So. Looks like I basically mentally checked out for a couple days there and forgot to blog about the weekend. :) Besides just garden-variety not paying attention, there's another reason for that negligence, but that'll come at the end of the story, so...why don't we start at the beginning.
Saturday afternoon I bused my way back up to New York to hit poker night at Loc's. It has seriously been so long since I left the cave that upon first entering the house, I was all overstimulated and disoriented from all the humans around. Ordinarily I wait until things get moving a little before cracking a beer, but this time I started knocking 'em back even before I got the rest of the ones I brought into the fridge. :) And I wasn't even halfway through the beer before it was time for a little herbal refreshment as well, so...thankfully I was nice and calmed before too much time elapsed.
The night overall was really fun. Firstly, it was a totally hopping event, which, as we know, is largely not my scene, but hanging with crew is a whole different thing, so...it was nice. Also helpful was that the group basically split into two factions: a poker table, and a mah jong game. Though, granted, the mah jong game seemed like a whole other party going on over there, but there was still some mixing-it-up as people would bust out of poker and a little bit of cross-pollination took place.
Poker-wise, I had a crazy end-of-the-bell-curve-on-the-good-side night. It was just one of those crazy times where everything falls into place. I got lucky (set over set), I failed to get unlucky (hands held up against draws), and rarest of all for me, I actually picked the right time to pick off a bluff (sorry, jeded1ah!). I was the big winner for the night, which I tend to feel strange about since I started playing in casinos. In fact, I would have felt guilty this last time about taking my friends' money, except...you know...I need it. ;) I'm not sweating it, though. I often do quite poorly at these poker nights, largely because of my lack of skill at no-limit, but also because I come to these things to hang out. In fact, I remember very well that the last time I attended, I blew through my buy-in in pretty short order and spent the rest of the night dealing. :)
Ah, dealing. So...as big a fan as I am of rules, I do not enjoy rules lawyers. Granted, this is coming from a tabletop gaming perspective, which is generally a place where rules should give way to good story and good fun, but it just speaks of a certain personality or persuasion that seems to be a little less fun than people playing games should be. However, it turns out that I am, myself, such a person. ;) I guess a few years in the dealer box have made me pretty instinctively prickly about poker rules, to a level that I think is inappropriate when hanging with your peeps. So that's something I'll tone down in the future. Unless I end up being a dealer again, in which case...well, that's the job, everybody. ;)
Anyway...good times. As the night wore on, people trickled out into the night, and our hosts for the evening very kindly put me up for the night in what has affectionately come to be known as the Pink Room. I say "for the night," but actually Loc, Jed, and I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning chit-chatting. I, of course, talked too much. I'm not entirely sure what all we covered, but I do clearly recall at some point trying to outline my dark interpretation of Majora's Mask. So, yeah...I guess when I don't get to play video games, I guess I end up talking about video games. But! More on that later.
So...phase two. Some little while back, I had reestablished contact with an old friend, who I will hereby blogonym "Puppetrix." She was a very central part of my very central crew back in high school, making her among the nearest and dearest of friends of mine that I have kept in my life the longest. We also tend to lose touch for ridiculous stretches at a time, so, aside from a brief e-mail exchange back when I was in A.C., I probably hadn't talked to her since I moved back to New York from the Bay Area, so, what, 2003? (Sick!) Anyway...so we managed to get back in touch via the (dark) magic of Facebook, and had some vague idea that we should get together sometime. Smash cut to last week, when I was deciding I would like to hit up Loc's on the weekend, and I left a message for Puppetrix that I'd be in town, and would she like to get together? No word, so I figured maybe it had been too long. Smash cut again to me actually being on the bus on my way to New York when I hear back. She may or may not be in the process of moving when I was free to get together, so we might not be able to come together, and she'd let me know. Smash cut once again to me unconscious in Loc's Pink Room, and I'm awakened by the news that she won't be moving after all, so we can meet up. Sure...chemical haze, three hours of sleep...no problem. :)
So I gather what few wits of mine are left around me, blow out of Loc's place (feeling kinda bad about not sticking around), and I leave Queens for Manhattan. Puppetrix and I meet up at a coffee place she likes near Union Square, which is jam-packed with weekenders, but we manage to snag a table and spend a very nice couple hours catching up. I had a scone. It was a really nice time; I've always felt a special connection to this girl, all the way back to my awkward teenage years, and honestly I fall a little bit back in love with her every time we see each other. We never had a relationship relationship, but we shared a certain closeness back in the day, and...I don't know...it just felt nice to feel some deep, human things again.
After we parted ways, I made my way back up to midtown and hopped a bus back down to Philly. I had a lot to reflect on during the ride. Mostly I got to thinking about how my perspective on my relationships with people has got to come off as really skewed to outside observers. See...I spend large amounts of time physically separated from the people I care about. That's just...how I live. Now...in the time I'm apart from people, life basically goes on. For other people, that means doing other stuff, meeting other people, growing, changing, and all that jazz. For me, it means spending a lot of time inside my own head and, not to put too fine a point on it, living in the past. So when I emerge from this weird kind of stasis and make contact with people again, it often catches me by surprise that they, and the world, may have changed a bit since we last spoke. :) I dunno...it doesn't make me sad or anything, I mean no more than change in general makes me sad, but I just found it noteworthy that even now, having known these people for half my life, I can still feel exactly like I'm right back in high school. Sometimes that's good; sometimes that's bad.
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I made it back to Philadelphia on Sunday evening. That's when I made the very brief post announcing that I was zoned out, which we now know was basically due to not sleeping all that much the night before. If memory serves, I think I just vegged out with some Chinese food and Netflix streaming.
I spent much of Monday on running errands and doing a lot of online catchup since I hadn't been plugged in to the Internet over the weekend. I also, having a bunch of new-found poker money burning a hole in my pocket, finally caved in a picked me up a copy of Wind Waker. For those of you keeping score, a little while ago, I mentioned suddenly having the urge to play Wind Waker, which obviously was not an option available to me since the burglary. I had, in fact, been putting together a pretty nice video-game-free life since that happened, saving only the occasional web game while listening to podcasts or something. But this time around...some extra cash in my pocket, having just had a discussion about the Zelda franchise...I felt no need to wait longer.
So that's the followup to the earlier point about the video game conversation, and it also brings me to the part about why I've been off the map for a couple days. I pretty much lost Tuesday to video games. So that was another day gone without posting about my weekend. Today I at least shoveled snow and ran errands and made my 'Net rounds and did job apps and stuff, so I made sure to get done what I wanted to do before I hit the ol' Cube again. We'll see if I can manage to meld video game life with the rest of life without any external structure being imposed on me. It feels unnatural, I'll tell you that much. :)
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Anyway, I think that basically catches me up. I was thinking of chilling with a movie or something tonight, but I wrote this blog post instead. ;) The social networking experiment is really starting to drag on me. I've already started ignoring Twitter feeds that aren't people I actually know; we'll see if I get back into that or not. Facebook is...well, it strikes me as an unreliable medium. Keeping up with people through Facebook is like viewing the consolidated activities of my friends through a distractingly lossy compression. This probably irks me a lot more than it irks normal people, but...that's what happens. Whaddaya gonna do; that's the world we live in.
Nothing new to report on the job front. Or the life-in-general front, either, come to mention it, though I will say that I came back from these latest adventures missing New York a hell of a lot more than when I started. So...just one more thing to throw in the hopper, I guess.
That's enough out of me for now. Peace out, everybody, and watch the winter storms. Smell ya later!