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The stars are right!

Okay, so, I've got a Masters to be working on, but this is relevant, I swear. In fact, so relevant that...well, you'll see. Guilermo del Toro is an amazing director. You might remember him from such things as Hellboy, Hellboy II, Blade II and Pan's Labyrinth. He's also this massive Lovecraft fan, and there were rumours that he would make Lovecraft's novella, "At the Mountains of Madness" into a movie. But then he got signed for the Hobbit and our hopes for dashed. But then he quit the Hobbit a few months ago, and now news has come that James freakin' Cameron has agreed to produce the film. HOLY CRAP. And this on the day that I was furiously rereading and making nots on "At the Mountains of Madness" for the next bit of my Masters.

The only thing that could possibly make this ANY better is if they come film in New Zealand and I can convince them to hire me. For anything. I'll make coffee, sweep floors, herd cats, be a shoggoth, whatever, but holy crap I would kill to be involved in this film.

Oh yes, and source: http://www.empireonline.com/news/feed.asp?NID=28490

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I finished up at my job last Thursday and after a few days off for Easter, I'm easing myself back into full time study. I've spent the week trying to track down all my resources and gathering piles of reading to take with me when Tigger and I go away next week. It feels a bit weird, since each article I find, I say something like "Oh! This looks really cool! I can't wait to read this!", and the same for almost all of the primary texts I'm working with ("I love this short story! Oh, and this one! And this one!" the only exception being At the Mountains of Madness which is a bit long and dull, even if the premise is interesting) and it's slowly starting to dawn on me that this is in fact what I am doing with with the rest of my year. No fooling, I get to read and write about H.P. Lovecraft and his love/horror of the past and its role in "Lovecraftian" works, for the rest of the year. It's bewildering to think this might actually be fun - or at least not a total nightmare.

Anyway, so there I was, with a list of books in hand, searching the library. I'm heading down to a section I haven't been in before and also hadn't realised was there. Well, I knew it was there, I just hadn't realised how big it was, and how far the building extended out in that direction. Then as I get further down the library, the shelves get closer and closer together and the lights aren't working properly. So there I am, lighting my way with my cellphone since none of the lights are working, and peering at the call numbers for the book I need. I spot it on the shelf, and as I pull it off, the lights flicker back into life above me. I looked around a little uneasily, and decided to leave before the eldritch horrors arrived.

It was like something out of Lovecraft itself.

Prime Minister gets Geek Cred

The hottest news on the geek network is the event at university this afternoon. I was at work so I wasn't there but it is awesome enough to repost. New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, turned up on campus today and Auckland Geekdom's very own Jack, as a representative of KAOS, went up to him with a paper sword and challenged him to a duel. John Key accepted the duel, and so Jack and John fought. Jack came out on top though by all reports, the PM handled himself very well and was a great sport about it all.

Junior caught it all on cameraphone, though it is extremely blurry. I also don't know how to do those YouTube embeddy things, so here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4cPblYUwno

In other news, I am actually somewhat relieved that I didn't get anywhere with the job at the uni library that I applied for. While it would've been awesome to actually be a librarian, the year I am doing my masters on Lovecraft may be a poor choice for it. It would all just get a little too Nightmare Circle and nobody wants to see me turning into Penelope. Least of all the people who get in the way of my insanity fuelled axe rampage.

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Feb. 22nd, 2010

I think I have a tendency to overcommit. This has resulted in a frantic February. I had three major things on in a very short space of time, so I haven't actually had anything such as a free night for about three weeks. By the end of this last week I was pretty sleep deprived and in a horrible mood most of the time, so I'm very sorry that I've been so unpleasant to be around.

Last Saturday was the wedding of ladym and theirreverent. It was an amazing day. I was ladym's Maid of Honour, and I was so pleased I could be involved and be there for them on their big day. It's kind of the first time I was at a wedding where I had known the bride and groom so well, and actually been there since the beginning of the relationship, and could actually fondly remember the lead up to their first date and everything that happened between that and watching them be married. I got all teary several times. They did an amazing job on the wedding itself, and ran with militant percision. I can't wait to get some photos - ladym looked stunning and her groom looked pretty spiffy too in his morning suit! Congratulations guys, I have no doubt you guys will enjoy a wonderful and enduring marriage :)

Two days after that wedding, my Masters proposal was due. I was pretty shattered from the wedding but luckily (completely against type) I had done a significant amount of work well in advance, so I was only on the final tweaks, incorporating the latest round of feedback from my supervisor. I sent that off on Monday and as my last post jubilantly announced, I heard on Wednesday that I was accepted.

This weekend was Battlecry. I got roped in last minute to run the larping. With xepera_xeper running his Bad Dreams game on Friday night, and steelphoenix running her Jade Empire game on Saturday afternoon, I had to run something in the morning, and do the flagship larp. I reran The Final Voyage of the Mary Celeste in the morning slot, with the help of Blair. It went stupendously chaotically, and everyone I think had good silly fun. This game is fast becoming one of my favourite scenarios to run. For the flagship game, myself, Blair and Rowena ran Breakout Day, which was set at a corporate team building day at a call centre. It was originally written for and run at Kapcon X, and was the original "big Kapcon game." We did a significant amount of rewriting but the premise was pure gold. There were a couple of interesting things about the experience and some new mechanics we experimented with, but I'll write that as a seperate debrief (maybe) The upshot is that lots of people had fun, which was the whole point.

We had amphigori and Bryn stay with us for Friday and Saturday night, and that was so awesome! I really wish I'd been less tired, busy and stressed and could've socialised properly. Every time the Wellingtonians are in town, I seem to be busy as hell. Usually 'cause I'm running something. They organised this awesome unofficial IC night for Friday night which seemed lots of fun, though I was so shattered that I wrapped up in a cloak and slept during the picnic.

So that's three for three major things off my list. I've got a relatively free week coming up which'll be taken up with prep for the first New Horizons game (that's the new nWoD vampire game starting up) and sorting things out for the Wellington run of my Fleet Street game. I'm simultaenously really looking forward and am terrified of New Horizons starting. The roleplaying will be heaps of fun, got some great interactions lined up but I was somehow possessed to play an Elder so I have to pretend I know what I'm doing and what's going on and all that. That's the scary bit but I shall distract myself with sewing a new dress.

March doesn't look like it'll be any less busy than February. Between starting my Masters will still working, starting Chimera prep, running a Wolfgang day game and Fleet Street in Wellington the following weekend...oh yes. Another busy month ahead.

Sanity? I wasn't using that anyway...

So, ladies and gentlemen of my friendslist, despite all my fervent oaths to turn my back on academia and never darken the doorways of university again, I may have been seduced back. This morning I got the email from the post-grad advisor that the proposal I submitted (which I've been working pretty hard on since early January) was accepted and that this year, I will be doing my Masters on...

...wait for it...

H.P. Lovecraft.

That's right. A Masters of Cthulhu!

How a horror movie starts

Yesterday I had an odd adventure. In Kingseat, which is a suburb in the outer south of Auckland, there's an old mental hospital that got shut down a bunch of years back for, from what I understand, being a bit of a hell-hole. It was built in the thirties and is this massive sprawling complex. Spookers runs out of the old nurses' quarters but that's only the tiniest fraction of the place. We've always wistfully discussed getting access to some of the place for running larps but no one has every really made progress on that front. Until raphael_harker emailed me a few weeks back saying he got a meeting with the owner who was interested in letting us hire parts of it and invited us to come look around at what was there. So four of us made the excursion to Kingseat yesterday morning. It was the first time I had seen it in daylight and it was a great deal less spooky. With the people going around mowing the lawns, the sun shining and the general "Saturday morning" atmosphere around us, it wasn't nearly as creepy as I remembered. I was also too busy checking out the fantastic old buildings, and enjoying the history to contemplate ghosts and such. The only building we got into was the main admin building. There was such a sense of age in that place - nothing had been done up so everything was still original 1930s, with a great air of delapidation. It transpired, as we sort of looked at the notices in the office, that the guy owned the place was renting the old ward buildings out as houses to people! People were living in bits of the old mental hospital!

We never did get to look around more than that, because one of the other guys who was with us took a photo of one of the buildings, the owner went ballistic and even though we apologised and put the camera away, within minutes we were chased off the property being threatened with trespass notices. Yikes. We're not quite sure what happened, and the only conclusion we came to was that he's up to something dodgy there that we didn't actually see, and he thought we might be there to try and bust him.

Either way, somehow the anecdote "I went to an abandoned mental hospital for a meeting with its reclusive owner who reacted strangely and chased us off the property for no apparent reason" sounds like the beginning of a horror movie.
Okay, it's been two weeks so I really need to wrap this up. The final day of my amazing Wellington adventure!

Wellington Anniversary Day and the Great Geek TouristingCollapse )

Massive thanks to all our Wellington friends, both the existing ones and all our new ones, especially my hosts amphigori and her partner. Being so welcomed into your community was a great experience, and I can't wait to come visit and roleplay with you all again.

Kapcon 2011, here we go!

(Also is anyone else having problems with LJ not loading properly? It's all wonky!)
Part 4 of 5 of my ongoing epic recount of my Kapcon adventure. Also, I looked at my profile page to discover I have a swag of new LJ-friends. Welcome, Wellington readers.

After the larp we went out for burgers and debrief and stumbled into bed about 1:30am. Getting out of my costume was amazing, because between everything that was just a little too small, my chest and waist were killing me. The adrenaline of the game kept me from noticing but as soon as it was over, I suddenly realised just how much ow it all was. Lesson to me: measure properly. The next morning, we were woken by cats again, who were super friendly, and we headed off to the second day of Kapcon gaming. The second day started at 10am which meant we had a mite more sleep, and we arrived with coffees and croissants again, ready for another day of gaming.

My Little Sister Wants You to Suffer (No Spoilers)Collapse )

My Life with the BossCollapse )

The PrizegivingCollapse )

The Golden Pegasus Home for Retired AdventurersCollapse )

Norm's AfterpartyCollapse )

Tomorrow: Last post! How Aucklanders Celebrate Wellington Anniversary Day.
Saturday Night - The Larp: REUNION

From the Kapcon website:
"The Union of Planets prospered through a system of interstellar travel gates that allowed instantaneous passage between worlds. Reunion is set centuries after the disastrous shut down of the gates. The vast distances between worlds has prevented any contact, and over time each planet has evolved in strange and different ways. The gate on your home planet opened briefly and a messenger arrived looking for help in permanently reopening the gate network. How can the gates be reopened, should they be reopened, why were they shut down, what is in your (or your planets) best interest, how will you seize this opportunity to take your place in history?

When the larp was first announced, I was a little dubious because I'm not a huge sci-fi fan. Then I read up on it a bit more and really liked the look of the factions, especially that Victorian/steampunk looking one, so when I signed up, I put down that I'd like to be a part of that one especially. I had wanted to make a fabulous Victorian costume for the Great Exhibition but it turns out organising Chimera was, as always, a far bigger time suck than I remembered, I ended up having to borrow something rather than make the fabulous big blue affair I wanted to (it's still on my to-do list) So there was my motivation for wanting to be in Arboria, the excuse to wear a cool steampunk outfit. As we covered last entry, I got do have my fun with costuming, and now, for the actual event itself.

Note: Behind the cuts are SPOILERS for the larp. I'm hoping to rerun it in Auckland sometime next year, so if you think you want to play, you might be best avoiding reading it. Also, very very tl;dr. Be warned.

PreambleCollapse )

The Game ItselfCollapse )

And tomorrow, I hope I can post the second day of Kapcon and my final day of touristing in Wellington. I expect they will be much shorter because I'm running out of recounting steam.

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Kapcon Day 1

My day began with cats. Two of them, in fact, black ones, called Algernon and Ernest, who traipsed up and down my sleeping form in that casual way that cats do. I hauled myself out of bed and dived into some geeky clothes (my shirt with Darth Vader pruning a tree into the shape of a death star, and my Miskatonic university hoodie) and put on my geekiest jewellery (my d20 earrings and d20 necklace) and grabbed the enormous bag of larp costume stuff which I had sorted out the previous day.

amphigori drove me and Tigger there and she was dressed fabulously for her role as the medium in the first game, Communing in Darkness. We stopped for coffee and croissants, and then headed off to the con where, despite my sleepiness, the combination of building excitement in the room and my general impressedness with the efficiency of the operation (it's hard to turn logistics-mode off), started to get me really hyped for the coming days. Then game selections, a few announcements,and then we're off, time for the games!

Communing in DarknessCollapse )

Digging for a Dead GodCollapse )

The Book ClubCollapse )

Preparing for the larpCollapse )