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June continued the trend from May with numerous hot days. Although to be honest this didn’t bother me very much because I go from home, to air-conditioned buses/subway and then into the office. We luckily had a stretch that wasn’t too hot earlier this month, and that was when we had some road work done on the main road in front of house. It used to be pretty bumpy so we would hear cars rumble on the road if we left the windows open at night, but now it’s been repaved.

We visited several garage sales this month, and I picked up a number of CDs for great bargains (i.e. < $3/CD, some even a quarter). But I also realized this month that buying CDs is dying a slow death, even for me, and have been thinking about just buying my music online.

We did some housework this month too, we bought some stones to encircle our tree in the backyard. It was tougher work than expected, mostly because the ground was near a storm drain and therefore on a grade. I didn’t want the stones slanted, so had to eyeball and flatten the ground before putting the stones on. We’re still not done though, we just have a single layer; we want to put a couple of layers down so we can sit on them.

In the latter few weeks of the month, I was excited about hockey. The Leafs had the 5th overall pick, the HHOF inductees were announced (Sundin was a first ballot entrant), the Leafs engineered a couple of trades (and hinted at a few more) and the free agency period approached. After all of these moves, I’m always excited about what might come the following season, but I get the feeling I will be let down again in a few months time.


I’ve stuck to buying physical CDs for a long time. So long that I feel like a luddite nowadays as most music buying has shifted to the online world (iTunes, Google, Amazon, Zune, etc). The more I think about it, the less I know why I have been doing this; perhaps owning physical CDs feels more substantial than having electronic copies on your computer? In any case, I think I overvalue the physical CD quite a lot. I never take advantage of being able to hold it in my hands though; I never look at the liner notes, and whenever I take one home, I rip them (into mp3s) and then tuck the actual CD into a box somewhere. Why don’t I skip a step and just buy online?

That’s a good question and I think I have finally defeated my inertia on this. I didn’t buy from iTunes because AAC’s .m4a/p extensions, no matter what Apple says about sound quality, is not an mp3. But now there are a lot more alternatives. I’ve actually been buying from Amazon (buying == taking advantage of free credits, just like iTunes) more often because they give you real .mp3s.

In fact, I’ve spent a lot of time browsing around and Amazon has a clear advantage in price. I think the price of physical CDs, whether new or used, have reached rock bottom. You’ll pay $10 for new and at least $5 for used. Amazon sells many popular CDs from the last few years for $3 through rotating and periodic sales. Also you can always buy just one song from that one hit wonder and not their entire CD (I’m looking at you EMF). Those are good enough reasons for me to buy online (only problem is that I have to use a US billing address).

This whole change started because Amazon gave me a free download credit at the Amazon MP3 store for downloading their Android free app of the day. I guess that was a good marketing ploy!


Remember way back when the RIAA used to sue people for sharing and downloading music? You probably haven’t noticed but they seemed to have stopped doing that, although it’s probably because it wasn’t a constructive tactic rather than that people learned their lesson and stopped pirating music.

In fact retail music sales are much worse. Back then, Toronto had Sunrise Records, Music World, Sam the Record Man, HMV and a bunch of retail places (Zellers, Walmart, Future Shop, Best Buy, etc). The music stores have since closed down or transformed into media stores giving much more shelf space to DVDs, games and even books than CDs. I don’t think Toronto is a special circumstance, in fact the best selling places to get CD in retail in America are places like Wal-mart or Target. Have you tried looking for a CD there? I hope you only want to buy something from the chart.

I don’t think people are listening to less music now, but where are they getting their music? If they’re buying legally online, they only real options are to buy from iTunes, Amazon or the Zune marketplace. If they’ve replaced music stores, then those must be cash cows! Even then, I suspect people are buying singles now instead of entire albums.

So I am guessing that the RIAA threw in the towel and the music industry is really tanking. Even in the UK, where a lot of great music is still being created, the HMVs look like the ones in Canada – selling mostly video games and movies. But the difference is that their CDs are now cheap! Many CDs were 2 for £10 (I picked up La Roux, MJ’s Off The Wall, and James Morrison’s Songs for You, Truths for Me deluxe edition) and some were only £4 (like Michael Bublé’s Call Me Irresponsible, but I resisted buying Lady Gaga’s debut). That works out to about $16 and $5.40 taxes in! And if you can wait until you get into a duty free zone, it’s 17.5% cheaper! If the prices were like this in Canada, I’d buy a lot more (but then again I’m not the typical consumer). In fact it’s impulse buy territory. I bought James Morrison’s double CD without having listened to it before. I knew him from his duet with Nelly Furtado (although I had him confused with an adult contemporary singer, maybe James Taylor?) but recently I’ve been listening to his older single You Give Me Something and I like his music:


I was at HMV yesterday killing some time, and lucky for me I didn’t walk out of the store with my wallet a few hundred $ lighter! I still enjoy browsing HMV, even though their CD section is dwindling, now sharing space with DVDs (blu-ray, HD and the oldie variety), books, and video games. I don’t typically buy anything there anymore because it’s usually cheaper to buy online.

Ok side track. I used to do used CD crawls, but I haven’t been wasting time downtown in awhile so that event has gone the way of acne. But one night I was surfing randomly, and noticed that Amazon.ca’s used selection is sometimes reasonably cheap, even with the extra $3.50 added on for shipping. I bought Robyn’s self-titled, Kylie’s X and Fergie’s The Duchess for about $6 shipped to my door concierge. Here’s one of my faves, Kylie’s All I See

Anyways, I spent a lot of time in HMV because they had a killer deal. Buy 2 featured CDs and get a $15 iTunes gift card. I understand that they want to get luddites used to buying music online, but this deal is ridiculous. I can buy the latest CDs by Franz Ferdinand, Pink, Britney Spears, or Beyonce at $10 each and get 75% back.

There were a lot of other good deals; some recent CDs I’m interested in for 2/$20 and a lot of new greatest hits packages for only $8. At $8 a CD and with an increased disposible income, these CDs are in my impulse buy range. Now it’s only willpower and unwillingness to accumulate stuff that keeps my collection in check.

I ended up with (only) 3 CDs. Lenka’s self-titled, MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular, and Lily Allen’s It’s Not Me, It’s You. The first two were for the deal, and I’ve been looking to buy Lenka anyways. I don’t think MGMT was a good deal, but there weren’t any other CDs that I felt were worth buying since I had already been listening to most of them. I picked up Lily Allen because it was an awesome CD and I was just waiting for it to hit $10. Here’s MGMT’s Kids


Lately, I’ve been sampling Chinese CDs and finding catchy songs to rip to my CD collection. I don’t know any artists or songs so I’m really just picking them based on merit. So it was surprising to me the other day, that when I was looking through iTunes I found that most of the songs I ripped in my latest batch were by 楊千嬅 (hmm does my blog support Chinese characters?); and since I can’t read Chinese, Wikipedia revealed to be Miriam Yeung. I did some further searching on YouTube and found this song by hers which is pretty good

Then I went out this weekend and bought it on CD for $3! If the American music industry worked like this, then I would buy more stuff, but no, they have to charge upwards of $10 a CD.


What happened in 2008? Let’s get the big stuff out of the way: 1) Got married, 2) Moved out, 3) Went to France, Japan and California, 4) posted 222 blogs (60% of the days), 5) bought 45 CDs for $184.86, 6) went to TSO 6 times, and 7) only bought 1 camera and 1 lens (which was for my new camera so it doesn’t really count). Well that part was easy; the remaining small and subtle details are hard to summarize. If you’ve been reading my blog over the last year you’ll know what I’m up to! Here are some random moments and thoughts that serves as my attempt to phone in the yearly recap.

This was the year that environmentalism became the cause célèbre (and no, it’s not because I counted 170 Priuses while in California). Perhaps it was the gas prices that sky rocketed up to $1.30/L, or maybe enough people saw An Inconvenient Truth (I finally saw a bit of it on TV). This was the year that stores started selling (reusable) plastic bags for 5¢ or reusable cloth bags for $10. Companies started advertising their environmental goodwill so you can dispose your income on their excess.

A second year has passed working day in and day out at the same job. Those jokes of a four-month switch are long gone, yet it’s quite easy to fall into the rhythm of working. A couple of more blinks and 40 years will have passed by. Which is good and bad, because when things are uneventful, that means not a lot of (career) progress is happening.

This was the year that the first half-black American was voted in as President. Obama will have a lot to work through and I’m interested to see whether he will introduce real reforms into the financial industry. When I took Econ a few years ago, I was disappointed that I missed a chance of a lifetime to make millions in the stock market tech bubble. Little did I know that I would see another bubble where I could have made several magnitudes of fake money less than 10 years later. I missed my chance again. Will another opportunity appear in the next 5 years?

Half of the year was busy, with wedding planning on my mind during the day and occupying the weekend. A big, looming deadline which you cannot work towards was unhealthy as it kept occupying my time but I couldn’t execute on it. But once the wedding was done, I’m in the opposite state, without having to worry about kids running around or crisis situations at work.

My gaming platform of choice moved on from the Nintendo DS to the Xbox360. I don’t bring my DS out much anymore, unless I know for sure that I have to wait 30 minutes or more. One reason is because my friends don’t play as much, but it’s also because my narrow tastes have gone through the DS back catalog and played everything worth playing. I’m still working through the 360 back catalog, but all good things come to an end. Such as Warcraft, I finally stopped playing that after what 5 years?


After not really buying CDs for the last few years, I bought 21 CDs in Japan! That’s a lot in terms of space and weight – which meant we had to buy a new suitcase (which we filled to 22.6kg, 0.4kg short of the limit). I also ended up carrying 10kg of stuff in my backpack. At least the CDs weren’t expensive, I spent about $50CDN on those 21 CDs!

There were a lot of places around Japan selling second hand clothes, books, games, DVDs and CDs. They weren’t particularly cheap, except I guess they had inventory/space problems and only wanted to store recent, popular goods. One chain, Book Off was really cool because they had shelves of &165;250 CDs. These CDs weren’t even that old – you could find stuff from 5 years ago on there. I spent a good deal of time browsing and picking up singles that I enjoyed from the 00s, 90s, and 80s.

There were two neat thing about buying used CDs in Japan (aside from the cheapness): 1) they had a lot of dance music which I was into (and still enjoy) when I was younger, and 2) a lot of the CDs were “Japanese versions”. This was a bonus since Japanese release of American artists typically have an extra track or two. For example, I picked up the Japanese version of Michelle Branch’s Hotel Paper which contained the bonus track Smooth (the Santana & Michelle Branche song).


Back in Canada finally – will resume regular blogging hopefully shortly after I get through a mountain of photos, CDs and clothes. Can you believe I hauled 21 CDs (all Western artists) back from Japan? And I was being conservative.


Lately, I have been more and more inclined to buying singles off iTunes. I guess this has been a natural progression since my teen days, when I had enough time to go through the bargain bins at various used CD stores around downtown to search for the CDs that I had on “my list”. Eventually that evolved to being more patient about getting the CDs I wanted and just rummaging through the bargain bins when I had the opportunity. Now, I don’t really have any CDs on my list so I just look for bargains.

But over this time, I’ve used iTunes more and more, specifically for downloading singles (for free!). The old-old-school me, before I started buying CDs, really only cared about singles. CDs usually only had one or two worthy songs. I had since shifted to appreciating albums, but there are still many times where I only care about singles. Now that summer is around the corner, and the radio stations are starting to play the summer bombs, I have this itching feeling to buy all the songs I like to hear on iTunes. Yay for disposable income!


I was filing away the CDs I bought last year, and since I was in the midst of organizing my CD collection, I finished ripping Madonna’s Immaculate Collection. Previously, I had only ripped a couple of tracks I liked (Material Girl, La Isla Bonita, Like A Prayer), but now that I’ve started listening to the rest of Madonna’s 80s hits, I realize that it is really good music (or maybe it’s just the effect of listening to crappy music). A casual observer would claim nostalgia, but I didn’t grow up with this music, so it really is just good (like 80s Michael Jackson)!

Beirut’s Elephant Gun was #40 on Pitchfork’s Top 100 tracks of 2007, and one of like five tracks I actually heard before on the list. Beirut is a really weird band, as the instrumentation on their music generally consists of a banjo (or ukulele, I can’t tell the difference), accordian and trumpet; and sounds like polka music on first listen. But their songs are really good. On a more concentrated listen of Elephant Gun, I realized that the beginning of the song is amazing, almost shiver-when-you-hear-it quality. Here’s a high-res QT music video of Elephant Gun.


I didn’t do a whole lot of Boxing Day shopping yesterday, but I did make it to the HMV on 333 Yonge to peruse its dwindling CD section. Boy was I surprised to see that they were selling Radiohead’s latest, In Rainbows already! You’ve probably heard about the album because Radiohead decided to sell it online and downloaders could name their price. They are finally releasing it on retail CD on January 1st in North America, and December 31st in the rest of the world.

I had seen the HMV Boxing Week flyers, and they said they would be selling In Rainbows for $10 from January 2nd to the 9th, so I was counting on hitting the mall then to get it. But instead I had it yesterday, yippee. One neat thing is that it comes in a digipack which in the long run saves the environment (fewer CD cases and less space for shipping). What was neat was that the digipack came with stickers that you can stick on an existing CD case to make your own In Rainbows CD!


I’ve been on an eBay binge lately. It all started because I wanted to pick up some cheap MF prime lenses, then I remembered that I had several CDs on my list which I wanted to buy, but were hard to find (not because they were rare or OOP, but more so because no one wanted them!). I easily won auctions for those, but what pisses me off about buying CDs on eBay is that you typically have to pay $5-6 shipping. Then, for some reason during the Auto Show, I shorted out (or otherwise broke) my second battery for my camera, so I bought another. It was cheap too, about $10 including shipping.

I’m still wary of buying expensive things from eBay, I think the most expensive thing that I’ve bought is ~$100 for a laptop power pack. On the one hand I don’t want to get ripped off by scam artists, but I also don’t want to get nicked on custom fees. I think the limit is $40CDN (if they mark an item as gift), so I try and buy lots and lots of things less than $10. Surprisingly, a lot of useful knick-knacks can be found for cheap from China/HK. I, on a whim, looked up the Nikon remote to control my camera, and won one for about $10 shipped.

But being so cheap, it’s difficult to resist the temptation of clicking those Buy-It-Now buttons. I saw a rubber, screw-on lens hood that I barely resisted buying, and I almost bought replacement iPod ear buds. My headphone wires are stripping in sections because I keep folding them in the same manner, and being superficial, I don’t want to wear black ones (i.e. non-iPod ones) around. At least from the pictures, it looks as though the Chinese have ones that look exactly like the real ones (kind of like knock-off clothes I suppose).


I get so pissed off at Ticketmaster for its convenience fee, mostly because it’s only convenient in a we-can-charge-you-more-money-and-you-have-to-live-with-it way. Another example of this is that System Access Fee that Rogers charged, but at least I can get around it by using PayGo. I encountered yet another iteration of this stupid type of fee when I was ordering CDs off Best Buy.

In order to ship a CD to your home, you have to pay $1.50. Your alternative is to pick it up at the store, so you pay a buck fifty for not having to goto the store. OK great, so I add another CD to my cart to combine shipping, and what happens? I now have to pay $3 for shipping. That’s so dumb, can’t they put two CDs into an envelope and ship it together? Apparently not.


I did my usual Boxing day trip downtown today. I had scanned through all the deals/flyers already and basically knew what I was (and wasn’t) going to buy. I think there was a general agreement online that there weren’t a lot of deals anyways. Regardless I set my alarm and woke up by 7AM — with enough time to get downtown by 8AM.

Of course then I thought about it some more, and realized that there wasn’t really a point to go THAT early. The past few years I’ve done my boxing day “shopping” by 2PM anyways. So I slowly got ready and made it downtown by 8:45 or so. I had checked online and apparently Old Navy was giving out a free t-shirt to the first 200 people. They opened at 8 so I guess I wasn’t early enough.

I went to GAP first, no reason in particular aside from the fact that they were there. I (surprisingly) bought a fleece-ish zip-up for $14. Pretty I good deal I thought, but the funny thing was that no one was paying attention to the display until I lazily tried out “my size” right beside it. That apparently drew a crowd and that rack was ransacked. This was the only real deal I scored for going early.

I headed to HMV next, nothing I really wanted here either. They advertised door crashers were JLake and The Beatles “Love” for $6 each. The TV ad made it seem like there would only be 25 per store; but when I got to the HMV inside Eaton’s Centre, there were probably still 30-40 on the shelves. I ended up buying The Beatles disc because I had heard it was pretty interesting, being mashups and better produced than the original recordings. Although, I did download it and was not entirely impressed. But hey, I didn’t want to regret in the future that I didn’t buy it for $6 right?

I went over to the Best Buy flagship store next. I had an intended purchase in mind, World of Warcraft for $10. It’s regularly sold for $25 and includes a free month of play (worth $17) so I guess it’s a good deal. I also saw they had 14-day trial editions there for $1.99, which is the same deal you can get free online. I also picked up Ocean’s 11 for $4; it was a entertaining movie.

For the most part, I didn’t have to wait long for the lines; not more than 10 minutes. This was good because I was done all my “busy” stores. I proceeded to walk around Eaton’s Centre a bit and there was some craziness (mind you this was at 9:30AM). Roots had a 50% off everything sale and was packed, I went in to see what the commotion was about, and was blocked; not by people browsing but by people paying. I think their cashiers had problems since 75% of the people in the store were just lining up to pay. Abercrombie and its little brother Hollister also had retarded lines. And I mean retarded in that they had to prevent too many people from going in because their stores are retardedly dark and they didn’t want people falling over each other and suing the store.

I headed off to Henry’s next. I ended up buying a used Tamron 70-210mm AF lens for $50 with no tax! It’s slow as ass though, f/4-5.6. I was also tempted to get some filters for $10 each, but I didn’t really remember what filters I needed and whether they could achieve effects that I couldn’t do in Photoshop. So I didn’t get any. The funny thing was that if you go to the actual Henry’s store (as opposed to the outlet which I was in), you’d have to pay $40+tax for the same filters!

With that, I headed up Yonge to hit the CD stores. I picked up Sophie Milman’s self-titled debut for $7 and half off. This was actually kind of funny because she is a Russian-born Canadian jazz artist, and I found her in the Electronic section. I suspect that someone hid her CD there to take advantage of the upcoming boxing day deal later; the funny thing is that I wouldn’t have looked in the jazz section, and thus wouldn’t have bought it. I also saw the new U2 singles album for $8 + half off, which would be a great deal; but I’m ambivalent about U2.

After a couple of more stores, I ended up at Sonic Boom. These guys, for at least the second year in a row, did not have any Boxing day sales. I did end up getting the Guillemots’ From the Cliffs though. It’s an EP, and I was looking for their unreleased (in Canada) full-length album. It’s too bad, because I would probably rate the latter as the best album of this year.

And that’s it, I was back home by 1PM and didn’t even spend $100.


I had some free downloads at the iTunes store so I’ve been trying to figure out what songs to buy. I could either get the songs that I dig now, but haven’t bought on CD yet, or some classics (i.e. songs from a few years back that I dug) that I don’t have yet. I think that I would be happier getting the songs I like now because they’re fresh and new, but I may end up buying them on CD in the future and wasting my downloads.

The same could be said for the “classics”, I could find them in the bargain bin; so I’m now looking through my MP3 collection to see what singles I would probably never get on CD and downloading those, which perhaps may be the point of singles.


So at Pacific Mall, there’s this place where you can get 10 CDs for $20. Great deal no? so feeling adventurous, I intended to continue to my 2006 CD buying. First thing though, while the deal was 10 CDs for $20, each album was a 2 CD set, so what you were really getting was 5 albums for $20. Ok, not too bad, still a good deal. Oh yeah, you also had to buy 10 err 5, you couldn’t say pay more for fewer than five.

I had no doubts that these albums were of questionable legality, but they were cheap so worth the gamble. One that caught my eye was Now 20, promising “Best of 2006 Hits” (wow it’s from the future). It looked alright even though they listed Balck Eyed Peas, FAT MAN SCOOP [sic] and many songs featring artists, so I got it.

Once home, I queried Gracenote to see if these were actual CDs or not. To my surprise, it was actually Now 20. Popping the second disc in, it was actually pretty funny to see that it was a replica of Now 16! It was also about this time that I noticed the CDs weren’t even pressed, they were burned!

So onto the music itself, I was afraid that the people who made the discs simply burnt some MP3s onto CDs, as I wanted CD quality versions to rip. It is still inconclusive to me whether or not this is what they did since some of the tracks that I encoded had a suspiciously low average variable bit rate and sounded slightly worse than their 192kbps illegally ripped brothers from North America. But there were also some tracks that seemed to have a legitimately high average VBR. So I can’t tell.

Anyways, if you care about having good quality rips, it would be best to stay away from shady Chinese deals on CDs.


Bests

Best Movie: Batman Begins
Best Worst Idea of the Year: more school
Check my Top Music of 2005 for my music picks

Spending
$362.78 spent on CDs (28 new, 46 used)
$85.10 spent watching movies (7 hollywood, 2 indie)
$85.88 spent on DVDs (2 real, 10 bootleg)
78d 3h 24m 8s spent listening to iTunes (170 days, 13:43:14 total)

Significant Events

DQ stuff last Winter,
Various fourth year events (pictures),
Finally finished my undergrad degree,
Trip to San Francisco over Independence Day long weekend,
Writing my blogs with proper capitalization,

Resolution for the New Year
Ah I can’t think of a resonable goal that I would be able to reach. Oh wait I got one, how about next year I’ll try and put more effort into the 2006 round up.

Related:
Top Music of 2005
Year In Review: 2004
iTunes play time at the end of 2004


Top Singles of 2005
Going through my songs from this year, it was pretty difficult to find ones that I thought were catchy.

  1. Annie – Heartbeat
  2. Gwen Stefani – Cool
  3. Feist – Inside & Out
  4. Coldplay – Speed Of Sound
  5. Sum 41 – Pieces
  6. New Order – Krafty
  7. Franz Ferdinand – The Fallen
  8. Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone
  9. Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne Gacy Jr
  10. Jimmy Eat World – Work
  11. Kathleen Edwards – Back To Me
  12. The Decemberists – Sixteen Military Wives
  13. The Bravery – An Honest Mistake
  14. Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc
  15. Imogen Heap – Hide & Seek
  16. Embrace – Gravity
  17. Tegan & Sara – Speak Slow
  18. Kylie Minogue – I Believe In You

Top Albums of 2005

While I still bought CDs this year (however not as many), the pickings were pretty slim on albums that I thought were great and originally released in 2005. I’m not sure if any of these would even have made it on last year’s top 5 list. If I included albums I didn’t buy, then this list may be slightly different (although I try to buy the albums that I like).

  1. Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better
  2. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
  3. Kaiser Chiefs – Employment
  4. Coldplay – X&Y

Probably the best albums I bought this year weren’t even released in 2005. These were:

  1. The Stills – Logic Will Break Your Heart (2003)
  2. John Mayer – Room For Squares (2001)
  3. The Donnas – Gold Medal (2004)
  4. Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights (2002)
  5. Feist – Let It Die (2004)
  6. Damien Rice – O (2003)

Related: Top Music of 2004


I bought this CD from Future Shop online because it was a good price. Of course by the time I went to buy it, it was out of stock (I should hang out on the deal forums more often). Anyways, it’s been two weeks and they still haven’t stocked it yet (it is a popular CD) so I’m not sure if they’re just not honouring my order or not (the CD is not $7 more expensive, but still says out of stock).

Anyways, would you believe that I hadn’t bought any CDs since the middle of July until that one? That’s like three months. Crazy!


now that i’m back in the u.s.s.r., i’m going to try out your music. your music is like those old school music subscription services (you know, columbia house) except there’s no deal at the beginning. so why would i want to join it? well because you can buy cds without paying for a ridcuously high profit margin.

the catch is you have to buy at least one cd each month for $6 and you’re limited to the bmg catalogue. not too shabby since i’d probably spend more money at the local record store anyways (i know, i know, support your independent music stores).


after a pretty dry period in terms of cd buying, i’ve bought 17 cds in the last 10 days or so! that’s not a good trend is it? anyways the good news is that i shortened the list of cds i want by a couple of cds.

a few years ago, i was seemingly picking up a lot of cds from around 1995 at the used cd stores. now i think i’ve bought most of the cds i want from that era and have moved to the 1999-2001 period. i think it’s a matter of interest falling out from particular music styles and so people end up selling cds from that time to the used stores; for example now it’s pretty easy to pick up britney cds on the cheap.


if you’ve noticed that i’ve picked up the pace of blogging from oh once a week to almost once a day, then you’d likely want to know it’s because i’ve had assignments and midterms for the last and next little while. typical.

anyways, i went shopping for cds this weekend for the first time in awhile. picked up two discs that i’ve been meaning to get, jet’s get born and kylie’s fever. the kylie disc was a good deal cuz it was the special edition with a second disc full of cool remixes (like the fischerspooner mix of come into my world!). it was the same price as the normal version too. go figure.


top albums of 2004

1. franz ferdinand self titled
2. the killers’ hot fuss
3. ted leo & the pharmacists’ shake the sheets
4. keane’s hopes & fears
5. the thrills’ let’s bottle bohemia

top singles of 2004
this list was pretty hard to do because the songs are different and hard to rate against each other. also these songs are taken from a list of songs i first heard in 2004 (e.g. the strokes’ room on fire was released in 2003)
1. the strokes — 12:51
2. britney spears — toxic
3. the strokes — reptilia

4. franz ferdinand — take me out
5. jet — are you gonna be my girl?
6. maroon 5 — she will be loved
7. the thrills’ — whatever happened to corey haim?
8. dido — white flag
9. ashlee simpson — pieces of me

10. hilary duff — come clean
11. janet jackson — just a little while
12. enrique iglesias — not in love
13. kanye west — through the wire
14. avril lavigne — don’t tell me
15. d12 — my band

top movie of 2004: the incredibles, hero and shrek 2 are honorable mentions.

money spent on CDs: $477.60 over 90 CDs.
money spent on DVDs: $196.13 over 13 DVDs.
money spent on movies: $87.88 over 9 movies.

list (can’t rank em!) of cool experiences this year:

the “if you told me one year ago i wouldn’t have believed you” change of the year: music preference = indie rock now?!

new years’ resolution: (find time to) read more (but not on the web).

I expected all you bloggers to answer this “if you told me one year ago i wouldn’t have believed you” change of the year question on your blog too 😉


hey, i haven’t bought cds for like a week; so i bought another 10 more the last few days ;). i also checked out how much it would be to actually ship all this shit back up to toronto, and it’s like $30+ using USPS taking a month or two. UPS is another $30 on top of that. that sucks, maybe that’ll get me to stop buying?

we went down to fry’s on saturday morning, which if you don’t know is an electronics store. it was an interesting experience to say the least haha, i can’t really put the experience into words properly, you really have to check it out for yourself. anyways, fry’s is one of those big box electronics specialty stores like best buy or futureshop, except it’s huge. it’s like ikea, but for appliances, home theatre, dvds, cds, games (they let you play ddr on a a 50″ tv), cameras, camcorders, cellphones, cordless phones, normal phones, lcd monitors, lcd projectors (i played doom3 on one, cool), cd players, mp3 players, computers, computer components, mice, keyboards, motherboards, processors, computer cases, electronic grand pianos, robots, rc cars, other electronic toys, plus a million other things. you get the picture. the crazy thing is that even the most stupidest thing, like say keychain flashlights or hard drives have their own aisle. it’s like paradise for a tech geek; they even have a cafe in there (where we ate lunch at so does that make us geeks?).

on sunday, it was one of the 55 days of sunshine seattle gets per year, so we headed up to the seattle space needle. the space needle is 605 ft (whereas the cn tower is like 1800+) so it wasn’t very tall. anyways, it was actually TOO nice of a day because you couldn’t really see anything without being blinded by the sun. anyways, they had all these annoying wires in the way so it was difficult to take pictures, but i did take a few. check ’em out.

after that we went up to u district to check out the university of washington. we decided to go sooner rather than later because we figured we would be pretty depressed if we a not too bad looking campus and then had to return to waterloo. anyways, it was pretty nice in that there were a lot of grassy open areas with tall trees and vintage buildings (whether they’re real or made to look old is another question). although i’m not sure if it is a lot better than any other universities since waterloo sucks and u of t is in the city so it’s different.

we had some dinner at the cheesecake factory. it’s milestones style with um, well entrees are like $15-$20 USD so i don’t know how that compares with canadian restaurants. their menu is huge, and covers all sort of style from asian to american (steak), seafood, hamburgers, pizza, pasta, etc. basically a super restaurant. the food wasn’t half bad either, which was good because one of my roommates kept hyping it up. here’s my funny story of the night. i wanted to order the fish of the day, except the waiter came back and said they didn’t have anymore halibut left. so i ordered miso salmon, then she came back sorry no salmon left! so then i asked what fish DO they have? and well, it turns out they didn’t have ANY fish. wtf? i live on the pacific and there’s no fish? that was disappointing.


of course, the first thing that i do now that i’m in seattle without furniture & etc is to look for cds. i bought 8 cds for a grand total of $14.14USD. awesome, here’s my catch:

  • 98 degrees’ 98 degrees and rising
  • donna lewis’ now in a minute
  • sash!’s it’s my life
  • az yet’s selftitled
  • brian mcknight’s anytime (do i already have this?)
  • christina aguilera’s my kind of christmas
  • whitney houston’s selftitled
  • cher’s believe

it seems that store wanted to get rid of old music which is great for me!