medication to treat arthritis

The Goldfinch — A Review

The Goldfinch

Last night I finished listening to the audio recording of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which won a Pulitzer in 2014. Both before and after the award, it garnered a mixture of reviews, some praising it highly, some hating it.

One person I know (a fellow editor) called it “unreadable”. Really? Well I didn’t read . . . → Read More: The Goldfinch — A Review

Words and Pictures — A Review

Words and Pictures

Words and Pictures, while perhaps not perfect, is a movie that is much better than its 6.6 user rating on IMDB would suggest, a rating earned probably because it’s not a Hollywoodish movie. It demands your close attention, and may not be for everyone.

In fact, the appeal will no doubt be mostly to . . . → Read More: Words and Pictures — A Review

Unbroken — Laura Hillenbrand

Recently, in part because of some books that have come my way as an editor, I’ve spent more time than I normally would have becoming acquainted with the experiences of men who have gone to war and returned from it.

Of these, Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken is by far the best, a magnificently well-researched and clearly written account . . . → Read More: Unbroken — Laura Hillenbrand

Doing Their Job?

A review of Redeployment by Paul Klay. Substantially the same text I posted on both Amazon and Goodreads.

Five stars if you can handle it. I can’t conscientiously recommend this book for everyone. It’s a book for grown-ups.

Its author, Phil Klay (I was told on an NPR review), pronounces his name “Kleye”; it rhymes with “fly”.

I dislike . . . → Read More: Doing Their Job?

Passing on 43 on 41

41: A Portrait of My Father

I had pretty much a 100-percent-certain chance to meet George W. Bush today if I’d wanted to do it. I say “pretty much” only because nothing in life is absolutely certain. But I could have done it. Didn’t do it.

My second stop in a chain of urgent errands was at . . . → Read More: Passing on 43 on 41

Verizon’s Newbie Android Class Fail

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Last night Suzy and I went to Verizon to take a “class” entitled “Beginning Android”. We were almost the youngest people there — and I’m seventy — I’ve arrived at the age where I want to tell people how old I am.

If I had to rate this experience on a . . . → Read More: Verizon’s Newbie Android Class Fail

Sympathy Vote — A Review

Sympathy Vote

Monsters exist in this world. They walk among us, and they sometimes hurt us and those we love.

On September 18, 1966, twenty-one-year-old Valerie Jeanne Percy was brutally murdered in her bed in Kenilworth, Illinois. She was the daughter of Charles Percy, who was then the Republican party’s nominee for the upcoming US Senate race . . . → Read More: Sympathy Vote — A Review

A Late Quartet — a Review

Ludwig van Beethoven

It’s not often that I see a movie on subject matter that I think I know something about. But A Late Quartet in some respects touches very close to home.

The story is about a famous string quartet struggling to stay together after its cellist, played by Christopher Walken, announces he’s in the early . . . → Read More: A Late Quartet — a Review

Annie Leibovitz at Wexner Center

Annie Leibovitz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight we went to the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University to see the magnificent new exhibit of Annie Leibovitz photos.

The evening was highlighted by a conversation before a near capacity crowd (nearly 2500) in Mershon auditorium with Annie Leibovitz herself and none other than Rolling Stone founder . . . → Read More: Annie Leibovitz at Wexner Center

The Longest Race—Ed Ayres

The Longest Race

Runner and writer Ed Ayres has written a new book about ultrarunning and the things ultrarunners think about: The Longest Race, lengthily subtitled A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance. I had the pleasure of reading an advance (not quite final, but printed and bound) copy from the . . . → Read More: The Longest Race—Ed Ayres

Chronicles: Volume 1 — Bob Dylan

Cover of Chronicles, Volume 1

Contrary to implications from the title, and also to the customary method of presenting biography, Bob Dylan’s book Chronicles: Volume 1 is not a traditional “Born on a mountaintop in …” chronologically-told tale. We learn bits of the back story throughout the book, enough to be satisfied that Dylan, famous for . . . → Read More: Chronicles: Volume 1 — Bob Dylan

About Legacy Posts

As of July 25, 2011, I have migrated over 130 articles from my Neologistics blog, where since August 2005 I have posted many unsorted articles, including items unrelated to editing, writing, or literature. The articles copied from the old site have all been labeled with the category LEGACY.

It has been a longstanding shortcoming of Google’s otherwise . . . → Read More: About Legacy Posts

A Former al-Qaeda Leader?

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Recently I read a news story that referred to Osama Bin Laden as the “former leader of al-Qaeda”. Former? Ha! Perhaps so in the same way that Hitler is a former Nazi, or Ted Bundy a former serial murderer, if we may refer to them at all in the present . . . → Read More: A Former al-Qaeda Leader?

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln: Remedial Reading

Cover of Washington: A Life

Cover of A. Lincoln: A Biography

Most reading for the purpose of taking in information is remedial — don’tcha think? After all, if you already know a subject, why read about it again?

By the time a man gets to be my age, the scope of his sense of cultural literacy should . . . → Read More: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln: Remedial Reading

Keith Richards and Eric Clapton Autobiographies

Cover via Amazon

Cover via Amazon

In January 2011 I read Life by Keith Richards. In April I followed that with Eric Clapton’s earlier book: Clapton: The Autobiography. It was inevitable that readers who read both will see comparisons between these two icons of rock and roll. I doubt I’m the first to do so.

I’ve never . . . → Read More: Keith Richards and Eric Clapton Autobiographies

Fry Street Quartet, Southern Theater

On Saturday night we had the pleasure of attending a concert by the Fry Street String Quartet at the Southern Theater in downtown Columbus, which we had not yet visited in our three-plus years of living in Ohio.

The Southern Theater, built originally in 1896, has a distinguished history of presenting theater productions featuring world-renowned performers. After . . . → Read More: Fry Street Quartet, Southern Theater

Right Ho, Jeeves!

Cover of Right Ho, Jeeves

Among P.G. Wodehouse’s most popular novels is the 1934 work Right Ho, Jeeves!, featuring recurring luminaries, the young English gentleman Bertie Wooster and his ingenious and far-cleverer-than-his-boss valet Reginald Jeeves (whose first name is not given in this novel). One measure of this book’s popularity may be seen from the page of . . . → Read More: Right Ho, Jeeves!

Keith Jarrett — Paris / London: Testament

Cover of Paris / London: Testament

Music reviews are typically descriptive, but because words never adequately describe music, I rarely review music recordings. Nonetheless, for Keith Jarrett’s 2008 album Paris / London: Testament I’ve made this exception.

But first some background …

People who know me are aware that I have long regarded Keith Jarrett to be my . . . → Read More: Keith Jarrett — Paris / London: Testament

Reading in Installments

At any given time I have between one and seven books in my Recent Reading stack marked as current. These are books that I really am reading at present.

At this writing there are six on the stack:

Washington: A Life (Ron Chernow)
The Elements of Typographic Style (Robert Bringhurst)

The Associated Press Stylebook
Life (Keith Richards)
Marathon & . . . → Read More: Reading in Installments

The Creative Habit — Twyla Tharp

Cover via Amazon

As a sometime composer and writer, I have always been fascinated by listening to creative people of all types discuss their work, especially how they go about doing it.  Therefore, when I recently bumped up against the title The Creative Habit, a 2001 book by master choreographer Twyla Tharp, . . . → Read More: The Creative Habit — Twyla Tharp

Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition

Placeholder for a review soon . . . → Read More: Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition

Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve just finished reading a new book (2010) by David Lipsky, the title of this post. It’s about a five-day road trip author David Foster Wallace took in 1995 at the behest of Wallace’s publisher Little, Brown to promote his then new novel Infinite Jest, with Lipsky in tow, on assignment from Rolling Stone . . . → Read More: Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself

Moby Dick

Never read it. . . . → Read More: Moby Dick

Jefferson the Neologist

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In answer to some people who stodgily protested certain Americanisms that had crept into the writing of Jefferson’s founding requirements regarding the University of Virginia, he defended himself by asserting that as new discoveries are made, new words must be invented to name them. Continuing along that line, he said:

And give the word neologism . . . → Read More: Jefferson the Neologist

The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis — Columbus Museum of Art

Cover via Amazon

We were present at the Columbus Museum of Art on October 7, 2010, for the members only opening of the exhibit “The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis.”

If you are unfamiliar with the world of comic book and cartoon art, you may not know who Robert Crumb is, known professionally as . . . → Read More: The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis — Columbus Museum of Art

Can You Guess How Oold I Am?

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Have you ever noticed how some older people like to tell you their age? It seems I’ve reached that point in life where I’m anxious to tell people my age, sometimes looking for excuses to do so. It’s a pretty sorry state to be in — not being the age I am, but . . . → Read More: Can You Guess How Oold I Am?

Metropolis — 2010 Restoration

Cover via Amazon

Last night we saw the recently restored version of Franz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece silent film Metropolis, the progenitor of almost every later science fiction action film. The venue was one of my favorite places in Columbus, the Wexner Center for the Arts on The Ohio State University campus, in the theater that holds . . . → Read More: Metropolis — 2010 Restoration

Julie & Julia

Last night we watched Julie & Julia. Yes, we’re behind everyone else. All the movies we watch are borrowed from the library, so we have to wait until they are available. We haven’t rented a movie in nearly three years. The last time it was from Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. . . . → Read More: Julie & Julia

Bright Star

Image via Wikipedia

Last night we watched the movie Bright Star, about the (short) life of John Keats — or at least about the last part of it.

It’s a good movie. The dialog is captivating, particularly the snippy repartee between Keats’s romantic interest Fanny Brawne and his friend Charles Brown. Fanny and . . . → Read More: Bright Star

Why Boys Fail — Richard Whitmire

Last week I stumbled across a newly published book displayed on a book stand next to a terminal in the Bexley library: Why Boys Fail, by education reporter Richard Whitmire. Intrigued, I snatched it up and read it in two days.

The book’s main thesis is:

The world is becoming more verbal.
Boys are not.

That’s a direct . . . → Read More: Why Boys Fail — Richard Whitmire

Bone — Jeff Smith

Cover of Crown of Horns (Bone, Vol. 9)

Cover of Crown of Horns (Bone, Vol. 9) Exactly one year ago today Suzy and I attended the world premiere of a documentary about comic book artist Jeff Smith, who is from Columbus area, and a graduate of The Ohio Statue University. Smith is famous in . . . → Read More: Bone — Jeff Smith

House — Tracy Kidder

Cover of House

This morning I finished reading House, by literary non-fiction author Tracy Kidder, still most famous for his Pulitzer Prize winning book The Soul of a New Machine, written a couple of years before House.

The book was published in 1985. I bought it around the time it was on the shelves in bookstores as . . . → Read More: House — Tracy Kidder

Subtle Is the Lord — A Reflection

Cover via Amazon Albert Einstein is such an iconic personage that Time magazine named him Person of the Century in 2000. Despite this, few people can explain what it was this singularly independent, rumpled man did to earn the world’s approbation.

Countless biographies have been written about Albert Einstein. From among them I chose to read Abraham . . . → Read More: Subtle Is the Lord — A Reflection

Self Improvement

Image via Wikipedia

One day in 1972, while browsing in a book store in Manhattan, I stumbled across a 246-page, cartoon filled self-help pocket book with the eyebrow-raising title How to Develop Your Thinking Ability—A guide to sound decisions by Kenneth S. Keyes, Jr., which I purchased on impulse for a whopping $2.45.

Given . . . → Read More: Self Improvement

Failed Diets

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Some diet plans, notably Weighwatchers, depend on logging everything that is eaten, playing on the theory that if you have to log it, you may eat less.

One reason some people fail miserably in all attempts to control weight is because they become obsessed with food, and in the process . . . → Read More: Failed Diets

Streisand Does Phoenix

Cover of Barbra Streisand

When Suzy and I have told people we went to hear Barbra Streisand in concert Thursday night (November 16th) the almost universal reaction has been a discreet, “Well, Barbra Streisand is not my cup of tea, but I’m glad you had fun.” Internally their reaction is roughly the same . . . → Read More: Streisand Does Phoenix

Balanchine Festival, Ballet Arizona

Image via Wikipedia

Saturday night we attended a Ballet Arizona performance that was billed as part of a George Balanchine festival. While the music, the dancing, and the choreography were all exquisite, the experience was not without eyebrow-raising issues.

We bought tickets six months ago, when I learned that the program would be . . . → Read More: Balanchine Festival, Ballet Arizona

Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman — Arizona Opera

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Last night was the first time in 62 years of musical life that I ever attended a live production of a Wagner opera. At that rate I’ll be 124 before I see my next one. I can wait.

The event du jour was The Flying Dutchman, one of Wagner’s earliest works. The . . . → Read More: Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman — Arizona Opera

Handel’s Semele — Arizona Opera Company

Cover of Georg Friedrich Händel

On January 30th Suzy and I attended the Arizona Opera Company’s performance of Semele by Handel. Some musicologists classify it as a “secular oratorio” rather than an opera, but all presentations of it I’ve found listed by Google have been completely staged — by opera companies — so it . . . → Read More: Handel’s Semele — Arizona Opera Company

Downtown Chamber Players Concert Review

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Friday night Suzy and I attended an all contemporary chamber music concert. (Contemporary if you count Ysaÿe.) It’s been a long time since I did that.

The venue was a huge space in downtown Phoenix called The Ice House, which is exactly what it was built to be in 1910. . . . → Read More: Downtown Chamber Players Concert Review

Where’s the Beef?

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Some time ago I learned that Billy Joel has been busy composing “classical music.” What this term means to composers of popular music is generally something quite different from what it means to modern, mainstream, “serious” composers. To most pop composers it means putting on a suit and a . . . → Read More: Where’s the Beef?

English As a Second Language for Native-Borns

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There was a high school physics teacher who subscribed to a mail list I once belonged to. Everyone disliked him because he was an idiot and most of what he said was both ignorant and offensive.

He was nearly illiterate — a scary fact given that he was a teacher of . . . → Read More: English As a Second Language for Native-Borns

Tatoos As Art?

Last year I read an article that began:

The double Olympic champion didn’t know whether to laugh or cry after spotting Emma Fitch’s mis-spelt work of art [a tatoo] during a walkabout in Kent.

I’ve seen tatoos justified as “art” before. ART?? Puhleeeze!

Perhaps persons moved to become collectors of such AHHHRRRT ought to . . . → Read More: Tatoos As Art?


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Some people have things to say and some people have to say things.
There are c. 6.5 billion people in the world. If the average person lives 76 years, 27740 days, It means that throughout the world an average of 236880 people, a nearly a quarter of a million, die every . . . → Read More: Micro-Thoughts

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