Mike has noticed it as well... most of the hands I've had recently have been abominable. Not even powerful enough to respond in most cases, let alone open. 5 points, 3 points... I had a 13 point hand with no five-card suit to overcall with, and they won the auction, but we only set them one trick because Raymond refused to lead spades for me to ruff. He had such strong trump, and they ended up covering mine because I didn't get those ruffs. Instead, he led clubs, which were THEIR strong suit. *sigh* And this continued after I showed out on a round of spades, too. Anyway, we managed to assemble a game out of my two openable hands. I had something like S K-Q-x H 9-x-x-x-x D A-J-x C K-x, exactly thirteen points, so good enough to open my weakest suit - hearts. Raymond responded 2H, and I bid 2NT to indicate coverage of the other suits. Mike took that as I'd intended: "choose your game" as he put it. I wanted a 3NT or 4H response, but Raymond bid 3H and I couldn't raise to game. I think the opponents misplayed somewhere and set us up an overtrick. Or maybe we made two where best defense would have held us to one. Anyway, it was close, and then I managed to deal myself S K-J H K-J-9-x-x D A-J-10 C A-Q-x. Again, very worth opening with 19 points. I opened 1H, and Mike overcalled 1NT. Then it was back to me, and I did the only thing I could think of... I bid 2NT. That held, and Raymond showed his hand to a low diamond lead: S Q-x-x-x H 10-x-x D x-x C J-10-x-x. Not much he could say to that hand. Now, had Dan ever bothered to play the king of diamonds, we'd have been set one trick... with my holding, I'd be a fool not to cover, and that would set up Mike's queen, and after I took the third diamond trick, he had two good ones to cash. Instead, Dan ducked and I won with the ten, then led a low heart through, and the board's 10 won. Not really expecting to have ANY board entries, I went ahead and ran the club finesse, hoping to put Mike back in the lead. The jack won, and I didn't want to give up my club holding, so I switched to spades, losing my jack to Mike's ace. He led another low diamond to my jack, and I cashed the king of spades (setting up the board's queen as an entry if anyone led a spade) and led a low heart. Mike covered that and led another diamond to Dan's king and my ace. I exited in hearts again, letting Mike cash his ace of hearts and two good diamonds for the defensive book. Then he led a club into my A-Q and king of hearts (which I'd carefully kept high) to make the contract. I don't think it would have made any difference had he held it, though... I'd get all but one of the tricks after he led another suit, and I'd concede the ace of hearts at the end. He realized his "mistake" leading the club, but had he led a spade, I'd cover with the queen from the board and sluff the queen of clubs from my hand, then lead the board's club up to my winners. We still lost the rubber, though... those were the two hands that weren't garbage.
I beat that boss in Metroid Prime 2 while watching Seinfeld... it turns out that it's not actually very hard to dodge, once you can predict its movements. The trick is that it takes off 30 of your 99 Energy units every time it hits, and if you don't move quickly enough, it'll just happen to clip you again immediately. In the final battle, I got hit once, and that was because I thought the shot I was charging would finish it off. It didn't, but it was so weak after that that I didn't need to dodge the next time. So now I'm scanning things and preparing to enter Dark Aether for the first time in Hard mode. Stupid double-powered Darklings...
It's early enough I can actually post answers to the song lyrics meme tonight... so here goes. Here are the ones you didn't get:
2 was "Strange Lover" from The Irresponsible Captain Tylor. I didn't expect anyone had paid attention to that song, but it's surprisingly good when you're not concentrating on the love affair it refers to.
4 was... get ready for it... "Ai (Chuuseishin)" from Quack Experimental Anime Excel Saga. Yes, it was. Think of it this way: "Ai shite-i-ru-ke-do-a-i-sa-rete ha... inai!" Many of you can hit yourselves on the head now.
5 was "Coppelia's Coffin" from Noir. Considering that the opening theme was the best part of the series, I'm surprised none of you were paying attention.
6 was "Junk Boy", the ending theme from the TV version of Maze: The Megaburst Space. If any of you have seen that series, I will be impressed. And then very, very disappointed that you didn't remember the ending theme.
8 was... wait for it... "Raspberry Heaven" from Azumanga Daioh. I worked really hard to find a line that wouldn't be TOO obvious... but that's the last line of the song. I don't care whether you've seen the series or not... you deserve a self-smack on the head for not knowing that one.
11 was "Happy, Smile, Hello" from Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat. I threw that in there to make sure there was one nobody would guess. Guess I didn't need to....
12 was... wait for it... "Let Me Be With You", the opening theme of Chobits. I cannot believe that anyone would watch that series and not remember the opening theme. I STILL can't get it out of my head months later. And how much more recognizable could a line be? The only other line in the song (other than the title) that I can remember is that final "Dakishimetai no ni," which could be any song. Palm, head, hit, anyone out there who's seen Chobits. I'm looking at one person in particular.
13 was "Kaze no Ao, Umi no Midori" from Brigadoon. Nobody even guessed that, and it's the first thing that should have been on everyone's mind. Heck, if someone had exhaustively gone "1: Brigadoon. 2: Brigadoon..." I would have given it to them. Heck, even "is Brigadoon in there anywhere?" might have sufficed. And though this line is from the second verse, that was the opening theme for the last 11 episodes.
14 was... wait for it... the last line of "Hemisphere", the opening theme of RahXephon. I know there are people out there who saw RahXephon. Were you not haunted by that line? "I want to know myself." All slow and haunting-like? Remember? SLAP!
15 was "Mirakurumi" from Steel Angel Kurumi. Either you've seen it or you haven't, and I guess none of you have. Shame... it's a cute song and a pretty cute series, too.
16 was... wait for it... "White Station", the ending theme of I, My, Me, Strawberry Eggs. dragoni82, you get to give yourself a liberal pounding for missing this one. I mean it. That was exactly what you guessed for 13. I told you you'd probably made a mistake (thinking maybe you'd meant to type 16 and hit the wrong key), and said you should know this one when I gave hints later in the week. There's just no excuse for not getting this one... I will not accept laziness. Everyone else is off the hook this time.
17 was "Sugar Baby Love" from Little Snow Fairy Sugar. Another one I just threw in there to make it look harder than it was.
19 was "Aluminum" by Barenaked Ladies. I've always wondered why, from every album, they take one song that I mostly like and one that I don't much care for to become big radio hits, while my favorite songs never make it. I've never heard "Light Up My Room" on the radio either. Why is that?
21, you probably couldn't have gotten even if you knew the song... I've helped a few people figure it out from clues less solid than this after having to search through a list of songs when one of my friends had told me the title and all I could remember was that it began with M and had "dance" in it. It is "The Mummer's Dance" by Loreena McKennitt. I loved the radio version so much, and was a bit disappointed that the album version didn't have the percussion. I still have a bunch of her albums, though... might try letting one play late at night and see if that helps me get to sleep. Or at least drown out the TV from downstairs. Can't drown out the cheering, though. NOTHING will drown that out.
23, finally, was "Lay Me Down" by David Crosby and Graham Nash, formerly of Crosby, Stills, and Nash (now just Crosby Nash). There are things I like about that song.
I also want to mention one other song here... Lenny Kravitz's "Lady". I heard it again on the radio on the way home today (after realizing that I wanted to write this rant but didn't know what song it was), and I've always loved the guitar riff at the end of the song. It's beautiful and climactic... and he screws it up by singing his absolutely wretched "melody" over it. There are so many songs that I love because they have beautiful instrumentals, and a tragic majority of those are dominated by atrocious vocals. Open letter to musicians who do that: STOP IT. NOW AND FOREVER. NEVER SING AGAIN, BUT KEEP PRODUCING MUSIC. Because you're GOOD at it... you just don't know when to shut up and let the music be music.
Maybe John Mellencamp isn't a one-hit wonder... I never realized he'd done so many good songs. "Walk Tall" has pushed all of them into the obscurity that is the past of a dying artist. (That is, one whose art is dying... he's probably in good health.)
No new anime showed up today. That made me sad, as there are now three packages on their way here, each bearing one DVD that is the final entry in its series. The boxes for Angel Tails, Aquarian Age, and Tenchi GXP will soon be full, requiring me to (eventually) buy more empty boxes to continue filling. But there's no rush for that. Now, it's time for a little more Metroid Prime 2, followed by the last episode on the first DVD of Read or Die and then bedtime. No two ways about that.