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September 2009 Archives

September 1, 2009

My Summer With The Bard


It's now September, Labor Day is just around the corner, school is about to start, and I think it's safe to say summer is now officially over for me. Looking back on the last three months, it's staggering how much time I've spent with William Shakespeare's works. Not only did I take an intensive course at Yale on his histories and tragedies, but I spent two weeks in Cambridge, England studying the Bard and saw no fewer than 22 stagings of his plays (as well as 8 other productions) in such far-flung locales as New York City, Ontario, western Massachusetts, Richmond, upstate New York, Staunton, VA, eastern Pennsylvania, London, Cambridge, Stratford-upon-Avon, Prague, Philadelphia, Oregon, and San Diego!

September 2, 2009

The Old Days


With the U.S. Open underway, I was calculating it's been 35 years (!) since I first went to to the event, then played at Forest Hills. I was probably too young to appreciate it. I have a few distinct memories of the day: fighting to find a parking space on the leafy streets of this Queens neighborhood, wondering why there were letters painted on the racquet strings of the players, and being thirsty and bugging my dad to get me something to drink frequently throughout the day. The 1974 Open titles were won by Jimmy Connors (hist first of five) and Billie Jean King (for whom the new USTA facility is named).

September 3, 2009

Courtside At The Open


I enjoyed a great day at the U.S. Open today as the guest of a Choate player and his dad. I've long thought Arthur Ashe Stadium was built much too big, but of course sitting courtside is a great vantage point from which to watch world-class tennis in any setting!

The day session on Ashe was a bit unusual. We watched a pair of women's matches that ran quite long, nearly three hours apiece--17-year-old Melanie Oudin upset #4 Elena Dementieva and then #5 Jelena Jankovic also was upset--and then the beginning of James Blake's match (I had to leave New York by 6:00 since I am on duty in Memorial House with the captains who arrived on campus tonight).

I got to see some of the top male players in action as well. When I arrived at the National Tennis Center, I went straight to the practice courts and was treated to Federer, Nadal, and Tsonga--among others--working out.

The weather was great, the company was enjoyable, and the tennis was terrific--a great day at the Open!


September 4, 2009

New Function For My iPhone


As a Mac person, I am partial to Keynote--rather than PowerPoint--for visuals whenever I do presentations for a group. This morning I had such a presentation to deliver to about 50 interscholastic team captains at Choate. For the first time I used an iPhone app as a remote control to drive Keynote. This had the advantage of getting me out from behind the laptop; before I had to be within range of the infrared sensor when I used the traditional white Apple remote control. The Keynote Remote for iPhone works over the wireless network, so I could be much more mobile in the lecture hall and move through my slides with ease. And all this for 99¢!

September 16, 2009

Trailer For The Original Raiders Of The Lost Ark

This is awfully cool:

(YouTube link)

September 5, 2009

Taking Woodstock


The first night of Choate Cross Country pre-season always entails a trip to the local cineplex. The guys split up into various theaters according to preference. I saw Taking Woodstock, Ang Lee's presentation of the "behind the scenes" of the famous music festival. I'd call the movie "cute" and I mean that mostly in a good way.

September 9, 2009

Beatles Rock Band


Got the new Beatles edition of Rock Band for the PS3 this morning. I ordered it once I realized I wouldn't have to buy new instruments, as my Guitar Hero World Tour guitars, drums, and mic are supposedly compatible with this game. Looking forward to playing this, but that may not happen anytime soon, what with the opening of school.

September 10, 2009

The Remastered Fab Four


I should have ordered this set of remastered Beatles CDs a couple weeks back. I'm a Beatlemaniac I suppose (though a pretty low-key one at best) so it was inevitable I'd want the cleaned-up discs. Amazon has the boxed set at a great price but has been sold out the last week or so. The item just showed up as available again, so I placed an order, even though it will take a few weeks to arrive.

September 14, 2009

A Surprise Outcome


The emergence of Juan Martín del Potro as 2009 U.S. Open men's singles champ was an unexpected, though not unwelcome, development. Delpo played absolutely lights out ball in dispatching a less-than-100% Rafael Nadal yesterday in the semifinal. And just when you thought Roger Federer looked set to assert himself and nail down another major title, the Argentine dug deep and blasted winners from an amazing forehand to claim his first Slam crown. May not be his last big win, I suspect!

September 7, 2009

Off To The Races


The Choate Cross Country season is officially underway with this morning's running of the New Haven Road Race. Twenty-four Wild Boars plus one of their coaches completed the 5K race and our lead group was the strongest we've seen since 2001's New England Championship-winning squad.

September 8, 2009

More TV To Catch Up On


The first season of Fringe arrived on Blu-Ray from my friends at Amazon. I saw a special premiere of the show out in San Diego in the summer of 2008 but lost track of this series once it hit the airwaves. Scuttlebutt has been very positive: apparently the show has gotten quite good.

September 11, 2009

A Grim Anniversary


Eight years ago, the nation suffered through the horrors of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. There's an interesting website with archived television footage from September 11-13, 2001, documenting broadcast coverage of the events and their aftermath. It's somewhat chilling to see this footage again, but worth a look for its educational value.

September 15, 2009

Whispersync Delivery


New Dan Brown book arrived in the blink of an eye when I switched on the Kindle this morning. Sweet!

September 12, 2009

Serena Flips Out


Things got tense inside Arthur Ashe Stadium tonight as Serena Williams lost control after having a foot fault called on a second serve to give Kim Clijsters a match point. Serena's obscenity-laced tirade directed at the lineswoman resulted in a point penalty, which gave the win to Clijsters. It was a tough situation, and probably a bad call, but Serena's conduct was inexcusable in this case.

September 13, 2009

Jack Kramer


Sad to hear that tennis legend Jack Kramer passed away this weekend at the age of 88. I met the man once in the Last 8 Club enclosure at Wimbledon a decade ago. But my strongest connection with him was using the Jack Kramer Autograph tennis racquet from Wilson--a ubiquitous frame (wood, of course) when I was growing up. The Kramer Autograph was my first "adult" racquet--the one I used while learning the ins and outs of the game. Any touch I have now comes from having learned the sport before the shift to oversize racquet heads and composite materials.

I picked up a couple of the Kramer frames on eBay a few years back and take them out from time to time to hit "old school" style. Man, you have to WORK to hit the ball with any kind of serious pace!

September 6, 2009

Team Bonding

Choate Cross Country got two workouts in today, our first full day of pre-season. We also made a trip to the Elm City to register for tomorrow morning's New Haven Road Race. And--best of all--we had our annual go-kart and mini-golf outings. I dominated the competition in the former; in the latter . . . well even Tiger Woods is having a rough 2009, so I can't be too disappointed by my poor putting!

September 17, 2009

Empty In Box?

Not yet, but I spent about an hour whittling away a backlog of messages: filing some and trashing most of the thousands of e-mails that have accumulated in my various accounts. The goal of this process is to eventually end up with an In Box that I can get down to empty at the end of every day. Someday . . .

September 21, 2009

U2 In Foxborough


U2 brought a lot of energy to tonight's show in Gillette Stadium, early on the North American leg of the band's 360° Tour. I liked the very different opening to "Beautiful Day." What was not so cool was the $40 fee for parking and waiting 90+ minutes to move out of the lot after the show ended.

The set list:

No Line On The Horizon
Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Unknown Caller
New Year's Day
Stuck In A Moment
The Unforgettable Fire
City Of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On
Where The Streets Have No Name

With Or Without You
Moment Of Surrender

September 20, 2009

U2 Comes To Town


Heading up to eastern Massachusetts to catch U2 tonight and I am pretty psyched!

September 18, 2009



I've never seen an episode of this Showtime program but have heard good things about Dexter, so when the iTunes Store dropped episode prices to 99¢, I scooped up the first three seasons on Apple TV, figuring I can slowly get caught up either on the HD flat screen in my living room, on my MacBook Air while traveling, or even on my iPhone on the bus or train.

September 19, 2009

Off And Running


Choate hosted its annual Cross Country Invitational this afternoon: an informal affair without team scoring or required uniforms. The day is a great first outing of the fall season for our runners with a half-dozen other teams joining us in two races on our home course. Even though we had 36 team members out of action today, the Wild Boars had a pretty strong showing from veterans and newcomers alike. So the season is underway!

September 21, 2009

Larry's Back


I watched the season opener of Curb Your Enthusiasm tonight. The cast of Seinfeld is assembling for a reunion in upcoming episodes. No sign of Jerry and the gang in this week's episode, but they weren't missed, as the regular cast (plus a great turn by Catherine O'Hara as Funkhouser's sister) provided more than enough funny moments.

September 22, 2009

Justine Returns


Not exactly an earth-shattering surprise that former #1 tennis player Justine Henin announced today she is returning to the professional game. In light of her countrywoman Kim Clijsters' success in the U.S. Open, there's no reason to think Henin--she of the gorgeous backhand--won't find a way back into the winner's circle too.

September 23, 2009

Indian Summer?

I know we are just a day or two into the fall, but it has been hot and sticky all day, even into the evening hours. I sure am glad I resisted my impulse to take out the bedroom air conditioner the other day!

September 24, 2009

Back To School . . . Sort Of


I have always been intrigued by these One Day University programs, held around the country with superstar university professors offering a day's worth of lectures. So I enrolled in one in New York City on Sunday, October 4 and signed up for presentations in American Studies, Art, English, Philosophy, Music, and Religion.

U2 360° Tour #3


Off to Giants Stadium after this afternoon's practice for another night with Bono and the boys. Hoping for some surprises in the set list!

September 25, 2009

The Giants Stadium GIg


Seats for this show were in the upper tier, but with a good view of the elaborate "claw" staging. The first half of the show entailed a shuffled playlist, while the last half unfolded predictably (though included some of the most satisfying numbers). We even got out of the parking lot without a wait and made it home around 1:30 a.m.

The set list:

Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day
No Line On The Horizon
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Unknown Caller
Until The End Of The World
Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
The Unforgettable Fire
City Of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On
Where The Streets Have No Name

With Or Without You
Moment Of Surrender

September 26, 2009

Off To Chicago


I just finished a morning practice with the team and scooted up to Bradley Airport for a 2:15 flight. As this is the one weekend of the fall without a cross country meet, I am sneaking away to Chicago for a quick getaway.



Tonight's performance of Tosca at the Lyric Opera of Chicago was the season opener. Apparently this is a high point in the city's social calendar, as people were dressed to the nines for the occasion. Surrounded by men in tuxes and women in gowns, I felt lucky I had thought to pack a jacket and tie so I was at least presentable. The opera itself was an enjoyable production--a traditional staging of his Puccini work, in sharp contrast to the controversial new version just launched at the Met this past week.

September 27, 2009

The New Nanos


I am in the Apple store on N. Michigan Ave.--a.k.a. "the Magnificent Mile"-- playing with the newly refreshed Nanos on display. In my estimation, the coolest innovation on these iPods is not their capacity for video recording, but the built-in FM radio receiver.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater


I just arrived at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater here on the Navy Pier overlooking Lake Michigan. This is a terrific modern facility nestled among the many attractions on the pier, with a spectacular 500 seat main theater--an intimate and gorgeous thrust stage arrangement.

Richard III


Wow. I just watched a matinee performance of Richard III and was blown away both by the play--probably the most famous of the Bard's works that I hadn't yet seen staged--and by the quality of this particular production. The title character was appropriately both charming and Machiavellian, with a seductively oily stage presence and wonderfully sardonic delivery of his lines. The rest of the cast was first rate, too, and the production design was excellent.

Architecture Of The Windy City


Walking through Chicago from the Navy Pier to catch a Blue Line CTA train to O'Hare Airport, I was struck once more by the diversity and beauty of the architecture downtown. This is a fascinating city for anyone interested in building design. I took the architecture tour on a boat up and down the Chicago River during my last visit to the city, and that helped me appreciate a lot of what was around me, half-hour trek across town.

The Kindle Advantage


My Kindle device is at its best when I'm traveling. This short trip to Chicago illustrates the usefulness perfectly, as I have been bouncing back and forth between the latest Dan Brown book, The Lost Symbol, and an analysis of Richard III in Marjorie Garber's Shakespeare After All. I also have yesterday's International Herald Tribune available on the Kindle (though I canceled my subscriptions to Newsweek and The Atlantic, since I subscribe to the hard copies at home). And instead of lugging a small pile of paperbacks around Chicago, I had to drop the Kindle in my bag before I left. This helped me travel with nothing more than a backpack this weekend.

A Scary Scene

My brief trip to Chicago was marked by spectacular early fall weather. In contrast, Connecticut had rain on and off all day today. This was evident to me on the wet roads during my drive home from Bradley Airport tonight.

Traveling south on the interstate through the city of Hartford, I saw a car just ahead of me graze the concrete divider on the right of the highway, sending sparks everywhere. The vehicle then careened out of control across the road into the left divider and then, like a pinball, it rebounded into the right barrier head-on, coming to a sudden stop. Watching this accident unfold was like a slow-motion replay for me. My first impulse was to slow down to avoid getting caught in the middle of this episode. I carefully passed the crashed car then pulled over to the right shoulder and fumbled for my iPhone to dial 911. I then left my car to head back to the accident to see what I could do to help. Fortunately the other driver who was playing Good Samaritan was an off-duty policeman, so I was able to follow his lead in extricating the driver from the car crash--he was mostly shaken up and had some pains in his rib cage (probably from the airbag impact) but had no visible cuts or bruises--and getting him to a safe location. Moving him turned out to be a smart move, because while we were helping, two other cars began to slide out behind us and crash into the barriers on either side of the highway. It was clear the road conditions were dangerous such that if we stayed at the scene of the accident, we might well be in danger of being hit by another out-of-control vehicle. So I led the driver of the first accident down the road a bit until state troopers arrived on the scene.

In the end, it looked as though no one was seriously injured, though there were some pretty banged up cars from the incident. I was surprised more people didn't stop to help, but I was glad I could play a small role in offering assistance.

An event like this does give one pause, though, and the rest of my trip was noticeably slower and more careful than it had been before.

September 25, 2009

Night Game


Choate hosted Kent in its football season opener under the lights tonight. As is often the case with first games of the season, both sides struggled to mount effective offense, which made most of the contest less-than-entertaining. In the fourth quarter, Choate did run an interception back for a touchdown, but missed the extra point--which turned out to be costly, as the Lions put seven points on the board in the closing minutes of the game to secure the one-point win. This was the first time we lost a night football game since we started playing under the lights in 2007.

September 28, 2009

Retro Musical Tastes


Living with 14-year-olds exposes me to some curious musical choices, I suppose. It's fascinating to me that the rock band Queen is very popular with teens nowadays. I could see if it were 1979 rather than 2009, or even if we were in Britain rather than the States, but I can't figure out this particular fascination.

September 29, 2009

"Limelight" On GarageBand


Last week I bought a GarageBand lesson with Alex Lifeson of Rush teaching the guitar part of "Limelight"--probably my favorite song by the Canadian trio. This is a very cool breakdown of how rock musicians build their songs. I love hearing the isolated guitar part and then listening again in the context of the complete song.

September 30, 2009


I brought my camera bag with a variety of lenses to Kent School today, prepared to shoot lots of photos of Choate Cross Country in a scenic early fall setting. The conditions were perfect: mild weather, no harsh sunlight. When I was ready to start I realized that while I had been diligent in recharging the camera battery the night before, I had forgotten to take with me the CF memory card; it was still next to my iMac. So, in effect, I "had no film" to shoot with. A lost opportunity.

About September 2009

This page contains all entries posted to As Far As You Know in September 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2009 is the previous archive.

October 2009 is the next archive.

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