Friday, February 15, 2008


As I have written before, I am slowly working my way through the books that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. I have read (or am reading) 13 of them, including 2007's winner, which I am currently reading. More about that later.

Anyway, I have not limited my non-work, non-current events (i.e. newspapers, the Atlantic, etc.) to Pulitzer Prize winners. This is not a race, just a fall back when I am looking for good books. In any case, the book I just read was Orhan Pamuk's The Black Book. Pamuk is a Nobel Prize winner. This book has fantastic reviews on Amazon. People got all kinds of deep stuff out of it. Me? Not so much. I felt like everything would have more sense if I had a cultural context, and could not really stay interested in 300+ pages of meditation on "the nature of human identity" to quote an Amazon reviewer.

This is not new for me. Of the Nobel Laureates I've read, I found Tagore, Sinclair Lewis, Hesse, Faulkner, Marquez, and Mahfouz to be brutally impenetrable. Not all for the same reasons, to be sure. Still that is a pretty bad run for some world-acclaimed authors. I don't think that having enjoyed other Nobel Prize winners (Mann, Buck, Hemingway, Camus, Kawabata, Boell, Heaney, Grass) quite makes up for the fact that I stand roughly a 50% chance of getting nothing out of a Nobel Prize winning author. My lit instructors from high school and college must be weeping now.

As to my current book, I am reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road. I have no review of it. I am only less than 100 pages into it. However, the entire plot line, described by Dennis Lehane at Amazon as
a post-apocalyptic blight of gray skies that drizzle ash, a world in which all matter of wildlife is extinct, starvation is not only prevalent but nearly all-encompassing, and marauding bands of cannibals roam the environment with pieces of human flesh stuck between their teeth . . . Stealing across this horrific (and that's the only word for it) landscape are an unnamed man and his emaciated son, a boy probably around the age of ten.
I started reading this at bed time, with U sleeping about 15 feet away. I cannot even tell you how hard it was to read. Even imagining U in the world that kid is in almost made me stop reading. Oy. Nobody said that having a kid would make me crazy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


The Tribune today carried a very brief AP piece about two men who jumped off a moving METRA train because they missed their stop. The men, 68 and 56 years old, opened the doors and jumped out of the moving train just outside the Clarendon Hills station. Both were taken to the hospital.

Hey Butch and Sundance (start at 3:00 minutes in), it wasn't that serious. Jeez, the train would've stopped again. They would have let you off. It isn't like you were on the express train to prison and just missed the last opportunity to depart. Not only that, but on at least some stretches, the METRA goes 70 miles an hour, and it gets up to speed pretty quickly. These guys are lucky they're not dead.

Friday, February 08, 2008


I don't get a lot of comments. For the most part, the only people who read the blog are those who already know me, and they tend to just tell me their thoughts. However, every so often someone doing vanity googling stumbles on a post I've written about them. That just happened with regard to a post I put up about a family that named their kids after various Wrigley Field-associated streets. Their comment was:
yea fuck you clearly don't know shit about anything and you clearly have some internal issues that you have to deal with my "disturbing" story, a disturbing story is the story of your life just because the Dynek family is not only more successful and clearly more famous than your lame useless ass the only thing you have to stand for is your lame ass blogs and the only way maybe you could get a google search is through looking up my family. Just because your sorry waste of a life blogs online through the bashing stories of my family you can take your sorry ass and keep in mind that these are actual people you are talking, about who are not only more successful than you but obviously live more full and better lives than your bitch ass, bashing people you don't even know, have a nice fulfilling useless life.btw a real man would leave his full name jack ass.
Wow. That is angry. Since that post was from October, and the comment was left today, it is clear that these people must be looking for comments about them. Apparently it did not occur to them when they talked to the reported from the Sun-Times that people would view their naming practices as unusual, even borderline comical. Although, one wonders what they thought the Sun-Times wanted with them otherwise. In any case, I like the fact that the comment was left by "anonymous" and says that a real man would leave his full name. Indeed. Indeed.