Archive for nephews

Philly Journal, 11/14/13

Posted in Philly Journal with tags , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2013 by sethdellinger

This afternoon, after a morning of meetings in the city, I picked up the keys to my apartment.  My move-in day isn’t until tomorrow, but I stopped in just to have a look around at my new place for the first time in over two weeks.  Then I came back to Jersey and loaded all my stuff from Mom’s house into a U-Haul, with the help of the bro-in-law, the nephews, Uncle Dale, and, of course, Mom (and sister in spirit, no doubt).  I parked the U-Haul in a neighboring parking lot; we’ll be moving the stuff into the place early tomorrow morning.  Mind you (and I’m somewhat embarrassed by how much stuff I have) this is only half my stuff; the other stuff is at Dad’s house in Newville, which we’ll be moving on Tuesday, so while I’ll be living in the city tomorrow, I will be missing some key stuff, such as most of my furniture.  Anyway, I took some pics of the place today, here they are:

The living room, looking in from the kitchen, toward the front door.

The living room, looking in from the kitchen, toward the front door.

 

 

The kitchen, looking in from the living room

The kitchen, looking in from the living room

 

The stairs, right inside the front door

The stairs, right inside the front door

 

 

The small bedroom

The small bedroom

 

 

The larger bedroom

The larger bedroom

 

 

 

 

Orchardland

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 3, 2012 by sethdellinger

A video I made chronicling my last days in Erie, through my move to New Jersey, culminating in my first visit back to Central PA (my father took me on a tour of his childhood stomping grounds, which I thought of in my mind as Orchardland).  I had uploaded a nearly-unwatchable version of it to Facebook, but I have made a new version that should play just fine.

Philly Journal, 8/10

Posted in Philly Journal with tags , , , , , on August 11, 2012 by sethdellinger

There are five cats here, but two of them are skittish, so I never see them.  Still.  Three cats.  Not bad.

It’s been so hot.  Hot all the time, everywhere.  I like the heat but nobody else does, so I just feel like a creep.

I haven’t been home to see anybody yet.  I swear I’m coming soon.

There are lots of airplanes in the sky all the time.  I know this comes from being so close to Philadelphia.  But still.  I’ve never quite grown up in this regard.  Airplanes are amazing.

My mom and I watch a lot of MSNBC, and Philadelphia Phillies games.

We also eat a lot of turkey burgers cooked outside on the grill.

And chicken burgers, too.

I’ve only gone to one movie since I moved here.  I don’t really miss the movie theater, despite having gone about once a week for the past 5 years.  There have been plenty of movies released that I have interest in, too.  And there have been times I could have gone.  I just…don’t feel like it.

I also haven’t been reading as much.  I’m not sure what I have been doing, but it seems a bit more fun or interesting than movies and books right now.  Who knows.  Things change.  Then they change back.  Then they change again.  Such is life.

What do I have an unquenchable desire to spend all my money on?  Philadelphia Phillies merchandise.  I didn’t see that one coming two years ago.

My nephews are becoming real people.  It’s cool, but also scary as hell.

New Jersey has 1% less sales tax than Pennsylvania.  I just found this out today.  Just sayin’.

Bryan Cranston’s performance as Walter White on the television show Breaking Bad is by far the most impressive, sustained creative effort I’ve ever borne witness to.  The universe in general has certainly taken notice of it.  The stars and planets probably know about it.

I sometimes eat lunch, on my breaks during work, at a Whole Foods.  I’d never been to a Whole Foods before.  That shit is good.

 

 

Philly Journal, 6/21

Posted in Philly Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2012 by sethdellinger

Erie seems like a dream.  What was that?  Where was I?  Was that me, doing those things, being those places, thinking those things?

I moved there on what was, essentially, a lark.  I made a decision what seemed spontaeously to live my life without a plan, to roam, to live for experiences rather than goals.  As such, the suddenness of it, the supposed meaningless of it, now makes the experience seem, just two days removed from it, like some sort of fever dream, a shadow glanced in a forest.  I lived there for almost excactly two years, but it somehow manages to feel simultaneously like 2 days and 2 decades.

I’m incredibly glad I did it.  I loved my time there and, despite how cliche it sounds, I learned a lot about myself.  In my 30s, I found myself continuing to evolve and change (not in all positive ways, mind you) and, ultimately, “find myself”.  I used to think that saying was meaningless, but now I think it means something.

So, all that happened in Erie, but somehow it still feels like I dreamt it, or even just imagined it.  Here I sit in my mother’s living room in New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia, where I have moved at this stage in my life to continue what I began with the move to Erie: living for experiences and not goals.  But I remember, like yesterday, when my friend Michael (that’s the female Michael, yo) and I moved all my stuff into my apartment in Erie.  There is, to my perception, zero difference between that day and literal yesterday.  Here’s a picture from that day:

And then a picture from yestrday morning:

It’s like the time in between was about the lessons learned and the self-discovery, but in the final analysis, like no time passed whatsoever.  The strangest thing is that I haven’t simply moved back into my apartment in Carlisle, PA.  The absence of my life before Erie is the most concrete evidence that time has moved.

Tonight will be my second night here in Mantua.  Most of my stuff is now put away, or at least the boxes are in the appropriate rooms.  I’ve spent some quality time with my mom and nephews (the sis and I are having a spa day next week.  Not really.  But I would, if somebody else paid for it.  Speaking of my sister, read her writing on this site, she’s amazing!).  This afternoon I ventured “out” for the first time by myself.  I pretty much just found my new Planet Fitness, but my excitement over the, frankly, ordinary stuff in the general area where I live confirms my suspicion that I am actually too easily entertained.  I drove around thinking to myself, look at all these supermarkets I can go into and That looks like a cute Radio Shack.  Even crappy, useless chain retail seem, to me, like terra incognita. 

And I haven’t even thought about actually going into Philly yet.  And have I mentioned New York City is only two hours away?  And I get to live with this fucking cat?

Protected: It’s Always Sunny

Posted in Philly Journal with tags , , , , , , , on June 7, 2012 by sethdellinger

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A Response to Paul’s Response to My Latest Blog Regarding Photographs

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Snippet with tags , , on February 8, 2012 by sethdellinger

In case you missed it, first I said:

I get a fair amount of ribbing for looking serious in photographs all the time.  As if there was something wrong with some occasional seriousness.  You know, just because you make the same goofy face every time someone takes your picture, doesn’t mean you’re always having an exceptional amount of fun, or you are eccentric or arty.  It just means you’re afraid to look like yourself.

Then Paul said:

“occasional” is where you miss the point here. Damn near all you pictures are with you looking serious. If looking like yourself means like a self absorbed douchebag, then you’ve been spot on. However, some people that love you would love to see you actually look happy in moments you’ve chosen to freeze in time. Wipe that damn smug look off your face and accept that you’re ribbed as a subtle way of saying “say cheese”. Smiling is looking like yourself as well. I hate how I look when smiling in true moments of joy, but it is a part of myself and what I look like.  If you’re posing for a picture, it’s not real anyway…….are any of us real anyway? Does time cruel march allow us to even enjoy the moments we pass?

 

I was afraid this would happen.  Right before I clicked the “publish” button, I thought to myself, “you should probably clarify this a little bit or people will think this means you’re against smiling”, but I was late for the Harlem Globetrotters, so I said fuck it.

I’m not even remotely close to talking about smiling at all in my original post.  Perhaps you (Paul or any of you) don’t have as many friends as I do who literally make a fucked-up face every time someone takes their picture, but I have more than a handful.  Every time someone snaps their picture, they make a face like someone just walked in on them taking a dump, or like they’re looking in a mirror for boogers up their nose.  And hey, if that’s how you want to look in pictures, fine, go for it.  I was just letting them know it annoyed me.  I have a blog so that I can occasionally vent about the things that annoy me.  And when people are constantly making bizarre faces in photographs, it is literally NOT what they normally look like.  I would like at least a few pictures of what you normally look like.  Smiling or not.

I’m far from being “anti-smile”, and I wanted to clear up any confusion that original post may have caused.  Smiling certainly makes oneself look like oneself (and I deny that ‘damn near all’ my pictures are non-smiling; just the most recent ones, because I’ve just been having fun with them.  Expect more.  I’m a vain prick, and although I’m hilarious, I’m also serious as a motherfucker, and lately I like looking serious as a motherfucker) just as much as a serious picture.  Really my blog entry earlier this afternoon was just aimed at weirdos who won’t stop making King Kong booger-finder faces.  Whether it makes them happy or not, it annoys the shit out of me.

(OK now, let me clear up the next misunderstanding:  I am not always anti weird faces!  Geez people, give me a break!  I’m just talking about people who make the same weird face all the time!)

Oh, and did you really have to call me a self-absorbed douchebag?

Here are some pictures of me smiling relatively recently (Number 4: smiling while serious):

That's my freakin' niece (Paul's daughter Ella)

With nephews Aiden and Ethan

This is me being so attractive it stopped traffic.

Serious smile

You Would Not Survive a Vacation Like This

Posted in Concert/ Events, Erie Journal, Memoir, Photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2011 by sethdellinger

So.  That was a pretty insane trip home (and lots of other places).  I’m not even sure where to begin.  This may end up being a ridiculously long and disjointed blog entry.  I apologize in advance.  If it ends up not being extremely long and disjointed, I will come back and delete this intro, and you will never read it.

First, I should like to thank my family (Dad, Mom, Sister) for their various forms of hospitality and much-needed displays of unconditional love.  Yay human spirit and the familial bond!  I feel pretty damn good about my family.  You guys rule!  And thank you to all my friends who made me feel as if I never moved away.  I am blessed beyond belief with deep, intense, loyal friendships!  In addition, a big frowny face to those who I had to miss on this trip (most notably, loyal blog reader and renowned Muse, Cory.  Little does she know, my next trip home is going to be so all about her, she will have to call the cops on me. And the truly lovely Mercedes, whom I am unabashedly smitten with.   Also, on-again-off-again blog reader Tiff, who I had *promised* a certain something to…well, next time, ok???).  I was stretched a little thin to do and see everything and everyone I wanted, but it was fairly satisfying nonetheless.

My Zany Itinerary

Let me just show you the zaniness of where I’ve been the last week and a half.  I am going to include tomorrow, as I go to Pittsburgh tomorrow for a work seminar.  Here’s where I was, for the most part, the last ten days:

3/25: Erie, PA/ Carlisle, PA
3/26: Carlisle, PA/ Asbury Pary, NJ
3/27: Mantua, NJ
3/28: Brooklyn, NY/ Newark, NJ
3/29: Manhattan, NY/ Mantua, NJ
3/30: Mantua, NJ/ Carlisle, PA
3/31: Carlisle, PA
4/1: Carlisle, PA
4/2: Carlisle, PA/ Erie, PA
4/3: Erie, PA
4/4: Pittsburgh, PA
4/5: Pittsburgh, PA/ Erie, PA

And I aint even tired yet.  Bring. It. On.

My Newville Tour

Early on in my trip, I had a little extra time to kill early in the morning, and I drove into Newville (the small town I grew up in) and walked around the town for the first time in many years (I have been there plenty as of late, but not actually walked around).  I took some pictures of major landmarks in my life, also making sure to get a few pictures of some of the places that have played large parts in some of my blog entries.  Here is a bit of a pictorial tour of Newville:

My first house, 66 Big Spring Avenue. My bedroom was the top two windows on the right of the picture.

The big enchilada….the childhood home.  Most famously portrayed in this blog entry right here.

I have been trying to upload the famous picture of my mother and I admiring my grandmother’s garden, but I am having some trouble, so here is a link to that picture on Facebook. And here is a picture of that back yard area today:

One of my most popular blog entries ever was “The Fruit that Ate Itself“, about me being bullied in a local church yard.  I snapped some pics of that area in current day:

The church yard itself.

The line of trees is where the dreaded swingset and slide had been.

The Senior Center where the "fight" ended. Those are the bushes I flew through in the climactic moment.

If you’ve read my blog entry “Down the Rabbit Hole“, you may be interested to see this cellar door on one of my childhood neighbor’s homes:

OK, so just a few more pics here, but not related to any previous blog, just some Seth-historic stuff:

The very spot where I got on a school bus for the very first time.

This was my corner when I was a crossign guard.

Friendies

I had almost too much fun with friendies to try to sum things up here.  I’ll hit some highlights:

I surprised Kate with my presence not once but twice, and she lost.  her.  shit. each time.  First, Michael and I surprised her at her house:

It was also on this visit that this picture of Michael happened:

A few days later, I was strolling through Carlisle wasting a few minutes before picking up another friend, when I came across Kate and her family at the local eatery The Green Room.  As I was leaving them I took this pic of Kate, her husband Matt, and their son Dylan:

Let me just take this moment to say, as I was strolling around Carlisle that night, I was struck by just how freaking cool of a town it is.  Those of you who still live there, please do not take it for granted.  First, it is totally adorable.  And such a great pedestrian town!  And for a relatively small town in central Pennsylvania, it is arts-friendly.  Open mic nights, free music, poetry readings, public displays of photography, and on and on, are quite common.  The area known as the square and the surrounding blocks are humming with a vibrant intellectual life (not to mention some fantastic cuisine).  Please partake of what the gem of a town has to offer!

My brief time with Burke was spent in some fairly intense conversation that may, in fact, make me think about my life differently.  Oh, and Johnny Depp is a fucking sellout.

I spent some truly hilarious time with Jenny.  Jenny is quickly becoming a Major Friend.  (if her name is unfamiliar to you, this was the last woman to be an “official girlfriend”…and if my hunch is true– that I am a lifetime bachelor– she may go down in the history books as the last woman to be an official Seth girlfriend…what a distinction!).  Anyway, I sure do love this woman.  She has the special ability to make me laugh until I am worried about my health…without saying anything. She has a non-verbal humor akin to Kramer.  She can just look at me and I lose my shit.  Here we are, loving life:

Of course, you know I saw Michael, and it resulted in a moment of hilarity that I am pretty sure you “had to be there” for, but we decided that Merle Haggard had at one point recorded the “classic” song “You’re Gonna Make Daddy Fart (and Momma Aint Gonna Be Happy)”.  I still laugh when I type that.

Mary and I had one helluva time trying to find parking in downtown Harrisburg—notable because it’s usually not THAT hard.  Sure, those few blocks in the very center of town are tough, but we were unable to find ANY spots on the street ANYWHERE.  When we finally did park (in a garage) we ended up just hanging around Strawberry Square , when in fact we had intended to go to the Susquehanna Art Museum. I’m still not sure in the least how this distraction occurred, but we had a blast.  But the major news from this venture is that Mary has OK’d some photographs of herself!  You may or may not know that pictures of Mary are quite rare.  She just hates pictures of herself, and of course I love taking pictures of people, so this is a friction.  Plus, she really is one of the most exquisite women in existence, so I always feel as though the world in general is being deprived of some joy by the absence of Mary pictures.  When I take a Mary picture, I have to show her, wheneupon she then either insists on immediate deletion, OKs the picture for my own personal collection but not anyone else’s eyes, or (the most rare) OKs a picture for online distribution.  So here, lucky world, are 4 new Mary pictures:

That's the back of Mary's head in the lower right.

Staying at Dad’s

It is with much chagrin that I realize I did not take a single picture of my papa and me on this trip. *sad face*  Nonetheless, I must say, spending time with my dad just gets more and more pleasant as the two of us age.  It never stops surprising me how we continue to grow into friends (while he retains his essential papa-ness).  He is one cool dude and we somehow never run out of things to talk about.

This also marked the first time in recent memory that I have stayed at Dad’s for multiple days without my sister also being there.  In this sense it was entirely unique.  The last time I stayed at my dad’s by myself for more than one night was way back when I was still drinking and on-again, off-again living there.  So this was new, and really, really great.  In a lot of ways, it felt like a true homecoming, learning how that house and I interact when I’m a grown-up, and sober, and left all alone with it.  Turns out we get along just fine.  And I sleep magnificently in my old bedroom.  But it’s tough getting used to that shower again.

Hey Rosetta!

I’m gonna really have to shrink down the Hey Rosetta! story, or I’ll be here all day.  So, in summary:

Here are pictures from Paul and I’s show in Asbury Park, NJ.  It was a fantastic time, both Paul-wise (Paul, thanks for helping me see that not all my close friends have to be women!) and band-wise.  Really, one of the more satisfying concert-going experiences I’ve had.

Then, I made an audible call and went to see them by myself twice more over the next three days, in New York City (more on NYC later).  Long story short, I ended up basically knowing the band.  But they started talking to me. I suppose when you are a band that is really famous and successful in Canada, and then you come to the states and are playing bars where most of the people are ignoring you, and there is a short fat guy with gray hair jumping around and screaming your lyrics, when he shows up to your NEXT show in a different state, it is worth taking note.  So as I was taking this picture of the chalk board advertising their show in Brooklyn, a few of the band members were walking out of the bar and saw me and introduced themselves.

Because shows like this entail a lot of waiting around (if you insist, like I do, on front row) in small bars with no “backstage” area for bands, as well as lots of changing-out of gear between bands (not to mention trips to very small bathrooms), the two shows in New York would prove extremely fertile ground for me talking to the band.  This went way beyond my previous “thank you, your music has meant so much to me” that I’ve been able to give other bands.  This was basically a getting-to-know-you situation.  Specifically cellist Romesh Thavanathan, lead guitarist Adam Hogan, and violinist Kinley Dowling spoke quite a bit to me and I was definitely on a first-name basis with them by the end of my second New York show, and I’d had a chance to speak to every member of this six-piece band.  Certainly, this was fairly incredible, but also….in some ways, not as great as you’d think.  Parts of this experience were awkward.  I may blog more about this at some point, just because it was pretty intriguing (ever have your favorite band watch you as they are playing?)  But don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  It was an amazing experience.  Here is a video I took of “Red Song” at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn, followed by a few select pictures of the New York shows:

I also managed to snag handwritten setlists off the stage two of the three nights.  Here are scans of the setlists:

So now, for the benefit of probably just myself and maybe Paul, here is some Hey Rosetta! setlist discussion:  on the first setlist shown, Bandages was skipped.  On the second shown (from my thrid concert, Manhattan) ‘Bandages’ and ‘Red Heart’ were swapped in position (as were the two songs where a swap is indicated, ‘Yer Spring’ and ‘Welcome’…and talk about a way to open a show!  “Lions For Scottie” into “Welcome”!)  Here are all three setlists for shows I went to this tour:

Asbury Park, NJ

1.  New Goodbye
2.  Yer Spring
3.  New Glass
4.  Bricks
5.  Another Pilot
6.  There’s an Arc
7.  Seeds
8.  Red Heart

Brooklyn, NY
(reconstructed via this photograph)

1.  New Goodbye
2.  Yer Spring
3.  New Glass
4.  Bricks
5.  Another Pilot
6.  There’s an Arc
7.  Welcome
8.  Red Song
9.  We Made a Pact
10.  Seeds
11.  Red Heart
12. A Thousand Suns*

*’Bandages’ is on the setlist in the 12 spot, but ‘A Thousand Suns’ was played.

Manhattan, NY

1.  Lions For Scottie
2.  Welcome
3.  Yer Spring
4.  New Glass
5.  Yer Fall
6.  There’s an Arc
7.  I’ve Been Asleep For a Long, Long Time
8.  Holy Shit
9.  New Sum
10.  Seeds
11.  New Goodbye

Encore:

1.  Bandages
2.  Red Heart

And now, for the record, the sum total of Hey Rosetta! songs I’ve seen, including the two acoustic shows I saw last year:

1.  Red Heart–5 times
2.  Bricks–4 times
3.  I’ve Been Asleep For a Long, Long Time–3 times
4.  Lions for Scottie–3 times
5.  Bandages–3 times
6.  New Goodbye–3 times
7.  Yer Spring–3 times
8.  New Glass–3 times
9.  There’s an Arc–3 times
10.  Seeds–3 times
11.  Seventeen–2 times
12.  Red Song–2 times
13.  We Made a Pact–2 times
14.  Another Pilot–2 times
15.  Welcome–2 times
16.  A Thousand Suns–1 time
17.  Yer Fall–1 time
18.  Holy Shit–1 time
19.  New Sum–1 time

Mom’s/ Sisters

So my mom now lives with my sister, which makes visiting everybody much easier!  It was quite nice to see everybody all at once!  In the same breath, however, I must admit it made me feel as though I did a poor job of paying ample attention to everyone.  When you are seeing a gaggle of loved ones all at once for the first time in a long time, it can be a strain to give equal time.  I think specifically of the nephews, who I love uncontrollably but whom I was not able to give the sort of attention they are accustomed to receiving from me.  When it came down to it, my mom and my sister were the center of my focus (not to mention the antics of Pumpkin Latte).  Don’t get me wrong, I had a lovely time!  I guess I’m just feeling some guilt, cause those boys worked up a good amount of anticipation for my arrival and I almost certainly dissapointed.  That being said, the time with Momma and Sis was marvelous. LOTS of laughs, and a new momma/ son tradition: I claim her and I are going to do the Jumble together, and then I end up freaking out over how amazing she is at it, while I add absolutely nothing to the process (she really is amazing at the Jumble).  Also, I “T”d my sister, which always rules.  A brief but incredibly heartwarming time.  Some select pics:

Sister and Pumpkin Latte, as she was taking their picture

Sis, Me, Mom

New York

The New York trip is another thing I shall have to gloss over, or I’ll be writing this blog entry until next week.  I did what I typically do: I drive right into the city, pay a thousand dollars to park, and just walk around.  I usually have very little plan other than one or two fairly simple goals.  This trip’s goals: see sunrise from inside Central Park, and buy a New York Times from a newsstand and read the whole thing from inside a midtown Manhattan Starbucks during the morning commute hours.  I’m not sure why I wanted to do these things, but once the goals were in my mind, I could not seem to let them go.  I accomplished both, and although being in Central Park during sunrise was magical, it was not easy to get any great pictures of the event, due to the vast amount of:

a) Tall trees, and
b) skyscrapers

These things blocked the view of the actual sunrise rather effectively, but feeling the world come alive from within the park was quite joyous.  Here is the best picture I got of the sunrise:

I spent almost two hours in the Starbucks, enjoying my latte and an incredible issue of the NYT.  I suppose for a moment I felt as hip as I’ve always suspected I am.  It was a quality time.

I spent the rest of the day wandering around, taking pictures, eating, even napping briefly in the tranquil section of Central Park known as the Woodlands.  I also visited, for the first time, the Central Park Zoo, which was a lovely treat.  Here is some video I took of the Sea Lions being fed (and putting on a little show) followed by some pictures:

Sunset, Brooklyn

Me in Central Park

Some Things I Learned

1.  8 months is not long enough to forget how to get around (but it IS long enough to cause some occasional navigation confusion)

2.  When you are a single man in your 30s who moves away from everyone he knows and doesn’t visit home for 8 months, a surprising amount of people from all demographics will just straight-up ask you about your sex life.  This is fodder for an entire blog entry at some point that will be in the form of a “rant”.  FYI, nobody need worry about my sex life, mkay?

3.  You may think where you live is boring, but leave it for a little while and then come back; you may just find it’s really cool.

4.  There are really hot ladies everywhere.

5.  Don’t tell people you got fat.  You may think it will make your fatness less awkward, but it makes it moreso.

6.  Things change.  Buildings get knocked down, businesses change their name, streets get re-directed.  Accept these things as a natural course of existence. (reminds me of a Hey Rosetta! song:  “The schools that we went to have all been closed./ And all of my teachers are dead, I suppose.”)

7.  You can walk further than you think you can.

8.  If you move and your sports allegiances change a little bit, you can just kinda keep that to yourself on your first few visits home.

9.  As you leave places you have stayed for just a day or two, remember to gather all your various “chargers”.  We have a lot of chargers in this day and age.

10.  Family and friends really are the best things in the world, even if saying so sounds cheesy and cliche.  Fuck it, it’s true!

I Almost Forgot…

Today is my 8 year sobriety anniversary!  The original purpose of this vacation was for me to have off and see my loved ones leading up to the big day.  (I just have to complete my anniversary tradition of watching “Dark Days” on the anniversary itself)  So…yay me!  But also…yay you!  Thanks everybody for putting up with my horribleness when I was horrible, and then helping me live such a satisfying and fantastic life in my sobriety!  What a treat, to be able to celebrate the week leading up to it in the way I did.  And how neat is it that I almost forgot today was the day???  That must mean life is pretty good.  I love you, everybody!

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