Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer

(So far as my Around the Year plan goes, this book was read a tiny bit out of sequence: I jumped to it while waiting to get off the libe waitlist for category #6. Considering how sick I was this past week, it’s probably just as well that I had a non-taxing title like this one to be working through.)

Based on my experience with the PopSugar challenges over the past few years, I would postulate that the staffers over there* are kinda obsessed with the notion of literary genre.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say that as a slam in the tiniest bit. After all, I spent all my grad school years being obsessed with literary genres, their categorization schema, their overlaps, and so on. But the notion of genre–especially obscure and unusual genres–has definitely been a recurring theme in their construction of topics. I found it most challenging last year when we were asked to read a book in a genre we’d never heard of before: several google searches on the topic only uncovered genres I had heard of before. Too bad I didn’t know about this year’s list while making my 2018 strategy, because 2019 PopSugar names not 1, but 2, different genres I had never heard of till looking at the categories list.

Including “LitRPG.”

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Heard it In a Pop Song

I had two alternate post titles tonight:

Tom Jones makes everything sound dead sexy

or

Tom Jones is a lying liar

More on that reasoning later. For the nonce, let me me unveil yet another way in which I am hopelessly art-and-media obsessed.

I’ve talked many times about how important music is to me and my life, and I think I’ve mentioned now and again how I’m the kind of old school dinosaur who still buys a fair proportion of music on physical CDs. But have I ever mentioned exactly how prodigious my CD collection is?

I don’t have a precise count right now*, but my best guess is around 1,800 or so. Across lots of different artists and genres–classical, Broadway, jazz, hip-hop. And lots and lots of stuff in the pop/rock/r&b vein. Lots.

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January Recap

When I first shared my plans for the 3 reading challenges I’m working on, I think I mentioned something about how I could milk tons of post topics out of these lists by doing individual book reviews, monthly recaps, and so on.

Well, here I am at the end of Month 1, and I’m trying to figure out exactly how I want to arrange this recap. As expected, I’ve already started swapping some “bonus reads” into categories where I had sketchy choices, so the lists as originally posted are no longer quite accurate. Still, it seems way excessive to post the lists in their entirety every darn month, just for the sake of capturing a few changes here and there.

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Clown Face, Knife, Horror Face, Thumbs Up

Watching Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of It wasn’t really on my plan for this week.

Some years ago, I gave up on Game of Thrones, but numerous conversations with different friends has convinced me to give it another chance. Since Season 8 is coming up soon, and I’m still back in Season 5, I thought one of my quiet hotel evenings this week would be a good time to log into HBOGo and start catching myself up.

Except, when I logged in Tuesday night, they had a feature card on content that would be leaving the app at the end of January, and I saw It on it.* Which got me thinking about how that sequel is coming out soon, too, so that meant it was another thing to catch myself up on.

So I did.

Caution ahead! Here be spoilers!

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A Reel Conundrum

I’m trying to decide whether I’m going to start adding film “reviews” to the content I create here on JALC. I learned a little bit about film analysis back in grad school: it wasn’t my core field, but I certainly had to have a side specialization in film/video/TV in order to do the lit/cultural studies hybrid work I most enjoyed.

So, even though I’m not even remotely deep enough in hubris to pretend to be the next Roger Ebert or anything like that, I do like to think I’d be able to come up with cogent film posts in a similar way to the posts I’ve been writing each time I finish a book.

But I’m sort of wrestling back and forth with whether this would be a valuable addition to JALC, or a version of mission creep.

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Reflecting on Rent

 

(Contextual note: late night of conference sessions and networking. Will this post get finished and published before midnight? Enjoy the mystery and suspense. Tick-tock, tick-tick.)

I mentioned that one of the reasons I didn’t post Sunday night is that I got sucked into the telecast of Rent (intended to be) Live.

Those of you who follow news of the Broadway and musical theater variety probably know a lot of what happened, sir I won’t do too much of a detailed recap: actor Brennin Hunt, who was playing Roger, broke his foot about 3/4 of the way through Saturday’s dress rehearsal. The seriousness of the injury mandated that he legitimately could not “play through the pain” as has happened in other live musical telecasts. Instead, Fox went to their contingency plan. Instead of showing a live performance in the Sunday night time slot, they aired footage of Saturday’s rehearsal, which was taped precisely for this “in case of emergency” circumstance.

Vox is unflinching and unforgiving in its criticism of that choice and the suggestion of alternate courses of action the production might have taken instead, including an especially, finally letting go of the dependence on star power and name recognition to actually have understudies hired and prepared as part of the cast. And I can’t bring myself to argue with much (or any?) of Vox’s suggestions here. And yet…

I really kind of liked the show.

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From the Hat: When I was a Kid

I hope that one of these days I will have ideas for writing topics. Maybe it’s rose-colored hindsight, but my recollection of other stretches where I was blogging is that I had so many more subjects than I had the bandwidth to address.

And now here I am with my shiny “write every day in 2019” pledge, and the topic well has run dry. Oy vey.

So, I guess it’s back to the “hat box” I go.

I remember when I was a kid….

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