If Blogging Platforms Were Automakers . . . Blogger: GM (market leading — but dull, and a little unreliable) Movable Type: Toyota (trusty — owners swear by them — and growing fast) Radio/Manila: Chrysler (in third place, and staying there. Comes with firebrand CEO!) TextPattern: Aston Martin (sleek, though a bit eccentric) LiveJournal: Volkswagen (popular with the hip and crunchy) Greymatter: Tucker (it coulda been a contender)
. . . Music on the Web: I'll give Steve Jobs credit: he managed to hook a wire straight into my wallet this week. For all its flaws — Tim has some discussion of a few of them, and Joe Gross made some comments about pricing that I'll embargo until he can put them in print — the iTunes Music Store rocks. This really could grow into the celestial jukebox, the Napster-for-pay, that music industry watchers have been predicting forever to come about.
My greatest qualm: the selection needs work. Apple promises to add more songs; we'll see. Still, it took me only a few minutes to spend my lunch money.
The tracks I bought:
"One Wink at a Time," The Replacements
"The Democratic Circus," Talking Heads
"Innocent When You Dream (78)," Tom Waits
"What Goes On," The Velvet Underground
"The Love You Save," The Jackson 5
"Love and Happiness," Al Green
"There's No Other Way," Blur
"Reelin' in the Years," Steely Dan
"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," Paul Simon
"Moral Kiosk," R.E.M.
"Short People," Randy Newman
"Do It Again," Steely Dan
"Pop Life," Prince
"When Doves Cry," Prince
"Hong Kong Mambo," Tito Puente & His Orchestra
"Black Coffee in Bed," Squeeze
I downloaded the last one while I typed this post. The Information Age: gotta love it.
Music on the Newsstand . . . Those paying attention last week might have noticed already, but for the rest of you, run, don't walk, to your neighborhood bookstore and pick up the Oxford Americanmusic issue and CD — a spring tradition back from the dead after last year's hiatus. They made a fan of me in 1998 — I pity the fool who doesn't own that year's disc — and this year's sampler is perhaps the best one since. [Special props go to Swamp Dogg, whose cut "Total Destruction to Your Mind" all but blew mine.]
I've also been hipped to — I wish I could remember who to thank for this — Paste magazine, which reads like a glossy No Depression and comes complete with CD. Between this lucky find, the OA disc, and other developments this week, I have more music to sift through than I know what to do with.
Hire This Man! Now that I'm fresh off the high of that victory, I'm raring to put my well-honed talents to use for somebody else. To expedite the process, I'm setting up an online file of recent projects [with the session done, I can finally share them] — complete, of course, with an obligatory résumé. I'll keep you updated as I make more material available.
The sweetest part of the victory? Beating the law in the House, where the sponsors thought it was a shoo-in. The second sweetest part: the backslapping at the end of the day — victory has many parents, you know — that went from the House floor to a pair of packed tables at Manuel's Tavern.
It was an outcome well worth the 18-hour day it took to pull it off. If I have anything to say about it, we'll get to work right away on turning that win into a halo effect that helps us take control of the water agenda next year.
Wait, there's more — we finally convinced balking lawmakers to vote for a tobacco tax hike that my colleagues and I have gone through hell to pitch. Up until the very end, folks were having none of it — we only pulled out the win because black lawmakers struck a deal with the governor to give him his tax in return for a pledge to let the old state flag die for good. Thank goodness for small favors.
What a great way to round out the session. 'Scuse me while I pat myself on the back — and send kudos to all my friends and associates for a job well done.
Let Me Clear My Throat: I still have good news, but this bad mood I'm in won't blow over without me giving it a shove. So: mind if I vent for a second?
I hate being ununderemployed, with a passion.
My post from the other day notwithstanding — no, I do relish free time, when I spend it well — having so darned much of it all the time pales fast. I should hardly complain, at least in theory; I know the job I work switches from monsoon conditions to the dry season in a flash, and I saw that transition coming weeks ago. Still, a part of me — wrongly — takes downtime as a statement on my character.
Which it ain't. People go through dry spells all the time, especially in this economy. It's silly to take it personally. The trick is in the handling of it — and considering that I'm only idle for the moment because the legislature paid heed to its constitutionally imposed deadline and went home, I really don't have much reason to get mad at myself.
He writes about depression. He seems to be having a tough time with it, which I'd never have guessed from what I've known of his writing before tonight. It just goes to underline his point that "you don't know me" — but then, it's hard enough to know someone through daily face-to-face contact, let alone through a weblog.
The funnier thing about the black dog, though, is how it can make you run scared from the thought of knowing yourself. I reminisced a bit about that point this morning after reading a post by Tim Jarrett:
Many depressives deny themselves rest or relaxation because they cannot afford to stop. If they are forced by circumstances to do so, the black cloud comes down upon them. … He invented various methods of coping with the depression which descended when he was no longer fully occupied by affairs of state, including painting, writing, and bricklaying, but none of these were wholly successful.…
That was the world I inhabited for most of my life, right up to a couple of years ago. Part of my young-man-in-a-hurry act — the endless extracurriculars, the academic overachievement, the accumulating credentials — owed to ambition, but looking back I can see that it also depended on fear. Idle time scared the hell out of me. Right up to when I graduated from law school — which forced me to slow down to get my bearings in a new profession and new city — I stayed in more or less perpetual motion.
I've learned a thing or two about how to handle spare time since then, I'd like to think. My secret? I spend it blogging. =,
Kidding, of course. But I'd like to think I'm getting better at cutting loose and enjoying myself. Now that I have a bit of free time on my hands (more on that in the next post) I might test those newfound skills. The words "golf lessons" come to mind — but mountain biking and fishing come in tied for second. Decisions, decisions . . .