books comments edit

I’m reading this book Nymphomation by Jeff Noon, and I must say I’m sucked in.

I’m not sure what it is about Noon’s writing that gets me. Honestly, the first time I read his stuff, I was irritated that it was so confusing and difficult. He writes in sort of a weird, future dialect. He uses words that aren’t really even words… or he’ll use words in different contexts, making adjectives into nouns (in the book, a “puny” is a form of currency). It’s sort of hard to follow until you really immerse yourself in it and almost start thinking like you’re part of the culture he’s writing about. Then it somehow just makes sense.

I got sucked in by Vurt, which is a book I think everyone should read because it’s just so cool, and then Pollen, the sequel to Vurt. My understanding is that Nymphomation is sort of a prequel to Vurt. I know they’ve already referred to stuff in Nymphomation that has a certain significance in Vurt, and I’m only about 80 pages in, so I’ll have to assume that it is, in fact, a prequel.

I’m thinking the whole Vurt thing would make a good movie, but it would have to be directed by Terry Gilliam. I can’t imagine it otherwise. Very British, and very fucked up.

Speaking of Terry Gilliam, I see in his filmography on IMDb that he’s making a movie of Good Omens, a favorite book of mine. Hopefully he can do it justice, but, thinking about it, that sort of book seems perfectly fit to him. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Jenn and I are going to have a garage sale at my parents’ house this Saturday, so we’re going over there tonight to help set things up, price items, and get things ready. Tomorrow night is Jenn’s high school reunion, so we have to finish it all tonight. I’m sort of used to the garage sale ritual - I’ve done it a bazillion times before. Hopefully we can just get rid of some of our stuff we don’t want and maybe make some money at the same time. If you’re in the area, stop in and buy something.

music comments edit

I was very bad just now.

I’m really not in a position to be buying anything, but after writing up my diatribe on wondering what ever happened to The Shamen and Pop Will Eat Itself, I went searching around and came up with a place called the Global Electronic Music Marketplace. It’s sort of like where sellers from all over can unite in one big marketplace, but the beauty of GEMM is that it focuses specifically on the music part of things. I did a couple of cursory searches and found so many things I wanted that I couldn’t contain myself. I ended up buying a couple of PWEI CD singles that I’ve been looking for forever and a couple of 12” vinyl singles for stuff I didn’t even know existed but really hoped did. (I’ll convert those to CD later.)

Maybe now I should start looking at DJ turntables.

Maybe I should just quit while I’m ahead.

personal, movies comments edit

I’m going to start right off and be the overly insensitive asshole that I probably am.

I am beyond tired of hearing about the September 11th attacks.

This in no way implies that I don’t respect the efforts of the people involved with the rescue and cleanup, that I don’t feel bad for the losses that occurred, or that I don’t understand the impact or the magnitude of the event. What it implies is that I’m the kind of person who would rather continue on with life and fight for improvement than continually regress and mourn.

The media today is eating this up. The radio’s talking about it, the TV’s talking about it, it’s in the newspapers, on web sites…

Have you ever said a word so many times, over and over, that eventually the word sounds funny to you and you almost forget what it means? That’s September 11 to me. It’s lost all meaning in the larger context because I’ve been so bombarded with it, so beaten with it, that I really just don’t give a rat’s ass anymore.

So, I’m pissed off. I’m pissed off that no matter where I go, I can’t escape it. And just as folks should definitely have the right to mourn their losses, I should have the same right not to have to listen to the whining.

All right, I’m done. For now.

Went to see Stealing Harvard last night on sneak preview. Eh. It was pretty funny. I laughed in parts. It’s not as funny as I’d hoped it would be, but it was good. Jason Lee totally carried the movie - Tom Green was sort of funny but ended up just coming off as irritating in many parts. Leslie Mann is hot, so that was an upside, and, of course, Megan Mullally is always entertaining (and hot, even when she plays white trash). In the end, though, I was glad to have gone to see it for free. It’s a rental at best in my book.

And another band I’m curious to know what happened to: Pop Will Eat Itself. Loved these guys before, still love ‘em. What happened?

blog, music comments edit

The longer I do this whole “blog” thing, the more I realize several things:

  1. I can type what I’m thinking faster than I can write it
  2. I can write what I’m thinking faster than I can say it
  3. I think more clearly in my head than I am able to convey in a verbal fashion, yet
  4. I seem to be reasonably able to put down what I’m thinking in a written format

The reason I think this is somewhat important is my ongoing nagging at how much better and more well-rounded this whole blog would be if I had a voice-activated recorder. I’m beginning to think that’s almost entirely incorrect for many reasons, the least of which is probably that I would be too damn lazy to actually transcribe the ramblings of the voice on the tape. I am given to this because I’ve tried lately to use my iPaq PocketPC to record my thoughts while driving, and later when I sit and listen to the recordings I realize not only how stupid I must sound to those of you out there, but also that the complete, coherent thought that I believed I was capturing - once transferred to audio - became utter trash.

Which leads me to believe that my lack of interaction with others on a personal level during my workday is starting to contribute to a sort of verbal atrophy. Eventually my entire vocabulary on an audible basis will consist of base grunts and vast hand gestures, all entirely incomprehensible.

I thought about that yesterday. Continuing that thought process, I started getting sort of philosophical with myself about the destiny of the human race, the end of the world, and the origin of the universe. (Keep in mind the entire thought process lasted only around 30 minutes, or the length of my commute from home to work.) I wonder if all humanity will migrate towards a more visual means of communication (a la the World Wide Web) based on the increased usage of such means of communication in these latter days.

Around the end of my commute, I finally realized that the whole thought process Re: Evolution was most likely spawned by the fact I was listening to the Shamen album, Boss Drum, most of which is sort of a mystical wandering about the metaphysical. On the forefront, the songs themselves sound fairly commercial and pretentious, but if you’re not paying attention, it’ll suck you in.

Speaking of which, whatever happened to The Shamen? I mean, they had that En-Tact album with the single Move Any Mountain on it, then Boss Drum, then…? They sort of fell out of the spotlight. Looking at their CD listing on Amazon, it looks like they had a couple more albums since then, but what happened?

That sort of reminds me of my other train of thought yesterday. I’ve started to realize that my world view is just slightly me-centric. Okay, maybe more than slightly, but that’s not the point here. The point is, when I’m “into” something, I somehow just assume that thing is popular. When I’m not into it, I assume it’s not (or no longer) popular. I guess the question that leads is: Do I get into (and, subsequently out of) something because of its relative popularity level at the time, or do I make these self-centered views and then impose them on the world? I suppose another option there is that I get into and/or out of things on their respective popularity cusps - I get into something I think is cool, and simultaneously several other people get into that same thing and, by proxy, it becomes cool. The same process in reverse for things becoming uncool.

I suppose that’s something to ponder on. From a philosophical standpoint, I guess that, pending on the outcome of that thought process, I may find that I, too, am merely a sheep manipulated by the media and its agents. Then again, I may decide that I, myself, am an agent of said media and perform my own manipulations on others. Somehow I think it’s probably a good combination of the two.

Topic change: I’ve got sneak preview tickets for tonight’s showing of Stealing Harvard, which looks like a pretty dumb movie, but since it’s free I guess I’ll go. I hope it’s good. I don’t feel like Tom Green can carry a movie on his own, though, so I think I’m going to be hard-pressed to like it. Maybe if I go in with reduced expectations I can emerge from the theater pleasantly surprised.

personal comments edit

For some reason I’m on a huge Sir Mix-A-Lot kick lately. I’ve got the Mack Daddy album in my car, bumpin’ away. I suppose it could be worse. I could have old NWA cranked.

No, I don’t even think I could stand that. Mix-A-Lot’s my limit.

I finally got my copy of The Bourne Identity (the 80’s TV miniseries) and I watched the first half last night.

I think it’s a toss-up between this version and the movie. The movie was much faster-paced and had action like nobody’s business, but it wasn’t too deep, didn’t let you really care about the characters, and didn’t remotely hold true to the book. The miniseries, so far, has been way more faithful to the book and has given me time to get to know the characters. I like that. The problem I’m seeing is that stuff isn’t explained too well. It’s sort of glossed over quickly and assumed that you picked it up, or they make subtle points that are actually very important to the plot but almost impossible to catch… almost like you have to have read the book prior to watching the movie.

Having read the book, I am liking the TV miniseries quite a bit. I’m not sure if it’s keeping Jenn’s attention too well, though, due to it’s substitution of intrigue for action. Also, since it was 80’s TV, you really don’t get too much in the way of good fight scenes, nor do they show any skin. (In the sex scene, the guy has his shirt off - and that’s it - and the girl has a full body briefer and a slip on. What’s that all about?)

I think if they were to remake the miniseries today, it would be the best of all worlds. Unfortunately, since we have the movie, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I suppose you can’t win ‘em all.

Here’s something that’s bugged me already this morning: At work I participate in the employee stock purchase plan, where you can buy shares of the company stock for a discounted price. I figure why not; as soon as the market goes back up, it could be really good for me. Anyway, the way we do it, once you’ve bought your shares, they go directly into an E*Trade OptionsLink account. Note that this account is substantially different than your standard E*Trade account. I already have a brokerage account with a local firm, Bidwell & Co., which I am very happy with (thank you very much). The problem is, I can’t specify that, rather than go to the OptionsLink account, I’d like my shares to go to my Bidwell account. I can’t tell OptionsLink, via an online method, to transfer my shares to Bidwell.

Instead, I have to first attempt to remember my fucking OptionsLink login information, which I use only once every six months when the stock purchase plan shares get deposited in my account. I never remember it because I never use it. Then I have to figure out exactly how many shares are in the account. Then I have to get in this fax war with E*Trade to manually tell them to ship my shares over to Bidwell. Finally, I have to go to Bidwell every day to check to see if the shares were transferred, because God forbid someone call me or send me some sort of notification that the transaction was completed.

I hate E*Trade. I suppose it’s great for the investor who’s been in the market for a while, knows how it all works, and knows what they want done. I’m not that guy. I own shares in, like, two companies, and only because I was (or am) employed there. I need the dude/chick on the phone to walk me through the transaction process when I make a trade so that I know I didn’t mess it up.

Maybe someday I should take the time to figure all that out. Now, though, is not that time.

The Frederick’s catalog came in the mail yesterday and there are some pretty nice tops in there. Jenn says she’ll be more interested in wearing them once she has abs. (Note: The definition of “abs,” at least as far as I’m concerned, is “the lack of non-ab material.” That is, the donut you see around my waist is “non-ab.” When I have successfully tamed that beast, I will have “abs.” This does not imply that I will be “cut” or have a “six-pack.”) I totally encourage the ab-making effort and am very much looking forward to that day. I love a chick with good abs.

(I also like big butts, and I cannot lie… I think I have another Mix-A-Lot blast coming on…)