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Falling Offa Blog

Random Musings of an Ambivalent Mind

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Fun with memes
Snorkle SSH
Per the meme from vilejynx, some answers to her questions.

Andromeda Strain: The first Michael Crichton book I ever read, and my perennial favorite. I like the movie, but it's always been my dream to remake it--I think it captures the suspense of the book, but I'd love to include more of what was cut out. Crichton is still a young writer here, and he does a good job of balancing suspense and plot with some excellent alt-history and decent ruminations on scientific responsibility.
Just found out about the miniseries currently filming for A&E. Oh, dear. Oh, dearie, dearie, dear. They at least got a few decent people, like Andre Braugher and Daniel Dae Kim. But from the character descriptions (DDK as an ex-Korean bio-weapons specialist, now a consultant?), they're trying to update the story to the present time, which: WTF? The rants that come to mind could fill an entire blog post (and probably will--preview of coming attractions!), but...this does not look good.

David Wilcox: Great folksinger, unbelievable guitarist. Although his albums are great, they're very sentimental--the man speaks from the heart, and is frank about his spirituality, so sometimes I can only take him in limited doses. His "East Asheville Hardware" album is effing hilarious, though: it's a collection of his live bits where he cuts loose and gets raunchy, funny, and snarky in turns. Guaranteed to brighten a bad day.

Ellis Paul: One of the highest voices in folksinging, outside of Andrew Ratshin of Electric Bonsai Band, Ellis Paul is one of those folksingers whose lyrics are worth reading on their own, nearly as gifted a lyricist as Paul Simon. Hearing him live at McCabe's in Santa Monica was awesome: he knows how to work a room.

Lucy Kaplansky: Yet another folksinger, this time one of the few with a PhD (she quit folksinging to get a PhD in Psychology before coming back to it a few years ago). Her stuff is raw, with notes of honest pain in there that bring tears to my eyes to listen to it--good stuff for listening to on those days that the depression monster sneaks up and whacks me. Another one I've heard live at McCabe's, and would love to hear again; we also got to talk to her after her McCabe's show and I have an autographed CD--she was super charming and very funny!

Musicals: The first acting I did; I pray every day that the footage of that first seventh-grade musical will never see the light of YouTube. Favorites? Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls--I'm much more partial to the early, more legit-voiced musicals from the Rogers and Hammerstein era up through the sixties and seventies than I am of the more recent stuff like Phantom or Les Mis.

Neal Stephenson: Cryptonomicon is a fantastic novel, and should be read by everyone in computer security, at a minimum. Snow Crash was great, but for my money Cryptonomicon is where it's at. I would love to see it made into an HBO or Sci-Fi miniseries--they'd have to chop out too much of the book to reduce it to a movie, and it'd never meet the ratings for network TV without a lot of damage.

Susan Werner: The third of the triumvirate of solo folksingers that I've heard live at McCabe's, Susan Werner seems to reinvent herself with every new album. She's done torch-songs, folk songs, rock-folk, and now gospel (her latest album), and all of them well. She also has an undergrad degree in voice (from the School of the Arts, I think!), giving lie to my college prof's insistence that voice majors should stick to opera. Her lyrics are inventive and funny: "Misery and Happiness" is a great metaphor for much of the self-imposed suffering in the world, and her torch-song album perfectly captures the lyrical twists of Cole Porter.

This was fun--ping me if you want to play!

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clubjuggler is a big David Wilcox fan. I'm a big fan of musicals.

Oh, and if you like those solo folksingers, check out http://www.petermulvey.com/music.htm. A great guy, geek-friendly, and fun to see in concert. Ask me some time where I saw him in concert. :)

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