june, 9, 2004 archives

the codex by lev grossman should have been a far more interesting book. i think it was this review from salon that made me put it in my reading queue.

the ending is a letdown, and none of the promise of the book really pays off. the computer-game-within-the-novel is pretty trite — it apparently is a combination of first-person shooter, space combat game, resource management sim game, and oh yeah, it’s “open source”, too.

the writing is good, the characters are good, and the plot is almost good. it just ends up being one of those novels that is worse than the sum of its parts.

found: video rental stores downtown

the other day i finally tracked down a couple of video stores in downtown los angeles. they’re within a couple of blocks of each other in the bunker hill area. the one i went looking for, based on its phonebook listing, was global video, located at about 2nd and figueroa. the other one i stumbled across was video action, at 1st and hope.

they’re both independents, of course, and most of the space of both is taken up by vhs, although both have reasonably large dvd collections. global video has live displays (tapes/dvds are in the boxes on the shelves), and video action uses a dead (or closed) display system, with shelves full of video tapes behind

dvd rentals at video action were $2.50/night, with some specials whose details i’ve already forgotten, and dvd rentals at global video are $3/night.

i also visited three video stores in my old neighborhood earlier in the week — blockbuster video, hollywood video, and odyssey video. one thing that struck me about odyssey is how dingy it was. it hasn’t aged particularly well.

it surprises me how much of a contrast there is between the chain stores and the independents. both chains stores are much larger, and naturally they feel much less crowded as a result. at the two downtown, it felt like two people trying to look at the dvds would be crawling over each other just to be able to see things.

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