Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Harrison Path....

Here is a little clip of a story that I've been working on for a bit....... Ceasar is turning thirty! We have to go out and celebrate!” his wife Heather said. So we did. We were going to Madison’s in Hoboken. It’s a nice bar filled with “yuppies” all dressed in their khakis and polo’s. The bar has an old feel to it with thick wood panel flooring and a worn, sturdy bar with a brass railing. They have twenty beers, no one’s ever heard of, on tap and shots of Grappa that’s been fermenting with peaches in this huge glass container you would expect to find at Buckingham Palace but instead it’s behind this bar in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Since it was Ceasar’s birthday we decided to do open bar for two hours at $30 bucks a head. Now with open bar there is always one certainty, you’re going to get drunk! And not just “I had six martinis” drunk; I’m talking piss drunk. More like “I just had five Lemon Drops, three Irish Car Bombs and two Alabama Slammers in the matter of two hours” drunk. Knowing that we were going to be the latter of the fore mentioned possibilities we decided to do the responsible thing and take the Path Train in to Hoboken. No one wants to get a D.U.I. so why run the risk, right?
My sister Norah lives with her husband Sam, Ceasar’s brother, in Nutley which just so happens to be a very short distance from the Harrison Path Station. So we pile into our cars and head to the station. Of stations especially since it’s in the middle of the nastiest part of the Harrison ghetto. It’s an old, rusty, dilapidated platform with nothing adorning its walls, walkways of stairwells except for illegible graffiti. When you first arrive at the station, you reluctantly park your car in the parking lot that resembles a junkyard. You’re sure that every car that has ever parked there has been vandalized, broken into or stolen but you park your car anyway.
Then you carefully make your way up the steep stairwell avoiding all the cement stairs that are now starting to crumble from the years of passengers stomping up and down all day night. When you arrive at the top of the steps you are convinced that a bum is about to jump out from the blind spot, hold you at knife point and make off with your purse and jewelry but it never happens.
As we stand atop the platform waiting for our train to come we admire the view. Nothing like the dim lights of Harrison, the aggression of the cars on Route 280 and the sound of the bells of Sacred Heart Cathedral in the distance to really set mood of the Harrison Path Station. After about fifteen minutes we see the train barreling down the tracks, screeching toward us with all its might, like a bull with a rubber band around his nuts that was just let out of the gate and finally the comes to a halt.
“Train to Hoboken. All aboard,” the conductor bellows. We pile into the train with the rest of the passengers and bam! We’re in Hoboken in ten minutes. We exit the train and head straight to Madison’s to take advantage of the open bar.

Cheese is My Middle Name....

Just when you thought I couldn't get any cheesier with my author choices.....I did. John Grisham is high up on my list of awesomeness! lol I know that he continually writes the same old story according to most of you but he doesn't...he has delved deeper with some of his recent books and I have thoroughly enjoyed them but not nearly as much as his stories about lawyers, lies, and corruption! I get a true kick out of it! Granted, it is in a sense mindless reading but sometimes that's exactly what the doctor ordered! =P

Angels & Demons Oh My....

I know this post is going to be a bit cliche for some of you but I had to put up Dan Brown because I honestly really do love his stuff! I know you all probably read The Da Vinci Code which I thought was very good but basically a bore fest compared to Angels & Demons which is the first Dan Brown book I ever picked up, it's also first in the Robert Langdon series....The Da Vinci Code came after. I never understood why people were so into the Da Vinci when Angels & Demons is a far better book. It's just one of those non-stop action thrill rides that is encased by mystery and excitement! I just truly love the book and I highly recommend it to everyone especially people that don't think they like to read too much because you won't even know you're reading when you pick this one up. And don't be scared by it's thickness....I read it in a's actually that good! =) I also read Deception Point which is not part of the Langdon series but it's pretty good....It's more of a story to do with the government and how they cover things about especially about archaeological findings that might make people think about things in a different way....obviously this is hard to describe but it's pretty descent. I think I'm going to pick up Digital Fortress for over the Christmas break....wish me luck!

The Giving Tree.....

Since there are a few mothers and fathers in the class or just people with what seems to be a lot of children in their lives I thought I would recommend my favorite children's book of all time....oh who am i's my favorite book of all time! =) I guess I'm a big kid at <3>

Swoff Coughs Gut Custard After Coming Across the Burnt Flesh Expressway That is the Road to Basra...

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a reading by Mr. Anthony Swofford the author of the critically acclaimed book Jarhead (which was made into a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal). At any rate...I must say that this was one of the better reading I've ever attended and there have been quite a few because I am a bit of a nerd about that kind of stuff.....I know the idea of going to a reading on your on that wasn't assigned by a teacher is a crazy idea to some of you but believe me they are worth it! You should not opt to write a blog about why you couldn't go to a literary reading because there really are no good excuses....i mean just go to your local barnes & noble on poetry's an experience in itself.

Anyway back to Swofford....I have to tell you that I love him...i mean, loved it! lol He is pretty much your average mid-thirties kind of guy (he looks nothing like Jake...sorry ladies lol). He's a little chubby but not fat, he wears reading glasses that remind me of my grandpa's, he has a very demur presence about him and he is so dry that I find him to be hilarious! I like a very dry, sarcastic kind of humor so to me he's great.

Since Swofford was working on his new book (life after the marines....but shhh don't tell anyone cause it's a secret lol) he read us a couple of pages of it and it was fabulous! He is so descriptive in his writing, all the way down to the barking dog, that you have to appreciate his attention to detail. As an aspiring writer myself, detail is always something that new writers tend to leave out because we assume for the reader too much. Back to him....I must say the new book seems like it is definitely going to be worth reading and I can't wait until it hits the shelves. =)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Harbor Feels Like Home......

So this semester I had to read a book titled Harbor by Loraine Adams; it's a story about an illegal Algerian immigrant and what he goes through here in the US to survive and what he went through in Algeria that finally made him decide to leave his country. It really was a great book! Once I picked it up it was non-stop reading from then on...I love that about books! =)

I would definitely recommend this book for your not-so-avid reader because most of the story is written from the perspective of Aziz, the immigrant, and since he doesn't really understand anything the style is kind of choppy and short, this was done on purpose by Adams because she wanted to give us a feel for how Aziz sees things. You can see how Adams really writes throughout the rest of the story when she tells it from other perspectives because the writing is so well developed when she is not being Aziz.

I simply believe that if anyone wants to be a writer they have to be a reader!!! Writing is not just something you can stumble upon and come out with a NY Times's an art form that requires discipline, ability, and knowledge. If a body builder has to train his muscles by lifting weights all day so he can win the best overall physique competition, what would make anyone think they don't have to train their brain by reading books so they can become a professional writer? really was a great book! It was non-stop action from the minute he dove off the shipping container into the freezing, icy Boston Harbor to the end where you not so sure if he is or isn't a terrorist that may or may not be running from an assortment of agencies....i don't want to give it away hence the vagueness. lol

Anyway, I really enjoyed the book and I can't wait until Adams comes out with her 2nd novel.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Degredation of Our Society......


I'm sure you all heard about the most ridiculous tragedy, that I believe, to occur in our lifetime... a man being stomped to death by savages trying to get a cheap fucking price on a shitty labeled flat screen no one has ever heard of!!! When I heard this story about the Walmart Shoppers I was truly disgusted with humanity and as we all know the human race has done some fucked up shit in it's day and continues to all the time. But for some reason this really got to me.

How can it be possible that our consumerist ways cost a man to suffer the death of being stomped on by people that obviously felt his body crush underneath their "made in China" shoes? How can we, as a society, live with the fact that we killed or let a man die?

2,000 people rushed in through those doors that day...that's 2,000 people that chose to ignore the feel of: crushing bones, a gargled plea for help, a small grasp at their ankle, a jilt of movement from the breaking body, a sense of humanity. These people let that man suffer the unfair and painful death because they were so concerned with saving a buck.

Shame on them! Shame on Walmart! Shame on America! Shame on us!

I understood when all those people in London were crushed at a soccer game because at least then there was a sense of fear and urgency for ones life. But here the only urgency that existed was that they might not get the sale...they might not get their desired possession. So a man died for that. It's at these moments that I can see why other countries hate us. It's at these moments that I realize why they want to abolish our kind from the planet. And in a sense I couldn't agree with them more and I hate admitting that.

Now I'm not saying that I don't think what these other radicals do is deplorable because it is but what I am saying is that I can understand why they despise us for our consumer driven ways. How can anyone not? We drive around in Hummer's while nature and our environment is being no one else sick of this????

Machiavelli once said that he would rather take all the possessions of his enemy than kill his enemy's father because their father's death the enemy would soon forget but the loss of his possessions he would never forget.

Does the prospect that this is true about the human race frighten anyone else besides me? Does the fact that a man died so "Walmart Shoppers" could get the "Red Tag Special"? Does the simple truth that we are single-handedly killing this environment and all the other species co-existing in it bother anyone? I repeat.....

Shame on them! Shame on Walmart! Shame on America! Shame on us!