Archive for February, 2012

My 80th Favorite Song of All-Time

Posted in 100 Favorite Songs with tags , , , on February 24, 2012 by sethdellinger

First, a recap so far:

100.  “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something
99.  “Jack & Diane” by John Mellencamp
98.  “Hotel California” by The Eagles
97.  “American Pie” by Don McLean
96.  “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson
95.  “Nuthin’ but a G Thang” by Dr. Dre
94.  “Bushwick Blues” by Delta Spirit
93.  “For the Workforce, Drowning” by Thursday
92.  “Fish Heads” by Barnes and Barnes
91.  “Shimmer” by Fuel
90.  “Rubber Biscuit” by the Blues Brothers
89.  “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals
88.  “Asleep at the Wheel” by Working For a Nuclear-Free City
87.  “There’s an Arc” by Hey Rosetta!
86.  “Steam Engine” by My Morning Jacket
85.  “Scenario” by A Tribe Called Quest
84.  “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane
83.  “Fits” by Stone Gossard
82.  “Spring Flight to the Land of Fire” by The Cape May
81. “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by The Postal Service

…and my 80th favorite song of all time:

“Sober” by Tool

Oddly, I actively dislike the band Tool.  Or, more aptly, I like the band and dislike singer/ lyricist Maynard Keenan.  He’s an incredible phony who has a bunch of intelligent people fooled.  (Duane, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry.  Don’t hate me.)

But of course I like “Sober”.  It’s practically a pre-requisite of recovering alcoholics.  We just can’t turn away from lines like “Why can’t we drink forever?” and “I want what I want” set to such badass music.

Serious Boy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 24, 2012 by sethdellinger

Find the dour, serious young me in these shots from my 4th grade school play.


My 81st Favorite Song of All-Time

Posted in 100 Favorite Songs with tags , , on February 22, 2012 by sethdellinger

Click here to see all previous entries.

And my 81st favorite song of all-time is:

“The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by The Postal Service

You don’t have to live in DC to feel the pain of unreciprocated love. (yes, that is Ben Gibbard you hear singing—lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie.  This is his side project.)

Great First Lines From Novels I’m Never Going to Write

Posted in Snippet, Uncategorized with tags on February 21, 2012 by sethdellinger

I never would have killed that many people if I thought animals were going to end up eating them.  I may be cruel, but I’m not funny.

–from my unwritten novel For the Umpteenth Time

Across all of time, from the earliest spark of recorded peopled history to a future so distant we cannot possibly grasp the nature of it, no organism–human or otherwise–had ever driven has poorly as Maggie Mildorf.

–from my unwritten novel Just a Few More Rules

Yes, I experience sexual excitement via emasculation.  This has always greatly complicated my relationship with my mother-in-law.

–from my unwritten short story Oh No, Not Again

This is how you scream when your hot air balloon is falling from the sky.

–from my unwritten novel Hey, Would You Wear This as a Hat?

Chad Monroe sat down into a puddle of his own urine.  This, as you may imagine, was nothing new.

–from my unwritten novel Moon, Staple, Pie

My YouTube videos with over 1,000 views

Posted in Snippet, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2012 by sethdellinger

As I was laboriously and tediously uploading yet another pretentious video to YouTube this morning, I thought for the first time in a long time to take stock of how many folks have viewed my large and eclectic library of uploads.  Turns out, there’s not many surprises.  Most of my videos don’t get seen more than the few dozen times they get clicked on when I initially post and “advertise” them on social media.  But a select few have gained some traction and are being seen by strangers on at least a semi-regular basis.  Now, most of these “successful” videos are music-related and of interest to only the target audience.  And it’s pretty easy to get views this way.  Some of them I knew would be of use to a fan base, because I made them because I personally noticed their absence on YouTube.  But a few of these were genuine surprises.  Here they are, in ascending order:

1.  “Two-Fifty” by Chris Walla
Views:  1,021

By far my favorite song by the lead guitarist of Death Cab for Cutie’s solo work, I slapped this little video together when I noticed almost none of his solo songs were on YouTube.  If you dig it (or are curious about my photograph selection) sit tight…it just might be making an appearance soon on my 100 Songs list.

2.  “Black Friday in Erie”

This was one of the two larger surprises for me.  But history has taught me one thing:  videos with the word “Black Friday” and a specific town in them are recipes for getting hits from searches.

3.  “Knot Comes Loose” by My Morning Jacket

Views:  1,316

I knew exactly what I was doing when I chose this song to record at this concert.  You may have guessed that I am the type of man who watches A LOT of video of his favorite bands performing live.  So I just happened to know that there was ZERO video of My Morning Jacket playing “Knot Comes Loose”, as far as I knew, anywhere on the internet.  That is because it is a very rare live song.  So when I recognized the first few chords, I started taping.  And this is still the only video of it to have surfaced, although the sound quality is regrettably sub-par (most amateur recording devices don’t like being so close to enormous speakers), I anticipate this one to keep gaining a few hundred views a month for the foreseeable future, as any YouTube search for the song live results in my video being the top return.

4.  “A Walk Across the McBride Viaduct”

Views:  1,561

This was BY FAR my biggest surprise.  I had watched the view count for awhile after originally posting it (following this blog entry…and I’ll now offer an unspecified prize for anyone who can identify what movie the quote in the song I use comes from…NO GOOGLING, we’re on the honor system here, folks), as I was aware there was no other video online of the viaduct post-closure, and it being such a hot-button topic in this city, I thought some folks might be looking for some video.  But in the weeks following it’s posting, it hovered at about 20 views, and I never looked again, until now.  Now mind you, in the YouTube universe, all these numbers are TINY, but 1.500 is a lot bigger than 20.  The viaduct pops up as headline news about once every three months, so I imagine searches for it come in spurts.

5.  “St. Peter’s Cathedral” by Death Cab For Cutie

Views:  2,667

This one was a no-brainer.  I posted it shortly after their newest album came out.  There were already plenty of posted versions of the studio track, but none had scrolling lyrics like mine does.  As per usual, I didn’t post this to try to get views or win some sort of popularity contest, it’s just the video I wanted and nobody had made it yet.  Videos like this are not any sort of “artistic endeavor”, you can slap one together in 20 minutes (I do try to make the lyric scrolling pace with the music and be visually appealing without being obnoxious, which is more than I can say for lots of the practitioners of the form.)  This one’s view count will keep climbing, pretty much forever.

6.  “Black Friday ’09, Wal-Mart, 5am”

Views:  6,348

I knew this one was huge, because I watched it take off in the few days after I first posted it.  I got about 2,000 hits that week, and gets about 2,000 hits every year now, the week or two following Black Friday.  It’s certainly not because of how awesome the video is, it’s just because a YouTube search for “Black Friday Carlisle” turns this up in the top 3 or 4 results.  And while Carlisle, PA is not metropolis, I imagine lots of people, following the big day, do searches for their specific area.  A YouTube search for “Black Friday Carlisle Wal Mart” returns my video as the #1 result.  My buddy Burke makes a nice appearance here.

Where the Torn Bracket Lies

Posted in Prose with tags on February 19, 2012 by sethdellinger

What a shame for us to die my love, to say I don’t love you anymore with no one listening, what a shame the shortened voice the haste, the immense time between the first passionate whisper and this new timbre, how little shame I have, to have killed you and stuck you here, beneath the very expanse you created, the (expanse) is a (cloth), is white, is a (sheet), is: a land on which snow has fallen.  You’ll be alone there.  No longer on top, but under, as is proper for the dead, and is proper for seed, and for hyacinths yet to sprout, you’ll feel something like moving scratches, those are birds mice my own bony hands that you adored my tongue with its thirst.  My love how sad for me to see you in this tomb where I can’t grieve for you but can only dig down to the earth down to its iron to its fire that now embraces the earth and celebrates me.

Manic Panic

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Snippet with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2012 by sethdellinger

I am currently in the midst of a months-long creative and intellectual mania.  I often say I don’t have enough time in a day, but it has certainly never been more true than it is now.

I attribute this primarily to getting healthy and exercising; it definitely kickstarted an increase in energy, and a change in mood to the extreme end of “good”, and energy plus super good mood=extreme mania, and it’s lasting a long time.  Which is good—damn good—but my lack of ability to do every single thing I want to is getting a little annoying.  Let me describe a little better what the mania entails:

First and foremost, I want to do stuff constantly.  Like, outside of the house stuff.  It being winter, there are a limited amount of things to do, but I have lists of things I want to do when I have time, like “take pictures on Raspberry Street” or “tour the Watson-Curtze Mansion“, etc etc.  When I do have time for activities such as this, it’s damn difficult deciding what to do.

Secondly, I have an enormous list of creative and artistic projects that I want to start, work on, or complete, and the list of projects itself has become a project.  When I’m at work or out and about, I find myself typing ideas into my cell phone’s “notepad” for me to add to the project list when I get home.  Hell, my list of potential blog entries alone is staggering.  This aspect of the mania is the most frustrating, as I am getting more and more interesting and ambitious ideas and I simply don’t even have the time to start on most of them.

The mania is also driving up my appetite for media/ information consumption, even as the mania means I have less time to partake of that particular fountain.  For many years now, most of you know, rather than watch much television, I’ve (through Netflix) watched, on average, one new movie a day.  Even as my appetite for film continues to grow, my attention to other projects and interests is decreasing my time for them.  And the mania has only increased my desire to read; I currently could probably read all day for four straight days and not get sick of it.  Information, information, information, my mind screams at me.  I currently have very little desire to read fiction (although, Mom, I really DO want to read that Stephen King book you sent me, and probably will start it in about 2 weeks).  I read the Erie newspaper every day, and often stop somewhere for a USA Today, New York Times, or Wall Street Journal, depending on what’s happening in the world or if I heard about an article or feature in one of them from one of the websites I simply can’t stop reading thoroughly every day (SlateHuffington Post.  Oh, and Hacking Netflix and Deadline).  And my magazine consumption, which I had finally whittled down in recent years, has skyrocketed during the mania.  I can’t seem to read enough science writing.  I currently read all of the “big three” science mags (Popular ScienceDiscover, and Scientific American;  I’ve been a big Discover supporter for years but right now it’s just not enough), and it seems my hankering for history now bleeds over into magazines.  America’s Civil War has been a mainstay on my bedside table recently, as have some oddballs such as Archaeology and The Saturday Evening Post.  And these are all in addition to the standard entertainment, arts, news, and cultural magazines you’d expect me to be reading.  Oh, and yes, I read books, too!

I have also taken quite a shine lately to just listening to music.  I have found that, in most of my adult life, I have rarely simply sat down, doing nothing else, and listened to music intently.  And now I have started doing it and it is changing my life.  But where is the time???

Oh, and I have REALLY started to enjoy just puttering around my apartment, re-arranging things, finding new homes for this or that, hanging the artwork in new arrays, paging through my old books, putting old photos in little frames, etc etc.

In short, I literally do not have enough time in a day right now.  I already start out with a deficit, working 50-60 hours a week.  Then, remember, I’m spending between 8 and 12 hours a week in the gym, so there is potentially almost 80 hours unavailable a week.  And then there’s sleep, at some point, and getting on the internet.  I have essentially zero downtime.  Please do not misunderstand me: I am loving this.  I am in a constant good mood, and never even remotely close to being bored or sad.  But damn.  Who knew there could be so much to do (without, really, doing anything)?  Also, this is a way of explaining to some of you how and why I might occasionally sound out of my mind, especially after a day that may have been devoted to intense, marathon bouts of reading, followed by writing or otherwise creating something incredibly personal and emotive, followed by going to a hockey game or something, and then back home to shower in the dark while The National plays on my stereo.  It’s a whole lot of fun, but sometimes can make me a little crazy.

I anticipate things leveling off as my body continues to adjust to being some degree of healthy.  But I just had to put it out there how wild and fun and jam-packed my life is at this point, even if it might not sound particularly fun to a lot of you, it is for me.  And almost everything I’m doing or want to do is free or relatively cheap (not to mention my food budget being more than halved in recent months) so I’m actually saving a lot of money recently (concert-going has all but stopped, and there’s much less time to go to the movies now).  How one starts saving money by doing more stuff is some sort of mystery!

Hey, have an awesome day!

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