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The Archivist


BZP MEETUP: A librarian, barista, and writer eat potluck... Random Ramblings Ensue

Posted by Kughii , in Life Sep 03 2014 · 530 views
life, meetup, bionicle2015, food and 1 more...
There are those moments when I feel like writing a post, feel inspired, as if some divinity will give me the perfect and most eloquent passages of self reflection. Most of the time I stall, reflect on whether or not it would be wisest to hold my tongue, and then save myself the embarrassment of the morning after. Not tonight, however... Behold, my ruminations in their rawest form of a small meeting of BZPower fellows:

It was 8:15 in the evening and steam floated up into the vent of my stove. As my glasses returned to normal from their overly fogged state the vegetable side came into view: onions, beats, and zucchini cooked with rosemary. I smiled, took an al dente bite of beet, and then looked back at Kakaru with a gleam of success in my eye. Somehow, between the conversations and laughter I'd managed to get something cooked, and not just cooked but delicious too. Now, on my own I can be a proficient cook, but when prattling on about what makes us as writer's -- or even just as humans -- crave improvement, or how Bionicle has influenced our lives for the past thirteen years, suddenly my dexterity score takes a -2 penalty.

Kakaru wasn't the only BZPower member to crowd around my little kitchen island and share the meal. Arpy made his lonesome journey southward to my little home with a bowl of his famous [We don't use that kind o' language 'round here, son. -Takuma Nuva] riding shotgun with a bag of corn chips. The meal was rounded out with some fabulous short ribs, broiled to perfection earlier and spiced with rosemary and other lovely garden herbs (I'm on a bit of a rosemary kick, maybe it's because there's a plant right around the corner I can snip sprigs off with scissors?), and some lovely bread I'd picked up in the afternoon from the store. The food was good, but of course as might be expected the conversation turned out to be far more the highlight of the evening.

Never mind our initial prattling on about life's hardships, or how things in the community have turned sour over the years or could have been done differently. Those we covered quickly and with a vengeance suitable to a crusade, but in a few moments (read: an hour) realized the futility of attempting to change the past (i.e. Greg's attempt at Lovecraftian Horror) and instead turned our eyes to the future: where is Lego in 2015, is Bionicle 2015 a thing (yes, Kakaru seemed adamant on it being a reboot), and what sort of socio-political/cultural topics effect the way in which Lego would proceed with the theme. One interesting thought to come out of those topics was the decreasing age at which internet technology is dispersed. Back when Bionicle started perhaps we (the twenty to thirty somethings of today), had more of a relational connection to the jungle paradise as those early characters did, but as we grew the next generation of fans had more of a basis in technology and so that was potentially reflected in the settings and amount of digitization of the story as a whole.

By the end of the night we were sipping tea, laughing at some vaguely disturbing artistic representations of Nocturn and Carapar, and discussing faith and religion. You know, the big questions most people seem to want to talk about but don't for fear of offending a friend: equality, government, pro life/choice, whether to use rahkshi heads as breasts, etc... I could keep going on and on about the evening, but I'll leave that for a later addition. Now it's time for me to crash, seek the respite of a feathery pillow, and let the chilies and potatoes of Arpy's fantastic dish rip through my gut like Kopaka through Tahu's fire cage.

And in the spirit of tradition...

Pipes. Large, hard, galvanized pipes you find in the plumbing aisle of your local hardware store.


PS: Sorry GSR for yelling at you through Kakaru's phone. I was asking you to say hi to Demi and all those artistic peeps.


Becoming "Hatachi"

Posted by Kughii , in Life Feb 23 2014 · 431 views
Life, Games, Blogging, Humour and 1 more...
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Becoming hatachi (no, not "farmland"), is a sort of an interesting thing for me.  I didn't really have to do much, except survive a chronic disease and make sure I woke up every morning for 7,304 days in a straight row, but at the same time it feels like a monumental achievement: I'm an adult in Japan with all the rights and responsibilities that entails. Unfortunately I was never able to participate in a risshi shiki on my fifteenth birthday, although I did stand in front of a group of peers and declare my goals and dreams for the future (as opposed to a genpuku ceremony).  I also missed my seijin shiki, being unable to visit a prefectural office on January 13th due to a few key reasons.  However, This weekend I did have a wonderful party to celebrate the occasion, dragging Arpy into the fray of merriment for a full afternoon (no Lego building of plumbing fixtures unfortunately), while we played board games with over eight good friends of mine and had nerf fights in the crowded living room with the lights off.  Occasionally you heard a groan, but that was only when someone banged their shin on a metal chair.  Oh right, I said something about the rights and responsibilities of being an adult.  
Having fun is a responsibility now.
I've always been seriously interested in designing games, especially board games.  Now that I've turned hatachi I have begun to push myself toward an education that reflects my burning desire to play.  It's a long road with many trials and hard DCs, but it's worthwhile I think to pursue a dream I love.  Back at Brickcon 2013 some of the BZPower community got to play test a set-based combat game for Bionicle figures I'd been working on.  I'm happy to say I'm in the final leg of finishing the post beta product and more info about its release will be popping up in my blog soon enough.  I've been working my way slowly into the community at Wizards of The Coast, who have designed such monumental successes as Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, and so much more.  Meeting all these people has given me confidence in my dream of becoming a game designer.  Who knows, maybe some of my board games will wind up on a toy store shelf in the next five to ten years!  (Stay hopeful, right?)
Speaking of board games, I played many during the birthday celebrations.  Having eight people in a game of Uno made things unspeakably hilarious.  After an hour and a half there was no longer a deck to draw from and a wild draw four sat in as the only card in the discard pile.  A game of Masterpiece broke down into furiously competitive bidding war over the painting of ballerinas (worth only $100,000 during that particular game), and my otōto ended up buying a worthless forgery for over $800,000 – I almost died laughing as he handed over his money to the seller and checked the value of his new acquisition.  Ironically the forgery was a Picasso.  
And then we come to Smart Posterior, a game of trivia where you move your donkey token clockwise around a circular board until you reach the end: the donkey's rear (of course).  Along the way you are tested with questions from the decks of Who Am I, Where Am I, What am I, and Hard Posterior.  The player to your right reads the specific card you've drawn and your job is to attempt to guess as they read off a list of clues.  I surprisingly failed when it came to American pop. culture, but I was cringing and banging my head into the couch when someone couldn't get "rainbow."  Of course, I wanted to shout out "PURI!" (a reference to the comic strip I Fart Rainbow by Enfu), but restrained myself until they had failed in their quest.  Here's an example of a particularly fantastic What Am I card (read the italicized words out loud in a sultry voice for best effect):
  • I am a small item.
Take a guess.  No, really.  Play the game with me.
  • I am made of rubber and plastic.
Take another guess.  Think hygiene or toys?
  • I have a ring on one side.
Okay, oh wise game designer, what have you been doing after work?
  • I have a teat on the other side.
Oh really?  Your guess is rather fascinating...
  • I can be found in a "baby" bag.
Guess again! 
  • I am particularly popular with "babies" when teething.
Um, uh...  Is this really okay?
  • I can be dipped in a sweetener.
Yes, yes I bet you can.
  • Vin Diesel starred in a 2005 movie with my name.
Oh, oh, oh!  Chronicles of... Wait no that's not it...
  • Some people call me a Binky.
Do I know these "some people?"
  • What am I, with the initial P.
Pshht, I totally guess Pacifier back at the second clue.  Tooootally dude.  
So, board games and hilarity on the side, I've found things to be a real blast in becoming hatachi.  The only downside of becoming an adult and making your mark on the world?  Having a crush on... A lesbian!?
This concludes today's blogging for Kughii.  What about this crush?  What secrets of the magical polyhedral die lay in wait for our newly anointed  board game designing adult?  Tune in next time for answers!


Why Don't Docs Write Like This Anymore?

Posted by Kughii , in Life Jan 11 2014 · 445 views
life, Writing
"Moreover, the early constellation of symptoms can have a paucity of findings with unidimensional presentations: the onset of solitary problems such as vertigo, or recurrent upper respiratory tract infections. Over time, as the untreated LD percolates, symptoms accrue to the burgeoning clinical picture until a multisystem presentation is created. Other patients can have their manifold symptoms complex develop in the manner of an avalanche. These patterns represent the extremes of a clinical continuum between which there are many variations on the theme ranging from mild to severe disease. Thus, The failure of a pathognomonic (unique and specific) presentation to consistently unfold causes sufficient clinical confusion, that a punctual diagnosis is problematic. Therefore, a high index of suspicion is placed at a premium. If a clinician can't reconcile preconceived notions about how LD should announce itself with a patient's history and physical findings, it is a disservice to the patient and an abdication of professional imperatives to presumptuously conclude that the symptoms are psychosomatic or that the patient is faking!"
~John D. Bleiweiss, from his article entitled "When To Suspect Lyme," published in 1994
Okay, so if you were actually able to roll through those words dauntless in their complexity like I did, are you wondering - like I am - why don't docs write like this today?!  Leave a comment below! :)


Something To Write

Posted by Kughii , in Uncategorized, Life Jan 10 2014 · 300 views
I've just tuned into the Oblivion Soundtrack with a new pair of Bose headphones, and for some weird reason I have this burning urge to write a blog post.  Not a "I shall take over the world with comments and spam" post, but an actual, heart to heart blog post.  I'll admit I don't really have any idea what I plan to write about.  Honestly, I think that's a bit like life: we open up the window and start typing on a blank form.  Of course, the web-page has been provided by someone else, but the actual content we create by our own sense of intuition and learning.  Maybe I'm over analyzing?  
What makes me reach for connection?  Why do I turn my face to a book when on a public bus and remain lonely when I spend my days wishing, dreaming, even begging, friends to come over and visit the sick guy who can barely walk down the stairwell to his kitchen each morning.  Two cups of coffee and a kvetch later I've usually figured out how to get back to bed and move on with life. Some days, though, the heart just craves connection.  I have my family, of course.  It's never been a very large family (but with a last name like mine it's not hard to imagine why), and last year my little group of three dwindled back into a duet of one parent and one son.  With my dog's passing, who had been as much a brother for the past eleven years of my life as I could have wanted, I felt the whole in my heart for family and connection.  Now it's just us, my mom and I, sitting around the breakfast table and planning how to take on the world.  Taking on the world these days is a full-time job, especially when my world consists of a chronic illness and a government denying my access to help.
Where was I?  Human connection.  Friendships.  Why I hide from the world, shuttering my heard in a locked box when the public appears.  Maybe I just hate the idea of being seen for who I am: a young man tackling the world with a very poor hand of cards dealt to him.  I don't really cry, mainly because I feel I have to show I'm strong and capable of facing all my problems without collapsing.  The truth is, of course, I collapse all the time.  Instead of relying on friendships to bolster my courage I tend to shun intimacy with others, mainly because when I finally do open up people freak out and cut off connection.  Us humans are strange creatures.  Friends always seem to say, "tell me what's going on," or "I'll be there for you, promise," but when the truth comes out and the darkness of Pandora's Box is revealed everyone tends to back off and let someone else go first. 
OKAY, enough of the wallowing in self-regret and despair.  Wow.  Big, cheery parade covered in a thunderstorm I'm being right now.  
I have a small bedroom.  It's about 7x8, so that's a decent sized room in a Tokyo apartment, but it's still a little smaller than a good old rokujo.  Some people would complain about having a room that size, but I love it.  It's small, cozy, makes me consider if something is really worth putting in my bedroom, and has two fabulous windows.  When I'm having a poor day with my health I can lay in bed and look out at the deciduous forest, watch the trees sway in the wind much like how I sway in the current of life, and feel the sun arcing into the sky as it beats down on me from either window.  There's a tall pine across the way, in a meadow.  Someone was stupid and built a house next to it.  I mean literally next to this tree.  I think their porch actually goes around its trunk.  When the wind and the rain pick up I can't help but watch as the tree sways against the odds, never faltering and cracking.  Despite its height it's very thin: a string bean of a pine.  I feel like it's trying to tell me something.  
"Watch how I stand," I feel it says.  "Watch and learn how to bend in the wind."
As I sit in my little room and look at the pine from my window, I can't help but feel a tear.  I want to bend in the wind.  I want to stand tall and stride through life with confidence, not having to worry if I need to bring a wheelchair with me to eat at a restaurant, or where I could possibly go to college without having ludicrous tuition fees (online I think might be best for now).  I want to enjoy swaying the wind.  It's the swaying part I'm working on.

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Mata-Nui Weekly Information

Reporting BZPRPG OOC news since August 16th, 2013.
Editor in Chief: Kughii 
Regional Reporters: Kughii, Geardirector, Voxumo, Canis Lycaon, Hubert, and Ghosthands.