So, I've decided to prune my CD collection a little bit. I'm thinking that before I turn to Ebay or used CD stores (I suspect that several of these will have to be sold to Sonic Boom for no more than a shiny quarter each), I'd give people I knew a chance to pick some up. Drop me a line if you're interested in anything (let's say $5 a disc, $10 for a double, etc?) Of course, this shit's negotiable, too.
5. The new Wii is pretty snazzy. Picked up Warioware: Smooth Moves and Super Paper Mario, which are providing SERIOUS competition with Guitar Hero 2 for my spare time. And actually I think that Tara has been playing it more than I have. Coincidentally, my dad got himself a Wii on the same day I did.
4. Today was the end of the tax-filing season, which means no more overtime for Nathan. I'll be starting a new position at the office next week too, so I won't be dealing with the public anymore (right now I sometimes talk to people about more complex personal income tax issues).
3. Also on the work kick, I've been organizing a band out of my coworkers at the office. We're playing at our "Filing Season Afterparty" at the Hard Rock Cafe on Yonge this Friday. All covers and whatnot, of course - not everybody wants to dance to cool shit, lots of people do actually like "Takin' Care Of Business". :-P
2. Saturday night we've got a teppanyaki date with Jeff and Tracy before checking out how they've remodeled his place. Also, I plan to drink all of their beer (but that's a given).
1. Scored a free Koran! Some guys (Muslim, obviously) outside the Eaton Centre set up tables on the weekends to hand out Islamic literature. I mentioned that I'd read some of their other books before, and the one dude asked "And what did you think?" to which I replied "Well, I think I'm still an atheist". I was sort of impressed by how they all laughed along.
Well, as it turns out, you CAN find a Wii. I got mine yesterday at HMV, but only had a chance to play it today, due to working overtime last night. Looks like I'll have something competing with Guitar Hero 2 for my video game attentions now...
And it's only a LITTLE bit disheartening that my "Wii Age" is 65, according to the fitness test.
Recently I've been reading Mao: The Untold Story. Today I had the book out on my desk at work, and a co-worker was asking me about it. I'm not even half-way through, but so far the authors have built a very convincing, thoroughly-researched indictment of Mao's legacy - showing, for example, that he was a thug who was bankrolled by the Soviets from the beginning. As it turns out, though, this co-worker holds Mao up as a "personal hero". WTF?
I would think that it's pretty indisputable that the man's a villain. Right? He's up there with Hitler and Stalin, for sure. The co-worker in question actually said that "absolute power corrupts absolutely", which is an interesting way to explain the deaths of millions. It would be one thing to say that one appreciated his philosophy (or something like that), but how can this person overlook all of the heinous shit that Mao was responsible for?
I suppose I'm just sort of baffled/fascinated by the way that people see things as they wish them to be, rather than as they are.
If so, then take a gander at The Definitive 200, as chosen by no less authoritative a source of valid music criticism than the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, and endorsed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Basically it's an attempt to generate sales of older albums, methinks. Even given that it basically has no credibility to begin with, it's still a shitty, annoying list.
NARM doesn't attempt to define what they mean by "definitive" - whether they mean 'best' or 'most influential' or whatever. Either way, I hate them. Certainly no non-hit albums are on the list. Of course I noticed the absences of artists that I'm most partial to right away, but still:
- Metallica has FOUR albums on the list, and David Bowie (!!!) has ONE. - There are exactly as many punk albums as there are Will Smith albums (one each). - Dance music is only represented by the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. - Why the hell are there soundtracks on this list AT ALL? Forrest Gump? WTF? - Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, etc are there to represent pop-country, but no Garth Brooks. - Tool, but no Nine Inc Nails. WEAK. - No Oasis. "(What's The Story) Morning Glory" sold like 15 million copies, didn't it? - And on and on.
The WORST possible sin, though, is not including "The Queen Is Dead". Fuckers.
The Dir En Grey concert on Friday night was pretty fantastic. The band put on a great show. The singer, Kyo, in particular was really magnetic - besides having a hell of a voice, he can pose and bleed with the best of them.
What was particularly interesting (at least to me) was that despite this basically being a metal concert, it was the best-behaved crowd I've ever seen at a large show. I didn't smell any pot, notice any moshing, or even see any cameras out. Mostly people screamed and pumped their fists politely. The wide majority of the crowd seemed to be underage, and looked to be largely female, as well (also, lots of asian kids in attendance). Tara was thrilled to see so many young girls rocking out. :-)
Anyhow, I suppose I should pop some more medicine and head off to bed. Toronto media is hell-bent on trying to alarm us about an honest-to-goodness snow storm tonight. In CANADA?? I know - what are the odds? Yeesh.
I think that this handy little chart, stolen from someone on Fark, ably demonstrates one of my pet peeves:
Therefore, a person who says "I could care less" is indicating that they do in fact care, and could conceivably care to a lesser extent - which is probably not what they mean to say. If one doesn't care for something at all, then they could NOT care less. I get all nails-on-a-chalkboard when I hear this.
Not that I'm any amazing grammarian, but usually I'm messing shit up in a specific effort to write more colloquially. Tune in tommorrow when I take on the term "UFO".
Today at the office, the Social Committee announced that the five groups of recently hired employees-in-training (they get six weeks of in-class time) would have a special 'spirit' competition against each other. So each group had to pick a Team Name.
My group - did I mention that I've been teaching a class, lately? - decided to go with my suggestion of "Tiers For Fears". Lame office reference + '80's synth band = I'm a freakin' genius.
Also, did anyone else catch the Sudbury reference on "Heroes" tonight? Odd.
Story on the CBC that "Canada's anti-drug strategy a failure, study suggests". Haven't heard of the group behind the study (the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS? What?), but assuming their numbers are legit, I think the conclusion is a gigantic "DUH". People are still using illicit drugs? In record numbers? You don't say. Do the D.A.R.E. people realize how many people wear their t-shirts ironically?
Of course, the drug issue is more complicated than I care to really get into just now (I'm feeling lazy and watching the Golden Globes, which are of course even less credible than the Oscars). But as a devoted beer-drinker, I do wish that a governing party would have the balls to just up and legalize weed, already.
'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins is, so far, the best book I've read in a long time.
As you might guess from the title, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's pretty much exactly what I was in the mood for. Dawkins, who has been called "Darwin's attack dog" and is arguably the most famous atheist in the world right now, is far more accessible with his rhetoric than in previous (scientifically-inclined) works I've read previously: he references not just Jefferson, Nehru, and Hume but also the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In this book he sets out to establish atheism as not just the only rational response to what he calls The God Hypothesis, but as positive, ennobling, and liberating intellectual position. Theologists have argued that he's out of his depth (he's a biologist by trade), but of course he dismisses that field entirely (I had to laugh when he wrote that it was equivalent to "fairyology" since both have an equal evidentiary basis). Highly, highly recommended.
Sidenote: I spoke with one of the staff at the local Chapters store who totally reminded me of Tim Gunn (from Project: Runway) when I picked up the book. He said that he's never seen a phenomenon with a non-fiction book like this one - that they couldn't keep it on the shelves. Maybe there are more of us out there than most people think? Hmm.
After the kind of New Year's eve/day that Tara enjoyed, I knew that it was only a matter of time before I would be getting more acquainted with a plastic bucket myself. In my case, it happened last night about 11 and continued all through a sleepless night. I feel absolutely rotten, but I seem to have stopped vomitting now (fingers crossed). Huzzah.