Grim, grim, grim.
Looks like we're doomed to four more years of wrongheaded, incompetent government. Here's hoping we survive...
Hard to believe the American people are foolish and gullible enough to elect Dubya after his disastrous first term.
Got a couple of time travel films from Netflix. Time travel is possibly my favorite sub-genre of science fiction, ever since I first read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Was that the first time travel story ever?)
Film: (DVD) DittoTwo Korean college students communicate via a damaged ham radio...except that he's in 2000, and she's in 1979. '79 was a very eventful year in Korea, with a student revolution that caused the fall of dictatorship and the rise of democracy. The film seemed a bit amateurish, and much of the acting was way over the top.
Film: (DVD) Somewhere in TimeChristopher Reeve goes back to 1912 after he falls in love with a woman in an old photograph. Generally disappointing, not recommended.
eBook: Marque and Reprisal Elizabeth Moon, 2004This is the sequel to Trading in Danger, following the adventures of Kyala Vatta as her family's interstellar shipping company comes under attack from mysterious enemies.
Iolanthe at M.I.T.Opening night. Good audience, good performance, I think this one's going to be a hit.
eBook: The Rackham Files Dean Ing, 2004A sci-fi detective series, except the last story turng out into a Nuclear Armageddon survival tale. Heavy second amendment political adjenda, not a wonderful piece of work.
Film: (DVD) Tokyo Joe Stuart Heisler 1949A Humphrey Bogart film I had never seen nor even heard of before. Looks like an attempt to re-capture the "formula" of Casablanca, many similarities. Bogart is an Air Corps veteran returning to Occupied Japan as a civilian. Before the war he had run a night club called
"Ricks""Tokyo Joe's." A couple of weeks before Pearl Harbor, he had left his White Russian wife (who was a singer in his club, with a passing resemblance to Ingrid Bergman.) Bogart gets all misty eyed on hearing the song "As Time Goes By""These Foolish Things Remind Me of You." This song is run into the ground throughout the film with interminable repetitions. He then heard that she has died, so 7 years have passed before his return to war-torn Japan. Turns out she is still alive, but has divorced him and married an American lawyer who looks a lot like Paul Henreid.
There's one scene where an officer brings up Communists while talking about the Japanese nationalist plot, but the voice is different, and that bit of dialogue is clearly an interpolation after the fact.
iPod R.I.P. I dropped it on a hard floor, croaked the hard drive. I guess I shoulda gone for the AppleCare plan when I bought it.
eBook: The Grantville Gazette Eric Flint, 2004This is another in the series that began with 1632, actually a collection of fan fiction. I love this concept, but this is not the best of the series.
Film: (DVD) Heaven & Earth Oliver Stone, 1993Biopic of a Vietnamese woman who survives the war and prospers in the U.S.A. Most of the film is set in Vietnam, which is depicted as a peaceful land of great beauty, as it may well have been before the war. I actually got this because it features Billy Bob Thornton, but actually his part is quite small.
Down to FloridaA long, late flight down to Plantation for Thanksgiving.
Film: (DVD) Russian Ark Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002This is a technical tour-de-force, an entire feature film with a cast of hundreds, filmed in a single take! Set in St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum, it traces the history of Russia from the 18th century to the present. An amazing piece of wok.
Film: SpongeBob Squarepants 2004One of my nephews recommended this feature-length cartoon, and I must admit I did enjoy it, though I was previously unfamiliar with the cast of characters.
Film: (DVD) Fatal Attraction Adrian Lyne, 1987I think everybody in the country but me had already seen this stalker thriller.
Back from Florida.
Film: (DVD) Alex and Emma Rob Reiner, 2003A fun film about a novelist who falls in love with the stenographer who helps him get through his writer's block.
Film: (DVD) Arlington Road Mark Pellington, 1999A paranoid's delight, but I won't spoil the surprising ending.
Film: (DVD) A Room With A View James Ivory, 1986Based on the E.M.Forster novel, life among the shabby-genteel in Venice and England.
Film: (DVD) Amy's O Julie Davis, 2001A sex comedy with hardly any sex, but a pleasant enough piece of fluff.
Went to the doctor for pain in my left foot. Nothing definitive, might be sciatica.
Blood pressure: 110/78
Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.
Film: (DVD) Washington Square Agnieszka Holland, 1997Love thwarted in mid-19th century Boston. The heroine is the only daughter of a wealthy doctor, courted by a penniless fortune hunter. I liked it.
eBook: Days of Infamy Harry Turtledove, 2004More alternate history, probably the beginning of a new series (I hope!) The point of departure for this is the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In this timeline, the air raid is followed up by a landing and conquest of the Hawaiian Islands by the Imperial Japanese Army. It's a good read for alternate history fans, but a gloomy one as the Japanese practice the atrocities permitted and encouraged by their evil bushido code of "honor."
Film: (DVD) Out of Time Carl Franklin, 2003A suspense thriller starring Denzel Washington as sherrif of a small south Florida town. Entertaining, not great.
Film: (DVD) Captain's Paradise Anthony Kimmins, 1953One of the comic masterpieces from Ealing Studios, with Alec Guiness as the bigamous skipper of a ferry boat running between Gibraltar and a ficticious North African port. A classic, not to be missed!
eBook Fighting France Edith Wharton, 1915Edith Wharton was in France in the summer of 1914, and stayed to report the early days of the "Great War." The French military authorities allowed her to tour the front extensively. This book was written in the thick of the early months of the conflict, when things were actually going fairly well for the French. Actually, I suspect that it is a collection of journalistic pieces. She makes no attempt at objectivity. Her descriptions of the horrors of trench warfare and of the ruins of pretty French villages are masterful, often counterpointed with descriptions of the local flora, and many uses of reference to color. (Wharton was one of the originators of the profession of interior decorator, and co-wrote the first major book on this topic, so it is not surprising that her writing places so much stress on the visual aspects.)
Film: (DVD) Much Ado About Nothing Kenneth Branagh, 1993I've seen this several times before, but I never tire of it. This masterpiece would definitely place very high up on my "desert island" list. This was the film that started my crush on Emma Thompson, who is absolutely irresistable, as is the Tuscan countryside featured. Michael Keaton is fabulous as Dogbody, and the whole production is one fo the greatest films of all time.
The 2004-05 TV seasonWe're about at the end of the first half of the season. I've particularly enjoyed Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal and Lost. Other new shows I'm following are Jack and Bobby, and Las Vegas.
I'm also contuing to enjoy The West Wing, Scrubs, NYPD Blue, Malcolm in the Middle, Arrested Development, Everwood, Will & Grace, ER and JAG.
Film: (DVD) Let's Make It Legal Richard Sale, 1951A forgettable romantic comedy, mainly notable for the fact that it features Marilyn Monroe in a bit part.
ChristmasTova came in on Tuesday, and George is back from Brandeis, so we've got a full nest again.
Had a quiet Christmas morning in front of the fire. The kids gave me a boxed set of the Shostakovich Symphonies, which I'm greatly looking forward to listening to.
Harriet made a T shirt for George that says: "My parents heard the BSO play Mahler's 8th and all I got was this lousy T shirt!" along with a photo of Gustav.
It was a beautiful sunny day, temps in the low 30s, so I went for a 25 mile ride in the afternoon on my Hetchins, out to Dover (Claybrook Road, Charles River Road) then back via South Street and Kendrick Street. Felt good to be out again, though I was a bit cold near the end of the ride.
Terrible tsunami in South Asia, very scary.
The Christmas RevelsThis year it was a French-Canadian theme, one that is near and dear to my heart. Old friend Walter Locke stole the show.
Film: (DVD) The Witches of Eastwick George Miller, 1987I'm not usually a fan of stuff with magic, but this was great fun, with an all star cast including Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer in the title roles, and Jack Nicholson as the Devil. Highly recommended.
Film: (DVD) Inherit the Wind Stanley Kramer, 1960I remember seeing this on the big screen when it was new, and was very impressed by it at the time. The techniques and pacing are a bit dated now, and it is sometimes a bit heavy-handed.
It's a fictionalized version of the notorious Scopes evolution trial in Tennessee, 1923. Fredrick March plays the William Jennings Bryan character (with his makeup slathered on a bit too thick.) Spencer Tracy as Clarence Darrow, Gene Kelley as H.L. Mencken. Harry Morgan (Dragnes's Frank Gannon) is the judge, and Dick York (Bewitched) is Scopes. This is a classic, you should see it if you haven't, even though it is sometimes a bit slow moving and obvious.
New Year's EveTova threw a party for a bunch of her friends. Mostly a great succcess, she knows nice folks. It felt a bit strange, somtimes feeling "loco parentis" urges, but then remembering that they're all adults, and that it's Tova's party.
I hope she'll do it again next year.
|November-December, 1998||April-May, 1975|
|Books reviewed on this page:|
|The Grantville Gazette||Eric Flint||11/15/04|
|The Rackham Files||Dean Ing||11/13/04|
|Marque and Reprisal||Elizabeth Moon||11/7/04|
|Days of Infamy||Harry Turtledove||12/5/04|
|Fighting France||Edith Wharton||12/9/04|
|Films reviewed on this page:|
|Alex and Emma||November 27, 2004|
|Amy's O||November 30, 2004|
|Arlington Road||November 28, 2004|
|Captain's Paradise||December 7, 2004|
|Fatal Attraction||November 26, 2004|
|Heaven & Earth||November 17, 2004|
|Inherit the Wind||December 30, 2004|
|Much Ado About Nothing||December 12, 2004|
|Out of Time||December 7, 2004|
|Das Rheingold||December 30, 2004|
|A Room with a View||November 30, 2004|
|Russian Ark||November 25, 2004|
|SpongeBob Squarepants||November 26, 2004|
|Washington Square||December 3, 2004|
|The Witches of Eastwick||December 28, 2004| Music: Date Performers Works
October 23, 2004 B.S.O., James Levine
Mahler: Symphony #8
May 2, 2004 Aiofe O'Donovan, Seamus Connoly, Halali "Rapper, Reels & Revelry"
May 1, 2004 B.S.O., Gianluca Cascioli,
Jahja Ling Mozart, Mahler
April 10, 2004 M.I.T.G.A.S.P Gilbert & Sullivan: Thespis
April 3, 2004 B.S.O., Grant Llewellen Vaughan Williams, Musgrave, Walton
January 17, 2004 B.S.O., James Levine Mozart, Carter, Dvorak
December 10, 2003 Australian Opera (DVD) La Bohème
November 13, 2003 Kirov Ballet, St. Petersburg Chopin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky
October 4, 2003 B.S.O., Hans Graf, Claudio Bohóquez Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich
October 4, 2003 B.S.O., Bernard Haitink, Dubravka Tomsic Beethoven
March 8, 2003 M.I.T.G.A.S.P Bizet: Carmen
March 8, 2003 B.S.O., Bernard Haitink Beethoven, Harbison
March 7, 2003 Arlo Guthrie Northeastern University
February 21-March 1, 2003 Gilbert & Sullivan: Patience Sudbury Savoyards
January 18, 2003 B.S.O., Ton Koopman, Andreas Scholl Bach, Haydn
December 7, 2002 B.S.O., Marek Janowski Bartok, Strauss
November 29, 2002 New York Philharmonic, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Pierre Laurent-Aimard Janacek: Cappriccio; R.Strauss: Burleske; Brahms: Sym. #2
November 2, 2002 B.S.O., Marek Janowski Bartok, Strauss
September 22, 2002 Boston Folk Festival Barachois, Bill Staines, Cheryl Wheeler, Richard Thompson
July 21, 2002 London Philharmonic, Rostropovich Shostakovich, Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk
July 3, 2002 Stan Rogers Folk Festival Oysterband, Fairport Convention, others.
May 3, 2002 The Australian Opera Wagner, Die Meistersinger
April 18, 2002 B.S.O., Seiji Ozawa Mahler, Sym. # 9
April 13, 2002 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Gilbert & Sullivan, The Gondoliers March 7, 2002 B.S.O., Hans Graf, M. Piccinini, A.Häfliger Colgrass, Schubert
February 21, 2002 B.S.O., James Levine Dvorak, Wuoronen, Mozart, Ligeti,Schumann
January 10, 2002 B.S.O., Bernard Haitink Bruckner: Symphony #7
December 9, 2001 Brandeis University Symphony Orchestra Beethoven: Piano Concerto #3; Dvorak: Symphony #6
December 8, 2001 Brandeis University Early Music Society Various works
November 17, 2001 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Gilbert & Sullivan, H.M.S. Pinafore November 3, 2001 B.S.O., Federico Cortese Ives: Ragtime Dances, Mozart Pf Conc #9 k271, Kurtäg: Grabstein für Stephan; Schubert, Sym. #4
Novembr 2, 2001 Blue Man Group, Seiji Ozawa Brahms: Symphony #1
October 6, 2001 B.S.O., Seiji Ozawa Brahms: Symphony #1
May 3-6, 2001 M.I.Tl G & S Players Gilbert & Sullivan: The Grand Duke
April 13, 2001 Harvard-Radcliffe G & S Gilbert & Sullivan: Utopia, Limited
March 4, 2001 Newton North High School Chorus
and Orchestra Haydn: Missa in Tempore Belli; Symphony #49 "La Pasione"
March 3, 2001 B.S.O., David Robertson Janácek Sinfonietta,
February 18, 2001 Theatre de Chatelet (DVD) Janácek, The Cunning Little Vixen
February 4, 2001 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Rowe
& Sullivan, The Zoo
February 3, 2001 B.S.O., James Levine Mahler Symphony #3
February 3, 2001 George and his band at
Harvey Finstein School of Music
December 27, 2000 The Christmas Revels,
Cambridge Appalchian/African-American Revels
December 23, 2000 San Carlo Opera
(DVD) Wagner, Tannhäuser
2000 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Gilbert & Sullivan, The Sorceror November 16, 2000 Harvestfest, Newton North High
School November 2, 2000 B.S.O., Christoph Eschenbach Mozart: Piano
Concerto #23; Mahler Symphony #5
October 24, 2000 Leon
Rosselson Johnny D's
October 7, 2000 The
Savoy-Aires Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado
June 18, 2000 George and his band at Harvey Finstein School of Music
May 21, 2000 Small Ensemble
April 29, 2000 Spring Revels
April 22, 2000 B.S.O., André Previn, Pamela
Frank Previn: Diversions; Barber: Violin Concerto; Mozart: Symphony
March 10, 2000 Revels, Inc/Shakespeare & Co. The Mysteries
February 26, 2000 B.S.O.,Seiji Ozawa, Christine Goerke, Ian
Bostridge, Thomas Quasthoff Britten: War Requiem
February 19, 2000 B.S.O., Bernard Haitink Mahler: Symphony
February 12, 2000 George and his band at
Harvey Finstein School of Music
January 29, 2000 B.S.O., Sir Simon Rattle
Peter Donohoe, Piano
Dvorák: The Golden Spinning Wheel,
Bartók: Piano Concerto #1, Brahms: Symphony #2
January 8, 2000 George on
Trombone N.E. Regional Senior District Festival
December 19, 1999 The Christmas Revels,
Cambridge Italian Renaissance Revels
December 12, 1999 Pierre Boulez, Met
Opera (video) Wagner: Siegfried
November 19, 1999 Matapat, Lexington
November 18, 1999 Harvestfest, Newton
North High School St. Sæns Danse Macabre
November 7, 1999 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Gilbert &
Sullivan, Iolanthe November 4, 1999 George and his band at
October 2, 1999 B.S.O., Seiji Ozawa
Florence Quivar, Mezzo; Paula Delligatti, Sop.
Mahler, Symphony #2
September 29, 1999 B.S.O., Seiji Ozawa,
Hildegarde Behrens, Soprano
Wagner: Tannhäuser, Götterdämmerung
Strauss: Electra excerpt.
1999 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Gilbert & Sullivan, Crichton July 24, 1999 David Mallett June 19, 1999 The
Publick Theatre Gilbert & Sullivan The Yeomen of the Guard
April 13, 1999 Harvey Finstein School of Music
student groups George and Tova at Watch City
March 7, 1999 Newton North High School Chorus
and Orchestra Mozart: Requiem, Symphony #38 ("Prague").
March 5, 1999 Harvey Finstein School of Music student
groups George and Tova in Jazz recital at Newton Congregational Church.
March 4, 1999 Newton North High School various
February 6, 1999 B.S.O.,Seiji Ozawa,
Jacques Zoon (flute)
Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande "Symphony"
Mozart: Flute Concerto #1 in G, K.313
Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps.
January 30, 1999 B.S.O., Robert Spano,
Andreas Haefliger (piano)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto #2
Sibelius: The Swan of Tuonela, Symphony #3
January 16, 1999 B.S.O., Sir Simon Rattle,
Dawn Upshaw (sop.)
Knussen Flourish with Fireworks
Weir Natural History
Mahler Symphony #4
Schumann Piano Concerto
Christmas Revels, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge
December 12, 1998 Caroling with Nym
Cooke, Hardwick, Mass.
1998 B.S.O., Roberto Abbado,
Lief Ove Andsnes (piano)
Mahler Symphony #1
Schumann Piano Concerto
November 8, 1998 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Gilbert &
Sullivan, The Mikado Plays:
November 29, 2002 Lorraine Bracco The Graduate
November 23, 2001 Helen Mirren, Ian McKelln The Dance of Death-August Strindberg
September 30, 2000 Tova/Black Box Theatre, Cornell
University The Maids-Jean Genet
2000 Kelsey Grammer/Colonial Theatre Macbeth
May 26, 2000 The Huntington Theatre Co. King
September 3, 1999 The Publick
August 21, 1999 Orange
Tree Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y. Sonata
1999 Firehouse Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y. Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For
May 22-29 Newton South/North High
Schools Richard III
1998 Newton North High School The Bone Violin, May Flies
November 12, 1998 Newton North High School To
Kill a Mockingbird
November 24, 2004 Plantation, Florida
October 8, 2004 Santa Cruz, California
October 4, 2004 Las Vegas, Nevada
June 8, 2004 France, England
December 22, 2003 Halifax, Nova Scotia
November 27, 2003 Florida
October 31, 2003 Potomac, Maryland
October 10, 2003 Las Vegas, Nevada
September 21, 2003 New York, N.Y.
November 27-30, 2002 New York, N.Y.
October 8-13, 2002 Evanston, Illinois
October 4-8, 2002 Las Vegas, Nevada
July 3-9, 2002 Canso, Nova Scotia
May 24-27, 2002 Long Island, New York
November 21-24, 2001 New York City
October 16-19, 2001 Cape Cod, Massachusetts
September 29-October 3, 2001 Las Vegas, Nevada (Interbike Show)
June 16-23, 2001 Nags Head, North Carolina
October 5-14, 2000 Evanston, Illinois
September 30-October 2, 2000 Ithaca, New York
June 22-25, 2000 Urbanna, Virginia
October 7-13, 1999 Chicago/Evanston,
August 19-28, 1999 Ithaca, New
August 12-13, 1999 Ithaca, New York
July 23-25, 1999 Bridgeton, Maine
November 25-28, 1998 Fort Lauderdale,
1988-89 France, England
1980 Yucatan, Mexico
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