Monday, April 03, 2006

The Month That Was - March 2006: Like a Hollywood zombie, I have staggered back from the dead. Here's the thing: this isn't much of a blog any more. Over the past year I have been trying to devote myself to more directed writing at various spots around the web. The last couple of months I have been working really hard at fiction, making excruciatingly slow progress on my third novel -- Misspent Youth. So virtually no effort has been put into this blog and that is likely to continue.

Blogging is easy. Blogging well and successfully is not. And even if you blog well, it's not like you are standing out of a crowd anymore. So my plan now is to move to monthly posting. Each month I hope to post a summary update on the topic of me and one or two things that have caught my eye over the course of the month. Such trivialities only merit a monthly frequency anyway. Anything more than that is pure vanity or will merely be string of curious links that are being passed around the web like a bottle down south.

So monthly updates it is; that and linking up whatever writing I am doing otherwise (which will be very little until I either finish or give up on Misspent Youth).

Like I said, that doesn't make this much of a blog. I should probably rework this layout to something more appropriate. Or maybe I should start over from scratch with a new site. Or maybe I should shut up and write.

Speaking of which, the slowest piece of writing I have ever done is probably my write up of the trip to Hawaii from about six months ago. It's finally ready for reading. It's long -- be sure your schedule is clear before you click through.

I have to admit I have no idea where this final season of The Sopranos is going. It's pretty clearly not following the New-Guy-Appears-And-Eventually-Gets-Whacked formula of the past few seasons. That's a good thing. I am completely in favor of David Chase just running with it -- any insane idea that just might work dramatically, might as well go for it. After four episodes, with Tony emerging from a Purgatorial coma, the possibilities are endless. Bear in mind that Chase has always maintained that The Sopranos is about family. I expect a big part of this season is going to be the culmination of the effect of being mob kids on Meadow and AJ. If that theme can mesh believably with all the open threads going on in the mob family, that will be quite an accomplishment. This should be fun.

Speaking of fun, have you visited You Tube yet? Very fun way to kill time (because Time is evil and it must be destroyed). Site users just upload videos of varying length for all to see, kind of like a video veriosn of Flickr. There's a ton of them. They range from those geeky kids lip-synching to clips from old movies to homemade animations to clips from classic TV (do a search on 'Monkees' to see the MTV of my youth) and everything in between. Just enter a keyword into the search engine to see if there is anything on the topic of your choice. (Note: Google Video works the same way). You'll need broadband -- videos are not for the bandwidth challenged -- but take some time to troll around for gems.

I am currently reading two books that could not be more different. One is Prime Obsession, which is a combination of pop mathematics and history. It is a recounting of the history of the pursuit of understanding prime numbers and something called the Riemann Hypothesis. I hit my ceiling in math at college level calculus, and I can just about follow the dumbed down explanations of the math in the book. Equally interesting are the biographical profiles and history behind the mathematicians. It is exceptional for it's clarity in both areas. I'll try to review this in full once I'm done.

The other book is a famous one by Vladmir Nabokov and you would know the title if I said it, but I won't because the mere mention of the word can set off obscenity filters. Let's just say it is a nickname derived from Delores. I had always thought the book was primarily about male fears of mortality as manifested in a particular type of unsavory behavior. I was wrong, it is much deeper than that and it is as remarkable as its reputation. The movies do not do it justice. I may review this one too, but I have to imagine there is little left to say about it.

Lastly, let me just offer a big fat Happy Birthday to Her Royal Highness My Darling Miss Anna Banana who recently turned 14 and has a big soiree scheduled. I think she wanted an iPod Nano, but all she got from me was a Sims expansion pack. It's a cold, cruel world. Here's a recent pic featuring her world famous Mona Lisa Smirk. See and be owned.