Saw Craig again this evening. [Incidentally, note the open use of “crape” on Craig’s minimalist home page. I’m so proud!] He seems to be doing well, though was wondering what to get his female friend for Christmas. I love the way he (consistently over time) describes Harvard’s traditional Last Chance Dance as sketchy.

Hahaha. Sketchy. I need to use that term more. My realization comes from this Ars Technica thread. I suspect that “comedy gold” is already on its way into my personal lexicon, and “hilarity ensues” is already there, albeit a bit dusty.

After Craig left, I got sucked into MTV’s Room Raiders show. I feel like less of a person for watching the program, which takes one guy (gal), and allows him (her) to poke around three gals’ (guys’) rooms to decide with one of the three he (she) will have to take out on a date. I don’t generally watch TV, but…argh. To adopt imagery provided me by Miwa, I felt my brain turning to ashes.

Miwa also mentioned that she wasn’t going to do much for New Year’s—just think. She’s probably going to be the most productive person in the United States tomorrow evening. I sometimes feel that it’s been a long time since I’ve really thought, and that’s no good. My brain is functional, but in poor shape…these late nights probably don’t help things any, either. Hard to think well when you’re tired all the time.


The snow actually survived the day, which means that (courtesy of a starlit night) it’ll be ice tomorrow morning. Good thing I have no great motivation to go to work in the morning. Oh, I was stupid last night and tried taking pictures of the falling snow from my front porch. Without a coat or gloves or anything. Selecting random modes on my camera, since there wasn’t any obvious “snow falling in pitch black night” setting. With my (normally) shaky hands.

Actually, I suspect that the darkness really helped my photos out. Even though the shutter speed was quite slow, the only image that was captured was the brief instant illuminated by the flash; the rest of my hands’ tremor had no effect on the final picture. Sw33t. I’m really not a photographer, though, so don’t expect anything too nice. I really should practice, since digital photos are free; I’d hate to imagine how much money it would cost for me to become a decent photographer using traditional film.

Tonight my family watched Terminator 3. After we finished, Marin asked what the point of the movie was; all I could guess was “to make money.” The movie said very little, in the end; a bit about fate being unavoidable, a few well-timed bits of comedy, and one clever reason why we have another T-101 protecting John Connor. It wasn’t as disappointing as the Matrix sequels, but I suppose that’s only because I didn’t expect much from T3. Looks like the Terminator movies jumped the shark with T2.

Speaking of owning movies…I’m halfway tempted by the Blues Brothers/Animal House DVD bundle that’s been showing up lately. I’m not sure what those movies say, either, but…dammit, I can’t be critical all the time.

Rather than driving around town to get lunch, the few people who bothered to show up at my office today elected to have American Dream Pizza deliver. Yummy! Around eating pizza, I finished cleaning out my backlog of batches to double-check; from now on, the replacement scanner-person can be responsible for her work. That just leaves me with getting my remaining responsibility, payment batches, up-to-date. Marin wants me to get that done yesterday, to give her more time to catch up on her work; things don’t seem to be playing out that way, but I suppose I’ll have to see what I can do.

Went bowling with Tiffany, Tyler, Brian, and Miwa on Saturday. I performed to specification (“sucked”) in the first game, and found myself several standard deviations off in the second game—that’s right, I scored 110 in that game. Boo. Uh, I mean, Boo Yah. Afterwards we visited the Beanery, which was a much more useful venue back when Brian and I had friends who would visit the Beanery. We did see Rachel (yet another face from high school) there, who appeared well, albeit hyper… Brian and Rachel had an enjoyable exchange about who was losing more: Brian losing money for food, clothing, and shelter, or Rachel losing pride for living with her folks. Rachel eventually won the debate by flipping Brian off.

It was good to see some friendly faces again.


As I type this, the second snow to hit Corvallis this year—and the first that’s actually sticking—is falling. It found Eric and me at Brian’s house, where we had just finished up a not-terribly rousing (yet still fun) game of Shanghai. Shanghai is a sort of Rummy variant—though I confess that wouldn’t mean much to me, since I don’t know Rummy (aside from what little I can gather from the statement that “Rummy is a variant of Shanghai,” of course).

Gah. I’m tired, actually. (Maybe it’s from having the DDR mix of Captain Jack’s Dream a Dream stuck in my head all day, two days running.) I’ll try to write more tomorrow morning—though I make no promises—since I really have been more active than usual, lately. Of course, that doesn’t take too much, considering me.

Brief Holiday Debriefing

Christmas was a nice, quiet affair at my house. Had Eric and my grandma over, ate lots of food, and then tried to stay awake while digesting everything.

I actually spent my first six hours of Christmas cleaning out my basement, which really needed the work. Manalive—some of the dust that had gathered took a few more years off of my life. At the rate the dust in my house is going, I’ll be lucky to make it to age 40. I’m just waiting for my G5 to suck in enough dust that the processors can set off a nice little fire.

After dinner, Brian and Miwa came over, suffered through a once-over by my family and Eric (as Eric noted, “we had been looking at each other all evening”), and then we made our way downstairs. There we introduced Miwa to the non-drinker’s evening in Corvallis: a heaping dose of very little going on, made slightly easier through internet stupidity (e.g. celebrity prank calls—most notably Schwarzenegger call #8) and occasional (very occasional) witticisms tossed out by someone.

Friday…I don’t remember much of what I did throughout the day. Actually, I probably didn’t do much—I’m still on a godawful 4:00am to 11:00 am sleep cycle, which kills a good portion of my day. I tried playing the Japanese dating simulation game Brian got me for Christmas, Sentimental Graffiti 2, but I found my lack of knowledge of the Japanese language to be a huge barrier to my successful completion (or even basic comprehension) of the game. From what I was able to gather online, I start out with twelve girls in love with me; my task is to somehow not piss all of them off.

In other words, it’d be easy for me if I could just speak the language. (^_^)

Mom went to visit her brothers on Friday, and we had sent home enough Christmas dinner with others so that there wasn’t enough leftovers to feed all of us (not a big deal). So my dad, sister, and I ate A&W for dinner, where Dad reminisced about summers playing tennis at OSU, followed by walking over to a nearby A&W restaurant to get quarts of root beer. I always enjoy hearing my parents talk about their youth…and, when I think about it, I fear that I won’t have too many stories about my childhood to tell my kids. Video games don’t make for interesting tales.

Last night Marin and I watched I Want to Return to That Day, the first Kimagure Orange Road movie. It felt rather unbalanced; Kyosuke caused a great deal of pain, and the movie did little to show that there was a reason for what he did. I could somehow sympathize with the characters, though; Marin wound up disliking them even more than she did during the TV show. Consequently, I watched the second KOR movie by myself, afterwards (this was also consistent with my screwed-up sleep cycle, as the movie ran quite late); it left a better taste than the first movie did, but the actual plot itself seemed rather goofy. At the end of the day, I suspect, KOR is best when it embraces its “endless summer” feel.

Now that Miwa has her gift, I can reveal my brilliance (or “sickness,” as Brian’s dad called it) to the world: my wondrous find was the autobiography of Bigfoot, In Me Own Words. You owe it to yourself to check that sucker out.

I’m going to go do something (I’m not sure what, yet); in the meantime, you can while away your days playing Avalanche.

Merry Christmas!

Twas the night before Christmas…and I was cleaning my basement. Go me. And I’m too tired to come up with a creative title for this post, and I actually wrote over my previous post the first time I tried to update this thing. Reader beware.

Marin and I braved the last-minute shopping rush at Fred Meyer, where the only thing worse than waiting in line was trying to find a parking spot. Fortunately, my years at OSU have taught me a thing or two about how to successfully fight for parking—those other drivers never saw what hit ’em. Followed that up with a visit to the friendly OSU bookstore, which was delightfully quiet. I managed to find an absolutely hilarious, low-to-no-taste gift for Miwa; it’ll be a test of her sense of humor, if nothing else. Now I need to do some last-minute wrapping, and I’ll be good.

Well, as good as I can be for not having gifts for a few people, thanks to an online retailer who didn’t quite hook me up in time. Ah well; my poor, abused sister will understand. My poor, abused friend, on the other hand, will just have to suck it.

Ooooh yeah. I got this Christmas spirit thing down cold.

In other news, FedEx failed me. The card that was supposed to be delivered by 10:30 am the 24th turned out to be in Tennessee at that time. Doh. Guess Mom’s gift is shot, too.

Visiting Fred Meyer gave me the chance to do something that I haven’t been able to do in several years, thanks to my habit of just buying stuff online: put some cash in a Salvation Army bucket. It’s odd, but that small action seems the most Christmas-like thing I’ve done or seen this year. Well, that, and the great Christmas Eve tradition at my office of having absolutely everybody leave as early as humanly possible.

And I must wholeheartedly concur with Mr. Lawson. I’ll be…mildly irritated…if something happens to ruin my break.

A short Christmas tale for you all: many years ago, a family with a young daughter moved in down the street from my house. In December, she worried that Santa might not know where to find her; to ease the gal’s mind, my neighbors decided to create a “runway” for Santa on Christmas Eve, using paper bags and small candles lined along my street (a good stretch of hill). It really looked nice, and everybody enjoyed it; so my neighborhood did it again the following year. [I remember enjoying the chance to play with that much fire, back in the day.] This soon became a tradition and spread to larger and larger portions of my neighborhood. The effect was especially pleasing on foggy nights, as I recall.

This year it rained fairly heavily, so none of the flames stayed lit for too long. Communication apparently also broke down, as the lanterns only extended about 2/3 of the way up the street. In short: Christmas is officially broken in my neighborhood.

What? You wanted something cheerful and uplifting?

Anyhoo, don’t mind me. Merry Christmas/Happy Hannukah/Kickass Kwanzaa/yatta yatta to you all!

Christmas Eve Eve

Time is running out for the acquisition of gifts, and I’ve begun to start sweating a bit. Looks like I’m gunning for a morning foray into the wilderness that is Christmas Eve Shopping. Of course, that assumes I get to bed at a reasonable hour (“an hour and a half ago”), and I haven’t even DDRed yet.

Plus, since Brian and Miwa are almost destined to visit my basement in the coming week, I need to get on the stick with my dust rag and vacuum. It’s been a long time since people (other than Eric, that is) have been downstairs. Not surprisingly, it has also been a long time since the basement was thoroughly cleaned—it’s never overly dirty or messy (I do have my standards), but it could definitely be better.

Work has been pretty quiet, on the whole. I go in each day and scan paper for six (or so) hours straight. I’m now caught up through the fourth of December…meaning I’m in the final stretch, since we only generate batches on weekdays.

But, yeah, dull. Brian and Miwa visiting should kick up the excitement a few notches, and then seeing Tiffany and Tyler on Saturday should add additional fuel to the fire.

For now, though, I’ll keep playing the Uchu no Stellvia opening (you might want to check out Ambient Irony, either as a blog or—temporarily—a source of a few openings, including the Stellvia one) while I debate picking up angela’s first CD. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard of their work.


I was halfway nauseated today, so I did my best to minimize my food intake. That worked until about 4:00 pm, when my body made an ultimatum: I had to give it something to run on, or it was going to quit on me. Fortunately for me, one of the doctors had been kind enough to buy us lunch today, and there were plenty of leftovers—so I had a Roly Poly sandwich and a mini-cheesecake.

And then my nausea went full-blown. Ugh.

Yesterday I checked my email, and found a custom-crafted insult (in the form of the cheesy dialogue that pops up after a match, a la Street Fighter) sent to me by Andy. So, if you too feel the need to have Mai taunt me as having lost a match because I was distracted by Dan’s pink gi, feel free to help yourself.

And if you want to be even more creative, have a look at this Historic Tale Construction Kit. Reminds me of a Something Awful Comedy Goldmine from not too long ago.

And, lastly: heh.

OK. I’ve given you the tools. Now y’all just need to shake your head and have a mental accident, as one of my favorite professors likes to say. That’s creativity.

Slow, Slow, Slow

Chatted with my dad this afternoon; chatted with my grandma this evening. A very slow, very peaceful day.

I did get my hair cut, and threw away my old smelly sneakers, so I guess I’ve cleaned up decently over the weekend. I shouldn’t embarrass Brian too much in front of Miwa, which I suppose is good.

The one thing I haven’t been able to do this break is kick my extreme-late-night habit. I’ve also become accustomed to doing some DDR late at night, just before bed. Odd.


I go to sleep one lousy night, and the next morning I discover that robots can now dance better than I can.

When the devil did this happen?

Update: These are apparently Sony “Dream Robots,” a.k.a. QRIO.

Holy smokes! They can pick themselves up if they fall. And walk their Aibo! It’s a good thing these things are miniature, ’cause they’d probably be a lot more reliable than most people. Though their small size definitely adds to their cuteness-quotient, which is no good.

Media Disinterest

So I finally figured out why my wireless router wasn’t responding to anything—I told it not to respond to anything. And it actually accepted that. Stupid router.

Last night my family watched Finding Nemo, which was good fun. Today I started thinking about it, and realized that my parents have seen more “current” movies than I have—they are, in reality, more with-it than I am. That’s never happened before; historically I’d be the one watching a different movie every weekend, and my parents would watch a movie only if they ran across one on TV. And now that I watch very little TV, and listen to my CDs or iPod rather than the radio…I’ve become increasingly detached from the few common experiences I used to share with others. Makes making small talk more difficult; not too many people could relate if I walked up to them and started talking Azumanga Daioh. On the other hand, I never really had that much interest in the small talk I could make; perhaps that’s a good deal of the reason I’ve always had difficulty talking to strangers. At least I still skim over newspapers (or the CNN web site) and read through US News & World Report, so I still know about major current events.

I guess I’m just not all that interested in movies, these days. I am interested in seeing The Last Samurai, though, as well as Return of the King. Beyond that…meh. Radio music these days is Clear Channel music, and is no good. And TV is…TV. News channels tell you, and then tell you, and then tell you the same damn thing over and over until you turn them off, and a good deal of TV programs are just dumb. There are good shows that I’ll stop and watch (West Wing, 24, Law & Order, CSI) if I run across them, but no shows that I’ll actively search out.

Whining about music reminds me: when in the world is Apple going to put Black Sabbath’s Iron Man up on the iTunes Music Store? Lee and John’s influence on my musical tastes—however limited—live with me to this day.

I wasted today away pretty good, actually. Got very little done, but also didn’t really relax like I wanted to, either. That’s the sign of quality. Humorously, now that I have some time to do what I want to do, wasting time by playing Final Fantasy X has become much less appealing.

I did watch two more Kimagure Orange Road OVA episodes this evening. They were much better written than “White Lovers,” though, and so provide no real humor that I can share.

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