Podcast: Four Quartets and Other Pilgrimages

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 10
Lyn Ballard – Four Quartets and Other Pilgrimages

Lyn Ballard

It’s time for a new episode of The Virtual Memories Show!

In this one, guest Lyn Ballard talks about her gateway books, the metaphysical poets, reading Huck Finn at the age of 5, an embarrassing Stanley Elkin anecdote, the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, the importance of making literary pilgrimages, and more!

This is part 1 of The Bat Mitzvah Tapes, recorded during our St. Louis trip in August for my niece’s bat mitzvah. Next week, I’ll post a pretty wide-ranging interview with her dad (my brother Boaz), in which I reveal the key to just about all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies.

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Credits: This episode’s music is River of Bass by Underworld. I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic into Audacity, and the conversation with was recorded on a pair of Blue Encore 100 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder. All editing was done in Garage Band. Have mics, will travel!

The Week that Was

Sorry I didn’t write more last week, dear readers. Last Sunday evening, I had to pick up my dad at Newark Airport, but his flight was delayed an hour or so, and my ensuing late arrival at home led to a short night of sleep heading into Monday (we get up at 5am to start the day). That sequence left me off-kilter for the rest of the week. Since most of my work-days were spent working on my conference and trying to write code for the web-edition of our Top Companies ish, I never got settled enough to start a-writin’.

If you’re interested in the highlights — brunch with a semi-famous author, a shoot-from-the-hip panel discussion at a media relations class, and a fancy dinner that led to the final-straw decision to buy a GPS unit — then click “More”!

Continue reading “The Week that Was”

What It Is: 5/26/08

What I’m reading: Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad, and vol. 1 of Cromartie High School, an incredibly funny manga.

What I’m listening to: That new Portishead album again.

What I’m watching: Kung Fu Hustle, which remains one of the most entertaining flicks of all time, and The Big Lebowski, which I need to write about.

What I’m drinking: Blue Point Brewing Co.’s Blueberry Ale (a gift from this weekend’s houseguests).

Where I’m going: Maybe out to see Iron Man today, but otherwise, nodarnwhere special this week.

What I’m happy about: Having a nice, long, relatively relaxing weekend. (“Relatively,” because Saturday involved a lot of cleaning and cooking, as we had those aforementioned houseguests. Also, I was a nervous nellie because one of the sets of guests had a 1-year-old child, and I was afraid Rufus would get overstimulated and eat the kid. Everything turned out fine.) Oh, and taking a vacation day on Tuesday, just to get a little extra time before diving into the big Top 20 Pharma and Top 10 Biopharma issue of my magazine.

What I’m sad about: Last night, Rufus appeared to have developed a case of Ringworm in Ringwood. Fortunately, we already had a vet appointment scheduled for tomorrow.

What I’m pondering: Why the Coen Brothers use voiceovers in some of their flicks and not in others. Also, how long the natives will let the new Mars probe transmit.

What I’m updating: Rufus’ status! The vet says that they’re just “mayfly” bites, nothing that requires any treatment! Wanna see all the gories? Glad to oblige!

What It Is: 5/19/08

What I’m reading: Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad, and the first 8 issues of the new Omega the Unknown miniseries, sorta written by Jonathan Lethem, whose prose I’ve never tried out. I oughtta sample some of his stuff on my Kindle, because I’m that awesome.

What I’m listening to: A new Mad Mix. More to come.

What I’m watching: Game 7 of Cavs/Celts, and wondering if the LeBron/Pierce matchup was going to live up to the ‘Nique/Bird shootout in 1988. It was pretty awesome.

What I’m drinking: Wet by Beefeater.

Where I’m going: Nowhere, not even for Memorial Day weekend. Sigh.

What I’m happy about: Getting out for a fantastic meal at Saddle River Inn on Saturday night, even if Dad raised the stakes on inappropriate conversation by launching into a discourse on the method used by my mohel. Seriously.

What I’m REALLY happy about: My pal Tina got married!

What I’m sad about: The Celtics won.

What I’m pondering: Microsoft’s strategy. Post to come.