jackofallgeeks: (Moof)
I'm angry at the world right now. I've been angry since I got home. I feel cheated. I have a comfortable life, but I'm alone. No one wants me; I feel like no one even gives me a chance.

I hate feeling this way.
I wish I knew how to see beyond myself and remember all the good in my life.
I just hurt.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
Another post about Meghan. The whole thing is sticky. From my end, it looks like we have un-reasovable issues, things I am unwilling to bend on and, frankly, I don't want someone who has to bend on them to meet me. Some say I should drop her and fast. Others say I should give it a chance, every couple has issues. Even aside from all that I don't intend to lose her as a friend, and she seems intent on proving to me that the issues I see aren't as grand as they seem. I remain skeptical.

The point is, the other day she left me a voice message saying, simply, "we need to talk, give me a call back." And when I did call her back, she said that a friend of hers had claimed to see a post by me on MySpace saying that there was a girl who was interested in me, and I wasn't really into her, but I was lonely and she had esteem issues, and I could at least get some attention from it. And that though there were no names, the friend got the impression that Meghan was the girl referred to. And all of this was supposed to have been posted on June 30th. When they went looking for the post again, it was nowhere to be found, but the Internet is nothing if not mutable.

I should hope, in fact expect, that anyone who knows me knows how ridiculous an accusation this is. Firstly, I don't use MySpace much at all; I have one, but I rarely log on, let alone post on my blog. Secondly, the idea that I would knowingly use someone for my own gratification, let alone exploit their insecurities, is so utterly against my nature that I find it difficult to express. As a child, *I* had esteem issues, I was the outcast and I was the one who was picked on. Sometimes the abused becomes the abuser, but in my case I'm just completely turned off by the notion, I will forgive almost anyone weaknesses and faults. I've even gotten angry when friends of mine belittle others, regardless of how true or deserved the belittling is. I don't do that.

Never mind the fact that affection is too sacred to me. I don't want hollow affection, I'm not interested in attention from those who's feelings I don't share -- I'll accept it, I'll allow it, I won't discourage someone just because their feelings aren't returned; there's nothing wrong with affection, and I think it's a crime that we've all been taught to fear expressing ourselves for the threat of rejection. But I won't seek it, and I certainly won't manipulate someone to get it.

And on top of that, who does this third party think they are, seeking me out online to find dirt on me and reveal it to others? It's my understanding that I don't know them, and that they would come looking for me and scurry back to divulge whatever morsels they found angers me. I'm an open man. I'm honest and upfront, I tell things as they are to the best of my ability. If you have an issue with me, you simply need to bring it to my attention and it will be resolved.

The trouble is several-fold.

Somehow, people in circles Meghan's connected with (almost none of whom know me) have gotten into their heads that Meghan and I are dating (or, if they aren't aware that Meghan's broken up with her old boyfriend, that we're cheating). We're not. Frankly, I'm not sure we ever will be, but that's neither here nor there. I'm effing 3000 miles away. What's dating supposed to mean when there's an entire continent between you?

Besides that, theres is another Andrew Portner here on the Internet -- he's the one you're most likely to find if you Google me. Try it. He's something of a stand-up comic, he's done things called "The Adam and Andrew Show" and "Smile and Nod." There's even a vid on YouTube with a skit he did where he mentions me -- the guy with his name. I don't find him particularly funny (even aside from poking fun at me :p) and he can be kind of crass. He's also a Computer Scientist and in California, in fact only a couple hours south of where I am now. Needless to say, his existence (and prevalence) complicates the task of find information on me, especially if you don't know me and are only scouring the Internet. In fact, his AIM is "AndrewPortner," whereas mine never has been and probably never will be any form of my name.

And, of course, none of this really bothers me -- what do I care about how people who don't know me think of me? Meghan is far more concerned with her appearance and reputation, even when people who don't know her make ridiculous, unfounded claims about things they can't know. And she comes to me, expecting that I should know, or at least care, about this. And I really don't.

Maybe my one set of friends are right, maybe there's potential with Meghan and I, maybe we can do each other some good -- my friends at least say that I can bring her into reality and show her value where she wouldn't have even looked before -- but right now? I doubt it. Every time she and I talk about it, I'm more and more convinced of the issues, and less and less interested in trying to resolve them. Maybe it's bad timing, I don't function well over impersonal media ,but...

I 'click' better with lots of other people. Meghan has the whole "Catholic" and "family oriented" over them, but I'm no more willing to compromise someone who can understand my world and my philosophy. It's not nearly as difficult explaining myself to any of you as it is trying to explain the same things to her.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
Dr. [Adviser], [Co-Adviser],

There were a number of things not brought up at our meeting, partly because you both had another meeting to go to, and partly because I was completely blind-sided by much of what was said and had to collect my thoughts.

I do not believe that I can complete the tasks you are asking of me. This has nothing to do with being unwilling to do the work; if the list of "To Do" items that Dr. [Adviser] had sent to me on Wednesday were accurate I would agree that it wasn't that much additional work on top of what I was already doing and it could have been managed with effort. In light of the options I was presented with at the end of our meeting, I don't believe that list was accurate and what's more I don't have the skills necessary to accomplish what you're asking. Specifically, I can not program extensively in C. It was not a requisite for entering the program, it has not been required for any of my classes throughout my time here at NPS, and until this morning there was no mention of writing code in C. I can write scripts, I can code in Java with fair ability, and I understand C enough to make sense of what someone else has already written, but I can not write up my own extensive applications, certainly not with complex system calls.

You presented two options. The first, and the one I imagine you prefer, is for me to write up compiled code to run inside of the XTS machine. You say that there would be a learning curve as far as writing code for the machine, but note that I would only have to produce code for the FA component and our DBPS. Alternatively, I could stick with the 'original scope' and write compiled code on Linux to mimic the XTS functions of the SSS, Apache, TRSS, plus the FA and the DBPS. I think the amount of work is unfairly stacked against keeping the "original scope". I also reiterate that in none of our discussions was compiled code brought up. We spoke about scripts and databases and architectures. I have presented you with two schedules now, neither of which included "write and test compiled code" and no comments were made until now. In fact when I presented my most recent schedule, solely concerned with finishing the written thesis, Dr. [Adviser] simply said she would hold me to it. It wasn't until a day after, when I asked for assistance on the presentation of Chapter 3, that any additional work was brought up. You present it as an option between keeping the project we began with or moving the scope into the 'more practical' XTS code, but neither of the options you give represent what I've understood our project to be for the last seven months.

Just as I am not averse to doing work, I also haven't been shirking my duties. I have been working consistently for the last seven months on what I've understood the project to be, an architectural analysis. It wasn't until this past month that it was presented to me as specifically intended to deal with MYSEA, and it wasn't until this week that coding of any sort beyond scripting was discussed. If I've misunderstood the point of this project it's because I haven't been given clear guidance and defined goals to work with. If I had, if writing compiled code to run on MYSEA had been presented as the actual goal of this project, either I would have picked a project more in line with my own abilities or I would have taken time in the last seven months to learn what I would need to complete the code. I reiterate, I can not write extensive C applications.

I have approximately one month before graduation. I do not have time between now and then to learn the C that would be required to write code on the XTS machine, nor to mimic the MYSEA structure in Linux. Even if I were to try and complete this project in Java, the language I do know, I don't believe one month is enough to translate the functionality of MYSEA modules that were the topic of two or more other complete theses from C into Java. These requirements are all news to me and I can not accomplish them, not because I'm unwilling to put forth effort but because I lack the necessary time and skill.

I have effectively completed my Master's Program here at NPS; all that remains is this thesis and the couple of relatively-simple courses I'm taking now. Not graduating is not an option for me, as you're both aware of the consequences that would inflict upon me. There must be some middle ground we can come to whereby I complete my thesis and graduate on time and you get some amount of useful result from the work I've done, but I can not do what you're asking of me.

-Andrew
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
In response to requesting guidance on how I should present my next Chapter:

Andrew,

Why haven't you done thing things I didn't tell you to do? )

[My Adviser]


I Reply:

Because you didn't tell me to do them. )
I'll get back to you once I've gotten work accomplished on the items you've listed.

-Andrew


In Return:

Andrew,

Thanks for the response.

Here's a bit of useful advice, but you should be thanking me. )

[My Adviser]


To her I send:

[Ma'am],

I'll be a good student and back down. There's no point in fighting this. )

Thank you for your prompt response.
-Andrew


But to myself I think:

I don't back down without difficulty. And you're a bitch. )

Codemonkey not say it out loud; Codemonkey not crazy, just proud.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
OK, so, Meghan and I have been estranged friends pretty much since she started dating Patrick. I don't like him, I don't think he treats her well, and all told I fear the relationship treads awfully close to "abusive." I talked with her tonight for the first time in a while, and she said they're having problems... And while part of my feels bad that my friend is unhappy, most of me is glad. And I'm only a little bit ashamed of that.

I worry for her. )
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
So here's a wonderful little thing I just learned: the administration has been lying to us from day one. And, in all likelihood, they're still lying to us about any number of things.

See, they've been telling us this whole time that the program gives us six quarters worth of money, which they dole out on a monthly basis. We've been making plans for schedules and internships and being pressured on thesis to get done in six quarters -- and it turns out that, in fact, the program grants us enough money for eight quarters. That's another six months of money, somewhere on the order of $12,000 per student.

I found this out because my buddy Marcin is seriously afraid of failing a course that won't be offered again until after he's supposed to graduate, and I figured big deal, they can't make him stay longer, right? Well, he says that it turns out they can because of this extra wad of cash they have left over, presumably which they pocket whenever we graduate 'on time.' This explains all that bullshit they fed us about "making allowances" if things with your thesis don't go right, or you can't find a job right off from graduation.

I can't express how angry this makes me. Despite the fact that I *really* want to graduate in September and move on with my life, part of me wants to drag my feet out of spite just to deny them pocketing another $12,000.

And part of me is now afraid of messing up and unintentionally staying the full term.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
What. The. Fuck.

A bill approved by the U.S. House yesterday would require school districts around the country to establish policies making it easier for teachers and school officials to conduct wide scale searches of students. These searches could take the form of pat-downs, bag searches, or strip searches depending on how administrators interpret the law.

The Student Teacher Safety Act of 2006 (HR 5295) would require any school receiving federal funding--essentially every public school--to adopt policies allowing teachers and school officials to conduct random, warrantless searches of every student, at any time, on the flimsiest of pretexts. Saying they suspect that one student might have drugs could give officials the authority to search every student in the building.


I can not express how much this enrages me. And you know what's worse? They'd probably say some shit like "it's to protect the kids!" Protect the kids from what? Certainly not lecherous or bullying school staff. Certainly not from an invasion of privacy, or an attack on their human dignity. Certainly not from constant fear. "If you've done nothing wrong then you've nothing to fear" is always a load of crap, and especially when you're talking about arbitrarily-enforced searches for arbitrary or non-existant reasons. There're a lot of articles out there that compare public schools to prison, and this is getting disturbingly close.

There are no words.

And you know? People wonder why I'm so against schooling.
(Vector: [livejournal.com profile] amereternal)
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
The fact of the matter is, yeah, I don't like him. That he doesn't like me, even having never met me, gives me less reason to like him. He thinks I treated you badly, and that may well be a fair assessment, though I might argue that it looks to him very much like how he was treated, and so he's imposing his own biases. I think he treats you badly. I think he's selfish, insecure, jealous of your friends and family. He doesn't understand some of the fundamentals of a relationship. He misses the fact that you consulting your friends and family when you're confronted with a dilemma is not only acceptable, but the reasonable first move. He threatens you with 'freedom' -- say what you will about his tone or what he means, that's a passive-aggressive way of saying "be careful, or we might break up."

"But Andrew," you say, "you admit your own bias. You don't like him, so of course you would say such things." Everyone's biased. I don't believe anyone is ever impartial. But I've also seen this all before. It's a bad thing when he threatens you with 'freedom'; at the least it implies that your relationship is a form of bondage, and I'm sorry but that infuriates me. It's a bad thing when he throws at you that he's never said anything bad about you -- what's that supposed to mean? That your grievances are less valid because he finds no flaw in you? There's no logic in that. And it implies that he has you on a pedestal, an unerring figure of truth and purity, and no one is that. It's not fair for him to pretend you are, as flattering as you may think it is. You can't know or love a figure held aloft like that. And the higher the pedestal, the further the fall when it proves false.

I've told you why I don't like him, and I've told you why I think he's wrong for you. If he's like I expect, like how all us boys were once, he expects that you will complete him, make him whole, and that's a false, unkind, unfair assumption to have, both for himself and for you. He's jealous, he comes off as selfish, he expects you to be as you are not, he seems passive-aggressive. I wrote you a whole email which you have yet to refute. This is why I'm so hard on your relationship, because I think it's a poor one, and I've not been given proof to the contrary.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
Not unrelated to earlier posts...

There's this girl, we'll call her Mary, who I met on one of these sites and began talking to. At first things went pretty well, but after a while... At first it seemed like a strange Curtis-esque social inability, in that it seemed she could speak of nothing expect in that it had moral or theological implications. Which is all well and good, but as with Curtis and video games and random geekiness, there's more to the world than just that. Things got slightly worse as her grandfather became ill and later died, whereby she seemed to expect I knew exactly what she was talking about, even though she was making very little sense at all, and treated my like a complete imbecile when I couldn't find the Newport News Obituaries online.

In case any of you weren't aware, being treated like an idiot is something I can't abide.

So we stopped talking for a long while. I mostly figured it was just her dealing with grief and while a friend doesn't pull back when their friends hit rough times, I was only just getting to know her, and I thought it best to wait until things settled down before continuing.

So I IMed her last night, and withing five minutes I knew it was a mistake. She started questioning why I never had quotes from this saint or that pope, because those were usually more inspiring -- to which I said (1) I simply haven't stumbled upon anything I felt pertinent from them (nor have I looked, really) and (2) it's not really my intent to 'inspire' so much as to get people to think, or at the least convey my mood.

This morning I left the last lines of T.S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men" (this is the way the world ends/ not with a bang but a whimper) as my away message. I came home and found two messages from Mary: "t.s. eliot was very antichristian was he not" and "i don't think he had the rapture in mind did he".

This is a great example of what I was saying in point one, with the Curtis-esque ineptitude! Yes, yes, the words do say something about the end of the world, but... Gah! I really don't think Eliot was talking about the literal end of the world there, for one thing, and what does that have to do with being antichristian even if he was? I don't think there's anything particularly antichristian by saying the world will literally end in silent despair. But even on top of that... The man wrote "Murder in the Cathedral," and at the very least that was 'non-antichristian' enough for my highschool (which was particularly Catholic) to require it as required reading. So I have to wonder, has she ever read anything by or about Eliot, or is she just attacking him (rather pointedly, too) because of the one line that I quoted in my message?

Just... rahr, the anger.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
What. The. Hell!?
Just what do These Guys think they're doing?
For convenience:
US music publishers are calling for the imprisonment of owners of websites that contain song lyrics, guitar tabs and musical scores.

And of course, the same three-note reasoning:
'Unauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing,'

I mean..! There's just..!
Words fail me.
OK, look people. Music means things to people. Lyrics say something. We're not talking about taking someone's design for 'silent Velcro' or something like that, and selling it so they can't. Some kid who posts lyrics on his blog isn't hurting the musician, he's supporting him. That's the 'effing fanbase, you idiots! If a kid goes online to get guitar tabs of a song he likes so he can learn to play the guitar and emulate an artist he admires, that is a good thing. And it doesn't hurt the artist!

I still hold that file-sharing is doing more good for artists than harm, and that the big 'issue' here is that CD sales are going down. I've even admitted that I'm willing to pay a reasonable price to get the music files I'm interested in, and have been looking into services like iTunes and Napster; so if you want your corporate revenue, there you go.

But don't cry to me about "the poor starving artist," and how we're "denying him a living." If you had your way, Mr. Corporation, you'd be taking food out of his 'effing mouth yourself; he's a cash-cow to you, but he really means something to us, the fans. He speaks to us, he puts to music what we can't even get in words.

And even at that, there are no more than two types of artist out there, by my reckoning: those who make obscene amounts of money, on the order of pro-athletes or third-world countries, and as such won't even notice a dip in their record sales; and actual artists who make more off their live shows, their actual performances, the thing that makes them artists, then off of record sales. And even at that, I don't see any problem if someone can take your song, and play it his way, and have people like it more. that's his skill set, that's his talent. There's no 'safeguard' to me 'making a living' if someone else gets hired because he's a better programmer. That's the downside of this great Capitalistic society we have: you can sell anything, but if you can't get people to buy your product, your performance, you're out of luck. That doesn't mean art isn't beautiful -- and it sure as hell doesn't mean art should be a slave to the All-Mighty Dollar! Anyone who started out doing music because they had something to say should know that, and anyone who became a musician solely to make money deserves to take a financial hit as consequence.

-snear- Put people in jail for lyrics and guitar-tabs posted online? You people make me sick.
jackofallgeeks: (Integrity)
Thoughts and opinions wanted specifically, once more.
Cut for your convenience. )
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
So, I was supposed to go to a halloween party tonight.
My roomie was supposed to drive me, since I don't have a car.
It was supposed to be from 6:00-8:00.
I laid down at 5:00 for a nap, 'cause I've been tired.
The door closing behind him at 6:00 woke me up.
The bastard left me.
jackofallgeeks: (Catholic)
Quiet today...
I mentioned a couple days ago that This Guy was going to throw me into a rage. Thinking about it now, I don't like that I got as angry as I did -- I don't like ever getting angry, least of all to a point where I might lose control -- but some things just really get under my skin.

I am Roman Catholic. I have a reputation for my religious convictions, and to nearly everyone who knows me it's anything but a secret. I'm generally a very tolerant person, which some people seemed surprised at given my religious affiliation; I won't go into that little barb, at least not at the moment. Suffice it to say that I may disagree with what you believe or how you behave or the priorities you have in life, I may often give you my opinion on the topic, and I'm quick to offer my own advise on how one should conduct oneself -- but in the end, I'm generally respectful of the choices one makes for themselves, so long as they understand my position on it and are respectful to me.

One thing that I can not abide though, and is a particular which very well may speak to a greater universal, is people who claim to be Catholic but really are not. And it should be a pretty obvious thing as to why -- one doesn't say one is a vegan and regularly eat sirloin steaks and scrambled eggs. One doesn't say they're for animal rights and then routinely kick their dog. One doesn't speak out against bullying, only to turn around and be the bully. It's hypocrisy -- if you are not of a given class, do not claim to be so.

But this goes even beyond simple hypocrisy. Catholics are notorious for not knowing their faith. And in great part, I think we're very bad, generally, in training our children and teaching them exactly what it means when they say they're a Catholic. I was disappointed when, at age 16, I went through a Confirmation course which did nothing at all for me or the other confirmandi, and further disappointed with the other students lack of caring at all. They went through the motions when appropriate, but it didn't mean anything to them. That was when I decided I would be better than that, that I would study the faith and be sure I knew what I was committing myself to, and that I wouldn't be just another ignorant Catholic.

People like this guy and many of the students in my Confirmation class give the rest of us Catholics a bad name -- and we don't need their help, because many people already have misgivings about the Church as it is. You can't say "I'm a Catholic, but some of the basic teachings are wrong." You can't do that. And it pisses me off when people try. I have FAR more respect for someone who can, even after being raised from birth as Catholic, admit that they do not believe and thus are no longer Catholic. At least they're being honest with themselves and others, and they aren't trying to twist things to their liking. I wish them luck in their search for truth, even if I think they've just left it, because at least they're searching. I can't stand the other sort of person, because they aren't searching, they're posing as something they're not, and disgracing the rest of us for it.

I'm afraid I haven't been very articulate about what pisses me off here. If you're not Catholic, don't claim to be one. If you don't believe the doctrines, or the Pope's teachings, or what-have-you about the faith -- first, I would suggest you study up on it, and learn not just the Whats of the faith, but the Whys as well. If that doesn't work, find something else that does, but don't pretend like you can cut and paste the faith to be whatever makes you comfortable. That's not Catholicism.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
Our Conversation )

THIS is why I keep my fucking mouth shut! This is why I don't say a fucking word. It's bad enough that the whole damn world is fucking against me. It's bad enough that I'm such a fucking skrew-up, that I can't do a fucking thing without everyone saying ""Dude, that's messed-up." It doesn't fucking help that I would get attacked when I reached for support. This is what I'm always so fucking afraid of. But I wasn't expecting it from her. Maybe I should have.

It's not fair that everything's so wrong.
Maybe I am just doing it to myself.
Maybe I'd be better off if I had no principles, nothing to stand for. Nohing to fight for. No reason to be attacked.
Maybe I should fucking be like every other waste of flesh on this fucking rock.
Nothing I am seems to matter anyways.
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
OK, let me see if I can explain this. I really don't think I can, seeing none of you know the full story, and I'm begining to doubt wether or not I do.
*Deep Breath* )
jackofallgeeks: (Moof)
*Sigh*

Well, today was passably good. It rained all day, and that always puts me in a good mood. A little water on the fire if you will. Thus, I'm no longer smoldering, but unhappy none the less. You see, as Leslie and Claire both pointed out, it must've been a horrendous experience to get me upset, and it was. Allow me to explain.

I like Role-playing. I figure since I can't act (stage fright) and I can't write (no plot), Role-Playing is my soul recourse, and how I long for it (though my stage fright plays into it, it's not so bad). For this reason, I can churn out massive amounts of characters - Elven Wizards, Human Fighters, Felinoid Huntercats, Goblin Bursters, Juicer Assassins - but I put alot of thought into each character, and try and make them as 'human' (read: realistic, in many cases) as possible. I Role-Play because I have a character concept and I want to see that character play out and overcome obstacles, and grow, and maybe become a hero or a legend, or at least die grandly.

My experience in Role-Playing is quite limited. I've played online through e-mails for a number of years now, but that's vastly removed from Real Life play. Even aside from that, finding a Game Master online is worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack - it's like trying to find a specific strand of hay. I eventually resorted to running my own games, in a sense living through my players, just because i'm bursting with ideas that have no outlet. My true goal is to play, though, not run.

This past summer I was blessed by having Leslie introduce me to Parker and the gang, who let me roll up a Bonegnawer for their Werewolf Campaign. I only played in but so many sessions, but in that time I developed a feel for Akio. And ending his career (though not his life) with a few footprints in the asphalt and an elbow to a guy's temple made me feel contented, to some extent.

When I came to CUA, I learned that Aaron played D&D, and naturally wanted to get into a game - ANY game, just as long as I could play. And so, he introduced me to his group - Ben, Abner, Yon, and Ca...dam, his name's on the tip of my tongue. Anyways, they're nice enough guys, but...

I've now played in three sessions with them. And in that time I've gone through 3 characters. For those of you unable to do the math, that's a character per session. The first was Janus - a dark, sullen fighter who had a past he didn't want to share. He didn't die, he just didn't DO anything. After he was introduced, Ben's campaign was dropped and Aaron decided to try GMing.

The second was Cedric - a cocky, hot-headed fighter. For some reason yet to be determined, he got on a ship headed for the orient. He never left that ship. One day, the group woke up after a storm and the ship was empty - cargo, crew, captain, everything - without a trace in the middle of the ocean. This would have been interesting save the GM gave us no clues, no hints on what to do. We were stuck in the middle of the ocean on a mysteriously-abandoned ship.

Then the pirates came.

Pirates being pirates, the boarded our ship, and in an attempt to gain the advantage my character (who could fight blind) jumped into the belly of the ship. The rest of the characters, for some reason, followed me into the darkness. When the pirates were above us, someone got the bright idea to pull the ladder down - marginally intellegent, I admit. But, *Of Course* the pirates noticed. And did they jump down into the hold like any decent, first-level adversary? No, no, no, they couldn't be STUPID. Heaven forbid. No, they *OF COURSE* have a smoke bomb, which they drop down on us, and when I told Aaron I was going to look for it with my feet, hey envisioned me kicking it down under the planks, out of reach, so we would all suffocate.

Thank the lord I didn't say 'with my hands', I may have CHUCKED it at an ally and causede massive head trauma. No, likely I would have just burned my hands severely or something, making my fighter (who can no longer hold a weapon) useless. but no, I said feet, booted it, and doomed us all to slow suffocation.

But all was not lost - Ben quickly told the Barbarian to punch a hole in the ceiling so we could climb out. Good idea. He punched 2, and we split 2 and 2 and came up on either side of the mid-level deck. Between us were a dozen Pirates. one fell - three - seven - ten - all twelve, dead. And none of us scratched save the girl-fighter. So Cedric, charged from the battle, climbs up to the top deck - really the only logical way to continue the battle. Not the smartest thing, no, but THAT'S HIS CHARACTER. cedric's the type of guy who doesn't quite know when to stop a fight, least of all when he's WINNING. He'll never learn, now.

He jumps up and stands just long enough for the Barbarian to follow him up - he drops just as the Barbarian gets up there, douple slashes from twin longswords. I'm dragged below decks by my Cleric companion and healed back to 4 HP, I believe, while the barbarian continues to mow down the enemy - swing, kill, swing, kill, swing, kil - two more, four more, eight more - in total he alone dropped 17 pirates that night, along with my three and at least one or two others from Yon and Ben. Twenty+ men dead, from four.

The barbarian drops, and the pirated *decide* that they aren't going to cut their losses of 20 men and leave - no, they're going to tear up the upper deck so they can get the FOUR GUYS who killed them - that's four men who have (effectively) killed 5 men each. When that battle turns to losing, the jump down at us and we drop a couple more, then four more, then silence. And they throw torches down on us. Three, twelve, twenty - no, we don't get a chance to fight the fire. or rather we do, but Aaron literally says "There's too much, the boat WILL sink."

Cedric once again goes uptop - at 4 HP he can only eat about one kit from these guys, maybe two, but 4 HP is 1/2 his total, so it really doesn't matter. He falls again, of course, but to his 'companions' come to get him? No, for the sake of running away under the supposition of death, they jump out the back and swim away - leaving our hero, Cedric, unconcious but breathing, to die a fiery death and lay in a watery grave. All in one session, and hardly fitting for any character, let alone a character destind for greatness.

Ertai's story is even more disapointing. Ertai is the character that I rolled up after I heard Cedric bit it (yes, I wasn't there when they jumped ship - I had to be rushed to the metro t'get home, and they told me the day after). Ertai, though, was a masterpiece. He was a Wizard Prodigy - Seventeen and already an accomplished wizard. He'd been through the required classes at the local accademy and graduated, with honors, years before his peers would even be eligable. He had stayed around to study, fascinated by the knowlege he'd absorbed. But he wasn't perfect - he was rather spoiled. You see, EVERYONE had ALWAYS praised him for his 'amazing natural ability' and this had gotten to him, you could say. He was SURE he was the greatest wizard to ever live, if not now then after he'd had appropriote time to research. He may well have been. We'll never know.

His school master freared for Ertai - he saw everything as potential research, as raw data waiting to be analyzed, processed, categorized, and filed - everything, including people. In an effort to get Ertai to grasp this truth - that people are people - he sent Ertai out into the world. He saw it as an opportunity for Ertai to intereact with other people and see them as more than study. Ertai saw it as a chance to explore what a Library could never provide - and a means to show the world just how amazing he really was. None of these hopes saw fruition.

What did Aaron do? Did he set up a scenario where Ertai could save the party, and cement his place in the party? Did he have the party save Ertai and cement Ertai's loyalty - or at least base interest? Did he at least have Ertai wash up on the same shore as the cast aways? No, no, no, nothing this epic. We ARE only human after all.... Ertai was just *there*. The best explaination was that Ertai had been one of the miscellaneous characters that he's mentioned but never encluded in the story (infact, when he first wanted to dispose of said characters, did he have a sea serpent attack us long enough to take some beating,eat the merchants, and then decide it'd had enough punnishment and leave? No, he had them jump over board and swim away...).

Anyways, Ertai's story is sadder than Cedric's because Cedric died due, inpart, to his character. he SHOULDN'T have, and aaron shouldn't have expected so much fromFIRST LEVEL CHARACTERS, but that's not the point. He hid, and Cedric was dead. Ertai, however...

He was an awsome character - an amzing wizard who was not only increadibly intellegent and quick-witted (numbers-wise) but could also take some mount of damage - something most mages can't. But he was *phased* onto this island and pretty much just followed the other three as they searched the island. We came to a mountain with a cave, and voices in the cave. We try sneaking around to get a better view, but skrew up.

Reasonably enough, three of the SAME pirates (figures we'd wash up on their island - it's almost cinemaic) come out of the cave. But when they see us, do they charge us, like any decent villain would, even though WE (the players and GM) know it would hardly be a fight? No, two run back inside and one stays and watches us. Of course, we kill him, but figure we'll stick around and wait for the other guys to come back - revenge for the ship - mayhaps for Cedric, as well, but I think too highly of my comrades, I believe.

In anycase, Ben gets the BRIGHT idea to toss a rope across the clearing when we hear alot of them comming, in order to trip them up. Not a bad idea, really, but sadly they saw the rope fly through the air. It was a stupid move - really, waiting for them to come back was stupid, but we HAD killed over twenty of them before. But did they come back with reasonable numbers to assault FOUR men? Did they come back with eight? Ten? Fourteen? No, no, nothing that sane - THIRTY or more of these bastards pour out of the cave. Combat ensues.

The combat, really, went almost decently - the girl dropped, Ertai was out of spells and at 1 HP, the Barbarian had taken out an additional 8 guys (25 cumulative from the boat), but the Bard cast fog and we managed to escape. Then, Aaron said he was stuck. Why, one might ask? Because we couldn't escape alive.

WTF and various other explitives come to mind. WHY won't we survive this, one might ask? It's simple, really - these pirates are insane. Instead of ignoring us and staying in their fortifyed caverns, or even just sending out a group of two, maybe ten or so each, to search us out, the WHOLE FLIPPING TRIBE (or at least all 80 of them left standing who can fight) decide to ALL come out, en masse, to search for us. we can't escape alive because they are travelling in groups of twenty each and looking to scour the entire island and KILL FOUR MEN. Ertai, at 1 HP, lastend an amazing 2 rounds (12 sec) and even succeeded in grounding 2 pirates. But his character was never played out and he died on the end of a longsword on his first day of play.

And the REALLY sucky thing is that had we gone THE OTHER WAY around the island, we would have found boats and key plot hooks. Now, I can understand that if you plan something out geographically, it's bad form to warp space just so your characters can find it, but with something THAT CRITICAL, it's absurd!

But the fun continues. Later on, riding back to his place, Aaron criticized me for not 'playing your mage smart' and letting him die. He said that if he'd rolled stats the way I did, his first priority would be self-preservation. Well, I'm SORRY, but I'm a NWBIE, and this is (technically) MY FIRST FLIPPING CHARACTER. When he went on about how he'd been GMing for so many years and seen Level 1 characters take on much worse (he quoted a Lich, at one piont) I wanted to say 'Well, I've been playing for so many HOURSE - cut me some FLIPPING SLACK.' I don't know if it's nessisarily apparent, but I have to be pretty steamed to cuss, and in any of these cases, I intended to say then what I imply now. Needless to say (though I already did) i didn't say much after the game ended.

Now then, we come to the subject of the post (collective groan from the audience). No, no, no, that means I'm finally ending, not beginning. You see, two types of players exist in this world: Role-Players and Roll-Players. A Role-Player is interested with story, character development, and acting over mechanics, statistical power, and Munchkinism (the ability to twist the rules in such a way as to 'legally' make a walking tank). A Roll-Player, of course, is just the opposite.

In the end, Roll-Players run out of things to do - you get stronger and stronger, first you defeat 120 pirates, then enforce your will over a town, seige a castle, conquer a nation - by the time you take over the world at 5th level, you have to start fighting trans-dimentional raiders and demolishing planests to have any challenge.

Role-Players are never out in the cold because they always have some new idea they haven't tried yet. It's often joked that a Role-Player would play a bind, mute, deaf, numb, parapaligic scholar who is tormented because of the great wealth of knowlege he has and his inability to exoress it to the world. Yeah, it's an exageration, but...just imagine....

Needless to say, I fancy myself a Role-Plasyer and (of course) I should suspect you would agree with me. Now, while I won't flat out say that Aaron et al are Roll-Players... Well, they have the SEMBLANCE of caring. I mean, they come up with interesting character concepts, but that's pretty much where their role-playing ends and their roll-playing begins (aside from the language they choose to use when speaking in-character). Mostly, their character concepts exist simply to masque their rules abuse, and give their characters some semblance of viability.

To wrap everything up (relieved sigh from the audience), I got so mad because what could have been wonderful, what could have been amazing, what I could have loved nearly half as much as girls, what crumpled, burned, and tossed in my face. The game was ruined, as even Aaron admitted, but he would accept no fault in the matter, and that too bugged me.

And now Leslie finally realizes the extent to which I an captivated by Role-Playing.
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
Yes, yes it was.

I had a rather bad night of Role-playing last night, but for the sake of length, I'll save that for a later post. Suffice, for now, that is wasn't fun.

I will, however, explain the events there-after. You see, we finished playing at about 2:00 AM, upon which Aaron and Abner decided to play a game of 'Lord Of The Rings' which lasted until 3:00 AM. Aaron being my ride, I could do little else but sit there and smolder. I do believe 'smolder' is a good term to use.

Anyways, since the last Metro left at about 1:20, it'd been pre-determined that I'd crash at Aaron's (so we could play later), and so Me, Aaron, and Yon got into his car, he drove Yon home, and then me and him got to his place, upon which we went to bed. I must say here that, while narrow and unfamiliar, it was a very comfortable night's rest.

In anycase, me and Aaron had decided to get up and leave his house at 9:00 so I could get back here, get changed, and be at work at 10:00. He wakes me up, I throw on my clothes, but don't bother to put my contacts in. I put my shoes on in the car, and he drops me off at the metro - reasonable, and predictable, though I would have much prefered if he'd driven me to campus. Not a big deal, really, but mind you, I may STILL be smoldering from last night, so... *shrugs*

I get in the Metro and, as always, it goes. I get off at CUA and trek back towards my dorm. Glancing at my watch, it's 9:45 - it's a ten minute walk to my dorm and then another ten minutes to work. And along the way I have to get dressed. I get up to my room, grab my clothed, change, put on my shoes, and look at the clock - 8:55. I'm not gonna make it - it takes ten minutes to get there and I'm supposed to be there in five. I should have called and said I'd be late. I SHOULD have had Aaron drive me home last night. I -- wait. Did that say 8:55? I looked at my watch - it said it was almost 9:00. Then I pieced it together - Aaron hadn't left at 9:00, he left at 8:00. I was off by an hour.

Skrew this. I went and took a shower, put my contacts in, and then sat down to begin my gripe-ing. And yes, I mean 'begin' because I still have yet to explain WHY last night was so much of a waste. Leslie, in particular, knows I don't get upset easily (though I would say she gives me more credit than I'm due) and I was upset last night. i didn't say much of anything after the game, and I really really wanted to hit something - or hold someone. Both are amazingly good for releasing tension. Sadly, I went unfulfilled last night, probably why I'm still smoldering now.

But, now I DO have ten minutes to get to work. I'll post about my Roll-playing session from last night when I get back after work. Till then, fare well.

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John Noble

August 2012

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