A 4th level Gamer Chick's Tome of Knowledge

This is just my little piece of the internet feel free to peruse... I'll update when I can about game, school, plans, and anything people pester me about... #2

Location: Naperville, Illinois, United States

I'm a freshman at the University of Wyoming majoring in anthropology and minoring in German and geology. I'm currently playing in a V:tM game Friday nights and trying to work in Kalamar when I can.

Friday, May 16, 2008

movie reviews...

With the number of movies I've seen in the last couple of weeks I suddenly found myself inspired to share my thoughts and feelings (I'm sure the Iron Man mania has nothing to do with it... >.>...)

Forbidden Kingdom: 3 views
Jet Li
Jackie Chan

Need I say more, really? This movie was a brilliantly formed martial arts movie utilizing two of the best talents of our day. Additionally, it also integrates discussion of philosophy that is worked seamlessly into the story and stated simply enough for even the most uneducated viewer. From beginning to end this was a roller coaster ride of fun and kung fu.

Iron Man: 1 view
Robert Downey jr.
Terrence Howard
Jeff Bridges
Gwyneth Paltrow

*shrugs* From my brief experience with Iron Man and *exasperated sigh* everything I was forced to hear about it, this was a great and accurate adaptation of the original comic. Personally, I almost didn't see it due to the rampant fanboy-ism and I still find myself upset that any chance I had of truly enjoying it was ruined by the people who just wouldn't shut up about it.

That being said. Yes, it was a good movie, not the movie event of the century many of my local and not-so-local comic book obsessed friends claim, but it was a good movie. It has several good scenes and, from what I could tell, a well crafted soundtrack. It was fun and enjoyable to watch. Yes, there is a revelation after the credits. If you are a Marvel fanatic stick around. I don't think it's the geek-out revelation of the year, either, but hey... maybe it's just proof that I have more of a life than far too many of the people I hang out with out here, one of which saw the movie 5 times opening weekend and still hasn't shut up about it.

I do recommend this movie, especially to the comic-book inclined. Hope those of you who haven't seen it yet haven't had it ruined for you, either.

Speed Racer: 3 views
Emile Hirsch
Susan Sarandon
John Goodman
Christina Ricci

I can some up my opinions on this movie very simply. It is incredibly campy, horribly predictable, true to form, and a must see.

The Wachowski brothers managed to bring together a top-notch cast for this long-time children's classic and create a movie that was both a brilliantly constructed movie and a perfect homage to its namesake. Even knowing what was coming, I was on the edge of my seat throughout my entire first viewing of this movie. It is paced perfectly to tell you the whole story without giving you a chance to get bored. Additionally, many long or short time animé viewers will notice many classic animé visual styles cropping up again and again through out the film. As I said, a must see for all ages.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


snow... 6 inches so far and it's still coming...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

3rd tenday/gencon/other news

Hey, all, yeah, I got behind again. The third tenday was fairly eventful, we cleared a bit out of the Vore site, but we actually spent most of our man-hours at a cave site near Mount Rushmore. I can't say much about it except that we found a lot of kewl stuff because a few people from the group are submitting a group paper to a conference and I don't want to spill the beans quite the publically.

GenCon was a blast, though I'll admit that Tony's presance at the Live Reading caught me off-guard, not that I'm complaining. Played all 3 Kalamar events and Darkstep still isn't 8th level *sighs* oh well. The Auction went really well this year, though I'm still a little leary of the new management. They almost managed to chase away the one person who takes care of the volunteers instead of schedules and numbers... I'm hoping next year will go better on that count.

I suppose the biggest news bulliten from GenCon, though, happened on Wednesday night: I'm engaged.

Rich 'n' me

I'm sure I'll think of more stuff to say later, though I'd like to remind all the LK players who read my blog to go to the Yahoo group and vote in the polls, they can and will affect our futures.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Second Tenday

Pain and more pain, but it's good for me, right?

We spent the predicted 2-3 days finishing mapping at the High Plains Stone Circle Site, then started opening the Old Stone Barn Site. This site is thusly named because it is the site of the oldest ranch in Pine Bluffs and the lower half-ish of the old stone barn still stands. It has to be the most annoying site I've been at so far because we had to break every couple of hours to clean the 3-5 different species of stickers out of our pants, shoes, and socks. There were even small patches of jumping cactus in addition to the usual prickly pear populations.

We had to map in the barn, the house foundation, the still-unidentified depression next to the house, and the 'trash midden.' But it can't be too bad since that's where we finally got to do some digging. We dug several shovel tests and three test-pits and didn't find much, though in Test Unit B we did find part of a late-1800's-early-1900's pocket watch. We also surveyed the square-mile-ish of land around the the primary site. That was a long, hot day and we were rewarded with a couple of mason jars and a complete Heinz bottle... just... not rewarding at all.

Also, I got the wonderful opportunity to participate in the so-called death-march to Petch Springs. It begins with climbing Gurney Peak Fortress (a big ol' butte) and then continues as a mile-and-a-half walk to Petch Springs. I didn't make it to Petch Springs, but I did make it up Gurney Peak Fortress, which means a lot more to me, really, since it includes inching along ledges and climbing nearly shear rock faces.

We had another rash of cow attacks this tenday. They tried to stampede through camp and Houston chased them off and then returned triumphantly carrying a tipi pole discarded by a previous field-schooler.

Other than that, this tenday was fairly uneventful, just slogging out the work. I look forward to doing honest-to-God excavation in the last tenday up at the buffallo jump.


EDIT: http://www.uwyo.edu/news/showrelease.asp?id=15800 check out this link, it's the Mythbusters working with our anthro department.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The first ten-day

Well, as a few of you know and many don't, I elected (and my 'rents paid good money) for me to do an archaeology field school this summer so I thought I'd share the results of the first of three tendays with y'all.

I now know more about plains projectile points than I ever cared to, but it's interesting. I've come to the conclusion that no matter how hard I try I'm never going to be able to pick out pot sherds from fire cracked rock on survey. And Seven Mile Point is my personal hell-on-earth, luckily I should never have to go there again.

Thursday, around 7 pm (should have been earlier, but I'll get to that), I got back from Pine Bluffs and my first stint doing honest-to-God archaeology work. Overall, it was fun, though it definitely had it's ups and downs (topographically speaking). We spent a lot of time in the first half of the tenday in the 'classroom,' but moved out to more field trips and practical work later on. I have learned how to classify points and other lithics (but mostly points) as well as the knapped material (if I never hear about the Heartville Uplift again I'll be plenty happy) and we spent the last three days maping and plotting tipi rings, which should also extend 3-ish days into the next tenday before we start testing (hopefully).

It can be really frustrating at times because Chuck (Dr. Reher-the listed prof for the course) often doesn't know what he wants done/to do until about 5 minutes before he gives Rick (Prof. Weathermon-his assistant, who didn't get into town untin Monday...), and then usually spends most of his time politicing with the local land-owners and sends Rick to take us out into the field.

While there, I sleep in a tent designed for two children (I can just barely stretch all the way out along the long axis) in a cow pasture. Yes, cows. In fact, it took the cows a few days to adjust to our presence... during which they trampled and chewed on David's tent and uprooted Rachel's.

There were 7 of us students this past tenday, but one, Michael, was only able to come for the one and his government-issue forest service vehicle will be missed as a means to transport the crap we need that should go in Chuck's vehicle.

We eat on the main floor of the town's Mason's Hall and have access to real showers in the city's community center. This luxury will continue for the next tenday (which I leave for on Tuesday) as well, but the third tenday we'll be living off a cook tent and solar showers *shudders*, but that's a few weeks off yet.

Pine Bluffs is a nice little town. It's about 6 blocks by 7 blocks and has no stop lights. There's only one grocery store and it's closed on Sundays. Pine Bluffs is the second largest town in Laramie County.

I would recommend that anyone passing through Pine Bluffs (it's on I80 just inside the Wyoming border... heck, it is the Wyoming-Nebraska border) in the Summer months stop by the two museums in town. There's the HPA (High Plains Archaeology Project) Museum, which is where we work out of, and the Texas Trail Museum, which is a more general history of the area. We set a tipi up for them just before we left at the end of the tenday... I wonder if the mold has travelled throughout the building yet.... So if you stop by the TTM (which is open year-round) and get the full tour, I helped put up the full-sized tipi, go us.

We've already had one injury, and it wasn't even in the field. Michael got up early-ish one day to go running, stepped on a rock and tore a ligament in his knee. Needless to say, he spent the rest of the tenday doing the jobs that required the least walking about.

I've also started doing some flint-knapping. It's actually a lot of fun, though also a bit dangerous considering the zeal of some of my classmates. I'm not really past being able to make decent-sized flakes yet, but I'm having fun.

I'm also learning a lot about what goes in to keeping a field lab/museum running. We were given fairly free reign to set up the new displays and re-arrange the old ones when we got there this tenday, which did include some instances of me on a ladder, which at least a few of you know is a rare occurrence. Not only was I on a ladder, but I was on a ladder hammering brass tacks into wood facing... that was an interesting project, let me tell ya.

In the next tenday I can look forward to more mapping (if I'm lucky a lot more mapping, mapping I like) lessons on some basic zooarchaeology to prepare for going to Vore Buffallo Jump for the last tenday, and digging test units and the like. The poor bastards have to eat my cooking every three days (we rotate through KP in teams of two), but I haven't killed anyone yet, so that must be a good sign, right?

Feel free to throw questions at me, though answers will be a few weeks in coming, since I leave again in a couple of days.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Looking for some advice...

Hey, all, this is honestly something I never thought I'd have to ask anyone advice on, so if it sounds ├╝ber-choppy, that's why. To protect the innocent, I'll use letters for people's names.

As most of you know, I'm in two long-standing gaming groups out here; one Friday night and one Saturday night. The Saturday night group has been subtely changing since the beginning of this school year. When I first joined it last fall, it was running on Sunday nights under I's purview and was a blast. Sure, there were a few rules changes that I had to work to adjust to, but I had fun, it was an interesting group. After that semester, though, I got into some trouble academically and hasn't been back to the University since (hopefully next semester), so D took the opportunity to pretty-much soak up the whole group of us. He'd been running before, but only a few people were in both groups. I wasn't in his first game after I left, a Hunter chronicle, but I did get in on his second: a fun D&D campaign based in his own world. The group was about half people I knew and about half people I didn't, but it was a lot of fun and we managed to get through a lot most sessions, though not every time because we only had a couple of hours Tuesday nights. This game took a break over the Summer and got moved to Saturday nights where we finished it up in the Fall, short 3 or 4 of the people from the original group, but we still managed to have fun.

After that we switched to a Star Wars d20 game which has overall been fun, with a few exceptions hinging on certain characters. This switch of game, though, was accompanied by a major change in the group. We added three new people, one of which I knew from my German classes, the other two were friends of D's from Startek. Now we're nearing the end of that campaign and I find myself facing a hard dicision. One of my good friends in this group (also from karate) is graduating at the end of this semester and D's planning on adding 3 new people for the next campaign, two of whom work at Startek, one of whom is from the older group and hasn't been around for a while and is, quite frankly, a meta-gamer and a cheater at times, though supposedly he's made a life change... I guess we'll see when it comes to him.

This past Saturday (the one before Easter for those of you who may not see this for a while) several people were going to be out of town so D decided to have a game-evening instead. Those of you who have haver played non-rpgs with me can probably judge that I was excited about the prospect of actually being able to play games. I guess I really shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. We ended up playing a 2.5 hour-long game of Munchkin (after which I left) with 9 players, combining the Munchkin core and supplements, Starmunchkin, and Munchkin Blender. I spent this 2.5 hours absolutely miserable. Only a few of us were actually playing the game. Especially around the one end of the table it seemed like we would sit for 5 or 6 min. before one of us would suddenly go "hey, who's turn is it" because no one had been playing anything. In addition to the game there were no less than 2.5 conversations going on at anyone time, not counting the possibility of multiple conversations between the same people as well as at least one other source of outside distraction. Initially they put on the DVD of Robin Williams Live, which, though funny, I have never even contemplated before as background noise to a game. Once that was over one of the members was encouraged to put on a CD he'd brought with... of dragcapella Christmas carols. I'll be honest, I think throwing on some music while playing games can be very good, but not music with lyrics... and especially not music with lyrics for a completely past and over holiday. In any other situation (and especially around Christmas time) I might have enjoyed them, but all they were to me at that moment was yet another thing that was keeping 90% of the group from playing Munchkin so that we could finish up and move on to another game.

The already explained irritation was only compounded by the topics that kept being returned to in the conversations I couldn't screen out: politics, sex/sexuality/attractiveness, and who they did/did not like at Startek. This last one is also a standard topic of discourse at our role playing sessions and I fear will only get worse the longer I attend. After the current game is over the new one will have a minimum of 11 people involved, including GM, possibly more, and only 3 of us don't work at Startek (possibly 2, but I don't think R works at all). Technically, there's a 4th person who doesn't work there, but he used to, so whenever the topic comes up he's a constant stream of 'do I know that person?'s as well as agreement.

The fact that I find myself sitting in a room with 8 people who all work together and all but one of whom seem to love and hate all the same people at work makes me seriously question whether this is a goup I want to continue to associate with. I'm beginning to feel like I fell in with a crowd just like every one I avoided in Middle School and High School. I'd feel better if it were a constant stream of 'he said's and 'she said's, but it's not it's 'so-and-so's a brown noser' or 'he's a jerk.' I've never once heard them give any concrete reason for thier dislike, I'm forced to assume because they all already know it, but it still annoys me. I managed throughout High School to associate primarily with people for whom that kind of gossip was a huge no-no. It wasn't that it never came up, but that it was limited and there was always a definite concrete reason for the dislike. The fact that I know that most of them dislike my boyfriend only complicates the matter. One of the people joining in on the next game is fond of Rich and vice versa, but other than that it's a pretty general agreement that they don't like Rich, though to varying levels. No, they've never discussed it in front of me, but Rich is very aware of it from they way they treat him at work (including complaining about him to try to get him fired) and my roommate has mentioned it to me as well because she attends another game with this group on Sunday nights. There are a few people in this group who's opinion, prior to recent months, I might have placed stock in, but seeing the juvenile interactions they maintain with eachother I can't help thinking that their dislike of him stems from two primary sources: 1) that he is several years older than me, so they have decided he's some sort of creepy pedophile, and 2) that he doesn't stoop to participating the kind of juvenile conversations that they're beginning to partake of quite regularly.

In the end, I find myself wondering if this is really a group that I want to continue to associate with, but I also know that I enjoy gaming with D and that he is a very good story-teller, if not the greatest of GMs. As I said before, he has a few habits that bother me, but they're worth putting up with for the story and I enjoy having the opportunity to rp with my roommate, who I really brought into the community... And it's not like anyof them alone strike me as being bad people, it's just that I'm starting to feel completely incapable of associating with half the non-game discussion that occurs. Also, since most of the players now are 'friends from work,' it's starting to feel like a social club that has a game going on instead of like a game. I'd really like some advice on how to deal with this. We've got a couple of sessions left in the Star Wars game and I've been looking forward to the D&D game concept that's coming up for a while, but I just don't know if I can do it with this group.


Monday, February 12, 2007

been a while

Criminies it's been a while since I posted, just thought I'd catch everyone up. The Karate Club went to Cowboy State Games again this year with 7 people and everyone won at least one medal. In rank order Brian (yellow) won 1st in weapons with Nunchakku Sandan, Ty (1st blue) won 2nd in weapons with Gama Sandan, I (1st green) won 3rd in weapons with Sai Nidan and 2nd in sparring, Nicole (2nd green) won 3rd in kata with Pinan Yondan, Jessica (1st brown) won 1st in kata with Hakutsuru Ken and 2nd in weapons with Suuji No Kun, Brett (1st black) won 3rd in kata with Hakutsuru and 2nd in weapons with Gama Yondan (Kama wiht strings), and Ben (5th black) won 1st kata with Konkusho and 1st in weapons with Shuuji No Kun.

I currently have a bruise the size of a softball on my right leg and I may post a picture at some point, though the swelling's already gone down a lot and it's not nearly so impressive. I'm coming home over Spring Break this year (and bringing my roomie along) and hope to see at least a few of you then.