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Month: April 2006

No new tale to tell…

No new tale to tell…

My latest Amazon Book Binge arrived today:

  • Self-Reliance and Other Essays (Dover Thrift Editions)
  • Biology: A Self-Teaching Guide, 2nd edition
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Dover Thrift Editions)
  • Get Weird! 101 Innovative Ways to Make Your Company a Great Place to Work
  • Biology for Dummies
  • Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Making Your Novel Stand Out and Succeed

I started on the workbook tonight, and just the first exercise has helped enormously. I have a new area of research to pursue and a new opening scene to write. Just thinking about who my heroes are and why was a mind-expanding process that I'm sure will go on for some time.

I really needed something like this to get me moving and thinking about the novel productively. I think only good things can come of going through the workbook. And I can't wait to sink my teeth into the Bio books. :)

Cogita Tute

Cogita Tute

This should be required reading for all humans. I've sent it to half a dozen people tonight, some who are struggling with what to do with their lives (like myself – most of us are in our mid-30s, still trying to figure that one out) and one or two who actually know and are doing something about it, but I thought they might get a boost out of it anyway.

With no further ado, I give you:

What You'll Wish You'd Known, by Paul Graham. Enjoy.

Art and Fandom

Art and Fandom

I've been working sporadically on an essay on the subject of Fandom for probably a year now. I still haven't quite cracked the nature of it to my satisfaction, but I got more fodder for it tonight.

I'm a “fan” of very few artists: two musicians (or groups of musicians) and two writers, (one of them dead.) I *admire* many more than that — in some cases admire them deeply — but only those four get inside me and make my heart swell and my vision go fuzzy. I only really lose myself in their work.

Tonight I had the opportunity to see a band called Lapdog play, in a relatively tiny venue, with a significantly limited crowd. Lapdog is the current project of Todd Nichols, formerly of Toad the Wet Sprocket. I've been a fan of TTWS, and specifically of Todd, since 1987, when I first saw them play in a little coffee house in Isla Vista, the student community outside the University of California at Santa Barbara.

What is it about a certain sound that just gets under your skin and transports you? Why this band, and not a million other bands? I don't know. But they got under my skin 19 years ago, and stayed there.

So tonight I sat about ten feet from the stage, dead center in front of Todd, and got to hear some of my favorite songs played live, and was introduced to a host of new material. It was intoxicating.

And I just can't figure out why that is.

What is the nature of fandom? It seems to me that one distinguishing feature is a sense of *importance.* The fan doesn't merely like or admire the artist (or their work – a distinction I'll have to explore) – the work is *important* in the fan's life. It adds a dimension. There's a relationship between the fan and the work.

I'll have to think about it some more. If I ever get that essay finished, I'll post it here. I certainly welcome your thoughts on the subject.


Edit: I completely forgot to mention that I got a new tattoo today. Hurt like a mf'r. Got it to cover the mess I made trying to give myself one in 11th grade art class. It's my third professional tattoo, and my first one to be done in color. I actually went in with a koi design (yes, a goldfish of sorts) but the artist didn't think it would cover the mess well enough. I figured he's the pro. I'll try to remember to post a pic.

Borders' Reply

Borders' Reply

BordersStores.Com Ccare to me
More options Apr 5 (17 hours ago)

Dear Christie:

Thank you for your expression of concern about our decision not to carry the issue of Free Inquiry magazine featuring cartoons depicting Muhammad. Borders is committed to our customers' right to choose what to read and what to buy and to the First Amendment right of Free Inquiry to publish the cartoons. In this particular case, we decided not to stock this issue in our stores because we place a priority on the safety and security of our customers and our employees. We believe that carrying this issue presented a challenge to that priority.

We value your thoughts and sincerely appreciate that you invested your time to tell us how you feel about the issue. I can assure you that our management team gave careful deliberation to this decision and considered all sides of the issue before reaching this conclusion. As always, we are interested in customer feedback about our choices and while we know you do not agree with our position, we hope you can understand the challenge of balancing the needs of our customers, employees and our communities.

I hope that this information is helpful. If you should have any other questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Borders Customer Care

Well it's certainly thoughtful and respectful. I still think it's chickenshit.