John Beck

Race bib and medal display

My father made me this great Uptown Gentlefriends (my race team) display for all of my race bibs and medals. It’s pretty damn sweet. Thanks dad!!!


Race Schedule

I started running in October of 2011 and I’ve done a bunch of races since. Here’s a list of my past races and finishing times as well as upcoming races that I will be attempting.

Upcoming Races:
8/6/2013 Flying Pig, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails
8/16/2014 Bradley Beach 5k, Bradley Beach NJ, 5k
9/1/2014 Hot Diggity Dog, Mercer County Park NJ, 10k, trails
Super Spartan, Vernon NJ, 9+ miles, mud run obstacle course
Spartan Beast, Killington VT, 14+ miles, mud run obstacle course
Parx Octoberfest 5k, Bensalem PA, 5k
Atlantic City Marathon, Atlantic City NJ, marathon
Trenton Half Marathon, Trenton NJ, half marathon

Past Races:
7/19/2014 Running With The Devil, Vernon NJ, 12 hour endurance trail race; 30 miles, 11:25:23, 19 of 33
7/13/2014 Spartan Sprint, Palmerton PA, 5 miles, mud run obstacle course; 3:06:56, 2303 of 4445
5/18/2014 Hair of the Dog, Working Dog Winery NJ, 5k; 21:51, 42 of 1123
5/10/2014 Washington Crossing 5k, Washington Crossing Park NJ, 5k, trails; 20:40 (course mismeasured), 9 of 117
5/4/2014 Bucks County 10 Miler, Washington Crossing Park PA, 10 miles; 1:16:29, 25 of 246
4/26/2014 Asbury Park Half Marathon, Asbury Park NJ, half marathon; 1:47:37, 129 of 1131
4/13/2014 Donor Dash, Philadelphia PA, 10k; 47:08, 98 of 1011
4/5/2014 IAS Woods Run, Princeton NJ, 6k, trails; 26:45, 7 of 78
3/22/2014 Phillies 5k, Citizens Bank Park PA, 5k; 22:08, 138 of 4747
3/15/2014 Looney Leprechaun, Tyler State Park PA, 10k, trails; 52:58, 23 of 159
2/8/2014 Cupid's Chase, Princeton NJ, 5k; 23:39, 15 of 154
1/1/2014 Hamilton Hangover, Veterans Park NJ, 5 miles; 37:46, 81 of 495
12/14/2013 Mistletoe 5k, Mercerville NJ, 5k; 23:19, 15 of 153
12/7/2013 IAS Woods Winter Wonder Run, Princeton NJ, 6k, trails; 27:59, 16 of 106
11/28/2013 Hopewell Valley Turkey Trot, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 23:45, 124 of 667
11/9/2013 Trenton Half Marathon, Trenton NJ, half marathon; 1:48:38, 261 of 1476
11/3/2013 Cooper Norcross Run The Bridge, Camden NJ, 10k; 48:46, 529 of 3400
10/26/2013 Spooky Tails & Trails, Washington’s Crossing NJ, 5k; 22:40, 22 of 162
10/20/2013 Seaside Half Marathon, Seaside Park NJ, half marathon; 1:57:15, 235 of 678
10/12/2013 Tomm May 5k, Robbinsville NJ, 5k; 22:32, 16 of 105
9/28/2013 Spartan Sprint, Citizens Bank Park PA, 3+ miles, obstacle course; 1:01:42, 865 of 4383
9/21/2013 Spartan Beast/World Championship, Killington VT, 14+ miles, mud run obstacle course; 9:29:29, 2651 of 3124
9/15/2013 Rock N Roll Half Marathon, Philadelphia PA, half marathon; 2:07:26, 8657 of 24295
9/7/2013 Super Spartan, Vernon NJ, 9+ miles, mud run obstacle course; 3:10:42, 2722 of 5269
9/2/2013 Hot Diggity Dog, Mercer County Park NJ, 10k, trails; 1:00:41, 42 of 129
8/25/2013 George Wah Memorial, Veterans Park NJ, 5k, trails; 23:11, 102 of 228
8/7/2013 Flying Pig, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 23:08, 44 of 97
Spartan Sprint, Palmerton PA, 5+ miles, mud run obstacle course; 1:56:32, 1875 of 5624
7/4/2013 Revolutionary Run, Washington’s Crossing PA, 10k; 54:53
6/25/2013 ETS Firecracker 5k, Princeton NJ, 5k; 23:36, 61 of 460
Princeton Healthcare 10k, Princeton NJ, 10k; 49:48, 100 of 551
Run For Your Lives, Medford NJ, 5k, mud run obstacle course; untimed/non competitive event
CYO Memorial Day, Veterans Park NJ, 5k; 22:15, 8 of 38
Hair of the Dog, Silver Decoy Winery NJ, 5k; 22:05, 37 of 930
5/4/2013 Miles for Isles, Mercer County Park NJ, 5k; 22:09, 17 of 96
4/20/2013 Asbury Park Half Marathon, Asbury Park NJ, half marathon; 1:52:27, 273 of 1204
Spartan Sprint, Citi Field NYC, 3+ miles, obstacle course; 1:19:47, 2300 of 9663
3/16/2013 St. Patty’s Day 5k, Bordentown NJ, 5k; 22:37, 37 of 507
1/1/2013 Hamilton Hangover, Veterans Park NJ, 5 miles; 40:22, 140 of 459
Mistletoe 5k, Mercerville NJ, 5k; 22:34, 19 of 199
11/22/2012 Hopewell Valley Turkey Trot, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 22:46, 83 of 591
Trenton Half Marathon, Trenton NJ, half marathon; 2:00:03, 596 of 1400
10/27/2012 Spooky Tails & Trails, Veterans Park NJ, 5k; 22:41, 22 of 197
Race to Restore, Ewing NJ, 5k; 22:45, 9 of 57
Carnegie Center, Princeton NJ, 5k; 23:51, 107 of 546
Runyon at Yankee Stadium, Yankee Stadium NYC, 5k; 28:31, 241 of 2944
Flying Pig, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 24:29, 55 of 149.
Spartan Sprint, Palmerton PA, 5+ miles, mud run obstacle course; 2:38:58, 701 of 2011
Strides for Stroke, Veterans Park NJ, 5k: 23:28, 40 of 203
The Color Run, Philadelphia PA, 5k: untimed/non competitive event
Revolutionary Run, Washington’s Crossing PA, 5k: 23:50, 41 of 412
Run for Dad, Mercer County Park NJ, 5k: 24:43, 144 of 516
CYO Memorial Day, Veterans Park NJ, 5k: 25:07, 21 of 72
Hair of the Dog, Silver Decoy Winery NJ, 5k: 25:14, 110 of 934
Run the Vineyards, Heritage Winery NJ, 2.5 miles: 22:40, 6 of 90
Hamilton Hangover, Veterans Park NJ, 5 miles: 45:26, 224 of 470
Turkey Trot, Newtown PA, 5 miles: 53:48, 651 of 781
Sowebo Landmark, Baltimore MD, 5k: 37:08, 97 of 182

I will update this page as races are finished or added.

Bucks County 10 Miler: May the Fourth Be With You

Got this in my email yesterday from the Star Wars themed Bucks County Ten Miler, May the Fourth Be With You.

2014-BC10Miler - 41 - John - Beck

Happy Mother's Day

Happy mother's day to all the mothers out there. My grandmother recently found this old photo of my mother during Halloween. I found this picture interesting and had to share it. My mom is the one on the right, the hobo.

mother's day

The Knife

Last night I saw the Knife at Terminal 5 in NYC. It was one of the stranger shows that I've been too. They took the idea of a concert and then took the concert out of that idea. It was a strange abstract dance performance. I enjoyed every minute of it. Though I didn't like it as much as Fever Ray, my favorite show of all time, this show still is one of my favorite and most memorable performances.

Here are some pictures and video that I took. In order of appearance in the performance.













Top 50 albums of 2013

My favorite albums of 2013 in order from most favorite.

1. Kanye West - Yeezus
2. Forest Swords - Engravings
3. Darkside - Psychic
4. Dirty Beaches - Drifters/Love Is The Devil
5. Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven
6. Tim Hecker - Virgins
7. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
8. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away
9. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
10. Savages - Silence Yourself
11. Holy Ghost! - Dynamics
12. David Lynch - The Big Dream
13. Majical Cloudz - Impersonator
14. Austra - Olympia
15. Katie Gately - Katie Gately
16. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus
17. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol 3: See More Light
18. Deafheaven - Sunbather
19. Zomby - With Love
20. Burial - Rival Dealer
21. Haim - Days Are Gone
22. The Haxan Cloak - Excavation
23. Four Tet - Beautiful Rewind
24. Gesaffelstein - Aleph
25. Kavinsky - Outrun
26. James Blake - Overgrown
27. Autechre - Exai
28. London Grammar - If You Wait
29. Matmos - The Marriage of True Minds
30. William Basinski - Nocturnes
31. M.I.A. - Matangi
32. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
33. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
34. Factory Floor - Factory Floor
35. Jon Hopkins - Immunity
36. The Field - Cupid's Head
37. Matt Elliott - Only Myocardial Infarction Can Break Your Heart
38. Suuns - Images Du Futur
39. Foetus - Soak
40. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
41. oOoOO - Without Your Love
42. Sleigh Bells - Bitter Rivals
43. Phosphorescent - Muchacho
44. Charli XCX - True Romance
45. Au Revoir Simone - Move In Spectrums
46. Grouper - The Man Who Died in His Boat
47. Lorde - Pure Heroine
48. Adult. - The Way Things Fall
49. Atoms for Peace - Amok
50. Depeche Mode - Delta Machine


Treme: Mardi Gras Indians

I started watching the HBO show Treme not too long ago. It's about post-Katrina New Orleans and it's culture and inhabitants. What I'm most amazed about is the whole Mardi Gras Indian culture. The tribes take the entire year to make these elaborate costumes and then on Mardi Gras they "battle" other Indian tribes. I find this scene from Treme absolutely beautiful and I had to watch it 4 or 5 times before I finally got it. It's hard to understand what they say with their pseudo-African language but you get it. It's all quite beautiful and the fact that the battles are non-violent and really based on creativity and art makes it that much more wonderful.

There is footage of real Mardi Gras Indian battles on YouTube and it's not much different than the depiction in Treme.

Spartan Race World Championship on NBC!

In September a few members of my team and I competed in the Spartan Race World Championship at Mount Killington, Vermont. NBC was there filming a special documentary that airs tomorrow, December 7th 4pm on NBC Sports. I hope you all tune in to watch!


Thousands of top-ranked Reebok Spartan Race athletes, Olympians, and amateur athletes alike from around the world converged on Killington Mountain, VT in September 2013 to compete for $250,000 in cash and prizes. NBC Sports filmed the athletes as they competed side-by-side. Catch the action on December 7, 2013 at 4 – 5 pm EST on NBC Sports.

Favorite tracks of 2013

There is still plenty of time in this year for me to change my mind but here are my favorite music tracks of 2013, starting with my most favorite:


Spartan Sprint at Citizens Bank Park

Finished my 5th Spartan Race of 2013 today. Today was a relatively simple course, I only say simple because last week was the Spartan World Championship in Killington VT. That race was the hardest and most brutal challenge that I’ve ever done. Today’s Spartan Sprint at Citizens Bank Park was literally a walk in the park! Now, with every Spartan Race I’ve done, from the Sprints to the Super to the Beast, I’ve always stuck with my team. However, today was the day that we unleashed hell on both the course and each other. Today was a competition between Mike, Chris and myself. The prize would be bragging rights. I’m going to do a play by play from my point of view.


Our heat started at 11 AM. We lined up on the starting grid and the countdown started, GO!!! I started off with a slow jog, slow and steady wins the race. Mike and Chris did the same. First up were the cords along up and down the ramps at CBP. Over and under a countless number of a tangled mess of bungee cords while making your way to the upper deck. At this point we’re all racing together, Chris and Mike passed me. Once we got to the top we started running stairs and across the upper deck bleachers. This is where I took the lead, they may have taken a wrong turn and I was really good on the steps. I was moving well and had a pretty good lead at this point while going through the concourses and opened it up even more when tackling the 25lb slam ball and going through the O-U-T (over, under, through) walls. Again, more steps, more running. I really opened it up. The Hercules hoist, lifting a large cement stone to the top of a pulley and then slowly back down, Chris was right next to me. Next up, monkey bars, was moving really good though them, however, the monkey bars are designed to be tough, I went reaching for the next bar but it was maybe 3 or 4 inches higher than what it should have been, I missed it and fell, 30 burpees! I start them immediately, around burpee 15 I see Mike easily make it though then I see Chris easily make it though. I’m now in 3rd.

Immediately after were the rowing machines. 500m in 2 minutes. No problem. I quickly found a free machine (right next to Chris). Didn’t see Mike (must have been doing it already). I begin rowing and Chris finishes his as I’m doing mine. Aroo. I got it and moved on, water station, had a cup of water, Mike was there also with water. Chris must have kept going, didn’t see him. Up next was a 6 ft wall. No challenge for Mike and I. More running to the top and more of those bungee cords. And then the Hobie band. A rubber band we put around our ankles and then we have to go up 2 more ramps with this band. Mike is in sight but it’s tough to move with this band. More running through the concourses and up and down the stands. I could be wrong but I think the 7 and 8 foot walls were after this. Mike was right in front of me and he gets over both walls before me but I’m not far behind. No sign of Chris, we must have passed him at this point.

Not sure if there are more obstacles in between but I finally catch up with Mike again at the next water station. Had a couple of cups and the spear throw is next. I GOT IT! I had a perfect throw and it stuck, I throw up my arms, pure adrenaline took over at this point. I take off, I look back and I see Mike miss the spear toss! He had to do burpees. This was my chance to open it up but it’s time for the rope climb. I quickly grabbed a rope and began pulling myself up. I don’t want to say it was easy but to be honest I don’t know how I did it but I made it to the top and slapped that bell. Still pumped up from the spear toss. I lower myself off the rope and look back for Mike and I see Chris on the rope right as he’s about to hit the bell!!! He must have been so far ahead of us and I caught up with him. He was exhausted as he fell off the rope but sprinted to the next obstacle, the Atlas Carry, I slowly jog.

The Atlas Carry is a large cement stone that you pick up off the ground and bring it from one side to the other and do 5 burpees. Chris was already on the other side and then I got to the other side and he was in pain. I asked if he needed any help and said his hands were hurting him, possibly from the rope climb just before that. I do my burpees and move on, asking him again if he needed help. He waved me off. At this point I was locked in and nothing was going to slow me down. I had the lead, Chris was in second and Mike in third. 40 jump ropes next with a big heavy rope. Done. Sandbags up and down the bleachers. Done. 2 giant water jugs up and down the bleachers. Done. I was moving as fast as I could.

Easily running through more bleachers, more steps, more concourses, down into the locker room. 20 hand release pushups. Easily done. Running outside onto the field, the race is almost over. 20 box jumps. Not easy but finished pretty quickly (fell and almost hurt myself due to going too fast). Military walls next, 4 5’ in succession which I easily leaped over. Sprinting around the warning track now, my sister, Giovanni and my Dad cheering me on, I see Mike’s brother cheering me on. Traverse wall next. I leaped up onto the wall, I moved quickly but took my time (does that make sense?). I slammed that bell at the end. Cargo net. the camera man was right there but I got up and over that so quickly that he might not have gotten the picture off. At that point it was just the gladiators. I was in a full sprint, throwing my arms in the air trying to egg on the gladiators. Still nothing but pure adrenaline after that spear toss. The gladiators hit me like a bunch of girls (nothing like those physical freaks at Killington). From what I hear Mike passed Chris on the field coming to the finish line. It was a close race!

Final results are:
Me: 1:01:42
Mike: 1:08:37
Chris: 1:09:44


Atlantic Coast Roller Girls

My sister, The Eiffel Terror, who is this month’s and the first featured Atlantic Coast Roller Girl, will appear in her home debut bout on September 7th, 2013.

IMG_6618 The Eiffel Terror
 #5’ 11”

Not only can she booty block like a pro but The Eiffel Terror will win any after party with her karaoke moves... she is an all-around asset to the team both on an off the track. She brings positive attitude, hard work and a passion for derby- all attributes that have led her to become a fierce competitor in a very short time. From working the bake sale to killing power jams and RULING the karaoke after parties, we are lucky to have our 5'11 Eiffel Terror! Read what she has to say about her roller derby experience...

Read More

For information, time, directions on her home debut bout, click the flyer below to transport to the ACRG site or RSVP on their Facebook event page. I’m proud of my little sis and can hardly wait to see her destroy the other girls. To see YOU there would make it an even more incredible event!



My birthday is fast approaching and it’s not too late to get me a gift. I love gifts? Here’s my Amazon wish list to give you a few ideas:

Or if you just want to get me beer that’s cool too.

The Aesthetic Union

My good pal James Tucker is starting his own letterpress shop in San Francisco. He’s an incredible talent and has done extraordinary work with some of the top letterpress shops in the world. He started a crowdsource project in order to raise funds to get his shop off the ground. Here’s a video of James discussing what he does and what his shop will offer.

Don’t waste any time and donate what you can now, in turn he can offer you some limited edition prints of his amazing work.

Lora Durr

One of my best friends, the beautiful and talented Lora Durr recently started her own website and I would love for everyone to check it out:

poppies lights

I think her painted collage work, such as the ones that I included, are amongst the best that I’ve ever seen. I’ve been working with her at
Artworks Trenton and have also been helping her push her ideas even further. She’s a great talent and really needs the confidence to do more, drop her a message and tell her how awesome her work is. Not only would she appreciate it, but so would I.

The red dot.

My latest painting sold in the opening hours of the 24 hour EPIC art event known as Art All Night. The last few paintings I’ve made had sold almost immediately in each exhibit they’ve been in. I’m truly fortunate that there are some folks out there that appreciate my work. Thank you!!!

Red Dot on Lora's Dream

Lora's Dream

Lora’s Dream is the new painting that I did for Art All Night 2013. It’s based on a painting by Eyvind Earle but done in this year’s Art All Night color, cyan. It will be on display at Art All Night with over a thousand other works. Art All Night starts Saturday June 15th at 3 and ends June 16th at 3. See you there!


Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market 2.0

TOMORROW!!! Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market 2.0 at the Trenton Social!


Pintrest: Beer

Here’s a board that I have up on Pintrest. I photograph different beers that I drink, I try to do them all in the same spot. Follow it!


Beach House - Wishes

My favorite band just released a new video from their 2012 album “Bloom” and it’s happens to be my favorite track off that album and my favorite track of that year. Awesome. To make it even better, directed by one of my favorite music video directors: Eric Wareheim, it’s awesome!


Top 50 albums of 2012

This year was more difficult than in year past and it hurt me to leave out a lot of great albums. With that being said here’s my personal favorite albums of 2012.

1. Beach House - Bloom
2. A Place to Bury Strangers - Worship
3. Goat - World Music
4. Santigold - Master of My Make-Believe
5. The Soft Moon - Zeros
6. Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror
7. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
8. Lower Dens - Nootropics
9. Crystal Castles - (III)
10. Emeralds - Just To Feel Anything
11. Shackleton - The Drawbar Organ/Music for the Quiet Hour
12. Memory Tapes - Grace/Confusion
13. Mi Ami - Decade
14. Peaking Lights - Lucifer
15. The xx - Coexist
16. Swans - The Seer
17. Dan Deacon - America
18. Animal Collective - Centipede Hz
19. Teeel - University Heights
20. Skeleton Lipstick - Glows Then Melts
21. Merchandise - Children of Desire
22. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - Mature Themes
23. Grizzly Bear - Shields
24. Andy Stott - Luxury Problems
25. Om - Advaitic Songs
26. oOoOO - Our Loving Is Hurting Us
27. Dead Can Dance - Anastasis
28. Panabrite - The Baroque Album
29. Chromatics - Kill For Love
30. Nite Jewel - One Second of Love
31. Soil Creep - Small Death
32. jj - High Summer
33. Purity Ring - Shrines
34. Alexander Tucker - Third Mouth
35. Cold Specks - I Predict A Graceful Explusion
36. Holy Other - Held
37. Lorn - Ask The Dust
38. Yeasayer - Fragrant World
39. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
40. How to Dress Well - Total Loss
41. Raime - Quarter Turns Over A Living Line
42. Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man
43. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
44. Jessie Ware - Devotion
45. Grimes - Visions
46. Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin - Instrumental Tourist
47. Cat Power - Sun
48. Scott Walker - Bish Bosch
49. Demdike Stare - Elemental
50. X-TG - Desertshore/The Final Report

Ravens Super Bowl celebration panoramic

Took this awesome panoramic photo on the field at M&T Bank Stadium during the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl celebration.

Ravens Super Bowl celebration panoramic

Flag Football: Father or Flacco?

Over the weekend we had a friendly co-ed game of flag football. My father wore the #5 Joe Flacco jersey and was the quarterback. I think Flacco saw this video and was inspired. Would he have gotten the MVP if he hadn’t of seen it?

Pump fake. Scramble to the right. Throw to the left. Pass complete.

Baltimore Ravens 2012 NFL Champions!

The Baltimore Ravens have won the Super Bowl!!!!

Ravens Win!!!

I will definitely be going to the parade tomorrow to celebrate with the team!

Grizzly Bear - Gun-Shy

One of my favorite songs of 2012 just got a video...


Top 5 Favorite Tracks of 2012

1: Artist: Beach House Track: Wishes Album: Bloom

2: Artist: Santigold Track: The Keepers Album: Master of My Make-Believe

3: Artist: Bat For Lashes Track: Laura Album: The Haunted Man

4: Artist: A Place To Bury Strangers Track: And I’m Up Album: Worship

5: Artist: Frank Ocean Track: Pyramids Album: Born To Die

Favorite live moment of 2012: Frank Ocean on SNL


2012 Christmas loot!

Here’s some of the loot that Santa brought me for Christmas.


Saucony ProGrid Ride 5 running shoes, FujiFilm Instax 210 instant camera, Old Spice classic after shave and a jump rope!

2012 Christmas Cards - Close Up


2012 Christmas cards

1 2 3 4 5 612 7 8 9 10 1113 14 15 16

2012 Jo Jo's Christmas Card

I really like the collage I made for this year’s card for our favorite waitress at Jo Jo’s Tavern.


The Knife?

Music can be so meaningless.
We had to find lust.
We asked our friends and lovers to help us.

My Desktop

What’s your desktop look like?


Maker's Mark Graduation

Over the weekend I once again visited the Maker’s Mark distillery. Back in 2005 I joined a special program they have in order to be a Maker’s Mark Ambassador. I promote my love for Maker’s Mark to all, which is no surprise to those that know me. Among the perks I get are freebies sent to me periodically through the mail, invitations to special events and parties, discounts and Christmas gifts! At the parties over the years I’ve had the chance to meet and hang out with the President, the master distiller and others. All great people. Another perk of being an Ambassador is that your name is put on a metal plate and that plate is then put on a new barrel of what will be bourbon. The reason I went to the Maker’s Mark distillery this past weekend is because I graduated from their ambassador program, the barrel with my name on it has finally matured to the point where it can be bottled. It took almost 7 years for my barrel to mature. I visited the distillery and now I have a bottle of Maker’s Mark that was made for me from a barrel that had my name on it. Cool. Very cool.


Goodbye Sara

These photos were sent to me showing the “sold” red sticker next to my painting. Sara is gone forever.
sarasold1 sarasold2 sarasold3


My first painting in over 5 years. This will be for sale in the 10x10 Benefit Art Exhibit and Sale.


Top 5 concerts that I've been to

Recently I’ve been thinking of the best concerts that I’ve ever been to. I consider sound quality, set design, creativity, music and of course live performance. Obviously how I experienced each show is unique to me but here’s the top 5 shows that I’ve been to. I’ve tried to include a video of that performance and a little description on how I viewed it.

1. Fever Ray - Webster Hall, NYC. 2009.

This show was extremely difficult to photograph and video. Everything was enshrouded in darkness and smoke. There were lasers. There were amazing costumes that they wore to add even more mystery to it. Those lamps throughout the set were strange. There was incense burning. It was a very odd mixture of things and it added to the mystery of the music and the performance. Hands down the best and most unique concert that I’ve even been to. It’s hard to find a video that gives justice as to how unique this show was. It’s going to be hard to top this show.

2. Coil - Irving Plaza, NYC. 2001.

This video is actually the entire performance. My experience is very different than everyone else’s. I actually had the privilege to hang out with the band the night before. Out for sushi and drinks. The band ended up using 2 of my friends from that night in the performance. Around the 50 minute marks is when they come out in their underwear covered in blood while holding a sheet of metal which the singer begins banging his head into it before kneeling into some sort of prayer. You can see it was hard to really photograph them because their suits were glowing. It was purely experimental, who knows what drugs they were on then. It was their only performance in the US and are considered on of the most influential underground bands from the last 30 years.

3. Dead Can Dance - Radio City Music Hall, NYC. 2005.

This concert was incredible. It was only 1 of 2 shows in the US that were played with a full orchestra. This video is one of my favorite songs of theirs. Live there is so much energy. However, imagine all the synthetic strings and electronic horns were actually played by the full orchestra. Added so much more to the energy level. It was a beautiful show. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard’s voices were nearly flawless. An amazing show. I wish there was video of it somewhere.

4. John Maus - Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia. 2011.

Easily the shortest concert that I’ve ever been to. I don’t think it was even 20 minutes long. Also easily the most energetic performer that I’ve ever seen. Although this clip isn’t from the show that I’ve been to it’s from the same tour. I actually ran into him in the bathroom before the show and you can see that he’s getting into the zone. Talked to him after the show and he’s a totally normal guy. Seriously looks as if he’s handicapped from his performance though. Even though it was really just a glorified karaoke it was the only show that I’ve been too where I smiled the entire time.

5. Depeche Mode - Spectrum, Philadelphia. 1993.

Great production. Great performance. Great show. Enough said.

The Toughest Artist

I’m trying to find artists to put on a list that will be The Baddest and Toughest Artists of All Time. I’m having a lot of trouble finding the baddest of them all. Maybe I would be on that list, a painter and performance artist, I am a fierce competitor and Spartan warrior. I may not be the fastest, strongest or smartest but there will be no one that will outwork more or give a greater effort. But am I a badass? No, far from it.

So, what makes an artist a badass? I think of Ernest Hemingway, fighting in WW1. Delivering goods to the front line only to take shrapnel to the leg and then go off to carry a wounded soldier to safety. In WW2 during a war long correspondent mission he led a group of vigilantes during or near the Liberation of Paris. That is badass.

I think of Caravaggio. Who was always a rebel and constantly in bar fights and trouble with the law. During one of these bar fights he killed another man. He escaped from the law and remained on the lam for the rest of his life. He often carried a sword with him to defend himself from those wanting to fight him and/or bring him to justice. He did all of this while painting grand masterpieces.

Of course there is the legendary samurai warrior Miyamoto Mushashi. Although he was a master swordsman first and regarded as one of the greatest warriors of all time in his later life he was also an author and considered a master painter.

I’m looking for traditional artists rather than music/film artists. There are plenty of musicians and actors that are badasses (LL Cool J beat the shit out of a home invader, I remember a story about Ernest Borgnine and how he beat the shit out of a would be carjacker at the age of 60 and Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier and American hero during WW2 before going onto a successful film career). However, there aren’t many badass or valiant traditional artists. There has to be more than Hemingway and Caravaggio. Whether they’re just badass brawlers like Caravaggio or heroes like Hemingway there has to be more out there. We can’t all be sitting in a corner and painting pictures. There has to be someone! Help me find them! I’ve made it my quest to be the next badass/valiant artist, will I be number 4 on the list?

Madden 13 commercials featuring Ray Lewis and Paul Rudd

These are the commercials produced by EA for Madden 13 starring Ray Lewis and Paul Rudd. They’re pretty funny. It might be because I’m a huge Ray Lewis fan, no, they’re pretty funny regardless. I even included the interview between Ray Lewis and Paul Rudd discussing their lifelong friendship.


I am winning ALL the sports. I believe in my smellf.

Loving the new Old Spice commercial. Very well done commercial. Great writing, acting, editing. It’s perfect.


Possible new painting

Here’s a composite that I put together for a new painting that I just started working on.

As of now it’s to be my first digital painting which is a lot harder to do than I thought it would be. So i’m thinking about doing it in a traditional oil paint version as well. Any suggestions?

Bat For Lashes - Laura

A few days ago Bat For Lashes posted a video of a new song from her upcoming album. I must have listened to the song a dozen or more times already. It’s a gorgeous song and the video is beautiful. I can hardly wait to hear what the full album will be like. Check it out:


Morbid Haikus

The incredibly beautiful and continually interesting Diana updated me on a little side project she’s working on. Every day she posts a large number of haikus, some are funny, some are brilliant and they’re all pretty damn amazing. Here’s one of them:

Your sister is hot.
I mean… she looks just like you.
I’ll let myself out.

Visit Diana’s Tumblr page at
If you don’t find her as funny and amazing as I do then, well, something is seriously wrong with you.

The St. Germain Cocktail

The St. Germain Cocktail. I discovered this drink a few weeks ago at the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island. It was my first time having St. Germain and I instantly fell in love with it. The cocktail is crisp and refreshing and is a great drink to have during these hot summer days. I picked up a bottle of it, which is gorgeous in itself, and made some cocktails during Independence day. We went through the entire bottle of St. Germain and a bottle of sparkling wine. It is delicious!


Halfway: My favorite albums of 2012

It’s around the halfway point of 2012 and here’s my top 10 of my favorite albums so far. In a rough order from my most favorite.

1. Beach House - Bloom
2. Santigold - Master of My Make-Believe
3. Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror
4. Lower Dens - Nootropics
5. Actress - R.I.P.
6. Nite Jewel - One Second of Love
7. Polica - Give You The Ghost
8. Grimes - Visions
9. Mi Ami - Decade
10. The Flaming Lips - The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends

A few that other albums I also really like that may take a few more listens to be higher on the list but are definitely among my favorites are the new albums by Chromatics, Squarepusher, Niki & the Dove and Xiu Xiu. The new Rapoon and Windy & Carl albums are also very good. We’ll see if the top 10 changes when I do my end of the year round up.

Art All Night and DeLorenzo's

Last week Trenton, NJ held it’s 6th annual Art All Night. A 24 hour arts festival. This year DeLorenzo’s hosted the smart phone scavenger hunt. I was the ‘host’ of the scavenger hunt so when visitors to the arts festival started the scavenger hunt they were presented with this video:

When they came to shoot me we had a packed restaurant and I was insanely busy. I’m amazed that they did this great of a job on the video considering that I was constantly distracted during the shooting. They’re truly talented to come up with this brilliance.

R.I.P. Maxx

I haven’t been posting nearly as much as I should or even want to. Max passed away back in May and this is the first that I’ve written about him. I’ve known Max since he was just a puppy running around here chasing sticks in NJ. Last year we spent the night up in Syracuse, NY and he’s upgraded to chasing frisbees. Earlier this year we both were lulled to sleep by a boring first half during the Super Bowl. We share many more memories together and even though Maxxers is gone those memories will always be with me. Good bye Maxx!!!


To Rome With Love

poster-xlargeTo Rome With Love

Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page
Writers: Woody Allen
Run Time: 112 minutes

To Rome With Love is a story about a number of people in Italy, some American, some Italian, some residents, some visitors, and the romances and adventures and predicaments they get into.

Who am I?

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

-Theodore Roosevelt

Crazy Clown Time

The brand new official video for David Lynch's Crazy Clown Time. Not weird at all.


Ryan Newman wins at Martinsville!

Hello Newman! Ryan Newman wins at the 1/2 mile short track Martinsville Speedway. At one point during the race Newman was a lap and a half down and wasn't looking good. However, he never gave up and slowly worked his way back onto the lead lap and at the last restart with 2 laps to go he found himself in 5th place. The 3rd place car dive bombed the leader and the second place car after they didn't get going fast enough. They went three wide and all made contact, Newman shot down low and avoided it all and took the lead. At the last restart Newman held off the #22 car for the win. It was so exciting! GO NEWMAN!!!


Some of my favorite Worf moments.


Christopher Lucania art exhibit in Asbury Park!

The HOTTEST art exhibit on the East coast is happening THIS SATURDAY in Asbury Park. Did you see all those capital letters? That's how HOT this is! Christopher Lucania does some great multi-media work (see the samples I included? I'm not kidding).

lucaniaart2 lucaniaart1

See what I mean? The thing is, as amazing as these look, they look even MORE amazing in person. Expect a whole lot more than this at the exhibit. Right? I don't know what you're waiting for, just clear the time slot already.

Ok, if you really are waiting for more then here it is. Besides the incredible artwork there will also be a special musical guest. WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? No, i'm not kidding. TEEEL is performing!!! Holy SHIT! I've never seen this much awesomeness in one location before! I mean, seriously, look what Teeel has done:

Ok, I know what you're thinking, "So, Teeel got lucky with one track", I say "BOLLOCKS!" Here's another example:


So, QUESTION: Where are you going to be Saturday night? ANSWER: In Asbury Park at this art exhibit!

Here is the official invitation. If you click the link it will take you to the Facebook invitation page. Spread the word, link the Facebook page, link this blog entry. SPREAD THE WORD. I know what I've showed you should be enough to bring in the masses but the word needs to get out. LETS GO MINIONS, TAKE ACTION!


NASCAR iCalendars

For those of you looking for the 2012 NASCAR season iCalendars you can find them under File Sharing. I had updated the links to comply with Apple's new iCloud. As always all dates, times and race names will be updated as soon as possible.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! 2011 was another great year for music, movies and tv! Well, some good TV, some great movies and a whole lot of great music! Here's a wrap up of what I liked this year.

First. Movies. My 2 favorite movies of 2011 are Midnight In Paris and 50/50. I'm a huge Woody Allen fan so I may be biased with my love for Midnight in Paris, but he has a movie out every year and they usually don't make my list. I found Midnight In Paris to be very creative and intelligent. Maybe it's because I'm an art major and anyone with an art history background will love all the references in it. Plus, it's good to see a funny and entertaining film with an original idea and without all the toilet humor that's so easy to do and so common in most comedies. My other favorite film of the year is 50/50. Based on a true story. I found it very sad and very funny. I don't normally like Seth Rogen. I think he's an awful leading man, in supporting roles he's always the deadbeat stoner and it's just kind of annoying. He's ok in very small doses. His character in 50/50 was still a pot smoking hippie but there's something that he has that was missing in his other films, charm. I found him charming and he was a great friend to the main character played by Joseph Gordon Levitt. It is a truly great film and I highly recommend it.

I thought Melancholia was amazing. The opening was visually and beautiful (similar to Tree of Life). The first part to the film was good. The second part was where this film really succeeds. That part was so damn interesting and has one of the most bleak and hopeless endings in any film. Very good. I also really like The Tree Of Life. I think as far as movies go, you can't find a better made and more gorgeous looking film than this. It's all about life and death and it's a very powerful film. Absolutely loved A Separation. I loved all the twists and lies, great story, excellent film. I surprisingly liked the film Contagion, I found it freaky scary and creepy. Ides of March was decent. I believe Source Code was also 2011. I really liked that one too. Great pace, kept interest the whole time and left you thinking. I may update this entry again, I still really want to see The Descendants, The Skin That I Inhabit and Shame.

TV. Curb Your Enthusiasm was hilarious. A lot of hilarious moments. Especially the Buckner episode. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia was also hilarious. I'll never forget the imagery of what happened under the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore. It will always haunt me. Parenthood always has top notch acting. Breaking Bad had some excellent moments. Louie was very good. Falling Skies had some good moments. Games of Thrones was alright. Boardwalk Empire was ok. Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe and Oddities are always very good shows. Wasn't crazy about the final season of Entourage. It felt forced. I liked James Spader's character in The Office. I liked the mystery behind him but the show itself fell flat. The new season of Harry's Law was much better than the first season. I look forward to more of that. The New Girl is starting to grow on me. Zooey Deschanel can grow on me anytime, he oh! Even though the new season of Beavis & Butthead is completely immature I found myself laughing out loud at times, I'm embarrassed. Bored to Death was good, shocked that it was cancelled. Probably the best character Ted Danson has ever played. I loved the suits he wore in it. Dexter was very good, some great imagery this season but I really think they're stretching too much. It's time to wrap that show up, just like I'm going to wrap up talking about my favorite shows of the year.

Onto the music. I'm going to try something differently than I've done in the past. I just mentioned my favorite albums (and a few EPs) of the year with usually a little talk about my top favorites. This time I think i'm going to make a list in a general order of preference. Here's my top 50 albums of the year. There is a lot of good stuff that didn't make the list and I feel bad but, hey, it just didn't make the list!

1. Panda Bear - Tomboy (The track 'Last Night at the Jetty' might be my favorite track of the year)
2. Planningtorock - W
3. tUnE-yArDs - W H O K I L L
4. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972
5. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
6. James Blake - James Blake
7. Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation
8. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
9. Gauntlet Hair - Gauntlet Hair
10. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
11. The Weeknd - House of Balloons
12. Destroyer - Kaputt
13. Niki & The Dove - The Drummer
14. Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
15. Cold Cave - Cherish The Light Years
16. Peaking Lights - 936
17. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
18. Saint Saviour - Anatomy
19. James Blake - Enough Thunder
20. Memory Tapes - Player Piano
21. Cults - Cults
22. Grouper - A I A : Alien Observer
23. Emika - Emika
24. John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
25. Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin On
26. A Winged Victory For The Sullen - A Winged Victory For The Sullen
27. Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise
28. Austra - Feel It Break
29. Puro Instinct - Headbangers in Ecstasy
30. Zomby - Dedication
31. Grouper - A I A : Dream Loss
32. Holy Other - With U
33. Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica
34. Grimes/D'eon - Darkbloom
35. Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow
36. Holy Ghost! - Holy Ghost!
37. Washed Out - Within and Without
38. Cascadeur - The Human Octopus
39. Lana DeL Rey - Video Games
40. Toro Y Moi - Underneath The Pine
41. Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi (you must hear her cover of 'Surrender')
42. Tom Waits - Bad As Me
43. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (soundtrack)
44. Current 93 - HoneySuckle Æons
45. Blue Sky Black Death - Noir + Violet
46. Björk - Biophilia
47. David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time
48. The Antlers - Burst Apart
50. Zola Jesus - Conatus

2011 Christmas loot!

Santa (and family) got me some really great gifts for Christmas. Here's the list:

Gran Turismo 5 video game, The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan book, Japanese Prints (Tashen edition) book, American Optics Original Pilot sunglasses, a light up Baltimore Ravens window decal, a nice minimal case for my iPhone 4s, a CAO Italia cigar and a bottle of sparkling wine!

All great gifts!

Christmas Cards

Here's a picture of me with some of the Christmas cards that I received from friends and family.


Merry Christmas Bitches!

Here's a picture of my nephews with Santa Claus. I think it's a brilliant picture. I love the looks on everyone's faces and the letter to Santa on G's lap. It's a great picture deserving of attention.


Jim Murray: Only Human

This is my buddy Jimmy's business card. I absolutely love it. He did a great job with it.


Congratulations Tony Stewart!

Congratulations to Tony Stewart for winning the 2011 NASCAR Spring Cup Championship!

Tony Stewart Wins!

Cathing up...

I've finally got a chance to mention a few things on my blog that I've been meaning to talk about.

My birthday was back in August. Giovanni painted me a picture. I took a picture of it. It's me with a Maker's Mark bottle in my hand. On the floor are empty Maker's Mark bottles. Even 3 1/2 year old Giovanni knows that I have a problem. Thanks for the dino poop!


A few other things. Over the summer on one of my many visits to Baltimore I discovered a new restaurant/bar. Alewife. They opened up in September of 2010. They boast a 40 tap bar with over 100 bottles. All really great stuff too. The place itself is gorgeous and the service is wonderful. The food is out of this world. I got the smoke burger and was BLOWN AWAY by it. Look at the menu on their site to find out more about it. Here's some pictures:


I was there a couple of weekends ago and once again had a great time. The burger this time around was stuffed with crab imperial. A very nice addition. During the last visit to Batimore I went to the Ravens game. GO RAVENS. To eat I went to the Blue Moon Cafe (had awesome Captain Crunch french toast) and went to the Paper Moon Diner. Also made my normal stop to my favorite liquor store, The Wine Source. Here's what I bought:

Dogfish Head - Punkin - 4 pack bottles
Duclaw - Mad Bishop - 6 pack bottles
Brewer's Art - Ozzy - 750ml bottle
Brewer's Art - Le Canard - 750ml bottle
Brewer's Art - Green Peppercorn Tripel - 750ml bottle

I know, mostly Baltimore beers, well, I was in Baltimore!

This past weekend I took my parents to the Mütter Museum in Philly. My good buddy Jen hooked us up with free passes! Thanks Jen! Afterwards we went to the Memphis Taproom.

Yes, everywhere I travel revolves around eating and drinking. I've been using the TV Food Maps app and finding all these great places. I can hardly wait for my next trip!

R.I.P. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs single handily changed the world. He was a true innovator and changed the way everyone does everything forever! My friend Matt wrote this as his FB status: "Proud to have worked for the man that found a way to make sterile lifeless machines, industrial masterpieces capable of furthering the creation of art, communication and inspiration. Thanks Steve."

R.I.P. Steve Jobs

This was made on a Mac.

Latest video

My latest video, Jim Murray: Client Liaison Senior Trainer, is now up on my website under the Artwork > Video section. I also redesigned how all of the videos are viewed. Be sure to check it out if you haven't already seen it.

Jim Murray: Client Liaison Senior Trainer

I made a new video yesterday. It's for my buddy Jimmy. He gave a presentation to future clients/employers using a series of PowerPoint slides. The video has very little to do with the presentation but it's a great way for them to engage with Jimmy as well as leave with something memorable.

What do you think? It was tiring but also very enjoyable to make. I'll post it to my "artwork" page later this week with more info.

Canal's: September 2011

Made a visit to Canal's today. This will hold me off for a few weeks.

Newcastle Brown Ale - 6 pack bottles
Weyerbacher Tiny Imperial Stout - 750ml bottle
Southern Tier Pumking Ale - 650ml bottle
La Trappe Tripel - 750ml bottle
Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale - 4 pack bottles

That's what she said!

I received a birthday card from Tiffany and Tommy. This is what they wrote on the inside:



There was an earthquake today. It was cool. The end.

Road Trippin' 2011

A week ago I returned from a long adventure with Mr. James Murray. Together we logged 2,553 miles in just under 46 hours. I had the iPod on shuffle the top most played artists were, in order: The Legendary Pink Dots, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Stereolab and The Flaming Lips.

Our trip took us from Trenton to overnight stays in Syracuse, NY; Cleveland, OH; Chicago, IL; Louisville, KY and Pittsburgh, PA before returning home. In our travels we made stops in Buffalo, NY; South Bend, IN; Munster, IN; Indianapolis, IN and Columbus, OH.

For those who already have seen my Facebook photo album then you have an idea of what we did. This blog entry will give you a more detailed rundown of our journey.

The highlight of the trip (other than spending time with the truly adorable Ashley) was the after game fireworks and concert at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. When we arrived in Pittsburgh we had seen that the Pirates were in town. As it turned out the game had been sold out for months ahead of time. As luck had it they released some tickets just as we got there and were lucky enough to score a pair. The reason it was sold out was their "skyblast" post game fireworks and concert. 4 games a year are given the concert and fireworks treatment. Earlier concerts this year featured Huey Lewis & the News and 38 Special. The concert we saw was by Train and they were excellent. The fireworks were even better. Fireworks were shot from the field, the scoreboard, the banks of the river behind us, the bridge crossing the river, even buildings on the other side of the river! Here's some video I took, it only shows a small portion of what went down:

Another hi-light included the St. Anthony's Chapel in Pittsburgh. The chapel is home to over 5,000 religious relics. I'm not a religious person but I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the church as well as the collection. It is the largest public display of relics in the world and second largest collection of relics next to the Vatican. The history of the church is incredible and a long time parishioner gave the tour. No photography was allowed inside the chapel but I did purchase the book about the chapel in the gift shop.

Other hi-lights include the Skydeck at Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), hanging out with Matt, Gina and Max in Syracuse, the Art Institute of Chicago's art museum, Wrigley Field, Yankees vs. White Sox at US Cellular (even though it rained), Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Churchill Downs, Maker's Mark distillery, Three Floyd's Brewery, Heinz Field (they were shooting a scene to the new Batman movie) and the Andy Warhol Museum (the photo to the right is from the photo booth in the basement).

We went to some excellent eateries as well. I used the TV Food Maps app and all of the places we dined at had been on either the Travel Channel or Food Network or both! A bunch of the places have been on many different shows. We had a ton of great meals. We can't decide which place is a favorite so we have a 2 way tie for first. Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse, NY and Schmidt's Sausage Haus in Columbus, OH are our clear winners. They are both quite different from each other and are both spectacular. Both places had a long wait to be seated. Dinosaur BBQ had more of a biker crowd. The moment the doors opened you are greeted with this spectacular smoky BBQ smell, so instantly your mouth waters. The best ribs i've ever had. Great beer menu too. If you ever find yourself in Syracuse then you must go there. Schmidt's Sausage Haus had a more family friendly environment. A live music duo of a man with an accordion and a man with a tuba play German music and them and the staff are all dressed in Bavarian garb. The sausages are out of this world and the cream puff is monstrous. Great service, great prices too. Well worth the hour wait.

Other restaurants that we really liked, in order, are Heid's of Liverpool (Syracuse), Kuma's Corner (Chicago), The Greenhouse Tavern (Cleveland) and Superdawg (Chicago). I enjoyed Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh and have to mention it even though I preferred these other places more.

I definitely will be visiting Chicago as much as I can (to see the sweet Ashes) so I will report with all the other awesome adventures that I plan on having.

Ryan Newman wins at New Hampshire!

Ryan Newman started on the pole at New Hampshire International Speedway by setting a new track record, he lead the most laps and had just enough fuel to win the race. Way to go #39 Ryan Newman and what a great way to represent the US Army!

Newman wins!
Newman Wins!

Swimming with Skunks

With the temperatures soaring into the 90's this week I decided to cool off in my neighbor's pool. As I stepped into the pool I noticed something floating on the far end. I got out to take a closer look and found this guy:

Skunky McSkunkster

As I fished him out of the pool I was surprised by how heavy he was and how little he actually smelled. He still had the skunk smell but nothing like what I would have imagined. After double bagging him I washed up and went back in the pool. No skunk is going to ruin my day!



A buddy of mine gave me this picture from 1944 of his wife as a child. The picture was missing pieces and what was there was in extremely poor condition. I cleaned the picture up and rebuilt what was missing. I also saw that the original location in the picture had paint chipped off all over the steps so I repainted the steps. I hope (s)he likes it.


Testing Blog

Testing the blog and RSS feed. I noticed that images weren't displayed properly when importing my blog into other sites nor when viewing in the RSS feed. Then I noticed that links in the RSS feed weren't working properly, not viewing images and getting an error when clicking on the article link. Hopefully this will fix it. I've embedded an image in this article to ensure that it is posting properly.

whitney and stitches

Burkhalter's pies logo

A good buddy of mine makes some of the most delicious homemade pies. I wanted to create a logo for his pies that would really stand out. I've been inspired by industrial labels that are usually found on machines or machine parts. I think they are beautiful and often overlooked but when they are used in a different context then I think people are immediately drawn to them. In the case of my buddies pies, the taste alone isn't enough to bring notice too, mainly because it is such a huge market and there is so much competition, hopefully this logo will draw more attention to how great his pies are. What do you think of the logos?



New Host

Last week I had switched hosts for my website. If you link to my site or subscribe to the RSS feed update everything to point to Today I finally got around to fixing the "Photo Albums" section and added a bunch of photo albums, in case you didn't see them on Facebook. The blog is much easier to update now as well, something that really prevented me from making frequent posts. Some more minor changes and tweaks will coming in the next few weeks.


This is just a test. MobileMe may be shutting down their personal web servers so today I got some hosting from GoDaddy. I know, I should have done it sooner. The Apple way was just so damn easy. But now that I'm on a 'grown up' host I have plenty of more options. So this test post is to test php. Hope it worked.

A Moment of Frost

It took me a while to figure out compression (still didn't) but I finally uploaded my latest video. You can find it in the Artwork > Video section or you can click HERE. For the most part I'm happy with it. It's a bit different from what I usually do. It was a spontaneous shoot so the camera work could have been better, I tried covering up the bad camera work with all the different layers that I have going on. I like how dark it is although I wish at certain times the light on my grandmother was a little better. Some shots look beautiful though. It was my first time using my Canon P&S camera, a PowerShot SD780. It shoots HD video on an SD card. I'm going to try to use this camera more so hopefully I will be uploading more videos, mostly music videos for Joseph Martin's music. Doing music videos will give me more freedom to experiment with this camera. Let me know what you think of the video and how I can improve on the future videos.

The Umbrella Engine

My buddy Joseph Martin wanted me to tell you about his new website The Umbrella Engine. You might know Joe as the composer for many of my videos. He has also assisted me in writing a few of my videos. I have a new video which should be on the site tomorrow some time. The new video is a music video to a track by Joseph Martin titled "A Moment of Frost". It's my first video in almost 3 years. It will be up tomorrow and I'll update the blog accordingly. Meanwhile, check out the Umbrella Engine and tell Joe I said hi!

Wegman's Wine & Spirits

Went to Wegman's Wine & Spirits yesterday, this is what I got:

Yards - Brawler Pugilist Style Ale - 6 pack bottles
Brooklyn - Lager - 6 pack bottles
Dogfish Head - Palo Santo Marron - 4 pack bottles
Chimay Red - 1 350ml bottle

Laird's Applejack - 1 bottle
Francis Ford Coppola's Claret - 2 bottles
Francis Ford Coppola's Rosso - 1 bottle

Bowery Lane Bicycles

A little over a month ago I bought my first bicycle. I've ridden many bikes as a kid but this one is mine! For almost 2 years I've had my eyes on the bikes from Bowery Lane Bicycles. Not sure what took me so long to get one. They're incredible bikes, excellent design and handmade in NYC using American steel. I've been following them on Twitter and saw that they were heading to Philadelphia. I asked them if they would drop me off a bike while I was working at DeLorenzo's and they agreed. I offered them some pizza but unfortunately they arrived during the off hours (I still owe you guys). So, the 2 owners of the company, Mike and Patrick, hand delivered the bike to me at work. These guys are the coolest, we chatted for a bit and then they headed back to NYC.

Bowery Lane Bicycles offers 3 bikes, all single speed cruisers. I chose the Bronks Raw. I love the raw steel look and the visible welding plus it comes with a bell. I upgraded my seat to a Brooks B67 saddle. I got a Bern Macon bike helmet. I got the Beamer 3 headlight and the Superflash taillight both from Planet Bike. I also got the Kryptonite Series 2 KryptoLok U-Lock bicycle lock. I threw a cheap handlebar iPhone mount in there also, mainly for tracking my bike rides. I'm looking for a way to transport the bike in my little Honda Civic. Any suggestions? Here's a picture of my bike, that's my portable radio in the crate:


So, if you see me out on the roadways give me a friendly wave!

Desk Space

I had posted this picture of my desk space on Facebook recently asking what other people's desk spaces look like. What's yours look like?


To the left of my desk (not pictured, left of my headphones) is a small table that houses my scanner and other light gear. Above my desk is a shelf with my large format printer and negative/slide scanner.

Wegman's Wine & Spirits

Went to Wegman's Wine & Spirits today, this is what I got:

Yards - Brawler Pugilist Style Ale - 6 pack bottles
Weyerbacher - Double Simcoe IPA - 4 pack bottles
Tröegs - Hopback Amber Ale - 6 pack bottles
Smuttynose IPA - 6 pack bottles
Victory - Prima Pils - 6 pack bottles
Dogfish Head - Palo Santo Marron - 4 pack bottles
Brooklyn Local 2 - 1 750ml bottle

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 2010 was a great year and here's a few of my favorite things that were released in movies, television and music!

I haven't seen many new films this year. I still haven't seen Tron: Legacy which I have been wanting to see. My three favorites were Enter the Void, Black Swan and Toy Story 3. Enter the Void was fantastic, but it's not something I would recommend to everyone (anyone?). Visually and aurally amazing though. The opening credits were amongst the best all time. Black Swan was excellent although I feel like they could have pushed it more. Very good film but I just felt like there could have been more. Still, some scenes gave me chills. Toy Story 3 was just nearly perfect. Enough said. Some other films I really liked that were released this year were Life During Wartime, Kick-Ass, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Animal Kingdom, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Social Network.

As always I watch a whole lot of television. I don't really have a favorite this year but I'd like to say good by to one of my favorites which had it's final season this year, 24. 24 completed an excellent series on a great note. However, I have a feeling that he'll be back! Of course one of my favorite shows every year is Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. Funny, entertaining, educational, the show has everything! Some other TV shows that I loved this year were It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Parenthood (that pilot episode was amazing), Fringe, The Office, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Eastbound & Down and Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

A great year for new music from new bands and established ones. My favorite album of the year is "Teen Dream" by Beach House. Absolutely love it. Much more complex than their previous 2 albums. After that I would have to say "High Violet" by the National and "Odd Blood" by Yeasayer. 2 fantastic albums.

Some other great albums that were released in 2010, "Strange Weather, Isn't It?" by !!!, "Stridulum" by Zola Jesus, "Contra" by Vampire Weekend, "My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky" by Swans, oOoOO, "Returnal" by Oneohtrix Point Never, "Am I Real?" by Nite Jewel, "Tomorrow, In A Year" by The Knife, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" by Kanye West, "CMYK" by James Blake, "Love Remains" by How To Dress Well, "That We Can Play" by Games, "There Is Love In You" by Four Tet, "Dagger Paths" by Forest Swords, "Does It Look Like I'm Here?" by Emeralds, "Hide" by Foetus, "Baalstorm, Sing Omega" by Current 93, Crystal Castles, "Jet Set Siempre 1°" by Clive Tanaka y su orquestra, Broken Bells, "The Effective Discontent" by Brian McBride, Autre Ne Veut, "See Birds" by Balam Acab, "Before Today" by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and "The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire. I also love the Tron: Legacy soundtrack by Daft Punk and the Social Network soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

According to my Last.Fm account. My top 5 most listened to artists of the year were; Arcade Fire (259 plays), Beach House (239 plays), Animal Collective (175 plays), The Knife (161 plays) and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (146 plays).

Have a happy and safe 2011.

Ray Lewis: The 18th greatest player in NFL history!


Ray Lewis: Top 100 greatest players in NFL history

Canal's Discount Liquors - October 2010

Today I made my monthly visit to Canal's Discount Liquors, here's what I got:

Flying Fish Exit 4 - 6 pack bottles
Magic Hat Hex - 6 pack bottles
Smithwick's - 6 pack bottles
Young's Double Chocolate Stout - 4 pack cans
Murphy's Irish Stout - 4 pack cans
Aventinus - 1 12oz. bottle
Chimay White - 1 350ml bottle

Maker's Mark 46
Rex Goliath 47lb Rooster cabernet sauvignon

Ray Lewis and Old Spice *UPDATED*

I don't play 'fantasy football', I play FOR REAL football. Here's all of the Old Spice commercials featuring NFL superperson Ray Lewis.


Maker's Mark Dip Your Own iPhone app!

Today Maker's Mark released their own iPhone/iPod app. You can virtually dip your own bottle of Maker's. I was at their distillery over the summer and I dipped my own bottle and I can hardly wait to do it again, this app will hold me off for a while! Head over HERE and download the app!


Anniversary of my birth

Today is my 35th birthday and Baby G got me this balloon:


My Kentucky trip using social media

Towards the end of last week I decided to take a little road trip out to Kentucky by myself. The main draw to Kentucky was of course the Maker's Mark distillery. I made some reservations at a Hilton branded hotel and off I was.

I left New Jersey at 3:30 AM and got to the hotel at 3:30 PM. In entirety I was on the road for just shy of 1,800 miles and almost 29 hours.

I was armed with nothing but my Garmin nüvi and my iPhone 3G. I only programmed the hotel into the Garmin and everything else I was just gonna figure out when I got there.

The drive was long, especially through the mountains of West Virginia and Western Maryland. I drank a lot of water so I had to make frequent potty breaks. I would just type in "rest area" in the Garmin and I would know how long it would be until the next one would arrive and whether I should pit then or not. Also, the Garmin showed the closest gas stations. I felt extremely confident even out in the wilderness.

I made it to Louisville, Kentucky with no problems. I used the Yelp app to find places nearby based on my GPS location and judging by the reviews and ratings I decided on where to go and found a real good tavern/cafe. When I would get to each place I would check-in using Foursquare. Foursquare would then post my check-in to Facebook for all my friends to see. From there, my Facebook friends saw where I was and ended up recommending even more things to me that I would never have thought of by myself.

Having my iPhone 3G really helped me while I was away. It helped me find different places to go eat and it helped me stay in touch with everyone. Using the Garmin as my GPS unit was much better than using the iPhone's map program. Not only did it get me where I wanted but helped me with the rest stops and gas stastions. Here's a list of some of the places that I found on Yelp and were recommended to me on Facebook:

Day 1:
Zeppelin Cafe (found on Yelp)
Kentucky Exposition Center (saw from the road)
Liquor Barn (Maker's Mark posted a list of places that carry Maker's 46 to Twitter, I searched for Liquor Barn using iPhone's Google Maps app and found the closest one on that list)

Day 2:
Speed Art Museum (found using the Garmin after searching for art museums)
Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory (found using the Garmin)
Muhammad Ali Center (just around the corner from Louisville Slugger)
Churchill Downs (found using Garmin)
Zanzabar (found on Yelp)
Blues and Barbecue Festival (folks at Maker's Mark sent me a link with things to do and this was listed, used the Garmin to find it)

Day 3:
Maker's Mark distillery (already programmed into the Garmin)
Jim Beam distillery (saw from the road)
Brown Hotel (friend on Facebook recommended it after seeing my check-ins)
The Highlands (area of Louisville, waitress from Zeppelin Cafe recommended it)
Lynn's Paradise Cafe (friends on Facebook and Twitter recommended it after seeing my check-ins)

Day 4:
Heading home today, used my Garmin to find the Woodford Reserve distillery after folks I met at Maker's Mark told me that it wasn't too far off the road. It wasn't far but the tour started too late for me to stay. Next time!


Arcade Fire

Today I got 4 tickets to see Arcade Fire at the Mann Music Center on August 2nd. I'm very excited. Arcade Fire seem like they would be incredible live. I can hardly wait!!!



This evening, on my way home from the Trenton Thunder game, my car reached another milestone, the odometer now reads 111,111 miles. Great job Honda! Here's to 222,222!


Tank Full of Wheat

My wheat beer is ready and the labels are on. Thank you Mr. DeNito for the wonderful label artwork.


Reclaimed desk space

So, I finally retired my 12 year old PowerMac G3/G4 tower. It took up so much space. It's a great machine and it still works fine. I had cables all over, the keyboard took up so much space on my desk and it was just ugly (even though I repainted it). So now I organized everything. My MacBook Pro is now at the center. I have an external monitor hooked up to it which I keep iTunes and the like opened in it. I also now keep my Wacom tablet hooked up all the time and use it as a mouse/pen pad. I put up a little cork board on the side for notes and stuff instead of having Post-Its and paper all over the place. I have a nice little syncing/charging cradle for my iPod and iPhone, so everything is nice and tidy looking. There's a shelf above my desk where the printer and negative scanner is and a small desk to my left which has my flatbed scanner. What I'm looking for now is a thin piece of white plastic that I can put on the top of my desk. Take a look at the picture and you'll see what I mean. Do you think maybe Home Depot will have something like that?


Ray Lewis Way #52

Yesterday Steffers and I went down to Baltimore for the day. Part of our itinerary was to stop by the corner of North Ave and Broadway where less than a week ago they officially unveiled a new street name in honor of Ray Lewis. Some kids on the corner saw me take the picture and started yelling "RAY LEWIS WAY!! RAY LEWIS WAY!!"


IndyCar racing coming to Baltimore!

IndyCar racing is set to come to Baltimore in May of 2011. So awesome! I'm totally gonna be there for the entire race weekend. That would be so cool seeing them racing down the streets of Baltimore. Wish it was NASCAR but IndyCar will have to do. Here's the link on the IndyCar site:

I got an iPad!

I got an iPad for my mom on mother's day. It finally arrived today. It is actually pretty awesome. It's definitely not a computer replacement and seems pointless if you already have a laptop and an iPhone but for my mom it's perfect!

I installed a bunch of her favorite apps for her already. Configured her email for her and so on. I even installed some kids apps for when she babysits. I also put a book on there that she's been wanting to read. So far she loves it. As do I.

Lost Blog

I haven't been updated my blog here too much. I've been on the PlayStation 3 a whole lot. Love that thing so much! If you're on the PS3 my PSN is 'beckinabox'. Add me as your friend, let me know who you are, I don't accept strangers.

Instead of updating my blog here I've been on Twitter a whole lot. I find micro-blogging on Twitter a lot easier sometimes. I'm also on FourSquare. So you can see what I'm up to on Twitter and where I've been on FourSquare.

Twitter: beckinabox
FourSquare link

Next week I hope to start painting again. Looking forward to it. I haven't painted in years. I'm also going to start using Rosetta Stone again. Started learning Italian last summer and never followed through with it. Also planning on going to Baltimore with Steffers. Tonight we're going to see Jønsi, although I think I'd rather stay home and watch 24.

HEALTH - "We Are Water"

New video for HEALTH - "We Are Water" directed by Eric Wareheim. Cool song. Incredible video. Beautifully done. Breathtaking even.


Ryan Newman wins at Phoenix

Ryan Newman won last night's NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway. I don't post on Newman that much because, well, he hasn't won a race since the Daytona 500 back in 2008. When he took the lead on that last restart with 2 laps to go I knew he wasn't going to give it up easily. Great job Ryan!

Ryan Newman wins Phoenix

For the rest of the story click HERE.


Parenthood is one of the best shows on TV. It's so sad and depressing. I love it.


PlayStation 3 Slim!

I just received my brand new Sony PlayStation 3 Slim 250GB. Yes!

I already have NASCAR 09 and Inglorious Basterds on Blu-Ray. By the end of the week I should have Rock Band 2 and Serenity on Blu-Ray as well as the Logitech Harmony PS3 adapter.

TCM Akira Kurosawa day, part 4!

Tonight is the last night of Akira Kurosawa day on TCM! Part 4 of the 100th anniversary of his birth. 3 great Kurosawa films TONIGHT:

8:00 PM Dersu Uzala (1975)
A Russian explorer brings the Asiatic hunter who saved his life back to civilization.
Cast: Maksim Munzuk, Yuriy Solomin, M Bichkov, V Khrulev Dir: Akira Kurosawa C-141 mins, TV-PG

10:30 PM Kagemusha (1980)
Japanese clansmen force a poor thief to impersonate their dead warlord.
Cast: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kenichi Hagiwara, Kota Yui Dir: Akira Kurosawa C-181 mins, TV-PG

1:45 AM Ran (1985)
An aging lord's decision to retire brings out the worst in his sons.
Cast: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu Dir: Akira Kurosawa C-163 mins

TCM Akira Kurosawa day, part 3!

Today is Akira Kurosawa day on TCM! Part 3 of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Kurosawa films all day and night; TONIGHT:

8:00 PM Rashomon (1950)
In medieval Japan, four people offer conflicting accounts of a rape and murder. Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori. Dir: Akira Kurosawa. BW-88 mins, TV-PG

9:30 PM Seven Samurai (1954)
Japanese villagers hire a team of traveling samurai to defend them against a bandit attack. Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Kuninori Kodo. Dir: Akira Kurosawa. BW-207 mins, TV-14

1:00 AM Yojimbo (1961)
A samurai-for-hire sets the warring factions of a Japanese town against each other. Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Eijiro Tono, Seizaburo Kawazu. Dir: Akira Kurosawa. BW-111 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format

3:00 AM Sanjuro (1962)
 A wandering samurai recruits younger fighters to help him battle corruption. Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Hakadai, Yuzo Kayama. Dir: Akira Kurosawa. BW-96 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format

100th Anniversary of Akira Kurosawa's Birth

I just posted this to my Facebook and just had to put it here on the blog as well:

This started last Tuesday on TCM! 100th Anniversary of Akira Kurosawa's Birthday. Showing about 5 films a night. Last week they showed Throne of Blood and The Hidden Fortress. Tonight (1:15) they're showing Red Beard. Next week is 4 INCREDIBLE films, Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Sanjuro. The last Tuesday of the month they're showing Kagemusha and Ran. Be sure to DVR all the films I listed if you haven't seen them yet. They are not only classic Japanese films but they're some of the most important films in the history of cinema. I've included the link for the complete schedule (only on Tuesday nights). WOW!!!!!

I just mentioned my favorite of the films that they're showing, there's actually a few lesser known ones that I hadn't seen but I've seen the majority of them. I've included links to the Wikipedia entries of each film. Rashomon and Seven Samurai are arguably his 2 greatest films so they can't be missed. I'm really curious how good they look in HD. As far as I know, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Kagemusha and Ran are the only ones available on Blu-Ray. This is the next best thing. Do not miss this!

Hiking Is For Lovers - from RHO-RAE

Not too long ago I blogged about a postcard that I received. Yesterday I received the following postcard from the super talented Rachel and Rhodes!

Now, as you know I am a huge fan of Rachel's work. A couple months ago she made me these awesome cuff links! This new postcard is great but the difference compared to the other one is that she had them professionally printed rather than an individually printed lino cut. This new postcard is great but there's just something special about receiving that lino cut. With that said, It's still an incredible and unique postcard that hope to get a bunch for myself to send out. You too can get them and other items at their shop;

#52 Ray Lewis jersey

My good brother Doura got me a sweet new #52 Ray Lewis jersey, pretty badass, right?

Ray Lewis jersey


Just got in from my regular visit to Canal's. Purchased a nice assortment of "spring" beers, or at least beers that I associate with spring:

Chimay Blue - 2 350ml bottles
Troegs Nugget Nectar ale - 6 pack
Duvel ale - 4 pack
Stone IPA - 22oz bottle
Stone Arrogant Bastard ale - 22oz bottle

I know, didn't pick up much this time around, hopefully it will last me a month.

Lovely Lovely

A couple years ago I posted a top 5 of my favorite current hottie actresses. Here's my all time favorite hottie actresses. It's so tough to narrow it down to just 5 but here they are:

Anna Karina

Brigitte Bardot

Jean Seberg

Claudia Cardinale

Audrey Hepburn

and there's a few honorable mentions that didn't quite make the top 5; Mia Farrow, Kim Novak, Natalie Wood, Grace Kelly, Anita Ekberg, Sophia Loren and Diana Rigg.

Book collection

Last week during my snow day I put up a little library of my book collection online. Currently the library only has 70 books in it. I have maybe 70 more books that are mostly biographies and artist/art related books. I only put the more important books into my online library, check it out:

CD Archiving

Several years ago I began the process of archiving my CD collection I have over 4,000 CD's and have been importing them into iTunes. I began the archival process by purchasing vinyl sleeves and cardboard boxes from Univenture, they're high quality vinyl sleeves and the boxes are sharp looking. Before I had an entire wall and a half covered in those ugly plastic CD cases and now I have all of the CD's fitted into 21 small boxes. I threw out the jewel cases and packed the artwork and the CD's into the vinyl sleeves from Univenture. Here's a picture of the outcome; I numbered the boxes in order from A to Z and the last few boxes compilations in alphabetical order. It was a long process but It looks much nicer than walls of CD's.


Fever Ray wins best dance artist in Sweden

Fever Ray won the best dance artist in Sweden. As you know I've been following and blogging about Fever Ray all year and seeing them live back in September was one of the most amazing concerts that I've ever been to. Here's a video of Fever Ray accepting the award for best dance artist in Sweden. I'm not sure who that is accepting the award, I don't even think it's anyone in the band:


iPhone 3G

Last weekend I got an unlocked/jailbroken 16GB iPhone 3G off of eBay to work on my T-Mobile plan. I had to install some tweaks to get things working properly. I had to install a tweak to get YouTube working, so that's done. I'm still having trouble with MMS so if anyone has any info on that send it my way. I can send pictures, i'm just getting an error when receiving them. I also had to install a tweak to get push notifications working. And because it's jailbroken I installed a few customizations as well, so far everything is working real nice!

So, what does everyone have installed on their iPhone? I've had my iPhone for just over a week and here's what I have installed:

Echofon (Twitter app with location based tweets)
NetNewsWire (RSS app that syncs to Google Reader)
iHandy Level (iPhone leveler)
The Weather Channel
Yellow Pages (with location based searching) (complete access to in a little app)
Pandora (Internet radio, works wonderfully, even in the car!)
ESPN ScoreCenter (up to the second sports scores with push notifications)
Wikipanion (complete access to Wikipedia in a little app)
IMDb (complete access to IMDb in a little app)
AP Mobile (latest news headlines with push notifications)
Urbanspoon (restaurant finder and reviews)
Yelp (restaurant finder and reviews)

So, can anyone recommend any apps for me to check out? Or possibly better apps than I have listed.

What do you have installed?

I got a small package....

I got a small package. What? No really, I got a small package in the mail today. The package is from the beautiful and talented Rachel Case. The package contains a gorgeous set of cuff links that she made specially for me. Don't believe me? Have a look:

Thanks a ton Rachel, you've provided me with a unique accessory that I can hardly wait to show off!


A lovely surprise was waiting in the mailbox for me today. My friend Rachel sent me a postcard. It's no ordinary postcard. It's a limited edition, #1 of 6, linocut that she and her companion made together. I feel so fortunate to not only receive one but receive the first one! It is truly an honor, thank you Rachel and Rhodes! Here's a picture of me with the postcard followed by what is written on the card:

And the card reads "make more art, learn italian, go for hikes, keep in touch with friends, spontaneous road trips, drink more water, volunteer"

On the opposite side is what you'd expect from a postcard, a personal greeting to me! Thank you Rachel and Rhodes, you are both extremely talented and it's privilege to have you both as friends.

Ryan Newman fan club 2010

I described last year's Ryan Newman fan club package in my blog with great excitement. I just got the new one today and although I am excited about this year's package it's not nearly as awesome. Here's the contents of this year's package:

The official 2010 Ryan Newman fan club membership card, a Rangers Boats visor, a Ryan Newman fan club poncho, a Ryan Newman #39 round decal, a Ryan Newman fan club key chain, a Ryan Newman fan club pen, a Ryan Newman fan club t-shirt (which is nicer than last year's) and a small stick of Old Spice deodorant all packaged in a Ryan Newman fan club tote bag.

Over all pretty cool for a fan club package, a fan club that is relatively inexpensive to join so just expecting all of that is awesome but last year's package was even more awesome. Still pretty cool. GO Ryan Newman!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 2009 has come and gone and has left us with many great memories.

My favorite film of the year was Inglorious Basterds. I also really enjoyed Moon. Sure I haven't gotten to the movies that much this year but those two were my favorite.

I have watched a whole lot of TV this year though, that's a fact! My favorite show of the year was Battlestar Galactica. I still think about that mind-blowing final episode. Wow! There were a lot of other great shows in 2009 so I have to also give credit to Dexter, Curb Your Enthusiasm, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Entourage. Some of the best shows on TV. Of course I have to give an honorable mention to Dirty Jobs, that show is always a sure thing.

I also listened to a bunch of great new albums this year and if you're a regular reader of my blog you know that I've been talking about the Fever Ray album all year. It's made many best of 2009 lists. Also, another album that is my favorite of the year is "Merriweather Post Pavillion" by Animal Collective. Those 2 albums are my most listened to of all the new releases of 2009. They're both extremely unique and fantastic albums, not to mention the Fever Ray concert that I went to in September is probably the best concert that I've ever been to.

I also have to point out these other great albums, "Two Suns" by Bat For Lashes, "March of the Zapotec/Holland" by Beirut, "Eating Us" by Black Moth Super Rainbow, "Bromst" by Dan Deacon, "Veckatimest" by Grizzly Bear, La Roux, "Living Thing" by Peter Bjorn and John, "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" by Phoenix and "Dance Mother" by Telepathe.

I should also point out that a new Depeche Mode album came out this year. Sure it's far from my favorite of the year but I just felt that I should point it out because they're one of my favorite bands.

That's all, be sure to check out Fever Ray and Animal Collective, Inglorious Basterds and the final season of Battlestar Galactica! and Happy New Year!

The Loot

Here's some of the stuff that Santa brought me for Christmas. I'm telling you, that dude totally rocks!

a Baltimore Ravens shot glass, the incredible book Sharp Suits, Jack Daniels coffee, a Baltimore Ravens lighter, a Ryan Newman license plate frame, a beautiful new pair of Doc Martens, a sweet pair of Kenneth Cole cuff links and a gorgeous Kenneth Cole tie bar, a stick of hard salami, Depeche Mode - Sounds of the Universe CD/DVD and a Baltimore Ravens toothbrush!

What did everyone else get?

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, my buddy James out in San Francisco sent me a Christmas card. Here's what he wrote inside:

Thanks buddy! Merry Christmas to you too! I hope you come back to NJ soon!

2009 Christmas card

Here's my design for my 2009 Christmas card that I will be giving out. What do you think?

Christmas Card 2009

Last year were hand drawn cards of sardines which came with a can of sardines. This year it's a collage. I originally wanted to incorporate random images from Wikipedia entries. That was taking a lot longer than I had hoped so I just went with the minimal route, which is more my style anyway. What do you think?

Happy Holidaze!

On Sunday my mother and I went to Keris Christmas Tree Farm. I know the owners of the farm. They've been customers of mine for years and I recently found out about the farm. So, this past Sunday my mother and I went. It was a cold and rainy day but it was still a nice visit. The trees (from what we saw) looked beautiful. On the grounds there were a few structures up, the main one was a Christmas shop. All kinds of odd and not so odd Christmas ornaments and decorations. Right when we walked in there was Santa sitting next to the fire place. I KNOW HIM!!!! He gave us a candy cane each. My mother bought a couple of unique looking ornaments. Outside there was another structure that was giving away hot cocoa, coffee and warm apple cider. We both had the cider from a big pot and it was DELICIOUS! As we were pulling away I noticed another barn in the back with a sign that read "barbecue". I wish it wasn't so miserable outside, I would have certainly investigated that.

On Monday Big Rick and I went down to Philadelphia to pick up honey balls from Cosmi's Pastries. We went there last year during Christmas as well. Cosmi's makes the best honey balls. He also got me a tray of Italian cookies for helping him out. They sure were good!

A couple of weeks ago a customer of mine gave me the coolest gift. He works in television and he knows how much I love TV and he got me the series finale of Battlestar Galactica on DVD. I mean, that in itself is awesome, but what he got me is even more awesome, it is the DVD that the Sci-Fi network gives to the judges of the Emmy awards. It turns out that he's one of the judges and gave me this special DVD. it's packaged in this red cube that is labeled "For Your Consideration". It's so sweet. I'll post pictures later. I was about to take some but my camera isn't working. My sister broke it! Check back soon!

Let It Snow!

I haven't been leaving many personal blog entries lately. My entries the past couple months have been my Favorite TV Shows of the week list, SNL Digital Shorts or just music videos. I've got a day off and thought I'd finally give some updates. I was actually hoping to go to Baltimore today but the snow kept me from making the trip. Kind of a bummer but it gave me the chance to do some work here. I started making my Christmas cards. Did some painting. Some cleaning. Drinking and eating. The usual stuff.

What have I been up to? I go to Jo Jo's Tavern every Monday night with the guys. Now that Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR championship (AGAIN) I spend my Sundays watching football and other TV. The Ravens don't get much TV time here in NJ so I fine a live stream of the game, if not I watch the Giants. A couple of weeks ago I was in Philadelphia to see my friend Leslie from MICA. She had an art exhibit and showed her amazing work. She was my old neighbor when I was living in Baltimore. A couple of weeks before that my dad and I went out with my buddies to play paintball. It was the first time my dad and I played and we were surprisingly good at it.

You can follow my Twitter feeds to see what I do on a more regular basis. I try to do as many different things as I can but it doesn't happen TOO often.

I honestly believe one of the best shows on TV is Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel. It's funny, entertaining and educational. I wish I could be like Mike Rowe.

I also believe that every NFL team has at least one Predator.

I also want to see the Sherlock Holmes movie, not because the movie looks good but because I love the outfits all the guys are wearing. I want to dress like that one a daily basis.

Lastly, it's not too late to get me a Christmas gift, here's my AMAZON WISH LIST!

Oh, and I've been raving about Fever Ray all year. Since I saw the concert back in September the majority of my blog entries have been about Fever Ray. Keeping up the trend I have to mention them again. Fever Ray are making many "Best Of 2009" lists including THIS ONE at Last.Fm. It will be a full year of Fever Ray next month and my love for Fever Ray are just growing more and more!

Fever Ray - "Triangle Walks"

I just found out that the Fever Ray video for "Triangle Walks" is on FUSE On Demand for FREE!!! It's under music videos somewhere, in the underground section, they also have a Peter, Bjorn and John video. I've embedded it below so you don't have to wait. This video is what their live show looks like. Yes, it's that awesome!


Fever Ray - "Keep The Streets Empty"

Here's the brand new video from Fever Ray. It was released 20 minutes ago! It's a pretty creepy video but unfortunately does not have Karin or any of the themes that Fever Ray built over the other videos from the album.


Depeche Mode - "Fragile Tension"

Here is the music video for "Fragile Tension", the fourth video from the album "Sounds Of The Universe" by Depeche Mode. Pretty neat effects.


I'm so happy that baseball is over, now I can get back to my regularly scheduled television programs, maybe even do something productive, maybe a bit of traveling, congratulations to the New York Yankees for winning the 2009 Major League Baseball Championship and great job to the Philadelphia Phillies, you put up a helluva fight!

Baby G and the Pumpkin

Today we carved a pumpkin for Baby G. He seems to enjoy it.


more reviews of Fever Ray

It's been a month since I saw Fever Ray live and the performance still haunts me. Here's 2 more reviews of the show I was at:

"Attempting to put Fever Ray’s live show into words is a bit like trying to tell someone about the weird dream you had last night. It’s virtually impossible to describe the Swedish banshee’s visual and sonic spectacle and do it any kind of justice."

Fever Ray - "Stranger Than Kindness"

A few days ago Fever Ray posted a new video for their cover of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds "Stranger Than Kindness". The video is similar to what their live show is like. The video includes the costumes that the band wore, the stage sets and props and of course the lasers!

and here is the Fever Ray video for their own song "Triangle Walks" which is incredible. This video is also similar to their live show plus the music is more Fever Ray style than the Nick Cave cover.



Just got in from Canal's. Purchased a whole bunch of beer and a couple bottles of wine to stock up for the winter. Now that the weather is getting cooler I chose stout beers and other darker beers. Here's a list of what I got today:

Samuel Smith oatmeal stout - 4 pack
Smithwicks ale - 6 pack
Guinness draught - 4 pack cans
Guiness 250th Anniversary Stout - 6 pack
Founders Breakfast Stout - 4 pack
Chimay Blue - 1 bottle

Rosenblum Cellars cabernet sauvignon
Rex Goliath 47 Pound Rooster cabernet sauvignon

The question that I have for you is, who wants to be my friend?

Fever Ray live reviews

Words cannot explain how incredible the Fever Ray concert was. It was 2 days ago and I'm still not sure if it was a dream (nightmare?) or not. I've seen many bands live, many different and unusual bands and seeing Fever Ray live was one of the most unique concerts that I've ever been to. From the costumes, performance, music and overall sound, everything was just near perfect, and there were LASERS!!!

Here's a bunch of links to reviews of the concert that I copied directed from Fever Ray's site:

Live Review: The Culture of Me at Webster Hall
October 1st, 2009
"In what will more than likely be set in stone as the single most memorable concert we'll experience in 2009, the mysterious project from Karin Dreijer-Andersson, Fever Ray, played their first NYC show on Monday night to a sold-out-like-whoa crowd at Webster Hall"

Live Review: Billboard at Webster Hall
October 1st, 2009
"Inspired by equal parts "Exorcist," a Pink Floyd planetarium show and your grandmother's basement, Fever Ray's visual spectacle was as eerie and entrancing as the devilish, downbeat tunes pouring from the speakers. Though both of Andersson's projects are cut from the same experimental cloth, the differences between them were apparent from the first ominous notes. Where the Knife bubbles and bounds with one eye toward the dancefloor, Fever Ray slithers with subdued energy, quietly winding haunting vocals harmonies and peculiar keyboard melodies around hypnotizing tribal rhythms. Even with the cornea-searing lasers bouncing around the balcony, Fever's first-ever U.S. concert was a slower, more subtle affair than the Knife's Blue-Man-Group-on-ecstasy live events."

Live Review & Photos: Flavor Pill at Webster Hall
September 30th, 2009
"As smoke swirled like liquid in the green light- and incense-filled the room, a blonde pop star took the stage, joining her band. She looked like Diana, goddess of the hunt, but without her usual mask. Finally we got a good look at Karin Dreijer Andersson: Swedish electronic artist, mother of two, and one half of the famously elusive brother-sister duo,
The Knife."

Live Pictures: Pitchfork @ Webster Hall
September 30th, 2009

Live Review: Vanity Fair at Webster Hall
September 30th, 2009
"If the psychedelic filmmaker Kenneth Anger somehow commandeered the controls at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion, the result might look like last night's Fever Ray show at Webster Hall in New York City."

Live Pictures: Prefix Magazine at Webster Hall
September 30th, 2009
Photos from Fever Ray @ Webster Hall, New York City by
Gabi Porter

Live Review & Pictures: Village Voice at Webster Hall
September 30th, 2009
"Starting the set off in an immense fur coat, she was like a mummified ancient royal waking from hibernation. But then she took off the beast and hung it up right next to her in front of a well-positioned fan–for the remainder of the show, the floating coat was Andersson's bellowing shadow, an insanely creepy imaginary friend, and a limp ghost all in one. Stripped of her cover, Andersson gave herself up just enough to warm up the audience while still maintaining her anonymity."
Village Voice also interviewed Karin before her Webster Hall performance, read it

Live Review & Pictures: Brooklyn Vegan at Webster Hall
September 30th, 2009
"I saw
Fever Ray tonight in New York. Amazing, powerful show. Those of you who have the freedom should try and get down to Webster Hall Tuesday, September 29th at noon and wait patiently for any tickets released by the venue (technically the show is sold out, but there are always extras)."

Live Review & Pictures: Stereogum at Webster Hall
September 30th, 2009
"The various costumes and imagery were leitmotifs from Fever Ray's
four super fantastic videos (a fifth is planned); whether they or the live show came first appears to be some chicken-egg shit according to her recent (and very read-worthy) interview with the Voice, so let's just say they've informed each other. There wasn't a narrative per se, but it was more dynamic than the Knife's show, and you'd hear people afterward comparing this shot favorably to that last one. Narrative or no, it did unfold with perfect symmetry: two bold lasers shot out before fanning out to open the show, and the myriad rays collapsed again into two simple beams of light to close it. House lights up, everybody left — partially wondering what they just watched, fully aware they had fodder for half-remembered nightmares all their own. It was spectacular, in every sense."


Fever Ray

I'm about to leave to see Fever Ray at the Webster Hall in NYC with my brother-in-law and Stephanie. I'm very excited, The Knife is one of my most favorite bands, i'd say Top 5, yes, I consider Fever Ray and The Knife the same, even though Karin's work in each are very different. Here's a video of what Fever Ray is like live:

Julia and Brian's Wedding

Over the weekend Stephanie and I went to my cousin Julia and Brian's wedding. It was at this place in South Jersey called Auletto Caterers and it was a lot of fun. Steph drank white wine and champagne and I had red wine and scotch. Unfortunately it rained so we couldn't stroll the grounds and pet the peacocks (yes, they had peacocks). I didn't take many pictures but I posted them to my Facebook which you can see HERE. It was a beautiful wedding, congratulations Julia and Brian.

Depeche Mode - "Hole to Feed"

Here is the music video for "Hole To Feed", the third video from the album "Sounds Of The Universe" by Depeche Mode. It's gross.
Depeche Mode - Hole To Feed

Shoe Fitting X-Ray Machine

During dinner tonight my father told me about his trips to the shoe store as a child. Specifically a store in Trenton that his mother would take him to, the name of the store he can't remember, but he does remember an x-ray machine. Why on Earth would there be an x-ray machine in a shoe store? He remembered putting his feet (while in shoes) in a slot on the bottom of this machine and then looking through a viewer on the top and seeing the outline of the shoes as well as the bones in his feet. At first I thought he was crazy and that he just remembered looking at a picture of a skeleton foot through the viewer but he assured me that you were able to wiggle your toes and see it in real time as a skeleton. He believed these machines were always on or he had to press a button to see the x-ray.

I had never heard of such a thing so as soon as I go home from dinner I did some quick research to find out more about this machine. He thought that the shoe store in Trenton must have had it made for them and that it was one of a kind, my research shows that they were quite common in shoe stores throughout the country in the 30's, 40's and 50's. The machine was called a fluoroscope and they were used to somehow measure shoe sizes to get a "scientifically accurate" fit. I don't know how accurate they actually were though. The machines were slowly phazed out of service in the 60's after they were banned in many states due to the levels of radiation exposure to the user as well as anyone around the machines. That's a picture of one of the machines to the right. Nice find Dad!
I found most of this information HERE and HERE.

Fall TV

This is a big week for me. Most of my favorite shows are starting this week. Which means that this weekend I will start up again with my posting of my favorite tv shows of the week. Every season I post my favorite shows of the week. With the exception of Entourage, nothing has been on all summer. The last time I posted my favorite TV shows was on May 16th, that week my favorite show was My Name Is Earl. Most of my favorite shows start this week and the rest will be having their season premieres in the following weeks.

Even without the TV shows premiering, it's still a big week, today alone is the opening day of the NFL (GO RAVENS). US Open has the women's singles finals and 2 men's singles semifinals. The Yankees play today as the baseball season winds down. Tomorrow there is Monday night football and the men's singles final. This weekend is the first race of the NASCAR Chase for the Cup. Ryan Newman had a strong finish this past Saturday at Richmond which enabled him to qualify for the Chase.

In other words, there is going to be a lot on TV in the coming weeks and keep a look out for my Top TV Shows lists. I don't plan on leaving my house so if you'll have to come and visit me to see me!


Today, my 18 month old nephew, Giovanni, referred to his penis as the "pink snake". True story.

Logitech Harmony One

I received my new universal remote today, the Logitech Harmony One. It's beautiful. The software I downloaded for my computer was extremely easy to use and guided me through all the steps necessary in order to get all of my devices working with the remote. Now I hit one button and the TV/DVR/HD Box/Amp all go on at once. It's great! After the easily guided setup I put the icons of all my favorite channels on the remote. Now if I wanted to watch the YES channel I just hit the YES logo on the remote and the channel comes on. It's a great compliment to my new HD TV.

Mr. Cool Suit

Last week I met some friends over at Houlihan's for karaoke. Our awesome waitress dubbed me "Mr. Cool Suit" as you can see on my tab. It wasn't so much a suit, just a jacket and tie, white pocket square, nice jeans and dress shoes. That's a picture of me singing next to Rick D. And yes, you read the tab correctly, that's $7.75 for a glass of Maker's Mark, crazy!

Paula Abdul says I'm beautiful...

For my birthday Paula wants me to know that I'm beautiful. And you know you hard it is to get a compliment from Paula.

My birthday is today and my friends Tiffany and Tommy and their children Jovie and Spencer sent me this card. It's totally awesome. It has glitter. Glitter makes every card better.

Duchess, Clothier

I posted some pictures of me in my suit from Duchess to my Facebook account. I’ve made it so everyone, including those who are not on Facebook can view the gallery. So check out the gallery by clicking HERE.



My suit from Duchess arrived today. It’s incredibly beautiful. It’s a 3 piece suit from their Scotch Basic named 8 1/2 that is inspired by the Federico Fellini film 8 1/2. When I met with the Ladies of Duchess in NYC a couple months ago I chose the design of the suit and picked a fabric, I found the gray herringbone best fit with my skin color. Last week I bought a bunch of shirts, ties and pocket squares. I’m still looking for shoes. Here’s a couple of pictures of the unpacking of the suit. There’s more pictures of the unpacking on my Facebook and I’ll post some of me wearing the suit later this week.


Another week off...

I had off all last week. It was great. As you know from my last post I got a brand new Samsung HD TV. I love it. I spent most of the week watching TV and movies. It was great. I also actually went out all over to different places including the Yuengling Brewery! It was awesome. Also almost every day I went out shopping. That was equally as awesome, I love shopping. It’s certainly been a great week. Unfortunately all good things must end and I’m down to my last 2 days. Today I’ll be watching the NASCAR race and then who knows about tonight and tomorrow. Ladies?

Later this week my custom made suit from the ladies of Duchess should be arriving. I’m very excited about that. I’ll definitely be posting pictures here and to my Facebook. So check back with further updates on that. Now to watch the race. Go Ryan Newman!!!

Cablevision and my new HD TV

Oh Lord! On Friday I went to Cablevision and picked up a HD DVR box. I hooked it up to my old 27” CRT. Just having a HD box improved the picture. Today I got a brand new Samsung 32” HD TV. It’s incredible! I’m currently watching the Yankees game on YES HD. I’m blown away by how great the picture looks. I also have it connected to my surround sound system.

The Cablevision box is going to take some getting used to. I found that some HD channels aren’t coming in though. It’s just a black screen. Anybody know anything about that? Speed HD is one of them. Some of the channels just say “Initializing Channel” just for a message to come up saying it’s “currently unavailable”. Will these just work one day? Also, is there a way that I can block channels that I don’t subscribe to? Block them from channel up and down and block them in the guide itself. It’s annoying scrolling through the guide and seeing all of these channels that I don’t subscribe to. Channeling up and down and getting stuck on one is annoying too cause it has to load a screen that says I don’t get it.

the day after DM

Last night was the Depeche Mode and Peter, Bjorn and John concert at the Borgata in Atlantic City. This had to have been the hottest indoor concert I’ve ever been to. I’m talking temperature hot and because of that it appeared that the Depeche Mode set was unusually short and I was dying in there so I was completely OK with them cutting it short. Luckily the security detail occasionally handed out small bottles of water to the folks directly against the rail where we were. Folks more than 3 rows deep however didn’t get any. Then again, the fans against the rail by the stage were in line for over 5 hours before even getting into the arena. Below is a picture of me at the front of the line.

With that said,
Depeche Mode were great as always. My sister was completely gushing whenever Dave did his sexy gestures and grinds. She got so excited. She’ll deny this of course and say he’s not her type or something like that. That’s a lie though. Martin looks older and older while Dave gets better looking.

The opening act was great. I’ve been a fan of
Peter, Bjorn and John’s for a while but this is my first time seeing them live. Peter was so fun up on stage. Even off the stage when he lunged into the crowd directly in front of us while singing “Young Folks”. Of course he couldn’t get back on the stage, it was kinda sad but cute and funny at the same time. We all agreed that Peter would make an excellent play pal for Jen and Chris’s 17 month old son Giovanni. I’ll have to email him to see if he’s free.

It was a great concert, it also helped that before the show started I won $100 on the slots. It was a good night.


Depeche Mode with Peter, Bjorn & John TONIGHT!

I’m seeing Depeche Mode with Peter, Bjorn and John tonight at the Borgata in Atlantic City. I’m very excited! I love both bands! This is my 3rd time seeing Depeche Mode at the Borgata, my 14th time seeing them overall. Yea, I like them a lot!

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

Today is my sister’s birthday. I drew her a card. It’s a cow with a cat’s head that is about to drink from a crater filled with fruit punch. I hope that she likes it.

Happy birthday Jennifer!

The Ten

Gosh, I love NetFlix streaming. I just wish I had a better internet connection so that I can get better looking video quality. Last night I brought my laptop out back and streamed The Ten off of NetFlix’s site. I smoked a Drew Estate Root that I had aging in my humidor for years now and I drank some Maker’s Mark bourbon. It was a good night, albeit a little on the warm side.

Crosley Nomad

Excellent! I received my Crosley Nomad radio today. This radio is so awesome looking. I love the 1930’s design to it. I needed a radio to take with me on my picnics and this is the one, it even has an input for my iPod! My picnics have become that much more awesome. I hope it sounds as good as it looks!

Picnic Time

I finally got a chance to use the picnic basket that I had mentioned earlier. Last night Dana and I went on a picnic together. It was excellent. I threw out my nice plaid blanket. We loaded up the basket with delicious healthy foods and I brought a bottle of cabernet and a bottle of water. I dressed up but not too fancy, I wore my new Montecristo/Panama hat. Dana took some pictures, maybe she’ll post them to Facebook or something. We went to Sayen Gardens, very nice and relatively quiet location. You can see the envy on the few passerby’s faces. It was a beautiful evening.

Afterwards we went to a tattoo art show at
Artworks in Trenton. The show was small and I felt out of place because I didn’t have a black t-shirt on with a devil on the front. Regardless, there was some interesting art and it wasn’t too far away.

I can hardly wait for the next picnic though. I have a sweet radio coming this week to bring along with me. It’s going to be super awesome. Dana and I will be credited for the rebirth of old fashioned picnics.


Earliest this week Dana and I saw the film MOON. It’s only been a few days but the more I think about it the more and more I like this film. Everything about this film is great. The music is awesome, the lighting is awesome and the acting is great. I was following the trailers since the first one became available and thought it looked great but I was surprised that the trailers really didn’t show much as to what the movie is really about. I really wish I could talk about it more but I’d hate to ruin it. But if you’re a fan of sci-fi mysteries then this one is a must-see. Great film.

R.I.P. Julia Beck

My grandmother passed away this past Sunday.

Julia A. Giovannetti Beck

PRINCETON - Julia A. Giovannetti Beck of Princeton entered into God's Care Sunday in the University Medical Center at Princeton, with her family by her side.

Born in Trenton, Julia was a lifelong Trenton/Hamilton area resident before moving to Princeton in 2005. Julia was a homemaker, who enjoyed cooking, spending time with her family and visits from her lifelong friend, Lucia. Predeceased by her parents, Fanny and Carl Giovannetti; her brother Don; three sisters, Mary, Helen and Laura; her husband, John D. Beck, Sr., and her son, James Beck, she is survived by one son and daughter-in-law, John & Susan D. Beck, Jr. of Yardville; two sisters, Margaret Fabiano and Ann Trippo; three grandchildren, John P. Beck, Jennifer Lucania, her husband Christopher, and Michael Beck, son of James Beck; also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 18, 2009 at Chambers D´Errico and Correnti Funeral Home, 825 Chambers St., Trenton. Burial will follow. Calling hours will be from 12 noon to 1 p.m. at the funeral home.

My Week Off...

I had off from work for the past week, here’s just some of the things that I did, in order:

Watched the Subway 250 at Daytona, Rock Band, went to Jen and Chris’s for Independence Day, watched the Coca-Cola Zero at Daytona, spectacular wreck coming to the checkered, Ryan Newman finished 20th, watched the Yankees, watched Jarhead, watched more Yankees, visiting my grandmother at Princeton Hospital, boo, Dr. House was off that day, boo, went to see The Hangover with Dana, yay! met the guys for a beer at Jo Jo’s, painted, Rock Band, watched more Yankees, watched Deadliest Catch, visited James and Jane in Long Branch, went to WindMill Hot Dogs, went to Lighthouse for water ice, watched more Yankees, watched Vincent & Theo, painted, went to the Freedom Fest Fair at the Horse Park of New Jersey, watched the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland, Ryan Newman finished 22nd, Rock Band, watched the 400 at Chicagoland, Ryan Newman finished 6th, watched the Yankees, bad news, grandmom Beck died today, boo, smoked a Macanudo Portofino that I’ve had in my humidor for about 5 years and drank some Maker’s Mark to honor grandmom, watched Howl’s Moving Castle, watched the new Entourage.

Today I just hung around and cleaned, put some stuff into storage and painted more, tonight I’ll finish off my “vacation” with the guys at Jo Jo’s Tavern. I’ll see you there!

R.I.P. Julia Beck

Happy Beck!

Some customers got me an ice cream cake today. Why? Because I am awesome. This is true. I am. What else could it be? Check out the cake:


Picnic Basket

I received my totally sweet new picnic basket today. It’s so rad. As you can see from the picture it has all the stuff that I would need for a picnic, plates, glasses, corkscrew and silverware. There are 2 spots for wine bottles, in my case one will be for wine and the other for a bottle of water. It has plenty of room inside for the usual picnic foods; fruit, cheese, crackers and bread. I have a nice picnic blanket and an old fashioned Crosley radio. I’m all ready for the summer. All I need now is for someone to join me on a picnic, ladies?


On Saturday me and Chris and his workmates went down to Baltimore for the day. Headed over to the Brewer’s Art for some delicious beers and dinner. I forgot to pick up a couple bottles for myself. Maybe I’ll head down next week ago. After dinner we went to Camden Yards for the Orioles vs. Nationals game. Orioles won, after the game they were showing Field of Dreams on the big screen at the park. We decided to skip that and instead headed to Little Italy and my favorite dessert place Vaccaro’s. I love that place, whenever I’m in town I have to stop there and get the tiramisu gelato. Gosh that sure is good.

Yesterday I watched the race. Ryan Newman had a lousy car and got a little banged up from some wrecks around him. It looked like it was about to rain and Newman was leading but the crew miscalculated how much fuel he had in his tank and he had to pit. 3 laps later the rain came and the race ended. Newman finished 29th. Took a big chance and it didn’t work out. Despite that he only dropped 1 spot in the standings down to 7th. We’ll get them next time.

Now I’m about to head to my usual Monday night hang out spot, Jo Jo’s Tavern. I meet the guys there every week for food and drink and we hang out and celebrate out friendship. Pretty exciting. See you there!

Business Cards

I received my first batch of business cards today. They came out pretty nice. I designed them to reflect my website. You can’t tell from the picture below but the gray on the front is actually lines sort of like the gray lines on my site and the back is pattern of burgundy ‘dots’. They look better in person, let me know what you think, I think whenever I order my next batch I’ll make the pattern on the back of the card a bit more noticeable:


Curtin's Wharf

Tonight we went to Curtin’s Wharf for dinner and it was incredible! If you’re in the Burlington, NJ area you have to check this place out. The prices are a bit steep but it’s quality food, top notch service and an incredible ambience. Heck, you can take a boat there, as I was sitting on the back deck eating I was watching folks coming in from the river for dinner. There was a calypso band playing to add to the ambience. If it was a bit cheaper I would go all the time. The prices aren’t bad though considering how awesome everything is. I can hardly wait to go back. I strongly recommend it to everyone. Here’s a little picture I took from my cell phone (didn’t realize that I had the resolution set to LOW):

Art All Night

It’s 4 AM and I just got in from Art All Night. I know, it’s all night, I just couldn’t make it. I’ll be back around 12:30 PM for the rest of the 24 hour art “mini-festival”.

After I left the Hopkins BBQ the Murray brothers and I went to Art All Night in Trenton. We got there around 1:30 AM and there was a large amount of people, I was surprised. The band that was performing was good. The visual art left much to be desired but for the most part they were generally positive, some terrific ones and some downright awful ones. As the night progressed the bands got worse and worse. The last performance was 3 AM. Art All Night is a 24 hour art festival, it started at 3 PM on Saturday and goes to 3 PM on Sunday. Here’s their website:

I recommend. It’s not NEARLY as cool as the art festival they have down by my school in Baltimore but it’s ok for Trenton. The Baltimore one is called Artscape and is the largest arts festival in the country. Figure the Trenton one draws in close to 5,000 folks, Artscape draws in about 1 million. But hey, it’s a start. So I recommend you check it out, like I said, I’ll be there at about 12:30 on Sunday. See you there!

Depeche Mode - "Peace"

The new Depeche Mode video for their single “Peace”

Depeche Mode - "Peace"

Duchess, Fine Clothier

Last night I drove up to NYC to the Veloce Club at 17 Cleveland Place. I met up with Seyta of Duchess. I was measured for a new suit and picked out fabric and designs. I turns out my left arm is a half in longer than my right. Ha. I’m very excited about this. I’ve been wanting a nice suit for a while so I’m getting one made for me. It’s going to be gorgeous. There were a lot of guys there in their own wares and they all look great. I hope to get another suit maybe later this year or early next year. Seyta was extremely helpful not to mention being a great designer too. I highly recommend Duchess!

Also yesterday Ryan Newman finished 8th which put him up 2 more spots in the standings up to 5th now! His teammate Tony Stewart finished 2nd which means he took over the points lead! Yay!

On Saturday we played our 11th annual softball game and bbq. I did fairly well, made a couple outs on well hit balls and I got on base only cause of my lighting speed. I played third base. Made a few good plays in the field including an unassisted double play.

Tonight I’ll be meeting the guys at Jo Jo’s Tavern. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a good weekend.

Set for launch

The Rocketman is back on top as Ryan Newman secured his first pole position for Stewart-Haas Racing for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. GO RYAN NEWMAN!!!!


Depeche Mode with Peter Bjorn and John

Ok, so I’ll be seeing Depeche Mode for the 14th time in August at the Borgata in the City of Atlantic. That’s pretty exciting right? But not since The The opened up for them back in ages ago that a band I like is the opener. Steffers just told me that Peter Bjorn and John are opening up for them! So awesome! I’m so excited!

That now pushes The The, Nitzer Ebb and Stabbing Westward down a notch for the best bands that I’ve seen open up for DM!

Fever Ray

I got tickets to see Fever Ray on Tuesday, September 29th at Webster Hall in NYC. I’m very excited, who’s going?

Whatever Works

The NEW Woody Allen films stars Larry David! Sweet!
An eccentric New Yorker played by Larry David abandons his upper class life to lead a more bohemian existence. He meets a young girl from the south and her family and no two people seem to get along in the entanglements that follow. This is a comedy also starring Ed Begley Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Conleth Hill, Michael McKean, Evan Rachel Wood, and a number of other amusing types.

Directed by: Woody Allen

Starring: Larry David, Ed Begley Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Conleth Hill, Michael McKean, Evan Rachel Wood


More Waltrip on Earl

They showed recaps of My Name Is Earl with Michael Waltrip again, the one with the missing person investigation, along with this added bit “Michael Waltrip’s testimony is equal to 3 regular peoples”. Ha!

John Beck just signed with the Baltimore Ravens

I’m a big Baltimore Ravens fan so it’s only fitting that I (John Beck) just signed a 1 year deal with them. I’m very excited. I’m totally gonna show up to the voluntary workout!,0,1974368.story

and here:

Michael Waltrip in My Name Is Earl

Ha, Michael Waltrip was in tonight’s episode of My Name Is Earl “Inside Probe”. The episode stars Geraldo Rivera as a journalist trying to find out what happened to the Crab Shack’s owner. Earl and Randy were accused to murdering him. The evidence was strongly against them but their alibi was that they were hanging out with Michael Waltrip. Michael Waltrip bought them drinks and even had pictures with them to prove they didn’t do it. Also, they got so drunk that Michael Waltrip “2 time Daytona 500 champion gave them a ride home”.

Depeche Mode on Kimmel, the day after *UPDATE*

The reviews are pouring in from Depeche Mode’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last night.

NEW: Here’s another review:

Here’s a clip of the first song they did, “Wrong” on Kimmel:

And here’s the second one, “Personal Jesus”, both are available in HD!


Depeche Mode on Kimmel TONIGHT!

Depche Mode are going to be on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight so be sure to watch it.

Kimmel goes on at midnight, I’m gonna try my best to stay up. I don’t have to work tomorrow so hopefully staying up that late won’t mess me up too bad. Times like this I wish I had a DVR so I can watch it over and over and over.

Sounds of the Universe

I got my Depeche Mode “Sounds of the Universe” limited edition box set yesterday. The set itself is a lot nicer than I thought it would be. It’s also a lot bigger than I thought it would be. Very nicely made and put together too. I like the new album so far, not as good as their last one but it’s good, I mean, c’mon, it’s Depeche Mode.

Sounds of the Universe box set


R.I.P. Alfred Guarnieri

My Uncle Al died on Sunday. Bummer.

Alfred Guarnieri

Alfred Guarnieri, 89, of Hamilton Township died Sunday, April 19, 2009, at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton, Hamilton Township.

Born in Trenton, NJ, he resided in Hamilton Township for the past 45 years. Mr. Guarnieri was a US Army veteran of World War II. He retired in 1982 after more than 25 years from CV Hill Refrigeration, Trenton. Mr. Guarnieri along with his late wife, Josephine, owned and operated the Cameo Shop, located in the Chambersburg section of Trenton for 12 years until 1974. He was a member of the Roman Hall Society and was Past Commander and member of the Italian American War Veterans Post # 2.

Son of the late Dominic and Catherina Tazza Guarnieri, husband of the late Josephine Reno Guarnieri, brother of the late Jennie Iezzo, he is survived by two sons and a daughter-in-law, Alan R. and Denise Guarnieri of Bordentown Township, and David Guarnieri of Hamilton Township; two sisters, Mary Gallo and Clara Guarnieri, both of Hamilton Township; a sister-in-law, Sue Aregnano; two grandchildren, Alexa and Lucas Guarnieri, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The funeral will be 7:30 a.m. Thursday, April 23, 2009, from the Brenna Funeral Home, 340 Hamilton Ave., Trenton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9 a.m. at Saint Mary's Church, 45 Crosswicks Street, Bordentown, NJ. Burial will follow in Brig. General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, North Hanover Township, NJ. Calling hours for relatives and friends will be on Wednesday evening, April 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Brenna Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Headquarters, 406 West 34th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64111. (816-756-3390) or


R.I.P. JG Ballard

JG Ballard died this morning.

In other news, I was in Baltimore this past weekend for the annual MICA fashion show. Went with the Murray brothers. Met up with some friends. Went to Mick O’Shea’s. Also picked up some Resurrection and Green Peppercorn Tripel from the Brewer’s Art. Great place, great beers. I’m very tired now and wish to rest. New show goes on FOX tonight called Sit Down, Shut Up made by the creator of Arrested Development. May as well watch it, what else is there to watch?


LoveNetflix is a dating site that takes your rental and rating history and matches it up with other people who rated those movies similarly. Worth a shot.

That Woman Makes Crazy Art

Over the weekend I went to Easton, PA. I’ve never been to Easton before, neat town, just takes a while to get there. I’d like to check it out again when it gets warmer. I went there because my friend Rachel from MICA had an art exhibit opening. She makes some really wild art. Please visit her website:

Be my #1 fan!

If you have a Facebook account then go here and be my #1 fan!

Brother Theodore - Food Sermon

This is one of the most amazing performances that I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen his monologues before but this is incredible. I really wish that they let him finish. Incredible!


Depeche Mode "Come Back"

New Depeche Mode song from their forthcoming album “Sounds of the Universe”


March 16th

I signed up for Twitter last night and already I’m addicted. You can follow me @beckinabox. I’ve installed Twitter apps on my computer and on my phone. I also added a little widget in the side bar to the right.

Last week a couple of customers of mine went out to Las Vegas for the NASCAR race. They brought me back a new Ryan Newman decal for my car. As you know he switched from the #12 team to the #39 team. I took out the old #12 and put on the new #39. Thank you Holly!!!!

Also, I just replaced it with a shiny brand new 120GB iPod classic. It’s absolutely incredible and so much smaller than the old one. Not am I able to put almost my whole collection of iTunes on it but it also plays podcasts and video! It’s so sweet. This is my third iPod. The last one was a 60GB iPod Photo. It still works, i’ve just been having problems with it lately. It freezes often. My first iPod was a 10GB first generation. I had that one back when iPod’s were only available for Mac. Now they’re everywhere. This new one is my favorite one so far. It’s so sweet.

2 things...

2 weeks ago I got Rock Band for my PS2. I love it. At first I could barely pass songs using the bass on easy now I can pass songs on guitar on hard. I just wish that there were downloadable songs like their are for the PS3/360. Maybe someday in the future I’ll upgrade my system. Regardless I’m getting pretty good. My dad is even improving. Sometimes Jen and Chris and Joey and Ayla will rock out with me. It’s good fun.

Yesterday I bottled my wheat beer that I made. I bottled 32 25 ounce bottles. That’s a lot of beer. I calculated the alcohol content to be around 6.1%, that seems pretty high. The beer should be ready for consumption in a couple weeks so I’ll report back on how it is.

Daft Punk to score TR2N soundtrack

I’m very excited about this, Daft Punk are set to record the TR2N soundtrack. Billboard posted the newslink today. I saw the bootleg trailer for TR2N last year and it looked incredible so this just adds even more excitement to it.

Depeche Mode "Wrong"

Here’s the video for the new Depeche Mode single “Wrong”. This video is pretty creepy.


American Idol

I haven’t watched American Idol since it went live but I’m shocked that guy Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle, whatever his name is, is still on American Idol. Incredible. I have no idea how he made it this far. He’s awful but he’s just so entertaining and funny and I’m totally going to vote for him and I hope he makes it to the finals. I wasn’t planning on voting at all this season but I will certainly be voting for him as soon as the lines open.

Die Die Die

At work today a three year old kid circled his table and repeatedly shouted “DIE! DIE! DIE!”, regardless, it was NOT the most interesting thing that happened today.

John Hodgman

John Hodgman played a doctor in tonight’s episode of Battlestar Galactica. As soon as I heard his voice I knew it was him, it was a very nice surprise. He’s awesome!


Everyone, be sure to watch Dollhouse tonight on FOX at 9:00 EST!

NASCAR calendars

My NASCAR iCal calendars that I maintain, the ones listed in the File Sharing section, are now available on Yay! If you go to you can see and subscribe to my calendars from there! Pretty cool!

Inglourious Basterds

The trailer for the new Quentin Tarantino film starring Brad Pitt is now online. It looks pretty awesome. There’s not many films with Nazis in them that aren’t any good, throw in Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt we’ve got something special. I can hardly wait. Here’s the link to the trailer:

Tony Stewart Old Spice Swagger commercial

This commercial is so weird and so funny. I just love the sounds that young Tony Stewart is making. So funny.


Ryan Newman captures first modified win at New Smyrna

In only his second start in a touring series modified car, Ryan Newman drove to a thrilling victory at New Smyrna Speedway on Monday night.

Newman, who started seventh, piloted the No. 7 NY Aggressive Hydraulics modified through the field to claim his first win in a modified and a hard fought victory for car owner Kevin 'Bono' Manion.

"That was a lot of fun," Newman said. "I have to thank Ted (Christopher) because he raced me clean there at the end. It was a pretty exciting race from where I was sitting.

"To win this race is a big deal. I'm not a guy from the Northeast but I know how important of a win this is for these guys."

Newman quickly drove through the field and into second place where he engaged in a head-to-head battle with legendary modified driver Ted Christopher. The two drivers swapped the top spot numerous times over the final 14 laps of the 25-lap race.

Newman had to endure multiple caution flags and several restarts before taking the lead from Christopher on lap 21 for good to clench his first victory in the modified ranks.

"Tonight was my dad's birthday, so I think this is a nice present for him," Newman said. "I'm looking forward to racing and having some more fun here again tomorrow night."
Newman will race at New Smyrna again on Tuesday. Action begins at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Delaware Water Gap with Mike Murray

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Trenton. The temperature reached 64! Mike Murray and I decided it would be a good day for a little road trip. As the previous week’s snow was melting a way we hit the road and drove up North to the Delaware Water Gap. The crumbling slums of Trenton were now behind us the glorious mountains were on the horizon. Along the hour and a half journey we discussed how awesome the state of New Jersey is. Moments ago we left the capital city and here we are in the rolling hills of Flemington, Clinton and Oxford. New Jersey has such a wide variety of resources in which all are relatively close to each other. We have big cities and small farming communities. Big sporting arenas and casinos to mountains and wildlife preserves. If for some reason New Jersey isn’t good enough, NYC and Philly are just a stone’s throw away, not to mention Baltimore/DC and Boston. We love this state!

Before we arrived at the Delaware Water Gap we stopped of at Hot Dog Johnny’s. A place I last frequented with Mike’s brother Jimmy nearly 4 years ago. It was delicious! The queue was out the door and flooded into the parking lot. After that we went further down the road into the Delaware Water Gap. We were very unprepared for this trip. Even though it was 64 and the snow was melting in Trenton, in the DQG there was still a foot of snow on the ground and it was damn cold. We braved the freezing temperatures and journey to the summit toward Crater Lake and were able to catch a few decent pictures, some of them are displayed on the right, others are up on Facebook. Regardless we had a great time, even saw some of our customers up by the river. Next time we visit will be this summer and we will hike up Kittatinny Point. This time we will be prepared.


Top 25 Random Facts

There’s this thing going around on Facebook where people post their top 25 random things about themselves. I personally didn’t post one but my sister posted one and I found it absolutely hilarious and decided to post it here on my blog. I hope you all find it as funny as I do:

1. I have had 4 surgeries in the past 4 years.

2. Would love to open up my own school for students with disabilities.

3. Would love to pick up everything and move to Taromino, Sicily.

4. I do about 97% of all yard work.

5. I do about 95% of all house work.

6. I would like to have another boxer puppy.

7. I am the most happy when I'm with my son.

8. I would love to mingle with gorillas. Just call me Dian Fossey.

9. I would love to open up a restaurant or a bagel place.

10. I don't know how to make bagels.

11. I can never write anything without Chris proofreading it first.

12. Chris proofread this.

13. I'm obsessed with organization and have been wanting to go to the container store FOREVER!

14. Hopefully for Valentines Day, Chris will bring me to the container store.

15. I'm supposively passive-aggressive. I don't know about that, what do you think?

16. I'm self-conscious about several things. So much so that I can't share them with you.

17. I hate the gladiator game. Chris, Dan....dorks!

18. During early high school years I attended a modeling school.

19. I have huge feet, size 11. HUGE!

20. I like to steal swords and gold.

21. I can watch a movie, people die, I don't cry. If an animal dies, I will cry for an hour.

22. I used to go to Karate class and loved it, but it killed my back.

23. I hit a tracter trailer on the turnpike after spinning 4x in a snow storm. Car = Totaled.

24. I am a certified therapy dog carrier and have taken Sebastian to a lock-down school, retirement home, hospital, and a school for children with cerebral palsy.

25. In my adulthood, I have only pooped twice in a public place.

Ryan Newman fan club package

My Ryan Newman fan club package arrived today. Over the years I’ve gotten many little goodies from the fan club, autographed pictures, magnets, license plate frames and other little goodies, besides the yearly fan club t-shirt and membership card. This year they really outdid themselves.

The fan club package arrived today, a lot of odd things were included this year. Everything was packed neatly in a Ryan Newman fan club cooler. I got the usual fan club t-shirt, this years was a nice black one, the others were ugly white ones. I also got the usual fan club membership card and cool little fan club magnet. Ok, pretty cool so far. Also inside were 2 more t-shirts, a sweet U.S. Army shirt AND a very cool Meaty Bone t-shirt. Isn’t that odd? Both shirts are really awesome, much cooler than the actual fan club shirt.

Also included in the cooler is a blank CDR (a yellow one), a fishing lure with Ryan Newman’s autograph on it, a bag of rubber bait worms, a small stick of Old Spice (his teammate Tony Stewart’s sponsor) and a small package that looks like matches from Duraflame but it’s actually green tea stress relief lotion.

Isn’t that awesome? That was a really nice surprise to come home too. Thank you Ryan Newman for being awesome! Oh, and Ryan Newman, i’m from your wife’s home town, if you ever come and visit let me take you out for dinner! Sweet!

NASCAR calendars updated

NASCAR finally updated the official schedule on their site. I’ve updated my subscription calendars to match that schedule. You can subscribe to all 3 top NASCAR calendars in the File Sharing section.

Good Luck Steelers!

Ravens lost a tough game. Steelers were spectacular. Joe Flacco made some dumb moves, 3 interceptions. He threw some great balls but he also showed why rookie quarterbacks never win playoff games. I knew the Steelers were going to win before the game even started but when the Ravens started coming back and it was 16 - 14 in the 4th quarter I really felt the Ravens were going to win. They started off with great field position and then this stupid penalty came against the Ravens for unnecessary roughness. The penalty ended up putting the Ravens down at the 14 yard line, which was at the time of the kick around 40 something. Flacco made a couple of big passes but eventually got intercepted and was returned for a touchdown. It was that penalty that turned the game around. On the other hand, I feel pretty confident in saying that the Steelers are going to win the super bowl. So the Ravens may have lost but they lost to the next world champions.

I have a feeling Flacco learned a lot this season as a rookie. No rookie has ever made it this far into the post season and I have a feeling that next year he’ll be a lot better. Now that the Ravens are over I have NASCAR to get excited about now. A few more weeks and the green flag will be waving. Also, luckily for me, new episodes of my favorite TV shows have been airing. I’ll start posting my top shows list soon.

The Sounds of the Universe


APRIL 21, 2009

January 15, 2009- Groundbreaking, chart-topping electro legends Depeche Mode are proud to announce the release of their long-anticipated new studio album, Sounds Of The Universe on April 21, 2009 (Mute Records).

Eclectic and energized, the band's new release is their most dazzling and diverse album in decades. Recorded in Santa Barbara and New York, Depeche Mode returned to using a lot of vintage gear, from analogue synthesizers to drum machines, in order to conjure up the retro-futuristic arrangements featured on the album. Lyrically the release contains many of the group's enduring obsessions plus more overt black humor than any of their previous collections.

Like with their 2005 studio album, Playing The Angel, Sounds Of The Universe features writing credits for both Martin Gore, the group's primary songwriter, and Dave Gahan who after honing his talents on two solo albums, has earned his place as Depeche Mode's second writer. The release also marks a reunion between the band and producer Ben Hillier (Blur, Doves, Elbow), who worked with the band to help give their new album its timeless sound. The first single from the release, "Wrong," grabs the listener's attention from its first stack-heeled, staccato shriek. Over stomping beats, screeching synthesizers, and Dave's overlord chant, "Wrong" already feels like a Depeche Mode classic. Other standout tracks include Martin's velvet-lined Scott Walker croon on the sensual lounge-music ballad "Jezebel," to the sci-fi gospel-blues hymn "In Chains" and "Hole To Feed," which marries modern electronics to a floor-shaking, bone-rattling Bo Diddley beat.

As one of the most influential bands of the post-punk era, with global sales in excess of 100 million, Depeche Mode belongs to a select premiere league of super groups who have survived from the early 1980s with their ideals, creative vision and core members intact. Formed in 1981, Depeche Mode - Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and Andy 'Fletch' Fletcher - continue to win critical and commercial acclaim across the world both in the studio and on the road. All of the band's 11 studio albums have reached the Top Ten in not only the UK and USA but 20 plus countries around the world including Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, and Belgium. Additionally, since their inception Depeche Mode's live shows continue to be a must-see attraction, with the group playing to 2.8 million people across 31 countries on their last tour alone.

Depeche Mode will be announcing additional album details and tour news in the coming weeks. For more information please go to


Ravens just beat the #1 seed Titans. It was a helluva game. A real nail biter.

Absolutely incredible!!!

Beautiful photography

I think these photographs are just beautiful.

I find something about that composition with the blue and red on the black background incredibly gorgeous. Such a great idea and well executed. Stunning imagery.

Absinthe Lollipops

Whoa. I kinda lost interest in absinthe years ago but I would certainly love to try one or two of these.

Happy Birthday Jimmy!

I’ve been sick since Saturday. I don’t feel sick until I start eating. It’s no fun. My friend Jen spent the night with me last night. I felt bad cause I wasn’t much fun. Tonight is usually my meeting with the guys at Jo Jo’s Tavern but after I had dinner earlier I just haven’t been feeling well. I’m mostly bummed out about the whole thing. Especially considering that today is Jimmy’s birthday. Sorry I couldn’t be there my good brother. Happy birthday Jimmy!

Joe Flacco is my hero!

Joe Flacco became the first rookie quarterback to win a playoff game on the road and only the third rookie quarterback to win a playoff game of all time! The Ravens play the Titans in Tennessee on Saturday. The Ravens have been on fire lately and the Titans are flickering out, regardless, it should be a close game and can go either way. GO RAVENS!!!

Happy New Year!

Happy new year everyone. Last night I went to a party at the DeNito’s. Every party I go to at their place is a lot of fun. They continue to outdue themselves with their incredible hospitality. They’re terrific hosts and I can hardly wait till the next get together. Great job!

Get in that boiler room!

Today was a busy day. This morning and part of the afternoon I visited my grandmother in the assisted living place she’s at in Princeton. I haven’t visited her in a while. The place is really nice and they do a great job there. I ate lunch there too.

Later during the day I met up with my buddy James from MICA. He was visiting NJ from the west coast. Earlier that day he had a meeting with Lord Whimsy. Apparently they’re going to be working on a project together. James is a little nutty, he gets a coat as a Christmas gift from Debbie Harry and now he thinks that he can work with everyone that is famous.

Anyway, when he got to my house I asked him where he wanted to go to eat. He said he wanted DeLorenzo’s, unfortunately we’re closed on Mondays so I had to take him to the enemy, the DeLorenzo’s in Robbinsville. It was pretty good I must admit. The service sucks though. So James and I stopped at Canal’s and then met up with Jimmy Murray at DeLorenzo’s.

Afterwards James left to go back to Long Branch cause he was leaving for the west coast in the morning and Jimmy and I headed to our usual Monday night gathering spot, Jo Jo’s Tavern.

Now I am full with pizza, beer, dessert and coffee. Now I must rest. Happy new year!

Go Ravens!

Go Ravens!

Ravens won over the Jaguars today. Playoffs start next week against the Dolphins. The Ravens are looking real good. Anything could happen!


Little Rick got Mike Murray and I tickets for tonight’s WWE RAW at the Trenton Arena. Last time Rick got Jimmy Murray and me tickets for the 80’s night concert festival. The arena is 5 minutes away so if it’s free I’ll pretty much go see anything. I just found out today that it’s not WWF anymore. I haven’t followed wrestling in a long time. I guess it’s because I’m not 10 anymore. Regardless, it’s free and 5 minutes away so I’m sure it will be fun. Plus we’re in a special suite! SWEET!

Christmas Gifts

What does an eccentric artist get/make for his family as a Christmas gift?


Each card is a hand drawn pencil sketch of 3 sardines. Each card is slightly different. The cover of each card reads “Merry Christmas”. Inside each card reads “Live Long and Prosper”. On the opposite inner page reads “Christmas 2008, hand drawn by John Beck, x of 9”

Each tin of sardines is lovingly wrapped in Maker’s Mark wrapping paper.

Merry Christmas!


It's Lunch Time

I just made myself a pork roll and cheese sandwich. Of course I used Case’s pork roll, cause that’s the best. It was delicious. I know you wish you had some too.

Cosmi's Pastries and Potito's Bakery

After work today Big Rick and I went down to Philly. He ordered 20 boxes of honey balls from Cosmi’s Pastries. He had, earlier in the week, got boxes of honey balls from Nino’s Pastry Shop, which is usually pretty damn good. The honey balls were made all wrong at Nino’s and he went to complain, this is after he gave most of the boxes away as gifts.

So I accompanied him down to Philly. We had a lot of fun. He’s been ordering from Cosmi’s for a while now and said he should have gone there first instead of Nino’s. He gave me another box of the honey balls and these were a HUGE difference. Very good. Then he took me to another bakery not too far away called Potito’s. There he got me a tray of cookies for coming down to Philly with him. He met the owner of Potito’s a few years ago at Jefferson hospital. They ended up befriending each other. Rick often visited his shop when he was in town. A couple years later the owner died from leukemia at a relatively young age. Anyway, when we got to Potito’s the daughter remembered Rick, even some details, from Trenton, owns the pizza place. I guess he’s a hard one to forget. It was a very sweet moment.

Now I must get back to drawing my Christmas cards and back to watching Battlestar Galactica.

NASCAR Camping World truck series calendar

I received an email asking about my NASCAR calendars. Apparently I make the only 2009 and beyond NASCAR calendar subscriptions. I was asked if I could also make one for the Camping World (formerly Craftsman) truck series calendar. I honored the request and the Camping World series as well as the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series calendars can be subscribed to in the ‘File Sharing’ section. You will need Apple iCal program or something similar that will allow the subscription of these types of calendars.

My Horn Can Pierce The Sky

Princess Unicorn:

Princess Unicorn is from a distant land on a distant planet far away in the future. She came from her father, king of the unicorns, and her mother, queen of the princesses. Sorcerissa, the evil witch, cast a spell on Princess Unicorn’s parents, forcing them into another dimension, and doused Princess Unicorn in radiation. The radiation did not hurt Princess Unicorn, but gave her magical powers. She can summon her magic by holding her wand and calling out, “My horn can pierce the sky!” Now she uses her magic and beauty to write for her school paper, defend her kingdom, and battle Sorcerissa so she can be reunited with her mother and father some day.

R.I.P. Bettie Page

Bettie Page dies at 85; pinup queen played a key role in the sexual revolution of the 1960s and later became a cult figure.,0,5310709.story

Maker's Mark Gift

Every year Maker’s Mark sends me a unique gift around the holidays.This year they sent me Maker’s Mark wrapping paper along with Maker’s Mark gift tags and Maker’s Mark ribbon. Thank you Maker’s Mark for the gift and thank you for making such great tasting bourbon!


I just got back from the liquor store. I purchased a bottle of Ciroc vodka. I use that for my delicious martinis. Other than that I got all ‘wintry’ beers, stouts. Samuel Adams Cream Stout, Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. For some reason stouts remind me of winter. Delicious.

NetFlix Customer Service

2 weeks ago I added the Battlestar Galactica Season 3 six disc set to the top of my NetFlix queue. It was in order from disc 1 to disc 6. They sent disc 4 first. That’s no good, especially considering I’m on the 1 DVD out at a time plan, so I filed a complaint and sent it back and they sent me disc 1 right away. I had sent that back and then they sent me disc 3. What’s wrong with them?

So this time I called them up after a wait of 20 seconds I was patched through to Sara at NetFlix customer service. She has a wonderful voice and couldn’t be nicer. She told me that she would sent disc 2 out right away and to hang onto disc 3 when I get it. She told me they were having problems with sending seasons out in order so she would delete the other 3 discs from my queue and for me to just add them one at a time until they correct the problem.

Sara was more than helpful and extremely pleasant. I wished her happy holidays and the total phone called was 2 minutes long. Less than a minute after I hung up I got an email from NetFlix asking me to rate my experience.

I wish I could put in additional feedback on the experience because I found it more than satisfactory and though Sara at customer service was wonderful. Happy holidays Sara!

R.I.P. Josephine Guarnieri

After dinner at Amici’s tonight I have another viewing to go to. My Aunt Jo died. This is my second aunt to die in a week and a half. Here’s Aunt Jo’s obituary:

Josephine Guarnieri

Josephine Reno Guarnieri, 87, of Hamilton Township died Thursday at Compassionate Care Hospice at Saint Francis Medical Center, Trenton. Born in Trenton, she resided in Hamilton Township for the past 45 years. Mrs. Guarnieri retired in 2006 after more than 30 years from Little King Deli, Route 33, Hamilton Township.

She was the daughter of the late Gaetano and Antonietta Reno; sister of the late Carmen Aregnano, Frank Renio, Paul Renna, Frances Graziano, Caroline Mirabelli, Dorothy Botteri, and Madeline Scardone. She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Alfred Guarnieri; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Alan R. and Denise Guarnieri of Bordentown Township, and David Guarnieri of Hamilton Township; a sister-in-law, Sue Aregnano; two grandchildren, Alexa and Lucas Guarnieri, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The funeral will be held 9:30 a.m. Tuesday from the Brenna Funeral Home, 340 Hamilton Ave., Trenton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at Saint Mary's Church, 45 Crosswicks St., Bordentown. Burial will follow in Brig. General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, North Hanover Township. Calling hours for relatives and friends will be 6-9 p.m. Monday evening at the Brenna Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Alzheimers Association, Inc., Greater NJ Chapter, 400 Morris Ave., Suite 251, Denville, NJ 07834. (973-586-4300).


Mike Murray was flying into Atlantic City Airport today and I had asked him if he would like me to pick him up. He agreed. Every time I go down to Atlantic City I always drive by the Pic-A-Lili. Since I was a kid I would see this roadside restaurant in the middle of the pine barrens and always wanted to stop there. After I picked up Mike I asked him if he was hungry and of course he was, he’s always hungry. I finally went to the Pic-A-Lili. We sat right at the bar. Besides us, there were only a handfull of other customers in there, they all sat at the bar and they all seemed to be hunters. Kinda odd. The lovely girl that waited on us said they get a lot of hunters in there. Which brings me to this, what do hunters do? Is hunting their occupation? Do they sell the animals that they catch or kill? It’s a Monday afternoon, is that their day job? Well?

Nick Cave Teaterkoncerten

I was doing further research on that incredible stage production of Nick Cave’s “The Mercy Seat” and I found this:

I’m still doing further research but it looks like they have this entire theatrical performance based entirely on Nick Cave songs. I haven’t a clue what they’re saying but I know the original songs and I would love to see this live.

The Mercy Seat

The Mercy Seat is one of my favorite songs by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Click the link to learn more about the song. I assembled some links to YouTube videos of various people covering song. It’s such an incredible song and nearly every version is fantastic. My favorite is the ‘acoustic’ version by Nick Cave himself, you can see a live version of that one by pressing play on the right.

There are many other Nick Cave songs that are covered on YouTube and for the most part they’re all very good. I think it has more to do with them being really well written songs to begin with. (INCREDIBLE Swedish stage production based around the song) (a fun ukulele version) (an ‘a cappella’ version with an interesting arrangement) (some full band) (this version is scary, but very interesting) (good, kinda ‘cheesy’, I think they’re trying to hard to be weird) (a weird Swedish version with a DJ?)

There are many other cover versions on YouTube but I just wanted to link the ‘live’ versions.

Here’s the original Nick Cave album version
Johnny Cash version (not really a video but an important cover)

100,000 mile milestone

My car reached a milestone today, 100,000 miles. I got my Honda Civic brand new back in 1998. I am the only owner and nearly all 100,000 miles were driven by me.

I’m happy to say that I had very little trouble with my Honda over the last 10 years. What trouble I did have was very minor and easily fixable. Here’s to the next 100,000, I hope they’re as pleasant and easy going as my first 100,000.


Harry Bush

This guy called DeLorenzo’s today. He was asking what our hours were. I don’t think I ever answered him due to me laughing so hard. It’s these little things that I find most enjoyable.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, unless you’re not American, then in that case, well, too bad, cause we get to eat a lot of pie and you don’t.


Don’t forget. The 2 hour special of 24: Redemption will be airing tonight at 8PM on FOX. It is a warmup to the new season that starts in January. Time to get excited once again!

R.I.P. Mamie Labella

My aunt passed away late Thursday/early Friday. Here is the obituary from today’s Trenton Times. She will be greatly missed.

Mamie LaBella

Mamie (Valeri) LaBella, 85, entered into God's Care Friday in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Born in Trenton, she was a lifelong area resident.

Predeceased by her parents Guilio and Caroline (DeCarolis) Valeri and a sister Catherine Parziale, she is survived by her husband of nearly 63 years, Leon J. LaBella; four sons and daughters-in-law, Andrew and Anne LaBella, Robert LaBella and Barbara Cease, Leon and Linda LaBella and Larry and Sherri LaBella; two sisters, Sue Aregnano and Mary Motchnik; her grandchildren and their spouses, Kelly Anne and Richard Hinton, Andrea and Tony Esposito, Julia LaBella and fiancée, Brian Cirillo, Sabrina and Dennis McAnulla, Nicholas LaBella, Dana LaBella, Anthony and Adrienne LaBella and Adria Cease; four great-grandchildren, Anthony Esposito, Joseph LaBella, Isabel Hinton and Madelyn McAnulla; several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Carmella LaBella, Molly Constantine, George and Jean Lanna, Mario and Sandy LaBella, several nieces and nephews, and many family and friends.

The funeral will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday from Chambers D'Errico and Correnti Funeral Home, 825 Chambers St. in Trenton. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Tuesday in St. Anthony's Church, 626 South Olden Ave., Hamilton. Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery in Hamilton. Callings hours will be 8:30-10 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Mid-Jersey Chapter, 246 Monmouth Road Oakhurst, NJ 07755 (envelopes are available at the Funeral Home).

The Wrestler

The trailer for the new Darren Aronofsky film “The Wrestler” is finally officially online. I’m a big Darren Aronofsky fan, I loved The Fountain even though most of my friends are pretty mixed about it. Although Aronofsky didn’t write The Wrester it still looks like a great film with a great performance from Mickey Rourke. I’m definitely looking forward to this one.

Baby G and Noddy

I was still living in Baltimore when Baby G was born this past February. While I was down there I purchased him a “Noddy” doll to give him when I came back to NJ. At the time the doll was much bigger than he was. Now he’s bigger than Noddy. Here’s a picture of Baby G and Noddy.

Baby G and Noddy

Making Art with Baby G

The following 2 pieces are my new artworks titled “Making Art with Baby G”. You can see higher quality versions of them under the artwork > digital section. Enjoy!


Top 5 Beautiful Ladies

Almost 3 years ago I had put up a top 12 list of my favorite sexiest animated characters. Today I’m giving you my top 5 real living breathing beautiful ladies, or as I say, my “to do” list.
Zooey Deschanel
Zoey Deschanel
Anna Friel
Anna Friel
Jenna Fischer
Jenna Fischer
Tina Fey
Tina Fey
Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway

and honorable mention of course goes to Scarlett Johanson and Natalie Portman. There’s a few others that I quite fancy, one of them being Judy Greer, she seems like a lot of fun, someone who I would want to spend all of my time with. All of these beautiful ladies are delicious, kinda like a bacon cheese burger. Mmmmmmm, tasty!

Who’s your favorite?

Caitlin Ryan Clothing Line

My friend Caitlin designed clothes for this video here. My friends Jess, Briners, Whitney and Q-Bert are the models and stars of the video. I don’t know the girl who filmed and edited the video but she’s very talented. The music in it is also great. Such a well done video, I find it very inspiring:


March Of The Ants

I was very disappointed in my steak last night at Arthur’s. Arthur’s Tavern had 4 locations. The closest one being in North Brunswick and 3 others further away in North Jersey. The North Brunswick one was the closest at 40 minutes, half the time to the other 3. Well, we found out yesterday that Arthur’s Tavern in North Brunswick is now Arthur’s Steakhouse and Pub. It doesn’t come close to what it was like when it was Arthur’s Tavern. Before it was a unique and delicious steak, now it’s just a steak, nothing special about it. It’s safe to say that I won’t be going back there anymore. It’s a shame that the other locations aren’t closer.

I just got back from doing some food shopping at Shop Rite. Among my usual items I also wanted to try some different things. I got McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal. I wanted to get the McCann’s instant oatmeal but they only had the traditional in a can. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while so I’m pretty excited about it. Maybe I’ll order the packs of instant off the internet. Also, something that I’ve been wanting to try for a long time now was goat milk. I don’t drink milk. Cow’s milk I find gross, not to mention it being bad for you. I use milk in my Ovaltine but I rarely have it. I use vanilla soy milk in my cereal. So when I got home I poured myself a glass of goat’s milk. I enjoyed it. Tastes slightly different than cow’s milk but didn’t leave that slimy texture in your mouth afterwards like cow’s milk does. If it was cheaper I’d get it more often.

Now I have a question, how would the oatmeal or the Ovaltine be with goat’s milk?

Welcome to my new blog

Well, I think I figured out the new blog program. I’m using RapidWeaver. It’s pretty neat, took me a while to figure out the editing of CSS and HTML but I’m on my way. I still have a few problems but once I get stuff figured out I’m sure things will fall into place.

If you’ve been reading my old blog then you’ve noticed that I haven’t been leaving many personal updates other than my favorite TV shows of the week and the occasional SNL Digital Short. I’ve just been plain busy.

Let’s see, what have I been up to? I went out with the girl I met at Bryan and Keilynn’s wedding a couple of times. That was a lot of fun. Over the weekend I met up with Joe and Ayla for dinner in Philly and while I was there I met up with my friend Leslie from MICA. She showed me her place, which is pretty scary, I’ll have to visit again when my other MICA friends are in town. Other than that you can pretty much see me at Jo Jo’s Tavern every Monday night at 8. Although tonight I’m going to Arthur’s Tavern. I haven’t been there in a while, delicious steaks. I’ve also been maintaining the NASCAR iCalendars. I maintain both the Sprint Cup and the Nationwide Series calendars. You can see them in the section.File Sharing

What else is new? Well, the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series. Barrack Obama was elected the next president. The Ravens are now 6 and 3 and Ryan Newman is still struggling.

That’s all for now. I hope to update my new blog on a more regular basis now that things work a bit more. Enjoy!

Test Entry

Still testing my new blog. The old blog has been archived by year and is viewable on the right.

New Blog

This is my new blog. I’ve archived all of the old posts and am attempting to integrate them into this blog. I have a feeling it won’t be as easy as it sounds.