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Today, I got an email from a UK reader who said that he found my music reviews through a mention in this book. As it turns out, the snippet about my site was written some time ago, but I still thought it was pretty neat that I was mentioned at all. I've posted the paragraph below (until I'm told to take it down), and I want to thank Barry for bringing it to my attention and transcribing it for me (and Andy Phillips for the mention in the book).

"The focus of Almost Cool is on the ever-expanding electronic and alternative music genres, though with a more personal touch than most online magazines. Easy to navigate, new releases are reviewed weekly with an archive of over 500 reviews available for your perusal. Useful features include charts of the year, which as any music fan will know are valuable, whilst the review style is detailed, colourful and informative conveying a real passion for the music. If you have ever enjoyed the likes of Lamb, Godspeed You Black Emperor! or Mogwai, this is a good place to find similar delights."

Speaking of music reviews, bling, bling.

I'm alternately excited and frustrated by what I create.

Just like nearly all other big business, SUV's obviously haven't had very many regulations placed on them, and thus they've gotten somewhat out-of-control. After reading an article like this, I'm not quite sure why anyone would really need one.

Aaron and I met up tonight and started working on some music. After only three hours of tinkering around, a giddy optimism hung in the air. An album by the end of the year? That's our modest goal, and I'm sure there will be more progress reports as we delve in deeper.

I only have one bumper sticker on my car. It's small, and in simple white text on a black background, it says, "Go work on your website." I didn't want to litter my car with bumper stickers, yet liked the nerdy quotient of that sticker enough to place one on my back bumper.

That said, I wholy encourage others to plaster their cars with bumper stickers, because it gives me something to read when I'm driving and occasionally a good bit of entertainment. I think it's the ones with slightly absurd wording (whether it be offensive, stupid, and/or some derivation of that) I enjoy the most. For example, I saw a bumper sticker today that said, "Fat people are harder to kidnap." In its own little way, that's brilliant.

On a completely unrelated note, this is the week that I told myself I'm going to start getting more serious about creating some music. When I got home from work tonight and turned on my computer, one of the speakers had mysterically quit working. Is it some sort of sign? I'll move on undaunted.

Paul moons everyone on his site. No really, go look. It's an awesome picture.

I was recently thinking about the site and looking back in the archives and realized that as of August 25th, 2002, this site will have in some form been on the web for 5 years. Granted, I had some smaller sites back when I was in college (from about late 1995- late 1997), but "almost cool" started officially at the above date. What should I do to celebrate? What's the longest that anyone has stuck around with me? Should I quit with this whole web thing? Do you have answers? I'll try to think up something interesting.

An oldie but a goodie updated recently. It transforms yourself completely, and giving you happy times.

I had one of my best days at work in a long time today. I looked at the clock in the morning at 10 a.m. and when I looked down again, it was suddenly 1:30 in the afternoon and my stomach was rumbling (I usually eat at just after noon). The loss of time was so confusing that I actually asked a friend in the next cubicle what his system clock on his computer said to make sure. I ended up getting a ton of things done, and even stayed a bit late working on one project. Not sure if it was all the good new music I had to listen to or what, but I was certainly in a groove today.

Oh, and the music reviews are back after a week off (due to the move, natch).

Just because I barely got the trash out in time this morning means nothing. In fact, I think it's a sign that I'm ramping up to speed, I'm catching up to where I was before the move, and I'm ready to start really getting down to business.

Today marks the first time that I've bought a major appliance with someone. TG and I went out this evening after work and we purchased a new washer and drier, which will make things a whole lot easier around here knowing that we don't have to brave a laundromat.

Today at work I had a photo shoot with some junior high kids for a project and I realized that I don't quite have the interaction down that I wanted to. I wanted to walk a line between seeming like a friendly fellow that they would feel comfortable around, yet also like someone that they'd listen to when it was time to get down to business (which they did to a fair extent). At any rate, I don't think I'm probably cut out for teaching material, but things went pretty well considering the circumstances (and the fact that I usually only deal with kids younger than college age a couple times per year).

Oh yeah, and Tubcat is back with a vengeance. He's flying, carrying the olympic torch, and fighting terrorism. Give it up for Tubcat!

I somehow forgot to mention it yesterday (perhaps in a fit of exhaustion), but I wanted to thank Aaron (with juicy new domain goodness) and my brother Dan for all the help with moving the big stuff (including television, CD storage system, couch, and other things) that would have put the hurt on me had I tried to move them myself.

I also forgot to mention the story of the cat that TG, Aaron and I saw at the end of the evening on Saturday after moving all day. Aaron was just getting ready to leave and I walked out and saw a cat in our driveway. I bent over and did the requisite "kitty, kitty" call, and he scrambled off towards the darker street area. As I looked closer, I told the other two that I thought it looked like he only had three legs. With all three of us bending over and giving him some gentle vocal prodding, he sauntered back in our direction and we saw that he really did only have three legs (missing the back right). Once we got to petting him, he was very friendly and rolled around in front of us and purred loudly. The missing leg had obviously been given some care in its removal, so I'm sure he belonged to someone despite not having any tags. Just before turning out the lights in the living room, TG and I looked out the front window, and the cat was sitting in our front yard looking right at us. We're taking it as a good sign and hoping that he visits again (and if he does, you can bet I'll try to get pictures). The rest of the night, I had the Red House Painters song "Three Legged Cat" stuck in my head.

Oh, and I also finally posted a new whatever in which I once again say nothing of value.

My ass is offically kicked. TG and I moved boxes upon boxes and went up and down lots of stairs (I used to live on the third floor and she on the second) in the process of moving. Muscles are sore and I'm fighting off some sort of a head cold or something. There are still different things sitting all over, definitely not where they're supposed to be, but everything will work itself out over the course of the next couple weeks I'm sure. Too tired and unshaven and unclean to have worried about posting the past couple days, I'll get back into the swing of things here soon as well as upload some pictures of the new place. For now: more unpacking.

Officially started the move tonight, and this is the last post until probably Saturday. Moved a couple loads of stuff and treated ourselves to some Thai food before the big day tomorrow. And yes, I'll remember not to lift anything too heavy, or too much with my back. Goodnight.

The day of the move is just about here. We get our keys for the new place tomorrow evening and we're going to start hauling some things over then before a full day of shuttling back and forth on Friday. I'm really looking forward to the new place, but for now all I have is piles of boxes.

While packing, TG and I took turns being bossy.

Oscar nominations are announced, just in case you care. I'm really really happy to see In The Bedroom getting so many big nominations (Best Picture, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress) as well as Memento with a couple. Lord Of The Rings leads the pack with 13 (most of which are more on the technical side of things), and I'm happy to see it get some more recognition as well. What's with Amores Perros not getting best foreign film nomination, though?

Tonight (while trying to pass on some HTML and graphics ideas to a friend), I realized I'm probably not the best teacher. I zoom around and click things with wild abandon, many times forgetting that I should be explaining steps more thoroughly.

Also, I've got music on my mind. The plan is for some of it to spill out into being by the end of the year. And one last picture from the old roll.

It's a good thing he's so damn affable (ahem), otherwise people might start wondering what he's been up to.

The ice storm sounded a lot worse than it actually was. Despite some strong wind and lots of creaks and groans this old house was making, nothing much happened. A couple times, the television flickered as we thought we were going to lose power, but everything stayed on. Today, it's warm and nearly all the ice has melted away.

Nothing too exciting on the movie tip. Watched Traffic again, which I quite enjoyed and TG hadn't seen yet. Again reaffirmed my belief that Benecio Del Toro was the correct person to win the Oscar for his performance. After the rather heavy issues of that movie, we followed things up (and I can hardly believe I'm admitting this) with Loser and it sucked as bad as I thought it would. Surprisingly, it was directed by Amy Heckerling, who did the very funny Clueless, but this was nothing near that in terms of smarts or plays on stereotypes to make a point. Instead, it was simply stupid, stupid, stupid. Ugh. At least it was really short.

The move goes down in 5 days, and I've packed almost half of my CDs, which is a sign that I'm really getting serious.

An interesting site to get a lot of different opinions (on movies, music, and more) all in one place is Metacritic. They compile reviews from usually 10-20 different places, then give things (whether it's a movie or CD release) a score based on all the reviews combined. One can then read snippets from several different reviews and get sort of an overall view of how something is favored by critics and reviewers while deciding which full-length reviews that sound interesting enough to read fully.

Also, TG and I watched Center Of The World (which also has a slick Flash website) last night and while it was interesting, it wasn't really good enough for me to recommend highly. Although it tried to be provocative, it sort of ran a middle ground in which it wanted to be on the hardcore side of things, yet backed off just in time from pushing one way or the other too much. Some great performances on the acting side of things, but the story and direction seemed to waffle back and forth too much.

Tonight, it's storming pretty hard here with blowing (gusts up to 40 mph and more) snow and lots of ice, so we're again locking ourselves in and watching movies. More snippet reviews tomorrow probably.

Fun with birthdates! Find out how many days, hours, minutes, or seconds you've been alive. Or, find out what song was number 1 on the day you were born (note: enter a fake email address and unclick the "send me email box"). My U.S. song was "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" by Bachman Turner Overdrive. RAWK!

Another old picture is all I can muster again tonight. And the new reviews as always. But you already knew that, didn't you?

Jumping on a trampoline in 1995.

I packed a good portion of things tonight with the help of TG. Probably got about one-third done, which doesn't actually seem like a lot, but things are starting to look a bit barren. I don't have a whole lot else for today, so I'll simply include a photo from the old roll that I got developed yesterday.

Look out the dorm room in college.

A strange thing about me is that I often buy two of one thing if I find it cheap enough. Lately, I've scooped up double copies of numerous CDs and books that I enjoy, only because I didn't think they were something that I should let sit somewhere. In most cases, I simply hold onto the items until I recommend and give them away to a friend or a relative. TG has the same habit, so we've accumilated quite a batch of interesting doubles over the course of the past couple months.

I got a two rolls of film back tonight from processing, and one of them was something I'd started in 1993 (and finished in 1995) and had simply set aside. Nothing too scandlous, but it was weird seeing some of them (including some strange pictures of myself). I updated the photo section after over a month off. Fortunately for you, everything that's up was taken recently, although I might drop some from the classic roll in the future.

I also found a DVD (used!) tonight that I'd been wanting for awhile. The one, the classic; Airplane!

I have a constant bad habit of comparing myself and my creations to that of other people, inevitably setting myself up for a letdown. I'm 27 years old (plus a couple months) and I've never released a record of my own, I've never written a book, and I've never created a piece of software that anyone has found useful. Although I'm generally content with my meager accomplishments, sometimes I look around and everything seems like a shortcoming to me. It's not that I have a lack of motivation, as I rarely find myself wasting time. The problem simply seems to be that I don't have enough time to do everything that I want. Yes, I want to write music and release an album at some point, and I would also like to write a book (or simply a collected work of short stories). There are many things that I want to do with this website as well, but it's going to take me awhile to implement them. My goal isn't fortune or even fame, it's simply (yet not really so) the act and joy of creating. Things will come, I just need to keep going.

I'm slowing packing away things for the move almost every day now. I've gone through a lot of my clothes and donated a couple bags to the thrift stores, I have a huge pile of CDs that I'm going to try to trade back to different stores, and I've got a stack of books that I'm going to try to trade in for a little credit at a local used book store as well. The funny thing is that when I look at each thing I'm getting rid of, I can remember exactly when and where I bought it, and why it seemed like such a good idea spending money on it at the time. In the case of most things, there's still a faint glimmer of attachment, but with a small percentage of others I wonder what in the hell I was thinking. The actual move day(s) is less than two weeks now, and I'm starting to get even more excited.

I got my cholesterol chart back from having it checked about a week ago. It was 117, so I should be OK.

Went to see a symposium on comics and the culture of them last night. The four speakers on the panel were (in order from left to right in picture below): Robert Harvey, Alisa Kwitney, Chris Ware, and Bob Hall.

I was very excited to see/hear Chris Ware, mainly because his book Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth was one of the best books that I read last year. I wondered what he would look like (if he would bear any physcial resemblence to Jimmy), and in some ways he did. At first, he was noticibly uncomfortable sitting in front of everyone, but loosened up after a bit and actually had the best things to say all night. Instead of being entrenched so much in the what most people would consider "standard" comic books, his influences and interests were obviously ones that didn't fit the whole "hero/superhero" genre. He made some really great points, and I actually wish he would have talked more. Like a nerdballer, I took my copy of his book and he signed it very graciously (one-on-one he was quite personable). As he signed my book (in a greatly personal way), I watched how precise his pen work was and thought it would be fun to just watch him draw for several hours. If you haven't already checked his work out, you should.

It snowed quite a bit here yesterday, although it's melting off pretty well already. Got a couple pictures before it all decides to go away, though.

the Volvo and my back steps

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