Monday, April 13, 2009

This & That: Music, Travel, Books, etc.

Some stuff:

  • A local artist is putting the words of Meriwether Lewis to music. Words like: "heartily tired of the national hug".
  • My friends Meg and Adam have finished the South American half of their year traveling around the world. Starting in Peru, they moved on to Bolivia, Argentina and Chile before spending a final three weeks in Columbia. I admit I was nervous about them being in Columbia but they say it was beautiful and the people were lovely. After a brief stop back in the States they have moved on to spend a month in New Zealand where they are traveling around by spaceship. Then they head to Asia. Jealous? Me? What makes you think that?
  • I've made it to the last of Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan mysteries. I'm really impressed how she doesn't repeat herself with plots (although shooting people at the end of the novel is starting to get predictable). I finished The Last Place which involved a serial killer (and had references back to the very first book too). It was really creepy and I found I couldn't read it late at night. In By A Spider's Thread she took the action out of town again (southern Indiana no less - I'd like Andi's opinion on if she got it right). But she avoided the problems I had with her when she sent Tess to Texas by creating a network of female investigators that Tess could call on for the out of town work. That worked really well (in fact I'll probably write more about that at some point.) As I read this series I did regularly wonder if she was purposely trying not to cover Baltimore ground that David Simon covers, but then came No Good Deeds. It had a different twist though - it ended up being a meditation on the power that the federal government has to make the life of an average citizen miserable if it so chooses. I just picked up Another Thing to Fall from the library and when I finish that, I'm finished. Sigh.
  • I had jury duty today and I brought Anna Karenina with me to read. I assumed I'd be there two days (that's what usually happens) and I'd have a lot of downtime (that also usually happens). But I only had to serve one day and most of it was spent in an actual courtroom going through voir dire. They didn't pick me (no surprise there) but I also didn't get much reading time in. I only have about 200 more pages to go - I just need some uninterrupted time when I'm not too tired. I thought for sure that jury duty would provide that. Wrong. But I did my civic duty.