Posts Tagged ‘bagpipes’

Day 122

by wil — May 2, 2011

Yesterday was May Day/Beltane, and the year is now one-third over, so I thought I’d take stock and see what’s what. I’ve been doing yoga at least every-other-day for 11 weeks now and I’m still enjoying it, so I’ll be continuing with that. I’ve also started learning everyone’s favorite instrument: the bagpipe! My kitchen pipes arrived ten days ago and I’ve been slowly learning the proper fingering for the scale (which, from what I’ve read, may not exactly correspond to any standard Western musical scale). When I get better, I’ll see about posting a video. I know you’re dying to watch me play the pipes.

Hmm…what else? I recently finished Dragon Age II (not quite as epic as Dragon Age: Origins, smaller-scale, new and different, but still lots of fun) and I’ve been reading some too:

meat
The Terror
Faery Tale
How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe
Fight Club
Foucault For Beginners
Rumo
The History of Love
Consciousness
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

 

  1. Meat: A Benign Extravagance: An in-depth, heavy-duty, and sometimes dry investigation of meat-eating from an environmental/sustainability (and British) perspective. A much longer review (Part 1 of 3) »

  2. The Terror: An engrossing historical novel with a supernatural twist: 1840s, the Franklin Expedition searches in vain for the Northwest Passage and encounters an ancient arctic evil. I enjoyed it, but there are several spots where the story really starts to drag. I think it would’ve been stronger if it had been a bit shorter.

  3. Faery Tale: One Woman’s Search for Enchantment in a Modern World: Signe Pike travels from NYC to Mexico, the UK, and Ireland in a heartfelt search for magic, belief, and a deeper sense of connection.

  4. How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe: A humorous, touching ride through Minor Universe 31, time loops, story space, memory, and family relationships.

  5. Fight Club: This is one of those rare instances where I think the movie is actually quite a bit better than the book. I felt like the novel was dark-and-disturbing just to be dark-and-disturbing. I had hoped for more, something deeper.

  6. Foucault for Beginners: A quick overview of Michel Foucault’s thoughts on knowledge, truth, power, justice, etc. My impression: Foucault is highly influential, yet difficult to summarize/synthesize. I think I might try another, longer introduction to Foucault.

  7. Rumo: And His Miraculous Adventures: Part Grimm’s fairy tale, part Princess Bride — a humorous, imaginative, delightful fantasy adventure. I will definitely be reading more Walter Moers.

  8. The History of Love: Warm, often-funny prose, but a story that feels disjointed. Halfway through, I set it aside for several weeks, but eventually picked it up again and finished it.

  9. Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction: An interesting but annoying introduction to the scientific study of the “hard problem” of consciousness. Susan Blackmore covers a lot of fascinating research, but for an introductory, presumably objective overview, I felt like she was a bit too free with her own subjective opinions.

  10. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler: The opposite of a flowing narrative, but interesting nonetheless. Calvino has lots of fun with conspiracies, obfuscation, and metafiction, popping in and out of the story/stories to write about writing/reading. Reminiscent of Borges and Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco.

    The novel begins in a railway station, a locomotive huffs, steam from a piston covers the opening of the chapter, a cloud of smoke hides part of the first paragraph.

    You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. Best to close the door; the TV is always on in the next room. Tell the others right away, “No, I don’t want to watch TV!” Raise your voice—they won’t hear you otherwise—”I’m reading! I don’t want to be disturbed!” Maybe they haven’t heard you, with all that racket; speak louder, yell: “I’m beginning to read Italo Calvino’s new novel!” Or if you prefer, don’t say anything; just hope they’ll leave you alone.

What have you been up to?