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жаль девочки, геи для мальчиков
Большо́му кораблю́... большо́е пла́вание.
I had a scary dream last night... finally one that I could remember. It's weird. As I've gotten older I'm starting to remember dreams less and less. I'm not sure if I like this change.

The dream was about this cursed tv. I was invisible to the family that was watching the tv, as if I was some narrator. Every night, the mom, dad, and the son would be watching the tv in the living room after dinner. The weird thing was, every time they turned it on it would just be a reflection of them staring from the other side. At first, the reflection from the tv was exact... everyone would be sitting at the right place, they'd all be wearing the same clothes, and so on. But then, as the dream went on, the reflection from the tv grew more and more inconsistent. One night, the dad would be sitting on the wrong side of the couch in the reflection, but he'd be sitting in the middle in the living room. On another night, the son would be playing on the ground, at a different spot on the tv. Then, the living room in the reflection would be slightly off in color. Small small inconsistencies like that. Made my mind feel very unsettled.

At first it was just visual cues that were a bit off. Then, it became sounds, then distorted imagery. The ceiling fan would be on the slow setting in the living room, but on the fastest, loudest setting in the tv, and I could see the reflections' hair being blown hardcore. Anyway you get the point. The details just got more and more disturbing until it got violent. There was one night where the family was sitting there in the reflection, and then the ceiling fan broke off (making this huge crashing sound) and sliced the mom up in 4 places, blood splattering all over the room. The dad and son had no reaction. There was one night where the mom and dad were on the couch, and a big venus fly-trap like plant appeared behind them and swallowed them whole. The son kept playing with his train toy.

The most horrific one was the one that woke me up. The tv was normal. The reflections were all the same: everyone was looking at each other. The sounds were the same. The dream progressed in a way that I was expecting very wrong things to be happening. This one, I was led to believe things had gone back to normal. Then, as soon as I felt that, something pulled the son off the screen in the tv really fast towards the back of the room, and he screamed as he was pulled through a door and disappeared. He was gone in seconds. I looked at the parents in the reflection and their faces were glitched... the way computer games look when it glitches. I didn't know where their eyes were because they both looked like a picasso painting (but glitched). Then, as I was checking their faces, everything got really quiet and they both slowly turned to look at me.

And I woke up. o_O'

Needless to say, the imagery in the dream was so vivid that it's inspired me to make a tablet drawing of exactly what I saw on that last night. I remember everything of how that room looked, what the parents looked like, and how the son got dragged off. It's going to be a great picture.
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I got a tablet for Christmas, and I <3 it. Once you get over the fact that you don't look at your tablet and you focus on the monitor, it's a really fun tool. This is the 3rd sketch I've made using the tablet... using only the black drawing tool on my drawing program.

I sketched off of a picture of Megan Fox (on the right, obviously)

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Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood multiplayer is awesome.

The whole thing is genius.
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This extremely beautiful blond russian girl came in with her boyfriend and family to dinner. I served them, and I was haphazardly speaking to them in russian. The dad was really happy (and surprised), and immediately gave me his approval and treated me like a friend for the rest of the night. Y'know... russians typically (well, notoriously) give off that cold'shoulder sort of feeling right? Like "(grunts) Err (russian accent) Do not'uh bother'uh me pulease. Tank you" But the dad went 180. It was quite a relief.

More impressed though was the extremely beautiful blond russian daughter. She was SO impressed with me that at one point during dinner I felt like I could take her away from her american boyfriend... and I had to stop myself. What did I learn? I should keep practicing russian. If my major-sucks-ass russian made such a huge impact on their experience tonight, just think of how much more I can do if I were more fluent...

So new years resolution 2011: LEARN MORE RUSSIAN
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I made that number extra large because I know hundreds of thousands of players have already put in their QQ in the forums on how every aspect of the expansion has messed up the players' individual enjoyment of the game.

I will add to that QQ.

I just so happened to have pulled up my character sheet on the armory for one of my toons, and it was right after I logged off after dinging 80. My toon had the following noticeable stats:

- 17860 health
- 14061 mana
- 1019 spell power (unbuffed)

This is of course, from leveling strictly from dungeon queues with practically no questing. Now... to get things started for Cataclysm, I'm forced to have to start a few chain quests. After picking up a few "cataclysm" green quest rewards, my stats have now skyrocketed to THESE noticeable stats:

- 30690 health
- 26856 mana
- 2671 spell power (unbuffed)

I queued into a WotLK heroic, and then topped the meters by pulling 44% of the overall dps doing 4.1k dps.

My conclusion? What Cataclysm does to Wrath gear is that Cataclysm makes the Wrath gear look retarded and then it punts it deep into the oceanic abyss of Deathwing's butthole.

What do you have to say to that, Bashiok?
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I met George W. Bush tonight.

I met Bill Clinton last year.

How many people can say that they've met 2 former presidents in their lifetime? and by 'met' I mean, get within 1-2 feet of them and interact with them.

Which is why I am very thankful tonight. George had a very powerful presence about him. I will not forget this. =D
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I met Carlo Rato today. He might sound like a "Who's that?" kinda celebrity, but he meant a lot to me since I watched La Femme Nikita for most of my earlier years.

As soon as I heard his voice I knew it was him (it's unmistakable). I got to 'talk' talk to him. Not just small talk, but I got to know him a little bit. He told me about all these interesting things that happened on and off set between him and the rest of the cast... and told me all these neat things about Toronto (where most of the show was filmed), Peta, Roy, Alberta, etc. He was very happy to hear that I was a fan. :) And i got his autograph. :) :)

Totally made my night.
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So I've been playing tennis now for about 17 years, and I wanted to put down in writing some things I've noticed over time. I might or might not add more to this in the future:

- Emulating your favorite player is a great way to improve your game (at first): but ultimately, you'll play your best discovering your own game. Early on I always thought Hingis had the best style, and so I emulated that game. Naturally, as time went on and kids grew bigger and stronger, I started to lose more. Then reality set in during college and I would get routinely overpowered by all the guys in our college matches and tournaments. Yes, Hingis had a great game, but for me to follow it was unrealistic. I'm playing guys, not girls. And with guys, aggressive play wins.

- Absorb bits and pieces of everyone's game: This pretty much goes along emulating your favorite player, but why not be smart about it? Imagine if you had the speed of Nadal/Dementieva, the serve of Roddick/Serena, the forehand of Safin/Davenport, the backhand of Federer/Henin, and the volleys of Sampras/Navratilova? You don't necessarily have to copycat one player's entire game. Why not take the best bits and immerse it into your own game? To me that produces a stronger overall game for the player.

- Understand your body, play with what you've got (then maximize it): If you're a tall guy, I would expect you to have big serves. Period. If you're a smaller guy, I would expect you to be lightning fast. To be most effective I think you absolutely have to make full use of your body's capabilities. I've got a small frame, but I try and maximize my game by moving quickly and generating fast racket-head speeds as often as I can on all my shots to impose a 'bigger' game to my opponents. What's my motivation? I took Mary Carillo's wisdom. "Look at Justine Henin. She's 5'5 but is able to play big babe tennis."

- Losing is inevitable: how you deal with it is the true challenge. Sore losers just don't cut it. Accept the loss and move on to the next match.

- In men's tennis, everything is a gamble: If you take into account an average skilled male player, nothing is certain. You don't know when your opponent's gonna fire a winner out of nowhere. You don't know where he'll serve because his pattern is so random. You don't know if he'll have many reserves in the tank to do dead runs left and right on your would-be winners. You just won't know. The points become a gamble. You HAVE to decide whether or not to go after one ball... and to let another one blast by. If you try and go after every ball, your opponent will tire you out in a heartbeat. Again, I go to the wise words of John McEnroe. "All Pete (Sampras) has to do is wait. You know he's going to hold all of his service games. All he needs to do is play one or two spectacular points, and he'll break his opponent and take the set. It only takes Sampras just a few good points, and he'll beat you with 1 break a set."

- Stretch before and after a match: I used to get so sore after playing, but surprisingly now that I'm older and am stretching better, I'm less sore waking up the next day after a long match. So long as you keep your muscles loose and hydrate right, you'll lessen the chance of tenderized limbs and cramps. :)

- When to be frustrated: If your game is not working, and you've made adjustments or changed strategies, and it still fails you, that's a reasonable time to get mad at yourself. You should only get frustrated at yourself. If you get frustrated at anything else, you're letting outside forces beat you (whether that'd be the court conditions, the opponent, gamesmanship, bad calls, etc). Players just aren't aware enough to determine when they should and shouldn't be frustrated. They don't know when to swallow the idea that their opponents are outplaying them hands down. You should get frustrated only when you're committing far too many unforced errors, and have tried many other options, all which fail to raise your percentages.

- When to pump yourself up: This is another area where pumping yourself up has its time. The best time to do it is if you've executed a point or shot and your opponent couldn't make a play. Pumping yourself up on opponent errors just makes you out to be a poor sportsman. Pumping yourself up after every point won will tire you out a la Lleyton Hewitt. Not pumping yourself up is also a bad idea... you can't bottle up the emotions that run through you throughout a match. You have to expend those emotions at some point, and you might as well do it in the form of a fist pump, self cheer, etc. Rally your inner troops... you'll play better.

- Everything's a head game: I find that even if players are so sure to say they play tennis 'on autopilot' and not think about things, they're all lying. Look at the progression of any match. Players spend more time pacing back and forth from the deuce court to the ad court... picking up balls... waiting for serves, sitting on changeovers, wiping their sweat off, than they are actually playing the point. I highly doubt that players aren't thinking about something during all of that downtime. Players who say they entered a strange 'calm' before a match... that's a state of mind moreso than playing on autopilot. A player can play calmly, desperately, angrily, purposefully- but to say they're playing absentmindedly is untrue. You'd have 'thought' about wrong-footing your opponent if you've hit it there.

- Go after the balls (that's what he said): Nothing's worse than having to cope with balls that hit the net on your side, versus balls flying too far out by yards. The idea is that you're at least going after your shots. That to me is a more positive concession than playing too tentatively.

- You gotta be all-court: Really simple concept here which I pose one question. If on match point you lose because your opponent's brought you to net and threw up a lob to your backhand side which you miss... would you think to work on that shot in the future? There's no excuse here. You have to own all aspects of the game these days to beat players. ~_~ Tennis isn't one-dimensional like it used to be.

- Gear up appropriately: This plays so much into proper conditioning. Wear light colors if you're playing out in the sun. Put on lots of sunblock, and make sure you get the sensitive areas (nose, ears, forehead, the back of your neck, etc). Wear a hat or sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun damage. Wear breathable materials because you'll be sweating a LOT. Wear tennis shoes- it'll lessen the chance of foot related injuries. And if you're got a weak joint, put a brace on. And of course, pick a racket that suits your game. You need the right gear to play your best.
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I am getting hooked on this Graffiti application. =O

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