Quote #1

I have requested of the shrink: Find me the thing that I can make the greatest impact in and I will do that thing.

You and everybody else, she replied.

– Weike Wang, Chemistry (p. 74)

Some days

Oh Google, why must you taunt me with all of your privacy-invasiony ways wrapped in visions of ubiquitous and timely content delivery? Why won’t you let me ignore news about people I don’t know at all having a baby I don’t care about? Why do I feel like everytime I search for information I’m trapped in an echo chamber and need another option?

Some days I feel like I need a complete break. Just delete everything of mine and start from scratch without the ever watchful eye looking over my shoulder.

And then some days I open up Google Music and you suggest an “It’s My Life” playlist and I’m all, you really do know me! I’m not just an entry in a database! OMG, “If You Were Here“? Go ahead and take my social security number and a DNA sample from my first born. It’s totally worth it…

At least that’s what it’s like some days…

I am literally, figuratively drowning in music

Back in the day when owning CDs meant something, I bought a lot of them. I mean a lot of them. Most days I was spending more money on storage for music than most people spend on music. There was a time when suffering a mild bout of unemployment that those carefree spending days dried up, but the advent of inexpensive digital downloads courtesy of eMusic and their ilk brought back that purchasing power at a significantly reduced rate. That led to the halcyon days of 90 downloads per month supplemented with daily deals and random freebies. Sadly, those days came to a close many moons ago.

And so it appeared that the steady stream of new music would slow to a trickle as this family man has to adhere to budgets and whatnot. Just as this year began to truly dry up, deals seemingly found their way to me. September, in particular, opened the floodgates from which I will not soon recover.

You see, first I had temporarily rejoined eMusic to pick up some much needed new releases. Then my primary alternative store, Amie Street, decided to close up shop sending me and my fellow subscribers scrambling for as many last minute deals as possible. To sooth the wounds the powers that be (namely Amazon, who purchased and shut down dear Amie) sent out $5 “thanks for the memories” gift cards – in my case one for each of my 3 accounts. Cha-ching!

Finally we have Guvera. An attempt at making music free and legal via advertising. Interesting concept that worked decently enough to garner me a couple albums. But for the month of September a promotion was introduced allowing users to download 31 tracks from artists on EMI labels. 31 tracks per day. There were some ups and downs, some disappearing credits and songs, but in the end dozens of albums of classic rock, classic jazz, and Kylie Minogue found their way into my collection.

All┬átotaled last month’s downloads come to over a week of music. No, not enough music to listen to for a week, but rather enough music that I would have to stay up 24 hours a day to listen to it all in about a week. Sure, you may question whether or not I truly need all of this, especially when it will be difficult to find time to listen to it all, but hey, addiction ain’t just a river in Egypt…

Anyway, maybe it’s time that I actually write about all this stuff streaming through my ears on a regular basis. Somebody has to let you guys know what all the hepcats are digging these days – word on the street is they’re all about the Simple Minds.

The return of television

So I’m giving $h*! My Dad Says a try. I’m not sure why… of course I am. It’s William Shatner. He cracks me up just being himself. Regardless, the son is already annoying me and the one-liners from Shatner just aren’t enough to carry it. About the midway point it’s time to switch the channel and see what’s on the DVR. Honestly, there haven’t been any new series that grabbed my attention, so it’s all leftovers:

The Big Bang Theory – Have I mentioned how in love with this show I am? Correction: we am? I only caught a few episodes the first season and found it funny but not very captivating. Sometime during the second season it popped back on my radar and it was clear they had really developed an understanding of geek humor. While Jim Parsons’ Sheldon Cooper steals the show, all 4 of the guys hit on different nerd stereotypes that make me cringe with recognition. While I had initial doubts about Kaley Cuoco’s “normal girl” being anything but a pretty face and object of affection, her regular verbal sparing with Jim Parsons has become a real highlight. Even The Woman looks forward to new episodes. Oh yeah, Wil Wheaton as Sheldon’s nemesis? Possibly the greatest TV idea ever!

Community – IF YOU ARE NOT WATCHING THIS SHOW YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME. Sorry, but it had to be said. Not until we stumbled across an early season mini-marathon did I even know anything about this show. And now it’s like an obsession – honestly it reminds me a bit of Arrested Development. By using the study group as its central “location”, Community avoids the typical pitfall for ensemble casts in which many of the characters fall through cracks having almost no screen time for weeks (see 30 Rock). While not all of them are on equal footing (obviously McHale’s Jeff Winger is the main guy), they all have regular parts that keep the humor just enough off balance. And, of course, the meta-humor is stupendous – driven largely by Abed’s obsession with TV and movies. Heck, they made fun of $h*! My Dad Says before it even premiered.

30 Rock – Sure, it’s not as great as it was the first couple seasons (they really need to get the secondary cast members involved more), but a below average episode of 30 Rock is funnier than 80% of whatever else is on. And the addition of Matt Damon, even if only as an occasional guest star, was a great move.

Medium – This one’s mostly for The Woman, but I enjoy it, too. We’ve only watched it sporadically until last season. Now it gets the full DVR experience. It’s a kooky enough procedural show to take the place of the ones we liked that ended (Monk) or that we lost interest in (House).

Parenthood – I definitely did write about this one before, but my intended follow-up never happened. After a few episodes this quickly vaulted to the status of “must watch” – although the hour long format and 10PM time slot means that we take awhile catching up each week. The show settled down some after the initial torrid pace of crises and allowed each of the characters to grow in their roles of parents, spouses, and kids in different parts of their lives. From the “perfect family” now dealing with a teenage daughter who has become secretive and a son diagnosed with Asperger syndrome to the irresponsible, single brother figuring out how to become a dad to a child he didn’t know existed. It still sometimes feels like Erika Christensen’s character doesn’t belong in he family and that she, her husband and daughter are almost shoehorned in, but that’s probably the weakest point. The family dynamic really developed well over the course of the first season – the first 2 episodes of this season are still on the DVR.

That’s pretty much it for now. The rest of the DVR is filled with Miffy, Maisy and Arthur episode for the little one. Am I missing anything good? Any great premieres to check out?

The (possibly) last word on Lost… for now

Had I seen these posts before mine I would have, at the very least, included them at the end of my write-up. Or else I would have simply directed you to more eloquent words on the ‘Net than I typically provide. As it stands, both Matthew Baldwin and Ken Jennings seem to share my opinion (or some form of it) regarding the Lost finale. That means a lot to me, because Matt is far funnier than I could hope to be and Ken is far smarter than I could hope to be. In addition Jason Kottke posted this amusing video regarding the mysteries that “don’t matter” even though “all of this matters”.