tablesaw: An indigenous American crucified on a cross crowned by a bald eagle. In the background stands a Mesoamerican temple. (América Tropical)
Saturday: I went with [personal profile] temptingcuriosity to LACMA for the Drawing Surrealism exhibit. The raw imagination on display reminded me very strongly of the underground indie aesthetic championed by Anna Anthropy in "Rise of the Videogame Zinesters." There's a lot of interesting connections to be made there, with the Dadaists and surrealists using games to promote automatism in creation, the use of collage (reusing sprites), and even a possible connection to the Futurist obsession with machine art.

Sunday: Virtually attended the planning meeting for the MIT Mystery Hunt next weekend. It's always good to see everyone, even the camera was mostly on [personal profile] tahnan doing his one-knee-on-a-chair pose.

Monday: I said goodbye to the Xmas tree immediately after the Epiphany. That almost never happens.

Tuesday: Made it out to a boardgaming night for the first time in a while. Played Chaos in the Old World to completion for the first time, and actually eked out a win. I've had a hard time with this game before, because the extremely asymmetrical roles can make it hard to figure out how to do things, but I finally pushed through. Still not entirely my game, but I won't be so quick to avoid it, either. I also got to dazzle everyone with word knowledge when playing and generally refereeing Bananagrams.

Wednesday: My main glasses broke a little while ago, and my backups are threatening to quit too, so I scheduled a new eye exam. I also made a quick jump into Sherman Oaks to pick up last year's prescription, just in case I need to make an emergency run to Lens Crafters for a cheap replacement. Having two hours to kill, I went to one of my favorite restaurants, Toshi Sushi. It was a great evening, as I was joined at the sushi bar by three lovely women who over-ordered and were pleased to hear of my birthday so that they had an excuse to foist some of the food onto me.

A cameraphone picture of a plate of sushi, all slightly different, with an assortment of fish, rice, sauces and toppings. They all taste delicious.

Heading to bed now. More birthday stuff later.
tablesaw: Two yellow roses against a bright blue sky. (Family Roses)
This past weekend was a lazy one, like the New Year weekend before. (The Xmas weekend was stressful, with most of my Christmas Day trivia written on Christmas Eve.) [personal profile] temptingcuriosity and I went to LACMA on Saturday, avoiding the bigger events (Kubrick and Caravaggio) and indulging our own personal preferences (Surrealist Drawings and Maya artifacts). On Sunday we stayed in, made bacon pancakes, and lounged around because it was cold outside.

I asked her what she was looking for from the new year, but I already knew what her year looked like, when I thought about it. Really, I wanted her to ask me the question. I know I want to get hired permanently at this new job, but past that I wasn't sure. Talking about it, I realized that I wanted to create more in 2013. Not a particular thing, or a big thing, just lots of things.

Recently, I say a lot that I'm too much in my head. I talk to folks a bit more on Twitter, and I'm talking to people in person, but I'm not getting things out in non-conversational settings anymore. As a true geek, I worry about the narrow bandwidth of talking to people one-on-one; I just don't have enough time to tell things to everyone I would like to. Blog posts allow you, my friends and readers, to time-shift the Tablesaw experience to fit your schedule (something I know I appreciate).

But while blog posts are always things I need to do more often, to get into the habit of writing long things (or just short things that aren't twitter), what I want to do is just create more things that I can share. And saying it the other day made me excited and happy. A good sign, I think.

This year I don't just want to do things I love, I want to make new things to send out into the world with them, so that my experiences can travel beyond the horizon of my personal bubble. I want to write about at least one thing a week, TV, movie, game, what have you. I want to make some more puzzles, definitely at least one thing I can bring to the NPL convention in Austin. I want to finally hide a geocache in LA. I want to make some games, eventually, somewhere. There's a pre-Companions DW/AW game knocking around in my head that mostly needs a lot of research (that TemptingCuriosity is eager to help with).

My birthday is on Thursday, and I turn 35, a number that is a multiple of the amount of fingers on one hand, which means that I'll probably freak out sometime this year, though I'm successfully blocking it out for now. It's a good time to have a plan, and it's a good time to have a plan that focuses so much on simple joys. Last year was not a good one, this one will be better.
tablesaw: Two women put the star on a Christmas tree. (Apocalyptic Christmas)
Once again, my gift list remains much the same as the years before:
  • 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.
    New additions to any of those categories are welcome. For T-shirts, think along the lines of Threadless or sites like Threadless. I'm probably most in need of jeans, actually. Sizes can vary, but pants are usually 38/34, fitted shirts are 17.5x34/35, T shirts are XL.
  • 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.
    As always, strongly avoid books (graphic novel TPBs are OK), videogames, and DVDs, which I already have too many of and not enough time for.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
While doing dishes, I heard music coming through the open windows. I went to investigate, I discovered a giant street fair. Now I am getting a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich.

A small crowd of people in summer clothes enjoying a street fair in a large parking lot. In the background, a band plays covers and a line forms to buy gourmet ice-cream sandwiches.

Also, Andy Dick is selling poetry.

Andy Dick waves to a friend in the $1 Poetry Booth at the Hollywood Street Fair.
tablesaw: Two yellow roses against a bright blue sky. (Family Roses)
I said I was going to post on Monday, but I didn't. I did, however, do productive things. Resumes have been tightened up and e-mailed. I also managed to finally drop my Mothers' Day gift at my parents' house. Today, I managed to wake up on time again and continue, doing laundry as well. There've been a few surprise social things that have come up, which is why DW keeps dropping down on the list, and why today's post is less than stellar. But I didn't want to slack off two days in a row.
tablesaw: One machete is raised, a host more rise to meet it. (From the "Machete" trailer in "Grindhouse".) (Brown Power)
I mentioned Quora in my last post. It's a weird site, and I'm going to post about my experiences with it.

It's not a site that I would have really gone to on my own, but a friend has been raving about it, so I've been trying it out. It has a "real names" policy (not clearly defined, but presumably on par with Google Plus, from which I am still banned). However they do allow one to make certain actions anonymously, so I am making anonymous actions, to which I sign my name Tablesaw. All this to say that if you are on, or go to Quora, you won't find me as a user (and please don't look for my "real name" profile, if you happen to know my government-ID name).


My friend Kat posted this in response to the question, "What are the most civilized things about civilization?" It reads in part:
The worst thing about civilization, then is the blind drive to preserve the civilization regardless of the cost. We're currently facing the possibility of the collapse of the oceanic ecosystem, and meanwhile, time is wasted squabbling over profit and political gain. We argue about precepts set down during a long bygone age, and about insults in the manner of address and commerce and privilege between our subdivisions. I am as guilty of this as any other.
It inspired this on chat:

I think I just undermined myself:


I just declared that all Social Justice and discussion about food and anything else pales in importance compared to global ecological crisis.

The way you framed it, yes. But actually considering your opinion, no.

Your answer posits a thing that is most important for civilization, but your previous examples suggest pinnacles of civilization come from rigorously pursuing a single goal.

Your concern also stems from the assumption that reaching your posited end goal is a straight line that will not require steps like reducing the influence of racialized social structures.

ahhh, nice.

Pity you can't comment anonymously. :P

(You'll have to post a separate answer and cross-reference mine if you want to remain anon)

I don't really care to for this, since I'm mostly responding to your private question about what you've said. Reframing for public consumption in Quora's framework is too tiresome.


If you'd like, I can link to the Quora answer, then share our brief chat transcript on DW.
tablesaw: Ration Hornblower, from the cast of Smile Time, peeks his horn nose out at you. (Ratio Hornblower)
So this week didn't work out so well.

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.
tablesaw: Two women put the star on a Christmas tree. (Apocalyptic Christmas)
Looking at what I'd like in terms of gifts (for the holidays and beyond), it's very similar to last year:

  • Booze. My bar has grown strong and bountiful, and I always appreciate new and interesting contributions to mix with.
  • Wardrobe. I'm owning up to the fact that my wardrobe 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.
    New additions to any of those categories are welcome. For T-shirts, think along the lines of Threadless or sites like Threadless. Sizes can vary, but pants are usually 38/34, fitted shirts are 17.5x34/35, T shirts are XL.
  • Music. I still don't get enough of it on my own. Things I've lost from my high-school years (early alternative and trip hop) are what I usually look for when I hit Amoeba.
  • Stuff to do. Movie passes, theatre tickets, nice restaurants. Things to go out and do.
  • Miscellaneous T[hings]
    • A juicer, to go with the new stuff I've been doing with the bar and cocktails.
    • I would still like a tie clip
    • One of these fancy teacup things
Once again, strongly avoid books, videogames, and DVDs, which I already have too many of and not enough time for. The only possible exception is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, since I'll probably play that immediately, regardless of my gaming backlog. Because, you know, it's ZELDA.


Dec. 14th, 2011 12:04 am
tablesaw: Supervillain Frita Kahlo says, 'Dolor!' (Que Dolor!)
Food poisoning over the weekend. That was fun. As with the last time I got food poisoning, I can blame no one but myself, since I wasn't eating out. Luckily, I didn't end up at the hospital this time, but the weakness from dehydration and not eating kept me knocked out for two days.

My stomach's still a little skittish, but I bounced back strong. I'd been feeling a little out of shape before the poisoning, and after spending a weekend too week to open a bottle of orange juice (yeah, really), I've been leaping to get back on the exercise routine.

It's been a great time to be out and about in Los Angeles too. Except for the rain yesterday, but also because of the rain yesterday. It's all cool and crisp again, and it feels like an LA winter should after the cold snap earlier in the month.
tablesaw: Paul, who is a ghost, declares this to be "Booooring!" (Booooring)
My rice cooker stopped working a little while ago, and I'm finally breaking in the new one. It was a bit of an ordeal. First, for some reason, the target closest to me refuses to sell rice cookers. So I had to make a trip to the one in Glendale. But the rice cooker I got was missing the measurement cup (with its strange for-rice-only cup size), so I took it back. The new one I got seemed to have been opened, but I couldn't see what was missing. Turns out, what was missing was the instruction manual. But since I have the internet, I'm not going to begrudge the person who had to pilfer a copy from Target. But regardless, brown rice and steamed broccoli to accompany my fish.

Speaking of having the Internet, I now have a new phone, which is, as they say, "smart." This phone has been made possible by Virgin Mobile's low-cost data plan, the decline of my old phone, and the death of my digital camera. This means that all you folks who love to text can now text to me, since I no longer have to pay for each one. Also, you can send me pictures via text, because I have the ability to look at them. Phone number's the same, ask me if you want it.

As for old things, I'm getting a wisdom tooth pulled again. My advantage this time is that I'm going to know, in advance, that the pain will end, and that I don't need to freak out about every little thing. But you can probably expect me to be sending everyone texts about how much pain I'm in/what good drugs I'm on.

Hey, the food's ready.

Bar Crawl.

Feb. 27th, 2011 04:35 pm
tablesaw: Ration Hornblower, from the cast of Smile Time, peeks his horn nose out at you. (Ratio Hornblower)
People keep telling me about bars opening up in Hollywood. Some of them are really close to me. These locations are starting to pile up. Because I don't usually like trying them on my own, and I can't always get people to go with me.

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.
tablesaw: A trial sign ("This trail is OPEN") against a blue sky in Los Angeles's Griffith Park. (Hiking (Open Trails))
I spent the weekend with many wonderful people. But I spent it in Boston, a city that hates me and wants me to die cold and alone.

So before I talk about the Hunt and all the other noteworthy things from this weekend, I would like to alert Boston to a few things.
  • I just walked out to get a salad made of locally-grown organic vegetables. Also, I was wearing sandals.
  • In fact, it's so warm, I need to open up my windows to make sure the house cools down a little.
  • Southland is fliming outside my house tomorrow. Literally right outside my window.
Yeah, fuck you, Boston.

(P.S. Boston People I still love, mkay?)
tablesaw: Two women put the star on a Christmas tree. (Apocalyptic Christmas)
I'm finally getting some traction on the holiday season, and that includes putting up a holiday gift list for friends and family.

Things I would like for the holidays (and then also my birthday).

Art. The walls are pretty bare right now, so I'm looking for things to hang to replace some of the things that are gone. I know it's a tricky thing, because I also want it to reflect my own tastes, which is hard to do since I don't know what to put up on the walls in the first place, but that's something I'm looking for.

Massage. Some talented amateurs have let me know that I really need to work on the tension in my everywhere. So gift certificates, recommendations, and even personal volunteering to give me a massage would be wonderful.

Graphic Novels/Comic-Book Trade Paperbacks. The price of these and the speed at which I read them often make me feel guilty buying them, or severely restrict the rate at which I do. But since I reread them often, it usually works out. I think I'll do a separate post of what I have and things I look for when I go shopping. The last thing that really made me drool was Astro City: The Dark Age 1 & 2.

Pants. (This is mostly for my mom's reference.) This year was really hard on my work khakis, with a number of pairs becoming unusable for various reasons. I'm currently 38 waist, 34 inseam.

Tie clips. Every so often, I put on a tie and wish I had a tie clip for it. I don't know why. It's good men's jewelry. I used to have them as a kid, before all my ties had their own holders in the back, but I don't have any anymore.

Music. I just don't usually buy stuff on my own, so gifts of music are definitely appreciated.

Classy Booze. I've been having fun exposing myself to new types of alcohol. A friend pointed out these gift baskets, which made me drool, but anything new to try would be fine. The only thing that I don't particularly care for is vodka. The thing I've started trying most recently is scotch.

Last year, my uncle picked something off my wish list, and I realized it was terribly out of date. I spent some time today clearing out a bunch of stuff and adding a few other things that I actually do want now. Some of the graphic novels are on there, some music is still there from before, a few DVDs, etc. Also on there is the re-release of Betrayal at House on the Hill, which I was drooling over in the store the other day.

Things to avoid:

Videogames. I have a bunch of them right now, and I need to get through some of them. Unless you are absolutely sure that it's something I want and will love, you probably shouldn't get one for me. Consider just lending it to me instead.

Books. Same deal here. I've got lots of to-read items that another book may just make me sad. (Exception is the graphic novels I talked about above, because I go through them much quicker.)

Some DVDs. I now have Netflix instant (but not a regular disc-shipping account), which is a much more convenient way for me to watch most of the things that would be given on DVD. Most things, but not all. There are still TV shows that aren't available, so those would be things to get me, though I'd probably prefer to borrow them as well.

However, I do some fandom iconning, and one of my projects for the coming year is to try vidding, so shows and movies I like enough to watch for those purposes are safe bets.

And with those last three in particular, I always prefer to receive pre-owned items if possible.


Oct. 20th, 2010 09:35 pm
tablesaw: The Maple Street streetlight blinks on and off and on. (Monsters Are Due)
I'm hungry but don't feel like eating. Or perhaps I want to eat but I'm not hungry. Either way, I'm feeling ambivalent about dinner. I guess this is what happens when I'm not picking something up on the way to game night.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Because I never said what size the bit was.

The recipe turned out okay, except that I used too much lemon. It turned out to be a very easy recipe to work with, even though I was making everything from scratch. I'll probably make it again because it was fun.
tablesaw: Paul, who is a ghost, declares this to be "Booooring!" (Booooring)
Going in the oven now.

I'll update with the results in a bit.

Better Days

Oct. 6th, 2010 05:08 pm
tablesaw: Me, as a magic user, with long flowing hair, a sever beard, and focused eyes (Unknown Armies)
Yesterday was terrible.

I didn't have a bad night's sleep, but apparently it wasn't enough. I'd stayed up later than I should talking with people. I was groggy all day, shambling around.

The California heatwave of last week has given way to storms. Yesterday, the rain was on and off, but downtown it was windy, and I felt like it was scattering me to the winds. I had a drink with a friend, headed home, then took a nap, then a shower, then a nap, then sleep.

This morning things were rather better. I was more rested. I received a belated fandom gift exchange with lots of shinies. And a post from [personal profile] giandujakiss got me watching Remington Steele on Hulu (it was in the comments), and that cheered me up a bit too.

And now I've just finished up a cup of tea. It really is time to switch back from iced tea to hot tea again.

New icon is from [ profile] lissapocalypse's brother. I think my beard looks awesome.
tablesaw: Sketch of an antique tablesaw (Antigua)
This time it wasn't my hair. As I was eating spaghetti for dinner, one of my stitches came out. So I've now got a black thread hanging down from my upper gums.

Nothing else seems to be a problem. I've called my dentist and asked for guidance, which I'll receive tomorrow. I guess I'm shift back down from pasta to soup, though.
tablesaw: Walt Besa, Junior Associate at Wolfram & Hart, Competition and Anti-Trust. (Portrayed by James Roday) (Walt Besa)
Thank you to everyone who offered me support based on yesterday's entry. I woke up feeling better; and then I had oral surgery, which was a bit of a downer, but I've bought lots of oatmeal, and everything's looking good for now.

I mentioned I was making fanmixes for [ profile] whedonland. It's part of a gift exchange that the community's been participating in for the last month an a half. Unfortunately, August was not a good month for me to do any things, so most of my work has been crammed into the last week of July after I got my assignment, and this past week continuing to the deadline (Sunday).

I've been worried that my offering was anemic (some people have received some truly marvelous offerings), so I thought maybe I'd throw in a crossword, because even if it isn't the most polished, it's a pretty safe bet that she'll be the only person receiving a crossword. So I came up with a short theme, found a grid, and started playing around with it yesterday.

I figured I'd mostly use autofill to save time. But then I started working on an awkward corner to see if any Buffy-specific words could help. A few hours later, I finally had it working, and that's when I notice I could drop two squares from my grid to open it up a bit more (and make the fill a little more interesting. A while after that, I spent a half hour converting the entry list of the Buffy/Angel Wiki into a wordlist so that I wouldn't have to keep checking manually. And a little while later, I was done.

Of course, when I was done, it was a little after nine o'clock. I was understandably hungry, having eaten only a large oatmeal in the early afternoon (I slept in). And although I had planned for dinner, going out earlier today to get spaghetti and sauce, my plans for making dinner included the pots and pans that I'd planned to clean this afternoon. The pots and pans I would have cleaned, if I'd noticed that I was burning the hours away writing the crossword. unwilling to be hungry while washing dishes and cooking, I walked over to Palms Thai to eat some soft noodles while listening to Thai Elvis.

The crossword looks pretty good, though.
tablesaw: Jennifer Connolly and David Bowie from <cite>Labyrinth</cite> (Labyrinth)
Main Program:
  • 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 [ profile] cramerica)
  • Lots of Luck: 72/78, 2d in Pop Culture, possibly 2d overall (with Reign, Btnirn, [ profile] jangler_npl, and Trick).
  • Cryptic Crossword Competition (Final Score): 100 pts in 62 minutes. 2d in California division (behind [ profile] rpipuzzleguy) and 6th or 7th overall.

  • Experience Music Project & Science Fiction Museum with Wraavr and Ucaoimhu

  • Scandal by [ profile] thedan: Took me far too long to understand what was going on.
  • Northwest Airlines by [ profile] jangler_npl: Very nice finale.
  • 56-Across by Dandr: Solved on light rail.
  • Wonderland & Pacific Northwest by Ucaoimhu: Solved on plane.
  • Transsubstitutions by [ profile] 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

Con Photo:
The attendees of the National Puzzlers' League Convention in Seattle. The first two rows are very large and clear while the other hundred or so attendees look like tiny floating heads.
  • 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


tablesaw: -- (Default)
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