Amici:Reading is an integral part of the ugly one’s life these past several years … so are writing, drumming, eating, drinking, occasionally working out, ball breaking, eating, drinking … yous get the picture.
So Knucks best of reading list for 2010 consists of the following books that include reads and rereads and after #1, are in no particular order; they were all very good. These are the ones I can remember and there's no doubt I'm leaving quite a few terrific reads off this list from simple lack of memory (or maybe it's not so simple):
My favorite read of the year was Pike, by Benjamin Whitmer.
The following books were also excellent reads: Late Rain, Lynn Kostoff; Lark and Termite, Jayne Ann Phillips; Print the Legend, Craig McDonald; The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky; The Friends of Eddie Coyle, The Digger’s Game and Cogan’s Trade, George V. Higgins; Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy; Will You Be Quiet, Please?, Raymond Carver; Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street, David Payne ... these are the ones I can remember ... there were several more.
Music ... hearing/seeing Mahler’s Titan live was the treat of the year for the Principessa Ann Marie & myself … having the chance to see/hear it conducted by Gustavo Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic was extra special and remains the highlight of the year. Also, practicing jazz fills with Joe Morello’s book has been fun when I find the time to do it.
Weightlifting ... recovering from the squat the killed my back about 6 months ago now, I guess. That injury has seriously put doubts about any future attempts at all three lifts ... at least until I lose 60 pounds or so.
Food ... Porridge. My wife makes the bestist porridge.
Drink ... Chivas, hands down. A single Becks after a second healthy glass of Chivas and we’re talking paradise.
For Mrs. Knuckleklaus (her favorite):
A Christmas poem ...
Twas the night before Christmas and all through Casa Stella;
Wifey was making lasagna for her big fat fella;
Rigoletto was snoring to beat our latest band,
while Spartacus was feasting on leftover baked lamb.
When up on the roof there arose such a racket,
Off the couch I went to get my fat jacket.
Out on the porch I stepped lightly and curious,
as to what the motherpluck had made me so furious.
The moon, bla, bla, bla, there wasn’t any snow,
Just a guy named Rafael calling to his buddy, Juan (or was it Joe?);
They were clipping our satellite dish from up above;
Dressed in black, wearing ski masks and wearing black gloves.
Hey, “numb nuts”, I called to bring attention not fear;
“The dish is disconnected, we use cable in here.”
“Oh, chit (it sounded like) Rafael did say;
While Juan (or was it Joe) pointed to their ladder, “this way”.
When out of the house with her new toy came my hon;
In her nurse outfit (it’s private) and her shiny shotgun.
“Don’t fock with us!” she said in her bestist Nurse yell;
“It’s Christmas, you fools, if you steal, you’ll go to hell!”
“But dear, show some spirit,” said I to my wife.
“It’s Christmas, my love, invite them in for the night.”
“Over your dead body, now get back in the house;
Start wrapping some presents, but none for your mouse;
I have my own gift for your pal, little Spartacus, this year;
.a box of 12 gauge bird shot I'll lodge in his ear.”
“But dear,” I did cry, “it’s Christmas, be kind;
Peace, love and understanding on this day should shine.”
“Out of the way, fatty,” wifey said and quite clear;
“I have a shot at their balding back tires from here.”
Poor Rafael and his good buddy Juan (or was it Joe)?
Caught birdshot in their taillights as they raced to and fro;
While wifey was smiling from one ear to the other;
And poor Knucks sighed with a shrug and a shudder.
“Lordy, what has happened to my dear Ann Marie;
She used to be nice before she met me?”
And the Lord looked down from the heavens above;
And said, “Think about it, chubby, you’re not easy to love.
You’ve got a good heart, but you’re annoying as heck;
If she were me, she’d break your thick neck;
You eat all the food and curse blue streaks when you’re cranky;
which is 90% of the time, it seems, quite frankly;
So take a note from God and be quick about it too;
It’s only her and your mother that truly love you.
Two out of a ga-zillion aren’t very good odds;
You’re a walking DNA statistic and way too large;
Leave food for others, including your mouse;
And don’t invite thieves (those two weren’t mine) into your house;
For sooner or later, you’ll answer to me;
And I’m not inclined to be number three (see above);
Now listen to wifey, she really knows best;
She’s way smarter than you; she got a 91 on her last nursing test;
That’s cumulative, you putz; while working full time;
While you write dopey mob books from your fat behind;
Now I gotta go, Saint Nick needs my help;
Try and stay out of her way ... and trim your fat self."
Then God took off and what did I hear?
But Spartacus and Rigoletto on the porch did appear.
“You guys alright?” I asked both with some hopeful glee.
“Yeah, come back in the house,” Sparty said, “You’re letting out the heat.”
“It’s okay, Dad,” Riggie whispered in my ear.
“Come inside, do another shot and have a beer.”
Then the three of us went back inside casa Stella;
Where wifey was back to making lasagna for her fat fella.
With all so right in our world of Chivas and beer;
Merry Christmas to all (especially yous amicis) and a very Happy New Year!