Posts Tagged plans

Wingman

There was an event tonight I went to called Bring Your Own Wingman that was actually a pretty clever design for getting single folk together. I ended up going with Paul, Sophie and Ginger, although we made a dinner stop at Umi Sake House first (nom nom sushi so delicious).

The rules were simple:

  • You must be single.
  • You must bring a friend – a woman if you are a man, a man if you are a woman – and this friend must also be single.
  • During the event, you talk up your friend to other folk who are interested in them!

Really a brilliant idea, even if this one’s execution was lacking. You get a bunch of interested singles, plus the benefit of reference/perspective information from a friend of theirs RIGHT THERE in the room, plus the ratio of men/women is excellent. In thinking about it, I thought maybe pairs would stick together so there’d be a fair bit of 4-person chatting, which can be unfortunate (maybe two halves like each other but then the other two halves are left twiddling thumbs). A good addition to the system might be a way to get people moving around to talk with more folk?

This brings me to the execution part: when we got there, it was packed like sardines and very uncomfortable! (General rule: if I can’t walk to your bar without pushing people around, I probably don’t want to be in your bar.) So, testament to the event’s success! But I think a bigger venue, or just a better distributed venue – smaller rooms connected around – would have been waaay better. Plus it would have encouraged more movement! I’m interested in trying to do something like this again, but hopefully not as overpacked as it was last night.

(We ended up going to karaoke instead, obv.)

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Live from Carnival Glory

As you are probably aware, I do my fair share of karaoke. Ok, maybe even more than my fair share! So when I heard there was live band karaoke on our boat during the Magic Cruise, I was all for it. The first night it happened, I was tied up with configuring Faceboat, but I resolved to join the others for singing times later in the week.

On Thursday, we went over and grabbed two large booths. A bunch of us signed up, including the Seattle karaoke regulars. Live band karaoke has a somewhat shorter song list than regular karaoke, obv, because it’s songs the band has the sheet music for. (Also potentially the license, not sure.) Luckily, they had a song listed I was happy to do!

Ke$ha – Tik Tok
I love this song because it was basically our dance anthem on Magic Cruise 2, and I love this one the most of all of Kesha’s insane sing-a-long pop songs (see also: Die Young, Your Love Is My Drug, Blow, etc.) As I do when I’m about to sing a song *I* can’t help but sing along to, I stated “This one is kind of a singalong” at the start of my live karaoke act. Afterward, the MC/band singer remarked on how she thought I meant some classic rock or something.

“That must be how you guys do it in Seattle, huh?”

YUP

…more on this lovely singer later!

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OMGOMG

Ever get a moment where you have kind of been deep in the trenches ignoring a big thing about to happen, and then all of a sudden something clicks, and you have a realization about how CLOSE upcoming events are?

Yeah, that happened to me yesterday. I was at a work conference helping out /observing folk, stress-fully checking lists of work things to do before I leave Friday and in my head I heard this voice, “Wait, Friday? That means we’ll be on a boat in only a few days!”

“A FEW DAYS”

I felt a lot less stressed after my brain made that little connection, and it was easier to get things done in a sane, less stressed manner. I mean, after all, I’m going to be drinking the drinks, gaming the games, and friending it up on a cruise in only a few days.

A FEW DAYS, GUYS OMGOMG

(p.s. I should have posted this last night but again my blog was misbehaving and omgomgomg)

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Double Feature

Today is a kind of double blog, although both parts will be shorter so maybe it’s… 1.5 blogs? Anyway, here we go!

I joined in for Amanda’s karaoke birthday party last night, thereby doubling my karaoke for the week. Met a cool lady (Katie), danced along with the tunes, sang some good ones, and general merriment was had! The songs I sang were:

  • Jimmy Eat World – Sweetness: This is a nice crowd-pleaser and hence a good starter song for the evening. First time I performed it! (I always sing along though.) Easy melody, right range for me (high-ish).
  • Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man: By request (kinda), a great alternative song that most people know. Haven’t sung it before either, except along with the radio like every morning. Went into the crowd with the wireless mic for this one.
  • All-American Rejects – Swing Swing: My voice was shot, it was 1:30am, and all of my friends had left, but dammit, I had a song to sing. The remaining crowd was too kind, I didn’t really hit the highs on this one. Still, one of my favorites from them.

I’m looking for a theme, specifically a grouping-of-seven, to write blogs on for the week I’m gone on the Magic Cruise! (Since I won’t have Internet – just Faceboat – I’ll write them beforehand and time-release them to the public.)

Do you have any ideas? Here are the ones I was mulling over so far:

  • Seven Deadly Sins – I’ll talk about each one and how I feel it’s been represented/a challenge in my life.
  • Top 7 places I’ve visited
  • A specific story, either a memory or a piece of fiction, in 7 parts

Thoughts?

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How I Love/Hate Web Development

So I often enjoy exercising my programming and design skills in doing little web projects, especially ones that I can share with other folk. I made Breeze (a Magic draft simulator), a very prototypey version of Evil Geniuses (a board game my friend Nate and I designed for Todd and Tory), and various login/forum-style systems. What I have found is that I both love and hate doing this, and today I kind of analyzed why, in the course of putting finishing touches on Faceboat.

I divide web programming into three phases in my mind – initial design, substructure programming, feature programming. The first phase is really fun: imagining a sweet website in my head never really goes wrong, and it’s easy! The third phase is also fun: the beauty of the web is it’s super rapid to see your changes, and as I add features, I can see and interact with them immediately in a wonderful way. But the second phase – BLECH. I hate hate hate programming a database and the object model that lies on top of it, and in the end, that makes me kind of a lazy/bad programmer.

However, today, I did the first phase of Faceboat design and then remembered I had already completed the second phase, two years ago, and the code/data is all still sitting on my web server. Huzzah! So I got to do just the fun parts, and it was awesome. All web development should be like this!

(Honestly, maybe there’s some universal “here’s all of the substructure you need and it automatically works” system I have just never found, but in my experience, the tweakiness involved in doing phase 2 work is so aggravating!)

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Training

A lot of my life I have done “on the job training” – I didn’t really do a bunch of programming until I needed to do it for a physics laboratory job, so I learned. I didn’t really do any games programming until I needed to do it for a games job, so I learned. And so on. However, I do enjoy learning in a school environment – and I often feel very motivated to work on something other than work, you know?

So I’ve been considering looking into what sort of short-ish courses I could take, either online or on nights/weekends, to enrich myself, which has naturally led to an introspective question: what is something I don’t know much about that I would like to? The first things that come to mind are:

  • Philosophy (I think a fair bit about it, even though I’ve admittedly only read casually about the subject.)
  • Engineering proper, perhaps electrical! (I enjoy the idea of making things and can come up with fantastical theoretical ideas, but I have no experience or training in actually making things work.)
  • Writing (I have done a fair bit of writing – TONS of on-the-job training – but I’m not really educated in how to write, and it might be interesting to become so.)

It’s something I’ll be considering as the year progresses – never a dull moment on the route to self-improvement!

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Philosophy of Mixology

Tonight I’m co-hosting a party with the amazing Paul Barclay and Erin Alexander, whereby they will make delicious tapas-style food and I will recommend and mix drink pairings for guests. It’s super exciting, and I am woefully underprepared! Just now I am sitting down to take a look at the menu (this stuff looks frickin’ delicious) and wondering about:

  • whether I’ll have access to the appropriate mixers
  • whether I should be pre-determining components rather than full drinks, to better suggest a pairing for the individual
  • what sort of drinkers will be at the party (I’m best at hard liquor mixing, pretty bad at recommending beers and wines)

My general philosophy with mixing drinks for friends is to ask simple questions that help determine taste. For example, do you like drinks on the fruitier side? Or more “fresh”/”clean” tasting (like a martini)? Using a series of these questions (usually no more than three), I can find a tasty drink for the person. Doing pairings will be trickier, since I want to recommend a good drink to go with the dish but I don’t want to be giving tequila-based stuff to a rum drinker. Haven’t quite cracked that chestnut yet.

One thing I know for sure – after about two drinks, everyone’s going to love the third, so that takes the pressure off. :) Also, I’ll probably be taste-testing my creations, so I’m sure I’ll de-stress pretty quickly too! 😮

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2011, Here We Come

Now that I have made the last decision I needed to make for 2010 (which New Year’s Eve party I would be attending) I now face my first 2011 decision: what resolutions should I take with me into the new year as noble goals toward self-improvement?  I’ve been reviewing my choices (from among the 23 or so I put down in the blog over the first part of December) and here’s what I’ve come to:

  • Designate a week where I will reply in the affirmative to every (reasonable) request to go out, hang out and otherwise get out (of my comfort zone).
  • Take Max on a camping trip at least twice, for a period of two or more days each, possibly with other friends involved on the trip too.
  • Track my spending for at least month to create a simple budget.
  • Plan no more than six meals “out” each week for a month, with a “these meals planned” calendar on my fridge at home.

There are a few others that are right over my horizon if I complete these satisfactorily.  Four goals that are relatively timebound should be a good start – we’ll see how it goes!

Finally, thank you, dear reader, for sticking with me during this very interesting and enjoyable year-of-blogs!  I’ll be back in the New Year with some different types of content and I’m sure a few regular-style blogs too.

Happy New Year, everyone! :)

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Year in Review: Resolutions 3

I’ve been trying to kickstart this coding project I’ve been meaning to do, but man, the tedium of data access is really bogging me down.  I will probably switch to game designs tomorrow, although tomorrow might be JAM PACKED with ADVENTURE.  We’ll see!

5. Host three different out-of-town friends (or friend-couples) at my place for at least two days each.

Although I have once again spent some of the year taking friends up on offers to stay with them or at least come hang out with them, I was not successful in my plan to get some of them to come out here and stay with me at Casa de Guskin.  Looking back, this was kind of a bad year for friends to visit me in Seattle – not only did I end up doing a ton of travel for work, but I “canceled” our standing PAX plan by going to Amsterdam and I probably levied pressure to visit at my busiest friends – in hindsight, not the greatest plan to acquire visitors!  Overall, moderate failure.

6. Create a pros/cons document for each reasonable career path I could take.

This one is interesting – over the course of the year, I had a pretty major career shift from web developer to game designer (although I was tending toward game-designy projects while still a programmer).  I did spend time categorizing both of those potential career paths, but I didn’t treat a number of others – return to laboratory science, law, some other business role (like entrepreneur).  Still, I did manage to spend a fair bit of thought on this one in the course of making my career change.  Overall, minor success!

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Interlude: Blog… to the Future!

I’ve mused a little bit on how I might continue my blog into 2011.  I may have intended this blog-a-day thing to persist for longer than a year when I started it up, but I think I’ll be a little happier if I don’t force myself to keep updating at that rate.  I do still expect to have things to talk about, but it’ll probably end up being a few times a week as opposed to once a day.  As I was pondering how to get myself on a reasonable blogging plan today, I realized that I might be able to leverage themes into the solution I need – “sub-blogs” for each theme, or sublogs for short.  (That makes them subordinate world wide web logs, I guess?  A lot of definition packed into a few letters!)

There are three separate themes I thought about today, each of which could become a reasonable, regular part of a total blogging effort.  The first was a project diary, kind of like what Alexis has done with her blog recently, to keep track of my thoughts, feelings and plans on a particular project, like a new website or a game.  The second was a memorable quotes/lyrics repository, in the manner of Rachel’s wonderful blog – you may have noticed I have a random lyric I enjoy near the bottom-side of this page, and I could use the blog space to talk a little bit about the source, the quote, or why I like it.  The third was newly created alcohol beverages – I happened to make myself a Black Sand Sunrise this evening, for example – that I could list the instructions for and then do a little review.  Such a sublog could also do new recipes for food dishes.  And these are just three possibilities!

Clearly, there’s a lot I still want to talk about as we roll into 2011.  I just need to make sure I put myself into the right mindset and make it easy to do it the way I want.

Oh, and btw, Merry Christmas!

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