Uplifting music for strange times—that’s what we need! Here’s the Boston Pops Orchestra performing a special edition of “Summon the Heroes,” by the incredible John Williams, in honor of first responders everywhere. Scroll back to see the intro by Keith Lockhart and John Williams himself. Otherwise, put up your feet and watch 78 members of the orchestra, all performing from their own homes. Read the whole story here.
What was originally intended as a bookstore event at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, MA, has morphed into an online event, so you can attend no matter where you live! Even the ISS, if their wifi is up to the task. I’m not saying that the astronauts will attend, but I’ll bet they could if they wanted to.
I’ll be zooming in with two of my friends and colleagues in the science fiction trade: Steven Popkes and L.J. (Lisa) Cohen, for a conversation about the writing life, our newest books, and what about our writing life led us to write our newest books. Questions from the legume gallery will be encouraged.
Middle Earth Temporarily Bans Fellowships of More Than Five…
MINAS TIRITH — The White Council of the Wise issued a decree today that all fellowships in Middle Earth shall be no larger than five companions for at least the next quarter-age to help slow the spread of the Samund-01 curse that has already killed over 30,000 elves, dwarves, and men.
“The following measures are to be implemented with great haste across Middle Earth,” said Council leader Saruman the White via palantir. “Taverns and mines are to cease operations immediately, and all festivals and Entmoots are to be postponed. When you do venture, maintain a social distance of two longswords. Only essential quests are to be embarked upon.” . . .
My friend from wayyy back, Michael Daugherty, put me on to this. Cats, cows, and sheep perform Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies, which I think I first encountered with Blood, Sweat, and Tears, back in the ‘60s. Give it a listen. But keep in mind what one commenter said: You will never be able to unhear it.
Some of my writer friends were talking about people’s reading habits during the current situation, and the theory was floated that in times like these, people like comfort reading: light, escapist, familiar.
A lightbulb went off in my head. I think I forgot to tell everyone that my two story collections, Going Alien, and Reality and Other Fictions, are both free at Smashwords through May as part of the Authors Give Back Sale. Both of those collections have some light, funny stories in them. Plus, they’re free!
Cast your mind back to a long, long time ago, when the threat of being stuck in the house for weeks on end was merely a threat. In order to be prepared, I stocked up on less-perishable food items, including snack foods for comfort. Here’s one I found at Costco: Crispy Cauliflower. Hey, I figured, we all like cauliflower! Maybe these will be good!
They’re not. They’re awful. They’re terrible. They’re spit it out and wash your mouth out and dig the bits out of your teeth terrible! Imagine leftover cooked cauliflower five days in the fridge, but crisp. Why would anyone market something like that? Augh. I hope this company makes other, tastier stuff, because relying on this as a marketing plan would be a recipe for disaster.* I wish them well, but not this product.
Here’s another one, and I say this sadly as a dedicated lover of Oatly Oat Milk. Truly, we drink Oatly all the time, and I miss it if I can’t mix it with dairy milk in my coffee. Unfortunately, Oatly ice cream (second ingredient: coconut oil) tastes nothing like oat milk. In fact, it tastes like nothing quite so much as hardened lubricating oil, with an aftertaste of generic chemical.* We each ate a few bites—and then, wishing that we hadn’t, threw the rest of it away. Allysen flashed back to many years ago, when we tried Tofutti ice cream, a vegan smart-bomb targeted at unsuspecting tofu lovers.*
I don’t want to end on a downer, so let me just praise to the skies this other Oatly product, Barista Edition Oatmilk! Love the stuff!