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March 2010 Archives

March 7, 2010

Gearing Up For The Wars Of The Roses


I am driving to New Jersey this morning to spend most of the day in the theater, seeing the "War-A-Thon," which is all three parts of Henry VI along with Richard III performed by the Collingswood Shakespeare Company.

March 11, 2010

There Ain't Nothing Like A Dame


Judi Dench was the star attraction in the Rose Theatre's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Kingston-upon-Thames, not far outside of London. Her Titania was clearly the center of this Peter Hall-directed production. I took the bus straight here here from my afternoon flight to Heathrow, settled into my hotel, and walked to the riverbank to this shiny new two-year-old playhouse based on the original Shakespearean theater in the city.

March 1, 2010

Office Hours

Today is a day for catching up after the vortex this past weekend's squash tournaments creates in my life for the week beforehand. In addition to transcribing results from the three sites for the New Englands, there's lots of correspondence and projects I am tackling today now that I have a large swath of uninterrupted time at my disposal.

March 2, 2010

Late To The Party


I don't know how I never got sucked into Dexter on Showtime until now. I am working my way through Season 1, courtesy of the iTunes Store and it's a pretty addictive show. Very well done!

March 3, 2010

Playoff Time

Choate hosted two ice hockey games today as part of the New England playoffs: the girls' varsity is the top seed in the Division I tournament and beat Pomfret 3-2, while the boys' squad--#2 in the large schools bracket--bested Andover, 4-0. Nice to be able to stay at home and see both teams compete. (I did miss the chance to see boys' hoops play in the Western New England Championships quarterfinal today, though; the Wild Boars lost that one to Suffield.)

March 4, 2010

A Kind Of Hush All Over The World

. . . well, that may be exaggerating, but since exams at Choate ended today, the campus more or less cleared out as kids headed off onto their spring break (aside from a few teams still competing) and the place is awfully quiet for a change!

March 5, 2010

Alice At Midnight


I took a handful of the kids still on campus to the midnight premiere of Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland. Safe to say that they liked it more than I did. I thought it was visually stylish--to be expected in a Burton flick--but not very substantial beyond that.

The Ghost Writer


I caught a late afternoon showing of The Ghost Writer down here in the city. Pretty good political thriller, even if I saw the key plot twist coming a mile away. I like Ewen McGregor in just about anything he's in, and this movie made the best use of Pierce Brosnan since The Thomas Crown Affair remake.

Equivocation Redux


I saw a second production of Equivocation in New York tonight; I liked the play a great deal when I saw its premiere outing in Oregon last summer and wanted to see if this version was any better. It wasn't, I think, but this still was an enjoyable show. I know a bit more about the background--the Gunpowder Plot, the King's Men (Shakespeare's theatrical company), and the Catholic vs. Protestant angle in late 1500s and early 1600s England--now than I did the first time I saw this play, and so was more attuned to some of the details in the work. Pretty provocative stuff.

March 6, 2010

Facebook Fan Pages


While procrastinating the last batch of end-of-term reports for my students, I created some Twitter accounts and Facebook fan pages for the teams I coach. Amazing how productive one can be when there is something else pressing to finish! So you can become a Facebook fan of Choate Cross Country, Choate Squash, and Choate Tennis!

March 7, 2010

Henry VI


So I knocked off the Henry VI plays--the ones I thought would take me longest to cross off on my quest to complete the Shakespeare canon. I was in the theater from 10 this morning until about 5:30 this afternoon, and decided to pass on the last installment of the War-A-Thon, which was Richard III--I have already seen this play and likely will see it again soon, and I clearly needed a break. I am very glad I got to see this production and liked the Henry VI trilogy a lot more than I thought I would. I can see exactly what parts of these works I will want to excerpt for my spring term class on Shakespeare's history plays.

A Surprise At The Oscars


One of my students in my first year at Choate, Geoffrey Fletcher, just won an Academy Award for Adapted Screenplay. What a thrill. This was largely unexpected, as he was passed over in the other major awards shindigs this season. And judging from Geoff's reaction, he was pretty surprised too! Bravo, Geoff.

March 8, 2010

Europe With Just A Backpack


I am spending the rest of this week in Denmark and England, and I have packed VERY light. Taking only a backpack with me, and that's far from fully stuffed. Just one pair of pants will do for the week, and one pair of sneakers as well. A total of three shirts. One book to read, and one to write in. My MacBook Air. An iPod. A comb, a razor, and a toothbrush. Some vitamins. That's pretty much it.


Back at Kennedy Airport once more. Had a flawless drive down and left the Explorer in Long-Term Parking and then took the AirTrain to arrive at Terminal 4 with plenty of time to spare (still reliving my nightmare at the end of summer school last year, when I missed my flight to London!). Next stop: Heathrow Airport.

March 9, 2010

An Unusually Pleasant Heathrow Experience

Enjoyed a pleasant flight over the Atlantic. When I checked in at JFK, I moved my seat so that the one next to me was unoccupied (one of the virtues of electronic check-in at the kiosk) and I could stretch out a bit and get some sleep. On Virgin's excellent in-seat on-demand movie player, I watched the first half of Julie And Julia, which was pretty good, though not quite engaging enough to keep me awake.

We landed in London a bit early, I didn't have to walk forever (which one usually does at Heathrow) and the lines at the U.K. Border and the "in transit" security checkpoint were virtually non-existent. Picked up today's copy of The Guardian and a couple of English magazines for the SAS flight to Copenhagen later this morning.

There's Nothing Rotten In The State Of Denmark


Made it to Copenhagen and everything has gone smoothly thus far. The airport experience was pleasant (the immigrations inspector hardly looked at my U.S. passport before waving me in). The train station just beneath the terminal has frequent trips to the heart of the city, just minutes away. As is the case in other Scandanavian countries, most people here speak flawless English. I have checked into my hotel, conveniently located near the Central Station and the Tivoli Gardens (closed until April, unfortunately) and am now fighting a bit of jet lag.

March 10, 2010



Near my hotel there are a couple of cinemas, playing mostly English language movies with Danish subtitles. So this was a perfect chance to see The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus, which I missed when it was released stateside. As expected in a Terry Gilliam film, this work is long on visual imagination and pretty weird. An enjoyable diversion.

The Copenhagen Opera


My trip to the opera here in Copenhagen might have been a disaster had I not set out early from my hotel. I took a bus to the modern opera house and arrived to find the place absolutely deserted. Clearly this place was not hosting anything tonight. I was lucky that a water bus pulled up just then and was ferried back across the harbor to Nyhavn such that s short stroll took me to the old Royal Theatre--a beautiful old fashioned building ornately decorated within.

The opera tonight was The Magic Flute, sung in German with Danish titles projected above the stage (didn't look much different to me than what was being sung!). Because I had seen this work before, I could mostly follow what was going on.

I was struck that the opera seems to be a less formal affair than it does back home. And the crowd was, on average, much younger than what one would find in an American opera house. I guess opera here is more successfully woven into the national culture.

March 12, 2010



My last night of entertainment before heading home brought me to the Haymarket Theatre to see the limited run of Ian McKellen and Roger Rees in Waiting For Godot, Irishman Samuel Beckett's best-known work in the "theater of the absurd." Part of the play's appeal is its frustration, of course, and it was fun to see it handled by two master actors.

March 11, 2010

SAS Flights


I am taking SAS from Copenhagen back to London this afternoon. Had a good flight over here the other day on this carrier. I like the fact that the airline gives free newspapers--The International Herald Tribune among the choices--when you board. I don't like the fact that they charge you even for water and soft drinks served while in flight!

March 12, 2010

An Afternoon In Paddington Station

Spent most of this afternoon catching up with a Choate post-graduate from the Class of 1993. He now lives in Helsinki and we had a great time reminiscing about the old days in Hill House and talking about our lives since.

March 11, 2010

Bye Bye Copenhagen

Heading off to the Copehagen airport for my flight to London. It's been a lovely 24 hours here in Denmark, but it's been cold and I haven't seen the sun since my plane dipped below the clouds on the way in on Tuesday. I can see why Hamlet was in a funk: it must be depressing to live under what seems like a permanently overcast, cloud-filled sky. But there is something to be said for this place. It's friendly, it has lots of culture and character, and it's very connected to the world in all sorts of interesting ways. The Danish people seem quite evolved and socially conscious. And I like the fact that one can live in this city with a high quality of life, get from the central train station to the international airport in fifteen minutes and hop a flight to anywhere on the continent in just a couple of hours.

March 13, 2010

From London To New York Again

I am in Heathrow's Terminal 3, having taken the Tube from my hotel on The Strand right to the airport to catch my morning flight home. It's probably safe to say I have now flown the New York-London axis more than any other air route in my life. And I figure I will do at least two more such round trips before 2010 is through.

White Knuckle Landing

The winds in New York are gusting very heavily today and that made landing a jet airliner a tricky proposition in Kennedy Airport. My Virgin Atlantic flight actually abandoned the first approach due to the winds and the second time around it felt like we were riding a roller coaster as the ground drew nearer. Hard not to feel a pit in the stomach at a time like this. Feeling a tremendous sense of relief once we touched down, the passengers burst into a spontaneous round of applause.

March 14, 2010

An Almost Disastrous Alarm Mishap

Having not gotten a lot of sleep the last two nights, complicated by my body still being on U.K. time, I decided to catch a few hours of sleep between 7 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. before packing my bags and heading to Bradley Airport for my 5:30 departure. I had to plan this carefully because the shift to Daylight Savings Time robbed me of an hour I otherwise could have used for some more shuteye. But I stupidly set the alarm clock for 12:50 p.m. and since it didn't go off, I was lucky to wake up on my own about an hour later, which gave me about 45 minutes to get my act together for a week in Jamaica. Fortunately, I made it to the airport in time, had an easy time checking in, and am about to fly to Philadelphia to catch my connection to Montego Bay.

Airline Seats

Comparing my seats on two segments on USAirways today with my situation on Virgin Atlantic yesterday, I can vouch that airline seating is MUCH better on the American carrier than on the British, where I felt squeezed into my seat for some seven hours.

Hello Montego Bay!


I had a smooth flight down to Jamaica on a day when many of the 25 or so Choate kids on their way here struggled to get on flights from New York due to the rain and wind conditions there (lots of delayed flights all day). Though the sun is behind cloud cover, the temperature is in the 80s, so the warm weather is already a pleasant change.

Looking forward to some quality time on the tennis courts this week.

March 15, 2010

Tennis In The Desert


The Indian Wells tournament is up and running this week; I watched some night match action (Federer and Roddick player their first matches of the event) on the ESPN satellite feed last night. I have very fond memories of Indian Wells; I spent part of March out at the tournament for quite a few years, when the Choate boys' team were guests of the tournament, and also a couple of times on my own. The desert setting is spectacular, with dry heat in the daytime and cool nights. And the tennis is wonderful, with most of the top men and women in the world gathered together for some great competition in one of the most important stops on the circuit.

Nadal And Ancic


The international ESPN channel we get via satellite here in Jamaica is carrying live coverage of Rafael Nadal's match vs. Mario Ancic. I saw these two play on an outer court at Wimbledon in 2003--the first time I saw Rafa in action--and snapped the photo above. I think Nadal was 16 at the time.

March 19, 2010

Watching Glen Beck Will Never Be The Same

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Conservative Libertarian
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

March 18, 2010

Knee Deep In The Bard


I've been using a good bit of time this week prepping my new spring course, "Shakespeare And The Death Of Kings," about the history plays. It will include Richard II, both parts of Henry IV, Henry V, Richard III, and King Lear. I've got the syllabus more or less set at this point and am fleshing out paper assignments and support materials. I've also prepped much of the first play so I can hit the ground running next week.

March 17, 2010

One Of The Best Days Of The Year!


Hope all you Irish and wannabe-Irish (that's everybody, I think) enjoy the day.

March 16, 2010

Short Stay In The Desert


Roger Federer was back in action in Indian Wells this week--his first tournament outing since winning the Australian Open in January. He squandered match points in tonight's meeting with Marcos Baghdatis and got beat in the third-set tiebreak. Too bad: it would have been nice to see how the likes of Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray would have stacked up against the current #1. Maybe in Miami?

March 20, 2010

Saying Goodbye To Rose Hall


I am packed up and about to check out of the resort. It's been a great week of tennis, with good weather (enough cloud cover and cool breezes to keep it comfortable) and good company. I am hoping the weather back in New England will be better than it was when I left!

March 21, 2010

Scooter Time!


The snow is gone, the temperature is in the 60s, and the sun is shining. I took the scooter out of the garage for the first time since November. It started right up and I cruised around campus to inspect the fields, track, and tennis courts for the spring season about to start.

March 20, 2010


Seems like I have spent a good chunk of today standing in line. The USAirways check-in line in Montego Bay was preposterously long, followed by a lengthy wait at the security checkpoint. So no time for lunch before catching my flight back to the States.

Then our plane had to sit on the tarmac here in Charlotte until an arrival gate was available. And upon deplaning I ended up on the mother of all lines for the immigration officers--a good hour's wait. Then had to collect my checked bag, clear customs, go through security again, and then hustle to the gate for my (thankfully delayed) connection to Hartford. So no time for dinner either. And the days of in-flight domestic meals are long gone, so it looks like a late meal when I arrive back in Connecticut.

Not A Total Disappointment In Indian Wells


Although he lost his singles semifinal to Ivan Ljubicic in the third-set tiebreak this afternoon, Rafael Nadal paired with fellow Spaniard to beat the world's top doubles pair in the doubles final out in Indian Wells tonight. A rare doubles title for Rafa!

Springtime In The Northern Hemisphere

The vernal equinox has arrived!

March 21, 2010

Geek Humor

click to enlarge:
(no Flash . . . get it?)

March 22, 2010

Kindle On The iPad?


Looks like Amazon intends to bring its Kindle e-book format to the iPad and other tablet computers. It just released a reader for Mac OS last week. This is smart: even if the company sells fewer of its Kindle readers (sales supposedly have plummeted since the unveiling of the iPad), it can still try to sell e-books in its format. And those of us who own Kindle-formatted books will be able to use them on the iPad. (That is, unless Apple decides to block the app because it duplicates the iBookstore--let's hope that doesn't happen!)

March 23, 2010

Kurosawa Centennial


Today would have been Akira Kurosawa's 100th birthday. The Japanese master certainly filmmaker left an indelible mark on his art.

March 30, 2010

New Laptop


The school issues all faculty members a new laptop every three years and my old black MacBook had pretty much run out of steam at the end of its cycle: the battery barely held a charge and overall performance was pretty pokey.

But today I got a brand new MacBook Pro to use. This machine is loaded with Windows 7, too, for use with Boot Camp. Great success!

March 24, 2010

Brando's Marc Antony


I showed my Shakespeare class the 1953 film Julius Caesar tonight to introduce some of the themes we will be covering in this course on the history plays. Marlon Brando is great as Antony in this movie. As one whose first exposure to Brando was in his later life roles in Superman and Apocalypse Now, seeing him as a vital young actor in top form is pretty thrilling.

March 27, 2010

Tennis Season Underway Once More

I spent most of today in West Hartford, watching Choate players compete in an early-season tournament at Kingswood-Oxford School. Much of the play was indoors, but some of competitors had to brave the cooler conditions outside. The boys played reasonably well today and it's nice that the tennis season is here once more.

March 29, 2010

Identity Theft

The last few days I have been dealing with the hassles of identity theft. Specifically somebody got hold of the number of the primary credit card I use--a MasterCard with the local credit union--and charged who knows what in places like Israel and Maryland. I was alerted to this problem when my card was declined unexpectedly. When I checked recent transactions online, I noticed a handful of charges I knew nothing about. So now the card has been canceled and will be replaced, but I have to reconfigure all the recurring charges that I set to use this account: my cable bill, wireless phone service, newspaper subscriptions, EZPass, SpeedPay, etc. Not fun.

March 31, 2010

I Hope This Is Not A Preview Of April Showers

Lots of rain today resulted in the cancellation of the boys' varsity tennis scrimmage against Hopkins School. I am hopeful that April will bring a lot more sunshine.

March 28, 2010


After spending two full days coaching this weekend, I am pretty exhausted. I won't have much of a break next weekend either, even though there is no tennis match scheduled for my team. I am slated to drive a few kids from my English to class to Washington to see two Shakespeare plays. We will leave first thing Saturday morning, stay overnight, and drive back on Easter Sunday. So I will be behind the wheel at least twelve hours.

March 26, 2010

Field Of Dreams


Construction is now underway on the school's new complex of synthetic turf fields. The "double wide" design will accommodate side-by-side field hockey and lacrosse fields and can be configured the other way for soccer or football games under the lights. Just finished a project planning meeting and this is pretty exciting! We expect to have the fields ready to go when school resumes in September.

March 25, 2010

Hiring Season

The school is in the market for new mathematics and science teachers, which means the next few weeks will be interrupted by regular interview slots as teaching candidates come to campus. It's important that I am in the hiring loop in my capacity as athletic director, but this process takes a lot of time and interrupts the flow of my day on a pretty regular basis this time of year.

March 23, 2010

Very Strong Installment Of Lost


Great episode of Lost tonight, in which most of the hour was spent in flashback mode, as we finally got the story of Richard Alpert.

March 31, 2010

The Reviews Are In . . .


Tonight some of the reviews of the iPad destined for tomorrow's newspapers have been posted online. Technology writers David Pogue of The New York Times, Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal, and Ed Baig of USA Today are all generally very positive about Apple's newest product.

About March 2010

This page contains all entries posted to As Far As You Know in March 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2010 is the previous archive.

April 2010 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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