July, 2007

Jul 07

days like this

one of my favorite van morrison songs from his recent set is “days like this” — in fact, it’s the first song that kathy & i played at our wedding. just a song about how some days everything is right & good.

yesterday was like that for me — spent most of it up in San Francisco, where the weather was glorious — but mostly I met a few new & interesting people, spent time with some old friends, worked on some things with folks I really get along with well, made a bunch of progress at work, and even wished one of my very best friends a happy 40th birthday. ended & topped off, of course, by making it home in time to put SPL into bed (he’s in a great mood lately (always) and exploding with new language) and spend time with Kathy.

some days are just like that. pretty great.

Jul 07

posting from my iPhone

trying a post from safari on my iPhone – wordpress seems to work pretty well. It’s a little constrained to do very much with, but passable. On the whole, I think I’ll prefer to use the email posting capability of WordPress instead of going through the web UI, although this is probably the only way to do styling, links and tags.

Hmmm… There seems to be a bug where I can’t see all my tags, so this one will be uncategorized for a while.

Jul 07


I’ll tell you that time is a tough thing for me to figure out these days. The 90 minutes we spent with SPL trying to get him to take his afternoon nap seemed like they took forever. But this Friday will be his 2nd birthday, and it seems like those two years have passed in the blink of an eye. And I’m pretty sure that before we know it, we’ll be celebrating his 8th, or his 13th, or his 21st birthday.

I’m finding it both harder to really understand how I feel about time lately, and easier to just enjoy its passing. Yesterday was a rocky day, with the aforementioned naplessness — and SPL subsequently falling asleep in my arms when we walked around the block later. But after a short nap & dinner, the two of us just kicked around the backyard, throwing the frisbee & kicking the soccer ball — and time could have stood still, for all I noticed. It was just a sweet, carefree bit of experience we shared — the type of time that I’m learning to appreciate more & more.

Jul 07

2 notes on Murakami

I’m in the middle of reading After Dark, a novel by one of my half dozen favorite authors, Haruki Murakami (translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin). I was surprised to find an article this morning in one of the blogs I read about China — this is an interview with the writer in China who translates Murakami’s work into Chinese. This is something that never occurred to me, really — I always think of Murakami as fundamentally Japanese, but with American notes — and to think of him from a new perspective, particularly the Chinese angle, which he writes about some — is really eye-opening for me. Great interview.

Another essay by Murakami in the New York Times this weekend is great — it talks about how he writes like jazz.  My favorite bit of the interview is Murakami quoting great jazz pianist Thelonious Monk:

One of my all-time favorite jazz pianists is Thelonious Monk. Once, when someone asked him how he managed to get a certain special sound out of the piano, Monk pointed to the keyboard and said: “It can’t be any new note. When you look at the keyboard, all the notes are there already. But if you mean a note enough, it will sound different. You got to pick the notes you really mean!”

Fanastic. If you mean a note enough, it will sound different. I’ve always felt that something was different in great works — Murakami’s especially — and maybe this is it — the intensity of meaning, of nuance.

After Dark is good so far, but not my favorite. It takes place in the midnight-to-morning hours of Tokyo after the trains have stopped running. Sorta like Murakami’s “Eyes Wide Shut.” We’ll see how the 2nd half goes.

Jul 07

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, by JK Rowling

In preparation for HP7 coming out in a couple of weeks, I re-read the 6th book in the series — amazing how comfortable & familiar it feels. I originally read the book right after the birth of my first son — and was happy to think about the time in the future when he’ll read them for the first time — sort of like the way I shared The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia with my folks.

I’m really looking forward to the 7th book — and a little sad. It’s astonishing how quickly Harry’s world has become part of the fabric of our own — it feels like something that maybe happens just once a generation or so. Stephen King’s editorial in EW captures the feeling pretty well, I think.

Anyway,  this series is a great achievement — there’s an innocence that we don’t seem to have much of anymore, but also no shying away from tragedy. It’s a more accessible series, with more real characters than any of  the fantasies that I grew up with — I’m excited to find out how it ends, and to think about sharing Harry’s very first trip to Hogwarts in 6 or 7 years with SPL.