Wednesday, August 29, 2018

List from an *Anti*-List

I love my reading lists and this one came from an unexpected place. The whole article is worth reading but I think I most want to focus on the books that the author wants kicked out of high schools.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Suggestions for Winter Olympics

Back in 2014, right before the Sochi Olympics, I did a list of suggested winter Olympic sports. I put those suggestions out, one by one, on Facebook but I didn't have them all collected anywhere. I have since found the word document that I used while brainstorming the list and I thought I'd put the suggestions here for posterity.

1. Paint ball on ice
2. Competitive polar bearing
3. Capture the flag
4. Ice sculpture racing
5. Snow fort construction
6. Winter bike commuting
7. Dog sledding (actual suggestion)
8. Getting a toddler dressed and into a car seat
9. Ice yachting
10. Snowshoe long jump
11. 4 X 100 Driveway shovel relay

12. Snow ball fight

Some of these are obviously jokes but there are some that I like quite a bit.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

LL's Birthday

As a snapshot of where he is, here are some of the things LL wants for his birthday:

  • mirrored sunglasses
  • a nerf dart gun/suction cup darts
  • a builder playset (I'm not sure what this is)
  • colored foam, like the kind with colored paper that makes it stick together (?)
  • NOT a younger brother (maybe a younger sister)
  • after explaining the long odds against a younger sister, he said that he simply wanted help making one out of a paper bag
  • a fun day

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dearth of a Salesman

The other night the FP Gal and I were talking about classic literature that we read in high school. This conversation was started because I was talking about my interactions with my classmates in my college literature course. My class has been sub-divided into smaller groups of five or six and my group consists of several young high schoolers, mostly women. Their approach to the poems and stories that we've been reading is very different than mine. This is understandable and not at all meant as a criticism. An 18 year old must have a very different perspective on fundamental issues like death and marriage.
Anyway, this lead me to talk with the FP Gal about what 'classic' stuff we had read while in high school. I mentioned that I'd happened to read 'Death of a Salesmen' twice and didn't feel the need to read it ever again. She calmly told me that it's probably a piece that isn't meant for high school. We both agreed that it might be valuable for me to read it now, as a middle age man who is frustrated in his work career.
Alas! I was pretty sure that it was all packed up. I probably have five or six copies of it in different collections but I've already packed the drama section of my bookshelves. I told her that I'd feel some obligation to follow up and reread it, but I couldn't.
You can see where this is going, can't you? Two weeks from now, in my lit class, we'll be reading 'Death of a Salesmen'.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

More Musical Education

The musical education continues apace. This morning I played this gem for Relia and tried to explain to her what I loved about it:
I spoke about how smooth the music is. And indeed, when people speak of music being 'silky', this is what they mean. The strings and the back up singers all help, but George Michael's voice is simply gorgeous here. I then played her the original, which I also love, but maybe not as much as this recreation. As I was finding that, I found a version from Adele:

I like this too, but not as much as the others. It's faster, which can be ok, but doesn't do the song any favors here. Adele also uses that modern thing where singers must 'shake' their voices. (If I was smarter about this, I'd know the term I mean. Tremelo? Or am I making that up?) My personal feeling is that a little bit of that goes a long way. The industry feeling seems to be 'if a little bit is great, then a lot of bit would be even greater'.
Anyway, this allowed me to point to concrete comparisons so that Relia can see what I enjoy in my music.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Me to Leo: No, no, no. Your daily schedule is not so busy that you don't have time to put on underwear.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Relia Music

Lately Relia has been working me to listen to more of her music. Her purpose for this is so that I'll let her play the radio while we drive, but I'm trying to give it deeper meaning. I remember various times that I tried to bridge a gap with my parents by impressing them with the music that I'd fallen in love with and I want to give her that same opportunity.
So's not really moving that fast. She is big into Taylor Swift and a handful of other people that seem a little 'flavor of the day' to me. She's convinced that Taylor Swift is 'country' music and that may have once been true. But when I hear Tay-Tay, I hear pure pop music. Which is fine. I like pop music. But it ain't country music.
The other day while I was driving (and controlling the music!) this song by Morrisey came on:

 She called it country music. Well...maybe not. I asked her what made it 'country' and she said that she could hear the guitars. Ok, fair enough.
So she's working on me and lord knows that I have a long way to go. I'm hopeful, somewhat hopeful, that this will become a two way street.
Wish me luck!