Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A Musical Baton

Since Doug was thoughtful enough to include me in this exercise of Internet-empowered frivolity and indiscriminate musical discovery, the least I can do is oblige. However, it is against my better judgment, as I suspect this whole chain-mail/meme/whatever was started by the record labels to root out illegal downloaders.

Their wicked plan would involve reviewing all of the ensuing posts to see if there were any discrepancies between the amount of songs you report to have on your hard drive and the amount of disposal income reported on your most recent income tax filing. On the other hand, what good is living without a little risk?

Surprisingly, the most difficult part of this task was coming up with the list of relay partners to take the baton. Unfortunately, a vast majority of my friends are not as fanatical about music as I am. Their loss. Luckily, I came up with just enough friends to satisfy this meme's stringent requirement.

iTunesI would also like to acknowledge, that unlike my dear friend Douglas, I have provided music links that are accessible to anyone – not just members of the iTunes Music Store. Yes, I love music, and I don’t use iTunes. Let the flaming begin.

Total volume of music on my computer:
17.8 GB (3,647 songs, 13.4 days of music) It’s funny how one’s collection grows.

ElevatorThe last CD I bought:
"Elevator" by Hot Hot Heat. Although, it’s really a tie, since I also bought Ben Folds' "Songs for Silverman" at the same time.

Song playing right now:
"From Which I Came" from the new Eels album, "Blinking Lights and Other Revelations."

iTunesAfter firing up Musicmatch, I discovered it in the New Music section. I know all of you iTunes fanatics probably follow Steve Jobs’ cue and eschew subscription services, but they’re wonderful for trying out new music. It has saved me from many a misguided one-hit-wonder purchase.

SoulwaxFive songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:

Narrowing this down to five songs is really impossible, but these five came to mind first:

Five people to whom I’m passing the baton:

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Quaker Revenge is Sweet

QuakerIf hazy memories from my 9th grade history class serve me right, Quakers belong to a religious sect that place the highest regard on non-violence and being at peace with one another. So adamant in these beliefs, they left England for the New World centuries ago to practice their pacifist brand of Christianity.

Apparently, a lot has changed these past few hundred years, for it now seems they are on a different kind of mission to create discord in marital harmony. This theory stems from my experience with their eponymous breakfast cereal.

Evil KelloggNow you might be thinking that this argument relates to dad wanting to feed his kids sugar cereal, while mom vies for more healthy options. No, that is a conspiracy that involves the entire cereal community. (There’s a reason why one of the villains on Buck Rogers was named Kellogg)

What Quaker is doing is much more subtle, and dangerous. My wife and I try to eat the more healthy cereals, but now and again we succumb to temptation and get some crazy sugar cereal like “Quaker Honey Graham Oh’s.” I know that to consumers of Fruity Pebbles and their ilk, Honey Graham Oh’s is a sissy sugar cereal, but those 12 grams of sugar per serving pack a wallop. There’s a reason why they’re called “Oh’s” and not “O’s” – pure, sugary ecstasy.

Alas, my sugar high has veered me off course from informing my humble readers of the non-caloric dangers of Quaker Honey Graham Oh’s. Quite simply, Quaker’s nefarious plot involves the packaging. At first glance, the inner bag is not noticeably different than other inner bags that call a cereal box home. And that’s the problem; because that’s exactly where the trouble lies.

Apparently, Quaker has taken a cue from potato chip manufacturers to create a bag that is unable to be opened without bursting open in a jagged, non-uniform, stale-inducing mess. This is quite surprising given the many advances in inner cereal bag technology. All other cereal bags open so easily by gently pulling apart the lips of the sealed plastic opening. By creating the one bag that defies this valuable convention, Quaker strikes at the heart of the American family.

Insidious Quaker Inner Bag

The typical marriage bruising scenario goes something like this (at least that’s how it went for me):

  • Wife tries to open package of Quaker Honey Graham Oh’s and rips the bag apart sending Oh’s to a horrible death by the family pet
  • Husband assumes wife’s incompetence and chides her for ripping bag open improperly and jeopardizing the future freshness of the cereal
  • Husband reminded of wife’s whole granular failing each time cereal is consumed
  • Months pass and sugar drains from system requiring another box to replenish reserves
  • Husband rips the bag apart sending Oh’s to a horrible death by the family pet
  • Wife saying “See, I told you so! There is something wrong with Quaker Honey Graham Oh’s packaging!”
  • Husband unable to chide wife for months to come without being reminded of prior incident.

Not a pretty scene, to be sure. Let my experience be a warning to cereal imbibing households, and a plea to the Quakers to take the “Oh no’s!” out of their Honey Graham O’s and end their assault on the sanctitude and sucralosity of marriage.

Conventional, Conjugal Enabling Inner Bag