Thursday, February 23, 2006

Marriage Day

So don't hate on me because I didn't call anyone up immediately afterwards, but I got married yesterday -- a spur-of-the-moment decision that culminated in a trip to the Loudoun County Courthouse in Leesburg around 4 PM. Because it was so late in the day, traffic was horrible going up Route 7, but at least it's an event that will make 2/22/06 a memorable 222 day! We didn't get home until late, so I thought it'd be better to just announce it to everybody at once in today's update than to wake up people late at night just to shock them. Of course, none of this paragraph is really true, but how many of you did a double take when you read the opening phrase? Actually, today's entry is going to be titled, "Package Day".

My Amazon shopping cart finally reached critical mass last week after over a month with no purchases, so in the interests of keeping the Internet clean and uncluttered, I hit BUY and had a bunch of useless but fun goodies delivered to my door. The packaging this time around was laughably bad, with one entire flap missing on top. This orifice was protected with one of those inflatable plastic cushions wedged in and quadrupled-taped with packing tape.

Among the new distractions in the BU household:

  • The Complete Ramona Quimby Series: Pulling out that Beverly Cleary postcard back on Valentine's Day got me in a nostalgic mood so I bought this set on Amazon. I'm about halfway through now (since I can easily read a whole kids' book over a meal) and find myself instantly remembering storylines as I begin to read them. What's more interesting is that complete fragments of text, illustrations, and positions of illustrations on the page also pop out of some photographic recess of my brain. All these books are rebound, but I can even picture the original paperback covers from my youth.

  • The Complete Ralph S. Mouse Series: Another Beverly Cleary series from my youth which I read until the pages fell out of the binding and did a book report on in 3rd grade. I vaguely recall that the first book, Mouse and the Motorcycle was made into a movie, and can visualize Ralph driving the old-fashioned ambulance through the hotel with the aspirin in the back.

  • KT Tunstall: Eye to the Telescope: I picked up this CD on the strength of the single I'd heard, Suddenly I See and it's consistently solid. The musical styles are eclectic like Jem's Finally Woken CD, but her voice and instrumentation ties it all together into a coherent album. Here are a few samples:
      Stoppin' the Love (MP3)
      Black Horse and the Cherry Tree (MP3)
      Another Place to Fall (MP3)
  • Alias Assumed: I always buy an Alias book -- I feel compelled to do my part supporting the franchise. This book is a collection of essays by columnists, professors, and pop culture gurus edited by Kevin Weisman, who plays Marshall on the show.

  • The 4400: Complete First Season: "Complete" is something of a misnomer since it's only five episodes. I'd heard good things about this show, and it was only $14, so I figured, why not? I've only watched the first two episodes so far, and other than cheesy TV special effects, it's really good. The premise is that 4400 people who have gone missing since 1938 suddenly reappear all at once in 2004, and everyone is exactly the same age as they were (and no one remembers a thing). However, each person returned seems to have some strange unknown power that they didn't have before. Much of the show is character-driven like LOST, showing how the characters cope with the changes of losing years, but then you add two parts X-Files, two dashes of CSI, and stir vigorously like you're trapped in some retarded cooking metaphor. If you like any of the shows I mentioned, I think you'll like this one. And the good news, the show is coming back for a third season this year, so hopefully there will be more seasons on DVD. Who knew there were any good shows on the USA network?

  • 24: The Complete Third Season: Yeah, we're going to watch this. Hopefully we finish it in less than nine months, and it isn't just what one Amazon reviewer described as Jack Bauer's Mexican Vacation. I've heard that it starts slow but gets really good towards the end.

  • Tales of Symphonia: This Game Cube role-playing game got great reviews when it was released three years ago, and I picked it out of the bargain bin for only $20. It even comes on two discs! So far, it's a typical Japanese RPG, with a laughably bad storyline, ridiculous anime stylings, and an incomprehensible battle system, but it IS fun to play.

  • Sally Lockhart Trilogy by Philip Pullman: I remember nothing about this trilogy, Ruby in the Smoke, Shadow in the North, and Tiger in the Well, except that I first discovered it in the Burke Branch Library after I had read every other book in the juvenile section (almost not a joke!) and that it was written for a middle schooler without any talking down. I recall it being very engrossing, but we'll see if my idealistic memory matches my reread.
  • If any of these items interest you, let me know and maybe I'll write full length reviews when I've exhausted the stash.

    One last 222 (submitted by Chris Li): In the movie, Office Space, Peter lives in apartment 222.

    Soccer takes a long-ass time.
    Sick sheep in a trash can
    Bongo and Hog

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