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Vinyl Addict

October 9th, 2020 Comments off

Near the end of August, I started thinking about how crazy it was that I had an entire box of records, mostly from The Cure, but no record player. I have never owned one despite acquiring the majority of my collection in the mid 90’s, one of which was new and unopened (Mixed Up).

Cure Vinyl - Albums

Cure Albums

Cure Vinyl - Singles

Cure Singles

This train of thought was prompted by this year’s Record Store Day special picture disc releases of Seventeen Seconds and Bloodflowers which I learned about the day before RSD. I decided I’d like Seventeen Seconds, but was on the fence about Bloodflowers since even though I don’t own a copy on vinyl, it’s really not my favorite album. It was a moot point, however, when we arrived at Kiss The Sky in Batavia and were told all the copies had sold out, and quickly, according to the owner.

Before we arrived, my attitude was it wasn’t a big deal if I couldn’t get my hands on the special releases, but once I was told they were gone I was surprised at how sad I felt. As we drove home, Joe suggested I call a record store closer to us, Mile Long Records, in Wheaton. I hadn’t even considered them because of how busy they get on Record Store Day. Plus I read some negative reviews about the owner. But I called anyway, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that they had several copies of both albums still available even though it was noon by that time.

Record Store Day

At Joe’s urging I ended up getting both albums.

Record Store Day Cure Picture Discs

I shared my excitement on social media and a couple people questioned why I would get them if I had no means of listening to them. I’ve fielded that question before and stated I like collecting the records for the artwork, which is true. In fact, I had no plans to ever open those two records. But then I started reminiscing about the records we’d listen to all the time growing up. I decided I didn’t want my collection to turn into that situation where you have special dishes no one ever uses because they’re too “special”. So, I started researching turntables. After a week of looking at used record players, I decided to buy a new one from Target. Nothing fancy, mind you, but one with a built-in preamp so I could hook it up to our existing stereo system.

Turntable

I’m really liking it, and don’t think I’ll really need anything fancier in the future, but you never know. It looks good in our existing audio cabinet. I removed our old Disney honeymoon memorabilia and shifted the PS4 down a shelf so the record player could go on top with plenty of room to lift the cover up.

Audio Cabinet

After that it was off to the races. Over the course of two weekends we visited a few record stores because I missed the thrill of the hunt like back in the day before Spotify let you listen to whatever you wanted at any time.

At Mile Long Records again I got No Jacket Required by Phil Collins (which was the first CD I ever purchased) and The Head On The Door by The Cure (new), which the owner put aside when I messaged him on Facebook letting him know I was searching for it. Turns out he’s actually really nice and a Cure fan himself, which is why he had so many copies of their releases on Record Store Day.

At Algonquin Records we found multiple gems: Michael Jackson’s Thriller (new), Sports by Huey Lewis and The News, and We Are The World, and I got the Big Time single by Peter Gabriel from a shop called Record Wonderland in Roselle.

New Albums

They also had the pink/purple vinyl of Friday I’m in Love single by The Cure for $40 (which I already own).

Since then I’ve only picked up one more record – Dancing On The People by Sofi Tukker, which was another Record Store Day release recently (there are three RSDs this year). Mile Long Records didn’t order that one, however, so I ordered it directly form the artist’s website.

Dancing On The People by Sofi Tukker

It was only $18 which was nice since the other RSD releases were $27 (Seventeen Seconds) and $37 (Bloodflowers). I also got a copy on CD because I have their other albums and I want to support them.

We haven’t gone to any record stores since mid September because it was quickly adding up. We did peruse the available LPs at Half Price Books recently, however. Shockingly, they did have a Cure title (The Top) but it was $30 and the jacket was in poor condition. I already own it anyway, and my copy is in much better shape.

Speaking of jackets, however – I don’t plan on buying picture discs in the future if I can help it. I love The Cure’s album artwork and the picture discs just leave a hole in the jacket. I dunno, I like the classic record look better. In any case, I only need the following albums to complete my Cure collection now:

Wish (1992)
Wild Mood Swings (1996)
The Cure (2004)
4:13 Dream (2008)

I’m not a big fan of those last two AT ALL, so it will be awhile before I get them unless I find them for a good price used. Wish is currently out of print so that’s going to be a tough one unless Robert Smith decides to finally do a reissue. Fingers crossed! I have a soft spot for that album since it was their first new release after I got into them.

Categories: Music Tags:

All The Recommendations

October 2nd, 2020 Comments off

I’m sure we’ve all been watching a lot more shows and whatnot since being on lockdown, so here’s some particular great stuff I recommend.

Amazon Prime
Upload – IMDB synopsis: A man is able to choose his own afterlife after his untimely death by having his consciousness uploaded into a virtual world. As he gets used to his new life and befriends his angel (real world handler) questions about his death arise.

Instagram/Twitch
If you don’t know who Sofi Tukker is, then I don’t know you! They are only one of the greatest music-producing duos I’ve ever heard, and they’ve been performing a live DJ set of amazing music (theirs, and other songs as well) every day since the lockdown started over 200 days ago. I’ve been tuning in nearly every day because they never cease to put a smile on my face.

Sofi Tukker

Sofi Tukker


Netflix

High Score – Did you know Space Invaders were based off sea creatures? It makes so much sense in retrospect. This documentary about how video games came to be is fascinating, particularly from someone who grew up with Atari and the original Nintendo.

The Last Hangover – if you’re religious and take it too seriously than this might not be for you, but I thought it was hilarious.

The Last Hangover

Ozark – We kept hearing great things about this series and it had been languishing on my watch list for a very long time. Too long, in fact. Once we got past the second episode it was off to the races and we blew threw three seasons in about two weeks. It really sucks you in!

The Umbrella Academy – Same situation as Ozark, although not quite as good, but still very binge-worthy despite my deep distaste for Ellen Page. I can’t even tell you why I hate her, I just do. I’m not really a fan of the character Luther either, but Number Five makes up for any other flaws in this series.

Podcasts
Fake Doctors, Real Friends – If you watch(ed) and loved the series Scrubs, then you must check out this podcast! They go off topic a lot but it’s always quite entertaining. Both Zach Braff and Donald Faison are endearing. I’ve started re-watching Scrubs for the umpteenth time so each episode is fresh in my mind when I listen to the corresponding podcast EP. I forgot how great the show is and it nearly always tugs at my heartstrings. It’s also very homophonic though!

FDRF

The God Pod – I swear God is actually Seth Rogan, but I can’t prove it. In any case, it’s pretty entertaining listening to him rip on stupid humans and our embarrassing president (who just announced he has COVID but will probably be fine which will just reinforce in his mind that it’s not a big deal).

TikTok
Ducky the Yorkie – This is one of the cutest dogs I’ve ever seen in my entire life. If you’re having a bad day just watch one of his videos and if you’re not smiling afterward you’re dead inside.

General Music/Movie Recommendations

New Order recently released a new song, Be a Rebel, and I’m loving it. Takes me back to their earlier work, or more specifically, to their side project, Electronic, whom I also love. I hope they release more new material soon!

Speaking of sound-alikes, if you’re into The Cure, and their album Faith in particular, then check out The Bleak Engineers. They only have one album out so far, but what a great one! I have listened to it several times since stumbling upon it.

The Room is a Shudder (a horror movie streaming service) original movie that was quite enthralling to watch Tuesday night. Probably less scary than the presidential debate, that’s for sure! We don’t have Shudder, btw, but found the movie at the library of all places. This makes me hopeful they’ll also get Host at some point because it sounds good!

Categories: Media, Music, TV Tags:

Completed Projects (05/25-06/07)

June 10th, 2020 Comments off

Reorganized the freezer and pantry. I am especially pleased with the freezer because I’ve wanted to make it easier to find and remove things forever but the narrow shelves made that next to impossible. Thanks to TikTok, though, I found the perfectly sized containers at none other than The Container Store.

Organized Freezer

Now I’m just working on finding the best labeling process for the bins. As you can see in the photo, I’m testing a few options.

Label Option 1 Label Option 2

For the bins with several items, I can’t see using a general label as much, as I want to know exactly what’s inside. For the bins that are all chicken or beef, though, I can use the new Dollar Tree sticky labels I found. I think I will use my label maker, however, so they look nicer since I don’t have the best penmanship.

Sorted through and categorized all our paper manuals so everything is easy to find.

Reorganized closet in the former rat room, now Joe’s office.

A month or so ago I used the Discover cash back to buy Groupon bucks and ordered a couple of cabinet shelves as well as a sink organizer. I hate the latter. It is so annoying!

Groupon Sink Organizer

I ended up boxing it up and plan to give it to my step-daughter if she wants it. I am now using this set up instead and prefer it because either way water collects at the bottom of any container I use and it’s easier to pour out of the pot vs. the organizer that has a piece that slides out if you don’t hold it the correct way.

Sink Organization

Plus I prefer the look of the planter better anyway. I would love for Savers to re-open so I could find another planter since I like using this one for fake flowers in the house.

I was cleaning the cold air return in the dining room one day when I realized that while, yes, it was dirty, the paint was also yellowed, so no matter how clean it was it still wouldn’t look like it. I bought a can of white spray paint and quickly remedied that issue. Now it looks brand new. Of course there’s no before photo because I always forget to take one!

The garage in general is more organized that ever, although we still have a lot of stuff. We did free up a couple of “under the bed” organizers that never actually fit under our bed, so were in the garage. I used two of them to store my fake flowers and one to hold party supplies. Because they are so lightweight I can store them at the top of the shelf by the door and not kill myself trying to get them down.

I went through my Cure memorabilia and put all the LPs in the special vinyl box I ordered from The Container Store.

Vinyl Storage

I went through the magazines and clippings and put them in clear plastic pockets in a binder, and moved the t-shirts and cassette tapes elsewhere, thus freeing up a storage tote I can use in the garage for other things. I also came across Cure posters, as well as other posters, in the garage.

Robert Smith Poster The Cure Poster

Yin Yang PosterGlow Poster

I took them out of the tubes they were in and combined them all in one very wide tube that I also put my Cure calendars in.


Cure Calendar (1993)

Cure Calendar (1995)

Cure Calendar (2009)

Because of all the organizing, we are now up to six large boxes in the garage waiting for Savers to open so we can donate them.

Pending Donations

If they don’t open soon we will either donate them to Goodwill or post them on a free site.

Categories: House & Home, Media, Music, Photos Tags:

Poison Concert

June 11th, 2018 Comments off

Saturday we went to see Poison live at the venue in Tinley Park (currently called Hollywood Casino Amphitheater). I did my due diligence and checked the website to see what we could bring in and still got screwed when we arrived at the gate because the list posted there was not the same. They said empty refillable water bottles were allowed but they didn’t specify they can’t be aluminum.

After a trip back to the car to leave my bottle, we once again got in line and since the idiot checking bags only looked in the main compartment of my backpack, we were able to sneak in three water bottles even though the sign stated one per person (Joe had the other two). Of course, they made us open both water bottles they knew about and confiscated the caps because they are assholes. Seriously, WTF? They are SO worried about littering that they also don’t give lids or straws with any drinks you order either. So… we had to carry around our bottles of water we weren’t yet ready to drink and make sure not to spill them. God, I hate that place!

Unfortunately we’ll be back there in late July for another concert so I’m going to sneak in bottle caps just because I can. Screw them. Also, there’s going to be littering no matter what they do – someone left a half-empty container of nachos and their drink on the stairs leading up to the lawn area when there’s garbage cans right there. Did anyone working at the venue clean it up? Nope. It was there for a good hour at least. SMH

Anyway, we had purchased seats way in the back so I wasn’t prepared to have my ears nearly blown out by the opening act, Pop Evil. I think I might have enjoyed their music better if I wasn’t worried the tinnitus in my right ear was going to get worse.

After they left the stage we decided to move to the lawn area (we brought a blanket just in case) where the sound for the next act, Cheap Trick, was much better even if I only recognized one of the songs they played.

It wasn’t until after 9 pm before Poison took the stage. They were good, though, and I knew more than one song which was nice. I had just returned to a trip to the furthest away bathroom (because the one closest to the seating had a ridiculous line all evening) when they had just started Unskinny Bop which we were hoping they’d play. By that point it was after 10 pm so I decided to google their previous set lists for the tour to see if we could gauge how much longer they’d be playing. From what I could tell after the guitar and drum solos they were only going to play Every Rose Has It’s Thorn so we decided to leave. We patted ourselves on the back for beating everyone to the lot and being able to exit without a long wait.

Now when I check the set list I see we missed the one song we had hoped they play – Nothin But A Good Time. Son of a!!! Plus they played a two-song encore after that! Kinda pissed about that, but what can you do? I’ll need to do my research ahead of time or just suck it up and stay til the end and deal with waiting out all the people to leave.

We were pretty exhausted Sunday so all we did was watch My Name Is Earl ALL DAY LONG. Seriously, we pretty much watched the entire 1st season. I forgot how good that show is!

Categories: Excursions, Music Tags:

February 13th, 2017 Comments off

After my doctor visit Friday (2/10), I did a little shopping. One of my stops included Party City where I snagged this cute bunny cutout for 99 cents and this St. Patrick’s Day sign for $1.99. Both are for the front door.

Easter Bunny

St Patricks Day sign

I wanted to get a nicer Easter sign but they all had glitter on them which looks nice at first but makes a mess in the storage bins, not to mention eventually wears off.

I made a few other stops to grab some stuff for Joe for Valentine’s Day as well.

Friday night we watched Neighbors 2 which I thought was better than the first one.

Saturday morning we went to the arboretum for their Chocolate Expo and spent about $30 on goodies.

Flat Bottom Pretzels Chocolates

Marmie's Chocolates

1st photo: jalapeƱo chocolate covered Slim Jims, a mint Oreo, cherry bombs, pretzels, chocolate covered Bullseyes.

2nd photo: dark chocolate toffee and an oversized turtle.

We tried everything so far except the pretzels and the turtle. The toffee is always good, the bullseyes were just ok, the mint Oreo was awesome, as were the Slim Jims. I think Joe really liked the cherry bombs too but I didn’t just because I’m not a fan of twizzlers.

We stopped at Chipotle for lunch and then went home to pick up Wookie to take her to Petsmart for their special Puppy Love event. She met some dogs and people and seemed to react better than last time. She also got some free treats!

Petsmart Swag

In addition, I bought her an Easter toy. I love that the free Greenie’s she got are worth $10! We won’t be giving those to her until she’s 6 months old, however.

We signed her up for their 6-week puppy training course which starts next Saturday. I think she’s going pretty great with her training overall, but she could definitely use more socialization and it will be interesting to learn what we are and aren’t doing right with her too.

Sunday we did some grocery shopping super early in the morning. I couldn’t sleep so we found ourselves at Meijer just after 7 am.

We went to an 11 am showing of The LEGO Batman Movie which was, as expected, awesome! I can’t get enough of how cute and clever the LEGO movies are, and even though I’m not into the series, after seeing the preview I’m really looking forward to The LEGO NINJAGO Movie as well.

We made a stop at home to feed Wookie and then went to Beef Shack for lunch and then to Fermilab for their open house. However, once we got there and learned it was just science experiments set up for kids in this one building we’ve already visited before, we left. I thought we would be able to see the offices/labs in Wilson Hall so that was disappointing. I think it was a bit misleading to call it a open house vs a special event.

We wrapped up the weekend by watching The Grammys. I don’t know what the deal was with Beyonce but I couldn’t stand her so-called performance. She acts as if she’s the only woman who has ever been pregnant. It just reeked of self importance and it made me look away. I’ve never been a huge fan but she’s really rubbing me the wrong way lately. In contrast, I did like Lady Gaga performing with Metallica even if James’ mic wasn’t working. My favorite performance, however, was the tribute to the Bee Gees. Growing up my parents had a record player and a limited number of albums, one of them being Saturday Night Fever. We listened to it a lot so along with Creedence Clearwater Rival and the Carpenters, so the Bee Gees hold a special place in my heart even though I don’t really listen to their music very often.

Categories: Excursions, Movies, Music, Pets, Photos, Shopping Tags: