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Apr. 14th, 2008 @ 08:41 pm pimping for a friend of a friend of...
The following is a copy of the first chapter of the online story Tales of MU, posted here by invitation of the author. Please note that while this teaser is safe for all ages, the rest of the story is intended for adults. If you enjoy this chapter, the address to read more is http://www.talesofmu.com ... and please spread the word by sharing the link or copying this entire message to your own journal, blog, forum, or personal webpage! Permission is given to post the first chapter only, without any cuts or edits, and with this entire message attached. Note: e-mailing to friends and printing out copies are also acceptable forms of distribution.

TALES OF MU 1: Welcome to MU
"In Which We Meet Mackenzie"
by Alexandra Erin

Despite the presence of cardboard signs trimmed with crepe paper and balloons, I completely missed the front door of Harlowe Hall and instead ended up in a big spartan lobby/hallway that linked three different residential buildings. I thought that’s where the sign had been pointing... later, I’d find out that Harlowe’s entrance was actually below the ground level, off a sort of sunken patio that was screened from view by the shrubbery I’d walked past. Nobody ever wandered into it by accident. The lobby was full of people, bustling among the front and rear entrances and the three large hallways branching off from it in every combination of to-and-from. Most of them were carrying at least a suitcase. Some of them were trundling luggage trolleys, often with a mini fridge and/or TV.

I stared around blankly, hoping for a sign of where I was supposed to be. Luckily, somebody spotted me and took pity on me.

"Hey, frosh!" a sharp, but not hostile, voice said. I spun around and saw a preppy-looking guy without any baggage. "What you looking for?"

"Harlowe," I said.

I caught a look that was a mixture of surprise, disgust, and fear, but he hid it pretty fast. He pointed to a set of double-doors leading to one of the hallways.

"Thanks," I said, keeping my voice as neutral as I could. He had helped me, after all.

I lugged my suitcase, backpack, and duffel bag down the hall. The staircase was easy to find, and it took me down to a big glass-fronted common room that was positively packed with people. Surprisingly little sunlight reached in through the windows. Most of the people there were sitting around in the second-hand sofas and chairs, or just milling around. It looked like most of them had already checked in. There were three lines of people leading up to the long reception desk, but the longest one only had four students in it and they were all moving quickly.

Fragments of conversation reached me over the general murmur and buzz as I got in line.

"I’m actually taking nineteen hours of classes this semester. That seems like a lot. Does that seem like a lot to you?"

"You know, this was my safety school."

"Can you believe they don’t even let us have candles in our dorm? How are we supposed to..."

"Did you see the weapon policy? They’re pretty strict."

"Name?" the woman asked me when I got up to the counter. She had a nametag which read "Gwendolyn Rodrigues - Resident Advisor."

"Mackenzie Blaise," I said.

"Is Mackenzie your first name or your last?" she asked me, turning away from me to a table against the back wall, covered with large envelopes.

"First," I said, adding unnecessarily, "Blaise is my last name." What can I say? It was my first day at college, and I’d already made what felt like one giant blunder, even if nobody knew about it. I was the tiniest bit nervous.

She found the packet labeled "Blaise, Mackenzie" and handed it to me.

"This is a copy of your class schedule, a calendar of events, coupons for the student union, and emergency listings," she said. "Now, you’ll need to read and sign this statement about compliance with the university’s weapons policy." Even though she was obviously a student and only a few years older than me, she already had the voice and facial expression of an officious bureaucrat. I could tell that being an R.A. was only one step in what would doubtless be a very fulfilling career for her in the field of interfering with others’ lives.

"Of course," I said, barely glancing at the slip of paper before signing it.

"And, of course, I have to see the weapon you’ll be using."

I reached into my coat and pulled out the knife, the twisted bronze hilt protruding from a lambskin sheath, and laid it down on the counter.

"That’s your main weapon?" she asked me, eyebrows raised.

"It’s the only one I’ve got," I said, with a silly grin.

"Only it’s not very big, is it?"

"I’ve never been much impressed with size," I told her.

"It’s barely enchanted," she observed. I wondered if she could tell that at a glance, or if there was something under the counter telling her that.

"The policy I read just said a magical weapon, it didn’t specify how magical it had to be," I pointed out. I’d been expecting this reaction, but it didn’t make it any less irksome.

"It’s just... life on campus can get dangerous..."

"I’ve never needed anything bigger," I said testily.

For a few moments, she looked at me like she wanted to say something... like she was going to invoke some little-known rule to throw me out until I came back with one of those absurdly huge broadswords or big spiky maces, but finally she just said, "All right. But there’s a nice little weapon store in town, if you change your mind."

"I’ll remember that," I said.

She held out a small manila envelope slightly larger than a business card.

"Here’s your room key and a pass card to get in and out of the building after dark," she said. "Though it’s best not to wander around campus too much at night. Stick to the lighted paths, and travel with a friend as much as possible. It’s all in your campus security pamphlet."

"Yes, thank you, I’ve read it," I said, reaching for the packet. She still looked doubtful, but she finally handed it to me.

"You’ll be needing this back, too," she said, handing me my knife, hilt-first.

"I’m actually hoping I won’t."

"Oh, yes, of course," she said. "Welcome to Magisterius University, Ms. Blaise."

READ THE REST OF THE STORY AT http://www.talesofmu.com !
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chalice UU
Feb. 26th, 2008 @ 06:09 pm (no subject)
Current Location: my hotel room
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Tags:
For those of you who don't know, I got a new job. I'll be working on board the Sea-based X-band Radar platform in the Pacific Ocean. I'll be living on the vessel for 8 weeks out of every 12 from here on in. This week is my first week of orientation/training at Raytheon in Burlington, Mass. I'll be here and in Woburn, Mass for the next 2-4 weeks.

So... the new info. I'll be taking the Dove (a transport boat) from Hawaii to the SBX to start my first rotation on April 1st. Here's the info I got today about what to bring, what not to bring, and what life on board is like, written by a colleague.


VESSEL INFO:

WHAT TO BRING:
Comfortable and Casual work clothes. Most folks wear jeans and t-shirts daily. Right now you will not need any cold weather clothes. Shower shoes. Steel toed boots. They say ankles must be covered, but what I actually see is a lot of gym shoes. Gym clothes if you want. Big Hint: Almost everyone brings way too much stuff the first time. I bring 10 sets of socks/shorts/t-shirts, boots, 4 pair jeans, clippers, etc.
Over the counter medications you want like Aspirin, Tylenol, etc., cold medicine if you want, that type of stuff. And of course any prescription medications you may have.
Those are the basics.

WHAT THE VESSEL SUPPLIES:
All linens, sheets, pillow cases, bedspreads, blankets, towels, wash cloths
A variety of bath soaps to choose from, tissues, toilet paper, laundry detergent, bleach, softeners, etc.
All the food you can eat, fantastic variety of drinks (this ain't no diet cruise)
Cleaning supplies, mops, 409, spic'n'span, etc. for room/bathroom cleaning

VESSEL LIFE:
Every room and selected common locations have flat screen TV. We get Armed Forces Network (AFN) with 2 sometimes 3 channels. Sports and news almost always. Every room has a DVD and there is a large selection of movies to check out from the Ship's Store.
Tehre is a wide variety of books available on board. Read and return.
Internet is always available, standard surfing very much allowed with all the usual restrictions on going to Adult web sites. Streaming video is frowned upon due to band width restrictions, but is done in moderation.
Cell phones DO NOT work out here, but are good for the travel portion of the rotation.
You will be sharing a two person stateroom with another Raytheon employee. Two rooms share a bathroom with a commode, shower and sink. Occupants are responsible for room and bathroom cleaning. You work it out with other folks. Inconsiderate folks are not tolerated due to the close living conditions.
Gym is fully outfitted.
Ship's Store has stuff like toothpaste, razors and such on sale. Good prices, but limited variety and occasionally short supply. Has SBX shirts/hats/overalls/sweatshirts and that type stuff for sale (I guarantee that you will buy some of this stuff, all in the range of $20.00)
There are basically five groups on board - Raytheon, Boeing, IAS (Ship's Crew), IDT and GCN. You will understand more when you get on board.
Meal times are set, but food/snacks/drinks are always available.
If you drink you can count this time as your periodic 8 weeks of sobriety!
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pi
May. 23rd, 2007 @ 12:31 pm LOL!!!!

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pear silly
Jan. 29th, 2007 @ 02:15 pm Human Awareness Institute
Does anyone know anything about HAI.org? Given the varied folks on my flist, I figure one of you have run across HAI at some point.
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chalice UU
Oct. 3rd, 2006 @ 09:34 am Gay Rights
Tags:
"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?"
-- Ernest Gaines


We would like to know who really believes in gay rights on livejournal. There is no bribe of a miracle or anything like that. If you truly believe in gay rights, then repost this and title the post as "Gay Rights". If you don't believe in gay rights, then just ignore this. Thanks.
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chalice UU
Sep. 14th, 2006 @ 07:29 am Yoinked from k8ydid
Current Mood: flirtyflirty
Tags:
If there is someone on your friends list you would like to take, strip naked, tie them to a bed post, lick them until they scream, then fuck them until both of you are senseless and unable to fuck anymore, then wait about five minutes and do it all over again, then post this exact sentence in *your* journal.
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chalice UU
Sep. 11th, 2006 @ 10:36 am non-poll poll for things to do on Sep 30/Oct1
So, I'm too cheap to get a Plus or Paid account, so I'm going to do this the old fashioned way.

1. Journey to the West - "a thrilling combination of martial arts, kabuki theatre, modern dance, puppetry, masks and acrobatics." Tickets are $20.
2. The Bronx Zoo - I have a season pass to the 4 NYC zoos and The NY Aquarium, which I haven't nearly used enough of to make it worthwhile. I love the Bronx Zoo, and I've been to the aquarium. I can spend all day there. The other zoos are The Central Park Zoo, The Queens Zoo, The Prospect Park Zoo.
3. Nightclub Hopping. I'm told there are few cities in the world that can give as much diversity to the night clubs you can visit...
4. Urban, suburban, or deep woods Geocaching - Always fun to find hidden treasures.
5. Museums, museums, museums! - There's too many to list. Way too many. Way, way, way too many.
6. The Statue of Liberty - I haven't been there since I was a kid.
7. Ellis Island
8. The Empire State Building"
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chalice UU
Sep. 7th, 2006 @ 02:35 pm My interests collage
Tags:
My Interests Collage!Collapse )
Create your own! Originally Written By ga_woo, Hosted and ReWritten by darkman424
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chalice UU
Sep. 5th, 2006 @ 01:25 pm Personality test...hrm...
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Tags: ,

My Personality
Neuroticism
73
Extraversion
57
Openness To Experience
42
Agreeableness
49
Conscientiousness
18
Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report

MySpace Stuff, MySpace Codes and Personality Test by Pulseware Survey Software

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chalice UU
Sep. 5th, 2006 @ 11:38 am Sea air and sushi and Salem's ghosts
Tags: ,
Editted to add subject and dinner disappointment.

So on a lark I took dalbino83 up on her offer of a ghostly good time in Salem. I worked my typical extra shift on Saturday, then woke up on Sunday to pack and drive up. Silly me, I forgot my cell phone and my camera, so that was a bummer. The drive up took about 5 hours, and was a mix of sun, drizzle, and rain. I took the GSP to 287 instead of heading across the GWB through the city, as I think it's usually faster even if it's a longer trip. 287->95->91->84->90->95->128->Danvers. I always find it humorous to get off a highway and get back on it, but 95 is less direct. For fun and diversity I took 95 home.

D. couldn't provide crash space since she'd just moved in, so I got a room at the Courtyard by Marriott in Danvers. I always enjoy staying at a hotel if that's what needed, although I like staying at a friends' place just as much. Both have their benefits.

So after a quick nap and refresher I gave D. a call and she invited me over. She showed me around when I got there, and she is rightfully proud. D.'s place is really nifty and will look even better once the bookshelves are installed and all her art is hung up. I hope I get to see the "final" product. *grins* After the grand tour we went out for a quick walk to the beach (a small strip of sand that's been allowed to remain) while we chatted about boats and sea views and names.

Back to her place for some tea and pistachios before other folks started arriving. In total we had 6 of us coming together for dinner, and two more who would join us later for the tour. (And for not the first time I find myself the only guy in the group.) As things turned out, almost no one knew anyone except D., but there weren't any difficult "worlds colliding" events that I could tell. None of us had any strong preferences, but we ended up deciding to chow down at a nice pan-Asian restaurant for sushi. (It's the one in downtown Salem that has the Elizabeth Montgomery Bewitched statue in front of it.) After some good food and good conversation, we head went over to Ben & Jerry's for dessert, since we still had some time yet before the tour.

I'll leave the tour stop descriptions to D., as she's already started journalling them, and she took notes. I will say the group ended up being a decent size for a walking tour, despite the rainy weather. Two of us had a little bit of fun at one point gently pulling on D.'s hair to get her a little spooked. *grins* She never did catch us, but we both fessed up later.

After the tour half the group dispersed to other night time activities, while four of us went back to D.'s for more conversation before we, too, retired for the night. I decided to sleep in late and not look for something else to entertain me. I headed across the street to Denny's and, despite it being 10:30, waited a bit to get a counter spot and to get served. I'm always troubled by this.... they did seem to be short staffed, but I've been a waiter and there's no need to be so short.... there's almost always someone you can call in. I left a lower than usual but not terrible tip, so that the server could get something and still complain to management that the staffing needs were hurting their tip income. At 11:30 I finally got on the road and headed home.

I decided to have Phil's Pizzeria & Restaurant for dinner. Phil's is one of my childhood favorites from when I lived up in Montvale. (Exit 172 off the GSP heading north, the last exit in NJ, so when going south you have to get off at the rest stop and turn around and cross three lanes of traffic. I wans't the only crazy doing this....) Since I had to drive through Montvale on the way home (or really close if I took an alternate route), I figured this would be a good thing. Alas, Phil's was closed for the holiday, as was the entire strip mall it's in. So instead I took a leisurely drive through Bergen county down some paths I hadn't yet done some memory lane strolling down recently, before taking 20->46 to get home.
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chalice UU