Sunday, March 30, 2008


Last day of spring break...

1. Mellotron 2/Apples In Stereo (6)
2. I Know That's Not Really You/American Music Club (5)
3. Love To A Monster/Okkervil River (10)
4. Gonna Break Into Your Heart/Earlimart (12)
5. Go By/Elliott Smith (7)
6. People That I'm Wrong For/Warren Zanes (16)
7. The News from Your Bed/Bishop Allen (7)
8. Shaken Baby/Pernice Brothers (14)
9. My Rights Versus Yours/The New Pornographers (14)
10. Stormy High/Black Mountain (3)

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Two years ago I embarked on "The Year of 35," in which I decided to start doing all the things I'd talked and dreamed about all my life. I picked up the guitar and started writing songs, played in a band, and just had a great time. I kept on going once I turned 36...but in September I let my new responsibilities at work consume me. I have made very few appearances at open mics since then and haven't played a ton of guitar, let along doing creative things with it.

Today I turned 37 and I'm going to use this birthday to propel myself back into music. I want to get back out there and get back to writing songs and just enjoying making music. In addition, I want to follow through with the spirit of "The Year of 35" and add writing to the palette as well. I've wanted to writer for years and years and years. Now's the time to get started. I like my job but I also don't want to do it forever; I need to start building towards the life I want to have.

I'm not going to make any grand statements or specific goals, nor do I know what this will mean for the blog. Changes? No changes? Long absences? Who knows? I'm not going to inundate you with "Year of 37" updates either. It's not a thing, really, just a rededication to what I started 2 years ago. I'm ready to reload and crank it up. Looking forward to it...

Friday, March 28, 2008


Sad to say I abandoned a book about comics the other day. I'd started on David Hajdu's new look at the comic book wars of the 1950s (where the industry was drastically censored and changed), The Ten-Cent Plague. I'm familiar with the story and many of the players, which may have colored my reading of the book. Or maybe reading two non-fiction books back to back wasn't the right way to go. I don't know. I'm not saying the Hajdu is bad book or that you shouldn't read just wasn't for me right now.

I mentioned in my previous post that we took a trip to a cool comics shop yesterday. I try to make it to The Laughing Ogre every time I'm in Columbus - it's a big, clean store just filled with a wide variety of comics and trades. They have super-hero and non and indie and manga and magazines and all sorts of cool stuff. I could spend $100 every time I went, easily. I didn't spend that much. of course. I did pick up two trades, though - Casanova: Luxuria and JSA Presents: Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Volume One. The first is a collection of the ongoing series by Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba; the second collects the first half of the Geoff Johns series from 9 years ago. Thus continues my trend of buying new material to me and stuff that I like but don't have in single issues anymore. I'm already about halfway through Casanova: Luxuria and will do a proper review later on.

We are now back home after a couple days spent in Columbus, Ohio with Jill's dad and his wife Christine. It was nice to get away for a few days and we spent our time in a variety of ways - checking out what we didn't see this summer at the Columbus Zoo; hiking around a park on a really nice day; heading to a great comics shop (more on which soon); playing Catchphrase and Scrabble (man, I was horrible); eating lots and lots of good food; and just hanging out and relaxing. Just what we needed.

As usual, I packed up 24 CDs and my iPod. Unusually, I stopped at Best Buy on our way out of town to by the new disc from The Racontuers. Here's a list of what I listened to it the car to, around, and from...

The Raconteurs/Consolers of the Lonely
Aimee Mann/Lost in Space
Nada Surf/Lucky
Wilco/Sky Blue Sky
Gary Louris/Vagabonds
Iron and Wine/The Shepherd's Dog
Tim O'Reagan/Tim O'Reagan
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks/Real Emotional Trash - iPod
Nick Lowe/Jesus of Cool (Reissue) - iPod
Material Issue/Freak City Soundtrack
The Mountain Goats/Heretic Pride
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers/Hard Promises
Vampire Weeked/Vampire Weekend
Kathleen Edwards/Back To Me - started in the car and finished at home

That leaves me with 12 discs of stuff I didn't listen to, which I'll work through over the next week or two driving around town in my car (amd may or may not mention here).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Yesterday morning I got up at 5:00. Why? To watch the first baseball game of the season, the Red Sox and A's live from Japan. Yes, it's earlier than I normally get up...a lot earlier. And yes, we left on our vacation yesterday. But I can't resist the first game of the season, no matter who is playing. Now I didn't see every pitch - I had left the dishes unwashed the night before and I had to shower and make sure I had my stuff packed - but I watched as much as I could. The only downside was that when I had to leave for work (I did a short lifeguarding shift before we left town) the game was tied at 4 going into the 10th. I got up at 5 AM and couldn't see the end of the game? Ah well, it was worth it.

A short while ago I finished this year's baseball book, Is This a Great Game, or What? by Tim Kurkjian. Kurkjian has been one of my favorite baseball writers and Baseball Tonight personalities because he so obviously loves the game and has so many facts and figures in his head. His book takes a look at all the aspects of the game and is filled with story after story, many of which are hilarious. He also asks questions, such as why 3 centerfielders get voted to receive a Gold Glove and no corner outfielders. I've always wondered that myself. If you love the game, it's a great book to read. It was a great way to get me excited for another season in which anything can happen (the Cubs could win it all for the the first time in 100 years...could).

You know what? I'll be watching Sunday night's game too. I love baseball. Go White Sox!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Last Thursday Grant finally had enough money to buy Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. He's been playing it a lot, obviously, but Jill and I have gotten in the act too. Man, it is a ton of fun. You can fight on a variety of worlds from Nintendo games and as a wide variety of characters. You get to punch and use lightsabers and flip and all sorts of cool things as you try and knock out the other players. Last night I dominated as Mario, cutting way down on getting knocked off and upping my kill power. I love this game.

Yesterday I got a score of 8919 on computer solitaire, which is easily the highest score I've ever reached. I should probably retire, especially since I could be doing more productive things than playing it.

I spent a couple days last week reading through Justice Society of America: The Next Age, which collects the first 4 issues of the relaunched and ongoing series. I read these as they came out last year and liked them enough to get them in a collected edition. Geoff Johns is dealing with the legacy of the JSA, bringing in new characters and tieing into the past. It's the kind of DC comic that I go for and would love to write. Maybe someday.

I watched a cool Doctor Who two-parter ("Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood") over the weekend, breaking my self-imposed rule of watching show off the DVR in chronological order. The Doctor is being hunted by the family and flees to 1913 to hide, becoming fully human in the process. The aliens track him and Martha (masquerading as a servant) isn't sure what to do. It's a look at what it means to be human and what the Doctor sacrifices by being who he is. Really great work by the cast and writer Paul Cornell. This now brings me back to where I came in on the series, as "Blink" airs this coming Saturday. I'll probably watch the end of the third season again, especially now having seen just about the entire series (I missed maybe an ep or two somewhere along the line). Season 4 starts airing in April too, I think.

Speaking of series starting in April, I need to watch Battlestar Galactica: Razor before the final season starts on April 4. Frak yeah. Oh, you can find the cast's appearance on David Letterman doing a Top Ten list on You character!

I also watched the first part of HBO's John Adams mini-series yesterday and found it thoroughly engrossing - both for the story and the performance of Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney and John and Abigail. Part two takes John to Philadelphia for the first Contintenal Congress and part three is also on the DVR.

Meanwhile, we're heading to Columbus for a few days tomorrow to visit Jill's dad and his wife. It will be nice to get away for a few days!

I've spent the last 4 days reading the Feb. 2008 issues of Asimov's and F&SF. I haven't dipped into either magazine since early February and it was nice to sink back into some short SF.

The Asimov's issue was in the classic mode - big name authors, a conclusion to a serialization, some short stories that really were short, and examples of both classic and idea SF. The issue started with Michael Swanwick's "From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled...," about an attack that kills all humans but one and his (and his suit's - possessed by the intelligence of his dead lover) attempt to negotiate with and through aliens to survive. It's followed by a short sharp story from Nancy Kress; there's also another short not quite as sharp story from Edward M. Lerner, though only author I was unfamiliar with. "The Ray-Gun: A Love Story" by James Alan Gardner takes the idea of a kid finding an alien ray-gun and spools out a story of loneliness and heroism and love; I really liked it. Mary Rosenblum's "The Egg Man" shows a future where people in the US do what they can to survive and what one Mexican man does to help; "The Last American" by John Kessel is the story of a future President...and it's not a very nice story. Finally, Allen M. Steele concludes his Galaxy Blues in a sufficiently rousing fashion and reminds me yet again that I need to read all of his Coyote-related works.

F&SF offered up its share of goodies as well. The opening story, "Balancing Accounts" by James L. Cambias, is told from the POV of a ship trying to earn a living that gets caught up in the machinations of humans; it works very well. I love stories about books and stories about time travel, so the combination of the two in Ann Miller's "Retrospect" hit my sweet spot. When I think about writers I like, I never think about Ron Goulart. But his "Memoirs of the Witch Queen" reminds me that he always turns out entertaining stories, usually about regular guys with a few problems who get caught up in supernatural events. Matthew Hughes delivers a story not focused on Guth Bandar or Henghis Hapthorn but "Petri Parousia" still scores with a tale of a scientist who can separate the DNA of your ancestors and takes it a logical extreme (well, in one sense). A troubled marriage and dinosaurs playing soccer makes up "Bread and Circus" by Steven Popkes; a mystery surrounding even more books is at the center of the alternate world in "Philologos; or, A Murder in Bistrita" by the married writing team of Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald. Finally, Richard Bowes gives us "If Angels Fight" about the prodigal son of a great political family who still lives on 30 years after his death, ending the issue on a very strong note.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Happy Easter!

1. Not For the Season (demo)/Wilco (17)
2. Arms Akimbo/Two Hours Traffic (8)
3. The Decibels and the Little Pills/American Music Club (4)
4. Rose Parade/Elliott Smith (15)
5. Hello Lola/Apples In Stereo (8)
6. Gimme Back My Dog/Slobberbone (14)
7. Rainy Streets/Superchunk (15)
8. Burn That Broken Bed/Iron and Wine/Calexico (19)
9. Introducing Angels/Destroyer (2)
10. Lord, Don't Pass Me By/The Ladybug Transistor (4)

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I'm not filling out a bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament this year. I just haven't watched enough college basketball this year to be that informed other than all the top teams. And while I will watch some of the tournament, the next three days will be fairly busy and we will be away next week for a few days. So, I have no predictions...just hope to see a couple good games.

Last night I finished My Revolutions by Hari Kunzru. It's about a man with a past as a violent revloutionary and that past is now catching up to him. He's been living under a different name for many years and has built a life until a visit by somebody else from that past reappears. The novel is mainly told in flashback, though the time periods keep weaving in and out. There's a lot of revolutionary jargon and theory and you can see how people were pushed past their moral codes to be involved in bombings and auto theft and so on. I thought it was a solid book and I got through it in three days, so it was definitely readable.

I had an e-mail this morning letting me know that a book I ordered from B&N has arrived and I need to find a baseball book to read before the season starts (I think it will be one Tim Kurkjian put out last year). Before that, I'm going to read some short fiction and the last remaining trade. I'm still over a week behind on the DVR too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I got up this morning and checked the old e-mail inbox as usual. I had a message from The Raconteurs, explaining that their new album, Consolers Of The Lonely, will be out next week. Next week! They just finished the album the other week and wanted to get it out as soon as possible and so that everyone could hear it at once. It's a cool idea and I am really looking forward to hearing it...and how awesome is it I don't have to wait very long?

Last night I read 70 pages of My Revolutions, a full quarter of the book. I should easily be able to finish by the time it's due at the library on Friday. I'm enjoying it so far too.

I managed to watch Torchwood (from 3/8) yesterday but that was all. Right now, the DVR is 26% full. Yikes. By the way, I gave up keeping track of TV shows last week. It just got to be too much to sustain and I couldn't make myself care that much. I also gave on the DVD tally as well, though I could reconstruct that more easily - I've only watched two more episodes of The Simpsons Season 9.

The good news is that it will be a relatively short day at work today. I only have to go in a teach my classes during the day; I put in a lot of supervisor hours the last two weeks so my boss doesn't want me to come back tonight. I can live with that. It's a dreary day out too, which is conducive to reading and catching up on my TV watching.

Monday, March 17, 2008


That's how full the DVR is right now. Granted, not all of it contains shows I need to watch but most of it is mine. I still have Knight Rider from more than a month ago. I'm more than a week behind on my regular shows too and now that new episodes are starting to come back (new How I Met Your Mother tonight!), chances are I'll only fall further behind. The NCAA basketball tournament will suck up quite a bit of time at the end of the week too.

I have a book out from the library that's due Friday and I've already renewed it once. My Revolutions is only 280 pages long, so do I start it today and race through it? Do I try to renew it again? Do I just drop it off and get to it at some future time? I also ordered The Shadow Year at my local B&N, though that won't be in until later this week at the earliest.

I have three issues each of Asimov's and F&SF sitting around waiting to be read. I have the last of the four trades I bought at the comics sale still unopened. And to top it all off, I plan on using up all of my current eMusic downloads in the next few days - a couple new albums drop tomorrow, the rest has been out, and my numbers add up beautifully.

So, I'll be making quick comments on stuff or I'll just be reading and watching and listening without saying much. Either way, I hope you enjoy your week.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


A week ago HBO aired the final episode of The Wire, one of the best TV shows ever produced. While I'm sorry to see it go, I am glad that we got 60 episodes of the series. That's a lot more than many series get, many lesser series even. The finale was 90 minutes long and wrapped things up as much as you could wrap them up. Redemption for some, release for others. We checked in with all of the main players from the start of the series and many since then. It's hard to sum up the show. I do look forward to the day when I can sit down and watch the whole of the series...most likely it will be when I make my wife watch the show. Well done, David Simon and company. Well done.

Today I finished a new novel by a writer who worked on The Wire over the last few seasons, Richard Price. He's someone I've always meant to get around to reading and took advantage of the release of Lush Life to do so. It centers around a robbery-turned-murder and what that does to all the people involved - perpetrators, victims, cops, families, and more. It has a sprawling cast and it told from many viewpoints. It's full of humanity and it feels real. I liked it a lot.

Last Sunday I finished another novel, The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes. Set in the Victorian era, it features a man who lives his life backwards, secret societies, the reanimated corpse of Coleridge, and much more. It's also a lot of fun.

I recently reread Green Lantern: Rebirth (though this time in collected form), a mini-series from 2005 that featured the return of Hal Jordan to the role of Green Lantern. Why now? Well, the current storyline in the ongoing series has been getting high praise and the collected editions of the series are now starting to come out in paperback, so I thought it was time to reacquaint myself. Geoff Johns did a great job creating a reason for what happened to Hal over the years - his fall from grace and murderous nature than was at odds with his previous character - and brought him back in a story full of great moments. Of course, Ethan Van Sciver's art doesn't hurt either. I'm looking forward to getting caught up on the series.

Today I read Powers Vol. 10: Cosmic, another volume in the ongoing series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. Its release was delayed for a long time and during delays like that, you can forget what a good comic it is (and by "you" I mean people who read the series only in trade, like me). The most interesting development is that Christian Walker is given powers once again by taking up the mantel of Millennium, a group of intergalactic cops run by aliens (akin to Green Lantern, which made me laugh). His partner, Deena Pilgrim, isn't doing as well. The next trade in the series has been out for a while and will have to move up the to-be-read list (and to-be-bought list).

It's been a long week and I haven't given the blog much thought at all. I can still crank out a Sunday Shuffle, though...

1. It Covers the Hillsides/Midlake (6)
2. December/The Lemonheads (14)
3. Neptune's Net/M. Ward (23)
4. Abigail/The Broken West (14)
5. So Come Back, I Am Waiting/Okkervil River (10)
6. Hair Down/Cold War Kids (10)
7. Another Way I Could Do It/Sloan (13)
8. Nothing Up My Sleeve (demo)/Wilco (17)
9. Broke Me Up/Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew (5)
10. Red Wine, Success!/Cold War Kids (8)

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Did everyone remember to set their clocks ahead?

1. Baboon/The Mountain Goats (9)
2. Lie to Me/Tom Waits (8)
3. Half Moon/M. Ward (5)
4. I Know That's Not Really You/American Music Club (4)
5. The Unwanted Things/Ted Leo/Pharmacists (5)
6. Rainy Streets/Superchunk (14)
7. I Came Here to Say I'm Going Away/Okkervil River (5)
8. Jersey Clowns/Josh Rouse (9)
9. The Underdog/Spoon (15)
10. Ghost/Voxtrot (5)

Friday, March 07, 2008


I watched my 100th episode of TV for 2008 this afternoon. What was the lucky show? Doctor Who, an episode titled "The Lazarus Experiment." Not the best ep of the series but still a solid one. It's the 8th episode of Doctor Who I've seen this year, which means 8% of my viewing this year has been Doctor Who. What leads the way? In Treatment is at 25%, followed by Biggest Loser at 10%, and The Wire with 9%. Huh. 52% of my TV on the year consists of episodes from 4 different shows.

Last night I also read 100 pages of The Somnambulist, my 10th book of the year (multiples of 10 everywhere!). It's a fairly quick read and is interesting so far (and yes, I've gone past 100 pages by now).

I still have money left on a $100 gift card to Barnes & Noble that I got for Christmas. Yes, I've been hoarding it. I went and bought Saturnalia by The Gutter Twins, which is Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli. The disc is moody and heavy and good. I still have about $35 left too!

Thursday, March 06, 2008


One year from today Watchmen will hit theaters. I'm excited. Yes, it's a great comic book story, one of the greatest in the history of the genre. And yes, it will be difficult to pack all of the nuance and layering into a two hour movie. However, I have high hopes that Zack Snyder can pull it off; his adaptation of 300 was very well-done and visually stunning. To get a taste of what Watchmen will look like, you can check out the production blog here. Yes, a year is a long time but it's cool to have something to anticipate that far ahead.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Last night I finished reading my 9th book of the year - Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost. It's a rich fantasy novel set on a world full of endless spans of bridges, as well as islands and other land masses. The world is full of magic and darkness and gods and danger and stories, lots of stories. Stories are the business of Leodora, daughter of Bardsham, who was acclaimed as the greatest storyteller ever. She is touring the spans as Jax, collecting stories and entertaining the masses. There is mystery about her and about Diverus, a former mute who is given the gift of music from the gods. The novel is great and my only problem with it is that it continues in a second book yet to be published. Soon, please!

There was a great bit in a solid episode of The Simpsons on Sunday. Willie tells Bart he's going to write something in his journal, then proceeds to pull out a knife and starts carving his arm with "Dear Diary." Random and hilarious.

I picked up Vagabonds, the new Gary Louris solo album, the other week and I've been playing it quite a bit. It's got a bit of a 70s singer-songwriter vibe to it and is full of beautiful melodies and really good songs. He's been out on the publicity trail and you can here some sessions with him here and here.

Due to the writer's strike, we won't be getting new episodes of Flight of the Conchords for a while longer. In the meantime, you can tide yourself over with a documentary they made about their trip to SXSW in 2006. Brilliant.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Last night I went to a high school basketball game at KV, which is where I went to school and where my wife teaches. It was the sectional championship and the Kougars (yes, with a "K") had a chance to win sectionals for the first time since 1992. I was remembering my junior year in high school (20 years ago) when we won sectionals and when the team won last night and the students stormed the court, it took me right back. Sitting a few rows above us were my friends Jeff and Donna - he played on that team and she was one of my best friends. They've been married a long time now and have 4 kids but all of us felt that rush of memory and emotion. It was a fun night.

If I had a way to give you 10 songs from my playlist of 1988 right now I would...but I don't have a way to randomize cassette tapes (nor do I own those tapes anymore). So, let's just say today's shuffle is in the spirit of 1988 and the good times I had...

1. Drop Me Off/Pela (10)
2. Adventures in Solitude/The New Pornographers (14)
3. Lie to Me/Tom Waits (7)
4. Slow Show (Daytrotter Session)/The National (2)
5. It's Me/Dinosaur Jr. (8)
6. I Know You've Come to Take My Toys Away/The Mountain Goats (5)
7. You Can Stay With Me/Mary Weiss (4)
8. Shadowcat/Canasta (6)
9. Enough to Get Away/Joseph Arthur (15)
10. Silverline/M. Ward (5)

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Thursday's episode of Lost was one of the best the series has produced so far and that's saying something. "The Constant" focused on Desmond once again - as he and Sayid flew on a helicopter out to the boat he suddenly became unstuck in time and his consciousness was toggling back and forth between 1996 and 2004 (still the present day of the series). It was sharply written and edited with great performances and cool ideas and it made me wish I could rewatch all three seasons of the show right now (of course, I still don't have Season 3 on DVD). Thank goodness the writer's strike is over and we can get 8 more episodes of this season.

Another TV show I love is almost over. I've been watching The Wire "On Demand," where they have each new episode of the season up the Monday before it airs on HBO. The other day I got around to watching the penultimate episode (and 9th of the fifth, final season), "Late Editions," and I felt sadness. Sadness not only for the fates of characters in the show but the fact that the show will soon be gone. I've said it before and I'll say it again - The Wire is one of the best TV shows ever. Ever. If you've never seen it, do yourself and favor and rent or buy Season 1 and dive in. You won't regret it.

Comics are another constant in my life, as I've been a reader for the last 27 years or so, give or take. I've gone through periods of high involvement and periods of keeping myself at a remove. Right now, I'm in a period of not caring that I love them and love super-heroes. Why? I think the energy of this guy might have helped me remember how much I do care. Why do I mention this, other than to tie in with my post title? I bought a big stack of 11 comics this past Wednesday.

I still had some of my Christmas (and Valentine's) cash and why not go ahead and use it up two months later? I bought the new Action Comics, the fifth part of the story with the Legion of Super-Heroes. I bought the 100th issue of Nexus and the first issue of Kick-Ass. I grabbed JSA Classified, which started a storyline about Wildcat written by my friend B. Clay Moore, and the last 5 issues of Justice Society of America, which I've missed reading. Criminal relaunched with a new #1 and there was a new Astro City Special about Beautie. It was a lot of good reading and I loved having a big stack like that. Of course, I can't afford to do that on a regular basis but that makes this week all the more sweet.

This week also saw the release of a new DC animated movie, Justice League: The New Frontier, which is based on the 2004 mini-series by Darwyn Cooke. The movie retains his cartoony, clean line style and does a good job encapsulating the story in a mere 75 minutes. Yes, there was a lot that was cut out but the story still worked. Grant had never read the comic but he really enjoyed the movie. There are a bunch of extras to get to, as I bought the 2-disc deluxe edition (which came with a Green Lantern figure).

Starting my third year as a member of eMusic and still extremely happy with the service. I am never at a loss for music to download and have to continually put things off until next month (or the next..or the next...). Here's what I picked up in February...

Two Hours Traffic/Little Jabs - I read about this band over at Chromewaves, checked them out via MySpace, and then grabbed the album. It is a great guitar pop album and I have been playing it as much as possible. Highly recommended.

Wisely/Wisely - I heard about this from a couple different people and had seen the video for "Through Any Window," which features the gorgeous Jenna Fischer. It's another pop album, a bit mellow in places but the music is solid even if the lyrics get a little cheesy from time to time. Good stuff.

American Music Club/The Golden Age - This is the second album of AMC's comeback after a long absence (and it's on Merge, which is usually an automatic download for me anyway). Mark Eitzel and Vudi are the only two members left but the music still sounds like them - the silky smooth vocals of Eitzel and the guitar atmospherics of Vudi are employed in mostly mid-tempo numbers this time out. It may not be their best album (and isn't it time for reissues of their early works) but it's really good.

The Raveonettes/Lust Lust Lust - Feedback and melody. I've only listened to this once so far but I liked what I heard and will definitely give it many more listens in the coming weeks.

British Sea Power/Do You Like Rock Music? - Yes. Yes, I do. I've only given this one listen so far too but it has some solid rockers and a soaring anthem or two ("Waving Flags"). A word of warning - the eMusic bonus track is just a noise track and not a particularly good one, so you should skip it.

"Your English Is Good" and "Swedes in Stockholm"/Tokyo Police Club - A single and b-side from a good band that will finally put out a full album in April. Yay!

There was an extra day to try and cram in as much pop culture as possible this year...and I spent last night not doing much of anything. Heck, I didn't even manage to get this post done. Ah well.

I read 4 books in February (The Dragons of Babel; Inside Straight; Like You'd Understand, Anyway; and Hunter's Run). I actually read those books in a 20 day period, from the 3rd to the 22nd. That brings my total on the year to 8, which keeps me on pace for 48 in 2008. Last February I only read one book and part of another, so I was much more productive this year.

I read 16 stories in February. The stories came from the Jan. 2008 issue of F&SF and Like You'd Understand, Anyway, a short story collection by Jim Shepard. I read 3 fewer stories this month and my year's total is 35. Last February, I read 22 stories, so I was a bit less productive this year.

I read 14 comics in February, of which only one was a trade (Captain America: Winter Soldier Vol. 1). This doubles my January reading and gives me 21 comics read on the year (5 trades). Last Febrauary I read 17 comics (2 trades and 1 OGN included), which isn't too much more than this year.

I bought 3 CDs and downloaded 5 more, for a total of 8 new CDs in February. I also downloaded two songs, both by Tokyo Police Club ("Your English Is Good" and b-side, "Swedes in Stockholm"). That brings my total on the year to 15 CDs and 3 songs. Last February I got 6 new CDs, so I'm at about the same pace.

I did not see any movies in the theater in February, which marks the 7th straight month that has happened. I didn't keep accurate track of when I saw movies until later in the year but I don't think I saw any last February (Zodiac was in March, wasn't it?).

I had 4 separate DVD viewings in February - 2 movies (The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and Justice League: The New Frontier) and 2 commentaries (from The Simpsons Season 9). That's about 1 viewing a week and brings my year's total to 14 viewings. I did not keep track of DVDs last year.

I watched 62 episodes of TV shows in Feburary (4 that ran for 2 hours; 34 that ran for 1 hour; and 24 that ran for a half hour). Again, I do not keep track of sports and news. Those episodes came from 12 different shows (Mad Men; Life on Mars; Friday Night Lights; Doctor Who; Torchwood; The Simpsons; Biggest Loser; Breaking Bad; Lost; The Wire; In Treatment; and Girls Next Door). The show I watched the most episodes of was In Treatment, with 21 (it helps that it's on 5 nights a week). I watched about 2 shows a day on average and more than doubled my January viewing. I did not keep track of TV last year.