Friday, July 29, 2011

It's a Derp!

So that "It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman" musical soundtrack I posted about yesterday? I opened it up this morning to rip the tracks so I could listen to it on my iPhone. There was just one problem: it didn't fit onto the little CD-holder spinny bit in my laptop's disc tray.

Looking at the CD, it appeared that the hole was just too small, that there was a little semi-cut circle around that center hole, which was supposed to have been punched out, but wasn't. "Okay," I said, contacting my inner Tim Taylor. "I can fix this. I just need to cut out that center plastic."

So I sat down with a cutting board and a bright lamp and an X-Acto knife, and I went to work. I did pretty well with my CD surgery, cutting out a little chunk of the plastic, figuring I could work on the rest from there. At about that time, I broke the tip off my X-Acto knife and decided to take a break.

I approached my wife, ever the voice of reason, to pitch the next phase of my plan at her (of course, I have more than one X-Acto knife). "I think I know a way to make this go faster, but it will also be more dangerous. I could heat up the blade."

She responded by telling me that this was a bad idea, and that I should just buy a new CD.

I was somewhat dismayed by this turn of affairs, but happy that I had permission to just replace the semi-mutilated disc. Whereupon we went to lunch and ran some errands.

My mind mulled over this problem in the background over the course of the early afternoon, and hit upon something I should have noticed earlier (but in my zeal to do some manly tool-work-cutting, I missed): if the hole in the center was too small, how would it fit on the little plastic CD-holding-bit in the jewel case?

Returning home, I decided to test this new notion, and tried the CD in the disc tray again. It fit. I was just apparently uncoordinated and stupid before.

So now I have a slightly-mutilated Superman musical soundtrack CD, and it's a good thing that I don't listen to the actual physical discs very often anymore. And I feel like precisely the idiot that I am. But at least it ripped!

If yesterday was Mark Waid day, then today was Superman day. The rest of my online Borders order arrived, including things that I wasn't aware had shipped yet. So now I have Superman Chronicles Vol. 5 and 6 on my shelf, as well as Michael Eury's "The Krypton Companion" and the Neal Adams/Denny O'Neil "Superman vs. Muhammad Ali" hardcover reprint, which I've never actually read. So that's exciting.

And as long as today is Superman Day, I might as well mention something I've been meaning to talk about in the last couple of posts. I'm reading Elliot S! Maggin's second Superman novel, "Miracle Monday," and it's quite enjoyable, but one bit has really stuck out. Kristin Wells, the time-traveling historian who would later become Superwoman, writes a journal entry about halfway through the book, shortly after she'd been possessed or otherwise influenced by the book's villain, the demonic C.W. Saturn. It's some of the best subtle, psychological horror I've read in a superhero story. I feel like it's damning with faint praise to say it reminded me of Stephen King's short story "1408," but it's the same kind of slow-burn madness evidenced by things just being slightly off, and it's accomplished in a fairly small space. You can read it here, though I suspect it won't have the same impact if you haven't read the rest of the book up to it. So you could start here then.

Laura Hudson wrote essay on female creators at DC, why it's important, and why Dan Didio's dismissive, defensive answers to the problem are a problem. It's worth reading if you haven't, and I agree with it on pretty much every count.

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