I woke up to my alarm blaring. Well, that's not entirely true; I was woken up a few times prior for various things, but I finally got up fo' real (sho' nuff) when my alarm started blaring. I partook in the usual morning ablution and then had breakfast with the kids and spent some time getting ready, and then headed out. Everything was going well, caught the bus I wanted to catch, made it into the city around 1 pm. The bus was a little late, but that's ok, I didn't have to be there until 1:30 pm. Wait. There? Where? Oh, fuck.
So I ran over to Easy Internet Cafe, which is the best internet cafe in the universe, as far as I can tell, because you can get online for as little as a buck and that buck actually buys you a usable amount of time (27 minutes, yesterday - it's a sliding scale based on how busy they are). So I got online and figured out where I was going.
Celeste, check! I hopped on the C and headed up there, arriving a few minutes late (I had some problems at Easy Internet; the ticket machines weren't taking my dollar bills, bastards...) and settled in for lunch with ozzdo (Oz) and irnbruise (L1). The food was decent, but pricey, and the service was slow. I get that a lot, for some reason, which is probably the reason I treasure those places that even give me fast service. I had pasta, which was decent. Again, though, at something like $8 off of the brunch menu, it seemed more expensive than it should have been. They're also emphatically cash-only (every single page of the menu has the fact on the bottom in big, bold letters). We were met there by fairymelusine (K1) at the end, as we were paying, and we all headed out, down towards the Walter Reade theater (at Lincoln Center).
I had 4 tickets to the "world premiere" of The Blood Gulch Chronicles, a very amusing and very well done example of machinima - animated movies made using computer game engines instead of video cameras. More on that later.
Anyways, we were met up by K (K2) on the way, and the five of us walked over to the theater to see if we could get Oz a ticket at the box office, since they were sold out online. No luck. D'oh. They did have a standby ticket line, so we resolved to come back for the movie early and see if we couldn't get him a ticket that way.
Anyways, we went to our next destination, the Amsterdam Billiard Club, where we settled in for a while. It was mostly Oz and myself playing, although at the end, we were joined by djstorm (H) and we had a big 6-way game, boys vs. girls. (We won, but it was close, the table was clear of everything but the 8-ball when I sunk it.) It was fun, but I had a couple of beers and a shot of bourbon (Wild Turkey) there, which came back to haunt me later. (Foreshadowing!)
After pool, we went to dinner at Sambuca, which is a family-style italian restaurant, similar to a Carmine's or something. I've eaten there once before, and while I prefer Carmine's, it was pretty good. dormando (A) and lorelai (L2) joined us for dinner. We ordered a lot - 3 main courses and a group-sized salad, a couple of bottles of wine (a Markham Merlot), and a few desserts and dessert wines. The total came out to a lot (including tip, around $40 a person, yeowtch). Of course, the alcohol bill was almost half of the total bill, hehe. I tried a Fonseca port, the "bin 27" (premium reserve) port, which wasn't bad, but wasn't as good as the Dow 10 year tawny that L had (and of course, neither was as good as a T-F port, but I had to try them).
The highlight of the dinner (nay, the entire day!) was towards the end of dinner, as we were eating, K1 on my left, K2 across from her, Oz next to the both of them, as someone turned to Oz and said, more or less "Hey, you're on fire." He was calmly eating and drinking, and little wisps of flames were dancing up and down his sweater. He looked up, a bit confused, and K1 looked and squealed (I guess it's not every day you see a dinner companion burst into flames) and both K's started beating at his sweater as he looked utterly confused. The people at the table next to us just stared, shocked looks on their faces, glancing back and forth at each other, as he sat there burning, smoke trailing off of him. They got him put out, and we all basically burst into uncontrollable laughter for a few minutes while the table next to us continued to stare. Stick that in your birthday cake and light it, people!
That was the best dinner, EVER.
Anyways, after dinner, L1 and K2 peeled off and headed home, and the rest of us headed back to the theater. We set up Oz in the standby line, and then stood around and waited for the movie. K1 had to leave and go home, but we were able to get a standby ticket for Oz (yay!) so the rest of us headed in and saw the show.
Now, the show - The Blood Gulch Chronicles - was the winner of a few awards and was put together by the production team of RedvsBlue. The entire movie ("filmed" in 19 episodes) was put together by recording actual gameplay (scripted, of course) from Halo (which of course was made by Bungie studios, which was bought by (boo, hiss!) Microsoft). Anyways, they scripted out the scenes, "acted" them out in the game engine, and then recorded dialogue and sound effects and edited it all together on their computers. It's a pretty impressive effort, and a whole lot of fun to watch.
After the screening (which included the entire first season, 19 episodes, and the first two episodes from season two), they had a long Q&A session with the cast and crew, which was interesting... at least the few minutes of it I actually saw, that is.
Y'see, the volume in the theater was turned up WAY TOO HIGH, and I had a splitting headache and felt like crap by the time it was over. (It was also warm and stuffy in there, and I was starting to feel the alcohol at this point... I guess mixing alcohol and a long day out and ear-splitting volume doesn't work so well when you've just come off nearly a week of bedrest thanks to the flu. My head was pounding like crazy, and I was feeling a bit dizzy and faint and nauseous, not a pleasant combination.) I struggled with recovering for a while, tried to walk it off, and realized there was likely no way I'd make it home, so I broke down and called my dad and he picked me up and drove me home. (It was the first time I've called him to rescue me for a long time, though, in all fairness.) God bless fathers. As soon as I got in, I crashed on the couch (literally) and passed out. I didn't even take my shoes off. I vaguely remember my dad talking to me, asking me if I wanted anything, I just sort of mumbled and moaned and laid there. I woke up around 4 am, finally feeling a little more... not-dead... and got myself ready and went to bed.
Anyways, for more info on Machinima, check out Machinima.com, which links to a bunch of different stuff, has articles on it, all that good stuff. I'm not sure how far the movement'll go, if you can call it that, but it'll be interesting to watch. (Or just google it, you lazy bastard.)
[Totally unrelated note to self: check out skyauction.com - and less likely, luxurylink.com]