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When faced with adversity all we can do is keep on keepin on.

When faced with adversity all we can do is keep on keepin on. photo: Christopher Dunlea

Before we go ahead and blame all of the above institutions our story first starts all the way back to Westmont.  Ultimately this is a tale of the American economy, financial system and the sad state it is in.  It’s summertime and as usual my work load at the college reduces quite a bit.  After five years this is a situation I have learned to deal with.  Last year I still averaged around 30 hours a week and my rent was significantly lower allowing me plenty of breathing room.  I assumed I would get the same amount of work load this summer and rightly accounted for such.  One does know how the assumption theorem goes…

I don’t know if someone at the office of Campus and event services dropped the ball or what, but we were at a ten year low for summer events and work was looking grim.  I was only picking up around twenty hours a week and at that point unemployment was worth more money than that.  A few interesting opportunities presented themselves for the summer for both travel and bettering my abilities as a chef. If I left there would be extra hours to go around for my other employees under me. The option to take unemployment seemed the most agreeable choice for everyone.

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Summertime is all about cutting loose and having a good time.  Photo: Christopher dunlea

Stoked, I took my leave the first week of June and things were good.  Bizarro and I went down to San Diego for a little jaunt (read about that in the “You cant relieve the past” blog).  I shot lots of photos and scored fun waves surfing.  Cooking wise I got to work a variety of events with a variety of chefs picking up all sorts of technique along the way.  I even tried some new things in my own kitchen and improved my fresh pasta game. Things were looking up.

And Fun I had...

And Fun I had…

In the midst of what was seemingly turning into a summer of epic proportions I was highly disturbed by a letter from the Unemployment office that my case was under review and all funds were to be withheld pending further investigation.  It was alright I wasn’t worried this sort of thing has happened before.  It was not my first rodeo with the Unemployment office. I am a seasoned veteran in the system working seasonal jobs for most of my life.  I had a little paper put away thus I wasn’t all that worried.

As it turned out the discrepancy was whether or not I worked for Westmont or Sodexo.  Of course with the amazingly fast (note my sarcasm) response time of a government agency this was not squared away till some time in early July.  Like I said I was doing alright and as long as the state began to pay out I would be fine.  Sure enough payments began finding their way into my EDD account.

In California you are not sent a check or given the option of direct deposit.  Instead they set you up with some type of prepaid debit card system with Bank of America.  The method is sort of convenient and sort of not, but its better then not getting any money at all.  I grabbed my card since I have had the same one since I began working for Westmont five years ago.  I went down to the atm pumped to grab some money and when I put the card in the machine said it was expired.  Sure enough the card had expired in January and EDD or Bank of America or both failed to send me a new one.

No worries I figured I would just call the bank and they would have me sorted out with a new card in a few days.  I have been a Union bank member for years and every time I needed a replacement card I always got one in about 3 business days.  Apparently things do not quite work that way at Bank of America, on the contrary actually.  Apparently if  wanted to get my card in three business days it would cost me an “expedited fee” of $10.  This may seem like a nominal fee, but for a person on a very fixed income, which unemployment is ten bucks is like two meals.  I was not about to fork across to meals to these crooks, especially when it was their fault for never sending me a replacement card.   Also  I am pretty sure one could ship something as small as a credit card for a lot less then ten dollars.

I fought with various representatives and a few supervisors all who did everything in their power to turn the tables on me and allow me to believe it was my fault for letting the card expire in the first place.  Of course it has been my experience that whenever a card of mine has a expired a new one was sent out to me in the mail before such date was reached.  One surely rep tried to tell me that I might have thrown it in the garbage by accident.  The nerve of them.  I know I am an “unemployed low life” taking advantage of the system and all but I still deserve the respect any other Bank of America client is entitled to.  After a two day battle I gave up and told them to just send the card regular mail (8-12 business days) cause it takes that long to ship a credit card?

Whatever, over it I cruised home to New Jersey to see my folks for a brief visit with the hope that when I got back my card would be waiting for me.  14 days later I still had not received my card.  Now it had been over two months since I had any income whatsoever and at that point I was completely broke.  Not knowing where to turn I went to our downtown branch of Bank of America here in Santa Barbara with the hope of getting some money.  Keep in mind that by this point I had around twelve hundred dollars in there.  The Bank could not do anything for me cause as it turns out although technically it was a Bank of America account being the fact that it was an EDD account gave me no bank privileges.

Besides myself I found my way into the office of the branch manager who was nice enough to call the situation in for me.  Guess what; the mother fuckers at Bank of America never took my request to have the card shipped out.  Finally I lost the battle and had to pay $15 to get MY MONEY sent to me via Western Union.  On top of that I had them finally ship my card standard mail.  Instead of being out two meals I was out three.  My rent was due and my hands tied.  Another case of where the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.  Welcome to America folks where that poem on the Statue of Liberty doesn’t mean shit.  That being the case I guess the Bank of America holds true to the nation it supposedly represents, rich first and poor last.

Over it and tired of fighting the good fight though I knew I was not alone in my plight I left the bank with a feeling of relief that I would soon have my money,  and be able to pay my rent and get a good meal in me.  The next morning I went down to Western Union only to find out that all of their Santa Barbara terminals were down and would not be up for 24 hours.  I thought Western Union’s motto was all about getting your money fast and easy especially when one is in a jam.  Let’s face it more times then not if you are getting money sent via Western Union it means you are in a jam.  Fucked I was forced to go into hustle mode where I managed to cover my rent and then some.  A day later Western Union was back up and running, I got my money and was back in the black.  No thanks to any of the aforementioned financial institutions.

For me this was another situation where I managed to fall into shit and came out smelling like roses.  If you read here regularly for me such is a common situation.  I can only imagine how fucked someone with out half the luck I have would have been.  If I were you I would boycott Bank of America and Western Union cause both to me are inferior services whom do not deserve your patronage.

So what did I do in the end? I bought a new bad ass suit of course. After all no matter what situation life brings you isn't it best to do it well dressed?

So what did I do in the end? I bought a new bad ass suit of course. After all no matter what situation life brings you isn’t it best to do it well dressed?

Finding a bomb at Blacks Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Finding a bomb at Blacks Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Before I lived in Santa Barbara, before this town I call home even registered on my radar way back in 2001 San Diego was my town, well more La Jolla to be exact. Back then I was just a kid from the east coast with a few rinky dink sponsors and a dream.  I rented a room about three miles inland from blacks as the crow flies, with my girl friend at the time.  I didn’t have a car instead opting for a huffy mountain bike.  I rode to Blacks everyday and surfed it everyday.  Wind and Sea and I had a love hate relationship.  I loved the wave but hated the crowd.

That was a pretty amazing few months of my life.  I saw and surfed the many different moods of Blacks Beach.  We developed a relationship that wave and I.  One of mutual respect I think.  It became one of the few waves in this world which I love and are like a home break to me.  If it wasn’t for this tenure I may not be in California today.  Now for me San Diego is  a flat summertime warm water escape from the Santa Barbara stagnation.

Ahh Wind and Sea Beach, I still can't stand ya,, but can't stay away from ya.

Ahh Wind and Sea Beach, I still can’t stand ya,, but can’t stay away from ya.

Since then I have made many pilgrimages to San Diego and always got  my share at Blacks each time.  The last time I was down south was summer two years ago with Bizarro and I must say we had a heck of a good time between ample surf and party courtesy of a solid south swell and Comic Con respectively.  When Bizarro mentioned he was thinking about going home to San Diego for a few days for Father’s Day coupled with the fact that I didn’t have any work as a result of a slow down at Westmont I figured why not tag along.

Santa Barbara in the summer can be quite a drag anyhow.  The waves are beat and at times it is just a good idea to go out and get a different perspective on things.  My boy West lives down there and a visit with him is always at the very least entertaining.  Just like that the stage was set for a little adventure.  I had an appetite for nostalgia of simpler times  and with any luck this trip would be just the thing to satiate it.

One think one can bet on your not finding barrels like this in the town of Santa Barbara in early summer.  Blacks Beach, Photo: Christopher Dunlea

One think one can bet on your not finding barrels like this in the town of Santa Barbara in early summer. Blacks Beach, Photo: Christopher Dunlea

We showed up late or early rather, on Saturday morning, 3 am to be exact.  Getting out of Santa Barbara has to be one of the hardest things to ever do.  The place is a god dam succubus.  We had planed on leaving before noon so I could possibly get in a surf at Blacks.  That plan soon got pushed back to 8 pm.  After dinner and drinks with a lady friend of mine Bizarro and I didn’t get out on the road till after ten.  At least we didn’t have to worry about traffic.

Our weekend was comprised of a healthy dose of thrifting, shopping, surfing and bit of party for good measure. Lets start with the thrift.  There is something refreshing in finding great scores in other peoples junk.  One man’s trash is another’s treasure after all and to top it all off all the proceeds go to charity.  Every one wins at the thrift shop.  I managed a few choice scores the best of which was a stuffed ferret I bargained down to $15 from $30.  At the very least it would be fun to watch Alfie tear it to pieces. My goal was to buy the dumbest most useless thing there and I believe the ferret took the cake.  Oh and I scored some bad ass decorative socks too.

As far as the surf went, though far better then anything I would have scored home in the 805 during that time it was far from amazing.  Blacks had a few choice waves and let me stress the word “few”.  The first day it was super small and windy.  West and I struggled in the wind blown sub par crowded surf.  To add injury to insult some kook on a long board decided to get in my face several times and even at the height of the conflict pulled my leash as I was attempting to paddle into a wave.  It was a good thing he left after that cause there was no telling where the situation would have escalated.

Things started out on the small side, though I did make the best of it.  Blacks Beach Photo Christopher Dunlea

Things started out on the small side, though I did make the best of it. Blacks Beach Photo Christopher Dunlea

After that session a minor south filled in gracing us with some solid sets.  The period was crazy long making sets over fifteen minutes apart.  Throw in a healthy crowd of no less then fifty strong everyday with few inbetweeners and you had some rather frustrating conditions, even more so since we were trying to film.  Still I lucked into a few choice waves per session. I found a session over at one of the La Jolla reefs.  It looked super fun when I checked it, but the tide filled in fast leaving me out the back with little more then mush burgers. Of course despite this fact I was scolded by some ass in the parking lot about how it was at a secret spot though it was in clear view from the road and had a public access trail to it.  No one loves localism more then I do.

Blacks Beach, Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Blacks Beach, Photo: Christopher Dunlea

All of that being said I did have a good time surfing in San Diego and more then anything it was fun fucking around on the beach and between sets with both West and Bizarro. Finally on the party front this year I was bit let down, though rather then blame the San Diego downtown scene I will just pin it all on one club in particular, Flux.  Supposedly it was the hot spot in town to go and Bizarro had his heart set on it.  We brought West with us and hoped for a fun night out.  Bizarro and I were dressed to the nines as usual, I even wore my new Armani suit for the occasion.
partyLisanti

I know its a big city and we are nobodies.  We were not looking for a red carpet treatment just a fair shake all things considered.  We got on line and the “promoter” and I use this term loosely informs of a great deal he was obliged to let us into.  Apparently he was letting us have three VIP entry passes for the price of two, a gentleman’s bargain.  Bull shit!  When we got to the door the cover charge girl informed us that our passes were only good until 11 and it was like 11:15.  Now I don’t know what kind of shady promoter this place hired, but I don’t think it is good for business if one of your employees dupes the customers especially for personal gain.

So we finally get in this place already feeling a bit over it and its packed, but not in a good way, in a too crowded to even move around. Also it was dark, nearly too dark to see.  The place was one big circle and 90% dance floor, well let me correct myself, 20 percent of that floor was taken up by a giant circular couch smack in the middle which I nearly fell over several times. The VIP sections were scattered around the out skirts of this gigantic dance floor, which by the way was more like a standing floor, as a matter of fact the only people I really saw dancing was the fat cellulose ridden go go girls.  Despite the darkness of the club it failed to conceal the utter disgrace of not so good looking go go’s.

As I was saying before getting distracted by another rant, the VIP section was practically on the dance floor and many dancers, myself included accidentally spilled into the parties.  If I spent a grand for bottle service I would be rather upset with randoms at my booth.  I will give credit where credit is due.  The bar did pour some rather strong drinks and the clientele was well dressed.  Besides that I would say that if you are ever in San Diego don’t waste your time and money at Flux I am sure there are plenty of other establishments that actually care about their customers.  This is coming from a professional partier.

As much fun as San Diego was I think I can speak for both Bizarro and I about how happy we were to get back to good old Santa Barbara.  As great as nostalgia is you just can’t relive the past.  Maybe that is why one mus just keep moving forward in life.

 

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I know its been awhile and as far as content goes this blog has been a desolate waste land over the past few months.  What can I say for myself except for that fact that I have been rather busy these days.  Apparently trying to make my way in the real world has been a bit harder then I had initially thought.  Anyhow I thought I would take a minute to bring everyone up to speed and reaffirm that this blog is not dead.

As usual I have been rather busy doing nothing of an importance or significance besides keeping my head above water.  I suppose sometimes that is all one must strive for.  At the same time there are a few things in the works at the moment and if anyone or a number of them come to fruition I could be styling on a whole new level.  Since all of this is at the grass roots level there is not much more elaboration I am at liberty to offer up at this time.

Besides that I had a few personal issues go down in my life as a direct result of some of my past writings on here.   I held out and stuck to my originally convictions though ultimately the entire ordeal ended in censorship of my own personal words and even the temporary if not permanent removal of a few of my better posts.  This came as quite a blow to my emotions, artistic integrity and pissed me off creatively forcing a short hiatus from writing anything but the surflog, which regrettably has also been altered to my utter dismay.  Despite all of this bullshit I have managed to keep the regular diligent record of my daily surf sessions.

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This is exactly what censorship boils down to in my opinion…

This was not the first instance where I have had to go back and make some changes due to something I have written that hurt someone I cared about in my life.  All I do is honestly speak my mind about the everyday things that happen in my life.  Of course, since it is my life all of the people in it on occasion find there way into my writing and this would not be a problem other then the fact that what I scribe is available to be read by anyone with an internet connection.  As a blogger for many years being in the eye of the public has been a fact that I was more then willing to except and still am.

At the same time I also have to respect the feelings of those other people in my life and understand their reasons for not wanting to be a part of SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Maybe I have finally grown enough as a person over the past few years to finally respect that.  Whether I have made the right decision or not is still to be determined.  What I can say is that it was the right decision for me.  This has always been a surf blog anyhow and I think moving forward I will spend more time writing about surfing instead of just bitching about the melodrama of my some what semi-charmed life I in southern California.

Lets get back to the roots of this blog...Surfing

Lets get back to the roots of this blog…Surfing

I think less crying and more surfing will suit all of us just fine.  I will of course do a bit of complaining as usual, but we can all agree it is my useless rants that help add a bit of comedy from an other wise boring work.  Expect some new recipes for I am at times cooking again for fun.  As usual there will be new books cause a writer who doesn’t read is like a fish that doesn’t swim.  Hopefully I will have a few other cool things up my sleeve as I search for new inspiration.  I just don’t mean in writing but maybe in life as well.  We all know things here in Santa Barbara have gotten a bit stagnant for me and I feel its time I picked things up.
Ravioli

I have finally managed to surpass my incessant partying with time in the water.  After nearly five years of self destructive party and ten years of self destructive surfing I believe I  have began to find a balance.  I can attribute a lot of this to the many people who have remained constant in my life and even those who exist in it no longer.  Bizarro has helped me find a new vigor for both my cooking and surfing through his new found interest in both. On the Surfing front we have been shooting up a storm.
11333499_1675042429395234_720614452_nI don’t really know what the future holds and wouldn’t want to know anyway or it would not interesting.  I have bit more free time for the next two months and I am hoping to add more content and have a few adventures along the way.  Finally I thank all of you for reading and sharing my life with me at SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Here is looking forward to a fun summer.

Yesterday (5/6) Artist and former Professional Surfer Shawn Barron died at age 44 in Santa Cruz.  I didn’t know him personally, but growing up he was a major influence on my surfing life.  I remember watching the above clip of him doing a barrel roll in one of Volcom’s early surf films.  It blew my mind.  Barron surfed so different from the rest of the pack.  The man pulled some of the gnarliest airs, charged crazy Mavericks and from what I gather was an all around good guy.

Barney came out of a time when surfing was so open and diverse stylistically.  He was at the forefront of the aerial revolution.  It was guys like him who paved the way for all the seeming impossible stuff that is being pulled today.  I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn briefly at an autograph signing and surf demo back in 2003 in New Jersey. I just remember him being full of life and he even pushed some of the groms into waves after the demo was over.  Its a shame of his untimely passing, but I think there is not one of us around who can’t say the man didn’t live a remarkable life.

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Higher Standards

SandSpit

Epic Sand Spit circa ’09. Pretty sure I was in the pit for the first half of this wave, then hit this section and pulled back into it. Photo: David Molleck

 

I found myself sitting on the break wall  at Sand Spit tonight watching one intrepid soul doing his best to make to the most of the meager wind swell on offer.  Though it was small it also looked a bit on the fun side.  Did I turn around and run back to my apartment to get my board for a paddle?  Not even.  I had a mediocre surf a Emma Wood in the morning that more then filled my surf quota for the day (Check out the April Surflog for more on that surf).  Then I remembered back eight years ago when I first came out here and didn’t even have a car.

I surfed some of the most deplorable Sand Spit one can imagine.  I would have been super stoked on a session that I was at the moment bearing witness to.  Eight years is a long time.  Throw in another three years or so of constant travel to some of the world’s best waves prior and one’s perspectives can really change.  Up until the past two years ago or so I never would have believed that I could even be considered a jaded southern Californian surfer.  I thought my east coast surf ethic would stay strong.  In a way it has still.  I with out a doubt paddle in far more conditions then my born and bread Californian friends.

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Near Epic Rincon Photo: Chris Lisanti

At the same time I have in the last eight years surfed nearly every single wave in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area epic at least once.  Spots like Rincon I have had so many days that would make any normal surfer grin from ear to ear and experience the wave of his life on that I have lost count.  These days such has almost worked to my own personal detriment.  It’s hard for me to get into average Rincon, or small Sand Spit, sub par El Capitan.  I have seen these waves at their best.  I have caught some of the best waves of my life courtesy of them.

There was a time when I first arrived here in Santa Barbara that I was constantly finding the “wave of my life”.  Today my causal expression when asked to describe the conditions is most likely “Best of the worst” or “better then not surfing I suppose”.  I still have plenty of stoke and love surfing more then anything else in life.  At the moment I am having a real difficulty finding that fire in my eyes that I used to have.  I want to recapture that.  I want to go out there and be stoked on two foot Sand Spit and an eight turn ride at Rincon.

Hollywood

Hollywood By the Sea absolutely going ballistic. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

What do we do when the magic appears to be running out?  I have been surfing 24 years, been a professional, challenged and pushed my limits.  Where do I go from here?  One thing that is for sure surfing is still the love of my life.  Every facet in my day to day is catered around finding the best surf I possibly can.  If I miss a day I still feel as bad about it as I did when I was eleven.  I guess I just need to reconnect with that inner grom that at the moment is ashamed of who he grew up to be.

I remember when I was fourteen I rode my bike 3 miles in February to the beach.  The air was maybe 2oF and the water I was furiously peddling to get to a balmy 38F.  I would get to the beach already frozen, pull on usually wet and cold 5/4/3 and paddle sometimes windblown knee to thigh high closed out dribble and it meant everything to me.  Lately I have felt lost and I think the main reason is because I lost my stoke, my soul.  I guess the new plan is to rediscover this, find my stoke, my soul and let my inner grom out and forget about this being an adult stuff.  I think I have let the real world cloud my priorities for way too long.

I am going to  get back on my bicycle, ride down to the beach and surf and forget about everything else cause in the end all that bullshit society has made me believe was important to me and suppose to make me happy hasn’t.  When I was sleeping on the couch at my current apparent back in 2007 with nothing but four surf boards and a back pack full of clothes just shredding anything and everything I could were some of my happiest times here.  These days I have nice things.  Friends are envious when they walk into my apartment.  All the while I am miserable.  Get ready, for a change is soon to take place.

Hollywood21115

The dream is still very real. It’s out there for the taking…Photo: Chris Lisanti

 

 

Event Champion Filipe Toledo reminding us that safety turns are a thing of the past.

Event Champion Filipe Toledo reminding us that safety turns are a thing of the past.

This years Quicksilver Gold Coast Pro at Snapper Rocks concluded in lack luster conditions that left all of us surf fans wondering what is to come of this surf season.  Despite meager conditions the competition did not fail to hold interest for die hard fans.  As top seeds kept falling in early rounds to surprisingly remarkable performances by the low seeds it reminded all that it really is any man’s ball game out there.  Sure everyone wants to see the best surfers in the world surfing against each other at the best waves in the world, but a major part of surfing is having the ability to surf sub par waves well.

Many got down on Kieren Perrow that he should have canceled the event due to wave quality.  I think an event cancellation should be the absolute last possible scenario.  We only have 11 events a year to watch as opposed to most other sports where fans get to view 20 plus games a season.  If an event gets canceled its a let down to both the fans and athletes alike.   What I think should be considered in extreme cases is a change of event venue.  We all know in places like Australia there are spots that are wave magnets and such waves should be all set to go as a back up venue.  In this case Duranbah would have been a logical option, a location that has been used as a back for Snapper in prior years.

Duranbah on one of its better days.

Duranbah on one of its better days.

Professionalism was another topic that came up strong a this years Quick Pro.  Josh Kerr was the first to lose his cool in round 3 when he gave his board a few shots with his fist on the way in.  Then an irate Gabriel Mendina got on the mic for a post heat interview with Peter Mel where he just decided to speak his mind freely, calling out the WSL, Perrow, and threatening Glen Hall using the F-bomb.  Last time a surfer sounded off that hard it was Bobby Martinez in the 2011 NYC event.  He was banned from competition for it.  In this case Mendina ended up with a fine.  Honestly why force guys to do a post heat interview after they lost?  Of course the guy is going to be upset.  Andy Irons blew up on a reporter once in the height of his career when he was asked how he felt about losing. His reply was “how the fuck do you think I feel?  I just lost”.  To top off the round three festivities Freddy Pataccia after posting one of the lowest heat scores of the event surfed his board right into the rocks.

One would say these guys need to show a better attitude considering the WSL is trying to build a larger non-surfing audience.  Of course one needs to remember that you are dealing with a bunch of surfers who got into this sport for its free form no rules type of feeling.  When one attempts to put it into a format and give fair and accurate scores for one surfers ride vs. another there is going to be quite the margin of subjection.  This on top the already unnatural environment created by these high profile contests are enough to make any surfer lose his mind.  Even Kelly Slater has destroyed more then one board in a post heat tantrum.  Lets face it surfing really isn’t a sport to be judged with numbers, but to be ascetically enjoyed.

We cannot control the ocean hour to hour let alone day to day.  I love watching surf contests now that I have been out of them for nearly ten years.  I for one couldn’t stand contests when I had to compete.   Competitive surfing will never sell to masses like other sports do.  Its too complicated for your average non-surfer to understand.  Fuck, my friends and I have trouble following the judging sometimes.  Instead of the WSL focusing on selling to this non-surfing audience they should cater to making it more entertaining for the surfing audience cause that is the market anyway.  There are close 20 million surfers world wide and that is who the WSL should be focusing on.

Eventually the event came down to Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo, a final I very much anticipated to be a show down and a half.  I even stayed home a little later from the bar to see it.  Toledo to his credit put on an amazing performance the entire event and didn’t disappoint running away with the final leaving Julian comboed for most of it.  More then anything I am proud of the the judges for allowing two of the more progressive guys to make it to the final.  Could this mean the WSL looks to reward explosive surfing in 2015?  Lets hope so.  We will have to wait for Bells to start June 1st.

Where would we be in this life without books?  T’is a question I ponder often.  I for one would be completely lost if it weren’t for some of the great literary works of man.  Then I think how the majority of our population has completely discounted the act of reading for pleasure almost all together.  This fact saddens me deeply at the imbecilic future the masses are doomed to live.  If this is the case then it is a bleak future we all are to face.

For those of us who do still enjoy the written word and if you are reading this I would assume you must not hate it for this blog is still more content then visual or audio.  Every so often I like to share what I have been reading and what is worth your time.

Book XXXI: Fates Worse Then Death, Kurt Vonnegut, Putnam 1991, 240 pages.
“Why should they behave well, quite certain as they were that neither heaven nor hell awaited them? Virtue was its own reward.”  Kurt Vonnegut just may be one of the more important writers of the twentieth century.   Definitely one of the best to come out of the world wars camp. For myself this was actually my first reading of his and it so happened to be one of his last works.  It was enough to spark my interests.  Fates Worse Then Death was more of a collection of random thoughts and memoirs for the author looking back over his exceptional life and career then an actual novel.  The book reminded me of a more sophisticated and educated version of SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Its a fast easy read and worth the time.

Book XXXII: A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens, 1859, Wordsworth Classics Edition, 1993, 321 Pages.
Ah yes what may have been Dickens’ greatest novel and one of my all time favorites has been inspiring audiences for years.  If I had to pick three novels to be stuck on an island with this would surely be one.  The plight of one of literature’s infamous anti heroes, Sydney Carton is presented.  A man one can’t help but to both love and despise at the same time.  A man who despite all evil manages to love better then every seemingly decent character in the story.    In the end he redeems himself beautifully.  I have read this work 10 times and have at least another ten in me.  “When you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love besides you.”
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Currently I am reading The Ambassadors by Henry James.  I am about half way through and at the moment have not had the most time for reading with all the usual distractions in my life.  Happy reading.

 

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