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Sivart Thirteen

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your monthly caltrain mishap [Dec. 21st, 2009|09:40 pm]
Sivart Thirteen
Left work late and got the 6:30 train instead of the one an hour earlier. Before arriving Hillsdale, a train near San Mateo hits a car, delaying us at least 40 minutes. There's a SamTrans stop right outside, for whatever good that does anyone. I didn't wear enough layers to deal gracefully with delay today. Took about 40 minutes to SamTrans to Millbrae bart, aroundabout times to see probably our train arrive.

Tomorrow: San Diegers!
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a complete catalogue [Dec. 14th, 2009|01:17 am]
Sivart Thirteen
A couple weeks back, coworker Josh makes some remark about his having just four pairs of pants. Finding that low, I noted back that I had twenty-five, a number I made up in my head for an amount of pants that seemed comically high.

Once I got home and counted, I'd found myself to be actually almost accurate. Though I'd now realized I didn't know how many of any sort of clothes I owned. The Solution?

Mostly Everything In Travis' Closet

7 Hoodies
4 Assorted Middle Layer Torso Garments
3 Bike Jerseys
2 Suit Jackets, both of which with some sort of vomit on that inhibits wearing of.
2 Pullovers (I HATE PULLOVERS and never wear them)
1 Tweed Jacket
1 Puffy Cold Weather Jacket that's getting all the attention, top-layer wise, in this weather.

87 Shirts
  • 48 Short Sleeve T
  • 3 Long Sleeve T
  • 20 Long Sleeve Button Up
  • 8 Short Sleeve Button Up
  • 8 Hawaiian
13 Shoes
  • 1 Climbing
  • 1 Clippy Bike
  • 2 Fancy Dress
  • 9 All-Purpose
23 Pant
  • 8 Jeans
  • 6 Slacks
  • 2 Corduroy
  • 7 Assorted Earth Tone Cotton Pants
3 Swim Trunks
4 Shorts
1 Running Short

5 Pajama Bottoms
1 Pajama Top

7 Undershirts
36 Underpant
  • 33 Tightie Whiteys
  • 2 Boxers
  • 1 Boxer Brief
41 Socks (Pairs)
  • 29 White
  • 10 Black
  • 2 Grey
7 Towels
6 Belts
5 Ties (3 of which I would actually wear)
1 Scarf
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amusement subsumement [Dec. 7th, 2009|11:18 pm]
Sivart Thirteen
Hello. In an effort to avoid any of the glumness that's besieged me off and on this year, I've been spending about 85% of my leisure time playing video games. It's Good Video Game Season, after all.

It's been supremely effective!

Batman: Arkham Asylum probably doesn't fall under this particular era but it was amazing.

Chronicles of Riddick is one of those oft-mentioned gems from a lot of years back, newly rereleased and remastered, I gave it maybe five hours but never felt invested.

Borderlands is a great game, well at least sometimes, plagued by sameyness after the 25% mark. There's lots of quests but they don't get you anything other than a couple virtual-bux and a pat on the back from yourself. While I was playing it I couldn't stop, but looking back I'm not sure why.

Hit Torchlight as well, but there's so little to that game I don't know what to say. Right click, pick up stuff with bigger numbers than your current stuff, continue. It would be almost impossible to play for me without a podcast or something going.

Dragon Age
Boy, what an awfully long game for this day and age. Who has this kind of time? It took me something like two weeks, playing often and sometimes staying up until I could no longer see or wanted to throw up. In summary, it's Another Bioware RPG, but it's been long enough since the last one that I'd forgotten all the tropes, so early on it seemed like a Dynamic and Wonderful Place where Anything Interesting could happen. Later on, it's just another game where you make a couple of decisions the result of which is explained to you in an end-game cutscene.

Still excited for Mass Effect 2, I guess. Shooting at people is much more dynamic and interesting than commanding your sword-dude to hit someone with an swordover and over while you cast the same crowd control spells/talents. I hope ME2 doesn't have the problem DA had where I seemed get through each fight by a thread.

Assassin's Creed
... in preparation for the still long-off PC release of AC2, which every critic says is a 500% improvement on the original. Back in 2007 I feel like I was inundated with views on the first game, because I listened to a lot of video gamer podcasts and everyone wanted to weigh in. Well: It's great, it's repetitive, and it manages to be JUST great enough that the repetitiveness doesn't induce vomiting before the ending.

In the non-computer-screen world, I kept wanting to jump and climb all over stuff during the span I was playing it. That might just be how I am all the time.

Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
... in preparation for this week's release of Spirit Tracks. I'd hammered through it when it came out, up till the final dungeon, only to put it off out of some misguided desire to go get all the jangly trinkets hidden in the game's vast seas. Dumb idea. Great thing is, though, I picked up where I left off and the game had saved all the little memos I doodled on the in-game map. So I was able to sneak through the last dungeon by reading all these little notes I wrote to myself from the past.

Unfortunately my DS is in a sorry state, it turns off when I close it instead of suspending. So getting through Spirit Tracks on the Caltrain might be tough, given how sparse save points can be in boss encounters. God forbid there be one of those close-the-DS-to-continue puzzles.

Mirror's Edge was on sale for $5, so I briefly tried to enjoy it. Like Assassin's Creed, I feel like I've heard the range of opinions on this one many times over. So far there was one really neat part when you slide off a building and most of the rest seems to be repetitive. One bother is that I feel like even though you're in more 'direct control' in ME, Altair from AC actually had a more interesting (and less fall-to-your-death prone) range of movement. Playing the former after the latter makes me frustrated.

This is a dumb one but I thought Amateur Surgeon on the Adult Swim website was a lot more entertaining than Trauma Center which it's blatantly copying. It feels just about as long, too. Though they both stumble at the end with impossible difficulty.

Left 4 Dead 2
I played it for maybe four hours thus far, which is really only enough for a taste. It's the same as the first game but with more zany weapon choices. I like the axe/katana. Like the original, I'll probably play it enough to get most of the way through all the campaigns, then a little versus, then forget about it forever.

see I wait too long between entries and I just spew out words words words
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concerts I've recently attended (at least, the ones I can remember) [Nov. 30th, 2009|12:54 am]
Sivart Thirteen
now that you're gone. <3 tjg

20 Minute Loop at Bottom of the Hill

An afternoon show, all ages, FULL OF YOUNGSTERS. Also: oldsters. I felt out of place as a twenty-somethinger. The first two bands, I didn't like them, sorry bands. But I was privileged to see 20ML play their last show ever and I think it went gangbusters. Who knows if I'll be around when the next great SF institution calls it quits.

it would be needlessly jinxy at this point to mention Loquat is getting near ten years old

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down at the Independent

thao

This went EXACTLY LIKE THE LAST TIME I saw her at The Independent, which is to say, I went by myself and got bored and claustrophobic and left early. Sorry, Thao, I don't know if we can see each other anymore. At least, not without other people around. People I know who will come to shows with me.

I might say a word about the middle band, the Portland Cello Project: I see what you guys are trying to do, and I know it makes me a dick to say it, but I don't like you. Sorry. If you want a cellos in your rock-show band you can be Apocalyptica or Judgement Day. Or I guess Ra Ra Riot has one, and that opens it up for any sissy indie band with a lady playing a Cello it it, which is fine also. But the thing you're doing: not fine. I will not accept it.

Japandroids at the Rickshaw Stop

This was like the re-inaguration of the San Francisco Indie Rock Meetup Group and I think we did fine. Four strangers met, drank a beer at a bar, went and saw a rock show, and nobody got all weird or anything.

I might've been the one that got weird. Am I weird?

Opening thought: The Downer Party, I like you. Please play my next birthday party or similar gathering.

japandroid, singular

Japandroids. They've been getting a lot of blog buzz as they say, and I think it really screwed around with people's expectations. You might hear "Young Hearts Spark Fire" and think a certain thing, but a full spin of their album reveals a lot of their harder, sometimes boringer instrumental stuff.

There was an extremely populous stand-around-and-have-a-beard contingent, unwilling to move to or fro for anything aside from earthquake. Contrarylike, I felt this is the sort of music that ABSOLUTELY DEMANDS exuberant movement, they possessing a smidge of that Death From Above 1979 sort of quality. Standing still, or even merely vibrating enthusiastically in place, seemed entirely the wrong magnitude of action here.

A mosh pit erupted on the first song, and I was all in. Meaning I cautiously observed and joined it with the second song. So my post-thanksgiving Bay Area festivity was to shove and rub up against like nine other dudes for forty minutes or so.

i would not have it any other way
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(no subject) [Nov. 15th, 2009|05:58 am]
Sivart Thirteen
One of my most favorite bands right now is SF-based 20 Minute Loop, who I've listened to constantly and haven't yet been able to catch in person. They're headlining Bottom of the Hill tomorrow, and after reading their myspace I found out it's their last! show! ever!

Which is as they say 'a real mixed blessing'.

also i'm playing dragon age and it's a very long video game
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disparate measures [Nov. 7th, 2009|01:14 pm]
Sivart Thirteen
I'm in San Diego this weekend for my Mom's retirement. This meant flying out of SF after work on Friday.

At Mountain View Caltrain we were delayed a couple minutes, someone'd suicide-by-train earlier in the San Jose area. Fair enough. We're on the train for one stop before someone kills themselves on the Northbound track and the train is stopped "indefinitely".

Indefinitely is a mighty long time, it's now 6pm and my flight is at 8:45. I'd planned on stopping in SF to sort out my affairs then BARTing right back to the airport, but it was looking like I'd have to go direct instead. It's highly unlikely it would take them over two hours to clean all the man-stuff off the tracks and get to Millbrae, but I've got the time, and sitting in a train is boring, so I elect to bike the rest of the distance to Millbrae.

El Camino is a shitty route to take, definitely, but it's the most direct and I don't have one of those fancy smartphones to look up directions. It took about 1:45. My coworker texted that the train had switched to local service and made it to Burlingame, meaning I beat them by one stop.

Then I noticed my phone had voiced to say my flight was delayed till 10pm. MLIA
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rt @nate_mueller [Nov. 5th, 2009|12:10 pm]
Sivart Thirteen
The brief and outlandish saga of the AirWave hay rides:



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journey to the end of the night: halloween [Nov. 2nd, 2009|01:49 am]
Sivart Thirteen
journey to the start of journey to the end of the night

I don't see much rationale in copy-pasting so I'll just link y'all to my sf0 praxis of the event.
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overflowed recap [Oct. 21st, 2009|04:29 pm]
Sivart Thirteen

New York

I never fully reflected on this experience other than dumping like 700 point-and-shoot fotos on flickr.
  • Walked many miles across Brooklyn on my first day. Stopped walking as much after that because walking is slow.

  • Biked like 150 miles between two separate rented bikes. It turned out the day I came over was the New York century, a rare all-city (inasmuch as the greenbelts in outer Queens/Brooklyn can be considered 'city') century that I'm sorry to have missed. Had I known, I'dve tried to fly in a day sooner. What a trip it would be to have your first exposure to a city be biking through it for eight hours straight. Well, that's kind of how my NY experience ended up anyway.

  • Saw all five boroughs (though Staten Island only for the 30 minutes between ferries). Went across any important bridges I could find: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, Queensborough, George Washington, and a bunch of the littler ones that connect Manhattan/Bronx, Brooklyn/Queens, Queens/Rockaways, etc.

  • Saw the Weakerthans in Williamsburg on a exploratory probe to determine whether NYC showgoers are any different than SF ones. As j|DLV predicted, no.

  • Touristed the Cathedral of St John the Divine, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grand Central Terminal, Central Park, Columbia campus, CCNY campus, NYU campus, Ground Zero, Times Square, Empire State Building, the Atlantic Ocean, and Coney Island among other placelings.
So I was only there for seven days, but I'm pretty sure I saw all the things.

Litquake

SF's annual literary festival thing of books. Like Sketchfest, it's something I notice comes up every year but I've never attended any events of. This year though I saw Porchlight's Punk Rock night, which was sorta okay but a little too inside jokey, minus the part about jokes. I look forward to attending any of their events in the future that might rely less on shout outs of obscure band names.

Saturday, the Lit Crawl, started off going to a panel on internet stuff at some place called The Lab on 16th. Got to see I guess missionmission Allan's (ex?-)girlfriend give an awful reading from an old blog. Later Sex Pigeon said some stuff and now I hate him a lot less.

Spent some time in 826 Valencia listening to youngsters of varying ages and skill say stuff they read. Enlightening, and now I can no longer say I've never been in the back of 826 Valencia.

Finally Kasper Hauser in Clarion Alley. I don't know what it is about Kasper Hauser that leaves them often aiming for comedy and hitting something a little more annoying, like they're trying too hard or not hard enough. Maybe sometime they will try the exactly right amount and I will be on board.

Treasure Island

I'd boned myself out of tickets for Saturday night by waiting too long, though no big loss because the Litquake thing was worth experiencing. But I missed what sounds like a good Girl Talk set on Saturday.

Highlights of Sunday went just as expected: Thao as always was a wonderment and newcomers to my heart Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes delivered joy. The Decemberists did a pleasing spin through of The Hazards of Love, marred only by that I had already heard The Hazards of Love at the Fox a couple months ago and would've much rathered their crowd-pleasing older favorites.

I haven't seen any similar reaction on the internet, but I thought The Flaming Lips were awful. I didn't see a lot of music on display, just a lot of colored lights and grandstanding and shouting at the crowd to be more excited than the crowd ever was. That night's rendition of "Yoshimi" was interrupted every twenty seconds by Wayne leering at the crowd until they rose into a complacent cheer. Maybe there was something more interesting going on that I missed, but I thought it was just awful.

Which leads me to divert for a second into a problem with festivals in general and maybe TI in particular: the bands are staggered, yes, but so many people are in attendance by the end that getting a good vantage for both the last two bands is impossible. You either herd your way between stages as the bands change and give up any hope of being near the headliner, or camp out at the main stage as early as you can stand, saving your position at the cost of the penultimate band being nothing but a far off murmur. I don't know what the solution to any of this is, I just know it's a thing.
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WITCHTOBER [Oct. 17th, 2009|05:13 pm]
Sivart Thirteen
It's Halloween season, and that means my favorite joke is the word 'haunted'. Any object that behaves unusually, I question whether it is posessed by a spook or spectre. If for instance someone's Facebook news feed fails to load I will propose that Facebook is haunted, perhaps because of that time they chose to build Facebook on the indian burial ground.

Upon seeing Halloween decorations in the window of for example the Roosevelt Tamale Parlor, I will question as to whether they are serving haunted tamales and whether these tamales will provide you with secret ghost insights when ingested.

Yeah, it gets pretty tired.

I want to be Professor Layton for Halloween, but lack the initiative, the materials, and a young ward following me around helping me solve puzzles.

LETS TALK ABOUT JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT. Does it interest you? Would you like to spend your Halloween running for your life instead of standing in some loud house bar party drinking beer with the same folks? I think I would.

I screwed myself out of going to day 1 of Treasure Island by waiting until a couple days before to buy tickets. I'd been worried that it would rain, or that no one was going, because whenever I mention festivals to people it seems like they talk negatives about the cost or about how you only get to see a little of each band and about how all the bands aren't that good anyway.

It invokes that peer pressure response where maybe you were excited about the newest hot Lego bricks and you tell your friends about how much you want the Lego bricks and your friends say actually they tried those Lego bricks last year and aren't very good at all and they have been thinking about not going to so many Lego bricks anymore because the beer costs too much. To which you are forced to either rise to the Lego bricks defense or respond, "oh yeah, I agree", and then you don't want to go as much anymore.

'Cept a festival like this majorly splits up one's social circle and right now most of my people are off on the island leaving me to fend for myself. Everyone left in the City is working or busy or avoidant or who knows. Humbug.

but i am going sunday
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