Friday, May 8, 2009

Brought to You by: Djarum

I like Twitter, and I think it has its uses... But it's just not the same as writing a good old lengthy rambling blog. I've missed it. And there have been things that I've been wanting to, but neglecting, to write about. So, when I was at the mall I picked up a pack of cloves to be used for writing purposes.

There have been a bunch of things I've wanted to discuss here, but I can only really remember three of them: D&D, Rush Limbaugh, and How I Met Your Mother. So, let's discuss these three topics in reverse order.

Lior told me How I Met Your Mother was good. So, I downloaded the entire series and watched it. It's alright... If you like generic sitcoms, then you'll like it. It's basically a generic sitcom plus... Well... Plus Neil Patrick Harris, basically. The plan a while ago when I wanted to devote an entire entry to HIMYM was to go into specifics about what is good and bad about the show, but it's been a few weeks since I watched it and it honestly wasn't memorable enough for me to do a decent job of pros and cons.

Laterally though, I wanted to briefly discuss, once again, meeting people.

You know what? I was going to go into the bar scene, and how television presents an unrealistic version of bars and clubs, for the most part, and how I don't understand how to in any actual way take advantage of that scene, or how to turn a chance encounter into something more... But I realized I've discussed all of these things ad nauseum in the past. So I'll just say this... I could really use a good wingman. As much as I think I wou ld hate it as iit was happening to me, like the dynamic between Barney and... Uh... The main character, whatever his damn name is, towards the beginning of the series, it's the sort of thing that I think would be ultimately positive. And that's all I'm going to say about that. Moving on to Rush Limbaugh.

A few weeks back, Mike posted a blog discussing Rush Limbaugh's opinions on... Well...I don't really remember. Something to do with cars and the Obama administration's hostile takeover of GM. The specifics are less than important. The point is, he said he listens to the guy and that the podcasts are posted on demonoid.

So, I decided that I wanted to read his blog with the knowledge of what had actually been said on the radio show. So I downloaded the podcasta and listened to it, and then read Mike's blog.

Then I decided, "you know what? All of the media and pretty much everything i'm exposed to from friends and family tends to have a left wing slant. How much of my ideals are shaped by that, and how much of that is shaped by my ideals? What if I started to regularly listen to a persuasive and persistent account from the other side? Would I starte to mirror those ideals? Or is Rush Limbaugh just a big fat idiot, as has been posited through literature in the past?" And thus the experiment began.

So, I've been listening to all his shows since. I download them and listen to them while I'mj working. I have to say... There are some things that genuinely surprised me. I 've always known that the differences between liberal and conservative rhetoric is largely cosmetic, but sometimes it's not even that. Hearing conservative callers and such spouting the exact same rhetoric was surprising. I never would have thought that conservatives also felt that they had the market sewn up in terms of sense of humor, for instance.

Aside from the mild dose of culture shock, Rush has some pretty good points. Or he's just very persuasive. Either way, I find I agree with a lot of the things he has to say about specific intents of political PR moves. Certainly not all of what he says about them... He seems to think that the current administration is genuinely evil and selfish, but I can see his point on a lot of things.

That said; the guy's a nutball.

The best thing about listening to Rush Limbaugh is telling people I'm listening to him and watching them react. Jim's mom was particularly fun.

I decided that I wanted to nfind an equally batshit insane liberal radio show and listen to that, so I can get a simultaneous crazy ass liberal take on the same issues as the crazy ass conservative Rush Limbaugh take I'm currently getting. But there aren't any good liberal talk shows I know of. nI looked into Al Frankenr, but he quit his radio show on Air America to run for senate or whatever he's in his legal battle about. So I downloaded some of his books... They're alright, but not exactly what I was going for.

Jeanine Garrafolo's show is off air too.... She's busy acting on a conservative TV series that is broadcast on a conservative television station. Crazy bitch...

You know who needs a radio show for me to listen to? Bill Maher. Or Michael Moore... Or even like a John Stewart, if he dropped the "centrist comedian" guise and just did a radio show. But no... Liberal crazies control the television and movie mediums, while the radio waves are ruled by the right wing lunatics. These lunatics need to get together and decide on one medium and then just compete fairly.

Anyway; D&D.

So, Brian wanted to try it out. And Jim wanted to play. So we got some people together to play, and I was tasked with the job of GM. If not me, then who?

Well, someone else. It's not my thing. I'm just not very good at it. I would have thoght I would be better, but as it turns out, no.

Maybe it's not entirely my fault (it's at least mostly my fault.) Maybe 4th edition is just not the venue for the game I want to run.

I don't think that's it. I'm just not cut out for being a good GM.

The problem is, a dungeon crawl just isn't a lot of fun. And that's really all 4th is; a dungeon crawl mechanism.

That's not really the problem. The beauty of D&D is that you can use the rules as much or as little as you'd like. My problem as a GM is threefold. I'm not creative enough, I'm not quick enough on my feet, and I get frustrated too easily.

When I write a story, I struggle over how to get from one thing to the next. WHat should the next event be? I could have characters sit around and talk about nothing forever. My problem comes when I have to make my characters do things. Story points are the hard bit for me. If I coul d map out a good story, I could write it no problem. It's the initial planning that's the huge bitch for me. And when writing acampaign, all you have is the initial planning

So, because I'm so bad at it, my plots hinge on certain things happening. And if they don't happen, then the plot kinda falls to shit. And the players don't always want to do the thing that you need them to do to make the story move forward.

A good GM takes that, and works with it. A good GM has an idea of what is happening in the world, and then adapts that to what the players decide to do. I get frusrtrated and try to force myplayers lto do what I want them to.

So, it's a little sadldening to me that my GMing debut didn't turn out well. I'm fine rnning a prebpuilt campaign, btu writing my own thing just doesn't look good. And the prebuilt campaigns aren't very fun. They're just dungeon crawls.

You know? I kind of enx-ected this to be longer... But I'm tired, and I sort of glossed over things instead of delving into them with my customary zeal. Also, I'm not really enjoying the cloves so much. Hopefully I'll be back again soon. We should do this again sometime. Can I get your number?

See how desperately I need a wingman?

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