Losing it

Comments

Hunger Games

Comments

You’d be a fool not to have heard the new Fleet Foxes album. And I know you’re no fool.

Comments

vark.im

Comments

12 Monkeys

I just finished 12 Monkeys (I forget the chain of events which led up to my watching it) and I definitely recommend it.

That is all.

Comments

Not Dead II: Still Alive

I haven’t tumbld in a while, huh. That’s the beauty of RSS readers, though: set it and forget it.

Videos

What have I been up to lately? A good question, one I often ask myself. Here’s a small sampling in the form of a chain of embedded video.


I’ve been watching a lot of Mr. Show - haven’t quite finished its four-series run yet, but I’m close. It’s really great.


I think I watched this video probably 10, 20 times. Maybe not all in a row. Maybe more than 20 times. Protip: this genius has it set to play in a loop.


I got into a cab with this man. I didn’t mean to. I noticed the Christmas tree lights on the seats first, the live camera second, and then he started singing.


One more Mr. Show video. This one is longer than the last.


I saw Randy Newman, he was very good. Feel free to listen to this song (it’s pretty short) and then read the accompanying Wikipedia article. I think my favorite song on that album is probably God’s Song, though (make sure you read the lyrics). And then after you’ve heard that song, listen to He Gives Us All His Love, from the same album, and tell me what it’s about.

end videos

Classical Music

I’ve been listening to a lot more classical music. Even bought a subscription to next year’s season at the Symphony Hall. I still know next to nothing but if you’re interested in a spectacular piece of music try Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” (movements I, II, III, IV, and V). Or if you’re not interested in the full 90-minute experience, you can settle for the final movement. Still 33 minutes though.

One of my issues was that classical music is different than regular music with respect to composers vs. performers. In other words, not only did I need a guide to particular pieces of music to listen to, but also particular recordings of those pieces. So far the NPR Listener’s Encyclopedia of Classical Music has been very helpful: I look someone up, and there’s a brief blurb along with a list of recommended recordings. Eases my mind. I also bought the NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection but haven’t looked much at it yet. I imagine they’re not too dissimilar.

Another book I’d highly recommend is The Rest Is Noise. The subtitle pretty much sums it up: “Listening to the Twentieth Century”. Although it is primarily about classical music and composers, as opposed to pop music. One of the pieces of critical acclaim rang particularly true:

Alex Ross has written a true rarity—a book about music that makes you want to run and listen to every note he talks about. A masterpiece. —Emanuel Ax

On a side note, here is my current record collection. My apologies for the obnoxious 14-albums-a-time pagination (there are 20 pages); but this was the best Delicious Library could do. Maybe one day I’ll write a better gallery. While I have listened to most of these, there are still some I haven’t heard yet. I do aim to fix that.

end classical music

Coffee

If you like coffee, you owe it to yourself to buy an Aeropress. I think I still prefer how the French Press tastes, but this is comparable in taste, and much faster and more convenient. It’s also only $25. But don’t take my word for it (actually, do): I recently found out this is also Nathan Myhrvold’s favorite way of making coffee as well.

Here are some things I’ve learned about coffee:

The only thing to be aware of when you buy the Aeropress is that the instructions are a total lie. It does not make an espresso shot, nor should it be used to make something similar. It’s best for a great cup of coffee. This is a good guide, should you find yourself with an Aeropress.

end coffee

What I Have Been Up To

I was at a bookstore a month ago, and saw a Moleskine display. I’d never kept a diary or journal of any kind so I picked one up, and have resolved to write down a page or more about each day.

At first I mostly wrote down what time I woke up, what time I went to bed, and any other interesting things that happened to me that day. I’ve moved a little away from that, but I end up finding myself trying to write down the day’s events up to two weeks after the fact. This is difficult.

Is there anything to read into the fact that I can’t remember a single thing to write down about some days? This is largely the reason I use Foursquare - to be able to look back on what I’ve done, rather than just losing it. Google Calendar is also helpful here, when I’m trying to reconstruct my days. It would be best to write about them that night, but if I can’t remember what happened 6 days ago, what does that mean?

end what i have been up to

Dominion

On a whim, I went to the board game store a couple blocks away and bought a game called Dominion. It’s really fun. The basic concept is that everyone starts with the same 10-card deck, and over the course of the game you build and shape your deck until the game ends, and whoever has the most points wins.

The other very interesting piece is that there are 10 “action” cards you can choose from to build your deck (and then later use). However, the game comes with 25 of these action cards, so if you discover a particular combo that works well, you might have to totally readjust your way of thinking.

The game cost like $50, and at the store I asked the guy if they had some sort of board-game club where you would pay around $100 a year, and essentially rent a board game each month. If he can get 12 people to do that, then he could just choose 12 board games and cycle them around the group. And of course, if you liked the game, you could buy it. Win-win times twelve.

He said no.

end dominion

I think that’s good for now. I’ll leave you with another recommendation - if you haven’t listened to Robyn’s latest album, Body Talk, then you’re missing out. I’d heard a few Robyn songs, and they were pretty good but nothing spectacular. This album is spectacular though. Standout tracks include "Dancing on My Own", “Indestructible”, "Time Machine" (this might be my favorite), "Call Your Girlfriend", “None of Dem”, and Snoop Dogg’s appearance on “U Should Know Better”. Ought to please all.

Comments

Not Dead

Looks like this blog has a few posts in it yet!

Comments

left my IM client open all weekend whoops

(11:36 am)
Christine Rutan: are yo really heree
Christine Rutan: yo, r u rly hear
Christine Rutan: our ya reelee heer
Christine Rutan: i’m going to get it right one of these times
Christine Rutan: spelling is hard, man

(5:56 pm)
Christine Rutan: workin late?
Christine Rutan: or lately workin?

(12:00 pm)
Christine Rutan: sithman speth!

(1:40 pm)
Christine Rutan: so I forgot what the spaceman in calvin and hobbes was named
Christine Rutan: and that joke sort of didn’t turn out right

(2:24 pm)
Christine Rutan: well I don’t know
Christine Rutan: sethman spiff, I guess
Christine Rutan: sethman speff
Christine Rutan: man I hope you didn’t get fired over the weekend or somethin

Comments
I subscribe to The Atlantic. Like all magazines, it’s got those little card inserts trying to get you to extend/renew/gift your subscription. They suck, but that’s not the point of this post. The picture above shows four different subscription offers I’ve received from the magazine. Let’s go through them.

Starting with the second (the red one), the text is: “Smarter Save 59%: Get 2 years of The Atlantic for only $2.47 per copy”. This offer is 20 issues (2 years) for $49.50. Eh.

Let’s move to the third (the green one). The text here is “One free year! 3 years - $49.50”. Now we’re talking. The price has gone down from the cover price of God alone knows how much, to $2.47, to $1.64 per copy. Strictly better than the previous offer.

But wait! Take a look at the fourth (blue). The offer here is 2 years (20 issues) for only $49.50 - definitely not as good as the last one, but I also get a $5 Starbucks gift card! Again, strictly better than the red offer.

And finally, let’s move back to the first. This one came in its own envelope, part of the “Customer Retention Program”. Here I’m given a choice between one year for $14.95 ($1.50 per issue) or two years for $26.95 ($1.35 per issue).

The kicker, though, is that the three in-magazine subscription cards were all from the same issue.

I’m not totally sure why the magazine does this, or how it’s supposed to work (are they just hoping to trick some number of people?), but here’s my theory. I read the offers in the order presented in the photo, and after each successive offer I decided that I’d be a fool to pay for them, since I could pay as little as $1.35 per issue. And by the end, I had convinced myself that it must be a pretty good deal. Is that the end goal? Just to make the best offer look better? And if suckers sign up for the less-than-optimum offers, well, more money for the publishers.

I subscribe to The Atlantic. Like all magazines, it’s got those little card inserts trying to get you to extend/renew/gift your subscription. They suck, but that’s not the point of this post. The picture above shows four different subscription offers I’ve received from the magazine. Let’s go through them.

Starting with the second (the red one), the text is: “Smarter Save 59%: Get 2 years of The Atlantic for only $2.47 per copy”. This offer is 20 issues (2 years) for $49.50. Eh.

Let’s move to the third (the green one). The text here is “One free year! 3 years - $49.50”. Now we’re talking. The price has gone down from the cover price of God alone knows how much, to $2.47, to $1.64 per copy. Strictly better than the previous offer.

But wait! Take a look at the fourth (blue). The offer here is 2 years (20 issues) for only $49.50 - definitely not as good as the last one, but I also get a $5 Starbucks gift card! Again, strictly better than the red offer.

And finally, let’s move back to the first. This one came in its own envelope, part of the “Customer Retention Program”. Here I’m given a choice between one year for $14.95 ($1.50 per issue) or two years for $26.95 ($1.35 per issue).

The kicker, though, is that the three in-magazine subscription cards were all from the same issue.

I’m not totally sure why the magazine does this, or how it’s supposed to work (are they just hoping to trick some number of people?), but here’s my theory. I read the offers in the order presented in the photo, and after each successive offer I decided that I’d be a fool to pay for them, since I could pay as little as $1.35 per issue. And by the end, I had convinced myself that it must be a pretty good deal. Is that the end goal? Just to make the best offer look better? And if suckers sign up for the less-than-optimum offers, well, more money for the publishers.

Comments

Aardvark strikes again

(From Sierra B./F/Seattle,WA)
*humanities*
how do you get people you care about to stop telling you puns in a way that doesn’t stop them from existing?

Comments