Monday, December 20, 2004

Party Weekend

Friday I stayed late at work messing with some things and relaxing a bit after sending the next round of work off to the playtesters. I chatted with Jen over Instant Messenger as I surfed the Web and checked out some forums, then I went to pick up some gifts for people at the mall. I stayed up late that night and put together my gifts for everyone for Saturday night.

Saturday I did all the normal things, then went to Jen and Hays' late in the evening for the "If I Had a Million Dollars" Party. The inspiration behind the party was that none of us have enough money to buy gifts for everyone, so we all drew the name of one other person in the group to buy a gift for, then we had to come up with what we'd buy for everyone if we had a million dollars. It was fun. We all stayed until almost 2:00 talking and having a good time.

Sunday all the other designers and I went to out bosses house for a game of History of the World. It was a relaxing day of snacking, games, and talking. Afterwards I ran Mike and Clementine home, then read for a while and played Rez and Katamari Damacy. I'd borrowed both games form Seth a while ago and they're a lot of fun.

I've been horribly, horribly bad about food lately. I really don't know what's up. When I get back from Wisconsin I'm throwing myself back into this seriously. I have a ways to go before I'm done.

Time to sleep.

Friday, December 17, 2004

"It was a dark and stormy night."

I just picked up Altered Carbon tonight and when I got home I cracked it open to see how it started. I was very amused to find out that it basically starts with the classic line, "It was a dark and stormy night," rewritten to:

"Two hours before dawn I sat in the peeling kitchen and smoked one of Sarah's cigarettes, listening to the maelstrom and waiting."

I keep hearing from many, many people that's it's excellent, so I figured I'd pick it up when I happened to see it tonight. Actually I picked up a ton of books as gifts, a number of which are for tomorrow night's gift exchange with some friends, but I also found a perfect gift for Jason that I had to pick up once I saw it.

I also saw an autobiography tonight that I'm interested in, but now I've completely spaced on the subjects name. His name starts with a "b", I think, he's very somber, has been an author, had his own television program in the past, was an editor of some political magazine for a long time. Very accomplished. But I've completely forgotten. I'm going to have to walk over and look at the book to remember who it is.

I've been having some really good talks with Jen. She's doing very well in L.A. and we seem to have reconnected in the past few weeks. Actually, it's really nice. I don't know what's up with it, but so far it's good. I just wish she weren't eleven-hundred miles away.

I "finished" the work that kept me there so late the last couple of nights (1:30 Thursday night as well as 2:30 the night before). I put it in quotes because that's just this round of work. It had to go to the testers, so I kinda had to be done. Luckily I managed to get a lot of writing done today, so I'm happy about that.

I played in another fun session of Savage Worlds Thursday evening. This is the game set as the War of the Worlds-style martians attack and the players' characters along with a number of other people spontaneously exhibit superpowers and begin fighting the aliens. So far it's been very combat intensive, but I'm hoping for a chance to actually do some roleplaying/interacting with other people in the setting. Really, no complaints, it's been good.

Speaking of gaming, I have to remind Jason to update the Worlds Largest Dungeon blog. We've had quite a few games since his last post and it would be nice to catch up to Glenn's prolific output over at Spike's Journal.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Latest

I left work at 2:30. I seem to be doing this once a week plus coming in on the weekends for a few hours. I'm tired but I don't have time to relax. If I think about it for more than a few seconds I get angry and depressed. I fee like I'm not making any progress . . . in work, life, with my weight. Today was particularly bad on that last item.

I think I just need to sleep, but I can't come home and go right to bed, it doesn't work that way.

I know I should be at work at a normal time, too, because I have someone transferring over from another department. I don't know how that will happen, but I might get lucky and wake up in time.

The great thing is I didn't even finish everything I need to have done. Typical of how things have been lately.

It's a good thing I have some time off for the holidays.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

I Sat Down to Write

Friday I didn't leave work until late, partially due to lots of work, partially due to playing City of Heroes with some of the guys. Then I ended up going to the mall with Seth, Shane, and Cathy. I think we went just for the heck of it, but I ended up picking up a couple of books at Borders before we went to dinner at Z-Tejas. Yeah, I don't know what that means either.

That night I watched many, many episodes of The Office that I borrowed from Shane and Cathy. In fact, I watched all of Season One and Two this weekend, so if it seems like there a number of unaccounted for hours, that's probably where they went. Regarding The Office, it's very good. There's been lots of talk about how amazing it is and all the normal television crap, but really, it's very good. It's initially and persistently uncomfortable, which can be a bit much at times, but the writing is excellent and the characters are very realistic. Heck, for a sit-com even the situations are fairly realistic. No wacky misunderstandings, no over-the-top jokes, no "I don't beleive that" moments. Just strange but ordinary people going about their days. Over the course of the two seasons it also manages to tell (in snippets) one of the best, most realistic, and most well-realized love stories I've ever seen on television. And the denouement of that story is perfect. If you can't tell, I recommend it -- if you can stand the uncomfortable silences after jokes that fall flat.

Saturday the same crew from Friday night went for comics, did some shopping at Weslake Center downtown, then went home. Laundry, reading, blah, blah, blah, then I went over to Shane and Cathy's to play poker with the two of them and Jen and Hays. I haven't played poker in years -- and never for money -- but I did very well and had a blast. In the beginning I was up quite a bit, but by the end I was down $1.85 out of five dollars, while two of the others had been wiped out. I'd do it again.

Sunday I made myself do a bit of cleaning up since I still have things sitting around from when I was going through boxes of stuff a while ago. One of my biggest acheivements of the day was throwing away an old cardboard filing cabinet that I've had for, hmm, probably 18 years. Since my freshman year in the dorm. I actually had a couple of instances of, "I can't seriously throw this out, can I?", but I did. So now it's sitting down by the cardboard recycling cans waiting to be rained on and picked up by the recycling crew. Hey, 18 years is half my life, sue me if I'm a bit nostalgic about the stupid thing.

Along with the cleaning I also put up some Christmas-y things, so now my place is a bit more "in the spirit". I spent the evening at work updating some things on the budget, talking to one of the playtesters for my game line over instant messenger, and playing City of Hereos.

Honestly, I haven't been very good about my food lately. There's nothing that happened that made me all of a sudden go off my diet, but man am I off it. I know I'll get back to it, but I think I need a break. Even so, I'll need to behave myself. I think after the holidays I'll restart and hit the gym at the same time. That should teach me. And no, that's not a New Year's resolution. I don't like them, haven't ever made one. I don't limit resolutions to one time of year. I hope I'm always trying to improve myself.

Speaking of which, Friday night when I got home I sat down to write (hence the headline). I've been wanting to write for a while now and I never seem to make the time. Anyway, sat down, started to write and found that I don't have a story for what I want to write about. So, I ended up organizing some thoughts on a couple of different ideas and listing some characters, plot ideas, story ideas, and a number of other things. Now I have a handful of ideas rolling around in my head. I'll be working on them soon. I just have to decide what I'm actually attempting to write.

Is there anything any of you would like to see me work on?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Long Day

It was a long day today, so I'm just getting home. I've had a lot of meetings lately, so most of my actual work has had to sit until later in the day. That meant that I had some extra fun to take care of tonight, including budget work and reveiwing some fiction for an upcoming product. It was all very interesting, but getting home at 11:00 is kind of a bummer. I had a nice meal with Matt and Seth, though, so that was a nice break.

Not much else to report, but I have over 80 hours of vaction time that I have to do something with by the end of February otherwise I lose it. I'd love to get down to Tampa to visit Brian, or L.A. to see Jen. I'll have to check into costs. Anyone have a suggestion that won't cost me a lot of money? Or, hey, does anyone want to see me so badly that they'll bring me to them? That would be awesome!

Oh, Wednesday night I met Shane and Cathy at their place after work. We hadn't hung out for a while so we decided to have dinner and just talk. Dinner was great! We ate at B & O on Capitol Hill. I'd been there before for a sandwich, but I didn't expect their dinners to feature great Mediterranean food. I had a sampler of kabobs and Shane and Cathy both had Gyros. I'll definitely go again. Excellent place for a date if you're looking for a place to go.

After dinner we went back to their place, relaxed, chatted, and hung out. It was nice. With work being what it has for all of us we haven't had a chance to do that for a while. I think I need to relax more. Christmas will make for a nice break.


One of the things that amuses and slightly annoys me about Seattle is the resident's insistance that it actually gets real weather. It would be something like people in Wisconsin commenting on how many earthquakes we get. Okay, maybe I exaggerate a bit. I mention this because last night and this morning the local news has been commenting that "Seattle is in for a lot of weather for the next couple of days." They define weather as, y'know, maybe some rain and it being kinda colder than we really find comfortable.

I have to laugh every time I hear this stuff. Sure, Shane and Cathy complain about it being cold here, but they're from South freakin' Africa, so I can understand not being used to cooler weather, but everyone else is just a wuss. I'd really like to take them back home un mid-January for a couple days.

Unrelated, I've added Jen to my links over on the right. I'm also going to talk to Jason about the two of us updating the World's Largest Dungeon blog.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Christmas Time Already?

Saturday evening of this weekend was the work holiday party. We did the same thing as last year, a boat tour of Lake Washington. And again, it was fun. We get a surprisingly high turnout for this event. I think because it's easy for people to plan for. It runs only about 4 hours, including travel time and everyone gets home by a reasonable time. Part of the event includes the traditional White Elephant gift exchange. I gave a lame, little hand-held fan away that I got last year at the same event. I picked out a CD that claimed to include "Solid Gold Hits of the 70's" and surprisingly it actually has some good songs on it.

After the party a group of us went for drinks on Capitol Hill at the Bad Juju Lounge. I had surprisingly good talks with Katie, Kate, and Beth. And I think the bartender was flirting with me. That was fun, but she smoked. Anyway, it was a fun night.

The rest of the weekend was pretty normal. The only thing that really stood out as unusual was waking up at 1:00 on Sunday. That surprised me. I didn't go to bed that late. I must have been exhausted. Ten hours of sleep for me is unimaginable.

Oh, I got a nice compliment from one of the women at the party. She's the wife of a co-worker and she hadn't seen me for a while and she thought I looked great. That was nice. Now I just need to get myself to the gym with some regularity again and I'll look even better. Heh, I can't imagine how it will be to start going to the gym again. I'm sure I'll be breathing hard after about a quarter of the workout I used to do all the time.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Where's the Drive

I'm not sure what happened to my drive to get things done. Everything from working out to dieting to reading to cleaning my apartment. It kinda sucks. I figure I'll get back to "that place", but mostly I just have to make myself do it. I think that's how I did it when I first started working out.

Andy was in town today, so Seth and I (and a friend of Andy's) went to dinner. It was a fun night, but I cheated and had a piece of cheesecake. Luckily, it was really, really good.

Lots of work to do in the next couple of days. Nothing out of the ordinary, but I'm not sure how I'm going to find the time to do it all. I'm happy to report that I sent out some things that had been sitting on my desk for about a month now. It was a mish-mash of CDs, posters, Halloween costumes, and product for a number of different people. Mostly, I'm just glad it's done.

That's all for now. More later.