SO BUSY!

OMG, work is going to be so busy this weekend, I probably won’t have much time to blog other than a couple of lines! Yesterday, we worked a 14 hour day and it will probably be the same today, tomorrow and Sunday! X_x

In the mean time, enjoy one of my guilty music pleasures:Willow Smith, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s daughter, singing her song “Whip My Hair:”

Hollywood, Amoeba Music, Scientology and Chicken and Waffles!

One great thing about living close to a big city is being able to easily visit the awesome stores they have there. Yesterday I drove to Hollywood with my sister, brother, and a few of his friends to hit up Amoeba Music. The place was completely awesome! They have a HUGE selection of new and used CDs and records, from a WIDE variety of genres and artists. And that’s just the first floor! The second floor has a pretty decent selection of new and used DVDs.

I dug in immediately, looking for CDs from my favorite artists that were hard to find at the places I usually buy CDs, like Target and Best Buy. I ended up finding several CDs from artists like The Magnetic Fields, Leonard Cohen, Meiko, Priscilla Ahn, Eric Hutchinson, and many, many more. I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s pretty hard to find a CD in stores if it was released more than 6-12 months ago, or it’s not on the Billboard charts. I know what you’re thinking, why not buy online? I do buy online; that’s why I already had Meiko’s album before I saw it at Amoeba. But sometimes the added taxes and shipping costs increase the cost of the CD above what I’m willing to pay. And Amoeba has a LOT of used CDs, which lowers the cost even more. I ended up walking away with The Magnetic Field’s The Wayard Bus/Distant Plastic Trees, Leonard Cohen’s Various Positions, and a tribute to Leonard Cohen, I’m Your Fan, which includes performances by The Pixies, REM, and Nick Cave, to name a few. I also got a couple of Miyazaki DVD’s I’ve been meaning to pick up, but haven’t because for some reason, they cost quite a bit more than regular DVDs. Anyway, they were Whisper of the Heart, which I rented on NetFlix recently and loved, and The Cat Returns, which I downloaded and watched quite a while ago.

My sister got a few CDs, the Hits of Erasure, ABBA Gold, and the Sex and the City Soundtrack. She joked as we were driving home, listening to her CDs, that she was turning my car into a gay club, haha. πŸ™‚

After Amoeba, we waited outside for the rest of the party to be done shopping and I noticed that we could see the Church of Scientology’s location on Hollywood Blvd from a distance. It kinda creeped me out. It creeped me out even further when one of the guys in the party mentioned that the Scientology created CCHR headquarters, or Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights, was down the street just a little ways and they wanted to visit it out of morbid curiosity because inside there is a “museum” on psychiatry. We were all curious, so we decided to check it out. Turns out the museum is called “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” and the “museum” was every bit as creepy as it sounds. It felt like I was walking into the Museum of Tolerance, a Holocaust museum, also in Los Angeles. It had all these exhibits showing the history of psychiatry, including of course shock treatment and lobotomy. CCHR blames the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust on psychiatry. It also had an exhibit with pictures of different celebrities and little descriptions underneath the pictures blaming psychiatry for their deaths. There was also a section that showed statistics on psychiatrists; supposedly more psychiatrists than physicians commit suicide, get divorces, etc. They also showed a big wall with pictures of psychiatrists behind bars for being convicted of various crimes, ranging from a hit-and-run fatality to rape and sexual assault of patients. And of course, there was a room blaming psychiatry for the Columbine school shootings and various other school shootings. All in all, it was quite disturbing and I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Chris and his friends were irritated and angry about the museum, quick to point out the flaws of logic in the exhibits, but Teresa and I just wanted to leave.

Afterward we walked to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles off of Gower and Sunset. It was so good! I was suspicious about the pairing of fried Chicken and waffles, but my suspicions were put to rest after that visit, haha.

Anyway, that was my Sunday and even with the scary Scientology excursion, it was really fun. I wish I had my camera. πŸ™‚

iTunes Randomizer is not Random.

Ever since I’ve been using iPod and iTunes, I’ve noticed that the “random” function in both of them isn’t so random. Not only do the same artists and songs appear over and over, but I’ve even noticed the same sequences of songs appearing in the same order! And that irritates me somewhat. I did some research and found that I wasn’t crazy, and this actually does happen. CNet did an article on iTunes’ random function and tested its “randomness.” It’s pretty interesting, worth a read for any iTunes and iPod users!

Shared Songs in iTunes?

I’m in the library at my school right now, and I plugged in my laptop and iPod to have some background music to enjoy while I study. As iTunes opens, I see that there are “Shared” playlists. Curious, I click on one and scroll through the songs, and then find that I can actually listen to them!!

How come no one ever told me about this? It’s so cool! But I’m kind of ashamed to show what I’m sharing, lol. It’s Mike’s iPod (mine finally died), so it’s full of pretty much Final Fantasy Piano Collections and Metallica, lol. Good thing I have this shared music thing! Now I can hear some more of my new obsession, Common, instead of listening to Mike’s crappy music haha

Did Coldplay’s “Talk” sound familiar to you?

The first time I heard “Talk” by Coldplay, I thought “Hm, another boring song from Coldplay.” And thought nothing more of it until I heard it again. It was then I realized, “Hey. That sounds a lot like Kraftwerk’s ‘Computer Love.'”

I wasn’t the only one. At first, I thought it was a blatant rip-off. But then I read this article and found out that Coldplay is really influenced by Kraftwerk and wanted to sample “Computer Love” on their new album. The result is “Talk.”

I like “Computer Love” better. :tongue:

iPod Drama: Over. I hope.

ipod and i reunited Oh iPod, we have led a fraught journey but I have high hopes it is at an end at last.

For the past three months, my iPod has been out of commission. At semester end though I was a bit more concerned about passing English 305 than getting my iPod to work. So once the commotion of finals, Christmas and NewYear’s passed, I decided to get down to the nasty business.

My iPod had continually been showing the infamous “sad face” icon, signifying some kind of harddrive problem. After doing some research online, performing multiple resets and restores, I decided to take my iPod to my nearest Apple store location. I knew that my warranty had expired already, but I was willing to pay to fix it as long as the price was reasonable. Someone came up to us and put us in the line right away, but that didn’t stop us from having to wait about two and a half hours to finally get serviced (I am not exaggerating here). The man did not know anything about anything, unfortunately, otherwise he could have saved us a lot of time. Once we finally reached the beginning of the line, the man behind the bar informed us, “Sorry! Your warranty expired last month, therefore we cannot help you. And we don’t do parts replacement, we only do whole unit replacements, so you can’t pay to have your iPod fixed here.”

… What? I know I didn’t just wait TWO HOURS for you to tell me in five minutes that you can’t do anything to help me. Why didn’t it say this online? In all my research online, it said nothing about needing a warranty to get service, or even anything about the non-existence of parts replacements! I was on the verge of tears at this point, so Mike asked, “So there’s nothing you can do?” And the man replied, “You can donate your iPod to the iPod recycle program and receive 10% off of your next iPod purchase! Other than that, you can take your iPod to a third party vendor and see if they can fix it.” “Do you have any reccomendations?” “Just Google ‘ipod repair’ and you’ll find something.” (I am not kidding, this is what he said to us. Thanks for nothing, buddy.)

So a whole afternoon wasted to tell me that my iPod, my precious iPod that had been my constant companion for the past year, was dead. We went home and did some research on other mp3 players, the cost of buying a new iPod and iPod repair sites. Eventually we decided to go with the wonderful people over at iPodMods.com who will do a free diagnostics test to find out what’s wrong with your iPod, then they will give you a quote on how much it will cost. If you decide to go with their service they will then bill you, if not they just charge you the cost of shipping it back. Pretty cool deal if you ask me!

So before Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday I sent my iPod in. I received a confirmation email the next Thursday saying they received my iPod and would send me a quote in 1-2 days. Five days went by and I heard nothing, so I emailed them, whereupon they told me to CALL and they would give me a quote. Now, anyone that knows me knows how I dread, hate, LOATHE the phone. I don’t know why, but I really strongly dislike talking to strangers on the phone. The simplest tasks, such as calling my eyebrow waxer for an appointment, encite extreme anxiety in me and I spend hours dreading it. But for iPod, I would do anything, so I called.

They told me that it needed a new harddrive (surprise, surprise) and they would install it for $160. At first I was blown away. On eBay you can find iPod harddrives for like $80. iPodmods.com actually will install a harddrive if you send it to them, but they charge a $30 service fee. So we figured it was safer and cheaper just to pay them to do it. I gave them the go ahead and they said it would be done in 1-2 days and they would send me a notification email when it was sent out.

They charged my card and yesterday it came in!! I was so excited, even though it was nearly 11PM and I needed to wake up at 7AM the next day, I immediately started the process of updating and importing. I think it took about 2 hours to import all 2200 songs, but I went to bed at midnight and didn’t see the result until this morning. I used it today and it’s just like new! It doesn’t freeze in between songs or skip them altogether, and it hasn’t gotten the sick face once.

Apple makes a great product, but their customer service and support is shit. If you own an iPod, make sure you keep that warranty as long as possible or else Apple will fuck you over should anything go wrong with it. But if they do fuck you over, you can always go to iPodMods.com and have them fix it. I was a little miffed about them not emailing me about my quote until I pestered them about it, but they were always there when I called and they were very patient and helpful. But they don’t stop at fixing iPods, they also have this service where you can change your backlight color (rad). They will even buy your iPod from you if you don’t want it anymore.

“Reunited and it feels so good…”

Albums :)

So before I fixed my site from the hack, I had updated a BUNCH of pages. But didn’t back them up. Pity. :depressed:

Today I updated my “Currently Listening To” page, which is in dire need of updating. Now it has Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head and X&Y, Final Fantasy VII OST, Ayumi Hamasaki – A Best and Ballads, Gorillaz – Demon Days, Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs Parts 1, 2 & 3. Whew! Only about 20 more albums to go. :faint: