"; "Atlas Shrugged
"; "The Moon Is a Harsh
" and probably a few other
Heinleins; and "Harry Potter." Nonfiction favorites begin, but
certainly do not end, with the Nicomachean Ethics
Rand's volumes of essays.
Movies: Oliver Stone's "Alexander
"; "How to Train Your
"; "Dangerous Beauty
"; "My Fellow Americans
and need I mention a certain series of films concerning a young
Over the past few years, I've become a Joss Whedon fan, for two
main reasons: he creates strong, feminine women, and he shows that
they still need men worthy of the name. Also, because Firefly
episodes stand up
to repeated viewing as if they were movies.
My favorite singer-songwriter is the geekish Marian Call (whose
"Nerd Anthem" I quoted above); my favorite vocalist, Lea Salonga
Broadway and Disney fame.
Among living composers, my favorites are John Williams
, and my friend Mike. (I'm
not kidding. Ask me for links to his work and judge for
I enjoy Handel
especially the Fireworks Music
, especially the Magnificat
especially (big surprise) the Ode to Joy
On the other hand, I also like folk music
, especially Irish and
Scottish. And I'm a big fan of making a familiar piece one's own,
for example by adapting rock or folk songs for an orchestra or
performing a theme written for orchestra on electric guitar.
When I sing, it's about half show tunes (favorite musicals include
Les Miserables, 42nd Street
, Man of LaMancha
, and I enjoy
's melodies greatly) and half a broad spectrum of
all sorts of other things. On a good night in karaoke, I'll do
"Music of the Night" or "To Where You Are," just for the vocal fun
of it, but I may also do "One," "Whiskey in the Jar," "Hava
Nagila," or even "Toreador." On one very special occasion where I
was at the time a karaoke regular, I sang "The Star-Spangled
Banner" to an utterly silent bar.
I enjoy the cuisines of Japan (especially sushi, but also teriyaki,
tempura and other things), China, Ethiopia, India and Italy.