September 8th, 2011

books swiftly tilting planet

Let the heavens rage

In the end, it took the flight out of the Akron/Canton airport took around 3 hours longer than expected. They weren't able to find an earlier window and so the plane didn't end up boarding until almost 8pm. Add to that the fact that the flight, which was supposed to only take a hour ended up also being held up a bit due to the storm with various planes circling and waiting for time on the runway in NY. Still, all in all it could have been worse.

I was picked up by my mom and Connie, and it was still storming out. The rain made the drive more exciting than it should have been with everyone rushing about and refusing to stay in their correct lanes. It was decided that it wasn't worth the time and effort to drive me home and so we all spent the night at Connie's place. It's actually only the first time I ever spent the night there and it felt odd enough that my sleep clock didn't reset to the 'home' setting, meaning that despite exhaustion, I didn't get much sleep. I spent most of the night puttering about on my netbook and hoovering up leftovers.

It turns out the flood from Hurricane Irene destroyed a fridge that was in the basement. Ever since, Connie and Jeff have been cooking up craploads of meat and other food before they spoiled. They even invited a buncha people over during memorial day weekend to try to consume some of the excess but there was still more where that came from and they were getting sick of some of the repetition. Never fear! Garbage Disposal Man is here! I scarfed down some chicken nuggets, a handful of buffalo wings, and a container of watermelon. When we left the next day, Connie also loaded me up with even more leftovers meaning that I won't have to worry about what to eat for the next few days.

Of course, food wasn't really on my mind when I got home. I figure I got, on average, around 3.5 hours of sleep a night while I was out with Chelle and Todd. The sad and pathetic part is you if you count the amount of time I was lying down in the room, it would have translated to more like 10 hours of sleep a night. I just couldn't manage to fall asleep no matter how tired I was and it would often take the crack of dawn to send me down for the count. At least vampirism seems to come with a host of cool powers. I seem to be living the life without any real benefits at all. In the end, I passed out last night and got around 13 hours of sleep total. I'll probably need at least that much again to feel normal (whatever that means) again.
books charlotte's web terrific

Judging a book by its cover

For all that we're told not to, I've personally had a lot of success going against that particular aphorism. After all, if the author or publisher couldn't take the time and effort to slap a pleasing cover on the work, what are the chances they took the time and effort to polish the insides? This isn't to say that you can't be fool into trying a book with a pleasing cover and finding crap, but I've seldom regretted the opposite. It also helps that a cover often tells you a lot about a book, especially in a genre like fantasy where there are a lot of possibilities and misclassifications. If I see a spaceship on the cover or someone with a raygun, I know it's probably not for me.

The same sometimes holds true for tv shows and movies. We all tend to make snap judgments on whether we'll enjoy something based on very little information. A trailer, the subject matter, an actor's involvement, word of mouth, etc. I recently had a chance to realize just how little information it takes to poison my opinion of something.

As some of you might remember, I removed the tv from my room around a year and a half ago and have been living without ever since. The only time I run into tv now is usually when I'm traveling somewhere and in a hotel. This doesn't mean that I don't watch any tv shows at all anymore, as my recent stint of Dexter proves, but I don't get an opportunity to channel flip and discover things I wasn't already looking for. Instead if I decide I watch something, it's targeted retrieval as I go to bittorrent and grab every season of it at once. Since I don't go to entertainment sites online, this means that I have very little info about the new shows and movies that come out. I end up making judgments about them with very little information to go on, and since there's very little chance I'll get any followup data, the first impression sticks.

While I was in Ohio, I spent a few hours watching tv with Chelle. It just so happened that there was a How I Met Your Mother marathon on. I had written the show off from the beginning as one to avoid despite the fact that I like Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan. What led me to this conclusion was nothing more than the show's title. I deduced from that that the entire premise would be some sort of family comedy akin to Everybody Loves Raymond or The King of Queens. Also known as vomit-inducing. Sure, Neil Patrick Harris might play a fun Kramer-like character who bursts in occasionally to stir things up, but I figured that it would hardly be worth slogging through the equivalent of Full House for it. Of course, if you've seen the show, you know that my first impression was completely off. The title isn't so much a description of the show as its premise as a retrospective. Instead of a main character with a wife and two kids living in suburbia, it's more of the Friends generation. That doesn't necessarily make it good, but at least it means it isn't family comedy. What ends up making it good is that the writing is pretty spiffy as well as the retrospective gimmick. I only ended up watching 3 episodes but I think I might add it to the lineup. The only thing holding me back is I hate watching anything that's still running since if I really get hooked I'll feel obligated to follow it week to week.