I confess that I am a geeky nerd.
But you probably already knew that.
My geeky nerdiness is multifaceted in that I am part sci-fi dweeb (thanks to Star Trek) and part comic book dork (thanks to Batman). And, in-between all of that, is a love of Japanimation, Macintosh, Curious George, video games, and blogging. All I need is an inflatable plastic girlfriend, and I think I'm set...
But no matter how much of a geeky nerd I am, there's always somebody who's a step ahead of me.
Like Bill Gates, for instance.
Bill is the ultimate geeky nerd, and the fact that he has billions of dollars makes him a geeky nerd to be reckoned with (not to mention exceedingly generous, since he's giving away huge amounts of money to charitable causes). Here's a dweeb who has amassed a fortune of such huge proportions that there is literally nothing he can't do...
...except get a handle on cool new trends.
He was late to graphical interfaces. He was late to the internet. He was late to video... He's always one step behind what all the cool kids are doing, and the list goes on and on. If it doesn't involve Windows or MS Office, he's out of the loop.
As a current example, here's an excerpt from an interview he gave over at Engadget regarding the new Microsoft/MTV online music store called (=snicker=) URGE:
Bill Gates: "With music, having MTV as a partner is a great thing. We think they can get the word out, do some neat things. We're also doing a lot in Messenger to make it so you can share playlists, so you can listen to different things. The next version of Messenger has music as one of the big breakthrough scenarios."
Yeah. Right. Except partnering with MTV for music expertise is laughable and so very, very lame.You can't even FIND music on MTV anymore. In checking their schedule just now, I see a show called Next, followed by three episodes of Real World/Road Rules Challenge, followed by There & Back, followed by My Own, followed by another episode of Next, followed by Room Raiders, followed by Punk'd, and topped off by SIX episodes of Viva La Bam.
These are all reality-based television shows.
WHERE IS THE F#@%ING MUSIC?!?
Teaming up with MTV for music is like teaming up with McDonalds for tacos, and I just don't get it. Sure if this were 1984, partnering with MTV would be totally sweet. But in 2006 it's just sad. Once again, Bill is behind the curve. Apple is flying high with iTunes, so now Microsoft has to do yet another "me too" by making their own music store (apparently MSN Music didn't work out?)... except they team up with a has-been and give it a lamer name like "URGE" (which could only be more lame if they called it "EXTREME URGE" or some crap like that).
When is Microsoft going to stop being the bloated whore of the tech industry so they can be lean, hungry, and bleeding edge? When is Bill Gates going to understand that these sloppy-seconds "partnerships" are just not relevant when we're talking about a ship that's already sailed. I'm tired of Bill being late to the dock, then renting a little rowboat thinking that he'll be able to catch up... all the while screaming to the media about how Microsoft is doing all this cool shit that, in reality, is only cool to him.
Total crap like "URGE" is a waste of money and makes us geeky nerds look bad. Even worse, it stifles REAL innovation by distracting attention from things that actually ARE bleeding edge and cool.
BILL... YOU HAVE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS!! MICROSOFT IS ONE OF THE WEALTHIEST COMPANIES ON EARTH!! You don't NEED venture capital to finance something new... YOU'VE GOT MONEY COMING OUT YOUR ASS! STOP DICKING AROUND AND GET TO WORK!!
Build a flying car. Come up with wireless electrical power. Figure out a way to keep Golden Grahams from going soggy in milk... I don't really care... just do something NEW with your money for a change. Reclaim the geeky nerd you used to be and stop trying to play catch-up with the crap we've already got (seriously, "URGE"? WTF?!?). If you can't make it BETTER, it's just a waste of everybody's time.
In conclusion... wouldn't it be cool if McDonalds really did sell tacos?
McTaco they could call it!
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: DaveXP
BLOGDATE: March 6, 2005
In which Dave finally figures out a way of fixing all the bugs in Windows XP.
Click here to go back in time...
I had to work every waking minute today. No blog for you!
Well, okay... maybe a little blog for you since Veronica Mars is yet another rerun tonight.
Time for Dave's Entertainment Minute...
Scrubbed! Holy crap! Scrubs used to be one of the most brilliant shows on television. A show you could count on for smart comedy tempered with poignant moments of human drama. But then the new season happened, and all of a sudden it sucks ass... hard. Gone are the wonderful story threads that weave together beautifully every episode. Instead it's just a patchwork mess of sloppy gags that aren't even funny. The back-to-back episodes I just watched off the TiVo were a complete embarrassment to this once-great show. Please, just cancel it now while people still have good Scrubs memories.
Carter! Little Aaron Carter has just released Come Get It: The Very Best of Aaron Carter, which is a greatest hits collection for an artist who has no actual hits. Ordinarily, I wouldn't care. But I ran across the user comments on the iTunes Music Store and laughed my ass off. Over 300 reviews that include such gems as "If crap had a soundtrack, it would be this" and "A disgrace to music. William Hung is 10 times better than Aaron" and "There is no God" and "The Geneva Convention considers it a war crime to listen to this album". I wish I had the guts to actually buy it.
Oh! By some miracle, the self-congratulating Golden Globes wank-fest actually gave out an award that was deserved... the brutally hot Sandra Oh won Best Supporting Actress for her work on Grey's Anatomy. Sweet.
Super! The more information that gets released from the upcoming Superman Returns motion picture, the more anxious I am to see it. While I love the original Superman and Superman II films, the idea of seeing a Superman treatment with modern special effects is just too good. And now I have to wonder... they've finally got momentum going with DC Comics two most notable franchises... Superman and Batman. Who do I have to blow in order to make every comic book lover's dream come true: a Superman & Batman movie? And once Joss Whedon gets his Wonder Woman flick off the ground, how cool would a Superman & Wonder Woman movie be?
Underwhelm! The original Underworld movie was laughably bad. But what's even worse is that I will be lining up at the theater to see the sequel: Underworld Evolution for the sole purpose of seeing Kate Beckinsale run around in tight latex blowing shit up. High entertainment value with no actual entertainment... it's a conundrum of movie physics that compels me.
Not! Ouch. After airing only a single episode, Heather Graham's new sitcom Emily's Reasons Why Not has been canned, and all production has stopped. Given the millions of dollars that ABC pumped into advertising the show, I am experiencing a moment of perverse pleasure. This is the crappy network who cancelled the greatest show ever to air on television (Jeremy Piven's Cupid) after doing everything they could to sabotage it. Suck it ABC dumbasses! You so totally deserve it.
Back to work I go.
Last night while I was waiting for a surprisingly tame episode of Veronica Mars, I saw a new commercial for a product called Herpecin. In case you hadn't guessed, Herpecin is used for treating any herpes infections that happen to find their way onto your face. And, while I appreciate that when you get oral herpes there is a product to take care of it...
Dude! Seriously. Who in the heck wants to walk into the drugstore and ask the sales clerk: "Where can I find the Herpecin?"
Worst. Product. Name. Ever.
But it did get me thinking about what would happen if this trend escalates...
Unfortunately, as wonderful as modern medicine is... THERE IS STILL NO CURE FOR DUMBASS!!
Some stupid f#@%er is suing Apple Computer because listening to an iPod at full volume can cause hearing loss.
WELL NO SHIT YOU MORON!
Here's another newsflash for you... CUTTING YOURSELF WITH A KNIFE CAN CAUSE BLOOD LOSS!!
Who are these ignorant douchebags that are incapable of comprehending the obvious? The iPod NEEDS to have high volumes because NOT ALL MUSIC IS RECORDED AT THE SAME LEVEL! Some music is recorded softer than others. Many audiobooks certainly are. Some of the podcasts I've listened to are barely audible, even at full volume. On top of all that, some people are hard of hearing and need higher volume levels in order to hear anything in the first place. It's up to the individual to determine what volume level is appropriate for them and, if they are too f#@%ing stupid to figure it out, then they shouldn't be allowed to buy an iPod in the first place.
Seriously. This has got to stop.
Whenever a lawyer files such a stupid lawsuit, they should be immediately shot and then lit on fire. Or maybe bludgeoned with metal pipe and forced to choke on their own vomit. Or something involving a hack-saw and flesh-eating parasites. I dunno. All I do know is that this shit HAS GOT TO STOP!
What really chaps my ass is that these greedy turds are filing the lawsuit under the pretense of public safety, but the truth is that they WANT TO GET PAID. LAWYERS WANT MONEY!! Never mind that people have been using headphones for decades, all of a sudden everybody is too stupid and irresponsible to know that loud music can damage your hearing. WTF?!?
At some point people have to be responsible for their own stupidity rather than forcing everybody else to do it for them. That USED to be the American Way. But NOW the American Way is to sue everybody you can. Is this really what everybody wants for this country? Nobody wins but the blood-sucking bastard lawyers.
Anyway, one last thing... do you like potato chips? If you do, you'll want to read the rest of today's extended entry. If you don't like potato chips, then FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE DON'T CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW!!→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Courtesy of being tagged by Kachina over at A Whiter Shade of Pale comes this meme asking you to list your top ten favorite love songs. I think it was originally meant for Valentine's Day, but is only just now making its way here. This meme is more difficult for me than most, because most of my adventures in love have ended up being the absolute worst times in my life. It would be all too easy to pick the most depressing songs I could find and shove them in a list, but that's kind of like cheating, and so I'll put a little more work into it.
So as not to offend the meme-hating masses, my answers are in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
As a Certified Apple Whore™, I become automatically enchanted with absolutely everything Apple does. Historically, this kind of blind devotion has been repaid, because everything they do is new, unique, classy, and better than most of the other crap in the market.
So when I had read that Apple was having some kind of media event today so they could unleash some cool new toys, I was understandably excited. Well, both excited and terrified, because Apple gear is usually pretty expensive, and I don't have extra cash laying around.
Turns out I needn't have worried. All the hype was for an upgraded Mac Mini computer and something called the iPod Hi-Fi.
The new iPod Hi-Fi has cool potential, EXCEPT IT'S NOT AN IPOD!! It's just speakers for your iPod. In fact, without an iPod plugged in, it doesn't do anything at all. So why call it an iPod when it's not and confuse everybody?? Beats the heck out of me...
It would be different if it had a massive hard drive inside and could act as a wireless repository hub for your music, video, and data... but it doesn't. It's a boom box accessory with a remote control. I might be at least a little excited if Bose hadn't already come up with a more elegant-looking solution that costs $50 less and doesn't have your iPod awkwardly sticking out the top. It's called the Bose SoundDock...
So when Apple asks "who better to design the ultimate stereo system for iPod than the folks who designed iPod itself?" I'm guessing the answer is Bose, who has a heck of a lot more experience designing small-footprint sound systems than Apple does.
Kind of sad really. I wanted my big-screen video iPod.
I first saw this meme at Chronic Listaholic, and misunderstood it to be that you have to answer every question using only the title of songs by The Eagles. Now I see that Kevin over at Kapgar has done it, and apparently you get to choose the band you want to answer with.
Now that I can do...
Choose a band/artist and answer ONLY in titles of their songs...
Based solely on question #5, I'm going to have to go with Depeche Mode. I should try it again with either a-ha or Erasure, because they both have some songs that are perfect for this kind of thing.
1. Are you male or female?
"Somebody"? (see, if I was going with Erasure, I could have answered "Boy"!).
2. Describe yourself:
"People are People" (hey, I should have said "Sweetest Perfection"!).
3. How do some people feel about you:
"Just Can't Get Enough" (because can you ever really have enough Dave?).
4. How do you feel about yourself:
"Dangerous" (I could be dangerous if I wanted to).
5. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend:
For the last one it would have to be "Now This is Fun".
For the one before that, "A Pain That I'm Used To"".
For the one before that, "Lie to Me".
For the one before that, "Barrel of a Gun".
(Thankfully, I don't have to answer "Shake the Disease"!)
6. Describe your current significant other:
7. Describe where you want to be:
"Behind the Wheel" (I was going to say "In Your Room" but thought that might scare you).
8. Describe how you live:
"It Doesn't Matter" (because so few things in life actually do).
9. Describe how you love:
"I Feel You" (or, on occasion, "Strangelove").
10. What would you ask for if you had just one wish:
"Never Let Me Down Again" ("Policy of Truth" would also be nice).
11. Share a few words of wisdom:
Either "Nothing's Impossible" or "Everything Counts".
12. Now say goodbye:
"Leave in Silence".
Funny, I just went back to Chronic Listaholic so I could link to SJ for starting this, and see that she had asked to see me answer with Depeche Mode songs in the comments. Cue Twilight Zone theme here.
♫ With a rebel yell, she cried "more, more, more!" ♫
As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a woman totally rocking out in her car. She was thrashing around in a frenzy as she sang along with the radio, and looked like she might be going into an epileptic seizure.
I stared at her for a minute trying to figure out what song could possibly be causing her to freak out, and then tried to take a guess based on those songs that I like to thrash to...
Dave's Top-5 List of Head-Bangin' Tunes
Turns out it was none of them. It was Betty Davis Eyes by Kim Karnes. Except it sounded really, really terrible. After I was done shopping and came back the parking lot, she had started all over again, and that's when I realized that it wasn't Kim Karnes on the radio... the woman was practicing karaoke tunes off a CD. Badly.
Heaven help those poor souls she would be "entertaining" on karaoke night.
Speaking of entertainment, my TiVo has been slowly dying. The hard drive has been squealing like crazy and stuttering from time to time. Since you can't buy a new dual-tuner TiVo for DirecTV anymore (dumbasses), I had no choice but to try and repair it. After an hour of internet research, I stumbled across a company called WeaKnees. They offer brand new hard drives for TiVos that have already been pre-loaded with the TiVo software! All you have to do is open up your TiVo, rip out the old drive, then pop in a new drive with the tools and instructions provided.
The entire process took under 10 minutes, and my TiVo is good as new... in fact, it's better than new because I ordered a faster, bigger 160 GB drive to replace my crappy old 40 GB one. As a side-benefit, the new drive is whisper-quiet, which is sweet. If you are looking to upgrade your TiVo with more space, or need to replace an old hard drive in your TiVo unit, I highly recommend WeaKnees (all warnings about possibly ruining your TiVo considered).
♫ She's ferocious, and she knows just what it takes to make a pro blush.
All the boys think she's a spy, she's got Bette Davis eyes! ♫
Oh great, now I can't get that song out of me head.
TODAYS'S PRIZES: $200 worth of music (and stuff)!
SORRY! THIS DRAWING IS NOW CLOSED! No new entries are being accepted.
Coming up with a music prize is a very difficult thing to do. First of all, everybody has wildly different tastes. It's impossible to come up with a single solution that's going to make everybody happy. Second of all, if somebody likes a band, they're bound to have all their stuff already. So the challenge is to come up with something that isn't going to be too out of the mainstream, yet unique enough that people don't already own it. In the end, I simply selected stuff I like that I think can appeal to the widest audience without being too generic. Instructions for entering are in an extended entry.
And just in case the dumbasses at the RIAA are listening, these are all brand new CDs... I don't steal music...
How could I possibly create any prize without including a rockin' Blogography T-shirt from the Artificial Duck Store? Lovingly silk-screened by hand on high-quality Hanes Beefy-T shirts, these Blogography-inspired masterpieces are comfortable, durable, and are guaranteed to make you the coolest cat in even the hottest clubs... Liz & Dave not included! (Value: $14.95 to $16.95)
Minor Earth, Major Sky, by a-ha
Anybody who thinks that 80's pop band "a-ha" peaked with their hit Take on Me has absolutely no idea how wrong they are. The band went on to create some stunning albums that were never released in the USA because executives at record labels are dumbasses. Minor Earth, Major Sky is a mature, mellow work tempered with pop sensibility that results in some truly great songs. I get chills whenever such beautiful works as To Let You Win and I Wish I Cared get rotated into my shuffle play. But, to be completely honest, there's not a bad song in the bunch, and I never tire of listening to ANY of it. Who cares if it's a $25 import? Worth every penny! Since I can't give you a link to something THAT DOESN'T EXIST (at least for the American iTunes Music Store), I've put up a small MP3 snippet to whet your appetite: LetYouWin.mp3. (Value $25.49)
Lifelines, by a-ha
This follow-up to Minor Earth, Major Sky would be perfect if not for one of the stupidest songs ever: Oranges on Apple Trees. If you can ignore this one blight on an otherwise superb CD, you're in for a treat. Time & Again is probably one of the most amazing songs I've ever heard, and Turn Down The Lights features a duet with Anneli Drekker that is so achingly beautiful that it sends a chill though me just thinking about it. Again, I would love to point USA readers to a link so you could buy it from the iTMS, but it's not there. Instead, I'm posting small snippets so you can hear a bit of what you're missing: TimeAndAgain.mp3 and TurnDownLights.mp3. (Value $15.49)
The Shore, by The Shore
When I decided to do a "music day" for Blogiversary III, my first idea was to contact the management for The Shore and see if I could get a deal on 50 copies of their debut CD for prizes. But I didn't have enough time, and so I had to be content with including a copy of this brilliant work in the "LISTEN with DAVE" Grand Prize. Seriously though, I have no idea why this band isn't a mega-huge, chart-topping smash. They have a "classic rock" vibe to their music, and seem to be very much influenced by more modern bands like Coldplay and Oasis. I'd try to pick a favorite track but, with the exception of "Firefly" which is kind of a mess, I love them all equally. Even if you don't win this prize package, you should do yourself a favor and check out The Shore. If you are an iTunes user, here's a link for The Shote on the iTMS. (Value $11.99)
Title of Record, by Filter
As any fan of Nine Inch Nails can tell you, there ain't no substitute for the real thing. Unfortunately, this leaves us high and dry while waiting for "major" new releases (it took SIX YEARS between The Fragile and With Teeth!). The auxiliary releases around each new album help, but it's the cohesive albums I like best. In some respects, this doesn't bother me, because I'd rather have a few awesome albums and a single here and there instead of frequent releases of crap. But it is a bit frustrating, and I'm always looking for something to fill the void. Of all the wannabes, Filter is my favorite (possibly because member Richard Patrick is a former member of the touring band). This second album is more of a departure from the Nine Inch Nails sound than the first, but the remaining influences are great. For those looking for lighter fare, Title of Record has a couple of mellow tracks (including the haunting Take a Picture). If you have iTunes, have a listen at the iTMS. (Value $11.99)
Ultra, by Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode is one of those bands that I love so deeply that I fully admit to being biased toward liking most anything they do. But when it comes to Ultra, I don't have to put blinders on to appreciate it. This is, simply put, one of the best albums ever made, yet is somehow completely overlooked (even by Depeche Mode fans). Surprisingly, all this magic happened without musical genius Alan Wilder, who left DM after their mega-smash Violator album. Ultra is a very deep experience that is much darker and intense than previous efforts. My favorite song is probably Insight, but I loathe to choose just one. If you are an iTunes user, here's a link to this album on the iTMS. (Value $11.99)
Dive, by Sarah Brightman
Whenever Celine Dion is praised for her vocal stylings, I laugh my ass off thinking of how she positively pales in comparison to Sara Brightman. Sure Celine was pretty good back before she started whoring herself out in Vegas, but she hasn't really broken any new ground in over a decade. Sarah Brightman, on the other hand, is a stage performer who is legendary for belting out sensual vocals in such plays as "The Phantom of the Opera", yet has an eerie ability to subdue herself to an almost ethereal presence when required. It doesn't hurt that she's scorching hot on top of it all. Dive (released in 1993) is a successful attempt to cross over into more pop-oriented themes, and remains a favorite of mine when I want to mellow out. If you've got iTunes, here's a link to the album on the iTMS (if you go, be sure to check out her cover of Queen's Who Wants to Live Forever and, for a really good laugh, take a listen to her version of Don't Cry Argentina and marvel how Madonna ever had the balls to even attempt it). (Value $11.99)
Greatest Hits, by the Psychedelic Furs
This is one of those "one hit wonders" who never achieved wide-spread success outside of one major hit (Pretty in Pink). This is quite a shame, because there was some great stuff in their back-catalog, and they then went on to do some even more brilliant music. My iPod has such minor hits as Love My Way, Heaven, The Ghost In You, Heartbreak Beat, and Until She Comes in heavy rotation, and dearly wish that The Furs would come out with a new album. (Value $11.99)
And, just in case you aren't lucky enough to nab the "big prize", there's two other chances to win...
TWO $40 "LISTEN WITH DAVE" RUNNER-UP PRIZES INCLUDE...
How could I possibly create any prize without including a rockin' Blogography T-shirt from the Artificial Duck Store? Lovingly silk-screened by hand on high-quality Hanes Beefy-T shirts, these Blogography-inspired masterpieces are comfortable, durable, and are guaranteed to make you the coolest cat in even the hottest clubs... Dave not included! (Value: $14.95 to $16.95)
Minor Earth, Major Sky, by a-ha
Anybody who thinks that 80's pop band "a-ha" peaked with their hit Take on Me has absolutely no idea how wrong they are. The band went on to create some stunning albums that were never released in the USA because executives at record labels are dumbasses. Minor Earth, Major Sky is a mature work tempered with pop sensibility that results in some truly great songs. I get chills whenever such beautiful works as To Let You Win and I Wish I Cared get rotated into my shuffle play. But, to be completely honest, there's not a bad song in the bunch, and I never tire of listening to ANY of it. Who cares if it's a $25 import? Worth every penny! Since I can't give you a link to something THAT DOESN'T EXIST (at least for the American iTunes Music Store), I've put up a few MP3 snippets to whet your appetite: ToLetYouWin.mp3 and IWishICared.mp3. (Value $25.49)
And there you have it, enough music to put a dent in your iPod! Better get that entry in quickly...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
I feel so violated! I just rode twenty-seven floors with a couple who were going at it in the elevator. Without sounding like a total prude... ew! Surely they realize that nobody wants to see that? I mean, if I were trapped in the elevator with two lesbian porn stars, maybe... but this dopey guy and his skank-ho girlfriend? No thanks. Some people should be banned from displays of public affection (and, unless you actually ARE a lesbian porn star, this means you).
Tonight's dinner was at one of the best Thai restaurants outside of Thailand... Vong's Thai Kitchen. They have a "Yellow Vegetable Pad Thai" to die for. Succulent, flaky noodles that aren't the least bit gummy! Here is what I got out of my Thai fortune cookie at the end...
If you cannot read my drunken photo, it says: "Everyone agrees you are the best". I never really doubted this, but it's nice to have proof in writing.
I woke up with mild pain in my back and only a little tenderness in my leg... so apparently I am going to survive getting run down in the street yesterday. This is a good thing, because it means I don't have to take pills (which I hate, because it makes me sleepy all day). It also meant that I got to bum around the candy expo here in Chicago. It's always a cool event, mainly because I love me the free samples of sugary treats! There were many wonders to behold, but two things stood out for me...
The first is CHOCOLATE PEEPS!! Yes, Peeps are now available cocoa flavored! I like Peeps, even though I can't eat them (marshmallow has gelatin, which is made from gross animal parts I refuse to stick in my mouth)...
Maybe it's just that I like saying "Peeps" a lot?
Next up was the PEZ booth. PEZ is a candy I love and actually DO eat. The big surprise was that they had the American Chopper guys from Orange County Choppers make them a cool bike...
And that's all she wrote. It has been a very long day.
BUT BEFORE I GO... in deference to Mistress Eve on this most auspicious date of 06-06-06, I am hereby recognizing "Day of Slayer" by rocking out to the ever-excellent death-metal classic album South of Heaven on my iPod (yes, I know you are supposed to blast without headphones, but they would most certainly kick me out of the hotel for that!). Slay on my Mistress of Metal!
♫ The root of all evil is the heart of a black soul... a force that has lived all eternity! ♫ A never ending search for a truth never told... the loss of all hope and your dignity! ♫
This morning there was a major panic attack when I couldn't find a clean pair of underwear. Eventually I did manage to find some in my flight carry-on bag but, as I was searching, it did get me to wondering what I would do if I couldn't find any. Wear a used pair... or go commando?? Fortunately, I didn't have to choose, but I really should make up my mind in case I'm ever faced with this problem again.
Underwear aside, there was big fun to be had today. I finally got the little buttons I ordered...
They turned out great (much better than this photo will attest), which was a pleasant surprise because some of the stuff I order from CafePress ends up looking like crap. But every button was beautiful, had bright colors, and looks professionally made, so I'm happy. Now all I have to do is wait until the weather turns cold so that I can pin them on my jacket. It'll be just like the 80's!
Speaking of orders, I am dangerously close to FINALLY filling all of the T-shirt orders from Blogiversary III week... I have a mere 64 left to go! Thanks to everybody for their patience, and everything should be shipped out by Monday.
Since it's Friday, I'll be picking up a meme from James to finish up the day. You are supposed to come up with eight random things about you which most people might not know...
Argh. I've been working all day and it's late. I think I'll go to bed and slip into a coma.
I really hate it when I get a song stuck in my head.
After seeing Clerks II it's the song Goodbye Horses by Q Lazzarus, which is a pretty messed up tune to have running through your mind all day long. If you don't recognize the name, you will probably still know of it as the song that "Buffalo Bill" dances to in Silence of the Lambs. Well, in Clerks II you get to see a flawless reenactment by Jason Mewes that's even more disturbing.
Well, not the dance itself... I mean, what guy hasn't put on makeup, dressed up in the skin of dead women, then danced around the house with his penis tucked between his legs? Yeah, we've all been there...
No. What's truly disturbing is that once you start thinking of Buffalo Bill, you think of the actor who portrayed him... Ted Levine. And then you have to freak over how he now plays Lt. Stottlemeyer on the television show Monk. For some reason I find this transition of characters to be very disturbing...
I mean, he's obviously a very talented actor to be able to play such diverse roles... but damn. I just can't stop imagining that after Stottlemeyer gets home from a busy day of solving crimes with Mr. Monk, he's dancing around like this just for kicks before bedtime.
And then the image won't leave my mind as I hear... ♬ "Goodbye horses. I'm flying, flying, flying over youuuu..." ♬
For anybody into self-torture, the beautiful Q Lazzarus version of Goodbye Horses isn't for sale on iTunes, but a pretty good cover by the band Psyche is. Listen at your peril.
As if that wasn't enough on my mind...
Coming 2008?!? What kind of tease is that? I have to wonder if J.J. Abrams is going to manage to screw up Star Trek as badly as he's trashed Lost and destroyed Alias. He always starts off so strong then crashes and burns. Please have somebody with enough sense to know this cut him loose when things start to slide on yet another good franchise before it goes bad.
Though he has a LONG ways to go before it gets as bad as the totally boring Star Trek: Enterprise and the utterly crappy Star Trek: Voyager.
Today started out as a pretty good day. I woke up with my intestines still on the inside (always a good sign) and the second season of Veronica Mars is due to drop on DVD. On top of that, I bought a fresh box of PopTarts that I'd be opening up for breakfast, so I was all set to face whatever life decided to throw at me.
At least I thought so until my phone rang...
DAVE: "No, I haven't seen Snakes on a Mutherf#@%ing Plane yet."
ROBERT: "DUDE! THE NEW PARIS HILTON ALBUM TOTALLY ROCKS!! A Depeche Mode fan like you should totally love it!"
ROBERT: "Dude, you've got to download Paris!"
DAVE: "Unless there's a new sex video I don't know about, there is no way I am downloading anything by Paris Hilton."
ROBERT: "Video? Hey, have you seen the new K-Fed video on YouTube? I hear he's touring with Depeche Mode next Spring."
DAVE: "Goodbye Robert."
My love of Depeche Mode catches me nothing but grief from my friends.
But it did get me thinking... apparently if you have shitloads of money (or are married to somebody with shitloads of money) that's all you need to get a record deal. No singing ability required. This must be a major consolation to bands who are struggling to get a deal based on actual musical talent.
And yet the RIAA still thinks that slumping music sales are entirely due to internet piracy. Go figure.
I wonder how come Bill Gates doesn't have a band?
I've done quite a bit of traveling over the years and find, for the most part, that people are pretty much the same wherever you go. Sure they may speak a different language or have different customs... but everybody everywhere breathes, eats, drinks, loves, hates, sleeps, and poops. Despite any differences you can call out, humans will always be more similar than they are different. The more places I go, the more I find this to be true. But still, it's the diversity that makes this world such an interesting place, and all those little differences keep traveling the globe so I can seek them out and experience them (see my map).
But every once in a while you come across a difference so baffling that you find it hard to wrap your head around.
I was flipping through television channels and landed on some kind of concert on BBC America. It was an extravagant affair with thousands of people packed in an arena. At first I thought it was a Madonna show, but I didn't recognize the song she was singing. Then they zoomed in for a close-up, and I had no idea who it was...
TiVo tells me it's Kylie Minogue.
And so I'm sitting there thinking "WTF? THE 'LOCO-MOTION GIRL' IS SELLING OUT ARENA SHOWS IN THE U.K.?!?"
I barely remember who she is, and go scrambling to her Wikipedia entry so I can find out what exactly I've been missing. Turns out that Kylie is a massive, massive pop star everywhere except in the US. After postponing this "Showgirl Tour" I'm watching for breast cancer treatment last year, she is resuming the tour this year in November. It's an admirable story, but the real shocker was to come...
Kylie sold out her two January 2007 shows at London's Wembley Arena in six minutes.
SIX MINUTES? They kept adding dates until they had six in London and six in Manchester... all of which sold out immediately. In her native Australia, I'm guessing it's just as impressive. And yet here in The States, people barely know who she is. For some reason, I find this more shocking than even the wildest cultural differences I've encountered in foreign lands. I guess I've always assumed that pop trends like this were kind of universal. But Kylie, like soccer, has somehow escaped US attention.
I wish that were true for half the crap they play on the radio.
But still, Kylie's got some pretty good dance beats, is entertaining in concert, and actually seems to have some talent... kind of a shame that Kevin Federline and Paris Hilton can sell records here but she can't.
I do not like to shop. Therefore, I do not like the mall. And, let's face it, once you've been to Mall of America, all other malls kind of pale in comparison anyway. But I had time to kill while I was waiting for work yesterday, so off to the mall it was.
Which was a mistake.
Because mobile phone carrier competition has reached such absurd levels that salesmen are happy to chase you down the mall screaming "HEY BUDDY! HEY! WHAT CELL PHONE DO YOU HAVE? NEED A BETTER PHONE?" Having been through this before, I know better than to answer, and try my best to run away before I get the urge to take their phone and kick it up their ass.
Anyway. Since I didn't go to the mall to buy anything, I instead do what I usually do... I observe.
Eventually I ended up walking into a jewelry store so I could try to figure out what typeface they used on their signs. While I was there, I overheard some poor bastard trying to buy an engagement ring. From appearances, this was a hard-working, blue-collar gentleman who didn't know anything about jewelry, but did know that he loves a woman enough to want to marry her. He loves her so much that he is willing to sacrifice a massive chunk of his precious income so she can have something pretty to show her friends. He looks at a ring and thinks not about all the things he has to give up in order to buy it, but what he will gain because of it. It's hopelessly romantic and incredibly sad at the same time.
It reminded me of when Liz over at Everyday Goddess wrote about letting go of the engagement ring, and I have to wonder how it came to be that proving the depth of your love is intrinsically linked to how much money you can spend. Then I take the time to actually read the signs I was looking at, and everything becomes clear. It's shame. Jewelry manufacturers shame you into it. If you love somebody, you prove it by buying gold and diamonds... love alone isn't enough. Suddenly I don't see the romance in it at all, and am just sad.
It all balances out though, because as I was leaving the mall, I saw this little gem of a wall calendar...
What's interesting here is that all of the photos are older shots where she was brutally hot... none of the newer, anorexic, meth-addict-looking photos are included...
Toxic taco photos stolen from Avitable.
And with Lindsay flashing her coochie everywhere she goes, I have to think that this calendar would be a serious disappointment to its intended audience of horny 12-year-old boys who have become fans of something other than her movies and music.
Music that makes. Me. Want. To. Scream. (In an extended entry, that is)...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
As a Certified Apple Whore, I bought a first-generation iPod the minute it became available. I then went on to buy an assortment of other iPod models because Apple owns my ass. I have not, however, purchased a video iPod because the screen is too small for extended viewing. Until they manage to make a model with a larger screen, I'll just have to make due with my iPod nano, iPod Shuffle, and third-generation iPod.
But now Microsoft has come along with a media player of their own called "Zune" which features a larger screen and other toys that the iPod lacks...
It will come as a surprise to nobody that I will not be buying one of these. The REASON I will not be buying one, however, probably will be surprising...
So what is it? What possible reason is keeping me from buying a Zune? If you care, the answer is in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
This morning a piece of spam somehow managed to get past both my spam service and my local spam filter. This happens every once in a while, but usually not when it has a subject line that reads "Make your penis the happiest penis in the world with Penis Adam & Eve Penis Pump!" I guess that the overuse of the word "penis" must have crashed the system or something.
I don't know which is worse... that spam is intruding on my inbox, or that my penis may be unhappy because I haven't purchased him a penis pump. And since my penis and I stopped speaking months ago, I don't really know how to inquire about that...
But I can't think about my penis just now, because I just retrieved a very disturbing voicemail from my parole officer today.
Apparently, I have 24 hours of community service left to turn in or else I won't be released from probation, and she's going to recommend that my term be extended six months to a year! This upsets me quite a lot because I've been so busy lately, and haven't had time to put in any community service hours. She then goes on to tell me "you need to call me TOMORROW, Jose, or else we won't have time to resolve this before your court date."
My name isn't Jose. It's Dave.
And then I remember that I don't have a parole officer, nor am I under a community service order. I've never been caught for any of my crimes.
I guess I should call Jose's parole officer tomorrow and tell her that she left a message at the wrong number or else Jose is going to be in trouble... errr... going to be in more trouble.
In better news today (not involving my penis or a parole officer) my copy of Depeche Mode's Touring the Angel: Live in Milan arrived. I managed to snag the digipack version which includes a DVD of the concert, CD of selected tracks, and a bonus DVD for $8.79 at Half.com, a total bargain! I then did what I always do when I get a new Depeche Mode DVD... I watched ALL of my DM concert videos in sequence so I can listen to how their performance changes over the years. Touring the Angel is pretty darn good (I went and saw it live in Chicago with Kapgar last year), but not quite as good as 101 and Devotional which are tied for my all-time favorite.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to sit down and have a talk with my penis before retiring for the evening.
Okay. For everybody who became gravely concerned about Jose from yesterday's entry, I called back his parole officer and let her know that she had left her message at the wrong number. She promised to get ahold of him at school, so I think everything will be okay. Who you should really be concerned about is me, because I still consider it to be a small miracle that I didn't have an immediate nervous breakdown after receiving a voicemail that started out with "this is your parole officer..." Given the state of my memory lately, I fully admit that it took a minute before I realized that it was a wrong number call. Time to start taking ginkgo biloba, I guess.
After a long absence, I've finally manage to get Audio Scrobbler installed on my new Mac Pro and Powerbook. For those not in the know, this is a piece of software that connects you with the wonderful Last.fm music site over the internet. This allows you to keep track of your music listening habits, find other users with music tastes similar to yours, discover new artists with music recommendations and much, much more. It is an amazing service that's totally FREE to use, or you can choose to pay a measly $3 a month for a bunch of cool extra features.
Just for fun, I've created a new "Last.fm Group" for Blogography readers so, if you use the service, feel free to join up...
To see my Last.fm Music Profile, you can click here.
To see the Blogography Last.fm Group, you can click here.
I really should be afraid of flying.
Sometimes I have to hop on a plane just as something terrible is going on in the world. Last August, for instance, I was boarding a plane on my way to Asia just as Hurricane Katrina had been elevated to a category 5 storm and was preparing to ravage Louisiana. As we took off, I had no idea if New Orleans would even exist by the time I landed.
Things like this have happened more times than I care to remember, but only once have I been shaken up worse than the Asia trip. And, believe it or not, I owe it to The Pet Shop Boys for reminding me about it this past week.
At their concert last Sunday, they performed one of their lesser-known songs titled Dreaming of the Queen. It's a kind of disturbing lament about lost love and death during the height of the AIDS epidemic. For the show, however, it took on a very different meaning as they sang it in front of a screen showing nothing but Princess Diana's funeral procession in a continuous loop...
It was a somber and respectful affair, which Pet Shop performed with hats removed and everything.
And it reminded me of a trip to Orlando I was taking on the day it had been reported that the Princess of Wales had been in a car accident in Paris. I boarded the plane hearing only conflicting reports and not knowing whether she was dead or alive.
Until I landed, of course, because the airport was filled with the sad news that Diana had not survived.
But it didn't really sink in until I was at Disney's United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot the next day. Since the attraction is literally built and staffed to be a piece of the UK, it was almost like being there. The British workers were devastated. There were flowers everywhere. Pictures of Lady Di were displayed in all the shops. The park was crowded but nobody was speaking. Even kids who are usually running around going nuts were quiet and restrained.
It was a profoundly sad experience visiting the "Happiest Place on Earth" yet being surrounded with sorrow.
And while it may have paled in comparison with the outpouring of grief back in the "real" UK, it was nevertheless an event that's difficult to forget. Especially when you relive it at a Pet Shop Boys concert and are haunted by it ever since.
Tonight I started working on the opening for the animated music video I'm making. It forced me to answer some serious questions that had never occurred to me before. Like what does the house look like where Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey live?
Ahhhh... so that's what it looks like...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Ack. I'm so tired that I barely made it through tonight's Veronica Mars. It didn't help that it was a fairly unspectacular episode... at least by Veronica Mars standards. Logan's big secret was kind of lame, and the entire "forbidden romance" crap with Keith was just laughable. All in all, it felt very much like a "filler" show to me until the whole "campus rapist" stuff is resolved. They need to bring back Wallace, Mac, and Weevil... it's not the same without them.
Microsoft released their ridiculously-name "ZUNE" media player today... along with the news that they are paying over $1 per player sold to Universal Music Group. Apparently Universal is extorting the money to compensate for music piracy on the internet...
"...these devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it," UMG chairman/CEO Doug Morris says. "So it's time to get paid for it."
Oh really? JUST repositories for stolen music? I'm guessing "these devices" include iPods.
So did you just call me a thief?
Well frak you Mr. Morris. With the exception of two songs that I haven't been able to find for sale anywhere, I BUY all my music. That's TWO songs out of 5697. And when you say "it's time to get paid for it" are you talking about your greedy-ass music label or the artists who are being ripped off?
And it's not as if companies like Universal are helping solve the music piracy problem. The internet allows instant distribution of music world-wide, and yet Universal doesn't bother to distribute their artists "universally." Take the Norwegian group "a-ha" for instance. They signed on with Universal in May of 2004. In a press release, it was said that "Universal International are looking to fully exploit a-ha's latent potential in markets such as the USA and the United Kingdom." Well, their latest album Analogue was released just over a year ago... YET YOU STILL CAN'T BUY THE CD IN THE USA UNLESS YOU PAY $30 FOR A PRICEY IMPORT! And can you buy it at the iTunes Music Store in the US? No. No you cannot. Universal hasn't made it available there either.
So basically you are left with two choices: paying triple the cost of a domestic album... or pirating it. Well thanks a frakkin' heap Universal Music, you've pretty much GUARANTEED people are going to steal that album. Dumbasses. How hard is it to rip a CD and scan in the cover art for uploading to iTunes? I mean, if it's too hard to do yourself, I suppose you could always download Analogue off of BitTorrent or something.
Since I love a-ha, I paid the $30... but I was not at all happy about being ripped off like that.
And you're calling ME a thief.
What an asshole.
Wow, it's only 10:08pm? I haven't gone to bed that early in years...
So there I was killing time while waiting for Veronica Mars when The Daily Show comes on. I totally love The Daily Show and quickly became engrossed in the "fake news" of the day. Then the guest for the evening shows up and its Tom Waits. I've heard of him before, but don't know that I'm familiar with any of his music. I think there was a time I had him confused with Paul Young or something, but other than that I have no idea.
Waits is being interviewed and seems a decent guy and everything, when John Stewart announces there's going to be a song. "Oh goodie" I say to myself, "he's supposed to be good."
Worst. Singer. Ever.
Seriously, it was so bad that at first I thought it was some kind of joke. I kept waiting for John Stewart to pop up and they'd have a laugh. But Jon Stewart never came. The tragically bad "song" just went on and on. It sounded kind of like a dry heave taking place during a case of chronic diarrhea. If it weren't for Veronica Mars later that night, I probably would have tried to microwave my head in hopes that dying would somehow erase the memory of the horror.
And yet there are people who pay to listen to this stuff?
If you're one of them, I apologize and everything, but holy crap.
Of course it's not like I could do any better. I am a lethally bad singer myself. But at least I realize this and don't inflict my damage on others (unless its karaoke night and I'm really drunk)...
Okay, that's a lie.
There are also those few songs that come on the radio which compel you to sing along, but I don't really have any control over that. Who does? Songs like Bon Jovi's Living on A Prayer. Or Billy Idol's Rebel Yell. Or AC/DC's Back In Black. Or even something totally inexplicable, like Hall & Oates' You Make My Dreams. It's this last one that caused one of my most embarrassing moments ever. There are many, but this is one of those that you keep replaying in your head while saying to yourself "WHY? OH LORD WHY?!?"
It was four years ago and I had just returned from a trip abroad. I don't really get jet-lag anymore, but I was incredibly tired. Since I had to be in San Francisco the next morning, I didn't bother flying home, but instead decided to stay at a hotel at Seattle's airport. This was when the iPod had just been released, and I had made a habit of listening to my brand new toy as I fell asleep. This was kind of lame, because I only had a few old CDs from my car ripped into it, but it was something new and I was having fun with it. A scant four hours later, I wake up and rush to the airport. Since this was a just 6-months or so after 9/11, security was ridiculous, and I had to be there something like 3 hours before take-off.
And so I make it to my gate. With nothing better to do, I take out my iPod so I can look all cool listening to those same old crappy albums... and proceed to fall asleep.
It's then that I have one of those delirious moments where you wake up without really waking up... all the while thinking that I'm still back in my hotel room because I'm completely mentally drained. Hall & Oates' You Make My Dreams has started to play and, for reasons totally unknown, I start to sing along.
In an airport waiting area full of people.
People I have to get on a plane with for a few hours.
And it was HALL & OATES!! Not something cool like AC/DC... but HALL AND FRICKIN' OATES!
It was right in the middle of one of those "You Hoo... Hoo Hoo Hoooooo" moments when I realized where I was and what I was doing. "Mortified" doesn't even begin to cover how I was feeling.
But, as bad as it probably was, I'm pretty sure I must have sounded better than Tom Waits did tonight on The Daily Show.
How can I be so exhausted yet not be able to sleep?
I went to bed at 9:30 and was relieved that I might actually catch up on some much-needed shuteye. But then I woke up at midnight, and haven't been able to get back to sleep all night. Insomnia sucks ass, but it did give me time to write the final Bullet Sunday of 2006... BLOGOGRAPHY'S BEST OF THE YEAR LIST!
• Best New Television Show... For nine glorious weeks, Project Catwalk featured Elizabeth Hurley being Elizabeth Hurley which makes it one of the greatest shows ever. At least it was, until this tragic event occurred.
• Best Returning Television Show... How does one choose between Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica? (if you are a guy, trust me... you want to follow those links!).
• Best Guest Appearance on a Television Show...
Betty White in "Peterotica" from The Family Guy.
• Best Movie... This is a tough call, but I was taken completely by surprise at how much I loved Little Miss Sunshine. A close second is The Prestige, which haunted me for weeks.
• Best Bad Movie Hype... I went to Brokeback Mountain because of all the hype and was so bored that I consider this to be one of the worst films ever. I prefer my remake, Bareback Monkey. "I wish I could quit you, Captain Crunch!"
• Best Video Game... Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy. I only wish I had time to play it.
• Best Funny... I never claimed that Blogography was a humor blog but, when I set my mind to it, this can be the funniest blog ever.
• Best Poetry... I hate to be tooting my own horn here, but my Seven Odes From My Day-Trip To Chicago kick ass! I should totally write a book of poetry!
• Best Charitable Cause... There is nothing more important right now than immortalizing my greatness. Give generously to the Dave Monument Fund.
• Best Explanation of Why I Am The Way I Am...
Yes, the world really does revolve around me.
• Best Reason to Have a Blog... Davecago was one of the year's biggest highlights for me.
• Best Shock... Randomly running into fellow blogger Timothy while in New York City just before he's off to Uganda. What are the odds? Considering he previously lived in American Samoa before moving to Africa, he would be voted the Blogger I'm Least Likely To Ever Meet, yet there he was in the middle of one of the biggest cities on earth.
• Best Non-Government Holiday... Yeah, it would be pretty hard to top Day of Slayer! (and getting to meet Mistress Eve and Dave3 a month later was icing on the cake).
• Best Garfield Strip in 25 Years... Well, it's not like Jim Davis was ever going to get around to doing it. You may think I'm joking here, but I'm totally not.
• Best Bad Influence... Bad Monkey really is bad... he's teaching kids to smoke cigarettes and then getting them into trouble at school.
• Best Blog Fan... Turns out that I'm not good-looking, not funny, and not nice, and somebody was kind enough to point it out to me.
• Best Identity Theft... And here I only thought I was joking about people wanting to be me...
Who could possibly want to be me with hair like this?
• Best Bad Robert Story... Well, of those stories I was actually able to share without getting sued, I guess it would have to be Bad Robert's Blue Balls.
• Best Advice... How to make your blog be like every other blog (though some people hated me for this one).
• Best Way To Hide a Fart... Who knew a pack of gum would make the best odor eliminator ever?
• Best Lie... Bob is a psychopath.
• Best Lesson Learned... One thing at a time.
• Best Blogography Entry... How can I choose when they're all so good? I've narrowed it down to these ten...
• Best Reader... It's totally you! How could it be anybody but you? Thanks for stopping by, and we'll see you next year.