Posts Tagged random

#22: Yes Man

So, I may have mentioned this previously, but two of my friends – Lee and Michelle – mentioned how much success they’ve been having with saying “yes” to going out / doing things pretty much all the time.  Both have also had an excellent year, by the sounds of it, so I am intrigued.  I tend to be a bit conservative with my time – I don’t go to every event I can, due to a variety of excuses, some of which are reasonable (need to get home to feed Max) and some of which are less so (I don’t feel like socializing that day).  I could definitely see a lot of benefit to “letting go” of my inhibitions in this way and just going with the flow, at least for some period of time – I don’t think I could do it indefinitely because I am genuinely afraid of losing that much control over my life.  (Maybe that’s crazy, but oh well!)

Anyway, I think a wonderful experiment would be to take a week and just show up for everything I get invited to, go out with any friend who asks, and say “yes” (within reason) to everything asked of me.  I am posting this publicly, so I’m putting some trust in my friends (*cough* you know who you are) who might take advantage of me during this period, but I guess I’m not saying when I will do it, so that point may be moot!  As I am well aware, you can’t meet new people unless you put yourself in a position to meet new people, and you can’t have new experiences unless you are out, well, experiencing.

22. I resolve 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).

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#21: Fashionable

This is kind of an odd subject, but I feel like I could use more style in my life.  I understand the backwardness of trying to plan out a hip look, rather than let it flow more naturally from who I am.  I have never really had any “lessons” in how to dress or how to look good in any normal sense.  I am a pretty good mimic, so I can copy friends and how they look a little bit, but most everything else has just been my personal opinion about what looks good on me.  Fashion sense seems like it’s both about how other people perceive you, and how you perceive yourself.  I am not too worried about the self-perception thing; in fact, if anything, a change in my wardrobe or general style might be well suited to making me more comfortable with myself. (That construction was a little awkward… but you get the picture!)

One thing I considered was ties – I already wear collared shirts to work most of the time, and wearing a tie is an interesting in-between to suited up and my normal “work clothes.”  I do wonder whether being more formal than I already am (basically button-down shirt and jeans, nothing too fancy) will have a negative impact on people I hang out with.  Only one way to find out, I guess!  Other possibilities: wacky hat, more color coordination/variation (I have no real sense about this; I just like the color blue), a better overall plan for stuff to wear across multiple days (as opposed to “whatever is clean and handy and I feel like that day).

Then again, maybe this just isn’t worth worrying about?

21. I resolve to take a closer look at how I dress and my general “style,” possibly with consultation with friends, and spend at least a week doing something different with my overall look.

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#20: Snail Mail

I kind of loathe receiving mail in the mailbox.  Like, we are in the future now – why waste all that paper?  I appreciate the occasional postcard and envelope from friends, and I definitely enjoy packages that are shipped to me, but there’s a ton more junk in my mailbox than those things… what the heck?  All of the notices that I am receiving because they are important would be better served by being in my email inbox (which I check compulsively) and all of the ads and credit card offers would be better served by being on fire.

So, I want to take on a small mission to eliminate the junk in my mailbox.  It should theoretically be possible to contact and pester the various places that are sending me things and tell me to either (a) send it electronically (where my “spam” filter is much better!) or (b) discontinue sending it at all.  I realize that this will likely be an uphill battle, where even being on the phone with various marketers is likely digging me into a pit, but maybe I can trick them into dropping me from their mailing lists or something.  It may take some thought, but oh how nice it would be to receive only useful mail.

20. I resolve to reduce the waste in my mailbox to as close to zero as possible, while still receiving important mail from friends &c.

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Jokes and Memory

Friday, November 26, 2010
What’s the worst joke you ever heard?

This is an odd prompt – why would I remember a bad joke?  But then I realized that you could take “worst” in a number of ways, “most bad quality” being only one of them, and maybe this meant “most offensive/terrible.”  Of course, about the same time I started thinking about memory and its implications, so this blog post will cover both!

I spent a long while one day in college reviewing, which I sometimes call “Texts from Last Night before Texting.”  Bash was a repository for hilarious things said on IRC (in public chat online).  My favorite was the following, which could definitely be considered “most offensive/terrible”:

Joker: You know Hitler killed six million Jews and one clown.
Fish: Why the clown?
Joker: See, nobody cares about the Jews!

I apologize to everyone I have now offended with this hilariously offensive bit of humor from

Memory is odd – I am kind of terrified of ever losing pieces of my memory, because I consider Myself to be somewhat firmly attached to the sum of my experiences.  The awful thing, of course, is if you start forgetting things, how would you know?  There’s the possibility you would know something is missing, either through some internal sense or by comparison with the world around you, but it’s still frightening.  I spoke almost a year ago on Identity and how I feel memory is tied up with it, and perhaps the trick is to fully accept that every moment the “I” is being reinvented in small irreversible ways, and it is this set of Daves that forms my identity.  It’s just so weird to think about sometimes!

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Space Problem

Today I spent a bit of time browsing for furniture.  For a bit of background, I’m renting a two bedroom house that has a third “bedroom” in the basement.  I put my table down there as a game room, and I’m planning to move the futon I have into the 2nd bedroom for when/if guests stay over.  That’ll leave a pretty empty living room – TV and one chair.  With a couple events I’d like to host at my place in the nearish future, that means I have to figure out what to fill the space with!

My first thought is a couch, because it’s normal and will adequately fill the space with seats.  Mons and I had a short chat about couches at work, and he pointed out rightly that “normal” is actually a pretty important quality for furniture, especially for first-time visitors.  The purpose of furniture is to provide a comfortable space, and if guests are uncomfortable because all there is are hammocks and/or bean bag chairs, then the furniture isn’t doing its job.  Over time, people become accustomed to stranger layouts and what-not, so this doesn’t apply to frequent friends.  I also think a hybridized approach is perfect, because (assuming the load isn’t high enough that there aren’t choices) people can choose what form of seating they are comfortable sitting in.

Anyway, will probably try to figure out delivery options on IKEA stuff tomorrow – they are my first stop because I’m not looking for something that’ll hold up forever and they are relatively inexpensive.  I’ve also been trolling Craigslist, but I think it might be more trouble than it’s worth for me to track down just what I want.

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Random Ramblings

  • Had a thought today that my intense dislike of money is more than just a philosophical position on the tyranny of scarcity – I will often find myself interested in taking trips or doing activities that cost a lot of money, and I will essentially instantly commit to them in my mind, rather than weigh the monetary costs.  I suppose I could say I believe strongly in having experiences and trusting in the financial side to work itself out sooner or later, but I do find myself restricted from doing some things (buying a house, investing in my own company, etc.) where if I was a better financial planner, perhaps I could be more at ease about those sorts of things?
  • I’ve been enjoying making prototype games at work.  I kind of feel like I would do it more efficiently if I had a developed system for how to go about creating a game prototype’s “pieces” (whether analog or digital) but I also think I would have less fun doing it.
  • I got a massage at work yesterday, as part of Employee Appreciate Week.  I don’t think I’ve had one before.  I felt a little bit better in my neck and back afterward, but nothing super significant.  Today, however, I woke up with a sharp pain in my upper back that hasn’t really gone away – either I slept on it wrong, or I have been otherwise mistreating myself, or the massage is the culprit.  Regardless, I guess I expected a massage would not be a panacea for pain, but I was still hoping for miracles.  It’s not *that* bad, but it’s annoying.
  • Speaking of Employee Appreciation Week, it’s been pretty sweet so far.  Extra cupcakes for snacks, tons of free Magic loot at a special sealed tournament, and even a Mirrodin lunchbox.  Bam!
  • I need to spend some time late tomorrow and Saturday assembling my MC Frontalot costume to tag along with the Rock Stars gang (Brandon, Keridwyn, Barclay, etc.) >_>

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Cool Game Mechanics

I wanted to jot these down because a lot of them have been running through my head!  I don’t know if I’ll incorporate them into a game one day, but I thought they were sort of neat.

  • One player bids an amount for an in-game item and the other three vote on it.  Maybe modify the incentives so that unanimous voting is special?
  • Game turns that are exactly correlated to positions on a game board – that is, kind of like that level in Braid where your position on the screen between A and B determined where in the timeline you were between A and B.  So you could modify your previous moves based on what you see other people doing.
  • A game where you can choose an action each turn, but something special happens if N players in a row choose specific actions (like A-A-A-A or A-B-C-D)
  • You build rooms onto other people’s rooms – building the board as you go, getting a benefit from other people’s stuff.  Like Jenga or Scrabble.
  • You are a character in the game, and as you perform actions you “level up”.  Each level gives you new actions, but you can combine a bunch of lower-level actions to trade in for one bigger action (kind of a limited market system).
  • You can add a “style” or “tone” to your actions verbally (recording what you say) – when you say one, it gives a particular kind of bonus to the action you are taking right then, but at the end of the game, the progression of styles/tones matter.

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Home Cookin’

I’ve been doing pretty well, making food for myself this past week.  I am patting myself on the back because it is super easy for me to resort to “no, I’ll go hang out and go eat out with friends,” rather than make meals with the food I have already bought.  I’ve been making real breakfasts, occasionally packing a lunch, and about every other dinner has been home.

Here are some things I have made already:

  • Cheddar Omelette
  • Cheeseburger
  • Steak
  • Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Soup

Here are some things that I am looking forward to making soon — hopefully next week!

  • Chicken Parmesan
  • Portobello Mushroom “steaks”
  • Pork Chop and Sweet Potato – don’t know, this one is just a “feels right” kind of combination
  • really good soup – I think the secret is herbs and creme fresh!
  • Noodle Kugel – usually reserve this one for Jewish holidays, but man is it good!

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Maxwell’s Song

Erik mentioned I don’t say enough about little puppers Max on my blog anymore, and I was feeling musical today, so here’s a song for the best beagle.

O ~ to be a Beagle, soft and cuddly
Sniffin’ and stretchin’, waggin’ and lickin’
When my human leaves for work
I know it’s me that he’ll be missin’

Shh ~ don’t tell, I’ve got a secret
My adorable face can’t be resisted
Tilt my head to the side and gaze real deep
Human gets the leash like his arm’s been twisted

Yeah ~ I know, I love him so
Wait near the door when I hear him get home
Each day is dry food, and that tastes nice
But if I’m a good boy, I’ll get that bone


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There were a number of discussions related to Twitter today at work, some specifically about people’s personal tweets, and I realized I don’t really have a “plan” for Twitter.  I have an account (davetron) and I do post to it from time to time, but as opposed to Facebook (blogs, big stuff) and gchat (momentary status), I don’t really know what I want to be or should be posting there.

At first, I was thinking I could use it to track my emotional state daily – which was something that I thought about doing here, but opted not to for the very same reason Twitter would be a good venue for that sort of thing: length.  The trouble with this plan is that I don’t think my personal emotional state would be very interesting to anyone reading other than me, and although I do write some self-serving / self-analyzing stuff from time to time (okay, maybe a lot of the time, but not without an opening for others to comment!), I don’t think it’s a good idea to make that my shtick.

I do think I have enough to say about Magic that writing about it on Twitter might be an option.  I kind of feel like that market is well spoken for, however, and I would also much prefer to write about Magic later on in life, when I am not attached to the company that makes it and bound on what I can/can’t say.  I would love love love to write some sort of travelogue about adventures playing/covering/being part of Magic, and Twitter could be a good place for that (short and sweet).  However, now is not the time.

This left me with the idea of microblogging, where I could write a short summary or open question or even statement about the blog I do that day.  As long as I am doing this blog-a-day thing, it sucks up a lot of my energy to write creatively (as I found when I wrote my recent article for Daily MTG), so keeping it tied together seems smart.

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