A busy and fun week.
As I already said, there was the Springsteen concert, which was fabulous. Chad wrote that they didn't leave anything in the locker room, which is a good way of putting it. The encore exemplifies this: it started with "Girls in Their Summer Clothes," a new song with a sing-along chorus, and then "Thunder Road," and then the house lights came up for "Born to Run," which I expected was the end . . . but then there was "Dancing in the Dark," still with the house lights up, so I figured that was the end . . . but no, there was still one more, "American Land." The crowd was completely into it, belting along with the obscure "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" as much as the newer stuff or the classics, which increased the fun. I gave myself a coughing fit two-thirds of the way through "Born to Run" and came home exhausted and exhilarated.
Setlists: at the official site, with links to lyrics ("Thunder Road" has a lot of words), and at a fansite (search "restored calliope" for a picture of what puzzled me, too, at the opening). And the local paper's review.
Friday we had dinner with a classmate of Chad's, Ethan Zuckerman, and Rachel Barenblat, the Velveteen Rabbi—who has the best blog name and tagline: "When can I run and play with the real rabbis?" Great food, great conversation, and we'll have to go over to their neck of the woods sometime.
And my sister-in-law passed the California bar! Go, her! (56.1% pass rate overall, and 69.0% for first-time takers. Yikes—the equivalents for NY the year I took it was 67.5% and 76.5%.)
Saturday we had remarkably good home-repairs and -improvement luck, including the purchase of a bigger fridge that can be delivered before Thanksgiving. And then we watched the movie Stranger than Fiction, which I really enjoyed. Harold Crick is an IRS auditor with no life, who suddenly begins hearing a voice narrating his actions. Which is itself upsetting, but then the voice casually mentions his imminent death.
I asked Chad to NetFlix this because someone at the Worldcon Metafiction panel said that meta was the whole point, which is true. I've seen some reviews saying that the love story is the heart of the movie, which I just don't get: I found it flat, predictable, and unconvincing. (Ditto Queen Latifah's character, alas.) But I liked the meta, and the sad look on Harold Crick's face (Will Ferrell—no, don't run away, really!), and the slightly magic-realist flavor of it all. Recommended.
So, a really good entertainment week, as it also included Shaun Tan's The Arrival, a booklog gush about which is forthcoming, and new Saiyuki Gaiden (resulting in a few new icons). Though I didn't manage to finish the last WFC panel report, on Tolkien as a horror writer. (I do intend to; it's mostly done.)
Oh, and those of you who've read Grant's Daughter of the Game: I've gotten as far as chapter five, and I'm not particularly invested in any of the characters, plus I'm finding the prose slightly hard to fall in through. Should I bother with the rest of it?