The return of Bookman!

I used to love books. Okay, I still love books. But these days is that I mainly just buy books and never actually bother reading them. There was a time when I would read a dozen books or so in the course of a summer. Unfortunately that time is long since past. Over the last few years I’ve created an ever expanding library of books I want to read, but “don’t have the time.” Because somehow in my mind watching that episode of “Seinfeld” with the caddy and the bra lady who’s the heiress to the O’Henry fortune for the 10th time is a much better way to end my evenings.

Yeah, right.

Last month I decided to push myself to pick up one of the many books I’d started reading and finally finish it. And so I read the last half of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. And you know what? It felt really good. And so afterward I picked up a novella (Coraline) by the same author, and knocked that off in a few days. Quite invigorating! Now I’m suddenly 50 pages into Chuck Palahniuk’s Lullaby and thoroughly enjoying my re-found intellect.

I’ve come to the realization that I really did miss reading. What a wonderful activity. And so I’ve decided to set a goal. Nothing too lofty. But I’m going to push myself to read at least 6 more books this year. That will barely make a dent in my reading list, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Besides, if I’m able to hit that total in a shorter time than I planned, I’ll just bump it up.

This feeling has been greatly encouraged by two other factors. Number one would be Lisa. Since I’ve started reading again, she’s decided she would, too. She’s taking books from my shelves, and putting all of that time commuting on the train to good use. Plus it’s nice to be able to discuss novels that we’ve both read, rather than just debating about “American Idol” all of the time!

The second factor would be the discovery of the Montclair Book Center. While wandering around town the other night looking for food, we happened open its store front. Holy crap, what a great find. The setup is incredible – long lines of shelves filled with an assortment of new and used material loosely organized by genres and names. The kind of system that leads to patrons losing themselves among the titles, forgetting what they even came in there for in the first place. But in the end, uncovering totally unexpected finds is far more interesting than merely picking up a copy of a recent release you can find at any chain (although the fact that they discount all books certainly helps in either case). I mean, where else am I going to find a $5 copy of Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris without George Clooney’s mug on it?

Whether or not this leads to book reviews remains to be seen. But at the very least I will begin to chip away at my rather lengthy backlog of a reading list.

That time of year again

Alrighty, I’m too tired/lazy to mince words. This Sunday is the semi-annual Hoboken Art & Music Festival – the spring version. Lisa and I shall be in attendance, but for the first time in years we are completely lacking a home base. Obviously we no longer have an apartment there, but on top of that, the Rodeo/Ristra no longer exists as it once did (I believe the space is now called Tazo). Since neither Artkore nor Hoboken Rocks have anything on the schedule, we shall be left to our own devices to come and go as we please.

I encourage all who can to come out and enjoy all of the sights and sounds in the sun. If you want to meet up, give me a call because I’m not sure where we’ll be. My guess is we’ll try to see BuzzUniverse on the Sixth Street Stage at 1pm (and maybe Raphael Cruz at 4pm), but the rest of the day is up in the air.

A simple request to websites

If you are going to tell me to fill out a form online and print it out, would you at least give me the courtesy of making it fit on a page. Okay, it doesn’t have to fit on one page, but please don’t have it spill one or two stupid lines of copyright info onto an extra, completely useless piece of paper. It’s not like the information is so varying on these forms that you can’t predict how long it will be. They’ll be the same length everytime. So now the 5 or 6 rebates I filled out yesterday and today resulted in several of these complete wastes of paper.

Even sites like MapQuest and Amazon with dynamically generated printouts that vary greatly in total lines could clean up their act. It wouldn’t take a whole lot to code the excess site info a tad neater and STOP WASTING MY PAPER!

Oh yeah, and all of you little indie bands that I’m trying to listen to and get into, you want me to remember who you are, right? So how about naming your mp3s to actually reflect your band’s name and the song title, hunh? And… I don’t know… maybe you could use the builtin tagging system that’s been around since the beginning of the format so I don’t have to search through bookmarks to figure out who the hell wrote a song I liked.

That’s all for now…


My site’s been needing a re-design for quite some time. I want to get the gallery back up and integrate areas for projects I’m toying with. So the May 1st Reboot, or more specifically the CSS Reboot, sounded like a good idea. But I was skeptical of putting up a holder page on the 25th and effectively taking my site offline for the week running up to the “reboot.” I mean, how could I not blog for the whole week?

It’s two days after the holder should have gone up, and this is my first post in five days. You do the math…

Offseason? What offseason?

Boy am I desperate for football news. I’ll jump on anything these days. Thankfully, the draft is this weekend, which finally gives me something real to talk about. Not that I couldn’t gush about the Trotter and Ritchie re-signings or bitch about TO’s headline grabbing ways. But this is when we start to see next year’s rosters shape up.

So tomorrow afternoon it’ll be me, my big ass TV, a six pack of beer, and a little bit o’ Boomer kicking off 2005. If anyone else is bored enough to be interested, feel free to drop by (coverage starts as early as noon – we’ll see at what time Lisa wants to kill me). I might even be writing about the results over at the recently launched Philly Sports Net.

Gone before its time

I wish I had followed Buttercup Festival more regularly, before Elliot decided to pull the plug on it. What a wonderfully charming comic he created. But my constant procrastination also led me to never ordering the now sold out books. Even worse, I didn’t even get the t-shirt I absolutely needed – based upon one of the single greatest strips ever drawn.

Of course this is the second time I’ve had to remind myself about this site. Perhaps it’s not the procrastination, but the crummy memory that’s doing me in.

“If I had to order someone out of a catalog…

…to be obsessed with me, it’d probably be her.”

What a great line, and I’d definitely say that it describes Caroline Dhavernas to a “T”. If I wasn’t already convinced that Wonderfalls was the greatest show to never get a chance, that line would surely solidify it. If you didn’t get a chance to catch the few episodes that actually aired, do yourself a favor and fork over the thirty bucks for the DVD set. Trust me.

What if you hated dealing with people? Ok, maybe that’s not a big stretch for most of us… What if you were an underachiever in a very successful family? Hmm, wait, another easy one… Alright, what if random objects started talking to you, telling you to do strange things? Ha, weren’t expecting that one, were you? What if those actions had bizarre consequences that led to helping people in a roundabout, convoluted way, much to your chagrin? We’re talking tying shoelaces together, stealing disability checks, ramming cars, and even breaking International treaties all to get total strangers whom you don’t even like to right their wronged lives.

Yeah, it’s strange. But it makes for a great (albeit short-lived) show with a fantastic cast led by the aforementioned Caroline. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got another episode before Lisa gets home.