First Cup of Coffee – July 12, 2022

My crazy afternoon and evening yesterday, including a vehicle near-mishap, along with thoughts on role-playing games, doing the Bag of Giving, and about my early game-playing trauma when I was a teen.

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

Ah, that’s good. Delicious. Today is Tuesday July Twelfth Two Thousand and twenty two and well big news in our household is my mother has COVID. Um, it’s the first time that it’s hit my immediate family I guess guess everybody’s getting it now. Um, um so they caught it pretty early. She hasn’t felt too terrible tired headache little bit of a fever. She is um you know twice boosted four shots. So and they’ve got her on Paxlovid so hopefully she’ll kick it pretty quickly and it won’t be a big incident. Um, it reminded me though of an incident from fairly early on in the pandemic it was after. Walk down had let up. So I think it may have been summer of 2020 and a lot of the restaurants around Santa Fe had opened again. But they’d also created all of these socially distanced outdoor spaces and I went to dinner with. My friends Megan and Charlie and they yeah we went to the Compound and the Compound had set up these tents those you know like the kinds you get for parties. They’d set up tents with tables and them so we’ve been hoping to like. Sit on the patio. You know just have drinks on the patio and or d’euvs and stuff and it turned into this whole. Um we couldn’t because the patio had been taken up by the tents because in case it rained I guess but we were having a good time. And we were talking about New Mexico had a mask mandate very early on so we were talking about people wearing masks and not wearing masks and the young man came up to fill our water glasses and. There was something about where we like we’re explaining our conversation to him. We’re like oh ah, you know we were just discussing masks and we appreciate you wearing yours and because all the servers were really, but we were sort of.

You know, like sometimes you randomly include the survey in your conversation and he said oh yeah, he said we’re all wearing masks because we have to and he says but I figure. Um, you know there’s not a lot of point in it because sooner or later. We’ll we’ll all just have it and there may have been more to it but it was really kind of funny because we went from being jovially optimistic and compliant to this like complete downer and the young man left again and ah and Megan said well that went downhill fast. Like yeah bit unexpected and now I feel like soon or later we’re all gonna have it right? He was um, oddly prescient which I don’t attribute to any foresight of his. But. Seems to be the the case at Megan and Charlie’s wedding somebody asked the morning after when we were all kind of like sitting around in a big circle nursing our hangovers and somebody said so has everyone here had covid already. Which I thought was a funny question and I think several other people did too because we were like no and and I said not to my knowledge and couple of girls said yeah not to my knowledge. You know if we’ve had it. We’ve had it asymptomatically there are mosquitoes buzzing around me this morning. Getting on the laptop screen. So um, hopefully everything will be fine. It’s fine. Everything’s fine. So um, otherwise things are going pretty well, we’re struggling with our internet we had this outage from xfinity a couple of weeks ago with big storm I may have mentioned that and ever since they restored it. It’s been um. Different and weird and this morning I can’t connect to it at all. So I’m doing this through my hotspot I’ll have to discuss with David Hugh when I got home last night. It was a very frenzied evening for me. Um. Because I knew it’s go to be a busy day anyway, it’s kind of a busy week. A lot going on and I think I get so used to not having anything going on that having a lot going on always feels like much so I got to um, got my words in which is great and.

Writing went fairly well finished um talked to Grace on the phone for the first time in a long time and that was really nice. We talked on the phone for about for over an hour and I had to leave for my very important mani/pedi. Had an appointment at 3 so I just kept talking to her in the car and um, got there did the mani/pedi got back home at four thirty left the jag running outside the garage because I didn’t know if the airlock was on. Because Jackson will escape if he’s in the house and the airlock isn’t on and it’s if you’ve been listening to to this for a long time. You know that? um my jag battery ah is drains fast. It’s like something to do with the old car. And my mechanic has told me that it’s much better to leave it running if I’m driving it for less than 20 minutes at a time. So if I’m going to like go in the house and make sure that I can open the garage door I just leave the car running. So I go in. And David starts talking to me about the internet and how we need to change the administrator on the router and he wants to know what email address I’ve been using on to you see the hummingbird humming hovering over my head. That’s very nice. Youre on video getting very nice hummingbird shot. They’re coming in for the feeder. It’s buddy. Ah so you know he’s like changed the password. But. He doesn’t know what email address I’m using for it and you know it’s like one those communication things where I sit down and look at it and he’s like is it a capital j or a lowercase j for the email address and you know so I try that one and he said no I think it’s supposed to be capital j and I’m like. I don’t know that’s it and he said well that’s email you’re using for the router and I’m like I don’t fucking know the email address I use for the router and I’ve got this thing at 5 that bag of giving deal and time is ticking. It’s like 20 minutes till and I said I need. Internet I have to do this thing at 5 so he’s undoes, whatever it is. He’s done and fortunately I could get on the internet in time. So ah, you know? so then I like go pee and put on lipstick and I sit down and I get there like right at 5

And we’re doing setup and we’re doing things and we’re getting everything figured out and it’s ah you know like five-twenty I I did manage to pour myself a glass of wine because I have high priorities and ah. And it’s we’re going to start at like 5:25 and it’s like 5:20 and I said um, can I have a couple minutes because I haven’t explained to David any of this and they’ve told me it’s going to take 3 hours which I did not know it was going to take that long and so. I I said can I take a couple minutes and they’re like well only one or 2 and I said okay you know let’s play I just need to go talk to David so I go in and explain to him. This could be long but um I can eat dinner after or if he wants to bring dinner into me whatever and he’s going to go to the store and we talk about that and ah. And then I realize do you realize? oh alert listeners. Yes I’d left the jag running. It’s been almost an hour ah fuck my life. So I quickly ran out brought the car in. Turned it off then did this thing to like 8:30 and and during all of this my mom had texted me while I was driving back and my phone had fallen on the floor and I’m trying not to look at my phone when I’m driving anyway and so. She texts me around eight fifteen while we’re still going in this game and says you know where are you and I realize I never looked at that text from when I was driving back from the mani/pedi and that was when she told me that she had covid so sorry that I didn’t reply um so I was just it was just kind of crazy. Um, it was interesting playing the game. Ah Kelly Robson wrote me into it. Derek Kunsken was part of it and Derek is a great guy. Um Michael Underwood and ah the game master was ah Gregory Wilson I think that’s right hadn’t met him before and so you know it’d been this thing where they’d asked us to do this and people would be watching and I never saw. The interface where people were watching have no idea what’s wrong with this eye. Well right? So um, playing the game I had told them all that I am not a game player that I have.

Played very very rarely my whole life and they all said that that’s not necessary that I don’t have to I didn’t have to do any research to prepare that I could just come and play and that people would donate money was I’m like real. Okay. And I knew that it was like I wasn’t going to be any good because I I think with games like that I overthink and we can um we can get to that. But ah I as we’re waiting this is before I’ve remembered that my car is still running. Ah um. I said well can I tell you all my ah, my gameplaying trauma and I said oh yes, please and it’s funny because I hadn’t thought of this story for a long time and, Kev, I might tell you to listen to this podcast because I think you will be amused. Ah, no I’m gonna sneeze all right sneezing accomplished. So I said well my game playing trauma when I was in high school with my very first boyfriend. My first. Love not my actual first boyfriend but um, Kev he and his friends were playing this game that they that they stole that they shoplifted um and these were not poor people. But. They may have been out of money and I was already in great disapproval that they had shoplifted this game and they were all agog to play it and it was this is so long ago that it was one of these computer games. That you would play with like dos commands I mean there’s no graphics nothing um and you would just type in commands and it would do things and so. They they convinced me to play this game despite my high dudgeon and gave me a character because I think they wanted me to you know they wanted me to not take kev away. You know there was already some tension there with. Ah, at least one of his good friends who felt very competitive about the time that Kev spent with me and so my name is actually Jennifer many of you know that.

And so they’d named my character Jennifer and she was a mage and and I was just starting to get kind of intrigued because I had like these mage powers and could do things and then all of a sudden we’re like going down some tunnel or something and the dos readout says: A pit. Jennifer dies. And I was like wait. What does that mean and they’re like oh well, you know you didn’t have enough power or whatever we all fell in the pit but you died and I’m like well do I get another life or whatever and I said no no, you’re you’re dead now and. You know and that’s funny because ah I remember this so vividly and I was so annoyed and I so I was telling them all this story kind of at first in jest you know, just saying ah you know here’s my gameplaying trauma and I’ve really never gotten into roleplaying games. And Gregory said. Ah I mean he was incredibly sweet I I’m hope by getting his name right? Um, he was incredibly sweet and said ah I’m feeling like I should look up his name hold on. Let me make sure I’m getting it right. Was right? Gregory Wilson I um remembered better than I thought so anyway Gregory took this incredibly seriously and he said um, he said you know game playing came at a time in my life also in high school. When I needed it very very much and in many ways it saved me and so I’m really sorry to hear stories like this because of a bad experience and he says and there are other stories of people who had bad experiences like this from inexperienced game players who didn’t take things seriously. And didn’t take care of the other players and I’m really sorry that happened to makes me all over clumped and I wanted to say I mean I nearly came back and said well it wasn’t that big of a deal I’ve always thought of as kind of a funny story but but looking back you know I wonder. How much of that bad experience did affect the fact that I really never wanted to play any role playing games again. Um, and it’s not if you do listen to this gift. Maybe I won’t tell you to listen. Um, it’s not your fault that your friends were mean to me. Um, no brad was such a fucking ass right? You know? Um so competitive. Ah so anyway, it was an interesting experience playing this game. Um.

And it did remind me of one of the few other occasions that I’ve played a game similar to that which was also with Kevin his wife Linda David and I went with them in a group of other friends ah up to um, can’t remember what was called a. This old ghost town in the mountains where they did like the murder mystery dinner and you’re supposed to solve the mystery and both playing that game and playing this one last night I find myself. Interrogating the people much too closely and it’s an interesting phenomenon because I know that the roles that they’re playing that they have certain kinds of information that they can give and and Kev won that game. At the murder mystery thing and I think he knows how to abide by the game architecture in a way that I don’t because I keep trying to interrogate people more closely and I think it’s because I can tell they’re lying to me and so I’m always trying to extract. What what are they not telling me and I suspect what it is is that it’s that they’re lying to me because they’re playing a role and so they’re saying stuff that they know is it true? Ah, ah. So this is what I mean that I think I totally overthink this stuff. Um, it’s ah it’s a funny thing isn’t it. So yes: A pit. Jennifer dies. Ah I did um, kick ass with my bow and arrow and my quarter staff in the game last night so cheers um yeah I know that’s probably shocking to all of you that I may overthink these things. Um. I was also um I understand now more why so many fantasy writers generate books from their fantasy role-playing games. Um. Which I do think has a certain stamp to it and there were a couple of people who were like doing more to like be descriptive and talk about the storytelling type things that they were doing and I I feel like I I did not quite get into that because.

Um, Gregory was doing a great job of leading me through it and I think he was being especially tender with me knowing that I had this like terrible trauma from the pit in my teenage years and at the end everybody congratulated him on being a great game master which. I I probably should have just echoed. But I don’t know from good or bad but I enjoyed it and and he um was walking me through stuff but at one point he’s like all right, you know because I decided to rescue this deer and he said so what what are you going to do and I was like I don’t know what to say um and there was 1 other ah person who was um, being much more descriptive and so I don’t know it was interesting to play. So. That was my yesterday hopefully today will will be a little bit smoother. Hopefully my mom will be feeling better. Hopefully my stepdad won’t catch it from her and yeah and then I have to save this sticky note again for like Thursday. So. Um, yeah, well go get to work get away from these mosquitoes and I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.