Archive for February, 2004

dreamfest overdrive

I’m blogging from bed right now, wearing only the lint from my flannel bedsheets.

This morning I woke in one of those slow dramatic thinking modes. Every lazy twist and turn my brain-tunnels took was some exaggerated incredible idea. After awhile, I stopped daydreaming (I’m sure the thought process was very close to dreaming while awake) and focused on one thought in particular: I’m never going to be one of the crazy-prolific writers. The writers you read about because they wrote over a hundred books during their lifetimes. Asimov and Silverberg come to mind in the science fiction realm, but it seems like about one author a week in the writer’s almanac talks about another one. Someone who was driven to write–possessed by their passion for it. I am a slow writer, and as a result should really focus on quality, not the crappy quantity nanowrimo stuff (although that was good because it forced me to write something). Anyways, I haven’t been writing. One of the biggest reasons for taking the new job was so I’d have some time to write on the weekdays. But so far it’s just been party every night. Board games and video games, inviting people over at every opportunity. It doesn’t help any that laura doesn’t work, so when I get home she’s starving for attention almost as badly as the cats do when everyone has been out all day. I don’t mind that, but sometimes I’m exactly the opposite, and I want to hibernate for a while when I get home.

Anyway, point is, write more, game less. (yeah, write.)

sidemouthed reviewz

Peet is pretty much nearly my favorite writer. I spent twenty minutes looking at hard drive enclosures and MMC cards on ebay before I decided I’d better get on with it and update this shithole. A few minutes on Peet’s blog for inspiration, and I was back at it, wanting to do something with my life… Or anyways, update this fucker.

I played Crystal Chronicles tonight with Delobi.us, D, and G, and man… I admit I was sucked in, but I’m kinda glad I didn’t plunk down my fifty. I’d maybe buy it for $30 used or something.

Before that, I stopped at the fetus and signed over a lung and two kidneys for the four aforementioned desired CDs. I was in the store for an hour, and (as my co-worker put it) it was payday today… (well, yesterday now). I’d picked up six or seven CDs that weren’t the ones on my list and for various reasons put them all back again. By the time I was ready to check out, I riffed through the ones still in my hands, and low and behold, it was exactly the four CDs I’d come into the store with the intention of purchasing. I’m honestly not sure how that worked.

So yeah, latest craze, ripping my CD collection to mp3. I’m not sure how big this puppy’s gonna get, but I’m aiming for ALL the CDs, so I imagine it’ll be upwards of 50gigs.

There is this weird phenomenon I want to write about involving coding and reading poetry (and how the two don’t seem all that compatible), but after writing these last few paragraphs, I’m not feeling particularly articulate. Maybe I’ve said enough on the subject already. I’m awash with nothingness and less-than-sweet nothings.

“Let the day take you.”

gamesanity

So the evolution of last month’s obsession with board and card games has found me up to my neck in marked-down games from the Wizards of the Coast closing sale, (among various other sources). My latest two favorites are Carcassonne, and Settlers of Catan.

Wizards had a nice edition of Carcassonne with all the expansion packs included that several in our group of friends have now picked up. We played tonight with all of the expansion rules for the first time. (I take that back, we didn’t play with the big “double sized” guys, I’m not sure why exactly, but we used them to score instead.) It was fun, but I think the game definitely moves faster if you don’t play with all the expansions.

Dr Bombay picked up Carcassonne Hunters & Gatherers last night, and we played that–both to see how it differed from the original, and because he’d heard it was better. It was better, but only in some ways. The scoring at the end of the game was definitely less complicated, and we liked having the “bonus” tiles. Anyway, I’m not sure why Settlers of Catan is so fun. There is a definite strategy element involved (quite different and distinct from Carcassonne), but it seems fairly random to me as to who ends up winning in the end.

Tonight, after juggling, Laura, Sarah, Matt and I played a round of Settlers, and then one of Carcassonne. Sarah had to go sleep, so then Matt and I played some Go on a 9×9.

I won twice with my usual 4-stone handicap, so we went down to 3 and he schooled me. Then he told me why I was losing, and it basically all boiled down to the fact that I play too aggressively in general. With a game that small, you really only have to play the most brain-dead defense to win with a 3 stone handicap. I pretty much felt like an idiot, but I really thought about it afterwards, and even now it rankles a bit.

Makes me wonder if I have the same tendency in Chess or other games. Many of our friends make fun of me for being too aggressive. Laura likes to get everyone to team up against me no matter what game we’re playing. Of course, she’d say it’s just because I like winning a little too much, but I’ve always sorta taken it as a compliment. I’m the one people have to “watch out for” to keep from winning. It means I’m good, or at least, that’s what I like to think.

Sarah mentioned that she’d played a game of Carcassonne with K this last weekend where he got a little too upset about much the same thing happening–people conspired against him, and he lost. I think I know the feeling well, and it really sucks if you loose by a lot. But if you’re still in the running, and you know everyone else was out to get you, I always feel like that’s a sort of accomplishment in and of itself.

I better stop this line of reasoning before I start to sound too conceited. Just don’t ask me who wins every time we play Tetris.

getting postal

I get emails about twice a month begging for Tattle Tale’s song Glass Vase Cello Case. (I come up 4th in a google search for that song, don’t ask me why.) It is attest to my idiosyncrasies that I sometimes reply right away, and sometimes not. This morning I had two of them in my inbox, quite polite ones at that.

I started to feel guilty sending out the mp3, despite the fact that it is near impossible to get a hold of a physical copy of the Tattle Tale, Sew True CD itself. I looked briefly (in vain) for Jen Wood’s email address to ask her permission. In my searches, I discovered that she is part of one of my newest favorite bands, The Postal Service.

A few nights ago, I burned my sister a cd full of songs that would possibly make good unicycling “routine” music. She chose the first track from Give Up. I will be hearing quite-possibly too much of that great track in the coming months.

I discovered the Postal Service when I was obsessed with lists of people’s 2003 favorites. It felt like everybody had them on their lists. So I downloaded the CD, and it’s now on my list to buy when I have money again. Here’s the list:

Crystal Method: Legion of Boom
Postal Service: Give Up
Stereolab: Margerine Eclipse
Trans AM: Liberation

miracles of coincidence

Today, reading pete’s new blog, I found his link to Dom’s moblog. It was a moment very much like another moment not that long ago, when I realized that a close friend of mine from high school’s husband was in the band Volante. A band I even mentioned here, back when I picked up their remix CD at cheepo. Anyway, I think theyÂ’re married now. We very much lost touch for many years.

Dom and Pete are friends from high school too, so it’s all one big startling blur of really. Past acquaintances blown up into new blogs, or band members, or band members wives, or whatever. A giant smorgasbord of reality’s small-world syndrome packed tightly into brain-memory bubbles.

bathrooms are all the same… shitty

There are no doubt some readers out there who will be secretly pleased to hear that not all aspects of my new job are perfect.

Toilet paper, oft the receptacle of my ire where I used to work, is much better here. While still in a giant impersonal and un-scored roll, it is soft and serves its function well.

Unfortunately, there is only one stall in the bathroom, and the door to said stall is totally and completely, incalculably wack. Not only does the door not really line up with the jam, failing to perform its function in a respectable fashion, but I think I may have hurt my wrist trying to twist the stupid inch-diameter knob that extends the bolt-type-thingy. The twisting action is maddeningly sticky, (although the knob itself is not) and only seems to actually even work at all about half of the time. I feel like I’ve spent literally minutes trying to close and fasten that door. Minutes that feel–when the porceline object of your desire is so near at hand–like hours.

blog neglect

Big changes have been happening, and for some reason that has contributed to lack of time, or ambition, or something, and bloggging has taken a backburner… simmering and waiting to bubble up to the surface of my attentions once again. Anyway, the pot’s starting to boil now folks, and I need to get some of this out.

I apologize profusely for not reading your blog. With about two or three exceptions, my list of blogs to read has been as neglected as the popsicles in my freezer.

So… changes: Work foremost and front and center. My entire life has had a major upheaval for the better. I even took the bus two days last week! I have to get downtown to the metro-transit store and buy a nice fatty buscard in the near future or mine’s gonna run out, and I’ll be stuck sticking dollar bills into the slot–hoping I have “exact change”.

I’ve had like three assignments, and each one has had a major programming component in php. I have a new dell, and I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I’ve really enjoyed playing with the preinstalled XP. It’s the first time I’ve used it.

Programming for extended periods of time changes the way you think. I’ve experienced this before, mostly in small doses. It shifts stuff around in your skull. I’m not sure how to describe it. It’s not like I’m thinking in logic statements or anything that silly, but just a subtle shift. I guess I’m about to find out what it feels like in large doses.

I guess nothing else that’s happened in the last week has been all that dramatic or life changing. I don’t think a day has passed without my thinking that some small anecdote would make a good blog entry– Yesterday’s valentine’s day sushi; the game of Settlers of Catan with my sister and her boyfriend; Friday’s party that two people showed up for; my dad staying the entire day at my place to surf the internet; Thursday’s family dinner craziness; Wednesday’s return to the land of commuter-bus-taking.

Anyway, I’ve kept up on the moblog. I really love doing it. Looking at everything as a potential picture also changes the way you think. You notice more beauty that way.

This morning I woke up wanting to program for my phone. I wonder how much a copy of CodeWarrior with that Symbian emulator thing costs. Ahhh, over a grand… maybe I’ll hold off on purchasing that one then.

mondo 2004 reprise

Mondo was fabulous. The show was extremely good this year, I’d say better than any other mondo show that I can remember. Vova and Olga were well worth the plane ticket that we paid for to get them out here. They were AMAZING. Machines, really. But beautiful machines. They were also very nice.

My other favorite from the show was George the slackrope walker. (If I find a link, I’ll post it, but so far, google has been failing me. It would of course help if I could remember his last name.) He was extremely good, and after the show, back in the gym, I got the chance to talk with him some about slackrope, and specifically the best way to turn around while standing on one. George was very willing to teach, and after a few minutes of practicing on the lines on the floor, I was starting to get the urge to actually do some slackrope. I pulled the mountain climber’s tape out of my duffel, and we tied it between two aluminum risers in the gym. At first the risers slid around a bit, but for whatever reason they didn’t move after the first couple of minutes.

George showed me how to practice just about everything he did in his show, and now I have a TON of stuff to work on. One of the things he did that I had previously thought was near impossible was balancing with your feet perpendicular to the rope, (facing the audience). Not only did George show me the trick to doing it, but by the end of the night (2am) I was able to actually balance there for about10 seconds! I had also turned around on the rope a total of four times–the first four times I’d ever done it.

lost in translations

Watched Lost in Translation last night. I wish the DVD actually had translations on it for the parts that really were lost. Laura wouldn’t have let me watch it with those turned on till we’d seen the movie the “intended” way first, but when I went back after to try it with the English (for the hearing impaired) subtitles on, it just says things like [talks in Japanese] when they’re talking in Japanese.

For a few scenes, I really felt frustrated because of this. Especially the scene in the Hospital with the two women in the back laughing so hard, I really felt like I just wasn’t getting the joke. I guess that was obviously the point. Now that I think about it, that’s not a feeling that I have experienced from a movie before, and I suppose is interesting and worthwhile. Of course, that won’t stop me from going to google to find out what was said. (But I won’t say anything about what I’ve found, because I know of at least one person who will read this before he sees the movie. Jason, that’s you. No googling now. ;)

Anyway, some aspects of the movie really were brilliant. Visuals were stunning. Acting was great. It deserves lots of awards.

mondo juggling festival

This weekend is MONDO! (The coolest juggling festival this side of the Midwest.) Some might argue that claim, but I always enjoy the festival. Plus, I’ve helped run the thing for the past 5 years or so, so I have to say that, or they kick me off the planning committee.

Not that I’ve done anything for it this year other than fold the fliers one night at neverthriving. I’m not very active in the group, but I do try and go to the meetings and stuff. This year promises to be a good festival– then again, they’re all pretty good festivals. I haven’t been to a juggling convention all year, I don’t think, and I’m starting to really look forward to this one.

Also amazingly crazy: My last day at my job is tomorrow. I packed up a bunch of my books and stuff already, but I’m still going to have a box of stuff when I leave. It will also (strangely) be a little sad to say goodbye to the box that I’m writing this on right now. This mac has been my work machine for… well, I was going to say three years now, but then I realized that I swapped it out for a newer one only a few months ago. Damn. I guess I can’t get that nostalgic about it then, can I?

I will most likely do most of my work on a PC at the new place. I’ll have my little laptop if I need my fix of OSX, but it is slow as hell, (especially running mozilla), and I’ve been thinking about upgrades for a while now. If only apple computers weren’t so damn expensive I’d have probably bought a new G5 a while ago now.

Anyway, MONDO… this weekend… yeah.