Sunday, January 23, 2005

The more things change

I was watching an episode of *gasp* The Judy Garland Show the other night that I got from Netflix--rented it exclusively because Barbra Streisand was on as a guest. It was really odd, because it was kind of a culture shock to see Barbra looking so young and cutting loose like she was. I had to laugh because the way she looked on the show actually reminded me a lot Jennifer Aniston, and the show was taped 40 years ago!

Barbra -- 1963

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Jennifer Aniston -- recently

Maybe it's just me, but there's more than a passing resemblance. Funny how a 40 year old hairstyle is kind of all current again. Or maybe at least just last season. However, the funniest part was how the first half of The Judy Garland show was brought to you by the American Tobacco Industry--cigarette ads on TV!!

Heidi and I left Anna with my folks this weekend and went to Meet The Fockers--which was leaps and bounds better than Meet The Parents. Granted, I pretty much thought that Meet The Parents sucked so it wouldn't have to be a whole lot better and still be infinitely better. Barbra and Dustin Hoffman totally made the movie. And Barbra clearly had a ball making the movie.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Less frustrated, but still not happy

I think I've isolated the problem with my iPod and its communication (or lack thereof) with my computer. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that there's something funky going on in my Firewire connection. My biggest clue came when I tried to hook the video recorder up to the Firewire jack in the back of the computer and the computer didn't recognize it either. I went into Device Manager and there's a little exclamation mark next to the IEEE 1394 yada yada yada thing which makes me think there's a driver problem.

So I reboot, and the computer recognizes the Firewire card. It's in device manager, exclamation mark gone. I try to hook up the iPod--no dice. So I refresh the Device Manager and the IEEE 1394 thingee disappears. So something's up and I'm not sure what.

Funny thing, it's almost a relief that it's something in my computer. At least I have some control over that. In the meantime, it works on Heidi's USB 2.0 connection on her computer, so if worse comes to worse, there's always that option.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

So f***ing frustrated

I cannot tell you how frustrated I am with my iPod and my computer right now. For reasons still unbeknownst to me, my computer has stopped recognizing my iPod (i.e., I hook it up to the firewire port and all it does is charge.) It worked fine on Saturday, but Sunday night--nothing. And the only things that have changed are 1) I updated to the new version of iTunes and 2) I'm pretty sure I did an automatic Windows XP update during that time somewhere.

Apparently, from reading Apple's message boards, I'm not alone in this, but it does not help at all because there's still no word on how to make it work. I'm sitting here tonight, dead tired from work just wanting this damn thing to sync again and all it does is fucking charge. I suppose I could do a complete factory restore, but that's such a pain in the ass and if that doesn't work then I'm really screwed because it'll have erased all my music.

So here I sit with a half-functioning iPod and no apparent way to figure out how to get it to work. Mama said there'd be days like this.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

16 inches of the white stuff

We got 16 inches of snow last week--the first big snow of the season (we had a little bit for Christmas) and of course Anna loved it. She wanted to play outside all the time, but it was actually pretty cold out during most of the time after the snow quit falling. Nevertheless, we all managed to make it outside where we sledded down the hill in the backyard and Anna sat on the light-up reindeer that we put out this year.

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CD Spotlight -- 01/11/2005

Stevie Nicks -- Bella Donna (1981)

Ah, Stevie Nicks. Where would I be without thee? Probably a lot less confused about certain song lyrics, that's one thing for sure. Bella Donna is an album that has aged particularly well, and has aged right along with me. From the first 5 beautiful piano chords of the opening track to the final "He the glory/She the love/Still they ride again." of the final song, it's just about as perfect as CDs get. Stevie really hit this one out of the park--not surprising for a debut really. She had all sorts of songs that she'd written that were never going to see the light of day with Fleetwood Mac, so naturally, all the best stuff ended up here.

It's fun to listen to this stuff--I think I dug it out because Anna and I were at the Pizza Pit here in Ames (best pizza in Ames, hands down) the other day and "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" came on the radio. Ames has a classic rock station (KGGO) that is very strongly associated with my time in college here--mostly because my roommate at the time played it constantly. Well, once I heard "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" I immediately felt like I was back in college--my 3 year old daughter notwithstanding.

There's not a bad track on the CD--although the highlight for me is "Think About It" (written I'm pretty sure for Christine McVie around the time she was getting divorced from John.) It has the great lyric "Even when you feel like your life is fading/I know that you'll go on forever, 'cuz you're that good/Heartbreak of the moment is not endless/Fortune is your life's love." I think that I've come back to that lyric more times in my life than I care to think about--from my normal adolescent angst to my real adult depression and everything in between. It's hard to think that when you're feeling bad or you've been hurt worse than you could possibly imagine that you'll ever feel good again. But heartbreak of the moment is not endless. Live it and learn it.

Stevie never quite matched the brilliance of Bella Donna in my mind, although Rock a Little is brilliant in its own way--she jettisoned the guitars for 80s synthesizers and came up with something completely different (but Rock a Little is the height of drugged-out-on-cocaine-Stevie) and completely joyful. But nonetheless, Bella Donna is still and probably always will be my favorite of her solo CDs. Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 06, 2005

DOS Games Galore

I've recently stumbled across the web site Abandonia which serves as a veritable treasure trove of old DOS games that I either used to have or had pirated. However I had procured them, I played them mostly during my undergrad at ISU and U of Iowa and I have pretty fond memories of them. It's pretty amazing--some of them I'd completely forgotten about. It surprises me that these are out there just to download, it makes you wonder when the site will get shut down.

Anna and I have been having fun playing Lemmings--she thinks they're super cute and especially likes it when they blow up. It's really fun to be able to have things like that in commone with my daughter. Plus she's becoming a real pro at the computer so I imagine it won't be long before she's playing (or trying to play) Lemmings herself.

Yellow Snow by I.P. Freeley

Completely juvenile, but funny for 5 minutes anyway.

(via Metafilter)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The pit of pop culture?

Have I reached it by my most recent iTunes download? It's quite possible that I've found the biggest guilty pleasure of all. I just downloaded the song "Magnet" by **gasp** Lindsay Lohan. I tell ya, I won't be satisfied until I've blown every last bit of that $15 iTunes gift card that Heidi put in my stocking this year. Not only did I give in and download a remix of Britney Spears' "My Prerogative", now I've gone and downloaded something by Lindsay Lohan.

But, damn, if it isn't catchy. And I'm man enough to admit that! :)

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Post-holiday funk

Well, the holiday season snuck by me again. I worked for most of it, so it didn't really feel much like Christmas. But such is life in the health profession. Germs, heart disease and any other kind of malady you can imagine don't much care if it's a holiday or not.

Not to be too much like Charlie Brown, but I'm finding myself--not surprisingly--in a bit of a post-holiday funk. I think it's just a reminder to me of all the people that I used to be in touch with that I really am no longer. Christmas just serves as a time (to paraphrase Joss Whedon) to hook the corpses of relationships and friendships gone by up to electricity just for the sake of watching them twitch. It's kind of sad because every year I get myself all excited because I think for some reason I have yet to elucidate that this year will be the one that's different and that it'll extend past the annual Christmas update.

It's sad. These are people I once counted as the most important people in my life. How can things change so much? I think I read an article once--in Details magazine, of all places, the one with Madonna on the front looking like Courtney Love--about how people can be important to each other and then suddenly, they shift tracks just slightly and find that suddenly, they're miles apart. Of course, it was much more eloquent in the article.

*sigh* Oh well. Life will go on. Back tomorrow with less depressing stuff.