Archive for the ‘Puzzles’ Category

Say it again, a little bit quieter and a little bit milder

July 24, 2010

Well, today marks the end of the I ❤ SF contest. And, who wouldda guessed it, I got sick. The only photos I took were shot half-heartedly at best, while I either had a fever, a deep desire to be in bed, or a hacking cough. Huzzah. I’m entering them anyway.

And I did get one I love:
st. peter and paul church, with Coit in the background, at night.

Yeah, it’s a little cliched, but I don’t care. I love night photography, and North Beach is STILL my favorite part of the city, even decades after I sipped my first cappuccino there. I was a little horrified by the crowds on a weekend night, however. It’s been a while since I partied like that, if I ever did. I kinda prefer a dive bar on a Wednesday to a dance bar on a Friday.

By the way, seconds after I snapped this pic I heard a very clear male voice coming to me from the bushes in Washington Square park. “That’s a really bad idea.”

“What?” I stammered, looking up and meeting the eyes of a bearded, 20-something. It was too dark to tell if he was a partier or a bum, and that area has a lot of both. “Am I in a bad spot?”

“Yeah, the bushes are a bad spot.”

I had been a little nervous about being in the square with a (semi)expensive camera and tripod, but it was pretty busy, and I felt confident I could whack any would be thieves a good one. That tripod has some heft. But I was on the sidewalk.

“Um, I’m not in the bushes, I’m on the sidewalk.”

Apparently I was the only one meeting eyes. “This is a bad spot, but I wasn’t talking to you.” It was then I noticed the stream of urine coming from well below his eyes. Ah. Partier, then. I promised him my camera was turned the other way, his friends assured me that wasn’t necessary, I’d need a telephoto lens to catch anything, and I hurried away to offer him a tiny bit of privacy.

It was only as I was hurrying away that I realized I was still missing my picture for the “Bad Idea” category. Darn missed opportunities.

I don’t think there’s any rule about not sharing, so here’s what I’ve got so far. Meh. Coulda done better with a bit more health points, but there’s never a magic potion when you need one.


October 2, 2009

Recently, this is what I’ve been writing instead of Writing:



Since February, I’ve been a bit puzzle-mad. My awesome ex-roommate Katy threw me a treasure hunt, and since then I’ve been seeking out all the urban, outdoor, puzzling opportunities I can find. There’s something in the Bay Area called BANG (also DASH, Shinteki, and more, but I’m trying to start slow), Bay Area Night Games. These happen approximately every month, at new locations each time, and they’re 8+ hours of insane puzzling mayhem.

Each game has roughly 12 or 15 rounds, combining logic puzzles, audio clues, site-specific clues, cryptography, crossword puzzles, trivia, and pretty much anything else you can think of. DNA helixes and tongue depressors seem to be hot. Each round, when puzzled out, leads you to the next location, so you end up racing around a city like a mad scientist, clipboard in hand.

It’s so fun. And pretty freaking hard, but that’s just part of the fun. The puzzle that has been kicking my ass the hardest is the cryptic crossword. I’ve seen them before, but I never understood them. They look like regular crosswords, until you realize that the clues seem to be fucked up in some way, often resulting in what looks like gibberish.

I should rock these. I’m a puzzle girl, I’m an writing girl… Maybe it’s just because they’re new. I haven’t spent enough time practicing, figuring out their tricks and nuances.

So. That’s why I’m not writing right now. I’ve added yet another time-intensive hobby to my already impressive list. Oh, and Christmas is coming up, so the knitting needs to get broken out. Plus I wanted to knit/sew my own Halloween costume. Hmmm. I need a Time-Turner™.