ultranos: kino and hermes on a coffee break (i need a coffee break)
1) Had a wonderful birthday on Wednesday (one of my uncles forgot I was turning 25. "I lost 2 years?!"). Highlights include my dad calling me while I was at CBC with 15 other people

(Dad: "Why is it so noisy? Are you out somewhere?"
Me: "Yep. I'm sitting in CBC, with a burger and a tower* right in front of me."
Dad: "That is exactly where you should be."
Me: "I thought you'd approve.")

and Alex, who was sitting next to me, typing away on his smartphone when the waitress was collecting plates. Now Alex always pulls out his smartphone and types on it when we're out eating, and I've just become so used to it that I don't even pay much attention to it anymore. Which is why I didn't notice when he typed on the memopad "BIRTHDAY -->" and aimed the arrow at me and showed it to the waitress.

And thus I was duly surprised by the slice of chocolate cake, scoop of vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and a lit birthday candle.

2) Last night was the other part of what has become something of a tradition for my birthday, which is find a bunch of bad movies, pile onto the couch, order pizza, and watch them. Sans alcohol, because we are masochists. This year we managed two: Sharktopus, the terrible SyFy made-for-TV movie from ~2 weeks ago (OH GOD, THE PAIN) and Battletruck (Warlords of the 21st Century), which was not actually terrible, just had terrible pacing (and had a very nice explosions budget).

The field trip to J.P. Licks for an oreo ice cream birthday cake made it better, followed by Tales from 3.091 First Exam from DMark, who's a TA this term. OH CHILDREN.

3) Why am I considering NaNoWriMo? Is it because I'm not in college any more? I'm already writing a tenday LARP and a DnD 4e mini-campaign. I guess this could be an excuse to get one of my original fic or fanfic epics done. I'd have to decide whether I want to do one of the xaos books (crazy science-fantasy space opera-ish, I guess. It's complicated and has been kicking around for over 10 years in my head), or Wintermarch (semi-low fantasy where magic is weirdshit and the protagonists are former child soldiers-now-adults mage mercenaries after the war is over. Since the titular "Wintermarch" is somewhat based on the holdings of the Matsumae clan, there's probably going to be a heavy influence of Japanese, Chinese, and Russian legend, myth, and culture. Yaay research).

4) I'm going back to ToV next weekend. I have yet to decide if this is a good idea or not, because right now, I'm not incredibly enthusiastic about spending 3 days LARPing in the woods in western Massachusetts. This will probably change over the week. (Unless this sporadic cough actually turns into an illness, at which point, uh, suck.)

5) I have Monday off! *dances* Yay Institute holidays!

*Tower = 100fl oz of beer in a cylinder with a tap at the bottom, so many people at the table can share.
ultranos: sam carter looking up, text: "oh crap, the retroencabulator needs a new marzelvane." (technobabble handwave)
1.) A combination of theatre teching for 5 weeks and a salvage attempt at work that had me using vice grips to poke +100 0.02" holes into copper and aluminum with 0.02" steel wire has left my wrist a little busted up due to stupid torque points. It's current wrapped (along with part of my hand) in sport tape, because a wrist brace leaves me with not enough freedom of movement and an ACE bandage is too elastic. Oh, RSI...

2.) Speaking of work, it is awesome. I got to feel like Serious Researcher today, because we're now moving towards finding better ways of making the fiber optic neural implant arrays the researchers use in their experiments. We reached the limits of milling out the metal baseplates, so the next step is going into microfabrication. Which makes me really glad I took that nano/micro fabrication processes lab last semester, because, get this: I get to spend time in the clean rooms! With a lab coat and everything! Combine this with the amber-tinted laser safety glasses I sometimes wear, I look like a crazy scientist/engineer.

Not only that, but we're going to be talking with some people in the Media Lab to see about designing and building our own mills. Where the person building said mills would be me.

3.) I'm still getting used to the idea that I am the go-to person in my lab for "making things". I still don't see myself as any sort of expert, despite the degree.

4.) I'm apparently writing a 10-day LARP. I'm starting to wonder if I'm a masochist and/or have a god complex.

5.) I might have discovered religion last week. It's called Grooveshark, a music streaming site like Pandora, except you can actually pick the songs you want, upload songs, and build playlists and the like.
ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
If you get the chance, be it through US distribution (September is the street date for the DVD and Blu-Ray) or the internet, do yourself a favor and see Mamoru Hosoda's Summer Wars. It's not about the difference between the analog and digital worlds, but about communication across national boundaries and the internet as a tool of globalization. And it's about the people behind the avatars on the internet, and what people can accomplish in this new digital/analog world.

This is a movie for us.

I was lucky enough to see it in a screening tonight, with Hosoda himself in attendance and my Japanese popular culture studies professor acting as translator. The man himself is amazing, good-natured, and pretty damn humble. He said, essentially, there are two types of directors: those who become great directors to become great directors, and those who become great directors because they want to create great films. And he thinks of himself as the latter.

That's a sentiment I can totally get behind. Whatever you do, do it well because you love it and want to do it well.
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ultranos: souji with his head stuck inside a tv (tv is eating my brain)
If you thought my last entry on P4 was bad, I was cursing out Atlus EVEN MORE last night. Seriously. I was almost crying. That company is seriously good at making me flip the hell out. Well played.

(Er, I hope I'm not bugging the hell out of people by just posting about video games lately. I suppose if you don't want to read, you don't have to. My love of games is incomprehensible to people, I know.)

Speaking of companies making me flip out, who the HELL at Sega decided that releasing Resonance of Fate on the SAME DAY as Final Fantasy XIII was a good idea? Seriously, are they TRYING to make me not graduate?
ultranos: souji with his head stuck inside a tv (tv is eating my brain)
I got invited to a seminar sponsored by CMS tomorrow on gender and gaming. (I gave an interview in the fall to a grad student who wants to do her thesis on the subject.) They've got some industry people listed to be there. This will prove to be interesting.

I just got another email inviting me to bring whatever games that I have that deal with gender in "interesting" ways along with me tomorrow. I am already hugely tempted to bring P4 and am wracking my brain now to think of other ones. (Terrible idea: bring my friend's copy of Bayonetta...)

And for once, I don't think I'll app for the IAP tenday. Even though part of me is really chomping at the bit for a tenday LARP, another part is really apathetic about it. And considering that I'll need to deal with getting the start of my thesis off the ground during the time of the tenday, I can't really justify it. Bleagh.

On the other hand, Mystery Hunt is this weekend. I haven't done Hunt since I was a frosh, but I really want to spend a weekend chewing through puzzles, so I'll join a team this year. I'm hoping it'll be fun.
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ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
Here's to 2010.

Tonight, I ate dinner with my parents, having the best steak I've ever eaten in my life.

And then came home and rang in the new year by having shots of double espresso vodka with my father.

Life is good.
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ultranos: rydia looking at the camera, with sky behind her (i know what the land speaks)
So, I got stuck in Boston in the snowstorm on Saturday/Sunday (well, it started snowing at 1am Sunday). Hopefully I'll get out of here in the next 7 hours.

One of the worst parts about this situation is that I got everything I needed Done done by Saturday afternoon. So I've spent the last few days kind of sitting around pretty bored. This boredom is leading me to do stupid things like look at my undergraduate audit and proceed to flip the fuck out about not making the unit requirements to graduate in Spring, even though my advisor and I went over my schedule approximately 49327 times over the last 2 years.

I might be slightly paranoid.

I think it's because I'm so very close to graduating. All that's left is (I think) 1 last HASS class, 1 more lab, and a thesis.

I even have a thesis PROJECT. *dances*
ultranos: rudy roughnight holding rifle towards camera, with text "say hello to my boomstick" (boomstick)
Things What Are Awesome:

-Watching anime with a friend. Anime of choice? Darker than Black. Hurrah for the Chinese Electric Batman! (thanks, TVTropes, for the name) Also, I'm pretty sure Dollhouse wishes it were this cool.

--Yes, I actually said that. No, I haven't seen Dollhouse. I'm just pretty sure Yin is more awesome, and if she's not, she has Hei and Mao to back her up.

--Do not need to write a game using Contractors as a mechanic. No really now. STOP THAT, BRAIN.

-Making coq au vin for the first time and not screwing it up! For tomorrow.

-Making coq au vin and timing steps by episodes of Darker than Black. What?

-Hearing about how an old tabletop character has appeared in my old DM's new campaign as an NPC. It causes me to snicker madly.
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ultranos: Actual MIT hack of roadsign. "MASS AVE BRIDGE CLOSED / SUNDAY 04/22/07 6AM-3PM / TO APPEASE GODZILLA" (have you appeased godzilla today?)
The last 36 hours have been flipping awesome.

After the latest iteration of the Committee Plot From Hell (aka 2.009), the universe decided that it freaking owed me for the hell of last week.

I got to watch an American Jiu-Jitsu belt test. Not only was this special because friends were going up in rank, it was really special because of the ranks involved. One went up to sho-dan. One went up to ni-dan. Two went up to san-dan.

Also known as first-degree black belt, second-degree black belt, and third-degree black belt.

Yes, I got to see four black belt tests. The first-degree represented 5 years of hard training; the third-degrees represented ten years. Believe me when I say it was 2 hours of pure, unapologetic gratuitous asskicking.

Following that, I went to a party for people I haven't seen in at least a month. There was homebrewed beer and mead and grilled animal flesh. It was also mostly clear and roughly 60 degrees outside at night at the end of October. I miss being able to just shoot the shit with people and geek about LARPs and old LARPing stories. I miss people who can be rude and crude one minute and turn around and be absolutely sweet and the kind of people who you want to have your back at any time.

Then I got DST, which means I got an extra hour of SLEEP. You have no idea how much this means to me.

I headed up to a coffeeshop today I've taken to frequenting lately, and banged out details for the final projects for two classes. I just need to write one of them up formally, and get feedback from my group on the other (yes, I did my plot for the Committee Plot From Hell). I am utterly addicted to this coffeeshop, to the point where I almost have to go once a week, because it's just a really nice spot to do work (I feel less distracted because I'm paying for wireless there) and they have really great drinks.

And then tonight was the weekly run of the Persona tabletop that DMark runs. I babbled at [personal profile] holdouttrout about it AT LENGTH. Suffice it to say that a plot point I had been pushing my character (who has been EXTREMELY RELUCTANT) towards, and that I enlisted the help of another player for, finally came to light this run. The awkward! The HILARITY. The CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. I think the entire party spent at least 3/4ths of run cracking up out-of-character.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPY FEELS LIKE, RIGHT?
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Profile

ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)
ultranos

Memoranda from the Usual Suspects

Media List:

Currently Watching:
-- Supergirl(hiatus)
--Pitch (hiatus)


Currently Playing:
--[null] (PS3)
--[null] (PS2)
--Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
--[null] (PSP)
--[null] (XBox360)
--Endless Legend (PC)
--Fallout: New Vegas (PC)


Currently Reading:

Manga
-[null]

Fiction
-The Rook, Daniel O'Malley
-Fortune's Rising, Sara King

Nonfiction
-Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy, David Daley


------------------

"So she's good cop, he's bad cop, you're morally-questionable cop, and I'm set-things-on-fire cop."

"Sounds about right."

--------

"WARNING: When attempting to be clever, make sure you not actually just being stupid."

--------

"Did you remember to sacrifice the goat before burning the ISO to the DVD-R?"

"Crap! Um, I've got a charred piece of meat here."

"That's called a steak. That's dinner. What about the sacrifices?"

--------

"I escape through quantum-tunneling. What do I need to roll for that?"

--------

"Why is it called a 'Monkeylord'?"

"Because it looks like a spider."

--------

"I have a moral objection to this problem. It implies microwaving a steak."

--------

"Did you eat the crazy cookies this morning?"

--------

"The GPU goes 4 by 4, hurrah, hurrah."

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