The One Where Safeway Tries Its Hand at Algorithms and Unintentional Hilarity Ensues


On Saturday, as Sarah and I skimmed through Safeway’s most recent Just For U offers in preparation for the terrifyingly-unending-and-budget-busting project that is feeding our kids each week, I noticed this: See it? No? Here. I’ll give you a hint: This is either an abject failure of algorithmic marketing, or pure genius. I’m not sure which, though [Read More...]

A Day of Lamentation and Bitter Weeping


Thus says the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are not. — Jeremiah 31:15 In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) [Read More...]

TIME SENSITIVE: Jeremy Irons Reads “The Four Quartets”

Irons Elliot

It’s been just a little over a year since I shared one of my favorite things ever: “Jeremy Irons Reads Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” Iron’s performance is still available (which is a bit surprising, given the transitory nature of the InterWebs), and it’s still awesome. So is the reader-provided link to Alec Guinness’ version, and [Read More...]

Beethoven’s Complete Piano Concerti

Pierre Laurent Aimard & Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos.1-5 - Front

I’ve never been a Nikolaus Harnoncourt fan. I can’t say entirely why, though I’ve long claimed that it’s a matter of respecting and admiring his work rather than enjoying it. (It might be an instance of irrational prejudice, but I’ve got so many of those already, I’m hoping that’s not the case.) I am, however, a [Read More...]

“Pianomania,” and the Magical Art of Tuning


One of my favorite activities of late is watching documentaries with Sean. He loves ‘em, I’ve always loved ‘em, and it’s a genre of significant strength for Netflix Streaming. We don’t (usually) watch them in one sitting, because I need my beauty sleep. Or something. But documentaries often lend themselves to staged viewings, so it [Read More...]

Spirited Digitally Away


A recent post from Greg Willits — “A Dad’s Guide to Minecraft” — made me realize something very important: I’m not alone. Minecraft makes me feel stupid. That’s me. From the day I first encountered the phenomenon — watching in disbelief as my younger brother wander through an enormous, LEGO-y world with a few trusty friends [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — Mozart’s “Commendatore”


For some strange reason, my most vivid college memories almost always involve music — a fact that ceased to surprise me long ago, but one that I still find curious. And which my professors would probably find depressing. C’est la vie… A corollary to my peculiarly melodic style of recollection is that my roommate’s musical tastes [Read More...]

The Things We Do For Art


Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, a samurai-themed, Noh-tinged re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, has always fascinated me. It’s not a particularly faithful adaptation, in my opinion. But it might be a great one. (Harold Bloom once famously said that it was “uncannily the most successful film version of Macbeth, though it departs very far from the specifics [Read More...]

The Day I Was Glad To See Keith Olbermann


Keith Olbermann doesn’t get a lot of love in my corner of the InterWebs. That’s not a surprise, really. My circles are mostly Right-leaning, Keith has a highly abrasive-style and a not-insignificant ego, and many of my friends are of an age where they’re more familiar with Olbermann’s politics than with his sportscasting career. (That 1989 mustache [Read More...]

One Big, Happy Family Again. Almost.


My wife and kids are headed back from Washington today. Tomorrow, my long, dark night of temporary bachelorhood will come to an end. I’m outwardly calm: But on the inside, it feels a lot more like this: Being by myself was amusing for a day or two. But after that novelty wore off, the house [Read More...]