Wednesday, September 24, 2008
"When you're a writer, not everything you write has to be experienced by you. Just remember to choose your friends really poorly."
Unfortunately, "Choke" falls short for "Fight Club" fans, and Chuck fans alike. The problem wasn't in the execution (the film was pretty dead-on with the book with only a few small changes), or in the acting (Rockwell was perfect as a sex-addicted possible-messiah loser with mommy issues) but the biggest complaint seemed to be - why this book? Surely out of all of Chuck's brilliant novels, a better story could have been chosen to grace the big screen. Survivor. Invisible Monsters. Diary. Take your pick.
But the night was not lost. Not even close.
After the credits rolled, the lights came up and for 45 glorious minutes, Chuck Palahniuk himself graced our presence. An Inquirer reporter facilitated the session, and then opened the floor up to the public. While I didn't ask a question, it was amazing to be in the same room with a man who's work I've respected for so many years.
Chuck talked about his career - starting as a poor journalism graduate who took odd jobs to pay off student loans, and working on an assembly line until his big writing break came 10 years ago. He talked about his infamous stories, like the horrifying "Guts", and even shared some entertaining real life stories that inspired his writing.
He also talked about how each one of his books has been optioned for films. Let's just hope that the next one is better.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Oh, please, Philadelphia, grant me this one wish! Make Evil Dead: The Musical have a home in Philly. I’ll be your best friend?
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Walking around the gardens is as if walking in a dream. Even though most of the materials for the garden were found while dumpster diving, they somehow have gained a sense of magic. Empty wine bottles glow emerald, and miniature rainbows leap from the mirrored shards and onto the pavement. Tin angels reside next to devil masks, encased in cement archways. Bits of poetry punctuate the structure and give this mixed-media jungle a voice.
The gardens are an ongoing project started in 1994 by Isaiah Zagar, who's life's mission has been to gentrify, beautify, and re-dream the city of Philadelphia. Zagar's art is ever present throughout the city, with a main focus that weaves in and around the South Street corridor. There are currently over 100 murals on public city walls, and new murals popping up consistently. Most welcome the glass and pottery creations that reflect the neighborhood (and the history of a local art revolution). Others call it garbage. In 2005 the gardens were saved from a guerrilla demolition attack thanks to a non-profit law firm specializing in protecting the arts, as well as support from locals in the form of donations.
Despite the controversy, Zagar continues to hold two day weekend workshops once a month where he teaches the art of mosaicking to eager students. The workshops cost $250 each and include materials and a chance to immortalize yourself while beautifying the city — all while building a mural with a local legend.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Having wanderlust and a tight budget can prove difficult to someone who wants to see the world, but it hasn’t stopped me yet. I found an incredible deal for 6 days hotel and airfare to The Windy City; the only problem was it was the dead of winter. I dismissed this worrisome detail and booked my Mag Mile hotel room.
I arrived a few days before the storm hit. I spent some of these days walking Michigan Avenue among the new shiny steel and glass facades of Armani and Gucci, and then admiring the wonderfully out of place Old Water Tower; one of the only original buildings that survived the Chicago fire that now stands like a larger than life sand castle. In my mind, its whimsy beckons some to come inside for tea with the queen, and others to kick it down prior to running off for one last splash in the ocean before lunch.
Another night I made my way through several inches of freshly fallen snow to the Navy Pier. The pier was closed but still illuminated, so I walked around the main building and made my way to the famous Ferris wheel. I basked in the electric glow, and wandered around the various rides and statues with my footprints as the only marks in the virgin snow. Walking around this carnival ghost town was like a dream that felt both exciting and forbidden. It was easy to imagine that I was the last person on Earth and the world was my playground.
On Valentines Day, warnings of the coming storm were present so I decided to make my way to Museum Campus to enjoy a day of indoor exploring. I met Sue, the worlds largest and most complete T-Rex and missed King Tut at the Field Museum, watched a man swim with the fishes at the Shedd Aquarium, and finally observed “The Wonder of Water” that was the frozen Lake Michigan at the Adler Planetarium. At this point the weather took a turn for the worse and left me stranded outside of the Planetarium, huddled together with strangers for warmth. Even though the winds were epic and I could no longer feel my face, I could tell I was smiling.
Ever since I was a child,