Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: JJ

26Oct18: A Visit to Tracy Aviary

Friday was a surprisingly good day. I didn’t expect to get done with as much as I did.

The day’s biggest event was a trip to the Tracy Aviary here in town. My friend JJ volunteers there, and he was able to get me in for free, and since he knows about the birds, he told me about them all. It was a great experience, and I feel privileged to know someone who’s so knowledgeable about the aviary and its denizens. Most of the birds there are rescues or were bred in captivity, which makes them vulnerable if left in the wild. There were also some wild birds there. I meant to take pictures, but I forgot to after getting a pic of a sign on the corner of the little nature reserve. We rode the bus downtown together, and I waited with JJ for the train to pick him up on main Street, then finished my own trip home by walking.

In addition to the Aviary visit, I got a number of tasks completed yesterday—more than I expected with thbie visit to the aviary. I chatted with Mom to arrange for her to visit me, posted Friday’s prompt on my group on MeWe, posted Chapter Eight of Measure of Resistance to Wattpad, wrote up a Fool’s Errand blog article and posted it, did both my languages, took a nap, and got my 250 words.

Honestly, I didn’t expect to get to the writing, which I made clear in my FE post. The hour nap was necessary because I was feeling left of center and my knees’ pain had climbed to excruciating levels with all the walking I did. While I finally broke my step goal for the first time since, I think, making the goal, I really needed to get off my legs for a while, and sitting wasn’t cutting it. The pain was so bad, I couldn’t even feel if my feet hurt as well. To prevent my knees from stiffening up, I flexed them until I dozed off, then when I woke up, flexed them some more before getting up.

But it was a good day yesterday! Despite the pain, I really enjoyed my aviary visit, and I had fun spending time with one of my friends I don’t get to see often enough.

15Aug18: We’ve Moved Pathfinder!

Nur Li Rashayda’s Stats and Dice.

I honestly didn’t want to get out of bed yesterday. Just wanted to sleep. Not because of depression. I hadn’t slept long enough, but I had to be at Oasis by 15:30 to meet with friends to discuss moving our Wednesday MTG meet to another location.

Since I didn’t expect to be able to play MTG, I didn’t pack any cards with my gaming stuff. Daz and I walked to Oasis together and we settled in a room just before JJ arrived. Cayden had an appointment, so couldn’t make it, and Greg never responded to my invite for him to join us—I think beacuse I was using the wrong number for him, as he had notified me that he did have a new phone and number. JJ, Daz, and I discussed the possibility of moving MTG to Demolition Games, then Daz and JJ played a couple rounds of MTG with Daz coaching JJ a bit. Me, I was sleeving some more MTG cards I’d gotten so I could possibly play with them, but our session ended before I got a chance.

By this time, Kit, who was meeting us for our trip to Demolition Games for Pathfinder, had found us in the private room after spending an hour waiting for us in the main part of the store. He texted Daz, so I had no idea where he was, because Daz was focused on playing and didn’t check his phone. JJ left to go home, then Kit, Daz, and I stopped at 7-Eleven for some food and beverages, then we headed to Demolition Games together. This was Kit’s first trip on the trax.

We arrived late for our 18:00 meeting for Pathfinder, but before Dan, Dave, and Phil gave up waiting and left. The lot of us climbed the stairs to the loft in the back and grabbed the last available table. Cayden showed up late because they thought the session was canceled due to the ovrwhelming number of messages discussing the Pathfinder move the day/evening before. We gamed until about 21:45 or so, when we came to a good place to end and I suggested packing up early ’cause I needed to go to the restroom and me on crutches with those stairs was not going to happen in an amount of time that would enable us to finish the confrontation we’d just rolled initiative for when I got back.

All of us walked back to the Trax station together. Cayden, Dan, Dave, and Phil went south, and Daz, Kit, and I went north. Daz and I hung out with Kit until his brother picked him up, then walked home and hung out for a while. I meant to do some D&D prep, but got sidetracked into discussing a possible character for Daz if he’s able to join my D&D campaign. Worked on that until around 03:00, then he went home to bed, and I laid down as well.

Sunday and Monday

Pink/Silver Borealis Chessex Dice.

Dice for playing Nosedrool!

Really meant to post this yesterday, but got sidetracked on other things. Some things I had to do right-then, other things just kept me away from the computer.

Well, Sunday was a good day. I only got a few hours of light, interrupted sleep, but our game session went pretty well. Things got a bit intense with our characters—don’t worry, all the players are okay with each other. Essentially, a strictly lawful good character who adheres to a strict code of ethics learned that their assumption that everyone else in the group did so as well was a misconception and, well, it’s going to bring in a bunch of interpersonal conflict for future sessions.

After that, I came home by myself ’cause Daz had an event to go to. I ended up idling until I went to bed after midnight, though I think I did chat with my mom and my friend Anita.

Monday, I had to take Hendrix to the vet for a checkup and vaccinations with Daz’s assistance. The vet said he’s fine, aside from some gingivitis they want to make sure to look at next year; apparently new teeth coming in causes gingivitis in cats, and Hendrix is apparently still close enough to his first birthday and getting all his teeth that the vet wasn’t too concerned about it.

After that, we came home and I spent a few hours idling in various chats. Toward the evening, Daz reported that he wasn’t able to get Oasis Games to budge on an issue one of our gaming groups has on Wednesdays and he and I spent about an hour or so texting people in our various gaming groups about the issue. It looks like Pathfinder for Wednesdays (Daz’s group, which I run a character in) will be moving to another games store, so that caused me to initiate a convo with my MTG group. Unfortunately, JJ was having issues with Ride UTA’s route finder for his transit to the other games store—it kept on giving him an outrageous itinerary with over an hour transit time, and I knew there was something better, but I couldn’t think clearly in the middle of the text convo so I suggested we discuss it this Wednesday during our usual game time until I could get some time to look up transit routes for JJ the long hard way by referring to the various transit schedules myself.

Then Daz came over to play some Chicken Rummy and we hung out until a little after midnight.

Here’s Weds and Thurs

Rolegaming Dice!

Chessex Sea Dice from Oasis Games.

I completely zoned writing Wednesday’s post before going to bed, and Thursday I was just too tired to care.

Not sure what time I got up on Wednesday, though I had plenty of time to prepare for my Wednesday afternoon and evening gaming sessions. Did I do this? Noooot completely. I was all prepared for MTG, so there’s that. JJ, Cayden, Greg, and Daz came to play as well, though JJ only observed, I think because they had something they wanted to go to at the pride center before our gaming session ended, because he left early. The rest of us finished the session, then Greg departed and Daz, Cayden, and I started setting up for Pathfinder with Phil, who’d arrived before we quite finished our last MTG game.

We set up to play Pathfinder, and I realized I’d forgotten my dice for role gaming. I mean all my sets of dice, so I had to go get another set from the store. Just as we got settled in the room, one of the store’s managers came to chat with us. Apparently, Wednesday night is their Adventurers League. Also, the other room had been rented already, and the store was hosting I think a Pokémon event in the tourney area. The store was also otherwise busy, but the manager said he’d do whatever he could to ensure we could game that night. Nicholas went out of his way to get us tables and chairs and a power strip for us to plug our electronics in—because Daz uses his computer for the books—and arranged them near the cafe. This took all of about 10 minutes, and we settled in to game. Afterward, Daz and I found Nicholas and thanked him again for going out of his way to ensure we could play our game. He told us that he was brought to Oasis Games specifically to ensure their customers were treated well, and that he was happy he was able to find a solution that allowed us to game and have a good time.

Back at home, Daz and I hung out for a few hours before he went home to bed.

On Thursday, I got up with just enough time to feed and water Hendrix and scoop out his litter; and to take my prebreakfast meds. I even left half an hour later than I usually do because I just couldn’t pull myself out of bed on time. Even with that, I got to the VA with time to spare and had an hour wait for my appointment, which I didn’t mind much (the sitcom they had playing on their TV now, is another matter – LOL). Saw the podiatrist, though, and she gave me some advice on diabetic foot care, prescribed some special creams/lotions for my feet, and ensured I had plenty of their special between-toe pads to carry me through the next I don’t know how long. The doc said I could get rid of the crutches the last week of this month, but that I’ll probably need to keep buddy taping my toes for up to a year to prevent swelling.

Came home and laid down for a while, but didn’t actually nap. Got up to putter around the apartment doing idling nonsense. Stuff that I’d have done anyway at some point, but which wasn’t imperative I do right then when I had other things that needed doing and wanted to get done but had no interest in doing.

Oddly, at around 18:00, I started to feel a bit more energetic. Wanted to make dice pouches for two sets of my dice, so I excavated my fabric bits and ribbons . . . then realized Daz still had my sewing kit. So, instead, I made a search for my crochet threads. Four times at least. Could not find them and considered what I may have done with them to remember that I put them all downstairs. I know better than to do stuff like that! LOL As a result, I idled for the next few hours doing nothing in particular.

Daz came over after his Thursday night game and brought my sewing kit back. He’d also picked up a couple packets of penny sleeves for me. While chatting, we sleeved my cards with my graphic sleeves in the penny sleeves, and played Uno. He introduced me to a couple acts that appeared on America’s Got Talent, and we munched Doritos. A good night overall. Finally called it quits a little after 04:00.

Another Two Days; a Bad Habit

Playing Cards!

Fan of Standard Playing Cards

I honestly didn’t mean to miss Thursday, even though it was another exhaustion day. Because I ended up staying up late playing games with Daz on Wednesday night, I was too wired to feel tired. Instead of putting myself to bed as I should have after taking my night meds, I stayed up instead. Bad me.

Today, it occurred to me that I haven’t mentioned my writing efforts the past several days or so. I have made them. Every day, I open the last fiction project I worked on, if nothing else. Some days, I open other files, either to look at one particular story an idea is stirring for, or a succession of Scrivener files to try and tease my creative mind into activity. I do make an effort, put Butt In Chair and Turn On The Faucet at some point. Sadly, nothing seems to want to move. Ideas do stir, but they come to nothing, and usually remain vague notions I can’t quite grasp.

But Thursday was an unexpected free day for writing. I was supposed to go quilt at Katie’s. Unfortunately for both of us, she felt unwell, with a sore throat and stuffy nose. Because she didn’t want to risk making me sick as well, she canceled our quilting meet. I told her to take care of herself and proceeded to Turn On The Faucet instead, and ended up reading through a number of my incomplete projects in an effort to stir the notions spinning in my mind into actual progress without any luck. At 18:30 or so, I finally gave up and went to bed, too exhausted to continue any longer.

Oh, my friend JJ did happen to visit on Thursday afternoon. He was downtown and had some extra time between appointments, and I invited him to my apartment. We had a nice little chat, and Hendrix got some loves from a new person. They seemed to get along well, and he spent a lot of time lying on JJ’s backpack. JJ’s got a cat too, and I bet his cat was livid that another had tried to claim JJ’s backpack. LOL

Friday did not start off very well. I awoke feeling depressed and basically rolled over and hid from the world until it became too painful to remain in bed. When I came out to the living room, I got on the computer and contacted Daz, intending to distract myself with chatter to him. It was hard, but I admitted how I was feeling moodwise, and he came up to hang out with me until he had to go to an appointment. We played some card games and he basically kept me distracted from the depression, then, when he left, he promised to return after his appointment.

I spent maybe 2 hours between his visits chatting on MeWe with my writer friends, and when Daz returned, he brought DiGiorno Pan Pizza for us to eat. While we ate it, I told Daz that Hendrix would try to crawl into the box at some point, and he looked at my cat and said, “Cat, you are silly.” LOL After we ate, we played some more games with my deck of regular cards, then we agreed to play MTG for a bit. He went downstairs to get his decks, and then texted me that he almost passed out from tiredness when he sat down to dig his decks out of hiding. I told Daz to go ahead and sleep a bit.

After that, I spent most of the rest of the day idling. Though my mood improved, I still didn’t care to do anything, until I finally forced myself to get on the dishes I’d messed up over the course of the day. I fed Hendrix his supper. Chatted with my sister. Finally managed to post the next chapter of DH02 on Wattpad. Also managed to do some stuff with GIMP tonight too. Oh, and I also text-chatted with a barber who’s going to be doing a demo cut of someone’s hair for the transmasculine group at the pride center later on this month, because one of the facilitators of the group thought I might make a good model; I sent the guy pics of my hair, but have not heard back yet on whether he thinks I’d be a good model—I actually think he’s gone to bed. LOL

Splurge Purchase!

Dice! In a Tray!

Dice! In a Tray! A splurge purchase.

It’s still dark out, so I say I can still say I’m making this post on the 1st, even though it’s written and posted on the 2nd. LOL

After rising at 09:50, I spent some time online chatting with long-distance friends. At around 13:30 or so, I decided to head out to Oasis, and asked Daz if he wanted to join me, JJ, and Cayden for MTG at Oasis, and he said he’d like to. We took our time getting there, and when we arrived, he offered to get me some KFC via Door Dash. As we waited for our food to arrive, Cayden showed up, and we sat chatting for the next while as they ate a sandwich from the shop. Eventually, we moved ourselves to one of the private rooms in the back of the store, and JJ joined us shortly thereafter. The food arrived after that, and Daz and I ate while we chatted.

We played one round of MTG. About midway through the round, JJ abruptly packed up and left, stunning all three of us. Cayden and Daz thought they’d been doing something wrong—they were advising him on how to play—and I thought maybe JJ didn’t like Daz for giving him advice. Neither of us had a chance to chat with him though, and my phone wouldn’t send or receive texts for some reason, so I couldn’t get anything through. After that, we finished up our round, and Daz helped Cayden resleeve their deck, because the penny sleeves on their cards were rather beaten. While they did that, I finished double-sleeving one of my decks.

We packed the MTG stuff up at around 17:30 and somehow Cayden and Daz had come around to an agreement that Cayden would join the Pathfinder game he runs. So, as the other gamers—Phil, Dave, Dan, and Kit—arrived for that, Daz and Cayden created their character. The rest of us chatted, and I did a little shopping. We finally got going in the game at around 19:30 or so, I think. I’m not sure. Didn’t check the time. Since Cayden’s character wasn’t with us at the moment, we had them keep “score”—adding the hit points we took out of the centipedes our characters were fighting. We had our initiative up on the whiteboard the room we were in happened to have, and after we finished the session, Daz, Kit, and I added fates to a few of our characters just to amuse ourselves and possibly the next people to see the board.

I walked home with Daz. On the way, he mentioned having to sew some of his trousers, so I offered the use of my sewing kit. He stopped by on our way in to get it from me, and I checked to make sure it had hand-stitching needles and suggested we hang out for a bit. So he took all his Pathfinder GM stuff down to his place with my sewing kit and came back up. We chatted for a while, and he ended up staying past midnight, playing some Mexican Train dominoes and a round of MTG Commander. Over the course of that MTG game, I learned he’s pretty much an expert with the rules.

Daz left around 03:30 and I got online because my mind was too active for sleep and I needed to eat before I could take my night meds anyway. When I got to MeWe, I discovered JJ had left a message there apologizing for leaving so abruptly. Essentially, he had a massive brain fart and his reaction was just to leave the situation. I told him Daz is an expert in the rules, relieved none of the rest of us had upset JJ. After that, I got into a chat with Kit until he went to bed at about 04:30.

I did finally manage to eat, and I took my night meds, but I’m apparently not sleeping at all tonight.

Pathfinder and Schedule Changes

My Character is the white figure.

The False Crypt.

I made a conscious decision not to post yesterday. Last night, I was mentally weary from the day I’d had and couldn’t really organize my thoughts very well outside of random conversation. Writing a blog post that was supposed to make sense and not randomly hop form topic to topic was out of the question.

So, for Wednesday.

Around 09:00, I got up. In part because I simply couldn’t sleep any more, but mostly because I’d seen a call from Steve, who owned the mattress and box springs, come in. I had my phone off, so it didn’t ring, but I happened to glance at it when his call came in, and after that, I was anxious enough that I couldn’t sleep any longer.

I got up, called Steve and left a message when he didn’t answer, and called to tell Mom that he’d called. While she and I were on the phone, he called back, and Mom hung up. Long story short, Steve was happy not only to sell me his bed, but also to bring it over for me. He even took my old mattress. He was asking $25.00. Mom suggested I talk him down to $20.00. After all that help, I didn’t have the heart to talk him down and gave him the $30.00 I had on me for his trouble. He was very glad to get the money, as he’s moving to be near his kids in another state.

Then I had breakfast and headed up to the VA for my psych therapy appt. It was good, and didn’t jar me too much, so I went right to Oasis Games after that for my early evening of Magic: The Gathering with JJ and Cayden. Greg texted me that he wouldn’t be able to make it ’cause his contacts were causing him issues and he was having difficulty seeing as a result. Cayden and JJ arrived, and we played MTG, including our young friend in it until his mom came to drag him away to some church event. We realized he’d left a box with one of his desks behind, and I took the box up to the store’s primary sale point and texted Carma that I’d done so she texted back that she’d pick it up.

At one point over the course of the 2 hours we played MTG, I went to purchase a new cardboard card box and some perfect fit sleeves for my Feline Ferocity Commander deck and ran into a friend from Lynn’s D&D group, Daz. He’s been running a Pathfinder game with Phil, Dan, Dave, and Kit for a few weeks, and he invited me to join. I said I’d have to see about rearranging my schedule and went to talk to Cayden and JJ about gaming earlier. I didn’t get a chance to suggest the change to our Wednesday MTG games to Greg until later.

I arrived late to the Pathfinder game, and Daz interrupted it to create my character. He asked a bunch of questions about how I saw the character and made suggestions. I told him I wanted to challenge myself with playing a support character who doesn’t always get into the fray. He asked me, “If there was one thing your character could have, even from our modern world, what would it be?” And I said something like, “Well, something she could do research on” and that got us on a discussion about her Googling stuff. LOL That’s how I ended up with a Tengu Oracle.

After the Pathfinder game, I helped Daz clean up. He lives in my building, and we walked home together. On the way, we chatted about our lives and such, and he told me he lives in the same apartment I lived in the first time I moved into this building. When he heard I lived just around the corner one floor up, he asked if he could use my wifi and offered to pay. I waived his offer of payment and told him I’d get him my wifi’s name and password when we got home. When I did that, we ended up commencing an exchange of emails about Pathfinder, the adventure he’s leading us on, and my character.

I didn’t get to bed until after midnight, and I was very glad I’d made my bed after getting the new setup that morning.

So, for Thursday.

This is much simpler and shorter.

I got up after noon, contacted Kevin to pick me up, and hung out with him from the beginning of his shift until group started. I learned some nice things in group and made a big decision I’ve been stalling on for a while. More on that as I get to executing it. Kevin kindly drove me home. I had supper and just finished emailing Daz my character’s entire backstory after giving her a new first name (I didn’t like the placeholder name he gave her).

Not only that, over the course of the day, I finished rearrangement of our Wednesday gaming schedule, rescheduled 2 appointments for next month, and finished moving Saturday sessions with MLTGF and Greg to Tuesday afternoons.

And that’s it for the past two days!

Sorry for the Silence

Broken Toe!

Toes, buddy-taped.

After all the worry over JJ, I was a bit emotionally worn out, so that’s why I didn’t post Friday. But I have good news! JJ’s doing fine. He was just in the hospital, and they don’t give out patient info without a code that I didn’t have. He contacted me Friday to say he was out, and apologized for standing me up over the Aviary visit. I assured him I didn’t care about that as much as I cared about his health and safety. At his suggestion, we’ve rescheduled for this Thursday, but I may have to cancel depending on what Podiatry says about my foot.

But before that, an update on Saturday.

I awoke Saturday morning with an absolutely incredible sinus headache. It felt like a horse had stepped on my head and was so bad that being vertical made it hurt more. I did only what I absolutely had to do, including taking some DayQuil, and returned to bed. Then, around 10:00, I contacted my friends to cancel gaming since the headache hadn’t really abated any. After another hour, I was bored out of my mind and got up anyway, but I wasn’t really functional. After another dose of DayQuil, though, things got better. I managed to write a bit. Still, I was in bed by 21:00 Saturday night.

So now, the reason why I’m waiting to see what Podiatry says about my foot (this is pretty much a paste from what I typed over at MeWe for my friends, cause I’m tired of retelling this story to everyone who asks):

On my way to Oasis Games to play D&D with Kit and some other friends today, my right foot slipped on some water coming out of the planters in front of Café d’Bolla, which is on the ground level of the Stoneground building. My left toe caught me, and I didn’t end up having a worse fall (which would have been on at least 1 knee, if that had happened). Instead of going in to the hospital right away, I thought, “Oh, it’s just a slight sprain and will be fine if I ice it.”

So I got to Oasis and grabbed a bag of ice that the barista there was more than happy to give me and went to the room where we usually game with Lynn. While I waited for everyone to arrive, I iced my toe. It didn’t hurt too much while I was seated, so I didn’t think anything of it. Well, over the course of the afternoon, my toe developed that purple bruise across the top. Walking on it was painful, but not excruciating (me forgetting that I have a high pain tolerance most of the time).

Like I usually do after gaming Sundays, I waited with my friend Kit for his ride to come get him. While we waited Kit suggested that I go in to the hospital to have my toe looked at. Regarding that bruise and the pain I was in while afoot, and the fact that I couldn’t move the toe, I decided to listen and asked if his father would be willing to drive me up to the VA. Kit sent a text to his father, who didn’t respond to it. When his father arrived, Kit promised to make his father take me and went to go hop in the car, then they came around to pick me up.

Klaus drove me to the VA hospital, and I had him drop me off at the front door and hobbled into the ER. Immediately after checking in, a guy who was short of breath arrived, and he was seen first, but I didn’t much mind. I’d gotten a seat in one of the funky wheelchairs they have all over the VA, and was content to wait since I was the only other patient in the ER at the time.
Shortly after getting the short-of-breath man into the ER, the nurse, Uta (German name I’m not sure on spelling; sounds like “Yoo-tah”) took my vitals and wheeled me right up to Radiology, where a tech named Demarcus (sp may be wrong) took me in for x-rays. About five mins later, I was on my way back to the ER with Uta.

She took me to what was apparently the only room that was in any way neat, put ice on my toe, and went to fetch the doc. He looked at it, and explained that there was a crack right beneath the bruise, then told me to keep it iced. He also told me my sandal was perfect for wearing, because all that he’d do was give me a similar type of medical shoe, and told me he’d prescribe a painkiller and have the nurse buddy-tape my toe. Uta returned after he left, buddy-taped my toe, and got me a pair of crutches along with everything I’d need to do the tape job myself.

Uta pushed me in the wheelchair to the pharmacy and I showed the tech there my VA ID card, then while I waited, I adjusted the grips on my new crutches. There were a young woman and her brother there, and I asked them kindly to please take the wheelchair I’d come in back to the front of the hospital since there was no way I’d be able to manage it with 2 crutches, and she agreed. They left with the chair, and I got my -codone med, and hobbled back out to the hospital’s entry and called a cab.

The Cab drove me home, and that’s the story. Doc said he’d have Podiatry call me for an appt later this week, and I watched Uta’s procedure with my toes to make sure I could tape ’em up again later. But that’s it!

No Aviary Visit

Hendrix with D&D books.

Imma read ur D&D books. Upside-down, even!

I pulled myself out of bed by 09:00 this morning so that I’d have enough time to prepare to go to the Tracy Aviary with my friend JJ. Sadly, he had not responded to any of my contacts since Tuesday, and I was already concerned about his silence after he messaged on MeWe that he was at a hospital on Tuesday. He didn’t respond to my texts or phone calls this morning either. I tried calling the hospital to see if he was an inpatient, and they said they had nobody by his last name there. Also notified Kit that I hadn’t heard from JJ for a couple days since that mysterious and troubling message he left on MeWe on Tuesday.

After I realized we wouldn’t be meeting today at all, and that he wasn’t going to respond, I went and laid down to get over the the stress of JJ’s lack of communication. I think I even managed to sleep a little. This was good, because I hadn’t slept well last night, and that probably wasn’t helping the stress factor.

Since there was nothing I could do to get a response from JJ at present, I packed up some D&D stuff to take to the Pride Center with me. I’d already gotten an agreement from Kevin on Wednesday that he’d drive me home if I came and hung out with him before the support group I wanted to go to. So that was what I did, while working on D&D stuff. Happily, I got all the must-do stuff done and have since been working on something purely fun for me (and hopefully my players).

When I got home, I fed my cat and then quickly called Mom, who’d left a message while I was at the Pride Center. I convinced her not to spend money she didn’t need to spend on something for me that I don’t really need. Tried contacting JJ again too, but no response to my message, so I emailed him. Did my languages on Duolingo, a teensy bit of work on one of my wips, had supper, and took some pics of Hendrix. I’ve posted the most amusing of them above. LOL

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