Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

Thanks for visiting one of my creative outlets! Please send me an e-mail, or add a comment to any post.

More Rick Umali web sites at:

Yahoo! Geocities
Lycos Tripod
The World
My Own Domain

Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Friday, August 08, 2003
It doesn't surprise me that Harvey Pekar has a BLOG. This is a man who's made his life available to others in illustrated books. How could he resist blogging?

It's so easy to get caught up reading about Pekar's life in American Splendor that it's easy to forget that folks who blog are doing something very similar. Here's a very slim slice of my life, on the web, for you, the random reader, to either enjoy or press the "Back" button.

In the last comic of The New American Splendor Anthology, "Meet Colin Upton", Pekar poses the question: "How can a democracy function in a nation full of people who believe that their lives and their neighbour's lives are insignificant?" His answer? "Imperfectly at best."

I spent the past three days reading Harvey Pekar's book, The New American Splendor Anthology. Pekar's stories are illustrated, so it seems like I've been reading a comic book. A bleak comic book.

It's like reading Lynda Barry, or Bill Griffith's Zippy. You know these kinds of comics: they're in the back pages of your city's weekly magazine, the kind that's given out for free at bus or train stations.

Pekar's book is a mesmerizing look at his dilemmas and quandries. He's a crank. He's compulsive. He's obsessive. He's a nine-to-fiver. He's a music fiend, a book hound, and he's always looking for a good deal. It's good stuff.

I got put onto to Pekar because his life has become a movie, and it opens this month.

Thursday, August 07, 2003
When I got home, the TV weather that I watched reported flash flooding in the town where I work. The meteorologist was saying something about three inches of rain in one hour. I can agree: it was torrential. On the way home, I had the wipers at its highest tempo. The area of torrential rain was very small; once I emerged from this weather cell, the air was quickly dry, and rain-free.

It's pouring now. A heavy, dark rain. I have a window seat at work, and despite the awful looking weather, I wish I were out there now.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003
I've been seeing television advertising for a credit card small enough to fit on your key chain.

I don't have a key chain. I carry two keys with me during the day: my car key, and my house key. And sometimes, I can leave the house key at home (because Jenn will be home). I carry these keys separately.

I can remember carrying multiple keys in high school: the two or three keys to open up our house, the keys to the car, the keys high school newspaper office. I had the same keys issue at college: one for the dorm, one of the magazine office. I associated keys with responsibility. I marveled at those guys who seemed to carry dozens of keys; usually they were custodians, but often they were fellow students like me, who happened to acquire keys as they acquired jobs.

Two keys. That's all I got.