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Duke Nukem Forever

Come Get Some!

“I don’t know whether the humour is worse, or it’s just not as fresh as it was in Duke Nukem 3D”, said my friend about Duke Nukem Forever. “I think it’s the same,” I replied, “but we are fiftees years older.”

In 1996 Duke Nukem 3D blew our minds. It was completely new experience of interacting with the game world – you could tip a stripper, pee in a urinal, sing on karaoke, play pool… You even had a chance to demolish a whole building, trample shrinked enemies or smash frozen ones into pieces by a well placed kick! Plus, it was full of pop culture references (“Aliens”, “Predator”, “Terminator”, “Doom”…) and finally –  there was the Hero: huge, muscular blonde guy, delivering macho one-liners with a voice in which you could hear those gallons of beer he drank and hundreds of cigars he smoke.

He was The Duke. He was obnoxious and foul-mouthed, and – just like the scantily-clad ladies in the game – we loved him.

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Thomosexual

Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke

Dear diary,

I fell in love with Radiohead. Does that make me Thomosexual?

It happened last year after my friend, Cracked, told me about ten easter eggs hidden in famous albums. Two of them were on Radiohead’s works, so I decided to give them a listen, starting with 1997’s “OK Computer”. Before I knew, I bought it and was listening to it repeatedly, intertwined with decade later’s “In Rainbows”!

But when I wrote on the Wall that I like them more than Porcupine Tree, some people said I’m just saying that because they’re new (for me, at least) and that it’s just an infatuation that will pass. How can they know? And why one of them, my friend and a huge Porcupine Tree fan, recommended me “Kid A”, an album released in 2000 and quoted by several sources to be one of the best of the “noughties” (i.e. the 2000s)? Yeah, good job, Lipton, way to undermine your favourite band! Because now over half a year has passed and still Radiohead works better for me than the Porcs. Dear diary, how can it be only an infatuation?

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“Black Swan”

"Black Swan" poster

"Black Swan"

So, “Black Swan”, right?

I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself. I hate horror movies. I’m so easily scared by them (or any movie, actually), and yet time and time again I go and watch some scary flick. There was spanish “El Orfanado”, there was “The Happening” (to all who want to say “‘Happening’ was scary?” I have an unpolite retort prepared, so better not), I even have some movies based on King’s novels and stories (“1408”, “Needful Things” or “The Mist”) and I keep convincing myself that one (sunny and bright) day I’ll watch them, but who are we kidding? I won’t gather the courage to do that… until one day I will and put them on, and then curse myself from behind the cushion throughout the whole movie. And, of course, promise myself I’ll never watch any horror. Until the next time.

My fiancee says I’m a masochist. She may be right. Continue Reading »

10. Mike Oldfield, “Secrets / Far Above The Clouds” (from “Tubular Bells III”, 1999)

An epic ending to the third installment of Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” series. The second album, released in 1992, was nothing special – just a song-by-song remake of the first that, save for a few moments, only made me compare it to the original, which always shone in that comparison.
Fortunately, with the third album Oldfield took a different approach and created something new and much better than part II (although, of course, far from the first). And it ends epically with those two pieces that should be listened to together.

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5. Mike Oldfield, “Five Miles Out” (from “Five Miles Out”, 1982)

2010 for me was the year of rediscovery of Mike Oldfield and listening to his other stuff besides “Tubular Bells”.
I gave this song a try because the piano theme from “Bells” can be heard in the beginning. It paid, because the whole song – inspired by a nearly-fatal plane flight Oldfield experienced – turned out to be great and, despite very 1980s sound (and the video), it has a complex structure. The lyrics are dramatic but optimistic – I cry almost every time I hear the “our thoughts with you / rider in the blue” line.

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The year 2010, while it was poor movie-wise, was awesome in the area of music. Not released that year (although some interesting albums did show up), but music I discovered or was recommended. Actually, some of them are really old and I should have known them for a long time (and could have, it I weren’t so damn afraid to try). But it’s better late than never, right?

Here is the list of by 11 best music findings of the year 2010. Why eleven? I don’t know, I just counted at them and that’s how many there were ;)

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New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions

The year 2010 has great in many aspects – all the Toastmasters conferences in many interesting places, all the great people I met on those occasions, the Szlachetna Paczka charity action – a lot to do, and all very satisfying.

Last year was also great culturally – I finally gave a proper listen to Mike Oldfield’s works other than “Tubular Bells” and in last weeks I fell in love with Radiohead (thus becoming “thomosexual“). Also, all those movies and books…

Wait. What movies? What books?
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