Jan 312006

Ganked from satyr69

Name a CD you own that you think no one else on your friendslist does:
Dark Age of Camelot: A Musical Journey Through Albion, Hibernia, and Midgard

Name a book you own that you think no one else on your friendslist does:
The New Magus by Donald Tyson

Name a movie you own on DVD/VHS/whatever that you think no one else on your friendslist does:
I can’t, because azazal78 owns them all.

Name a place that you have visited that you think no one else on your friendslist has:
Diego Garcia

Name a piece of technology or any sort of tool you own that you think no one else on your friendslist has:
A Jawbone headset.

Jan 302006

Friday started my week of being on-call for work. Tethered to the pager and a 15-minute response window for logging into our ticket system if it went off, weekend plans involved nothing more than a City of Heroes gaming marathon on Saturday for Rough Trade’s one-year anniversary, and maybe some laundry. Saturday morning I dragged myself to the gym at about 10am for some cardio, picked up a couple bagels on the way home, showered, and settled in for twelve hours of non-productive nerdness.

A full group of us started level 1 characters on Freedom server and worked our way through every mission and contact we could get. By about 8pm most of us had reached level 10 and formed our supergroup, Hell Bound. By then the coffee and Concerta had worn off and I was losing interest. We kept getting killed repeatedly in the mission we were in, Aaron was in a very-near accident on I-75 coming back from brokenbryan‘s play, and Forrest Gump was playing on the TV behind me, so I called it quits at 10pm. Luckily, the pager never went off at all either Friday night or all Saturday. Odd, but not unheard of.

I went to bed fairly early Saturday night, because I only got five hours of sleep Friday night. I had to get up at 6am to make some scheduled work changes then couldn’t get back to sleep. Sunday afternoon we went to Brio Vie(?), a French bistro in Somerset that had replaced Portobello’s. We’ve found our replacement for Bastone: the food’s just as good, it’s closer, the prices are comparable, and the service doesn’t suck. Who cares if they have the occasional kitchen explosion? It keeps things lively. Apparently a can of cooking spray, used for making crepes and containing flour and oil, fell over on the stove and no one noticed.

Until it exploded and sent up a 4 foot column of flames.

Luckily no one was hurt, not even the chef who dove through the service window (without knocking any plates off!). It was quickly extinguished and our food arrived a few minutes later, uncharred and extremely tasty. We wandered around Somerset for about an hour afterward, playing with the ForceFX lightsabers in Sharper Image and using the massage chairs. Afterwards it was more City of Heroes and a load of laundry. I created a Superman-style Tanker in German flag colors and named him Donnerficker (“Thunderfucker”). I wonder how long before the game moderators catch on to THAT one!

I STILL had not had a single page, even Sunday morning when I knew one of my coworkers was going to be upgrading and rebooting a couple of firewalls. I checked the ticket list but didn’t see anything, so figured he’d rebooted them in between the checks the monitoring system does every five minutes to make sure devices are still responding. At 5am this morning, I finally got a page. It woke me up out of some dream and, for a few seconds, I variously thought I was hearing my alarm, Aaron’s alarm, or the smoke alarm. It turned out to be just a phone number; no message and no ticket number. I called it back and it was our network control center, who informed me that they’d just discovered that the paging system had been down all weekend long. I thought I’d just gotten very lucky with a quiet weekend. I was lucky, but not for the reason I thought!

Jan 192006

Friday: Drove to DTW. At the check-in counter had to rearrange items between suitcases due to weight. Flight delayed 1.5 hours. Felt irritated. Got into First Class on standby. Felt superior. Rolled our luggage through the city and on the Metro. Felt vulnerable. It was warm out. Checked into Holiday Inn/Washingtone Grande. Lobby smelled like old people. Met up with mrimp, odysseyseven, and tugthumper. They had the room next door. Went to Green Lantern. Drank. Ran into reddywhp, ruffsstuff, and jockbdboy. Greeted. roadster_guy picked up Ashe at the hotel, brought him to Green Lantern. Drank again. Went back to hotel, changed. Went to Washington Plaza hotel where everyone was in the lobby. Met codeboi, drewan, and Patrick (OutRage). Reacquainted with some people from last year. Drank. Went to Dakota Cowgirl (“Dakota Fanning”), formerly Hamburger Mary, for burgers. Tasty food. Luis the waiter made eyes at me. Icky.

Saturday: Ate muffins. Jake the barber gave me and Aaron haircuts. Eric, Jamie, Drew, and I met up with Andrew at the Green Lantern for a drink and some Rough Trade group pics. We (minus Andrew) travelled downtown toward the International Spy Museum. It was chilly and windy. Eric diverted us to H&M, the Ikea of clothing. Bought a Chinese Communist Party hat, minus the red star, and a shirt. Spent $15. H&M stores in Michigan must open soon. I command it. Went to Spy Museum. Extremely cool. Lots of exhibits, information, and interactive displays. Bought a book on office espionage. Coworkers beware. Got too hungry to stay and see all of it. Went across the street to Gordon Biersch restaurant. Ate great food, drank good beer, made eyes at blond Dutch waiter. Ogled the classical architecture mixed with brushed stainless deco. Walked back to hotel. VERY cold. VERY windy. Met up with Mike from last year’s trip for about an hour. Was moderately entertained. Changed. Went back to WP. Socialized. Watched Ashe get very drunk and silly. Was moderately entertained

Sunday: Drew left for his flight before we woke up. Bummer. Went back to Dakota Fanning for breakfast. Absolute shit. Luis “waited” on us again. Absolute shit. Never going back. Aaron, Jamie, Eric, Ashe, and I did some DC touring. Walked around the White House. Thought it would be bigger. Fantasized about being a super-powered ninja assassin. Remember, regime change begins at home. Walked to Washington Monument. Was suitably impressed. No tours that day. Bummer. We nearly froze solid and blew away in the wind. Walked to Jefferson Memorial. Was suitably humbled and reverent. Suppressed urge to pray to Mr. Jefferson to come back to us and start kicking some ass. Couldn’t continue to Lincoln Memorial. Too cold, too hungry. Packed into taxi and went back to hotel. Warmed up, chilled out, played X-Men Legends II on Eric’s PSP. Must acquire one. Aaron, Ashe, and I Metro’d across town to Cafe Berlin for real German food. Jaegerschnitzel. Kaesespetzel. Hefeweizen. Absolute perfection. Went back to WP for final-night socializing and good-byes.

Monday: Discovered my cold was back full force from walking in the cold wind all day. Felt irritated. Did some last minute shopping at WP. Made last good-byes. Rolled our luggage through the city and on the Metro. Felt vulnerable. Ate at Au Bon Pain (“The Good Pain”). Said goodbye to Jamie. Felt bad for Eric and Jamie having to separate. Gave Jamie a goodbye purr. But just one! Went to airport. Got into First Class on standby again. Felt superior again. Played more X-Men during the flight on Eric’s PSP. Must acquire one. Arrived home. Unpacked. Did laundry. Took cold medicine. Played XBox. That is all.

 Posted by at 11:44 am
Jan 192006

Tracks I’ve been playing a lot lately:

“What’s Going On” by A Perfect Circle

“The Noose” by A Perfect Circle

“As Day Is Long” by Chris Whitley

“Bankrupt On Selling” by Modest Mouse

“Styrofoam Boots” by Modest Mouse

“Automatic (featuring Stranger Days)” by Richard “Humpty” Vission

“Fix You” by Coldplay

Jan 102006

Thanks to the cold my three year old niece coughed on me repeatedly while I was in Cali, I ended up calling off yesterday and going back to bed after a shot of Nyquil. After I woke up at about noon-thirty, I proceeded to do nothing all day but dose myself on Airborne and Tylenol Cold & Sinus. Oh yeah, and play World of Warcraft of course. I finally made level 40 with my warlock and got my dreadsteed mount, complete with flaming hooves, eyes, and nostrils. Very sweet-looking. I wanted to play some CoH/V, but couldn’t generate enough interest until it was too late because Battlestar Galactica was on.

OMG what a great season opener! Can’t wait for part 2 of it this Friday, which we won’t end up seeing until Monday because we’re always doing something on Friday night. Fortunately we both have Monday off for MLK day (Yay for the UAW!). I did manage to rouse myself enough to finally take down and put away the christmas tree, the folding table and chairs we’d put up in the office for Jamie and Eric’s use, and rearrange everything back the way it was pre-holidays. I also did two loads of dishes. Exciting stuff! w00t! Aaron made a great dinner of sauteed lamb tips, Middle Eastern style, on a bed of hummus, rice & sliced almonds, and warm pita bread. Mighty tasty.

This morning I downed a couple of Dayquil capsules and a Concerta and forced myself into work for the first time in 17 days. I got through my backlog of 150 emails, my time sheets, and a couple of web proxy issues, before the drugs all kicked in. Once they did, the morning got a lot more interesting. Up until about an hour ago, I’ve been a little lightheaded, slightly loopy, and kept having brief, but frequent, flashes of detachment, as if I was hearing and seeing everything through a sheet of glass. I’ve also been bemused when talking to people, and told a coworker that his ID badge picture looked like something that art departments try to restore after a couple hundred years. Seriously, it was so old and faded it looked like a photo of the shroud of Turin.

I really wanted to get some exercise today, but I don’t think that’s a good idea at the moment. I managed a few workouts when I was in Cali, but nothing since Wednesday. I also forgot my Airborne this morning, and it’s definitely been helping keep this cold from being much worse. I highly recommend it to anyone at high risk for getting sick (traveling, have kids, spending time in crowded places, etc).

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