Monthly Archives: May 2004 - Page 2


When I was living in Russia nearly a decade ago, a friend of mine gave me a CD of a Russian choir. The music was really intense, and from what I could tell, it was the exact same choir used by Hans Zimmer in the movie “The Peace Keeper” with Nicole Kidman and George Clooney. Of course on the Peace Keeper soundtrack, there are no credits given to the choir – only to Hans. I only have a thrashed cassette tape copy of the CD and after nearly 10 years, it’s about to crumble. The problem is that I never knew the name of the Russian choir – and ironically, the label on the tape says nothing more than “Russian Choir”. Does anyone know this music well enough to positively identify it? If so, please let me know.


By my own nature, I am a pretty sceptical reader. Newspapers are trash (a thought best illustrated by an old Soviet joke where factory workers are asked their opinions about the Pravda newspaper. They complained that Pravda used too dark an ink. When the publisher asked why the readers would want lighter ink, the workers explained that the dark ink was staining their butts…). Many magazines are filled with mind-numbing blathering and literature has taken a rocket-propelled nose dive in the last few decades. I’ve recently begun looking at Barnes & Noble not as a book store, but as a housing for about a billion felled trees.

That said, I was given a book to read – The Da Vinci Code. It sat untouched for 5 months, faithfully protecting my bookshelf from dust.

A couple days ago, I began reading Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. From the foreword, I was intrigued. I read a few pages the first day. I read about 5 times as much the next day. For two nights now I have sat in bed with a flashlight, reading until the wee hours of the morning. Last night I read until the flashlight battery started fading out (shaking it again and again to extract a few more minutes of light). This has never happened before.

I’m not comparing The Da Vinci Code to Dickens, Twain or Dostoevsky (classic literature), as The Da Vinci Code is in a class of its own. Buy it – read it – enjoy the eye-opening experience!


Aside from a 1992 passport photo that was so bad I got stopped at EVERY single border and checkpoint I ever passed in Europe (and once got detained at gunpoint in Russia), this Costco photo ID is the worst (or funniest) ID photo I’ve had taken.  I look like I have a pound of food in my mouth – like a squirrel – and an orange slice in my teeth instead of a smile.   My head looks peanut-shaped!!   I watched other people getting their photo IDs made at Costco today, and not one single photo looked like the actual people being photographed.  Everyone was rendered into undeserved, comic-like versions of themselves.  So… if your head is shaped like a peanut, want to use my Costco card to get some inexpensive bulk foods?