Birthday Week!

This past week has been nuts. My birthday was on Monday, and it seems like life has been doing its best to celebrate all week! I feel so lucky.

Friday They Might Be Giants was in town to kick off an awesome weekend. They played a lot of old stuff including “Where Your Eyes Don’t Go” and “Whistling in the Dark” – in fact it seemed to me like they didn’t play many of their staples. Probably that was just because I was rather disappointed that they didn’t do one of my favorites off just their last album, “Can’t Keep Johnny Down”. When they opened with that the last time I saw them, I felt like it really got the audience pumped more than “You’re on Fire” did. I liked hearing “Twisting” in the encore though, that was a nice surprise.

Afterwards I snagged a signed copy of Nanobots and a TMBG bumper sticker.

TMBG swag. Signed prerelease swag even!

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Saturday I spent most of the day happily cleaning the apartment and playing Portal 2 co-op, when I wasn’t having lunch with my choir friend Katie or cooking dinner for the rest of the week. Sunday my choir sang some really nice songs and Kaaren gave a really fiery speech (iTunes podcast of sermon here) about giving money to the church, which oddly enough is probably the best sermon I’ve heard in a while.

After that it was home again to cook for my birthday party. We played a bunch of games that Nate brought, although sadly we didn’t have time to play either 1000 Blank White Cards or any of the games other people brought. We Didn’t Playtest This At All was fun despite its extremely silly premise, since the game seems to last no more than a max of about three rounds before everyone loses through one silly method or another. Cards Against Humanity is pretty awesome – basically it’s the most offensive, politically incorrect version of Apples to Apples ever. “Poorly timed Holocaust jokes” is one of the least offensive “red” cards you can play, and from there it spirals into the perverse, creepy, and sexual. Best played with alcohol and no sense of decency. I must say that teaching OWL class to 9th graders has made it a lot easier to read the words on some of those cards! Star Fluxx came late enough in the evening that it was a bit difficult to keep track of the ever-changing rules for those remaining. All in all, just the kinds of games I like – very silly party games, with next-to-zero import put on whether anyone actually wins.

Monday I cleaned up from the party and went skiing at Swain, putting my grandfather’s skis to use for I think the first time.

my grandfather's skis

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There were literally about 10 people on the slopes, plus probably 40 fourth graders on the bunny hill, and the weather had been cold and a bit snowy, so conditions were perfect except for a bit of a cutting breeze at times. Sadly when I got home, my water heater had apparently decided lukewarm was sufficient, so my hopes of a nice bath with leftover cake were dashed.

That just meant that when my landlord got the hot water fixed on Tuesday, it was a luxury to enjoy again. When I got in to work, I found my birthday present from my parents waiting on my desk, which was awesome. A Benro travel tripod, weighing just 2.9lbs and collapsing to just over 16″ – which will be perfect for my next photo trip! It moves so smoothly and feels sturdy and light compared to the lower-quality older tripods I’ve been using. The ball-head is a bit different than the style I’ve used before so it will take a bit of getting used to, but I think I’ll like it better.

Wednesday one of my friends from work sprang tickets to Book of Mormon on me, which she had somehow managed to obtain for a third of their regular cost, as long as she had 4 people buying. The show was really stunningly great, despite doing its best to offend almost every group you can think of and using a certain amount of gross humor. My favorite part was probably the number when the new Mormon missionaries, the main characters, arrive in Africa and are introduced to the little outpost of other Mormon missionaries.

Thursday I had a good time at my singing lesson, but the main highlight was that the new Cintiq showed up at the office, and although we were missing the video connector for it, that was EXTREMELY exciting. Cintiqs are incredibly sought-after for anybody who draws on the computer, as they cost as much as a good computer and are somewhat unnecessary – but are, as my coworker described it, “the future in a box.” They simply don’t compare to tablets, because it’s a monitor you can draw on using a stylus with full pressure-sensitivity – basically it’s the best of both worlds because you can make layers, do crazy brushes, and see what you’re doing. So now today we got the Cintiq up and running, and I spent way too much time doodling.

Guys, this Cintiq is pretty absurd. Absurdly awesome!

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cintiq terokh-jeruth

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