Sunriver & thereafter

Sunriver 2010 was this last weekend, which is a time for my group of friends to gather and have fun. This is the last year that we’ll be gathering without babies present—if not the last year we’ll be gathering, period. Unlike previous years (the years I’ve gone, at least), the weekend was entirely laid-back and relaxing.

Myles set up a Google Spreadsheet that we could use to determine who was bringing what food and games; an instant later we demonstrated everything that was wrong with collaborative spreadsheets. This is the document’s final form (after Brian spent a good half hour cleaning things up, mind you—click for super-sized version):

Our general plan for the trip was to spend it playing mahjong and watching curling. Turns out that NBC kept curling on various fancy-pants channels that we didn’t get, so we settled for mahjong and (among other Olympic events) ice dancing.

I didn’t even know ice dancing was an event until Sunday evening. I somehow got started making some smart-ass comment about preferring undead girls right before Tessa Virtue and her partner started their routine. Virtue, for whatever reason (makeup? pre-routine jitters?), had absolutely no color in her face—fitting my “undead” criteria perfectly, and causing me to become an immediate and vocal fan of hers. (I’m not a hypocrite!) Turns out she and her partner are pretty damn good, too. Also, her competition all wore these garishly flamboyant costumes—that certainly didn’t hurt, either.

As for mahjong? I bought a $0.99 mahjong app for my iPod touch (I like it, and would recommend it if you want to practice Japanese “Riichi” Mahjong) and practiced furiously in the week leading up to Sunriver. Here are the results:

Most of us—save Jon and Brian, I think—chomboed (lit. “screwed up big-time”) once each during the weekend; we didn’t bother with the stiff penalties that are usually associated with that, instead writing them off to learning the rules.

Still, not too shabby. I didn’t pull off the monster hands that Brian did, but at least I finished up overall. (Again, ignoring chombos…)

Other events of note: Nate baked a whole bunch of bread, and it was delicious. Jon, Brian and I played some New Super Mario Bros. Wii (generally acknowledged to feature “divorce mode”) and finished with our friendships intact. Andy reprised his epic version of No Doubt’s Bathwater in Rock Band. Andy and I began Saturday with a good old-fashioned game of Streets of Rage 2, much to everyone else’s chagrin. I spent a good while engrossed in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, as is my nature when a new Phoenix Wright game comes out. Brian and I made more progress in Growlanser II—just enough progress to realize that we cannot save the girl. (It’s actually rather depressing.) Multiple people dawwed over Pixel the Cat.

I’ve only managed to exercise once since getting back from Sunriver, but that was enough to finish off my latest anime series: Bamboo Blade. It didn’t strike me as a super-awesome show, but it was fun enough—and it’s (kinda) main message caused me to reconsider how I approach my dance classes. I generally tend to focus single-mindedly on learning whatever moves or pattern that’s being taught in class… but that’s not exactly fun, and why bother learning the moves if you’re not going to have fun doing so? I don’t know that I’m actually any worse off in remembering the new moves—and tonight was certainly more enjoyable than most.

Best staff meeting ever.

So The Boss finishes this meeting with a slew of horribly depressing calculations indicating how the future is going to blow chunks. As people are getting ready to break and go hang themselves, The Boss closes the internet browser window he had open (and on the projector) for part of his presentation.

Underneath is a full-screen porn popup window. A busty, completely naked, blonde is standing along the entire right edge of the screen.

Comedy ensues.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace review: completely destroys the movie, in a way that is so much more entertaining than Episode I could even dream of being. You’ll have to overlook and/or enjoy creepy humor, and a bizarre voice, but… wow.

Just under four days to learn riichi mahjong.

At the very least I need to know enough to hold my own against Brian and Nate. If I fail, I’m going to be swimming with sharks this weekend.

Holy crap, we just learned the most awesome extension to the basic whip in west coast swing tonight. (Too bad it’s something that the follows have to do; leads can’t just lead their way through it…)

Also, if you pair me up with an insanely gifted follow (I’m not quite sure why she’s taking the class, to be honest), we can actually have a fun dance. As in, I’m a decent enough lead that I don’t wholly cripple a good follow’s ability to play. Holy crap.

[“Play” has been my eternal nemesis in WCS, for the uninitiated.]

After tonight, I have the tiniest sliver of hope that I haven’t already encountered my glass ceiling with this dance. I’ve harbored that fear for about five years, now… making this bit of hope rather refreshing.

Donna’s VD and Unicrons Page: the most important Valentine’s Day (and unicrons) link you have, and the only page on Geocities worth rescuing.

You didn’t really think I would let this one die, did you?

Topics of discussion at dance practice this evening

In no particular order:

  • Leather pants: when it is reasonable for one to wear them (answer: depends on age—with a max of around thirty—and further limited by the presence of love handles).
  • Cool shit: how DARPA has it, despite being evil.
  • Use of follows as “meat shields”: Trevor’s extension of my usual “follows are weapons” line of thought.
  • Why are they videotaping us: don’t screw up don’t screw up don’t screw up oh crap i screwed up
  • Lip gloss applicators: what *will* they think of next?
  • Why Shakira’s “Objection (Tango)” is not a tango: YOU PEOPLE ARE MURDERING THE TANGO STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT (<— my reaction, and I don't even care all that much for tango)
  • How I told Barry that I was done bitching about how people butchered the tango during Shakira’s “Objection (Tango),” but totally lied: it burns every time I think about it.
  • The “dance” dating technique: specifically, why George and Beth should date because they look soooo good dancing together (not my logic, BTW; I should have married a couple people over the years, by similar lines of thought).
  • The creepy dating age difference calculation: I’ve been outed as a reader of XKCD.

Logorama: this is one way to piss off all of corporate America at once.

The TV Show: I’ve always enjoyed the “zooming out” transition technique. Also: progressive insanity.

Smiling: A Nico Nico Douga collaboration with a fun way of indicating who’s singing at any time. Give it a moment; it’s kinda catchy.

Personality tests

So I hear that this Dewey Color System test is as valid as other personality tests, such as Myers-Briggs. Let’s take a look at my results:

Best Occupational Category
You’re a CREATOR

Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or places where they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

Suggested careers are Advertising Executive, Architect, Web Designer, Creative Director, Public Relations, Fine or Commercial Artist, Interior Decorator, Lawyer, Librarian, Musician, Reporter, Art Teacher, Broadcaster, Technical Writer, English Teacher, Architect, Photographer, Medical Illustrator, Corporate Trainer, Author, Editor, Landscape Architect, Exhibit Builder, and Package Designer.

Consider workplaces where you can create and improve beauty and aesthetic qualities. Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression work best with your free-spirited nature.

Suggested Creator workplaces are advertising, public relations, and interior decorating firms; artistic studios, theaters and concert halls; institutions that teach crafts, universities, music, and dance schools. Other workplaces to consider are art institutes, museums, libraries, and galleries.

2nd Best Occupational Category

Tactful, Cooperative, Generous, Understanding, Insightful, Friendly, and Cheerful

This very social type enjoys working in groups, sharing responsibilities, and being the center of attention. Fields of interest are instructing, helping, nurturing, care giving and instructing-especially young people. They discuss and consider feelings in order to solve problems, lead, direct, persuade, guide, organize and enlighten others.

I’ll give you a moment to stop laughing.

Myers-Briggs painted an eerily accurate portrait of me, back in the day. (Sophomore year in high school I was an ISTJ, which I probably remain to this day.) In contrast… this one’s not even close.

Secrets of the Tokyo Underground: The subway system in Tokyo (London, too) are pretty darn awesome… and who doesn’t like rumors?

Don’t answer that.

David Pogue’s Song Spoofs: I remember reading his Christmas song spoofs in the back of Macworld in (apparently) 1997; the hard drive and memory requirements of “MS Word 15” seemed ludicrous at that time. (Pretty sure I’m dating myself, badly, with this.)

The Challenge Series (part one)

Last night, Daniel, Janis, and Jon came down for the ballroom dance club’s “high school stereotypes” dance. Janis informed me that Daniel had been practicing the night before—ostensibly because he didn’t want to be one-upped by me and the skills I’ve picked up in my dance classes.

Ha! The illusion of my power lasted only as long as I put off dancing.

That said, Daniel and I did have a “challenge series,” a la Tomo in Azumanga Daioh. Well, OK, it was only one challenge: sing along while dancing a west coast swing.

Let’s just say I’ll never again poke fun at someone who cannot simultaneously dance and sing. (On the other hand, the song I was trying to sing and dance to was Jason Mraz’s The Remedy, which is almost certainly more confusing than whatever song Daniel sang and danced to. :P)

Now that the fun event of my weekend is over, it’s back to filing paperwork and updating records and other “fun” activities that I’ve been putting off.

#80sPenis: best Twitter trending topic in ages.

For all the crap that Lady Gaga gets, I’m pretty sure there were more people dancing to “Bad Romance” than were actually present at the dance practice this evening.

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