jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Last week my boss Clare was in town (she's normally in London), and Wednesday turned out to be Team Outing Day. Dim sum at Kirin downtown (fancy, tasty, not the best dim sum I've had but quite good), followed by an escape room at which we did not embarrass ourselves even though we didn't make it out, followed by drinks.

That turned out to be Too Much Social for me, so instead of going to a stranger-ful munch like I'd planned I just went home. Unquestionably the right decision, even if I regret having had to miss meeting new people.

Meanwhile, on Friday I got a gum graft.

cut for potential squick )

On Sunday I caught what will probably be my only VIFF movie of the year, Bad Genius. It's a Thai film about cheating on exams, and it was fun and tense and enjoyable to watch. I'm not super fond of the redemptionist ending but I'm not sure what sort of ending I would have preferred, so there's that.

I miss complex movies. This one wasn't super complex but it kept me entertained and kept me thinking. Maybe I'll try to make it out to another VIFF movie tomorrow, or more likely Thursday.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
This A Softer World comic hits uncomfortably close to home, and would have reduced me to tears and speechlessness about five years ago.

Let's see.

Foot: still sore, still a little swollen. Going back to icing it today.

Viola: Went to pick it up on Monday. I am much less of a fan of the colour than I'd hoped: it's a lot flatter than anticipated, and it makes it look... cheap. More importantly, there was an inch-long crack next to the tailpiece. Looked like someone had dropped the package on its end and hit the tailpiece just right. So it's going back to the factory. I'll call the store today and see if I can talk to a human being and cancel the dye job, just get a glossy-black hybrid.

On the bright side, they loaned me the standard carbon-fibre viola they had in stock, and it sounds roughly a zillion times better than the $200 rental I had before. So there's that.

Writing: Been plinking away at this %&$ story. It looks like I'm going to have to do something I've never done before: write a scene or three from a different character's perspective so I can figure out what happens, even though I know for a fact I'm not going to use those scenes. Oh well. Going out to sit in a coffeeshop & write with Steph this evening, which will be pleasant.

Role-playing: reached a stopping point in the Lords of Gossamer & Shadow game last week. I made a rookie-GM mistake in the Big Fight Scene and had an NPC doing a lot of the actual fighting but apart from that it went reasonably well. We're now taking a break to play 13th Age, which appears to be "D&D with fewer rules and more cool storytelling tools."

There's also been some friction with the perennially difficult player, which might warrant its own post later. Or maybe not.

Boardgames: Forgot to mention that I spent much of last weekend at another boardgame convention thing. This one's run by a local wargame club, but they have a small contingent of 18xx players. It was decent: got in three games, and enjoyed the company alright. They have regular meetings one Friday a month, to which I may go.

I leave for the Gathering (ten-day gaming convention in Niagara) in eight and a half days. Based on the cost breakdown and the general state of finances this is probably a mild error in judgement, but it'll be fun.

Speaking of money, I'm also sorting through taxes, which are slightly complicated this year. That's why we pay Chris-the-accountant the small-to-medium bucks. On the "bright" side we're likely to get a small-to-medium refund depending on how some things get classified.

Cats: Are adorable. Chaos is a lot more mobile, and also a lot less steady on his feet than he wants to be, especially when jumping. But he *is* jumping, so that's a good sign. Mostly they both do a lot of sleeping, as is appropriate for elder kittens.

Overall things are good, I think.
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
Cripes, I'm tired. And it's only seven PM. This does Not Bode Well.

Boardgaming with folk back in Arlington was great fun, as usual. Didn't get to play anything terribly heavy or involved, but got in a bunch of good mid-weight games. I'd invited a couple of friends from work along, people who've never done much gaming (I think one had played Ticket To Ride), and they took to it like the proverbial Anatidae sp. to water, which was also gratifying. I hope they'll keep going.

Sunday I sat around with Dad and watched a bunch of the special features on the Hobbit DVD. Almost makes me want to watch the movie.

Sunday night I ran a RAM test on the new memory sticks I'd picked up, since I had a sneaking suspicion they're the reason things keep randomly crashing on me. Seems to be the case. Grr. Will send them back this week.

Monday morning I woke up far too early and drove out to National. Sideswiped a pole in a gas station parking lot in the process, so I'm likely to be out a lot of money to the rental car company getting that fixed. I'd declined the rental coverage on the grounds that my USAA credit card covers it; I'll see whether or not they'll actually cover anything. I have a sneaking suspicion that they won't. Oh well. It's just money.

The day slowly improved after that (hard to get much worse, though I'm sure it could have been managed). Had an empty seat next to me on the BOS-SEA flight. Visited a very large thrift store in Seattle with [personal profile] uilos and picked up a few nice shirts. Then met up with Ederlyn at the University Bookstore, to hear Scott Lynch answer questions. He MAY have also read from something (hilarious) that isn't going to be out until sometime next year. Good times.

Then we drove home in what [personal profile] uilos described as a brick cinder block with a BMW logo on it (she'd been 'upgraded' at the rental agency), and unloaded an awful lot of groceries, and I slept for not quite long enough because between the little cat and my internal clock I am not allowed to sleep past seven.

And as of today the immigration medical stuff is done, and Xmas shopping is begun, and I am exhausted. I want to stay up until at least nine, preferably ten, so I can get my system back on West Coast time. Thankfully Chaos is not snoring in his box, because few things are more soporific than a snoring adorable cat.
jazzfish: an evil-looking man in a purple hood (Lord Fomax)
Not awesome: checking your account balance online and finding two charges you don't recognise (I don't use Skype, and I think I bought something through Plimus once years ago, probably Spectromancer).

Not awesome: leaving for Origins in five days without an ATM card, because I had to cancel this one and the new one might get here on Wednesday if I'm lucky.

Awesome: USAA's customer service, who basically said "Well, that sucks. Looks like it's just your debit card, so at least you don't have to close the checking account. Go get some cash out of an ATM and call us back to cancel the card, and we'll kill those pending charges and start a fraud investigation."

At least it's Friday.

bad food

Aug. 26th, 2008 10:18 am
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
omg New Zelazny coming next February. (via Mr Neil) This looks to be tight and twisty and exciting, if lacking in fantastical elements.

The Velveeta Rabbit, because, as Dr [livejournal.com profile] rivka says, shared pain is lessened.

The canonical list of Things I Miss About Blacksburg (Spiel, Zeppoli's, mountains) now has another item, one that should have been on there the whole time: restaurant prices.

I'm in that delightful position where I can afford to, as [livejournal.com profile] uilos said, not sweat the small stuff. So if I decide, at four in the afternoon, that I really need something to eat because all I've had today has been tea of varying quality, a cinnamon scone, a bad egg and cheese biscuit, a banana, and a very small "bowl" of some kind of honeyish Chex, I can go get something to eat. And if the apartment guys are finally (finally) hauling a new stove up the walk, a stove that's clearly destined to replace the one that's been in the apartment since the place was built (based on the paint behind it I'm pretty sure this isn't an exaggeration-- and these apartments date from the late sixties), I can go out somewhere else and get something to eat, so as not to be in their way. And if I end up having bad Italian, it doesn't, in the larger scheme of things, matter that I just paid $15 for the privilege of crossing a restaurant off my list of potential places to eat.

The thing about Blacksburg, though: that $15? Would have nearly covered having dinner with someone else to share the pain.

The stove is the stove that used to be in my old apartment (as evidenced by the trail of lint leading across the grass in front of my old lawn). Haven't tested the oven part yet; burners and lights and clock work okay.

Oddities in my feeding schedule yesterday can be explained by having gotten on an airplane leaving Seattle at quarter of midnight. Further details of northwestern Washington excursions (now with 50% more fruit flies!) will be forthcoming.


Mar. 13th, 2007 03:06 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I've been keeping a cashflow spreadsheet for the past several months, in an effort to track and curtail spending. It's worked astoundingly well for tracking purposes. I can now say with absolute certainty that most of the time I do, in fact, spend more money on restaurant food than on books. The 'curtailing' part has been kind of hit-or-miss. I've definitely reduced spending on 'fun' items but haven't managed to get it down to a level I'm happy with. (Yes, that's a well-defined point.)

So, a public bribe. If I can keep the 'fun' part of my cashflow at a point with which I'm happy for the month of March, I get one of these. Probably the nice dark green one, or maybe the celadon. (Annoyingly enough Beehouse doesn't seem to make teapots in 32-oz size, which would be perfect for making four cups. Guess I'll have to settle for a personal teapot.)


jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Tucker McKinnon


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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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