Tag Archives: Caribbean

Aloha Dispatch Day 8

The ohana culture here is very different from what I’m used to. In New York, if you’re not at least a little pushy, people walk all over you. Here, it’s like everyone gets the family discount.
It’s as though everyone is related, maybe distantly, but still family – so that when you see someone (anyone) in a store or on the street, you talk as though you’re restarting a conversation you had with them a week or so ago. Even if you’ve never seen them before.
It’s very comforting.

Bought a pair of overpriced orthopedic sandals today. It feels like an even bigger commitment than the plane tickets or signing the lease.

Already planning our anxiety when watching the election results tomorrow. I’m looking … Read the rest

The T.L.E.

I was a few hours north of Kansas City in a small riverfront town called Dedham. There was a bar there that had once been called “Bootlegger’s” until some young idealists stole the first three and final five letters so that the sign looked like: “…tle……” and people started calling it the T.L.E. Over the years those letters stopped shining and by then people didn’t call the bar anything at all.

I was sitting on one of the only barstools remaining, the less desirable one near the door. I caught every draft as the door opened, and was in a position such that people saw me before I could duck my head. I was watching an old woman in heavy makeup and a maid’s uniform walk … Read the rest

Twilight of the Hobo: Romance Dies Hard on the American Rails

I used to fantasize about riding the rails a lot when I was younger.

In this article, a British author recounts his adventures riding the rails with tramps and hoboes.
The piece begins a little too preciously, too “writer-y”, but turns into a compelling read.

“The temperature dips with the sun, and I stuff my clothes with newspaper, remembering Doc’s dictum: “Tramps, bums and hobos all use The Wall Street Journal for insulation, but the hobo reads it first.” The night clears and the stars come out like nobody’s watching. I am lulled by the symphonic racket of a thousand train parts in seeming revolt against one another. Peace in pandemonium.”

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David Foster Wallace 2005 Commencement Address

Commencement speeches are their own genre, one that I like. In a way they are no better than any other self-help truisms, but people who give such speeches seem to tend to pay more attention to the language in the advice, making the advice more clear and more true.

David Foster Wallace is one of my favorite writers now. I only really “discovered” him after his death. He was a care and clarity with words that make everything I’ve read of his compelling.

And this speech is worth reading also because Wallace tries to transcend the genre of commencement speech and talk about what many other speeches fail to address.

http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/david-foster-wallace-in-his-own-words… Read the rest

Daily Routines

A blog called Daily Routines covers “How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days.”

The entries are collected from diaries, interviews, and other documentation about these writers’ (most of the people covered are writers) habits.

This is a subject that should be boring, yet I find interesting. I (like many others, as evidenced by the preponderance of books claiming to help boost productivity) sometimes wonder whether I could be using my time (my hours, my days, and my weeks and months) more effectively.

Many of the writers seem to have the habit of getting up early and getting a lot done before the normal day’s work begins. Ben Franklin said, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. And … Read the rest

Ricky Gervais Meets Comedy Writers

After greatly enjoying (years after the fact) the original (BBC) “The Office” I looked around for other projects by the same people and found that the writer and star, Ricky Gervais, had done another show called, “Extras”.
It was a more polished show, although more bitter in tone. Both shows seemed to aspire toward making the audience cringe, which seemed like a new kind of storytelling, at least to me.

I looked around for more Ricky Gervais stuff and found three interviews (from 2006) of his “heroes” – the men who inspired him to go into comedy: Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm), Christopher Guest (This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show), and Garry Shandling (It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, The Larry Sanders Show). All three are … Read the rest