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our favorite things (besides cryptos)

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  • our favorite things (besides cryptos)

    Wondering if fellow cryptosolvers might like to share some of their favorite books, movies, tv shows, plays, songs, writers, artists, etc ... and reasons why or brief descriptions thereof (particularly if yours are obscure)...

    I'll come up with my own list and report back soon. (That's sort of due to slight shyness ... new to this community ... and also strategic ... I need to write many separate posts to get out of my Junior status here.

  • #2
    I've made some references to books in my comments to quotes, such as to Aloysius Pendergast, (I think the quote was by Diogenes, who was an evil brother of Aloysius), the main character in Pendergast mysteries by Preston and Child, and another to Wooster and Jeeves, (the quote was by Stephen Fry, who was Jeeves or P.G. Wodehouse, the author). Sounds like a fun and worthwhile suggestion, though.


    • #3

      Fudi, thanks for the nice question. This should be really interesting.

      The first answer that comes to mind for me is my favorite house -- the gorgeous, playful, inspiring, and relatively unknown Wharton Esherick Museum, located at the top of Mount Misery, 5 minutes from Valley Forge National Park.

      Wharton Esherick (1887-1970) was an artist trained as a painter, who eventually found his medium in wood sculpture. He expressed his sculptural ideas in his groundbreaking furniture design, which foretold Danish Modern and had a huge impact on American mid-century design. This house was at first his sculpture studio and then his home; he worked on the place through all his artistic periods until he died, and he called it his autobiography. I have volunteered there for two decades as a docent, and I have never seen any visitor go through the place and not come out genuinely amazed. It is an environment that seems to grow organically from the stone and trees around it, but with a playful spirit that connects with the artist inside everyone.

      This page shows the dining room, which is my favorite room in the whole world -- it's like the perfect treehouse, with indoor plumbing:

      For anyone passing through the Philadelphia area, I encourage you take a side trip to see this place. Visiting info is here.
      Last edited by LLapp; 11-18-2019, 07:36 PM.


      • #4
        First of all, if you're new here, Fudi, then welcome aboard. Don't be shy here at The Forum; we occasionally due some rather fun stuff. You are among friends.

        My favorites...

        Movies: The Godfather, The Godfather II, The Green Mile, Fried Green Tomatoes, (just a few - I love movies)

        Bands: Little Feat, James McMurtry & The Heartless Bastards, Kathleen Edwards, Bonnie Raitt, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Black Country Communion, (again, just a few of many)

        Books: I love to read. If I were to look at my book shelf, I would see stacks of books by Greg Iles, John Sandford, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, a row of autobiographies.

        TV Shows: Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Walking Dead, The Andy Griffith Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Breaking Bad, (I've been around a lot of years so this could go on).

        I also like to write stories, poems, etc. - hobby writing.


        • #5
          Lisa - I actually live in the Philly area ... and have never been to this museum. I will definitely go sometime. Thanks!!


          • #6
            Barnabas - hi and thanks (for the welcome and the response)! In movies and tv and books, I most enjoy those with settings in relatively modern times that ideally feature comic social awkwardness (think, like, The Graduate, as a classic example of this ... or things by Miranda July (writer and director), as a more current reference .... ooh - another example - sort of an obscure indie/recent movie that was right up my alley: Donald Cried - on Netflix streaming now, I think ... Curb Your Enthusiasm ... Arrested Development). But I like all kinds of other types of stuff too - in particular, psychological drama/thrillers (like Atom Egoyan movies). I am big on most comedy, as long as it's ... well ... smart. I'm afraid many of my current comic heroes are in big trouble and their names can only be whispered these days (Louis C.K., Woody Allen ... I'm sorry.) My husband likes the mobster genre a lot a lot a lot, like you seem to and we recently took a film class together about the last season of Breaking Bad. That was fun - I hadn't taken an academic film class since college ... many years ago. I actually like Better Call Saul better than Breaking Bad ... though I love BB too. I adored Six Feet Under.

            I do also like socially awkward and ... ummm ... painful? sort of family dramas along the lines of ... oh ... Manchester By the Sea (in recent moviedom) and Bloodline (recent Netflix tv series).

            I love all kinds of stand-up comedy and these days, especially like Mike Birbiglia and John Delaney. I used to adore the old David Letterman show. I like the new one too, but am not as infatuated with it as I was in my college days with the old Dave. I love Sarah Silverman, too and Amy Schumer.

            I like things that are sort of rebellious, maybe? ... and subversive? kinda. I like dark comedy and drama.

            I love live theater and see a lot of it. Not all dark. I *can* sing more than one note. I like many classic fun, comic musicals (Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, My Fair Lady, A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum) and also new ones that I think of as being along those lines, even though they're new (Book of Mormon, Putnam County Spelling Bee). I also love dark, biting comic, smaller (off Bway or off off - throw as many offs as you care to in there) plays ... similar to what I said about movies/books - hubby and I go to NY often to see them.

            I read a lot. I love George Saunders and Richard Russo, as examples ... I read a lot of comic dramas these days written by female authors. I've got a bunch of Meg Wollitzer by my bedside now.

            That's enough for now. That should help to keep this ball rolling. Hopefully.


            • #7
              Oh, also, Music: I like mainly classic rock and roll: The Beatles, sure, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, the Stones, I especially like most groovy rock/pop music from the 60s/70s ... oh Janis Joplin, Mamas and the Papas. But I also like some more bad*ss/edgier? sort of stuff, I guess: The Violent Femmes, Joan Jett, the Pretenders, early Liz Phair.

              I like some totally obscure goofball-ish comedic music groups like The Bobs and Ed's Redeeming Qualities and Childbirth.

              I don't like country music and don't like rap/hip-hop and don't really like classical music or terribly highbrow jazz music, though I like jazz/soul music that I think of as more for the people, as it were. I dunno.

              I also love a lot of silly musical theater songs.

              I like to sing along sort of loudly to music, both when in a private space and even in semi-public spaces ... I'm not shy in that way.

              I like to sing ... but don't play any musical instruments.

              I don't actually like to just sit still politely and watch live music performances, unless there are lyrics and they are funny. I know that's weird. I like to see live music when rhythmic, participatory moving is encouraged. Otherwise, I tend to think the musicians and actually, the audience, are probably a little full of themselves. I could be totally wrong about that, though, in many cases. Other people probably just have better attention spans than I do.


              • #8
                Then you will certainly enjoy the witty comments that you'll find when you solve quotes, from Barnabas and many others. If you're interested in music theatre and you get an opportunity to see Million Dollar Quartet, you won't want to miss it. Even though you mentioned not liking country music, the musical talent in this show is phenomenal. And back to the comments - there are some incredibly smart and talented people on this site so I hope you'll find yourself learning from them as I have been.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fudi View Post
                  Wondering if fellow cryptosolvers might like to share some of their favorite books, movies, tv shows, plays, songs, writers, artists, etc ... and reasons why or brief descriptions thereof (particularly if yours are obscure)...
                  Hello, there!

                  I couldn't choose a favorite book or author.

                  I read quite a bit, but it's mostly (though not exclusively) non-fiction works on history, economics, law, natural sciences and current events. Obviously I read mostly to understand, to learn.

                  Works by public intellectuals/scientists like Noam Chomsky, Lorenzo Meyer, Paulo Freire, Stephen Hawkin or Tony Judt, are always a treat to read for me.

                  And there you go...


                  • #10

                    Don't know about favorites, but I just finished reading Playing With Fire by Lawrence O'Donnell, and am currently reading Dear White America by Tim Wise, How To Make A Good Script Great by Linda Seger, and Capital In The 21st Century by Thomas Piketty.

                    In music, my favorites would likely include Idan Raichel and Hadag Nahash, but I also like the early Hebrew music by Noa (Achinoam Nini).


                    • #11
                      Thanks for Hadag Nahash, Maradnu -- I just listened to Yom Shishi! (and it's 5:30 Friday afternoon, which makes it especially good).

                      Favorite book genres: microhistory, science fiction (especially post-apocalyptic), and alternate history.
                      Favorite authors: E.B. White, Herman Melville, Ursula le Guin. And I have unbounded admiration for the poets/editors/compilers of the Iliad, Odyssey, and Torah/Pentateuch as we have them today.
                      Favorite musical genres and artists: country/western from the beginning through about 1965 or so; Dylan; OCMS.


                      • #12
                        Current book

                        Despite the fact that I'm almost atheistic, certainly agnostic in the sense that even the concept of god is almost indefinable by definition ...

                        I nonetheless am entranced by Marilynne Robinson, her book of essays What Are We Doing Here, and her novel Gilead.

                        She is very spiritual, and a superb student of history, science and about every area of human learning. I've simply flipped over her!


                        • #13
                          Lately I have been finding some brilliant short animated films online. My favorite is 21 minutes long, and brings Hemingway's novel The Old Man and the Sea to life. The animator is Aleksandr Petrov, who works in oil paints on glass, using brushes and his fingers. It is visually stunning. It was premiered in 1999, but only recently released in digital format.

                          Some of my favorite writers: Wendell Berry, Chris Hedges, Diane Ackerman, Louise Penny, Naomi Klein.

                          Music: Leonard Cohen, Gustavo Santaolalla, Paul Robeson, George Gershwin, some classical and operatic music, Gregorian chant, any music that makes me get up and dance, (Cuban salsa, Gipsy Kings, Riverdance, etc.).


                          • #14
                            Following up ... first, how time flies! I feel happy to report back that it took me kind of a while, but I finally made it to Llapp's Philly-area museum noted above (the Wharton Esherick - yesterday!) and can vouch for the fact that it is indeed incredibly swell! I went with my hubby and my sis-in-law and a friend of hers and we were lucky enough to have the lovely and talented Llapp as our docent. (She treated us more than docently.) Anyway ... it is SUCH a cool place and I am glad I crypto here and that I started this particular forum topic and that I got that response from Llapp and finally got myself over there to see the museum for myself. Yay.


                            • #15
                              Oh, Fudi, I'm so happy to hear that you made it to the Wharton Esherick Museum, and that LLapp was your docent! How special is that?! The photos from the website look amazing. One day maybe I'll make it there.