Expensive pleasures

So, I’ve been on travel most of the year so far, which reduces numbers of opportunities to spend money, and increases amount of money to spend. And I haven’t bought music in months. And I accidentally ended up in a Wherehouse Music (used/new CD store) with lots of spare time today (okay, I hoped it would happen). And so I ended up spending $150 on CDs. Here they are, in the order in which I took them out of the bag:
Beulah: The Coast is Never Clear. I started listening to this band because I searched for “Beulah” on Napster (back when Napster was cool and free and illegal), and found out I liked the band. Since then, I’ve seen them live once in LA, and they’ve broken up.
Smashing Pumpkins: Adore. The Smashing Pumpkins are just awesome, so no wonder why I bought this. I didn’t have it.
Butch Walker: Letters. Formerly of Floyd’s Funk Revival, Butch is the kind of quirky cynic with whom I can identify. I’ve already listened to this CD, and while it’s not as upbeat and obnoxiously cheerfully pessimistic as his others, I still like it.
My Chemical Romance: Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. I’ve never really listened to them, but it was a good price and I’ve heard they’re good. I’m listening to them now. Not genuinely impressed, but also not put off. That probably means I’ll come to like it more after listening to it a few times.
Weezer: Maladroit. Weezer’s pretty cool, although they seem to be getting lamer. However, I actually own this CD. Considering how many I bought and how many I own (130+ before today), I’m surprised it didn’t happen more than once. I can’t remember all the ones I own.
Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine. I like Trent Reznor, and Nine Inch Nails, and I didn’t know this album well. So I got it.
Ben Folds Five: Ben Folds Five. I’ve liked the Ben Folds I’ve heard so far.
Suicide Machines: A Match and Some Gasoline. KrisDi got me into them. We saw them once. I got my band knowledge smacked down by a pre-teen.
Soundgarden: Badmotorfinger. I like Soundgarden, and know some of the songs on this album, but not all of them. So I got it.
Ataris: So Long, Astoria. Another album where I know a lot of the songs but not all of them. They’re silly. I don’t know if I like their newer stuff, though.
Local H: Whatever Happened to PJ Soles?. They have a few songs I really like, and their CDs are generally cheap since they’re relatively unknown.
Local H: As Good as Dead. See above.
Barenaked Ladies: Everything to Everyone. KrisDi and previous roommates got me into them.
Sublime: 40 Oz to Freedom. Sublime was one of the first albums I ever bought, and I still love it, so I thought I’d probably like this one, too.
Start: Shakedown. KrisDi and I saw them open for Goldfinger (another cool band).
NOFX: Liberal Animation. I’ve listened to a live album of theirs a few times and thought the music was good, even though I didn’t like the recordings (I don’t usually like live recordings).
Ben Folds Five: Whatever and Ever Amen. See above.
Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense. The Talking Heads are WAY cooler than you think. David Byrne is, too.

Now that WordPress has fought me every step of the way, writing that short little thing above has taken me a couple hours. First it deleted everything I wrote, then it screwed up every link after I re-wrote it, so I had to fix each one individually. And there’s lots of links up there. But it’s time for me to press on.

I finally finished (finally, I only started it a little while ago) There Will Be Dragons by John Ringo. This one doesn’t classify as “Space Opera”, like Deathstalker. The setting is utopia. In the year four thousand something or other, no one is required to work, no one gets sick or injured or has to think, and then suddenly the technology which supports such a “lotus-eating” life style collapses beneath them. “Re-enactors”, people who re-enact the past by learning how to do things like smithing and farming and whatnot as a hobby, suddenly become the salvation of humanity, as the only people who know how to do anything without technology. I think Andi would love the elf character Bast. Overall, it was thoughtful and interesting. Not a great book, but good and interesting. Very detailed. Again, I have Monocular Ben to thank for it this one, since he lent it to me.

My hotel room is very strange here. Check out the key. Check out the rest of the room.

I had a nice time before this portion of the trip started. As probably most of you know, I was in Virginia last week, and then flew straight here. However, I had a couple days off, so I got to visit Monocular Ben and the Pope of Djibouti (and Mrs. Pope). All at once! I had a great time with them. Ben had to run off to play Legends of the Five Rings. However, Mr. and Mrs. Pope were kind enough to allow me to come to their house and chat (as well as watch their small furry critters [guinea pigs, not ferrets or weasels or anything]). The Pope gave me some Glenkinchie, which is quite tasty.

After all that, I went to Mom’s, where I discovered that the computer I had worked so hard to get running for Mom’s charity case was broken. The heat sink had fallen off in shipping, and when it got turned on, the processor just heated up and burned. And it’s old enough that it seems impossible to find a replacement (AMD Athlon XP 1600+ 133 or something within a few models would be great, if you feel like donating or cheaply selling a functional one). So that was a bummer.

And that’s it for tonight. I’m sure it’s way more than any of you wanted to read. Sorry. But that’s what happens when I drink beer and listen to music in front of a computer.

Posted by snaotheus, 4 comments

Question, book, disillusionment, movie

Okay. KrisDi has finally noticed that people never call me. In fact, in order to invite me to things or see what I’m up to or whatever, people usually go through KrisDi. So, the question is, do people dislike me, or are they intimidated by me? I have enough confidence to think that people do like me, and even if they didn’t, I can not only handle that, but I can think of several reasons why they wouldn’t. So why are they intimidated? Am I scary? I’ve had people tell me that I’m scary, but no one’s ever said why. So, blog audience of approximately four, why am I scary? I’m interested in your answers. Feel free to be creative (“snaotheus is rumored to feed on the blood of newborn puppies while running under ladders with scissors” would be a good explanation, for example).

Last night I finished Deathstalker, by Simon R. Green, which was lent to me by my good friend Monocular Ben (also known as the Plaid Amoeba). I enjoyed it. Much of it was cheesy and the editor wasn’t all that great (I probably saw at least one spelling or grammar error per chapter). The setting is the feudal future, with sharp separation between the Noble families and the peons, with a ridiculously caricaturized Empress running the gigantic intergalactic empire. Technology is greatly advanced (interstellar travel, energy weapons, cyborgs, etc), but swords are still common weapons for nobles and fighters. There’s an interesting take on elves and vampires and other such things. There’s a great class conflict involving the espers (people with ESP abilities) and clones (copies of people, if you’ve been living under a rock and never heard of Dolly). The main character, Owen Deathstalker (good lord is that a cheesy stupid name) is the head of a famous noble family, and the Empress decides to have him killed, and so starts the story. Aliens and technology and silly dialog and sword fighting and betrayals and practically no romance at all, so it’s a good guy book. Consider it light reading, I suppose. Ridiculous bad-assness is common for the nobles, because they can afford awesome drugs and training and augmentation and stuff.

What else? I’m in Norfolk, as probably most of you already know, staying in a hotel. Yesterday morning, my breakfast was made interesting by a group of old Christian men. They had checked out a conference room in the hotel for a morning prayer meeting or something, but their reservation was screwed up, so they used the lobby where the complimentary breakfast is served. By the time I got down there, the only place to sit was directly in front of the podium. They’ve got flyers and prayer lists (categorized by why you should pray for the names: cancer, other health problems, alcoholism, salvation, financial problems, death in the family, etc) all over the tables. They’ve obviously assumed that since they pray, talk about God and Jesus and salvation, and read the Bible, they’re good Christian folks. I’m sure it helps that they’re white.

So the main fogey gets up to start talking, and somehow he gets on the topic of Katrina victims, and starts bitching about how they’re getting so much federal aid, and how when he was young, they had floods every other year and the feds never helped them out, they either helped themselves or didn’t, obviously intimating that they should all be on their own. I’m not retarded, so I realize there has been much waste and abuse in the aid system, but I wanted to ask, “How would our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ feel about your position of refusing to help people in need?” But I wasn’t in the mood for an argument. Nor did I really have the time, even though it is funny to see opinionated old bigoted men turn red and huff and puff self-righteously.

Anyway, that whole situation is one of the factors that disillusioned me. People who like to be Christian, but don’t really know (or care) what it means, and just use it as a justification for getting what they want, doing what they want, and frowning on what other people do. I know some great Christians whom I like and admire, but not many of them. Most people fall under the category of “people”, meaning someone who is just living life, doing their best to be a good person. This is not to say they aren’t religious, but religion isn’t the deciding factor behind each decision. “Christians,” people who are trying to live life with God/Jesus/Bible as the guiding light, often seem misguided, inflexible, and unforgiving to me. I don’t mean to say that they’re wrong. Well, I do mean to say that, but with the caveat that it’s only my opinion. I have no doubt that most of them are well-intentioned. But I digress. I could ramble for even longer without making any point (or sense).

Lecture mode: So, in conclusion, think about what you’re doing, rather than following directions from a book. End lecture mode.

And, finally, The Chronicles of Narnia. I watched that the other day. I enjoyed it. I like the books better, but that’s usually true. I thought Tilda Swinton was the perfect White Witch. I don’t know who they could have cast to play it better. I enjoyed it, but I won’t go on for too long, because most of you have probably already seen it or read the books.

Posted by snaotheus, 8 comments

Bruce

This is the coolest movie idea ever. Bruce Campbell as Bruce Campbell, mistaken for Bruce Campbell’s character Ash, so the real Bruce Campbell (as played by Bruce Campbell) has to fight real monsters. Bruce Campbell.

Posted by snaotheus in Odd Links, 0 comments

Ted Hair

I need a haircut. Consequently, I decided to make my hair look like Ted’s. Ted’s the guy in the office who knows everything (not like a snotty know-it-all, more like an indispensable resource). But he’s had the same hair for thirteen years. And tonight, I had it too. I used a humongous amount of gel. KrisDi had to help. I ran a brush through my hair for the first time in around seven years. Ted’s catch phrase is, “REPORT!” for whatever reason. I think KrisDi snapped that photo right when I was pronouncing the P. So that’s that. In or around the same place is a picture of my whiskey collection (well, the Johnny Walker portion of it anyway), and some Hot Beef Salad, first introduced to me in Illinois as “Hot Beefy Death”, a spice Thai salad with beef in it. Very tasty. Very glad KrisDi can cook it.

In other news, Phoenix and his Missus are buying a house, which is pretty exciting. I’m hoping at some point they’ll send pictures, or put them up somewhere, or something similar, because I’d like to know what it looks like. As I understand it, it’s a three bedroom; one for sleeping, one for Kittilix’s arts and crafts or some such, and one for a BDSM dungeon. Speaking of Kittilix, she got the job she wanted, which is awesome.

Mom has taken up blogging, believe it or not. The sad thing is she knows more about web design than I do. That’s why her blog looks like she has a personality. Which she does. As you know if you’ve met her. She gave KrisDi a labcoat for an apron.

Well, that’s all for now. Sooner or later, I’ll think of a topic, and write an opinion or something, instead of just a list of things that are happening. Until then, you’ll have to keep dealing with whatever drivel I happen to type.

Posted by snaotheus, 3 comments

1984

Again, nothing interesting to say. But here are pictures from 1984.

Posted by snaotheus, 3 comments