Sunday, November 28, 2004

Almost Everything

I manged to do almost everything I wanted to this weekend. I didn't have a lot planned, mostly just relaxing and cleaning. So, I did a lot of those two things.

Friday I don't remember what I did all day. I know I went for breakfast at the Original Pancake House in Kirkland, went for comics with Seth, picked up some things to help organize my apartment, and played some City of Heroes, then went to see a midnight showing of This is Spinal Tap with Seth.

Saturday I did a lot more cleaning and game playing, then went to watch movies with Katie and Kate. They'd picked out some interesting movies -- very much not what you'd expect for a nice evening in watching movies. We started watching Keys to Tulsa, but it didn't draw us in, so we switched to The Saddest Music in the World. It was interesting, but very, very odd. It had characters, and a plot, and a narrative structure, but it didn't have all three at the same time. Plus it was filmed so that the edges of the scenes were blurred, so I kept feeling like I had to focus my eyes differently. Bleh. That part of it definitely didn't work for me.

The second movie was 42 Up. It's the latest in a series of documentaries that follow a group of 14 people from "different walks of life" in England. It started in 1963 when they were seven years old and they follow up every seven years thereafter. This film is from 1999. After seeing this film I'm very interested in seeing the other films in the series. Very cool. I think Tritz used to work with one of the guys featured in the documentary, too. Weird.

Sunday I found some more boxes to clean out. Now I have a lot more to sell or give away, plus a few things to sell. Woohoo. It's surprising how much stuff I've carried around with me for years that I don't need.

Doing all this cleaning makes me realize that I need to get some prints framed and find some way to store/organize some of my photographs.

Beautiful Words

According to a worldwide survey conducted by the British Council (the governement agency that promotes British culture around the globe), the top ten most beautiful words in the English language according to more than 40,000 people in 102 non-English speaking countires are:

10) Tranquility
9) Liberty
8) Freedom
7) Destiny
6) Fantastic
5) Eternity
4) Love
3) Smile
2) Passion
1) Mother

Most of them seem to be words that describe concepts as opposed to concrete things. I have no clue if that has anything to do with anything, but it's interesting.

Friday, November 26, 2004


No, I mean it, thanks. Thanks for reading this. Thanks for checking in on me. Thanks for caring, whether your a friend of part of my family -- or just randomly found Nothing Good. Thanks for all those unmentioned little things that are so important.

Thanksgiving day shouldn't go by without me thanking everyone meaningful to me, so I'm doing it here. You're the best.

I took a couple loads of garbage and recycling out to the dumpsters this morning. I'm still amazed at the amound of stuff I have to get rid of out of only a few boxes. My apartment still has pile of stuff on the floor, but I'll be rid of that by the beginning of next week, so that's cool. I'll be going through a few more boxes anyway, so I'm sure I'll have more to get rid of. It's kind of fun.

For turkey day I went to Kevin and Kim's for a late lunch with Seth and Matt. The food was very good. I got off easy, all I had to bring was wine. I found a really good, sweet wine called a Vouvray that apparently goes well with turkey. All I know is that I really liked it. If you like sweeter wines give one a try . . . plus it can be a fairly cheap wine, so there's little cost for experimenting.

After dinner we spent a few hours talking, playing video games, and being pretty lazy. We all finally took off around 8:30. Then I played some City of Heroes with Kevin and Isaac.

I talked with Shane and Cathy today for a bit. We made plans to get comics over the next couple of days and hopefully hang out and have some fun over the weekend as well. I also talked with Brian (from Tampa). I'd really like to get down and see him at some point. If only I could figure out a way to afford it. Hopefully sometime soon.

Now I'm sitting here at about 1:45 and I'm not particularly tired, but I know I have to go to bed.

Oh, apparently I'm much more interesting this month than I have been in the past. I have no clue why. It's fun, regardless.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Big Clean-Up

I mentioned the other day that I started going through some boxes that I'd pulled out of the closet the other day and now it's ballooned into something more. I finished with those boxes, then started going through the rest of the boxes in the closet. I spent all night Monday on this project and I have a more than a box of things to give away, another box of cards to give to people at work, stacks of empty boxes, and piles of garbage to stuff into bags and take to the dumpsters. It looks like I'm moving. Seth's response to that was, "Maybe you are," but I don't think so. Mostly I really needed to go thourgh my things and get rid of all the things that have slowly accumulated since college.

I've found some really fun things; old pictures, a print out of my grades from my senior year of college, old notes on writing projects, old writing projects, some cool toys, birthday cards, letters, and other fun stuff. I can't wait to see how much is left when I'm done.

I'm looking forward to having a few days off for Thanksgiving. It will be fun to hang out with some friends and relax. The rest of the weekend is pretty much up for grabs. Maybe I'll see a movie, do some more cleaning, play some games, and hopefully go be social somewhere and meet the love of my life.

I can dream, right?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

A Great Many Things

I have a number of things to go over, but I'll make it as quick as possible.

Friday night I went to dinner with Shane, Cathy, Shana, and Garth. We weren't exactly sure where we were going to go, so we met at Shane and Cathy's then walked up to Coastal Kitchen. I've gone other this before, but Coastal Kitchen changes their menu and theme frequently. Since a couple of months ago when I ate there they've done it again. This time they have a Spanish theme. The food was excellent and we had a blast at dinner. Very good fun talking about a disaster-themed restaurant with dishes like "bacon, lettuce, and tornado", "tsunamiso soup", "suiside orders", etc. It was goofy and fun. After dinner we watched a movie until late, then we all split up and went home.

Saturday I did laundry, picked up comics, played a game with Matt at work (actually, it was work), read a bunch of comics, and watched most of the Nothern Exposure DVDs I borrowed from Jason a while ago. I'll be able to return them the next time I see him.

Sunday Seth and I went to see National Treasure. It was fun. Not an award-winning movie, but it had some good puzzles, was action-packed, and just a heck of a lot of fun. When I got home I went through the boxes that have been sitting on my floor for a while. I think I'll be able to elimate a couple of boxes-worth of stuff one way or another.

Here's my question for all of you out there; What do you do with old birthday cards?

See, I keep them. I have scads of them. They're hiding in boxes, crevices, and a filing cabinet. I'm a bit of a pack-rat, but I'm trying to change that. The thing is, I have a hard time throwing out birthday cards even though I don't really feel like I need to keep them. So, whaddya think, are they safe to throw out without offending my family and friends -- yes, I mean you!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Citrus Gum

For some reason I always get suckered in by citrus gum when I see it. It just sounds like it should be really good. I don't know how everyone else feels about citrus gum, but I assume enough people are drawn to the idea that they keep making it. The thing is, I buy it, I chew it, and it's never as good as I think it should be. Well from now on I won't be buying any more. I'll stick with more tried and true flavors, thank you very much.

I stayed at work late (1:15) and finished up the work I have to have done by Friday. It was good to get it done, but it wasn't much fun to be at work for 15 hours. Ah well, it'll make the rest of the week easier.

Another issue came up with the person I mentioned a week or so ago. I thik I was more angry about what happened today than I have ever been at this job before. I could feel myself about to explode about it, which is never a good thing. I talked to my boss and it's being taken care of. I hate to be a jerk, but I can't let this slide, it's just unacceptable and will result in a weaker product.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I Had a Headline

I was thinking about what I was going to write tonight, but now that I sit down in front of the computer I can't remember what I had in mind for a headline. Curses!

I haven't been sleeping well and I have no idea why. Maybe staying up too late on the weekend threw me off, but I don't think that's it. I go to bed and lay there for a good half hour to an hour, which is bad because I don't normally get to bed until at least 1:00 normally anyway. I'm sure it will even out soon, but it's making me awfully tired.

Monday night I was constructive about it and started working on some ideas in my head for a new story idea. I haven't done any real writing in a while and I think I may have the beginnings of an idea to work on. I have to write up some notes before I really get excited about it. Mostly work some of the kinks out of the idea before I sit down to write.

Monday night I went to dinner with Shana and crew for her birthday proper. We went to Fremont to Bandoleone. It's the same place I went for Partrick's brithday and it was still excellent. This time around I had their dry-seared broccoli because everyone raved about it and they were right to do so. You'd never think broccoli could have so many flavors. It's a bit spendy, but very good for a night out every now and again.

Tuesday I started working on a new release for my game line. I have to get a bunch of it done to send out for testing later in the week. It looks like it'll be a lot of fun to work on, I just wish I had more time to work on it. I'm sure it'll be fine, but I'm feeling rushed -- even though I'm not really. I just have too much other stuff to do. I imagine I'll stay late on Wednesday and do a lot of it in peace and quiet.

(Updated after Kevin pointed out that this post was cut off after "We went to Fremont to . . . ")

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Friday afternoon I took a co-worker over to watch a testing session with a local firm we're working with. It was interesting and I learned some things about their company and their processes, so it was definitely worthwhile.

That evening I had dinner with Kevin, Kim, and Matt in Factoria and then went to see Kevin and Kim's "new" apartment. They've only been there a month or two, but neither of us had seen it yet. I liked it. Lots of space and multiple levels. I'm sure I'll be over there again soon.

Saturday I read, got comics, and then met Shane and Cathy over at the University district Red Light to look for clothes for Shana's disco-skating birthday party later in the evening. Most of their clothes are for people that don't go beyond one X in front of their L's. So no luck there. Which was okay because I'd sort of resigned myself to not going in 70's threads. I wasn't in a big party mood anyway.

When I finally found the place (I got lost for a while) I was very amused by the outfits a lot of the people had. Fashion in the 70's was atrocious. Really. Shana had invited everyone she knew so it was a very unusual group, lots of people who knew each other well, tenuously, and not at all, including her parents, her friend Marie from San Diego, and the guy she's interested in who flew in from Atlanta for the party.

Since this was a skate party I had to try my hand (er, feet?) at skating. I don't think I've been on roller skates for about 22 years. My center of gravity is very different than when I was 13. I was very out of sorts initially, but after two or three times around the rink I'd remembered how to skate and was probably doing better than most. It was fun, but I can definitely feel it in my left outer thigh. Yeah, I know that sounds odd, but we kept going in circles and my left leg was the one that took the brunt of the punishment because it had to control my turns, my right leg just supplied power.

After the party a number of us went to the bar in the hotel where her parents were staying and chatted for a while. I had a great time talking to Katie. We have a good time together. When everyone was finished there, Marie, Katie, and I went to another bar and then to IHOP so they could have a late-night snack. I finally dropped them off at about 3:30 and I was in bed by 4:00.

I slept until 11:00, did laundry, read, and repotted a plant, hence the name of this post. See, this particular plant had been turning a bit brown and some of its leaves were drying out completely. I hadn't changed the way I'd been watering it and the temperature has been fairly consistent -- maybe a little cooler than in the summer, but it hasn't been that bad. Anyway, I figured I had to repot it, so yesterday I picked up a new pot and some potting soil. I had a hard time pulling the plant out, but when I finally did I learned what "rootbound" meant. The roots had wrapped around the dirt so that I couldn't see the dirt at all. Plus, a couple of the roots had grown out the drainage holes . . . which made it difficult to pull the plant out. Now the plant has a new home in a spiffy new pot (not the plastic faux-terra cotta one it came in) and will hopefully rebound quickly. Repotting that plant makes me think I should repot the other two plants I've had for a couple of years now. They probably need it.

I saw something earlier today on T.V. that said this is the 16th season of The Simpsons. That means that there are people in college who don't remember a time when The Simpsons weren't on television. Wow.

Time to go play some City of Heroes before bed.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Weak Week

I don't know. I just don't. This week has been very busy and I spent most of this week in a very bad mood. I'm not going to go into it here because I'm sure it would come back to haunt me. The thing is, I know I'm just being stupid and I need to cheer up and not be so affected by what's going on. I'm sure it'll change in the next few days.

Overall work has been good. We've made some changes on an upcoming product and I'm going to have to work on the new rules for it soon. Luckily it's early enough to make those changes, so everything's cool there. Apart from that I've had too much to do, lots of meetings and lots of projects that I don't seem to be making any progress on. Frustrating.

The diet seems to be going well, but I slipped one day this week and had some cheesecake (a weakness for me). It was probably a combination of being in a bad mood and feeling stressed, but I have to avoid such slips in the future. I've made very good progress and I don't plan on screwing it up.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Happy, Happy Day!

I was minding my own business, walking around at work today and James, one of my co-workers said, "Oh, hey Jon . . . here," and he handed me a bound-together book of 8 1/2" x 11" pieces of paper with a picture on the cover. It read, "The Barber's Closet". Inside are all of the drink recipes from the Barbers Closet. Even the Sweet Tart.

To give you some history, the Barber's Closet was an old speakeasy in Madison that was eventually converted into a legitimate bar. It was in the basement of the Club de Wash, which held a number of bars and a restaurant . . . until the whole thing burned down in the early 90's. Very sad.

Well it turns out that James' wife had worked at the Barber's Closet and had one of the drink menus -- and it turns out she also salvaged a lot of alcohol from a refrigerator that kept it safe from the fire, so they had parties using the drink menu for about a year after the fire.

So, now I have a copy of the recipes. I plan on scanning it and making a pdf of it for download (most likely with a lot of Seth's help), hopefully soon.

The Sweet Tart is the recipe I was really excited to get and I recommend it to anyone who wants to try the perfect drink.

Sweet Tart
12 oz. Tub
Fill with ice
1/2 oz. Sloe Gin
1.0 oz. Absolut Citron
Bar Sour to 1/2, splash of 7Up
1 short straw
Garnish: Lemon

There you go, just as it's written in the recipe book. Some of that is in bar-speak, for example I assume a "tub" is a term for a wide tumbler-style glass, "bar sour to 1/2" I learned means to fill the glass until it's about a 1/2" below the rim of the glass. If you drink -- ever -- you must try this drink. It tastes exactly like a sweet tart, but in a really good way.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Back to Normal

I was able to finish up my editing prokect and sent it out . . . then get out and have some fun this weekend, which was nice.

Friday I went to see Ray with Matt and Seth. It was very good . . . very interesting. Ray Charles was an intrguing person. It's amazing to think he was the son of a washerwoman and grew up to be one of the most famous entertainers of his day. I also have to say that Jamie Fox continues to impress me when he actually acts. He did a great job of mimicking Charles' voice, style of speech, and mannerisms. Really very good.

The movie ran awfully late, so I slept in then went for comics with Seth. That was really about all for the afternoon, but later in the day I made phone calls and got everything organized for taking a trip up to a local casino to play blackjack with some friends. We all lost money, but it was fun and the casino really impressed me. It was well-run, had very good food, and excellent waitstaff.

Sunday I cleaned up a bit around my apartment in the morning, then I met a bunch of people at the local theatre to see The Incredibles. It was excellent. I'd see it again -- and I may get to because work may send us as this month's movie. Cool. Go see it, it's good. It has a great super-spy, 50's, super-hero thing going for it.

I was going to play City of Heroes in the evening, but Shane called to invite me to see a co-worker's new band perform for the first time. I figured it would be better to go out and be social rather than sit at home in front of my computer, so off I went. The band was good, but the sound was much too loud for the small room we were in. The band only played about five songs, then we all hung out and chatted with everyone else who'd shown up -- and there were a good number of people that I knew there. It was good to get out, but I didn't really feel very social and I had to force myself into conversations. I hate when it's like that. It was sort of like feeling alone in a crowd, but that's not quite right, I think it was more like I was wishing I was alone instead of being in a crowd.

Oh well, we can't always do what we know we're supposed to do.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Back to the Real World

After the past couple of days' apocalyptic posts we now return to familiar ground.

Someone at work has decided he wants to get into a pissing match over a completely innane incident. It's annoying to me because we discussed it, agreed and on the points, but then he felt the need to send me an email to rehash all of it. Argh. That's annoying. Mostly I think it's because he comes from a different corporate background and hasn't realized that crap like that isn't necessary where we work, but it really irks me. Later tonight or tomorrow I'll have to fashion a response, but I can't see how my response will sound anything other than snotty. And honestly I wish that weren't true -- while at the same time I don't really care if it does.

If the sort of attitude expressed in this email starts to spread so that everyone feels the need to send "cover your ass" emails, well, I can honestly say I think my time at this company may be coming to an end. Before this guy we've all worked together just fine. I hope this isn't the beginning of the end.

Tonight was the Thursday game and one of the guys is going to run a super-hero game. It's set a year after the Martian invation (a la War of the Worlds) and they're still in the midst of the war. It should be fun and I'm looking forward to playing a superpowered character.

I'm going to see if I can write something appropriate to that guy now. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Highly Annoyed, Slightly Devastated

There are scenarios I can imagine given the results of the election that could lead to our country being in shambles or possibly not even existing in four years. That is certainly extreme, I know that, but the fact that my I'm thinking such things are possible worries me. This is the first time in my life I've ever even given much thought to purchasing a gun. But now that Jason has mentioned it, it seems like a good idea for a number of reasons. I don't trust our government to protect us. I trust our government to get us into deeper and more dangerous trouble. I am certain we will be attacked. Soon. Because Osama has said his goal is to bankrupt the U.S., my guess is sometime during the holiday season, possibly the day after Thanksgiving. I'm not going to the mall that day.

Paraphrasing Machiavelli, he wrote, "it is better to be feared than loved, but never hated." I fear our president. I imagine a lot of people are in the same boat and if he continues as he has (which he will), I'm sure many, many people will come to hate him. Personally, I don't trust him to make good decisions. And it surprises me that nearly 54% of the nation does. Given the failures and screwups of the last four years I can't understand how he was re-elected.

The thing is, I'm sure there are people out there who can't see things from my perspective, who think I'm crazy. I really wish I could see things from their perspective because it might help me to understand, but mostly it would make me feel better because I'd be completely oblivious to the danger that we're all in now. I wish I could understand how we made this decision.

You may have noticed that Glenn has been added to the links on the right. Check out his thoughts on the election. They're very interesting. He draws some interesting conclusions about some of the information coming out of the exit polls.

I'd try to be glib or funny or say something like we need to keep up the fight for what we know is right, but I don't feel any of that at the moment. Really, I just feel worried.

The one good thing about yesterday was that I had some fruit for the first time in about eight months. So, I'm on to phase 2 of the South Beach diet. Hopefully I'll get some good results. Mostly I'm just happy to eat an apple again.

"I'm a rich, alcoholic, frat-boy, born-again Christian and I'm your President!"


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Here's Hoping

I dearly hope that by the next time I write you we will have managed to elect a new president.

For those of you who wondered, I am not a fan of our current president. There are a handful of reasons that I can think of off the top of my head that scream for me to get rid of him.

1) He's not fiscally conservative. This is oft quoted, but he's taken us from responsibly paying off some of our debt to record deficit spending. He's the worst advertisement for "big government" I've ever seen. Irresponsible, very irresponsible.

2) His administration has played favorites with our money instead of spending it wisely (see Haliburton).

3) He took an enourmous outpouring of positive feelings for this country from the rest of the world after 9/11 and managed turn public sentiment against us within a year. That is incredibly poor leadership on the world stage. We had the chance to work with everyone to do what we apparently weren't able to do on our own and he blew it. Innescusably poor.

4) After we were attacked he smartly struck at the attackers but didn't kill the body of the hydra. He has, in fact, stated that Bin Laden wasn't a concern. So, he turned his sights on another nation and attacked to remove another bad man -- but he did it by lying to us about weapons. (Really, why not tell us the truth?) Well, the weapons weren't there and the hydra is back. So, we didn't get the guy we actually should have been after and we got the guy we had to lied to in order to attack. Again, innescusable.

5) He, like another former president, declared a war on an abstract concept. You can't win a war on a concept. Can't be done. It's ridiculous. You declare war on a group, on a nation, on something definable, something with boundaries, not drugs or terrorism. Maybe I'd be more in favor of wars like this if they were wars on poverty or starvation or homelessness or illiteracy. Maybe, but I doubt it.

6) He's curtailed or infringed on our Constitutional Rights with this horribly misnamed Patriot Act -- and he has the gall to call anyone who doesn't back him up unpatriotic. Apparently because he thinks we'll be shamed into going along with anything under the guise of wanting to look like good patriots.

Honestly, why haven't people been up in arms about all this crap? Why are there any questions about his chances of being re-elected? I don't know. I don't get it. And I can't imagine what shape this nation would be in with another four years of him in office.

It's funny, I've never been as frustrated with a president as I am with this one. And I hope I only have to be frustrated with him for a little while longer.

None of this, I should point out recommends anyone else for the job. Personally, I know who I'm voting for -- and no, it's not a straight party ticket. There are good people on all sides. I can only hope that people aren't so mired in their own concept of "being a Republican" that they can't vote any other way. I know it may rankle you, but if you have doubt in your president it's probably because he's not very good at it. And as Abraham Lincoln said:

"Whatever you are, be a good one."

Hopefully the next president will live up to that. We can only hope because what we have now isn't acceptable.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Halloween Photos

As mentioned in my previous post: Photos! Courtesy of Jen and Hays.

Yes, everyone had to touch my breasts. Yes, I found it disturbing, too.