22 August 2014

Wet'n Wild

Currently pushing: Roy Choi's perfect instant ramen. Putting cheese in ramen? Oh yes. I've tried this recipe a few times and it makes instant ramen much more palatable. Not that it wasn't delicious before, but this is a huge upgrade on an old/desperate classic. Here's the actual recipe. (That scallion is not optional in my opinion.)

Picked up this quarterly magazine, Specimen, at Borderlands Cafe. It features “candid in-depth interviews with experts for everyday people.” Issue number eight is math meets nature, and contains conversations with a mathematical physicist, a computer scientist, a Nobel laureate, and an interview about "why is math still so dominated by white guys when it’s supposed to be the ultimate meritocracy?” There’s no ads in the thing, and it costs a mere nine dollars. I hope they stick around for awhile, because while I don’t normally like reading interviews, these managed to capture my attention.

Oh yeah, and I didn’t make it past the first section of Dog Eared Books because Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me grabbed me completely. From an informal poll of my friends, nobody knew what “mansplaining” meant. C'mon, the term was recently included in the Oxford dictionary! Then again, the indiscriminate Oxford also added "amazeballs, cray, hot mess, and subtweet" so that’s not saying much. In my never-ending quest to keep up with the times, I’ve also recently been caught up on “party nail” (so two years ago), “basic bitch” (somewhat tired), and "quiff" (both late and early). Please continue telling me things so I don't fall behind.

We went to the Russian River for AMR’s bachelor party. Twelve guys, one house. And one slow moving, drought-ridden, river. We opted for the long route, not realizing that it would take more than four hours to go just a few miles. At first, floating around was an absolute blast but soon it got cold and exhausting. A mile or so from our house, I got out of the river shivering and so over it, and decided to trek back alongside the road. Mistake?

One friend cut his bare foot immediately on a shard of glass so my other buddy assembled shoes out of cardboard, string, and sticks. Gingerly picking our way back home was the most dangerous thing we did all weekend. No wonder the first thing people look for when on the run is some footwear. I feel your pain fugitives.

I stopped at every mini-motel along the way, asking if they had some complimentary slippers to give us. Nada. I even tried to barter with one store that we would pay for some flip-flops after we retrieved our shoes. Not even a pause to think about it. Apparently the three of us looked entirely untrustworthy in our swimming suits, holding only inner tubes and no cash. Overall, the great outdoors was good. I just wish someone had brought a Go Pro. I mean, we had two of them but both owners somehow forgot to bring them. I guess you’ll just be spared the inevitably gorgeous video of us basically hiking the river.

Also, I finally got someone to play the Game of Thrones board game with me. Sure, it took some preparation -- one hour just to put the set together -- and some cajoling, but we hunkered down over the table on Sunday and mucked our way through a streamlined version of the rules. Most of the guys weren’t hardcore gamers so it was quite a feat of concentration for them to sit still for three hours. All that and we only got through six of ten rounds.

Overall, the game is a nice blend of Diplomacy and Risk, and I would love to play it some more now that I understand the rules better. (It took me a lot of reading and some serious YouTubing to get even the general gist of the game down.) The whole thing is begging for an iOS version, as the little pieces are just impossible to keep track of. But I guess when you’re trying to conquer Westeros, the first thing you should be is organized. I played as House Tyrell but instead of “growing strong,” I got pushed around and blamed for almost letting the Greyjoys take the win. That would never happen in real life, obviously. "Real life" meaning the show.