Archive for November, 2013

Soon, Again

Posted in My Poetry with tags , , , on November 6, 2013 by sethdellinger

Someday I know I’ll just start waking up
at six o’clock in the morning again
and drive to my old high school
bleary-eyed and pissy
and walk unflinchingly into the first classroom
I see, ready to go again.
Or, failing that,
it seems certain
that one day soon the old friends
will drop by and pick me up
and we’ll scurry off the the drive-in theater/pizza shop
to play pool and the juke box and smoke reefer
for a few blissful hours;
or, failing that,
it seems certain
any day now some pals from way back
will knock petitely upon my door
holding a red bouncy kickball
and invite me to the church down the street
which boasts a really large green lawn
upon which we will play a long sweaty muddy game
of kickball, the kind with baseball rules,
except you can throw the ball at the runner.
Or, failing that,
it seems certain
that any time now
I will crawl directly back inside my mother
up the wrong way
and settle down inside the scarred womb
among the sinew and bloody tissue
to once again hear the songs of angels
and the sleep of forever.

I don’t understand why you’re angry in November.

Posted in Rant/ Rave with tags , , on November 5, 2013 by sethdellinger

So, it is that time of year.  We all know it well.  A day or two after Halloween, and suddenly decorations are up for Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas, and there is holiday music everywhere, and TV specials, and all the big box stores have set aside three huge aisles for holidays that are still a few months away.  My question is, so fucking what?


Why are you all so piping mad about this, year after year?  The only thing you can count on more than a relentless parade of Peanuts specials as soon as the leaves turn, is everyone in the whole world bitching about Wal-Mart and Target selling Christmas stuff.  This barrage of bitching has been going on for so long, and by so many people across every possible social strata, that the inherent wickedness of these “early holidays” seems to just be generally accepted by everyone.  It has just become a societal fact: Christmas being advertised in November is evil, it’s bad, it’s annoying.  Give us time for Thanksgiving!, everyone bemoans, as though the Wal-Mart packages of three different kinds of Brut cologne were somehow going to stop them from posting , to their Facebook wall, one thing they were thankful for each day during the month of November.  Let me guess, your kids, husband, job, health, and God, right?  Got it, same as last year.

Listen soccer mom, big cardboard candy canes on the light posts aren’t going to stop you from stuffing Stove Top into a dead, genetically enhanced bird.  Nothing about the holiday of Thanksgiving is changed by our thinking about Christmas early.  Nothing.

I have thought long and hard about why this must get everyone so riled up, and have come up with a stultifying lack of credible reasons.  You’re mad because…why?  You hate Christmas?  You hate loving your fellow humans?  You hate presents and joy and the ringing of bells?  And you don’t really like Thanksgiving that much, do you?  You know turkey and mashed potatoes are available year-round, right?

The only viable argument I can come up with for folks’ dislike to November Christmasing is the obvious commercialization of the holiday, and mega-corporations using this wonderful time of year (whether you celebrate religiously or secularly, it is still a special time) to make money, preying on our emotions and beliefs to squeeze every cent out of us.  That is all true, but seriously, where are you the other ten months? You are aware, right, that this is ALWAYS HAPPENING.  Enormous, headless, faceless companies are constantly using your emotions, desires, memories, and fears in the most brazen, shameful ways to get you to spend three more dollars.  Every fucking moment of your capitalist life, you are being used and prodded.  Every aisle in that Wal-Mart is ALWAYS, year-round, set up to screw you over, psychologically.  If you want to just wake up to the way the world is working because suddenly your Coca-Cola has polar bears on it, I have little sympathy for you.

I don’t understand why you’re angry in November.

Philly Journal, 11/3/13

Posted in Philly Journal with tags , on November 3, 2013 by sethdellinger

Me with my precious.  Yes, I know the S is out.  They’re working on it.



Philly Journal, 11/2/13

Posted in Philly Journal with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2013 by sethdellinger

It’s been quite awhile since I posted a Philly Journal.  Click here if you’d like a refresher course in the older ones.

So, today I finally got word that the row house I’d applied for in the city will be mine for the taking.  I haven’t said much publicly about my quest to move from South Jersey into the city, and that, as you may know, is pretty typical of me.  I don’t really tell people what I’m up to until things are kind of a done deal.  So, here’s what’s going on:

About a year and a half ago I moved from Erie, PA to the development in Jersey where my mother and sister live.  I got a new job, in the city of Philadelphia.  The goal was to stay with my mother for awhile until I figured out where I wanted to live in the city, and then be a big boy alone in the city.

It took a little longer than expected.

Mostly, because it took me almost a year to know for sure where I’d end up working in the city.  I work for the largest chain of coffee shops in the world.  I got hired as a manager but had to undergo some training before I got my own store, and that training does not have a specified length.  Not wanting to move onto the opposite side of the city from where I’d be working, I waited.  Then, once I got promoted, it still proved a daunting task to move into the city.  It’s just so big!  Try as I might, I just could not find a proper way to begin the task.

Also, there was the matter of my car.  I really, really wanted to not have it.  I didn’t like the idea of worrying about parking in the city (it’s a very legit hassle), and ridding myself of the expense would also be a major plus.  But, see, I had bought the car new, and still owed more on it than I would get by selling it, so I was in a precarious situation.  Eventually, over the past year, I paid it down enough to make selling it a viable option, and about three weeks ago, I did sell it.  I currently have no car!  It is a very, very strange feeling, one I have not felt since I was 16.  For those doing the math, that is 19 years ago.  So for the past few weeks, I’ve been driving my mom’s car while I took the final few strides toward finding a place in the city.

Luckily, even though I could certainly be classified as a bit of a loner, I have made a few connections in the city over the past year, one of whom happens to be a real estate agent who specializes in showing people apartments that meet their criteria.  So, I told her what I was looking for and where I was looking for it, and this past Tuesday we walked our rear ends off checking out apartments.  I liked quite a few, and it turns out I can totally afford to live in the hippest and coolest sections of the city, but alas, though affordable, they were all super small.  I fell in love with the last place we went: a townhouse well outside the cool parts of the city, and even a pretty good distance from my work (but really, just a ten minute bike ride, which is how I’ll almost always be getting around).  It’s not incredible, and certainly not much to look at from the outside, but I was just head over heels with the interior, and the idea of having so much space for myself.  Those of you who’ve been reading for a long time may remember how thrilled I was by the space I had in Erie…well, this is considerably more than that.

The house is in the neighborhood of the city known as Pennsport, by all appearances a neighborhood that is not an incredibly good one, and not an incredibly bad one.  I will here copy-and-paste the contents of the very brief Wikipedia entry about Pennsport:

Pennsport is a neighborhood in the South Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Pennsport is home to a large working Irish American population and many Mummer clubs. It was also the site of a controversial push for casinos along the Philadelphia waterfront.[ Foxwoods Casino was proposed for Christopher Columbus Boulevard at Reed Street.

According to the Genealogy of Philadelphia County Subdivisions, Pennsport was originally part of Moyamensing Township. Most of the area north of present-day Mifflin Street was included in the Southwark District from 1794 until the consolidation of Philadelphia in 1854. At that point, it was mostly contained in the First Ward. The First and Second Wards ran east of Passyunk Avenue and were divided by Wharton St. (First to the south, Second to the north). The southern boundary of the First Ward initially spanned south to the river, but it was stopped at Mifflin St. in 1898.

That is the extent of the entry.

Here is a map of South Philly neighborhoods.  Now, if you don’t know the city, this will be rather meaningless, but you can see Pennsport there on the far East of the map; that is the city’s end, so my neighborhood borders the Delaware River, and in fact, my house is in the 100 block of my street, so I’m actually dang close to the edge of the city:

philly map

So that’s pretty much it.  I got word late tonight that my rental application had been accepted; however, my move-in date isn’t until the 15th, so I’ve got a little time to do some South Jersey victory laps.  I’ll be resurrecting the Philly Journal for this process of moving and the new journey I’m on.  There will be pictures soon!

Some day no longer will you doubt me

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 1, 2013 by sethdellinger

Postmark: January 10th, 1910 (that’s 113 years ago, folks).
From Eaton, NY, to Earlville (?) NY






Dear Brother

I will drop you a card and let you know that I am living and hope you are the same.  Well Frank

after “Well Frank” I can’t make this out, but I’m incredibly interested.  Reader help in transcribing this one would be much appreciated.  Remember, if you click on the image, you can get a full-screen version of it (this won’t help much if you’re on your phone).  I find this card, with the front image, the handwriting, the year, and the brother-sister relationship to be very unique…help me figure out what it says.

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