Things I Like – August (it’s been three years since the last one) 2009 edition

1. Bruce Sterling’s closing talk at Reboot 11. First half is the standard Sterling mix of favela chic, distrust of hairshirt environmentalism, and what the next ten years is going to look like. The talk’s last half is a practical guide to getting rid of the unnecessary clutter in your life. If you’ve read the last Viridian note, the talk pretty much reviews it a year down the line. Plus it offends a non-trivial segment of the nuTechologist/Boing Boing crowd which makes me love it more.

2. Speck Mountain’s Some Sweet Relief. I dislike using “x meets y” metaphors, but the “Mazzy Star meets early Spiritualized” description is so spot-on here. Good enough shorthand, but it’s more descriptive of the band’s approach than any overt aping. Best of all, it sounds remarkably current. One of my favorite albums of the year so far.

3. Being Human. I’m the last person that would consciously seek out a vampire TV series, much less a vampire/werewolf/ghost one, but Being Human is well-written, funny when it needs to be, scary when you least expect it, and actually compelling. Superior to all other paranomal shows currently running.

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4. Cowboys And Turbans. Indian food served vaguely Mexican-style. Amazingly great and within walking distance of our apartment. Epic win!

5. Enormously large flat-screen televisions. We’ve been resistant to them because of what it represented, especially in a sinking economy (we’re in foreclosure, but we have a giant SUV and a flat-panel TV!) but after a couple of run-ins with annoying theater crowds it was time to throw in the towel and just get one. DVDs do look fantastic.

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