Sunday, January 04, 2004

So, I'm back in Norfolk, my vacation officially over; tomorrow, it's back to work. At least my return was to a 76-degree day. 76 degrees on January 4th? Maybe there is something to hysteria over global warming. Anyway, I'll recount more of my trip shortly, but first I need to address something more pressing: this week's new downloads! And they're all vacation-themed!

The first will drive him crazy, but he'll deal (how do you deal?). It's a song from 2000 which I put in my top 10 that year, and still defend, as I've previously made painfully clear, Jessica Simpson's case study in perfect pop, "I Think I'm In Love With You." This song's here for two reasons. The first is that I finally saw Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica while on vacation, and lemmetellya, if I had MTV (basic cable here doesn't, natch), I'd be utterly hooked. A reality series chronicling the lives of two pretty b-list popsters should not be this fascinating, but it is. And Nick Lachey is clearly a saint (and had better be gettin' some good lovin' to put up with what he appears to from his wife). The second reason is much more obviously Indiana-themed, as "I Think" is based around an interpolation of Hoosier God John Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane." Yum.

Yesterday, Mr. Stainmaster and I made our long-awaited (for us) return trip to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. *Sigh.* I love that place so much; it really is the temple of what most Hoosiers hold most sacred: high school basketball. And it happens that someone we know personally (and adore utterly) is going to be inducted into said Hall this spring, which gladdens my heart beyond all acceptable bounds. Last week I also picked up a used copy of Phillip M. Hoose's classic 1986 book on the sport and where it's played best, Hoosiers: The Fabulous Basketball Life of Indiana, which is a joy to reread and finally own. The weekend prior to my vacation, I stayed in on a Friday night and watched Hoosiers for the umpteenth time. There's one line that always gets me, always causes me to tear up, said by one of the Hickory Huskers right before they take the floor in the state title tilt: "Let's win this 'un for all the small schools that never had a chance to get here." Enjoy this download of the "Theme from Hoosiers" by Jerry Goldsmith, who received an Oscar nomination for his score.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I'd heard Lil' Jon and the Eastside Boyz' "Get Low" for the first time, and am bizarrely enraptured. But that's only the tip of the bizarre iceberg, folks: have you heard the - I've not making this up - Merengue Mix?!?! It's unquestionably one of the oddest, most head-scratching rap remixes I've ever come across in my 33 years. I don't know that I necessarily like or dislike it, but I know it's deliciously downright weird.

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