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Amongst our high school pals, we have a Secret Santa/Christmas dinner annually. I might pretend to complain about it to my drinking buddies, but it really is one of the highlights of the holiday season. Mostly because it’s the only time I get stuff.

In any case, my name was drawn by my old friend Julie, who decided to show how much care and thought and time she put into this by getting me…the Killers latest album and a $30 gift card to the Virgin Megastore.

Whee! Not really. I don’t think I’ve bought a CD in ages, at least not since Bush’s second term. I would rather had have her buy $30 worth of CD’s and hoped I like them; or just get with the times and buy a $30 iTunes card. I’m not being ungrateful, a gift is a gift, it’s just that I don’t buy CD’s anymore. I download all my music…legally, of course, as far as you know.

So, figuring it can’t be any more harrowing than yesterday’s shopping experience, I headed over to the Megastore to finally spend my gift. I could have used it on books, I suppose. (I don’t really watch DVD’s at home, either to be honest.)

But then I saw that there was a sale. I had forgotten that there was talk that the store will be closing this year. You know what that means:

Clearance, bitches! Or at least clearance-level prices. Many of the CD’s were going for 50 percent off (a standard CD at Virgin is $18 or thereabouts), or they were marked $10 or $5. This inspired me to attempt a maximum bang-for-buck strategy:  Get clearance stuff that you would definitely listen to–but not necessarily pay for.

That led to the following selections:

  • The first, and easiest selection out there: A two-disc George Michael Greatest hits album for $10. You wanna get gay? Let’s get gay! Especially at these prices.
  • “I said CPR, not CCR!” I’ve always liked Creedence, but I’d hardly call myself a die-hard fan. Still I know many of the songs. It was part one of a two-part collection, and this part did not have “Bad Bad Leroy Brown.” Despite that small flaw, it had enough of their songs that I liked at $5. Put it on the card!
  • At $5, how do I not get “Kick” by INXS? I could not believe I hadn’t gotten around to, um, procuring it yet!
  • Another winner! “The Cream of Clapton.” Despite the pornish name, it follows his career from Cream, through his solo works, Derek and the Dominos, and of course, more solo work.  The good news is that it stops in the early ’80s so there’s none of his early ’90s ballad stuff, like “Tears In Heaven” and etc. Not my thing. The bad news is the super-crapfest that is “It’s in the Way You Use It” from The Color of Money soundtrack is not on it. Might be one of my favorite worst songs ever. Still though, $5.
  • Finally in a bout of obscurity, some early ’00s electronica by Hooverphonic, “Blue Wonder Power Milk”. I had a couple of songs from this outfit a few computers ago and couldn’t pass it up. Finally, some mood music for my iTunes.

This was really like a weird music fantasy auction draft. These are all artists I like and enjoy, but probably would never have gotten off my duff to purchase. Or “purchase”. So, in the end, this became one of the more fun gifts ever. Thanks, Julie! Your reward is this shout-out in a blog no one reads.

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