books are better than boys

I like bicycles, beer, and books.
Some other things I like.

contact me: dommelr (at) yahoo (dot) com

The Mountain Goats are playing at Cafe Mustasche and it feels almost like it’s Christmastime.
Last night I was talking to Kate about traditions. My mom’s parents would always come over and we would order pizza and watch a Disney movie on Christmas Eve. Christmas day we could have cookies for breakfast and read the Christmas story (straight out of the bible) before going to see my Dad’s side of the family. I would wander around my Granny’s house and count all the Santa’s from her collection and Poppy would sit in his chair under the taxidermied head of a deer he shot long before I was born. Before I started smoking, in the 10th grade, I would lecture to my uncles about the perils of cigarettes. They tried not to laugh while listening to my concerned plea and then snuck out to the back yard for another smoke.
Pizza delivery and the smell of just extinguished cigarettes are my scent memories of Christmas. 
Merry everything. Happy always. To you and yours.
Christmas 1982 with Poppy (by sister reba)

The Mountain Goats are playing at Cafe Mustasche and it feels almost like it’s Christmastime.

Last night I was talking to Kate about traditions. My mom’s parents would always come over and we would order pizza and watch a Disney movie on Christmas Eve. Christmas day we could have cookies for breakfast and read the Christmas story (straight out of the bible) before going to see my Dad’s side of the family. I would wander around my Granny’s house and count all the Santa’s from her collection and Poppy would sit in his chair under the taxidermied head of a deer he shot long before I was born. Before I started smoking, in the 10th grade, I would lecture to my uncles about the perils of cigarettes. They tried not to laugh while listening to my concerned plea and then snuck out to the back yard for another smoke.

Pizza delivery and the smell of just extinguished cigarettes are my scent memories of Christmas. 

Merry everything. Happy always. To you and yours.

Christmas 1982 with Poppy (by sister reba)

early Monday morning

This morning I woke up at five am and didn’t hit the snooze button because I’m trying to quit it - cold turkey. Running through my head were lines from a poem I read a long time ago.
_____________________________

I met this guy James in a poetry workshop during my sophomore year of undergrad. He was one of those incredibly dreamy guys - a couple of years older than me, wore corduroys and carried a worn leather satchel, and when I went over to his apartment to return the copy of Charles Bukowski’s Hostage that he lent me there were a few impossibly cool kids sitting around listening to obscure bands, drinking, and smoking cigarettes. He wrote this poem that I loved. And though I’ve forgotten most of it, and I’m sure at least part of what I remember is wrong, I still love it. It’s been over ten years since I’ve read it, but every time I cross the Walt Whitman Bridge I can’t help but repeat the first two lines in my head. And this morning, while resisting the urge to sleep for ‘just ten more minutes’, not a bridge in sight, there they were.

the cars are riding your spine, Walt Whitman
the cars are riding your spine

isn’t it enough for someone
somewhere to be happy

photo of Walt Whitman Bridge by Dick Swanson

If you didn’t know, I can be hopelessly nostalgic. So, of course, this weekend I went to the Braid show at the Metro. I didn’t get to see them before they broke up in 1999 and missed the 2004 tour. Finally, in 2011, I saw them for the first time. And I, no lie, described the show as “redunk awesome” via text message to the first person who asked me how it was. And it was. Redunk awesome.
See also - Cap’n Jazz reunion show.
(image by Jeff Kroll via)

If you didn’t know, I can be hopelessly nostalgic. So, of course, this weekend I went to the Braid show at the Metro. I didn’t get to see them before they broke up in 1999 and missed the 2004 tour. Finally, in 2011, I saw them for the first time. And I, no lie, described the show as “redunk awesome” via text message to the first person who asked me how it was. And it was. Redunk awesome.

See also - Cap’n Jazz reunion show.

(image by Jeff Kroll via)

Selected excerpts from old journals I found while packing: part I

10 January 2004

Polish Metrosexual
for M. Stewart’s Jury

I’m not completely clear about the circumstances surrounding this, but I’m fairly certain that my roommate at the time and I were trying to decide who would be Martha Stewart’s peers, and therefore suitable for jury selection. Why was a Polish metrosexual (on) the list? No freakin’ clue. But it was clearly so important that it had to be written down.

Stuff like this reminds me of all the silly things that we used to do to kill time. If I ever find it, I would love to share the “List of Things We Will Never Do” which Aaron and I started sometime in January 2001 when we were stuck for hours at a bus station in Ohio. We took it so seriously. Think about it, if it goes on the list you can never do it. So make sure before writing it down. Right now all I can remember is that one of the first things on the list was “like Creed”. If that one is any indication, we are probably doing pretty well at sticking to our list.

Last night, when in addition to the cutoffs, t-shirt, sneaker combo I  was wearing I added this watch and a homemade friendship bracelet I  felt like I was dressed like a camp counselor and nostalgia completely  took over.
I went to sleep away camp every summer as a kid. I can’t explain how psyched I was for it every single year (well, except the first, during which there were a lot of tears when my parents dropped me off). I would sit in my room and make illustrated packing lists months in advance and think about all the obscure places our counselors might hide when they would sneak out of evening chapel (church camp, y’all) to hide for the big counselor v. camper hide-and-seek game.
Swimming, horseback riding, capture the flag, the talent show, hearing your name called when they are handing out mail from home in the cafeteria, making friendship bracelets, crushing on the cutest counselor, bug bites, s’mores, kickball, summer-time bffs…yeah, I really loved camp. And then I found out about this place in WI, which I’m seriously considering adding to my summer travel plans. Or I could just might watch a marathon session of Salute Your Shorts followed by Wet Hot American Summer.
camp counselor (by sister reba)

Last night, when in addition to the cutoffs, t-shirt, sneaker combo I was wearing I added this watch and a homemade friendship bracelet I felt like I was dressed like a camp counselor and nostalgia completely took over.

I went to sleep away camp every summer as a kid. I can’t explain how psyched I was for it every single year (well, except the first, during which there were a lot of tears when my parents dropped me off). I would sit in my room and make illustrated packing lists months in advance and think about all the obscure places our counselors might hide when they would sneak out of evening chapel (church camp, y’all) to hide for the big counselor v. camper hide-and-seek game.

Swimming, horseback riding, capture the flag, the talent show, hearing your name called when they are handing out mail from home in the cafeteria, making friendship bracelets, crushing on the cutest counselor, bug bites, s’mores, kickball, summer-time bffs…yeah, I really loved camp. And then I found out about this place in WI, which I’m seriously considering adding to my summer travel plans. Or I could just might watch a marathon session of Salute Your Shorts followed by Wet Hot American Summer.

camp counselor (by sister reba)

How do you know it’s summer?
If you don’t wake up late and sweaty to ride your bike to Taco House and get a veggie burrito in the hopes of curing the hangover from too much drinking and dancing at 700 Club.
If you spend less than half of your day either sitting in front of The Last Drop or in Rittenhouse Square looking at cute boys, playing spot the celebrity*, and waiting to see nearly everyone you know pass by.
If you can’t wander around the Foodery for a ridiculous amount of time trying to pick out a mixed six pack and take advantage of their air conditioning.
If the night doesn’t end with sitting on the stoop, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, or ordering Chinese from Sam’s and hanging out at your pal’s house - and laughing. Always lots of laughing.
If you don’t get eaten alive by mosquitoes the minute the sun starts setting.
(image)___________________________________________
*How to play Spot the Celebrity
You can play anytime, anywhere, with as many people as you want.
The point of the game is not to spot actual celebrities. When you see someone (and occasionally it can be a something) that has at least one similarity to a celebrity you spot them by saying something like, ‘There’s [insert celebrity name] (e.g. You see a fellow with an ugly sweater and you say ‘Oh look, It’s Bill Cosby’). The funnier the celebrity spotting, the better, though no extra points are given for making other player laugh.
For every celebrity spotted you receive one point.
Any one person (or thing) can only be spotted once (e.g. If the dude with the ugly sweater - Bill Cosby - is also wearing a football helmet you, or anyone else, can’t spot him as Joe Montana as well).
When playing with friends you can spot someone (other friends, your favorite bartender, etc) as a celebrity if they are someone that all of you know.
If you see the actual  person (e.g. Bill Cosby, Joe Montana, your bartender) you DO NOT ‘spot’  them. If you do so you lose ALL OF YOUR POINTS. (But say you do see Joe Montana, and even though you’re playing the game you’d like to alert your friends - just preface saying ‘Look, there’s Joe Montana’ with ‘Off the record’ and you’re a-okay).

How do you know it’s summer?

If you don’t wake up late and sweaty to ride your bike to Taco House and get a veggie burrito in the hopes of curing the hangover from too much drinking and dancing at 700 Club.

If you spend less than half of your day either sitting in front of The Last Drop or in Rittenhouse Square looking at cute boys, playing spot the celebrity*, and waiting to see nearly everyone you know pass by.

If you can’t wander around the Foodery for a ridiculous amount of time trying to pick out a mixed six pack and take advantage of their air conditioning.

If the night doesn’t end with sitting on the stoop, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, or ordering Chinese from Sam’s and hanging out at your pal’s house - and laughing. Always lots of laughing.

If you don’t get eaten alive by mosquitoes the minute the sun starts setting.

(image)
___________________________________________

*How to play Spot the Celebrity

  1. You can play anytime, anywhere, with as many people as you want.
  2. The point of the game is not to spot actual celebrities. When you see someone (and occasionally it can be a something) that has at least one similarity to a celebrity you spot them by saying something like, ‘There’s [insert celebrity name] (e.g. You see a fellow with an ugly sweater and you say ‘Oh look, It’s Bill Cosby’). The funnier the celebrity spotting, the better, though no extra points are given for making other player laugh.
  3. For every celebrity spotted you receive one point.
  4. Any one person (or thing) can only be spotted once (e.g. If the dude with the ugly sweater - Bill Cosby - is also wearing a football helmet you, or anyone else, can’t spot him as Joe Montana as well).
  5. When playing with friends you can spot someone (other friends, your favorite bartender, etc) as a celebrity if they are someone that all of you know.
  6. If you see the actual person (e.g. Bill Cosby, Joe Montana, your bartender) you DO NOT ‘spot’ them. If you do so you lose ALL OF YOUR POINTS. (But say you do see Joe Montana, and even though you’re playing the game you’d like to alert your friends - just preface saying ‘Look, there’s Joe Montana’ with ‘Off the record’ and you’re a-okay).

weekend listening - Franklin

Franklin - Major Taylor (7-inch version) by Scott Heisel

There’s a story about the first time I heard Franklin. It involves a mixed tape, an ex-boyfriend, an arguably crumby studio in an assuredly bad neighborhood, and foul smelling take-out beer from Prince(‘)s Fairmount. One for another time, perhaps, as it’s getting late and my alarm is set for 5:30am (oh dear). 

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