wanna be hero

Another year down, another year gone.
Another day closer to Christmas. Worked a half day yesterday because things are so slow at work. Will probably do the same today. Hardly got a single e-mail all day, was kinda nice. We’ve still got a lot to do before we leave: pack, clean, do our Christmas Eve present thing since we’ll be in FL for the actual holiday. I’m getting excited about going back to Florida, which I still kind of consider as “home” since I did most of my growing up there. I always get a little homesick when we get out at the Orlando airport. For all the reasons I profess to not like Florida, it’s actually a great state – and I have a lot of good memories of my days there.

Yesterday my mom called me at work from her cell phone, asking if I’d felt the earthquake. I hadn’t, since it was centered too far south of here – but they did feel it there. It was kinda cool knowing a piece of big news before the news services started picking up on it. CNN and the other outlets were only about 20min behind real-time with their stories, which is pretty impressive. The US Geological pages that register seismic activity had it up instantly, which I also thought was cool. I’ve been through one or two slow rollers when we lived in Lompoc, but that’s about it. Nothing as hard hitting as a 6.4, which I’m sure is a little more scary than the lightweights I’ve weathered.

Bob asked me the other day if I was concerned traveling with the terror alert at Orange now. I guess it does make me a little more “aware” than usual, but not really nervous. That terror threat color chart seems awfully arbitrary to me, but I hope that it’s working. I guess the only real way it affects me is to just pile on imagination-fodder in my brain. See, I often have these little movies running in my head, that are sparked from what’s really going on in front of me. I run through these imagined scenarios, kind of like a “choose your own adventure” in my head.

As an example: I’ll be walking along somewhere and a surly looking dude passes by me; we both continue along our ways. In my head: All of the sudden the dude pulls out a ninja sword and rushes at me, screaming about something. What do I do? Then I’ll run though all these scenarios in my head, deciding on the best course of action. Kind of like thinking of a good comeback to an insult long after it’s been said, I’ll arrive at the coolest or most heroic chain of events, and then review them like a short action flick. I do it all the time: What if a plane hit my work building? What if a bomb went off at the airport while I am walking through? What if the supermarket got robbed right now? You guys don’t even know how many times I’ve saved the day in my head, I’m like a superhero in my own mind.

With all the year-end hoopla in the media, I felt it was time for me to put my personal spin on the “best of” game. I’ve chosen the following 10 albums as my choices for best albums of 2003. The criteria I used to judge is really twofold: How much did I listen to the album (frequency and longevity), and how much do I enjoy the music (savory-ness and emotion). Without further ado, my picks for the best of 2003 (in no particular order):

  • Radiohead – Hail to the Thief
  • Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism
  • Broken Social Scene – You Forgot it in People
  • Decemberists – Her Majesty the Decemberists
  • Shins – Chutes to Narrow
  • Hot Hot Heat – Make Up for the Breakdown / Knock Knock Knock EP
  • The Thrills – So Much for the City
  • Decemberists – Castaways and Cutouts
  • Postal Service – Give Up
  • Iron and Wine – Iron and Wine

There it is, with Nada Surf’s Let Go, The Unicorns’ Who Will Cut Our Hair…, and Snow Patrol’s Final Straw barely sitting outside the list. And I know I kinda cheated on the Hot Hot Heat double-pick, but I always listen to the two together – so it’s like a single album to me.

If you like good music, check some of that stuff out – it’s all tasty. 2003 was actually a really good year for music, I don’t know if it’s just that I get so much that some of it is bound to be awesome, but for whatever reasons it seemed there was a lot of excellent stuff out. Also nice, we got to see a lot of it live – as 2003 was also a great year for live shows. This year I took in: Radiohead, Modest Mouse, The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, Nada Surf, Pedro the Lion, Explosions in the Sky, Broken Social Scene, The Stars, Beulah, John Vanderslice, Built to Spill, Hot Hot Heat, The Walkmen, Bright Eyes, The Strokes, and probably more I’m not thinking of.

Well, what started out as a blank slate ended up with some pretty decent blog content. I’m proud. Although I’m not going to all the trouble to go back and hyperlink everything, because I’m just not in the mood. As I mentioned, I’ll be trying to write every day over vacation, but it may not work out that way.

Merry Christmas all! Dave out!

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