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Friday night, Kam and I watched the season premiere of Sarah Connor (good but not great), and an episode of Joan of Arcadia, and all we could stand of the first episode of Fringe (which was about 15 minutes), then spent much of the rest of the evening playing Spore.

Spore is way cool. We had spent a couple hours earlier in the week going from the beginning of the game midway through Creature phase; on Friday we got maybe halfway through Tribal phase. I have to say, though, that descriptions I've seen of the game as an evolution simulator are a little offbase; it doesn't really behave much like real evolution, and in fact at first glance it appears to support some common but totally wrong ideas about how evolution works. But it's nonetheless very enjoyable. Anyone else who's playing can find some of my creatures in Sporepedia under the username "elysdir".

(Btw, re Joan of Arcadia: we picked up the first half a dozen episodes when they were recently rebroadcast on, I think, the Sci Fi Channel. It's quirky and fun, and I was very amused by the actor channeling a young Christian Slater in the first episode, and if only they would focus more on Joan and her kinda androgynous friend and their other friend and God, I might really love the show. But the police/crime subplot in every episode makes me roll my eyes--so far, it always follows the same formula, and it's always kind of slapdash and too easily resolved--and the assignment-of-the-week stuff is starting to wear thin, and the stuff about the older brother trying to deal with his disability, while sometimes painfully realistic, is starting to feel a little repetitive only a few episodes into the series. So although I'm often enjoying the show, I probably won't seek out more episodes once we get through these.)

Saturday evening, I went over to the East Bay for dinner with my brother and cousins. We ended up at Italian Colors, where I'd eaten once before, maybe ten years ago?, but I forget who with--Beth? Thida? I'm not sure. A surprising number of people I know have lived in that general area over the years.

Great to see Jay and Alan & Cindy, as usual. (And sorry not to get to see Holly.) A lot of the discussion focused on politics, but it was one of the few multi-person discussions I've had lately about modern American politics in which people other than me said things like "I don't know, it's complicated" and accepted that people with differing political views might be reasonable people who aren't stupid, evil, or insane. Very refreshing, and it led to my participating in the discussion a lot more than I usually do in such discussions.

Stopped by Kam's place on the way home for a bit, then home and sleep.

I spent most of the rest of the weekend reading submissions. Have read about 60 stories since Saturday afternoon. Sadly, we're still way behind.

Took an hour or so Sunday evening to play some Dance Dance Revolution; been doing that a couple times a week lately. At some point, I still have a huge lot of stuff I want to write up about that game, and lots more I want to write up about exercise in general. But dunno when or if I'll get around to that.

For now, I'll just note that in the Wii version of DDR, without gimmicks and hand symbols turned on, and with my particular setup at home (where apparently my peripheral vision helps me stay on the arrows), I can now get an A on any song up to 5 flames in difficulty. I'm working on the 6-flame ones--I can get an A on some of those, and a B or C on most of the rest. At some point I probably need to pause in my forward progress and spend some time learning to play backwards and sideways, and to do spins, and otherwise not limit myself to keeping feet on their own sides of the board, 'cause it's clear that that's limiting my progress. I'm pleased, though, that some of the 5-flame songs that I was completely incapable of doing at all five months ago, I can now easily get an A on.

Hmm. I vaguely think there was something else I did over the weekend, but no idea what. Probably spent too much time playing iPhone games--been doing that a fair bit lately. Another thing I want to write up, but not tonight.

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I got about 20-25 minutes into Fringe before I'd decided I didn't want to cringe anymore. Glad I'm not the only one.

I'll think about others playing spore -- my laptop is unlikely to handle it, sad to say.

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