Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pete Townshend

 

 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book Review: ‘Tis by Frank McCourt

 

376610After reading Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes" which leaves off when he arrives back in America. It's actually a story that has many facets. First is a young man trying to make his way in a new country. Trying to make a living, growing up, drinking and learning about women. In other words life. He speaks in a direct manner that is neither pompous nor apologetic. He admits his faults and lives with them. At times he's humorous and others serious and sensitive.

He also speaks of his parent's and his thoughts and dealings with them as they grow older. As I'm in that stage of life in dealing with my parents I could identify with him. It's interesting to see how our relationships change with our parents over time.

Another facet to a lesser extent is his observations of how Irish and American societies differ. He offers sometimes cynical commentaries on the Irish in America. Especially during the middle part of the last century.

A more personal struggle was how he came about being a teacher. How he overcame his lack of a high school diploma and was able to earn a college degree. He also battled how easy it would be to find a different type of job, but less fulfilling, just make better money.

Over all it's a good book. Not quite as powerful as his original book but still an interesting story for those wishing to continue where Frank left off in "Angela's Ashes". He has a direct style that is easy to read and entertaining.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Notebook: I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell by Tucker Max

 

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My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole.- Tucker Max

 

That is as simple as it gets. The book itself backs this up 110% and more. Inside are the tales of Tucker Max’s adventures of drunkenness and debauchery. We learn was what it means to be “Tucker Max Drunk”. He has a scathing wit that knows no bounds. What surprised me the most was this was recommended to me from a female friend who is nothing like the women described in the book.

If your of the faint of heart and blush at graphic sexual encounters then this won’t be for you. He can be down right mean at times and does use women for personal pleasure without much thought for them. Though in one chapter he realizes that the tables could easily be turned on him and hit’s him like a ton of bricks and goes on a Tucker Max Drunk” bender.

Even though he is a total asshole he does have an amazing eye for detail and a self depreciating wit that had me rolling with laughter at times. At times one could find yourself actually sympathizing with this deplorable character. He doesn’t  apologize nor shy away from anything in the book. The only criticism I have is that by the end of the book each tale seem to have a similar theme and became a bit repetitive but not too bad.

The book may seem immature and childish at first glance yet it does have it’s entertaining moments and is surprisingly written in a clear easy to read manner. Dialogue is surprising well detailed at times despite being pretty trashed in many scenes(though he does admit using a voice activated pocket tape recorder later). Like many things it comes down to expectations. If your expecting a classic Pulitzer prize winning piece literature your probably not going to find it here. If your looking for some “guy” orientated sexual debauchery, drunken escapades and a scathing sense of humor this would be just what you wanted.

Here’s an interview with Tucker Max:

Tucker Max Links:

It’s Up To You

Tucker Max

Monday, March 5, 2012

We Run Faster and Faster…

We run faster and faster, hoping some day to catch up with the past, which we have irretrievably lost.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald (quoted in Out of Ireland: The Story of Irish Emigration to North America by Kerby Miller)
Over the past few years or so since hitting my fourth decade of existence I find myself looking in the past more often. Whether it be the music I like, the relationships I’ve been in or accomplishments I’ve achieved. Every thing looks great through the rose colored glasses we wear when looking back on our lives it seems. The music seems better, the girls prettier and the achievements legendary. 
Don’t get me wrong but reflecting on the past does have it’s value. If we do not at least learn from our successes and failures then what do we learn from? Much of life is trial and error to begin with. If we don’t record where we’ve been how do we know where to begin again. Where would the human race be if each generation had to start from scratch again?
You glorify the past
When the future dries up

-U2, “God Part 2”
Is it because of middle age I feel(like others) we feel the need to revisit the past. Has the future dried up for us forty-somethings? Are we feeling our own mortality creeping in? Name one top ten pop song? Let’s face it pop culture is geared towards youth. Most of your favorite musical artists are on the “Oldies” stations now. So it seems we dig up the past to combat this trend. Are we not then ignoring our present time and ignoring our future?
Would we change what we’ve done in the past. For those that have seen the classic 80’s film “Back to the Future” remember Marty Mcfly’s fading family picture. In other words if we change the past it would have a chain effect on our present situation. Would we have our children, spouses or friends with us?
Can we go back to the way it was? In the beginning of this I quoted from a documentary “Out of Ireland: The Story of Irish Emigration to America”. In this film was the the story of of an Irish emigrant who went back to Ireland to revisit his homeland. When he returned his childhood home it was run down and over grown. Most friends and relatives were gone. It was then he realized his new home was in America. Makes me wonder if were so caught up in the past we don’t realize we still have a life to lead in front us. Our home is where we are now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thomas White House Snub

"As an organization we were honored by President Obama's invitation to the White House. It was a great day and a perfect way to cap our team's achievement from last season. It was a day that none of us will soon forget. We are disappointed that Tim chose not to join us, and his views certainly do not reflect those of the Jacobs family, the Bruins organization or it's fan base. This will be the last public comment from the Bruins organization on this subject."

The above is an edited(in bold) version of the Bruin's statement regarding Tim Thomas's absence from their White House visit. As a fan of the Bruin's I found this disappointing and somewhat embarrassing. Even despite the obvious snub he was praise by the President quite prominently. But where was Timmy? Probably brooding in his hotel room with the latest Glenn Beck book.

Tim states that he made his choice as an INDIVIDUAL(He capitalized it in his statement, so he must have been shouting when he typed it).  What he forgot that the day was about his accomplishment with his team. It was a celebration of a group of individuals coming together for a common goal. Putting aside differences to achieve the ultimate championship of their sport. Now instead of a picture of the ultimate team-player we see someone more concerned about personal political views than being with his friends and teammates.

Yes he has the right to decline but he also had the right to attend despite his differences. I think it would have shown more guts to man up and go despite his feelings rather than hiding behind a statement in his hotel room. It's equivalent of breaking up with a significant other by text message or email.

I could personally not give a dam about Tim's personal political leaning's as that is every American's right. I have friends and relatives lying on either side of the political spectrum but I don't make it an issue or stumbling block. I'm sure most if not all his teammates will stand by him and not be critical. At least they held up their end of the term "team", less one INDIVIDUAL. They celebrated as a group and your off by yourself somewhere, how ironic is that.

He has the the right to do what he did just like I do expressing my disappointment in his actions. I may not always agree with or like whoever is occupying the White House but I still respect them and would be honored to meet with whoever sits in the oval office.

In winning the Stanley Cup you showed supreme effort, skill and teamwork. Too bad yesterday you showed none of it.

"We salute the rank, not the man" - Major Winters in Band of Brothers

 

Tim Thomas could learn from this.