Nemo Revue

AP– ‘Finding Nemo’ to Become Stage Musical

Musical numbers , her boss and I predict:

1. An Anemone For Me (And You) – Coral, Marlin
2. Barracuda, Howa Could Ya’? (Marlin’s Lament) – Marlin
3. Latchkey Fish – Nemo
4. Send in The Clowns – Nemo, Marlin
5. The Joke – Marlin
6. Gone Fishin’ (‘Cause I’m a Dentist) – P. Sherman
7. Hello, Dorey! – Dorey, Marlin
8. Shit! A Shark! – Marlin, Dorey, Bruce
9. The Joke (reprise) – Marlin, Dorey, Bruce, Chum, Anchor
10. Shit! A Shark! (reprise) – Marlin, Dorey, Bruce, Chum, Anchor
11. The Tank Rap – Nemo, Gill, Bubbles, Deb, Peach, Bloat, Gurgle
12. There’s a Light (Over On The Angler Fish’s Head) – Marlin, Dorey
13. Dammit, Dorey! (I Love You) – Marlin, Dorey, Moonfish
14. Grrr, Filter Fish – Nemo and the Tank Fish
15. Why Can’t A Fish Take Prozac? – Marlin, Crush
16. Whale, Whaddaya Know? (It’s a Whale!) – Dorey
17. Seagull Shuffle – Nigel, Dorey, Marlin
18. Get Down, Swim Down, and Boogie – Nemo, Marlin
19. The Joke (reprise) – Marlin & Company
20. Leaving Well Enough Alone (Pixar’s Lament) – Audience

Book Log – Polysyllabic Spree

Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby

This “book” barely qualifies as such; At 150 5×6″ pages (including index and ads for The Believer), I would probably label it a thick magazine.

But, oh, what a thick magazine.

Essentially a reprint of his book log-esque articles from The Believer magazine, it is aptly summed up by the pseudo-subtitle on the cover: “A hilarious and true account of one man’s struggle with the monthly tide of the books he’s bought and the books he’s been meaning to read.”

Virtually every page of this book had a quote I wanted to steal and tack onto my signature line. I am not one to think I would like to hang out with an author just by reading his stuff… Douglas Adams seemed like he would be a bit standoffish, Douglas Coupland is a bit overphilosophical… but if you skipped over his obsessions with European Football and music, I would hang out with Nick Hornby. My answer to the what-famous-people-would-you-like-to-have-dinner-with would be him and Sarah Vowell.

Consider this paragraph from March 2004:

One of the reasons I wanted to write this column, I think, is because I assumed that the cultural highlight of my month would arrive in book form, and that’s true, for probably eleven months of the year. Books are, let’s face it, better than everything else. If we played Cultural Fantasy Boxing League, and made books go fifteen rounds in the ring against the best that any other art form had to offer, then books would win pretty much every time. Go on, try it. “The Magic Flute” v. Middlemarch? Middlemarch in six. “The Last Supper” v. Crime and Punishment? Fyodor on points. See? I mean, I don’t know how scientific this is, but it feels like the novels are walking it. You might get the occassional exception– “Blonde on Blonde” might mash up The Old Curiousity Shop, say, and I wouldn’t give much for Pale Fire’s chances against Citizen Kane. And every now and again you’d get a shock, because that happens in sport, so Back to the Future III might land a lucky punch on Rabbit, Run; but I’m still backing literature twenty-nine times out of thirty.

And then, the following month:

Last month I was banging on about how books were better than anything– how just about any decent book you picked would beat up anything else, any film or painting or piece of music you cared to match it up with. Anyway, like most theories advanced in this column, it turned out to be utter rubbish. I read four really good books this month, but even so, my cultural highlights of the last four weeks were not literary. I went to a couple of terrific exhibitions at the Royal Academy (and that’s a hole in my argument right there– one book might beat up one painting, but what chance has one book, or even four books, got against the collected works of Guston and Vuillard?); I saw Jose Antonio Reyes score his first goal for Arsenal against Chelsea, a thirty-yard screamer, right in the top corner; and someone sent me a superlative Springstein bootleg, a ’75 show at the Main Point in Bryn Mawr with strings, and a cover of “I Want You,” and I don’t know what else. […more babbling about Springstein and Arsenal…] So there we are, then. Books: pretty good, but not as good as other stuff, like goals, or bootlegs.

So, you see… a really cool guy, but you really have to catch him on the right month if you want to have lunch with him.

We Named a Baby… Just for Practice

Tonight, offered to watch RocketBoy while we went to dinner at Scalini’s. For those not in the know, Scalini’s is a local Italian restuarant that claims to have an egglplant paremesan that is “guaranteed” to send a woman into labor. In fact, if you go into labor within 48 hours of eating there, you get a $25 gift certificate, a Scalini’s t-shirt for the baby, and the baby’s picture up on the wall.

There is, apparently, an expectant mother section, because we were seated between two other tables with pregnant people at them. The mother of one of the mothers-to-be struck up a conversation with us with the typical questions (When? What sex? etc.)1

Woman: You said your first child was a boy. Just out of curiousity, what did you name him?
Stacey: Roan.
Woman: (disappointed) Oh. I was hoping you would say Lucas, because that’s what I want her to name her boy, and we could take that as a sign.

Of course, Stacey and I looked at each other and almost in unison told her our last name was Lucas. Everyone had a good laugh, and the mother-to-be admitted that that qualified as a sign… they would have to name the kid Lucas.

So, even if Stacey doesn’t go into labor, we can still chalk it up to a good night out, because how often to you get to be an Omen?

1 suggested later that pregnant women are like smokers in that you instantly belong to a community of like-minded fellows, eager to converse.

Goodbye, Paper

Slate reviews Sony’s Reader, which uses e-Ink technology.

Essentially, you’re paying for the screen. The 6-inch display, which is made using E Ink technology, looks surprisingly like paper. It’s very sharp, doesn’t flicker, and can be viewed from any angle, even in bright sunlight. It’s supposed to be easier on the eyes than an LCD, and it definitely was on mine. Because E Ink is “image-stable,” it takes no power to keep an image displayed once it’s on-screen—that means the Reader only eats up battery life when you turn pages. You’re supposed to get 7,500 page turns on a single charge.

E Ink has a lot of potential for low-power applications and, I imagine, signage—since it can be read at every angle. But it also has significant drawbacks relative to LCD screens. We expect our electronics displays to dazzle, but the Reader’s is dull, and its palette is Etch A Sketch gray. There are also problems with “ghosting,” and since it has no backlight, you need a clip-on light to read in bed. Unfortunately, the slightly reflective screen tends to bounce the beam into your eyes. The biggest problem with E Ink is that it has a very slow refresh rate—around a second to turn a page. Though that doesn’t sound like much, it’s quite a pregnant pause: Clicking through the Reader’s menus is tedious, and page turns quickly become a bore.

Disappointing, but I’m not an early adopter anyway. Hopefully, they’ll work out the kinks in Version 2.0.

Is there anything Marijuana can’t do?

Marijuana as military tactical shield.

One soldier told him later: “Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I’d say ‘That damn marijuana’.”

Brilliant. I think we can make an argument that the War on Drugs is effectively undermining our national security, since we’ve not taken full advantage of this plant as a covert defensive material.

The Little Mer–aaaaigh!

We bought The Little Mermaid for RocketBoy the other night. He had liked the half-hour saturday morning cartoon he saw while visiting the New Jersey family, and he loves fish. So, a natural fit.

Little did we know it would cause a tear-inducing fright about a third of the way in. This from a kid that doesn’t mind the barracuda, angler fish or the sharks from Finding Nemo. But Ursula the Sea Witch and her electric eel cohorts were too much, I guess.

Not that I minded, because honestly, I wasn’t that into it.  I remember liking it quite a bit, but… I was watching Ariel’s face while she was singing and thinking… man, it just moves all over the place with little sense regarding the face shape and underlying muscles.  Which made me realize that I’m probably a snooty CG guy now.

Under the Sea is still cool, though.

Book Log – It’s Earnings That Count

It’s Earnings That Count by Hewitt Heiserman, Jr.

Hewitt is a regular on the Fool discussion boards, and many people have written highly of his book.

I think there’s some good stuff in it, but it is by all accounts a book written for the novice. He poses a good way of rewriting an income statement into “defensive” and “enterprising” incomes (terms borrowed from Benjamin Graham) to give you insight into the quality of their earnings (how durable are they?).

He also offers a good 5-minute (though I wager more like 10-15) test to see if a company is worth investigating further. I’m going to bring that to our investment club… it could help us generate more ideas with less effort.

The last few chapters are of little utility… he poses some general philosophy for better investing and personal finance, much of which is naive or simplistic. “How can you save more money a month? Consider moving to a different part of the country where things cost less!” Um… okay.

Also, he does a short bit on valuation that is just a pile of hooey. In his defense, it’s similar to the pile of hooey that Tom Gardner of the Fool uses. And I guess it’s better than nothing, but I don’t trust valuation methods that depend on constant P/E rates.

Book Log – Bleachy Haired Honky Bitch

Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales from a Bad Neighborhood by Hollis Gillespie

I <3 Hollis Gillespie. This is the first collection of her essays. I don't have much to add to my book log of her other collection Confessions of a Recovering Slut, except there’s a funny, small world sorta-thing in this book:

She has an essay about her favorite dentist from when she was a child in California, Dr. Melkonian. She writes about how she was surprised to discover through his obituary that he had moved to Atlanta at some point, and waxed nostalgic about how good a dentist he is. Of course, many of the folks on my friend’s list probably know or guessed that this Dr. Melkonian is the father of Wendy Melkonian, a quite talented local actress. I worked with Wendy a number of years ago on Scandal: The Improvised Soap Opera at Dad’s Garage; Later, she was RocketBoy’s beloved Music Class teacher. Less significantly but kind of funny, Wendy’s brother Geoff Melkonian went to Northwestern at the same time I did, and was part of a band called Lime Credo that I saw once. Later he joined The Josh Joplin Band/Group, which I understand did fairly well.

It all made me wonder if Hollis knows Wendy… they have Lucky Yates in common, so it’s possible.