Monday, June 18, 2012

Music Monday: Hey Boxelder...

So, Motion City Soundtrack's new album came out last Tuesday, and I'm digging it. I also have less than two weeks until I get to see them again - and in New York, so go me. Fingers are crossed that they play "Hangman", although that never seems to be on any of the setlists - which the band is pretty good about posting to Tumblr. I feel like my only chance of seeing it played live is when they play entire albums in their entirety in shows, like they have in the past. I was too broke to go last fall when they did it in New York. I have essentially vowed to not stop seeing them in concert until I hear that song live..so I may be chasing them for a while. This upcoming concert will be the fourth time I've seen them.

I feel like this whole new album has taken a slightly emo direction - Justin Pierre writes some of his best stuff when less than happy. This song, "Boxelder", is probably my favorite (although that's entirely subject to change on a whim) on "Go".

Enjoy :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Greetings from BDL Gate 4

South Carolina bound, as discussed earlier this week. Got 2 hours to kill as security here takes a grand total of 5 minutes.

Smell ya later Connecticut.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

That nagging feeling.

Friday night I'm heading to South Carolina for a week-ish to see my parents and little sister.

While I'm free of the "ZOMGZ I'M GONNA HAVE TO PEE AND MISS MY PLANE" nightmares from the last time I did this...seriously, it was my first time flying alone...I still feel a sense of dread about how this is going to go. As we know, peace with my parents is a very fragile thing and I just have a nagging feeling something is going to go amiss and part of the time I'm there I'll be miserable.

Then again, last time I went for 2 weeks and a week was the timeframe where my dad and I started getting on each other's nerves, so maybe this will be the perfect length of time.

Regardless, I can't wait to see my sister, who's gonna be 13 (holy shit, that makes me feel ancient).

Fingers crossed for no drama and hopefully I'm just driving myself nuts for nothing.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Music Monday: Guardian

It's about time we get some new Alanis Morissette. Seriously. Apparently she's coming out with a new album this summer.

In a world where we have people singing "wiggle, wiggle, wiggle" and make an obscene amounts of money off of it, I'm glad to have Ms. Overlarge Vocabulary back :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Perspective, Courtesy of Shit My Dad Says.

Heh. Truth?

Once upon a time, it was actually my job to help people shit. Among other things - like cleaning it up, being peed, puked on, slapped around by the dementiaed (is that a word? it sounds nicer than demented at any rate) elderly.

But now, I indirectly help people shit  when I enter all fifteen laxatives the doctor wants them on because their narcotic cocktail  binds them up -.so they print on a medication kardex so the nurse knows how much and when to give it to them.

I guess I should feel better about staring at a computer all day when I have those days when I wish I was back at the nursing home running my ass off because it seems more productive :)

That said, I do miss patient care - however I make way more doing what I do now, and I really couldn't go back to being a nurse's aide for the paltry pay (Thanks Medicare and Medicaid - reimburse homes more so they can afford to pay people what they deserve for what they do) unless I could get into a hospital - which all want you to have phlebotomy experience and EKG experience. /endrant.

But really. Thanks Justin Halpern's Dad. Thank you for providing perspective that my job is actually important.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

1Q84: The Mount Everest of Books.

For the past 2 weeks I had been reading a book called 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. To say this book is a hulking beast is an understatement. The hardcover is 900+ pages, and the eBook clocks in at 1024.

I checked the hardcover out at the library back in November, and ended up giving up because it just sucked to lug around. I did vow to get a copy for my Nook and finish though. Because I'm cheap - and thanks to Apple, eBook prices are grossly overinflated - I really didn't feel like dropping $15 on the Nook book from B&N, so I was lucky enough to find that my library had an eBook copy, which I finally got around to borrowing two weeks ago.

It's hard to say what originally interested me about this book. The hardcover is a nice, thick, imposing tome - and the print is pretty damn tiny, so it's much more dense, than say the longest Harry Potter, which was, what, 800something pages. (Was that Order of the Phoenix or Goblet of Fire? I don't remember. I think it was OOtP...because looking back after reading it, I was astonished that I knocked that sucker out in 2 days.) Whereas JK Rowling can keep an action story flowing, this book didn't have much "action" per se, and I actually found it kind of hard to get going with it. Once I hit the 2nd book (Yes, this is really 3 books in one - they were released separately in Japan, but all together here) things started picking up a bit, and the last 250 pages I plowed through - however it still took me two solid weeks to read this thing. The cover, which you can see above, is an interesting image, and I am one of those idiots who can get sucked into a book based on a really cool looking cover. I've read some real steaming piles of crap with that method.

I normally don't go for dystopian or sci-fi things. I like light and funny, of which this book was neither. As I read it, I got the feeling that had it been in print when I was in high school, my AP English teacher, who I had in junior and senior year, would have made us read this. (This is a man who assigned us about 10 books to read over the summer between 11th and 12th grade - because he's effing nuts. Still one of the best teachers I've had, but yeah...) The language used was very overdescriptive, and he was a fan of assigning those types of books.

Without giving a whole lot away, the book follows the lives of two people, Tengo and Aomame, who have been deeply connected to each other since the fifth grade, but haven't seen each other since. Tengo is recruited to ghostwrite a book called Air Chrysalis for his shady editor. The book was written by a 17 year old girl named Fuka Eri, and Tengo's shady editor wants to enter it into a contest, but thinks it needs to be strengthened in order to win. Aomame is a personal trainer who is sort of a hitwoman of sorts for a rich old woman. Both Tengo and Aomame end up being transported into the world discussed in Air Chrysalis for the express purpose of finding one another, and the book follows their winding path of fate to run into each other again.

Being that the book is not normally what I would read, I'm pretty surprised that I liked it as much as I did. Like I said above, I'm not a fan of books that get overdescriptive, and this is one thing that annoyed me. I really don't give two shits about the intricacies of the meals the characters are eating. I also didn't like how the chapters switched points of view, although they were marked as to whose point of view it was in, so that did decrease confusion a bit. It was just annoying to read something in one chapter, and then in the next chapter have it be rehashed from the perspective of the other character.

Bottom line: It was an enjoyable epic, and I'm glad I read it. Do I think I'll be spectacularly affected like some people on Goodreads who reviewed? No. However, I would not be opposed to reading more of this guy's work. Apparently he's quite the big deal in Japan.

You can get it for Nook here Kindle here, and Google here if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

LOL Oh, Connecticut.

In the last week or two we've made some good choices in this state, and some piss poor ones. Right now, in my opinion we're about 50-50 on good decisions.

The Capital in Fartford.
The Bad:
The assinine New Britain-Fartford busway has yet to have its funding pulled. - This is one of the few things I can agree with a Republican on. It's a complete effing waste of money. Yes, Hartford traffic sucks, and I-84 is a headache 95% of the time, but seriously...why don't we properly fund Metro-North and upgrade the rolling stock to something newer than the 80's (and that's being generous, there are M2's from the 70's hanging around) faster than the snail's pace that the M8's are being launched. Or here's a concept: You want to improve commutes to Hartford? Why don't you stop being cheapskates and set up a real Springfield to New Haven commuter train service - one that will make the Amtrak Springfield-New Haven shuttle look like a joke. The path of the Amtrak line now is comparable to the stupid busway - and the existing infastructure is there. We have a surplus of Mafersa passenger coaches we bought from a commuter line in Virginia sitting in New Haven with some capable, albeit old diesel engines to pull them. They were bought for Shoreline East service - but there's enough of a reserve to use them. Yes, people may have to drive to Berlin, but really - they were gonna have to drive to New Britain too. Run some CT Transit buses to the Berlin from New Britain if people don't have cars. Rail is grossly underutilized in this state away from the immediate shoreline - threats to close Metro-North branches in budget crunches anyone? Anyway - I feel myself going off on a railfan biased tangent, so I'll just stop here. Bottom line, it's a waste of money.

Repealing the Death Penalty - This one's a contentious one, yes it saves money, but if the death penalty process in Connecticut was a little more expeditious, like Texas, then it might be more cost-effective. I'm not saying we have to execute the volume of people that Texas does - but a little expedience would be nice. There is no reason why thirty years need to pass between sentencing and execution. Personally, I think that the process needed to be reformed, perhaps a limit to appeals, but I do still think that the option should still remain for people who commit especially heinous crimes if they get caught red handed. However, my opinion, as well as that of the majority of the state, which still supports the death penalty obviously don't matter, so that's all I have to say about that.

The Good:
Legalization of Medicinal Marijuana - Regardless of your stance on people using the drug recreationally, medicinal marijuana has legitimate merit. It hasn't totally been legalized yet...the state legislature has passed it, so it's only a matter of time until the governor signs it, which he has said he will. Honestly, we have synthetic THC in pill form - just let people use it naturally. A month's supply of Marinol at QID (4x/daily) dosing has a pretty obscene out of pocket price - an ounce of weed on the street is about 1/3 of the price. (No, I don't partake, I just know these things...and people who do. Okay? As for the price of Marinol, I work at a pharmacy - plus the mail order pharmacy employees use has a price quote generator, which is where gathered that information.) Obviously if we went through the effort of developing a synthetic THC pill, there are medicinal qualities. Simple as that. It should be no different than a script for any opiate. Yes, people are going to abuse it - how many pill poppers do you know? Arguably an addiction to Vicodin, Xanax, Oxycodone, Percocet, or anything else of that ilk is more dangerous than abusing weed. Society will not crumble. Plain and simple.

Sunday Liquor Sales - Honestly, you would be astonished how many people were unaware that you can't buy a 6 pack of your favorite brew on Sunday in Connecticut. I have never understood the reasoning behind the antiquated law in today's world. At most, it's a minor annoyance - say you're having a football party or something and forgot to buy the booze Saturday before 9pm. You're SOL unless you want to drive to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New York. Obviously, a little advanced thought and planning would save the aggravation, but it just doesn't make sense. Bars are allowed to be open Sunday, why not package stores? Honestly, I'd rather see someone go to the liquor store, pick up their libation of choice, and go home and get trashed in front of their TV than the same person going to a bar, getting trashed and attempting to drive home. Now we're out of the dark ages. The bill has been signed, and now sales are allowed between 10am and 5pm Sunday. I'm not sure if this is immediate or if there's a certain start date though. I realize that way back when, blue laws had a place, but not now. I'm glad we're out of the dark ages. Also, I know it's probably going to amount to a piddly amount of additional tax revenue, but anything will help in this state.

/endrant
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