Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Utopia - 9/9/14

“Over 200 years of American history in under two weeks.” Please, give me a break. Shave that stupid mustache and lose the hat, Charlie. I wish they would drop a crate of guns on the island and just let them all kill each other. This is awful. 1987 called, Corey Haim wants his hat back. This series just perpetuates how stupid society has become.
What I want to see is them doing something productive, to actually build a utopia. Fox has an opportunity to do something unique, but we are ending up with another crappy reality show. Why not just watch Big Brother? At least we expect the rhetoric there, and they have some competitions. Now what we are left with is a bunch of lunk heads that can't agree on anything. Pathetic.
I am starting to think the casting was designed just to cast over the top personalities that wouldn't get along. Why not introduce a few people with half a brain. The few that are there now are not being heard and nothing is going to be accomplished. If we want to build a real Utopia it is not going to be done on network TV.
One last thought, please put Bella's head on a spike and display it outside the gates to ward off others.
I don't know how much longer I can continue to watch this crap.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Utopia – Fox Reality Series

It seems like a good concept, develop a Utopian society, but from what I have seen of the premiere episode it is no different than any other reality show. I thought it would be a lot more interesting and intriguing. So far they may as well have put 15 children in a pen and let them fight for three days, because basically that is what we have been presented with so far. They haven't created anything but a lack of enthusiasm for anyone on the island. Oh wait.  Sorry, that is a different show.
If this first episode ended with the complex burning down and they all died, I would not shed a tear. I will watch again, but I really hope it gets a lot better. Again, it seems like a wonderful concept, but you need to put the right people in place to make a change. At this point it might as well be a show about the government. If I want that, I'll just watch the news.
I suppose the casting was well done, they are a bunch of mixed up misfits. Obviously we don't see everything, so part of the disinterest could be due to the editing. The host isn't very likable either. By the end of the show they all hugged. Is this the solution to everything that they need to accomplish? It seems like the only thing they will accomplish is another failed reality show.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hooley on the Hudson

A Hooley is defined as a party, usually with traditional Irish music and dance.  I went to the Hooley on the Hudson this past week, and it was definitely a good Irish party.  The event is put on by the Ulster County AOH, and they did a terrific job.  It rained a bit in the afternoon, but it didn't seem to effect anyone's spirits.  Admission to the Hooley is free, pints of Guinness are only $5, and there were plenty of vendors with wares and food.  I think I have found my new destination for the Labor Day Weekend.
The music was also fantastic and I got to see my favorite band close out the fest, Black 47.  They did all of their best stuff and closed out with an encore performance of Gloria, by the band Them (Van Morrison), and I Fought the Law, written by Sonny Curtis in 1958. Prior to the encore they closed their set with James Connolly followed by Bridie's song, The Funky Ceili.  Check out the video on Youtube here: Black 47 : Funky Ceili.
I've always enjoyed seeing Black 47 perform in small venues, you can get close to the stage to get a good view, the music is always crisp and clear, and they always put on a great performance.  I closed my eyes for a few moments the other night, during 40 Shades of Blue, and it felt like I was hearing them play for the first time.  They never disappoint.  If you have a chance to go see them before they retire at the end of the year, do it.
A lot of their songs are politically based, some more fun, but always authentically Irish. Songs like James Connolly always seem to unite the crowd.  With their fists held high in the air, you feel proud to be Irish.  I will miss seeing the band play live.  Memorial Day Weekend won't seem the same without them.  Thankfully their music will live on for decades to come.

Continue on to see more pictures.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rockin' the Bronx

I just finished reading Rockin' the Bronx, written by Black 47's lead singer, Larry Kirwan.  If you enjoy Black 47's music, you will enjoy this tale of a young musician who has moved to the Bronx from Ireland in the '80's.  Larry paints such vivid pictures, with his writing, that you can almost feel the hard concrete sidewalks of the Bronx beneath your feet.
The book had a nice pace throughout, and as the book progressed, so did the tone.  I stopped reading for a few minutes, several pages before the end of the book, just so I could savor it a little bit longer.  I was hoping for a happy ending, but I got much more than that.  Now my thoughts are with the main character, Sean Kelly.  I wonder where he is and what he is up to now.
I look forward to reading more work from Larry Kirwan.
On a side note, Black 47 is in the midst of its final tour.  I can honestly say that they are my favorite band.  I have seen them perform live well over twenty times, and I plan to go see them again tonight.  They will be playing in Kingston, NY at the Hooley on the Hudson, at 7 pm.  You can get more information about the hooley on the Ulster County AOH page.  Admission is free!
For more information on Black 47, including music, CDs & books, and tour dates check out their website:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lily & the Parlour Tricks

Margaret was listening to the radio this morning and she heard a band performing live. The singer's voice was fresh and fetching, and the music was smooth and sweet.  The band is Lily & the Parlour Tricks.  One of the songs they performed was The Storm.  Their music vaguely reminded her of an old tune that she enjoys by Mary Hopkin, Those Were the Days. Margaret suggests that you take a look at their website or Youtube to hear more from them, she is going to.

Lily & the Parlour Tricks
Mary Hopkin

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Motley Crue

In the late 80's I had the pleasure of seeing Motley Crue perform live a few times.  Seeing them again now was not the same, but I don't know if that is due to changes I have gone through in my life, or changes they have gone through, or maybe a bit of both.
I thought the song selection could have been better.  They played some songs that I did not recognize, and I used to know all their songs.  I think those songs were from their later albums.  However, they did play a lot of their good stuff; Live Wire, Wild Side, Girls, Girls, Girls, Smokin in the Boy's Room, etc.
Overall it may not have been the same, but it was still good to see them one last time.  They closed the show out strong playing some of their most popular tunes, and then returned to the stage for an encore with Home Sweet Home, which was very well done.
Alice Cooper opened up for them.  I had never seen him play live before and I am sorry I missed him on tour when I was younger.  He was entertaining and theatrical.
A very enjoyable evening.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn - movie review

  • Robin Williams & Mila Kunis
A touching movie, hard not to think about Robin Williams' recent demise while watching it. Well acted, good cast. I enjoyed the beginning when they showed how angry he was, it was relatable, though Robin Williams expressed his anger in a much more animated way than I do. It was a simple story, a man is diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, and only has 90 minutes to live. Whatever he wants to do with the rest of his life, he must do it quickly. It had a good ending. The movie invokes a range of different emotions. (7)

RIP Robin Williams.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Lady of Shalott

Part I
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
       To many-tower'd Camelot;
The yellow-leaved waterlily
The green-sheathed daffodilly
Tremble in the water chilly
       Round about Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens shiver.
The sunbeam showers break and quiver
In the stream that runneth ever
By the island in the river
       Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
       The Lady of Shalott.

Underneath the bearded barley,
The reaper, reaping late and early,
Hears her ever chanting cheerly,
Like an angel, singing clearly,
       O'er the stream of Camelot.
Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,
Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
Listening whispers, ' 'Tis the fairy,
       Lady of Shalott.'

The little isle is all inrail'd
With a rose-fence, and overtrail'd
With roses: by the marge unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken sail'd,
       Skimming down to Camelot.
A pearl garland winds her head:
She leaneth on a velvet bed,
Full royally apparelled,
       The Lady of Shalott.

Part II
No time hath she to sport and play:
A charmed web she weaves alway.
A curse is on her, if she stay
Her weaving, either night or day,
       To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be;
Therefore she weaveth steadily,
Therefore no other care hath she,
       The Lady of Shalott.

Monday, August 18, 2014

My Funeral

Do you ever imagine what your own funeral will be like? I imagine that mine will be solemn, just a handful of people there. The older I get, the less I need other people around. Besides, I enjoy my privacy, time to myself, my seclusion. Perhaps even a little reckless seclusion would be nice.
The wake, on the other hand, should be a celebration. I want to go out Irish wake style. My coffin in the living room, everyone with a pint in hand, celebrating, laughing, and maybe even a little dancing. Feel free to rest your pint on my coffin, but please don't forget to pour a bit o' Guinness on my grave when you bury me.
I would like to be set free into the river, or a lake, and then burned upon my wooden raft. Unfortunately, society's laws now probably deem this illegal, and thus I will have to settle for a simple cremation.
A lot of people have music played at their funeral. I have been listening to “If I Die Young,” by The Band Perry lately. It is an excellent tune, and fittingly appropriate for a funeral.
I think I will die at a fairly young age. Ernest Hemingway died at the age of 62, though my time will probably expire a lot sooner than that.  Alfred, Lord Tennyson lived to the ripe old age of 83, however.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Shorts II

Summer Shorts II : Best Kept Secrets
Digital copy now available for FREE on Smashwords!
A varied collection of short stories from a great group of authors.
Something for everyone to enjoy.
I am pleased to be part of this collection.  I hope you enjoy it!

Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: UX66A
Expires: Jult 5, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Shorts II

Looking for a good new read this summer?  Check out Summer Shorts II : Best Kept Secrets, due out June 21st.  My work, as well as work from a number of different writers, will be included in this collection.

See a sneak preview on Youtube:
Summer Shorts II trailer