Friday, July 31, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Peaches Smeaches!

I mean, I enjoy a good peach anyday, but the fuzzy skin can be unpleasant/problematic, so I prefer nectarines. Apparently no one else agrees. Either way now is the time to eat them! They are so ripe and so delicious.

I finally decided to install the window AC unit that came w/ my apartment in my bedroom this weekend. Last night it was getting hot and humid and I was animating (aka sitting directly under bright lights for a long time) so I fired it up and was pleased with the results. My bedroom was soon a cool sanctuary in the middle of a stifling crypt.

But yes, I still animating, so no regular update this week, but soon there will be a new video!

Friday, July 10, 2009

2 weeks in 1

1) I finished the Mysterious Benedict Society, which Jenny gave to me when we were at the shore. It was a fun adventure, and while all the characters had their moments, far and away the best was Kate. Or should I say The Great Kate Weather Machine as she likes to be called. This girl has done some amazing things. She runs everywhere at full tilt and has a bucket full of tools and gadgets that she always carries around with her. She tied someones shoelaces together with her toes. She has crawled through more drainpipes/ventilation ducts/ceiling panels than I can count. She has fought, swam and lassoed her into my heart. On an unrelated note this book introduced me to a great portmanteau - cactopus.

2) I realized recently that I carry a lot of stress in my hands. I used to have a stress ball in my backpack at all times so I could squeeze it during class or meetings and what not. But it's been a long time since I carried one around with me like that, but I was thinking I should have one at work. In fact I was pretty much craving one last week so I went to the book store to see what they had and found this Smush Bush Stress Doll in the 50% off bin. He's got a good consistency, not too squishy, but not too hard and the shape is interesting at least.

3) Karan was in town last week for a wedding. On Thursday night he crashed at my place. We took hte train up from HP together and then went out for dinner (at a goo Moroccan place just up the street from me) and drinks with some of his friends. We also watched an episode of True Blood together (we'd done this many times over the internet, but never in person before).


4) I finally finished watching through Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And then proceeded to start on the comics. I't been 2 years since I watched through the first 5 seasons, but I'd say that season 2 and 3 are definitely the best followed by 6. 4 and 5 run together for me and season 1 and 7 are clearly the weakest. I'm still deciding if I want to buy all the seasons on DVD, bu with seasons 1-3 available for free on hulu there's not a lot of incentive.

5) Watched a lot of Avatar season 2 (the episodes are really short). In summary, Azula is crazy, Zuko is emo, Toph shows promise and Sokka is funny.

6) Last weekend I drove out to the Indiana Dunes for a going away party for Mark (the guy who got a job at Legoland CA). He and his partner have a house on several acres of beautifully landscaped property. Their backyard leads into a forest, the beach is only a few minutes away, and their house resembled my dream-house (ranch style, basement full of legos - it was just missing a patio and pool).
The party was a lot of fun, there was a campfire:

Later there were fireworks and a midnight trip to the beach. And they had more than a dozen bunkbeds set up in the basement so no one had to drive home on Saturday night. Then there was french toast and sausage and OJ the next morning. Combine that with the never ending baskets of rolled up hand towels in the bathroom and it really felt like a hotel. Certainly the most full-service party I've ever been to. Gives me ideas for a weekend long murder mystery party...

7) Despite spending a good chunk of it outside of the city, it was a productive weekend. I got a flat tire on my bike fixed, bought a few things at the Gap (while my bike was being fixed) and put a 25% off coupon to good use at The Container Store. I was then able to reorganzie my legos such that I finally got the last of them out of my room (not counting hte Star Wars ships under my bed). So now all my sorted pieces are contained in one room. Huzzah!

8) Dave Massant was in town again. He came over for dinner (along with Tiffany, Krista and Seth) on Monday night. We had Sweet Potato wedges and Greek Tacos. We also watched a couple episodes of Avatar. Then on Tuesday night there was a big game night at Paul and Stephanie's. Delicious cheese and San Gria and I was trounced at Seitlers as usual.

9) On Wednesday I had dinner at Indian Buffet down the street ( a different one than the one I've been to with Stephanie) with Claire Gilbert (who has been in Spain for the past year). We talked about making videos and poetry as well as the best and worst of internet communities (e.g. lego conventions and MMORPG addicts). Then we went to my place and hung out for a little bit and she recorded a voice for an upcoming NNN video.

10) On Thursday after work I went to a bar on campus to have drinks with my Communications colleagues. Aside from the obligatory CMIG people I talked with the new News Office Director (Jeremy) and a Graphic Designer from Pubs/Creative Communications/whatever they're calling themselves now (Rich). Afterwards John Eckroth gave Tiffany, Rich, and I a ride back to the Northside. Traffic was heinous, so it wasn't necessarily faster than the CTA would have been, but it was certainly more social. Joh nadn Rich and I ended up having dinner at the Chipotle on my block before I bid them adieu. I went home wathced an episode on Avatar adn then turned in for the night. The thing I haven't metnioned in here is than my allergies have been having their way with me all week. I stayed home from work 1.5 days this week and have been sleeping a lot and still feeling tired. Maybe I'll take a nap right now...

The poll is done, mayonnaise is clearly the worst. Oh yeah, I realized that I stopped my old pratice of sharing links to the interesting articles/videos I watched here. That's because I've moved to doing this primarily through FaceBook. Here are some from the last few weeks.

50 Freakiest Animals
Acapella Tribute to John Williams
40 Inspirations speeches in 2 minutes
Michael Jackson is being plastinated
Jimmy Carter on Religion and Gender Equality

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A new poll

Inspired by a conversation with Tiffany, here are some things I find disgusting. Do you agree? Note: Do not even try to differentiate between types of olives. I have seen an olive bar and know what it truly is - a cornucopia of bad decisions.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pona!

My posting habits have been a bit erratic recently but here's some wonderful things that have happened in the last month. Chronology is rough.

1) Beat Okami - Stephanie and I started this game over a year ago. It was long and there were some big gaps in our playing through, but we finally defeated the finally boss. It was a good ride. The ending was satisfying I guess, but it's not one of those games where the ending really matters - because the whole thing was so delightful and the story was convoluted by the end anyway.

2) To mark the end of the school year we had a CMIG BBQ. It went really well, a lot of students showed up, as well as some people from the news office. There was lots of tasty food and we got to hang out in our little yard (one of the coolest things about our office). The weather was threatening rain all day, but it brightened up just in time. A nice way to get hte summer in gear.

3) Dana's farewell party was fun but sad. I gave her a little lego Dana to keep her company in her travels. There was pizza and delicious desserts.

4) Animating the soccer game for Out of Bonds was a lot of fun. I suppose I should give a behind the scenes thing to show you all the cool details and tell you the tricks I used. I am feeling lazy right now, but if enough people ask for it I'll put something together.

5) Hanging out with Robert at Guthrie's tavern. This was not a date, though it may sound like one. Guthrie's is a local bar/tavern that has a cabinet overflowing with board games. I introduced Robert to Carcassonne and then we spent the rest of the evening drinking woodchuck cider (on tap!), eating Pockets (they deliver!) and asking questions from this deck of cards from a board game called psychology or something. A few sets of questions was psych trivia (what animals do young girls dream of vs. young boys? what foods should you eat if you want to dream? what colors do sociopaths like? etc.), another set was about rorscach blots (unfortunately the blots themselves were missing so we couldn't do this part), and then the ones we ended up spending the most time with were personal questions (on a scale of 1 to 10 how much to you believe in God? which player do you think would make a better companion on a long space flight? how cautious are you? etc.) which acted as pretty convenient springboards for 'get to know you' converstaions. It was a lot of fun and seemed like a first date, though, as I've previously stated, was not a date.

6) I enjoyed this article about made-up languages. I may start using the word pona - it's fun to say. Pona!

This is roughly where Brickworld happened. See posts below.

7) Then I spent roughly a week at the beach with my family.

A lot of this time was spent playing in the sand with Isaiah

The way we played horseshoes was we stuck them all in the sand, ran around them in a circle and them "crash!"ed down on them. Repeat.

Isaiah got knocked over by a couple waves early in the week and after that point he would only go in if someone was carrying him. He seemed to enjoy the waves this way.

One day we went to the zoo

There were a lot of these fat birds running around free

There were also flamingos

Isaiah was content to sit in his stroller for about half of the zoo. Then he got out and ran as fast as he could from animal to animal, saying "excuse me, excuse me!" to all the people in his way as he ran past. The second half of the zoo went much faster. We also spent some time at the boardwalk where there was delicious soft-serve ice-cream and a small amusement park.

Where Isaiah went on his first ride.

Isaiah and I build this owl together. I made a general owl base and then he improved on it by giving it green and "chartreuse" hair, an orange shirt, and red socks (as he put it).

It was a great week or sleeping, eating, playing and relaxing. There were lots of things that happened that didn't involve Isaiah, but why would you want to hear about them. :) I'll leave you with my favorite picture from the week.


8) Got back in the swing of things. Had lovely dinners with Paul and Stephanie and Krista, Tiffany and Seth. Continued season 4 of the Wire, saw the last episode of Pushing Daisies :( and watched a disc of Buffy and started the second season of Avatar. Also went to see fireworks w/ Paul and Stephanie on 3rd of July (it's a Chicago thing). On the 4th I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screen (relatively) with Tiffany and Krista and then we had brunch at Julius Meinl (delightful!) and then we put together a lego drawbridge set while watching Avatar at my house. If it hadn't been raining I might have done something outside.

9) Had a couple fun off-site meetings for work this week. It was also a short, slow week, perfect for readjusting after vacation, though I must admit I was still very much in a vacation mind set this week.

10) I made not one, but two trips to the lego store this week. The first one, I was dissapointed to find that all the sets I wanted to buy were out of stock, so I picked up Propeller Power - one of the sets designed by the designer I met at Brickworld. I put together the plane and then took that apart and put together the helicopter, then I took that apart and built this collection of alternate models.

I'm proudest of the poodle and the spaceship.


I returned to the store on thursday after I discovered that they have an order in-store service that lets you order anything that's available online and get it delivered with free shipping! So I put together an order for all the sets I want (well not all the sets, but many of them), got the loyalty stamps (and a $10 gift card) since I did it through the store, will get this golden minifig (keychain) since it was online, and I didn't have to lug them all home on the red line! Awesome!
I also built this prison.