Shmuel's Soapbox: Now available in bite-sized Weblog McNuggets!

Saturday, May 03, 2003

2:32 PM:

The sun will continue to rise tomorrow, right?


Friday, May 02, 2003

6:55 PM:

From Melissa, and found via Erin:

If you would, please post the three most diametrically opposed songs on your playlist, and then post two songs that no one would ever guess you'd have. (Five songs total.)
Three way different songs, chosen almost at random:
  • "Me and Little Andy," Dolly Parton
  • "The Message," by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
  • "I Touch Myself," by the Divinyls
Two more songs you might not expect me to have:
  • "Gracias por la Musica," by Abba
  • "New York City," by Cub. (Yes, Cub. The TMBG version is a cover.)


5:26 PM:

Just showed the apartment to a potential sublettor who's interested in taking the place over in the fall, too. Much now hinges on what happens when she speaks to the landlord about that, but I have good vibes. The exact start date will still be open to negotiation if this happens, but it probably wouldn't be terribly soon, although we both seem to be pretty flexible on that. Here's hoping it all works out...


8:43 AM:

In lieu of answering this week's Friday Five, which is all about music, but which doesn't particularly grab me as written, I offer an exhibit from my childhood.

We had this record, when I was growing up, entitled Songs from Sesame Street and All-Time Kindergarten Nursery Hits. Side A had the former, Side B had the latter. The songs were perfomed by the record company's homegrown orchestra and chorus, none of whom were credited except the conductor and producer. And... it was good. It was very good. Which explains why I spent months stalking the album on eBay, finally getting a new copy a year or so ago.

When I played this album's version of the alphabet song to a friend of mine about a year ago, she said that knowing that I'd heard and loved it at an impressionable age explained everything. You be the judge.

(The file is 2.6 MB, and it might not last beyond my birthday. Get it now!)


Thursday, May 01, 2003

10:21 AM:

Note: the server this journal is hosted on is going to be moved sometime in the next seven days. The whole site will go down for around 3-6 hours between midnight and 6 AM (EST) on the night in question. Don't panic.


10:03 AM:

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished me to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how I matched up against all the levels:

Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Low
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test


7:00 AM:

Welcome to National Masturbation Month! ...although it should be noted that some feel it's gotten too commercialized.

And, in an entirely unrelated matter, nine shopping days until my birthday!


Wednesday, April 30, 2003

9:37 PM:

American Idol followup:

Darn. I was afraid that would happen.

On the bright side, umm, at least my earlier prediction that Carmen and/or Josh would still be around after this week has turned out to be correct, so, in a way, I broke even this week.

And just how powerful is Josh's fan base?

* * *

The above was written at the time given at the top of this entry, but I fell asleep before I got around to publishing it to the Web. It's now early Thursday morning, and I'd just like to add that while I wasn't expecting Ruben to end up in the bottom two, it didn't surprise me too terribly, either. His fans have had every reason to grow complacent in the course of the competition, while those voting for Josh, Treneyce, and Kimberley knew that their candidates were in peril.

Also, while Ruben's the most competent singer of the bunch -- and, you know, he's guaranteed a record deal no matter how this turns out -- I still think he's the least exciting, and I'm looking to be excited. In my rankings, he's always a bridesmaid, never the bride; of the top 6, he and Josh were the only ones I hadn't voted for somewhere along the way.

That said, this may be this season's equivalent of Tamyra being booted, serving as a wakeup call, reminding voters that nobody is safe. Roooooooooben's fans are gonna darn well make sure this doesn't happen again.

Otherwise, I think the best bits last night were watching Simon and Josh's disbelieving reactions just after Ruben got put into the bottom two.


Tuesday, April 29, 2003

9:43 PM:

American Idol update:

Ranked in order from worst to best this week:

Josh: I actually disagreed with most of the judges on this one. I thought his first song ("Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye") was -- surprisingly -- not bad, possibly even enough to keep him in the competition. "Bad Blood" was another story, though, mediocre at best.

Ruben: Here's the thing about Ruben. He's good. His singing is pleasant to listen to. I'd like to get a CD of his singing; I could add it to my rotation of Soothing Music To Play While I'm Taking A Bubble Bath. But his singing never grabs me, either, never makes me sit up and say "wow." And this week was no exception. (Also, that first outfit he wore? Aiee! My eyes, my poor eyes... what did they do to deserve that?)

Kimberley: Her first song of the evening -- "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" -- tied with Josh's second for Worst Of Show; she started a bit off, and stayed a bit off throughout. But "Where the Boys Are" may have redeemed her, being really well done.

Trenyce: Her performance of "Rollin' on the River" was my favorite of the evening, just barely nudging out Clay's first song. And "Love Will Keep Us Together" was pretty good too.

Clay: "Build Me Up, Buttercup" was, like, perfect; exactly what he needed, and really well done. Also, yeah, Broadway. And "Solitaire" was nice.

I dithered about this for awhile, but my vote went to Trenyce. I think she needs it more than Clay, frankly, and she was a really close second. (And I find it disconcerting that I got through on the first try, a mere twenty minutes after the show ended. Perhaps I just got lucky?)

Side note: I'm mildly surprised that Simon claims not to understand "Build Me Up, Buttercup," but perhaps he's simply never listened to the lyrics. I'm amazed that Clay -- who, you know, actually sang them, seemed uncertain too. Perhaps he thought it would seem like he was dissing Simon if he pointed out the obvious meaning? I mean, honestly, the song's about as straightforward as they come...

Who should get voted off this week: Josh. No question. He's the one member of the five who clearly doesn't belong.

Who will get voted off this week: I'd like to say Josh. But I fear for both Trenyce and Kimberley.

What I can't quite figure out is whom the members Carmen's fan base are most likely to switch their allegiance to, if anyone. Josh has the "clean-cut white American" element; Trenyce has the "hottie" element; Clay has the "endearing personality" element. Ruben and Kimberley may stand to benefit the least from her departure, but who knows.

...what the heck. I'm going to predict that, in a development that stuns the judges, Kimberley gets the boot this week. I mean, if this actually happens, just think of the bragging rights... but I'd like to be wrong this time.

(Note to Self: Next year, start a pool at the beginning of the season, or perhaps once the show gets to the finalist stage.)


3:30 PM:

This or That: The Take Comfort Edition

Which is more comforting for you...

  1. Lying down on the couch, or stretching out on a recliner?
    Lying down on the couch.
  2. Going barefoot or wearing soft slippers?
    Soft slippers.
  3. Eating ice cream, or pizza?
  4. Watching on TV...a classic movie or a reality show?
    Classic movie.
  5. Wearing: blue jeans or sweat pants?
    Sweat pants.
  6. A long, soothing bubble bath or a quick, invigorating shower?
    Bubble bath!
  7. Furniture: leather, or something more on the fuzzy side?
    Something more on the fuzzy side.
  8. Soft, classical music, or upbeat rock & roll?
    Depends on my mood.
  9. Darkness or light?
    Darkness. Just not total darkness.
  10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You get married, or otherwise begin cohabitating with a significant other. S/he moves into your place, but brings with them the UGLIEST chair you have ever seen! You really don't want this thing in your home, but SO says it is the most comfy chair s/ he has ever sat in, and no way will they part with it. Do you: grin and bear it, or scheme to get rid of the montrosity somehow?
    No, no, you've asking the wrong person. I'd be the one bringing the ugly comfy chair in the first place. And, yeesh, if you don't like it, we can throw a nice blanket over it or something.


Monday, April 28, 2003

9:12 AM:

Via Erin, and replied to off the top of my head... Unconscious Mutterings:

  1. Slob::Clean
  2. 60::Hour
  3. Personals::Ads
  4. Famous::Person
  5. Cancer::Pill
  6. Internet::Addiction
  7. Previously::Consequentially
  8. Moonshine::Liquor
  9. Ants::Pants
  10. Check::Mail
I'm not even going to try to make any sense out of this...

3:06 AM:

If you live in Ann Arbor and have any interest in helping me pack, drop me a line. And by "helping me pack" I mostly mean "sitting around and chatting with me while I pack, forcing me to actually do it already." I'll even bake cookies!


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