Saturday, May 2, 2009

Help me spend $250!

I'm stressed. Stressed about money.

No, not the kind of real-world stress we're all feeling these days. I have that too, don't worry, though I know I'm luckier than many, many people on that score. I'm stressed because, as those who follow my Twitter feed already know, I suddenly find myself with a $250 AmEx gift card that I had no idea was coming my way.

It turns out that the "professional favor" I did recently (which did not, contrary to scurrilous rumor-mongering, have anything to do with a "male escort service"), was not, in fact, something I was doing for free, like I thought. How cool! Something I thought I was doing just to be a nice guy has now reaped me a reward. It's like some kind of great moral lesson or something!

So here's the thing. As we all know, it's not often that unexpected money comes falling out of the sky. So immediately, I felt a great sense of pressure. HOW DO I SPEND THIS? When's the last time THIS ever happened, and when will it ever happen again? I need to make wise decisions. Decisions I won't regret in a week. I don't want to find myself banging my head on the desk or raising my fist to the sky in existential torment over the fact that I somehow thought it was a good idea to buy $250 worth of Cheetos. (OR IS IT?)

I've already decided, though, that this does not--and, in fact, should not--be spent on something I necessarily need. Screw that. That's what my job is for. This is a windfall. It is my duty to blow this money strictly on something I want, something that in the normal course of life I could never justify buying. The things I need I'll end up buying anyway. This is an opportunity to get something totally unnecessary and indulgent. And, yeah, let me be clear on that point: Indulgence is what I'm after here. I'm working hard these days, I support my family, I make donations to charity--all that. So I'm being selfish. Though some of the Buddhist reading I've been doing talks about "letting go" of such desires, which, in theory, probably makes sense, I guess, it's also true that those Buddhist monks didn't have the new Nintendo DSi to contend with. Let's see how strong they'd be in the face of THAT temptation!

Anyway, so, I need your help. I've made a short list of stupid crap I don't need, but I can't pull the trigger yet because, you know, WHAT IF I MAKE A MISTAKE?? What if it's the wrong crap? Maybe there's crap I haven't even considered yet! Maybe the crap I want actually IS crap! Here's where you come in. Help me decide. Participate in my impulse buying. There's nothing in it for you--not a damn thing, because I'm not sharing--but you'd at least get the satisfaction of knowing you helped another human accomplish something unnecessary and even somewhat shameful, given the state of the world today. But, hey, at least it's not you!! If you start feeling bad about how much you have versus the rest of the world, at least you won't be racked with guilt over money blown on nothing! You can point at me! You can scoff and feel morally superior to that greedy spendthrift Jeff Green! This is my gift to you! Moral superiority!

So here is the short list, with accompanying rationalizations and hesitations.

1) Nintendo DSi. I love my DS. Favorite handheld gaming device evar. However, I have the clunky old first-generation one, with the cruddy small screen. Also, it's purple. It's hard enough to be taken seriously on this planet without carrying around a purple DS. So this free money seems like the perfect excuse to upgrade to the new DSi, which is all cool-looking and thin and not purple. The hitch: If I wait, the DSi will eventually show up at the EA Store, where, as part of the "new employee program", I'll get a $100 discount. So I'm thinking I should use this $250 on something that would actually cost me, ya know, $250.

2) The Wire Complete Box Set. This is honestly my top choice. The Wire is probably my favorite TV show of all time, so the thought of being able to revisit it, and share it with others, is extremely tempting. The thing is: I have come to realize, like many people, that buying DVDs is largely a waste. Those DVDs spend a lot of time, maybe their entire existence, not being watched, but simply hoarded. I already have a hoarding instinct with books and music, and have mostly successfully avoiding doing the same with DVDs. I HAVE picked up some of my all-time favorites: Spinal Tap, Big Lebowski, Seven Samurai, The Godfather, etc--and I have no regrets. Though, again, I don't really watch them. I do like knowing they're there, though. And if any show will not only hold up to repeated viewings but actually reward you with new insights and discoveries, it's The Wire. In fact, the storytelling is so rich and deep and complex--like any great novel-- the first viewing is almost too overwhelming. So, yeah, I want this. It's $180 at Amazon, leaving me $70, which would get me either of the items in #3!

3) Two other TV DVD box sets, both "cult classics" of which I was happily part of the cults: Twin Peaks and The Prisoner. Again, two shows that reward repeated viewings. I just can't decide which I'd be happier to own over the long haul. I think episode-to-episode, The Prisoner is the stronger series, by far, and probably one, like The Wire, that will yield lots of new insight over time. But Twin Peaks is a delicious guilty pleasure that is hard to resist.

(And an aside before getting on to #4: Twitterites have been throwing Star Trek, Battlestar, and other such shows at me. I dig them and appreciate the suggestions, but, nah. Once was enough for me on those. I never was a Trekkie. And BSG was ultimately too erratic for me to suffer through more than once.)

4) A new motherboard or somesuch shit to fix my PC so I can play WoW again.. Not just WoW, but a few other PC games, too, that have been borked ever since I've had this jinxed rig. Computer hardware is boring though. Hard to get worked up about this one. Plus it feels, I dunno, practical. Like I'm fixing something. I'm trying to avoid anything remotely productive here.

5) Nice noise-canceling headphones. Most of my music-listening these days takes place through headphones. I have some decent cheap ones (Koss PortaPro), but I've been coveting the notion of getting some really good ones, ones that would also be useful for plane travel, etc. $250 would go a long way towards getting me a sweet pair that would leave me happily entranced until the day I rolled over them on my office chair and broke them.

6) Rock Band Beatles. Or Rock Band in general since Rock Band Beatles isn't out yet. But the Beatles set is the thing that is kinda pushing me over the edge, especially since my kid is such a big Beatles fan now, too (yay!). The problem, however, is that it's more clutter that we really don't need. Plus, I'm not social enough, or I'm too old, or both, to have people over enough to make this feel worthwhile. I played the first few Guitar Heroes, and loved them, but always played solo. Rock Band solo seems a bit sad. Like I'll end up on the corner as an old man doing the one-man-band thing for spare change. Of course, if that IS in my future, then I suppose this would be good practice. Hmmmm.

7) Random games and books and music. This would be my opportunity to pick up a pile of stuff that will definitely get lots of use. Since I don't get free games anymore (except EA games), I'm like the rest of you rabble on that front. I'm always up for new new books, too, and could even pick up a few that I normally wouldn't cuz of being too expensive. And then there's CD box sets....which I'm a little loathe to do since I'm trying to abandon physical media as far as music goes. Still, all this stuff is the kind of stuff I can buy sporadically throughout the year as long as I'm relatively prudent about it. So it doesn't quite have that "I couldn't normally buy this" vibe than I'm trying to fulfill here.

See what I'm talking about? This is stressful! And, really, there are a million other things I haven't even thought about yet! What about one of them new Flip videocameras? How about some new motorcycle boots? Maybe a box of cigars! I don't smoke, but, what the heck, maybe it's a good time to start! Maybe a cool espresso maker for the house? Shit, if I'm gonna go down that road, there's tons of home appliance type stuff that could be great! How about an elliptical trainer, so I can exercise my fat ass instead of sitting around on it all the time? Or even a new bicycle! Sure they get stolen all the time because I live in Berkeley, which is like the bike thief capital of the world, but, what the heck! It's free anyway! And you know what I haven't had in like forever? A robe! A bigass fluffy robe to wear around the house! That'd be awesome!

Seriously, people: I need help. This gift card is like a 10-ton weight on my shoulders. Relieve my burden. Tell me what to buy. I'm practically incapacitated here. I'm almost sorry I even got the damn thing.

Almost.

81 comments:

Paul said...

Instead of blowing it on some tech crap that you obviously don't need... (Since you can't even pick something to spend it on.) Why don't you sponsor a child through Compassion International or something. That $250 could feed and clothe a needy child for a couple years. Just a thought.

Jeff Green said...

I already mentioned the charity thing. You don't need to try to make me feel guilty. I do my part, but thanks!

jeffk said...

If you're open to another DVD set, you might want to consider the Angel box too. It takes about a half a season to get going, but once it figures out what it's supposed to be, it's every bit as good as Buffy.

protocolsnow said...

If you really want to indulge, go out for a Kobe steak dinner. Beware that every steak you eat afterwards won't be able to compare.

Holt said...

I'd go for getting a bunch of items from Amazon. Instead of one thing, you can have a dozen things! MORE THINGS = BETTER THAN!

You could also use the money to replace more of your physical crap with digital crap. I'm sure seeing you throw boxes of video games into the garbage would make your wife happy.

The DSi is also a good choice, as your DS sounds like something Barney would have pooped out into a nest.n

Jibrell said...

I'd go with fixing the computer. Its the most forward looking thing you could do entertainment wise. I would refrain from buying things to hoard like you mentioned. You're going to have to upgrade your computer down the road anyways, right? Starcraft 2 = 2009.

theCherneymin said...

At first I was thinking: fix the computer! -- but if that doesn't work out, and it ends up being a big hassle, that'd be a $250 disappointment.

I say go on a shopping spree, Supermarket Sweep style. You know, the kind where you're running down the aisles w/ a cart and just shoving random crap into it.

Josh said...

I would buy a new motherboard. I'm sure that you have a backlog to beat all backlogs that you would like to try and get trough. Also, there's WoW 3.1!

PS: Word verification = "potpliz"
Hilarious!

Super Dave said...

I say take your wife/family to a nice meal or two. There's always going to be some set of movies, games, books, etc you can add to your pile of shame. Go to a nice restaurant and get a nice bottle of wine (if that's your thing). If there's any cash left over you could make another list for your internet fans and we'll swoop in like the deus ex machina we are.

Andrew Scagnelli said...

You'll get the most out of a new motherboard, although The Wire sounds good too. I'd say go hog-wild on Steam/GOG, but they don't support those gift cards.

Pavan Rajam said...

Why don' t you use it to build yourself a guitar?
Like a Jeff Green signature stratocaster or some thing.
Just a thought....


~Pavan

Healy said...

Screw these people telling you to spend it on charity or taking the family out to dinner.

The Wire. End of story. My Wife and I own 1-4 and still need to get 5. It is amazing to watch them all again over a period where you can remember the stuff that was setup in season 1 and doesn't pay off until season 5.

You will not regret it.

R Thomas said...

You know you want The Wire set. Why even lie to yourself? It's the greatest TV show ever. The Set is a hellofadeal ($$ left over), and it will add a little prestige to your shelf sandwiched in there between the M.A.S.H set and fuzzy Harry and the Hendersons collectors edition.

Even if you've watched the series, you know there is tons that you've missed. You can mine The Wire for details a la LOST, freeze framing to see if it really is Michael pulling the trigger, or zooming in on the occasional nude scene.

Go ahead and buy what makes you happy though. But if you make the wrong decision, I can already hear Clay Davis.

"Sheeeeeeiiiiiiit".

NJnelson said...

The Wire. Though I'd try and get a deal on it... Best Buy had it over Christmas for under $100.00.

Most satisfying purchase possible.

Then take the rest and go for books. Books books books.

Brian said...

If you have big hands be wary of the DSi or DS Lite - it's angular and kind of ouchie if you have monstrous mitts like mine and becomes very uncomfortable to hold before long.

I say get the headphones. That, or surprise your wife and take her to a B&B or something.

John Kelly said...

The Wire, for sure. I know what you're saying about DVDs mainly being hoarded, but the Wire is a fantastic one to own because when you meet someone who hasn't seen the Wire, you can lend it to them. Which is, in itself, a form of charity, I guess.

Seriously, there's a British movie critic who actually carries Season 1 around with him everywhere, just in case he meets someone who hasn't seen it yet. I bet that guy sleeps so well at night.

Paul said...

I would say the Wire, but that's a ton of money. A couple months ago it went on sale for $90. Wait for it to go on sale again. Or not. ;)

And the DSi sounds like a total waste to me (I love the ds btw).

Avoid the motherboard. You want instant gratification here and working on your pc isn't going to give you that (and I love my pc).

Dragonzigg said...

Absolutely The Wire. Gives you a chance to double dip and grab one of the other box sets as well. Plus it's just something that everybody should have, to preserve it for the next generation.

Robert said...

Those are definitely some great choices you have there. Personally I'd go for a set of headphones if I were you. Can't go wrong investing in a sweet pair of Sennheiser for that kind of money!

Paying for that motherboard Should be considered a need-to for your hard earned dollars. How does it ring in ones ear that a former PC editor-in-chief won't bother seeing to that the rig works. ;)
(Seriously, I sympathize)

Mike said...

Well, I'd say the DSi is out since you have one already. I know it's shinier, but that's just what Nintendo wants you to think. Maybe you should buy something you haven't bought before?

I'd go for the headphones or the motherboard. I have the former, and it is nice to get lost in some music. And the latter, well, I enjoy me some PC games. So that'd be me.

You can always Netflix The Wire, Twin Peaks, and the Prisoner.

Anonymous said...

Jeff you're a happily married man, but it sound like you really want to indulge.

That's why I'm going to suggest pornography. Seriously, what is more indulgent than buying porn.

Brain Blurbs said...

I'd go with the pc update! Just got myself around 1200$US bonus for 12 1/2 years of service in the navy. Was already looking around when a toilet overflowed... Now we are renovating and goodbye bonus lol

So, spend quickly before it is too late!!!

Stephen said...

Definitely The Wire but wait until it goes on sale. I picked it up for less than a C-note a couple of months ago thru Amazon.

You probably already have an iPod. But have you ever heard a Zune? A much better player in sound quality, user interface, features, and backwards compatibility when it comes to firmware/software updates.

Also, as Jeffk already mentioned, the Angel box set would be a great choice since you're into the Buffy series. There's a couple of crossover episodes which should not be missed, too.

The Twin Peaks set would be great also. I got it for xmas therebay negating my Season 1 sans Pilot Episode DVD set I picked up many years ago.

I guess if I were in your position I would fix the pooter.

I understand your dilemma.

Kevin said...

I'd go with headphones or the motherboard. The other choices aren't terrible, but with The Wire box set you could wait and it'll only get cheaper. I assume you wouldn't watch it the day you got it so waiting shouldn't be so hard, and if you're anything like my father you could wait a little while, forget half of it and restore your Wire v-card.

As far as the headphone for $250 you could get some great in-ear types. These are great for noisy places as they'll basically seal your ears and you won't hear anything. That also makes them really dangerous walking around town, so keep that in mind! I don't want to read about Jeff Green the hood ornament.

JT said...

Having listened to a few episodes of Out of the Game, I'd say A GOOD MICROPHONE PLEASE.

And Angel boxsets, like someone mentioned. It's so good. However, since you should watch Buffy up to the fourth season anyways first, go the Twin Peaks & Prisoner -route. I know I would if I had any money.

Robert said...

Oh, and a question I intended to ask. What in this world do you think you're doing for free but end up getting $250 for?

Student C said...

There are obviously only two choices here: Number four - or assless chaps. Both will increase your sexiness factor by several orders of magnitude.

Jokerfisch said...

What about buying 2 hookers to use pancake batter while you videotape it. Who said you had to have sex with them?

Jeff Green said...

Yeah, I'd pull the trigger on The Wire box today, but the price is bugging me. Both Best Buy *and* Amazon were selling it for way less a little while ago, as a coupla you already said. And I bet one of these places will put it back fer cheap(er) again. I can wait.

Looking into headphones now. Also mobos. However, my gut is telling me to scrap this whole damn PC and start from scratch with *everything*.

Also, daughter threw in another toughie into the mix: A turntable!
DOH!!!Such choices!

Kevin said...

http://www.headphone.com/products/headphones/all-headphones/

Great source for headphones. Even if you just use it as a reference for what to search for on Amazon.

Shobo Coker said...

Get The Wire. It sounds like you really love the show, and while hoarding DVD's aint a good idea, it's always nice to have those that occupy a special place in your heart nearby.

Don't get the mobo, that's a necessity. Noise canceling headphones, at 250 bucks that sounds like a super-indulgence. Surely you can get a decent pair with the munny left over from the box set?

Zeouterlimits said...

I'd go with Rock Band or the motherboard. Good thing about Rock Band is that you might be able to get the rest of the family to play.

Brian Snider said...

Get a nice bath robe, Jeff. You deserve it. :)

KFMeller said...

So uhh I'm going to have to say a new motherboard, definately. Without a decent computer at the home you have to revert to console's for your gaming pleasre. As we all know this is the WORST time to be playing console's (gutter period anyone?), so yeah, Jeff get the motherboard.

Ryan said...

Jeff, you're a helluva writer.

Treat yourself with a new workstation. I think it should be used in conjunction with some of your current cash, and with about $500, you can make yourself a nice new computer.

(I think Newegg had a $500 parts guide for a new computer. But there are review sites, such as Tom's Hardware, that'll help you on that bit.)

So you can have a shiny brand computer -just- for $250. Instead of $500.

-OR- you could launch a new review site. Have it ad-funded and work with aside your old 1up buddies. The extra income might make your $250 into much more, and you'll get free stuff again.

Jerr said...

Save it for July. The complete Battlestar collection comes out on Blu-Ray for $247 on Amazon. What's better than HD Battlestar?

Jay said...

The Wire. No question.

Tech stuff declines in value and will be obsolete in a year, but you'll never regret whatever amount of money you spend on the Wire box set.

Omar comin'!

Greg said...

I vote for getting the Wire and commiting to sit down with someone (either in the family or a friend that's willing to schedule it) and watch the whole damn thing :)

Use the leftover cash to buy some games to play with your wife and kid. Killer Bunnies = total awesomeness and by the time you get all the expansions it'll eat up that leftover $70 !!

Stephen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Squall said...

I just saw that the TrackIR v5 just released for $150...

But you might not be quite as dedicated to race sims as I am, and I don't think it works in WoW.

I figured this would be an easy call, then I read your list! But I couldn't live with a computer on life support, so I'd have to stick to that.

Anonymous said...

Noise canceling headphones are amazing.

I was waiting in my doctor's office one time, when these two members of The Beverly Hillbillies sat down right beside me and started arguing about the video store - apparently, their next stop - and which movie they was gonna git. The female member wanted to rent The Bridges of Madison County, but the male member protested on the grounds that Meryl Streep is apparently 'up the butt ugly'.

I slipped on my noise canceling headphones and listened to Mozart - pure bliss.

If only there was such a thing as a smell-canceling device then I'd be REALLY happy.

But the problem with noise canceling headphones is that they break way too easily. I've gone through 4 pairs. I've had it. I've wasted too much money on those things.

So what to do with the money then?

I'm thinking Africa. As in this money could be used to help raise some kid in Africa, and eventually maybe even send him to some quality institution of higher learning, such as Harvard or Yale?

Also, Green, don't be suckered into believing any of that Buddhist bullshit. When the Dali Lama (not too sure about the spelling there - and quite frankly I can't be bothered to look it up) recently visited Vancouver I couldn't help but observe and note that he stayed at the Pan frickin' Pacific Hotel (which has got to be one of the most expensive hotels on the face of the planet), that he was driven around town in a motorcade of brand new SUVs, and that he dined in the very best restaurants where he was pampered by our city's greatest chefs.

And when he flew here on the plane I can pretty much assure you that he didn't fly Economy.

Yeah, that Dali Lama, I love the way he's 'renounced' all his material possessions (hey, you know what, who needs possessions when the richest, most powerful people in the western world are busy feeding you and putting you up in the finest hotels). Yeah, what a struggle it must be to wake up in the Penthouse suite at The Pan Pacific Hotel.

How about this for wisdom - if the Dali Lama wants to set an example then maybe he should decline some of these offers?

No, but seriously, is your mom still alive. If so then spend the whole thing on your mom.

Now THAT'S wisdom.

Raf said...

The Wire, when it's on sale

then Deadwood

Ken in Irvine said...

My wife surprised me many Christmases ago with a pair of Bose Noise Canceling Headphones. It wasn't something I ever seriously considered purchasing because I didn't think they were worth the money. Boy was I wrong. Many years have passed and I am on my second pair. With the first pair, the headband broke. It was still under warranty and I got a replacement. The second pair broke too. But, I saw it coming and (thanks to some duct tape) was able to save them.

So, the fact that they have this design flaw in the headband really makes me mad for such an expensive product. On the other hand, I cannot imagine playing computer games without them.

They certainly do not cancel out all the noise, but they get most of it. It's hard to describe, but when I have them on and am really into a game, they just take me that much farther in. Often, my wife has to come into the room and physically touch me to get my attention because I am so engrossed in my game and so disengaged from the real world.

Therefore, go for the headphones. But, if you get the Bose set, make sure you reinforce the headband with some duct tape because they will break eventually.

Andrew McAuley said...

Try the first few seasons of "Dexter" or "Rome." Then use the remaining money to buy masks to protect your family against the swine flu or buy pizza and beer for watching the above mentioned tv shows.

P.S. I really hate blogger's word verification thingy

Robin said...

You don't need more games surely? Get the headphones or just buy lots of random music and books. Think of the countless hours you'll enjoy!

Jin said...

really cheetos? gross.

never seen the wire havn't got the time.

you should get some games. or if your gonna get headphones pick up a naff pair. not the earplug ones but like proper headbangers.

or maybe a manicure kit?

Corey Chaplan said...

The wire Jeff. A DSi hasn't got enough "DSi stuff" yet to warrant a purchase.

You can't go wrong with Omar.

"You come at the king, you best not miss."

Anonymous said...

jeff, do the right thing and fix your pc ! come on help pc gaming and play some games :)

Digital Firefly said...

Nvidia 3D Vision!

Alonzo said...

Definitely The Wire, but if you're bothered about the price it can wait a little while. In the meantime can I recommend another great TV series - Mad Men, to tide you over.

Stray Neutrino said...

Put the money is a safe, long-term, investment for your inevitable grand-child(ren).

MarekkPie said...

World of Warcraft beckons Jeff Green. Eggbert misses you dearly. He's probably freezing to death in some worn down hut in Storm Peaks, casting Immolate on himself to help fight off frostbite. He's already starved to the point he's eating raw Felhunter. Don't make him live this terrible existance much longer. Put him by a toasty fire in Dalaran; buy him a few Fish Feasts...Only you can prevent Gnome Iciclization!

Andrew said...

If the DS is your favorite handheld of all time, and you still have the fat original. Then that is your answer. Plus you get the discount. So the rest of the money you can spend on a new motherboard or some such shit to fix your PC so you can play WoW again. And we can all hear epic Eggbert stories.

Ryan said...

Fix your PC, Jeff... (nearly) everything else on that list would be a great gift for Xmas or your b-day or something your whole family could enjoy (Rock Band, DVD Box Sets, etc.)

For $250 you could get a new motherboard, more RAM, and have cash left over either towards a new video card or more games.

Practical? Yes. But I promise you that unless you'll be saving up to replace your PC in the next year, you'll be glad you did it.

Love the blog, even my wife reads it now. Keep up the good work!

Stephen said...

If you're still using a DS Phat, even the DS Lite would be a tremendous upgrade. Your eyes will thank you. You'd even have enough money left over for a great pair of IN EAR headphones, which in my opinion both sound superior and do a better job of sealing out environmental noise. Plus you can roll over in your airline seat comfortably while wearing them, and they require no batteries.

Yes, I agree, ditch the PC and start from scratch. Bring some work home from EA and write off 1/2 the cost.

RFWarrior said...

Headphones: If you travel then these are great. I found that they aren't that great for the office - too many interruptions and your ears get hot.

Computer: This sounds like the best option. The DSi is cool, but how much are you playing your older DS?

My two cents!

Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

I bought a $50 pair of noise canceling headphones a few years ago. They're decent and cut out most of the engine noise on planes. Sony MDR-NC6.

Get a $50 pair of headphones for plane / bus / train travel and spend the rest on books / games etc.

(sorry for the edit)

Anonymous said...

You didn't already get the Wire did you? If you're not aware, many Borders book stores are currently cleaning out their inventories of DVD's and CD's and are going to begin selling only the top 25 of each. I recently bought the Wire box set there for $125. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF THE SALE!!!!

If you could find it you could get both the Wire and the DSi with your employee discount. If you end up doing this, I demand a shout-out on your Twitter, blog, Out of the Game, and any other outlets you may have. It is this blog that needs the shoutings-out. Thank you, sir.

http://bogartnbroham.blogspot.com/

Marc said...

Use the money to start a fund. Put more money in this fund. Do this lots. THEN use the fund to take your wife and kid to New Zealand and hire actors to help you recreate your proudest moment... you know which one I mean... "YOU'RE NOT THE LORD OF THE RINGS!!!"

At least this time your wife will be able to see what the hell f**k you were talking about.

but yea.. mother boards are pretty cheap these days, you could probably pick up an alright one and have enough left to buy 90% of the Wire box set...

Judasgoat said...

Go for the motherboard. Its the gift that keeps on giving. Or the complete Tom Waits discography, which you may already have, but you like Leonard Cohen and you haven't mentioned TW so... Or the complete Deadwood set.

OR: A comfy new beanbag chair.

Cliff said...

My Father died a couple years ago and the estate sent me $2000 oil well money. I'll probably get $500 a month for awhile. I don't know what to do with it. I have some much hobby stuff as it is. Sometimes I just hate money as it just piles up in my bank account. Well I think I'll take the family out to a Mexican restaurant I guess. When you reach 51 you just don't hobby as much anymore. The love and gaming desire starts to go. Have fun with you money.

Bobby K said...

Possibly get both a DSi & The Wire

If Amazon's $180 price tag is bother you take a look at the New ones from their other sellers.

On person is selling a new set for $139. If you don't want to take a chance with that seller, another seller has it for $145 and its fulfilled by Amazon so you get free Super Saver Shipping.

For the DSi, I saw and ad in Game Informer that Gamestop/EB is offering $70 off toward a DSi if you trade in your DS (I don't know if it applies to the non-lite version though).

1) $145 Wire Box Set from Amazon other sellers

2) $100 DSi from Gamestop/EB (if the trade-in works).

With that $250 gift card you get both your top 2 picks.

Tim said...

I can't believe more people haven't suggested the "Rock Band" option. It entices non-gamers to play very easily (much more so that Guitar Hero). My other half NEVER plays video games but Friday has become drunken "Rock Band" night at our house for over 6 months now. And we're both almost 40! Even had a Rock Band party that was incredibly fun.

I was concerned about clutter, too, and swore I'd not keep plastic instruments littering my house. But they are easily shoved in a closet to keep your perfect feng shui living space.

You have not lived until you've heard your significant other mangle rapping "Sabotage" from the Beastie Boys and/or drummed to a Clash song or hit a perfect solo on "Highway Star". And they have TONS of songs you can download.
You will not regret getting this game and I guarantee it will bring family members together to play no matter how much they say otherwise before you get it. You won't have to play solo. (even if you do it has good competitive online modes, too).

* One caveat, since you actually played like a REAL instrument, this may all just suck.

Jack Asthma said...

I've found that when a wise decision is needed, the best course of action is to ask Ray Wise.

Ryan said...

I agree with Jerr. You can't go wrong with Battlestar on Blu-Ray. And it's the perfect price. Wait until July. I'm sure you like BSG.

Signal to Noise said...

Shhh! The log speaks and it says "F...O...R...M...I...C...A"!

Sean said...

Well you happen to live in driving distance of some of the best restaurants in America, so a night out at the French Laundry or Ubuntu would be a memorable and indulgent way to spend that cash. Similarly, how about a vineyard tour followed by a picnic featuring one of that vineyard's better vintages?

Or take another tack; how about season tickets for some entertainment venue? I know I'd be a regular at Six Flags Magic Mountain if I lived anywhere close to it. How about baseball? Football? Theater?

Or perhaps you could spend it on a game you haven't explored. Interested in LOTRO? Well 250 will, if you can get a founder to help you out, buy you the original game, the Moria expansion, and a lifetime subscription.

Hope you find something fun to spend it on and glad to see you writing again.

Anonymous said...

The Wire is going for $125 on half.com

David said...

Don't get the DSi yet, since you can save $100 soon. That's just a waste.

I suggest either the motherboard since that does give you your games back or Rock Band: The Beatles. You and your family love the Beatles, I'm sure your friends do, and then you have the instruments in case you want to buy any of the other Rock Band games.

Frank said...

If you like deep and interesting TV shows with excellent writing, I would recommend picking up the three seasons of deadwood. Admittedly, they never did "finish" the show, as it was planned to be four seasons, but it is an amazing program and one any TV lover should watch.

Anonymous said...

I strongly recommend you check out the Japanese anime series Moonlight Mile based on the manga. It was featured in Newsweek a few years ago as being an interesting and somewhat educational portrayal of the current state of the global race for space domination. Excellent characters, adult content, nothing geeky about it. I'm sure you could get the first (and second maybe) season dvd box set with subtitles. tjc

Anonymous said...

An ipod touch?

Anonymous said...

Got to be the wire - all 5 series would weigh in at well over 50 hours, and it definately hold up to repeat viewing. I kicked my wow addiction with the wire - it's definately a more rewarding vegetative state to be in!

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Anonymous said...

You should just get an iPod touch or iPad and scrap the DSi

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