Happy Valentine’s Day

Men say “I Love You” with flowers and jewelry. Laura says “I Love You” with CDs and science-fiction DVDs. Ladies, you’re getting a raw deal.

B-Tribe - Spiritual Spiritual

Spiritual Spiritual
B-Tribe

This is the fourth B-Tribe CD in my collection. The others — ¡Fiesta Fatal!, Sensual Sensual and Suave Suave — are all excellent. The “B” in B-Tribe stands for “Barcelona,” and the music is a sort of techno-latin: flamenco guitars and Spanish vocals mixed with a lot of synthesizers. Spiritual Spiritual is definitely the most low-key and mellow of the four albums, but it still has all the elements that keep me listening to B-Tribe. In fact, I’m listening to it as I write this, and wishing I’d gotten around to replacing my crappy headphones.

The Legend of Johnny Cash

The Legend of Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash

Twenty-one tracks that trace the Man in Black’s nearly half-century career in music, from “Cry! Cry! Cry!” originally recorded in 1955 to his 2003 cover of Trent Reznor’s “Hurt.” One of my personal favorites is “Delia’s Gone,” which appeared on American Recordings, Cash’s first outing with famed rock producer Rick Rubin. A bit of Man in Black trivia: the song “A Boy Named Sue” was written by Where the Sidewalk Ends author Shel Silverstein.

Enya - Amarantine

Amarantine
Enya

Amarantine is at least the seventh Enya album in my collection, not counting her work on the soundtrack for The Fellowship of the Ring and the two-track single Oíche Chiún. Alas, my copies of Watermark and Shepherd Moons have gone missing. Enya doesn’t disappoint on her latest release, which is rich with her signature sound. I read a review last week that points to this familiarity as being a bad thing, but for me it’s very, very good. Did I mention that I need new headphones? Man, these things suck.

Serenity

Serenity

Cross another item off the Amazon Wish List. I thought about picking this up about a week after Christmas, but couldn’t find it in the two or three stores I normally visit. I was a latecomer to the fandom of Joss Whedon’s Firefly series, but was just as eager to see Serenity when it hit theaters as the most rabid of Browncoats. If you have to ask what a Browncoat is, I suggest finding a copy of the Firefly box set and setting aside a weekend to watch the entire short-lived series. Then do the same with Serenity. If you ask nicely, I may even loan you my copy.

The Boob Tube: What I’m Watching

Time to talk about the idiot box for a little while. Why? Because I said so.

You may or may not recall that I picked a few new shows out of the fall lineup that looked like they might be interesting: Invasion, Night Stalker, Surface and Threshold. Two of the shows, Night Stalker and Threshold, bit the dust early in the season. I was sorry to see Threshold go, because it was actually getting pretty good. Night Stalker wasn’t great, but the last episode aired was the first in a two-part story, and I would have liked to see the resolution.

Surface had a good start, but it kind of lagged in the middle of the season. The few episodes leading up to the season finale really kicked the story into high gear, and the finale itself was pretty damn good (save for two things that I have filed under “Not Bloody Likely”). Rumor has it that NBC is waffling about whether or not to pick the series up for another season and a final decision won’t be made until May. I’m guessing that time frame might have something to do with DVD sales, but I could be wrong.

Last on the “new stuff” list is Invasion, which has recently begun to get interesting. Unfortunately, ABC has apparently decided to put the show on a six week “hiatus,” during which they’ll quietly cancel it. Invasion, like Surface, seemed to be stalling in mid-season. Though one could argue that the story was making progress, it didn’t seem like creator Shaun Cassidy and company were especially eager to reveal anything significant about the alien invaders, and that’s very frustrating. While Surface has pulled the curtain back on some of its mysteries, Invasion is almost as inscrutable as it was in the first episode. Still, I’m interested enough that I don’t want to see it cancelled.

I’ve also been watching the second seasons of Lost and Battlestar Galactica. Since Laura and I both watch Lost, I try not to watch it unless she can sit and watch it with me. As a result, we’ve got about five unwatched episodes on the TiVo right now.

Timing aside, there’s another reason I haven’t been eager to keep up with Lost: Michelle Rodriguez. I hated Michelle Rodriguez’s character in Resident Evil, and she plays the same damn character in Lost. The main difference between the two roles is that she hasn’t been killed by zombies in Lost, but there’s always next episode, right?

Last but not least, we’ve got Battlestar Galactica, which is the best thing on SciFi. That’s not saying a lot, but it really is a good show. For the most part. See, season 2.0 ended with a cliffhanger after the battlestars Galactica and Pegasus stumbled upon one another and Admiral Cain (Michell Forbes) assumed control of the Colonial fleet, as she outranked Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos). Cain’s hard-line, cutthroat command style didn’t sit well with Adama or the ailing President of the Colonies, Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell). The conflict between the characters set up a very explosive situation, and season 2.0 ended on a cliffhanger. Season 2.5 resolved the cliffhanger over two episodes, but rather than force Adama and Cain to resolve the conflict themselves (either by diplomacy or force), Galactica‘s writers opted to simply remove Cain from the picture. It was an incredibly weak, clumsy resolution to a very intense conflict, and I was terribly disappointed.

All done. I guess I won’t feel compelled to talk about the teevee for another six months or so, by which time all I’ll be watching is Baby Einstein and The Wiggles. Stay tuned!

Welcome to Parenthood: The Murdoch Kid

On Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 3:14PM our friends Rob and Beth Murdoch welcomed their son, Lance Robert Murdoch. Lance, being a bit of an overachiever, was born about five weeks early and will have to spend a little time in a special nursery before he goes home, but both he and his mother are doing quite well. At birth, Lance weighed 5 pounds 5 ounces and was 19 1/4 inches long.

Lance, for those who are wondering, is the kid Kyle is supposed to beat up all through childhood. Methinks, however, the tables have likely turned. I’ve seen firsthand how scrappy kids who are born a few weeks early can be, and Lance may have the upper hand. Steps must be taken.

So, congratulations to Rob and Beth. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to start Kyle on his endurance training.