Entry for April 19, 2006

I got my car back from the body shop last week after $3,000 in repairs–more than the 1998 Honda Civic is worth. The front right and left sides of my coupe were damaged in the three-car fender-bender on my way home from work a few weeks ago. I also had to pay $300+ for a rental, which isn't automatically covered in Massachusetts.

Although I haven't heard about the status of the other two drivers (a young woman had swerved from the right lane into the center lane, forcing the driver there to pin my automobile between his vehicle and the guardrail), I still hope to be reimbursed the $500 insurance deductible since the accident clearly wasn't my fault. I also just noticed that one of my side lights is still out, so I'll have to go back to the shop.

Janice and I managed to get most of our possessions packed before our move within Needham Heights, Mass., this past weekend. Janice's parents, her youngest sister Melinda, and Melinda's precocious 8-year-old daughter Amanda came from Upstate New York to help us. Much thanks also to local friends Thomas K.Y., James B., and Cliff Y. for their assistance, which made moving numerous boxes of books, clothing, decorations, and housewares/garden tools easier! We took several loads in a rented van between our old and new duplexes on Saturday, 15 April 2006. We also ordered pizza for everyone.

On Easter Sunday, Janice and I drove up to the Westin in Waltham for a breakfast buffet with her family before continuing to clean both places and move smaller items. Our new apartment is slightly smaller and is a mirror image of the previous one (things that were on the left are now on the right), which has been somewhat disorienting. Parking is also a bit more limited. Janice's folks left by midafternoon, then Thomas came and helped us move and set up our home computer. He and friend Matt joined us for dinner at Mandarin Cuisine, a nearby Chinese restaurant.

On Monday, I had to go to work, while Janice supervised the hired movers, who took our larger appliances and furniture over. She also dealt with the transition of utilities such as our telephone/cable television/broadband Internet service (our phone number has stayed the same). I've volunteered for an annual writing assignment at CW, and while the timing could be better, I'm now also busy conducting phone interviews in addition to my regular copy editing for print and online.

As David I.S. noted, many of our circles of acquaintances are going through turmoil right now: sick children (on both sides of Janice's and my families), job/house changes (Dave is deep in academic/bureaucratic job stress, Steve M. in Connecticut also has to move, and Nicole L.P. may be changing jobs), and members of the Boston-area social/gaming groups are about to have seasonal turnover. Not to mention the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and resulting oil price gouging, domestic insecurity, and the return of my allergies to pollen and dust. I'll be glad when we'll all be past this.

On a lighter note, I've been able to keep up with the latest episodes of adolescent angst in "Veronica Mars" and "Smallville," the D.C. Comics decennial continuity house-cleaning seems to be paying off in its "One Year Later" storylines, and the final episodes of "Justice League Unlimited" have been decent and foreshadow more superheroic action on the Cartoon Network this coming autumn in "Legion of Superheroes" and "Fantastic Four."

I also recommend the BBC/SciFi Channel's revived "Doctor Who" to those who haven't yet seen the long-running time travel T.V. show. The regular "SciFriday" lineup will return in July. Nickelodeon's "Avatar: the Last Airbender" is better than most anime imported into the U.S. from Asia, IMHO, and has been one influence on my D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands" heroic fantasy campaign.

Speaking of role-playing, I've had to postpone various one-shots and skip a few "Seekers of Lore" sessions. When we left the current Player Characters, they had found themselves involved in a murder mystery in a steampunk future. In addition, the role-play by e-mail parties (led by Dexter V.H./"Faelonia," Byron V.O./"Ibrahim," Carolyn M.P./"Grace," and Greg D.C./"Janus") are busy preparing to fight dragons during delayed face-to-face gatherings.

I look forward to getting back to gaming, although hosting may be a challenge (unpacking is going slowly), and scheduling remains a challenge. "Liberators" and "Animals" alumnus Mark A.S. will be visiting from New Zealand (by way of San Diego and Chicago for work) during the next two weekends. Since I was forced to postpone various visits because of our move and travel next month, Mark will be staying with Thomas, and we'll probably get together for lunch and/or dinner this coming Sunday. In the meantime, I hope that all's well with you…