I can make this work

I finally broke down and bought a new bookshelf for the office, so I’m rearranging a few things. I think it needs some LED lighting. The statues are too dark right now.

(The rulebook on the shelf that you have Questions about is a real thing that exists and I bought it for novelty value. It is exactly as ridiculous as you think it is.)

In which this is happening

Before I get into this: it is definitely darker in here. Turns out the reason is obvious; the corner of the room is gonna be darker than the middle. So I need a touch more light in here, one way or another.

I made an appointment yesterday; I’m having LASIK surgery on July 13th.

Am I fucking terrified? Why, yes, why would you ask? That said, intellectually I’m pretty certain it’s going to be fine; everyone who has told me they had the procedure has had either no regrets at all or, at the worst, some complaints about floaters and night driving. I expect that in ten to fifteen years I’ll probably be back in reading glasses and that’s okay so long as I can do things like see in the shower in the meantime; I dropped the soap today (shut up) and it took me a ridiculous amount of time to find it again because I was blind as a fucking bat. That sort of thing happens all the time but now that I’m scheduled to have something done about it I resent the hell out of it.

I did find one site dedicated to The Evils Of LASIK that was absolutely screaming This Was Written by Conspiracy Theorists; I don’t know if that’s a web theme or what but even the layout of the page was loudly hollering that I should disregard everything they had to say.

It’ll be fine. I expect an epic blog post out of it, but it’ll be fine.

In other news, I’ve been writing all morning, but not on a story– I’ve been putting together a D&D session for my wife and son this weekend. It’s a basic dungeon crawl that I’m basically tossing in as an add-on to a session from their Essentials kit; I’m thinking about posting it to Patreon when I’m done if that’s something you might be interested in. We’ll see how the session goes.


2:49 PM, Friday June 26: 2,444,483 confirmed cases and about to set the third “most cases in a single day” record in three days, and 124,732 Americans dead.

In which I turn a good decision into a bad one

I was recently able to pay off a frankly horrifying amount of credit card debt. I have finally, at 43, rectified the errors of my twenties, more or less. In the process of doing that, I deliberately slightly overpaid a couple of the cards, since I wasn’t exactly sure when the big check would go through and so I went ahead and made my monthly payment and then the big lump sum.

Then COVID-19 hit, and I don’t know if you’ve tried to get in touch with a credit card company by phone lately, but apparently one of the side effects of this disease is you call your credit card company, because I waited an hour, on two separate occasions, to try to talk to a human before giving up and hanging up. Turns out that the only way you can get them to send you a check when you overpay an account is by talking to them in person– there is no way to request it online. The other option is to wait four or five months without touching the card, at which point they send you your money to zero out the balance.

Well, I eventually gave up on getting ahold of anyone, and decided that if there was ever an excuse to blow some money, “I literally have a negative balance on my credit card” was about as good as that excuse was going to get.

Under ordinary circumstances, that money gets turned into books posthaste. But that would have been a lot of new books, and my damn unread shelf is already a catastrophe. So what else can I get? Hmm.

Enter Wyrmwood. And these fucking beauties:

You might remember my C2E2 trip at the end of February, where I came home with a similar set of obsidian dice in a bloodwood dice vault. These are made of opalite, and if I hadn’t specifically thought to myself “let’s see if they have any dice made of obsidian” after deciding that spending $400 on Damascus steel dice was obscene even for the looser “buying anniversary souvenirs at a con, with money I have saved specifically for this purpose” standard I was using for my funds, I might have come home with these instead. The vault is made of cherry, which is surprisingly light, but the dice themselves are a bit heavier than the obsidian ones.

And, oh, God, is opalite pretty when you hold it up to light. Please focus on the dice, and not my ruined fingers:

You can sort of see the orange tinges among the blue in the top picture, but looking at light through them is just amazing, and these are stunning in daylight. Which, sadly, we don’t have any of right now, but trust me.

The truly ridiculous thing is that this set and the vault didn’t exhaust my extra funds, so I have several more (much less expensive, but still cool) metal sets coming this weekend. It’s a sickness, I know. I mean, at least I’m not on heroin, right?

(Have I pledged to their Kickstarter for a set of turquoise dice? Am I considering adding to that pledge for something else? Maybe.)


2:54 PM, Thursday (I think?) April 30: 1,054,261 confirmed cases and 61,717 Americans dead. My wife commented yesterday that she thinks I’m spending too much time monitoring the ARCGIS site I get this information from, but I think sublimating my anxiety over the whole thing into the data-nerd parts of my personality is … well, might be a healthy response? Reasonably? Relatively? Hell, I dunno.

(EDIT: Holy crap, does setting a featured image look terrible in this theme.)

Adventures in dungeonmastering

True fact: I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons off and on since I was in fifth grade and never once in that time have I actually been a Dungeon Master. Now, granted, my first outing was about as foolproof as it could get– my audience was my wife (inclined to forgive me any errors I might have made) and my son (who wouldn’t know the difference) and I was using a prewritten, off-the-shelf adventure that I only made a small handful of modifications to, but I still think I acquitted myself pretty well. I added a character who wasn’t in the original adventure to sort of guide them through everything and created a couple of encounters before everything got started to help them get their feet wet, and we were off to the races after that. The problem with D&D is that it takes so damn long– the adventure was two pages long as written in the sourcebook and the session took three and a half damn hours. The boy wants to play again tomorrow— he’s second level now, which is just unbelievably powerful, of course– and it’s going to be hard to convince him that Daddy is not going to have this kind of free time every single day for the rest of the winter.

The kid’s a frickin’ fiend with his dice, though– three natural 20s over the course of the session, which wasn’t super combat-heavy so that’s more impressive than it sounds, more than balancing out my wife’s two natural 1s, one of which left her flat on her back at the feet of a mimic that was doing its best to try and eat her face. I wasn’t super inclined to kill either of them, although I made sure the boy in particular knew that if he tried to pull anything particularly reckless or dumb during the session he was going to pay the price, and other than offhandedly suggesting that they kill everyone in the room during an early negotiating session with some gnomes he more or less did a decent job of reining in his more destructive impulses.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a Sunday. I look forward to doing this again.

In which I have reawakened the beast

… not for roleplaying, mind you– for buying dice. I took my son to the Griffon yesterday and it somehow managed to end up costing me fifty bucks, coming home with a new set of dice for him and my wife (each) and several totally unnecessary new sets of dice for me, including that metal d20 right in the middle there. I have, since then, taken to perusing Amazon for full sets of metal dice, since the Griffon’s metal collection appears to be limited to individually purchased d20s and not entire sets.

I have enough dice. I already had enough dice before I bought more dice yesterday, and I do not need to buy more dice to complement the more dice I just bought and the many dice I already had, and the part of my brain that is going dude your mom just died you’re entitled to blow some money on bullshit that makes you happy needs to shut up and go away. If I’m not careful I’m gonna end up with a dice tower this week and I don’t need that even more than I don’t need more dice.

The boy, meanwhile, is getting more demanding on a daily basis that we actually start playing. We’re gonna have to start designing characters soon. I mean, hell, we’ve got the stuff, right?


On a more serious note, I want to take a moment and thank everyone who sent thoughts or prayers or well wishes or sympathy or naked pictures or really anything my way regarding the loss of my mom this week. I was originally planning on going back to work tomorrow but I don’t think I’m quite ready yet; I’ve been reasonably busy the last couple of days and I think I need a day to be alone and quietly stare at the wall, by which I mean “read and play video games,” before I go back. I am doing a thing right now where I feel like this process should be harder, because I have not at any point in the last few days cracked open like an eggshell or collapsed into a sobbing heap, and everyone around me has told me that there is no wrong way to mourn, so believe me, I have heard the message. There is still a lot to be done, but I need some normalcy, too, and a couple of days at work worrying about other people’s problems– which, I note, will be immediately followed by a three-day weekend, since Monday is MLK day– will actually do me some good, I think.

And, hey, if you really feel bad for me and want to do something, you could always buy me more dice.

(That was a joke. Do not buy me more dice.)