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Sunday, January 16
Because Beth thinks I hid my earlier link (which wasn't my intention, but I guess I could see it coming across that way), I'm making this entry to let you know that this page is unlikely to be updated anymore. If you want to read more recent entries, check out my livejournal.

Sunday, December 5
As I had previously indicated, last night was the Pixies concert at the Tweeter Center in Camden. Prior to the show, I bought a T-shirt and a pack of stickers and buttons, and then Beth and I went to find our seats. There were two opening acts, the Bennies and the Datsuns, neither of which were all that impressive. I mean, they weren't bad, but they weren't really anything that interested me, either. I'd actually seen the Bennies before, opening for Frank Black when he played in Philadelphia with the Catholics, but I didn't remember any of their songs or anything, so it wasn't one of those cases where it was like, "Well, these songs aren't that great, but at least they're familiar!" All I really remember about the Datsuns was that the drums for one of their songs reminded me of the Donkey Kong Country theme. I'm sure I would have liked the band a lot better if they actually HAD played the DKC theme. {g} They also left really abruptly, without even announcing that they were playing their last song, or that the Pixies were next, or any of the usual things that opening bands say when they're getting close to the end of their time. Anyway, I'm not sure why so many shows seem to have two openers nowadays. I'm glad we had seats, since standing up through multiple openers and breaks between them usually makes me really worn out by the time the main band starts playing. I did stand up for the Pixies' set.

Our seats weren't that great, but they weren't that bad, either. I really think the Tweeter Center should have a screen, so those people sitting in the far seats wouldn't have to strain to see the stage. Oddly enough, considering that most of the Pixies' songs are pretty loud, it wasn't that hard on the ears. I'm not sure if this was because I was farther from the stage than I am at smaller concerts, or that they took more care with the sound system than is typical.

The Pixies opened with "Velouria," which is my favorite song of theirs, and would probably rank among my favorite songs by ANY band. I guess you could say having the band open with your favorite means it's all downhill from there, but I didn't see it that way, fortunately.

The rest of the setlist was as follows:

Wave Of Mutilation
Planet Of Sound
Ed Is Dead
Gouge Away
Bone Machine
Something Against You--It was during this song that something went wrong with Frank's guitar, leading to some down time and amusing stage banter, which I'll describe in more detail later on.
In Heaven--With Kim Deal singing. I'd heard that she had been doing this on the reunion tour, but I didn't know what it would sound like. It was pretty cool, but she didn't get progressively louder, like Frank does when he sings this one.
Wave Of Mutilation--Yes, again. This time, it was the slow UK Surf version.
Holiday Song
Where Is My Mind?
Vamos--During the solo, Joey Santiago was hitting his guitar with one of David Lovering's drumsticks.
Nimrod's Son--The second half of the song was played and sung a lot more slowly than the first.
Mr. Grieves
Crackity Jones
Isla De Encanta
No. 13 Baby
Broken Face
I Bleed
Monkey Gone To Heaven
Tame--I think this song works quite a bit better live than on the album.
Gigantic--This was the encore.

Okay, so, as I said before, something went wrong with Frank's guitar during "Something Against You." He finished the song without it, and then, while a roadie attended to the guitar, David Lovering told a joke, the setup for which was "Why did the bestialitist cross the road?" Frank then told Joey to speak, because no one knew what he sounded like (or something like that). Joey said something so quietly that I couldn't hear him, and Frank commented that Joey was too quiet, while he was too loud. During this banter, someone behind us was yelling something along the lines of, "Play some music!" I've commented before about how annoyed I am by hecklers like that, but it was even stupider than usual this time, since they actually COULDN'T play a song. If there hadn't been technical difficulties, they probably would have just played without stopping to talk. I know Frank has commented before about how he prefers to just play one song after another in concert. Personally, I'm a big fan of stage banter, and I don't agree with this philosophy, but that's his decision. I am glad we got to hear the band talk, though.

Overall, it was a great show. The biggest complaint I have is that they didn't play much of anything from their last two albums, but then, that's the complaint that EVERYBODY has about this tour, and I wasn't expecting them to suddenly change the mostly-early-stuff policy for this show. I will say that, if I had to choose only two songs from Trompe Le Monde for them to play, I wouldn't have chosen "U-Mass," and I DEFINITELY wouldn't have chosen "Planet Of Sound," which was one of the songs that turned me off Trompe the first few times I listened to the album. Too abrasive, or something. I've since gotten to like it better, but it's still not one of my favorites. My top two choices from that album would have been "Motorway To Roswell" and "Alec Eiffel," but there are plenty of other songs I would have preferred to the two they did play. Oh, well. At least the one song they did from Bossanova happened to be my favorite. I can't really think of anything else from Come On Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa, or Doolittle that I really wanted them to play and they didn't. "Here Comes Your Man" would have been nice, but I've heard Frank isn't all that fond of that one. "Levitate Me" would also have been cool, I suppose, but not really necessary or anything.

I also tried out Crystal Chronicles yesterday. It turned out to be more action-oriented than I expected, what with the real-time battles. When I hear "Final Fantasy" or even simply "RPG," I tend to think in terms of a turn-based battle system, which is easier for me, since my reflexes and eye-hand coordination are pretty lousy. I guess Final Fantasy Adventure was action-based, but that wasn't originally an FF game anyway. I believe it was called Seiken Denetsu in Japan, and the English-language versions of all the sequels have been called "[Something] of Mana." Anyway, the game will probably take some practice for me, and I'm not sure I'll really concentrate on it until after I've finished Mario and Luigi, but it seems pretty fun.

And, since I haven't received any objections (or any comments whatsoever, for that matter) since I made my post last week about making my posts livejournal-exclusive, I'm going to go ahead and stop cross-posting, at least for the time being. Go here if you want to read any of my later entries.

Thursday, December 2
I had a dream last night that it was Christmas morning, and I hadn't bought presents for anyone. I then made Beth come with me to a Wal-Mart, which had two floors and a large book department. Maybe I really SHOULD get everyone books for Christmas. I mean, everybody likes books, right? Regardless, I should start Christmas shopping soon, so that dream doesn't come true.

I'm trying to level Mario and Luigi up somewhat before trying Teehee Valley again. You have to travel through there with the Princess, but Gritty Goombas and Spiky Snifits keep trying to kidnap her, and those enemies can do a significant amount of damage. Learning to dodge their attacks is probably the best way to get past them, but having more power and hit points certainly wouldn't hurt.

Hmm, I still have an Amazon gift certificate to spend. I wonder what I should buy with it. Any suggestions?

Finally, here's a personality quiz result. I think I took something along these lines before, but oh well. This is actually pretty accurate.

Big Five Word Test Results
Extroversion (41%) moderately low which suggests you are reclusive, quiet, unassertive, and secretive.
Friendliness (52%) medium which suggests you are moderately kind natured, trusting, and helpful while still maintaining your own interests.
Orderliness (47%) medium which suggests you are moderately organized, structured, and self controlled while still remaining flexible, varied, and fun.
Emotional Stability (12%) very low which suggests you are extremely worrying, insecure, emotional, and anxious.
Openmindedness (58%) moderately high which suggests you are intellectual, curious, imaginative but possibly not very practical.
Take Free Big Five Word Choice Test
personality tests by

Wednesday, December 1
I first got a blog back in September 2000, shortly before starting graduate school. I'm not sure if LiveJournal even existed at that point. I know I chose Blogger over Diaryland (Anyone else remember Diaryland? {g}) because I preferred seeing multiple entries on one page. When LiveJournal came around, they struck me as awfully elitist. You either had to pay for an account, or know someone who was. The whole "you have to have money or know somebody" thing comes up so often in life, and I was not at all pleased to see it spread to the Internet. There was something on their main page about how anybody who wanted an account had to contribute something, which I guess kind of makes sense, but it still struck me as kind of a ridiculous attitude to take when there were other online journal services that you could use without contributing anything. The livejournal "community" was fairly insular at that point. An outsider couldn't comment on another person's journal unless they did it anonymously, and some users didn't even allow that. So I was pretty down on LJ at that point. Since they decided to allow people to get free accounts without knowing anybody, though, I guess I've become a convert. The comment system is a lot more convenient than any of the comment services you can use with Blogger. I like the fact that you can receive e-mails to alert you when you've received a comment. Honestly, I think the system should go farther. If you leave a comment on someone else's journal, it will tell you if someone replies to that comment, but not if someone replies to that reply. I think it should notify you of any comments in the same thread. But I digress. The "non-LJ-users have to comment anonymously" thing still exists, but, since it's free to get a journal, there's no reason why you should have to be anonymous. A good commenting system is important to me, since I love getting attention. I have a fear of being ignored or seen as boring, and, if people are commenting, I know that they're at least somewhat interested in what I have to say. Besides, I like a good dialogue, which is difficult to do with Blogger. I'm not really as interested in keeping a journal per se as I am with sharing my thoughts with the world, and LJ strikes me as more of an open forum. Along those lines, I also like the friends page, communities, and the fact that it's easier to stumble across other people's journals. It seems to be more open than Blogger. I know some people prefer Blogger because you can do more template customization and graphic design stuff, but I know nothing about design, and I find changing templates to be rather frustrating. Therefore, that's not a factor for me.

Of course, the main reason I'm considering switching over is because I actually get comments on LJ. If I constantly got comments on my blog and none of my LJ, then I'd probably make my blog my main posting place. The other factors are secondary, but I thought they were worth mentioning anyway.

In non-journal-related news, Beth and I went out to eat at Denny's last night, and found that her cousins Dorothea and Alyssa were already there. That was pretty cool. Less cool was that they had discontinued the Breakfast Dagwood, which is what I usually get there. I guess I'll just stick with the Moons Over My Hammy from now on, even though that's not as filling.

I believe today will mark the fortieth anniversary broadcast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I'll be at work when they're actually showing it, but Beth does have Rudolph on tape, so I suppose I can watch it later.

Monday, November 29
It's now been around eleven months since I first got a livejournal. That means that, for almost a year, I've been cross-posting most of my entries there and to my blog. It seems kind of pointless, when you get right down to it, especially since I don't think anyone has commented on my blog in a month or so. Therefore, I might just stick to LJ for the time being. Before I do that, though, I should ask whether anyone still reads this in blog format, and, if so, whether they'd be adverse to reading it through LJ instead. I won't be erasing the blog or anything, but, if there are no objections, I probably won't post any new entries there (unless LJ changes back to being paid-accounts-only, or something along those lines).

I can't believe it's this weekend that Beth and I will be seeing the Pixies. December was so far away when we bought our tickets. I've heard of occasions of moshing at other Pixies shows, so I'm glad we're going to a venue with assigned seats, even if those seats aren't that great.

In other news, I managed to beat Cackletta before work today. I also heard an interview with Paul Reubens on NPR, which was pretty cool.

Sunday, November 28
I think it's pretty cool that Woohoo Hooniversity (in Mario and Luigi, of course) has a center for block research, where you can find blocks from different Mario games. The enemies in the Hooniversity include those different-colored germs from Dr. Mario. You have to change all of the viruses on the screen to the same color to defeat them.

I always write about video games while I'm playing them, and I doubt anyone is interested. Oh, well.

Speaking of Mario, I wonder if anyone has ever tried to draw a complete map of the Mushroom World. I know the games aren't always consistent with respect to the various lands Mario visits, but, if someone has actually managed to draw a reasonably accurate map of Springfield, then anything is possible.

I took a quiz along these lines before, but I don't think it was the same one. Besides, I got a different result this time. (I got Marvin last time.)

Ford Prefect
Ford Prefect: An alien researcher for the HHGTTG,
you got stuck on Earth for 15 years. You're a
good person, but kind of boring.

Which HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I hope that Hitchhiker's Guide movie that's supposed to be coming out will be good. I still want to hear the radio show that started it all. Amazon offers this, which is an MP3 CD. The reviews give the impression that the sound quality isn't very good, but I can't find any other recordings of the radio program on Amazon. I also want to see the TV series, but not as much as I want to hear the radio show.

To finish up this entry, I saw this in Angela's journal, and I guess I'm required by law to put it in mine.

If there is at least one person in your life who you consider a close friend, and who you would not have met without being part of an online fandom, post this sentence in your journal.

Saturday, November 27
I now have an optical mouse! Hopefully this will last longer than that old one. I also went to Pep Boys to get a replacement hubcap for the one I’d lost. It was a lot cheaper and faster getting it from there than from the dealer. While I hope not to lose any more hubcaps, I’ll probably go back there if it DOES happen another time.

Okay, as promised (or suggested, anyway), here’s my review of the Future Soundtrack for America. To start with, it’s kind of depressing that the immediate purpose of the CD wasn’t fulfilled. The country DIDN’T move on, and the current soundtrack for America is still made up of the likes of Britney Spears and Toby Keith.

Anyway, going song by song:

This Will Be Our Year (OK Go)—This is pretty good. Not super-great or anything, but a solid song. I really don’t know that much about OK Go. I checked their album out from the library once, but I think I only listened to it once. It was better than I expected, really. Maybe I should give it another listen, assuming the library still has it.

Ain’t Got So Far To Go (David Byrne)—I had already heard this song, since it was on a mix CD that I had received recently. I think it’s one of the better songs on the compilation. I like the contrast between verse and chorus.

Game Of Pricks (Jimmy Eat World)—Not that bad, but not that good, either. It has a good amount of energy to it, but isn’t anything spectacular.

This Temporary Life (Death Cab for Cutie)—I’ve been kind of prejudiced against Death Cab for a while, without having actually heard any of their songs (to the best of my knowledge, anyway). I guess I’ve heard one now. The thing is, I think this song COULD be good if it went somewhere. As it is, it kind of drags. The singer’s voice is pretty good, though.

I Miss You (Blink-182)—I don’t care for Blink-182, but apparently people connected with things I like are fans of theirs, since not only are they here, but members of the band make pointless cameo appearances in Gigantic and on that Simpsons episode where Bart gets emancipated. This particular song is all right until the overly whiny lead vocals come in. What is it with whiny vocals being popular with the young people nowadays? The only band I can think of where whiny singing actually worked was Lincoln.

Move On (Mike Doughty)—I know Doughty is the guy from Soul Coughing, but I’ve never really heard much by that band. I’m kind of interested in them, though. I did see Doughty open for They Might Be Giants back in 2000, but I can’t remember much of anything he played. And, of course, he collaborated with TMBG on “Your Mom’s Alright” (which is a cool song) and “Mr. Xcitement” (which, well, kinda sucks). Oh, and I liked that “Frog And Banjo” song that he did for McSweeney’s. “Move On” seems to be one of the most tailor-made songs on the compilation, since it’s about current events, and takes its title from the name of the organization that sponsored the CD. It’s a pretty good song, if a little on the longish side.

Jerry Falwell Destroyed Earth (Ben Kweller)—I kind of expected more from a song with that title. {g} It’s okay for what it is, which is a short, kind of punkish number.

Off With Your Head (Sleater-Kinney)—The first song on the album with female vocals. I’m not really sure what I think of this one. It doesn’t bother me, but it doesn’t stand out for me, either.

Final Straw (R.E.M.)—This is actually a good song. I’ve always been kind of not-so-thrilled by R.E.M., despite the fact that they’re connected to so many bands I DO really like (they used to open for XTC, Camper Van Beethoven opened for them, Peter Buck is a member of the Minus 5, etc.). I mean, I don’t DISLIKE them, but I’ve never been a fan, either. But yeah, I think I like this particular song. It has a good sound to it.

Going For The Gold (Bright Eyes)—Eh, I don’t really care for the guy’s voice, and there really isn’t much music to speak of. It’s more a spoken-word kind of thing. Not that that’s necessarily bad, but I don’t think it works so well here.

The Commander Thinks Aloud (Long Winters)—I think I first heard of this band when they were on tour with the Decemberists. Clever combination, huh? I didn’t know much about either band at that point. Since then, I’ve gotten to like the Decemberists, but I still don’t know much about the Long Winters. This song has an interesting sound to it, but I don’t love it or anything. The lead singer’s voice is a little on the weird side, but it’s considerably better than that of the guy from Bright Eyes.

Money ( of The Black-Eyed Peas)—A rap song about the power of money, with a heavy trumpet part. It provides some variety, which is good.

Tippecanoe And Tyler Too (TMBG)—This song is the main reason I wanted the CD, and it didn’t disappoint. Considering that it’s a cover of an old campaign song, I find it interesting that the lyric “Van is a used-up man” sounds like something the Johns would write. I’m not sure if that means they picked a song that was similar to something they would have written, or just that the Johns like to use early nineteenth-century sorts of expressions. By the way, this is the second TMBG song that mentions Martin Van Buren, isn’t it?

The Ballad Of David Icke (Clem Snide)—I think the words to this one are good, but the sound of the vocal is a little grating. I don’t think I’d ever heard of Clem before this, by the way.

Date With The Night (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)—Another song that I think is marred by poor vocals. I get the idea that the lead chick is singing that way on purpose, but I still don’t care for it. Oh, well. Seems to me I’ve heard at least one other song by this band, but I can’t remember what it sounded like.

Everything’s Ruined (Fountains of Wayne)—I like this one, but don’t have that much to say about it. Fairly typical of the band’s sound, but that’s not a bad thing at all. That reminds me that I should ask Beth if I can borrow her FoW CDs.

Your Legs Grow (Nada Surf)—Another pretty good song. I could see this one growing on me.

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Flaming Lips)—I actually checked out the Yoshimi album from the library the same day I got the OK Go CD, and I really liked it. In fact, it might be worth adding to my wishlist. This live, piano-based version of the title song is pretty darned cool as well.

Northern Line (Old 97’s)—This is pretty catchy, if a little on the long side.

Sam Stone (Laura Cantrell)—I had heard the original version of this song on a John Prine tape that my dad had, and I didn’t care for it. I DO like this cover, though. I think the main reason for this is that Mr. Prine is kind of a lousy singer, while Ms. Cantrell is excellent in the vocal department. Maybe I’d like some of Prine’s other songs if Laura (or someone else I liked) were to sing them. By the way, I tend to really like the mandolin work on Laura’s songs. I checked the liner notes for When the Roses Bloom Again, and it says the mandolin was played by Jon Graboff. I’m not sure who that is, or whether he’s also playing the instrument on “Sam Stone.”

Day After Tomorrow (Tom Waits)—Speaking of lousy singers, Mr. Waits is someone whom other musicians seem to love, but I don’t care for his voice. The thing is, Frank Black and Moxy Früvous both covered Waits songs, and I liked the covers. I think Tori Amos also did one of his songs on Strange Little Girls. I guess maybe I like Tom all right as a writer, but not as a singer. I guess he’s in pretty much the same category as Leonard Cohen (who also had songs covered by Frank and Tori). So, anyway, I don’t care for the song, but maybe I’d like it if someone else were singing it.

A Distorted Reality Is Now A Necessity To Be Free (Elliott Smith)—This is good, although I think it might take a few more listens to get the full effect. Everyone seems to love Elliott Smith. I wonder if I should check out more of his music. Incidentally, the liner notes for this song end with “Elliott, we miss you.”

So, while I’m not that thrilled by some tracks, it’s a pretty good compilation as a whole.

Friday, November 26
As I'm sure you know, today is Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. I'm probably not going to be doing any shopping today, but I guess I will have to do that soon. I'm not a big fan of Christmas shopping, because I never know what to get anybody. Well, for the most part, anyway. I think Beth is easy to shop for, but that might be largely because she likes the same kind of stuff I do. Not exactly the same items, but the same sorts of things (books, CDs, video games, etc.).

In my dream last night, I could run in the air. Actually, this is a pretty common recurring dream for me. I don't recall ever dreaming that I could fly as such, but being able to levitate in the air and run around that way is something that happens pretty often. As a variation on this, I remember a dream a few years back where I moved around in the air by making a pedaling motion, like I was riding an invisible bicycle. It kind of puts me in mind of the Vegetable Kingdom in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, where the weak gravitational attraction let people walk in the air. I don't know if that's what my subconscious has in mind, though.

Have I already written about my running-in-the-air dreams on this journal? Oh, well. It's still relevant, what with my having had another one of them last night.

It doesn't look like there are any inns, or similar places to recover lost hit points, in Mario and Luigi. Maybe I'm just missing them, though.

Thursday, November 25
Happy Turkey Day to everyone, except for the vegetarians reading this, who should have a happy...uh, Soy Turkey Day, or something. Does "Turkey Day" seem to anyone else like it should be a Turkish national holiday? You know, like the election of Mustafa Kemal as President, or something like that? Okay, it's probably just me.

I remember learning that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird. One of my first grade classmated laughed at this when we heard it at the zoo, but I think it might have been a good choice. Instead, the country went with a long-standing symbol of imperialism. Pretty telling, isn't it?

Anyway, last night, I went out bowling with Beth and her cousins Dorothea and Alyssa. The bowling alley had installed this new system, which took a little time to figure out. The screens no longer show merely the score, but they now have advertisements and little animated sequences that pertain to how well you bowled. For instance, one of the cartoons that shows up when you hit only one pin shows an elephant sitting on someone. There was also a problem with the bowling balls getting stuck behind the pins, but that was probably just our lane, and had nothing to do with the new scoring machines. For what it's worth, I'm a REALLY bad bowler. There was one point in time when Beth and I went bowling almost every week, and I was starting to get a little better. Now I'm back to being just plain bad again. After bowling, we went out to Denny's, where I had the Moons Over My Hammy.

In Mario and Luigi, I managed to get past the difficult part on Hoohoo Mountain without consulting a walkthrough. As I had guessed, it turned out I was neglecting something obvious. I didn't realize I could have Mario and Luigi move from side to side while spin jumping. I DID end up looking at a walkthrough to figure out how to defeat Queen Bean, since it really seemed like I wasn't making any headway on my own. It turned out that the best method to use in fighting her is pretty similar to that used in fighting Baigan in the original American Final Fantasy II.

I'm here at Beth's house for Thanksgiving dinner. I had considered going home, or even eating at BOTH places, but that wasn't really practical. We haven't eaten yet, but we should be doing so before too much longer.

Wednesday, November 24
I'm not really sure why, but I held off on getting the Bed, Bed, Bed book when it first came out. Beth got it, and I guess I thought I could just look at and listen to hers, but I never really did. I now have my own copy of it. It's a cute book, with good illustrations. The pictures of the Johns and illustrator Marcel Dzama as kids on the back cover are a nice touch. As for the songs:

Impossible--This kind of reminds me of "Fibber Island," both in theme and in sound. I like "Fibber" better (although "Impossible" is a better title), but this is still pretty good. That pennywhistle, or whatever it is, makes me think of "The Fool On The Hill."

Happy Doesn't Have To Have An Ending--I'm not sure what to think of this one. The rapping parts are kind of weird. This will probably grow on me, if I give it a chance. I doubt I'll actually listen to the CD much, though. Maybe I'll rip it to my computer.

Idlewild--I remember hearing this on a clip from some radio show the Johns were on back before the book came out. It's a nice slow song, and I'm glad to have a recording of it.

Bed, Bed, Bed, Bed, Bed--Nowhere near as good as the original, but a decent cover/reinterpretation. I guess it's kind of like "Another First Kiss," in that the song is being redone in a more predictable fashion ("Kiss" as a slow love song, and "Bed" as a lullaby).

In other news, here is a list of Oz books I want. I'm sure no one is interested, but I thought it would make a good addendum to my Amazon wishlist.

I'm a little disappointed that only five people replied to that recommendation/question post. Come on, is it THAT difficult? In case you missed it the first time, it's here.

Oh, and I also forgot to mention that Beth's uncle Harry gave me some chocolates and cologne for my birthday. I've never worn cologne before, but it might not be a bad time to start.

Tuesday, November 23
I started playing Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, and it's been pretty fun so far. You get to see Mario come out of the shower in his underwear, which is...well, pretty weird. So far, Mario and Luigi have teamed up with Bowser Koopa to try to get Princess Peach's voice back (the Mario Brothers because they want to help her, and Bowser because he can't kidnap her with her new destructive voice). It seems to be pretty much par for the course that Mario and Bowser make a reluctant alliance in the Mario RPGs. The original Super Mario RPG actually let you control the Koopa King, which was pretty cool. He's the main bad guy in Paper Mario, but I think he might help out in Paper Mario 2. I could be wrong, in which case it would just be the two non-Paper Mario RPGs that have Bowser as an ally. Anyway, I've made it to Hoohoo Mountain, and I'm having trouble figuring out how to reach the summit. In addition to the battles, which have been pretty easy so far, there have been some challenges, like jumping a rope and using a spin jump to gather Hoohoo Spirits between ledges. These are probably harder for me than they should be, but I eventually did both of them.

I'm thinking it's about time to get a new icon, but I'm not sure what to go with. I'm thinking maybe something else Mario-related. Something related to They Might Be Giants might be nice, but I'd want something that hadn't been done twenty thousand million times (See? It's a TMBG reference! {g}) before, so it doesn't just end up being a situation like, "OMG, im using teh THEY scul or teh snoman w/teh money!!!!11" I wonder if the picture from the flying carpet T-shirt has been used. It's kind of hard for me to come up with ideas, yet I also would kind of like to have MORE icons, so I didn't have to get rid of my old ones. I don't want that enough to actually pay money to livejournal, though.

For some reason, Hotmail has decided to reorganize my contacts in order by last name, rather than first. The thing is, some of my contacts didn't really have last names, so I just separated a description into two parts. This means that some of my contacts now show up as things like "Mailing List, They Might Be Giants" and "Reference Center, New Jersey Statewide."

COMING SOON (PROBABLY): A review of Bed, Bed, Bed (as if anyone really cares about it at this point).

Monday, November 22
It was really foggy out last night, making it kind of hard to drive. It's been a while since it's been that foggy.

I liked last night's Simpsons episode. Like last week's, it wasn't uproariously funny, but it still worked well. Bart's pathetic party was pretty amusing, although it could have been better. Ralph's duck-duck-goose bit was funny, but it kind of veered into rake scene territory. The way in which Marge's motherliness toward Nelson developed was believable. Lisa's subplot wasn't as funny, but it did fit in fairly seamlessly with the main plot. One background joke I particularly liked was that the cake Lisa ate was a Labor Day cake for Lenny. (I guess that wasn't exactly a background joke, since it was pretty obvious, but they didn't really call attention to it, either.) Also, the bathroom at the clothing store was "for purging only."

Also last night, I got Bed, Bed, Bed (the children's book that They Might Be Giants did) and the Future Soundtrack for America from Beth and her Uncle John, respectively. I haven't had a chance to listen to either of my new CDs yet, though. Right now, I'm listening to the new Neko Case CD, The Tigers Have Spoken. It's a good CD, and there's an amusing hidden track at the end.

After I've posted this entry and taken a look at my friends page, I'm probably going to start playing Mario and Luigi. I'll probably have some comments on that in the future.

And here's another quiz result:

I am Strength

Strength represents patience and compassion. Getting angry is easy when events turn sour, but dealing calmly with frustration takes great strength. So does accepting others and forgiving mistakes. We need strength to mold situations softly. The Chariot controls through mastery and authority. Card 8 is more subtle, even loving. Notice how the lion (itself a symbol of strength) is being guided and tamed by the woman's gentle hands.

For a full description of your card and other goodies, please visit

What tarot card are you? Enter your birthdate.

Month: Day: Year:

Sunday, November 21
So, that new Nintendo DS came out today, and I went out to Kmart to get one for Beth. I had called them last night, and the girl I talked to said they opened at 9. When I called at 7:30 this morning, though, I found out that girl had been wrong, and they actually opened at 8. So I hurried over there, only to find out that they apparently didn't have the DS in stock. The employees seemed to have not even heard of it, and the lady at the customer service counter suggested that they might not have gotten them in their last shipment. That strikes me as odd for a big-ticket item that's in their sale paper. I guess there's no way of knowing what happened there. I WAS able to get one at Target, though, so I suppose it all worked out in the end.

I'm still unsure as to whether I should get a Game Boy Advance for myself. I'm actually considering getting an iPod instead. There's a big difference in price between the two items, but if I don't buy the GBA, that's more money towards the iPod. I guess I'd just get the small iPod (the 20 GB one, that is, not the Mini). I'm not sure whether that would be a good buy, though, especially when there are other things I want. Any thoughts?

This quiz didn't have any pictures, but I pretty much HAD to take it:

You are Rincewind the Wizzard! Your self
preservation instint is usually in overdrive,
but at the same time, you are always finding a
way to be a hero. Or being a hero finds a way
to find you!

What Discworld Character are you? (FINSIHED!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

I should probably go back to bed. I only got five and a half hours of sleep, and, while I'm not that tired right now, I'm sure my lack of sleep will catch up with me eventually.

Saturday, November 20
I found a link to this article on the 8-Bit Theater page. If there's one thing we need in this country, it's stricter copyright laws!

I'm being sarcastic, of course. I think copyright law is already ridiculous. Take the copyright term lengths, for one thing. I think they've gone up to something like 75 years after the creator's death, or 95 years for works-for-hire. Is there really any reason why the creator's great-grandchildren should have control over something they had no hand in making? It isn't so much the heirs of private citizens with individual copyrights who are to blame here, though, but rather (surprise, surprise) huge corporations. It's no secret that the most recent copyright term extension was lobbied for when it looked like Mickey Mouse would be entering the public domain in a few years.

As for the file-sharing and bootlegging issues, they really seem to be cases of making mountains out of molehills, and finding convenient scapegoats. Is there any actual proof that anyone has lost money by someone downloading a song? I seriously doubt it, considering that there's no way you would have known whether that person was going to buy the album, or whether they already OWN the album, or, for that matter, whether an album even exists. Mind you, I can see how unregulated file-sharing could POTENTIALLY lead to abuse of the system and lost profits, but I'm not sure it has as of yet. With all the people who use file-sharing to sample songs by various artists, you have to wonder why more record labels don't just put up samples on their artists' websites. I've heard of cases where the labels actually OPPOSED such a thing, though, which makes absolutely no sense. I'm sure you've all heard the "record companies refuse to adapt to the changing times" argument a zillion times before, but I think it makes a good point. To me, though, I think the more important issue that it's not a big deal. Worth re-evaluating the industry, perhaps, but hardly worth getting the government involved.

I'd say I'm probably more against movie bootlegging, but even in that case I think the effects are being exaggerated. I mean, are there REALLY that many cases where someone says, "Well, I COULD see this movie on the big screen, and I have the money to afford to do that, but I think I'll just buy a poorly-filmed copy from the shady-looking vendor on the street instead"? Besides, haven't people been bootlegging movies for years? I don't think bootlegging is ever going to stop, no matter how many ten-year-olds get sued for downloading the latest Britney Spears song. [1]

What is the official purpose of the RIAA and MPAA, anyway? As of late, they seem to be essentially corporate-sponsored bullies. Their tactics are based on on a combination of fear ("Don't download stuff, or we'll COME AFTER YOU!") and forced pity ("If you download movies, this poor dolly grip will lose his job, and you don't want THAT to happen, do you?"), both of which are pretty sleazy. These are pretty common tactics nowadays, though. I mean, compare them to those used by the Bush campagin. "Voting for Kerry means terrorists will attack you!" and "Raising taxes on the top 2% of wage-earners will hurt SMALL BUSINESSES! You don't want to put your local mom-and-pop hardware store out of business, do you?" Those in power do what they can to help the huge corporations maintain a stranglehold on the nation, and then try to convince everyone else that this is GOOD for them. If the big corporations benefit, then EVERYBODY does! Trickle-down economics! After all, the business of America is business, right? Damn you, Calvin Coolidge! Why couldn't you have kept your mouth shut, like you did all the rest of the time?

Anyway, here are some quiz results:

You Are the Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

You are a Deconstructionist! Everything is
relative, stretched along an unending chain of
signifiers. You cannot even read a take-out
menu without deconstructing and destabilizing
the meaning of the text. You are one of the
chosen few who understand the writing of
Jacques Derrida! You delight in making meaning,
and taking meaning, trashing meaning and
bashing meaning, slaying meaning and playing
meaning. And you also like green eggs and ham.
No one understands you or really likes being
around you, but you don't care; they may not
exist anyway.

What kind of literary critic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

By the way, should I buy my own Game Boy Advance, or just borrow Beth's?

[1] Okay, maybe people who willingly listen to Britney SHOULD be legally reprimanded, but not for copyright infringement.