holy shit meerkat!

long story short: a shacker has a girlfriend who makes fleece hats. i live in california, and have no need for a fleece hat, but it was inexpensive and i wanted to support her.

her hats happen to be animals. and i could request a custom animal. so, of course, i chose a meerkat. because that is, of course, the logical thing to do.

below is the result. i even have a comparison shot of me and a meerkat so you can see how uncanny the resemblance is.

if you want your own animal hat, go here: http://www.hideebugdesigns.com/

forays into not being professional.

note: that title is a joke. i'm professional.

but, today, i had a meeting with a company called wikia, who wanted to pitch me on their services and see if i wanted to work with them. i forgot they were coming. if i had remembered, i would not have brought pancake in.

at 11, the receptionist tells me they are here. i think, whatever, my dog's cute, and walk her down with me to the lobby. i start shaking hands, getting names, and then one of the guys goes "and jimmy wales decided to come today to give the presentation!"

yeah. i definitely asked dawn to hold on to pan for the next hour so i could let the founder of wikipedia give me a presentation.


(as an aside that is definitely me being proud and also laughing at myself, he is rarely in the country apparently but they told me that we're a big name they really want to work with, so he wanted to come out and meet us. and then the guy who said that made a little impressed noise when he asked what i did and i said i founded and run the company's community and community-based events. i mean, thanks for being impressed, but dude, have you seen that guy sitting to my right?)

congratulations, joey

i just found out my best friend since... man, 6th grade? got accepted into tufts vet school. three hours after her first interview with them, too. talk about kicking ass and taking names.

i just informed pancake that some day, joey would personally be able to probe her bum. pancake looked pensive. i would, too, if i were her. she's meeting joey for the first time in about an hour. talk about pressure.

i love you, honey. congratulations.

airplane food: redux

dear american airlines,

i apologize. it appears i falsely accused your coach class food of nearly killing me. instead, i do believe while i was in business class, someone was carrying a 24 hour flu bug of all evilness, and i caught it. i know this because denby wrote me today to tell me that yesterday he had my "food poisoning" and to accuse me of spreading illness and awful throughout the office. so while it's still your fault i got sick, it was at least not your food.

glad we cleared this up.


just say no to airplane food.

so, you probably know i went on a quick "tour" of london. so now i can officially say yes, i've been to europe. which is actually really awesome, except i can only say i passed by windsor castle, was hartleypool, newcastle, a bit of the tube, and a lot of heathrow airport. i landed on monday morning about 7 am, spent the day at the office, flew out to newcastle 8 am tuesday, back that night, (and at a lovely meal that the cow, if you know it, it's great) and then flew home on my amazing london-->LA-->SFO 14 hour journey 11 am wednesday.

so if you call that seeing london, next time, i'll see it a bit more.

anyway, the point of my story is this: business class rocks, and everyone should try their damnedest to get free miles. i always thought miles were for free tickets, and i'm sure they are, but by god, man, maybe buying a coach ticket and upgrading to business is where it's at. especially on the SFO to NY or SFO to london trips i'll be taking. nevermind the czech republic. you get a printed menu, a fully extending BED of a seat, and a pretty amazing meal. and for my london trip when we got in i got access to a shower and a lounge where i could drink some actually decent coffee.

now, in comparison, coach class home on my 12 hour flight was not as godawful as you would think. i was on a window, and sure, the woman behind me thought it was heinously awful i put my seat back as far as it would go, complained to high heaven about how shitty i was for that, and kicked my seat every 20 minutes, but i snoozed, read, and played DS. and they served me this horrid chicken and rice thing, some crackers, and a pizza, and while that doesn't compare to warm nuts and salad and steak and a cheese plate, hey, at least they feed you, right?

well. no, actually. because at 4 am the next morning (the morning of thanksgiving, mind you, the morning i'm to cook a 17 pound turkey, stuffing, and gravy for all my friends) i'm on my knees wretching up all that so-called coach class airplane food. until about 9 am. and the horror of the food poisoning doesn't stop the entire day. yes, i went to the dinner, although i could barely walk until around 11:30, and probably shouldn't have gone (i'm a moron.) i didn't really cook, but sat around and had people do what i told them, which was pretty much the only way food was going to get put in the oven. well, my part at least.

in a roundabout way, i'm saying my thanksgiving was really fun, and the food turned out well, and yes i had to go home by 8 and was dead asleep by 9, but by friday i was fine. and in some ways, i suppose being sick on that holiday was nice, because i was in too much pain to miss mom until friday, and somehow it being friday, and not thursday, the day i thought i'd be spending with her, the first thanksgiving i'd have with her since i was 15... somehow being sick and not thinking about that was really good. being around all my friends playing rock band trying desperately to stay hydrated, that was good.

today i was sitting on the couch and mike was talking about the list of stuff he was asking for from his parents for christmas, and i said "get fallout and fable for me!" and he said, "i'm asking for fallout" and i reply "fable II also please, i want!" and he says "why don't you ask for it?" and i replied "i don't have anyone to give my presents anymore." and he just kind of looked at me, and i didn't mean it in a guilt trip, or a pity, or a sad kind of way. it was just that way. basically, these days, mom did the still-a-kid christmas. which adults don't need at all, but it's fun and awesome in its own way (albeit with its drawbacks, but that's mom.) but, of course, when i said it, and the beat set in, and he went back to his thing and i went back to mine, i realized i was trying desperately not to cry, and even typing this, i'm trying desperately not to cry.

the best coping is still not thinking about it, except in metered, measured doses, or when i'm alone, and sadly, always when i'm driving my car.

i wish i could ask her exactly why her gravy is always so much better than mine. i've gotten mine down to damned good, but it's this weird light beige color and it's just wrong. i have no idea what exactly she does that took it to this holy good god heaven of a gravy level.

i do not miss her waldorf salad, not a bit. mayo as a dressing always weirded me out.

but i really miss her.


roasting pumpkin seeds, making pumpkin pie, carving pumpkins, playing dead space! perfect halloween.

we even ate in and out for dinner. in the car! just like a kid would do.

Mom's obituary.

Today's my mom's 58th birthday. Her obituary also ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer today. Because I want to be able to keep what it says, and I can't get the newspaper, and the philly.com print out looks like crap, I'm putting it here, below the fold of this article. Click if you'd like to read, too.

what does this say about my shacknews persona?

there is a new website, wordle.net, where you can make word clouds. someone took my most recent 200 posts (75,826 words) and filtered out the curse words, lol, and other non-important words. this is what wordle created as my most frequently typed words on that website.

and wee!

man. i am a really big dork. not only do i adore my job, and got to work on the game i have loved since i was like 12 years old, but today i came into my office and my producer presented me with this box. apparently they were made for the team, and i fucking squealed like a little girl on christmas.

...yes. yes it actually works too. i hit lydia with a dime. WHERE ARE JELLY BEANS I WILL BLUDGEON YOU WITH SUGARY PELLETS OF DOOM.

my quote of the day.

in discussing cars on the shack, i found myself advocating the fit again. which, in general, is poopoo'ed by the very secure males that frequent that wonderful forum.

and from that conversation, this quote came out of my fingertips, and i liked it. so i'm saying it here.

"you just have to be comfortable with the fact that your car is not, in fact, your penis."