but beyond all of that, the liquid nitrogen basil meringue from spur gastropub was the most awesome thing ever. it's a little hershey-kiss-sized meringue frozen in LN2; the chef says it's "one bite", so you pop it in your mouth whole & bite down with your molars. the frozen meringue chips apart, & as you feel the light basil sweetness hit & begin to chill your tongue, you breathe out through your nose - & it's a cloud of COLD FIRE. you laugh delighted at the surprise of being a dragon, which causes more vapor to steam from your nose & mouth as the meringue starts to melt. further chewing keeps the effect going for about half a minute until the bite is gone; only then could i stop giggling & jumping up & down to tell the chef that i love him for doing this to me.
we also ate house-made mortadella, duck prosciutto, heirloom pork head cheese, venison sausage, & boudin blanc, & we are absolutely going again next year.
a week after that, an old friend of mine killed himself. i'm not going into detail here, but i will say that it fucking sucks that he didn't know how much love there was for him, & how many people would've helped had he given them the chance. brian gilliam was a good guy, funny & crass, & i'll miss him. ask me (in person) to tell the "pie" story (after some time has passed), & you'll get a good idea of who he was.
YES. SO. moving on, the movie marathon was super fun! i showed all three - YES, THREE - neverending story movies. of course everyone had seen the first one. i saw the second in the theatre when it came out, & i didn't remember any of it; i figure it probably affected my emotional development in some way. (& apparently the main actor's as well, since he offed himself a dozen years later. oops.) i didn't even realize there was a third movie until i went looking for the second - it featured jack black actually taunting the childlike empress. i hate jack black, but that was awesome... in a "if i weren't surrounded by clever & smart friends then this would be an awful way to spend ninety minutes" sort of way. related: TERRIFYING.
in attendance: i & gorthok, sic737, girlgoth, landon & madeline, west, travis, christopher, & stephen. madeline surprised us with a dozen cupcakes from the fancy cupcake place where she works, & obviously earned herself a permanent invite to all future events. after dinner, we chopped them into quarters & assigned rations; during the third movie, lily noted it was too dark to tell the flavors apart, & i whipped out the flashlight i keep at hand for under-desk computer fiddling & finding dropped jewelry. i spotlit the table, which led lily to remark, "now they look like emergency cupcakes." could NOT stop laughing; later, discovered the webcam thought it was funny, too:
oh, & i made one more modification to the stereo. recall that the xbox360 is wired hdmi right to the tv, so we can choose to use the tv's speakers alone or the stereo system if i'm playing too. that way, joe & i can share the front room, as he can play a game on the tv while i watch a movie on my computer. but since the playstation2 is component (plus wired through a switchbox), we couldn't treat it the same way - it needs the receiver to be set, which cuts off my computer's audio out. i have an 1/8" extender at my computer desk, aligned so i can easily plug in headphones... & i realized that i could split the ps2 audio at the switchbox & run another cable over to my computer desk, making shared audio during ps2 use as easy as moving one plug (an easy-to-access plug that is not in the depths of cableland behind the stereo, too). so now we can share the front room regardless of game system, & this also allows me to once again play bubbleface with my choice of music, which is imperative. (this will all become irrelevant when we upgrade to a ps3, which will have an hdmi port right to the tv like the xbox, but that's a ways off yet.)
the storage hassock is holding up well & hiding our cluttery game controllers & such very nicely, but there's a 3" square pressure mark on the front that didn't pop back out. you can actually see it on the picture i posted last update. the options on amazon were to return or exchange it, & i didn't want to deal with waiting on ups again or lugging the thing out, so i sent a separate mail asking about a partial refund. they offered us 25% off, which i was quite pleased to accept, especially since it was 44% off in the first place. :D
additionally, my first-purchase points came back on the new credit card i mentioned. when i went to redeem them for the promised $300 cash, i found gift certificate options on sale. so ridiculous, haha. i ended up using all but one point by requesting $250 to amazon & $80 to AMC theatres (no expiration), thus stretching my free $300 into $330... & when they arrived, i found someone had miscounted & sent two extra AMC cards, which brought the grand total to $350. HAH!
so i went right to amazon to re-buy some vhs/avis on dvd. it's funny - avis i downloaded (totally legally, of course) used to look on par with vhs, & both only slightly worse than actual dvds. on the new screen, vhs is nearly unwatchable, 700M avis look like i expected vhs to look (ie tolerable, but not fantastic), but dvds are beautiful & finally worth buying. fortunately, this has happened for me eons after it did for everyone else, resulting in the ability to amass a great collection for, on average, less than $4 shipped per movie. :D so far, i've spent just under a hundred free dollars on twenty-five movies in my infinitely-rewatchable list, most of which are special edition &/or two-disc sets, & many have my very favorite special feature: bloopers. i'm celebrating by throwing weekly movie nights in may (just simple evening showings; it'll be a while before we recover from the NES marathon, haha).
other exciting things upcoming: paragliding; prosperity (for joe it's exciting; i enjoy having the apartment to myself for a long weekend, haha); jesuscrux visiting for a wedding; seeing nomeansno on their only washington stop this year; tattoo appointment with quarex; a special trip to silverwood with travis; & soon enough it'll be time again for joe's birthday! YES YOUR PRESENT IS ALREADY IN THE APARTMENT, MUAHAHAHA