Kitty Gamer

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When I got Sophie, she was a pretty mellow cat. She’d been living in a household with dogs, small children and another cat and was at first anxious and jumpy. All she seemed to want to do was relax, enjoy the quiet and solitude, and cuddle :) But eventually, I thought I should give her some toys, even though she didn’t seem to be the rambunctious type. I tried all the toys my other kitten had, but she seemed uninterested (on the other hand she loves the comfy kitty beds that Jasper couldn’t sit still long enough to use). I bought some new stuff and that didn’t pique her interest either, though she likes the scratching post. Eventually she discovered…

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My gaming dice :D This one I keep by my computer to use in a game I am running online. It’s a 12-sided die with pentagonal faces. She bats this thing all over the floor, and it rolls nicely even on the carpet. If I put it back up by the computer, she searches it out and plays with it some more. I’m not gonna take her only toy away from her, since that’s what she likes :)

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I guess she’s just a gamer kitty at heart!!

Tarot Games

This solstice, I found myself over at a friend’s house enjoying the Yule fire, watching them craft, eating Christmas cookies, and playing tarot games, along with a small Solstice reading. This tarot game is fun and can be played by anyone with a tarot deck, whether or not you know how to read:

Each person in the room is dealt a hand of tarot cards equal to the number of other people in the room. You have to decide from among your hand which card represents each other person. One person starts by giving a card to the person they have chosen for that card and explains why they think it is right for that person. Then that person chooses someone to give a card to, and so on. At the end you have given away all your cards and you have all the cards that others have chosen for you in front of you.

We played this with the World Spirit deck, which seemed particularly appropriate for Solstice – here were the cards I received:

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I really enjoyed these – It felt like a validation of an adventurous spirit, building on accomplishments, and celebrating with others (and maybe even a little romance and passion :). I’m going to take this as a positive sign for 2007.

Then we did some one-card readings. Since Solstice is the night on which the year pivots, it’s a particularly appropriate time to do readings that reflect on the moment. My retrospective has already been done, and on the New Year I’ll do a prospective look at the future. The one-card reading was on the question “What can I most productively focus on right now?” Interestingly, a couple of us got reversed cards. This suggested to us that there were things we were focusing on too much, that it would benefit us to relax about or let go, and this was the most important immediate message the tarot had for us in the now. My reversed card was the Sage of Pentacles:

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After giving this some thought, I felt that his message for me was about enjoying the winter. Last year I had a miserable winter for all kinds of reasons – pneumonia, work, relationships, injury of a friend, weather. Nothing at all went well, and because of that I’ve been dreading this winter (even though it’s partially over already). Normally I really enjoy the turning of the seasons and the special qualities of all four seasons – it’s one reason I like to live in a place that has distinct seasons. This year I’ve just been mentally focusing on getting through the winter, and that’s not a great attitude, considering that if I really think about it, I’ve actually been having fun. As Solstice night is the dead of winter, this seems like a really good message at this time – here I am, surrounded by friends and having a wonderful evening. My calendar is full, and it’s just not a bad winter at all, in spite of the challenging weather. So, looking at this beautiful card, I should enjoy life as much as this Sage apparently is :)

P.S. The reason for these associations is that in my timing system, the King (or Sage) of Pentacles is the transition between winter and spring. Alternatively, he represents the last card in the deck, or the last week of the year – and in some ways, Solstice can be considered the end of the year or the transition between years.

And the Universe pours it on…

rain.jpgWow, what a dismal week. If you read the post below you’ll know what started it. So I’m trying, really trying, to just get out and do all the things I would normally do, which if you’ve ever been depressed, you know that’s what’s needed. Last night I had tickets to a very strange concert – kind of a rap concert about Iraq, by a soldier who was over there for a while. Not necessarily the most uplifting event possible, but still, I didn’t want to miss it. The thing is, it’s just pouring and has been for days. It was almost soothing the first night, as it so nicely mimicked my frame of mind.

So I’m driving down there in darkness, rush-hour traffic, and pouring rain, aware that the traffic is much heavier than I expected and I might not get there in time. And what should be playing on NPR, but a long interview on All Things Considered about an author (William Styron) who went through a serious depression – explaining in excruciating detail just what contributed to it and what depression feels like. Another mood enhancer, to be sure ;)

Anyway, I get there with just minutes to spare, park illegally, and run over to the theater – only to find this is the one event in the whole seasonal series that isn’t at THAT theater, but at another one across town. At this point, I’m giving up and going home – because I didn’t know how to get to the other one, and by then I really would be late. And I really wasn’t sure it would help my mood. Now I’m getting poured on walking back to my car, because I forgot my umbrella (!) which somehow just feels right.

So I drive home, musing about all this. Finally, some soothing jazz comes on, and the evening takes a slight turn for the better. When I get home, I call up an old friend and we talk for about two hours. Which finally makes it time for bed and sleep – yay! Then today, trying again to work, no luck concentrating. I need to go out and take the summer plants out of the pond, but it just keeps raining. I guess I will put on my raingear and do it, since it looks like it’s scheduled to rain all week (I can hardly wait).

My one giggle for the day is seeing a Craig’s List ad for a guy who will come and be your naked Mr. Fix-it slave for a day, cleaning your house in the nude, fixing anything that needs fixing, and presumably anything else you want to do! of course my thoughts went to the things that need doing around here – number one being putting up a curtain rod and curtains in my big picture window in the living room – hehehe wouldn’t that give the neighbors something to look at – especially in this suburban community :) And then the gutters need cleaning… ^.^ OK – I’m rambling – but I get to have a little fun :)

Tonight I’m going to a role-playing game called Call of Cthulhu – set in the 1920s, based around the paranormal and creatures from H.P. Lovecraft’s world. I play a wealthy society matron who is reknowned for her parlor seances (and has a little pearl-handled pistol filled with silver bullets which she inherited from her granddaddy). We are all psychic investigators, seeking out these weird entities to destroy them. Unfortunately, if you know anything about Lovecraft’s world, there’s a good chance that we’ll go a little insane in the process, and your character picks up oddities and quirks after doing this long enough :D Should be fun!

Tales of the Arabian Nights (the game)

arabian.jpgSince I spent all day yesterday at one of my periodic gaming gatherings, I thought I should finally put up a “gaming geek” post :) and tell you all about one of my favorite games. This is one of those old, great board games that came out in the ’80s called “Tales of the Arabian Nights,” published by West End Games (long out of print, but occasionally shows up on eBay).

This is one of the most unique games I have ever played, and if you loved the Arabian Nights, you’ll love this. The board is a mostly recognizable map of the world, stretching from the deserts of northern Africa to Stonehenge, and from Portugal to Tibet. With of course, a few surprises – Aladdin’s Cave, the Valley of Diamonds, City of Brass, Jeweled Fortress. You can choose to play Sheherazade, Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sinbad, or other male and female characters, and choose traits and abilities for them such as minor magic, courtly graces, seafaring, seduction, story-telling, quick thinking, disguise, and lots of other useful skills :)

After that, you set out into the world to complete various adventures. You travel among the cities of Persia and other far-off lands, and along with way, meet with various individuals. Each one you meet, whether it be an angry begger, a sultry princess, or a powerful djinn, must be dealt with in some way – you choose a reaction from a chart of possible responses (for example, you can beat the angry beggar, honor him, steal from him, listen to him, or ignore him).

This leads you to an extensive story-type reference book, where depending on your choices and the skills you have chosen, various things may happen to you – imprisonment, great wealth, learning new skills, being taken to a far-off land, marriage to the princess (not as great as it sounds), becoming honored or reviled, or even a sex-change. The more adventures you have, the more destiny and story-telling points you accumulate, which helps you win the game.

If you ever come over to my house to game, I may try to whisk you off to the land of Sheherazade :) Watch out for the rocs!