Friday, February 26, 2010

Around the World in 80 Days

Been listening to the unabridged version narrated by Frederick Davidson. It's really good! This novel by Jules Verne is definitely a book of its time but that's OK; it gives a good view of the London upper class in the late 19th century. And it helps that Davidson narrates it like a British aristocrat from that time. Can't wait to download from two other classic Verne novels: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Been reading Grapes of Wrath. It's really good. Besides his prose, I like the whole populist feel of it, plus it gives you an idea of what life was like in the Midwest during the Dust Bowl.

Kinda crazy how the older I get, the more I'm enjoying the classics. A couple years ago I loved The Affair by Graham Greene and a few months ago I listened to the unabridged audio for Moby Dick. Hard to believe in my 20s and 30s all I read was pop fiction. Maturity is awesome!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

death of America?

I've been listening to The Young Turks political show a lot lately. They've been covering CPAC, that conservative conference, ad nauseam. The more I listen to conservatives rant about small government and no taxes, the more I get depressed. It seems so much of the country buys that antiquated ideology. Look, nobody likes paying taxes but you need to for social services and defending the nation. You don't need to nationalize everything but you also don't need to privatize everything -- we need to walk a fine line. I fear if the conservative narrative doesn't fade soon, this country will eventually collapse. Christ, why can't we be more like Europe where capitalism thrives but with reasonable regulation? I don't know, maybe the conservative rule here in the U.S.A. was bound to happen. When you have a country founded on freedom, I guess it was inevitable that people were going to take it to psychotic degrees. Although, in my opinion, being anti-government is anti-American.

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Religion

I officially joined the First Unitarian Church downtown yesterday. It was pretty cool, my mother and two sisters came out for it. There was a potluck afterwards. My sister Diane made some meatballs, which turned out well since only one other person brought food -- apparently, most of the congregation didn't get the email alert earlier in the week, even though the potluck is every third Sunday. It worked out well, though.

In the afternoon, I hung out at my sister Diane's house. Her two boys seemed to enjoy the two battery-less lightsabers I dropped off that morning, which I had purchased on Saturday at the Church's rummage sale; I got my goddaughter (their sister) a little stuffed, flamboyant turtle.

That night, I had planned to clean and do a little laundry, but I got sucked into a YouTube void by watching clips of Head Case's Ali Wentworth. Goddamn, George Stephanopoulos must be loving life be married to her. Not only is she still beautiful, but she's actually gotten funnier with age. Nice to see her mature since her days on In Living Colour.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Fucking moron I am. Friday night I was supposed to go to an 80s Party down at some bar in my old neighborhood (Frankford section of the city), but when I got out of work at seven, I went food shopping. By the time I got home and ate dinner it was 10 p.m. Dumb!

Last night I was supposed to go to see the Supersuckers in West Chester. I took a nap after dinner but forgot to set my alarm, so I slept through the night. That really pisses me off 'cause I paid about $20 for the ticket already. Stupid!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mission of Burma

Saw them last night at the Unitarian Church. Really loud! My ears are still ringing!!! No wonder the guitarist got tinnitus in his 20s (they're now all around 50 years old).

I'm not a fan of a their new material, though they do sound great live with the bass sounding like it's part of a garage-rock outfit. They did do all of their old hits: "Fame and Fortune", "That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate", "Academy Fight Song" and
"That's When I Reach for My Revolver", however, they didn't get through the first refrain on the last one 'cause the vocalist/bassist thought he was out of tune (which he wasn't).

Glad I went. Good show, and got to have a little dinner with some old work peeps (Kevin and David) at the Irish Pub at 20th and Walnut. Their burger is so awesome, it's to slaughter for.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Because I'm infatuated with Australian culture, I was reading the Go-Betweens biography over the weekend. Something I'd always thought, which this book drove home, was that most artists are self-serving sonofabitches who will do almost anything in their pursuit of fame of fortune. For instance, in the late 80s, the Go-Betweens had a good lineup, but then the two songwriters decided to break up the band so they could do solo careers, leaving the drummer, Lindy Morrison, and violinist, Amanda Brown, unemployed. And the one songwriter was dating Amanda, and he wondered why she was pissed at him. Unbelievable. . . . Still, they had some great singles. Too bad their compilation 1978-1990 is out of print, 'cause that's all ya really need from them in your record collection.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

new view

For about the past 10 years or so, I've been a staunch socialist, but the older I get the more I'm for a combination of capitalism and socialism, like what most of Europe has. Have solid social problems and strict regulation. Because most people I've come across are more motivated by money than love for their fellow human beings.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

then again, maybe I won't

I was going to give up on writing but think I'm gonna stick it out a little while longer. I'll finish the edgy fantasy Young Adult novel I'm working on before revisiting the idea of packing it in. I'll be 40 in April -- there just comes a time when you gotta pack your dreams away and start doing other things (in my case, volunteering and activism).

Once I finish the YA novel, I'll do something I hadn't done in the past due to pride: network. In my twenties and early thirties, I had just sent out query letters to agents in publishers; and in my late thirties, the DIY route was a train wreck because I suck at self-promotion.

Hopefully, something will work out. I'd like to keep writing. I'm not prime-time enough to make a living at it, but it'd be nice to do it as a hobby. Keeps my brain active. Plus, it's fun!