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Dinos and Dining

November 26, 2009
By Asmodeane in Posts

I promised a dino update almost a week ago, right? Well, here it is, then. I borrowed my car to a colleague who was supposed to have returned it half an hour ago, so I am stuck at work even though it’s lunch time. So I am bored and hungry. Which means it’s update time!

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So yeah, the Little Xmas went fine, even though there were some worrying memory gaps towards the end. But first things first. We came to the Hartwall Arena around 17:30, thanks to a taxi that stood us up, and got lost getting to our company. We waited an extra 45 min for the fucker, and obliterated all the drinks prudently stockpiled in the fridge, resulting in a painfully dry and sober 25 minute drive to the Arena. Once there, we were faced with another anticlimax. The entrance to the lounges looked like some sort of a garbage disposal/utility door. If one of our guys wouldn’t have arrived 20 min earlier and scouted the place out we would have never guessed it. So yeah, through the door and down the industrial and bleak staircase, then a 10 min wait at a reception desk for the tickets, and after that down a long bloody corridor that is lined with lounge doors to our place, oh, plus an elevator ride. It just makes me wonder, who was the genious behind all that fail. I mean, compared to some international arenas the lounge entrance at Hartwall Arena is simply ridiculous. Can you imagine ushering some celebrity or an important mogul down the back entrance through pipe lined corridors? Laughable. Oh, we were lightly searched at the entrance to the lounge corridor. A co-worker had his Canon EOS 1000D confiscated but they let me through with a tripod and an Olympus E-420 in my bag! That’s how you’re able to enjoy crisp photos of prehistoric critters today, catlings.

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Free for all!

Some of the bigger lizards.

Anyway, the lounge (it is called a “Skybox”, apparently) was pretty good. I think the yanks would have made it way better, but it was good. You can check out the layout and some pics right here. We were greeted by a tight lipped hostess who was apparently instructed to close her eyes at whatever atrocities that might take place inside the skybox, and didn’t show a hint of reaction when one of our salesmen tried chatting her up. She remained at our beck and call until our rent ran out at 2am. The fridges were well stocked with vodka, beer, cider, energy drinks and water, and the cupboards had plenty of wine, whiskey and cognac. The food was, to be honest, a disappointment. It was way too Finnish, for lack of a better description. The salad was bland, the meat was bland, the potatoes were bland, the gravy was… You get the picture. The food looked much better than it tasted, but I’ll grant it one thing: it did fill the stomach nicely. At least the drinks looked and tasted like they were supposed to. Oh, as an added bonus and a humorous dot on the i, the organizers added a box of glazed donuts, looking exactly like the one on “The Simpsons” movie poster! Skipping ahead, I can say that the party went really well, except for the oldest worker in our collective, who got smashed and became first combatative and then weepy and had to be half-carried to the cab already at 22:30. My personal lights-off came at about 1am, and I don’t remember getting into the cab, which was kind of worrying the following monday, but apparently very few people did remember anything after midnight, so I didn’t embarrass myself beyond necessity.

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Tyrannosaurus and its offspring.

Tyrannosaurus and its offspring.

The show itself was just an added bonus on top of the office quizzes and free booze & grub, therefore it didn’t disappoint me too much when it turned out to be a puppet show for children ages 5 to 12. A fairly sophisticated puppet show, but still just a puppet show. The host was really annoying, too, sounding exactly like some semi-retarded cartoon dubber. Way over the top, but I guess the children like it like that. Oh, and he couldn’t pronounce paleontology no matter how he tried, and as I recall he also struggled with some of the harder dinosaur names. But you probably wonder about the dinopuppets. Well, they were pretty good, I must admit. Especially the little raptor guys, who used live people instead of being remotely operated. Through some mechanical wizardry the makers of the puppets managed to convey realistic head and tail motions to the little raptors, legs and arms being controlled by the puppeteer, so they looked awesome. The big guys, not so much. What kinda made it suck for us was that we were up high on the arena, so could see the arena floor over the barriers, and so could see that the dinos feet didn’t touch the floor and that they were rolling around on flat, floor-colored pedestals. Still, they looked good and were huge, despite the obviously mechanical way they moved. In any case, the show was worth it because it was free. The rumor around the office is that it cost our company almost 200e per head to arrange this thing. Frankly, I am not so sure I would not rather have had that 200e as a christmas bonus.

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The following day we celebrated my girlfriend’s birthday. I was a little under the weather, as you might imagine, but managed ok, having started self medication with beer first thing in the morning. A nap right before the guests arrived also helped me stay up till 5am. Still, man, I’m getting too old for this. As I lay down for that little nap my heart felt like it was going to bounce right out of my ribcage, without exertion, and it did miss a beat or two once in a while. I guess that’s… normal? But the party proved to be worth it. The house, despite girlies fears to the contrary, was filled to the brinks. We had 20 people attending at the most, which means that there is no place to sit in the kitchen and the living room. We made pizza and salad for the guests, and I made oatmeal cookies, plus there was fairly good punch as well. I think everyone enjoyed the party as much as I did,so yay..!

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As usual, it’s time for some links dredged from the briny deeps of the web.

  • Lets start off with some CG portraits. Here’s 50 of them, and some are just mind-blowing. I tried to select my favorite, but dang, there’s at least 4 or 5 properly photorealistic works there.
  • Then a list of 20 best gadgets of the decade. Meh. Yes, I guess.
  • Continuing with the lists, here’s 18 foreign films one must see. Hm. I think I’ve seen maybe 2 or 3 from the list. Gotta hunt them down, cos some of them sure sound good.
  • Then a “The Top Eight Video Game Bugs That Made the Game Better” list from Spike. I dunno, I never did see that plane bug in San Andreas, not did I multiply watermelons in Oblivion.
  • Ok then, and on a topic dear to my heart, namely personal finances, here are some of the dumbest things to do with your money. Personally, I think “Drinking” is high on my own list of dumb things I do with my money.
  • Then some good news: Europa might harbor fish!
  • …and some bad news: global warming’s impact has sped up and worsened since Kyoto. Although it’s all kinda cool. Hope I live to see the interesting stuff.
  • And here’s something that will make interesting times happen faster: a 1000 mph car!

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I haven’t bothered with selecting any good clips tonight, so there will be none. Scram!

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