Merry Christmas, everybody!

I’ve just returned from Cincinnati, where I joined about 2,500 friends to celebrate Over the Rhine’s 20th anniversary. We enjoyed three days of concerts, the reunion of Over the Rhine’s original lineup, and music spanning their whole career. I’ll soon be writing about the band, the history, the poetry, the fans, and a kind of band/audience relationship you just won’t find anywhere else. But for now, I’m just smiling in the glow of some unforgettable experiences, and posting photos from the shows at my Flickr page. Many, many thanks to Rick Paul Poole and Wendi Poole for their extravagant generosity, and to Brian Volck and Jill Huppert for their hospitality, and to Nathan, Sarah, and Amos Partain (and Abby Meeks!) for making the trip out to join me for the third show of the weekend. Thanks also to the extraordinary Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist, who added “Changes Come” to the show knowing how much that song means to me.

I returned to Seattle in the midst of “Snowpocalypse 2008,” landed in a blizzard, and worked my way through SeaTac airport, which has become a crowded campground for stranded travelers.

I’m also working steadily on Cal-raven’s Ladder, the third book in my Auralia Thread series. And thanks to Seattle Pacific University’s snowstorm closure, I have about two weeks ahead of me for more writing. So that’s very good news for Auralia and company.

Meanwhile, I’m working on my Favorite Movies of 2008 list, and I still have a few more important films to see before I feel ready to post that list: Wendy and Lucy, Rachel Getting Married, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, for starters.

The Browser: News & links to raise your eyebrows & furrow your brow. New headlines may be added as the day goes on. Stay tuned.


Previews for two films I still need to see before I publish a Top Ten List:


HD here.


HD here.


Want a description of the new U2 album, No Line on the Horizon? Here you go!


Want to hear Andrew Stanton’s perspective on the ideas at the heart of WALL-E? Here you go!


And at last… the new Sam Phillips videos:


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