Overheard at D&D

Our D&D group can best be described as a comedy of errors. In fact, it often reminds me of Ursula V’s D&D stories, though ours are as often as not related to non RP conversations as RP stories. I usually keep a running list of funny/dumb stuff that we say, and type it up during the week (when I remember). Often the hilarity is confined to story topics, and would take a great deal of explaining to “get” the inside jokes, but sometimes…

For the record, S is a (really really clumsy) cleric, A is a (gnome) barbarian, K is a fighter, L is a rogue and DM is… well, the DM.

S: Do the people here trust each other? Like, are they stealing?
DM: No, this isn’t like where Sam’s plow goes missing and Fred has a new plow.
S: I feel bad for the guy whose ass is missing.

S: Picture, you’re in a giant fog bank. Like Boston.
A: And then you’ll hear a horn – Wuuuuuh-ooooooo
DM: And then the Titanic will appear.
K: And some really angry baseball fans.

R: Midway through the day you see plumes of smoke from where the fort should be.
S: While looking at it, I trip.
K: Maybe they have a BBQ? (I’m not very bright)

S; I use my wand to heal the soldier! *waves arms*
A: Only use it once, he’s an NPC, he only has 1 HP.
DM: She used it three times. I counted the gestures.
S: I can give you some more gestures to count…

DM: There’s a sacred hammer in a fort called Thorsdown, let’s think about this…
A: The priest is wandering around going “Hammmer…. hammmmmmeerrrrr!”
DM: Actually the priest is dead.

Random Stranger: I am Ranger Smith, the patroller of these woods.
A: I am Runt. I kill Kobolds.
K: Does the Ranger own a candle factory?

L: Shouldn’t I check for traps?
S: Letting Runt walk through is also a method of checking for traps…
A: A more entertaining way, at that!
DM: Ah yes, send the warrior. Very old strategy.

DM: Runt. You feel a tug on your foot, look up, and see a huge slab of rock that slides over the edge of the wall and plummets downward, landing on your head.
DM: *rolls* For sadly below average damage.

DM: In front of you, there are some big trenches *gestures with arms*
S&L: You mean like pits? Like with spikes?
A (simultaneously): I JUMP IN.

Everyone: That wasn’t bright.
DM: TOO LATE. Runt jumps into a spike filled pit.
A: Wouldn’t I NOTICE it was full of spikes?
DM: Not my fault you’re impatient. If you LEAP before you LOOK… and don’t wait for me to finish explaining about the spikes and the army of kobolds on the other side.
DM: *rolls damage*
A: Don’t I get a reflex save?
DM: No.
DM: You /JUMPED/. You did not fall in.
A: oh.

L: Yeah, that trap I would have noticed for you if I’d actually, you know, ROLLED MORE THAN A TWO.
A: I don’t hold you accountable for bad things that happen to me. Except fireballs, and maybe… yeah, more fireballs.

S; I’m going to cast darkness on a sling bullet, and then throw it at the Kobolds.
DM: Ok, that’s two rounds, K, your turn.
K: Damn! It’s really dark! Who put out the lights?!
S: ME!

S: HA! I CRIT IT! Enjoy that 1 pt of damage!
DM: Roll again.
S: HA! Enjoy that 5 points of damage.
DM: And add your STR.
S: … SIX points of damage.
DM: Both times.
S: *gigglefits* SEVEN!!

S: Can I heal A while I wake him up?
DM: Sure, you can smack him while you heal him. *SLAP* wake! *SLAP* the fuck! *SLAP* up!
S: I wake him up for 5 points of healing!
L: So you just beat 5 HP into him about the head and shoulders with a wand of cure light wounds?
S: Pretty much.

DM: Yes, you should have. This would’ve been a lot quicker that way.
A: Just FYI, he’s not going to get to talk, I’m charging him.

DM: And ranger smith changes shape. *doodles*
S: It’s a flaming poo?
DM: *more doodling*
L: No, it’s a beholder.

DM: He’s not really a beholder. He’s size medium and only has six eyes…
S: He’s a Gauth?
DM: Yeah, did I mention the black clothes and eyeliner under his robe?

What I’m not eating anymore

Food is such a weird subject sometimes. It’s hard to keep what you’re eating straight most of the time, between all the pseudo news science and fad diets, organic versus local versus whatever you can afford, food allergies and new labels and what the hell is a Xanthan anyway, and why is it gummy?

Labels on food have been kind of eyeroll-inducing for awhile, but it seems to be getting worse lately. I’ve seen trans-fat free labels on blueberries and fat free stickers on bananas, gluten free vegetables – and that’s just the produce department. Packaged foods are now telling me how many grams of whole grain are in them, even going so far as to sell sweetened, packaged, enriched bleached flour children’s cereal as “part of a healthy breakfast” because they have “whole grains”.

So perhaps it’s not so strange that I’d eyeroll at all those labels and ignore them, cracking it all up to food fads and secretly making sarcastic remarks in my head.

(This is where I’d do a cool segue if I could think of one, and it would be sophisticated and thoughtful and you’d all love me for my transitional abilities. But I can’t think of one. So.

Segues are for suckers.)

Approximately one week ago, I finally got something resembling a diagnosis for my chronic pain, fatigue, and other issues. One of those issues is a tummy issue, and I’ll avoid TMI’ing you overmuch, but let’s just say that my system worked overtime, all the time, and I’d be running to the bathroom 4-6 times a day on a normal day. Which is pretty disrupting, all things considered, especially when you can’t move very fast because your joints hurt.


Doctor put me on new medication, told me I have to swim several times a week, gave me a bunch of activity restrictions… and told me to go gluten free for 3 months.

Three months, no gluten AT ALL. Not “a little bit every now and then”. Not “if you feel better you can cheat a little”.


I woke up last Thursday morning and went through my pantry, trying to figure out what I could eat. I literally had NO IDEA where to start. Even as someone who eats a lot of whole foods, I couldn’t eat any of my breakfast staples – no oatmeal, no granola bars, no cereal, no multi-grain muffins.

I ended up eating a banana and an egg.

Friday, I went grocery shopping, and I found myself feeling kind of like an asshole about rolling my eyes at the gluten free labels.

Maybe not on the strawberries (no duh?), but on packaged goods? All of a sudden I was floundering like an idiot, thrown head first into this exclusion diet where nearly every packaged item we eat contains gluten (anything with soy sauce, anything with MSG, anything with maltodextrin or malt sweeteners, anything that uses a food starch anti-caking agent for those anonymous “spices”).

Those “Gluten Free!” labels became a little lifeline, a little sanity break that meant I didn’t have to grill my brain to remember which of the various ingredients might have gluten, or be processed in such a way as to be easily contaminated with gluten (like white vinegar).

So far I’m not sure what to think of eating gluten free. It’s a huge mental process, and I seem to vacillate between “I can do this”, “I will never be able to eat anything again”, and “Why am I bothering?”

I definitely don’t roll my eyes at the Gluten Free labels anymore.

Though I do still make snide remarks in my head about trans-fat free blueberries…


Can I blame the moon for this?

I work at a rather busy little used bookstore here in town. Normally, my store is busy, but not crazy, on Sundays. Also, the vast majority of my customers are awesome, especially the 8-12 year old kids who come in with their allowances to buy books for themselves.

This Sunday was, however, just freaking weird. On Sunday afternoon, the following things occurred at the store where I work.

First, a woman disrobed completely in the stationery alcove.

My coworker, we’ll call him Fred, who was working at the register, was trying very carefully to be polite about the fact that there was a naked woman standing over by the thank-you notes. Fred managed, without making any fuss, to notify another coworker, who went and got the shift manager. Our lovely shift manager asked the woman, politely, if she might put her clothes back on. She replied “Oh of course, no problem.” Got dressed again and left.

Then, as I was working at the buy counter, a woman and her children came in to sell books. The books were primarily well-worn romance paperbacks, but at the bottom of the bag, we found a large number of erotica books. Not that unusual, really. Except these were both extremely dog-eared and covered in an odd, clear sticky something.


And finally, a gentleman came in and was a complete pill to my coworker running the buy counter because she would not pay for his Playboy magazines, offering only to donate or recycle them.* He then hounded two other coworkers, caused major issues at the register, got in another coworker’s face and had to be escorted out by a manager.

I’m not sure what’s in the air, but I’m glad I had Monday off…

*My store has very limited space for anything with adult content, and playboy magazines don’t sell well, so typically we’ll only actually pay for the collectible ones we think we might have a shot at reselling (as opposed to putting on the shelf for a year with the big ADULT CONTENT sign and then recycling them).We also only have space in the standard magazine rack for current magazines.

Bookstore Bingo

*crossposted from Seven Deadly Divas*

The phone rings. I answer it (within the first two rings, of course).

“Hello, this is <Bookstore Name> in <Location>, Anna speaking, how may I help you?”


“Hi, do you sell books?”
No, the whole “Bookstore” part of our name is a joke, we really sell sticky widgets.


“Hi, do you have a book?”
Nope, we’re fresh out.


“Hi, I’m looking for frerkhtngrmwth.”
“Could you repeat that? I didn’t hear you clearly.”
“I’m looking for frerkhtngrmwth, by Thrrlblwrt K Hamthripth. You know, her new book.”
“Um… let me put you on hold just a moment and I’ll check.”
<checks new releases section for books with titles that sound like frerkhtngrmwth.>
“I’m sorry ma’am, I don’t seem to have any copies of frerkhtngrmwth right now.”
“Oh alright. I’ll try online.”


“Hi, I was wondering if you had <Obscure Book Title>”
“Give me just a moment and I’ll check the shelf.”
<checks shelf>
“I’m sorry, sir, we don’t have a copy of Obscure Book Title right now.”
“Why not?”
“Well, we’re a used bookstore, so our inventory is really unpredictable.”
“But I checked your online inventory and it says you have it.”
“…. We actually don’t have an in-store or online inventory. Are you sure?”
“Well, I looked it up on Amazon Dot Com, and it says you have the book!”


“Hi, I’m looking fer books on Yew-Bun-Tew Lye-Nucks. It’s a computerin’ book.”
“Just a moment and I’ll check the shelf for you. … I’m sorry, right now all we have are Red Hat books and some generic Linux books.”
“Naw, I don’t need them Red Hat things. I need a Yew-Bun-Tew book. Thankya though.”
<I actually had an extended conversation with this gentleman, and he knew exactly what he was talking about. But I had to try REALLY hard not to giggle.>


“Hi, I need a copy of Sandy Backerack for my kid.”
“uhh… do you know what kind of book it is?”
“He says it’s a play.”
“Well, I can’t find a record of any book with that title, are you sure that’s it?”
“Yeah, that’s what he said.”
“You’re sure it’s not Pygmalion? That book is on a lot of reading lists right now.”
“Yes I’m sure. It’s called Sandy Backerack and it’s about a guy with a really big nose.”
“You mean Cyrano de Bergerac?”
“Yeah, that one.”


… to be continued …

Peeved at the TV

I get it.  Christmas is coming. There are cards and trees and tinsel and badly played tinny renditions of carols on every other commercial on TV. (It’s only mid-November, so it’s not /every/ commercial yet)

But that’s not all that different. Nor are the “buy your kids 12 billion things to show you love them” undertones anything new.

Yesterday, however, after driving 300 miles back from Dallas (I drove up there Saturday for my mom’s birthday), I flipped on the TV to veg out a little and relax. And the first commercial I saw?

Scruffy Dude: “Hand-made Gifts for Christmas?”

Dude looks at his smiling grandmother, sitting across from him at the table. Dude stands up and goes into the garage with the (rather nice) hand knit mittens she just gave him.

Scruffy Dude: “Who wants that? Why not buy your friends something they’ll really like.  Like a snowmobile. I hear you can get one cheap on E-Bay!”

<more e-bay paraphernalia, showing the Dude doing “fun things” with extremely expensive mechanical items out in the snow, Dude playing with expensive electronics. He’s wearing synthetic gloves.>

Scruffy Dude sniffs the mittens:  “Smells like church.”

<Cue E-Bay tag.>

Alright.  So E-bay takes pot-shots at Etsy. Great.

Just what I wanted to see after spending 25 hours over three and a half days frantically making some woollen winter things for my mother’s birthday (after she mentioned not having any before her move).

I’m sure every person who spends countless hours working on gifts so that they can be pushed aside in favor of shiny, “expensive” (previously owned/USED) things bought on E-Bay is just thrilled. I have enough of a time with gifts that I make for people. When you spend many hours working on something? Having that something get rejected … hurts. (Which is why some of my friends will not get knitted things. If I figure out that your reaction will be to act nice-nice and then shove it in a drawer? Nope.  No knits for you.)

Now, am I actually putting any stock in this particular commercial?

Not really, though (as I’m sure you noticed) I’m slightly peeved.

To be honest, it reads like E-bay is feeling threatened by Etsy’s handmade offerings, and the fact that the makers of said handmade items are choosing to sell them via Etsy rather than through E-Bay (which has kinda become an odd shamble of used items and then huge shiny stores selling all kinds of things at normal (or higher) prices).  Which, you know, whatever. If they’re threatened enough to take potshots at handmade items in order to shill their “Christmas Crap” campaign, they’ll just lose even more of their sellers to Etsy.

Still, though, I think the whole thing is misplaced and… well, not that funny.

Sure, I get that a new snowmobile is “more fun” than a pair of mittens. But you need mittens to ride a snowmobile without frostbite, and, quite honestly, I can afford to buy enough yarn to make some mittens (less than $20 even for REALLY NICE yarn).

TLDR version – Ebay is stupid, commercials are stupid, and having to put up with Christmas for three months every year is REALLY stupid.

Also?  What the fuck does “smells like church” mean?