Sunday, June 27, 2004

The flight back was no fun, but the convention itself was a lot of fun.

I played a number of new games, checked out some of the competitions games and visited with a lot of people.

Thursday night I had to give the speech at the event we do with all of our volunteers at every convention. I didn't have everything organized as well as I would have liked, but it was easy.

Friday night were the Origins awards and we ended up winning in a surprising number of the catagories that we were nominated in. I had to go up for a couple, the former owner of the company went for a couple, and our sculpting managers went for a couple. The weirdest thing for me was that I was nervous. The crowd was smaller than the night before, was much smaller than other groups I've talked in front of -- but I was nervous because of the way they'd set up the stage. See, the room the dark, but there were spotlights on those of us on stage, so we couldn't see anything. So, not seeing the audience was harder for me than seeing the audience. Weird.

Honestly, the biggest surprise was that the game that I work on won the award for the Game of the Year. I don't think I could have been more surprised. I went up to accept the award, and because I was so freaking discombobulated I had no idea what to say, so I went on for a minute or two about what an honor it was and how surprised I was and how cool it is to know that people enjoy what I do and all that.

But later, I had a chance to think about it and I thought of what I should have said because chances are I'll never win an award like this again. I still should have said roughly what I did, but also include:

"I'd like to dedicate this award to Dave Bridier. Like most of the people in this room there is one person that I can trace my involvement in games to . . . and for me it leads back to my friend Dave. He lived next door to me and we started playing games together, Life, Stratego, other board games. Then he pulled out Panzer and Star Fleet Battles. And finally he introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons. Me standing here tonight can be traced back to that moment. To that person. And I have to dedicate this to Dave because even though he died 12 years ago, he still has an effect on every day of my life."

That's what I should have said.

Maybe writing it here is good enough.

Oh, and here are the awards we won (mostly for Mom, who won't see them anywhere else).

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

This is post #400. Cool.

I just looked through my workout journal. I've kept it since I started working out on June 27th of 2001. The last time I went to the gym was January 31st of this year. Almost five months ago. Wow am I a slacker.

But I paged through the book and I think I figured out what the problem was. It's that for the last two or more years, despite all the working out, all I've done is put on weight. I think it became really frustrating for me and drained away a lot of my resolve. I'm going to have to start working out again. And I have to be good on my diet. I know I can do both and it ought to pay off one way or another. I'd really like to be done with this whole issue and maybe reap some of the benefits of actually being healthy. Maybe to celebrate I'll jump out of a plane with a large handkercheif attached to my back. Or maybe just go swimming somewhere. Yeah, I'd like that.

See you all in a few days. I'll update from Origins if I can. Hopefully there'll be some goodies there that I want.

On the administrative side of my job I have a big project to do that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around. Mostly it's just that I haven't had to do much project planning and resource management stuff -- but it's becoming more and more important, so I really need to do me some learnin' on it. I'm sure I can handle it, it's just a very different way of thinking -- one that I'm not used to.

Seth and I went for a nice, long walk around town after work this evening. We didn't have any destination in mind, other than to find some dinner. We managed to do that as well as stop by the local Border's. I picked up Steven Brust's the Phoenix Guard and George R.R. Martin's A Clash of Kings. I figure I'll finish the first book of Martin's series on the trip to Origins, so I wanted to have something to start once I finish that. I don't think I'll jump right into the next book of the series, but it'll be good to have it around.

Tuesday I get to gather information for the convention and get ready to leave. The show should be fun, but they're always work. I hope there are some goodies to find while I'm there. I haven't been keeping up on new releases as much as I could.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

After I posted on Thursday evening we were blessed with an honest-to-goodness thunderstorm!

Anyone who's lived in the Midwest and the East will know what a thunderstorm is, so I don't need to explain it, but what I have to explain is that although it rains (I use the word loosely) in Seattle often, it rarely ever reaches the point that I'd actually call real rain. Let alone a thunderstorm.

It was great. When I was driving home it looked all dark and there was actually some lightning way off in the distance (lightning, I should point out, is also very rare here). I figured it would blow away and nothing would come of it, but happily it actually started to blow and rain and lightning and thunder.

It was the lead story on the news. That tells you how rare actual thunderstorms are out here. All of us from the Midwest were gushing over how cool the storm was the next day and the Seattlites were a little weirded out by it. They couldn't imagine having storms like that regularly. Oh, it was great.

Anyway, the rest of the weekend was nice and relaxing -- which is nice because I'm working all of next weekend. Friday night I went out with a bunch of people from work to a bar in the University district. I can't remember the name of it, otherwise I'd post a link. We ate, drank, played darts, and had a good time.

Saturday I slept, went to get comics with Shane and Seth, then wandered around downtown for a while. I can back home for a while to do laundry, then went back downtown to meet up with Seth, Shane, another Shane, Ethan, and Hays to see The Chronicles of Riddick. It was fun, but not something I'll pick up, and really, I should have gone to a matinee to see it anyway.

Sunday I did lots of laundry -- see I had a bunch left over from last weekend because I didn't actually get to do any while Brian was here -- and watched lots of the sixth season of Buffy. I think this season stands out as being the most melodramatic so far. Like the writers are more interested in having there be as much conflict as possible in the shortest period of time and it's a little annoying. Things don't have to be over dramatic to be dramatic. I dunno, maybe I'm being too harsh, but it seems like they didn't have a good idea of where they were going, so they made the whole series a bit overwrought.

I ran into work to do some proofing on the latest set. It's so much easier to proof when no one is around to bother you. I can't beleive how much easier it is. While I was there I called Dad to wish him a happy Father's Day, grabbed some dinner with Seth, and played City of Heroes with Chris, Jim, and Kerry for a couple of hours. With Chris' help I was able to gain two levels! Woohoo! (Okay, it was cool for me.)

Now I'm home and I'm going to read a bit before going to bed. I only have a couple of days at work before I take off for Origins in Columbus. That means I may not do much updating late in the week and next weekend, just so you know.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I had a long meeting outside with my boss today, so my arms are burned a bit. The weather has been amazingly nice the past couple of days -- Brian should feel very jealous of missing this weather. This is really what it should have been like when he was here.

I went to the regular Thursday game and we wrote up characters for Matt's homebrewed setting. I'm intersted in checking out the rules he's using (DreamPod 9's Silhouette system). I've never used the system before.

I have very little planned for the weekend, so I may actually be able to relax a bit before the trip to Origins. That would be nice. Shane and I may hang out for a bit this weekend and play some City of Heroes. Woohoo!

Angel reminds me that it's Katie's birthday, so I'll have to give her a call and see if she's up to anything fun this weekend by way of a celebration.

Scot, Seth, and Jason had some comments over the last couple of days (go read their comments on the posts below) and if they keep talking we may actually have to plan a get-together at some point. That would be a lot of fun. I haven't seen Scotty in too damn long.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"Meet me at no special place and I'll be there at no particular time." (I paraphrase Mose Allison.)

Seth and I went to see Mose Allison tonight at Jazz Alley near Belltown in Seattle. I'd never been down, or even on that block before but I knew all the streets around it. It was weird to feel out of place in a place I actually knew.

Scott commented on my last post that he was a bit lost regarding my comments about the woman who said, "We could have made beautiful babies together," so I'll elaborate a bit.

She's someone I've known for a couple of years and there was a time when she was interested in me. She got rather drunk one night and hit on me (mercilessly), but since she was drunk I turned her down. (It wouldn't have been the right thing to do. Sue me, I'm honorable.) She was embarassed and moved on.

But we saw each other Sunday and she said that to me. Again drunk. And it was weird because he boyfriend of nearly two years was there as well, though not in earshot.

Does that help at all?

Other than that, the last couple of days have been normal. Tuesday evening I played in Mike's Shadowrun game. Some of the players are a bit overboard and I didn't get to do much in the game, but hopefully they'll calm down and it'll get more interesting for me.

I'm a bit jealous of some of the women from work. They're headed to Vegas for a long weekend/bachelorette party. (Have a great time and I hope you come back alive.)

Monday, June 14, 2004


The wedding was good. Actually very good. Scott and Chaz had some great ideas for the shindig -- including letters that they wrote to be opened on their tenth anniversary. I thought that was very cool.

It was a nice, smallish ceremony, with a few dozen people in attendance and I feel lucky to have been invited. Scott and Chaz are a lot of fun and good people. I wish them the best.

Shana did the wedding planning and she did a great job. The whole thing was well organized, looked great, with excellent food, a good DJ, and other goodies.

I probably shouldn't say anything about this, but I have to pass on that the weirdest thing said to me all day was, "We could have made beautiful children." See? Weird. Sorry I can't explain more, but isn't that enough to make you chuckle a bit?

I was extra tired today, part way through the day I got a headache, then a while later I became really depressed and angry. Actually, I think I'd been depressed and angry all day. I think it started at the wedding, which isn't the best thing in the world to think, but I think that's what started it. I know it's silly, but instead of restoring my faith in humanity and love and all that, it made me feel like I'll always be alone.

Like I said, I know it's silly, but that's how I felt/feel and it sucks. Others move so effortlessly from one relationship to the next and I don't. It's frustrating and it bothers me.

As always, this will pass.

Now I have to get my laundry out of the dryer and go to bed.

Sure enough, Brian, Seth, and I made it to the Seattle Underground tour around 11 o'clock, but it was sold out, so we bought tickets to the noon tour and then went to Elliot Bay Book Co. to check it out. None of us had ever been there before, but we'd all heard it was a great store. And it is. I ended up picking up Flood by Andrew Vachss and a newly republished collection of Conan stories.

Then we took the tour. I won't go through the thing with you, but it was interesting. Seattle has a bit of very interesting history (I'm sure no more or no less than any other city its size, but they like to think they do), so it was fun. The tour was only $10 and lasted about an hour and a half. I think it was worthwhile and I recommend it to anyone visiting town.

I had to leave for a wedding at three o'clock, so we quickly stopped by the comic shop on the way home, grabbd soemthing to eat, then stopped home to change and meet with Jen, Shane, Cathy, and Matt for the drive down to Tacoma for Scott and Chaz's wedding.

I'll write more about it when I get the chance. Right now I have to get dressed and run Brian to the airport. It's early. Ugh.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

After picking up Brian Thursday evening, we ended up talking and playing games until after 2:00. Needless to say, we slept in late on Friday. I'd already let everyone know that I wouldn't be into work, so it was good to sleep in.

We ended up getting up a little earlier than planned, but it was at least ten before I rolled out of bed when I heard Brian rooting around in the living room. We got some breakfast, stopped by work, and pretty much wasted the afternoon away playing games (Brian quickly became addicted to SSX Tricky).

That evening Seth, Brian, and I met up with Katie, Kate, and Beth down at Hopvine. Dinner was good and we had a nice time talking with the girls. They're a lot of fun. I was hoping a few others might make it to join us, but no one could make it. Ah, well.

We went to bed early Friday so we could get leave by 7:30 and make the ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor. Why, you ask? Because we decided to go whale watching and we had to take the 9:35 ferry so we were in Friday Harbor before the whale-watching boat left at 1:00. Everything worked out fine, but we had a lot of time to kill between arriving in town and when the tour left, so we had some breakfast and walked around.

The day before the tour didn't find any whales, but we arrived at our destination just as a pod of orcas were surfacing, playing, and hunting for salmon. My camera was a bit unreliable, but we got to see some whales fairly close up. It was very cool and a lot of fun. If any of the pictures turn out to show anything other than rippling water I'll try to get them posted here.

The tour had a naturalist on board who gave us some information on the whales. This group was J pod. It's made up of 22 whales that live in the Sound full time (called "resident" whales. There are another type of whales called "transient" whales that spend time out to sea as well as in the Sound -- and the two types do not get along). There, that's your lesson for today.

After the tour we had to wait for the next shuttle (which left about two hours later), so we grabbed lunch/dinner with Jennifer (another member of the whale-watching tour that we spent some of the trip chatting with). We all caught the ferry back and then drove home. We got back around 9:30, very tired and ready to be lazy for a while. It's funny how the water can make you so tired.

We made plans with Seth to take the Seattle Underground Tour tomorrow morning. Soon I'm off to bed, so we can get up take the tour before I have to come home and leave for Scott and Chaz's wedding.

Busy, busy.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Brian arrived with no problems and he's pretty tired, so we're hanging out at my place tonight. Friday we're going to find something to do and hopefully on Saturday we'll go on a boat tour around the Sound. He's been to Seattle before, so he's done a lot of the other touristy things in the area.

After work tonight I ran to the mall in Bellevue and picked up gifts for Scott and Chaz's wedding on Sunday. I'm excited to go to the wedding, but it sucks that I have to take most of one of the days that Brian's here to do it. Oh, well, we'll just have to have some good fun Friday and Saturday. Sunday he and Seth can find something to do.

Okay, I'm going to go chat with Brian and then get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I'm very angry this evening and I have no idea why.

I don't even think I could explain it because there's nothing happening that should have me on edge. Not really. There are a couple of small things going on that are on my mind, but nothing out of the ordinary. Ah,who knows. I'll get over it.

I went to see the third Harry Potter movie today. It had some nice effects, but I feel like they skimmed much of the book probably leaving those who haven't actually read it feeling a little lost -- or at least not really understanding a lot of what the movie had going on in it.

I had dinner tonight with a couple people who were in town from another branch of our company in England. We went to Spazzo's, an Italian restaurant in town. It's on the top floor of a nine- or ten-floor tall building and it has a pretty good view. Dinner itself was fine.

I think it's interesting that I get to go out for a free dinner for work every now and again and mostly I wish I didn't have to. I would think I'd be happy to get a free dinner at an expensive restaurant every now and again, but it just doesn't work out that way. I'd rather have my evening to myself.

One of the people from out of town was a smoker and he had packs of cigarettes from the U.K. The packs had things like this printed in very large type across half the pack on the front and the back:





I love that the tobacco companies have to tell people that their product will kill them. And I can't beleive that people still smoke.

Brian arrives tomorrow evening. I'm looking forward to spending some time with him andshowing him around the area. He's a good guy.

I think of things to write about, but usually it's while I'm not at the computer.

See, I normally write about what I've been doing and it seems, more and more lately, that I do very little talking about what I think of it all. Sometimes I feel like this blog becomes rote for me. Very straighforward. No thought put into it. And other times I think that's all I have to say -- and that I started this to keep friends and family that aren't around me up to speed on what I'm up to.

Anyway, I want to do a bit more commenting and a bit less cataloging of experiences.

Shana started her new job Monday and Beth is now doing her old job -- at least for a while. It's fun to have her around more -- and I have to say, it's interesting to see her make the position hers.

Beth and I had dinner Monday night and had a great talk about all sorts of things; family, gymnastics (see, I learned she used to be a gymnast), relationships and the messed up things people do to each other in relationships. We had a blast. And a very good dinner at Chantanee.

After dinner I played some City of Heroes with Matt and Seth.

Tuesday we prepared our characters for Mike's newly-restarting game of Shadowrun, then I played more City of Heroes. It's been a while since I've played and it's fun to get back into it a bit.

I've been watching the third season of Angel on DVD and enjoying the heck out of them. I've only watched a handful of episodes so far, but they're very good.

This weekend Brian (from Tampa) will be in town so I'm going to try to take Friday off to hang out with him. I have to do a bit of research in the next couple of days because he'd like to check out a tour of the sound and maybe even try whalewatching somewhere. I've never done either, so I'm looking forward to it.

This weekend is also Scott and Chaz's wedding, so I have to find them a gift and get to their nuptuals on Sunday. It should be fun.

I think that's all for now. Come back later.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

There's been quite a bit going on over the past few days -- and it makes me think I should update more often than I have been lately.

My regular Thursday game was cancelled, so I had that evening free to spend some time with Seth and Chris. We headed down to the Ballard Locks where we walked around and saw the sights. It was a cool area with boats going through, bridges over the waterways moving around, a "fish ladder", schools of salmon, a seal or two, and a nice botanical garden. After taking all of that in we went to eat at Anthony's Homeport. It was okay. The view was much better than the food and a whole heck of a lot less expensive.

Friday I went to dinner at the annoyingly-named (really, I hate the name and I think the owners should be killed) Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. It wasn't my choice, Chris wanted to go and it was one of his last nights in town. We had a nice meal and Chris paid dinner as a 'thank you' to Seth and I for letting him stay with us.

After dinner we went to the SeaMonster Lounge on 45th for Shana's congratulatory night out in honor of her new job. It started out a bit slow, but by the high-point of the evening more people had shown up than we had planned on, so that was a nice surprise. I'm very happy everyone could make it out to congratulate her.

I had some drinks, but unlike some of my recent nights out, the alcohol didn't really seem to get to me too quicky (maybe because of the big dinner I'd just had?). Anyway, apparently some people were very concerned by how much I'd had to drink. The funny thing is I wasn't drunk. I could tell I'd had some drinks, but that's all. I didn't even feel buzzed. I think everyone was concerned because I haven't really done any drinking in the time that I've been out here, so they have no idea how much I have to drink in order to actually be drunk. I may have to (not drive and) actually get drunk some time with some of these people.

Saturday I played Tigris and Euphrates, a boardgame, over at my old boss'. It's a very good game and I look forward to playing it again. I am once again amazed at the abstract nature of some of these boardgames. It's crazy.

We finished the game mid-afternoon, so I picked up Shane and Cathy, then met up with Seth at Xanadu to pick up comics. And as an extra-special treat, we went over to the new library. It's impressive. The building itself is more impressive than the selection of books appears to be (Seth commented that he owns more Jules Verne), but I think it's a damn fine place . . . if a little whimsical at times. (I still have no clue what the big, red section of the building is for. I'll have to go look some more. I did appreciate the design of the "spiral" that runs the heighth of the building. Each leg of section of the spiral is a floor on a slight decline that leads you down and around through all of the sections of books. Pretty cool.

Saturday evening Seth, Chris, Matt, and I went to Kevin and Kim's (although Kim was out for a bachelorette party) for a night of grilling and video games. The grilled chicken was great and it was fun to check out some of the console games that I rarely see.

Sunday I met Seth and Chris across from the Space Needle because Chris spent part of the morning on the radio on a call-in show. That seemed to go well and hopefully he'll get some work out of it. It's certainly good promotion for what he's trying to do. We spent the afternoon getting some lunch, then walking about Pike Place Market and the surrounding area. After a coupld hours we dropped Chris at the AmTrack station and now he's headed back to Madison.

This evening I went to dinner with Shana, then met up with Shane and Cathy to see Shrek 2. Very entertaining. I don't think it will be something I'll purchase on DVD, but it was fun. The best part of the movie was the guy (who'd come to the movie alone) sitting a couple of seats across from me who laughed at the weirdest times and made a number of comments throughout the film. No, not so much comments, they were more like he was actually talking to the film. Things, like, "You'd better hurry up, lady," or, "Whoah, look out."

Oh, I nearly died everytime he said something. It was a little annoying, but it was too damn funny to really be bothersome.

Thanks to everyone who commented on, or emailed me with comments on the fact that I asked my co-worker out. It's nice to know you think it was an okay thing to do. I still have some doubts, but I think Scott's right, you only really regret the things you don't do because you never know . . .

Now I have to box up Mom and Dad's computer so I can send it off this week. Hopefully tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

It's been a couple of days and cool things are afoot. Tuesday I went and picked up my brand, spankin' new cellphone. I was stunned when I realized that my old cellphone was four-and-a-half years old. It needed replacing. Plus, my new phone has all the cool features that new phones have -- like I can play Tetris on it (You have no clue how dangerous that may be for me. I love Tetris.), download cool ringtones that will annoy everyone when my phone rings, talk to friends who have the same service provider for free!, and, oh, yeah, make phone calls. The new phone meant a new phone number however, so if you need the new number contact me and I'll get it to you.

Chris was still staying with me, but he apparently decided to clear out and stay with Seth for the rest of his time here, because he wasn't here anymore when I returned this evening. He was a fine houseguest, but I really don't like having the TV on all the time. That's my only complaint. Other than that, I enjoyed having him around.

I had dinner tonight (Wednesday) with a former co-worker. I hadn't seen her in quite a while and thought I should really try to keep in tough with her better. She's a real sweetie. We had a great dinner at Bonefish and chatted for a while.

I made plans this week for an upcoming convention that I'll be attending for work. I don't know why I mention that, other than I happened to think of it.

I asked someone, a friend, out recently. (Everyone involved probalby knows all about this, but I'll try to be as vague as possible to protect the innocent.) Wisely, she said no because we work together. For a long time I've felt that dating/seeing/asking out a co-worker was a Bad Thing that I wouldn't do -- despite the fact that I think I've been tempted to ask someone out at every job I've ever had -- and I've never done it until now. I had to wonder why this was different? Why now?

I think it came down to the fact that if I didn't do something then I'd always feel like I missed the opportunity. I've classicly been very bad about taking a risk like that and I'm beginning to think that's not the way to go. I mean, here's someone who's company I enjoy, whom I'm attracted to, who's a great person . . . why not risk it? As they say, "If you don't take the chance, then you'll never know." I didn't want to let that happen this time. So, fine, it's done, she's made her choice and I made mine. Maybe it'll cause some awkwardness now and again, but I hope not. So far it's been fine.

I'll have to wait and see what she thinks about me writing about it here.

I think all my friends in Madison will have Always Look On the Bright Side of Life play when they call. Kim especially will like that.

I've lost about 30 pounds since I started this diet. I haven't talked about it much, but it seems to be going well. I need to be more active though. That's for sure.

Heh, isn't that funny? I just said I lost a bunch of weight and yet I followed it up with something that made it sound like that wasn't good enough. Who says I'm not hard on myself? I know losing that weight is good, I do -- I just know I can do better. Is that so wrong?