Life is theater and music on A Good Reed Review
A Good Reed Review gratefully accepts direct donations via PayPal to help defray the costs of maintaining this site without creating paywalls.
Almost a quarter century ago, I made the decision to upgrade our townhouse. I ditched the old, mid-1970s windows and upgraded to double panes that were supposed to be a vast improvement. … Over the years, two of the windows in the warmest room in the house eventually … fogged up. Out of all of the windows in the house only two failed, but I hadn’t realized the difference that foggy view made on my overall outlook. [Continue reading]
As happened most nights, Alex and Rowan Jeffries were having an impassioned discussion over dinner. The twins had been sharing a house for most of their lives, Alex a professor of biochemistry and Rowan a professor of music and religious studies at the same university. Having grown up together and only living separately as university students because they attended different schools in different states, it was both comforting and financially practical to have come together again once their student days were over. Neither had ever been married, and they considered one another perfect roommates. They relied on each other and were the best of friends even though they had a few notable philosophical differences. In fact, those differences often helped them, though they really only differed dramatically in a few areas. In other areas of their lives, they were often in agreement even when their approaches sometimes diverged. This evening, they were engrossed in a discussion in which they agreed for the most part, but differed in application. The subject this evening was honesty, or more directly, the value of truth and dangers of lies. [Continue reading]
I have always been intrigued by geometry and interesting shapes and perspectives in pictures. In fact, going through school, geometry was my favorite math class and not just because of the beautiful logic proofs, but I digress. In photography, sometimes a rather mundane scene can be fascinating when approached from a unique angle. Other times, the shading can even make common shapes pop. As mentioned in previous essays, I have spent a lot of time wandering through the exhibits packing the various Smithsonian museums over the years. While the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Washington, D.C. is my favorite Smithsonian location by far, I also appreciate several of the others in its vicinity. The Museum of Natural History has much to offer, and although the easiest way to get a good picture there is to buy one of their brochures which are filled with many elegant professional photographs, where is the fun in that? It’s far more satisfying to discover a unique perspective and capture it directly if possible. [Continue reading]
Previous essays in the series:
Kate Quinn’s The Rose Code is a masterwork of historical fiction. It’s a long book at 656 pages that reads quickly as the tension builds. Published by William Morrow in March 2021, this gripping story brings Bletchley Park, the famed hub of the British effort to break the German Enigma code during WWII, and the unique personalities who worked there to life. Quinn’s fascination with history and her deft storytelling add new twists to events past as she mixes historical figures together with her vibrant fictional characters, although her fictional characters are themselves composites of real people. Her history is not names and dates but is instead about how historical events changed and complicated people’s lives. [Continue reading]
Growing up, we wrote letters. We also talked on the telephone, but if people lived more than just a few miles away those phone calls could quickly get expensive, much more so than the cost of a stamp. … Fast forward a couple of decades and chat rooms became ubiquitous among the computer savvy. These allowed people of various interests to join together remotely sharing ideas and prose among like-minded aficionados. Chat rooms were essentially social media infants. It would be another decade or so before our present day social media started popping up in various corners. The advent and ubiquity of social media today has given far more people than ever before the opportunity to write, some for a much wider audience than they may have previously imagined possible. [Continue reading]
Earlier in this series, I talked about how my parents inspired me and encouraged my love of music. They are both long gone now, Dad for over 50 years and Mom for a decade, but every time I play anything, I think of them. In the last installment discussing whether I was still a musician or not, I came to the conclusion that even without performing for others, I am and always will be a musician. The pandemic has pushed me to enjoy my music more privately, and in doing so, return to my roots and my first instrument, the piano. Playing the piano reminds me of my mother, especially when I play some of the repertoire that she played frequently. One of her favorites was Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude. Mom used to play this one with deep expression and early on told me the story her piano teacher told her about the piece. Her favorite teacher used to tell her stories about every piece she was assigned, and in doing so made the music come alive as much more than mere notes on the page. [Continue reading]
Previous essays in the series:
The holiday season is upon us, and there are myriad music and theatrical events to celebrate the season. It is also the heart of the football season where a different kind of theater plays out all over the country. For some, the drama is in the game itself. … there is another kind of spectacle playing out in stadiums across the country, but this one engages fans from all walks of life. … Finally, there are the extreme fans. These are the ones who take fandom and raise it to a performance art form bringing a type of theater to light … My friend Mark is one such fan. … Today, many 49er aficionados know him as 49erMark. [Continue reading]
In REMEMBERING MOM AND DAD, I make the jump from analyzing the stories to telling them. The book is a collection of nonfiction essays and short stories written over time remembering Bayla and Jerry Jacobson. The stories include personal recollections from my experience along with the retelling of numerous events related to me in conversations over the years. Some of the stories included are: “Music in the House”, “The Parenthood Plunge”, “The Jacobson Pet Parade”, “Disney Days of Summer”, and many more. Interested?
Purchase the print edition: