Did you ever notice that life increasingly becomes filled with in-jokes and other inside references? I have friends who I can have coded conversations with. We wont speak pig latin or any foreign language, but in english our conversation can be indecipherable to anyone listening in who lacks our context. 

I suppose any subset of humaity is like that. I am not a Christian, Muslim or Jewish, so many of the reference members of those faiths might make, to each other, could be obscure to me. 

I am a larper.  I Have been for more than 20 years.  If I talk about a stick jock, a backpack healer, or jumpy stones then my larper pals will know what I am talking about.  I am pretty sure no one else will without an internet search. 

I find myself wondering if in my 60's or 70's I will be so indecipherable that it will be like that Star Trek The Next Generation episode with the race that communicates with context.
"At Arinth, with the Irregulars, when the Emperor fell."

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Michael Jackson, eating popcorn.
When the walls fell. :-)
Fry, his eyes narrowed.
Good god, I got that.
Karen 20h
You know something? This very topic is one of the many reasons that I used to love Livejournal and I now love OPW. It gives me the ability to learn about things like stick jocks, backpack healers, and jumpy stones without looking the fool. A quick Duckduckgo search (Google is finally starting to make me nervous) and I'm right there with you. :)
Okay, I lied. Both "jumpy stones" and "backpack healer" were not quick finds. WOMP WOMP.

At least I now know that a stick jock is the opposite of a flurb.
Jumpy Stones are physical markers that some one jumps across. Step off the stones and you are in peril (lava, acid, bottomless pit). They were used on modules where people had to physically act out navigating these hazards.

Backpack healers are a peculiar phenomenon of being able to touch cast spells to someone instantly. A backpack healer would stand slightly behind a fighter type and call out healing spells as the fighter type is hit with stuff, keeping them going in the fight.

Both are larping terms.
I've spent my whole life wanting to be a backpack healer, and didn't know it.
Karen 20h
p.s. - The Encyclopedia Britannica were our Jumpy Stones as kids during The Floor is Lava.
Karen 20h
Bananas.
Karen 20h
 

I bought this "signed and numbered" print in 1998. The art was completed in 1989 and the print was made in 1990. When I moved into my house in 2000 I had it in a crappy poster frame. The frame broke during the move. So the backing cardboard with the print reversed  and covered by the backer paper went on a closet shelf. Where, due to my mad procrastination skillz, it languished for 18 years.

A friend who knew about the print gave me a 60% off custom framing coupon to a local cafting store with orders to "Get Betty off the shelf", which I dutifully did before Thanksgiving. 60% off of nearly a thousand dollars, since I obviously wanted acid-free paper and museum glass to preserve the valuable (hopefully, someday) artwork.

I made note of the artist and Googled him after I paid for the framing. Seems like this fellow has about a dozen original pieces of Betty Page art, all done comic book style. And he's run 1000 signed and numbered pieces of each piece of artwork and sold for around $20. Each and every year.

So, the "valuable" "signed and numbered " print of original artwork is worth about $20. Plus $340 in framing means the whole shebang is worth about $360.

I guess the value is in the eye of the beholder.


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I think it's cool.

If it makes you happy, then even better.

But maaaan-- I didn't know framing was so expensive. I have a few hand-drawn pieces my friend Stefan made for me that need framing, and at $350 a pop, I may need to put that off a bit longer.
 
 

I'm writing this with my eyes half closed; I apologize for any typos or half-finished sentences.


Sunday mornings are usually spent getting brunch with Matt's folks. I really like Matt's folks so I genuinely look forward to it each week. Matt's dad (Steve) will never let us pay, which I find amusing. We keep telling him that he doesn't have to bribe us with food, and that we'd come out anyway... but he still pays. He won't even let us get the tip. 

This recent Sunday Matt went to a Giants game with his bro Nick. Nick has season tickets and really goes all in-- he leaves Delaware at 7:30am to arrive for a 1pm game by 9:30am so he can tailgate for a few hours. Matt went with him and I admit I was worried he'd have a panic attack at the game and wouldn't have any safe, private place to melt down for a few hours... but thankfully(??) the day before he had two AWFUL panic attacks, and he often has a good day after an especially awful day. So I'm happy that worked out. 

Matt's folks asked me if we were gonna do brunch and I told them Matt wouldn't be home so I figured they'd cancel, but instead they said "Let's go anyway, just the three of us!"  We had a really lovely, easy, relaxed time since this was the first time I've ever spent time with them sans Matt (not that I was worried-- we get along really well). After brunch they asked me to come back to their house to help Steve fix his computer, which I did in 5 minutes, and they were thrilled. (Not only am I vaguely personable, I'm useful, too! Wow! What a catch!)

I don't know why, but I always get super-happy when my boyfriend's parents like me. 

Anyhoo, Matt got home from the game around 6:45pm and we hopped in the car and headed to Philly, where I'm teaching at UPenn all week.  Class is from 8:30-4:30, and I arrive to my classroom around 8, and I try to get people outta there by 4:05 at the latest, mostly because I can tell by 2:45pm I could be talking about elephant spackle* and they'd be writing it down... the lunch coma is a very real thing.  (*I do not know what elephant spackle is or why my brain just typed it.)

My hotel is quite literally directly across the street from my classroom building, which is AWESOME.  No commute, just a few steps... so I can roll outta bed at 7:30am and be there at 8:00 with no problem. I love that.  

Matt is with me in the hotel, so I usually go back to the hotel for lunch just to relax a bit. After ll the class ends, I make my way back to the hotel by 4:45 or so by the time I straighten the classroom up... and then I immediately change into my PJs and flop into bed.  I'm usually sleepy by 8pm because I'm 90. But tonight I had a big ol' project that's due for my colleague in the Netherlands, so I had to knock that out because he's 6 hours ahead of me. It took me a few hours to finish and I just finished it up now... and right now it's almost 10pm and my body is like "HEY STUPID! WHY AREN'T YOU ASLEEP?"  

I keep falling asleep while I'm writing this and then waking up 15-20 minutes later.

 Other news, and I'll be quick here because it's super-late now... I forget if I told you that my mom lost 25 pounds on the NutriSystem plan we bought her so she could get her blood-sugar under control.  I'm SOOOOO damn proud of her. She said the food is meh and just basically TV dinners, but that's kinda what she normally eats anyway.

Ok, I'm going to sleep. Love you all ok bye.

Happy Hanukkah to those tho celebrate! 


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Yay for solo brunch with the SO's rents! Always awesome when the bf's parents like you, I agree and hope for this too. Who wouldn't? :) Sleep tight, bae. *tuck in with a teddy* (I'm half brain dead right now.)
Karen 12/4
WHAAAAAAAAAT 25 LBS? Which NutriSystem plan? I have to look this up so I can read all the ingredients and obsess about it but never do it. That's amazing!

I'm a dumbass, I stayed up too late too.
Good job, Mom! That's fantastic.
 

So I just watched a preview for S2 of Runaways. It's a Hulu Originals series based on comic book characters in the Marvel Universe.

I (of course) devoured the first season in the blink of an eye.

S2 is being released Dec. 21st. Which made me think: Are they releasing it right at the holidays in order to slow peoples' consumption of the episodes? I imagine that's a real problem these days. Companies dump all this money, time, and effort into a season of shows and then the consumers go through it in a very short span of time.

That would mean that the buzz / hype / social media blitz that they (the companies involved) might be looking for would last an equally short span of time. Sure, there will be outliers who will talk about the show in 3 months, but they will be just that - outliers.

THAT, in turn, got me thinking - how could you combat that problem? How could you get a longer 'bang' from your buck with a series like this?

The thought that occured to me was that you could build in game design elements. Puzzles (or puzzle clues) within the show that would mean nothing at the time, but then you (the company) could release something pointing people to those clues over time. A Time Released Alternate Reality Game of sorts.

Then, if you make the prize something really worthwhile - say a guest spot in an episode of the following season (which people wouldn't know until after the prize was won, of course) the hype you could get from such an event would be five fold: 1 at the airing of the show 2 during the hunt / release of the puzzle clues 3 when the fan wins the game 4 during the following season and 5 when media reports come out following the guest appearance in the subsequent season.

Sometimes, my ADHD is kinda cool.

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12/1
 

We've been at my folks' place since Sunday. Dad had carpal-tunnel surgery on his wrench-turnin' hand on Monday, and he was very worried about how it was gonna go. If he can't use his right hand, he might as well check himself into the rest home, since fixing cars and building stuff (and caring for my mom) is what keeps him alive. 

The good news is that the surgery went smooove like buttah, and 10 minutes after he got home he made himself an omelet with his bionic hand... so he's fine. Now that he's a few days out his fingers are a little black and blue, but it's really all good.  Today at 2:45 we take him for his post-op follow-up, and then we'll head back home. 

We have this rhythm here at my folks' place where my parents get up early (around 7) and fix themselves some coffee and a small bite. It wakes me up, but I stay in bed snoozing. I They are so sweet and kind to each other in the mornings, and it makes me happy.  Then my mom goes back to bed, and my dad goes out to get coffee and bullshit with the guys at Steve's Transmissions for a few hours, and he gets home around 11. By then Matt gets up and brings me a cup of coffee in bed because he is the best, and then he hangs with my folks a bit while I build up the courage/strength to put on pants and go out to the kitchen with everyone. By this time my folks' morning sweetness has worn off and they're both back to interrupting and my dad answering for my mom and then my mom getting defensive and my dad not understanding why she's suddenly pissy and then I explain Communication 101 and then a lightbulb goes off for a moment until they both find it easier to deem me too preachy than it is to try changing how they talk to each other.  

So I'm still in bed at 11:58am. I need to get out there and I don't wanna. 

Anyhoo.

I have been go-go-go since the end of October, as companies are rushing to spend their training budgets so they don't lose them for next year. I've had classes in TX, Denver, Philly, and then I took a class in DC, then we went to CT for Thanksgiving, then we had a gig in West Chester on Saturday, and then we left for NJ (here) the next day.  I haven't had a day off in a while, and I need one.  The emails are piling up (work emails and friendly emails) and I haven't had much time to even read them let alone reply. If I owe you an email, I promise I'm working on it. 

Next week (Dec 3-6) I teach a class at UPenn again, and the following week (Dec 10-13) is another class that I just don't feel like teaching since it's the week before our big Christmas Show (which is on the 15th), so I'm having my pal Joyce teach it. We're gonna be building sets and rehearsing and panicking that week, so there was no way I could be away for the week. With Joyce teaching the class, I'm not making as much on the class as I normally would since I have to pay for her airfare, hotel, and instructor fee, but I'll still make something, and something is better than if I had just turned the work away and gotten nothing.

I have a ton of other work to do and no desire to do it... I'm not sure if this is some low-level depression, the start of the winter blues, or just general laziness. Probably some combo thereof.

In other news entirely, a few weeks ago I was taking a class in Washington DC and I took the train down. DC's Union Station has a bunch of mall-esque stores in it, and I was worried I was gonna be cold as I walked to/from class, so I popped in a store I'd never heard of and bought a warm undershirt for $19.00. And now, I have a new fucking addiction... these HeatTech bra-top undershirts by Uniqlo. Most bra-top undershirts have a totally useless shelf-bra, but these things have this kinda combo shelf-cup configuration that HOLY BALLS actually handles my mutant titties better than any other actual bra I have ever worn.  Going from a 40DD to a 32-Pfffft is impossible to fit, and these things work (they actually work!!), praise jeeeesus!  I bought a bunch more, so I pretty much haven't taken one off since November 13th... and ta-daaa. I am comfortable and warm (and perky!) for the first time in well over a decade. 

Perhaps that is TMI. Perhaps I don't care.

It's my blog, and I'll TMI if I want to. :)

Ok, time to get motivated. Bleh.

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Winter blahs, I prescribe a full spectrum light in your work space. At the minimum a daylight spectrum light. It makes a huge difference in my mid-winter demeanor.

I was up in central Massachusetts for the holiday and holy balls, a couple hundred miles northeast and you notice how much earlier the sun goes down up there as opposed to in Philadel.

And yes, TMI. But you be you. I now know more about the state of your chest than I ever did before, or am comfortable knowing. #nerdworldproblems

And if you haven't taken off a shirt since November 13th, perhaps it's time to give it a rest and maybe launder it.
I've been meaning to get a full-spectrum light for a looong time, but just... haven't. Perhaps I shall Amazon One-click one into existence. :)

And dooood, I shower with this undershirt/bra on, so IT'S CLEAN, OKAY? (I kid.)
(googles "heat tech bra top undershirt uniqlo")
AAAAA-LEE-LUU-YAH!!!
I have the opposite of your boobs. My bra size is 40 A.72 or something. I buy 40 Bs with push-up padding, so there's extra mass inside the cup, so the bra will fit. I would buy 40 As. They don't exist. I will buy damn near anything that has padded cups. Did you get the one with camisole straps or wider straps?

So this one time I was at a Barenaked Ladies concert at the Spectrum (RIP), and people were throwing their bras onstage. It was New Year's, so Steve and Ed would take the bras and put them on the Christmas tree upstage. It was a very polite crowd, so bras were being passed via the crowd to the stage. Every time a bra made it to the front, Steve or Ed would bow in thanks, and add it to the tree. I happened to be wearing a leopard print bra that I didn't hate, but wouldn't have shed tears if I never saw it again, and I was considering trying to get it passed up to the stage. Then a huge burly bearded guy in the front row passed a bra to the stage, and Steve did a double take and asked, "is this yours, sir?" Then Ed said, "What size is it, a 40 A?"

I decided not to participate.

Digression is the better part of valor.

Glad you're taking good care of your folks. Fist bump of solidarity.
Ahhhhh yes, boob-shame. I know it well.

Remind me to tell you about The Summer I Went Crazy and had a one-night stand with a guy in Philly and the boobs of shame. Let's just say my Victoria's Secret push-up bra did a wholllllllle lotta false advertising, and the let-down was SO AWKWARD and AWFUL. (Oh. Looks like I just told you.)
OMG I now have to email you. I remember ALL boob conversations we have ever had.
I'll have to check out the bra-top undershirts. My man boobs are getting out of control with your run of the mill bra.

(Thrilled beyond words to hear that Dad's bionic wrench turnin' hand is fully function.)
Hahaha! It's a "Bro" or a "Manssiere." (Thanks, Seinfeld!)
Great news about your Dad!
Also I love that you get the chance to hear your parents being lovely to each other.

Xoxo
 

Today is the "birthday" of Schrödinger's Cat. Don't forget to wish it a happy birthday. (Or schedule the funeral.)

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That's funny - Mark and I were just discussing this particular feline over Thanksgiving. Thanks for the head sup!
I think of Schrodinger's Cat often. This morning I woke up and thought about the text messages that may or may not be on my phone before I checked. For a moment, they didn't really exist, and therefore neither did the inevitable obligation to act on them, because I did not see them (not a perfect analogy, but I was still waking up.)
Karen 12/4edited
Obligations existing in a quantum state. Interesting wrinkle on Schrödinger's Cat.

Napoleon once directed his secretary Bourrienne to leave all letters unopened for three weeks. A large a part of the correspondence had thus disposed of itself and no longer required an answer. I tried doing this with bills once and it didn't work out so well.
 

This building is so warm. It's bizarre. Even at -10 outside, it's 22 in here. The air handler hasn't come on in a couple months despite a colder than normal month. I'm not sure where the heat comes from. I guess I could walk around with an infra-red thermometer and figure it out.

...

I did walk around with a thermometer and there's no obvious source of significant heat. The little wall in the laundry room with the hot water pipe in it is 4C higher than ambient but everything else is all within 1C of the floor and walls.

I guess a pie-wedge shaped dwelling design in a circular building with a lot of insulation on the exterior wall is just really efficient (duh), and at least on the south side where we are, exposed to the angled winter sun, it's enough. The cats sure like the sun.

We'll see how it goes in three months though.

...

It's certainly a pleasant change from multi-hundred dollar heating bills in the old house.  

There are other bills, though. The condo fees ($630) pay for all utilities except electricity, along with exterior and common area maintenance, amenities, staff salaries and property tax on the building. Our electric bill is about $70 a month, with $40 of that a constant connection fee, which kind of sucks. And then there's city services tax, and contents insurance. Under $1K a month all in, with not much chance of a sudden disaster/emergency expense, which is really what you want for a retirement situation. Sure, we're a few years away from that, but it's good to be settled early.

...

Also, for those of you in the south who celebrate the harvest well after those of us in the north have typically already several days of frost in the morning, happy Thanksgiving. (We do it in early October in Canada. Because we like to eat more fresh things than potatoes.)

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It’s 22 degrees outside right now where we are in the Philadelphia suburbs. I turned off the heat throughout the house because it’s 67 indoors.
This house is shockingly warm. What the thermostat says is actually true in every inch of it. New Swedish style construction by someone who's not a criminal in a hurry will do that I guess.
 

Hello. I have started this blog... thing I am not really sure what it is, to talk to myself, pretty much, about life. Writing helps me get the muck out of my system. I am terrible with deadlines. I am a procrastinator. I want to see where this goes. Goodbye for now, 

Katie

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Welcome!
Read this and let me know if you have any questions:
https://onepostwonder.com/about/your-privacy

I know some people on here and can make introductions, if you like.
Oh, and this is a successful execution of the opening we were talking about:
https://lichess.org/fjsD1vlR/white
Hi Katie, welcome! I'm an old fart who sometimes posts here about whatever I'm currently doing or thinking about.
Hello! Nice to meet you.
Hi, Katie, welcome!
I look forward to your thoughts.
Hello! Enchanté (nice to meet you)!☺️
How much French have you studied, Katie? I’m considering trying to study it with Duolingo.
I am taking French at school. I don't know that much, but I know enough for me to get by. I love Duolingo! It makes it very easy to learn French.
Duolingo is great! My daughter Rose is working on German, and my son Cal is learning Italian. :)
Hi Katie! I'm the chief cook, bottle washer and programmer around here.
Hi! It's nice to meet you! This community is SO nice!
Hi, Katie!
Welcome aboard!

Writing has always helped me get the muck out of my system, too.

I'm sure you've figured out the system of locks here... which is to say, you can write things that anyone can see, only a small subsection of people you select can see, or only you can see. It's really nice having a place where I can write things for only me.

Nice to have you here!