Do Palms Tell the Truth? I've had my palm read three times in my lifetime. Once by a stranger on College street in Toronto, again by our receptionist (she does it every year to raise money for Centraide), and lastly by a colleague while we were waiting for a connecting flight in the Atlanta airport. We were a bit bored and tired, and he started showing me card tricks, then coin tricks, and then finally, he read my palm. He said, "I want you to know I don't believe in this, but I know how to read palms, and people are surprised sometimes." I was surpried. Although he didn't know me very well, he told me: That I find it difficult to focus. (true) That I'm a larger-than-life character, which may push people away at times. (true) That I had two distinct choices when I had to choose a career path. (true) That I'll live a healthy life. (I hope so ;) That my heart rules my head when I make decisions. (see below) Our receptionist knows me better than this guy, and she never told me any of this stuff. I know none of this sounds remarkable, but he touched on *exactly* the things that I had been struggling with recently. Most significantly, he told me something about myself that I *didn't* know. I've always thought of myself as a kind of head-rules-heart kinda gal. When he said that I tend to let my heart rule my head, I looked at him and asked him what that means. He said, "Well, it probably means that you make decisions before really thinking about the consequences first." Well...yes, I *do* tend to do that, from impulse buying to making sponteneous choices at "ahem" 3:00 in the morning. I always thought of these as rational choices, albeit quick ones. In retrospect, of course, I realize that perhaps these quick decisions, rather than being rational, were, in fact, based in pleasure-seeking and emotion. Nothing particularly wrong with that, mind you. But it's interesting to be aware of it. And it's been a personal experiment of mine to try to be more aware of my decision making process. If nothing else, maybe I'll save more money. And go home earlier ;) Food for thought.


GDC Last Day, Part Two I'm sitting in the airport in San Jose. It's the Delta terminal, and it only offers fast food and this Expedia Cafe, which has free electrical and telephone outlets. Hence, I can connect and post to my blog from here. I just ate a Burger King hamburger, something I haven't done in a while, and something I'm sure I shouldn't have done as I feel kinda icky now. Of course, that may simply be the anticipation of the flight from hell I'm about to embark on: San Jose to Atlanta, Atlanta to Boston, Boston to Montreal. The flight leaves at 10:15 p.m. Pacific Time and arrives at 9:15 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. I'm chugging water and will take a gravol tablet before the flight. What was the show like? I actually only saw the 50 square metres around our booth. Give the show's subject matter--games--the participants are 99.9% male, mostly under 30. And they're keen. They love games. They love playing them. They love programming them. They love making the artwork for them. They love harnessing the power of the new hardware available. They love what they make. They may actually be the luckliest people in the world.


GDC Last Day, Part One Okay. So I haven't been able to provide updates to my blog from GDC. Days consist of getting up, getting to the conference, giving demos, talking to gamers, leaving the show floor, peeling off my conference t-shirt and putting on one of my own, going out to eat, going to parties sponsored by some of the big names in the industry, getting to bed really late. It's fun. It's even invigorating. But you're left with maybe 6 hours to sleep. Last night went to San Francisco for dinner. It can take as little as 45 minutes to get there from San Jose. I wish I had had more time to spend there. Back home tonight on the red eye.


GDC Day Two, Part One XBox Party. Hungover. Got a henna tatoo.


GDC: Day One, Part One Quick update: first presentation at 12:30 went well. When I showed our XBox solution, people applauded. Need to refine my "spiel", but no worries otherwise. On in another hour.
GDC: The Day Before the Show Opens I'm lying here in the Fairmont Hotel in a fluffy white bath robe with my trusty laptop on my knees. I have spent the whole day troubleshooting the material that I need for my 3-times a day 20 minute presentation. Much of my time was spent learning our new tool for XBox development, which I'm really excited about. Unable to do a complete run through during the day, when I finally got back to the hotel, I ran a bath, lit my portable lavender-scented candle, and did the whole presentation immersed in water. I imagined my toes were the audience. It was hard to guage their reaction. I am exhausted and was only vaquely tempted by the full lobby bar I passed on the way to the hotel's elevators. I half-heartedly rifled through the mini bar, and finally pulled out a $4.00 bottle of Evian (that's $6.00 CDN!). Tomorrow is my debut on the show floor of GDC. May the technoogy gods shine upon me.


Game Developer Conference I'll be at GDC until Monday, March 25. This is my fourth year attending this conference, always held in San Jose, California. I'll try to post from the show floor and capture some of the buzz. I'll also report on my first experience as a presenter in our booth. Gosh, I'll have a microphone and everything. My high pitched voice will travel accross the show floor. Mr. Right will be seduced by the siren call of my explantion of our robust API. He'll dash over to investigate. He'll see that I've cleverly matched my lipstick with the conference's official t-shirt. We'll talk about developing games for the XBox and then he'll whip out his Palm Pilot....


I have a cold. I'm all snuffily. I need a hug.


Today when I left the house, three of my four cats were sleeping on my bed, on the puffy duvet and feather mattress, end to end. Oh, to lay my head on their furry little bellies. They'd stretch and yawn and lay their little paws on my cheek. Purr-fect.


Ozzy! Ozzy! Ozzy! Went to the Ozzy Osbourne concert last night at the Molson Centre. Kewl! I'm not really a heavy metal fan, but I couldn't resist the idea of going to see the father of goth live (more or less) on stage amidst a crowd of adults and kids who knew all the words to "Paranoid". They sang them whilst bobbing their heads up and down--long hair works exceptionally well under these circumstances. Mostly a boys-bonding (bondage?) thing, row upon row of men who flung their arms around one another and looked at each other meaningfully, as if to say, "Hey man, do you remember that night when we..." and there's no need to finish the thought because... It was a simple affair. A massive drum kit. A bass guitar. A lead guitar. And a singer. There was a keyboardist in the background, but he didn't count. Nope, it was just the dudes with the long hair and their axes swung low on their hips. The lead guitarist did the de riguer solo (while Ozzy was off stage recuperating mid set) that included him playing not only behind his head but ~using his mouth~. Ew. Gross. Where *have* those strings and frets been, I wonder. As for Ozzy, well...I think he was wearing my grandpa's slippers judging fom the way he literally shuffled accross the stage. You sensed he didn't have much muscle strength, as he could barely raise his hands above his head. But his heart was there, although his hearing didn't seem to be, as he kept on admonishing the crowd with these immortal words: "I can't fuckin' hear you." Well, Ozzy, we heard you, and you were fuckin' fabulous! Mr. Crowley, won't you ride my white horse Mr. Crowley, it's symbolic of course Approaching a time that is classic I hear maidens call Approaching a time that is drastic Standing with their backs to the wall Was it polemically sent l wanna know what you meant I wanna know I wanna know what you meant


What Can You Do with a $40.00 Laptop? Tonight I'm living my dream of writing curled up on my couch in front of the fireplace with a laptop on my lap connected to the Internet. Isn't that why they're called "laptops"? I bought an old Compaq 486. Not too big, not too clunky. Tiny screen, but a good keyboard. Modem (anyone remember 144 bps?) and a network card, which means that I can lug this baby from meeting to meeting, check my email, take notes, and impress my colleagues with what I'm sure will become the ultimate in geek toys--the refurbished 486 laptop. It does as much as a Palm Pilot, but does it better. It cost me $40.00. Its disk had been reformatted and it only came with a floppy drive--no CD-ROM. How does one install a recent version of Windows when one doesn't have a CD-ROM? That problem was easily solved by one of my geek friends who simply used a utility to break down the CD-ROM contents into disk-sized packets for easy copying. Life will be even sweeter when I complete customizing the laptop case to reflect my Mellow Kittiness. It's already been done by one brave geekette.


What Pre-1985 Video Game Character Am I? What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Light Cycle.I am a Light Cycle.

I drive fast, I turn fast, I do everything fast. I even breakfast. I tend to confuse people with my sudden changes of heart. Sometimes I even confuse myself, which tends to cause problems. What Video Game Character Are You? Star Wars in ASCII Long, but faithful. Because faithful, brilliant.


Meet Snowdrop and Mittens - I can smell your brains... - I want to eat your head... (stolen from davezilla)
Patsy Cline Patsy Cline died on this day in an airplane crash, in 1963. Most of her songs were about love. About being in love. About being hurt and in love. About being loved and in love. About having too many lovers. About having no one. If you've *never* heard Patsy, click here. (Warning: this link makes noise.)


What People are Saying The week before last I was really down on what I had been producing. Some recent efforts produced these quotes from my coleagues: "REALLY good. I love it; Maggie, you rock! This is totally excellent - pushes all the right buttons." "coooooooooooooooooooool :)" "Very very useful, thanks." Wow! I produce stuff that is both useful *and* rocks. ~Blushing with pride~


For the Record Yes, I know about the Hello Kitty vibrator. No, I don't own one. Yes, I would like to. No, I'm not sure that I would put it *there*. There's a teddy bear involved, after all. mellow massage device


Okay. Now it's snowing again. Hard.
An hour ago, it was snowing big white fluffy snowflakes. Now the sun is out and the streets are wet from the melting snow. No sign of the lady who sweeps the snow. Welcome to winter-turning-into-spring in Montreal.