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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Things I Did Yesterday 08/09/09

Oh Christ, this morning I had The Mortality Thought. It begins with thinking about how old I might live until and ends with me imagining myself on my death bed: what my last words might be; who might be there; will it be painful? Not a pleasant line of thought to start my day. The other thing I obsess about is knowing that when I’m there, I’ll be thinking “Bloody hell, that went quickly. What happened to the last 30 years?”

Anyway, on with more positive things, yesterday I:

- Got up fairly early and made myself a little plan which I didn’t really follow in the end, but it was nice to have a plan.

- Was sort of amazed by the vitriol I’m getting for my negative review of The Shadow over on my Fright Fest post. Makes me laugh.

- Got an email from Matt Z informing me that Spotify Mobile had been released! Very exciting stuff. So I signed up to the premium service, which I had been looking for an excuse to do anyway, and downloaded the app to my Android phone. So far it’s been a little frustrating. I have a particularly annoying crash problem which locks up my phone, forcing me to pop the battery out to restart. It appears to be download related, as it happened mainly when I was streaming music, or when I was trying to sync playlists for offline play. I’ve raised a support question about it and I’m not the only one having this issue, so hopefully there will be a bug fix soon. Playback of said offline playlists seemed fine. That aside, I’m still excited about it. Okay, so it’s over a 3G connection and therefore missing the P2P quick play experience (each track needs about a 20 second pause to buffer even in good 3G reception) that makes Spotify stand out from the crowd on a desktop, but the interface is all very nice and the offline mode is really what makes it so attractive to me. Spotify has actually become my default music player at home, so being able to build playlists within it to download to my phone (a doddle to do, by the way) is great. Hopefully they’ll sort out the kinks soon.

- Went into town and did some writing, then decided that I would go check out a movie. Timing was good to catch The Hurt Locker, which I was really wanting to see. Excellent film about a bomb squad operating in Iraq. Although it’s been described as deliberately apolitical, I don’t think that’s strictly true. It’s just that the politics aren’t worn on its sleeve and the real message is more along the lines of: War is hell, but war is addictive. It’s a sentiment brought home by one character’s return home at the end of his tour, only to realise that he needs the thrill that war gives him. It’s the only thing he truly loves any more. Anyway, Kathryn Bigelow has always been a director with an eye to suspense and she has never been better. The feeling of imminent danger – from bombs, from snipers and even from friendlies – is brought across in a series of nail-biting set pieces. Highly recommended.

- Came home and did some domestic stuff before having a quick run on Grand Theft Auto 4, which I haven’t played in bloody ages. In fact, after finishing Fallout 3, I had started playing Mass Effect, but realised I had better make GTA my next game to work through, as Alex bought it for me last Christmas and I’d hardly touched it. Well, not like it’s a hardship, eh? One funny thing: I got laid in the game, which was represented by a dawn cityscape with a soundtrack of sexual ecstasy and a vibrating controller. Quite. Then stole a taxi and helped a West Indian gangster kill a bunch of rival drug dealers. And enjoyed it.

- Watched an episode of Band of Brothers (the excellent “Bastogne”) before settling down with Alex to watch the second True Blood. Still undecided on this, plus I keep getting this creeping question: would I read this? Given my general distaste for “paranormal romance” novels, I suspect not. This inevitably leads to the question: why am I watching this? Oh well, we’ll see.

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