Archive for May, 2010

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Posted in Erie Journal with tags , on May 31, 2010 by sethdellinger

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Erie Journal, 5/27

Posted in Erie Journal with tags , , , , on May 27, 2010 by sethdellinger

I love my new city.  I love my new apartment.  I’m quite pleased with my decision to move here, although it is still early in the emotional as well as physical process.

I am happy.  But not just happy, of course.  Life is not simple like that, always.  Mind you—sometimes it is simple like that.  Don’t let anyone tell you life is never simple, or easy (or complicated, or difficult, for that matter).  At various times, life sure can be just about everything.

I’ve always been equally as comfortable in the center of a crowded room as I was all alone in a darkened apartment.  Too much of either makes me uncomfortable, as does too little.  (this could be why I’m a 32 year-old bachelor.)   Even a woman I am desperately in love with, after 4 straight days togather, she’s got to go to her place for a bit.  But don’t leave me alone for too long, or I will say some messed up stuff to get you to spend time with me.

So what is a man like me to do when transported to a new place where he knows absolutely no one?  At first, as you saw in my previous entries, I live the solitary high-life.  Not once during my initial explorations—the zoo, downtown Erie, the art museum, etc ettc—did I wish someone was with me.  I hope no one takes this as a slight.  It does not mean I love you less.  This is just the way I operate.  I do love having a shared experience, but I in no way find it necessary.  Turns out that I am pretty good company for myself. 

But I suppose there do come moments, now, when I become what I would term ‘lonely’.  They are fleeting moments, and far between, but they are real.  And they are mildly vague: they do not make clear if they crave a woman’s presence or a man’s, whether a simple phone call would do the trick, and there is no specific guidance about who I miss, if in fact I miss anybody.  Part of me thinks I might just need someone other than my landlord to see how cool I’ve made my apartment.  Or I might need laid.  Or somewhere in between.

Regardless, the lonliness is good, for a few reasons.  Primarily it proves I’m human, and not a sociopath, which is good to know.  Secondly, it will force me to do something about it.  There are tons of ways I can ‘make friends’ in this town without the seemingly all-important ‘bar scene’.  One could already say I’m ‘friends’ with Shawn down at the art museum, and the lady down at Erie Books was quite persuasive about me attending their poetry open mic night on Fridays.  Then there’s the Presque Isle Society and the hot single mother who lives downstairs from me.  And just living a life out-of-doors, moving around, entering and exiting buildings; after awhile you can’t help but know people.

But for the most part, I’m still pretty darn happy doing just as I please, all by myself, thank you very much.  I still have very little desire to sleep.  There is way too much I want to do to be sleeping!

I know I talk and write mostly about movies and music, but that’s because almost none of you care about poetry, but let me tell you, more than any movie or song, the beloved poetry of my favorite writers is really what has kept me sane and even during this time of upheaval.  I’m sure when most of you picture me—if you picture me—it is laying on some couch somewhere watching a movie, and for sure, I do that for about two hours a day, but for the rest of the non-working hours when I’m at home, these past 2 weeks, you’d find me sitting in that old red chair that my parents got lord-knows-where when they are both quite young, and then which I somehow inherited (I doubt anyone else wanted it) and which I can’t imagine I’ll ever stop owning (the past is alive in it), hunkered down with my face in a book I probably bought so long ago I was drunk when I bought it, reading lines I’ve read so many tmes they feel like a kind of home in my head, or like this familiar red chair I’m sitting on, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying.  There is always a way home, and it is poetry. 

For some reason I can’t understand at all quite yet, I keep coming back to this lesser known poem by Billy Collins. It is, for some reason, resonating with me quite  a bit these last 2 weeks.  It’s called “Brightly Colored Boats Upturned on the Bank of the Charles”.  Here it is:

What is there to say about them
that has not been said in the title?
I saw them near dawn from a glassy room
on the other side of that river,
which flowed from some hidden spring
to the sea; but that is getting away from
the brightly colored boats upturned
on the banks of the Charles,
the sleek racing sculls of a college crew team.

They were beautiful in the clear early light—
red, yellow, blue and green—
is all I wanted to say about them,
although for the rest of the day
I pictured a lighter version of myself
calling time through a little megaphone,
first to the months of the year,
then to the twelve apostles, all grimacing
as they leaned and pulled on the long wooden oars.

Erie Journal, 5/25

Posted in Erie Journal, Photography with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2010 by sethdellinger

Having now been in Erie for going on two weeks, and having met some of the locals through work, I am ready to make some pronouncements about the city:

I absolutely don’t understand how the city works.  There is absolutely much, much more blight and econimically depressed areas than there are succesful and wealthy areas.  And yet, EVERYWHERE you look, over every square mile of Erie (which is vast) there are more businesses (density-wise) than anywhere I’ve ever seen.  And I’m not just talking about shoddy, run-down corner stores.  I am talking about nearly every chain of everything you’ve ever seen or heard of.  In the middle fo a slum, here’s a mega-CVS.  In the middle of an upper-class neighborhood, here’s a Value City Furniture.  I mean shit is just everywhere and I don’t understand where all the people come from to go to these places.  I simply do not understand the econimics.  But I love the choices!

In addition, Erie-ites (I don’t knwo the real term for them/us yet) have no idea they are a big city.  Anytime I bring up the differences between Harrisburg and Erie, the Erie-ite invaruiably says “Yeah, but Harrisburg is so much bigger than Erie!”.  This is quite untrue.  (Current Erie population: 103,000.  Current Harrisburg populationL 47,000.)  Harrisburg has a half-decent skyline that makes it look like a city, but it’s only like 3 miles square or something like that! 

There is alot of really great history here that I’ve only just begun to dig into.  It’s not as rich as the history in Central PA, but it’s a tad more unique.  You’d be surprised how interesting things can get when there’s a HUGE lake in your history!  More to come as I uncover it.

In short, I must say, I love it here.  It’s got just about everything I want: a metropolitan area (that is quaintly self-deprecating) with a surrounding area of rich and storied nature, important American historical sites, a thriving arts community, pretty ladies, rock and roll venues, and on and on.  It really is quite nice!

And there is just soooooooo much to do!  For instance, this morning (after I got off work following an overnight shift), I stopped by Presque Isle State Park for a few gorgeous, relaxing early mornign moments, then I drove down to the pier and paid 3 bucks to take the elevator to the top for a breathtaking view and some great pics.  Then I stopped into a quaint little place called The Erie Book Store and bought two books (I was the only customer the whole half hour I was in there).  Then I swung by the Erie Art Museum, where for four dollars I spent a very, very satisfying hour and a half perusing a surprisingly mature and daring collection of art.  Then, what else?  A chinese buffet!!!  And now I’m home before 3pm and tired as hell but quite satisfied.  It was sunny all morning and my body is covered in dried sweat—a feeling I am quite fond of.  Here are some pictures from today (a more comprehensive collection will be posted to Facebook):

The Bayfront Convention Center as seen from the Pier tower

"Drama #15" by Rachel Burke

"Untitled" by Jaimee Lindvay

"Sea of Kinnereth" by Justin Sorenson

A door that was supposed to be locked in the museum had been left open. I peeked in. Inside was a wheelchair and about two case's worth of unopened beer bottles.

And some new footage I took of the lake:

click here

Erie Journal, 5/19

Posted in Erie Journal with tags , , , , , on May 20, 2010 by sethdellinger

Having all this space for the first time in my life has already provided some interesting results.  For instance, the room I am using as my bedroom is functioning only as my bedroom, whereas anywhere I’ve lived since I left the nest, my sleeping room has always doubled at least slightly as a living room or entertainment hub.  This fact may or may not account for the fact that for the first week I’ve been here, I’ve slept better than I can remember in my adult life.  I am waking up feeling so rested and refreshed, it is reminiscent of those sleeps you might have had when you were a child.  Sometimes it feels as though I’ve been asleep for a week when I wake up!  And oddly, I’m not even sleeping that long at a stretch—6, 7 hours at the most.  This may also be due to, perhaps, simply the move itself, and whatever emotional things (good or bad) are going on associated with it, and/or the fact that I’ve been incredibly active since I’ve been here, but I think almost certainly the “seperate” bedroom must have something to do with it.

Also, having my computer in a room seperate from my television (yes, there is definitely a TV in the computer room, but my flat screen and blue ray player and surround sound and all that is on the OTHER living room, hence any serious movie watching will usually but not always take place in the room without the computer) has resulted in, quite simply, more silence.  When my computer is in my entertainment hub, I almost never experience silence, whether it’s the TV, stereo, or record player making the noise.  Now, sometimes I just want to check my e-mail and I’m not going to bother turning on the TV in “living room Jr.” (as I just decided to call the computer living room), so I’m spending more time in silence and so far it’s going rather well.  I’m feeling really, really emotionally healthy.

Another side-effect of all the space is that I now have room to adequately store some items, like boxes of mementos from my childhood and teenage years.  Previously, I had to shove these items into closets or under beds, etc, causing them to always be very much out of reach or out of mind, and I just continued moving them with me every time I moved (always shedding a bit more of them as I moved, throwing a bit more out every time).  But now that I have an attic, a basement, and a few closets all for me, some of these mementos are actually closer to the surface of my daily life.  As I’ve found I have some spare time in the evenings I am not accustomed to having, I’ve been going through these boxes for the first time in many years and it has been really amazing, because—and maybe this is just me, but maybe this has happened to you, too—I seem to have already forgotten a whole lot about that time of my life.  I’m 32 and I’ve forgotten a fair amount from when I was 17 and 18.  And I don’t just mean minor events, because that’s natural, but like, whole freindships.  I’ve uncovred some stuff and I’m like, I was friends with him?  And then I DO remember it.  And I’m amazed by a piece of my life being re-revealed to me.

But no memento has been as eye-opening and fun to find as the stack of movie ticket stubs I found in a box.  For a few years, I kept the stub from every movie I went to and wrote on the back who I went to that movie with.  I had actually completely forgotten that I ever did this!  And looking through them is just nuts!  Alot of them I remember clearly—some of them were parts of landmark events in my life—while others are truly baffling.  (I seem to have gone on some dates that I don’t remember.  I also seem to have been “movie pals” with some dudes that I do not recall being more than mere acquantances with.  I also had forgotten that my mom and I used to go to every adaptation of a Michael Crichton book together.  Mom, are there any coming up????  I haven’t been paying attention to Crichton for a few years.  I do know he died.)  Anyway, I scanned some of the stubs, front and back.  Here they are (this is just a minor fraction of them):

Seth’s Favorite Poems, 5/19

Posted in Seth's Favorite Poems (by other people) with tags , , on May 19, 2010 by sethdellinger

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
by Randall Jarrell

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

Previous entries in this series here and here.

Erie Journal, 5/18

Posted in Erie Journal with tags , , , , , on May 18, 2010 by sethdellinger

Woke up early today to “explore”, as I’m finding that most of the stuff I want to do in and around Erie closes at 5 (and leaving the apartment at noon still wasn’t ample today, as there were still plenty of things I missed).  Today was pretty much just spent going to the zoo and the pier/ bayfront, as well as hanging a new clock and then cleaning the broken glass from it after it fell, watching “2012” (I’m running out of options at the Redbox), and taking a very nice nap.  So there’s not a whole lot to write about.  I’ll post some of the pics, but a more complete pictoral journey from today is up over at Facebook.  Also make sure you check out the links to my YouTube videos from today at the end of the entry:

I am not even joking; I think this giraffe and I had a connection. Not even joking.

wild african dogs!!!

This giraffe---the one I had a connection with---pretty much kissing this black swan (apparently black swans only occur in Australia)

shitload of kangaroos!

Red Panda

Mommy and Daddy Orangatan with baby OMG

Halfway out on the pier pn the bayfront

The tower you are supposedly able to climb to get an amazing view of the bay, lake AND Presque Isle, but it was closed to the public

Looking back toward downtown from on the pier

I tried my damndest to get in to see the Flagship Naigra, but I was too late to buy a ticket and without a ticket you can only take pics through a fence, but I got what I could. This ship is BADASS. Remember on my first day in Erie I saw it actually sailing on the bay! It fought in the War of 1812!

semi-decent view of the Niagra. Hopefulyl I have time to get down there tomorrow and get some good shots.

Moments after buying my sub at Mr. Subs, I turn and see this sign, for a $4.95 chinese buffet!

Some video I got at the zoo:

Really good video of the baby Orangutan!

Badass video of the white tiger

Secondary footage of the baby Orangutan

Posted in Snippet with tags on May 18, 2010 by sethdellinger

Holy crap.  According to my blog archive, I’ve been doing Notes From the Fire for more than a year.  I’ll be dipped in cheese.

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