Thursday, January 29, 2009

Double Post

This week was so full of wonderfulness, I can't possibly whittle it down to 10, so there are 20 things instead.

1) It's always exciting when the first pictures of upcoming lego sets come out. This week the Canadian Toy & Hobby Fair led to a whole bunch of pics. I am particularly excited about the giant rock monster and the cool aliens in the Space Police III sets.

2) Tiffany and Seth made dinner at Krista's house. It was my first time having pork nuggets, they were tasty. We watched maybe the last third of the Jacksons TV movie. There was a giraffe at one point.

3) I got to make a flowchart for our office this week. It was kind of fun. I like flowcharts. You can organize things with shapes and colors and make legends, very satisfying.

4) I finally went to the optometrist, and a little over an hour later I walked out with my first pair of glasses. While I was jumpy about the eyedrops and the glaucoma test, it was all in all a really pleasant experience. The people at Pearle Vision were really friendly and helpful. I had a lot of fun with the optometrist. They helped me find a pair of glasses that look good on me and also come with magnet-on sunglasses. Very cool.

At first I didn't think the glasses were making that big of a difference. Yeah, I could see all the fibers in the towels hanging in my bathroom and see things distant things with a clarity I didn't think was possible, but how much would that change my day to day life, which mostly involves staring at a computer screen, or things that are even closer to my face? However after only a few days I had gotten so used to seeing clearly (though not yet used to putting my glasses on first thing every morning) that after stumbling around my apartment for a while wondering why the blurriness of sleep hadn't yet dissapated, or today when I realized I that until now I had been subconciously leaning in absurdly close to my computer screen to be able to view it clearly, I would wonder how I used to live everday like that. I am sitting back in my chair and marvelling at my ability to read 12 point font on a screen that is a yard away.

5) It was never a conscious decision, but I've known for a while that I subconciously modelled Phil and Sherry after Paul and Stephanie to a certain extent. When I was at their house for dinner this week though, I was reminded of the couple's similarity. I don't remember what led to it, but Stephanie said of Paul, "He got a memory like a goldfish." Paul made goldfish faces at her and then said "I even forget that i'm a goldfish." Which was delightful and humorous in it's own right, but it also reminded me of Phil's line in episode 2: "Yesterday? You expect me to remember something I did yesterday? I don't even remember what we're talking about."

6) Then we had some delicious stirfry and watched beaucoup Dr. Who.

7) The communications department had a joint meeting/retreat thing with the part of Alumni Relations and Development that is the most similar. The word synergy was only used once, but that the essence of the whole thing. It was nice to put some names and faces to a bunch of people who were only e-mail addresses before, and I'm sure there will be other beneficial reprecussions down the line. There were great breakfast and lunch spreads, which was enough for me in the short term.

8) Built a set for NNN episode 1.


SVELT of course stands for Super Villain Education & Leadership Teachery. (I orignially had it as Super Villain Evaluation and Legislation Tribunal, but that is clunky and obtuse.) The wall with the logo took the most time to figure out. I started by desigining the letters in Lego Digital Designer.

This made it easy to try out different variations quickly, since I could chage the color of any brick with a couple clicks. Then once I was satisfied I built it out of physical legos, using the computer screen as a guide. The technique I used to make the font is one I never would have thought up on my own. On this guide to lego fonts it is technique 4. it takes advantage of the 5:6 ratio of the horizontal and vertical sides of the standard lego brick. The trick to it is that the bricks are not all connected together, there are a bunch of pieces with varying orientations that are held in place by friction.

I was also proud of the furnishings. I really like the green chair - it looks coushy.

I was also very proud of myself for the stroke of genius of using that gigantic white flower piece as a frilly ottoman.


9) Getting cheered up by Dana and Lindsay when I was feeling like an idiot on Thursday.

10) Luckily, everything worked out fine that night, and thus Dave Nagel is my hero, having saved me from having to record a lecutre downtown from 6-7 (and then I would have had to go back to Hyde Park to return the equipment, so it would have been approaching 9 by the time I got home.)

11) I did however, meet Stephanie getting on the train downtown, which was unexpected and delightful. We proceded to my place for a fun night that involved LostWinds and Arrested Development and 30 rock and curried chicken.

12) Here's some info about the Lego train from last week's 30 Rock

13) We have a new governor! Also in the unequivicoally good news pertaining to the government catergory this week: Unfair pay bill passes.

14) After work on Friday I was exhausted from a long week, my eyes were tired of looking at things too, so I had a quick snack and then got into bed for what I assumed would be, at most, a 2 hour coma. I wome up a little over 4 hours later, confused and hungry. It was late for a full dinner, but I made do and then poked aroudn hte internet for a few hours before returning to sleep for another 7 hours. Delightful.

15) In my internet poking i discovered that Super Human Resources is finally being published. I met the artist at Brickworld last year, where I was impressed with with increidble Wild West creations. At that time he gave me a prieview booklet of hte first issue, but did not seem optomistic about it getting picked up in any way. So hooray for indie comic sucess! Krista is going to help me acquire it since she is well versed in the world of comic book stores.

16) Reminiscing about Brickworld / planning for this year.

17) On Saturday night, Stephanie, Paul, Tiffany, Seth, JJ, Dana and (eventually) Krista came over to eat Potato Flag and play video games. There was also a box of Sangria from Target (one box = 4 bottles of wine), some other bottles of wine & champagne, a pie of pudding and whipped cream and caramel made by Dana that was dubbed "Diabetes Pie" by Stephanie, oatmeal chocolate chip and cranberry cookies also by Dana, a plate of behemoth pastries provided by JJ.

Boom Blox was a hit and there was much yelling as the towers toppled (though not as much noise as when JJ uncorked a difficult bottle of wine). There were also forays into WarioWare and world of Goo and much frivolity. It was a wonderful night.

18) I spent this morning doing a little clean up, but most I just read Son of a Witch. I read probably the last third. The first time I read through it, I was a little let down. I enjoyed it, but it seemed bland in comparison with the dazzling colored Wicked. Now that I have read it through for a second time (and Wicked for a third) I recognize that Son of a Witch is by far a better book. Stephanie recognized this the first time around of course, and when I brought it up recently she said "Liir is a better character than Elphaba and his book is not constrained by the movie and the original book the way hers is."
I agree with that, but to elaborate, IMO Son of a Witch is better primarily because it's more focused than Wicked. In Wicked we are constantly switching viewpoints, and while the book is ostensibly all about Elphaba, it isn't until the last third or so that we actually see things from her persepcitve. The first few segements are told from the perspective of her parents, Glinda, Boq and Fiyero, and Elphaba weaves in and out. In Son of A Witch you are more or less with from beginning to end. There are a few parts in other perspectives, but those are only the parts where Liir is in a coma anyway.
Wicked also does a tremendous amount of world building. It deals with the ideas several different religions in Oz as well as political intrigue and many conversations about the origin of evil (or wickedness as the case may be) that feel a bit shoehorned in. The world-building is excellent, but there is quite a lot of it. Son of A Witch has the benefit of all of that being done already and doesn't have put much time into it.
I love both books dearly of course, and to be fair would still be more interested in making the animated movie of Wicked than of Son of A Witch, but it's clear which one is better.

19) Filling taxes is so easy. I did it in less than an hour today and now I've got $700 coming my way. Sweet! Granted, this was the easiest tax year I've had in a while as I only had one job in one state and no sneaky sources of income.

20) Got a phone call from Talya this afternoon and an e-mail from Adam earlier this week. Nice to hear from old friends.

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