Friday, July 22, 2011

Reading vs. Allentown

I live right between these two Pennsylvania towns. I enter greater Reading every day during the week for work and I almost always hit Allentown on the weekend (at least for Wegman's). Maybe it would be nice to compare the two.

First, these towns have a lot of similarities. As far as size goes, Allentown wins out, they are third in PA, while Reading is 5th (behind Erie). Erie is a horrible place. Both have minor league baseball teams. Reading has a hockey team as well (points to Reading). Both have lots of crime too. Generally I feel safer in Allentown than I do Reading. Reading has the Schuylkill River while Allentown has the Lehigh. Both flow into the Delaware.

Both offer great places to eat. Hong Thanh(Nam) and Aashiyana(Indian) are probably the two best places to eat. In Allentown they have Asia(Asian) and Lui's(Asian). Have you figured out I like Asian food. Allentown has a Wegman's, Reading does not. Allentown seems to have better middle-eastern/Mediterranean cuisine. Allentown has a better farmer's market.

I don't spend much time in Reading to socialize so my opinion on this, like other things, might be a little uninformed. I'm certain there are cool bars there, I just haven't found one. We've played music at the Brass Lantern and that's just okay. It's sort of near Albright College. West Reading is just alright, if that qualifies as Reading.

I like the Allentown Brew Works a whole lot and I've been finding myself there a lot of Fridays. They usually have great bands (ours included) or cool dance parties, not mention a great selection of beer and chicks. Maybe Allentown is coming back (but I think they say that about all down and out socialized American towns). If they (all city governments) stopped trying to plan everything and let market forces do their thing, we'd be in better shape.

Both towns have really bad AM stations with morning shows and I'm guilty of listening to both of these, sometimes in the morning drive (I go thru streaks). 790 WFMZ-AM has Bobby Gunther Walsh who is extremely annoying (boderline whiney) with his authoritarian neo-con viewpoints interspersed between horrible jokes and unfunny radio bits. 830 AM, WEEU who has the Reading celebrity Charlie Adams (he also writes local ghost stories and gives talks) who actually plays some pretty interesting and rare old music (on occasion) between traffic reports, news and sports. The advantage here goes to Reading.

Right now, overall,  my biases favor Allentown. I've worked in or near Reading since 2003 and maybe I just don't like it cause I associate it with having to go to a job. Even though I'm okay with my job. I associate Allentown/Lehigh Valley with good times and socializing, if not running game, if you will. To be honest, neither town has much to it. Like most things, it has to do with the people and happenings within it. So, at this point I feel more comfortable with Allentown.

Your Feedback would be appreciated.


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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Permanant: A guys perspective.

I grew up watching the Brady Bunch and listening to Wham (Make it Big). Early on, my sister would dress me up as a little woman. My sister was quite surprised I pulled it off so well at five. I connected with the Brady Bunch, and I wanted my dad to get a perm like Mr. Brady. I also thought George Michael's hair on the Wham! Make it Big cassette was really nice (this was 2nd grade). I told my mom I wanted hair like that. She laughed and suggested I get a perm. I was curious.

Then twenty to twenty-five years later the ironic mustache came into play. I decided I'd grow one as a joke but soon stumbled on the truth that I actually looked pretty damn good, almost like a young Lech Walesa (look em up if you're ignorant). It was no longer a joke. And, I still will bring it back when the weather cools and I want to switch the vibe.

But, even after a few times around with the mustache, that approach seemed to get old. I needed to push the limits of my own personal image. Something new had to be done. Something outrageous, somewhat effeminate, and a little flamboyant. It took me a while to make a decision, but I finally did. With the help and support of great friends, whose laughter inspired me, I decided on a Permanent (or perm). My hair was long, and, instead of getting a badly needed hair cut, I waited it out till my vacation to have this process done. The plan was to get it done and cut it right before I'd go back to work.

I went to a local salon. They washed and proceeded to put curlers in my hair. There were moments when I had trouble keeping a straight face at the absurdity of all of this. What if my dad saw me (would this make 'em proud?). The process took about two hours and may have been the best two hours I'd ever spend on a style change. The results were seen immediately. This asinine concept of perming my hair turned into a blessing beyond belief. When I left I told the stylist that this idea started out as sort of a joke but that I was quite happy with the results. We shook hands. I think he was happy with his work. They call that a win-win situation (if you will).

I've received maybe one smirk from the girl that works at the health food store but pretty much everyone else has had nothing but great things to say about it. I think some women are especially jealous. I think the beauty of my perm is that it comes across as quite natural. This experience has made me feel more sexy and confident. I recommend this to any guy who is one the fence (about a perm).

I bought an HDTV

Almost 10 years ago exactly, I bought a little 13 inch television set at Walmart after I had graduated from Kutztown University. I watched it up until about 2005.

Well I plugged that old box in, after a good friend almost electrocuted himself drilling a hole through my closet. 233 hasn't burnt down yet.

While watching this old TV set I got the motivation to look for HDTV. My close friend got one a few years ago and I enjoyed giving her a tough time about it. Now I'm getting one. This happens a lot in the life of DaintyBones.

Anyway, here are my brief thoughts on television:

Television was probably always stupid but it took me quite a while to realize that. I hear people discussing current television programs and I'm completely clueless. Occasionally at a bar, they'll show American Idol and/or other lame competition shows and it boggles my mind how people can be so captivated by it. My mother will sometimes bring those shows during a telephone chat and I have a tough giving feedback to something I'm not into.

TV news is stupid. I'm not going into anymore on that.

I will watch a little sports every now and then especially during football and hockey season. Forgive me if that's nawt cool.

The things I will watch are the Food Network, random classic movies, and anything with Alan Alda, AWA Wrestling, Palladia (sometimes), and travel shows. I've found that I only watch TV right before bed, preferably when I'm relaxed. I'm happy my first impulse is no longer to put it on.

Watching TV has cut into my radio listening though. I haven't listened to as much Alex Jones or Coast to Coast. Listening to AJ often brings me down. Though I believe most of what he rambles about is accurate.

So now I've been debating on getting a MacTV thingy to hookup to my TV. It seems like I'd have Youtube with that thing. I don't own NetFlix (again, forgive me if that's nawt cool).

I'm not sure what the point of this blog was (I started this thing a few days ago and forgot to finish it). I guess I'm just documenting my switch, however small it is, back to television. I'm hoping it stays small. I have no doubt it will.

Have a good July,
Yours truly,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My home vacation

It's 6am and I haven't slept. Before your mind wanders I only had 2 drinks tonight and didn't go out all too late. I was in my room by 2am.

During this time I was supposed to be in New England. I changed my mind. I'm staying in this area.

One of the charms of vacationing are comfortable hotel rooms. I already have an awesome bed and just decided I'd clean my room and bathroom. So, now there is floorspace, I have a new (used) HDTV and I can pretend I'm in a Connecticut Econo Lodge.

The Fire company is just a minute walk (or hobble) from my house and they serve a solid fish 'n' chips to really complete the vibe.

I won't have to worry about paying for gas (yeah, I know it's coming down, but it's still expensive) and I won't have to deal with I-95. This means less wear and tear on my car which runs fine but could soon have issues being over 110, 000 miles. With the money I save maybe I'll take preventative steps for the Mazda3 and catch up on bills.

There are other side projects I have going on and coming up so I also vow to make serious dents into those. I will miss the New England scenery and attitude but it's just kind of nice bumming around the home town without a care in the world.

Oh yeah, and I got a perm.