Monday, May 19, 2003

I thought I was going to go to the gym Thursday night, to make up for the fact that I didn't go on Wednesday, but instead I ran some errands and then was treated to dinner by my boss because we had a contractor in the office. He wanted to go for seafood since he's from the Midwest and wanted to try some seafood from the Northwest. I think we had about ten of us go. It was fun and it was good to get a chance to talk to the guy a bit more before we start working with him. We finished up pretty late, so I decided to go to bed instead of going to the gym so late.

Sometime in the last couple of days a started watching Metropolis. I've owned it on video for years and haven't watched it before now. I've been watching a bit when I get up in the mornings and a little in the evenings before going to bed. It's interesting that you can communicate so much story with so few words. Obviously the pictures help, but even so. I think movie-makers nowadays rely too much on the words to carry the story instead of really communicating with the images they have to work with. But I digress...

Friday we had Game Day at work. One Friday of every month we try to get everyone to put their work on hold and either play one of our games or some other game. For me and my department it's a chance to be exposed to mechanics and ideas we may not have considered and for everyone else it's a chance to familiarize themselves with other things that are available. Generally, I think people appreciate it and have a good time. Plus, there's the free pizza. And the not working for two hours.

My boss and I walked over to the nearby Toys R Us and had a talk about some work things while he picked up a gift (and we checked out some of the toys) and we each picked up a bunch of Peeps for 10 cents per package of 15 Peeps. I like them when they get stale and chewy. Mmmm, artificially-colored sugar.

After gameday and the Peeps excursion my day was pretty well shot and I had zero motivation to continue working, so I faked it for a while and actually got some things done before leaving early to get to the gym. I had to get to the gym at a reasonable hour because one of the guys at work was having me and a couple other people over for dinner. I wrapped up at the gym and made my way to his place. It was a nice evening. There were only six of us; five of us from work and the other, his next door neighbor. We talked for quite a while, ate some dinner and then watched a tape of a comedian whose name I forget. His neighbor is cuter than I remember, but young and leaving to study in the U.K. soon.

Saturday I was up early (read: 6:30) so Matt could pick me up for a trek up to Everett to a Magic: The Gathering prerelease event for their newest expansion. I'd never been to one before, but Matt had. It was interesting. We left around 8 AM, and got lost on the way, so we didn't arrive until about 9 AM. By the time we got there, there were already three "flights" of 64 people signed up to play, so we were in flight 4 (throughout the course of the day they had 6 flights). We paid our $25, just like everyone else (let's see, 64 people times 6 flights times 25 dollars comes out to $9,600. Not bad.) and eventually played. It was run so that you played best two out of three against each of four other players. I ended up splitting my rounds 50/50. I didn't mind since I was really there to see what the new cards were like and just to see what one of these things was like. Overall, I think it was very cool. Plus I ended up winning 4 packs of the new expansion in addition to the three I received to build my deck for the day. There was a lot of really good stuff in those packs. Matt and I wrapped up around 3 PM and headed back. We grabbed some food as soon as we were back in Bellevue. We were starving because we hadn't eaten since very early in the morning.

We stopped by work briefly to drop off some things and one of the women who was in invited me to a bar-be-que.

Let me step in here; this is one of those regional things. A BBQ in the Northwest isn't cooking food with a tangy sauce, it's a cookout. For some reason, all cookouts are referred to as bar-be-ques, and let me tell you, it really bugs me. A bar-be-que is something very specific to me and it isn't a noun, it's a verb. One bar-be-ques, one doesn't go to a bar-be-que. Rather, one goes to a cookout in order to bar-be-que. In addition, it's the act of doing something specific to food (cooking it with the aforementioned tangy sauce), it's not just cooking the food in whatever old way you choose. Again, I digress...

Anyway, I knew a number of other people were going to this thing, so I said, sure. I went home, went to the gym (since I hadn't gone yet), showered and drove to Golden Gardens park on the far western side of Seattle. Much like Green Lake, which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, this place was overrun with people -- and it wasn't even that nice out. I can't help but think that people around here only pay lip service to the fact that they like to get out and do things in the great outdoors when what they really mean is that they like to go to the parks and turn them into the worst that that term has to offer; overcrowded, overused, dirty, unattractive places that would really benefit from more parking. Apparently Golden Gardens is a very hippy-friendly place, but I couldn't tell given all the homeless, drunks, tour groups, and yuppies. Hmm, maybe I'm being harsher than I should be. I guess, what I mean to say is, I wouldn't go there again without a reason. It holds no draw for me.

Oddly, a lot of the friends of the woman that invited me were from Wisconsin. Many of them had gone to school in Madison. There were all eight or so years younger than me, but it was funny to be 2000 miles from home and talking to people about Rhinelander and the UW, while eating brats. I had a good time. There were five or six others from work as well. Most of them trickled off early because it was a little cool, but I and another guy (actually, the guy who'd had me over for dinner on Friday) stayed until about 10 PM.

Sunday, I slept in! Hooray! Then I went to the gym, showered, did laundry, and came to work. I've been here since about, maybe three o'clock. Earlier I did some actual work, but then I ran the first session of a D&D game for some of the people here. I'm not going overboard in terms of the time I spend on this, so I'm just running some premade adventures until I can tell how serious they are about gaming. I don't want to waste time on a game if it's going to be full of silliness. It's the first time I've gamed with any of them, so I'm still getting a feel for them. If they prove to be into it, I'll get more serious about it, but so far it's been only a fair experience. Hopefully things will improve. Happily, they're all very nice people. I just don't know if we're expecting the same thing from the game yet.

Now I'm headed out. Groceries, as usual, then bed.

Oh, happy anniversary to Doug and Becca. Sometime in the last week, a year ago, they were married and came to visit me. All the best, guys!


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