Smallhouse Log


My heart is broken.

After finally going through my old CDs yesterday, my plan for today was simple: Try to sell a stack of unwanted ones at Reckless, and then head to Mercury to speed up my Internettin' until Claire was on her way home. And though I was moderately successful at Reckless, and had a very good time riding here, there, and everywhere but the South Side all morning, the rest of my venture was doomed to heartbreak, frustration, and failure. The Mercury Cafe, my second favorite place in Chicago (the first being Fireside Bowl, which shut down years ago), is closing. Two for two, Chicago. Another nail in the coffin. And it appears that there aren't any other coffee shops open, anywhere? Colao is too cramped, Barista is too unaesthetic, New Life is too creepy. All the other places I tried to find Wifi and something warm to drink either don't have wifi or don't have tea. Outrageous!

After taking a lunch break of turkey soup and stuffing, playing some Wind Waker, and doing some dishes, I set out for round two: New Wave Coffeehouse. It was harder to find than I expected, and their connection was steady, but insanely slow (maybe because it was insanely crowded in there). Good hot chocolate, though. So here I am, down the street at the Rocking Horse. And while you have to love a bar with free wifi, it just now struck me that I should have just gone to the library. At least Rocking Horse's speed is good. So's the beer. I think I'll finish it off and go home to wait for Claire, disappointed.

Man, I really liked Mercury, you know?

first Sunday of Advent

I figure I have until Pentecost to figure out an alternate calendar.

Re my thoughts on the Sims 3 in that last post: I guiltily spent a quarter-hour reading reviews for World Adventures today. I'd been fearing that it would be in the same vein as S2: Bon Voyage, which had, at least for me, an overall negative effect on my play experience, by which I mean it made the game worse, much worse. But it sounds more like they were listening to my secret thoughts on how to make the game better. So, uh, I'm excited.

And crazy dorky, it would seem.

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.