Christmas was ok. I took Christmas Eve off work and picked up the rental car 9:00am Christmas Eve. Unfortunately I didn't get a Nissan Pulsar this time and got a Toyota Corolla instead. The Corolla was slightly smaller than the Pulsar, didn't have cruise control (bugger!) and wasn't as comfortable a car.
Glenn (my brother) was actually off work for the Christmas period (the first time in at least 5 years) so we had a real family Christmas. Lots of turkey over the period (Mum cooked up two turkeys, one for Christmas Day and one for Boxing Day) plus all the other old favourites.
For presents I did well. I was expecting a DVD box set from my brother, since he actually had to resort to asking me what I wanted for Christmas, so I gave him a list of the box sets that I want that I didn't have, plus a miscellaneous list of other stuff he could get me.
I was expecting a box set, I got four! Blake's 7 Season 1, Babylon 5 Season 3 (already got Seasons 1 and 2) and Farscape Seasons 2 and 3 (don't have Season 1, but Glenn couldn't get it because the place he gets his DVD's was out).
This means that either my brother isn't as much of a cheapskate as I think he is, or (more likely) Mum made sure that he got me an equivalent present in value to what I go him.
From Mum and Dad I got two presents. Firstly was a nice fancy new electric grill, which came out of the fact that I don't really have anything good for cooking steaks and the like on.
Now over time I've had to borrow money from Mum a few times, as you do. With Mum and Dad moving shortly Mum wanted all the money paid back by Christmas. I did manage it, but ended up "borrowing" a bit more due to Glenn's present. I got him a new stereo, but I got it through Mum who gets an employee discount at the electrical shop in St George where she works part time. As a result she got it for me at a good discount (regular price $390, her price $330) and I was to pay her back.
Mum and Dad's second present to me was to clear out the remaining debt (only $265 left).
The rest of the time out there was just being family. Mum and Dad are organizing everything they need for the move (currently planned for the week of the 7th of February), and Glenn's organizing everything for his move into Mum and Dad's place.
I scored more bits and pieces from them (no Tupperware this time) and drove back home on the Tuesday.
The rest of that week was work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and then a New Years Eve party at Phil's place, and a lot of fun it was too.
The it was time to start panicking!
Every time I run a game at a convention I tend to start panicking about two or three weeks before hand. Not only is there the panic of making sure I get everything done before I leave, but there is also the usual panic of Have I done enough? Is it going to work? Am I just deluding myself? etc.
The panic hit a bit harder than normal this time. Firstly, I've never been to an Arcanacon before, there's the obligatory "newbie" panic. Plus, the game I am running (12/1) is a very different game to any I've run before and is very much an experiment on my part, so there's the panic of all that. However, it also doesn't help that the one session that the game had been put down for had filled before New Years Day, and of the 12 players in it, I would consider at least eight of them very good players, and players who I value the opinion of. Argh!
Another session has been opened up and that's already got about five players in it, so ugh!
I was expecting the be working furiously up until the last minute (ie Wednesday next week when I fly to Melbourne) getting everything done, but it doesn't look like I'm going to be. The game is almost done. All that's left is to do up one more document, proof reading and formatting to make sure everything looks right, and printing.
I seem to have finally developed time management skills! Weird!
Time since New Years has been mainly playing World of Warcraft, working on the game, and puttering around home.
Saturday just gone was Tanya's 30th birthday party, and she decided that since she was leaving her 20's it would be a 1920's theme party. Since I don't really have anything in clothing that would fit that style I had to do some shopping. Also, a couple of my work shirts were about to die, so I needed to buy a few new ones of them as well.
So Friday night I went shopping in the city. I bought two new work shirts (grey Van Heusen non-iron) and another shirt for the party (black Van Heusen - the first black shirt I have ever owned!), plus a white tie.
My plan was to wear black shoes, black pants, black belt, black shirt and white tie to try for the 1920's gangster type look.
I ran into two problems. Firstly was the pants. I had black pants at home, so I didn't need to buy any new ones. However, I forgot to take into account how much weight I've lost. To say they were a bit big for me was a major understatement. The second problem was the belt. It was also far too big for me, and I had to put in another hole a good two to three inches in. I got there eventually.
Those of you interested in the "new, improved" me, one of the photo's of the event is here.
I was quite happy about the shirts. I bought one size down in the neck (from a 46cm to a 44cm) and one size down in arm length (from 91cm to 89cm). I probably could have gone once size smaller in the arm again (to a 86cm), and the neck still gives me enough space to actually wear a tie comfortably. By the time I finish with the weight loss and get to where I want to be I will probably be going down another size or two in both the neck and arm.
I even went so far as to wearing one of my new shirts and a tie to work today, just to scare people! :)