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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Paternity Leave from Blogging

Monday, May 26, 2008

As if the flow of content from NPH wasn't at a treacle already, now comes this distraction.

posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:33 PM | link | 3 comments |

Waiting. And Walking.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Seriously, waiting to have a baby is the best way to sightsee.

Our due date was last Tuesday, May 13th, and so for the past two weeks we have been treating each day as if it could be THE day: the bag is packed and goes with us in the car (along with the giant blue "birth ball").

Walking is supposed to help bring on labor. So we've done a lot of that.

We've walked around the local botanical garden.

We've walked around the local college campus and taken in the university art museum.

We've walked around all morning at the Los Angeles Zoo

Meredith even took a picture of me.

If baby doesn't hurry, there's no telling what I'll look like.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:40 PM | link | 4 comments |

Alan's Family Jewels

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Two weeks ago my buddy Alan told me this crazy story about how he'd received this random phone call from a Rocky Mountain News reporter asking about his mother. I listened intently (I've had breakfast with Alan's mother) as he narrated a saga of lost family jewels that had been recovered by this reporter and the unexplainable search for their owner.

Well, that reporter printed the story, and you can read it here.

Just a few of the more remarkable excerpts:
She opened the envelope. Inside were silk pouches. Inside the pouches was jewelry. Jade. Gold. Pearls. Coral. Necklaces and rings and earrings. A small gold Buddha figure, studded with diamonds.
Then this:
She and her colleague spread the jewelry out on a table in a back room near a vault in the treasurer's office. The bank reported the box abandoned in 2005, which told McKee that rent had not been paid for at least five years. It belonged to Nora Wang, address unknown.
And here's where my boy makes his appearance:
I troll the Internet and start making calls. Two hours later, I find an ex-brother-in-law in Memphis, Tenn. Ten minutes later, I reach his nephew, Alan Wang, Nora's son.

"I can't believe this," he says. "Do you know how long we've been looking for this box?"

"Do you know what's in it?" I ask.

"Jewels," he says. "They came from my grandmother and my aunt. Some date back to the Mongolian empire. We've been looking for this box for 10 years. We thought it was stolen. You have no idea what this means."

He says his mom will break down when she hears, that the jewelry was the archive of family memory and she always said the one thing she wanted was to see it again.

Seriously, how often do you get a story like this? What's lost is found; altruism wins the day; we're all connected.

Good news is always good, but sometimes it's really good. Something tells me this news is really good.

posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 11:23 PM | link | 1 comments |

What The Fantasia? NPH Readers Want to Know

There it was last night, the proud American Idol taking to the stage as a featured performer on the blockbuster show's penultimate episode. Introduced as the winner who has gone on to conquer not only the charts but Broadway as well, Fantasia Barrino stormed the set with three back-up dancers, pink hair, and audibly gnarled vocal cords.

Two minutes into the performance I was thinking, "What exactly is happening here?"

It's a fair question, and one that NPH readers have inquired about throughout the day. Really, what was that? A comeback performance by an established star, or a wild and desperate trainwreck?

The LA Times' Jan Powers goes with the former:
P.S.: A special thanks to Fantasia Barrino for reminding "Idol" viewers what musical excitement looks and sounds like with her fiery, funky rendition of "Bore Me (Yawn)," from her last album. Unpredictable, raw, dangerously close to chaotic, Fantasia's performance recalled how the best music on television once felt -- like something breaking through the screen. Simon, of course, looked horrified. Thank goodness he wasn't a judge at Janis Joplin's audition.
So does The Washington Post's Lisa Moraes:
But in the force field of inertia and calculated wholesomeness that is "Idol," it's as if she's been put on mute. Even so, Fantasia's performance is way grittier, far more spontaneous, than anything else on the show.

Judge Simon Cowell looks terrified. And that alone, folks, is worth the price of admission.

I'll give Moraes that the it was gritty and spontaneous. Those are virtues in a musical performance, but they don't really make for good tv. And American Idol is TV. If nothing else, Fantasia shocked Idol viewers awake, viewers who have been lulled to sleep by week-in-week-out meticulously packaged 90 second lullabies.

That's gotta be worth something.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 11:00 PM | link | 2 comments |

Idol Conspiracy?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Here's what to do:

advance the video of David Archuleta's final performance on American Idol last night to 1:58 and listen to the song's last line.

Then, advance the video to 4:50 and watch the end-of-the-show highlight replay of that last line.

Ai7 Top4 Part6 David Archuleta
Uploaded by igrecman

You tell me if it's the same performance. Or did the producers replay the ending from Archuleta's dress rehearsal performance? In the first one, the young crooner's voice audibly gives out as he transitions to his falsetto. In the second, it's flawless.

I have a suspicion the producers of American Idol really want the wunderkind to win.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 11:07 PM | link | 2 comments |