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Chicago visit brief diary
Bar Harbor
Had an uneventful flight Friday morning. During the flight, I finally got around to reading Fredric Brown's _The Screaming Mimi_. On the whole, an average Brown mystery -- which is to say, above average for the genre, but not a must-read. On the other hand, the first page of it is priceless, and good reading aloud material. When rickthefightguy picked me up at the airport, I read it to him on the way back, and then read it again to tamarinne when we arrived. I append it to the end of this post, under an lj-cut.

Friday night, we went to see the stage play adaptation of Cory Doctorow's _Little Brother_. It was quite good. It's not a trivial story to adapt, and the playwright did an excellent job. Mark Harvey starred as Marcus, and did an *amazing* job. Also brilliant on the tech side, great set design, music, and multimedia integration.

Saturday was D&D overload. A bunch of folks came over for a double-length stand-alone session. Hypothetically, this was to be eight hours, but what with late starts, socializing players, cooking breaks, eating breaks, fireworks breaks, etc., it ended up running until 3 AM! On the one side, it's good to know I am still capable of gaming until 3 AM, but I'm definitely too old to do it regularly any more! This was my first experience with 4th ed., and I quite like it. First level characters are *way* more fun than they used to be.

After that epic day, Sunday was definitely low-key. Mostly just sitting around chatting about media, ranging from Italian Ren epic poetry to modern superhero comics. Which topics aren't nearly as distinct as you might think :-)

Home again with another uneventful flight. Very happy that the sun seemed to come home with me! Less happy about the ongoing lack of either internet or microwave at Melville Keep (which is part of why this post is being made belatedly and from work). And the sun proved fleeting.

Ah well, this too shall pass. In the meanwhile, have a delightful literary nugget, on me:
You can never tell what a drunken Irishman will do. You can make a flying guess; you can make a lot of flying guesses. You can list them in the order of their probability. The likely ones are easy: He might go after another drink, start a fight, make a speech, take a train… You can work down the list of possibilities; he might buy some green paint, chop down a maple tree, do a fan dance, sing “God Save the King,” steal an oboe… You can work on down and down to things that get less and less likely, and eventually you might hit the rock bottom of improbability: He might make a resolution and stick to it.

I know that that’s incredible, but it happened. A guy named Sweeney did it, once, in Chicago. He made a resolution, and he had to wade through blood and black coffee to keep it, but he kept it. Maybe, by most people’s standards, it wasn’t a good resolution, but that’s aside from the point. The point is that it really happened.

Now we’ll have to hedge a bit, for truth is an elusive thing. It never quite fits a pattern. Like-well, “a drunken Irishman named Sweeney”; that’s a pattern, if anything is. But truth is seldom that simple.

His name really was Sweeney, but he was only five-eighths Irish and he was only three-quarters drunk. But that’s about as near as truth ever approximates a pattern, and if you won’t settle for that, you’d better quit reading. If you don’t, maybe you’ll be sorry, for it isn’t a nice story. It’s got murder in it, and women and liquor and gambling and even prevarication. There’s murder before the story proper starts, and murder after it ends; the actual story begins with a naked woman and ends with one, which is a good opening and a good ending, but everything between isn’t nice. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But if you’re still with me, let’s get back to Sweeney.

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Thanks for the excerpt. I like finding new (to me) authors.

If you're new to Brown, I particularly commend to your attention _The Fabulous Clipjoint_ and _Night of the Jabberwock_.

On the one side, it's good to know I am still capable of gaming until 3 AM, but I'm definitely too old to do it regularly any more!

Cue Michael Longcor's "I Can't Party (As Hearty As I Partied When I Partied At 21)".

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