, I think, a wholly unfair one.) It's possible that that whole experience has made me averse to the idea of being depressed.



I don't know what the point of this post is, either, other than leaving a record where I can find it later. At about this time, Tucker began to consider that maybe he was clinically depressed and had been for well over a decade.

Eh.
jazzfish: five different colors of Icehouse pyramids (iCehouse)
I'm at the Gathering.

I'm doing better this year than last year. Partly that's due to having a room to myself. I like Scott R quite a bit but our schedules collided just enough that I never really felt comfortable there. (As opposed to Christine, who was asleep when I woke up and otherwise basically never in the room at the same time as me.) Partly it's just, you know not being horrifically depressed. Which I'm pretty sure I was last year. I'm also taking a bit better care of myself, both before and during.

Anyway. I've only been here since Wednesday night, because time off is a valued commodity and because Erin vanishes for the far north in a couple of weeks and squeezing in as much time with her as possible is important. It's been good. No super-duper new games this year, not really even anything on the order of last year's Ponzi Scheme. Some good 18xx games, some good shorter games.

The passage overnight through Toronto and training down still seems to be the best way to get here. I had a middle seat for the flight but they gave me some sort of nicer, roomier seat, so it wasn't bad at all. Redeyes are still the most reliable way to get me onto East Coast time.

I feel like this is the con of my heart, in the way that BGG.con isn't. A lot of it's the venue: the light's better, the noise level is lower. Some of it's just that I've clicked really well with a lot of people here. I could do that at BGG.con if I went back ... but it's loud, and glaringly bright, and super-busy, and just not really a thing that interests me, not if I've got the Gathering.

The people. My first year here Eric B started teaching me 18xx games about midway through the week, and my second year he and his gaming friends sort of took me under their wing, so I've pretty consistently been able to find people to game with and to talk to. And I'm gradually meeting other folks as well and recognising them from year to year. And vice versa, which will probably never fail to surprise me. People remember me! They even sometimes seem excited to see me! It's ... neat. Eric hasn't been here the last couple of years due to life stuff, and I miss him and hope he can make it next year, but Joe R and Jeroen and all have been fantastic as well. I really like the sense of ... community, I guess, that I have here.

In a few minutes I'm going downstairs to play what will probably be my last big game of the weekend, and then tomorrow I'll maybe play some lighter stuff and fly home through Newark, with another Vancouver local who got the same flight I did.

Home. That's a thing.

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Tucker McKinnon

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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