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Saturday, July 30th, 2016
2:43 am - Sentimental Saturday
This morning's video is the Tim Burton film noir version of West Side Story.
Yes, it's The Peter Gunn Theme by the Art of Noise, featuring Duane Eddy. AoN was one of the first Mtv bands--their Close to the Edit (featuring chainsaws and guest dachshund) having grabbed prime screen real estate back before people realized how much money could be made with music videos. The band hit a nerve with me and my friends because it sounded nothing like pop music, and we were utterly fascinated. The dadaist cavalcade peaked with a video of fish singing a song about Princess Diana. Your argument is invalid.

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Friday, July 29th, 2016
10:36 pm - Former Friday
Today's track is Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode. This is off Speak and Spell, their first album; the one with Vincent Clarke. He'd later go on to Yazoo and Erasure where his bright pop sensibility was better appreciated. It's not just a little weird to see 'the boys' so young and sort of awkward in this video. Of course, it's probably difficult not to look awkward on a video stage swarming with dancing new wave blondes.

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Thursday, July 28th, 2016
11:39 am - Timeworn Thursday
Today's track is Fading Fast by the Go Gos. For people who are used to the frothy light pop of their radio tracks, this may sound a little off kilter, but album tracks like this, "Skidmarks on My Heart", and "This Town" are that hidden darker current in the band. In fact, "This Town" is my favorite Go Gos song. I bought this album, one of my first pieces of vinyl, even before seeing four hot girls in my middle school class doing an airband to "We Got the Beat". It's one of the seminal albums of my childhood.

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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
10:33 am - Way Long Ago Wednesday
Today's track is Battle of Brisbane by the Pogues. Not all of these are going to be treasure troves full of insight and life affirming mottos and stuff. The Pogues are my favorite 'Irish music' band, and this is a zippy little two minute instrumental. In fact, it may have been back when Spider Stacey was listed in the credits as playing 'beer tray'. They have a lot of that 'downtrodden fuck you' attitude that you find in the best of classic Irish music.

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Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
11:43 pm - Bodyworks, numbers edition
Here are the latest numbers on me dealing with Chylomicronemia (that thing where my body, rather than digest fat, simply injects it directly into the bloodstream).

Total Cholesterol: 199
(200 is normal)
LDL Cholesterol: 85
(<100 is good for a diabetic patient, which I'm calling myself for now)
HDL Cholesterol: 42
(>40 is normal for males)
Triglycerides: 360
(151-399 is borderline high. It was around 3000 when I started treatment.)
Cholesterol/HDL ratio: 4.7
(4.0-6.7 is normal for males)
A1c: 6.7
(6.5-8 is good control for diabetes)

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11:30 am - Tradition Tuesday
Today's nostalgia is How Can the Labouring Man Find Time for Self Culture" by Martini Ranch, fronted by Bill Paxton (Yeah, *that* Bill Paxton, Weird Science and Aliens). The band sports some obvious influences (and personnel) from Devo and the B-52s, and not a little of the aesthetics of Talking Heads. This is another one that Larry is responsible for--it would not be surprising to hear this when passing by The Wrong Side of the Tracks, the house on fifth street we lived in while at college.

It would be easy to dismiss this as another vanity project, but I think that would be a mistake. It stands on the shoulders of its 'parents' and takes a step further, presenting the style but with its own stamp.

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
12:22 am - Way Long Ago Wednesday
It seems appropriate that today, being the anniversary of the release of "Closer", Joy Division's final album after the death of Ian Curtis, the random tune generator gives me Incubation, the b-side for Komakino. You should click through to that video--it makes my soul cry, but I am unable to ascertain whether it is with joy or terror.

Somebody you will likely hear a lot about during this reminiscence, Larry, introduced me to Joy Division. He and I had a radio show on the college station KBVR. (You can't lead the pack if you whine like a puppy!) I liked New Order, and one day he asked me if I'd heard about the band they were in before. And when I said no, he fixed that.

This track in particular is an instrumental, which meant we could use it to play under grant announcements or public service announcements--highly treasured among DJs who rolled old school and actually read things on the air. On its own, it sounds too much like She's Lost Control and what I really want to do is put that on instead.

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Tuesday, July 19th, 2016
1:25 am - Tradition Tuesday
Today's track is Heart of Stone by Erasure, from their big breakthrough album The Innocents.

Our church had monthly teen dances, and kids were allowed to submit music they wanted on the playlist to be reviewed by Harold, the dance manager. A pretty girl brought in Oh L'Amour, murmuring "Just that one track--some of the other songs might not be appropriate." She had me sold at pretty girl, but not appropriate traipsed in a close second. I went to the local used music place, Happy Trails, and got both Wonderland and The Innocents. I loved them both, and going forward I bought nearly every Erasure album that came out, barring one album that was associated with an ex. This track has not really aged well, and I am less fond of it now, but it's still a good memory.

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Monday, July 18th, 2016
12:33 pm - Give it away
I have an Audible credit that I won't use. Does somebody want a book?

I just made an account at airbnb, and I can give new members a $30 discount on their first transaction. I think I can also delete my account and then get a referral from a current member.

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3:38 am - Mostalgic Monday
Today's eighties song: A Bigger Splash by Tones on Tail

This is the band Daniel Ash put together after leaving Bauhaus and before forming up with Love & Rockets. Honestly, I didn't know much about ToT until I was working at KBVR, and Everything--the big Tones on Tail catch all CD--was in the rotation bin. I liked the snaky and hesitant beat. The lyrics seemed almost an afterthought, like the words were designed as sounds to highlight the bass line.

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Sunday, July 17th, 2016
1:52 am - So Far Back Sunday
I've heard, in scattered places around my social media, mention of 'that eighties song thing'. And I thought to myself "I would like to do an eighties song thing. I like eighties songs." But I didn't actually pay enough attention to find out exactly what the eighties song thing is. So I just decided that once a day I'd hit the random button on my eighties playlist and then share a YouTube link and a quick rundown of what the song makes me think of, or what was happening when I first heard it or bought it, or what color jelly bracelet I would wear while dancing to it.

So we're starting out with Männer des Westens.

Here's a remix from 2007's "Hoch Wie Ni"

This is on Falco 3, the big breakthrough album after the fuss with Der Kommisar. I had heard the two big hits before, but when I bought the cassette there were several other worthwhile tracks, including this one and "Tango the Night". I was charmed by the larger than life theatrics and the combination of show tune and rap styles. Also, Falco was a big part of the reason I studied German in high school.

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Friday, July 15th, 2016
2:08 pm - Coyote Cinema: Dredd
Finally saw it. Hadn't really planned to, but positive reviews from friends. It was much better than I expected. The story definitely held me, the characters stayed interesting. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more... satire, I guess, about the police state. I was glad that Anderson being captured didn't turn into a damsel in distress, and that she kept having things to do that were relevant to the plot. But can you imagine how fucked up a telepath judge would be, even after as little time as a year? That kind of horrible emotional shellshock either makes you a sociopath or a very badly broken case of disassociation.

A couple of frustrating things in an otherwise enjoyable viewing:
Why didn't Dredd take Chan's ammunition after killing him?
Why didn't we see Anderson using her telepathy in the last third of the film? We've seen her step inside somebody's mind and beat the crap out of them with her mental powers. The gun on the mantel shines brightly. What if, in the final confrontation, she distracts MaMa with head combat while Dredd picks her up and tosses her into the courtyard? Something.
Why does Dredd, the black and white rules are rules cop, pass Anderson after she trips two automatic fails?

Four wags, in a dirty crapsack world.

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Saturday, July 2nd, 2016
12:24 am - Perchance to dream
I have been pretty good at getting at least six hours of sleep a night once I decided that making sure I get enough sleep is more important to me than keeping a solid schedule. Yesterday, though, I slept eleven hours, after a fairly quiet day. A little concerning, but at this point it's just a 'note and monitor' situation.

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Saturday, June 25th, 2016
12:43 am - For gods' sake
I've been reading a lot of self help books lately, because I need a lot of help.
One of the commonly recurring themes is that they ask you to think of the universe as an orderly directed plan instead of a cold place that doesn't care about you and will crush you if you step into its path.
Which is all good and fine, except that (a) most of the reasons why they tell you to do this boil down to 'because it makes you feel better' rather than 'because it might be true'. A lot of their support is full of confirmation bias and the 'cold reading' skills that get used by people talking to your dead relatives from beyond the grave. (Example: Have you ever been thinking of somebody and had them call you at that moment? That's proof that there's a god or something. Except, how many times have you been thinking of somebody and they *didn't* call you?)
I know that, in theory, I'm reading these books and I can take what's useful and leave the rest. But it gets underneath my saddle and irritates me. I Will Try Harder.

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Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
5:45 pm - The Skin of Evil
I was worried that this was going to be another 'humans encounter amazingly powerful alien entity but triumph by being plucky and human in their humanity' episode, but it didn't let me down. It was nice to see Troi using actual psychology. Also nice to see Picard not inviting himself on every away mission. But that alien landscape? Classic sixties Trek, right down to the styroprene boulders.
Oh yeah, and how can they still not have video from the away team? "I'm just going to describe this indescribable alien to you. If I abruptly stop talking, it probably ate me."

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Tuesday, June 14th, 2016
1:36 pm
I am not Twitter savvy enough to figure out how to discern the context this was given in, but I claim full responsibility.


AlixMV
mentioned you.
Reply

AlixMV
@alixtersa
Jun 12

@merlinofchaos i'm a terrible person who has played too many RPGs with @cyranoj

View conversation


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Monday, June 6th, 2016
9:47 am - Coyote Cinema: Hard Candy
Just a quick overview; I saw this last week and it was good, but I wished it had been better. The characters weren't that deep--you had the creepy pedophile and the vengeance angel. She's always rock-solid about his guilt, there is no wavering or uncertainty, and I think that would have helped some. For a victim of the patriarchy, this could be cathartic or satisfying, but without something extra, this is pretty much just revenge porn.

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Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
5:18 pm - Review at Farpoint
Interesting. Definitely different. Troi in a miniskirt as a callback and then male crew in a miniskirt as a call forward. Picard is a new style of captain--he runs, he surrenders, he begs, none of which Kirk could ever have done. Some odd scenes that seemed to have no purpose besides time filling. I can see why people thought Trelaine and the Q Continuum might be related. I thought Data was recruited as a companion during the show's run, but I was mistaken. A good start. Next, 00110110.

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Friday, May 13th, 2016
5:53 pm - My video projects. Yes, plural.
I have not given up on the Dorothy Parker video yet, but given a dearth of actors and props I've moved it to a back burner. This is just a general call for actors, and people with cool props or locations to shoot in. I'm working on creating content to shoot short videos, and I'd love to have a stable of potential talent that I could entreat to spare an afternoon being creative with me. If you're interested, I'd love to have you on board.

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Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
12:54 am
I don't care what Atlas says, I can't imagine killing any of the Little Sisters. It was never really a choice, and I'm perfectly happy never seeing it happen. And as much as I hate the Houdini splicers, I hate listening to Big Daddy's mournful groans and plodding steps when he has nobody to protect--partly because there's nothing I can do to improve his situation, crammed into a metal shell by an evil industrialist, shackled both mind and body.

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