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OK Go – “Needing/Getting” [F/ER]
Feb 6th, 2012 by Dan

The latest in their never ending quest to make the most awesome music videos ever. I love “Needing/Getting” already and this only makes me like it more.

What I’ve Been Doing 6 Feb 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Feb 6th, 2012 by Dan

Dan gets ready to blow out his candles

26! (Photo courtesy DJOtaku)

Everything’s all creaky and sore and old, but just because I’m 26 and old doesn’t mean you guys don’t get to find out what I’ve been doing.

Movies

Drive – Finally got around to catching this movie. Min was accurate in calling it more of an art movie than an action movie. Ryan Gosling’s pure rage and “coolness” bordered on psychopathic and I actually sympathized with Albert Brooks’ villain character. This movie is not for the faint of stomach. Lots of brutal violence. Has an 80s ambiance too that’s reinforced by the synth-heavy (and awesome) chillwave soundtrack

Moneyball – David got me this (THANKS DAVID!) and I love it. Started watching it because Min had never seen it and Tiffany needed something to help her fall asleep. Min liked it and it helped Tiffany fall asleep, which is great because otherwise she might have noticed me start to tear up. Sports movies are the best/worst. They really get me.

TV

Homeland – How I managed to put off watching the last three episodes of this season until last week is baffling. This show is the best new thing to come out this year. Great, tense drama. Amazing show.

Samurai Champloo – The last fun episodes before the finale are about as bizarre as television gets. Weird space zombies, bizarre baseball episodes. This show really just throws everything serious out the window before its end. I hope the last three episodes are cool. I’ll miss this show. It’s been a good journey.

Justified – Everyone and everything in this show is so badass and awesome. I love it. Can’t wait to see more gunslinging.

New Girl – The whole Jess/Julia contrast is really interesting. I really like Lizzy Caplan. Hopefully the show doesn’t just get rid of her. The cumrudgeon in her personality contrasts quite nicely with Deschanell.

Glee – If there were ever an artist that could match the awesomeness levels of the Madonna episode, Michael Jackson would be it…except he wasn’t. Meh storytelling combined with odd song selection (“Scream” with Artie as MJ and Mike Chang as Janet? What?) made for a stronger episode than usual, but not up to par with what the King of Pop deserves.

Persona 4: The Animation – I wish I hadn’t waited so long to see these episodes. The hilarity of Yu Narukami and the Persona 4 series is amazing. This show does a great job of capturing the events of P4.

Parks and Recreation – One of my favorite episodes of the season. Oren is always hilarious as were all the weird suitors they chose for Ann. The Ron Swanson runner where he was loving the scavenger hunt was amazing. Perfectly acted by Nick Offerman.

Archer – So many callbacks to other episodes! Archer continues to have an exceptionally strong third season. I was surprised at how great it was.

Up All Night – The starfuckers line was the best of the episode. Show is finding its legs, for sure. I’m happy with it.

Music

Rodrigo y Gabriela – Their new CD, Area 52, is amazing. Check it out if you can. It’s their old stuff, but with a full Cuban orchestra thrown in for good measure. Fun stuff.

Books

Nope

Video Games

The Old Republic – Finding time to play alts with Min has really slowed me down. We are making great raid progress though. On to Hard Modes!

Cave Story + – When I defeat you, Monster X, you will know my wrath. I hate you so much.

Ghost Trick – Getting close to the end and the puzzles are only getting more and more devious. Gotta figure out how to save this dude’s life!

EDIT: Rayman: Origins – Totally forgot that Min and I beat the prestige level. So awesome. Great game.

December: MM Oh No! [Fukubukuro 2011]
Feb 1st, 2012 by Dan

I swore that I would never play again after I quit. With good reason, I’d say. The year I played World of Warcraft religiously I hung out less with friends, saw my personal life take a hit, and received some of the worst grades of my undergraduate career.

People who really know me know that obsessing over a video game isn’t exactly odd behavior for me. I play an astounding number of hours of video games each year, but this was past that line. We’re talking canceling social engagements to make a raid or just not leaving my room for anything but meals all weekend. Clearly not healthy behavior.

Then the unspeakable happened: Bioware announced that they would be continuing their Old Republic franchise in an MMO form. My moratorium was in serious jeopardy. I love Bioware games and I was particularly fond of the Old Republic stuff too. The ban would have to be lifted.

Of course I couldn’t just dive in. Rules have to be observed. When it came down to it, the biggest one that I was forcing myself to follow was to never let the game get in the way of my social life. That means no canceling dates or hanging out with friends in favor of playing the game. It sounds obvious, but I didn’t manage it before.

So far I’ve been doing pretty well with TOR. It’s nothing at all like WoW. I did start getting into work and going to bed later, but I’ve yet to cancel any social engagements and I’ve been actively keeping up with my friends and family. I kept myself from overcommitting by joining a chill guild that has a pretty loose raid schedule. So far we’ve made good progress in the game without too much drama at all. Overall, it’s been a much more pleasant experience than playing WoW was.

Min is Dead

November: Reunion [Fukubukuro 2011]
Feb 1st, 2012 by Dan

A lot changes in two years. Back in 2009 I went up to NYC with Min and Duffy to catch the Cornell vs. BU ice hockey game at Madison Square Garden. It was a lot of fun and it was taking place only a year after we graduated.

Funny thing about school is that people cycle out. Every four years, on average, the slate is wiped clean. 2011 was the year Cornell was officially emptied for me. The last friend I knew on campus had graduated in May, which means that my reasons for being at the school, reunions aside, have all but disappeared.

Every year after graduation means another year of drifting apart from the relationships that were so crucial and big in my life during undergrad. I keep close with a few important ones, but you can’t argue with the drift of time. People who graduated and went to the same city I did aren’t there any more. People who did are now functionally too far away to see frequently. For someone who moved around a lot as a kid like I did, this feels like a natural attrition rate, but I still wish my close friends lived closer.

It felt like everyone I knew was at that MSG game in 2009 and like we made a bigger effort to rendezvous. I know that, numerically, the numbers were probably about the same in 2011 (a lot of people from undergrad live in/around NYC, so it’s not really a trip for them), but the game was far less of a foregone conclusion to me this year. I think I’ll probably go again in 2013, but it’ll be one of those things I have to think about, you know? It’ll probably be the same way with class reunions. Five years is next year. I bet that’s the biggest turnout 2008 gets (ten years might be bigger because of our obsession with powers of 10, but I’m hedging my bets on five) because Cornell gets smaller and smaller in our memories the longer we’re away from it.

That’s what I cherished so much about going to the game this year. I got to see my favorite people from undergrad once again. Sure, I also got to see some I didn’t like and it also felt far too short, but these moments will never be this easy as the years keep marching on.

Boston University vs. Cornell University

October: Uncle [Fukubukuro 2011]
Feb 1st, 2012 by Dan

Last year I know I freaked out a bit about stagnating, but I ultimately think I wasn’t ready to mature or be older. I mean, I can’t say that I’m there yet, but I think I may be getting a chance to be halfway there. It won’t be much longer before I’m an uncle. That’s crazy.

Was I expecting to learn that my brother was having a kid back in October? No way. I mean, the invitation was a little weird and out of character, but I wasn’t expecting that kind of bombshell to be dropped on me.

I use bombshell as a descriptor, but we all know that the extent to which this will actively affect my life will not necessarily be huge. I’m not personally responsible for a new life, my brother and sister-in-law are. It’s just….crazy. I mean, I know my brother is three years older than me and we’re both closer to 30 than we are to 20, but still! He’s a guy I remember at age eight!

When you think about it, it’s kind of weird that I think of this as a huge event. I’ve got plenty of cousins with kids. The oldest of them are older than my youngest siblings, so I’ve had a long time to be used to people of my generation having kids, but this is my brother, man.

I also find that my sense of responsibility is much greater than it was when I was in undergrad. I mean, maybe it has to do with being older or maybe it has to do with occasionally caring for my younger siblings, but I have no fears about taking care of young kids. Just six years ago I would have been paralyzed with fear that a kid would choke on something or I’d drop her or something like that. Now it feels like it’s not a big deal at all.

The other thing I’ve learned, mostly from Eric, is how exciting and scary the prospect of parenthood is. I’ve seen his emotions range on the spectrum of ecstatic to terrified and that makes a lot of sense. His life is about to change tremendously and I have a lot of respect for him and Danielle for taking on what amounts one of the most important roles, on an individual level, for people.

There’s a long way to go before the kid is up and walking around and talking, but how mind blowing is it that something that started as two cells merged together is gonna have a personality and a voice and she’s gonna call me “Tio”. Bizarre.

Baby's First Christmas

(Photo courtesy DJOtaku)

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