the everyday adventures of sabrina

i'm happy, hope you're happy too

so, i admit it: i’m an iTunes Music Store whore. i just love being able to go online and buy albums for $10. and i can do it whenever i want, so if at 3 AM i suddenly decide i need to hear hank williams or whatever, i can just go get it, and poof! i have hank williams. it rocks.

i also like listening to audiobooks. they’re nifty, and muy convenient. but they’re also expensive — for example, the audiobook version of Stephen King’s The Wolves of the Calla, the Dark Tower V, was $65 (compare to the hardback, which was something like $24.95).

so, since john made me listen to David Sedaris’ Live at Carnegie Hall at the farm a couple weekends ago, and i discovered it was actually pretty funny, then i finished my book and then whipped through his copy of Me Talk Pretty One Day, which was also pretty funny, when i was browsing iTunes a couple of days ago and saw that they had the unabridged version of his new book, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, for only $16.95, i was like, yeah! i’ll totally buy that! so i did.

but there’s a problem.

To: iTunes Feedback
From: sabrina downard
Subject: Audiobook format badly designed
Feedback Type: Design/Ease of Use

Hello. I recently purchased and downloaded David Sedaris’ “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” unabridged audiobook from the iTunes Music Store, which was my first attempt at buying an audiobook from the iTunes Music Store. Although audiobooks on CD are horribly expensive, I wish I had bought the actual disks in this instance — the David Sedaris book is split into only three tracks! Obviously, whoever made that decision has never listened to an audiobook in his or her life. Most audiobooks on CD that I buy come with many tracks per disk, at least 20 but at least one of them has over 60. Why? Because it’s FREAKING ANNOYING to lose your place! Do you have any idea how annoying it’s going to be to listen for a bit, turn off the iPod, then try and listen again later at home on my laptop, when I have to fast-forward to guess where my place was?

Not to mention the tracks are of such long durations that they’re too long to burn to CD, making the book useless for listening to in my car.

And of course the Music Store GUI doesn’t tell you how many tracks the book is, so I couldn’t have known about this ahead of time.

I’m highly disappointed. All of my iTunes music purchases have been very smooth, but this, I wish I had just gone to the store. Despite your way, way better pricing, I won’t be purchasing any more audiobooks from iTunes until such time as (a) I can see how many tracks there are *before* purchasing (COME ON! How lame is that?! I might understand not wanting to sell audiobooks on a track basis, but this is basic information that you ought to make available pre-purchase), and (b) the content is split into tracks of much shorter duration, making it actually usable.

I look forward to your response.

Dear Customer:

Thank you for your feedback regarding iTunes. We cannot respond to you personally, but please know that your message has been received and will be reviewed by the iTunes Feedback Team. If we need to follow up with you on your ideas for improving iTunes, we will contact you directly.

If you wrote to us for technical support with iTunes, we need to inform you that the Feedback Team cannot address these types of queries. For available support options, please visit the iTunes support page.

We appreciate your assistance in making iTunes better.

iTunes Feedback Team



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via blair, the Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails are

… dedicated to the Gin Fizz, the Widow’s Kiss, and the Singapore Sling — the drinks our mothers and grandmothers drank, the drinks we strive to save from extinction as a small measure of remembering those great women and their great cocktail parties.

Jon Stewart pwnx0rz me

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a couple of weeks ago i was walking to work “the long way,” by which i mean i walk up dearborn to intelligentsia to get a cup of coffee, then pick up the #2 at jackson and state, rather than my normal route of just picking up the #2 at harrison and state. and i was walking behind this guy…

he was wearing a nicely fitted, but obviously not tailored, suit. he was about my height, a little taller. he was maybe late thirties, possibly 40. i couldn’t see his face, just the back and side of his head.

he was SO HOT.

salt and pepper hair kills me. i mean, every time i see a reasonably attractive man with salt and pepper hair … rawr.

(people who work with me, you can probably see at least one, er, “highly compensated” example issue with this predilection of mine.)

so tonight i was over at kasey’s after the return trip from hell, and time passed and eventually jon stewart came on tv, for The Daily Show. he’s got greying hair at his temples. now, i mean, jon stewart is pretty hot out of the box. but now, he’s got the chutzpah to add in grey hair?



Meridian, Mississippi

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well, i did manage to finally meet up with john after all. YAY! i was on the road on the way to the jack daniel’s distillery (and yes, folks, daniel’s, not daniels) and realized i had a voice mail; naturally, twenty miles out of manchester there’s no cell signal. so i went on the tour and called him back afterwards.

the tour was neat. i recommend it to anyone who’s in the region, with the caveat that you ought not to sniff too deeply of the fermentation tanks, no matter if you do really like the yeasty smell like baking bread. turns out, fermentation smells not so good. also, the mash looks revolting. but the tour was nice; the grounds were really beautiful and the operation was pretty interesting to learn about. amusingly, it’s located in a dry county, and so they had to get special legislation passed by the state government to allow them, in 1995, to sell booze in the gift shop at the end of the tour. i wanted to buy a bottle of single barrel, but they weren’t selling it, so i bought a bottle of gold medal instead. it comes with a little medallion to show you bought it at the distillery.

the most amusing part of the tour, perhaps, was the repeated warnings to not smoke, because cigarettes and 140-proof whiskey are not a good mix. interestingly, we weren’t allowed to use flash photography in certain areas for the same reason, although i’d never thought of a flash as a spark. i guess it could.

anyways, drove the 40 miles back from lynchburg to manchester and met up with john and jennifer for a late lunch, around 2:45, at a little restaurant across the street from the ramada i stayed at last night. caught up, “whatever happened to …”-ed for a while. ’twas fun.

got on the road right about 4:30 and headed south. made it in to meridian right around 9:45, and checked in to a holiday inn off i-20/i-59. the price is twice what i paid last night, but the free wireless alone makes that worthwhile. not to mention the general air of relative non-skankiness.

which brings to mind the thought i had this morning: i’m generally not really picky … i’m fairly low-maintenance and usually easy to please (at least easy to make content), but i am kind of a snob. i’m not sure when i turned into one, but i think it’s pretty clear that i am. i mean, not necessarily a snob about people, so much as a snob about material things. like the hotel room that includes, rather than a travel-sized bottle of shampoo, a single-serving ketchup packet of shampoo. i mean, i brought my own and all, but still. and the light fixture in that room’s bathroom — i’m fairly confident its design reflected an intended purpose as outdoor utility lighting (i am not being sarcastic, here… it really was a rectangular flourescent thing that looked like an outdoor wall fixture). not to mention the THREE signs that conveyed their intent to report to law enforcement or charge to my bill any missing items — and lest i wonder, they inventory daily, by god, so i’d better just put that bathmat down. this wary sentiment was supported by the sharpie-marker “RAMADA” labels on both the coffeemaker and the hair dryer.

this hotel room, on the other hand, offers to provide me with a free toothbrush, tube of toothpaste, razor, or deodorant if i have forgotten my own. and free high speed internet access available in two flavors: wired or not. clearly superior. i think snobbery is justified in this case.

but i digress.

and i should probably go to sleep, as i have all of mississippi, all of louisiana, and an hour and a half or so of texas to cover tomorrow.

but before i go: dammit, white sox!