Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What I Am Reading Now - 6/30/10

After tackling and defeating my last stack of books it was time for a trip to the library to replenish my stack so I set off with my to be returned books including the new Sandman re-envisioning by Neil Gaiman and a few other random comic collections I had checked out (JLA, Iron Man) Monday and came home with a lot more than I planned:

The stack on the left is what I purchased from their "For Sale" cart and the stack on the right are my to read now's.

I have been reading Nick Hornby's Polysyllabic Spree since Monday.  I had it on hold for a week or so and needed to go grab it and return the Stieg Larsson I finished so someone else could read it (it had a long wait list) and I didn't wanna hold onto it until the due date to be nice. This is a great read.  It's one of three in a series of his essay collections for a San Francisco paper called "The Believer" on stuff he is reading.  He keeps track of the books he buys vs what he reads every month (awww he is like ME!) It really is like getting to sit and talk books with Nick Hornby.  It's neat having read every novel he has written to get to sneak a peek at the guy who does the writing this way.  I will always have something Nick Hornby has written on my what I am reading lists lol even if its a re-read.

Reading TPS prompted me to go to the library today to get Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger after reading Nick rave on about it for nearly 3 pages.  I am not a huge Salinger fan based on Catcher In The Rye. Yes I know I am not in the popular opinion on that book but to me at best it was just eh. I never found it great and was never moved by it in any way and I really couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about when it was a must read in school.  So I was curious what Nine Stories was all about and figured short stories may be a great way for me to better experience what Salinger had to offer.

The comics I will mostly take a peek at once Alex has read through them all first - I get those mostly for him.

TPS also reminded me that it has been 10 years since I picked up a Vonnegut book so I decided to get off my lazy behind and re-read Cat's Cradle. Vonnegut is a literary genius and I was disturbed to realize we didn't have any on our shelves before I went to the library.  Cat's Cradle is one of the best books I have ever read.  I am hoping we have something tucked in one of the still unpacked boxes of books we have in our spare room.  So I was overjoyed as I went to leave and passed the For Sale cart and found all of these gems:

I have to mention that all 6 of those bad boys cost me only $3.00 AND now I know for sure that I have two Vonnegut's on my shelves. BIG HUGE SCORE. I am constantly buying books.  The way most women buy clothes or shoes that's how I am with books. I am always reading something and sometimes, multiple somethings.  I am sure I will be reading both Vonnegut's before the month is out but the rest I just felt the need to have on my shelves.  They felt like at home library must haves and now I do!

Enough of all this typing about all the awesome books I have to read - I am going to go read them!



Everything's coming up Ramone!

Awesome things happening in the life of me:

  • Business is good - my calendar keeps filling up with photography gigs and that makes me uber happy. (I am going to be doing all event photography for Theatre Exile in Philadelphia! Shot their Cabaret of the Exiled last week and it was so much fun - I am super excited!)
  • Got to see Gogol Bordello for the second time this year hehe - they did an acoustic set at World Live Cafe last Friday at noon for FREE. Best way to wake up ever. Pics on my flickr! I finally got Gogol pics!
  • Got to see Idina Menzel at the Mann Center last week with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by  Steve Reineke - it was awesome.  I love her so very much.  And they did Lady Gaga's Poker Face.  Brilliant.
  • Going to see She & Him and Delta Spirit on Friday at World Live Cafe again and again its FREE.
  • Cliff gets here Friday evening and I am super excited!
  • Scored awesome tickets to see Faith No More at the Mann Center Saturday.
  • Getting repeat visits from some of my favorite people this month like Holly & Tiffany!
  • Trip to VA Beach for 4 days to see my Erika
I dunno June was pretty rad but July is trying its hardest to be even more awesome.

Let the race begin!



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Let's Talk TV: True Blood

OK so I never hopped on the True Blood fanwagon.  Vampires just haven't done anything for me since high school.  But everyone watches it so TV addict that I am I decided that I needed to sit and watch it.  I watched the entire first season of the HBO OnDemand and while I really wanted to like it - I did not.  The writing just killed me and since my ultimate dream is to write for TV and win an Emmy, I am picky about it. And the dialogue just killed me.  It's like a 12 year old was putting the words into their mouths.  So I gave up.  But then a friend mine whose opinion of TV and movies and music really matters to me suggested I give season two a shot. So I did and my feelings changed immensely.  It's not that the words coming out of their mouths got much better but the story was 1,000 times better.  I started to become hooked. I finished season 2 in two days and got myself all caught up on the new season and am excited for the next installment.

So now for my list of personal favorites and not so favorites -

BEST MALE CHARACTER - Lafayette - damn he has really just been the most incredible since the beginning. I really love that man. And he is one of the only ones who has some really great lines.

BEST FEMALE CHARACTER - Pam - and no not just because I love Kristin Bauer Van Straten but because I love bad girls.  And she has had some of the best lines on the show after Lafayette. Sorry Sookie fans, she drives me kinda mad.

MOST ANNOYING MALE CHARACTER - Bill - while I appreciate him for who he is I hate the way they write his dialogue.  It's just plain bad and ruins the character.

MOST ANNOYING FEMALE CHARACTER - Tara.  Sorry I just can't get into her.

SEXIEST MALE CHARACTER - ummm Eric - duh. Alexander Skarsgard is just gorgeous - also an honorable mention goes to James Frain who just joined in Season 3 - and is uber yummy.

SEXIEST FEMALE CHARACTER - Pam - Kristin Bauer = hottness. 'Nuff said.

RECURRING CHARACTER I JUST CANT STAND - The Queen - I really just dislike Evan Rachel Wood as an actress A LOT.  Pretty or not I don't know how she gets work.  Bad casting, TB. Bad, bad casting.

BEST EPISODE SO FAR - Season Two Episode 9 - "I Will Rise Up" - I thought the after math of the explosion in Dallas was well told and it was one of the best written episodes of the show. And that is saying something. And Godric's death all be it not as explosive as I would have hoped was very poignant. 

Also, how rad is the theme song? I do love the way they use the music they use in the show.

These are just my opinions - I would love to hear your thoughts on these topics as well.  Participate! Comment!

So yes Michael, you win.  I am hooked.  Thank you.

Now run along and  DO BAD THINGS!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ode to my Paboy on Father's Day

It's fathers day and since I didn't ever really have a father (I had a bio-dad who was a piece of crap polygamist con artist who spread his seed across the country and leaving me to find my 28 half brothers and sisters as an adult and an even worse piece of crap for a stepfather....but thats a blog for another day) I decided I would pay tribute to the only man I ever thought of as a father,  my Paboy.

What a man he was.  Nicknamed Paboy by my mother when she was a toddler, by the time I came around in 1976 nearly everyone referred to him as Paboy and not by his given name.  Nice work, Mom way to get a name to stick!  So many memories of my childhood in Texas involve him.  I was sooo small and he was sooooo tall and thin which made him seem even taller.  He had the most crystal clear blue eyes I had ever see.  He had a great sense of humor.  He instilled in me a love for football and for my Steelers.  He was blind in one eye and couldn't see outta the other as well as deaf in one ear and couldn't hear outta the other. He wore hearing aids and bifocals and constantly smelled of Methalatum. Oh how I miss that smell.  He ate nearly a pound a bacon every day for breakfast, the blue plate special for lunch and a bowl of Wheaties or Shredded Wheat (the big ones not the frosted ones) for dinner.  He loved to watch courtroom TV shows like the original Divorce Court and the Peoples Court with good ol' Judge Wapner, game shows and 60 Minutes. Oh and Murder She Wrote - boy did he love that Angela Lansbury. He LOVED the racetrack and horse racing and sooo many of my first memories from track involve only him and my mother.  He would collect every aluminum can he could, then trade em for the refunds and buy candy for me he would hide in a box under his bed that was just for me and not my little sister who was constantly being spoiled by my Mamaw. He called me Pedro....all the freakin' time.  I miss that.

He was a man of great character and even greater faith.  In and out of the hospital so many times with pneumonia having only one lung but he was a tough son of a bitch who wouldn't be brought down.  He survived a major stroke in 1987 after the 49ers defeated Bengals in the Super Bowl (can ya tell we were related haha), prostate issues and a broken neck from a car accident in 1993.  He would walk to the mailbox at the end of his street every day until he passed away.

Sadly he was taken from us on December 31, 1996 when the one lung and pneumonia finally caught up to him.

I had spoken to him one week earlier on Xmas Eve and got to share the news that I was pregnant with my first child.  At least he knew that I was gonna be a mommy, right?  The last time I saw him was January 1991 as I watched him watch our train pull away from the station with tears in his eyes.  That image is burned into my memories forever.  I wish I had had the chance to spend a little more time with him.  But what did I know then about mortality? I was a silly teenager who would have rather toured around the coast following the Lollapalooza tour than trek across the USA to spend a week with her great grandfolks.  Stupid me.

I wish he had gotten to meet my kids.  I wish he could have met the wonderful man that I get to spend my life with.  In fact, Alex in so many ways reminds me of Paboy.  Those two would have hit it off like gangbusters and I would have loved to have seen it.

I miss him and think of him often and couldn't imagine not paying tribute to the best man and father I ever knew today.

Paboy, you were the greatest. I love you so very much.  Forever.

This song will always remind me of him so I feel it fitting that I end with this:

Friday, June 18, 2010

F*** the Lakers.

I finally get into watching basketball to support my buddy Paul's Celtics and they had to lose in the end to the fuckin' Lakers. Boo.

I hate LA.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Photo of the Day - 6/16/10

Laurel Race Course, originally uploaded by Tracy Ramone.

It's about to thunderstorm here again......Rain Rain GO AWAY!

Song of the Day - 6/16/10 - St. Vincent - Paris Is Burning (DUMBO Session)

I fell in love with this last week. I am really, really into her now. You should listen to this and fall in love with it like I have.

"I'm on your side when nobody is, cause nobody is,
Come sit right here and sleep while I slip poison in your ear"

What I Am Reading Now......6/16/10

So this is my stack of books I am currently reading on the coffee table right now.

Two are short story collections - Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman and The New Dead is a collection of zombie stories by various horror writers, both I have only read bits of but so far, so good. How To Be Good by Nick Hornby was what I was reading until the library notified me that The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest by Stieg Larsson was ready to be picked up (I had it on hold forever) then all I cared about was reading that.  And it is realllly good.  If you haven't read the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson you should really get on that.  Absolutely my favorite thriller/adventure series in years. I hate that he died.  I really wish I could have read more of his stuff.  Maybe because the series became so popular they will traslate more of his writings to English.  Even if its just essays or columns I will read them.  That's what I get from Nick Hornby while I am waiting for his next brilliant novel.  I will have to get on the ball after I finish TGWKTHN and get on reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman since its a check out from the library and then I can go back and finish How To Be Good. I am 21 books in on my 50 a year challenge for 2010.  I have 3 weeks to finish all these and then I will be 1 over my goal of 25 before 4th of July.  Wish me luck!

Also while taking the picture of my stack o' books I snapped these 2 of my bookcase that I liked so I am posting them here too:



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Song of the Day - 6/15-10 - Delta Spirit - People C'mon

After just listening to the new Delta Spirit album which I didn't love right off the bat but its still early so I need to give it another listen - I was really craving a piece of what made me love this band. Listen and love.

Adventures in Beer - 6/14/10

So last night we went out to 12 Steps Down my favorite Philadelphia neighborhood dive bar. They recently added a bunch of new taps so they have something like 10 awesome beers on tap at all times.  That's why I love that place, awesome beer, great people and a stellar jukebox. I really need to take my camera in there and get some great shots of the place - its really almost like hanging in your buddies basement.  But that is beside the point we are here to talk about beer (though I am sure Danielle wouldn't mind the plug - lol)

So last night I decided to try 3 of the beers they currently have on tap and this is what I had:

Flying Fish Farmhouse Summer Ale -  I thought this was an EXCELLENT summer beer from the seasoned NJ craft brewers.  It was perfect as my starter beer for the night - it went down so smooth and effortlessly and was refreshing like a cold beer should be on a muggy summer day.

Malts: Two-row pale, white wheat, Cara-Pils
Hops: Magnum, Styrian Goldings
Yeast: English
Original Gravity: 11.5 plato
Alcohol by volume: 4.6%
Formats: 12 oz. bottles, 1/2 kegs, 1/6 kegs, cask-conditioned
Availability: April 15 to September 1 

A tribute to the highly drinkable "every day" beers from French-speaking Belgium. Contains Belgian two-row pale malt and 7% wheat. This beer is lightly filtered with an earthy, spicy hop character from imported Styrian Goldings hops and a beautiful rich creamy head from the wheat.
(taken from their website -

Then it was onto:
Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale - Mmmmm Pale Ale's and IPA's are my favorites so I was very pleased with this option. Probably one of the best things to ever come out of Cleveland!

Style Origin: Pale ales gradually evolved from an English town called Burton-upon-Trent that was known for its distinctive hard water supply and propensity to brew a lighter-colored beer than was common at the time.
Flavor: Assertively hopped with citrusy and piney Cascade hops

Style: Pale Ale
Family Status: The bold, hoppy, rebellious one
Availability: Year-round
Packaging: 6-Pack, 12-Pack, 1/6 BBL, 1/2 BBL
Shelf Life: 90 days
ABV: 6.0% ABW: 4.8% IBU: 45 GRAVITY: 14˚P

(taken from their website -

And last but not least I finished the night with this:

Ballast Point Brewing Co. Calico Amber Ale -  Mmmm mmmm mmmmmm........the color and aroma off this beer was AMAZING.  It came to me with a big frothy head like a root beer and I really wish I had had my camera because it was so beautiful. And it was equally delicious.  

Although inspired by the British Ales, Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale uses distinctive American hops, which give not only the crisp bitterness to balance the malt, but also a hint of floral aroma. We brew Calico Amber Ale with 100% malt and use 4 different malts to give it a rich complexity.  The blend of crystal  malts give it flavors including toffee and caramel.  A blend of American Cascade and Centennial hops provide a counterpoint to the malt.  Finally our proprietary yeast provides a fruity background and a Madeira like richness that rounds out this gold medal winning ale. 

Ballast Point Brewing Co.
San Diego, CA
American Amber Ale
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 35

(taken from their website
I was not disappointed in any beer I drank and I loved how perfect the order I drank them in worked with all the flavors and styles of the beers.  

I wish I could say that I did that on purpose.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Photo of the day 6/14/10

Pablo Fragoso, Angel Serpa, originally uploaded by Tracy Ramone.

Pablo Fragoso, Angel Serpa - Monmouth Park Oceanport, NJ

Had a blast at the track Saturday. Spent a lot of time at the tunnel and loved some of the shots I got of all the jockeys. This is one of my faves.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Photo of the day 6/11/10

Yard's Brawler, originally uploaded by Tracy Ramone.


SotD - 6/11/10 - Nellie Mckay "Real Life"

I love Nellie McKay. I love this song too.

Idiot IPA

This is what I was drinking last night:

 "The CBC Idiot IPA is an all natural India Pale Ale. A big beer with an 8.5% ABV and brewed with over 3 pounds of hops per barrell. Watch out, this unfiltered "San Diego IPA" has been known to reduce even the most intelligent to a blithering "idiot". (8.5% ABV)"

It was deeeeeelicious. And had more than a few and woke up with a bump on my head and a big mark on my side so it must have been a good night! 

 Taken from their website:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Photo of the Day - 6/10/10

Took this over the weekend - I just love how this shot came out.

Song of the Day - 6/10/10

- Little Joy "No One's Better Sake" -
Can't explain how much I love this band.

Oh Netflix, I missed you so.

I gave up Netflix when I moved to Philadelphia 18 months ago.  It wasn't that I wasn't pleased with Netflix, I was addicted to it.  Mainly it was cancelling the account and then having my dick wad ex take over said account because of the mailing address and stealing all my viewing history and ratings by changing the email address and starting it up again.  I was irritated and didn't set it up again until recently when I could take the time to rate a crap ton of movies so I could properly utilize all the features the site has to offer. And boy am I a happy girl. When I had it before there was no watching the instant view stuff through the xboxs and ps3s right to your TV,  you had to buy a box for that. Score! Also, I had no Xbox 360 before either. Bonus of being a gaming nerds girlfriend.

So now that I have it again I have been drowning myself in the wonder that is British television once again.  I love British TV I really do.  And none of my British friends are really TV watchers so I don't get a lot of "he you should watch this" from them so I rely on Netflix to help me discover new shows.

I recently just finished watching:
Skins was amazing.  How had I not been aware of this show until now?  The cast was brilliant, the music was brilliant, the story was brilliant, the characters were brilliant - it was all just BRILLIANT. If you haven't watched you should.  Its how TV should be done. Curse words, nudity, in your face realness.

And now I am watching:

Hotel Babylon - Oh this show is fun! It's witty, the characters are enjoyable and all work so well together. I have watched 2 full series so far.  But what really gets me going about this show is Dexter Fletcher.....

Yeah.....yeah....I like him. And his character Tony is one of my fave on the show just as a character.  He does play him smashingly though....

OK enough talking about it I am going to go watch the series 3 first episode.