Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Post #800

Like the headline says, this is post number 800 on my blog. Since November 15th of 2001 I've been posting little tidbits here; mostly things to keep my friends and family (few of whom live closer than 2,000 miles away) included in my daily comings and goings -- at least in some way. By my math it's been 80 months and 14 days since I started posting, so that means I've averaged about ten posts a month. Now if only I could find a way to count the number of words I've posted in seven years and eight months . . .

In order to fulfill the stated purpose of my blog:

This past weekend Julia had been invited to be an artist at the Renton Annual Art Show, which is part of Renton River Days. This is her third year there and she was the only jewelry artist, which was good news. She set up on Thursday with her mom and then she and I went back on Sunday to pick everything up. It's a great show because other people are there are weekend to watch over everything.

We also took care of some other things, like stopping by the house to take some pictures (which I uploaded to Flickr on Friday, so check 'em out) and stopped by again a couple of days later to find they'd put in the sod for the backyard. I have pictures of that, too, but I haven't had time to post them. I'll do it soon. We also fixed the fridge at the condo, which was an interesting little project that I got major props for from my girl and the new tenant.

I'm still reading Scott Lynch's (excellent) The Lies of Locke Lamora and after stalling out for a few weeks I'm back into it and making good progress. Those damn D&D books took up all my reading time for a while.

Seth let me know that Rob is coming to town this week, so I'll be meeting him for dinner this week. I think he's going on a cruise with his family and he came a bit early to see Seth and I. Once again, I am excited to see a friend who lives far too far away.

I've started working in earnest on a script for a comic book. The last time I did this was for a book a friend and I were working on, but this time it's all for me. I'm going to write the damn thing and then follow it up with more and soon I'll be writing comics for a living -- or at least writing something for a living. I swear.

My birthday is Saturday. 39. Big whoop, I'm still me. Hopefully by this time next year there will be even less of me; I start taking good care of myself again on Monday. Wish me well.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Did it!

At the end of my last post I mentioned that I was going to see the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight. Brian and I went (Julia opted out to work on jewelry for the show she has this weekend) over to Bellevue to see it and it really was good. I think it's one of those sequels that's better than the first movie, which is a rare accomplishment. The film is a bit long, but I think everything onscreen is needed to tell the story they wanted to tell.

I particularly liked how they'd updated all of the characters and especially how this wasn't a Joker origin story. And speaking of the Joker, I thought the choice to have him lick his lip frequently was a great touch. Not only because it made sense considering his scars, but also because it made him seem almost reptilian and therefore a bit more alien and menacing. Now I just hope that they don't "retire" the character from the following films because they don't want to "disrespect" the memory fo Heath Ledger and his last role.

Wednesday morning we got up early and dropped Brian at the airport and I thought things would return to normal, but then Tim Gerritsen called me during the day and asked me out to dinner. So, Wednesday night I met him and a co-worker who were in town for GameFest and went to dinner at the Honey Hole on Capital Hill for some yummy sandwiches. Catching up with Tim was great and it's good to see him and his company doing well. I wish him all the luck!

Thursday, Julia spent all day setting up her tables at the Renton Annual Art Fair. I met up with her at her parents' place after work and we went to see the house. They finished the interior paint and all the light fixtures and have now started on the landscaping. Julia took a bunch of pictures and I plan to get them up tonight or tomorrow, so be sure to check out the Flickr badge on the right for updates. Julia had a big hand in planning the landscaping and it's looking great. Right now a lot of plants and trees are in (but not all of them!) and the sod is coming soon. It's so exciting to see all of this come together and it's odd how long this whole process has taken while at the same time it seems to be going to quickly. Regardless, we're due to move into the place in less than a month!

Anyway, last night was opening night of the previously mentioned art fair. Julia has two big tables there and after the introductory festivities people started spending money and Julia sold a good handful of pieces and collected a couple business cards for custom orders. Hooray! I'm looking forward to getting down there this weekend to check out the rest of the event, if only for a few minutes.

Tonight, finally, I'll get to do some relaxing. Tomorrow I have to take pictures for things going on ebay and go to the condo to do some minor repair work on a refrigerator. Fun!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wishlist Updated

My birthday is coming up and I figured one or two of you might like to see what might make good gifts if you're so inclined. So, my Amazon wishlist has been updated.

Check it here:

My Amazon.com Wish List


On the Phone

I forgot to mention that Scott (Willems) called me Sunday morning. Just as Brian, Julia, and I were getting ready to head out for a late breakfast at the Farmers' Market my phone rang and it was Scott heading to the game store just before going to his friend's to game. We chatted about his work, my work, the house, gaming, GenCon, and a couple of other things, then it was time for both of us to split; him to the game store he was sitting outside of and me to the market.

It sounds like teaching is going well for him and he's going to be a travelling teacher next year which isn't optimal, but it's okay by him. As for gaming, it was good to hear he's playing Deadlands and an 1880s-style super-hero game (one of my personal favorite settings).

Hopefully I'll get to spend some time with Scott again soon. I miss that guy.

Tonight: The Dark Knight!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Special Guest

Work is going well. I'm still finding my way around and my boss was gone most of last week at E3, so I was pretty much on my own. I managed to fill my time, but I had to work to find things to do, read, etc. Hopefully this work will be a bit better. I already have a number of meetings set up to talk to my co-workers to see how we all fit into the bigger picture around here. They should be informative.

As for non-work stuff; Julia went to visit a friend on Friday and stayed overnight with her so they could pal around on Saturday. She had a good time going to a farmers' market and picking through her friend's garden for things to transplant into our new garden.

While she was gone I went to see Hellboy II and took care of some things around the house.

My friend Brian from Tampa came to town in the middle of last week for a conference. It wrapped up on Saturday afternoon, so I picked him up from his hotel, we picked up comics, then we had dinner at Mashiko in West Seattle and went to see Hancock in Factoria. I'll be interested to see the extended version of the movie. I'm sure it will explain a lot more than the theatrical release, but overall I thought it was okay. It sort of lost its way half-way through, but it was still interesting to see a super-hero movie that wasn't constrained by all sorts of comic continuity.

Sunday we had breakfast down at the Farmers' Market downtown, which is always good. Julia wanted to pick up some fresh fruit and veggies for smoothies, too, so it worked out well. Afterward Brian and I went to the Mariners game; they were playing the Cleveland Indians (Brian's home state from growing up). The Mariners lost, but Brian was happy that the Indians won, so we'll call it even. Probably the nicest part of the game was how easy it was to get to and from the stadium from our house: short car ride, handy free parking within a 5 minute walk to the park, and almost no traffic because we didn't have to take any of the main roads. Nice.

After the game we took Brian to see the new house. They're still busy with painting the interior, so a lot of the details were covered up to protect them from paint, but he got a good look at the big picture. Oh, and they'd started on the landscaping, which is pretty exciting. If things go according to plan the house should be done-done in the next couple of weeks, then we check it over to make sure everything's correct (then they change anything that's wrong), and we move in by the end of August.

For dinner we went to a thai place down on Alki. The dinner was decent, but Alki was really hopping. That's not a surprise considering it was a nice, warm, sunny Sunday. It was really a nice capper to the weekend.

I wish I'd been able to spend some of today and tomorrow during the day hanging out with Brian, but fortunatley/unfortunately I have a job. We'll hang out tonight and tomorrow night, then I'll run him to the airport Wednesday morning. One of those nights we're going to see the new Batman movie. I'm looking forward to that.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What's Going On?

I realized on my way into work this morning that I haven't been very good about talking about what I've been up to lately. I realized this because it's now more and ten days after the 4th of July and I still haven't written about that.

Sure, the may not be the topic some of you want to hear about, but considering I started this blog to let friends and family know what sort of fun and stress I have in my life, it certainly makes sense to write about.

Anyway, Julia and I spent the 4th at Shana's. We ran errands in the morning (if I recall correctly we took care of some things at the condo) then went to Shana's around 4:30. There were a good mix of people from WizKids, ex-WizKids, co-workers from Shana's "new" job at the Matter Group, and Shana's mom and dad. It was odd (for me) to see people from our "normal" group of friends mingling with people from the Matter group, but only because I don't usually associate those two groups in my head. It caused me some cognitive dissonance for a few minutes, but it was good to see everyone regardless.

Shana's dad was on grill duty and I spent a lot of time chatting with Tyler, Seth, Liz, Mike & Sharon and their girls. We also got a tour of Shana's fixed-up-but-previously-flooded basement, which seems to have recovered nicely and looks great. She also showed us what she and her father have done in the backyard, which turned out very nicely. I especially liked the tiki themed metal gate they made and installed next to the garage.

Juli and I left around 8:30 because we didn't really care to see the neighborhood fireworks and we didn't want to get stuck in any traffic later on. Admittedly we didn't really have to worry about traffic considering the ride home from Shana's is pretty short.

Last week I started work. On Tuesday, actually, so I spent Monday working like a madman to get everything I had at home listed on ebay before the day job started. I managed to get about 20 items listed (and the auctions ended yesterday), which was nice because I didn't want to mess with any of that during the week if I could avoid it. Plus the extra money coming in is nice.

As for work, I spent most of last week reading up on some specifics about my job, familiarizing myself with some of the tools I'll be using, and generally learning my way around. Now that I'm commuting again it'll be nice to catch up on my podcasts again.

This past weekend Julia and I had a lot to do. She cleaned the condo on Friday and spent time with her mom. In the evening I went to Tyler's to play poker. I did very, very well during most of the game and was up for most of the evening, but I ended up losing $20 for the night. It was odd because I was really stressed about losing the money because we've been so money-conscious lately, but as I drove home I realized that $20 didn't cripple us for the week like it would have before. Now that I had regular work again I could afford to spend $20 on a night out because I knew more would be coming in--soon. That was strangely relaxing and exhilirating to me and I really enjoyed the feeling. But I still would have preferred to walk out with some winnings.

Saturday, Julia and I had crepes at a little cafe near our house, then walked over to a cat rescue place a couple doors down. It had a screened in porch-like area with a bunch of cats and kittens in it and we played with them through the screen since the place didn't open until later in the day. If you're looking for a new kitten, contact me and I'll tell you where this place is because they had some adorable cats.

That afternoon, I played D&D. Also at Tyler's. It's a once a month game and it just happened to fall the fay after the poker game. So far the game is going really well. Tyler hasn't run in a while, but everything is flowing nicely, even with a month break in between. I'm playing a sorcerer named Hugo, he's second level. And I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but we're playing the Savage Tide adventure path. Anyway, enough about that.

Sunday, Julia and I ran a ton of errands. We went to a garage sale near our house and bought a good ladder and a practically-new wheel barrow. We went to the condo and fixed the drapes and vacuumed. We checked out the new house, but they'd spent last week covering everything to prepare for painting, so no real progress or pictures to show off. We stopped by Seth's to get the key to Jordan's storage unit so we could load up the car with more stuff for ebay. We had burgers at Fatburger in Redmond. We generally ran around for about six hours and managed to get a lot accomplished. We were pretty pleased with ourselves.

Last night we sent out ebay invoices, catalogued all the stuff we picked up from Jordan's storage unit on Sunday, and I prepared a bunch of things to ship out to people who bought things on ebay -- which I shipped to them this morning. Work, work, work.

I don't have anything else to say right now and I'm sure I've gone on long enough, so I'll sign off for now.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I've completed my first day of the new job. The people are very friendly and the bulk of my work so far has been to simply "keep busy" because I'm not fully set up for everything just yet. That means tomorrow I have to look through gaming magazines and mark them up with little flags so we know where ads appear with our name. Oh, the horror. Heh.

I just wanted to let you know that everything is good.

Stress about money and work is mostly gone -- it's very tenacious, that stress -- but generally life is good.

Okay, time to go play games at Seth's.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Deal

Okay, here's the deal:

I've been looking for full-time work like a madman since I left my last contract position at Microsoft at the end of January. Yeah, 5+ months of unemployment = Not fun. Especially when you're trying to buy a house. Luckily the house had a very long lead-time and Julia is very good with money, so we've been able to do everything we've needed to, but the bank was definitely going to balk about giving us a loan in a few weeks if I was jobless. So getting a job now was definitely a good thing.

As for the job, for a number of reasons I don't want to talk about it too much, but it's working in the Games for Windows area and it sounds like it should be pretty interesting. I start next Tuesday (the 8th) and that means I have a lot to in the next few days.

I'm still selling a bunch of stuff on ebay for some former co-workers. That's been great because I'm getting a cut of the profits. That's an ongoing process that I'll have to change a little bit so that the listings start and end on the weekends once I start working.

Last night Julia and I met up with her parents and moved the furniture out of the condo and into storage. It's nice to have that taken care of. But I gotta say, it was hot and surprisingly humid, so it was sweaty work despite the fact that we got everything done in a couple of hours using only our cars. We'll still have to go back and do some cleaning, but we don't have anymore real work to do there. Awesome.

Okay, time to get some things done around here.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I have been offered a job.

More soon.