You know the drill by now. Watch, read, listen and [hopefully] LAUGH! Visit the above links after your visit here and be sure to have some paper towels to wipe off your computer monitor.
I originally intended to go all political this week but have decided against it. I’m not wussing out, I just hate listening to a certain faction of people whine incessantly about the small stuff, okay? That said, here are some pics that had me howling at the mOOn, so to speak. Happy Malarky Monday peeples!!! Be sure to click on the linx above after your visit here. Danke . . .
Hopefully, you’ve heard or seen Chris Farley, the motivational speaker from Saturday Night Live. Saw this and busted two guts . . .
This geographical phenomenon has always bugged me as well.
My God, I hated my 8th grade English teacher. She had legs that belonged on a Grand piano and no tits whatsoever. No wonder I never got a hankering for Raymond Carver. Bummer. Thanks for nothing, Nancy . . .
Last but not least, I am chillin’ out wit my gnomies . . .
A dear friend of mine died last Sunday. I just found out about it today. Ironic that I was looking for something in my closet just the other day and looked up on my bookshelf to see my old copy of “Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, the cult novel by Robert Persig. Its pink and black cover reeking ‘classic lit’. Rod had given it to me many years ago during one of my visits to see him. I thought, “I should really call him one of these days.” Looks like I waited a bit too long. His last words were supposedly, “With a little more time, I would’ve gotten it right!” You were wrong, HRB. You got it right this time, from where I’m standing. Although there are no calling hours I thought some music would be appropriate. He loved music. This is your swan song, my dear friend. I will miss you.
Out on the street I was talkin’ to a man He said “there’s so much of this life of mine that I don’t understand” You shouldn’t worry yes that ain’t no crime Cause if you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time (next time).
You need direction, yeah you need a name When you’re standing in the crossroads every highway looks the same After a while you can recognize the signs So if you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time (next time).
Life is a liar yeah life is a cheat It’ll lead you on and pull the ground from underneath your feet No use complainin’, don’t you worry, don’t you whine Cause if you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time (next time).
You gotta grow, you gotta learn by your mistakes You gotta die a little everyday just to try to stay awake When you believe there’s no mountain you can climb And if you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time (next time). “Get it right next time” by Gerry Rafferty
Reading ‘Carver‘ right now. Please READ THIS. You will spend 20 minutes of your life and thank me. This is one of Carver’s most amazing short stories. Please take the time and read it. The man was amazing. Simply amazing . . .
I figured out that I spend approximately one month a year riding the train back and forth to Boston.
I write, read, sleep, text message, eat, drink
and look out the slightly opaque windows and think.
I’ve been doing this for over 4 years and if it weren’t for my writing stuff and my
Ipod Nano (thank you M), I think I would have thrown in the towel years ago.
I will say that it endlessly fascinates me when I look back and read some of the things
I’ve written on the train; the original thought process with my cross outs and all.
It’s the true ‘me’ that not too many people see.
Pamela and the girls have seen much of it and one other special friend
but my journals tend to get sequestered soon after they’re filled.
The journal I’m currently writing in has
‘Beginnings, mishaps & didgeridoos’, ‘Akubra’, ‘Communion’ and ‘Serenissima’.
The corrections and edits are actually quite funny in a way; silly things,
inconsequential explosions of neurons misfiring and my internal editor trying to patch it up.
It’s a literary ER of sorts going on in my mind 24/7.
Though I’m very proud of much of my work, there’s so very much more to do.
Tough pill to swallow when I look at the stacks of yellow legal pads & journals filled with my thoughts, blues and dreams.
I currently have 7-8 stories waiting to see the light of day.
It makes me sad because I just don’t have the time to devote to editing them and finishing them in the fashion they deserve.
When they’re ready, the will let me know.
I honestly think that what I’m trying to do here is keep myself sane as I think about those 2,592,000 seconds.
You know what my commute needs?
A 20 minute neck massage times 2; into the city and out.
Maybe a rub or three on the soles of the feet on the way home.
Hey, a writer can dream, can’t he?
I began reading the new Natalie Goldberg book ‘Old Friend from Far Away’ a few days ago.
It’s a book custom-tailored for writers of memoir.
So far the book is quite good (like all of her books).
Page 14 has a prompt that I’ve decided to turn into a post.
The chapter is quite short:
“Die” Tell me what you will miss when you die.
When I die there will be many things that I will miss.
This list went on for quite a few pages but I’ve chosen an abbreviated version for your perusal.
If I included food you’d be here for a few days.
I mostly chose things from the category ‘matters of the heart’.
Feel free to steal this as a ‘meme’.
For you writers visiting, it’s a wonderful exercise. Do it.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, it’s worth your time.
You can look at some of the things that really make your life worthwhile.
Here I go.
I will miss:
-Whispers in the dark
-Pamela’s eyes, voice, face and beautiful soul
-hearing the phrase, “I love you, Daddy,” whispered in my ear
-my three beautiful girls
-the sound of little footsteps coming down the stairs on Christmas morning
-my sister, my twin, the other part of my very soul
-Ryan’s loveable way (and awesome jumpshot)
-All the people I truly love (if I’ve talked to you in the past year, consider yourself on this list)
-a warm and gentle rain
-the silent beauty of falling snow (yeah, I wrote that)
-the sound of surf at the Cape
-the smell of freshly cut grass in late spring
-stars (especially the constellation Orion, someday possibly the Southern Cross)
-my cats purring
-Guinness (or any fairly decent dark beer like Porter or Stout)
-writing with a nice fountain pen on some fine quality paper
-the feeling of creating
-entering ‘the Zone’ (artists of all kinds know about this one)
-music (playing and listening)
-weekend phone calls to a country far, far away with two incredibly special people
-memories of the Camp
-the aroma of an apple pie baked by my grandmother from summer’s long ago
-Bill Hicks, Denis Leary, Sam Kinnison, George Carlin, Lewis Black and Dave Chapelle
-most importantly, my blog
And yes, I will dearly miss sex and exceptional breasts.
I’m not a freak.
Truthfully, what will you miss?
I made it through the holiday, y’all.
Christmas Eve found me a bit crazy though (as my wife will attest)
What can I say, Maker’s Mark bourbon makes me silly.
But, I had fun, ‘kissing-my-brother-in-law on the cheek’ fun.
Yeah, I don’t think he liked it though.
My sister did give me the holiday hat of my dreams though.
We had all kinds of wonderful food to eat, music playing, inspired conversation, barrels of laughter, Rum Swizzles on ice, wine, beer and we were comfortably surrounded by family;
everything one needs to make the season bright.
You can probably tell from the picture at the top of the post which book I’m currently reading (a present from my 3 wonderful girls)
I love Wally Lamb but his books do take some perseverance to get through.
Not that I’m complaining.
As a Patriots fan, after yesterday, I have lots of time to get my nose stuck in a book anyway.
I have realized that I’ve been seriously slacking in the reading department, something that changes today, not on January 1st.
To write, you have to read.
And today, it started with no conceivable end in sight.
As far as writing goes, reading helps me and pushes me in a forward direction.
I have no doubt that 2009 will be a great writing year for me.
As far as the blog goes, I won’t be very far away but I’ve made some serious creative promises to myself and will try like hell to keep them. (or Laho will kick my arse)
Damn these New Year resolutions.
Will I give up Guinness?
Will I give up blogging?
Don’t think so.
Will I cook less Risotto?
Not if my daughters have anything to do with it.
Will I stop smoking cigars?
It’s a new year and a fresh chance to chase my dreams.
Many will come true this year.
I just have to keep on believing and praying.
Catch all of you in ’09.
I wish all of you the very best that this life has to offer.
The candles are lit and the prayers waiting to be whispered.
Please let me know if you need one.
Happy New Year, folks.
And go easy on the MSG, okay?
My pen is ready.
It’s time to rock, folks . . .
This was a great meme I saw posted at Interstellar Adventures.
I’m a bit ashamed I haven’t read more of these.
I also feel that Raymond Carver, Ray Bradbury, Russell Banks and Tobias Wolff (for starters) should have been included.
That being said here’s my whimpy list.
Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read
*Italicize the ones you want to read
*Leave the ones that you aren’t interested in alone.
1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2.Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3.To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) (alright, slap me for this one)
4.Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5.The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6.The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7.The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10.A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12.Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16.Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21.The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22.The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23.Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26.The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) (Gone way too soon)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) (I love Steinbeck, cryptic as he is)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32.The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) (AKA, the story of my mom and dad. mucho tears)
33.Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34.1984 (Orwell) (Slap me again)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)(Lamb is totally underrated)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40.The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)(Too sappy for me)
45. Bible (parts only)(The book of Job)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47.The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48.Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49.The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50.She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51.The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54.Great Expectations (Dickens)
55.The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62.The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73.Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75.The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78.The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100.Ulysses (James Joyce)
Found a nice site that has some very slick downloadable material for
your Ipod. From Poe and Kafka to Dostoyevsky and Dickens there’s something for everyone that has an MP3 player in their lives (and likes audiobooks).
Best of all, it’s free.
Click on the stack of books above (the contents of all would easily fit on one 4G Nano).
Any guess as to what kind of cat is sitting on the stack?