Entry 41.

June 30, 2004

I signed up for my Rangers season tickets. I am such a dupe.


Is there anybody out there….

June 29, 2004

Haven’t had a comment in three weeks. Anyone even reading this any more?
Anyway, the title of this entry is a double entendre. Look that one up. First, it was a question as to whether anyone were still reading this. Second, it’s a line from a song that’s on an album of by Desert Island Discs. Clever of me, right?
While thinking about my DIDs, I figured I needed to make some rules…otherwise things might get hectic. My DID rules are as follows:
– You get 10 discs. Alternates must be specified as alternates.
– Box sets do not qualify as a single disc/album…but double albums only count once.
– “Best of” collections are fair game…but kind of a cop-out. I have decided to avoid that trap…although I will specify when I think a “best of” would serve me better.
– Soundtracks are fair game…except when they’re an anthology of songs by multiple artists. Those fall under my “cop out” mentality.
Having said all that, here are my DIDs, in no particular order of importance:
1: The Wall – Pink Floyd. I debated this, Dark Side of the Moon, or Wish You Were Here…but I think this is the best choice for being on a desert island. I have other mellow choices. This one gives me more punch. Have to admit Dark Side of the Moon was a really close second.
2: 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother) – Eurthymics. Fine fine fine. Annie Lennox’s vocals…marvelous. If you haven’t heard this soundtrack, get it. Get two.
3: Becoming X – Sneaker Pimps. I love this album. Was turned on to it from the Tank Girl Soundtrack…which might well be on this list if I were allowing such things. Do I put an album from Yaz here? Maybe. Not sure.
4: Dead Can Dance – Dead Can Dance. I love Lisa Gerrard. This or Spleen and Ideal. Not sure…but either is a kick-ass choice. My gothic choice. Although Tinderbox or Through the Looking Glass by Siouxsie and the Banshees are a VERY close second. This one would depend on my mood.
5: Debut – Bjork. How great is this album?
6: East Side Story – Squeeze. Talk about tough choices. How do you choose between this and Cool for Cats? Tempted is the tie-breaker. Elvis Costello sneaks in, making it probably the best song on an album of great songs. In Quintessence? Yum.
7: Hatful of Hollow – Smiths. Defined my high school mentality…and definitely the best album that the Smiths made. Debate all you like. Johnny Marr doesn’t get any better than on this album, and Morrissey isn’t QUITE over the top yet.
8: Paul’s Boutique – Beastie Boys. Urgh. How do you choose? Ill Communication? Licensed to Ill? Paul’s Boutique is probably when the Beasties peaked…but the breaker comes down to which album I can listen to for background thinking…Ill Communication is too “jammin'” and Licensed to Ill is too funny. Paul’s is JUST RIGHT.
9: Zeppelin IV. – Led Zeppelin. Again, how do you even choose? I chose randomly. But I’m leaving behind Thank You, Rain Song, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, Ramble On…terrifying. Had to be done. Had to be. I MIGHT choose a live Zeppelin album which would give me a better selection…but arguably a cop-out. Choose. I did.
10: Sketches of Spain – Miles Davis. Can’t do without it. Obviously the best.
Now, what did I leave out? Too much:
You and Me Both – Yaz. I love this album. Almost made it instead of Becoming X.
Yessongs – Yes. Couldn’t fit it in. But definitely a great great album…especially if you’re stuck for a long time on tha island.
What is Beat? – The Beat. Ska is not represented on this list…but if it were, this would be how.
War – U2. Before the huge sellout. Some people claim that Joshua Tree is better. Nonsense. This is more raw…and in my mind, stronger.
Truth and Soul – Fishbone. Might choose this instead of the Beat…better live, really. This would remind me of Lollapalooza a long time ago. Great pit. That t-shirt never got white again.
Tinderbox – Siouxsie. How does someone do without Siouxsie? I don’t know how I’ll do it. I still might swap this one in instead of Dead Can Dance. Flip a coin.
The Bridge – Sonny Rollins. Between Miles and Sonny, it’s no contest…but this would be a great great addition if I could take more Jazz.
Legend – Bob Marley. How could I be on a desert island without reggae? No idea.
I know, I know…no Who, no Beatles, missing some great soundtracks, like Fifth Element, tough choices, all. Maybe I’ll make a list of my greatest alternates…?
Thanks for the exercise, Catspit!


Reviving the dead.

June 28, 2004

I know I blogged today already. But the fellas over at Catspit gave me an idea, and I don’t want to forget it.
As soon as I can formalize my Desert Island Discs, I will be posting them. I recall the DIDs from … Rolling Stone? Magazine back when I was in high school. And of course the great list scenes from High Fidelity. But it’s time for my DID list, ca. 2004.
And werd to Andy and them for giving me the idea to steal.


I vote for…

June 28, 2004

Frankly, I think I’ve become completely apolitical.
My mother, who is about as political as a person can be, keeps explaining to me that politics today is not what it used to be. That politicians had points of view, but the Vice-President wouldn’t tell a Senator to “fuck off” just for saying good morning. I remind her that the way it used to be in the Sixties, if we didn’t like a political figure, someone just shot them. She tells me that isn’t funny.
I think I’ve always felt fairly helpless in the political system at large. That is, I know I have a vote, but it doesn’t count for much, really. Witness the last election. Then, once those people are in power, what can I really do to prevent them from doing what they do? Not much.
I reconciled myself to the fact that the powers that be wanted an excuse to invade Iraq…and they made one up, and they invaded. It’s not clear to me what they hoped to get out of it…too many options, I guess. Rebuilding contracts, oil, Saddam Hussein out of power, a show of strength…something. But all we ended up with, really, is dead teenagers and twenty-year-olds. Which is all we ever end up with, really, when old men decide to play the war game.
They cut spending on education, libraries, roads, public parks, public healthcare, medicare, and so on…and spend it on weapons and vehicles we leave in a desert somewhere. I’m sure that makes sense. I know we’re not spending it on soldiers…they keep cutting combat pay and benefits.
Do I believe that we should be in Iraq? No. Do I believe there was anything I could have done to prevent it? No. So I just shrug and say “They’re gonna do what they want.” Do I believe that standing outside in a park waving a sign will change Adolf Cheney’s mind on privacy issues. No. Nor do I believe that anything I do, whether it be vote, write letters, or protest, will bring our troops out of Iraq any faster than they would have come out anyway. I suspect that people my age didn’t have that feeling in 1972. Something caused that change. No idea what.
A lot of my friends insist that it’s a bad attitude to have, feeling like we have no say as to what happens to our country…and it probably is. But what can I really do? Set up a website demanding accountability? Start an “Impeach Bush” campaign? Go assassinate someone? Not likely on all fronts.
I’m a pretty staunch libertarian with liberal leanings. I think you should do what you like, provided it doesn’t impact me, and I don’t have to pay for it, or listen or watch you do it. This implies, to me, that I take care of me and mine. My friends, my family…might even take care of my neighbor if I’m so inclined. But I don’t want anyone forcing me to care (or pay for caring) about people, and I don’t want anyone preventing me from doing what I think is right…provided I don’t impact someone else. I don’t see a lot of politicians running on that platform.
My mother says “There may not be anyone you want to vote for…but there’s always someone you want to vote against.” I think that’s true.
In general, I think people who are violently political make me nervous. Violent is a bad word…I mean like rabidly political. The same way that people who have very strong religious convictions make me nervous. Anyone who’s that certain of something…so certain that they get emotionally pitched…it makes me question their credibility. When you’re dealing with a political or religion machine, I find it hard to believe that you know all the moving parts and so you know what the right thing to do is in regards to it. But I suppose anything is possible, right?
I would vote for someone who just said “You know…I’m not certain what we should do here…we’ll try this, and we have good reason to believe it’ll work out, and here’s why. But if it doesn’t, we’ll admit we had a flawed plan, we’ll address our errors, learn from our mistakes, and try again.” But you’ll never hear that from a politician. Although I hear Jimmy Carter was a lot like that. Welcome to one term, Mr. President.
Does anyone else remember if any president prior to Ronald Reagan ended their presidential addresses with “God bless, and God bless the United States of America?” I don’t think they did. Where did our separation of church and state go, anyway?
Why is Michael Moore any more tolerable than Rush Limbaugh? In my mind, they’re mirror images of one another…although Moore’s funnier than Limbaugh. And probably less of a drug addict.
I dislike very strong emotions in my political decisions. I like to think that foreign policy, domestic policy…all those decisions are made with rationality at the forefront…not emotion. I also like to think that I’ll win the lottery, that Santa Claus is real, and that I’m a good cook.
Looking back at this, I see it’s a muddled collection of thoughts, ideas, and ranting. Frankly, I think that sums up my thinking on politics in a nutshell.


Why is it…?

June 24, 2004

I was playing Battlefield Vietnam briefly the other day after I patched just to see what had changed. Then something occurred to me.
Whenever I play a game or watch a movie that has to do with the Vietnam Era/Conflict, the thing that really brings it home is the music. BF:V has an amazing soundtrack. Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, We Were Soldiers Once…music from the era really evokes the period amazingly well.
The thing I was wondering is “What started that trend?” Who was the first director who said “I’m going to put people there by playing music of the period?” Or was it that everywhere you went in Vietnam during the conflict, US soldiers took their music with them? Or what?
I found it equally curious that this doesn’t happen for Korean War movies, or even WWII movies. At least not for me. That music doesn’t resonate with me.
But play “Nowhere to Run” by Martha and the Vandellas or “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen or “War” by Edwin Starr and I’m immediately thinking of Vietnam. No idea why that is.
Quentin Tarantino says that he writes movies and chooses the music as he’s writing. I believe that, given how well his soundtracks work.


Time to get back to real blogging.

June 22, 2004

My last few weeks have been boring. I just re-read them. I guess my life runs like that sometimes.
In any case, I will now return to your regularly scheduled blogging.
Took care of filing my Sales Tax Return for Limewear. Thanks for reminding me. Amazing how any businesses make any money, given the amount of money it takes to run one.
I have about a week to decide if I’m going to renew my season tickets for the Rangers. Normally, this would be a slam-dunk…but there’s a few things holding me back.
First, there might not be a season next year. This statement is enough to give me heart palpitations…but it’s true. I can think of better places to put $3200 than to give it to a corporation who will be providing me nothing in return.
Second, I’m trying to pay off all my debt so I can move. While $3200 would get me only about 10% of the way there…it’s 10% of the way there, ya know? It’s a lot of money.
Last, I am planning on moving on November…not sure where yet…but someplace much cheaper than where I’m living now…which implies Brooklyn or someplace outside of Manhattan. I’m not certain I’ll want to be going to 44 games at MSG if I have to take multiple trains to get there, and it takes 45 minutes, you know?
On the flip side, very little on this planet makes me happier than going to a Rangers game. All I need in my life is Hop Kee, Rangers games, online gaming, and my fookus, and by and large, my life is good. And not in that order, might I point out.
I bought a lottery ticket for tonight’s Mega Millions drawing. It’s $150 million dollars. Newsflash: If I win, I will be getting my season tickets.
Saturday, I think I’m going to a Yankees-Mets game at Yankee Stadium. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday than at Yankee Stadium. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a baseball game…probably about 10 years. Maybe a little less. Not sure. I know I was at a World Series game…but unsurprisingly, I don’t remember which one…and with the Yankees, there are a lot of possibilities.
May I also point out that all those bozos who were writing that the Yankees were in trouble when they dropped a series to the Red Sox in the beginning of the season are now looking like the biased, alarmist, ignorant morons that they really are. We all know that many people want the Yankees to fail…but let’s be blunt here: They are the best team money can buy, and love them or hate them, they can play some ball. And Joe Torre may well be one of the best baseball coaches of all time.
Give yourselves a break…MLB made the rules, Steinbrenner follows them, and while the Yankees spend something like four to six times the average salaries of the average baseball team, they make it back, and then some. Get over it. The man runs a good business, and does it damned better than just about anyone else.
Now, it’s time to change my laundry so that I have nice clean boot socks to wear tomorrow.
Thanks for weathering my lousy blogging over the past few weeks. We’re back!


What do you know?

June 19, 2004

Somehow, I managed to get everything I needed to get done completed on Friday. I have no idea how…but I did.
This means that I get a real weekend. I’m going to take advantage of that by sleeping.
Oh, and remind me to file my Sales Tax Return later, OK? Thanks.