i’m back, mars, mountain goats

Several people have lambasted me for not posting here promptly upon my return to the states. They apparently fear my consumption by some rare Nigerian wildebeest, roaming the Biafran hillsides.
Well, I can report that I am back in the U.S. of A., no worse for the wear. May write about my Nigerian experiences here, but I may just wait until they appear in the paper — unlike many of my other jaunts, this was just work work work and there’s really not much to tell other than what’ll be committed to newsprint. A quick word of advice, though: Nigeria probably shouldn’t be in your honeymoon plans.
The other big news is that I have a new car, a replacement for the trusty Mitsubishi steed that a red-light runner totaled a couple weeks back. I bought a Mazda 3, the four-door model. It kinda rocks. If you’re in the market for a new small car, let me save you weeks of research: Buy the Mazda 3, probably the S version if you want a little more power. It’s by far the best-reviewed kinda-cheap small car on the road, and it’s a lot of fun to drive. After nearly a decade in the 92-horsepower Mirage, it’s such a change to be in a car where, when you press the accelerator, it actually speeds up.
And I can strongly recommend Town North Mazda in Richardson as a place to buy. As pain-free a buying process as you could hope for, and they gave me a good deal.
A movie of the first 343 days of the Mars rover Spirit.
So you’d like to… See the Mountain Goats’ list of Music You Should Hear. Head Goat John Darnielle‘s bizarro fixation on death metal — perhaps the single genre least like his own overenunciated grad-school folk — shines through his recommendations. Of the new album by someone called Buried Inside, he writes: “My favorite metal album so far this year. Sort of huge-canvas action-painting metal like Aeternus, but science fiction vs. Aeternus’s sword-and-sorcery stuff; it’s ‘metalcore,’ whatever that means, but it’s also really thoughtful and richly textured. Also has the most pretentious song-titles I’ve ever seen.” Those would include “Time as Ideology,” “Time as Surrogate Religion,” and “Time as Imperialism.”
(Today is release day for the Goats’ latest album, and yesterday was his wedding anniversary to Lalitree.)

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