Saturday, September 17, 2005

Tape Fairies?

I don't suppose anyone taped "Threshold" last night and would want to send me a copy . . .

Thursday, September 15, 2005

In Which I Blame My Fatigue on a Gray-Headed* Stranger

Yesterday afternoon my sources informed me that a free performance was going to take place at Millenium Park's Pritzker Pavilion, a benefit for the Chicago after school teen program run by Maggie Daley, who is married to the mayor. And said performance was to be by none other than Willie Nelson. So, that's where I went last night.

Now, Pritzker is an outdoor venue, with a block of seats up front and a lawn behind. The suits and skirts paid $1000 a head for the show and the banquet preceding, and most of them left before ol' Willie even got rolling. That left the rest of us rabble to move up into the good seats (although Marianne and I hung back and watched from our blanket on the grass) to enjoy the show. Honestly, the place was near empty, since the show wasn't publicized at all. Probably they wanted to keep us rabble out of there. Good show, though, and I'm glad I had the chance to see Willie play (although I really wish he'd done "Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain"). In the past year or so I've been able to see three legends--Willie, Loretta Lynn, and George Jones. I hope they'll be touring for a long time yet, but you never know. Got to take your opportunities when they come.

*That really only works for "Red," doesn't it? You don't hear anyone referring to "Blondeheads" or "Brownheads," and "Blackheads" is something quite different.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Celebrate Existence With These Links! (Updated)

Marianne says I haven't blogged in a while. True. Too busy trying to keep my head above water school-wise while most of my brain is still in Fiction-land. I like it in Fiction-land. I get to make the rules there.

Anyway, I'm alive. I'm thinking about some things that I'm not sure I'm ready to post here. For now, just some links, in a sort of order from the sobering to the ridiculous.

A doctor's account of Katrina's aftermath. This is heartbreaking stuff. (Via Kathryn Cramer.)

The hippo population in Congo's Virunga National Park is down below 1,000, from around 29,000 in 1974. They're being killed by poachers, militia, and for meat and ivory by underpaid, underfed government soldiers. This is the frustration of the ivory trade; it's driven by real economic forces, and unless and until those are addressed the animals will continue to suffer. The rhino is already gone; people got loud about the elephants, and they seem safe for now. It's time to get loud about hippos.

Norway's conservative government is gone after four years of record prosperity in the country--fueled by global oil prices. (For those of you who don't know, Norway is the sixth-largest oil producing country in the world.) I don't know why I'm even mentioning it, except that I thought it was interesting. (UPDATE: I remember why I'm posting this. Because Norway's parliament is called the Storting. "Stor" means "big" or "great." So basically it's the Big Ting, which is even better than the Althing.)

Speaking of megafauna (which we were), Susan points to National Geographic's webcam at Pete's Pond, a watering hole in Botswana. Susan claims she saw an elephant, but the biggest thing I've seen so far was--maybe--a lone hyena.

Kimani Ng'ang'a makes me feel ashamed of ever being less than hopeful.

Hal Duncan offers up a classic-style musical number as a teaser for Ink, the sequel to Vellum.

Hamlet as Zork--total genius. (Via BoingBoing.)