Beethoven’s Routine

Long-time readers know that I love Beethoven (particularly his Sixth Symphony, the “Pastoral”).

Readers also might know that I keep a fairly busy schedule.  Doing so requires sticking to routine, but that’s not always my strong suit.  My mind tends to jump from one task to another, but I find that writing out a detailed “to-do” list and crossing it off helps me to focus in on a task for extended periods of time.

When I really get into something—working on a new collection of piano miniatures, grading papers, or writing blog posts—I can focus in for hours, and often do that.  But working into that flow state takes time and, more importantly, motivation.  It’s the latter that I have been lacking the past week, a combination of end-of-the-school-year exhaustion and a renewed interest in Civilization VI.

So I thought it’d be interesting during this winding down season—when my own routine is about to change to the more leisurely pace of summertime—to look at Beethoven’s daily routine, care of YouTube channel Inside the Score.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Worst Films: #6: Elf (2003)

We’re back with another of Ponty’s picks for the worst films of all time.  As always, Ponty delivers an interesting choice, this time for #6:  the Christmas film Elf (2003).

Elf is one of those movies I’ve never seen in its entirety, but I know about all-too-well.  It seems that every girl I’ve ever met loves this movie, but not just with some yuletide enthusiasm; they act like it’s the greatest Christmas film ever made.

I don’t know why that is.  Is it because women are incredibly social creatures, and bandwagon about everything remotely popular?  Is it because of the story about a son meeting his deadbeat dad and falling in love with a hipster?  Or is it just harmlessly funny, the kind of non-edgy humor women tend to prefer?

Whatever the reason, it makes me dislike the movie more, perhaps channeling the contrarian curmudgeon inside of me.

Needless to say, I’m with Ponty 100% on this one.

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 2003’s Elf:

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Lazy Sunday CXLVI: Friends, Part IX

It’s been fun going back through the old Supporting Friends Friday posts (well, for me, at least; it seems to be a bit of a dud with readers, but Sunday is always a slow day for traffic), but I’m particularly excited for this weekend’s ninth (!) retrospective.  It includes three of my favorite Internet friends, all on one compact disc:

Cheers to these good friends.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT: SimEarth

I’ve been on a video game kick lately, diving back into the Civilization games and listening to a lot of the Gaming Historian on YouTube.  As such, it seemed like a good time to look back at another video game post, one about the planet simulator SimEarth.

SimEarth was one of those games that I found instantly appealing—a massive simulator of an entire planet, going through all its geological, biological, and civilizational phases.  Even growing up in a household that rejected the theory of Darwinian evolution (a theory I still don’t accept, although I acknowledge that adaptation and mutation are both possible and happen frequently), the prevailing scientific understanding of our world made for a fun video game.

The possibilities were endless.  Want to be a Deistic god and let the world run on its own?  Go for it.  Want to interfere frequently in your planet’s development?  Do it!  Want to make starfish or Venus fly traps sentient beings capable of forging an advanced civilization?  Why not!

I used to be able to make pretty compelling planets in this game, with rich histories and multiple species in succession rising to sentience, before heading off an intergalactic journey of the stars.  Apparently, I lost any skills I had, as my last game a couple of years ago (detailed below) ended in nuclear winter.  Oops.

With that, here is 27 May 2020’s “SimEarth“:

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Son of Sonnet: Passion

While scribbling away on some blog posts last week, I had a pleasant surprise:  a new poetry submission care of Son of Sonnet!  It’s a work about the undeniable passion shared between men and women.

Regular readers know that I am an unalloyed fan of Son’s poetry, and I encourage each of my readers to consider a subscription to his Locals page.  It’s the best way to support his work directly, and I know that appreciates every subscriber.  Son is also very responsive to feedback and comments, so it makes for a lively community.

I’ve really been beating this drum lately—we need to support creators on our side of this great culture war.  The Left creates crap culture, but they support it and produce a lot of it; what they lack in quality they make up for with financial support and total media saturation.

But I digress.  Your generous subscriptions to my SubscribeStar page have made it possible to patronize Son’s work.  As a community of artists, readers, and pundits, we should work together as much as possible to cultivate and support one another’s talents.  I can’t pay Son much—yet—but I’m able to offer him something for his talents because of your generosity.

For a sample of Son’s work on this blog, check out The Gemini Sonnets; you can read all six here:  #1#2#3#4#5, and #6.

You can also read Son of Sonnet’s poetry on his Telegram channel, on Gab, on Minds, and, of course, on Locals.

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Civilization Series: Slayer of Productivity

The school year is winding down for yours portly, but before the clock stops and summer begins, there’s a flurry of last-minute activity.  This week is exam review week, which means an odd mixture of light and easy classes alongside frantic preparations for exams.  For students, it’s studying for the exams that has them stressed; for teachers, it’s putting the exams and their related review guides together.

In college, exam week was the time of the semester I squeezed in the most gaming.  Paradoxically, it was when I had the most free time.  I’d spend a few hours over the course of the week reviewing notes for history exams, or memorizing the singing exercise for my Jazz Theory final, but would spend the rest of that unstructured time diving into games, notably The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

Now I have far more responsibilities, but exam week still offers some unstructured time to get things done (most importantly, grading all of those exams!).  Unfortunately, I picked this weekend to dive back into Civilization VI, specifically the vanilla version on my Nintendo Switch Lite.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Portly’s Top Ten Worst Films: #7: The Pit (1981)

According to Ponty, he’s already got several of his worst film reviews typed up.  I wish I could claim to be so prepared.  My methodology has been to watch a bunch of movies, and to select those that are particularly bad for review.

That might be a lackluster way to go about this process, but it’s how I picked this week’s film, The Pit (1981).  I’ll strive for a more intentional approach as we get into the truly terrible stinkers, but I hope readers will still appreciate the badness of the movies selected.

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Lazy Sunday CXLV: Friends, Part VIII

The cavalcade of friendship continues this Sunday with three more posts.  Apparently, I’ve given musician, actor, and international playboy Frederick Ingram a lot of screen time in Supporting Friends Friday, but all of this weekend’s friends have enjoyed two or more Friday shout-outs:

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments: