Monday, January 21, 2013


Hi.  Hope everyone had a good weekend.  I have today off for MLK Day.  Amy's at work, though, so even though I have today off, it doesn't feel like a normal holiday or weekend.  Still, I'm not gonna complain about an extra day.

On Friday night we went over to play a computer game called Artemis with some friends (Jim, Reid, Ben, Chantal, and Tim).  Artemis is a starship bridge simulator.  One computer works as a server and shows the main display for the bridge, and there are about 5 other computers that can be networked into the game to accomplish various ship functions (e.g., helm, science, engineering, communications, weapons).  One person gets to act as the captain and doesn't need a workstation.  The captain gives orders (keeping an eye on the main screen) and his crew members figure out how to implement them.
Now admittedly I'm a big ol' Star Trek and sci fi fan, but I found Artemis to be a whole lot of fun.  Of course it's cool to simulate a starship as it goes into combat, but it's also really cool to have a chance to play a multiplayer cooperative game that's designed to be played by a bunch of people who are sitting in the same room.  There aren't that many computer action games that I would legitimately think of as party games, but Artemis actually fit the bill very well.  It's also all team based, with everyone having to work together to accomplish a common objective, and I like that aspect as well.  We played several rounds and we took turns being captain.  Amy and I both had a really good time.
On Saturday I got up and went to the store while Amy worked remotely from home.  After going to the grocery store I took a short bike ride and ran a few errands.  I "discovered" a small, funky coffee shop not too far from my house that's apparently been there for years, but which I've never wandered into before.    It's called Strange Brew, and they have live music and wi fi access and local foods and beer.  I've driven past it many times before, but I don't drink coffee, so I never went in.  They had a sign up this weekend advertising the fact that they had new drinks and beers, so I dropped in to check it out.  Kind of a cool place to have in the neighborhood.
Amy made some really good chicken for dinner on Saturday (it had a green sauce with tomatillos), and Saturday night I had a gig with Mono Ensemble.  We played at Carousel Lounge.  Aside from a slight hitch or two on some songs we hadn't practiced in a while, the gig went well.  Reed and Eric, who share a birthday, both turned 40 at midnight on Saturday, so the show was a sort of birthday celebration for them.  We had a good time, and it was cool to have the chance to be with the guys as they hit a milestone birthday.  Jim, our sax and bass player, has been 40something for a few years now.  He proclaimed Reed and Eric to finally be men.
Anyway, hopefully we'll play another show again sometime in the not so distant future.

Saturday night into Sunday morning I sort of came down with a bit of cedar fever.  My allergies were really bugging me.  I took a nap for a while in the afternoon (Amy went in to the office) because I just felt run down.  Sunday night Amy made a really good bleu cheese pasta.  I had never had pasta with bleu cheese before, and I really liked it.
Sunday night we watched Bernie.  It was a good movie.  It's a really interesting story (based on actual events), and Linklater did a good job of blending local townspeople with outside actors so that it almost becomes hard to tell where the movie stops and reality starts.  As Amy said, Jack Black's performance was great.  He gave both of us new respect for him as an actor.
Anyway, fun film.  Can't remember the last time that I felt so much sympathy for a murderer and so little pity for the victim, but I guess that was the whole point of the movie.  It kind of messes with your head a little bit.  I had to remind myself when the movie was over that Bernie really did need to be convicted of murder.  You can't let a murderer just go unconvicted because his victim is one of the least popular people in town.  I was a little shocked when they gave him life, but once again- it is murder, so....
Went to bed right after the movie because of the allergies.

Today, On MLK Day, I got up and worked out.  Took Amy's bike in to the shop for a free warranty tune up.  I drove down to Ryan and Jamie's house and had lunch with Ryan (Jamie took a nap and didn't go).  Hung out there for a little while afterward while Cassidy played with their dogs.
Now I'm home.  And blogging.

Oh yeah!  I also just finished a book called Bicycle Diaries by musician/artist David Byrne.  Interesting book and a fun read.  Parts of it are about biking, but it's also a travel memoir and a collection of Byrne's thoughts on subjects ranging from modern art to foreign policy to urban planning to (less surprisingly) music.  It's a fun book.  I liked it a lot.  I sort of recommend it if you're not the sort of person who gets overly hung up on things like focus and structure.

That's it!  Happy birthday to Reed and Eric!  Hope everyone else just has a nice week!


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