Photo Hunt Week 3: Light

Sunset over snow.

I’ve made a preemptive strike this week. Though not officially Wednesday here in the states, I thought it was somewhat unfair that my photo-hunt partner had to post everything a day before me. So here we are at week 3, with me posting a little earlier than I usually do.

Today’s shot was too pretty not to share, though.

This was taken today, just at sunset, right after one of the most beautiful snow storms I’ve had the pleasure to experience for a long time. The clouds block the sunlight a bit in this shot, as it would of been even more gorgeous to see the sunlight glance off the snow on the ground, but it was already too pretty to pass up. Imagine about an inch of snow falling not long before this photo was taken as well and you’ll have a rough idea of how magical a moment it was.

Not the best photo, but I’m quite partial to how it turned out.

Photo Hunt Week 2: Earth

Earth through the eyes of a child.

This photo isn’t what I originally intended, but I’m actually quite surprised with how it turned out. What I had first thought about doing is going up to Dry Falls and taking some photos of the gorgeous cliff structures that are there. It was the first thing that popped into my head, but, unfortunately, was rather difficult to arrange a time to go photograph. The winter months and lack of daylight mean I would of had to go over the weekend, and that simply didn’t happen.

This alternate photo is something I thought up at the last moment… and even if it’s a bit from left-field, I do like how it turned out. I was going for a depth-of-field effect with the photograph, something I was able to accomplish somewhat with the macro setting on my camera, but as I can’t really fiddle with the f-stop settings on my little point and click, it’s not completely how I envisioned it.

I still think it’s a worthy addition to the collection so far, though.

Vicky’s way funky photo for this week is here. I love her photo, even if it’s one from her archives. 🙂

Photo Hunt Week 1: Childhood

Rocks from my childhood.

This week marks the first entry into a little something Vicky and I hatched up. Though actually, most of the credit goes to her, as she found the original meme and suggested we try it ourselves. Which I thought was a fantastic idea.

So… this week… childhood.

And you’re probably wondering what a couple of rocks in a yard has to do with childhood.

What you’re looking at is actually my childhood home of 18 years. It’s taken a rather significant change these past couple of years, as it’s now abandoned and neglected, but truth be told, I never liked that house much anyway. I realized not too long ago that many of my nightmares still take place in that house, even though I haven’t lived there for quite a while now.

Those rocks, though, are one of my cherished memories as a child. I would go out to those rocks at night and watch the moon and stars pass overhead, as the surface of the larger rock is just the right shape for leaning back against when you’re a little kid. There are many summer nights when I’d play by those rocks and develop a deep love for the night sky and the stars.

I find some deep symbolism in this image, as the wire fence was never there when I was a kid. That was put up by my brother when they moved back into that house a few years ago. It’s fitting, though… as I feel in many ways that I’ve tried to block out a large part of my childhood, since much of it was a lot of religious propaganda spoon fed to us as kids. You’ll notice the yard, which I can personally attest to once being quite beautiful and lush, has overgrown and gone completely neglected.

Some things simply don’t last, and sometimes that’s for the best. I’m glad those rocks are still there though. They’ll always be a part of my childhood I cherish.

You can find Vicky’s post here.

Racks for the Holidays

One rack + one attic crawl space = fun and merriment for all.

For those of you that have kept in touch with me over the holidays, you’ve likely heard me weave a tale of wonderment and joy as I’ve explained what I’ve had to do over my holiday break at work.

This picture pretty much captures the entire situation as succinctly as possible.

Now, after you get that seven foot rack up into that attic crawl space, figure out a way to jostle the equipment that’s already up there around to make room for it in a fairly cramped space, all the while having fun with a hydraulic scissor lift in the process, imagine, if you will, proceeding to carry up and install almost $50,000 worth of network equipment as well.

It made for some interesting work weeks.

I also have several pictures of us unboxing our new “toys”, but I’ll spare this blog from those images, even though there is one rather amusing shot of Shawn praying at the altar of his new Xserve and Xserve Raid. I will say one thing. Apple hardware is damn pretty in a rack.

Resolutions and Revelations

In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey.
What’s in your head…
In your head…
Zombie, zombie, zombie?

– The Cranberries, “Zombie”

It’s been a long time since I had heard this song, but ever since I have, it’s been stuck in my head. The original sentiment may have been an anti-war one, but it seems fitting for me, at this moment, while I’m trying to make sense of up and down, left and right, and where I’m going.

I have quite literally felt like a zombie these past few weeks.

The holidays are seldom a happy time for me, especially as the years pass and I feel like I’ve become more and more distant from those I care about. But this holiday in particular has been especially rough, mainly because once again I find myself wondering where I’m going, and facing a new year trying to figure out what I want to do with myself and where I want to go.

Mid-life crisis? Not really. It’s the same thing I’ve been trying to figure out for a long time.

As a kid, you are asked fairly often what you want to be when you grow up. And then you grow up. What happens when you still don’t know what you want to be? In so many ways I still just feel like a kid. I’ve always been much better at making the best of a situation instead of making a situation the best for me.

I think in a lot of ways it’s just time for me to grow up.

So… for the few of you that actually read this… I do hope your holidays were good, and that you were able to find a little joy in between what is generally one of the most hectic and frazzling times of year. I know I’m a rather reticent individual these days, but if you are here reading this, chances are you are very much in my thoughts.

It’s a New Year, and time to make new starts and set new goals.

I’ll try not to be stranger. 😉

It’s mii!

My MiiI just thought those of you that have actually met me might find this amusing. This is the result of way too much time tinkering with the avatar feature on the Wii. Scary how close it is, isn’t it?

 
 
 
 
 

The Blackest Friday

This has been the longest weekend ever.

It’s bad enough when you have a holiday based around having as big a meal as possible. But when you add the biggest shopping day of the year into the mix as well, and then mix in a little familial gathering, you have a recipe for a weekend that seemingly stretches on infinitely.

Thanksgiving Day itself was kind of nice, really. It was me, Danie, Shawn and his mom all together, and Danie went really out of her way this year to prepare food for our little feast. Instead of turkey, we had a really yummy glazed ham. I’ve found out the secret to Danie’s ham is that she actually uses coffee in the baste. Whatever she used though, it was delicious. Combine that with your traditional Thanksgiving victuals, including stuffing, veggies, cranberry sauce, and, of course, the ever so evil candied yams, and it was a fantastic evening all in all. We followed up dinner with some traditional card and board game playing, and then started preparing for one of the craziest things I’ve done in a long, long time.

Black Friday.

The plan was to get to Best Buy early enough to not miss out on a few critical deals we were trying to get. The main item we were going for was a 32″ LCD TV, that was about half off its regular price. This is basically me and Shawn’s Christmas gift to each other. The other item I personally wanted to get was a 7 mega pixel Kodak digital camera, mainly so I can start posting pictures to this blog.

So, doing our calculations and thinking things through, we figured that if we left no later than 1 AM, we would be okay. That would get us to Best Buy at about 2 AM, and not many people would be that crazy to wait in line for that long, right?

Whenever I try to judge just how crazy people are, I always sorely underestimate in my calculations.

Sorely, sorely underestimate.

By the time we walked up to Best Buy at 2 AM, the line not only went all the way along side the store, but ran across the Office Depot that was right next to it, across a ritzy clothing outfit next to that, and around the corner. When we got in line, we couldn’t even see the entrance to the store.

For some reason, though, I was in good spirits. It was amazingly cold, which always makes me happy. And I was optimistic that we would still be able to get something, though I was starting to doubt that we would get the major items we had came for. Danie was smart and had brought her Nintendo DS, and proceeded to spend that first hour playing the new Super Mario Brothers. Shawn, on the other hand, was just tired, and was already starting to complain about aching muscles. I think he had already written off the whole enterprise at this point, because when I mentioned that we could just go back home, half jokingly, his eyes seemed to light up.

There was no way I was going back home at this point. I was on a mission. I would not be deterred by some measly line.

So… the first hour passed by fairly quickly. Shawn and I talked to pass the time and Danie played her DS. At one point we decided to pull the folding chair and thermos of coffee from the car. This is why going in a group of at least two is an absolute must. You need someone there to hold your spot in line while one of you goes to do simple things like sit in the car to warm up for a few minutes. Though it never came to that for us. We’re professionals. We just winge and moan and hope the time goes by faster. While sipping coffee from a thermos.

3 AM rolls around. There’s some activity ahead of us, but we’re mostly frozen in spot from the cold at this point. At this point, we have just an hour to go before the Best Buy staff start handing out vouchers for the limited quantity items. We look over the flyer and confirm the items that we want to try to get a hold of. An hour waiting in line can do odd things to your optimism, though… and I was doubting whether we’d be able to get any of the items we came for.

But something miraculous started happening. The line began to move. Now I knew something had to be up because the store didn’t open for another hour and a half. But low and behold, not only were we moving forward, but we moved past the corner of the building! We moved so far forward that not only were we past the corner of the building, we had moved past the ritzy clothing store and were standing in front of the Office Depot! You could even see the entrance to Best Buy. It seemed too good to be true.

It turns out that a good portion of that line ahead of us were people with tents. And once the time drew close for the vouchers to get handed out, they started breaking camp. So things weren’t as dire as we thought, and suddenly my optimism was renewed.

But damn. Tents? I found out these people had actually started camping out the night before. Some of them had likely even skipped Thanksgiving dinner entirely, just to get the best deal possible on a desktop computer or LCD monitor.

And I thought I was crazy for wanting to be there by 2 AM.

The next half hour went by relatively quickly, and soon the moment of judgment was upon us. It was 4 AM, and the handing out of the vouchers began. This was a fairly simple process, with Best Buy staff starting at the start of the line with manila envelopes full of color coded papers calling out for certain items and people in line holding up their hands if they wanted one. This is where one of my theories in regards to the campers was proven in full. Most of the people there were waiting for computer equipment. Desktop computers, laptops, LCD displays… these things went fast. Vouchers for these items never made it anywhere close to our spot in line. TV’s and cameras, on the other hand… they were hard pressed to even get rid of some of them. Shawn got his voucher for the 32″ LCD TV we wanted, Danie got a voucher for the 5 mega pixel camera she was going to get for her grandmother, and I got my voucher for the 7 mega pixel camera I wanted.

Success. All our plotting and scheming for the past two weeks paid off. We were basically guaranteed to get the big ticket items we wanted.

We just had to wait another hour to get into the store.

That was probably the slowest hour out of all of them. Having the vouchers in hand, a little bit of that anticipation and adrenalin slips away, and all you’re left with is the cold. And the wait. Danie brought out her iPod shuffle and started listening to music. Shawn just looked dead on his feet. I just tried to keep busy looking around. We were still in front of the Office Depot at this point, and it was amusing how much smaller the line of people was for their opening sale. I began to envy them in a way. They seemed to know what they were doing, waiting at a store that was much less in demand, even if the bargains weren’t as good.

Of course, most sane people would consider going out on Black Friday a crazy thing to do at all. Myself included on most days. I would of written the whole thing off if it wasn’t for the deal on that TV. We had been looking at a TV very similar for a long time, but could never justify the cost. But for half price?

I think there’s a logic center of the brain that handles things like basic finance and money. When this logic center is presented with such sundry deals as ‘half-off’, it seems to seriously affect other portions of the brain that deal with such things as knowing that waiting in line for three hours in the cold is a crazy thing to willingly do. Some people are more affected by this than others.

5 AM approached. We got excited. We went over our game plan. We were going to split up, get the few additional items we needed, make our purchases, and meet close to the entrance.

The doors opened.

The line moved forward.

We entered the store.

Chaos ensued.

I have never seen so many people packed into a small area. What seemed like a manageable line of people ahead of us turned into a traffic jam of crazy shoppers as individuals headed for deals and begun waiting in line for items they had vouchers for. It was literally impossible to get to certain portions of the store without being presented by a wall of shopping carts and people. This was the craziest thing I had seen in a long time, and is the one thing that would keep me from doing a Black Friday sale ever again.

I don’t like people. People packed in a store like sardines in a tin? Probably one of my least favorite things.

I valiantly made my way to the computer section of the store, though… I had made Jim a promise that I would try to get him a 17″ LCD display for a computer he was building for his family. By the time I actually got to the monitors, though… they were gone. I was in the first group of people let into the store, and they were still already gone. I toyed with the idea of getting a larger display, but none of them were sale items, so would be twice as much as he was expecting. I came to the conclusion that it was a lost cause and resigned myself to calling him later to give him the bad news.

Everything else I wanted to get I had no trouble finding.

Danie and I got in line to buy our digital cameras while Shawn stood back and watched for the most part. The line for the televisions didn’t seem too long, though we would find out later that was a major deception. After we had our cameras, we grouped together in one of the less populated aisles (computer software, ironically) and decided to start the long wait for the television.

And my god, it was a long wait.

The TV line had to be the slowest moving line in the store. Many of the people there were buying large televisions on the order of $1000 or more. And were woefully unprepared. They were applying for credit at the counter, which can take 5-10 minutes or more. Some were smart and had applied for credit the day or two before, but were finding they hadn’t given their bank enough time to process everything, and their cards weren’t working in the store. After waiting for an hour and seeing Shawn barely move up the line, Danie and I decided to go purchase the rest of our items and see if we could head into another part of town so that I could complete another mission: floss.

Not only were we able to snake our way through the 8 aisle line of people waiting to buy their items at the main counters, but we were able to head to Joann’s Fabrics, assemble together all the floss I needed to get, wait in line there, get checked out and head back to Best Buy… all before Shawn was done with his transaction.

The poor sod. I actually feel quite bad for him. He had the worst time out of all of us I think, with having to wait in line for nearly two additional hours just so we could get our hands on a TV.

Though, admittingly, it’s beautiful.

Even Shawn thinks it was mostly worth it at this point. All he had to do was hook up his DVD player using component cables and pop in Serenity to be converted. Who needs high definition DVD’s when just watching them in progressive scan is a major leap in viewing pleasure?

So that wraps up Black Friday, 2006. I apologize if this post is tremendously long, but it was quite the ordeal all in all, and giving it a paragraph or two coverage didn’t seem to do it justice. How did we make out in the end? You be the judge:

Shawn:

Danie:

Adam:

Having a frightful story to tell about the evils of Black Friday – priceless.

Next year… stereo audio equipment! *shoots himself in the head now*

Black Friday

I have waited in line for three hours straight. Followed by more waiting in line. And then more waiting in line.

And I have returned… victorious.

Tired… but victorious.

The lines were long. The people were crazy. This is not an experience for the faint of heart. I’m hoping to have an update later with all the details and maybe even a picture or two of our haul.

All in all it was a good wait though. I’d say the deal of the day would have to be a spindle of 100 DVD-Rs for $5. That’s right. $5. I did a triple take when I finally saw that in the ad.

I’m happy because I finally have a digital camera I can do point and shoot photos with. No more dealing with film camera, though it will still be nice to have it around if I want to get really serious about photography again.

But for now… sleep.

Sweet, sweet sleep.

Ciao, Black Friday. We hardly knew ye.

It’s the Wiikend.

I had one goal for today.

Acquire a Nintendo Wii.

After several hours of hunting for the best place to get one, driving to Moses Lake, and checking things out, I discovered that I was too late to get one there… and came home back to Othello with my tail between my legs.

Only to realize I could likely get one here in Othello easily. I just had to wait until 6AM.

So at a mostly ungodly hour of the morning, I forced myself up, drove down a few blocks to the local store, and picked up my Wii, with little fanfare or fuss.

Shawn and I have spent the past three hours playing tennis, and having an absolute blast. The controls are amazingly intuitive, even more responsive than I had first thought they would be. And I have yet to even crack the outer plastic on the game I really wanted to get, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

So… I’ve been up nearly 24 hours now… could be labeled a complete and utter nerd… but I’m still happy.

*goes to play with his Wii*

There and back again.

I’m officially back from Australia.

It’s a bit strange, really. I had two fantastic weeks away, and now that I’m back, I’m realizing that this place really doesn’t feel like home anymore. It was kind of surreal stepping off the plane and having to remind myself that this is where I started my journey.

I need a change. A serious change. I’m not happy where I’m at right now, and its past time I moved out, stood on my own once more, and faced my life.

I’ve known this for a while, but have never had it driven home quite as sharply as after getting back from Australia this time. I can honestly say that this last trip was a bit of an eye opener into myself in many ways… and a trip I am not likely to forget anytime soon.

Even more surreal at the moment though is the weather here currently. I’ve gone from an area under drought conditions to the worst flooding this area has seen for years. Almost 12 counties in Washington have had flood alerts issued, and there are quite a few cities that have been overtaken with water. My flights into Seattle were delayed for over two hours as they put flights on a rotational delay due to the inability to handle the usual amount of air traffic into the city with the torrential rain.

Simply driving back from Seattle last night was an adventure, as parts of I-90 had fairly deep water on the roadway and had suffered from washouts here and there. Traffic was slow due to numerous accidents, and the driving conditions were terrible. I have to sincerely thank Danie for getting me home. I was in no state to drive, and she did an excellent job negotiating the rough driving conditions, even if she did have a white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel at moments. From what I understand they stopped in North Bend on the way to pick me up to get gas, and almost ended up stuck there in the process. North Bend has been one of the harder hit communities, with the flooding there actually closing the voting poll location.

This brings me to my final point for today: voting day. Thankfully I didn’t miss the general election for this year, as I had almost feared. Today is voting today, and I was able to get my ballot filled out and turned in. I voted pretty much straight Democrat this year, as I’m not impressed for the most part with the political views of the Republicans. I did have some time today to at least go through and do some research on the referendums up on the ballot, and look at the unknowns in the different legislative and judicial offices opening up. As time goes on, I feel the need to get more and more politically involved as I watch what I once thought were rights and freedoms we had as individuals being taken from us. I am frustrated a lot of the time in being in such an obviously right-wing, religious community. I’ve found that a lot of my political views differ by a large margin to the people around me. Shawn, thankfully, is an exception to this, and our similar viewpoints have been one of the things that keep us amused in our friendship.

For the most part, I’m just relieved that I can no longer be held responsible for everything that’s wrong with America now that I’m actually an active, voting citizen.

Now if I could just stop being ashamed for the country I live in.

Where am I going?

Australia!

It’s hard for my brain to wrap around the reality that I will be flying out this coming weekend. I’m getting nervous, though I know I have no reason to be, really. I’ve done this trip twice before, and had a blast both times. And this time I get to go during Halloween. Vicky has always thrown a magnificent Halloween bash, and this time I actually get to be there for it.

I am, of course, bringing loads and loads of Halloween goodies with me. I’ve taken some photos of the stash, and hope to post them tomorrow. It really is… a lot. I’ve bought a second bag to put everything in and will be incredibly amused if my check-in luggage gets a thorough searching at the airport. You know… disemembered foam arms sticking out of the side of my bag and what not.

Maybe I can bribe the security guards with the loads of candy I’ll be hauling with me.

Vicky has promised me that I will have access to her digital camera while I’m there as well, so I fully plan to make use of it as much as possible. You’ll hopefully be able to check both our blogs for lots and lots of updates in the weeks to come. Or actually, after I head back home. Who has time for updating blogs when there’s fun to be had?

Those of you that read this blog and are in the area, I fully intend to see you at some point. That first week I’m there is going to be hectic, but I do hope to get some time to just unwind and enjoy myself as well. This whole work thing has taken a lot out of me of late, and I’m looking forward to a vacation. A much deserved vacation.

I’ve also been told by Danie that I have to bring something back for her. I think she’s a little jealous of Shawn’s didgeridoo and boomerang. Any suggestions?

Where am I?

Well I think I’ve covered all things meme for now. I should probably do a quick update about what the hell I’ve been up to.

Sadly, it’s mainly one thing.

Work.

Warning… loads of geek and work related drivel below.

About a month ago I was hoping that things would quiet down and that I’d be able to get back to the usual routine of the 9 to 5 job, settle in, and hopefully be able to pursue some of the hobbies I’ve wanted to get into for a long time now. I have a huge list on this site of 101 things I want to do, and not only have I not even updated it for a while, I’m a far cry from making any sort of progress on it.

This depresses me in a lot of ways.

But work marches forward, and it’s hard to keep standing as the waves crash in.

What I thought would be a wonderful bit of progress with virtualizing some of the servers has turned into a nightmare. The software isn’t stable. Not by a long shot. But the really wonderful thing is that it only seems to crash when there is heavy load on it. And that it’s not a sure thing it will crash even then.

Word to the wise: Xen is unstable on new Intel hardware. Take it from me personally.

Luckily there is an update coming out soon (as in this week) that should eliminate the problem. This will of course mean more work for me, as upgrading Xen isn’t exactly the simplest of tasks, as it’s heavily integrated into the system kernel.

At this point I just want it to be stable, though.

The other issue I’ve had is with the Macintosh workstations; though admittingly this has affected Shawn more than it has me. Don’t get me wrong. Mac OS X and integrating with a Windows Active Directory server has come a long way. It’s actually fairly painless for the most part.

Unless you need to do any sort of user management.

You see, I have unruly users where I work. They like to poke around, change settings, hack systems, and generally make my life difficult. I try to prevent this from happening as much as possible.

This is why generally Apple’s Workgroup Manager is my friend.

But it has… issues… with Active Directory.

Namely, to get it to work as a single solution with it I have to modify the Active Directory schema. That’s not so bad in and of itself. I’ve mucked around with LDAP enough now to know what I’m doing most of the time. There are other problems with going this route… which I won’t get into here. Leave a comment or e-mail me if you’re really interested.

So… the other route is to setup an OS X Server to act strictly as a Workgroup Management solution, and then tie that into Active Directory.

This all works hunky dorey. If you don’t mind managing everyone in a blanket format. If you need special groups to manage different users differently, good luck, as you’ll have to add all those users by hand to each individual group and keep them updated by hand every time you add users or their groups change. I don’t exactly work for a huge enterprise operation, but I still don’t want to have to go through and hand manage 1200 different users for their group permissions.

Add to that the fact that OS X 10.3 workstation act differently then 10.4 workstations, and they both have their own set of caveats and workarounds.

I love OS X. I really do. It makes me smile everytime I boot up my MacBook and log in to an OS X workstation to do the major part of my work every day.

But there are still some major limitations to deploying OS X in an Active Directory world. Especially if you need any sort of end-user settings management.

Speaking of MacBooks though… it looks like Shawn has gotten one of the first generation ones unfortunately. It’s beginning to show classic signs of hardware issues, with it doing the random system shutdown thing, and now showing the discoloration of the plastic on the palmrest. It’s going to have to go into service at some point unfortunately, though it will likely have to wait until I get back from Australia.

And that brings me to my next blog post.

A Strange Experience In Music

In recognition of the recent music memeage, here’s a couple more. I actually did these a while ago when I found them in my random surfing of the Internet. Originally I was going to add little comments, but looking at it at the moment, I think most of the answers speak for themselves.

Here we go.

Put your music player on shuffle.
Press forward for each question.
Use the song title as the answer to the question even if it doesn’t make sense.

  1. How am I feeling today? – “Sex Type Thing” Stone Temple Pilots
  2. Will I get far in life? – “Ride the Cliche” Stone Temple Pilots
  3. How do my friends see me? – “Waiting for the Night” Depeche Mode
  4. Where will I get married? – “Catch” The Cure
  5. What is my best friend? – “Pictures of You” The Cure
  6. What is the story of my life? – “I Began to Hope” Wave In Head
  7. What was high school like? – “Flowers” Leiahdorus
  8. How can I get ahead in life? – “Megalomaniac” KMFDM
  9. What is the best thing about me? – “SleepDreamSleep” B!Machine
  10. What is today going to be like? – “You Spin Me ‘Round” Dead or Alive
  11. What is in store for this weekend? – “In The Springtime of his Voodoo” Tori Amos
  12. What song describes my parents? – “Any Kind of Love” Rupesh Cartel
  13. To describe my grandparents? – “Mello” Alien#Six13
  14. How is my life going? – “Casino” Blue October
  15. What song will they play at my funeral? – “I Want Her” Brave New World
  16. How does the world see me? – “Project David” We’ll Go On
  17. Will I have a happy life? – “Big Empty” Stone Temple Pilots
  18. What do my friends really think of me? – “My Friends” Red Hot Chili Peppers
  19. Do people secretly lust after me? – “Enjoy the Silence” Depeche Mode
  20. How can I make myself happy? – “The Carnival Is Over” Dead Can Dance
  21. What should I do with my life? – “Stare At The Sun” MDFMK
  22. Will I ever have children? – “On the Run” Pink Floyd
  23. What is some good advice for me? – “True Believer” Neuropa
  24. How will I be remembered? – “Great Big Lie” The Tea Party
  25. What is my signature dancing song? – “This Love” Dark Voices
  26. What is my current theme song? – “Ain’t Got Nothin'” Supreme Beings of Leisure
  27. What does everyone else think my current theme song is? – “Autumn Soon” The Church
  28. What type of women do I like? – “Eternal Insane” Nine

Most of the answers to that I just find amusing, though there are some that are a tad disturbing. I’m sure some of you will find some of bands referenced disturbing. What can I say… I like a little mainstream rock from time to time. I blame my teenage years.

The next one was a little more specific, though similar.

Pick a band and answer the following questions only with titles of their songs.

I, of course, chose The Tea Party.

  1. Are you male or female? “Taking Me Away”
  2. Describe yourself: “Luxuria”
  3. How do some people feel about you? “Interzone”
  4. How do you feel about yourself? “Mantra”
  5. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: “Fire in the Head”
  6. Describe your current significant other: “Writing’s on the Wall”
  7. Describe where you want to be: “The Master and Margarita”
  8. Describe how you live: “Coming Home”
  9. Describe how you love: “Turn the Lamp Down Low”
  10. What would you ask for if you had just one wish? “Stargazer”
  11. Share a few words of wisdom: “Walking Wounded”
  12. Now say goodbye: “Waiting on a Sign”

And that’s enough music memeage for now, I think.

UPDATE: I just now realized that I wasn’t supposed to use random tracks for the second memeage… but I think they fit well enough anyway. Almost spookily.

Once upon a meme…

I have been tagged, eventhough I’m a bit belated in responding. I am not one to shirk from memeage, however!

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether or not they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

This is actually more difficult than it sounds. I love music. Ever since I bought my first walkman and had tunes pretty much with me everywhere I went. Lately, however, I’ve found it harder to appreciate music, and have had silent evenings more often. I think it has something to do with work related stress. It’s harder to find music that fits my mood more when that’s the case. And I’m the type that simply can’t listen to something unless it ties into what I’m feeling at the time. Happy music when I’m depressed? It’s more likely to make me more depressed.

There have been some songs I’ve appreciated lately, though. In no particular order, here they are.

  • The Tea Party - Transmission - PsychopompThe Tea Party –Transmission – “Psychopomp”
    One of my favorite bands and one of my favorite songs. The haunting melody and lyrics of this tune get me every time.

    I’ll give you something more
    And you’ll fade away
    One last kiss before
    You fade away

  • Depeche Mode - Playing the Angel - The Sinner In MeDepeche Mode – Playing The Angel – “The Sinner In Me”
    I love Depeche Mode’s new album. There is some excellent stuff on it, and this song is no exception. Low, pulsing baseline with lyrics I can appreciate.

    How sweet life would be
    If I could be free
    From the sinner in me.

  • Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself - Have You Got It In You?Imogen Heap – Speak For Yourself – “Have You Got It In You?”
    The lead singer from Frou Frou does another solo piece. I find this entire album haunting in ways. Imogen’s voice has a sound that kind of pierces your hearing and invades your soul.

    Been one of those days
    Safety first, don’t push
    Don’t push me…
    What’s the hurry?

  • The Postal Service - Give Up - Clark GableThe Postal Service – Give Up – “Clark Gable”
    Postal Service is one of those bands I found while searching for new synthpop to enjoy. This song is an excellent example of synthpop that sounds boppy and catchy, but is just a little left of happy when you actually listen to it.

    I know you’re wise beyond your years
    But do you ever get the feel
    That your perfect verse is just a lie
    You tell yourself to help you get by?

  • Cosmicity - Pure - I Want YouCosmicity – Pure – “I Want You”
    I was introduced to Cosmicity (and a lot of the synthpop I love in general) by a very close friend. I love the boppy feel to this song, but the anime reference in the lyrics make me giggle every time.

    You’re like anime
    Exclamation above your head
    Perfect culmination of
    1000 dreams I’ve had

  • Rosetta Stone - The Tyranny Of Inaction, Revised Edition 1.1 - NothingRosetta Stone – The Tyranny of Inaction – “Nothing”
    I found this song from a compilation album I picked up from Hot Topic on a whim. It’s one of my favorites on it, from the slight dissonance that seeps into you at the beginning, to the low bass when the chorus hits.

    I want to undermine you
    I know that truth’s beyond you
    I want to redesign you
    I know what lies behind you

  • Wolfsheim - Casting Shadows - I Won't BelieveWolfsheim – Casting Shadows – “I Won’t Believe”
    Wolfsheim is one of those bands I fell in love with when I was just first discovering the wonders of German synthpop. It’s still one of my favorite bands, years later. This song is never far from my playlist.

    I won’t believe
    That you will be there at all.
    You know that I believe
    This is what a friend is for.

And there you have it. I’m meant to tag seven people at the end here, but I doubt seven people even read this blog. So… if you’re reading this, and haven’t done this meme yet… get to it!

There is Sauerkraut in my Leiderheusen.

Deutschesfest!

That magical time that comes every year when I get to succumb to two of my greatest vices.

German sausage and sauerkraut.

We took a quick jaunt up to Odessa this morning to participate in the festivities. Honestly, though… if you’re not a fan of German food, there’s not much for you to do at Deutschesfest. There was a flea market, though there was maybe only a dozen stalls total, and an art show… which we had some difficulty finding for some reason. We also just missed the parade, which I understand is typical small-town fare… with a German twist, of course. And we didn’t stay long enough to enjoy the Biergarten, which, generally, scares the hell out of me anyway.

The food was excellent, though, as always. And the flea market had some entertaining bric-a-brac. There was some sculpture work that was rather pretty, including some dragon pieces that caught my eye. And there was a guy selling Grandles, which are interesting pieces of work. There were some that had a really pretty gold inlay of Celtic patterns, including a triskele, which caught my eye.

But, of course, were also severely overpriced.

So I escaped Deutschesfest with empty hands and a full stomach.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.