I've figured it out!There isn't going to be a war with Iraq, and our alliances are not actually in disarray! Rather, Bush and all of our allies are playing an elaborate "good cop/bad cop" routine on Saddam, and it just might work!
Moving all of the troops and weapons to the gulf was necessary to provide the credible threat, but that doesn't mean they're actually going to be used--it is much cheaper and less risky to merely brandish them than to actually wield them.
Opera: (DVD) Tristan und Isolde Richard WagnerGeorge and I watched this DVD from a live, outdoor performance in 1973, with Jon Vickers and Birgit Nilsson in the title roles. Neither of us had seen this nor heard it in it's entirety before. Unfortunately, the technical quality of the DVD was so very poor that we didn't much enjoy it. Not sure how much I would have enjoyed a better production, better recorded, it's mostly a major downer.
This production had one of those execrable minimalists sets, if you can even call it that. Just a couple of curved stairways that got shoved around into slightly different orientations for different scenes. Bleagh!
Concert: Arlo GuthrieThis concert at Northeastern University's Blackman Auditorium was a lot of fun, after a slow start. Arlo was accompanied by his daughter and son-in-law on guitars/backup vocals, and one of his sons on keyboards. He sang some newer stuff, some old favorites, and some of his father's songs, but the best part of the show was his stories.
Took delivery on my new Rambouillet frame today, and transferred the parts from my plastic Trek, building it up as a fixed/free rig. Only got a brief ride coming home from the shop, and didn't want to ride too fast because the roads are wet from snowmelt, and I haven't yet installed fenders. I haven't got the position dialed in (need a shorter stem) but my initial reaction is very favorable indeed.
Concert: Boston Symphony Orchestra Beethoven and HarbisonBernard Haitink conducted Beethoven's 4th Symphony and the world premiere of John Harbison's Requiem.
It has been a while since I listened to the Beethoven 4th. It is a bit of an anomaly: Bracketed by the Eroica and the Fifth, arguably the two most important orchestral works of the 19th century, the 4th harkens back to a more 18th century feeling. I get the feeling this is something Haydn could have written if he had lived a few years longer...not that there's anything wrong with that!
The Harbison seemed OK on first hearing, but it didn't knock my socks off. Partly, I couldn't help comparing with with the Britten War Requiem, which isn't very fair, since the latter is among my half-dozen favorite compositions.
Film: (DVD) 61* Billy Crystal 2001I don't know quite what it is about baseball that makes it so cinematic. There are lots of fine baseball films, far more, proportionally than any other sport. I suspect part of it is because of the anything-can-happen-in-the-9th-inning factor, part to the unique mix of individuality and teamwork. This one followed Mickey Maris and Roger Maris throughout the '61 season and the pursuit of Ruth's home run record.
Film: (DVD) Lulu on the Bridge Paul Auster, 1998Harvey Keitel is a jazz musician struck down by a stray bullet, Mira Sorvino is a waitress/actress. Fate brings them together in a somewhat bizarre film. Keitel can act, and Sorvino is cute as a button with a radiant smile.
Film: (DVD) The Other Side of Sunday Berit Nesheim, 1998Coming-of-age tale, set in Norway in the 1950s. The protagonist is the teenaged daughter of a very strict minister, tempted by evil worldly things like earrings, lipstick, rock 'n' roll and Coca Cola...
It's quite a charming film if you like this sort of thing.
Film: (DVD) The Bourne Identity Doug Liman, 2002A spy thriller mostly set in France, good fun with Matt Damon as an amnesiac CIA hit man and Franka Potente (of Run Lola Run fame) as his partner in flight.
I am quite disgusted with the current French-bashing mood that is abroad in the land. People are saying terrible things about Chirac, who is, after all, the leader of a democracy where an overwhelming majority is opposed to an invasion.
Film: (DVD) Kissing Jessica Stein Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, 2001This was a pleasant comedy with a lesbian theme.
Film: (DVD) Band of BrothersThis HBO miniseries is clearly an offspring of Saving Private Ryan. Produced by Stephen Spielberg, directed by Tom Hanks, it has much the same look, including the high shutter speed action sequences.
This follows a company of the 101st Airborne from training, through D-Day, Market Garden, Bastogne, the Ardennes and on to final victory. It's quite a fine piece of work.
Got the fenders on the Rambouillet, went for a brief ride on it. Feels very nice, but will benefit from some wider tires.
Film: (DVD) La SentinelleI found this post Cold War spy thriller very hard to follow. No redeeming social importance. Not recommended.
April Fools day
New domain: EnglishBike.com
I woke this morning to the news of the rescue of Jessica Lynch. What a story! I have to say, as for myself, at least, the emotional response is all out of proportion to the objective facts.
The story of the captured soldier freed by daring comrades is compelling enough, but there's something primal in the overlying story of gallant warriors rescuing a beautiful damsel in distress. I cried when I heard the news.
Film: (DVD) My Big Fat Greek WeddingVery funny film, highly recommended.
Dream: I have arranged to have 5 Poems of e.e. cummings by my late friend Peter Young performed. The performance is to take place at 3 in the afternoon. I somehow manage to oversleep and miss the performance...
Music: Jazz at BrandeisA fine concert, George had a couple of fine solos, but I ran out of videotape, so I didn't get it.
Film: (DVD) Chloé in the Afternoon
Film: (DVD) Groundhog DayI've seen this before, but it's worth seeing more than once, more than once, more than once...
Steve Grimes 1943-2003 Very sad news, my good friend and former employer died of a heart attack. He will be sorely missed.
I put up a tribute page to his memory.
New PDA: Sony CliéThis is so cool!
|November-December, 1998||April-May, 1975|
|Books reviewed on this page:|
|War and Peace||Leo Tolstoy||5/26/03|
|Music reviewed on this page:|
|March 8, 2003||B.S.O., Bernard Haitink||Beethoven, Harbison|
|March 7, 2003||Arlo Guthrie||Northeastern University|
|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|
|May 30, 2000||Kelsey Grammer/Colonial Theatre||Macbeth|
|May 26, 2000||The Huntington Theatre Co.||King Hedley II|
|September 3, 1999||The Publick Theatre||Nine|
|August 21, 1999||Orange Tree Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y.||Sonata|
|August 13, 1999||Firehouse Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y.||Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For You|
|May 22-29||Newton South/North High Schools||Richard III|
|December 18, 1998||Newton North High School||The Bone Violin, May F lies|
|November 12, 1998||Newton North High School||To Kill a Mockingbird|
|November 21-24, 2007||Plantation, Florida|
|September 25-28, 2007||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|August 18-25, 2007||Truro, Cape Cod, Massachusetts|
|November 22-26, 2006||Plantation, Florida|
|September 25-28, 2006||Las Vegas (Interbike)|
|June 10-20, 2006||Santa Cruz, California|
|May 5-7, 2006||Aurora, Indiana|
|November 23, 2005||Plantation, Florida|
|September 26-29, 2005||Interbike, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|August 26-28, 2005||'Bentride 2005, Bath, N.Y.|
|July 21-24, 2005||Family Reunion, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.|
|April 29, 2005||Cirque de Cyclisme, Greensboro, N.C.|
|February 16, 2005||Indianapolis|
|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, Illinois|
|August 19-28, 1999||Ithaca, New York|
|August 12-13, 1999||Ithaca, New York|
|July 23-25, 1999||Bridgeton, Maine|
|November 25-28, 1998||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|