1. The novel "1Q84" by Haruki Murakami. I requested it from the library -- I was probably #70-ish -- and here it is. Let's talk about not-so-great timing -- these are the last few weeks of school, when everything is due. If I can't finish it by the time it's due (which is likely, given its size), I might have to break down and buy a copy so I don't interrupt the reading flow.
-- Dalai Lama2. I really enjoyed hearing the Dalai Lama speak on Sunday. He was funny, wise, down to earth, and a staunch believer in our ability to create a peaceful world. This event ate up quite a bit of my Sunday, but it was worth it. It was a sold-out event: while the speech was scheduled for 1:45 p.m., doors opened at 11, and attendees were advised to arrive early. I got there about 10:45 a.m. and only stood in line briefly before going through the individual security gates -- I heard folks who came later waited in line for up to 45 minutes.
His Holiness discussed how compassion is a deliberate choice. I also found a lot of value in his observation that we need to see an event that we find troubling or disruptive from different perspectives and at a distance. He referred to his own nation's troubles, saying that he believes a good thing -- the unity of today's Tibetans -- arose from their troubles with China.
3. Musician Jake Shimabukuro. There was a stellar lineup of pre-speech performers, including Michael McDonald and some of Hawaii's best musical artists. Jake Shimabukuro premiered his composition "Playing with Less" via video. I've never listened to Jake's music before, but I thought it was a beautiful piece of music and the thoughts he shared were wonderful. It's not been released on the Internet yet, but hear his rendition of "Hallelujah" here. Or hear his rendition of one of my favorite songs, the Beatles' "In My Life, here. (Can you tell I'm a new fan?)