Ooooook. Staying at work until 1 am = not super awesome. Particularly not when followed by 3 hours of winding down before approaching possibly-can-sleep status. Joy. There were, however, a few highlights, and I'll take what comfort I can from them:
- I forget for six months at a time that Taco Time tater tots with Taco Time hot sauce are FRIGGING DELICIOUS.
- While eating tots and hot sauce, I found that Wil Wheaton had posted a quick list of his highlights of PAX, and they included a particular moment that I was 2-feet-away for; I take a lot of glee out of that.
- UNRELATED TO TATER TOTS: Jeff sending me a anigif of Nathan Fillion as Mal, getting his total jiggy on; dancing anigif hottie was 100% in time with "Roses are Red" by Aqua, which was playing at the time.
But still feeling pretty oooook.
I plan to come up with a full PAX post, with pictures... just not tonight. In the meantime, though, I will say that I may never be able to dismiss one particular enforcer from my mind. Oh incredibly hot enforcer, with your adorable pink LED tiara, supersexy utilikilt, and gorgeous smile, know that my friends mocked me mercilessly for two straight days over you, and you're totally worth it.
Annnnnnd... here. Indeed a guest entry.
So here I am in Seattle, a trip 9 years overdue. To be honest, I probably needed that time. Looking back, I know I did. Jen wasn't kidding when she said the entire thing makes us feel old.
The thought is not lost on me that our situation is pretty weird. Meeting someone twice with 9 years of seperation under semi-crazy cirumstances I'm pretty sure doesn't happen all the time. Having those meetings be inherently comfortable and seemingly familiar (at least to myself, I'll let the princess speak for herself) [Jen sez: I r a princess!], is amazing and wonderful altogther. This Mac's keyboard? Not so amazing and wonderful, heh.
Don't get me wrong, the infamous Barrick shield is still functional, and I've unfortunately lost the keys to that a long time ago. However, the company is just enjoyable as it was 9 years ago, and that says a lot. It's frusterating to see comments like the "bible" entry from yesterday, but I'm kind of used to it by now. It's double frusterating to be sitting right here and not be able to do anything about it. In order to keep this from being Brian's own personal diary entry (but hey it's at least better then 40 different ways of saying "I'm tired" right!?), I'll again plead for people to reach out and try to help. Someone has to be able to get through right? :P
I did want to take this space to thank Jen for the hospitality. I've had a blast out here, and it's truly a beautiful place. I'm glad I finally made it out here. There's about a million things I'd like to say- but I'll settle for thank you... a million times over.
Yeah. That was pretty terrible. I'll try to be back to my snarky self for the next guest entry. For now though I'm just going to settle for humble and overwhelmed and try not to get thrown out!
Pish. My keyboard is AMAZING.
I'm completely exhausted, wrung out with no one to hang me out to dry; a limp pile of used up laundry in a corner. Also, too tired to generate a reasonable or coherent metaphor.
Last night I was tortured with insomnia, well beyond my normal sort. I finally fell asleep around 5 am, only to bolt upright around 5:30, screaming and throwing the covers away from me. It took me several moments to realize that the pair of giant insects had only been crawling towards my face in my dream... but even after I calmed down, I still leaned carefully around to turn on the light and, cringing, flip my pillow over to convince myself that they really hadn't burrowed underneath.
Yeah, bit stressed out.
I do feel much better after today, but I didn't have any time to process anything through afterwards, as I was due to pick up Bri and his friend from the airport. The last time that I actually saw Brian was nearly ten years ago. That makes us feel really really old.
Heh. I should have him compose a guest /tht/ entry, actually from my computer.
I wondered tonight: what kind of person am I, when talking with someone else about something that they like but I dislike? Am I the sort of person who tries to convince the other person that their affection is irrational, that the target of their preference is stupid, that they'd be much better off if they agreed with me? Am I the sort of person who has a healthy debate with them over the relative pros and cons of the target, but in the end respects their preference? Am I the sort of person who simply avoids people who might disagree with me, or changes the subject of discussion should a topic of this sort come up?
I'm relatively certain that I'm not the first of the three (although who knows, perhaps I'm royally fooled about myself), but it bothers me a bit that I really have no idea whether I tend more towards the second camp or the third. Or some completely different option?
I feel the need to explain how and why I came to watching an episode of The Pick Up Artist tonight, given that normally my aversion to reality TV is usually completely overwhelming.
Several months ago, I ran into a friend and his friend at a party at work; the three of us hung out for a while, shooting the shit and drinking a bit. The entire time, I had the strangest sensation regarding this friend of a friend: that he was hitting on me, and not at all in the way I'm used to being hit on. As I described later, I felt like "he was hitting on me the way a 'normal' guy, a player, might hit on a 'normal' girl, at a club or something... guys just do not hit on girls like me in that way." This behavior set off a huge number of alarm bells in my mind; I labeled it "slimy" and made quick tracks away from the table.
A few days later, I commented on the slick behavior to my friend. He erupted in gales of laughter, and told me that I had to read this book called The Game. His friend had been strongly influenced by it, he said, and told me that after I read it, I'd understand exactly why I'd felt as I did.
Well, I read it. And it's been on my mind for months now. To me the book was a profoundly creepy cautionary tale, but it's obvious that to the casual reader, it's a straightforward manual of the dark arts. As Mark said this weekend, it seems like the sort of book that it's really just better for your soul if you never crack open. I found it all the more disturbing because I recognized in it the seeds of several things I do when I'm flirting with a guy, and because so much of it really does rest in sound psychological reasoning.
As an aside, I at least find some relief in that, having not read the book at the time, I identified the friend-of-a-friend's behavior how I did. I'm my own faith for the future of humanity in this regard.
Anyway, reading this book, I became very interested in "Mystery," one of the primary characters, a guru within the seduction community. Which brings us to why it was that I was watching a reality show this evening... VH1 has given him a show.
I find that I'm very bothered by the fact that this guy got to the point of feeling like he had to develop crazy pick up juju in order to get girls. Sure, he's a geek (if I see one more article talking about him as "a former D&D geek" with an air of pity and disdain, I shall scream), but he's a cute and smart geek. Frankly, I feel as if he should have had a Jen around him when he was younger. Sure, now he's sleeping with tons of women far hotter than a geek girl, but I wonder if he would have felt compelled to go down that path at all if he'd had girls around that actually appreciated him for who he was in the first place (of course, once he started down that road, I am completely unsurprised that he took it to where he's taken it; he's definitely driven by competetive success in his chosen arena).
Obvious conclusion: we gotta get cracking on the cloning me thing. We need to have a good stock of appreciative geek girls roaming the wilds, preventing otherwise reasonable boys from being sent awry to become evil king geniuses of creepy pickup voodoo.
Having Mark visit me from Boston the last couple days was just grand. There's nothing like having friends around with whom you can bullshit for hours upon endless hours.
I have been obsessed with Bit Rate Variations in B-Flat (Girl) for several days now. I'd managed to never hear this particular version of Beck's "Girl" in the two years since it released, and apparently I'm set on making up for the lack. Despite the fact that I suspect that, objectively speaking, it's a pretty terrible version of the song, I find it inexplicably beautiful, to the point that when the video game blips soar over And I know I'm gonna steal her eye / She doesn't even know what's wrong, I nearly cry.
A request to those who use LJ! As we all may know, I use LiveJournal for my RSS aggregator (and to read the fascinating / amusing / just-what's-going-on posts that you crazy LJ'ers write). I do not, however, have a paid account, and I've run into a feed that I want to aggregate that is not yet syndicated into an LJ feed. I don't suppose any of you out there have a paid account, and could help me out? I'd like to get the Ars Ludi feed (feed URL) syndicated. I'm craving easy access to the best blog on tabletop RPG game design and player group mechanics that I've ever found. Thaks in advance if anyone can help hook a sistah up.
And yes, I drink vodka crans. Apparently that makes me a sissy?
Also, we decided to play 1000 Blank Cards again tonight. Particular winners:
- Jeff's "Lanolin: not that pussy aloe vera stuff" card: +300 points, or jerk the lotion all over an opponent for -300 points to them
- My "EWWWWWWW" card: destroy one card in play that grosses you out (drawn specifically to destroy Lanolin)
- Ken's "Eat the brat!" card: take a bite of bratwurst or lose 200 points (we grilled brats for dinner and had one left over; this card got passed around via effects such that Hazen, Jeff, Seth, and I all ended up eating some of the leftover brat. 'twas delicimous)
I loved Stardust yesterday (and still today, har har har). It was charming and adorable, a light trifle to complement Pan's Labyrinth dark. As a pair, they're my favorite fairytales of the past several years. And any movie where the boys that you go with come out going "that was such a sweet [intonation: "cute," not "awesome"] movie," and they all nod at each other in emphatic happy agreement, well, makes me smile even more. It was somewhat shocking to see Ben Barnes (the young Durston in the beginning scenes). He's the goddamn spitting image of Richard when he was 18 (if Richard had dark hair instead of blond). It just about made my heart stop, he was so beautiful.
I had something I was going to mention about today, but it's fluttered away. Perhaps it shall return later.
Not that it was whatever it was I was thinking about earlier, but this conversation made me smile this afternoon... I really do love my immediate co-workers; even after a couple years, it can still be novel to be working almost entirely with girls.
Adorable site manager: See, the thing that drives me nuts is that you can investigate and figure out, like, 65 bugs in an hour. It takes me about an hour to figure out 4.
Moi: Years of practice, lady lady! I gots to have some skillz built out of the year o' Vista.
Adorable site manager: Whatever. It's because you're a dev. It's why we love you.
Adorable site manager: How do you do your hair in the morning?
Moi: ... What?
Adorable site manager: The (waving hand at pigtails). How do you get the part straight?
Moi: Is it actually straight?
Adorable site manager: ... No, not really.
Moi: Well there's your answer there, innit?
Alright, alright, I get it. I'm not supposed to post depressing things and then not post anything for several days. You worrywarts (you know who you are) make me think I need to extend my /tht/ post script to take a "toast" flag for automatically posting "I like toast, don't you?" on days when I'm too beat to even tab over to Emacs.
The rest of the week went alright. Mama got both better and worse on various days, and work sucked, but hey, I survived. And even though I didn't clean my house today as planned (I'll do it Monday, I suppose), I was relaxed enough to think, "hey, I should start working on some perl," and actually start doing so. I've known enough perl to hack other people's work for years now, but it's time to stop writing 600+ line batch files that create and read delimited files as "arrays" (as hilarious as I still find that trick, a good year and a half after I invented it for myself). I suppose I could go for PowerShell, and I may yet dance merrily down that path, but my current task is all about text processing, so to perl I shall turn.
And lo, I did remember why I refused to learn perl and went to php instead, oh those many years ago. While multidimensional keyed arrays are intuitive and completely trivial to implement and operate on for me in php, arrays and hashes and arrays of hashes and hashes of arrays and arrays of arrays and hashes of hashes are... not intuitive. In fact, I'd call them pretty fucking crackerassbananas. And the push syntax makes. no. SENSE.
But I got the bare bones working, and after I got dev tools installed on my Mac, got the XML parsing libraries I needed to keep on playing around without having to be anywhere other than my couch, and so I called it a good day.
Just in case we'd forgotten that I am a giant, giant, giant nerd.
And holy shit. Some poor soul got to a totally random /tht/ entry using the query "Vista change language" on Portguese Google. Sheesh, if /tht/ is gonna come up on a query that's TOTALLY MY DAMN JOB, how about providing the actual LINK THAT'S NEEDED?
Vista and Language Changing:
The above links are to the English (United States) help, but the same content exists in 35 languages and 55 markets, so go forth and find it! Also, I think that Worldwide Help page is pretty much my very favorite page in my entire content set. There's just nothing quite like seeing all my sites laid out in a pretty list.
I spent the evening at my parents' house, babysitting my mother while Dad is out of town. She's not well again. Not raving delusional crazy, like last time, but not well. She had an operation for a herniated disk a couple weeks ago, and, at the very least, her pain medication is doping her out of her mind (and she should have been off it by now), but after tonight, I'm pretty sure that it's also interfering with her mood stabilizers.
She's very not well.
At least I'm not on deck to watch her in the evening again until Thursday, as the Fool has tomorrow and the day after, by when I should be better mentally prepped (as opposed to today, when I found out just last night that she was so bad off that she can't be alone while Dad's gone).
I want nothing more than to be able to take off work tomorrow, because I'm in no way feeling up to going in, and I'm worried sick about Mom, but that's going to be hard to swing. Well, I suppose there's one thing I'd like more, which would be a hug, but there's no one to give me one of those other than Micah and Aggie, and they just don't really count. In short, I'm feeling pretty screwed.
Twenty minutes later: damn it all, there's just no way I'm going to work tomorrow.
There's nothing that I wish I could do more these days than write it all out. Such a beneficial strategy for so many years, now neutered, flailing, useless. The good and the bad refuse to shape themselves into words. Sometimes I can force them out, verbally, but even that's seeming to work out less and less effectively as the weeks pass. All that's left seems to be whirls and rushes of impressions; if only I were an artist, I'd be fine.
I wonder what a painting of dark browns and greens and dim yellows, all melted together over time into comfort, would look like? What would be the sound of streetlamps and shadows dancing mockingly over an empty seat?
In further yo-yo efforts (they're all for my benefit, so shush): Aggie and I walked around the neighborhood a bit tonight, but she was a little bushed and about a block and a half from home, she flopped down to rest. She was pooped enough that she didn't complain when I picked her up, and so we walked home through the quiet summer evening, her head resting on my shoulder as she purred the entire way.