- This and That -
This is where I get to talk about anything I want to, and provide links to some places I hope you will like. I love to read. I'll read about practically anything except sports. physics, nature, anthropology, math, history, philosophy...and of course, music. I'm usually reading more than one book at a time, each on a different topic so I don't get them confused.
The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollen
Queen of a Rainy Country - Linda Pastan
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling
The Music Lesson: a Spiritual Search For Growth Through Music - Victor Wooten
Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy - ed. by Jason Eberl
Some all-time favorites:
Zero: the history of a dangerous idea - Charles Seife
Out of Control: the New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World – Kevin Kelley
Flowers of Evil – Charles Beaudelaire
The Secret Garden - Francis Hodgsen Burnett
Although I am on the web, I spend very little time reading online; I prefer the printed page. For one thing, it bothers my eyes, but mostly I just like the feel of books. I also seldom watch television, my one lifelong weakness being Star Trek, in all of its incarnations. It was a source of great flattery to me as a teenager that my peers called me “Spock.” (I'm not sure they were being complementary, but I didn't care.) All things considered, with the exception of Star Trek, I would probably be fairly comfortable in 1850. I love the literature from that time, I love the piano music from that time, and let's face it, the clothes were really cool. (Although I would prefer wearing the men's clothing of that time!) Maybe I'm just uncomfortable with my own time, and the past or the future both seem cool. (I know, I know, the grass is always greener… )
Those who know me well know that I am quite a fanatical environmentalist - fanatical to the point of carrying plastic containers with me to restaurants, so that I don't have to use Styrofoam for doggie bags. I also carry a bandana (or two) everywhere I go. One of the primary reasons for this is so that I don't have to use disposable hand towels in restaurants and public restrooms, etc. (See my forthcoming book The Magnificent Versatile Indispensable Bandana. ) One of my fondest dreams is to move to the country and build a low-impact home. Of course, this would probably require me to actually make a bunch of money, something I haven't seemed to be able to do. This fanaticism runs in the family, because my sister, Sally Zaino, not only has chaired an Environmental Action Committee, but she and three others started the Manada Conservancy , which promotes low impact land use.
More thoughts on music: I think that one of the greatest crimes of this century is that many people don't make their own music anymore. I think this is a direct result of the invention of recorded music in the 1880s. Before the invention of recorded music, the only way to have music in your own home was to hire it, which was pretty expensive, or to make it yourself. In the 19th century, anybody who could afford to owned a piano, and in the evening when people wanted to listen to music, they gathered around the piano and someone played it, and everyone sang.
Of course, a lot of the music they made was probably not worth recording, but sometimes that doesn't matter. It's the making of the music that's important. Since we have so much recorded music, people who think they "aren't good enough" don't make music anymore, and I think that's a real tragedy. Music is a part of every human being's life, no matter what the level of skill, and we've all been intimidated by “studio perfect” great recording artists into thinking that if we "aren't good enough," then we shouldn't make music. I believe that making music is as natural to humans as breathing is, and that we should all do it as often as possible. Of course, we should always strive to be as good as possible, but if we aren't "star" material, what difference does it make?
Some of my favorite quotes:
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur
"It is not quite enough to know how to escape restrictions; sooner or later one also has to think of arriving somewhere." - Arthur Miller
"I'm more afraid of being nothing than I am of being hurt." - Tom Cruise, Days of Thunder
Magic won't happen unless you set a place at the table for it. - Mickey Hart, Drumming at the Edge of Magic
"Just because something moves you profoundly does not mean that it's truth." - Me
“Just because you believe something does not make it true.” - Me
- Links -
25 Things you probably didn't know about me - Learn all sorts of interesting things about who I am and what I am about.
http://musicandmeditations.blogspot.com - This is my blog where I post chapters of my book and miscellaneous ruminations about music.
http://www.stuartleask.com - This is the website of the guy who took the more glamorous pictures featured on my website. If you need a photographer...he's great! (Plus he's a really nice guy.)
www.manada.org - The Manada Conservancy is a land conservancy started by my sister Sally Zaino. This conservancy is specifically focused on the Manada area in Central Pennsylvania .
www.livtaylor.com - As I mentioned in my bio, I'm very fond of this lesser-known brother of James. I've seen him in concert many times since I first discovered him in the 70s, and I really think he is under-appreciated.
www.nightingale-project.com - this is the website of my husband's business. He is a Nurse Practitioner, and a Classical Homeopath. If I didn't list this, he'd get really grumpy. Actually, I truly believe in what he's doing, and believe that alternative therapies can do many things Allopathic (mainstream) medicine can't - in the hands of a competent practitioner.