Sunday, April 5, 2015

Monthly Update: April

Chief Medical Officer's log, earth date 4/5/2015.9:04.  Nice trip to San Francisco.  Visited the Academy of Sciences.The planetarium presentation on the interconnectedness of all life on earth was cool.  Also an Albino Alligator named Claude.

Played Mario Kart 8, was a lot of fun.  Tough game but seems like lots of room for growth.  Very impressed at resolution on the Wii U controller.  Seriously considering Wii U purchase.  Also played card game called 'Bang' that was pretty fun and available online.  In the meantime, on the gaming front, I've also played Mario Kart 64, Star Fox and Turok.  Looking into Magic Online.

I also saw a really cool play called 33 Variations at a local theater.  The story follows both a Beethoven scholar whose body is progressively shutting down from symptoms of ALS, while trying to complete a final study on Beethoven's composition 33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli.  Concurrently, another set of actors perform the story of Beethoven, Diabelli and Schindler as Beethoven struggles to compose his variations and Schindler struggles to keep him in his sponsors good graces.  It was a lot of fun, I have a soft spot for Beethoven's cranky, crazed genius, and the principle and supporting actors were fantastic.  Not to mention the play was performed with a live piano player.  There were also bits of music theory that I found really exciting, having enough understanding to be interested.

On the subject of artists and performers now past, I wanted to say something about Leonard Nimoy and something about Terry Pratchett.  I almost feel I've missed my window.  But... well, I suppose that's not really possible.  Anyway, it turned out Leonard Nimoy was even more of a badass then I ever realized.  And I also realized that Spock is very much the mascot of Star Trek.  Or maybe Kirk is the mascot, dancing around to keep us entertained, but Spock was the heart and soul.  He was the best character in the original series, bar none.  He was an example of how Star Trek would try new things.  He was an alien, he was biracial, he adhered to a bizarre and mystic code of logic.  He had psychic powers.  He was insufferable and yet he was deeply compassionate.  He's everything Star Trek was about.

It's hard not to make it all about Spock.  Nimoy clearly dealt with that his whole career.  Since his passing, I've learned that Nimoy was a Yiddish scholar, director, writer and photographer.  I'm thrilled that Jaconian and I were both able to see him speak at a Star Trek convention.  Twice.  During those talks, I learned that Nimoy did a one man stage show as Theo Van Gogh, exchanging letters with his Mad Genius brother Vincent.  You might have heard of him.

Terry Pratchett I knew less well.  I've read only The Color of Magic, the first book in the Discworld series.  I would like to say, however,  that when I read The Color of Magic, I felt a certain sense of coming home, as though I had been there before, and I had been reading Sir Pratchett's work since childhood.  And if I had to use just one word to describe his writing, it would be delightful.  Perhaps now is as good a time as any to return to his work.

Looking forward, I'm not sure what to expect.  I'm settling into my new apartment, as is my cat, Enkidu.  He has been very playful of late, and that's been fun to watch.  I'm struggling with my laptop connection to my TV, something went wrong and now my laptop screen turns off when I hook in the HDMI cable.  This is really frustrating because I was excited at the prospect of playing Steam games on a big screen.  The Nintendo 64 still works, and my girlfriend really likes Mario Kart, so I may seeing more of that in my future.  Until next time,


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