Thursday, August 30, 2007

Book Lists

Jim Wallis offers a list of good books. Any there you think worth reading?

Hat tip to Ken.


posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:22 PM | 2 comments

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Cheater Sues

This is kind of old news, but much like my previous "joke":

Did you hear the one about the man who has an affair and sends the woman flowers only to have a thank-you note sent to his house from the flower company resulting in his wife finding out about the affair so the husband sues for ruining their marriage?


posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:12 PM | 4 comments

Friday, August 24, 2007

It Is Finished

A few years ago I had gotten myself into such bad debt that in order to save my house I had to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. What this meant is that each month I had to send a bankruptcy trustee $500 a month which she'd use to pay off my outstanding debts. Needless to say it sucked big time having to give a huge portion of my pay out in order to get myself out of the trouble I had gotten myself into. After a few years of lean living and accepting the kindness of others I just found out that my bankruptcy is over three months early and I am completely debt free. Praise God for finally being done with this nonsense!


posted by Out Of Jersey | 11:49 AM | 5 comments

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why Study Industrial Arts

I thought we could use something a little lighter considering all the heavy posts I have been writing lately. Here's Mystery Science Theater 3000's "Why Study Industrial Arts?"


posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:32 PM | 5 comments

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

God of The Dollar

Having come from the trenches of the prosperity movement I am always interested in any mention of them in the news media. Religion and Ethics Weekly did an expose on how strongly the prosperity movement has infiltrated the black churches. You read the article and watch the video here.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:08 PM | 6 comments

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Kerouac: The Original Scroll

The picture to the right is the original scroll Jack Kerouac containing the first draft of "On The Road." Having just picked up a copy of The Original Scroll I am a glutton for punishment because there are no paragraph breaks. By the looks of things you can tell he wrote the book in three weeks by the books lay out. I have never read "On The Road" except for the first few pages a number of years ago so I am wondering if I am wasting my time starting here and not reading the original novel. We shall soon see. Silliman found a sight that posted dozens of the original book covers including one designed by Kerouac. Enjoy.


posted by Out Of Jersey | 8:29 AM | 5 comments

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars

Last night Ken, his wife, son, and myself went to see The Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, a band formed in a refugee camp. All I can say is it was incredible. Their music is a mixture of reggae, traditional African rhythms, and rap. You couldn't help find yourself bobbing up and down to the music. To top it off the weather was perfect and we had an incredible view of the Philadelphia Sky Line. Did I mention the show was free?

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:20 PM | 1 comments

Monday, August 13, 2007

Church of the Uncool

One thing I miss about visiting churches are the uncool things we did. While most people were going out and getting drunk we were having a square dance. We watched corny little church Christmas shows. Ate numerous pot luck dinners and played many many games of kick ball or pick up soft ball. We weren't so conscious of whether the world saw us as hip or not. I am fortunate that though we try to reach our neighborhoods we are a very un-hip place. I appreciate what this article has to say because I am starting to see that I am not alone in feeling this way.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:58 PM | 8 comments

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Intreview Me

I have been interviewed by the great and powerful Art. If any of you would like to be interviewed by myself please feel free to drop me an e-mail at and I'll send you some questions. Enjoy.

1. Dave, You've discussed hell in several of your posts. Tell us, what exactly is "hell". Is it a physical place, a state of mind, or a condition of the soul. Or is it something we cannot fully comprehend. Enlighten us.

Have I really discussed hell that much? At the risk of becoming overly obsessive about hell and becoming a hate mongerer there I can look at Hell in either the theologically or poetically. I have to admit talking about Hell at all makes me uncomfortable, but it is a topic that has been too long ignored by some churches or completely overtaken others. Theologic hell is a physical place. Where that place is I cannot begin to guess. All I know is it isn't a place I would want to go for the fact there is a deep absence of God. The torments are bad enough, but the absence of God is what makes it more painful. I have been tought that as a christian my "job" was to keep people from going to Hell. Though I think that is true it isn't the most important part of faith. The poetic hell is either a state of mind or a situation that we are in that is so intensely harsh and painful that it can feel like torture. These can pass over time. I try not to think about hell too much, but just enough to help me realize what I do have in this life and the blessings I can hopefully share.

2. You live in New Jersey. For those of us who have never visited NJ, what is it like? It's all urban sprawl, landfills and pollution and stuff, right?

New Jerseyans have the unfortunate blessing of being book ended between Philadelphia and New York City which means that people closer to southern New Jersey tend to act like Philadelphians and root for Philadelphia teams while Northern new Jerseyans act like they are from Manhattan. We have no real identity of our own anymore. And because we are a smaller state that instead of having great strethces of one type of land over another people can see us as either living in nothing but urban waste lands or chemical refineries. There are both of thoses depending on where you drive. We are very flat up through northern NJ where we hit a mountain range just outside of New York State. We have some charming small towns, but the suburban sprawl is taking over a lot of our open areas which is sad. Some of our shore towns are great and can be relaxing if you go to the right place.

3. You're a Blues fan. What is so great about The Blues anyway?

When you hear true blues there is something about hearing a guy or gal sing and perform in such a real way. It is the right music for the right time. You don't hear people getting the alternative rocks. People get the blues and these performers are there right along with you. They know what you are talking about and what you are feeling. There is an honesty and no holds barred attitude that speaks about who we are at any given moment of time. These guys didn't just sing songs they sang their lives. It is gritty and raw. You can fake a lot of things, but you can't fake the blues.

4. You are an admirer of good poetry. What was the greatest age of poetry and how does the poetry that is being produced in our time compare to that of ages past?

Right now we have alive and in our midst some of the most incredible voices in literature and poetry. Mark Doty, Donald Hall, Lucille Clifton, Galway Kinnell among others are the older gaurd. The grandparents of modern poetry whose voices that are influencing a younger generation. Sadly, a lot of the younger generation isn't really paying attention to what they have to say and how they say it. The craft isn't there like it was with them. There are definate exceptions. I have met several over the past few years like Linh Dinh who are continuing to create in a new and innovative voice. Plus the ammount of poetry from foreign shores finally making it to America is thrilling. I am fortunate, every two years in northern NJ we have a huge poetry festival called The Dodge Poetry Festival. It's huge and I have had the opportunity to meet and hear read poets from all over the world including China (Bei Dao), Isreal (Taha Muhammad Ali), old school beats (Amiri Baraka), and some from America like Fanny Howe. I'd say poetry was at it's zenith from 1875 til about 1960 or so. It was during this time we had people writing with the beauty of the romantics, but moving on to more modern and avante garde forms. They moved out of the old forms and became willing to not just write about the external, but the internal as well. Without becoming overly self-indulgent. They took poetry sometimes kicking and screeming into the modern age while keeping a foot firmly planted in the past as well.

5. Tell us about your experience as a comedian and why (or how) you failed.

At first it was a lot of fun. Going a couple of times a month to do a few minute set and see peoples reactions. Sometimes it would go well and others not so much. And people around me were encouraging which made it great. Then people became too encouraging and started referring to me as Dave the comedian. Of course with that people ask me to tell some jokes which put me on the spot. After a while it got tired of all the attention it was bringing me and finished out my last few commitments. There are times I miss it, but I don't want all the attention from friends and family like I had before.

6. You've held a variety of jobs. What was the worst of them? What was the best? Wait, I know, it was Chuck E. Cheese, wasn't it?

Believe it or not Chuck E. Cheese was a good job. I was 20 and working with a whole bunch of girls my age. That isn't such a bad deal. Plus my boss let me work as where i saw the need so I got to have the run of the place. But my best job was working as a court recorder in the courts. I got to hear a lot of exciting cases, meat some great attorneys (they do exist), and the judge I worked for was incredible. I respected him so much that when he decided to retire I put in for a transfer to another division. Working for someone else would not have been the same. Worst was near the end of my tenure at the courts. I was working in the finance office and hating every minute of it. There was a lot of pressure from the higher ups and any freedoms I had with my previous bosses were squashed by newere management. I was almost thirty and starting to question what I was going to do with my life. Every other day it seems like my managers had me in their offices reprimanding for one thing or another. After a while I quit. I was there physically, but not in spirit.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:45 PM | 4 comments

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Young and The Godly

NPR has done a year long look on the lives of young religious leaders in their first year of serving. It is worth giving a listen to see how people just starting out view their vocations and their faith.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:18 PM | 2 comments

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Flight of The Concords

The live version is better, but this is all I could find. I know it's yet another comedy band like Tenacious D, but I still like it.


posted by Out Of Jersey | 9:54 PM | 4 comments