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Discover what you have in common with Fionnchu!

About Me

I'd like to share what I know about: Ireland, Literature, Gaelic, California, Middle Ages

I'd like to discover more about: Welsh, Meditation, Paganism, Buddhism, Classics

Medievalist turned humanities professor; unrepentant but not unskeptical Fenian; overconfident accumulator of books & music; overcurious seeker of trivia, quadrivia, esoterica.

Born in Los Angeles but should have been born in my mother's Ireland. Eclectic music, reading, ideas-- often Celtic and/or medievally oriented.

Ten Thousand Saints: A Novel
This novel's advance copy comes filled with breathless "in-house praise" and a back cover full of promotional strategies. This energetic campaign may reflect the mood of the setting, the …
The Provisional IRA: From Insurrection to
Books on the Provos, the dominant faction after the 1970s IRA split with their more Marxist comrades, tend to fall into two categories. Historians and academics tend towards heavily footnoted, analytical …
BIC Triumph 730RT Gel Pen (0.7mm), Black, 12ct
I reviewed the Bic 537 RT last year; this 730 feels very similar. It has the same .07 width, the same rubber grip style if a slightly altered and tapered rather than even wraparound design, and the same …
reviewed H-p1. June 22, 2011
posted in Music Matters
Combining stoner steadiness with spacious soaring, this compresses vocals to a growl. This enigmatic trio expands guitar effects and percussive clatter. Not much of a message can be discerned from the …
on the road to babadag
Roaming the rarely touristed backroads of Central and Eastern Europe over perhaps seven years and accumulating 167 stamps in his Polish passport, this chronicler begins by noting how the third …
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Quick Tips
posted a Quick Tip about The Great Gatsby. October 31, 2010
The Great Gatsby
In an era of school-board mandated this and multicult-approved that, this classic gets overlooked. But, in its lessons on American dreams, capitalist realities, and intimate betrayals, it sums up for …
posted a Quick Tip about Go, Dog. Go!: P.D. Eastman's Book of .... October 31, 2010
Go, Dog. Go!: P.D. Eastman's Book of Things That
I gave both my sons a copy. Even when they discarded their other childhood books, I asked them not to toss this one. Why? It was my favorite when I grew up, and I learned how to read from it, and taught …
posted a Quick Tip about Christine O'Donnell. September 15, 2010
Christine O'Donnell
1) How will her proclamations against masturbation as a crime akin to adultery & fornication (if not quite abortion, more predictably) play out for a wider constituency? She's had to backpedal …
posted a Quick Tip about The Chronicles of Prydain. September 10, 2010
The Prydain Chronicles (omnibus)
These enchanted me in grade school. I read them alongside "The Hobbit" and found them much more engaging than the Narnia series, and a great preparation for medieval literature and Tolkien's trilogy. …
posted a Quick Tip about In Bruges. September 04, 2010
posted in Screen Gems
In Bruges
I need to re-watch this. There seemed one scene that did not tell all, and I am not sure what went down as a result. The ending seemed a bit over the top even by creator Martin McDonagh's standards (I've …
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Latest Lists
created a list. July 27, 2010
Recent reads reward re-reading. Not all perfect, but humane. They make me think; a few make me laugh.
Laura Warholic: Or, The Sexual Intellectual The Elementary Particles The Crimson Petal and the White The Periodic Table Thirst
created a list. July 24, 2010
As with my 20 Albums, maybe not the best ever, but prose that transports me into a place and time that the writer had to create.
Ulysses (book) Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable U.S.A. Trilogy Black List, Section H The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
created a list. July 22, 2010
posted in Music Matters
Not necessarily the best ever, but the ones that hold up best for me after repeated listenings over decades.
Murmur The Who Sell Out Roxy Music (album) What We Did on Our Holidays Please to See the King
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Post a Comment
June 08, 2011
Thought you might be interested in this review/read, John: http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Th...opological_Classic.html
June 09, 2011
As I said over at the review by Chris Travers, yes, Adrianna, I need to read Turner and not about him, so thanks for the nudge!
June 09, 2011
(laughs) Welcome and no problem. Glad you liked the review. :)
March 03, 2011
Congrats on winning the Best Political Review in the Lunch Awards! Great job!!
March 04, 2011
I appreciate your kudos, and return mine for all your contributions, Adrianna.
March 05, 2011
Thanks so much, John! I do enjoy contributing when I can make the time between my other obligations. It's wonderful to know that people are reading/enjoying what I'm writing!
April 27, 2011
Hope your father's better, and all's well, by the way!
April 28, 2011
Thanks, John. Things are slowly but surely getting back into its normal routine. My father isn't completely healed, and he probably never will be according to the doctors. But, he's working really hard to not have another stroke by taking better care of himself. My mom's keeping an eye on him when I'm not around. :) Thanks so much for inquiring about my father.

How have you been?
March 03, 2011
Hey John, congratulations on your Lunch Awards win for Best Political Review! Looking forward to reading more :)
March 04, 2011
Devora, keep us entertained and informed, and thanks for all you do for us here at Lunch.
March 04, 2011
Thanks, John, I really appreciate your kind words! You keep doing what you're doing, too -- thank you for sharing these great reviews!
August 01, 2010
Hey John, thanks for checking out my fast food list!  And to answer your question, yes, In-N-Out does have a grilled cheese sandwich!  It can have all the ingredients of a cheeseburger that you want -- special sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and burger bun, with the cheese grilled with the bun.  You can even get the onions sauteed, too! :D
March 04, 2011
I found out they'll cook a full grilled onion! That sounds good inside the grilled cheese. Too bad no stores are nearby.
March 04, 2011
I had no idea. I'll have to ask about that the next time I'm there!
July 29, 2010
I was reading a comment you left on @Fionnabhair's profile and noticed that you are a professor in Humanities. Where do you teach? I'm getting ready to apply to Ph.D. programs across California. I'm looking at English, Comparative Literature, and Chicana Studies programs.
August 04, 2010
Did you ever get my reply, Adrianna? I teach at a technical-business oriented college in Long Beach, so no insight into any grad programs there! But, if you let me know where you are applying, perhaps I can provide some insight. I received my doctorate in English Lit from UCLA '95, my M.A. from Claremont, and my B.A. from LMU.
August 05, 2010
Hi John,

I did receive your comment on my profile page. Recently, I've been spending less time on Lunch until some issues get resolved that I'm working on. I'll go ahead and respond a little here and on my profile page in regards to your inquiries. :)

I'm applying to a lot of the UC schools including, but not limited to, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Davis. I'm looking into a few other UC schools, and some private colleges too. Programs I'm looking at include English, Comparative Literature, and Chicana Studies.
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