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Showing posts from February, 2013

Further Signs of the Death of Newspapers

I've been a reader of the L.A. Times since we moved here in 1994. The ritual of waking up and reading the newspaper over a bowl of cereal is something I've done since childhood. With baseball season upon us, I love the idea of reading the box scores and reviewing how my favorite teams did the night before. Additionally, the Times arts and entertainment section is top notch. Since this is an industry town, I guess that's what you'd expect. Anything you want to know about movies, music, theater and television waits for you at the end of the driveway every morning. Well, not everything. Yesterday I discovered that the Times is no longer listing the daily TV grid in their arts section. Thus, if I want to know what's on TV that day I'll need to go online or scroll through my Directv guide after I turn on the television. I know, it's not that big of a deal. Most cities around the country stopped printing the TV grid years ago. Heck, some cities in the country

It pays to be a writer

Just a quick note that the first check from Lulu came last night, as did the first payment from Amazon. Thanks to all of you who've bought the book so far, we've raised over $200 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!

The Crack of the Bat and the Smack of Leather

Spring training is upon us, signifying the beginning of the Major League baseball season. Even though official games don't begin until April, I can't help but get excited about my favorite sport now that the players are reporting to camp (especially after the significant moves my team made during the winter) . Four years ago I wrote the following as a Basement Songs post for Popdose . It came close to be included in the book and was one of the last cuts before the final edit. I hope you enjoy it. JOHN FOGERTY "CENTERFIELD" The other night I let Sophie stay up past her bedtime to listen to the last inning of the game between the Red Sox and Indians. One of the things I love about the Internet is the ability to listen to every Indians game with the Cleveland radio play-by-play announcers making the calls — it’s really kept me in touch with my hometown. Ironically, baseball was not a huge part of childhood in northeast Ohio; during the ’80s, there was little to root

Memories of Cutting Trees

This weekend my brother and I took down an old pine growing in my backyard. The tree had grown so big that it was pressing against the wall separating our yard with my neighbor's. The task was, at times, a little nerve racking, as we worked around power lines in both yards and we had to avoid getting crushed by thick falling tree limbs. After a long day of sawing (marked by a brief excursion to buy a treadmill), the tree was gone and we all ate a hearty Mexican dinner cooked by Julie and my sister-in-law. Working with us were my two nephews, who seemed to get a kick out of cutting wood and using a hand saw. Watching them, coupled with the sound of cracking branches and the smell of dead pine, conjured memories of my youth. The old Malchus house had a huge backyard full of trees. I can remember many autumn days standing under a ladder while my father climbed up and clipped off branches for kindling. Those were long, boring afternoon and I shivered quite a bit, pounding my feet on th

Amercian Idol

I’m sure many people have seen the American Idol episode that aired last week featuring Kayden Stevenson , a sixteen-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis. The kid has guts and swagger and he was given a golden ticket and put through to the Hollywood week (meaning, the cattle call in which everyone who was accepted in their respective audition cities begins competing for a spot in the actual show). This boy said something about his disease that has been sitting heavy on my mind ever since it was broadcast. When describing CF as a terminal illness, he said that he has a life expectancy of 35. As soon as he said this I felt like something was left out. That is, "the average life expectancy age is 35." I knew there might be some misunderstaniding about this fact. Indeed, some TV critics picked up on what Kayden said and wrote things like, "he has Cystic Fibrosis, which means he probably won't live past the age of 35" ( Zap2it ) and "Ridiculously cute kid with