Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Odds and ends

Since it's been extra long since I've written on here, you get an extra long post. Aren't you special, now.

I could write one of those very special essays I adore, but I think I'll settle for a potentially mildly diverting weekend recap.

On Thursday, I attended my second-to-last piano lesson. I do not have much to say about this, however, afterwards, I went shopping. The shop in question at this visit was a second-hand clothes store. During this time, I was deserted and left to fend for myself while looking for suitable pairs of shorts and shirts. I was actually surprised how well I was able to get on with it after getting a bit of an idea of what I was looking for, and looking for shirts, at least, was pretty fun. My labors produced fruit in the form of a construction worker shirt (orange shirts, neon parallel lines on front, neon x on the back), a red shirt with the words 'Sumo Skateshop' on the front and explaining on the back that it was the official shirt for a putt putt tournament (I'm not entirely sure of the correlation between the phrases on either side of the shirt, but I admittedly could not resist a shirt that said Sumo Skateshop on it. I mean, come on), along with a few other t-shirts and a couple of buttoned t-shirts. I also successfully located a few pairs of shorts.

I was really very pleased with my finds and my mom and sister thought I did a pretty good first-time job of clothes-hunting.

The day after I was over at the mall trying to cash a birthday check from my grandmother that I'd found recently buried under some papers on my desk. Unfortunately, it had expired just a week ago, depriving me of my rightful sixteen dollars (more, actually, since it's a US check). Anyways, after that I was looking around at HMV and I noticed their rack of top-ten TV boxed sets. On this rack was the complete collection of Firefly's first (and last, unfortunately) season, for twenty-five dollars. Twenty-five! That's more than half price! Unfortunately, I don't actually have twenty-five dollars, and I'm not sure I'm quite confident enough to make a purchase completely on good faith of the series' reputation.

Diversion: actually, speaking of TV shows (and trust me, that theme just keeps recurring in this post), well, to put it simply, TV interests me a lot as a medium these days. I like that you can tell long, captivating stories filled with mysteries that slowly unravel and with characters that continue to evolve as the show progresses, and, in my opinion, what's on TV these days is a million times better than just about anything in theatres (anything that's mainstream Hollywood, at least; indie and foreign stuff is still looking good).

So anyways, after that heart-shattering disillusionment, I went over to Walmart to take a look at their TV boxed sets, since I've seen the first season of Veronica Mars on sale over there a couple of times and wanted to see what it was going for. Unfortunately, despite the fact that they were actually having a massive sale on TV shows and had just about every freaking season of Friends for sale, there was no Veronica Mars to be found. Which is sad, because if that was on sale for twenty-five dollars, I actually would buy it at first sight, based on the few episodes I've seen (and considering if I don't like it, I can likely sell it on eBay).

There is only so much disappointment one man can take in a day, so I left the mall, having failed in cashing my check, which was actually the reason I was there anyways. From there, I headed in the direction of Staples, where I had a printing job I needed to get fixed.

This particular printing job involved leaflets promoting my superior house-cleaning skills. One page was divided into three leaflets, and while the second and third leaflets had a particular text box that explained I was a 'responsible student looking for odd jobs', this text box was oddly vacant on the first. Assuming I had made a grievous mistake when copying the document on its disk for printing, I checked the disk only to find that I did, in fact, have this text box on all three leaflets. This problem was furthermore confounded upon my arrival to Staples. There, after waiting my turn and checking to make sure they still had a copy of the game Splinter Cell on sale for ten dollars for PC, I had them load up the document from the disk to replace the faulty pages. As before, all the correct text boxes were present in the document. However, when printed out, the first text box once again disappeared. They tried printing it out again, in color, even, but to no avail. The text box was lost to us, forever. Instead, they printed out enough copies with only two complete leaflets to replace the defective leaflets that should have been, providing me with the original number I had intended to print out.

After this problem was somewhat solved, I considered the problem of Splinter Cell. It was half price, and that was pretty good. I had been unable to cash the check, however, with which I intended to pay for it. Therefore, on the good faith that I had money, somewhere, on my debit card which I was not supposed to be saving on there for what is presumably the remainder of time till eternity, I brought Splinter Cell with me to the register. There, it turned out that the game was not only half off its usual twenty dollar price, it was half off its half off price! Thus, I achieved posession of what has proved to be a quality product for a total of five dollars. Which I am pretty pleased with.

They also had a copy of Starcraft there, which I think comes to seven dollars with all the half offs. I've never played it, but I have heard good things about it, and it's a temptation to go back and snag that, too. However, I've seen more copies of Starcraft for sale at other places, including the 'War Chest' that includes two expansion packs, as well, and, assuming that that product and I will cross paths again for a reasonable price, I think I'll wait to snag it then (assuming I actually have money at said time).

The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key, but on Saturday, I was on my library catalogue, looking at my list of holds. I think I had March of the Penguins on hold or something, and my sister was commenting on this, and this somehow got me on the track of documentaries. While thinking of documentaries, I thought of the documentary Hoop Dreams, a movie I have very much wanted to see and almost rented once. At once, I typed the words Hoop Dreams into the title search and quickly located a DVD of it at my library with great elation. Considering this stroke of luck, I pondered what other things I had considered renting at the time I didn't rent Hoop Dreams (I got House of Flying Daggers instead), and I remembered 24. Without further ado, I typed in the number 24, and, voila, the entire first season of 24, meaning I don't have to bother actually paying money to rent it and figure out whether I like it or not (I hesitate between thinking it looks like I'd like it and thinking it looks utterly shallow and brainless). Which is awesome. On the other hand, there are twenty-one holds on the first eight episodes (I guess they've packaged two discs together in each case, which is pretty good of them), so I'll be waiting for twenty-one weeks or something. Possibly less. Which is not so awesome.

As it turns out, after yesterday's further scrutiny of the library catalogues, I discovered that my library has every season of 24 currently on DVD. Which is mindblowingly amazing.

This is not quite as amazing, though, as discovering today that my regional library has the aforementioned collection of Firefly, as well as the movie that ties up the series' loose plot threads. I'm running out of superlatives here, but basically figure that counts as at least a million times more awesome than discovering 24 at the library.

They also have the first season of The West Wing, and a few seasons of MacGyver, which is pretty cool. I don't have the same burning desire to watch these shows as I do for the others, but I'd certainly like to give them a try (The West Wing, particularly).

During the same TV show hunt last night, I also decided I would try my luck at finding some movies I wanted to watch. Thus: Rules of the Game, Mission: Impossible, Unbreakable, Capote, the original King Kong, Finding Forrester, Water, and Millions (which I've already seen and I like very much but wouldn't mind watching again), all with my name added to the holds list.

The moral of this story is: look for good stuff at your library. They just might have it.

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