Who Needs Sleep?

So it’s been a little while… Friday sucked, as usual. Saturday I headed off with Sven, Julie, Becky, and Mindy to a Christmas party on my Mom’s (Johnson) side. Was good fun. The pictures pretty much sum up the day: Lots of Euchre, some pet rats, some excellent pizza, and allergies. Sunday was church, then Kristin and I headed off to Max and Ermas with Robb. Tressa wasn’t there, though she said she was going to be. We headed back, and they watched Donnie Darko as I cleaned the house in preparation for Serita‘s visit.

Serita showed up Sunday evening, and shortly thereafter, Jplant showed up. We talked for a while, played a bizarre game of Settlers of Catan. (Bizarre –> I built on 11’s and 2’s, and 11 got rolled about 60% of the time… consequently, the scoring was quite lopsided.). Meanwhile, Kristin and Robb watched Malcolm in the Middle episodes. Afterwards, we (Jplant, Serita, and I) played cards (nerts, I think), then Skip-bo. I managed to sink quite quickly into a nasty introverted downward spiral of stupid thoughts and mental masochism, and proceeded to ensure that both Serita and Jeff had a lousy time. Way to go, me. We sat around and talked for a long while afterwards, which was good, but again, I was out of it. Sorry Serita. Sorry Jeff. It was really good seeing Serita again, though. That evening it snowed a ton, and Serita had to drive back to Ann Arbor, and the roads were horrible… so it was slow going for her, and we ended up talking on the phone for a while that night as she drove. I told her to call me when she got home, so I knew she had made it safely.. She ended up calling again around 3ish or something mentioning that she was close to home, but stuck in a traffic jam. She didn’t get home til 5 or so. That would suck. Anyway, I was up all that night, not really feeling tired, and my brain still grinding itself to small pieces. I think I may have gotten a little sleep, but I honestly don’t remember. It didn’t matter, I wasn’t that tired Monday.

Monday was work. Nothing all that exciting except I got a decent amount of sleep in the Home Depot parking lot. I said I wasn’t that tired, but man, there’s few things better then getting a quick nap in your car with the heat at full blast. Let’s see. Work was uneventful, save for the return of Tetris, the worst tasting Creme of Broccoli soup, and the discovery that my hand is possessed by a demon. Like I said, uneventful. Monday night I came home, watched some TV, took a nap, biked for an hour, worked out for a long while, an generally just wasted away the evening trying to decide what I should do.

Tuesday was work… fairly uneventful. Then after work, Joel, Tuuk, and I headed off to Bennigans on Alpine. Joel and I got there first. And the story goes like this:

Our waitress shows up (Nikki, I think.. It was one of those names that ends with “EE“. She wanted to know what we wanted to drink. Joel asked what was on tap…the rest of the conversation went something like this:

Nikki: We have, like, 20 beers on tap, so pretty much anything you want we have.

Joel: What Founders do you have on tap?

Nikki: What?

Joel: Founders. What Founders do you have on tap?

Nikki: I don’t know what you mean.

Joel: Founders Beer.

Nikki: You mean like Budweiser?

Joel: No, Founders Beer. It’s a type of Beer.

At this point Nikki turns to me with a confused look on her face. See seems to grasp the concept that Founders is the name of a beer, but she’s still having a hard time.

Ron: Yeah, I didn’t know what he was talking about either.

Nikki: Yeah, I thought he meant like –

Nikki and Ron simultaneously: the founder of the brewery!

Joel: No. Founders is a type of beer.

Nikki: Oh, No. We don’t have that. I’ve never even heard of that

Ron: Me neither..

Joel: I’ll have a Newcastle.

Ron: Me too.

Nikki writes down our order, cards us, then leaves.

Joel: You’ve never heard of Founders before?!

Ron: Yeah, I have.

Joel: You just completely sold me out?

Ron: Yeah, I did.

So you can look at this story from one of 3 ways (I’m sure Andy would agree, there are always III Sides to Every Story):

My side

The girl was confused and felt kinda stupid, and I was just making her feel a bit more comfortable/at ease by making a joke about it, setting Joel up as the crazy beer snob and us as normal people. Joel could take pride in his vast beer knowledge, and she could feel comfortable knowing that she wasn’t just completely ignorant or really supposed to know about some special kind of beer.

Joel’s Side

The girl ought to know about a beer made in GR, especially at a restaurant that boasts having so many beers on tap. (It became increasingly obvious as the evening continued that she knew of 4 or 5 beers tops.. Heh, they probably had Founders there…) I (Ron) was just out to a) make Joel look like a snob. b) make the cute waitress like me more. c) Make Joel look like a snob while making the cute waitress like me more.

The Truth

See Joel’s Side…. Nah… It’s a mixture. Honestly, I was confused for a second, then felt bad for the girl (whom I hope was new, cause she wasn’t really that with it as far as what they had), then saw a grand opportunity to zing Joel. (Remember those Database Relationship zings, Joel? Yeah, that’s what I thought.)

After dinner, Joel and I headed back to Joel’s place, where Adam and I played Mortal Kombat V for PS2. I’ll say this right off: I’m not a fan of the PS2 controller, because I don’t like having two top buttons on both sides. I just don’t like it. And I wouldn’t even say it’s because I’m not used to it, because I played a LOT of Tekken Tag back in the day, but I hated it then too. Second thing: I liked the Mortal Kombat franchise a lot. I was an arcade addict with MK1 and MK2. I had MK2 and Mk3 for Genesis and Snes respectively. I thought the game was set up well: Special moves were powerful, but not too much so. Each character had a style, and you could use basic moves well consistently with each player (eg. A jump kick, then quick mid kick, then sweep kick would work well with any player). Thus you could fight effectively without using any special moves, and no one player was obviously the most powerful. (though some, like Johnny Cage, did seem to suck). They were all fine 2d fighters, and I played them a lot. Being able to actually kill people was a nice addition as well. Now MK5. First difference is that it’s 3d (ala Virtua Fighter or Soul Caliber). That’s fine with me, as I loved Soul Caliber. (Though that did have the addition of Sophitia…). MKV just seemed to lack something, and I didn’t like it. The fact that I got my ass kicked repeatedly was annoying, sure, but I got my ass kicked in Tekken Tag for a long time and continued to like it… and eventually got better. So what didn’t I like? First off, it’s all about special moves. Don’t even bother with kicks and punches unless you know a 5 hit combo that’ll do any sort of damage… and even that will be made null by one decent special move by your opponent. I’ve already mentioned I hate the controller, but the default position of the block button really pissed me off. It also pissed me off that blocking did next to nothing for me most of the time. I finally switched it, and did a bit better, but by then I had significantly cooled on the game. One thing that I thought was kind of kewl was the weapon idea. You can switch your fighting style (which, honestly, I thought was dumb), and one of them equipped you with a weapon. If you had a sword or knife, you might be able to stick it in your opponent, and it’d stay there, and their health would drop slowly down the rest of the match. I thought that was kinda kewl… but ultimately pretty cheap. The game felt slow to me too. I don’t like a game where if you get caught not blocking (or blocking but the game decided not to care) you have the next 5 seconds to just sit and watch as a series of moves happen that you can’t do anything about. It just felt like you’d have to wait for things to happen.. I’m used to a faster paced fight. The 3d aspect was fine, but it just didn’t seem as fun as it did in Soul Caliber. There was always the threat of getting pushed off an edge, or moves that actually did 3d-esque things in that game… This seemed more like a 2d fighter within a 3d atmosphere. And finally, the special moves in the game have gotten stale. None of them struck me as being new or interesting… in fact, most of them were the same as they were in MK1. Sure, Subzero should have his Iceball, and he should still have his slide kick, but how about something new.. his decoy in Mk3 was clever, why did we lose that? Why not give him a move involving his sword? I dunno… I’ll just hold out for Soul Caliber 2, I think.

After MKV, we headed to Tuuk and Mark’s place for a bit. Joel and I fired up Zelda: 4 Swords, and made it to the last guy, and killed him once. We were proud. Then he came back, and we had to leave, cause it was almost 10, so we just shut it off. Then we headed to the Pickwick. It had been 3 weeks since the last Pickwick get together, and we all (Joel, Tuuk, Adam, Mark, Jplant, and I) had mentioned how we missed it, and were looking forward to it. Alan was a no-show. Turns out he fell asleep. Sucker. Anyway, it was fun. The Founders story was told, beer was consumed, and we stayed til we were more or less kicked out. If I haven’t said it already, I’ll say it now (well, I’m saying it now regardless, so deal.) I’m forever thankful for the Pickwick Crew. You guys make the bad weeks livable, and the good weeks that much better. There’s just something satisfying and reassuring about knowing there’s that day when people you know and care about are going to get together and hang out, no matter what else might be going on. Everyone ought to be so lucky.

After the Pickwick, we walked back (I had my nice coat with me, and I didn’t want it smelling all smoky, so I left it at Tuuk and Mark’s place. The walk to the bar was cold, but the walk back was strangely warm.) to Tuuk and Mark’s, where Tuuk fired up Jak and Dexter, and Mark, Joel, and I started up a grand 3-player game of 4 Swords. We got a ways into the game when Mark’s batteries died. After a little battery scouring, we were up and at them again, and ripped through the levels, and returned to the final level. (All 3 of us needed all the keys, so we had to go through a few old levels with Mark.. very fun.) The thing with this game is that it’s a competitive cooperative game. You need to work together to get further into the level, but the whole time you’re trying to get more Rupees than your opponents.. this leads to odd situations where you must trust for a few seconds that your teammate won’t kill you, and then instantly grab them, and toss them into a pit right afterwards. Crazy, eh? Yeah, and a ton of fun. Anyway, after some work, we made it back to the final guy, and after a bit of impressive cooperation, we beat him. So chalk up another Zelda game beaten. Woot! We then headed to Joel’s place, I took a much needed shower, and got a decent amount of sleep for the first time in a number of weeks on the couch.

Joel woke me up Wednesday morning, and I was confused…and not at my house. Grabbed some clothes from Joel, hopped into Dave’s car, and fell right back asleep. I woke up in the work parking lot. I made it to my cube, and fell asleep while my computer was booting up. (if ($reader eq “bcp”) { =~ s/fell asleep/worked diligently/g; }) Anyway, after a big mug of Hot Chocolate, I was ready to go. This week of work has actually been very productive, and very fun. I’ve been planning and working toward this project since… well, I was hired in May of 2001. But at least the end of 2001/beginning of 2002, when the newest iteration of The Bible Gateway went live, we’ve been thinking about the next iteration… and after the redesign, we had a full plate of ideas of things that would be grand to do, and it honestly is exciting to get to a point where we can make some of these a reality. I can’t describe the giddy feeling I got when I had code rendering John 3:16 in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Bulgarian, and Arabic on the same page properly. I dunno, maybe that doesn’t sound all that exciting.. but when you spend pretty much every day on this kind of stuff, seeing something like that actually working the way you had dreamed it would months ago, it’s a reason to celebrate. The next weeks/months are going to be action packed, but for the first time in a while, I’m really, really jazzed to do it. Well, that, and Alan pretty much demanded I don’t screw this thing up. I will say that I’m really fortunate I’ve got the people I do to help me out on this. Not only are they a joy to work with, but they’ve all got their specialty, and it seems to gel together nicely to help form a direction. (yes, even BDF and his crazy number obsession… the more I think about it, the more I like it.)

So anyway, Wednesday night Mindy, Sven, and Julie headed on over for the new Ed, which was good. There’s a new girl on the show. She’s got a boyfriend, but she’ll end up with Ed pretty soon, I’d say… that line of thinking has proven wrong before though… Afterwards it was Skip-bo, then 15 miles on the bike, then I started up my fast workout routine. (Fast Workout Routine –> Invented in High School, this workout involves 100 knuckle push-ups, and 200 crunches, all done in time to Losing My Religion. The idea is to do it so fast that you don’t have time to realize you want to die, and can’t feel any part of your body. ) It went fairly well, until I finished and was unable to move for quite some time.

Today was a typical Thursday: Worked from my bed all morning, got my laundry done, cut my hair, cleaned the kitchen. After work, I figured out how to burn VCDs from avi clips, which is excellent, cause now I can watch TV shows in avi format on my DVD player… TV shows watched on TV! Only in America! (Thanks to Robb for pointing out the irony ). Then Kristin came over, and we headed off to Mindy’s, then got some food, then headed to my place to watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition with Swac and Mandace. After that, they took off, and I put in another 7.5 miles on the bike. Then I started up on this thing.. that was a while ago. And now It’s 3:30.

I’ve decided my first cooking project will be lasagna. I’m looking forward to giving that a shot. Any suggestions for the 2nd meal?

5 thoughts on “Who Needs Sleep?

  1. I’d go with a big vat of chili, for a couple of reasons:

    1) It’s relatively easy, a confidence builder.
    2) It’s good reheated, so it can last you for days.
    3) It has meat.

  2. Actually, Chili is a really good suggestion, thanks!
    I was thinking about some sort of soup, otherwise, as I could take it to work, and I’m assuming it’s kinda hard to screw those up… At least if that “Stone Soup” story is true, I can add whatever I want, and the thing will still turn out okay… at least better than that Creme of Broccoli disaster. Hrm… Now I’m actually hungry for Chili, and I’m never hungry for anything.. Most odd.

  3. Put your “Miles Biked” in quotes. Like this:

    ‘Miles’ ‘biked’:

    Ron: Come warmer times, you need to get a real bike, preferably a mountain bike, so we can ride together. It will be fun. I tend to crash. A lot. Ask jplant. I rode once with Travis and Doug, and I managed to go over the handlebars twice, hit two trees, and end up with a tire print from the rear wheel inbetween my shoulderblades. Seriously. And, I almost killed myself my running off a singletrack. I also broke my shifter.

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