My Good Deed For The Day (or maybe month…)

Posted in Art & Design Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2013 by Bekka

I do in fact perform Good Deeds on occasion. For the next 10 days I am loaning one of my t-shirt designs to the terrific geeky folks at Not Dead Yet Games to use for a fundraiser to order prototypes for reviewers and advertising for their upcoming board game Kickstarter. It will be back in Evil Bekka’s Shop after that at its usual (higher!) price.

So if you like this design, getting good deals, and supporting awesome indie board games, go order one (or five)!!

keep calm and carry shirt image


And do a good deed once in a while… It feels all warm and fuzzy… Like my insides are full of happy kittens…

Yeah, That Just Happened…

Posted in Airing of Grievances with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2013 by Bekka

Me: I’m thirsty. Good thing I have this glass of water.

GM in the Sky: Make a Dex check to drink that.

Me: What?!

GM in the Sky: You’re distracted by work, that’s a minus…

Me: (rolls figurative dice)

GM in the Sky: That’s a big Fail. You dump water on yourself.

Me: fffffffff!!! OK, I’m paying attention now. I really want to drink the water. (rolls figurative dice)

GM in the Sky: Wow, fail again. Maybe if you weren’t distracted by whining about how unfair the first roll was… You dump the rest of the glass on yourself.

Me: (flips figurative table) WHO MAKES YOU ROLL FOR THAT?!

So, how’s your Friday going? 

Evil Bekka’s Guide To Communication

Posted in Evil Deeds, Sneakiness & Skullduggery, In Real Life with tags , , , , , , , on October 3, 2013 by Bekka

I have been working on editing, layout and graphics for some self-improvement books (shameless plug: I am awesome at book layout, formatting for print and ebook and now I know CreateSpace!), one of which is about Communication. So, as I go through this text, I can’t help but absorb some of its lessons and I am starting to pay more attention to my own communication patterns, speech, and habits. I have noticed distinct tactics and phrases I use frequently in my daily life to influence others to do my bidding facilitate better cooperation and understanding between people. These tactics and phrases are surprisingly simple and not quite what you’d expect. True to my generous nature, I am now sharing this wisdom with you — may these phrases help you in your own communications…

Turn No into Yes (ie, you just missed your Persuade roll)

Try saying, “Oh, come on!” with your most winning smile. If you can, follow it quickly with an additional offer. Works three out of four times for me. Example:

Me: Why don’t you guys stay a little longer for a quick game of Catan?

“Luna”: I need to go feed my cats. They aren’t fat enough and they’ll think I stopped loving them if I feed them at midnight instead of 11…

Me: Oh, come on! You can be green.

Luna: OK!

Although the success rate is admittedly much lower when I’m trying to complete a lop-sided trade in Catan…

Me: I’ll trade you a sheep for that ore you just got!

Garian: No, I don’t need sheep…

Me: It can dance! Why don’t you give me two ore for this amazing sheep?

Garian: No.

Me: Oh, come on!

Garian: Well, let me think about it… NO.

That was a dramatization. But seriously, try it. It works. And you have nothing to lose — they already said No.

When You Aren’t Getting Your Way

Try looking distressed and sincere while you say in a very serious tone, “But you don’t understand — I want to.” Keep attempting to do what you were doing before and see if the person has the nerve to deny you after that heartfelt explanation. This should NOT be used to infringe on other people’s safety, personal space, or rights, however — I may be “evil,” but there are lines, and great power = responsibility, etc. so play nice.

The Ultimate Argument Winner

This conversational gambit is awesome and there is so far no discovered counter for it. It’s my go-to whenever someone criticizes something about me or my life, and when you are just failing to see eye to eye and need the scene to end, this will do the trick nicely. I can’t, however, take credit for this one… cue flashback effects:

I once did some time filling in as a Legal Secretary for a friend while she had an afternoon class. The lawyer she worked for was reputed to be a very good lawyer, but quite possibly either a sociopath or the Anti-Christ (reports were varied). Anyway, she didn’t give me much trouble, so I thought maybe there was some exaggeration at work. Until one day… I was typing some document or other from recorded dictation (because she’d hand-write even her emails, record them, have them typed, printed, she’d proof them, make changes, have them typed again, printed and after she signed off on them they could be sent or printed on letterhead) when her adult son came by the office to make some copies. The copier was behind my desk, so he was back there copying away when the lawyer came in and started talking with him. This somehow turned into an argument with her standing in front of my desk, while I attempted to shrink down and turn the dictation tape up louder and louder as they shouted at each other over my head.

Despite my efforts, I heard the son finally yell in frustration, “How do you not have a key to your own house?!

And the lawyer responded with, “YOU DON’T KNOW HOW WE LIVE!

It was then that I decided she was perhaps certifiable and/or brilliant. Think about it. What situation can a righteously offended facial expression and the phrase “You don’t know how we live!’ not resolve? Other people can’t know exactly how you live, not even if they live with you. There just isn’t a great comeback to it and even if you come off as ridiculous as she did, you can tell yourself that you still “won” the argument.

So, there you have my top three conversational gems. Try to use them wisely… What communication tools/tactics/comebacks do you find indispensable? Tell me in the comments!

Will Power and Other Rambles

Posted in Airing of Grievances with tags , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2013 by Bekka

ImageOK, yes, I have good genes and hyperthyroidism which makes it easy for me to stay thin no matter what I eat. But I also have will power. You know the thing that you must practice while that disc is burning/file is uploading/program is opening and you have 3 minutes of dead time and you’d really like to spend them playing Tetris on your phone and stuffing Oreos in your mouth, but you don’t. No, you get your butt up out of the chair and do 10 pushups instead, or some squats while you check Facebook. And then you are absurdly pleased with yourself as if you’d just planted a rainforest or something. So pleased that you think you deserve some Oreos. And maybe a minute or two of Tetris. Sigh….

OH, speaking of Oreos, I was having one after dinner the other day and I’m twisting it open (because I’m one of those who twists the cookie apart, licks out the cream and then eats the rest) and it looks like this:


Dramatic recreation

Yes. Someone had pre-licked the middle out of it and put it back in the bag!! As I stare in horrified shock (what if I had just bitten into it instead?!), wondering which of my uncouth friends or guests had committed this travesty (and I was ready to pin it on The Knave), Garian wanders by and snickers, saying, “Oh, ha! You found my Oreo!”

He had been eating it, apparently, gotten distracted and put it back before wandering off. Who does that?! My husband, that’s who. Next time you’re over here partying with us, twist your Oreos open, just in case…

Competant Designers Finish Last

Posted in Airing of Grievances, Art & Design Stuff with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by Bekka

Dear Ass-Face Person in Pakistan Who Underbid Me on that Laying Out a Book Job:

I understand that your cost of living is lower. That’s cool. I understand that you *know* how to use Photoshop and stock images. Also cool. You are entitled to make a living with your skills just like me.

But DO NOT frakking bid to lay out a 100 page book (for Printing, not Web publishing), and then DO IT IN PHOTOSHOP at 150 dpi! Because you know what happens? The client comes back to me (who did custom illustrations and gave them an actual print-ready file) and asks if I can format your mess into something their printer won’t laugh at.

So much RAGE.

Oh, I also noticed that your “slick formatting” removed a bunch of the spaces between words, some actual words, and a paragraph or two so that you know, the book is unreadable in places. I’m enjoying going through it and adding those spaces/words/paragraphs back in. NOT. (ok, actually I am enjoying it a little because I really do like editing and correcting writing and grammar. It’s a Lawful thing.)

Now, I’m happy for me that the client is a super person who wants to pay me more for cleaning up your mess, but I am angry with you for wasting his money and time with your no doubt well-meant but ignorant shenanigans when I could have done the whole job right to begin with in the first place. You probably also wasted a substantial amount of your own time, too — each page number is its own text layer for shit’s sake!

And don’t get me started on why you shouldn’t do two-page spreads as your final files… unless you’ve already paginated them the way they need to be to print. Which you didn’t. Because that would be insanity with a document this size. Have you ever done anything for physical printing? Maybe you’ve done some newspapers, since that’s about all the resolution in your files is good for. I’m waiting to see if the client does actually get the hi-res image files from you for me to use… or if you just pilfered stuff off the internet illegally and I’ll get to redo all those as well… Update: yes.

Bottom line: if you’re going to try to steal my jobs, at least attempt to be better at them than I am. But no, really, thanks… I needed more work last week, so your crappy job is my clean-up windfall.

Also, I hate you and your ass-face.


Evil Bekka

Penguins Are Smarter Than Starfleet

Posted in Airing of Grievances with tags , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2013 by Bekka

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a Star Trek series that neither Garian nor I had watched so we started going through it last year. We’d usually watch an episode before bed so that whatever episode of Supernatural we’d just seen wouldn’t give me nightmares. There is evidently something to be said for in utero experiences because now little “Mara Jade” (geek points if you know the reference for my baby’s alias) can be wide awake and fighting bedtime for all she’s worth, but all we have to do is turn on Deep Space Nine and she’s asleep in 20 minutes. I hope and pray that it continues to work at least into her teens — I have visions of just putting the theme music on an ipod and sliding it under her door to induce instant unconsciousness…


Anyway, in watching this series, I can’t help but be extremely aggravated with whatever Starfleet protocol that calls for everyone on the runabout craft to beam down into unknown or obviously hostile situations. We’re midway through Season 2 at this point and on at least several occasions, just leaving one person on the shuttle while everyone else does reconnaissance could have averted disaster. But instead it’s “oh no, we’re all trapped down here and can’t beam out or call for backup or even tell someone where we are!” Of course, there is always some clever way out of it, but you’d think that as smart as they are, they’d institute a Someone Stays On The Shuttle ‘Til It’s All Clear Rule. Or that Chief O’Brien could rig up a ring or something they could wear with a panic button that would beam them back out without having to touch the comm badge and say, “computer, one to beam up.” It’s not even an original idea — one of the Dominion agents they captured had something on her wrist that she just touched and floop! — she was gone right out of the station. Take a hint, people. (on a side note, when they say for instance, “three to beam up” and there are five people standing there, how does the computer know which three?! Can it pick up thought waves? Then why do they have to say anything? Things that keep me up at night…)

So, penguins. They kind of look like Star Trek characters in their high contrast uniforms don’t they? But beyond that, they’ve figured out how not to die when voyaging into the unknown. When they get ready to go fishing, they wait until one of their number goes in the hole first (or is pushed in) to make sure that there aren’t any seals lying in wait just under the ice. When that one doesn’t die, the rest jump on in.

ImagePenguins have figured this out. Why do advanced space station officers make the same tactical mistake over and over again? Because it makes good storylines… FOR ME TO POOP ON!

Seriously, I am enjoying the series, but if very many more episodes hinge on “we could’ve avoided this whole situation if someone had stayed on the runabout” I’m going to start tossing around phrases like “lazy writing.” Also, I really want a scientific explanation for how Odo can change his size so drastically without changing his mass. Any physics people want to take a stab at that? Mmmm, stabbing… K, bye!

When I Say I’m Going To Do Something…

Posted in Evil Deeds, Sneakiness & Skullduggery, In Real Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2013 by Bekka

We all remember the time I said I was going to tazer Emma? Well, that entertaining situation came about because when I say I’m going to do something I do it. That’s also why I can be annoyingly non-committal at times, but that’s another story. This Lawful compunction to keep my word has backfired on a few occasions. One of the funnier ones was during a casual conversation with some friends…

Exposition: My husband, “Garian” has this best friend from high school who we will call “Ace.” Ace has long been in a relationship with “Maire.” They are a fun and eccentric couple. Anyway, I didn’t get to know them very well until Garian and I had been married a few years. I gradually realized that Garian had evidently found the female version of his best friend to marry and Ace had found a female version of Garian to be with. Now there are differences to be sure (I am much sneakier than Ace and Maire is less mischievous than Garian), but the similarities between baseline personalities and quirks are downright eerie (I’m talking like the exact same food preferences and dislikes type of similarities). Maire and I give our respective partners grief about this quite a lot.

So sometimes there will be conversations that aren’t quite arguments between one of the couples and Ace and I will take the same side (often with the exact same reasoning and phrases) while Maire and Garian take the other — it’s like doubles ping-pong for arguments. On this occasion, Garian was trying to convince me that I really did like it when he playfully licked my ear or nose. Garian’s high Charisma Rating aside, I do not like being licked. Neither does Ace, of course, but naturally Maire is also a licker and took Garian’s side because she and Ace had had the same conversation before. After some back and forth between the four of us I finally said, “Fine. We will try it. I’ll lick Ace and nobody will be happy.” Ace expressed his disapproval of this plan and the subject was dropped.

But. I had said I would lick Ace. I said it. It went on the to do list in the back of my mind where it remained for some time, gradually eating away at my Lawful Alignment until my word could be kept and honor restored. Months later, we were sharing a hotel room with Ace and Maire on a trip. Garian was in the shower, Maire was putting on her shoes and I was brushing my hair at the mirror. Ace leaned over to use the mirror as well. I took the Attack of Opportunity and fast, like a ninja:


Sometimes it’s just no fun to be right. Although I guess I wasn’t entirely right — Ace and I certainly weren’t happy, Garian was sorry he missed it, but Maire thought it was hilarious. One positive thing to come from the Licking Experiment however, is that anytime the old Licking Debate comes up, Ace and I can say we’ve tried it, didn’t like it, and please drop it. Then we get laughed at by Maire and Garian. So that’s sort of like we won that argument?…isn’t it? I’m thinking of trying to change my Alignment to True Neutral or Neutral Good…

What do you say? Are you Pro or Anti Licking/Being Licked? Anyone ever change their stance after “practice” or being subjected to compelling arguments for or against it?