Monday, July 25, 2005

Sticks like oil

Raven's dream

I was walking up a straight concrete road, as wide as Commonwealth but without the middle island. It was clean, but there were no other people or cars as far as my eye could see. Presently I found myself wading knee-deep in black oil. The oil came from one of those standard oil trucks, but this one was lying on its side, a huge rent could be seen in its tank. I didn't know why I was walking in the oil spill, but I was.

I walked past the truck and suddenly found my dad standing in the oil spill up ahead, looking at me intensely. He was telling me to go back the way I came from, gesturing me with his hands, as if shooing me back. I was horrified to see that he had a cigarette in his mouth, the cig bobbing up and down as he was talking, ash dropping down from the tip. I couldn't seem to concentrate on anything else but that cigarette, and I had terrible visions of fire and explosions dancing in my eyes. And I was standing in the oil spill!

Suddenly I realized my situation, and quickly reversed my direction. I tried as hard as I could to hurry back, but for some reason the oil had the consistency of sticky sludge. It was grabbing me and impeding my progress, and I found myself in a ghastly parody of a run.

Stormcrow's interpretation

When I hear of a road like this one, the fast answer is that it represents a path, your journey through life, and so on. As good a driver (ahem) as she is, it's not surprising that she uses a lot of roadway imagery.

There is an oil spill on the road. This represents disaster: some trouble or concern. (Note how the rent oil tanker is similar to a broken tower) And, Raven is in the middle of it. In particular, I know that Raven is concerned about her career, so the road is probably her career path.

Then Raven sees her father, representing... her father. He tries to wave at her to turn her back. Like Marley's Ghost, he is warning her about what will happen if she continues her current path. Which sorta makes sense, since Raven is a teacher, like her father.

The cigarette: more impending disaster. Not only is Raven in trouble, but she has time pressure on her. She's worried about losing precious years of her youth on teaching, and is perhaps concerned about her chances at job hunting as time passes.

The sludge: the grasp of her old career. It's sticky, unlike oil... the meaning has taken over the imagery. She finds it hard to leave her old career, though this is probably just inertia.


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Fully booked!

Since we had played dota the previous night, it was sort of inevitable that Stormcrow and I both woke up late. As a consequence, we arrived at Rockwell 10:20am, 20 minutes past the projected arrival time. We went straight to Fully Booked, the bookstore which organized the event to start with. There was a huge table heaped with Gaiman books and graphic novels right in front, along with an equally huge crowd of people browsing them.

After much consideration, Stormcrow bought two: Smoke and Mirrors, and a new copy of The Kindly Ones (since his old copy is in bad condition). We got a couple of tickets, which would allow us to have a +1/ticket to the number of books you can have signed. We then went outside to the tent, where the event will be held. On hindsight we should have gone there before we bought books. We got numbered stubs, "421" and "423", which we learned was out of the 700 quota for that day (June 9).

Since the programme and signing will start at 3pm, we decided to head back to the mall (which was definitely colder than the tent) and decided to have some lunch. We went back to the front of Fully Booked where we saw Sam Marcelo hanging out by the fountain. After accompanying her to lunch, Jo, a friend of Sam, joined our party a few minutes later by the same fountain. Alekos joined us somewhat later, but unfortunately the numbered stubs and the priority stubs for the following day were already out.

At around 4pm we all trooped back to the tent, and Neil Gaiman arrived around then. The programme started, which included raffle, awarding of the art contenst, Neil's reading of parts in his new book Anansi Boys, and a short Q&A portion. Neil was a surprisingly good speaker, which is not really something that comes with being a good writer. The signing started shortly after that, and we were promised one personal dedication out of a max of 4 signatures per person (depending on the number of stubs).

Since we all had high numbers (Jo had "299" and Sam had "669"), we decided to have a snack to kill time. After snack, we hung around the fountain area reading the books that we had. Stormcrow was very happy with the Kindly Ones that he went ahead and bought Dream Country as well. Joyce joined us at around 8pm, and at that point we heard that the number being served was still at "200"! We had dinner, and went back to the tent to await our turn. At that point the inside of the tent was finally cooling.

You have to hand it to Neil and his resilience. He stuck it out till the end, and it didn't seem as if he even ate anything in the nearly 8 hours of continuous signing! We finally had our turn at around 12mn, Sam had hers at around 1:20am. The even more astounding thing was that it didn't seem as if Neil was beginning to lose his temper.

Raven with Neil Gaiman

Stormcrow with Neil Gaiman

Stormcrow's fanboy moment, after his encounter with Neil

Endurance! Sam, Stormcrow, Joyce, and Alekos

I would also take this opportunity to extend our profuse thanks to both Alekos and Joyce for waiting with us until past 1am. They have just as much resilience as Neil, and deserve just as much credit.


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Friday, July 08, 2005

... in a handful of sand

Neil Gaiman tomorrow! Yay! Looking forward to spending my hard earned money on books I have already read. Yay! Officially it's 2 PM at rockwell tomorrow (saturday), though of course I plan to go early.. around 10! Will need to buy a book to get in line.. Wonder what to get for signing.


Have been playing Sand King heavily. Burrowstrike is just that good, Impale and Blink in one. So much that I don't really mind putting points into attributes, because his two other skills suck. Finally got a quad kill from Epicenter this week, (though it just said triple kill twice). Sweet, but as my opponents get better (and more trained) the BS-Epi combo goes off less and less. Kinda like how they started playing around Nerubian... Should find a different character to abuse. Maybe try for Beatdown Furion.


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