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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Opera Manga - Awesome updates's a cool thing. The Vancouver Opera publishes on-line manga mini-versions of their opera season! I was so thrilled to see La Boheme in their line-up because my kids watched the Metropolitan Opera HD broadcast version last spring. I can't wait to put it in their hands, but not before I read it over.

The mangas can be found on the delightful Vancouver Opera blog: the link is at the top of my music links list. Go to "read" and look at the bottom of the roll-out links. The blog itself is fun and loose with lots of manga and other pop culture references. Where opera absolutely can and must go to stay with us in our time. The blogger sent me a note to say that they will soon be publishing their opera mangas in a collection, and I am already lining up to get it.

From the Vancouver Opera blog I was led to the Opera Chic blog, which pretty much says it all. (It's the next item on the music links list.) There is a current way to talk about opera, and to position it. It's just that very few opera companies are very agile with it. Not to mention that everything costs money. The Catch-22 is that you have raise money to develop these media to generate revenue to attract people in order raise money and pay for the media you are developing to attract people...

I gave up searching bookstores for P Craig Russell's The Magic Flute and finally ordered it. It is way cool, too. Not only is interesting to me, but my kids pick it up and riffle through the pages looking for the parts that they recognize. They don't really know that opera is meant to be old-fashioned and uncool. They know it to be contemporary and fun.

It's amazingly satisfying to have a place to muse and wonder and have answers generated through the ether in such a direct way.

The marigold wonders nervously:
Is it actually magic?

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I am always looking for a clear and rational explanation of why tagging works and what makes it different from cataloging. I finally have a good link to offer with a great essay about the advantages and disadvantages of tagging. (See link to THE HIVE MIND under FUN, COOL, FUNNY.)

I feel the tagging possibilities expanding around me, and I want to go with it.

Now I want to tag in private: I want to tag my photos, instead of filing them in multiple places, but in iphoto, not on a public site like flickr. I want to do a journal, with tags, so I can look up when I did something or what was great at dinner, or blah, blah, blah..."Put it in your blog" says my 10-yr-old. Good idea, except I don't want to bore the world with journalling.

I want to tag in private.

I want to tag in public, too. I love LibraryThing - book thoughts are shareable; I love - I love to see other people's music ideas and groupings. I don't want to see other people's photos, or their personal journals, anymore than I want to show mine.

I want to tag in private. (I even want other people to tag in private, but that's a whole other thing.)

The marigold wonders nervously:
And what else is good for tagging? I feel like getting these great ideas should be easy, but it is like pulling teeth.

LibraryThing Early Review

Tales from Outer Suburbia
by Shaun Tan

This is an incredibly enticing book. My kids started reading the stories immediately, and I have been glancing though it looking at the illustrations. Can't wait to start the stories.

Twenty-four hours later, I too, have read this delightful book. It is whimsical and surreal and slightly melancholy. It is absolutely OK for kids, yet absolutely more subtle and sophisticated than almost anything I have ever seen offered to children.

I feel the need to check out Tan's other books in order to find out if this is his "look" or if he learned ephemera from Nick Bantock's book URGENT 2ND CLASS.

The question is: why did it require funding to get it published in his native Australia, and even more, why did it require so many levels of funding to be published in Canada, since he is not Canadian and the book was printed in China. Surely this is a book that could and will sell purely on merit, with enormous shelf appeal.

In any case, my suggestion is get a copy and spend an hour with it. It will take you to a unique and wonderful headspace: another score of the offbeat from the LT Early Reveiwer's program.