Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Those of you that know me know that I've been a comic fan for many years. Heck, even if you only know me through this blog (which is probably zero of you) should know that by now considering how often I mention going to pick up comics with Shane. Anyway, someone passed on a link to scanned-in copy of Action Comics #1. Part of me thinks it's really cool that someone did this and part of me thinks it's just another way to rip of Siegel and Shuster. Those are the two fellas that created Superman back in 1938. The comic and its contents still belong to DC Comics and it bugs me that someone's put it online while at the same time it makes me happy to be able to check it out.

Weird double-bind for me. So I guess the moral is; check it out, but feel guilty about it.

Our newest game got a lot of electronic ink on ESPN yesterday. That was cool to see.

Okay, non-link-related things. Monday after work I mostly just hung out and did nothing. I think I came home, cooked some dinner (yes, I've started doing that fairly often lately), cleaned up around the apartment, and watched a borrowed copy of Equilibrium along with the two commentary tracks -- or at least most of them. I still have a little bit to go on the second one.

Tuesday was a day of meetings at work. Yippee. I did some testing on one of our new releases. It has some very, very cool things and has been a lot of fun to test. After playing a game of Jonsson (pronounced: yonson. It's faux Swedish) -- it's a game made up by some of the guys in the office. It's the ancient game of magnetic bocci ball. We have a league going in the office. I lost my first league game tonight, 7-3. Ouch. Anyway, after that I played a quick game of Magic, and then went to Shana's to grab some dinner because I was tired of hanging out at home.

We had a good time. I got to her place, knocked a not-quite-empty glass of red wine over onto her white carpet. Actually it looked like someone had been killed on her floor because the wine was so red. After saying, "Oh, that sucks," we walked over to the University area for dinner, then walked back plus a couple more blocks to a grocery store to pick up something to clean up the wine stains. It was a good walk. I'm sure we're both skinnier because of it. At least we can dream, right?

Now I'm home and ready for bed.

I have to admit that I've been in the mood to write lately. I know that's a good thing, but I'm not sure why I feel like that now. Maybe it's because I haven't done any writing in a long time, or maybe it's because I'm not going to the gym lately and I'm looking for something to fill my time. Either way, I have to figure out something to write or be much more regular about getting exercise.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

I'm doing much better than I was Friday, but I knew that was a short-term thing anyway.

I was able to get a lot done this weekend. Saturday I met Matt for lunch over in Kirkland at the Original Pancake House, then went to pick up comics. There's a Bed, Bath, and Beyond across the street from Zanadu, where I get my comics, so I went and picked up a new frying pan and a couple other things for my kitchen. I didn't really have much else to do, so I went to check out another comic/game store called The Dreaming. I picked up a game book there and then headed home to finish some laundry.

On the way home, just before reaching the 520 bridge traffic ground to a complete stop for about 15 minutes. All I can figure is that there was an accident or something, but it was completely cleared by the time I crossed the bridge.

I stopped by work to check on some things and then took care of some things at home -- and then finally left for Will and Johanna's for their party. It was good to see them again, but the party wasn't quite as much fun as I'd hoped it would be. They did have a very nice new puppy that I liked a lot. She seems like a sweetie.

After the party I stopped by Shana's and visited with her and Liz and Madalyn. They were watching Valley Girl, so I watched it with them. And really, that's about all. We had fun.

Sunday I went to Martin's to play the Age of Mythology board game. It was a little frustrating because none of us knew the game very well, but it went well. It's an odd game because even though I could have won (and was very close to it) I felt like I was constantly at a disadvantage. Personally, I don't think it's a good thing for a game to make you feel like you aren't doing well while you're playing, but I don't know if that's a feeling I'll have if I play a second time; it may just be a matter of unfamiliarity with the game. I was a little annoyed with the endgame because it came very suddenly and we didn't have a chance to play a final turn -- which is what I thought happened when the final resources were drawn, instead, the game ended right then. Again, unfamiliarity with the rules was a big hindrance. I'd definitely play again. The game has a lot of good interplay and effects, and I love how they managed all the different resources in the game. Very cool. Plus it involves mythology, so I'm sold.

After the game was done, Matt and I stopped by the company's game store, picked up a couple things, then played some Magic for a while at Matt's. It didn't take long and when I got back to my place I read for a bit, then went for a walk. On the way back from my walk I did some grocery shopping, then made dinner, and well, that's about it.

I forgot to mention a while ago that everything is well in bloom here. Most of the tress have leaves and some of them are already losing their flowers (if they're flowering trees). I noticed the buds about a month ago, but the last week or so has been really nice, so the plants are growing like crazy. It's nice.

Friday, March 26, 2004

You know how sometimes you just get in a bad mood? Not one of those "I'm going to bite your head off" moods, but sort of a "blue funk" kind of mood? That's me tonight.

I probably shouldn't even be here writing about it because I'm not even in a really bad mood, I just feel kind of . . . sad?

Work's been going well -- and I know this has nothing to do with that because I never feel bad because of work. Angry? Maybe. But sad? No.

It's more likely the combination of going to see the new movie The Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind and then going directly from there to see Jen for the first time in a couple of weeks. And then on the ride home realize that it's a month today that we stopped dating.

Really, feeling like this is pointless. Do I still like her? Sure, I still like her. Does that really matter? No, it doesn't. She's moving away in a while and I really need to just move on. Really, I have moved on, but every now and again I'm sad about the missed potential there. And I'm surprised by how quickly time passes.

One night earlier this week I arrived home late and walked upstairs, not really looking where I was going, and at one point about two-thirds of the way up the steps I stumbled and something moved a couple stairs ahead of me. An animal I could tell out of the corner of my eye. I got that weird tightened-stomach fear-of-the-unknown-and-unpredictable response that you get when something surprises you and you don't know how it will react. After righting myself on the step I looked up and saw it was a grey cat that looked afraid and completely off-guard -- for a second, and then it shot down the stairs as quickly as it could away from the large two-legged predator that surprised it. It was funny how scary that cat was to me when all I knew was that there was an animal on the stairs with me.

The same thing happened a couple nights later, but this time s/he was on the landing in front of my neighbor's door. I got all the way up the stairs and to my door before I noticed it. I tried to call it over, but it ran off again. She looks like a sweetie, but so far I haven't been able to tell if she's a housecat or feral. Hopefully we'll make friends soon.

The rest of this weekend should be pretty normal. I'm planning to meet up with Shane to buy comics on Saturday, then go to a party that Will is having, and Sunday I'm playing games at my old boss' house. Is it weird that the thing I'm looking forward to the most is the trip to buy comics?

Time to read, then bed. Everything should be better tomorrow, he says knowing better.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I've been spending too much time at work. Tonight being a prime example of that because I didn't leave until nine, but I wanted to get done with what I was doing . . . and I did. Now things are fairly on-track for this week's testing.

Tuesday night I managed to get out of there at a reasonable time so I could pick up my sleeping bag and camera from Katie, Kate, and Beth. I stayed just long enough to get my things and say hello, then I went to Shana's for a nice dinner with a bunch of people from work and her parents, who are in town for the week. We had a great time and spent a lot of the evening trying to come up with ideas for a flugtag entry. (I don't know if I've spelled flugtag correctly, but if you don't know what I mean (or what it is), it's a competition in which entrants build a "flying machine" that must be human-powered. Everyone gets together on the same day and drives/launches it off the end of a peir and whomever's goes the farthest, wins. You may have seen these ridiculous, but fun, things on t.v.)

Today was lots of work, as mentioned earlier.

An old friend from Madison has a story on this site. It's very funny, but don't read it if you have no sense of humor about religion. I used to be in a writing group with Kris and he comes up with the best ideas. I'm glad to see he's still writing.

Now I'm tired, so I'm going to sleep.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Tuesday morning of last week I left for Las Vegas. There's not a whole heck of a lot to talk about other than I had a good time playing blackjack and visiting with Seth, Don, and Andrew -- and catching up with some industry folks that I only see at conventions. I could talk about some work-related stuff here, but why?

Friday I flew to LAX and then took a $60 cab ride to Long Beach to the hotel that I was staying at. There were four of us at the show from work and we had about 25 volunteers, but, wow, were we overwhelmed by the turnout. Even the people holding the event were overwhelmed by the number of people that showed up. We had a figure that was for sale there for the first time and way more people came to the show to get it than anyone could have planned for. We did our best, but due to the limited number of pieces, it was impossible to please even a large fraction of the people. So, we ended up making a lot of people angry. Wheeeee! What fun for us!

Enough of that.

The only thing this means for me is that I arrived back Sunday night completely exhausted and ready to sleep . . . but I forgot that I left my keys with Matt, and he had them at home, so he had to bring them in to me at work. Anyway, eventually I made it home, got unpacked and slept for about 9 hours. A lot, for me.

Work was good today, but I got into a bit of an argument with a couple of people about a recent meeting. It's not settled, but we're working on a solution. It was funny because we rarely have heated arguments at work and this was one of them and it was right out in the open and I think it made a lot of people very uncomfortable. It was entertaining to watch people react out of the corner of my eye. It should all be fine, though.

Tonight I played a quick game of Legend of the Five Rings and a quick game of Magic, and then I had dinner with Cathy and Shane.

So far the new food plan has been going very well. I'm sure I've eaten some things I really shouldn't have, but mostly it's out of ignorance. Which is really saying something because I've really erred on the side of not eating something if I have any doubts about it.

My eyes really want to close, so I think I'm going to bed now.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

I'm back from a very long week of both the GAMA Trade Show in Vegas and Wizard World L.A. I'm exhausted from not getting enough sleep -- I'd be lucky if I've gotten over 4-6 hours each of the past 7 nights -- plus I was working like a fool this weekend.

I'm too tired to type much, but I'm back and ready to go to bed so that I can get up and start working again tomorrow. Yippee.

More later.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Okay. So. The weekend.

I continue to slack on the whole "going to the gym" thing, but I got a ton of stuff done that I really needed and/or wanted to get done before I left for Vegas and L.A. (I have to include the periods in L.A. because if I don't it looks like I'm going to Louisiana -- and I'm definitely not going there.

Friday was nice. I worked a bit late, then met up with Shane, Cathy, Jen, and Hayes (hey, lookime, I'm the fifth wheel again!) to have a quick dinner and then see Starsky & Hutch. It was surprisingly funny. And it was nice to see Stiller do a movie that wasn't based on his patented "uncomfortable humor" schtick. I liked that they had cameos of the old actors. I'm not surprised they did it, but it was nice. Bye the way, Mom, don't Mike and Fern know one of them? Hutch? E-mail me and let me know if I'm crazy. For some reason I seem to recall us talking about that at one point.

Saturday I slept in and then started running errands. I was all over the freaking place. I started some laundry, had my oil changed, got a haircut, filled the gastank, washed the car, had lunch, refilled my shampoo bottle (aren't I environmentally conscious?), picked up some packs of cards, bought some books, picked up Matt, went with him to Target to return a Christmas gift, ended up buying a level, some index cards, and a chamoise (which cost fifty cents after the return was taken into account), stopped by the game store and picked up a game for the office, dropped Matt off, drove downtown to meet Shane and Brian, bought comics, had some dinner with Brian, drove home, switched the laundry around, drove over to Kelly and Vic's for a housewarming, had a good time there, came home, and then played Diablo II until almost four in the morning. Busy day.

Sunday I was a bum and spent most of the day in the apartment doing very little. Around four or five I went to the office and spent most of the rest of the day cleaning and organizing my desk. I threw away a lot of papery I didn't need anymore and brought home two big loads of stuff that I don't need to have there anymore.

On to other things. My boss is interested in playing a Deadlands game, so I dug those books out and I'm looking through them. I have tons of ideas for that game, but I want to figure out a good way to start. I really like the way I got the characters together in the first Deadlands game I ever ran, so I may use that again. It's a good introduction. I'll give it some thought this week while I'm traveling.

The books I picked up Saturday were (mostly) books on Atkins. I'll be doing some reading on it, but I'm starting tomorrow. Despite the fact that I'm traveling, I think I'll be able to do it. Actually, it will probably make it harder for me to do, so I'll be more conscious of it, so it will probably end up being easier for me. If that makes any sense. Wish me luck. I'm going to be a hardnose about this.

Oddly, I'm actually excited to try this. It's such a radical change that I'm looking forward to it. That feeling just struck me tonight as I walked into the grocery store. I was thinking about the few things I had to buy (since I'll be gone most of the week) and I thought, nope, I'm starting Atkins' plan tomorrow. And that was it. So, here I go.

Man, this desk is uncomfortable. I think I need to buy a new one. I probably won't get to do it soon, but I found a good one at Ikea a while ago. Ugh, wrists hurt.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I'm trying like hell to get a project done at work, but I spend so much time taking care of "busywork" that I can't actually get my main things taken care of. I've been trying to finish maybe a dozen characters for the last week and a half. No luck. I swear that I'll have them done by Friday, though.

I woke up in a slightly better mood than when I went to bed last night, but not much. Luckily I have some good friends that cheered me up at work.

Lunch was particularly nice because a couple of us went out with Liz and Madalyn so they could tell us about their trip to Japan. That was fun. I like them. They're thinking of going down to Portland to get married this weekend, since someone realized that marriage is a formalized commitment between two people -- and that it doesn't matter if they're of the same sex or opposite. Good luck to them.

I had dinner with Jen tonight, so I could give her a picture from a party a couple of weeks ago and so she could return a stack of records. I really didn't want to forget about those because some of them are quite old -- and because I like them. We had a fine time. Talked, joked, and had a good dinner of Indian food at a place near my apartment. It's too bad she's moving away because it seemed to me that we're both still interested.

After dinner I played Diablo II online with some of the guys from work. It was my first time playing with them all. It was fun, but it's kinda screwy. I'm not sure how much I like it, but I'll continue to give it a try.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I'm so frustrated and so angry.

I've spent so much time and energy -- and money -- over the last three and a half years trying to get into shape and I just keep sliding backwards. It's really pissing me off and I don't know what to do. I feel like crying and beating the crap out of something at the same time. Neither of which help.

Unbelievably, to me, my doctor recommended the Atkins diet. He was really rather insistent about it and seemed to think it would be a good fit for me because my tricycerides (sp?) were pretty high, which could mean that my body has a hard time processing carbohydrates. Cutting them out could be a good thing, he thought.

All I know is that I've regained half the weight I'd managed to lose and it makes me very angry. This is frustrating as hell.

Time for another life change.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Seth, being the awesome guy his is, provided me with the code to show you a picture of Shane's return to the States.

You can click on the image to get a larger version.

This is everyone that showed up to welcome Shane home after nearly three months back in South Africa. Shane's the really dark-skinned guy in the center (wearing the camo shirt and black jacket). The other 21 people are friends from all over Seattle.

I just thought you'd like to see this.

I had a great weekend, but tonight I'm feeling a little "blah."

Friday after work I went to Shane and Cathy's, where Shana met us so we could all go for dinner. We didn't really have a destination in mind, so we started walking and quickly found the new P.F. Chang's downtown. There was a big clapboard outside that said "Training in Progress" and we thought it would be pretty cool to be served dinner by new waitstaff. We went in and asked if they were open to the public. The response was to explain that this was a training night and it's usually just for friends and family of the staff -- but they had some tables open to the public, so she'd check if they could sqeeze us in. As luck would have it, they could, so they said they could seat us -- they also explained that dinner and up to two drinks per person was free. FREE!

We had an excellent meal, complete with drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert -- all for a generous tip. There were a couple of screw-ups, like when the busboy spilled a nearly-full sauce dish on me (mmmm, warm and sticky!) and the same busboy also had the annoying tendancy to clear dishes without asking if we were done, so we lost a couple of bites of food that people wanted. Ah, well, it was free. We all figured it was karmic payback for all the crap that's been going on in our lives lately. Shane feels like he was short-shrifted; he gets sent back to South Africa for three months and all he gets is a free meal?

After dinner we watched part of American Splendor at Shane and Cathy's. It's still an excellent movie. I didn't leave until after midnight, which was a mistake since I had to get up at 5:30 to make it to Katie, Kate, and Beth's by 6:30 so we could go up to Orcas.

Anyway, I got about four and a half hours of sleep, got up, made it to the girls' house on time, and then drove up to Anacortes to catch the ferry over to Orcas.

We spent the day being really lazy. That's about all I have to say. Walked around town a little and looked at some shops. We watched movies. Ate. Drank. Talked. Read. Napped. And that was about all. Really, it was pretty nice.

I have to say that it was a little odd to be up there with three women that I really haven't known that long, but really, that's just . . . insecurity at how close we are? Surprise at the level of trust they show me? Concern over the fact that they don't consider me a "threat"? I dunno, but I don't really care either. It was nice and fun and I appreciated that they invited me along.

Sunday morning we sat around some more and then Kate and I caught the ferry back at around noon, then drove back to Seattle. After I dropped Kate at her place I drove downtown and met Shane for some comic-buying and talk about what he and Cathy'd been up to over the weekend. Then I made my way home to do laundry, have dinner, and go to work for a while.

Going to work was really an attempt to do something to distract me from thinking. I didn't get a heck of a lot done, though, because I talked on the phone with Shana for a while -- and just as we started talking I noticed Jen was online, so I started chatting with her. That was nice. I miss seeing her.

Oh, right, I mentioned distracting myself from thinking; I was feeling . . . tired of being alone. I know Jen and I just split up a little over a week ago, but to be with someone and then not be with someone makes being alone that much more jarring. And it still bothers me. I don't like coming home to an empty apartment. To the same crap every day. It only serves to illustrate how static my life is. Stuck in neutral. Running to stand still. Whatever you want to say. I know in some ways I'm always making progress, but my personal life -- no, sorry -- my dating life is a constant source of frustration for me. I love my family and my friends and my work and my hobbies, but I'm still missing an important bit and I just can't seem to get it right.

So this was the stuff I was thinking about tonight. This is the stuff I was trying to distract myself from by doing some work. Work didn't really help, but sitting here typing about it seems to. Like it's draining out my fingers as I write about it.

Maybe I need to lower my standards. Nah, if I can find someone like Kelly or Becca or Karen or Kim or Jen every couple of years, I guess that's worthwhile. In their own ways they've all been amazing. I need that spark that I've been lucky enough to have with each of them in order for it to be real. I miss that. I miss them.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Huh, weird. I didn't realize that I haven't updated since Monday. It sort of makes sense, though, because this week has been particularly busy at work. Every now and again I have a week or two in which lots of things either come due at once, or arrive from somewhere and require my immediate attention. Both happened this week, so I had a lot to do in addition to what I normally have to get done every week. Anyway, all of this means that I spent many long days at work -- Wednesday I was there until twenty to midnight.

Monday night was pretty fun, now that I think about it because Matt came over to have dinner. We chatted for a bit and I used my George Foreman Grill for the first time to make some chicken brats. After dinner we played Magic and then he helped me load Diablo II on my computer. He, Mike, and Jim play online fairly often and they'd really like to get me into it, too. Then he took off and logged on at home, so we played for a bit. It was fun enough.

Tonight I went to the regular Thursday game of The Riddle of Steel. It seems like this game is starting to gell a bit. Tonight's game was very good and most of us are headed in the right direction after a few misunderstandings.

I'm getting the but to play or run a game again, but I can't decide between a fantasy game or a super-hero game. I'm actually tempted to use the Mutants & Masterminds rules to play a fantasy game -- not a long one -- mostly just to experiment with it to see how it goes. I dunno, I'll have to think about it.

Jim lent me the movie Drop Dead Gorgeous, so I watched that earlier in the week. I'd never seen it before, but it was pretty damn funny. Now I've starting watching the Spider-Man DVDs of the show that was produced by MTV. The computer animation is a little jarring -- don't get me wrong, it's excellent, it's just weird to watch -- but the writing is very good and the stories are a lot of fun. I'm definitely glad I picked it up.

This weekend I think I'm heading to Orcas Island(s?) with Katie, Kate, and Beth (and maybe more people, I'm not sure). they wanted to get away for a while and asked me to come with. It sounds like we're going to laze around, watch movies and, well, that's about all. It's kind of funny to me because a month ago I'd never been on one of the ferries here and I'd never been to one of the islands in the sound, and now I'll have done both twice in the space of a month.

I made an appointment with the doctor next week to discuss seeing a nutritionist and getting some advice on how else I might handle losing some weight again. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 01, 2004

I could have updated more over the weekend, but I wasn't feeling inspired.

Actually my weekend pretty much reverted to what they were normally like before Shane left and before I was seeing Jen -- probably not too odd considering Shane is back and I'm no longer seeing Jen.

Saturday I was up fairly early to meet Jim, Matt, Kelly, and Vic for breakfast at the nearby Denny's, then we went to a small gaming convention at Maydenbauer (I'm not certain that's spelled correctly) convention center in Bellevue. It was withing walking distance of work, so...we walked. We checked some things out and were happy to see that our games were being played more than anyone else's. After looking around for a bit we decided to play some games. Time passed very quickly and we left around 1:00 to head back to work. Matt and I played a couple games of Magic. Then Beth called to ask me to meet she and Katie at Hopvine. I hadn't had lunch and was feeling a mite peckish (I think that's a funny phrase, sue me.), so I wrapped things up at work and joined them.

We sat around, had some beer (very weird for me), ate some very good food, and talked about things for a couple of hours. I'm sure one of the big reasons they invited me out was because of what had happed with Jen Friday night, but it was nice to get out and relax. I'd talked to Shana, Shane, and Cathy about going for dinner and a movie on Saturday night, but instead we ended up watching some of Brian's Best of Insomniac with Dave Attell and Heathers over at Katie, Kate, and Beth's. We ended up with a pretty sizable group of people -- Me, Katie, Kate, Justin, Beth, Shana, Shane, Cathy, and Brian. We ordered pizza late in the evening and pretty much just had a relaxing evening. (There was some weirdness between two of those present, but I won't presume to write about their lives here. Besides, this note will be enough to remind me of what happened when I re-read this entry in the future.)

Sunday I slept in, did laundry, and then met Shane and Cathy for some lunch and comic shopping. Very few comics for me this week. After walking and talking with them a while I drove back to Bellevue and went to Best Buy to exchange some software. I had some gift certificates from Christmas, so I also picked up the Cake CD Comfort Eagle, as well as Lost in Translation and the collected Spider-Mancartoons that were produced by MTV. After that it was late enough to head over to Mike and Sharon's to watch the Oscar's with them, Matt, and Shana. Again, it was a nice, relaxing evening.

I don't feel like I did a hell of a lot over the weekend, but I also feel like I really needed to have a weekend like that.

That said, I'm starting back at the gym and I'm going to meet with my doctor to discuss some things about my ongoing quest to get in shape.

Today, Monday, work was good. I got a fair amount done despite the fact that Monday mornings are always filled with meetings.

I don't have any interesting or earth-shattering observations to make, so I think I'll go help Seth with the document he's working on and then go to bed.