Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Which The Warlock is "Mal Carne"...

As I've mentioned several times throughout this blog, I'm a self-proclaimed foodie. Our TV is nearly always turned to the Food Network or Travel Channel, and I'm a fiend for the original run of Iron Chef. As such, it's really no surprise that one of my favorites is the culinary outrider Anthony Bourdain: author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly and host of Travel Channel's No Reservations. I've read all but one of his books--can't find the last one!--countless times, and I rarely miss an episode.

About 2/3 of the way through Kitchen Confidential, Tony gives us a culinary glossary: all the lingo that you might hear if you wandered into one of his kitchens. Among them are standards that you'd expect--"burnt" for a steak well-done, "a deuce" for a two-person table--as well as assorted Spanish and Portugese profanity, usually used as a term of endearment.

However, only one term fits where I'm at right now: I'm in the weeds.

To paraphrase Bourdain, a chef that's "in the weeds" is the guy getting slammed with orders left and right, his tickets backing up and stacking up, and his mise en place (his prep station) running out of everything. A chef in the weeds is one that's in over his head and sinking quickly, with literally too much on the burner.

I've always said that I often feel like a juggler at certain times of year, tossing up knives, chainsaws, balls, and priceless Ming vases. In terms of my gaming schedule, it's just best that I don't look up, and just keep on slinging.

--My Pirates of the Underdark is headed towards its climactic finale...a little earlier than anticipated. With one of our players bowing out, and a second about to move to northern Ohio, I have exactly three sessions to wrap up our convoluted plot, tie in all of the various sub-plots, and reach a plane-shattering end with the demon lords Dagon and Lascer.

--Simultaneously, I need to wrap up my Tuesday Eberron game before the Wittenberg semester is out. My players just managed to find their way deep into the Xen'drik jungle, in search of a House Cannith archaeological dig. The game's been going well so far, and it's a shame to pull it to an end, but it's been pretty rough on me as I've been running it mid-week in Springfield...and waking up for work at 6:30 the next morning. Much fun, but rough on the sleep schedule.

--After hitting a new set of playtests with Draft 4 of Dungeon Slam!, it's appearing more and more like I need to do a full board revision for the next go-round. Draft 5 will hopefully be tighter and faster, especially considering the time the last playtest took; I thought I had the time-issues under control...apparently not.

--In addition, I'm currently in development of another board game! Yes, you heard it here...I'm already starting my second game, even before DS starts getting submitted.
SunnyVale Acres, my second game, centers on the geekiest, most brutal gated community in the Nine Worlds, with cowboys, pirates, ninjas and more vying for the coveted position of Community Chairperson. I'm hoping to have a draft out in time for either the New Year or for WittCon VII.

--Speaking of our con schedule, we've all got to get locked and loaded for this year. We're averaging about one con per month, starting in March with WittCon VII! Afterwards, we'll hit FopCon II, C2E2 in Chicago, Origins, and possibly even GenCon (as it's a week earlier, and will come before I start up back at school!). Plus, with the WittKids looking to run events at Origins this year, we'll be up to our eyeballs in planning.

That's just a sampling of the balls in the air right now. I'm still waiting on one last chapter of WEGS 101--Dice Rules!, which will rock the WEGS community's socks off, once it's finally out...

Let's just hope I don't drop the ball, here!

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