There are many things I’m interested in. A bunch of them come across here on the blog. The vast majority of them in fact.
In trying to sort through the stuff I’ve accumulated, and my finances vs. my debts, and my time management obligations, and my work and gig schedule, and everything else that I do or plan to do – mostly it ends up in my pocket Moleskine at some point.
So what am I interested in? My list is partially in response to this article on building your own personal library.
I recall having a conversation with someone who at the time was helping me through a very rough patch of life. I was looking at a book, Akashic Records for Dummies, and of course, I didn’t need it. But I told her I’d planned on leaving a library of books after me. When I died. She said that any meaningful library left behind probably wouldn’t have a collection of For Dummies books. She tended to say smart things like that.
So here are my interests, more or less, of topics which may or may not appear on the blog, and which are listed here in no particular order:
- Esoteric Studies
- Work (How to work better, smarter, and for more money)
- Finance & Investing
- Japan, and to a lesser degree other Asian countries (focus on history, philosophy, language, and culture)
- Art (Theatre, Visual Arts, Other Performing Arts)
- Arts Management
- Fiction (Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Action, Literary)
- Writing Studies
- Videography and Photography
- Memoirs, Biographies, and Autobiographies
In looking at this, I realized how broad it all seemed. There are so many facets that can fit into each topic; some that overlap topics. I write this out now as I work on honing in onto what this blog will look like – especially over the next six months while I’m in Alaska.
Anyway, I’ll keep posting. And maybe someone will read it. And that’s about all anyone can do.
Reading: Tip of the Iceberg by Mark Adams. Revisiting the book, pulling some ideas out regarding my summer.
Enjoying: A new hip flask, from Two Paddles Axe & Leatherwork. Sipping a honey bourbon on a cold day is tres-enjoyable.
Hearing: The new Little Shop of Horrors, off-broadway cast recording. Really nice!
The week that passed was a long one, I’m not going to lie. The fourteen-hour car ride back to Florida was a bit exhausting, and the trip itself wasn’t as restful as I would have liked. Nonetheless, here’s some things that I spent some time with this week.
What I’m reading: Tip of the Iceberg by Mark Adams. Just cozying up to this book as the weather is getting cold. Thinking about this past summer in Alaska, and what the future may hold.
What I’m listening to: Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9. Also known as the New World Symphony, this makes me feel like it’s Thanksgiving. I enjoy this recording from the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra.
What I’m spending time on: Dog training.
My 60 lb. boxer is nearly seven years old, partially blind and deaf from an invitro stroke, and ultra-hyper. Breaking him of some bad habits will take a good deal of time, but I’m certain that he and I are up to the challenge.
Other things of interest:
- Knives Out, written and directed by Rian Johnson. Wow, I loved this movie. I thought it was well-written, well-directed, and well-acted. With names like Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, and Christopher Plummer, it was an excellent ensemble movie. The premise – wealthy suspense novelist dead by apparent suicide following birthday party with suspicious family members – may seem trope, but it leaves you guessing until the end.
- Where to buy books online from a website that isn’t Amazon. From Anya Zhukova, here are seven recommendations that include B&N and BAM. I also like AbeBooks and Easton Press for more obscure or special edition volumes. And I go to eBay as well. As I was linking Tip of the Iceberg, it occurred to me that I didn’t want to recommend Amazon for every book I like. So I went with GoodReads, though it is owned by Amazon. Its positives include that it links to retailers other than Amazon, and is enhanced by its users and readers.
- Why can’t every workweek be four days? I mean, seriously?
- Nat Geo story on the death of the male white rhino, and the species’ coming extinction… An extinction brought about by man’s overhunting of the animal.
“Watching a creature die—one who is the last of its kind—is something I hope never to experience again. It felt like watching our own demise.” – Ami Vitale
And here it is, my Black Friday edition of the Weekly Rundown. As no one will be reading this today I’ll go ahead and post at 2 am. Good morning!
This Black Friday I’m taking REI’s suggestion of getting out into the wilderness. #OptOutside. I’m up in Pennsylvania, hanging out with the Amish. No, really I am. I’ll put up some pictures later this week. But here we go!
What I’m reading: Not Dracula! Finally finished it. After finishing it, I spent some time with Austin Kleon’s Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad. I’ve had the book for a while but hadn’t finished it. I dug it out while putting my notebook together, and figured I’d finish it.
What I’m listening to: Audiobook version of Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House. I listened a lot of the way up to PA. The author’s first book for adults, we have occultism and Ivy League, homicide and mystery. I’d read at least one of Bardugo’s Grisha books before, and this one has much the same flow and tonality; if a bit darker.
What I’m spending time with: Routines. If you’ve read this week you’ll notice that it was a theme. I decided to fix my routine earlier in the month, and as a result I had a few thoughts that popped up. Four posts later, I’m not sure I’m done talking about routines. But that’ll be for later entries.
Other things of interest:
In case you don’t believe me about my skill, here’s one example…
…and it’s one of my better sketches. But, as I always say: Fail again, fail better! 😉
Avengers is… well, done. I’ve been considering the movie since seeing it a few weeks ago. Without spoiling it for anyone, I guess I’ll just try to work through some thoughts.
Knowing that the MCU had to wrap up this first chapter, I had some opinions (as we all did) about how it should be done. I think the movie did a decent job of it, and even left some openings for future changes – though likely not to be capitalized on. Ten years ago Iron Man gave birth to a whole new system of filmmaking, and we’re still seeing the ramifications of that throughout the entertainment industry.
There are some characters that will likely never appear in the new films again, and that feels somewhat devastating. At the same time, actors age. Comic book characters don’t. Rather than pull a Red Skull or Spider-Man and change actors out, better to close doors on characters and open doors to new ones.
I laughed during the movie. Very nearly cried a couple of times (Downey Jr. and Holland about did it, thank you very much). And I left feeling neither disappointed nor contented. It was an end to the first part, and it feels final. Some endings don’t feel like endings. Some leave you room to imagine the next adventure. The next chapter.
Some endings are ambiguous. They can be anything.
And some endings – like Endgame – just end.
The early days of film showed us new possibilities in the world of reality. Images that moved as in real life – no longer just things of fanciful imaginations.
Now, the experience has evolved. And the way that we were cultivated to view cinema is changing as well.
Netflix came under attack recently from industry elites, such as Steven Spielberg, who said that Oscars should be limited to cinema releases, not the Netflix brand of entertainment. (I can’t help but imagine the discussion surrounding film as it related to theatre when cinema began its rise in popularity.)
The joke is, it is industry elites vs. streaming elites, when the real change is through the democratization of entertainment. What will make the most radical difference is how user-uploaded streaming is going to continue to change the face of moving image-making, and what that will mean for the industry.