jedusor: (Default)
Earlier this month, I went to the National Puzzlers' League convention in Portland and saw a whole bunch of my favorite folks. I met a few new ones too, although not as many as usual. I think I've gotten to the point where there are enough NPLers that I really want to hang out and catch up with that I have very little time and energy to seek out new people. But there were a few! I don't remember having interacted with Ender before, and he was cool. And Joanna wasn't really a new person, but I hadn't met her in meatspace before. Also, Xemu's daughter Iboo kind of glommed on to me, and hugged me for approximately 10 minutes straight when she discovered it was my birthday.

Some pictures, mostly taken with my phone )

After the con, Ertch rode back up to Seattle with us and spent the evening hanging out before his flight home. He and Mike and I played a variant of Catch Phrase made up by me wherein every clue had to relate somehow to the NPL or a particular NPLer, which was great fun. Also, I performed a "Tim Tam Slam" as instructed with diagrams by Joanna, who had given me some vegan chocolate-covered cookies from Australia. A tasty end to a mostly-fabulous weekend.


Oct. 31st, 2010 01:12 pm
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
Dude walking by, to friend: I don't like ducks.
Me: Tyler doesn't like ducks.
Slik: He doesn't?
Me: They played the Sharks recently, according to his Twitter.
Slik: Ah. Yeah, I don't like ducks either, for the same reason. Although... I don't quite have Tyler's level of allegiance.
Me: Tyler doesn't so much have allegiance as...
Slik: Yeah.
TK: As what?
Slik: Let me put it like this. Say you like donuts. And the guy next door to you, he likes donuts too. So you're like, hey, that's cool, we both like donuts! But he's got a house made out of donuts.
TK: Ah. That's what happened with me and the Red Sox. Everyone else liked donuts a little too much.
jedusor: (puzzle police)
The BCPT was today!

I got up at eight (eight! on a Sunday morning!) and got a cab to the train station, since the buses don't run that early on weekends. My cab driver was very interested in the crossword shoes I was wearing and my similarly-patterned bag, and told me all about this movie he'd seen called "Wordplay." He also informed me that driving a cab is like playing poker, Scrabble, and Stratego all at the same time.

The tournament was fun. I didn't register as a competitor, but they let noncompetitors have the puzzles too. They were NYT puzzles from the next couple of weeks. Willz was the special guest--I tried to catch him before things got going, but he wasn't around, and he was too busy signing autographs afterward for more than a quick hug and greeting. He told some amusing stories about his various crossword experiences, and played a few word games with the audience between puzzles.

After the tournament, a gang of mostly NPLers went out for food and rowdy socialization. After that, a smaller group (Ucaoimhu, La Do La Li/Ti, Will, and I) went to a little cafe for dessert and coffee. Uc watched the rest of us co-solve the cryptic he wrote for the tournament, and then we chatted until the place closed. It was my first time meeting Will, who placed second at the tournament, and he seemed like a really neat guy. Uc and La accompanied me to South Station, and we did flats from the March Enigma until my eleven o'clock train.

Hurray for puzzles! I want to start doing the NYT every day again, except that I've kind of already done tomorrow's. Maybe I'll work through some more Crasswords instead.

Kid Beyond

Aug. 8th, 2007 09:44 am
jedusor: (puzzle police)
A video of Murdoch was chosen as YouTube's Pick of the Day.

I can't believe I know that guy. (That's him on the right in my icon.)
jedusor: (don't dream it)
In keeping with my recent theme of dreams about NPL members, last night's slumber featured [ profile] qaqaq performing stand-up comedy and [ profile] rubrick (current age this time) participating in a cheerleader-like human pyramid.
jedusor: (don't dream it)
Last night, I dreamed that I was online, looking at a cryptic crossword discussion forum, and saw a post by [ profile] palecur. I called him and said, "I had no idea you did cryptics!" He said, "All the time," and I said, "You should come to the NPL convention this summer! Right, Tyler?" [ profile] rpipuzzleguy, who randomly happened to be in the room, agreed and then sneezed on my soy ice cream. (Dude, not cool, T.) Then I woke up.
jedusor: (caffeine makes faye all better)
The BBC's "100 Things We Didn't Know Last Year."

The whole list is worth a read, and contains links to the full stories, but these are the ones I liked best:

7. The lion costume in the film Wizard of Oz was made from real lions.
23. More than one in eight people in the United States show signs of addiction to the internet, says a study.
31. The Mona Lisa used to hang on the wall of Napoleon’s bedroom.
40. The medical name for the part of the brain associated with teenage sulking is "superior temporal sulcus".
64. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs is the term for people who fear the number 666.
68. The egg came first.
73. George Bush's personal highlight of his presidency is catching a 7.5lb (3.4kg) perch.
80. Camel's milk, which is widely drunk in Arab countries, has 10 times more iron than cow's milk.

Oh, and [ profile] jeffurrynpl, I got the DVD of your Jeopardy! appearance; thanks for sending it. Mom and I watched it today. spoiler )
jedusor: (puzzle police)
I think it's really funny that I just Googled "prince valiant's son," clicked on one of the first results, and found a mention of [ profile] tahnan and a comment from [ profile] qaqaq on that page.


Sep. 18th, 2006 07:34 pm
jedusor: (puzzle police)
I now know two people who are scheduled to be on Jeopardy! Congrats, [ profile] jeffurrynpl!

Who'll let me come over to hijack their TV when the episodes are aired?
jedusor: (O.o)
I just got a message through the NPL list about a study, published in Nature magazine, that compared scientific Wikipedia articles with online Encyclopedia Britannica articles and found about 4 errors per Wiki article and 3 per Britannica article. Britannica argued that the study was unfounded, and the battle between Nature and Britannica continued in public statements, editorials, and (wow, how professional) ads in the London Times.

The original article was printed last December. How on earth did I not know about this before now? I've spent the last hour or so reading the article, the supplementary information about the study, Britannica's response to the study (PDF), Nature's initial rebuttal (PDF), an editorial from the March issue of Nature, and a more detailed rebuttal to Britannica's attack (PDF). I tried to find the newspaper ads referenced by Nature, but they don't seem to be online. I'm pretty sure Nature is in the right here, anyway.

This is absolutely fascinating.

NPLer news

Aug. 28th, 2006 08:51 am
jedusor: (puzzle police)
[ profile] cramerica is gonna be on Jeopardy! I think it's hilarious that there are, like, ten comments on his journal with advice from people who have already been on the show. The NPL rocks.

And some of that rocking is coming to KC in October, in the form of Chainsaw and his wife Infinity. I think we're having a game night on Friday the 6th; although Chainsaw hasn't gotten back to me about that, it fits the schedule he sent me. Anybody wanna come party with us?
jedusor: (puzzle police)
Yesterday was Rain's party, which was awesome. Bailey, whom I hadn't seen in years, was visiting from California. Ann came, and gave Colin a lift, which made me very happy, because I haven't hung out with Colin in person since Anytown in June. Karel and Kyle came, but had to leave after a few hours. The rest of us spent the night and went to church this morning. Colin liked All Souls, and says he wants to start coming regularly, and Ann said he can ride with her. Yay!

At church, we watched Word Wars, made by (NPL member) Murdoch's brother E-Wolf, also known as Eric Chaikin. The movie is about hardcore Scrabble. I saw it at the Boston con, I think- there was a Q&A with E-Wolf afterward. It was just as good the second time, and just as suspenseful because I'd forgotten who won.

Speaking of Murdoch (aka Kid Beyond, aka Andrew Chaikin), I'm in love with his new CD, Amplivate. The first four tracks are completely vocal, but it's hard to believe that they are. Murdoch can do some phenomenal things with his voice. There are videos on his site; I highly recommend checking them out, and buying the CD if you like what you hear. (That's him on the right in my icon.)
jedusor: (Default)
This is going to have to be quick, because it's midnight and we need to be on the road by eight tomorrow.

After I posted Monday night, at two AM, we were awoken by a fire alarm that went off for no apparent reason. It was deafening and very unpleasant, and we had to wait until the firemen had searched the building thoroughly before we could go back to bed.

Tuesday I visited Brown. I was told that I would love it by several people, so I guess I had high hopes, but it still seemed pretty meh. My tour guide was a frat boy, which might have had something to do with my disappointment- he went into enthusiastic detail about how integrated the fraternities and sororities are with college life, and that's really not what I'm looking for. Plus, they made a big deal of this satisfactory/no credit thing, which doesn't sound like my cup of tea either.

Tuesday afternoon, we took the ferry back to Long Island and I spent the evening hanging out with Leah, Blair, and Blair's boyfriend Mike. We made a fire and toasted random things (not, sadly, including non-gelatinous marshmallows), then Mike left, Blair went to sleep, and Leah and I watched the second half of the third season of Scrubs.

Yesterday Blair and I took the train into the city to see Spamalot, which was excellent and hilarious. If you get a chance to see it, try to nab seat B101. We went to the giant Toys R Us and rode on the Ferris wheel, then met up with Aunt Amanda, Ken, Blair's parents, my friend Rose ([ profile] otherwise_nyc), and Rose's husband Francis for dinner.

Today I visited Columbia with Rose and En ([ profile] ennienyc). En told us all about how Columbia and Barnard have changed since she was there, as well as several slightly disturbing stories of stalking boys from her dorm room. On the tour, I ran into Sky King's daughter, which was completely unexpected. Sky is one of the juggling people Mom knows, and I met her daughter (Krista, I think is her name?) in Portland at IJA this summer. She couldn't stay to chat, but seeing her at all was kind of surreal.

Rose took me to visit her boyfriend Jon, who is definitely quite a catch. He told me about going to Vassar. Then Rose and I went to Chainsaw's house for a very pleasant evening of games and socializing. Telephone Pictionary was fun, and watching En attempt to clue "leather pants" in an odd version of charades was extremely entertaining.

I got on the wrong train to get home (silly me, thinking that a train arriving at 10:59 might be the 11:03 train) but managed to get back here eventually. Tomorrow I'm visiting Sarah Lawrence, Vassar, and Bard. Turns out I will be here for the Haystack on Saturday, but of course all the teams are filled up by now. I hope I can make the dinner.

Oh, and I don't believe that crap about New Yorkers being cold-hearted and cutthroat. When I got on the wrong train, four people plus the conductor made sure I got to where I needed to be.
jedusor: (billy heart)
Brandeis was fantastic. (Bekah, wouldn't it be awesome if we could finally meet in person by going to the same college?) The campus is gorgeous, and they have a friggin' CASTLE for the sophomores to live in. The academics look really good, too. I'm definitely applying.

Tufts- not so much. It wasn't a bad college, but I don't think it's what I'm looking for.

Harvard impressed me. A lot. I'll probably apply, but I don't intend to get in, and I won't choose it over Amherst or Reed if I have the option. Cram came along and muttered addendums to the tour, which was both informative and amusing, and Aunt Amanda scratched her shopping itch by buying me a Harvard T-shirt.

Somebody else wants to use the lobby's computer, and the wireless is on the fritz, so I gotta go. Having a blast, love you all! *hugs*

(Notes to self for next time on the computer: you are to sexy and hoolaing)
jedusor: (riverdancing)
Well, not exactly Boston. About twenty minutes out of Boston.

Yesterday we set off on our New England excursion. The schedule has changed a lot since I posted that tentative version. First we went to Wesleyan. I couldn't time it to hit a tour there, but we ran into a student who kindly showed us around a bit. It looks like an okay school, but I don't think I'll apply unless I hear a lot more in its favor. That's a problem with just walking around a campus- you can't really get the feel of a school by looking at its buildings.

Then came Amherst. It was love at first sight. We stopped at a farmers' market and bought a tomato (which we ate in sandwiches today- yummy!) before the tour. The tour guide was smart, likable and knew the answers to almost all of the questions. Amherst is apparently mortal enemies with Williams, which I also wanted to see but ended up not being able to due to scheduling issues. Anyway, the college was absolutely awesome, right up there with Reed, and with a better financial aid policy. I'm definitely applying.

We stopped by Hampshire and picked up a self-tour booklet and other info about the college. There was an organic farming fair going on, and we walked over to check it out. I left with five new buttons for my purse. I'm not sure I like the Hampshire campus very much- it's a bit too rural for me, even right near Amherst- but I really like the descriptions of its academic programs that I read about in the guide. I'd like to talk to a Hampshire graduate before I decide whether or not to apply there. I wish I could have gone on a tour.

I got three phone calls from people today, which made me feel loved: [ profile] palecur, [ profile] draughanten, and Ann (who wanted to know whether I was coming to church today). It was a dead day for colleges, so we drove to Salem and did the touristy witch-hunt things. That place is insane. As we were driving out, I noticed a pirate museum, so we went back and stuck our heads in. We didn't have time to do the tour, which sucked, but we looked around the gift shop. I really wanted to get the "What's Your Poison" shot glass with the Jolly Roger on it.

After briefly getting lost due to Mapquest directions, we met up with some puzzler people for dinner in Cambridge: [ profile] hahathor, her boyfriend Ed, [ profile] cramerica, and Cram's friends Matt and Natasha. It was awesome. I always have a blast with NPL people. Aunt Amanda was very wary at first, claiming to be intimidated by all the intelligence, but I think she ended up having a good time. Cram went to Harvard, so he might be able to come with us on the tour tomorrow.

Speaking of which, I'm visiting three colleges tomorrow: Brandeis, Tufts and Harvard. I have to get up before eight, so I should probably get to bed. Goodnight, all!


Aug. 2nd, 2006 01:21 am
jedusor: (puzzle police)
Con in San Antonio was absolutely fantastic. Highlights:

-Staying up until at least six AM every night, which caused me to miss both breakfast and lunch Saturday but was totally worth it
-Watching Texas Jeopardy
-Catch Phrase, snakes and soy sauce (don't ask) in Hathor's room
-Playing Pyramid with Treesong, Jangler, Panther, Artistry, Cramerica and Verve, with categories like "directions for iambic ebonics" and "things the Abominable Rain Man might say"
-Doing the Extravaganza with Wrybosh, Cramerica and QED, all of whom left me in the dust solving-ability-wise but somehow managed to make me feel included nevertheless
-Encore, which is basically combat-singing; the only songs I could come up with for the word "cowboy" were "Gay Cowboy" and "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other," which cracked everyone up
-Being the subject of a group-written flat at about six AM
-The vowel gun- seriously, how much does Dart rock?

It was my first time in the South, or at least the first time I can remember (I think I went to Austin when I was a month old). I went to a steakhouse not once but twice, both times only because a group of awesome people were going. The second time, I took Link with me because Mom and Bill wanted some time alone, and ended up staying for a really, really long time. Fortunately, he was good, and it seemed to earn me back some points from earlier in the weekend when I wanted to participate in the official games instead of watch the baby.

The hidden puzzle involved Morse code and the Texas state motto, and was solved roughly 45 minutes after being made available to the con. I think the hidden puzzles need to be harder. It's tough to hide puzzles from this group, though.

Like at IJA, I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in a while, got to know some people better, and met some new people. Being a young female in a room full of geeks was awfully nice for my ego :P

We left on Monday evening. I decided on the way back, sparked by a late-night discussion, that sometimes it's better to forgive people even when they don't deserve to be forgiven. We're not going to be best friends again or anything, but there's no point in holding a grudge when it won't change anything, which at this point it won't.

[ profile] prodigal7512 gave me the Pintsize sketch today! It is fabulously wonderful. Apparently Jeph said that no one has ever asked for that before- score! I'll post a pic as soon as I get around to taking one.


Jul. 1st, 2006 12:04 am
jedusor: (puzzle police)
So, there's this movie about crossword puzzles. It's a documentary, centered around the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and includes appearances by Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton, the Indigo Girls, and other celebrities. The movie was shown at the 2006 Sundance Festival. I know several people in it through the National Puzzlers' League, so I've been hearing about it for a long time, and I did an article about it for Spectrum a few months ago. Tonight, I finally got around to watching it.

Spoilers crouch in the murky shadows beneath the cut, waiting to grab you and wring all the potential for surprise from your ragged little soul. )

All in all, it was excellent. I'll see if I can pull together a review for the next issue of the paper and give it a little publicity, relatively small as our readership may be. We'll see if Craig will let me get away with it. He doesn't usually let people handle stories with which they're personally involved, but I don't know if that applies to movie reviews.

Blair is here and in one piece, which is good. Tomorrow will probably be spent cleaning the house and calling people.


jedusor: (Default)

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