Highlights from my last two weeks, in no particular order:

- Miah Poisson, his fiancée Ines, and her friend Denise have always wanted to see The X Files, and it just so happens I have the complete series on DVD. We've started getting together every Monday night to watch a couple of episodes and eat sandwiches. I'm taking the opportunity to do something I wanted to do the first time I watched the series, which is keep a kill-count. It's a series obsessed with death; nearly every episode has multiple on-screen deaths and several more mentioned in the expository dialogue. I always wondered how many hundreds (thousands?) of characters died over the course of the show and now I'll get to find out. I counted 7 in the pilot alone.

- Those same three friends joined John Edwards and I for a epic game of Munchkin, which has yet to get old. John and Miah both want to run RPGs and will come here every other Sunday for sessions of their games. I do look forward to gaming with them, but I smacked my forehead when I realized I'd just given up a huge chunk of what little free time I have left. John is well now but I learned what a hard year he'd gone through with the death of his fiancée and a long hospitalization, and my heart goes out to the guy. He was a sadder, mellower John than I'd seen in a long time.

- I had a date last night with a woman I met through online personals; we had some late nights talking and writing to each other leading up to it. She's nice and can really make me laugh, but I suspect we're too different to have a romantic future together. Even if it's just as friends, I hope we can keep seeing each other; she's good company and I can always use more. For the date, she suggested a PG-13 horror movie on opening night at the only theater in a small town, and I think we were the only ones there who were of legal driving age, let alone voting age. I didn't mind the deafening shrieking every time there was the slightest hint of a ghost in the movie (approximately every 25 seconds), but as the movie progressed, the general chatter got louder, and eventually the constant calls of "shut up!" and replies of "fuck you!" drowned out what hadn't been all that annoying in the first place. It also wasn't fun being pelted with candy tossed at random from a few rows back. We got free passes to return without even asking for them, but when we go back it'll have to be on a school night. After the movie, the only restaurant open was Denny's, and thank goodness the teenager's moms wouldn't drive them there too; we got to relax over a late dinner and make fun of the kids.

- Besides writing long messages to strangers, I've spent several late nights writing to Denise, Ines's friend, after she took issue with my "Normal Paranormal" post in this blog. She's a firm believer in acupuncture, chiropractic, and feng shui without ruling out the rest of the list, and our extensive discussion of the entire subject was the most invigorating intellectual debate I've had in a long time (sorry, TC). Denise is a fellow manager and works even longer hours than I do, but when she does have a chance next week I'd like to take her out for a good time and see what else inspires us. She's a special woman.

- When I dine alone, I've been watching Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital series on DVD and loving every episode. It's not the scariest thing ever committed to film, but it's smart as a whip, and it has a depraved and very funny sense of humor. Better yet, the medical drama and ethical debates are at least as strong as the spooky material; it's half "ER" and half "The Shining." Highly recommended. (rent it)

- I can't get specific about work, but it's going well. The structure of my team, staff and projects and otherwise, is like a chess game: You have to shift certain pieces before you can make the move you want, and you have to think many moves ahead if you want a good outcome. Each week gets better; this week was the first time in months where developers actually came to me asking "Got anything I can work on?" because for once they haven't been buried with multiple urgent projects. October is a big improvement over September, and based on the moves I'm making now, November and December and January are going to be even better. Damn I love my job.

- Elder Scrolls. 'Nuff said.

One Reply to Good Company and Busy Nights

Kris Weberg | October 15, 2006
Responses, in vaguely parallel order:

-- I imagine that death toll will spike if you're incorporating the movie (and I can't see why you wouldn't, as it's the bridge between seasons 5 and 6). One thing that's always fun to realize with these sorts of serial fictrions, be they TV shows, film series, or comedies, is the way in which the deaths of countless extras are a toss-off for the writer while the death of a single supporting cast member gets lots of time and space for dramatic purposes. All those bystanders just don't count, I guess.

-- Ouch. That's a rough year, alright. My best wishees to John.

-- Ah, late nights at Denny's...how many summer nights did I while away there with friends as an undergraduate, stealthily trying to play cards without being so obvious as to get us all kicked out?

-- I'd be broadly curious to learn the contours of that debate. I'm always interested, for example, in the ways in which anecdotal evidence's emotional weight tends to trump the colder, more abstracted world of scientific or statistical evidence. The world works along the lines of statistics and science; but we experience our lives in the anecdotes.

-- I keep hearign good, good things about that show. Of course, I tend to prefer Kubrick's The Shining to King's version, so perhaps not.

-- Way to go Scott! You sound like the kind of manager figure most people wish they had.

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