Volunteering, Ray Bradbury, and Chalga

I have a hard time posting quick stream of conscious posts and usually feel the need to re-read, edit, research etc…before submitting a post. Reason being is that I usually don’t want to just splat something up for the sake of it. I want it to be something worth contributing that people will find interesting. Many times there’s just
a neat site I wandered onto or some weird thing happened in the day. Now I have Twitter for some of these diversions, but for the most part I usually want to expand on them. So, in an effort to try and post more I will be trying to do post more when I have a group of items that I can lump together to create a single interesting post.

I think I already broke the rules by defining them in that previous paragraph. Oh well. On to it.

This was a great week. I had a kickoff meeting with a great non-profit organization that I will be doing some web contracting for. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve always wanted to feel that my work was somehow making a difference and here’s a chance to do it. Along the same lines I also volunteered to be the coach for my daughter’s soccer team and yesterday we had our first game. Although for her age group it is encouraged not to keep score, the game unofficially ended with my team winning 1-0. We had about 3 practices prior to the game and it was really exciting to see the work payoff and the happiness they had. I think I may get addicted to this volunteering thing.

I also made my way out with my son to the Los Angeles Festival of Books which is an annual event that is held on the UCLA campus. This was my first year going, but I was very excited because I had recently been in touch with a friend that I hadn’t spoken to in over ten years. In our recent conversation he let me know that he had recently been accompanying Ray Bradbury to help him at book signings. I decided to go and surprise him as well as get an autographed copy of “The Homecoming” for my son. This is a beautiful book that was illustrated by comic book artist Dave McKean. The other thing my friend helped me discover was that Ray Bradbury is a great poet. To be honest I wasn’t a huge Bradbury fan, but after reading a few of his poems I have to say I probably will become one. His books of poetry are mostly out of print but I was lucky to get one from ebay. The one I was able to find on Amazon is called “I Live by the Invisible: New & Selected Poems“. I’m really looking forward to reading these and getting them signed in the near future.

Lastly I mainly listen to KCRW radio here in LA. It’s a great public radio station, and is the primary source for me to discover new music. They offer a webcast which I can’ recommend enough if you want to find truly alternative non-pop music. But I also listen to NPR as well. I was listening to a story the other day on Marketplace called “Working: Life as a Bulgarian pop star“. It’s an interesting story about a Bulgarian genre of music called Chalga. I recommend listening to story as it was pretty interesting. I’m always intrigued to discover international music I’ve never heard before. Here’s some videos for a quick introduction.