Thursday, June 21, 2007


I go to work with my iPod nowadays. It's a Nano, so it holds a little shy of 1000 songs.

I can't believe how hard it was to narrow the playlist down to just 941 songs. Nine hundred and forty-one. We're not talking about having to pick out my fifteen favorite songs. We're not even talking about having to pick my 15 favorite albums(which, now that I've typed that out loud, might be a more difficult task). Nope. I'm saying I had trouble filling out a list of the top 941 songs I have.

Tough decisions had to be made. Especially when it came down to which dated pop songs would make it onto my work mix. If I only liked them because I find them nostalgically hilarious, they're out. If some part of me deep down actually likes the song, they're in. So "Poison" by Bel Biv DeVoe is out(mostly a favorite dated pop song of mine for the line "never trust a big butt and a smile," which has to be one of the top 10 lines in song history), but "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls is in. Don't you dare judge me.

With the playlist set(until I break down and admit that I totally dig Lily Allen and must have some of her songs), I happily set things to shuffle and get cracking on my workday activity. About an hour before lunch every day, I face the same internal struggle.

There is one of my 941 favorite songs that I absolutely have to hear right now. I haven't heard it yet in this cycle of songs, so I know it's waiting to be played eventually. So I look up and see that there are 730 songs left. I face a dilemma. I could just find the song I want to hear, play it, and go about my business. That, however, would violate the sanctity of the shuffle.

The shuffle is important because I want to make it all the way through the playlist without skipping. I must make it through. I'm driven to make it through by the same kind of messed up OCD that makes it okay for me to live in a filthy house as long as my comic books are properly stored and catalogued.

Still, the need to hear The Mountain Goats' cover of "The Sign" consumes me. It's taken me so long to get this far into the shuffle due to my previous need to hear the alternate lyrics version of Guns n' Roses' "Don't Cry" wrecking things last go-around.

Eventually, instant gratification wins. For one shining moment, this song has risen above my other 940 favorite songs. Then comes the realization that I've broken the shuffle yet again.

WIth a sigh, I start over as the count reads "1 of 941" across the top thinking "This time I'm going to make it."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

okay, square one was pretty awesome

But I'm mostly upset that I wasn't the one who wrote this song. It's more brilliant now than it was when I was in third grade.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

[insert "head" pun here]

Well, most of you will find this nerdy and useless. Unfortunately for most of you, I can think of more than 2 people who will be entertained by Super-Villain MODOK interviewing Brian Reed. The first question:

Brian Reed, please describe your head. Use as much detail as possible.

MODOK is the wave of the future. Eat your heart out Barbara Walters.

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UPDATE: MODOK is back with another interview as well as a link to his blog!!! It's more head-tastic awesomeness from everyone's favorite giant-brained villain. I am officially going to purchase the hell out of Marvel Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's 11.

FURTHER UPDATE: Marvel Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's 11 was entirely disappointing. Giving MODOK the same hard luck with the ladies story that motivates every old villain that hasn't been assigned motivation outside of "evil" isn't going to attract me to this title.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

i'm not sure that "nerd" covers it

Been missing my insight lately? I have too. But there are more important things to do. Allow me to tell you what those are in a round-about way with this parable...

It was the summer of 2002. I had finished college, but had not yet graduated into anything resembling responsibility. I was making what money I needed waiting tables as a 10-to-4 job, which left plenty of time for whatever nonsense I decided to dedicate myself to. One particularly beautiful morning, that nonsense was hockey.

I don't recall the specifics, but I do know that there was a loose puck followed by a stick between my legs. I hit the ground shoulder-first. After sitting on the bench for a while and being mocked for being a pansy about my injury, I finished the game in goal(I didn't do so badly, either). The shoulder still hurt, but I didn't think much of it.

One shower later, I was in Durham for a Destroy All Monsters practice. One scene we did, in particular, stands out. It wasn't very good or very funny, but we did paint...a lot. The mimed brush strokes still bothered my shoulder; but I had fallen on it, so that was to be expected.

Having completed our practicing, we hopped in Ross' car and went to Apex to watch Summerslam. Jeremy Krevat welcomed me with a beer. I gladly accepted the offer, popped the top and raised the drink to my mouth...and experienced a considerable amount of pain. Only now was I worried.

I decided that I'd be going to see a doctor the next morning. Doctor visits were not a part of my life then(as they are now that my body is finding new and exciting ways to betray me), which caused the following thought to creep up on me: "Ben, you've finished college, but not yet graduated into anything resembling responsibility."

That's when I made the fateful call to my mother.

"Hey Mom, am I insured?"

The answer was no, and the diagnosis was a separated shoulder. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but it's coming up on 5 years since that night and I only recently got renters' insurance. You know, so if the house burns down I'm not left asking "Hey Andi, are we insured?"

As it turns out, part of the items that would be covered under our new policy are my comic books. In order to make sure that they're covered, though, I've been told I need to keep a detailed list of what I have. Hence, my free time in front of a computer has not been spent blogging but rather adding to this work in progress. Tonight, I have come to the conclusion that the only thing I can do that would possibly be dorkier than cataloging comics online is blogging about cataloging comics online. Check.

Fear not, loyal readers, you'll not be without me for much longer. If Andi can stand another night of me going through my comics and remarking to myself about each book as I inspect and log it, it should be wrapped up in the next few evenings or at least rather soon-ish. I know. I can't wait, either.

For the record, I'm enjoying this process more than I should be.