1. Yes, I'm still alive. I also turned 23 since I last posted. A new year blossoms as another disappears. So it goes. To show how far behind on my updates, here's a photo of my backyard during the Autumn colors. Expect photos of Spring sometime in August.
2. For most of March I took a break from regular novels and sampled a few graphic novels. They were, in order of my enjoyment: Maus, Persepolis, Maus II, Persepolis II, V for Vendetta, & 21 (The Roberto Clemente Story). The last one was a big disappointment, a stylistic and aesthetic treat but cursed by a narrative so poorly constructed that it drags down the entire reading experience. I definitely recommend the first four, mildly recommend V for Vendetta (if you're interested in seeing the parts and themes that weren't in the movie), and don't recommend wasting your time with 21. I will say though that V for Vendetta the movie is much, much better than V for Vendetta the graphic novel and Persepolis I & II ought to be required reading for anyone who thinks they understand what life is like for modern Iranians (hint: they're not a bunch of terrorist zealots).
3. I'm off to the Steel City
4. I'm currently reading Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore. I've got a lot to say about it and about contemporary literature as a whole. I'm picking up on a number of tropes in these big, ambitious novels written in the past 20 years by folks like Murakami and Wallace. But I'll save that post until I'm done reading it. I think I'll be able to finish it on my long ass bus ride across Pennsylvania tomorrow.
5. In other news, I learned about the Korean alphabet today. Unlike Japanese or Mandarin, Korean's written language is not a confusing amalgamation of unique characters. It's actually a very simple phonetic alphabet that is very easy to pick up. This is not to say that Korean is an easy language to learn though, as Korean grammar is incredibly complicated and difficult for native English speakers to adapt to. But I don't need grammar to know that my name is 로버트 몬테네그로 in Korean. Maybe you can figure out what sounds some of the symbols represent based on just that. Or you could just look at this.
6. The Dodgers won today on Opening Day at Petco Park (Dodger Stadium South). Hearing Vin call a whole game was really nice. I hope MLB Network gets him on there as much as possible this season. Bold prediction for the Dodgers season: 1-161.
I think my postseason predictions were Yankees, Tigers, Rangers (Blue Jays over Angels in WC) & Phillies, Reds, D'Backs (Cardinals over Giants in WC). World Series is D'Backs over Rangers. I've got Bumgarner, Upton, and Mike Matheny winning Cy Young, MVP, and MotY in the NL. Sabathia, Moore, and Farrell in the AL.
7. I'm hoping the bus ride will give me a chance to do some writing. I've really lost the luster for the craft the past few months - I guess really since I moved to DC. It's taken a long time to adapt to this new life. Plenty of speed bumps along the way. And playwriting has been an adventure in both good and bad ways. I feel like a prospect drafted because I have the tools to succeed but as soon as they sent me to the rookie league I was forced to learn an entire new approach to hitting or pitching or, well, writing. Let's hope I live up to my high draft position.
I'll post photos from my Pittsburgh adventure on Monday or Tuesday.