Jerome Comeau, aka Heronymus.
Country, United States.
Wife (Wife (v.2.0)), one son, Jasper, aka JAC. Several brothers and
sisters, and I still have both parents.
depending on the day. Mostly, I'm quietly self-centered with a touch of
ancestor worship and a dollop of animism. I'm considering converting to
Catholicism for tax purposes.
I'm a Republican, but I'm an Eisenhower Republican.
I finished High School and had a semester of College, before I
discovered college wasn't really for me. My high school was an all-boys
private school run by Jesuits, and for me it was an incredible
experience in learning and discovering. Mostly about stuff, but some of
it about me.
an inveterate writer, and I'm enamoured of travel, mostly within the
United States. I sing middlingly-well, and I'm a practicing
test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you currently living,
in your parents' basement? No. But I did at one point
keep all my stuff in the basement of a Commune I was part of for a
while. I didn't actually sleep in the basement, though.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend? Relaxing.
Frequently as is the
case with parents who have full-time jobs, Saturday is usually a
cleaning and running errands and whatnot. Sundays, for us, tend to be a
day of rest.
Reading or going for walks, frequently going to a bookstore or library
for part of the
day, with a slow, lazy restful afternoon and a big Sunday dinner to get
us ready for
the week ahead. My perfect Sunday involves french toast, a really good
tea, and a blanket. In practice, I get between three and six hours on
afternoon to get my reading and relaxation in before the chores and
stuff catch up
What is the most
frightening thing you've ever done? Riding across the
San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge on my motorcycle, in the rain, in
rush-hour traffic, with a bald back tire. Of all the really stupid
things I've done, this was pretty much the top of the pile;
motorcycles, especially lightweight ones like the one I owned, are
notoriously skittish in the rain, and are mostly kept from falling over
by the wheels moving. Because of the heavy traffic, the wheels barely
moved at all, and since I was on the lower deck, the surface of the
roadway was just wet enough to be slick without being wet enough to
wash the oil and grease away. I've frequently been in situations where
I could die; jumping out of planes, rock-climbing, camping, but this
remains the one and only time I was convinced I would die. That I made
it across in one piece is still a marvel to me.
your favorite word? I go back and forth on this one,
but it's either 'incendiary' or 'luminescent'. Not just because they
sound nice (though they both do sound nice) but because they both imply
a state of being after the word has been spoken. Something is
luminescent until it fades to dark; something is incendiary until be
bursts into flame. The idea of words with time limits is fascinating to
your favorite time of year, and why? This is a tough
one for me, but I think Spring is really best. I'm an Easter fanatic,
though I'm not Christian any longer, mostly because I love the
fertility rites inherent in the idea of Easter (which, of course, was
named after the goddess Eostre, who was an Anglo-Saxon goddess of
fertility and springtime. The idea of celebrating the re-birth of the
world makes me all giddy all over, the same way many folk feel about
your most prized physical possession? I think probably
the nut-bunny I got as a gift from a friend way back in high school.
It's a bunny carved from a nut, and polished and laquered. When I was
younger, I was a terrible packrat, keeping nearly everything I found or
bought, but my first divorce succeeded in separating me from my worldly
goods, to the point that I no longer think that actual 'things' are
very important. I'm not terribly sentimental, anyway, so the drift away
from possessions wasn't terribly difficult.
three things you can't live without? Music, writing, and
caffiene. Music because there is always a song playing in my head, and
living life without a soundtrack would be impossible to bear. Writing,
because I read when I'm bored, or tired, or really when I have any
spare time at all, and so living without the written word wouldn't
really be living, to me. And caffiene because it allows me to skimp on
the sleep. As a parent, sleep falls a distant third to kids and work!
If you could change one thing
about yourself, what would it be?
Physically, I'd like to magically fix my teeth. I hate dentists, but I
teeth, and I need a LOT of work on them before I'll ever be able to
talk without pain. In terms of personality,
the only thing I really dislike is my
lack of memory.
As I've gotten older, I
find I am more inclined to accept the foibles of other
people as well as myself, resigned to the idea that while we may like
for their merits, we love them for their flaws. Without our flaws,
be quite boring, I think.
If you could have one
superpower, which power would you pick?
Indistructability, usable only on others. The ability to make someone
else safe from harm would be the best superpower ever; it would allow
me to keep my loved ones (and even lucky innocent bystanders) safe. The
idea of being indestructible myself is scary, because I'd worry about
being safe when those around me were hurt. This has changed
significantly from what I would have answered three years ago; it might
have something to do with my son being born around then...
What is your favorite
mode of transportation? The "L" train here in Chicago.
I've always loved trolleys and subways, but the El is the perfect
transport system. It's a train on rails thirty feet above the streets.
The comfort of the train tracks, the convenience of the subway, and the
beauty of being able to ride above the fray and watch the City go by. I
liked the Streetcars in SF, frequently going out of my way to ride on
them, but Chicago's El line is basically my favourite.
If you could pick any
other time period to live in - including the future - which would it
be, and why? The future is unpredictable and therefore
effectively like jumping off a cliff of uncertain height; I don't know
what it will be like next week, let alone next decade, so that's out.
Conversely, the past is knowable and uniformly terrible. I like my
method of time travel: one second at a time, into the unknown future,
for as long as I can hack it. Life continues to be shocking,
surprising, difficult, and for all that today is still better than any
period in history. I'll stick to now, thanks, and continue to be
about your favorite RPG character that you've ever played.
After a pretty hard noggin-crunching session, I'd have to say that my
absolute favourite character to play (so far) was Larry the Lobster.
Larry was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character that ended up being
'ported to the RIFTS universe almost immediately, at which point I and
a couple of fellow players broke pretty much every rule we could get
away with breaking. At the time, we were doing it mostly to mess with
the GM, who was shall we say neither the best nor the brightest bulb in
the box. The fellow players, however, were marvelous, and we had a
grand time basically messing about. Larry was the name she went by when
dealing with other people, because most folk couldn't pronounce her
real name, and she had a serious attitude. It helped that she was also
nearly the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.
Larry, despite her
dislike of all things human, was really quite sweet to her friends, and
disliked violence unless otherwise unavoidable. Larry was an experiment
as to just how alien I could get myself to think, and a relatively
successful one: I've not managed to recapture my ability to think at
right angles to everyone else since then. That may be because nowadays
I'm often surrounded by people who are much smarter than I am.
your favorite RPGs? It's tough for me to pick one
favourite; I have several that I like to "fall back" on, as well as a
couple with which I am currently infatuated. My fall-back ones are HERO
4th Edition and GURPS 3rd Edition Revised, but my current favourites
are Dogs in the Vineyard and Fvlminata. The former two because they
allow me to shoehorn any setting into one or the other system with
little work, and the latter two because they do an amazing job of
matching systems to settings. For me, it's less about what we're using
to play and more about who I'm playing with and why.
What was your first RPG session like? For the longest
time I believed that my first RPG session was in early High School, but
I was reminded not terribly long ago that I was in fact introduced to
gaming significantly before that. My first experience with gaming
turned out to be when I was six or seven, when I was being babysat by
my elder sister and her boyfriend and I was taken in by a large table
of very friendly bearded men and women with long hair, who kindly put
up with me sitting at the table, rolling dice, moving around the little
miniature people on the board, and otherwise pretending to be someone
else with a bunch of grownups. It had to have been Dungeons and
Dragons, but I remember very little except the nifty little guys and
the fact that all the adults around the table were taking me very
seriously and not talking down to me or making me feel like a little
It made it extraordinarily fun, especially since I was effectively
playing a young squire of one of the other characters and therefore my
contribution was a glorified spear-carrier. I got into the SCA at a
very young age because of those folk, and read Tolkien and other
fantasy novels soon afterwards, also because of them. It was a taste of
adulthood and I'm sorry I had forgotten it, and glad someone reminded
me of the experience.
your WORST RPG session like? My worst RPG session lasted
about 15 minutes, because after that I got up and walked out. I was
desperate for a game, and so signed up for a DnD game at the local game
store. As instructed, I had brought a character with me, created with
the DnD 3rd Edition rules. Almost immediately, the other players began
making remarks that made me uncomfortable, but I didn't get really
upset until the GM called my character concept "gay".
At that point, I explained that I wasn't interested in playing with
bigots, collected my things and left. I think the important lesson to
take away from this little story wasn't that they were gamers, but that
they were intolerant. I'd react to rudeness in any forum, including at
the gaming table, in precisely the same way. If any of them had been
older, I'm not sure I would have been so hesitant to react more
severely, but as it was, they were children, and so I did my best to
limit myself to simply a tongue-lashing.
One of the greatest
things about role-playing is the opportunity to put onesself outside
the normal interaction box: to become someone else, to try and see the
world through their eyes. A chance to experience vicariously the life
of someone (or something) different from ourselves. That includes
learning about intolerance, and racism, and bigotry, and hatred, and
fear...and how we see ourselves, and how we as people act in similar
your all-time favorite person to game with? My current
gaming group have consistently impressed and humbled me with not just
their gaming abilities, but as good people and good friends. Joe Cohen
and Matt Helms are the best gaming group a guy can have. I would state,
however, that the friends I've made through my gaming groups are the
best friends I could hope for, and I hope I'm considered to be as good
a friend to them as they are to me.
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