ABCs & Other Cool Stuff


For those of you in the throes of ABC learning, and even for those of you who are way past that adventure, but still love the beauty of all the letters, here are a few fun things I’ve discovered.

First, Brooke Reynolds’ excellent list of ABC books (she does the remarkably creative and idea-filled blog called Inchmark), all of which I’ve just added to my to-buy list.  You can view the book list here.  Lovely, huh?

As a special gift, she’s created an A to Z Birthday Card in pdf format for those of you who want to start a birthday tradition.  [Update on 10.22.10: Once you’re at the instructions, the link for the pdf isn’t working, but you can get a feel for what it would look like and make your own.]

In Brooke’s words:

“We have a birthday tradition in our family we’ve been doing since we
were kids.  We go around the dinner table and each person takes a letter
of the alphabet, and we say something nice about the birthday girl/boy.
A is for Artistic! B is for the Beautiful!  We go around and around the
table until we get to Z (which can be a difficult letter, you have to
get creative).  You can mention a favorite memory, or something that
reminds you of that person, but it has to involve your letter.

“My family is now scattered across the country.  So I thought this ABC
card might be a nice way to keep our tradition going, even when we’re
apart for birthdays.  Coming up with 26 things on your own can be tough,
so I only recommend making this card for people you know quite well!”

YouTube Funk

Kutiman–a.k.a. Ophir Kutiel, an Israeli musician–is making Internet waves  with his musical montages compiled from YouTube entries from amateur musicians.  [I’d link his site ThruYou, but it’s having major problems.  You can find the videos on YouTube directly.]

Kutiman mixed together whatever he could find on the YouTube site (vocals, synthesizers, drums) and combined them into a new funky art form.  Pretty incredible, if you ask me.

This is “Someday”:

The 50 Best Inventions of the Year

If you don’t subscribe to Time Magazine, get a hold of the November 23, 2009 issue.  There’s an amazing section called “The 50 Best Inventions of the Year.”  Granted, we humans can’t reproduce a breathtaking orchid.  We can’t concoct another one of us.  We’re stuck when it comes to answering a million questions about the universe.  But there are some things we’re learning to do, and they’re pretty fantastic.  Check it out.  I don’t know how long Time will keep this link active (and it doesn’t have pictures, which is the best part!), but I’ll link the list here, if you’re interested.

John Jurgensen’s Wall Street Journal interview with Cormac McCarthy: “Hollywood’s Favorite Cowboy”

Read the article here.

You have to admit.  McCarthy is a powerhouse when it comes to writing and getting his books made into movies.  He’s 76, and if I’ve done the math correctly, he got his start when he was 52 (in 1985) with Blood Meridian.  So, relax, you still have a whole life ahead of you…to be brilliant.

The Miserableness of Fitzgerald’s Screenwriting

Yeah, that Fitzgerald–F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Who knew, right?  If you’re not a subscriber, you can read the first part here.  It’s the November 16, 2009 issue, if you’re purchasing it.

This is the kind of stuff that inspires and excites me…and makes me wonder.  How about you?

[Post image: ABC Blocks by wbd at stock.xchng]

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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