Stuff I Like

So now that I’ve had a few days of content, I feel like stepping back to list the different sorts of things that I’m interested in. I’m sure this list will evolve over time (what’s the point of having an unfocused review blog unless I maintain that lack of focus?), but here is a snapshot of my interests at the present.

  • Music: I buy 60-80 CDs per year, mostly in the punk and country genres. Note that when I say “country”, I’m referring to classic country or the modern alt-country movement; I think that the stuff played on country radio today is the most soulless music being made. (A few years ago, I also had to clarify that I liked “real” punk music, but since the pop-punk movement has died down over the past few years, that’s not much of an issue any more.) I also listen to some indie rock. I enjoy hearing new sounds and ideas (hence the title of this blog), and that’s where I usually find them. But indie music tends to be ephemeral. When a band’s main draw is its novelty, it usually gets boring after a couple months, but I’ll still return to a good country or punk album for years.
  • Books: I’m coming off of a period of not reading nearly enough novels. My library is mostly fantasy and sci-fi stuff, but as I start to feel caught up on my to-read pile, I hope to branch out a little more. For the most part, I’m bored with books that feel like they’re just re-hashing the stories I read as a child, but genre-bending authors like China Miéville and Gene Wolfe keep my interest alive.
  • Comics: The comics I read are split about evenly between superhero stuff and “independent” titles.  (I use the word “independent” cautiously, because most of it is still from imprints of Marvel and DC, or from the bigger “front of Previews” companies. But other comic book readers tell me I’m dipping into crazy independent waters with those, so I guess that’s the accepted term.) I’m not going to update this blog about every comic I read, because I already have a dedicated Twitter account where I comment on each one. I imagine that I’ll turn to this blog when I have something especially substantive to say about a graphic novel, or when I feel like doing a retroactive review of a full series.
  • Movies: I’m not a heavy movie-goer. Probably 5-10 a year in theaters, and almost none at home. When I do see movies, I definitely plan to review them. Just don’t expect the kind of perspective that I’d have if I saw movies as often as I read books.
  • Games: I’m a big fan of board games, usually in the Euro-game category. (“Euros” have come to dominate the board gaming culture in the past decade, with their focus on balanced rules, games that last a predictable length of time, and nice-looking boards and pieces. In general, players always feel like they have something to do, instead of just waiting around after it’s become obvious that they are going to lose.) I’m not sure yet how I’ll mix this commentary into my blog, because most of it will probably assume that the reader has knowledge of the popular games, common mechanics, and the vocabulary of other gamers. But I’ll figure that out as I go along.
  • Computer Games: Sorry, I hardly ever play computer games any more. I often wish that I could play them as often as I used to, but I never make them a priority when it comes down to allocating my time. The one exception is iPhone games – they take a few minutes and are available at times that I can’t easily read books and browse websites. I’ll play other computer games occasionally, but expect articles like “Hey, I finally got around to that Portal game everyone was talking about.” The one sub-category that I’m hoping to spend more time on is:
  • Adventure Games: I used to love adventure games. Especially text adventures (so much so that I regularly threw around the phrase “interactive fiction” in my college years). My plan is to start playing these more regularly, in both graphic and text form. It’s too early to say if I’ll succeed at this, but I do have one review lined up for the near future…
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