Saturday, December 16, 2006

Here is a quick cliffnote version of the past ten days.

1. Went to see Mel Gibson's movie Apocalypto. While I do respect Gibson's willingness to take risks in his filmaking choices there is just too much running around in the jungle and "lack" of historical context and character developement to win me over. Some have hailed this film as cautionary reminder of what happens to a society that losses it's moral compass but I suspect this is only true for the viewer who already strongly believes this to begin with. For most folks who see the film I am afraid it will only contribute to their interest and thirst for violence. I wasn't moved by the film and had a similar emotional response when I saw The Passion.I guess I just don't get it...Here is my suggestion to Mel. Give me Braveheart II before you take on another potential earth shattering project.

2. Spent some time looking for houses and found two houses that I "really", "really" liked but they both fell through. The one guy decided to stay put and the other house was rented the previous day by a couple moving here from Texas who had not even seen the house, except for some small photo on the internet! I was deeply disappointed because I want to move out of my current living situation so bad...I have decided to stay put during the holidays and wait until after New Years to start looking again. There are a ton of houses to rent on the market, but too many of them are way overpriced, imo, and I am picky about the kind of house I want to live in...In the meantime, I am trying to make a home for myself in "my heart" whether I am at work, travelling, or in my bedroom.

3. I have reacquainted myself with "enchanting" music and literature. I am currently reading William Morris facsmile Kelmscott Press Edition of "The Wood Beyond the World"...Morris founded Kelmscott Press in 1890 and his production company has produced some of the most celebrated and beautifully illustrated books in history. I own a facsimile reproduction of the Kelms Geoffrey Chaucer's Works which includes over 87 mind blowing illustrations. It is the most valuable book I own and the limited originals are considered some of the most valuable books ever published. As a writer Morris is not in the same league as Tolkien or Lewis but the few books he has written are enchanting and worthy of reading if one is a fantasy buff like me....On the music front, I recently purchased two C.D.'s by Loreena Mckennitt. "Mckennitt is a Canadian singer, composer, harpist and pianist most famous for writing, recording and performing world music with a new-age/Celtic feel". I have known about her for quite some time but have never purchased anything by her until last week. She is often compared to Enya but after listening to her new album "An Ancient Muse" and her live performances in Paris and Toronto I feel her music has more depth and variety than the music of Enya. It has been said of Mckennitt that "before McKennitt composes any music, she engages in massive research on a specific subject which forms the general concept of the album. Before creating Elemental and Parallel Dreams she travelled to Ireland for inspiration from the country's history, geography and culture. The album The Mask and Mirror was preceded by research in Spain where she engaged in studying Galicia, a Celtic section of Spain, along with its abundant Arabic roots, thus creating an album including elements of both Celtic and Arabic music...and...according to the liner notes of her latest album, An Ancient Muse was inspired primarily by travels among and reading about the various cultures along the Silk Road."....She is probably best known for her pop hit, "The Mummer's Dance" back in the 1990's but my current favorite is a song called, "The Lady of Shalott", a beautiful enchanting nine minute song about "a magical being who lives alone on an island upstream from King Arthur's Camelot"....Her most recent release An Ancient Muse is her first release since 1998. She has not produced any new music since the death of her fiancé Ronald Rees and two others close to her drowned during a boating accident. Apparently this event had a profound effect on her life, as expected, for the past eight years. She has an incredibly beautiful voice and her music has alot of variety which is something you often don't find in some of the other popular "New Age sounding" musicians. It's worth a spin and a few bucks if you like some New Age enchantment from time to time....

4. Yesterday was my last day at work for the next three weeks. I won't be around much this holiday season. I am going camping next week and then my sons and I are going to Tucson Arizona for a week before I head off to San Diego to finish up my vacation. I will be home for a couple of days near Christmas and will be home on New Year's Day to watch USC crush Michigan and demonstrate "once again" why midwest football is always overated.

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