Friday, August 21, 2009

Things I like about moving to the city in bullet point format

We are about to come to agreement on a house in Minneapolis. My wife and I have been suburbanite dwellers for the last 7 years in Eagan. We're not terribly far from anything, about a 20-30 minute drive with no traffic to both downtowns. But we've been looking at doing something different.

So here goes:
  • no sprawl
  • Walking distance to coffee shops, bars, restaurants, other shopping establishments
  • City Wifi
  • Less driving to the places I go normally
  • Public Transit within a few blocks that runs til late at night
  • Closer to my friends that live in the city (most of them)
  • being able to potentially own one car
  • diversity
  • city has better web site, with more public access
  • save money on gas, still viable at higher gas prices
  • don't feel as isolated
  • houses/neighborhoods have way more charm/character
  • near one of the best urban bike trail systems in the country
  • a short bus ride to downtown or light rail
I'm sure I could go on and on.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Infinite What?

So I'm going to try and play catchup with Infinite Jest this weekend. I'm about 200-300 pages behind but I've got a weekend relatively free of obligation.

It's mostly been moving, looking at houses and activities supporting those things which have occupied my time the last few weeks. But I also have another time waster.

I've been a fan of Big Brother for a number of years, I watched bits and pieces of it the first few years it was on, but really got into it starting in Season 8. I've been an avid watcher of the TV show and followed along with various blogs about the goings on of the show. I decided to take the plunge a week and half in and get the live feeds for the season. It was only 40 bucks for the whole season, about 2 months, and honestly, not that expensive comparatively speaking.

So, I'm coming clean about the fact that there's some nights I'd rather watch a bunch of strangers locked up in a mock house on a studio lot in Los Angeles then read. And that has also contributed to my lackluster showing in #infsum.

I'd been reading accounts of the live feeds and people kept saying that it was a completely different experience to watch them in conjunction with the TV show, and that is an accurate assertion. This year they also have added the flashback functionality which allows you to go back into the archives and watch old footage. This is useful particularly when there's not a whole lot going on live. There's also a whole host of web sites that provide minute by minute blows and summaries of what's been going on, so you can go back and watch.

It sounds really crazy, but it's strangely addictive, and you get to know the people. There's this theory of them being edited in certain ways for the TV show and it's totally true - there are sides to these people that they don't show too much on TV. It's hard to compress 100+ hours of house time per week into 3 hours.

All in all, it's a highly enjoyable activity and one that I'm not regretting. There's a constant source of entertainment that rarely gets boring, and can be done while doing other activities on the computer, etc.