Non-Required Reading

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When I reach that professional plateau where reading is indeed part of my job, it won’t be a distraction. For now, though, reading stuff outside of the courseload IS one of many distractions. The offending book in question?

Best American Non-Required Reading 2006

Best American Non-Required Reading 2006

Never picked up anything with Dave Eggers‘ name attached before, but after scanning his intro at a used bookstore in Ocean City, NJ, I bought this and his introductory opus, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Still haven’t read the latter, but it sits on one of the bookshelves behind my stain-resistant couch.

Every lavatory trip, though, I’ve been reading BANR 2006, and among written pieces on things ranging from the Iraq War to a lesson in creative writing (by the late Kurt Vonnegut!), and excerpts from graphic novels by guys like Joe Sacco, I found what has become my favorite list of all time: The Best American Things To Know About Hoboes!

There is a bit of history involved (hoboes written out, thanks to FDR!!!), and the piece concludes in a few pages. The real gold is the list of 700 hobo names. Yep, 700. I can count on this list to make me laugh, every time I pick it up. You get classic-sounding names like: Boxcar Jones, the Boxcar Benjamin Disraeli and Tennessee Ernie Dietz, but the real joy is in names like Slo-mo Deuteronomy, Fr. Christian Irish the Deep-Fat Friar, Whitman Sampler and Dee Snider. I’d share a boxcar with all these tramps.

Just keep your distance from Battlin’ Joe Frickinfrack. Before you know it, you’ll be scrappin’ for pork and beans under a watertower, makin’ moonshine for the blind tiger with the flim-flam man and outrunnin’ the railroad bulls, while some copper stars are chasin’ the lot o’ ya.

Don’t say ya hain’t been warned.


-Strictly Local Lydonwrites


Run, Fatboy, Run

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I wasn’t sure if I was going to include this here or not, but here goes.  I’ve taken it upon myself to get back to basics and run.  I somehow found this new dedication after seeing too much of myself recently and as far as distractions go, this is one for the ages.  The Nike+ helps (if you’re using it, my username is ptb).

My half-marathon training began on February 10th, and tonight I managed a very satisfying run from the Art Museum to my home (thanks for the drop-off, Angie).


Putting Reviews in Perspective.

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It occurs to me in rereading my reviews from yesterday that perhaps they would provide more value if I had placed the relative “like” or “dislike” into some sort of scale like everyone else in the world who reviews things does.

So what I’m going to propose is using a scale of 1-5 to rate the level of distraction that the movie, comic, music etc. provided. I figure the higher the rating the more welcome the distraction. Now lowly rated items may still be very distracting, however just not in a good way.

So what about:
1 – Your parrots screaming along with Rock Band 2. (What?  You don’t have that problem?)
2 – Christian Bale’s Batman voice.
3 – A bee hanging around your blanket during a picnic on a summer day.
4 – The troll guy who holds the locker room door during Sixers games.
5 – Porn being slipped into the Super Bowl during the best play of the game.

Just throwing it out there. This may still need more consideration.


Review: X-Men vs. Hulk #1

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Ok so I maybe didn’t buy it or read it. But I just have to ask: Why would anyone pay $4 for a comic written by Chris Claremont in 2009? Seriously Marvel… your comics are too expensive and Chris Claremont hasn’t been a good writer in a long long time. Sorry Pete.


Review: I Love You, Man

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Paul Rudd and Jason Segel star in another dumb comedy about guys struggling with growing up. Paul Rudd lets a bunch of girls make him feel bad about the fact that he has no guy friends and so he starts going on dates with dudes. Hilarity ensues. Or at least a lot of really uncomfortable moments. I laughed some. See a matinee, don’t pay full price. Jason Segel needs better scripts because he’s a funny guy. Oh. And I just really feel like I need to say Rush sucks.