Playlist for Life

I was thinking about playlists (formerly known as mixtapes) the other day and decided to make one that involves songs which evoke a particular location or event. Since this set of criteria is so loose as to allow a playlist of thousands of songs, I set myself some rather arbitrary limits. It had to fit on a standard audio CD (74 minutes) and each song had to be specific to a particular location/time and only one song per location/time. So, although high school is four years long, it gets one song. I went to Korea three times for a total of four years, so that’s three songs (one per trip). I also decided that any trip of less than two months didn’t count. So, no song for BNCOC or CEWIOC or business trips. Here’s the 57 minutes I ended up with; commentary follows:

Doug E Fresh La Di Da Di
Living Colour Cult of Personality
Violent Femmes Blister in the Sun
Faith No More Epic
Ministry Everyday Is Halloween
Divinyls I Touch Myself
Ace of Base The Sign
Soundgarden Black Hole Sun
Los Del Rio Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)
Smash Mouth Walkin’ On The Sun
Kid Rock Bawitdaba
Transplants Diamonds and Guns
Evanescence Bring Me To Life
The Waterboys When Will We Be Married?

Continue reading Playlist for Life

Stoopid Suddenlink

While playing Cityville and checking GearDiary for new geekery, suddenly the internet stopped. DNS requests are failing as unresolved for such smaller and little-known sites as Google. As of now, 20 minutes later, I cannot get to Google or Facebook or Youtube or GearDiary. Somehow, I can get to Woot and LOLCats and Livejournal.  Yet another example of high quality Suddenlink service.

Three Years

Yesterday marked three years since Kat and I got married. It’s been a pretty damned good three years, and shows no evidence of that changing. For ineffable reasons, the lovely lady decided to celebrate our anniversary by going camping. This surprised me, as I’m pretty sure I’ve spoken before about the relative ambivalence toward anything which resembled going back to a tactical Army mode.

Fortunately, she was smart enough to rent a cabin with air conditioning and a refrigerator and bed. Calling this “camping” may be a bit of a misnomer, but it was a great evening. Kat got to sit around a campfire for the first time in her life, as well as make her first s’more. We saw a porcupine shuffling across a field, were serenaded by mockingbirds, and went on a 2.5 mile hike. I also discovered that match-light charcoal is a much better fire base than crumpled paper and small twigs leading to larger twigs blah blah blah. Sure, it’s cheating – so are matches to some purists.  🙂

We exchanged gifts, which comprised a rather large number of books for me. Yay for books! And now I’m spending the day chilling at home, ready for Year Four. I love you, Kat!

Shredding

Dear former coworker,

I see you printed a lot of material for your online-only classes from University of Phoenix. Was it really necessary to do that at work and leave it in the shred bag? Also, have you ever tried to shred crumpled paper? Did you even attempt once in your two years of working here to shred anything yourself or just leave it all for me?

Fuck you very much.

Kochu what now?

After finding great success with the BLT & watermelon salad last week, I decided to go old skool, back to my days in the land of the not-quite-right. Like gang jung, some things may be better left in the memory.

Pulled out the kochujang and tri-tip last night, and produced a meal of bulgogi, be kimchi, and pa jun (I hate Romanized Korean – it’s always just a little off). Alex, the boy who claims to love spicy food, found the kimchi too spicy to consider seconds. Kat declared the tri-tip to be a wonderful cut of meat and it should in the future be served with some potatoes and maybe a side of green beans. She also found the pa jun to be not her style – something about steak and eggs not being cool with her or something.

I guess that’s the end of Korean side dishes; the bulgogi was a hit, of course.

Drivable?

This morning, I headed out the door to go to work, and noticed a distinct lack of car parked behind the truck.  Since I remember leaving a car there, this was somewhat surprising. After the fun of dealing with the most humorless police officer ever, we eventually found that the car had been found even before we reported it stolen. The police said they thought the car might be drivable, but they were going to take it to the impound lot to await all the legal stuff. I question the perceptiveness of whichever cop said this might be drivable. There are only two tires!
Continue reading Drivable?

Time-shifting and place-shifting

The demise of soap operas (of which I was never a huge fan anyway) prompted me to write a rather long-winded piece recently, wherein I decided that DVRs were the final nail in the coffin of long-form serialized daytime dramatic television. Since then, I’ve been thinking a bit more about the disruptive technologies of the recent past and how my childhood differed from my son’s. I was interrupted in this reverie by a phone call, which ended up serving as a perfect example of the major differences.

Caller ID (didn’t exist for my childhood) showed me that The Boy was calling from a friend’s phone. The Boy requested that I bring him a particular toy from his bedroom. I wandered down the hall on my cordless phone (didn’t have that when I was a kid), and found the toy. I said to the child, “You’re at Friend’s house then?” Oh, no – they were at the park. And there went another piece of the implied landscape of my youth – a phone belonged to a location, not a person, when I was a kid.

We had a phone for the family, not for each member of it. We called people at home, and expected the person answering the phone to not necessarily be the person we were going to converse with. This seems to affect telephone etiquette, or my son’s peers are all just clueless gits. I presume the former, out of generosity. When I answer the phone when one of The Boy’s friends calls, it is almost painful to get out of them anything like a coherent statement. You know the kind we were taught to use as kids; something along the lines of, “Hello, this is Gary, I’m calling for James.” What I get now is some sputtering where, if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to pick out the name of the child calling me. More often, it’s incomprehensible or a demand to speak to The Boy, with nothing like an introductory preamble. I’m convinced that all of his friends have their own personal phones now, so they just know to start talking when they answer. *Ring Ring* Look at phone, see it is James. Hey, James, what’s up?  That sort of thing is so completely foreign to us old geezers, even if we are cell phone users. Think about it, how many times do you know who is calling you, and yet the person still goes through the (now old-fashioned) introduction? I predict that the “Hello” when answering the phone may eventually die out entirely, as nobody needs to just answer as if they don’t know who is calling them.

Meanwhile, people talk on the phone an awful lot more than we did. If you were lucky enough to not have siblings screaming at you for their turn, you might be able to have a half-hour conversation on the phone in the 1980s. That was probably all you’d get for a day or more. It’s not that we didn’t have more to say, we just got tired of sitting in the one room where we had a phone for so long. Now that phones are completely untethered from a wall, much less the house itself, why ever stop talking? And so we have people who stick their phones to their heads the moment they are no longer prohibited from doing so. Hey lady, just do the grocery shopping, stop discussing your latest sexual conquest at HEB, huh?

As everyone from Ogg the Caveman until the end of humanity notes, Things Are Different Now. Listening to the Skeptics Guide to the Universe recently, the youngest member of the crew had no idea what “F Troop” was. Nearly everyone from my generation and before knew the same television (and radio prior to TV) shows as everyone else in their generation. After all, we only had three channels. Shoot, even PBS has only existed since 1970, and for most of its early existence was consigned to the UHF dead zone.

So, we all watched Gilligan’s Island when we came home from school, oblivious to the fact that the show had been cancelled before we were even born. We knew all the characters in the Addams Family, which also ended four years before my birth. Such was the nature of the highly-syndicated rerun system of 1970s afternoon television, in the days before cable.

In pursuit of the desire for more options in entertainment and technology, we seem to have lost most of our generational shared experiences. Just about the only thing that seems to remain is popular music. Whether you like the songs or not, if you’re remotely aware of the outside world, you’ve probably heard Cee-Lo’s F You, or Pink’s F-ing Perfect, or Enrique Iglesias’s Tonight (I’m F-ing You). Yeah, I chose those examples because of my amusement at how far we’ve come in pop music. Not that any of those three actually has the F word in the radio version of the song, but what the heck?

If you ask someone born around 1940 what they remember from their childhood, many of them would reference “Fibber McGee and Molly” on the radio, listening to Bo Diddley and Elvis, and the films of Hitchock or stars like Cary Grant, and of course Sputnik and Apollo. When you ask someone born around 1970 what they remember from their childhood, you’ll get references to “The Brady Bunch;” listening to Joan Jett,  Johnny Cougar (neé Mellencamp), Madonna, and Michael Jackson; movies like Star Wars, ET, and the Breakfast Club; and the space shuttle (first launch and the first explosion). When kids today look back in nostalgia at the early 21st Century, will any significant percentage be thinking of the same things? Will the customized nature of modern society mean the end of common experiences? And is that even a bad thing anyway?

VDay 2011

[Ed: in case it’s not obvious from the “posted by” tag, this is written by Kat. Gary does not speak of himself in the third person frequently.]

From the red token on my purse from the Winchester museum to my entire left arm commemorating our honeymoon (and in many incarnations in between), I have never wanted to celebrate a relationship so fanatically. The funny bit is, I don’t need reminders of the good times. They are all good times. My behavior simply demonstrates my constant joy. To prove his awesomeness even further, he is making one of my favorite meals tonight: an In-n-Out Double Double animal style with onion rings. Nothing says love like an In-n-Out animal burger. I love you! Go Bearcat! CAn2!

Paper?

As much as I’d like to think Gary and I have been married for 10 years, it has only been 2. 2 years of his recipes out of Cuisine magazine, gifts for no reason, always opening my car door first, paying for my tattoos, taking care of my every whimsy and never saying no. Okay- he did discourage my lip piercing which my piercer forbade me to get and refused to do anyway. Whatever.

At the risk of his old flames or wannabes reading this, I can say without a pause that your loss is my gain. Gary, or G-fly as I often refer to him (you’ve heard him rap, right?) is the best human I’ve ever met. Best friend, best lover, best driver, best travel companion and in a couple years, best roommate to have in California. 2 down and a lifetime of anniversaries to go….. Go Bearcat!

Year one: Accomplished.

Kat here!  Halloween will be our first anniversary.  Yep- Last year on October 31st we were married in the courthouse, walked across the street and voted for Obama, and then had an amazing lunch at Peasant Village.  I tell people that if I hadn’t married Gary, he would have been my best friend and I would have been secretly in love with him.  I lucked out and became Mrs. Bunker.

There is a great cohesion between us.  Our former marriages had similar lengths and our foolish pride kept us hanging in way beyond our former unions’ expiration dates.  So we had the same wounds, the same concerns and the same longings.  I’m not saying it is formulaic, but I believe it helped that we stood on the same ground when we met.  Still no arguments, name-calling, raised voices or passive aggressive actions… just loads of affection, great conversation and always, always- missing each other terribly when we are apart.  In our future are vacation plans to California, another cruise and moving in the next couple of years (possibly out of state!).  We rock!  Love rocks!  Go Bearcat!

EEEEEE! Er, I Mean, Eee

From Kat:

Although my husband pretends to object to both a dateversary and an anniversary, I still make out like a bandit on both days. Our anniversary is October 31st, while our dateversary is May 14th. 2 years ago on May 14th we met for the first time. All has been perfect ever since. Still no fights, no name-calling, no belittling- It’s bliss with an excess of smooching and cuddling.

We had a 50$ limit for our gift exchange. I bought him two books, a shirt, a Cross pen and pencil set and a gorilla tripod for the camera. He got me a beautiful bouquet of flowers AND A NETBOOK. Obviously he added a zero to our money limit. It is an Asus Eee in blue. I also got a remote mouse and a fabulous carrying case. Love Rocks! Thank you Gary.

Editor’s note: date-aversery is not and should never be a word.  Webster said so. I’ll go along with the day though.

Naan Better

Yesterday was a near perfect day. My morning began with a highly anticipated package finally arriving, (Gary’s Valentine ‘s Day present). The huge box is stashed in our bedroom closet so shhhhh…

Then my much-needed chinchilla shelves arrived via UPS. I spent the next two hours happily constructing my chin’s extreme new condo. I spent the next 30 minutes sipping tea in front of his cage and watching him explore his new digs. Then my boss at the Nature Center called. He bought me a Merauke blue tongue skink! I rushed over to see her and she is a looker. I named her Meredith. Gary was due home soon so I jetted back and made him drive me back out to the Nature Center to see and photograph Meredith. Afterwards I picked up my new glasses and contacts. I look so smart now.

After a wee rest, (it was my day off after all,) I helped Gary make dinner. He made me Indian food, (chicken korma to be precise). It was perfect but I distracted him at one point so the bread got burned beyond recognition. We watched TV and looked at pics of Meredith before we settled down to sleep. After our customary “I love you”s I turned to my beloved and said- “Bar naan, it was a perfect day.” His response? Sine Qua naan.

Ah- you gotta love him.

Surprise!

First of all- I am not whom you would assume… This is the “Woman.” I was going to holiday hijack this blog in order to post sweet somethings for and about the man who brings me such happiness, but I am woefully and willingly computer ignorant. So when I hung my head low and told him the error in my espionage, he created an account for me. Only now am I prepared to woo.
Worse than my technical geekery however was the mantra I’d like to address, which I foolishly lived by for 15 years: Relationships are hard. The succinct point I’d like to make on this virgin post is that they do not have to be difficult whatsoever. We are the blissfully happy and content proof. The cracked foundations of past entanglements left me weary and paranoid that I would become another victim of my own broken wisdom. Thankfully I have been proved wrong. No arguments. No disagreements. No eggshells whatsoever. I don’t believe in luck, karma or soulmates, but I know my life has changed. Here’s to another great year!