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Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category


A friend of mine in England deals with personal health issues, much of them derived from a long-known but little-understood virus, and blogged about life during the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic:


I keep thinking to myself that I could manage all this better if only the world would shut up about it for a bit. There is constant chatter and no real news and for people like me who are anxious and readily self-isolating, far too much frightening stuff designed to rein in the cavalier and the rebellious.


A while ago in talking to a friend about the mass media and the internet I mentioned that the difficulty isn’t finding information, it’s dealing with the firehose of messaging coming at you and filtering out that which is not only useful but true.


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Books, the bodies of reading, were fascinating for me early in life, and I’m fortunate enough to have had parents who, after I left for college, saved many that I had as a kid. The oversized Dinosaur picture book, the scholastic book service biographies I ordered in school, the heroic war stories, the Vonnegut novels. The whole collection fit neatly on shelves built in over my bed.

The book shelves of my first apartments were also easily ordered. After a decade and a half in San Francisco, I moved, following a job across the bay that kept me busy for months. But one Saturday morning I woke with the usual to-do-list, which was interrupted by the realization I’d never properly sorted my books. Many simply came out of the boxes, which I’d filled by size and shape, not subject.

It was a nice weekend—my recollection is it was blustery outside, but inside I stacked piles of books, moving between bookcases in my living room, kitchen, and bedroom. American fiction, travel guides, a stack for Anne Tyler, movie references, et cetera.

I respect the decimal system of Dewey, but my categories are more organic. A History of Eating in America next to a Chinese cookbook; the collected Grantas shared space next to Graham Greene because they fit well.

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You, small male child: build things!

I got these Tinker toys as a Christmas gift, perhaps in the hope of encouraging my engineering skills. And there I was, with my nose stuck in a book.

Looking to pare down possessions, I look at this stuff now and wonder if anyone might want it, before I toss it out.

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We have two freezers: the bottom compartment of our kitchen refrigerator, and the larger one in our downstairs garage’s side-by-side fridge.

Containers abide in them so long we might well be preserving mammoth meat.

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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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 I e-mailed my friend who brews with me about the next beers we are going to make. “What,” he replied. “no huzzahs and hosannas for the World Champion Red Sox?!”

 He’s from Connecticut. I don’t blame him for being a Red Sox fan. But I do note that he’s singing a new tune. (more…)

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It’s morning in our Caribbean Beach resort hotel room, a gray day outside, which somewhat fits the mood as we pack and prepare for shuttle buses, airports, metal detectors, and long flights inside fancy aluminum tubes. (more…)

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