Monday, January 28, 2008

Wrapping Up January

Even though I don't have anything really bloggable to write about, I didn't want to end the month with paltry two posts ('oh, the shame!'). So here's the quick round up of the month:

1.) I estimated (probably while waiting in the airport) that I spent 25% of my time away from Bonn in 2007.

2.) I got a favorite bar in Bonn finally. Blow-Up has a cute little dance floor, lots of couches, and always interesting music (Motown and Funk one night, French covers of American rock standards another).

3.) I'm patiently waiting until 6pm to pick up my bike from the shop ('Ich habe ein Problem mit meinem Fahrrad.').

4.) January represents the fourth straight month of obsessively listening to the Mountain Goats (hell, I spent month one, obsessively listening to just 8 songs). I've mentioned them briefly in other posts (and Tim's blogged about them twice too), but let me say it one more time. If you've ever had any inclination to take my advice about anything, the advice to follow would be to spend some time listening to the Mountain Goats. And once you get your grubby little hands on some songs, don't just play them while you're working or doing the dishes, etc.: it's all about the lyrics. A roomful of monkeys on typewriters may produce Hamlet in an amount of time smaller than the age of the universe (I'm not clear on the probability of this), but I could never imagine to produce anything as beautiful, smart, and funny as John Darnielle manages to pack into a few lines in his many, many great songs. Is that enough of an endorsement? Sound off on your favorite lyrics in the comments.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Not Much Going On Here So ...

I haven't had a lot of blogging material lately -- all living in the code and obsessively listening to the Mountain Goats -- so I thought I'd better at least point you to something else to read.  My recommendation is the Onion's AV Club blog, specifically The Box of Paperbacks Book Club (there's no label for that, sadly, I just go here and skim for it).  In this feature, the writer 'purchased a large box containing over 75 vintage science fiction, crime, and adventure paperbacks. He is reading all of them.'  Each entry reviews a different book.  

This stuff is right up my alley.  The books are mostly the kinds of science fiction books I tore through as a kid and reading the blog brings up a lot of memories of wandering through the public library and picking up just whatever looked interesting.  By the way, I've also discovered that Wikipedia is an excellent resource for tracking down those books you read as a kid and only faintly remember. (It's not surprising, if you think about it.  If I vaguely remember some book, there's got to be some contributor who faintly remembered it, then made an entry on it.) 

Anyway, I read a lot as a kid (a lot of science fiction and fantasy) and my parents did not appreciate it.  They couldn't understand why I wasted all my time reading novels.  Other people have sometimes suggested that my parents were way off-base because I've done fairly well in the educational rat race.  Of course, now that I'm an astrophysicist, my parents don't look so stupid, do they?  

If reading isn't your thing, Alan Sepinwall, the TV columnist for the New Jersey Star-Ledger, is reviewing every single episode of the late 90s and very doomed TV show Cupid (complete with YouTube links to the episodes) on his blog (here!).  Cupid was by the same guy who created one of my favorite shows ever, Veronica Mars, and, yeah, it's also awesome.  I caught many episodes (maybe half or more of all the episodes ever) in the summer of 2000 when I was living in Taiwan.  They came on at 12:30AM and I got up at 7:30AM to go to work, and one every single day, so watching was a real commitment.  I haven't been watching the YouTube videos, however, terrified both that they're not as good as I remember and that they'll be too good and I'll get overly invested in a show that was cancelled a decade ago.  


Monday, January 07, 2008

December Was a Rousing Success ... Blogwise

Yes, for the first time in a long time I did 7 posts in a month.  I'm finally back in Germany -- arriving this morning and I didn't sleep a wink on the overnight flight from Boston.  By the way, sunrise here was at 8:32 AM and sunset will be at 4:43 PM.  I clearly don't have much to say, so why am I blogging?  Well, as long as the sun is up, I should be too.  I'm at work, so I don't fall asleep, but I can't actually do work, since I'll certainly do more harm than good.