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Friday, April 30
I'm at work, just nine and a half hours after the end of my last work day, which actually ended later than it should have, since the person who was supposed to cover the library after me didn't get in until late. I must have slept in a bad position, because my arms ache. That's about all I have to say for right now. I hope I can think of something worthwhile to write, and worthy of being crossposted to the livejournal before too much longer.

Thursday, April 29
I don't really have anything to write about right now, but I figured I should write something anyway. I signed up for a new roadside assistance program through my insurance company. I also practiced the guitar, as I've been pretty good about doing daily as of late. I don't know if I'm getting any better, but I probably am. I doubt I could be getting WORSE.

Wednesday, April 28
So, when you get an automated phone menu, how come none of the options ever include the one that you want?

Okay, that was my Stupid Nineties-Style Observational Humor for the day. Now for the main part of the entry.

I haven't seen this week's American Idol yet, but I did see last week's results show, and I must say I wasn't pleased. Jennifer should have been in the Top Three. I guess it's like Kent Brockman said: democracy doesn't work!

Sunday's Simpsons episode was pretty good, although there were a few loose ends they didn't bother tying up. Most importantly, where was Maggie throughout the majority of the plot? They also dropped the Grampa subplot pretty early on.

Beth and I also watched the latest episode of Penn and Teller's Bullshit!, where they argued that people should be allowed to do drugs. I've addressed the drug issue on here before, and, while I'm quite opposed to drugs in and of themselves, they made some good arguments. Perhaps most importantly, I don't know that more people would do drugs if they were legal. Some might, and I could see the government not wanting to endorse their use. On the other hand, legalization would cut into the black market, and let the police focus on more significant problems. It's not like it isn't already easy to obtain drugs. The show was obviously limited in what it could address, but it often limited itself to marijuana, which is probably one of the less dangerous drugs out there. As Beth pointed out, it might have been nice for them to have said more about harder drugs, and made more of a case for legalizing them.

Today is my mom's birthday. It's also the birthday of Terry Pratchett, Jay Leno, and Saddam Hussein. Interesting combination, eh?

Sunday, April 25
I was going to write a really short, pointless entry today just to keep in practice, but I actually came up with quite a few things to say. None of them are interesting, though, so don't worry about that.

1. I wanted to get a Sizzli from Wawa for breakfast today, but all they had were sausage ones.
2. I think my mom managed to get the B string on my guitar into tune.
3. At the library where I'm currently working, there are laptop computers to check out. You're not allowed to leave the library with them, though, and there's already a computer lab. So why do people bother checking them out? There must be some advantage to them that I don't know about. All other things being equal, I don't know why anyone would ever use a laptop when there's a desktop available.
4. I'm not going to be in Pennsylvania for the primary this Tuesday, and I'm pretty sure it's too late to apply for an absentee ballot, so I guess I won't be voting in it. I wish there were a way to vote over the Internet. Or is there, and I just don't know about it? I don't know that it matters that much, since they've already chosen the Presidential candidate, and I don't know who's running for the other offices (if anyone is; I remember the Republican candidate for either Congressman or Senator ran unopposed back in 2000). I really I should start taking more of an interest in politics. I'm definitely voting in November, of course. Maybe somebody should remind me when it's about two weeks before the election, so I can apply for an absentee ballot if I'm not going to be around. I don't want my carelessness to result in four more years of Bush.

Saturday, April 24
I got a random IM last night from someone who asked if I was "always proper in my spelling," or something like that. I seem to recall having received similar comments in the past. Now, there was a time when I was a real stickler about spelling and grammar, but I've since come to realize it doesn't really matter that much as long as you can understand what people are saying. I tend to think, however, that bad spelling is the result of ignorance and/or laziness. If I DO know the correct spellings for words, am I supposed to purposely misspell them when fourteen-year-olds randomly IM me? I'm also somewhat puzzled by the number of young people who think it's weird that I'm 26 years old. I know several people my age or older who use IM fairly regularly. Maybe they just don't accept random IMs. Or maybe I somehow seem younger than I am in text conversations. Who knows?

Friday, April 23
As I accidentally previewed, I'm going to say something related to that Banned from the Bible special on the History Channel. If you recall, I mentioned watching and enjoying it, and someone found my blog by searching for information about it. When I looked at their search results, I noticed this page, where people were objecting to the special. The guy who started it all says, "Whether it’s Easter or Christmas we are bombarded with documentaries that try to debunk our faith." I'm sorry, but I saw most of the program, and I don't recall anything trying to debunk anyone's faith. Maybe that was in the few minutes I missed. :P He claims that "[t]he documentary treats the Gnostic Gospels and other pseudo-Scriptural books as equalivalent to the Bible, ignoring the supernatural reality of divine authorship, and even gives credence to some of the stories that these books purport to tell." So saying that these books could have been in the Bible "gives credence" to them? I fail to see how that's the case. Since the guy goes on to accuse such documentaries as "sow[ing] doubt in people's minds," I'm inclined to believe that he would prefer that people not know that these rejected books even exist, thereby keeping the religious faithful ignorant. Now, I'm not religious, but, if God DOES exist, doesn't it seem like He'd be more impressed by someone who did research, weighed the evidence, considered the options, and THEN decided to believe than by someone who believes simply because that's all they know? Oh, well. Mysterious ways and all that, I guess.

Thursday, April 22
I'm liking the warm weather we've been having recently, although it seems a little too early in the year for the temperature to reach 80 degrees or whatever.

Are people seriously still making an issue out of Janet Jackson exposing her breast at the Super Bowl? I wasn't going to address this at all, but I keep hearing about people using that as an excuse to cancel Howard Stern, Victoria's Secret trade shows, and other totally unrelated things. (Really, I wouldn't know for sure, but I doubt you're going to see very many naked breasts at a Victoria's Secret show, since part of their purpose is to sell garments that COVER breasts.) I didn't actually see the incident. If I had, I probably would have been surprised, but wouldn't have really cared. Are we, as a society, really so immature that we essentially say, "OMG, a b00b!!!!11" when something like that happens? Aren't people aware that, by making a big deal out of publicity stunts like that and Madonna kissing Britney Spears that they're having exactly the reaction the washed-up celebrity perpetrators want? ("Wow, Madonna iz still edgy!!!111") I think I see something more sinister going on here, namely would-be censors using the public's unnecessary furor to get rid of whatever they, personally, don't like.

Wednesday, April 21
1. Janet Jackson Superbowl incident
2. Banned from the Bible--objections

There are a few not-too-interesting things I want to write about. Whenever I'm in a situation like this, I'm not sure whether to write everything all at once, or save some of my ideas for days when I have nothing else to write about. It isn't a matter of quantity vs. quality, since nothing that I write is of particularly high quality, but of quantity vs. frequency, I suppose. I guess I'll write about a few of the things I have to say, but leave some others for later.

1. Time really does seem to go by quickly nowadays. It seems like April just started, and now it's almost over. It's really not such a big deal in and of itself, but it's kind of a depressing thought that it's been two years since I got out of college with a master's degree, and I still don't have a real job.

2. I wish I could play chords on the guitar without having them sound really crappy.

3. For my obligatory American Idol comments, I have to say that last night's show was pretty boring. I'm not a Barry Manilow fan. Is ANYONE who isn't, say, a middle-aged woman or something? Yet the contestants (all of whom are younger than me, mind you) acted as if it was some huge deal to work with him. They're like that with everybody, though, even artists they've probably never heard of. I wonder if it's in their contracts. Anyway, the songs themselves didn't thrill me, but most of the performances were good, with Fantasia probably standing out as the best. I think John Stevens should be the next to go. He's gotten in a little over his head, or something like that.

4. Beth and I watched some second season Simpsons episodes with commentary the past two nights. Some of what they say is pretty interesting. They pointed out that there's no grand plan for the show, but they'll sometimes base episodes on offhand remarks in previous shows, which is pretty much what I figured they were doing. During the "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" commentary, they mentioned how, when they address an issue on the show, they never really resolve it. I think that pretty much holds true to the present day. For instance, "Weekend at Burnsie's" (the medical marijuana episode) had some pro and con points, but didn't really come out totally in favor of either side. I guess I'm kind of behind the times in saying that DVD audio commentary is cool, but, well, it is. {g} I want to get the Futurama DVDs so I can hear the commentary, but, unfortunately, they cost money.

Monday, April 19
Last night, I watched last week's American Idol, both the singing show and the results one. I think the right person was voted off this time, too. Jon Peter Lewis had probably the only truly bad performance of the night. (Oh, and while we're on the subject of Mr. Lewis, why does Ryan Seacrest always call him "JPL--Jon Peter Lewis"? Isn't the whole point of calling him by his initials that you DON'T have to say his full name? And would it be totally wrong to call him simply "Jon Lewis"?) Has anyone else noticed that Quentin Tarantino is kind of a living caricature? I liked him as a guest judge, because he seemed much more into it than most of the celebrity guests (although, as Beth pointed out, he was quite biased).

Last night's Simpsons episode was pretty funny. It seems like the writers really wanted to get back to the status quo of earlier episodes, what with Skinner and Krabappel breaking up, and Barney becoming a drunk again (something they really never should have changed in the first place, and which I hope continues into future episodes; he's just not funny sober).

Sunday, April 18
Today is my brother's twentieth birthday. My mom and sister went to visit him at college. I might have gone, too, if I didn't have work today.

My Ford Roadside Assistance is going to run out soon. Should I join the Ford Auto Club, AAA, or something else?

My posts have gotten even more boring than usual as of late, haven't they?

Saturday, April 17
What's with those nonsense word spam e-mails? Just now, I got two called "tiger troposphere" (not "stratosphere," unfortunately {g}) and something starting with "riddle additional missive cucumber margin" (I don't want to risk opening it to read the rest of it). Not as amusing as "Damn! I got an STD!" but still worth mentioning, in light of the fact that I really don't have anything better to talk about.

I did get my hair cut today, which is good, because I needed to.

Oh, and I think Forever might be Cracker's best album. I used to say their first album was my favorite, but I think Forever has managed to grab that coveted spot. I don't know that I like any Forever song as much as "Happy Birthday To Me," but it seems stronger altogether than the self-titled record.

Friday, April 16
Okay, here's another dumb music-related issue (and I use that term loosely) that no one will care about. Basically, why do so many bands that write their own songs release covers as singles and/or videos? They Might Be Giants did this with "Istanbul," and Mono Puff's only single was "The Devil Went Down To Newport," a cover of a song by some (probably obscure) band called the Clamdiggers. Then there's "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" for Camper Van Beethoven, "Head On" for the Pixies, and "Hang On To Your Ego" for Frank Black solo. I believe the Young Fresh Fellows did a video for their version of "Picture Book," although (as with most of the videos in question) I haven't seen it. I'm sure people can think of plenty more examples; I was just using ones from the bands with which I'm most familiar. It just seems to me like, when a band is choosing what songs they want to demonstrate to the general public, they'd choose something representative. How is a cover representative of a band that mostly plays stuff OTHER than covers?

Thursday, April 15
I just recently wrote an entry, but Internet Explorer was acting up, and I had to restart my computer. Fortunately, it wasn't that long, and my computer just downloaded an IE update, so it hopefully won't have that same problem again.

I hope everyone's finished with their taxes. I finished mine, and I wish I'd get my refund already. Oh, well.

I got my copy of Old Liquidator in the mail today. It took longer than I would have hoped, but, since I got it, there's no point in making a fuss about that, is there?

Wednesday, April 14
I sometimes feel like my life is going nowhere. I mean, it isn't that incredibly depressing, usually. I just feel like I'm stuck in a rut, and I'm never going to get a full-time job or my own place to live.

Tuesday, April 13
I don't really have much to say right now. I'm behind on most of the Internet forums I read, but that's no big deal, I guess. It means I've had better things to do than stay on the Internet all day. Even if one of the main things was playing Animal Crossing, and sitting in front of a GameCube isn't that much different from sitting in front of a computer. Oh, and my guitar probably needs tuning, but I don't know how to do that.

Monday, April 12
Beth and I ended up not seeing Dawn of the Dead (which I accidentally called Day of the Dead in my last post), but we did see The Ladykillers today. That was a pretty funny movie.

Last night, I had one of those dreams that seems creepy when you're having it, but pretty dumb afterwards. There was a Wal-Mart near Beth's house that had been turned into an IHOP, but later, it had become a Wal-Mart again. I thought that the two buildings must somehow be occupying the same space, and it freaked me out.

Sunday, April 11
Happy Easter, everybody! Last night, Beth and I dyed eggs. Today, we watched some crappy Rankin-Bass animated specials and exchanged gifts. I gave her some Zitner's Butter Cream Eggs, a stuffed Deery-Lou (a Sanrio character), and a used copy of XTC's Go 2. It's a remastered edition, so it should theoretically sound better than my copy, but I haven't had the chance to compare and contrast the two editions as of yet. Beth gave me some Starburst jellybeans and the limited edition of Cracker's Forever album, which I had been wanting. Beth's mom gave me an Easter basket.

Tonight, we should be going to see Dawn of the Dead, a movie appropriate for Easter, since it deals with the dead coming back to life. {g}

Saturday, April 10
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Weird Al's parents died recently. It's sad. :(

I saw an interesting special on the History Channel last night. It was called Banned from the Bible, and it discussed various books that didn't make it into the Bible. I had read Enoch (I wrote a paper on that one back in my senior year of college), the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, and the Protovangelion, but there were some other ones I didn't really know much about. I think I might have to read Jubilees now. They mentioned in the special that it says Cain married his sister, and that was fairly controversial. I always thought that pretty much went without saying if you took the Bible literally, though (unless maybe Cain married one of Lillith's children or something). I didn't catch the beginning, so I have to wonder if they said something about the Book of Jasher. I remember doing an Internet search for information on that a while back, and finding out that someone had actually forged a version of it in relatively recent times. The way the books were described gave me a sense that many of them were essentially Biblical fan-fiction, written to explain gaps and contradictions in the Bible, and to expand upon ideas that are only touched upon in the canon, like Enoch being "taken" by God, and the Nephilim. It's sort of the same kind of stuff done by people writing Oz fan-fiction, for instance.

The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is kind of a fascinating work. It implies that Jesus had to learn to use his powers for good, and, when he was a little kid, he insulted people and even killed them. It certainly isn't in line with what modern churches teach about Jesus, but the idea of Jesus having to learn to control his godly powers is an interesting one. Sort of similar to some modern superhero origin stories, I suppose.

And, to end this post on a non-Biblical note, I saw William Hung's album at Kmart today. Do they expect anyone to actually BUY the thing? The guy was amusing, sure, but who's going to want to cough up $14 or whatever to hear him butcher songs?

Friday, April 9
I hope everyone had a good Good Friday. I'm still not sure what's so good about Jesus being crucified, but I guess that's not really my concern.

I like the new TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich at Burger King, so maybe that will no longer be the only fast food burger place where I don't usually get chicken.

Thursday, April 8
I think the right person was kicked off American Idol this week. Barring a spectacular performance next week, I think JPL should be sent back to selling pens next Wednesday. After him, maybe La Toya. As I've said before, she's a good singer, but she's totally non-memorable. She DID do considerably better than John Stevens this week, but I'm not sure I'm ready to see John go just yet. I think his problem might be a fairly narrow taste in music. Does he really like much BEYOND the Rat Pack? "Crocodile Rock" was a bad choice for him, but I'm half convinced that he chose it because it was the only Elton John song he knew. I don't think he'll be able to last that much longer, but he could probably get some kind of record deal eventually. Hey, if Julia DeMato can, then ANYONE can. Speaking of which, isn't it kind of odd that five of the Season 2 finalists apparently have record deals, while Tamyra Gray is only the third from Season 1 to release anything? Yes, the second group was considerably better than the first, but, come on, Julia DeMato?

Anyway, I'm hoping for the Top Three this season to be George, Jennifer, and Fantasia. I haven't totally decided on the order yet, though.

Wednesday, April 7
1. Pennsylvania accepted my online tax return.
2. That Minus Five CD I bought should be shipped in the next few days, according to an e-mail I got.
3. I want to get a copy of The Hollyhock Dolls of Oz, from Tails of the Cowardly Lion and Friends. It's by Phyllis Ann Karr, who also wrote the excellent The Gardener's Boy of Oz.
4. Today is my dad's 53rd birthday.
5. Speaking of birthdays, I believe yesterday was Frank Black's.

Tuesday, April 6
I hate this resurgence of cold weather. I hope it gets warmer again soon.

I finished my taxes, but Pennsylvania only accepted my online return "conditionally," so I hope I don't need to do anything else with those.

I got my copy of Indestructible Object, the new EP from They Might Be Giants yesterday, and I just finished listening to it for the first time. Some early thoughts on it:

Am I Awake?: I think this has a neat electronic sound to it. Kind of similar to "My Man," but more energetic musically.

Memo To Human Resources: This is the only song on the EP that I hadn't heard before, so my opinion on it isn't that developed, but I like it. The lyrics definitely seem to be on the depressed side, though. I guess I get sort of a "down" vibe from the EP in general. Maybe it's the Johns' reaction to having done so much children's music in the past few years.

Au Contraire: I already knew and liked this one from Dial-A-Song, but the demo was slower. I tend to think it worked better when it was slower, but maybe that's just because it was what I'm used to hearing. Is this the first TMBG recording to use a flute? Overall, it sounds hippie-ish, I guess.

Ant: A bigger production than the version on the "Istanbul" EP, with horns, and a bigger build-up. I think I like it better than the earlier version. As I mentioned in my last TMBG concert review, I like the bits of "Hail To The Chief" in the third verse. The improv bit at the end is somewhat reminiscent of "Spy," but nowhere near as long or annoying. The gong at the end is a nice touch.

Caroline, No: A Beach Boys cover. I can't recall ever having heard the original, but I would imagine that the cover is pretty faithful. I didn't really care for it when I heard it live at the Other Thing shows, and it's still my least favorite of the five. Maybe it will grow on me, though.

Saturday, April 3
I hate changing the colors on this thing, but I hate leaving it the same for too long, either. Talk about being damned if you do and damned if you don't. I wanted to make it look Easter-ish, but I probably just made it look girly. Oh, well.


Yeah, I didn't listen to the radio that much in the 80s. There were some that I really knew but couldn't place while I was taking the quiz, though.

Friday, April 2
I was going to volunteer at Longwood Gardens today, since I haven't done that in a while. Their computerized cataloging system isn't working properly, though, so I didn't get the chance. I told them to call me when it was fixed, though.

The guy who's selling the CD I recently won on eBay apparently sells a lot of stuff, and, while most of his feedback is positive, a lot of people said the shipping was really slow, and some report never having received their CDs at all, or getting the wrong one. There's a phone number, so if I have problems, I guess I'll try calling. I can always contact eBay if there's a serious problem, I suppose. It didn't cost that much, so even though I'll be pretty annoyed if I don't get it, it won't be THAT terrible.

I need to get a new roadside assistance service, and to get my oil changed soon. I drive too much. Okay, maybe I just drive too far at a time. I don't really drive that often.

Why does every music-playing application want me to make it the default for various file types?

Thursday, April 1
I briefly considered making some April Fool's entry about hating Oz books now or something, but...nah. Trying to fool people isn't really my thing. Happy April Fool's Day anyway, though.