Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

Fortnightly catch-up post

Golly, long time no post. No particularly interesting reason why, just busy and/or tired.

Mom & Larry came into town for Grandma's funeral, which was last Thursday. It was quite nice, as funerals go. The service was mostly just a bunch loving remembrances, and we didn't get preached at. I got choked up and teary during a couple of the songs (which happens in other contexts - some chord progressions just make me weepy). It was nice to see all the relatives who were able to come. It wasn't terribly sad, because we'd all kind of pre-mourned; her passing wasn't sudden and unexpected, and as someone said at the service, for the last decade or so, every time you went to visit, you'd think when you were leaving "this might be the last time I get to see her."

Work has been busy. I got a new computer and lost several days to getting everything transferred over properly. And I put together a poster for the mandatory symposium in DC next week for one of our grants. And there have been a whole bunch of Important Reports that we had to write things up for. So nothing much fun in the way of coding or data analysis, but on the other hand I did end up transcribing what I'm going to say in my AGU talk for one of the reports, so now I just have to throw a bunch of figures onto slides and I'll be all set.

Jerry and I are both fighting off a cold (acquired, we suspect, from Gross Small Child at Kempo). I got a bunch of zinc lozenges in me early, so I haven't been too miserable, but it's been sucking my energy. I'm hoping it doesn't turn into a Lingering Cough, but I am not optimistic on that front.

After a long hiatus (since before the wedding!) I ran Star Wars twice, last Saturday and the previous. Rescuing Ithorian space-nuns from an Imperial extortion scheme! It was a good adventure, and satisfying to run because there were a number of things where I just set up the situation without any idea how the PCs would deal with it, and they came up with surprising solutions that I was able to pretty easily improvise responses to. So I hit the sweet spot in terms of preparation.

We went and saw Thor: Ragnarok a couple weeks ago, and it was absolutely delightful. This could be a much longer post at some point, but I think the main problem that superhero movies have to overcome is being boring. Because superheroes are iconic characters, not dramatic characters, and the audience already knows where the arc of the story is going to go before the movie even starts, so there's no dramatic tension along the basic plotline. Will the hero overcome the villain? Duh. Will Loki betray Thor? DUH. Will the hero's victory be tempered with loss? Have a look at the frickin' title! So the movie can't rely on the audience being invested in those questions to keep them engaged, it has to show the audience new and unexpected visions of the things they already know about and came to see. And Thor: Ragnarok did a fantastic job. The vast majority of the movie, I had no idea what was going to happen next. Also, the end credits were like distilled essence of the '80s and Jack Kirby mixed together and injected directly into a vein. It was amazing.

Kuma-gogo (Matt & Jason & Gene & Brandon & Jon) bought themselves a house and all moved in together, and on Sunday we went over to see it and hang out and play some games. Today we are headed over there again for Thanksgiving. Hooray! I expect it to be lovely. We have a great many things to be thankful for, but #1 on the list is all the wonderful people in our lives.
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