May Day

May. 1st, 2015 03:23 pm
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Papers have been submitted, exams taken. The academic year is over. Still don't know which campus I'm going to be on in the fall, so I'm starting to assume that I'll be back on Belknap. Not thrilled, if that's the case, but I'll handle it and just kick ass on Gray Street later.

Christ, but I travel a lot when I go see Mom&Dad. Friday, drove to Liberty. Saturday, drove to Frankfort for an X-Wing tournament (more on that in a moment). Sunday, drove to Louisville and back to Liberty. Monday, ran around Casey County, knocking out some errands with Dad. Tuesday, drove Mom&Dad to Lexington for Dad's examination and some shopping for Mom, then back to Louisville that night. It means time with the family, though, so it's absolutely worth it.

So, perhaps foolishly, I got an iPod Nano. Good grief, this thing is tiny. Less than a quarter-inch thick and can hide completely behind my index and middle fingers. Weighs approximately nothing. And I am just charmed that it has an FM receiver built-in. Something like 1800 tracks on it at the moment. I know it's impractical - I could just use the iPhone. Don't care. I like it.

The X-Wing tournament day kicked off with a couple of league matches, and it looked like a pretty good day. But then, nerdrage hit. Tournament play requires each player to provide his own components - dice, movement templates, etc. One guy showed up with just his ships and their cards. His first opponent, I guess, shared these components, and neither mentioned it to the tournament organizer. Guy draws me next, and I notice that, well, he's undersupplied. When I ask about this, he says "I'll just use yours." Doesn't ask, doesn't add "if you don't mind." Just says he's going to use my components because his first opponent let him. This ... does not sit well with me. A casual game, sure. A league game, more than likely. But not a tournament. First, it's a violation of tournament rules. And, as I told the guy, I'm under no obligation to provide an opponent with the tools he's going to use to compete against me. I called over the TO, explained the situation, and guy was disqualified. Threw a fit. Guy's 30 years old, and he behaved like a damned toddler. No sympathy, and no one was impressed.

Nerds, man.

A related discovery - I'm starting to find serious aiming-for-big-tournament-win play boring as hell. A couple of guys (known quantities) at last night's league night were testing builds and strategies for some upcoming regional championships. I've flown against one of them a couple of times, and he's probably better at the game than I am, but he builds and plays under the assumption that everyone he goes up against has optimized his build. He doesn't adapt well to those of us who fly pretty much for the fun of it, and mess around with our ship lists for the sake of doing it. Man, watching these two play was damn near sad. No attempts to recover from early losses, fly unconventionally, anything. Just replicate strategies popular in the tournament circles. I don't really want to take my fun that seriously.

Today's Oaks Day, sort of the opening act for tomorrow's Kentucky Derby. Not going to any of the races, but there are parties tonight, and tomorrow night, I'll probably find myself walking the Highlands. Six years ago, I wound up there, completely unexpectedly, and it was one of the greatest nights of my life. I don't expect lightning to strike again, but there will be a lot of fun to be had.

SotU, 2014

Jan. 20th, 2015 09:56 pm
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January 20 is my parents' anniversary (1968!), and a pretty significant day in my life for another unrelated reason; it's sort of a personal holy day for me.

I'm watching the State of the Union address now. I've been disappointed by Barry O's presidency, and he's ultimately too conservative, but damned if the man can't deliver a speech, and I am taking great pleasure in watching Speaker Boehner squirm and VP Biden just revel in it all.

Kingfisher

Jul. 30th, 2014 09:34 pm
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I have, all things considered, enjoyed the time I've spend in my childhood home this summer. I've strengthened my relationship with my parents, and I think for the first time in my life, I've started to get some real idea as to how deep a good parent's love for a child goes. I'll never be a parent, of course, but I do get a sense of it through my relationship with the world's best niece.

Speaking of Micahalia, she and I got to spend an evening running around together last week. I'd gone to Louisville to check out a couple of housing options, and gave her a call. So, we went out to dinner and Vint and enjoyed some good time together. She's fantastic, and the depth of our relationship means that she and I can be completely honest with each other. I told her about my adviser's take that I have a long history of selling myself short - and Micahalia instantly told me "Yes, you do!" So, yeah... more encouragement to swing for the goddamn bleachers every chance I get.

I made the decision last week to commute from Liberty (or wherever) for my last two weeks at the summer McJob. The hotel had just gotten too depressing, and given the number of shortened workweeks over the course of the assignment, I wasn't really making any money with the cost of the hotel factored in. As it turns out, I made a good decision. Got to the shoe mines on Sunday afternoon, and my workgroup (and a couple others) were released. Well, we were given the option of finishing out the assignment, but working at most 20 hours/week, or leaving with no consequence. I handed in my badge and hit the door, with a "So long, mofos!" in my heart. And, in something like a sign, when I stopped in at Speedway for some tea for the drive home, I saw that I had enough rewards points for a VISA gift card. Got the card, routed to a FLGS, and rewarded myself with a copy of the new D&D Starter Set. Because why not.

Visited a few more houses and apartments on Monday. Found a place near the Frankfort Avenue reservoir that I really liked, but we wound up signing a lease this afternoon on a house on Cannons Lane. No watching trains from my living room, but since we're a half-block or so from Bowman Field, I can go out into the back yard and watch small aircraft come and go.

Huh. Spoke with three of the four super-influential Louisville Girl Friends today. That's pretty alright. More encouragement and general goodness.

Looked again into the UPS/UofL Metropolitan College program. Slightly different from what I remember from previous inquiries - and for the better. I think this is going to work out for me. Not an easy thing, but not insurmountable, and it will make the path smoother in the long run. It fits with my ... whatever it is of placing everything into the perspective of "Will this help with school?"

Moving the housemate tomorrow and/or Friday. He's under more time pressure than me to get settled. And has a lot less stuff. I respect that. I still have too much.

Limelight

Jun. 17th, 2013 11:48 pm
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Every now and again, I get a reminder of the depth of knowledge possessed by my father. Last Tuesday, he called and asked if I would drive across town and pick him up. His truck wouldn't start, and he was tired of being around it. The carrier had been contacted, and a repair order was in, so no worries there, but he was in town, so no need to stay with the truck when he doesn't have to. So, yeah, no problem, I'm in the car and heading across town. When I pull up to his location, all of 15 minutes later, the truck's running. He rooted around in the truck's toolbox and found a strip of metal. Laid said metal across the solenoid, forcing a short circuit that locked the thing closed and enabling the starter to do its thing. To him, twarn't nothin'. I wouldn't have figured out this problem and solution in a hundred days.

Had a good weekend - and have had a string of them of late, which is pretty darn terrific. Saturday was Free RPG Day, and the club's event went off spectacularly. Over thirty attendees, many games, many new faces. Our host store reported good sales, selling most of the items we had ordered to back up the giveaways. Another store ran a 25% off RPGs sale, and I landed a Mage sourcebook and a Star Wars: EotE starter set - more on that in a second. I ran four folks through the Shadowrun quickstart, and good times were had all around. I had planned to run the SW:EotE demo, too (and part of my reason and happiness at getting the starter set came from getting a set of the funky dice the game uses), but that was unfortunately derailed by a player who made up for his lack of smart with a surplus of belligerence.

Following the gaming, it was off to the bar, which led to its own hijinks. One of our little group only gets let off the leash a couple of times a year, while the rest of us are accomplished in defiling ourselves. Dave wound up drinking entirely too much, attempting to match Colin, the master at whose feet I learned. Dave was in sad-ass shape. And was crashing on my couch for the evening. Thankfully, he didn't get sick, but he's likely to lose his privileges over this.

Sunday! Father's Day! Got up, saw No-More-Drinking-Dave off, and headed to Liberty. Dad loved his gift - a nice little Dell laptop - and we had a good time grilling and goofing off. Had planned to go to Louisville in the evening to have dinner with Diane, but she texted me in the afternoon to ask about staying at my place that night instead - she had an appointment in Danville this morning (Monday) and leaving from Lexington would save her a lot of morning driving. We stayed up rather late talking, and while I paid for it with industrial-grade drowsiness at the office today, it was more than worth it.

More dumb stuff at work. Nothing new there.
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I don't often make a big deal about my birthday, outside of taking a few days off from work and either relaxing or hitting the road. It's just how I'm wired. My ACS team at work is pretty cool about it. Yesterday, though, my new teams did something that, in the great big scheme of things, is small, but it really made me happy. Cake, ice cream, and a little celebration in the afternoon. Completely unexpected, but very kind.

Today, of course, is Valentine's Day. I've railed against it, hated it, been ambivalent towards it. I sent Amy flowers way back when, and a few dinners and cards and other things with someone else, but Kathryn wasn't into Valentine's Day at all, and that godawful mess with Sasha had so many complications that even if I'd wanted to make note of February 14, I couldn't have without making things even worse than they were. 2009 sees me going down a path with #1 Crush - we're not together today, and probably won't see each other until I get back from Alabama, but I'm happy as the day is long that we've got places in each others' lives.

So, here's to Valentine's Day. Here's to romance and to love and to butterflies in the stomach and your heart racing when that particular name shows on your cell and to conversations that go into the wee hours of the night. Here's to what-if and promises and a boast that she's willing to call you on. Here's to having an ache from missing someone, and not wanting that ache to go away because even it feels so good. Here's to gentle touches and whispers and private looks and things that no one knows but you and her. Here's to knowing what you want, and knowing that any risk is worth it. Here's to trust and to someone placing the whole of their existence into your hands.

Here's to my crush.

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