Justin Achilli

Month: August, 2004

It Is a Party

Are you going to be in Atlanta this week? If so, you might wish to attend a party.

It is an 80s themed party, so come in costume as a character or just wear some fly 80s gear. Prizes will be awarded for best costume and a variety of other achievements, probably such as drinking 80 beers or fighting 80 guys.

What: Flesh for Fantasy.
When: Tuesday, September 2nd, from 8p to 3a.
Where: The Independent in Atlanta. Just take a cab. If your cabbie doesn’t know, tell him “DuPree’s” because that’s the old name of the bar.
Who: Anyone who can cough up five bucks.
Why: Who cares? Sort of pre-DragonCon, sort of because we just wanted to have a party.

Costume suggestions for those who need guidance
Commander Adama
A Pet Shop Boy
Tom Cruise from Risky Business
Jem or one of her Holograms
Falco
An enormous Rubik’s cube
Naked Kelly LeBrock from Weird Science
Whitney Houston’s knees
This girl I had a crush on but she liked Duran Duran and I didn’t at the time
Biff Tannen
Patti Smith (bang bang)
Bill Cosby’s sweater
Spuds McKenzie
Nancy Reagan waging a war on drugs
Rockwell
Justine Bateman

More Music for You!

Hey, you freaks. Remember back when I turned you on to the Killers earlier this year? And then the Killers became the shit? What more credential do I need to establish? None, that’s what. I say things and they happen. I’m like a shaman.

Anyway, if you liked the Killers, you probably like Franz Ferdinand. If you like Franz Ferdinand, you’ll probably like these dudes — Bloc Party. They won’t be as big as the Killers, but they’ll enjoy a run of popularity that they well deserve. Bloc Party has a really cool sound, all upbeat but still smart. They make me think of what would happen if The Jam had kids with Joy Division. The lead singer has a great voice and their look is very now.

Check them out: Bloc Party.

Patently Absurd

I can’t even begin to list the sheer volume of things wrong with this picture.

Gone, Daddy, Gone

Off to the show!

Bittersweet Taste

I am scared of GenCon.

GenCon ’04 — three days from now — marks the culmination and presentation of the single most important thing I have done with this drunken mess I call my life. My eyes are tearing up as I write this. Three days from now, I will stand in naked judgment of the assembled throng of gamerdom.

Scared: That’s the only word for it.

As you may know, Vampire: The Requiem debuts at GenCon. This single piece of writing has occupied the entirety of my attention for the past 22 months. Twenty-two months! This book has outlasted (or perhaps consumed?) my past two relationships. I’ve lived in two different places since commencing work on it and I’m about to move to a third mere days after the book arrives.

It’s good. It’s really good. I daresay it’s great. All humility aside, I’m very proud of this book.

That’s the problem. I’m hardly objective. It’s simultaneously the scary part. What if I’m actually an utter retard? A pretender who’s snowed his bosses, fooled thousands of earnest gamers, and secretly validated the criticism of his detractors? What if the emperor has no clothes?

At this point, there’s nothing I can do but chew my nails and wait. I can’t make changes to the book anymore. I can’t STOP THE PRESSES and rework an idea. If it has bugs, I have to cop to them. If it’s downright broken, I’ve fucked up not only my own magnum opus to date, but I’ve jeopardized the wellbeing of everyone I work with, because ain’t nobody going to want to play some busted-ass game. All I can do is sit here and sweat. Okay, I can nurse this bourbon and water, but all that really accomplishes is to transform the gnawing in my stomach into a pleasant, sugary burn.

This sounds negative and I don’t mean it that way. As I said, I genuinely believe that this is a great game. I’m ecstatic with the numbers it’s turning. I’m excited by the reasoned response the teaser bits have generated and I’m hella enthused by the critical thought some of the more clever fans have already invested in it. I can’t wait until it’s in their hands and they kick the ever-loving shit out of their gaming groups, infused with a sense of the dawning horror of the game and the rush of creativity it hopefully awakens in them. See? I’m not even making sense anymore. I’m so giddy I’m just piling words on top of each other.

Relax. I don’t act like this in the book itself.

Where I start to go awry is in recognizing the scope of this thing. It’s huge. It’s literally the most important thing I’ve ever done. It’s going to reach tens and hundreds of thousands of people. As the book’s shepherd, I’m the guy who went through every single idea in the book and asked if a previous incarnation of the notion was strong enough to keep, if we needed to twist the idea until it squealed, or if we needed to ditch the whole concept and build something new. (Of course, I have to acknowledge a debt of gratitude to my predecessors, without whom I wouldn’t even have had this chance.) Many, many hands contributed to the book, but I was their god-king, their führer, and hopefully more than a little bit of their Muse. All the disparate parts came together on my Frankenstein’s lab table. This isn’t ego — it’s accountability. That’s a lot of stuff to stitch together (to continue the Frankenstein metaphor). Massive amounts of material were rewritten or created whole cloth as the project grew, changed direction, reflected new thoughts and incorporated new ideas. I did it or doled it out to people I trusted to get it done correctly.

So there’s where the scope weighs on me. Right or wrong, I’m the book’s omega.

I’m working on a new relationship now and, frankly, it hasn’t received the attention it should because I still have this portion of career to place before personal ambition. It’s going well, though, and I wonder if some of that isn’t due to the feeling that my priorities are in the right place. It’s helping me not rush the relationship.

On the other hand, it’s been hard to sleep recently. I’m dead tired all the time, until I make it to bed, at which point I thrash around until one or two in the morning. I originally planned to move back to Texas after completing this book, but looking at it now, I can’t do that and expect to satisfy my books’ needs reasonably.

More than anything else, this book has made me take a long, hard look at myself. Vampire’s had its growing pains, which ultimately resulted in this Saturday’s release. By the same token, I have, too. Granted, I probably haven’t grown as much as Vampire has. I’m still the same drunken lout who punches people for saying things he doesn’t like and I still have a serious control issue with substances. On the other hand, those things are scaling back. I’m no longer afraid of getting older. By all accounts, this has been a wretched year personally, but even so, it’s been a good wretched year, if that makes sense. I think I’ve finally learned to deal with life gives me instead of trying to extort things from it that it doesn’t have in store.

God help me, for all the cursing and drinking and fighting, I actually feel somewhat… mature.

So now all I have to do is call upon that maturity and give the book to the world.

If you’re going to be at GenCon, I’m glad to do that with you. It means an inexpressible amount to me that people have such boundless anticipation for the game. Whether for victory or collapse, my life’s work is ready for you.


Here’s where I’ll be at the show:

Worldbuilding for RPGs panel: Friday 3p-4p
Vampire/ World of Darkness launch party: Friday 9p-God knows when
World of Darkness panel: Saturday 11a-1p
Vampire/ World of Darkness autograph session: Sunday 11a-1p
Behind the Scenes Debacles panel: Sunday 1p-2p

You Missed My Point Snerg Snerg Snerg

Man, I hate when that fucking chestnut shows up in Internet communication. “You missed my point…” is such a stupid thing to say. Nobody missed your point. Okay, maybe the guy who just skimmed the post without bothering to read for comprehension missed the point, but that sort of is the point to not reading for comprehension. So you just made his point, in a skeezy way. Good one.

“You missed my point” is Netspeak for “I am too stupid to have communicated my original message effectively, so here I go again, with some added condescension to make it look like I’m the smart one here.”

Late Addendum: Here’s a bit more on how the Internet works.

Also, I forgot previously to mention that all “You missed my point” statements must be followed by the riposte-rebuttal, “No, you missed my point.” I hate that, too.

Weak Will

I went to the grocery to buy a red onion and a container of yogurt for something I’m cooking tomorrow. While I was there, the craving for Hostess fucking cupcakes hit me like an American car whose brakes had predictably failed while in a crosswalk.

Luckily, I couldn’t find the cupcakes. I had half a mind to ask a store employee where they were. I even considered pretending that “my son” wanted them. I thought that would be the height of indignity, though, so I didn’t do it.

Instead, I bought a box of Count Chocula. I’m going to eat the whole goddamn thing.

Also, who the fuck blogs about what they’re eating? Christ, am I a douchebag.

The Architecture of Ass

Goddammit, I want a chair. Nothing fancy. Nothing ridiculous. Just a chair.

I don’t have a chair right now. I have a couch, and it’s a nice couch, but it’s not designed for luxuriated seating. It’s long, low and angular and it doesn’t have any armrests. It’s also a bit stiff. Very Bauhaus. It’s excellent to recline on for a quick nap (but not protracted) or to watch a movie, but it doesn’t do what I need a chair to do.

I need a chair so I can read, for the love of God. I fall asleep when I read on the couch, because I have to lie on it if I plan to spend any appreciable time there due to the lack of arms. I could sit in this desk chair, I guess, but that’s better suited to work and not leisure. The only other place to read, really, is bed, and I fall asleep there, too.

I need a cushy, comfortable chair. It needs a matching ottoman. It should probably be overstuff, so that I can curl up in it on a cool night and sip coffee while I read. Leather is nice.

Perhaps I need a lounge or a chaise. Then again, who am I? Cleopatra? I think a chaise would make me fruity, if you know what I mean. It would also probably make me smoke cigarettes out of one of those ridiculously long stems.

Not a recliner. That shit’s all, “Bring me a turkey pot pie, bitch.” Recliner people drink beer from cans while sitting in their recliners, and some recliners have little mini-fridges built into them. Have some dignity.

Here is a picture of a nice chair. Needs an ottoman, though.

This chair would not work for me at all.

Jeez, what a thing to get worked up about.

Contretemps

It is very strange to listen to Nine Inch Nails while actually in a good relationship. It makes me want to punch things better, but that’s probably a bad idea. Is there such a thing as a good sort of fighty?

Victory Road

Cars. You know I love them. Someone once described my stupid journal as a constant rotation of little car pictures. Well, I’ve fallen off for a while, so it’s time to get back on board the wee car photos angle. The following little car pictures depict cars that I want, but really have no business getting. I mean, seriously no business. If I had any of these, I wouldn’t even make it back to my house from the dealership. I’d make it maybe half of the way before exploding in a fiery pinwheel of death, and I would have left a wake of other cars’ smoldering hulks and charred human corpses, my own among them.

Nissan Titan
Why I Want One:
To crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentations of the women.
I’m not normally a big truck dude. Other people can’t see around them on the road, and they’re typically more than a bit hick. On the other hand, I’ve always harbored love for one truck at any given time. For a long time, it was the Dodge Ram. Then for a year it was the redesigned F-150. Now it’s the Titan. Straight up, you don’t fuck with a vehicle called a Titan. It will smash you beneath its treads and never know the difference. Five-point-six liters of displacement. Three hundred and five horsepower. Three hundred and seventy-nine foot-pounds of torque. It’s a civilian-ready tank, and brother, I hear its clarion call.

Dodge Magnum RT
Why I Want One:
Planned conversion to Mad Max mode during imaginary post-holocaust situation.
Oh, Christ, would I be trouble in this thing. It reinvents the “station wagon” archetype as the “death-dealing station wagon” archetype. In my mind, I’m sliding into a four-lane, 180-degree drift, with the steering wheel in one hand and the other waving a large-caliber revolver out the window at some, um, enemies. Who used to be behind me, but then I spun that shit around and now it’s time to die. Say hello to my little friend. The cargo area is full of dead hookers, cans of gasoline and, like, some nine-year-old girl who is mute but for some reason holds the future of society in her hands. I’m, like, an anti-hero.

Audi RS6 Plus
Why I Want One:
It has no reason to exist.
Four hundred and eighty horsepower. What the hell does any sane human being need with 480 horsepower? Nothing, that’s what. As such, I volunteer to become the sin-eater, absolving humanity of the temptations posed by this monster. It’s subtle as hell, too, looking for all the world like an A6 until you peep the 18-inch wheels. Some punk-ass in an M5 pulls up to the stoplight and acts all bad, and he’s left picking his teeth out of the asphalt with broken fingers. I guess I’d better be honest — if I had this car, I’d become a supervillain instead of a sin-eater.

Mercedes-Benz AMG E55
Why I Want One:
To chase RS6s.
Ridiculous. Blasting down the tollway, Giorgio Moroder firing out the open windows, some asshole supervillain in an RS6 Plus ahead of me who needs to learn the score. The E55 won’t take the RS6 flat, but that’s why I want it — I have to be a better driver to accommodate the subtle degree of performance by which the Audi exceeds the Benz. Dude thinks he’s in the clear when BAM! Rival Teutonic justice slides out of his rear-view vision and into the lane next to him. A look of terror crosses his face; the white of his eyes become fully visible around his pupils. A single drop of sweat trickles down his brow. Down a gear, slipstream, and he’s spun. I win.

RIOT Wheel
Why I Want One:
Diagnosed as psychotic.
Sweet Zombie Jesus, look at this thing. Some maniac actually built this beaster and wants to use it to defeat the single-wheeled-vehicle land speed record. Read up on it if you don’t believe me. (Of course it’s some Burning Man loon.) Let’s see: Catastrophic? Check. Obvious risk to life and limb? Check. Nothing good can come of it? Check. Sign me up.

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