New this week:
Guide to Wunderland
- News Archives
Holding a can of white gas and
looking at some boards in the shed.
macarize (mack'-uh-rize) v.t.
to pronounce happy or blessed. from Greek makar happy,
blessed [see also macarism n. joy
in another's happiness].
- But I'm A Cheerleader :)
plastic, just how homophobes
want us all to live.
The Downer Channel
This new NBC series is hilarious! It's also painful at times,
since it deals with the every day bummers and downers of life
that we all have to deal with sometimes. Plus it's exhilarating,
since it's fast-paced sketch comedy served up in 30-second segments,
each like a highly compressed TV-series unto itself. My favorite
show on this show is the one starring Steven Wright as Walter,
but I think the biggest talent on this show is behind the camera,
executive producer Steve Martin.
Arcade Game Locations
When I Am King
- "I decided to spend my afternoon at the Looney Labs
demo table only to discover that the nice young man was the one
and only Andrew Looney, designer of my all time favorite card
game, Fluxx! He must have thought me quite looney as my jaw dropped,
I reached out my hand to shake his, and the way I gushed and
thanked him for bringing such joy into my life. Looking back
on the experience, I'm surprised he didn't run away from the
table screaming "Security!" I was so excited to play-test
the new Nanofiction game he brought, play a few games of the
classic Fluxx, and learn the Icehouse game IceTowers. My husband
got tired of hearing me talk about what a grand time I had playing
games with the actual designer of the games. What a kick." -- Michelle Corbin, describing her experiences at
Gen-Con on the Rabbit
||Goodbye Dave, Hello Alvaro
/ Another Downer for Mar
is the summer waning already? This week finds us bidding a fond
farewell to our excellent summer intern,
Dave Chalker. He's about to go back to Ohio, where he'll be entering
his 3rd year at Miami University, with a major in game design.
Today is his last day.
It has been a total pleasure having Dave work for us this
summer. He's been fun to have around, and more importantly, he's
helped us accomplish a ton of stuff. Sometimes he'd get things
done faster than we could even identify tasks to assign to him.
He's so good, it's hard to keep him busy! He's helped us with
everything from gruntwork to brilliant thinking, with particular
attention on helping us develop the Mad Lab Rabbit program. He
helped us kick things off with the WotC/GameKeeper Welcome
Brigade program, and he wrote and webifyed a lot of the demo
directions and tournament tips found at the newly overhauled
Dave's work as our Rabbit Coordinator included the running of
Experiment at Origins, and since he enjoys running gaming
events so much, he intends to keep on doing this even after he's
just a volunteer again... starting with running Fluxx, Chrononauts,
and IceTowers tournaments at WorldCon.
Dave did all sorts of other stuff for us, too. We had him
doing final assembly of games (shrink-wrapping Icehouse sets,
stapling flaps on Proton, etc), he helped us with the filling
of orders when that was needed (folding catalogs, boxing up games,
putting stamps on postcards, etc) and sometimes he just helped
us carry heavy boxes. More intellectual tasks included helping
me write a patent application
(he came up with a great simplified Timeline example) and the
rules to Nanofictionary (he helped me redesign the scoring system),
plus assorted bits of flavor and marketing text here and there.
He helped organize the Lost Identities contest
entries (entering a few of his own in the process), he did
the page layout on the latest issue of Hypothermia,
he typed in a lot of contact info we'd collected but never done
anything with, and he helped us sort through the pile of unprocessed
game submissions. One day we even had him count the leftover
And he almost never misses the weekly 2 AM game of Schaufenster...
So farewell, Dave. We will miss your Hawaiian shirts, your
collection of rare They Might Be Giants music, and your cheerful
energies. Good luck at school and come back to play games with
us any time! And stay in touch -- we'll be watching your WTS
page for updates.
even as we're losing our Summer Intern, we're gaining other help.
We've recently added a Sales Baron to our team: Alvaro Gonzales.
Alvaro lives in NYC (we also like to call him our New York Sales
Office) and a week or two ago, he started making official sales
calls on our behalf. At last, we have a sales-type guy (this
ain't his only sales gig) who'll just be spending his time on
the phone, trying to get more stores to carry our products! This
is something we've been needing for a really long time, and even
though Alvaro will just be doing this in his free time, we're
really excited about the possibilities. He's only spent one day
making calls so far, and already we've sent out a big pile of
catalogs and samples to prospective store buyers!
Alvaro is about to marry Suzyn Jackson, a friend of Alison's
from college, and we'll be going up to Manhattan for the wedding
this fall. (Unfortunately, my 20 year High School reunion is
the same weekend, but we've worked it out so that I at least
can attend both events.) Also, fans of obscure trivia and animated
shows on MTV will be interested to know that Alvaro is also an
actor who, among other things, provides the voice of Trent on
"Daria." Plus, Alvaro's just a cool guy: we've only
gotten the chance to hang with him a couple of times so far,
but it's always been great fun. We're really happy to have this
guy helping us sell games!
a tragic story: some major flooding occurred downtown DC this
weekend, and Marlene,
who lives in a basement apartment near Logan Circle, was flooded
out. She returned to find four inches of standing water in her
home. As if that weren't bad enough, the water had come in through
the toilet and bathtub, so this was backed-up sewer water that
her precious possessions were soaking in. And yes, since she
was in the midst of packing to move anyway, she had all sorts
of irreplaceable and important stuff on the floor, to say nothing
of all the stuff that just lived near the ground anyway. (Did
you ever notice that bookcases almost always have the larger
shelves at the bottom, encouraging you to put your taller books
down low, so that your big expensive coffee table books are nearest
to the ground?)
ruined stuff included a variety of artworks, which she'd left
leaning against a wall; this picture of a ruined 500 year-old
page of Gregorian chant music shows how her paintings and artbooks
just soaked up the water. And wouldn't you know it, her renter's
insurance doesn't cover floods.
Since the place had become uninhabitable, we spent Monday
joining Mar's friends in helping her get moved out. Because the
carpet stank of sewage, we all sealed our feet up in plastic
bags, and only allowed those of us who were wearing gloves to
handle waterlogged items. These were either instantly declared
trash or bagged up and saved, either for inventory and replacment,
or drying & decontamination. The rest of us concentrated
on boxing up her dry belongings and removing them for placement
into storage. It was both disgusting and terribly, terribly sad.
It's never a good time for disaster to strike, but the timing
on this one is particularly bad... Mar is still grieving over
the sudden loss of her father, who died two weeks ago after suffering
a brain hemorrhage. That story has gotten all the more upsetting
as details of the event have become available... he collapsed
at an airport and no one came to check on him, let alone dial
911, for a really long time, even though a gate attendant was
standing right there. Anyway, Mar is having a rough time right
now, so please keep her in your thoughts.
||Alison started a new part-time job at a flower
shop this week, and it's much closer to home than the one she
worked in this spring. In fact, it's within walking distance,
and it's such a nice route that Kristin has started walking Alison
to work in the mornings. And it sounds like it's a nicer work
||Someone in our neighborhood is stealing our aluminum
cans. Once a week we put out the recycling, and in the wee small
hours of the night, just before the recycling truck starts making
the rounds, someone is apparently driving around, stealing the
aluminum cans out of the curbside bins, leaving behind all the
less-profitable plastic and steel recyclables.
||"The great thing about time travel is that
you can make up the rules. Nobody knows."
-- Simon Wells, great-grandson of H.G. Wells, in an article about
upcoming time travel movies entitled "Time
travelers arriving in far greater numbers", appearing
in USA Today