tablesaw: Me, as a magic user, with long flowing hair, a sever beard, and focused eyes (Unknown Armies)
After planning Christmas at the last minute and New Years at the last minute, and as I'm planning my Hunt trip at the last minute, it's no surprise that I'm also planning my birthday at the last minute. Which is why it is awesome that [ profile] wjukknibs, who I'd planned to e-mail before bed, texted me to make plans to see Spaceballs at the Arclight on my birthday, with a guest appearance by Bill Pullman.


This Week

Jan. 30th, 2010 04:26 pm
tablesaw: A trial sign ("This trail is OPEN") against a blue sky in Los Angeles's Griffith Park. (Hiking (Open Trails))
Some stuff from the past week.
  • Hitched a ride out to Mission Viejo (inorite?) to go to Farrell's for [ profile] wjukknibs's birthday party. W's on a quest to have birthday parties at locations when Angelenos our age would have had birthdays as children. We've done Chuck E Cheese's, and he's contemplating a McDonald's party.
  • My role-playing group has been having a lot fun playtesting a new game. Of the games we've played, this is probably the one most up my alley, and I've been smiling because of it for the past two weeks.
  • Went out to eat at Little Dom's. I enjoyed it, but Ojou was a bit taken back by the too-much-porkness of the menu. My entree, linguine with New Orleans–style BBQ shrimp, sounded unlikely, but was very tasty.
  • Short hiking through Griffith Park. I wanted to take the Ferndell-Observatory trail, but I was stopped midway by a lonely coyote. My policy is to just leave coyotes alone when I'm hiking by myself. I repositioned, and walked up from the Greek Theatre to the Observatory and back down again. It's always fun hiking after winter rains. I'm walking along the side of the mountain, and instead of gold, everything's black and green. It was like I was in not!SoCal.
  • I've been playing Sam & Max: Season One. Adventure games in 3-D still feel a little clunky to me, but the dialogue is spot-on and a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the used copy I bought is skipping a little bit. I'm goign to see if I still have time to find the recent and try for a different disc.
  • [ profile] jedusor was in town for grad school interviews, and on Friday, I met up with her and [ profile] cramerica and Artistry and Mr. Pizza on Fairfax. I got a really (really) big calzone, and two bottles of Dr. Brown's Black Cherry. 'Twas yummy.
tablesaw: A tablesaw in action. The blade disappears when it comes in contact with a hot dog. (Virtually Unscathed!)
As you may know if you listened to the AudBlog, I was still frantically cleaning as the beginning of the party came around. Bartok was the first to arrive, punctual as ever at 2:30. He was pleasant and accommodating as I continued to run around the house, cleaning things. We chatted, etc. Things were pretty much in order by three, when DeB showed up, and I started set out the chips and dips and jelly beans.

(I'd like to mention that Ken's Peppercorn Ranch) is a very fine dressing for crudites. However, I was disappointed that the baby broccoli that I procured from Trader Joe's didn't get eaten as much as the celery or carrots.)

Eventually, everyone arrived, [ profile] cramerica, [ profile] wjukknibs, K., Mel, two of my cousins, and my parents, in addition to DeB and Bartok. Artistry called and said he'd be late, so I held the opening till about 3:45, when I started to explain the investigation/game to the assembled agents.

I don't think I'll have time to go through all of it, so I'm just going to link to copies of the files, for now. You, like my guests, can read over them and ponder their meaning while I drive home from work to continue writing. I will tell you that your experience of these documents will be greatly enhanced by installing the X-Files and Catharsis Cargo fonts.

The first document was a brief introduction from Special Agent Fox-in-the-Henhouse Mulder. Attached were two procedural documents. One explained the course of the investigation to come, and was titled HOW TO STOP THEM. The other document was the beginning of the final puzzle, the Alien Genome Dance. The other steps of this complicated mating ritual would be revealed later.

Because it wasn't clear whether everyone there was going to be working very actively, I devised a system of Field Agents and Supervising Agents, which, I hoped, would allow people to feel free to participate only as much as they wanted. There was an extra document for each. The Field Agents received general instructions on how to attack the puzzles. Supervising Agents got tips on how to stay involved without feeling obliged to run around too much.

I handed these out early because I'm the type of person who likes to read through the program before the show starts. So were most of my guests, so there was much reading of the documents before things even got started. Then, the briefing began . . .
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I just got assaulted by one of the actors at the show I'm stage managing.

I'll tell more later, but for now, I want to talk, not write. Feel free to call me, if you want to hear.

(Update at 6 p.m.: Feeling a bit better, although I have no idea when I'll be ready to sleep. Talked with several people, some related to the show, and am feeling not so freaked out. Thanks to all leaving messages and calling. I'll give the full scoop soon. For now, I'm going to eat some greasy comfort food and relax with [ profile] wjukknibs.)

Back up.

Sep. 29th, 2003 11:38 am
tablesaw: Sketch of an antique tablesaw (Antigua)
Two weeks ago, there was an [ profile] npl puzzle party at the house of Music Man, over in Woodland Hills. To cut down on driving, Artistry crashed in my bed, which was less trouble than one might think, since I was at work at the time. When he got up, we went out for our now traditional meal at Jerry's Deli. (I'm not sure how we'll manage that at the next party, since the location is between the two of us. Perhaps we'll all meet at Cramerica's place beforehand and go to the one in Marina Del Rey. Or Nichol's.)

They day was pretty standard. Bartok made magic. ) Music Man asked the musical question: Where? ) I got a job. ) Elfman played hide and 11-Seek ) Bluff made us cross-eyed. ) Panache banked on it. ) And Artistry made all of his answers porn stars. )

After all that, Art and Cram came over to my place, where we played Trivial Pursuit. Then [ profile] wjukknibs stopped by (he's been spending a disturbing amount of time at my landlords' house), and we played mini-Cluesome and Chain Reaction (the latter doesn't have rules online, and I don't feel like typing them up). Eventually, I managed to kick everyone out because I was really tired. So tired, indeed, that it took me until now to tell thee of it.

The End.


Sep. 17th, 2003 05:45 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
The winner of this weekend's contest is [ profile] moominmolly who, with her venture of thirty-two hours guessed closest to the actual being-awake time of thirty-one hours. ([ profile] wjukknibs was disqualified because he was there when I kicked people out of my house and therefore knew that I had gotten up around 8 p.m. the day before. I had thought to disqualify him and [ profile] cramerica explicitly, but my fingers decided they didn't want to move anymore.) She will receive . . . um . . . something. At some time. Yeah.

I'll probably think about that while I think about my father's birthday gift, which will have to be presented to him this Sunday. Also, my grandmother's birthday is sometime around here, but I've forgotten when; I'd better check with my mom about that. I won't be shopping for it this morning, though, because I'm still sleep-slammed from this weekend. It'll be straight to the sack for me, I think.

I have some emails to write, too. I'm not sure if I'll do that before or after the refreshing sleep which I anticipate.

WedNYTX: 6.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
This was a superb holiday weekend. After my awful job as Lector, I stayed up all day cleaning my house, in preparation of a party the next day. I got about half of it done. I wasn't working all that hard, I was lounging watching TV (mostly the The West Wing marathon on Bravo) for some of it, cleaning for some of it, and spending some of the time just being tired. I woke up early the next morning to beat the holiday rush to the store for BBQ provisions. When I returned, I began looking for something to put on the TV while I worked around the house. I happened upon the MI-5 marathon.

TV addiction )

Eventually, the house was clean, the munchies were set and people began to arrive. It was a modest showing, about ten people, which is about how many I expected. Some people arrived late, which wasn't too much of a problem except that it meant that I had to grill in mostly darkness. As for the grilling itself . . . well, I'm a charcoal man. I know It's worse for the environment, but there's something added in the taste when one uses physical fuel, fire or charcoal, compared to this mysterious gas. Everything cooked well, and everyone enjoyed the food, but it was hard to gauge when things were done because things just didn't look right.

It was fun. There was lively conversation on many varied topics. People brought food items; the most notable were Artistry's selection of strange Japanese desserts, which still sit on my dining room table. They are likely to sit there for a while longer. They scare me.

After most people had left, Artistry, [ profile] wjukknibs, his brother and I, settled down for a game of Trivial Pursuit, which Artistry won. Artistry and I chatted for far too long, as we are wont to do, and then I went to bed.

The next morning, I woke up, expecting to have a little bit of day to finish some other errands, but as I mentioned before, my body decided that Tuesday would be a better day for sleeping than for shopping. In retrospect, I have to agree with the body. It was a wonderful way to end a great weekend.

ThuNYTX: 39:30. Had a hard time breaking in, thanks in no small part to two major wrong answers I thought couldn't be wrong.
tablesaw: Sketch of an antique tablesaw (Antigua)
I wrote an extensive song pastiche about the special election, but it's destined for The Enigma and, thus, cannot be reprinted here. Don't worry, I'm sure there will be more. For now, I leave you with this clerihew on the subject of one of the contestants on Who Wants to Be Governor of California? The Debating Game. ([ profile] wjukknibs, you know I'll be invading your digitally cabled house for that one.)

A uniformed patrolman
Once arrested Gary Coleman,
And he was convicted in a county court.
His defense came up short.
tablesaw: A young Shawn Spencer learns proper saw technique from his dad. (Cartoon)
A little while ago, as [ profile] wjukknibs and I hung out by the bar, watching other people order food and waiting for the Paul Kelly concert to begin, he mentioned how upset he was that I had written about him being drunk when I told him about the concert.
"That's funny, I didn't even notice you were drunk."
"I wasn't!"
"Then what are you talking about?"
"You wrote that I was unemployed and drunk!"
"No, I didn't. I wrote that you were unemployed and broke."
"Okay, whatever, but when you look back at your journal, you'll see I'm right."

Sure enough, he was. I hereby publicly apologize, [ profile] wjukknibs, for calling you drunk when, in fact, you are broke.

Paul Kelly )

& Friends )

And now I'm at work, which currently makes the Doldrums look like the Bermuda Triangle in a hurricane.

SunNYTX: 21.

Fluid Ozs.

Aug. 16th, 2003 10:03 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Breaking through inertia to join [ profile] wjukknibs for the Paul Kelly concert tonight. Also, I'm leaving the radio on so that I can wake myself up briefly to hear [ profile] bookishfellow on NPR. Hooray for other people!
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Although my interest in Paul Kelly has been piqued by [ profile] aussie_nyc, I'm not certain I'll make it to tomorrow's show at Largo. Why? (A) The friend who would go with me is currently unemployed and drunk broke. (B) Weekend shows start later than weekday shows, so I'd have to get time off work at short notice. But really, the most important thing is (C) no more reservations are available. Largo's primarily a kind of sit-down restaurant/bar; the only way to get into a show is to either get a dinner reservation early or show up early and go to the bar. So, for someone getting up early, it's annoying (i) not knowing if I'm going to get in and (ii) being forced to get breakfast elsewhere. [ profile] aussie_nyc, do you have any idea how many will be showing? Or if the unlisted "Friends" will be bringing big draws?

Still letting giving my friend the info, but the outlook is as hazy as the Valley.

FriNYTX: 25:15. There are so many more distractions when I solve at home.
tablesaw: A young Shawn Spencer learns proper saw technique from his dad. (Cartoon)
It simply seems like I don't have enough time in the day recently. And it's nothing to do with sleeping too much either; I'm pretty much hitting eight hours on the nose. And yet the time seems to keep slipping away. A lot of it is due, I think, to late-night Internet surfing, something I need to cut down on. If it's past 11 a.m., I think I should just turn in. Turning off the flow of information is difficult. Oh, look, someone else has updated his weblog! Oh, look, someone has sent me an email! Oh, look, there's a fascinating discussion of Evolution v. Creationism! Oh, look, it's 1:30 again, dammit! I just don't feel as bad wasting my time doing these things right after I get up, since I'm (a) groggy, (b) still in my pajamas, (c) usually also watching TV at the same time. In the mornings, though, the ever brightening sun continually reminds me of how late I'm up.

The past two days have been good though. )

Today, I should really get some food right when I get home, walk instead of run, and avoid the computer. In reality, though, I will probably be forced to choose between FFIII and Puzzle Pirates and suddenly realize that it's noon and I haven't eaten anything.
FriNYTX: 19. FriLATX: 8.


Aug. 5th, 2003 06:35 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I was writing about my relationship with Wendy, was 80% of the way through, and the window disappeared. I don't know what happened.

I'm pissed. There's an emotional load on me from the relationship that I can't shake. She's really depressed right now, and I can't deal with it. I want to be friends, but I need some away time. I can't deal with every little thing.

Why doesn't she believe me when I say that she's dangerously depressed and needs help? Why can't she seal with this for a second without me.

This and more is what I'm channeling into Puzzle Pirates. Also why I'm not cleaning my pigsty of a room. [ profile] wjukknibs, want to go out for breakfast this week? Please?
tablesaw: -- (Default)
The special guest star in my dream today was [ profile] shadesong who was in town for an unnamed semiformal event. Dream Shadesong looked nothing like [ profile] shadesong, and yet, was still [ profile] shadesong. At one point, she was described by [ profile] wjukknibs' brother-in-law to an old friend from Cherubs as "Tablesaw's hot chyk friend." The event ended with a fun and exciting game of Pyramid. Unfortunately, I cannot remember any of the categories or clues.
tablesaw: Sketch of an antique tablesaw (Antigua)
So, I'll be working on Independence Day. Well, technically, I'm already working on Independence Day, but I'll be working again tonight. And yet, this is a good thing; it means that I get to take Saturday off and fold it into my already-planned vacation, lengthening it to ten days, including weekends. I've been talking about my time off obliquely for some time, but it occurs to me that I haven't really explained what I'm going to be doing.

Well, tomorrow, I work. And then, for the next four days, I'm free around the house. One of those days is looking like it's going to entail a trip to Magic Mountain with [ profile] wjukknibs and some friends. I can't remember which day he's looking at, but when I know, I'll mention it here. I may try to head down to San Diego, but work conflicts may make that not as edifying an experience as I would hope. And there'll be some cleaning of carriage house. There is a surprising large number of spiders lurking in various places around my home, considering I don't have any other insects around (perhaps I would if there were no spiders?). Putting everything back into place will hopefully roust out many.

Then, at 7:45 on Wednesday Morning, I fly to Indianapolis! Yes, Indianapolis! Home of The Brickyard! Home of twenty-third president Benjamin Harrison! Home of . . . of . . . Action Duckpin Bowl?

Indianapolis isn't the most cosmopolitan polis, but then, I'm not going for the politics. The draw is the 164th annual convention of the National Puzzlers' League. The NPL was founded 120 years ago (today!) and has been holding conventions ever since. (For people who do math, the convention was originally semiannual.) It's provided for fans of words, wordplay, puzzles and games, and its member directory includes many creators of the same. Many of these people make it a habit to appear at one or more of various puzzle-related events across the country, such as the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, where several of the top finishers are NPL members, and the MIT Mystery Hunt, which I attended this January on a team with several people I knew from NPL. The best nutshell description of the attraction to this particular event comes from a report by local NPL member and friend Artistry:
I watch a group play "Killer Charades". Someone steps up. He mimes. "Album title." Got it. "Seven Words." Got it. "Second, fifth, and seventh words." Got it. He falls to the ground. "Falls!" Got it. Someone shouts out, "As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls!" Didn't get it. Total elapsed time: 8.7 seconds.
These are my people. Sure, there are other people that are my people, but those people still give me funny looks when I recite a flat or when I try to explain an "easy" cryptic-crossword clue. The people who don't aren't usually numerous enough to get a good group together for come-what-may.

So that's where I'm going on vacation, Puzzletopia, or some such place. Planned activities include: a set of wordplay puzzles based on identifying smells, a grouping of flats which [ profile] lipogram would find satisfactory, a puzzle extravaganza, original variety cryptic crosswords, a hidden contest, and anything else people happen to bring along. There's also going to be a trip to The Brickyard, though I don't know if it will be puzzle-related. I'll be there from Wednesday, July 9 to Monday, July 14. Also, I probably won't be sleeping.

That's my vacation. How about you?

FriNYTX: 13.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Yesterday was my cousin's graduation party, the ceremony having occurred on Friday night. It was a bit of a family rift, since there were two graduation parties going on at the same time, one here at my house, the other over in Redondo beach. As a result, families were mixing and matching themselves so as to be represented at both (and to avoid the subtle wrath of the graduates' mothers.) I went to the party of the cousin from whose parents I rent my house. I thought this was a good and logical idea.

I cleaned up my house and did some rearranging. I took out a leaf in my dining room table to open up some more space. I also moved a small table that I'd been meaning to relocate since I got the couch in. Now that table is behind the couch, instead not alongside it; This makes it much easier to walk around the couch.

As a service to my aunt and uncle, I allowed the front room (not the bedroom) to be invaded by the overflow of no-longer-8th-graders, all of whom, thankfully, were careful and used coasters.

At the party, talking with family members, some of whom I haven't seen for a while, my recent goals came in very handy. See, I wasn't the cousin who was working nights and living in the guest house in the back (although most partygoers agreed that it was a fine, fine pad), I was the cousin who was trying to get a play produced. To my shock and surprise, though, people were far more impressed that I was going to be submitting a crossword puzzle to the New York Times.

Watching people's eyes light up. )

It made me feel good. At this point, even if I fail horribly at getting a puzzle accepted, I've made back my investment on the whole thing.

Later on, [ profile] wjukknibs was going to come over, but didn't. So he has to come tonight, BIOTCH! I need to show off my fancy clean room before it ceases to be either.

MonNYTX: 4:45; MonLATX: 3:30.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I want to see a double feature of Stripes and Spies Like Us. [ profile] wjukknibs, you up for it some time?

Attended my cousin's Baccalaureate Mass. I didn't know where my relatives were, though, so I ended up way at the back, alone. But they, and most importantly my cousin, saw me. I won't be able to make her graduation tonight, so I'm glad I made it to this. I do still have to find an 8th grade graduation gift for her, though. And I may need to mail order it. Oh well, she can get a card in the meantime.

I'm ambivalent about the interview meme that's been going around. I find the questions to be interesting, but the answers I can usually take or leave. In instances like this, inertia takes over; I'll stay out of it unless I find myself in it.

I find my mind to be very very active recently. Go figure.


May. 29th, 2003 05:10 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
[ profile] wjukknibs has begun updating his journal again, partly, I believe, to shame me into regular updates again. Well, it's working. My brain is frazzled by the heat and the subsequent lack of sleep it has brought to The Valley, but really my excuses are running thin.

There was a time when I would post about nothing. And, you know what, I liked those posts. Recently, though, when mindless boredom has hit, rather than encase it in the amber that is this blog, I've just, you know, ridden it out.

I dunno if this is gonna change all that much. I do still have a partially-written thingum about The Matrices. And I've got lots of stuff that I want to get down, too. Busy-ness at business hasn't helped much at all.

But I'm thinking that I'll commit myself to something. And since [ profile] emshort was just whinging about a lack of IF reviews, I'm going to commit to five in the next month or so, starting this weekend. By committing to them, it means that I am likely going to be writing them without finishing the game. Too bad.

Sigh. I didn't even get to do today's crossword puzzle.
tablesaw: Katsuhiko Jinnai, from El Hazard (Jinnai)
Stew of The Negro Problem (the site doesn't seem to like Mozilla) recently put out a request to the Stew/Negro Problem Mailing List asking for the lyrics to the album Naked Dutch Painter. It seems that a reporter was asking for them, for ease of review, and Stew didn't have access to his copies, which were on his computer far away.

I was at work, bored, and [ profile] wjukknibs had just recently returned my copy of the album that had been sitting uselessly in his apartment for several weeks, so I thought I'd do it. It was fun; I tested myself to see how well I remembered the lyrics and challenged myself to pattern the verses into more or less even metrical lines. By the time I was done, however, there had been a message to the list from Stew saying that he was going to use the transcripted lyrics from a previously existing site. (I receive daily digests that don't show up until around 2 a.m.) That bummed me out, but I sent the lyrics anyway, to Stew and to the maintainer of the other site, because I thought that my transcriptions were interesting, too, (Mine, at least, had capital letters, if sometimes an overabundance of punctuation) and because I had taken down three songs not already on the site.

Well, just now, I got an email back from Stew, in which he commiserates about downtime on the lobster shift. Moreover, he eventually opted to send my lyrics along instead of the other site's versions because "at a quick glance it seemed that [mine] were cleaner."

tablesaw: A young Shawn Spencer learns proper saw technique from his dad. (Cartoon)
There's nothing to liven up one's abode like a new piece of furniture. Every time I walk into the house, now, I smile, thinking, "Look at me! I've got a sofa!" I'm going to bed late today (I stayed up for laundry), so it will probably get its first important use this evening, when I drag myself out of bed half-asleep to wake up to the soothing sounds of Survivor.

It's not really my couch; I'm borrowing it from [ profile] wjukknibs who's borrowing a couch from his sister. Yet, for all that, it took three car accidents to get this couch to my house. First, [ profile] wjukknibs got into a car accident in Chicago, bruising the musculature of his ribs and making him unable to help move the couch himself. We were counting, then, on his brother to help, both with brawn and with an SUV large enough to hold the sofa. On the day he was to move it, he crashed into a mountain. Then, yesterday, as my landlord drove his truck and me to wjukknibs' apartment to finally pick up this sofa . . . I think you can fill in this blank. Not one mile from our sofa, we were in an accident.

Thankfully, no one was hurt in any of these accidents. More thankfully, I still got a couch! I do need to rearrange my furniture a bit, though, to preserve the flow of chi and all that.

Also, as you probably guessed, wjukknibs and I returned safely from Las Vegas. I managed to clear $100 from gambling, which defrayed pretty much all of my expenses, including meals, taxis and Penn and Teller souvenirs. I want to detail my out-of-state experiences soon, and I'll certainly begin writing up my thoughts from the Penn and Teller show sometime in the next day or so.

Till then, I can finally invite people to crash on my couch! Hooray!

ThuNYTX: 15.


tablesaw: -- (Default)
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