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Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Life, Itself

Last night CNN broadcast the movie Life, Itself about film critic Roger Ebert, focusing both on his career as well as the difficult final months of his life.

I greatly enjoyed the retrospective, and getting a stronger sense of his place within film criticism, particularly as a populist critic in counterpoint to cerebral critics such as Pauline Kael.

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Sure, we all complain about commercials. I channel surf away and still can’t escape them — this evening while I fiddled around online a rum commercial came on in the background that made me turn the TV off.

But not because I disliked it. Rather, I heard it through for the background music, Iggy Pop’s The Passenger, which made me want to hear that song again.

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A very long time ago, so long ago we listened to music on vinyl and people still used typewriters, I had a very good writing instructor at City College of San Francisco. He was a published writer, and was very good about the nuts and bolts of writing: grammatical, thematic, plot development, all of it. He also didn’t hesitate to critique what he felt didn’t work, which didn’t endear him to some of the more sensitive students. (more…)

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People are doing strange things to beer. And I’m not just talking about Dogfish Brewery in Delaware, adding juniper berries and “cardamom, coriander, ginger, allspice, rampe leaves, lemongrass, curry powder, and black tea, custom blended …  in India” then fermenting their beer in ironwood barrel staves, for the pungent flavor of the oils imparted.

Across the continent, on the comparatively brewing traditional left coast, I went to a Winter Brews Festival yesterday, and early on I stood in line and enjoyed watching a guy try to order Russian River Brewery’s Rejection  Ale. “When they ask if they can have Rejection,” one of the bartenders informed another, “tell them no.”

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 We saw a good movie over Christmas. Strong cast. Interesting plot. Gorgeous sets. And one of the best things about the experience was that I was well-prepared, before going in, for the worst of it.  (more…)

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Emma

 Have you ever felt like you were headed down the road in one direction only to see a number of signs luring you a different way?

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My assistant brewer, Dave, is good at incredulity, among other things. He’s smart, a fount of the kind of quasi-useful knowledge copyeditors excel at (e.g., they are vocal cords, not chords; the word is actually supersede, not supercede, although some style manuals now accept the typo as a new “variant”), he knows a lot about movies, books, and dinosaur rock, and he has the kind of wry wit I can either hear or not, depending on how preoccupied I am with whatever brewing conundrum I’m contending with.

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