To the Art of Edgar Degas

My random poem for today was "The Australian Dream" by David Campbell - I don't think I'd read any of his work before. I found him in The 20th Century in Poetry. I liked "The Australian Dream" (it reminded me of Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader, which I read recently and thoroughly enjoyed), and I went looking for more of Campbell's work. I found it at The Australian Poetry Library - where a bit of poking around turned up "To the Art of Edgar Degas," which I liked even better.

Parrots for Mom

... because the last time my mom visited, she was wondering about the city's wild parrots.

(Photographed this morning at Fort Mason.)

Alphonse and Gaston

I was checking Joshua Kosman's blog to see if he'd posted anything lately (alas, he has not), and I was stumped by the phrase "the tentative Alphonse-and-Gaston footwork between Nelsons and the string players " in his entry about hearing the BSO perform Mahler's Ninth.

Tokio Hotel ist ausgezeichnet!

I've been trying to reinvigorate my language skills, so I've started reviewing some of the languages I've studied, switching to a different one (Spanish, French, German, Italian) each week.

I thought music might help reinforce the vocabulary I was picking up, so I trawled the library for pop CDs in other languages. I had no idea what any of these bands would sound like; I figured I'd just check them out and give a few repeat listens to anything I enjoyed.

Celebrating Calder

Thanks to Google for informing me that today is Alexander Calder's birthday, via a beautiful Google doodle on their home page. I love the shadows.

I was lucky enough to grow up near Chicago, where I got to see the Calder Flamingo every time I went downtown. I've always especially loved his mobiles.

The American Masters episode on Calder was marvellous.

Happy? That's Me!

Yesterday a Wonderboy song came up on random play, and I got a great big grin.

For about a decade, I ran a little independent record label, Racer Records. I got to work with artists I really loved, putting out their records and trying to build a bigger audience for them.

Wonderboy was the first band I signed, and I love them as much today as I did back in 1993.

Hearing a Wonderboy tune just makes me indescribably happy.

My Open Letter in Support of a Boycott of Nature Publishing Group

Background: "Nature Publishing Group told the University of California that next year subscription prices would increase 400 percent, with the average annual cost of a journal increasing to $17,479. UC Libraries fought back with a combative letter to UC faculty suggesting that faculty should consider boycotting the journals, and cease submitting or reviewing articles for these journals." via Metafilter

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