Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I picked up the "new" Madonna CD today Remixed and Revisited. It's really damn short (29 minutes!) but it was only ten bucks so there's really no complaining--especially since we got a whole new studio album earlier this year. The remixes are of "Nothing Fails", "Nobody Knows Me", "Love Profusion" and "American Life." I was shocked to find that they are actually more rock remixes than they are dance remixes--and dang, are they good! The "American Life" remix is a bit on the weird side, but overall, I really enjoy them. The biggest plus is the release of a previously unavailable track from the Bedtime Stories sessions called "Your Honesty." What was Madonna thinking? Why did she not put this on the album? She could have nixed either "I'd Rather Be Your Lover" or the heinously awful "Don't Stop" and put this great little song on instead. It wouldn't have been a hit single, but boy, it would have sure been a good album track. I was talking to Jeff about it last night and he thought that it seemed like it was so much cheesier than anything Madonna would do now, and while that's true, it was still way fun.

I picked up Ryan from the airport yesterday in Cedar Rapids, and it was really good to see him again. I never realized how much his moving away would change things around here. So he'll be here for Thanksgiving on Thursday, and he's bringing Olinka (sp?) so that'll be fun. I'm very eager to meet her. She seems like she's super-sweet. I mean, she bought Anna a Teletubby! She'll have won Anna over, that's for sure.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

It has been a bloody long time since I've blogged. I guess live has been busy. The real world interfering with online? Imagine that!

Heidi's smack dab in the middle of entering two manuscripts to the Golden Heart. This means that I see her about 2 hours out of the day total because she's writing like a mad woman up in the office. It's actually not so bad--Anna and I hang out and listen to music. Tonight we put her wood puzzles together and looked at CDs. She's really getting smart, I tell ya. Tonight I heard her say "Anna" for the first time. It was very distinct and in response to me asking her "Who's that?" and pointing to a picture of her. She's just so dang cute.

Well I think I've died and gone to heaven because the Alien movies are getting the deluxe DVD box set treatment. I love these movies, even though the last two were pretty much box office bombs. The coolest things about the Alien movies is how intricate the life cycle of the alien is. And the story is full of subtleties as well. The whole wanting to use the alien as a bioweapon and the thick-headedness of the humans on Earth of trying to get one back to Earth despite the fact that one alien can usually make mincemeat out of just about any large group of people is a cool concept. Why do they think they can tame that thing? My biggest gripe with the Alien movies, though, is how slimy and slobbery the aliens got as the movies went on. And yeah, the CGI aliens in the 4th movie are pretty fake looking. But fortunately, they also used models and puppets.

And I never knew that Joss Whedon (of "Buffy" fame) wrote the 4th movie. And know that, it makes total sense. There is quite a bit of Whedon-ness in that movie.

There's a really cool web site that I remember stumbling across when I was in grad school that described in the most minute detail the life cycle of the alien, plus its social behavior, etc., as if it were actually a real living thing and not just a product of Hollywood. It's called The Anchorpoint Essays and if you're interested in that kind of stuff, I suggest reading it. There's reams and reams of stuff to read there.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

It's been a while since I've updated this thing. We went to Iowa City tonight and Heidi bought a new pair of shoes while Anna and I wandered around the mall. We're gearing up for Anna's second birthday which is next weekend. My folks are coming down and Jeff and Mary are coming as well. It should be a pretty fun time. Hard to believe that she'll be two already. However, she's acting every bit the part of a two-year-old these days, so I guess it's not that hard to believe.

We listened to that Dolly Parton tribute CD on the way home tonight. It's surprising how good that is. As I've probably mentioned before, remakes--and especially tribute albums--almost always end up sounding like celebrity karaoke. But these are some very capable covers of Dolly's music. The song choices are a bit on the odd side, although there's the obligatory "Coat Of Many Colors" and "Jolene" Probably the biggest surprise on the CD is Me'Shell NdegéOcello's (say that three times fast--hell say that one time slow!!) version of "Two Doors Down" which is unconventional to say the least. I also really like Alison Moorer's version of "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning" (which will always be that crazy song from Straight Talk to me) even though at first it didn't really do all that much for me. The only time it really comes close to being bad celebrity karaoke is Melissa Etheridge's version of "I Will Always Love You" and (sadly) Shania Twain's take on "Coat Of Many Colors."

Speaking of remakes, I freaking love the No Doubt cover of "It's My Life." Absolutely awesome.

And tonight I was going to buy that new REM best-of set but when we were at Wal-Mart, I couldn't manage to find it. Too bad as I'm really itching to get that for some odd reason. I've been listening to a lot of their music these days which is quite odd because I've only ever been a casual fan of theirs. Maybe it's the time of year. Hard telling I guess.