“Master of Puppets I'm pulling your strings –
Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams –
Blinded by me, you can't see a thing –
Just call my name, 'cause I'll hear you scream.”
- Metallica, “Master of Puppets” (video below)
OK, so those aren't the most cheerful lyrics to start a post – but since today’s topic is addictions, they seemed perfectly appropriate.
Earlier this month, Pamela tagged me to do the list of five addictions, which only posed a problem in that I have so dang many to choose from. Eventually, after eliminating the, um … “adult oriented” ones and ranking the others by a weighted scoring system, I came up with my list. God bless you if you think I’m kidding.
So in no particular order, here we go:
1. Death Magnetic: As much as I immerse myself in music, my method of audio delivery remains somewhat old-school. For example, my car features a mere single CD player. Every so often, I’ll keep the same disc spinning over and over again, because there isn’t anything else that would justify the effort of manually switching the CDs.
Within that framework, you can better appreciate what I’ll say next: last November, I put Metallica’s new album into the car CD player, and it has remained there ever since.
Honestly, it took me somewhat by surprise; I was one of those who thought Metallica’s best days were behind them. About three songs into the new CD, I distinctly remember thinking, “Holy cow – this is the real Metallica again!” The best songs on the disc are as good as anything they’ve ever written, and the 75-minute album is remarkably strong from start to finish.
Also, two related notes on this topic: 1) To many people, Metallica’s high water mark was 1986’s Master of Puppets, whose title track is a harrowing description of cocaine addiction (see how these topics tie together?), and is performed in a live video below that is definitely not for the easily offended. And - because I’m generous about these things - the band’s first video from Death Magnetic is linked below; it’s eerily similar in style and content to their first-ever video (for One) that was released in 1989.
(I know, I’m off to a rambling start – I’ll try to keep the others shorter … )
2. Diet Pepsi: I’ve alluded several times to my sleep deprivation issues – but for whatever reason, I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker. That’s why I give thanks every day to the man who created Diet Pepsi.
From a sleepy runner’s standpoint, it’s almost the perfect concoction: a caffeinated drink that tastes fantastic and has zero calories. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you how much of this stuff I drink on a daily basis.
Sometimes I’m afraid that I’m so hooked on this soda, that if for some reason it ever went off the market, I’d throw about 2 weeks of detoxes before staggering around incoherently and checking myself into Sober House so I can cry with Dr Drew and Amber Smith. Yes, I worry about these things sometimes.
3. Lost: OK, it’s a time travel show now. It’s geeky science fiction run amok. I normally don’t fall for these genres – but I’m along for the ride wherever (or whenever?) this series ultimately takes us.
Obviously, I can’t begin to do justice to the amount of complexity and intrigue at the heart of this show that appeals to me – but a couple of anecdotes might illustrate just how far in the tank I am for Lost nowadays: 1) I’ve come to think of Doc Jensen as a dear family member who I welcome into my house two or three times per week, and 2) on Valentine’s Day, I got my wife a box of chocolates with a gun hidden underneath. And if neither of those things make sense to you, don’t worry about it … I won’t waste your time trying to explain it all here.
(Before you ask – it was a toy gun. But only because I couldn’t afford a real one.)
4. Drymax socks: At one point, I was contractually obligated to tell you all about Drymax because they were generous enough to provide me some products to review (see review on right sidebar). Well, that was several months ago … and I’m still crazy about these socks. In fact, they’re the only brand I’ve worn ever since I got my hands on them.
We’ve had a couple weeks of heavy rain here, and I’ve done several recent runs through muddy, sloppy conditions – including all kinds of puddles and stream crossings - without any foot or blister issues at all. It’s gotten to the point that whenever I overhear someone talking about socks, I blurt out “Do you know about Drymax?” before going into some little spiel. A few of my training partners have tried them as well, with good results; when it comes to these socks, I’m like the Pied Piper of Carmel Valley lately.
Just take my word for it: try Drymax socks. You can thank me later.
Finally - this is somewhat off-topic, but I’m going to switch directions a bit with this last item …
5. NOT Facebook
This is probably going to sound crass … but I simply don’t understand the widespread fascination with Facebook. I’ll admit that it’s a pretty awesome social networking device - and yes, I’ve got a page there, and I’ll even be your friend if you want to track me down … but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why so many people are so freakishly compulsive about this site, especially when it comes to the minutiae.
I mean … I have friends that I probably wouldn’t recognize on the street if I tripped over them. I don’t honestly care if Susie is in a cheeseburger mood tonight. Getting a superpoke doesn’t necessarily brighten my day. And I’m not interested in joining the People Who Think Pluto Should Still Be A Planet. Really now - aren’t there better ways for me to waste my time? Besides, I thought that’s what blogging was for.
I guess my point here is, if you find me on Facebook somehow, that’s cool – drop me a note if you want to add to your friend tally. But if you really want to earn my friendship, here’s what you do: take me to a drive-thru for a tall Diet Pepsi, so we can talk about Lost plot twists and listen to Metallica CDs in the car while we’re waiting.
After all, these addictions don’t feed themselves – and I’m always on the lookout for a good enabler.
On to the musical portion of the post! My original intent was to embed the first video from Death Magnetic, called “The Day That Never Comes,” in this post. However, Metallica is notoriously protective of redistribution of their content (remember the Napster fiasco?) - so if you want to watch it, you have to click here.
However, since I don't want to leave you completely empty-handed - and just in case you’re completely obsessive like me – here’s a live version of “Master of Puppets”, filmed when Metallica were at the height of their powers in the late 1980s. Fair warning: it’s filled with plenty of F-bombs (both spoken and visual), so viewer discretion is advised. It’s definitely a hardcore scene – but when I was a teenager, there was no other environment I would rather have been in. Sometimes I wonder how many of the idiots in these crowds are also wearing a tie and sitting behind a desk somewhere today; I know I can't be the only one. (Click to play)
February 18, 2009
“Master of Puppets I'm pulling your strings –