Thursday, March 5, 2015

So freeing to have a blog no one reads!

I'm pretty much updating my blog because my dad gave me a hard time.

Hi, Daddy!

So... I got a new tabletop game on Tuesday, and we played it (briefly) for the first time yesterday. It's called "Geek Out!" I'm loving it for several reasons:

  • You can play it with only two people -- a rarity in the board game world.
  • It will change completely based on who is playing.
  • All players participate in every turn, so there's not a lot of boring downtime.
You're given a category (games, comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, and misc) based on the roll of a six-colored die. I was going to write a card, but instead I'll show you the back of the box.

It's hard to read the card, but the blue category question (comic books) is "Four Batman Enemies." The player whose turn it is must say four or more. Other players can pass or bid higher. Bids continue around the table until everyone passes. Then the highest bid names as many Batman enemies as he said he would. If he succeeds, he gets the card and a point. If he fails, he gets a penalty chip and -2 points. First one to five points wins!

Who wants to play?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Thoughts on the new year, when it's no longer new

When you're dismissed from a job -- a job you're really excited about, that you're ready to pour yourself into -- it hurts.

When you're envisioning yourself in one place -- that one RIGHT place, FINALLY -- and then it's yanked out from under you, you feel betrayed. Shocked. Saddened.

Having spent 2014 on personal and professional growth, through selling my event business and reading every business and personal development book I could get my hands on, I was ready for a new challenge. A big, bold new thing where I could bring all my skills, talents, and the new confidence I'd found to tasks each day. I was looking forward to a challenging role working with people I liked and respected. Then, about a month in, it all shuddered to a halt in a four minute conversation that brought far more questions than answers.

I can't do anything about those unanswered questions, but now I have others.

What do I do now? How does this play out? How do I find the silver lining in this disappointing series of events? Who am I really, and what do I have to offer?

I don't have any answers yet, but I'm wrestling with the questions and hoping to find the next awesome thing. Whatever that turns out to be.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Love Letter to My Younger Son on His 18th Birthday

My sweet Son the Younger (as I've always called you here),

You have always been the life of the party, quick with a joke, the one with unstoppable energy, and the boy with no nerve endings. When you were three, you broke your foot. You didn't cry, but you crawled home. The next day, you were running on it -- no pain evident on your smiling face.

Now, you enjoy a wide circle of friends. I know a lot of parents complain about their kid's friends, but I like your friends. They're intelligent, ambitious, opinionated, and fun. I enjoy your friends, and I love to see how happy you are with them. Does your choice of friends say a lot about you? I like to think you've chosen wisely, that a few of these are people you'll keep with you for a lifetime.

Soon you'll leave for college. I joke about the party I'll have when you move out, but you're my baby. We're close, and I'll miss you, even if you go somewhere close by. We won't have late night talks (about important stuff, or about nothing at all), we won't have TV-thons, we won't fight when I want to hug you and you pretend not to let me. Texting really isn't quite the same thing. I've always loved you, but I like you too, and I'll miss you.

Today you're legally a man. I've told you that you'll always be my baby -- and you will -- but I'm so proud of the man you're growing into.

I love you, son. Go out into the world and give 'em hell.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tell me a random funny or weird fact about you.

I have certain odd OCD tendencies (some of my family members are diagnosed or undiagnosed OCD, so I come by it honestly). For example, when I make a sandwich, the filling must go between the parts of the bread that touched (clearly that's how it fits together best), and any spreads (jelly, PB, mayo, etc.) must extend all the way to the crust, which is obviously the driest part of the bread.

I didn't realize this was odd until several years ago when a co-worker watched me make a sandwich. He said that he'd never seen a PBJ so perfectly made. I'm pretty sure the subtext was "I could make three of those in the time it took you to make one."

Ask me anything

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fave & least fave word?

Hmmm, tough question! Been thinking about it all day.
Favorite: Love. All the different kinds. I'm really grateful to have so much of it in my life, from so many different sources.
Least favorite: Worry. Because of what it is, and because of a personal history with the word itself.

Ask me anything

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Austin City Limits Festival, Day 2

We learned some things on Day 1 that were helpful on Day 2. For example, there are free water stations onsite and you can bring your own water bottle. Sweet! Big money savings for day 2.

Unfortunately, our sweet free parking garage was charging $10. At least we got one day free.

I discovered about a block from the car that I didn't have my phone with me. We went back to the car, only to discover that I'd left my phone at Cindy's house. D'oh! She had spent Day 1 concerned about her fun new phone (we both just got the new G2), so she grabbed her crappy old phone for day 2. I went without once I discovered we'd have to drive back to her place to get mine.

Here's what we saw yesterday (after arriving later than we wanted to and completely missing Silversun Pickups):

  • Broken Bells. Yes, they were on at the same time as Silversun Pickups, but closer to the gate and at the other end of the park. The guitar player also played keys. Pretty complex sound. They had a trumpet player too. We liked them reasonably well.
  • Kinky. We caught quite a bit of their set inadvertently as we stood in line for food and ate. I don't remember much about them other than they were a dance band, so they weren't really attention grabbing. Or I was hungry and P. Terry's distracted me.
  • Gogol Bordello. My son described them as "gypsy rock," but their first song was definitely reggae influenced. I initially thought the boy didn't know his genres, but as they continued I agreed with his labeling (and he later told me he'd read the description). Pretty frenetic rhythms at times, lots of people up and dancing around. Fun stuff.
  • Monsters of Folk. We walked by on our way from Gogol Bordello to LCD Soundsystem. We didn't stay; they were way too mellow (i.e., sleep inducing). Pretty big crowd there, though, and this was the only band given a two-hour set on Saturday, maybe due to this being a Conor Oberst band.
  • LCD Soundsystem. Dance. Good beat, not too cookie cutter or samey-samey from song to song. They did go a little screamo one song, but only one.
  •  Deadmau5. Holy cow, the BASS. We were a long way back, and it was hitting us pretty hard. Awesome dance groove, great light show (I took several short videos). All the freaks came out to play for this one. It got really samey after 20-30 minutes, and lots of people left to get a spot for 
  • Muse. According to the numbers on the web site, this was the most popular show of the fest. My sister previously told me she liked them better than U2 when she saw them together. I haven't seen U2 live, and this was my first Muse show, but they were amazing. I only own their newest album, but I need to correct that. For the most part Cindy has been really laid-back during the fest. This has been the one time she's put her foot down and said, "Let's move forward," and "We're staying to the end of this set!" Not that I wanted to leave, but it was great to hear that she was really enjoying the set. The lights were fantastic. The sound, honestly, could have been louder. We started out pretty far back, but we were getting some bleed through from M.I.A. clear across the park. Once we got closer it was louder, of course, but we could still talk pretty comfortably. Muse was definitely the best of day 2 by a wide margin, no contest.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Austin City Limits Festival, Day 1

I have a friend who won a pair of tickets to ACL (I love a friend who calls you at times like these!), so we have thrown ourselves into the chaos. And chaos it is! I haven't seen attendance numbers, but it has to be in the tens of thousands.

The bands I've heard of are all playing today and tomorrow, so Cindy and I just wandered around and sampled things yesterday. Don't yell at me about "You haven't heard ?" Now I have. I listen to a LOT of music, but I hadn't gotten around to these before yesterday.  =)

  • Pat Green. Your basic Austin country. He busted out a little U2 at one point ("With or Without You"). Pretty good, but I don't listen to a lot of country.
  • Qbeta. They were on a stage that was shaded -- a naturally attractive prospect in the heat of the day. We only caught their last tune, which was kind of a dance-raggae thing and a lot of fun. I was sad I couldn't hear more.
  • The Band of Heathens. These tied for the best of the day for me. They were a mix of several genres, funky and rocky with great harmonies. As we were walking by, the singer said, "We're gonna have a little church now. Y'all need to have some church, I think!" or something like that. In that crowd, it was pretty funny. Then they broke into a funky praise thing. Lots of people were dancing around with hands in the air. They were fun. But we were actually on our way to
  • Beach House. We listened to them for half a song and decided The Band of Heathens was more fun, so we went back. Still only caught like 3 songs though. Curse the hour-long sets!
  • Slightly Stoopid. Several people said this was a fun band, and they were. Good groove, sort of a rock/reggae vibe.
  • Vampire Weekend. Holy cow, what a huge crowd, and a lot of pot in the crowd.  We were a LONG way back and were still packed in. They were OK, would probably have been better if I owned any of the music (I'd considered buying it but hadn't gotten around to it).
  • Sonic Youth. One friend asked me how I was going to decide between Vampire Weekend and Sonic Youth, so I went to both. We found chairs by SY, which was nice. They were highly sonic, but no longer young, and Cindy and I laughed about the 3 minute outros on several songs. In a one-hour set, that adds up. We kind of wished we'd stayed at Vampire Weekend, but it was really nice to sit down, too.
  • The Strokes. We both loved The Strokes, who I probably should have heard before now. I'm not sure how to categorize their music -- it's rock, but with elements of other stuff thrown in. Their singer had some interesting stage banter. The first thing he said to the crowd was, "If all y'all would come out of the woodwork, maybe we wouldn't be so broke!" I hope he gets his wish. I'll probably buy some stuff.
So that's Day 1. I'll try to keep taking notes and posting so all two of my readers can have some new music to try out on youtube.  My dad will hate all of it (except maybe Pat Green).

Oh, a couple of other comments on the fest: with so many people temporarily in one place, there is no way to use your phone in any real way. I'd love to twitter or facebook updates (and I really tried yesterday), but the network just won't handle that many people. There is no twitter, no facebook, no texting. Calls will usually go, but you can forget about data.

And those porta potties? With that many people onsite (all eating, drinking and what-have-you), those need to be cleaned more than once a day, y'all. For real. Yick.