Welcome

Welcome to my blog, where I post infrequently about books I'm reading, cool things I've found on the internet, poems I've liked, and other things that catch my attention.

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I had a chance to visit the Hungry i exhibit at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum recently. I really like the PALM - I saw "Kronos at 30" and "Maestro!," and I really wanted to see "In Character - Actors Acting." It's one of those terrific, almost hidden treasures you find in great cities like San Francisco.

The audio and video stations had some real finds - terrific songs, many by artists I'd never heard of, like Stan Wilson.

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I stopped going to the movies a few years ago. Sure, I made exceptions for the Lord of the Rings movies, but for everything else, I've had no problem waiting for things to come out on DVD.

Going to the movies had become unfun.

The commercials were the worst - up until the phenomenally annoying MPAA propaganda bits; between those and the ads, I spent the first half of every movie in a state of profound annoyance. Mix in the cell phones ringing, the rude people talking throughout the film, and the prices, and I found the whole thing unpleasant.

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Wow - I am really enjoying this book.

I've been a fan of Andy Hertzfeld since the early days of the Macintosh, and it's great to see the roles he plays in this story, and to get acquainted with Mitch Kapor, someone I hadn't known much about. (I love that Lotus was named for the lotus plant, a nod toward Buddhism.)

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I've developed a lovely evening ritual.

Before falling asleep, I read

  • a Billy Collins poem (I'm reading through my six Billy Collins books, in order)
  • another poem or two (currently from the Garrison Keillor Good Poems anthology; I'm not a huge Keillor fan, but I like this collection)
  • a short piece of prose (right now, that's a chapter from The Flight of the Iguana, which I am really enjoying)
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So I clicked a Making Light link to read Rehab Nation, about Nixon and politics and power, and came across the unfamiliar word "comity" - which I want to pronounse "KOH-mih-tee", but while that's legal, the preferred pronunciation is apparently "KAH-mih-tee" - and it means

"social harmony"

according to Merriam-Webster.

... but look at that etymology:

"akin to Sanskrit smayate he smiles".

Wow.

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A luscious napoleon from the fabulous French bakery led me on a click-fest through Wikipedia. Reading about mille-feuille pastries, I saw a link to the Galaktoboureko pastry. My mind on the mille in mille-feuille, I wondered whether the "galac" part of galactoboureko might mean "many" or "million", something like the "mille" in my Napoleon.

So off I went to the OED to get a good grasp of the etymology.

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One thing led to another this evening, and before I knew it, I was listening to the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You." This, in turn, led to a web search for info on two of the men behind the Partridge Family's music, Wes Farrell and Tony Romeo. Romeo wrote a hit for the Cowsills before writing several songs for the Partridge Family, including "Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque."

He died in 1995. I'm amazed, and a little dismayed, that I can't find more info about him on the web.

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I finished chapter 5 (of 7) in this self-paced programmed music theory book. A lot of it is review of things I learned in piano lessons; I've been really happy to discover that I remember the major scales as well as I do. I did learn the functional names of the various chords: tonic, supertonic, mediant, subdominant, dominant, submediant, leading, and then back to tonic.

I have another programmed music course when I'm finished with this one. I'd like to supplement these things with Practica Musica exercises.

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This was a fast read.

Somehow the marketing - probably more for the movie than the book - led me to expect something funnier. The official Amazon review gets it right - "harrowing" is more like it. There were certainly some funny moments, and some wonderful turns of phrase, and I really liked the portrayal of the author, with his love of all things shiny. I suppose I can forgive the marketers - if I hadn't thought "funny", I might not have picked it up (after all, don't I have enough depressing stuff to read?), but that definitely isn't my overall impression of the book.