Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I get Rob Brezsny's horoscopes in my email every week, and I usually just skim them and don't pay a lot of attention, but this one struck my imagination last night. It isn't even my sign, it's for Capricorn:

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): From an astrological point of view, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to start a band and record an album. Your creativity is waxing, your attunement with the right side of your brain is especially sweet, and you will benefit immensely from anything you do to become less of a spectator and more of a participant. To jumpstart the process, go to Wikipedia and click on "random article." That's the name of your band. Then go to and click on "random page." The last few words of the last quote on that page will be your album's title. Finally, go to and choose a photo to be your CD cover. Or, if you don't like what's there, click on the link for "Get more interesting photos for the last 7 days." (My band is Widemouth Blindcat, our album is "More Time for Dreaming," and our cover art is a spiral staircase from here:

So I did the exercise. Mine:

Band name: To Traverse Water (an opera by Tasmanian (Australian) composer Constantine Koukias)
Album name: Collecting Happiness (Quote: When we are collecting books, we are collecting happiness. - Vincent Starrett)
Album Cover: This image

Apropos of nothing, my current favorite song that I forgot about for awhile: "California Stars," written by Woody Guthrie and arranged and performed by Billy Bragg and Wilco, from the album, "Mermaid Avenue."

Current favorite iPhone app: Pocket God. I had seen advertisements for it, but it didn't seem all that interesting. Then on Saturday morning I was browsing the App Store and saw that they had dropped the price to 99 cents, so I went ahead and bought it. It's actually pretty fun, and very clever. You get an endless supply of "islanders" that you drop on your island, and then torture in various ways, like dropping them in the ocean to be eaten by a shark, striking them with lightning, etc.

You can also be benevolent and give them a coconut (which usually bonks them on the head) to eat, or giving them a fishing pole so they can fish (and about half the time they catch the shark, which tows them off the island).

You can change the weather, cause the sun to set and come up, cause violent storms; at night you can call a vampire bat to bite an islander, then that islander bites all of the others. It's actually a lot of fun. With the latest update, you can name the islanders, so it sort of takes on the aspect of a voodoo doll. Completely pointless and a total time waster, but fun.

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