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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in lunchboy's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, May 23rd, 2009
1:17 pm
Went running today; I started running again a month or so ago but haven't been steady about it, so it's been a couple weeks since my last outing. Today was pretty good: 4.12 miles in about 38:45, which comes to around a 9:24 mile, perfectly good for being way the hell out of practice. Here are the songs (from my new-used iPod, a hand-me-sideways gift from my friend Debby) which managed to sync up acceptably enough with my running pace on various inclines and levels of exhaustion, included here mostly for my own future running-mix reference:

Dum Dog Run, "Let's Go" (from a Cars tribute album)
Leonard Cohen, "A Thousand Kisses Deep"
Aimee Mann, "Today's the Day"
The Pipettes, "Pull Shapes"
Robyn Hitchcock, "If You Were a Priest"
The Wombats, "Lost in the Post"
The Wombats, "Backfire at the Disco"
X, "I'm Lost"
Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
10:13 pm
Meme I am now obliged to post
Secret secret meme, from nonelvis. Post a comment and I'll send you the list of "Person on your friendslist who..."-type things which generated this list. Ostensibly if you comment you're then supposed to post the meme yourself. Frankly I always feel guilty causing memes to proliferate, so do what you will. As if I'm going to chase you down if you renege.

1. callyperry
2. tomasybella
3. Unfortunately, David Byrne and Neil Gaiman are not on my friendslist.
4. badlysocialized
5. bourbon_cowboy
6. mrgoodluckbear. Exotic to me, anyway, since they involve the business world, which to me is like a whole other universe that I hear sometimes people in suits go to.
7. I don't really associate with that sort, as far as I know.
8. Who wouldn't I have been? Isn't that why we're friends now?
9. This implies that I don't already do this with people.
10. mizchalmers
11. Only seems to? That sounds judgmental.
12. Well, that could be a lot of people, but I'll give it to princess_hang5 since I've known her the longest.
13. rhodri. (He plays keyboards for Scritti Politti. Well, it's impressive to me.)
14. columbina (since I assume the virgule implies "both")
15. You seem to think I have a lot of time on my hands.
16. cazique. Please don't take that the wrong way. It's the cigars.
17. selinker. Still hasn't lost that sense of wonder about everything.
18. dailyada
19. wesleyjenn
20. mmancuso
21. I guess that would be jagpatel, right?
22. Please speak English, meme.
23. Peter Gordon is also not on my friendslist.
24. Well, he/she hasn't killed me yet, despite longstanding on-his/her-bad-side-ness. I might be in the clear.
25. You must think I was born yesterday, meme.
26. See #25.
27. My cat Twyla.
28. rikchik. As Rikchik.
29. Sorry, too busy.
30. Memes are a blight upon the world. I apologize.
Monday, September 17th, 2007
3:52 pm
Just posting because I'm stoked about logging my fastest crossword solving time yet: two minutes even on a Monday Times puzzle. (The July 30th puzzle -- yes, I'm running a bit behind.) My handwriting isn't even all that much crappier than usual.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2007
12:33 pm
Music meme from parisgarters: Copy this list; leave in the bands you've seen perform live; delete the ones you haven't, and add new ones that you have seen until you reach 25. An asterisk means the previous person had it on their list. Two asterisks means the last two people who did this before you had that band on their list, etc.

1. Neko Case*
2. The Magnetic Fields*
3. The Polyphonic Spree*
4. Corn Mo*
5. Yo La Tengo***
6. Jonathan Richman*
7. They Might Be Giants
8. Pere Ubu
9. The Fall
10. Television
11. Robyn Hitchcock
12. Amy Rigby
13. The New Pornographers
14. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
15. Jane's Addiction
16. Rush
17. Pixies
18. Mission of Burma
19. Andrew Bird
20. Bill Frisell
21. Aimee Mann
22. Joe Jackson
23. David Byrne
24. Elvis Costello
25. Richard Thompson
Thursday, August 23rd, 2007
8:34 pm
Whoa now
I know Flickr has some sort of system to determine whether it thinks a picture contains adult content, and I don't really know how it works, but I guess I somehow assumed it would prevent guy-on-guy blowjobs (and, indeed, all blowjobs) from appearing in "Everyone's Photos" on my front page. Glad my work computer doesn't directly face anyone.
Thursday, May 3rd, 2007
10:49 am
Woman Pretending to Be Man Pretending to Be Woman
No, it's not another IMDB puzzle, it's a reminder that ennirol's show, Victor/Victoria, opens this Saturday. I'll be there opening night, and probably for a couple other performances as well. Info and tickets here.
Sunday, January 7th, 2007
11:53 am
Iambic improv
From the signing-off-before-getting-into-bed portion of an IM chat with ennirol:

I pray thou dost intend to fall upon
thy back, so easily to dream at that.
For I am not so certain that I shall;
I have a side more trained to bear my weight.

I too am wont to sleep upon my side
Except upon the couch, where pillow's pinch
Doth dam the blood that courses thro' my neck
And bring an upward-facing slumber forth.

Hie thee from that damned place: it chafes!

And always I neglect to shut the light.
Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
1:20 pm
This test is from a weekly magazine named TONY. It's called "TONY's Test"!
I scored 118 points on the TONY "Essential NYC" Quiz! What about you?

It's a cruel test, and poorly designed in a few places (some of those fill-in-the-blank clues should allow for both singular and plural responses, as well as synonyms), but standardized testing is always a problem.
Thursday, August 24th, 2006
12:06 am
jedusor posted a Shakespeare-quoting meme, so here is a very short, very out-of-context quote from Othello:

Love's quick pants
Monday, August 7th, 2006
11:19 pm
Hear my trains a-comin'
Transit systems I've ridden on.

Got at b3co.com!

(Meme ganked from bookishfellow.)
Tuesday, July 18th, 2006
3:08 pm
Attila the Heaney
If You Ruled the Land . . . by wackyweasel
Your first name:
How you gained your rule:
Your title is:Your Godliness
Your symbol is:the eagle, for grace, power, and big freaking wings
You rule from:a great, golden, gem-studded palace
At your side is:the band who plays your theme song
Your enforcers, troops, and guards are all:veeeery heavily armed
Your most popular law is:"Whack Your Boss With A Dead Fish" Day
Your least popular law is:Banning of the quote marks hand gesture
Your worst enemy is:Ringo Starr, but you can't remember why . . .
Your popularity rating is:: 50%
Your chance of being overthrown is:: 84%
Quiz created with MemeGen!

I'm very jazzed about the band who plays my theme song. (I'm open to suggestions. ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man"? LCD Soundsystem's "Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up"?) But I'm worried about constantly having to watch my back for Finger-Quotin' Margo.
Monday, July 10th, 2006
1:13 am
So the full results for the World Puzzle Championship test are in, and I did...not too shabby at all! 14th in the U.S., 19th North America, 28th global. I'm very pleased.
Sunday, June 18th, 2006
5:33 pm
Since the end of the WPC test, I've gone back and solved Suspects, Atomic Fusion, and the Plus or Minus Kakuro.

Suspects wasn't that hard, but I didn't love it -- the step of figuring out which people can see which other people feels too much like busywork. Just show me the graph so I can get on to the puzzle-solving part of the process!

Atomic Fusion foiled me yesterday even after the test, but I looked at it again today and solved it in under 10 minutes. If I'd just focused on the stars at the beginning...ah well. Lovely puzzle, though.

I also really enjoyed Plus or Minus Kakuro, which worked much better here than the same idea did in the Puzzle Boat, thanks to two small differences -- the indication of which entries were all positive or all negative and which were mixed (which wouldn't have worked well in the Puzzle Boat, admittedly, since the locations of the negative numbers were the key to the solution), and treating -1 and +1 as the same number for "no number may appear twice in a single grid entry" purposes.
Saturday, June 17th, 2006
3:29 pm
Just sent in my answer for the World Puzzle Championship qualifying test. Alas, I'm not actually eligible since I registered two days late. (Until this morning, you see, I thought I was going to be at a party in Boston during the time of the test, so I didn't bother registering. But then Rose wasn't feeling well, and decided she wasn't feeling up to the trip to Boston, and I wasn't feeling up to doing the whole trip by myself, so I thought, well, I might as well solve the qualifying test for the hell of it if I'm not going anywhere, and see how I compare.)

Anyway, assuming I didn't make any errors (or mistype any of my answers), I scored 244, plus 15 bonus points. So are the bonus points included as part of one's regular score, or only used as a tiebreaker? I wasn't clear on that part.

Anyway, I solved 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, nine-tenths of 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, and 21. I'll be pleased if that puts me in the top 20.
Saturday, January 21st, 2006
3:33 am
At some point, over at Heaneyland, I'm going to post a list of my favorite puzzles from the Mystery Hunt (of which there will probably be quite a few, since I thought the quality of the puzzle construction was quite high overall), but I've been waiting for the answers to get posted. Until then, here are some meandering reminiscences that probably won't interest people who don't already know me and are thus better suited to lj.

This Mystery Hunt trip was the most enjoyable I've had in a while -- nice weather (read: no cars spinning out on the highway) and good company. G Natural and I had discussed taking the bus to Boston together, but it seemed like our schedules weren't going to coincide. I wanted to leave by 4:00 in hopes of missing rush hour and getting to town in time to join my teammates for a drink, and G Nat couldn't leave until 5:00. But when I got to the bus station, it turned out the next bus wasn't leaving until 5:00 anyway. This put me smack in the front of the line to board, so I was in good position to take advantage of the fact that this bus had irregularly spaced seating. I noticed one pair of seats had a simply obscene amount of leg room, and grabbed them.

G Natural and I chatted and solved Ucaoimhu's latest cryptic on the ride, and we made excellent time on the trip; I could have made it to the bar in time to meet up with people, but I was feeling a little tired, and I thought, well, I am going to see my teammates all weekend. Maybe I'll hang out with friends-but-not-teammates Debby and Todd (whose house I was staying at) for a while instead, and go to bed early.

Friday night at around 11:30 I tore myself away from solving to take advantage of the offer to crash on wesleyjenn's couch for four hours -- I needed somewhere to sleep, and I really didn't want it to be the floor of our team's designated sleeping room, several buildings away from our solving room. It took me a while to tune out the TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK of the slightly-TOO-analog clock in her living room, but I drifted off soon enough and came back reasonably refreshed. And a good thing I did, too, since the alternative was to crash on Jenn's couch when she and thedan traded sleeping shifts -- but when the time came, Dan didn't feel like walking to Jenn's apartment and crashed on the aforementioned uncomfortable floor for about an hour. I think it was worth missing a couple metapuzzles getting solved to have cushions, blankets, and pillows.

And then, as has been reported extensively hereabouts, our team won the Hunt at 12:30 Sunday morning. Some teams have said this made the Hunt seem too short, but dude: better 12:30 Sunday morning than 12:30 Monday morning. I considered heading home early and skipping the wrap-up, but I felt like hanging out with my team a little more, and the wrap-up wasn't starting very late, so I decided to give it a shot, despite some lingering bad associations from interminable wrap-ups of yore that spent way too much time going over puzzles whose answers were going to be posted on the Web eventually anyway. Wrap-up times have been getting shorter over the years, though, so I figured: two hours of wrap-up, then two hours of dinner, over to the bus station, and then home by, like, 2:00 AM.

Well...it didn't so much work out that way. The wrap-up was kind of disorganized (surprising for a team that had their shit together to an amazing degree for the Hunt itself), but even with the "we're kind of making up our agenda as we go" feeling, it was a pretty entertaining two hours, with fun anecdotes and insider details. Sadly, they didn't stop then, and decided to start explaining individual puzzles, which is always a time sink. I probably should have just given up then and gone to catch the bus, but I thought, well, maybe they'll keep it down to an hour and I can still get some socializing in. But it took twice that long, and by the time they were done (9:00), it seemed too late to actually join anyone for dinner and drinks, so I said quick goodbyes and hustled off to the bus station, arriving at around 9:35. And THEN it turned out there wasn't a bus until 10:30! (I was under the impression they left every half hour on Sundays, but maybe that's only up until a certain time? I should really check these things in advance.) Really a pessimal outcome there: no hanging out with fellow Hunters to speak of, two more hours of wrap-up than I really wanted to spend, an hour sitting around at the bus terminal, and the prospect of not getting home until after 3:00. That kind of blunted the edge of my winning-the-Hunt excitement for the weekend. (But at least I was able to sleep through the bus ride home; much better than sulking.) So...a poor ending for Sunday night, but the rest of the weekend was terrific, and considering how smoothly our team got along during the Hunt, I'm expecting that collaborating on next year's puzzles will be fun as well.
Monday, October 17th, 2005
3:00 pm
Times of things
Had no time for running this weekend (take a look at today's Heaneyland entry and you'll see why), so I woke up early today and ran one loop of the park, 3.3 miles, and improved on last week's time by a full minute (26:40 to 25:40, down from 8:00/mile average to 7:42/mile). Nice. The cooler weather is definitely agreeing with me.

Once Rose gets her migraines tamed again, her new plan is to train for the Mardi Gras marathon in New Orleans (the headaches have prevented her from running), and I think I'm going to try training for it as well. Obsessively self-competitive guy that I am, I want to finish in under 4 hours, for which I already have a plan: an hour at 7.5 mph (8:00/mile), an hour at 7 mph (8:35/mile), an hour at 6.5 mph (9:15/mile), and then that leaves me with 5.2 miles to do in the last hour, which sounds reasonable for the amount of tired I expect to be at that point.

Speaking of marathons, here are weeks and weeks of crossword times, for the tiny number of people who will be interested.Collapse )
Sunday, September 25th, 2005
12:37 pm
I've been feeling a little out of shape lately, so I made a point of going to the park to jog both days this weekend. Not long runs -- just two miles each. These runs were more for getting my body to remember, hey! Running! I do that sometimes! Yesterday I did two miles in 15:45, and then today I felt like I was running faster...and I was, but only five seconds faster. 15:40. Ah well. I do look forward to trying some longer runs again, though, now that the weather is cooler. Running in August was ugly.

I also found some more songs that are highly satisfying to run to:
The Go! Team, "Panther Dash"
The Kinks, "Give the People What They Want"
They Might Be Giants, "It's Kickin' In"
Gang of Four, "Damaged Goods"
The Records, "Starry Eyes"
Paul Simon, "All Around the World, or the Myth of Fingerprints" (downhill only)
Monday, September 19th, 2005
1:41 pm
I know, it's more boring crossword times. But that's why I have a real blog, for the interesting things.

NYT Mon 9/12: 3:27. Felt slow.
NYT Tue 9/13: 3:13
NYT Wed 9/14: 4:45
NYT Thu 9/15: I don't know! 5:00+ something. With an error (a stupid one, from not figuring out the full theme until after solving the rest of the puzzle). Anyway, for some reason all the puzzles this week had time on the clock already when I opened them in Across Lite (I solve them on paper, but use Across Lite for the timer and then to check answers after), so I had to open an old puzzle, use the timer in that puzzle, and then open the correct puzzle to check my answers. I forgot to write the time down on this one before closing the file. Whoops.
NYT Fri 9/16: 4:57
NYT Sat 9/17: 7:06
NYT Sun 9/18: 11:13
Tuesday, September 13th, 2005
7:56 pm
More crosswords
NYT Mon 9/5: 2:59
NYT Tue 9/6: 3:35 with one error (typo, gah, I really need to watch those)
NYT Wed 9/7: 4:06
NYT Thu 9/8: 6:04
NYT Fri 9/9: 7:50
NYT Sat 9/10: 14:58. Hard but satisfying.
NYT Sun 9/11: 14;59. The whole time I was solving this, I was thinking, "Damn, I'm enjoying this so much more than I usually enjoy Sunday puzzles! This is really good!" Of course, I hadn't bothered looking to see who the author was. After I finished, I saw the puzzle was by Patrick Berry and thought, oh, well, that explains it!
Wednesday, September 7th, 2005
9:53 pm
The day in crosswords, continued
Yes, I went back and did the Sundays. I need the practice.

NYT Sun 8/21: 12:45
NYT Sun 8/28: 13:45 (Man, 23x23 puzzles are tiring.)
NYT Mon 8/29: 2:45
NYT Tue 8/30: 3:18
NYT Wed 8/31: 4:33
NYT Thu 9/1: 5:51
NYT Fri 9/2: 10:30 (Bottom right was rough. And I've never heard the phrase at 11-Down.Collapse ))
NYT Sat 9/3: 18:24 with 1 error. At the crossing of 49-Across and 49-Down.Collapse ) Overall, pretty punishing.
NYT Sun 9/4: 9:00

Nice to have a slowish day at work for a change, let me tell you.
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