8 October, 2007

Obsessing Over the Small Stuff

Category: DC,Family,Food,Friends,Games,Geek,Habits,Mandarin,Parks,Sleep,Tourists — Moose @ 2:22 am

I had been thinking about gaming systems, but if my obsession behavior the past two days is any indication of how it would be if I got one, I really, really should not. I picked up the new Zelda game for the DS, and it’s been absolutely fantastic. Some of the elements are a bit slow, but for the vast majority of the game I think they nailed it for my gaming likes. So much so that I’ve been up far, far too late the past two nights playing the game. Only had to revert to guides twice, which is a good sign for me.

Big thanks to the folks who came out on Friday, I had a marvelous time, and it was good to see people. That was precisely the b’day celebration I needed – low key and fun chatting and watching folks chat.

My eldest niece and her mother popped up today to play tourist, so we wandered through the Mall and a few museums. She absolutely loved the Metro. It’s a shame Air & Space is still so disorganized and doesn’t have more hands-on stuff for kids – that’s what she stopped at whenever we were in an exhibit, the ‘I can play with this’ things. She also spent most of the day talking about going to City Lights, my now former favorite Chinese restaurant in town.

The service was, in a word, atrocious tonight. They were busy, that much was readily apparent, but that’s no excuse. No one came by to check on drinks. My niece managed to down her water and her soda fairly early, and even after I specifically asked a server to get her a refill of her soda (even handing him the glass), it never came back. Then I couldn’t manage to flag anyone down because they were all flying by so quickly. The one guy I did finally catch was one of their busboys whose English was somewhat lacking, and unfortunately my Spanish is non-existent, but we did manage to get soda refills, at least, for the niece and her mother. To say I’m miffed would be an understatement – this is a place where the more established wait staff calls me by name, in Chinese, when I come in, so it’s not like I’ve never been there before. Hell, I was lying in bed for about 1/2 an hour just now and all I could do was dredge up much-unused vocabulary for expressing in Mandarin exactly how annoyed I was at the whole thing (and it’s amazing what ancient vocabulary can be dredged up in the service of strong emotions). As it was I did get one of the management staff before we left and let them know that this was the most dismal service I’d ever received there.

Otherwise it’s been a lovely weekend. I’m going to get my newest toy hooked up to the bike tomorrow and head out on a ride with a friend after his bike (re)fitting. Haven’t played with it yet, so this is the inaugural run. Should be interesting to see the data once I’m done.

7 February, 2007

Snow, Grape, C-Pop

Category: Diet,Habits,Health,Mandarin,Music,Weather — Moose @ 8:42 am

Lovely spot of snow out there this morning. And unlike the last batch, when it was melting minutes after finishing falling, this stuff will be sticking around a few days, if the weather report is any indication. Pretty.

I think the tummy woes are a combo of the meds I got for my ear (two more days…) and my usual glass of wine with dinner. No warning on the bottle, but a couple sites warned against that combo, and I think I know why now. So, will lay off the grape for a bit until the meds are out of my system and hope that calms it all down. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy not going to work today in the snow.

Played more with live365.com’s streaming through the TiVo and discovered a streaming Mandarin pop channel. C-pop at its best. Not quite as fun as Bossa Nova Breakfast (my current fave evening channel), but it’s fun this far. Had forgotten what a guilty pleasure C-pop can be, as I don’t have much of it on my iPod (most of what I bought in music waaaaay back in 1992-1993 when I lived in Taiwan is on cassette tapes, not CD). Pure sugar-pop for the most part, with little to no redeeming musical value. Think Spice Girls, and soften that. And they randomly throw in English phrases (my fave is when the old band Beyond would throw in a gratuitous “Go to hell!” in the middle of one of their songs). Fun stuff, but not something I’d inflict on friends unless I were feeling cruel.