Ask A Bastard: Not Completely Fictious


Welcome, dear readers, to another installment of Ask A Bastard. Today we have three questions.

The Lovely Shannon ask, “What the hell is WTT:RP? How are you going to balance between two blogs?”

WTT:RP is a group blog about my primary hobby these days: World of Warcraft. I will balance this other blog project by working on OPB first and relying on my co-authors to help ensure one post per weekday. Also, I’m participating in the “build a better blog project.” Given that this project is about blogging, and OPB is my primary blog, all of my blogging assignments will start here.

I also plan on increasing my coffee intake.

Lauren, from WTT:RP AND  Something French Sounding
Dear Bastard: Where did my motivation go? How can I get it back?
PS, how many vacuumed cats equal one hour of productivity?

Lauren your motivation has fled to the steppes of Mongolia, to wander with the wild ponies and the famed horse riding conquerors of Asia and Eastern Europe. Sadly, your motivation will not comeback until you have reframed your life to one of War and Conquest. This means the following:

  • You will need to make Paperclip Bows and Arrows
  • You need a fuzzy hat
  • You need to get a My Little Pony Action figure

Now, take your to do list and rewrite at is: “Things I will Conquer Today.” Once you have completed ten items, you may refer to yourself as Khan. You must complete these tasks wearing the fuzzy hat. Anyone who impedes your conquest must be eliminated with your bow. When you need to make a get away, throw the pony at them. Also, don’t be afraid to scale walls. If any of your coworkers disagree with your practices, enslave them.

As for the Cat Vacuum, the ultimate in measuring slacker-productivity, I think 1/4 of a cat equals one hour of real productivity. 1/2 of that 1/4 (so 1/8) is finding a good vacuum. The other 1/8 is catching said cat to vacuum. The rest of that first hour (3/4) is making sure the cat is placated. The cat must be constantly placated to ensure vacuuming can continue. Cat Vacuuming is difficult work.

LazyJade, from Rapture and WTT:RP asks:
“What’s the difference between Chicago Marty and Three Lakes Marty.”

Chicago Marty is wired into the world with an iPhone, laptop and a half dozen different applications running in the background. Chicago Marty attempts to juggle all sorts of projects: Personal, professional and hobby related. Chicago Marty struggles to keep his temper in check and shouts too much when he drives. Biologically speaking, Chicago Marty’s blood pressure is about twenty points higher than Three Lakes Marty.

Three Lakes Marty is calmer and more willing to cook than Chicago Marty. Three Lakes Marty hates phones and will only use an iPod for music. Three Lakes Marty also hates Jet Skis and is willing to entertain terrible ideas to get rid of them.

Three Lakes marty is concerned with tradition and will often pray to the Yaqui Gods Of Wisdom for guidance.

Three lakes Marty is also 50% more like to be hung over than Chicago Marty.

(Chicago Marty is frequently jealous of Three Lakes Marty)

That is all for this edition of Ask a Bastard. Ask more questions and I’ll invent more answers.

Friday Fiction!

Given that it’s a piece on WoW, I put it up over on Want To Trade: RP First. It is our (meaning Falconesse, Fellsabucket and LazyJade) new WoW blog.

The last brunch ended much as the first one: No one got to try Threnn’s breakfast muffins. This was the first dish she attempted to make for the regular family brunch, an idea that Bricu suggested shortly after his “con” the Temple of Elune. At first Threnn thought he was still suffering from sleep deprivation. A week later, when he ran down the menu for the first brunch: Salmon and capers, corn griddle cakes, fresh breads (sweet and savory), coffee and tea and fresh fruit with cream, she realized how serious he was.

“All the stops are out for this, aren’t they?”

“Aye, they are. I figure since we’re at least talkin’ now, I can at least try an’ get her ta warm up ta me.”

Threnn shook her head, “My mother, lovely as she is, can outstubborn anyone. Even you.” She raised her voice ever-so slightly to keep him from interrupting her. “Love, she’s not going to change. We meet for tea, she sighs, I sigh, we both walk away before we storm off in huffs. That is as good as it is going to get.”

Bricu grinned the same wild grin he used when scheming. “We’ll see love. We’ll see.”

At that first brunch, Bricu made attempts at conversation that were easily parried by Thenia. She was not amused. Threnn watched as her husband became increasingly charming to combat her mother’s increasing polite dismissals.

“More tea, Thenia?” He said, tea pot in hand.

“No thank you.” She replied coldly.

“O’course. Padraig, Thenn?”

Threnn, and her father, assented with slight nods as they watched Thenia and Bricu spar with charm and polite indifference.

Bricu served Thenia first each time. Each plate of food was carefully executed, plated to be as visually pleasing as possible. Thenia ate small, almost ceremonial, bites of each entree. Threnn said how wonderful the fish was. Padraig raved about the pancakes. Thenia, polite as could be, countered Bricu’s charm.

“I thought it was okay. Not as good as they normally make at the Gilded Rose, but almost good enough for brunch.”

Bricu nodded solemnly. “What was wrong with it m’dear?” The hairs on the back of Threnn’s neck stood up. His tone had changed ever so slightly. It was similar to the tone he would use when talking to Tarquin about working with stubborn alliance generals. Their solutions always revolved around “disappearances” and “scandals.”

“Well.” Thenia spoke with the same tone she used when talking to a difficult silk supplier. She ticked off a finger for each point, “The corn cakes were a bit too moist, and the spices in the batter cut into the flavor of the corn. The salmon was dry and you used far too much tarragon. I think you burned the tea as well. The juice had too much pulp in it. It is what I’d expect from something in Old Town: Tarted up to hide a complete failure.”

Bricu nodded in stride. “I see. I see.” He pointed to her barely touched plate, “So bad yeh couldn’t take but one bite each?”

“I’m afraid so. It was a valiant effort but your results were rather lacking.”

Threnn redraped her napkin across her lap, then clenched her fists in anger. She knew her mother was just needling him. She didn’t need to see Bricu to know that he was chosing his words carefully. Threnn tried to calm down enough to rebuke her mother, half expecting Bricu to beat her to it. But the first voice she heard wasn’t her husband’s. It was her fathers.

“Well, I for one thought it was delicious. The corn cakes and salmon were perfectly matched, and I didn’t either runny, dry or too heavily spiced. My tea wasn’t burned nor was my juice too pulpy. By the light Bricu, where did you learn to cook like that?”

Thenia and Threnn both turned to Padraig, mouths agape. He had been quiet for most of the meal, as he was for most meals, but he went beyond simple thanks. He sided with Bricu.

“I learned through my liege, a bloke named Stonewright, an’ though the army. Yeh liked it then?” Bricu said.

“Liked it?” Padraig paused and assessed the situation. Thenia, her lips drawn in a thin line, stared dagger at him. He turned to Threnn, who stared at him in shock. He turned back to Bricu, grinning wildly.

“I loved it enough to finish what my wife didn’t.” Padraig too Thenia’s barely touched plate and continued eating.

“Padraig.” Thenia said softly, “I am quite sure that neither Threnn nor Bricu wants to watch you eat.”

“I’m not done yet” Threnn said as she grabbed more bread off the table.

“What kind o’chef would I be if I didn’t like watchin’ folk eat me food?”

“Honestly, Padraig, Threnody….”

Padraig put his fork down on the plate. “Honestly, Thenia, why would you agree to come if you were going to be a stick-in-the-mud? Mrs. Stone would have love, LOVED, to have come to brunch. She would have had a brilliant time. Me? I’m enjoying myself. Why don’t you at loosen up and try to do the same?” Padraig shoveled another forkfull of food into his mouth to avoid his wife’s withering stare.

“More tea Padraig?” Bricu asked without a hint of smugness. Padraig nodded vigorously.


Sorry folks, I got nothing today. Absolutely nothing.

Unless, of course, I talk about this new book I’m reading.

I was told to read this The Lies of Locke Lamora by two people. I trust their taste in fiction, even if one of them has a tendency to taunt me with particularly gruesome (and depressing) scenes.

I’m about a third of the way through the book. It reminds me of a game that Will once ran. The much loved–but ill-fated–Thieves Game. Skulduggery, con men, thieves all set in a beautifully executed fantasy world. I’ve been on a con man/glib talker kick in fiction for at least five years now. I think it has become a preferred aspect of the fiction I read.

In the eighty pages I’ve read, Lynch has managed to create and describe a wonderfully detailed setting: Camorr, a rich and diverse city teaming with merchants, peasants, nobles and thieves. Our protagonist, Locke, is clever and nimble, but thus far not particular adept at fighting. He’s the trickster, not the warrior.

All in all, I’d rather be reading the book than blogging or working…which I have to get back to now.