I got an interesting gift for my birthday, and it makes me think that maybe I've reached some new stage in my life. The gift? A video game.
That, on its own, isn't an eyebrow raiser, as there's a good chance that one day I'll get a tattoo of a hobbit (or maybe Gimli). In short, I am into the electronics and the emotional immaturity that come with them.
This game is something different though. It's a sports game but it doesn't have any sports in it, because the premise of the whole game is that I'm the GM of a baseball team. When I describe this to people in real life, they ask, "Like fantasy baseball?" And I respond sharply, "Yeah, if fantasy baseball handled certain things like the Rule 5 Draft and scouting for Japanese prospects!" Then I lunge at them while screaming something about Value Over Replacement Player.
The interesting thing here is that the game isn't about accomplishing things via my own efforts, it's about managing this organization and get the others around me to accomplish things; it's like going from playing Oregon Trail to playing a game where I run the General Store inside of Oregon Trail. What intrigues me here is that this parallels changes in my job over the past few years, where my focus has shifted from my own bodacious code to my team's bodacious code. We're getting metaphorical here, dudes! (Or perhaps this is an allegory, I'm not sure on the difference. Maybe it's a metallephorigy?)
I guess I have these mature thoughts sometimes and I get slightly concerned that I'm turning into an Adult. And then I think that, just last weekend, I nearly wet myself with excitement over a cookies and cream ice cream cake (OH YEAH) and that I'm pretty serious about that Gimli tattoo. Maybe older, yes, but hell, it's just a video game.
Friends, apologies for the lengthy delay between posts. I've been a busy bumblebee. I still don't think I have time to go back to my pretty-much-every-day-with-occasional-exceptions schedule, but I'll try to be a little more regular here.
SXSW has come and gone without killing me, although, like a hapless assassin, it tried. One thing that I forget each year is just how grueling it is to stand around for several hours. Sounds easy, yes? All you have to do is stand there; it's not hot or sunny, and it's not like you have to stand under a piano suspended by rope or anything nerve-wracking like that. Just stand there and kick it for a while. It sounds so simple and yet, after two hours or so, you start thinking, "Legs are overrated."
Could someone please go back in time a few centuries and find my relatives who were worried about starvation and the Bubonic Plague and the Spanish Inquisition and having their teeth just fall out for no reason whatsoever, and tell them that I've found an even greater menace, called standing upright while indoors?
The reason I am going on here is because, on Saturday, I stood in line for 4 and a half hours trying to get into a SXSW event. It was actually this great party thrown by Rachel Ray (stay with me here, folks); she had great bands (the Hold Steady, the Thermals, the New York Dolls), good food, free drinks, etc. I tried hard to cajole myself onto the VIP list, but had no luck and thus we stood in line like chumps.
The standing itself was bad and the 4.5 hour part was excruciating, but for a large portion of that time, we were standing right in front of the door to the event. As soon as we got up to the entrance of the party, they stopped letting people in for an hour and a half; I could see the food, the drinks, and the music, but I couldn't actually have any of it. This led to a desperate, anxious conversation between those of us in line. "What do we do? If we each gave the bouncer $20, would he let us in? What if we all rushed the bouncer at once? What if we asked that fat lady over there to fake going into labor?" Having come that far, no one was willing to just leave.
With about 90 minutes to go at the event, they finally let 100 more of us in. One of my line buddies, his arms crammed with little glasses of mango mojito, told me that he was going to drink those crappy drinks until he could no longer physically stand it. And let me tell you, there was a fire burning in that guy's eyes; he'd beat up Rachel Ray herself if she got in the way of his free booze.
There's nothing like hours of anticipation to make you go completely nuts once you finally get something. Our zeal for the music, the drinks, and the abundant seating terrified everyone else at the party, to the point where it was clear who was a line person and who wasn't. It was a 4.5 hour wait for something that lasted only 90 minutes, but we enjoyed the hell out of it like the slightly delirious moochers that we were.