Archive for the ‘Dating’ Category

Know Your Meme and More

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

The Internets and I had an excellent evening together tonight. It all started with a need to eat up the most perishable foods in the house before I head home for the holidays. What can you make with eggs and chicken, google of course has the answer. What, it needs spinach, too oh man, there’s a huge bag of it that’ll never get finished before I leave. I was lacking for tomatoes, but with a little salt instead Tuscan Chicken Scramble was a crazy fast meal with all the right ingredients.

While I was trying to eat my dinner, and watch episode of Sliders, my phone interrupted asking for advice on buy it’s girlfriend… rather my friend’s girlfriend a holiday gift. I love turning goals into gifts, especially for significant others, but having always been alone for Christmas, I often just help. He suggested a “cookbook? Not the greatest gift but… it will give us something to do together (and you know that’s something I think we need).” I respond, “Yes, activity book for adults, good deal. Another idea along the same line (something to do) tickets to a show,” eliciting “Ooh. That’s an even better idea. Damn you. I love that idea. I’m already in a bookstore And now I’m going to have to see what shows are going on”. Luckily, “our phones rock.” And he was able to do it all standing right there in the bookstore. All the while discussing the shows, which I was surprised to find I knew a lot about. For instance, earlier today I had in fact read about one of them selling out often. And that was in the same vain as another show I’d heard of. One my other goals, besides not being alone for Christmas, is to know what is going on, apparently I do, and I didn’t need the net for that, strictly speaking in this case. There is still something to be said for knowing facts, even with the net always in my cargo pocket.

SlidersSo I digress. But yes, that Sliders episode is the one where they did get Sabrina Loyd back to reprise the voice, but not the body of her former regular character.

Following dinner, I started cleaning house, and left the roomba to do it’s job downstairs. I sat down to wrap a gift and finally get to know, Know Your Meme. I really love their style, and there are few memes that I did need to hear an explanation on. But mostly it was an excellent trip to some of the best places on the Internet, without even going, just listening to them being extolled for their virtues. It was like a mini roflcon!

Finally, it came time to but a bow on that gift. I don’t have fake bows, but I do have red ribbon left over from that Halloween costume. So pause that know your meme episode, and head over to google. First result, of course, a ~2 minute you tube video. 5 minutes later, ribbon tied, gift wrapped ready for tomorrow.

Know Your MemeBack to more meme history goodness. Via the Three Wolf Moon episode, a quick stop, back by you tube for an actual meme instance, in the form of this amazing Three Wolf Moon music video set to a Disney song. And of course, now I stay up too late considering I’ve got a 9:30 meeting telling the internets about how it fully entertained me for a night.


Monday, October 5th, 2009

Since my friend Sparky got a job at Harmonix Thursday night games has frequently involved playing Rockband. I was never very good at Guitar Hero, and I was never a huge fan of the songs it came with but Rockband is awesome for two reasons:

  • Lots of great songs as downloadable content, which Sparky picks up for us.
  • Singing!

I have never been very musical. DDR and Guitar Hero proved that rhythm is not my thing. We’ll, the amount of concentration it takes me to clap in rhythm proved that long ago, but they reinforce it well. I’ve also never been good enough at singing to earn any sort of accolades for it. Thanks to my elementary school drama teacher for making me an understudy every year to get that little lesson across. But I still enjoy it, and I can apparently fake it well enough to make a machine happy, which makes me happy.

But I’m only any good on songs that I’ve heard before, so I have added the Rockband 1 & 2 songs to my usual playlist, so that I get used to them and learn what they sound like. I’ve been consequently paying more attention to all of the songs on my playlist and thinking about them in the same way as the songs that I’ll someday have to perform in from my friends to the satisfaction of the machine. It’s a lot of fun. I just wish that you could take any old song and play it in Rockband, as there are pleary of songs I already love to sing that aren’t options (pretty much all of Avril).

The other good thing about Rockband is that its introduced me to some new music. Avoiding advertising really cuts down on access to music pop culture. Well for those of us too cheap for satellite radio, and whose musical tastes are not well captured by Pandora. Anyways so lots of the new songs on the latest revision of my car mp3cd are from rock band. You know, i should really put my car mp3cd under subversion control. Anyways some of them are:

  • Panic at the Disco – Nine in the Afternoon
  • Weezer – Say it Ain’t So
  • The Main Drag – A Jagged Gorgeous Winter
  • Silversun Pickups – Lazy Eye

But my two favorite songs these days, both oldies from the ’90s, that I really wish were in Rockband are:

  1. Alanis Morissette – That I Would be Good: I’ve had a cropped short version of this song for a long time, but the full length one is even better.
  2. Aimee Mann – You Could Make a Killing:This is the only Aimee Mann song that I even approach to liking, but it is great. She was in an episode of Buffy and even that association couldn’t make me like the song she sang in the show.

Speaking of oldies, Beatles Rockband. I’ve always had an issue with the Beatles. I love the parts of their songs that I remember from my childhood, listening to oldies radio, but the songs I never heard, and even the non-choruses that I don’t remember I don’t like very much. A couple weeks ago I went to Beatles Rockband night at Improv Boston, entirely because of a girl, but while I was there I noticed that I like a lot more of the Beatles catalog than I realized. Last week at Thursday night games we had an actual singer, Ethan, and so I eventually settled into providing some harmonies while playing the drums. I can actually drum to the Beatles with some sort of competence on easy mode! It was way more fun to drum when I didn’t suck at it.

Agricola at Eriks

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Tonight I played Agricola for the third time. I won this time, instead of coming in second by one point as happened on both of my previous plays. Agricola is a board game in which you are the head of a farming household. It is similar to Puerto Rico in that it is a role taking game in which one aims to have the most points at the end.

Erik bought the game maybe a month ago, but we managed to not play it for two weeks after that. Then we played twice at my place in one weekend. Then I was gone on that ski trip, which I will write about later, and well first day back, we played again. It’s a pretty fun game. And we’re still playing a simplified version. This time we played at Eriks place in Beacon Hill.

A while back I dated a girl who lived at the other end of Beacon Hill. Whenever I go near there, I naturally think about the possibility of running into her. It’s pretty easy to discount the chances. It’s so densely populated, and so, the thought slips out of my mind rather quickly. Of course, since I’m telling this story one can easily assume I saw her tonight. Not 2 minutes out the door of Erik’s place on my way home I ran into her. This on the uber short 3 minute walk from his place to the T. At first I had a strange cockeyed look, thinking, “is that really her.” The rest went well, “Hi, how’s it going.” “Good.” Both of us continuing on with our one friend each in tow.

Then I had to wait for the T and fail at resisting the urge to reanalyze. It’s just still of note because it’s the first time this has happened to me. That is, running into an ex unexpectedly. Also, pretty rare event since I’ve only accumulated one ex-girlfriend in Boston.

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

About a week ago my room mate and I went to see the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The tickets were cheap thanks to the < 40 = $20 program. That made it an excellent opportunity to check off Symphony Hall from my list of Boston landmarks to visit. I went as much for the architecture as for the music, but I forgot my camera. I did manage to take enough shots with my phone’s camera to string together this panorama, taken from my seat before the concert.

The music that night was Mozart’s 19th, 20th, 21st and 25th symphonies. Apparently, of those, only the 25th is commonly played. The 25th was also my least favorite. Of the others, a week later they all seem to run together. They were playing the more uncommon peicies because they were in the middle of a series of concerts in which they were playing all (or most) of Mozart in chronological order. I was glad that I didn’t goto one of the later on chronological shows, which include more like the 25th (so I’m told). My most interesting thought at the concert was how much it might suck to be a room mate of one of the performers, many of whom were young looking. Then I decided that the BSO could probably afford to provide practice space.

I would go back under any of two conditions:

  • I was on a date
  • It was a tour of the building including history and not a concert

New Gloves

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Wow, it’s been more than two weeks since I updated. I’ve been spending most of my words continuing to give internet dating a try. It takes a lot of words, but not so much that I can’t hit an every other week target for the blog. Anyways, today’s story starts on the most recent first date I went on as a result of all the words spent on internet dating. The plan was to go to dinner followed by ice skating with an option for coffee afterward. Coffee, of course, means hot chocolate for me, cause I don’t drink anything else served at a coffee shop.

I met the girl after walking to the T. I was, of course, sporting my nice coat and my one pair of dressy-ish leather (or faux leather) warm gloves. She was late so I had to wait inside for a while, and so I took the gloves off and shoved them in my kind of small coat pocket. That was the last time I remember having the right handed one. When we got off the T I went to put them on and it was missing. By the time I was sure I didn’t have it the train was gone and any chance to go back was lost, so I didn’t mention it.

I did alright without gloves until it was time to ice skate; most of that time was at dinner anyways. And, actually, I did well at ice skating without them as well. My date suggested that I could improve my technique my making less use of my arms, and keeping them in my pockets was a good way to remember not to use them. My ice skating technique is most akin to how I ski when I need to pick up speed on flat ground, it takes wide strokes and a lot of energy. Not using the arms did help; although, I feel square on my ass once this time, an increase from my previous attempts of one. While skating I noticed that I was not the only one without gloves, my date was also gloveless having forgotten. Apparently, that’s part of a pattern for her.

That was Friday; on the following Sunday I went in search of replacement gloves, since getting a back a glove lost somewhere on the Red Line is clearly a crapshoot. As much as I enjoy all the neat little one of restaurants and such that populate Boston’s commercial districts, when I need something quickly, and have strict, known requirments for it, I like to go to the kind of shops I used to from the Midwest. I feel like I’ll be able to get in, get what I need, get out, and pay a fair price more easily with the familiar box stores. I went to Khols. I sent about 20 minutes roving the store in search of winter accessories, eventually finding a clearance rack that looked like the huns had sacked it for months. Sadly after much inspection there were no suitable gloves. The was a Marshalls in the same strip, so I checked it out; having never been there but understanding it to be a closeout kind of place. Also no dice, err gloves.

I considered going to Target, but time was short so I just went to the closest real mall I could think of, the Cambridgeside Galleria. There was a Macys there, jackpot, they will surely… well that had non-lined, women gloves that from the outside kind of looked like what I was looking for, but lets go with no dice. I checked all the other mens’ clothing stores there, all with spring fashions. So, I realize that the clothes come out a season early so people can buy looking forward. But it is literally the dead of winter, and gloves are lost on the T every day. Really, it is to the point that I saw a news story about it. It should not be this hard to find a damn pair of warm dress gloves! So I went home and turned to the internet. After some searching I settled on a good look pair of gloves only to realize they were being sold by Target through In need of gloves quickly, before a possible second date, I went to a Target, but alas they only had the gloves online.

So I looked more on-line and I got the gloves pictured. They came in a package that advertised police gear such as Kevlar vests and other types of badass clothing for police. I think they look pretty damn sharp, especially when I make a fist. They are not as soft and padded inside as the old ones, but they might be warmer since they use some space age insulating material. They fit great, and I have them now, although waiting a week for them was not what I wanted. Sadly a lack of gloves was on the short list of things I had in common with my date, so there will not be another.

Biking to Get Somewhere

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Last Wednesday I took my bike out for it’s first real trip. One where biking was being used a transportation, not a Sunday morning jaunt. It felt good, until I got home and my legs were like mush. The stops on the trip are Wednesday night dinner at Midwest Grill in Inman Square and then Government Center. The ride to Inman wasn’t too bad, which is good because its hard to get to Inman any other way, but next time I need to go to government center I’m just going to lock up the bike and hop the T both ways. Here’s the map of my travels that night:

View Larger Map

Dinner at the Midwest Grill was expensive. It was $31 after tax and tip, which is the most I’ve ever paid for a Wednesday Night Dinner. We do try to keep things on the inexpensive side. The Midwest Grill does not offer midwest type food, but rather is apparently a Brazilian BBQ type place. Brazillian BBQ is similar to Mongolian in that there is only one thing on the menu and it is all you can eat. The difference is that instead of concocting bowls of yummy goodness, you load up a plate with sides. Once you’ve got your plate you sit down and waiters come around to your table with various types of meat on two foot long skewers. They cut you off a piece and you enjoy while waiting for the next waiter to come by with something else. It was an interesting experience. I would go back, if there was any chance in hell that I’d ever be able to eat enough that my $31 would seem like a good deal. Of course, I paid $35 for dinner on Friday, and ate less, so I don’t know why I feel like I got such a bad deal, but I do. Part of that may have been the service. We had a table of six men, but on every single item a nearby table of 4 with two women got first dibs and larger better cuts, we always got seconds. It seemed unfair, but there was little we seemed to be able to do about it.

Apple Picking

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

I spent my Columbus Day holiday trying something new. I went apple picking at Honey-Pot Hill Orchard in Stow, MA. It was a date, but due to a policy similar the Bush Administration’s policy against discussing ongoing investigations that’s all I have to say on that. The orchard opened at 10pm and we got there soon after, which was a good thing. The place filled up fast, the parking lot was full by the time we doubled back around to it ~45 minutes later.

It was the last day of the season at this Orchard. We had heard that the pickings were slim at two other orchards that friends had gone to on Saturday, so we were surprised to find a wealth of Red Delicious apples immediately on the right side of the entrance. The pickings were great there, and we threw two in the bag and each had one. Eating on the spot is how one reduces the cost of apple picking down to near the cost of buying apples in the store, since you can only carry out what will fit in the bag and the bags aren’t cheap. Although, given apples’ status as not even my third favorite fruit (Pears, Peaches, and Strawberries all certainly top apples), a full bag would be too many. But it was still a good deal; there was some sort of $4 discount because it was the last day of the season and pickings were slim. We didn’t know what they were talking about, as there seemed to be plenty of apples.

Then we found out, as we moved beyond the close grove of Red Delicious into a grove of Macintosh Apples. The pickings there were much more slim. There weren’t any at arm reach. I got a few by jumping, and one or two by climbing the tree, which was fun. I really should climb trees more often. Perhaps that is what I should do from now on when there is a nice day without enough wind to fly the kite. We later found that there were some more plentiful Macintosh trees on the other side of the Orchard. There were also many Empire apples in another area. Empires, I think, are the quintessential apple for the teacher type. All in all I think we got six or seven different varieties.

Done with apple picking we tried out the hedge maze, which was amazingly enough actually tall enough for us. The tops of the hedges were maybe two feet above my head. However, the hedges were a little thin at times, and it cost $3 a person. I felt a little like one of the patrons at a Roller Coaster Tycoon park, being charged for everything. The cost of the hedge maze was offset by the $0.70 apple cider doughnuts. They were good, but would have been better had we opted for the cinnamon and sugar topping. By now it was almost noon and the place was packed, to the point of it being more than a bit difficult to walk around without running over some small child. Having, more apples in our bag than I’ve eaten in the past year we decided that was enough.

What Have I Been Doing?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Well, on the Saturday after seeing The Dark Knight on my birthday I was invited to go to an all night beach party in Newburyport honoring the full moon with a fire. It was a blast. I met a bunch of new people and got to know a few kids I met on the 4th of July a bit better. One of them even managed to remember my name from then, which made me feel bad that I didn’t remember his. The weather was cloudy so there wasn’t a great view of the moon, but there were professionally done fireworks from a nearby by that we could see. As the night wore on batches of fog rolled in and out as the wind shifted. The wind off the water was quite cold, for about a minute once we could see our breath, but the wind off the land was comfortable. At one point the fog was so tick that you couldn’t see more than 15 feet it seemed. I arrived back home at around 5:30 am, by which time dawn had begun.

Lets see, what else… On Thursday of last week I went to that awards dinner for work, dateless. I wanted to take pictures of the supposedly lovely estate at which it was held, but it was raining quite a lot, as it had a tendency to do last week in Boston, so I just gave up on the idea that I’d get any nice looking pictures. The rain also turned what I was hoping would be an exploration of the land into a social event requiring copious amounts of small talk and pretending to like beer. The food, however, was quite good, so no complaints there.

On Friday of last week I went to see the Free Shakespeare on the Common production of As You Like It. I didn’t know anything about it going in, luckily they summarized the play in the program, which made it easier to follow along. It was really enjoyable, and seemed well done; the music was especially well suited. There were two lights operators, who climbed the towers to man the lights for the show. I really liked the whole idea of having them climb the towers, It seemed like they had really good seats as well (being so high), I wanted to be them. I was surprised to learn that the quote from Civilization 4 for when you discover drama, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts,” is from this play. I must say that the quote is much more enlightened sounding without the rest of the monologue that follows. The play was preceded by a picnic dinner; it was a date actually, but that’s you get to hear about it.

Fireworks Outside My Window

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

somerville independence day fireworks, 2008
Updated to a photo from this year by the same user, old one here

There were fireworks outside of my window tonight. Somerville may very well be the only city in the country that celebrates the Fourth of July in late June on an annual basis. This did make it somewhat easy to find pictures from last year’s event on flicker. Another, non CC one here. The fireworks are supposed to be viewed from Trum Playground, a few block to the northeast of my apartment, but I never actually remember to go; although, I did read about them in advance this year thanks to the Davis Square Live Journal Group. Last year I was just really surprised when there were random fireworks.

The view from the front windows of the house isn’t so great. There are lots of trees in the way, and some of the shots don’t make it over the roofs of the houses on the other side. But there are plenty that do make it high into full view. There is something different about watching fireworks from your window. I mean other than that it’s a perfectly acceptable, unique, and anti-mundane activity to do alone, in the house, when no one else is home, as was the case tonight. Totally worth pausing, in this year’s case, Buffy the Vampire Slayer to watch.

Perhaps I’m just nostalgic. You see in 1994 when I lived in Mobile all summer long there were fireworks outside my bedroom window on Friday nights. There was a non-major league affiliated professional baseball franchise, the Baysharks, playing at the local college field. After every Friday game they would launch fireworks, win or lose, and my bedroom window was the best seat in the house.

It was then, and probably still is the best thing about baseball. I’m actually sad that the Red Sox don’t do anything like that. Now, they clearly don’t need fireworks to sell our their stadium like Baysharks did, but I still think fireworks would be a good addition. I especially like the idea of shooting off fireworks under only certain conditions. Like when they win the game. That way the whole city can instantly know the good news without turning on their television. Last summer I was at a roof deck party and everyone was trying to check the score on their cell phones as the game ended. We could see the lights at Fenway, if they launched fireworks on a win, we could have enjoyed ourselves a little more and relied on high technology a little less – a welcome reprieve.

I don’t remember what I thought about while I watched the fireworks from my windows as a child. Perhaps I was just dazzled, but I remember making it a point to watch them all. Granted they were short shows, shorter than tonight’s which must have lasted half an hour to forty-five minutes. Tonight I just thought about how much better it’d have been had my admittedly long shot plans panned out and I could use the event as yet another in a broad sequence of fun activities to impress my girl, stretching out from June through August. And how, my team winning an award at work – with an accompanying awards dinner – wouldn’t suck because it gives me exactly 28 days to find a date. *gulp*