Sunday, November 30, 2003

Well, it's been more than just a few days since the last time I wrote here. Wizard World Texas was a lot of fun. It was great to see everyone playing the games I work on (or around) every day. It was especially nice to see that the newest release was very well received. I'm excited about that one; lots of good characters.

As an added surprise, Brian Martin showed up to play games and have fun all weekend. I didn't get to hang out with him a lot, but I did for a bit and it was fun and relaxing. A little history for those who don't know Brian: he's a friend from college whom I now only see at some of the various gaming conventions that I attend. He's also the closest to an actual dilettante among all of my friends.

I'm sure that there were all sorts of cool things that happened over the course of the convention, but now, a week later, it's hard to recall what they were. If I think of anything that stands out I'll be sure to mention it. Oh, I did manage to trade for and buy some fun stuff -- including some Iron Man statues. Those are cool. Oh, and I gave the talk at the event we held for all of our volunteers. That was actually a really good time. In the past we've done it as more of a presentation, but this time I answered questions while I was talking about the various lines and everyone really seemed to enjoy it. I received a couple of compliments on it. That was good to hear as I'll be giving most of these talks at the conventions next year.

I returned last Monday around noon and came to work to check my email and clear up any problems that surfaced while I was gone. Everything was good, so I ducked out early and went home. You'd think that after a long weekend of non-stop work and late nights that I was ready to unpack and settle in. But no! No! I decided it was time to clean my apartment. Including going through all of my novels and gaming books to rearrange them and weed out some things to sell. So, now I have all of my reference books on one bookshelf (it's already paid off), a stack of books to sell, a bookshelf that's newly reorganized, and another bookshelf with a whole shelf empty! Woohoo! Plus, I did my laundry, put away two giant stacks of comics into new boxes, watched some more of The Family Guy DVDs that a friend lent me, watered my wilting plants, and even had time to grab dinner with a friend. Sure, I was tired from the trip, but that's no reason to be lazy, right?

Tuesday and Wednesday were full of work, but I went to the gym Wednesday, so that was good. I also went Friday and Saturday and I feel energized by it. I hope to maintain that feeling for a while. I've said it before, but I've been very bad about going to the gym and maintaining a healthy lifestyle lately. I'm working on fixing it, but the past few days have been very good -- even with Thanksgiving in there.

Speaking of which; I went to Mike and Sharon's for Thanksgiving. They'd invited me, Cathy, Brian, Shana, and Shana's parents over for the day. We had a good time and the food was all excellent. I really liked the sweet potatoes with apple on top -- which is really saying something, because I've never liked sweet potatoes before.

It's funny (in a sad way) because the whole day was great, but it really helped to reinforce how single I am. I drove over alone. I was the only one to arrive alone. I was the only one there over the age of 5 who didn't have a significant other. So I'm sitting in a roomful of people and I felt very alone. Or, I should say, a part of me felt very alone, the rest of me was being social and having a good time, but the whole time I was aware that I was alone. I'm sure no one else noticed at all. I experience this feeling more and more as time goes on.

Along these lines, I had an interesting talk with a workmate the other day about dating and being single versus being in a relationship. We were talking about how hard it is to have to be there for yourself all the time. If you're in a bad mood, or feeling self-conscious about something, or just have a bad self-confidence day, and you're single then the only person you have to rely on to pull you back up is you. You don't have someone else to compliment you or do something nice for you, or, heck, even just notice that you need cheering up. Nope, instead it's just you, all the time. Sometimes that's good because you lead a well-examined life. If something is wrong, you have to figure out how to fix it. I said that that's why I think relationships can be good. Because you have someone to help you when you're down and to help you when you don't know how to handle it. He responded that he's at the point that he doesn't want to burden other people with his problems. Wow. That struck me as a very lonely attitude. I've thought about it a lot since then.

I didn't go to work at all on Thanksgiving or on Friday -- other than to check email since I don't have an internet connection at home yet. Instead I went to the gym, got a haircut, drove downtown to get comics, spent part of the day doing some work at home (not work work, but house work), then had dinner with Ethan and Kian, before going over to Shana's to meet with people to go see 21 Grams. It was a very good, but very dark movie. If you want to be reminded about how good your life is, go see this movie, because those characters' lives suck big time. I'd only strongly recommend to real film buffs or fans of Sean Penn.

Saturday morning I met Brian, Shana, and her parents for breakfast -- yes, once again playing fifth wheel. I thought more people were going to be there. It was a little odd to go out to eat with a couple and one of the people in the couple's parents. It was a good breakfast and it reminded me that I'd really like to find more places like that. It's a place called the Portage Bay Cafe and I mentioned in the past that it reminds me of Bluephies in Madison. I enjoy places like that and I've found very few out here.

Other than breakfast I did some things around that house, then went to the gym, then came to work for the evening. I have a lot of work to do tomorrow, so I'll be in for most of the day after I go to the gym.

Now, I go to bed.

Note to self: Ask Mom about tickets home for Christmas. Need info.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I don't think I'll get a chance to update for the next few days because I'm heading to Wizard World Texas for a few days.

I'm sitting here trying to think of something to say and I really have nothing. I've been working every hour of the day that I'm not sleeping -- and last night I got about five and a half hours of sleep, so it's not like I'm sleeping a lot. All of this work is caused by the fact that I'm going away this weekend. If I weren't, I'd still have a few days to do all the things that I have to wrap up before I leave. Sure, some of it's fun, but it's still a lot of work.

I was rightfully worried about getting a ticket home for the holidays. When I called to check on prices today they were simply ridiculous. My mom found some better prices, so she's going to get the ticket through her sources. I'm not sure how long I'll be staying in Wisconsin when I go back. I'd like to stay for two weeks as I have every time I've gone home since I moved out here, but I hate having to stay on people's floors and imposing on them. Anyway, I may only be back for the week of Christmas, plus maybe a couple of days.

I hate to cut the visit back home short, because it feels like I'm setting a precedent. I don't know if I actually am, but it feel like it. I wish I could get back more often. I still miss everyone.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to clear out of here "early" so I can clean up my apartment and do some laundry before the trip. I have no clue how successful I'll be.

Just for fun, I checked out Stephen Hawking's site earlier. What an incredibly bright guy. I picked up one of his books a while ago and I really need to read it. If you get a chance, check out the pictures of Stephen Hawking and Jim Carey having a picnic. The scientist and the comedian. Quite an odd couple.

I'll update when I get the chance. Now, I go!

Sunday, November 16, 2003

I worked like a madman this week, although I managed to get to Angel's trunk show on Thursday evening. It was fun and interesting and I really liked seeing all of the clothes she'd designed and made herself. Had I more money, a better physique, and a any fashion sense, I'd probagbly ask her for something. Okay, I'm not being fair to myself, I have some fashion sense, I just can't seem to get myself to about fashion. There are two sides to it; 1) fashion is an extravagance, a luxury, and it doesn't matter because it doesn't make you anymore of an individual than you are without it, and 2) fashion is another way of expressing yourself, it's human plummage, it doesn't make you attractive -- it makes you more attractive. At least it ought to. I have, classically, been in the former camp, but as time passes I'm beginning to understand that latter bit of reasoning.

Anyway, there were many people at Angel's and it was fun to see them fawning over the clothes and trying if they could buy something and what it should be. I hope it went well for her.

Friday I (didn't go to the gym and instead) worked until about 12:30am, when I received an instant message from Katie who said, "Let's go to Denny's!" After talking for a bit, I agreed. She called Shana and twenty minutes later we were all at Katie's where we jumped in my car and went to Denny's. It was a nice way to end the evening and was pretty entertaining. Afterwards I stayed up way too late, so I didn't get up on Saturday until 10:30. Which, really, isn't too bad, but I had a lot to do. Again, no gym on Saturday. Instead, I found the tape I wanted to bring to Shana's birthday party, then I went to work for a few hours, then ran errands and had dinner before leaving for the party.

Shana turned 24, or some other age that's at least ten years gone for me. I hate her. There was quite a turnout for the party and, as directed by Shana, many of us had brought tapes for her Second Annual Short-Attention-Span Theatre. The premise is, everyone brings a five-minute snippet of a film to play for everyone. There were some really entertaining selections...although fifteen people x five minutes of video makes it sort of the opposite of "short-attention-span theatre". Even so, it was very fun. Happy birthday, Shana.

Sunday I got up and came straight to work (no gym, again) and worked until four o'clock, then went downtown to meet up with Shane to buy comics. I really gotta cut back on the amount I'm spending on comics. I'm not saying that because I spent a lot today, but last year I was buying fewer books than I am now. Heck, I was even talking about stopping collecting, but I couldn't because of work. Regardless, I really have to cut back. I'm going to look at my books and figure out what I can cut. There really are a surprising number of good books coming out right now, but after purchasing my new computer and now that I have to get an internet connection at home...well, those are more expenses than I can comfortably absorb. Woe is me.

Tonight I ran my D&D game. This was the last game for a while, probably until after the beginng of the year due to my upcoming travel and the holidays. Who knows, maybe the game will die completely, but it's been fun and since I'm running right out of a pre-written adventure, it hasn't taken much thought. We'll see what happens.

Okay, time for me to do some grocery shopping, then get back to relax for a bit before sleeping. I have a ton of work to do this week before I leave for a convention later this week. A ton of work. I'll be spending a lot of time at work over the next few days. Later.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Some people might think it's funny, but I'm incredibly upset and disappointed with myself for forgetting to go to the gym tonight. I have the excuse of having a TON of work to do before I go away late next week -- and the deadlines keep moving up. What really bothers me is that I completely spaced it out. Forgot to go. Didn't think of it. It didn't enter my mind at all. Wow, I've really let myself fall out of the habit of going. This is so bad. Really.

If you can't tell, I'm going to dwell on this for a while.


Monday night I left here in a bad mood and -- instead of going to the gym -- went to see Matrix Revolutions. It was better than a lot of people around the office were saying it was, but still not as good as the first. I liked how they wrapped some things up, I liked some of the allusions and symbology, but it didn't really hang together for me. It was worth matinee price for me. I certainly won't be picking it up on DVD.

I really have a ton of work to do.

I'd previously dedicated tomorrow night to going to see Angel's trunk show. I've never been to anything like it and I'm looking forward to it. Plus, after tonight, I really need to get out and socialize.

I know I've been here too long today because I feel a bit stir crazy. Very uncomfortable, nervous, hungry (I haven't eaten since noon and now it's after eleven), can't hold a thought for long.

I'm really enjoying my new computer at home. I've been doing a bit of writing and played a bit of a game on it, but I'm really enjoying having it there.

I need to leave. Ah, mustn't forget to buy soap on the way home, otherwise tomorrow's shower will be pointless.

Y'know, the gym is one of my big reasons for not staying at work all the time. I need it. I need to not be here. I don't have a significant other to pull me home and if I continue to forget to go to the gym, well, then I'm in trouble. I need to fix this. I need to get serious again.

I told you I was going to dwell on this.

Monday, November 10, 2003

I'm in a really foul mood and rather than do something constructive -- like go to the gym -- I'm going to go see the new Matrix movie.

Don't ask me why I'm in a bad mood, I just am. I think I'm frustrated about a great many things and am starting to feel a little burned out. It's weird because I didn't feel this coming on, it just hit me.

After the movie I'm going to try to get some writing done on a project I've been thinking about for a while. That should be fun.

Hmm, it's been a few days since I last posted, but it's so late now, that I don't have time to do a full recap.

Briefly, after a lot of running around, I managed to see Elf Saturday night. It was worth a matinee. I had dinner at a fondue place; very expensive, but kind of fun. I've been very good about going to the gym over the last week. I'm happy about that, but I still need to work harder at it. I went to the company store on Friday because I wanted to pick up a book, but they sold the last copy before I got there. I'm very bummed about that, but I should have a copy by next week.

I spent Sunday writing a horrible article for an upcoming magazine. I had nothing to say, but still had to write 750 words. That's not much, but ugh, it certainly feels like a lot when you have nothing to say. Maybe it's my mood, the article didn't actually turn out too badly.

Mom and Dad are on their way to Vegas, man I wish I could join them. It would be nice to see them again and I even think we'd have a good time in Vegas together -- not the place you'd normally pick to go with your parents.

Oh, and I ran my D&D game tonight. It went well and they wrapped up the current adventure. It was quite a challenge, but they all made it.

Okay, sleepy. Time to go.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

A brief post to say how happy, excited, and relieved I am to now have all of the files from my old computer on my brand-spankin'-new computer. The computer guy from work, Isaac, was extra-cool and came over and took care of the whole thing for me. So now I have all the files safe and sound on the new hard drive, plus we left the old hard drive in the new computer, cleaned it off, and now I have a place to store backups of important files. Woohoo!

I just returned from the gym and now I'm headed back home to play around with the computer. I may even load up a game and play it. That sounds novel.

This weekend I think I'll be spending a heck of a lot of time at work. I have to update the rules for a new product and it will require actual writing -- which I have very little luck getting done during the day at work...too much other stuff going on.

With help from Seth I have some pictures of the pumpkins from last week's pumpkin-carving fest. Mine's the ghost on the upper left. There's more ghosts, Edward Scissorhands, a cool skull, and more traditional pumpkin faces. The one at the middle-bottom I don't want to talk about.

And here's a group shot of Jen (She-Devil), Shana (Drunken '50's Housewife), Cathy ('80's Prom Girl), Shane (Clockwork Orange Gangmember), Laina (Catholic Schoolgirl), and me (Clown) at the party.

And finally, a close-up of yours truly. I even shaved off my goatee for this. That's dedication!

Unlike many people, I actually like clowns. Heck, my room used to be decorated with them when I was a kid. Others feel differently, so I figured that would be a freaky costume. Seth thinks I acheived my goal.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

I just spend about $1000 on a new computer, the suite of software for everything to go on it, and two thing I didn't need -- the Freedom Force game that came out last year (hey, it's a cheap super-heroes can't be helped) and the DVD set of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere series. I read the book last year and was looking forward to the DVDs. Now I have them.

I'm going to have to be a little tight with money to make up for these expenditures, but it should be fine. I'm just excited to have a home computer that I don't have to be afraid will crash at a moments notice (at least no more so than anyone else with a new computer). My old computer was seven or eight years old, so I know something bad will happen to it soon. Tomorrow I hope to have a friend help me install the hard drive from the old on into the new one so we can transfer files. And when I say "help", I mean "do".

I'm headed out to do those things and then play with my new toy.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

I know for a fact that we're in the electronic age. Why, you ask? Because my mom was chiding me today because she doesn't like when I don't update my blog for a few days.

I know we're in the post-electronic age when she begins to worry about me when I don't blog for a few days. That can't be far off.

The past week has been busy, but good. I haven't spent an inordinate amount of time at work and I had a few really fun evenings out. I mentioned that I was going to buy a new computer last week and I did. I'll probably be recieving it tomorrow (Monday, that is). I'm looking forward to that because I have some writing I'd like to do at home. Plus, I can transfer everything from my old computer to the new one -- lemme tell ya', that's been needed for a long time.

The rest of the week was pretty normal for the most part. I went to the gym on Monday, on Tuesday Shana and I went to dinner at Cedars (an excellent Indian/Mediterranean restaurant) and then to see Radio -- partially because there was nothing else that we really wanted to see and partially because Shana was in the mood for a "good cry". Yeah, I don't understand it either, but my mom said she and my sisters had a "good cry" when they took my nephews to see Brother Bear this weekend. Maybe you need to be female to get the concept of a "good cry".

Getting back on track, Wednesday I was going to go to the gym, but ended up going to dinner too late with Cathy, Shane, and Kian, so I went home afterwards and watched more of The Raiders of the Lost Ark. Thursday I went to Shana's pumpkin-carving party. There were about a dozen of us in her little apartment and we had a damn good time. We also produced some of the best and most-consistently good pumpkins that I've ever seen in one place. I'll try to get some pictures posted soon so that you can marvel at them.

Friday people had talked about doing something, but that never materialized, so I wrote some and then went to the gym.

I got up a bit late Saturday, went to the gym, and then spent the afternoon watching movies, reading, and doing laundry. Around 4:30 I went to FINALLY transfer the deed to my old car to the people that bought it. I'm not going to go into this too much, but lemme just say that this whole thing was a royal pain. It's taken five months to get this resolved and I'm sure I'll still have to deal with more fallout from it. Regardless, it's out of my hands now. After I took care of that, I went to Shane and Cathy's to get ready for the costume party we were going to that night. Cathy was kind enough to do my makeup for my costume and then we all drove to the party.

Again, I'll have to get some pictures up soon, but I went as some kind of escaped-convict-killer-clown. It was very...odd, but very fun and many people seemed to like it. It really was a little freaky. Seth pointed out that most of my Halloween costumes have a very dark overtone to them. They do. I think it's because I think of Halloween costumes as things that ought to be scary in some way. Whether they're gross, disturbing, dark, gorey, or otherwise off-putting. I think that's the point of them. None of this friendly, namby-bamby, pastel-colored crap. I want scarey stuff! Anyway, that was Saturday night. We all had a good time and there were some excellent costumes (yes, yes, pictures, I know).

I was really looking forward to the party while getting ready for it, but once I was there I wasn't really in a party mood. I didn't feel like drinking, so I didn't, I didn't feel like dancing, so I didn't, and I didn't really feel super-social, so I mostly talked with the people I came with. Sure I had a good time, but it wasn't a stand-out kind of night for me. After the party a group of us went to Denny's for a late-night snack/dinner/breakfast, so I didn't get home until about three a.m.

I woke up Sunday at 8:30 with a really bad headache and thought, "No way am I getting up now," so I rolled over and slept some more. I woke up a couple more times, but didn't look at the clock because I didn't think much time was passing between wakings. When I finally looked at the clock I saw that it was 12:08. Whoops. I spent the afternoon downtown with Shane and Cathy having some breakfast, buying comics, and then meeting up with Shana so she could run an errand. Then we went to Shane and Cathy's for a bit. They discussed what they were going to do for the evening and I came to work to run my D&D game.

Hmm, I don't really feel like writing any more, but I don't really feel like this was a very fun post. Ah well, I'll have to spice things up over the next few days with some pictures. That's all for now.