On reinventing yourself

I've always fought against memories of the past. In doing so I've deprived myself of the chance to actually enjoy what they mean.

What's the first thing you remember when listening to Guns 'N' Roses' Sweet Child of Mine? To me it's Slash and his guitar at the beginning of the song.

I don't know about you but but music, Naginata and sometimes being a mean and nasty son of a bitch is so liberating.  Fuck the consequences and just go with it

I've decided that this is the last time I talk to the person I've been having problems with and then let the chips fall as they may.

Part of reinventing yourself is to keep yourself flexible and nimble. I heard news @work that put the June conference into perspective. Now it makes sense why I have to take vacation time to go and it defused that piece to the point where it's a non-issue. What brought my anger level up 'though is the fact that where I want to go professionally does not match where upper management wants me to go and no one has seen fit to tell me so.  I had to pry it out of my supervisor today and I know that he's as uncomfortable with this whole situation as I am but he really can't do much about it either. SO I have to decide if my peace of mind is worth calling attention to myself and the possible consequences of that action.

I can't get this song from my head and haven't been able to for a while. The emphasis to me is in the chorus:

We're fighting for the gods of war
But what the hell we're fighting for
We're fighting with the gods of war
But I ain't gonna fight no more

The first step is to take inventory of yourself, your priorities and your goals (both short and long term).

The last few posts have talked a lot about priorities, goals and commitments. For more details see Sometimes I just wishPriorities, realizations and commitments, and Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish so now I think  it's time to do an inventory of who I really am and take another, more serious, look at where I want to be or perhaps who I don't want to be.

I want to be someone whom people can trust, and not be afraid to approach; I want those around me to know that, if I see a reciprocal effort, I'll put 110% effort into our friendship. People who try to, in their words, "be nice" have a problem that I don't want to be a part of: in being  nice they deprive their friends of the opportunities to change and grow. I tend to be opinionated, sometimes too opinionated for my own good, but I'll always do my best to be open and honest with my friends.

I think that we all want to work on something we enjoy and can grow to love. The disagreements are more in the shape and nature of what that job is and the areas of responsibilities that it's associated with "the dream job". Some things are about the job itself and others  are more about what I want and the challenges I want to stretch me professionally.

  • I want flexibility;
  • I want room for growth: not be pigeonholed into one specific area but to be allowed to branch out as needed to get stuff done and not get bored to tears;

Perhaps that's the key to reinventing yourself.... To keep enough versions of you around that each one of them can take whatever is coming your way.

Am I really ready to do that? Am I willing to embrace the flexibility I need not to be afraid of whatever is coming?

One of the things that I've never learned all the way through is that there is no gain without pain.... intellectually I can understand it but I don't think I've ever internalized it and the fear still stops me when it's time to move on. I've said it before that I couldn't understand why was it that I didn't trust my instincts when they told me it was time to move on. Being totally blunt

I was watching, again, the series final for JAG: Fair Winds and Following Seas. The last scene when Bud flips the coin and everyone  keeps staring to see who is going to have to give up their life dreams to achieve happiness.

As I've said before what do you have to give up in order to get what you really want.

Being totally honest, I don't know if I could give up my job and be totally happy. I know I don't want crap like what happened today to repeat itself but I also know that  I'm not ever going to be happy without being able to exercise the atrophied skill sets.

I've hardly done any training or presentations since I moved to Chico. 10 hours or so in 3 years hardly qualifies as keeping your skills sharp.  I'm afraid that my instructional design and development skills are going the same way.  If you don't use them or at least keep current with the literature I'll loose what little of those skills you have left.

Back to what I want and don't want. So far these are the elements of what I'd want in an "ideal job." I realize that some of these things are not realistic and/or even possible but, hell, we're talking about an ideal so why not? 🙂

  • I want a place where I can actually practice training and instructional design even if it's as a secondary area of responsibility
  • I want a team, not a place where people feel empowered to dictate to other teammates. I've been as guilty about this as anyone and that's what I hate the most about the situation
  • I want a job where the rules are clear from day 1 with room for change, evolution and improvement where it's appropriate. It's not that I'm averse to change, it's just that I want to know when it's coming.
  • Related to the one above is wanting to at least get a voice on what direction my job is going. I know this is totally unrealistic, but it's one worth writing down even if it means that I'm never going to get a job that's 100% satisfactory
  • Communication, communication, communication. Things haven't been put on context and it shouldn't have to be my job to figure out what it is that I'm supposed to be doing.


  • Skid Row (Youth gone wild, 18 and life)
  • Linkin Park - iTunes selection
  • Rush - Roll the bones


  • Agile web development with Rails
  • Foundation's Edge


  • Learning to Program Rails
  • Trying to complete my final paper
  • Outlining my 2 summer writing projects


  • Reruns of JAG
  • NCIS
  • Stargate: The Ark of Truth

Player's Bill of Responsibilities

Summary: You are an adult. Act like one.

For those who need something a bit more explicit.....

Article 1: You are responsible for your own emotional state. Take action accordingly.

Article 2: We are adults creating a SHARED story. Make your arrangements with consideration for all concerned.

Article 3: Boredom and self-development, as in your personal life, are your responsibility.

Article 4: We're all here to have fun.

  • caveat 1: Take actions with the greater good of the game in mind.
  • caveat 2: Don't be a jerk.
  • caveat 3: The World of Darkness sucks. Plan accordingly.
  • caveat 4: Actions have consequences. Plan accordingly.

Article 5: Don't cheat.

Article 6: When in doubt, ask.

Article 7: Communicate.

  • caveat 1: You are responsible for your own psychodramatics. Plan and act accordingly. 
  • caveat 2: ST's are the final arbiters. Plan and act accordingly.

Article 8: Sometimes you have to let assholes be assholes.

Article 9: Actions have consequences. If this causes you extreme emotional duress, you need a break.

Article 10: You are playing a vampire (or other supernatural), not yourself with kewl powers. Roleplay accordingly.

Little Larp Humor

VENTRUE: Okay, guys, sit down. I suppose you're wondering why I've  called you all here.

TOREADOR: I should think so. I have an engagement in two hours that I  simply MUST attend, and I don't want to be late.

VENTRUE: Yeah, yeah. Order. <banging noise> Well, I don't know about  you guys, but my Progeny have been asking some rather ...  embarassing questions, and I--

MALKAV: Just tell them that when a Mummy and a Daddy love each other
very much--

VENTRUE: Shut up, Malkav. Anyway, they want to know where we come from, why, how, the whole bit. I think it's time we had an answer for them.


BRUJAH: Well, what are you asking us for? WE don't fucking know.


BRUJAH: Sorry.

VENTRUE: What about you, Ralph? You seem to have your nose in every- thing.

NOSFERATU: No, I am ... no longer called "Ralph." From this day forward,  you shall call me: "Nosferatu."


RAVNOS: I dunno, man. Ralph suits you.

NOSFERATU: No! I REFUSE to be stuck with that name.

VENTRUE: Leave him alone Ravnos.

TOREADOR: Actually, while we're on the subject ...

VENTRUE: What is it now?

TOREADOR: I have taken the pseudonym "Toreador."

<more silence>

HASSAM: You've never even SEEN a bull, let alone fight one, Norman.


RAVNOS: I was gonna say something about "full of ..." Oh, never mind.

VENTRUE: SHALL we get back to business?

LASOMBRA: I think "Nosferatu" sounds cool actually, Ralph.

NOSFERATU: And it's a lot easier to say when you can't retract your fangs.



VENTRUE: Okay, any ideas?


VENTRUE: Yes, Tzimisce?

TZIMISCE: Yas. Do you think it vaz a disease, perrrhaps?

SAULOT: Nnnnnnno ... I don't think so. I'd know about it by now if it was.

MALKAV: Ooo! Ooo! I've got an idea!

VENTRUE: <groan> What?

MALKAV: Ooo! Ooo! We're ALL ... aliens! Yeah! From the planet ... Yuggoth!

BRUJAH: Malkav?


BRUJAH: Drop dead.


MALKAV: Ain't it just TOO BAD you don't have Dominate?

BRUJAH: REAL men don't NEED Dominate!



RAVNOS: Okay, I've got it.


RAVNOS: They're not REALLY vampires, they just THINK they are.

VENTRUE: Hmmm ... not bad ... but then the dumb ones will try to prove you wrong by taking a sunbake.

LASOMBRA: SO? Weeds out the stupid ones, less of a population problem, less nosey Progeny asking silly questions.

TOREADOR: Lasombra, you are perverted.

LASOMBRA: Hey, am I my brother's keeper?

TZIMISCE: He has a valid point, frrriend.

TOREADOR: Sickening creatures.


SAULOT: Brother's keeper ... hey! That reminds me! You know those guys who wear the funny tea towels on their heads--

HASSAM: WATCH it, three-eyes.

SAULOT: Sorry. Anyway, they have this old story about this one guy who kills his brother and gets cursed, see ...

SUTEKH: Cursssed, you sssay? Hmmm ... I like it!

NOSFERATU: Yeah, but if YOU say it, no-one will believe it.

TREMERE: I know! We did it by magick!


BRUJAH: Who the hell are you?

TREMERE: Oh. Tremere, Arrogant Scheming Mage at your service!

SAULOT: Hang on, you're not supposed to be here until A.D. 1314!

TREMERE: So? I'm an Oracle of Time. I'll be when I want.

VENTRUE: A mortal, eh? Hey, Tremere!



TREMERE: Sure. <slam> <muffled> Damn. Must learn how to do that.

VENTRUE: Now, we might be onto something with this "curse" business. We haven't heard from Gangrel yet, and we need a female opinion at this juncture. What do you think, Gangrel?


VENTRUE: Gangrel?

<more silence>

VENTRUE: Anybody seen Gangrel?

RAVNOS: Errr, actually, we've had a bit of a disagreement ...

MALKAV: Awww, doesn't Mummy wuv you any more?

RAVNOS: Suck off.

MALKAV: DOES she do it doggy-style?


RAVNOS: Thank you, Brujah.

BRUJAH: No prob, bro.

VENTRUE: Okay, so what gives with this curse thing?

SAULOT: Well, they say that the first two sons of the first man had to give offerings to God. The first brother gave plants and stuff, and the second brother gave animal blood.

ALL: Yeah! Alright! Sounds great! Cool!

SAULOT: So the older one -- Cain, I think -- killed Abel, the younger one, and was cursed by God for the very first murder.

HASSAM: Innovative man, this Cain.

SUTEKH: Ssso, we're dessscended from a psssychopathic greengrocccer. How about we're dessscended from the MURDERED one, ssso that we are the CHOSSSEN of God, the INHERITORSSS of DIVINE POWER, the--

MALKAV: You REALLY have a God complex, don't you Sutekh? Tell me about your mother. Did she lock you in a cupboard? Or--


BRUJAH: Final warning, kook.

VENTRUE: Sutekh, please, stop standing on your chair.

TREMERE: I like the "cursed by God" thing, actually.

VENTRUE: How did YOU get in here?

TREMERE: Correspondence. Don't you know ANYTHING? Hey, Saulot!


TREMERE: I JUST worked out where I've seen you before. Could I have a word with you outside? It won't take more than five minutes.  Promise.

SAULOT: Sure. You seem like a decent enough fellow.


LASOMBRA: Wonder what he wants ... anyway ...

TOREADOR: I think I prefer the older brother. He's a charming, regal  figure who diligently sacrifices for his Lord, but is consumed by jealousy into a desperate act -- which he regrets later, of course -- but TOO LATE to avoid the harsh judgment of an UNCARING God, and is DOOMED to wander the earth, OUTCAST from his fellow man! Oh, the horror! Oh, the HUMANITY! Oh, the ANGST!

BRUJAH: What's an "angst"?

SUTEKH: Oh, it'sss a kind of a crossss, but with a loopy bit on top. My guysss love 'em.

BRUJAH: Oh. <pause> I don't get it ...

TOREADOR: Philistines.

<scream from outside>

TZIMISCE: Vat the hell vas that?


<door opens>

TREMERE: Oh, sorry, uhhh ... Saulot says to say that, uhhh, he ... had to leave -- real quick, like ... uhhh, but he was REAL happy about it, and, uhhh, he was glad he caught up with you guys again.

NOSFERATU: Is it me, or does he look kinda pale?

VENTRUE: Who cares? Getting back to this curse thing ...

LASOMBRA: So, are we his direct Progeny, then? 'Cos if so, how come we don't know where he is now?

MALKAV: Errr, he made us, then ran away. Really fast.

RAVNOS: No, no, no, he made some OTHER guys first, and then THEY made US ...

TOREADOR: And he repented of The Horror He Had Unleashed Upon The Earth! And banished himself from the sight of ALL!

MALKAV: AND ran away really fast.

TOREADOR: If you must.

VENTRUE: But how come we're all so different?

TOREADOR: The Curse works in Mysterious Ways ...

NOSFERATU: Yeah! I used to be the most handsome man in the world ...

RAVNOS: Yeah, right.

LASOMBRA: And I had a reflection!

BRUJAH: Can I have been a philosopher?

RAVNOS: And Toreador used to have taste ...

MALKAV: And I used to be insane!


VENTRUE: I think we might be pushing our luck here.

SUTEKH: Any BETTER ideasss?

VENTRUE: Well, let's put it to a vote, then. Magick?


VENTRUE: That's one.


VENTRUE: Okay, aliens from the planet Yuggoth?

MALKAV: Twenty-three.

VENTRUE: Your multiple personalities don't count, Malkav.

MALKAV: Awww ...

VENTRUE: The chosen son of God? ... Sutekh, Lasombra, Tzimisce. Any others?


VENTRUE: Okay, that's four. Cursed children of a psychopathic green- grocer? ... That's four, plus myself, five.


LASOMBRA: Swinging the vote, you black-balling bureaucrat!

VENTRUE: If you don't like it, go and form your OWN group.

LASOMBRA: Maybe I will.

VENTRUE: Okay, then, I charge all of you to disperse this data to your Progeny, and I'll have MY people send out memos in triplicate to YOUR people before the start of the next fiscal year. Meeting adjourned! <banging noise, general muttering and
shuffling> Drinks anyone?

MALKAV: I think Tremere just ate. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaahhhh ...

TZIMISCE: Vy did you throw him out ze window, Bruhah?

BRUJAH: I dunno, man, just something I had to do ... <sulking> none of you understand me, anyway ...

HASSAM: <whispered> Hey, Tremere!


HASSAM: Saulot -- you did him in, didn't you? You snuffed him. Sucked him dry.

TREMERE: Uhhh ... yeah, I did.


HASSAM: What's it like?

--- FIN ---

Kind of a Letdown

I finished my participation in the Blackstone LARP last Friday. It was kind of a letdown and it was powergamed although I didn't realize it at the time.

We've all been feeling a little queasy and the blood feels a little less potent and the nightmares (or is it daymares) have been keeping everyone on edge as if something was very, very wrong. A few of us knew it was something to do with the Malkavians and that stuff had happened in the east coast and all around us.

I love the relationships that developed in that game, both among the characters and the friendships developed among the players at least from my perspective.  I never thought I'd be there along with Ken Gry and Theresa or that I'd drag a large number of my clanmates along with me in this adventure.

A few of us made a protection pact and then; We were ready to do whatever it was necessary to survive and we were ready to hide long enough to do it... All of a sudden, we have a cop show up; We deal with the cop, which was easy enough to do.  We were just piecing together the truth of what had happened.

I talked to one of my clan sisters and she put the knowledge of what happened in character. I was scared shitless and I was just starting to come to terms with it...

Then, of course, all hell breaks loose

The usual cast of fucked up characters showed up and just about killed us. Some of us literally and some of us by forcing us to feed into others... in my case I was drained of blood and left in the same room with another member of my clan who was in torpor. I fed on him, and because he was out of blood, I diablerize him and killed him off.

I managed to avoid everyone and, since I knew that out of character I was going to be out of town, I called some of my IC friends and let them know I was not returning

I enjoyed the game tremendously. There may have been days when I was ready to quit (and I did quit for a while once) but the acquaintances and friendships I made are great. I've learned a lot about LARPing  and about character development. I'm working on another character that applies the lessons learned in playing Andres. I'll post it when it is completed.