Staycation and thoughts for 2019

I'm officially on vacation, which is pretty much going to be a staycation. I ran out of PTO early last year, and with the stress levels going on in my life, I decided that for the New Year I was going to take a few days off. Technically I was oncall for today, but nothing came up. I spent today indulging my New Year's Day superstition. I hung out with friends, met and petted cats, made silly comments, raided a bookstore, listened to a Lovecraftian radio play, and now doing a little last minute geeking and moving watching. The idea is, what I do on NYD, sets a theme for the rest of the year. So definitely hoping for a good new year.

For the staycation, due to possible inclement weather the next couple of days, I'm probably going to stay in at Château Innsmouth. I want to do a fresh install of Dagon the linux box, and I want to spend some time organizing the piles of books around the place. Plus I have some stuff to put together. I may do some wandering around later in the week, or start looking at apartments for Château Innsmouth 2.0. Or I may just take it all easy, catch up on my reading. We'll just see.

Plans for the new year/resolutions? Don't really have any yet, I have some ideas. A trip or two, moving out of the place I've been in 15 years. I also want to do something creative, I want to do a 'secret history' of something Lovecraftian. My original idea was Innsmouth/Deep Ones, but Ruthanna Emrys has it covered, and it would be hard not to borrow some of her ideas. So I'm thinking I may do a version of the Church of Starry Wisdom, starting with the 'official disbanding' in 1877 in Providence. (Will also have to avoid treading on Doug Wynne's tentacles, but his version of the CSW is unique enough that I think I'd have less issues, probably would throw in a nod to his stories though, because well, Doug rocks. And of course, I could always create my own. Zhothaqquah worshipers in the Big Apple, a modern Cthulhu cult, who knows. Not writing a story or novel, more like writing a guide ala an anthropology or sociological study. Or for an RPG. Who knows, but it could be fun to mash up a few of my favorite things.

So yeah, that's the beginning of 2019 for me.

The Year in Review

By Dagon's scaly scrotum, this has been a rollercoaster of a year. Brainmeats have tried their best to break me repeatedly, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, had major eye changes that were bloody expensive (my glasses ain't cheap, and my vision keeps changing as my body adapts to life without blood that tastes like molasses. Lost some people. Re-found some others. Made a bunch of new friends, and met more than a few online friends in real life. Which I think balances off in the end. I turned 46, which really doesn't mean much to me. I feel anywhere from 20-30something depending on what I have to get done, and how I feel about it. My allergies have been easier to deal with, yay for a year and change of needles.

Work has been a good chunk of why it's been a rollercoaster. I've gone through 4 managers, company being bought out without a guarantee of future employment, spent 2 months trying not to panic, while also being useful. Finally got an official offer with the new company, with my transition date having been 12/23. Nothing like waiting til the last minute. I've become a SME (Subject Matter Expert) for a software I loathe. Which means I'll be doing more with it in 2019. *eyeroll* New job = similar benefits, same pay, same seniority and a bit more PTO. So we'll see how things go in 2019.

I made 3 trips this year, Providence in Feb, Innsmouth in June (well technically Gloucester and nearby areas), and Portland in October. Providence was me geeking out over being in Grandpa Theobald's town, and meeting people via StokerCon. Definitely want to go back. Innsmouth was a kind of spur of the moment trip, spent a long weekend wandering around an area I've studied for years. I also managed to get a sail on a schooner around Cape Ann, which was probably the ultimate OMG of the year. Though getting to dip my fins into the Atlantic was a close second. Portland was my second trip to the HPLFF, and it was as much fun as the first. Nothing like being surrounded by a small horde of fellow Lovecraftians, and knowing that everyone you were near you could find _something_ to talk about. And some people I ended up talking to about bloody near everything. All 3 trips were solos, I think that's the best for me traveling. I have friends who know how to squeeze every last minute of seeing things, and have a bloody good time doing that. But I, I like to have plans, but I'm constantly rearranging things, taking side trips, deciding to just sit with a book and read, etc. Which would drive my more focused friends nuts. Luckily, my anxiety about new things and strange people seems to go on vacation when I go on vacation.

I've read an oodle of books this year. Couldn't tell you what my favorite was. Same with movies, though I can probably say that 'Black Panther' was one of the top 3. I've expanded my interests some in history, Victorian/ Georgian England, Renaissance Europe in general. Still a fanatical Lovecraftian, as my groaning bookshelves can attest. I really haven't done anything fancy with the computers, I think I'm mostly at the point where I have things that 'just work', and I really don't want to mess with that. I did pick up a NAS, and created a monster sized array for storage. I have some things I want to do, but I don't really want to spend the bucks for it. Especially given my book buying habits.

So that's my 2018 in a nutshell. I know I'm missing a ton of stuff. The fact I'm not blogging much compared to previous years is not helping. Maybe I'll figure out a way to do it better next year. Speaking of next year, here's to surviving 2019, and may it not suck as often as 2018 did.

Happy $holiday to all

Myself, and all the inhabitants of Innsmouth and Y'ha-nthlei wish everyone a happy Winter Tide. Be social, be solitary, be squamous, and here's to all of us nuts having a better time of things. *raises a Shoggoth's Olde Peculiar in salute*

Job News

Sudden realization...remember that job foo I played close to my vest? I never actually said what the news was. New company that bought Carcosa Corp, and didn't bring me on in August, is bringing me on end of December. Same title, same basic benefits and salary, probably more work, but I keep working with the same bunch of yabbos that I enjoy. Even if some of them make me want to LART. Sorry that I forgot, I've been wanting offer in hand before I said anything...but such things don't really exist anymore, and I'm a forgetful fox.

Also, if I have already posted this...err, echo? (again, forgetful fox)

An Innsmouth Thanksgiving

Well it's Thanksgiving here in the US. My usual yearly plan was changed kind of at the last minute, and I decided that I'd do a hermit holiday. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays I have a ton of mixed feelings about, was very much a me and the parents holiday. After my uterine sibling got married and moved out, me and the folks stopped doing the traditional dinner in lieu of reservations at a place called 'The Milleridge Inn' out on Long Island. Even after we moved to Texas, it was still eating out most of the time. Even infected Amythest's clan with the idea a few years. But it always was a holiday that involved having spare tentacles ready, and anxiety meds. So when this year because a DIY event, I kind of ran with the idea of staying home. I did get several invites. (Thanks Strongbow and the Raptor Badger clan). But a day of tasty heat-and-eat meats and snacks sounded better. So here I'm hear with three different kinds of sausage, eggs, some chicken, bread, cheese and even a tiny (bad for me) lemon pie. I joked at the beginning about having Thanksgiving Ala Ancient Rome, and I really did kind of pull it off. No dormice, but I'm not the upper crust. First course is chicken soup, which isn't traditional Roman (They started every big meal with eggs, and ended with fruit. Thus the phrase 'Eggs to Apples' compared to our 'Soup to Nuts').

I'm wearing a tshirt I got with some of the famous man-eaters of horror fiction around the thanksgiving table. Which set the movie theme for today. Currently watching the 2nd of The Hills Have Eyes original flicks (I watched the first before stating the post.) Later will be one of the 'Hannibal' series (at least), one or more of the 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' flicks, 'Return of the Living Dead' and 'Day of the Dead', which covers all the characters on my shirt, with the exception of a C.H.U.D., but I recently watched that movie and it doesn't sound all that appealing to rewatch. Plus he's hiding under the table, guess he's shy.

No real other plans for today, I have some stuff I'd like to get done this weekend. New drive for Dagon, so I can do an fresh install of Ubuntu 18.10, but still be able to flip to the old drive in case of problem. I'm also going to a friend's orphan shindig Saturday night. I'll only know a couple of people there, but as I was told 'It's a gathering of introverts' so things should be fine. Tomorrow there will be people in the office working but I'll be staying at home, unless there's a crisis. The only leaving of Château Innsmouth is maybe to go raid a Half Price Books or 3, they're running a 20% everything sale. I also want to stop my an office supply store for canned air, since it's been a dog's age since I cleaned out Dagon. I want to also spend some time cleaning out clutter, I have access to an SUV to haul things out with, so that will be helpful.

So that's my Thanksgiving in a nutshell. Cannibals, sausages, chilling out. I do have to leave home for a little bit, critter care, but that's it. Hope everyone is having a happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate, and a good Thursday/Friday if you don't.

Château Innsmouth 2.0

Rather than review yet another crazy week, I thought I'd get some ideas on (virtual) paper about what I want in a new place. Not moving anytime soon, my lease isn't up til March. But I'm still daydreaming of what I want in a new place.

The problem with the current Château Innsmouth is that it's laid out organically, and there isn't really enough room to reorganize. Plus the apartment has features that use space badly, like a bar area, and a fireplace/ mantle. Plus, as a crazed book collector, I want more room for bookcases. So here's my ideas.

A 2 bedroom (or one bedroom with a study) apartment/duplex/condo. The usual bedroom, bathroom, kitchen stuff. If possible a garden tub for soaking, and washer/dryer so doing laundry doesn't require extra tentacles to leave the place. All pretty mundane more or less. Hardwood/tile floors if possible, easier to clean and less dust. Don't really care about appliances, as long as they work well and I have room in the kitchen to do stuff. More than one closet would be nice.

The fun stuff starts in the living room area. Usually that's the biggest room in the place, and for mine it will become the library. Walls of bookcase, as tall as I can get/reasonably afford, covering most/all of the wall space. Somewhere in there will be the reading nook, comfy chair, lamp, fan, etc. Possibly by a window, if I don't just cover them all up with bookcases. Half height bookshelves making an island in the middle maybe, possibly with a table top to display some of my collection of weird knickknacks. No TV or couch or other standard living room stuff, I'm not one for entertaining. Maybe another couple of chairs instead. If there's a dining room, it will pretty much be an extension of the living room. (or possibly act as a study depending on size and location.

The other bedroom/den/etc, I'll set that up as my study. Will probably be the larger of the rooms. I look at bedrooms a lot like the ancient Romans did, it's a place to sleep and keep stuff, not to live in. Find a new, cooler desk (or desks). On one wall will be the TV and a rack for the various server, network and media stuff (some of it will depend on where the demarc for the internet service ends up) My workstations will be on the desk, along with my usual fidgets and favorite Cthulhu items. I'll put together some kind of display cabinet for more of the Mythos stuff. Framed art on the walls (vs randomly adding stuff to the wall with tacks), a few bookshelves (probably half height, to mix art and books). The books in the study are either favorites, extra fancy, or just stuff I like having in arm's reach.

So that's my thoughts about a future home. We'll see how it works out. Join me next time, when I'll probably ramble about a crazy week or two. Ciao.

October’s End

Another crazy week. Eyedoctor says my eyes are fine, and my 'script is the same. So I get to order my usual type of glasses, and get re-used to transition bifocals. Also have to pay a pretty penny for them. Work has been crazy, the new project went from 0 to 60, and I spent most of Friday building things so things can be ready for Monday. And I'm pretty darn sure tomorrow will be a mess, because no plan survives contact with the business users.

I spent yesterday being social. Beta tested a wood pellet powered pizza oven (was good), petted fluffy adorable kitties, figured out my next apartment's bookshelf order. Then I headed over to the other side of the Metroplex and watched movies and chatted about our road trips, and watches movies. Came home about 10pm, read for a while and went to bed. Today was supposed to be going to the Alamo Drafthouse to go see 'Blood from the Mummy's Tomb' and 'The Fog'. But I woke up today after a sad dream, and I just didn't want to leave the house. I back and forthed over it for a while, then right around go time I decided to stay home. Been finishing up watching 'The Haunting of Hill House', which started slow, but went into high gear. Finishing up the series as I write this. Then off to bed with a book.

Hoping this week isn't as crazy as last week's. I can dream at least. Ok, going to call this a post. *waves a tentacle*

State of the Fox

October hasn't been what I'd call a great month. Work is lots of stress, lots of change and not a lot of concrete stuff. I'm officially a Subject Matter Expert for something I really do not to be involved in, but I am the guy with the most knowledge ATM. At least the project is a complete new build out, so hopefully I can do it right from the start.

I turned 46. I still don't feel 46. What the hell happened? I'll buy my 30's, since I can at least keep my checkbook balanced. Oh well. On my spawning day I went and saw a screening of 'Prince of Darkness' at the Alamo Drafthouse. Good way to spend the end of my spawning day.

Last night I went to the wake of a friend of mine from college. Saw a lot of people I haven't seen in too many years. Lots of stories, laughs, tears. I have a lot of stuff in my head that I have to process. Don't worry, nothing bad, just stuff in my life and how I view my life I think I need to change. I'm also sorry it took a friend dying for me to reach out and see those friends from my past. *sad*

Health wise, things are mixed. When I'm mindful of my eating, and my stress isn't super high, my bloodsugars are hovering a smidge above normal. When the stress kicks in, or I do something stupid like eat too much pizza (aka today), they're all over the place. My dealings with CareNow have sunk to a new low, I need to find a GP so I don't have to deal with unprofessional medical staff. I have a couple of leads from people I trust, so that's good. Depression/anxiety and stress is making the brainmeats tricky to manage, along with constant focusing on my blood sugar and how my eyes are acting. *yawn* I also am having issues sleeping solid, stress is for the feckin birds.

So what's coming up ? A follow up eye-doctor visit on Wednesday, then after that I hope to have stable enough vision to get my normal bifocal glasses. Various work projects, next weekend is more social time, and going to see some classic horror flicks next Sunday. Mostly though, I'm just going to be trying to keep the anxiety/stress levels from hitting peak levels again. *crosses tentacles*

The HP Lovecraft Film Festival

It's taken a while to write this, I think this is rewrite #3. Going for the short form this time. Had a really good time at the Film Festival. Portland as usual is the kind of city I enjoy. Good food, interesting buildings, a metro system that works, and a distinct lack of mountain cedar. Did my usual wandering, raided Powell's City of Books (Oh, my credit card bill). I also went over to the Oregon Maritime Museum and Movie Madness Video. Then, Friday night was time for the Fest...

As usual it was mostly feature films for me. So after saying hi to people I know, I found a seat for 'Necronomicon: The Book of Hell'. A flick from Argentina, that I've been wanting to see since I first heard about it. Movie about one of the copies of the Necronomicon that HPL said was kept at the Biblioteca Nacional in Buenos Aires. Creepy book tale (which themed to be a theme for me this year). Lots of fun, low budget but it worked well for me. Then again, crazed book folks hit a special note with me. Hoping it gets an international release. Next flick was 'The Rules of Ruin', another forbidden tome book, this one from Mexico. Also creepy, it didn't hang together quite as well as Necronomicon, but it was enjoyable. Again, hoping for a wider release (and a physical copy for me).

Saturday started with 'Carbload for Cthulhu' a signing event, with bagels and Voodoo donuts. (I had a quarter of 1 donut due to the evil diabetes, was good but not worth sugar coma). Met some more friends, met a number of new authors and bought a bunch of books. Then was the HPLHS presentation of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth' as a radio play. As a card carrying member, I had to get a front row seat. Then was dinner, sushi with pals, then back to see 'Hammer of the Gods', a Canadian wilderness horror flick. The same people did 'Black Mountain Side' a few years ago, which blew me away. This was different, jarring spikes of horror, mixed with general 'oh crap this will end badly'. Really enjoyed it, will be staying out of the Canadian wilderness. Last flick for Saturday was a Japanese adaptation of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth'. Was enjoyable, if a little slow. But it's one of those things I'd probably never get to see again, so glad I went.

Sunday started with more wandering and talking. Some folks had their wedding at the HPLFF, and they opened it to anyone who wanted to attend. Cody Goodfellow presided, I highly recommend getting married by a crazy Cthulhu cultist if you are of the inclination.

Movies were Clark Ashton Smith adaptations, one from 'Night Gallery' and two by Richard Stanley, 'Mother of Toads' (which I've seen a few times) and 'The Sea of Perdition', which isn't a direct adaptation, just using some themes and going off a really cool landscape he found in Iceland. Richard Stanley did a Q/A which was really interesting, he's a very quirky dude. I then hit my one shorts block, the NSFW set. Definitely was not safe for work, or sanity. Will never look at lobsters or mirrors the same way again. *wink* Final flick was 'Corpse' based on the King in Yellow mythos of Robert Chambers. Very psychedelic, multiple timelines that were kind of hard to keep up with, and IMHO needed a bit of editing, but it really got the creeping insanity of Carcosa (not Carcosa Corp). And with that, my fest came to a close.

*looks up* Yeah, this is the short form. I can get wordy really bloody easily. As I said, I had a blast. Saw a number of friends, made a bunch of new ones. Was already wishing it was time for the next fest before I got to the airport the next day. Many Thanks to Gwen and Brian Callahan, along with their eldritch minions for putting on one hell of a fest.

Happy Spawning Day to Me

Quick post, I've hit 46 cycles around the flaming ball of death in the sky. Working from home today, not getting a lot done. Distracted fox is distracted. Tonight I'm going to a local screening of Prince of Darkness. Normally I won't go to a movie during the work week, but that's one of my top 5 movies, and it's showing on a big screen on my Spawning Day, so if that's not a sign, nothing is. So tomorrow I'll probably be dragging. But it will be worth it. I also still owe a post about the HPLFF, maybe this weekend. Assuming my anxiety drops a notch or two. But until then, happy spawning day to me :)