May 12th, 2003

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Seeing one's baby all grown up

I have to say, it's a little weird seeing the preview article for Thief III. I mean, this isn't like Thief I or II, which were built on the engine I did some underpinnings for (I did the mundane but critical resource management system under the hood); it isn't even based on the Siege Engine that I was working when Looking Glass shut down, which was going to be the original basis for Thief III. In no way am I responsible for this terribly cool-looking game. And yet, there's this little frission of pride that tickles my hindbrain when I see articles about it.

I have to wonder if there's an irrational part of the brain that's programmed for parenthood, that takes pride in accomplishments performed at a remove. It's not my game, but I get to at least be one of the small army of ancestors involved in it...
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Christine Lavin

So let's catch up a little...

For ages now, ladysprite has been extolling the praises of Christine Lavin. I was vaguely familiar with her work, but hadn't seen her in concert before. My bad.

We had an outing to her concert the other night -- me and msmemory, ladysprite and umbran, tpau, and Lighter -- and it was a definite hoot. I had known that Lavin did some humor, but hadn't quite realized how consistently fun and funny she is. From the opening song -- "Windchimes", which talks very frankly about the, uh, wonderful sound of windchimes coming in one's window at night -- to the surprisingly, uh, athletic finale of the show, it was all great. The songs were punctuated by odd little skits, such as pitting the two best astronomical minds in the audience against each other, or the competition for Mr. North Andover. During intermission, she composed the theme song for the latter, and while it was admittedly doggerel, it was pretty damned good doggerel for ten minutes. And throughout, she played the (tiny little) audience in the (tiny little) church hall brilliantly.

She did have one serious song, an exceptionally poignant 9/11 piece talking about what it was like to walk past the local firehouse day after day while the dig progressed. And she turns out to be a skilled guitarist -- at one point, we got the premiere of her cover of a fabulously difficult Dave Van Ronk piece that she's working up for an upcoming performance.

Well worth seeing and hearing. If she comes to your town, check it out...