Archive for March, 2010

The winds of disappointment

Posted in Thoughts with tags , , , , on March 14, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I was in a Blockbuster video store a few days ago (yes, you can in fact still get movies from a store!) and noticed that a part of the store had been converted into a booth for WIND Mobile.

I’ve been wanting to change phone companies for a long time, but I’ve been waiting for WIND to come to Ottawa.  I admit that I was rather disappointed when they announced expansion to Edmonton.  Not that I have anything against Edmonton, but I don’t live there.

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw the booth, despite not hearing anything in the news.  Well, it turns out that Blockbuster is just “getting ready” – WIND isn’t actually here yet.

Strange… I’m not usually disappointed by a telephone company until after I start using its service.

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Video didn’t kill the radio star… mp3s did

Posted in Music, Thoughts with tags , , , , , on March 7, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I don’t own a radio.

I love music, and I go everywhere with headphones, but I just don’t own a radio.  It wasn’t a conscious decision, and I’m not even sure when exactly it happened.  I just realized one day that I hadn’t listened to the radio in years.  I used to spend hours each day listening to 102.1 The Edge in Toronto.  (I know. The edge is not today what it was in the mid-90s. The people have changed, the music has changed.)

I don’t have a television either.  That was a conscious decision though, and one that I’ve never regretted.

But what I do regret is that I always fall behind when it comes to new music.  I find that I need to periodically Google my favourite artists just to find out if they’ve released anything new.  Clearly this works fine for artists that I already know – but what about new artists?  Sometimes I don’t hear about the next big thing until months after their limelight has dimmed.  It happened with The Shins.  It happened with The Postal Service.  I’ve still never actually heard a Lady Gaga song. (I’m guessing that’s not a bad thing though.)

Sometimes I feel like there is this mass of amazing music just outside my reach.

The idea that I might be missing out on great music is so disappointing.  And the disappointment is crushing.

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Questions for cryptic girls

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , on March 7, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I’ve been having a most unusual conversation with someone named Skyler on Formspring.Me. According to the home page, the service lets users:

Send and receive anonymous questions, and learn more about people you find interesting by following their answers.

The idea is that you go to a particular user’s page and, without needing to log in, you can post a question for them.  If they like your question they can respond to it, and both question and answer are posted publicly.  It’s almost like an anonymous chat session, but even less formal – if that is possible.

I don’t think it is intended to actually foster dialog, but that seems to be what has happened tonight.  And as disjointed as the conversation is, I am strangely enjoying it.

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A night with Clark Gable

Posted in Music, Thoughts with tags , , , on March 6, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I’ve been listening to a lot of music tonight and rediscovering all those old bands that somehow got lost.  I can’t remember who came along and stole my attention from The Postal Service, but whoever it was – they were not at all worthy.  Clark Gable still gives me shivers every time I listen to it.

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I didn’t get it at first….

Posted in Thoughts with tags , on March 1, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I, like everyone else on the planet, couldn’t resist trying out Chat Roulette.  For some reason, the idea of being connected with a completely random person through video and text was strangely enticing.   But for the last week or so, I’ve been trying to understand what exactly was so addicting.  It’s not the people that I have met – in truth, even though I’ve clicked that play button dozens of times, I haven’t really met a single person.  Every time a connection is made, it is only a matter of seconds before either I disconnect or the stranger on the other end does. Perhaps I am too picky – perhaps everyone else is just as picky as I am.

So why do I keep going back?

Tonight I realized that the answer has been staring me in the face the whole time. The answer is actually in the name of the website – Chat Roulette.  That’s it – it’s the basic gambling delusion.  Every time I click play I am subconsciously hoping to hit the jackpot.  And no matter how many times I lose (ie. reject the stranger, or get rejected by the stranger) I feel certain that if I play one more time there will be a big pay-off.

But this feeling is completely foreign to me.  I am not a gambler.  I could never understand people that go to casinos and watch their life-savings be taken away by a slot machine one dollar at a time.  I work really hard for my money.  I expect it to get me a lot more than the anxiety induced by a few seconds of cherries and sevens rolling in a machine.

And there it is.  The reason that Chat Roulette is so great:  I can afford the hit to my self-esteem when the stranger rejects me, and it doesn’t cost me anything at all to reject them – but I still get that thrill of the unknown!  I still get the few seconds of anticipate and anxiety while I wait for the video to load.

I can keep playing, waiting for the big pay-off, and it doesn’t cost me anything at all when I lose.

Nicely done Chat Roulette, nicely done.

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