I have to go running after work today. I've really had a tough time finding time and energy to run and exercise. The Dr. Seuss Race for Literacy is next Sunday, and knowing how I did in Carlsbad, I'm not sure if I can really turn in a respectable time at an 8K distance, unless I get back to running, now. I did get in two nice runs last week, but with everything going on, its been too easy to skip a few here and there, and once you start skipping, its hard to stop. But today I feel good, I should get a nice run in, no problem.
Sunday, April 27, 2003
Saturday, April 26, 2003
Perhaps Battle Royale>'s theme of the loss of innocence would appeal to the White Stripes, and so I now have a segue into mentioning that apparenlty the White Stripes were on Conan all week. I'm watching it tonight, and saw a rerun on Comedy Central, where they covered "Jolene," but missed most of it. Serves me right for going to bed after the late-night syndicated episode of King of the Hill.
Thursday, April 24, 2003
So with concerns about Bob's sanity, we were a bit nervous about the funeral. But there were no problems, and the focus was on Grandma, where it belonged. Simple service, but nice, and a few people spoke, and it was a decent enough way to mark the passing. It was a bit tough, I think funerals tend not to get easier, but rather magnify upon themselves. But hopefully this will be the last funeral for awhile. Michelle got butterflies to release after the service, because Grandma always liked butterflies. It was a nice effect. I'll miss her.
Bob was well-behaved, as I mentioned. The family was all there, except Trent couldn't make it. But Morgan did, which is nice. I like the cousins, though I rarely see them. We exchanged e-mail addresses, but I doubt we'll keep in touch, aside from a card around the holidays maybe. I know Mom would be perfectly happy never to see Bob again. Once the estate is settled up, there's no reason why we should, really; if he couldn't keep in touch with his own mother, why us? The cousins might keep in touch a bit better, though; Trent especially was good about visiting Grandma if he was in the area, at least.
Monday, April 21, 2003
Sunday, April 20, 2003
Saturday, April 19, 2003
Friday, April 18, 2003
Before going to Viejas, I went to the Boardwalk Arcade, played the new Simpsons Pinball Party game. I give it an unqualified thumbs up. Stern does good work, for the most part (even the Rollercoaster Tycoon pinball game is growing on me), and this is at least on par with Monopoly, and may even surpass it (I'll need to log some more playing time before deciding). I wish Aquarius Roll-A-Rena was still around, and they still had the old Simpsons pinball game, so I could compare the two. I remember enjoying it as a youngster. Rather Bart-centered, I think. The new one is more Homer-centered, as is to be expected. All the voices are there; my favorite is when you make the Kwik-E-Mart skill shot, Apu sometimes is heard to remark, "You must be a yogi of some kind," or "must you always be so good," the words I've always longed to hear Apu say of me. I realize pinball is waning in popularity these days, but I would think this game would get wide distribution due to its theme; I highly recommend you seek it out.
Been listening to the new White Stripes album. It's about as excellent as the reviews all suggest. I got Blender magazine in the mail (I somehow get Blender, Stuff, and Maxim--I swear I did not subscribe and have never paid for any of them, they just keep coming for some reason...padding subscription numbers for advertizers?) the other day, they were on the cover. I haven't read the article, I imagine it will disturb me, but it does make me feel at least slightly in tune with my generation. I always feel a little special glee in liking something hip for a change. I couldn't help but notice no one my age was waiting in line for Lyle Lovett tickets the other day. But I digress. It's a great album. I especially enjoyed the songs with Meg singing, "In the Cold, Cold Night" and "It's True That We Love One Another." And "Seven Nation Army," with its deep bass line, is great for driving home after a long day.
Thursday, April 17, 2003
In other news...work was crazy today. Between the normal crowds that the rain brings in, and the spring break crowd, the place was absolutely packed. It went fairly smooth, I thought, but we were a bit short-staffed. I had to leave at 2:00 to have a quick lunch and get to the cemetary, but I ended up not getting out of work until 2:45. I was able to make it to the cemetary right about on time, but had to skip lunch, so by dinner I was pretty starving. The day does go quickly when its busy, though, and except for parking, the constant thorn in our side, things went smoothly.
I got Final Fantasy: Origins for the Playstation today. Its a remastered edition of the original NES version of Final Fantasy, and Final Fantasy II, which had not been released in North America before. I just got it, and just played the first game for about an hour. It really takes me back, especially the music. It's great to get a nice nostalgia trip, and a full, involving game at the same time. I've been contemplating buying Activision Anthology, but past experience suggests the fun of revisiting Pitfall and Barnstorming won't be long-lasting. Final Fantasy, on the other hand, offers more than just nostalgia. I remember playing it for months before I finally beat it, back in my NES days (and I think that was with a strategy guide); I'm hoping it will last me as long this time around (schoolwork be damned).
Monday, April 14, 2003
Sunday, April 13, 2003
Saw the Folksmen on Mad TV tonight. They performed "Blood on the Coal." I saw them a few years ago in LA, when they performed for the Harry Smith Project. I loved it, even though I didn't really know who or what they were. Once I found out the Folksmen were the brainchild of Christopher Guest and company, I tried to find more about them, but all I could find was that they were on Saturday Night Live once, and I was unable to find a tape of that (hopefully that will be included in the A Mighty Wind DVD). So I am so excited to see the movie (opens Wednesday), and the thought of the soundtrack album and future DVD makes me giddy.
Saturday, April 12, 2003
I watched Bottle Rocket tonight. I'd never seen it before, which is disgraceful, I know. I didn't like it as much as their other movies, but it was entertaining. Interesting to see the roots of some of the techniques from Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. I thought Bottle Rocket might be more frenetic and experimental than the later films, but it seems like its success actually enabled them to be more assured in their unique techniques. I'm glad I finally got around to watching it.
I have had very little energy lately. I've only ran once this week, and of all my little projects, I've barely got anything done. Yet somehow I've managed to keep up with school, at least. I'm running in the Carlsbad 5000 tomorrow, so that should offer some objective guidance as to where I am now versus where I've been; if I'm just in a little funk or if I've fallen back in my fitness goals. I once hoped to break 20:00 at the race, but now I'm just hoping I can just hold my pace from my last race. I'll call Monday a rest day, and then I'll see about getting back on track. Maybe go to bed earlier? But who wants to do that?
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
I went to a sneak preview of The Good Thief tonight. I enjoy the later work of Nick Nolte, for the most part. The first half was a bit slow, but overall I enjoyed it. A great finale in Monte Carlo. I would love to play for high stakes in Monte Carlo some day. A classier type of joint, though the same greed greases the roulette wheels. For all the film's build-up to the dual heists, the real tension was in Nolte at the tables, and the film catured it admirably, right down to the pit's flop sweat. I enjoyed the movie, overall, but still would have a hard time recommending it. Too slow, didn't add anything to the genre, and the girl was a bit annoying.
I made it home just in time to catch the premiere of Lucky of FX, to continue the gambling theme. Not bad, the side of gambling I'm more familiar with, though rather cartoonish. But I'll tune in next week.
Skipped my run today. Haven't run since Thursday. The Carlsbad 5000 this weekend should be humbling. I had hoped to break 20:00, now I just hope I don't make an ass of myself. I'll run down to the gym tomorrow. And eat better, too (leftover pizza for lunch and dinner today).
Monday, April 07, 2003
I haven't been running or done any real amount of exercise since last Thursday. I was going to run down to the gym today after school, but I just couldn't get myself to go. My diet has been abysmal, as well. I just ordered a pizza for dinner tonight, Saturday I had an Ultimate Cheeseburger from Jack in the Box for lunch and a Steerburger from Boll Weevil for dinner. Last Friday, in fact, I had originally planned to stop by the farmer's market in La Mesa and get some fruit; I ended up skipping dinner and eating a Big Buford from Rally's around midnight. Tomorrow I'll get a run in, and I'll plan my food choices for tomorrow tonight, so it'll be easier to make the right decisions. These organic pasta and rice bowls are on sale at the store, the teriaki tofu one is really good; I'll probably have that tomorrow. Tonight, though, its two large pizzas from Papa John's. It was cheaper to get two large one-toppings than one large two-topping, so I had to split up my traditional mushroom and olive pizza, got one all mushrooms, one half-olives and half-anchovies, because I've never had anchovies on a pizza, I watched a Futurama episode involving anchovies last night, and I enjoy sardines, so I figured it was a good time to try them.
Sunday, April 06, 2003
"Bruce, Patrick Henry Bruce, was one of the early and most ardent Matisse pupils and soon he made little Matisses, but he was not happy. In explaining his unhappiness he told Gertrude Stein, they talk about the sorrows of great artists, the tragic unhappiness of great artists but after all they are great artists. A little artist has all the tragic unhappiness and the sorrows of a great artist and he is not a great artist."
Saturday, April 05, 2003
Been a someone eventful week, I should have been more vigilant in writing here, but I will try to touch on the most memorable moments. I saw Chubby Checker in concert yesterday. Chad had free tickets. His voice sounded very much like his recordings, and he looked pretty good for his age. Overall, it was a fun show. There was a very odd, very sad moment, however. During one particularly rousing number (I forget the song), a roadie ran up and began setting up what looked like two microphone stands. But as it took form, it actually looked like a nordic track, or some such piece of exercise equipment. Then Mr. Checker stepped up on it, grasped onto the twin poles, and begin to slide his feet around on the platform of the device, leading his hips to sweave in a twisting manner. The crowd seemed to enjoy the display, but I was just confused. It sure looked like Chubby was unable to dance without the aid of a mechanical device, which is not exactly an occasion to cheer. He'd been dancing before the contraption was brought out; if certain moves were beyond his ability to dance unassisted, he should rotate them out of his routine. But the crowd didn't seem to mind, so why should I? I was confused, but overall it just made me feel sad. I felt like the innocent child beholding the emperor in his new clothes; perhaps I had to be the one to stand up and shout: "He's using a contraption! Can't you see he's not dancing on his own, he's using a contraption!" And then they would all see the contraption. The whole thing put a dark cloud over an otherwise delightful evening.
I went to Viejas Thursday, to play poker. I got a letter from them because I hadn't been in a long time, encouraging me to return by offering me $50 in food credits (in addition to the normal comps earned for my play) if I played ten hours in their poker room this month. I hadn't been in almost a year, and the poker room has gone downhill. 7 card stud/8 or better is my preferred game, but they only had one game going, at 1-3 limits (I play 3-6). They had very few games going (though I know they always have had slow nights and busy nights, so maybe I just chose an off day to return). So I played 3-6 Omaha/8. The automatic shufflers were not there the last time I played, but I thought they were a nice addition. I was up almost $100 after just ten mintues or so, but slowly gave almost all of it back, when I had a very upsetting experience. It was a kill pot, and there was a fair amount of betting, so it was a substantial pot. I had the second-best low, and was pretty certain the main bettor had the nut low. I was hoping for a deuce to come, giving me the best low, but it never came. Instead, a three on the river paired the board. I called, since it was a big pot, and saw that the bettor did indeed have the nut low. I show my pocket queens, figuring it wasn't good enough. A player shows that he has sevens and fours, so I dismiss my hand with a wave of the hand, and the dealer promptly mucks it. Not for a minute or so later, as the dealer is still divying up the substantial pot ($150, I'd guess), do I remember the river card paired the board. I had queens and threes, the best hand. And I killed my hand. So I flushed $75 down the toilet. I was somewhat pissed off at the dealer, but it was actually a floorman pitching in because of a shortage of dealers due to a tournament going long, and is not in the habit of dealing, no doubt. If I show my cards, he's supposed to verify that I did in fact lose before mucking the hand, but ultimately the player is responsible for protecting his or her hand. So I didn't say anything; maybe the guy who got the high half of the pot realized he hadn't in fact won, maybe not, and I don't care; I've been on the other side, getting a pot I didn't deserve due to dealer error, and I don't feel the need to point it out. But it soured me a bit on live poker in a casino; playing on-line, that situation could not occur. Anyway, I knew I should leave immediately, since that was going to rattle me, but I didn't, and sure enough, lost all the money I brought with me. I won half of it back the next night, after the Chubby Checker concert. But it did teach me to be much more vigilant about protecting and reading my hand in a showdown, especially at Omaha, where it can be genuinely confusing, and it is easy for even an experienced dealer to make a mistake now and then.
School so far has been okay. Judging from the first week, it won't be a memorable quarter, but it should be an opportunity to actually be academically sucessful for once. I don't anticipate my classes being a huge challenge this time around. But only time will tell. One consequence of my academic career that will impact this site is that I now own Adobe Photoshop Elements. Got it for $49.99, with a student licence. Retails for a hundred, not a bad deal at all. Also, I figured it out the other day, and I own something like .000000008% of Adobe, Inc., so its like I actually got an additional fraction of a fraction of a cent back as well. So hopefully I'll get around to installing that and learning to use it, and uploading some photographs here soon. But first I'll just work on actually writing in the blog on a regular basis.