Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


New Music for the Network Geek

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,music,Personal,Red Herrings,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:41 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Hey, remember how I was looking for new music some weeks ago?

Well, I found some.
So, I’m pretty much always looking for new music these days. And, I’ve fully embraced the fact that I’m tragically unhip. So, where does that leave me? Well, it leaves me totally open to other people’s suggestions. So, that’s what I sought and that’s what I found. (In fact, while you’re reading this, you can use my SeeqPod searches to preview some of the music I ended up buying.) Well, obviously, I put up a post and a poll about your suggestions, gentle readers. Then, earlier this month, I sent out the call to the same special group of ladies who helped me pick out my most successful pair of shoes which got the best reaction from my favorite member of my target market. When the answer came back from them, I shuffled that in with the wisdom of the crowd here at Diary of a Network Geek and came up with a list. Here it is:

French Kicks – One Time Bells
Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns
Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
The Ting Tings- We Started Nothing
The Flaming Lips – Maxi-Single – She Don’t Use Jelly
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
Tokyo Police Club- Elephant Shell
Spoon – Double CD – Soft Effects and Telephono

So, that’s what I got today, in a hurry, at the last minute, to blend in with some of my older stuff, like Elvis Costello and Frank Sinatra and Warren Zevon and Miles Davis and the like, to make a nice mix. Why? Well, because I’m going to have those people over for Thanksgiving and several of them will be people I want to, um, make a good impression on, if you take my meaning. Yeah, this poor, unhip network geek is trying to impress a girl a little bit. And, barring that, I wouldn’t mind impressing a couple of the guys. Different reasons, naturally, but, still, one’s as good as the other, right?

Okay, not really. But, in any case, I just wanted to have some nice, young, hip background music for this little party. Possibly, even music for more parties in the future, too, I might add. Sure, it’s been a lot of work getting ready, and a bit more work before I’m done, but I love entertaining. I love having people over for virtually any reason. And, yes, it’s been the perfect antidote to the poisonous memories from four years ago at this time of year. Instead of feeling depressed and down, I’m feeling up, positive and excited about the upcoming holiday. New memories, happy memories, ready to be made and, I think, this music will help make it better, more memorable and new and fresh, for me.
I’m not quite sure how many people will be coming, but a number of people will be coming after going to their family Thanksgiving celebration, just to hang out and maybe have a slice of pie. Fresh music, new friends, and pie. Sounds like a pretty damn good start to me!


Counting Down

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 1:32 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I’m starting to get a little nervous here.
Tomorrow night I will go on the first date I’ve been on in over ten years. I know, it’s like riding a bicycle, right? Funny thing about that, when I was learning to ride a bike, I wiped out once and took a handlebar to the gut. I don’t know how long I rolled around on the sidewalk gasping for air before someone helped me out. I hope that’s not how tomorrow night goes.
Per instructions, I have purged the car of all metal music of any kind. I will add the dulcet tones of Sting, in abundance, but also have Bowling for Soup, Spoon, Elvis Costello, Warren Zevon, and Frank Sinatra, among others. And, before you critisize me about Blue Eyes, she said she likes Frankie. I won’t put it in myself, but it will be available for her if she so chooses. Tomorrow, I’ll go get my hair cut and the car cleaned inside and out. I’ve already got directions to her place ready.
So, that just leaves what I’m going to wear… We agreed to keep it casual, but she texted me telling me that she was getting a manicure. *gulp* So, I was thinking black jeans, a white button-down shirt and my black cowboy boots, freshly polished, since she’s taller than I am and they give me a good two inches of height. Not that I care personally, but I know some women get uncomfortable with that stuff. On the other hand, maybe just a nice golf shirt and regular jeans. But the black jeans fit so well…
Oh, and do you buy flowers for a first date? Or bring something other than yourself?
Right, obsessive-complusive disorder in action. So, suggestions?


Bookend Blondes

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Linux,Personal,The Network Geek at Home,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:59 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I roll over and find myself looking into eager, soft, brown eyes surrounded by red-blonde hair. Oh, God, what a night…

But, that’s getting ahead of myself. It was a long, frustrating week of server wrestling that ended in a stalemate. The endless cycle of tweak, test, repeat broken by the pulsing tone of a text message arriving on my phone. No, more than that. “A picture share!”, my Inbox winked at me. “I’m so tired!” said the message. And then I scrolled down. As I recall, my reaction was “Daaaaammmmmnnnnn!” Followed by, “I wonder what her lips taste like?” And, more, of course, but not anything I’d share in a PG-13 blog. What I did respond with was how cute and adorable I thought she was. Apparently, she was looking for more. More I could have given her, but, well, I do try not be too aggressive with the married ones, even if they are unhappy and headed toward divorce. And, since she’ll be reading this, I loved her little, lopsided smile and her wild blonde hair pulled back into a simple pony tail. Adorable. The kind of adorable you want to wake up with for the next sixty years or so.
Somewhere between the camera phone surprise and throwing in the towel on my server config, a guy invites me to his “Thank God Almighty, I am free at last” party. Normally, I’m not really thrilled with a guy carrying on a conversation with me at the urinal, but, hey, free food and drink is worth a little dance outside my men’s room comfort zone. So, last one out the door into the rain, I zip over to meet his Filipina girlfriend, eat her wonderful shrimp wrapped in bacon, and knock back two quick beers. While I’m there, my hot, little picture-taker calls, then excuses herself when she hears where I’m at. On my way home, I call her.
“Yeah, I’m headed home already. Look, I work with those [deleted plural expletive] five days a week. They always want something from me and can never wait. I don’t really want to hang out with them any longer than I have to after I get my free food.”
“So, you still going to the bookstore?”
“Yeah, might as well. Hey, I know it’s not going to go well, but abject failure makes a funnier blog post than outrageous success anyway.”
“HaHa! Well, good luck on your cooter hunt!” Have I mentioned I really dig that country twang in her voice? Shame she’s married. That’s me, always the friend of the hot, married girl.

I slid into Borders with a plan, or, at least, a theme: music. Music magazines and CDs. Hey, it’s buy three, get the fourth free! So, I decided that it would be four that I don’t normally listen to now. As I roll through the door, I can see that pickings will be slim. Couples everywhere. Well, I figure I’m already there, I have my laptop and I can use the coffee. So, I grab a couple music rags that have free CDs: Mojo and Classic Rock. Then, it was a quick lap around the store, feigning interest in books I knew I wouldn’t buy. Worse than a snipe hunt. So, upstairs to skulk around the writing books, trying to look literate. Rumor has it, chicks did literate guys, or so I’ve been told. As I pass by the VD display, though, a book catches my eye: Cooking to Hook Up : The Bachelor’s Date-Night Cookbook. My music theme has met its first upset, but, I think, eventually, it’ll be worth it. If chicks dig literate guys, literate guys who can cook have got to be even better. Right?
So, since the pickings aren’t any better in the knitting section, I ease over to the music section. Right to the Pop/Rock racks, with a slight detour past the “Local Scene” display. From there, I snag A Little Gun Shy by Brian Douglas. It’s a risk, but, hey, he’s local talent. Then it was off to a new favorite, discovered through obsessive-compulsive searching through the blogosphere, Bowling for Soup, this time I grab Drunk Enough to Dance, because, that’s about what it takes for this whiter than white-guy to get out and shake it. Then, two new ones from old favorites: The Delivery Man by Elvis Costello and the Imposters, along with Wildflower by Sheryl Crow. Like I said, whiter than white. It’s who I am, learn to embrace my lack of diversity.
My music theme complete, I hobble into the coffee shop, still hoping that single women will have nothing better to do on a Friday night besides buy books and chat me up. Hey, hope springs eternal, you know? No Bavarian death cake, but a surrogate from Belgium and an espresso shooter in a paper cup. It’s either that or a long, chest needle like Pulp Fiction. I eat my Bavarian death cake substitute like a guy in a prison movie, always looking at the other tables and with one foot in the aisle in case I need to move in a hurry. The caffeine shooter chases the cake, but it’s not enough, so I go back and get regular medium cup of steaming, hot, Italian Fascism to keep me going through the tragedy that has become my wasted evening. In a sad attempt to salvage my trip, I crank up my ancient laptop, which runs RedHat, and do a little writing exercise to keep me limber. I describe the people I see:
People seen at Borders
The guy with the faux three day growth beard… The tall girl with him wearing yoga pants…
The two couples on a date. The fair-skinned girl with dark eyes who was more interested in the other men than her date. The sad smile she gave me as she walked just out of his reach said “help me, for God’s sake find a way to help me out her, buddy” Her date was the recycled frat boy with the baby face and the crewcut that had grown out sideways and in uneven patches…
…All lonely, all hungry, all hunting the same thing. All failing miserably. All except the two gay guys who found each other. Happy as clams, they make cow eyes at each other and giggle like school-girls.
A little girl, half Asian, with a thoughtful gleam in her eye and a tongue stuck out the corner of her mouth in concentration as she crept to the leather couch and stealthily slipped into the seat next to the couple on a date, never taking her eyes off them. The man with his back turned, his steel gray eyes behind open-rimmed glasses intent on his date, a girl with a ruddy complexion and streaked red hair who was years older than he and unhappy. He had to work to make her smile, harder than he should have.

My best prospect was one of the gay guys and I’m not that lonely. Not yet, anyway. So, I scooped up my magazines and CDs and shoved my antique laptop into my bag. God noticed and sent out the signal to the troops. As soon as I was in line to checkout, two single girls walked in together, moving with purpose toward the far end of the store. Just my luck.
The guy from last week, who recognized me, checks me out and asks about the coupon. Coupon? I tell him I think he used it last week, cheating for me so I can save a buck. He does it again and makes a point of handing me the second coupon. For next time. Damn pusher. At least I got a discount. Being a regular has its perks, I guess.
On the way out, I hold the door for a group of five young women. Yep, that God sure has a sick sense of humor and my timing is still dead on.
Damn, I could really use a cigarette.

And, this morning? This morning I wake to a flirty strawberry blonde batting her big, brown eyes at me. My dog reminding me that it’s laundry day. But, that opening sure had you hooked, didn’t it?
Good dog.


Musical Baton

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

I’m not good at these kinds of things, but the dear, sweet Coco in Tokyo has passed me the musical baton, so I’ll do my best.
* Total volume of music files on my computer: 181 songs, 650Megabytes, but it’s all legal!
Mostly it’s Warren Zevon, Sting, Elvis Costello, and Chris Isaak.

* Last CD I bought: Was actually, either “American Idiot” by Green Day or “Love Music Angel Baby” by Gwen Stefani.

* Song playing right now: “Baby Plays Around” by Elvis Costello

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

1. “Allison” by Elvis Costello
2. “Fortress Around Your Heart” by Sting
3. “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton
4. “Ordinary Day” by Vanessa Carlton
5. “Rinse” by Vanessa Carlton

At the moment, the CD player in my car is acting up, so I’m not listening to a lot of music that I normally do. And, I recognize how “tragically unhip” I am, especially when it comes to music, so I’m trying to branch out and discover new stuff. So far, I’m not getting very far! But, I’m slowly creeping up to modern pop music. Now, if I can just get over my terrible fascination with Culturcide… I know the lead man for them, even though that kind of loud punk music isn’t my normal style. Still, I think it lends me “street cred” that their front man burned me a pirate copy of their German bootleg album. Right? That has to count for something…

Now, three suckers to pass the baton to…:

Mark at Clear Lake Reflections
Laurie at A Thousand Thoughts
Bleucube at, er, Bleucube

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