Monday, May 11, 2009

New Drum and a Hackystat Headache

It has been a busy couple of days.

Friday evening a group of us, headed by Dr. Trytten, went to see the new Star Trek. Zack, Ryan, Courtney, and I rode with Montana, which was a frightening experience that I do not intend to soon repeat. I like Ryan a lot. He's good people.

The movie itself was somewhat lame and dissatisfying. That's how I generally feel when people bring in time travel to recon stuff. Technically it works, but honestly I would rather them not try for continuity. I would rather they just say, "This is a new beginning, a different retelling", much like they've done with the new (and awesome!) batman franchise. I felt that the new Star Trek movie was full of plot holes and had only the whispy ghosts of character development. It was all actiony, moved too quickly in some places, jumped to conclusions... in general I just didn't feel it was believable or very good. Spock was hot, though, so i suppose that's a redeeming characteristic.

After the movie we convened at Tim's house for an Epic Pr0n Pr4ty. We watched Pirates (purportedly the most expensive porn ever made), a scene from Young and Anal 15 (arguably the best of the Young and Anal series) and the a couple of clips from DeepThroat (a piece of American history). All in all it made me reaffirm that most porn is awful and that someone should be making good porn. All of the women in Pirates were alarmingly orange colored, with no hair and breasts made of plastic. While parts of it were hysterical (mostly because of how diabolically bad it was), I think the idea of movie length porn with plots is ludicrious, particularly as generally executed. The plots are lackluster and half-assed, the dialogue is poorly delivered.... there is just no point. The sex wasn't even sexy. It was, by and large, creepy and oddly rough and unhappy looking. Also, I don't know how people can manage to make sex so utterly boring and tasteless. So someday I'm going to become a truly good pornographer. Put that on my list of things to do, somewhere after "graduate" and "write a novel". It was a good party, though, and there was much laughter. Zack was in fine form, having imbibed several homebrews. He was sociable and charming--my friends were dazzled. Unfortunately, he was also massively hungover on Saturday.

Saturday was the drum adventure. Jessie, Grace, and I set out to purchase a drum set. Jessie called a bunch of pawn shops, and found a couple with drums, so we spent the afternoon checking them out. The first sets were at America Pawn on 12th. While we were looking, one of the young men who worked there sidled up to us with a "Hey, girlfriend!", in a voice that would have been perceived as stereotypically homosexual had it not immediately been followed up by the awkward, "I'm not gay! Just thought it was funny." Which really just made him seem like a homophobe. He then attemped to sell us two crappy drumsets for $300. We told him we'd think about it and get back with him.

The third set we looked at was much better. So nice, in fact, that we bought it. We were able to talk him down to $350, which, for a seven piece set in pretty good condition, did not seem bad at all. Then began the collection of pieces. It was missing a clutch and torque screws, so we beebopped around town looking for them. We bought a bass kick pedal from the place with the two awful drumsets, and a clutch and torque screws from Campus TV and Music.

Campus TV and Music is staffed by the crankiest, crotchietiest man alive. I love him dearly. His fat, fluffy black cat (named Frank) sleeps on a crate by the door of the tiny shop, and the shopkeep (owner, I assume) has the customer service skills of a wet badger. An exchange for a high hat clutch went something like this.

"Do you have a clutch for a high hat?"
No movement.
"May I have one?"

He might have been the most sexist old man ever, or he might just have been the most cranky and ornery. When Grace ran to the car to count how many torque screws we needed, he suggested that maybe we shouldn't have sent her, because he didn't think she could count high enough. We allowed as how she could always just count to three twice.

In the end, we had all the pieces we needed, and a free cymbal case, to boot. We grabbed some jamba juice and went home to set it up, which was more difficult than we had perhaps anticipated.

Sunday I spent the day cooking for my family. I made cheesecake, deviled eggs, kale and white beans, veggie frittata with goat cheese, and grilled asparagus. It was a nice meal, and I couldn't have gotten it off the ground without a legion of kitchen dervishes, ie, my father and brian (and rick, when I could manage to keep him in the kitchen. He kept escaping.) My mother fawned over my brother when he arrived. I felt vaguely annoyed at all of the fawning she did over him. He was only there because I told him to be. Whatever. Someday I'm sure I'll stop feeling like the prodigal son's brother. I brought pink roses for my mother and orange for my grandmother, and beautiful tea towels for my mother (she has been coveting my for a while.) It was a pleasant enough day. Okay, not really, it was four hours of standing in the kitchen cooking and directing while almost too dizzy to stand. (Allergy meds. Blar.)

Today I had a meeting with Sandra Longcrier from OG&E about sponsorship for convention. It went well, I guess, particularly considering I had no idea what to expect going in. She gave me a lot of helpful ideas and suggestions, as well as a few contacts. Allison and I spent the afternoon making phone calls and trying to hammer out food that would stay within budget. So far, it looks like

Thursday dinner: Tarahumaras
Friday Lunch: Himalayas
Friday Dinner: Jason's Deli
Saturday Lunch: Sauced
Saturday Dinner: Prairie Gypsy catering

Some of those may be shifted around, depending. I am considering offering the option of sponsors sponsoring a particular panel or a particular speaker or something, instead of a general sponsorship level.

I spent the evening trying to get Hackystat installed. It wasn't even the bloody developer package! It was the user package! I am having difficulty getting ubuntu to reload the environment variables from the profile file, which is making it so that I can't play around with StackyHack... *twitch twitch twitch* Hopefully I can get it working tomorrow. I feel that I am behind, and am trying to catch up.

Tomorrow I will be doing a lot of studying for PPL, and maybe some studying for Discrete Structures. I wish the graduation on Saturday was anything more than totally ceremonial--I have two CLEP tests and two classes to pass before I am really free of the title of "undergraduate". I will not make people come to my commencement until I get my Ph.D.