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Underrated: Music consumption cutback and books

Overrated: 'Rachel Getting Married' and hobo chic

March 22, 2009

UNDERRATED

Scaling back on music consumption: We're dyed-in-the-wool music nerds, so our iPod once runneth over with just about every song or album that crossed our mind. But so far our resolution to rein it in for 2009 has paid off. Remember when new music was pored over and absorbed after every trip to the record shop? Here's to slowing down to explore and love our finds before acquiring more.

Real, live books: They're portable, often boast pleasing-to-the-eye cover art and, through the magic of turning pages, you can monitor your progress through a novel or memoir -- no batteries required! Plus, they make for a great conversation piece and are easy to consult for future reference. The Kindle may yet be our future, but until then we'll be clinging to our still-wireless world of paper.

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OVERRATED

'Rachel Getting Married': As we catch up on last year's Oscar nominees, we sadly came away underwhelmed with Jonathan Demme's drama. Anne Hathaway was solid as the flaw in the World's Most Fabulous Connecticut Wedding, but these times make it tough to feel too empathetic for Cheever-esque tales of upper-class woe. And that omnipresent string section didn't help.

Hobo chic: With the recession come many ways to capitalize on it, but the most annoying is this mini-trend. Upscale restaurants and bars play at being poor with brown bag service, "soup kitchen" specials and pink slip parties (yes, you, Cafe Was and Bar Celona). Combine this with Depression-era fashion, and the cavalier disregard for the real human cost of this recession starts boggling the mind.

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