Sunday, October 31, 2010

I just watched Get Him to the Greek. I have mixed feelings about it. I wrote several paragraphs about different aspects of the movie but then deleted them because they weren't going anywhere. I'll just say that the movie wasn't super funny over all. Some parts were funny. Some parts were painfully unfunny. And I don't find it credible that you can really love a girl (as we're lead to believe that Jonah Hill loves his girlfriend), have a friend force his way into an awkward, uncomfortable threesome situation, and then manage to save both the friendship and the romantic relationship. Didn't they cover that pretty thoroughly at the end of Chasing Amy?

I did like the scene where Russel Brand talks to his 7 year old son shortly after learning that the boy really isn't his son. That scene was almost touching.

(from xkcd sucks redux)
The joke here is basically that there is a paradox called the Banach-Tarski paradox that says that you can take one sphere (not a real sphere, a theoretical sphere, as this paradox doesn’t apply to real objects) and, upon cutting it into pieces, reassemble them into two identical spheres, each the same size as the original sphere you carved up. This obviously doesn’t make much intuitive sense, but it works out in the magical math land of theoretical geometry, and, as in many xkcd comics, in this panel the joke is that one of the laws of magical math land suddenly applies in the “real” world, with humorous consequences. Of course, the consequences are only as humorous as “the guy had one pumpkin and now he has two” which isn’t really that funny. In fact, I can think of a 1000 different ways that this idea could be applied with morbidly humorous consequences for the various characters of the comic. Maybe Hipster Hitler can make use of this idea by having ol’ Hitler try to use this paradox to turn his one testicle into two. Regardless, in xkcd, a funny application of this idea is probably not meant to be. The joke also fails in that Randall was apparently incapable of drawing two equal looking pumpkins.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I saw Me First and the Gimme Gimmes with Rachel last night. It was a decent show. Me First likes to talk between each song, which I found kind of annoying. The songs are short, so it's like a 2 minute song, followed by 1 or 2 minutes of talking. Totally kills the tempo of the concert, but Me First doesn't care. They intentionally kill the tempo sometimes by stopping the song between the build up and the hard rock so they can crack random jokes.

Somehow Rachel and I got stuck behind a bunch of old people at the concert. A lady and two douchey guys who chugged beers and fist pumped to the music without rhythm. At one point they all hugged shoulder to shoulder and swayed to the music, pretty much blocking out Rachel's entire view of anything. (I offered to switch spots with her but mine wasn't a whole lot better. I could only see because I'm taller.)

Two nights ago (or maybe three now, I wrote this some time ago) I was walking out behind the verizon center looking for an ATM. There's some kind of show there that requires lots of horses or cows or something. They've got G street blocked off and filled with a bunch of fenced-off animal stalls. And there were a whole bunch of cute girls milling around wearing tight horse riding pants and doing horse-maintenance things. One even smiled at me through the fence but I didn't know what to say. If only I had really been raised on a farm, instead of just being socially awkward and uncouth.

(my visit with Puja was cancelled last week because Sonya's sick)
Puja: She seems to be doing a lot better, so by next week she'll be back to "I adore Joe" status.
(damn right)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just got a letter from my apartment building's management. My rent is going up $34 in December, which is the most they can legally raise my rent apparently. It's 2.05%, the 2% being management's maximum optional increase and .05% because of inflation. It's significantly, significantly less than I was worried about. And apparently they can't increase the rent more than once a year. Now staying here another year might be a viable option. It's a spacious, sunny, quiet apartment. Though in some ways a change would be nice because I've lived in DC for a long time, have no super close friends who live in the neighborhood, and memories of Kate W color all the local spots we used to go.

Kate R: Good luck with your promotion review! Maybe you'll make enough to stay in your rock-star apartment!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday I saw the Thermals with Rachel. I don't think she and I have seen a concert together in like 2 or 3 years. We got dinner at Tabaq first. The mojitos there are pretty good and my calamari was excellent but I had this meatball plate that was only okay. They also played Toy Story 3 on their projector, even though that movie isn't out on dvd yet. I think they pirated a copy because after the movie there was a powerdvd error and the program quit to windows. AND, I was kinda pissed because there was this team at trivia, not long after toy story 3 came out in theaters, whose name was "Woody Dies at the end of toy story 3" which was upsetting both because Woody was such a likable character and because this team had spoiled the movie! But, (spoiler alert) he doesn't really die. What a bunch of jerks at trivia. That's probably the same bunch of jerks who stole "the better half" 2 weeks ago.

The thermals were pretty decent. One of their opening bands had their treble-base balance soooo off, all you could hear were the vocals and the drummer's cymbals. You could see that people were playing the guitars/base, but you couldn't hear it at all. Black cat drops the ball. But in this case I think it actually improved the band because you could hear the vocals so clearly and it gave it a folk-music sort of feeling. Also I was sitting on a bench with Rachel and I could hear her when she spoke without having to yell "what??" So it was really much more pleasant. The new thermals stuff is forgettable. They played most of the classic songs, which was essential, but I kinda feel like the momentum was killed by the interjection of new songs, or crappy, repetitive songs off that older new album. Really, the only worthwhile album of theirs is the body, the blood, the machine. Had they just played that album it would have been a great concert. Instead there wasn't really any moshing because of the weaker opening bands and the constant insertion of new songs.

Why do bands even play new songs in concerts? Nobody wants to hear them. I mean after a band has a legitimate album out, they'd expect that the audience came because they liked the album. And you can't really appreciate a song until you've heard it like 2 or 3 times. You certainly can't mosh to it.

Rachel drank a beer or two with me at this concert, which I appreciate. Usually I'm drinking by myself because Rachel is driving everywhere.

(talking about moving out of DC)
Rachel: You can't leave. Think of Sonya!
(Puja's daughter likes me.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Today at trivia, someone else was using the team name The Better Half!!! Outrageous! It's the name Rachel and I would use when we were the only two on the team. We used it so much that one time I told the announcer a different team name and he said "Aren't you the better half?" Now I feel violated. This is how those copyright holders much feel.

(from xkcd sucks)
And after all that, the character I liked is shown to be an idiot, and the nerd who was just trying to be smug is shown to be the wisest of them all. Well hot damn. So much for having hope anymore.
Computer nerding it up this weekend. I got a new computer and installed windows 7. Putting the computer together wasn't terribly difficult, just time consuming. Fitting the cables without blocking airflow or fans was tricky, and half the components I ordered didn't come with screws for some reason.

Windows 7 was a bigger problem. At first everything about it was frustrating. Installing the right versions of programs, and then figuring out where they installed was tricky. And a couple things I downloaded came with trojans and I had to start all over again. Navigating the file system was a pain until I set up the shortcuts I'm used to using. It tries to be very start-menu centered, but I prefer to never use the start menu for anything. Anyway, for a while I could empathize with the frustration my mom feels when she tries to use her computer. I felt like I was battling the OS every time I wanted to do something. But it's all fixed now.

I've been playing a little (tiny bit) of civilization 5. I like the new hex tiles, and I like the new way units don't stack. It almost seems like a tactical game, until you realize that each unit just has a "combat rating" that tells you everything about it's effectiveness in combat. I haven't played any civilization games since civ 2, but it still takes 40 years for your scouts to see whats on the other side of the mountain? And 100 years to raid a nearby city? The time frames for some actions are just way, way off. Also, you'd think they'd have a more accurate model by now than deciding to "research" the wheel. Did the cavemen really do research before inventing the wheel? Okay, so it's not an accurate model of historical development. What is it then? I'm not really sure. It's a kinda fun, totally inaccurate model of how you would plan for a civilization given these circumstances. I'm just incapable of suspending my disbelief enough to think "maybe this is how the Aztecs could have developed had the white man not rained on their parade." Because its all so skewed. It doesn't help that the entirety of combat, when one unit attacks another, is that the units overlap for a moment, followed by some scuffling effects, and then you're shown how much damage each unit took. It's interesting in general, it just doesn't capture the imagination and it's not engaging.

(from an interview with a Gamefaqs faq author)
A lot of recent games have this pathetic desperation for you to "share" them. Skate 3 wants me to upload videos of my pretend self skateboarding in its pretend city. Blur invites me to Tweet my latest race victory - say, what's that sound? Oh, it's hundreds of "unfollow" buttons being clicked at once.