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Lloyd Alexander died this past Thursday.

Despite being born to parents who had never read a single book, Alexander had an elderly aunt who loved literature, and she read to him often. He learned to read by the age of three, and his literary interests, which included Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, grew to embrace the King Arthur legends as well as Greek and Celtic mythology. By the time he was thirteen he was attempting his own poetry, and by fifteen he was determined to be an author, a career choice that his parents abhorred.

I remember reading the Chronicles of Prydain under the covers of my bed with a flashlight in our house on North Crooked Creek. This was all before Lord of the Rings or the Chronicles of Narnia for me. These books along with the books of Madeleine LíEngle were my introduction to the world and hopeless love of reading.

Today weíre going to Barnes and Noble to see Rick Riordan (author of the Lightning Thief) give a reading and sign his latest book, Titanís Curse (Thomas is very excited). I think I might have to pick up the Chronicles series for William and Thomas in honor of this slightly forgotten author.

- 5/20/2007 8:10:12 AM | link

Little comes before old

Surprisingly, there are rules for superposing adjectives.

Seeing terms for age and national origin as essential seems at odds with the ethos of equal opportunity, but I’m stuck with this system for now at least, just was I was stuck with time, manner, place in German. And if these modifiers are in the right order (unlike, say, "young, angry man"), they need no commas.

I don’t mean to sound cranky about commas. But too many of them together are sometimes an indication of prose not well thought through and not flowing gracefully enough.

- 5/20/2007 7:59:56 AM | link

Heat Vision and Jack

I realize you hipper-than-thou readers may have already spot-checked this eons ago back before Ben Stiller started following in Eddie Murphyís footprints, but I wanted to register it anyway:

Heat Vision and Jack was a canceled pilot back from 1999. Directed by Ben Stiller and starring Jack Black and Owen Wilson. This is probably the first hint of the greatness of all three of these guys in terms of comic timing, dialogue, and sheer goofiness. You can tell everyone involved is having fun. I almost appreciate that more these days. Exuberance. A life-fullness and a willingness to gently mock all things with love.

Also, in addition to tired, nostalgic YouTube links, I bring back...

Things I noticed yesterday:

-Women, once they get going, can yell longer and louder than most men at a sporting event that concerns their children. A friend once told me he thought this was biological. That they are extremely concerned with how their progeny performs. Whereas, for most men, it is a social matter. We just donít want them to look bad in front of their peers. I donít know if this makes sense as a field theory for soccer moms, but anyone who has spent any amount of time on the sidelines of a soccer event will surely recognize this truth.

-People with a ton of money are socially awkward. I have a theory for this, as well. Their survival no longer rests on social engagement. They donít have to be anything other than their own freakish selves. Letís face it. Weíd all be a little weird if we didnít have to get along with people in order to make it through an average day. I personally would employ midgets, as Iíve noted in the past.

-You can hook up your Powerbook to your television with an S-video cable and a mini-plug to RCA adapter. Yes, how 1990s of me. Much like a toilet book I am savoring, however, it is exhilarating to realize the 1,001 uses my Powerbook has and that this is still the best purchase I have possibly ever made. I can download TV shows from iTunes and watch them on the television.

-Flickr is better than Ofoto.

-With every passing day, Iím coming to realize that Thomas is going to be the same teenager I was. That is to say, smarter than me and knows it.

-Attorneys exist to charge you money to say things that you want to say, but are afraid to say because you might get sued.

-The Wicker Man [original version] is highly overrated. I expected a horror movie on par with The Exorcist based on all the reviews. It turned out to be a Roger Corman-ish demon-worshiper [I refuse to use the word ígrindhouseí] flick with [guess who???] Christopher Lee as the villain. I didnít expect the detective to die in the end so I guess it gets some credit for killing off the hero, but, other than that...can someone tell me if Iím off here? I did slightly enjoy the Christian vs. pagan theme and how the writer, at least, seemed to be wrestling with this more than most [i.e. do we just go in the dirt and turn up crops or are we more than this...are we indeed souls who will return?] I havenít seen such an avowedly Christian movie that wasnít produced by an evangelical organization for the purpose of proselytizing the masses. And sitting there in plain site with critical praise to boot. Weird. I like it in theory.

-People have to discover things for themselves. You canít tell anyone anything and if you recommend something, it has to be in the context of "You probably wonít like this, but maybe, just maybe..." Lowering expectations and creating gaps in synapses is the only hope for all of us.

-I could sleep for a week. Iím done with grad school for now, but it still seems as if Iíve been going non-stop. Work and the subsequent escapes from work hath consumed us all.

- 5/6/2007 10:11:08 AM | link


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