Friday, January 31, 2003

The week has flown by again. But I'm happy to report that it's not entirely because of work. Sure, I've spent a fair amount of time here this week, but I've been pretty busy otherwise as well. Monday participated in a playtest of a game some friends are working on. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to what they do with the system. They have a lot of room for development, but I think keeping it simple is the way they want to go. At least, that's my take on how they felt.

Tuesday night I ran the first Academy game set in Cape City and using the Mutants & Masterminds system. Very little happened, but all the characters were introduced and they managed to get themselves into some interesting spots that will definitely come back to haunt them.

Wednesday I went to an early dinner with Kim, Kevin, and Matt at a nearby Mongolian Bar-B-Que. Then I went to the gym and signed up for four sessions with a personal trainer. I've mentioned that I was thinking about it and I finally decided to do it. The four sessions run just over $200, but I haven't made any progress in about a year and a half, so I'm hoping Cathy (that's the trainer's name) will be able to give me some good pointers. She has a good track record; one of her clients has lost 100lbs in the last 8 months! Dang. I don't expect something so radical, but if she can get those results for a 50-something woman who's never lifted a weight in her life...well, I'm willing to listen to her and invest some money. Honestly, if I thought I could be to my goal weight in the next year by working out with her, I'd be tempted to fork over some serious money. I can't even tell you how excited I'd be for that. Anyway, I did that Wednesday night and my first meeting with her is Monday night.

Today is Thursday and I stayed at work all night, apart from a visit to the local sushi place with Kevin and Kim. I needed to write some rules this week and I've managed to get one whole set finished tonight. That's a very good thing, since most of my days are filled with lots of emergencies and busy work that gets in the way of my actual work. Not really complaining, but it means a lot of my real work has to get done while no one else is around.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to go to the gym, but one of the sculptors was talking about going out. I'll find out more tomorrow.

This past week I've even found time to watch my new Spider-Man DVD, including one of the commentary tracks and part of the other. I may finish that one when I get home tonight. Next I'll watch The Fellowship of the Ring DVD. That should keep me occupied for a while.

I'd like to get out and see some movies soon. There're a bunch out right now that I'd like to see. Maybe this weekend I'll sneak out to one. Oh, Sunday I have plans to go to the Experience Music Project. I'm pretty excited about that. I've wanted to go there since I moved here.

Anything else new? Um, I talked to Stephanie from Madison, and she's thinking of moving out here. I did some asking around here at work to see if there are any jobs for her. I have a couple leads that I've passed on. It would be odd if she moved here...and then if Dr. Chris moved out here too...maybe followed by some other friends if I could be so lucky.

Anyway, it's all wishful thinking now. I gotta go get some sleep.

Oh, thanks for everyone for returning after the holidays; my numbers are way up!

Sunday, January 26, 2003

I didn't get to bed until 3 a.m. so I didn't get to the gym until about noon today. Oh, well, it's Sunday anyway, I can slack a little. When I returned fromt he gym I had a message on my phone from both Jim and Matt to head out to Jim's for the Super Bowl. I'm not a big football fan, but I figured, "what the heck," and headed out. I arrived just before the game started as the two of them and Will were finishing up a game of Magic.

We watched the game, which was pretty fun, actually. Lots of interceptions. That usually spices up a game.

After the game I grabbed something to eat and headed to work for some fun -- and maybe a little work, I'll have to see if I get to anything substantial before I leave.

I have to get out of here at a reasonable time tonight because I have to get some papers together for taxes. It won't take long, but I have to do it, so it will take some time.

Wow, I was talkative last night. Yep, I still think all of that stuff. Nope, it hasn't changed. I'll just keep going and trying to improve. That's what I always do.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday was a good day. I got up a little later than I'd planned so I didn't get in my full workout at the gym before I had to rush home and shower before the guys showed up for the Saturday afternoon game. Matt started a new Cthulhu game with a very pulpy feel -- um, not that it actually felt like pulp, but rather had the feel of the old pulp novels of Doc Savage and cheesy, old serials. We wrote up characters and played until about five o'clock.

After everyone left I took care of some laundry and called Kevin and Kim to see about dinner. We decided to go check out Kirkland because they'd never been there. Amazing but true. These people live not 10 miles from Kirkland and they'd never been there. They are very much the definition of homebodies. They like to go out for dinner, but other than that they're happy to stay home and do whatever it is that people do when they stay home. Probably watch t.v., I wouldn't know, I'm rarely home. Anyway, we walked around town a bit and finally settled on the Cactus restaurant. I'd been to the Cactus in Seattle and didn't even know there was one in Kirkland, but there it was, so there we ate. It was good. Afterwards we had ice cream at the Ben & Jerry's store. It was good, but I shouldn't have had any. Very bad of me.

Since I wasn't able to put in a full workout this morning, I decided to go back to the gym and work off some of the dinner. That was definitely a good thing. I put in about 45 minutes this evening, and at least that much this morning. I'm going to start lifting again this next week. I just haven't been able to get motivated and start again, but I have to do it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a couple sessions with a trainer at the gym. She'll be able to give me some good pointers again, set up a new workout, and give me some food advice again. I could use it. I'm very, VERY frustrated with the time I'm putting in and the lack of results I'm getting. I know I can do this. I just need to figure out how to go about it.

I picked up the DVD of the 3rd season of Buffy a couple of weeks ago. I don't remember if I'd mentioned that before. I'm having a good time going through and listening to the commentary tracks. I watched the 3rd season not long ago for work, so I'm not worried about watching all the episodes again. I'm a little bummed that there are so few commentary tracks, but I suppose those things take a lot of time to produce and set up, so I can understand it. Still, I want more.

I was just reviewing my archive of a year ago and I mentioned in my blog that I was watching all my DVDs and that I still had 20 that I hadn't seen and I'd be able to go a couple months without getting cable. Heh, I still don't have cable and I don't really have any desire to. Sure, there are some programs I'd like to see; Iron Chef, Buffy, um, maybe some others, but really, I know I'd just get sucked in and start watching things that I don't need (or really want) to sink my time into. Ah, I dunno, if/when I get my new computer I'll probably get cable at home just so I can have a high-speed cable for internet connection. I'll really have to control my t.v. time, though.

Oh, Friday night I was invited out with a group of people from work to go to an African restaurant in downtown Seattle. I think it's called Africando (in Belltown). It was excellent and everyone had a good time. It was a lot of the same group that had gone out on Wednesday plus a couple others. Afterwards we went to an atrocious karaoke bar a couple of blocks away. I can say for a fact that I now know that I don't like karaoke. Sure, before I knew I had no interest in it -- either doing or watching -- but now I know that I just don't like it. I don't have fun at it. I don't like the songs people choose to sing, etc, etc. It was really very painful. You wouldn't have liked it either. Believe me. My pain has saved you.

I'm very tired (maybe because it's 1:15), but I really feel like writing for a while and this is as good as anything else I can think of.

Had a couple of changes at work this week. Two people decided they'd quit for whatever reasons. One is going to be a stay-at-home dad, the other took a job with another company in the area. I think the first guy should have left (one way or another) a while ago. The other, I think, really made a mistake. A lot of people here liked him and probably would have worked with him to get him to stay. Oh, well. Good luck to the both of them. I hope they do well for themselves.

Apparently you all told your friends to come check out my site, because my numbers are on the rise again (look for yourself, just go to the bottom of the page and click on the number on the left-hand side). I'm almost as high as last month and I'm sure I'll be even higher by the end of the week.

I don't know if this is a good thing or a neutral thing or a bad thing, but I've been feeling kind of lonely lately. Not in a "poor, poor, pitiful me" kind of way, but in a "I miss being with someone" kind of way. I go through this a lot, and admittedly, I think that's fine and I think I...deserve it. There are very few people who are 33 and don't have a significant other. And not only don't have one, but never have for any length of time. Sure, I've had girlfriends -- few and far between -- but I've had them. Never a wife, or fiancee, or even anyone close to that stage and sometimes it gets me down. How can everyone I know say, "You're a great guy; funny, smart, etc." and yet no one is interested? I'm pleased with me. The areas I'm weak in are areas I'm working on. Is that a bad thing? To realize you have weaknesses? I don't think so.

I know I'm not the most physically appealing person in the world, but I know I'm attractive -- it's just that very few others seem to think so. Maybe I seem to fixate on that a bit, but all I have to do is harken back to the months after I returned from Cyprus. I was very active there and lost a lot of weight over the summer. When I returned to school all sorts of women were interested in me -- nothing had changed about me except the way I looked and yet everyone looked at me differently. So, now, years later when I've gained weight and can't attract a woman I know it has to do with looks. I don't know anyone here, so it's hard to meet someone and attract them with my charm and wit (okay, there's an edge of sarcasm there, but only an edge, I'm pretty charming and witty), I don't have the time to invest in that in a first-time meeting, instead I have to rely on that first moment of physical attraction -- and guess what? I can't rely on that, because it doesn't happen. It's frustrating. "You're a great guy, but not for me."

Blah, blah, blah. I've heard it all before, I've said it all before. I war with myself. Part of me says to just wait until I'm in shape to really give finding a girfriend serious time and effort, but I can't bet on that happening. I've been stuck for a while now. The other part of me says that I shouldn't have to wait. Someone out there has to have a brain. Has to be able to see how great I am. Right? Well, those are both of my working theories at the moment. It'd be nice if one of them would pay off sometime soon. It sucks to run around in circles like this.

And, hey, for all of you who are concerned about me. Don't be. I'm fine. I'm just getting out "on paper" things that run through my head every day. Every. Day. For years now. None of this is new. I'm just really getting tired of it. I think you can understand that. Right?

Now it's 1:42. I'm going to bed.

Friday, January 24, 2003

I think I say this a lot, but man am I busy. Work is alternatingly full and overflowing with things to do. Yesterday (meaning Wednesday) I don't feel like I was able to get anything done -- other than getting a haricut -- and Thursday I took care of some busy work and spent most of the afternoon coordinating a photo shoot for an upcoming game, so that kinda shot the day. Thankfully tonight I went to the "Scrabble night" that a large group of us host sporadically. It was a good time and ended early enough that I was able to come back to work and get a couple of things done. That will make tomorrow a bit easier.

The main things tomorrow are meetings; three of them, taking up about 4 hours. And trying to write up a new system for a game that was gutted on Monday. I came up with something to replace it, but tomorrow is the presentation to the boss and I have nothing written up so far, just notes and ideas. Whatever time I don't spend in meetings tomorrow will be spent formalizing my thoughts.

Last night I went to the gym, then joined some of the guys downtown (in Seattle) for some fun. One of the women from work showed up with her roommates -- both very cute -- but one of them was great. Intelligent, funny, attractive, and just all-around cool. I come into work today and find out she's got a boyfriend. Of course. Quite a bummer, really. Her, I'd ask out. I was tempted to last night.

I'm gonna start some notes for tomorrow, then go sleep. Bye.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

I had a good weekend. Firday night was the birthday of one of the guys here at work and a pretty good-sized group joined him at the nearby Rock-Bottom Brewery for dinner, then a smaller group went to the fabulous 8th Street Sports Bar for drinks and pool afterwards. One of the women from work brought a friend to introduce to the birthday boy, but he was shy all night and didn't really talk to her until late in the evening. I ended up talking to her for most of the night. She's 24 and is from La Crosse. She moved out here on a whim and seems to love it. The evening ended just before midnight and I went home to read for a bit.

Saturday I went to the gym and then went to work to do some things, but ended up playing Magic for most of the afternoon and evening. Then a couple of us went for dinner at a nearby Greek place; expensive, but good. I returned to work, but didn't do a heck of a lot...oh, I talked to Seth as he and Chris watched the travesty that is competitive eating. They were both very distracted by the show. I'm sure Seth will post more over at Ober Dicta.

I was up early Sunday and at the gym by about 10:30, so I was done by around noon. Checked out Best Buy, because I want to get a new stereo. I'm not sure if I want to get an all-in-one unit, or get speakers and a stereo shelf and put together a component system. I remembered that I have a receiver that Seth gave me years ago. That along with my CD changer and record player pretty much gives me what I really need. Probably need an amp, too. I'll do some more checking. One may be easier, but the other may not be much more work and yeild a better result.

Then to work, where I did very little until I went to see Narc with some people from work. It was good. A bit confusing because they insisted on many, many scenes of the main character sitting somewhere thinking quietly, or inexplicably having flashbacks. Regardless, it was still a pretty good bit of cop/crime fiction.

Now I'm going home. Nope, groceries first, then home.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Why are all women's bathrooms better decorated than men's rooms? We've been in the building for three weeks and they have art on the walls, we have rust on the floor. It doesn't seem fair somehow. I think tomorrow I'm going to scratch my crotch in protest.

That'll teach 'em.

(I don't think I have to say that that was a joke, but y'never know.)

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Hey! Yo! I'm back from vacation! Tell your friends bacause my numbers just aren't where they were before the break. I'm feeling seriously unloved by you. Yes, you! Did you think you wouldn't be missed? Aww, buck up, you know I like you, come on, come back. I promise to post some fun stuff if you're good.

Seth has returned in force from his self-imposed blog moratorium. You'd think a guy who writes all the time would get tired of writing all the time. Luckily Seth is a plucky lad with just enough fingers to properly operate a keyboard; no more, no less.

In related news, Seth passed on some news that Marv Wolfman mentioned my game on his site. Look at the 1/15/03 posting. It's just an off-hand mention of the game, but I gotta admit, it's pretty cool to know that some of my favorite comic writers are talking about my stuff. I've already emailed him to thank him. Hmm, come to think of it, I hope some of my favorite comic writers weren't ripping it apart and saying what a travesty they think the game is. That would suck. I hope they like them, even if they only decorate their computers with them.

Seth also passed along a link to writer, Bruce Baugh's new weblog Rock Scissors Blog. It looks like an interesting experiment and I hope to check and possibly post to it regularly. I imagine some interesting things will be said -- by me -- if no one else. I kid, of course. I probably won't post anything interesting.

Now that Seth is out of the way I can get on with what I came here for; writing about me. (Hmm, I seem to be on an egotistical bent today. You will, of course, forgive me.) I managed to get my crazy sleep schedule under control just in time for it to be the weekend again, so I can screw it up again. I'll try to behave this weekend and not get too out of whack.

Work was a bit crazy this week. Wednesday a dam seemed to break and I was flooded with work that all had to be done RIGHT NOW! I pretty much have it all taken care of now, but it was annoying and I haven't felt stressed by work like that in a long time. Anyway, it's all good now and things seem to be on track.

I met with everyone to start the new Mutants & Masterminds game on alternating Tuesdays with Mike's Shadowrun game. We wrote up characters and everything looks like it's going to be fine. I've been coming up with a ton of ideas for it and am exploring the game system a bit more by writing up some background characters and bad guys. I hope this game goes well, because it'll be the first time a game has really clicked since I've been out here. It's funny how much gaming is colored by the people you play with. Some people just can't tell stories together.

Today (Thursday) we had many of our distributors into work and showed them our plans for the next year. Additionally those of us in the game design department had to play our upcoming games with them. It went very well and they all seem very excited about what we have coming up. That's definitely a good thing. Tonight I decided to stay late and proof some newly arrived samples and some general catch-up due to yesterday's and today's interruptions. Things are good now.

I just returned from a sumptuous sushi feast with Kevin and Kim from work. I always have a good time with them. I'd also like to state for the record that we have too many cute women working here. I need to get out and meet some single, datable women with whom I do not work. Luckily, tomorrow night is the birthday of one of the guys here, so maybe I'll manage to do that.

Okay, now I think I'm going to do some more work, then go home.

Check back soon!

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Argh! I just wrote some things here and blogger lost it (and then lost it again, so I'm posting this about 14 hours after I wanted to, so read this as if it was posted Monday evening.) when I went to publish it, so now I'm rewriting. It will be breif.

Things are going well, although I've been staying up too late for the last few days. I don't think I've managed to get to bed before about 2am lately. Luckily I've spent a lot of that time coming up with some new mechanics for future projects and developing more ideas for the game I'm running beginning tomorrow with some of the people from work.

I've been very good about going to the gym and have made some progress. Hopefully taking a few weeks off has tricked my body into thinking it's okay to lose weight again.

I now go to the gym. Then I can pick up my apartment -- which needs it badly.

Oh, I saw 25th Hour, the new Edward Norton movie directed by Spike Lee. Wow. Damn fine acting in the film. I wish Phillip Seymour Hoffman had had a more significant role, but the whole thing was excellent, so I won't pick nits.

Gym, here I come!

Friday, January 10, 2003

I've had a good week of settling into my new office and organizing my desk. It still needs a little bit of work, but everything is fitting nicely and I think I have more room than before -- plus my work area is a lot more private. I even have enough space in my cube to keep an extra chair for people to sit in. Woohoo!

Work has been mostly filled with trying to get motivated (which is similar to "fixin' to get ready" as the Texans say) to actually do some work. I thought I'd dive right back into work, but it's very hard. Luckily, today and yesterday I managed to build up a good head of steam and I managed to get a lot done. I'll even make all the deadlines I set for myself this week, which is a very good thing.

Jumping back in time; most of you back in Wisconsin already know this, but it bears repeating. While I was home I contacted Dr. Chris and he took me, my mom and dad, may older sister, her husband and their three sons over to The Valley of the Kings.

It was very cool.

All that separates you from these wonderful cats is a normal chain-link fence in most cases. And, as Chris liked to point out, they're all really sweet animals that would kill you if the fence wasn't there. The visit was very cold after a while, but it was so cool to see these critters close up that I really didn't mind at all. If you love animals, especially large cats that have been mistreated by stupid humans, please donate some money. If you do, you can visit the shelter, otherwise you can't get in. The highlights of our trip were feeding the cats (including Nook, a 1,600 lb. liger (a nine or ten foot-long lion-tiger mix who'd been bred to be skinned. Nice.)) and when one of the lions decided we didn't smell quite right and decided to pee on us -- my youngest nephew caught the worst of it, but how many people can say they've been peed on by a lion? So it all worked out.

Our new location at work is good. I haven't walked to work yet because I've been bringing boxes back from home as well as taking my Christmas boxes home from work (lots of boxes in my life lately), but I will soon. I noticed today that the route I took to work is 1.4 miles. If I get up at a reasonable time I should be able to be here at a respectable hour if I walk. I really want to start that, it'll save on time at the gym as well as save gas money. I'll update you on this when I start.

I returned to the gym on Wednesday, which is the first time in about three weeks. Yikes! I'd gained a couple of pounds but I'm not too concerned. I know I can take them off and I've varied my workout a bit. Hopefully that change plus the break in my workout schedule will help to kick my body back into weight-loss mode. Every now and then it's good to make a change. I received a mailing from the gym yesterday that offers a two-time visit with a personal trainer for $99. I may take them up on it just to get a new workout plan.

Okay, I'm out of here. I spent this evening cleaning my mailbox, reading some things Seth wrote for an upcoming project, and coming up with new game ideas for work and for fun. Next Tuesday I start a Mutants & Masterminds game and I have to come up with some good ideas to kick the game off right.

Tired now. Going to bed.

Monday, January 06, 2003

I'm back in Bellevue, safe and sound. I returned late last night (about 1am), was picked up by one of the guys I work with, dropped at home, then I unpacked and was in bed by about 2:30. Then up at 8 or so for work. I'm very tired now.

I'll wirte more later, but I had a great time at home. I really wish my job were in Madison, I think my life would be nearly perfect if I could do this job, have all my friends around me and be close enough to my family to visit any old time.

Christmas was fun, I got lots of goodies that will be either very fun or very useful and I had a ball watching my nephews open their gifts. Sometime in the next couple of weeks I get to spend a bunch of money at Best Buy thanks to those ever-useful gift certificates. Woohoo!

Oh, here's a funny search that resulted in a hit on this page: enjoy!

Work is good. I settled into my new desk today -- or at least, I cleared it out enough so that I could actually sit down. I only had 91 emails waiting for me and I've gone through all of them already. Tomorrow I can start doing real work.

Hmm, I'm very disjointed tonight. Maybe I'll go home and go to bed now.