Sunday, May 27, 2007

You're a Crook, Captain Hook

Peter Pan is the go-to text for school plays, perhaps because no one has written material for children since J.M. Barrie. Ian landed a speaking role in this year's off-off-off-off-off-Broadway production, playing the part of Indian chief Great Big Little Panther with great power and emotion. He was only in two scenes, but managed to loiter onstage for most of the curtain call, lending the film some interesting candid footage of Ian picking his nose, sharing a belly laugh, and pumping his fists in the air. Throughout the video you can also hear fellow drama critic Lucy notifying us when either Ian or the Crocodile appears onstage:

Sage's Corner: Pictures of Me and My Family and Friends

Hi. This is my crown. I made it at my friend Emily's house. It was her birthday party. I used a crown almost like a game at Emily's house.

This is a picture of me and Ian. We're at a place called Brandywine Creek State Park. I have fun there, and not-fun there, because sometimes my legs get tired of walking, and it's fun because you get to watch birds if you're really quiet, and once when we went there we saw tadpoles.

This is a picture of me and Ian and Dad and Lucy at the beach. We have fun there, but Mom says we're not supposed to go swimming there. Mom says we're just having fun there but not swimming. The water was cold, so we couldn't go in it, but we could play in the sand.

This is a picture of me and Lucy playing outside. We're playing near our apple tree. We have an apple tree. It's fun playing near it. The grass is always cold there because the leaves are blocking the sun. And sometimes it's so cold we pretend we're swimming in the pool. Lucy loves playing with the tree.

This is a picture of me helping Mom knead some bread. I like doing it. Whenever the kids help do it, it makes it taste better. I help Mom bake other things, too. And I help Dad bake things, too, because Dad bakes things but doesn't bake things that often.

This is a picture of me and Ian and Lucy and our friends that live in Virginia. We visited them. There's a big boy and his name is Eli. And there's a little girl, and her name is Miranda. It took long to go on the trip, and we listened to some fun things that took long. And we only listened to two, but there was one more that we didn't listen to. I'll tell you the ones that we listened to: It was The Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Mouse and the Motorcycle. And the one that we didn't listen to was Holes.

That's all I'm going to say, until I put a new picture on "Sage's Corner." That's what we call this place.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Manly Art of Blogging

Here's a new toy I'm recommending to all my friends: the Gender Genie. It's an algorithm that analyzes frequency of certain words to predict whether the author is male or female. I don't know anything about team sports or cars, although I do know a fair amount about the British navy during the Napoleonic wars, so I was curious to see how I would rate.

My first attempt confirmed what I've always believed--I am a man (barely). The algorithm analyzed my recent post about the movie Nostalghia and concluded that I used 861 words associated female writing and 1005 words associated with male writing. My interest piqued, I decided to see if I could duplicate the result by submitting my less recent post about the beauties of Charlottesville, and was amused to discover that I was now female by a score of 757 to 549. Darn poetic descriptions--that might explain why I was generally the only male in my English graduate classes. Finally, I pasted both posts into the Genie along with all the text from my recent Lucy's Corner post and was pleased to find that fatherhood brings up my manly averages--I am once again male, albeit by the exceedingly slim margin of 1971 to 1976. Did I quit while I was ahead? You bet.

Personally, I think algorithms being used to predict or confirm authorship are pretty darn cool, especially those that have been used to analyze ancient scripture. The Gender Genie is, by admission, a simplified version of one such algorithm, but if nothing else it's a good conversation starter. My own experience with the Genie seems to indicate that film criticism and philosophic navel-gazing are both the realms of men, poetic imagery turns you into a sissy (childhood bullies finally vindicated), and fatherhood is the manliest profession of all. Excuse me while I go read Annie Dillard to my two-year-old.

PS-I got the Gender Genie link from this blog, by the founder of Charity Navigator. Both are worth looking at if you have charitable impulses but don't want your donations to be embezzeled or outright wasted.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pieces of C-Ville, or, "Virginia is for Lawyers"

I'm really not trying to give the impression that Charlottesville is all I think about these days, but the firm paid for me to get some CLE (Continuing Legal Education) credits in Trusts & Estates back at my alma mater. The two-hour class, while very good preparation for my future practice area, was really a pretext for seeing central Virginia in the spring. Here's a few shots from the trip. Sorry there isn't much commentary this time, but K is already a law widow, and I'm loathe to make her a blog widow to boot.

There's a quiet satisfaction in going back to a place to find that almost everything is just as you left it. For me, it's reassuring to know that not all good things are fleeting. Here's the last train out of town. Don't be a stranger.