Smallhouse Log

the day before Thanksgiving

So what have I been up to? Working, working, trying to convince Claire I do have occasional flaws, occasionally trying to convince Claire that my flaws are forgivable, sleeping a little bit here and there, working, and working on independent programming projects. Also, playing indie games to steal their best ideas for myself (and for, whatsit, fun, yeah). Czech it:

  • Minecraft - A "one man" (one man who shops out music, and possibly art) project you can play in your browser for free, or pay to get content that will be free later. Well, and to support the project. Blocks! You love it.
  • Dwarf Fortress - I've talked about this enough in the past? But waiting for this next release has got me all jumpy. Too bad it's timed for "I'm in Florida, meeting future in-laws" / "What, work again?".
  • Liberal Crime Squad - While we're at Bay 12, let's hop over to this little delight, originally the work of Toady One, now continually improved by Mr. Jonathan S. Fox. Those who are sensitive about having their political views lampooned may be, um, well... The game's called Liberal Crime Squad, what do you want?
  • Torchlight - So, uh, this is maybe a bit less indie, still pretty interesting. I think I'll get bored of it eventually, but I like the innovations it makes. And thinking about how to modify them for my own uses.
  • The Sims 3 - Way less indie, still playing the crap out of it, but always thinking, "Wouldn't this be so much better if..." and then writing those ideas down to use for my own insidious ends. This is now just officially a list of the games I've been playing over the past six months.
  • Fallout 3 - Fun to play, but a lack of cool things I want to emulate combined with doing everything so well and so fully and having a little something for everyone leaves me having little to take away, design-inspiration wise. I mean, it's Oblivion with guns, right? Right. Maybe in a few months I'll be up for a second play-through.

So that's how I spend my small amount of non-Claire recreation. And, ok, Drews passionate advocacy of FarmVille on Facebook has drawn me into that particular terrible maw. But I've taken inspiration from the above, and funneled it into designs for (and ongoing implementation of) a few game-type projects of my own, which give me a thoroughly satisfying sense of accomplishment. That and getting married.

two weeks before Thanksgiving, not one

SO! I, uh, I got engaged. Some other stuff happened -a lot, you know, but not getting the web hosting turned back on, it's annoying- but Claire proposing to me was the big thing. Also, Summer Lab? And then I became a barista, czech that one off the list. And I saved up and got Claire a ring, a silver ring with a chunk of amber in it and the amber has a bug in it like in Jurassic Park. Yeah.

So that's what I have to show for six months. Oh! And a new kitten; his name is Matteo. Supes cute.

a week later
"You know the Masons? It's like that, except for little girls." -Sailor, 04/28/2009

So here I am, surfacing from another weekend. Sort of. I mean, I still need to get about six more hours of sleep. But the highlight of the weekend was the Dinner Party, Claire's clever ploy to meet some of my friends and win for herself their earnest approval. In this, as indeed in all other ways, I think it was a success. I mean, homegirl can cook. We also made it out to an art opening, and either stumbled upon a party, or it was attached to the show. This was not at all clear. But there was a DJ, and half a marching band, and it was fun times.

Even with the stress of job hunting and unemployment, I am very, very happy with my life right now.


So we had us a Scav Hunt. Claire came down for the campout on Friday, and was either delighted and impressed, or graciously humoring me. I didn't lose any fingers or much dignity; in fact, I mostly just sat around distracting the Shoreland team with long, rambling variations on "You know, back in my day, we blah blah blah..." It was a lot of fun. I sort of missed the privileges of Judgeship, it must be admitted: the Captains' Dinner, seeing more of the items, the bad movies and SoulCal tournaments. But on the other hand, I'm sort of glad not to be associated with this list. I mean, they got a lot of stuff on there that had been cut in past years. And some new stuff I probably would've argued against. Not my problem anymore, yes? I am done; I am out.

I even blew off Judgement to hang out with Claire, though I must say I was pleased with the results. The Scav results, too.

the next Tuesday

Let me tell you a wonderful story. So last night, I paid a visit to Claire, and we were all gonna watch us a movie. Claire decides she will make us popcorn. But she didn't. She made us POPCORN, all caps. This was made with some sort of fancy paprika and the kind of salt you have to fight a volcano to harvest. Bacon fat was rendered, and the kernels were popped in that. I will not be able to eat regular popcorn for months.

And that's all the news that's fit to print.


I uh, well, the weekend sort of kept going.

But backing up for a recap, we had: Lazy day with Nancy and Neha, massive Mass, lazy day recovering from Mass, lazy Sunday morning with confusing weather, surprise visit from new friend, cultural intoxication via Versionfest's NFO XPO. This was sort of like a cross between an art fair, a Scav quads item, a small business expo, and the Uchicago RSO recruitment fairs; except without prizes, people who got drafted into it, boring repetition, or the college republicans. I had the best of times. Then I took an hour break, made me some supper, and went back for the evening activities. There was an art film, which was better than I feared at first, but very much an art film. It was much much longer than, say, "The Truth Wears Sideburns".

After that there was to be some bands. The first one was alright, but too loud and nothing special. By this time I'd had the chance to meet a few new people, very interesting people. I met one of the organizers, who runs the Co-Prosperity Sphere with her husband, who is the son of the owner of Maria's, where J+J+J will be doing a DJ set later tonight (assuming it actually is Tuesday). I met a chef named Claire who knows all the regulars at Maria's, and was there just for the concert, and was at the concert just for the second act, Judson Claiborne, whose lead man I also met and talked to, mostly about healthy eating habits. Claire was quite adamant in her high opinion of this group, and I did, in fact, like them a lot myself. So much, in fact, that I am going to their concert this next Saturday (conveniently located at Bernice's) instead of to the contra.

That last paragraph may have been slightly misleading. There are other reasons I am resolved to go to the Saturday concert. And I didn't really get around to meeting other new people after I met Claire. The implications are exciting.

later Sunday

"If this isn't nice, what is?"

There I was, sitting quietly on the Bridgeport Coffee House patio, when none other than Sam, the guy I met at the Mass, comes out of nowhere with his Tiny Asian Girlfriend. They were trying to find a group from one of his classes that was supposed to tour the stockyards, but instead they found me. So I joined them as we went to the stockyards and back, but never found the tour. Sam determined he would find some culture in the neighborhood while we were there instead. I was skeptical, since the neighborhood is usually pretty quiet on Sundays. We went to the Buddist temple; they were having a service, and Sam's TAG was able to translate just a little for us. Then we went to watch what looked like an alley fight, but it wasn't an alley fight. We stumbled onto a culture bomb.

The ring of people in the vacant lot were pondering a mural-in-progress, which is part of some sort of art and culture festival, of which the concerts I was planning to go to are a part, it seems. Further, there was a show tonight, supposedly a folk show of sorts, and for the same parcel admission fee, an Info Expo. The Info Expo, I should say. It needs the definite article. I cannot even describe it, I am so jumped up on culture right now. There is an hour between the shut-down of the Info Expo and the concert, so I came home and made supper. This space, this amazing space, and the group of people associated with it, is just, like two blocks away. It's almost time to head back over, but oh, I'm so tired, I got up at the usual time. But I can't be stopped.

I have not had a weekend like this in far too long.