Archive for the ‘Paul Debraski’ Category

For nearly fourteen years I was able to keep up this daily blog of books and music.

About a year ago I got a promotion and that changed everything.  I no longer had the time to post everything I wanted to.  Heck, I didn’t even seem to have the time to read all the short stories I wanted to.  Amusingly (or not), just before this new position, I had gotten a print subscription to the New Yorker.  This now means that I (like many others) have a two-foot stack of New Yorker magazines that I haven’t even looked at yet.

For a few weeks I was limiting myself to only the concerts that I went to because that was a little easier to write about.  Although back in the good old days, I used to include photo and links, and I pretty much have neither now. And I’m several shows behind as well.

So I’m still reading books and I think I may try to post some thoughts about them from time to time.  I’d also like to think I have time to write about my concerts, but even those are proving to be challenging.

So let’s consider the blog on hiatus more or less, with occasional posts about things I’ve read or listened to.

The good thing is that I like the new position and wouldn’t change it for the world. I guess I never realized how much down time my old position gave me!

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500000Quietly and with little fanfare (until now of course), this blog reached 500,000 views.

Thanks to everyone who came here on purpose and even those who came here to send me spam–you pushed me over half way to a million.  It has taken just under 7 years with no real publicity to reach this number.  Maybe it’s time I start accepting ads.

And my top 5 posts are

Pierdomenico Baccalario–Ulysses Moore series, books 1-4 13,157
Awkward Pauses [Ass Möde] 8,527
Pseudonymous Bosch–The Name of This Book is Secret (2007) 6,842
Terry Moore–Echo #23 & #24 (2010) 5,529
The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis (2010) 5,518

But soft, let’s see just what that looks like around the world: (more…)

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filigreecoverSOUNDTRACK: FRANKIE VALLI AND THE FOUR SEASONS-“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” (1967).

20140115_093859This was our wedding song.  Sarah and I took ballroom dance classes and we choreographed a dance to this song using the moves that we knew.  And that is one of the things people still talk about our wedding.  It was a fun and feisty dance.

But it was also sneaky because it starts out slow (we heard someone comment “swaying” as the song started out.

And then the horns kick in and we pulled out all of our best moves.  It was a huge hit.

We did not video our wedding, and our one regret is that we kept our big dance a secret so no one filmed it.  It now just lives on in memory.

[MARRIED: January 17, 2004] Paul Debraski & Sarah Cornish

Ten years ago today Sarah and I were married.

It was a glorious day, a little cold (but who could feel it?).  We had a brief but wonderful ceremony and then an amazing party afterwards full of friends and relatives.  The food was great, the company was great, even the cake was great (ask anyone who was there).  It even snowed that night.

filigree2Six months before that I proposed using this book.  I can’t remember what the actual book was that I cut up and modified–it would be interesting to see if I ever wanted to read it.

filigree1I drew my own cover (full of personal secrets), made an inside cover with our photos and even put some blurbs on the back.  And then I glued the pages together and cut out an opening for the engagement ring.  (There’s also a page of personal stuff that you aren’t allowed to see).

And here it is ten years later.  It’s hard to imagine how much has changed in ten year.  We’ve got two wonderful kids, a bunch of chickens, other small animals and jobs that are completely different than they were a decade ago.

Happy anniversary, my love, and here’s to ten more.

And, yes, since this post is a surprise for Sarah, i hope to update the pictures when we get back from our anniversary vacation.filigreeback

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Back on March 7, I hit 400,000 views.  back then I extrapolated based on the number of daily views and a little optimism that i would hit 500,000 views on December 10.  Well, the 10th has come and gone and optimism got the better of me as I maxed out at 479,076.

To say you’re 21,000 short of a 500,000 prediction doesn’t sound so bad.  But 21,000 short of a 100,000 prediction is a bit worse.  Not terrible, but not really close either.


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After six months, I was taken off the ranks of the unemployed.

On Monday March 18th I was hired by Princeton University–sadly not as a professor or visiting scholar.

Nevertheless, this is exciting news for me, but necessarily less exciting news for my blog.

I have been reading up a storm lately but I have had no time to write anything.

I do hope to make up for lost days, but it may take some time before I can work posts into my routine.  So, consider this an intermission [hum appropriate music here]….

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Sometime today I hit 400,000 views.  The real landmark is of course 500,000.  Given the rate of views per day and the amount of time it took to go from 250,000 to 400,000 I’m anticipating hitting 500,000 on December 10, 2013.  Let’s see if I’m right.

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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SOUNDTRACK: JACKYL-“The Lumberjack” (1992).

Does anyone remember this band?  Their gimmick was that the lead singer performed a chainsaw solo.  As I cut down trees that fell in my yard I kept thinking about this band, although I couldn’t remember any of their songs (which is just as well).  I had to Google this one.

It’s a stupid gimmick, but a hard one to forget.  My favorite coincidence to this song was when my friend Garry and I went to a party on a New Year’s Eve in like 1999 or so and the party house had a framed gold album of the debut album on the wall.  I never found out why.

Oh, and holy cow, they are STILL putting albums out!

Here’s the song in all of its nonsensicality:

Incidentally, if you don’t wear ear coverings when using a chainsaw, your ears will ring for about an hour after cutting down trees.

[EXPERIENCED: October 29, 2012] Hurricane Sandy

I considered live blogging the hurricane.  It would have gone like this:

October 29: 1-7PM: Wind picking up, not too much rain.

October 29: 8:15PM: Lights flickered and went out.

November 2: power restored.

November 5: Internet restored.

Gripping, eh? (more…)

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I’ve more or less stopped counting milestones on this site.  But today I hit a quarter of a million views.  Sure, some site get that traffic in a day, but it’s not bad for a site that’s all about the books I’ve read.









And since I’m at 250,000, here’s a snapshot of my most popular posts: (more…)

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Stop the presses…  I just received an email that I was given a Versatile Blogger Award!

The super cool folks at tripsfor2 ranked me as one of 15 bloggers deserving this award.  And just as I was fearing I would have to reduce my output, they rave about my output!

The rules of the award state that I must write some details about myself and also pass along this award to fifteen other bloggers.  Since I just found that out, that will have to wait until probably next week, when I have a moment to think about it.

But in the meantime, I want to thank Hadi and Kathleen who have really wonderful posts about traveling (I swear, they’ve been everywhere) including, but not limited to some wonderful posts about aboriginal art.  And the photos are really great.  They are (just about) all by Hadi.  I mean, check out the birds here and the hummingbird that attracted me to his photos in the first place (on a different site but the same folks).

This was a delightful way to start of 2012.  As was a wonderful selection of short story recommendations from Karen Carlson over at A Just Recompense.  She has given me a selection of really intriguing stories to read and I’m quite grateful for them.  I hope to start those this week.  Oh, and just when I thought that Karen was only about the books, a quick browse over to her site shows that she’s also a Project Runway fan.  I’ll be checking in with her as the year progresses.

A final note, my wife has been taking beautiful pictures for over two years now.  She posts a picture every day at her site The Fair View.  For her end of the year post at her other blog Sew Buttons, she posted her favorite photos of the year.  And while I’m biased (and even more because there’s several of my kids), I think she takes some really stunning pictures. So, if you like nature photos (and photos of other people’s kids, pop on over.  And if you like what you see, spread the word.  I know there’s a million photographers out there, but I happen to think she’s terribly under-recognized (she needs some work on the shameless self promotion side of things). (more…)

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