December 2003 Archives

December 31, 2003

New Year's Resolutions '03

10 -- Blog More 9 -- Start finishing Bachelor's degree 8 -- Consume "Steak for 2" at Peter Luger Steak House all by myself 7 -- Worry less 6 -- Develop intimidating 6-pack 5 -- Make new friends 4 -- Learn JavaScript 3 -- Find a new job 2 -- Beat Zelda: Wind Waker 1 -- Learn to play guitar And a few more for good measure... 11 -- Be a wicked cool boyfriend 12 -- Find a mate for my cat 13 -- Kick my iTunes habit 14 -- Write 1 original song 15 -- Get a real piano 16 -- Find a good deal on a Meucci 17 -- Get my New York driver's license 18 -- Make the evening news without resorting to violence 19 -- Upgrade my computer 20 -- Host a party

December 29, 2003

Mom and Dad's Blog

I've decided I'm going to try to loosen up a bit around this blog, maybe use some swear words ("poopy-kaka"?), talk about my girlfriend, post more pictures of myself in drag and generally let a little more of the "ascerbic" creep back into the... well, wit. To that end; "My girlfriend is tha f*&$ing bomb!" And, lessee... Oh yeah; Close enough. Take it or leave it.

Exciting Blog News

Upgraded to Movable Type 2.65 just now! Woo-hoo! Actually, more exciting, I also installed this Textile plugin from Brad Choate to automatically reformat entries with proper tags for elipses... And "proper quotes"... And -- things... What, that's not exciting? I'm excited.

December 24, 2003

Pinball Fantasies

(All photographs courtesy of the Internet Pinball Database, unless otherwise specified) Anatomy of Obsession Eight Ball Deluxe My earliest memory of pinball is watching my Father walk away from a game of Eight Ball Deluxe with more credits on the machine than he paid for. For those who don't know, this means he scored so many points the machine just kept handing out free games until he got tired of playing. I thought this was pretty cool and so it is probably obvious my obsession with the silver ball started around then. One of the first machines made to actually "talk" to the player ("Shoot the... Eight ball!"), Eight Ball also had nice-feeling shots and good gameplay- make all 14 balls by hitting the standup targets and then shoot the 8, which was at the end of a cool little chute at the top, to score points and start the process over. Up through the early 1990's you could still occasionally find an Eight Ball machine in arcades or bars, even though it was originally manufactured in 1980.
Continue reading Pinball Fantasies.

December 23, 2003

Peter Luger Steakhouse (FINALLY I GET TO GO!!!)

It felt like my Birthday yesterday, Dahlia treated me to dinner at Peter Luger steakhouse in Brooklyn as a Christmas / Hannukah gift. For those who do not know, Peter Luger has the best steak on the planet, reservations have to be made weeks in advance. I have been waiting for the right chance to go there for years. The waiters were great, it seems they are all super-professional and telepathic and have been working there forever. The waiter who took our order told us what we were eating before we even said anything. When the food came there were two of them there carving up the meat, plopping creamed spinach onto our plates, smothering our steak in extra butter sauce. You could tell they thought we were a cute couple or something, they were showing off. The food was exactly as I imagined it would be, in part thanks to Jake's pictures. I would like to describe here the experience of actually eating the food but there just aren't words. Enormous steak, crispy potato(e?) hash-browns and creamed spinach, pecan pie to finish up. You do the math... It adds up to "gwahhhhhhhhhhhhh," in case you forgot your calculator. As I daintily prodded the t-bone with a knife and fork at the end, trying to extract the last shreds of meat, an older waiter paused by our table; "Just pick it up with your FINGERS!" So I did... Best part... Dahlia even drove us to and from the place, do you have any idea how spoiled that makes me? Very, very spoiled... So yes, Dahlia, you win the battle of the gifts for now, that is the best one I ever got. No material gesture can measure up to being treated to a night out like that. I am so lucky, would you not say?

December 22, 2003

Don't Need the Directions!

For the record; Lego Gali Nuva robot, Correctly Assembled by me without hindrance from any sort of "manual" or "directions." Lego Gali Nuva robot, Incorrectly Assembled by a certain female who shall remain nameless but is supposed to be an Engineer. Don't argue with me. In fact, I am turning comments off on this post so nobody can argue with me...

"Grimace!"

Got Crack?

Jake's Hannukah party, Saturday, was the best yet.

Me looking goofy and Dahlia tolerating it.

December 18, 2003

Ode to iTunes

Wow.

iTunes, you are incredible, I love you.

Even though I have only known you 24 hours, I am ready to get married. You have successfully broken through all of my complicated emotional barriers, straight through to my heart.

Sorry Dahlia.

But you understand, this is something special;

-Music on my work and home pc, and another computer if I need it
-Burn a mix CD with a click
-Rip a CD with a click
-Instant song previews with a double-click-before-you-buy
-All integrated into a sexy, svelte interface, looking so fine

...

iTunes, will you be mine?

December 17, 2003

Today's Poll

Since I unplugged the cable box over a month ago, do I currently spend more time playing Mario Kart than I ever did watching television? Because in essence I am staring at the same lighted, noisemaking box with only slightly increased interaction and arguably decreased productivity...

Billiards for $$$

As it turned out there was $175 riding on last night's pool match.

I only found out at the last minute, when it was way too late to try and step up my game (I was losing very badly). I won't say who was doing the betting, but suffice it to say I felt initially sheepish for losing with this much cash on the line.

In retrospect, however, I just feel sorry for someone who would put that much dough on the line over an amateur pool game. Especially without discussing it with me first; I had just had a lesson last week and was having considerable difficulty incorporating new moves into my game. With that knowledge I think there may have been no bet.

Also it makes me a little uncomfortable because I am now automatically party to illegal gambling activities which I would prefer to know nothing about. That's really the main problem.

In other news, I am saving up for a Meucci red dot cue next Spring. I tried one out at Minnesota Fats last week and am hooked.

December 16, 2003

Today's Non-Sequitur Post

"No more rhymes now, I mean it!"
Fezzik
"Anybody want a peanut?"

December 15, 2003

Brooklyn DMV Part Deux: Permit Test

Well I aced the permit test.

Except the underpaid, overworked test grader (my liberal, Communist assumptions in italics- feel free to read "lazy, incompetent test grader") graded the form too quickly and erroneously marked question 2 wrong. My handwriting is admittedly terrible, but I clearly printed "A" for "the driver on the right has the right of way," and she crossed it out and rewrote "A" in red pen, giving me one wrong answer. Are there driving points bonuses for getting a perfect score on the permit test? If so I may be taking this to court.

For the road test I hope to get photos of the car and person who grades me. I guess I can't take any pictures while driving or I will fail. Maybe if I pick up a pair of those fancy sunglass cameras?

December 11, 2003

Origami Stegosaurus

Hah! Take that, social life!

The John Montroll Stegosaurus takes 2 hours to fold, conservatively speaking, from a square sheet of paper.

He is orange.

December 10, 2003

Stocking Stuffit

My new favorite Toy!

This Radio Shack car is about the size of a peanut. The pen thing is an infra-red remote control; forward and turn-reverse. Five bucks. Woo hoo!

I dislikey Radio Shack, but I likey peanut car! Instead of working I have been zooming it around the office all day, everyone who has seen it is insisting they will pick one up as a stocking stuffer.

The cat does not like peanut car, as it turns out (too noisy).

December 9, 2003

So Sorry, Please; Take One

Been working on this solo over Bud Powell's So Sorry, Please for a couple weeks. Now I'm starting to record it and listen to the playback- this really helps me spot weak points, problems with tempo, etc.

Also made a lo-fi version just for the dialup modem users out there. Hey, actually the fidelity is quite good! So download it, already!

So Sorry, Please
So Sorry, Please lo-fi

December 8, 2003

Samology at the DMV: Episode One

DMV Site Banner Yep, it is about damn time. I have been in New York 7 years and still use my expired Minnesota ID as identification. It is about damn time I head over to the old Brooklyn DMV and see about an official NYC Driver's License. A trivial, virtually instantaneous, streamlined, highly sanitary process, to leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and invigorated, I am told. "It is like a day spa, really." I pack a large bag with several non-perishable food items, toilet paper, 2 novels and a can of mace. Off to the races, let the fun begin! 655 Atlantic, not a difficult address to find. Take the R train to Pacific street. Just a little further in this direction... Aaand, keep walking through this intersection...? Wait, where is the DMV? 35 minutes later... Wait... Where is the DMV? Finally! These people are obviously waiting in line for... Whoops- not the DMV! Giving up and just following a guy who looks like he is headed back to civilization. Hmm... Okay, maybe the Nike swoosh was a bad omen. After consuming half a ration I start randomly following this guy instead. What's that you say? Ask...? For directions? Well, it has been an hour of walking without luck, so fine, I will ask someone. "Yeah, man, it just moved. It's in a mall over there, second floor!" In a shopping mall? You are kidding, right? Okay, no, you are not kidding, it is in a shopping mall. Woo-hoo! Take a right at the Funcoland and... Finally! Waiting on line at the DMV! I savor the flavor a moment before deciding savoring anything is a probably bad idea in any public space in downtown Brooklyn. 10 minutes later. Wait, am I supposed to be on that line over there? Yes, but as it turns out it doesn't matter. I need a Social Security card to take the permit test and don't have mine with me here in New York. Okay, no problem, I will go get a new Social Security card around the corner and be back a little later to wrap this thing up. Security at the Social Security office is as tight as JFK airport. I end up forking over my supply of safety razors at the gate. Hopefully I will not have to shave before this ordeal- er, "brief errand" is over. A refreshing 20-minute wait on line at the SSA... ...Only to be informed my card will be "mailed to you in 2 weeks, sir." Trudging back to the DMV office, I am told they will not accept just the receipt from SSA. Well, I guess I have done the best I can for today. So, tune in soon for Episode 2: "The Written Test..." Epilogue Yeah, that's what I am talking about, a little fast-food instant gratification, Downtown Brooklyn style! I deserve it, I have waited on enough lines today! If I even so much as see another line... Oh... At least my McGriddle is... McGriddle-y. P.S.; Connoisseurs of etiquette, you are hereby notified; It is in fact perfectly acceptable for you and a friend to adjust your do-rags in the mirror while waiting on line at McDonald's.

December 3, 2003

Tesheract

That's right, I am coining the term right here;

TESHERACT

Definition
1. [n] The void in time and space created by the actual playing (or indeed mere mention of) music composed by John Tesh.

Synonyms
Yanni-ularity

Closely Related Terms
KennyGentropy

Note that some would perceive the Tesheract void as pleasant, while others would gladly eat cat poop to avoid coming anywhere near it.

Cat Toys

Can I have some comments from people in the know as to whether these DigiQ RC Cars make great cat toys or not? I am concerned they are either too fast or too slow, it is a precise science this balance between keeping the cat entertained and not immediately losing the vehicle under the couch.

See, my cat needs excercise, because she is enormous, and maybe 10 minutes of chasing a little RC car around the house would be good for her, while fun for me at the same time.

DigiQ Tank.gif
Actually the tank is a whole lot cooler then the plain cars, you can actually fire the turret from the controller, apparently. However it is more expensive.

8-Ball Deluxe

Wow, had the most fun beating a 6 tonight, played better pool than ever. The guy was really cocky, after he won the first game he made fun of a lucky shot I made during the second game...

BIG MISTAKE!

Do not make fun of me while I am playing pool, I will chomp down on your butt and not let go. I proceeded to win 4 games in a row, much to cocky-man's surprise and dismay. I felt quite flattered as he became more and more disgusted after each of my shots, quite vociferously.

"How are you just a 5? I haven't shot like that all season, and I'm just a 6..."

That's it, bub, just the way to keep my adrenaline up so I can mop the floor with you. I won all 4 games with a total of 6 innings (turns at the table), whereas I usually need 5 or 6 turns per game. Boy that felt good. The best part was him glaring at me the whole time and making a huge fuss about "sandbagging" and "it's not fair" and "I bet you missed that shot on purpose..." There were a lot of spectators, too, even better.

December 1, 2003

Nite Out

Wow, this is one crappy picture of the bar at Avalon.

Anyway, I thought this club was pretty hot- went Saturday with Dahlia and some of her crew. There was a "live" electro-trancey (my word) band called Hybrid that was okay, then some regular dj's started spinning. About halfway through the first guy's set I finally "got it," and ended up on a real dance high. I've been to clubs before and enjoyed the experience, but I had never really been impressed until now.

Avalon is in an old church and used to be called Limelight. Britney Spears put on a surprise show there last month sometime.

Toys Were They

The Toys R Us ferris wheel at their main Broadway location turned out to be pretty swank.

Also swank; my new Nintendo Gamecube, "Limited Edition" silver model. Kewl.