December 12, 2007

Vice City

Everyone has a vice or two, something they love with a passion, something they learn about and enjoy. Some people have rampant coke habits and drink a couple fifths of vodka every day. Some people enjoy exotic hookers. Some people just aren't risk takers and enjoy fine wine, cigars or dining in good restaurants. Some seek the perfect cup of coffee brewed from rare beans.

I don't drink so the wine and vodka are pretty much out. I was always a gentleman and paid for my date but I never paid for my date if you know what I mean. Cigars just make me want a cigarette and I stopped smoking a few years ago. Restaurants are great and I like eating out but fine dining often collides head-on with vegetarianism. I enjoy a good cup of joe but I honestly don't need to trek through the jungles of small South American countries in a search for coffee beans that have been ingested and shat out by endangered mountain lions.

But I do have vices.

  • In a stunning display of what happens when you combine a love of music with a borderline obsessive personality, I own nearly 4,000 albums.
  • I have a vast collection of books. Included are nearly 1,000 books I haven't yet read. My "to-read pile" is out of control. I maintain a list of all the books I've read. It documents the last 837 books I've plowed through.
  • I used to collect coins. I ended up selling them all to buy books and CDs.
  • I maintain a vast trove of useless pop culture knowledge. Like, I can identify the tenuous link between the bands Jane's Addiction and Genesis* and compare and contrast the movie version of Logan's Run with the eventual television series that, while fantastic, lasted only a season.** I hope to be able to find a way to make lots of money with this someday but I won't be surprised if it just doesn't happen.

I showed you mine, now show me yours. What are your vices? And if you don't answer I'm just going to assume it's some freaky (not in the good way) sex thing or you keep strangers' eyelashes in bottles to harness the power of their immortal souls. And you don't want that.

* Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell's latest project featured the guitar work of Nuno Bettencourt who was once the guitarist for the band Extreme which was fronted by Gary Cherone who fronted the third incarnation of Van Halen which was first fronted by David Lee Roth who launched a marginally successful solo career - breathe - with a variety of guitarists including Steve Vai who also played with Frank Zappa a band mate of whom was drummer Chester Thompson who began playing in the touring lineup of Genesis in 1976.

** It's quite possible that Gregory Harrison's television Logan was superior to the film's Michael York version though that's debatable. What is clear, though, is that Jenny Agutter was way hotter than Heather Menzies, both of whom played Jessica.

Posted by Chris at December 12, 2007 6:35 AM

The internet!
When i am bored it gives me something to do or read, i have photo's on here and of course access to music, games and TV, my husband doesnt get it at all yet he spends hours on itunes but then music is his vice lol

Posted by: Pol at December 12, 2007 7:34 AM

Books are also my vice. I stopped counting my "to be read" pile when I hit 2,000 and decided to skip counting the books I had already read.

Posted by: Maria at December 12, 2007 7:37 AM

You know you're getting old when you don't have any interesting vices anymore. I don't drink, I quit smoking in 1999, I try not to swear anymore because of the constantly listening little ears, I'm happily married so there is no whoring around (not that I was a whore, mind you), and I live in the suburbs. How boring is that? Thankfully I don't drive a minivan or have a blow up Christmas decoration in my front yard, but I fear it is in my future. I'm not sure I even have a vice anymore other than my obsessive love for Tivo. My how life changes...

Posted by: Shelly at December 12, 2007 7:44 AM

I was going to say "my web site and blog" but really, trains are my vice. Many people "like trains" but I take it to the next level (see my web site, for example). I comfort myself that I know many people who are more obsessed than I. ;)

Oh, and drinking far too much diet cola. That's my other vice.

Posted by: Steve Boyko at December 12, 2007 7:51 AM

I love to barbeque and I am obsessive about it. I love to have people over and see what they think of my cooking, kick back, have a few beverages, listen to the ball game...guy time!

Posted by: Al P at December 12, 2007 8:05 AM

My vice... is only seasonally supported...
I LOVE PEEPS... doesn't matter what color flavor or shape... my love of Peeps runs true and deep...

Posted by: Stephanie at December 12, 2007 8:37 AM

Books, I will never read all the books I have...and I'm not even close to the amount you have waiting to be read. I love shoes, I buy shoes first and then an outfit to wear with them.
And anything with a fleur de lis on it. Ihave them all over my every room. In every way shape and form- jewelry, towels, rugs, shirts, glasses, dishes, artwork...I even found fleur de lis mens boxers at Target!

Posted by: lisa at December 12, 2007 8:44 AM

Midgets and Goats.

Posted by: william at December 12, 2007 8:51 AM

Up until two months ago nicotine was my biggest vice but now that I have quit, I don't really have a major one unless you count coffee. I have to have coffee. I can drink it all day long.

And my weekend vice is World of Warcraft. I know it's geeky but I love it.

Posted by: Jennifer at December 12, 2007 8:54 AM

You should try out for Jeopardy. I did! I made it to the final fifteen in our local contestant search. Then I waited, and I waited, and I waited and a year later, they still have not called.

Vices: I like beer, but I really need to give it up and lose 20. Also Diet Pepsi. So I guess my biggest vice would be aluminum cans.

Posted by: Jeff St Real at December 12, 2007 9:08 AM

Um, chocolate?

I have about 30 books on chocolate, 50 pounds of chocolate in the house (none of it in the form of candy bars like *eck* Hershey's), file folders filled with printed recipes from the web, entire sections of my bookmarks dedicated to chocolate, two digital thermometers for tempering, one whole cupboard in the kitchen just for chocolate utensils and supplies, a stainless steel chocolate tempering machine that cost more than my laptop, and my latest edition: two tiny baby cacao trees which I hope will bear fruit in about 3 years.

Oh yeah, and I have a blog where I used to talk about chocolate when I had time. Did I mention work was my other vice?

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at December 12, 2007 9:10 AM

Not many vices on my part lately mostly because of the morning sickness & exhaustion of being pregnant and trying to work and trying to entertain a two year old.

My vices generally have to do with Dave (Matthews Band) and reading. I used to be a voracious reader but that has gone out the window since having Matthew. I do have moments of hope where I plow through several books in a few days time like I used to but those times are far and few between these days.

Also, this blog thing is a bit of a vice (both writing and reading.)

Gardening. Exercise. Can you consider these things vices? I guess I am quite boring, no?!

Finally, internet shopping. It is sinful how easy that is and I never have to leave the comfort of my own home!!!

Posted by: Christina at December 12, 2007 9:18 AM

I have a thing for craft supplies, which means I have about 30 started projects that have since been abandoned and I still start up more. It's a sickness.

I had to give up my book addiction for budget reasons; now I go to the library, but that sometimes squicks me out, because hello! Those books are dirty. Literally.

Posted by: Jessie at December 12, 2007 9:19 AM

I am not kidding when I suggest: Have you considered forming a team and trying out for World Series of Pop Culture? I bet you'd win.

Posted by: Poppy at December 12, 2007 9:31 AM

Yarn (and new knitting projects); Starbucks White Chocolate Mochas; Hogue Late Harvest Riesling; Flickr (current obsession, replacing eBay, Amazon, and several other easily addicting websites).

Posted by: Kelly at December 12, 2007 9:32 AM

Yarn (and new knitting projects); Starbucks White Chocolate Mochas; Hogue Late Harvest Riesling; Flickr (current obsession, replacing eBay, Amazon, and several other easily addicting websites).

Posted by: Kelly at December 12, 2007 9:33 AM

PS - I heart Dave Matthews (Band or otherwise). The first concert I absolutely loved was DMB, and I hadn't heard any of their music before I went to it. Talk about love at first sight...

Posted by: Poppy at December 12, 2007 9:36 AM

- The internet. I don't know what I did with all my time before.

- Chuck Taylor All Stars. I have more pairs than I'll admit. Damn them for making so many styles.

- Gadgets. But a light and a button on it, and I'm drawn like a moth to flame.

On an entirely unrelated topic, for some bizarre reason, I had a dream last night that I went to your place and raced around a go-kart track you had in your backyard. I was having fun until you smoked by me in an ATV.


Posted by: martin at December 12, 2007 9:51 AM

"I was always a gentleman and paid for my date but I never paid for my date if you know what I mean."

Man, you spit out some really great lines now & then.

Like you, I don't drink and I quit smoking in Jan of '06, so...I'm afraid my vice is Starbucks. Oh! And designer shoes and handbags, which I could probably own a lot more of if I didn't spend $30 a week in Starbucks.

Posted by: kalisah at December 12, 2007 9:53 AM

I've become addicted to on-line shopping. If I can't find it on-line, I feel I've failed. Just an aside: Heather Menzies also played one of the children (Louisa) in the Sound of Music. But, you probably knew that already.

Posted by: Susan at December 12, 2007 10:01 AM

The band linkage was amazing!

My vices are pretty boring, things like staying up all night reading a novel when I should be sleeping so I can catch the 5AM commuter train to DC.

And while I actually have lots of goats, unlike William I am not obsessed by them. Nor do I like midgets in any particular way.

Posted by: OddMix at December 12, 2007 10:07 AM

Somehow, everything leads to Kevin Bacon. I assume.

I've overcome addictions that were directly related to a borderline obsessive disorder that went a little haywire. Because of that, everything that I do these days is purposely done in moderation.


I would've had cancer cured by now if it weren't for the internet, in general, and blogs, specifically. Among the long list of blogs are yours and Beth's, of course, so you can thank yourselves for cancer not being cured yet. As a matter of fact, I have an exam in 4 hours and what am I doing instead of studying? Hmmm?

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at December 12, 2007 10:08 AM

Not a vice as such but definitely an addiction -

My wife and I are addicted to looking for Tupperware in the woods.... Okay it's not quiet as freaky as it sounds. We love to go letterboxing and have found nearly 1000 boxes over the last few years.

Letterboxing is a mix of treasure hunting/walking/stamp collecting and is a lot of fun. Our 3 year old loves going out with us and we are always finding cool little parks/places that we never knew about.

Posted by: Steven at December 12, 2007 10:16 AM

Books and magazines! I too have a huge pile of "to read" stuff.

Other vices - wine. I am becoming more interested in learning about wine to the point where I probably have about 5 cases in my basement and just got a wine fridge (dual zone temps!) for my anniversary present.

Also - swear like a truck driver on occasion. I blame the legal profession for that.

Posted by: Sue at December 12, 2007 10:33 AM

I have some relatively harmless obsessions. My spices are arranged alphabetically. The pantries are arranged according to type of food - right down to separating the canned goods by type. I have a numbering system for my classical and opera videos and my cd's are sorted by category (pop, classical, opera) and then alphabetically. I still have to work on the books.

And I can't stand a crooked rug or picture.

The other obsession is a vice. I've quit smoking twice over the years for 3 years at a stretch and gone back. Not a lot but I still smoke. One of these days I'll decide to quit again.

It's funny. I had almost no problems once I decided to stop drinking almost 28 years ago. Cigarettes are much harder.

Posted by: ann adams at December 12, 2007 10:36 AM

I suppose mine is pretty tame. I eat healthy and eat my fruits and vegetables and all that good stuff. But I will never, EVER be able to give up regular soda. Screw diet soda, screw caffeine free. I know I could lose 3 pounds a year if I switched blah blah blah, but I refuse!

Posted by: Stephanie at December 12, 2007 10:39 AM

First off... did you ever hear Nuno Bettencourt play "flight of the bumblebee"? Dude has mad skills... which were completely wasted on a band like Extreme. How did he not become a Slash?

Vices... I've got a thing for chocolate milk that's borderline unhealthy. Email is a vice too. I love it so much that I've actually blogged any old thing just to get email comments from people.

I love to play the guitar, but I'm constantly drumming on something. I'd have to include the drums.

Posted by: Brad at December 12, 2007 10:42 AM

Oh, the smoking. I am "quitting" right now. (just means I am getting sneakier by the minute)

The rest? I so can't say in a public forum.

Posted by: Mr Lady at December 12, 2007 10:45 AM

Magazines - I subscribe to at least 10 - and read everything from Rolling Stone to Glamour to Wired, monthly...

I also am an avid reader and everytime I read a review of a book that sounds interesting, I write it on my list (most recent addition: "Musicophilia" by Oliver Sachs - sounds interesting). I am addicted to my workout - and I workout usually 7 days a week. This week, I'm sick and feeling like crap, so I'm resorting to a backup vice of nonfat sugar free gingerbread lattes from Starbucks.

Huge music fan, as well - but that comes from growing up the child of a musician. My tastes run all over the place, and I love finding new stuff... Buying Cds and downloading tunes makes me happy.

Posted by: sarah at December 12, 2007 10:57 AM

vintage gnomes, u2, pirated music, and martha stewart anything top my list.

oh, and i also read really crappy books. i know there's good literature out there- i've read scads of it- but sometimes, there's nothing better than a trashy pulp novel full of grammatical errors and based aroud a plot that is completely irrational.

Posted by: meg at December 12, 2007 11:13 AM

Shopping in general, but particularly DVDs, CDs and books. It doesn't help that the boyfriend shares the same vice and we're enablers.

I"m also an acoutrament whore. Whichever project I'm involved in, I need all the gear.

Posted by: rai at December 12, 2007 11:29 AM

Fabric, shoes, cooking tools, and good food.

Posted by: heels at December 12, 2007 11:40 AM

Clutter, HATE it! Washing my hands and yours if you're with me or wiping what you touched that is mine. Not wearing shoes in the house, though I have 15 cats that track through the litter daily...go figure! Internet shopping and shopping for 'stuff' for my cats.

Oh...and bad drivers, drive my crazy and S. MD is loaded with them!!! WHY can't people merge in the damn merge lane????!!! grrrrrr

Posted by: been there, done that at December 12, 2007 11:42 AM

books. i was just thinking the other day that owning 300 books is nothing even though people keep telling me that's way too many books. and now, see, i can just point them your way and say, "see, now that's a lot of books!" but, if i had the money and the space, i'd match you book for book.

purses. i'm not very girly but i love me some pretty purses. but, again, space and money has curtailed that spending. which is probably a good thing.

crafty things: show me a pretty piece of paper and i'll buy a whole ream. stickers? forget about it. ribbons? all over it baby. thing is, i don't make nearly enough things to justify the amount of money i've spent on those things. :(

Posted by: pea at December 12, 2007 12:02 PM

I cannot--cannot!--have more than a few books onhand that I haven't read yet, because all I will do is think about them and feel bad for not reading them. And I'm a compulsive re-reader, so I'm always working on three or four different books, and at least one of them is one I've already read. I have all these theories about literature and life being a dialogue that no one actually needs to hear about.

My vices are whiskey, staying out too late, live music, shoes, and a bad habit of kissing strangers. And I recently devoted a whole post to my peculiar OCD problems, of which there are many.

Posted by: samantha at December 12, 2007 12:12 PM

I have a super disgusting way that I eat oreos. Put as many oreos as you can fit into a coffee mug. Pour milk on top and eat with a spoon.
This vice is such that I can't have oreos in the house or I'll eat the whole pack in a few days.

I also am a book and music whore. My husband and I embarked on a "year of no spending" starting this past May and I have to say that the library has become a real treat. I get to read so many things and it's free! :)

Posted by: tulip at December 12, 2007 12:23 PM

video games and horrendously expensive hobbies.

i spend way too much time playing video games. i spent way too much money getting the perfect entertainment setup to play them. which leads to...

i collect horrendously expensive hobbies. in the last five years i have: set up and torn down 4 freshwater aquariums and 3 saltwater aquariums, taken up road cycling (in the last two years i've had six bikes, i'm down to two now), been snowboarding for about 13 years but every couple i seem to need a really expensive piece of gear, taken up photography again (which isn't horrible since i already have a nice 35mm Nikon, but getting B&W film developed isn't cheap and i want to make the jump to a DSLR eventually). i'm sure there are more but i've forgotten or quit them.
this all stems from two things. the first being that i'm a total nerd. a nerd that has devoted his life since the age of ten to computers and programming. as such this life has given me some ocd tendencies. the second is that i have this insane need to buy things once. this means the hobbies and equipment i buy for them end up being expensive. which may in the long run save me some money since quality things last longer and/or retain better value for resale.

it still drive the lady nuts :)

Posted by: Jared at December 12, 2007 12:39 PM

Beads. Glass, stone, wood, bone, ceramic, whatever. Gotta have them. I have cases, literally CASES of beads. Sure, I make jewelry from them, but the beads I have FAR exceeds the jewelry I'm inclined to make. It's easier to hide beads than it is cowboy boots (Of which I counted 12 pair last week)

Posted by: Amy at December 12, 2007 12:54 PM

Makeup. And hair products. I horde these things like no tomorrow. And it's like, look, a hair product on sale... never you mind I have four other products that do the same thing.. Must... has...

Also, shoes and clothes. I guess my vices are pretty girlie.

Except for the video games. I'm a 12 year old boy trapped in a 22 year old girls body. I just finished the Zelda for my DS... literally played about seven hours a day until I did...

Posted by: Cassandra at December 12, 2007 1:15 PM

Well, since I consider a well-made icy ultra-dry martini to be nectar of the gods, surely that cannot be my daily (or eveningly) vice. So I'll go with Volvo station wagons. There are two in my garage right now. Because that's all that will fit.

Posted by: bhd at December 12, 2007 1:37 PM

Yarn yarn and more yarn. I'm not a packrat, but sweet jebus do I collect yarn. And books. :)

Posted by: laura at December 12, 2007 1:58 PM

Hookers- no
drugs- nope
alcohol- occasional glass of wine
cigarettes- I'm trying to stop but it's darn hard.
My main vices are similar to yours. Music and books are up at the top but my number one is still gadgets, mostly photography gadgets, but any nifty new tech gadget will make me drool!

Posted by: Jeff A at December 12, 2007 2:22 PM

Someone else mentioned about being boring and suburban and not having any interesting vices . . . I seriously feel that way right now. In the past it had been things like Mt. Dew, Doc Martens, sour cream & onion Pringles, Chuck Taylors, Queen (the band), musical theater (specifically Andrew Lloyd Webber - I was young).

Now my "vice" is being a dabbler. I have 3,000,000 interets, I get into all of them, but only so deep. I've got 14,000,623 projects going, all in various stages of completion. Some sewing, some quilting, some photography, some scrapping, some books to read, some albums to listen to, some videos to edit, some crocheting, some shoes to buy . . . it's bad.

Okay, truth. My real active vice at the moment is buying children's clothes. My daughter is a freaking fashion plate because I can't resist. Especially when you find something uber cute but cheap.

Posted by: kate at December 12, 2007 2:34 PM

You know I'm trying to quit smoking but my other vices are all the bad ones.

I drink, I swear, I'm a food snob; I buy shoes I don't need.

Restaurants are my most expensive vice; I love them. But, I only love them if they are down home with phenominal,inventive or out of the ordinary. I don't like pretentious unless the service is so good you just can't help it.

Posted by: chantel at December 12, 2007 2:44 PM

My vices change several times each year. Which makes me simultaneously easy and difficult to shop for - because while I always have a new hobby or obsession to placate, by the time Christmas or my birthday gets here I'll probably be done with it and on to something new.
So I guess my biggest vice is inconsistency. I have no large collections because I never stay interested in something long enough to acquire much of it.

Posted by: Amy at December 12, 2007 3:06 PM

Buying too many books and magazines. Internet. Carbohydrates. Empty Captain Crunch.

Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen at December 12, 2007 3:42 PM

The internet, definitely. Although, a few months ago, I decided to try to never turn on my computer at home during the week after work unless absolutely necessary, which has helped tremendously. Before that, I would probably be surfing the internet all evening long... even while eating dinner or watching television. Now, I only do it while at work. :-)

Posted by: Stephanie at December 12, 2007 4:20 PM

Sled dogs. And dogsledding. Hopelessly addicted.

Posted by: coffeedog at December 12, 2007 4:39 PM

I love your pop culture knowledge :) You're more useful than Wikipedia, and I'm just waiting for the day when I need to know something and email you and get a fantastic answer. I actually bragged on you once, too...we were talking about the seven degrees thing, and I was all, "I know this guy...well, sort of, he's one of my internet friends? Uh...yeah. Well, he can connect pretty much anybody from any band to another. It's wicked cool." Yeah, I talk about my blogfriends in real life. I'm suave like that :P

Posted by: Heather at December 12, 2007 5:37 PM

My shopping vices are yarn (I'm a knitter, but I have something along the lines of enough yarn for at least 100 pairs of socks, and I for damn sure don't knit a pair of socks a week!) and materials for rubber stamping (I make cards, which don't take a lot of paper per card. But I have enough 12"x12" paper to cover every square inch of my house. I need to become a scrapbooker!).

Posted by: Teenuh at December 12, 2007 5:41 PM

Definitely the internet. Kitchen gadgets, office supplies, and homemade cookies. Don't drink or smoke, but definitely need a good cup of coffee EVERY work morning.

Posted by: Steff at December 12, 2007 7:00 PM

Hmm, let's see. I
It used to be shopping, especially for shoes and makeup, but then I had a baby, and while I still love shoes, I just don't find shopping too interesting anymore. (which is great for the wallet!)

So, for now, it's:
Chocolate - yes, definitely chocolate.
Books as well. My "to-read" list never seems to stop growing.
The internet, since, well, I love to read!

Posted by: Dawn at December 12, 2007 7:36 PM

Three words: hand knit socks. I knit them myself, thank goodness, but I am almost incapable of wearing anything else when the weather is less than pleasant.

And while I wouldn't consider it a vice, I am constantly getting grief for MY to-read pile and it can't be more than 50 books. Thank you, thank you, thank you, I think I'm going to go buy some more books. :)

Posted by: Angela at December 12, 2007 8:25 PM

A tin of smoked mussels. I love sliding that little tin out of the box, popping the lid back, and using a tiny little oyster fork to lift them to my salivating mouth. I share with no one. I savor each tiny little mussell as if it was the last on earth.

I have no idea why I love them so much. They are horribly oily, make my breathe retched, and generally make anyone in a 40 foot radius recoil in disgust.

The other is fine cheeses. I love a good cheese. Favorite? St. Andre's Triple Cream. Once it comes to room temperature, it literally rolls around on your tongue. Now I want cheese. And mussels. But mainly cheese.

Posted by: Jen at December 12, 2007 8:54 PM

My vices...hmmm...
reading blogs;

fine chocolate;

good wine;

gourmet food (but not weird stuff - no monkey
brains for me);

a well-made Tom Collins cocktail;

buying clothes, but not for me, for my girls;

buying books that I totally intend to read - my "to read" bookcase has more books than my "read" bookcase also;

fabric and patterns from the sewing store - I don't know how many projects I've purchased materials for and not started.

Gosh, I could keep going but I'd better call this good.

Posted by: zanie at December 13, 2007 3:34 PM

Let's see... I own all of The Sims expansion packs. They consume an entire bookshelf in my office. It's colorful. I should post about that...

I have twenty boxes of shoes and two hanging racks that hold shoes - approximately forty pairs of shoes, total. I wear only pairs every week. (Yes, the same three pairs.)

I have at least 30 white wash cloths not including the ones I've retired and am now using as rags.

I have six sets of sheets. One person. Six sets. Is that really necessary?

I have four comforters and only one bed. Again - no sense.

I have every planner I've used for the last six years. I keep thinking I will need to go back and reference something. I have done that exactly once, about five years ago.

Posted by: Emily at December 13, 2007 3:36 PM

My vices are as follows:
Peanut Butter M&Ms, Justin Timberlake music, anything from Lush, boots, Thank You cards and buying toys for my cats every time I go to the pet store.

Posted by: Amaya at December 13, 2007 5:34 PM

holy shit...

i was so sure you were going to tell me that kevin bacon played a key role in that tangled web. attended kindergarten with the "jane says" namesake, or something.

no such luck. dang.

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