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Φιλαυτος

Adventures in the pursuit of the fine

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ARC, horse
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Φιλαυτος

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May 15th, 2009

Something's Coming

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... but not to where I am.

Attention those of you who live in or near Los Angeles: Lea Salonga will be performing there on May 30, and apparently tickets are still available. Her other upcoming U.S. performances (including other places in California, plus NY, Nevada and Indiana) are listed here. Update: Chicago residents, one of those places in Indiana is very close to you.

She sang the role of Eponine in the 10th Anniversary Concert of Les Miserables; she's probably most widely known as the singing voice of Disney's Princess Jasmine (Aladdin) and Mulan (Mulan). Perhaps her single best recorded track is Love Look Away (Flower Drum Song). She is remarkable both for the quality of her voice and for her ability to convey powerful and complex emotion without sacrificing tone.

I've attended two of her concerts (traveling to Atlantic City to do so) and nine of her performances on Broadway (her return to Miss Saigon, her revival of FDS, and her return to Les Mis). I'm a very big fan -- and I'm not one for being a big fan of lots of performers.

This concert will, from what I've read, include music from her latest pop album, Inspired, but I would expect it to include some show tunes as well. Inspired is good, of course, but it's the show tunes that really show what she can do. If you're lucky, you'll hear her Disney medley, which begins with her truly inspiring take on Go the Distance (Hercules) and ends with the rarely heard uncut version of Reflection (Mulan).

April 29th, 2009

A haunting performance

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Some of you were there at the end of the Graduate Seminar -- what was it, two years ago? -- when I sang Lullaby of Broadway. One of you recorded it and posted it to YouTube.

Today, one of my students, from an anonymous e-mail address, posted to my sections' listservs a message with the subject, "pretty funny website featuring our favorite TA." All that was in the message was a ytmnd.com link that didn't work for me, so I asked my students what it was. Somebody came up with a link and it turned out to be me singing Lullaby of Broadway.

Ah, life in the age of the Internet. I only wish I'd given a better performance that day. It wasn't intended as funny.

Sometime soon I need to make a video of me singing well and post it to YouTube.

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March 7th, 2009

Englitch

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Taking a break from grading, I saw this joke:
"Hello Mrs. Miller," said the bearded guy behind the counter at the bagel shop.

My husband and I looked at him but drew complete blanks. "I'm sorry, do we know each other?" I asked.

"Yeah, you was my English teacher."

Leaning over, my husband whispered, "Good job, Honey, good job."
I think Mrs. Miller has sent me too many of her students.


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March 5th, 2009

Rhyme of the Muffin Day

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I saw this and thought certain of my friends here might get a kick out of it.




Now back to grading. I'm pleased to say that so far this semester, my students write better than whoever made that sign.
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February 11th, 2009

A "report" reported by The Telegraph claims there is now such a "stigma" on "mental illness" that Churchill and Florence Nightingale might not be able to get their jobs today.

Odd.

When they were alive, there wasn't nearly as much campaigning against the "stigma," nor as much campaigning to get people into "treatment" for "mental illness."

Might the idea of "mental illness" be the problem? Might the condemnations of the "stigma" promote it?

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February 1st, 2009

I just came across a site called LOLbama. Yes, it's what it sounds like -- sometimes with such guest stars as the LOLintons and LOLBush.

Some of the images are quite amusing.

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January 31st, 2009

Skillful maneuvering

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President Obama may nominate a Republican for Commerce secretary. What a wonderful example of rising above political divisions, right?

Maybe not: That Republican is a senator from a state with a Democratic governor. And since there are 58 Democratic senators and one senatorial election yet undecided, replacing an elected Republican with an appointed Democrat might help the Dems get a filibuster-proof Senate majority.

Could this really be a partisan play disguised as bipartisanship? It's inconceivable that President Obama hasn't thought through the ramifications for the Senate. But it's also difficult to believe he would award a Cabinet seat solely to flip a Senate seat, especially when it's the Commerce job in a tough economic time. Plus there's some doubt that he'll succeed in flipping the Senate seat. Still -- it's probably a factor.

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January 28th, 2009

The head of the city department of health and mental hygiene has decided to target salt. He's threatening legislation if he doesn't get compliance from the major packaged food companies and chain restaurants. (Elite NYC restaurateurs will not be affected, apparently.)

The NYT article is worth reading, and the illustrations are cute.

As for the response: Some food executive who read Atlas should have stood up at the gathering the city convened and said: "We will not comply with your demands unless you legislate them. If you do legislate them, we will not change our national practices to comply. We will, of course, obey the law. But we will do it either by withdrawing from the local market, and making it quite clear to New Yorkers why they have to go to the suburbs if they want Big Macs or Campbell's soup, or by creating special, bland products marked 'Made to the Specifications of the NYC Government -- If It's Bland, Throw the Bums Out!' Moreover the Bums-Out products will have to be more expensive, to cover the extra costs of making special products for this one market, and we'll make clear on the packaging and the restaurant signage how much extra New Yorkers are paying to have food to your specifications."


January 27th, 2009

OK, it wasn't bleeped. But the President's reference, in his inaugural address, to facing down fascism and communism, was spoken over on Chinese television by an anchor who seemed eager to cut him off.

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