Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hocus Pocus

... is the title of the song, but that doesn't matter. What matters is the lead singer's face, especially at around 1:10. I would have fallen on the floor laughing, but I was already lying on the floor as I watched it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How-To: Do Everything

In case you didn't know, I'm a huge nerd. I love learning. I hate class and homework as much as anyone, but when I get curious about something, I jump in with both feet -- no, I fall in. It's involuntary.

I was at Borders tonight, looking for the first season of Arrested Development on DVD. No luck. And I still probably had an hour to kill before my sister was done shopping next door at Old Navy. I looked at aisle after aisle of fiction: romance, sci-fi, literature. I don't get it. Every once in a while, I'll read a story that really grips me for one reason or another: The Killer Angels, for the way it gets inside the heads of the officers at Gettysburg; Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, for its off-the-wall satire of the human race; Harry Potter, for... well... the way Jim Dale reads it to me. But for the most part, I just can't really get into fiction, or any narrative stories for that matter. So, I turned around, and found what I really wanted to read: Reference books. Textbooks. How-To books.

Go ahead. Laugh at my irrepressible inner engineer. I would gladly have spent all night sitting on the floor in Borders, reading The Art of Electronics, The Private Pilot Manual, The Associated Press Stylebook, Vibrations and Waves, or Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production. I have this insane drive to learn how to do everything. There's hardly a job in the world I wouldn't love to try for a day. (Okay, I might be done with some after fifteen minutes, but you get the idea.) I don't know what it is. I don't have the time or freedom or talent or money to try even ten percent of the things I would like to try, so I guess I try to learn as much as I can by reading about them. That way, if the opportunity ever arises, I at least have a head start.

Recently, I've been thinking about graduating college this December, and entering the 8-to-5 full-time workforce. Part of me cringes at the thought of it. Two or three weeks of vacation a year is not enough to really get involved with anything. Even if I had the money to do these things, I don't think I'll ever have the time. I spend so much mental energy dreaming about all these hobbies, and I might only ever get to try a tiny fraction of them. I don't really want to think about it anymore. I'll just get back to my how-to books and keep dreaming now.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Ha. It's a little entertaining to me how deep my first post was, and how insignificant these next two have been, but oh well. I just want to get in the habit of making regular posts. The serious stuff will surface in time. For now, let the silliness continue.

When I heard the title "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," and heard that it was a 45-minute musical, I immediately thought it sounded campy and ridiculous. It is. It's also truly brilliant, silly fun. It's brought to you by Joss Whedon, the man who brought us Buffy the Vampire Slayer and, more importantly, Firefly.

Dr. Horrible is a bumbling aspiring supervillain (played by Neil Patrick Harris), who falls in love with a girl at the laundromat (Felicia Day). Unfortunately, she falls for Dr. Horrible's archnemesis Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion). Throw in some simple but surprisingly good songs, and you have 45 minutes of pure fun. Currently, it's only available on iTunes, but it's well worth it. I'll be buying the DVD as soon as it comes out.

Dr. Horrible is now being shown free and legal on Watch.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Paper Planes

So, there's this song that I've heard everywhere. The odd thing is that I didn't realize I had been hearing it everywhere until yesterday. The first time was on NPR's All Songs Considered1 best of 2007 show. I didn't think much of it. The second time was in the preview for Pineapple Express2. I didn't even notice it. Then I heard the first 5 seconds of it many times as intro music for NPR's Bryant Park Project3. I thought, "what is that nifty song?" Finally, last night, my brother's friend Drew said, "Have you ever heard M.I.A.?" Ignorantly, I replied "Huh uh," so he played it, and in the first 0.07 seconds, I recognized it. Since then, I've been unable to stop listening to it. I mean, really, it has gunshot sound effects in it. How much better can it get?

M.I.A. - Paper Planes

1 All Songs Considered is an awesome show, where I find almost all the music I listen to. Thanks to Bob Boilen and the rest of the All Songs staff.

2 Pineapple Express is a stoner movie that looks fairly entertaining.

3 The Bryant Park Project is an NPR news show, with a much more irreverent attitude than the rest of NPR's programming. Fantastically entertaining. Unfortunately, it was canceled a week after I started listening, and aired its last show last Friday. I'll miss it dearly. I feel the deepest sympathy for the BPP family.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Grand Experiment

This is the beginning of a grand experiment which could go one of two ways. Either it will be a great success, or a boring waste of time and energy which will end as quietly and uneventfully as it started. I'm not sure how I'm defining great success, but if it isn't one, I'm sure I'll get bored and quit. I must disclose that I am starting this blog for entirely selfish reasons. I'm not entirely sure what those reasons are exactly; something along the lines of boosting my own ego, venting my emotions, or being discovered as a genius and gaining vast amounts of wealth and power. Those motives aside, I do hope that whatever I end up writing here can somehow enrich the lives of whoever ends up reading it.

I do a lot of thinking and not a lot of speaking. I don’t like to say anything until I've formulated exactly what I want to say. This is a deep mental/emotional issue that I won't get into right now, but the result is that many of the thoughts that I think go unsaid. Often those thoughts vanish seconds after I decide not to say them. Sometimes, that's a good thing. Often, it's a tragic waste of a good thought. Almost exactly one year ago, I began writing down these thoughts that I didn't want to share at the moment, but didn't want to lose forever. It's not really journaling, per se, as most of the entries are one or two sentences long. I don't really know what to call it (a “journal-type-thing?”), but whatever it is, it is one of the best things I have ever done. I see this blog as sort of the next step: taking the little thought fragments that I have kept to myself, and beginning to develop them and share them with the rest of the world.

So, I hope this is as successful an endeavor as my “journal-type-thing,” and hopefully someone else will find my thoughts of some value, otherwise, why am I thinking them in the first place?