Halo 2

I’ve gotten a slew of emails today asking if I was nerdy enough to camp outside Best Buy last night to be the first in line to purchase Halo 2 on its release date… Surprisingly, I was not.

I did however pick up a copy today on my lunch break. This was after I had gone online to check the inventory and availability at local retailers. You see, I was on a mission of infinite dorkiness, and I used all the tools at my disposal.

On my drive to Best Buy I viewed every car in front of me as the potential individual that would purchase the last copy before I got into the store. This made it easier on my conscience to justify running them off the road. What if I missed out on the last copy? What am I capable of? I began to prepare myself for what my reaction would be in case this scenario played out…

Would I:
a) Drive to another store and repeat the process indefinitely.

b) Attempt to snatch a copy from a 14 year old in line at the register and have him subsequently kick my ass.

c) Realize that a video game could never provide true happiness.

d) Curse the fact that I failed to put my Zillion Dollar Idea of bulk purchasing 500,000 copies of Halo 2 and undercutting retailers by selling them directly from my home into motion. (Btw, this is an actual idea I came up with. I even created spreadsheets crunching the numbers and sought advice from web developers. I could have been so rich by now it’s not even funny.)

e) Come to grips that I wouldn’t be the first person on my block to own the most highly anticipated video game in history.

f) Take a deep breath, crack my knuckles, and begin an epic killing spree…

As I walked into the store, contemplating all of these options, I was relieved to find they had an ample stock on hand. Aside from having to put up with a sales associate trying to up sell me the collector’s edition, with a DVD documenting the making of Halo 2, it was virtually a hassle free experience. (On a side note, I took great offense that the sales associate thought I was nerdy enough to be interested in watching a documentary about the creation of a video game. This is a new low for me.)

Aside from posting these thoughts on Zillionaire on company time, I also took the opportunity to read through the instruction manual for Halo 2 at my desk. Needless to say, I will not be receiving the coveted “Employee of the Decade Award” anytime soon. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any mention of a flamethrower being added to the weapons arsenal, one of the rumored improvements in the sequel. They did however add a laser sword, so maybe that makes up for it. I’ll have to give it some more thought.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need race to home with utter disregard to pedestrians and other motorists. There’s a newly released video game to be played! We’ll soon find out if that excuse will stand up in court…

And finally, I’ll warn you right now, there is likely more to come on Halo 2…

Piano by Jon Solo

Jon Solo: Piano Album Cover

My mailbox at my apartment might as well be a recycle bin. Everyday I get a new eight page “newspaper” filled with nothing but advertisements for glistening slabs of beef and windshield replacements. Now if these products were somehow combined into a new form of transparent beef that would replace my chipped windshield I might be tempted to purchase but as it stands they just infuriate me. But the other day, tucked inside one of these mailers, I saw a package that made all the forest clearcuts worthwhile. By the way, my feelings are not meant to disparage the postal service. They are in a tough spot. What if someone had to hand deliver all the spam email that arrives in your inbox? What if they had to lug it over their shoulder while hoofing it up and down to every house on the block? In my mind, that is what a mail carrier’s job is and I can understand how one might get a little disgruntled now and then.

Of course the package at hand contained a new cd by the one and only Jon Solo. Simply put, this is great music. For those following Jon Solo’s career, this cd is sort of a throwback to his roots but it’s also a glimpse into a new direction. Aptly titled, Piano showcases Solo on the instrument his mind and fingers have been fused to since infancy. The cd contains inspired covers of great songs that I had never heard before and one original Solo composition which you will all hear on the radio some day. (I should note I am not a piano aficianado however, so I’m looking forward to using this cd as a stepping stone to a greater understanding of the music.)

Flat out, Solo knows what he is doing on the keys. The music is dripping with emotion and the original tune called Dreamer is possibly the most engaging of them all. It is an interesting amalgamation of all the places Solo has been in his musical journey through the worlds of classical, jazz, and R&B wrapped up in a haunting, hopeful song. And yet it’s simple, within the grasp of non-musicians, something only few have the talent to deliver.

So do what I did and buy this cd. Support a real musician. I’m getting two because they make excellent gifts and stocking stuffers.

The album can be purchased online through a cool independent label called Premier Cru Music.