Archive for November, 2014

Winter Song #3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 24, 2014 by sethdellinger

The winter before I moved away from Erie, I made this video on a wintry, snowy trip out on the Presque Isle peninsula.  It showcases the song “Jetstream” by the band Doves; this is a really amazing song that I come back to for a week or two every year, but the day I spent with the song making this video (the song starts a few minutes into the video) will forever tie this song to cold weather for me.



Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, 11/20/14

Posted in Photography with tags , , on November 20, 2014 by sethdellinger
















It’s Still Like a Secret

Posted in Philly Journal with tags , , , , , on November 19, 2014 by sethdellinger

Just now, I went out on a short bike ride.  I have found that with riding my bike to work and back every day, I often lose sight of the fact that I truly love riding my bike for pleasure.

It is extraordinarily cold out today, but after the horrors of last winter, I am now incredibly prepared to dress appropriately for cold-weather biking.  As I hopped on my bike this morning, I found myself quite pleased with how comfortable I was, despite the 28 degree temperature.  The sun was fully out and beaming its glorious rays onto my face.  Was I cold?  Yes, very much so.  But comfortable, for sure.

I rode west and then south, through the trenches of what is known as South Philly.  The morning was relatively quiet and calm, still almost like a mid-summer afternoon.  Here and there the sounds of a truck backing up, or the birds in the trees that nestle the power lines.  Every few blocks I would get stopped by a crossing guard ushering school kids across a not-busy intersection.  I didn’t seem to mind.

I parked my bike by my bank so I could step inside and get some cash out of the ATM, and also warm my hands for a bit.  A scruffy but polite older gentleman held the door to the inner lobby open for me, not realizing I was just stopping at the ATM in the foyer.  Oh, no thanks, I’m staying right here, I said to him.  He said Oh alright, well have a great day.

I hopped back on my bike and rode a few more blocks down to the local soft pretzel joint.  It was 10am and 28 degrees, and the pretzel joint is just a walk-up window with no seats anywhere, so of course I was the only one there.  I waited for the portly lady inside to see me and open the window.  She was wearing a winter coat. What’ll it be?  she asks.  I could smell the fresh-baked carb-and-salt goodness mixing with the crispness of the morning air; it’s a special blend of perfect that is exceedingly rare.  Just four pretzels, please.  A few seconds later she handed me a brown paper bag and I handed her four bucks.  I took my backpack off and slid my precious cargo inside.  All the way home, I could feel the warmth on my back, as the pretzels heated the inside of my bag.  At stop signs, I could even smell them.  In the cold, still morning, I had a little bag of warmth and perfection riding on my back, like a secret.

Winter Song #2

Posted in Rant/ Rave with tags , , on November 14, 2014 by sethdellinger

I was really into this song for just about two weeks in the winter of 2009.  It remains a notable winter song in my mind because once, I had to drive home at night in an HUGE snowstorm (from York, PA to Carlisle, PA) and I had this song on repeat.  The storm was so bad, I didn’t dare take my eyes or concentration off the road to turn the music off or take it off of repeat.  It’s a GREAT song, but now, it is simply, to me, all about that horrible, terrifying wintry drive:

Stop Harshing My Groove

Posted in Snippet with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2014 by sethdellinger

1.  Am I, potentially, the only person in America who said to themselves this morning, “Looks like it’s time to buy some more blank CDs!”?

2.  What do you think it would take to get this zany country of ours to do away with this whole “move the clocks back” thing?  Everyone hates it, and even those who have a full understanding of why we do it, even they don’t understand why we do it!  In a country that seems to be waking up from centuries of backward thinking (yay gay marriage! yay legal pot even though I don’t personally smoke it! yay even bigots hate Westboro Baptist!) you’d think we could find a way out of this dark-at-noon bullcrap.

3.  Those of you who are aware of the trend of men wearing fancy socks, I’d like to get your thoughts on it.  Part of me really wants to jump on that train and thinks it is very much me, and the other part of me thinks that is the opposite of me and that I should be very opposed to it.  And please, suggestions like you should do whatever you feel like are pretty pointless since I just told you I’m conflicted!

4.  I’m getting sick of dust.  I mean, when will dust just give up?  Aint nobody got time for that!

5.  Who knew there was an abandoned section of Asbury Park, New Jersey, that seems to border on “ghost town” status??? Not me, and I’ve freakin’ BEEN to Asbury Park!  Brian, why didn’t you ever tell me about this?  Geez Louise, this is right down my alley! (thanks to the lovely Karla for filling me in!)

6.  Boy howdy, do I ever freakin’ love the holidays.  I’ve blogged about this before, but I just don’t understand people’s hatred of the holiday’s “starting early”.  Oh, what’s that, you’d rather not begin feeling a kinship with your fellow man too early in the season?  Too soon for warm nostalgia, quality 50s music (that’s basically what our Christmas songs are, but mostly, as songs, they’re REALLY GOOD), eye-popping decorations, and a general air of joviality?  What is wrong with you people?? Stop harshing my groove.


Posted in My Poetry with tags , on November 12, 2014 by sethdellinger

I used to go with friends sometimes over to the
hotel bar–I forget its name–that shared a parking lot
with the diner I worked at.  Get drunk and sing
karaoke.  This one time, on St. Paddy’s Day,
the karaoke guy’s father had died
earlier in the day, and suddenly he tells us this
(through the microphone!)
and I thought at first that there would be a punchline,
but there wasn’t.  Just:
“in a plane crash”.
And so then he sings a song to his dad—
that Clapton song about
when I see you in heaven—
and a woman from somewhere in the bar
goes over to him and hugs him,
and he’s singing and crying
while she hugs him.
Then the manager of the bar gets up there
and says how close the karaoke guy
was to his dad, and says
how it’s a demonstration of character
that he came in to work tonight.
I wouldn’t have come in, he says.
So let’s support him,he says.
He’s a great guy.
We cheered.
There were twenty-five of us in the dim bar
(give or take),
twenty-five souls.
We cheered.
We confessed to being still alive.
Without irony, we were suddenly able to believe
in the shapes shifting in the dim light,
able to name our fear and swat it away,
able to breathe the heaving breaths of living kings–
we sang drank and danced.
But there was nothing we could do to support him.

Winter Songs #1

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2014 by sethdellinger

As winter nears, I being to again turn to the songs that I most associate with this most dreadful of seasons.  We all have different ways we experience music, and our own unique ways we have them tied to specific sensory sensations or memories from our own pasts.  Many of “my winter songs” have little to do with winter; I was just listening to them heavily during winters, or maybe even just once during a very winter-specific moment.  Of course, the same goes for “summer songs”, etc.  Over the next few weeks I’m going to post a few of the more prominent of my own winter songs; usually without personal commentary, but sometimes with.  In the process, I’d love to hear about some of your own “winter songs”!

This first one is one I listened to a lot during a winter, but is also thematically about winter.  “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” by Arcade Fire is an almost wholly unique song in the rock world, at least lyrically.  It tells the story of two kids (who are next door neighbors) whose town is subjected to an enormous, almost apocalyptic snow storm.  They dig a tunnel from one bedroom to the other, and then escape to the surface (supposedly their houses are actually buried) and they begin a life by themselves in this new winter world, eventually almost forgetting the details of their past, and their “skin gets thicker/ from living out in the snow”.  Using very few words, lyricist Win Butler has crafted a song with layers of intense meaning and emotion that I can only begin to write about in this space.  Interspersed with this tale is the love story of these two kids…and perhaps your love story, with the person you love.  Perhaps YOU are the couple living alone in the barren white world.  For my money, you don’t get a more romantic line than

“You change all the lead
sleepin’ in my head to gold.
As the day grows dim
I hear you sing a golden hymn:
the song I’ve been trying to sing!”

If you watch the video below and really like the song, there is a BADASS live version if you click  here.




And if the snow buries my neighborhood,
and if my parents are crying
then I’ll dig a tunnel from my window to yours.
Yeah, a tunnel from my window to yours.

You climb out the chimney
and meet me in the middle of the town,
and since there’s no one else around
we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know.
Then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow!

You change all the lead
sleepin’ in my head.
As the day grows dim
I hear you sing a golden hymn.

Then we tried to name our babies
but we forgot all the names that,
the names we used to know.
But sometimes we remember our bedrooms
and our parent’s bedrooms and the bedrooms of our friends.
Then we think of our parents.
Well, what ever happened to them?

You change all the lead
sleepin’ in my head to gold.
As the day grows dim
I hear you sing a golden hymn:
the song I’ve been trying to sing!

Purify colors. Purify my mind.
Purify colors. Purify my mind.
Spread the ashes of the colors
in this heart of mine.



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