Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday

1) Fred, who works down the hall recently went on a month long vacation to various parts and he brought me back this papyrus from Egypt.

What was cool was that because of all the lectures I've filmed at the Oriental Institute when I read the description of the scene depicted I recognized the name of the Pharaoh and remembered his significance.

2) I got a lot of praise on this OI video that will be played on plasma screens at O'Hare airport. I basically did everything for this project. I shot and edited it. Aside from the first few establishing shots of campus and Hyde Park that's all my camera work and I found the music and put everything together.

3) Did some brainstorming with Renee. I think we were brainstorming about purchases.

4) Walking home (must have been nice out)

5) Left over pasta thing

6) Took a wonderful nap. Like "OMG NAP!"

7) Had my favorite new snack - yogurt.

8) Went and bought Mario Kart Wii. It had been out for a few days already and I decided it was high time I owned it. On my first play through I liked these tracks: Toad's Factory, Coconuts Mall, Koopa Cape, Maple Treeway, Wario's Goldmine.

9) I unlocked King Boo as a playable character.

10) In addition to the 16 brand new tracks Mario Kart Wii also includes 16 retro tracks. It has tracks from every previous incarnation of Mario Kart, even SNES and the GBA ones. One of my favorite retro tracks is Bowser's Castle 3 from the GBA. I unlocked the blooper car, Diddy Kong and the Pirahna Car.

11) Playing video games for a couple hours on a weeknight. It's been a while since I've had time to do this.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Toosday

1) Sleeping in

2) Called NetDevil - found out that my application still hadn't been viewed because the people who would do so had been in Denmark visiting Lego for the past 3 weeks. This was relatively good news. But the fact that I still haven't heard anything back (and it's been 3 weeks since this call) makes me think I 'm not going to hear anything. But I've concocted a new scheme. I just have to find the time to pull it off.

3) Went to ECNAD practice. This time there were actually multiple people there and we learned the first minute of the song.

4) Drank the guava juice and found it sufficiently delicious. Also ate some chips.

5) Made pasta thing

6) Watched the final episode of Freakazoid "Normadeus." All the villains got together to see the death of Freakazoid, but of course he escaped at the last second, big surprise. It's so unfair, villains put so much time into devising elaborate plans and the hero always escapes despite the odds being completely against them. I just want to see the villains win more, is that so wrong?

7) Had a Twix.

8) Watched Dave Franklin's 2 hour documentary "Scavengers" which was about last year's Scav hunt. It was very rough in some areas and much longer than it should of been, but I enjoyed myself. It was also the most people I have ever seen at a FE screening, but it makes sense because it has a built-in audience of Scavies.

9) The best part of the movie was sitting with Tiffany (+ Seth) who filmed ~1/3 of the footage and thus had little anecdotes. It was sort of like having a behind-the-scenes commentary.

10) Then she drove me home and we discussed the movie along the way.

Moanday

1) Sleeping in 2 hours

2) Last of the vanilla almond granola cereal from TJ's

3) We had a pretty involved project with a short deadline dropped on us on Friday and so most of my day at work was dealing with that. The project is making a two minute video overview of the Oriental Institute. This morning I went over there and shoot all the footage for it. In addition to shooting the director talking about all the objects I also spent about an hour shooting various b-roll around the museum. B-roll is fun to shoot. Got to do pans and zooms and cool stuff like that.

4) Went grocery shopping and found something wonderful: guava juice! Jumex sells it in single serving cans that are pretty cheap. I can't even begin to express my love for guava juice. It is basically the perfect juice, but it's so hard to find. But now that I found these Jumex cans I will be consuming it much more than before. Excellent!

5) Taking off wet socks

6) The song "Hands Away" by Interpol. It just played at the right time today.

7) Appropriate amount of heat in my apartment.

8) Left over peanut chicken and fried rice for dinner

9) Taking the shuttle to campus because it was unpleasant out.

10) Editing something interesting for work

11) Got the director's feedback on Mr. President. He more or less liked it as it was, only a few small changes and some fixes to the credits. Once it's up on youtube I'll link to it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Someday

1) Ali made a tasty breakfast of pesto eggs (with peppers, onion, [cheese?] and ham) and chocolate chip pancakes.

2) I helped Ali with editing some parts of her BA. She was doing a radioshow/podcast thing and she has considerably less experience with editing that sort of thing so I helped with the trickier parts and gave her a few tips.

3) Went to HPP to get some things.

4) Some of the things I got were guacamole and chips which I then consumed much to my delight. I also had the last of potato flag.

5) Took a nice shower

6) Read some more of "Stealing a Goose" which is the novel Stephanie wrote in November but I have yet to read through. Here are some of my favorite parts so far:

Or, rather, she left her interest in the woods alone and drove off, and tried her best to never let it find its way back home.

{I would be hard pressed to believe that there would be so much art if the world were not so determinedly beautiful.}

He once made a house of cards that was as tall as he was, and then pretended to be a monster and knocked them all down.

"Husband! Please open this jar with your manhood."

After work, she decided, she would play, and maybe if that was the last thing she did all day the rest of it wouldn't seem so bad.

"So, kid, why are you here?" Sam asked.

James looked a bit deer-in-the-headlights. "Well, I guess I want to turn to a life of crime."


7) Watched an episode of Freakazoid "Freak-a-panel /Invisibo" The first half was absurdly self-referential. Freakazoid chases a villain into a scifi convention and then ends up sitting on a panel about WB cartoons and talks about the show.

8) Thinking up and writing summary of third episode of NNN. Yes I know I should be concentrating on animating episode 1, but the inspiration came and I figured I shouldn't waste it. It involves pirates.

9) Talking with mom and dad

10) Peanut chicken and fried rice (finally!)

11) Watched the last 3 episodes of 30 rock season 1. Here are some highlights courteously of wikiquote:
Liz: Jack goes to Sbarro when he's angry, the New York Stock Exchange when he's horny, and Christie's auction house when he's depressed.

[Liz enters a room and stands behind Jack]
Jack: You've been avoiding me, Lemon.
Liz: How do you do that without turning around?
Jack: To be perfectly honest, the first couple of people I did that to were not you, but...here we are.

Phoebe: You know how John Lennon was better then all the rest of the Beatles but he never realized it until he met Yoko? Well I'm gonna be Jack's Yoko!
Liz: You want to be Yoko?!

Colleen: Well, well, well, well, well, this must be the one, huh? Phoebe! Welcome.
Jack: No, no.
Liz: No, I--
Colleen: Welcome, welcome, welcome!
Jack: Mother, mother! This is not Phoebe.
Liz: No.
Colleen: This is not Phoebe?
[Jack shakes his head]
Colleen: Well, why the hell not? I mean, she's perfect. Character, she got strength of character...and I tell you someting else; she's got a good, solid...baby bucket.
Liz: You are a sassy old broad, aren't you?
Also "I've got avian bone syndrome - hollow bones." And the fact that Phoebe keeps reintroducing herself to Liz.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mmm.... Saturday

1) When I picked up the mango slices at Trader Joe's earlier this week I knew I would go through them quickly so I got two packs. One was the normal type of mango slices (mango + sugar) and the second was just mango. These were also much thinner, they were pressed and were very similar to fruit leather. I still enjoyed them greatly, although they were a different type of sensation.

2) Even though he wasn't originally planned to Ben handled a shoot in the afternoon which was great because I didn't want to do more work than I had to on a Saturday afternoon and the guy we had originally planned for it was trying to get out of it.

3) I finally finished a first draft of Mr. President and sent it off to the director for feedback.

4) Watched The Office from Thursday on the internet. Highlights: Jungle warfare (?), Toby! Oh poor Toby, Dwight with the basketball team, that Creed was right about security guard's name.

5) Ate some more Potato Flag

6) Got the Maxx Volume 4 from Amazon. I still haven't finished it.

7) Took a nice shower.

8) Went over to Seth's apartment where he and Tiffany had made tacos. Delicious tacos. I also met a bunch of their friends, many who I heard of many times before but never seen. One of them (Andrew?) brought fresh pecan pie. That puts him in my good book.

9) Then we played Cranium. I was on a team with Kelly who was at the cranium game we played at Tiffany's house. We did not win (Humdingers were our downfall) but we had some great moments. The best part was probably watching Aaron used Seth as a puppet to try and get him to guess :puppet show", which is meat and unfair but hilarious. Our team's high points were when I used Kelly as a puppet to guess "modeling", when she used me as a puppet to guess "bowling", when I charaded "tourist trap" and when she pictionaried "mad scientist".

10) Then we watched "The Warriors" which I had never seen, but have heard about from my brother and Tiffany before. There were lots of crazy gangs in crazy outfits. The Baseball Furies definitely take the cake. I only wish that we could have seen more of the gangs we see in the beginning later in the movie. The Warriors really only have to deal with 5 gangs on their way home. Still it was pretty cool.

11) Alex sent this picture of a completed Lego Slinky ring. Stephanie got him the pieces for his birthday or Christmas. Also the Indiana Jones set.


12) The Brothers Brick pointed me to this awesome piece of Lego art: the contortion TO get a good sense of it see these three pictures.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another one bites the dust

1) It's Friday!

2) Went out to a business at the Med and got Fried Calamari. Delicious!

3) The purpose of the lunch was to meet with the final final candidate for the Senior Producer position. He is awesome. He blew all the other candidates out of the water. (SPOILER ALERT - A few days later Renee offered him the job and he accepted and he's starting on June 10th)

4) Screenwriter's circle was at my place this week. Those who had never been before were of course impressed with the lego set up and since we were reading my script I brought out the NNN minifigures. Fun was had.

5) I got my usual 2 six packs for the meeting one of Woodchuck pear cider and the other of Sierra Nevada pale ale. They are very different, but I think they are both great.

6) Afterwards I was convinced that rather than stay in and stay dry and make the Peanut chicken I kept trying to make I should go running in the rain to dinner with them. I did and it was fun. The rain was coming down so hard that we were all soaked by the time we got to the corner.

7) We (Mead, Felipe, Kaitlyn and I) went to the Mexican place in Harper court (Marivillas I think). I had never been there before, but it was cheap and tasty. Of course there was guacamole.

8) Over dinner we ended up telling stories about crazy things we've done. I'll spare you the details.

9) Put together the rest of Space Skulls set.

10) Watched the 30 rock episode from that Thursday. It was incredibly hilarious. Liz going corporate was great, also when she started making out with Devon ("I just pretended his face was a sandwich") I nearly died of laughter. I was afraid I might bother the neighbors - that's how hard I was laughing. Devon Banks was also in rare form. However, Dr. Spaceman once again stole the show. He enters, running down a hall with dramatic music playing and a cape bilowing behind him. Then he proceeds to deliver gem after gem. "I'd love to Jack, but we have no way of knowing where the heart is, every human is different." "Is it 411 ot 911?" "Um, Diabetes Repair, I guess."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Moving right along

1) Following up on my conversation with Ben the day before I found this incredible scene from the movie Pickpocket.

2) Finally got all the stuff that was a month or more overdue sent off to the clients. Now I'm only pretty far behind, as opposed to ridiculously behind on work. Woohoo!

3) Was able to send Joe and Theo off to handle a b-roll shoot I had no interest in participating in. That's the nice things about having employees around the office. I can make them do things for me. Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

4) Mango slices! Trader Joe's Mango slices, which may be the best I've had (and I've had my fair share of mango slices.

5) So the awesome video game Stephanie and I have been playing through had a little mixup with their boxart and decided to make up for it by offering free new (more beautiful) boxart. It's obviously a pretty superflous thing, but hey, I'm not going to argue with free.

6) Theo was working on editing this documentary project that features an old man talking and at one point the old man told a joke which wasn't all that funny, but the way he told it made it hilarious. He played it for me (and then everyone else who came in the office) and we laughed up a storm.

7) Then Tiffany and Krista came over for dinner. Since I had cooked at Krista's apartment last week she cooked at mine this week. It was nice to have people over, I don't make use of my apartment in that way often enough.

8) While Krista was preparing dinner and Tiffany was frantically writing her BA (I think? or was that the following week?) we all participated in one of Krista's thought experiments. Except unlike last time where she asked us to imagine ourselves in a post-apocalyptic future that she have very specificaly envisioned but not revealed to us ahead of time, she asked us to describe our wildest fantasies for our life. Krista's involved being a lawyer, a screenwriter, starring in the movie adaptation of her favorite comic book series (directed by Sam Raimi) etc. Mine involved getting the Lego job, working at NetDevil for a couple years before going on to direct/write/produce NNN (and it's spin-off) for Cartoon Network, working with Lego and Broken Bride to produce a line of Lego sets based on the album as well as a Lego music video for the entire album, being rich enough to fund neuroscience research leading to the development of what is essentially a Pensieve that can connect to an internet of other Pensieves (neuro-net?), etc. Tiffany would be part of a film-making "collective", move to Europe for a while, work with Michel Gondry, get married to Seth etc.

9) Then we had chili dogs. It was the first time I ever had one (sorry Sonic!) and even though Krista said I wasn't getting the real chili dog experience because she had the wrong kind of rolls and something else, I still enjoyed them. We also had a salad that had avocado (and some other stuff) in it. If I hadn't made it clear before, I love avocado.

10) Then we watched the end of A New Hope (attack on the Death Star on) which reignited the question of "Who the hell is in that Y-Wing?" You see after the Death Star blows up we see the Millenium Falcon and two X-Wings (Luke and Wedge) flying away from the Death Star. But there is also a Y-Wing flying with them. No reference is ever made to the pilot. However I did a bit of research, and apparently there is an official answer: Keyan Farlander. However, keep in mind that this is only C-level Canon, so it could always be overridden by G-level or the recently created T-level.

11) Tiffany left to work on her BA (I think) but Krista and I ended up watching all of Empire Strikes Back. Well, I'll admit I fell asleep for a little bit on Dagobah, but I caught all the important and unaltered parts. No excessive shots of the wampa, no CGI windows in Cloud City, no new voice for Boba Fett, no scream when Luke jumps down the shaft in Cloud City, just the way it was back in the 80s. Wonderful.

12) We finished off the crab cake for dessert.

13) I cooked rice so I could make fried rice and peanut chicken.

14) Put together the big skull from this awesome Space Skull set.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Let's burn through these

1) There was a fancy event that we were recording today so I got all dressed up in my suit. I wouldn't want to wear a suit all the time, but it does feel nice to wear it every now and then.

2) I talked to JJ for a little bit. It was nice to hear from him, because I haven't really heard a thing from him since he started Americorps.

3) Talking with Ben on the way to the shoot. He told me about a cool project he had coming up that involved pickpocketing (or faux pickpocketing), sliding across the floor, dropping a cameraphone into an aquarium etc. Sounded pretty cool.

4) Even though the shoot was only one camera and didn't require two people going along, I went along to help make sure everything went super smoothly. Also because I had already been to the location to scout it out ahead of time so I knew how to set up and also how to handle the client who was medium-high maintenance. Everything was smooth, so my job was well done.

5) Then since I wasn't needed I got to leave, which was a nice surprise, since I had expected to have to stay. I was released into downtown Chicago in the late afternoon in a suit. It was kinda cool and kinda weird.

6) Then I went to Trader Joe's because it was only 2 blocks from where the shoot was. Got lots of awesome groceries. They didn't have ginger, but one of the employees recommended this canned ginger paste stuff that works just as well and is far less work. I also bought a new Trader Joe's reusable bag since one is often not enough.

7) I also stopped at the Lego store because I have no shame. I got something cool, but I don't remember what it is, we'll figure it out when I get to the post when I put it together.

8) I was going to make peanut chicken and fried rice for dinner , but I realized I hadn't cooked the rice yet and I usually due that the night before or at least the afternoon, because it's much easier to fry when it's cold. So instead I had a nice easy dinner of chicken nuggets and green beans.

9) Watched the Freakazoid episode "Two against Freak." The narrator told the heroes where to find the villains' hideout, which doesn't seem fair. The villain accused him of trying to beef up his part.

10) Walked back to work (there was something I needed to do, but I thankfully forget). It was a nice walk there, thanks in part to Leif Erikson by Interpol. That song is just like a cocoon of sound. It's wonderful.

11) Renee also happened to be at work and she had brought her new puppy, Cassius, who I had seen pictures of but never met. He's a cute and friendly little guy and I enjoyed petting him and scratching behind his ears while he rubbed himself against my legs.

12) Did some more editing of Mr, President (maybe that's why I was at "work", but I think I might have been doing a little bit of both).

The Awesome Weekend Part 3: The Dinner

Note: This post is out of chronological order. There may be more recent post hidden below. (e.g. Day 4 of the Awesome Weekend)

1) For breakfast Stephanie and I met Tiffany and Krista and Seth at Valois. If you don't know, Valois is this cafeteria style restaurant, where you can see your food made extremely fast. They've got a team of chefs making breakfast food at breakneck speed. It's one of those places where you have to know what you're doing or you might slow things down. I got pancakes.

2) Over breakfast the subject of taxidermy came up so naturally I mentioned the taxidermied owls in the Lenape "art museum" and about my crazy reading teacher Ms Goodrich who was the creative force behind the owls and also happens to have a prosthetic leg and one time she read us a poem about finding a dead dolphin beached on the shore and burning it and dancing around with her leg off and she also passed around a vertebra she had kept from the dolphin. Oh 7th grade.

3) Then we played more Okami. We played through the windmill dungeon where we got the power to draw wind and we fought a flaming boar. Then we watched a bunch of cutsceens leading up to the first major confrontation with the main enemy, but we didn't have any time to play that dungeon.

4) Mom sent out pictures from their latest trip to Ithaca today, here are my favorites:






5) Then we made some green beans for Dana's Seder. They were tasty and simple.

6) Then we took the 6 and the blue line to get out to the west side side of Chicago. We reminisced about the party we had gone to at Dana's house back in February and how incredibly cold it had been. It was much nicer on this trip. Yay Spring!

7) We arrived right on time and were the first ones there except Dana and her mom. As always it was great to see Dana. We talked and laughed while we waited for everyone else to arrive. Stephanie and I sat on the couch while Dana and her mom finished up preparing things in the kitchen. It's always very interesting to see someone interacting with their parents. Dana's mom is not at all what I expected just from knowing Dana, but at the same time I now don't know how I could have imagined her any other way than she is, if that makes sense.

8) After a few more people showed up Dana put on a video featuring muppet like characters celebrating Passover. And of course, crazy hijinks ensued (they are transported back to Egypt, there are singing inanimate objects, etc.) We didn't watch the whole thing, but we saw enough to get the idea.

9) Then the Seder commenced. The only ever "Seder" I had ever been to was back in Catholic school. I think it was sometime in the year leading up to Confirmation. We did it because Passover plays a small part in Christian mythology, namely the Last Supper was supposedly a Seder. Also because, as Dana put it, "Christians think they share a God with us." Anyway, that "Seder" was mostly about the symbolism of the different foods and such.

Dana's Seder was much more about the relevance of the story and symbols to everyday life, or at least life today. She put together the Haggadah herself using pieces of a couple other ones, some parts were more traditional and others more modern and social justice oriented. There was a little Hebrew sprinkled through out, but also English transliteration for us gentiles. The main gist of it was "this is not (just) the story of Jewish liberation from Egypt, this is the story of all liberation everywhere and a time to remember that this is an ongoing struggle."

We all took turns reading from the Haggadah. And we performed the necessary actions (dipping herbs, removing 10 drops of wine for the 10 plagues, breaking matzah, hiding the afikoman (Stephanie did this and did it very well), finding the afikomen (Paul did this, the rest of us were clueless), drinking 4 cups of wine, opening the door for Elijah, etc.) As we went along the meaning and importance of each step was explained in the Haggadah and we were encouraged to ask questions. Most of the questions actually came from the other Jews (or atheist ex-Jews) who were learning new things about the Seder. It was very different from Catholic holidays which are not nearly as transparent or welcoming to outsiders. (Although Stephanie also said it was very different from Seder's at her Orthodox grandfather's house.) I felt very welcome (and not just because of the orange.)

10) When I was reading the part about combining the bitter maror and the sweet haroset I accidentally coined a new word: switterness. It was a big hit and used profusely throughout the rest of the meal.

11) I've transcribed my favorite part from Dana's Haggadah. I think it resonates with the idea behind this blog

Dayenu - "it would have sufficed" -- A Jewish philosopher was once asked, "what is the opposite of hopelessness?" And he said, "Dayenu," the ability to be thankful for what we have received, for what we are -- Dayenu means to celebrate each step toward freedom as if it were enough, then to start out on the next step. It means that if we reject each step because it is not the whole liberation, we will never be able to achieve the whole liberation. It means to sing each verse as if it were the whole song -- and then sing the next verse.

12) And I would be remiss if I didn't mention all the wonderful foods that we had for the meal portion of the Seder. Highlights include a delicious spinach and walnut salad (it also had craisins, but I mostly avoided those), our green beans, a roast, two different harosets and the desserts included chocolate chip meringues and a wonderful fruit plate.

13) The matzo ball soup gets special mention because I've only had it twice in my life. The first time was at Talya's house, Thursday February 10th 2005, a few days after Dom died. In a week where my world was turned upside down, this soup was one of the few things that made sense, I can remember the way it looked and smelt, the texture of the matzo ball. It was almost magical, and "comfort food" doesn't really do it justice. Eating the matzo ball soup took me back there if only for a moment. It was also pretty tasty in it's own right.

14) After the meal we concluded the Seder and then hung around for a while just talking and drinking and eating dessert. It was truly a wonderful evening and one I'll always remember.

15) I stayed at Stephanie and Paul's house that night because I had taken the next day off and a ~2 hour CTA trek home at the end of the night is never fun. Before we went to bed Stephanie and I had a good talk. <3

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Apparently I've already used Yadseut as a title

1) Got lunch at Umart. Oh California Wrap how I love you.

2) My internet friend Josh sent me a link to this awesome Lego Protoss Scout he made. The fact that he has made a detailed Lego recreation of a spaceship from a video game should give you an idea of why we are friends in the first place.

3) Talking with Tiffany at work. It seems unfair that I should get to enjoy time spent at work so much, but I think it is balanced out by all the un-fun stuff.

4) Twas a productive day at work.

5) My ipod on random will sometimes hit upon sheer genius. It played "Afterimage" by The Church followed by "The Scientist" by Coldplay. Not only did it match my mood and the slightly rainy day, but there are some similar chords /rhythms in the two songs that made them fit perfectly back to back. Now I have to use it on a mix CD.

6) Went to the first official ECNAD practice, but was one of only two people (beside Kelly) to show up, so we didn't do much dancing. Kelly did explain what she had worked out so far and illustrated one part ("the bacon") using the Footloose DVD. The scene we watched was rEdiculous. It consists of Kevin Bacon's character dancing/seizing/doing absurd gynmastics in an abandoned warehouse.

7) Watched an episode of Freakazoid. "The Island of Dr. Mystico." This show is ridiculously self-aware. At one point Freakazoid and others are locked in a cage and so Freakazoid calls Greg, the new production assistant on the show. "Greg, it's Freakazoid. I'll call her back, listen, we're trapped on some island. There's a key that opens the cell door we're in, I don't know what it looks like, I don't know where it is. Find it and bring it to us, okay?" Greg shows up moments later with the key and coffee and messages for everyone. This episode also features Tim Curry as the voice of Dr. Mystico: "Dr. Mystico: I'll build a private army of super-apes and take over Cleveland! Cosgrove: Don't you mean the world? Dr. Mystico: I meant the world, yes, what did I say? Cleveland? Oh, I always do that!"

8) Walking outside when it's so nice.

9) Potato flag for dinner.

10) Went to the grocery store

11) Had a soft pretzel, some yogurt and some birthday cake as snacks/dessert.

12) Worked on writing more of the second episode of NNN, "Robots!" and used celtx, a free screenwriting program to do so. The part I wrote was Robert Vylan's first sportscast, in which he tries to annul all sports and replace them with ones he invented. I also started writing the Police Robot commercial. I decided against just using R2-D2 and am instead using an original robot called K-OP-3R, who has the voice of C-3PO, the gadgets of R2-D2 and a heart of iron.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Awesome Weekend Part 4: The Dull Day

1) Paul woke me up when he was leaving in the morning (since he Stephanie still had work). I took the 66 downtown and was hoping to go to Trader Joe's but it wasn't open yet. I can't even remember the last time I got to a store before it opened. Still, it was nice to see what Downtown Chicago is like on a weekday morning.

2) When I got home I contemplated doing many things, but I ended up taking a nap. Mmm... nap.

3) Then I did some laundry with absolutely no competition for the machines (since everyone else was at work - suckers!).

4) That was the day I finally blogged about the Urban Wilds party. It was a fairly time intensive post considering all the photos and video elements. But that also meant it was very fulfilling to finally get up.

5) Had the last of the leftover chicken and pasta salad for lunch. Oh Mesquite Chicken, how I love thee.

6) Did all the dishes. Take that filth! As you can see I didn't do anything very exciting with my day off, but I did a lot of stuff that would have otherwise not gotten done for several days.

7) Went running, because I still haven't taken my bike to someone who can help me raise the seat and I need to start exercising more.

8) Nice refreshing shower

9) Dinner was seder leftovers + some potato flag

10) Talked to mom and dad. They have begun investigating their options for getting a new deck. Also my mom talked about her upcoming (though as of this posting past) quilting weekend.

11) Watched an episode of Freakazoid. "Statuesque" I liked that it had a throwback to the very first episode in that it featured the guy who had a watch that turns beavers into gold. There was also a point where the narrator got too excited.

12) I used that plastic container I bought at Blick a while back to re sort my lego heads (their sorting had been bothering me for a while.

And with the old head container I resorted the arms and hands. I used to just have one container for arms and one for hands. Now the arms are separated by color and seperated into left arms and right arms and the hands are sorted by color. Do I have a problem?



Yes. I don't know what I'm going to put in the containers that used to hold the arms and hands.

The Awesome Weekend Part 2: The Dog Day

1) Waking up before Stephanie. It's such a rare occurrence, I just had to make note of it.

2) We had cinnamon toast waffles for breakfast while we watched...

3) The last two episodes of Torchwood season 1. "Capttain Jack Harkness" was an awesome episode, very touching. The season finale was not nearly as cool. It was kind of annoying actually. The team (minus Jack) made bad decisions and were handsomely rewarded for them.

4) Then we put together the rest of the lego set. It's a really cool submarine, which is currently being used by the Jar Jars to board the Star Destroyer.


5) Played Okami. We gained the ability to draw bombs and vines. We played through the forest and the first real dungeon. We fought a giant spider, it was very cool.

6) Then we went to the store to acquire the materials for dinner and dessert.

7) We were making Potato Flag (Moroccan Shepard's pie) for dinner, which takes a long time to prepare. It's easier when two people are working together though.

8) Whenever something had to simmer or bake for a while we watched the rest of the special features from the Torchwood DVD. The things that stick out in my memory are Gareth's rap and John's song.

9) Then dinner was ready and oh did we feast upon it. Potato Flag is very delicious. Ground turkey, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, carrots under a layer of mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes. Delicious!

10) While we ate I introduced Stephanie to Arrested Development. I showed her "Pier Pressure" and "Storming the Castle" (if only so she could see one of GOB's magic acts. She enjoyed them and we have since started working our way through the rest of the episodes chronologically.

11) Played more Okami. We traveled to the mountains and the Windmill town. We acquired the power to draw water and the moon. We also rounded up some important dog warriors.

12) While this was going on Stephanie made me a funfetti birthday. And with some extra icing she added this awesome crab.

Then we feasted upon crab cake,

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Awesome Weekend Part 1: The Devourer

1) Renee was back in the office today so I was able to talk to her about all the stuff that had happened that week and relinquish the few responsibilities I had taken up.

2) Since I was taking Monday off I sent out a series of e-mails to the students to make sure everything would go smoothly in my absence.

3) Walking home it was 70 degrees out! 70! I wouldn't have believed it it I hadn't seen it on the clock outside the bank on 55th. Why is it that banks always have that sign telling the time and the temperature outside of them? I mean, I appreciate it, but I can't understand the rationale behind it. Is it to improve their public image?

4) Stephanie arrives! She got to my building just before I did. The fun was about to begin.

5) It was so warm out I decided to wear shorts. Shorts!

6) One of the things we were planning to do this weekend was to start playing through Okami. It had just come out that week and it arrived at my apartment that day. The first thing we did was to read through the backstory in the instruction manual. It was a bit convoluted and overly full of strange names. After reading it we still had no idea who Okami was, which you think, as the titular character would be pretty important.

7) We then put together the crab from the awesome lego set she got me for my birthday. Here's a picture of it in it's current position on the Star Destroyer, pinching a Jar Jar and a Ninja.


8) Then it was time to go to Rajun Cajun and get dinner. We both got butter chicken dinners of course. My vegetable was peas and cheese, hers was macaroni and cheese (I think). We got them to go and brought them back to my apartment to eat while we watched--

9) Singing in the Rain. I had never seen it before and it's Stephanie's 2nd favorite movie. It was excellent. It gave me an appreciation for silent film acting. And of course the dancing was amazing. And now that I've seen it I can read Stephanie's favorite fan fic (not that I have yet, but I will). I still can't even believe that completely ridiculous part with the gigantic flying scarf. An extended dream sequence in an overly long opening frame for a movie that's being pitched..

10) Then we played Okami for 3 hours. The basic premise of hte game is that you are a wolf, but not just any wolf, no you are also the corporeal manifestaion of the sun goddess. And you are on a quest to restore Ancient Japan after it has been cursed by evil. The game is similar to zelda in that you go around fighting enemies and solving puzzles, but since your a god you also get to use a celestial brush. The way this works is that at any time you can pause the game and paint on the screen. Then, depending on what you paint, stuff will happen, a broken bridge might be rebuilt, a boulder might be cut in half, the sun might appear in the sky, a dead tree might bloom to life, or a lily pad might appear in the water. Those in fact are the four brush techniques we learned playing through thus far. It's a very beautiful game too, it is cel-shaded and made to look like Japanese ink paintings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Zip Diskitty doo dah

1) Sleeping in yet again. It's like a theme this week.

2) Slow day at work

3) I left a little early to go to HPP and be outside on such a nice day.

4) When I returned home I had a mysterious package from Australia!

5) The package contained my birthday/chistmas present from Alex this cool Legolike 2 GB Zipdisk

It it fully compatible with Lego so I added some decorated tiles to the top to give it a more computery look.


6) Dinner was pizza. Did Fire Escape provide it? I don't remember.

7) Finally finished editing scene 2 of Mr. President.

8) Edited together Behold! The Mighty Elephant.

9) Walked home with no jacket on. Glorious!

10) Made a pasta salad and started the mesquite chicken marinading in preparation for dinner with Krista and Tiffany.

11) Did the dishes with a brand new sponge! It's always exciting when the old sponge become the clean up sponge and the old clean up sponge gets thrown away.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Two(camera)sday

1) Slept in a little. What's a little? Maybe an hour. I'm not sure.

2) Had a relatively productive morning

3) There was a relatively complicated shoot today. Two U of C professors, one from the law school and one from the business school wrote a book that was an Amazon book of the month for April. Apparently there is a space on the Amazon page for videos to go, so we shot a straight forward interview with Thaler and a conversation between the two authors in the restaurant where they came up with the book.

Now I've done dowzens of interviews. I know interviews, but I've done very few two camera shoots, let alone one in a restaurant. And of course we showed up at the restaurant and no one there knew we were coming, even though Thaler had talked to someone ahead of time. It would have been very stressful, had I not had Ben there for everything. He's a pro in every way, whether it's setting up equipment, dressing the set and the actors, or sweet talking the restaurant manager, I had him do all the things I knew he would do better than me.

4) Because we had to breakdown, carry two blocks and then re-set-up two cameras and two tripods and a light kit in the space of half an hour or so I had the two students who were in that day, Tiffany and Walker, show up at the end of the first interview to help with the transition. Tiffany ended up staying throughout the Noodles shoot, to hold a reflector. Today was one of those days where my ability to organize and direct people and equipment was put to good use.

5) At one point today I had more students in to work than I knew what to do with.

6) Got Jimmy John's for dinner

7) Watched 30 Rock "Fireworks"
Tracy: Doctor Spaceman, when they check my DNA, will they tell me what diseases I might get, or help me to remember my ATM pincode?
Dr. Spaceman: Absolutely. Science is whatever we want it to be. I'll let you know as soon as we have the results.
Tracy: I already know the results, the kid is not mine!
Dr. Spaceman: Boy it's crazy to think we used to settle questions of paternity by dunking a woman in water until she admitted she made it all up. Different time, the sixties.
Here's a perfect example of wikiquote's deficiency, they' don't have the best exchange from this episode. But imdb does:

Maury Povich: [after discovering that he is a descendant of Thomas Jefferson, Tracy is dreaming that he's on "The Maury Povich Show"] All right, Tracy. I have the DNA results right here. Are you ready to find out who your biological father is?
Tracy Jordan: I think I am.
Maury Povich: Tracy, meet your father, Tom!
Tracy Jordan: No! I hate you, Thomas Jefferson! I don't know who I am anymore! You can't be my father!
Sally Hemings: Hey, Maury. He's a dog! He's a dog!
Maury Povich: Sally Hemmings just called you a dog, Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson: No matter, Maurice. I am here for you, Tracy Jordan. I rode a horse all the way from heaven to tell you something important. America, which I invented...
[the audience boos, and Jefferson makes a pixelated rude gesture to the audience]
Thomas Jefferson: ... which I invented, is a great country because we are not burdened by our pasts. Embrace who you are, Tracy Jordan. And may the force be with you always.

8) Took a nap

9) Had peach yogurt for the first time. However I ate it too soon after the nap and thus SleepyDave was the one tasting it. He thought it tasted "like it's sneaking up on me." Now HalfSleepyDave thought this was a perfectly defensible claim and tried to argue to Stephanie how something could taste like it's sneaking up on you. But apparently it doesn't actually make sense. NotSleepyDave may still think that it makes some sense, but knows better than to say so.

10) Lila called! We talked for over an hour. I ranted about work and talked about the Lego job and she told me about her new job where she works more ridiculous hours than I do, but seems to really like the job. Our conversation touched on various other topics, fan fiction, The Hobbit (movie), Lila's walrus woman novel, The Experiment and more. It was wonderful to talk to her and catch up. Last I talked to her was when I was home for Isaiah's birthday.

11) Updated The Experiment for the first time in ages.

12) Worked on editing Mr. President some more.

13) It was a nice cool evening

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'm streamlining these in order to catch up

1) Sleeping in. This one never gets old.

2) Proving it was old Farmer Jenkins all along, it's lego Scooby Doo and the gang.

3) Ben covering a shoot downtown tonight and later this week.

4) Lunch. Umm... I don't remember what I had for lunch. Maybe Umart California wrap?

5) First official day of students coming in according to the new schedule. Works like a charm.

6) Stephanie sent me an awesome fanfic where Lex Luthor from Smallville and Lex Luthor from the comics switch places and have to deal with their alter-egos' lives and Supermen. I don't know that I could properly describe it's awesomeness.

7) Wen to the grocery store where I purchased (among other things)...

8) Mango slices!!! it felt like it had been a long time. As soon as I got home I ate a few. Delicious!

9) Dinner was chicken nuggets and peas (and carrots and hummus)

10) Watched 30 Rock -Fighting Irish
Pete: Good Lord, your eyes! You look like that lady astronaut who tried kidnap that other woman.
Liz: Hey, that was a lady with a plan. Diapers, mace, Houston to Orlando in nine hours -- blammo!

Jack: When I think of all the things that I've been holding inside me that I wanted to say to you... [raises fists] Well now I'm gonna let "Saint Patrick" and "Saint Michael" DO MY TALKING FOR ME!
Jack's Dad: [raises fists] You'll have to get through "Tip O'Neill" and "Bobby Sands" first!
Eddie Donaghy: You call those fist names?! [raises fists] Say hello to "Bono" and "Sandra Day O'Connor!"
Jack: Those are the stupidest fist names I've ever heard.
11) Did some laundry

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Not a work day!

1) Waffles! Just call me Waffleupagus.

2) Played some Smash

3) Did the dishes and thus had a usable sink again.

4) Had a soft pretzel and some cake for "lunch"

5) Took a nice shower

6) Had some NNN ideas, these focused on the villain Deepsea.

7) Kept working on Scene 2 of Mr. President.

8) Decided to hold off on going to the store until tomorrow.

9) Talked with mom and dad. I vented about crazy work stuff and heard about Isaiah.

10) Had a dinner of left overs

11) Watched 30 rock - "Hard Ball" and "Source Awards"
Liz: Why did you tell the reporter that you hate the troops?
Jenna: What? I didn't say I hate the troops.
[flashback; loud music drowns out dialogue]
Reporter: [subtitled] You know, we have a huge readership in the armed forces--!
Jenna: [subtitled] What?
Reporter: [subtitled] Do you have anything you want to say to our beleaguered troops?!
Jenna: [subtitled] Theatre troupes?!
Reporter: [subtitled] Yeah, the, uh, troops!
Jenna: [subtitled] Ugh, I hate theatre troupes! They think what they do is so important!
[return to present]
Liz: [reading] "...but it's just a bunch of gay guys that like to get in silly costumes and prance around."

Tracy: Who else is gonna be at this thing?
Jack: Well, you're going to be sharing the stage with Nas...
Tracy: No! He hates me! We used to date the same girl.
Jack: What about Young Jeezy?
Tracy: Forget about it. I called his pitbull a gaywad on 106th and Park.
Liz: That would do it.
Jack: The Game?
Tracy: Nope.
Jack: T.I.?
Tracy: Ain't nothin' happenin'.
Jack: Superhead?
Tracy: No can do.
Jack: Fabolous?
Tracy: Won't do.
Jack: Ridonkey Kong?
Tracy: No!
Jack: MC Skat Kat?
Tracy: What?!
Jack: Harmonculous?
Tracy: Mnh-mnh!
Jack: Raw Dog?
Tracy: Hell no! Me and his beef go way back. We were both cast members on a Nickelodeon show called "Ray-Ray's Mystery Garage."
[flashback to Ray-Ray's Mystery Garage]
Young Raw Dog: Hey, chump, you scuffed my sneakers! Dr. J wears these!
Young Tracy: I'm sorry, man. I'm pretty drunk.
Young Raw Dog: Know what? Imma eat your family!
12) Sam reminded me how much I love Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson

13) Tonight is when I updated the updating Marquee on the Lego movie theater to say "County" instead of "Cinema" and "Now Showing The Franky Job" instead of "Now Showing The Fifty Year Brick"

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sweet. It's Friday.

1) Renee was leaving for a conference today, but I remembered that she had a piece of equipment that was needing for a recording later in the afternoon at her house so I needed to get that from her before she left. I was proud of myself for remembering that before it was too late on a day where I already had a bunch of other things to deal with.

2) Ben handling a shoot that was happening today that I didn't even want to think about.

3) There were a lot of shoots today, at one point we had 5 cameras out recording things. And our office only owns 3 cameras! (Well 4 if you count the little one we sent off to Bangladesh) But they all went fine. Hooray!

4) Catching up on my work finally being within sight. Since I have a few weeks perspective on this I can say I was not misguided in thinking this, I am getting more and more caught up all the time (even with projects that pop up and steal my attention away for a few days).

5) Picked up the paychecks and they were all in one place and where they were supposed to be. That may not seem like an accomplishment to you, but we've had so many paycheck issues, paychecks not appearing, paychecks going to three different locations, etc. Seriously it's little things like this that make it so hard for us to run an effective office. When we have to spend our time dealing with bizzare little problems that should never have happened in the first place and are more or less entirely outside of our control. But I take victories where I can get them. Hooray for resolving the paycheck issue!

6) Went to first screenwriter's meeting. Rather than someone's apartment this one was at the hookah lounge on 55th. I've never been before (because I'm not that in to hookah, only done it a handful of times) but we had a cool little room filled with cushions all to ourselves. There were also a ridiculous number of people there(a dozen) compared to normal meetings (4-6).

7) Leftovers for dinner (and leftover cake and fruit tart for dessert.) Oh I just realized I never really described the fruit tart. It had a nice thick pastry shell filled with a custard and then strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries on top of that. It was quite tasty.

8) New bit of Jack and Ellis

9) Reading Adam's blog entry.

10) Started editing this Fire Escape film that I was signed up to do Post-Production on. It's called "Mr. President" and while I don't think the script is all that fantastic, that it irrelevant. I was just so excited to be able to work on a creative editing project. The things I do for work are rarely exciting in that way. The movie is short, it only has 4 scenes. I cut together the shortest two, scene 1 and scene 3, tonight.

11) Stephanie called and asked if I wanted to see The Kids in the Hall live in Chicago in May. I was initially hesitant, but I later realized that was because of Adam and I watched the behind the scenes DVD of The Kids in the Hall live show and it was really disappointing, but the reason it was disappointing was because it wasn't the live show, it was all this random other crap that wasn't funny or even supposed to be funny. Once I figured that out though I was able to be really excited about the show. It's sometime in late May.

12) Took the shuttle home, because it was late.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

23

1) Hey today's my birthday, I'm going to have waffles instead of cereal.

2) I got birthday wishes from many people.

3) Not being at press conference in the morning.

4) Renee gave my three things for my birthday presents, one was edible, one was squeezable and one was intangible. The edible one was a delicious fruit tart. The squeezable one was this "Ugly Doll."

And the last one was the information that I will be receiving, sometime in the near future, a bonus, for all the extra work I've put in. Huzzah! It's a pretty sizable bonus too. Before taxes it's almost as big as a monthly paycheck after taxes.

5) Theo came into work even though the mandatory hours didn't begin until the following week. Something good involving dvds also happened, according to my notes.

6) After work we had the first of what will be a monthly Communications group cocktail hour. It just happened to fall on my birthday. I had a hard cider and then a sangria. It was nice to hang out informally with people from work, normally there is a lot more stress involved in our interactions.

7) Julie Peterson was the star of the show though. She is so awesome. Through the course of the conversation it came out that she has had not one but two stalkers. One of whom set her house on fire! Her reaction, though, was not fear, but righteous anger. "If he had come when I was home I would have beat him up!" So awesome.

8) In the middle of the drinks I got a call from Jenny and Leo and Iisaiah. Isaiah really likes saying "hi" over the phone. So he said Hi and Bye and it was very wonderful.

9) So then something really obnoxious happened as I was leaving the cocktail hour and heading to Tiffany's house. But I managed the situation and was awesome at my job and was back on track 20 minutes later. So while it was no fun to run equipment across campus in the rain to record an event that had already started on my birthday, the fact that I got it there and set-up before the introductory speaker finished and made sure the employee's who fault it was would never make that mistake again all while being a little bit tipsy just made me feel really capable. Go me!

10) Then it was time to celebrate my birthday with Tiffany and Krista! Over dinner we talked about Sesame Street among other things. We also laughed about Krista making a really bad joke about 3 men in a tub and then when we didn't laugh she explained it. We get it Krista, it's just not funny. But the fact that you are explaining it is funny, which even you realize and now we all laugh together.

11) Dinner was Chicken Gumbo, which I'd never had before. I'd always wondered what okra was. I'd heard of it, but never actually had it.

12) Dessert was an amazing Death by Chocolate cake (chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate frosting, with little chocolate frills on top) and strawberries.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Wonderful Weekend Part 3: The Revenge

Notice: This post is chronologically out of place. It is for 3/28/08. There are other updates below you might have missed.

1) Waking up to Stephanie's voice. Much better than an alarm.

2) We had cinnamon rolls. Narm narm narm,

2) We spent a good portion of the morning working on the Star Destroyer. Their table is bigger than mine so it made it easier.

We put together the engines and one half of the bottom panel.


3) Then we went out to brunch a at restaurant nearby. Paul spilled his water all across the table, but I managed to stay dry. Alex's pants were not so lucky. I had banana pecan pancakes and scrambled eggs. Mmmm....

4) Then we played some 4-player Smash matches. Stephanie was of course always Bowser, Paul was always random and I tried to characters that I'm not that good with, but even the automatic handicapping only kept me from victory once or twice. Not that victory mattered. I think my favorite match was when we played on Fort Ladderdale (a stage I made). Stephanie spent the whole match on (or trying t get back to) one platform and Alex leapt to his death in an attempt to get the Smash ball. I spent most of the match dropping banana peels around the stage and hoping people would slip on them.

5) Then Alex and I played through more of the Subspace Emissary (with Stephanie's guidance of course.)

6) Stephanie took a shower and Alex Paul and I played a game of Carcassone using a new (tiny) expansion that Alex had gotten that is only available in Germany. I did not do very well.

7) We went downtown for dinner, but we got there a half hour before our reservation so I suggested we walk over to the Lego store because I never pass up an opportunity to visit the Lego store. Paul and Alex went in search of the board game store while Stephanie and I picked out my birthday present. We are going to put it together when she spends the weekend of the 19th so we can play a new video game and do other wonderful things.

8) Then we went to dinner and oh what a dinner it was. It technically consisted of 4 courses, but the salad wasn't awesome enough to justify it's own wonderful so just know there was also salad. We went to The Melting Pot which is a Fondue restaurant. I had had Fondue once or twice before, but not like this. Even just the first fondue round blew away my previous Fondue experience. Since there were four of us we got to have two different mixtures to dip things in. The first round was the cheese round, one pot was a standard cheddar blend and the other one I liked more, but I forget what it was now. We had chunks of apple and various breads and vegetables to dip and all the possibilities were delicious. Wait a minute, I have the internet at my disposal. The other cheese we had was the Spinach Artichoke one and it was so delicious. Mmmm....

9) Then there was the meat round, we probably spent an hour and half in this round. We had 5 or 6 different meats as well as some vegetables to cook and a few different ways to cook them. The Coq Au Vin pot was straight forward, just skewer your food and stick it in for a few minutes. The Bourguignonne came with two different batters tempura and sesame. Then there were a variety of sauces to use after cooking as well as this "Green Goddess" stuff which our waiter used with the tempura batter to make a great little stuffed mushroom. And once we saw how much we liked those, he brought out a special batch of mushrooms that also had bacon and a couple other things in them which were absolutely wonderful. Though there were many many delicious events in this course, some that stand out were the sesame battered shrimp, the coq au vin cooked butternut squash ravioli and tempura broccoli (just because it was so gigantic). It took us quite a while to get through it, but eventually we finished every single piece of meat (and 2 bowls of vegetables.) By this point we were all pretty much full to the point of bursting.

10) Then there was the dessert round. It took us a while to decide, but we eventually settled on a white chocolate and amaretto blend and a milk chocolate and peanut butter blend. The dessert dipper plate included strawberries, marshmallows, (small) rice krispy treats, brownies bites, bananas, pound cake pieces and a slice of cheese cake. Oh my god, it was so delicious, I can't even begin to describe. We then stumbled home, happy and slightly delirious from eating so much. It was one of the best meals of my life.

11) Then when we got home Stephanie and I tricked Alex and Paul into doing something else so we could watch an episode of Torchwood. We watched "Out of Time." Highlights: Ianto taking them shopping, Jack's existential angst, Gwen being over-protective and getting in a big fight with Rhys, Diane Holmes being totally awesome, too awesome for poor Owen.

12) Stephanie also showed me a little bit of Dr. Who. But pretty much only things that are relevant to Jack/Torchwood.

13) Worked a little more on the Star Destroyer


SleepyAlex is sleepy.

The Wonderful Weekend Part 2: The Reckoning

Notice: This post is chronologically out of place. It is for 3/28/08. There are other updates below you might have missed.

1) Woke up at 11. No alarm. Alex was in the bathroom. It was just like the old days.

2) Since it was so late we skipped breakfast entirely and went straight to lunch at Potbellies. This is also just like we would go to Potbellies every Sunday before we went grocery shopping when it was also my first meal of the day.

3) So remember how I bought a Lego Star Destroyer on sale a couple weeks ago? Well I had been holding off on putting it together just in case Alex was interested in helping.
First we took all the pieces out of the box and put them on my kitchen table.


It didn't leave us a lot of room to work. So we spent some time organizing the bags of pieces and redistributing them to a couple boxes so we could actually use the table to build the Star Destroyer. We worked for about four hours and each built one of these triangles:

It may not seem like a lot, but there's a lot of detail work around the edge. Then we combined the triangles into one super triangle.

At that point we stopped because this had taken up most of our afternoon and we still had to get to Stephanie and Paul's for dinner and I hadn't packed yet.

4) While we were working Alex explained the physics lab he's chosen to work in for his degree. They make lasers. But not just any laser, super cool atomic lasers. Much better than string theory or particle physics in my opinion.

5) Tiffany picked us and the Star Destroyer parts up and we drove over to Paul and Stehpanie's place. We got a little lost along the way. Well not lost, just confused. It was fine though because I was with Tiffany and Alex.

6) Seeing Stephanie. It had been a little while since I last saw her and it was good to see her smiling face again.

7) Stephanie presented me with a whole bag of black jelly beans (the best kind of jelly beans.) However I had to stand in a different room while eating them because no one else understands how wonderful they are.

8) Dana Kroop was already there at Stephanie's house and as always she was wonderful and hilarious.

9) We all sat down in the kitchen and had some grapes and began chatting while Stephanie starting working on dinner. Paul arrived not too long after and then there was garlic bread. Mmm....

10) I knocked a (precariously placed) glass full of candycanes off of a ledge and amazingly the only thing that shattered was candycanes. That's good because I've already broken one of Stephanie's glasses and I still feel bad about that one.

11) Then came dinner. A big heap of delicious in the form of lasagna. There was also wine. And laughter and conversation. The higlight for me was trying to describe Quizzlenarf, this game I invented with two other kids from my street back in elementary school. It's a slightly complicated game and explaining it involves using the word Quizzlenarf quite a few times and then everyone kept insisting I use it as different parts of speech and multiple times per sentence and I was a little tipsy and it was all very hilarious but I don't think anyone understands the game any better than when I started.

12) Then we introduced Dana and Tiffany to the brilliance that is WarioWare. I always forget how strange that game must seem to anyone seeing it for the first time. Having playied it so much it all seems perfectly logical to me.Put dentures in that old woman's mouth? Sure! Shave that man's moustache? Why not! Hold the wiimote on the end of my nose like an elephant's trunk? Of course!

13) Then we had pie!!! Delicious strawberry pie that Stephanie made to be precise.

14) After Dana and Tiffany left Alex and I played a number of smash brothers matches according to Stephanie's instructions. One of us was always Bowser and Bowser always won. Some may claim that there were a few matches where Bowser did not win, but I would say to them, "that is heresy and I will not tolerate it."

This was a tuesday apparenttly

1) This is almost too awesome for words. This giant yellow castle is accurate recreation of this classic lego set except blown up 6x. Here are more pictures if you want.

2) You may have seen this in the sidebar on my blog already, but Adam (finally) started a blog! This is good, because his e-mail updates were infrequent and I like hearing from Adam.

3) Interview with our 3rd senior producer candidate. Of course I now know that he did not get the offer, it went to the last minute secret candidate, but at the time it was nice to feel that much closer to having this position filled.

4) After the interview Renee and I used the white board in the office to compare the pros and cons of the two finalists. We so rarely use the white board, it's nice to see it used.

5) Leaving after 8 hours, because that's how long I'm paid to work.

6) Walking home just as fast as the 171 would have gotten me there. I can't take the bus when it's so nice out.

7) Having leftovers for dinner

8) 2 episodes of 30 rock, "Black Tie" and "Up all Night" Highlights:
Liz: You've already made up your mind about this, haven't you?
Jenna: Oh, you're right, Liz! I should go for it!
Liz: You're not even listening, are you? Poop. Monkey butt.
Jenna: No, you're a good friend and thank you.

Liz: [on the phone] Hi my name is Liz Lemon and I received flowers from your shop tonight and I can't tell who they're from. [pause] No, no, I did read the card but it's not signed.... no, I'm not with so many men that it's impossible for me to guess...well, that is just...oh, well you know what, I found the card, actually, they're from your mom, so tell your gay mom I said thanks!
[hangs up]
9) Put together the Gas Station from the Town Plan set. It's got a car wash which I like. I may use it for NNN. One of the stories I had thought up for it way back when was about a valet who would take people's car for a joyride, but just a joyride to the carwash, because he really likes going through the car wash. But I don't know if that's funny enough for NNN.

10) Had yogurt essentially for the first time. I mean I've had yogurt on a few occasions in the past, but this was the first time I set out to have yogurt. I decided I need to expand my food horizons. There are an alarming number of foods I haven't even thought of trying. This yogurt was a Dannon fruit on the bottom - strawberry flavor. It was rather good. I see more yogurt in my future.

11) Giggling with delight. What could cause me to giggle so? Stephanie knows, for she too giggled in such a manner. It may involve two people we know and the perfection of their (at the time) theoretical relationship.

12) Put together the City Hall part of the Town plan set. It's a pretty cool building, the sole purpose of which seems to be to be weddings. The set came with your typical bride and groom, but that's much too normative for my apartment.

So I have replaced them with two gay dragons getting married.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hey, this is my birthday week

1) In the morning I had to walk timecards across the midway to drop them off. Because the weather was nice this was actually enjoyable. During the winter Renee would usually drive them over because walking across the midway in the middle of winter is a silly thing to do. There is nothing between you and the wind there.

2) Ben found the solution to a problem with the camera/firestore. Saved me the trouble of even having to investigate it.

3) I got a package at work - a birthday present from my parents. Nothing makes my day like getting a big box of Legos. I was thinking about getting this set, but they saved me the trouble and the money. It is really cool.

4) Overall a pretty productive day at work.

5) There was natural light in my apartment while I did dishes and cooked. I am very glad that spring is (more or less) here. Winter can just be a drag sometimes.

6) I made skillet lasagna, but I had forgotten to get tomato paste. However, I found out that (at least in this instance) ketchup is a perfect substitue for tomato paste. It worked so well, when I was eating I forgot all about the substituion. Also made the maple carrots of deliciousness.

7) Two episodes of 30 rock: "The Rural Juror" and "The Head and The Hair" Highlights:
Jack: You must know Arsenio.
Tracy: Hall or Billingham?
Jack: You know someone named Arsenio Billingham?
Tracy: No.

Dr. Spaceman: [looking at an X-ray] Where are my car keys?
[Jack and Tracy enter his office.]
Dr. Spaceman: Jack! Tracy! What can I do for you?
Jack: We have a product we want you to give a medical endorsement to.
Dr. Spaceman: [excitedly] I'll do it! What is it?
Jack: It's called the Tracy Jordan Meat Machine. It's a dual-press grill.
Dr. Spaceman: Say no more. If it's giving people meat, then I'm on board. I've always said humans need more animal blood. It keeps their spine straight.
Jack: We appreciate it, Leo.
Dr. Spaceman: You boys need anything while you're here? [Spaceman is holding bottles of pills] Some reds? Some yellows? Just got some purples in from Peru.
Tracy: No, I'm good.
Jack: It would be rude not to take one or two.
Jack: When I was your age, I was putting myself through college in Boston paddling swan boats for the tourists.
Kenneth: Is that a euphemism for some kind of sex worker?

The part where Gray and Liz yell in unison at the convenience store clerk and then look at each other totally in love.

8)Put together the coolest part of the Town Plan set: the movie theater. My parents also sent me a set of sticker letters so I could change the marquee to say County since they look very similar. I also changed the featured movie.


The movie posters are really cool, especially this one:


9) Stephanie called and we talked for a while. I don't remember what about all I remember is <3

10) Time to think. I think this was a night I had to go back to the office and the time to think was as I was walking back. I don't remember what I was thinking about but as I've said before there's a 50% chance it involved Legos.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Hey look! An update!

1) Sleeping in, because it was, you know, the weekend. I slept until 11 or 12 I think. Hard to remember though, this was almost a month ago. And yes, you can expect that to be a common theme through out these upcoming blog posts.

2) Sam's new (then) Torchwood Fic. I think that was the one about Nicholas?

3) Putting together the Indiana Jones set. It's a very play oriented set. Lots of traps/dangers. Also a cool little seaplane.

4) Saw this awesome jester monster thanks to the Brothers Brick.

5) Went for a decently long bike ride. Went not quite to the aquarium, but still pretty far. A woman who passed me on a bike informed me that if should raise my bike seat up. I did some observations of my knees and the knees of everyone else riding a bike on the lake shore path and realized how very right she is.

6) Had some leftover cheese and some leftover chips, so I made nachos. Thankfully the proportions were perfect and the batch of nachos eliminated both the cheese and chips. Otherwise I might have spiraled into a dangerous (although delicious) cycle.

7) Watche an episode of Freakazoid. I should really have at least written the title of the episode down, so I could make some informed comments on it. Oh well.

8) Refreshing shower

9) An unexpected nap, which is in some ways, the best kind. One minute I'm near my bed, the next it's an hour later. Mmm... naps.

10) It was so warm today I could wear shorts outside! I think that was the first time that happened this year.

11) Went to the grocery store and bought a lot of stuff. Including some frozen food, which I've realized is a good compromise between eating out and making dinner.

12) Talking to mom and dad

13) Took advantage of the frozen food and had chicken nuggets and peas for dinner.

14) Watched two episodes of 30 rock with dinner. "The Break Up" and "The Baby Show" Highlights:
[Man walks up to Liz at the bar]
Gentleman:Excuse me, is this seat taken?
Liz: [Sighs] Really dude? I got to move my coat? There are like 4 empty seats over there - can't you just be cool?
[Man leaves]
Jenna: That guy wanted to buy you a drink!
Liz: Really? But I already have a drink. Do you think he'd buy me mozzarella sticks?
Cerie: I guess but we both want to have babies while it's still cool. I already have all the names picked out. If it's a girl, Bookcase or Sandstorm or maybe Hat, but that's more of a boys name.

Tracy: This is untoward! This is not "toward!"

And of course the part where Liz accidentally steals a baby.

15) Played some Smash

Saturday, April 5, 2008

An Urban Wilderness

1) These cool lego animations featuring unusual creatures.

2) Had a nice, relaxed, long morning. I built this skeleton man using only pieces from this set. Like many of my creations using this type of limit, he is a bit strange looking. I will probably disassemble him relatively soon. He's taking up valuable skeleton parts and most of my skeleton horses.


Tiffany posted a great entry to her livejournal about the refrigerators in her life. I think it's a really nice piece of creative non-fiction.

Jenny posted some pictures of Isaiah. My favorite is this one of him helping her make banana muffins.


3) Took a shower which helped me get out of my apartment.

4) Going downtown for the first time in a long time. I spend way too much time in Hyde Park.

5) Got some art supplies for Renee's birthday present. Oh and when I say art supplies I mean a 500 variety pack of googly eyes.

As you can see it is a very comprehensive set of googly eyes. I also got another one of those plastic sorting containers to better sort some of my legos.

6) Then I was hungry and needed to go to the bathroom and the first place with a public bathroom that came to mind was the mall that has the Lego Store in it. While I was there it seemed silly not to also go to the Lego Store, so I did and I bought a cool little whale, a box of regular bricks, and this Indiana Jones set that I've been trying to get since I first saw it existed. Then I went up to the food court and got potbellies for lunch.

7) Then I went on a short bike ride with Tiffany. We rode down to the Japanese garden and walked around there. Along the way we encountered many superfluous paths. The Japanese garden is pretty nice, although nothing was quite out of the ground yet. We did see a couple ducks though.

8) Then we went back to my apartment and Krista came over and we watched most of the original Star Wars. And when I say original, I mean before Lucas made all those changes in the nineties and then again in the naughties. It was awesome, although I did nod off for a little bit. We also had dinner in the form of cinnamon chicken and chips and guacamole. Delicious!

9) Met up with with Anat and her roommate Lizzie at the 6 stop. We showed each other our masks for the party and then headed downtown. We got off and began walking to where we were supposed to rendezvous with our guide. We walked through the south loop and and I saw a lot of cool things I had never seen before, like a converted train station with a cool clock tower. We turned south on a street starting with W (I forget which) and walked along it. As we walked the street progressed from a normal downtown street, to a considerably more potholed street to gravel to a dirt road through a construction site. This happened in the span of just a few blocks, it was very surreal, especially since we were still north of Roosevelt at this point. We stopped at the construction site by some construction vehicles while we waited for our guide.

This is the view South from our stopping point. The plastic sheeting on the side of this building was gently rippling in the cool evening breeze.

This is the view North.

Here's are some silhouettes of the construction vehicles.

The bridge is Roosevelt.

Can you find Anat in this picture?

Maybe 15 minutes later we rendezvoused with our guide and his companions and continued our journey to "The Brownlands."

10) We passed under the Roosevelt bridge and entered a grassland. It was so bizarre to see this completely undeveloped land in the midst of Chicago. There was a train depot to the west and throughout the party the rumblings and wailings of the trains provided a kind of subdued sorrowful mechanical soundtrack.

We walked along a dirt path for maybe 5 minutes until we reached the campfire.

Oh yeah of course everyone was wearing masks of all sorts. You've already seen mine. Here's Anat's. (Sorry that you can't see much in any of these pictures, using a flash felt wrong.)

And the most amazing mask was definitely Drew's elephant mask with a working trunk.

Theo was there and for ended up in a few of my pictures



Ben Kolak was also there, videotaping it and looking like a GhostBuster (to me at least)

Off in the field there was a guy from circus doing fire poi.


All of this was before the birthday girl(s) showed up. You see this was a surprise party. As the guest(s) of honor approached David Bashwinner (who I met at Ben Kolak's "K-Town Moonbase" on Tuesday") pounded the drum and led the tribal chorus in chanting. Krista was really into it.

Here's the video documenting Deniz's arrival.

11) There was a really awesome cake


12) Here are the rest of my pictures from the party











13) I gave Deniz her legoself and she was really excited about it. She said it was one of the coolest things she'd ever gotten.

14) There was this gorgeous guy Krista and I spent a fair amount of time admiring. We talked with him as well, but only for a little bit, it was not as rewarding

15) I did have entertaining conversations with Theo and David Bashwinner ("Bash") though. Theo and I discussed whiskey drinking cyborg hunters in a strange post-apocalyptic future called "Denver: A New Hope." Bash and I talked about his research in how music is processed by the brain and related issues.

16) I also shot a short movie. Bash provided the score and Drew was the lead actor. Krista and others were supporting actors. I call it "Behold! The Mighty Elephant."

17) All in all it was a perfectly wonderful day and I came home with clothes smelling of campfire.