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I devoted a bunch of my August leisure to video games, so I haven't been reading as much as I might have. No doubt this trend will continue for different reasons as I fall on into a morass of schoolwork.
Gene Wolfe, The Claw of the Conciliator
Gene Wolfe, The Sword of the Lictor
Gene Wolfe, The Citadel of the Autarch
Sean Stewart, Resurrection Man
School began Tuesday and continues; today I had my first class that wasn't that class' initial introduction. (For Social and Political Philosophy; we watched a video on the Milgram experiments with the shocking.) The campus is much busier and yet somehow more organized than it was in the summer; somehow the effect of the vast tides of people surging between buildings past signs and booths and shouting isn't anarchic, but fractal, every piece of it presumably making cheerful sense if you look closer. On the first day, there were people with shirts saying 'I am UBC' holding signs and leading around huddled groups of first-year students; the signs apparently just had to be distinctive, and I saw a lot of people with seemingly random words: "Somatic", "Endemic", "Bourgeoi$". I also saw five or six different people I knew from Langara, which was unexpected and heartening, as all the Langara people I'd kept in touch with have stayed there (hi, Marilee and Allison); most notably, Goldie, from my introductory Metaphysics class in 2006, is in the Social and Political class, and we hung out for some time measured in hours afterward.

The main things going on in my home are preparations for my sister to move out (for, yes, the second time); this time she is going to Fort St. John, which is considerably farther away as well as being, by my family's standards, almost bewilderingly small and inconveniently located as technical cities go. ("It's not that it's in the middle of nowhere; it's just that it's nowhere near anywhere else.") She is going there because she has been offered a job at their local newspaper, the Alaska Highway News, which suits her very well on account of how she's a newspaper reporter with an adventurous streak. So there has been a lot of putting things in boxes, and we bought a new car (a startling shade of red; so far my mother won't let anyone else touch it or get inside) because Tess is getting the old Volvo, and attitudes are generally a harried sort of excited.

I am playing in Rachel's online AD&D campaign on Saturdays. I rolled somebody who could have been a paladin even if we were playing 2nd edition*, so a paladin is what I'm playing, which is neat because I've always kind of wanted to try it. It's very different from being the wizard I played last campaign, who was always making pragmatic moral compromises; that was fun and interesting not least because of the way it often made me the player kind of uncomfortable, but it's a very different sort of gratifying to play someone who speaks up when something seems wrong, and won't kill someone who isn't facing him with a sword in his hand and won't allow the torture of prisoners, etc.

(* We're playing 3.5, which I seem to be getting used to; I still think they made some unfortunate decisions in the Player's Handbook, and that a lot of the character classes feel less special than they used to, but some 2nd edition rules are starting to have the same startling quaintness for me that 1st edition does. It's a little bit sad.)

The sun is starting to learn again to be comfortable. I always liked autumn and spring the best.
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Andy H.

February 2013

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