Bernie and I just signed up for six months at the little rowing club down at the boathouse on the river. This morning was our first sculling class - this meant getting up way too early for my delicate constitution, but it turned out to be pretty fun, anyway. It was about two hours long, during which Alvin (the manager or something of the setup down there) ran us through how to get the oars and the shells set up, went through all the safety stuff (we don't need to wear lifejackets, because the boats themselves are considered flotation devices. woo!) and gave us the quickstart on how to row properly. We only spent about fifteen minutes out on the river, but that first hour and a half or so probably saved us at least that much time of pulling our sorry asses out of the water. Now, let's see how often we can manage to get out of bed early enough to do this on a regular basis.
Also, Maudie's rules. That is all.
Home alone tonight. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to fire up Audacity, plug in the old CounterStrike headset, and see what would happen if I tried to record a bare vocal track for one of the songs I'm trying to learn to play on the new gee-tar. The mistake was actually listening to the results. It's totally weird, but it turns out, I don't sound a goddamn thing like David Bowie. I know. It came as a total shock to me, too.
we were literally scrapping and redesigning the ending of System Shock 1 in the last two months of the project. Our original plan for the end of SS1 was going to involve knocking you out to a fake DOS prompt and making you think SHODAN had taken over your machine, but it was both too "meta" and cut for time reasons.
Man, how much would that have ruled?
A lot, that's how much.
I bought myself a cheapo acoustic guitar a month or two ago, because I'm pretty sure that if you live in Austin for more than a couple of years, and the cops find out that there's no guitar in your house, they throw you out of town. So, it turns out that these things have more strings than I'm used to, coming from the banjo. That's really confusing. Anyway, I somehow wound up fussing with the thing for an hour or so tonight, and I think I'm almost at the point where I can sort of remember a couple of chords, but not yet at the point where I can make my fat fingers only hit one string at a time, and then not always the one I was really shooting for. I'd better figure out a way to not completely suck at this before too long, or I might not be able to vote here or something next year.
(Because everyone and their sister in Austin is in a band, and probably plays guitar. See, it's kind of like a joke, there. Only, not funny.)
Did I mention that I uninstalled World of Warcraft last week? Yeah. I got shit to do, man.
Well, I think I've finally settled into this "really freaking busy" groove a little bit better now. I'm not totally flipping out at all the stuff I've got to do for various clients, and I think stuff is actually getting done some. I'm sure the people who are lined up to pay me for that stuff are mightily relieved, as are the people who expect to get some of that pay for various services, like heat and electricity.
And the dentist. I went in yesterday for my (hopefully) penultimate visit to the Cowboy Dentist. I thought I was just getting my last cavity filled, but it turns out that I was getting drilled and filed for another crown - which costs a bit more than a filling. Did I mention that I don't have dental insurance? Yeah, well, we sat down and did some math, and figured that just paying for toothwork straight up was cheaper in the long run than getting individual insurance, but I think I'm really pushing the boundaries of that particular calculation at this point. But, one more visit in a few weeks to glue the damn thing on, and I'm good for a while. Well, except that he had to take, mmmm, a lot of my rotten tooth out to get the temporary on, and it's sore as hell. I checked in with him to make sure that this is normal, the super-sensitivity to cold stuff, and the feeling like someone's trying to find out if it's safe any time I put any pressure on the tooth, but apparently, it is, so I'm just diving head first into the ibuprofen and whatnot, and wait for it to calm down in a day or three. Which, it seems, leads to a lot of heavy napping. Fine by me, but, not fine for my schedule. Bah.
To avoid doing too much moving around or thinking, I finally sat down and took a crack at the Netflix movies that have been sitting on the TV for a few months now. Holy crap, have I been missing out. So, there's this Japanese movie, Versus by Ryuhei Kitamura - I think I can say without fear of contradiction that this is the best samurai-yakuza-zombie-kung-fu movie ever made. The direction and editing remind me a lot of early Peter Jackson films (like Dead Alive or Bad Taste) - or maybe it's the insane horror/action/comedy scenes with the gallons of fake blood and body parts and bits of guy everywhere. All they need is a lawnmower, and they'd be all set. The plot isn't... well, it's not really important. There are a few nice touches in there, though. They seem to have the whole "if you show a gun in act one, you have to use it by act three" thing totally down. They don't let any little bit piece go to waste - even that severed hand you see at the beginning of the movie eventually makes its way back home by the end. Anyway, if you like that sort of thing, or if you like movies at all, get it now, and watch it now. I think I'm gonna go back and watch it again, myself. Right now.
Note to self: don't try to take on three jobs at once, no matter how easy they sound at first. This only leads to headaches, sore wrists, and awkward scheduling difficulties.
If somebody pumped the Austin Convention Center full of sarin gas this weekend, the blogosphere would fall and shatter, and we could go back to just "writing" again. Did you see me just use that "b" word? Yeah, that's what happens when you get stuck in a building with these people for too long.
The conference has been pretty good so far, but I am looking forward to it being over, so I can get back to work - both on my two and a half paying jobs, and on a bunch of non-paying stuff that I really need to get myself back into. Speaking of non-paying, I'm running in and out of the Austin Game Developers booth at the trade show this year - one of the organizers called us up at the last minute and gave us a free table, so my partner in crime Quoc and I spent the week running around like crazy trying to get stuff together, printing up banners and pamphlets, contacting local studios and colleges to help out with demos, schwag, and manning the fort. It's been pretty bad ass so far, and we're making lots of new contacts, so it should be an exciting next couple of months on that front.
I'd go into summaries of all the panels and talks I've seen the last few days, but I think the ever present nerds clacking away on their laptops and treos have pretty much got that covered. The after-fun hasn't been as hopping for me as it was last year, but that's mostly because I'm being lame and going home early and sleeping and stuff. I should have stuck with my peeps at Handwire the other night - they got to hang out with Frodo and his iPod on Saturday. Bastards.
A few months ago, I was bitching about how I couldn't find a laptop case that would fit my bulky-ass new laptop, and still look reasonably cool. The third-hand bags that I inherited from my old gig at Organic not only just barely squeeze the beast in, but they're the absolute height of Corporate Dork. Luckily for me, the amazing Bernie found these guys today, and I've got a slim new bad ass, slightly overpriced, but bulletproof laptop slipcase on the way. Yay, internets.
Please stop sucking. Seriously.