Archive for December, 2011

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merry madness.

December 26, 2011

Christmas was a rush this year. It’s like I couldn’t even start thinking about it until well after Thanksgiving, which is really not enough time. I pulled together Christmas cards and even got them mailed on time.

I got gifts for the family, though I learned that it is much better to just ship things to Wisconsin. My laziness resulted in about half my suitcase being full of gifts, which meant I struggled with packing for a little over a week of traveling.

But overall it was a good Christmas. I got some jewelry made out of butterfly wings, two new purses, candles (in mugs), salt and pepper shakers, a paper cutter and some books on embroidery designs. And lots of hanging out with the family.

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book bumming.

December 24, 2011

I’m switching my book links to Goodreads because I have come to love that site. It’s absolutely perfect for keeping a list of books I want to read because the phone app allows me to scan barcodes. So I can walk through a bookstore and just scan all the books that look interesting. It’s pretty great.

Atonement – While I don’t remember being thrilled watching this movie, I did enjoy the book. I think this is because so much of the story focuses on the main character’s interpretation of events that she doesn’t understand – that’s easier done in writing than in a movie.

Accidental Billionaires – The story of Facebook’s founding and the basis of The Social Network movie. Essentially, this book is just like the movie. Except it gives off a really weird overly masculine and sexual vibe. The books gives the impression that all characters are interested in getting girls – and it keeps using somewhat sexual descriptions when it’s totally unnecessary (example: describing the rowing boat as “phallic” – really??). Also, it made Mark Zuckerberg seem more lucky than strategic when it came to making Facebook successful.

Super Sad True Love Story – I was hoping this would be good, but it was not. Taking place in a weird dystopian future time (which is actually the most interesting part of the story) – where America’s indebted to China and people are addicted to tiny personal computers that rank them on everything – it’s a really depressing love story. An older man in love with a younger, completely detached woman. But it’s depressing because they’re in love in a “desperate to need someone” way. The characters weren’t likable enough that I could really feel bad for them when things don’t work out. Also, it’s partial told in email messages, which was similar to trying to read a story told through text – whiny and full of slang.

The Psychopath Test – Psychopaths are intriguing, so any book about them, about what distinguishes them – it’s gotta be at least a little interesting. This book wasn’t exactly anything new if you’ve ever read anything about psychopath before, but it was a quick fun read.

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watch the throne.

December 20, 2011

I haven’t disappeared completely. After Thanksgiving it’s been a mad dash to the end of the year. Who am I kidding – even Thanksgiving came up in a rush. But this month, I went to go see Jay-Z and Kanye West on their Watch the Throne tour.

First, this was my first concert in a stadium-like setting. It’s a totally different experience. Our seats were pretty far up in the HP¬†Pavilion, so it felt really relaxed and removed. But it was a much bigger production than I’ve seen before – rising stages, video projections, fire, lasers, lots of lights.

Music-wise, they did almost the entire Watch the Throne album, as well as a good number of their individual hits. The set list is here. And yes, they did play the same song 5 times including the encore. I gotta give them credit. The whole show was a solid 2 hours without any real breaks. That’s a lot for just 2 guys.

As an aside, I’ve now been to two concerts here. And I realize that I prefer regular cigarette smoke (in concert venues, bars, pretty much anywhere) to pot smoke. I realize I’m probably in the minority on this.