Archive for January, 2011

Audio Poem: “What Do You Know of Unhappiness?”

Posted in My Poetry with tags on January 30, 2011 by sethdellinger

Year Written:  2006
Collection:  The Salt Flats

What Do You Know of Unhappiness?

What do you know of unhappiness
you slathering happy fools?
You with your gallon lattes
Bermuda shorts from last fall
tailored Dolces that smell like
leather
and candid cellphone snapshots,
what do you know of unhappiness?

And what are you going to think of
when all this time runs out
has you by your throat is choking you
and all those stacked unhappy moments
fade with your peripheral vision?
Sports cars?  Swimming?

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Snippet with tags , , , on January 29, 2011 by sethdellinger

Today’s Oscar blurb:  Hans Zimmer needs to win for the “Inception” score.  Not sure who to root for in that category?  Just say the word and I’ll burn you a copy of the soundtrack and send it to you.

Something Ron Said Once

Posted in Snippet with tags on January 29, 2011 by sethdellinger

   “I like to pet things that you wouldn’t expect people to pet.”

Posted in Snippet with tags , , , on January 29, 2011 by sethdellinger

OMG a documentary about the New York TimesDid somebody sneak into my brain and ask what I wanted?

Erie Journal, 1/28/11

Posted in Erie Journal with tags , , on January 28, 2011 by sethdellinger

Thought I’d drop you a line via the Erie Journal to update my faithful readers on how the ol’ dreaded winter is going (click here for all previous Erie Journals).

Well, so far, so good.  By Erie standards, it’s been a mild winter.  We’ve actually missed all the huge snow storms that have made national news.  So far, the biggest “official” snow fall has been around 8 inches.  However, this does not mean the “lake effect” snow is not in effect; instead of getting a few multiple-foot events, what we get is snow every day.  Seriously.  One to three inches, every damn day.  So while we haven’t got any of the huge totals of other spots in the north, we still have a higher season-to-date inch total that most places (we’re around 60 inches so far this winter).

The reason I give you all this background info is to explain a phenomenon I only recently realized was happening to me (actually, two phenomena):  One, I quite seriously do not even notice the snow anymore.  I mean this very literally.  Both when falling from the sky, and gathered on the ground, I usually do not even realize it is happening.  And two, when you are constantly driving in snow, you get very, very good at driving in snow.

I don’t think I’ve ever been a bad snow driver, but sometime about 3 weeks ago I realized I had suddenly become very good at it.  This is not to say that I’m not still very careful when need be, but much of the techniques of snow driving (such as the differences of what to do between a rear-wheel skid and a front-wheel skid, and the subtleties of snow braking) have become instinct and happen without any thought.  And the fact is, skids happen a lot, but since almost everybody is always going an appropriate speed with ample distance between vehicles, if one knows how to properly steer out of a skid, it’s really not a big deal.  And since 80% of my driving takes place in areas with high concentrations of red lights, there are frequent stop-skids, but as I said, proper speed and distance are key.  Again, I have gotten off track here.  What I’m trying to get at is, it’s quite strange how quickly that driving part of your brain—where a lot is happening below the surface—adapts with skill to new environments.  I had done plenty of snow driving back home, but the difference between doing it 12 times a year to seven days a week is pretty huge.

And the fact that I don’t even notice the snow?  Weird.  I walk out to go to work, snow is falling from the sky, and it’s just…nothing.  No thought about how I am going to have to drive in this mess, not even an oh that’s pretty.  It has become way too normal of an event to be worth noting in even as much as a Facebook status.  Might as well say “It’s really hot” every damn day during the summer.  That is the equivalent of the snow in Erie.  And really, it’s not totally a bad thing, at least, not as long as it keeps only being a few inches a day.  If we start getting feet at a time, it will be a different story.

Oh, and there is a quality to the Erie air (I don’t fully understand it) that causes ice crystals to form on the inside of your car windows, but only on especially cold days (seems to happen at around 20 degrees).  It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it seems to afflict about half of all vehicles, by my very unscientific polling.  Here is a picture of the ice on the inside of my driver’s side window on a recent day:

 

As you can imagine, this is quite frustrating, as it is not at all easy to remove (especially from the windshield).  You can’t really use a scraper, and it seems to actually be hardier than ice on the outside windshield.  This interior ice often takes as long as 15 minutes to melt via defrost.  It is quite odd.  I’d love to know why my car is one of the afflicted ones.

OK, that will be enough for now, even though I’ve got enough material for another few Erie Journals, but this is getting kinda long.  More coming in the near future!

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Snippet with tags , , on January 28, 2011 by sethdellinger

Today’s Oscar blurb:  here’s a snub nobody is talking about:  Ryan Reynolds in “Buried”.  Rent it and tell me I’m wrong.

Friday’s Film Clip: “Citizen Kane”

Posted in Friday's Film Clip with tags , , , , on January 28, 2011 by sethdellinger

This short but incredible clip from the film “Citizen Kane” is far from it’s most famous scene, but more than a decade after I first saw the movie, this little clip of minor character Mr. Bernstein (played by Everett Sloane) speculating on the possible meaning of “Rosebud” (Charles Foster Kane’s mysterious final word) still strikes a chord with me—and it gets more true every year I manage to stay alive.  I’ve transcribed the most precious part of the speech below the video.

“A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn’t think he’d remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn’t see me at all, but I’ll bet a month hasn’t gone by since that I haven’t thought of that girl.”

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