- Booze. Last year my cousin and his wife got me a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black which kept me company throughout the year. In fact, I depleted all of my scotches (Famous Grouse and Yamazaki) this year, and I'm almost out of my good bourbon. I would love some good replacements, along with other interesting liqueurs.
- Wardrobe. My wardrobe still contains the following things:
- Jeans worn casually
- Chinos worn casually or at work
- collared shirts worn at work or over
- Nice T-shirts
- and occasionally a casual sport jacket.
- Music. I still, still don't get enough of it on my own. Things from my high-school years (early alternative) are what I usually look for when I hit Amoeba. I prefer used CDs as a medium, over downloads.
- Stuff to do. Movie passes, theatre tickets, nice restaurants. Things to go out and do. (I've already got an American Cinematheque subscription, but an extension beyond April might be nice.)
- Techno Stuff
- My old DVD player gave up the ghost recently, and I'd like to replace it with a BluRay player that can play DVDs, BluRay, and stream video.
- On the other hand, I could also go with a barebones BluRay/DVD player and a separate Roku unit for Netflix and streaming.
- My iPod nano is dying. Right now I'm using my new tablet to substitute, but I'd like something else that I can keep music on. I'm abandoning Apple, so any small little MP3 player is fine.
- Speaking of my new tablet (a Nexus 7), I need a case for it so I can protect the screen and not be so tender with it always and forever.
- Tea. I'm actually running low on tea, so it would be a good time for gifts of that. I usually drink at work, so I don't want anything too fancy. But I do like all types of loose-leaf tea. I usually buy in person from Bird Pick (Cloud and Fog is one of my favorites), but I'd be curious about the fanciful blends from Adagio Teas. I'm also interested in The Boston Tea Campaign.
- Miscellaneous T[hings]
- My old reliable Ikea floor lamp in the living room snapped in half, and I've been resting it on its side on a chair in the living room. This has been going on for quite a while now, and I haven't done anything about it. I probably should, at some point.
- I could use a new dice bag. Don't know when I lost me old one, but right now I have them in a bowl at home, and a ziploc when traveling. Not so cool.
What actually happened is that instead of resolving the stress and anxiety of not being employed, it was transmuted into a laser-like focus on this new job (again, only a temp job) so that I wasn't paying attention to friends or anything else. It had a new commute long, which was new, but I still felt like at the end of the night I was tired and didn't have time to do or see much.
My friends have been waking me up out of that, and I'm talking with people again, but it’s a small circle of people on my chat, text, and social meetups. Going from talking to almost nobody to talking to a few people again is making me miss the nice broad sweep of broadcast information that a journal gives me. And though I keep reading DW and LJ and Tumblr, I don't interact even in comments, much.
But my schedule is really SNAFU, so I'm not going to make any promises about that. Last week, I only worked 2.8 days because of the U.S. holiday and an extra day I took to spend time with my family on the beach. This week, I'm getting prepared to go to Portland, Oregon for a week and a half for the National Puzzlers' League Convention, followed by a family wedding.
I mean, really; the Con is two days away. The pre-pre-con party is happening right now, I think. I am probably the least prepared for this con than I ever have been for any con ever. I am going to show up on Thursday and I probably still won't understand why all of these people I know happen to be at the hotel. The whole things just feels so weird.
More pressingly, I have no idea what I'm going to do for the three or four extra days that I'm in Portland. I may, in fact, spend them mostly in a hotel room reading actual books. Which will be okay too. But it's more vacation than I'm really used to ever taking in another city on my own.
What should I do with my free time in Portland, Oregon?
Rambly post is rambly. I defy editing.
After an initial flurry of activity filing for unemployment insurance and sending a few e-mails to staffing agencies, I fell into a funk of avoidance, leading to a mini freak out on Thursday. I talked with friends and family who reminded me that it's ok to be freaked out about being unemployed for the first time in over a decade, and that a few days of not doing anything productive is fine.
I'm going to try to set myself onto a daily working schedule come Monday. While it's nice to sleep in until 11 or noon, I'm not actually productive when I stay up late. Once it nears sunset, I start feeling like my work day is over, and I stop doing other things. I think that forcing myself to at least be awake by nine every morning will add a few hours to my "working" day, at the very least. More measures will probably be forthcoming.
I did manage to do a lot of nonproductive things, though. I entered a local crossword puzzle tournament and participated in a sudoku contest at Logic Masters India. boardgaming night (played Roll Through the Ages), role-playing-game night (beta-testing a game by Josh Robern), a party to read and mock Fifty Shades of Grey as a group, and an NPL party. And in addition to that, I saw a bunch of friends at different times. I joined the site Quora despite its "real names" policy, by hacking together a form of pseudonymity out of its nascent system. And I sauteed chicked without freaking out.
Starting Monday, I'm going to add DW to my list of daily things to do. For reals.
What incredibly geeky thing should I do on Saturday?
Attend OrcCon, a local gaming convention.
Attend a screening of all five original Planet of the Apes films.
Defend your position:
I'm working on the Monday holiday, so I'm going to take Saturday off, and there are two competing amazingly geeky things to do, and I'm having a hard time deciding, so I'm polling opinions.
Things to consider (ETA: These are all things that people have asked me to help make a decision):
- Links: Planet of the Apes | OrcCon
- Distance: The Egyptian Theatre is in walking distance from my house, while OrcCon is a bit of a drive to the LAX area.
- Cost: Between registration and parking, a day at OrcCon will cost about $40. A ticket to all of the Apes movies is $15.
- Friends: Although the Apes marathon will undoubtedly be packed with Apes enthusiasts, I will probably not be attending with any previously known friends. On the other hand, a number of friends and acquaintances will be attending OrcCon either for boardgaming or role-playing. In fact, several of my friends are organizing a Houses of the Blooded LARP.
- Uniqueness: Strategicon is held three times a year, while Planet of the Apes marathons are . . . somewhat more rare. On the other hand, I have all of the movies on DVD and could organize a showing in my house (with booze, even), while gaming is often ephemeral.
- PKD: In A Scanner Darkly, the characters plan to attend a marthon of all of the Planet of the Apes movies. They do not plan to attend a LARP.
It was my first time in a go-kart, but I acquitted myself well. aimegame had yelled that the only thing I had to do was "GO FAST," and I took it to heart, barreling into turns and sliding all over the damn place. It turns out that my previous experience with drifting in Mario Kart was incorrect: in fact, sliding around curves makes you go slower, rather than giving you a burst of glowing speed. On the other hand, skidding around a corner takes less time than crashing into the corner, and my drifiting kept me from a race-stopping collision with the barriers several times. Though I was in the basement among eight racers in my first match, the second, when it was just the three of us, I managed to eke out second place over aimegame.
What I didn't expect was the toll it would take on my arms. I know I don't have the greatest upper body strength, but after the races, my arms were trembling, and it hurt to lift things, which was a bit much, even for me. It certainly didn't feel like I was overstressing myself while I was racing, but there was a decent amount of adrenaline. Whether the steering actually did require more work than I'd realize, or the rush of speed had simply caused me to grip the wheel too tightly for too long, my arms were wrecked. Between that and some bumping around in the cart that left my back and sides a bit sore, I've been feeling the kart all day.
I'm probably going to join them again, but I might need to work more on my push-ups before then.
So I'm thinking about organizing a bar crawl from my house. To that end, I've created a map of locations. Some I've been to, some I want to go to, some I refuse to go to. But they're just getting put in. I'm trying to avoid anything that's a lounge or club that would have people pissy about a scene or dress code. I just want places that will give alcohol in exchange for money.
Here's the map as it stands now. I'm going to keep adding, but if you have recommendations, let me know.
I went to my dentist about what I assumed was a small cavity. We were both shocked to discover that it was, instead, a massive cavity that had grown faster than normal humans can manage, and that I now need a root canal. And also, after the root canal, I'll probably need another wisdom tooth pulled. And also my dental coverage had disappeared (though that got cleared up the next day).
I got into more of a routine with stretching and using the exercise bike. Current games for playing on the exercise bike: Castle Crashers, because it is simple and repetitive, and Super Meat Boy, because it causes you to feed the frustration back into your legs.
I made it to Laz's boardgaming night for the first time in 2011, and played Power Grid, which was balanced and fun.
I went to cramerica house-reheating party, and spent some time catching up with folks like Artistry and Bartok whom I haven't seen in a while.
I had a two-day workweek.
Oh, and also, I bought a new car a new car, and returned the Jeep to my parents.
All congratulations go to joshroby and meghatron on their wedding, as well as my thanks for inviting me to the ceremony, party, and afterparty.
I got to catch up with, and get to know better, a lot of the folks I've only met briefly, as well as meet a number of very cool people. (I don't use Facebook in the sense that I don't put anything on my Facebook, but I sure do like the real-life Pokemon aspect of adding everyone I meet.) There were a few times when I needed to leave and take a walk outside, but that was mostly because the music was too loud for me to tolerate without earplugs (which I didn't think to bring). Luckily, I was not the only one, so I was able to make conversation outside the main room most of the time.
After the party was #wedcon which was a lot of folks chilling in a fabulous hotel room in our fancy clothes. Eventually ran the mostly unwritten but excellently named and quite awesome Five Furious Fists of Tiamat. I played "Unnamed Peruvian Teenage Girl," and was quoted for Twitter. By the time I left, it was about 2:30, which was much later than I had intended, but I'm very glad I stayed.
Though I should probably get to sleep early tonight.
(Incidentally, I suggest "Sach'a", which seems to mean something like wood, tree, or born wild in the jungle in Quechua, based ona little bit of web searching.)
If you haven't noticed, I have a tag called "meta:declassified, which I use for posts which used to be filtered but now are open for general reading. After seven years, there are a lot of things that don't need to be so close to the vest. I've also been tagging filters, so that you can see what filter a given post is under (or was under).
I've also found myself adding to the breakup tag, with posts from older relationships. That's been interesting to read through, certainly.
Trying to figure out what my plans should be for tonight. Dungeonmaster's finishing the season (with the obvious exception of the all-star show), and I've been invited out with a different friend as well (though the location has its own problems). I'll figure it out soon enough.
To help enforce the theme, the hosts provided half masks for anyone not coming in costume. So I picked one up for myself (despite it being a bit uncomfortable with my glasses). Many of the folks in costume picked them up as well.
Between the masks, the dimmed party lighting, and the fact that many of the people had changed their hair as well (which is something I usually use to identify people when I can't see as well), I was having a hard time pciking out the people I knew; sometimes I was unsure up to the point we started talking.
I thought others might be having difficulty as me, and I introduced myself a few times until someone pointed out that it was very easy to figure out who I was because of my glorious beard.
chiquitadequeso won four tickets in a raffle, which led to all of us asking, "Who is Teenage Fanclub, again?" With the concert mere hours away, we are still not sure. But we will be going!
I've been making a fanmix for a Whedonland challenge, and that's meant digging deep into my music collection. And digging deep into my music collection has meant listening to music I haven't heard in a while. And listening to music I haven't heard in a while means feeling things I haven't felt in a while.
I've been flashing back to the feeling of the Tower Records at GW, the place where I browsed magazines and books, where I bought new music (that I still have), where I saw Suzanne Vega talk about meeting Lou Reed. just across the way there was an ice-cream place (was it a Coldstone's?) and an Au Bon Pain and a bar I never went to because I didn't turn 21 until I was at UCSB, and I remember it in flashes of how I felt that day, cold or wet or hot or tired or excited or scared or depressed or infatuated or proud.
Or I'll remember standing in the Albany airport, waiting for isako to give me a ride to meet ojouchan for the second time, or the same airport later, when my mom called to tell me that my grandmother had died while I was away.
And every flash is different. It impresses upon me that I never really know who I am, because I'm always changing. I don't know who I am right now.
In a lot of ways, I'm afraid of the past more than the future. The past can do as much damage as the future, but unlike the future, it can't be changed. And every year, there's just so much more of it: more pain, more joy, more laughter, more momentum, more power.
So I like to move forward, focusing on the short term, and leaving anything that's fallen out of my view deep in the past, because once I let it drop, it might not be something that's mine. It's something that belonged to a past me.
If I had the internet on right now, I'd go back and look at my posts. But I can tell, right now, that this is the kind of thing I'd be willing to post years ago, but haven't posted much recently. I'm only doing it now because I'm scared, and I can't sleep, and the only way I can reach out right now is with the phone and everyone I know is (or is probably) asleep. But then, back then, I was a lot more lonely, too, I guess. I've been feeling so many things, but haven't wanted to say them, or write them, and there's been so much to do with friends and family and work and all.
I don't know what's going to change. I do know that I'm more regularly social right now than I've been since college, with two gaming groups, one regular group TV-watching, a close friend at work, and dating with ojouchan. And I know it's going to be a hard time sleeping tonight.
But even now, I'm feeling the relief this blog used to bring, easing the pressure of loneliness and melancholy.
Also, I'm getting a wisdom tooth pulled tomorrow. That's not really much compared to the memories making me revaluate my concept of identity, but it's also not helping me get to sleep either.
(finished 2:12 a.m.)
Internet is back, the result of my modem and router being finicky about the order they got turned on. Off to the dentist now,and I'll look for and add the links I was thinking of when I get back.
- Pub Trivia by jangler_npl (liner notes, friends only): Second(?) place with Reign and mammothali
- Jeopardy! by jeffurrynpl. Won pretty handily, actually.
- Pyramid with tahnan, mammothali, Moonbeam, Pi(x,y)^4, Reign, saxikath, Qoz, Xemu, Iwik, bookishfellow, jedusor, and probably others.
- Exquisite Fruit (see previous entry)
- Fair or Foul: Completed with Snackcakes (of DASH)
- Three on a Match: 23/30
- Vowelled Sets: 16/18
- Flat-Solving Competition: 1st place in pairs solving (with cramerica)
- Lots of Luck: 72/78, 2d in Pop Culture, possibly 2d overall (with Reign, Btnirn, jangler_npl, and Trick).
- Cryptic Crossword Competition (Final Score): 100 pts in 62 minutes. 2d in California division (behind rpipuzzleguy) and 6th or 7th overall.
- Experience Music Project & Science Fiction Museum with Wraavr and Ucaoimhu
- Scandal by thedan: Took me far too long to understand what was going on.
- Northwest Airlines by jangler_npl: Very nice finale.
- 56-Across by Dandr: Solved on light rail.
- Wonderland & Pacific Northwest by Ucaoimhu: Solved on plane.
- Transsubstitutions by tahnan: Completed except for subtitution cipher (because the cipher is long)
- Something from Two Beers, I think.
- Mac & Jack (imperial size!)
Stolen from Bar:
- One beer glass
Sneaked Back into Bar:
- One beer glass, plus tip
- Five minutes late, way the hell in the back. Not really happy with the uneven composition of the picture.
Confiscated by TSA
- 3 containers of yogurt
Listened to on iPod
- 3 episodes of Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!
- The Archandroid by Janelle Monáe on continuous loop about 15 times
There'd been a massive game of Pyramid on Saturday night, and I hadn't thought to collect the categories for posterity. So I decided to grab the clues from a Sunday-night game of Exquisite Fruit when the opportunity arose. Players included Artistry, rubrick, toonhead_npl, jeffurrynpl, Eddy, /Jabberwock, Wraavr, hahathor, cramerica, tmcay and probably someone I'm forgetting. Some higlights:
- What Kubrick film starring Malcolm McDowell singing in the Nadsat slang like "horrorshow" movie?
- What Depression housing Green Acres pig Dahling presidential administration caused homeless in Annie Warbucks?
- What tacky tartan man skirt has many male skirt Scottish Batman was from Scotland?
- What porcine cocktail do goys drink tref and shaken not stirred not fried shaken?
- What jagged building stepped pyramid in middle of Q-Bert’s block pyrmaid but low-resolution Jews?
- What horror face-off between extraterrestrial against queen creature ultimate face-off between two creatures?
- What underwater weapon energy based illogical Captain Skywalker used in Klingon killing weapon explodes?
- What borough in Welcome Back in New York borough Welcome Back from Manhattan neighbor?
- What snackalicious treat like tollhouse recipe is sweet black sweet drops with brown morsels?
- Jerry Lewis’s partner nutty Jerry Lewis often sings "That's Amore" alcoholic not "G-schploing!" smarmy?
Always carry an exquisitefruit.
- Sporculation by tmcay
- Split Second by tinhorn2
- Pub Trivia by bonus_npl & xpell_arielle
- Learned League Live
- Only Connect by Dart
- 2 Jeopardy!s by Noam
- Cold Storage: 5thish place with hahathor and Aleph.
- Alaskan Amber
- Pyramid Heveweizen
- Something in a jug from hahathor
- Fruity hotel happy-hour drink
- Lexagon Mixer: 58(?)
- True/False Trivia: Made into the finals once, advanced no further.
- RighTangles by ericberlin: Completed
- Cryptic crossword competition: Completed before time over (62 min?)
- Whirled Cup: (Algeria) two wins, two losses.
- Hidden Contest: Assisted completion (main work by tahnan, Qoz and Vroo)
Naturally, this had to happen:
( The cat macro was a bit larger )
My friend's response was:
So, 1 question: Why does [the cat] have a French accent?Keep in mind that my friend is not unsaavy when it comes to the internets or the fandom. And yet, no knowledge of lolcats.
I . . . I didn't know that could be possible.
- Planet of the Apes looks amazingly beautiful on the big screen.
- Escape from the Planet of the Apes looks . . . pretty much the same on the big screen.
- The Back to the Future trilogy . . . also looks pretty much the same on the big screen, but it certainly benefits from a marthon viewing.
- The Hill Valley 2015 cosplayers looked fantastic.
- Risk 2210 AD is definitely an improvement over original Risk.
- Smallville the RPG is apparently out of playtesting, which means that now our group is just playing it because it's awesome.
- Nightmare on Elm was more horrible than even the horribleness expected. I expected the horribleness of bad and pointless storytelling and filmmaking, but the movie really did decide to take extra effort to be offensive.
- And I still miss Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- Hey, people, why isn't anyone talking about Mercy? I think it's the best show on TV right now. And there's Bechdel-test passage up the yin-yin.
- Kaiser Permanente seems like it's a really difficult HMO to work around, but if you have a Thursday off and are willing to wake up early to make a phone call, it turns out you can get almost any appointment you want.
- Why would I need to get an appointment? GI: it's not just for Joe and Bill anymore.
- Dear Octavio Paz: stop being wrong about everything. I am trying to finish reading your book.
- Dreamwidth is a year old. Many people are celebrating by making DW-exclusive posts.
- I'm going to a Mother's Day BBQ now.