Second large cockroach found in the house in the last couple of days, this one just hanging out on the floor of the office next to the beanbag where I've been sleeping lately. I'm pretty sure it was waiting for me to come down there so it could crawl into my nasal cavity and make me do its bidding, but I made for our extraction tools, and put it out in the little roach Gitmo that has sprung up on the table on the front porch. The insurgents are resistant to questioning, but the cold makes them sluggish, and the lack of nutrition and contact with other creepy little fuckers should make them pliable to our demands before too long. Every night, they have to ask themselves, is tonight the night a cat or a raccoon finds me? Knocks over my tupperware cage and rips me apart before my frozen and starved legs can spring into action? It's a cruel fate, but we can't allow any measure of compassion in this war - if we show a moment's weakness, the others, the seething crawly masses entrenched in the very walls will sense it, and strike without hesitation or remorse. It's a cold world out there.
Some days you eat the bar, and, well, some days, the bar eats you.
Yeeurgh. I went into the office yesterday for our weekly tech meeting with a little tickle in the back of my nose, and when I left a couple of hours later, I knew that was the start of something bigger. Over the course of the afternoon, I could feel it spread and work its way down into my throat, as I became a bit tired and felt like my eyes were starting to crust over with something wet and itchy. Dammit, I don't want to be sick. Bernie, ever observant, has seen this many times before, and strongly encouraged me to not to anything but sit down, drink fluids, and consume some fresh media; I spent the rest of the day on the couch, downing Emergen-C, throat comfort tea, and soy chai while popping aspirins to fight off a creeping fever, We watched Dr. Strangelove, and I polished off Neal Pollack's new book about being a hipster dad. (He's not a particularly good writer, but the subject matter is certainly relevant, and much of the story takes place in Austin. It was fun to read about all these places I'm pretty familiar with, and he talks about hanging out with people I know, as well, which was kind of weird, in a good way.) I eventually fell into a snot-and-cough coma on the office beanbag, where I stayed passed out until just about now, with intermittent offers of water, ice cream, and E-C. Bernie and Pai just left to catch a movie at the Alamo's baby day shows - we were going to see Pan's Labyrinth, but I don't think I'm going anywhere. Maybe next week. So, let's stagger over to the computer and take a look at this stack of work that needs to be done...
More relaxing. Rehearsal was called off today (after I showed up and waited around for a little bit, of course), and it's super nice out so I spent most of the day reading, hanging out with Bernie and Paidia, sitting on the porch, playing geometry wars, going out for coffee, doing crosswords, and just screwing off in general. I probably should have been working on this build process or picking away at my rails project, but I've been all stressed out and shit lately, and it's been a good weekend to just do nothing.
Also, I love the superbowl. It's like curfew for dipshits out there. I just got back from the grocery store - it's not exactly like 28 Days Later out there, but it's close enough for me. They should do this more often.
The Groundhog Day show last night was largely a success. Mike took a suggestion from the audience for a line from a song or movie - a bunch were yelled out at once, but I heard something good, and pointed at someone over on the right side of the theater and asked him to repeat what he said. "I'm nothing without you!" Perfect. So, we just improvised a montage of scenes for about 45 minutes, each of which began with that line. I'm pretty sure we ran through every possible way that could be used, from a guy singing along with a song on his ipod to someone writing it with urine in the snow outside his presumably recently ex-girlfriend's house. There were a lot of relatively serious scenes in the show - Bob and Jason did one set in a college philosophy/literature class that didn't really get any laughs, but was applauded when they left the stage. I love those moments - it's the feeling that we're not just on stage doing wacky shit to make people laugh, but that we're actually creating some kind of interesting theater up there. Not that I've got anything against wacky, but it's nice to know that we can do some real grounded work, too.
I was bitten. Hard. Long story.
Today is going to be a totally lazy day. I've got nothing scheduled, only a tiny bit of work to do, which I can totally put off until tomorrow, and although Start Trekkin' is opening up tonight and there are probably open slots in Maestro, I think I'm just going to sit on my ass all day reading, catching up on the NetFlix, and finishing up watching Spaced, which is fucking brilliant. Yay, nothing to do.
Or shrink everyone, or grow to become giant death machines, or eat all our extruded potato paste, or something. Who knows? But that sure was fun! Excellent showing all around at the Coldtowne Theater last night - Pgraph's 50th show (and first show of their 1930's run) made me hurt, it was so funny. Yay, stories.
On the flip side, I think beer reacts badly with the excessive amount of allergy medicine I've been taking. And the sleep, she isn't so easy these days. I'm all sore and muddled and headachey. Grargh.
Two down, one to go. Go, go, Groundhog Day.
Our Frontera Fest show was pretty sweet. We're getting pretty good at this - despite storm clouds, we pulled off a solid, consistently funny and interesting show for an audience of maybe 70-80 people who weren't necessarily there to laugh. The act before us was some dude with a monologue where he read letters from a friend of his who had just died or something, so the crowd was all kinds of warmed up for us. Oh, yeah. It was a school night or something, so pretty much everyone bolted after a quick round of notes in the parking lot, and I stayed through the short intermission to catch Laura Freeman's "Luna Tart Died of a Broken Heart" piece, which was super awesome. She has the best voice in Austin, hands down.
I ducked out of the theater after her (too short) set, and managed to actually make it home by ten o'clock or so. Which turned out to be fortunate, because majcher.com had gone down while I was out. I hooked up the monitor and keyboard, and got ready to kill whatever screwy runaway spammer crap was knocking it out before rebooting, but I got nothing. This machine has a fair amount of value to me and mine, and when it falls over, I get a bit of a panic. Anyway, it was down already, so I just flicked off the killswitch guard and hit the reset button, and waited for it to come back up. It didn't.
So, after a couple hours of freaking out, digging out the rescue CD, turning startup services off and on selectively, and general dicking around, I finally got a shell prompt up, mounted the system, and started the poking around and troubleshooting. Nothing looked wrong, but I'm kind of a doofus of a sysadmin these days, so I was sure I had missed something. Nope. It couldn't start up some of the network services, and hung whenever I tried to do anything useful with them (thanks, Fedora! jerks.) so there was really only one thing left to check, but I knew that couldn't be it. I mean, I could hit the net at large on my laptop over the wireless... ah, crap.
Yep. Fucking Speakeasy. I just changed my DSL package from a fairly expensive business SDSL package with wicked bandwidth (which I previously used for hosting client sites and whatnot) to a new ADSL package for a good chunk less, still with pretty decent bandwidth, but no service guarantees and such. I had the one IP for the new hookup, which I'd been testing with my wifi router, but they were dragging their collective ass on getting my old static IP addresses moved over from the old circuit. I have a ticket open for that (still), but it's been a week or two, so "poke speakeasy customer service" is somewhere around the middle of my to-do list. Well, I guess they finally got around to pushing the button, and tonight was the night that they decided to switch my IPs over. Without telling me about it, of course. The ticket is still pending, but fortunately, my account summary shows the old addresses in the new place. I'm glad they seem to be giving me enough credit to eventually figure that out for myself, but fuck, guys, work with me, here.
Anyway, it was a good thing that I had a spare switch lying around so I could realign the network to accommodate my new setup, or I'd be pretty screwed until I got my ass out to CompUSA or wherever tomorrow. Still, pretty steamed - and tired, if you'll note the time. I dunno what happened - Speakeasy used to be the cool kid on the block, but for the last few years, they've become just another big corporate clusterfuck with no personality and dodgy service. I know a bunch of people who have been with them for years that have dropped them recently - one friend of mine compared it to breaking up with someone, but he had to. It wasn't them, it was him. (It was them.) I've still got servers here, so going with cable or something really isn't an option for me, and just getting stuff switched over within Speakeasy was kind of a pain this time - I can't imagine the hassle it'd be to go over to someone completely new. I guess I'm some kind of loyal customer or something, and I guess that makes me a sucker. I've been with Speakeasy for what, eight years or so now? It's easier just to stay, and suck it up. For now.
So, the plan is to slowly migrate critical services off of majcher.com here - probably move things over to Dreamhost or something, which gives me the willies a little bit, but what're you gonna do? And then, I dunno. Scale the at-home geekery back a little bit. It hurts, but I got shit to do, man, and I don't have time to stay up till 3am fixing broken shit or blowing a weekend rebuilding a box or whatever any more. There's still some stuff that's nice to have a server here for, so I don't expect that it'll be going away completely, and there are some tenacious holdouts on the hosting front, so... well, we'll see what I can do.
In the mean time, sleep is for now. Still plenty of stuff to get done, come morning.
We made pretty picture in the Austinist:
Come out and see us (and Laura Freeman, after!) if you can make your way to the Festival. If not, there's always tomorrow, or the next day... I highly recommend the Coldtowne show tomorrow - Pgraph is debuting their 1930's show, which they've been busting ass on, and Shannon McCormick is bringing his "Spices" show back, which is just him drinking and telling stories of his adventures on the high seas. I was lucky enough to catch it last time around, and it's worth the trip alone. Bring it!
And yes, the comments are now actually turned all the way off, or, at least, intentionally broken in such away that posts are no longer able to be commented on. The spam problem has become insurmountable, and I've got better stuff to do than wade through mountains of crap for minimal return. Some day, and that day may never come, I will move this pile of words and letters to a hosted WordPress solution somewhere, and forget all my troubles. Until then, you know my number.
Short Shameful Confession:
I've tried several different varieties of vegetarian pizza in the last month or so, and I've liked them all. I feel like I have to go strangle some piglets now.
Friday night was Andy Crouch's birthday, so after the shows, a bunch of us descended on his house and forced him to make us crepes and watch the Fuccons DVD. This took far too long, and led to a bedtime that is usually only caused by a fresh dose of video game. This also caused a long period of unproductivity on Saturday, which was remedied - or treated, at least - by a short work date at Austin Java with Kristen. I actually managed to concentrate for a couple of hours and knock out all of my major outstanding bugs from my video player refactoring, and hung out and had caffeinated drinks and whatnot. So, yay working in coffee shops. Austin Java has a pretty miserable kitchen, though, so it was fortunate that I had taken the initiative to cook a super tasty chicken and sweet potato based dinner for Bernie and myself beforehand. Mmmm, yammy. That's a lot of 'm's.
Saturday was actually busy - we got up early and went to the Hyde Park Theater for IFE's tech rehearsal for our Frontera Fest show. We were actually underrepresented - the only people who made it out were Jason and Kristin and myself, but we got all of our sound and lighting cues set up for the show, which are actually pretty minimal, comparatively. The staff there is a lot more professional about that kind of thing than we're used to, which was awesome. The shape of the theater space is a little weird, but that's why we went to check it out - we're pretty flexible, and we can definitely work with it and play around with the new geometry some. The Frontera shows have been selling out - it looks like the theater might hold a bit over a hundred people? - so I'm looking forward to the whole thing. I'm not sure, but I think the Frontera shows are maybe more "theater"-y than we're used to, so I don't know what the crowd will be like, but it'll be fun either way.
After wards, the three of us went over to Trudy's (where Jason used to work) for some breakfast foods, and then headed over to Jason's place for an hour or so to hang out and play some video games before heading over to campus for rehearsal. We had a full complement again, minus our stalwart Mike, who suffered some kind of seizure that morning, and was out of commission for the day - but he said that he should be back up and ready to do for our shows this week. Everyone was kind of whooped - Nadine just ran a half-marathon, and most others were just tired from working too much and whatnot - so it was kind of a low-energy practice. We discussed and nailed down the new format that we'll be doing for our February run at Coldtowne - "The Apocalypse", which we performed a few times before as a kind of long-form narrative montagey thing, but has since been morphed into some kind of pseudo-armando format. We practiced some object monologues for the show, sat around and went over the details of the Frontera/HPT stuff for those that missed it, and broke a little early.
After rehearsal, we ran over to Roy's house to pick up some chairs and stuff for game night, hit HEB for beer on the way, and I stopped home to grab some games and allergy medicine and check in on the girls. Then it was back to Kristin's apartment for games - we had a decent little turnout, one of the guys from the juggling club, Matt, Asaf, Ratliff, and Valerie. We played some Deadwood (on Kristin's badass homemade wood-burned board), some J-Speed, Cranium, Dibs (yeeugh), and finished up with a possibly too-long brain melting round of Taboo. I gotta say, I'm definitely used to playing games on the the more "German" side of things - and my own designs reflect that - but I guess I'm glad to get more exposed to the typical kind of "party" games. Some are super fun, like Taboo, some suck a bit, and some are basically just there to occupy yourselves while you're hanging out. I guess I generally like playing games for the sake of the game more, but I'm starting to appreciate the more casual side a bit more now, too. (Ratliff quipped, "There's really only one game, and that's, 'which one of my friends is a competitive asshole?'" That'd be me.) Anyway, there were beers and pizza and Val brought fizzy wine and good chocolate and a fine time was had all around. I look forward to more of the same.
But, I guess I stayed up too late again, and wound up pretty tired again all day today. Work, meetings, nap, hanging out with Bernie and Pai, and general futzing around. I've let my work desk and gmail inbox get out of control again, and I'm going to have to stake out some time to clean up and regroup and get my shit together again before I can become genuinely productive.
It's also shaping up to be a busy week already. Tomorrow night is our flywheel game design and playtesting get-together. Improv For Evil has three different shows on three different nights at three different venues, and we're doing three different formats. Wednesday is our "standard" IFE show for Frontera at Hyde Park, which is something that we're all comfortable with, and should be fine. We're debuting the new Apocalypse at our Thursday night slot at Coldtowne, which will run through February, and on Friday, we're in the Double Barrel show at the Hideout - we'll be doing a special Groundhog Day format which should be super fun, and something we've never tried before. Very exciting. Maybe we'll all sign up for Maestro on Saturday or something, and see how long we can keep the streak going. Yeesh.
Anyway. Enough jibberjabber. Back to work.
Sometimes, I think I'm maybe not so smart.
Also, everyone: cut it out.
Good rehearsal with Erika May. Good troupe lunch with everyone at Madam Mam's after. Good day, all around.
Yawn. More thrilling stories about what I ate to come!