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Subject:Comm Thoughts
Time:04:34 am
Being a comm major does strange things to your brain. Here's a piece of some of the analysis I'm doing on a 7-minute section from a recording of one of my DnD sessions:

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That's the kind of shit that's going through my brain *all the time*. So if I seem a little distant and distracted, this is probably why.
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Subject:Random poem: turn off the teevee, lets go to the show
Time:12:25 pm
turn off the teevee, lets go to the show

I see you playing your game
Oh, I bet it feels good
See that smug satisfaction
Can't suppress that cocky turn of the corner
The unspoken grin
Yeah it feels so good to be right
Earned that smirk 'cause
You got the body count right
Oh and now you've won you've won
Over those pandering, idealistic scum

And you rail and rave
Crying "Rise up! Fight and attack
those that would steal the hearts and minds
of this great land!"
But I can't see this war

I might be blind and it might be sin
But I've got one recourse for sanity and salvation
I'm tuning out and turning in
'Cause I see the kids are dancing
I can feel the beat and it feels alright
And I think this might be happening
So if you see me dancing, don't call it apathy
'Cause if we keep grooving, then just maybe
We'll all be alright.
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Current Music:earthbound - trance nation
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Subject:random poem: from another era
Time:10:46 am
from another era

There is something in those
thick and tangled curls,
piled high and unwieldy,
joyous in their spring;
Something in a cherubim cheek
and a smile so warm and welcome;
In the transcendent elegance,
the sweep and shape from an age
of decadent indulgence
and deep respect for such beauty.
And if that age is
well and truly gone,
then take my hand and
mayhap we'll find another time,
A time to ponder and savor.
For there is something in this,
And I won't be satisfied
with just a taste.
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Subject:The Dialectic of the Public and the Private
Time:08:49 pm
Another excerpt from a recent conversation, though a different friend.

-*-

the definitions for public and private are so fucked up, it's in crazy tension

it's really grey. It's just interesting. Things like Facebook are, on the surface, exacerbating the problem
on the other hand, facebook is also, essentially, forcing a massive number of people to individual try to negotiate this new territory
and in the process, things are becoming roughly defined
on a wide-spread level
cohesion is starting to form, but it's still weird and awkward
and people are exploiting it essentially before people have been able to figure out what, if any, sort of ethics should be the norm
so it's not like they're doing anything wrong, because we have no idea how to define right or wrong here
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Subject:faith and exerience
Time:08:42 pm
I had a conversation with a friend recently and we got onto the subject of faith and spirituality. I had spent a lot of time pondering these things in the past (some of it on here), but not in some time. It was interesting to reflect on my own relationship with spirituality now, much later, and with someone I seem to have known a long time but only just met.

I'm only including some bits from my half of the conversation, which is largely unedited excluding some glaring typos.

-*-

I think we get really hung up (in this country, anyway) on the morality and repercussion of actions. I grew up pentecostal, and I honestly really value those experiences and that upbringing. For me, though obviously sin and punishment and forgiveness hang large as concerns, faith and church had much more to do with fellowship and trying to gain closeness with god

I had many intensely spiritual experiences growing up in that environment, but I've since come to find that what that meant to me and what it's source was didn't fit well within christianity, nor was it bound by it.

In essence, as I moved farther from christianity, my definition for what constituted a spiritual experience expanded into something grander than a deity, for me at least

for me, spirituality and faith came to be tied to experience, to living, to marveling at the intense privilege of being conscious in this reality
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Subject:Sheesh, it's been a while
Time:02:30 pm
Hey there, Livejournal. You're looking pretty barren these days. Some obscure sense of loyalty keeps me here, though. I've had this thing since 2004 and the changes in my life since then are impossible to enumerate. So let's touch on some recent events.

Last spring I graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication and a minor in Business Management. Shortly thereafter, I was accepted into UAF's communication Master's program, which I began this fall. Grad school has been fun, but certainly challenging. After five years of my undergrad, I thought I pretty much had this college thing figured out. Well, I quickly learned that I cannot procrastinate like I used to. Between teaching fifty students and trying to keep up with the hefty workload of my own coursework, it's proven to be a lot of work, to the point that I had to put my D & D campaign on indefinite hold until I had any actual time to work on it again. (Speaking of role-playing, my buddy has started up a fun RPG based on the Warhammer universe

Still, my first semester was a successful one, finished with a 3.8 GPA and only had to fail five or six students. Handed out several B's, but nobody earned an A in either of my classes (I'm a bit of a harsh grader when it comes to oral presentations). I really enjoyed the graduate level theory course (no surprise), but as with my Quantitative Methods and Intro to Professional Communication courses, I'm not sure I really learned a whole lot more, just added some nuance to what I already knew.

On a more personal note: after five years, Iris and I have decided to separate. The break-up was long, gradual, at times intensely painful, but ultimately the right choice for both of us. Much has happened over the course of that time, too much to really try to capture here. I found love again, briefly, irrationally brilliant but not something that could continue (open relationships are complicated, though not impossible to maintain), so now I find myself single again for the first time in five and a half years. It's a little bizarre, and the loneliness only really seems to bother me late at night when I've let my mind wander, and even that I have a better handle on than previously.

I've got a new apartment in town and a new room mate, John. He's a cool guy, pretty laid back, we get along pretty well. Haven't had a proper house-warming yet, as one of John's resolutions was to take a forty-day cleansing period (no alcohol, no porn, no masturbating, and less cigarettes), so I figured we'd wait until that's over. Probably for the best as I've been a bit sick myself. There's a tenacious head-cold going around Fairbanks, and on top of that I managed to contract a stomach infection back in august that has been giving me chronic stomach aches and general digestive woes for some time now. I just went through a heavy ten-day course of antibiotics, which hopefully got it, but it will be a while before the inflammation and erosion heals up. In the meantime, I'm not allowed to have dairy, which is a god damn tragedy.

So yeah, things have been eventful, but still successful, by and large. Money's a little tight, but not disastrously so (yet). I'm happy with where I'm at and where I'm going. Now I just need Diablo III to come out and then things would be awesome.


Oh and FYI: I don't post much here anymore, obviously, but I'm pretty active on twitter, as well as google buzz. I do want to correct the lack of posts, though. Really, LJ still seems like the best place for anything long-form, I just haven't had anything of that variety for a while.
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Subject:Starburst
Time:08:28 pm
the curve of a placid surface
deep, slick and dark
motes drift on the plane
briefly touching, shining
dimming with parting

We drift
and we move
and we wander
and I wonder
at the meaning in the motion

After such a bright flash
vision blurred by shadow images
I drift too, not without purpose
but knowing that flare to be
unique, transient, lost
a starburst of color and power
burning brief and glorious
a light I wont see again

this is no void
and I still see distant shine
but now through an after-image
a retinal burn
a dim reminder of brilliance

I can only hope it never fades
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Subject:Man, who posts on livejournal anymore?
Time:02:43 pm
oh man, that didn't go at all like I planned. My players totally hijacked the session and took me on a bit of a ride. Good times, though.

They found a way back to the Material Plane and out of the Plane of Sea and Shore. It involved them delving deep into a dwarven fortress, where a breach to hell had opened up and devilish forces had been amassing a terrible invasion force, led by the aspect of Bel himself, Lord of the first layer of hell and general of its armies. It was a tough fight, especially with the gargantuan Hellfire Siege Engine, but the party was soon victorious even if they did walk face-first into a couple traps.

So at the end of this massive cavern they found a huge wall of hellfire, burning with a terrible intensity. So Cap'n Gorgoth leans forward and lights a joint with it, passes it around, then breaks a magic tablet that casts Otiluke's Resilient Sphere around himself and two of the party members (the spell creates an impenetrable sphere of magical force, which can be (slowly) moved with a mental action, but there is no way for a person inside the sphere to know what's going on outside). From within the sphere, the yak-man cleric casts Find the Path to give them the exact distances they would have to move the sphere through the hellfire (which was actually a lake of hellfire that only failed to spill into the cavern because of tension from planar forces) in order to emerge above it to a place where they could dispel the sphere and not die of burnination.

In the plane of sea and shore, various forces of both magical and natural origin have caused things like teleport and planar travel magic nonfunctional. Hell, however, is it's own plane of existence. As soon as they got to the location that the spell told them was safe, they dispelled the sphere and immediatly cast plane shift. They ported back to Starfall, the great adventuring city of Faerun. The first thing they did was pick up a forgotten Luck Dagger (a magical knife that, if you stab yourself with it, grants you 3 wishes). Then, they decided to track down an old ally that they remember having some very nice gear on his person.

They found him working as a mercenary/guard for a trade caravan owned by one Saladin, a merchant well-known to the party for his exotic magical wares. So the gnome illusionist wizard, Zuke, casts Superior Invisibility on himself (a spell which not only makes him invisible, it also prevents anyone from hearing, smelling, or tracking him), sneaks up behind Aruk, their former ally and formiddable fighter with a massive dragon-slayer sword (think Siegfried from Soul Calibur), touchs him on the back and casts Solipsism on Aruk, causing him to believe that he is still doing what he was doing, but in reality to collapse comatose on the spot. Zuke then teleports the two of them to a quiet spot and strips him of all of his possessions. He leaves a note that says "Thanks buddy! -Duke Nuk'em Pirates"

Meanwhile, Gorgoth and Bulrock catch up with the caravan and ask Saladin if he's interested in a little gambling. They end up playing a dice rolling game (3d6) called Chin Churin with him, and it wasn't long before they were down 500,000. But Bulrock had an ace: earlier he had cast Miracle and asked his god to do the following: after he shouts "BIG MONEY" he wanted his next chin churin roll to land as triple-6's. And at the appropriate moment, on the big double-or-nothing bet, he shouts "BIG MONEY" and Saladin loses 5 million in gold and magical items.

Now, Cap'n Gorgoth is a lawful good monk. A lot of his crew, however, is chaotic. So there's an awful lot that Gorgoth simply isn't told about. Like after they got back to the dwarven fortress! The halfling rogue in the party, an orange haired fellow with two rapiers going by the name Mr. Jinx, decides he's going to try to knock over one of the fortress nobles.

First, he spike's his drink with poison until he starts to feel ill and leaves the bar to go back home. Then he sneakily follows, careful to avoid fortress guards and detection in general. He picks the noble's lock, sneaks into his bedroom, sees the dwarf washing his face over a basin (still visibly pale) and hits him in the back with a dart tipped with stunning poison. The dwarf shouts, then falls over backwards and cracks his skull on the hard floor. A pool of blood begins to form as Mr. Jinx hurries to the dwarf's side. He calls in the chaotic neutral cleric, Bulrock the yak-man. Bulrock heals the dwarf after they search the apartment for valuables. They find several thousand gold worth of jewelery, coins, gems, silverware, rare china, various expensive knick-knacks, as well as all of his personal booze, including a rare brandy in a crystal decanter that has gems suspended in the liquid, hidden inside a secret compartment.

They also find a magically sealed door. They tie up the dwarf and blindfold him before slapping him around a bit to wake him up. They start making demands, threats asking the dwarf how to open the door. At first he won't say anything. Bulrock breaks his finger. Then he heals it. Then he asks again.Still the dwarf refuses to willingly part with his gold. So Bulrock breaks another finger, asks him how to open the door, then uses Detect Thoughts to simply read his mind. Turns out the dwarf himself has to open the door by an act of will from him specifically and by touching a particular engraving on the door, but he is still refusing, though he's so weak from the poisons and abuse that he's having trouble staying conscious. Bulrock heals him again. Then Mr. Jinx takes his rapier and stabs him deep in the thigh. He leans in and whispers "You're bleeding out. You have three minutes to live. Open the door." Finally, the dwarf fails his will save and opens the door for them. They heal him, gag him, raid the small office of about 32,000 gold in gems, coins, and jewelry, as well as stealing many of the dwarf's papers regarding various business transactions, and then leave, but not before Mr. Jinx carves his personal mark into a wall: a stylized drawing of the face of a cat wearing a tophat.

It was pretty fucking astounding.They're this close to shifting alignment. They just saved the whole fort from a massive hellish invasion force, and then they threatened and tortured a noble for his gold. Basically, as the party gets increasingly powerful, they're finding morals to be really inconvenient.

So what with all of these shenanigans (plus a bit of shopping in between), we didn't actually get to any of the stuff I had prepared. Which is great for me actually, gives me more time to build up a buffer of content. Still, I had a lot of fun trying to keep up with them as they went places I never intended them to go and committed terrible crimes I never expected them to commit. Knocking over aruk I can almost see, the party always resented him a bit, but yeah torturing innocent dwarfs for money is a new low.
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Subject:random poem: Bitter wine
Time:10:22 am
bitter wine

come home come home
I've got a yearning
an aching for your presence your love your smile
and I've given so much and taken so much
love and pain is the bitter wine
wrought by our time
and its all gone to my head
drunk on the memory and the fading future
but still the sobering thought keeps pounding
pounding at my heart
and every slam leaves a crack in we
I pick up the pieces and try to mend
but you've taken the hammer to your end
And maybe its freedom that you seek
never meant to chain or trap your fire
it burns so hot, but I still want it close
Can I hold it any longer
Without snuffing the spark?
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Subject:Is this yours?
Time:09:13 pm
I have three books I have borrowed from people, some more recently than others, but each of which needs to return to it's original owner.

The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts
belongs to Brian/Coffee

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
belongs to Grahm/Gregor

Jennifer Government by Max Barry
belongs to Dono/Null


If these belong to you, get in touch with me about how I'm getting them back to you. I'm moving sometime early this summer and I'm trying to get rid of all this extra shit I got lying about.
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[icon] indeterminate psychosis
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