...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Koszonom, Hungary

Blogger does not play well with Central European accents, but anyhoo, here it goes.

Note the panorama in the background on the official pictures: my dad hopes a lot of tourism would result...May he be right...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Got Rain?

We got about 1/2 inch early Saturday morning, and maybe the same amount Saturday night. Yippee. Houston got drenched in 6 inches in 75 minutes yesterday morning, by the afternoon they topped 10 inches, and more is on its way today. I wish they could send some our way.
However, I wished for rain for my birthday and I got it...that was good. It was a nice and quiet birthday spent at home with friends and with The Husband at dinner at our favorite sushi bar, Hanasho in Irving (funny how we always end up there). Their rolls are the best, so we indulged ourselves in some old standbys (unagi, anyone?) and tried a few new ones (the crunchy calamari rolls looked surreal but tasted almost perfect; the daily special, a 'salmon torch roll' was tender and tasty. We got surprisingly full, but I guess sushi rice and good quality fish and veggies do that to you. I wish we could do it more often: it is such a good way of having your doses of fish and vegetables with some fun starch...:-)
Eh bien, back to the salt mines of daily labor, which is quiet this week, as almost all of our floor is at a yearly sales forum in vegas. The poor things... I think thre are maybe six-seven people are on our floor, all admins (go figure). The plan is to get filing and computer backups done by Thursday. Oh joy.

Me, naturally, also doing some writing on the side. Pulled up some old stuff today: amazing just how much my English sucked six years ago when it came to translating from Hungarian. This was one of my old short stories about Lancelot of Arthurian fame, and it was WAY overdue for heavy re-writing. I did the first pass, and it's not bad, but together with the rest of the snippets I have from that cycle it needs to be scraped up, kneaded well and re-shaped like a misshapen piece of bread dough. That, and I learned that the Pendragon role-playing game's fifth edition is out since December 2005. Oh, and the rights went to White Wolf in 2004. Where did I live, under a rock? Now I wanna run a campaign again...it was such fun. I even made music tapes for the stories I GM'd, and since I played with my fellow archeology students back in Budapest, our campaigns were actually fairly realistic from a medieval standpoint, down to our yearly "we are sitting under the oak tree and judging our manor's legal matters...WHAT did Father Emryn did again? Whose wife? I am going to the bishop... Next!"

The there was the other group that asked me to run a campaign for them, buddies from the game store I hung out in (yes, this Bunny was and to a certain extent IS a role-playing geek...so what?) and I still remember the store clerk guy who wanted to run a wizard with some fairly offensive magic and ability to shapeshift to a lion. I said..."well, you CAN do that but magic has a VERY different feel in Pendragon", explained the rules, set the character up, and then he says: 'just so that I know, suppose I want to kill King Arthur'...I looked at him, noticed the gleam in his eyes and the fact that there were at least five munchkins (aka teenage first time gamer boys) in the store around us, openly listening in, and I said: "Well, suppose you can get through the ten Round Table knights guarding him, apart from the ordinary palace guards or escorts, and maybe Sir Gawain and Lancelot are away on quests, so hmmm..."I had Arthur's stats in the back of my rulebook because I never cheat, and this was not the first time... "I also give you first attack, as he obviously never would expect, and well, you are a magician, so you go first. Declare and roll."
So he turned into his lion form and attacked. I think he actually broke his claw on Arthur's shield. I told him then that he cannot do magic in lion form, he did not have his amulet on his neck that he stored an offensive spell or two either (not that he'd have been able to use it, but he did not declare ahead of time it was out of the pouch he normally kept it) then I said: "So, now it's the King's turn...with Excalibur, naturally." I used everything strictly by the rules, applied all the modifiers to both the lion and Arthur, rolled, etc....
I think there was not enough pelt left to make a mitten out of it for Guinevere. The munchkins scattered, Viktor stared at his stats for a while and said slowly: "I guess we start with a simpler quest, yes?"

Friday, June 09, 2006

Texas Summer

Yup, the dog days of summer have officially arrived, so our household ceremoniously turned on the A/C for evenings only this week. This extra insulation-cum-ridge vents-cum-soffits seems to really work: it is over a hundred for the last two days and the temp with fans only and windows closed is around 83 in the house. It's the stuffiness that really bothers us, and thus the A/C gets turned on so that we can sleep.
Sometimes it's a good thing that our living room/library combo has only one window and thus it decidedly sports a 'cave effect'.
In other news my lavenders are blooming like crazy (I gotta get some sort of plastic tubing so I can concoct a makeshift still and produce some lavender water...mmm), and this weekend there's a definite possibility of acquiring a gently used Weber grill form a friend who upgraded to gas. Mmmm...outside meat on a regular basis, here I come...(provided there's not a ban on fires...)

Thursday, June 01, 2006


I had an officially lazy, great Memorial Day weekend, complete with the rediscovery of our back yard, in a hammock with coffee and books. It is awesome in the early morning hours, watching the cats circle the bird feeder in vain, then settling down around my hammock as if guarding from intruders, such as the bluejay raiding the feeder, or the inexplicably rude squirrels chittering on the old oak tree from which the hammock hangs.
It's pretty quiet in the evenings too, except that there are mosquitoes if I forget the Cedar-Cide (note to self, running low, need to stock up tomorrow), so the evening sittings are shorter (but are the only options during weekdays). Now if we somehow manager to get a back patio up next year, it really would be perfect.

The roses are blooming again in the front yard, and the lavender bushes are heavy with blue-gray stalks of flowers, so harvesting should commence pretty soon for dried flowers. All the other plants could use some rain. No such luck though: someone told me it rained heavily in Irving Monday...I laughed. It depends WHICH part of Irving, silly. Our back yard got maybe twenty drops. Said person snorted and told me in our office building (also in Irving) the storm (STORM!) knocked out the circuits to the security doors, so on Tuesday (which I took off, ha!) they had wide open, absolutely unsecure doors all across the building. Yes, sure.
Sigh. Sometimes I wish the airport was a bit less conveniently close...rainclouds often just bounce off somehow. On the other hand, we don't get tornadoes, ever. Which is a GOOD thing...