thursday after work i went to the houston cfug meeting and listened to a presentation by a guy from new atlanta. they make a cfml product called blue dragon that competes with cold fusion. afterward, a few of us headed to the west alabama ice house, where we had a couple of beers and grilled sausage. then the tamale guy came around. mmmmm.
friday was a maintenance night for work, so i got to go in late. during my free time beforehand i managed to take care of a couple of things. first, i headed over to border's where i picked up my special order and bought a few other things. unfortunately, everything i picked up or used coupons for was mispriced, rung up wrong, etc. i didn't realize until i walked outside and looked at the receipt. i went back in and the first cashier directed me to a second cashier, who wanted to not let me use one of my coupons even though the special order specifically explained the situation, so she had to call a manager down. fortunately, the manager was one of the guys who'd helped me with placing the special order, so he approved everything and got it all cleaned up. going back in saved me at least $28. at the cost of probably at least 15 minutes of time. all that to say, here's the four items i bought:
- the last temptation of christ - martin scorsese (criterion)
- saturday night fever - bee gees and various (polydor)
- outlaw country sampler - various (universal)
- san antonio rose - bob wills and his Texas playboys (bear family)
i used a current 20% off coupon on the last temptation.... they originally didn't use any coupon on this one. tamara and i rented it from hollywood video 5 or so years ago. i had never seen it before, but i was well aware of the controversy surrounding it back when it came out. after watching it, i was surprised by the completely misguided fervor most of those xians back then were directing at it. it's obviously not a straight biblical telling of the life of jesus (as it fills in gaps and makes some inferences and such), and it deals a lot with the oddness of jesus being G-d and man, along with theories about political and societal motivations for jesus and/or the disciples -- but what it *doesn't* do is state that jesus had sexual relations with mary magdelene, or was married to her. i personally thought generally it was a rather intriguing perspective on the life of jesus, and wrestled with ideas and concepts that most common xian culture doesn't really think about much. so while it added some flesh to a framework provided by the bible, and it may have not been right in those areas, i didn't feel like it contradicted any major facets of the bible. at least not any more than any number of sects, splinter groups, or any of the numerous current denominations have done themselves. so i thought it was a poignant and thought-provoking film, and i think those two things are something more xians these days need to experience.
the saturday night fever soundtrack had a $9.99 sticker on it, but the register rang it up at full price (or near full price, i forget now). i've been meaning to pick this up for some time, and the price i eventually paid for it was decent. i went through a phase in high school and early college where i derided disco, but a couple of years into college i realized that a lot of the electronic music i was getting into was in the same musical family. i cast off the knee-jerk reaction to hate disco common at the time and realized there's some really fun and cool-sounding stuff in disco. i still kind of consider it a guilty pleasure, and i'm not really a club person or a dancer, but disco music is fun. of course, these days disco has already gone through the cultural wringer and come back to be something cool again (although usually in a kitschy way).
the outlaw sampler was priced at $0.02 because it is a promotional item. the register rang it up at $16.99, then from another barcode at $9.99. they had to enter it by hand. i picked it up because it was basically free, and it has one song from a new album coming out with willie nelson, merle haggard, and ray price called last of the breed. most of the other tracks on the sampler i already own on other albums.
the final item is a bear family box set of bob wills. bear family is a company out of germany that makes amazingly good compilations (well-researched, well-recorded, thorough) of mostly vintage american country and rock'n'roll artists. this one is 11 cds and 1 dvd, along with a hardback book on the history of bob wills and the Texas playboys, and session notes for the recordings found in the set. it retails for $300 (border's sells it for $217), but i ordered it on the last day of a 25% off coupon. i couldn't pay for it that day unless i got it shipped to my house, so after verifying several times i could use the coupon once it came in, i just ordered it and didn't pay for it. they put a note in the order that i had the coupon when i ordered it and they would honor it. but of course, when i went to pick it up it didn't go smoothly. at first they applied the 20% off coupon to the box set, and didn't use the 25% off coupon at all. finally the manager took care of it all. using the 25% coupon, along with a 10% off discount "personal shopping day", i managed to get the box set brand new still in shrinkwrap for $146 without tax. not bad. this box set represents the first fifteen years of his recording career - 1932 to 1947. his recordings with milton brown in the light crust doughboys, all of his arc/columbia recordings, plus alternate takes, unreleased material, studio talk, radio airshots -- everything remastered for optimal sound quality. milton brown and bob wills were the twin pillars of the beginning of Texas swing / western swing, and if you live in (or love) Texas it would be inappropriate for you not to have a knowledge of this music on some level.