Guh. I am so overdue for an update it is downright appalling. XD It's pretty bad that I'm not even sure what I've talked about and what I haven't. But, yeah, I'm thinking bullet points are a good plan.

  • We had a bout a few weeks ago in Eugene--my first Away bout with my team! It was really fun, and I think we played well, and that I, personally, played well. Basically, we won in every way except getting the most points, heh. There was a really terrible jam ref, and I think that killed us--not that we should have won, necessarily, but the score should have been closer. I can't really feel bad, though, seeing as we were playing their all-star travel team, and all.

  • My birthday is coming up, and I've done basically nothing whatsoever to plan for it, heh. I'll be working at a wedding on my actual birthday, so I have an extra week to pull together birthday shindig plans. Honestly, I'm feeling pretty partied-out these days, so just saying, "hey guys, come over and let's eat and play games and hang out," is more than enough to keep me happy. :)

  • Work got stressful for a bit, there. I got a bit freaked about getting new clients, but I've since gotten some new inquiries, thanks to referrals. I made an agency happy with some development work, so hopefully there'll be more coming from them soon. I'm taking a workshop next week that should hopefully teach me how to suck less at networking. I took care of that ethical quandary I mentioned--I asked the recruiter who connected me with the agency, and she apparently told them the situation and got me the all-clear.

  • Joe lives with me now, and it's all been very good and easy. The only real adjustment was reminding myself that I don't *have* to spend every minute with him when he's around, because now he's around all the time. Otherwise, it's been the smoothest sailing possible. :)

  • I somehow managed to tweak my knee a couple of weeks ago, so I wound up taking a couple of weeks off from skating. Yeah, that was the opposite of fun, and I got really sick of doing pushups and such because I couldn't use my dumb legs. Fortunately, I saw the sports med doctor a couple of days ago, and he said there was a chance of a small meniscus tear, but not enough to make him push for an MRI, and definitely not enough to keep me off-skates. I did all the running and jumping and squatting I could muster to test it out, and then I went back to scrimmage yesterday and everything was fine. MY LEGS WORK WOOOOOO!

  • To be honest, I think I fell into a depression for a few weeks, especially after the knee thing. I think that a lot of emotional flotsam and external obligations piled up, and I finally cracked and just didn't feel like doing ANYTHING. Even doing the bare minimum was excruciating, and then losing exercise as an outlet when I hurt my knee was a pretty huge blow in dealing with depression. I've definitely been less social, and I'm not sure I necessarily see that stopping, even now that I'm feeling better--I'm poking my head back out judiciously, but you know? I overdo these things. I'mma give myself some leeway, here.

  • Anyhoo, YES, I'm doing better now. My mood finally started to lift over this past weekend, and now that I'm skating again, I have that outlet again, too. Spending more time alone and playing video games has helped.

  • Yes, depression can also be blamed for my not updating here in FOREVER. I certainly had the time, when work dropped off, but not the energy or wherewithal.

  • Speaking of which, I've been playing a hell of a lot of Mass Effect. It's so good, and I'm weirdly attached to my Shepard, and the characters are well-drawn and the story is incredibly engaging. I wish more sci-fi movies had as much thought put into them as the Mass Effect team put into their games. I'm just starting out with Mass Effect 3, and I can't wait to pick up more party members, so I can kick that whiny-ass tool Kaidan to the curb.

  • Last weekend, I worked a hilaaaarious fundraiser for shelter dogs--basically, my piece of the event was taking photos of people in Glamour Shots style. (did you know that they still exist? They're using less glow filter nowadays, but the cowboy hats and cheesy posing haven't gone away. Haaahahaha.) It's been a more editing-intensive event shoot than my usual, but it's also an oddly fun exercise in doing all of the awful, overprocess-y things I never, ever do to my normal photos. XD See Exhibit A:

SLG_7020_social
I really meant to write something after Derby Daze, but last week nearly killed me with stress. SO, in short:
  • It was my first year doing Derby Daze, and that much derby in one weekend was exhausting, amazing fun.
  • I learned a ton, and my little Moleskine notebook is full of notes that I scribbled down after each workshop.
  • Working outside whiteboard at WOJ vs. Minnesota was challenging–mostly because Minnesota put up a hell of a fight in the first half. Good derby is distracting!
  • Thanks to the good graces of my roommates, I hosted two ladies from BC at my place–from the Rink Minx Rollergirls–and also introduced them to the majesty of burgers and poutine at Kay’s.
  • I learned a new Rinxter position at the AoA vs. Skatesaphrenics bout–one that’s easy enough, unless you screw it up. Fortunately, I didn’t screw up. Computer skillz!
  • Derby Daze also gave me a newfound hatred for early mornings. 6:00am and I will never, ever be friends.
  • Due to the above, and also not being able to fall asleep, I literally spent more time skating than sleeping that weekend. WOW.
ANYHOO, the dazed feeling continued, because part of the whole being-super-stressed thing last week was preparing to skip town for my annual pilgrimage to PAX, a.k.a. everyone's favorite glowy, flashy wonderland of gamestuff and bad network reception. I did a lot of nerd things, like demoing Star Trek Catan, buying pretty dice, playing new board games with my friends, and watching Wil Wheaton play D&D on stage with the Penny Arcade guys and Scott Kurtz. (which is hilarious, by the way)

This year was shorter than years past, for me, because I had derby practice on Thursday night, so I couldn’t leave until Friday morning. AND I also left early on Sunday to get back in time for Endurance practice, because skipping Endurance is always a bad decision. Well, and also because there was a Fresh Meat End-of-Summer BBQ after practice. But yes, this was the first time I’ve been to PAX and not stayed until the bitter end.

Fortunately, Joe didn’t disown me for making us arrive late and leave early from PAX. He might have been a little upset, though. WROUGHT WITH EMOTIONS, even:


…oh, and there might be a little thing called Draft happening later this week. But, you know, no big deal or anything. Yeah, it’ll be totally easy to forget about that. I almost forgot about it just now when I was writing that sentence. Wait, what were we talking about again?

HURHURHUR. That there was sarcasm, by the way. In all honesty, I'm not expecting a call this Thursday, and I'm choosing to be okay with that. There's another draft on November 15th, I'm starting a new cross-training regimen, and I'm just going to keep doing what I do. And that? Is KICKING ASS. August was not exactly kind to me on multiple levels, so I'm going to rest, recharge, and kick September square in the pants.

Seriously, though, send me all of your best lolcat pictures on Thursday. I’ll need them.
Okay, dudes. It's a new year, and it's time to make some goals happen! I actually did pretty okay at last year's goals, and although they didn't all go exactly as planned--because, really, when do they ever?--progress was definitely made on a lot of them. So, hey, the same format, because it's good to have ideas.

Raise monthly business profits enough to live awesomely on them!
  • Outsource and/or delegate the things that I waste time on or generally suck at. Use time to focus on things that I'm an expert at, or would like to become expert at.
  • Try to capture more design work, not just web-site-only. Logos, packaging, catalogs, illustration?
  • Be more proactive about networking. Meet people whose work I admire, support local creatives with my dollars, start the conversations that will make them want to pay for my expertise!
  • Do at least a couple of test shoots or photo projects that push the boundaries a bit. Use them to make people go, "oooooo!" and give me money to shoot more awesome photos.
  • Benchmark #1: surpass monthly income at old job in Eugene
  • Benchmark #2: surpass monthly income at my last job in PDX
Eat better, sleep better, train harder
  • Go running at least 2x/week, work up to 3-4x/week as the ankle allows; adjust as necessary as derby is added back into the routine.
  • 8 hours a night of sleep. Get to bed early enough to wake with the daylight instead of an alarm. (it worked in CA, so hopefully it can work here)
  • Be a more devoted yogi. At least 1 yoga class a week, hopefully two.
  • Since my old gym closed, find a new gym for myself and Boyfriend. Join it. Go to it regularly.
  • Do anti-inflammatory cleanse diet to help with remaining injury healing and, well, getting rid of holiday handles.
  • Mmmmaybe go gluten-free for an entire month, just to see what happens.
Give more time to friends, family, and good causes
  • Being less absurdly-busy = inviting friends out to do things more often = not being a shitty friend = Happy!
  • Try to work out an extra visit to California, hopefully spring/summer. See family and friends. Bring J along.
  • Help with Alyson's bra drive over the next few weeks.
  • Likely donating web site redesign to Newberg Animal Shelter.
Get drafted to an RCR team
  • Keep NSOing, return to Wreckers in mid-to-late-Jan
  • Do GnR Pre-Meat bootcamps in early-Feb
  • Get back onto Fresh Meat at Feb 11th tryouts
  • Extra scrimmage time w/Wreckers, co-ed derby, and Vancouver league
  • Get MSR cleared, make teams love me, BOOM. DRAFTED. Hopefully May.
Play more games
  • Being less absurdly-busy = more solo time = finishing freaking Dragon Age already = Happy!
  • Adjust my living space in a way that's more friendly towards spending a few hours on a lazy Sunday with my XBox.
  • Get in on a good RPG campaign. I know of a few that are in the pipeline, but man, it's been a while.
  • Have board game nights semi-regularly? I like my friends, and I like playing games with them!
Spend less money on gasoline
  • More bike commuting, because in-town driving makes me sad or makes me want to hit things.
  • Get a smaller and more fuel-efficient car!
Read more, listen more.
  • Being less absurdly-busy = more solo time = finishing more books = Happy!
  • Read a neat article on the internet with breakfast, instead of derping around and/or being rushed in the mornings.
  • Podcasts. They're neat. Maybe take them out running?
Most exhausting weekend EVAR. It was worth it, yes, but I want a nap.
  • I covered a Friday Happy Hour event with a few contacts from the local shopping guide I shot for. It was fairly low-key, and it wasn't a packed event, but it was nice to chitchat/network with these folks in an environment that wasn't completely overwhelming. Also, the lady doing floral for *my* First Friday event in October is a bloody genius: she used pea shoots in an arrangement for the happy hour. Everything she makes is a surprise.
  • Oh, yeah, and I'm hosting First Friday at my studio in October! I'll post more details in the none-too-distant future, but I'm interested to see how it pans out.
  • Friday night was dinner, drinks, and late-night shenanigans with friends from out of town. It was eventful, but in that good way.
  • Saturday morning scrimmage was fun. I love being able to say that. Getting compliments on my derby play still feels weird, and I think I'll continue to be skeptical of it until I hear it from people who aren't my skating peers. (i.e. non-Freshies)
  • On a more positive note, I did juke around a team skater pretty awesomely while jamming, and had a much-better-than-me Freshie say that my jamming looked good. She may have even used the word, "exciting." So, hey, that's pretty excellent.
  • There was a skater BBQ in the afternoon, which didn't exactly turn out very BBQ-y, given the rainy weather, but it was nice to hang out in a social context. We already see a lot of each other by virtue of the practice schedule, so it's easy to forget that part.
  • Saturday night was a 30th birthday party for one of the aforementioned friends from out of town, so that meant a low-key but well-attended party. A smattering of conversation, a bit of impromptu booty-shaking, and good times were had.
  • Sunday was brunch, with homemade breakfast burritos! Also, it feels funny to be out at brunch with visiting friends and tell them that you’re, “checking your scores,” when the closest you usually come to being a Sports Fan is going to the occasional baseball game with your dad. Thank you, WFTDA East Region Playoffs. ;p
  • Endurance practice in the evening was surprisingly good. I felt like crap after drinking two nights in a row, so I expected it to be awful, but it was unusually easy to snap into really good skating form, so it felt easy. Then again, after the brutal endurance practice we had *last* week, I think just about anything would've felt easy. ;p
  • After practice, some of us from the Birthday Party Squad reconvened to play board games, and I got to break out my copy of the Battlestar Galactica board game. It's a great game, but trying to teach it to a cluster of people who'd never played it before was, erm, difficult. Once you understand how it works, though, it's *awesome*. We also played a game called Quelf, which was pretty amusing and would probably be even moreso with a few drinks in you.
  • Yes, I was also wearing the Not A Robot t-shirt while playing the BSG game. Yes, that was on purpose. XD
So, yeah, good times, great skating, and I'm all out of extroversion. I'm taking tomorrow off, because it's going to be the last bit of calm before West Regionals this weekend. That probably sounds worse than it is, actually, but I do have to photograph part of it for that web site that pays me money to shoot for them, and I don't yet know what days I'll have tickets for. Hopefully, I'll get to sneak in an actually-restful weekend day.

I'll be relieved when Regionals is over after this weekend, and even moreso when Draft is done with 2 1/2 weeks from now. I feel like all I have to talk about lately is derby and work, and I know I've been doing other things, too, but those two things *do* have a way of taking over my entire consciousness.

Tomorrow is going to be awesome, though. Hot damn.

Remember when weekends were restful and rejuvenating? Yeah, me neither.

PAX PAX PAX

Sep. 2nd, 2011 01:54 pm
This userpic seems appropriate, seeing as I finally got a chance to play the BSG board game while I was at PAX. (which, by the way? Is compeltely awesome and I want to buy it)

But, yes: I totally blogged PAX 2011.

And can I just say again how incredible the Omegathon was this year? This will easily go down in my personal history as one of my favorite photographer stories. I love my work. :D

Guess what I'm doing this weekend? Well, I'll tell you what I'm not doing: I'm not leaving PDX, and I'M NOT WORKING. It's high time I had a weekend that looks normal-ish--just some skating and seeing a few friends. Oh, and playing a bit of 4th ed. D&D, because we apparently didn't get enough geekery at PAX last weekend. Silly, silly human, I am.
Anybody doing anything Friday night? Or possibly want to get together?  My Friday night is mysteriously empty, and I'd like to change that. Also, J will be returning from a trip that night and looking to decompress, so drinks or funtime would be awesome. Maybe some karaoke?

Anyhoo, weekend update on a Wednesday, because that's how I roll:
  • As previously mentioned, I bounced around at the ComicsFest with J for a couple of hours, and it was lovely, and I also ran into a [livejournal.com profile] dark_knightly and a [livejournal.com profile] moonchylde !
  • Did a bit of in-studio test shooting with [livejournal.com profile] theamazingjosh for a couple of hours. We started later than I expected, and I don't know that we got a lot accomplished, but it was good to hold a Nikon in my hands again. Soon, my pretties, very soon...
  • Went to a speed skating clinic, which was open to all levels, so that sort of limited what we could go over, but I did learn a couple of things that I'm going to try and be mindful of in my form. Faster, faster!
  • Closed out my Saturday at [livejournal.com profile] sarapada and [livejournal.com profile] monkeyhole 's housewarming, where there was a most excellent housespace, tasty snacks, lovely people, and Rock Band. I am also now less confused by Pro Keys mode, although I still think the interface is kind of stupid. I actually have piano-playing skills! IT SHOULDN'T BE THIS HARD. XD
  • I had a lazy morning at the house on Sunday, ate breakfast and worked out, and then bounced over to the Bagdad for the WOJ vs. BAD bout viewing party. Due to some odd thing about a restricted number of event permits, there was a bout, but they weren't allowed to have spectators at the hangar. So, we watched a boutcast on the big screen, and it was a bit strange to be cheering for people who couldn't hear me, so I imagine it was even weirder for the players to be playing a national-level bout with nobody watching. But, it was good fun and we had a pretty packed house!
  • Endurance practice was afterwards, and yeah, I love that. There's something that feels very zen-like about it, because it's all variations on a theme: namely, skating around and around the track. It's nice to just focus on working hard, rather than getting wigged out by confusing drills.
  • After that was the Game of Thrones premiere hosted by [livejournal.com profile] phasmaphobic and [livejournal.com profile] veiravx , and OMJESUS IT WAS SO GREAT. So great that I even blogged about it a little. It's already been renewed for a second season, it's getting fantastic reviews, and if there was a way for them to have executed this better, I can't think of it. I'm even more excited for the next episode, if that's even possible.
Anyhoo, tonight, I'll be shilling derby tickets at Beulahland for Cheap Ticket Night. The week has been pretty nice, thus far, but I think I'd like to just fast-forward to Sunday, because if the last Coliseum bout is any indication, I'll be ready to fall over from exhaustion by the time Saturday is over.

Still, it could be worse. I'm making calzone for dinner tonight, and it's going to be delicious.
So, HEY. I won a spelling bee last night! My winning word was "droitural." Apparently, LJ's spell-checker doesn't even think that's a correctly spelled word, even though it is, so I guess that's pretty impressive. $10 of free noms for my trouble, hot damn.

Last weekend was eventful. In the land of derby, I fell spectacularly during a drill, the notable part of this being that my knee pad slipped partway off during the fall. I toughed it out and was okay for the rest of practice, but upon waking up on Sunday? Cue ugly swelling and bruising, and incredible stiffness when trying to move my leg. Eeep. I bowed out on Sunday practice, and have been taking it easy since, and I got the knee checked out today.

A lot of the pain I'm feeling is, apparently, due to the incredible amount of bruising on the muscle in that area--it's swollen enough to be obstructive and hurty when I bend my leg past a certain point--so that'll go away as the bruise does. I lucked out on the joint side of things, though: I have, at worst, a level 1 MCL sprain, and 2 of the 3 tests the doctor did on the joint didn't cause me any pain, so it's very minor. I actually *should* keep moving the joint, too, or it'll stiffen up again. Lots of ice, plus laying off of running and skating for a bit should have me feeling good again. I'm hoping to sit out at practice again on Thursday, and be okay in time for open scrimmage on Saturday.

Saturday night had me dressing up somewhere between "fancy" and "ridiculous," and taking in a Geek Burlesque show. We were one of the last few people to get in the door, and they apparently had to turn away 100+ people, so it was quite the success. Portland geeks make me proud, heh.

Anyhoo, I enjoyed the show quite a bit, especially considering boobs don't exactly do it for me, and there were some very creative and amusing acts. The Super Mario Bros. routine was easily my favorite, due to the sheer hilarity and showmanship, but I'll totally admit that I squeed when the Sailor Jupiter act took the stage. Damn you, magical girl anime! ;) 

After deciding to bow out of skating on Sunday, I realized I had exactly nowhere to be for the entire day! So, I gave myself the day off, watched a few episodes of Arrested Development, bought some groceries, and spent 5-or-so hours romping around Denerim, doing side quests and macking on Alistair, heh. I was sorely tempted, both yesterday *and* today, to skip out on work and play more video games, but responsibility won that fight. I've promised myself to make some Asian lettuce wraps for dinner tonight, but that might be a fight that video games could win.

Also: Venture Bros. is pretty damned hilarious. The End. <3
The weekend turned out pretty excellently. Friday night was game night, this time hosted by Kenna, and Wits and Wagers reaffirmed that I suck at trivia, but hey, it was all good fun. Saturday night involved sushi and Ground Kontrol, and then a farewell party for [livejournal.com profile] saofoir and the DoomCo house. I have to say, it was a little weird to be at the DoomCo house, yell out, "SHOTS!" and receive little-to-no response, heh. The times, they are a-changing, but if we're finding ourselves in good spirits, I'm not going to question it.

Sunday was breakfast at Cup and Saucer--ginger buckwheat pancake? OH YES INDEED--and then a spontaneous run of CLEANING ALL THE THINGS. Then it was more derby practice, in which my overenthusiasm for skating on Saturday came back to bite me, and Demon game, in which I actually felt like my character was quasi-useful, even if the session was on the shorter side.

As for Saturday during the day? My horoscope knew where my brain was, when I got up for derby practice:

Although your common sense has returned today, your fantasies have not faded. In spite of your current down-to-earth perspective, you are holding on to your dreams with more determination than ever. There's little room for any kind of distractions, so keep your focus on your goals in spite of the temporary setbacks you encounter along the way. Don't let this chance to achieve success slip through your fingers.

I apparently finished the 50-Lap Killer that day, and even did a sprint lap! I fell on the first attempt, but did the sprint on the second. I'm still so, so slow, but I'm getting better. :) I'd assumed previously that the opposite-direction laps counted towards the 50 Laps, but they don't, so I'd actually finished the 50-Lap Killer at Thursday's practice, too, aside from stopping to re-tie my bootlace. I'm boggled at how quickly this has come together, but I guess form counts for everything. :)

And then, I stayed for over half of Wreckers practice, afterwards. Because I am crazy. XD It was nice, though, just to see some of the girls I haven't been seeing regularly since making FM. They're all progressing, and teaching a metric ton of newbies, and it's really exciting to see.

Also, one of the other Freshies was chatting with me during scrimmage at practice Saturday, and she mentioned that I'd come up in conversation, the other day. Apparently, she and the few other girls involved agreed that I had a really good attitude. As she put it, even though I'm not endurance cleared, I don't let the frustration get to me, I don't sit out, and I never complain.

I almost had to laugh when I heard that, because I've spent the past two months feeling as though the frustration was getting to me, and that it was, at times, so close to breaking me apart. Hell, it still could, for all I know. And perhaps it's just that nobody sees the uglier side of my attitude. I tend to hold in my negative feelings when I'm not with closer friends whom I trust, and I retreat into my hidey-hole when I'm feeling dispirited and down on myself. I definitely saw myself doing that just a week or two ago, putting less of myself into practice, and even being more solitary and less social with others on the squad.

There is some truth to it, though, I suppose. 99% of life is just showing up, and I certainly do that. And I seem to be learning how to spot my breaking point on the horizon, and ease off on myself before I break. And, well, I have too much pride to let the world see it when I'm hurting. That's been true ever since childhood.

Whatever the reason for the face I put forth, though, I really wasn't expecting to hear that. I spend most of my time at derby feeling like a face in the crowd, and it's strange to me that anyone's noticed. But, you know, in that good way. :)
batskeets: (ken)
I have a pretty serious headache, at the moment, and I am *not* pleased by it. So, it's time for another bulleted-list-style update.
  • Went to Game Night at Chez [livejournal.com profile] monkeyhole , had a good time visiting with everyone, and won a game of Munchkin. I'm glad that monthly game nights are back!
  • Survived my first open scrimmage, had one exhausting-but-good jam where I got lead jammer, and withstood some serious hits from travel team skaters. I fell more often than not, but I held up pretty damned well for my first go.
  • Finally got my things set up at the studio, had a quick meeting/hangout with two jewelry designers we'll be working with soon, and proofed the sombrero puppy fashion shoot. We're set for a studio-warming party, too, which is going to be primarily clients/friends who've booked us, and people we particularly like in the wedding industry, and I'm looking forward to celebrating that!
  • Did a wushu demo, and got done with that early enough to make it to birthday dinner for [livejournal.com profile] theamazingjosh , and post-dinner drinks (and bacon-wrapped dates, nooommmm) at Hotel Deluxe afterwards.
  • Woke up strangely early on Sunday and did a Run and Yoga session, got more work done via Laptop Party with Alyson and Alicia, then rolled out to derby practice, where I sprinted so hard I nearly vomited. I had never previously done anything resembling that last part, and I can't say I'd recommend it.
  • Had a laughter-filled session of Demon game, in spite of the fact that my dice were being largely uncooperative. There's now also the unfortunate in-game misconception that my character is a lesbian, which would be a more problem if she weren't free of all prejudices, in the, "I hate everyone equally," sense.
I am so sore that it defies all reason, but it's primarily in my back. I still loathe my workstation at The Job with every fiber of my being, and I may have to harass them for a new office chair, because the keyboard tray hasn't solved the problem.

I want a nap. And I'm counting the minutes until my massage on Wednesday. Still, if my body and my head didn't hurt, I'd be in a pretty awesome mood. Win.
I think my skates are inciting a revolt against me: at tonight's practice, the top shoelace hole on my left skate all but split clean through. This, of course, makes the fit even worse. Yeah, that's awesome. :p Fortunately, I've managed to accept that I'll get my endurance clearance when I get it, and that I'll get through this eventually, so my frustration was shorter-lived this time around.

Productivity, on the other hand, is currently my bitch! I mowed through a photo edit in record time last night, and actually had time left over to go to Ground Kontrol for Free Play Night. (note to self: make the GK staff turn up the volume on DDR, because it is damned near impossible to hit 7+-Foot songs when you can't hear the bloody music!) I was temporarily possessed by a pinball wizard, kicked ass and chewed bubblegum at various fighting games--Marvel vs. Capcom, sadly, *not* being one of them--and paid a visit to some old-school classics.

Today was a day of me flexing my web-based muscles, and throwing down some design work for not one, but two different sites. I'm seriously looking forward to sharing these projects, once they're nailed down in pixels and code. I also have a lot of ideas for updating my web site, including resurrecting my public blog, and actually updating my blasted design portfolio. It's been over three years since I made any real changes to my design portfolio, which is just not acceptable. I deserve to be doing exciting and inspiring design projects, not mind-numbing HTML formatting, damnit.

Anyhoo, the weekend is looking like good fun, and aside from derby practice and the wushu demo, my Saturday is startlingly open! I'm already daydreaming about the various things I might like to do with it. Ahhhh.
Well, last week may have been the single most exhausting week I've had in ages, but I survived. And I had a good time, on top of that.

Alyson bribed me with pie to come document the results of her recent bra drive, so I dragged myself out of bed on Saturday morning to meet up with her. She was able to collect 37 pounds of donated bras for the Portland Rescue Mission! I love that I know people who are doing good things in the community.

Then, I suited up in purple tights and booty shorts, and wound up spending over seven Hours at the Coliseum. I'd already helped with floor setup on Friday, and then spent the majority of the bout on Saturday strategically positioning myself amongst the crowd, while wearing an Ask Me About Roller Derby t-shirt, and being assailed with questions. I actually had a good time answering questions and chatting with the fans, but climbing up and down all of those stairs? Ooof. And, of course, I had to stay after for another hour with the rest of Fresh Meat, and help take down and load the skating floor back into the truck.

Not surprisingly, I was something of a zombie when I got back to my place, but a goodbye party for [livejournal.com profile] matrixleap was in full swing, and everyone was feeling toasty and having a lovely time. It was nice to wind down with friends, rather than going to some crazy after-party, and I'm glad I was able to help make his send-off better, in some small way. :)

Sunday was a much more relaxing day of sleeping until 11am, doing a yoga class, seeing True Grit with Kenna--and I highly recommend the movie, by the way--and then wandering home for Demon game. We were down a player, so the other three of us spent a lot of the session flailing about and wondering what on earth our characters could do that'd be remotely useful, heh. Somehow, we managed to muddle through and actually accomplish things in-game, and I think I'm finally starting to settle into my character a bit more, so that was a pretty excellent feeling.

Yesterday, good ol' Martin Luther King Jr. got me the day off from work, so I met up with Alyson again for brunch, and we talked about shooting her spring collection, which is going to be the radness, as usual. This time? We're going to have cute animals involved, and thankfully, I do not have to wrangle them. After brunch, it was Laptop Party time, so I got to chat with her and Carolyn at their studio, while I got a metric ton of work done in the photoshoot project management system we've been using. So tedious, but so good to have it mostly-done.

I got to have a long-overdue tea and catch-up with [livejournal.com profile] katlyn, after getting the work done, and then folks wandered over to watch Farscape. I'm also getting way too much enjoyment out of preparing veggie snack plates when people come over. Hostess Powers, Activate!

All in all, a good weekend, and this week will be much, much more chilled out than the last.
Okay. There's a post somewhere in this squishy mass of brain matter, I'm positive.

...okay, maybe not. I think all you're getting out of me is a list. Blame absinthe. Or Canada.
  • Killer Burger was pretty killer, all right. It was a peanut butter, bacon, and pickle burger, and I think the peanut sauce was a bit too sweet to make the experience perfect, but I ate the whole damned thing and I'm not the least bit sorry. The PB and pickle flavors actually came together nicely, but there were times when I nearly forgot there was bacon on the burger. Something seems a bit wrong with that.
  • I'm not sure what got into me before derby practice on Saturday, but I went in with my proverbial guns ablaze. It was exhausting from an endurance standpoint, and I fell down more than a few times, but I was on the attack, mentally. I'm tempted to say it was the best practice in ages, but there've been quite a few good ones, as of late. And! I may have the opportunity to skate with the flat track league in LA, while I'm there. This is happy-making.
  • Yes, absinthe is serious business. I'm making a point of noting this, on the off chance that I might actually remember it in the future. You know, as opposed to finding myself shaking my fist at the heavens again several months from now, when another absinthe-related hangover cracks me upside the head.
  • That said, it *was* a pretty excellent party, so even though my recollections are somewhat fuzzy, I dare say? WORTH IT. :)
  • Last night kicked off my first foray into the WoD, through a game of Demon: The Fallen. I always seem to fall back on making useful characters--yeah, I've spent too much time around deliciously creative D20 min/maxers--so playing in a game where there's a stronger storytelling aspect is going to be a nice change of pace. I was also hideously unprepared for the session, so figuring out who my character is via flailing around senselessly was pretty damned amusing.
  • Work-wise, editing has been grueling, but it's going more quickly than expected, thank jeebus.
There are other things worth noting, too, but I'm reserving comment on those until I actually figure out what in god's name is going on. XD

Okay, I think my next post is required to A) contain actual paragraphs, and B) not contain bullet points. I can handle that, right?
With the way this week has gone, I'm not even sure I'll make it to Day 2. I might just do the days that appeal to me, or I might not have time for anything. Bluuuuugh. But anyway, here goes:

Day 1 - Very first video game.

My memories are most definitely fuzzy. My dad was always pretty keen on technology, so I was learning BASIC at the tender age of... 4 or 5? A lot of that inherited techie fixation centered around computers, but in my very early years, I do believe we had one of these at our house:


And that resulted in my pudgy, little-kid hands attempting to play a hell of a lot of this:
And the winner is... )
Yes, in spite of everyone and their mother's attempt to derail me with Things I Have To Do yesterday, I successfully found time to make friends with the ol' XBox again. I'm finally out of freakin' Lothering! Yes, I'm the slowest gamer on the planet. Morrigan disapproves. But, I intend to have more free evenings at my disposal in the near future, so I *will* get through this freakin' game. I have others I need to play!

Also, I don't think I've mentioned it here, but should you want to be friends on XBox Live, leave me your screen name, and I'll add you! (probably better that way, given my sporadic console gaming endeavors)

I also had a sort-of-date via Skype, earlier this evening. It was stunningly awkward for the first couple of minutes, just by virtue of the fact that it was on Skype, and you can thusly see each other, but not completely. My wild gesticulations went outside of the webcam's view more than once, and we had a couple instances of one of us pointing at something in the background, and then realizing that the other couldn't see what was being pointed at.

Other than that, however, I wound up having a great time, and I didn't want it to end, when it came time for me to log off and leave for the evening's activities. And just, wow. I had what was, more or less, an extended, face-to-face interaction with a person in another city. Realizing that blows my mind a little.

It's official: I live in the gorram future, people. And I think I may be spending a fair bit more time on Skype in the coming weeks.
So, that whole thing about dragging myself to wushu last night? Didn't happen. I picked up some stir-fry at New Seasons, came home, watched Castle, and got partway through the latest episode of Dexter before passing out just before 10pm. Sleep is AMAZING.

Last weekend was fairly exhausting, largely because my body decided to be a rat-bastard and short me on sleep, and recovering from that was not the easiest thing.

FRIDAY: Went to wushu, went to Ground Kontrol, drank too much wine and watched a hilarious documentary, came home and passed out for 4 whole hours. I could've slept for another 2 or 3 hours, but my stupid body wouldn't let me. :p

SATURDAY: Veronica Mars at [livejournal.com profile] marykae 's, a derby practice that didn't suck, some portrait processing, and then I went over to [livejournal.com profile] veiravx and [livejournal.com profile] phasmaphobic's for a big-ass LAN/XBox party. I assumed I would be awful at everything on this day, due to not sleeping, but I actually had a good derby practice, got worky things done, and also managed to play Halo Reach and not die every 2 seconds! It was fairly amazing, and I had a great time overall! (I was still astoundingly awful at RE5, though. Derp.)

SUNDAY: Went to brunch and also gave [livejournal.com profile] kaptian the art prints he'd ordered forever ago. The wait time at Tin Shed was completely absurd. Then, I went to IKEA to buy a new couch, foolishly forgetting that it wouldn't fit in my car. And then, I went to Eugene to put out some interpersonal fires, and did so successfully.

And finally, Poll: is it crass to say, "I just want to be friends," via e-mail? Because, while I, personally, would not be bothered by such a thing, it seems that others potentially are.

And, I'm spent.
Because I'm lazy, here's a taste of PAX, with photos.

I'm sure I'll write more later, but my head hurts right now. And dude, TOO MANY PICTURES I want to post. Here are the rest of them, and they're also on Facebook with captions, if that's how you roll.
I'm not sure what it was, but it's seeming like this round of PAX was at least a little weird for everyone.

The most notable difference for me? I spent a LOT of time wandering alone. Some of it was by choice, some of it was not, and I did also get to see a greater number of friends than I did last year. I had drive-by encounters with more familiar faces than last year, and actually got to hang out with friends that I didn't even physically see at last year's PAX.

But, yes, I spent a lot of time alone, and there were definitely a lot of factors that went into it. Part of it was the god-awful phone/network reception (thanks, AT&T! ::eyeroll::) and not being able to communicate with anyone particularly well. There were friends I didn't get to spend time with as much as I'd have liked, or even at ALL, because I couldn't find out where they were or what they were doing in any reasonable timeframe.

Part of it was the need to retreat into my own mental space, after the barrage of photo requests from strangers on Costume Day. Part of it was being interested in things that most/all of my friends weren't as excited about checking out. Part of it was keeping some distance between my dear friends and my emotions, because a lot of things I felt at various times were just signs that I need to get over myself, and I didn't want that to spill all over my fun *or* anyone else's. And, well, a lot of it was just going into this PAX even more exhausted, overtaxed, and overwhelmed than I was last year. (is that even possible? Heh.)

I also have to take a moment to look at the good and the bad of the whole PAX environment. Having embarked on the adventure of costuming at a convention for the first time, I've already witnessed some pretty ugly behavior, via photos and commentary post-convention. I've managed to filter my online universe enough that I don't see it often anymore, but the ability some people have to say things via the online medium that they'd never say to a person's face is just appalling. There are times when I'd really like to punch the internet in the groin.

But, on the flip side of that, wandering alone also exposed me to the warm-and-fuzzy PAX that everyone talks about. I was reminded of my experience at PAX '09, when I discovered just how easy it was to simply walk up and talk to a stranger, or to jump in on their one-member-short Rock Band group, or to join in on a game with your line neighbors while waiting for a panel. Even when I was in costume, people were usually polite about asking for photos, and, when I was busy trying to text a friend, a few even offered to sod off and come back later, without prompt from me. It was a nice reminder that, hey, people aren't always as scary as my brain makes them out to be. And there are people who are ready to give to those around them in beautiful ways.

Anyhoo, my karmic retribution for making my Save vs. PaxFlu 2009 seems to be that I caught a cold at this year's PAX, instead, so my formal recap will have to wait until I fight off the Con Crud and I can actually recall what happened in anything resembling chronological order. ;)
Gah, so much life-altering (or at least, potentially-life-altering) madness going on right now. I can't even TELL you guys.

No, seriously, I can't. I have too much work to do. :p

So, instead, I will give you this pretty picture from Sunday to look at:


Also, StarCraft II came out yesterday, and I couldn't resist stopping at Best Buy to get me some of that action. So far... the intro was very pretty. Unfortunately, I don't know more than that, because the game is refusing to play nicely with my Mac Pro, so I haven't yet gotten past the BNet login without the whole blasted thing crashing. I spent half an hour or so trying to find the problem, but by then it was midnight, so I gave up and went to bed. ANGRYPANTS.
Whooooof. Scattered, crazy, and likely poorly-written, but here's the weekend recap:

FRIDAY:
  • Went to wushu practice, and made the chain of bruises on my left arm worse again! But, I nailed down the new section of my nandao form and it was 100 times better than last week, so Master Chen gave me some new and slightly confounding material to work on. My new form is going to be fantastic when it's done, though, and I AM EXCITED.
  • Met up with Travis at the Blitzen Trapper show! They sound amazing live; they played a few new songs, and a lot of my favorites from their last album, and it was also nice to *finally* catch up with Travis a bit. I've been busy, but Amy has been even busier than I have (is that possible? heh), so I hadn't seen her and Travis in quite a while. Sounds like things will be slowing down for both she and I soon, though, at least, so that should hopefully change.
  • I was coaxed out to the Fez post-show, for mass quantities of booty-shakin'. Blitzen Trapper made me feel like dancing, but nobody wanted to dance *at* the show, of course. Sleepy Portland show crowds, jeez. DJ Gregarious is definitely improving; the mixing is getting smoother, and he quite possibly made my night when he played Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire. Also, amusingly enough, I thought to myself at one point, "oh, I'm out dancing! [livejournal.com profile] dawningday would be up for this," but then I realized I didn't have his number, so I shrugged it off. But then, moments later, there he was! Good to know the dancing train still rolls, even without my help. ;)
SATURDAY:
  • Peeled myself out of bed in time for a proper breakfast, and then rolled out to derby class. It's definitely going better, and I feel pretty confident about the parts that involve actually moving. (crossovers, sticky wheels, etc.) The parts that involve stopping? Uh, not so much. XD T-stops are going to be my mountain to climb, I can already tell.
  • MK and I also had our first Wreckers practice; it was roasty-hot in the hangar, but I learned a lot, had a good chunk of time to work on my knee-drops, and my inner thighs are *still* sore today. Holy damn.
  • Went home to shower, and then grabbed my laptop and kicked back at the Press Club on SE Clinton for a few hours, to eat crepes for dinner and work on my new business web site. Crepes were tasty, and I think I'm going to love the web site once I'm done with it.
  • Karaoke, which was fun, as always, and we also encountered a dude who was the first man to really, truly impress me at karaoke in a long, LONG time. His voice was amaaaazing, and he didn't sing a song that I even knew or liked, but his mad vocal skills held my attention from start to finish.
  • The aforementioned Impressive Guy also attempted to sing I'll Make A Man Out Of You from Mulan, which would have made my night, if the karaoke track hadn't been broken. (my wushu crew would understand my sentimental attachment to that song, heh) But, that did give me the idea of singing I Just Can't Wait To Be King, which was so, so fun. I need to make that song happen again, and soon.

SUNDAY:
  • Lazed around a lot in the morning, but managed to get some photoshopping done, and almost went to play kickball for an hour, but then didn't because I was short on time, and [livejournal.com profile] kaptian and Hilliary had decided to opt out.
  • Biked on down to Brewfest to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] marykae and Andrew, and drank a bit more beer than I'd intended to, but it was worth it. One beer did make enough of an impression that I actually remembered it: Reggae Junkie Gruit. There were some hilarious moments that usually involved one of us trying to find the other two, and it was really nice to just wander around, taste excellent brews, and relax.
  • Towards the end of things, I got hungry and bought a slice of pizza and a brownie from the Rogue brewery food stand, but the guys there gave me two brownies, even though I told them I only wanted one. So, I kind of accidentally made us some drive-by friends, by giving away the extra brownie to a guy sitting near us. It was nice enough chatting with them, and I'm pretty sure Andrew got to enjoy a bit of safety as a direct result of my action, so I consider that a job well done.
  • Biked back to my house at hyperspeed, so I could do a musician photoshoot for [livejournal.com profile] virgoqueen7 and her musician partner. I took them out to Powell Butte and got pretty, pretty pictures, and [livejournal.com profile] matrixleap  assisted me with hauling gear and keeping my strobes from falling over, which was really nice of him.
  • After the shoot, [livejournal.com profile] matrixleap gathered me, [livejournal.com profile] daemonwise and [livejournal.com profile] herince_emyn together for a bite to eat over at Tik Tok, and then I went home, proofed the images from the shoot, downloaded and watched the new True Blood episode, and slept nowhere near enough.
I'm gearing up for event shooting this afternoon, and then doing absolutely nothing this evening. Except watching Netflix. And maybe playing Dragon Age. (which, yes, I did find time to play for a bit last week, too. Slow progress, I know.)

No words

Jun. 11th, 2010 12:21 pm
I wish I had something silly to share with you all, but... man, I've got nothing. The writing bug has clearly left the building. (for now)

So, what's happening?
--As of yesterday, I have new hair. It is darker and has purple in it.
--Board games yesterday, hosted by [livejournal.com profile] amberleigh and [livejournal.com profile] cherie910! Finally got to try out Zombie Fluxx, and for once, I was the one teaching the game being played. This was kind of bad, because I'd never played the Zombie version, but we figured it out!
--Tonight: Wushu practice, Laptop Party with Alyson and Alicia for a short while, party that [livejournal.com profile] veiravx invited me to, later in the evening
--Tomorrow: Yoga class, making yummy snackage, going to knitting BBQ at [livejournal.com profile] _dilate_'s, wushu demo, then back to the BBQ to get my drink on.
--Sunday: TWO GENTS! Maybe book club after, or Avatar episodes, or lazing around at home.

I need to make lists soon, for a number of things. There are thoughts that I desperately need to organize. And I like lists.

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