Sunday, October 31, 2004

I finally got Pink Martini's new CD in the mail yesterday (Deep Discount CD has good prices and is ultimately reliable, but it takes forever to get the product, at least here in California), only to discover now that I could have already heard the full album from Pink Martini's web site. I haven't really had time to take it all in, but it's a good album. It's not quite up to the standards of Sympathique, but could that really have been possible. Maybe I'll say more about it later, but for now I'll just urge you to go to their web site and judge for yourself.
I got my new computer some time actually arrived the day after it shipped, so I'm glad I didn't pay extra for overnight shipping. It works great, everything loads super-fast. I was watching a bit of the Arrested Development DVD I got for my birthday on it, and the DVD software is awful, but I rarely watch DVDs on the computer. And the CD drive is a bit loud. But a very nice computer. So I can't blame lack of computer availability for not posting here. Nor can I blame it for anything else I haven't gotten done lately. I have just become so, so lazy. I blame some of it on election fatigue, and just wanting to know the outcome. But mostly I'm just a lazy sack of shit.

Though in my defense, I have made progress in getting back into my exercise routine. My foot finally feels better, so that is no longer a barrier. My overall leg strength and cardio fitness has gone way downhill, and I'm having to start out slowly to regain my strength without a new injury. But I've been getting in my goal of four workouts a week, and have even been getting some strength training in at the gym. I've been doing two runs a week at the gym on a treadmill, and spending 30 minutes or so lifting weights. I hate treadmills, but it takes a little stress off my legs, and makes it easier to allot the time for the weights. I ran one 5K recently, the Chancellor's Challenge, and came in at 25:30, barely an improvement from when I first ran the same race two years ago (though I suppose it is now my PR, since my race times were all lost with the old computer). Started out too fast, and walked much of the last mile. But no worries, I was just happy to take part. And it does help my mental outlook a bit to be active again, but the fact remains, I've really been overwhelmed by my own inertia lately. Though at least my laziness has enabled me to advance a bit in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (the new one looks pretty good, but I'll probably wait for the price to come down).

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

My computer finally died. Having lots of problems with it ever since it got infested with spyware awhile back, so I think that might be to blame. But one way or another, I seem to have either gotten a virus or the system just got royally messed up, to the point where I couldn't do anything...the language setting was changed or something, so I couldn't read any file names or on-screen error messages; the start menu is inaccesible; I can't re-boot in safe mode; I can't re-install windows, and I can't even reformat the hard drive. So I figured it was time to buy a new computer. I can't cut-and-paste or copy files, but some applications still work, so I can open some files (like text files) and save them to a floppy, but I think I lost quite a few files. I'm still working on saving some things while I wait for the new computer to arrive. But I probably lost some things, and I am without a computer at home for about a week. You don't miss it until it's gone, and suddenly you need to look things up on the internet constantly. But I got a pretty nice new computer for about $700, incluing Microsoft Office but not including a monitor or printer.

The lesson in all this? I'm not sure how my computer got infected, but I am never using Internet Explorer again. Viva FireFox!

A Jon Stewart/Tucker Carlson feud has erupted. Stewart had some amusing things to say about it on Monday's Daily Show. Actually, Tucker Carlson is one of the less annoying right-leaning pundits, and at least he can be amusing at times. His profile of Al Sharpton in Africa in GQ (or maybe it was Esquire), for instance.

Friday, October 01, 2004

I was poking around the website for the Series of Unfortunate Events movie, and while it was hard to tell at first because of the wig, I was glad to see that Catherine O'Hara is in the movie, as Judge Strauss.
So school is underway, and going relatively well. My classes are rather on the dull side, but bearable. It is unfortunate that the week school begins, I recieve America: The Book (which I just heard is a NY Times #1 best-seller), The Grim Grotto, and The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 2. So much to read, so little time. I am plodding thorugh the Series of Unfortunate Events books in my spare time, so I will soon be ready to tackle the latest volume. And the Peanuts collection and the Daily Show book are both good bathroom reading, so no need to neglect my studies for them.

Tonight American Casino aired the episode dealing with the death of Michael Tata. I thought it was a well-done episode, classy and in keeping with the series. He always bugged me on the show, but watching his co-workers grieve, I felt a little emotional. Not since the fireman who won the prize on that reality-show-cum-murder-mystery died on 9/11 has a reality-show death been so powerfully felt.

I haven't written here much lately, but can't think of much to say. Except for a fun little family spat, but I don't feel like going into that; we decided that our branch of the family is just washing our hands of the matter. Right now my attention is focused on school, and I have also resumed my running schedule, not without some foot pain, but not nearly as bad or as persistent as before, so I hope not to be sidelined again. The Chancellor's Challenge is coming up this month. Last year, I missed a chance to beat the Chancellor (now UC President) because I had a cold; this year I might not be in shape enough to beat the new Chancellor (or the old one, who will return for the event), but I'll try my best.

It's Peter Lorre month on Turner Classic Movies. I've never seen The Beast With Five Fingers, nor Mad Love, so I guess I know what I'll be doing Oct. 29th.