January 24th, 2012


More ConFusion Pics

Thanks, Al!

Al Bogdan as previously mentioned (DW) took a nice picture of me after I took a picture of him. (grin) He also took the other photos featured in this post, since as you'll see, I was otherwise busy.

Hmmm, looks like the beard is even whiter than Al's picture from ConFusion 2009.

The Physics of Digital vs. Film Photography

My first ConFusion timeslot was my talk on digital photography, which went very well. Given the room setup, I ended up sitting next to the projector.

This is just after I took the second picture of my audience at the end of the talk. In the background you can see that I ended by pointing out that we need advanced digital cameras in order to post more cat pictures on the Internet. (grin)

Reading with Dr. Phil Kaldon and Ferrett Steinmetz

After Ferret read a story about a brain without a body, I switched my reading to a story about a body without a brain -- set in my usual 29th century military SF universe. This was "Andromache", my Silver Honorable Mention in the Q4 2011 WOTF contest (DW).

Tighter shot shows that I'm reading my story from a Sony eReader, which I've found very effective over the last couple of years. Yes, that is a Pepsi -- it's what the hotel had. (evil grin)

Dr. Phil

Finally Remembered To Get Tickets, My Precious

Speaking of Confusion...

This fall and winter has thrown me around parts of the southeastern United States dealing with one thing or another and so I wasn't around when single-event tickets went on sale. So when I heard a radio ad for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King with the Grand Rapids Symphony, I hoped I wasn't too late.

Since I last posted about this in July 2011 (DW), they'd added the second show on Saturday 18 February 2012. But I wanted to stick with the Friday night performance, because we already have tickets on Sunday the 19th to see Anthony Bourdain and his buddy Eric Ripert at the same venue.

An Evening with Anthony Bourdain & Eric Ripert

Join Anthony Bourdain, chef, author of Medium Raw and host of The Travel’s Channel’s No Reservations and Eric Ripert, renowned chef of Le Bernardin, author, host of “Avec Eric” on PBS and regular guest on Bravo’s Top Chef as they share stories and muse on the place of food in our personal, community and global life. It's an evening of storytelling and observation providing frank and provocative insight into what really goes on behind the kitchen doors.

Anthony Bourdain has been dubbed “the bad boy of cuisine” for his rock star look and blunt observations about the world of restaurants, chefs and cooking. Bourdain, the Chef-at-large at New York’s famed bistro Les Halles, is the author of the bestselling novels, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and most recently Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. His show on The Travel Channel, No Reservations, has been nominated for an Emmy and recently concluded filming its seventh season.

Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin continues to receive universal critical acclaim for its food and service and the Zagat Guide has recognized the restaurant as the “Best Food” in New York City for the last seven consecutive years. Ripert has also served as guest judge (and “fan favorite”) on Bravo’s Top Chef for the past four seasons. This past fall, Ripert published his fourth book entitled, Avec Eric: A Culinary Journey with Eric Ripert in addition to his previous titles: On the Line and A Return to Cooking and the Le Bernardin Cookbook.

A limited number of VIP tickets are available, which includes premiere seating within the first six rows, access to an exclusive meet and greet session with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a VIP tour laminate and a limited edition poster. Grand Rapids' acclaimed Bar Divani is pleased to be the Official Restaurant Sponsor of the evening, and will be providing an innovative selection of appetizers for VIP Reception attendees.

Copies of Bourdain’s new book, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, and Ripert’s Avec Eric: A Culinary Journey with Eric Ripert along with other titles from their back catalogs will be available for purchase on site from Schuler Books and Music, the official bookseller for the event.

Tickets are on sale now and are available at the DeVos Place convention center and Van Andel Arena box offices, online at ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000 and Ticketmaster locations.
Event Times: Sun, Feb 19, 2012 7:00 PM
$35, $40, $45, with a limited number of $127.50 VIP tickets

But I digress from the MAIN EVENT:

Friday 17 February 2012, 7pm, DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids MI
One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them.
One Ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them.

The Grand Rapids Symphony is doing a live orchestra performance to the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Yes, this is the continuation of the 2009 concert of the glorious The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings and the 2010 concert of the haunting The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

The battle for Tolkien's Middle Earth ignites in this epic cinematic masterpiece and final installment of the timeless trilogy! Watch the complete film, projected in HD on a huge screen above the orchestra, as more than 200 musicians perform the lush and mystical score.

Mrs. Dr. Phil couldn't come to The Two Towers film/concert, but we will be able to complete the series together. If anyone is interested in attending with us -- let me know. We've got Loge D (Left) seats 11 & 12, which should be spectacular for watching the orchestra. You can call the GR Symphony Ticket Services directly Monday - Friday, 9 am-5 pm at 616/454-9451, Ext. 4.

Dr. Phil

Lister Malcolm Matheson (1948-2012)

An Unexpected Passing

After I'd broken out the laptop at ConFusion, there was a Facebook posting from Sarah Gibbons. Now a fellow itinerant college professor, back in 2004 she was a grad student at Michigan State and beloved by those of us at the 2004 Clarion workshop as "our copy girl". One can only imagine the hours she endured making more than two dozen copies of the 115 stories with a collective word count of 385,562.

On Friday she said that Lister Matheson had died the night before. Lister had been Director of the 2004 Clarion workshop.

Lister introducing Jeffrey Ford at a reading at Archives Books, 1 July 2004. (Click on photo for larger.)

Lister holding court in his kitchen at the Clarion BBQ 4 July 2004 -- it's a terrible picture but it was muggy, rainy and dark, and the flash-and-focus on my tiny Sony U30 got fooled.
Lister Malcolm Matheson Haslett, Michigan and Lochalsh, Scotland was born on May 19, 1948 in Glasgow, Scotland and died on January 19, 2012 of complications arising from a form of aplastic anemia. He was 63. Lister was the eldest son of Charles and Margaret Anderson Matheson (née Lister). In the United States he is survived by his son, Calum, and life partner, Tess Tavormina. In Scotland he is survived by his mother, his sister and brother-in-law Charlotte and John Barbour, his brother Calum, and cousins Edna Shoebridge, Robert Sinclair, Gordon Sinclair, Evelyn Topp, Ian Fraser, Malcolm Freeman, Susan Steward, Heather Marskell, Charles Findlay, Hilda Ross, Farquhar Matheson, and many nieces and nephews. At the time of his death Lister was Professor of English and Medieval Studies at Michigan State University (MSU), where he had taught since 1986. He was an alumnus of the University of Glasgow (Ph.D., 1978), and served as an Assistant Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary while completing his degree. From 1975 to 1986, he worked at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) as an Associate Editor of the Middle English Dictionary and Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature. His scholarly interests lay in the study of the languages and literatures of England and Scotland and especially in their medieval chronicles. His expertise and publication history were wide-ranging and authoritative. Lister's magisterial study of the Middle English Prose Brut - the legendary and historical account of the founding of Britain - is widely recognized by his peers as the definitive work on the topic. At MSU he taught courses in the history of the English language, Old English language, Old and Middle English Literature, Geoffrey Chaucer, Arthurian literature, medieval English drama, comparative epic, and Scottish history and culture. For several years he directed the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop in Lyman Briggs School at MSU. Lister's family and friends will treasure his memory as loving son and brother, devoted father and life partner, dedicated colleague and loyal friend, and esteemed professor and mentor to many undergraduate and graduate students. He was generous with his time, knowledge, and talents and was keen to spur on the intellectual growth and scholarly pursuits of his students. Lister was a natural host whose large heart, expansive soul, and mischievous sense of the silly and ridiculous endeared him to those who knew him and made strangers feel immediately welcome and appreciated. He was a gifted raconteur, actor, reader of poetry, singer of inspired and inane songs, and connoisseur of haggis and single malt Scotch. He lived a full life, travelled widely, and absorbed everything. He cherished his family and friends and was always the animating spirit around any crowded table, sharing good food, drink, and lively conversation. His family and a very large crowd of admiring friends shall miss him terribly. A memorial service for Lister will be held on the MSU campus this spring, at a time and location still to be announced. Lister's ashes will be interred in Lochalsh, Scotland and there will rest honorably in the company of many generations of Mathesons. The family asks those who wish to honor Lister's memory to contribute financially to the ARC Great Lakes Blood Services Region (please add "Blood Services" in the memo line), American Red Cross, 1800 E. Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48912 or by donating blood at the Lansing Blood Donor Center of the American Red Cross, 1729 East Saginaw Street, Lansing, MI 48912 or at any blood donor center or blood drive convenient to them. The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing. On line condolences may be made to www.greastlansing.com.

Published in Lansing State Journal on January 24, 2012

Anything In A Coffee Cup Is Coffee

Lister could be cantankerous, but it was clear he loved writing and writers. His field was more Chaucer than Tolkien or Clarke, but he saw the connections with Literature and SF/F. With Clarion moved to San Diego, alas I had no need to go to MSU for Clarion readings in the summer and we lost touch. Condolences and sympathy to all who knew or worked with him.

Dr. Phil

UPDATE 1/25/2012 Wed:
A public memorial service will be held on (Saturday) April 7, at 2 pm, in the MSU Alumni Chapel (we chose the date for reasons of family schedules, with regrets that it may conflict with religious observances of the Easter weekend and beginning of Passover).