Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In which TV saves the day

I watched a lot of TV on the 6 hour (plus 1/2 an hour at JFK - can someone explain to me again why the planes can't just be scheduled to board at a time closer to their actual takeoff?) flight last night, and a lot of it was good. Besides the obvious Daily Show (although Bill Gates got to use all the same canned stuff he used on the Today show - is Jon Stewart that much of a shill?) and Colbert and My Super Sweet 16 and 24, there was also Engineering an Empire (which I can't link to directly because apparently the history channel doesn't understand this whole hyperlink/Internet thing). Engineering an Empire is history the way I'd like to learn it, with the occasional mention of wars and politicians as background to various feats of engineering. ;-) Dimitri Martin. Person. also rocked. Yay JetBlue!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kicking the ITunes habit

After an awesome, awesome Essex Green (even better than I hoped, and when I bought a shirt, the band itself was manning the merch table) / Camera Obscura (surprisingly good) concert at the Warsaw (high-school-gym-ish, a little out of the way) last night, I was compelled to buy another EG album, and the "Underachievers Please Try Harder" album from Camera Obscura, which has the haunting track "Books Written For Girls" (well, it was haunting in concert, less hot on the album). As I was about to spend $20 at Itunes for DRM-ed music, I remembered Akshay's insistence that almost everything anyone could want was available on Emusic, so I investigated. Stupidly, Emusic.com shoves you into signing up without seeing what tracks are available, but some Googling helped verify that the CDs I wanted were available. So, I'm now paying less money for music that (gasp) can be copied and shared. I feel liberated. So take that, iTunes. I wonder if Apple will ever be less compulsive about restricting my rights? Maybe they'll be forced to legally? Certainly locking down the iPhone is a step in the wrong direction.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Tasty tapas

Dinner tonight at Boqueria was a reminder of how bad I am at predicting what will be best from a menu. The thing I expected to be deliciousest (because, in Spain, it was) - Pa Amb Tomaquet - was the most bland. And the most boring sounding - Patatas Bravas and Pimientos de Padron - were really tasty. Yay tapas, for letting me try lots of stuff. The desserts were uniformly awesome, and we had a good Priorat wine. For a tapas place in New York, it was reasonably priced and the wait wasn't bad.

Added to the good restaurant notebook.

Poll: What's your most-listened song in iTunes?

In honor of international iPhone day, what song has the highest play count in your iTunes? Mine is Don't Know Why by Essex Green with 116. This is surprisingly low given how much I play single songs on loop. Anyway, not coincidentally, I have an extra ticket to an Essex Green/Camera Obscura concert this month, but nobody wants to go. :-(

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Problems. Solutions.

- When I got my hot new HK receiver and JBL speakers, I was all excited to play music off my laptop. But there was this annoying electric hum. Then, last night, it occurred to me that I could use the attenuator I got to use my Shure headphones on airplanes. Voila! Now I'm listening to all the new music I downloaded for running (Fergalicious, Love Generation, SexyBack, Right Here Right Now) with pounding bass and annoying my neighbors! I think I also need to work on lowering the input level at the receiver itself, but that involves more menu navigation than I have the energy for.

- On Friday, I went to Rosa Mexicano. They don't list anything vegetarian on the menu, and I was worried. But as soon as I said I was vegetarian, the waitress said they could make a vegetable enchilada. This was exactly what I wanted, but WHY DON'T THEY JUST LIST THIS ON THEIR MENU? This always happens with French restaurants. I don't get it. In any case, the atmosphere was awesome, but if I'm going to pay obscene amounts of money for enchiladas, I prefer Dos Caminos.

- Last weekend, I did two 6 mile runs in a row, and what felt like my shoes digging into my foot turned into incredible pain. I broke down and went to a podiatrist, who said it was just inflammation (I guess fractures cause the foot to swell up?). Anyway, some Aleve and ice made it go away, although to keep it away, he's suggesting I get ridiculously-expensive custom orthotics. I guess I'll just break down and do it.

- As long-time readers of this blog will know, I'm on an unending and unpleasant quest to find shirts and jackets that fit me. For some reason, small implies wide (and often also tall). I guess that's what happens when you compress two dimensions into one, and why our beloved capitalist system has failed to move beyond this is totally mystifying. Anyway, Catherine spotted XS sweaters at jcrew.com (not available in stores). Very exciting. They also have XS shirts. Akshay & co recently procured a XS fleece from Uniqlo for me (thanks!). And I was able to find a nearly-fitting sportcoat at Zara. Yay.

- Problem: I was almost done with Guitar Hero. Solution: Richard got me Guitar Hero 2 for Christmas! Problem: I keep playing Guitar Hero instead of going to bed. Solution: Caffeine.

- I couldn't go much longer without mentioning that Catherine and I broke up last month after 3 mostly-awesome years. I guess it would be more accurate to say that I broke up with her. I'm pretty sure that makes me an asshole, and possibly stupid. Haven't found a solution to this one yet.

(On a lighter note, Happy Birthday Brian!)