When you’re lonely, you begin to search for other means of reaching out to people. Sometimes it works, a lot of times it doesn’t. It can get even harder if you are a little introverted.
One such venue you can turn to are chat apps. They are fairly simple, and since they run on an iPhone or an iPod Touch, they care fairly portable as well. Of course, the portability breaks down if you are indeed using them on an iPod (specifically the iPod Touch), since this device relies on wi-fi to gain access to the internet. No internet, and these chat apps are pretty much useless and isolated.
In pursuit of companionship, or at the very least, just someone to talk to, you can turn to a ton of different chat apps. In my case, I decided to check out The Shore, The City and The Strip. All three are very similar in nature. You create a profile to chat with, which includes nickname, picture, preferences (men or women, and what age). In each, you have the ability to do jobs to earn money, at least, money useable in the game, along with experience. The more experience, the more job and activity options are available to you. You also have the ability to buy property, which pays dividends on a given timetable. To be honest about the property, it seems that only The City shows any real financial benefit to owning property. The Shore has a number of properties, but they are low value, and the time-table for payouts is way too long.
In each game, you also have the ability to buy people. Think of it as a sort of investment, since the people you buy are not beholden to you in any way. You use money and energy to buy people, and receive money back when someone buys them off of you. You also receive money when people buy you. The drawback to all of this is that every once in a while, you actually can end up losing money in spite of a person being bought off of you at a higher price.
Of course, the whole reason to use one of these chat apps is to interact with people. In all three, you can run conversations like any other chat program. The drawback is that you are typing on the small virtual keyboard of the iPod/iPhone. Like texting with one of these devices, you are subject to auto-correction, so you have to type carefully. You can also send gifts to people. Each gift costs either money or points (points can be bought through these apps with real money), and can be either accepted, turned down, or ignored. In The Shore, you cannot access all the available gifts unless you have an ID Card, which is basically a picture of yourself with “The Shore” and your nickname on a piece of paper in the pic.
The first thing you will tend to notice on any of these apps is the large number of “actually” profiles. These are people who will clarify their ages in their “What People Need To Know About You” section. Usually, this clarification comes in the form of “I’m not really 20″ or “I’m really 14.” (each chat app says that it is restricted to people 17 and older) These profiles tend to tie into the greater problem of lying on these apps. Usually, the lie is in the picture, which is often someone famous. Either that, or there are fifteen people out there who happen to look just like Brooklyn Decker.
The other problem with these chat apps is that there tends to be a greater number of people who choose to boost their game income with extras. Usually, these come in the form of offering pictures for money. Some even go so far as to offer pics for actual iTunes gift card codes. And, as near as I can tell, the pursuit of pictures is so rampant that a few people need to state in their profiles that they do not trade pics.
The other problem with these chat apps is the connection. People online show up with a green ”ONLINE” on their profiles. From their, it will display how long a person has been offline to a point. A profile that does not have the time offline or an online message have been offline for quite a while. The problem is that is you actually engage someone in a conversation, they can go offline, and you will not even know until the first offline message (usually 10 minutes) pops up. Which means, you can be holding a conversation with someone for ten minutes and not even know they left.
At the moment, none of these particular chat apps are available on iTunes, and there never has been Android versions. Probably a good thing for both, since none of these apps really seem to be worth the time you put into them.
A lot of times, the only way I can get work done at all is if there is something on. It can be either music from my iTunes library, or the radio (usually late night fare like Coast to Coast AM). It stimulates the creative side of my mind and gets things going sometimes. Sometimes hearing just the right song will give my creativity a super kick-start and I’ll increase my production.
Just for fun, I decided to put together a playlist of hero related music. The basic criteria was that it had to have been in some sort of hero/superhero movie, tv show, or the such (so songs like R.E.M.’s Superman did not qualify). I did upload this to iTunes, but (of course), not all my selections were available, so the 60 song list dwindled to 18. Here is the full list (with explanations). As always, I am open to suggestions for other such songs (as well as looking for The Phantom soundtrack to add… I may have to just bite the bullet and buy it from Amazon).
Doctor Who Theme – The version I used is from the new BBC series.
Superman: Main Theme – From the Richard Donner Superman movies.
Bring Me To Life – One of two contributions to the Daredevil soundtrack from Evanescence. Not all that bad of a movie, as superhero movies go, but the Director’s Cut is better.
Jonny Quest – The theme to the classic Hanna Barbera cartoon
The Tick – Not the live action version, but the far superior animated version… SPOON!
Batman Beyond Main Title
In The Light – From the Elektra soundtrack. Good soundtrack, bad movie.
Molossus – From Batman Begins
Robocop – Main title from the movie
Batman - the Main theme from Tim Burton’s cinematic version, composed by Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman
Learn To Crawl – From Spider-Man
Fantastic Four – main title score
The Shadow – Main theme from the Alex Baldwin movie
X2: X-Men United Suite – Available on the CD Comic Strip Heroes
Angel – The opening title theme to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Main theme from the TV series
The New Adventures of Superman – Classic cartoon theme
Spider-Man – Like the Superman theme above, this is the classic theme to the classic cartoon
Daredevil Theme (Blind Justice Remix)
The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest – An attempt to update Jonny Quest for the 90s, aging Jonny to teenager, and adding in virtual reality elements.
The Six Million Dollar Man – “Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him”
Everything Burns – From the Fantastic Four soundtrack
In Time – From The Punisher soundtrack, standing out because of how different it sounds from the rest of the album, and its performance during the diner serenade.
The Name’s Bond… James Bond - Representing the British super spy, taken from the Casino Royale soundtrack
Touched – By Vast, from the Angel: Live Fast, Die Never CD
Extreme Ways – From The Bourne Supremacy
Burn – one of the few Cure songs I like, from The Crow soundtrack
Yu-Gi-Oh! Theme – Call it a guilty pleasure, but for a while, I was actually watching this anime show afternoons (it beat watching Springer).
Somebody Help Me - Theme song to Tru Calling, Eliza Dushku’s second heroic role, though no where near as rocky as Faith’s path to heroism.
I Melt With You – Bowling For Soup’s cover for the Sky High soundtrack
Mystery Men Oath – Not really a sound, just a dialogue life from the movie that appears on the soundtrack
Holding Out For a Hero – Jennifer Saunders performs this in Shrek 2 as Shrek races to the rescue.
Sin City End Titles – Fitting music for the Frank Miller inspired movie
Flash - Danny Elfman’s theme to the short-lived TV series.
Save Me – Smallville main theme
The Incredible Hulk – Theme – Actually the closing theme, always played as David Banner is forced to move on
The Avengers – “Mrs. Peel, we’re needed.”
Red Right Hand - Peter Yorn recorded this for the Hellboy movie. I think the better version is the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds version, found on the X-Files: Songs in the Key of X CD
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai – Another guilty pleasure
The Rocketeer To The Rescue & End Credits
Princes of the Universe – Queen’s theme song for Highlander
Conan The Barbarian – Anvil of Crom – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s star turn as the Robert E. Howard sword and sorcery hero.
All Star - Smashmouth’s song, used for both Mystery Men and Shrek
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman – Theme from the ABC tv series
Mortal Kombat – A real guilty pleasure of a movie
The Green Hornet – from the 60s tv series
Stargate – From the movie.
The Lone Ranger – Little known fact: The Green Hornet and the Lone Ranger are related.
Darkman - Danny Elfman composed this moody piece for a hero without a face.
The End Is The Beginning Is The End – Smashing Pumpkins contributed this to the Batman and Robin soundtrack, the one with George Clooney
Won’t Back Down – By Fuel, found on the Daredevil soundtrack
Hero – The big summer hit from Spider-Man, sung by Nickelback’s frontman Chad Kroeger
Bother – From Spider-Man, Attributed to Stonesour frontman Corey Taylor on the soundtrack, and the full band on their album.
My Immortal - Evanescence’s second contribution to the Daredevil soundtrack, later becoming a huge hit from their own CD
Broken – From The Punisher, heard playing over Joan’s radio right before Frank Castle beats up her abusive ex-boyfriend.
Slow Chemical – Also from The Punisher soundtrack, though most wrestling fans will know it as Kane’s entrance music.
Breathe No More – Appearing on the Elektra soundtrack by Evanescence. A live version appears on their Anywhere But Home CD
I Stand Alone – From The Scorpion King
Space Ghost – The classic Hanna Barbera theme, before he became a cheese talk show host.
The Raider’s March – The theme to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and nearly every Indiana Jones related project since.
Often times, music matches my mood. It’s the main reason why I listen to so much different stuff. And thanks to iTunes, I can actually assemble an entire playlist that matches the mood I’m in.
In this case, it’s an anti-love mood. Not that I’ve been wronged romantically, it’s just that’s it’s hard to assemble a “too much of a coward to ask her to dinner you idiot!” playlist. And there are tons of anti-love songs to play when you just want to forget.
Naturally, this is not in any particular order, and I’m always open to suggestions. It’s the best way to be introduced to new things. These are the first 25.
Shame, Stabbing Westward - A wonderfully hard rock song with overtones of hyperdependency and a fair share of stalking. Definitely the wrong side of love.
Love to Love You, The Corrs – From their first album, this song is about recognizing unrequited love.
Love Stinks, The J. Geils Band – The anti-love song.
Heartbreak Hotel, Elvis – Nuff said.
If This Is It, Huey Lewis and the News – A Break-up song… it’s just a shame that no one told him they broke up.
Since You’ve Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson – Shedding that American Idol stigma, Clarkson kicks it up a notch with a great song about realizing that you’ve been blinded by love.
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, The Righteous Brothers – To be honest, I’m almost tempted not to include this on the list (Thank you very much, Tom Cruise). But it is still a good anti-love song, in spite of becoming a cheesy pick-up song.
I Don’t Believe In Love, Queensryche – Something that we’ve all told ourselves at one point or another.
Since You’ve Been Gone, Weird Al Yankovic – A short little ditty about how he feels now that she’s gone, with a great punchline.
Haunting Me, Stabbing Westward – That horrible feeling after a break-up when the one you loved and love seems to be everywhere… kicking you in the….
The Breakup Song, Greg Kihn – They don’t write them like this anymore.
Jeopardy, Greg Kihn – What happens when it’s all to obvious that the relationship is falling apart?
You Outta Know, Alanis Morissette – This is one angry woman.
Suspicious Minds, Elvis – What happens when the trust is gone
(I’m not your) Steppin’ Stone, The Monkees – There you go, falling in love with someone who’s just going to walk all over you.
You Keep Me Hangin’ On, Kim Wilde – Or, the Supremes, if you want the original.
Sometimes It Hurts, Stabbing Westward – I’ve come to the conclusion that the lead singer of Stabbing Westward has never had a successful relationship.
Gone, Kelly Clarkson – A possible companion to Since You’ve Been Gone?
I Quit, Hepburn – From the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Soundtrack
Hard To Say I’m Sorry, Chicago – This is definitely true if you’ve nothing to apologize for… or if you’re a big-headed guy.
I’ll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me, Expose – Let me get this straight, you broke up with him, and now you’re all bummed out because he’s moved on?
Poison Arrow, ABC – “I thought you loved me but it seems you don’t care.” “I care enough to know, I can never love you.” Ouch
Who’s Crying Now?, Journey - Someone definitely got hurt here.
How You Remind Me, Nickelback – Only one way to describe this woman: bitch.
Why Can’t I, Liz Phair -Not necessarily an anti-love love (unless you consider the fact it’s deals with an affair bad), but I include it because I find myself often struck speechless and breathless by someone I’m attracted to, often to the point where I can’t get something as simple as “Hey, would you like to get a bite to eat?” out.
I know it’s not possible to get everything, but is it possible for iTunes to at least get some of the music I listen to?
Don’t get me wrong, I love iTunes, and I love my iPod. Having a jeep with a radio that gets only three stations, and none of them are NPR pretty much demands that I get an iPod for the car (I think Congress passed the law earlier this year that I get one). Naturally, me being the relative cheap skate that I am I got the shuffle. That, and it was more than enough for me.
Then I started ripping my CDs so that I could build my playlists. Sure I was never going to listen to 6 plus hours of music while driving, but I didn’t care. I wouldn’t be forced to listen to the 2 radio stations that think the Black-Eyed Peas are the greatest band since the Beatles, or that one that doesn’t realize that Evanescence isn’t a pop band. I had my iPod and I could listen to anything. If I wanted to listen to all Evanescence, I could. If I wanted to laugh, I could load my shuffle up with George Carlin, Monty Python and Stephen Wright. If I wanted to listen to Finnish opera metal, then load it up.
Yes, that’s right, Finnish opera metal. Don’t knock it until you give it a listen. And frankly, it was the only really good thing about Alone In The Dark.
Anyhow, once I got comfortable with the shuffle, and comfortable with iTunes (even buying a whole bunch of stuff from the store), I decided it was time to share my musical interests. I mean, there had to be someone else out there who would listen to Debbie Gibson, Evanescence and bagpipes in the same sitting. Anyone???
So I shrink down one of my playlists from my 100 songs to a more manageable 50, the top fifty, of course. And I sent it off (It’s called Top 50 – May, is you’re curious). And watched as my top 50 became my top 18. And not even the top 18 either, I Can’t Hold Back by Survivor was #50 (and slipping 7 spots on my top 100).
So, out of 50 songs, 32 did not make the list because iTunes Music Store doesn’t sell those songs. Some I can understand. There really isn’t much of a market for the Doctor Who theme song, and Dante Hicks yelling I’m not even supposed to be here today! from the Clerks soundtrack may be a bit of a stretch. But what about Evanescence? They had a major hit with Bring Me To Life (#1 on my list… and still #1), yet there is no listing for Evanescence in iTunes. NONE! No Bring Me To Life, no My Immortal, not even the Daredevil and Elektra soundtracks, both of which feature songs by the band. Not even Chicago’s Along Comes A Woman is available, and that’s over 20 years old.
So, here it is, the complete top 50 for the month of May, as played by me on iTunes and my iPod.
Bring Me To Life/Evanescence
Batman Beyond Main Title/Kristopher Carter
Doctor Who – Theme
Dante’s Lament/Clerks soundtrack
Randal & Dante On Sex/Clerks Soundtrack
No Time For Love, Dr. Jones/Clerks Soundtrack
Broken/Seether Feat. Amy Lee
Angel Opening Title Theme/Darling Violetta
Volcano Girls/Veruca Salt
Jay’s Chant/Clerks Soundtrack
The Tick (Animated Series) Theme
Somebody Help Me (Theme from “Tru Calling”)/Full Blown Rose
Wish I Had an Angel/Nightwish (e.p.)
Red Tape/Agent Provocateur (Underworld score)
The Deal (No Deal)/”Chess” soundtrack
Stacy’s Mom/Fountains of Wayne
Losing Grip/Avril Lavigne
Cyber Savvy/Ben Affleck & Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Soundtrack)
Along Comes A Woman/Chicago
James Bond Theme (Bond Vs. Oakenfold)/David Arnold Featuring Paul Oakenfold
My Immortal [Band Version]/Evanescence
Peaches/The Presidents Of The United States Of America
My Happy Ending/Avril Lavigne
Girl All The Bad Guys Want/Bowling For Soup
Social Event Of The Season/Clerks Soundtrack
Absurd/Fluke (Sin City Soundtrack)
Affair of the Heart/Rick Springfield
1985/Bowling For Soup
James Bond Theme/David Arnold
Crime Story (Runaway)/Del Shannon
A Bunch Of Muppets/Clerks Soundtrack
I Like To Expand My Horizons/Clerks Soundtrack
Toccata & Fuge D-Moll BWV 565 (Arr. Mike Batt)/J. S. Bach/Vanessa Mae(Violin)
Extreme Ways/Moby (Bourne Supremacy Soundtrack)
Spanish Inquisition Revisited/Monty Python
Wish I Had An Angel/Nightwish
Rock of Life/Rick Springfield
I Can’t Hold Back/Survivor