Sunday, December 21, 2008

Welcome to (Street)Fight Club

I’m going to start with something ridiculously mushy here. I’m willing to look like a fool here, and say Street Fighter as a series has profoundly impacted my life. Stupid eh? I’m just some kind of freak right? Well, before I lose all credibility, please hear me out. Street Fighter has provided me with a social AND competitive avenue, one that is fun and, by its nature, introduced healthy rivalries into my life. I really think - and yes even in my mid 20’s I still think it’s relevant – that it’s not the game, but the community the game builds in us, that makes it so special.

And now, with a new Street Fighter coming out in a couple of months, it's the perfect time to invite everyone to join me in my favorite hobby.

At this point you’re probably still rolling your eyes, but I’d like for you to just give me 5 minutes of your time to read my reasons. If you still aren’t interested after reading them, then by all means, you can bail.

3 reasons to fight

1. Why should I bother?

Like any game (video or other), Street Fighter is a competitive tool, in exactly the same mould as basketball, poker, or chess. However, SF is unique in the near-absolute purity if its rules. How so? Basketball (and all sports in general) have nearly impossible-to-enforce rules. How many basketball games have you seen in which a bad call decided the game? How many lame “and-1s” ruin good pickup games at your local gym? Likewise, poker, which is definitely a game of skill, always has an element of luck involved. You can play your opponent flawlessly, but still get beaten on the river.

Street Fighter, like all those aforementioned games, is rooted in “Yomi.” Yomi is the Japanese phrase for “reading your opponent’s mind.” How satisfying is it in Poker when you know exactly what your opponent has in his hand? Why is drawing a charge or blocking a shot the most satisfying play in basketball? I suggest here it’s because of Yomi. Now imagine a game that is built ENTIRELY around the concept of Yomi.

That is Street Fighter.

Okay, so poker is a high Yomi game too, so why should I learn SF if I already play poker? This goes back to the notion that SF is “pure;” the rules of the game never change, and the limits of the game make it impossible for you to act outside them. There are no unknown factors to sideswipe you, no teammates to blame; you are in a match alone against your opponent with a finite toolset of moves. In essence, you are in complete control of your own ability to win or lese. The onus is on you, and you alone, and that purity of experience, in my opinion, is hard to find anywhere else.

2. Why are you telling me this now?

For those of you who might not know, Street Fighter IV (ten years in the making, so to speak) is coming out on February 17, 2009. I’ve played Street Fighter for more than a decade now, both casually and competitively, and I’m telling you right now, as a competitive tool it can’t be beat. It has all the purity of chess, but with the pace of many sports. I’m also telling you this because the producers of this game have tailor-made this game for newcomers. Many of the complicated systems from the past (parries, custom combos, etc for those who know what those mean) are all gone. They’ve all been replaced with a system that was specifically designed to be simple, yet deeply rooted in Yomi. The hype around this game is high (and having played it, I can tell you right now it’s a solid game), and come February 17, there will be a LOT of newbies online. The best way to learn anything is always to have opponents of equal skill to play against.

Put together all those factors leads to this conclusion. If you ever wanted to try really learning Street Fighter (and I encourage you to), February 17th and on will be that time.

3. The game is so complicated and I haven’t played ever/in a long time, aren’t I too far behind?

I won’t sugar coat this. If you want to start, you’re probably going to lose at first; probably a lot. Against more seasoned opponents, against the computer-controlled AI. Many of you probably last played Street Fighter II on your SNES, and considered the ability to throw fireballs and hurricane kicks the epitome of your success. There’s no other way to say this…

You will suck.

But before you all click away, I’m going to explain why this is a good thing. Like all sports, Street Fighter consists of two levels, the mechanics and the meta-game. Golf sucks when you’re still learning to swing. Basketball sucks when you still shoot like a granny. Hockey sucks… well, hockey just sucks (*kidding!*). What I mean is that, a lot of people get hung up on the mechanics and quit there, never even reaching the warm-gooey centre that is the meta-game. But once you get the mechanics, they will come to you just like a golf swing or a basketball shot, I promise you. Then the entire meta-game opens up for you. You will grow, you will get better, you will start to match wits with others who’ve figured it out too. Rivalry breeds the best competition, and I 100% assure you, you will accrue rivals.

Everything the game gives to you after that is sooooo worth it.

Closing Words

One might look at Street Fighter and just see “another videogame.” That isn’t accurate. Most games last a month or two. You start at stage 1 and progress linearly through the game. The game gets harder and you adapt until you reach the final stage. As the end credits roll, you sit back, pat yourself on the back, and then think about what game you want to get next.

That is NOT Street Fighter.

Street Fighter doesn’t have a story (not one that matters anyway) and it doesn’t have linear progression. Stage 1, in a sense, doesn’t exist in the game so much as it exists in you. As you “progress” in the game, you devise your own tactics, you learn from the tactics of others, and this is the progression you experience in the game. You’ll keep playing the same characters, keep fighting the same opponents, keep fighting on the same levels, but somehow, you’ll continue to grow and progress. The final stage is whatever you yourself become when you decide to hang up your gloves or put away your controller for good. Hopefully by then you have a positive win/loss record. = )

I didn’t write this as a lame attempt to force people to play. I didn’t write it because I just wanted fresh meat to beat up on. I wrote this, because Street Fighter provided me with an amazing base of competition and self-evaluation I’ve never gotten anywhere else. I wrote this because I’ve already trained people with only a “passing” interest, into rivals who can now out-spar me.

But most of all, I wrote this because competitive Street Fighter with good friends is one of the most enjoyable ways I can spend an evening, and if I can teach even one more person the beauty of that, then writing all this was worth it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

One of these things is not like the other...

The first returns for this year's NBA All-Star ballots is back.  One of these things is a little peculiar... can you figure it out?

LeBron James (Clev) 643,786; 
Kevin Garnett (Bos) 495,514; 
Yi Jianlian (NJ) 356,556; 
Chris Bosh (Tor) 274,195; 
Paul Pierce (Bos) 153,512

Oh China, I knew you were unreasonable... but this is ridiculous.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How owned I got

I present to you exhibit A: The Xbox 360 title "Gears of War 2," which I purchased legitmately from renowned seller "Futureshop."

Now I present exhibit B: The PC title "True Crime: Streets of LA," which I found after opening the "Gears of War 2" disc case. Make special note that True Crimes is not, in fact, Gears of War 2.

And finally, exhibit C: Rather than a game manual, I instead find 50 Lottario entry forms.

If it pleases the court, I would like to present this case as the definition of "owned."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The word game

Here's a fun game spawned from a conversation I had the other day.  I love ragging on my dad about the way he mispronounces words, and we all know there's some common ones like

'erb vs H-erb


tomayto vs tomahto (but really, do you know anyone that pronounces it that second way?).

But then... there's some that fall into a grey area... So how do YOU pronounce the following?

PRAWcessor vs PRO-cessor
CON-tribute vs con-TRI-bute
DEE-fense vs de-fence
Care-a-mel vs Car-a-mel
anahl-a-jus vs anahl-a-gus
ban-ahl vs banAL
com-pair-able vs comp-or-able

and then of course...

ur-an-us vs Your-Anus.

Trivial?  Yes.  Waste of time?  Yes.  But that's what a blog is often for, right?  (Or should that be, that's what a blog is Off-en for?)

Friday, November 21, 2008


Man... this is possibly the worst designed golf trophy ever...

...or maybe the best.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sense: This post makes none

Well, I was about to write something about the pumpkin I made for halloween this year...

...but this image was just too good not to share instead. = D

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On Good Friends and Good Food

Well, I guess I held the event so I might as well write a few words about it.

First off, I won't recap how things went.  There are plenty of blogs attached to this one that you can find that stuff out.

First thing's first, HUGE amount of thanks go out to Yukiko and Paul for their immense help.  I suspect I may have reaped much more of the thanks than perhaps I myself deserve, but I assure you we all put in a huge amount of work (not to mention days and dollars) to make this something special, which I really thought it was.  And I'd be lying if I said I didn't have fun for the 3 days we tackled this thing.

Second thing, thanks for everyone who showed up and pitched in, be it via food (I was blown away by everyone's ability to cook well!) or money.  Obviously without attendees, this would've been a pretty lonely event.  And not a SINGLE person complained about the food I assigned them.  That was incredible.

So, with those two "administrative" points out of the way, I just wanted to say a little bit about why I did this.  Since before I could remember, Thanksgiving has always been about family.   My mom always did the whole turkey, potatoes (though strangely no stuffing), and pie thing.  It got to the point where it was automatic.  More importantly though, it was always a time to see everyone.  But with expectation came an inevitable level of "taking it for granted."  

In university I kind of discovered that Thanksgiving was NOT this huge thing for most people.  In fact, I found it quite stunning to realize my family was probably in the minority.  At first, being the ass I am, it offered me great opportunity to stick my tongue out at others and tell them "a bar?  f- that, I'm having turkey and pie at home bitch!"  But this year, with my parents gone, it gave me the opportunity to share something with everyone that was/is commonplace for me, but perhaps something unusual for them.  

So why not?

So that was the reason I wanted to put this little shin-dig together.  The only other thing I really want to say is that I know I looked stressed out during the planning period and even a bit during the party.  God knows, there were a few times I thought about 30 people in my house and just wanted to cancel the whole thing.  Furthermore, I appreciate everyone who told me to sit down, take a rest, etc, etc.  I'm grateful for all the thanks I got from people constantly.  I definitly thank everyone who asked how they could help out (and especially those who basically forced their way into the cleanup process).  I know it seemed like I ignored your advice/questions a lot of the time.  It was because, above all else, I wanted you all to be able to take the party for granted.  I wanted everyone to enjoy Thanksgiving, without worrying about all the remedial little things, if only for one night.  And I only ever saw smiles, so I think we did alright in that respect.  If I wanted everyone to take away one thing from that party, it was this:

It wasn't about me, just like it wasn't about Paul or Yuk.  The aim was to make it about everyone else.  It was about extended family.  

That is how you do Thanksgiving the right way.  That is the right way to be thankful.

I hope that for the people whom Thanksgiving was just a "long weekend" before, that it's something a little more now.  

- Matt

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

On childhood memories

So who remembers this guy? Hands anyone? Everyone? Right, so the majority of you probably know Piccolo, the badass alien from the Dragonball saga. So, now do you recognize this guy?

What? No? CLEARLY it's the same guy right?

So when I heard there was a new film coming out in 2009 based on Dragonball, my first thought was FAIL. I mean, how would that even work? There were no living people that looked like any of these characters, and the Matrix Revolutions already gave me a sour taste for the kind of fighting we'd probably see from Hollywood's incarnation of Goku's adventure.

But then I heard that Stephen Chow was attached to it, and suddenly there was a glimmer of hope. I loved Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, and his style of film making fit the notion of a living cartoon better than anyone I would've thought of. I was cautiously optimistic.

Until now.

For those of you that don't know, that's James Marsters underneath that horrible generic alien costume. Yes, the same James Marsters who was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now I've got nothing against the guy, but Piccolo he is not.

Oh right, and this guy is Goku.

I don't really need to say anything else here, do I?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Did I ever mention how much I love my job?

I WANT ONE. But since I can't have one, I figured I'd do the next best thing and build one.

Two failed attempts later, I finally get something that looks... well, relatively accurate. As I work towards the inner layers, this thing is getting harder and harder to do right though...

While I was building this, it just occurred to me that the Tumbler really does look like a bat... well kind of... if you squint, you can kind of see one stretching on the floor.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

On Giant Robots

So about a year go I was working on this and then inexplicably lost the file. Well I found it again (albeit an older version) so i thought I'd share.

I built this after only about... 2 months experience using Maya. If that's not a testament to usability, I don't know what is.

The character is EVA-01 from the show Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is based on WETA's movie concept art.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

One last thing on TDK

I just happened across this while surfing the web. I had to put it up because, quite frankly, it was my favorite part of the movie.

*Spoiler warning* (sort of)


Batman: You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I get to lose things. Because I'm not a hero. Not like Dent. I killed those people. That's what I can be.

Gordon: No, no, you can't! You're not --

Batman: I'm whatever Gotham needs me to be. Call it in.

Gordon: They'll hunt you.

Batman: You'll hunt me. You'll condemn me. Send the dogs on me. Because that's what needs to happen. Because sometimes, the truth isn't good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.

*Batman runs away*

Gordon's Kid: Batman! Batman! Why is he running, dad?

Gordon: Because we have to chase him.

Gordon's Kid: He didn't do anything wrong.

Gordon: Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian.

A watchful protector.

A dark knight.


Thank you, that is all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What the people deserve. What the people need.

A warning. If you have not seen the film, turn back now. I could give a quick review of the movie without delving into the depths of its devlish details (how's that for some alliteration?), but to do so would leave only an empty husk of what this film is. If you're going to comment on The Batman, you need those details. Those details are what make this something more than just "another" superhero movie.

So again, if you haven't seen the film, turn back now.

And even now, about 13 hours removed from the movie, I am still in silent awe of what I've beheld. As I sit here, listening to the soundtrack, still mulling detail upon detail in my head, I'd be quite challenged to stand up and give a lecture on the film. Why? Because I don't think I absorbed everything there was to absorb. Truly, like films like Shawshank Redemption and The Godfather, The Dark Knight has such a wealth of information to feed to you that at the end of the film you feel an odd sense of complete satisfaction (like a huge steak), yet also a yearning for more.

Let's look at just a few of those details.

The Joker: Any conversation on this film has to start with Heath Ledger's interpretation of the Joker. This is not the cackling persona many of you are probably familiar with from previous films and TV shows. This isn't even the Joker you know from the Batman Animated Series (a role which Mark Hamill filled admirably). This IS the dark comic Joker. This is Arkham Asylum Joker. A sick and twisted individual who's as frightening as any horror villain you can name. I was worried the first time he gave his speech about getting his scars. Just another villain with a sad backstory, I thought. But by the third time he explains it, each story sadistically different from the last, I understood. The Joker is horrifying in his sheer inhumanity. His stories do nothing more than humor us and our need to "explain" his sadism. He is a man unmotivated by greed, unmotivated by power. He is a man that exists wholly, and purely, as the antithesis (or is that companion?) to Batman. He is less a man than a symbol, and if Batman is meant to be incorruptible, surely the Joker here is "un-virtuable."

And that's really where I was happily surprised (though I shouldn't have been). Joker is more than just "some villain," something that even Ra's Al Ghoul felt like in the first movie. In the film he utters this to Batman: "You complete me." And as creepily funny as that moment was, that is what Joker is in the comics and in this film. His initial goal is to unmask Batman, but somewhere along the line he realizes he just wants to exist alongside him. Nolan got this so right, its unnerving. It helps that Heath Ledger does a fantastic job, complete with creepy lip licking and smacking and fantastic zombie-like shuffling. Did anyone else notice that his face-paint "melts" over time so that it almost seems like his entire face is melting? In a word, fantastic.

Harvey "Two-Face": Eckhart does a good job as Harvey Dent, though not as outstanding as Ledger's Joker. One thing I loved about this iteration though, was the story of Harvey's coin. The transformation of the coin from a 100% choice, to 50% chance is so parallel to his transformation and whoever's idea it was to introduce that as Harvey's "thing" even before his scarring (if memory serves, in the comics, the coin does not initially belong to him, nor does it appear until the moment he gets scarred) needs a medal.

The pace: You know, to be honest, I wasn't digging the pace early on. The bank robbery was cute but a bit unspectacular. Likewise the scene with the duplicate Bat"men" and the Scarecrow seemed like it was included for no other reason than to show Batman in action for those who may not have seen the first movie. However, the very moment that the Joker pulls off his "pencil" trick, I was captured and from there the rest was gold. Nolan carries an unbelievable level of tension that just does not let up over 2.5 hours. The movie feels like a thriller, without being a thriller. Even if some of the plot points are a little predictable (the clowns as the captives in the high-rise scene for example), Nolan manages to spruce it up with some very unexpected stuff (Batman taking on and almost incapacitating the soldiers). The way he paints Batman as the anti-hero (or perhaps pragmatist is more apt) really is something else.

The ending: As the movie came to a close, I almost found myself disappointed that it ends with nothing more than Batman tackling Harvey. Of course, now I know that moment was nothing more than a lead up for the Jim Gordon speech, which was a DOOZY and easily my favorite moment (even amongst car chases, fist fights, flying and fanatical murders). I was at odds a few times about what the film was REALLY about, but now I think I know. Sacrifice. Doing what needs to be done. The movie ends on such a low note, and yet I couldn't imagine a better ending. The duality of what the city needs, versus what it deserves. In the middle of the film, Bruce turns to Alfred and utters these prophetic words: "I now understand what I must become, to defeat men like him." And only in the end, as the "White Knight" Harvey Dent lies broken on the ground with a gun in his hand and blood on his hands, and Batman assumes the (unjust) responsibility for the man's sins, can the audience really understand what "The Dark Knight" means. He becomes the killer that is needed to defeat the Joker, but in name only. As a man he stays true to his principles. It's such a wonderfully poetic explanation, that I was left absolutely speechless at the end. This movie begs for a sequel, not because it will sell gangbusters (because it will) and not because the audience will yearn for more (because they will), but because it demands one.

This is a story that doesn't need to be finished, bit it is one that deserves to be finished.

Now everyone, go out and get a copy of Alan Moore's "The Watchmen," one of the densest, most satisfying pieces of fiction ever made.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On Dream Fights and Writing

On Dream #2. Only bits and pieces today. I remember vividly sitting in an elementary school classroom talking to my friend... about his GUN. Except when he shows it to me, it's not a standard handgun. It's gigantic, like some sort of Fisherprice "My first gun." I open the barrel and out pops a round. The round is shaped like a bullet, but it's hollow and fragile, like an empty soup can. The end is frayed open, like an explosion popped out of it.

Somehow that leads to me in a subway with a group of people I don't know. I'm some sort of camp leader, and I know that we're involved in some sort of game. Except I'm not sure what that game is, but I know it's something sinister. We walk down the subway platform, which is inexplicably filled with shipping containers. On the far side another gang appears, men much bigger than me and mine. They come straight at us, evidently ready to fight. Looking into the cracks of one of the shipping containers, I pull out a foldup table and smack their leader in the face. He goes down and his gang runs. Meanwhile we get on the train, confident we're safe now.

Then I wake up.

On Writing. A question I get asked surprisingly often is, when I write fiction, do I already have everything planned out, or do I make it up as I go along? The answer really depends on whether you're talking about the overall plot, or a specific scene in the plot. I'll answer this in a two-parter (one today, one tomorrow).

On Writing Plots. Everything I write is always based on some sort of concept I'd want to see explored. This is hardly different, I suspect, from most writers. Almost 99% of the time I'll apply that concept to the real world, thinking "what if I could do this?" For example, the book I'm working on was based on the thought I had of "what if chaos followed me everywhere I went?" And the followup question "Could I still be some kind of hero even then?" I'm really drawn to hero pieces. I like to daydream about having some fantastic power and then becoming some kind of superhero. I used to daydream in high school about saving girls I liked from some terrible monsters. @_@

Anyway, nowadays I find I have an intense interest in meta-science. That is, science that doesn't really exist. For example, in the anime Full Metal Alchemist, Alchemy is a meta-science. It has rules (you can't get anything more out of an alchemic reaction than you put into it) and a society that applies those rules. Almost universally in all my stories, there will be some kind of world meta-science that different characters then learn how to use in unique ways. I find it's a fantastic way of tying everyone together, creating interest and suspense, and the key foundation to some satisfying conflict resolutions. No one likes the deus-ex-machina approach.

So then, as an overall concept, I tend to first think of a concept, put myself in a heroic role in it, and then build a foundation of meta-science around it.

Oh right, and then I change the main character's name... because let's face it, Matt Chan is just not a good hero name.

Monday, June 23, 2008

On Zones and Deadpan Comedians

On the FriendZone. Okay, I gotta say that I just don't understand the concept of the friendzone. Actually, scratch that, I understand the concept, I just don't agree with it. My understanding is that people are absolutely dead-set against dating friends because on the chance that it doesn't work, the friendship is broken. I can understand that fear, I can even sympathize with it, but at the same time its such a pessimistic view.

Here's the part where I start uncomprehending. If the above is true, does that mean we're wholly expected to date people we don't know? Because that's where I have some serious issues. I can't fathom walking up to a girl I just met a half hour ago and asking her out on a date. Why? Because frankly, I'm just not interested. Yes, she might be hot, but let's face it, you can be hot and still be mind-numbingly dull or a flake, the list goes on. So I want to know her first, I want to know that something between us would even have a chance before going through all the turmoil. That makes sense, doesn' t it? But by the time you set that all up, she then considers you a friend and your right back at square one.

Let me put it another way. When you see a dying man on the street, do you wait for him to die and then brush off your hands and say "well, at least I didn't know him," or do you try and help the guy and give him the best chance to live BEFORE he dies? Of course you do the latter. When I go in for that sort of thing, I don't look at it like I want to cover my ass when the whole thing blows up. I want to give it the most chance to succeed, so I pick people who seem compatible. If it still blows up, yeah that sucks, but at least I knew it had a chance.

That's why I'll never understand the FriendZone. It's a policy built upon the assumption of failure.

On Deadpan Comedians. So I found I needed a lot of cheering up this weekend and something that always does the job is good standup comedy. I've always been one to say that comedians (well the good ones) have got to be some of the most intelligent people on the planet in order to cater to such a huge demographic successfully. I also have a huge amount of respect for anyone who dedicates themselves to putting smiles on the faces of others. They've always inspired me to do the same, albeit with uneven success.

So luckily, it just so happened that I caught a one hour Demetri Martin special on the Comedy Channel. You may know him as one of the correspondents on the Daily Show and and absolute genius (no really, he was in his final year of Law at Yale University before he quit to do comedy). He's an absolute genius of deadpan comedy, very similar to the late Mitch Hedberg (also hilarious) and his routine put a huge smile on my face when I really needed it. Here's just a smattering of some of his best one-liners.
I think they named oranges before they named carrots. "What's that?" "It's orange... oranges." "Okay, what about that?" .... "Oh sh*t... long pointies?"
How fast does a zebra need to run before it looks grey?
If you can't tell the difference between a spoon and a ladle... then you're fat!
Now I met many chocoholics, but I ain't never seen no chocohol! We got an epidemic people, people who love chocolate and don't understand the rules of word endings.
I went whale watching once, it was very similar, to watching people on a boat get disappointed!
I mobile home with a flat tire, is a home!

You ever think its funny how finger puppets is okay, as a noun?

Hiking is just walking where its okay to pee. Sometimes old people hike by mistake.

Hot potato is a very different game when you're starving. Then its more like my potato! Burn my fingertips but I don't give a damn, its free food.

If I ever saw an amputee being hanged, I'd just... yell out letters!

On Blogs and Dream Dinners

On Blogging. Ok I told myself I'd never do this. I've never thought of myself as having the most entertaining thoughts, nor have I ever been the most generous with what good ones I have, but lately it seems like I've just had an overwhelming amount of stuff bouncing around in my head.. which quite frankly is impacting my productiveness. So there.

However, I tend to have a hard time writing without a theme. So I'm going to turn this into a dream log too, since I have the (apparently uncommon) ability to remember my previous night's dream in great detail every morning. I know some people feel weird about writing this stuff, but I figure I take no responsibility for my subconscious. So there.

On Dream # 1. I'm sitting in a giant construction bin, like one of those shipping containers except cut in half so that it almost seems like a giant roller-coaster cab. There's, I don't know, about 20 people sitting in it with me in four rows of chairs that face each other. The bin is hooked up to a cable above us, so I figure we're going for a gondola ride.

In the makeshift gondola I'm talking to a large black woman. I don't know her, not in real life anyway, but in the dream I know she's a teacher, maybe some kind of work colleague. There is no subject to our conversation, I'm only really aware that it's taking place but not of its contents. The gondola shakes and everyone files out, which is strange because it hasn't moved.

We head up the mountain on foot, except when we get to the top its now a plaza at night. All those "passengers" have vanished and now I'm standing with a girl I once knew back in High School. We walk along the strip of restaurants and I point to one and say "Does that one count?" I'm not sure what that means.

Then we're in the car. I'm not sure why we need to drive to a restaurant across the parking lot. Oh wait, we're not in the parking lot anymore. Now we're driving down my street, crossing the traffic lights. I tell her she missed the turn. She just says she'll turn at the next road. Of course, we pass it and she doesn't turn. I ask her if she's seeing anyone and she says no. Then she hugs me, except I'm in the back seat, which evidently means no one is driving the car.

Now we're in the restaurant. The tables are set up in two's, but for some reason we're not sitting at the same table. Instead, we're sitting at the same side of adjacent tables. I look across my table and at first it's empty. Then people start filing in and now I'm at a table of about 10-15 people. Some of them I know, some of them are people I haven't seen in ages, some of them are people I never even really knew or liked.

Then I wake up.