Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy New Year--It's Gonna Be a Good One!

Been spending little time online this week, much time painting a sorely needful room in our house, the extra one over the garage we call "the wii room" for what I hope are obvious reasons. Much time hanging out with my wife and daughter and missing my son, who's in Colorado learning how to snowboard with his cousin and his "other family;" a bit of time fleshing out and publishing an all-indie-music Snacks4theBrain!; and a tad bit just relaxing and reading and movie viewing.

Reading: WIRED Magazine, "David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Music" and All the Pretty Horses, the first of Cormac McCarthy's "Border Trilogy."

Byrne and Yorke summarize nicely the changes which the bizness of music has seen and break down a musician's options for earning a living into a tidy set of five options. Certainly worth a read for anyone participating in the field in any way.

McCarthy's this year's Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction, and there's a reason why. My wife and I went to see the movie "No Country for Old Men," (wheeeeeeeeew) and I just had to experience more of this author's perspectives on the American West. I feel our children are missing out on the rich narrative experience this topic has to offer, btw, much because of the media's general confusion over the historical nightmare that was our Eurocentric ancestors' genocidal treatment of Native Americans--sigh. I really enjoy a good Western, whether it's movie, fiction, or history. Another great writer in the field, just as a li'l bonus for ye, is Elmore Leonard, whose sort of "greatest hits" short story collection came out in 2004 and which I discovered after viewing the fab movie "3:10 to Yuma" last year.

Cinema: We took on "I am Legend" yesterday, and I'm glad we did so on the big screen. I really enjoyed Will Smith's tour de force, though I'm not sure all the Oscar talk is on target (and not sure why I'm not sure). On the small screen we watched "Waitress" last night and that's more up my alley, quirky love story that it is, with a nicely optimistic ending that isn't schmaltzily predictable (maybe that's part of my issue with Legend). And we watched "Rescue Dawn" earlier in the week, a movie that was absolutely great until the throwaway "war-movie-turned-sports-movie" ending. We've also started the DVD collection of "Dexter," the not-for-the-faint-of-heart Showtime series about a serial killer who only kills people who need killing (now there's an ethical-dilemma-filled theme for you). Michael C. Hall did such wonderful work in "Six Feet Under" and seeing him in a very different role in Dexter is a treat.

I also spent a little time to put up a brief video tour of the Blogger's Hut at ISTE Island in Second Life. You can see that at my SL blog.

Well there it is, my version of the annual family letter.

I guess all this leads me to say that I've realllllllllly enjoyed my week of down time over the Winter Holidays, at times actually thinking how nice it would be to be this uncommitted to work schedule all the time, as in "retirement." Since that's not an option, mainly for financial reasons, I'll be back at school Monday (at Vanderbilt, where I'm helping friend Cathy Walker with her workshop session at an Arkansas teacher conference, popping into Second Life for a brief tour of ISTE Island--then trying to firm up plans for three weeks of teacher-teaching Web 2.0 in the summer). Then on Tuesday I'll re-greet my 3rd graders bright and early with a fresh set of plans for the remainder of the winter and spring. Life(s) is good, ya'll.

Hold close to what you love, and may it love you back.

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