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Wednesday, December 31
Well, the year is almost over. I don't know that it's been a particularly good year overall, considering all the people who died. It seems like a different celebrity died every week, and my grandfather and cat also passed away. On the bright side, I did get a new job late this year, even if it is just part-time. I suppose most of the year wasn't bad for me, personally, but it wasn't so great for the world in general, I guess.

I remember when I used to think it was a big deal to stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve. Now I do that pretty much every day.

Tuesday, December 30
I hate cleaning and organizing things. Actually, I don't mind it if there's a specific place to put things, but I hate finding places for things. I'd say this might be the case with papers more so than anything else. I'm always getting more of them, and I don't know whether I should keep them. If I decide I should, there's never anywhere convenient to put them. It's annoying.

Since 2003 is almost over, I think it might be about time for me to say what good came out of it, in terms of music.

New albums I've heard this year:

Belle and Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe Waitress -- I don't have that much to say about it, but it's a cool album.

Frank Black and the Catholics: Show Me Your Tears -- Not my favorite effort by Frank's current band (I prefer Dog in the Sand by a considerable margin), but still a worthy album. Favorite song: Massif Centrale

Cracker: Countrysides -- Based on what I've read about it, it's a collection of covers of redneck-style country songs, done with a generous dose of irony, but not intended to be funny. I'm not totally sure I understand the concept, but it's fun to listen to, and that's what counts, right?

The Minus Five: Down with Wilco -- This is a good record. I'm glad Scott McCaughey is still writing songs. I hope a new Young Fresh Fellows album will be released in the future. Favorite song: Retrieval Of You

The New Pornographers: Electric Version -- Not as good or as eclectic as Mass Romantic, but really catchy and enjoyable.

Andy Partridge: Fuzzy Warbles Volume 3 -- The third in this collection of excellent but expensive discs of demos and rarities by XTC's leading man. I think Volume 2 remains my favorite, but this is still very good. My favorite song, as it now stands, is probably "My Train Is Coming."

"Weird Al" Yankovic: Poodle Hat -- I've been a big fan of Al for longer than any other musician or band, and a new album from him is always a big event. This was no exception, especially after the long wait since Running with Scissors. This is pretty typical Al, but that's not a problem. "Bob" is one of the most clever concepts he's come up with in some time, and "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?" is an amusing Ben Folds style parody. The best direct parody is probably "eBay," a takeoff on the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way."

Albums I've heard, but not enough times to form that much of an opinion:

Erin McKeown: Grand -- Based on only one listen all the way through, I thought this was a pretty strong album. More average than Distillation, probably, in that there really weren't any songs as good as the best ones on the earlier record, but there didn't seem to be any as weak as the worst ones on Distillation.

Sloan: Action Pact -- I only listened to this once, and I thought it was all right, but not spectacular. Somewhat disappointing when compared with the other Sloan albums I've heard.

Not really albums, but still cool:

Ben Folds: Speed Graphic and Sunny 16
They Might Be Giants: Bed, Bed, Bed

Stuff I'd like to hear, but haven't:

Tori Amos: Tales of a Librarian, Blur: Think Tank, and Fountains of Wayne: Welcome Interstate Managers -- Beth has these, but I've never had a chance to listen to them all the way through.
The Minus Five: I Don't Know Who I Am -- I've seen this listed at Amazon, but they don't have a tracklist, and I know of no other evidence that it actually exists. Maybe I should check on that.
Andy Partridge: Fuzzy Warbles Volume 4 -- There were two of these released this year.
Liz Phair: Self-titled -- I'm not all that impressed by the way "Why Can't I" sounds like a zillion other overproduced female-sung songs on the radio, but I've heard the rest of the album is different.

Not released this year, but purchased by me this year:

The big one here would be the Sugarplastic's Bang, the Earth Is Round, which blew me away. If I were capable of writing songs, the lyrics would probably be kind of similar to theirs. Laura Cantrell's When the Roses Bloom Again is also pretty cool.

Concerts I've attended: Camper Van Beethoven, TMBG (four times, I think), Tori Amos and Ben Folds (twice), Erin McKeown, Belle and Sebastian with Rasputina opening, and that show with Neko Case, Carolyn Mark, Kelly Hogan, and John Rauhouse

Monday, December 29
You are MARLIN!
What Finding Nemo Character are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

I made it up to what's probably the final battle in Dragon Warrior Monsters, but I can't win it. I guess I'll have to build up my monsters some more.

It's apparently free to set up a LiveJournal now (about time, says I), so I created one, which you can see right here. I probably won't write anything in it, but I wanted to be able to reply to other LiveJournal posts without being anonymous.

I finished reading The Lavender Bear of Oz last night. It was really short, but it was a good book. I liked it better than the authors' earlier effort, Masquerade in Oz, which I found a little overly silly in spots. There was a lot of silliness in Lavender Bear, too, but I think it fit in better with the plot. I liked revisiting Bear Center (which first appeared in The Lost Princess of Oz), and I think Irwin and Terry did a good job at expanding upon life in this city of stuffed bears. The fairly useless riding bears, the Lavender Bear's pogo stick for long-distance travel, and the Squirrel King's magic eight-ball were all clever touches. The choice of babies from Merryland as pseudo-villains was rather odd (I didn't much care for the Valley of Babies when I first read about it in Dot and Tot of Merryland), but it worked pretty well.

I should probably do some more work on my own Oz manuscript.

Sunday, December 28
Last night, I finally used the gift certificate that my mom had given me for my birthday, and went to Red Lobster with Beth and her Uncle John. Beth and I both had the all-you-can-eat shrimp, which is a good deal. I had had that last year, and I'm glad they brought it back. Shrimp is one of my favorite foods, although I'm different from a lot of people in that I prefer it hot. Chilled shrimp just doesn't seem as good to me. My favorite preparation method is probably scampi.

Later that night, Beth and I watched some HBO documentary about hate sites on the Internet. It was scary stuff. Apparently the crap that's out there inspired some people to shoot multi-racial couples, and commit other acts of the sort.

Saturday, December 27
I had a good Christmas. I spent it at Beth's house, and I got some nice gifts from her family, including shirts, socks, candy, and a stuffed penguin from her Uncle John. From Beth herself, I got a shirt, a copy of the movie Beetlejuice, a Play-Doh toy, and Ben Folds's Sunny 16 EP.

On the day after Christmas (yesterday), Beth and I went up to New York City. We went shopping at the Sanrio store and Books of Wonder. At the latter store, I bought two Oz books: Jack Snow's The Shaggy Man of Oz (the only Famous Forty Oz book I didn't already own in SOME form) and Bill Campbell and Irwin Terry's The Lavender Bear of Oz. After that, we went out to eat with erin and Matt at a restaurant called Chat and Chew. There actually used to be a restaurant near where I live with that same name, but I don't think it was related. That Chat and Chew has been gone for years, and I believe it was a pizza place, which the one in Manhattan isn't. It did, however, have excellent macaroni and cheese.

After dinner, we went to the They Might Be Giants concert at Irving Plaza. The opener, Corn Mo, was, well, quite unusual. He was a guy who played an accordion, but the more amusing and interesting part of his act was that he told all kinds of weird, long, fast-paced stories relating to his songs, most of which I can't really remember. He claimed that John Flansburgh wanted him to be chatty, and he certainly was. I know he said something about how crappy the mall the area of Texas where he grew up was, and he mentioned that he had joined the circus at their request. I can't explain it all that well; it's something you would have to see and hear to believe. Oh, and I believe it's worth mentioning that some girl standing near us at the show was wearing jeans on which she had written the titles of a bunch of Queen songs. Corn Mo covered "We Are The Champions," and I think this girl practically exploded in her excitement.

TMBG's set was probably one of the better ones I've heard from them. They were accompanied by a three-piece horn section: Mark Pender on the trumpet, Dan Levine on the trombone, and some guy whose name I can't remember on the tuba. The drummer was Marty Beller, the same person who drummed at that in-store last month. I really don't know what happened to Dan Hickey. Anyway, the setlist included several songs I had heard only rarely or never at all before, including "Metal Detector," "Dirt Bike," "Mr. Me," "Lie Still, Little Bottle" (with The Stick), and the new "Stalk Of Wheat." They did play "Spy," which I've never really liked that much, but they thankfully kept the improvisational section pretty short. "She's Actual Size" was totally absent from the set. "Shoehorn With Teeth" had Marty playing a set of three of those "ring for service" bells for the glockenspiel parts, which was amusing, but I have to wonder whether they're ever going to get another actual glockenspiel. I'm pretty sure they said they would, but I think they also said they'd get new puppet heads (they gave these old props away to contest winners, for those of you who might be wondering what happened to the original ones), and I have no evidence that they've done that, either. They covered the Beach Boys' "Caroline No" (of which I can't recall ever actually hearing the original; I've never listened to Pet Sounds, despite the fact that lots of musicians have said it was the greatest album ever or some such) and talked about how the Beach Boys were their nemeses (I had to look up the plural of "nemesis," by the way), and joked about how Mike Love was on his ninth wife. They really were quite talkative (Corn Mo had told them to be chatty, according to Flans), which was good. Flans said that he had gotten four pairs of pajamas for Christmas, three of them from John Linnell. He also made a reference to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (which Beth appreciated {g}) and said that the last conversation he had had about rock music with his mom was about the "Walking Heads," which prompted Linnell to refer to TMBG as "They Walk Be Giants."

After the show, I got a little bit of sleep at Beth's, and now I'm at work. I'm not sure exactly why a community college library would be open today, but there are some people using it, and I can use the money. I just wish I'd gotten more sleep, because I'm pretty tired.

Thursday, December 25
Hey, everybody! It's the Christmas alphabet:


Get it? Too bad I don't remember how that joke with the punchline "Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear" goes.

Anyway, merry Christmas to anyone reading this! Yes, all three or four of you.

Wednesday, December 24
Now playing: Dr. Demento, The Greatest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time

Great. Blogger just lost my last entry. I guess I'll try to rewrite it. It wasn't that long, but I'm still annoyed.

Yesterday, I went with Beth and her Uncle John to see Elf. I thought it was good, and certainly much better than the commercials made it look. I have to wonder when it was supposed to have taken place, since a Gimbels features in it.

I still need to take Beth to see Brother Bear, and see The Return of the King without Beth (not that I would mind Beth seeing it with me, but she hasn't seen either of the other Lord of the Rings movies).

Happy Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 23
I have to wonder if the specialty Monopoly sets are getting out of hand. That's not to say that I have anything against such sets, but they should make sense. When the spaces are, say, characters or events from a movie, how does that work? Doesn't it only work if the spaces are properties? Do you buy characters and events? I've never actually played one of these games, so maybe they figured out some way to make them work. I don't know.

I need to figure out how to get to New York for the They Might Be Giants concert on Friday.

So, is everyone all ready for Christmas? I think I should get another gift for my dad, but I won't see him until New Year's, so there's no hurry there.

Monday, December 22
Congratulations! You're Pippin!

Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I finished most of my shopping today, which is good. I went to a shopping center in Monroeville, which was apparently designed by the minds behind the Labyrinth of Crete, because it's incredibly difficult to find the entrance to any particular set of stores. The heavy holiday traffic didn't certainly didn't help matters in this respect. I think I got everything I wanted from there, though.

Sunday, December 21
I had a dream last night about a video game that I think might actually be a good idea. Beth owned this game that let you play other games (mostly ones for the original Nintendo Entertainment System, I think; I remember trying it out with the original Super Mario Bros.) and bring their characters into this new game. I'm not sure what you would do with them after that, but it seems like a neat concept. In the same dream, I was riding a bus that was identified as the Hopper-Horner Express, in order to deliver a package to a Horner. The Hoppers and Horners are two neighboring peoples in the Oz books who constantly declare war on each other for silly reasons; The Patchwork Girl of Oz had the Hoppers declare war because of a bad joke that the Horners made. I don't have Oz-related dreams as often as I'd like, so that was cool, even though the dreamscape didn't really look much like Oz. I don't think Oz has buses, for one thing.

Saturday, December 20
Now Internet Explorer won't work on my computer. I don't know what's wrong with it. Apparently something happened when my brother tried to install router software, and he said to reinstall Windows, but that did no good. I guess I'll have to talk to him about it. My anti-virus updates still won't load. Why must my computer be such a piece of crap?

I'm going to give my family some Christmas presents tonight, since I won't be seeing them on Christmas Day. I hope they like the presents, but they might not. I still have to do some more shopping for some non-family people.

Friday, December 19
I should get my oil changed today. Actually, I'm probably due for a tune-up soon. I wonder where I could get that done.

Thursday, December 18
The WB's annoying split-screen credits identified How the Grinch Stole Christmas as being by "Dr. Suess." Holy typo, Batman!

Well, I ended up being late for both of my interviews. I was late for the first one because of traffic, and I don't think that was a particularly big deal. For the second one, I took a wrong turn and ended up crossing the state line into Delaware (the interview was at Neumann College in Aston, Pennsylvania), which was pretty embarrassing. I guess the interviews themselves went all right, but I really have no way of knowing.

After my interviews, Beth, her cousin Dorothea, and I went to the King of Prussia Mall. The only thing I ended up buying there was a present for Beth from the Sanrio store. I still need to buy gifts for a few people, but I don't think I'll do that in King of Prussia.

Tuesday, December 16
This week's Simpsons episode was one of the better ones so far this season. The talking astrolabe was funny, as were the numerous Christmas special parodies. I think this is the second time stop-motion animation has been used on the show, and while it seems somewhat out of place (back in the day, they probably would have just drawn a California Raisins parody, had they chosen to do one), but it's pretty cool.

Two more interviews tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 15
I had an interview early this morning. I don't think it went too well, though. Oh, well.

Sunday, December 14
So, they captured Saddam Hussein, huh? That's good, considering that he was a rotten guy and all, but I don't know that it's really an amazing victory for the forces of good, or a step towards peace in the Middle East, or anything like that.

Anyway, in news more close to home, I've played a little more of Superstar, and gotten one of my Sims started on the track to fame. I haven't had to make any famous friends yet, though. I wonder how that will go when I have to do that.

Saturday, December 13
Well, my computer seems to be able to load web pages again now, thanks to the foreign guy from Dell tech support who called me "ma'am." I guess I'll try installing DSL soon, but I'm not sure if we're going to go through with getting it. My mom has hinted that my sister might not want to use it after all, and that there are problems with using it on her computer, but I'm not really sure what's going on there. I'm on AOL right now.

The other day, I played Super Mario Advance 4 at a few stores. That game, for those of you who don't know, is a version of Super Mario Bros. 3 for the GameBoy Advance. I've never been any good at that game, but I was even worse than usual yesterday. I guess I'm out of practice. Someday when I have the time and resources, I should sit down with those old Nintendo games I could never get anywhere in, and finally try to win them. I'm not good with the timing or eye-hand coordination, but maybe I could get better with practice. Who knows? I really would like to be able to get somewhere in SMB3, because it's one of the best video games ever. Yeah, I know I'm going along with the crowd here, but it really is. It introduced so many innovations in the Super Mario series, like the map screen and Mario's ability to fly. It was essentially the game that made my family want to get a Nintendo in the first place. (Yes, we did get it pretty late in the system's run. I'm generally behind the times in getting new things.)

Friday, December 12
Congrats! You're Mario!

What Super Mario Bros. character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Kind of a weird quiz, but much better than that other Mario quiz I took a few years back. I like that there are some more unexpected choices, including Princess Daisy, Donkey Kong, and a Bob-omb. Of course, with all of these choices, I ended up getting Mario. It figures, doesn't it? {g} (I like Luigi better, for what it's worth.)

It looks like I'll be working the weekend after Christmas. That's not really a big deal, but I was going to go to Virginia with my family then. Oh, well. I guess I could go down there on my own at some point, since I DO have a car now. I've never driven that far before, though.

Grammar Fuhrer
You are the grammar Fuhrer. All bow to your
authority. You will crush all the inferior
people under the soles of your jackboots, and
any who question your motives will be
eliminated. Your punishment is being the bane
of every other person's existence, because
you're constantly contradicting stupidity.
Everyone will be gunning for you. Your dreams
of a master race of spellers and grammarians
frighten the masses. You must always watch your
back. If only your power could be used for good
instead of evil.

What is your grammar aptitude?
brought to you by Quizilla

Just what I need! A big old picture of Hitler on my blog! THAT will send a good message!

Anyway, if anyone else takes this quiz, take a look at the fifth question. Is it just me, or are ALL of those choices grammatically incorrect?

I'm here at work early on a Friday morning. I hate getting up so early, but I don't mind working, especially considering that there isn't generally that much to do here. This will be my longest time working at this job so far. I'm covering for my supervisor.

Thursday, December 11
I got my copy of Andy Partridge's Fuzzy Warbles Volume 3 in the mail today. It was an indirect birthday present from my brother (he gave me an Amazon gift certificate, and I picked this out and paid the remainder of what it cost). I've only gotten to listen to it once all the way through, but it sounds good. The first song, "My Train Is Coming," is cool, with a sixties feel to it. I believe Andy wrote it for a movie soundtrack, but it was rejected. There's also a cover of the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever," with Andy singing and Dave Gregory doing everything else. It's quite faithful to the original arrangement. The demos for songs that were released on XTC albums are "Great Fire," "Collideascope," "Train Running Low On Soul Coal," "Holly Up On Poppy," and "Little Lighthouse," all excellent songs. I really wish the Fuzzy Warbles CDs didn't cost so much, or I would buy them closer to when they came out. I know a Volume 4 was released earlier this year (at the same time as Volume 3, I believe), and I'm sure 5 and 6 will be out soon.

I played a few seconds of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga at Kmart the other day. I'm curious to know whether it's more RPG-ish or action-based (and, for that matter, I have pretty much the same question about Paper Mario). I like RPGs, and Beth prefers action games. Really, I have nothing AGAINST action games, but I suck at them.

Tuesday, December 9
Now playing: The Sugarplastic, "Sheep"

I'm sorry I haven't blogged in a while, but I don't really have much to say. Yesterday, Beth took me out to Denny's, which was really nice of her. I had a Breakfast Dagwood, and, as usual, I couldn't finish it in one sitting. I just ate the rest recently. Beth also helped me start my Christmas shopping. I have quite a bit more of that to do, so maybe I'd better get serious about it.

Sunday, December 7
Blogger is apparently down, or at least not loading here at work, so I'll probably have to wait until tonight to post this.

1. When I turned on WXPN this morning, I heard the end of Cracker's "Satisfy You." First the Pixies, and now this. I don't think I'd even bother noting it if I hadn't heard both of these songs immediately after turning on the radio, but as it is, it makes for some pretty cool coincidences.

2. I had a dream last night that I was in a store, and I found a few boxes of tiny Final Fantasy figures. Each one promised that it had at least one character from every game. As far as I know, there are really only figures based on characters in the later games, at least in this country. I remember seeing some FF7 and 8 action figures back when I worked at a toy store, and thinking that I would buy them if they were FF3 figures. There was also a Super Mario Kart figure there, but it was Wario, and I'm not an especially big fan of his. If it were Luigi or Bowser or possibly Toad, I probably would have bought it. Beth DID get me a Bowser toy for Christmas last year, and I'm glad to have that. I've seen a few Zelda figures at video game stores, but they're usually pretty expensive. I guess the point I'm trying to make here (if any) is that I want there to be more relatively cheap toys based on video games I like. Oh, and non-movie-based Oz toys would be fun, too. I can't help wondering whether a playset of, say, Ugu the Shoemaker's wicker castle or the Wizard of Wutz's secret mountain laboratory would be at least semi-popular even with people who had no desire to read the books. Probably not, though. Oh, well. I think they'd be cool.

3. I still can't load web pages on my computer. I'll probably call tech support soon. If anyone else has any idea as to what I should do, please tell me. I really want to get this fixed. By the way, I'm not sure whether we're going to go through with installing DSL or not.

4. I tried out the Superstar expansion pack for The Sims last night. It seems kind of confusing, but maybe I'll eventually get the hang of it, like I did with most of the other expansions. Or maybe I'll just generally refrain from using the additional features, like I did with Hot Date.

Saturday, December 6
I have my computer set up now, but I'm not sure it's going to do me much good. I tried to set up a DSL connection, but it wouldn't work, and the tech guy I called might have made things worse, rather than better. My mom called tech support again, and found out that, despite what a recording had said, we couldn't use it yet. So I installed AOL, but it doesn't seem to be working very well. I can load some web pages, but apparently only through the AOL browser, and only occasionally. I'm typing this on my computer, but I couldn't load my e-mail, so I don't know what's going on. It's really weird, because I can get connected to the Internet, but not do much on it. I did get to check out the new Sims expansion pack, and I'm guessing my CD burner still works, so if anyone wants me to burn them a CD, let me know. I just hope I can get the Internet to work properly. I'm afraid it's the fault of my computer, and that I might have to take it into a shop or something.

Friday, December 5
I have to admit that I have been known to do something that is frowned upon in online discussion groups. I have fed trolls. I guess I can chalk this up largely to three weaknesses of mine: I like to debate, I like attention, and I often feel like I have to say something when a matter comes up on which I have an opinion. And, as I'm sure you all know, if you oblige a troll, they'll argue with you until the cows come home. I'm generally not dumb enough to think that I could actually win an argument with a troll, but I have a sort of morbid curiosity, and I just wonder what kind of idiocy and flame bait they're going to come up with next. While such arguments tend to be fairly harmless, they can be quite frustrating, and, if they take place on a public forum, they can annoy the good denizens who did what they were supposed to do and NOT feed the trolls. With this in mind, I'll try not to reply to troll posts in the future, and I would advise others to do the same.

On an unrelated note, has anyone else noticed that people who don't play video games tend to be annoyed by video game music? I think part of this is due to the fact that the music is part of the whole experience of the game, and doesn't have as much effect when you're not actually playing. Therefore, someone who never plays video games isn't going to understand the effect at all. The thing is, though, that such music varies in quality. I'll admit to liking some of it enough to listen to it when I'm not even playing a game, while there's other music that's fairly obnoxious even to me.

The school where I work closed early today, and will be closed all day tomorrow. I THINK I might be getting paid for my hours tomorrow anyway, which would be good, but I'm not totally sure. If so, that would be good, but I had actually wanted to go to work. Oh, well.

Thursday, December 4
Anyone who's into They Might Be Giants and hasn't done so already should read this. John Flansburgh took the questions from an interview with some actor named Shia LeBeouf, who's apparently on Even Stevens, and changed the answers. I especially liked this part:

"B: Do you ever help write any of the episodes of Even Stevens?

F: Sometimes I talk back to the TV in character voices just to make it more interesting. That's my way of contributing."

How is it that Fountains of Wayne could receive a Grammy nomination for "best new artist"? Their first album came out in 1996! The list of nominees says that the award is "[f]or a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist," so I guess that gives them a little bit of wiggle room, but I think they had a "public identity" before that. (I certainly knew who they were, even if I wasn't that familiar with their music. Jamal gave me a mix tape with some of their songs on it back in 2000, and I'd heard the name thrown around before that.) If they replaced "establishes the public identity of that artist" to "includes a song that made the Billboard charts," I THINK it would be accurate (just in case it isn't obvious by now, I don't follow the charts), but "best new artist" would still be a misnomer. I guess it's pretty cool that they've been nominated, but it really strikes me as a backhanded compliment. "We ignored you for seven years, but here's an inaccurate award nomination!"

Of course, I've also seen either MTV or VH1 refer to Liz Phair as an "emerging artist," so I think we can just assume what I'm sure most of us have suspected for some time: the record industry is full of crap.

Wednesday, December 3
Oh, I just thought of something to say. It's supposed to snow this weekend. I don't want that to happen. Actually, I think there's supposed to be ice on Friday, which is even worse. I hate winter weather. Can't anyone come up with a way to re-tilt the Earth, so that we can skip it?

Somebody just returned a bunch of books on the Vatican II council. They made me think of "The Vatican Rag."

I really don't have anything to say, but I'm blogging anyway.

With the trend of Disney World attractions being made into movies (The Country Bears, Pirates of the Carribean, The Haunted Mansion), I have to wonder what the next one they come out with will be. Space Mountain? Big Thunder Railroad (that one would HAVE to be about a train robbery, right?)? The Hall of Presidents? Maybe I should start taking bets on this.

Tuesday, December 2
Thom: Design Doctor

Which Member from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is your type?
brought to you by Quizilla

Okay, WHY does Hotmail keep changing the look of their site so often? Rarely does the new layout offer any improvements over the last one. What I wish they'd change is how, when I reply to a message, it keeps putting my signature ABOVE the quoted text, requiring me to cut and paste (which isn't THAT big of a deal, but it wasn't that way when I first started using Hotmail). I just don't do the quote-bottom-reply-top thing; I think it makes it harder to get context, especially in a post to a mailing list. I guess it's fine in personal replies, but it's not the way I do things.

Can you tell I don't have anything of actual significance to blog about? {g} Actually, it looks like I might be getting another interview, but I still have to set it up.

Monday, December 1
Now playing: The New Pornographers, The Electric Version

You know, I haven't actually heard any of WXPN's top 50 CDs of 2003. Beth has Erin McKeown's Grand, but I've never listened to it all the way through. Maybe I should.

Now playing: Frank Black and the Catholics, Show Me Your Tears

Speaking of Frank, I heard "Monkey Gone To Heaven" on the radio this morning. That was a pleasant surprise. I think it's only the second time I've heard the Pixies on the radio, and both times were on WXPN. (The other Pixies song I heard on there was "Gigantic.")

Last night's Simpsons episode isn't one that I find likely to go down into history as a classic, but it had some good jokes. I liked the mileage they got out of Homer's fear of bears, showing just how prevalent bears are in popular culture (fairy tales, product mascots, etc.). Homer's becoming friends with the bear was a nice twist. I do have to agree with what someone wrote on about electric shocks having been ridiculously overdone as of late.