Back in my day...

All parents have their "back in my day we used to hike to school through a snake-infested rain forest" stories. Well, I realized I am already at the age where stories like that suggest themselves to me. I read an Amazon introduction for a graphing calculator that read "for students in math and sciences" and realized that most students in high school today punch in equations on calculators to visualize the graphs. Well, back in my day, we had to buy graph paper, draw out x and y axes, and plot out points by hand. I always thought I was cooler than other kids because I bought graph paper with the really fine grids, while everyone else had monstrous grids and would have to turn in twenty page problem sets while I could draw these microscopic graphs and fit 6 on a page.
Tori Amos is touring with Rufus Wainwright this summer. Now that's a show I'll have to catch. I thought to myself the other day, gosh, I'd love to see Michael Jackson and Madonna in concert before they retire. But it might already be too late. Just one of those things you have to do so you don't have any regrets late in life. Like missing Radiohead this summer.
Good article by those Fools about the social implications of high
Powerball sweepstakes. Among the facts revealed, not surprisingly, is that people with lower income and education levels spend a much greater percentage of their annual income on lottery tickets. The sad thing, to me, is not the financial stupidity of doing so, but all the unfulfilled, desperate hope represented by those thousands of losing tickets. Nothing rational about that--economic man, meet poor man who wants a life on easy street.
Infobeat's new Entertainment e-mail forces you to open web browser windows to read the majority of the articles in their newsletter now. They used to include most of the text from their articles in the e-mail itself. I really don't like the new format.
Worse even than pop-under ads: new ads which display on top of your browser window and can't be closed. If you try and click on the ad to get ride of it (your first instinct, of course), you inadvertently click through on the ad. A few sites have shown these to me now, and I think it's pure evil. What marketers see is high click-thru rates from befuddled, panicked browsers. What they don't realize is that they have crossed a line. The great thing about browsing the web is the total control you have over your browsing experience. When that control is removed, we become very, very perturbed. Upset, even. If I were watching West Wing and suddenly an advertisement appeared on top of Martin Sheen as he gave a speech, would I be thankful for having been introduced to whatever it is that was being plugged? So why is the web any different? Just goes to show the web is populated with as many short-sighted, idiotic marketers as the offline world. So Toyota can take its damn new car, The Matrix, and shove it where the sun don't shine.
Finally booked some vacation time with the family. Bought my plane ticket home to Chicago, and hopefully I'll catch a few Cubs games while I'm there as it will be the last series of the season. September is "spent time away from Seattle every weekend" month. It will be healthy, I think. Seattle and I have been living with each other for four years, now, and we know each other a bit too well. We need to spend time apart, decide if it's right for the two of us.
I'm a firm believer in customization. You should be able to buy more things custom-made just for you. So if you're looking to treat yourself because gosh darn it, you've been working hard, I suggest the following, all of which can be tailored just for you:

Of course, James Bond is going back to drive an Aston Martin in his next film, which to me is the right thing to do. BMW's are great and all, but come on. This is James Bond we're talking about.
I remember when my mom bought me a personalized white ash Louisville Slugger, 33 inches. She had visited the factory while following my sister's band down to the Kentucky Derby. Hitting a baseball with a wood bat is one of the great pleasures in life. Everyone uses aluminum bats today, and the feel is completely unsatisfying.
I'm blabbering. I've not written much about myself recently. I think it's cowardice, the inability to face the truth. I'm spinning my wheels. When I get like this, I'm tempted to do drastic things.
You know, it's so damn hard to floss the far back molars. Is it just me?
In a concession to the lousy economy, I've taken to borrowing books (from the library, even!) again. So if you have a good book to loan me, I'll swap you. I've even started renting more movies off Netflix rather than purchasing them from Amazon. I've been putting half my paycheck back into Amazon, it's ridiculous.