Sunday, January 30, 2011

Geek Bowl V

Last night I played pub trivia in the largest pub trivia contest in the USA.  Roughly 150 teams (900 people) gathered at the Fillmore for an extra special night of Geeks Who Drink trivia.

It was kind of disappointing.  The entertainment was pretty bad and the night went on long, despite shortened times to answer each round.  It was hard.  The categories weren't very fun, like they usually are at our local game.  It didn't feel especially geeky.  Bummer.

But overall it was a fun night!  We placed 27th overall.  27!!!  I'm proud of us.  We wanted to make top 50.

It was like a normal trivia night.  8 rounds with 8 questions each.  Second round is music, fifth is visual, seventh is audio (video in this case, since they had screens).  Second and Eighth rounds are work double points.  You have a joker you can use one time on any round to double your score.  You write your answers on the score sheets provided and turn them in for tallying.  No cell phone use allowed during game play.

Differences from a local game: tons of people, reserved table with our team name and score sheet pre-printed.  No repeats of questions.  The question was printed on the screen as well as read aloud (wish they could do this locally). Two minute timer after each round to complete your answers.  This drastically cut down the amount of discussion and thought we could put into our answers.  You have much more time locally.  No internet bonus question or free drink speed-answer questions.  The drinks were hella expensive and no pub food to order. The chairs less comfortable than at the Bulldog (impossible but true!).    Super tight security with proctors watching for cell phone users. 
Huh, I sound pretty crabby about it, don't I?  It really was fun and kind of a crazy thing to do with your weekend. I'm waiting for them to post the final scores and total list on their blog.  Here's a summary of the categories and how we did.

1) Cold Facts on Colfax (A random knowledge round using keywords "cold" or "fact" or "Colfax" in either the question or the answer.
Score = 5/8

2) Music Round. Identify the song and artist or album (as specified) played by the live mariachi band.
Score = 13/14 (They tossed out one song, or else we would have had 13/16).
We should have jokered this round but we didn't know we did so well because a few were wild guesses.

3) True/False about True or False (each statement had "true" or "false" in it, was the statement T/F?)
Score = 3/8

4) Pop, Culture (basically a random knowledge round using those keywords)
Score = 3/8

5) Visual Round "No, Ship!"  Name the boat pictured.
Score = 6/8

6) Dowdy with a Chance of Meatballs (Feminism and meatball subjects, but hardly.  More like random knowledge.  Hated this round)
Score = 2/8

7) Identify the movie clips played.
Score = 6/8

8) Random Knowledge
Score = 8/16 (jokered for total of 16 points)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Eight Months Old

Jack is eight months old today.  EIGHT! 

Still lovin' life as it comes.  A champion sitter, we love using high chairs in restaurants.  We have to keep them away from the table or he'll throw everything into his mouth or onto the floor. 
We're still practicing crawling.
But it's going slow.  Slow, as in, no still learning the starting position.  We can get him into the crawl position and he'll hold it for 0-10 seconds, with an average duration of 2 seconds. 
Because it's late and I worked all day and Jack was tired too, I stripped him instead of putting on a new cute outfit.  He loved the novelty of nakedness on blanket.

You'll have to believe that I took some adorable naked baby pictures.  But Ben has rules against nudity on the internet.  So I'll tease you with this cropped one.  Jack seems to be giving Jem a look of understanding with his breezy buns.  Or something.  I can't tell.  But the look seems full of statement of some kind or other.
Every day I notice him investigating more details in the world around him, and reacting with new facial expressions.  Also, I love that his hair is coming in.  He's graduated from "peach fuzz" to "wispy."

Ben's internet played some soft music and Jack starting busting moves.
But it stopped and he craned his neck to see where the party went.  You see this twisty, arched position?  Imagine trying to feed him when EVERY noise causes him to stop and investigate in this manner.  Let's just say I'm glad I don't have to nurse him in public. 

We tried to get him dancing to the TV show theme song from Psych, as promised.  We didn't fail, you'll see it below.  But bear in mind:
1. He just endured Mom's photo session, including undressing and dressing. GROAN.
2. It's one hour from bed time. GROAN.
3. He and Ben were sick of each other by the end of the day GROAN (Jack) GROAN (Ben).
Despite all that, he STILL busts out to this song.  Take 1 on the floor, take 2 on Ben's lap.  I stopped midway but restarted when Ben said I was missing his favorite part of the song. If you saw the prequel the other day this won't be any different.

Favorite Song? from Rachel Mason on Vimeo.

We love you, Jack. Now stop growing up so darn fast.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You guessed right!

I had Kelly put purple streaks in my hair again.

This is what happens when you watch Scott Pilgrim the night before your salon appointment.

It's very subtle, especially compared to my college days:

But it's definitely hidden in there, 6 or 7 little chunks of violet glory.  Purple enough that I don't feel like such an old lady, but subtle enough I don't think anyone important at work will notice and report me for "unnatural hair color" violation. 

I'm happy many of your enjoyed some Motherboy dancing (Arrested Development fans out there? you like that?).  Since some of you asked, we were dancing to Kate Nash "Pumpkin soup."  I'll have to post some video of Jack dancing to the Psych theme song.  He gets his boogie on STAT when you turn it on.  Maybe tomorrow, on this 8th month birthdaythingieIvebeendoing.  I have a full shift and then I'm on call, but I'll do my best to get photos up.  Saturday, if not tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Taking a risk

Going back to my roots. Hopefully in a good way...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New tricks

Jack spontaneously started doing this.

A New Game from Rachel Mason on Vimeo.

Our amusement will likely be short-lived.

Dancing? from Rachel Mason on Vimeo.

After dinner (Jack takes longer to eat, he's still working on his shepherd's pie) I finished an episode of Psych. The theme song came on and he started dancing just like that! Ben said he trained him to dance to it. I can get him to dance with me to other songs too.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jack the vampire

It's fitting that the flash makes him look like a demon child. That little white razor tooth clawing its way into existence has caused me hell this week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January going-ons

I had a mini-vacation of 6 days off last week.  No reason, it's just how my schedule worked out.  When I started up again last week . . . there's really nothing interesting to report.  I had some sweet old men patients.  Love them.  Treatments went well.  Still working on cultivating good rapport with the docs (they are kind of aloof).  I was on call this weekend.  I worked a full Saturday and 7 hours Sunday.  Yesterday and today are off.  Yesterday was spent doing blessedly little.  A few chores and errands, a long walk with Ben and Jack.  Lots of Jack time.  I made Ben go to the library to study so I could "feel like a mom" and have alone time with my little dude.  Last night we stayed in.  Played some Dance Central on Kinect.  Watched TV and munched on PB and chocolate chip cookies.  Why can't I make PB cookies that are soft and chewy?  It's impossible!

Today doesn't feel quite so free.  Although I got to sleep past 5 am (for real!  Jack didn't wake until 6!), and I'm twiddling my thumbs so I started this blog post, I have a full day.  A conference call in 30 minutes to discuss opening our new dialysis unit tomorrow.  Then the first dance rehearsal for Amanda's school.  With drive time I'll be gone from 1:30 to 6.  Need to put together a meal plan and shopping list for Ben too.  Not much I know, but it means if I want to knit today I better do it now while Jack is napping.

Here's a Jack video, because, why not?

Disappearing Food from Rachel Mason on Vimeo.

Dresser Shopping

Jack is going to need a proper dresser in his room soon.  I'm sick of modern particle board crap that falls apart after 5 years.  Good quality new wood furniture is frighteningly expensive.  So I've started an extremely passive search for a vintage dresser.  Mostly this involves trawling through craigslist once a week for mid century dressers, and cursing when I see the ones I like were quickly sold.  One time while driving home via 44th I made Ben stop for some "antique" shopping.  Mostly crap, but there's a new store that specializes in mid century furniture called Retro Consignment.  I was stunned at the fabulousness we saw once inside and couldn't stop taking cell phone photos.  Observe:

 On the left is a vibrating belt exercise machine, with sleds behind them.  They also had bizarre water skis, looked like 1940s or 50s.  On the right an array of typewriters

 A beautiful, working projector on the left, on the right I want this blue chair and love seat set.  But so impractical for my big boys!
 I swear that we had this exact stereo when I was a kid.
 A decent dresser we were considering. (Just browsing for now.  We had no transport to get large furniture home and, more importantly, no money post-holidays for furniture purchases.)
Also loved this teal sofa.  They had brilliant old television sets.  Not pictured is the wet bar I saw and was seized with an inexplicable urge to OWN RIGHT NOW, OMG I ALWAYS WANTED A BAR.  Ben shook his head and herded me out the door soon after that. 

I will be back with fists full of cash.  Oh yes, give me time.

Friday, January 07, 2011

zoo video

Here's the zoo video from earlier in full quality, plus other photos from our outing. (Click the little square of arrows to make the video fit your screen, if it's too long.  The phone takes a weird aspect ratio of video.)

Meeting birds from Rachel Mason on Vimeo.

Jack in the Bird World from Rachel Mason on Vimeo.

Christmas 2

Because of my work schedule, we met my family for Christmas on the 29th-1st.  We went to our place in Bailey to cozy up and celebrate in the grand, Waterhouse way.  This is a lot of pictures, and there are more on flickr.

Reuniting Jack with my family:

Showing off his table manners:

We arrive in Bailey. The rest of the family spent the night.  I was on call and stayed in Lakewood until the morning.  

Jenn doing her sinus therapy with husband's help:

Let the presents begin!  Oof, heavy:

Kinects for Ben and Andy and Jenn, and a Kindle for Jenn (now everyone has one!)

 Jem fished her present out of a bag when no one was looking:

What a nerd:

Can you believe this?!  Mom made this aviator sweater for Jack, it's incredible!  The helmet comes from Soil, that independent children's clothes crafter I love.

Jack was happy with the paper, but occasionally needed pieces fished out:

 I love this, we're all pointing to the ball he just opened, and he hasn't noticed it yet:

Another amazing homemade gift - Amanda wrote two children's books for Jack.  The ABCs of Zelda and a counting book of Mario.  They are absurdly nerdy and cute.  I'll have to post a detailed walkthrough of the books later.  

Dad strumming his uke from Andy:

And then he whipped out his own crazy handmade gift of the year - cigar box guitars.  These are so beautiful and they sound great!

 Dad got Mom a cool microscope, and brought creepy crawlies to test it out:

 My lame homemade gifts this year, but they crack me up.  I made Amanda and Andy and Jenn BLANKET STATEMENTS!

Sometime while we were opening presents it started to snow.  A white Christmas!

 That night I gave Jack a bath in the kitchen.  I've decided using storage tubs is a genius bath method.  Yesterday I gave him another bath in a tub in the tub, catching all his splashes.  I could sit in the bath fully clothed to support him, and use less water to fill his small tub.  We've taken to calling them "tub tub baths."

Too many presents ;-)

The adorable outfit from Jenn and Andy:

A hiking backpack.  I think he likes it!

And a final cute outfit to finish them off!

Oh, what a glorious Christmas.  We were all severely spoiled.  I also got a swift and winder, yarn and fibers to spin, fancy fabric, some art, many little gadgets, silpats, lotions, a ballet date (babysitting included!) and the aforementioned iphone 4.  Later Ben picked up an AT&T microcell device.  It gives us five bar coverage all throughout our house.  I'm thrilled!  We canceled our Vonage house phone plan today.  My big gift is a trip to Boston this spring to attend the nephrology nursing conference.  We are both daunted (because of the ten month old who will accompany us) and excited by the idea, and very grateful for the trip. What will come in the oh-1-1?  I'm excited to find out.